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’.
What are we to make, from across the sea, of Trump supporters invading the U.S. Capitol building while Congress members were voting to install Joe Biden as the next president of the United States?
Is this ‘insurrection’?- a new civil war? a ‘revolution’?…
In the mind-numbing complexities and anomalies that is American ‘democracy’, this new episode in the rapidly foreclosing Trump era appear as a comedy of errors, by all parties.
A historic opportunity by Joe Biden and the Democrats to bring together the nation after 4 years of Trumpism, has been completely given away- to childish bi-partisanship, which has the potential to further divide a fractured declining nation. Trump’s devotees- many of whom are frightened at their loss of incomes, law and order, their loss of status, the confusing messages of the U.S. ‘Woke’ culture and many more pressures, are not going to go away. If they are now no longer able to attach themselves to a political forum that supposedly supports their frustrations, as Trump pretended to do, they will find other routes to assert their concerns- perhaps in more damaging ways.
The deletion of Trump’s historic postings and the removal of his capacity to post in the future, was a concerted effort by the major social media outlets. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey commented that the ‘ban is a failure of ours to promote healthy conversation’. While I am very clear that I personally find Trump’s rants and raving inappropriate, often judgmental, rascist and dangerous, and that he is guilty of war crimes in Yemen and Syria among other places ( along with numerous other American presidents) , I don’t believe I (or anyone else) has the ability to judge what is ‘healthy conversation’ for all others; assuming that such a thing as a ‘healthy conversation’ could ever be defined. For a social media tycoon to make such a global statement is both dangerous and indicative of the quality of intellect in such ‘high places’.
What the United States desperately needs now is a government that understands its role is to support the dispossessed, the poor, the sick and the unemployed, to live a fair and pleasant lifestyle. There is after all, more than enough to go round in the United States- even now. But instead we see the remaining U.S. health and income support infrastructures steadily being whittled away- the rich getting richer, the poor without hope and the U.S. electoral system dominated by what are euphemistically called ‘corporate donations’.. The dichotomy between the empty promises of those in power and those who need a better life there, are growing ever wider. That widening chasm leads to social destruction.
It is baffling why American society is so willing to ascribe to conspiracy theories -whether it be Joseph McCarthy and the internal communist threat, the Russians, the Chinese, or some other nation Americans have been taught to fear, or now, ‘insurrection’ from white supremacists.
Farcical , if it were not deeply disturbing, are Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House at Congress) and Hilary Clinton (ex Secretary of State) stating publicly their view that Vladimir Putin orchestrated the Capitol invasion. Either (hopefully) they are simply attempting to manipulate public opinion to think that somehow Putin is behind all of this, or more disturbingly , they actually believe their nonsensical and delusional statements.
While the invasion of the Capital building is certainly to be deplored, the response from Democrat congresspeople and lawyers has been extraordinary and hugely counterproductive to building truth and reconciliation in the United States. It is hoped that the parallels noted by Eric Rasmussen in his article about the Reichstag Fire of 1933 and the Capital building riot will turn out to be simply coincidence, but they are disturbing.
Is it their lack of education about the wider world and American history?; the efficacy of American mainstream media to lie with advertising and political brainwashing?; their centuries long addiction to violence? the insistence on show and appearance as more important than truth and justice?- or perhaps a mix of all those issues….Whatever the primary causes, Americans are in for a rough ride until they come to terms with their country’s contradictions, and learn the truth about what their country really has stood for.
While the NZ Government’s decision to declare a climate emergency in New Zealand is to be applauded- currently there appear few mechanisms to achieve a carbon-neutral government by 2025. Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s touted response to have all government vehicles electric, is a case in point of the contradictions in environmental policy. There is an urgent need for all citizens to recognise the impact of product and service consumption.
While electric cars will reduce carbon emissions through vehicle exhaust pipes, the production of the required number of electric vehicles will result in further destruction of our environments- lithium mining for batteries , steel production, plastics production. to name just a few. A sleight of hand process that reduces emissions in one area and replaces it with more consumption in another- is simply deceitful and will not improve our environmental impact. Any climate “emergency planning (an ’emergency’ implies a short -term problem- this is not a short-term issue) must also address the collateral bio-diversity loss that is occurring in New Zealand and everywhere in the world.
