Reposting this week’s comments by Father John Dear
This action occurred right here in River City (Texas) about 90 miles from my homeland. Did you see it in the news? I think Texans did not, so why not just pass this on to as many people as you know.
The Los Alamos action was I think disappointing to the people who worked so hard on it but I was greatly impressed. Obviously the goal of the corposystem media is to prevent these people from trying again by making them believe their efforts are to no avail, and as Americans we tend to believe that if we don’t win (or if we can’t be a hero) we didn’t make a difference. I think we should try to do something (like maybe a half-hour national program, like maybe discussing these issues with people at the morning dominoes table in the spirit of “what can we do,” and not in the spirit of “aint it awful.”) that points out these scattered events are happening all over the united states, brings them together, and makes some common points.
We are being separated from them by a wall of propaganda that tries to make us believe that our shopping malls are an ongoing way of life, and that we can’t talk about the issues of real importance — even for the children!!! In fact the world of our modern American media is a fake fairytale that will crash down on our children’s children (crash slowly or fast, who knows, but we could be trying to prevent it with greater awareness). Even if we don’t believe we can win and even if we can’t be a hero.
Who says winning is the point. I run across so many people who won’t try unless they are sure they can win, and of course — they don’t. The real heroes are those who are trying in spite of the fact that the media prevent them from either winning or being heroes. The worse it gets, the more we will need these people. The future grows out of every behavior we do – every day – win or lose or invisible. Or as one Buddhist said: “It’s not about me, but what I do or don’t do does make a difference.”
Klare is not crazy. He is middle of the road realistic. I have been as a biologist fully aware of this pending disaster for at least 50 years, so it is very hard for me to believe that people are clinging so very tightly to their insane schemes of denial. It would have been cheap, easy and sane, 50 years ago, when we developed the technology to deal with population – to deal with it. It is still cheaper, easier and saner than gobbling up all the resources of our planet earth. When any species overpopulates it’s resources, the result normally is they eat up all the food and then they die. We are different. We have a brain that can understand these things.
And of course, as citizens, we are not permitted to discuss these issues. It wouldn’t be polite, in case we might make someone “uncomfortable.” Talk about insane. But that too is a characteristic of late stages of overpopulation in the species that have been studied.
WWIII: Great commodities war to end all wars
Commentary: A new era of depletion, collapse and austerity
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) – Yes, WWIII: The Great Commodities War to End All Wars. We’ve heard that before. Remember WWI, known as The War to End All Wars, 37 million casualties. WWII was bigger, 60 million. Will WWIII finally end all wars? Or end the world, civilization, planet?
And it’s already started folks, ending the Great American Dream.
Fasten your seat belts, soon we’ll all be shocked out of denial. Some unpredictable black swan. A global wake-up call will trigger the Pentagon’s prediction in Fortune a decade ago at the launch of the Iraq War: “By 2020 … an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies is emerging … warfare defining human life.”
And that’s also the clear message in “The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources,” the latest book by noted international security expert Michael Klare.
Earlier, about the same time as the Pentagon’s prediction, Klare published his classic, “Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict,” a look ahead to a world that he now hopes will not “end in war, widespread starvation, or a massive environmental catastrophe.” Although they are “the probable results of persisting in the race for what’s left.” Unfortunately, hope can’t trump reality in today’s race for what little is left.
We need men who pull no punches in describing what’s dead ahead, whether labeling it “Resource Wars” or “WWIII, The Great Commodities War That Can End Everything.” Klare does just that with this warning:
“It is true that eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels and other finite materials cannot be accomplished overnight – our current reliance on them is just too great,” warns Klare, well aware that the forces of capitalism are trapped in denial, cannot see the dangers dead ahead, focusing only on getting richer no matter the consequences to the planet.
“But no matter how much corporate or government officials wish to deny it, there is not nearly enough non-renewable resources on this planet to perpetually satisfy the growing needs of a ballooning world population.”
All major nations are quietly preparing for Resource Wars
Even worse, in today’s world run by climate-denying billionaires, Klare warns “existing modes of production are causing unacceptable damage to the global environment. Eventually continuing with current industrial practices will simply prove impossible. And precisely because implementing a whole new industrial order will be a lengthy task, any delay in beginning that work will prove costly, as resources keep dwindling and their prices continue to rise.”
