Ace Folklife

Ascension Age Sustainability

Janet Kira Lessin
Director-Ascension Center
Education-Maui, Hawaii


My name is Janet Kira Lessin, and I am asked to assist another in the Ascension Center Education and Enlightenment for the Age of Ascension.  My friend, Theresa Janette Thurmond Morris and I have become good friends in this lifetime. We plan on sharing our story as we become even better friends in the future. This information is a collection of information we share for our agreement of assisting others in the outreach education of community of online practicing skills. Some people call us the two Janet’s as the angels of Ascension in this lifetime. We are humbled.

Ascension Center Education
ACE Folklife Historical Society

We have decided to continue our research together and present this information which we agree to explore together with others of the Ascension Center Network. May we all have a future of 2012 & Beyond in the Ascension Age movement we also call the Age of Aquarius of Knowing and not just believing that Alien Civilizations Exist and Extraterrestrials are guiding us be they in one form or another we shall want to share the future with all. We believe in health and prosperity for all.

TJ Morris (Tara)
Theresa J Morris
Founder Ascension Center

Ascension Age – World Tectonic Economics Sustainability

We with the Ascension Center Enlightenment Organization will be sharing in our plans for all those that desire to share in health and prosperity for all. We will suggest a better way of life for all of us to maintain a life that is awake and aware with a higher consciousness. We will share in our work to make the world a better place for all of us and our children and all our progeny.

Tectonic Economics is based on sustainability and we shall share in trade and commerce with enough for all based on the new structure for this planet for the Ascension Age of 2013 and Beyond.

We are now training the trainers to share our message  of Ascension Age Communication and Cosmology for the future beginning now in the present. We share whole life living of body-mind-spirit having the birth-life-death experience together as individual units sharing in synergy and cooperation.

Ascension Center Organization
ACO Educational Workshops
Maui, Hawaii USA

What we shall define as sustainability on this planet we know as Gaia once known as Pangea may change but one thing is certain we know that change in this universal awareness is constant. Join us now as we share our adventure on the path to enlightenment with others who care to share in our future. We share our paths as we embark on the feminine divine with those we call guides and angels.

Achieving sustainability will enable the earth to continue supporting human life as we know it.

Dr. Alexander Sasha Lessin, Ph.D.
Janet Kira Lessin – Director
Ascension Center Education Hawaii

Sustainability is the capacity to endure.

For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time, a necessary precondition for the well-being of humans and other organisms. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. 2012 ET Angels ASCENSION Age Cosmology


“We each have a spiritual journey . We are here to share in the body-mind-spirit while having the birth-life-death experiences together!” TJ

ET Angels of Ascension could be the Ancient Astronauts of our Ancient Ancestors.

There is proof coming to earth about the many universes of our 7 heavens. Now is the time as the Ascension Age of Revelation. It is a time of renewing and awakening our spirits.

We share the Universe, Multiverse, Metaverse, Xenoverse, Omniverse, Alphaverse, and Omegaverse.

We shall learn about all that in the past was not understood although words and clues have been here for us to define.

There was a time that a veil of secrecy was upon all of humankind. It is now time to change and this is the Age of Revelation.

No more does one has to wonder alone in the dark of this world. We are able to approach our Ascension Lightworkers once again along with our Ascended Masters, Avatars, and Sages. It is time to learn of those who from the heavens came who walk upon the face of earth as humankind.

We will be learning about those who from the heavens came and are part of our many universes in the matrix, the universe, the multiverse, the metaverse, the xenoverse, the omniverse, and the fact that there are many universes in the creation that is ever expanding. Some have shared in the past of more heavens which were also called mansions.

Some of the meanings that are still recorded today will take on new life with the mind opened to be reviewed and to accept that which was once only thought to be myths and legends. The way we think of our world and universe is changing our thoughts about science and religion. We are all going to learn how to become one species on one planet.

We shall join those who come and go one day in space. We are now developing ourselves spiritually to increase our light bodies for an eternal and everlasting place in the unknown heavens or do we know about all the many mansions as heavens that have been prepared?

The Celestial Angel Wardens

1st Heaven 2nd Heaven 3rd Heaven 1. Suria 2. Tutrechial 3. Tutrusiai 4. Zortek 5. Mufar 6. Ashrulyai 7. Sabriel 8. Zahabriel 9. Tandal 10. Shokad 11. Huzia 12. Deheboryn 13. Adririon 14. Khabiel 15. Tashriel 16. Nahuriel 17. Jekusiel 18. Tufiel 19. Dahariel 20. Maskiel 21. Shoel 22. Sheviel 1. Tagriel (chief) 2. Maspiel 3. Sahriel 4. Arfiel 5. Shahariel 6. Sakriel 7. Ragiel 8. Sehibiel 9. Tandal 10. Shokad 11. Huzia 1. Sheburiel (chief) 2. Retsutsiel 3. Shalmial 4. Savlial 5. Harhazial 6. Hadrial 7. Ragiel 4th Heaven 1. Pachdial (chief) 2. Gvurtial 3. Kzuial 4. Shchinial 5. Shtukial 6. Arvial (or Avial) 7. Kfial 8. Anfial 5th Heaven 6th Heaven 7th Heaven 1. Techial 2. Uzial 3. Gmial 4. Gamrial 5. Sefrial 6. Garfiel 7. Grial 8. Drial 9. Paltrial 1. Rumial 2. Katmial 3. Gehegial 4. Asabrsbial 5. Egrumial 6. Parzial 7. Machkial (Mrgial, Mrgivel) 8. Tufrial 1. Zeburial 2. Turtbebial


The 7 Heaven’s

and Earth’s Below


There are sections of the angel stories that have been given different names by different theologians.


The seven heavens and the 7 hells

The 7 celestial mansions and the 7 palaces of darkness

The 7 heavens and the seven earths.

These would be similar to the lowlands and highlands of our world.

The seven heavens stack one over the top of each other in a straight line.

The information presented order both 7 Heavens & 7 Earths.

The portrayal of the synthesis for The 7 Heavens –


The First Heaven Shamayim or Shamain

The 1st heaven, Shamayim

Borders the Earth and is ruled by Archangel Gabriel. Some may believe this to be in relation to Shamballa.

This is the lowest of the heavens.

It borders our world and is thought to be the dwelling place of Adam and Eve. This is where it is said there may still be remnants for us to find.

This heaven being the first and closest to Earth acts as a shading agent for the Earth.

This heaven has clouds, wind and upper waters. It is the home to two hundred astronomer angels who keep watch over the stars.

To complete the visual picture of this heaven one would see legions of guardian angels of snow, ice and dew living in this vicinity.

In the Apocalypse of St. Paul this region is called the “promised land.” It is described as, “Now every tree bore twelve harvests each year, and they had various and diverse fruits, and I saw the fashion of that place and all the work of God, and I saw there palm-trees of twenty cubits and others of ten cubits, and the land was seven times brighter than silver”.


The First Earth

The inhabitants of this world are the descendants of Adam. It was said to be dull and cheerless but little is known about it


The Second Heaven Raquia

The 2nd heaven Raquia is ruled by the Archangels Raphael and Zachariel.

According to Enoch, it is within this heaven that the fallen angels are imprisoned waiting final judgment in complete darkness.

This was at one time supposed to be the dwelling place of John the Baptist.


The Second Earth

The people of this world, also descendants of Adam, were hunters and cultivators.

They were cursed with almost constant sadness. When not sad they were at war.

It was also believed that visitors here came in with a memory and left with no recall of prior events.


The Third Heaven Sagun or Shehaquim

The 3rd heaven is unique for many reasons.

According to Enoch, hell lies within the northern boundaries of the third heaven. Sagun (or Shehaqim) is ruled over by Archangel Anahel and three subordinate saraim: Jagniel, Rabacyel, and Dalquiel, and is the residence for Archangel Azrael, the Islamic Angel of death.

The northern region of this heaven has a river of flame that flows through the land of cold and ice, here the wicked are punished by the angels.

The southern lands are a bountiful paradise, thought to be the Garden of Eden, where the souls of the righteous will come after death.

Two rivers, the river of milk and honey and the river of wine and oil flow here.

This heaven if where the “Tree of Life can be found.

The beautiful celestial garden is where all perfect souls go after death and is guarded by 300 angels of light. It was also recorded that the entrance to this heaven is a gate of gold.


The Third Earth

Although this world was one of shadows it also had woods, jungles, forests and orchards. The inhabitants lived off the fruit of the trees.


The Fourth Heaven Machanon or Machen

The 4th heaven Machanon it is ruled by Archangel Michael, “Is the site of the heavenly Jerusalem, the holy Temple and its Altar” (Godwin, p. 122).

It is here that, according to Enoch, that the Garden of Eden is actually housed, not in the third heaven. It is said to house the city of Christ and is the native seat of the angels.

St. Paul’s Apocalypse describes it as ” It was all gold, and 12 walls encircled It and there were 12 walls inside. There were 12 gates of great beauty in the circuit of the city and 4 rivers encircled it. There was a river of honey and a river of milk and a river of wine and a river of oil. ”


The Forth Earth

This world has two suns and is very dry. The cities here were rich and wondrous, but the dwellers were constantly looking for a source of underground water. It was said that these people had fair features and were full of spiritual faith.


The Fifth Heaven Mathey or Machon

The 5th heaven Mathey is the seat/home of God, Aaron, and the Avenging Angels.

The beautiful southern region is where God can be found while the northern boundaries are said to be ruled by Metatron’s twin brother Archangel Sandalphon or Samael (Camael, Chamuel).

This region was like a great void of fire and smoke, which had no firm ground above or below. A terrible desolate place where it is said the fallen Grigori (watchers) angels who sinned and cohabited with woman were imprisoned;

I believe that if an angel chooses to “fall” down to mankind to experience life and follow the paths of re-incarnation there is nothing wrong in that.

Let us not forget that we are angels too which have forgotten how to fly.

In the southern regions, on the other hand, reside the ministering angels who endlessly change the praises of the Lord.


The Fifth Earth

The people here live off the land and seem to be a bit simple minded. Their world has a red sun and is very dry. The people have two holes in their heads instead of noses making it easier for them to breathe the dry thin air.


The Sixth Heaven Zebul

The 6th heaven Zebul is ruled by Archangel Zachiel (Sachiel) and his subordinate princes Zebul (during the day) and Sabath (during the night)

This stormy, snow ridden dwelling is home to the seven phoenixes and the seven Cherubim who sing the praises of God. A multitude of other angelic beings also reside here. It is like the angels University of knowledge who study an array of subjects including astronomy, ecology, the seasons, and mankind.


The Sixth Earth

Here the seasons are very long. These inhabitants can travel from earth to earth and are credited with being able to speak all languages. This earth is said to be the place where Hell can be found, all seven layers of it one on top of another. The topmost layer being Sheol followed by, perdition, the gates of death, the gates of the shadow of death, silence, the bilge and the lowest pit.


The Seventh Heaven Araboth

The 7th heaven is the holiest of the holy heavens. Araboth is ruled by Archangel Cassiel and is home to God and his Divine Throne it is also the abode of human souls waiting to be born.


It is also home to the highest orders of angels – the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones.

It is in the 7th Heaven that Isaiah has a glimpse of God and the Christ and “hears the most high dictating the program on his (Christs) earthly manifestation and return.” The Seventh Earth This world’s form is very much like that of Earth and shaving hills, mountains, valleys and flatlands.


Here lie 365 different types of bizarre creatures. These creatures range from having two heads, to having multiple bodies, but are considered to be righteous.

They are considered quite superior and live off the aquatic life found there. They have the unique ability to prolong life or bring the dead back to life.


More References in Enoch 2, 8, the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life are both found in the 3rd Heaven. The Zohar mentions 390 Heavens and 70,000 worlds.


The gnostic Basilides vouched for 365 Heavens.

Jellenek (in Beth Ha-Midrasch) recalls a legend which tells of 955 Heavens.


In Enoch 2 the Heavens number 10.


Here the 8th Heaven is called Muzaloth.


The 9th Heaven, home of the 12 signs of the zodiac, is called Kukhavim.


The 10th, where Enoch saw the “vision of the face of the Lord”, is called Aravoth (Hebrew term for the 12 signs of the Zodiac).


The confusion of the Heavens is clear here from the fact that the signs of the zodiac do not lodge in the Heavens named after them.


The notion of the 7 Heavens appears in The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs and other Jewish Apocrypha, and was familiar to the ancient Persians and Babylonians.

The Persians pictured the Almighty in the highest of the 7 Heavens, “seated on a great white throne, surrounded by winged cherubim.” The Koran also speaks of 7 Heavens Archangels & Archeiai .


The Archangels are the captains of all the angelic hosts, having been created as the foremost hierarchs in the angelic kingdom. They are majestic beings who personify divine attributes and are at the service of the mankind of earth. They work tirelessly to defeat evil and promote good.


The Archangels have divine complements or twin flames, just as people do. Their feminine counterparts are called Archeiai. (The singular noun is Archeia, and the plural is Archeiai.)


Together the Archangels and Archeiai focus the masculine and feminine, or alpha and omega, polarities of the particular color, or ray, of spiritual light on which they serve.


Praying to one always invokes the assistance of the other as well.


The Archangels predate us by millions of years and are reported to have been our first teachers on the spiritual path.


They are also described as divine architects, whom God uses to draft and execute the plans for his projects. They are cosmic builders and designers in the grandest sense of the word, arcing to our minds the divine blueprint for every endeavor, from the smallest to the greatest. All of the Archangels are also healers who come as master surgeons to mend our souls and four lower bodies – etheric, mental, emotional and physical. Imagine the power of the Archangels, who for millions of years have done nothing but affirm the reality of God and expand spiritual light in their being.


Then when they are in our midst, they minister to us and purify us by transmitting the immense increments of light that they have garnered. Using this boost of energy from the angels properly can help us make much greater progress in our daily life and on the spiritual path.




The most familiar Archangels serve on the seven rays of spiritual light that correspond to the light focused within the seven major chakras in man.


Archangels & Archeiai


Archangels & Archeiai – The Archangels are the captains of all the angelic hosts, having been created as the foremost hierarchs in the angelic kingdom. They are majestic beings who personify divine attributes and are at the service of the mankind of earth. They work tirelessly to defeat evil and promote good. The Archangels have divine complements or twin flames, just as people do. Their feminine counterparts are called Archeiai. (The singular noun is Archeia, and the plural is Archeiai.)


Together the Archangels and Archeiai focus the masculine and feminine, or alpha and omega, polarities of the particular color, or ray, of spiritual light on which they serve. Praying to one always invokes the assistance of the other as well. The Archangels predate us by millions of years and are reported to have been our first teachers on the spiritual path. They are also described as divine architects, whom God uses to draft and execute the plans for his projects.


They are cosmic builders and designers in the grandest sense of the word, arcing to our minds the divine blueprint for every endeavor, from the smallest to the greatest. All of the Archangels are also healers who come as master surgeons to mend our souls and four lower bodies – etheric, mental, emotional and physical. Imagine the power of the Archangels, who for millions of years have done nothing but affirm the reality of God and expand spiritual light in their being.

Then when they are in our midst, they minister to us and purify us by transmitting the immense increments of light that they have garnered. Using this boost of energy from the angels properly can help us make much greater progress in our daily life and on the spiritual path.

The Seven Rays of Enlightenment

The most familiar Archangels serve on the seven rays of spiritual light that correspond to the light focused within the seven major chakras in man.




First Ray – Blue Ray Faith, Protection, God’s Will Tuesday – Throat Chakra




First Ray – Blue Ray Faith, Protection, and God’s Will Archangel Michael is revered within the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions. Michael’s name means, “Who is like God.” In Joshua 5:13-15, he appeared as a man with a sword in his hand that identified himself as the captain of the Lord’s host. In Revelation 12:7, he is named as the archangel who cast Satan out of heaven.

Michael and his divine complement, Faith, serve on the blue ray of spiritual light. They can assist in purifying and strengthening the throat Chakra and in mastering all blue-ray qualities.

The blue ray provides us with spiritual and physical protection and is pivotal to the proper expression of power and leadership. It is also essential for developing faith and attuning to the divine will and one’s divine plan. Here’s a quick fiat that you can give to Archangel Michael if you are ever in personal distress and need immediate assistance. It can be especially helpful in traffic mishaps and difficult situations of all kinds when no other help is in sight.


Giving this call in the full fervor of your being will bring Archangel Michael instantly to your side. Archangel Michael, Help me! Help me! Help me!




Second Ray – Yellow Ray Wisdom, Illumination, Constancy Sunday – Crown Chakra


Second Ray – Yellow Ray Wisdom, Illumination, Constancy Archangel Jophiel, Archeia

Christine and their bands of angels serve on the yellow ray of illumination. Jophiel means

“Beauty of God.” Christine infuses matter with the light of the Christ consciousness. Jophiel and Christine aid people with wisdom, understanding, inspiration, discernment, discrimination, knowing the mind of God and all activities related to the crown Chakra.

If you need more sharpness of mind for passing exams, inspiration for projects at work or an understanding of how to resolve a conflict, you can ask Jophiel and Christine for help. They can also rescue people from ignorance or spiritual blindness that might keep them from fulfilling their souls’ highest potential.



Third Ray – Pink Ray – Ruby Ray Love, Adoration, Gratitude Monday – Heart Chakra


Third Ray – Pink Ray – Ruby Ray Love, Adoration, Gratitude Archangel Chamuel and Archeia Charity serve on the pink ray of divine love. Chamuel’s name means “He who seeks God.” Chamuel characterized himself as “God’s pure love in winged manifestation.” He is the angel mentioned in Luke 22:43 who strengthened Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Chamuel and Charity are powerful emissaries of divinity and among the most fiery and intense of the archangels in their expression of love.

Together they embody the great heart and love of the Father-Mother God for all creation. They help souls develop the heart Chakra and give assistance in all matters of the heart. These include compassion, better communications, a balanced love of self, the extension of oneself to others, and the creation of beauty through the arts.

The healing of losses or schisms in family relationships or with friends can also take place with the help of these angels. Aside from working with people in particular instances, Archangel Chamuel, Archeia Charity and their angels are involved in a more overarching work to reunite twin flames.

You can call to these archangels to help you with discovering your divine mission with your twin flame. You can also ask them to help you gain mastery on the ray of love and to facilitate things running smoothly in your everyday life. A powerful fiat to call them into action in situations of personal need or any division between individuals is: Chamuel and Charity Let divine love take dominion now!


Fourth Ray – White Ray – Resurrection Flame Purity, Harmony, Poise Friday – Base of the Spine


Fourth Ray – White Ray – Resurrection Flame Purity, Harmony, Poise Archangel Gabriel, whose name means “God is my strength” or “Man of God,” serves on the white ray of purity. Gabriel is recognized by the three major Western religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In Islam, he is the angel who delivered the Koran to Muhammad; in Christianity, he is the angel messenger who announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of Christ. Archangel Gabriel and his twin flame, Archeia Hope, assist light-bearers in working with the light in the base-of-the-spine Chakra and in mastering qualities of the white ray—purity, order, hope, joy and discipline.


The seraphim of God also serve with Gabriel and Hope. The seraphim come bearing the light of the Father-Mother God.

They can literally place their presence over us and we can absorb that light and energy into our bodies as a sponge absorbs water. When we desire to unite with divine consciousness through purity of body, mind and soul, these angels can help us raise the kundalini to achieve that goal. Gabriel, who is often depicted with a trumpet, is the archangel of the annunciation, heralding to each soul of light the good news of the path of the ascension and their ultimate union with God.

He has made that announcement to many of us, resulting in the sudden realization that we are being called home and have much work to do to balance our karma and achieve that end. Regarding working toward this goal, Gabriel has emphasized that serious spiritual seekers should determine to know, to have and to hold light, and to be the servant of light while they are becoming masters of the light. You can give the following fiat to fill yourself with light, energize your spiritual path and help propel you to your ascension


Fifth Ray – Green Ray Truth, Healing, Science Wednesday – Third Eye


Fifth Ray – Green Ray Truth, Healing, Science Archangel Raphael, whose name means “God has healed” or “God shall heal,” serves on the emerald green ray, the fifth ray. The Zohar, a Jewish mystical text, says that Raphael is charged with healing the earth as well as healing men. In Christianity, he is revered as the angel who healed the sick at the pool of Bethesda.

The divine complement of Raphael is Mary, the mother of Christ.


The ascended masters have revealed that God called Mary, an archeia, to take embodiment so that she could someday be Jesus’ mother. In preparation for this mission, Mary served long ago on Atlantis and worked in the healing temples of that continent. She is sometimes called by other names such as Mother Mary, the Blessed Virgin and Queen of the Angels.

Mother Mary holds the immaculate concept for each soul on earth. You can call to her to help you attune to your innate divinity. Rosaries are frequently given as a powerful way of invoking her assistance. Archangel Raphael and Mary work with students in mastering the light of the third-eye Chakra.

This Chakra and the green ray deal with wholeness, vision, truth, healing, and science, holding the immaculate concept for oneself and others, and the desire to manifest the abundant life on earth.


These archangels can also provide inspiration to musicians, singers and composers for the creation of healing and inspirational music. You can also call to Mary and Raphael for healing in times of illness, when you need the vision for a particular project, or when an increase of resources would enable you to better fulfill your mission. And you can call to them to heal your soul of present difficulties or past traumas.

The Following is a brief prayer for healing you can give anytime:

Raphael and Mary, I ask for [name yourself and/or another person] to be healed of [name the condition/s], in accordance with God’s holy will. I AM God’s perfection manifest in body, mind and soul – I AM God’s direction flowing to heal and keep me whole!


Sixth Ray – Purple and Gold Ray – Ruby Ray Peace, Ministration, Service Thursday – Solar Plexis


Sixth Ray – Purple and Gold Ray – Ruby Ray Peace, Ministration, Service Archangel Uriel’s name means “Fire of God” or “God is my Light.” He is mentioned in some Judeo-Christian books.

For example, in the apocryphal text the Second Book of Esdras, Uriel is known as the archangel of salvation.

Uriel and his twin flame, Aurora, serve on the purple and gold ray, the sixth ray, and they tutor individuals in gaining mastery in the solar-plexus Chakra. This sixth ray is the ray of service and ministration, peace, brotherhood, resurrection and divine judgment of all that is evil. The purple and gold ray is flecked with ruby, which adds the intense action of divine love. It brings forth the desire to gain self-mastery in one’s Christ consciousness in order to serve both God and man.

Uriel and Aurora bring vibrations of peace and brotherhood wherever they are called. Whenever there is the need to soothe disagreements or to bring about brotherhood between people, they want to help Wielding the power of discriminating judgment carried by the light of this ray, Urieland Aurora separate the real from the unreal and their angels bind all that is not of the light in individuals and in the earth. To help us accomplish our goals in this life, Archangel Uriel told us to affirm that God is one with our true Self by using the fiat:

Peace, be still and know that I AM God!

Using this fiat can bring the light of the sixth-ray archangels into your world in a powerful way. It sets the tone for overcoming all that is less than the Christ consciousness within us. You can give it as many times as needed to feel the energy in your solar plexus Chakra and consciousness literally shift and become more peaceful. In the name of Archangel Uriel and Aurora, Peace, be still and know that I AM God!



Seventh Ray – Violet Ray Freedom, Mercy, Transmutation Saturday – Seat of the Soul


Seventh Ray – Violet Ray


Transmutation Archangel Zadkiel and his feminine complement, Holy Amethyst, embody the spirit of the violet ray, the seventh ray, and the age of Aquarius. Zadkiel’s name means “Righteousness of God.” He and Holy Amethyst assist humanity in mastering the seat-of-the-soul Chakra.

These archangels bring the flame of freedom, joy, forgiveness, alchemy, justice, transmutation and liberation of the soul. We can enhance these qualities of the violet ray in our lives by invoking the violet flame through the science of the spoken Word. Using the violet flame can erase past memories, bring forgiveness and increase the spirit of joy within us. And each time we call on Zadkiel and Amethyst, who embody the violet flame, we bring change to the earth and ourselves, come closer to merging with our Christ Self and help prepare the world for the incoming golden age.

According to Archangel Zadkiel, the success of the Age of Aquarius is absolutely dependent upon our invoking the violet flame and a single call to the violet flame can be worth a million prayers. You can call on Zadkiel and Amethyst to help purify you from past karma and to bring new vitality to your life. While giving the following affirmations, visualize the violet flame wiping away obstacles to your soul’s liberation: In the name of Archangel Zadkiel and Holy Amethyst, I AM the violet flame in action in me now! I AM the blessing and buoyancy of the violet flame! I AM freedom from limitation!

More Archangels and their Complements: Archangels Celestial and Astarael Archangel Sandalphon and Ilaniel Archangel Ophaniel and Crystal Archangel Bodiel and Knowledge Archangel Anael and Hannahel.


To understand white” you must first know “black”. St. Paul wrote that we

Should not let Satan take advantage of us by being ignorant of his devices. (II Cor. 2:11)


The contemporary passage on the Bible on Isaiah 14 “The Proverbs against the King of Babylon”, reads: …”How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” The name Watcher, or Grigori, means “Those Who Watch”, or “Those Who Are Awake”, or “The Ones Who Never Sleep”.

The Old Testament does not mention the notion of the fallen angels whatsoever. The actual first reference to a fallen angel/s does not show up until the New Testament, specifically Revelation 12 — ” And his tail (the dragon’s or Satan’s) drew the third part of the stars of Heaven (angels) and did cast them to Earth… and Satan, which deceived the whole world; he was cast out into the Earth and his angels were cast out with him.”

In the writings of Enoch 1, there seems to be about 200 that fell (a very small number I would say), naming about 19 (spelling variations observed) and listing the most prominent among them. In the Book of Enoch is mentioned that a group of angels lusted after mortal women. “No-No” sin.

There is a very brief excerpt about this group in Genesis 6:2-4 — “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose”. There is a group called the Watchers or Grigori.

This is the group that this passage speaks of. They are said to look like human male, but taller/larger, they never slip and they are silent. In Jewish legend/lore it is said that there are good and evil watchers, the good watchers residing in the 5th Heaven, while the evil ones reside in the 3rd Heaven.


The mysterious eighth order of angels, the gentle Grigori were created by God to be Earthly shepherds of the first humans.

The Grigori were both physically and spiritually gigantic, at least by the standards of the people who later wrote about them. They served early humanity as vast reservoirs of information concerning the finer points of civilization, and their selflessness was beyond compare.