We are replacing living entities with dead inert matter at a rapidly increasing rate- a recipe not just for an emergency, but a planetary disaster.
While moving to a steady state economy is the only plausible response to the disaster rapidly unfolding on our little plant; current levers of power and influence globally and in New Zealand clearly will not allow that to happen in the short -term.
Consequently , rather than moving gently and steadily to a slow-down and cessation of human ‘growth’ , we are rushing headlong and ever faster towards the precipice of environmental catastrophe, before we fall over…and reach ‘steady-state’ in a way that will cause huge immediate human and other species’ suffering and death.
To hopefully avoid that precipitous fall, I would suggest a measure that will in a relatively short time , allow all members of New Zealand society to appreciate we cannot continue this headlong dash to oblivion.
A requirement that all animate and non-animate goods and services in New Zealand carry a warning label which indicates how much the product has impacted on both climate change ( positive or negative) but also ( and more crucially) biodiversity. The labeling could be something similar to cigarette warning labels and provide an opportunity for purchasers to be aware of the environmental impact of their purchase, to compare goods’ environmental impact and to encourage producers to reduce their environmental footprint..
Over time this labeling would also provide an opportunity for government to additionally tax those products and services that were high in environmental impact, once public support had reached an acceptable level.
From there, the public debate on how to implement a sustainable steady state economy could proceed.
As you will be well aware, as you see the data continue to pile in at an ever increasing rate on global warming and bio-diversity loss , we now have little time and opportunity to change our trajectory.
The response to my email from New Zealand’s Ministry of the Environment courteously noted my suggestions, but declined to support it,noting that there were some unnamed private New Zealand companies interested in such an idea.
Subsequently my daughter has suggested that there would be web companies out there who could develop an app which could provide information online for ‘consumers’ on the relative carbon footprint and impact on biodiversity of products being sold.
Over the last few months (May, June, July 2020) we have seen increasing numbers of media articles lambasting the Chinese and Russian governments for various supposed or presumed crimes. In almost every case of these articles – little or nothing has been presented to argue an alternative view of this anti-Sino-Russian agenda ( which one would suppose to be one of the virtues of a ‘free” press).
We are told that the Chinese or Russians are ‘highly likely’ to have done this or that, often purely based on ‘opensource’ material- i.e. online authors with a variety of axes to grind about Russia or China, and who invariably use speculation , innuendo or simply falsehoods, to explain their prejudices and their sponsors.
Along with other U.K. media, The Guardian, once a British left-wing newspaper, now continually trots out anti-Russian propaganda, with the latest most absurd article being its allegation that Russian hackers had stolen information about a COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford University. The newspaper reports failed to mention however that the Russian government had in fact previously purchased the vaccine information, so was somewhat unlikely to have also stolen it.
The fictions about Russian involvement in the tawdry Skripal affair and the subsequent death of Dawn Sturgess have been meticulously pulled apart by Craig Murray and others and shown to not only be implausible, but impossible. However as Craig Murray reminds us, simply to argue that the Russian’s were highly unlikely to have been responsible for what happened to Sturgess or the Skripals, does not mean that the Russian government, like most large state agencies around the world- does not engage in illegal international activities.
It should be clear however that the ongoing farcical campaign against President Putin by the Western press, relates less to any real international Russian activities that breach “international norms”-and rather more to do with the annoying habit of the Putin administration of blocking ongoing foreign access to Russia’s state assets, which under President Yeltsin were appropriated by so-called Russian oligarchs and siphoned off through bank accounts managed via the City of London. Now in dire economic circumstances because of Brexit and COVID-9 lockdown, the British government is desperate to regain access to that little gold-mine.
Similarly with the U.S. economy in free-fall, the Americans are desperate to halt the rise of China. China is fast becoming a world leader on the economic and technological innovation front, and with largely comprehensive and safe response to COVID19, appears to have weathered much of the resultant economic storm from lockdown. In contrast, both the U.S. and the U.K. have demonstrated staggering levels of stupidity and incompetence in their response to the virus, which will mean ongoing risks to their economies for years to come.
