The Slow-Motion Train Wreck of Industrial Civilization

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The linear thinking that has dominated Western civilization since the Enlightenment has become a death trap for mankind in the 21st century. The dynamic system of the Earth’s biosphere with its many interconnected parts interacting in complex and unpredictable ways is clashing with modern man’s linear, sequential, and reductionist frame of thought for solving problems. Technical fixes only act as bandaids to the inherent flaws of global techno-capitalism. Time lags and feedbacks set in motion by industrial civilization’s rampant consumption of natural resources will extend over centuries and into deep geologic time. Ignoring the various environmental and social warnings at our own peril, we neither fully understand nor comprehend the consequences of our unsustainable way of life. The laws of physics and chemistry are indifferent to such human tragedy.

Institutional changes required to deal with complicated problems such as climate change move at a sloth’s pace, and the transition to new energy sources has proven historically to be a long, drawn-out process spanning decades. Never mind the fact that so-called ‘green energy’ cannot support the current mode of living nor the overpopulated state of the planet. In other words, our current socio-economic system is unsalvageable.

After one accepts, at least on a subconscious level, these realities, is it then any wonder that nihilism is on the rise? What is more nihilistic than the view that our fate is the end result of the “evolutionary success of an exceptionally rapacious primate”, that “human intelligence is a lethal mutation”(Ernst Mayr), and that industrial civilization is a cancerous growth? I would qualify such thinking by stating that intelligence without wisdom brings destruction. Wisdom is not a genetic trait and has little to do with intelligence. Wisdom is attained through life experience and conscious choice.

There is nothing wise about the culture of capitalist industrial civilization. Global capitalism co-opts and corrupts everything within its sphere; what it cannot control, it kills. Flip the channel to CNN’s Anothony Bourdain and you’ll see a celebration of unrestrained capitalism and “free markets” in China, a country suffocating under the weight of its own pollution:

…Shanghai can come as a rude surprise. In spite of its nominally communist system, it is the most go-go, unfettered, money and status mad, materialistic place on earth. Its skyline alone is confirmation that money talks loudest. In no other city could you build the world’s largest, tallest and ominously curved phallus—stick it right up into the clouds like a giant “FUCK YOU!” to the world and not have trouble with the NIMBYs…

Billions clamoring for an American level of consumption appears to be the real weapon of mass destruction on the planet. Capitalism shows no sign of stopping its downward spiral into barbarism:

The dilemma of progress, as captured neatly by the authors of The Axemaker’s Gift(1995), is that the human species’ very success in exploiting its natural environment and dominating others of their kind (the two go hand in hand), and generally fulfilling its aspirations (and its aspirations, unlike those of all other animals, seem to have no limits) has directly led to its self-destruction. The linear march of progress, on this view, has been from human life in caves only minimally taxing its environment, to life as tribes and agriculturalists exploiting it just a bit more, to modern life. And what is modernity but the triangle of secular science, corporate-capitalism, and nation-states – all made possible by the human ability to create large, secular, result-oriented organizations? In this inexorable story of progress, nature (as well as human lifestyles friendlier to it) have been the losers.
~ Dr. Ovamir Anjum

Dennis Meadows, one of the authors of the prophetic book The Limits to Growth, says that because capitalist industries and the political-legal framework supporting them are so powerful and entrenched, humanity will not evolve through proactive change, but will stumble into multiple unfolding crises as it clings to failing policies and ideologies of promoting material growth at the expense of all else. If we look at current news, this is clearly what is happening:

Global debt is still soaring:

Snap 2014-09-29 at 12.38.19

…Overall, the world’s total debt load has risen from 160 per cent of national income in 2001 to almost 200 per cent after the crisis struck in 2009.

But contrary to all the talk of “deleveraging” that ratio has actually increased since the financial crisis, and was up to 215 per cent globally last year. Put another way, the world owed a collective $70 trillion US before the last recession. But today that figure is up to $100 trillion.

“Contrary to widely held beliefs, the world has not yet begun to delever and the global debt to GDP ratio is still growing, breaking new highs,” the report reads…

The cognitive dissonance between our fossil fuel use and the collapsing environment continues:

Snap 2014-09-29 at 12.44.34

Snap 2014-09-29 at 12.48.42

Global overpopulation shows no signs of stopping:

Snap 2014-09-29 at 12.58.20

The Wealth Gap continues to grow:

Snap 2014-09-29 at 13.06.07

The most striking finding in the new Survey of Consumer Finances may be the degree to which wealth is being concentrated in the hands of a small portion of the population.

That trend isn’t new. “Many other studies have also shown the lasting effects of the recession and documented rising income disparity in the United States,” writes Reuters.

But the SCF shows that the wealth gap continues to grow. The share of wealth belonging to the richest 3 percent of Americans was:

44.8 percent in 1989.
51.8 percent in 2007.
54.4 percent in 2013.

And the 6th extinction is far worse than we realize:

Snap 2014-09-29 at 13.19.41

These are just a few of the realities once we scrape away the greenwashing, political spin, and optimism bias humans are prone to, but let’s not get “lost in a roman wilderness of pain.” Check back with me next year and the story will be much the same as humans accept higher poverty rates, a steeper Keeling Curve, and lower biodiversity levels as the new normal. There’s a name for this gradual adaptation of humans to a worsening environment —environmental generational amnesia. We really won’t know what we’ve been missing until everything is far too gone to support another generation of humans.

About xraymike79

I'm a social critic, political/cultural commentator and artist. The modern industrial world is on the cusp of great changes to our current unsustainable way of life. Most people are oblivious to the paradigm shift that will occur, but some are starting to awaken to the fact that the future will not resemble the halcyon days of the last half century in America as evidenced by the OWS movement. My objective is to highlight important news stories and find the truth that is hidden behind what Joe Bageant called the American Hologram. www.collapseofindustrialcivilization.com

106 thoughts on “The Slow-Motion Train Wreck of Industrial Civilization”

  1. Thanks Mike.

    Marine biologist Daniel Pauly, the man who coined the term “shifting baselines” back in 1995, warns that modern fishing practices, left unmanaged, will leave little but jellyfish and plankton in the sea for future generations to eat.

    Jellyfish – It’s whats for dinner!

    This is from 2012. Since then it has gotten worse, way worse. Then again what environmental problem hasn’t?

    • david higham said:

      Thanks,Apneaman.(and thanks to Mike for the first class essay)
      If anyone is interested in reading about the current and future state of the oceans,I can recommend”Stung’ by Gershwin.Overfishing and acidification is changing the ocean ecosystem to a jellyfish dominated system which is then difficult to change.
      Great. More good news.What we need is a neutron bomb designed to target only our species.(And leave you and me intact ,of course.One needs to have the priorities right.)