If there is a race, it’s a downhill race to WWIII: The Great Commodity Wars. The world’s great powers are accelerating war preparations – yes, they are in the early logistical build-up stage, amassing the resources and arms to send troops into battle.
And they’re doing it in a world lost in denial, sinking deeper into a collective conscience that pretends our problems will be solved by the magic of free-market capitalism, unwilling to admit it not only no longer exists, it has morphed into an anarchy controlled by a bizarre conspiracy of Super Rich narcissists.
Welcome to the New Era of Resource Depletion and Austerity
Yes, the planet is at a historic turning point. You must plan for black swans, earth-shaking wake-up calls – a perfect storm of global wars, mass starvation, pandemics, environmental catastrophes.
The critical mass is building. We’re just not listening, especially conservative politicians, Wall Street CEOs and the Super Rich, who dismiss the warnings of men like environmentalist Bill McKibben, money manager Jeremy Grantham, anthropologist Jared Diamond and global security expert Michael Klare all warning us to wake up, before it’s too late to react, let alone plan.
Listen to the warnings: “The world is facing an unprecedented crisis of resource depletion – a crisis that goes beyond ‘peak oil’ to encompass shortages of coal and uranium, copper and lithium, water and arable land. With all of the planet’s easily accessible resource deposits rapidly approaching exhaustion, the desperate hunt for supplies has become a frenzy of extreme exploration, as governments and corporations rush to stake their claims in areas previously considered too dangerous or remote.”
Wars to grab what’s left … until nothing’s left … for anybody
Klare opens on a fascinating replay of Russia’s 2007 risky deployment of a mini-submarine using a robotic arm to plant a titanium flag deep under the polar ice cap, two and a half miles below the surface of the North Pole. Why?
Forget national pride. In recent years as climate change warms this “frozen wasteland,” Russia, as well as Canada, the U.S. and other nations are laying a claim to long-ignored “vast deposits of oil, natural gas and valuable minerals.”
Faced with an impossible equation – out-of-control global population growth plus rapid depletion of nonrenewable resources equals mega-catastrophes – the big players are all selfishly grabbing and hoarding scarce commodities … like desperate banana republic dictators as the entire world sinks into pure anarchy, scrambling for a share of what little’s left, until nothing is left for anyone.
13 reasons why this time is so very, very different
This time the challenges the world is facing really are very different from any prior time in history, warns Klare: “While the current assault on remote resource frontiers bears some similarities to the historical exploration of undeveloped territories,” such as the Roman Empire’s expansion, today’s global threats are “in many important ways different from anything that has come before.”
Why? Because “never before have we seen the same combination of factors that confronts us today.”
Here are the five biggest reasons the next few decades are so crucial to the survival of the planet and our civilization:
• Scarce nonrenewable commodities are rapidly and permanently disappearing.
• There are no “new frontiers” to open up as existing reserves disappear forever.
• Population growth is creating a “sudden emergence of rapacious new consumers.”
• Economic, technical and environmental add increasing limitations on exploration.
• Climate change is having “devastating” unintended consequences on energy.
Klare adds that in “many cases, the commodities procured will represent the final supplies of their type.” Get it? “The race we are on today is the last of its kind that we are likely to undertake.”
Seven other factors are reviewed or come to mind that definitely are risk factors that increase the probability of massive global catastrophes:
• Rapid rise of powerful new resources competitors, China, Africa, Saudis
• New warrior mind-set willing to grab or fight for new territories and borders …
• Conservative strategy preferring existing industrial methods rather than develop new more costly technologies and innovative alternatives …
• Lack of a political will to invest government funds that would incur more debt to prime the innovation …
• The time needed to prepare for known threats is rapidly vanishing …
• America is rapidly morphing from a democracy into a Super Rich anarchy …
• Failure to grasp that this new era of “peak everything” means that the lack of resources will increase scarcity and austerity across all nations …
And finally, the total failure to accept and encourage any kind of population controls, even denying birth control, without which all other strategies will be futile.
