“A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity” is a free-to-view, feature-length documentary that follows a community in Australia who have come together to explore and demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to global crises. Throughout the year the group build tiny houses, plant veggie gardens, practice simple living and permaculture principles, and discover the challenges of living in community. This documentary, our very first!, was shot while we were living on the property for the entire year as part of the community. The documentary includes interviews with David Holmgren, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Nicole Foss, Ted Trainer, Graham Turner, and more.
“In Transition 2.0 is an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. You’ll hear about communities printing their own money, growing food, localising their economies, and setting up community power stations. It’s an idea that has gone viral, a social experiment that is about responding to uncertain times with solutions and optimism. In a world of increasing uncertainty, here is a story of hope, ingenuity, and the power of growing vegetables in unexpected places”
COMMUNITIES OF HOPE is a film born from a quest to discover a regenerative culture. It is an invitation to discover a new way of life. A way of life measured by the rhythms of nature, the depth of human connection, the vast horizon of human potential. It’s the way of life in ecovillages. Filmed largely at the European Ecovillage Network’s annual European Ecovillage Gathering, and drawing on two years of travel and exploration in communities in Europe, the film takes us on a journey around the mandala of regeneration: how ecovillages relate to the social, economic, ecological and cultural dimensions of sustainability. It offers pathways towards a new way of seeing the world, and a new way of living together.
In 2007, Ole and Maitri Ersson bought the rundown Cabana apartment complex in the city and immediately began to de-pave parking spaces to make space for what today is a huge permaculture coliving space and urban food forest. Today, the Kailash Ecovillage has 55 residents who all help farm where there was once pavement, grass, a swimming pool, and an overgrown weed patch.
The community is well-prepared for systems collapse; they have extensive rainwater collection and storage, plenty of produce and they process their own sewage. Their permitted sanitation project complies with international building codes for compost toilet and urine diversion systems and turns their pee and poop into nitrogen and compost. Here, nearly everything is shared. There are two community electric cars – donated by the Erssons who no longer have a private car-, shared bicycles (and bike trailers), an extensive fruit orchard, berry and grape patches, and a considerable community garden space. Photovoltaics provide about two-thirds of the energy consumed by the complex.
Neil Robinson is the community’s full-time farmer who has sold thousands of dollars of Kailash produce at farmers’ markets. He moved in as a way to prepare for systemic collapse. “I wanted to learn to grow food and then have a system that could step in. We have water, we have food.” Ole explains, “We’re in this zone where it’s not a question of if, but when, we’re going to get a Richter 9 earthquake… that’s going to break all kinds of grids, the power grid is likely going to go down, the sewer grid almost undoubtedly and it’s probably going to take months, if not years, to get the sewer system going again.”
Their sanitation project can absorb 60 adults for months. Rents here are lower than the Portland average because the Erssons want Kailash to be accessible to all income levels. There’s a 300-person waitlist, but Ole hopes others will follow their example. “If you look at it from an economic perspective no business would want a complex landscape like this because it’s way too much maintenance, but what you have to do is turn the maintenance over to the residents, and then they do it: they get joy; it’s an antidepressant; it’s a way of creating food; it’s a way of creating community; so you have to do it in a certain way, but it’s definitely a lot more work than the typical grass and shrub landscape for sure.”
The movie “The Hardest Thing I´ve ever loved” is an independent film from “The Great Relation” that follows the lives of 5 young explorers through their journey of the 5 weeks Ecovillage Design Education program that navigates today’s challenges as opportunities to build a regenerative future for all. The EDE (Ecovillage Design Education) at Schloss Glarisegg is a holistic educational program that encourages new ways of being and acting in the world, organically evolving as we enact fundamental changes. It is an 1 month practical community experience where people can find their peers and get the condensed wisdom of world wide communities and pioneers in order to create a transformative culture in the world ! To discover more : https://www.edeglarisegg.info/
A nature documentary on the remarkable ways in which forests can heal our body, mind and spirit. http://www.healingforest.org | Documentary Duration: 50 minutes | Language: English | Nature Documentary HD | Please see the chapters relevant to you. Shortcuts given below. Chapter Timestamps 00:00 Introduction and film summary 01:35 Attention Span, Anger, Addiction, Agility | KIDS 10:25 Compassion, Anxiety, Creativity, Sleep | YOUTH 20:15 Stress, Simplicity, Food, Immunity | ADULTS 29:30 Pollution, Perception, Meditation, Depression | MIDDLE AGE 39:00 Loneliness, Self-Healing, Death, Wisdom | SENIORS
This is the Official Online (Youtube) Release of “Zeitgeist: Moving Forward” by Peter Joseph. [30 subtitles ADDED!] On Jan. 15th, 2011, “Zeitgeist: Moving Forward” was released theatrically to sold out crowds in 60 countries; 31 languages; 295 cities and 341 Venues. It has been noted as the largest non-profit independent film release in history. This is a non-commercial work and is available online for free viewing and no restrictions apply to uploading/download/posting/linking – as long as no money is exchanged. A Free DVD Torrent of the full 2 hr and 42 min film in 30 languages is also made available through the main website [below], with instructions on how one can download and burn the movie to DVD themselves. His other films are also freely available in this format.
AUGUST 19, 2019
The island of North Haven in the Penobscot Bay, Maine, is an eastern establishment, white-shoe summer-place overlain on a diesel swilling, bottom feeding lobster-industry that supports the year-round residents of this tiny, fractal-shored resort. It is washed by the Gulf Stream and reports the fastest rising ocean temperatures in the Western hemisphere, dramatic sea level rises and a devastated eco-system. Comprehensively cleared of its old-growth hardwood forests in the nineteenth century, its second growth pines are now attacked by bark beetles moving north under the duress of a warming climate. In place of the diseased trees, the severely invasive, non-native Buckthorn is proliferating. Lashed by several hurricanes in the twentieth century, the island now awaits the first of this century’s superstorms. Already, beaches are eroding into the bay at alarming rates.
But some still say it is paradise. Expensive yachts crowd its harbors and summer visitors wave cheerily to each other as they drive or bicycle along its well-paved roads. The summer houses of the rich and discreet spot its meadows, bays and palisades. Vacation revelers eat ice cream and drink the craft-beers of North Haven Brewery along the harbor front, eat gourmet pizzas, and enjoy coffee, movies and ping-pong at Waterman’s, the community center. Lily-white youngsters learn to sail off the Casino dock. There are a couple of art galleries, a hotel and restaurant and, in the summer months, a farmer’s market.
This east coast summer enclave of wealth and privilege was originally founded between 1910 and 1920 by Wall Street luminaries, including the Morgans, the Rockefellers and the Lamonts. Shortly afterwards, Thomas Watson, founder of IBM, established a 300-acre summer estate along the island’s northern shore. Several generations of their descendants still summer on this gilded isle, joined now by other families of post-Second World War, Twentieth-Century wealth.
The island is unspeakably white. There are other ‘white’ summer enclaves (and certainly not all are islands) just like it up and down the east coast of America. They are where many of the wealthiest, of old money and new, go to live the summers of their dreams–a summer amongst their peers, with just enough poor and middle-class workers to service their every need and, perhaps, to add just a little historical authenticity to their Fantasy Island.
North Haven is powered by three gleaming (white) wind turbines, discreetly located on an adjacent island. They illustrate the uncanny ability of the rich to thrive in green, sustainable communities while the poor often remain in the polluted cities, suburbs and exurbs from whence wealth is extracted. The island demonstrates the dark survival of what we can quaintly call the class struggle whilst establishing the evolution of that conflict within a subsuming ecological crisis.
Deregulation, since the early 1990’s, has facilitated the globalization of the economy and the out-sourcing of production to regions of low-cost labor, primarily Asia. This trend is resisted politically by the poor and middle class who have found a salve to their financial wounds in fierce nationalisms that cohere around skin-color, religion and territorial origin stories. This much we know. It is Bruno Latour, the French philosopher, who has added a third dimension to this dynamic by suggesting that those made wealthy in this global revolution are very aware that the climate catastrophe will now further curtail the well-being of most of humanity. In Latour’s telling (Down to Earth, 2018) the uber-rich have made the calculus that the world will be increasingly riven between the haves and the have-nots and that they will make no attempt, either politically or economically, to heal the rift. Indeed, they will, he suggests, continue to assiduously corral the world’s resources for their own benefit since there is not now, and likely never will be, enough to go around in a world closing in on eight billion people and whose natural beneficence is increasingly disrupted by weather terrorism.
The class struggle has metastasized, gone global, and is now conjoined wit the fight to maintain a habitable planet. The apparent prosperity that existed in the United States post 1945 allowed for a brief flickering of hope for something like wide-spread well-being (at least as evidenced by the white population’s material prosperity). Three decades of this historically anomalous economic circumstance were coopted by the state as an ideological weapon in the cold-war, but shortly abandoned in the mid-1970’s when corporate America reacted to the social challenges presented by the revolutions of the1960’s by self-interestedly assuaging calls for personal freedom and expressions of individuality by reducing security of employment and initiating the beginnings of the gig-economy. It was Luc Boltanski and Eva Chiapello, in The New Spirit of Capitalism, 1999, who painstakingly connected the dots. The increasing precarity this caused served the wealthy elites, while Bill Clinton’s vicious Violent Crime Control & Enforcement Act of 1994, enacted policies of mass incarceration, further intimidating neighborhoods already suffering from this financial destabilization.
It has only gotten worse. Wars waged against the poor, on drugs, on terror, on health, on welfare and on immigrants are all in service to protecting those elites, who, having abandoned all aspirations towards universally equitable social improvement, if indeed they ever harbored them, are now engineering the impoverishment of those eight billion ‘others’ with whom they nominally share the planet. As the global elites’ press their advantage in this war of the have-lots against the have-nots, some, in the most disaffected communities, retreat to the politics of extreme nationalism and race, manifested at the margins by apparently irrational mass violence. Perhaps white supremacists perceive their skin color as their only asset as they fight a rearguard action against diminished prospects of achieving self-respect and economic viability; extreme nationalists may perceive their birthplace as conferring special privileges within ancestral origin stories which are threatened by the arrival of the non-native born – their worth daily diluted. Whatever the motivations of the disaffected, they risk becoming grist to an over-arching war on the poor and middle-class – either coopted by governments as their shock-troops or used as a pretext for draconian social controls.