  2. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    “Human limitations and ignorance are causing Earth’s environment to deteriorate, species to go extinct, and climate to become inhospitable.” Sounds like radical talk until you see that the most respected scientists and news media are saying the same things. You might once have considered the discussion in this post quite radical, but now I think you will find that it simply gives an articulate insight to our new reality.

  3. Here’s an interesting talk given by Mr. Dennis Meadows earlier this month. If you have any questions for him, let me know and I’ll send them his way.

    • hihi he was in austria…but austria is very deaf about peak all or the methane dragon in the arctic etc…he did some interviews here in austria with some provocative thoughts like immigration makes transition more difficult. i think austria and hungaria will be the first to switch to a fascist regime like michael greer mentioned on his druid blog. soon there will be again death camps for some scapegoating of people. david korowitz made a great article how we got trapped in the monkey trap.

  4. Byu79KZIYAAQtZ6

  5. Plankton! Ocean acidification will remove that option from the menu. Industrial fishing has made ocean bottoms resemble bulldozed rain forests. We’ve stripped the joint, top to bottom.

  6. Pingback from Reddit:
    Snap 2014-09-30 at 01.38.23

  7. Everything to know about Occupy Central in Hong Kong:
    http://shuzheng.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/occupy-central-the-protest-the-politics-qa/

    Pro Democracy Supporters Attempt To Bring Hong Kong To A Stand Still With Mass Rally

  8. CoIC,

    Spot on!

    I think homo sapiens will eventually wake up and revolt against the system – maybe in less than ten years!

    That will prove to be about three decades too late. Our collective idiocy was ignoring “The Limits to Growth” by the Club of Rome.

    Brian Orr

    • Brian,

      Don’t know whether most homo sapiens will ever wake up and revolt. From any indications I get, the needle hasn’t moved at all.

      Do this taste test. I dare you.

      Ask any college student you know (especially those majoring in some aspect of environmentalism) whether they’ve read any version of “The Limits to Growth”.

      I believe the total I’ve met could be counted using my digits alone. The vast majority look at me with a blank face. They’ve not heard it mentioned by their “professors” or anyone let alone read it (which wouldn’t be possible unless they at least heard of it). Students from the New School, NYU, Columbia, Baruch, Hunter or CUNY. Or ask those people selling wind power at the farmer’s markets.

      That’s an education? That’s what they are going into debt for? It’s like their driving without a map, oh, excuse me, without a gps as I’ve come across quite a few youngsters who can’t even read a map and can’t function without the dam electronic technology.

      Recent movement to forgive these students their debt and I shake my head in disbelief. It’s sad that they weren’t educated in High School as to how to do and live within a budget. That most parents don’t even sit down with their offspring to see the college they’ve picked is something they could actually afford.

  9. Robert Callaghan said:

    kudos for hanging in there, tough gig,
    our rapaciousness is our strength and weakness
    love the “come back next year” line
    in tough times a little denial is good, too much is bad
    by 2020 we will still hear the same stories
    we will still hear the big narrative, even if there is only one person left to listen.
    Russia and Exxon made a big oil discovery in the Arctic Seas

  10. Robert Callaghan said:

    i just watched Disruption recently
    it was made by the same people who refuse my comments
    it starts with the usual dire warnings
    then the music starts with the upbeat promise of “sustainable” energy
    the crescendo builds momentum until a musical-narrative climax is reached
    with the promise of a “green” world
    after it is done i feel dirty and want a post-climatic cigarette

  11. What else could mankind do, given its rarely evolved ambidextrous qualities, poised between information and tools and presented with seemingly unlimited amounts of energy? Vanquish the old enemies that previously disposed of family and friend in very unpleasant ways. And so growth and technological embellishment began. Everyone just wanted to be happy, but death was still hanging around although postponed for many. And now, through our hell-bent drives to escape, we find ourselves, like a final stage metastasized cancer, watching the once thriving body/biosphere begin to fail. In the meantime, all of the humans want more, more, more from the failing body. Protospeciated tribal entities known as nations are engaged in battle for the remaining energy resources so they can claim victory over a gasping corpse whose decay will eventually suffocate them.

    Humans are not intelligent, they’re just components in an out of control complex adaptive system that, by its very nature can never be adapted to an environment suited to a different complex adaptive system – life and the biosphere. Ask Dr. Meadows how much headway he’s making in putting the reins on our profit-oriented humanoma. Never mind, I already know the answer.

  12. Pingback from http://www.blckdgrd.com/:

    Snap 2014-09-30 at 09.02.22

  13. A ‘peak everything/social disruption’ blog in Alicante, Spain that links to me.

    Google translate is always a little sketchy:

    http://www.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Flosmonostambiencuran.blogspot.com%2F&sandbox=1

  14. From the front row of the American Freakshow:

    Snap 2014-09-30 at 09.30.02

  15. Gravity Shift Reveals West Antarctic Ice Loss

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is headed toward “unstoppable” collapse according to recent studies. A new visual released by the European Space Agency show what the start of that collapse looks like both for the mass of the ice sheet and its signature on the planet’s gravitational field.

    9_26_14_Brian_WAISGravity
    A map of West Antarctic showing ice loss from 2009-12.
    Credit: ESA

    We think of gravity as a constant, holding us in place on the planet. But the reality is there are small changes in gravity all over the globe. Not enough that you’ll feel lighter on your feet in one place compared to another, but enough that scientists can use satellites to measure the differences. Those measurements can, in turn, help us better understand the world around us, from how earthquakes shift land to how fast ice sheets are receding and what that means for sea level rise.

    The measurements released by the European Space Agency on Friday fall into the latter category. They show gravity in the region is decreasing as the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has melted faster and faster over a 3-year period from 2009-12, sending more water into the sea.

    This region of the ice sheet has been intensely studied by scientists and recent research indicate melt could be “unstoppable.” The melt of that section of the ice sheet would raise sea levels 10-13 feet, though the timetable for that happening is centuries, not single years or decades.

    The new measurements will help scientists refine their understanding of what’s happening in the land way down under. Scientists are looking to expand the analysis to all of Antarctic to get a better sense of how ice is moving there. Recent estimates of Antarctic ice sheet loss are in the range of 125 cubic kilometers a year, which accounts for about 10 percent of observed sea level rise.

