The fact that there were at least 36 private jets which flew participants into the COP27 conference, spewing huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere is one small demonstration of what these conferences are about- looking good and taking no action while our living planet dies.
While there were many indigenous peoples attending the COP27 who were able to voice their concerns about the current state of the earth and make suggestions for change, their voice had absolutely no weight in the final decisions made by the big power-brokers ( who depend on a CO2 producing economy to keep the electoral money rolling in).
Those indigenous groups talked not only about climate change, but more importantly, about the loss of biodiversity and our dis-connection with the rest of nature which industrialization and commodification has done to our beautiful living world in the last 200 years. Without our fellow living things on this planet ; we are done .
The idea that giving some money to a poor country to compensate for a now unsolvable problem of environmental destruction is frankly bizarre, and amply demonstrates that mental vacuity of those rich and powerful people.
No doubt the money will be useful and may help poorer countries mitigate the losses to their local ecosystems and help humans survive in their devastated environment a little longer, but in many cases that money will simply be spent on more ‘development’ and ‘progress’ and thus more environmental destruction.
And as we can already begin to see, many of the global ‘rich’ countries are already struggling to cope with the environmental ‘costs’ to their own economies, so their capacity to pay anybody else for their own stupidity is soon going to be substantially diminished.
Everywhere we see the powerful and the media portraying climate change as some little problem we can solve- at some stage- but lets get on with the business of despoiling the planet now -while there’s money to be made!
I see sublime examples of this on my local state television news channel, who in one news segment show how our magnificent government has made some new pledge to reduce carbon emissions and the next news segment extols the virtues of that same government encouraging tourists from half way round the world to travel to New Zealand.(and home again). Those enormous jet plane carbon emissions (about 5 tonnes of Co2 each way) will of course not be counted in New Zealand’s carbon emissions but to the tourist’s home country, so naturally everything is ok!
We will undoubtedly exceed 1.5C increases in global temperatures in the not so distant future , and will also certainly reach 3.5C increases if we do not dramatically reduce our consumption of energy globally. Green energy solutions; solar, wind and wave can make that transition a little easier, but they cannot ever replace the quantity of energy from oil gas and coal we continue to consume at ever increasing rates.
We all need to come to terms with consuming less and helping to recreate the natural world .
If we don’t, and very soon, Nature will decide for us in not so pleasant ways.
All wars are, without doubt, pointless, tragic and foolish affairs that also play a significant part in destroying the remainder of our natural environment and a future for our children.
Western media are continuously playing a looped recording that Ukraine and its president Zelensky are defending the ‘free world’ – democratic ‘white” nations- against the evil Russian hordes. What is most interesting is that the language used in this messaging is consistent right across the Western media, regardless of the country you live in .
That the Kiev armies are undoubtedly shelling the former Ukrainian nuclear power plant near Zaporizhzhia: presumably to create more support for more weapons from the ‘white’ world.
That the Kiev government and its Western government supporters have been deliberately shelling civilian areas of the Donbass held by Russian speaking Ukrainians since 2014 , with over 14,000 deaths from shelling, and more recently with illegal ‘butterfly’ or ‘petal’ anti-personnel mines.
In the last few days we have also heard about the killing of the daughter of the ‘ultra-nationalist” Alexander Dugin. Dugin is, in my opinion, an obnoxious idealogue who has for many years promoted a Russia first meme. However nobody deserves to die because of their beliefs, (let alone their children) – be they Russian, Ukrainian or any other nationality.
What is however scary, is the identical use of language by Western media in describing Dugin as an ‘ultra-nationalist” – what exactly an ‘ultra-nationalist’ is, as opposed to simply being a ‘nationalist’, is somewhat unclear- but one is left with the clear understanding that only Russians can be ‘ultranationalists’ (or for that matter ‘oligarchs’) and never of course those Americans who have the ludicrous belief in the United States as the ‘exceptional nation’ who wanders the world doing good deeds for the benefit of those of us who are less enlightened.
