Why does the sun shine? A random result of coalescing gases igniting nuclear fusion? Or is it in order to give its light and warmth to Life? Why does the rain fall? Is it the senseless product of blind chemical processes of evaporation and condensation? Or is it to water life? Why do you seek to pour forth your song? Is it to show off your genetic fitness to attract a mate, or is it to contribute to a more beautiful world? We may fear those first answers but it is the second that carries the ring of truth. Read More
This essay was delivered as a commencement address at the University of California–Berkeley School of Public Health on May 17, 2015. Reflecting on events spanning from 1990 to 1999 to 2015, when I gave my first, second, and third commencement talks at the school, I discuss four notable features of our present era and offer five insights for ensuring that health equity be the guiding star to orient us all. The four notable features are: (1) growing recognition of the planetary emergency of global climate change; (2) almost daily headlines about armed conflicts and atrocities; (3) growing public awareness of and debate about epic levels of income and wealth inequalities; and (4) growing activism about police killings and, more broadly, “Black Lives Matter.” The five insights are: (1) public health is a public good, not a commodity; (2) the “tragedy of the commons” is a canard; the lack of a common good is what ails us; (3) good science is not enough, and bad science is harmful; (4) good evidence—however vital—is not enough to change the world; and (5) history is vital, because we live our history, embodied. Our goal: a just and sustainable world in which we and every being on this planet may truly thrive.
There are lots of things coming together, economic crises, ecological crises, social crises. My friend and mentor Fritjof Capra once said if you follow the rivers of these crises upstream, you meet a crises of consciousness, a crises of perception. A crises of how we see our selves and our role in this living planet. Read More
The term planetary health—denoting the interdependence between human health and place at all scales—emerged from the environmental and preventive health movements of the 1970–80s; in 1980, Friends of the Earth expanded the World Health Organization definition of health, stating: “health is a state of complete physical, mental, social and ecological well-being and not merely the absence of disease—personal health involves planetary health”. Planetary health is not a new discipline; it is an extension of a concept understood by our ancestors, and remains the vocation of multiple disciplines. Planetary health, inseparably bonded to human health, is formally defined by the inVIVO Planetary Health network as the interdependent vitality of all natural and anthropogenic ecosystems (social, political and otherwise). Here, we provide the historical background and philosophies that have guided the network, and summarize the major themes that emerged at the 7th inVIVO meeting in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. We also provide the Canmore Declaration, a Statement of Principles for Planetary Health. This consensus statement, framed by representative participants, expands upon the 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion and affirms the urgent need to consider the health of people, places and the planet as indistinguishable. Read More
The Liturgy of the Word in Church today connected more dots of meaning and understanding to all life than I could have imagined. It has implications for all of us as many of us proclaim in our Constitutions to be One Nation under God and lose sight of the Primary Axiom of our Faith that has been revealed to us in our Judeo-Christian Scriptures. The epiphany which I had in church today was that the Primary Axiom of my Faith resonated very well without conflict and contradiction with the Primary Axiom of Life-Value which has become the cognitive engine of my life-grounded spiritual growth and development. And what I have grown to realize, from this life-grounded lens, is that the Word of God is in truth and in fact infallible, but where we fall short and become fallible is in the interpretation of this Word and its application to the embodied flowerings of all of our felt side of being, thoughts and actions as manifested in all of our life’s beings, becomings and doings. Read More
IN RECENT years a major transformation in the understanding of health and disease has taken place. The emphasis has shifted from a simplistic, reductionist cause-and-effect view of the medical model to a complex, holistic, interactive, hierarchic systems view known as an ecologic model. That shift may be so profound as to constitute a paradigm shift or a change in the collective mind set and world view regarding what the rules are and what is possible.1
An ecologic model of human health is consistent with the broad field of human ecology, which is “the study of the interactions of man and human society with the environment. It is concerned with the philosophy and quality of life in relation to the development of biological and geological resources, of urban and rural settlements, of industry and technology and of education and culture.”2(p1)
To paraphrase Pierre Dansereau,3 human ecology is the study of the issues that lie at the intersection of environment and culture. Public health lies within the broad field of human ecology.4 A public health model of the human ecosystem, such as the one that follows, helps greatly to clarify the interaction of culture with environment within the context of the holistic, interactive, and hierarchic nature of health. Read More
“The Rookie Off the Bench Saves the Day!
Listen in to Brent Wisner’s moving story of how freak accidents to Lee Johnson’s attorneys landed Wisner in charge of this epic high-stakes trial just two weeks before it started. Discover the dramatic events leading up to the historic verdict.
Monsanto’s HUGE Mistake: How we got the secret Monsanto Papers
This video reveals the courtroom drama of how The Monsanto Papers — their internal corporate documents — were exposed during the trial and then released to the public. Watch this moving tale of one attorney’s courage as he risks his law license and reputation to pierce Monsanto’s veil of corporate deceit and manipulation. Please note: this video occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children).
Monsanto’s Shocking Disregard for Science and Truth
In this interview, Wisner outlines Monsanto’s shocking manipulation and willful disregard of scientific evidence which proves the harm caused by Roundup. This video goes deep into the science of GMOs and pesticides, with Jeffrey Smith mining his decades of experience and Brent bringing his deep understanding gained from his trial research and preparation.
The Most Dramatic (and Pivotal) Day of the Trial
This highly personal and riveting interview recounts Lee Johnson’s heroic testimony, and its winning impact on the jury, as well as the testimony of his wife and physician. Wisner also provides the insider information that just the day before Johnson’s testimony, his team was gravely concerned about the outcome of the trial.
Guilty! Monsanto Acted with Malice
In this interview, Wisner outlines Monsanto’s malice and blatant disregard for human safety as demonstrated in their own documents and even in their statements and behavior during the trial. Wisner explains how this evidence provided the basis for the enormous punitive damages award. Despite the recent reduction in Johnson’s award, the judge upheld the verdict that Monsanto was acting with malice. Click here to view court documents and transcripts from this trial from Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman.” Read More
The aim of this article is to show how a life-course approach can be extended to all health topics, age groups and countries by building on a synthesis of existing scientific evidence, experience in different countries and advances in health strategies and programmes. Aligned with the Sustainable Developmental Goals and Universal Health Coverage, a life-course approach can facilitate the integration of individual, social, economic and environmental considerations. Read More
Learning social skills is a cumulative, lifelong task, the consequences of which can influence subsequent generations. These skills, built on temperamental differences observable early in infancy, are manifest in all stages of life, and they can be taught and reinforced at all ages and in numerous social settings. Social skill acquisition is profoundly important in attaining personal satisfaction in relationships and achieving success in many spheres of life, including parenting.
Learning effective social skills is strongly influenced by the circumstances in which social development occurs. Professionals, who are uniquely positioned to observe and help shape relationship skills, have a special responsibility to be aware of those educational opportunities and of the context in which relationship education of parents, children and youth is occurring. Policymakers should be attentive to the profound effects of their decisions on human relations and how policies and consequent programs can affect cooperation, collaboration and trust within communities. Read More
WHAT IS EMINENT DOMAIN? Eminent Domain The power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they provide just compensation to the property owners. see, e.g. Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp. 458 US 419 (1982). The… Read More