  16. More of that cognitive dissonance from our fossil fuel addiction:

    Snap 2014-09-30 at 10.51.22

  17. Look at all the little people:Snap 2014-09-30 at 10.58.08

  18. Snap 2014-09-30 at 11.03.41

  19. Snap 2014-09-30 at 11.39.52

    …One reason that more young people apply is that other options are becoming more limited and less desirable. As income inequalities escalate, the cost of failing to secure a place in the top half of society rises, and so the perceived benefits of a university education rise in turn. If future UK society is to have a few more princes and many more paupers, then the risk of taking on student debt may be less than the risk of not going to university. The worst that happens if you fail is bankruptcy. Even a form of bankruptcy you can never write off might be worth the risk of a chance to make it into the best-off 1%; if that tiny group are to get a greater and greater share in future…

    • People who need student loans don’t usually make the 1%. I think he means the managerial class. 10% or so.

  20. The fundamental problem on Earth today is human selfishness. Egotism, greed, violence, hubris, and narcissism are threatening to destroy the human species and many other life forms on the planet.

    The alternative to this fatal disease of selfishness is a life based on love. Such a life aims to cherish and care for all living beings and their total environment. It seeks to provide for the maximum happiness and healthy development of all beings.

    How to replace selfishness with hearts full of love is the essential project for humans at this time. Failure to accomplish this will result in human extinction, or worse.

    How are we to make this transition? This is the most important problem we need to consider. Please begin working on this, and share your results with others. We don’t have much time…

    BTW if you disagree with what is herein stated, please let me know – dialog is the way we achieve clarity and understanding. If you think the above is meaningless and irrelevant, good luck on your journey ahead, you are going to need it.

    • There is a kind of hubris in your claim that humans are uniquely selfish. All life is selfish, though some life has by chance found finds alliances in symbiosis (eg fungus and algae in lichen).

      Was eradicating the smallpox virus not selfish?

      The problem is the huge magnification of our selfish abilities by use of technology. Even you use technology, and you say you’re loving.

      • Thanks for your comments Barbara. I tried to further characterize the disease of selfishness as involving egotism, greed, violence, and narcissism. These extreme aspects of self-centeredness are quite different from healthy self-love or survival and self-maintenance activities. The proponents of capitalism often seek to conflate normal and healthy self regard with the all out unethical and destructive greed that their system actually results in. They also use a fallacious argument that cut throat competition is “nature’s” way and hence should be followed. The selfishness I am decrying is destroying human lives and life on Earth. It is an unnatural overgrowth of normal human tendencies that totally distorts their proper and healthy manifestation. It is the opposite of real love, which it cynically denies having any reality. Selfishness claims to be the only real and actual human motivation. Those obsessed with this disorder will maintain that love is really disguised self-interest pretending not to be that. And we have not even begun to examine materialism or logical positivism which make similar claims of absolute authority and conclusive explanatory power.

        I don’t know if my attempt at clarification makes sense to you, Barbara. We all interpret words like love or selfishness in our own ways, which means we have to dialog to understand each other. Maybe love in it’s aspect of patience and tolerance will help us to come closer to that much needed mutual understanding….

  21. “Billions clamoring for an American level of consumption…” Well, what does that tell you? It ain’t “capitalism” or “industrial civilization”

    “The destruction of the natural world is not the result of global capitalism, industrialisation, “Western civilisation” or any flaw in human institutions. It is a consequence of the evolutionary success of an exceptionally rapacious primate. Throughout all of history and prehistory, human advance has coincided with ecological devastation.” John Gray, Straw Dogs

    • I haven’t read the book but am looking into it. It appears, however, that even John Gray has an underlying message of hope in his book(from a reviewer):

      …I detect, though, a positive agenda, which Gray only intimates between the lines, and that is the most conservative belief system of all, animism. If humans dropped their pretense at superiority and stopped all their doomed scheming, accepting their equal status with their fellow animals, and acted with humility and reverence toward their fellow beings, then all might be well. This seems to be Gray’s covert plan for salvation, and it is in fact one I can wholeheartedly endorse…

  22. Below is a posting by GliderGuider (aka Paul Chefurka) on the recent news of greater than previously estimated biodiversity loss:

    This week’s big story is the incredible decline of global wildlife.

    On Friday I released the first version of the graphic included below. A few days later, in an incredible stroke of timing, the following story hit the headlines, completely confirming the data in my chart. Human beings and our domestic animals have almost wiped out global wildlife, mainly by destroying their habitat and killing them directly for food, sport, or to protect our domestic animals.

    Half of world’s animals have disappeared since 1970

    Half of the animals in the world have disappeared since 1970 because of uncontrollable human expansion, shocking new figures have shown.

    A report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has found that populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined on average by 52 per cent in the last 40 years.

    And for freshwater creatures the situation is even bleaker, with population collapse of more than three quarters over the same period.

    Almost the entire decline is down to human activity, through habitat loss, deforestation, climate change, over-fishing and hunting.

    The graphical presentation of the situation is pretty sobering.

    untitled

    In that graphic, the “wild animal” biomass doesn’t include insects, bacteria, or marine organisms.

    I used three data sources to develop the chart: a paper by world-respected ecological scientist Vaclav Smil, called “Harvesting the Biosphere”, linked below; world population estimates from the Wikipedia article of the same name; and the UN’s Medium Fertility variant for the human population in 2050 (9.6 billion).

    The definition I used for Global Carrying Capacity is, “The biomass the planet can support without the assistance of human technology or fossil fuels.” The impact of human activity has gradually eroded the Earth’s carrying capacity over time, which is why I show the red dotted line sloping down to the right. The degree of erosion is very hard to estimate. My guess is that we may have lost around 25% by this point, some of which would of course be naturally regenerated over time in the absence of human activity. Any biomass above that dotted line has to be supported by human technology and energy supplies (which at this point are mostly from fossil fuels).

    The conclusion is that we have been living in the midst of an accelerating Global Mass Extinction Event for over 100 years already. Unfortunately we’ve been too fixated on human issues like economics and politics to even notice, let alone realize what it means. Those who did realize the significance, both to wildlife and the human species, have been powerless to act in the face of economics and politics.

    So now what do we do? Anybody?

    http://vaclavsmil.com/wp-content/uploads/PDR37-4.Smil_.pgs613-636.pdf

    Paul gives the following further explanation for the graph:

    The definition one uses for “carrying capacity” is so loose as to make it quite arbitrary. Here’s the definition I used: “The global carrying capacity is the total biomass of the organisms under consideration that the planet can support without the assistance of technology or fossil fuels.”

    Accordingly, I estimated the carrying capacity in this case as being about the same as the world’s wild animal biomass in 10,000 BCE, with the assumption that the unassisted carrying capacity of the world would have been fully utilized at that point. I estimated the wild animal biomass in 10,000 BCE as being somewhat less than the combined wild and domestic animal biomass in 1900, per Smil. I made it lower in order to account for the technological intensification of farming already well under way by that time.

