Can we be “over-connected”?

The connected world

The connected world

The arrival of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) marks a major watershed in the global consumer economy. Internet connections will be built into a massive quantity of new products, from air conditioners to light bulbs and security alarms. These will all be controlled through apps and websites, and feed data into the cloud. Start ups specialized in home automation, established consumer electronics giants, and large Silicon Valley-based tech companies are all poised for a huge battle over this new consumer space, sometimes also referred to as the “Connected Life” market.

A report from BI Intelligence, recently examined the forces and numbers driving growth in the consumer Internet of Things or IoT, including the mind-boggling numbers for total market size. It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of the Internet of Things because it will come to encompass all manner of products we don’t normally think of as high-tech, such as UV-filtering window shades and door locks.

Here are some of the top findings:

  • Defining the Internet of Things: It’s helpful to think about IoT devices as a new device category or layer that exists as the connective tissue between the formerly static non-connected world, and the world of PCs, tablets, and smart phones. For example, a connected washer and dryer unit can report energy usage and cycle settings to a smart phone app.

 

  • The size of the opportunity: Machina defines “Connected Life Market Revenue” as the sum of all of the revenue accruing from the sale of connected devices and all related services. They see revenue ballooning to $2.5 trillion by 2020.

  • How can it be so large? Many consumer categories are crossing into the IoT: These include kitchen and home appliances, lighting and heating products, and insurance company-issued car monitoring devices that allow motorists to pay insurance only for the amount of driving they do.

  • Large manufacturers are already making big plays: These include LG, the Korean manufacturer of home entertainment systems and appliances and Friedrich, maker of AC units.

  • Start ups are making a grab for this market too: SmartThings has built its entire business model around easily deployable sensors, monitors, and apps that allow consumers to run everything in their home through their smartphone. It raised a $3 million seed round late last year. We also expect companies such as Apple, Google, and others to get more involved.


DO YOU REALLY NEED IT?

If you’re like me, you’ll ask the question “how does all this inter-connectivity benefit our lives? The simple answer is that for most of us, it doesn’t. But for the companies who continually vie for more data and more details on where we live and how, they stand to reap the rewards by learning details about our usage patterns that they previously had no access to. At a time when most rational people are trying to find ways to unplug and free themselves from our already insanely connected life, I personally fail to find any benefit with my refrigerator sending details about the frequency of the door opening or it’s contents to the mother ship. Sorry that’s just me. In fact, I question all the seemingly useless connections and apps that are marketed to all of us in the attempt to make us believe we cant live without it. Life was simpler 20 years ago. You could leave work and spend time with your family and build a family unit. Instead, today we are available, working and being summoned by a wide range of people and systems 24/7, which only serves to remove time from our family life.

I do use and enjoy technology. I just try to determine the features and benefits prior to using or downloading it. In fact, about once a month I will comment on some new technology that actually benefits my life, but always seem to find myself saying, I could still live without it.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic, I would enjoy hearing from you about your personal position on being connected.

Technology is great, but…

Ever wonder where the information you are reading comes from? Has it ever occurred to you that you really do not know? I spend a lot of time doing research and I try to cover a wide range of sources to gather facts. It is not easy since much of the data comes from the web and there is virtually no hard and fast way to confirm that the data you read on the web is 100% factual. This raises all sorts of questions. People are attached to their mobile device 24/7 and are sharing enormous amounts of information each second of each day without confirming authority. I’m not talking about kitten videos or talking oranges!

Is it possible that much of what we read on the web is false? If this is true, then what does it say for our future? Where does it lead the millions of people who are learning things that are false? Years ago, to be published, you had to have verifiable data to back up your claims. It was typically vetted by numerous people. Even the press had certain standards before they published news stories. Now we see fabrications being published on Fox, CNN and CNBC every day.

FACT: First developed by researchers at MIT, who wrote a script that would go out onto the Internet and grab data on a specific subject and then re assemble the data into official looking science papers complete with peer reviewed acknowledgements and a high ranking scientist authors. The script would then automatically re-write and re-publish these fake papers and post them all over the web.