13 triggers that will ignite WWIII: the Great Commodity Wars
Soon, even the myopic dinosaurs in the oil, coal and fossil-fuels industries, the guys who have been bragging about having 200 or more years of reserves, will be hit with a catastrophic wake-up call, as these risk factors balloon to critical mass and a flash point – fueled by commodity wars, pandemics, global starvation, environmental crises, skyrocketing commodity prices and accelerating population growth.
But by then, as Klare and others like him warn, it will be too late for the fossil-fuel dinosaurs.
Whether you’re a hard-line climate-denying billionaire capitalist or a liberal-leaning environmentalist, you need to read Michael Klare’s new “Race For What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources.” Or as I prefer to call it, either, “The New Era of Depletion, Austerity and Collapse,” or “WWIII: The Great Commodity Wars to End All Wars.” It’s a must-read.
From Joe Bish
Michelle Victoria discusses the New Mexico demonstration around nuclear weapons. The discussion begins two minutes into the program. Click on the link, move the cursor over to the discussion. This is a really good example of community video.
And it’s not only about Santa Fe; it’s an excellent model of community action anywhere. We have problems, and doing nothing won’t help; several models of nonviolent and positive behaviors were discussed that anyone could do. Our corporate monarchy could not possibly stand except that we let it.
“There are so many people frustrated, and it only takes all of us doing something consistently.”
More tomorrow, I’ll be out taking pictures.
You remember of course my Bare Bones Biology and FactFictionFancy blog and radio spot about William deBuys and his book, A Great Aridness.
I was so impressed. “This guy gets it.” And can honestly express it in context. But five minutes is so short a time to express such a thing, so I gave you links to a couple of his longer podcasts.
So I expect you would like to hear more of him, and I’m pleased again to recommend his essay and also interview on TomDispatch that can be found at (click link or see below).
Another person who really gets it is Andrew Revkin, with the New York Times, who ran a book report on his column from a UT student.
And I was just thinking about writing a population story for my next newsletter.
Still, I think I should go ahead with it, because reporters simply do not process all the parameters. For one thing they are not scientists, nor historians (what was the first thing I noticed here? The populations exploded at and following the time when the major new religions formed and grew.) Does that mean religion is bad? No way. I think humans require religion to implement our instinctual social values. HOWEVER, I also believe that these ancient religions have been changed dramatically from an ethic that paralleled the laws of nature TO an ethic now that sees its mission as overpowering nature.
Of course, it won’t work, will it? Our earth, water, food and air come from nature. If we kill nature (and that would not be impossible) we kill ourselves. Keep these thoughts in mind as you check out the below that came to me from Population Media Center (PMC).
Ken Weiss, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist and editor for the L.A. Times, emailed me yesterday to announce a major special feature report, which is the result his travels with staff photographer Rick Loomis. The two men traveled across Africa and Asia to document the causes and consequences of rapid population growth. They visited Kenya, Uganda, China, the Philippines, India, Afghanistan and other countries.
I have yet to fully explore the numerous stories, maps, photos, narrated graphics and videos on the L.A. Times website, but the content certainly seems worth your time. I have pasted below the text of the first major article, which is merely the first of a five part series. I strongly encourage you to click through, however, because numerous videos and graphics are embedded in the story on the website. The remaining articles will be published in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and wrapping up next Sunday, July 29.
In the meantime, you can access the main L.A. Times web-portal here:
Saving Oakland’s ‘favorite’ Buddha (Community Voices)
Dan Stevenson Fri, 22 Jun at 5:46am
The Buddha on 11th Avenue, by Dan Stevenson
The Buddha on 11th Avenue, by Dan Stevenson
When I first put out information about the 11th Avenue Buddha that I have had time to check my records, I found that Lu and I installed the Buddha in 2009 as an experiment to see if we could change the energy of our corner divide and keep the garbage and mattresses from being dumped there constantly.
At that time we were calling the city at least twice a week reporting illegal dumping. It usually took them a week or two to do a pick up and by that time another load had been left because the exiting pile was like a magnet for continued dumping. Besides the illegal dumping there was constant graffiti tagging which the city seldom did anything about. Another neighbor and I traded off cleaning it up. Add to that the drug activity and the urination problem and the traffic divide was a mess.