    The slope of the carrying capacity line is arbitrary, because it’s impossible to determine how much we have actually eroded the world’s unassisted carrying capacity. We just know that we have. I chose the slope to correspond to my belief that we’ve eroded it by about 25% at this point. The actual slope is therefore somewhat editorial.

    • I don’t know about you people, but that graph above scares the hell out of me. I’ll try to gather more information and do a post on this.

      • I just can’t see that 2050 projection ever happening.

        • Ted Howard said:

          2050 is very optimistic!
          This graph as xraymike points out, should be scaring the hell out of everybody.

          But it doesn’t. Not because we’re homo sapiens, but because we’re homo colossus aka homo economicus. We live in a consensus trance bubble of “civlised” human exceptionalism, mostly ungrounded/uneducated in both ecology and energy dynamics. And this is by design, via our educational institutions, governments, and enormous business pressure for continuance of the dominant culture we find ourselves captive in.

          Deeply understanding The 6th Mass Extinction and what it means has completely changed my life. But I’m also not fooling myself that this can be grasped by the masses. Most “civilised” via designed ignorance or willful denial, aren’t interested.

          “The dominant culture is insane and unreachable, as are most of it’s inhabitants.”
          Derrick Jensen.

          IMO nothing changes until this is grasped.

          • Excellent comment and spot on.

            Let me add a quote from one of my favorite human beings:

            “It is not accidental that the environmental crisis we face is twinned with the economic crisis. It stems from the same disease which is turning everything —human beings into a commodity, the natural environment into a commodity— that we exploit until it dies. Either we awake from this illusion or commit collective suicide.”
            ~ Chris Hedges

      • not to forget the non renewable sources like phosphorus we have wasted and dumped into the sea. aka fossil water we are running out..perfect storm is coming. listen to it.

  23. Industrial civilization is sleepwalking towards a lot of disasters, one of which is another nuclear catastrophe:

    Japan heading mindlessly towards more nuclear disasters – former Tokai mayor

    Former Tokai mayor says Japan is sleep-walking toward further nuclear disasters, Fukushima Emergency what can we do? Sep 30, 2014 TOKAI, IBARAKI PREF. – The Fukushima nuclear disaster reflects a failure by the government to learn from Japan’s first deadly nuclear accident 15 years ago in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, according to the village’s former mayor…

  24. Listen to the podcast:Snap 2014-10-01 at 08.12.58

  25. “If you want to bring a fundamental change in people’s belief and behavior you need to create a community around them where those new beliefs can be practiced, and expressed, and nurtured.” Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

    It seems to me that means selling to the people the acceptance of the new way of life as their own preference. That way of life could look like this – America as a vast landscape of free, shared eco-villages modeled after college campuses with shared kitchens and dining halls, modest housing, shared laundry facilities, shared recreational facilities, community car pool, organic gardens and small farming, and, in lieu of jobs & taxes, a few hours a day of community service that provides the infrastructure and human services to keep it all functioning smoothly. There would be free education, free health care, free meals, free travel. And etcetera, as far as our imaginations can take us.

    There are 2.2 arable acres of land per living person in the United States, more than most countries can provide their populations, but we have to bypass the machinery of capitalism to transform that land from privately controlled commodities into a sustainable system supporting a truly free population. We must put human rights above profits to make this work.

    Thus we hold a debt jubilee to free ourselves from all obligation to and support of the predatory financial systems. Then we free the land that will become the platforms for the self-sustaining eco-villages and we create the New Era Citizen’s Conservation Corps and get everyone who’s able bodied and not holding jobs to start developing and moving into the eco-villages to demonstrate that the system of free living is superior to the corporate/government jobs system of consumerism and profits. (Our government withholds in trust for us nearly 30% of our land which is equivalent to 1,115,344 square miles and is equal to the combined land masses of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, New Zealand, Ireland, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, and Bermuda. Combined these countries support populations of 383,502,896 people which is 66,533,896 MORE PEOPLE THAN THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES in the size of land mass the U.S. government controls.)

    Through social media we must make it anti-patriotic, anti-Christian, anti-survival, to hoard and consume resources at an unsustainable level. We must make taking jobs that forward the goals of corpgov predatory capitalism an embarrassment, not a an honor. And at the same time we will be creating the platform for a new social design in which it is the right and responsibility of each of us to live within the means of the planet to support a decent, but not extravagant, standard of life for all of us.

    If we don’t do this the crushing weight of the predatory system will cause the next massive extinction of species on Earth. And as Thomas Jefferson said to James Madison on 6 Sept.,1789 “On similar ground it may be proved that no society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation. They may manage it then, and what proceeds from it, as they please, during their usufruct. They are masters too of their own persons, and consequently may govern them as they please. But persons and property make the sum of the objects of government. The constitution and the laws of their predecessors extinguished then in their natural course with those who gave them being. This could preserve that being till it ceased to be itself, and no longer. Every constitution then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right.–It may be said that the succeeding generation exercising in fact the power of repeal, this leaves them as free as if the constitution or law has been expressly limited to 19 years only. In the first place, this objection admits the right, in proposing an equivalent. But the power of repeal is not an equivalent. It might be indeed if every form of government were so perfectly contrived that the will of the majority could always be obtained fairly and without impediment. But this is true of no form. The people cannot assemble themselves. Their representation is unequal and vicious. Various checks are opposed to every legislative proposition. Factions get possession of the public councils. Bribery corrupts them. Personal interests lead them astray from the general interests of their constituents: and other impediments arise so as to prove to every practical man that a law of limited duration is much more manageable than one which needs a repeal.” http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch2s23.html

  26. Essential reading:Snap 2014-10-01 at 08.33.39

    Excerpts:

    C.J. Polychroniou: In a nationally televised address on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States, Obama announced to the American people and the rest of the world that the United States is going back to war in Iraq, this time against the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Is Iraq an unfinished business of the US invasion of 2003, or is the situation there merely the inevitable outcome of the strategic agenda of the Empire of Chaos?

    Noam Chomsky: “Inevitable” is a strong word, but the appearance of ISIS and the general spread of radical jihadism is a fairly natural outgrowth of Washington wielding its sledgehammer at the fragile society of Iraq, which was barely hanging together after a decade of US-UK sanctions so onerous that the respected international diplomats who administered them via the UN both resigned in protest, charging that they were “genocidal.”

    One of the most respected mainstream US Middle East analysts, former CIA operative Graham Fuller, recently wrote that “I think the United States is one of the key creators of [ISIS]. The United States did not plan the formation of ISIS, but its destructive interventions in the Middle East and the war in Iraq were the basic causes of the birth of ISIS.”

