Category Archives: Environment

The Oceans Are Overheating

A polar bear and her cub on sea ice in the Arctic north of Svalbard (Image © Larissa Beumer / Greenpeace)

The world’s oceans in 2021 witnessed the hottest temperatures in recorded history. 1

According to the Ocean Conservancy:From the beginning of industrialization until today, the ocean has absorbed more than 90 percent of the heat from human-caused global warming and about one-third of our carbon emissions. But we are now seeing the devastating effects of that heat and carbon dioxide.”

This brings into focus big questions about the overall condition of the ecosystems of the planet. The oceans, by far the biggest, cover more than 70% of the planet. As readily seen from outer space, the oceans are the essence of the planet.

Indeed, every ecosystem on the planet is nearly stressed to its limit and showing alarming signs of deterioration. This is factual. It’s not hard to prove. The evidence is compelling and straightforward.

Yet, that evidence shows up first where nobody lives in the least populated regions of the planet like the Arctic, Siberia, Patagonia, Antarctica, rainforests, mountain glaciers, Greenland, and, of course, the oceans.

The great cities of the world are the last to experience the loss of wildlife and to witness deterioration of ecosystems supportive of life. However, interestingly enough, rural residents throughout the world do see the radical changes in ecosystems and send messages or emails about the devastating, nearly unbelievable, loss of insects and wildlife. Their personal messages say, “it’s different now, something is missing,” a void or emptiness stares them in the face every morning.

This past year 2021 is the sixth consecutive year of increasing ocean temperatures. It’s the hottest in recorded history and a threat to marine life. In fact, it’s already impacting marine life, as increasing numbers of emaciated birds, whales, and fish wash ashore. Who will take notice of this tragedy and do something with enough international impact that it truly makes a difference?  That important question is searching for answers.

A team of journalists from the LA Times traveled to the Far North only recently. Here’s what they reported:

Forces profound and alarming are reshaping the upper reaches of the North Pacific and Arctic oceans, breaking the food chain that supports billions of creatures and one of the world’s most important fisheries.2

People do not cherish articles like this, or the referenced LA Times article or any article that deals with loss of wildlife and loss of habitat and loss of ecosystems. The negativity is too much to handle on a personal basis. Nevertheless, if reality is not recognized for what it really truly is, then nobody will ever strive to change things for the better.

For some time now scientists have been beating the drums about the risks of loss of ocean life. Now, their warnings have turned real. Alas, scientists’ warnings have not stopped the ravaging of CO2 emissions, heat, plastic, pollution, agricultural runoff, overfishing, or garbage.

It is important to contemplate the possibility that the human footprint is altering ocean life so much so that it risks not only the world’s fisheries, it risks loss of all marine life. In fact, at the current rate, scientists believe ocean life will be gone by mid century. It can already be seen right before our eyes.

An article by the Natural History Museum/London claims: “Nature is stretching to a breaking point. If we don’t stop, the ocean could be drastically changed within our lifetimes.”

One year ago the Alliance of World Scientists, 13,700 members, delivered a biting report, not mincing words: “Scientists now find that catastrophic climate change could render a significant portion of the Earth uninhabitable.” 3

As a follow up: It’s already happening.

According to Janet Duffy-Anderson, who is a marine scientist, interviewed by the LA Times team, and the leader of surveys of the Bering Sea for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center: The ripple effect of what’s happening in the Far North could shut down fisheries as well as leave migrating animals starving for food, which, in fact, is already omnipresent. For the third year in a row, Gray Whales have been found in very poor condition or dead in large numbers along the west coast of Mexico, USA and Canada.

Since 2019 hundreds of Gray Whales have died along North America’s Pacific coastline. Many of the whales appeared skinny or underfed. 4

Even though protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Gray Whale is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”) Red List of Threatened Species.

Starving whales at the top of the food chain can only mean the ocean is sickly. Too much heat and overfishing and discarded fishing nets (4,600,000 commercial fishing vessels either legally or illegally prowl the seas. (See the Netflix documentary: Seaspiracy) and too much CO2 combined with pollution cause a multitude of deadly problems for marine life.

It’s estimated that one billion sea creatures died off the coast of Vancouver, as extreme heat hit the Pacific.  5

Recent studies of the Pacific Ocean inflow to the Arctic from 1990-2019 registered significant annual mean temperature warming of plus 2°C to 4°C It’s believed that 4°C above pre-industrial for the planet as a whole is a killer for terrestrial life. 6

Moreover, according to scientists interviewed by the LA Times team: “Data from a Bering Sea mooring shows the average temperature throughout the water column has risen markedly in the last several years: in 2018, water temperatures were 9F degrees above the historical average.”

Not surprisingly, people do not want to accept the facts about how bad things really are, but it is becoming only too apparent that to maintain life on the planet, the world economy must stabilize with massive reduction of greenhouse gases accompanied by flat-line economic activity. It is not difficult to make that case with plenty of evidence readily available.

Changing, mitigating, even moderating the world’s massive economic growth trend is as big of a problem as it creates for the planet’s ecosystems because of the carelessness of the growth machine. Economic growth and the condition of the planet work inversely, and, of course, the planet loses. Why is that? Answer: According to the Global Human Footprint Network (14,000 data points), humanity is using 1.75 Earth’s whilst “failing to husband its resources.” That’s an on-going formula for disaster.

What has already happened is hard to accept: “Today’s seas contain only 10% of the marlin, tuna, sharks and other large predators that were found in the 1950s.” 7

Yes, only 10% left within only 70 years.

How about the next seventy?

  1. Lijing Cheng, et al, “Another Record: Ocean Warming Continues Through 2021 Despite La Niña Conditions”, Advanced in Atmospheric Sciences, January 11, 2022.
  2. Susanne Rust, “Unprecedented Die-offs, Melting Ice: Climate Change is Wreaking Havoc in the Arctic and Beyond”, Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2021. The Susanne Rust research trip was covered in more detail in “Warnings from the Far North.” December 27, 2021.
  3. William J. Ripple, et al, “The Climate Emergency: 2020 in Review”, Scientific American, January 6, 2021.
  4. Mary Lou Jones and Steven Swartz, Aarhus University, “A Large Number of Gray Whales are Starving and Dying in the Eastern North Pacific”, ScienceDaily, January 22, 2021.
  5. “Heat Wave Killed An Estimated 1 Billion Sea Creatures, And Scientists Fear Even Worse”, NPR Environment, July 9, 2021.
  6. “Warming and Freshening of the Pacific Inflow to the Arctic from 1990-2019 Implying Dramatic Shoaling in Pacific Winter Water Ventilation of the Arctic Water Column, Geophysical Research Letters, April 2021.
  7. “Will the Ocean Really Be Dead In 50 Years?” Natural History Museum, London.
The post The Oceans Are Overheating first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Coming This 2022: Refugees, Democracy and Human Rights

Although 2021 is now behind us, there are many issues that will linger for a while, or much longer, and will certainly dominate much of the news in 2022, as well. These are but a few of the issues.

NATO-Russian Brinkmanship 

Exasperated with NATO expansion and growing ambitions in the Black Sea region, Moscow has decided to challenge the US-led Western alliance in an area of crucial geopolitical importance to Russia.

Ukraine’s quest for NATO membership, especially following the Crimea conflict in 2014, proved to be a red line for Russia. Starting in late 2021, the US and its European allies began accusing Russia of amassing its forces at the Ukrainian border, suggesting that outright military invasion would soon follow. Russia denied such accusations, insisting that a military solution can be avoided if Russia’s geopolitical interests are respected.

Some analysts argue that Russia is seeking to “coerce the west to start the new Yalta talks,” a reference to a US, UK and Russia summit at the conclusion of World War II. If Russia achieves its objectives, NATO will no longer be able to exploit Russia’s fault lines throughout its Western borders.

While NATO members, especially the US, want to send a strong message to Russia – and China – that the defeat in Afghanistan will not affect their global prestige or tarnish their power, Russia is confident that it has enough political, economic, military and strategic cards that would allow it to eventually prevail.

China’s Unhindered Rise 

Another global tussle is also underway. For years, the US unleashed an open global war to curb China’s rise as a global economic power. While the 2019 ‘Trade War’, instigated by the Donald Trump administration against China delivered lukewarm results, China’s ability to withstand pressure, control with mathematical precision the spread, within China, of the Covid-19 pandemic, and continue to fuel the global economy has proved that Beijing is not easy prey.

An example of the above assertion is the anticipated revival of the Chinese tech giant, Huawei. The war on Huawei served as a microcosm of the larger war on China. British writer, Tom Fowdy, described this war as “blocking exports to (Huawei), isolating it from global chipmakers, forcing allies to ban its participation in their 5G networks, imposing criminal charges against it and kidnapping one of its senior executives”.

However, this is failing, according to Fowdy. 2022 is the year in which Huawei is expected to wage massive global investments that will allow it to overcome many of these obstacles and become self-sustaining in terms of the technologies required to fuel its operations worldwide.

Aside from Huawei, China plans to escalate its response to American pressures by expanding its manufacturing platforms, creating new markets and fortifying its alliances, especially with Moscow. A Chinese-Russian alliance is particularly important for Beijing as both countries are experiencing strong US-Western pushback.

2022 is likely to be the year in which Russia and China, in the words of Beijing’s Ambassador to Moscow, Zhang Hanhui, stage a “response to such overt (US) hegemony and power politics”, where both “continue to deepen back-to-back strategic cooperation.”

The World ‘Hanging by a Thread’

However, other conflicts exist beyond politics and economy. There is also the war unleashed on our planet by those who favor profits over the welfare of future generations. While the Glasgow Climate Pact COP26 began with lofty promises in Scotland in November, it concluded with political compromises that hardly live up to the fact that, per the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, “we are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe”.