Patriotism is one of the scourges of humanity; an absurd belief in the superiority of the culture and land to which you were accidentally born into. A scourge that blights and distorts the mind into believing that any action ; however intrinsically evil it is, is good as long as it benefits the country you were born in.
We see that evil in the blue and gold banners that enswathes everything in Ukraine, the United State’s ‘Stars and Stripes’, and the blue white and red flag of Russia, to name but three.
So now, as Westerners, we are told to hate all Russians, all Chinese, because they are a threat to our expensive lifestyles….And as true patriots, we should consume more, build more and destroy more , because we are the epitome of ‘civilisation’.
And all the while, we move ever faster into a new world where the climate is already more unpredictable and dangerous, where global warming and sea-levels continue to rise and rise for the next hundred, maybe thousand years, and where we ever more rapidly, destroy what is left of our living world.
And why?- because their media profit margins and their sponsors depend on more economic ‘growth’.
So it becomes clear that the only path to ‘de-growth’, and retaining some semblance of a live-able world for humans and other species, is one where Gaia herself creates that economic destruction.
When hurricanes, huge storms, enormous amounts of rainfall, oppressive high temperatures and sea level rise ( among many other ‘natural’ impacts), result in it being impossible to buy insurance for industry to sell your products or to have a market where people can no longer afford to buy your useless junk; only then will we start to see a return to a sustainable (but hotter) world where all species can live in harmony, and even some contentment!
Media have indoctrinated us all to believe that we need to consume more, do more, travel more – that we cannot live lives of contentment without all those things we need to buy and consume..
The great Sam Cooke’s beautiful and visionary song ‘A Change Gonna Come’ epitomises the tipping point of a global transition we are now living through.
It seems astonishing that it cannot be understood that, as with individual’s power and influence, so too do nations rise and fall; from luck and opportunity -rarely from great leaders, and certainly never from the superiority of ‘race’.
It should be noted that the concept of human ‘races’ dates from deliberate misinterpretations of genetic theory.
The genetic variations between different human populations are so small that differing individual aptitudes of ‘intelligence’ -a quality entirely defined by culture and environments which either support or diminishes their mental and physical opportunities. Racial superiority is therefore a completely foolish myth used by those who wish to manipulate others for their own nefarious purposes.
A superb modern example of this cartoon-like myth of genetic superiority can be seen in this ‘white” ( more appropriately termed ‘pink’) supremacy painting circulated by one Carl Bildt – a former prime minister of Sweden and who one would have presumed to be an ‘intelligent’ man- alas not.
The painting depicts ‘racially superior’ Western Ukrainian Knights (descended from ‘Aryan’ Vikings in their myths) heroically destroying the evil Russian ‘orcs’ ( who are apparently ‘genetically inferior’ Asians , according to those same myths.)
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is to be condemned- as is any violence directed against another country or peoples, but likewise, so are the actions of the Kiev government army in Donbass , killing its own population since 2014. There is good evidence to suggest that Western European countries and the U.S. actively encouraged , financed and weaponised the Kiev government to fight the Russian speaking Donbass ‘separatists’ for 8 years, and ignore the Minsk agreements Kiev had signed up to- agreements that would have restored peace to Ukraine.
Perhaps Carl Bildt’s tweet is one clue to the West’s determination to ensure a war between Russia and Ukraine.
And we can see racial prejudice in the extreme brutality against the Korean people in the Korean war ( what can only be called genocide)– a war between Europeanised countries supporting a brutal dictatorship in South Korea against a nationalist Korean communist army in the North supported by the Chinese and Russians.
Or perhaps we can see it in the savagery Western armies fought against a Vietnamese army trying to restore their country’s independence. Or the obliteration by the U.S. of an almost defenceless Iraqi army and Iraqi civilian infrastructure ( a society battered to its knees by remorseless evil sanctions that killed half a million Iraqi children to the apparent delight of that much esteemed U.S. stateswoman Madeline Albright) prior to the Iraq war.
