“Just as vital cells are needed to build healthy tissue and organs, resulting in vital organisms, so too are vibrant individuals needed to build healthy families and communities, and ultimately a thriving planet.”
-Travis Britzke, director, ReGenesis
Between eclipses we are all being called to stand on one side of the river- We are being called to step into our authentic role of the Divine Human- In alignment with the form. Can we cross over? Are we able to leave the victim realm? We do this by acknowledging and healing the victim mind, not by ignoring it- that would be Spiritual bypassing which will probably be our next episode. This is about 100% full integrity and radical acceptance!
Are you ready for the timeline split? Which path are you choosing? The creator or the victim?
As the cosmic currents reach their peak before the Eclipse’s this August we are being asked to reflect on our ascensions so that we may listen to the messages of the soul as our true identity as the truth co-creators of our collective dream is revealed.
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Recent Revelations around the upcoming 8/8 Lionsgate Portal, Mercuries 88 day cycle, the Mercury Retrograde of August 2017 and the impregnation of the divine feminine. Aligning with the form, the alchemical wedding and more.
Show Appreciation http://www.hugs.world/patreon
The 24th Gene Key is part of the Ring of Life and Death. This DNA Codon ring contains five Gene Keys (Genetic Codes) which Richard Rudd has stated can be used to teach us how to create the perfect environment to raise children. One of the main life objectives for those who have reached adult- or adept-hood is to bring children, or our fellow human into reaching this development. Children are the future, and as we are all really one organism, we become our children, so their development is why we are here. Also, when we consider that much of the earths population still has a ways to go in progressing to adept-hood, we reach the reasoning behind why we chose this as where to begin in creating an Innerversal Solutions curriculum. The Gene Key System was born out of the Human Design System, from our findings it is a incredible system complete unto itself. We have found when synthesized with the Human Design system as a foundation, bringing Human Design to higher octaves of development, something even more incredible is birthed. In this curriculum we will be synthesizing aspects of the Gene Key’s, Human Design, NLP, and much more. We feel that in the synthesis of all of these incredible systems that we can find something that can serve as a developmental curriculum for the next phases of evolution of parenting, community development, business collaboration and much more. This new synthesis is organic and always being improved. This is only the first installation of many more to come. One can also expect each lesson to change and grow as our knowledge grows, we receive feedback, and team up with others in these fields. This living curriculum we plan to be at the heart and foundation of a physical center that will be based here in Costa Rica, but will have multiple partner hubs globally. In this way a living educational system serves to grow with humanity in its evolution rather then becoming stagnant as so many things in the past have done.
Our journey begins as we are conceived, the interplay of energetic’s present between our two parents creates a magical act which calls forth a new creation into the perfect organic machine which is our local Universe. An exact blueprint of the state of energy present at the time, and location of the birth, and eighty eight days before it, relative to within the cosmos. Wheels upon wheels, the cosmic organs and glands of specific geometrical devices we know as planets, form, fashion, and facet this energy into being. This blueprint creates the seed, or crystal of that which we are meant to become, pending of course that the environment in which we are placed is ripe and fertile with the energetic and physical nutrients to bring us to adulthood. The child’s purpose in this world, is to further perfect and grow the potential of all life and creation.
What drives this child to reach its energetic potential, to fulfill its purpose, and to share its specific gifts with the world? Separating from the Unified field creates a tear or wound. As the energy is processed into an individual being, and compressed through the parents genetics that also contain unprocessed shadows, this creates a similar imprint on the child. This is because one of the prime reasons for the child is to perfect the genetics of the human species. Its core drive is the desire to end the suffering caused by the core wound, by reuniting with the unified field of perfect silence from which it only has just left. However, this core wound is often times reinforced, and turned into unconscious habits as our family, society, and environment encourage living from the “not self” and making decisions from the mind.
If we imagine a child with an Undefined Ajna working with a teacher with a Defined Ajna, this child will be under pressure to think a certain way and feel a sense of inadequacy because he or she cannot do this consistently. Or imagine a parent who puts pressure on a child to think logically when in fact the child is designed to think abstractly. Such children will grow up thinking something is wrong with them because they don’t process data in a logical way. And this conditioning leads them to compensate by pretending to be certain about things.
