Noah`s Ark is one of the big blockbusters from Hollywood, there is so much advertisement that I probably will see it myself, not so much because of Hollywood, but because I`m quite curious when it comes to the story. I have never read the bible, and just know what we learnt at school (but a lot of that is forgotten already). I still don`t know what I think about religion, but I`ve realized that no matter what you believe, stories have their own power, true or not. One of the most powerful stories I`ve ever read (it still lingers in my mind) is The Woman Who Stood Naked Before Her Lover, and even if I`m still not sure why I loved it so much, I think the was the mystery and how I felt it told me something profound about life.
I think stories in the bible are popular partly because they have some of the same honesty and lessons about life in them. The story of Adam and Eve is so profoundly human, and symbolically its a piece of art people immediately respond to even if they never understood art before.
The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God” Pope Francis declared.In a speech that shocked many, the Pope claimed “All religions are true, because they are true in the hearts of all those who believe in them. What other kind of truth is there?
The reason that I wanted to write about Noah`s ark is because I saw a news channel this morning, talking about the Noah`s Ark museum in Denmark. The point is to teach people the story, without saying if it`s true or not. Some people who went there, were described as silent when they left the exhibition. “We think many are surprised, not because they suddenly believe in the story, but because they are impressed by the story and everything they didn`t know”.
I think we all need a Noah`s Ark every now and then. A place to feel safe, where we can be protected when it feels like we`re drowning. We psychologist don`t need to be afraid integrating metaphors and images from stories like these.
James Hillman, psychologist and director of studies at the Jung Institute in Zurich points out: “We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Therapy and the World’s Getting Worse”.
ike we literally might need some kind of Noah`s Ark soon, or tragedy will walk into everyone`s houses. The news of today could report that a Ebola virus has indeed been found, that is spreading without any vaccine available. I saw a documentary about the Ebola Virus: once, and it scared me so much I couldn`t watch more of it. I thought: This is really dangerous. It spread like fire, and you died fast. They have no closed the boarders of Senegal to reduce the problem. It reminds me a bit of “Inferno” by Dan Brown that I finished a month ago. Another book (Nothing to envy) I`ve read (it was recommended from a friend in United Kingdom) wrote about the state of North-Korea, and the stories I read also scared me.
This morning, the news could tell us that South and North-Korea has shot more missiles, and North-Korea has been clear on their unwillingness to cooperate. Another news item, was that FN Climate Panel had said that the changes we experience in the climate, will lead to more conflicts the next years. We have the problem with overpopulation, and the resources are dwindling. Russland is threatening Ukraine, and I`m afraid there will be less and fewer places where kindness is the norm.
Yesterday I interviewed and talked about the kindness project with several people. I went to a couchsurfer dinner with6 others (for example Kirstine Desian) and they said that it wasn`t usual for a lot of people to come, especially not if alcohol was involved. I was a bit saddened by this. Is this the only way people interact? Another new`s story focused on mental health, and even if many Danish people have psychological issues, it`s still stigma when it comes to mental health.
I hope that the reader feel helpless after reading this, because some do. They think: The world is in a bad state and there is nothing we can do. But is that true? I was surprised by the kindness I met when walking around in Copenhagen, and when I interviewed random people. We feel good when we do good, and many found it easier to remember things they had done to others than kindness other`s had showed them. In other words: We do like to give, and our memories stores those experiences more readily than getting something from. 10 points to altruism if you ask me.
We are already many in the kindness group, who have committed ourselves to reflect on and do small things for others.
One lecturer told us: If we`d helped only one person with mental health issues, to get better, we`d already paid for our studies. That is encourgaing, and shows the potential of kindness and helping others
its the… little things by MaxiKohan
Remember pay it forward? It might go slow in the start, but if everyone started to do one kind act in a month, what could that lead to? How many turn off the lights when earth hour comes?I`ve made a podcast, and if someone would like to join in, you`re very welcome. My dream is to pay people for doing interviews and writing about kindness, and I am not so far away from reaching that goal.
It can feel like the world is going under, and that Noah`s Ark can`t save us anymore, buy is there any harm in trying? I have seen so many people, ready to drown, that start to swim and find paradise on the other side.
