Category Archives: Oceans/Rivers/Seas

Masters of Illusion: Sociopathy from the Very Rich on Down

Nothing Changes With the Rich!

You just can’t make this stuff up as a fiction writer (also, see below, at the end of this piece**). Demonic, but sturdy. Boring actuarial folk, or in this guy’s case, making loot illegally in the legal channel that is Illegal Wall Street:

Thomas Peterffy became one of the world’s richest people by mastering risk on Wall Street. Building his Mediterranean-style mansion seven years ago on a vulnerable stretch of Florida’s Palm Beach Island was a matter of seeing the odds clearly once again. The consequences of climate change will play out over decades, and Peterffy is 76 years old.

“I don’t have a care about it at all,” he said over lunch at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, just down the street from his home. “If something needs to be done to save it,” he added, “it’s not going to be my problem.” The founder of Interactive Brokers Group has a fortune of more than $21 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Thomas Peterffy with Lynne Wheat in Palm Beach in 2017 (Nick Mele/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images)

Glaser is building a new waterfront mansion designed by architect Kobi Karp, replacing a now-demolished estate owned by Jeffrey Epstein.
Seawall installation at property on the intracoastal in Palm Beach.

Nice guy, uh? And even younger ones, in the billionaire class, they whisper that, though they do have bullshit smoke and mirrors philanthropies and foundations to, well, shelter taxes and corrupt the world more with their sociopathy. In the old days, it would have been, “Eat the Rich,” “Kill the Rich,” “Banish the Rich.” Now, though, since they have created a vampire class of millionaires and media mental midgets with millions stashed away, the Rich Are a Protected Class. Until we get daily reminders of the collective insanity of Western culture, Western capitalism, Western cults. This is the rich, giving a damn about the future, or, spending millions and billions on their vaults and prison garden homes. Then, there are 10,000 in Del Rio, Texass:

a group of people in a forest: Large Migration Surge Crosses Rio Grande Into Del Rio, Texas

The temporary camp has grown six-fold since Monday and more migrants are expected in the coming days. Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano made a disaster declaration Friday. “I had thought that the alarm was sent on Monday. This is setting the nuclear bomb alarm that this is no longer sustainable or acceptable,” he said. Congressman Tony Gonzales, a Texas Republican, is calling on the Biden administration to come up with a solution for the chaos. “Please get engaged, get involved, do something. This is unsustainable. This is not America. This is not the way things should be,” he said. “Folks are coming over and across as if there is no border.” Also Friday, CBP closed the Del Rio Port of Entry and re-routed traffic.

Elevating a property in Palm Beach.

Elevating a property in Palm Beach.

I have years of writing about and researching urban planning, regional planning, all the gold, silver, platinum of LEED/Sustainability/New Urbanism building. It is a mighty thing to have a few degrees from elite schools (my schools, they are not elite), and then getting placed into the star chambers of planning, architecture and design. To the point of, the Eichmanns are deep into this lie, and there is really, the way they want smart cities and internet of bodies for the future, no global warming, no global climate chaos, no collapsing systems, water shortages, deaths in the millions annually just from air pollutants. No deaths in the hundreds of thousands because of higher and higher bulb temperatures. No reality about water shortages, failing sewage treatment, endless fires, pests-poisons-pestilence vis-a-vis profits at any cost, at costs to anyone or anything, albeit, not against the elite and star chamber folk. The reality is if you believe in capitalism, in all for one, or that technology is going to get us out of the muck, then, you are a denier. The worse kind!

If this doesn’t tell it all, here we are, the great profession (sic) of planners (misshapers, building and real estate protection racketeers) having yet another fake event, virtually. Imagine that, so planners are supposed to be on the land, in the muck, in neighborhoods, looking at systems, ecosystems, people, communities, towns and mega-cities, and, here the gutless wonders are, well, hiding again, in underwear and Snoopy slippers. This was a group I was sort of a member of when I was getting my graduate degree in , well, urban and regional planning:

Save the Date: 2021 OAPA/APA WA Virtual Joint Planning Conference

The 2021 conference continues with the theme of Growing Together Virtually, recognizing the importance and challenges of planning for evolving communities, large and small, in these challenging and polarizing times. The conference will offer more sessions than last year, allowing for greater variety in session content.

