Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Nobel Peace Prize for Nigerian Environmentalist, Wangari Maathai

This beautiful woman is Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai - this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner. According to the Christian Science Monitor story on this event: " ...the choice, observers say, symbolizes a broadening notion of what constitutes a peacemaker in today's world - and a widening definition of peace itself. Indeed, the elite Nobel club is gradually expanding beyond politicians like Mikhail Gorbachev or Nelson Mandela to include people like Ms. Maathai and Iranian rights activist Shirin Ebadi. It highlights a growing recognition that women, civil society, and issues like human rights and the environment are crucial to creating peace ...."

Here is more on who she is and what she has done, from the

""I am certain...that I was not born to spend my entire life at the front line, fighting battles which never seem to end." But then she rallied: "We know we are going to have to pay a price for what we hope will be a more just society. It is very painful, but I realise somebody has to pay a price." She was all too prophetic. Just days later, already in her 50s, she was back in hospital, clubbed senseless by police.

Wangari Maathai, who is the first African woman ever to win any Nobel prize, grew up in Nyeri, central Kenya. She remembers drawing water from a spring, "fascinated by the way the clean, cool water pushed its way through the soft red clay so gently that even the individual grains of the soil were left undisturbed". The area was so green that there was no word in the local language for desert.

Now the trees have been cut for tea plantations and Wangari's spring has dried up. "I feel the tragedy under my feet. Gulleys stare at me, telling the story of soil erosion, unknown before. Hunger is on the faces of the people." It is like that all over Kenya - and Africa. Just 2 per cent of the country's original tree cover remains. Four-fifths of the continent's productive land threatens to turn to desert.

For more than 25 years Wangari has worked to reverse this, founding and running the Green Belt Move- ment, a grassroots campaign mainly of poor women, which has planted some 20 million trees."

Help for Addiction

I recently spoke with some young men and women who had graduated from the Narconon program. It is truly inspirational hearing them speak. When you listen to their stories of how low they had sunk, and then compare that with the men and women you see before you, it is a testiment to the resiliance of human nature, the basic goodness of man and the genius of L. Ron Hubbard whose technology forms the core of the Narconon program.

Good News - Sound Bites

Here's a cool page with some interesting maxims - quotes from Mr. Hubbard's writings.

Great Education Tips

I found this great article about Education by L. Ron Hubbard. I found it on the Web site of Applied Scholastics International.

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