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What We’ve Lost

What We’ve Lost

This is only a partial list of what we’ve lost to globalism, cheap credit and the Tyranny of Price which generates the Landfill Economy.

A documentary on the decline of small farms and the rural economy in France highlights what we’ve lost in the decades-long rush to globalize and financialize everything on the planet— what we call Neoliberalism, the ideology of turning everything into a global market controlled by The Tyranny of Price and cheap credit issued to corporations and banks by central banks.

After Winter, Spring (2012) was made by an American who moved to a small village in the Dordogne region of France to recover something of her childhood on a small Pennsylvania farm.

The farmers–self-described as paysanspeasants in English, (a translation I don’t consider entirely accurate, for reasons too complex to go into here)– describe the financial difficulties of earning enough to survive without outside jobs.

One young farmer who is taking over the family dairy from his aging parents encapsulates the economic reality of small farms: in the 1960s, they had 3 or 4 cows, now they have 100, but their income is the same.

Corporate mega-farms can produce huge quantities of agricultural products of questionable quality because they have the scale, access to cheap credit and expertise to deal with the voluminous bureaucratic paperwork imposed by the EU and the French government. (One slip-up on a form and you’re sunk if you’re a one- or two-person operation.)

Artisanal producers can’t compete, and will never be able to compete in a global marketplace where there is always a cheaper source. (Up to half a small farmer’s income comes from EU subsidies, which the EU is trying to cut.)

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Economists: Greta Thunberg’s Ideal World Would Result In A “Human Tragedy Of Disastrous Proportions”

Economists: Greta Thunberg’s Ideal World Would Result In A “Human Tragedy Of Disastrous Proportions”

Whether you were inspired by Greta Thunberg’s tearful UN speech…

…. or merely thought it was the year’s greatest meme, in which an indoctrinated, emotionally frail child is being preyed upon by adults with a far bigger and more lucrative agenda, you probably do not realize how much your everyday life could change if the world were to follow the advice of climate activists to attain Thunberg’s ecological utopia.

To provide some perspective on that question, several economists spoke to RT to share their thoughts out how the proposed changes could affect the global economy and the daily lives of people around the world.

Fossil fuels

The first thing that comes to mind to stop reported global warming is to impose a carbon tax and divest from the fossil fuel industry, as this sector is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. However, “a carbon tax and/or forced divestiture from fossil fuels would ultimately make the kind of cheap, varied and efficient transportation that people around the world are accustomed to extremely expensive and more limited,” warns Peter C. Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research.

Apart from public transport, cars could also become less accessible to most individuals. So if you drive to work without a second thought, the carbon tax could suddenly double or triple the cost of your daily trip, leaving tens of millions of people cut off from their livelihoods, according to the analyst.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions can have much more serious economic implications, Dr Pierre Noël, Senior Fellow in Economic and Energy Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), told RT.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Economic Decay Leads to Social and Political Decay


Economic Decay Leads to Social and Political Decay

If we want to make real progress, we have to properly diagnose the structural sources of the rot that is spreading quickly into every nook and cranny of the society and culture.

It seems my rant yesterday (Let Me Know When It’s Over) upset a lot of people, many of whom felt I trivialized the differences between the parties and all the reforms that people believe will right wrongs and reduce suffering.

OK, I get it, there are differences, but if the “reform” doesn’t change the source of the suffering and injustice, it’s just window-dressing that makes the supporter feel virtuous. Want an example? Let’s take the the “cruel and unusual punishment” for drug-law offenders, many of whom are African-American males whose lives are effectively hobbled by felony convictions and long sentences in America’s Drug War Gulag.

You want a “reform” that actually gets to the root and solves the source of the injustice? It’s simple: decriminalize all drugs and recognize drug use as a medical and social issue rather than a criminal-justice / Gulag issue. But that won’t happen because too many people are making too much money off the Gulag, which is now a public and private-prison Gulag.(Other advanced nations have had success with this structural change. Maybe we could learn something from their examples?)

If you’re not ready to demand the full decriminalization of all drugs, then you’re not really interested in solving the problem; you’re just seeking virtue-signaling “reforms” that don’t upset the power structure. And since any real solution necessarily disrupts the power structure benefiting from the status quo, all the painless “reforms” are ineffective.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Solar Storms Can Devastate Entire Civilizations

Solar Storms Can Devastate Entire Civilizations

Solar flare

Climate has inarguably become a hot topic of discussion in developed economies over the last decade, and it is getting hotter by the day as study after study warn we are close to doomed if we don’t change our ways urgently. Yet climate on Earth is not the only problem that humankind faces. There is another climate we need to pay attention to, and there is nothing we can do to change that.