We live in a new era of exclusion and extirpation that is fundamental to the vision of America not-so-secretly harbored in the hearts and minds of the powerful and well-heeled. Spot fires of deadly violence inevitably flare up amongst the underclass, unknowingly aping the ideologies of the ruling caste who then lightly condemn them. As Todd Miller shows in Empire of Borders, 2019, U.S. border protection radiates beyond the homeland far across the planet – where its agencies attempt to hold the line against the infiltration of…’your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore’… and the non-white. Our southern border is the last in line of serried ranks of exclusionary practices made manifest and is the notorious site of graphic barbarity practiced for the edification of the world.
The United States displays exemplary leadership amongst those states in the Global North committed to harassing, impoverishing, quarantining, deporting, imprisoning and denying quality education and health care to most of its citizens (and almost a totality of its undocumented inhabitants). As Paul Street succinctly establishes here, this country no longer represents even a notional leadership in democracy; instead, for the last forty years we have led the world in income triage, abandoning fully ninety percent of the population in a relentless quest to achieve obscene levels of wealth disparity. This amassing of great wealth (which represents access to resources) is the ultimate hedge by global elites against a collapsing eco-system amidst catastrophic climate change. In this country it is practiced by the uber-wealthy with a sublime disregard for the immiseration caused by their wealth-hording.
Those who are politically & philosophically engaged in the travails of the Anthropocene understand that a revolution that attempts to install democracy in the United States is irrelevant unless it is framed within the larger struggle of the poor against the rich, which is a entwined with the war to preserve a viable planet for our shared future. Historically, it is has taken power and resources to destroy the environment – the traditional purview of the wealthy. The poor are but instruments of this depredation, as, for instance, miners, drillers, builders, fishers, farmers, soldiers, policemen and ultimately, as consumers.
If we continue to triage humanity along the wealth divide only the rich will live green, along with their select non-human companions, in their urban principalities, country estates, mountain aeries or idyllic islands. Others will endure in the brown fields of environmental devastation amidst the carnage of the sixth extinction, while the violence of the most disaffected bubbles up around them, disguised as nationalism, race-hate or religion. These ‘others’ may wait at the gates or loiter along the shores, and idly engage in discussions of freedom and democracy, but the vortices of effective power swirl ever further beyond their reach.
Two authoritative Australian experts, backed up by a retired admiral of the Royal Australian Navy, recently issued a dire report that warns of an impending collapse of civilization from human-caused climate change. The report, titled “Existential climate-related security risk:
A scenario approach,” is not the product of alarmists, but of two authors with expertise in their professional areas. Only one of the authors is an environmental expert. He is David Spratt, a Research Director at the Australian National Center for Climate Restoration in Melbourne. The other, Ian Dunlop. Is an unlikely harbinger of environmental doom. Dunlop comes out of the executive ranks of the coal, oil, and gas industries – the usual opponents of climate science. Dunlop is a member of the Club of Rome and the former chairman of the Australian Coal Association, not places where one would normally discover climate change proponents.
Backing up the authors is retired Admiral Chris Barrie, the Chief of the Australian Defense Force from 1998 to 2002. It is no longer unusual to find military services warning about the impending catastrophic effects of climate change. In January 2019, the US Department of Defense’s
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment issued a report to the US Congress, “Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense,” without the usual fanfare accompanying such an alarming finding. The Pentagon report, which forecasts US military bases susceptible to recurrent flooding, drought, desertification, wildfires, and thawing permafrost, was introduced in a low-key fashion due to the anti-science dogma of Donald Trump and key members of his administration. The Pentagon’s study sees 79 military bases to suffer from the effects of climate change. They include bases in Virginia, California, New Mexico, Utah, Florida, Colorado, Washington DC, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Hawaii, Guam, and even the National Security Agency (NSA) complex in Maryland and the Pentagon building, itself, in Virginia.
Although the Pentagon report avoided the global aspects of climate change, the Australian report was stark in its predictions for the immediate future. British author Nevil Shute’s 1957 novel about a post-nuclear war planet, titled “On the Beach,” which was followed by a 1959 film by the same title and produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, saw Australia as the last holdout on the planet from deadly radiation. Eventually, the radiation from the northern hemisphere crept southward, eventually eradicating the last human life in Australia. Many Australians prepare for the inevitable end by committing mass suicide in a national euthanasia program. The picture painted by the recent Australian climate impact report presents an opposite scenario from “On the Beach,” one that points to Australia being among the first regions to succumb to civilization collapse from climate change.
Admiral Barrie presents an “On the Beach” scenario in his foreword to the climate change report: “In Australia recently we have seen and heard signals about the growing realization of the seriousness of our plight. For example, young women speak of their decisions to not have children, and climate scientists admitting to depression as they consider the ‘inevitable’ nature of a doomsday future and turn towards thinking more about family and relocation to ‘safer’ places, rather than working on more research.”
The Australian report’s conclusions are sobering. It states: “Climate change now represents a near-to mid-term existential threat to human civilization.” Predicting the advent of a “hothouse Earth” by 2050, the report’s authors foresee devastating weather extremes, including wildfires, heatwaves, drought, and massive flooding. The loss of the Asian monsoons, glacial and polar ice, slowing of the Atlantic Gulf Stream, and collapse of the Amazon and other eco-systems will result in massive population shifts. The report states that such conditions will result in “outright chaos” and the “end of human civilization and modern society as we have known it.”
Although the report calls for a “Marshall Plan” on a national security level to immediately deal with the threat of civilization collapse, we have seen critically important nations elect political buffoons, all climate change deniers, to their leadership. These include Mr. Trump in Washington; Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who disregards climate science and plans to massively develop the Amazon Basin, known as the “lungs of the planet;” Argentine President Mauricio Macri; and Australia’s recently- reelected Prime Minister Scott Morrison; with the possibility that either “Mr. Brexit,” Nigel Farage, or climate change erratic skeptic Boris Johnson ending up as British prime minister.
It is the collapse of food production that spells the onset of civilization collapse, according to the Australian report. The disruption of the human food supply will be brought about by heat waves, floods, storms, and the decline in beneficial insect populations. Food and water shortages will lead to social upheaval on a scale virtually unknown in modern times. Oceanic flooding of some of the world’s agriculturally-important river deltas – including, the Mekong, Ganges and Nile – will result in massive population movement to areas where there is food and clean water. Seawater inundation will also make major cities uninhabitable and Chennai, Mumbai, Jakarta, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Lagos, Bangkok, and Manila will be abandoned. Even entire countries, like Bangladesh and small island-states, will lie empty.
The starkest prediction in the Australian report predicts that “even for 2°C of warming, more than a billion people may need to be relocated and In high-end scenarios, the scale of destruction is beyond our capacity to model, with a high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end.” The report points to the beginnings of climatic collapse with the current loss of Arctic sea-ice, the disintegration of the West Antarctica Ice Shelf and Greenland and Himalayan Ice Sheets, and global destruction of and coral reefs.
With limited human life-sustainable resources available, the Australian report foresees wars on an unimaginable scale and the breakdown of political and social order the lead-in to civilization collapse. The report states: “The flooding of coastal communities around the world, especially in the Netherlands, the United States, South Asia, and China, has the potential to challenge regional and even national identities. Armed conflict between nations over resources, such as the Nile and its tributaries, is likely and nuclear war is possible.” These scenarios are already beginning to play out, as Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia are already bickering over Ethiopia’s dam on the Blue Nile. The Nile is the lifeblood of Sudan and Egypt. For example, staking a newly-emergent claim for regional identity are the people of the Volta region of Ghana, who see the central government draining their water resources with the Akosombo Dam on the Volta river. Restive inhabitants of Argentina’s Patagonia region complain about foreign billionaires buying up property in their pristine homeland for the purpose of re-locating Jewish climate refugees from Israel, the United States, and Europe. Other emerging eco-separatist “go-it-alone” movements are springing up in Australia’s island state of Tasmania, the US state of Vermont, the Canadian region of Labrador, and the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda.
The breakdown of social order will see an increase in the kidnapping of foreign tourists in countries for the payment of ransom, piracy on the high seas, looting of stores and warehouses, bank robberies, and other law-breaking activities by people desperate to provide food and clean water for their families.
The authors of the Australian report believe that mid-21stcentury is the “point of no return” for Earth’s climate. However, other scientists believe that we have already reached that point with extreme weather already resulting in massive crop losses and flooding now routine in Miami, Houston, Venice, Dhaka, and other major cities.
Report after report warning of the disastrous consequences of climate change are not coming from environmental activist groups, but from the intelligence, national security, and defense sectors. In November 2018, the Trump White House issued the Fourth National Climate Assessment, based on the research of 300 scientists and 13 federal agencies, including the Defense Department. The report concluded that climate change now poses a direct threat to human life, ecosystems and the US economy. Trump dismissed his administration’s own report. In January of this year, the US Intelligence Community’s annual Worldwide Threat Assessment concluded that environmental degradation will “fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent through 2019 and beyond.” And recently, the White House blocked the testimony before Congress of a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research expert who planned to warn of the immediate effects of rising sea levels and ocean acidification. The blocking came as Trump dismissed the climate change warnings of Britain’s Prince Charles after their meeting in London.
The only humor that can be found amid all the dire and depressing warnings about impending societal collapse is the fact that among the first victims of rising sea levels will be Trump’s billionaires’ club estate at Mar-a-Lago, located on the barrier island of Palm Beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast. Currently, king tide effects are causing some sewage and septic tank systems on the island to fail. The steady rise in sea levels means that within the next ten to fifteen years, Mr. Trump’s vacation Shangri-La will be inundated with sea water and raw sewage. For Trump, who withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, it will be a fitting end for his seaside playground.
All the old ideas for uprooting the status quo have failed.
With permission from
All the old ideas for uprooting the status quo have failed. I point this out not to depress people, but to persuade them to stop twisting on locked doorknobs. The old ideas don’t work, so we need new ones.
The political process has failed. Capitalism has failed. Socialism has failed. Libertarianism has failed. Marx has failed. Populism has failed. Anarchism has failed. I say this not because of any glaring flaws in any of those ideas (in theory any of them could potentially work in an alternate universe), but because we are hurtling towards extinction in the fairly near future, and none of them have saved us.
“But Caitlin!” you may object. “My particular favorite ideology would have saved us long ago if only everyone had gotten on board with it!”