    He is correct, I think. The situation is a disaster for the US, but is a natural result of its invasion. One of the grim consequences of US-UK aggression was to inflame sectarian conflicts that are now tearing Iraq to shreds, and have spread over the whole region, with awful consequences.

    ISIS seems to represent a new jihadist movement, with greater inherent tendencies toward barbarity in the pursuit of its mission to re-establish an Islamic caliphate, yet apparently more able to recruit young radical Muslims from the heart of Europe, and even as far as Australia, than al-Qaeda itself. In your view, why has religious fanaticism become the driving force behind so many Muslim movements around the world?

    Like Britain before it, the US has tended to support radical Islam and to oppose secular nationalism, which both imperial states have regarded as more threatening to their goals of domination and control. When secular options are crushed, religious extremism often fills the vacuum. Furthermore, the primary US ally over the years, Saudi Arabia, is the most radical Islamist state in the world and also a missionary state, which uses its vast oil resources to promulgate its extremist Wahabi/Salafi doctrines by establishing schools, mosques, and in other ways, and has also been the primary source for the funding of radical Islamist groups, along with Gulf Emirates – all US allies.

    It’s worth noting that religious fanaticism is spreading in the West as well, as democracy erodes. The US is a striking example. There are not many countries in the world where the large majority of the population believes that God’s hand guides evolution, and almost half of these think that the world was created a few thousand years ago. And as the Republican Party has become so extreme in serving wealth and corporate power that it cannot appeal to the public on its actual policies, it has been compelled to rely on these sectors as a voting base, giving them substantial influence on policy…

    Since the late 1970s, most advanced economies have returned to predatory capitalism. As a result, income and wealth inequality have reached spectacular heights, poverty is becoming entrenched, unemployment is skyrocketing and standards of living are declining. In addition, “really existing capitalism” is causing mass environmental damage and destruction which, along with the population explosion, is leading us to an unmitigated global disaster. Can civilization survive really existing capitalism?

    First, let me say that what I have in mind by the term “really existing capitalism” is what really exists and what is called “capitalism.” The United States is the most important case, for obvious reasons. The term “capitalism” is vague enough to cover many possibilities. It is commonly used to refer to the US economic system, which receives substantial state intervention, ranging from creative innovation to the “too-big-to-fail” government insurance policy for banks, and which is highly monopolized, further limiting market reliance.

    It’s worth bearing in mind the scale of the departures of “really existing capitalism” from official “free-market capitalism.” To mention only a few examples, in the past 20 years, the share of profits of the 200 largest enterprises has risen sharply, carrying forward the oligopolistic character of the US economy. This directly undermines markets, avoiding price wars through efforts at often-meaningless product differentiation through massive advertising, which is itself dedicated to undermining markets in the official sense, based on informed consumers making rational choices. Computers and the internet, along with other basic components of the IT revolution, were largely in the state sector (R&D, subsidy, procurement, and other devices) for decades before they were handed over to private enterprise for adaptation to commercial markets and profit. The government insurance policy, which provides big banks with enormous advantages, has been roughly estimated by economists and the business press to be perhaps on the order of as much as $80 billion a year. However, a recent study by the International Monetary Fund indicates – to quote the business press – that perhaps “the largest US banks aren’t really profitable at all,” adding that “the billions of dollars they allegedly earn for their shareholders were almost entirely a gift from US taxpayers.” This is more evidence to support the judgment of Martin Wolf of the London Financial Times, that “an out-of-control financial sector is eating out the modern market economy from inside, just as the larva of the spider wasp eats out the host in which it has been laid.”

    In a way, all of this explains the economic devastation produced by contemporary capitalism that you underscore in your question above. Really existing capitalism – RECD for short (pronounced “wrecked”) – is radically incompatible with democracy. It seems to me unlikely that civilization can survive really existing capitalism and the sharply attenuated democracy that goes along with it. Could functioning democracy make a difference? Consideration of nonexistent systems can only be speculative, but I think there’s some reason to think so. Really existing capitalism is a human creation, and can be changed or replaced…

    In a recent exchange we had, I expressed my pessimism about the future of our species. You replied by saying “I share your conviction, but keep remembering the line I’ve occasionally quoted from the Analects, defining the ‘exemplary person’ – presumably the master himself: ‘the one who keeps trying, though he knows there is no hope.'” Is the situation as dire as that?

    We cannot know for sure. What we do know, however, is that if we succumb to despair we will help ensure that the worst will happen. And if we grasp the hopes that exist and work to make the best use of them, there might be a better world.

    Not much of a choice.

    • “The one who keeps trying, though he knows there is no hope”

      No one knows that there is no hope for humankind. Those who rest in this conclusion have no more certain evidence than their own surrender to despair. It does not mean that there is not a ton of evidence pointing towards a fatal conclusion, but there is no absolute knowledge about that. Probability is not certainty, however much scientific or religious adherents might wish it to be so. All the belaboring of hopium is to me no more than another kind of opium, in the form of a smug false certainty that absolves one from the really difficult work of trying to find possible ways out of our morass, or at least ameliorative possibilities if we do go down. To sit on the sidelines heckling those who continue to seek solutions is just not appealing to me. Actually, at some point I would say it just really sucks!

      • Agreed.

      • People are overwhelmed. Think of The Dark Mountain people. These are people who defined themselves by their environmentalism. It’s what and who they were, and many of them had been at it for decades yet they basically walked away. I found that to be very telling and demoralizing. Your right about the smugness; it’s almost like some people can’t wait to be proven right (very human) regardless of the cost. Kinda like deniers; it’s all about soothing the psyche. There is a storm coming that can’t be stopped and we might be done in a matter of decades, but in the mean time people need to ask themselves if they want their kids and grand kids to live under a fascist boot? That is the real fight.

  27. Snap 2014-10-01 at 08.54.18

  28. Beijing just sent a chilling message to Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution

    …Not only is Beijing unwilling to reconsider the August decision to allow only Communist Party-approved candidates to run for Hong Kong’s highest office, but Hong Kongers who continue to participate in the protests should expect dire consequences, an editorial in the People’s Daily newspaper warned today.

    Some activists and analysts, including a former Tiananmen student leader, say the piece bears a marked similarity to a notorious editorial that ran the People’s Daily more than 25 years ago. That piece was later blamed for leading to the brutal crackdown on demonstrations, which killed hundreds or thousands, depending on estimates…

    • This is the boot I mentioned earlier. Seems like governments the world over are lacing up their boots.

