Category Archives: Apocalypse

The Self-Destruct Button

          [thoughts in the night, by Sha’Tara]

Oh hell! I  cried out loud to no one, in my small basement apartment and long after darkness had fallen accompanied by persistent clouds that dutifully hid moon and stars.

At least the orangy street lamp is working, casting a pale glow upon wet pavement and small pools. It’s the normal for this place, at this time of year – but it’s not what made me cry out.

What did make me cry out? A feeling, or a series of feelings feeding upon each other.

What sort of feeling/feelings? The sort you’re not supposed to have. The ones that want to probe the darkness and expose its lurid underbelly. The ones not politically correct. The ones that, upon reeling themselves back into the mind say, ah, screw it – everything is going to hell and none of it is fixable.

Let me explain myself to myself, and you can listen in. There is no philosophy grand enough to turn a people away from their fixation with the auto-destruct button once pointed in that direction, and let me tell you this: man’s current leadership has mastered the art of pointing: it’s called propaganda, only people call it news.

People are running, laughing, screaming, cursing, waving flags, cheering and booing their corrupt, psychopathic, perverted, misogynist, racist, elitist presidential and prime ministerial fodder to their destruction. They’re ready to maul and kill anyone who would stand in the way of their choice and they will most certainly destroy their living environment just to get to mash that shiny red button clearly marked “Self Destruct.”   

I took a break, it lasted a wee bit longer than anticipated, twenty four hours, in fact, but you never know with breaks, and now it’s over.

My feelings aren’t quite as raw as last night’s but I have no trouble getting them back. The world I’ve become aware of guarantees that.

 They say, and it’s a truism, that we are born to die. I’ve always been aware of that, the one thing we know for sure isn’t fake news. Our body gives us so many years to play at being alive then it conks out, or peters out…

 Thing is, unless we’re suicidal we don’t have much control over the “when” of death. That means I can’t just decide, today, to call it quits, to say ‘enough is enough’ and walk away. I mean I could, it’s called losing interest in everything, but I don’t think I’m made that way. The awake mind is a curious thing, a questing thing, the puzzle solver, the riddle master. For every answer it will throw up a dozen more questions and the rabbit hole only gets deeper.  

 To the question then, why are people in general so eager to test the apocalypse switch? Why the general group think to end it all? Just to see the fireworks? Or, as some claim, is it that at the heart of every Earthian is the false hope, belief, or faith, that it only happens to the other and “I” will remain alive to watch the horror show from the comfort of my Lazy-boy chair or leaning on the railing of the patio of my friend’s 8th floor apartment?

 “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Could it be that the vast majority of Earthians,  believers or not, actually ascribe to this patently false biblical claim? Could this false reality exist as a necessary part of the programming?

I – Don’t – Know! I don’t have an answer to that one.

 But that takes me back to my desire to scream. Personally, I don’t want to see, or experience, any sort of apocalypse. It’s a truly dumb idea. Do you want to participate in one? Do you believe the fairy tale that “you” can survive it? If you did, what would be the point? Alone on a devastated world, what sort of end could you imagine for yourself in the aftermath? Or are you of those benighted who believe some god is going to see to it personally that you are spared the gruesome aspects and install you on your own private cloud space to watch the horror show and “REJOICE!” even at the bloodbath put on for your own entertainment?

          I believe we, as relatively intelligent creatures, can not only switch from apocalyptic thinking but change the world to become an unrecognizable reality: literally a paradise. People who think like this are usually called naïve, utopians, dreamers. Again, the group think is, “can’t happen so forget it.”  The same individuals who believe in survival also believe an apocalypse is inevitable and often do all in their power to bring it about. 

What does that say about that sort of thinking? What do you call someone desperate to survive, to live as long as physically possible, yet nurturing apocalyptic thinking, of total decimation of a world? Doublethink or cognitive dissonance? Either way, not logical.