True, in 2022 many tragedies will be attributed to climate change. However, it will also be a year in which millions of people around the world will continue to push for a collective, non-political response to the ‘climate catastrophe’. While Planet Earth is “hanging by a thread” – according to Guterres – political compromises that favor the rich become the obstacle, not the solution. Only a global movement of well-integrated civil societies worldwide can compel politicians to heed the wishes of the people.

Refugees, Democracy and Human Rights

The adverse effects of climate change can be felt in myriad ways that go beyond the immediate damage inflicted by erratic weather conditions. War, revolutions, endemic socio-economic inequalities, mass migration and refugee crises are a few examples of how climate change has destabilized many parts of the world and wrought pain and suffering to numerous communities worldwide.

The issue of migration and refugees will continue to pose a threat to global stability in 2022, since none of the root causes that forced millions of people to leave their homes in search of safer and better lives have been addressed. Instead of contending with the roots of the problem – climate change, military interventions, inequality, etc. – quite often the hapless refugees find themselves accused and demonized as agents of instability in Western societies.

This, in turn, has served as a political and, at times, moral justification for the rise of far-right political movements in Europe and elsewhere, which are spreading falsehoods, championing racism and undermining whatever semblance of democracy that exists in their countries.

2022 must not be allowed to be another year of pessimism.  It can also be a year of hope and promise. But that is only possible if we play our role as active citizens to bring about the coveted change that we would like to see in the world.

Happy 2022!

The post Coming This 2022: Refugees, Democracy and Human Rights first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Twenty Years of Teaching Science in Public School Down the Covid Drain

These are snooping, snitching, massive canceling, censorious times.

I just talked with a friend who is in San Francisco who has been working hard as a science teacher. He has opened up the curriculum, has worked to be in his school’s union and he has just gotten married. That’s 55, now, and he has to step down from teaching since the school teacher mandates for California are going into effect January 4 or thereabouts.

He might be against mandates because a mandate is oppressive, a dead-end to critical thinking, critical engagement. The mandates, the masking, the social distancing, the forced PCR tests, the constant fear-fear-fear. He sees what this has done to teaching, teachers, students and staff.

But the cat is out of the bag, because the National Union and his state union all are on the same sheet of Moderna-Pfizer-Fauci music. For a science nerd, someone who ended up in physics at Harvard, who has undertaken teaching high school students science, including physics, well having a one size fits all formula,  without a scientific robust challenge to any theory, sticks in his craw.

Criminalizing thought, that’s what this Planned Pandemic is about: no pushback. We have talked, and I have been the liberal arts dude, with some notion that critical thinking can only be gained from liberal arts within the system of education. STEM is fine, but not in a vacuum. How we got here, today, how we are products of the history of everything.

Here, Hedges and Lowkey, and I am not sure of Hedges’ position on the vaccination mandates, and Lowkey, well, who knows. But the interview is powerful in that both talk about the prison industrial complex, and about education, and about deep thinking, truly. Literacy beyond being a serf of the ruling class and the warehouse employment class system.

Education as a key component of resistence.  Resistence and pushing back on the corporate, elite paradigms. And some of those elites and oppressive paradigms are in academe/academia.

The discussion of topics in science is also something we talked about, how there are off-limits discussion, and we talked about how teachers in the old days, if they were valuable and valiant and honorable and truly mentors, that they were honored. That students and parents looked at teachers as guides, as facilitators of inquiry, learning. Showing the stepping stones to life-long learning. As elements in the pathway from youth to participatory democracy. Giving an open hand to youth as a place of dissident thinking.

But the pressure from this gentleman’s school district, the union, the honchos, is to vax up, mask up, and booster up. Schools, where the least vulnerable are being forced to take not one, not two, but many shots in this grand experiment of the SARS-MERS-CoV2-DARPA kind.

As if refusing to get a vaccination, when he is healthy, and capable of doing his own health screens at home. Imagine, how much the landscape of the Delta, Omicron and now Omega-crons have changed. How it is now a cold, or where oh where do the variants go? The seesaw, yo-yo, 180-degree turnaround of the science. Follow the science.

And he is not going to be forced to vax. And, his 20 years teaching in public school is now ended. i am not sure how much he gets from the 20 year “pension/retirement,” but he states it’s like collecting his unemployment. He has just taken a job at a very very small school.

Charter school, a tuition free charter school covering 7th and 8th grades. Two hundred students. Mostly African-American and Latinx youth. And, my friend says, right now, there is a don’t ask, don’t tell approach to Corona Madness.

You know, no mask mandates, but option. No tracking of health records. No mandates for jabs.

Yet. This is December 30, 2021. The courts have ruled against workers, and the mandates for businesses in places like WA, OR and CA are about to go wide and far. So, he is now ending his public education career.

Newly married, my friend is thinking that he is only biding his time. That the charter school, private, with parents and youth, BIPOC, and in liberal (sic) San Fran-Oakland area will be subject to the mandates.

He thought he’d be retiring at 62 with a semi-decent pension. He doesn’t want to leave the Bay area because he has to. He knows the clock is ticking. He talks of creating a pod of other like-minded teachers to open up a free school. Tutoring.

He knows that I look at things asymetrically. That the reality is this is a universal vaccination, testing, digital dashboard (health, banking, jobs, education, purchases, etc)  future. You can’t get a job without being a member of the test-shot-record-big data frame. No subsidized housing without test-shot-record-big data. Proof of life, test-shot-record-big data frame, for your college course. This proof of compliance, test-shot-record-big data frame, for getting health insurance. Move this test-shot-record-big data frame to car insurance, even getting a driver’s license. Social seruit? Proof of this test-shot-record-big data cohersion compliance.

And, what if these smart students ask my smart friend, their teacher, about virus research, about big tech, about the politics of climate change, and, well, about other things that might go contrary to the test-shot-record-big data frame of things? Questioning any number of paradigms and theories and cultural expectations and prejudices and blind spots? And, these youth, many want to know what they should do after high school. How many will go from a charter school to a public school? How will they navigate mandates? And, what about what to major in if they go to college? Would all those years of school, from age 6 to 22, or to 24 or 28, be worth it? What is the value of things now and what about the future?

We talked about how young people this age want answers, want leaders, want direction, demand options and want to work with alternative solutions to today’s problems, and we know today’s supposed solutions will be problems of tomorrow.

Even questions about climate change, globalization, and where this CoV2 came from. Lab experiment gone bad? Intentional outbreak? These youth are smart.

Elaine DeWar

These kids want answers, and they want to rumble in the jungle, truly, with smart teachers willing to take risks, willing to lead.  Yet, we are in sniping times. We are in superficial thinking times. Black v. White times.

So where oh where do we go with teaching, and now, Charter Schools, and that is one messed up economic and education and investment model in most cases — Dissident Voice, Shawgi Tell!

He talked about getting farther away from urban centers, into red counties, red states, as a way to insulate himself from the inevitable. He is a Marxist, and that has been his huge disappointment — how the left has abandoned questioning authority, science, elites, agendas, mass media, propaganda, prevailing commercial interests, and more!

Of course, we could be dealing with Ayotzinapa, and the Mexican oligarchs and narcos and others hating these rural normal colleges where young people go to learn how to teach in order to teach youth and communities  how to stand up to the powers. Resistance. Worker rights. Land rights!

Mexico: Documentary looks at lives of 43 missing Ayotzinapa students — A documentary will premier this week at Mexico City’s Cineteca Nacional on the lives of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa students. Filmmaker Rafael Rangel says that the full-length documentary, “A Day in Ayotzinapa 43”, featuring first hand accounts of the events and interviews with classmates and family members of the disappeared students, aims to boost awareness of another reality of Mexico that often remains hidden from the broader public.

The petition, which already has more than 1,650 signatures, aims to ensure that the "truth prevails" and that respect is shown to the "memory of the fallen, the injured ... the parents, mothers, sons, daughters, wives, brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues, and for all those who were directly or indirectly affected by that tragic night." EFE/File

So it goes — we can always find other people’s realities much more dramatically harsh than our own. And, teachers get these shots for other things, and, well, there is so much swirling around about how the bat virus got to this highly infectious state, who had the blood and feces of people who got infected almost a decade ago, who was funding the gain of function research. So so much, here, rightly set straight into a world of skepticism.

But, all of them in on it — the vaccination paranoia is real, and the stories, well, we are in a time of shut down, zero critical thinking, echo chambers, and this is a military propaganda campaign.

How many more shots are we to take now that we are in this Virus World?

Here, Sonia Shah, who I interviewed several times in person in Spokane on the stage and in my radio studio. We are talking January 2020. This is a time capsule moment, since so much has changed in two years:

The number of coronavirus cases has overtaken that of the 2003 SARS epidemic. Officials and scientists are racing to track the path of the virus and develop a vaccine. Twenty-two countries have reported finding people sickened with the virus. The WHO has announced a “public health emergency of international concern.”

We’re in a relatively new era of infectious disease outbreak, said prominent science journalist Sonia Shah. Diseases are sequenced faster and tracked more accurately than ever before – but they also arise more frequently, as humankind and nature collide often and with greater intensity.

Shah knows her way around infectious disease outbreaks – along with the public health, epidemiology, and social consequences surrounding them. She’s the author of the 2010 book The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years, along with 2016’s Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond.

She sat down with Direct Relief this week to talk about the likely scope of the coronavirus outbreak, the public health response – and the potential impacts.