The podcast: Acts of kindness
Humans. One moment they`re there, in the next, gone. Traces from yesterday`s laughter still lingers in the air as storms and typhoons sweep over the last giggles. When the wind calms down, silence speaks and leave its marks in the sand. This time, at least 10.001 possible laughs blew away, and serious, cold stones will be raised instead. No-one wants to see their grayish, terrifying message. They remind us of our grief by it sober, cold surface. The hard granite knows no compromise; The only option left is for us to fall on our knees, letting our anguish out. Our tears fills baskets, but it`s still not enough. No tears can take away the pain. We plant flowers as a token of our love and we try to go on with our lives, even when we’re broken.
<We look at gravestones all the time, and we manage. We’ll have to manage, for their sake
This Weeks Writing Challenge asked writers to say how they leave their traces. The challenge showed a picture of flowers lying on a 150 year old grave.
This prompt brought a whirlwind of thoughts alive. They came washing over me like a typhoon washes over the shores. Left behind is havoc, both outside and inside people’s worlds. I think about the tiny graves that must be dug out, by hands feeling numb. I think: I want to remember this. I want to look every typhoon in the eye so I see it’s prey. Never letting myself waver. We have to face storms coming our way and use our remaining energy to remember them.
Their own memories drowned.
On the other side of the world an estimated 9.8 million people have had their lives and homes devastated by the super-typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines on Friday. Heartbreaking stories and pictures are being broadcast of the destruction inflicted by the storm (by hletters).
In USA, another storm blew away happiness and joy. A girl with a huge heart left us, leaving behind a boyfriend who loved her and many friends who truly appreciated her. She lived a life filled with strife, but also beauty. She preferred to stay outdoors, as near nature as possible. But nature craved her back the same way hungry waters craved thousands back in the Philippines.
Her death is silent. The world is not turned towards her as they’re understandably turned towards the Asians. But I do wish to leave a mark on her grave, too. I do hope I can lay my trace on her grave by writing this to show that a beautiful flower has died.
I hope, dear Nico, that I’ll always remember you. And I do hope, there’ll always be flowers on your grave.
Even after 150 years.
I’ll miss you
Use your head – for we have only one planet. I have written about climate change on my Norwegian blog (the link is a translation of the Norwegian text. I cannot guarantee that google translate did a superb job. But the point is: I have always been interested in the climate, already as a 12-year old I made flyers to “save the nature”. When I found an interesting article in “the guardian” I just had to share it with you.
No more denial. Time to act on climate change
Our leaders must set the climate change gainsayers to one side and confront imminent catastrophe
- The Observer, Saturday 28 September 2013 19.30 BST
In his recent book Ten Billion, Stephen Emmott posed an intriguing question: what would happen if humanity discovered tomorrow that there was an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, one that would bring calamity on a precise date several decades in the future? An event like that could result in the eradication of a large chunk of life on Earth and would surely galvanise the planet, argued Emmott. Every scientist, engineer, university and business leader would be enlisted to find ways to deflect the errant asteroid and help our species survive. We might even succeed.
The idea is intriguing because humanity now finds itself facing just such a global catastrophe – except there is no specific date for our meeting with destiny and there is no asteroid. Nor is there any sign that we appear to be interested in trying to save ourselves or rescue our planet. The problem is that we face a threat that is manmade and insidious but which is every bit as dangerous as an asteroid impact – and that is global warming.
Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its fifth assessment report on the physical science of global warming and made it clear that the continued burning of fossil fuels to run our cars, factories and electricity plants is now virtually certain to induce serious alterations to our climate. These changes will not arrive with an astronomical bang, of course, but will appear with stealth. Nevertheless, the IPCC’s report makes it clear that rising sea levels, acidifying oceans, shrinking icecaps and thawing Arctic tundra are now likely to occur with virtual certainty by the end of the present century.
Thus humanity is conducting the greatest and most important scientific experiment ever carried out – on itself. And it is doing so by pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at an accelerating rate. Since the Industrial Revolution began, we have burned half a trillion tonnes of carbon from coal, oil and gas, states the IPCC. Now we are set to burn another half trillion in a few decades.