They were also called the Watchers, as it was their job to observe humanity, lending a helping hand when necessary but not interfering in the course of human development. In the Book of Enoch, it describes that God had sent a legion of angels to earth in order to watch over and assist man during the beginning of civilization.

These angels taught humankind the sciences which were forbidden by God such as the magic in herbs, reading the stars, divination and sorcery.

Enoch goes on to say: “…but they chose husbands and wives from among the humans and led greatly debauched lives, neglecting their heavenly duties…”

This angered God greatly and he banished the “fallen”. Sadly these angels were not suited to this job and instead of playing a positive role they began to teach man sciences that God had deemed to be forbidden.

These subjects included astrology, divination, herb craft and magic.

To compound this, they also began to lust after some of the women they were supposed to be guiding. In order to cohabitate with these women they even assumed physical forms. Although the church might argue that angels have no gender and therefore are unable to procreate anyway, the following excerpt from Genesis 6:4, points out that “the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them”.

The resulting half-breeds were named as the Nephilim.

This kind of bad angelic behavior could not be tolerated and as a result the Grigori were taken from their posts and imprisoned in a layer of heaven.

Although they appealed to Enoch to speak on their behalf to God, they remained bound for 70 generations. As for the Nephilim, it has been suggested that one of the main reasons for the great flood, was not only to punish man, but to cleanse the earth of the half-bred creatures created from the union of fallen spirit and flesh.

Among the Strega the Watchers are called the Grigori. Originally there were 4 royal stars or Lords and they were called the Watchers

Each of these Lords ruled over one of the 4 cardinal points…

South, East, West and North.

Formalhaut – who marked Winter Solstice South-

Regulus – who marked Summer Solstice East

Aldebaran – who marked the Vernal Equinox West

Antares – who marked Autumn Equinox North

Strega – Mythos, the Watchers were Gods who guarded the Heavens and Earth.

Over time the Greeks made them Gods of the 4 winds, and the Christians made them creatures of the Air.

In Stregheria we call the elements from the altar.

The Grigori are of a “higher” realm and guard the portals to the gods

In “A Dictionary of Angels” by Gustav Davidson, the good Watchers are portrayed as a high order of Angels, (Archangels), also known as Grigori or Irin. Chief of the Good Grigori are

Archangels: Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Zerachiel, Gabriel, and Remiel

The Fallen Host & The War in Heavens

The War in Heaven The Fallen Archangel The Fallen Watchers – Grigori Why they Chose to Fall?


The Sin of the Fallen Angels the Punishment the Fallen Host These are angels that have fallen from God’s grace. Although rarely mentioned in biblical scripture these beings serve as a warning to the reader of what the wrath of God can bring.

Angelologists have a certain interest in these creatures because they have quite an air of shadowy mystery which surrounds them.

Fallen angels can be split into two main groups namely:

The angels who sided and allied with Lucifer during the war in Heaven and;

The fallen Watchers or Grigori.

In both of these cases the angels tuned on God, their creator, by misusing the free will that had been granted to them by God.

The War in Heaven

Generally there is a belief that at some point in time Lucifer joined forces with a third of the divine host in an attempt to place themselves as rulers in the Kingdom of Heaven, by overthrowing God and the faithful angels.

One theory about the cause of the conflict is that when God created man he called upon all of angelic forces to bow before his new creation.

Lucifer at that time being one of the highest Archangels found this too humbling by far and refused to debase himself in this manner and duly asked if “a son of fire should be forced to bow before a son of clay?”

A similar theory and one very much like the latter suggests that Lucifer should bow before Jesus the son of man. Whatever the reason for the conflict Lucifer appeared to be outgrowing his post as highest of the Seraphim and chief of Angels.

It somewhat unclear how many angels were actually engaged in the war in Heaven and the exact number of the host open to conjuncture for many. In the 15th century though it was estimated that 133,306,668 angels fell from the Heavens in a total of 9 days according to the Bishop of Tusculum (c. 1273), and this was reaffirmed by Alphonso de Spina (c. 1460).

There is also a question as to when the war took place. In the Old Testament and Hebraic writings there is no mention of Hell or fallen angels.

However because of the role that Satan plays in the bible, perhaps the most likely time for the battle to have happened, lies somewhere between the Old and New Testament. Christ made it clear that Lucifer/Satan is the enemy. Indeed Satan is described in the book of Revelation as a creature which takes the form of a ten headed dragon as he does battle with the armies of God, led by Archangel Michael. Another belief suggests that the battle lasted for several days with Satan’s armies building Great War machines and even gaining a temporary advantage over the divine forces.

However, there is a tale of a Final Battle between the two forces where the Angelic Armies will finally crush the fallen for once and for all. Revelation 12:7-10 (KJV): Michael the Archangel Defeats the Great Dragon Revelation 12:7-10: A supernatural battle occurs between the Angels of God and the Fallen Angels of Satan.


The Angels of God prevail: And there was war in Heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in Heaven.

And the Great Dragon was cast out, that Old Serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceived the whole world: he was cast out into the Earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, ‘now is come Salvation, and Strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the Power of His Christ: for the Accuser of our Brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God Day and Night.’

There’s a big question arousing from the fall of the angels, and so much for the ones which followed Lucifer to his rebellion towards God but especially for the Watchers/Grigori. Let’s say that the angel in Heaven which followed Lucifer they were deceived by him and so they went into war against God and his Angels.

But the Watchers/Grigori had no excuse to be disobedient as they knew what happened to Adam and Eve when they did so. So what was it that made these angels to “choose” to fall?

Matthew Bunson says on this:

The precise manner and events surrounding the fall of the angels is a matter of much speculation over the centuries.

There have been many theories and legends as to how it happened. For example, St. Thomas Aquinas (basing himself in part on St. Augustine), proposed that angels were created by God initially with free will to permit them to make a choice to accept or reject him forever.

As they had been made with natures that were eternally decisive, their decision was irrevocable. One can also trace the presence of fallen angels and how they became so by tracing the historical development of Satan.

In the Old Testament, the name Satan was used to describe the “adversary” of God, bringing about evil and tempting human beings (Wis. 2:24; 1Chron. 21:1; Job 1:6-12). Jesus was also subject to the temptations of Satan in the wilderness (Mt. 12:24).

The references to Satan are extensive in Scripture, and by the time of the New Testament, it was common to consider the presence of evil spirits, attaching the name Satan to the devil or Archfiend (as in Rev. 20:2), and variously describing him as the Evil One (Mt. 5:37; 13:19), Beelzebub (Mk. 3:22), the Accuser (Rev. 12:10), etc.

Specific reference to Satan as a fallen spirit or heavenly being (i.e., an angel) is found in 2Pet. 2:4 and Rev. 12:7-9. There he is characterized as a leader of hostile angels who was ejected from heaven. He is thus able to disguise himself as an angel of light.

The description of Satan as an angel was one that received considerable subsequent development. In his Moralia, Pope St. Gregory I the Great wrote that Satan was so great in glory and knowledge that he wore the other angels as mere garments.

Opinions have varied, however, as to whether he belonged to a specific choir, with most speculative writers proposing that he was chief of the seraphim and the virtues (as well as prince of the powers and archangels).


St. Thomas Aquinas, meanwhile, made the important point that Satan was of the choir of cherubim as he excelled in knowledge, not love or charity. The cherubim are honored in the second choir of angels and are best known for their knowledge and power.


As we have seen in the chapter “The Fallen Archangel” Lucifer and Satan are two different fallen angels with Lucifer been the first. As the two became interchangeable so it happened that St. Thomas Aquinas had in mind Lucifer who was a Cherub when he referred to him with the name Satan. I am not going to elaborate on the reasons which made Lucifer to fall, because whatever the reason he did so out of his egotism and pure malice.


But when it comes to the Watchers – Grigori it seems to me that the fallen Watchers – Grigori did not think of their help to humans as a big sin, if a sin at all. To have done so that means that they loved humans so greatly that they chose to help them. Besides it was the same love of God towards Adam (or was it Jesus) that cause the rebellion of Lucifer.


The Watchers/Grigori as angels and with the divine gift of Free Will made an irrevocable choice out of love to human kind, to change their path of evolution, and experience humanity/mortality, and thus been humans with physical form they got married with human women.


Although they appealed to Enoch to mediate and to speak on their behalf to God, they remained bound for 70 generations. Some wants us to believe that the fallen Watchers/Grigori were allured by human women who were in the habit of walking abroad naked, and they gave themselves up to every conceivable manner of lewd practices.


Of such were the women, whose beauty and sensual charms tempted the angels from the path of virtue.


A Watcher watches everything and nudity or the shape of human body should have not been even worth looking upon it for an angel.


There is a theory that humankind suggests that it might be the fallen Watchers/Grigori that gave all the knowledge to the people from Atlantis (the lost continent).

Knowledge so powerful that the Atlantians where not ready to handle it and it “destroyed” them.

It was said that the Atlantis “experiment” failed and that it was a mistake from the Hierarchy’s behalf.

This theory can be supported theologically from the “fact” that the fallen Watchers/Grigori and their children were destroyed in Noah’s flood… the coincidence here is that Atlantis was also been said to be destroyed by the same flood around 8498 B.C.

The Sin

A rational creature (that is, a creature with intellect and will) can sin. If it be unable to sin, this is a gift of grace, not a condition of nature. While angels were yet unbeatified they could sin. And some of them did sin.

The sinning angels (or demons) are guilty of all sins in so far as they lead man to commit every kind of sin. But in the bad angels themselves there could be no tendency to fleshly sins, but only to such sins as can be committed by a purely spiritual being, and these sins are two only: pride and envy.

Lucifer who latter was confused with his follower Satan, leader of the fallen angels, wished to be as God.

This prideful desire was not a wish to be equal to God, for Satan knew by his natural knowledge that equality of creature with creator is utterly impossible. Besides, no creature actually desires to destroy itself, even to become something greater.

On this point man sometimes deceives himself by a trick of imagination; he imagines himself to be another and greater being, and yet it is himself that is somehow this other being.

But an angel has no sense-faculty of imagination to abuse in this fashion.

The angelic intellect, with its clear knowledge, makes such self-deception impossible.

Lucifer knew that to be equal with God, he would have to be God, and he knew perfectly that this could not be.

What he wanted was to be as God; he wished to be like God in a way not suited to his nature, such as to create things by his own power, or to achieve final beatitude without God’s help, or to have command over others in a way proper to God alone.

Every nature, that is every essence as operating, tends to some good. An intellectual nature tends to good in general, good under its common aspects, good as such. The fallen angels therefore are not naturally evil.

The devil did not sin in the very instant of his creation.

When a perfect cause makes a nature, the first operation of that nature must be in line with the perfection of its cause. Hence the devil was not created in wickedness. He, like all the angels, was created in the state of sanctifying grace. But the devil, with his companions, sinned immediately after creation. He rejected the grace in which he was created, and which he was meant to use, as the good angels used it, to merit beatitude. If, however, the angels were not created in grace (as some hold) but had grace available as soon as they were created, then it may be that some interval occurred between the creation and the sin of Lucifer and his companions. Lucifer, chief of the sinning angels, was probably the highest of all the angels. But there are some who think that Lucifer was highest only among the rebel angels. The sin of the highest angel was a bad example which attracted the other rebel angels, and, to this extent, was the cause of their sin. The faithful angels are a greater multitude than the fallen angels. For sin is contrary to the natural order. Now, what is opposed to the natural order occurs less frequently, or in fewer instances, than what accords with the natural order.

State of the Fallen Angels

The fallen angels did not lose their natural knowledge by their sin; nor did they lose their angelic intellect. The fallen angels are obstinate in evil, unrepentant, inflexibly determined in their sin. This follows from their nature as pure spirits, for the choice of a pure spirit is necessarily final and unchanging. Yet we must say that there is sorrow in the fallen angels, though not the sorrow of repentance.


They have sorrow in the affliction of knowing that they cannot attain beatitude; that there are curbs upon their wicked will; that men, despite their efforts, may get to heaven. The fallen angels are engaged in battling against man’s salvation and in torturing lost souls in hell.

The fallen angels that beset man on earth carry with them their own dark and punishing atmosphere, and wherever they are they endure the pains of hell.


Orders among the Fallen Angels


The angels that rebelled and became demons did not lose their nature or their connatural gifts. They cast away, by their sin, the grace in which they were created. They did not cast away the beatific vision, for they never had it.


Now, if we think of angelic orders as orders of angels in glory, then, of course, there are no orders of bad angels. But if we consider angelic orders as order of angelic nature simply, there are orders among the demons. Certainly, there is precedence among bad angels; there is a subjection of some to others.


Demons of superior nature do not enlighten inferior demons; enlightenment here could only mean the manifestation of truth with reference to God, and the fallen angels have perversely and permanently turned away from God. But demons can speak to one another, that is, they can make known their thoughts to one another, for this ability belongs to the angelic nature which the demons retain. The nearer creatures are to God the greater is their rule over other creatures.


Therefore, the good angels rule and control the demons. Assaults of Bad Angels on Man to tempt mean one of two things: (a) to make a test or trial; thus “God tempted Abraham” (Gen. 22:1); (b) to invite, incite, or allure someone to sin. It is in the second sense of the word that the fallen angels tempt human beings.


God permits this assault of the demons upon men, and turns it into a human opportunity and benefit;


God gives to men all requisite aid to repulse the assaults of demons, and to advance in grace and merit by resisting temptation.


To the devil (who is the fallen Lucifer, now Satan) belong exclusively the plan and campaign of the demons’ assaults upon mankind. In one way the devil is the cause of every human sin; he tempted Adam and thus contributed to the fall which renders men prone to sin.


If we desire to believe in fallen angels we have to accept Lucifer in the mix.


Diabolical influence does not enter into every sin of man. Some sins come of the weakness of human nature and from inordinateness of appetites which the sinner freely allows to prevail.


Angels cannot perform miracles; therefore demons cannot. But demons can do astonishing things, and can occasion real havoc. When the assault of demons is repulsed, the devil is not rendered incapable of further attack. But it seems that he cannot return immediately to the assault, but only after the lapse of a definite time. God’s mercy as well as the shrewdness of the tempter, seems to promise so much.


The Archangels & Angels


All Archangels (except two) end with the “el” suffix. “El” meaning “in God” and the first half of the name meaning what each individual Angel specializes in. Archangels are able to be in many places at one time.


You never have to feel that your “problem” isn’t important enough to bother them with. That is what they’re there for, to help you grow


(Remember when you make your requests to an archangel; they are not able to interfere with your karma).


The most popular Archangels are Michael, Raphael, Gabriel and Uriel who are depicted in the Christian Bible.


There are many Archangels, and there’s much debate to who they are, how many there actually are, their many different names, and the spelling variations of their names, but listed are many.


The portrayal of the synthesis for the Archangels & Angels section was made by me using as much as possible the information in hand.


The order in which they are presented starts with the 7 Archangels who stand before the Throne of God, and continues alphabetically with more Archangels and Angels.


The Archangels & Angels


All Archangels (except two) end with the “el” suffix. “El” meaning “in God” and the first half of the name meaning what each individual Angel specializes in.


Angel Color Correspondences:


WHITE Purity, truth, angelic energies, sincerity, hope, spiritual strength, protection, power of divinity, Angels of light, Cancer, the Moon. All-purpose correspondences.

PURPLE Clarity of thought, richness, worldly ambitions, power, religion, healing, overcoming business difficulties. Angels of Sagittarius, Jupiter, the moon (lavender), Mercury (violet), chaos (dark purple)

BLUE Tranquility, patience, understanding, health, psychism, intuition, wisdom, protection, happiness, transformation. Angels of water, Jupiter, Venus (light blue), lakes, seas, Pisces (dark blue), Venus (pale blue), Taurus, Cancer (dark blue), Libra (blue-green), Sagittarius (deep blue), the Moon, Aquarius (iridescent)

GREEN Health, luck, fortune, fertility, nurturing, growth, money, prosperity. Angels of Venus (pale green), forests, mountains, earth, Taurus, Pisces (sea-green)

YELLOW Attraction, charm, confidence, drawing, fascination, joy, intellect, communication, travel, captivation. Angels of air, Leo, the Sun, Mercury (pale yellow)

ORANGE Career, encouragement, stimulation, adaptability, courage, manifestation. Angels of Mercury, Leo, Virgo (sienna), Aquarius (dark orange)

RED Passion, strength, virility, health, physical longevity, protection, defense, attack, energy, victory. Angels of fire, mars, Aries, Leo (scarlet), Scorpio (deep red)

PINK Love, passion, communication, relaxation, healing of spirit, success, compassion, honor, conquering evil. Angels of Venus, Taurus and Libra.

GOLD Male virility, success, happiness, confidence, courage. Angels of the Sun and Leo. SILVER Female energies, psychism, strength and compassion, patience, higher wisdom. Angels of the Moon, Cancer, Virgo, chaos (pewter)

BROWN Friendship, earth energies, assertiveness, health and safety of animals, financial success. Angels of earth, mountains, forests, Virgo and Aquarius.

BLACK Binding, fighting negativity, banishing, protection. Angels of Saturn, earth, chaos and Scorpio.

TURQUOISE OR GREY Neutralizing, stopping gossip, balancing karma. Angels of Venus, Saturn, Libra.


Celestial Light According to belief, is the sacred light of all ages,

The celestial light was but one of the seven precious gifts enjoyed by Adam before the fall and to be granted to man again only in the Messianic time. It is also the halo emanating from certain visions of a mystical nature.


However it can only be observed by those who have lived ascetic lives, and when life has almost left the body.


A Buddhist Angel Concept


Sky Dancing Angels


“The teaching of the whispered lineage is the Dakini’s breath”

Milarepa The literal translation of Dakini is “Sky Dancer”.


The Western forms for Dakinis are Angels.


If you believe in or have curiosity about Angels, well Dakinis immediately follow.


The Western idea of an Angel being a beautiful celestial being who flies in the sky and who sometimes comes to earth to provide inspiration and support to us mortals is very similar to the Dakinis.


Generally when they are referred to in Buddhist literature it is assumed they are devoted to the Truth (Dharma).


But the broader meaning of the word is a female


Males are called Dakas


Spirit who has some freedom but is still bound by their past actions.


Thus there are good Angels and bad Angels or some allow for simply confused Angels.


Some people might argue that you couldn’t call them an Angel anymore if they’re bad, but that’s ridiculous since being predictable is not part of anyone’s long-term nature.


Thus there are worldy Dakinis who are malicious and use their powers to confuse us, to arouse passions that are destructive, and who use their charms for their own selfish purposes.


Dakinis can manifest on earth in human form or take birth as a human.


These are then called “worldly Dakinis” and I’m sure you’ve met at least one or two in your lifetime. Women (or men) who seem to be able to simply will things into being. People who are so charming that they seduce whatever they want from the world and enjoy it fully, yet also remain somewhat disattached from the results.


Dharma Dakinis are devoted to a higher purpose and so their actions are generally positive.

But it is hard to generalize the actions of Dharma Dakinis since they aim to break our rabid fixation on concrete thoughts.


Dharma Dakinis are not afraid to use their powers to dazzle us, arouse us out of our sleep of habits, and seduce us onto a path of truth. Dakinis are tricky, capricious, and unpredictable.


We’re in trouble when the Dakini disrupts our mind with magic, breaks our habitual thought patterns with the miraculous, or simply opens our hearts with mad adoration.


Messengers between our earthly realm and the higher realms of the teachers, they help to bring the powerful teachings to earth, protect the truth from destructive forces, and bring blessings to sincere seekers.


The natural result is to fall in love with a Dakini or Angel.


How can you avoid falling in love with someone who inspires wild love and higher meaning suffused with delight? Fixate on that pleasure and the Dakini does the most compassionate thing possible. They fly away. Dakinis do not manifest simply for our pleasure. (There are people who will do that but it usually requires negotiation and some form of hard currency).


Dakinis manifest the beauty of the Truth which is then an invitation to follow the path of Truth. Sky Dancers help us through vision and inspiration. But although we can be greatly inspired by a Dakini (another word is Muse), they will only come back if we put into action what they have shown us.


In that regard a Dakini’s love is unswerving and always compassionate. It doesn’t matter if we wait a few hours or a few lifetimes to put our inspiration into action. Miracles occur but sometimes it takes years to fully realize the implications. When we do realize or remember, our hearts open, and again the magic and majesty of the universe is open to us.


The Dakinis celebrate the Truth and our resolve to work for it in a most extraordinary way. They dance in the sky.


Angel Magic

Since man has held a belief in angels he has also tried to harness their help and power for his own ends. There are generally two ways in which believers try to do this and these methods are called evocation or invocations Evocations are special spells that use a variety of different tools to invoke a physical appearance or manifestation of an angel.

Some of these tools might include: incense, candles, books, knives and circles drawn upon the floor.


However the component/s may vary according to the type of spell being used. Incense is one of the more frequently used tools as there is a belief that the ethereal smoke is required as a substance in which the angel may make itself seen.




Invocations are very similar to evocations, however there is one main difference; i.e., the person trying to summon the angel tries to persuade it to enter their body as opposed to physically appearing. This is so they can communicate. Although far more dangerous it is considered an easier thing to do.


There are a few major flaws with the idea of angel magic namely:

Those faiths that hold a belief in angels, mainly Judaism and Christianity, also preach that using magic is a sin.


Angels generally come and go as they wish or they engage themselves in God’s bidding and not that of man. Even the lowliest of angels is more powerful than man so why one might be compelled to do something by a man is unclear. If it was possible to have the power to bind an angel then wouldn’t that same person have the power to achieve his goals himself?


God would bring down his full wrath on any mortal foolhardy enough to try to use one of his angels.


It is also doubtful anyway that God would employ angels that were so incompetent that they would allow themselves to be used by man.


Perhaps a nicer way to acquire the help of angels is through the popular New Age idea of angel meditation. This is where an individual tries to clear his mind and soul in the hope that an angel/s will serve to guide him.


Apparently this has given rise to ideas such as angelic tarot style cards.


” The name given to the holy Dominions signifies a certain unbounded elevation to that which is above, freedom from all that is of the earth, and from all inward inclination to the bondage of discord, a liberal superiority to harsh tyranny, an exemptness from degrading servility and from all that is low: for they are untouched by any inconsistency.


They are true Lords, perpetually aspiring to true lordship, and to the Source of lordship, and they providentially fashion themselves and those below them, as far as possible, into the likeness of true lordship. They do not turn towards vain shadows, but wholly give themselves to that true Authority, forever one with the Godlike Source of lordship.”


In the traditions of Angelology, Dominations are the first Angels (and therefore the oldest Angels) created by God.




They are sometimes perceived as travelers, appearing in widely separated spaces and times.


By custom Dominations are believed to wear green and gold, and their symbols are the sword and scepter. This denotes their lordship over all created things. In turn, the dominations receive their instructions from the Cherubim or Thrones.

On a magical basis, anything concerning leadership falls under the area of the Dominations.


To reach the Dominations burn a white candle for Divinity and a pink candle for the Dominions.


Members of this Angelic Order:


Hashmal Zadkiel Muriel Zacharael (Yahriel)


Those beings of light that act as generators within the physical realms belong to the Eighth Order of Angels. They manifest in this Universe as astronomically large beings, and generate various amounts of light.

They are called Virtuesand also known as the Malakim and the Tarshishim, they commune directly with stars and the nebulae which give stars birth, and with even larger astronomical phenomena. Said to work miracles on earth, the Virtues bestow grace and valor to those worthy.

The Virtues’ primary job is to move massive quantities of spiritual energy to the earth plane and the collective human consciousness.

The Virtues are said to be very fond of those striving to achieve more than people say they can. They love all the go-getters and the positive people who try to enlighten and lead others toward harmony. Virtues work with movement, guiding the elemental energies that affect the planet. When you work with elemental energies, it is the Virtues who listen to you and assist you.

When you are sick or scared call on the Virtues. Quote from Dionysius the Areopagite text:

“The name of the holy Virtues signifies a certain powerful and unshakable virility welling forth into all their Godlike energies; not being weak and feeble for any reception of the divine Illuminations granted to it; mounting upwards in fullness of power to an assimilation with God; never falling away from the Divine Life through its own weakness, but ascending unwaveringly to the super essential Virtue which is the Source of virtue: fashioning itself, as far as it may, in virtue; perfectly turned towards the Source of virtue, and flowing forth providentially to those below it, abundantly filling them with virtue.”

Function and Philosophy

The virtues are ranked eighth in the heavenly host out of the 12 Orders of Angels.

There is a little mixed-up in the ranking of Virtues, some places them above Powers and some below, whichever, they are members of the third Choir with Dominations and Powers. As a member of this triad, they take part in the duties given to the Choir, namely the ordering of the universe.

The virtues specifically preside over the elements of the world and the process of celestial life. Thus all heavenly bodies-from the stars and planets to the galaxies themselves-are kept in their divinely appointed routes and progress.

On earth the angels maintain a watch over nature, marking and guiding every facet of natural life: rain, snow, wind, etc. It has also been speculated that Virtues are in charge of miracles. As if these duties were not enough, the angels also assist humanity by stowing grace and valor within the mortal heart.

They encourage humans to turn always to the good and help enhance the person’s will to endure hardship and suffering and to have the personal strength to turn ever toward God. As the angels in charge of miracles, they receive their orders from the Order above them, but they are also closely interlaced with the saints.

To reach the Virtues burn a white candle for Divinity and an orange candle for the Virtues. Members of this Angelic Order: Chamuel Uriel Gabriel Michael Tarshish Peliel Barbiel Sabriel Haniel Hamaliel


The Ninth Order of Angels is those beings who maintain the laws set into motion we call the physical realms. They are keepers and teachers of the laws and are known as Powers.

These are information gatherers and depositors of truth and information to all things that exist. According to tradition, the Powers are Guardians of order (peace & order), a form of Celestial Police Force, who attempt to assure order in the World (according to God’s will). In scripture the Powers are said to stop the efforts of “demons” to overthrow the world, or else they preside over demons, making them “evil”, as claimed by St. Paul.

They are however, the keepers of human history. They are known as the angels of birth and death and they organize the world’s religions and send divine energy to keep the positive aspects of religion growing. Powers work through the human 6th sense, and are the angels of warning. The Powers are Virtues embodied. They were not created with the other Angelic Orders, but came into being during Lucifer’s rebellion.