Could we have a utopia on Earth? Of course. Not only that but bringing about a utopia is a much easier task than bringing about an apocalypse. Apocalypses are costly, complex, messy, bloody and ultimately pointless affairs. All a utopia needs is for individuals, of their own free will, to become compassionate then let compassion demonstrate the way out of all the violence, the greed, the lust, the infamy, the corruption, the innate selfishness that are now growing together like dark storm clouds to pave the way for the apocalypse, for the end.

It’s simple enough, too simple maybe. 

and… PS, not a great piece of writing but food for thought, perhaps? 

         

         

What Price the Life of One Earthian Baby?

“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming human hell.” – C. WRIGHT MILLS (1916-1962) American sociologist

In real dollars, how much is an Earthian baby’s life worth?

I was going to post just that question and see what sort of response, if any, it generated.

But I need to fill in some blanks.  The question has haunted me for long and tiresome decades. I know that the killing of an Earthian child is worth a lot of money. I also know, based on the several million deaths of children and their supporters in this century’s endless wars alone, that “the world” or let’s call it “civilization” is totally OK with that particular aspect of the slaughterhouse business of war.

Not convinced? Where are the peace activists? Where are the anti-war protesters? Where is the kind of in-your-face war news as finally helped expose the blatant, pointless, genocidal war in Vietnam? Better yet, where are you?

Has war become such a normal venture that it no longer raises any questions of morality or justice? Has it become just another video game?

So let me, once again, use this post as a vehicle to ask, why isn’t every Earthian changing their murderous patriarchal belief systems in favour of compassion? What’s wrong with choosing to be a compassionate person? What’s wrong with turning against a social system that promotes the murder of even ONE INNOCENT AND HELPLESS CHILD FOR MONETARY PROFIT?

I’m personally disgusted with this Earthian race. It doesn’t have to engage any of the social evils it currently accepts as the price of doing business. If it comes to knowing right from wrong, well, excuse me, but what are all those books for? Why have an official education system if it can’ teach the most basic requirements for admittance to the human race? Why have a written history if it’s to be endlessly mocked and misused?

The “Teachers” warned me against this people’s ways. They explained, in detail, that Earthians were pseudo-humans and most likely to fail as an experiment in higher consciousness. I had difficulty with their insistence at first but no longer. I see it now. I see how people, ordinary people who probably think of themselves as normal, mostly right, mostly OK people, are comfortably in bed with the System and quite willing to aid, abet, protect and even fight for it, and comfortable with the death of that baby as de facto necessary so the numbers can keep on rising; so the rich lords and masters keep getting richer; so the war mongers can keep on winning their election bids.

I see the fall of man in all of this. I see nothing being done that can change the disastrous course that the vast silent, ignorant and irresponsible global majority has WILLINGLY CHOSEN to take.

Sure, you can vote ‘til the cows come home and I guarantee this: you will only see things get worse.

Why? Because you condone the sacrificial killing of one innocent baby.

That is an unforgivable crime.

You would not forgive a pedophile for doing it. You would not forgive a drunk driver for doing it. You would not forgive a mass murderer for doing it. You would not forgive any one individual for doing it, even if he, or she, was given a state permit for doing it

So why should “you” who constantly and knowingly participate in the premeditated murder of one innocent child; you who is willing to pour trillions of tax dollars into weapons of mass murder of innocent children, expect forgiveness?

There will be none.

How does that saying go? “The axe is already at the root of the tree.”

Crazy post, yeah, but however it is shaken, I’m not the one who is insane for writing it. I would post it even if I knew every “follower” was going to unsubscribe. I’m tired of Earth.

 

Man’s Last War

 – a poem by Sha’Tara

The world hasn’t changed much
Since so long ago I was born, when I happened
For no reason it would seem, without hubris.
I learned to talk, walk, listen and observe
With the sense it all had to mean something
In the end.