If this was done back in 2005, what on earth is possible today? The embarrassing lapse was exposed by French computer scientist Cyril Labbe of the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble. He also spotted more than 100 other “nonsense” papers unwittingly published by the New York-based Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the journal Nature reported.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-02-science-publisher-gibberish-papers.html#jCp

It’s no secret that scientists have ego’s and they all want to share what they have learned and be acknowledged for their work. Still, there are thousands of examples of fraudulent information being released for two things. Notoriety and money. Since Global warming began it has fueled a heated debate. First that it was a lie and within just 10 years became the subject of billions in study grants. Follow the money, it always leads to the human condition. Fast forward from 2005 to 2013 and we are now in the troughs of the topic of Global Climate Change and the many recent news reports from the IPCC and others of glacial loss, sea level rise, increase storm activity and agricultural catastrophe. Arguments still abound on the cause, but it is happening and will affect us all. We are going to see a lot more changes in the way the Earth treats us, but for many of us who have been paying attention, this is not new. There are many things we can do to mitigate our own personal risk.  I suggest starting with a few informative documentaries.

Ethos, and I Am are both very well done and each tells a different story of what we all face and what we should be prepared for without over reacting to doomsday.

ETHOS tells of the fragile foundation the worlds financial system is built on and the dangers of over consumption and debt. Two topics I have been speaking about for seven years. Far too many people are being influenced by mass media trickery and can’t seem to pull away from the negative energy that will certainly be their demise. I sold 90% of my possession in 2009 and have been light ever since. There is much freedom in that. Learning about Aquaponics, clean water and various energy sources will serve me and enable me to care for my children in the future.

I Am, explains how each living thing on Earth (as well as in the universe) is connected through a powerful hidden field of energy. How the disruption of community came to be and the toxic nature of competition and how it is unraveling socio-economic balance. Both of these films can be found on Netflix and You Tube. Tom Shadyac a producer of many leading box office comedies found himself faced with a debilitating condition that lead him to ask a few philosophical questions which changed his life.  Tom takes us on a journey that teaches and inspires us to what really matters in the world and how everything we do as individuals does “affect” the entire world. Again, something near to my heart.

So although science is awesome and progress is good, we all need to embrace more of the  Ethnosphere and how we are all connected to it. Just like the sun is the key to our planets heartbeat, (and may be connected of all our weather and earthquakes) so to is the human heartbeat the connection to the Earth and everything on it.

Milky Way’s Magnetic Field Mapped

If the Milky Way were one giant magnet, sprinkling iron filings around it would trace the galaxy’s magnetic field. Scientists have found a more practical way to map the field using the Planck telescope. Planck measured the polarization of microwave light that permeates space. When light is polarized, its electric fields all point in the same direction. Light reflecting off interstellar dust grains becomes polarized in the direction the grains are aligned; that direction, in turn, is steered by the galaxy’s magnetic field. Planck’s map, reported in four papers posted May 5 at ArXiv.org, shows the entire sky with a dark band through the center representing the plane of the galaxy. Darker shading reflects more-polarized light. The lines mark the direction of the magnetic field. The galactic magnetic field is about 100 million times as weak as a refrigerator magnet, and yet it may be crucial to the formation of stars. The field map is also important for understanding the polarization of the cosmic microwave background, the flash of light emitted 380,000 years after the Big Bang, which the BICEP2 team recently used to see gravitational waves from the primordial universe (SN: 4/5/14, p. 6).

Now a little more about science and what people know and do not know about it.

Take the origin of the universe question. Asked if the universe began with a big explosion, 39 percent of Americans polled (in 2012) said yes. But if you said “according to astronomers, the universe began with a big explosion,” the correct response rate jumped to 60 percent.

It’s well-known, of course, that the phrasing of a question can greatly influence polling results, which is one of the reasons why all such surveys should be evaluated skeptically. So it might be a good idea to rethink the relationship between polling questions and the scientific knowledge that members of the public really ought to have. Is it really necessary for the ordinary citizen to understand cosmologists’ consensus on the universe’s origins, or how lasers work? Well, maybe not. But pollsters point out that such questions are merely meant to be indicators of broader comprehension of science and its principles. Trumpeting concerns about ignorance on any specific question misses the point. It’s the more general understanding and appreciation of science and its methods that’s really important — and that really should be the emphasis of general science education.