Okay. But they didn’t. And now we’re on the brink of armageddon. That means it has failed. It doesn’t work.
We are well on our way to extinction via climate collapse or nuclear holocaust, and even if we miss those by some miracle we are headed toward an artificial intelligence-led tech dystopia in which our consciousness is permanently enslaved by a propaganda network that is far too advanced for there to be any hope of escaping into truth.
We are witnessing a mass extinction the likes of which we haven’t seen since the end of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, with some 200 species going extinct forever every single day. The very ecosystemic context in which we evolved is vanishing underneath us. More than half the world’s wildlife has vanished in forty years, and the worldwide insect population has plummeted by as much as 90 percent. Fertile soil is vanishing, and so are forests. The oceans are choking to death, 90 percent of global fish stocks are either fully fished or overfished, the seas are full of microplastics, and phytoplankton, an indispensable foundation of earth’s food chain, have been killed off by 40 percent since 1950. Science keeps pouring in showing that global warming is occurring faster than previously predicted, and there are self-reinforcing warming effects called “feedback loops” which, once set off, can continue warming the atmosphere further and further regardless of human behavior, causing more feedback loops.
Our ecosystem is very fragile and rapidly fading, and the difference between the ability to survive without it and our current scientific capability is the difference between flying and jumping. Which won’t matter if one of the many small, unpredictable moving parts in the steadily escalating new cold war with Russia results in a nuclear weapon being deployed as a result of misunderstanding or miscommunication and sparking off the annihilation of every organism on earth, as nearly happened during the last cold war on more than one occasion.
This is where the status quo has gotten us. All attempts to overthrow it have failed. The time is up, and the results are in.
The political process doesn’t work.
I say this not because the political process can’t work, due to some technical failure in the way it has been applied. I say this because it doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that we’re on the cusp of the apocalypse with no signs of steering clear of it. Attempts to uproot the status quo via political engagement and voting does not work.
“But Caitlin!” you may object. “The only reason the political process doesn’t work is because it has been hijacked by corrupt powers with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo! If we can extract those corrupt powers, we can make the political process work!”
Okay. But you didn’t. You were unable to extract the corrupt powers, and now we’re on the brink of extinction. Your strategy has failed.
Capitalism doesn’t work.
I say this not because capitalism can’t work in theory, I say this because it doesn’t work in practice. How do I know it doesn’t work in practice? Because the planet is dying and we’ve all got doomsday weapons pointing at our heads that may go off at any moment. The results are in. Capitalism doesn’t work.
“But Caitlin!” you may object. “What we’ve tried hasn’t been real capitalism! The free market hasn’t been given a chance to solve all our problems, because of the artificial interference and regulations of Big Government. If we can get rid of Big Government, we can solve all our problems!”
Okay. But that never happened. And now here we are at the end of the world, watching our planet ripped to shreds by status quo power structures. Capitalism failed. It doesn’t work.
Socialism doesn’t work.
I say this not because socialism can’t work in theory, I say it because it doesn’t work in real life, as evidenced by the fact that our world is on fire, our time is up, and we are all about to die. Socialism failed to save us. It doesn’t work.
“But Caitlin!” you may object. “Socialism hasn’t worked because it’s never had a chance to work! If the capitalist imperialists would just stop sabotaging socialist experiments, it would thrive and replace the status quo! We’d all be saved!”
Okay. But we’re not. The worldwide populace has not answered the call of socialism in sufficient numbers to overthrow the interests which oppose it, and now we’re at the end of days. The plan was to unite the working class against the elite oppressors around the world and implement socialism, and it failed. It is a strategy which does not work.
Libertarianism doesn’t work.
We could do this all day, with any number of ideologies. Perhaps libertarianism could work under the right circumstances, but attempts to rally the public around it have utterly failed, and now we’re staring down the barrel of extinction. You can object and make excuses, or you can acknowledge that the strategies for implementing your preferred status quo-challenging ideology don’t work, and find new ones.
It’s easy to isolate yourself within a particular ideological echo chamber and create the illusion for yourself that your pet ideology is making progress. Oh look, Russiagate was disproven. Oh look, Jeremy Corbyn did well in those last elections. Oh look, the Democratic Socialists of America gained a few thousand members. But if you step out of that echo chamber and look at the big picture, you see a futile tug-of-war between feuding ideologies with no gains made anywhere near the scale that would be necessary to avert the massive threats on our horizon.
My point here is that we may have found an ideological standpoint that really resonates with us, and that ideology itself may be intrinsically worthy and vastly superior to the status quo. But the strategies for implementing that strategy have failed spectacularly. If you can’t implement your strategy, you’re just diddling cutesy ideas while the world burns. It’s just a nice identity for you to hold onto and make your feely bits feel nice.
“I’m a Marxist!”
“I’m an anarchist!”
No you’re not. You’re an ideological LARPer dressing up in an identity and pretending to change the world, while the world itself tumbles into the abyss.
Again, I say this not to create a sense of hopelessness, but to get people to stop wasting time and energy pushing on locked doors. Stop trying strategies that people have been trying for decades with essentially zero ground gained, and try something else instead. Stop hanging out in your little echo chambers and thinking that anything’s changing just because you are surrounded by people who agree with you. Sure, hold onto your beliefs about what kind of system would most benefit the world if you like, but be acutely aware that those beliefs in our current situation are completely meaningless.
The reality is that as long as powerful people control the dominant public narratives, no ground will be gained in steering our species away from the status quo trajectory that’s killing us, because you won’t be able to awaken mainstream consciousness to what’s going on. The only thing that has any hope of prying the oligarchic hands off the steering wheel is the mainstream public seeing what they’re doing and using the power of their numbers to force drastic change in a wildly different direction. If we can’t make that happen, we’re all just banging on locked doors while the curtain closes on humanity.
We all need to do better. I include myself in this. We need to try new things. Many, many new things. We need new ideas. What kind of new ideas? I don’t know, that’s why I’m telling you. I’m just one woman, and I put as many ideas out there as I can, but it’s not enough. Clearly it’s not enough, because here we are.
In my opinion the obvious way to open up a path for dissident ideas to replace the status quo is to kill the public trust in the stories they were told in school and continue to be told by the mass media about the kind of world and country they live in, but so far that hasn’t happened. My own ideas for advancing that agenda which I’ve been seeding into the world have been inadequate, and so have everyone else’s. So we need more new ideas. Lots and lots of new ideas.
What we’ve tried up until now hasn’t worked, so if there’s anything that might work it’s going to come from a wildly unanticipated direction, from way outside the failed mental processes which have accompanied us to this point. We need to open ourselves to that kind of idea.
That’s basically all I’ve got to offer today. A helpless but sincere plea for humanity to try something new, spat out onto the internet in the Hail Mary hope that it might plant some seeds and loosen the soil for something unprecedented to open up in human consciousness. Sometimes that’s all that we can do.
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With permission from
November 30, 2018
Cocked the gat to her head, and pulled back the shirt cover
But what he saw made him start to cringe and stutter
Cause he was starring into the eyes of his own mother
— Immortal Technique, Dance With The Devil
“Man is a species-being, not only because he practically and theoretically makes the species – both his own and those of other things – his object, but also – and this is simply another way of saying the same thing – because he looks upon himself as the present, living species, because he looks upon himself as a universal and therefore free being.”
— Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto
“To all those who still wish to talk about man, about his reign or his liberation, to all those who still ask themselves questions about what man is in his essence, to all those who wish to take him as their starting-point in their attempts to reach the truth, to all those who, on the other hand, refer all knowledge back to the truths of man himself, to all those who refuse to formalize without anthropologizing, who refuse to mythologize without demystifying, who refuse to think without immediately thinking that it is man who is thinking, to all these warped and twisted forms of reflection we can answer only with a philosophical laugh – which means, to a certain extent, a silent one.”
— Michel Foucalt, The Order Of Things
This article is a response to an piece by the name same (get it?): Capitalism is killing the world’s wildlife populations, not ‘humanity’.
Everybody with a vape to stomp on these days has a critique of capitalism. It’s about as predictable as a hipster’s gripes about gentrification in their favorite hangout spots. How did so many hipsters get here? (I thought I snuck in). Gulp. Yet it’s worse than hipsters now, far worse.
The hipster (who was at least nice) has now been replaced by the socialist anti-hipster hipster, who is grumpy, resentful, and (to no fault of his own doing) even poorer and more pretentious than his hipster alter ego. I’m afraid that this generation’s Punk is Marx. Now, I love Marx. He’s as much a God as Ramones in my opinion. But he’s the sort of God that develops from a generation that is venereally repressed, or at least venereally stunted, and needs a release from an existence that is basically based entirely in status, appearance, city life, posturing, identity, stress, work, isolation and economic insecurity.
Most of the anti-capitalist talk of today works just as capitalism originally did: as a justification for humans to claim superiority over the earth and not hold ourselves accountable for the horrifying things we do to her. Humanity is capitalism, and capitalism is humanity. To save our planet we must do a whole lot more than find our own subject relation in the world. We must assert radically, as Karl Marx once did, that capitalism is a natural progression of humanity. And as Marx said, we must not only seek to understand this world, but to change it.
As long as capitalism remains a primarily exterior force, we will remain rooted in the passivity that our screen age lays out for us. Where we can consume everything, hate everything, blame everything, but never become something greater, precisely because we don’t believe in anything, except maybe ourselves and avocado toast. Coming to age now is a generation that snottily dismisses God (and all those who believe in him) as a construct. A generation that believes in nothing besides the nihilism of the world as embodied by late-stage capitalism. The truth is that throughout human history, life has been challenging, miserable, unjust, and primarily hopeless.
The inequality in this day and age may indeed be unique, but the suffering is not. Suffering and struggle has been the way of humans and other species during most days, for most times. The only striking thing about this day and age is two factors: 1. the development of the modern subject, who has not only an ego, but an entitlement to ownership of the world around him. 2. the fall of this subject into a place of powerless within the context of mass inequality during the stage of neoliberal late capital. These two factors do create an inconsistency, a heartbroken and demented subject, as best embodied by Donald Trump.
While many may have a critique of capitalism, most critics remain first and foremost as ‘exterior’ critics, unwilling to confront humanity’s central role in the destruction of the ecosystem. Ironically, and in this case, tragically, we fail to see that the shift in the subject from one with the earth to owner of the earth was in fact formed through capitalism, and has only got more out of proportion as capitalism has grown.
