A Change is Gonna Come..

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.

The ‘Nakba” 1949. Expulsion of Palestinians from Palestine at Israeli gunpoint

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.

In addition, the development of the Western controlled World Bank and International Monetary Fund, have provided a secondary opportunity for Western countries to exploit and defraud by ‘legal’means former colonies of their resources.

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.

The June 2022 Los Angeles meeting of the Organisation of American States was characterised by the courage of the Argentinian president calling out the United State’s presumptuous decision to ban South American countries it did not like ( Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela). Bizarrely the former Empire of Spain has permanent observer status at OAS meetings.

A number of the South Pacific island nations, previously beholden to their former colonisers and exploiters, Australia and New Zealand, are now looking north-west for economic and security agreements with China; agreements which are signed from a position of equality, not colonial subjugation. Ironically Australia has recently sent their Malaysian born Chinese born foreign minister Penny Wong, to the island nations to try and recoup the ‘damage’ to the West, by displaying a more ‘non-white’ face to the Pacific, while New Zealand sends its Maori foreign minister, Nanaia Mahuta – but the island nations are not fooled by this subterfuge; they know their history by heart. All the while, the United States simply makes threats to the Chinese on the sidelines.

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.

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Links

https://www.eurointelligence.com/column/the-west-and-the-rest

https://orinocotribune.com/solomon-islands-build-up-to-the-us-war-against-china/

https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3180953/eyes-others-us-not-benign-power-it-thinks-it

https://fee.org/articles/perpetuating-poverty-the-world-bank-the-imf-and-the-developing-world/

Gaia Strikes Back!

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…

Billion Dollar Deals to Destroy the Environment Just a Little Bit More

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’..

So 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?

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!

In return, we will be able to access cheap goods from the U.K. that we don’t really need, and that rely on exploiting third world countries for their resources; more polluting U. K. factories and encourage Britons to eat more unsustainable beef and mutton!

But that’s progress! Isn’t it?

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.

We know that, as they have repeatedly done before, almost all, if not every statement and commitment made at the COP26 Glasgow Climate Change conference 31st October to 12th November 2021, by politicians there will be outright lies and obfuscations-pretending to respond to the climate emergency while continuing to support big business and the media who keep them in power..

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.

To mitigate some of the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, we urgently need large areas of the planet to re-wild, to enable more trees to grow that don’t get cut down for profit, but that provide a long long term home for the remaining diversity of microbes, fungi insects, birds, reptiles, mammals and other species that we unknowingly rely on for our own survival; to ensure our fresh water resources are not used for profit but are fairly shared between the species we live alongside; and to build nature into our cities so that they are no longer concrete and tar cancers on the land.

It can be done- it must be done!

SIGN THE EMERGENCY APPEAL FOR CLIMATE ACTION!

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Links

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/uk-and-new-zealand-agree-to-1bn-free-trade-deal/LN6EYDF6NBPMY6X7EHJB7ZAVDU/#:~:text=New%20Zealand%20and%20the%20United%20Kingdom%20have%20agreed,the%20appropriate%20use%20of%20the%20haka%2C%20Ka%20Mate.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/23/new-trade-deals-are-unfair-on-farmers-and-wont-help-emissions

https://www.leonard.vinci.com/en/the-technology-mirage-building-a-future-based-on-eco-sufficiency/

https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/conferences/glasgow-climate-change-conference

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/what-is-cop15-biodiversity-summit-nature-cop26/

https://www.nature.com/collecti

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/01/over-700-groups-demand-real-climate-solutions-not-net-zero-promises?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/02/beware-gaia-theory-climate-crisis-earth

The ‘Coming’ Climate Crisis

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’.

However, right now that rate of increase of carbon emissions is just going higher and higher- we are indeed ‘accelerating towards the cliff’.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

It’s not going to be easy- but it is simple…..

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Links

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01092-9.epdf?

https://www.ipcc.ch/assessment-report/ar6/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-is-warmer-than-its-been-in-125-000-years/

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/

https://scheerpost.com/2021/08/09/code-red-for-humanity/

‘Planning’ our way to Environmental Catastrophe

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.