Or perhaps in Libya, where Libyan society was obliterated by Western powers in a mad grab for its oil. Or the well-documented use of jihadists in Syria by Western governments attempting to overthrow the Damascus government. Or the unconditional U.S. and U.K. support of Israeli European ‘settlers’ who have steadily continued to violently steal the lands of those ‘dirty Arabs’ in Palestine for the past 74 years.
And shall we remember the barbarous futility of the war in Afghanistan?- where the United States continues to believe it has the right to steal Afghan state bank money ( along with the theft of Venezuelan government and Russian state funds)
And we do not need to go back more than a century to know about the complete lack of morality of European and United States colonial troops or their proxies in Africa, India, South America or the Philippines.
We are talking about centuries of barbaric ‘white ‘ conquest and exploitation of most of the globe by force. And now, the times they are a changing.
With Russia being forced to turn East because of Western sanctions, and China now a very much an ascendant super-power, previously ‘third-world’ countries are beginning to asset themselves in the face of Western blackmail, bribery and military coercion.
Pacific nations are well aware of the bizarre racist viciousness from the whole Australian political spectrum against refugees and migrants, or indeed the decades long exploitation of seasonal Pasifika workers who harvest crops in Queensland and New Zealand.
Western media portrays these agreements with China as threats to the ‘rule based order’: the United States’ unilateral and often erratic and nonsensical set of decisions to exploit other countries, (‘rules’ much quoted by New Zealand’s Jacinda Adern), on what other countries should do unless they want to be threatened militarily, rather than an extension of China’s mutual trade agreements to supplement her hugely ambitious Belt and Road commerce initiative across the globe.
As has been often noted, China has one foreign military base, while the United States has at last count, 800 overseas military bases; all designed to intimidate at least one other country, or to intimidate the very country in which the military base is itself located, to follow the ‘rules’.
China has never been a colonial power. However, let us not be fooled into thinking that just because a currently weaker or emerging country does not as yet display the barbarity of the current ascendant countries (like the U.S. and U.K.) that does not mean that those arising powers will not descend into the same myopic and racist stupidity of thinking that they are somehow the exceptional nation, somehow always bound for glory.
Racism is not the distinct province of ‘white’ people, as those who were brutalised by the Japanese in the Second World War well remember.
All nations, when they ‘ascend’ to a position of power and global influence, are wont to believe in the fantasy that they are somehow naturally superior to others.
But we are definitively all equal as human beings.
My hope is that some time in the not too distant future, we realise that all other species are our equals too. Different skills, different attributes, but equal. Without that realisation we humans will continue to exploit this world until the natural world collapses around us – perhaps at that point we may realise we are an intrinsic and inseparable part of that natural world and that we need to cooperate – not destroy.
The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and the subsequent explosion of sanctions on Russian oil and natural gas, wheat and other products by Western nations, is likely to result in a substantial long-term economic downturn in both the West and Russia because of rapidly escalating oil, natural gas and nickel and paladium prices, consequent substantial increases in global transport costs, supply chain disruptions and inflation.
Food costs will also rise from shortages of chemical fertilizers, increased wheat prices and transport costs for many in the West and the third world , and this will have the most impact on those who are already struggling.
The only upside from all this chaos is that consumption in the West is likely to substantially diminish in the short to medium to…… Given that, per head of population, the West is by far the biggest producer of CO2 and the cause of much of the deforestation, species loss and environmental destruction in non Western countries, Gaia will be smiling.
Along with the impacts on consumption because of COVID- (less air travel, less conspicuous consumption because of lockdowns etc), we are likely to see a significant reduction in the production of CO2 into the atmosphere with a higher proportion of renewable energy sources, and a higher proportion of more organic fertlizers .
