My Read of the Month:

Title: The Witch of Portobello a Novel
: Paulo Coelho
Published: 2007
Genre: Philosophical/Spiritual Fiction
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Paulo Coelho scores with his signature class and style in this book. Much of what he writes has always been forward-thinking; challenging his readers to go beyond the limits set by society especially in regards to love and destiny.

This book’s central theme is built around the character, Athena. Though adopted into a rich family since birth, Athena was never contented. She grew into a woman in search of answers to the classical question of “Who am I?” through many experiences. And she eventually discovers her calling or mission in life and fulfils it.

I like that the author elucidates the opinion that the Church has deviated by its stringent rules to the point where it no longer serves the teachings of Jesus Christ in this book. Because this seems to be widespread among churches in this age where our spirituality journey is confined to the following of rules, systems or traditions.

I have read quite a number of Paulo Coelho’s works and this is one of his best. I enjoy how he uses stories to confront with the real issues of our inner being head on without covering up to make nicer than it looks.

This has definitely been the book for the season in ending my 2009. It provokes and challenges my beliefs and the way I see the world in order that I may evaluate and improve for 2010.

Who should read it: For those who are in search of their purpose in life or are taking the path of the road less travelled.

We’re Stewards of our Earth and it’s Environment

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle.

And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”

God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female.

God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

Genesis 1:26-28 (The Message)

How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal?

The outcome of Hopenhagen had been an expected hopeless charade. Below is an article from The Guardian that ought to explain the power play among nations that took place at Copenhagen that resulted in Hopeless-hagen.

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations.

The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful “deal” so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

China’s strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world’s poor once again.

And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait.

The failure was “the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility”, said Christian Aid. “Rich countries have bullied developing nations,” fumed Friends of the Earth International.

Read the rest of the article here>>>

My Doodling:

I’m blogging from a resort-like site called Wisma Abdi at Cipayang, Bogor, Indonesia. It’s a 2-4 hour drive (depending on the traffic) from Jakarta. I’m there as part of a missions team to support GPDI Lippo Cikarang church’s youth camp. Looking forward to the move of God over our lives =D

The Story of Stuff

This is a superb video that gives an excellent presentation on who and what is to blame for the destructive force of globlisation.

Watching it will provide subtle suggestions on the real deal of climate change that I had shared in my previous post.

And it might even change your choices and lifestyle as a consumer.


Climate Change: What is the Real Deal?

The ongoing talks in Copenhagen have no doubt arrested the entire world’s attention on climate change.

To be honest, I was never much fascinated by such issues related to our environment. It was only in the past two years that I got acquainted with climate change issues within the business community that the interest developed.

From what I’ve observed so far, the real deal about climate change and what goes on in COP15 is more inclined toward political interest and economic driven among nations- the fittest survive and the weakest dies.

The real deal on climate change

For a start, there are still a lot of lively debates and controversies surrounding the claims that whether or not emitted greenhouse gases are strongly linked to human activities that are ultimately contributing to global warming.

I mean do only greenhouse gases contribute to global warming?

How is it that carbon emission which is generated by fossil fuels is to blame?

Why the push to resist the use of oil (fossil fuels) and to adopt alternative sources of clean energy?

For certain, the answer does not begin with saving our environment.

In my personal opinion, countries adopting alternative sources of clean energy is similar to what Singapore has achieved with NEWater. Now we no longer feel susceptible to our neighbour across the causeway whom we’re buying water from.

Unfortunately, unlike water, oil cannot be recycled or undergo reverse osmosis. Oil, and not water, powers the economy.

The ugly face of climate change

As one goes deeper into climate change issues, one can become delusional or feel hopeless about the human race especially on discovering the sort of evil that we are capable of.

For instance, it is no secret that the final war against Iraq by infiltrating Afghanistan is all about possessing oil fields and nothing about terrorism.

Terrorism was merely used as a bogeyman to rally public support for the invasion. And till now, no “weapons of mass destruction” have been uncovered in Iraq.

Hence, just as how any criminal case is investigated by considering the motive and sequences of events that transpired. This question begs to be answered: “Was 911 really a terrorist attack or was it an insider’s job?”

I know what I’m insinuating here might be highly contentious. But to me, it does present a stronger and more logical case for what has transpired in our global economy over the years.

Green Opportunities for SMEs amid challenges from Climate Change

The following is an article from City News that I wrote during one of sessions at the recent APEC SME Summit 2009. This session was about how SMEs could capitalise on the green movement.

After a rousing kick off of the APEC SME Summit with keynote speeches by Alibaba Group’s Chairman and CEO, Jack Ma and international movie star and founder of One Foundation, Jet Li, the high-powered conference entered into a series of plenary dialogue sessions.

One of these dialogue sessions —“Opportunities in Green Technology & What does it mean for SMEs?”— was on the subject of sustainable development.

This session featured a panel of green experts such as William Pazos, Managing Director and Head of Carbon, Standard Bank (Singapore), Ralph Dixon, Director of Environmental Investments, YTL Corporation (Malaysia), Edwin Khew, CEO and Managing Director, IUT Global and Chairman, Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) and Brian Dumaine, Global Editor, Fortune as the panel moderator.

View the rest of the article here>>>