When Undefined Ajna people can experience their true inner authority, their mind is set free. It’s free to think about things that do matter, and free to be open to intellectual stimulation and creativity. Remember, the Undefined Centers represent where we go to school, and the Defined Centers represent the student (us). It is normal and natural to be attracted to our openness but not to become identified or attached to the experiences it brings. We are not here to be like someone else, but rather to discover who we are as individuals.
When Undefined Ajna people accept that they can never be certain, they have gained true wisdom. Their potential wisdom is to be able to truly judge whether a concept or question matters, and whether it is of value. They are not here to claim concepts as their truth. They are here to observe these concepts and to contemplate them, not to become certain and own or become identified with any of them. An Undefined Ajna is a sign of intelligence and of someone who is an intellectual type, like the undefined minds of Freud, Jung, Einstein or Madame Curie.
The potential of the Undefined Head Center is to explore the intellectual value of an infinite variety of subjects and thoughts. It can determine whether those subjects and thoughts are worthy or unworthy of being contemplated. The potential with this Undefined Center is to explore how much of the mental field is simply useless versus what really matters.
The Undefined Head Center is inspired (conditioned) by who or what is in its aura. Its inspiring thoughts are not original, as others influence the way it thinks. Unlike the Defined Head Center, there is no fixed style of thinking with an Undefined Head Center; it is open and changeable by the conditioning of the environment. The potential is that those with Undefined Head Centers can truly recognize who is inspiring. They are great mental reflectors of another’s mind. But when they make a decision from the mind it is not their decision, it is a decision from the mental conditioning field. Undefined Head Centers endlessly think they need to make a decision and solve the problem when the problem is not even theirs! Each Undefined Center conditions the mind with Not-Self thinking.
We are a duality and everything about us is manifesting in a dualistic manner. The mind itself is dualistic in the way in which it processes information. Let’s say that you have an option in front of you. Once you conceptualize that option in order to make a decision about it, you are going to look at the positives and the negatives of it. You are going to construct two identical arguments that are opposite to each other.
One argument says that the option is bad and the other states that it is good. This is how the mind works. It is very easy for us to go from one position to another, because we have already established both in the mind. What that means is that the mind has no capability of judging one or the other. Its capacity is simply to flush out the two sides. The reality is that we can flush out a zillion sides, not just two. This process is called reason-making. A decision from this place is as good as a guess. You cannot know the truth from this place; you can only know all the different reasons for this decision or that decision. Knowing is something altogether different; it is where we discover our truth.
The roots of suffering can be found wired into our physical body and in its essential needs such as air, warmth, physical contact etc. Next the astral/emotional body creates desires and cravings to mask confronting the wound. Finally, the mind reacts to these cravings by creating stories that will fulfill these desires.
The shadow of this Gene Key is addiction. Addiction is an internal interference pattern, or glitch that causes us to project happiness into the future, and tricks us into thinking it can be found by adding something to us. It is only by will, and denying ourselves these addictions are we forced to sit in the gap, experiencing the feeling of the wound, thus relieving its power over us. This starving of the astral body allows it to be purified and thus see the separation of the physical, mental and astral bodies. Silence therefore remains the ultimate addiction.
Addictions are rooted in conditioning. The open centers in our profile are an open doorway for pressure and conditioning of those people around us and the current cosmological transits that are going on as well. We are especially vulnerable to these energies as children. As we search to explore who we are and the world around us, we encounter pain via these open centers as we are taught to be something we are not, or discouraged for our inherent gifts and uniqueness. Our open centers are valuable places for learning, exploration and wisdom. So one major way that addiction happens is when we receive conditioning in a certain energy center, we then always reach for energy from that center. Plants, drugs, alcohol and people allow us to fill these centers with certain types of energy, giving us the temporary illusion of fulfillment and definition in these centers. These things are not to be demonized either, as they allow us to explore the energy of these centers in ways we may be meant to, but when we habitually become dependent on them due to conditioning, this is when it becomes unhealthy.
There are two main ways that the shadow can manifest itself depending on how we respond to it. Most everyone that deals with this shadow would have some aspect of both of these, however one of the two will always be predominant.
First is the repressive nature. When we repress this energy of confronting the wound, we respond by becoming frozen by the fear of what we will experience. Depression, lack of energy, or a very limited perception on what reality truly is are ways in which this can become apparent. In this way the repressive nature is the victim of the fear by becoming smaller in the face of it.