Of course the actual measurable processes and outcomes are much more complex than the above simplistic outline. Just two examples ; possibly coal production will increase significantly in Europe to cope with the reductions of access to natural gas and oil resulting in, at best, a status quo level of CO2 production, and/or commodity prices in the West increase to such an extent that revolutions on the street occur, and result in even more violent and extremist governments than we already have…
One of the biggest likely impacts will be on the confidence of European and U.S. populations that this current way of life of excessive consumption is both realistic, sustainable or even possible.
Combine that with the predicted but certain dire impacts on climate and global livability by the recent IPCC report on climate change, and we have an existential crisis of confidence in the Western way of ‘life’- ( or should that be ‘way of consumption’?)
Of course the other option for Gaia is nuclear war- not an impossibility given Vladimir Putin’s insistence that there can be no world without Russia, and Washington’s neoliberal and media blood-lusting for ‘no flight zones’ over Ukraine and their wish for dismemberment of Russia. Human beings have some significant cognitive problems with resolving conflict issues in reasonable ways.
Gaia may well be calculating that human beings were an unfortunate and highly destructive anomaly, and we need to start from scratch again…
when our New Zealand government announces its fully supportive of measures to reduce climate change impact and reduce biodiversity loss (except not quite right now), and then announces a one billion dollar free trade deal with the United Kingdom, we sense there is a little mismatch!-or perhaps, dare we say it? -even a little smattering of psychosis?
The ‘environment’ is everything on this planet; its not some separate piece of work or concept that we can occasionally pull out and look at and say, ‘well we achieved this climate or biodiversity goal, now we can get back to the real work of human progress’..
That billion dollar deal will result in more dairy production in New Zealand (more polluted and depleted water sources, more natural environment destroyed for more dairy farmland, and more processing infrastructure like roads and factories), more vineyards using prodigious amounts of poisons to keep nature at bay from their precious grapes, and more sheep and cows being brutally killed in our slaughterhouses. And that’s just the start!
When are we going to see governments across the world really accept that every bit of ‘progress’ they encourage in connivance with their business allies, is destroying the planet?
A steady state economy in every country around the world is literally not going to be the end of the world – (but more ‘progress’ will be). The desperate, futile and farcical arguments that we can somehow escape global climate change and loss of diversity with more technology, is simply fiction. Every new piece of ‘alternate’ industrial production, whether it be lithium batteries, hydrogen production or carbon capture is simply sleight of hand- robbing the environment to pay for more ‘progress’.
We need to start consuming less- a lot less: Eat more local food, grow our own where we can, repair broken items, buy second hand when we need something different, stop the fiction of a housing crisis in the Western world and ensure housing bought by speculators (because of low bank rates) is occupied affordably stopping the unnecessary building of houses over land and nature, get rid of the expectation that we need that overseas holiday, or that we need to kill other species for fun and relaxation…lower our expectations that we ‘need’ this or that, and more of it- we don’t.
As the climate rapidly evolves globally into some new unknowable and unpredictable chaotic pattern, we will see more drought, more floods, more storms, more climate extremes of every kind- becoming more and more intense as we rapidly, and seemingly inevitably, head towards a 3C warmer world.
In consequence, large scale human activity; industrial farming, mining and goods production is becoming more at risk- supply chain problems are escalating, production costs are rising, transport costs are ballooning, and insurance premiums will go through the roof to cover that increasing wild unpredictability. We will have to move towards smaller and more localised production; we will not have a choice.
Curiously, the equally important U.N Conference on biodiversity this October 2021 in China, received almost no media attention. Yet retaining as much as we can of the remaining species now left on this planet, is vital to humans and every other species’ survival- just as much, if not more so, than climate change. The difference of course is that species loss doesn’t, apparently for now at least, impact on human economies, so its not worthy of the same attention. However, almost every aspect of human ‘progress’ requires the depletion of natural environments for other species and species’ death. The level of destruction of sentient organisms in the world via human ‘progress’ is phenomenal, and has already potentially reached a tipping point of no return for the remaining species- including humans.