Solar storms, whose more scientific name is coronal mass ejections, were until recently believed to be a rare occurrence—only happening once every couple of centuries or so. However, there is reason to believe they may be a lot more frequent than that. In a world increasingly dependent on electricity, this is, to put it mildly, a problem.

In 1859 the Sun spewed concentrated plasma that broke through its magnetic fields in the direction of the Earth. Commonly referred to as the Carrington Event, that coronal mass ejection hit the Earth’s magnetic field, which warped it and caused telegraphs around the world to fail. For a long time, the scientific consensus was that solar storms of this magnitude were a rarity.

That was in the 19th century where telegraphs were cutting-edge tech. Now, we have power grids, airplanes, satellites, and computers, and all of them are potentially susceptible to the effects of another solar storm. We also know that solar storms of the magnitude of the Carrington Event or even worse occur more frequently.

“The Carrington Event was considered to be the worst-case scenario for space weather events against the modern civilization… but if it comes several times a century, we have to reconsider how to prepare against and mitigate that kind of space weather hazard,” the lead research in a study that reached that conclusion, Hisashi Hayakawa, said after the release of the study earlier this month.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

he Ultimate Heresy: Technology Can’t Fix What’s Broken

The Ultimate Heresy: Technology Can’t Fix What’s Broken

Technology can’t fix what’s broken, because what’s broken is our entire system..

The ultimate heresy in today’s world isn’t religious or political: it’s refusing to believe that technology can not only solve all our problems, it will do so painlessly and without any sacrifice. Anyone who dares to question this orthodoxy is instantly declared an anti-progress (gasp!) Luddite, i.e. a heretic in league with the Devil.

Even worse, if that’s possible, is declaring that technology is making our lives worse rather than better. There’s an entire industry devoted to cherry-picking data to support the One True Faith of Technology: a new miracle drug (never mind the side-effects or the fact that the drug only works on a relative handful of patients), a new energy source that will generate nearly free energy in near-infinite quantities (thorium reactors, though there is not yet a single one that’s operational), and the marketing of convenience: this new marketing gimmick will change your life–you can try on clothing in virtual reality, no need to go to the mall! Wow! Borrow more, buy more, throw more into the landfill–isn’t technology wonderful?

Meanwhile, back in reality, the previous “miracle drug,” statins, turn out to be useless in reducing heart disease and actively reduce health via a vast array of negative side effects: Do statins really work? Who benefits? Who has the power to cover up the side effects? (europeanscientist.com)

Heavily promoted “miracle drugs” make billions of dollars for the corporate owners, whether they actually improve health in the long-term or not. But the tech-will-fix-everything cheerleaders never get around to examining the spectacular failures of Big Pharma, or the catastrophic consequences of smartphone addiction (see chart below), or the impossibility of scaling technology without consuming vast amounts of resources which are already scarce.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

National Geographic Admits Billions Of People Will “Face Shortages Of Food And Clean Water” Over The Next 30 Years

National Geographic Admits Billions Of People Will “Face Shortages Of Food And Clean Water” Over The Next 30 Years

A lot of people out there don’t like when I write these kinds of articles, because they directly contradict the false narrative that humanity has an extremely bright future ahead.  Sadly, the truth is that our planet and everything that lives on it is rapidly deteriorating.  And I am not talking about the false environmentalism being pushed by the mainstream media, Greta Thunberg and countless well-funded NGOs.  What I am talking about is the stuff that is happening right in our face.  We are systematically poisoning our planet, thousands upon thousands of species are going extinct, and we are literally running out of all of our most important natural resources.  There isn’t going to be enough of anything in the not too distant future.  In fact, even National Geographic is admitting that up to five billion people could soon be facing “shortages of food and clean water”…

As many as five billion people, particularly in Africa and South Asia, are likely to face shortages of food and clean water in the coming decades as nature declines. Hundreds of millions more could be vulnerable to increased risks of severe coastal storms, according to the first-ever model examining how nature and humans can survive together.

“I hope no one is shocked that billions of people could be impacted by 2050,” says Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer a landscape ecologist at Stanford University. “We know we are dependent on nature for many things,” says Chaplin-Kramer, lead author of the paper “Global Modeling Of Nature’s Contributions To People” published in Science.