Direct Relief: Your book, Pandemic, is a look at the major contagious disease outbreaks of modern history, including Ebola, MERS, and SARS. Considering what you’ve seen so far, how does the new coronavirus outbreak compare to other infectious disease outbreaks – in transmission, scope, or public perception?

Shah: It’s obviously one that’s causing a lot of alarm, and there’s been a very vigorous public health response, so in some ways that makes it unusual. There are a lot of outbreaks of a disease where you don’t see a big public health response, so I think that’s actually a positive.

China is doing a lot to contain it. And I think you can debate whether all those measures are worthwhile or not, but there’s no lack of attention to this outbreak.

Direct Relief: How are the epidemics of modern history different from those of, say, the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic? Why are there more frequent disease outbreaks, and what are the challenges of fighting them in the modern world?

Shah: About 60% of these new pathogens that we’re seeing, that have come out in the last 50 years or so, they derive from the bodies of animals. About 70% of those derive from the bodies of wild animals.

And that’s because people and wild animals are coming into novel, intimate contact. That allows the microbes that live in their bodies to cross over into our bodies.

Ebola, Zika virus, SARS, West Nile virus – there are any number of novel pathogens that have emerged in the past few decades that come from the bodies of animals.

Animals and people are coming into new kinds of contact because of a variety of reasons, the biggest one being that we are essentially destroying so much wildlife habitat.

What that means is a lot of animals are going extinct, but the ones that remain have to crowd into ever-tightening little patches of habitat that we leave for them. That’s more frequently not in some distant, intact forest. Instead, it’s our farms and gardens and our towns and cities.

Direct Relief: Are we better at fighting infectious disease over the past couple of decades?

Shah: I think there are some ways in which we’re getting better. The fact that we had a diagnostic for this new coronavirus so fast, that’s amazing, and that means that you can track it.

I think in terms of scientific collaboration, discovery of how these pathogens work, diagnostics, and genotyping, those are happening a lot faster now as the technology gets better. We just have so much more knowledge.

But then I think there are valid questions to be asked about whether we’re using that knowledge effectively. Just because we can know that this novel coronavirus is causing this pneumonia – not some other pathogen – is that actually helping us to contain it, or not?

I don’t think we know the answer to that question yet, and we won’t for some years, until after this whole thing blows over and we have time to analyze how it went down.

We saw this in Haiti with the cholera outbreak after the [2010] earthquake. Cell phones were relatively new at the time and it was possible for people to map how cholera was spreading just based on cell phone data.

They could see, “OK, it’s coming down this road, it’s going to be going down this trucking route, it’s probably going to lead to this village in the next week or two.”

All of that…was amazing, scientifically, but it didn’t actually help anyone prevent cholera from breaking out. We knew it was coming, but it happened anyway.

Direct Relief: Why do you think this virus has inspired such a media frenzy and such widespread fear?

Shah: I think there are some good reasons. One is that it’s similar to SARS – it’s a coronavirus, like SARS – and we know that SARS was very virulent and it spread pretty well and it got pretty far. It got to dozens of countries really rapidly and killed 800 people, and this virus is in the same family.

That said, it’s a pretty big family. There are some coronaviruses that are very mild and some that are very virulent, so just the fact that it’s in that family of viruses doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to kill a lot of people.

And I think the other good reason is that it’s respiratory. There isn’t a lot of evidence that we know how to control the spread of respiratory illnesses. Seasonal flus every year take out hundreds of thousands of people.

We try. We have vaccines, we tell people to wash their hands, we tell people to stay home when they’re sick. Do they make any headway at all? It’s hard to know. With the huge scale of flu every year, it would be hard to argue that those measures actually work.

Direct Relief: If coronavirus continues to spread into a pandemic on the level of SARS, what are the likely long-term economic and social impacts?

Shah: There’s going to be huge economic fallout from this. It’s only just starting. SARS had a huge economic impact, and that wasn’t nearly as widespread as this thing will probably be. China is clamping down on its trade routes and travel routes. How do you function in a global economy without China? We don’t know.

All of these outbreaks, when they go global, just show us again and again how interconnected we are, and how much we really rely on each other for all of our essential services.

Direct Relief: Why do you say it’s going to be bigger than SARS?

Shah: Well, because it’s only just starting. New outbreaks are being seeded right now. We know 5 million people left Wuhan before the travel restrictions were put into place, and that’s a lot of people.

Each of those people could seed new outbreaks if they are carrying the virus, and I think we’re seeing the first signs of that.

It appears to be carried by people who are non-symptomatic. That means it’s going to be really hard to contain it. I don’t think we’re anywhere near the peak or end of this thing. If it goes on on the current trajectory it’s going to be bigger than SARS.

[The virus is] not necessarily more deadly. It always seems more virulent at the beginning, because all you see are the worst cases. So as we get more information, it will probably become clear to us that it’s less virulent than we originally thought, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have a huge toll.

Because if something’s really catchy, even if it’s only slightly more deadly than a regular flu or respiratory illness that we’re used to, a lot of people can get sick and can die.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Science, and science journalists. Interesting — “The Coronavirus in Context: A Q&A with Sonia Shah, Author of Pandemic

 

Sonia Shah delivering a TEDMED talk. (Photo courtesy of Sonia Shah)

How does my friend field questions from youth who are on the Internet, who are on social media and the dark web and so on? How does the world shape up with all these curriculum controls, when at times, our times seem chaotic, and fearful? Youth are directionless. Attacked by Democrats and Republicans.

Biggest issues with youth is “the GAD” — generalized anxiety disorder. Big problems with the dirty water, dirty air, polluted food, contaminated oceans and repulsive airwaves and entertainment rackets.

My friend is on his journey, and he is fighting for his small family’s survival. This is not what many of us thought would play out in our lives in our 50s and 60s, but in reality Western Lives/Western Culture/Western Privilege has come at a price — all those billions of people we have stolen futures from. Capitalism. Rapacious consumerism. Rapacious tourism. Wars, war machines, subjugation by proxy.

From 10 years ago — Haeder and Real Change News, Seattle!

Drawing on Plato and Malcom X, West said the death process is part of real education — paideia — a concept developed by Socrates that means deep, critical thinking.

It is the antithesis of contemporary culture: “The problem in American society is we are a culture of death-denying, death-dodging… a joyless culture where pleasure-seeking replaces what it means to be human.”

Fresh from a trip to Occupy Seattle earlier in the day, West praised the movement, which he said represents “a deep democratic awakening where people are finding the courage to find their voice.”

Greed has corroded society, he said.

“Market moralities and mentalities — fueled by economic imperatives to make a profit at nearly any cost — yield unprecedented levels of loneliness, isolation and sadness. Our public life lies in shambles, shot through with icy cynicism and paralyzing pessimism. To put it bluntly, beneath the record-breaking stock markets on Wall Street and bipartisan budget-balancing deals in the White House, lurk ominous clouds of despair across this nation.”

West said that in this age of fear, economic instability and employment challenges, young people must learn “to have a love of wisdom, love of your neighbors and love of justice.”

Such love, embedded in our cultural and social justice traditions, is powerful, he said.

“That Coltrane love, that subversive love. It’s there in the Occupy Wall Street movement. … When it’s organized and mobilized, love is a threat.”

Alas, privatizing schools, for investment and control, especially children, BIPOC, to militarize and technotize their minds, is the goal. Check out this site: Network for Public Education!

And, here, again, Alison McDowell, on monetizing poverty, struggle, students, for not just social control, but Internet of Bodies control.

The post Twenty Years of Teaching Science in Public School Down the Covid Drain first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Here’s to our Health: Well, To the Health of the Profiteers!

“You know what I think?” she says. “That people’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn’t matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They’re all just fuel. Advertising fillers in the newspaper, philosophy books, dirty pictures in a magazine, a bundle of ten-thousand-yen bills: when you feed ’em to the fire, they’re all just paper. The fire isn’t thinking ‘Oh, this is Kant,’ or ‘Oh, this is the Yomiuri evening edition,’ or ‘Nice tits,’ while it burns. To the fire, they’re nothing but scraps of paper. It’s the exact same thing. Important memories, not-so-important memories, totally useless memories: there’s no distinction–they’re all just fuel.”

– Haruki Murakami, After Dark

I’m thinking about nuclear energy, the waste, the fallout, radioactive new elements. I’m thinking about all those antibiotics, about all those rat-roach-flie-mosquito poisons. I’m thinking about the sprayed-on litany of food enhancers (sic) and the artificial colorings, and the Round-up Ready, for sure. I am thinking about opiod deaths for 18-50 year olds in USA as the number one cause of death for that demographic, at 80 K last year.

But I am also thinking about immune-compromised folk, the gut diseases, the array of diseases of the liver, kidneys, thyroid, stomach. Really, all of those malnourished and over-nourished and oddly chemicalized humans sucking up sugar sugar sugar. All of the combinations of bad in utero bombardments; i.e., epigentics, and then all the fun once coming out of the birth canal or c-section cut. DNA collected. How many jabs at birth? Then, how many (pre-mRNA maintenance series forever) vaccinations before age 5, 8 10, 12?

But thyroids, man, they are so compromised (in women especially) because of a variety of reasons that the entire ranch has been sold down the river. Thyroid issues here; chronic pain, brain fog, gut issues, psychological issues.

Serious-serious chronic illnesses associated with thyroid issues. And, this chart below is cartoonish, but if you look into thyroid diseases and the effects, you will shiver. And this is a common problem, becoming bigger with poisons, background radiation, pregnancy, bad food, bad nutrition, stress, plastics in the air-blood-intestines. Oh, what a world, and, of course, AMA, CDC, NIAID, NIH, WHO, you name the outfit, they are so hobbled by their germ theory crap, all other things really killing people (and planet) are not only a drag on a broken medical system, but on their economy.