In fact, I’d contend that the problem with science education is not that it fails to inculcate enough facts, but that it tries to inculcate too many. Science classes in high school and intro classes in college seem to be taught as though everyone needed preparation to pursue a Ph.D. Seriously, calculating solubility constants in high school chemistry classes is about as useful as teaching drivers’ ed students how to maneuver an F-16 fighter jet. Important general principles that could (and should) be retained for a lifetime are diluted to the point of homeopathic impotence by a flood of excessive technical detail. Same hold true for  a basic understanding of fiscal knowledge. Our current youth have no idea how destructive debt and consumption will be in their life.

This science topic was inspired by the physicist Richard Feynman’s famous remarks on the one sentence about science that would be most important to pass down to future generations.

He said “All things are made of atoms — little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.” Everybody should know that much about science.

And here are a few more basics that are useful to know.

  1. Science successfully explains natural phenomena through rational investigation and logical reasoning rather than by recourse to superstition and mysticism.
  2. When scientific disputes arise, the ultimate arbiter is not expert authority or common sense but experimental evidence, guided by theory.
  3. Scientific theories are not “guesses” but are logi­cally rigorous attempts to explain the observed facts of nature and to predict the results of new observations.
  4. When a theory’s predictions are confirmed, it becomes an essential tool in the further practice of science, but even good theories may someday be superseded by theories more comprehensive or more accurate. In other words, we never know as much as we think!
  5. The universe is vast and old, with our sun only one of bil­lions of stars in a local galaxy, joined by billions of similar galaxies occupying the depths of space beyond.
  6. Life has changed over the eons, with complex creatures evolving from simpler precursors, and human beings therefore occupy one branch of an immense fam­ily tree of living organisms — all sharing attractor fields, and a common molecular machinery driving basic life processes.
  7. As Einstein demonstrated, conceptions of time and space based on everyday life don’t apply accurately to all speeds and all realms of space.
  8. The microworld of the atom, and realms even smaller, obey “quantum” laws completely at odds with common sense, and notions of cause and effect and the very nature of reality are inherently blurred on that scale. ( I like to call these “God’s Laws” that we still know very little about )
  9. The way a thing works is often influenced by its connections to other things and the ways that they work, a principle that applies to everything from the networks of cells in the brain and the body’s other organs, to ecological and economic systems, to human interactions and social institutions. ( Yes it’s all very complex and there is beauty in that )
  10. Little is certain in science but much is highly probable, and the proper quantification of probabilities is essential for inferring facts, drawing conclusions and formulating sound judgments.

Finally for me, I think we all need to stop arguing about things we don’t yet understand, and instead focus our attention on how we can work together to solve the glaring problems of our world like war, famine and greed.

Be well everyone.

Could Global Warming trend be over?

The sun is a major factor in our solar system and literally affects everything here on Earth. I’ve been watching a growing number of bright minds talk about  the sun and how it affects how we live, but they don’t get much airtime due to the vast number of stories about C02, Global Warming and ice melt. The video below is a guy who has been watching the sun for a long time and I think worth sharing for those of us who enjoy research.

Warming or cooling, our food supply is no less in jeopardy. A full thirty % of land in the U.S. is used to grow corn. The reason? Well, multinational corporations are finding new ways to use corn that never used to exist before. For one example: The majority of cows raised for the beef industry are now raised on corn. Unfortunately, before they raced ahead in an attempt to grow them bigger and faster, no one stopped to find out if it made sense. Truth is, it doesn’t make sense because the cows digestive system is not designed to digest corn. Increase in eColi anyone?

More corn, more sugar shit for the masses. Few realize that high fructose corn syrup is in 90% of all food on store shelves and is made from chemicals and corn.

TRUE: The FDA conducted over 50,000 food inspections annually in 1970. In 2007 they did less than 9,000.