The clock is literally ticking for humanity, but meanwhile we spend immense amounts of energy on relatively meaningless political squabbles.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Planet of the Humans,’ Possibly Most Bracing Environmental Documentary Ever Made, Premieres at Traverse City Film Festival

‘Planet of the Humans,’ Possibly Most Bracing Environmental Documentary Ever Made, Premieres at Traverse City Film Festival

Director Jeff Gibbs argues we’re heading toward ‘total human apocalypse’ and green energy is ‘not going to save us, it’s actually going to kill us faster’

Picture
An image from “Planet of the Humans,” directed by Jeff Gibbs. Photo courtesy Traverse City Film Festival

Films about environmental issues have long been a staple of the documentary form, a genre that in recent years alone has brought us Before the FloodChasing IceChasing Coral and, of course, An Inconvenient Truth. But those documentaries arguably pale in importance to Planet of the Humans, which just held its world premiere at the Traverse City Film Festival. 

The film directed by Jeff Gibbs, produced by Gibbs and Ozzie Zehner and executive produced by Michael Moore, makes the deeply disturbing case that unless we reverse course, the human species faces ruin.

“The ultimate problem is that there are too many people consuming too much and we don’t even have a word or a name for what this total human apocalypse is called,” Gibbs told me during an interview in Traverse City. “What is the word for a single species that’s overrun an entire planet and is causing mayhem in every direction?”

There is nothing you will ever have in your life that’s not an extraction from the planet earth. And so we’ve all lost touch with that.
​–Planet of the Humans director Jeff Gibbs to Nonfictionfilm.com

Gibbs, an environmentalist, film producer and composer who has worked on several of Moore’s documentaries, describes himself as “worried sick” about climate change. But unlike others who focus solely on the danger presented by global warming, Gibbs sees climate change as symptomatic of a larger problem – overpopulation and consumption of Earth’s resources.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Is The Third World”: Up To 3 Million Californians To Lose Power As PG&E Begins “Unprecedented” Blackouts

“This Is The Third World”: Up To 3 Million Californians To Lose Power As PG&E Begins “Unprecedented” Blackouts

As previewed last night, PG&E Corp., California’s largest (bankrupt) utility, began shutting off power Wednesday to an unprecedented 3 million people in Northern California in the face of hot, windy weather that raises the risk of wildfires. While the high winds are forecast to subside by late Thursday, the company will undertake extensive inspections of its equipment before turning electricity back on, meaning outages could persist into next week. More than 3 million people may be eventually affected, based on city estimates and the average household size. The economic impact may reach $2.6 billion.

Half a million homes and businesses in Northern California have already lost power as PG&E orchestrates the biggest-ever intentional power shutoff to keep its lines from sparking blazes. The company was scheduled to shut service to another 234,000 customers in cities including Berkeley and Oakland at noon local time, but told city and county officials that those cutoffs will instead start Wednesday evening. Strong, dry winds that heighten the risk of wildfires are picking up later than forecast, the company said.

PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center in San Francisco 

According to Bloomberg, never before have California utilities intentionally cut power to so many people for their own safety – and never has a shutoff affected such major metropolitan areas, even as the city of San Francisco and Silicon Valley appear spared. The undertaking is key to fairly new strategy by PG&E for preventing power lines from sparking another deadly – and costly – conflagration.

“This is unprecedented in terms of what all of us are facing as a community,” PG&E Vice President Sumeet Singh said at a media briefing Tuesday night. “We are doing everything we can to minimize the impact on our customers’ lives.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Factfulness’ may calm you down, but won’t change our ecocidal trajectory

‘Factfulness’ may calm you down, but won’t change our ecocidal trajectory

Here and there people have been referring to author Hans Rosling’s idea of “factfulness” as an antidote to gloomy thinking about the trajectory of the human enterprise. Rosling writes:

[T]he vast majority of the world’s population live somewhere in the middle of the income scale. Perhaps they are not what we think of as middle class, but they are not living in extreme poverty. Their girls go to school, their children get vaccinated. Perhaps not on every single measure, or every single year, but step by step, year by year, the world is improving. In the past two centuries, life expectancy has more than doubled. Although the world faces huge challenges, we have made tremendous progress.

“Factfulness,” it seems, relies on nothing more than drawing attention to a narrow set of facts. Yes, we have made tremendous progress for humans taken alone. The problem with such assessments is that they leave out how that progress was purchased. While Rosling does not deny climate change, profligate resource consumption or toxic pollution, he does not see that they are the pillars upon which the so-called “progress” we’ve achieved rests and not mere side-effects.

I agree with Rosling that the daily flow of news does not provide an accurate picture of our true trajectory. While the media may overplay the negative news about human well-being or at least give the wrong impression, it vastly underplays the damage that human dominance has inflicted on the biosphere. And, it reliably ignores the relationship between continual growth in consumption and population and that damage.

