Friday, December 19, 2008

Message from the Heart of the World

Recent reports detail how Latin America is taking a leadership role on climate change. New data from the Word Bank quantifies this region’s leadership in reducing the level of greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere. Latin America’s efforts go beyond many government’s efforts, including most G-7 nations; and, notably, the world’s two largest emerging economies.

Carbon dioxide emissions in Latin America are 74% lower, per unit of power, than China & India’s emissions. Why? Hydroelectric power and bio fuel usage are two areas where Latin America has pioneered advantages. It is with enlightened self-interest that countries like Brazil and Mexico tackle environmental challenges. Brazil’s Amazon Basin and Mexico’s Gulf Coast are critical habitats threatened by global warming.

Such habitats are critical because their disappearance would trigger greater global warming. Already the conversion of Amazon rainforest habitat to farms represents 50% of Brazil’s total emissions. The world average for emissions from deforestation is 17%. New World Bank data predicts crop failures caused by global warming will cut farm revenue in half as soon as the year 2100.

Two other critical habitats in Latin America are the glaciers in Patagonia and the barrier reefs along C. America’s Caribbean coast. In Belize, the rising ocean temperature is causing coral in the world’s second largest reef system to emit algae that threaten the coral that produce them. Honduras is experiencing similar degradation off the coast of the Bay Islands.

The world’s most powerful economies are being invited by Latin American nations to lead developing economies on issues related to climate change. For now, Latin America is providing much needed leadership by way of example.
Climate change warnings have been coming from Latin America for decades. . The Kogi sounded this alarm in 1990, long before Al Gore redefined the problem. Columbia’s Kogi civilization has avoided contact with industrialized society (much like the Amish). A typical Kogi village appears in the photo above. Like the Amish, the Kogi seek balance with nature.

The Kogi view themselves as “elder brothers” to modern man, having descended from the Tairona civilization which dates back to the 1st Century. They existed and thrived long before their lands were decimated by “younger brothers” of colonizing civilizations arriving in the region more than 1,000 years later. The Kogi see themselves as custodians of our planet and meditate on its future. They see climate change because their mountain is dying. Their mountain lies in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta near Columbia’s border with Venezuela, the highest coastal mountain in the world.

The Kogi do not see us as sleeping (as some Hindu and Oriental religions do); they see their little brothers as dead or dying, as “shadows of the energy of what they could be”, according to Drunvalo Melchizedek. This is because the Kogi have witnessed the destruction of mother Earth caused by industrialized cultures. The Kogi invited NPR to broadcast their message which translates as "Younger brother, you are killing our mother".

The Bush Administration ignored the climate change alarm, while Latin American governments continued to take and recommend actions that will heal the ecology that sustain us. To learn more, see the BBC film “Message from the Heart of the World” by making a donation to the Tairona Heritage Trust. Also, read the book “The Heart of the World” for the story told by The Kogi Mamas (priests) to Alan Ereira.

No comments:

Post a Comment