Sunday, October 14, 2018

Prayer, Meditation, Rice

Last year, it was Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; damaged islands of Barbuda and Puerto Rico; fires in California, British Columbia, Oregon, Montana, Sibera, Greece, Sweden, Portugal, and Spain; and millions enduring floods in Bangladesh (widely reported as 1/3 underwater), Peru, Nepal, India, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Canada, Iran, Norway, England, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand,  Vietnam,  Zimbabwe, and other places. 

This year, so far, it's Lane, Super Typhoon Mangkhut, Florence, Leslie, and Michael with maximum winds reported at 155 mph, California and other major fires again, and more feared in October or November.

Climate scientists note these heat-enhanced conditions are from carbon and other greenhouse gases poured by humans in the air about 30 years ago, and we've poured in much more since then.  Eventually, probably sooner rather than later, pillars of economic, food, water, housing, family security will be severely eroded, or gone, depending on where and how one lives.  It looks like the billion or so coral reef fishers are out of luck, according to scientists, as heat gets 2 degrees Celcius above 1850 (pre-industrial) levels. The New York Times reported October 7, "Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040," but reporting for the last 10 years, at least, has strongly underestimated speed, scope, and magnitude of damage. It's like a doctor telling a patient "You have a scratch on your leg, but some antbiotics could work." then, "Sorry, but we must amputate." then "Uh, do you have a legal will?"

Since many of my readers live in countries where the grain crop failed or may soon fail, I will give practical advice, and a story.  My advice, if you can afford it, is to get oxygen-free rice which allegedly can be stored for "10+ years" as a sort of insurance policy.  You can give it to a food bank if, by some magic or miracle, world leaders have a change of heart and take real steps. You may also want to order an opener and BPA-free strainer. Utah State University Extension noted, "The best temperature to store grains, including rice, is 40°F or below; however, rice stored at a constant 70° F with oxygen absorbers will store well for up to 10 years. In cooler storage areas rice sealed in oxygen-free containers can be stored for up to 30 years. A BYU study sampling polished rice and parboiled rice stored from 1 to 30 years found that both types of rice will keep their nutrients and flavor up to 30 years."

My story is from a Whidbey Island friend. He mentioned in Cambodia a monk was told by the teacher this monk, and others,  would travel to a refugee camp.  The younger monks protested, "We don't have food or medicine to help. What is the point?"

The teacher said they were going anyway so they walked about three days in silence to the camp.  Upon arrival, the teacher sat in the middle of the camp, and began chanting "Om."  Soon, the entire camp was chanting "Om."  That was the gift he brought, and it was a much-needed gift.

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