TRUE: There used to be over one thousand slaughterhouses in the U.S. and now there are only 13

Faster, Fatter, Bigger Cheaper – that is the corporate moto for growing food to feed a growing population. This equates to no accountability and no integrity of our food supply. Bad food means more sickness. More illness means more need for healthcare. More healthcare means politics takes over. Sound familiar?

TRUE: In 1996, Two % of all soybeans had the genetically modified patented gene inside

TRUE: In 2008, Eighty % of all soybeans have it

Monsanto has 75 full time attorneys protecting their seed patents and countless teams of investigators harassing farmers who choose not to use their GMO seeds.

The US Government has passed bills to prevent anyone from posting a disparaging picture or text comment about the food production, cattle ranchers or slaughterhouses controlling our food supply.

If you havnt rented Food Inc. you should. Some things we all should be aware of.

Now for the “sun part” Some scientists agree the climate change patterns may be shifting due to the significant changes in the sun’s solar activity. We may be starting to cool off and Global Warming may be near its cyclic end. That’s said, Climate extremes may be here to stay and may actually get worse. More reason to learn how to grow healthy organic food Aquaponically. 

SEE VIDEO

California drought and food supply

By now everyone with a TV or mobile device is aware of the challenges facing California due to the extensive drought. However, I’m not sure everyone in America understands how it affects them. As conditions worsen by the day, policy makers and local residents are actually arguing about protecting some rare fish instead of diverting water from reservoirs and canals to the agricultural regions that need it most. Additionally from my research only two new Desalinization plants are currently under construction at a hefty cost to tax payers. Why is it that Australia can figure it out and California cannot? Australia has the first wind powered desalinization plant.

Wind Powered Water

Wind Powered Water

Are coastal residents so ignorant that they would vote down an efficient wind turbine that would deliver all the clean water they could need for a lifetime simply because they think it’s unsightly and affects their ocean view? Priorities rarely seem to mesh with logic anytime emotion is at play.

 

California is one of the biggest suppliers of fruits, vegetables and nuts to the United States. In fact 82% of the world’s Almond supply comes from California. Expect prices to double at the very least. A recent report by industry expert stated the following. “The less obvious consequences of how climate change may affect the nation indirectly through shifts affecting the Southwest, given that Southwestern states produce more than half of specialty fruit, nuts and vegetables for the U.S., and more than half of the nation’s shipping container traffic comes in through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. All of these conditions, particularly those in mid to Northern California, where a large percentage of U.S. food is produced, have implications far beyond the state. The drought’s effects will ripple far beyond the fields. Consumers can expect tighter supplies and higher prices for most fruits and vegetables by summer. And farm suppliers will feel the pinch. “We’re in the middle of what potentially is looking like a huge catastrophe,” said Ryan Jacobsen, chief executive of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. “We’re looking at some very harsh realities, as far as water allocations.”

Flushing toilets only once a day, as one member of the audience suggested, certainly does help, the panelists agreed, but efforts to cut back on residential water use only go so far given that “agriculture consumes almost 80 percent of the water in our region.” This has been a driver for the Aquaponic community since Aquaponics is very water wise and uses 90% less water than soil farming. Large commercial Aquaponic farms are being converted from soil farms in an attempt to stay alive. This drought is causing farmers to look for solutions and Aquaponics is a major solution. The drought causes a wide range of negative effects and the obvious ones are; loss of jobs, economic degradation, and significant property value decline. What is a house worth when nothing comes from the faucet?

Fire Danger Earlier in 2014.

“It’s unprecedented for us to do this in January,” said Battalion Chief Mike Giannini, whose Marin County Fire Department is one of the first to be called upon to send aid north. “We’ve sent crews this early in the year in the past to Southern California, because their fire season never seems to end,” Giannini said. “But not up there. Not to places like Humboldt, which has coastal, high-humidity, forested types of conditions we would normally equate with low fire danger.”

Together these spell problems for the nation’s largest state, 40 million people, and 4th largest economy in the world. Let’s hope and pray they get their priorities worked out and please let’s all pray for rain and a much needed summer El Nino`for all our sake.

