World Peace is not out of reach!

I read this article today by Diane Dimond titled “Sadly, world peace is out of reach” The articles starts off by saying don’t bother by wishing for world peace in the year ahead, it is never going to happen. Yes I would agree that we are unlikely to see World Peace in the year 2015, but I would never use the word never, when it comes to World Peace. The article makes some good points, but also ends with “I’d love for there to be world peace too. But, sadly, it’s never going to happen.”
I believe that bad incidents will always happen in the world. I think the vast majority of people in the world, are essentially good people, who just want to live a good peaceful life. But there are also people at either end of the spectrum, which represent a far smaller percentage, of both extraordinarily good people, and also extraordinarily bad people. I don’t think this will change, and isolated bad incidents will continue to appear on the nightly news, but it is important to not let your view of the world be tainted by these incidents as they are mostly carried out by a small number of people.
War is not an inevitable part of life, it will not always happen. Wars that occur do not represent the views or will of the majority of the people who find themselves caught up in them. Most people are good, and just want a nice place to live, good food, a job, somebody to love and to love them, the basic human needs.
War happens when bad people come into power, and good people people just watch and allow them to do the things they do. In part, apathy plays a part in why wars happen.
War would not be possible in a democratic country where the people ensured that their leaders carried out the will of the majority of the people. With modern technology, some of these major decisions, should go to an electronic poll, and the people should decide their future.
With the advent of nuclear weapons, to say that world peace is “never going to happen” is akin to conceding global suicide is inevitable. For it would only be a matter of time before war extended between two of the nine or so countries that have nuclear weapons. On the news tonight, I saw how Vladimir Putin had signed a military document that would enable Russia, to not just use nuclear weapons in retaliation, but to also use them “as part of strategic deterrent measures”. If that is in fact true, that is a rather concerning development.
The times are changing, please take a few seconds to join our small group, together we can lobby governments to ensure World Peace will eventually happen.

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Skype Translator, a step closer to world peace…

The internet has united us in a way that has never been possible before. While it has made us more united, there has still been a divide between people from many different countries, due to the language barrier. The current translation tools have been mediocre at best. However speech recognition on mobile devices like OK Google and Apple Siri is fantastic. For the most part it is usually very accurate.
Although I have not used Skype Translator, if the video lives up to the hype, we could very well be a step closer to a more united and peaceful world.

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The Science of Interstellar by the Discovery Channel

For anyone who has seen the movie “Interstellar”, and enjoyed it, I highly recommending also watching the documentary “The Science of Interstellar by the Discovery Channel.
It is narrated by the main star of the movie Matthew McConaughey, and shows how the movie is based on actual science. They have a consultant astrophysicist Kip Thorne who assisted with the production of the movie.

But the real star of the documentary was Marsha Irvins, an astronaut who had flown into space a total of five times aboard the space shuttle. She appears towards the end of the documentary, and her quote touched me the most. She said

I looked up overhead and there was this black sky and this blue earth, all hit you at that point, I am not on the planet anymore.
And every astronaut who has flown has come back and said the same thing, as you circle the earth, you do not see natural borders and boundaries that separate countries, and all of the wars and the angst and the strife that tear this planet apart, seem so insignificant from that view.

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Interstellar movie

I saw this movie a few weeks back when it was first released and thought it was a great movie. For entertainment purposes, I don’t think it was quite as good as Gravity, but the movie did touch upon a number of issues that are of immense interest to me.
I will try not to post any spoilers in case you have not seen the movie.

1. Climate Change The movie shows a planet earth which is ravaged by extreme weather changes and dust storms which have made it hard to grow crops and have rendered planet earth uninhabitable. Here in Australia we are in the summer season and weather is normally very good, but I have seen thunderstorms every single day for the last nine days. It seems changes are already happening. The movie paints a picture of what may happen if we fail to take action soon.

2. Space exploration I have long believed that all of the money spent on defence and weapons should be spent on space exploration, whether it involves diverting the next inevitable incoming asteroid or comet and thus averting an extinction level event, or billions of years from now, travelling to an exoplanet when the sun eventually dies out, space exploration is essential to the long term survival of humanity. This movie deals with topics like wormholes, which science indicates are possible and one of the most likely ways that we would be able to travel such incredible distances, if we are in fact bound by the speed of light.