Common symptoms of hypothroidism: depression, brain fog, fatigue, muscle cramps, cold intolerance, weight gain, dry skin

So, that’s just one arena-terrain of issues, the thyroid. Add up the entire issues flooding our endrocrine systems, then add up the microbiome maladies, add up the weathering of humanity under inflammatory capitalism, and here we are going into 2022.

Shoot, let’s inset doomsday #999 just to get gargantuan — the glacier down under:

The Thwaites “Doomsday Glacier” in West Antarctica is spooking scientists. Satellite images shown at a recent meeting December 13th of the American Geophysical Union showed numerous large, diagonal cracks extending across the Thwaites’ floating ice wedge.

This is new information, and it’s a real shocker if only because it’s happening so quickly, much sooner than expectations. It could collapse. And, it’s big, 80 miles across with up to 4,000 feet depth with a 28-mile-wide cracking ice shelf that extends over the Amundsen Sea.

Well, Greta and COP26, and the bagpipes of Glasgow. Another fun reality TV show, is the blank mentality of mainstream and left-stream media: how stories about Omicron and about mandated vaccination boosters x 5, and the complete loss of critical thinking when attempting to challenge the narratives/motives around the shifting baselines on steriods; i.e., fully vaxxed was one (1) J & J and two (2) Moderna’s. Now? The schedule of boosters will be determined not by doctors, not by us, not by the public, us, not by the thinkers, but by them, the elites, and those oh-so-perfectly honest and heroic folks working for Big Pharma which by the way foots the bill for most media in the mainscream, and foots the bills of many university research facilities, and foots the bill for NIH, WHO, FDA, etc.

a vaccine syringe

This is the Atlantic Magazine, one of the elites’ best source of information. When I say elite, I mean highly college degreed folk, the woke folk, all those beautiful and wannabe beautiful people. Note, when you read these rags, and I include The Nation or even Mother Jones, you get no other perspective outside the mainstream Big Pharma Has All the Answers for SARS-CoV2. DARPA?

For nearly a year now, the phrase fully vaccinated has carried a cachet that it never did before. Being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is a ticket for a slate of liberties—a pass to travel without testing and skip post-exposure quarantine, per the CDC, and in many parts of the country, a license to enter restaurants, gyms, and bars. For many employees, full vaccination is now a requirement to work; for many individuals, it’s a must for any socialization at all. (source)

I could write this entire blog just looking at the Atlantic’s story here, and how cavalier and how snobby and so tragically hip the verbiage is and the folks cited and interviewed so much on the same sheet of music, which is entirely planned. This is how these writers do their journalism — no push back, no alternative views, no outside the paradigm thinking. Here, last point I can make by pasting another paragraph:

Countries such as Israel have already done it; Anthony Fauci has been gunning for the switch. As he told me this summer, “I bet you any amount of whatever” that three shots, spread out over several months, will ultimately be the “standard regimen for an mRNA vaccine.” Even the CDC told me this week that it “may change [the] definition in the future”—a line it’s never used with me before. For a cautious government agency, that’s kind of a gargantuan leap. A new floor for full vaccination, one that firmly requires what we’re now calling booster shots, is starting to look like a matter of when, not if.

No other sources of medicine and immunology or virology to be consulted??? These writers are dangerous, but they always have been on all given topics — war, surveillance, finance, everything in the Complex. They have credos and pledges to not drill into capitalism. And that means, that this pig of a human, Tony Fauci, can play “I bet” shit word games about boosters that well, hmm, sort of work. Imagine that, funny Tony. And, what the fuck is happening in Israel? Please, look into that mess of vax madness there. “Israel.” How quickly the vaxxed lose immunity, which they never had.

Hands up, or else:

kids covid

Kids who are exposed to COVID-19 can stay in class as long as they are tested in schools, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release on Friday.“Test-to-Stay is another valuable tool in a layered prevention strategy that includes promoting vaccination of eligible students and staff, requiring everyone age 2 and older wear a mask inside schools and facilities, keeping at least 3 feet of distance between students, screening testing, ventilation, handwashing, and staying home when sick,” the news release reads. The Test-to-Stay initiative was put into motion by the CDC to help “minimize absenteeism and learning loss which can occur during traditional quarantine at home.”

Again, read the story on “Test to Stay,” and you will get no person or journalist pusing back on the policy, on the stupidity of testing, on the masking requirements, on the 3-foot distance lies, man, so-so much wrong with this picture. (Source)

But again, it’s not the air, stupid. It’s not the water, stupid. It’s not the food, stupid. It’s not the chemicals offgassing and in every product a child first comes in contact with up until the grave, stupid. It’s coronavirus, and, it’s compliant people, labeling and creating the “Dirty You,”which in the old days (not so old) was the Dirty Jew-Japanese-Indian-Irishman-Chinaman-Gypsy-Communist-Catholic-Disabled-et al.

I am asked about climate change, as the existential set of crises for humanity. How to stop it, how to mitigate it, how to prepare for it?

Here, from friend, Joe, then my snarky answer —

Paul– It’s pretty fucking obvious the government doesn’t plan to do anything except to promote more air travel, more military use of hydrocarbons, more roads for increased auto and truck travel, more planet destroying corporate agriculture and the list goes on. Besides that most people are not willing to change their lifestyles one bit. They will continue to support the things that kill the planet as they shroud themselves in selfrighteousness because they recycle and separate their food waste and put it in their compost bins made of plastic. They will pat themselves (and on each other’s) backs as they eat organic cucumbers flown in from Chile for their Super Bowl parties. Sick cognitive dissonanced bastards riding towards Hell on earth.

+–+

Joe — And the same tools to say stop companies from forcing low wage workers working in warehouses while tornadoes are about to hit and then once those workers are killed injured and traumatized will be the same needed to reorganize humanity for a world without ice: compassion, moral compass, communitarian guidance, systems thinking, socialism, democracy, resiliency, end of economic classes, justice, integrity, regional & multinational planning, valuing safe/ food/ air/ water/ soil, those plus redistribution of work and economic well being …. some or all of these needed to solve little things (sic) and yet we can’t tackle opioid crisis or housing crisis or industrial torture factory animal crisis.

A world without ice without those human values above? Road Warrior and The Road and Minority Report and Soylent Green and Bladerunner all mashed up

Seagulls stand on the Caddebostan shore, in Asian side of Istanbul, Monday, June 7, 2021, partially covered with marine mucilage, a thick, slimy substance made up of compounds released by marine organisms, in Turkey's Marmara Sea. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised Saturday to rescue the Marmara Sea from an outbreak of "sea snot" that is alarming marine biologists and environmentalists.

Again, the loopy writing of this mainstream and influential rag, The Atlantic. “Climate Change is Going to be Gross: The thick layer of mucilage that covered the Sea of Marmara for weeks was an unsettling glimpse of climate change’s more oozy effects” by Jenna Scatena This Jenna will not interview ecosocialists or those looking at the systems of collapse. Putting one part into the system, and then looking at the system. So, all this dead algae and plankton, off-gassing, mucking up ocean floors and coming to the surface and destroying fish stocks. And yet, no one interviewed looking at how this is just a slice of the destruction pie, and that, yes, bacteria and viruses live in the muck, and, yes, they can get passed on and on and on.

Under a Green Sky by Peter Ward

Under a Green Sky : Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us about Our Future

Paleontologist Peter Ward’s book on mass extinctions and climate change provides a deep-time perspective that is both sobering and necessary. Under a Green Sky puts the present within a geological context while also making the climate crisis feel even more personal and pressing. Before getting that perspective in full, however, readers encounter several fetching narratives of paleontological and other scientific fieldwork across the globe. Captivating as they are, the stories are mostly used to set up later passages that aggressively dismantle an argument Ward clearly loathes: that most past mass extinctions — especially the Permian, some 250 million years ago — were caused by huge meteorite impacts. Ward takes scientists and the media to task for, in his mind, recklessly embracing impacts as the culprit du jour for nearly all prior mass extinctions, when an impact is clearly responsible for just one such die-off: the famous dinosaur-killer 65 million years ago.

Ward presents a powerful alternative model for explaining these extinctions. In short, an increase in carbon dioxide — from volcanism (in the past) or from humans (in the present) — warms the oceans enough to change circulation patterns. When this happens, sulfur-eating microbes sometimes thrive. These bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide, which, in sufficient quantities and under certain conditions, outgasses into the air, shreds the ozone layer, and poisons other living things. The warming also causes methane ice under the seas to melt and, well, burp, adding to the nasty mix. The end comes not in a bang but a stinky whimper. (Source)

Quoting: “Where is the “Misanthropocene” right now in relation to past extinction events? The chart below tells the tale. Notice that our current rise in GHG’s is essentially instantaneous in relation to past warmings which took place over thousands of years. As far as scientists can tell, the current warming from industrial civilization is the most rapid in geologic time. Ice core and marine sediment data in the paleoclimatology archive have revealed brief periods of rapid warming and there is no reason to believe modern man is immune to such catastrophic and abrupt climate events. In fact, we know that the Arctic is already warming twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet. Earth sensitivity to climate change is now thought to be possibly double that of previous estimates. An entirely different planet can result from just a slight change in temperature:

Snap 2015-01-14 at 23.36.48
We’re about halfway towards the same CO2 levels as the Paleocene Thermal Extinction, but our speed of trajectory surpasses even that of the Permian Extinction:
wardco2big

In 2005, Lee R. Kump and fellow scientists published a paper describing what would become known as the Kump hypothesis, implicating hydrogen sulfide (H2S) as the primary culprit in past mass extinctions. According to OSHA, “a level of H2S gas at or above 100 ppm is immediately dangerous to life and health.” Prior to Kump’s study, the working theory had been that some sort of singular, cataclysmic event such as an asteroid strike was to blame for all mass die-offs, but Kump and colleagues proposed that a global warming-induced asphyxiation via hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) was to blame for snuffing out life under the sea, on the land, and in the air. In past mass extinctions, volcanic eruptions and thawing methane hydrates created greenhouse-gas warmings that culminated in the release of poisonous gas from oxygen-depleted oceans. Humans with their fossil fuel-eating machines are unwittingly producing the same conditions today. The Kump hypothesis (elevated CO2 with lowering O2 levels) is now regarded as the most plausible explanation for the majority of mass extinctions in earth’s history.”