The world was cruel to me when I was young
Though I didn’t know that then, it’s what is
To a child life is the norm, the form.
There was much hardship, harshness
Little tenderness, and it seemed dangerous.
One could get used to tenderness
And the world I knew hated it with passion
unchecked.

Life is cruel they said without apology,
Why not, they’d just survived a world war
Knowing naught but blood and losses.
I thought, yes, I have to be bold, and tough,
I too must survive, there’ll be another war
And I must know how to fight it; must know
My enemy before he knows that I know
I will beat him.

No, the world hasn’t changed, not at all.
The same people lie, cheat, rob and rule,
The same people suffer and die, their blood
Lubricates the scythe blindly sweeping
To leave fodder and dying stubble in its wake
To be ploughed.

Yet something did change, has changed:
A new World War is being fought
No longer man against man but once again
Man against nature-she fighting her protracted way
She can never lose. Man in his hubris
Still believes he can win this war and it will be
As he never, ever, won any of his other wars.
Earth withdraws her bounty.

Man’s motto remains against, never with
Rashly, brashly he spreads his nets,
His barb wire, his jet trails, his towers,
His stacks, his chimneys, his warehouses
His poisons, his noise, his armaments and bombs,
All to be measured in corporate profits for
The rich to get richer.

Civilization teeters on the brink of extinction,
The skies are deeply troubled, changing colours,
Glaciers melt, calve, fires burn, smoke rises:
Death, death, death! Booms and cackles
The Lord of Greed, the God of man, terminator
Soulless and heartless

The last man stands on his funeral pyre
Proudly made of planet Earth’s skin
Sure he’d won his very last war against life.
*********
He raises his fist to the soured heavens,
Claiming his last divine imperative thinking
I have destroyed the environment, I have killed
All that sustained life. I leave my boot print
On a weak, worthless and dying world, hah!
“I Am become Death, the Destroyer of Earth,
I will be remembered, halleluiah!”

Embarrassment of Riches-George Monbiot

When it comes to being a voice for our stressed and possibly dying natural environment, George Monbiot’s has no equal.

Please read on. (Hopefully all the links are working as this is a copy, not a reblog. They do work at this end, I checked.)

______________________________________________________

Embarrassment of Riches – monbiot.com

Embarrassment of Riches

Posted: 20 Sep 2019 01:22 AM PDT

For the sake of life on Earth, we should set an upper limit on the money any person can amass. (My emphasis)

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian, 19th September 2019

It is not quite true that behind every great fortune lies a great crime. Musicians and novelists, for example, can become extremely rich by giving other people pleasure. But it does appear to be universally true that in front of every great fortune lies a great crime. Immense wealth translates automatically into immense environmental impacts, regardless of the intentions of those who possess it. The very wealthy, almost as a matter of definition, are committing ecocide.

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from a worker at a British private airport. “I see things that really shouldn’t be happening in 2019,” he wrote. Every day he sees Global 7000 jets, Gulfstream 650s and even Boeing 737s take off from the airport carrying a single passenger, mostly flying to Russia and the US. The private Boeing 737s, built to take 174 seats, are filled at the airport with around 32,000 litres of fuel. That’s as much fossil energy as a small African town might use in a year.

Where are these single passengers going? Perhaps to visit one of their superhomes, constructed and run at vast environmental cost, or to take a trip on their superyacht, which might burn 500 litres of diesel per hour just ticking over, and is built and furnished with rare materials, extracted at the expense of stunning places.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that when Google convened a meeting of the rich and famous at the Verdura resort in Sicily this July to discuss climate breakdown, its delegates arrived in 114 private jets and a fleet of megayachts, and drove around the island in supercars. Even when they mean well, the ultrarich cannot help trashing the living world.

A series of research papers shows that income is by far the most important determinant of environmental impact. It doesn’t matter how green you think you are. If you have surplus money, you spend it. The only form of consumption that’s clearly and positively correlated with good environmental intentions is diet: people who see themselves as green tend to eat less meat and more organic vegetables. But attitudes have little bearing on the amount of transport fuel, home energy and other materials you consume. Money conquers all.

