American Exceptionalism, Climate Change, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Corporate State, Eco-Apocalypse, Empire, Environmental Collapse, Inverted Totalitarianism, John Kerry, Military Industrial Complex, NIN - While I'm Still Here, Overpopulation, Resource Wars, Syria, The Elite 1%, unwashed public, War for Profit
Ho hum, another war looks to be in the offing. Another chance for the geopolitical chess players and war profiteers of Empire to crank up the blood-soaked wheels of America’s military industrial complex. And yet another distraction to be played up by the corporate media for the unwashed masses. The myth of American exceptionalism seems to be wearing very thin these days with every metric of living standards collapsing well below other so-called developed nations. But now we have “humanitarian wars” to justify the bombing and killing. The ways in which mankind can twist logic and meaning to serve an ulterior motive is endless, but to my jaundiced eyes this Syria strike is just another rerun in the story of overextended and exhausted Empires.
While such human tragedies occupy our time, the foundation of any type of viable civilization continues to crumble. My doctor asked me the other day if I had experienced any bouts of depression in the last 6 months, and I replied, “After I stopped reading the news my spirits lifted. To be informed and aware carries the heavy burden of sadness and depression.” With a slight snicker he replied, “There’s some truth to that.” He didn’t get it.
From an article today in the San Francisco Chronicle:
A new epoch?
..So complete is human domination of earth that scientists use the term “Anthropocene” to describe a new geological epoch.
The most obvious sign is climate change. People have altered the composition of the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. But other human impacts, widely discussed by scientists, seldom reach the political arena.
Residues from 100 million tons of synthetic chemical compounds produced each year are so pervasive that they commonly appear in polar bear tissues, whale blubber and the umbilical cords of babies.
Each year, humans appropriate up to 40 percent of the earth’s biomass, the product of photosynthesis, earth’s basic energy conversion necessary to all life.
Humans have converted more than 40 percent of the earth’s land to cities or farms. Roads and structures fragment most of the rest.
Humans appropriate more than half the world’s fresh water. Ancient aquifers in the world’s bread baskets, including the Ogallala in the Great Plains, are being drained.
Only 2 percent of major U.S. rivers run unimpeded. California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has been entirely re-engineered. The last time the Colorado River reached the Sea of Cortez was in 1998. The Nile, Indus and Ganges rivers have been reduced to a trickle.
Humans surpass nature as a source of nitrogen emissions, altering the planet’s nitrogen cycle.
A quarter of known mammal species, 43 percent of amphibians, 29 percent of reptiles and 14 percent of birds and elephants may be extinct within a decade.
A third of world fisheries are exhausted or degraded. Forty percent of coral reefs and a third of mangroves have been degraded. Most species of predator fish are in decline.
Ocean acidification, a product of fossil fuel burning, is dissolving calcifying plankton at the base of the food chain.
A garbage gyre at least twice the size of Texas swirls in the Pacific Ocean.
“We’re changing the ability of the planet to provide food and water,” Harte said.
Even scientists who doubt ecological collapse, such as Michele Marvier, chair of environmental studies at Santa Clara University, acknowledge that “humans dominate every flux and cycle of the planet’s ecology and geochemistry.”…
The conniving little games of corporate states and petty dictators continue to play out as our global ship sinks quickly into the dustbin of history. The unwashed masses will continue to be kept busy on the hamster wheel of “modern progress”, an overpowering and die-hard myth. The infinitely small percentage of people who are fully aware of our dilemma may continue to wring their hands in despair and self-torment while others lecture us with overly analytical psychobabble, but for myself, I have decided to embrace what is inevitable and savor each day as it comes like the last sand granules of a depleting hourglass.