Along with attacks on Russian and Chinese economic initiatives, we see ongoing American and U.K. attacks on Chinese and Russian vulnerabilities. In China those attacks focus on the Uighur separatist and jihadist concerns ( funded and trained in Syria by the Turks, the Saudis and Western intelligence ‘interests”) and the subsequent Chinese government crackdown on the Uighur population, and also on the Chinese response to sometimes violent demonstrations by young Chinese people in Hong Kong – which again have been supported in their battle for a fictitious Free Hong Kong (something that their former British colonial overseers only appeared to promote in the last few years of the colony once it become clear that HK was going to be returned to Chinese government rule) The waving of American and British flags, singing the Star Spangled Banner and the calls for the “Han Chinese’ to stay out of HK by Chinese Han HK protesters, only highlighted the absurdity of the issues they were demanding. Hong Kong could not survive a year without their economic lifeline to the mainland.
There is no doubt that the Chinese government will be ruthless in its crackdown on dissent, but we should not forget how ruthless both the Americans and the British have been in their exploitation of “the coloured races’ over the last 100 years; From the use of Hong Kong to funnel opium to addicts on the mainland right up to the Japanese invasion of HK in 1941 ( which was only stopped because the Japanese did not have access to the British controlled opium producers ), the atom bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the Korean genocide where millions of North Korean civilians were exterminated as American and British ( and other ‘allies’ ) bombed every town and city in North Korea, to the millions dead in Vietnam Cambodia and Laos: Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen … the list of barbarity is endless.
But, through all of this, we should note that these competing nations appear oblivious to the rapidly developing climate catastrophe, now aligned with catastrophic species loss. War and human deprivation are key drivers of the degradation of our environment; alongside the insane drive for our global populations to ‘consume’ more inanimate things whilst destroying our living world.
Sadly , real human statemanship, intelligence and vision simply does not exist in our time of greatest need.
No wonder then, that there is a desperate need for the United States to try and re-assert itself as ‘world leader’ and master of the universe in the face of governments who share proved demonstrably more agile, smarter and more compassionate to the needs of their populations. The bully-boy of the globe is under threat: from within and without. Secretary of State Pompeo therefore exemplifies perfectly what America stands for- and what it has always stood for: greed, violence and lies. The new trade alliance with the U.K. one of the desperate last gasp attempts to maintain some hegemony in the world .
In places like New Zealand and other countries high on the ‘bucket list’ for wealthy people to visit , overseas tourism has slumped dramatically since the pandemic. Tourism operators and regulators are now calling for big media campaigns to artificially promote local tourism. It does beg the question as to why our society has to rely on manipulated media -driven purposeless consumption to survive.
Tourism is one of the primary human activities which are rapidly degrading our planet till it is no longer live-able for us or any other known species. Its reliance on massive air traffic flows and consequent very high CO2 production through long-haul jet plane engines, its reliance on building non-organic infrastructure like roads, hotels, tracks through nature and many other acts of ‘progress’, in natural environments and consequent human traffic, which rapidly degrade the lives of other species we are so desperate to see, are just two of the massively environmentally destructive activities of tourism that global human populations has been sold as a ‘must-have’ over the past 30 years.
It has to stop. It will stop, but surely better it is that we plan now for job transfers to essential and non-environmentally destructive activities, before we face a new inevitable likely larger shock to our crazy economic system, and consequently even more massive human dislocation, trauma and death . Unemployment deals a savage blow to people’s sense of hope and a bright future; let alone the impact it can have on access to food and health services . We know that global environmental collapse, and consequent complete economic collapse, is going to happen unless we shift our focus to providing just the essentials for human beings and stop destroying our world for nothing.
Our bizarre and psychotic magical belief in the ‘invisible hand ‘ of capitalism over the past 100 years to create wealth and happiness for all humans ( but not other species we rely on in this world for our survival)has created this appallingly stupid and callous human centric world system we live in; where other species become ‘products’ for our consumption; where the living and beautiful natural environment that surrounds us is simply there for us to make ‘productive’ by poisoning it with pesticides and fertilizers, or sealing it over with concrete and tar; where we do not think for a moment about the massive destruction of the lives of other species we destroy every day in our quest for ‘progress’- all those animals who we now know for certain have fears and thoughts and emotions and who we so callously and cruelly inflict pain and loss on every day.
We do not need this ‘progress’ that the media and business have propagandized into our hearts and minds for so long : we can in fact live more productive and contented lives being more attuned to the living world of which we are inextricably part of- but we have to change now!