We are told that if we do not change our ways, reduce carbon emissions, ‘soon’ it will be too late.
If we haven’t guessed by now , that ‘soon’ is right now. We are already in a climate crisis- of massive fires out of control in the United States, in coastal Mediterranean areas, in Siberia to name just a few. Of “Once in a 100” or 200 year floods, of temperatures in parts of the world that are close to killing any living thing.. We are there – right now…and its not going to get better any time soon- no matter what we do.
This is not a ‘crisis’ that will go away if we just behave ourselves.
This is a crisis that will be with those who survive on this planet for at least the next thousand years- and many more years than that, if we cannot reduce our carbon consumption and start planting trillions of trees.
Even if we were to stop creating more carbon dioxide right now, the planet will continue to warm, the climate will become more unpredictable and unstable. And of course our great politicians are not talking about anything as radical as eliminating our carbon footprint any time soon!- no!- they want us to reduce the ‘rate of increase’ of carbon by 2030 or 2050 or – some other target date far away…that doesn’t impact on their corporate ‘sponsorship’.
But somehow many of us continue to believe that those great human minds will save us with some new technology -perhaps detonating some nuclear bombs to provide a nuclear winter for us, or sending dust particles into the atmosphere!
Are we consuming more and more to cope with our fears for the apocalyptic future?- bigger and bigger cars, more and more tinsel and useless consumption, more and more glorification of killing of defenseless animals for pleasure- hunting and fishing ?
But the answer , while not immediate, is simple.
We have to adjust to a world where the climate is warming rapidly- first by accepting that infinite ‘growth’ on a finite world is just plain stupidity. We need to rapidly traverse to global no-growth economies.
We need to try and reverse our rapid destruction of nature around us- encourage insect, bird and other non human populations to rebuild in the face of a rapidly warming world- create new perpetual habitats for other species, stop the chemical spraying, return habitats to their natural states as much and as quickly as possible .. and most importantly, plant more indigenous forest- not for forestry- but for life!
We need to acknowledge that technology is not going to ‘save’ us from the climate crisis- in fact it is one of the significant causes of species loss and habitat destruction that is killing our planet.
We need to acknowledge that humans simply need to support nature to get back to doing its job of making this planet a living world for every remaining species here – there’s nothing fancy about it, it won’t create many new jobs, and it wont seem like ‘progress’ – but it will save us.
We need to encourage politicians to stop lying about what they intend to do about the environment and the climate. There’s no money in it from their company ‘sponsors”, and its not going to boost their fragile egos.
Saving the planet from global heating and species loss is not a side issue to any decisions any of us make. Every bit of ‘progress’ and ‘development’ we make as humans must now put the cost to the climate and species loss at the forefront of EVERY decision. In most cases, human ‘progress’ is not worth the cost to the planet.
We need to accept that we don’t need ‘more’. Teaching people how to be thankful and at peace with what they have and how to re-build their connection with nature – along with a respect for all living things.-that we don’t have a God-given right to treat other living entities as resources.
We desperately need to understand and acknowledge that preserving and sustaining the living world around us is not just a vital thing to do in order that humans survive, but to acknowledge that our world is in reality a living entity; we do not have the right to destroy it, to market it, to unravel it.
All life is sacred.
A recent (May 19 2021) article in Common Dreams by Richard Heinberg highlights the fact that at least some planners have known since the 1950s that our current human civilization based on fossil fuels will end- and that unless we slow down our global economy (‘de-growth’) we are in a for a very very hard landing, and not far off.
Perhaps like the genial but simpleminded U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, we believe that, in the words of Charles Dicken’s Wilkins Micawber, ‘something will turn up’, to solve our environmental problems. Somehow, somewhere, some yet to be discovered masterpiece of human engineering will magically solve the anthropomorphic climate heating and catastrophic biodiversity loss humans have caused.