Therefore, any critique of capitalism that does not take into account humanity’s relationship with the earth not only fails to consider the earth, it fails to consider capitalism in an honest way. Separating capitalism from humanity is ludicrous. Supposing that some sort of alternative reality will come as prophecy as soon as the means of production are seized forgets one crucial component: what is modern production doing to the planet? The mentality of “it will all be better once we are in charge” is the exact same philosophy that the most cold-hearted capitalists have and it is the exact mentality they all want us to have. It is exactly this competition for the most worthy rulers of society that takes away all those without voices: especially nature, but also other marginalized groups.
As communist superstar Son D. Pham said: saying it’s capitalism’s fault and not humanity’s is like saying I eat burgers, not food. There is a reality we are living in and it is ecological collapse fueled by human activity. As humans, we have systematically ignored and pillaged our earth for our own gain. The vast majority of humanity does not consider earth as its equal, let alone the source of our own life. Ancient societies often would worship the earth, as a God or a parent, or a smartphone (to relate to people today).
Today all religion is being increasingly seen as a joke as we become a society that believes it knows everything. We believe that we are superior to those falling for fake news. We believe we are superior to those who believe in a “simpler life” of providing for their family under the means of capitalism. We believe we are superior to all people who believe in anything other than base cynicism. And, above all, we believe we are superior to nature as we boldly assert that we would have saved the world, if only we had control.
Nature is passing us by, appearing only as an occasional horror story—another weapon for the apocalypse destiny promoted by the dystopian novel, the superhero movie, and every art project today. The sense that nature is God, is our literal mother, is losing its way. Gone now from her breast, we forget it is our mother who feeds, houses and clothes us. We forget that we are merely a construct of her own creation, a blip on her radar, our consciousness only developed through the sounds she gave us, our superiority only fabricated through the apparent faculty she has given us.
I use the “mother earth” phrase, and I hope to clarify why. In our language earth has been classified as female precisely because the male language sees her as secondary and subordinate. Humans see earth as passive and as incapable of being the subject in and of herself. With that in mind, as we reclaim earth as the origin, or even the God, we would do well to keep the female pronoun, for precisely the opposite reasons that this pronoun first came about.
We forget that as many meanings for life we may develop, as many theories of justice, economically or otherwise, we may imagine to be true, none are possible without her. And that our own existence is extremely unlikely, and perhaps even false. And that in fact, given the many universes out there, we may not even be much at all. And actually, if one were to measure intelligence based on other criteria, we would be nothing.
It is only through consciousness, itself an unlikely, and likely highly misleading reality, that masquerades as meaningful, potentially just, and omnipotent only because we know nothing else. It is precisely because of our lack of knowledge that humanity can see itself as all-powerful. It is precisely because we have forgotten the earth that we may now claim a reality outside of her. If we could see right in front of us, we could see where we are going. Now there are a million things to say, and a million different ways to say them, but each branch out further from the truth.
What makes us so certain that we dare to be atheist? And I’m not talking strictly religiously, either. I am talking about that position of believing that humans, especially rich humans, control everything, from destiny to purpose to the future (for mother earth will get the last laugh, don’t forget that). Was it the airplane that created these capital worshipping socialists? Or maybe, just Uber Eats?
What made us so certain that the world was just a resource to be exploited or taken care of? What made us so sure she is something to be managed, solved and explained through the language we speak but she does not hear? That old riddle of a tree falling in the empty woods not making a sound could be revised to say that a human being bleating about capitalism is just not heard by hers truly?
Look at yourself a moment. Those pathetic hands and feet. Your nose, which maybe social media has inspired to be a different shape in your dreams. What made one so sure that the meaning of this life, after all, was a justice by humanity and for humanity? Whether you are a socialist (Marx is seriously worth a read!), or not.
The question, and I think we must cut deeper than the words neoliberal or late-stage capital here. The question must be: how do we remember earth again? Run scared from consumerism or technology or any of the other trendy problems all we want, but are we remembering? Memory is formed not through consciousness, I mean not really. It’s a feeling. You remember people who you don’t have a single memory with, simply because you have been there before. Just as a plant or an animal has been there before. And the earth, we must remember her like this. We must remember the soil between our toes.
Saving the earth will mean dumping everything in our society now. We must again live in a sustainable way, a way unrecognizable to most of us. But again I wonder about the economic solutions being purposed. I draw hope from talks of a Green New Deal. And I like the idea that so many young people are socialists, at least by name. But I wonder too, is any of that enough? Or is any of that really very convincing? Because aren’t we all gone now, anyways? Aren’t we all swept up in the mentality of capitalism? The consciousness of capitalism? We are there. Often critically, often screaming to reshape our lives in radical ways, but, we remain, most of us at least, in capitalism. Trapped in capitalism.
Donald Trump, his ways, his ways of hating everything and becoming distant and self-obsessed and finding a way of seeing the world that deals with his own despair, that is what is going on. There has to be a way to deal with the despair, the hopelessness. Some way to again claim agency.
But is that anyway out? Is controlling this ecosystem destroying society—whether it is equal among us conscious beings or not—is that really the way to go? Should we really be looking for ways to expand our own indulgences in the time when we are draining the earth of all she can give us? The skeptic inside of me says humans are merely turning to socialism now because capitalism has failed each of us individually. This new rise of socialism may not be a communal uprising, but groups of frustrated individuals looking for a capitalist way to rise up and become successful in a capitalist way through socialist means.
The solutions purposed to the present ecological crisis are post-capitalism solutions. They involve the market—they just involve control of it. It was the development of the market (not necessarily the inequalities within the profits) that killed life on earth. It was the ever-growing production itself, not just the distribution of it, that resulted in the ecological crisis we face today. It is precisely that the progression of humanity that has rendered the earth as merely a product for consumption and ownership. The argument we have these days is whether or not the ownership should be for the few or the many. Forget owning the means of production, how about getting rid of production all together?
Forget it all I say. Forget everything humanity has taught us so far, for all we know, however much we may like it or hate it now, is a death wish for these species and all others. Become exactly who we were made to be, biologically that is, not metaphysically. There are specific ways for this species to survive, and specific ways for this species to die. The basic story of our species is this: we have chosen individual pleasure in the short term, and it will eventually doom us in the long term. The bigger takers (far bigger takers) are the rich, and they deserve the bulk of the blame. But overthrowing the rich will only get us so far. It’s a narrow viewpoint that forgets who we are and where we came from.
And despite us becoming so entranced by our own little theories, whether they be capitalism, Marxism or something different all together, we remain worthless in any real sense of the term. All of us, especially the rich ones, are but humble servants of mother earth, and if she wishes to end us tomorrow, she certainly could. For one reason or another, we are still here. I don’t like being thankful for anything near the time of Native American Genocide Celebration season, held on the fourth Thursday of November. But, if I were to claim thankfulness for anything, it would be that mother earth gave me an existence, and made me aware of this existence, even if I am not aware of much else. One can say that is capitalism, not humanity, that promotes self-interest, but that would be selfishly running from the problem. Then again, what else are humans good for?
The article I am responding to at first glance seemed quite radical to me. It contained refreshing class analysis, pointing to the richest people doing the bulk of the consuming with the poorest people feeling the blunt of its effects. I agree that the “blame” assigned should be just as, if not more unequal than our current wealth inequality. An inequality that is as disgraceful as it is heartbreaking. But all that’s pretty boring, isn’t it? And not very helpful. The rich stink. More or less every voice left of center says that these days. And many, many even claim the coveted socialist title.
I don’t have much interest in that socialist title, and that’s probably because every relationship I’ve had with a self-identifying socialist has been quite unpleasant. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but very likely, it is my fault. And even the socialists I don’t know, well, very unpleasant. They leave something sour in your mouth. I hear this wasn’t always the case.
I think mostly it’s just a feeling of being lost in this day and age. God knows the rest of the political spectrum is giving us no favors.
I only include that anecdote because I am finding that anti-capitalism, as an ideology at least, is failing to explain our present state. Keep in mind that Barack Obama is basically called a socialist by the right and that most people believe that. And then Bernie Sanders is called a socialist by the left and most people believe that too.
So I don’t know what to do with this rising hatred of the rich. It’s welcome, for obvious reasons. But it’s a hatred that can be turned on itself, on the working class, and on the earth. And Donald Trump, we see his rise. Basically anti-corruption in rhetoric. Called a populist, and that may not be entirely accurate (simply based on polling numbers by class). Still, he taps into something here. It’s a hatred of neoliberalism, for good reason. Neoliberalism has effectively left all working people in a state of precariousness, nearing collapse both economically and emotionally.
The author who blames capitalism not humanity (Anna Pigott), let’s give her credit. She takes what is a mainstream media thesis and subverts it. The mainstream media blames humanity (speaking generally) and Pigott blames capitalism specifically for the ecological state we are in. Broadly speaking, of course, Pigott is right. The current system is capitalism and the current system is death. But couldn’t we all agree that basically the whole world is capitalism at this point and it would be more accurate to call this a stage in history where capitalism is present, as Marx tried to do.
So I’m not sure where one can really untangle the web of humanity’s trajectory and capitalism’s trajectory. Capitalism is our economic system, just as opposable thumbs distinguish our hands. Now, socialists may counter: other systems are possible! Yes, of course! And like Marx, I see socialism as the next step for humanity. And I dare say it would be welcome, hopefully curbing hunger and homelessness and education and everything else. Celebrating the goods of socialism should be done early, and it should be done often, but in this particular column, I’ll just say achieving socialism would be the peak of human civilization, far beyond what capitalism has ever given us.
But here in lies the problem with the Anthropocentrism approach. The precise problem with seeing socialism as the end-all solution is that it basically is a further progression of capitalism. While in present day we live in a world economy owned by the few, and benefit the few, the goal of socialism is basically a democratic capitalism. Ownership and agriculture still exist, but they are by the many for the many, rather than by the many, for the few. Naturally, such an approach would help the environment, as we would become stewards of the entire environment. Presently we more or less operate as stewards of the environment the rich want to protect, which naturally has limits.
In this sense, socialism is the furthest progression of humanity. It makes capitalism, a truly brutal system, democratic and fair. It says that basically, using the wonderful gifts of humans, we can now provide for all humans, not just the few. Today any of the major inventions by private companies use public funding, with private profits. It’s unfair and wrong and largely hidden. And it causes the majority of the world to suffer needlessly. All that is true. But, what really changes when we change that? A lot changes for humans, certainly But does it stop environmentally destructive inventions that benefit the human race? No, of course it doesn’t.
