Saturday, November 28, 2009

You know you're doing something right when...


US Journalist , Amy Goodman, Grilled at Canada Border Crossing

This is the world we live in today, when the authorities stop you at the border and accuse you of plotting somthing you never thought of, something they're afraid of.

Why is the Canadian government afraid of this woman?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks


Almighty God!

We thank you for that which we are about to receive from your bountiful blessing.

We thank you for this turkey and for the factory farm that raised it in abject misery, and for the antibiotics and steroids that produced such a pitiful creature that could not feed itself nor reproduce.

We thank you for the feed lots in which animals were raised in mire and filth to bring such bounty to our groaning tables. We thank you for the slaughter houses where these animals were brought in terror and pain to be cruelly dispatched for our pleasure.

We thank your for the agribusiness corporations who sprayed the fields with toxic chemicals, who invented the genetically modified plants to withstand the poisons, so that these beautiful and tasteless vegetables could grace our tables.

We thank you for gasoline to truck these foods to our grocery stores, and for the thousands of our soldiers sent to far away lands to kill innocent women and children to make the oil fields safe for our oil companies to produce our gasoline. We thank you for the hundreds of thousands of human beings slaughtered on the battlefields, and for the families bereft of their fathers and brothers, and for the homes destroyed, the fields plowed under, the orchards ripped apart by bulldozers, so that our families can enjoy this fine meal in peace and safety.

Most of all, Merciful Father, we thank you for staying the hand of those who hate us for what we have done to them.

Building the wall around the gas stations

The Pentagon Garrisons the Gulf

No big surprises here. Those Who Pay Attention have already noted that we are building Fortresses Iraq and Afghanistan to make those countries safe for Awl Bidness. Sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors abound, attempting to avert the public's eyes from the obvious occupation and oppression of these countries to guarantee US "interests," aka oil.

Recent projections are strongly confirming that world Peak Oil occurred in late 2008 and we are beginning the long slide down to Valley Oil, where we will have much less energy available than we did at the Peak Oil moment. The length and steepness of this long glide will depend on global economic and political outcomes of the scramble to dominate that last remaining oil reserves, as well as the response of the consuming public to rapidly rising gasoline and fuel oil prices.

At some point, everyone who depends on oil and natural gas for heating and cooking will have to decide between gasoline powered transportation and staying warm and well-fed. The economics of transportation will change the way we live and work, shop and entertain ourselves. We'll see many small neighborhood "convenience" stores become real neighborhood markets again, we'll see people turning to their neighbors and families to produce their own locally grown entertainment, as we did throughout the country in the early 20th Century and especially during World War II. We're already seeing increased interest in home and neighborhood gardens, sharing networks and local currencies as the centralized economic and food system increasingly fails to provide for local needs.

There is a movement in the UK and the United States called the Transition Network, bringing together people interested in helping their neighbors and friends prepare for this transition to a post oil economy and culture. This is an attempt to assess our present communities, visualize the coming transition to a new energy reality, and helping to plan a path to the new energy future.

A key document toward this end is the Energy Descent Action Plan, that brings these elements together in a coherent plan for the future for our local communities, based on the energy and climate realities we face.

The Transition Movement understands that we cannot stop Peak Oil and Climate Change, so we must do everything we can to prepare a plan to accommodate the inevitable changes. This is the rational humanistic approach: mutual aid, localism, self-reliance, dare we say it? Anarchism in action.

Instead of building walls, we're opening doors.

They Ain't making Any More of It


Mankind Using Earth's Resources at Alarming Rate

First, there's that word: "resources." It implies that everything on the Earth is to be used for human benefit. Animals and plants don't use resources, so they'll be left out. Seems questionable taste.

While Mankind may potentially be the reasoning animal, setting Homo sapiens inevitably apart from other creatures, to date Homo has failed to live up to the sapiens part of the name.

It is entirely possible for the human race to take its rightful place alongside all other life forms on this planet, not for spiritual reasons, not for ethical or moral reasons, but for the enlightened realization that humans cannot live on this planet in the absence of all other species that make this the only place in the Universe, as far as we know, where life flourishes.

Mankind is the only animal that can peer into the future and contemplate the consequences of our actions. We can see that we are rapidly drawing down the planetary credit amassed during billions of years of rampant evolution and geomorphology. We can forecast that at some point in the not too distant future we will no longer be able to extract key biological and/or geological products of the Earth that keep our various societies and cultures growing and developing. We can understand what this means in terms of the future of Homo sapiens on this Earth.