  29. Snap 2014-10-01 at 09.35.46

  30. Snap 2014-10-01 at 10.05.03Snap 2014-10-01 at 08.24.41

  31. Portfolio of Egyptian artist whose work will grace the cover of Pink Floyd’s first album in 20 years (to be released in November):

    https://www.behance.net/aee

  32. Snap 2014-10-01 at 11.02.20

  33. Must Read:af7d49a3-19a3-4e55-af86-c16d78ef4c6c

  34. From Jay Hanson:Snap 2014-10-01 at 12.02.48

  35. Snap 2014-10-01 at 12.16.53

    • Almost finished “Cracked” the book you mentioned a few weeks back. In the opening chapter the author wrote about a few research experiments that I remember reading about while I was back in “school” wanting to career change from Wall St. to Psychology. After reading about those occurrences I realized that I was already having the same problems with my professors that I was having on Wall St. The the field wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be and that it was more phony than the “experts” were letting on.

      Regarding how cheaply or how much we valued African lives.

      Heard a great interview on today’s Sojourner Truth on WBAI with author Gerald Horne which fits in well with this comment.

      The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America

      The successful 1776 revolt against British rule in North America has been hailed almost universally as a great step forward for humanity. But the Africans then residing in the colonies overwhelmingly sided with London. In this trailblazing book, Gerald Horne complements his earlier celebrated Negro Comrades of the Crown, by showing that in the prelude to 1776, the abolition of slavery seemed all but inevitable in London, delighting Africans as much as it outraged slaveholders, and sparking the colonial revolt.

      In the prelude to 1776, more and more Africans were joining the British military, and anti-slavery sentiments were deepening throughout Britain. And in the Caribbean, rebellious Africans were chasing Europeans to the mainland. Unlike their counterparts in London, the European colonists overwhelmingly associated enslaved Africans with subversion and hostility to the status quo. For European colonists, the major threat to security in North America was a foreign invasion combined with an insurrection of the enslaved. And as 1776 approached, London-imposed abolition throughout the colonies was a very real and threatening possibility—a possibility the founding fathers feared could bring the slave rebellions of Jamaica and Antigua to the thirteen colonies. To forestall it, they went to war.

      The so-called Revolutionary War, Horne writes, was in large part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their liberty to enslave others—and which today takes the form of a racialized conservatism and a persistent racism targeting the descendants of the enslaved. The Counter-Revolution of 1776 drives us to a radical new understanding of the traditional heroic creation myth of the United States.

      Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow

      The histories of Cuba and the United States are tightly intertwined and have been for at least two centuries. In Race to Revolution, historian Gerald Horne examines a critical relationship between the two countries by tracing out the typically overlooked interconnections among slavery, Jim Crow, and revolution. Slavery was central to the economic and political trajectories of Cuba and the United States, both in terms of each nation’s internal political and economic development and in the interactions between the small Caribbean island and the Colossus of the North.

      Horne draws a direct link between the black experiences in two very different countries and follows that connection through changing periods of resistance and revolutionary upheaval. Black Cubans were crucial to Cuba’s initial independence, and the relative freedom they achieved helped bring down Jim Crow in the United States, reinforcing radical politics within the black communities of both nations. This in turn helped to create the conditions that gave rise to the Cuban Revolution which, on New Years’ Day in 1959, shook the United States to its core.

      Based on extensive research in Havana, Madrid, London, and throughout the U.S., Race to Revolution delves deep into the historical record, bringing to life the experiences of slaves and slave traders, abolitionists and sailors, politicians and poor farmers. It illuminates the complex web of interaction and influence that shaped the lives of many generations as they struggled over questions of race, property, and political power in both Cuba and the United States.

      • Fascinating. Mark Ames had an interesting expose on Ferguson as well:

        Ferguson is our “libertarian moment,” but not in the way some libertarians want you to believe

      • Isn’t the book you mentioned, “cracked” about psychiatry and pharmaceuticals, not psychology. I’m waiting for my turn at the library for it. I have found psychology to be quite useful as an explanatory tool, although I don’t buy all of it. Great fun too. I went on an anti-depressant while the medical system was figuring out what was wrong with me (severe sleep apnea). It took almost a year because the system is so overloaded. I would have to say the medication worked, because after a few weeks I no longer felt like jumping off the bridge. That is probably because I felt nothing at all. I got off that stuff within days of going on CPAP and have not looked back. Boy am I ever going to be fucked when the power goes out for good. So are a lot of people (and the people around them) when the drugs stop flowing.

        • Apeneaman,

          Although the word psychiatry appears in the title the author is a psychotherapist with a background in medical and social anthropology.

          From my understanding and from the years I spent back in school trying to get the required courses needed to able to the PhD programs in Psychology the differences between a psychiatrist and a psychologist are slight, but dependent on some factors.

          Within the field itself Psychiatrists went to Medical School and this gave them the privilege of writing those prescriptions which therapists (PhD or MSW) had no right o do. This created quick a bit of friction between the two fields. I don’t think many are complete Freudians using a couch all the time any long as there are so many kinds of methods used today.

          None of the methods used has any scientific validity. I just finished reading “The Therapy Industry” which confirmed for me that there is no evidence the talking cure works.

          Moving on to Davies book was even more mind blowing. I find his writing style engaging and easy to grasp. It’s a real page turner to me and each page only reveals more confirmation of things that I’ve observed and had tried to raise in conversations.

          First, of all the DSM is the bible for all forms of therapy. It’s how Insurance companies work to reimburse. Then to find out that the way this guide was created was without any supporting evidence and then that subsequent versions only contaminate the original version is unreal.

          The method is so much like what the IPCC uses in and even the ultra secretive MPCC (if you get a chance watch – This Film Will Not Be Rated). If consensus doesn’t work then the majority wins. It’s not an objective, nor a rational process and you’d be surprised as what guides decisions.

          For example if you are suspected of having an illness, you have to have a certain number of criteria to met the diagnosis. Only that certain number, say 5 out of 6, is only determined by pulling numbers out of your a-hold. Imagine that.

          There is also more evidence that the anti-depressants function less well than placebo. Imagine that. Only that’s not good for business. When you find out that all negative studies are left out of some decision making studies you have to wonder.

          It appears as if the field of psychology (whichever path you take) is there to medicalize reactions that are completely normal such as mourning. That’s where we are heading. It’s really as out of control as the climate. Get us all, or as many as possible onto drugs.

          Now, some may think I’m touting conspiracy here, but it’s really logic and rational once you see how this process works. I also believe, although the intent may have been good that putting up warnings when this started would have fruitless this bunch as it is to most of us.

          As unreal as it seems all this goes back to the origins of the field and came to light during the post WWII era. An early research study had a group of grad students and their teachers going to different hospitals and saying they were hearing a voice say one word. In all cases every single one acted normal and each one was committed and diagnosed as schizophrenic and given powerful drugs. Not a single doctor believed them about this being an experiment.