The noblest and purest angels, led by Archangel Uriel, became a new kind of celestial, warrior angels so resolute that they could not Fall. Since then, they have been Heaven’s first and last line of defense against the diabolical hordes.

Quote from Dionysius the Areopagite text:

“The name of the holy Powers, co-equal with the Divine Dominions and Virtues, signifies an orderly and unconfined order in the divine receptions, and the regulation of intellectual and super mundane power which never debases its authority by tyrannical force, but is irresistibly urged onward in due order to the Divine. It beneficently leads those below it, as far as possible, to the Supreme Power which is the Source of Power, which it manifests after the manner of Angels in the well-ordered ranks of its own authoritative power.”

Function and Philosophy

One of the 12 Angelic Orders, Powers are also known as Potentates, Authorities, Dynamics, and Forces.

They are placed in the third Choir along with Dominations and Virtues, numbered ninth overall. Some believe that the Powers like the Thrones were supposedly the very first of the angels created by God.

This disagrees with the theory that all angels came into existence at a single moment and with the believe that they came into being during the Angels war with the evil forces. Powers have the task of defeating the efforts of the demons in overthrowing the world. They are declared awesome defenders of the cosmos against all evil and the maintainers of all cosmic order and equilibrium.

They are the guardians of the heavenly paths, policing the routes to and from heaven to the earth. This means they concern themselves with humanity as well. The great harmonizers, they assist each soul to overcome the temptations place before it to do evil and to lean instead toward the proper action (that being to Love and worship God.)

During heavenly warfare they are a major line of defense. They are also tasked with guarding the celestial byways between the two realms and ensuring that souls which leave the mortal world reach heaven safely.

Perhaps not surpassingly, given their proximity to the nether regions, there are more angels from the ranks of the powers listed as fallen than from any other member of the hierarchy. Characteristics Powers’ colors are green and gold, and their symbol is a flaming sword. On a magical basis, the Powers are warrior angels, and you can call on them when you’re in trouble.


These angels will defend your home, property, children or any group of people who call on them for protection and defense. To reach the Powers, burn a white candle for Divinity and a yellow candle for the Powers.

Members of this Angelic Order: Gabriel Raphael Camael Verchiel

The Fourth Choir


Govern The Entire World:

The Fourth Choir Angels find themselves intricately involved in human affairs and are considered the Angels of the Earth and the friends of man. They constantly weave in and out of our lives, listening closely to human affairs.

The Fourth Choir Angels include the Principalities, the Archangels, and those simply called the Angels.

These three Angelic Orders are charged with relations with mankind, and thus the “least Divine” of all the Angelic Orders.

From Divine Diplomats to Heavenly Socialites. The Fourth Choir Orders are the developers of politics and the arbiters of taste, bringing the discipline of abstract structures to the corporeal realm.


Those angels of the Tenth Order of Angels are governors and administrators of various systems within the physical realms. They have been known to become patrons of whole areas, countries or cities.

They are known as Principalities. They work with and conjoin their energies with larger groups of various types or species.


Those angels of the Twelfth Order of Angels are the messengers that commune with various life forms within the physical worlds. These include the Guardian Angels of humankind. They are called Angels.

These are the most accessible angels to humans and other life forms. They are constantly present.

To understand better how this number of Twelve Orders list was from “The Number Twelve (12)” section.

Each Angelic Order has its special purpose for existing, and now let’s sees some details about them. Orders of the First Choir are: Supernals – Celestials – Illuminations Orders of the Second Choir are: Seraphim – Cherubim – Thrones Orders of the Third Choir are:

Dominations – Virtues – Powers Orders of the Fourth Choir are:

Principalities – Archangels – Angels At the end of this page you will find some more references about the number, the hierarchy, and the names of the Angelic Orders.

No one can really say which is the correct number of the Angelic Orders but personally I find the number 12 and this list more mystical and appealing to the whole subject as 12 is the number of completion.

The portrayal of the synthesis for – The 12 Orders – was made by me using as much as possible the information in hand The Fourth Choir – We share the 12 in this dimension as the twelfth dimension while our sleep state is the 13th Order.

13th Order as the Thirteenth Plane and 13th Dimension in the Spiritual Traversed Realms as Time Travelers.

ANGELS OF THE WORLD: Govern The Entire World:

The Fourth Choir Angels find themselves intricately involved in human affairs and are considered the Angels of the Earth and the friends of man. They constantly weave in and out of our lives, listening closely to human affairs.

The Fourth Choir Angels include the Principalities, the Archangels, and those simply called the Angels.” These three Angelic Orders are charged with relations with mankind, and thus the “least Divine” of all the Angelic Orders. From Divine Diplomats to Heavenly Socialites.

The Fourth Choir Orders are the developers of politics and the arbiters of taste, bringing the discipline of abstract structures to the corporeal realm.

Large groups of them may appear at tragic events as they accompany their charges to their next level or dimensional area.

They also at times inspire through thoughts and ideas. Quote from Dionysius the Areopagite text:

“For the Angels, as we have said, fill up and complete the lowest order of all the Choirs of the Celestial Intelligences since they are the last of the Celestial Beings possessing the angelic nature. And they, indeed, are more properly named Angels by us than are those of a higher rank because their order is more directly in contact With manifested and mundane things.”

The highest Choir, as we have said, being in the foremost place near the Hidden One, must be regarded as hierarchically ordering in a bidden manner the second Choir; and the Choir of Dominions, Virtues and Powers, leads the Principalities, Archangels and Angels more manifestly, indeed, than the first Choir, but in a more hidden manner than the Choir below it; and the revealing Choir of the Principalities, Archangels and Angels presides one through the other over the human hierarchies so that their elevation and turning to God and their communion and union with Him may be in order; and moreover, that the procession from God, beneficently granted to all the Hierarchies, and visiting them all in common, may be with the most holy order.

Accordingly the Word of God has given our hierarchy into the care of Angels, for Archangel Michael is called Lord of the people of Judah, and other Archangels are assigned to other peoples. For the Most High established the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the Angels of God.” Guardians are the Angels that are assigned to a particular human being. Our own Personal Guardian Angel!


They join us at birth, and help s move over into the otherworld when we part the earthly plane. They defend us when we’re in trouble, guide us in the right direction according to our life plan, give us small insights into how things are, and inspire us to live better lives. Our Guardian Angels are constantly in touch with any and all of the angels in the 12 Orders.


They pass messages along to the relevant parties, and if we ask for help from our Guardian Angel, they assist us, and call on other angels too to help. Guardian Angels can come from any of the 12 Orders.


Each angel has his/her (or its) function. None is better or more important than the others.


Function and Philosophy:


The twelfth and final order of angels belongs to the fourth and final Choir, their primary focus of their existence being the caretaker-ship of humanity and the world.


While the lowest ranked of all angelic beings (if one accepts the idea of a regulated angelic organization), angels are nevertheless members of the heavenly host and thus possess the profound and beautiful attributes given to them by their Creator.


They are beings of pure spirituality and exist to fulfill the tasks given to them by God. Chief among these are to act as messengers of the Lord to the earth and guardians of the human soul.


The Guardian Angel is the angelic being supposedly assigned not only to every living soul, but to places, churches, and even nations.


They proclaimed the birth of Christ and spoke to Abraham, Moses, and a host of other prophets and patriarchies in the Old Testament.


It is precisely the humans that the members of the twelfth Order are most often concerned with. They deliver new or word of impending destruction and woe.

This is done through both physical and spiritual means. Angels also observe all of human history, perhaps recording every human act to provide a clear statement of the development of each soul. In heaven angels provide valuable service, in proper fulfillment of their natures as purely spiritual beings and the will of the Creator.

To reach your guardian angel, burn your favorite color candle.

Add a white one beside it for Divinity. Members of this Angelic Order: Gabriel Raphael Chayyliel Phaleg Adnachiel (Advachief) he First Choir is the non-tangible “invisible” one and the expression of the loving intention of the Source of the Whole of Existence.

Within the 1st Choir are three Orders of Beings of Pure Light which are everywhere and nowhere at the same time, and thus an “extension” of God Himself – The Source of the Whole of Existence.

This first Choir forms a kind of Trinity and the means for The Source of the Whole of Existence to extent his Divine Will, Wisdom and Light downward to the next Orders of Angels and so on to the physical realms. These Angelic Orders are listed each as they came into being and into their Choirs. The first order of angels was the first companions for the Source of the Whole of Existence also known as the Holy Twelve or the Angels of Presence. Then the second order came into being and so on in the same capacity. In actuality they came into being simultaneously before there was time. Each order took on different roles and a variety of duties as they interacted with the universes.

The first angels existed as brilliant shining light, and radiated tremendous loving everywhere. The Angelic Orders of the First Choir are: The Supernals, the Celestials and the Illuminations.



The First Order of Angels is of brilliant gold light and is companions to The Source of the Whole of Existence.

They form what are known as the Holly Twelve or the Angels of the Presence. They are known as the Supernals. There are always 12 Supernals at any given time that serve in this capacity, as 12 is the number of completion within physical orders. Their presence forms within it, the abode of the Source of the Whole of Existence.

The Holy Twelve – Supernals – are those beings, who are extensions and the first intentions of the Source of the Whole of Existence. Each of these twelve possesses an ascending and descending principle of creation in balance, harmony and synchronization with each of the twelve. The Holy Twelve assisted the angels in becoming aware of the wisdom of all things. Members of this Angelic Order : Michael Metatron Suriel Sandalphon Astanphaeus Saraqael Phanuel Jehoel Zagzagael Uriel Yefeiah Akatriel.




The Second Order of Angels maintains the connections between Divine Thought and Wisdom and its manifestation into the physical realms. They appear as shinning silver light. They are known as the Celestials.


Few ever appear to humans or 3rd density realms.


They are present throughout all of existence.


Member of this Angelic Order: Celestial (Astarael)




Those of the Third Order of Angels are of the highest physical form and maintain and

Accomplish the emulations of divine light and wisdom throughout the physical realms.

They appear as iridescent light and are known as Illuminations.

They are present within all physical realms. Member of this Angelic Order: Sandalphon (Ilaniel)

The Second Choir


Govern All Creation: The second Choir of angels is collectively concerned with the universe and the manifestations of divinity within it, operating at the highest level of the astral. Some see these as the angels of pure contemplation. This means that they manifest energy through pure thought. These angels possess the deepest knowledge of Divinity, and its inner workings and manifestations.


The angels of the first Choir are: The Seraphim, the Cherubim and the Thrones.


The Fourth Order of Angels manifests so rapidly within the physical realms that they appear as 6 wings of light with eyes.

They are known as Seraphim, their very name means ardor and are in charge of maintaining the presence of the Source of the Whole of Existence within the physical worlds.

They are the guardians of the various universes.

Quote from Dionysius the Areopagite text:

“The name Seraphim clearly indicates their ceaseless and eternal revolution about Divine Principles, their heat and keenness, the exuberance of their intense, perpetual, tireless activity, and their elevative and energetic assimilation of those below, kindling them and firing them to their own heat, and wholly purifying them by a burning and all- consuming flame; and by the unhidden, unquenchable, changeless, radiant and enlightening power, dispelling and destroying the shadows of darkness.”


The Seraphim are primarily concerned with vibrational manifestations which keep Divinity in perfect order.

They have been described as being the angels of love, light and fire. They help to carry positive energy through the orders of the angels to us in the physical realms.

Supposedly they are so bright and powerful that to look at them would instill one with pure fright. Because of this, the only beings known to interact with the Seraphim are The Lord and Lady, and the Archangel Michael.

These angels work with consuming divine love and compassion.

The Seraphim without question they are the closest in all of heaven to the very throne of God, and their primary function is to circle the incomprehensibly beautiful throne in perpetual adoration of the Lord.

This is a task that is not nearly as monotonous as it may seem to mortals, given the nature of the angels (who have perfect powers of concentration) and the delight that such an honor actually brings to the spirits.

The Seraphim are almost always identified with fire-not the burning, painful flames and heat of hell, but the healing flame of Love. They are literally living flames.

The intensity of their adoration and pure Love of God pure out of them as a flawless reflection of the Divine Love that emanates from the Lord.

Like the rising sun, each angel radiates such light that even the other Holy Beings.

The Cherubim and the Thrones cannot look upon them.

According to Enoch, each Seraphim has six wings.

In the Old Testament Book of Isaiah (6:1-3) he writes

“…I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the Seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.”

In the Book of Revelation (4:8) is another possible reference:

“And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to sing ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come!”

In Isaiah 6, we read that the Seraphim have 6 wings magically, work with the Seraphim when you wish to raise energy for humanitarian or planetary causes.

They listen to group ritual.

To reach the Seraphim, burn a white candle for Divinity, and a purple candle for the Seraphim.

Members of this Angelic Order:

Michael Seraphiel Gabriel Metatron Uriel Nathanael Jehoel Chamuel (Kemuel, Shemuel) Metatron Satan (before his fall)


Members of the Fifth Order of Angels are youthful and appear as faces of light or very childlike forms.

They are the reminders of joy, happiness and the essence of creation. They are known as Cherubim.

They appear when humanity remembers its own joy and allows happiness to be present.

Their name signifies “fullness of knowledge”.

Characterized by a deep insight into God’s secrets, the cherubim hold the knowledge of God and they truly possess the fullness of the divine science of heaven.

“It is also they who are often sent to earth with the greatest of tasks; the expulsion of Man from the Garden of Eden and the Annunciation of Christ were both performed by cherubim”.

They enlighten the lesser orders of angels and are to them the Voice of Divine Wisdom. Quote from Dionysius the Areopagite text:

“The name Cherubim denotes their power of knowing and beholding God, their receptivity to the highest Gift of Light, their contemplation of the Beauty of the Godhead in Its First Manifestation, and that they are filled by participation in Divine Wisdom, and bounteously outpour to those below them from their own fount of wisdom.”

The Cherubim have been described as the guardians of the fixed stars, keepers of celestial records, best owners of knowledge. They are also said to be the guardians of light. They create and channel positive energy from Divinity and appear in exquisite form.

They supposedly outshine all the other angels. The Cherubim watch over all the galaxies, and guard any religious temples. An older description places the Cherubim with four faces and four wings, which could be a mythical representation associating them with the four winds.

In the Renaissance period they somehow got shrunk into little baby-face angels now known as Cherubs.

Function and Philosophy

12 Celestial Order of hierarchy

(With the Seraphim and Thrones)

They are some of the most powerful and awe-inspiring of all the angels, standing below the Seraphim in direct closeness to God.

Their illuminative knowledge and wisdom are thus so great as to be utterly incomprehensible to the mortal mind, blinding the blessed human who has the honor of actually beholding them in this world.


Only a step below the Seraphim in Divinity, the Cherubim have always been much more active on Earth, protecting all God’s creations. No other Order works harder (only the Powers are their equals in relentless devotion to duty).

If humans knew just how much the Cherubim have done for them, they would occupy the most privileged station in Angelic Lore.

In Islamic lore, the Cherubim were allegedly created out of the tears shed by the Archangel Michael for all the sins of humanity. They are the first angels to be encountered in the Old Testament, being posted in the Book of Genesis in the east of Eden to ensure that no one entered after the expulsion of Adam and Eve.

Their chief task in the celestial hierarchy is to sing the praises of God, but they are also declared in occult lore to have the responsibility of driving the Chariot of the Lord (Merkabahs), a key symbol of heaven.

They are described as the Charioteers of God, steering the Ophanim/Wheels (another name use for the order of Thrones). The Cherubim are also given the task of maintaining the records of heaven and seeing to the details necessary to keep order in the Heavenly Host.

For other angelic hierarchies, see Hierarchy of angels.

According to medieval Christian theologians, the Angels are organized into several orders, or Angelic Choirs.

The most influential of these classifications was that put forward by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in the 4th or 5th century, in his book “The Celestial Hierarchy”. However, during the Middle Ages, many schemes were proposed, some drawing on and expanding on Pseudo-Dionysius, others suggesting completely different classifications (some authors limited the number of Choirs to seven). Several other hierarchies were proposed, some in nearly inverted order. Scholars of the middle Ages believed that angels and archangels were lowest in the order and were the only angels directly involved in the affairs of the world of men.

The authors of The Celestial Hierarchy and the Summa Theological drew on passages from the New Testament, specifically Ephesians 1:21 and Colossians 1:16, in an attempt to reveal a schema of three Hierarchies, Spheres or Triads of angels, with each Hierarchy containing three Orders or Choirs.

From the comparative study of the Old Testament and New Testament passages, including their etymology and semantics, the above mentioned theological works (which contain variations), and esoteric Christian teachings, the descending order of rank can be inferred as following:

The Assumption of the Virgin by Francesco Botticini at the National Gallery London, shows three hierarchies and nine orders of angels, each with different characteristics

* As I was asked to share my ways as a Channel. I always protect myself with the White Light, I always pray and meditate, and always as my Guide, and Angels of God/Goddess to Protect me. I also pray for the all inside the Omniverse of all that exists which is of God the All Might and Omnificent and everpresent here and of the hereafter!

We can all learn more about that which was once thought only of those who were of believers in myths and folklore. There are reasons that we accept that which is of Nature’s God in America. This land was the chosen part and that which lies beyond has always been a part of us all who are created here on earth.

I use the Blue Flame and the Violet Flame with my Virtue of Gold.

We can all humble ourselves by asking to be guided here while we seek to become Lords and Ladies of the Most Hight Ever Present as Immortals of these Universes of the Metaverse and Omniverse.

We shall learn of the Dakini and Sky People as Sky Dancers who delight in our reward of what is called the Ascension of Humankind on Earth as it is in Heaven!

Those who are familiar with the Ancient Alien Theorists will share in the delight of finding the treasures that the Chosen Angels as our Guides have laid before us to find in the honor of what was promised after the coming of the Christ which occurred after the Great Flood on Gaia. We are to become more like they who are not only like us but can be us in clay form although they are of the fire and wind. We have our water Angels and those that come and go in both day and night which are seen and some may be considered the Ancient Aliens.

It is up to the individual and possessor of the vision to describe whether a good or bad angel or alien in this time while we are on earth.

This is a time called the Ascension Age when we are to shift and uplift with enlightenment even the most downhearted and downtrodden individual spirit which desires to understand more of the eternal soul’s progression while connected to those above on this level of earth. We shall all return from the fluid-gas-solid as mind-body-spirit form that we call clay in the old ways of the world in words. We have the breath of life which is also considered that which drives our spirit as a gas which will become a fluid vibration once again with an order in levels of our own eternal soul creation of those above and we have both a male and female the same as all creations.

We are fashioned after our original creators outside of the Omniverse in the Higher Heavens that are not registered for the likes of humankind to find.




















































Only the Angels are allowed to come and go in these further dimensions of time as wisdom of the eternal planes and dimensions in time. Therefore, if we strive for the stars above as our ancient alien ancestors have done in the past, we shall set our spirits free to roam in this universe and possibly all others in the Omniverse of the Alpha and Omega which will have to be enough for this lifetime and many others. We share that those who have always been are the alpha Gods and Omega Goddesses. Up to each of us as the imaginations of our minds as to how far we shall readh in this quest for our further Ascension Enlightenment.


Awakened Awareness of the Ascension Age allows us to explore the cosmos as the Ascension Age of Cosmology



Seraphim and Cherubim’s are some who are now discovering that the Grays could have at one time been considered as the cherubim’s. There is no way to tell but they are the drivers as the Charioteers.

We shall return to another form whether all three which is of this earth in the Fifth World Dimension with fluid-gas-solid and body-mind-spirit.

Keep the Faith and learn about all that has been left on earth to be regarded as treasures of knowledge of the Most High and the Supreme Beings who Rule this Universe as the Supreme High Council.

We shall become as one species that is ruled with all others in all other galaxies in the universe which is a part of the Ascension Age.

Those who speak of Orion, Sirius, and other paths to other Kingdoms, Mansions, and Worlds shall be delighted to know that they are merely stepping stones to the other universes which we shall claim in the branes of what we shall learn to recognize in the coming Quantum Entanglement of Science. Religions are all available to welcome their paths as enlightenment to the One and All as the Mother and Father of the Omniverse.

All paths lead to the Creators of the Omniverse.

There are levels of love, light, and enlightenment of our species. This was preordained and is manifested in each of us!

Healthy ecosystems and environments provide vital resources and processes (known as “ecosystem services”). There are two major ways of managing human impact on ecosystem services. One approach is environmental management; this approach is based largely on information gained from educated professionals in earth science, environmental science, and conservation biology. Another approach is management of consumption of resources, which is based largely on information gained from educated professionals in economics.

Human sustainability interfaces with economics through the voluntary trade consequences of economic activity. Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails, among other factors, international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from controlling living conditions (e.g., ecovillages, eco-municipalities and sustainable cities), to reappraising work practices (e.g., using permaculture, green building, sustainable agriculture), or developing new technologies that reduce the consumption of resources.


A diagram indicating the relationship between the three pillars of sustainability suggesting that both economy and society are constrained by environmental limits

 Scheme of sustainable development: at the confluence of three constituent parts. The word sustainability is derived from the Latin sustinere (tenere, to hold; sus, up). Dictionaries provide more than ten meanings for sustain, the main ones being to “maintain”, “support”, or “endure”.

 However, since the 1980s sustainability has been used more in the sense of human sustainability on planet Earth and this has resulted in the most widely quoted definition of sustainability and sustainable development, that of the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations on March 20, 1987: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

 At the 2005 World Summit it was noted that this requires the reconciliation of environmental, social equity and economic demands – the “three pillars” of sustainability or (the 3 E’s).

 This view has been expressed as an illustration using three overlapping ellipses indicating that the three pillars of sustainability are not mutually exclusive and can be mutually reinforcing.

 The three pillars – or the “triple bottom line” – have served as a common ground for numerous sustainability standards and certification systems in recent years, in particular in the food industry.

 Standards which today explicitly refer to the triple bottom line include Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, UTZ Certified, and The Common Code for the Coffee Community.

 The triple bottom line is also recognized by the ISEAL Alliance – the global association for social and environmental standards.

The triple bottom line as defined by the UN is not universally accepted and has undergone various interpretations.

What sustainability is, what its goals should be, and how these goals are to be achieved are all open to interpretation.

 For many environmentalists, the idea of sustainable development is an oxymoron as development seems to entail environmental degradation.

 Ecological economist Herman Daly has asked, “what use is a sawmill without a forest?”

 From this perspective, the economy is a subsystem of human society, which is itself a subsystem of the biosphere and a gain in one sector is a loss from another.

 This can be illustrated as three concentric circles.

A universally accepted definition of sustainability remains elusive because it is expected to achieve many things. On the one hand it needs to be factual and scientific, a clear statement of a specific “destination”. The simple definition “sustainability is improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems”, though vague, conveys the idea of sustainability having quantifiable limits. But sustainability is also a call to action, a task in progress or “journey” and therefore a political process, so some definitions set out common goals and values.

The Earth Charter speaks of “a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.”

To add complication, the word sustainability is applied not only to human sustainability on Earth, but too many situations and contexts over many scales of space and time, from small local ones to the global balance of production and consumption. It can also refer to a future intention: “sustainable agriculture” is not necessarily a current situation but a goal for the future, a prediction.

 For all these reasons sustainability is perceived, at one extreme, as nothing more than a feel-good buzzword with little meaning or substance but, at the other, as an important but unfocused concept like “liberty” or “justice”. It has also been described as a “dialogue of values that defies consensual definition”.

Some researchers and institutions have pointed out that these three dimensions are not enough to reflect the complexity of contemporary society and suggest that culture could be included in this development model.


The history of sustainability traces human-dominated ecological systems from the earliest civilizations to the present. This history is characterized by the increased regional success of a particular society, followed by crises that were either resolved, producing sustainability, or not, leading to decline.

In early human history, the use of fire and desire for specific foods may have altered the natural composition of plant and animal communities.

 Between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago, Agrarian communities emerged which depended largely on their environment and the creation of a “structure of permanence.”

The Western industrial revolution of the 18th to 19th centuries tapped into the vast growth potential of the energy in fossil fuels. Coal was used to power ever more efficient engines and later to generate electricity. Modern sanitation systems and advances in medicine protected large populations from disease.

In the mid-20th century, a gathering environmental movement pointed out that there were environmental costs associated with the many material benefits that were now being enjoyed. In the late 20th century, environmental problems became global in scale.

The 1973 and 1979 energy crises demonstrated the extent to which the global community had become dependent on non-renewable energy resources.

In the 21st century, there is increasing global awareness of the threat posed by the human greenhouse effect, produced largely by forest clearing and the burning of fossil fuels.

Principles and concepts

The philosophical and analytic framework of sustainability draws on and connects with many different disciplines and fields; in recent years an area that has come to be called sustainability science has emerged.


 Sustainability science is not yet an autonomous field or discipline of its own, and has tended to be problem-driven and oriented towards guiding decision-making.

Scale and context

Sustainability is studied and managed over many scales (levels or frames of reference) of time and space and in many contexts of environmental, social and economic organization. The focus ranges from the total carrying capacity (sustainability) of planet Earth to the sustainability of economic sectors, ecosystems, countries, municipalities, neighborhoods, home gardens, individual lives, individual goods and services[clarification needed], occupations, lifestyles, behavior patterns and so on. In short, it can entail the full compass of biological and human activity or any part of it.

As Daniel Botkin, author and environmentalist, has stated: “We see a landscape that is always in flux, changing over many scales of time and space.”

Consumption — population, technology, resources

A major driver of human impact on Earth systems is the destruction of biophysical resources, and especially, the Earth’s ecosystems. The environmental impact of a community or of humankind as a whole depends both on population and impact per person, which in turn depends in complex ways on what resources are being used, whether or not those resources are renewable, and the scale of the human activity relative to the carrying capacity of the ecosystems involved. Careful resource management can be applied at many scales, from economic sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and industry, to work organizations, the consumption patterns of households and individuals and to the resource demands of individual goods and services.

One of the initial attempts to express human impact mathematically was developed in the 1970s and is called the I PAT formula. This formulation attempts to explain human consumption in terms of three components: population numbers, levels of consumption (which it terms “affluence”, although the usage is different), and impact per unit of resource use (which is termed “technology”, because this impact depends on the technology used). The equation is expressed:

I = P × A × T

Where: I = Environmental impact, P = Population, A = Affluence, T = Technology


Main article: Sustainability measurement

Sustainability measurement is a term that denotes the measurements used as the quantitative basis for the informed management of sustainability.