And we can do something to postpone or even eliminate that inevitable event...or not. It's up to us. We know what to do. We know how to do it.

If we don't change our profligate ways, Mom will step in and clean our room for us, and we won't be happy with the outcome, if indeed we are still around to contemplate our plight.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Bad News

World economies rebound but China set for best growth

"The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) [mouthpiece for rich nations including the US and UK] says growth and recovery are expected in 2010 in just about all world regions, more than doubling its growth forecast to 1.9% for next year, from 0.7%."

At just the time when rich nations especially should be settling back into a steady state economy, obscenely rich "business leaders" crow on about economic growth.

Ed Abbey called it the philosophy of the cancer cell. I call it just plain stupid.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sarah Palin's Just Plain Nutz

November 17, 2009

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ RELEASES SARAH PALIN’S JUST PLAIN NUTZ AS A COMPANION TO HER BESTSELLER, GOING ROGUE.

Santa Cruz, CA. — As of today, Bookshop Santa Cruz is offering an essential item as a companion to the new Sarah Palin book, Going Rogue—with every book we will give you a free bag of nuts, Sarah Palin's Just Plain Nutz, to be exact. A bag of Sarah Palin's Just Plain Nutz is also available for $3.98 to those who can stomach a 1 ounce bag of walnuts, but can't stomach 432 pages of Sarah Palin's writing. Nutz can also be ordered at www.bookshopsantacruz.com.

"Our bag of nuts is an honest one ounce; it’s also good for you, and won't cause you to feel compelled to go out and shoot a moose. Sarah's new book of fictions is none of those things," says Bookshop owner Casey Coonerty Protti. "We felt we needed to strike a balance."

Bookshop Santa Cruz has a long history of commenting on political books. In 1993, Bookshop Santa Cruz weighed Rush Limbaugh’s book, See I Told You So, and sold it for the price of baloney. In 1995, when Newt Gingrich was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year, Bookshop Santa Cruz sold each copy of his book, Contract With America, along with a custom-made barf bag.

Before the 2008 election, Bookshop Santa Cruz manufactured and sold over 65,000 George W. Bush Countdown Clocks to help depressed Americans know that there would be an end to the national nightmare created by the Bush administration. Clocks were sold to fans as far away as China, Germany, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, England and New Zealand, as well as at over 80 outlets across the Unites States. Many famous people had the clock, including Former President Bill Clinton, The Dixie Chicks, and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer.

In the great American tradition of political commentary on current events, Sarah Palin’s Just Plain Nutz is a little bit of nutritious needling. We can’t see Russia from our doorstep, but we can plainly see a bit of fun on our bookshelves.

Congress postpones sanity!

In an article in today's Wall Street Journal, Senate to Put Off Climate Bill Until Spring, we learn:

"Momentum for a climate bill has been undermined by fears that capping
carbon-dioxide emissions -- the inevitable product of burning oil and coal
-- would slow economic growth, raise energy costs and compel changes in the
way Americans live."

This is encouraging, despite the fact that the Senate postponed consideration of this climate bill due to political expediency (if Democrats don't get re-elected, they won't be around to support the bill). It's good to hear that capping carbon emissions will have such good social effects as well as reducing greenhouse gases.

It's a win-win situation! Less economic growth will reduce greenhouse gases. Higher energy costs will encourage transportation alternatives. Americans (some of them at least) will finally wake up to the effects of their profligate lifestyles.

Everything really is hitched to everything else.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's all about Growth!

In a BBC article, ostensibly about Low-carbon energy, the real agenda is made clear:

"New technologies will be required if the world economy is to grow without accelerating climate change."

The base assumption in all talks about climate change, Peak Oil, and the future of human civilization is the growth economy. One thing we do know about the undefinable word "sustainable," is that a growth economy isn't.

The only form of "economy" among the members of any successful species on Earth is a steady state economy. No species can expand indefinitely, taking more and more resources from other species in the neighborhood. There is a scientific name for species that continue to overstep their bounds: extinct.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Contemplating Congress


"All Congresses and Parliaments have a kindly feeling for idiots, and a compassion for them, on account of personal experience and heredity."
- Mark Twain's Autobiography; also in Mark Twain in Eruption