          So, people who should not have been diagnosed with a condition were and treated as such. Imagine what that says about the entire field that pretends it’s a science, but wasn’t and still isn’t to this day. You can determine if you have diabetes, but here there is no physical test that reveals anything about whether you have a condition.

          What is truly horrific to me is that what this author is writing about can be applied to every area of the civilized world we live in.

          Former broker, Michael Lewis wrote a fascinating piece called Occupational Hazards of Working on Wall Street which can be found here: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-09-24/occupational-hazards-of-working-on-wall-street.

          This was probably way more than you asked for, but I felt driven to share my thoughts on this most fascinating of books.

          • Sorry,

            I meant to mention this book (graphic novel): by Alison Bechdel which talks about the differences between the fields. I’m not in agreement with the author, but it’s a good starting point for further discussion.

            Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama

            From the best-selling author of Fun Home, Time magazine’s No. 1 Book of the Year, a brilliantly told graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.

            Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.

            • misericordia said:

              PMB,

              An interesting turn of events: in Alison Bechdel’s strip Dykes To Watch Out For, there is a running joke about who and who isn’t awarded the fabled MacArthur Grant for talent, so it is deliciously apposite that Bechdel recently won this award.

          • Good stuff. Reminds me a little of this Doc. The part about the wine snobs is hilarious.

  36. Snap 2014-10-01 at 12.44.46

  37. Turkey has now committed:

    Turkey vows to fight Islamic State, coalition strikes near border

    The Islamic State advance to within sight of the Turkish army on the border has piled pressure on the NATO member to play a greater role in the U.S.-led military coalition carrying out air strikes against the insurgents in Syria and Iraq.

  38. Oh shit…
    Snap 2014-10-01 at 13.03.00

  39. This infographic should make the situation crystal clear:29e7da78-5f88-4934-b449-5431fef17177

  40. By4sVVGIcAAKKmr

  41. Ok. I’ve had enough for today. There’s a really good comment by trishouse up above, but I haven’t had time to sit down and think more on it yet. Time for a break.

  42. Interesting talk on teenage fantasy and despair, electricity and the unconscious, hyperobjects and hyposubjects, affect, humility, the Anthropocene and extinction fantasy.

  43. @ Mike says: “Slow motion train wreck”

    Another great essay – I fear I will never be able to convince you it’s our collective evolutionary history, not systems or institutions (+ their secular & ecclesiastical support mechanisms in media & religion), that govern our core behavior. Capitalism just exploits our natural tendencies more effectively than other resource extraction and dopamine delivery systems. That’s cool – I just mentally substitute different word combinations when I come across your references to capitalism.

    Still, your central point is made, and the consequences are pretty conclusive. Glad to see you recognize that nihilism is just a symptom of knowledge. The PTB aren’t stupid; they know what you know, but are nominally “in charge”. What would you do in such a position?

    @ trishouse said: “Coulda … shouldda … wouldda”

    In your long itinerary of proposed solutions, you seem to have neglected considering that a social movement of this nature would not be operating in a vacuum. On the contrary, it would be vehemently opposed, not by just the 1%, but the next 50%, and another 40% who would like to join them to make it a clean 90%. Not very good odds.

    I know it sounds romantic to raise an emotional banner, but it truly is a fools errand. You cannot operate outside the established rules of constitutional process without the risk of inviting counter-measures to what is legally viewed as insurrection. People who advocate such action are sometimes referred to as agent provocateurs.

    So all you’re left with is the electoral process. Limited to these confines, what makes you think you can persuade people who follow ancient religions that were established thousands of years ago? Hubris makes people think irrationally – not doG’s followers – you. On the left, another sizable number seem to think h sapiens can be managed by a wise & incorruptible tribe of eminence grise. Aye carumba.

    Mike mentioned nihilism in his essay – I suggest this is the biggest “tell” of all. Anyone with 1/2 a clue knows where this train is heading. You can’t get off & you can’t slow it down – so what do you do?

    • Criticize anyone with another idea..? With the impending doom closing in on all sides we’d better take some action or we will all just gurgle down the drain while blaming others and feeling smug about it. If enough people get desperate enough they will look for better ideas. If it is far from Utopia my idea is workable.

      • ” Hubris makes people think irrationally – not doG’s followers”

        There’s a contradiction if I ever heard one. No one is more arrogant and self important than the religious. “God made the entire universe just for us chosen ones” Any god will do. Whats the big deal with breaking any “constitutional process” and taking action “legally viewed as insurrection”? Is that not how your country was founded? Did not the British accuse your fore fathers of being rebels (terrorists in today’s vernacular). 40% 50% 90%, where do you come up with these numbers? The amount of colonialists that picked up arms in the revolutionary war was in the single digits and that’s the norm in many revolutions. I find it very interesting how the version of collapse you are so certain of just happens to be the one that keeps you and Mrs Ivy league in the comfort level you are so accustomed to. I seriously doubt you’ll be sitting in first class counting your money right up to the last seconds before the train crashes.

        The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.
        Dante Alighieri

    • The electoral process is our only option… Ha ha ha ha ha! My candidate, Jill Stein of the Green Party, was kidnapped by the cops and handcuffed to a chair for 8 hours for attempting to speak on my behalf at the last Presidential debate. The corporations that own the Republican and Democratic parties just simply don’t allow others to participate or to have a voice. From your cozy middle class chair you haven’t noticed that there is a large movement in America of people that have no interest whatever in the status quo or in trying to fix things through the corrupt channels of government.

    • Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy… – link

      No, I can’t take that road. Even when all hope is gone, there is no other moral option than to struggle against those forces that would bring us all down while proclaiming it’s just human nature to be greedy.

  44. Robert Callaghan said:

    Humans and our livestock occupy 97% vertebrate land zoomass
    75% of river life gone in 40 years
    50% of life gone in 40 years
    50% of life will be gone in 40 years
    40% of annual green bio-mass consumed by humans and livestock
    50% of annual green bio-mass consumption triggers mass extinction collapse
    75% loss of life becomes unstoppable and irreversible
    102% past worse case emissions scenario of 2007 locks in 6°C temp rise in 13 years
    cascading extinction collapses i-need-that-to-live ecosystems for all life on earth
    the future of life on earth hinges on a non-existent battery technology
    race toward green energy lost before it starts
    green energy myth survives until the end.

    • This information is absolutely the worst news I have ever heard. I know humans are headed for extinction, just another species on an inevitable trajectory, but taking all life on the planet with us is a first for biology, I believe. I do hope we kill ourselves off quickly enough that there are a few DNA and RNA based species left, and I wish them all the best of luck.