The post Here’s to our Health: Well, To the Health of the Profiteers! first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Trump Thinks He’s Still President: What Is the Evidence?

Donald Trump thinks he’s still president according to no more reliable a source than Rachel Maddow on her February 5th show. This was confirmed in May by Vanity Fair.  Right-wing conspiracy theorists echo this analysis as recently as this month. Left-liberals are smugly confident that Kamala Harris’s running mate is in the White House, snoozing in the presidential bedroom. Inquiring minds ask what is the evidence nearly a year into the alleged Biden presidency that there has been a change of guard in Washington?

+The Obama-Biden union card check proposal was not on Mr. Trump’s political horizon, nor is it on that of the current occupant in the White House.

+The current occupant is ramping up Trump’s unhinged Sino-phobic hallucinations, sanctioning 34 Chinese entities for development of “brain-control weaponry.” Not that the Chinese have been angels. In an egregious suppression of freedom of information, the inscrutable Orientals have made it more difficult for US spies to operate in their country.

+The current occupant nominally withdrew US troops from Afghanistan as negotiated by Mr. Trump, presumably reducing overall military costs. Yet, he continues the Trump-trajectory of lavishing billions of dollars more on the military than even the Pentagon requests.

+Given his priority to feed the war machine, the new occupant is having a hard time finding sufficient funds for Biden-promised student debt forgiveness. Ditto for making two years of community college tuition-free.

+ President Trump slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%; candidate Biden vowed to raise it to 28%; the current occupant proposed a further cut to 15%.

Biden, while campaigning in 2019, pledged to wealthy donors that “nothing would fundamentally change” if he’s elected. And nothing has changed despite recent drama in the Senate over Build Back Better. Trump’s $4.5 trillion corporate-investor tax cut still appears secure.

+Raising the federal minimum wage to $15-an-hour from $7.25, where it has languished since 2009, was a big selling point for the Biden campaign. Now it is on hold, while billionaire fortunes balloon, leaving the working class broke but woke under the current administration.

+The Obama-Biden nuclear deal with Iran was gutted by Trump. The current occupant, contrary to Biden’s campaign utterances, has not returned to the conditions of the JCPOA. Rather, he has continued Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy against Iran.

+Candidate Biden, calling for a foreign policy based on diplomacy, criticized Trump’s dangerous and erratic war mongering. Yet only a month after his inauguration, the new president capriciously bombed “Iranian-backed militias” in Syria who were fighting ISIS terrorists and posed no threat to the US.

The new president went on to authorize further “air strikes” on “targets” around the world such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Now, the undiscriminating reader might think these are acts of war. But war, according to the “rules-based order” of the new occupant, is best understood as a conflict where US lives are lost rather than those of seemingly more expendable swarthy-skinned foreigners.

+The Obama-Biden normalization of relations with Cuba and easing of restrictions were reversed by Trump. Presidential candidate Biden had signaled a return, but the current occupant has instead intensified the US hybrid war against Cuba.

+Candidate Biden pledged to review Trump’s policy of US sanctions against a third of humanity. The presumptive intention of the review was to ameliorate the human suffering caused by these unilateral coercive measures. Sanctions are a form of collective punishment considered illegal under international law. Following the review, the current occupant has instead tightened the screws, more effectively weaponizing the COVID crisis against countries such as Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela, while adding Ethiopia and Cambodia to the growing list of those sanctioned.

+Among Trump’s most ridiculous foreign policy stunts (and it’s a competitive field) was the recognition of Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela in 2019. The then 35-year-old US security asset had never run for a nationwide office and was unknown to over 80% of the Venezuelans. Contrary to campaign trail inuendoes that Biden would dialogue with the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, the new guy in the White House has continued the embarrassing Guaidó charade.

+The current White House occupant has also continued and expanded on some of the worse anti-immigrant policies of the xenophobe who preceded him. Asylum seekers from Haiti and Central America – fleeing conditions in large part created by US interventions in their countries – have been sent packing. Within a month of assuming the presidency, migrant detention facilities for children were employed, contradicting statements made by candidate Biden who had deplored locking kids in cages.

+President Trump was a shameless global warming denier. Candidate Biden was a refreshing true believer, boldly calling for a ban on new oil and natural gas leasing on public land and water. But whoever is now in the Oval Office opened more than 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for fossil fuel drilling.

Perhaps the strongest evidence that Trump is practically still in office is the political practice of his left-liberal detractors who solemnly promised to “first dump Trump, then battle Biden.” However, these left-liberals are still obsessing about dumping Trump. Instead of battling Biden, they are fanning the dying embers of the fear of another January 6 insurrection, giving the Democrats a pass.

Of course, the Democrats occupy the executive branch along with holding majorities and both houses of Congress. Yet, despite campaign pledges and spin, the continuity from one administration to the next is overarching as the preceding quick review documented.

The partisan infighting theatrics of the “dysfunctional Congress” is in part a distraction from an underlying bedrock bipartisan consensus. Congress is dysfunctional by design on matters of social welfare for working Americans. It is ruthlessly functional for matters of concern for the ruling elites, such as the military spending, bank bailouts, corporate welfare, and an expansive surveillance state.

The Democrats offer an empty “we are not Trump” alternative. The bankrupt left-liberals no longer stand for substantial improvements to the living conditions of working people, a “peace dividend,” or respite from war without end. Instead, they use the scare tactic that they are the bulwark against a right popular insurgency; an insurgency fueled in the first place by the failure of the two-party system to speak to the material needs of its constituents.

The post Trump Thinks He’s Still President: What Is the Evidence? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Oil Companies Tell Us About Climate Change and Big Pharma Tells Us About Variants

They never call that Conflic$ of $ntere$t

Doctors are urging everyone to get vaccinated and boosted as cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant are popping up in more states, but the vaccine may also need to change to keep up with the mutations of the virus.

“It is, probably, one of our worst-case scenarios in terms of the combination of mutations that exist in one variant,” said Dr. Stephen Hoge, president of Cambridge-based Moderna. (source)

Again, this discussion around SARS-CoV2’s origins, and I mean, LAB origins, is so stunted that I have zero faith in the ability of people running the show and those following the show, and those who bombast and tell me to follow the science, to really have the guts and mental acumen to think outside their pathetic boxes. So, getting the low down from Moderna is not only bizarre, more than the fox watching the hens, but deeper. Here, a wrap up:

Our novel coronavirus is a LAV — live attenuated virus — derived from the work being done at University of North Carolina, the only place on earth trying to make a LAV for SARS-like viruses, which are also obviously not going to be fully acclimated to the human genome like the human influenza virus, which seems to have been with us at least since the Trojan War thousands of years ago.

Until SARS-CoV-2 is understood as a LAV that’s deattenuating towards a highly-pathogenic chimeric coronavirus that’s going through gatekeeping mutations and has no intention whatsoever of following the assumptions drawn from observing natural evolution or even the paths of the H1N1 LAVs which melted back into their original endogenous human hosts – humanity is going to continue to be standing on its head as it attempts to battle this pandemic, and misunderstanding the basic fundamental nature of what its up against.

It’s something we seem to be particularly good at, since all the way back in 1977 when the first H1N1 LAV emerged to a mass global panic, a massive push was made to create and distribute vaccines against what was thought to be a potentially pandemic strain. But it turns out that one of the ways a LAV isn’t a natural virus, is that when you attempt to vaccinate against it, neurological side-effects appear to proliferate among the vaccinated population, as the virus blows through this attempt at protection.

Because unfortunately for all of us, this isn’t the first time we’ve all been down the horrific rabbit-hole of trying to rush out an incredibly profitable vaccine against an enigmatic mystery virus that’s really a military LAV that deattenuated faster than expected. A vaccine which only provides only weak and temporary protection – but also causes wide-spread side-effects because it turns out the pharmaceutical companies were lying about their vaccine studies, and knowingly risked the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans so they could make as much money as quickly as possible: (Source)

Now, watch an old swine flu paranoia story, 60 Minutes:

So, follow the “other” science, and follow the protests. Marketed as life-saving public health measures, lockdowns triggered death and economic devastation on a global scale while doing little to slow the spread of Covid-19. Now, they’re back with a vengeance. — Grayzone.