The disastrous effects of spending power are compounded by the psychological impacts of being wealthy. Plenty of studies show that the richer you are, the less you are able to connect with other people. Wealth suppresses empathy. One paper reveals that drivers in expensive cars are less likely to stop for people using pedestrian crossings than drivers in cheap cars. Another revealed that rich people were less able than poorer people to feel compassion towards children with cancer. Though they are disproportionately responsible for our environmental crises, the rich will be hurt least and last by planetary disaster, while the poor are hurt first and worst. The richer people are, the research suggests, the less such knowledge is likely to trouble them.

Another issue is that wealth limits the perspectives of even the best-intentioned people. This week Bill Gates argued in an interview with the Financial Times that divesting (ditching stocks) from fossil fuels is a waste of time. It would be better, he claimed, to pour money into disruptive new technologies with lower emissions. Of course we need new technologies. But he has missed the crucial point: in seeking to prevent climate breakdown, what counts is not what you do but what you stop doing. It doesn’t matter how many solar panels you install if you don’t simultaneously shut down coal and gas burners. Unless existing fossil fuel plants are retired before the end of their lives, and all exploration and development of new fossil fuels reserves is cancelled, there is little chance of preventing more than 1.5°C of global heating.

But this requires structural change, which involves political intervention as well as technological innovation: anathema to Silicon Valley billionaires. It demands an acknowledgement that money is not a magic wand that makes all the bad stuff go away.

On Friday, I’ll be joining the global climate strike, in which adults will stand with the young people whose call to action has resonated around the world. As a freelancer, I’ve been wondering who I’m striking against. Myself? Yes: one aspect of myself, at least. Perhaps the most radical thing we can now do is to limit our material aspirations. The assumption on which governments and economists operate is that everyone strives to maximise their wealth. If we succeed in this task, we inevitably demolish our life support systems. Were the poor to live like the rich, and the rich to live like the oligarchs, we would destroy everything. The continued pursuit of wealth, in a world that has enough already (albeit very poorly distributed) is a formula for mass destitution.

A meaningful strike in defence of the living world is, in part, a strike against the desire to raise our incomes and accumulate wealth: a desire shaped, more than we are probably aware, by dominant social and economic narratives. I see myself as striking in support of a radical and disturbing concept: Enough. Individually and collectively, it is time to decide what enough looks like, and how to know when we’ve achieved it.

There’s a name for this approach, coined by the Belgian philosopher Ingrid Robeyns: limitarianism. Robeyns argues that there should be an upper limit to the amount of income and wealth a person can amass. Just as we recognise a poverty line, below which no one should fall, we should recognise a riches line, above which no one should rise. This call for a levelling down is perhaps the most blasphemous idea in contemporary discourse.

But her arguments are sound. Surplus money allows some people to exercise inordinate power over others, in the workplace, in politics, and above all in the capture, use and destruction of natural wealth. If everyone is to flourish, we cannot afford the rich. Nor can we afford our own aspirations, that the culture of wealth maximisation encourages.

The grim truth is that the rich are able to live as they do only because others are poor: there is neither the physical nor ecological space for everyone to pursue private luxury. Instead we should strive for private sufficiency, public luxury. Life on earth depends on moderation.

http://www.monbiot.com

We the People: a Grim Fairytale

[a short story by  ~ burning woman~ ]

Once upon a time (well, that is the usual opening for a fairy tale, is it not?) there was an empire that covered an entire world. It was not a peaceful empire, in fact it was terribly dysfunctional. However, the kings and other rulers of the various kingdoms, duchies and quaint inventions called “nations” liked it that way.

There were endless wars which greatly benefited the elites and allowed the peasants and serfs or citizens to pretend at being “somebodies” by fighting and killing each other on a regular basis. For that world such behaviour was considered entirely normal. People who thought otherwise and who refused to fight and kill their neighbours were classed as traitors and in some periods, were executed, in others simply jailed. One thing for sure, at all times they were mocked and called cowards.