So I went to ACE hardware and found a concrete garden sculpture of the Buddha and brought it home. He sat in our basement for several weeks because I had to figure out how to install it so no one could steal him once installed. This is Oakland after all.
Once I came up with a plan we installed the Buddha. The Buddha sat there for several months and slowly we noticed slight changes in the garbage environment. The garbage and mattresses didn’t stop arriving but the dumping occurred on the other end of the street divide from where Buddha sat. Buddha just sat there and never said a word.
Within the first year the graffiti was reduced by 50% and the drug and urination problem was lessened as well. And all the Buddha did was sit there. It was well into the second year that someone painted the Buddha a beautiful soft white and a short time after that offerings started to appear.
At first, oranges and pears. Then flowers and candy. And then large flower arrangements and bowls of fruit and finally the incense.
For a long time I did not see anyone bringing the offerings. They just appeared. Along with all this new activity the area continued to change and the illegal dumping all but disappeared.
Many neighbors started to pick up and clean the area more. And due to people being present at different times of the day the drug and urination problem ended.
Buddha just sat there saying not a word. As time passed the immediate neighbors and extended neighborhood tended to stop and view the Buddha. Whether they were walking their dogs or taking an evening stroll they would stop and seem to ponder and many times get into conversations while viewing the Buddha. People talking to each other.
The Buddha just continued to sit there and never saying a word. About two months ago a Vietnamese fellow and his wife came to our door and asked if I would mind if he put a little house around the Buddha and I informed him that I had no issue with that and that he didn’t have to seek our permission because the Buddha we installed was a civic Buddha and didn’t belong to us but to the community.
Since then people come and pay their respects to Buddha in large numbers throughout the day. They sweep and tend the area everyday and their presence creates a people presence which in many neighbors’ minds makes the neighborhood feel safer.
Lu and I are not Buddhists and we installed this Buddha because we felt that he was a neutral being that denotes compassion, brotherhood, and peace. The fact that our experiment has proven more successful than we had ever imagined is a wonderful thing for us and our neighborhood. And to think that this Buddha has just sat there all this time and never said one word.
Contemplate that! Recently because of the increased activity around the Buddha someone called the City Public Works Department to complain about its presence.
It was a Monday morning when a neighbor called me and informed me that a Public Works supervisor from the City was in the neighborhood looking for information about the Buddha so I came out to see what the problem happened to be.
The supervisor informed me that the Buddha was going to be removed because an anonymous (single) complaint had been made about the Buddha. The supervisor explained that if I could get hold of the people who had installed the Buddha and have them remove the little house and the Buddha beforehand, his crew wouldn’t have to come out and dismantle it and throw it away.
I explained to the supervisor the history of the Buddha related above but he said that the Buddha would have to be removed. He also informed me that if mattresses and garbage appeared again after the Buddha had been removed that I had his assurance that the City would come out and pick them up.
The Buddha just sat there across the street from our conversation and said not a word. It wasn’t more than five minutes from the time the Public Works supervisor pulled away in his new clean pick-up truck until I was on my computer asking for help from the neighbors and the community as a whole to help save the Buddha.
There has been a remarkable outpouring of letters of heartfelt support asking for the Buddha to remain in his place undisturbed.
The Public Works Department with the input of City Councilwoman Pat Kernighan, halted the dismantling of Buddha in order to “study the situation”.
This is a step in the correct direction. With all that Oakland needs to do to improve community just maybe not attempting to dismantle what is working may be a good starting point.
For the time being the Buddha is just sitting there and he hasn’t said a word.
I just received about 200 clicks on Eagle Ford Shale, and a message the maps do not exist. The Eagle Ford Shale is in Texas. Look on the lower right of the home page of this blog and you will see Texas Gas/Water Maps. Three maps below that heading, I was able to download all three.
These maps are from last year, and a very large amount of fracking has been done since they were made. If anybody has updated maps, please send them and I will put them up for everyone to share. These maps are the second most common reason that people come to this web site, so spread the word.
The first most common is photosynthesis, which is a subject that everyone should understand who is interested in oil, oil wells or fracking.