(Originally recorded 2010 on The Hillary Raimo Show hosted on Achieve Radio)
Hillary Raimo: Hi, everybody. Welcome to a very special two-hour show. Sometimes, you just have to do something about what you see going on in the world. You can no longer sit and just watch it happen. You have to decide the best way to offer support and lend your energy into a cause. That is exactly what has inspired me to bring you this special two-hour broadcast on the Gulf oil leak situation. Many people around the world are feeling helpless. Some remain hopeful, some indifferent, and many are very angry. There has been a mixture of emotions leaking into the minds of those following and affected by this ongoing event.
Some say what has happened has not been a natural disaster. Others say it’s a conspiracy that breaches our highest leadership, not only of this country, but others. Some suggest this is the end of times, prophesies being fulfilled. Others say getting mad or angry is the wrong thing to do, that we should only focus our prayers and love on the situation. What is the right thing to do? So many people struggle with the news feeds, the media blackouts, and constant barrage of information and disinformation that we are seeing on a daily basis. Some turn their heads and refuse to acknowledge, going about their day as usual and bury their heads in the sand.
Conspiracy theories, media blackouts, apocalyptic destruction, wipe-out of the human race, is it illusion or fact? There are so many theories circulating the world right now. Where is the hope? What do we do? How bad is this? Our intuition does not match up to the official stories we are being told. People are conflicted by what they feel and see, and what their leaders are telling them. Joining me these next two hours are an array of experts on a variety of different perspectives, all lending their time and knowledge to us here on the Hillary Raimo show, right here on AchieveRadio.com.
My first guest joining me is Dr. Riki Ott. She is a community activist, a former commercial salmon fisherma’am, and has a degree in Marine Toxology with a specialty in oil pollution. She experienced, firsthand, the devastating effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and chose to do something about it. She is the author of Sound Truth and Corporate Myth: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, and Not One Drop promises Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. She’s also the founder of three nonprofit organizations that deal with lingering harm from manmade environmental disasters. Dr. Ott will be informing us of firsthand observation of a possible coverup by BP. Her recent appearance on a variety of news programs have sparked controversy and interest in underlying agendas in the Gulf. Welcome, Dr. Ott thank you so much for joining us.
Dr. Riki Ott: Thank you for inviting me.
Hillary Raimo: What is the reality of this situation that we’re facing in the Gulf?
Dr. Riki Ott: Just like Exxon Valdez, there’s two versions of reality, and one version is control by BP, and it’s what the public comes to see on the media, television, radio interviews, largely. Unfortunately, it also tends to be the official story.
There’s two versions of reality, one is what the people see, what’s going on in their communities, and this is not the same as what the official version is. What I’m going to talk about is the official version … I mean, the people’s version. Here we go. There, let’s try this. BP, I think it’s pretty well-known that, right from the start, BP was underestimating the amount of oil that spilled. This happened also in Exxon Valdez, and this is basically, this is about controlling the images and controlling the story of damages, of how much damage there is. The less damage that people know about, the less liability there’ll be outstanding for this giant transnational oil company to have to deal with.
Also know that, of course, BP, and actually, Exxon did the same thing, but not quite as much, pushed the media up into the air 3,000 feet, pushed the media off the beaches when the oil started coming in, and is taking an incredibly aggressive attitude with the public. I mean, these are our beaches. This is our ocean. People who are walking the beaches, and they find dead wildlife, birds, dolphins, turtles, BP workers come swooping in, or BP themselves, BP representatives, talking about, “We’ll have you arrested if you touch that carcass.” People are getting very confused. They’re saying, “Well, we don’t … Who owns this? I mean, how can BP have us arrested?” I’m actually working with different lawyers to find out, in the different states, what are people’s rights on their own beaches?
In Alaska, this was handled a lot differently. NOAA, the National Oceanic, Graphic, and Atmospheric Administration was responsible for collecting carcasses, because this wildlife is owned by us, the people. It was collected. It was put as evidence of loss. It was collected into freezer vans that were kept under lock and key. The freezer vans were maintained until October of 1991, when there was a settlement for natural resource damages under the Clean Water Act, and then, the carcasses were burned. I don’t see any of that going on down here, in terms of amassing evidence for court. I kind of am seeing the opposite.
Hillary Raimo: In your opinion, is there a coverup happening? Are they actively trying to keep us from knowing the truth of what’s happening?
Dr. Riki Ott: I actually have evidence to suggest that that is going on. I’ve got, actually, images of a dumpster incident fairly recently, where carcasses were being dumped into a dumpster, and that’s kind of being investigated right now, separately. We’re kind of waiting on that story, to get it further along. I mean, carcasses are not supposed to be ending up in dumpsters, they’re just not.
Hillary Raimo: You had said in another interview, Dr. Ott, that people were actually going to the beaches at night and removing carcasses before dawn.
Dr. Riki Ott: Yeah.
Hillary Raimo: What’s the truth behind these disappearing carcasses?
Dr. Riki Ott: I have talked to people in four different states now, that this personally happened to them, where they were on the beach at night. It’s cooler. You go out early in the morning. You go out at night. People said, “Oh my god, there’s a dead baby dolphin,” was one person in particular here in Alabama. Within 15 minutes, down came this white, unmarked van, carcass surrounded, people told, “Stay away,” flashlights out, carcass gone.
The turtle monitoring people, this is a program called Share the Beach. It’s done by volunteers, and the volunteers are out on the beaches every morning from May 1st into September at six o’clock. Each person has a half a mile of beach, and they walk the beach, looking for turtle tracks. There’s four or so different species of turtles that come ashore now to spawn. The idea is the monitors are out at 6:00 a.m. They walk a half a mile of beach. If they find any turtle tracks, they follow the tracks up the beach and mark out where the nest is. They flag it. They fence it, to give the eggs the biggest chance of … Then, they monitor it, and when the baby turtles hatch, they help the turtles, to get the maximum number of turtles into the ocean.
What the turtle watch team did was they made it very clear to BP that they’re going to be out at six o’clock in the morning, in the mornings, and they need to have the beaches untouched before six o’clock, so they can look for tracks. Instead, what they’re finding are raked … Basically, what that told BP was get people out there before six o’clock in the morning. So by the time the turtle people come out, the beaches are all raked very nicely, and there’s no dead anything on the beaches, but there’s also no way to see whether there’s turtle tracks or not, because the beaches are all raked.
Hillary Raimo: You also said that the animals are being beheaded. They’re taking their heads off, because they cannot be autopsied without the head attached, correct?
Dr. Riki Ott: They need to be intact carcasses to be autopsied. I’ve had pictures, I have pictures of people down in Mississippi who were on a beach, just happened to be walking their beach when they saw BP-paid workers raking up birds, and the birds are a little fragile, and these were oil birds. The heads were becoming detached from the bodies. There’s no way that those bodies were then going to be saved as evidence or autopsied. These animals, the wildlife needs to autopsied to prove the death, birds maybe not so much, but definitely turtles, dolphins, whales, because probably one of the primary causes of death is inhalation. This is what happened in Alaska with harbor seals, and with sea otters, even though the sea otters also got physically oiled, and these vapors just fry the brain of these animals. It’s a narcotic, and they get dizzy, and they get unconscious, and then they drown. This is what happened in Alaska, and we need evidence, we need bodies, and we need autopsies to establish a case.
Hillary Raimo: The chemicals that are involved in this cleanup, can you explain what the side effects are on both humans and animals?
Dr. Riki Ott: Okay. First of all, oil itself is a hazardous substance declared after it’s spilled. Obviously, there’s problems with it before it spills, too, but we’ve got hundreds of millions of gallons of oil right now, and this is a Louisiana Sweet crude, and about 40% of it, it evaporates into the air or dissolves quickly into the water column. It’s got a high proportion of light ends, what are called light ends. These volatile organic compounds, benzene, toluene, xylene, naphthalene, they cause a narcotic effect. Literally, the most toxic places to be are in the water column as the oil is dissolving, and at the air/water interface, where there’s this sort of cloud of hydrocarbons that have evaporated into the air. That’s a big problem.
If you go to look at the Material Safety Data Sheets for Louisiana Sweet crude, don’t do Weathered Sweet crude, just Louisiana Sweet crude, primary route of exposure’s inhalation and skin contact, nausea, dizziness, headaches, sore throat, alluding to unconsciousness, coma, and even death. The less severe, the headaches, the nausea, the dizziness, the sore throat, that is what people offshore and people onshore are complaining about. I think this is a problem.