15 ways to stop destroying our world won’t be easy changes to make – but they have to be made.
We need to immediately stop the race to the edge of ecological abyss. There are indeed practical and viable alternatives to the way we live our lives as humans. The transition wont be easy, and most of the rich bastards are going to go to the wall- c’est la vie!
But we need to start now before large scale catastrophe forces us to stop this crazy way of interacting with the world we live in.
In order to reach the Paris Accord goals according to the Intergovernmental Panel, the world would need to see:
rapid and far-reaching” changes in energy systems (immediate end of fossil fuels),
land use (agricultural land replanted with trees),
city layouts and transportation (to reduce car use),
buildings (all retrofitted to renewable energy),
vast reduction or elimination of road and air travel, and
However much more is needed to save our world; including….
Education of the young (and older humans) about the vital importance of respecting and protecting all living things-an understanding that other species are not commodities for human use and are essential for our mutual survivability.
An understanding and agreement that technology will not save the world from the climate emergency or catastrophic species loss- natural living solutions are the only solution
The planting of indigenous trees and shrubs in every available green space
The banning of artificial pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers
The planting of billions of indigenous trees -replacing areas used for monoculture farming; particularly meat and dairy production
The pulling up of vast areas of concrete and tar and replacing it with perennial vegetation trees and shrubs
The end of all ‘growth’ economies- a return to no-growth- (an end to consumption for its own sake)
The encouragement of wildlife into urban areas
The banning of killing of all wildlife
The re-enlivening of buried urban rivers and streams
The end of non repairable goods
The compulsory education of all children in permaculture gardening
The banning of all non essential air traffic
The construction of efficient light-rail rail networks
The building of food and energy self-sufficiency in all communities
Even then, the cumulative impacts of 2000 years of global species loss, and 200 years of CO2 and other gas emissions into our atmosphere will not be ‘put right’ in a few hundred years…
We have often heard that it is in America’s “interests” to start this or that war, to “defend democracy and human rights” or some other envisioning of the United States as that Shining City on the Hill of freedom and light. However when we come to examine what particular Interests are at stake for the United States in these aggressions, we somehow fail to note that those interest are solely business interests- – and not just any businesses- but big business- large powerful corporations with tentacles in many countries whose financial interests may either be jeopardized or opportunities lost if this or that country is not subjugated once again by the U.S. military for the profit margins of United States’ businesses.
Pity the poor country that dares to not bend its knee to U.S. corporate interest…it will be sanctioned, ridiculed, its minority groups funded and trained to create instability, (or worse), and if that doesn’t succeed in bringing that recalcitrant country to the ‘negotiating’ table- then a little genocidal war might help.
As U.S Major-General Smedley Butler has often been quoted:
Supporting big business in any way the U.S. military can ( regardless of international conventions, human rights, human lives, human decency or any other ‘soft’ issue) is and always has been, therefore the complete and total sum of United States international relations- it has no other purpose.
“Foolish” and soft issues like the global emergency ( maybe more like global ‘catastrophe’?) are therefore a complete irrelevance. American exceptionalism is seen in its true form- red in tooth and claw as Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote about nature. No morality, no ethics, pure barbarism and pure profit.
It is small wonder that those poor American soldiers coming back from America’s pointless and endless wars of total barbarism, struggle to come to terms with their “moral injury” to the propaganda they have been force-fed from an early age, of the United States being a civilizing and enlightened country in a world of barbarism.
Peculiar to those pink-skinned Americans who front for big business in the military and in Washington, is a deeply entrenched racism of those who are “other” and darker skinned:- whether they be Plains Indians, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqi’s, Libyans, Syrians- even the Slavic Russian and Serbian nations .. the list goes on and on and on….
It is time for the world to recognise the savagery and brutality of United States’ international relations. It is time to press for reparations for the environmental destruction, the war destruction, war crimes, loss of life, the torture and the murders that the United States has inflicted on the world in the fictitious name of “democracy and freedom” in the past 100 years. It is time to end this barbarism and stupidity.
The United States is indeed ‘exceptional’, but not quite in the way that their propagandists planned it. The American state is exceptional in it being a war machine; the government’s role is largely to fund and plan wars which will assist the American armament industry to sell more weapons at home abroad.
For most people who live in big cities ( an ever increasing proportion of the world’s population) the issue of species loss seems an irrelevance.
