Meister Eckhart: “We are all mothers of God”

In this a pre-Covid19 lecture, theologian Matthew Fox discusses German 13th century mystic Meister Eckhart in context of global crises of global warming, “authentic” education, economic inequalities, and ecumenism.

Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1328) was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha,

Eckhart came into prominence during the Avignon Papacy, at a time of increased tensions between monastic orders, diocesan clergy, the Franciscan Order, and Eckhart’s Dominican Order of Preachers. In later life, he was accused of heresy and brought up before the local Franciscan-led Inquisition, and tried as a heretic by Pope John XXII. He seems to have died before his verdict was received.

Since the 19th century, he has received renewed attention. He has acquired a status as a great mystic within contemporary popular spirituality, as well as considerable interest from scholars situating him within the medieval scholastic and philosophical tradition.

Merci, Michael Moore! Watch a FREE showing of new film “Planet of the Humans”

Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.

This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It’s too little, too late. Removed from the debate is the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, “green” illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end—and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars? No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs (lifelong environmentalist and co-producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine”).

This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.

Featuring: Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson, Robert F Kennedy Jr., Michael Bloomberg, Van Jones, Vinod Khosla, Koch Brothers, Vandana Shiva, General Motors, 350.org, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nature Conservancy, Elon Musk, Tesla. Music by: Radiohead, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Blank & Jones, If These Trees Could Talk, Valentina Lisitsa, Culprit 1, Patrick O’hearn, The Torquays, Nigel Stanford, and many more.

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Climate change fixes for your favorite wine

Don’t get too attached to that pinot noir. New research suggests swapping out grapes to avoid climate catastrophe

January 31, 2020 at 7:00 AM EST

The prospect of hotter summers, warmer winters, drought and violent weather events have caused experts to warn of coming wine shortages and price increases, changing varietal character and, in some dire predictions, the extinction of some wines altogether.

Maybe there’s a fix, says a research paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists’ computer models show that if we do nothing, global warming of 2 degrees Celsius would wipe out 56 percent of current wine-growing land; increase that to 4 degrees and an estimated 85 percent of grapes won’t be viable.

This team of researchers investigated whether using more heat-tolerant grapes would allow vineyards to adapt. They found that by reshuffling where certain grape varieties are grown, potential losses at 2 degrees of warming could be halved, and cut by a third if warming reached 4 degrees.

The researchers, led by Ignacio Morales-Castilla at the University of Alcalá in Spain and Elizabeth Wolkovich at the University of British Columbia at Vancouver, focused on 11 varieties of wine grapes including cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc and syrah, as well as lesser-known varieties chasselas, grenache, monastrell (also known as mourvedre) and ugni blanc. Together, these account for a third of the total area planted to wine grapes and represent important parts of the wine industry in France, Australia, New Zealand and Chile.

The team used vintner and researcher archives to build a model for when each would bud, flower and ripen in wine-growing regions around the world under three different warming scenarios. Then it used climate change projections to see where those varieties would be viable in the future.

“Each variety has a different sensitivity to the climate,” says Ben Cook, one of the study’s authors and a professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “Basically, replacing varieties with more climatically suitable varieties, called cultivar turnover, increases resilience to climate change. It’s a story of mitigation and adaptation.”

The researchers, led by Ignacio Morales-Castilla at the University of Alcalá in Spain and Elizabeth Wolkovich at the University of British Columbia at Vancouver, focused on 11 varieties of wine grapes including cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc and syrah, as well as lesser-known varieties chasselas, grenache, monastrell (also known as mourvedre) and ugni blanc. Together, these account for a third of the total area planted to wine grapes and represent important parts of the wine industry in France, Australia, New Zealand and Chile.

The team used vintner and researcher archives to build a model for when each would bud, flower and ripen in wine-growing regions around the world under three different warming scenarios. Then it used climate change projections to see where those varieties would be viable in the future.

“Each variety has a different sensitivity to the climate,” says Ben Cook, one of the study’s authors and a professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “Basically, replacing varieties with more climatically suitable varieties, called cultivar turnover, increases resilience to climate change. It’s a story of mitigation and adaptation.”

Cook says that changing out grape varieties isn’t the only solution to pushing back against the effects of climate change. Many vineyards are topographically complex and will allow microclimates, especially if vineyards move to higher ground. Moving vineyards to north-facing slopes might also slow the effects. And in France, Cook says, where irrigation is not utilized, watering could be employed.

“We wanted to give a different perspective on all those apocalyptic takes,” Cook says. “Winemakers are becoming more interested and aware of climate change and a lot of them are really concerned. They are seeing things they haven’t seen before, with storms and heat waves. But what you do about it is a complicated thing.”