      If a few humans were left, could they look around and decide to change their ways? Not a chance. It’s who we are.

  45. An intriguing comment appeared on Scribbler’s site and it now appears that those suspicions have been validated:

    Snap 2014-10-01 at 22.47.01

    • Yes, the U.S. would love to kill off a lot of Chinese people, so why not let the Chinese government do it for you? Works in any country.

  46. Four questions for the man behind ‘biological diversity’

    “…Our biggest problem is as a social primate, we spend far too much time in mutual grooming and ignoring the biology and ecology that supports civilization…

    …Journalism overall, as opposed to notable exceptions, has done a pretty poor job [at conveying biodiversity loss].

    It’s hard to fault journalism. It deals with the day-to-day, what’s news today: the latest event in the adventures of the social primate. As a consequence, some of the big overarching issues don’t get much attention…

    …If you go back and look at the history of the atmosphere and of life on Earth, there were two times when, for geological reasons, there were unbelievably high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    And both times, living processes brought that screamingly high level down. The first time was the arrival of plants on land—a lot of photosynthesis happening. And the second time was modern flowering plants doing it more efficiently.

    So we know that biology has tremendous power to help us with this challenge. But we don’t have tens of millions of years, which is what the process took the last time.

    The little appreciated fact is that a significant portion of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere at the moment actually came from three centuries of destruction and degradation of ecosystems—not only from fossil fuel burning.

    It is quite possible, through ecosystem restoration done at scale, and done carefully, to actually pull maybe 0.6 °C of impending climate change out of the otherwise inevitable future. It’s pretty exciting, and it involves recognizing that the planet works as a biophysical system, not just as a physical system…”

  47. Snap 2014-10-02 at 11.49.48

  48. Snap 2014-10-02 at 11.56.28

  49. Snap 2014-10-02 at 12.01.25

  50. from Jay Hanson:

    Global income equality now back at 1820s levels: OECD

    The gap between the haves and the have-nots globally is now at the same level as in the 1820s, the OECD said Thursday, warning it was one of the most “worrying” developments over the past 200 years…

  51. LOL.Never knew this existed(from ‘Last Gasp Comics’):
    13454459944_cc38e26cbb_o

  52. “If you’re poor, the only way you’re likely to injure someone is the old traditional way: artisanal violence, we could call it – by hands, by knife, by club, or maybe modern hands-on violence, by gun or by car.

    But if you’re tremendously wealthy, you can practice industrial-scale violence without any manual labor on your own part. You can, say, build a sweatshop factory that will collapse in Bangladesh and kill more people than any hands-on mass murderer ever did, or you can calculate risk and benefit about putting poisons or unsafe machines into the world, as manufacturers do every day. If you’re the leader of a country, you can declare war and kill by the hundreds of thousands or millions. And the nuclear superpowers – the US and Russia – still hold the option of destroying quite a lot of life on Earth.

    So do the carbon barons. But when we talk about violence, we almost always talk about violence from below, not above.”

    Let’s Call Climate Change What It Really Is–Violence | Alternet

    • In Addition, you can be part of a pension fund that owns stock in most of those endeavors. That has to cover a significant portion of the fine people in the west and a growing number elsewhere. I used to be in one then cashed it out and bought index funds which is the same thing. Plenty of bloody hands albeit ignorant, willfully or otherwise.

      • Years ago on Chris Martenson’s site someone was asked why they continue to invest in the Stock Market when doing so makes you complicit with all that’s destroying the world. The person ironically answered, “I can’t afford not to.”

        I have no money in Wall Street and I’m sure I’ll die poor.

  53. An insider’s perspective in South Africa:

    Rhino poaching: ‘Government is doing nothing’ – activist

    03 October, 10:34 AM

    South Africa is viewed as the main custodian of Africa’s rhinos. These animals continue to be pushed to the brink of extinction due to illegal poaching. ‘Naked’ Activist Steve Newman sheds light on the current situation. Watch.

  54. la-sci-sn-california-drought-groundwater-satel-001 (1)

    The severity of California’s drought continues to shock, with the latest example coming courtesy of NASA .

  55. Snap 2014-10-03 at 10.07.15

  56. Snap 2014-10-03 at 10.12.43

  57. They’ve got better things to spend our money on, like wars, sports coliseums, and golf courses…Snap 2014-10-03 at 12.46.26

  58. “In the early 1970s, ecologist Barry Commoner wrote The Closing Circle, in which he discussed the rapid growth of industry and technology and their persistent effect on all forms of life. He suggested that we can reduce the negative effects by sensitizing, informing and educating ourselves about our connection to the natural world. Commoner summarized the basics of ecology into what he termed “laws of ecology.” Others have also used this idea to develop simple statements that help us understand and remember our connections to nature. Here are five laws of ecology…”

    http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.tumblr.com/post/99077075097/in-the-early-1970s-ecologist-barry-commoner-wrote

  59. If these people were Americans, or better yet, white Americans they would be media martyr darlings and the movie deals would already be inked. We have all seen the script at least a hundred times. These people were black Africans and that don’t sell on the MSM and in Hollywood, but they are real hero’s and made the ultimate sacrifice. Let us small band of malcontents remember them.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/08/ebolas-heavy-toll-study-authors

  60. With Dry Taps and Toilets, California Drought Turns Desperate

    “We will give people water as long as we have it, but the truth is, we don’t really know how long that will be,” said Andrew Lockman of the Tulare County Office of Emergency Services. “We can’t offer anyone a long-term solution right now. There is a massive gap between need and resources to deal with it.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/us/california-drought-tulare-county.html

  61. I ran across a phrase, a phrase used by psychologists, which is contained in this sentence: “Culture is the group-mind trance of a whole people, and because it is so pervasive, it remains largely invisible to those who are held in its sway.” (Comparing a Group-Mind Trance to a Cultural Amygdala)

    • This must go hand-in-hand with groupthink.

      • misericordia said:

        “The corralling of the human psyche into an ever-tightening ‘groupthink’ psychosis within preformed identity ghettoes—which then result in people bereft of self-reflection—has become the only means left whereby governments can effectively administrate their populations on behalf of the globalists.”
        ~ Thomas Sherridan

  62. Nothing to worry about folks! “The Authorities” have everything under control. They have all the bases covered in their well thought out plans. Your families are safe under the most competent people your tax dollars can buy. Sleep well.
    ——————————————————————–

    Dallas: Workers Spray Ebola Patients’ Vomit Off of Sidewalk with Pressure Washer and No Protective Clothing (Photos and Video)

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/10/workers-spray-ebola-patients-vomit-sidewalk-pressure-washer-protective-clothing-photo.html