Predicting the future is pointless. There is no future. In fact, there is no past. Neither exists. There is only the infinite now. So-called predictions are in reality observations of current events and conditions. A common phrase demonstrates the past and the future are not real. Computer technology gave us the term “real time.” It refers to something that is happening in the “now,” such as “real time” information: real time stock quotes or real time graphics or real time simulation, and so on. The inference is clear. If “now” is real time then anything not “now” must be unreal. Simple as that. De-stress now. The very fact that the future does not at any time exist is a good reason why we should never be stressed about anything. Stress (for the most part) is generally the result of worrying about something not real, either something that may happen in the future or something that has already happened. Neither exists at this moment and events in the future are always unpredictable. With that in mind, the present reality presents interesting potential for 2011. Food: The Final Frontier. The passage last year of the 2010 Food Safety Act will do for food freedom what the Patriot Act did for personal rights. A friend scoffed the other day when I hinted that. He said, “I’m really not worried that the Food Police will be coming to my back yard to confiscate my tomatoes.” Well, just a handful of years ago, did anyone think such a nicely named law as the Patriot Act would lead to airport guards sticking their hands in your crotch or blasting radiation through your entire body? Did you ever think an agency you never heard of before 2002, the TSA, would have so much power and make something as potentially enjoyable as a vacation flight so interminably unbearable? With the 2010 Food Safety Act, the demise of natural food continues. Take this as an example: If you are walking through a forest and you spot an almond tree, it would be natural to gather some of the nuts and munch on them for a snack. They wouldn’t be roasted or salted or artificially flavored with smoke-tasting chemicals but they would be raw and whole as Nature provides them. (Almonds are a safe food that doesn’t require any cooking and can be eaten raw.) Raw almonds contain natural nutrients unadulterated by cooking. But because of the industrialized way big corporations handle food in the United States, usually in deplorable conditions, industrially produced commercial almonds can sometimes come in contact with salmonella and possibly sicken someone. That’s what happened in 2004. Seven people in the United States were suspected of contracting food poisoning from raw almonds. Seven. All recovered. Contaminated almonds came from a huge California almond producer. But the FDA dictated that now all almonds must be heated, irradiated, cooked or blasted with a toxic poison (propylene oxide) to (hopefully) kill salmonella. It is now impossible to buy natural, raw almonds in the United States. The FDA response was harsh and over-reactive. In addition, it totally misses the cause of the problem: poor handling and processing techniques endemic in large-scale, corporate industrialization of our food supply. The continued mishandling and sloppy processing of food — including meats and eggs — is the true cause of food-borne illness. That means the living and slaughtering conditions of the billions of livestock animals we raise have to change, too. That part of the food chain needs to be addressed. Clean up the industry at the point before contamination happens and we won’t be forced to sterilize and deplete the nutrition of our food after it’s already messed up. Did you realize that nearly all the hamburger you eat is zapped with radiation or blended with ammonia to kill bacteria that shouldn’t be allowed to be in the meat in the first place? The 2010 Food Safety Bill extends the power of the FDA to enforce regulations that won’t really make industrial food safe (or more nutritious!) but will certainly make the Food Oligopoly stronger. The bill creates rules that will increase production costs for small farmers, will dictate exactly how food can be grown, (“You put manure on that crop to fertilize it? That will never do. You must use sterile, chemical fertilizers!”) and will handcuff those wanting to use non-GMO seeds. Monsanto benefits, real farmers don’t. Read a critical estimation at http://bit.ly/dgdbJ2 It’s Mayan, all Mayan! By summer 2011, news will trend toward the 2012 Mayan prediction of massive change. While nearly everyone agrees that the cyclic Mayan calendar identifies 2012 as a major nexus of cosmology, no one knows what that means. Some will predict doom; others a rebirthing of the planet. What is certain is that media attention will swarm to everything Mayan by autumn. It will make the Y2K freakout seem mild by comparison. Y2K fear was grounded in real science but was groundless, nonetheless. 2012 has scientific realities, too. A geomagnetic reversal will occur in 2012, with Earth’s poles shifting 180 degrees. Sun storms will reach a solar maximum, too. It all could result in a radical shift for the planet and civilization’s power grid. The final months of 2011 will be filled with 2012 prophecies, both scientific and specious. Quick hits for 2011: Americans will grow personally more self-sufficient as governments provide less quality of life. Gas prices soar. Food prices follow. More people grow their own food. More pharmaceutical drugs will be found to be deadly and withdrawn from market. After initially seeming to improve, the economy will be stressed by the fact the planet is running out of stuff: water, oil, land, rare metals (for precious iPhones) etc. Solar energy industry will take off with individual power points becoming commonplace. The McDonald’s Happy Meal Hamburger still won’t decompose. Be well.