May the New Solstice bring peace, harmony and love into the World
Today marks the solstice; here in the Northern Hemisphere days will now slowly lengthen. In years past we could anticipate strengthening cold would accompany the growing light. While that remains the case, the cold has grown more intermittent, as has the snow. Not enough cold air remains in the arctic to sustain the climate we depend on. There is no real doubt that our climate is dramatically, and rapidly, warming; there has been no true debate about this since the early eighties.
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The comfort zone is the easiest place to fall in!
“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities…because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” – Winston Churchill
The Roman historian Tacitus once said, “The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.” Today we might translate that to something like “always playing it safe makes it much harder to succeed.”
Leaders need courage to make decisions that followers won’t make. They need courage not to just steer the ship but to set it’s course, sometimes heading into completely uncharted territory. Leaders need courage to stand on principle when non-leaders will sacrifice those principles in order to compromise. Leaders need courage to do what’s right, not just what’s popular.
Leaders need courage to take risks.
Here is an interesting thought. Those who have the courage to take risks and those who don’t experience the same amount of fear in their life. It’s just that a leader…
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It’s been over a year that oil prices have been declining and are at the lowest point they have been in twelve years. This has brought many complications especially to economies that depended on this commodity and particularly on dictatorship states that took advantage of large revenues of capital when the price was at $110 per barrel to perpetuate themselves in power while financing its corruption and populist practices acting as Robin Hoods of the poor. Which in reality the only thing they have accomplished is to increase the government officials bank accounts and have brought their economies to the brink of collapse now that the price is as low as it is and their fictitious economies can no longer sustain themselves.
Such is the case of Venezuela which after attempting of being South America’s revolutionary state and influencing most of the countries in the hemisphere with cheap, free oil, and dirty money, the inevitable has arrived and the Bolivarian Revolution is collapsing. No more free oil or dividends, no more allies to hold the revolution and it is just a matter of time for Venezuela to change governmental officials, and hopefully return to a legal democracy.
The trend in recent elections around South America is the departure from the Venezuelan model and its corrupt practices and more towards free electoral practices with efficient fiscal management. Such is the case of Argentina which has made severe corrections to its model in a recent change of government. Peru is having elections in April and so far everything indicates that a responsible government will take office, Guatemala has changed directions recently as well for the better. Cuba just restarted relations with the US in an effort to avoid calamity with its economy in shambles and no more assistance from Venezuela or the hay day of the Soviet assistance in the last century and Ecuador seems to be following in the same direction where more democracy is demanded and better fiscal practices, away from populist impulses, exploiting in many cases an electorate that lacks education and adequate judgement when electing officials.
In other parts of the world, Russia is cutting down benefits for its citizens and people are getting unrest and are questioning the corruption installed in power for a long period of time-Russia is 50% oil dependent for their income and are taking a blow with current prices and more bad news to follow for this country.
ISIS is taking a hit as well from above in the form of bombs and with low crude prices, recently they don’t have enough cash to finance the terror crescendo that was happening just a few months ago and all the bravado that they were displaying. Sure, they still are a threat but they are losing steam.
Most recently the situation looks dire for many oil producing countries, there is just too much production and less consumption around the globe especially by China. In addition to the regular producers, Iraq has reported growth in their production in the last year and Iran which is the 4rth largest producer will soon be contributing with more production now that sanctions have been lifted. In the U.S. some of the surge in the increase in production from fracking in the last few years have taken a hit and some companies are starting to go bust. Another downside to the low price is the loss of jobs related to the oil industry but that is compensated with growth in the economy thanks to more disposable income to the middle class. Overall this is good for everyone and most people are stoked about this trend and spending more.
Of course the oil industry, coal producers and the stock market are in complete shock and say that this is all bad. It is all bad for them because they use to live extremely good from the rest of us making the big bucks but those days are over. There is a shift in the U.S. and world economics and the scale is moving more towards in benefiting the majority and not just a few which has created the huge income inequality issue. In addition, those countries, states and cities that are leaning towards clean energy will be the last ones laughing and today there are great examples of this already happening. The least dependency of fossil fuels is the only way forward to save the environment and to create a more balanced world economy.
The world is slowly uniting to save our planet and restore economic balance
Be thankful, patient, and embrace yourself and others close to you in this New Year
New Years Eve; outside, a dramatic sunset. The weather has turned chilly and damp, almost seasonal, and there are finally a few inches of snow on the ground. This evening we will visit with friends, bringing in the New Year with games, food, and a good fire.
I began writing this in daylight and must turn on the lights in order to finish. The New Year comes about ten days after the solstice. By now, the days are perceptibly longer, and the sun, and the year, seem renewed. Even so, most nights darkness falls well before five.
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Open letter to the chairman of the associated press by: Mijael Garrido Lecca
When we do it , it isn’t Terrorism
Peru’s unique scenery!
Camp on the second evening after crossing over the Punta Union Pass
The heavens have opened all forms of wet precipitation as we stumble and fumble our way up slick rocks toward the Punta Union Pass at 14,599 feet. Rain turns to sleet, sleet turns to hail, hail turns to a soft snow and within a minute the sun is poking through the clouds.
Welcome to the most beautiful mountain range in the world, the Cordillera Blanca in Huascarán National Park viewed along the Santa Cruz trail. The Santa Cruz is a 50km (31 mile) ancient Inca road system cutting through valleys, passing numerous waterfalls and glacier runoff streams while surrounded by the highest tropical mountain range in the world.
For an unguided trip through this paradise, we’ve provided detailed information at the bottom of the post including gear rental, transportation and trail navigation.
Entering the Huaripampa Valley from Vaqueria
Walking through a…
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