Then, on top of the hazardous situation created just by the oil itself, BP’s actually managed to make a bad situation worse by adding in dispersants, and these dispersants of choice that it’s using have a human health hazard, 2-Butoxyethanol. That’s just one of the compounds of concern. The proprietary compounds, it turns out, are a lot of inorganic chemicals that are also incredibly toxic. The dispersants break up the oil into little droplets that then go down into the water column. The dispersants that are being used are about 53 to 63% effective, so you have roughly a little bit better than half of the oil, say, that’s being pushed into a subsurface state of little, tiny droplets. The dispersed oil is more toxic than the undispersed oil, and the dispersants are more toxic than the oil itself.
Now, we’ve got, coming ashore on these beaches, not only the hard asphalt sort of patties or chunks left over from the burn, but also mousse, which is oil and water mixed together and dispersant, the dissolved cloud-like forms, the plumes that are underwater, that are mixed oil and dispersant, surface sheen, and oil in the air. I mean, you can actually, when the wind is blowing right … I’ve been in two different communities now, Venice, Louisiana, and Orange Beach, Alabama, on literally what the residents are starting to call bad hair days, where you can actually taste the oil in the back of your throat. I’ve had people describe it to me as, “Oh, it smells like my daughter’s crayons when they melt in the sun,” or somebody told me, “Oh, it’s like if I go spend the weekend at the racetrack, and I come back smelling of hydraulic fluid and stuff.” It is. It’s crude oil in the air.
Hillary Raimo: What are the probabilities of this getting into the rain cycle, where it will get into the atmosphere and then come down as precipitation elsewhere?
Dr. Riki Ott: Huge. I mean, that’s what happens. That’s how the air clears itself of toxic chemicals, airborne … It’s sort of a false statement to say that the oil, once it gets into the air, it disappears. It doesn’t. It goes up, and it will come down as rain. The residents down here are saying, “What about the hurricane season?” It’s like, what about the hurricane season? I mean, the hurricane, like with the Prestige oil spill in Spain, it just picked the surface oil and mixed it into the air, and then it came down on people’s houses, and the sheep, and the dogs. Entire communities in Spain got sick because of this.
Hillary Raimo: Do you think that this is responsible for the strange spotting on vegetation that has been reported in the Mississippi river bottoms, the white spots on different plants?
Dr. Riki Ott: I don’t know about that yet, but I do know that the burning is creating, concentrating the heavy metals that are naturally occurring in oil, and there’s a signature that is coming down as rain, and it’s as far as Tennessee, I believe.
Hillary Raimo: What is your personal opinion of the political agenda here? Is this a conspiracy?
Dr. Riki Ott: Well, the oil industry already has one big strike against it, and that is the climate crisis. We know that burning of fossil fuels is related to destabilizing our life-giving climate. I think what the oil industry is very much about here is trying not to have a second strike against it, in terms of public health risk and worker safety. We’re getting people that have classic symptoms of chemical illness from this hazardous waste oil that are being, I believe, misdiagnosed with food poisoning and heat stroke.
This would be a second huge strike against oil if people really knew that this stuff is toxic, and it’s coming out the tailpipes of our automobiles, and it’s a problem. We really do need to get off it, and I think that that’s the big thing that industry’s trying to prevent. It’s trying to prevent a bigger backlash against fossil fuel use. I think it’s time that we, as a people, look at the cost, the true cost, of our energy dependency here and add in those costs. It’s not all about benefits from oil. There’s a lot of costs, too, and I think we’re seeing that in the Gulf.
Hillary Raimo: Some people have suggested that the oil well was drilled into the side of a natural volcano, to release pressure buildup, to protect the overall oil wellbeing and industry investments in the Gulf, claiming that if this volcano had naturally exploded, it would have destroyed all the oil industry rigs, so that this was done as a well-oiled, pun intended, operation to release the pressure, to protect the industry. The unfortunate side-effects of this decision would be the results that we’re seeing now, and would also explain the lack of government intervention, the staged press conferences, huge stock selloffs prior to this event, and the overall lack of serious cleanup efforts. I’m wondering, Dr. Ott, if you agree, or if you have any insights to this theory?
Dr. Riki Ott: I do know that, after the Exxon Valdez, there were a bunch of … There were theories that the Exxon Valdez had run intentionally aground. My commitment on March 24, 1989, was to work upstream of these spills, because wherever we drill, we seem to spill. I was really to focus my energy on shifting, a reasonable transition like in the 10 years, off of fossil fuels. I think we know enough to make this happen, and it’s a matter of political will right now.
I’m hoping we can use this event in the Gulf, for whatever reason it was caused, to say that, “You know what? This is too much.” We’ve poisoned the ocean. We’re poisoning our local communities, upturning people’s lives. There are other people on this planet besides the oil industry, and we happen to live our lives, by choice, differently, as real estate people, as commercial fisherman, as charter fisherman, as just our culture. As people said in Louisiana, “I don’t want BP’s money. I want my community.” We have to acknowledge that these people have rights to live the way they want to live, and it’s not all wrapped around oil. We need to start reigning in the oil industry as a whole, so that the rest of us can live the way we want to live, without this big threat in our backyard.
Hillary Raimo: We have a question submitted form Debbie in Texas. She asks, “Is it true that the administration refused, and is still refusing, the help of fleets of skimmer ships from Europe and other places? If so, if those ships had been deployed in a timely fashion, would this have diminished the environmental impact by any noticeable amount?”
Dr. Riki Ott: I think it’s a shame, at this point. This is so big. I think we should bring all tools to bear on it, and I don’t care what country owns them. I think that, in actual case, at Exxon Valdez, we had a Russian skimmer in. I think part of what’s going on here is where do you put the oil once you pick it up? I think there’s some reluctance to actually pick up this oil, because what do you do with it when you pick it up? It’s a waste that the industry then has to deal with. I mean, I really don’t know why we aren’t allowing other people to help. I mean, surely we aren’t that arrogant, as a country, and no, BP obviously does not have all the solutions. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be in this big of a mess.
What I think we have here is a lack of our political leadership, the federal government. It’s one thing to leave the spiller in charge of the response with the boom, the burning, the dispersants, that we already know 20 years ago didn’t work. Why are we doing this again? But then, it’s a whole other thing to say, the federal government, “Well, okay, BP. It doesn’t seem to be working so well, so we’re actually going to bring in …” I mean, we should be monitoring this, as a federal government, and if the spiller is failing, we don’t just go down with the ship here. We bring in other expertise. I mean, give the spiller a chance. If they blow it, bring in help, and I’m not seeing that.
Hillary Raimo: It’s interesting that people keep calling this a spill, because a spill is coming from a definitive amount in a container holding a certain amount of oil, and this is still leaking right now as we’re talking on the air, tonight while we’re sleeping or having dinners with our family. This isn’t going away. It is coming out of the ground. This isn’t an eight-hour day job kind of thing. This is continuously happening every minute of every day while it leaks. Do you see any end in sight?
Dr. Riki Ott: Well, I see a reservoir under the earth that is continuing to spill oil, and I don’t know how big that reservoir is. I guess we could call it a leak, but there seems to be more than one leak, as well. I guess my hope is that we have this six month ban on offshore drilling, that that sticks, and that during that six month period, not only do we find out the causes of this, but we also, as a people, insist that Congress take a hard look at the cost of our fossil fuel dependency.
I also hope that groups, while we’re waiting the six months, will take the initiative to start setting up solar industries, wind industries, so that when the six months is over, and Anadarko and the other companies want to come back … Anadarko, by the way, which went to Brazil, which does require these valves, so interesting there, so that when these companies come back, we can say, “You know what? We don’t need you anymore.” I mean, I would love to see that happen. I would love to see this disaster turned around and transformed, so people realize this is about a sovereignty issue. I’m not talking British petroleum. I’m talking who rules? Is it democracy with the people and our values, our lives, our quality of life counting more than corporate capitalism and corporate capitalism’s drive to make money at all costs? Money’s not the only thing on the planet, neither is oil, and our values, our lives need to count.
Hillary Raimo: Yes, thank you. You can find out more information about Dr. Ott’s cause at RikiOtt.com, R-I-K-I-O-T-T dot com. Thanks so much for joining me, Dr. Ott.
Dr. Riki Ott: You’re very welcome.