Such conditions are conducive to bringing forth cowardly and corrupt leadership and at times some group of people would overthrow such leaders and change the status of their land from, say, a kingdom or a colony to, say, a democracy. None of them actually understood what a democracy was since there had never been any to learn from, but they made it up as they went along and lo and behold, before they knew what had happened, their “democracy” had become a totalitarian regime quite identical to what their history books told them of the times before their revolution.

But, they cried, how can this be when it is “We the People” who decide how things should be run? So they talked, loud and vociferously about the role that “We the People” played in this drama and why things had turned on them. They blamed one-another for failing to vote, or for supporting the wrong party and those who were blamed, blamed right back. They blamed the politicians, well, of course! They blamed their elites, just as their forebears did. The problem was that now the elites operated with impunity within the democracy that “We the People” had presumably set up precisely to prevent such a thing from happening.

As things heated up, there even began talk of another revolution. It was a lot of angry talk and no one really knew how to bring about a revolution. It seemed that would require much organization and really, no one was up to jump starting such an irrevocable step. They needed the support of “We the People.”

In keeping with the propaganda relating to the previous revolution, it seemed logical that once again it would be “We the People” who would have to rise up, overthrow the entire corrupt system of religion, government and finance/business, and establish a new system. That made sense, so those with the loudest voices decided to bring “We the People” together.

And children, that is when those who wanted a revolution discovered that “We the People” was a complete chimera. There was no such thing as “We the People.” The idea that a majority core group held the real power of the democracy had always been pure propaganda by the two-party system of government so that the people would continue to believe that at the heart of it a legitimate, patriotic, educated, aware watchdog group of citizens kept tab on its government and had a tight leash on its politicians.

It was a terrible blow to the ego of those who would stop the corruption to discover that there had never been a “We the People” force in the land but exactly the opposite: a ragtag collection of people who distrusted one-another and often hated one-another for being of the wrong skin colour, or from the wrong ethnic background, economic level or religion. Instead of unity, they saw mass shootings and mass incarcerations of innocent individuals. They saw greed, hubris, abuse, violations of every known human rights and widespread destruction of the environment. They also saw that the masses, those who should have been “We the People,” identified with these destructive ways and participated in them, often with gusto while supporting and defending their blatantly corrupt leadership.

“Sadly children, they did not live happily ever after.”

“What happened to that world teacher?” asked a small boy.

“As to be expected, it destroyed itself and all the people on it died.”

“Oh!” echoed the children in horror.

“But it’s only a fairy tale, isn’t it?” Ventured an older girl in the back row.

“Well… no, it’s not really a fairy tale at all.”

The Programming

[thoughts from ~burning woman~]

Are people “programmed” to act the way they do collectively? If so, what does it mean to be “programmed”?

Programming is similar to brainwashing but much more intrusive as one is born with an operating system her/his society equally uses. A brainwashed individual might stand out from the herd, but when the entire herd is programmed, nothing stands out. If something does stand out, usually because the programming failed at some point, it will be hounded to death or hailed as some kind of saviour. Either way the herd will not think of changing its own ways to match that of a deprogrammed way shower because the herd is what it is. The programming is society and society is the programming.

There, now I’ve explained, without explaining anything, why exemplary individuals are either praised or martyred but never achieve any lasting success within society. Each new birth among the sheeple herd is a reaffirmation of the programming and is not affected by the words or acts of exemplary odd-ball individuals.


Each new generation has to realize the status quo is a result of the programming, never what free-thinking individuals would choose to rule over themselves. Each new generation must challenge the status quo if it is to hope for meaningful change as opposed to religious, government or economic whitewash. To do so every programmed new born must, upon reaching some “age of reason” realize it is acting from programming and not from natural input.