Surface temperatures have already risen by 0.89C in the past 200 years and could rise by a further 3C or more by the end of the century. Populations on coasts, in Bangladesh, for example, face the prospect of devastating flooding, while those who live at the edge of spreading deserts could suffer famine and increased disease.
Such scenarios are the worst possible outcomes of our continued burning of coal, oil and gas, of course. Further temperature rises may be limited to lower figures and that would certainly lessen future damage. Unfortunately, we cannot be sure what future temperature rises will be or how severely our climate will change, despite scientists’ best efforts. Meteorology is a complex business.
Under such circumstances, it might seem prudent to act today to reduce carbon emissions, thus avoiding the potential threats that lie ahead. Yet climate talks remain deadlocked, nations continue to burn fossil fuels while those who deny our climate change is changing have quadrupled in numbers in the UK since 2005.
The critical question is straightforward: why are we so reluctant to act? Why has the world turned its back on a disaster that has the potential to wreck life on Earth for centuries? Answers have a lot to do with the unpalatable nature of the message that climate scientists bring us. A quiet turning away is common.
However, there is another pernicious reason for our failure to act: the bitter, often vitriolic campaigns of climate change deniers – men and women (but mostly men) who simply refuse to accept that humanity is changing weather systems. They have played a major part in halting progress that could lead to global deals to reduce carbon emissions. The most vociferous of these operate in the US where rightwing thinktanks, often backed by oil and energy corporations, have funded lobbyists who, by questioning every statement made by government scientists, have helped to paralyse the nation’s political ability to tackle climate change. (Craig Rosebraugh’s documentary, released here last week, reveals his considered view of these individuals in his film’s title, Greedy Lying Bastards.)
By contrast, the activities of UK deniers look less extreme, though they have still been dangerously effective, constantly sowing seeds of doubt in comment articles and news stories peppered with falsehoods and cherry-picked data. Similarly, news and current affairs programmes have all too often “balanced” the voices of scientists with the views of cranky deniers, despite the expertise of the former and the ignorance of the latter. Last week’s coverage of the IPCC report provided many examples.
In some cases, commentators said global temperature rises have paused recently. In fact, they have continued to increase, albeit at a reduced rate. Others have maintained that Arctic sea ice levels have bounced back from their recent calamitous drop. This, again, is untrue. They reached their sixth lowest extent this year. And then there is the claim by others that Arctic sea ice loss has been balanced by Antarctic sea ice gain. Once more, this is a travesty of the truth, though at least one national newspaper promoted it yesterday in its IPCC coverage. The Arctic has lost about 3m sq km of ice in the past 30 years while the Antarctic has gained 0.3m, the latter figure probably being no more than a reflection of year-to-year variability.
The spread of climate change denial now, sadly, touches government. David Cameron, who once expressed a wish to lead a coalition that would be the “greenest government ever”, has found himself surrounded by Tory colleagues who simply cannot accept that climate change is happening. Two have recently been elevated to important posts. Peter Lilley is now a member of Cameron’s strategy group but is an avowed sceptic who voted against the UK Climate Change Act 2008, while Owen Paterson, another sceptic, has been made environment secretary with responsibility for making the UK resilient to climate change impacts. These are not encouraging developments. Key decisions about shale gas, electricity generation and flood protection will have to be made in the UK in the next year. It is now doubtful we have the right men to do the job.
What Britain urgently needs is an unambiguous statement from our government that it recognises very serious changes are now affecting our planet; that we have the will to tackle a growing global catastrophe; and that we are prepared to address difficult, unpopular truths. To date, we have heard nothing.
- No more denial. Time to act on climate change | Observer editorial (theguardian.com)
- Michael E. Mann: The IPCC, Climate Change and Bad Faith Attacks on Science (huffingtonpost.com)
- Why climate change deniers believe global warming isn’t a problem, and why they’re wrong (globalnews.ca)
- Michael Mann: Climate-Change Deniers Must Stop Distorting the Evidence (Op-Ed) (livescience.com)