That Moderna —this one —

Digital Health Pass: IBM and Moderna Hook Up to Capitalize on COVID Reset

Digital Health Pass: IBM and Moderna Hook Up to Capitalize on COVID Reset

Not that Whitney Webb is listened to by the mainstream and left-stream Media —

Moderna attempted to offset the bad press over having to delay the Crigler-Najjar drug with claims that they had developed a new nanoparticle delivery system called V1GL that “will more safely deliver mRNA.” The claims came a month after Bancel had touted another delivery system called N1GL to Forbes. In that interview, Bancel told Forbes that the delivery system they had been using, licensed to them by Acuitas, “was not very good” and that Moderna had “stopped using Acuitas tech for new drugs.” However, as will be explored in detail in this report as well as Part II of this series, it appears that Moderna continued to rely on the Acuitas-licensed technology in subsequent vaccines and other projects, including its COVID-19 vaccine. (Whitney Webb)

Former Moderna employees and those close to their product development were doubtful at the time that these new and supposedly safer nanoparticle delivery systems were of any consequence. According to three former employees and collaborators close to the process who spoke anonymously to STAT, Moderna had long been “toiling away on new delivery technologies in hopes of hitting on something safer than what it had.” All of those interviewed believed that “N1GL and V1GL are either very recent discoveries, just in the earliest stages of testing—or else new names slapped on technologies Moderna has owned for years.” All spoke anonymously due to having signed nondisclosure agreements with the company, agreements that are aggressively enforced.

 

And so we have the constant un-News from the billionaire class, Big Pharma, and the bought-out (prostituted) media. It is worth looking at this piece’s subheading,

Turns out you can’t vaccinate your way out of highly-transmissible RNA viruses in crowded commercial settings, but it also turns out that humans have a little issue trying to play God, and as so here we are.

…tied to this point by the writer, using Harvard To the Big House as his moniker:

It’s probably worth a brief moment to consider that every major industrial poultry farm on earth is stuffed to the wattles with potential viral hosts which are unable to self-segregate when they get sick like they are in wild populations, and so despite the fact that modern poultry farms have vaccination programs with 100% genomic coverage, 100% compliance, and 100% surveillance  – a perfect experimental situation with far more controllability that human societies – the emergence highly-pathogenic influenza strains that easily cull half the flock in a matter of days and sometimes result in 100% mortality are a constant threat. (Bottling-Up the Quasispecies Origins of SARS-CoV-2’s Enigmatic Furin-Cleavage Site)

It’s worth reading this piece, and try to not multitasking why reviewing it, since there are genomics and virology and basic and mid-genetics cited. But you all are caring, smart and patient readers. I know.  The reality is, there are no jobs in Oregon now that do not require the jab, and, for me, 64, over-educated, overly socialistic, well, how can I get a job when, well, this is what is typical of Indeed and other staffing sites put down right up front before a job description:

The State of Oregon requires all executive branch employees to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series or have an approved exception to the requirement due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief. Successful candidates for this position must submit vaccination documentation or be approved for an exception prior to their first day of employment. Failure to provide proof of full documentation or receipt of an approved exception will lead to withdrawal of the job offer. For more information, visit our policy listed here.

And what is a “vaccination” series, then? Is it two-three-four or every-three months a jab mentality? Is my age, 64, the kicker? Do I get to opt out of two-three-infinity shots? How easy is it to get an exception for whatever course of jabbing the state of Oregon requires, per the “Chosen Few” in the VaX Biz$, such as, well, here, December 4, 2021, DV covers one of these fellows, still alive, chosen, this elite “chosen few” — ‘Meet the “Godfather of Vaccines”’: Stanley A. Plotkin? (see Mickey Z!)

Is this existential the entire disaster and disaster mismanagement/management? A thought experiment? Ground-truthing? Or, something else?

The consciousness that biodiversity collapse is anthropogenically caused and in many cases avoidable prompts frequent use of the rhetoric of disaster to portray the human-induced shock to earth’s ecosystems. Amid such environmental distress, the collapse of biodiversity,global warming, melting glaciers, peak extraction of natural resources, structural poverty, intense pollution, high impact industries, and large zones of monocropping anticipate the scenario of a planet becoming orphaned of life. The main risks are created and increased inconsequently by men, in their infinite saga of nature domination (of which they are part, even when they do not realize it). The culture of immediacy pushes society to forget the past and to not care about the future. (Disasters, pandemic and repetition: a dialogue with Maurice Blanchot’s literature)

Look, I was on a Zoom call two days ago. Again, environmental topic; i.e., delta-wetlands “expert” zooming 41 folk. Amazingly flat, dead, and the Q & A, almost like putting in a number for the DMV. I don’t think the people running the show really get the colonization of science and outdoors sciences by this stupidity? In the Oregon-State? Making more and more people suspicious of each other, the Omicron Paranoia.

Estuaries are not only federally designated as Essential Fish Habitat, they’re a Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC). The HAPC designation is for high priority areas for conservation, management, or research because they are important to ecosystem function, sensitive to human activities, stressed by development, or are rare. Habitat types within estuaries vary substantially and consist of either natural (seagrass, large woody debris, natural rock, etc.) or man-made structures. Research from OSU over the last two decades indicates that (1) the fish communities in Oregon estuaries are changing, and (2) natural estuary habitats, particularly seagrasses, play an outsized role in the feeding and growth of juveniles fishes, particularly in years of poor ocean conditions. Given that ocean conditions on the west coast are changing, maintaining healthy natural habitats may become even more important in the future.

Interesting to read Alison McDowell’s latest, Wrench in the Gears. She opened up the Pandora’s box of blockchain connections to military-money-medical madness two years ago.

Check her work — She’s burnt out, and now, reenergized with Texas, where she was recently. Texas at the petri dish for all of the 5G/6G world of digital wallets, digital medicine, digital Gulag.

I am convinced Texas is in the crosshairs of a program of blockchain human capital predation that has been in the works at least since the 1950s. They’re coming in the back door with digital identity tied to electronic government, precision medicine, personalized learning, and equity-based workforce re-skilling tied to the Dallas Federal Reserve. Academic institutions pumped up with government life science grants and defense sector partnerships are in on it, as well as back-slapping non-profits waiting on their next philanthrocapitalist cardboard check. I have seen the web of this agenda. I have mapped a good bit of it. I’ve been caught up in it too, in the enormity of it. Now I finally think I’ve mustered up the psychic energy and clarity to deconstruct it and lay the parts out for all to see. Teasing apart the Texas blockchain web might help me regain my sense of purpose, which started to slip away these past few months. (Source)

Interesting fellow, just interviewed on a Covid-19 series, and that’s not available yet for public dissemination, but here he is in an older video. Covid-Revealed. His talk here on this 13 hour series is pretty clarifying. He does know his virus history, and he is anti-Empire, and this is usually not something these doctors who question the lack of treatments, the mRNA vax, etc. question. Many of the experts fighting the vaccination narrative and the rise of the corona paranoia yammer about socialism, how the WEF and Fourth Industrial Revolution is about global socialism. WHICH it is NOT. The rich — filthy Eichmann Types below them — are not gaming the system to have truly socialism for-by-because of the people, bottom up. Try and find the series, Covid Revealed. Of course, I am watching free, but with a time-frame, and then it is for sale! Capitalism, uh?

Here, Zach Bush, January 2021, on viromes and viruses. The entire kitchen sink of microbiome.

With the Branch Covidians and their Draconian Digital Dungeon, we who resist this maximum jab-jab-jab mentality — forced medical procedures —  are to be put where? Repurposed Indian Boarding Schools? FEMA camps? Think about that. No job, no home, no unemployment, no humanity!

Gov. Sisolak apologizes for Nevada’s role in relocating Native American children

Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum on August 27, 2021.

“They ripped babies from the arms of my ancestors and brought them thousands of miles to this campus,” Stacey Montooth, executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission and a direct descendant of a Stewart student, said. “The intent was to absolutely remove all aspects of Native American culture, but I’m still here.

“Keep in mind, it was not Uncle Sam’s priority to keep track of the Native people they sent here. There were bounties put out on little Indian children. … In 2021, we’d call it kidnapping.”

An estimated 20,000 students from at least 200 tribal nations attended Stewart between 1890 and 1980, including plenty from far-flung tribes based in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The boarding school was just one of more than 350 such institutions once propped up by the federal government.

Some families sent their children to the school to get an education, but many were snatched off the road unbeknownst to their parents, according to Bobbi Rahder, director of the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum. (Source)

Stewart Indian School Museum Director Bobbi Rahder stands looking out of a room in a girls dormitory on the school campus on August 27, 2021.

The small graveyard across the street from the Stewart Indian School. Buried here are some of the students who died while attending school here.

Interesting, Zach Bush looks at the political fight, the elections, as imflammation, looking at how as the candidates move closer toward the election their bodies, and their souls, are actually worn and show major breakdown of their mind-body connection. He discusses bacteria, looks at the sterilization aspect of modern medicine at war with viruses and not understanding the human microbiome — 10 to the 15th power the number of viruses in our body. Lining up for vaccines to rely on antibodies? It is not right, and it’s all tied to germ theory not being right. Listen to him, and it’s easy, and goes to biodiversity on many levels, and the air pollution, the cyanide taken into the human cell. Listen hard to the one above and then this one. It isn’t so difficult.

And to beat a dead Covid-19 horse to death, I highly recommend this interview, 25 minutes. You will understand the breadth of this fellow, Zach Bush, and he is coming at viruses, sustainability, terrain disease theory, humanity — birth and dying — from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Oh, I wish I was teaching college again, my courses on critical writing-thinking, from composition 101 to literature.

I have broached so many topics tied to systems thinking, directly relatable to students who are not majoring in English or journalism, per se, but those topics were fodder and incubators for deep knowledge and outside the thousand boxes thinking.

I am locked on Highway 101. The local college is Oregon Coast Community College, and the same people are teaching writing classes, for credit, who have been teaching that for years. There are no advanced classes or special topics classes, such as — critical thinking, research and expression in a time of conflict, runaway consumerism, media and educational control. You know, opening up the discussion with people majoring in say, nursing, or early childhood ed, or aquarium sciences. This society has for decades turned humanity into robots, silo-loving pencil pushers, err, knowledge workers on a laptop. That is exactly why we have a country of broken ideas, unrealized discussions, and flabbergasted people of all shapes and forms.