Second is the reactive nature. Anxious, the unwillingness to experience the feeling of emptiness can cause one to react actively. A type of anxiety will fill this person as they start to sink into the fear associated with the wound. We notice this one heavily in these times we are in, people constantly on social media websites, texting, or working. Whether choosing numbness, or stimulation, one traps immense amounts of energy in these patterns and programs that creates a literally magical act if we can rest within these inner moments of silence.
The gift of this shadow is invention. As we have been discussing there is a gap or a space that can be experienced in between the repeating patterns as energy travels through worn in neurological pathways. By resting in the gap, and confronting our wound, we come in contact from the same space in which we were birthed from. As we do this, the creative energy that would have been normally masked and stolen by the addiction now bursts forth and becomes a magical act of invention. Creative new ideas are born, we are given the opportunity to shift up an octave. We now have a creative addiction. Addiction keeps us thinking in circles, where creativity thinks in spirals.
The 24th Gene Key is also part of a channel called the Channel of the Thinker. Which combined with the 61st Gate of inner truth and mystery links the Ajna to the Head center. The 61st Gene Key acts like the inner pressure of the mind seeking itself, this often comes across as the famous incessant questioning of Why? Evidence of this seeking in a right brain manner can be found in religions, and left brain seeking in science. Both sides confront this feeling by deciding if we think enough, we can know the truth. If the head center of an individual is defined, they may very well be able to bring back the unknowable. This gift can empower others that don’t have the head defined, but if the shadow state is active, it can often leave others feeling confused and caught in their head. The key in working with this gift is not to turn away from the pressure of this questioning and become disenchanted and giving up on seeking truth, or become fanatical by becoming obsessed by the questioning. Those that become fanatical often get stuck on one answer and build their entire framework of reality around it. For those that do not have this gene key, the answers to inner truth and the mystery can still be found, but often times come not primarily through the mind, but through other centers within the body.
Next we have the programming partner to the 24th Gene Key, which is the 44th Gene Key of Interference / Teamwork / Synarchy. This manifests as our karmic relationships. If we meditate on this relationship we can begin to see deeply how these two work as a polarity with one another to create the programming effect. To really come to a deep inner standing of how this manifests, it is important to consider the axiom, as above, so below or as within so without. Interfearance works in a very similar manner in our outer lives and relationships. We as individuals are part of much larger fractal lines of humanity, some may refer to as soul groups. Each person that comes into our life offers us a unique lesson which we must embrace. Just as with addictions, we can get stuck in unhealthy loops and patterns by being too distrustful and misjudging others. Its no coincidence that its most often our relationships in this world that trigger our addictive patterns. Many times its even the people themselves in which we get addicted to, whether that be lovers, gurus, deities, friends, or even pets. This keeps us from finding healthy loving relationships that afford us the team work and syarchy that our beings seek in order to become the collective intelligence and organism that our soul groups seek.
The secret to the Siddhi, or the highest vibratory frequency of both the 24th, and the 44th Gene Keys is Silence. Some of the keys to the mystery of reincarnation lie in this Gene Key, for it is an addiction to form itself, this keeps consciousness from transcending its limits. What actually reincarnates has been greatly misunderstood, and will be explained in more details in later curriculum. For humanity to truly step into its next phases of evolution, it much come to a much deeper awareness of the wholeness of the organism of humanity and the earth. It is in the moments of internal silence that we can commune with the highest aspects of both our inner world and our outer environment. True Silence manifests when our awareness moves from our mind, down into our Solar Plexus. This area contains a vast nervous system that when truly activated is beyond the realm of thinker, individual, or polarity consciousness. It is the activation of this other brain that the next phase of humanities evolution is now activating. This all takes place trough the activation of the 55th Gene Key which we will be going into in depth in later curriculum.