Geoff Kruth, the president of GuildSomm, an international organization for sommeliers, says wineries are understandably concerned about the uncertainties of climate change, “but it’s important to remember that there are dozens human decisions — rootstocks, trellising, timing of vineyard work, etc. — that have significant impacts on how a vine reacts to a climate.”

Many wine industry experts have pointed to increased ripeness in grapes and higher alcohol levels as indications of climate change.

“The real reason wines got riper is that people wanted them to get riper. Generally, if you look at wines from the 2000s, you see more sugar in the grapes and more alcohol in the wines,” Kruth says. “People have been quick to associate this with climate change, when in reality it was conscious human decisions. Now you see the alcohols are dropping. It’s a consumer trend. The grower and winemaker have a strong hand in all of these things.”

Mike Heny, a longtime Virginia winemaker who makes wine for 15 vineyards in the state, points to steps that already have been taken around the world to address climate change.

“It’s a multipronged approach,” Henry says. “In Napa, people are removing the primary grape cluster so the secondary one is the one that gets turned into wine so you can push off ripening, which allows for lower potential alcohol and greater physiological maturity so you get greater flavors. People are leaving a bit more canopy, carrying a bigger fruit crop to delay ripening, picking earlier.”

Champagne is looking at England as a new venue for high-quality sparkling wines. In July, Bordeaux allowed a number of new grapes to be planted, he says. It was previously illegal to plant anything but the five main historic grapes. And in Italy, a new VCR program is working to breed traditional vinifera grapes like merlot with hybrids that are hardier and exhibit more resistance.

The question for Heny and other winemakers is whether consumers will be amenable to these changes.

“A mutt is better than a purebred when the going gets tough,” Heny says. “But people aren’t into drinking the mutt wines as much. At the end of the day, we have to make wines that people love.”

Source: Climate change fixes for your favorite wine – The Washington Post

France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

In a win for planet Earth, as of 2015 all commercial buildings in France must have at least partial coverage of their rooftop in solar panels or plants.

In this time of doomsday-like predictions where our environmental health is concerned, it’s all hands on deck. We are coming to the conclusion, hopefully not too late, that every little bit of conservation counts.

There is a shift in general consciousness that’s begun to happen. We’re becoming aware of the impact we humans have, and the myriad ways we make that impact. With the purchase of a plastic water bottle as opposed to a reusable one. Using grocery store bags instead of bringing your own. Buying new when used would be perfectly acceptable. These are a few examples of shifts that have started taking place. We see now, how easy it is to carry our own bottle, or our own bag, or shop consignment.

It’s been far too easy, for far too long, to buy into the idea that we as individuals don’t have an impact. One bottle won’t make a difference. One bag won’t hurt anything. But not only is that incorrect, but it also doesn’t really speak to the heart of the matter, which is that we’re all in this together. How we individually live, is how we collectively live. So, not only can one person have a huge impact, we have somewhat of an obligation at this point, to us and to each other, to live as we do. To act like it’s all connected – because it is [ . . . ]

Continue at Source: France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

Mystery seaweed threatens French Caribbean 

During a trip to the French overseas territory Guadeloupe on Friday, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to keep a promise to clean up toxic Sargassum seaweed within 48 hours of it running aground.Like the rest of the Caribbean, the Antilles suffered in 2011 from an unprecedented invasion of Sargassum seaweed (sometimes known as gulf weed). The problem recurred in 2015 and then on an even larger scale in 2018. The brown seaweed poses potential health risks. The mounds of Sargassum that accumulate on the beach can reach as high as two feet and release hydrogen sulfide and ammonia as it rots.

The colourless, toxic and highly flammable gas smells like rotten eggs. Inhaling it in small doses can trigger eye and respiratory irritation.Former French minister for the environment Nicolas Hulot presented a €10 million plan in June to help combat the problem. His subsequent resignation set off a flurry of panic in the islands over whether the government would renege on its pledge to help with the problem. [ . . . ]

CONTINUE at FRANCE 24: Mystery seaweed threatens French Caribbean – France 24

Tens of Thousands in France March Against Climate Change 

(PARIS) — More than 18,000 people marched Saturday in Paris as part of an international mobilization to show popular support for urgent measures to combat climate change in advance of a San Francisco summit.Crowds overflowed a plaza in front of City Hall before marching east to the Place de la Republique, carrying an urgent message that it’s up to the public to put global warming at the top of the political agenda.

“Planet in Danger,” read some banners.Activists around the world encouraged “Rise for Climate” protests before the summit taking place Sept.12-Sept. 14. California’s governor proposed the event after President Donald Trump vowed to pull the U.S. out of a landmark 2015 climate accord.The international agreement was negotiated in France, and the French capital’s march was more successful than ones held Saturday in other French cities or elsewhere in Europe [ . . . ]

Continue at TIME: Tens of Thousands in France March Against Climate Change | Time