Earthians, i.e., Homo Sapiens, are not now, nor have they ever been, natural creatures. They have been, and remain, “invented” and severely programmed, controlled, entities. Even if the inventors appear to no longer reside in the neighbourhood their installed operating system runs through DNA and genes and whatever other methods of control little or nothing is known about at this time.


It bears repeating the obvious, that however many times “the people” have sought to make significant changes to the status quo, it invariably all returns to square one. The board is cleared and the pieces are re-assembled in their original start of game position. The pawns (peons or pee on’s) are on the front lines, the nobility safely behind this protection. Only when most or all Pee-On’s are dead does the nobility take the field and notice that they reserve special moves for themselves not available to the pawns… unless a pawn by some miracle becomes a member of the nobility. So a new game begins in the proper order according to the rules of the program. No deviation allowed.

Any change made to the rules will be endlessly reversed because it does not affect the programming of those who are born after the changes took effect. The “next generations” do not understand the need for the changes nor comprehend or care for the sacrifices that were made to achieve it. (Try out some history on that, see if I’m in error here.)

It had been hoped that “education” would eventually ensconce the change within society’s group think; within the societal mindset, but that turned out to be a false hope. If someone has a toothache you can make them read books about people with healthy teeth but it changes nothing to that person’s reality. They have to figure out a way to overcome their own problem and that does not come from mere information. Education is information. It has no power to change society. All that can be hoped is that certain individuals will realize, as they educate themselves (in my case despite all that “academia” tried in order to change my mind) that they are mind slaves of “something” much greater than themselves or their society. Then they must challenge themselves to uncover the cause of this “malaise” within their own mind and through no small effort, eradicate the original programming by literally re-inventing their thinking patterns through changes of belief and unbelief until something new is achieved and the old program completely eliminated.

Then what? Well, then they find themselves at odds with much that their society teaches, insists upon, takes for granted or accepts as necessary, even when such beliefs, concepts or acts make absolutely no sense.The programmed and the deprogrammed no longer understand one-another; they speak a different language.


As long as Homo Sapiens programmed entities are born to take over the status quo nothing permanent can change here. Going from a bone knife to a nuclear submarine is not change: the mindset remains the same because the mindset is the programming and it’s the mindset that determines the future.


The programming or operating system I speak of was once used to benefit the “inventors” of Homo Sapiens by controlling their minds to keep them enslaved and unable to reason things for themselves. Now its elites have discovered how to use this controlling programming to their own advantage. They use it to force the programmed mind-slaves to work for peanuts; to destroy their world to extract baubles that are of little or no value and in the process find it necessary and justifiable to destroy each other.


This final destruction it would seem, was always part of the original plan. The current mess we are in and cannot get out of is a consequence of a program that was meant to run the entire survival time of what has been aptly called, ‘the slave species of god.’

Since the programming cannot be stopped, there being no intelligence capable of exposing its existence; since it controls everything an Earthian thinks and does; since no mind powerful enough to counter it exists on Earth in this time, then the species must end.

It will not be destroyed outright: where’s the fun in that? It will be forced to self-destruct, watching itself helplessly doing so: the final gift of the gods. Amen.

Something about Today and the Future

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

Fact: Climate change (CC) is real and getting “realer” by the day.

Fact: Most national governments are subsidizing the fossil fuel industries like there is no tomorrow. (Because they know there isn’t one.)

Fact: A few people (relatively speaking) are concerned; a few love to use CC as a convenient topic of conversation and ranting; most remain content to see consumerism on the rise and honestly either don’t have a clue about climate change (i.e., what it means) or don’t give a flying f**k about it. I’m being observationally honest.

About CC: does it matter if it is a natural event or if it is anthropogenic (OK, man-made!)?

It does only in the sense that, if it is a natural event, nothing man does will make an iota of difference – it will run its course and how “deep” or how “high” it runs is outside of man’s control. So, there is no “option one” here.