The Distraction Era

For five years my business partner and I worked hard to help a lot of people through the financial crisis. I remember having a conversation with Mel (my partner) around Christmas 2009 when we talked about the current cycle and how long it would last. Around that time I began to do research into what would be the next stage of my career and how I would earn a living once the real estate market recovered and our client base shrunk. It wasn’t until late 2011 when I realized that we as a society had a lot of pressing issues that really needed to be addressed. I found enormous amounts of data on various subjects that would eventually lead us all to a path of no return. At that time I gave though to the fact that there was nothing I could do about these “macro” issues. But I still felt a responsibility to learn. Brushing aside all the conspiracy theories and people “selling” fear in books and seminars, and weeding through volumes of data and reports from credible sources, I found myself a little depressed. It seemed so obvious to me. Why were only a few people paying any attention to the signs of what was just around the corner? I brushed it aside temporarily and watched for another two years to see if it would really worsen or perhaps change for the better. After all, I have always believed that the Earth would just do what it was going to do. It ebb’s and flows and would always do just that. The question was always how that ebbing would affect 7 billion people. One of the biggest issues seemed to be the food supply and agriculture.

I looked at a variety of businesses from high end tattoo studio’s, smoothie bars with real fruit instead of ice and syrup, coffee cafes and even E-Cigarette Vapor lounges. Mel my partner, has since opened a Vapor lounge and she is doing very well. I could not see myself selling E-cigs to people day in and day out. For me the money was secondary to the work, and my work had to have meaning. I also never liked being beholden to others. I prefer to be in control of my own destiny. That was hard to find in a business model. Fast forward two years and the information that I came across then was much more prevalent now, and far more “dire”. I watched daily as the mainstream media peddles insignificant news to millions of people. The level of nonsense was overwhelming. Pushing news primarily dealing with three topics: Politics, sports and entertainment. Benghazi, the draft, or who won or lost last nights game and why; and who was voted off Dancing with the stars, The Voice, or American Idol. Add to that the newest and greatest mobile device that everyone “has to have”, as if it will make their life any better. I walk through the super market and listen to people. I go to Starbucks, or to dinner and listen to people. I’d hear nothing with any real value. Turn on the radio, if you don’t hear an advertisement trying to sell you something, or convince you to move your 401k, then you hear the DJ saying you need to buy your car from X dealer because they did. Are people in denial or are they totally immune to the issues that surround them and will greatly affect them and their children in a short period of time?

I realize that the majority of people have trouble with change, but I never realized how many people live in “complete ignorance” to what is going on around them. Geologist worldwide have been, and continue to, sound the alarms all over the globe. We are at a tipping point and there is nothing we can do about what comes next. In 1972 scientists warned us of the hole in the ozone layer of the Earth and we took steps to remove the CFC’s fairly quickly and the hole healed itself (for the most part). That was easy compared with what is happening today. While many argue over what is causing the climate change and the dramatic warming of the polar regions, no one disputes it. It is happening and it is accelerating.

I recently posted a video that summarizes very accurately what is happening today. I posted it and emailed it to hundreds of people. Other than a few responses no one said anything. This post is a chronicle to the seriousness of the issues that will soon threaten our daily routines. We have 2-5 years before everyone will be very surprised! Don’t take my word for it, there are many people much smarter than I all saying the same thing. Here is One Example.

At this point the best option for each of us is to begin planning for your own independent sources of food water and energy. Planning where you want your 12 year old to go to college is foolish. Sorry, to appear negative, but this is true. There has already been a 1.5 inch rise in sea levels since 2002 so Fl and the LA will have serious issues and millions will be forced to move within the next 5 years. This is just one issue that by itself will cause a ripple effect. In New Orleans the government has spent 14 billion building a sea wall 6 miles out, hoping to protect the city from future Katrina-like storms. It helped a lot of people with work and a paycheck, but it will do nothing to the escalating storms that will come as a result of increase in precipitation. Educate yourself a little with this VIDEO

Global Methane

Global temp anomalies

Ocean Heat chart

As more heat comes from the sea which covers 70% of the Earth, so then the precipitation increases which then increases the amount of moisture that is collected and dumped from the atmosphere when it rains. Record rain fall has been increasing for the last 10 years and it causes major floods and displaces tens of thousands if not millions. We’ve watched storms increase their intensity for 10 years and this cycle is only going to get worse.