Oh, in polite company, we can’t call this a bunch of fucking shit, no? All the communities now within communities, the so-called subcommunities, struggling with forced jabs, forced passports, forced scrutiny, forced surveillance, facial recognition just to enter a football game or concert. Work, sure, servicing those maskless wonders with masks on, but not enough cash to pay the rent, or, all the cash for the rent. No health care, nothing of those safety nets that the RICH have, and do not get goofy on me to profess that the rich do not have entire lobbies upon lobbies in their sophisticated protection racket. The planners — many of them looking for sustainability and gardens and walkability and healthy small downsized living — in the end buckle under the weight of bureaucracy and the rich and powerful controlling the narrative and their own money stream. Look, I understand that every arena I have entered into since, oh, age 13, those places are sacred to liberals, lights, conservative, lights, and that I would also be an outlier or outcast anywhere, or the enemy in some regard, but now, it is way beyond “enemy” or “persona non grata” I represent. It is a matter of outcasting, men, an untouchable, while the APA-WA branch, peddles more lies, meaningless doublespeak:

“What is Planning? Planning is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities. Professional planners make great communities happen by working with civic leaders, businesses, and citizens to envision new possibilities and solutions to community problems.”

I wonder what the planners might do around those Haitians, all those cities that are in disrepair, all the rough sleepers, the homeless-in-vehicles, the sheltered-in-basements/garages/hotels. How to plan, man, those smart cities, those hipster places, those virtual venues, the Zoom Rooms, the isolation chambers, the places of mediocrity sold as cutting edge Musk-Apple joints. Imagine, maybe in a year, the Planners can hook into the Bezos Ejaculatory Space Suit Freaks, and have a live feed with Bezos and ask him what’s next in planning cities around his Gestapo-Gulag-Retail-Surveillance-Cloud world. In so many ways, I found the planning profession to be vapid, dead of creativity, and certainly no rabble rousers or deep thinkers in the bunch. They talk a good talk, but in the end, their jobs are the work of the real estate, developer, building and construction lobbies, and the planners I know would never speak up at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. They are the epitome of Eichmann, updated and retrofitted for Cancel Culture and Oh So Hip Stylists.

How about his Salem group, Salem for Refugees? You think planners would want to create grants for people like me to study the dynamics of community building-engagement-employment around these newest immigrants?


With the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, thousands of people are fleeing their home and looking for protection in the US. We have been preparing for refugees and SIV cases. Now we are preparing to also provide resettlement services for individuals who have been identified as special risk (journalists, NGO workers, humanitarian workers, political activists, etc.). Due to the rapid nature of the situation, this group of individuals will have a special Parolee status which will allow for immediate work authorization but limited access to State social services or Medicaid benefits. We need your help in bridging this gap and providing for the needs of these people. In an effort to bring Afghan Evacuees to Salem, the State Department has given us an early approval as an affiliate of World Relief and we are now an official Resettlement Agency! We will begin receiving cases through the Afghanistan Placement Assistance Program and in January for all other refugees through the Reception and Placement program!

The good old days when we truly hated the rich:

In 1920, Wall Street reporter Edwin Lefèvre derided “some wretchedly rich people” in a Post article called “The Annoyances of Being Rich Today.” Without naming names, Lefèvre detailed conversations with bankers and heirs about their gripes with imperfect service and ungrateful butlers. One rich man told the author that he feared a revolution was afoot after he asked a waiter for bread and — instead of silent obedience — the response came: “Sure thing!” Others complained about accusations of vanity or the prospect of their service staff seeking higher wages.

Lefèvre sums up the groans of the plutocrats by casting wealth as a sort of illness:

I am convinced that there is a definite social disease which we may call gold poisoning. When a man has too much gold, some of it gets into the system; through the pores, it almost seems. It causes deafness and affects the sight. These ailments, gold deafness and gold blindness, are responsible for most of the annoyances of which the stricken rich so bitterly complain today. Instead of seeing or hearing, they are merely aware of a rumbling sound—the tread of their fellow men marching toward them, armed with bombs, bitterness, and taxes.

Newspaper article

John Stuart Mill called the rich, “the unearned excrement.” Oh, what a day it would be to see that again, lifted up high, daily, in the media, but this is a world of valorizing the rich, listening to the liars and grifters — the thespians — and all the handlers, the hangers-on the rich-super rich employ to massage their messages.