 The metrics used for the measurement of sustainability (involving the sustainability of environmental, social and economic domains, both individually and in various combinations) are evolving: they include indicators, benchmarks, audits, sustainability standards and certification systems like Fairtrade and Organic, indexes and accounting, as well as assessment, appraisal and other reporting systems. They are applied over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Some of the best known and most widely used sustainability measures include corporate sustainability reporting.

Corporate sustainability, Triple Bottom Line accounting, World Sustainability Society and estimates of the quality of sustainability governance for individual countries use the Environmental Sustainability Index and Environmental Performance Index.


Human population control

Graph showing human population growth from 10,000 BC – AD 2000, illustrating current exponential growth

According to the 2008 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections, the world population is projected to reach 7 billion early in 2012, up from the current 6.9 billion (May 2009), to exceed 9 billion people by 2050. Most of the increase will be in developing countries whose population is projected to rise from 5.6 billion in 2009 to 7.9 billion in 2050. This increase will be distributed among the population aged 15–59 (1.2 billion) and 60 or over (1.1 billion) because the number of children under age 15 in developing countries is predicted to decrease. In contrast, the population of the more developed regions is expected to undergo only slight increase from 1.23 billion to 1.28 billion, and this would have declined to 1.15 billion but for a projected net migration from developing to developed countries, which is expected to average 2.4 million persons annually from 2009 to 2050.

 Long-term estimates of global population suggest a peak at around 2070 of nine to ten billion people, and then a slow decrease to 8.4 billion by 2100.

Emerging economies like those of China and India aspire to the living standards of the Western world as does the non-industrialized world in general.

 It is the combination of population increase in the developing world and unsustainable consumption levels in the developed world that poses a stark challenge to sustainability.

Carrying capacity

Ecological footprint for different nations compared to their Human Development Index (HDI)

At the global scale scientific data now indicates that humans are living beyond the carrying capacity of planet Earth and that this cannot continue indefinitely. This scientific evidence comes from many sources but is presented in detail in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the planetary boundaries framework.

 An early detailed examination of global limits was published in the 1972 book Limits to Growth, which has prompted follow-up commentary and analysis.

The Ecological footprint measures human consumption in terms of the biologically productive land needed to provide the resources, and absorb the wastes of the average global citizen. In 2008 it required 2.7 global hectares per person, 30% more than the natural biological capacity of 2.1 global hectares (assuming no provision for other organisms).

The resulting ecological deficit must be met from unsustainable extra sources and these are obtained in three ways: embedded in the goods and services of world trade; taken from the past (e.g. fossil fuels); or borrowed from the future as unsustainable resource usage (e.g. by over exploiting forests and fisheries).

The figure (right) examines sustainability at the scale of individual countries by contrasting their Ecological Footprint with their UN Human Development Index (a measure of standard of living). The graph shows what is necessary for countries to maintain an acceptable standard of living for their citizens while, at the same time, maintaining sustainable resource use. The general trend is for higher standards of living to become less sustainable. As always, population growth has a marked influence on levels of consumption and the efficiency of resource use.

The sustainability goal is to raise the global standard of living without increasing the use of resources beyond globally sustainable levels; that is, to not exceed “one planet” consumption. Information generated by reports at the national, regional and city scales confirm the global trend towards societies that are becoming less sustainable over time.

Global human impact on biodiversity

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

At a fundamental level energy flow and biogeochemical cycling set an upper limit on the number and mass of organisms in any ecosystem.

 Human impacts on the Earth are demonstrated in a general way through detrimental changes in the global biogeochemical cycles of chemicals that are critical to life, most notably those of water, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus.

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is an international synthesis by over 1000 of the world’s leading biological scientists that analyzes the state of the Earth’s ecosystems and provides summaries and guidelines for decision-makers. It concludes that human activity is having a significant and escalating impact on the biodiversity of world ecosystems, reducing both their resilience and biocapacity. The report refers to natural systems as humanity’s “life-support system”, providing essential “ecosystem services”. The assessment measures 24 ecosystem services concluding that only four have shown improvement over the last 50 years, 15 are in serious decline, and five are in a precarious condition.

Environmental dimension

Healthy ecosystems provide vital goods and services to humans and other organisms. There are two major ways of reducing negative human impact and enhancing ecosystem services and the first of these is environmental management. This direct approach is based largely on information gained from earth science, environmental science and conservation biology. However, this is management at the end of a long series of indirect causal factors that are initiated by human consumption, so a second approach is through demand management of human resource use.

Management of human consumption of resources is an indirect approach based largely on information gained from economics. Herman Daly has suggested three broad criteria for ecological sustainability: renewable resources should provide a sustainable yield (the rate of harvest should not exceed the rate of regeneration); for non-renewable resources there should be equivalent development of renewable substitutes; waste generation should not exceed the assimilative capacity of the environment.

Environmental management

At the global scale and in the broadest sense environmental management involves the oceans, freshwater systems, land and atmosphere, but following the sustainability principle of scale it can be equally applied to any ecosystem from a tropical rainforest to a home garden.


At a March 2009 meeting of the Copenhagen Climate Council, 2,500 climate experts from 80 countries issued a keynote statement that there is now “no excuse” for failing to act on global warming and that without strong carbon reduction “abrupt or irreversible” shifts in climate may occur that “will be very difficult for contemporary societies to cope with”.

 Management of the global atmosphere now involves assessment of all aspects of the carbon cycle to identify opportunities to address human-induced climate change and this has become a major focus of scientific research because of the potential catastrophic effects on biodiversity and human communities (see Energy below).

Other human impacts on the atmosphere include the air pollution in cities, the pollutants including toxic chemicals like nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter that produce photochemical smog and acid rain, and the chlorofluorocarbons that degrade the ozone layer. Anthropogenic particulates such as sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere reduce the direct irradiance and reflectance (albedo) of the Earth’s surface. Known as global dimming, the decrease is estimated to have been about 4% between 1960 and 1990 although the trend has subsequently reversed. Global dimming may have disturbed the global water cycle by reducing evaporation and rainfall in some areas. It also creates a cooling effect and this may have partially masked the effect of greenhouse gases on global warming.

Freshwater and oceans

Water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. Of this, 97.5% is the salty water of the oceans and only 2.5% freshwater, most of which is locked up in the Antarctic ice sheet. The remaining freshwater is found in glaciers, lakes, rivers, wetlands, the soil, aquifers and atmosphere. Due to the water cycle, fresh water supply is continually replenished by precipitation, however there is still a limited amount necessitating management of this resource. Awareness of the global importance of preserving water for ecosystem services has only recently emerged as, during the 20th century, more than half the world’s wetlands have been lost along with their valuable environmental services. Increasing urbanization pollutes clean water supplies and much of the world still does not have access to clean, safe water.

 Greater emphasis is now being placed on the improved management of blue (harvestable) and green (soil water available for plant use) water, and this applies at all scales of water management.

Ocean circulation patterns have a strong influence on climate and weather and, in turn, the food supply of both humans and other organisms. Scientists have warned of the possibility, under the influence of climate change, of a sudden alteration in circulation patterns of ocean currents that could drastically alter the climate in some regions of the globe.

Ten per cent of the world’s population – about 600 million people – lives in low-lying areas vulnerable to sea level rise.

Land use

A typical use is as a rice paddy. Rice, wheat, corn and potatoes make up more than half the world’s food supply.

Loss of biodiversity stems largely from the habitat loss and fragmentation produced by the human appropriation of land for development, forestry and agriculture as natural capital is progressively converted to man-made capital. Land use change is fundamental to the operations of the biosphere because alterations in the relative proportions of land dedicated to urbanization, agriculture, forest, woodland, grassland and pasture have a marked effect on the global water, carbon and nitrogen biogeochemical cycles and this can impact negatively on both natural and human systems.

 At the local human scale, major sustainability benefits accrue from sustainable parks and gardens and green cities.

Since the Neolithic Revolution about 47% of the world’s forests have been lost to human use. Present-day forests occupy about a quarter of the world’s ice-free land with about half of these occurring in the tropics.

 In temperate and boreal regions forest area is gradually increasing (with the exception of Siberia), but deforestation in the tropics is of major concern.

Food is essential to life. Feeding more than seven billion human bodies takes a heavy toll on the Earth’s resources. This begins with the appropriation of about 38% of the Earth’s land surface and about 20% of its net primary productivity.

 Added to this are the resource-hungry activities of industrial agribusiness – everything from the crop need for irrigation water, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to the resource costs of food packaging, transport (now a major part of global trade) and retail. Environmental problems associated with industrial agriculture and agribusinesses are now being addressed through such movements as sustainable agriculture, organic farming and more sustainable business practices.

Management of human consumption

Consumption Economics

Helix of sustainability – the carbon cycle of manufacturing

The underlying driver of direct human impacts on the environment is human consumption.

This impact is reduced by not only consuming less but by also making the full cycle of production, use and disposal more sustainable. Consumption of goods and services can be analyzed and managed at all scales through the chain of consumption, starting with the effects of individual lifestyle choices and spending patterns, through to the resource demands of specific goods and services, the impacts of economic sectors, through national economies to the global economy.

 Analysis of consumption patterns relates resource use to the environmental, social and economic impacts at the scale or context under investigation. The ideas of embodied resource use (the total resources needed to produce a product or service), resource intensity, and resource productivity are important tools for understanding the impacts of consumption. Key resource categories relating to human needs are food, energy, materials and water.

In 2010, the International Resource Panel, hosted by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), published the first global scientific assessment on the impacts of consumption and production and identified priority actions for developed and developing countries. The study found that the most critical impacts are related to ecosystem health, human health and resource depletion. From a production perspective, it found that fossil-fuel combusting processes, agriculture and fisheries have the most important impacts. Meanwhile, from a final consumption perspective, it found that household consumption related to mobility, shelter, food and energy-using products cause the majority of life-cycle impacts of consumption.


Main articles: Sustainable energy, Renewable energy, and efficient energy use

Flow of CO2 in an ecosystem

The Sun’s energy, stored by plants (primary producers) during photosynthesis, passes through the food chain to other organisms to ultimately power all living processes. Since the industrial revolution the concentrated energy of the Sun stored in fossilized plants as fossil fuels has been a major driver of technology which, in turn, has been the source of both economic and political power. In 2007 climate scientists of the IPCC concluded that there was at least a 90% probability that atmospheric increase in CO2 was human-induced, mostly as a result of fossil fuel emissions but, to a lesser extent from changes in land use. Stabilizing the world’s climate will require high-income countries to reduce their emissions by 60–90% over 2006 levels by 2050 which should hold CO2 levels at 450–650 ppm from current levels of about 380 ppm. Above this level, temperatures could rise by more than 2°C to produce “catastrophic” climate change.

 Reduction of current CO2 levels must be achieved against a background of global population increase and developing countries aspiring to energy-intensive high consumption Western lifestyles.

Reducing greenhouse emissions, is being tackled at all scales, ranging from tracking the passage of carbon through the carbon cycle[86] to the commercialization of renewable energy, developing less carbon-hungry technology and transport systems and attempts by individuals to lead carbon neutral lifestyles by monitoring the fossil fuel use embodied in all the goods and services they use.


Further information: Water resources

Water security and food security are inextricably linked. In the decade 1951–60 human water withdrawals were four times greater than the previous decade. This rapid increase resulted from scientific and technological developments impacting through the economy – especially the increase in irrigated land, growth in industrial and power sectors, and intensive dam construction on all continents. This altered the water cycle of rivers and lakes, affected their water quality and had a significant impact on the global water cycle.

 Currently towards 35% of human water use is unsustainable, drawing on diminishing aquifers and reducing the flows of major rivers: this percentage is likely to increase if climate change impacts become more severe, populations increase, aquifers become progressively depleted and supplies become polluted and unsanitary.

 From 1961 to 2001 water demand doubled – agricultural use increased by 75%, industrial use by more than 200%, and domestic use more than 400%.

 In the 1990s it was estimated that humans were using 40–50% of the globally available freshwater in the approximate proportion of 70% for agriculture, 22% for industry, and 8% for domestic purposes with total use progressively increasing.

Water efficiency is being improved on a global scale by increased demand management, improved infrastructure, improved water productivity of agriculture, minimizing the water intensity (embodied water) of goods and services, addressing shortages in the non-industrialized world, concentrating food production in areas of high productivity, and planning for climate change. At the local level, people are becoming more self-sufficient by harvesting rainwater and reducing use of mains water.


Feijoada – A typical black bean food dish from Brazil

Further information: Food and Food security

The American Public Health Association (APHA) defines a “sustainable food system” as “one that provides healthy food to meet current food needs while maintaining healthy ecosystems that can also provide food for generations to come with minimal negative impact to the environment. A sustainable food system also encourages local production and distribution infrastructures and makes nutritious food available, accessible, and affordable to all. Further, it is humane and just, protecting farmers and other workers, consumers, and communities.”

 Concerns about the environmental impacts of agribusiness and the stark contrast between the obesity problems of the Western world and the poverty and food insecurity of the developing world have generated a strong movement towards healthy, sustainable eating as a major component of overall ethical consumerism.

 The environmental effects of different dietary patterns depend on many factors, including the proportion of animal and plant foods consumed and the method of food production.

The World Health Organization has published a Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health report which was endorsed by the May 2004 World Health Assembly. It recommends the Mediterranean diet which is associated with health and longevity and is low in meat, rich in fruits and vegetables, low in added sugar and limited salt, and low in saturated fatty acids; the traditional source of fat in the Mediterranean is olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fat. The healthy rice-based Japanese diet is also high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Both diets are low in meat and saturated fats and high in legumes and other vegetables; they are associated with a low incidence of ailments and low environmental impact.

At the global level the environmental impact of agribusiness is being addressed through sustainable agriculture and organic farming. At the local level there are various movements working towards local food production, more productive use of urban wastelands and domestic gardens including permaculture, urban horticulture, local food, slow food, sustainable gardening, and organic gardening.

Sustainable seafood is seafood from either fished or farmed sources that can maintain or increase production in the future without jeopardizing the ecosystems from which it was acquired. The sustainable seafood movement has gained momentum as more people become aware about both overfishing and environmentally-destructive fishing methods.

Materials, toxic substances, waste

An electric wire reel reused as a center table in a Rio de Janeiro decoration fair. The reuse of materials is a sustainable practice that is rapidly growing among designers in Brazil.

As global population and affluence has increased, so has the use of various materials increased in volume, diversity and distance transported. Included here are raw materials, minerals, synthetic chemicals (including hazardous substances), manufactured products, food, living organisms and waste.

 By 2050, humanity could consume an estimated 140 billion tons of minerals, ores, fossil fuels and biomass per year (three times its current amount) unless the economic growth rate is decoupled from the rate of natural resource consumption. Developed countries’ citizens consume an average of 16 tons of those four key resources per capita (ranging up to 40 or more tons per person in some developed countries with resource consumption levels far beyond what is likely sustainable.

Sustainable use of materials has targeted the idea of dematerialization, converting the linear path of materials (extraction, use, disposal in landfill) to a circular material flow that reuses materials as much as possible, much like the cycling and reuse of waste in nature.

 This approach is supported by product stewardship and the increasing use of material flow analysis at all levels, especially individual countries and the global economy.[106] The use of sustainable biomaterials that come from renewable sources and that can be recycled is preferred to the use on non-renewables from a life cycle standpoint.

The Waste Hierarchy

Synthetic chemical production has escalated following the stimulus it received during the Second World War Chemical production includes everything from herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers to domestic chemicals and hazardous substances.

 Apart from the build-up of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, chemicals of particular concern include: heavy metals, nuclear waste, chlorofluorocarbons, persistent organic pollutants and all harmful chemicals capable of bioaccumulation. Although most synthetic chemicals are harmless there needs to be rigorous testing of new chemicals, in all countries, for adverse environmental and health effects. International legislation has been established to deal with the global distribution and management of dangerous goods.

Every economic activity produces material that can be classified as waste. To reduce waste industry, business and government are now mimicking nature by turning the waste produced by industrial metabolism into resource. Dematerialization is being encouraged through the ideas of industrial ecology, ecodesign and ecolabelling. In addition to the well-established “reduce, reuse and recycle,” shoppers are using their purchasing power for ethical consumerism.

Economic Dimension

Further information: Ecological economics, Environmental economics, and Green economy

The Great Fish Market, painted by Jan Brueghel the Elder

On one account, sustainability “concerns the specification of a set of actions to be taken by present persons that will not diminish the prospects of future persons to enjoy levels of consumption, wealth, utility, or welfare comparable to those enjoyed by present persons.”

 Sustainability interfaces with economics through the social and ecological consequences of economic activity.

 Sustainability economics represents: “… a broad interpretation of ecological economics where environmental and ecological variables and issues are basic but part of a multidimensional perspective. Social, cultural, health-related and monetary/financial aspects have to be integrated into the analysis.”

 However, the concept of sustainability is much broader than the concepts of sustained yield of welfare, resources, or profit margins.

 At present, the average per capita consumption of people in the developing world is sustainable but population numbers are increasing and individuals are aspiring to high-consumption Western lifestyles. The developed world population is only increasing slightly but consumption levels are unsustainable. The challenge for sustainability is to curb and manage Western consumption while raising the standard of living of the developing world without increasing its resource use and environmental impact. This must be done by using strategies and technology that break the link between, on the one hand, economic growth and on the other, environmental damage and resource depletion.

A recent UNEP report proposes a green economy defined as one that “improves human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”: it “does not favor one political perspective over another but works to minimize excessive depletion of natural capital”. The report makes three key findings: “that greening not only generates increases in wealth, in particular a gain in ecological commons or natural capital, but also (over a period of six years) produces a higher rate of GDP growth”; that there is “an inextricable link between poverty eradication and better maintenance and conservation of the ecological commons, arising from the benefit flows from natural capital that are received directly by the poor”; “in the transition to a green economy, new jobs are created, which in time exceed the losses in “brown economy” jobs. However, there is a period of job losses in transition, which requires investment in re-skilling and re-educating the workforce”.

Several key areas have been targeted for economic analysis and reform: the environmental effects of unconstrained economic growth; the consequences of nature being treated as an economic externality; and the possibility of an economics that takes greater account of the social and environmental consequences of market behavior.

Decoupling environmental degradation and economic growth

Further information: Ecological economics

PREPARATION Part of a series on Environmental economics

Historically there has been a close correlation between economic growth and environmental degradation: as communities grow, so the environment declines. This trend is clearly demonstrated on graphs of human population numbers, economic growth, and environmental indicators.

Unsustainable economic growth has been starkly compared to the malignant growth of a cancer because it eats away at the Earth’s ecosystem services which are its life-support system. There is concern that, unless resource use is checked, modern global civilization will follow the path of ancient civilizations that collapsed through overexploitation of their resource base.

 While conventional economics is concerned largely with economic growth and the efficient allocation of resources, ecological economics has the explicit goal of sustainable scale (rather than continual growth), fair distribution and efficient allocation, in that order.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development states that “business cannot succeed in societies that fail”.

In economic and environmental fields, the term decoupling is becoming increasingly used in the context of economic production and environmental quality. When used in this way, it refers to the ability of an economy to grow without incurring corresponding increases in environmental pressure. Ecological economics includes the study of societal metabolism, the throughput of resources that enter and exit the economic system in relation to environmental quality.

An economy that is able to sustain GDP growth without having a negative impact on the environment is said to be decoupled. Exactly how, if, or to what extent this can be achieved is a subject of much debate. In 2011 the International Resource Panel, hosted by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), warned that by 2050 the human race could be devouring 140 billion tons of minerals, ores, fossil fuels and biomass per year – three times its current rate of consumption – unless nations can make serious attempts at decoupling.

 The report noted that citizens of developed countries consume an average of 16 tons of those four key resources per capita per annum (ranging up to 40 or more tons per person in some developed countries). By comparison, the average person in India today consumes four tons per year. Sustainability studies analyze ways to reduce resource intensity (the amount of resource (e.g. water, energy, or materials) needed for the production, consumption and disposal of a unit of good or service) whether this is achieved from improved economic management, product design, or new technology.

Nature as an Economic Externality

Deforestation of native rain forest in Rio de Janeiro City for extraction of clay for civil engineering photo taken in a 2009 picture is a good example of this.

Further information: Ecosystem services

The economic importance of nature is indicated by the use of the expression ecosystem services to highlight the market relevance of an increasingly scarce natural world that can no longer be regarded as both unlimited and free.

 In general, as a commodity or service becomes scarcer the price increases and this acts as a restraint that encourages frugality, technical innovation and alternative products. However, this only applies when the product or service falls within the market system.

 As ecosystem services are generally treated as economic externalities they are unpriced and therefore overused and degraded, a situation sometimes referred to as the Tragedy of the Commons.

One approach to this dilemma has been the attempt to “internalize” these “externalities” by using market strategies like ecotaxes and incentives, tradable permits for carbon, and the encouragement of payment for ecosystem services. Community currencies associated with Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS), a gift economy and Time Banking has also been promoted as a way of supporting local economies and the environment.

Green economics is another market-based attempt to address issues of equity and the environment. The global recession and a range of associated government policies are likely to bring the biggest annual fall in the world’s carbon dioxide emissions in 40 years.

Economic opportunity

Treating the environment as an externality may generate short-term profit at the expense of sustainability.

Sustainable business practices, on the other hand, integrate ecological concerns with social and economic ones (i.e., the triple bottom line).

Growth that depletes ecosystem services is sometimes termed “uneconomic growth” as it leads to a decline in quality of life.

Minimizing such growth can provide opportunities for local businesses. For example, industrial waste can be treated as an “economic resource in the wrong place”. The benefits of waste reduction include savings from disposal costs, fewer environmental penalties, and reduced liability insurance. This may lead to increased market share due to an improved public image.

Energy efficiency can also increase profits by reducing costs.

The idea of sustainability as a business opportunity has led to the formation of organizations such as the Sustainability Consortium of the Society for Organizational Learning, the Sustainable Business Institute, and the World Council for Sustainable Development.

 Research focusing on progressive corporate leaders who have embedded sustainability into commercial strategy has yielded a leadership competency model for sustainability.

 The expansion of sustainable business opportunities can contribute to job creation through the introduction of green-collar workers.

Social dimension

Sustainability issues are generally expressed in scientific and environmental terms, as well as in ethical terms of stewardship, but implementing change is a social challenge that entails, among other things, international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism.

 “The relationship between human rights and human development, corporate power and environmental justice, global poverty and citizen action, suggest that responsible global citizenship is an inescapable element of what may at first glance seem to be simply matters of personal consumer and moral choice.”

Peace, Security, Social Justice

Social disruptions like war, crime and corruption divert resources from areas of greatest human need, damage the capacity of societies to plan for the future, and generally threaten human well-being and the environment.

 Broad-based strategies for more sustainable social systems include: improved education and the political empowerment of women, especially in developing countries; greater regard for social justice, notably equity between rich and poor both within and between countries; and intergenerational equity.

 Depletion of natural resources including fresh water increases the likelihood of “resource wars”.

 This aspect of sustainability has been referred to as environmental security and creates a clear need for global environmental agreements to manage resources such as aquifers and rivers which span political boundaries, and to protect shared global systems including oceans and the atmosphere.

Sustainability and Poverty

A major hurdle to achieve sustainability is the alleviation of poverty. It has been widely acknowledged that poverty is one source of environmental degradation. Such acknowledgment has been made by the Brundtland Commission report Our Common Future and the Millennium Development Goals.

 According to the Brundtland report, “poverty is a major cause and effect of global environmental problems. It is therefore futile to attempt to deal with environmental problems without a broader perspective that encompasses the factors underlying world poverty and international inequality.” Individuals living in poverty tend to rely heavily on their local ecosystem as a source for basic needs (such as nutrition and medicine) and general well-being.

 As population growth continues to increase, increasing pressure is being placed on the local ecosystem to provide these basic essentials. According to the UN Population Fund, high fertility and poverty have been strongly correlated, and the world’s poorest countries also have the highest fertility and population growth rates.

The word sustainability is also used widely by western country development agencies and international charities to focus their poverty alleviation efforts in ways that can be sustained by the local populous and its environment. For example, teaching water treatment to the poor by boiling their water with charcoal would not generally be considered a sustainable strategy, whereas using PET solar water disinfection would be. Also, sustainable best practices can involve the recycling of materials, such as the use of recycled plastics for lumber where deforestation has devastated a countries timber base. Another example of sustainable practices in poverty alleviation is the use of exported recycled materials from developed to developing countries, such as Bridges to Prosperity’s use of wire rope from shipping container gantry cranes to act as the structural wire rope for footbridges that cross rivers in poor rural areas in Asia and Africa.

Human Relationship to Nature

According to Murray Bookchin, the idea that humans must dominate nature is common in hierarchical societies. Bookchin contends that capitalism and market relationships, if unchecked, have the capacity to reduce the planet to a mere resource to be exploited. Nature is thus treated as a commodity: “The plundering of the human spirit by the market place is paralleled by the plundering of the earth by capital.”

Social ecology, founded by Bookchin, is based on the conviction that nearly all of humanity’s present ecological problems originate in, indeed are mere symptoms of, dysfunctional social arrangements. Whereas most authors proceed as if our ecological problems can be fixed by implementing recommendations which stem from physical, biological, economic etc., studies, Bookchin’s claim is that these problems can only be resolved by understanding the underlying social processes and intervening in those processes by applying the concepts and methods of the social sciences.

Deep ecology establishes principles for the well-being of all life on Earth and the richness and diversity of life forms. This requires a substantial decrease in human population and consumption along with the reduction of human interference with the nonhuman world. To achieve this, deep ecologists advocate policies for basic economic, technological, and ideological structures that will improve the quality of life rather than the standard of living. Those who subscribe to these principles are obliged to make the necessary change happen.

Human Settlements

Sustainability principles

1. Reduce dependence upon fossil fuels,

Underground metals and minerals

2. Reduce dependence upon synthetic chemicals

and other unnatural substances

3. Reduce encroachment upon nature

4. Meet human needs fairly & efficiently

One approach to sustainable living, exemplified by small-scale urban transition towns and rural ecovillages, seeks to create self-reliant communities based on principles of simple living, which maximise self-sufficiency particularly in food production. These principles, on a broader scale, underpin the concept of a bioregional economy.

 Other approaches, loosely based around new urbanism, are successfully reducing environmental impacts by altering the built environment to create and preserve sustainable cities which support sustainable transport. Residents in compact urban neighborhoods drive fewer miles, and have significantly lower environmental impacts across a range of measures, compared with those living in sprawling suburbs.