The theory of capitalism is this: if it makes money, it shall succeed. This helps nobody but those making the profit, so it basically has very few winners. Socialism has much loftier goals: social programs to benefit the masses. But let’s keep in mind that more or less all major developments associated with capitalism are in fact done through socialism. It’s all really a mixed economy, with lots of variances. It is through the labor of the public that we get greatness. The myth of the great individual leading societies forward should be debunked. By arguing for socialism above all else we more or less will keep the earth wrecking environmental practices of capitalism simply because capitalism’s exploits have always aimed to reach the masses one way or the other (cheap labor the most common way). There is really very little evidence that a post-capitalism solution would alter our expectations within a capitalist society.
These are expectations that place the earth last. The earth becomes the means to take care of the working class, or a means to take care of the rich. Take your side in the class war.
The only way to make it in this world would be to basically consume as much as a gorilla does now. I mean, really, we should all become gorillas or else the whole planet is doomed.
However, we aren’t doing that. We may do that someday, even if it seems unlikely now. But at this point in time humanity has fallen so far it is difficult to see how the human race ever becomes self-sustainable again.
The human race is reminiscent of wolves bred into lap dogs. While we can rationally trace upgrades in our species, however, these upgrades rely on a specific set of circumstances, and are therefore, unsustainable. Our current needs to survive are highly specific to our time. Soon the resources we reply upon will no longer be here for us to use. Soon things will start to break down. If one puts a lap dog in the forest, they stand no chance, as they have forgotten their instincts—replacing them with now useless information about how to survive in the civilized world. Likewise, us humans have no idea how to survive any longer. We have developed too far, and gone too fast. We have devolved away from both our means and our capacity to survive in a sustainable manner. If we are having any argument at all on these dying days, it is limited to Anthropocentrism. The class struggle. Who will win. Rich humans or poor humans? At this point, it will be neither.
I do want to clarify my disdain for the rich, and I don’t think it is so much for the reason of absolving the poor. The question of guilt and punishment is, after all, a pretty conceptual one, seeing that it always has been, with a few exceptions, the rich who determine the sanctioned narrative of blame, even if they cannot ultimately decide history or truth completely.
Under capitalism, the vast majority of humanity, with a very few rich exceptions, lives more or less in the moment, not as a strategy, but as a necessity to survive, and even if that hurdle is conquered, as a conditioned habit. It can be said, and I believe I am in no position to judge people otherwise, that most of us really cannot afford to have considerations for the coming mass extinction or our role in it. We, of course, cannot afford not to consider it, but here we get into the question of how much agency the average human, most of whom are pretty poor, really has over the future of the world.
This is what I think was Ms. Pigott’s point, a valid and admirable one. And I think if we were to think about our fate in terms of who can afford to change (and therefore who should be most ashamed that they are not), we would point all ten of our fingers at the rich. But that directly supports my point. Humanity really cannot afford to even consider changing at this point. We are so occupied with survival, with getting through the day, paying the bills, etc., We simply have more pressing concerns than the extinction of our planet.
And this could be qualified as a systematic issue. Surely if we all lived comfortably enough to make the proper adjustments, we would indeed be more likely to make them, even if human history has not necessarily proven this point yet. However, this presents a more perplexing paradox, which is that this sort of change is exactly the opposite of what is being purposed. Capitalists most certainly have an interest in expanding materialism, but Marxism itself is an analysis based in materialism, even if Marx himself could make the necessary statements about the false, and even fatal relationship that materialism creates with the earth.
I think the blindness of the modern Marxist subject to itself was seen pretty clearly with the mounting skepticism of Black Friday’s materialism. Now it’s indisputable. Black Friday is a display of materialism in its ugliness form. Denounce materialism all you want but the only thing unique about Black Friday is that everything is on sale. In other words, things are less money. A rich person would have no need for Black Friday, which again brings us to the hilt of materialist criticism in general. It is a criticism only possible if materials are a choice. And for most people going shopping on Black Friday, they shop then because they need the deal, and those of us rich enough to criticize capitalism mostly forget that in the absence of socialism, capitalism acts as the only bread maker—making capitalism even more urgent to abandon.
That criticism aside, there is another one. And this goes beyond need and goes into the way desire has been shaped under capital. We are in the constant state of need for more, and this often works because there is more to offer, and seemingly, more to gain. And Marxism actually fits in with the needs presented here, it just offers a more just way of distributing it.
The concept of basing all happiness on material gains is an irony lost on many Marxists. I’m not sure if they’re wrong, either. But just as capitalism has contradictions, so does Marxism. And while we obviously can achieve these gains for the masses, we should be appalled by the rich stopping this from happening. We absolutely should be appalled. And yet, the goals, the terms of success, are much the same under both contradicting ideologies of Marxism and capitalism. Material gains as justice (either for the ‘fittest’ or for the masses).
Too harsh? Maybe so. And we should not forget that socialism is among the most “green” of theories out there, both in theory and in practice. And yet green acts as a modifier. The subject of the earth is still negated. The earth still acts as a material to provide for humans. There is still no realistic plan to stop the over-consumption of the earth’s resources. And this sadly may especially be true if Marxism actually succeeds in its goals of bettering the masses.
There is no need to choose though. Being environmentally friendly and socialist are very consistent. The point I am making is not so much to change someone’s socialist politics here. I would say I am an aspiring Marxist first, before anything else. The point is rather to change the subject relationship that we have with the mass extinction that is upon us.
As agriculture ballooned, there simply hasn’t been a sustainable, let alone a just, policy towards the earth. And I think if we truly wanted to save the earth, well we would either live like animals again (hardly a socialist thing to do). Or we would figure out a way to all die at once (which is the crude philosophy behind our pick and choose immigration policy). Other options can help, and are welcome and feasible. They won’t save us, and they won’t save most species of the planet. All the same, they may be the best we can do at this time.
Capitalism then is the problem, but only part of it. When Marx writes that man sees himself as “universal and therefore free” it amounts to a species that can reason out capitalism, precisely because we tend to think of ourselves as the subject. A subject destined to control the object, an object who is earth.
What capitalism does is compound the problem. Capitalism justifies this mentality by making all things (including other humans) into objects. There is always a degree of separation within capitalism. A peach is never a peach. A dollar can buy a peach, so therefore a dollar is earned to get the peach, often at the expense of every peach outside the one you are getting.
And capitalism limits the way we think about freedom. Freedom becomes being able to buy things, because this is the way to survive, and after that, the way to achieve an identity. Capitalism never keeps track of what it means for us all to survive, or even for us all to get along.
However, even a more responsible system, well, it’s unclear what exactly it would do to change Marx’s criticism that “man makes other species the object.” That separation is there, with or without, the degree of separation known as money. It arose before money, this separation arose when agriculture did, and money became the way to mediate it.
Capitalism is an expression of humanity’s development of itself as subject. And Marx saw that this was largely hierarchal within the species, as well as outside of it. No other species sees itself as the subject of justice or meaning. Humanity’s treatment of other species is primarily colonial.
As soon as this separation occurs, the child is no longer responsive to the mother. She becomes his to master, to name, and to exploit. As soon as this relationship is formed, money merely acts as a way to manage what the subject acquires. Money, for humans, is meta. Without money, how do we value what we claim is valuable?
What Michel Foucalt recognized was that if a structure of thought cannot be critical of itself, it really is useless outside its own context. I see modern rational human thought to be quite useless in this way. We have now made curbing climate change our new goal, and the reason we have failed is more or less an extension of the climate denialism in the Republican Party. There is a plain refusal to claim responsibility and there is a lack of self-examination.
In The Order of Things Foucault traces the way we began to order things. Foucault writes brilliantly—exposing, questioning and ultimately dethroning the entire premise in which we arrive at all our conclusions. That premise, if I am reading closely enough, largely has to do with this supremacy of humanity—which itself is based on the supremacy of thought, a force that has no ways to exist outside of itself.
It’s a concept highly influenced by Jacques Derrida’s reading of Plato. Essentially, humanity operates on a tautology. Becoming the master of the earth is preposterous precisely because we are of the earth and we rely upon it for our existence. The key to dethroning the master is understanding change, and that based on new circumstances outside of the master’s control, he will fall.
Like all figures who try to become more than what they are, humans will end their tragedy as something far less. We had a chance to exist in this world but we got greedy. We needed more. This is the story of capitalism. However, it’s also the story of humanity. It’s a classic chicken and egg scenario.
When it comes to chicken and egg, the question in the riddle is always which came first. The same may be true for capitalism and humanity. Although no one ever points to the manifest. When the chicken dies, there will be no more eggs. With the mass extinction upon us, this seems like an apt analogy. So, fear not anti-capitalists, this evil system will be dying soon. The autopsy though will read something different than you expected, if it is to be read at all.
It is best to end these sorts of things on a cheery note, so one more time from Michel Foucault: “It is comforting, however, and a source of profound relief to think that man is only a recent invention, a figure not yet two centuries old, a new wrinkle in our knowledge, and that he will disappear again as soon as that knowledge has discovered a new form.”
With permission from
by: Mike Adams
October 19, 2017
For years, I’ve warned that humanity is a suicide cult which has engineered its own destruction by relentlessly poisoning the natural world with chemical pesticides, heavy metals and GMOs. Now, the collapse of living systems across the planet is accelerating like never before, with ocean fisheries collapsing by the day, topsoil vanishing by the inch, and wildlife populations being decimated by the accelerating destruction of habitat.
Humanity, it seems, has broken the planet, and the mass die-offs are now impossible to ignore. Adding even more weight to the horrifying realization that humanity is committing mass ecological suicide, a new study published in the science journal PLoS One has documented a 75 percent decline in insect biomass over rural Germany in just the last 27 years.
The study, authored by Caspar A. Hallmann and others, is entitled, “More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas.”
The abstract of the study, which should be screaming alarm bells over the devastating collapse of the food chain in Europe, reports rather mildly:
Our analysis estimates a seasonal decline of 76%, and mid-summer decline of 82% in flying insect biomass over the 27 years of study. We show that this decline is apparent regardless of habitat type, while changes in weather, land use, and habitat characteristics cannot explain this overall decline. This yet unrecognized loss of insect biomass must be taken into account in evaluating declines in abundance of species depending on insects as a food source, and ecosystem functioning in the European landscape.