Hillary Raimo: My next guest joining me is Peter Taylor from the UK. Peter is a science analyst and policy advisor to all levels of government, the voluntary sector, international NGOs, the EU, and the UN. In 1978, he set up and directed the Political Ecology Research Group in Oxford, pioneering critical environmental review and the service of leading scientists and lawyers in the protection of communities and biodiversity. He was involved in government reviews of ocean pollution and the UN’s system of oversight and protection, and participated in the development of the precautionary principle and moves toward clean production technology. From 2000 to 2003, he sat on the UK government’s national advisory group for the Community Renewables Initiative and has taken a longstanding interest in the environmental impact of energy-related developments.
In addition to his scientific training, Peter has a diploma in Social Anthropology from Oxford and has studied systems of thought, magic, causation, and healing among tribal peoples in Africa. He has also trained with North and South American shamans, worked within the Celtic traditions, and is a longstanding adherent of Himalayan yogic practice, where he specializes in breathing and mediation teaching for health professionals. Thank you so much for joining me, Peter. Welcome.
Peter Taylor: Oh, thank you, Hillary.
Hillary Raimo: How do you see this event in the Gulf of Mexico?
Peter Taylor: How do I see it? I actually see it and feel it more from a kind of consciousness perspective than a pollution perspective, even though that’s my main background. There have been incidents in the Gulf, which have been bigger than this, which people tend to forget, the one off the coast of Mexico, which largely only impacted Mexico, and it was several times bigger than this current leak.
The environment, in a way, can cope with this sort of impact. It’s more a question of what it really means to us, because although it’s really heartening to hear people’s concern, I also spend quite a bit of time in the blogosphere, talking to essentially climate activists, is what I’ve recently spent quite a bit of time looking at climate science. I’ve been quite appalled at a lot of American conversations. There is a huge middle America that actually sees limitations on oil exploration in a very different light and doesn’t get the message, fundamentally, from this, which is that we are fowling our own nest, in that sense, beautiful coastlines and beautiful creatures.
For me, it’s not a question of how many and whether they will recover and so forth. It’s really listening to what this really means on a deeper level. We are dependent on oil, and that’s not really going to change very much. The more dependent we are, the more risks we seem willing to take, including deep water drilling. I’d like to see a moratorium on deep water drilling. We have drills off the coast of Scotland just as deep as this, and there were moves in the UK parliament to have a moratorium, which was dismissed. They just simply said, “Well, our safety procedures are in place, and we have every confidence in them.” But whether it’s due to negligence, or whether it’s a pure unlucky event, these things are going to happen. It’s the price that we pay for our dependency, really.
Hillary Raimo: Why is there so much resistance to move into more ‘green’ energy format?
Peter Taylor: I’m not sure that I would agree that the world is that hesitant. If you look at governments throughout the European Union and the Obama administration, they are embracing at least the need to develop renewable technologies. Nothing new in the way of technology needs to be developed. All the renewables are a lot more expensive than fossil fuels are right now. Wind, for example, is about twice as expensive, biofuels, roughly three times, solar, anything up to 10 times more expensive per unit of energy produced, so Western economies simply couldn’t cope with that sort of price increase across the board. This hasn’t really been taken on board by the green movement, really. They don’t do their sums. I helped found the green movement, so I’m not kind of critical of green philosophy, but currently, they’re not really being very realistic.
Hillary Raimo: Do you think there’s a political agenda behind the Gulf incident?
Peter Taylor: I don’t personally. I think it’s an accident borne of cost-cutting. From what I’ve seen, from some distance from the events, the oil companies involved … It was a general thing when I was working with the UN on pollution control, that the regulators and the industry, they’re very close. They know exactly what’s going on, and so the regulators turn a blind eye, and the companies cut costs, because they’re operating on the margin, really, in this kind of deep water drilling. It’s a bit of both, I think. Obviously, the US administration wants to blame the company. There’s been a lot of blaming, as well as … I actually think there’s quite a big effort to try and clean it up going on, but as it’s continuing to spew out, and everything’s failed, this could go on for some time. Maybe a relief drilling operation would effect place in office, but it’s not impossible that it could be simply irreparably damaged, and it could go on.
Hillary Raimo: Some people suggest the theory that this is an underwater volcano, and this was done intentionally to release pressure from it so not to threaten the rest of the oil industry rigs in the area. Is a possibility?
Peter Taylor: I’m not technically qualified to really have an opinion, but from an intuitive perspective, no, I wouldn’t think so. The pressures involved when volcanoes are concerned are enormous, and a tiny, little hole in the sea bed like this, I don’t think would be powerful enough to relieve any such pressures. So I think that’s just kind of not true.
Hillary Raimo: Does it come down to greed and incompetence?
Peter Taylor: Yeah, it is. I think it is sad. What saddens me more is that people are not getting the message. They’re really not looking at this from a … Like the earth actually speaking to us, that we have this oil spilling out and covering a really pristine and beautiful coastline. We are fowling our own nest. For a lot of people, this is the price we’re paying of the kind of civil order that they have, but actually, that civil order is very, very unstable, and it’s made more unstable by its dependency on oil, fossil fuels. You can’t simply replace fossil fuels with renewables. Renewables are a very dispersed form of energy, and it’s vastly expensive to collect all that energy together. It won’t work unless we decentralize our systems of living and reduce our demand. The economic models that we continue to embrace don’t allow for that. They’re going in the opposite direction.
Unfortunately, America, in many ways, has led the world in high consumption, and private transport systems, and the whole deal, so it’s very hard for a country like the US to adapt, much easier for a country like Holland, for example. But either way, the prospect, the future requires a huge shift in consciousness, not technology.
Hillary Raimo: Peter, you have an impressive government background, and you have an impressive spiritual background. How do you see the world of industry and consumerism? Is there hope for a higher level of love and compassion in the business world?
Peter Taylor: I’m working on that. I’ve been having meetings recently with people in the financial world, who have been very chastened by the events of the last two or three years. Their world has completely changed. I’m finding people, though, that do care and want to make amends. We’ve had some very strong conversations, where I’ve challenged them and said, “Look, there are two billion people on this planet. 75% of them are involved in subsistence agriculture, and they are in poverty and very vulnerable to climate change, and none of the development aid, none of the investments are reaching these people.”
A tiny percentage of financial investment is what we would call ethical and sustainable. In fact, you have special funds labeled ethical investment, which means that the vast majority, 99.9% of the financial world is not ethical, and they admit that. They completely agree. They nod their heads. I said, “Well, what are we going to do about it?” They just say, “We’re trapped. We are absolutely trapped.” They don’t see a way of helping the rest of the world, and they don’t see a way of turning the investment policies around. What we’ve seen in Britain and the European Union is vast amounts of money given to the banks, and then our own industries, small businesses especially, saying, “Well, hang on. The banks are not lending it to us.” Of course not. They’re lending it to companies investing in China, and India, and Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, where there is still economic growth of 5 to 8%, whereas in most of Europe and North America, economic growth is stuttering along at half of 1% or whatever.
That’s the system, and it has created a great deal of wealth, but unfortunately, it’s also created a huge discrepancy in the world and a lot of potential instability. The question is, can that system respond to these issues, energy, the transition, peak oil and climate change, and so forth? So far, I mean, we’re still meeting, and I’m still looking at it and seeing if there’s anything that I can do, and I kind of hedge my bets, really, because when I talk to my Shamanic friends, the message is completely different. It can’t be turned around. The earth herself will intervene, whether you want to call it Gaia, or in India, it would be Kali. It’s like the mother, the creator that is our source, will intervene.
That is the message that we’re getting, and I was told this 30 years ago by a Himalayan master. So far, we’ve had a couple of little warnings, like the volcano in Iceland and then all the airplanes disappearing out of the sky. I see this as a warning, as well, that the earth and the solar system, particularly the sun, are immensely powerful. We haven’t seen much in the last 200 years of our industrial civilization.
I mean, just one event, for example, I visited the States in February to talk with climate scientists in Boulder, Colorado. It was interesting, actually, because a friend of mine, who was hosting my visit, we went up into the Rockies, and we visited a valley where his grandfather had been on some kind of Conservation Corps work program. As we went up, he showed me all the dying pine trees and said [inaudible 00:39:32] because they’re suffering from beetle infestation due to global warming. I said, “Well, that’s very interesting, because the hottest year in the US record was 1934.” As we got to the valley, there was a plaque, which showed where the camp, the conservation camp was where his grandfather was working, and lo and behold, the plaque said 1934. What that work camp was doing was cutting down infested pine trees from the beetles. On the photograph, it looked identical. Nothing much had changed. The climate comes in cycles, and I really don’t feel that humans have affected the climate that much. I think it’s overplayed very, very much.