Or, perhaps we can just ignore the whole issue and hope it will go away- like Russia’s Vladimir Putin. A country that is at the forefront of climate heating, with Siberia set this year (2021) to more than meet last years record temperatures in May of 10C higher than ‘average’

Or , we can, as most political ‘leaders’ do, spout all the right words about protecting the environment and launch some new project that is superficially ‘green’, and then support and fund countless other national and local projects which directly destroy the environment; more roads, more factories, more industrial jobs, more housing, more corporate agriculture, more importation of migrants from poorer countries, more international tourism…… the list goes on and on

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.

How could we have forgotten that?

Links

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/05/21/humanity-must-embark-new-relationship-natural-world-says-jane-goodall

https://www.unep.org/resources/making-peace-nature?

https://www.climateemergencyinstitute.com/

https://climate.copernicus.eu/latest-projections-future-climate-now-available

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/05/19/most-colossal-planning-failure-human-history

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/six-reasons-why-the-eu-isnt-as-green-as-it-claims/

Red Alert: Only One Earth

Ego Emere, Ergo Sum; (I buy, therefore I am)

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.

We know our consumer behavior is pushing our living world to oblivion- destroying the remainder of the natural world and creating enormous amounts of toxic gases and plastics and ‘land-fill’-yet our governments continue to relentlessly promote this consumer society, while simultaneously talking about reducing carbon emissions and retaining biodiversity.

It is as if they don’t think there are any other options- but of course- there are- just not ones palatable to the businesses and global corporations feeding off our consumer addictions.

We all deserve a better life than this..

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Links

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/01/could-we-live-in-a-zero-growth-society/

The unraveling of the web of life

The Leaf in  the Concrete Pool
The Leaf in the Concrete Pool

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’.

 


Links

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/02/economics-failure-over-destruction-of-nature-presents-extreme-risks

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/final-report-the-economics-of-biodiversity-the-dasgupta-review

The ‘Exceptional Nation’ Votes!

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 do  United States citizens  only have a binary  choice between  two  right wing corrupt elderly white males, but the process of the election  itself is deeply flawed.

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
Democrat Governor Kristi Noem

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.

ELECTION 2020: ‘Sleepy Joe’s’ Task Is to Put Liberal America Back to Sleep

Postscript

Trump’s “baseless” fraud claims

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….

Links

http://accuracy.org/release/lessons-from-electoral-history-corrupt-deals-and-supreme-court-subversion/

https://www.mintpressnews.com/election-fraud-is-real-longstanding-tradition-both-sides-of-the-aisle/273109/

American Presidents

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2)

https://www.sott.net/article/443891-Judicial-Watch-finds-1-8-million-ghost-voters-in-29-states-warns-of-dirty-elections

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/11/06/dont-fool-yourself-your-biden-vote-was-not-a-vote-against-fascism/

https://www.sott.net/article/443994-American-Hustle-Party-insiders-tell-the-true-story-of-how-Philadelphia-elections-work

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-dueling-electors-explain/explainer-dueling-electors-pose-risk-of-u-s-vote-deadlock-idUSKBN2712M7


Other Relevant New Antarctica Links

Democracy & the Power of Persuasion

 

 

Enough is really Enough

The decision by  regional  delegates of the New Zealand Green  Party  to  endorse a coalition with  the New Zealand  Labour Party after the recent New Zealand elections,  has resulted in  the two  co-leaders of the Green  Party once again  acquiring  ministerial  portfolios outside of Cabinet. Co-leader James Shaw  is now ‘Minister of Climate’  and ‘Associate Minister for the Environment’,  while Marama Davidson  is now Minister for the ‘Prevention of Family and Sexual  Violence’ and ‘Homelessness’.

In exchange  for these small  shiny  baubles of power  in a Labour dominated Parliament, the NZ Greens  have sadly irrefutably demonstrated that  they  are more interested in  holding on to  ‘power’  rather than  having a mission to  save our environment.

The Greens would have been  able to  play  a far stronger advocacy  role for the natural  world and  a future for humanity  if they had stayed out of Labour’s centrist  and growth  oriented government.

Labour’s election  byline says it all- “Let’s Keep Moving”.  One might be tempted to  ask  ‘what for?’  and ‘where to?” : and what  happens when  we , in  the not so  distant future,  run out  of those natural  resources we have been   so relentlessly exploiting in New Zealand for the past 200  years to  ‘keep  us moving’?