Or, like John Kerry’s older master, we believe that reducing the impact of climate heating and species loss can be done while creating more jobs that create more climate change and loss of species. While “Green” technology will reduce the use of coal fired electricity and less combustion engine vehicles, it will only minimally impact on human economic ‘growth’, which is the key driver in increasing environmental destruction of the web of life which sustains us all- for now.
Why do we need ‘growth’?- what is its purpose?- does it lead us somewhere when it is continuously destroying the web of life that keeps us all alive?
There are a multitude of possibilities for a significant proportion of national populations to live sustainable and ‘growth-free’ lives; growing and sharing the abundance of nature. But of course those simple lifestyles do not translate into taxes, into corporate expense accounts, into how big your GDP is, or into state expenditure on ‘important’ projects that swell the egos of politicians and that provide a military budget for threatening your neighbours, or subduing your own population.
Once those so-called ‘growth’ projects are eliminated, there will still be more than enough state resources for free health and education for all, and a sustainable future for our children and the planet
We desperately need to understand and acknowledge that preserving and sustaining the living world around us is not just a vital thing to do in order that humans survive, but to acknowledge that our world is in reality a living entity; we do not have the right to destroy it, to market it, to unravel it.
All life is sacred.
As the 2010 ‘Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth‘ unequivocally states in its First Article; (1) Mother Earth is a living being, and (2) Mother Earth is a unique, indivisible, self-regulating community of interrelated beings that sustains, contains and reproduces all beings.
J.G. Ballard’s ‘The Subliminal Man’, written in 1963, outlines a future 1960-ish world where the state ‘encourages’ the population to buy more useless things so that they work more hours to pay for them and therefore consume more… in a never-ending circle of supply and demand.
In ‘The Subliminal Man’, the population is locked into this endless cycle via subliminal messaging from huge electronic billboards next to the motorways…How far we have come since 1963!
Today one is struck by governments all over the world exhorting the public to go out and spend, go on holidays etc, once COVID 19 lockdowns are over, ostensibly to ensure that we have full employment and therefore more money in the system….
But the reality is that we are all locked into a crazy system that relies on ever increasing demand for ever increasingly useless items that need to be ‘sold’ to us as essential, as ‘must-haves’, or the ‘bucket-list’, so that we can afford to live the life we ‘choose’….
We are no longer consumers; we are the consumed.
The barrage of advertisements on our cellphones delivered via social media and the apps we use; the ever more strident advertisements on TV for another ‘latest product’; even the billboards on our highways, are all testament to the fact that those advertised things are really non-essential- otherwise they would not need to be ‘sold’ to us. We would simply purchase them when our old product stops working, when we really need them, or not purchase them at all.
The ongoing process to ensure ‘essential items’ are designed to be non-repairable, only replaceable, and that commodities are constructed with plastics and other materials that deteriorate rapidly, also ensures that we must continue to buy and consume.
Everything that humans now require to live becomes a commodity, a consumable, packaged and labelled and sold; from the food we eat to the water we drink, the sentient animals we depend on for food; perhaps soon too, the air we breathe. Only money now provides us with meaning …’we know the price of everything and the value of nothing’.
Given that societies’ globally almost all rely on this psychotic fragile consumer cycle – we are in deep sh*t.
A U.K. February 2021 report by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, entitled ‘The Economics of Biodiversity’ outlines the ‘extreme risk’ the ‘world’, is being put by not taking into account the ‘rapid depletion of the natural world’.
While the overarching intent of the paper is to be applauded in attempting to reduce species loss, the underlying assumptions outlined in the paper about humans’ relationships to the rest of this living world are, to put it mildly, grotesque.
Prof. Dasgupta’s comment that ‘Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognising that our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them’, is truly bizarre.
The natural world (including the human species) does not exist to provide ‘goods and services’. This arrogant and ignorant perspective of the living world around us is the root cause of why the living planet around us, is dying. All living things on this planet exist in their own right and to construct a web of interdependent life around themselves; a web that humans have been unravelling at ever-increasing speed for the past 3000 years.