As I have written previously, the definition of “world” is crucial in the phrase “the world is getting better.” Most of the cheerleaders for our current system focus on humans alone who make up only a fraction of “the world.” Those cheerleaders fail to understand that the shortcomings of the current system will not be remedied by doing more of the same. The health of the biosphere will not get better with greater and greater emissions of  greenhouse gases or more deforestation or more soil erosion, all integral to the “progress” of humans under the current system if we’re going to keep adding population and raising living standards.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Vulnerable Are America’s Power Grids?

How Vulnerable Are America’s Power Grids?

America’s electricity grid powers our lives, but, as The Epoch Times’ Chris Chappell points out, because it was never built with attacks in mind, it has plenty of vulnerabilities. 

Everything from malware cyber-attacks, to geomagnetic storms, to nuclear detonations in the atmosphere above the US, even sophisticated electronic weapons from Russia and China – all these threaten to shut down our grid and sow chaos. 

So what, if anything, is being done to counter this threat?

25 Cozy Ways to Prep Your Home for Winter

25 Cozy Ways to Prep Your Home for Winter

As they say on Game of Thrones, “Brace yourselves. Winter is coming.”

One of the best ways to brace yourselves for the onset of cold weather, winter storms, and potential power outages is to prep your home for the season. And this is one of the nicest parts of prepping – quite a few of the cozy touches that you add to be more prepared are also delightful and decorative.

When summer begins to fade into fall, it’s the best time to begin preparing for the advent of winter weather. None of these tasks are particularly difficult, but they can be a little time-consuming. Waiting until the last minute usually means that you’ll end up fighting the crowds who have also rushed to the store or that you’ll be going without something that could have made your power outage a lot more comfortable.

25 Ways to Get Cozy

Here are a few ideas that will make you snug and safe during the cold months that lie ahead.

  1. Check your windows and doors. Make sure that they are in good condition and fit well. Drafts will not only make you uncomfortable but will let heat escape from the house. Now is the time to replace them if necessary.
  2. Reduce the draftiness of your windows. If you can’t afford to replace your windows (or if you are a renter) you can still do several things to reduce the drafts from older windows. Caulk gaps between frames and brickwork and replace any damaged panes. If you live in an older home with single pane windows, apply window insulation film to help make them more weather tight. Finally, purchase or make fabric draft stoppers to place at the bottoms of your windows.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Excerpt: Reconnecting to the Earth

Wakeup Calling 
humanity rages
destruction in stages
of everything under the sun

the birds and the bees
the rivers and trees
it seems like the end has begun


a population of people
turned into sheeple
conditioned to crave more and more

life based on greed
want, desire and need
leads to nothing but war

the planet is dying
the animals crying
the forests all being cut down

the climate is hot
except when it’s not 
and some say we’re all going to drown

we eat poison foods
take meds for our moods
we’re so ill we cannot take action

to keep us asleep
the tendrils run deep
with all manner of lies and distraction

we cut the tops off the hills
down below oil spills
for us to progress, it is said

it’s hard not to believe
if we do not grieve
soon we all will be dead 

living in fear
something is near
now we are all scared to death

chaos and change
can often feel strange
please just take a deep breath

so what can we do
just me and you
to turn this whole thing around?

one way to recall
our connection to all
is to put our bare feet on the ground

now feel the Earth
remember its worth
let the energy run through your soul

look deep in your heart
that’s where you start
to connect yourself to the whole

this cannot be solved
if you don’t get involved
start now, there’s no time to wait

change how you’re living
stop taking, start giving
please, before it’s too late

and so there you are
if you’ve made it this far
three last things I will say if I may

begin with a bow
stay here in the now
and remember to breathe every day
~Aaron Hoopes


Excerpt from – Reconnecting to the Earth: Reclaiming Our Relationship to Nature and Ourselves
By Aaron Hoopes
Ozark Mountain PublishingISBN-13: 978-1940265728112 pages paperback
www.reconnectingtotheearth.com


Reconnecting to the Earth is wakeup call to help us remember that we are not separate from the Earth. Even though our modern society has lost its connection to the natural world, deep within, we know there is a fundamental sustenance that comes from being nourished and inspired by nature. ​And everyone has the ability to feel it. This is a guidebook on the path back to that feeling.

The carbon trap by Paul Chefurka

The carbon trap by Paul Chefurka

Preface. We are caught in the carbon trap — we utterly depend on fossils that don’t have an electric replacement. Someday people will figure this out the hard way, but Chefurka compassionately points out that there is no one to blame for our situation, and it’s not something we can do anything about.