Large scale social movements can influence both community choices and the built environment. Eco-municipalities may be one such movement.

Eco-municipalities take a systems approach, based on sustainability principles. The eco-municipality movement is participatory, involving community members in a bottom-up approach. In Sweden, more than 70 cities and towns—25 per cent of all municipalities in the country—have adopted a common set of “Sustainability Principles” and implemented these systematically throughout their municipal operations. There are now twelve eco-municipalities in the United States and the American Planning Association has adopted sustainability objectives based on the same principles.

There is a wealth of advice available to individuals wishing to reduce their personal impact on the environment through small, inexpensive and easily achievable steps.

 But the transition required to reduce global human consumption to within sustainable limits involves much larger changes, at all levels and contexts of society.

 The United Nations has recognized the central role of education, and has declared a decade of education for sustainable development, 2005–2014, which aims to “challenge us all to adopt new behaviors and practices to secure our future”.

 The Worldwide Fund for Nature proposes a strategy for sustainability that goes beyond education to tackle underlying individualistic and materialistic societal values head-on and strengthen people’s connections with the natural world. Sustainable development

Solar power towers utilize the natural resource of the Sun, and are a renewable energy source. From left: PS10 and PS20 solar towers.

Sustainable development (SD) is a pattern of economic growth in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come (sometimes taught as ELF-Environment, Local people, Future.

The term, ‘sustainable development’ was used by the Brundtland Commission which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development as development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

 Alternatively, sustainability educator Michael Thomas Needham referred to ‘Sustainable Development’ “as the ability to meet the needs of the present while contributing to the future generations’ needs.”

 There is an additional focus on the present generation’s responsibility to improve the future generation’s life by restoring the previous ecosystem damage and resisting contributing to further ecosystem damage.

Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges faced by humanity. As early as the 1970s, “sustainability” was employed to describe an economy “in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems.”

Ecologists have pointed to The Limits to Growth, and presented the alternative of a “steady state economy” in order to address environmental concerns.

The concept of sustainable development is often broken out into three constituent parts: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and sociopolitical sustainability.

Definition of sustainable development

Scheme of sustainable development: at the confluence of three constituent parts. (2006)

In 1987, the United Nations released the Brundtland Report, which included what is now one of the most widely recognized definitions:

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It contains within it two key concepts:

The concept of ‘needs’, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and

The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.”

The United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome Document refers to the “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection.

 Based on the triple bottom line, numerous sustainability standards and certification systems have been established in recent years, in particular in the food industry.

 Well-known standards include organic, Rainforest Alliance, fair trade, UTZ Certified, Bird Friendly, and The Common Code for the Coffee Community.

Indigenous peoples have argued, through various international forums such as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Convention on Biological Diversity, that there are four pillars of sustainable development, the fourth being cultural. The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO, 2001) further elaborates the concept by stating that “…cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature”; it becomes “one of the roots of development understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence”. In this vision, cultural diversity is the fourth policy area of sustainable development.

A useful articulation of the values and principles of sustainability can be found in the Earth Charter. It offers an integrated vision and definition of strong sustainability. The document, an ethical framework for a sustainable world, was developed over several years after the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and launched officially in 2000. The Charter derives its legitimacy from the participatory process in which it was drafted, which included contributions from hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals, and from its use since 2000 by thousands of organizations and individuals that have been using the Earth Charter as an educational instrument and a policy tool.

Economic Sustainability: Agenda 21 clearly identified information, integration, and participation as key building blocks to help countries achieve development that recognizes these interdependent pillars. It emphasizes that in sustainable development everyone is a user and provider of information. It stresses the need to change from old sector-centered ways of doing business to new approaches that involve cross-sectorial co-ordination and the integration of environmental and social concerns into all development processes. Furthermore, Agenda 21 emphasizes that broad public participation in decision making is a fundamental prerequisite for achieving sustainable development.

According to Hasna Vancock, sustainability is a process which tells of a development of all aspects of human life affecting sustenance. It means resolving the conflict between the various competing goals, and involves the simultaneous pursuit of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity famously known as three dimensions (triple bottom line) with the resultant vector being technology, hence it is a continually evolving process; the ‘journey’ (the process of achieving sustainability) is of course vitally important, but only as a means of getting to the destination (the desired future state). However, the ‘destination’ of sustainability is not a fixed place in the normal sense that we understand destination. Instead, it is a set of wishful characteristics of a future system.

The natural resource of wind powers these 5MW wind turbines on this wind farm 28 km off the coast of Belgium.

The concept has included notions of weak sustainability, strong sustainability and deep ecology.

Green development is generally differentiated from sustainable development in that Green development prioritizes what its proponents consider to be environmental sustainability over economic and cultural considerations. Proponents of Sustainable Development argue that it provides a context in which to improve overall sustainability where cutting edge Green Development is unattainable. For example, a cutting edge treatment plant with extremely high maintenance costs may not be sustainable in regions of the world with fewer financial resources. An environmentally ideal plant that is shut down due to bankruptcy is obviously less sustainable than one that is maintainable by the community, even if it is somewhat less effective from an environmental standpoint. However, this view depends on whether one determines that it is the development (the plant) which needs to be sustainable, or whether it is the human-nature ecology (the environmental conditions) in which the plant exists which should be sustainable. It follows, then, that an operational but heavily polluting plant may be judged as actually ‘less sustainable’ than having no plant at all.

Some research activities start from this definition to argue that the environment is a combination of nature and culture. The Network of Excellence “Sustainable Development in a Diverse World”, sponsored by the European Union, integrates multidisciplinary capacities and interprets cultural diversity as a key element of a new strategy for sustainable development.

In fact, some researchers and institutions have even pointed out that a fourth dimension should be added to the three dimensions of sustainable development, since these three dimensions do not seem to be enough to reflect the complexity of contemporary society. In this context, the Agenda 21 for culture and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Executive Bureau lead the preparation of the policy statement “Culture: Fourth Pillar of Sustainable Development”, passed on 17 November 2010, in the framework of the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders – 3rd World Congress of UCLG, held in Mexico City. This document inaugurates a new perspective and points to the relation between culture and sustainable development through a dual approach: developing a solid cultural policy and advocating a cultural dimension in all public policies.

Still other researchers view environmental and social challenges as opportunities for development action. This is particularly true in the concept of sustainable enterprise that frames these global needs as opportunities for private enterprise to provide innovative and entrepreneurial solutions. This view is now being taught at many business schools including the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University and the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan.

The United Nations Division for Sustainable Development lists the following areas as coming within the scope of sustainable development:

Sustainable development is an eclectic concept, as a wide array of views fall under its umbrella. The concept has included notions of weak sustainability, strong sustainability and deep ecology. Different conceptions also reveal a strong tension between ecocentrism and anthropocentrism. Many definitions and images (Visualizing Sustainability) of sustainable development coexist. Broadly defined, the sustainable development mantra enjoins current generations to take a systems approach to growth and development and to manage natural, produced, and social capital for the welfare of their own and future generations.

During the last ten years, different organizations have tried to measure and monitor the proximity to what they consider sustainability by implementing what has been called sustainability metrics and indices.

Sustainable development is said to set limits on the developing world. While current first world countries polluted significantly during their development, the same countries encourage third world countries to reduce pollution, which sometimes impedes growth. Some consider that the implementation of sustainable development would mean a reversion to pre-modern lifestyles.

Others have criticized the overuse of the term:

“The word sustainable has been used in too many situations today, and ecological sustainability is one of those terms that confuse a lot of people. You hear about sustainable development, sustainable growth, sustainable economies, sustainable societies, and sustainable agriculture. Everything is sustainable (Temple, 1992).”

History of the concept

The concept of sustainable development was originally synonymous with that of sustainability and is often still used in that way. Both terms derive from the older forestry term “sustained yield”, which in turn is a translation of the German term “nachhaltiger Ertrag” dating from 1713.

 According to different sources, the concept of sustainability in the sense of a balance between resource consumption and reproduction was however applied to forestry already in the 12th to 16th century.

‘Sustainability’ is a semantic modification, extension and transfer of the term ‘sustained yield’. This had been the doctrine and, indeed, the ‘holy grail’ of foresters all over the world for more or less two centuries. The essence of ‘sustained yield forestry’ was described for example by William A. Duerr, a leading American expert on forestry: “To fulfill our obligations to our descendants and to stabilize our communities, each generation should sustain its resources at a high level and hand them along undiminished. The sustained yield of timber is an aspect of man’s most fundamental need: to sustain life itself.” A fine anticipation of the Brundtland-formula.

Not just the concept of sustainable development, but also its current interpretations have its roots in forest management. Strong sustainability stipulates living solely off the interest of natural capital, whereas adherents of weak sustainability are content to keep constant the sum of natural and human capital.

The history of the concept of sustainability is however much older. Already in 400 BCE, Aristotle referred to a similar Greek concept in talking about household economics. This Greek household concept differed from modern ones in that the household had to be self-sustaining at least to a certain extent and could not just be consumption oriented.

The first use of the term “sustainable” in the modern sense was by the Club of Rome in March 1972 in its epoch-making report on the ‘Limits to Growth”, written by a group of scientists led by Dennis and Donella Meadows of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Describing the desirable “state of global equilibrium”, the authors used the word “sustainable”: “We are searching for a model output that represents a world system that is: 1. sustainable without sudden and uncontrolled collapse; and 2. capable of satisfying the basic material requirements of its entire people.”

Environmental sustainability

Water is an important natural resource that covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. Image is the Earth photographed from Apollo 17.

Environmental sustainability is the process of making sure current processes of interaction with the environment are pursued with the idea of keeping the environment as pristine as naturally possible based on ideal-seeking behavior.

An “unsustainable situation” occurs when natural capital (the sum total of nature’s resources) is used up faster than it can be replenished. Sustainability requires that human activity only uses nature’s resources at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally. Inherently the concept of sustainable development is intertwined with the concept of carrying capacity.

Theoretically, the long-term result of environmental degradation is the inability to sustain human life.

Such degradation on a global scale could imply extinction for humanity.

The Venn diagram of sustainable development has many versions, but was first used by economist Edward Barbier (1987).

Consumption of renewable resources          State of environment      Sustainability

More than nature’s ability to replenish       Environmental degradation      not sustainable

Equal to nature’s ability to replenish            Environmental equilibrium       Steady state economy

Less than nature’s ability to replenish          Environmental renewal Environmentally sustainable

Economic sustainability

However, Pearce, Barbier and Markandya (1989) criticized the Venn approach due to the intractability of operationalizing separate indices of economic, environmental, and social sustainability and somehow combining them. They also noted that the Venn approach was inconsistent with the Brundtland Commission Report, which emphasized the interlinkages between economic development, environmental degradation, and population pressure instead of three objectives. Economists have since focused on viewing the economy and the environment as a single interlinked system with a unified valuation methodology (Hamilton 1999, Dasgupta 2007).

 Intergenerational equity can be incorporated into this approach, as has become common in economic valuations of climate change economics (Heal, 2009).

Ruling out discrimination against future generations and allowing for the possibility of renewable alternatives to petro-chemicals and other non-renewable resources, efficient policies are compatible with increasing human welfare, eventually reaching a golden-rule steady state (Ayong le Kama, 2001 and Endress et al.2005).

Thus the three pillars of sustainable development are interlinkages, intergenerational equity, and dynamic efficiency (Stavins, et al. 2003).

Arrow et al. (2004) and other economists (e.g. Asheim,1999[34] and Pezzey, 1989[35] and 1997) have advocated a form of the weak criterion for sustainable development – the requirement than the wealth of a society, including human-capital, knowledge-capital and natural-capital (as well as produced capital) not decline over time. Others, including Barbier 2007, continue to contend that strong sustainability – non-depletion of essential forms of natural capital – may be appropriate.

Three types of capital in sustainable development

Deforestation of native rain forest in Rio de Janeiro City for extraction of clay for civil engineering (2009 picture) is a good example.

The sustainable development debate is based on the assumption that societies need to manage three types of capital (economic, social, and natural), which may be non-substitutable and whose consumption might be irreversible.

Daly (1991), for example, points to the fact that natural capital can not necessarily be substituted by economic capital. While it is possible that we can find ways to replace some natural resources, it is much more unlikely that they will ever be able to replace eco-system services, such as the protection provided by the ozone layer, or the climate stabilizing function of the Amazonian forest. In fact natural capital, social capital and economic capital are often complementarities. A further obstacle to substitutability lies also in the multi-functionality of many natural resources. Forests, for example, not only provide the raw material for paper (which can be substituted quite easily), but they also maintain biodiversity, regulate water flow, and absorb CO2.

Another problem of natural and social capital deterioration lies in their partial irreversibility. The loss in biodiversity, for example, is often definite. The same can be true for cultural diversity. For example with globalization advancing quickly the number of indigenous languages is dropping at alarming rates. Moreover, the depletion of natural and social capital may have non-linear consequences. Consumption of natural and social capital may have no observable impact until a certain threshold is reached. A lake can, for example, absorb nutrients for a long time while actually increasing its productivity. However, once a certain level of algae is reached lack of oxygen causes the lake’s ecosystem to break down suddenly.

Market failure

Before flue-gas desulfurization was installed, the air-polluting emissions from this power plant in New Mexico contained excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide.

If the degradation of natural and social capital has such important consequence the question arises why action is not taken more systematically to alleviate it. Cohen and Winn (2007) point to four types of market failure as possible explanations: First, while the benefits of natural or social capital depletion can usually be privatized the costs are often externalized (i.e. they are borne not by the party responsible but by society in general). Second, natural capital is often undervalued by society since we are not fully aware of the real cost of the depletion of natural capital. Information asymmetry is a third reason—often the link between cause and effect is obscured, making it difficult for actors to make informed choices. Cohen and Winn close with the realization that contrary to economic theory many firms are not perfect optimizers. They postulate that firms often do not optimize resource allocation because they are caught in a “business as usual” mentality.

Business case for sustainable development

The most broadly accepted criterion for corporate sustainability constitutes a firm’s efficient use of natural capital. This eco-efficiency is usually calculated as the economic value added by a firm in relation to its aggregated ecological impact.

This idea has been popularized by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) under the following definition: “Eco-efficiency is achieved by the delivery of competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life, while progressively reducing ecological impacts and resource intensity throughout the life-cycle to a level at least in line with the earth’s carrying capacity.” (DeSimone and Popoff, 1997)

Similar to the eco-efficiency concept but so far less explored is the second criterion for corporate sustainability. Socio-efficiency] describes the relation between a firm’s value added and its social impact. Whereas, it can be assumed that most corporate impacts on the environment are negative (apart from rare exceptions such as the planting of trees) this is not true for social impacts. These can be either positive (e.g. corporate giving, creation of employment) or negative (e.g. work accidents, mobbing of employees, human rights abuses). Depending on the type of impact socio-efficiency thus either tries to minimize negative social impacts (i.e. accidents per value added) or maximise positive social impacts (i.e. donations per value added) in relation to the value added.

Both eco-efficiency and socio-efficiency are concerned primarily with increasing economic sustainability. In this process they instrumentalize both natural and social capital aiming to benefit from win-win situations. However, as Dyllick and Hockerts point out the business case alone will not be sufficient to realize sustainable development. They point towards eco-effectiveness, socio-effectiveness, sufficiency, and eco-equity as four criteria that need to be met if sustainable development is to be reached…

Sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture may be defined as consisting of environmentally-friendly methods of farming that allow the production of crops or livestock without damage to human or natural systems. More specifically, it might be said to include preventing adverse effects to soil, water, biodiversity, surrounding or downstream resources — as well as to those working or living on the farm or in neighboring areas. Furthermore, the concept of sustainable agriculture extends intergenerationally, relating to passing on a conserved or improved natural resource, biotic, and economic base instead of one which has been depleted or polluted.

Elements of sustainable agriculture


According to the World Agroforestry Centre, agroforestry is a collective name for land use systems and practices in which woody perennials are deliberately integrated with crops and/or animals on the same land management unit. The integration can be either in a spatial mixture or in a temporal sequence. There are normally both ecological and economic interactions between woody and non-woody components in agroforestry.

Mixed Farming

Many farmers in tropical & temperate countries survive by managing a mix of different crops or animals. The best known form of mixing occurs probably where crop residues are used to feed the animals and the excreta from animals are used as nutrients for the crop. Other forms of mixing takes place where grazing under fruit trees keeps the grass short or where manure from pigs is used to feed the fish. Mixed farming exists in many forms depending on external and internal factors. External factors are: Weather Patterns, Market Prices, Political Stability and Technological Development. Internal factors relate to Local Soil Characteristics, Composition of family and Farmer’s Ingenuity. Mixed Farming provides farmers with a) an opportunity to diversify risk from single-crop production; (b) to use labor more efficiently; (c) to have a source of cash for purchasing farm inputs; (d) to add value to crop or crop by-product; (e) combining crops and livestock.

Multiple Cropping

The process of growing two or more crops in the same piece of land, during the same season is called Multiple Cropping. It can be rightly called a form of polyculture. It can be – (a) Double Cropping (the practice where the second crop is planted after the first has been harvested); (b) Relay Cropping (the practice where a second crop is started along with the first one, before it is harvested).

Crop Rotation

The process of growing two or more dissimilar or unrelated crops in the same piece of land in different seasons is known as Crop Rotation. This process could be adopted as it comes with a series of benefits like – (a) avoid the buildup of pests that often occurs when one species is continuously cropped; (b) the traditional element of crop rotation is the replenishment of nitrogen through the use of green manure in sequence with cereals and other crops; (c) Crop rotation can also improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants; (d) it is a component of polyculture.


Deforestation and increased road-building in the Amazon Rainforest are a significant concern because of increased human encroachment upon wilderness areas, increased resource extraction and further threats to biodiversity.

The concept of “Sustainable Development” raises several critiques at different levels.


The retreat of Aletsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps (situation in 1979, 1991 and 2002) due to warming.

John Baden views the notion of sustainable development as dangerous because the consequences have unknown effects. He writes: “In economy like in ecology, the interdependence rule applies. Isolated actions are impossible. A policy which is not carefully enough thought will carry along various perverse and adverse effects for the ecology as much as for the economy. Many suggestions to save our environment and to promote a model of ‘sustainable development’ risk indeed leading to reverse effects.”

Moreover, he evokes the bounds of public action which are underlined by the public choice theory: the quest by politicians of their own interests, lobby pressure, partial disclosure etc. He develops his critique by noting the vagueness of the expression, which can cover anything. It is a gateway to interventionist proceedings which can be against the principle of freedom and without proven efficacy. Against this notion, he is a proponent of private property to impel the producers and the consumers to save the natural resources. According to Baden, “the improvement of environment quality depends on the market economy and the existence of legitimate and protected property rights.” They enable the effective practice of personal responsibility and the development of mechanisms to protect the environment. The State can in this context “create conditions which encourage the people to save the environment.”

Vagueness of the term

A sewage treatment plant that uses environmentally friendly solar energy, located at Santuari de Lluc monastery.

Some criticize the term “sustainable development”, stating that the term is too vague. For example, both Jean-Marc Jancovici and the philosopher Luc Ferry] express this view. The latter writes about sustainable development: “I know that this term is obligatory, but I find it also absurd, or rather so vague that it says nothing.” Luc Ferry adds that the term is trivial by a proof of contradiction: “who would like to be a proponent of an “untenable development! Of course no one!

The term is more charming than meaningful. Everything must be done so that it does not turn into Russian-type administrative planning with ill effects.” sustainable development has become obscured by conflicting world views, the expansionist and the ecological, and risks being co-opted by individuals and institutions that perpetuate many aspects of the expansionist model.


Sylvie Brunel, French geographer and specialist of the Third World, develops in A qui profite le développement durable (Who benefits from sustainable development?) (2008) a critique of the basis of sustainable development, with its binary vision of the world, can be compared to the Christian vision of Good and Evil, an idealized nature where the human being is an animal like the others or even an alien. Nature – as Rousseau thought – is better than the human being. It is a parasite, harmful for the nature. But the human is the one who protects the biodiversity, where normally only the strong survive.

Moreover, she thinks that the core ideas of sustainable development are a hidden form of protectionism by developed countries impeding the development of the other countries.

For Sylvie Brunel, sustainable development serves as a pretext for protectionism and “I have the feeling that sustainable development is perfectly helping out capitalism”.


The proponents of the de-growth reckon that the term of sustainable development is an oxymoron. According to them, on a planet where 20% of the population consumes 80% of the natural resources, a sustainable development cannot be possible for this 20%: “According to the origin of the concept of sustainable development, a development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, the right term for the developed countries should be a sustainable de-growth”.

For several decades, theorists of steady state economy and ecological economy have been positing that reduction in population growth or even negative population growth is required for the human community not to destroy its planetary support systems, i.e., to date, increases in efficiency of production and consumption have not been sufficient, when applied to existing trends in population and resource depletion and waste by-production, to allow for projections of future sustainability.


In 2007 a report for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated: “While much discussion and effort has gone into sustainability indicators, none of the resulting systems clearly tells us whether our society is sustainable. At best, they can tell us that we are heading in the wrong direction, or that our current activities are not sustainable. More often, they simply draw our attention to the existence of problems, doing little to tell us the origin of those problems and nothing to tell us how to solve them.”

 Nevertheless a majority of authors assume that a set of well-defined and harmonized indicators is the only way to make sustainability tangible. Those indicators are expected to be identified and adjusted through empirical observations (trial and error) See also ecological footprint.

The most common critiques are related to issues like data quality, comparability, objective function and the necessary resources.

However a more general criticism is coming from the project management community: How can a sustainable development are achieved at global level if we cannot monitor it in any single project?

The Cuban-born researcher and entrepreneur Sonia Bueno suggests an alternative approach that is based upon the integral, long-term cost-benefit relationship as a measure and monitoring tool for the sustainability of every project, activity or enterprise.

Furthermore this concept aims to be a practical guideline towards sustainable development following the principle of conservation and increment of value rather than restricting the consumption of resources.


This article is about the geologic usage.

 For the philosophical or architectural usage, see Architectonics.

World plate tectonics

 Tectonics (from the Vulgar Latin tectonicus, meaning “building”) is a field of study within geology concerned generally with the structures within the lithosphere of the Earth (or other planets and moons) and particularly with the forces and movements that have operated in a region to create these structures.

Tectonics is concerned with the orogenies and tectonic development of cratons and tectonic terranes as well as the earthquake and volcanic belts which directly affect much of the global population. Tectonic studies are also important for understanding erosion patterns in geomorphology and as guides for the economic geologist searching for petroleum and metallic ores.

Extensional tectonics

Extensional tectonics is associated with the stretching and thinning of the crust or lithosphere. This type of tectonics is found at divergent plate boundaries, in continental rifts, during and after a period of continental collision caused by the lateral spreading of the thickened crust formed, at releasing bends in strike-slip faults, in back-arc basins and on the continental end of passive margin sequences where a detachment layer is present.

Thrust tectonics

Thrust tectonics is associated with the shortening and thickening of the crust or lithosphere. This type of tectonics is found at zones of continental collision, at restraining bends in strike-slip faults and at the oceanward part of passive margin sequences where a detachment layer is present.

Strike-slip tectonics

Strike-slip tectonics is associated with the relative lateral movement of parts of the crust or lithosphere. This type of tectonics is found along oceanic and continental transform faults, at lateral offsets in extensional and thrust fault systems, in the over-riding plate in zones of oblique collision and accommodating deformation in the foreland to a collisional belt.

Plate tectonics

In plate tectonics the outermost part of the earth, the crust and uppermost mantle, act as a single mechanical layer, the lithosphere. The lithosphere is divided into separate ‘plates’ that move relative to each other on the underlying, relatively weak asthenosphere in a process ultimately driven by the continuous loss of heat from the earth’s interior. There are three main types of plate boundary: divergent where plates move apart from each other and new lithosphere is formed in the process of sea-floor spreading; transform where plates slide past each other and convergent where plates converge and lithosphere is ‘consumed’ by the process of subduction. Convergent and transform boundaries form the largest structural discontinuities in the lithosphere and are responsible for most of the world’s major (Mw > 7) earthquakes. Convergent and divergent boundaries are also the site of most of the world’s volcanoes, such as around the Pacific Ring of Fire. Most of the deformation in the lithosphere is related to the interaction between plates, either directly or indirectly.

Other fields of tectonic studies

Salt tectonics

Salt tectonics is concerned with the structural geometries and deformation processes associated with the presence of significant thicknesses of rock salt within a sequence of rocks. This is due both to the low density of salt, which does not increase with burial, and its low strength.


Neotectonics is the study of the motions and deformations of the Earth’s crust (geological and geomorphological processes) that are current or recent in geological time.

The term may also refer to the motions/deformations in question themselves. The corresponding time frame is referred to as the neotectonic period. Accordingly, the preceding time is referred to as palaeotectonic period.


Tectonophysics is the study of the physical processes associated with deformation of the crust and mantle from the scale of individual mineral grains up to that of tectonic plates.


Seismotectonics is the study of the relationship between earthquakes, active tectonics and individual faults in a region. It seeks to understand which faults are responsible for seismic activity in an area by analysing a combination of regional tectonics, recent instrumentally recorded events, accounts of historical earthquakes and geomorphological evidence. This information can then be used to quantify the seismic hazard of an area.

Planetary tectonics

Techniques used in the analysis of tectonics on earth have also been applied to the study of the planets and their moons.


The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century.

Plate motion based on Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite data from NASA JPL. The vectors show direction and magnitude of motion.

Remnants of the Farallon Plate, deep in Earth’s mantle. It is thought that much of the plate initially went under North America (particularly the western United States and southwest Canada) at a very shallow angle, creating much of the mountainous terrain in the area (particularly the southern Rocky Mountains).

Plate tectonics (from the Late Latin tectonicus, from the Greek: τεκτονικός “pertaining to building”) is a scientific theory that describes the large-scale motions of Earth’s lithosphere. The theory builds on the concepts of continental drift, developed during the first decades of the 20th century. It was accepted by the geoscientific community after the concepts of seafloor spreading were developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The lithosphere is broken up into tectonic plates. On Earth, there are seven or eight major plates (depending on how they are defined) and many minor plates. Where plates meet, their relative motion determines the type of boundary: convergent, divergent, or transform. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries. The lateral relative movement of the plates typically varies from zero to 100 mm annually.