In those conversations with the climate scientists, I have a sense that science has kind of lost the plot. It’s relying on kind of a virtual reality of computer models. It’s ignoring some very, very basic facts about … It’s not even the cosmos, actually, just our solar system. Another synchronicity was that we visited Denver’s art gallery, a Daniel Libeskind building, which I didn’t like very much, but it worked inside very well. I was particularly interested to visit all the Native American exhibits, and it was amazing. The whole floor was devoted to Native American art, and obviously, that’s mostly handicraft and the different tribal areas around the whole of the continent.
It’s really beautiful, but they had a little bit of a gallery of the artwork of the first settlers. It could have come straight out of some Scottish castle, really, oil paintings and landscapes. There was a painting of Denver, and it was basically two rivers meeting, and a buffalo, and a tree, a lot [inaudible 00:41:40]. The painting was dated 1859. That is such a synchronicity, because in 1859, there was what we call a megaflare, a solar flare. At the time, there were hardly any electrical systems, just telegraph wires, which melted down, and telegraph operators got their fingers burnt.
Now, in 2008, the National Academy of Sciences made a report to Congress … I don’t know if you’ve heard of this, probably not, on something called the Carrington Event, in 1859. Most people haven’t a clue about this. Everyone knows about global warming, which is a kind of computerized projection, a virtual reality projected into sort of 50 or 100 years’ time, and nobody knows about the Carrington Event. If that was repeated, and NASA, at the moment, is very worried that it will be, if that is repeated, it could take down the electrical grid over the whole of the United States, in fact, the Northern Hemisphere, possibly even the globe. That would be irreparable, largely because you haven’t got any machines or industry to operate, to actually carry out the repairs. The report to Congress makes very, very scary reading, because you go back to 1859, and everybody was provided, locally, with food and water. All of the pumping systems would fail, all of the transport systems would fail, and there’d be no communications. Civilization would come to a halt overnight.
Hillary Raimo: Some people don’t realize the connection between the sun activity and the cycles of the earth. How do you see all of this spiritually?
Peter Taylor: I agree. It’s about the shift in consciousness that’s occurred over the last 2,000 years, really. In my work, I’ve written a book, which 3/4 of it is about climate theory. It’s called Chill: A Reassessment of Global Warming Theory. In the last chapter, I make some comments about what I’ve learned over the whole computerized science world. They don’t recognize cycles. They can’t handle irregular periods. They don’t use spiral mathematics. Any of those inputs would’ve altered their worldview, and those are all elements of the feminine mind. We’re dealing with almost like an amputation of consciousness, that the feminine side of the brain has been put to sleep, and it shows in the nature of the science itself.
As for the disconnect, it goes deeper, I think, than the heart. In the work we do here, we focus very much on the dance, something we learned from Native American tradition, really, the way that Native Americans dance. They dance by bringing in the energy of the earth in through the base chakra, if you want to use yogic terminology. When a group of Native Americans dance, they are dancing in a very powerful way, because they’re already connected to the earth and their hearts, but when we started to learn to dance here, it’s a whole learning process, because A, we’re not really connected to the earth. We’re not free. We don’t know where we belong. We don’t know where our food is coming from. We don’t tend to the land. There is not just a disconnect but a fear, an insecurity. Also, in the United States, it’s a base insecurity. People are concerned about their mortgage, their home, their job, and that insecurity is fostered by the financial system and the governmental/political ideology. Keep people insecure and afraid, and they will do things they would not normally do, which is one, surrender their will.
Hillary Raimo: Which is what’s happening. Thank you Peter.
Peter Taylor: Well, it’s very encouraging to be able to do this across a huge divide.
Hillary Raimo: Across the ocean.
Peter Taylor: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Hillary Raimo: Have a wonderful evening there in the UK. Up next is Gail Swanson. She’s the author of the Heart of Love: Mary Magdalene Speaks. After moving from New Jersey 13 years ago to Sarasota, Florida, Gail spent many nights and days on the sands and in the water of the magnificent Gulf of Mexico. She walked the crystal sands and bathed in the healing Gulf waters, and she feels that this magical area was the catalyst that opened her to receive a life-changing vision. She was shown her connection to Mary Magdalene and soon, a communication with Mary began. She was guided to share these messages to bring forth the power of the divine feminine, and to help to heal and balance the masculine and feminine energies of the world. She speaks today to express her love for these waters and its habitants, and to discuss the extreme importance of our spiritual connection to all the waters of the earth. She joins us now with a very special message. Welcome, Gail.
Gail Swanson: Hi, Hillary. Thank you for having me.
Hillary Raimo: What message do you have to share today, Gail?
Gail Swanson: You know, it’s just interesting, listening to your other two guests, because I feel so thankful that we have Dr. Ott, who is the voice of reason, and Peter, who was just on, who is sort of straddling both worlds, which we need more of. I’m always kind of on that higher view of, as you said, moving here and being introduced to the Gulf, which I had never even seen before. I just think that there is such a deep connection, as Peter was saying, that we truly do have with the earth and the waters, and that we have forgotten. I just think about all the people, the fishermen and all of this, and this is their livelihood, and they love these waters for many reasons.
The other side of that is just loving it simply for its beauty and for the nourishment that it gives us, and the joy that we get when … I know when I’m swimming in that Gulf, and the pelicans fly close, low down over your head, the feeling that you get is just so incredible. Everybody always goes, “Ahhh.” That’s how it makes you feel, and to hear …
You know, I didn’t even want to get into all this. I mean, I watch a little bit of it every day, but I almost can’t take too much of it. I think most of us can’t. But to hear of the complete irreverence for life, even when they are no longer living, to be putting them into … I mean, it’s just inconceivable to me, and I do feel that what Peter was saying is true, that everyone has gotten so far away from the connection to the water, to all the living beings, to every form of life, to just making a buck and doing everything they have to do, and blindly just going forward, doing things that are just unthinkable. This is where we are now. I don’t know. I was going to have a more, I don’t know, sweet message, but I feel kind of …
I feel that both of your guests touched on it, and I do feel that, hopefully, I hope and pray that we all wake up and make the changes that need to be. I don’t know. I wanted to read this message for everyone.
Hillary Raimo: Yes thank you. Let’s do that now.
Gail Swanson: Okay. This is one of the messages I received from swimming with these beautiful creatures. Freedom dwells only in equality. Those who exist in the sea emanate a loving vibration of freedom, their purpose to imbue us with the joy and exaltation that freedom brings. Our hearts leap with joy as we bear witness to their majesty. Our souls remember what joy is found in unbridled playfulness.
There is spiritual nourishment where the sea and sky meet. There is magic where the sea and sky meet and the majestic ones play. There is hope and wisdom riding on their backs. There is honor and nobility in their eyes. There is love of family as they glide side by side, all elements of nature harmoniously existing and serving humanity.
As we move through this most crucial time, these keepers of light and knowledge call to us, sing to us, blessing us with all that they are. They are calling us home. They are awakening our hearts. They speak the language of universal love. They ride the waves of multidimensionality. They beckon us to remember, we are one heart, one world, one magnificent creation, born to remember love. They are ever so joyfully willing to commune with us, connecting our hearts to the sea, and the sky, and to each one of them. They are aiding us in ways that are beyond our comprehension at this time. They call us forth now to meditate upon the sea, the sky, the sun, and the moon, to breathe in the stars of heaven, and to merge with our ancient and wise brothers and sisters of the sea as humanity strives to restore balance on earth.
Hillary Raimo: Gail Swanson, thank you so much for sharing those wise words of wisdom. We have to go to break.
Hi, everybody. Welcome back. I’m Hillary Raimo, and you’re listening to a very special two-hour broadcast on the Gulf oil leak situation happening as we speak. Before we went to break, we were speaking with Gail Swanson, author of the Heart of Love: Mary Magdalene Speaks, and she shared with us a very special and beautiful message that she had received from working with the energy of the Gulf, then, you read us your beautiful message. Is there any continuation of that vision that you’d like to share with us Gail?