Zach Bush, on what we are — Homo Virome Sapiens!

The revolution that we are in the midst of — the massive paradigm shift that is one of the biggest scientific discoveries of human kind — is that human health does not reside within the human cell. Human health is dictated by the biodiversity that is at the center of our vitality, the biodiversity of the microbiome.

Dr. Zach Bush

The post The Oil Companies Tell Us About Climate Change and Big Pharma Tells Us About Variants first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Burned-out Forests Are Not Re-Growing

Trees are not re-growing in burned-out forests. This strange occurrence is becoming more frequent as global warming turns verdant flora into flammable tinder, causing more and bigger wild forests fires.

This article will examine the science behind failure of trees to regrow in burned-out forests. Additionally, and as a collateral issue, this puts one more distorted face on the consequential impact of the multi-billion dollar business called “woody biomass,” which burns trees in place of coal to meet carbon neutral protocols.

As a consequence, between the twin impacts of burned-out forests failing to regrow and woody biomass chopping down mature trees that are strong carbon sinks replaced by frail seedlings, one has to wonder about nature’s “carbon sink” capacity. Is it shrinking just when it’s needed like never before?

Woody biomass is as bad, if not worse, as burning coal. (See “The Woody Biomass Blunder“, November 15, 2021.)

Regarding the effectiveness of CO2 uptake by commercial tree plantations used to produce wood chips for sale in the international woody biomass market:

Single-tree commercial crop plantations may meet the technical definition of a ‘forest’ – a certain concentration of trees in a given area- but factor in land clearing to plant the crop and frequent harvesting of the trees, and such plantations can actually release more carbon than they sequester. 1

There are several studies and outspoken scientists’ statements about woody biomass emitting more CO2 than burning coal. Yet, in order to meet carbon neutral standards, 60% of EU renewable energy is from wood chips. Somebody at the EU is cuckoo.

Failure of Tree Regrowth

A University of Colorado/Boulder study shows that when forests burn across significant portions of the Rocky Mountains, the forests do not regrow.  Even after 15 years post-fire, 80% of the surveyed plots contained no new trees. 2

The study looked at 22 separate burned-out areas from southern Wyoming thru central/western Colorado to northern New Mexico. The study included regions that had burned as long ago as 1988, including land ravaged by the 2002 Hayman Fire near Colorado Springs; the 1996 Buffalo Creek Fire southwest of Denver; the 2000 Eldorado Springs and Walker Ranch fires near Boulder; and the 2002 Missionary Ridge fire outside of Durango.

This study and others clearly show that the resilience of our forests to fire has declined significantly under warmer, drier conditions.3

Global warming has contributed to a doubling of the number of acres burned across the country since the 1990s.

Increasing global temperature wipes out seedlings, especially in the US West where summer temperatures have increased so much that young trees do not have a chance to develop thick protective bark, and failure of regrowth in dry conditions finds seedlings shriveling before roots can grow deep enough to reach groundwater.

Anthropogenic global warming is inhibiting and/or destroying one of nature’s biggest, and best, solutions for combating CO2 emissions. And, even worse yet, humans are chopping down trees to burn for energy, thereby releasing years and years of stored CO2 from the trees into the atmosphere.

Global Warming Ravages Forests Throughout the World

“New studies show drought and heat waves will cause massive die-offs, killing most trees alive today.” 4

According to Bill Anderegg, a forest researcher at the University of Utah:

Global warming has pushed many of the world’s forests to a knife edge… in the West, you can’t drive on a mountain highway without seeing how global warming affects forests.5

Giant Sequoias, the Grand Daddy of the world’s trees are “dying from the top down.” This has never been documented before. According to Christy Brigham, chief of resource management for national parks: “We’ve never observed this before.” 6

According to the National Geographic article: The loss of Giant Sequoias is but one example of a worrisome worldwide trend:

Trees in forests are dying at increasingly high rates, especially the bigger, older trees.5

Nate McDowell, an earth scientist at the US Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the lead author of a major worldwide study of tree loss, says:

We’re seeing it almost everywhere we look. 7

The numbers are staggering: From 1900 to 2015 the world lost more than a third of its old-growth forests. Ever since, the numbers are accelerating. The causes are mostly anthropogenic, meaning logging and land-clearing, plus fossil fuel emissions that bring forth rising global temperatures significantly magnifying the rate of dying, as droughts extend longer and harsher, resulting in extremely brittle tinder, leading to massive wildfires. The upshot is a world on fire like never before as dead trees burn quickly and easily.

According to Henrik Hartmann of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, in central Europe:

You don’t have to look for dead trees… They’re everywhere,. 5

Africa and South America are likewise feeling the brunt of massive tree deaths. Global warming has brought drought conditions that are severe, repeating within ever-shorter time sequences that don’t give nature enough time to revive, to regrow, to survive.

Recent Siberian fires have been Biblical in scale and intensity. A June 2020 article in SciTechDaily headlined: “Meteorologists Shocked as Heat and Fire Scorches Siberia.” One half of the massive fires are peatlands, which, once started can burn almost forever if the heat is intense enough, which it was/is, emitting both CO2 and CH4.

The CO2 Cycle at Work

The curse of CO2 blanketing the atmosphere and trapping heat, as the planet gets ever-hotter, it causes the atmosphere to suck excessive levels of moisture, which causes trees to shed leaves and/or close pores to hold in as much moisture as possible. This, in turn, curtails CO2 uptake. It’s a vicious cycle that impedes the carbon uptake cycle that’s key to maintaining an ecological balance for the planet.

In the final analysis:

Forests are our last, best natural defense against global warming. Without the world’s trees at peak physical condition, the rest of us don’t stand a chance. 8

  1. Simon Lewis, forest ecologist/University College London:  “Why Planting Tons of Trees Isn’t Enough to Solve Climate Change”, Science News, July 9, 2021.
  2. Lisa Marshall, “Forests Scorched by Wildfire Unlikely to Recover, May Convert to Grasslands”, CU Boulder Today, August 25, 2020.
  3. Co-author Tom Veblen, professor of geography, CU Boulder, Ibid.
  4. “We Need to Hear These Poor Trees Scream: Unchecked Global Warming Means Big Trouble for Forests”, Inside Climate News, April 25, 2020.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Craig Welch, “The Grand Old Trees of the World are Dying, Leaving Forests Younger and Shorter”, National Geographic, May 28, 2020.
  7. Nate G. McDowell, et al, “Pervasive Shifts in Forest Dynamics in a Changing World”, Science, Vol. 268, Issue 6494, 29 May 2020.
  8. Eric Holthaus, “Up in Smoke”, Grist, March 8, 2018.
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Where there are Tailings, No Grass Grows: Serbians Protest against Rio Tinto

Another fault line has opened in the mining wars.  In Serbia, resistance is gathering steam against various deals made between Belgrade and companies that risk environmental degradation and lingering spoliation.

In this regard, the globe’s second largest metals and mining corporation, features prominently.  Rio Tinto, bruised in reputation but determined in business, finds itself in a hunting mood in the Balkans, hoping to establish a lithium mine and processing plant in the valley of Jadar.

As the infamous destroyer of the Juukan Gorge Caves outlines in a statement, the Jadar site is intended to “produce battery-grade lithium carbonate, a critical mineral used in large scale batteries for electric vehicles and storing renewable energy”.  This greening shift – because all canny mining entities are doing it –  promises to “position Rio Tinto as the largest source of lithium supply in Europe for at least the next 15 years.”  In an effort to make matters sound even more impressive, Jadar will also “produce borates, which are used in solar panels and wind turbines.”

The company has been extensively involved in cultivating relations with the government of Aleksandar Vučić.  As far back as 2018, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić was already convinced what the future lithium borate project might hold.  “As Jadar can significantly influence the development of the whole region, the government has established an inter-ministerial working group to cooperate with the investor on all aspects of the project.”  Capitulation, rather than cooperation, would be the more accurate description.

How the Anglo-Australian mining giant finds itself in this position has been troubling to local activists and the citizenry of Jadar for years.  The Ne damo Jadar (We won’t let anyone take Jadar) group is particularly concerned by the clandestine memoranda of understanding signed between the company and the Serbian government.  Zlatko Kokanović, vice president of the group, states the position with irrefutable clarity.  “Rio Tinto’s proposed jadarite mine will not only threaten one of Serbia’s oldest and most important archaeological sites, it will also endanger several protected bird species, pond terrapins, and fire salamander, which would otherwise be protected by EU directives.”

An online petition against the mine, which has garnered 283,364 signatures to date, also notes the risk posed to “thousands of sustainable multi-generational farms” through the poisoning of water sources.  This was bound to occur given generous use of sulphuric acid in separating the lithium from the jadarite ore.

Rio has countered this by vague promises that it will conduct sound environmental assessments and neutralise any risks arising from sulfuric acid, arsenic and the inevitable tailings that will follow.  In the words of the CEO Jakob Stausholm, “We are committed to upholding the highest environmental standards and building sustainable futures for the communities where we operate.”  Stausholm promised, “that in progressing this project, we must listen to and respect the views of all stakeholders.”

Ever since Rio Tinto began sniffing around in Serbia, evidence of such listening and respect has been in short supply.  Requests and concerns by locals go unaddressed.  Its use of private security goons has also been a point of some nastiness. Marijana Petković, a member of Ne damo Jadar, insists that they have been harassing and conducting surveillance of villages which are proximate to the mine.  One has to keep the local tribes in check.

In June, the company claimed that the security contractors were “engaged to carry out activities in full compliance with the Law on Private Security, which provides for both the way of securing private property and moving at a certain time between several mutually separated places/facilities”.