Even more concerning is the fact that this insect decline was observed in “protected areas” that are supposed to preserve and protect wildlife. As the study authors explain in their conclusion:
The widespread insect biomass decline is alarming, ever more so as all traps were placed in protected areas that are meant to preserve ecosystem functions and biodiversity… our results illustrate an ongoing and rapid decline in total amount of airborne insects active in space and time.
The food web is now collapsing… insects are just the beginning
The stunning news of this insect biomass collapse is, of course, just the beginning of a series of events that will ultimately spell doom for humanity unless causative factors are quickly reversed. Insects are the pillars of the food web, providing protein and nutrients to bats, birds and reptiles, among other animals. When the insect population collapses, nutrient depletion cascades up the food chain, causing devastating declines in populations of larger animals upon which ecological diversity depends.
As the study authors explain:
[The insect biomass collapse] must have cascading effects across trophic levels and numerous other ecosystem effects. There is an urgent need to uncover the causes of this decline, its geographical extent, and to understand the ramifications of the decline for ecosystems and ecosystem services.
Even more worrisome, insects are the pollinators that keep 80% of wild plants alive by facilitating pollination. When insect populations collapse, pollination of wild food sources — as well as many domesticated food sources such as almonds — also face imminent collapse. Without insects, in other words, human populations will also collapse within just a few years as the ripple effect of insect die-offs works its way up the food chain.
The rapid timetable of this collapse is nothing short of alarming, if not catastrophic. As the chart shows, below — sourced from the PLoS One journal article — the biomass decline from 1989 to 2016 is catastrophic. The second chart, below, shows how insect biomass loss is even more pronounced during summer months:
Warming temperatures actually increased insect biomass, so this isn’t a “climate change” problem
The study carefully documented variations in temperature, wind speed, humidity and other environmental factors in an effort to determine root causes of biomass variance. Interestingly, the study was able to determine that warming temperatures did not reduce insect biomass. In fact, the warmer the temperature, the more insect biomass was measured.
In other words, “global warming” actually increases insect biomass, so this is one phenomenon that can’t be blamed on the climate change hoax. From the study results:
Over the course of the study period, some temporal changes occurred in the means of the weather variables (S2 Fig), most notably an increase by 0.5°C in mean temperature and a decline 0.2 m/sec in mean wind speed. Yet, these changes either do not have an effect on insect biomass (e.g. wind speed) either are expected to positively affected insect biomass (e.g. increased temperature).
The conclusion of the paper specifically rules out “climate change” as an explanatory factor, saying, “…[O]ur analysis renders two of the prime suspects, i.e. landscape and climate change as unlikely explanatory factors for this major decline in aerial insect biomass in the investigated protected areas.”
In fact, the paper points out that warming temperatures are actually saving the insects to some degree by compensating for some other factor that’s killing them off:
Our final model, based on including all significant variables from previous models, revealed a higher trend coefficient as compared to our basic model (log(λ) = −0.081, sd = 0.006, Table 4), suggesting that temporal developments in the considered explanatory variables counteracted biomass decline to some degree, leading to an even more negative coefficient for the annual trend.
Insect biomass “decimated” in mere decades… this won’t end well
The study authors were unable to pinpoint a specific cause for the collapse of insect biomass, but that’s likely because they did not measure pesticide exposure, GMO pollution or other chemical contaminants that severely impact insect populations.
Even without that knowledge, the study authors concluded the rapid decline in insect biomass was catastrophic:
Our results demonstrate that recently reported declines in several taxa such as butterflies [7, 25–27, 58], wild bees [8–14] and moths [15–18], are in parallel with a severe loss of total aerial insect biomass, suggesting that it is not only the vulnerable species, but the flying insect community as a whole, that has been decimated over the last few decades…
The authors also affirm they are aware that pesticide exposure could be one of the plausible explanations for the collapse, stating:
Agricultural intensification (e.g. pesticide usage, year-round tillage, increased use of fertilizers and frequency of agronomic measures) that we could not incorporate in our analyses, may form a plausible cause. The reserves in which the traps were placed are of limited size in this typical fragmented West-European landscape, and almost all locations (94%) are enclosed by agricultural fields.
Intensive agricultural practices, in other words, are a primary suspect in this devastation of insect populations. And that points directly to pesticides and herbicides — chemical poisons that are developed specifically to kill living things.
Unless something changes, humanity won’t even survive long enough to cause sustained global warming
All this brings me to (at least) one obvious point: While the left-wing media and science talking heads are losing their minds over so-called “climate change” — an entirely made-up problem — even their own predictions only show tiny increases in ocean levels over the next hundred years.
Yet the collapse of insect populations is happening now, with devastating consequences already initiated that may spell doom for a global human population of over 7 billion people, all of whom demand food on a regular basis. Without insects, the food supply collapses. Without food, human populations collapse. And without humans, there is no sustained global warming problem to worry about anyway.
In other words, climate change alarmists are focusing on the wrong crisis. If we don’t figure out what’s decimating the insects — and it’s very likely agricultural chemical contamination of our world — then nobody will be around to burn fossil fuels and run the coal plants anyway. Global warming, in other words, is not a problem if everybody dies from starvation because the global food web collapses.
Climate change cultists are ignoring the real problems that threaten all of human civilization
Yet isn’t it fascinating how the entire climate change cult that demands totalitarian control over our lives in order to “save the planet” absolutely refuses to acknowledge any consequences whatsoever from agricultural pesticides and GMO genetic pollution? While the natural world is collapsing around them, all they wish for is more power, profit and control over nations and economies.
These science imbeciles are ignoring the real causes of catastrophic collapse, all while patting themselves on the back and proclaiming they are the science saviors of our world: Al Gore, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and other climate change cultists who typify the idiocy-celebrity status of those who hide behind fake science to portray themselves as Christ-like saviors for a world that’s crumbling for reasons they absolutely refuse to acknowledge.
That’s why I’ve dubbed humanity a “suicide cult.” No one in a position of power cares about anything other than their own fame, fortune and perceived brilliance. No one in a position of authority has any empathy or compassion for preserving the natural world and its essential ecosystems. Every sector of politics has been exploited, distorted and reformed into idiotic propaganda parades featuring a steady stream of academic morons who reject scientific reason in favor of political obedience and left-wing conformity.
Consequently, “science” is dead. And soon, unless something drastically changes, humanity will be too.
Stay informed about real science at Scientific.news.
by: Russel Davis
July 20, 2017
(Natural News) Contrary to popular belief, ancient inhabitants of Easter Island or Rapa Nui in Chile did not recklessly trash their ecosystem that lead to their eventual collapse, a recent study revealed. “The traditional story is that over time the people of Rapa Nui used up their resources and started to run out of food. One of the resources that they supposedly used up was trees that were growing on the island. Those trees provided canoes and, as a result of the lack of canoes, they could no longer fish. So they started to rely more and more on land food. As they relied on land food, productivity went down because of soil erosion, which led to crop failures…painting the picture of this sort of catastrophe. That’s the traditional narrative,” study co-author Professor Carl Lipo told NewAtlas.com.
In order to debunk this misconception, Lipo and his team examined human, faunal, and botanical specimen taken from the archaeological sites Anakena and Ahu Tepeu on Rapa Nui. The remains date back from c. 1400 AD to the historic period. The research team then conducted bulk carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses as well as amino acid compound specific isotope analyses to examine the collagen isolated from prehistoric human and faunal bone.
The analyses were meant to evaluate how the ancient civilization used marine and terrestrial resources. The same processes were carried out on archaeological and modern botanical and marine samples in order to determine the area’s local environment.
Series of analyses refute previous claims of habitat destruction
The series of carbon and nitrogen analyses revealed that marine resources were accounted for about 50 percent of the protein in human diets. The rate was significantly higher than previous estimates. This also meant that ancient Rapa Nui people have been fishing for longer periods than previously thought. In addition, the research team found that the food they used to cultivate on land came from modified, enriched soil and were more productive than previous estimates. According to the research team, this demonstrates that the people understood how to fertilize the land.
The findings demonstrate that ancient Easter Island people had wide knowledge of improving poor soil fertility, promoting environmental conditions, and creating a sustainable food supply, the research team noted. They also stressed that the activities suggest a certain degree of adaptability and resilience among the ancient inhabitants, debunking a long held notion of ecocide. While the eventual collapse of Rapa Nui civilization serves as a precautionary tale on the effects of environmental destruction, these people should not be dismissed as reckless and careless, the researchers added.
“The Rapa Nui people were, not surprisingly, smart about how they used their resources. And all the misunderstanding comes from our preconceptions about what subsistence should look like…And it didn’t look like what they thought, so they assumed something bad had happened…It continues to support the new narrative that we’ve been finding for the past ten years,” Professor Lipo said in a separate article on the Science Daily website.
William E. Rees is professor emeritus of human ecology and ecological economics at the University of British Columbia.
July 17, 2017
‘Overshoot’ is when a species uses resources faster than can be replenished. We’re already there. And show no signs of changing.
Humans have a virtually unlimited capacity for self-delusion, even when self-preservation is at stake.
The scariest example is the simplistic, growth-oriented, market-based economic thinking that is all but running the world today. Prevailing neoliberal economic models make no useful reference to the dynamics of the ecosystems or social systems with which the economy interacts in the real world.
What truly intelligent species would attempt to fly spaceship Earth, with all its mind-boggling complexity, using the conceptual equivalent of a 1955 Volkswagen Beetle driver’s manual?
Consider economists’ (and therefore society’s) near-universal obsession with continuous economic growth on a finite planet. A recent ringing example is Kaushik Basu’s glowing prediction that “in 50 years, the world economy is likely (though not guaranteed) to be thriving, with global GDP growing by as much as 20 per cent per year, and income and consumption doubling every four years or so.”
Basu is the former chief economist of the World Bank, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor of economics at Cornell University, so he is no flake in the economics department. But this does not prevent a display of alarming ignorance of both the power of exponential growth and the state of the ecosphere. Income and consumption doubling every four years? After just 20 years and five doublings, the economy would be larger by a factor of 32; in 50 years it will have multiplied more than 5000-fold! Basu must inhabit some infinite parallel universe.