Gail Swanson: You know, I just feel that the whole event has to have a higher purpose, because I’ve been very fortunate to see what I call the higher view with certain events and certain times. I’m not particularly sure with this one is, it’s so enormous, but I would like to just share one thing. I think that if everyone could see something like this in their own lives, it would change everything. It’s very meaningful for this situation, also, as far as how we conduct ourselves, and how we feel about how what’s going on, and how we just conduct our own lives.
I think I mentioned to you how this is like a, as within, without. All the things that are going on in our own lives, that we are held down in this muck, is manifested in the outer. My best friend from childhood became very ill. She had cancer, and she was becoming more weak and very sick. She was an artist, and she was a beautiful, beautiful soul. It was one of those stories that you hear about all the time, but I was blessed to see it, how she just moved through this whole thing with such grace, and she never complained, and she never said she was in pain. I would speak to her every day. I was here in Florida, and she was in New Jersey. We were having all kinds of really interesting things happen, and many things happened to us in the Gulf, both of us, when she would come to visit me in between her treatments. We had this connection.
It was the first day when she was unable to walk anymore, she couldn’t get out of bed, she was told she cannot walk anymore, and I called her, and she said, “Oh, Gail. This is so terrible. I’m watching on television,” and it was Katrina. I said, “Oh, honey. Turn that off. You have so much on your mind. Don’t look at it.” She said, “I can’t help it.”
I’ve only had this happen a very few times, but my eyes were open, and I began to have a vision in front of me. I could see that there was like a golden thread almost going from her. I could see the entire family sitting on the roof in Katrina, and what I was shown was that the grace with which she was not able to get out of the bed, but so accepting and loving towards everyone was literally, literally sustaining these people. I’m telling you that every time I tell this, I still get the chills. I tell it every chance I can, because it changed me in such a profound way, because I could see, and I was shown that what we do in our own lives with grace, and humility, and integrity, and love changes things that we may never know and never see, but it really can change the world. If everyone were more grace-filled, I really think things would be a lot better.
Hillary Raimo: I agree, and thank you, Gail, for sharing your beautiful message, and being a part of this today. Thank you so much for joining us.
Gail Swanson: Thanks Hillary.
Hillary Raimo: Next, Barbara Hand Clow has joined us. Barbara is an international Mayan elder, Cherokee record-keeper, and internationally acclaimed ceremonial teacher and author of many books, including my personal favorite, one of them, anyway, The Mayan Code: Time Acceleration and Awakening the World Mind. She will be discussing tonight the unique relationship between world events and the Mayan calendar, and of time resonation with the 102,000 year regional underworld of the Mayan calendar, and how the oil spill began at exactly the 95 hundred BC point, the time of the great cataclysm during the end of the global maritime civilization, the fall of Atlantis. Because of this relationship, Barbara claims that the oil volcano is either the beginning of a great extinction or is the trigger for the psychic processing of ourselves as a multi-traumatized species. Welcome, Barbara.
Barbara H.C.: Hi, Hillary. How are you?
Hillary Raimo: I’m great thank you. I’m so happy you’re here.
Barbara H.C.: Good. I’m happy to be here, too.
Hillary Raimo: Where do you stand on this event in the Gulf Barbara?
Barbara H.C.: Well, that was a good summary of my own personal response to it. When the event actually happened, April 19th, 20th, 21st, I was working with time resonation factors in the calendar, and I was waiting to see what would happen at that point, because whatever would happen at that point is a trigger for us, as a species, to start processing inner trauma from the past that we have not cleared yet. Even though this situation is absolutely horrendous, and I can’t imagine anything worse that could have happened, it also is a signal that we’re coming to a point of major change in the consciousness of our species. You have to ask yourself, “Well, what kind of change could that be?”
In my case, I have a Cherokee background, and also some Mayan training in this lifetime, and I’ve had some experience in this lifetime in ceremonial work, where we’ve been in resonation with the planet. Then, of course, many, many thousands of years ago, all of us were in resonance with the planet. I think what’s happening is we’re getting kicked in the pants, in a sense, to move back into resonation with the planet, because when we’re in that state of consciousness, we’re profoundly different beings. I think that’s what’s happening to us. I think we’re being forced and moved back into the actual consciousness with the planet at this time.
Hillary Raimo: You often talk about how people, in general, have repressed memories of the 10,500 BC event, and how it lives in our DNA. Therefore it’s in our consciousness. With so many reactive spectrums going on from people being … fear, sadness, anger, helplessness, hope, trying to cope is this a catalyst, actually, to move us through these things?
Barbara H.C.: Well, I think it really is a catalyst for healing. Now, when I was a child, I was trained by my Cherokee grandfather, and for 17, 18 years pretty consistently, so a great deal of time in my life. He said that, like many indigenous people do, he said that until we remember our story, that we can never heal. He said that we were profoundly separated from the story of our species and the story of our journey on the planet. It seems that this event, the pain of this event, is what’s actually taking us back into the ability to recall our story.
Then, when you know your story, then you move into consciousness and resonance with the planet itself. This event, Hillary, is much, much bigger than people, at this point, realize, as far as I’m concerned. Another thing that’s in one of my books, Alchemy of Nine Dimensions, is a discussion of the abiotic oil theory. Abiotic oil theory is a theory about oil as a renewable resource that comes from Thomas Gold, who was a very famous scientist, who just died a few years ago. Thomas Gold actually proved that oil is a renewable resource, and that the tap into the oil is around five to six miles below the surface. We haven’t just tapped into a little pocket of oil.
The other theory, the theory that we grew up with about oil was that the planet was filled with all these pockets of oil that came from rotting matter from millions of years ago. It turns out, that’s not true. We haven’t just tapped into a pocket, a deposit of oil. We’ve actually tapped into the source of the planetary blood, and that’s why this is such a big deal, much, much bigger than anybody realizes at this time.
Hillary Raimo: Do you think, Barbara, that the Gulf was an accident?
Barbara H.C.: Yes, I do think it’s an accident. It’s an accident by corporate America. There’s another issue here.
We’re resonating with different night sixes of the different underworlds. There’s actually a whole series of them. The night six that we’re resonating with in the previous underworld, the industrial underworld, is the development of planetary control by means of corporations. This type of incident, this type of control over the planet, planetary resources itself, could only have been accomplished by corporations. From that point of view, you could almost say this is deliberate, except that none of these people really wanted it to work out this way, either. It’s kind of hard sometimes to call it an accident. I mean, how do you call something an accident when it was inevitable, that it had to happen eventually, judging by the way they were using resources?
Hillary Raimo: What is the earth’s message for humanity as her blood spills out of this tapped deep vein?
Barbara H.C.: I really think the earth’s message is for us to tune into the inner part of ourselves that actually resonates with the planet. If you watch people closely … It’s been really fascinating to watch people. A great number of people around me have been sick for the last two and a half, three months, including myself. I’ve had a series of health complaints that are really bizarre. If you watch yourself closely, people are even feeling this event, to the point of their own personal health. This is teaching us that we’re much more deeply connected with our home than we thought we were. We’ve gotten radically disconnected from our home itself.
Hillary Raimo: As people find and recover these repressed memories, they’re realizing that these grand cycles aren’t separate of them.
Barbara H.C.: Yeah, that’s right.
Hillary Raimo: This event isn’t separate from us. What can people do to reconnect?
Barbara H.C.: That’s a very, very difficult one. Imagine one of the people who’s actually directly affected by this. This is actually an issue of major public health issue, because another thing going on in this situation is not just the oil. Also, the other thing that’s being released in gigantic quantities is methane. The methane release is potentially extremely toxic for the people who live in that region. It’s actually a very, very dangerous issue. This is one of the things that there’s kind of a … You’re not supposed to really talk about this, but I’ll say what I want to say, no matter what.
Hillary Raimo: You can say whatever you want on my show Barbara.
Barbara H.C.: Right. The issue would be that people who are living near the shore and down in that region are actually in danger, and I think it’s significantly enough danger that I think evacuation should be looked at. I think, for instance, if you consider what China would do, I think China would be evacuating people at this point.
Hillary Raimo: Intuitively, I feel the same thing Barbara.
Barbara H.C.: Yeah, and I feel it’s a major public health issue. I think, for those of us who are concerned, I think we need to be connected with this and prepared to assist in this situation, because this is really, truly a gigantic disaster.
