April 24, 2011

What if it’s all a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing!

What if there is no alternative to digging up the planet and selling it for money? We are right on track for the ultimate scenario of one large hole in the ground, beside which will be one huge pile of money. You can guess who the money will belong to (the wealthy 2%), and you can guess who will be staring out of the pitiless hole (the rest of us). Neither hole nor money (which is mostly computer digits these days) can be eaten.

If I told you there is no alternative to war, aggression, debt, starvation, money markets, capitalism – would you believe me? Or would you turn round and suggest that life is not all about money. Would you say that it was more important to preserve the fragile balance of nature than to make money. Would you say that it was more important to create a loving, caring and more equal society than to run a motor car. Would you say that small businesses are more accountable and more sustainable than multi-national corporations. Would you say there is a better way.

War, debt, starvation, money markets and capitalism are all inextricably linked in the world that has been created for us in the name of prosperity. It has taken only 50 years for us to see just whose prosperity is being increased. Some of us have been allowed a tiny share, to keep us quiet, but the vast majority have not. More than half the world is living in extreme poverty and through various mechanisms such as the IMF, “shareholder value”, and militarism these numbers will increase. To satisfy the world's sanitation and food requirements would cost only $13 billion - what the people of the United States and the European Union spend on perfume each year. For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years

The global resources that we still have – natural resources, forests, water, gene pools – have turned into objects of utilization. We face ecological destruction through depletion of natural resources ever more rapidly. If it is possible to make more profit by cutting down trees than by planting them, then where is the reason not to cut them. Neither the public nor the state interferes, despite the obvious fact that the clearing of the few remaining rain forests will irreversibly destroy the earth’s climate. Animals, plants, human and general ecological rights are worth nothing compared with the interests of corporations – no matter that the rain forest is not a renewable resource and that the entire earth’s ecosystem depends on it. If greed, and the economic rationalism with which it is enforced, really was an inherent anthropological trait, we would have never even reached this day.

This year Bolivia has passed the Law of Mother Earth, which will establish 11 new rights for nature including: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered. It will also ensure the right of nature to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities.

Bolivia has long suffered from serious environmental problems from the mining of tin, silver, gold and other raw materials. Traditional indigenous respect for the nature is vital to prevent climate change, and is the key to true human nature. Greed, war, oppression – this is not the true nature of humans, just something we have been taught in our increasingly urbanized existence. Let’s face it, we all want the same thing: stability, peace, security, enough to eat and enough to get by. What we do not want is the continuous pillage of nature which will call into question the existence of everything on this planet.

A young Palestinian said to me recently. ‘I can see and feel the walls of my prison, but your prison is bigger and you may never get as far as the walls, but that doesn’t mean they are not there.’

When we reach the walls of our prison; when we allow globalised and unaccountable corporations to extract every available resource from the planet, when the seas rise, when the trees die, when the food and water is gone, it will be too late. We may turn a blind eye, but the CO2 in the atmosphere today is 392.40 and rising (safety limit 350ppm), the Amazon has experienced 2 massive draughts in the last 5 years. People living on the low lying islands of Tuvalu are trying to strike a deal to migrate to New Zealand for when their land is swallowed by the sea. The great delta regions of the world are already becoming salinated and and traditional crops will not grow.

Road traffic, a massive contributor to greenhouse gasses, accounts for 70% of UK pollution and 200,000 premature deaths. We are doing this to ourselves. A 7000 lb SUV with a 150 lb driver uses 98% of the fuel to move only the SUV!

You may not believe that climate change is caused by humans, but without doubt our wasteful and callous behavior is adding to it. The right ideas for the remediation of environmental degradation involve unselfish and compassionate behaviour. The right ideas involve long-term planning, conservation and a deep commitment to preserving the natural world. Without a healthy natural environment, there will be few or no healthy humans. The guardians of true human nature understand this.

The deaths caused by pollution border on self-genocide. In retrospect, it is clear that commuters have made a mistake. We should now stop commuting by cars. This mistake has ongoing and deteriorating health and economic impacts for car drivers personally, and for every other inhabitant of planet earth.

For Co2 updates : http://co2now.org/

Bolivia’s new laws: http://www.celsias.com/article/bolivia-set-pass-world-first-laws-giving-all-natur/

Excellent piece by Prof. Claudia von Werlhof: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24403

World hunger stats: http://library.thinkquest.org/C002291/high/present/stats.htm

April 07, 2011

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except the smell of smoke – Tom Stoppard

Our Neanderthal preoccupation with burning things has surely had its day. From the first snaking tendril of flame to the present day we have looked no further than to burn, burn, burn for our energy needs.

How different our evolution would have been if the gear had been invented before the spear.

Gas, oil, coal, wood, waste, the human race seems incapable of seriously developing an alternative to burning things, yet the powerful sun shines on, the wind rages and the tide just keeps on going in and out. These sources of energy will not dry up or disappear, and they are constant and free. We do not need to wage wars, invent shady foreign policy and swindle poor nations to get renewable energy. All that is required is to use the technology we already have. No pollution, no climate change, just a few redundant diplomats and tanks.

It is ironic that the countries producing the most oil have the most solar energy potential. It is criminal that inventions which make the internal combustion engine obsolete have been bought up by the largest corporations and left to moulder in the dark for 40 years or more. It is unjustifiable that millions die every year in poverty and violence because of western posturing and insatiable greed for oil when there are realistic alternatives.

Despite advances in efficiency and sustainability, of all the energy harnessed since the industrial revolution, more than half has been consumed in the last two decades. 90% of all energy produced comes from the combustion of fossil fuels.

The US consumes 25% of the world's energy, using 11.4 kW for each US citizen. Japan and Germany use 6 kW per person and Bangladesh is the lowest user at a mere 0.2 kW per person. 27% of all energy generated is wasted in transmission and the generation process.

Thanks mostly to the sun, the world has a useable renewable energy supply that exceeds 8,000 times total world energy usage, dwarfing all non-renewable supplies. Solar energy resources are huge. Less than 0.02% of available renewables are sufficient to entirely replace fossil fuels and nuclear power as an energy source.

It is widely accepted that the war in Iraq is an oil war, it is the same in Afghanistan, it would be the same in Libya. Whilst the people of Iraq continue to suffer the violence and regressive economic results of western interference, the oil production of that country has never reached the output achieved under Saddam. Unrest in the Middle East has reduced oil output even further with the House of Saud reluctant to make up too much of the shortfall for fear of jeopardizing their future income.

Instead of investing in renewables we look for new oil supplies: tar sands, the deep oceans, Antarctica. Often it costs more in pollution and CO2 emissions to extract from these difficult areas than the actual combustion of the end product. We look to biofuels and destroy precious virgin forest to grow palm oil – only to burn, burn burn.

The time has come to shed our primitive love affair with burning things. It is self-indulgent and wrong to kill for such resources when passive collection of unlimited renewable supplies will provide 8,000 times our energy needs.

What can you do? Object to the building of more power stations, actively support windfarms, use Green energy suppliers such as Ecotricity, make your local councils invest in solar collection on roofs, join sustainable communities such as Transition Towns. It is your world.

Note to NIMBY’s (Not in My Back Yard) – Your view or your morality: every time you stop a windfarm being built, you force thousands to live in the unhealthy, polluted air of incinerators and power plants.

More on tar sands - http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_17580159?nclick_check=1

Palm oil - http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/forests/palm-oil

Afghanistan oil pipeline - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Afghanistan_Pipeline

World energy resources - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_resources_and_consumption