What does it matter if one more species is irretrievably lost for ever, when I have my house and car and my job in the city? Their lack of connection with the living world -other than other humans in their urbanised world, does not mean that they are not inextricably linked to the other species who live on this planet- they just cant see it. Their food is bought at the supermarket in vinyl halls – plastic packaged and often pre-prepared. They do not see, nor do they care , about where those former living things came from: -what lives they had, how they interconnected, how they communicated, their thoughts and feelings… The food they gather at the supermarket is simply a dead product- sublimely and most ridiculously illustrated by the little plastic stickers on the fruit we buy there.-the ultimate commodification of nature.
But the reality is that all that food- animal and vegetable arriving at the supermarket storehouse, was once living, was in fact directly connected to the rest of the living world in subtle
and often invisible ways to humans. That interconnection between species is the net that keeps us all alive-a net that is steadily being undone by humans through ignorance and greed.
As recent research over the past decade has noted, all species on the planet not only posses their own unique DNA, but also multiple strands (often in much larger volume) of DNA and micro
biomes from multiple other species, mainly microbes. Anything and everything, from the bacteria that inhabit our guts and allow us to digest food that would be otherwise indigestible to us, to the bacteria and microbes that come into contact with our skin and that we inhale. As Bordenstein noted in 2015- Animals and plants are no longer heralded as autonomous entities but rather as biomolecular networks composed of the host plus its associated microbes, i.e., “holobionts.”- from ‘Host Biology in Light of the Microbiome: Ten Principles of Holobionts and Hologenomes’
The microbiome concept, that is, the collective communities of microorganisms, their genomes and interactions, was first used in the context of microorganisms that inhabit the human body. Since then, numerous studies have adopted this term to describe microbial communities associated with other mammals, insects, fish or plants. For humans, the microbiome significantly contributes to metabolism and provides functions that humans did not need to evolve on their own (Gill et al., 2006). Hence, the genes present in the human microbiome are considered the secondary genome…. In the human microbiome, the highest density of microbes is found in the gastrointestinal tract, where ‘they synthesize essential amino acids and vitamins, and process components of otherwise indigestible contributions to our diet…..-Cross-kingdom similarities in microbiome functions, Rodrigo Mendes & Jos M Raaijmakers (2015)
Thus, (the) nature-relatedness (a person’s level of connectedness with the natural world ), biodiversity of ecosystems in which humans reside or to which they are exposed, access to greenspace and/or habitation in rural environments can have beneficial effects on physical and mental wellbeing …..(However the) erosion of environmental ecosystems is affecting biodiversity and microbial ecology. Together with declining nature-relatedness this is reducing human contact with immunomodulatory organisms found in natural environments – reflected in differences in skin microbes. This is increasingly being recognised as a risk factor for chronic inflammatory diseases……..There is now consistent evidence that environmental degradation, whether by climate change, invasive species or industrial activity, is linked to diminished human physical and mental health [110, 111].
The very existence of this skin-environment interface raises important questions about how erosion of global biodiversity, and declining contact with the natural environments is affecting skin ecosystems and human health . Examining this question in the context of the epidemic rise of allergy and other inflammatory diseases is informative because allergy is one of the earliest manifestations of inflammation often first observed in the skin as disruptions in barrier function and atopic eczema. Furthermore, the declining microbial diversity that has been long linked to the rise in allergic disease also has important implications for other organ systems across the life course. – The skin microbiome: impact of modern environments on skin ecology, barrier integrity, and systemic immune programming: Susan L. Prescott et al (2017)
Or again….It is increasingly evident that inflammation is an important determinant of cognitive function and emotional behaviors that are dysregulated in stress-related psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and affective disorders. Inflammatory responses to physical or psychological stressors are dependent on immunoregulation, which is indicated by a balanced expansion of effector T-cell populations and regulatory T cells. This balance is in part driven by microbial signals. …. With the global trend toward urbanization, humans are progressively spending more time in built environments, thereby, experiencing limited exposures to these immunoregulatory “old friends.” Here, we evaluate the implications of the global trend toward urbanization, and how this transition may affect human microbial exposures and human behavior.-The Microbiome of the Built Environment and Human Behavior: Implications for Emotional Health and Well-Being in Postmodern Western Societies. Stamper CE1 et al (2016)
All organisms are capable of genetic change in their own lifetimes through external microbiome absorption and adaptation ( an adaptation of the old Lamarckian evolution theory, with a Darwinian perspective)
The importance of being in regular physical contact with the rest of the living world has been vastly under-rated in its effect on health and mental wellbeing. An organism’s health and wellbeing depends on having a wide variety of external microbiomes to incorporate into its body and genetic structures on an ongoing basis.