Hillary Raimo: It’s really overwhelming. Some are sick of hearing it already, but the thing is that this isn’t a spill. This is ongoing. This hasn’t stopped yet.
Barbara H.C.: Yeah, that’s the main thing.
Hillary Raimo: The effects of this are ongoing. This is a 24 hour nonstop leak that’s coming into our environment on a continuous basis.
Barbara H.C.: That’s right.
Hillary Raimo: Barbara, tell us about this important relationship between the Mayan calendar and this event in the Gulf, and how some people are taking this event and others as prophesy fulfillments.
Barbara H.C.: Well, you know, the way I look at that one is we’re in the middle of some major astrological cycles right now, too, and we’re in the middle of a series of eclipses that are actually creating kind of a gigantic lock on reality. We’re in the middle of a situation right now where it’s kind of like you’re stuck right where you are. The only change that you can actually effectuate is to change yourself.
As I’ve watched this situation continue as it is, I just continually look at the American government and Obama, and I keep screaming, “Why don’t you stop the war? Why don’t you stop the war?” In other words, speaking of something that people could do, it’s outrageous that the United States continues to carry on wars in the world when a situation as critical as this is going on right in the country. It’s unbelievable, really. I think another thing that all of us should be feeling right now is just a tremendously huge feeling of rage, that this country could go on like this. Eclipses, by the way, are saying, and the timing of eclipses are saying change, change, change, and yet nothing changes.
Hillary Raimo: What do you think it’s going to take for us to really get it?
Barbara H.C.: Well, you’d think this would, wouldn’t you, you know what I mean? At this point, I’m standing back and going, “I can’t believe that this isn’t causing massive levels of change right now.” The earth, by the way, is very much alive and very responsive, and if there isn’t some change, there’s going to be more response on the part of the earth. The eclipse cycle, June 26th and July 11th in the next couple of weeks are showing that there is going to be hurricanes, and earthquakes, and solar flares, and everything, if there isn’t some kind of level of change here. I think if people are feeling kind of a sense of rage, they should be. At this point, we have reason to be justifiably very angry.
Hillary Raimo: I think most people have a very hard time with anger. They don’t have a good relationship with it. They can’t express it. They’re afraid of it. They don’t know how to do it in a way that is productive. They don’t know how to take anger and transform it into some kind of positive production. We’ve become very, very dysfunctional.
Barbara H.C.: You know, and there’s just anger, and then there’s anger that’s coming from having not faced yourself. You see the difference? This one is pushing us right up against the edge of facing the consequences of what’s going on, and then the natural, healthy response is actually very just anger. I’m hoping that people will be able to motivate themselves, then, into their own part of action in this, because there are many, many things that people can do, and there are going to be many, many things developing now that are going to enable people to do things about this. We’ve got to move it, at this point.
Hillary Raimo: What can people do, Barbara? Do they get in their car, and drive down there to help? Do they protest?
Barbara H.C.: Yeah. I don’t think people should drive down there. I think it’s exactly opposite. They need to be driving out.
Hillary Raimo: Away.
Barbara H.C.: But I think there are lots of ways that people … People are kind of still stunned right now. First of all, when the whole thing happened in the first place, then supposedly BP was doing everything, and of course, they’re not. There’s a little bit of involvement, at this point, on the part of the National Guard, but you would think that you’d see more participation in the situation right from the military forces in the National Guard in the United States, in terms of response down there. But I think in terms of individual response, there needs to be fundraising. There needs to be charities and groups of people who are helping on this, because people really, really are going to need help.
Hillary Raimo: Jesse Hicks is putting together a wonderful documentary. I was hoping that he would be able to call in tonight. It’s called Dark Horizon, a documentary about the Gulf oil disaster, and you can go to his kickstarter.com/projectsdearjesse/darkhorizon. This is a kind of example, Barbara, of what people can do.
I asked myself that question, and I said, “Okay, I have this Facebook page. I have X amount of people on here. I can post things that I’m finding in my research, but I can also make air time available, to gather a group of people who can speak on the topic and give listeners their opinions. That is how I can help. Everyone has different skills and things they bring to the table.
I encourage people who have skills, who have the ability to do things, to start doing it, because we all have something unique to offer.
Barbara H.C.: Yeah, and so the issue for me, what is my personal part in this? Well, as you know, on my website, I’m using my website as a coaching device now, season by season, and new moon by new moon, to help people move through this. When this whole situation hit, meanwhile, astrologically, the astrology is saying that it’s time to really go into the deepest depths of our personal character. The astrology is saying that who we each are as an individual right now matters a huge amount, and that each one of us needs to go into the deepest levels of questioning about what are our values? What are we giving? What are we creating? Because this event itself is happening in order to bring out that level of commitment and awareness on our part.
That’s really what this whole thing is all about. I mean, as an individual, we can’t change what’s happening down there in a physical way, but our response to it involves the response to the consciousness of the planet, and that’s what the planet’s asking us for. It’s almost like, with the planet suffering the way she is, if we didn’t realize it, and we didn’t see it, and we didn’t feel that, then what would anything matter? How we’re responding and how we feel matters, a lot. For me, it’s actually been a matter of just staying on an even keel, physically. I can’t believe the symptoms that my body is going through, and I’m a great distance from this thing. I’m way up in Vancouver, British Columbia, but I’m just-
Hillary Raimo: Thank you for coming on the air for this segment, to share this. Barbara’s website is HandClow2012.com.
Barbara H.C.: Okay, Hillary. Thanks for doing this show.
Hillary Raimo: Next up is documentary filmmaker Jesse Hicks, welcome Jesse.
Jesse Hicks: Hi, Hillary.
Hillary Raimo: Tell us about the project that you’re working on.
Jesse Hicks: Yeah. We’re working on a documentary about this disaster, which is obviously a huge event, and it affects millions of people in lots of facets, and it’s very complicated. Our documentary is a work in progress. We’ve been down there, and we’ve shot with some locals in Grand Isle. We got some great stuff and met some amazing people, and were encouraged to go down, so I’m actually on my way back down there on Tuesday.
We’re just going to keep at it and try to gather more footage, meet more people, and really try to shape the documentary into something that will reach a lot of people, and impact a lot of people, and hopefully … I guess what I really want to do is make the connection between what’s going on down there and the way we live, as Americans, and globally, I guess in other First World countries. Our consumption has something to do with what’s going on right now, and I think a lot of people, maybe they know that, but they don’t really feel that connection. That’s one of the goals of this film, but the film, of course, will develop as we continue to work on it.
Hillary Raimo: What did you see down there?
Jesse Hicks: When we were down there, we were there relatively a while ago. I guess it was about three and a half, four weeks. We saw lots of fisherman who were not fishing but were working with BP. They were all very closed off to us, because BP doesn’t want them to talk to the media or any sort of media-related people, including independent filmmakers and reporters. We saw them, and we saw oil. There was oil everywhere, and there’s oil in the water. Where we were in Grand Isle, at that point, it was before it had really come to the surface and congealed in the way that you see in a lot of the more recent news video coverage, but it was still everywhere.
Anyone who had been out in the water doing any sort of clean-up, their vessels and all their equipment was covered in oil. It was mostly, though, just at that point, the people were in shock and really worried about a way of life being destroyed and an industry being destroyed, and not really sure what was going to happen next, and I don’t think they are, still. But at that point, I think there was still mostly the shock phase.
Hillary Raimo: Were people willing to speak to you, or did you have a hard time getting people to talk about it?
Jesse Hicks: It was a mix. I mean, anyone who was working with BP, which was quite a large number of the people down there, they were hesitant to speak to us, and most of them didn’t want to. We had a couple fisherman who let us sort of shoot their boat and talk to them. We framed their faces out of our shots, so they spoke to us anonymously, essentially. There’s also some people that we found, who were very upset about the efforts that were being done to protect the area and to clean up the oil, so since they were sort of at odds with BP’s efforts, they were willing to speak with us.
Hillary Raimo: Did you find frustration in regards to being able to tell the truth about what’s happening?
Jesse Hicks: I think there was frustration in what was being put out there on a larger scale, frustration with what was being heard in the news. There’s been several videos. Ours is just a trailer, but there’s some clips that support this, but then, other longer ones, a fisherman who, I don’t know all their backstories, but for whatever reason were unafraid to speak up against BP and basically say that some stuff’s being done, but not as much as you’re made to think by the news media. I mean, this is from other sources, but that voice is definitely out there, and we perceive that, as well. That said, there’s a lot of people who are working for BP. That was our perception, but the question of how effective that work is a whole other thing to be determined.