Tectonic plates are composed of oceanic lithosphere and thicker continental lithosphere, each topped by its own kind of crust. Along convergent boundaries, subduction carries plates into the mantle; the material lost is roughly balanced by the formation of new (oceanic) crust along divergent margins by seafloor spreading. In this way, the total surface of the globe remains the same. This prediction of plate tectonics is also referred to as the conveyor belt principle. Earlier theories (that still have some supporters) proposed gradual shrinking (contraction) or gradual expansion of the globe.

Tectonic plates are able to move because the Earth’s lithosphere has a higher strength and lower density than the underlying asthenosphere. Lateral density variations in the mantle result in convection. Their movement is thought to be driven by a combination of the motion of seafloor away from the spreading ridge (due to variations in topography and density of the crust that result in differences in gravitational forces) and drag, downward suction, at the subduction zones. A different explanation lies in different forces generated by the rotation of the globe and tidal forces of the Sun and the Moon. The relative importance of each of these factors is unclear, and is still subject to debate.

Key principles

The outer layers of the Earth are divided into lithosphere and asthenosphere. This is based on differences in mechanical properties and in the method for the transfer of heat. Mechanically, the lithosphere is cooler and more rigid, while the asthenosphere is hotter and flows more easily. In terms of heat transfer, the lithosphere loses heat by conduction whereas the asthenosphere also transfers heat by convection and has a nearly adiabatic temperature gradient. This division should not be confused with the chemical subdivision of these same layers into the mantle (comprising both the asthenosphere and the mantle portion of the lithosphere) and the crust: a given piece of mantle may be part of the lithosphere or the asthenosphere at different times, depending on its temperature and pressure.

The key principle of plate tectonics is that the lithosphere exists as separate and distinct tectonic plates, which ride on the fluid-like (visco-elastic solid) asthenosphere. Plate motions range up to a typical 10–40 mm/a (Mid-Atlantic Ridge; about as fast as fingernails grow), to about 160 mm/a (Nazca Plate; about as fast as hair grows).

 The driving mechanism behind this movement is described separately below.

Tectonic lithosphere plates consist of lithospheric mantle overlain by either or both of two types of crustal material: oceanic crust (in older texts called sima from silicon and magnesium) and continental crust (sial from silicon and aluminum). Average oceanic lithosphere is typically 100 km thick; its thickness is a function of its age: as time passes, it conductively cools and becomes thicker. Because it is formed at mid-ocean ridges and spreads outwards, its thickness is therefore a function of its distance from the mid-ocean ridge where it was formed. For a typical distance oceanic lithosphere must travel before being subducted, the thickness varies from about 6 km thick at mid-ocean ridges to greater than 100 km at subduction zones; for shorter or longer distances, the subduction zone (and therefore also the mean) thickness becomes smaller or larger, respectively.

Continental lithosphere is typically ~200 km thick, though this also varies considerably between basins, mountain ranges, and stable cratonic interiors of continents. The two types of crust also differ in thickness, with continental crust being considerably thicker than oceanic (35 km vs. 6 km).

The location where two plates meet is called a plate boundary, and plate boundaries are commonly associated with geological events such as earthquakes and the creation of topographic features such as mountains, volcanoes, mid-ocean ridges, and oceanic trenches. The majority of the world’s active volcanoes occur along plate boundaries, with the Pacific Plate’s Ring of Fire being most active and most widely known. These boundaries are discussed in further detail below. Some volcanoes occur in the interiors of plates, and these have been variously attributed to internal plate deformation and to mantle plumes.

As explained above, tectonic plates can include continental crust or oceanic crust, and many plates contain both. For example, the African Plate includes the continent and parts of the floor of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The distinction between oceanic crust and continental crust is based on their modes of formation. Oceanic crust is formed at sea-floor spreading centers, and continental crust is formed through arc volcanism and accretion of terranes through tectonic processes; though some of these terranes may contain ophiolite sequences, which are pieces of oceanic crust, these are considered part of the continent when they exit the standard cycle of formation and spreading centers and subduction beneath continents. Oceanic crust is also denser than continental crust owing to their different compositions. Oceanic crust is denser because it has less silicon and heavier elements (“mafic”) than continental crust (“felsic”).

As a result of this density stratification, oceanic crust generally lies below sea level (for example most of the Pacific Plate), while the continental crust buoyantly projects above sea level (see the page isostasy for explanation of this principle).

Types of plate boundaries

Three types of plate boundary.

Main article: List of tectonic plate interactions

Basically, three types of plate boundaries exist, with a fourth, mixed type, characterized by the way the plates move relative to each other. They are associated with different types of surface phenomena. The different types of plate boundaries are:

Transform boundaries (Conservative) occur where plates slide or, perhaps more accurately, grind past each other along transform faults. The relative motion of the two plates is either sinistral (left side toward the observer) or dextral (right side toward the observer). The San Andreas Fault in California is an example of a transform boundary exhibiting dextral motion.

Divergent boundaries (Constructive) occur where two plates slide apart from each other. Mid-ocean ridges (e.g., Mid-Atlantic Ridge) and active zones of rifting (such as Africa’s East African Rift) are both examples of divergent boundaries.

Convergent boundaries (Destructive) (or active margins) occur where two plates slide towards each other commonly forming either a subduction zone (if one plate moves underneath the other) or a continental collision (if the two plates contain continental crust). Deep marine trenches are typically associated with subduction zones, and the basins that develop along the active boundary are often called “foreland basins”. The subducting slab contains many hydrous minerals, which release their water on heating; this water then causes the mantle to melt, producing volcanism. Examples of this are the Andes mountain range in South America and the Japanese island arc.

Plate boundary zones occur where the effects of the interactions are unclear and the boundaries, usually occurring along a broad belt, are not well defined, and may show various types of movements in different episodes.

Driving forces of plate motion

Plate tectonics are basically a kinematic phenomenon: Earth scientists agree upon the observation and deduction that the plates have moved one with respect to the other, and debate and find agreements on how and when. But still a major question remains on what the motor behind this movement is; the geodynamic mechanism, and here science diverges in different theories.

Generally, it is accepted that tectonic plates are able to move because of the relative density of oceanic lithosphere and the relative weakness of the asthenosphere. Dissipation of heat from the mantle is acknowledged to be the original source of energy driving plate tectonics, through convection or large scale upwelling and doming. As a consequence, in the current view, although it is still a matter of some debate, because of the excess density of the oceanic lithosphere sinking in subduction zones a powerful source of plate motion is generated. When the new crust forms at mid-ocean ridges, this oceanic lithosphere is initially less dense than the underlying asthenosphere, but it becomes denser with age, as it conductively cools and thickens. The greater density of old lithosphere relative to the underlying asthenosphere allows it to sink into the deep mantle at subduction zones, providing most of the driving force for plate motions. The weakness of the asthenosphere allows the tectonic plates to move easily towards a subduction zone.

Although subduction is believed to be the strongest force driving plate motions, it cannot be the only force since there are plates such as the North American Plate which are moving, yet are nowhere being subducted. The same is true for the enormous Eurasian Plate. The sources of plate motion are a matter of intensive research and discussion among earth scientists. One of the main points is that the kinematic pattern of the movements itself should be separated clearly from the possible geodynamic mechanism that is invoked as the driving force of the observed movements, as some patterns may be explained by more than one mechanism.

Basically, the driving forces that are advocated at the moment, can be divided in three categories: mantle dynamics related, gravity related (mostly secondary forces), and Earth rotation related.

Driving forces related to mantle dynamics

Mantle convection

For a considerable period of around 25 years (last quarter of the twentieth century) the leading theory envisaged large scale convection currents in the upper mantle which are transmitted through the asthenosphere as the main driving force of the tectonic plates. This theory was launched by Arthur Holmes and some forerunners in the 1930s and was immediately recognized as the solution for the acceptance of the theory discussed since its occurrence in the papers of Alfred Wegener in the early years of the century. It was, though, long debated because the leading (“fixist”) theory was still envisaging a static Earth without moving continents, up until the major break–throughs in the early sixties.

Two– and three–dimensional imaging of the Earth’s interior (seismic tomography) shows that there is a laterally varying density distribution throughout the mantle. Such density variations can be material (from rock chemistry), mineral (from variations in mineral structures), or thermal (through thermal expansion and contraction from heat energy). The manifestation of this varying lateral density is mantle convection from buoyancy forces.

How mantle convection relates directly and indirectly to the motion of the plates is a matter of ongoing study and discussion in geodynamics. Somehow, this energy must be transferred to the lithosphere for tectonic plates to move. There are essentially two types of forces that are thought to influence plate motion: friction and gravity.

Basal drag (friction): The plate motion is in this way driven by friction between the convection currents in the asthenosphere and the more rigid overlying floating lithosphere.

Slab suction (gravity): Local convection currents exert a downward frictional pull on plates in subduction zones at ocean trenches. Slab suction may occur in a geodynamic setting wherein basal tractions continue to act on the plate as it dives into the mantle (although perhaps to a greater extent acting on both the under and upper side of the slab).

Lately, the convection theory is much debated as modern techniques based on 3D seismic tomography of imaging the internal structure of the Earth’s mantle still fail to recognize these predicted large scale convection cells. Therefore, alternative views have been proposed:

In the theory of plume tectonics developed during the 1990s, a modified concept of mantle convection currents is used, related to super plumes rising from the deeper mantle which would be the drivers or the substitutes of the major convection cells. These ideas, which find their roots in the early 1930s with the so-called “fixistic” ideas of the European and Russian Earth Science Schools, find resonance in the modern theories which envisage hot spots/mantle plumes in the mantle which remain fixed and are overridden by oceanic and continental lithosphere plates during time, and leave their traces in the geological record (though these phenomena are not invoked as real driving mechanisms, but rather as a modulator). The modern theories that continue building on the older mantle doming concepts and see the movements of the plates a secondary phenomenon, are beyond the scope of this page and are discussed elsewhere for example on the plume tectonics page.

Another suggestion is that the mantle flows neither in cells nor large plumes, but rather as a series of channels just below the Earth’s crust which then provide basal friction to the lithosphere. This theory is called “surge tectonics” and became quite popular in geophysics and geodynamics during the 1980s and 1990s.

Driving forces related to gravity

Gravity related forces are usually invoked as secondary phenomena within the framework of a more general driving mechanism such as the various forms of mantle dynamics described above.

Gravitational sliding away from a spreading ridge: According to many authors, plate motion is driven by the higher elevation of plates at ocean ridges.

As oceanic lithosphere is formed at spreading ridges from hot mantle material, it gradually cools and thickens with age (and thus distance from the ridge). Cool oceanic lithosphere is significantly denser than the hot mantle material from which it is derived and so with increasing thickness it gradually subsides into the mantle to compensate the greater load. The result is a slight lateral incline with distance from the ridge axis.

This force is regarded as a secondary force often referred to as “ridge push”. This is a misnomer as nothing is “pushing” horizontally and tensional features are dominant along ridges. It is more accurate to refer to this mechanism as gravitational sliding as variable topography across the totality of the plate can vary considerably and the topography of spreading ridges is only the most prominent feature. Other mechanisms generating this gravitational secondary force include flexural bulging of the lithosphere before it dives underneath an adjacent plate, which produces a clear topographical feature that can offset or at least affect the influence of topographical ocean ridges, and mantle plumes and hot spots, which are postulated to impinge on the underside of tectonic plates.

Slab-pull: Current scientific opinion is that the asthenosphere is insufficiently competent or rigid to directly cause motion by friction along the base of the lithosphere. Slab pull is therefore most widely thought to be the greatest force acting on the plates. In this current understanding, plate motion is mostly driven by the weight of cold, dense plates sinking into the mantle at trenches.

Recent models indicate that trench suction plays an important role as well. However, as the North American Plate is nowhere being subducted, yet it is in motion presents a problem. The same holds for the African, Eurasian, and Antarctic plates.

Gravitational sliding away from mantle doming: According to older theories one of the driving mechanisms of the plates is the existence of large scale asthenosphere/mantle domes, which cause the gravitational sliding of lithosphere plates away from them. This gravitational sliding represents a secondary phenomenon of this, basically vertically oriented mechanism. This can act on various scales, from the small scale of one island arc up to the larger scale of an entire ocean basin.

Driving forces related to Earth rotation

Alfred Wegener, being a meteorologist, had proposed tidal forces and pole flight force as main driving mechanisms for continental drift. However, these forces were considered far too small to cause continental motion as the concept then was of continents plowing through oceanic crust.

 Therefore, Wegener converted to convection currents as the main driving force in the last edition of his book in 1929.

In the plate tectonics context (accepted since the seafloor spreading proposals of Heezen, Hess, Dietz, Morley, Vine and Matthews (see below) during the early 1960s) though, oceanic crust is in motion with the continents which caused the proposals related to Earth rotation to be reconsidered. In more recent literature, these driving forces are:

Tidal drag due to the gravitational force the Moon (and the Sun) exerts on the crust of the Earth

Shear strain of the Earth globe due to N-S compression related to the rotation and modulations of it;

Pole flight force: equatorial drift due to rotation and centrifugal effects: tendency of the plates to move from the poles to the equator (“Polflucht”);

Coriolis affect acting on plates when they move around the globe;

Global deformation of the geoid due to small displacements of rotational pole with respect to the Earth crust;

Other smaller deformation effects of the crust due to wobbles and spin movements of the Earth rotation on a smaller time scale.

For these mechanisms to be overall valid, systematic relationships should exist all over the globe between the orientation and kinematics of deformation, and the geographical latitudinal and longitudinal grid of the Earth itself. Ironically, these systematic relations studies in the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century do underline exactly the opposite: that the plates had not moved in time, that the deformation grid was fixed with respect to the Earth equator and axis, and that gravitational driving forces were generally acting vertically and caused only locally horizontal movements (the so-called pre-plate tectonic, “fixist theories”). Later studies (discussed below on this page) therefore invoked many of the relationships recognized during this pre-plate tectonics period, to support their theories (see the anticipations and reviews in the work of van Dijk and collaborators.

Of the many forces discussed in this paragraph, tidal force is still highly debated and defended as a possible principle driving force, whereas the other forces are used or in global geodynamic models not using the plate tectonics concepts (therefore beyond the discussions treated in this section), or proposed as minor modulations within the overall plate tectonics model.

In 1973 George W. Moore[22] of the USGS and R. C. Bostrom presented evidence for a general westward drift of the Earth’s lithosphere with respect to the mantle, and, therefore, tidal forces or tidal lag or “friction” due to the Earth’s rotation and the forces acting upon it by the Moon being a driving force for plate tectonics: as the Earth spins eastward beneath the moon, the moon’s gravity ever so slightly pulls the Earth’s surface layer back westward, just like proposed by Alfred Wegener (see above). In a more recent 2006 study, scientists reviewed and advocated these earlier proposed ideas. It has also been suggested recently in Lovett (2006) that this observation may also explain why Venus and Mars have no plate tectonics, since Venus has no moon and Mars’ moons are too small to have significant tidal effects on Mars. In a recent paper it was suggested that, on the other hand, it can easily be observed that many plates are moving north and eastward, and that the dominantly westward motion of the Pacific Ocean basins derives simply from the eastward bias of the Pacific spreading center (which is not a predicted manifestation of such lunar forces). In the same paper the authors admit, however, that relative to the lower mantle, there is a slight westward component in the motions of all the plates. They demonstrated though that the westward drift, seen only for the past 30 Ma, is attributed to the increased dominance of the steadily growing and accelerating Pacific plate. The debate is still open.

Relative significance of each driving force mechanism

The actual vector of a plate’s motion must necessarily be a function of all the forces acting upon the plate. However, therein remains the problem regarding what degree each process contributes to the motion of each tectonic plate.

The diversity of geodynamic settings and properties of each plate must clearly result in differences in the degree to which such processes are actively driving the plates. One method of dealing with this problem is to consider the relative rate at which each plate is moving and to consider the available evidence of each driving force upon the plate as far as possible.

One of the most significant correlations found is that lithospheric plates attached to down going (subducting) plates move much faster than plates not attached to subducting plates. The Pacific plate, for instance, is essentially surrounded by zones of subduction (the so-called Ring of Fire) and moves much faster than the plates of the Atlantic basin, which are attached (perhaps one could say ‘welded’) to adjacent continents instead of subducting plates. It is thus thought that forces associated with the down going plate (slab pull and slab suction) are the driving forces which determine the motion of plates, except for those plates which are not being subducted.

 The driving forces of plate motion continue to be active subjects of on-going research within geophysics and Tectonophysics.

Development of the theory

Timeline of the development of Tectonophysics

Plate tectonics is the main current theory in Earth Sciences regarding the development of our planet Earth. It is, therefore, appropriate to dedicate some space to explain how the Earth Science community, step by step, has built this theory, from early speculations, through the gathering of proof and severe debates, up to the refinement and quantification, and still ongoing confrontations with alternative ideas.


Detailed map showing the tectonic plates with their movement vectors.

In line with other previous and contemporaneous proposals, in 1912 the meteorologist Alfred Wegener amply described what he called continental drift, expanded in his 1915 book The Origin of Continents and Oceans and the scientific debate started that would end up fifty years later in the theory of plate tectonics.

Starting from the idea (also expressed by his forerunners) that the present continents once formed a single land mass (which was called Pangea later on) that drifted apart, thus releasing the continents from the Earth’s mantle and likening them to “icebergs” of low density granite floating on a sea of denser basalt.

Supporting evidence for the idea came from the dove-tailing outlines of South America’s east coast and Africa’s west coast, and from the matching of the rock formations along these edges. Confirmation of their previous contiguous nature also came from the fossil plants Glossopteris and Gangamopteris, and the therapsid or mammal-like reptile Lystrosaurus, all widely distributed over South America, Africa, Antarctica, India and Australia. The evidence for such an erstwhile joining of these continents was patent to field geologists working in the southern hemisphere. The South African Alex du Toit put together a mass of such information in his 1937 publication Our Wandering Continents, and went further than Wegener in recognizing the strong links between the Gondwana fragments.

But without detailed evidence and a force sufficient to drive the movement, the theory was not generally accepted: the Earth might have a solid crust and mantle and a liquid core, but there seemed to be no way that portions of the crust could move around. Distinguished scientists, such as Harold Jeffreys and Charles Schuchert, were outspoken critics of continental drift.

Despite much opposition, the view of continental drift gained support and a lively debate started between “drifters” or “mobilists” (proponents of the theory) and “fixists” (opponents). During the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, the former reached important milestones proposing that convection currents might have driven the plate movements, and that spreading may have occurred below the sea within the oceanic crust. Concepts close to the elements now incorporated in plate tectonics were proposed by geophysicists and geologists (both fixists and mobilists) like Vening-Meinesz, Holmes, and Umbgrove.

One of the first pieces of geophysical evidence that was used to support the movement of lithospheric plates came from paleomagnetism. This is based on the fact that rocks of different ages show a variable magnetic field direction, evidenced by studies since the mid–nineteenth century. The magnetic north and south poles reverse through time, and, especially important in paleotectonic studies, the relative position of the magnetic north pole varies through time. Initially, during the first half of the twentieth century, the latter phenomenon was explained by introducing what was called “polar wander” (see apparent polar wander), i.e., it was assumed that the North Pole location had been shifting through time. An alternative explanation, though, was that the continents had moved (shifted and rotated) relative to the North Pole, and each continent, in fact, shows its own “polar wander path”. During the late 1950s it was successfully shown on two occasions that these data could show the validity of continental drift: by Keith Runcorn in a paper in 1956, and by Warren Carey in a symposium held in March 1956.

The second piece of evidence in support of continental drift came during the late 1950s and early 60s from data on the bathymetry of the deep ocean floors and the nature of the oceanic crust such as magnetic properties and, more generally, with the development of marine geology which gave evidence for the association of seafloor spreading along the mid-oceanic ridges and magnetic field reversals, published between 1959 and 1963 by Heezen, Dietz, Hess, Mason, Vine & Matthews, and Morley.

Simultaneous advances in early seismic imaging techniques in and around Wadati-Benioff zones along the trenches bounding many continental margins, together with many other geophysical (e.g. gravimetric) and geological observations, showed how the oceanic crust could disappear into the mantle, providing the mechanism to balance the extension of the ocean basins with shortening along its margins.

All this evidence, both from the ocean floor and from the continental margins, made it clear around 1965 that continental drift was feasible and the theory of plate tectonics, which was defined in a series of papers between 1965 and 1967, was born, with all its extraordinary explanatory and predictive power. The theory revolutionized the Earth sciences, explaining a diverse range of geological phenomena and their implications in other studies such as paleogeography and paleobiology.

Continental drift

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, geologists assumed that the Earth’s major features were fixed, and that most geologic features such as basin development and mountain ranges could be explained by vertical crustal movement, described in what is called the geosynclinal theory. Generally, this was placed in the context of a contracting planet Earth due to heat loss in the course of a relatively short geological time.

It was observed as early as 1596 that the opposite coasts of the Atlantic Ocean—or, more precisely, the edges of the continental shelves—have similar shapes and seem to have once fitted together.

Since that time many theories were proposed to explain this apparent complementarity, but the assumption of a solid Earth made these various proposals difficult to accept.

The discovery of radioactivity and its associated heating properties in 1895 prompted a re-examination of the apparent age of the Earth. Since this had previously been estimated by its cooling rate and assumption the Earth’s surface radiated like a black body.

Those calculations had implied that, even if it started at red heat, the Earth would have dropped to its present temperature in a few tens of millions of years. Armed with the knowledge of a new heat source, scientists realized that the Earth would be much older, and that its core was still sufficiently hot to be liquid.

By 1915, after having published a first article in 1912, Alfred Wegener was making serious arguments for the idea of continental drift in the first edition of The Origin of Continents and Oceans.

In that book (re-issued in four successive editions up to the final one in 1936), he noted how the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa looked as if they were once attached. Wegener was not the first to note this (Abraham Ortelius, Snider-Pellegrini, Roberto Mantovani and Frank Bursley Taylor preceded him just to mention a few), but he was the first to marshal significant fossil and paleo-topographical and climatological evidence to support this simple observation (and was supported in this by researchers such as Alex du Toit). Furthermore, when the rock strata of the margins of separate continents are very similar it suggests that these rocks were formed in the same way, implying that they were joined initially. For instance, parts of Scotland and Ireland contain rocks very similar to those found in Newfoundland and New Brunswick. Furthermore, the Caledonian Mountains of Europe and parts of the Appalachian Mountains of North America are very similar in structure and lithology.

However, his ideas were not taken seriously by many geologists, who pointed out that there was no apparent mechanism for continental drift. Specifically, they did not see how continental rock could plow through the much denser rock that makes up oceanic crust. Wegener could not explain the force that drove continental drift, and his vindication did not come until after his death in 1930.

Floating continents, paleomagnetism, and seismicity zones

As it was observed early that although granite existed on continents, seafloor seemed to be composed of denser basalt, the prevailing concept during the first half of the twentieth century was that there were two types of crust, named “sial” (continental type crust), and “sima” (oceanic type crust). Furthermore, it was supposed that a static shell of strata was present under the continents. It therefore looked apparent that a layer of basalt (sial) underlies the continental rocks.

However, based upon abnormalities in plumb line deflection by the Andes in Peru, Pierre Bouguer had deduced that less-dense mountains must have a downward projection into the denser layer underneath. The concept that mountains had “roots” was confirmed by George B. Airy a hundred years later during study of Himalayan gravitation, and seismic studies detected corresponding density variations. Therefore, by the mid–1950s the question remained unresolved of whether mountain roots were clenched in surrounding basalt or were floating upon it like an iceberg.

During the 20th century, improvements in and greater use of seismic instruments such as seismographs enabled scientists to learn that earthquakes tend to be concentrated in specific areas, most notably along the oceanic trenches and spreading ridges. By the late 1920s, seismologists were beginning to identify several prominent earthquake zones parallel to the trenches that typically were inclined 40–60° from the horizontal and extended several hundred kilometers into the Earth. These zones later became known as Wadati-Benioff zones, or simply Benioff zones, in honor of the seismologists who first recognized them, Kiyoo Wadati of Japan and Hugo Benioff of the United States. The study of global seismicity greatly advanced in the 1960s with the establishment of the Worldwide Standardized Seismograph Network (WWSSN) to monitor the compliance of the 1963 treaty banning above-ground testing of nuclear weapons. The much improved data from the WWSSN instruments allowed seismologists to map precisely the zones of earthquake concentration worldwide.

Meanwhile, debates developed around the phenomena of polar wander. Since the early debates of continental drift, scientists had discussed and used evidence that polar drift had occurred because continents seemed to have moved through different climatic zones during the past. Furthermore, paleomagnetic data had shown that the magnetic pole had also shifted during time. Reasoning in an opposite way, the continents might have shifted and rotated, while the pole remained relatively fixed. The first time the evidence of magnetic polar wander was used to support the movements of continents was in a paper by Keith Runcorn in 1956, and successive papers by him and his students Ted Irving (who was actually the first to be convinced of the fact that paleomagnetism supported continental drift) and Ken Creer.

This was immediately followed by a symposium in Tasmania in March 1956.

In this symposium, the evidence was used in the theory of an expansion of the global crust. In this hypothesis the shifting of the continents can be simply explained by a large increase in size of the Earth since its formation. However, this was unsatisfactory because its supporters could offer no convincing mechanism to produce a significant expansion of the Earth. Certainly there is no evidence that the moon has expanded in the past 3 billion years; other work would soon show that the evidence was equally in support of continental drift on a globe with a stable radius.

During the thirties up to the late fifties, works by Vening-Meinesz, Holmes, Umbgrove, and numerous others outlined concepts that were close or nearly identical to modern plate tectonics theory. In particular, the English geologist Arthur Holmes proposed in 1920 that plate junctions might lie beneath the sea, and in 1928 that convection currents within the mantle might be the driving force.

Often, these contributions are forgotten because:

At the time, continental drift was not accepted.

Some of these ideas were discussed in the context of abandoned fixistic ideas of a deforming globe without continental drift or an expanding Earth.

They were published during an episode of extreme political and economic instability that hampered scientific communication.

Many were published by European scientists and at first not mentioned or given little credit in the papers on sea floor spreading published by the American researchers in the 1960s.

Mid-oceanic ridge spreading and convection

For more details on Mid-ocean ridge, see Seafloor spreading.