A Greens/Labour coalition is therefore an  abomination for the natural  world and for our futures in New Zealand.  The coalition  agreement puts a green-wash  over the strategies and actions of this new government to  ‘expand’  the economy,  which  will  inevitably destroy  more of our living world-  more roads,  more concrete,  more houses, more agro-business …

It is not too  late to construct  a New Zealand political  party that  truly upholds sustainable environmental  principles: a no-growth steady-state party. A party that  acknowledges the realities  of the limits to  growth  and the importance of restoring much of  our living world.

It is simply not possible  for N.Z.  to  continue to  pursue a “growth” strategy  for the human  economy-  for money. We urgently need a government  that  places a priority  on protecting and expanding the living world, and which  acknowledges  the reality that  humans are an intrinsic  part of Nature-  not something separate. Without  a vibrant living world around us,  we  humans will inevitably  perish.

We need a  N.Z.  ‘Steady-State’  party now!


Other Relevant New Antarctica Links

 

 

 

 

‘Growth’

I am a New Zealander-  a  ‘kiwi’ , a pakeha,  a white male.

In 1200 AD these island lands had never seen  a human, the land was almost completely covered in  dense forest (what  we call ‘the bush”) . Only one mammal  lived here-  the bat- perhaps blown  by  storms from  Australia  over 4000  kilometres  away: – a few lizards,  the seas teemed with fish and the remainder teeming wildlife were birds. When  the white man (pakeha) came in  the 1800s they  reported that  the sound of those birds’ dawn chorus was deafening- but no more.

We now live in  a land where we have  a few refuges of remainder bush  where tourists can  walk  and believe they  are once more in  a primeval  forest, but where the sounds of the dawn  chorus is no  longer deafening;  where the pigs,  possums and rats we introduced  have played their part in  the destruction of the bush ,  but  where man has been the ultimate destroyer. Where the living world is silent,  but the sound of man and his inanimate machines   is everywhere.

We live in  a land where introduced grassland ( where once was dense bush) feeds countless  sheep  and cows whose effluent pollutes our streams and rivers and the  farmers’ fertilizers  and  pesticides destroy the  living soil. We live in  a land where humans do  not care to  notice the ongoing destruction of our natural  world in  the name of ‘progress’  or even more benightedly,  “growth”. It is a tragedy  that  we use the word  ‘growth” which  talks to  the living world ,  to greenery,  and to  life,  to  describe the  destruction of   our living world into  a world of concrete  and tar ,  electronics, steel  and dead trees.

NZ Labour’s “Lets Get  Moving”  slogan  for our upcoming general  election,  and the  National Party’s   slogans that  everything depends on the economy,  all  represent a foolish,  immoral and  an intellectually bankrupt view that  we can  continue to  destroy our natural   world  with  human  ‘progress’  and ‘growth’ without any  repercussions.

However it is the New Zealand  Green Party’s openly stated policy  that  more jobs and ‘growth’  are compatible  with  a sustainable future for the planet and New Zealand that  really takes the cake.  Those are more jobs that  result in  more of our  once-living land sealed over,  more  trees and  other vegetation  destroyed, more insect species gone forever ,   more birds  and other species irretrievably lost to  the planet . Those more jobs and infrastructure are many more nails in  the coffin  of a world that  sustains us humans and the rest  of  our precariously living world.

We have to change;  right now, to a  policy of no-growth; of a steady  state economy  which  values and reveres all  the life in our world. We desperately need political  and economic polices which  understand that   the human  ‘growth’  we have experienced over the past 100  years has been on the back  of environmental  destruction. We can  no  longer afford that  trade-off; we have already  traded away  too  much of our living world for cheap  baubles.

We need to understand that  all  life is sacred. Not simply because it is  a morally and  humanly good thing to  do-  but because our future lives depend on it.


Links

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/12/western-worldyour-civilisation-killing-life-on-earth-indigenous-amazon-planet

Because economic growth is a threat to…

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/12/fifth-of-nations-at-risk-of-ecosystem-collapse-analysis-finds

https://play.stuff.co.nz/details/_6199932699001

Other New Antarctica Links

https://www.newantarctica.com/15-ways-to-stop-destroying-our-world/