3. Other dimensions Whilst the movie deals with the topic of other dimensions in what I thought was a rather far fetched manner, it does a reasonably good job of dealing with the subject. Most of us live and only experience life in three dimensions, height, width and depth. Some scientific theories have said there are up to ten dimensions. We ignore and tend to dismiss that which we cannot see. Some ignore the spiritual dimension which we cannot see, but which I have no doubt exists as something other than the activity of the mind. Something like 96% of the universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy, which a more appropriate descriptor would be invisible instead of dark as it can’t be seen, but we know it exists from the effect that it has on matter. Understanding who we really are in my opinion is essential to inner peace, and inner peace is essential to world peace. And that is part of the reason I really liked this movie.

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Peace Message from Space

The international space station is one of the most stunning displays of what is possible with international co-operation. It truly would be wonderful to see that degree of co-operation in dealing with some of the other problems that our planet faces. I think the astronauts final words below said things so well.

For only if we are together, if we think ourselves as one single humanity, as we can see clearly from space, we will be able to build a better future.

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Japanese Nuclear Reactors

It is always sad to see a country not learn from the mistakes of the past. Japan sits firmly within the Pacific Ring of Fire which is highly susceptible to earthquakes and resulting Tsunami’s.
Nuclear Reactors by their nature require large amounts of water for cooling, so are mostly built near the ocean, as we have seen with Fukushima which leaves them vulnerable to the devastation of a Tsunami.
Now, it is worth noting, that I am not totally against Nuclear Energy, it has its use in medical treatment, and I believe it will one day prove to be an invaluable resource in terms of space exploration. I do not think it is bad, but nuclear reactors are dangerous and the spent radioactive waste is extremely lethal. I think it is a shame that it is used, before all other renewable energy sources have been exhausted.
Now I understand that Japan is a relatively small country in terms of land mass, which may present some problems with clean renewable energies, but I really think they need to fast track their solar, wind and tidal wave technologies to reduce their reliance on nuclear energy.
The timeline on this BBC article, indicates that Japan has been nuclear power free from May to September 2012 (approximately 4 months) and also from September 2013 to present, which is more than a year, so it can be done.
There are companies with very large amounts of money invested in these nuclear power plants and they will lobby government to restart them. The only ones who can stop it from happening is the Japanese people.

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Alone in the Galaxy?

I am a fan of Professor Brian Cox, and his series “Wonders of the Solar System” and “Wonders of the Universe”
I almost bought tickets to see his show in Australia. However after reading an article on the sydney morning herald website, I had completely lost my faith in his credibility.
The article was titled “We are alone in the Universe”. To say that intelligent life does not exist elsewhere in the universe is absolutely ludicrous, I have no doubt that it does. However when I just now revisited the article, it appears it was just poor journalism, and they had misquoted Professor Brian Cox. They have since corrected the article and issued a retraction.
He has been quoted as saying

“There is only one advanced technological civilisation in this galaxy and there has only ever been one – and that’s us,”

I will concede that what he is saying is possible, although I think highly unlikely. But there is a chance he could be right. Life indeed appears to be rare. A rare combination of circumstances need to be in place in order for intelligent life as we know it to be present. The planet needs to be have water, needs to be the right distance from a sun, so that the temperature will allow life, it needs to have an atmosphere. It also needs to have a planet like Jupiter within the solar system, which has been dubbed the vacuum cleaner of the solar system and in a large number of instances has drawn large meteors into it, thus preventing an impact with earth.
These circumstances are a rare combination which has allowed intelligent life to develop and thrive, and it is clear so far, that it is not all that common a combination, and life indeed is rare from what we have seen and know. This understanding should serve as a reminder of the immense importance of protecting our natural environment. It saddens to see how little regard we have for just how precious the earths atmosphere is, and how we have placed short term greed over this most precious of resources.

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Hong Kong Protests for Democracy