In 1947, a team of scientists led by Maurice Ewing utilizing the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s research vessel Atlantis and an array of instruments, confirmed the existence of a rise in the central Atlantic Ocean, and found that the floor of the seabed beneath the layer of sediments consisted of basalt, not the granite which is the main constituent of continents. They also found that the oceanic crust was much thinner than continental crust. All these new findings raised important and intriguing questions.

The new data that had been collected on the ocean basins also showed particular characteristics regarding the bathymetry. One of the major outcomes of these datasets was that all along the globe, a system of mid-oceanic ridges was detected. An important conclusion was that along this system, new ocean floor was being created, which led to the concept of the “Great Global Rift”. This was described in the crucial paper of Bruce Heezen (1960) which would trigger a real revolution in thinking. A profound consequence of seafloor spreading is that new crust was, and is now, being continually created along the oceanic ridges. Therefore, Heezen advocated the so-called “expanding Earth” hypothesis of S. Warren Carey (see above). So, still the question remained: how can new crust be continuously added along the oceanic ridges without increasing the size of the Earth? In reality, this question had been solved already by numerous scientists during the forties and the fifties, like Arthur Holmes, Vening-Meinesz, Coates and many others: The crust in excess disappeared along what were called the oceanic trenches where so-called “subduction” occurred. Therefore, when various scientists during the early sixties started to reason on the data at their disposal regarding the ocean floor, the pieces of the theory fell quickly into place.

The question particularly intrigued Harry Hammond Hess, a Princeton University geologist and a Naval Reserve Rear Admiral, and Robert S. Dietz, a scientist with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey who first coined the term seafloor spreading. Dietz and Hess (the former published the same idea one year earlier in Nature, but priority belongs to Hess who had already distributed an unpublished manuscript of his 1962 article by 1960) were among the small handful who really understood the broad implications of sea floor spreading and how it would eventually agree with the, at that time, unconventional and unaccepted ideas of continental drift and the elegant and mobilistic models proposed by previous workers like Holmes.

In the same year, Robert R. Coats of the U.S. Geological Survey described the main features of island arc subduction in the Aleutian Islands. His paper, though little–noted (and even ridiculed) at the time, has since been called “seminal” and “prescient”. In reality, it actually shows that the work by the European scientists on island arcs and mountain belts performed and published during the 1930s up until the 1950s was applied and appreciated also in the United States.

If the Earth’s crust was expanding along the oceanic ridges, Hess and Dietz reasoned like Holmes and others before them, it must be shrinking elsewhere. Hess followed Heezen suggesting that new oceanic crust continuously spreads away from the ridges in a conveyor belt–like motion. And, using the mobilistic concepts developed before, he correctly concluded that many millions of years later, the oceanic crust eventually descends along the continental margins where oceanic trenches – very deep, narrow canyons – are formed, e.g. along the rim of the Pacific Ocean basin.

The important step Hess made was that convection currents would be the driving force in this process, arriving at the same conclusions as Holmes had decades before with the only difference that the thinning of the ocean crust was performed using the mechanism of Heezen of spreading along the ridges. Hess therefore concluded that the Atlantic Ocean was expanding while the Pacific Ocean was shrinking. As old oceanic crust is “consumed” in the trenches, (like Holmes and others, he believed this was done by thickening of the continental lithosphere, not, as nowadays believed, by underthrusting at a larger scale of the oceanic crust itself into the mantle) new magma rises and erupts along the spreading ridges to form new crust. In effect, the ocean basins are perpetually being “recycled,” with the creation of new crust and the destruction of old oceanic lithosphere occurring simultaneously, in a way that later would be called the Wilson cycle (see below). Thus, the new mobilistic concepts neatly explained why the Earth does not get bigger with sea floor spreading, why there is so little sediment accumulation on the ocean floor, and why oceanic rocks are much younger than continental rocks.

Magnetic striping

For more details on this topic, see Vine-Matthews-Morley hypothesis.

Seafloor magnetic striping.

A demonstration of magnetic striping. (The darker the color is the closer it is to normal polarity)

Beginning in the 1950s, scientists like Victor Vacquier, using magnetic instruments (magnetometers) adapted from airborne devices developed during World War II to detect submarines, began recognizing odd magnetic variations across the ocean floor. This finding, though unexpected, was not entirely surprising because it was known that basalt—the iron-rich, volcanic rock making up the ocean floor—contains a strongly magnetic mineral (magnetite) and can locally distort compass readings. This distortion was recognized by Icelandic mariners as early as the late 18th century. More important, because the presence of magnetite gives the basalt measurable magnetic properties, these newly discovered magnetic variations provided another means to study the deep ocean floor. When newly formed rock cools, such magnetic materials recorded the Earth’s magnetic field at the time.

As more and more of the seafloor were mapped during the 1950s, the magnetic variations turned out not to be random or isolated occurrences, but instead revealed recognizable patterns. When these magnetic patterns were mapped over a wide region, the ocean floor showed a zebra-like pattern: one stripe with normal polarity and the adjoining stripe with reversed polarity. The overall pattern, defined by these alternating bands of normally and reversely polarized rock, became known as magnetic striping, and was published by Ron G. Mason and co-workers in 1961, who did not find, though, an explanation for these data in terms of sea floor spreading, like Vine, Matthews and Morley a few years later.

The discovery of magnetic striping called for an explanation. In the early 1960s scientists such as Heezen, Hess and Dietz had begun to theorize that mid-ocean ridges mark structurally weak zones where the ocean floor was being ripped in two lengthwise along the ridge crest (see the previous paragraph). New magma from deep within the Earth rises easily through these weak zones and eventually erupts along the crest of the ridges to create new oceanic crust. This process, at first denominated the “conveyer belt hypothesis” and later called seafloor spreading, operating over many millions of years continues to form new ocean floor all across the 50,000 km-long system of mid–ocean ridges.

Only four years after the maps with the “zebra pattern” of magnetic stripes were published, the link between sea floor spreading and these patterns was correctly placed, independently by Lawrence Morley, and by Fred Vine and Drummond Matthews, in 1963 now called the Vine-Matthews-Morley hypothesis. This hypothesis linked these patterns to geomagnetic reversals and was supported by several lines of evidence:

The stripes are symmetrical around the crests of the mid-ocean ridges; at or near the crest of the ridge, the rocks are very young, and they become progressively older away from the ridge crest;

The youngest rocks at the ridge crest always have present-day (normal) polarity;

Stripes of rock parallel to the ridge crest alternate in magnetic polarity (normal-reversed-normal, etc.), suggesting that they were formed during different epochs documenting the (already known from independent studies) normal and reversal episodes of the Earth’s magnetic field.

By explaining both the zebra-like magnetic striping and the construction of the mid-ocean ridge system, the seafloor spreading hypothesis (SFS) quickly gained converts and represented another major advance in the development of the plate-tectonics theory. Furthermore, the oceanic crust now came to be appreciated as a natural “tape recording” of the history of the geomagnetic field reversals (GMFR) of the Earth’s magnetic field. Nowadays, extensive studies are dedicated to the calibration of the normal-reversal patterns in the oceanic crust on one hand and known timescales derived from the dating of basalt layers in sedimentary sequences (magnetostratigraphy) on the other, to arrive at estimates of past spreading rates and plate reconstructions.

Definition and refining of the theory

After all these considerations, Plate Tectonics (or, as it was initially called “New Global Tectonics”) became quickly accepted in the scientific world, and numerous papers followed that defined the concepts:

In 1965, Tuzo Wilson who had been a promoter of the sea floor spreading hypothesis and continental drift from the very beginning added the concept of transform faults to the model, completing the classes of fault types necessary to make the mobility of the plates on the globe work out.

A symposium on continental drift was held at the Royal Society of London in 1965 which must be regarded as the official start of the acceptance of plate tectonics by the scientific community, and which abstracts are issued as Blacket, Bullard & Runcorn (1965). In this symposium, Edward Bullard and co-workers showed with a computer calculation how the continents along both sides of the Atlantic would best fit to close the ocean, which became known as the famous “Bullard’s Fit”.

In 1966 Wilson published the paper that referred to previous plate tectonic reconstructions, introducing the concept of what is now known as the “Wilson Cycle”.

In 1967, at the American Geophysical Union’s meeting, W. Jason Morgan proposed that the Earth’s surface consists of 12 rigid plates that move relative to each other.

Two months later, Xavier Le Pichon published a complete model based on 6 major plates with their relative motions, which marked the final acceptance by the scientific community of plate tectonics.

In the same year, McKenzie and Parker independently presented a model similar to Morgan’s using translations and rotations on a sphere to define the plate motions.

Implications for biogeography

Continental drift theory helps biogeographers to explain the disjunct biogeographic distribution of present day life found on different continents but having similar ancestors.

 In particular, it explains the Gondwanan distribution of ratites and the Antarctic flora.

Plate reconstruction

Reconstruction of plate configurations for the whole Phanerozoic

Reconstruction is used to establish past (and future) plate configurations, helping determine the shape and make-up of ancient supercontinents and providing a basis for paleogeography.

Defining plate boundaries

Current plate boundaries are defined by their seismicity.

Past plate boundaries within existing plates are identified from a variety of evidence, such as the presence of ophiolites that are indicative of vanished oceans.

Past plate motions

Tectonic motion first began around three billion years ago.

Various types of quantitative and semi-quantitative information are available to constrain past plate motions. The geometric fit between continents, such as between west Africa and South America is still an important part of plate reconstruction. Magnetic stripe patterns provide a reliable guide to relative plate motions going back into the Jurassic period.

The tracks of hotspots give absolute reconstructions but these are only available back to the Cretaceous. Older reconstructions rely mainly on paleomagnetic pole data, although these only constrain the latitude and rotation, but not the longitude. Combining poles of different ages in a particular plate to produce apparent polar wander paths provides a method for comparing the motions of different plates through time.

Additional evidence comes from the distribution of certain sedimentary rock types, faunal provinces shown by particular fossil groups, and the position of orogenic belts.

Formation and break-up of continents

The movement of plates has caused the formation and break-up of continents over time, including occasional formation of a supercontinent that contains most or all of the continents. The supercontinent Columbia or Nuna formed during a period of 2,000 to 1,800 million years ago and broke up about 1,500 to 1,300 million years ago.

The supercontinent Rodinia is thought to have formed about 1 billion years ago and to have embodied most or all of Earth’s continents, and broken up into eight continents around 600 million years ago. The eight continents later re-assembled into another supercontinent called Pangaea; Pangaea broke up into Laurasia (which became North America and Eurasia) and Gondwana (which became the remaining continents).

Current plates

List of tectonic plates

Depending on how they are defined, there are usually seven or eight “major” plates: African, Antarctic, Eurasian, North American, South American, Pacific, and Indo-Australian. The latter is sometimes subdivided into the Indian and Australian plates.

There are dozens of smaller plates, the seven largest of which are the Arabian, Caribbean, Juan de Fuca, Cocos, Nazca, Philippine Sea and Scotia.

The current motion of the tectonic plates is nowadays revealed from remote sensing satellite data sets, calibrated with ground station measurements.

Other celestial bodies (planets, moons)

The appearance of plate tectonics on terrestrial planets is related to planetary mass, with more massive planets than Earth expected to exhibit plate tectonics. Earth may be a borderline case, owing its tectonic activity to abundant water  (Silica and water form a deep eutectic.)


Venus shows no evidence of active plate tectonics. There is debatable evidence of active tectonics in the planet’s distant past; however, events taking place since then (such as the plausible and generally accepted hypothesis that the Venusian lithosphere has thickened greatly over the course of several hundred million years) has made constraining the course of its geologic record difficult. However, the numerous well-preserved impact craters have been utilized as a dating method to approximately date the Venusian surface (since there are thus far no known samples of Venusian rock to be dated by more reliable methods). Dates derived are dominantly in the range 500 to 750 million years ago, although ages of up to 1,200 million years ago have been calculated. This research has led to the fairly well accepted hypothesis that Venus has undergone an essentially complete volcanic resurfacing at least once in its distant past, with the last event taking place approximately within the range of estimated surface ages. While the mechanism of such an impressive thermal event remains a debated issue in Venusian geosciences, some scientists are advocates of processes involving plate motion to some extent.

One explanation for Venus’ lack of plate tectonics is that on Venus temperatures are too high for significant water to be present. The Earth’s crust is soaked with water, and water plays an important role in the development of shear zones. Plate tectonics requires weak surfaces in the crust along which crustal slices can move, and it may well be that such weakening never took place on Venus because of the absence of water. However, some researchers remain convinced that plate tectonics is or was once active on this planet.


Mars is considerably smaller than Earth and Venus, and there is evidence for ice on its surface and in its crust.

In the 1990s, it was proposed that Martian Crustal Dichotomy was created by plate tectonic processes. Scientists today disagree, and believe that it was created either by upwelling within the Martian mantle that thickened the crust of the Southern Highlands and formed Tharsis or by a giant impact that excavated the Northern Lowlands.

Observations made of the magnetic field of Mars by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft in 1999 showed patterns of magnetic striping discovered on this planet. Some scientists interpreted these as requiring plate tectonic processes, such as seafloor spreading.

However, their data fail a “magnetic reversal test”, which is used to see if they were formed by flipping polarities of a global magnetic field.

Galilean satellites of Jupiter

Some of the satellites of Jupiter have features that may be related to plate-tectonic style deformation, although the materials and specific mechanisms may be different from plate-tectonic activity on Earth.

Titan, moon of Saturn

Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, was reported to show tectonic activity in images taken by the Huygens Probe, which landed on Titan on January 14, 2005.


It is believed that many planets around other stars will have plate tectonics. On Earth-sized planets, plate tectonics is more likely if there are oceans of water, but on larger super-earths plate tectonics is very likely even if the planet is dry.

2012 ET Spirit Ascension Age Extraterrestrial UFO Messages and Tectonic Economics

21st Century Expectations will be to learn fight or flight in Space! We are going to learn that the extraterrestrials have always influenced us and many of us are balanced and in tune with receiving their communications as energy vibrations.

Many of us are awake and aware of our own neurons inside our minds inside our brains and we know who the spirit is separate from our own inner minds we call a conscious. There can be a six second delay from the time our extraterrestrial choices recommend to our conscious minds that which is like our own guidance system. Some may relate our inner selves to that of our own inner guidance system of the connection to those above. We will in the next few years discover exactly what it means to be alive and well on planet earth as extraterrestrial spirit.

How we in the future shall learn about where our ‘I’ in the “ME” of the “WE” will be known. This is the “Big Aha…” we have all been waiting for in the coming “Ascension Age”. This new awakened awareness of our sentient intelligent being species will allow us to create health and prosperity for all! This always was and still is the plan for those who exist on this planet.

Those of us who are the core ingredient of the investment in the erected eternal bond with emphasis on the future are called the sages, seers, shaman, mystics, oracles, prophets, and psychics. These terms are used loosely in the world. We are they who are those who keep up with the metaphysical ways of our entire species in general as a whole as a critical mass mind. We learn to appreciate the avatars as the reincarnated masters of the ancient past.

Those who in the past were the world leaders learned to trust us with their divinations of the future to come. The women called the Delphic Oracles in the past were said to be chosen as vestal virgins. This was a tradition of the past. Since the ancient times, it has become more or less apparent that the positions have gone to those who were willing to show an interest and passion in the art of divination as well as the study of and hopefully having a talent for seeing the future!


What is expected of us all in the future as the time comes and passes over us like which we in the past referred to as the phoenix, bird of peace and rejuvenation, and the new beginning from the ashes of the old is the culmination of all our past thoughts. This will assist us in the Akashic field obtaining what we will now learn to call the theory of everything.

We have some ways of the past to overcome that deal with how we in the past fought against each other on the planet. This will have to cease to exist so that we can focus on defending our planet in space from others who may want to harm our planet and entire species. This is the way we shall learn to go out in space and use our technology.


We are now entering a new level of life in the space race for freedom that we began in the last two centuries. We just have not been as impressive and aggressive as we could, should, and would have been had our world leaders been more awake and aware of spiritual enlightenment for the entire world’s health and prosperity!

We are all now responsible for our future together as one species! Who we choose to elect and put in charge of our entire global community population will be a very serious part of realizing what direction we want to proceed in as a humanoid sentient intelligent being species.


Therefore, let’s examine how we have shared our past so that we can learn what we can correct in the future. Technology and the history of our weaponry at this time is important to know so we can proceed in the future in space. We shall all learn how to find our own selves inside our neurons inside the mind inside the brain as well. For now let’s talk about the history of how we have killed our own humankind as part of our growth process. We must learn from our mistakes and learn to utilize what we have learned to create a better place in space and on this planet.


We the people who are called humanoids of the sentient intelligent being species are about to share in the journey of the body-mind-spirit experiencing the birth-life-death sequence of events as futurists in space. We sometimes forget to recognize the vast expansion of space while we are concentrating on our own carbon based existence on earth.


Each year about this time of year before the coming New Year, we all like to share in our own predictions and forecasts of things to come. It is a practice among many professionals. Those of us who work for a living to obtain success in our chosen fields of endeavors are all concentrating on our own life projects of interest as well.


Each person has a role to play on this planet and we should all become awakened and aware in this year we call 2012. The reason being is that all our former tribes as our former ancient ancestors predicted that we would all finally become a global community and learn to utilize our entire common critical mass mind as one large sending unit.


It has been said in the past by those who may have been smarter than we realize that we all at one point in time on a planet reach the seven billion mark of souls who have entered this realm of physical existence. Technology—the purposeful, systematic manipulation of the material world—encompasses, of course, inventions for both civilian and military use.


Increasingly in the past two centuries, radically new science-based technologies—inventions providing new power sources and means of transportation and communication, for example—have had a transformative effect on society, and on warfare. But despite widespread popular belief in technology as a determinative agent of change, indeed as part of the culture of modernity, a debate continues over the inevitability of the social consequences of particular major inventions.


While some see technology as a virtually autonomous agent of change, others contextualize it in larger socio-cultural processes.


The latter emphasize that material innovation is initiated and developed, or not developed by human beings with particular abilities and resources (the gun was largely banned from feudal Japan, for example, for more than two centuries; see Noel Perrin, Giving up the Gun: Japan’s Reversion to the Sword, 1543–1879, 1979).


Despite the power of a technological development once it has begun, the beginning and end of every such sequence, as Robert L. O’Connell (Of Arms and Men, 1989) has said, is a point when human choice can and does exert itself.


Dedicated to the idea of progress and heirs of the Enlightenment, Americans have traditionally embraced science and technology as instruments for human and material betterment as well as national security. Ingenuity and invention have been valued attributes, protected legally and rewarded economically. All of this encouraged technological development and change.


The military, however, has traditionally not sought nor often welcomed change. Virtually all the most important military devices invented in nineteenth-century Europe or America—the breech-loading rifle; built-up steel, rifled cannon; effective armored warships; the automatic machine gun; the modern submarine—originated with civilians who brought them uninvited to the military. None of the most important weapons transforming warfare in the twentieth century—the airplane, tank, radar, jet engine, helicopter, electronic computer, not even the atomic bomb—owed its initial development to a doctrinal requirement or request of the military.


Weapons are instruments designed to harm, kill, or otherwise disable other human beings, to destroy other military resources, or to deter an enemy’s ability to make war through the actual or threatened destruction of crucial components of their society. Broadly conceived, weapons include not only the instruments themselves and their munitions but also their delivery vehicles—so-called weapons platforms: tanks, ships, aircraft, and missile launchers. Today, the combinations are often labeled weapons systems.


Because weapons, like other physical objects, operate under natural laws, discoveries in chemistry, physics, quantum mechanics, and other areas of science and technology have helped propel both the industrial revolution and the dramatic expansion of weaponry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Thus, as shown in the accompanying articles on the development of weaponry in the army, marine corps, navy, and air force, the U.S. armed forces have followed and sometimes originated major developments in science and technology.




Improvements in metallurgy, for example, created stronger gun barrels. These could withstand more powerful explosive charges, themselves the result of chemical discoveries. Stronger rifled barrels in turn provided more accuracy and longer range for standard infantry side arms, artillery, and naval guns.


Mechanical improvements eventually produced automatic weapons, including self-loading, magazine rifles and machine guns. The internal combustion engine led to the development of submarines, tanks, and aircraft in the twentieth century. At sea, steam power, iron, and steel transformed naval warships in the nineteenth century.


Later, submarines were transformed by new alloys, shapes, and nuclear propulsion. Aircraft made the transition from fabric and wood to aluminum in the 1930s, then more recently in some cases to titanium, carbon-fiber composites and high-strength plastics. Experiments in rocketry combined with developments in guidance mechanisms and gas-turbine engines led to jet aircraft and to ballistic and cruise missiles.


Computer technology and electronic sensing and guidance systems have dramatically improved fire control and accuracy, leading eventually to precision-guided munitions designed to make corrections in flight and on final approach to the target.


Despite their desire for more weapons, most admirals and generals until World War II had been reluctant to adopt new and unproven weapons.


The U.S. Army initially rejected development of the revolver, the repeating rifle, and the machine gun in the mid-nineteenth century. It suppressed generations of available improvements in artillery in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. And until the eve of World War II, it delayed development of the tank, which later became its most favored weapon.


The U.S. Navy rejected or resisted pivotal inventions by David Bushnell, Robert Fulton, Samuel Colt, and John Ericsson, and it suppressed and sometimes even persecuted such uniformed technological reformers as John Dahlgren, William Sims, and Hyman Rickover. Even in it’s comparatively short history, the U.S. Air Force, with its dedication to piloted planes, initially resisted liquid fueled missiles, sold fuel missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned spacecraft.


The armed forces tend to be even less flexible than most other large bureaucratic organizations.


In part, this results from their compartmentalization, need for standardization, innate conservatism, and the limitations imposed on them by Congress. Partly it is because military organizations, designed to operate at great risk in a medium of enormous uncertainty—the unpredictability and chaos of war—have emphasized discipline and subordination in a rigidly hierarchical command structure. But the reluctance of the military bureaucracy to innovate has other sources as well.


Traditionally, it reflected a dedication to an existing weapon already proven in combat and integrated into doctrine and training (and deployed at great expense) over uncertainties about a projected weapon, which might or might not eventually prove itself in combat.


The new weapon’s failure, of course, might well mean the deaths of many of those relying on it.


High-ranking officers with the power to make such decisions often owe their lives and their careers to particular weapons and doctrines. The officer corps of each branch is a community, and as Elting Morison (Men, Machines, and Modern Times, 1967) suggests, communities, particularly to the degree that they are autonomous and isolated from external influence, are often resistant to change.


Particularly with radical innovation, resistance may stem from concerns about the costs of purchasing an expensive but unproven technology or fears of potential impact upon the structure, status, and traditions of the organization.


Officers of the sailing ship navy in the mid-nineteenth century were correct in their fears that the replacement of sails by steam propulsion would mean the end to an entire way of life.


Civilian leaders have often been more receptive to radical new weapons technologies than the military.


Consequently, uniformed reformers, civilian inventors, or corporate manufacturers have often circumvented the military bureaucracy through political connections. Frustrated, Samuel Colt sent his proposal for underwater mines directly to Congress; Dalhgren took his ideas about a new naval gun to President Abraham Lincoln; and William Sims relayed his proposals for rapid-firing gunnery directly to President Theodore Roosevelt.


Less successfully, Billy Mitchell took his case for air power to the public in an abortive attempt to exert public pressure on Congress and President Calvin Coolidge.


Production of weapons has always been profitable for private entrepreneurs in wartime, but the Cold War (1947–1991) produced a market of unprecedented duration and size for weapons. Scholars debate the origins of what President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961 called the “Military-Industrial Complex,” some seeing its antecedents in the steel and steam naval construction program of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries others with the nexus established between the army air service, aircraft manufacturers and Congress in the 1920s and 1930s.


Whatever the origins, the scale of industrial development and production of weaponry on a sustained basis has grown extraordinarily in the last sixty years, a period when, as Michael Sherry has written, Americans since 1939 lived Under the Shadow of War (1995).


The politically influential, triangular relationship between the military, defense contractors, and Congress, meant that a comparatively few giant corporations that dominated the defense contracting industry were essentially guaranteed a sustained market by the U.S. government.


During the Cold War, the arms race between the United States and its NATO allies and the Soviet Union and the other Warsaw Pact nations encompassed conventional and nuclear weapons.


The threat of nuclear war and the concept of deterrence meant a sustained condition of constant readiness for war, which led the U.S. military to modify some of its traditional resistance to declaring proven weapons obsolete or at least obsolescent. Instead, in concert with Congress, the Department of Defense kept research institutes, national laboratories, and defense contractors busy with requests for new and improved generations of weapons.


U.S. defense spending for most of the Cold War averaged about 7 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP), surging briefly during the administration of President John F. Kennedy to 10 per cent. As a result for more than forty years, the armed forces exerted an unprecedented continuing influence on the American economy.


Domestically, such massive defense spending beginning in 1950 may have helped prevent a post-war World War II depression as followed the cancellation of war orders after World War I, but such continued “military Keynesianism,” skewed the operation of the market system in allocation of human, financial, and material resources, a phenomenon, William H. McNeill (The Pursuit of Power, 1982) linked to a “command economy” in which the state drives the economy through the development and production of the technology of war.


Such unprecedented defense spending, particularly the development and acquisition of weaponry, was eventually challenged. Criticism and protest against certain weapons systems was hardly new. Theodore Roosevelt’s battleship building program had been curtailed by public and congressional outcries against its cost. Immediately after World War I, big business joined the peace movement in stopping a second naval arms race. Development of chemical weapons was restrained in the 1920s by public outrage on moral grounds as well as protests from old-line army leaders on the basis of tradition and ineffectiveness. In the 1950s, nuclear protest movements lobbied for restriction or elimination of nuclear weapons on various grounds: moral, health, ecological, and humanitarian. Such protests helped produce in 1963 an end to the testing of nuclear weapons above ground (with its airborne radioactive fallout).


The SALT Treaties (1972, 1979) and the START negotiations reversed the nuclear arms race even before the end of the Cold War in 1991 (indeed the end of the Cold War has paradoxically made it difficult to complete START). The general downturn in arms expenditures, both in the United States and the world at large, began in 1987, before the final collapse of the Soviet Union and the official end of the Cold War.