If anthropogenic then man has a degree of control over it. He can change the focus of his technology (or ditch it altogether if changing it is too slow) and watch billions die horribly as their citified infrastructure no longer provides the means for health care, food, shelter, heat, water, sewer or and he can watch billions die from fossil fuel (FF) pollution and environmental collapse. 

Any attempts to re-focus global technology from FF to “renewable” or “clean” or “green” technology using the existing template dictated by predatory capitalism is, of course, hopeless. Capitalism is a totally predatory system. To use it, you have to present yourself to the bank with a predatory plan, or a sub-system that will feed the insatiable main god’s appetite for living prey. Anything that intends to curtail the god’s food supply will be mocked, delayed indefinitely, changed, or it will “fail” to meet certain “standards.” If it is economically viable however it will be allowed to proceed and the end result will be no better and likely worse than what it replaced. Do note: the problem isn’t the pollution but the accompanying mindset.

My opinion after a life time of involvement in environmental issues and social change, is that “man” as a species has simply overreached itself through greed and heartless corruption and it is reaping what it has been sowing for thousands of years. It needed only the higher numbers combined with an inhuman and inhumane science and machine-based technology heavily favouring oppression and destruction to bring itself to its own ignoble, fully deserved,  demise. 

If I really feel that way, and I most certainly do, then what words would I have for anyone who does care? Not much, except to say that the future isn’t annihilation, nor on a dead planet nor in some religiously concocted heaven, hell or nirvana. 

“You offer no alternative yet you speak as if there was a future for us?” would be a logical question.

Answer: there always was a future; there always will be a future. What we are living in now is the future we have made for ourselves. It was a short-sighted, dead-end future but it promised so much in terms of power over others; in terms of money and sex and other sources of self-gratification, we felt it was worth the throw of the dice. So we made our Faustian bargain with time; we were loaned stacks of “free” tokens to play with and we’ve played them all and the house won. Now? Now all we have to do is walk out of the casino – it’s about to go down in flames – and figure out how to create a new future – without the “free” tokens (which by the way are nothing more than insane debts of valueless currency owed to non-existent capital power structures fronted by psychopaths).

That’s what self empowerment means. It doesn’t mean smart inventors (and investors) figuring out how to keep your swimming pool filled when the water is running out. It doesn’t mean a hundred, or a thousand “Greta Thunberg” or “David Suzuki” or more political and elected advocates for some Green New Deal (or voting for them); or more never-binding international treaties on CC.

For me it has meant changing my lifestyle in specific and observable (demonstrable) ways. That’s “my” lifestyle, not anyone else’s. Self empowerment is not leading campaigns to change the world, or setting up alternate energy corporations within the existing religious/political/capitalistic agenda. It is all about changing me so I become the change I wish to see. Yeah, old and corny saying but quite valid nevertheless. 

If you still have a couple of minutes, here’s something from George Monbiot… a well-researched journalist with a few very meaningful comments on our times. 

Fossil Rebellion – monbiot.com


Fossil Rebellion

Posted: 12 Aug 2019 04:50 AM PDT

In the midst of climate breakdown, governments around the world are funding and protecting the fossil fuel industry

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 7th August 2019

The tragedy of our times is that the gathering collapse of our life support systems coincides with the age of public disservice. Just as we need to rise above self-interest and short termism, governments around the world now represent the meanest and dirtiest of special interests. In the United Kingdom, the US, Brazil, Australia and many other nations, pollutocrats rule.

The Earth’s systems are breaking down at astonishing speed. Wild fires roar across Siberia and Alaska, biting, in many places, deep into peat soils, releasing plumes of carbon dioxide and methane that cause more global heating. In July alone, Arctic wildfires are reckoned to have released as much carbon into the atmosphere as Austria does in a year: already the vicious twister of climate feedbacks has begun to turn. Torrents of meltwater pour from the Greenland ice cap, sweltering under a 15°C temperature anomaly. Daily ice losses on this scale are 50 years ahead of schedule: they were forecast by the climate models for 2070. A paper in Geophysical Research Letters reveals that the thawing of permafrost in the Canadian High Arctic now exceeds the depths of melting projected by scientists for 2090.