I was watching the protests in Hong Kong for a proper democratic election, and I thought it was wonderful to see just how many people were involved.
This video on Facebook shows a drone aerial view of the protest, so you can get an idea of the scale of the protests.
Another video worth watching is an interview with prominent protester Tanya Chan, who shaved her head in support of the pro democracy movement, and has been a long term advocate for democracy. Any protest against the Chinese government is not without risk, I find her devotion to the cause inspiring. One could argue that there is no way the Chinese government will ever back down, because of fears, that other regions would follow suit and seek democratic elections. Though history is filled with people who have brought about positive change in the face of incredible odds against them. I strongly support civil disobedience and peaceful non violent protest.
I think democracy is essential to World Peace. However, I think a proper democracy requires three things.
1. The public voicing their opinion and ensuring that their elected officials carry out the will of the majority of people within their electorate. Far too often, political leaders, let power go to their head and think they are in charge, when in effect they are nothing more than public servants elected to carry out the will of the majority of people. I am absolutely certain that the majority of people in any country do not want to go to war.
2. When a particular political party is elected, those supporting the opposition need to be graceful in the defeat of the political party they support. Far too often, in certain countries, you see fighting between supporters of different political parties continue after an election is over. And in the case of Thailand, as we all know, the military have intervened under the guise of restoring peace and order.
3. The absolute transparency of political donations and the complete removal of politicians who have a vested interest or stand to gain from political decisions being made. I think the worst instances of this happening have been in America, where in the past, people who have have been in a position to send the country to war, have also stood to profit immensely as a consequence of those actions. I find it obscene that such things have been allowed to happen. An excellent drama tv series which I highly recommend is “House of Cards”. Whilst it is a fictitious TV series, I do think it gives an insight of how things are being played out, which the public never sees. I do feel optimistic and think things have dramatically improved in the last few years. That is no more evident than to see President Obama come out and speak in favour of taking positive actions against Climate Change, which must be in direct contradiction to what the fossil fuel industry must be advocating.

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International Day of Peace 2014

Its International Day of Peace, and as a world peace blog, I feel obliged to post something positive about it. But I feel that would be fake, so instead I will just write about how I feel.
On the one hand, I think it is fantastic that people can unite on one particular day to celebrate peace around the world. However, as much as I support the concept and the work of the United Nations, I don’t think they have the answers to being able to achieve a true world peace. They have incredible people working for the United Nations, and I do not mean to undermine their work, but they have been in existence since 1945, and people continue killing each other, a large part of it in the name of religion but there have also been other issues. I think they are too restricted by trying to be politically correct and not wanting to offend anybody by addressing some of the fundamental causes of war.

The site says “A Day of Global Ceasefire and Non Violence” They lobbied for the International Day of Peace. Well, a day or even a year or a decade of ceasefire/non violence does not equate to a true world peace. I feel more as if it is an International Day of Ceasefire.
I feel a bit strange saying that, I have been a big defender of the United Nations, when it came under criticism from others. I think they do fantastic work, and I don’t mean to be critical myself, but I think a different approach is needed.
I think a true World Peace day needs to address the concepts of inner peace and truth on an individual level, as well as ways of uniting together in friendship. I want to address World Peace in a different way, which is why I have been writing a book to put some of those thoughts and ideas on to paper, so that people can read or listen to those words and decide for themselves if this is something they would like to be a part of. Do I think I will see world peace in my lifetime. Honestly, the answer to that questions is probably not. I am under no illusions as to how big a task is at hand. Do I think that together we can plant the seeds and lay the foundations for a future world peace, absolutely yes. I firmly believe World Peace is possible and will one day be a reality. Lets take a look at the other option for a moment.

We have watched Wars go on in different part of the world, and to a large extent people have become complacent. It doesn’t affect me, or it is no big deal. For a large number of people it is just something they watch on the nightly news. To an extent, it has been no big deal, as since World War 2, those wars have been conflicts between smaller non nuclear superpowers. But with the growing tension and possibility for the escalation of a conflict into a World War between USA and Russia over Ukraine, or USA and China over the disputed islands and seas they are claiming territory over, war would be taken to a whole different level. We now have nuclear weapons, and we have proof that countries are not afraid to use them in a conflict. America used them towards the end stage of a war that they were already winning and did not really need to use in my opinion. So you can clearly see that the losing side in any conflict, if they had nuclear weapons, would have absolutely no hesitation in using them. When you see the movie “On the Beach” you see that nuclear fallout affects everybody on the planet. I don’t believe in the title “World War 3”, I think a more appropriate title would be “Global Suicide”

So if you feel in your heart a passion towards peace, please take a minute to join our small group Together we can make a difference!

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I went to the cinema this afternoon, to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Although I was not born when the original Planet of the Apes movie was released in 1968, as a kid I have always been a big fan of the series.
This movie did not disappoint, it really is amazing just how lifelike the animation of today is.
I think each of the movies tend to carry an important message about war and peace and this one is no different. Throughout the movie, you get a sense that in any conflict, there are parties on both sides who are good and kind and just want peace, but as is so often the case, bad things happen when bad people take control. I also found similarities from the movie to what has happened in real life with the fabrication of evidence to try and justify going to war.
You also get a sense for what challenges a good leader can face when dealing with those who are banging the drums of war.

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