To view other living organisms as ‘good and services’ for humans, is not only to debase the sanctity of life, but also confirms our fundamental lack of understanding of how life on this planet life continues to maintain itself, and once thrived. The more humans choose some organisms as being ‘worthwhile’ ( for humans), and others not- the more we destroy the web that holds all life on this planet together.
There are many humans on this planet who have never known what it is to be connected with the living world around them – who look out their windows in the morning at the dead concrete jungle surrounding them and think this life. Who truly do think of the living world as a commodity solely for humanities’ use, and who never once consider that the view from their window would have once been a joyous riot of life- of birds, trees insects and many other animals. What humans have not known, we do not miss. The more humans become immersed in an inanimate world of concrete and tar, the more it becomes ‘normal’.
We do not comprehend what we have done to our world, and what awaits us at the end of this journey of ‘commodification’.
With the U.S. presidential election ( as of 6th November 2020) , hanging in the balance, we are reminded of the extraordinary and bizarre process this purportedly ‘exceptional nation’ has to find its new exceptional ‘president of the free world’.
Not only does the U.S. Electoral College process mean that the majority of voters may or may not have the president of their very limited choice ( No Green candidates, no left-wing candidates – only the candidates of the monied), but each state’s electoral process for counting and accepting votes is different and open to manipulation from both major party supporters (and legal challenge). It is extraordinary that the federal election of the U.S. president and Congress does not have one national federal electoral process that everyone can understand.
Democrat Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota tweets (11/06/20) ‘South Dakota requires voter ID (even for early voting.) Ballots must be received on or by Election Day. All paper ballots, which are easy to verify. Counting is bipartisan and open to the public. We have an EXCELLENT system. Every Democrat-run state should imitate it’
What is truly bizarre from this tweet, is not only that its seems to be surprising to Americans to have ballot papers being ‘easy to verify’; that votes are counted by ‘bi-partisan’ vote -counters-(not independent vote counters), that each state clearly has its own system for verifying the validity of voters, and that the type of electoral processing system will depend on which party is in control of the state legislature.
Even more amazingly, the process by which each state has a declared winner for president is determined, not by a federal national election office, but by private national media outlets like Fox News, or AP. Hence, as of 6th November, we have different national figures reported of Electoral Office delegate totals for Trump or Biden depending on which media outlet is making the call. IN addition the complexities of the Electoral College process mean more opportunities for confusion and leverage.
Jo Biden however can assure us though (6th November 2020) that the American voting system is ‘the envy of the world’. ‘Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that has been the envy of the world.’ !!!
As a country which purports to be the model of democracy for the rest of the world, and which continually makes calls about other countries ‘lack of democracy’, it is time to consider whether future US presidential elections require independent foreign observers to ensure their fairness and accuracy.
Combine this bizarre electoral process with extraordinary levels of ignorance and a consequent monochrome view of their own U.S. world, let alone the outside world; by both candidates and electors, and you have a recipe for disaster.
The level of systemic incompetence demonstrated by this electoral system to elect the “leader of the free world” is a salutary lesson to us all.
And lastly; a sobering outline of America’s future, from Jonathan Cook.
My definition of of ‘baseless’ in this instance, is that there is no basis for claim election fraud took place- and yet media outlets across the Western world are using this word to describe Trump and the Republicans’ allegations of voter fraud. Now unless the media has got total access to all the votes and each state’s practices on election night- which seems a little unlikely- they have no means of knowing whether the allegations are ‘baseless” or not, till courts make a ruling.
As noted in my post above- there is certainly plenty of opportunity for fraud and errors in polling practice in the U.S. Whether the fraud and errors this time are sufficient to overturn the current presumed Biden presidency, is currently unknown.
So why would mainstream media , with one voice, be saying the allegations are “baseless” at this point? I’ll leave you to figure that one out….