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Solving the Conundrum: Saving the World - GOOD NEWS EDITION

How we can get back to work while minimizing our pollution will be our challenge when this pandemic eases

Dear One,

Sat Nam (I acknowledge the supreme good in you).  It may seem odd that in the middle of a virus pandemic, you are receiving good news, but this is no joke.  Read on.

Sweet Oil (Or As Sweet As It Gets) - If you don't drive or read the news, you may not have noticed that oil prices have sunk to their lowest level in years.  Why?  When the government of Saudi Arabia is flooding the world market with cheap Saudi oil.

Why is that a good thing?  The oil in Saudi Arabia is called "sweet light oil."  It requires very little refining compared with the kind of "heavy" oils found in Russia or the "tar sands" of Alberta.  This makes it much less polluting than these alternatives.  There is still the carbon cost of transporting oil from Saudi Arabia to markets where it is needed and emitting it into the atmosphere, but overall, emissions from Saudi oil are among the lowest in the world.  Plus, who is driving these days anyway?

Climate Emergency Anthem - It has been three months since my last climate broadcast when I floated the idea of creating an anthem to draw people together around our climate crisis.  Much has happened since then.

Early in January, talented musician Karina Skye, whom I met at a Winter Solstice yoga gathering in Florida the year before, agreed to pitch in, filling our need for an authentic Brazilian and English hip hop artist.  A couple of weeks later, Zimfira Poloz, currently the director of the Hamilton Children's Choir, expressed interest in joining us and helping us find a choir.

After a quiet February, this month we had two breakthroughs.  Thomas Barquee agreed to be our arranger, producer, and engineer.  Thomas has done a number of albums with Snatam Kaur and others.  We are really lucky to have him with us.  Then, finally Zimfira was able to find us a choir.  The Toronto Beaches Youth and Children's Choir, directed by Bronwen Low-Scott is keen to work with us.  Our projection is that as the current epidemic eases, we will start fund-raising and get to work.  You can find more news about our anthem at gurufathasingh.com/anthem

Pollution is Down - Everywhere, with less flying, less driving, less factories spewing emissions into the air and water, pollution is down.  It is remarkable that during the peak of the virus emergency in China some thousands of people died of the pandemic, but even more people did not die from air pollution, traditionally one of the major unseen killers not only in China, but in every industrialized country in the world.

How we can get back to work while minimizing our pollution will be our challenge when this pandemic eases.  Hopefully, with all this down time, we can come up with creative solutions.

Finding Grace in the States - In some ways, the United States is the harshest country on Earth.  In terms of wealth inequality, it is one of the worst.  It has more people in its prisons than any other country.  The US is one of a handful of countries that does not require employers to provide paid time off for employees.  It is also the only major industrialized country without universal healthcare for its citizens.  It is also the world's biggest generator of carbon emissions.  I am not a fan.

The current pandemic has not only shut down US industry, thereby reducing its carbon emissions.  Americans are also being given free testing and treatment for the virus, which is a tentative step in the direction of a health care system that looks after everybody.  Like in other countries, the American government today is providing social assistance, though significantly less than other countries, to its citizens during this time of job losses.

Why is this important and how does it affect the global environment?  Here is what I see.  The prevailing attitude in the US has been that a person is valued by what they do.  If someone is unemployed and poor, they have no value.  Americans seem to be warming up to the idea that everyone has value and no one should be left vulnerable and uncared-for.  Maybe even they should even be provided a guaranteed basic annual income.  This is a precious watermark for a society that has long been a bellicose champion of might makes right.  We can hope that this slight softening can translate into equitable human rights policies, less warmongering, and an active role in the international effort to mitigate climate change.  Let us pray.     

I hope you can enjoy your time off.  Meditate.  Play.  Be thankful.

Love to all!  Peace to all!  Life to all!

In the Name of the Cosmos that prevails through everyBODY, and the Holy Nam which holds the world.

Humbly yours,
Guru Fatha Singh Khalsa
http://www.gurufathasingh.com
Phone:  416.888.8535

Twitter: @GuruFatha

Now is the time!

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