Monday, November 19, 2007

Running Out of Time

I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal (as mainstream as media gets) about peak oil. The gist of the piece is that the world is not really running out of oil, but it's running out of capacity to produce more of it. As it gets more expensive to extract oil, the world keeps consuming more and more of it. So sometime soon, according to the CEOs of giant oil companies, a production plateau will be reached while consumption keeps rising. In other words, a major energy crisis is around the corner. Gone will be the days when we can fly to India whenever we want. Being in one place will become more of a necessity than a choice. Even basic things like heating and food supply may radically change.

The world is also running out of balanced weather. While it's been good to Al Gore (he won half the Nobel Peace Prize this year for his film about it), global warming will not be good for mother earth. Severe weather, floods and droughts are expected to increase. And it's not just a result of carbon emissions from machinery and transportation that accounts for it. The methane produced by the billions of domestic animals raised to slaughter each year, i've been told, produces more carbon gases than automobile exhausts do. (All those cows, pigs and chickens eat a lot and pee, shit and fart a lot before they are killed.) So the culture of animal slaughter that has now become globalized, has helped create the climate crisis. That connection between global warming and animal concentration camps is something Al Gore should think about.

The dollar is so weak now, one British pound costs more than $2.20 in dollars. It's around $1.50 for a Euro. The President of Iran wants to stop pegging oil to the dollar, which he called "a useless piece of paper." For the first time that i remember, the Canadian dollar is worth more than a buck. In India, the dollar is below 40 rupees, an exchange rate that is the lowest since the rupee was deregulated. If your money is in dollars, as mine is, you're running out of money.

But the most important problem facing the world today is the same one that has faced the planet since time immemorial. We're running out of time. "Time I am, destroyer of all worlds," says Bhagavan Sri Krishna in the Gita. This simple paradigm means that even if we can fix our self-created global energy, climate, money problems, we cannot fix the God-created time problem. This daivi prakriti, divine energy, is impossible to overcome, Krishna tells us, unless we do something more radical than fixing another material problem with external adjustments. We need to accept that He is the real essence behind everything, including our lives and our consciousness. Moving towards Him, we need to stop trying to run away from time. No one can get away from time and no one can keep time. The nine processes of bhakti, focused on hearing and chanting, are the only ways to let go of time, oil, money and hold on to sanity. It may be difficult, but it's the only sane solution.

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