Climate change is one of dozens of issues facing our future. As of March 2014, Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan is still melting down and the 4th reactor has melted through the concrete floor barriers and is leaking high level radioactivity deep into the water table below the plant. This ground water ends up leaching into the Pacific Ocean. Elevated radiation levels have been measured in marine life in Seattle and San Diego.  Marine life is a perfect transmitter. The smallest creatures absorb the most toxins and they are then eaten by larger marine life and so on up the food chain. By the time the large 4 foot Tuna eats the 1 foot Mackerel the toxins increase 50-100 fold. News of massive die off of plankton and the cascading affect of algae growth is a big topic. Just Google China’s Algae bloom.

Marine Life Eco System

At this point, a main source of food has been removed by the Fukushima disaster and will affect millions of people worldwide. We still don’t know the full extent of the disaster. Some claim that this will cause a mass extinction within 10 years from the  Caesium-134/137 which causes cancer in very small amounts and has since been detected in air and water around the world. Obviously exposure to low levels of these toxins will react differently in all people depending on their age and immune system. Nevertheless, the toxins are not good for anyone at any levels.

A report from the Huffington Post on March 7th 2014 warned of cascading system failures due to climate change driven events. “From roads and bridges to power plants and gas pipelines, American infrastructure is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, according to a pair of government reports released Thursday”.

Full article here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/climate-change-effects_n_4914116.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

I’m not trying to freak anyone out. I’m simply trying to get people to wake up a little and take notice and begin their own research into these issues so they can begin planning for their future. We owe our children the truth of what they face and knowledge to work through it. Knowledge is power and will give them the ability to be resourceful when they need to be. I am currently working with my children on three things. 1. Aquaponic farming so they can grow their own organic food. 2. Rain water capture and filtration. 3. Various types of radiant heating and Solar power.

No one knows when their time is up, and I for one do not worry about dying. I have lived a wonderful life. For some reason, I have a desire to help people, help themselves and until I grow tired of that, I will keep trying even when laughed at or ignored. Blessings to all who keep trying.

The increase of GMO’s in our food

A recent series titled Food for Thought on the Huffington Post blog explored some common secrets of GMO’s that are worth sharing.

I have posted them below and also added to them in my own words.

1. Don’t mention the food waste: “We need this technology to feed to world,” is the marketing cry of the big chemical companies. In truth, they do need this technology to feed the expectations of shareholders, but it turns out that more than one-third of the food produced in the world goes to waste. That amounts to 1.3 billion tons every year, costing us economically. In this country alone, we throw away 96 billion pounds of food every year, or 27 percent of the total amount of available food. That’s 3,000 pounds of food a second. With the United Nations on record saying that we need more than just genetically engineered food tools in the toolbox, it appears what we also need is a smarter distribution model to address this waste.

2. It’s Big Razor’s playbook: Gillette will practically give away the razor to get people hooked on buying the razor blade. It’s a smart strategy for chemical companies, too. They offer the genetically engineered seed at a discount, then get farmers on the hook for buying the chemicals and suite of chemical products required to make their seeds grow. Pesticide application is up 527 million pounds since the introduction of these genetically engineered crops.

FYI…did you know that by using your regular inexpensive hair conditioner to shave your legs (woman) or face (men) that your razor will stay sharp 50% longer than buying shaving cream? TRUTH. Shaving cream actually dulls the blades faster so instead of buying another product to shave with…often a more expensive product, simply use what you already have. Your conditioner. Additionally, the more ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner the worse it is for your body and scalp. Remember, what you rub on your skin or scalp does enter the bloodstream. SAVE SOME MONEY.

3. EPA now regulates this genetically engineered corn as a pesticide. Seriously, if you had the choice on your kitchen table or at a BBQ between a corn regulated by the EPA as a pesticide and one that wasn’t, which would you choose? No brainer. We should know which one is the pesticide and which foods it is going into.