Here are just a few ways our lives depend on fossils:

Petroleum diesel powers the transportation that matters: heavy-duty trucks, rail, and ships 

Manufacturing depends on process heat and steam generated by fossil fuels  

Energy to keep the electric grid up around the clock 

The majority of people alive today should thank natural-gas based fertilizers, and oil-based pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides   

Half a million products are made out of fossil fuels and with energy from fossil fuels

The natural gas that heats homes and businesses.   

  • About 90% of homes and businesses depend on fossil fuels for heat, mainly natural gas  (EIA 2018). 
  • Generating heat from electricity today is terrifically wasteful.  Two-thirds of electricity is generated by burning natural gas and coal, and two-thirds of this coal and natural gas energy vanishes as heat, plus another 6-10% is lost on the wires, so only 24 to 28% arrives at homes and businesses.  It’s far better to use fossils onsite to generate heat.

***

Whether we realize it or not, everyone living on planet Earth today is caught in what I have come to call the “carbon trap”. The nature of the trap is simple, and can be described in one sentence:

Our continued existence depends on the very thing that is killing us – the combustion of our planet’s ancient stocks of carbon.

This unfortunate situation was not intentional, and is no one’s fault.

The trap was constructed well outside of our conscious view or understanding.

Its design came from our evolved desires for status, material comfort and security.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

So Sorry, Your Karma Ran Over Your Dogma

So Sorry, Your Karma Ran Over Your Dogma

When dogmas lose their grip on believers, they collapse in spectacular fashion.

Karma covers a lot of ground, but it boils down to consequences: consequences not just from your actions but from your convictions, schemes, obsessions, and yes, dogmas.

The reason why Karma runs over Dogma is that nobody clinging to a dogma sees themselves as dogmatic. The true believer never sees their conviction as dogma, but as Revealed Truth, as self-evident, a view that is buttressed by all the other True Believers who surround the believer, reinforcing their conviction and soothing any nagging doubts by mocking, “debunking” or marginalizing heretics and critics.

In our society, the mass media serves as a soothing echo-chamber of dogmas. It must be true, the news anchor said it on TV, etc.

Dogmas generate power and profits. Trillions of dollars flow into a few pockets because people believe the dogmas that “you need a college diploma to succeed” and “America’s healthcare system is the best in the world.”

As evidence-based doubts seep in, those at the top of the “faith” who have the most to lose become increasingly fanatical and rabid, pushing an increasingly restrictive Orthodoxy on true believers and establishing an Inquisition to excommunicate or eliminate any heretical doubts or dissenting views.

As the increasingly detached-from-reality leadership senses their power waning, they double-down, exhorting the faithful to support the orthodoxy even as the orthodoxy reaches new heights of fanaticism.

As moderates drift away (or sneak away, loudly proclaiming their fealty to cover their escape), the leadership triples down, demanding unwavering loyalty of the remaining believers, who themselves triple-down by reassuring each other that they really are on the right track and the world is about to awaken to the correctness and righteousness of their cause.

The problem with dogmas is that they are detached from the real-world consequences of dogmatic convictions. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Illusion of Saving the World

The Illusion of Saving the World

Old power plant, West Linn, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

At the end of this month, as you probably know by now, an extraordinary hoopla event will descend on Manhattan in the form of a “Climate Action Summit,” summoned by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, to get the nations of the world finally to take seriously the threat of “global warming” and pledge to actually take serious action to save the world from catastrophe.

The chances of that happening are nil.

Oh, yes there will be speeches and promises. Under increasing pressure from alarmed citizens, led by the enlightened youth of the world who know they will be the primary victims of the coming environmental disaster, most national leaders will toss around ideas like carbon taxes, bans on coal mining and nuclear energy, building “retrofitting,” renewable solar fuels, carbon dioxide entrapment, and “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions. Some will be willing to start doing something about one or another, while simultaneously asking for somebody else to pay for the astronomic costs.

But the whole thing is an illusion. The problem is too big, the solutions too imperfect, and the timing, even if everything got fixed in a decade, is too late.

Most scientists believe, with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that if the earth’s temperature should increase by 2 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees Farenheit) the rise in sea levels would engulf 280 million people, earthquakes could wipe out 17.6 million, and subsequent droughts and famines would like result in another 231 million, not to mention uncontrolled worldwide migrations, the collapse of many fragile states, and the threat of civil disorder throughout the developed world.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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