Hillary Raimo: Were people concerned about the health effects of what they’re experiencing down there?
Jesse Hicks: Absolutely. I mean, for a lot of the fishermen, the only choice … The obvious choice for employment now, now that the fisheries are essentially closed down around Grand Isle, and I think something like 20% of the water in the entire Gulf and more right around Louisiana, their obvious source of employment would be to work for BP and clean up, but some people have read reports and books, probably from your first guests, also, about how the dispersants and the cleanup has detrimental health effects, so a lot of them just didn’t want to participate in that, which basically left them with few options on finding a source of income. Most people felt trapped, very understandably. Yeah. It’s a pretty crazy situation. Everyone was mobilized to clean up the spill, but if you didn’t want to do that, then you’re kind of out of luck.
Hillary Raimo: There’s also some talk of this being an opportunity for Martial law or a military state to be put into place. Did you get the feel for that while you were down there, at all?
Jesse Hicks: There’s definitely National Guard everywhere, which, that changes the mood in a town. I mean, this town was one that was described to us as an … I’m speaking of Grand Isle. It’s a small town. Everyone knows each other, you know? Everyone says hello. You go walking around, and you see your friends walking around, too. Then, all of a sudden, there’s Humvees everywhere, and half the people … Maybe not that many, but a huge amount of people in camp. There’s a lot of National Guards. I don’t know about Martial law taking over the town, but there’s definitely a different vibe, and of course, if someone in a Humvee comes up and wants to do something, or stop you from coming onto the beach, or whatever it is, then chances are, they’re going to have some authority, or at least be effective.
Hillary Raimo: Jesse, thanks so much for calling in and sharing your experiences. Where can people find out more information or help fund your project?
Jesse Hicks: Yeah. We have a Kickstarter page that, the best way to get to that, if you go to tinyurl.com/oilspilldocumentary. You could also find us just through Kickstarter, which is what you were saying before on the air, but that shorter URL is probably the easiest way. It’s tinyurl.com/kickstarter, and yeah, you can watch the trailer, and people, if they’re interested, can contribute a little and help make sure that we can keep spending time down there and keep covering this, and come out with a wonderful project that a lot of people can relate to.
Hillary Raimo: Good luck with your project, and Thank you.
Next, is Barbara Goodfriend. She’s an animal communicator who is joining us to share a special message from the sea animals of the Gulf of Mexico. Animal communication is an understanding spoken between species whose hearts and minds are linked through mutual love. It is a thread that weaves interaction in the wild, and it brings us deeper levels of compassion and learning in the domesticated world. It is very tangible and beneficial for both the animal and human involved. Her website is, BarbaraGoodfriend.com. Welcome, Barbara. Thanks for waiting.
Barbara G.: Hi, Hillary. It’s great to be on. Thank you.
Hillary Raimo: What is the message you have for us from the animals in the Gulf?
Barbara G.: Well, I think there are multiple messages here. One of the deepest messages that I feel is that the animals are bringing to us is really for us to go deeper and feel the connection, also, to the earth. You know, there’s a great amount of loss of life going on with the animals, a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, but also, at the same time, what’s going on is people are really feeling, they’re getting within themselves, and they’re feeling all their emotions. These are triggers for things going on in their lives, and I believe, also, that unless we straighten out our own emotional baggage and take care of what we need to do, we need to steward ourselves in order to steward the wildlife, in order to steward the planet, and to bring forth the planet and the earth for future generations, bring the solutions through, also.
What happens now is that people are able to talk about this. They’re able to go into their emotions and speak about what’s going on with the animals. I believe it’s really, really important to get into our own telepathic abilities in order to really get our own guidance to know how to move forward, find solutions, work through this in the most peaceful way that we can, and come together in a way that everyone can cooperate, that we can really feel the truth. That’s the thing. If you go inside, go really deep inside, and get in touch with your telepathic abilities, which is the way that the animals communicate, you can really see where the truth lies in all these situations, not only here but globally, also.
Hillary Raimo: Do the animals know to migrate away from this event in the Gulf? Can we help them by telepathically giving them the thoughts and the images of moving away from this area?
Barbara G.: Yes. I think it’s possible, although some of them, of course, they’re getting poisoned by the fumes, and the toxins, and the dispersants, and they can’t really maneuver through this. With the dispersants, they are ingesting this. Some of
them, no, they can’t get away, but others, yes, I do believe that we can speak to them and ask them to move to safer waters. Yeah. I believe that we can definitely let them know the extent of the damage, where they could go to. I’ve been trying to do this with the whales myself, although I feel like a lot of the whales are already at the bottom of the Gulf. But yes, I believe that we can do that. We can communicate with them. They’re very, very responsive.
I feel like they’re looking for our help, and as groups, they’re looking for their own survival. I think that people could get together, and there’s more power in a group, and send those messages out, and assist the animals in moving on. I’ve read accounts of flocks of birds that aren’t specific to certain areas, that seem to be showing up in different parts of the country now, so yes, there is a group mind going on, and yes, we can affect it, we can communicate with them, and we can help them in this way. Yes.
Hillary Raimo: It’s a really positive way of handling the energies that we’re all feeling right now. Many feel very helpless with this. They don’t know what to do. Do they take it to their social networking sites? Do they take it to their local book club? Do they talk about it in the grocery store? They don’t know what to do, and so they just kind of watch the little segment on the news, and then they turn it off, and they go about their lives, and they figure it’s somebody else’s problem. Somebody else will fix it. Somebody else will stand up and get angry about it. Somebody else will make a big enough stink, and then something will happen from there. It’s not going to work this time.
Barbara G.: No.
Hillary Raimo: You cannot just stick your head in the sand and pretend it away.
Barbara G.: Exactly.
Hillary Raimo: Have people, in general, become so complacent and docile in their reactions to things in this world that they’re sleepwalking through much of their life? Many still don’t have a connection to their psychic, telepathic abilities, because they don’t believe in it.
Barbara G.: Yeah. Well, our psychic and telepathic abilities are totally innate in us. The same thing happened to me when … April 20th, I started feeling everything that was happening with the animals. Then, I said to myself, “Well, what can I do to help them? Instead of sitting here and ripping my own hair out, and crying, and worrying, what can we do to help them?” Our innate abilities, they can create a natural response, even if you’re helping an animal pass, even just comforting the animals. They don’t know what to do. They’re caught in this oil, but they’re catalysts for all of us waking up and seeing how reckless we’ve been, and how reckless and how material we’ve been living our lives, and where we can go with this, how we can make little changes in our lives, how we can so easily feel for the animals, but do we feel for each other?
Hillary Raimo: Right.
Barbara G.: They are catalysts in this, and this is what’s so important, and I feel like this is their message. Get inside ourselves, to come together, to help, even praying or helping the animals pass, or asking them to move, helping the families, feeling this, but like you said, not feeling depressed. I mean, we can feel our anger. We have right to feel our anger, but it’s about where are we going to take all this? Where are we going to go with this? This will help us connect with what’s really important, connect with the earth, the heartbeat of the earth, the nourishment of the earth and everything that can be renewed, or lifted, or taken care of here. I feel it’s really, really important when people connect with the animals, because they reach inside themselves, and they can feel this, and this unlocks within them.
Hillary Raimo: Anybody who has a pet they love dearly knows that that’s what you’re talking about. Anyone who has a special connection with any kind of animal understands what you’re saying. If somebody who may not believe in psychic abilities, or this is all a bunch of woo-woo stuff, knows that they have a special relationship with their animal. That’s undeniable.
You know what I want to ask you, Barbara, is a lot of people have been saying to me, and I mentioned this to Barbara Hand Clow earlier, many people have been telling me that their animals, their dogs especially, are getting sick now, just for no reason. Just out of the blue, they’re just getting sick. I said to somebody today, actually, I was seeing a client, and I said to her, “Well, you know, they’re taking on a lot of the energy that’s happening right now. Look at what’s going on.” I think animals have a tendency to physically manifest this quicker than humans do. Is that correct?
Barbara G.: Yeah. I do feel they’re more connected to the earth, more naturally connected, or have a quicker response in a lot of times. I have been seeing a lot of dogs actually almost teetering, trying to decide, having big health issues come up but not passing, and sort of, “Am I staying, or am I going?” It’s been very confusing for their owners. Yeah. You know, the animals are just very … They can feel all of this. They can definitely feel all of this.