In fairness, he does recognize that if the number of cars, airplane journeys and the like double every four years with overall consumption, “we will quickly exceed the planet’s limits.” But here’s the thing — it’s 50 years before Basu’s prediction even takes hold and we’ve already shot past several important planetary boundaries.
Little wonder. Propelled by neoliberal economic thinking and fossil fuels, techno-industrial society consumed more energy and resources during the most recent doubling (the past 35 years or so) than in all previous history. Humanity is now in dangerous ecological overshoot, using even renewable and replenishable resources faster than ecosystems can regenerate and filling waste sinks beyond capacity. (Even climate change is a waste management problem — carbon dioxide is the single greatest waste by weight in all industrial economies.)
Meanwhile, wild nature is in desperate retreat. One example: from less than one per cent at the dawn of agriculture, humans and their domestic animals had ballooned to comprise 97 per cent of the total weight of terrestrial mammals by the year 2000. That number is closer to 98.5 per cent today, with wild mammals barely clinging to the margins.
The “competitive displacement” of other species is an inevitable byproduct of continuous growth on a finite planet. The expansion of humans and their artefacts necessarily means the contraction of everything else. (Politicians’ protests notwithstanding, there is a fundamental contradiction between population/economic growth and protecting the “environment.”)
Ignoring overshoot is dangerously stupid — we are financing growth, in part, by irreversibly liquidating natural resources essential to our own long-term survival.
And things can only get worse. Even at today’s “lacklustre” three-per-cent global growth rate, incomes/consumption would double in just 20 years and produce — in this century — dramatic climate change, widespread extinctions, the collapse of major biophysical systems, global strife and diminished prospects for continued civilized existence.
But even this threat isn’t enough to move the world community to act sensibly to save itself. Like a mind-altering drug, the compound myth of perpetual growth and continuous technological progress obscures reality. Economists thicken the fog by insisting that the economy is “decoupling” from nature — another illusion resulting from faulty accounting, modelling abstractions and the fudging effects of globalization (for example, wealthy countries “offshoring” their ecological impacts onto poorer countries and the global commons).
The biophysical evidence — that is, reality — shows that material consumption and waste production are still increasing with population and GDP growth. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide is accumulating at accelerating record rates in the atmosphere and the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 sequentially shared the distinction of being the warmest years in the instrumental record.
“Never before in US history has the welfare of the upper crust of society taken so much precedence over the health of everything, including the 99% middle/poor class as well as the only inhabitable planet in the solar system. It’s the only one!”
With permission from
May 16, 2017
Homo Sapiens live in an epoch unlike anything throughout history, figuratively speaking, as far back as Adam and Eve, especially since 1950 “the times they are a changin’” with headlong speed. In fact, ever since 1950, The Great Acceleration has taken off like a spaceship destined to hit warp speed, accelerating faster and faster. As this evolves, humanity risks becoming “a bug looking for a windshield.”
Here’s the issue with The Great Acceleration: “Only after 1945 did human actions become genuine driving forces behind crucial Earth systems” (J.R.McNeill/Peter Engelke, The Great Acceleration, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, London, 2014, pg. 208).
Still, Earth spins within the solar system at the same rate as it has for eons, whereas in stark contrast to that steady timeless global spin, humanity’s anthropogenic spin turbocharges the entire planetary ecosystem. This has never happened before, and thus, people need to brace themselves for a major jarring to the ecosystem. In fact, it’s already started!
Silently unreported by mass media, The Great Acceleration inadvertently destroys life systems. It happens right before our eyes. Not only that but regrettably, Trumpeters will assuredly accelerate that destructive capacity. That’s guaranteed, a “done deal” for sure. The “bug looking for a windshield” has never looked more certain than when world leaders (ahem), like Trump, look away from and ignore and downplay and denigrate everything about the ecosystem, which is referred to as “home” by pretty much everybody.
Curiously, overcrowding the planet has turned the planet small, as electronics and air travel shrink the world: “In the span of one human lifetime, 1945 to 2015, global population tripled from about 2.3 billion to 7.2 billion. This bizarre interlude, with sustained population growth of more than 1 percent per annum, is of course what almost everyone on Earth now regards as normal. It is anything but normal,” Ibid, pg. 41.
The tripling of population “within only one lifetime” is remarkable, sobering, breathtaking. Woefully, that is only the beginning of a process that may run out of control because unpredictably the repercussions of The Great Acceleration are like a drunken driver on the Italian Amalfi Coastline dangerously close to going over cliff’s edge at each and every turn.
In fact, death traps already exist, as for example, from 1950 to 2015 one of the principal byproducts of The Great Acceleration, air pollution, killed 30-to-40 million people, mostly Chinese as of late, which is roughly equal to the death toll from all wars throughout the world since 1950 (source: Ibid, pg. 24).
Furthermore, industrialization is on a tear, goosing up The Great Acceleration. Since WWII, motor vehicles increased from 40 million to 850 million and plastics production increased from one million tons to 300 million tons. Those numbers are not only signals of acceleration but off the charts! Still, everybody assumes it’s normal, except for climate scientists.
Normality is belied by the conditions of the biosphere itself as human activity shifts carbon stored over millennia from the lithosphere (Earth’s upper mantle and crust) into the upper atmosphere at unsustainable rates running from 1,200 million tons per annum in 1945 to 9,500 million tons in 2015, 8xs faster within only 70 years. Eight times anything is a big number, e.g., if everyone’s wages multiplied 8xs, everyone would be rich.
Even at the unsustainable rate of 8xs, carbon emissions continue accelerating, pre-Trump, post-Trump, forever-Trump, getting a huge boost ever faster during Trump days. For example, CO2 emissions during the 2000s have been running at a 3.3% annual rate of increase versus a rate of 1.3% during the 1990s. That’s a 150% increase within only one decade. Meanwhile, the atmosphere is already filling up with CO2, the primary cause of global warming. It can only take so much before the thermostat gets stuck wide-open… relentless heat scorching agriculture.
As such, humanity has become a vast experiment; nobody’s been here before, nobody. Meanwhile, the United States, under the direction of Trumpeters, cut public links to information about the crucial carbon cycle by cutting NOAA’s budget “to the bone.” Either that’s an honest mistake or it’s a mean-spirited mistake; chose your poison. Regardless, scientists are out of favor: According to a USA Today headline: “Trump’s Proposed NOAA Budget Cuts Rattle Scientists” d/d March 6, 2017.
Meanwhile, at the core of The Great Acceleration, capitalism works… at the top! Proof: Everything is accelerating as if there are no limits to growth and more growth. That’s capitalism par excellence. But cautionary flags are ubiquitous, e.g., according to certain academic circles, there is another side to the story: “The Great Acceleration in its present form cannot last for long,” Ibid, pg. 5. Expanding balloons eventually pop.
One major risk within the context of The Great Acceleration is human behavior itself because people have a tendency to dither away precious time when it comes to life-threatening issues that appear too big to tackle and too difficult to wrap arms around, like the planet: “Whilst the US and China fiddled for 20 years from 1995-2015, arguing about terms and conditions of the Kyoto agreement, the total tonnage of global carbon emissions from the energy sector nearly equaled that of all human history prior to 1995,” Ibid, pg. 78. That’s big league acceleration!
How does it end? Regrettably, not very well with Trumpeters at the helm. They’ve publicly denounced any and all concerns about the health of the planet and/or its inhabitants, as for example, the American Health Care Act, an oxymoronic title after reading its contents, makes deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, by $800 billion. “Donald Trump is attacking low- and middle-income families, children, seniors and people with disabilities in order to hand a $6 trillion tax break to his wealthy friends―the largest tax break in U.S. history” (Source: socialsecurityworks.org).
Never before in US history has the welfare of the upper crust of society taken so much precedence over the health of everything, including the 99% middle/poor class as well as the only inhabitable planet in the solar system. It’s the only one!
Still, as it happens, within the context of The Great Acceleration, Trump’s 1% have opted to go out in flaming glory, as they are the primary beneficiaries of all that floats to the top, but then again, some of the 1% are attempting to “get out of Dodge” by escaping to planets far, far away, leaving the hordes behind to fight over tillable land.
Evidence of The Great Acceleration is far and wide. After all, it was only one generation ago in 1986 when the eminent biologist E. O. Wilson (Harvard) presciently sounded the alarm in a book titled Biodiversity (The National Academies Press): “It carries the urgent warning that we are rapidly altering and destroying the environments that have fostered the diversity of life forms for more than a billion years,” Ibid, pg. 84.
Alas, there’s no way E. O. Wilson could have foreseen Trump would come along to “seal the deal” for his prognostications and in the process actually speed up the negative aspects of The Great Acceleration, as America becomes great again, maybe/probably not, but if so, for very, very short duration.
Withal, don’t stand underneath national monuments. Those are subject to severe budget cuts, poor maintenance, and unexpectedly crashing down forevermore as the nation loses its soul.
Postscript: Disastrous breaking news out of Alaska: The following is a synopsis (quotation) of a horrifying scientific release d/d May 11, 2017 that is extraordinarily relevant to The Great Acceleration:
“The study, based on aircraft measurements of carbon dioxide and methane and tower measurements from Barrow, Alaska, found that from 2012 through 2014, the state emitted the equivalent of 220 million tons of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere from biological sources (the figure excludes fossil fuel burning and wildfires). That’s an amount comparable to all the emissions from the US commercial sector in a single year.”
“The chief reason for the greater CO2 release was that as Alaska has warmed up, emissions from once frozen tundra in winter are increasing – presumably because the ground is not refreezing as quickly. Now what? Sit in a circle and hold hands, or get to work to find what (if any) options we’ve got?”
That is horrific news, almost as bad as it gets especially this early in the repercussions cycle of The Great Acceleration. It now appears that nature is competing head-to-head with humans, overflowing the atmosphere with heat-trapping greenhouse gases. That’s a perfect script for an apocalypse film project.
Looking ahead, one option scientists cannot rely upon is help from the anti-science Trump administration. Ipso facto, The Great Acceleration fallout is about to leap forward like never before. Batten down the hatches!
And, Trump thinks health care is tough…
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
not the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
― Charles Darwin
“But mounting evidence from archaeology strongly suggests that human societies were, for the greater part of civilized history, based more on cooperation and reverence for life and nature than on competition and obsession with death and technology.”