4. Pre-treated seeds doused in chemicals: It’s called an accelerating agent, and seeds are pretreated before they are ever even put in the ground. Is it any wonder that farmers using these seeds are increasingly worried about what it is doing to the quality of their soil? Monsanto owns almost all the Patents with regard to plant stress. They own 90% of all the genetically modified seeds on the planet and will eventually control the nations food supply. They own drought tolerant seeds that grow with less water and they are are now monitoring the farmers grow data. See Blog Titled  http://empoweringconsumers.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/monsantos-recent-move-to-control-farm-data/

5. Pouring on the Pesticides: The latest analysis shows that genetically engineered crops have driven up overall pesticide use across the country, contributing to a 527 million pound increase in herbicide use between 1996 and 2011. And last year alone, genetically engineered crops used 20 percent more pesticides on average than non-GE crops. Who pays for that? Farmers and the people that eat them. Who benefits? The chemical companies selling the seeds engineered to withstand these increasing doses. It goes straight to the bottom line and into the bank. Not only are the chemicals a danger, but the antibiotics in our food have increased dramatically as well. 

Antibiotics in food

Antibiotics in food

6. Patent the Chemicals as a Drug: The increasingly controversial weed killer, glyphosate, has been patented an antibiotic: Who knew that the patent had been filed? Apparently the US Patent and Trademark Office. As a growing number of farmers express concern over what this chemical is doing to their soil as headlines around the world express concern over what it is doing to humans, you have to ask yourself: given the 21st century technology we have today, is it time to make this 20thcentury, chemically intensive operating system, obsolete?

FYI – you can buy distilled white Vinegar for about $2.29 per gallon and add 20% water and use it to spray on your weeds with no harm to the soil. The weed killer Monsanto sells at your local hardware store costs $25.00 and is toxic. SAVE SOME MONEY.

7. Patents protect intellectual property: “The development of genetic engineering of plants in the 1980s was accompanied by a sequence of increasingly specific confirmations of the patentability of various types of life forms, provided that they met the standard patent criteria of novelty, utility and nonobviousness.” Nonobviousness is pretty discreet. So let’s say a pediatric cancer or autism group wanted to study if these crops and chemicals are contributing to the rates of cancer or autism. They’d have to go to Monsanto or the other big chemical companies for permission. It’s worth considering that just as Big Tobacco did before it, these chemical companies just might possibly be relying upon concealment of its documents from the public under intellectual property law to avoid liabilities and to evade regulation.

8. Technology Stewardship Agreements lock farmers into contracts for genetically engineered seeds. Want to break the contract? They’ll sue you. A farmer in Iowa is living testament to this happening. Once he realized that the details of that contract locked him into purchasing Monsanto’s suite of products for the life of the farm, it felt like a noose. When he wanted out, they made a point of showing the farming world that it wasn’t an option and sued. TRUTH…Monsanto is also involved with weather modification and as floods and storms wipe out small farmers, they buy the land and add it to their holdings. WATCH THE MOVIE HERE

9. Labels mean liability: Right now the companies using these genetically engineered foods want a ban on state labeling and are trying to stop a growing call for mandatory national labeling. Why? Because without labels, this “GMO Buyers Club” can claim that there is no evidence that these crops have ever caused any harm. And guess what? Without labels, they are right, there is no evidence. Labels would bring accountability, traceability and liability. It’s no wonder that the food industry is so allergic to labeling these genetically engineered ingredients in the United States. An allergic reaction to food sends someone to the ER once every three minutes.

Without labels on genetically engineered ingredients, the industry can claim “no evidence of harm.” Without labels, there is no traceability, accountability and liability. No way for these companies to be held accountable for the costs that they are externalizing onto society, our farmers, their farms and our economy. The food awakening is on, and the companies that are opting out of genetically engineered ingredients and willing to be transparent with the consumers are capturing market share.

I never like to tell people what to do, but I think it’s time to turn off “Dancing With The Stars” and begin learning how to farm our own food. This is the only way to ensure the quality of what we put in our bodies. As the poles continue to melt and the weather continues to accelerate, we will all be affected within the next 3-5 years. There are a lot of solutions out there if you know where to look.