As we are being raised, the specific geometry of our genetics is seeking to fulfill its purpose here. In order to do that, the child looks for the experiences through the environment it needs in order to feel whole again, to realize is gifts, purpose, and to define its role within the collective. To inner stand this better, lets look at how a seed acts within an environment. The seed contains all of the information from its parents for what it would become in the perfect conditions of sunlight, water, nutrients. Some of these things are one hundred percent essential for the seed to even sprout at all. Others simply will decide if the seed will flower, or bare fruit. But the what will the condition of the flower or fruit be? The child seeks proper nutrients to grow its body, sun, air, water, fruits can all provide these. These will allow the organs and glands to then produce the proper chemicals and neurotransmitters as the child grows and comes in contact with its environment. The energetic body also looks for experiences, such as love through its karmic relationships. Addiction is what will manifest when the energies within the child look for these nutrients, and they either are not provided, or they are received with pain, judgement or trauma.
Some of the first things we can do to raise a child free of addiction are to begin by ridding ourselves of ours. This work begins even before we have the children, but especially once we do, by actually being an example of what it is we know the child can become. By ridding our selves of our own shadows, Even if we do not have children yet, or even don’t plan on having any, this ensures that the DNA we share with all of humanity will discontinue passing these genetic glitches on to future generations. Beyond this, we can also do our best to keep the child’s environment free of easily addictive things. This goes the same for us while we are ridding ourselves of our own addictions. Out of sight out of mind is an excellent practice to begin with for any things that keep us in an addictive state, unable to sit in the gap. Remove these things from our environment, sometimes we may even need to seek a new environment all together. This includes friends, family or loved ones. If the addiction is serious enough, never feel afraid to ask for, or seek help. While the first thoughts many of us have about addictions go to drugs or alcohol. But especially with children this includes mildly addictive food additives, addictive activities such as Facebook, or video games. We must be able to check into our own integrity and inner truth, and be familiar with children’s developmental phases in order to best judge when the child should be making its own decisions about these types of things. For certain as the child gets older, there will be cases where due to pressure of society, friends, and genetic sequences that they may still turn to these many habits. At this point its best to trust in what they have been taught in their upbringing, and finally to let go of our own judgements knowing they too have their own path they must take to work through whatever shadows they do have inherently.
As parents the prime way we can serve the development of the child is first adopting the practice of non-interfearance. We first must do our best to free ourselve’s of the shadows which we contain so that we may provide the child with the best example. As difficult as this may hear, if someone doesn’t have a child yet, and they find themselves full of various shadow states, they must as them selves. Is this really the best time to have a child? Or should I continue my own self work a bit further and wait. We are not saying the environment must be perfect, but one should really use their own better judgment when it comes to their mental, physical, emotional and environmental state before consciously deciding to bring someone else into the world. We have close co-workers that now do many iridology readings on whole families. These readings allow the practitioner to see the health of the many organs and glands in the human body via the coloration’s in the eye. We have heard many reports now that very young children are coming out of the womb with the same deficiencies and degeneration that their parents have, even before the environment beings to take effect. These addictions can begin even before the womb, But especially in the womb via stress, addiction, or other experiences the mother has that then imprint the child. Then in the external environment once it is born. When a child is born, it generally comes into this world with its own inherent connection to its inner source, or divinity. This inner divinity guides it to the experiences, relationships and even answers many of its questions if it is encouraged to do so. When a child starts to begin to be triggered by the 61st Gate of Inner Truth and Mystery to ask Why am I here? Quite possibly the best thing we could do for that child is to guide it back to itself. Offer to sit in silence with the child while he or she searches inside for the answer to these types of questions. In the Siddic state, we literally have access to any type of information we can imagine, and even much beyond.
The 24th Gene Key is ruled by Taurus, which is ruled by Venus. The Medical Astrology correspondences to Taurus are throat, neck, thyroid and vocal track. The thyroid which secretes biological iodine is the magnetic center of the magical ear. This further shows us the correspondences to the invention and magical silence of this Gene Key. When the mind can be silenced we naturally tune into what is known as the music of the spheres, also known as the bird language. This is a intuitive type language that can only be learned by losing track of our lower egoic mind, and tuning into the language of nature that is always speaking around us.
These herbs may be worked with in various ways to get more in tune with the energy of this Gene Key, tinctures, spagyrics, teas etc. Please do your research about these plants and the best ways to work with them before doing so.
Herbs are natural plant substances that have a variety of effects on the body. Many herbs have long been used in detoxification. Kudzu has the potential for moderating alcohol abuse. Kava and valerian can be used to treat the insomnia that accompanies withdrawal. Milk thistle has been shown to improve liver function.