“Once we truly grasp the scientific reality of our living planet and its physiology, our entire worldview [is] bound to change profoundly, revealing the way to solving what now appear to be our greatest and most insoluble problems. From a Gaian point of view, we humans are an experiment — a young trial species still at odds with ourselves and other species, still not having learned to balance our own dance within that of our whole planet…” ~Elisabet Sahtouris
The following is an excerpt from the book Earth Dance: Living Systems in Evolution, written by evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris in 1999. Inspired and encouraged by scientists Jim Lovelock (Gaia Theory) & Lynn Margulis, Dr. Sahtouris shares here the vision of wholeness that Gaia science and theory provides us with..
To be sure, our machinery is getting better and better at imitating life; if this were not so, a mechanical science could not have advanced in understanding. But mechanical models of life continue to miss its essential self-creativity.
Fortunately, our survival struggle is leading to intuitive grasps of nature’s principles that are shifting our technologies into serving cooperative life purposes, especially clearly in the phenomenon of the global Internet.
Millions of sardines washed up dead along Aucho beach in the small town of Quemchi located in the eastern shore of Chiloé Island on January 27, 2017.
It is the first time that such a cataclysmic phenomenon occurs in this coastal community.
Not only the worst wildfires in decades are currently plaguing Chile. Yesterday, millions of dead sardines were covering the beach of Aucho in Quemchi, Chile.
The dead fish were first discovered by tourists visiting the region, then the unexplained phenomenon started to interest baffled local residents.
Here a small video about this catastrophic fish die-off.
A global ecosystem collapse is currently undergoing in Chile?
No. Not while the psychopathic elites rule the world.
(UR) Worldwide— Clues unearthed by archeologists suggest that our society is doomed for collapse. Researchers from University College London and the University of Maryland recently studied 2,378 archeological sites from Neolithic Europe to discover some tell-tale signs indicating when an ecosystem was shifting into instability. After looking at the data, it seems that every single civilization gave clues to its own impending demise — including our own.
Signs that a society is about to collapse, or undergo a massive reorganization, included fragility in systems that had undergone ‘slowing down’ or ‘flickering’ from impacts such as disease, warfare, resource degradation, or crop failure.
The researchers describe ‘flickering’ as a change in a society’s response to these perturbations resulting in the society becoming caught in a socio-ecological trap that reinforces the same bad behavior that caused the issues to begin with, and prevents adaption with new action.
Every time a society ‘flickers’ it loses recovery time, and you could consider it as moving closer to destruction. The team found that these flickering signs signified an eventual demise of the society, all showing up well before the actual collapse.
As we continue to suffer from massive environmental degradation, crop loss due to manufactured and changing weather (over $17.3 billion was just paid out last year by the Federal Crop Insurance Program), heavy use of agrichemical pesticides and fertilizers, abundant corporate polluting, and never-ending warfare, surely our society is ‘flickering,’ too.
Harvard released a study just a year ago stating the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for American taxpayers has been between $4- and $6 trillion dollars. Only recently, news verified that $1.2 billion worth of ammunition is being used in Afghanistan. And this is just the beginning of the possible ‘indicators for demise’ mentioned by the researchers of UCL and UMD, caused by the military-industrial complex.
What remains to be seen is if we can adapt and change fast enough to save our society before it is destroyed or if we will simply ‘reorganize’ into a society which no longer perpetuates these masochistic activities.
Baring global ecophagy, the phenomenon described by Robert Freitas where an ecosystem ‘eats itself alive’; a nuclear Armageddon; a robopocalypse — Terminator style, where machines rule our lives in place of natural, organic systems; or AI (Artificial Intelligence) taking us over with machine-induced slavery — we should be able to unshackle ourselves from imminent doom.
We are relinquishing our addiction to fossil fuels, with cleaner energies breaking records all the time; some of the biggest GMO crop promoters are now switching to organic due to consumer demand; and entire organizations are working toward saving animals from extinction. If we can learn ways to get through drought and natural disasters with more acumen and help our fellow humans, along with all sentient creatures on this planet, we might actually avoid the fate of thousands of societies which failed before us.
The researchers concurred that we must take action:
“It remains unclear whether modern technological innovation can continue to outpace demand,” the authors wrote,“and it is important for sustainability scientists to consider the possibility that generic mechanisms can contribute to demographic collapse in human societies, as well as to develop ways to detect declining resilience.”
“I seem, like everything else, to be a center, a sort of vortex, at which the whole energy of the universe realizes itself.. Each one of us, not only human beings but every leaf, every weed, exists in the way it does, only because everything else around it does. The individual and the universe are inseparable.” ~Alan Watts~
“People normally cut reality into compartments, and so are unable to see the interdependence of all phenomena. To see one in all and all in one is to break through the great barrier which narrows one’s perception of reality.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh~
“The greatest revolution of our time is in the way we see the world. The mechanistic paradigm underlying the Industrial Growth Society gives way to the realization that we belong to a living, self-organizing cosmos.” ~Joanna Macy
“I like to experience the universe as one harmonious whole. Every cell has life. Matter, too, has life; it is energy solidified. The tree outside is life… The whole of nature is life… The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation.” ~ Albert Einstein~
“Learn how to see, realize that everything connects to everything else.” ~Leonardo Da Vinci~
“What you do not know is that the entire universe is your body… You may say you have two bodies: the personal and the universal. The personal comes and goes, the universal is always with you. The entire creation is your universal body. You are so blinded by what is personal, that you do not see the universal. This blindness will not end by itself – it must be undone skilfully and deliberately. When all illusions are understood and abandoned, you reach the error-free and perfect state in which all distinctions between the personal and the universal are no more…” ~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
“At the very heart of the change of paradigms from the mechanistic to the systemic view of life, we find a fundamental change of metaphors: from seeing the world as a machine to understanding it as a network. This change has many facets… Evolution is no longer seen as a competitive struggle for existence, but rather as a cooperative dance in which creativity and the constant emergence of novelty are the driving forces.” ~Fritjof Capra
“Stop acting so small. You are the Universe in ecstatic motion.” ~Rumi~
Painting: “The Star ~ Goddess of Hope” ~ by Emily Balivet, 2013. https://www.etsy.com/listing/128229968/the-star-goddess-of-hope-mythological
See also: Paradigms are Made for Shifting https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/paradigms-are-made-for-shifting/
Source: Creative Systems Thinking
“Man and nature are connected in a fragile web of life. We must pay attention to the world around us and respect it. The human family is just one voice in a global chorus of many. We have the great gift of choice, to destroy or repair…”
Exposing the climate geoengineering cover-up
Source: Catastrophic Pacific Ocean Die-Off, The US Military’s All Out Assault On The Web Of Life » Catastrophic Pacific Ocean Die-Off, The US Military’s All Out Assault On The Web Of Life | Geoengineering Watch
Many have heard about some of the die-offs occurring in our oceans, but most have no understanding of how catastrophic the actual reality is.
Fukushima is where all the fingers point as the source of the carnage along the coast, but there is much more to the story. Those who control the US military have virtually no regard for any of the destruction they are wreaking on the entire web of life, including marine life. The US Navy has long since been using live depleted uranium ammunition and devastating sonar devices along the Pacific coast (the US Navy is now also waging electromagnetic warfare along our forests and our coasts). The US (and other nations) have also routinely dumped nuclear waste into our oceans. The excerpt (shown below) from the US Navy’s “Environmental Impact Statement ” is beyond shocking. Their position is this, if there are no studies to prove the harm they are causing, then no harm was caused.
“The study area for consideration of impacts on marine plants and invertebrates includes the open ocean west of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California….Aircraft overflight and training activities are assumed to have no impacts to marine communities, because impacts of sound on plants and invertebrates are unknown and difficult to quantify.”
The statement below was appropriately presented (along with other pressing points) to the US Navy’s EIS staff by concerned Oregon resident Carol Van Strum.
The question of past and current Naval activities is highly significant. For example, the EIS acknowledges that past and present activities off the Oregon coast have involved the use of rounds comprised of depleted uranium. Uranium, depleted or otherwise, is an exceptionally persistent material in the environment. The EIS revelations of Navy use of depleted uranium thus raise very serious concerns about how long the Navy has been using depleted uranium rounds in the Pacific Ocean, how much was used per year, where that use has occurred, and what environmental impacts have already accrued from such use, such as uptake by fish and synergistic effects with other wastes and products from Naval exercises. The EIS mentions none of these issues.
In 2010 I personally spoke to a US Navy Public Relations representative that very cavalierly confirmed the Navy’s use of depleted uranium ammunition for “practice” off of the US West Coast. She seemed to have no idea of the dangers posed by this ammunition, but rather was only repeating whatever she was told. The US Military has also permanently contaminated vast areas of land masses with its deadly depleted uranium ammunition. An epidemic of birth defects in Iraq and elsewhere is the legacy of this use. But there is an even larger ongoing assault on the ocean, the planet, and all life, global geoengineering/weather warfare. The blatant atmospheric aerosol spraying so clearly seen of the coast of California in the satellite photo below is nothing short of shocking.
Geoengineering is undeniably a major factor relating to the die-off of the oceans. The US military is certainly the single largest participant in the ongoing global climate engineering insanity (though all major powers are involved). Geoengineering is destroying the ozone layer which has subjected the planet to deadly levels of UV radiation greatly contributing to the die-off of plankton populations around the world. The plankton die-off has taken the foundation out of the food chain for marine ecosystems. Geoengineering has also radically altered upper level wind currents which have in turn altered ocean currents. This has contributed to the massive methane release in the Arctic which holds the future of our planet in the balance if it continues. In regard to the Pacific ocean, the altered wind currents have greatly contributed to the record heat buildup. This in turn has fueled the extreme algae blooms, sea bed gassing of methane, hydrogen sulfide (which create hypoxic and anoxic zones), and thus even more marine die-off. There is also the less known form of geoengineering, ocean fertilization, which is also taking its toll on our once thriving seas. Seven decades of highly toxic and destructive global geoengineering programs have inflicted unimaginable decimation to the planet. These programs (combined with the other US military operations already mentioned), have played a major part in the collapse of life in our oceans, most especially in the Pacific. If the oceans die, we die.
Our military brothers and sisters must awaken to what they are participating in, the destruction of their own planet and the health of their own citizens. Military personnel are sworn to protect their countrymen from all threats, foreign AND DOMESTIC. All of us are needed to help awaken the population, this includes the families of military personnel. Pass on credible information to all those that need to see it, every day counts in this battle. Make your voice heard.