They’re affected, and not only do they take on these energies, but I found, in the last few years, that I would say five years ago, the animals really took on our illnesses and all our emotions and all this, but what I’ve been finding, across my work, is that what they’re doing now is more reflecting things back, so that we take responsibility for the things that are going on, not only in our lives, but in the world, also. All of this, they show us through the heart connection, and that’s all kinds of healing for the planet has to come from.
Hillary Raimo: A need to be rewired back to the heart?
Barbara G.: Absolutely.
Hillary Raimo: Barbara, thanks so much for joining me and sharing your valuable information with us.
Barbara G.: My pleasure.
Hillary Raimo: Thank you. Next, joining me is Dr. Ian Prattis. He’s a professor in Ottawa, Canada. He’ll be adding to our discussion and speaking on the topics of the spin factor, consumer culpability, and spiritual guidelines and how they relate to the Gulf. He’s a poet and scholar, peace and environmental activist. He has trained with masters in Buddhist, Vedic, and Shamanic traditions, and he teaches and talks at seminars and retreats around the world. He is founder of Friends for Peace, a coalition of meditation, peace, and environmental groups that work for peace and planetary care, and also, he is the resident teacher of the Buddhist meditation community in Ottawa, Canada. Welcome, Ian. Thanks so much for waiting.
Dr. Ian Prattis: Oh, thank you. Not a problem.
Hillary Raimo: What perspective do you bring to the table in regards to the Gulf oil event?
Dr. Ian Prattis: The perspective I bring is to first acknowledge that this particular crisis has also brought an enormous amount of spin from not just the corporations, where we expect it, but also from government, the media, and the general public. The underlying aspect I’d like to bring to the fore is that all sectors are culpable. As consumers, if we have a demand for oil and oil-based products, we drive the whole process. We have an artificial spin to justify our consumption patterns.
This crisis is huge. It’s bigger than most people are prepared to take into their minds, but there are other crises like this happening in the Arctic regions, the desert regions, and so on, and we have to go beyond the crisis and look at what is really at stake here? What is at stake is the human mindset, which has to change. There’s no short answer better than that one. The mindset has to change, and until it does change, we will go on destroying the ecosystem.
My most region book is called Failsafe: Saving the Earth From Ourselves. This points out how we can change our mind, that we must stop, examine our patterns of consumption, and then make a commitment to do no further harm, either to the planet or to ourselves. The solution is an internal one. It doesn’t matter what spiritual tradition one prefers, or yoga practice, or meditation practice, we have to come to a steady stop, look at what we do with our patterns of behavior, and change those patterns that cause harm. This is what I teach, that I’ve been teaching at the university and to meditation students for over 20 years, and I do see radical changes.
At my home, my response has been to give up my car, several years ago, to do a major eco retrofit on my modest home in the West end of Ottawa, and to be very careful in my consumption habits, and to be aware. If I could tell you a small anecdote, I was giving a small talk in Orlando, Florida, about environmental issues a year ago. An answer I gave to a very good question, which the question was, “Is my mindfulness enough?” This was from someone who was very aware and careful about his consumption. This was a good question. I said, “Yes, your mindfulness is enough, but are there enough of us who are mindful?” That’s crucial, because I think there’s a tipping point that we’re not too far away from, where people are changing their patterns. They are changing their minds, but is it enough? I don’t have the answer to that. I have certain speculations.
Hillary Raimo: Which are?
Dr. Ian Prattis: That it only takes around 2% of the world’s population to meditate on a daily basis, to produce a tipping point. It’s the hundredth monkey syndrome, whereby a quality of energy will leap from mind to mind, and we would make different kinds of decisions about what we consume, how we behave, how we interact. Those of us who are wealthy all around the world will learn how to live on less, and also live happily on less. It’ll bring about a different structure of institutions and society all from taking care of the planet, taking care of ourselves, and also taking this out as action.
There’s an awful lot of talk through the social networks of, “Okay, let’s make everything love. Let’s make everything compassion,” but where is the action? The action component of taking the changed mind into the arena of everyday life, this is the challenge that faces us. The challenge of the Gulf oil spill is enormous. It’s the most enormous challenge, I think, that the US has faced, and it’s not just the US that faces this challenge. It’s the entire world.
Hillary Raimo: What a beautiful thought. It’s been one of my bigger frustrations, that so many have such a difficult time with the word action. Action has to be angry? Why do we need to act? It’s all divine will. It’s all this. It’s all that. It’s frustrating, because on one level, I want to see more people do it, and on another level, you’re fighting an entire mindset. You’re fighting … Not fighting. Fighting’s the wrong word, but you’re up against several, multiple mindsets… I like how you present the, each person has their own role in this.
I tell people that they’re gatekeepers of their own home, that they make the choice when they go out and they buy something to endorse it or not, to further encourage the production of that or not, regardless of where it comes from. The lack of awareness of what goes into somebody’s body with the food issues that we have, I mean, we could go on and on with examples, but the problem is this lack of awareness, this lack of conscious awareness of what we’re consuming.
Dr. Ian Prattis: Absolutely.
Hillary Raimo: Where do you think we went wrong? Where did it start, Ian?
Dr. Ian Prattis: I think we left consciousness over in one space and didn’t recognize that it has to be engaged with society and with the environment in a very practical, down-to-earth manner. Eight years ago, I founded an organization called Friends for Peace, and this has grown into a coalition of over 50 groups in the city of Ottawa. This is action-oriented, in terms of actually saving pristine whitewater rivers and wetlands, actively seeing social justice occur with Aboriginal populations in Canada.
We’re very action-oriented, and the former mayor of the city of Ottawa, we have an annual event in City Hall. He said publicly, this is the face of Ottawa he would like to see. I took him to one side, and I said, “Oh, no, no, no. This is the face of Ottawa now, not future.” The future, which is very difficult to wrap our minds around, the future is now, because the actions we take now set in motion what our future structure and conditions will be like, and the actions we have to take now are selfless. We have to go beyond our wealth, our ego, our desires and our needs, and recognize that if we’re going to have a chance, as a species, to be here by the end of this century, we have to change our ways. I get so pumped … I think that is the word, from seeing what happens with the Friends of Peace organization, is that people are changing. The whole diversity of Ottawa comes together. There’s quite a lot of change in our Northern city as a result of this.
Hillary Raimo: That reminds me of this quote, “Always aim at complete harmony of thought, and word, and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.” I think that, as we watch the waters become the opposite of purified, and we’re going to have to go through a purification process, it’s the same thing with us, isn’t us?
Dr. Ian Prattis: Absolutely.
Hillary Raimo: It’s the same thing with us on another level, a different level. We’re going through a purification process of releasing our own vein of muck.
Dr. Ian Prattis: Absolutely. The muck and the mud is essential, because if you didn’t have the mud, you couldn’t have a lotus growing. We need the mud and the muck, but we work through it. This is work. This is internal work, and there’s so many different ways of doing it, all of which are viable. That’s the beauty of what’s available to us, but when we do the internal work, and we become steady, and we become clear, that’s when we engage with the environment, with society. Without the engagement, all of this spiritual stuff is useless. The days of the yogis meditating in caves is over. This is the 21st century, and if we want to really build a different kind of society for the remainder of this century, we must change our ways.
I have a chapter in my most recent book, which is about stopping, finding the still point, changing the patterns, and it gives very, very precise methods and procedures. I see this on a weekly basis, in terms of the community I teach. I see the transformations taking place in people, and because there’s an example set of how to reduce the size of the ecological footprint that we leave, and how we engage with society, with other groups, and with the environment, with that example, people will follow suit. In a sense, all that I’m saying to you, I do my very best to actually walk that talk and put it into action. I must emphasize the word action, because without action following consciousness change we’re [inaudible 01:45:54], and we will be going down the tube.
Hillary Raimo: Indeed. Dr. Ian Prattis, thank you so much for joining me. Your website for listeners is, IanPrattis.com.
Dr. Ian Prattis: Thank you, Hillary.
Hillary Raimo: Where is our accountability for how we live, how we consume, how we treat each other, and whether or not we come from our heart when it comes to other people?
There is hope. The earth will recover. We will recover, but I can guarantee you, things will not be the same, thankfully. Goodnight, everybody. I’m Hillary Raimo. Goodnight.
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