The company also countered with its own claims that, as a law-abiding entity, it has been unjustly attacked by fractious thugs intent on disrupting the prospects for local improvement.  After a protest that same month, Rio Tinto stated that “employees working on the Jadar project were examined for injuries at the Loznica Emergency Centre, where they were provided with assistance.”

Serbian lawmakers have certainly been facing a mouthful from the Alliance of Environmental Organisations of Serbia (SEOS) and the Kreni-promeni organisation.  The latter has produced a video to counter Rio Tinto’s own glossy narrative of the lithium project which has saturated much of the media.  Hearty efforts by Kreni-promeni to convince the Serbian public broadcaster RTS to broadcast its rebuttals have so far failed.

The eternally calculating Vučić has decided to put the issue of Rio Tinto’s lithium mining effort to a referendum, enabling the mining giant to further step up its campaign to convince voters.   The protestors are in no doubt that the measure is designed to secure approval in order to outmanoeuvre the contrarians.

A large protest movement is taking shape in Serbia, centred on the importance of clean water, air, soil and observance of sound environmental regulations.  The month of November saw protesting efforts that involved blocking roads in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Užice, Loznica and Kruševac, amongst others.

Rio Tinto, environmental vandal par excellence, has shown, along with other mining giants, a marked tendency to ignore local grievances and fears while flattering gullible authorities with promises of a glittering future.  The future for the Jadar valley, outlined by one sceptical ecologist, Mirjana Lukić Anđelković is suitably dark.  The company, she told the morning program TV Nova S “Wake Up” in March this year, promises to mine for six decades and “make a mountain of tailings.”  Where there are tailings, “there is no grass, nothing grows.”

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COP26: Greenwashing, Plutocratic Misadventures and the Possibilities of Radical Transformation

COP26 reaffirmed what has been obvious from the beginning: the Northern colonial and capitalist states most responsible for creating the climate crisis are unwilling to place people before profits in order to address the planet’s looming ecological collapse and humanitarian catastrophe.

We need justice. But that word — Justice! — despite all of the philosophical pontificating from John Locke to John Rawls, is a concept incompatible with the rapacious civilizational logic of a colonial/capitalist system based on self-interest, greed, and social Darwinism. Yet, without a firm commitment to the institutionalization of a just world order in which the gifts of mother-earth are equally shared along with respect for the earth and its natural order, the evidence is now irrefutable – human society will not survive.

The elementary logic of this observation suggests the necessity for a radical divergence from production processes, consumption patterns, destructive relationships to the natural world and degrading social relationships, is denied by powerful Northern capitalist countries.

What does this mean? It means that the appeals to reforms, finance and rationality coming out of the COP process are not enough to overcome the entrenched short-term interests of the international capitalist plutocrats.

It means recognizing that the fight for climate and environmental justice is, in fact, a revolutionary project, requiring mass-global resistance and the expropriation of economic and political power of finance and corporate capital. Without this recognition, the COP process will continue to be nothing more than a public relations stunt geared to convincing the public that green capitalism and saving the planet are compatible.

In his piece that appears in the Black Agenda Report’s special edition on COP26, Anthony Rogers-Wright points out that “the cataclysms of the interlinked crises of COVID and climate change were elucidated this past year in ways that cannot be repudiated.” That is true. But there were other connections that were made that are transforming the consciousness of peoples in the global South and the nationally oppressed and workers within the core capitalist nations that were exposed during the COVID crisis. The most immediate connection being that the lives of ordinary people mean nothing to the lords of capital.

At the height of the COVID outbreak nations in the global South experienced the consequence of disrupted global production and supply chains in ways even more severe than the economic disruptions that caused so much suffering among workers and the poor in the Northern nations.

With massive unemployment and stretched state budgets trying to provide minimum economic support to their populations and healthcare systems ravaged by structural adjustment policies imposed on them by the colonial powers, nations in the global South attempting to survive — but without the ability of the US to print money that is accepted as a global currency — asked the Northern nations to suspend, just postpone, not forgive their overwhelming debt payments during the covid crisis. They were rebuffed.

COVID revealed the hidden reality of the dictatorship of capital and the fact that no lives matter to capitalists beyond their ability to provide labor or buy capitalist products. Those revelations explain why the comforting rhetoric of liberal reformism that mollified some activists involved in the COP process in the past is no longer working.

COP26 might be a turning point. One of those inflection points in history where conditions force a transformation of consciousness and thus a new politics that can usher in epochal change.

In Glasgow, the people saw how the colonial gangsters lobbied to weaken proposals to phase out subsidies for coal, oil, and gas. The people understood clearly what was really being said and what kinds of interest were really important when the powerful tried to explain why the target of a measly 100 billion a year to assist the nations who were not even responsible for the climate crisis was not realized. Especially when the people were aware that these same G20 nations who could not meet their obligations had subsidized fossil fuel industries to the tune of 3 trillion dollars just since 2015.

Radicalization occurs when all of the liberal options are proven to be untenable and unsupportable by objective reality. A political crisis for the continued rule of capital is being produced by the imposition of debt, the subversion of democratic projects, the militarism and wars, the environmental destruction, and the exploitation of resources and labor by capitalist nations.

It is this realization that is reflected in new forms of resistance and a steeled opposition, especially among the young, from indigenous, nationally oppressed, and racialized colonized peoples that are inoculated against the liberal obscurantism that has dominated so many of these global gatherings and resulted in so many being funneled into liberal reformism.

Imperialism, in the historic form of the Pan-European colonial/capitalist white supremacist patriarchy is the enemy. This is a revelation and a position that the internationalist African revolutionary movement recognized some time ago. It is an affirmation of the correctness of that position that so many, while not yet using those terms, have, nevertheless, come to understand that unless we disarm the colonial/capitalist West, we are all doomed.

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The People vs. COP26: Time for Politicians, Billionaires to Listen   

Of all the speeches and political grandstanding at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26), the words of Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, were the most profound and least hypocritical.

Lopez Obrador raged against the “technocrats and neoliberals” – world leaders who hold the future of humanity in their hands. This was a direct reference to leaders of the powerful countries that “increase their fuel production, at the same time that they hold summits for the protection of the environment,” while arriving in Glasgow on private jets.

Indeed, hypocrisy continues to define what is meant to be a collective global fight against climate change and its ravaging, often deadly, consequences.

Over-consumption, inequality and unchecked capitalism were hardly the defining keywords at the COP26. Such references were largely made by “radical” and “leftist” environmentalists outside the conference halls. Pointing out the obvious has sadly become a radical act.

Inside the posh summit halls, it was politics as usual, though concealed as virtuous concern for the fate of all humankind.

“It’s one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock and we need to act now,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, using a forceful and dramatic tone. He himself had admitted to the futility of past exercises of a similar rhetoric of the past. “I was there in Paris six years ago when we agreed to net zero (emissions) and all those promises will be nothing but blah, blah, blah.”

For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron lashed out at the “big emitters, whose national strategies are not in line with our 1.5°C objectives”, stating that “too many of us make commitments here and then sign trade agreements that do exactly the opposite”.

These leaders were not the exception. But others, the likes of US President Joe Biden, lashed out at specific countries, particularly the US’ global competitors in trade and political influence. His style of speech was distinctly different from Johnson’s and Macron’s. “The fact that China, trying to assert, understandably, a new role in the world as a world leader, not showing up? Come on!”, he said, following that with a jab against “Putin and Russia.” That is, in itself, a sad commentary; Biden had traveled thousands of miles merely to settle some trivial political scores.

Such futile political rhetoric accentuates our current dichotomy as we face the repercussions of our own abuse of the environment. On the one hand, we do need leaders who are capable of appreciating the gravity of the situation while, on the other hand, international politics has often proven to be the cause of problems and rarely the solutions.

So, how do we resolve this riddle?

The manifesto of Climate Action Network (CAN), Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change, offers some clues: “A sustainable, just, resilient society over the long term needs a proactive approach that is holistic, value-based and people-centered, addressing existing inequalities and power imbalances.”

That is definitely the starting point of a serious conversation on the environment. The self-serving logic of politicians and billionaires can only make us sink deeper in the unrelenting quagmire.

Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos who also arrived at the summit on his private jet, pledged to invest $2 billion for climate change by 2030, after receiving an “epiphany” during his 10-minute space ‘expedition’ “I was told that seeing the Earth from space changes the lens through which you see the world. But I was not prepared for how much that would be true,” he said in his speech.

Of course, for the likes of Bezos, such generous offers are quite beneficial. It further contributes to their successful business brands, while deflecting criticism that capitalism, limitless consumerism—thus incalculable, often undeserved amassing of wealth – have pushed our environment to the point of desperation.

However, can the people who have originated the problem be the very individuals who fix it, without even acknowledging their role in the crisis in the first place? Never.

“Enough hypocrisy and fad,” Lopez Obrador said, before attending the Glasgow summit. The Mexican leader, often dubbed as ‘populist’ by the likes of the Economist, Reuters and others, has pointed precisely to the ailment that resulted in the current environmental impasse. “We must fight the massive monstrous inequality that exists in the world,” he said.

The truth is this: the answer to the intensifying growing environmental crisis lies in our own hands, not those of politicians. The latter will only act if we raise our collective voice and pressure them to do so.

According to the latest report issued last August by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in at least the last 2,000 years.” All the fiery speeches, fancy summits and numerous political pledges have done very little to reverse this dismal and worsening trajectory.

Expecting COP26 to save the world is wishful thinking. Our fate is truly in our own hands. It always has been. It is high time for politicians to stop talking and, for once, truly listen.

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