Modern human society is dramatically reducing, not only human’s interchange with microbiomes, but also through poisonous agribusiness practice and destruction of habitats, is irretrievably destroying all species’ capacity to genetically adapt and change and to have optimum wellbeing.
The steadily decreasing number of species in the world ( largely by human ecocide) markedly increases all species’ capacity for survivability
Human beings’ obsession with creating cities, with ‘clean’ environments and the sealing over of the living world with concrete and tar, are rapidly reducing microbiome diversity on the planet.
For the human species to survive for further millenia it has to acknowledge its interdependence with the rest of the living world, and stop creating dead spaces on the planet. Celebrate all life!
While 16 year old Greta is a passionate and well-meaning advocate for change to our headlong dash to climate and species loss disaster; it is eminently clear that talk-fests by leading politicians and climatologists are definitely not going to make one damn bit of difference to our current polices rapidly destroying the planet.
The Paris Accord, hailed as some turning point in human behaviour to our planet, was simply a cruel facade and a hoax. Global emissions have increased, not declined since that accord was signed, and the environmental destruction of our living world has accelerated. We now elect clowns and idiots to run our countries. Those who participate in those climate talk-fests are those who are in league with those who knowingly destroy our world- the business men, the media men, the investors, the politicians- all locked in to making more money from the destruction of the thin veneer of life that used to make our little blue world a safe place for all its inhabitants.
The solutions are not to be found with those who have created this disaster. The solutions are simple ones which do not provide any profits or backhanders for those in power. In fact the solutions will help to demolish the lie of the ‘human progress’ model that has been sold to us for the past 200 years.
Planting billions of indigenous trees, ripping up the concrete and tar that seals the life out of our once living earth; growing plants of all kinds, not for profit or ‘development’ but to help restore our natural world, is our only saviour. We cannot ‘develop’ our way out of this tragedy, or find a new technological solution- that is the way of the con-man. We must return to nature- our natural heritage.
Native indigenous trees not only breathe in carbon dioxide , they provide a refuge for enormous numbers of living things, from the insects that feed from trees, the local fungi and bacteria that symbiotically live near the roots of the trees, the birds that live on the insects and the multiplicity of other organisms ( including humans) that thrive in proximity to the trees. Trees also have a huge capacity to provide shade in hot climates, to eliminate human made toxins from the air , and to increase the level of water vapour in the air bringing life-giving rain while protecting the soil beneath from erosion. Despite the ongoing hype and lies from the mass- killers of animals – we humans do not need to consume the vast amount of dead cows, pigs and sheep that we are led to believe keeps us healthy. Dramatically reducing the area of land used for grazing and replanting with the trees that once lived there, can indeed help save our planet.
The fishing industry empires, scouring the seas for the last surviving fish in our over-heated oceans are not required. Humans can and will have a much smaller footprint on our earth.
Do you need that air plane trip to Bali for your holiday? Do you need that new car? that non- repairable piece of technology ?
Each of us can plant a tree, can help save our world- now!
That racist old warmonger, Winston Churchill, has often been quoted as saying, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”…
Is it true now?- and was it ever true?
The capacity of taxpayer funded government institutions to manipulate public opinion has grown over the past 100 years as the theories of propaganda and the power to influence individuals’ beliefs with media, particularly electronic media, has grown exponentially.
Modern government bureaucracies have always constructed ‘stories’ for their publics about how the world is: who is our ‘enemy’ – what is ‘safe’ and what is ‘appropriate’ etc; and the major medium in the past has been via status quo newspapers ( the vast majority of modern newspaper and visual media publishers are active mouthpieces of state propaganda ( as in the U.K. with the BBC and The Guardian) perhaps because of the enormous costs of printing and distribution which requires substantial funding from status quo funders.