The use of herbs in the recovery process may be most effective when combined with other strategies that support the whole person including nutrition, bodywork, acupuncture, relaxation and exercise.
Medline Plus (www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/herb_All.html)
Database on Herbs and Supplements
The University of Maryland Herbal Database (umm.edu/health/medical/altmed)
Side effects and possible interactions of commonly used herbs.
RESEARCH: Takahashi M, Toduyama S. “Pharmacological and physiological effects of ginseng on actions induced by opioids and psychostimulants.” Methods & Findings in Experimental & Clinical Pharmacology. 20(1): 77-84, 1998.
This review summarizes studies that looked at the effects of ginseng on the actions of opioids and psychostimulants. Among the findings, ginseng was able to block the analgesic effects of opioids and inhibit tolerance to and dependence on morphine. Findings provide evidence that ginseng may be useful clinically for the prevention and treatment of morphine, cocaine, and methamphetamine dependence.
Akhondzadeh S. Kashani L, et al. “Passionflower in the treatment of opiates withdrawal: a double-blind randomized controlled trial.” Journal of Clinical Pharmacy & Therapeutics. 26(5):369-73, 2001.
The herbal extract Passionflower has been successfully used in the management of anxiety, and in this study the use of a daily dose of 60 drops of passionflower extract with a maximum daily dose of 0.8 mg of clonidine showed a significant superiority over clonidine alone in the management of mental symptoms associated with detoxification.
Addiction Recovery Supplements: Shilijit (Ionic Minerals)
Addiction has been found to be a product of disturbed Shen:
Shen Tonic Herbs : Rishi, Shisandra, Spirit Poria
The Not-Self questions to ask the Undefined Head:
Am I occupied with questions that don’t matter?
Am I trying to answer everybody else’s questions?
The Not-Self questions to ask the Undefined Ajna:
Are you pretending that you are mentally certain?
Are you trying to convince everyone else
that you are certain?
Are you holding on to concepts that do not serve you?
Are you rigid in your beliefs?
Fast For A Day on Fruit or Water and Write Down What Comes Up Interally.
Mini Vipassana :
Practice one or more days of total silence with or without your children. During this day make an effort to sit under a tree and open your heart and mind with an invitation to connect with the intelligence of the tree. Listen to a river, a spring, or even just the wind or rain. If your in a city, try to go to park and just listen to birds and sounds of nature as much as possible. Also refrain from addictive habits
such as TV, Computers, Music, Addictive Foods, sugars, salts, fats, coffee etc.
When Guadalupe left her home in Bolivia, she hoped she would find a better life for her family. She settled on the outskirts of Arica, a major port in the north of Chile on the border with Peru, where she lives with her husband and three children.
But they do not have electricity, running water, or even a ceiling.
“The fridge doesn’t work,” she said, as the hot desert sun shone through the open roof. “And here’s where we do the dishes,” she added, pointing to a bucket of brown water.
A decrepit couch, a rusted stroller, and torn-up Chilean flags sat outside her front door, in a makeshift encampment on the fringes of the Atacama desert, the driest place on earth outside of Antarctica.
Her next door neighbour, Maura who, like Guadalupe, asked that her last name be omitted, for security reasons also fled Bolivia, with the same dreams.
“I came here looking for work,” she said. “But we still can’t afford a place to live.”
According to Un Techo para Chile, an NGO that lobbies the government to build housing for the poor its name means “A roof for Chile” more than 36,000 families live in encampments across the country, without basic access to water and electricity. The vast majority of residents are foreign nationals.
Chile’s migrant population has doubled within the last five years, climbing to nearly 500,000 documented foreign-born residents. The government expects the number to double again within the next decade.
The swelling has been widely attributed to the country’s booming mining economy and growing labor market, which has attracted people from all over Latin America, in search of what’s been dubbed the Chilean Dream. Chile is the richest country in South America, by gross domestic product per capita; land-locked Bolivia, which shares a border with it, is the poorest.
“Their dream is financial stability, social stability, and sometimes emotional stability,” said Javiera Cerda, a migrant outreach worker for Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes in Arica.
Cerda helps new immigrants begin their adjustment to life in Chile, working to get them access to housing and health care. However, the country’s strict migration policy still governed by legislation enacted by the Pinochet dictatorship, which viewed migration as a threat to national security has made it difficult for migrants to cross legally.