While record temperatures in Europe last month caused discomfort and disruption, in Southwest Asia they are already starting to reach the point at which the human body hits its thermal limits. Ever wider tracts of the world will come to rely on air-conditioning not only for basic comfort but also for human survival: another feedback spiral, as air-conditioning requires massive energy use. Those who cannot afford it will either move or die. Already, climate breakdown is driving more people from their homes than either poverty or conflict, while contributing to both these other factors.

A recent paper in Nature shows that we have little hope of preventing more than 1.5° of global heating unless we retire existing fossil fuel infrastructure. Even if no new gas or coal power plants, roads and airports are built, the carbon emissions from current installations are likely to push us past this threshold. Only by retiring some of this infrastructure before the end of its natural life could we secure a 50% chance of remaining within the temperature limit agreed in Paris in 2015. Yet, far from decommissioning this Earth-killing machine, almost everywhere governments and industry stoke its fires.

The oil and gas industry intends to spend $4.9 trillion over the next 10 years, exploring and developing new reserves, none of which we can afford to burn. According to the IMF, every year governments subsidise fossil fuels to the tune of $5 trillion: many times more than they spend on addressing our existential predicament. The US spends 10 times more on these mad subsidies than on its federal education budget. Last year, the world burnt more fossil fuels than ever before.

An analysis by Barry Saxifrage in Canada’s National Observer shows that half the fossil fuels ever used by humans have been burnt since 1990. While renewable and nuclear power supplies have also risen in this period, the gap between the production of fossil fuels and low carbon energy has not been narrowing, but steadily widening. What counts, in seeking to prevent runaway global heating, is not the good things we start to do, but the bad things we cease to do. Shutting down fossil infrastructure requires government intervention.

But in many nations, governments intervene not to protect humanity from the existential threat of fossil fuels, but to protect the fossil fuel industry from the existential threat of public protest. In the US, legislators in 18 states have put forward bills criminalising protests against pipelines, seeking to crush democratic dissent on behalf of the oil industry. In June, Donald Trump’s government proposed federal legislation that would jail people for up to 20 years for disrupting pipeline construction.

In several nations, led by the Philippines, Global Witness reports, governments have incited the murder of environmental protesters. The process begins with rhetoric, demonising civil protest as extremism and terrorism, then shifts to legislation, criminalising attempts to protect the living planet. Criminalisation then helps legitimise physical assaults and murder. The first stage has now begun in Britain, with the publication by a dark money-funded lobby group, Policy Exchange, of a report smearing Extinction Rebellion. Like all such publications, it was given a series of major platforms by the BBC, which preserved its customary absence of curiosity about who funded it.

Secretly-funded lobby groups – such as the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the Adam Smith Institute and the Institute of Economic Affairs – have supplied some of the key advisers to Boris Johnson’s government. He has also appointed Andrea Leadsom, an enthusiastic fracking advocate, to run the department responsible for climate policy, and Grant Schapps, who chaired the British infrastructure Group until last month – promoting the expansion of roads and airports – as Secretary of State for Transport. Last week the Guardian revealed documents suggesting that the firm run by Johnson’s funder and adviser Sir Lynton Crosby has produced unbranded Facebook ads on behalf of the coal industry.

What we see here looks like the denouement of the Pollution Paradox. Because the dirtiest industries attract the least public support, they have the greatest incentive to spend money on politics, to get the results they want and we don’t. They fund political parties, lobby groups and think tanks, fake grassroots organisations and dark ads on social media. As a result, politics comes to be dominated by the dirtiest industries.

We are told to fear the “extremists” who protest against ecocide and challenge dirty industry and the dirty governments it buys. But the extremists we should fear are those who hold office.

http://www.monbiot.com