Solely online social media however; blogs and online newspapers require far less input and resources, and their legitimacy and media sources can be easily hidden. They are easily accessible at minimum cost to every member of society, and the public can be ‘fed’ the official line-subtly and invisibly through advertising and other online preference algorithms. The one small downside of the electronic medium world for governments however, is that ‘rogue’ alternative media outlets also have access to this cheap media distribution process (hence the desperate measures by ‘respectable’ news outlets and governments to promote the ‘fake news’ narrative and the need for major search engine algorithms to be tightly controlled by ‘respectable governments.
To foster and maintain the government narrative therefore requires more and more input to feed the official media line. As Craig Murray notes, in the U.K. there are very large amounts of tax payer money going into manipulating public opinion for the benefit of those currently in power. The 77th Brigade of the British Army, the Integrity Initiative, MI5 and MI6 and GCHQ all run major programmes of covert online propaganda. These information warriors operate on twitter, facebook, and in comments sections across the internet.
We can be sure that those U.K. manipulation agencies also exist everywhere across the world where there is sufficient taxpayer money, and sufficient need to maintain the status quo.
We could accurately call these individuals and agencies, the ‘Secret Thought Police’.
Perhaps, if those agencies had some access to a higher truth; a global need for a better life for all, saving the planet or simply creating a more equitable world, we might be able to possibly argue that those secret agencies are to our mutual benefit. But the reality is far from that. Those agencies are designed to entrench those in power with more power, and with more money, and to negate, satirize and destroy by whatever means available, alternative arguments, alternative strategies that might benefit and save ourselves and the planet. They are in consequence, administered by humans with limited understanding of their world, with vast prejudices and with limited ethics and morality.
With those huge resources of thought engineering at their disposal, ‘governments’ which across the world, have demonstrated their blindness and total incapacity to respond to the catastrophes of global heating and species loss facing us now, have instead steadfastly maintained their incestuous linkages with the very corporations and industries which have created the nightmare unfolding day by day in front of us.
When many Western governments, but especially the U.K. and U.S., have knowingly and actively collaborated with states, individuals and agencies over many years in many countries that create public fear through violence (the anatomy of terrorism), then we have a sick and debauched set of governments who have no moral right to govern. Certainly the current leaders of Britain and United States will, in the future, be key defendants in the dock for war crimes in Yemen and other countries.
The Colour revolutions of the past 10 years , (harnessing local discontents with resources from foreign governments and NGOs and businesses such as Soros) which have destabilized both authoritarian and socialist governments alike across the globe, have also, perhaps inadvertently , cast into question the authority of ‘democratic’ governments. Election results are more easily able to be questioned and invalidated in their eyes of their voting publics. Even those governments who have destabilised other foreign governments with such tools for many years; particularly the U.K. and the U.S. , now find themselves the victims of such anti-establishment processes.
We have the somewhat unique situation of the U.K.s Brexit poll being questioned by many in the U.K.; not because the voting was flawed, but simply because it was not the result that the powers that be , wanted. The U.K. may therefore hold further Brexit votes until they get the answer they want; a process which naturally underlines the key premises of the democratic system- that you vote for a party or issue at a certain moment in time to make longer term changes which you may or may not disagree with later.
The recent Hong Kong riots are an example of the complexity of the issues where governments are actively destabilised by internal groups. The fears that the proposed new extradition laws from semi-autonomous Hong Kong to mainland authoritarian China will create opportunities for Hong Kong dissidents to be controlled or imprisoned in China are likely correct. As a former British colony , ceded by the Qing dynasty of China to the British after the First Opium War, a brutal and ethically bankrupt war raged by the British to ensure a good supply of Chinese opium addicts, British Hong Kong was governed by a British Governor appointed by the British “Crown” and who had significant powers of authority up to 1997 . The current dissidents therefore hancor for a non existent time when there was in fact a democratic Hong Kong not controlled by ‘foreigners”. It is very likely that , in the current anti-Chinese climate being rapidly developed by U/S. intelligence agencies, that their British underlings are supporting the dissidents in Hong Kong to put further pressure on Communist China, along with the National Endowment for “Democracy”, an NGO front for the U.S. government destabilization agenda.
We are in desperate need of change. Our ‘democratic’ system is deeply flawed, easily manipulated by the powerful, and does not benefit in the longer term or even, in many cases, the short term , its constituent publics.