In fact, the difficulties of entering the country legally drive countless people to do so illegally, through the desert. However, here they are met with a far more dangerous remnant of the Pinochet dictatorship: swaths of land mines.
“Two years ago there was a considerable amount of rainfall and it overflowed the river and the landmines spread,” said Cerda. “The government doesn’t know where they are anymore.”
More than 120 unlucky people have tripped these mines, with more than 30 killed, most recently in February of this year when a Peruvian man took a wrong step trying to enter the country. Two of Cerda’s clients are survivors of landmine explosions. Both lost a leg in the accident.
“I don’t think has made any progress removing the mines,” she said. “I don’t think they care.”
There are more than 36,0000 families living in camps across all of Chile, like this one (Photo by Jon Hernandez)
But people are willing to die to get into Chile. And some Chileans don’t want them there.
One of them is Andrs Montero, a conservative columnist and radio host based in the capital Santiago. “If you want to live in a country, you cannot run over the mountains, evading the police,” he said. “You have to do it through the proper way, face to face.”
Montero has used his position as a columnist for El Lbero to call for tighter controls around the country’s borders. He says there aren’t enough jobs to support the stream of unskilled workers entering Chile, which is contributing to a housing crisis.
“I am not against immigration,” he added. “I’m in favor of immigration, but it has to be rationally implemented.”
Some have reacted more extremely to the influx of migrants.
In Antofagasta, a major northern mining town, people have demonstrated against a recent surge of Colombians. Violent street fights have erupted.
“Immigrants live in certain neighborhoods when they first come, and their customs are very different from Chileans, so the culture clash is significant,” said Benjamin Parra, the president of the Organization of Colombian Residents in Antofagasta.
The number of encampments in Antofagasta has risen from four to 50 in the last four years, according to Parra. The municipal government tried to curb the growth of camps last September, when mayor Karen Rojo called for the mass evictions of 26 settlements across the town.
“What are you going to do with 3,400 families? You can’t throw them into the ocean.”
But with no plan to relocate the residents, the move was heavily criticized by local activists, most notably Father Felipe Berrios.
“What are you going to do with 3,400 families? You can’t throw them into the ocean,” Berrios, who works with Un Techo para Chile, said. “You can’t make poverty disappear.”
“We were very close to making encampments disappear in Antofagasta, but then the earthquake hit the south in 2010, and all the money destined for social housing was funnelled there,” he said.
Berrios voluntarily moved into La Chimba, one of the original encampments in Antofagasta. It was built illegally on a dry hillside on the edge of town, and taps into the local energy grid, stealing power from the city. He tries hard to make it a comfortable place to live, and has even introduced a set of rules, including no drinking and no loud music after dark.
There’s a makeshift daycare, a small library, and even a waiting list to get in. The only thing people have to pay for is water.
“I’m happy and proud to live in a place like this,” said Helena Vazquez, a Peruvian migrant who’s lived in La Chimba for three years. She runs a mini-convenience store in the camp, and is in charge of looking after her street at night.
“My dream was to have my own house, something that in my country I couldn’t dream about,” she said.
“I found peace here.”
This Article is from : ViceNews.com
“A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question . . . Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t it is of no use.”
― Carlos Castaneda
Today I am honored to announce episode number one of the new series “The Fire From Within. ” Teachings from Don Juan. Many people I have encountered on the path of self knowledge and discovery have benifited from the books of Carlos Casteneda at one point or another. However especially as of late, I feel they are underrated or forgot about. I have decided to title the series after the first book of Carlos’s that I read at a very young age. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I do.
Sugarcane grows only in warmer climates, with Florida claiming the crown as the top domestic producer (runners-up include Hawaii, Louisiana, and Texas). Florida’s crop is concentrated in several counties around Lake Okeechobee, right at the northern tip of the magnificent wetland ecosystem of the Everglades. . A few billionaires are holding Florida hostage to profit schemes based on shifting their pollution onto the backs of taxpayers; in this case, wrecking billions of dollars of coastal real estate and tourism-based businesses to keep sugar fields dry.
Diverting the water
Since the latter half of the 19th century, developers have been interested in draining the swamps of southern Florida for development purposes, but the draining of the Everglades didn’t really get under way until the federal government became involved in the 1940s.