The Vietnam War (1965–73) divided Americans and raised questions about failure of the U.S. military. Americans’ belief in technological progress was also challenged by a series of setbacks including problems with nuclear energy plants and the space program as well as increased concerns about environmental and health damage from new technologies and their products. These contributed to some skepticism about technological progress and inevitability and a belief that politics, markets, and organizational structures could also condition outcomes, implying that some aspects of technological development can be controlled by political and economic decisions.




Weapons of mass destruction are in a class by themselves. Choking and burning forms of poison gas first developed in World War I were later augmented by nerve agents. Stocks of infectious microbes and other toxins were accumulated for chemical and biological weapons and warfare, but the controversy over the use of Agent Orange and other defoliants in the Vietnam War led President Richard Nixon to renounce biological and toxin weapons, to begin destroying the stocks of toxic agents, and to ratify an international agreement prohibiting them. In 1997, the United States ratified a treaty banning poison gas weapons.


The development of nuclear fission weapons and later thermonuclear fusion weapons represented an incomparable revolution in weaponry.


Yet their enormous lethality contributed to a universal refusal to use the weapons after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thus nuclear weapons have become predominantly instruments of threat, operating in a nuclear strategy described as deterrence.


The proliferation of such weapons to additional countries and possibly eventually to terrorist groups has long threatened to weaken the taboo against their use. Attempts to curtail weapons of mass destruction have been offset in part by the growing lethality and destructiveness of conventional arms.


But the evolution of weaponry has not been simply a narrow history of scientific invention or technological development. Weapons are artifacts both of the armed forces and of the societies that create them. Essential to the conduct of war, they can in part be understood through the functions they are expected to perform in warfare on the land, at sea, or in the air.


But a fuller understanding of their evolution derives from the recognition that their origins and development derive from particular inventions and also from larger cultural attitudes and ideology and political, military, economic and other institutional structures in society which help to define national security and allocate resources for defense.


Technology—the purposeful, systematic manipulation of the material world—encompasses, of course, inventions for both civilian and military use.


Increasingly in the past two centuries, radically new science-based technologies—inventions providing new power sources and means of transportation and communication, for example—have had a transformative effect on society, and on warfare. But despite widespread popular belief in technology as a determinative agent of change, indeed as part of the culture of modernity, a debate continues over the inevitability of the social consequences of particular major inventions.


While some see technology as a virtually autonomous agent of change, others contextualize it in larger socio-cultural processes.


The latter emphasize that material innovation is initiated and developed, or not developed by human beings with particular abilities and resources (the gun was largely banned from feudal Japan, for example, for more than two centuries; see Noel Perrin, Giving up the Gun: Japan’s Reversion to the Sword, 1543–1879, 1979).


Despite the power of a technological development once it has begun, the beginning and end of every such sequence, as Robert L. O’Connell (Of Arms and Men, 1989) has said, is a point when human choice can and does exert itself.


Dedicated to the idea of progress and heirs of the Enlightenment, Americans have traditionally embraced science and technology as instruments for human and material betterment as well as national security. Ingenuity and invention have been valued attributes, protected legally and rewarded economically. All of this encouraged technological development and change.


The military, however, has traditionally not sought nor often welcomed change. Virtually all the most important military devices invented in nineteenth-century Europe or America—the breech-loading rifle; built-up steel, rifled cannon; effective armored warships; the automatic machine gun; the modern submarine—originated with civilians who brought them uninvited to the military. None of the most important weapons transforming warfare in the twentieth century—the airplane, tank, radar, jet engine, helicopter, electronic computer, not even the atomic bomb—owed its initial development to a doctrinal requirement or request of the military.


Weapons are instruments designed to harm, kill, or otherwise disable other human beings, to destroy other military resources, or to deter an enemy’s ability to make war through the actual or threatened destruction of crucial components of their society. Broadly conceived, weapons include not only the instruments themselves and their munitions but also their delivery vehicles—so-called weapons platforms: tanks, ships, aircraft, and missile launchers. Today, the combinations are often labeled weapons systems.


Because weapons, like other physical objects, operate under natural laws, discoveries in chemistry, physics, quantum mechanics, and other areas of science and technology have helped propel both the industrial revolution and the dramatic expansion of weaponry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Thus, as shown in the accompanying articles on the development of weaponry in the army, marine corps, navy, and air force, the U.S. armed forces have followed and sometimes originated major developments in science and technology.


Improvements in metallurgy, for example, created stronger gun barrels. These could withstand more powerful explosive charges, themselves the result of chemical discoveries. Stronger rifled barrels in turn provided more accuracy and longer range for standard infantry side arms, artillery, and naval guns. Mechanical improvements eventually produced automatic weapons, including self-loading, magazine rifles and machine guns. The internal combustion engine led to the development of submarines, tanks, and aircraft in the twentieth century. At sea, steam power, iron, and steel transformed naval warships in the nineteenth century.


Later, submarines were transformed by new alloys, shapes, and nuclear propulsion. Aircraft made the transition from fabric and wood to aluminum in the 1930s, then more recently in some cases to titanium, carbon-fiber composites and high-strength plastics. Experiments in rocketry combined with developments in guidance mechanisms and gas-turbine engines led to jet aircraft and to ballistic and cruise missiles. Computer technology and electronic sensing and guidance systems have dramatically improved fire control and accuracy, leading eventually to precision-guided munitions designed to make corrections in flight and on final approach to the target.

Despite their desire for more weapons, most admirals and generals until World War II had been reluctant to adopt new and unproven weapons.


The U.S. Army initially rejected development of the revolver, the repeating rifle, and the machine gun in the mid-nineteenth century. It suppressed generations of available improvements in artillery in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. And until the eve of World War II, it delayed development of the tank, which later became its most favored weapon.


The U.S. Navy rejected or resisted pivotal inventions by David Bushnell, Robert Fulton, Samuel Colt, and John Ericsson, and it suppressed and sometimes even persecuted such uniformed technological reformers as John Dahlgren, William Sims, and Hyman Rickover. Even in it’s comparatively short history, the U.S. Air Force, with its dedication to piloted planes, initially resisted liquid fueled missiles, sold fuel missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned spacecraft.


The armed forces tend to be even less flexible than most other large bureaucratic organizations.


In part, this results from their compartmentalization, need for standardization, innate conservatism, and the limitations imposed on them by Congress. Partly it is because military organizations, designed to operate at great risk in a medium of enormous uncertainty—the unpredictability and chaos of war—have emphasized discipline and subordination in a rigidly hierarchical command structure. But the reluctance of the military bureaucracy to innovate has other sources as well.


Traditionally, it reflected a dedication to an existing weapon already proven in combat and integrated into doctrine and training (and deployed at great expense) over uncertainties about a projected weapon, which might or might not eventually prove itself in combat. The new weapon’s failure, of course, might well mean the deaths of many of those relying on it. High-ranking officers with the power to make such decisions often owe their lives and their careers to particular weapons and doctrines. The officer corps of each branch is a community, and as Elting Morison (Men, Machines, and Modern Times, 1967) suggests, communities, particularly to the degree that they are autonomous and isolated from external influence, are often resistant to change.


Particularly with radical innovation, resistance may stem from concerns about the costs of purchasing an expensive but unproven technology or fears of potential impact upon the structure, status, and traditions of the organization.


Officers of the sailing ship navy in the mid-nineteenth century were correct in their fears that the replacement of sails by steam propulsion would mean the end to an entire way of life.


Civilian leaders have often been more receptive to radical new weapons technologies than the military.


Consequently, uniformed reformers, civilian inventors, or corporate manufacturers have often circumvented the military bureaucracy through political connections. Frustrated, Samuel Colt sent his proposal for underwater mines directly to Congress; Dalhgren took his ideas about a new naval gun to President Abraham Lincoln; and William Sims relayed his proposals for rapid-firing gunnery directly to President Theodore Roosevelt.


Less successfully, Billy Mitchell took his case for air power to the public in an abortive attempt to exert public pressure on Congress and President Calvin Coolidge.


Although traditionally not the initiator of new weapons (since World War II, this has been reversed and the military has become the initiator), the military has often been quite successful in developing those that it became convinced were warranted.


In time of war or continuing danger to national security, the government has mobilized enormous financial resources for the military, particularly for weaponry.


Before World War II, most of America’s wars were too short to be fought with weapons other than those on hand or in development at the beginning of the conflict (the lead time on research and development of modern sophisticated weapons can run 15 years or more). The atomic bomb, developed in a massive effort under the supervision of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Manhattan Project in three years (1943–45), was an exception.


Once invented and adopted, military weapons have been produced in the United States either by government facilities or more commonly in the twentieth century by corporate manufacturers under government contract. The new republic used its own national armories at Springfield, Massachusetts, left from the Revolutionary War, and Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, newly constructed by 1801. After decades of producing small arms by hand, by 1842 the armories introduced large-scale assembly of muskets from uniform, interchangeable parts.


Together with their private competitors, such as Colt’s factory in Hartford, Connecticut, the federal armories became important centers of technological and manufacturing innovation, contributing to what arms makers and others around the world soon called the “American system of manufactures.” To make cannon, caissons, gunpowder, and other military supplies, the government possessed five federal arsenals, in or near Boston, upstate New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.


Note; (with later additions at Rock Island, Illinois, and Fayetteville, North Carolina).


Thus in the nineteenth century, government manufacturing for the military provided a means to continue technological development, when private manufacturers feared uncertain economic returns in a market environment offering large-scale profits for such items mainly in war-time.


During the Civil War, the military-run government facilities ran at full capacity while also providing the specifications and techniques for private subcontractors to mass produce arms for the Union Army.


U.S. Navy Ships

The first ships of the U.S. Navy were built in half a dozen private shipyards along the Atlantic Coast in the 1790s. Later government navy yards were erected to repair the fleet and for some new construction, but the Navy Department always relied more on private contractors than on its own yards for the construction of new vessels whether in the wooden, iron, or steel navy.


After the Civil War, the spending cutbacks and other factors resulted by 1900 in the U.S. Army being a decade behind European militaries in the development of small arms and artillery.


The increasing complexity of weaponry in the twentieth century and the possibilities of sustained high economic profits, first in research and development for the navy, then for the air service, and finally for the ground forces, led corporations to become continuing military contractors and the government to phase out most of its own armories, arsenals, and shipyards for conventional weapons.


The U.S. government continued, however, to underwrite National Laboratories for research and development of nuclear weapons.


Militarily in the 1960s and 1970s, rapidly rising prices and the clear numerical superiority in conventional forces in Europe of the Warsaw Pact ignited major debates in the United States over the armed forces, their force structure, strategy, and weaponry. These debates involved issues of military effectiveness and also of civilian contractors’ cost-overruns, waste, fraud, and abuse, revealed in congressional and journalistic investigations.


A military reform movement, originating in a controversy over a new fighter plane for the air force, began a debate which spread through Congress and each of the services, prompting a searching examination of the Cold War focus on new, larger, more sophisticated, and more expensive weaponry. It raised the possibility of less expensive yet adequate alternatives, many small aircraft carriers instead of a few super carriers, for example, or a single type of fighter aircraft that could be used with modifications by the air force, navy, and marines. The reformers liked to point out that cutting-edge technology was not always the most appropriate, not always decisive or even victorious in war, as evidenced arguably by the failure of the Germans in Russia in World War II, the French and Americans in Vietnam, and the Russians in Afghanistan.


Beginning in 1979, Soviet actions and resurgent anti-communism in the United States led President Jimmy Carter reluctantly and President Ronald Reagan enthusiastically to increase U.S. defense spending dramatically. The Reagan administration achieved the largest peacetime military buildup in U.S. history (approximately $2.4 trillion spent overall in 1981–89). The focus was on weapons, and each military service obtained long-delayed and often controversial weapons systems, including the B-1 bomber, the MX intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), new vehicles and helicopters, the Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), and many new warships to build toward a goal of a 600 ship navy.


The escalating arms race and the bellicosity of the Reagan administration triggered considerable opposition. The largest protest demonstrations since the Vietnam War failed to prevent the deployment of new, nuclear-tipped, intermediate range ballistic missiles in Europe. But dissent within the scientific community and skepticism in the media limited research on President Reagan’s proposed missile defense project, the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), known as “star wars” after a popular science fiction movie of the time. Debate continues over the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989–91. Some link it to economic pressures resulting from the arms race resumed by the United States a decade earlier; others attribute the failure to accumulating systemic problems in Russia and its empire.


In the U.S. armed forces, the reform plans of the 1970s and the buildup of the 1980s produced American forces in Europe which had shifted from a strategy emphasizing overwhelming firepower including nuclear weapons to the “Air Land Battle” focusing on more effective use of conventional air and ground forces to outmaneuver and defeat the greater numbers of the Warsaw Pact. Modified for different conditions, the concept and weapons were used successfully in the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Its aircraft and precision-guided munitions were employed again in the Kosovo Crisis of 1999.


The end of the Cold War in 1991 did result in cutbacks in defense spending, even if not as much as many had expected. Although some defense contractors went out of business, merged, or shifted to other production, a military-industrial complex, decidedly smaller, continued to exist. The American market had shrunk. U.S. defense spending in 1995 was down to 4.3 percent of Gross National Product. Defense contracting still remained lucrative to some, however. At beginning of 2000, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing were competing against each other for the largest military contract in history, nearly one-third of a trillion dollars, to design a Joint Strike Fighter plane, capable with modifications of serving the needs of the air force, navy, and marines, and to build 5,000 them, replacing most of the existing fighter planes (not the F-15s or F-18s, however) in the U.S. armed forces.


American defense contractors also turned again to foreign markets. There, limited only by certain legal constraints designed to keep the most sensitive military secrets secure from potential enemies (a continuing challenge); they competed with other arms makers. In the international arms marketplace, the new weaponry was often valued as much for the prestige that such weapons, for example, the latest most sophisticated fighter planes, seem to provide for a nation and its government and armed forces as for their contribution to that nation’s security.


In the U.S. experience, as Alex Roland suggested (Journal of Military History, 1991), the development of military technology in relationship to strategy and to ground warfare, for example, has been shaped in part by fundamental American views and practices as well as the technology itself. The value put on the individual human life and labor of U.S. citizens, a concept rooted in early labor scarcity and reinforced by American democracy, has contributed to an emphasis on citizen-soldiers, trying to protect them against usually greater enemy numbers through superior technology, especially weapons of greater firepower and accuracy. Additionally, fear of standing armies and an insistence on civilian control of the military, a reaction to British policies, contributed, directly through the Constitution’s two-year limit on military appropriations, to inhibiting long-term development projects for the army. The navy and the air force are by definition technology-dependent services and have required by necessity long-term development of their ships, planes, and missiles.


For most of the nineteenth century and even the early twentieth century, the United States enjoyed freedom from threats of sudden attack by a foreign foe. This allowed the nation to be generally free from the need to prepare massive ground forces or to some extent even major naval forces in advance of war. In concert with foreign policies of neutrality and isolationism, the majority of Americans came to view this situation of comparatively free security as a natural condition for the United States.


With the exception of certain expansionist-minded industrialists and navalists at the turn of the century, no influential group saw the need or desirability to have large and expensive stocks of the latest weapons on hand. To convince Americans to build one of the largest navies in the world at the turn of the century, navalists like Theodore Roosevelt, had to link the gleaming battleships and armored cruisers of the “Great White Fleet” with the prestige of the world’s newest and most powerful industrialized nation.


The era of comparatively free security was suspended with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and U.S. entry into World War II, and it certainly stopped for nearly half a century during the Cold War. The commitment to containing the threat from the Soviet Union and communism meant the development of a sustained, enormous market for weaponry, which was supplied by American defense contractors.


American decisions in the Cold War to push for the most advanced technologies and to build big, sophisticated, expensive weapons, however, over smaller, less complex weapons, even if it meant fewer rather than more weapons, involved many factors: military, economic, political, and also cultural. For such decisions, like those at the turn of the century to build more battleships and fewer smaller warships like submarines and destroyers, can also reflect images of national identity.


As the “Great White Fleet” was said to represent America’s emergent status as a “world power,” so the giant bomber aircraft and super carriers of the Cold War reinforced its image as the leader and protector of the “free world.” Even after the end of the Cold War, as economic competition surpassed military conflict as the primary continuing concern of industrialized nations, the image of America’s most sophisticated weaponry—the Stealth aircraft and precision-guided munitions were most prominent at the end of the twentieth century—remained linked in many minds to the prestige of the United States.


Yet for purposes of self-image as well as self-interest, Americans have sometimes sought to limit the development of certain weapons. The United States, for example, curtailed battleship development in the Washington Naval Arms Limitation Treaty of 1922. It restricted aspects of the development of nuclear weapons in the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963 and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty signed in 1996 (although still not ratified in the summer of 1999). There was also a major international movement to ban the use of land mines, but because of their use to defend South Korea and the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba, the U.S. government had not yet joined the international agreement to prohibit land mines as the century ended. Some attempts were made to limit weaponry in outer space, but such technology has grown dramatically since the late 1950s, particularly the increasing use of military satellites in earth orbit. The development of weapons systems for attacking satellites and proposals for ballistic missile defense systems such as SDI has extended the dangers of warfare to outer space.


At the dawn of the twenty-first century, future directions of weaponry and warfare are unclear in the post–Cold War world and the military missions of preparing for regional and littoral conflict, anti-terrorism, and peacekeeping operations.


But requests from the U.S. military for satellite global positioning systems, microcomputers, superconductors, fiber optics, and biotechnical materials suggest that the cyber revolution has led to new forms of vulnerability, for example, the electronic network upon which postmodern societies and their military depend.


Such dual-use technology also suggests the degree to which the American economic and technological infrastructure has come to be seen as a backbone of national security. Whatever the weaponry of the future, decisions about its development or no development will be shaped by technological innovation and by cultural attitudes and political, economic, and military institutions as well as dominant perceptions of the international situation.


The universe will then be explored as we explain that which in the past for those who came before

May have forgotten and that was that those from the heavens came and will come again.

We will share the future with other humanoids in space that will teach us to travel out beyond which

We in the past explored with ancient ancestors.

We will now learn to leave this planet and learn to travel out towards the various levels

That exists in this universe, in other levels and dimensions in the Multiverse, Metaverse, Xenoverse, and Omniverse. Alphaverse. and Omegaverse.

This is now our quest to learn to accept space travel as part of our own spiritual journeys that are being shared while we are here in the body-mind-spirit forms to share in the birth-life-death experiences which we use to accomplish that which we need to have in order to maintain our survival in the entire macrocosm we call the Omniverse.


We will then learn what it is like to experience the afterlife as our ancestors have and defy that which

We once only thought were myths and legends on this planet.


Tectonic Economics will have Seven Major Upper Echelons for the Directors of the Chief Agents

Who will share in the Global Summit of Tectonic Economics with the entire list of plates including the

Secondary and Tertiary plates for future reference and administration for Global Trade and Commerce.

China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, Untied States


Great powers (with Security Council vetoes): China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.

Great powers without Security Council vetoes: Germany and Japan.

(2) Germany and Japan

EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATORS (8) – The Second Eight in Command are the Administrators who answer directly

To the Seven Major Directors as the Joint Chiefs in Command of the Global Trade and Commerce.



This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth. Tectonic plates are pieces of the Earth’s crust and uppermost

Mantle together referred to as the lithosphere


 “Encyclopedia of Coastal Science” (2005), Springer, ISBN 978-1-4020-1903-6, Chapter 1: “Tectonics and Neotectonics” doi:10.1007/1-4020-3880-1

Edward A. Keller (2001) Active Tectonics: Earthquakes, Uplift, and Landscape Prentice Hall; 2nd edition, ISBN 0-13-088230-5

Stanley A. Schumm, Jean F. Dumont and John M. Holbrook (2002) Active Tectonics and Alluvial Rivers, Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition, ISBN 0-521-89058-6

B.A. van der Pluijm and S. Marshak (2004). Earth Structure – An Introduction to Structural Geology and Tectonics. 2nd edition. New York: W.W. Norton. pp. 656. ISBN 0-393-92467-X.

Walter Millis, Arms and Men, 1956

Arthur A. Ekirch, the Civilian and the Military: A History of the American Antimilitarist Tradition, 1956

Ralph Lapp, Arms Beyond Doubt: The Tyranny of Weapons Technology, 1970

Merritt Roe Smith, Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology: The Challenge of Change, 1977

Alex Roland, Underwater Warfare in the Age of Sail, 1978

Trevor N. Dupuy, the Evolution of Weapons and Warfare, 1980

William H. McNeill, the Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society since A.D. 1000, 1982

Martin van Creveld, Technology and War: From 2000 B.C. to the Present, 1989

Robert L. O’Connell, Of Arms and Men: A History of War, Weapons, and Aggression, 1989

Thomas L. McNaughter, New Weapons: Old Politics: America’s Procurement Muddle, 1989

Donald MacKenzie, Inventing Accuracy: An Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance, 1990

Alex Roland, Technology, Ground Warfare, and Strategy: The Paradox of American Experience, Journal of Military History (October 1991,): 447–468

Bhupendra Jasani, ed., Outer Space: A Source of Conflict or Co-Operation? 1992

James G. Burton, the Pentagon Wars: Reformers Challenge the Old Guard, 1993

Merritt Roe Smith and Leon Marx, eds., Does Technology Drive History? The Dilemma of Technological Determinism, 1994

Michael S. Sherry, In the Shadow of War: The United States since the 1930s, 1995

Paul A.C. Koistinen, Beating Plowshares into Swords: The Political Economy of American Warfare, 1606–1865, 1996

Paul A.C. Koistinen, Mobilizing for Modern War: The Political Economy of American Warfare, 1865–1919, 1997; and John Whiteclay Chambers II, The American Debate over Modern War, 1871–1914, in Manfred F. Boemeke, Roger Chickering and Stig Foerster, eds., Anticipating Total War: The German and American Experience, 1871–1914, 1999

Citizen of the Universe, Multiverse, Metaverse, Xenoverse, Omniverse who welcomes the future on earth and in space.


Ace Folklife 2012

Ascension Age 2012 A Theory Shift of Vibration into New Golden Age Christ Consciousness

2012 Ascension Age Preparation for Raising Awareness! (

Alien ET Contactee Avatar Shaman Asking All Levels of Essence as Beings Assist in the Ascension Age 2012 Game of Life (

St. Patrick’s Day 2012 – \ FAY DAY for Dark and Light Celtic Old English ACE Folklife Traditions (

2012 Apacalypse or Ascension Age of ET WORK? Spiritual Ascension of TJ (

Alien ET Mocarmatic Atmosphere of the Branes in the Xenoverse! (

Apocalypse 2012 Ascension Age & Beyond Preparation (

Xenoverse and Cosmos Xenon Gas Propulsion Magnetic Outer Rims as an Inner Source of Omegaverse (

ACE Fay Day USA Folklife Traditions Celebrate St Patrick’s Day same as FAY DAY both Dark and Light Fays – TV Lost Girl (

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Ascension Age is now!

When we shall learn about our own existence on the Alien ET Highway of the Cosmos Through Time Called the Ascension Age.

We are each a soul first as a creation. We are then given an essence which can become an actual separate entity that can detect separate awareness from the original source as the creator.



TJ Morris ET Radio


Day, Number, Color, Gem/Precious Metal/ Key Word/Topic


Ascension – Affirmation Chart   -CHAKRA BALANCING – WEBSITE SHARE   
























































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8 – 


 9 –


MASTER Densities, Dimensions, and Realms 
















All Pastels




























1-      Monday – I Break New Ground and Begin New Ventures


2-      Tuesday – I Trust the Process of Life to Unfold in Divine Right Order


3-      Wednesday – I Love Life and the Joy of Living


4-      Thursday – I Turn Everything into an Opportunity


5-      Friday – I Welcome Change and Expand My Boundaries


6-      Saturday – I Accept My Responsibilities with Love and Joy


7-      Sunday – I Enjoy the  Inner Quest and Find Many Answers


8-       Monday – I am the  Prosperous, Successful Executive of My World


9-       Tuesday – I am Satisfied, Fulfilled, and Complete


11     Wednesday- Master – 11- I listen to the Inner Voice of Wisdom


12     Thursday – Master – 22- I work for the Good of the Planet and I Am Blessed




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We invite you to come and join some of the most inspiring figures in the fields of extra terrestrial awareness and cosmic consciousness. We have member’s worldwide exploring consciousness, ET disclosure, & unconditional love in life with believing in our liberty.


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Affiliates Awakening – Great Shift


Awakening Section Disclaimer: We don’t necessarily endorse the posts found here, we have grouped together frequent contributors. This section may hold a vast array of channeled material. These can be anything from inspirational writing, channeling your spirit guide, higher or lower vibrational beings from the spirit world or E.Ts. You should use discernment when reading this kind of material and take what resonates with you. Loving beings would never seek to remove your free will or guide you into a place of ‘no action’ or apathy. As physical beings it’s important that we speak up against injustices and use our voices to stop the proliferation of evil and help heal planet Earth as we believe we are here to restore her back to full health and pave the way for a brighter future for ourselves and our children.


It is our belief that Ascension/Awakening is an inward personal journey stripping away fears and emotional baggage that no longer serve you, so YOU can become more of who you truly are. In this state of clarity we are able view the illusion of consensus reality that has been projected onto us by those seeking to crush man’s spirit and then take personal responsibility and action through peaceful spiritual activism. We shouldn’t wait to be saved or upgraded as Action should be in the NOW not tomorrow.


‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’







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We will also add our TJ Morris & Friends websites, RSS, and links.





American Culture International Relations


Timely Manor Books


TJ Morris Publishing


TJ Morris tm ACIR sm


Theresa J Thurmond Morris, Author


Biography of Researcher Janet Kira Lessin

Janet Lessin

President at World Peace Association

Hawaiian Islands Health, Wellness and Fitness


Owner at Synergy Services, Inc.

President at World Peace Association


President at World Polyamory Association

President at School of Counseling


Penn State University

Janet Lessin’s Experience

Ascension Center Network

Maui, Hawaii


Synergy Services, Inc.

Currently holds this position



World Peace Association

January 2000 – Present (12 years 3 months)


World peace.


World Polyamory Association

2000 – 2010 (10 years)



School of Counseling

1997 – 2000 (3 years)


Janet Lessin’s Education


Penn State University

Computer Science

1989 – 1993


Contact Janet for: Ascension Center Network – Hawaii

Janet Kira Lessin:




TJ Morris, Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Radio Host
Syndicated Columnist/Investigative Reporter
ACO Ascension Center Organization Founder 1990-92
ACE Nonprofit Inc Founding Director April 2013
ACE Folklife Founder

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