In 1948, Congress approved the Central and South Florida Project, which authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to divert all of the water flowing south out of Lake Okeechobee. Over the next 20 years, a webwork of canals, levees, and roads constructed by the Corps diverted water to farms and populated areas. Some 1,800 miles of canals and levees, 200 water-control structures, and 16 major pumping stations were eventually constructed that drained 1.7 million acres of wetlands, almost half of the Everglades.
Plantations alternately hold or flood water according to the crop’s needs, not the Everglades’ needs. Deprived of the historical water flow from Lake Okeechobee, sometimes the wetlands bordering the agricultural area are unnaturally dry, and sometimes they’re too wet, which threatens biodiversity. You may have seen some of these issues in the news recently, as just last year Florida officials killed a deal to buy swathes of sugar company-owned land for Everglades conservation.
The effects on the Everglades were devastating. According to the National Park Service (http://www.nps.gov/ever/historyculture/ developeverglades.htm),
The numbers of wading birds, such as egrets, herons, and ibises, have been reduced by 90%. Entire populations of animals, including the manatee, the Cape Sable seaside sparrow, the Miami black-headed snake, the wood stork, and the Florida panther, are at risk of disappearing. Exotic pest plants such as melaleuca, Brazilian pepper, and Australian pine have invaded natural areas, choking out native plants and altering habitats. Massive die-offs of seagrass beds in Florida Bay have been followed by the extensive losses of wading birds, fish, shrimp, sponges, and mangroves.
In other words, utter environmental ruin. Even though there were stipulations in the Central and South Florida Project to provide water for the remaining Everglades and to protect the wildlife within, they could not have done a more thorough job of destroying the ecosystem if that had been their goal.
Central planning simply cannot replace the natural cycles that occur in nature. Just as in the pricing system, there is too much information involved for a central planner to process to get the result he is looking for.
As happens in so many places where agriculture butts up against nature, excess phosphorus in run-off contributes to algal blooms and otherwise mucks up the area’s ecological balance — in this case, feeding weedy plants like cattails and choking out native species like sawgrass. This kind of nutrient pollution can be traced back to several human sources, but a recent analysis by the nonprofit Everglades Foundation found that 76 percent of the phosphorus problem there comes from agriculture — and in that neck of the woods, that primarily means sugarcane.
The sugar industry
In addition to directly destroying the Everglades through drainage and interference with Everglades hydrology, the government also harms the Everglades through its trade policy.
The U.S. sugar industry is one of the most heavily subsidized sectors of the U.S. economy. Sugarcane growers are protected from international competition by quotas and aided domestically by nonrecourse loans. In 1994, it was estimated that the top 10 sugar producers in Florida received approximately $174 million in federal benefits.
Most people would be surprised to learn that, south of Orlando, a large portion of the country’s sugar is grown below Lake Okeechobee. The sugar industry is largely responsible for the deterioration of the Everglades.
Of the 1.7 million acres created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through the Central and South Florida Project, 1.2 million are currently being used for the cultivation of sugar cane.
Sugar cane is highly destructive to the Everglades. As discussed above, the most detrimental effect of the sugar industry is the disruption of the water cycle to which the wildlife has adapted. The entire Florida sugar industry hugs the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee like a giant tick, directly blocking the water source for the remaining Everglades. All water flow is now controlled through levees and canals, with a large portion of it being used for irrigating sugar cane, with more being diverted to both of Florida’s coasts.
The farming techniques that the sugar farms employ are not very Everglades-friendly. The largest pollutant of the Everglades is phosphorous, a primary component of fertilizer used to grow sugar cane. High levels of phosphorous cause algae blooms to multiply, which chokes off the oxygen supply in marine ecosystems, killing off vast quantities of wildlife. The primary source of phosphorous in the Everglades is fertilizer runoff from sugar-cane production. The soil of southern Florida is not ideal for sugar production, and the farms must use large doses fertilizer to get the results they are looking for.
As you suspect, sugarcane grown elsewhere is no lighter on the land. Globally, sugarcane production is linked to high water use, water and soil pollution, erosion, and biodiversity loss throughout the tropics, and pre-harvest burning of the fields accounts for sugar’s largest carbon footprint. And with imported sugar, we also have to consider the food miles we’re racking up.
These corporations are run because we buy their products. If we stop and demand change, they will.