Larry Glickman, a professor of history at Cornell University, says he has used this clip in one of his classes to illustrate the criticism of so-called robber barons of the late nineteenth century: “In the Gilded Age, ‘capitalist’ was really a term given by its enemies to people who had earned wealth in an unfair, immoral way, so a lot of small business men said something similar to what Hickenlooper said.” Glickman says the distrust of robber barons (or capitalists) comes back to the question of hard work. “There was this idea that you had labor producing things, and that accumulating wealth through honest production was a good thing,” he says, “but there was a new class of people called capitalists getting their wealth through unproductive, exploitative ways.” (Saturday Evening Post).

** So, Bloomberg the Billionaire with Billionaire Bloomberg News, has the answer for inequities, which in any other language is, well, wage theft, tax fraud, tax evasion, thievery of a general nature, war profiteering, penury, slave/sweatshop economy. The news just continues with these abhorrent items:

Amazon’s massive new distribution centers, soon to be surrounded by infrastructure built to serve workers, are being compared to Gilded Age company towns. While many are aghast at the idea, fellow billionaires are praising it.

The e-commerce empire founded by Jeff Bezos will offer the American working class a better option than scraping to get by in increasingly expensive cities, investment adviser Conor Sen wrote in a Friday oped for Bloomberg, the financial news outlet whose namesake is billionaire former New York mayor and failed presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.

“Let’s call them ‘factory towns,’” Sen suggests, apparently in an effort to avoid the baggage that accompanies the concept of “company towns.” Popular in the late 19th century among the new breed of mega-corporations – railroads, steel mills, and the like – many of these dormitory communities held workers as veritable prisoners, paying them in scrip that was only redeemable at the company-run store and retaining groups of thuggish Pinkerton “detectives” to stamp out any attempts to unionize. (source)

Yet, Bezos is a joke with the power of deflection, the power of the rich to believe his own dirty secrets of domination. No number of jokes piled on by the millionaire comedian class or insightful (sic) commentaries by the millionaire presstitutes can buckle the Amazon formula. Here, the sweatshops of Amazon, providing slaves with, well, boxes of time out:

Amazon offers 'wellness chamber' for stressed staff - BBC News

 

The post Masters of Illusion: Sociopathy from the Very Rich on Down first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Drought Flood Fire

The world is on fire like never before: “Wildfires Have Erupted Across the Globe Scorching Places That Rarely Burned Before” (CNN headlines July 22, 2021) but not only is fire raging, Biblical floods are destroying entire communities; e.g., 9,000 homes swept away in central China (BBC News) as towns were nearly decimated in Germany, “Europe’s Deadly Floods Leave Scientists Stunned” (Science, July 20, 2021). All of that with worldwide droughts at a fever pitch.

Is the sky (actually) falling?

According to SPEI Global Drought Monitor, the current drought cycle is worldwide. Only Antarctica is spared. In some corners of the world water reservoirs are dangerously low, big hydroelectric plants sputter, as long-standing verdant forests morph into dried-out firetraps.

This shocking coincidence of three major catastrophic events hitting at the same time is likely unequaled in modern history. Why are the most serious threats to 21st century civilization; i.e., drought, fire, and floods simultaneously ravaging the planet from east-to-west, north-to-south?

Answers can be found in a new book:  Drought, Flood, Fire, How Climate Change Contributes to Catastrophes by Chris Funk (Director of Climate Hazards Center, UC Santa Barbara) Cambridge University Press, August 2021.

Funk provides a very accurate description of the linchpin of climate-related trouble in one brilliant paragraph:

We hang isolated in space, with only an incredibly thin layer of atmosphere standing between us and oblivion. If we could drive our car straight up at highway speeds, we would approach the edge of the atmosphere in a matter of minutes. And into this thin membrane we are dumping about 28 million gigatons of carbon dioxide every day. The rational decisions of nearly 8 billion people are resulting in collective insanity as we choose to destroy the delicate balances that support Earth’s fragile flame.  (p. 21)

Moreover:

Climate change is making climate extremes more frequent and intense… Not in the future, but right now… Over the past few years (2015-2020) the fingerprints of climate change have seemed more like a slap. Extreme heat waves, floods, droughts, and wildfires have exacted a terrible toll on developed and developing nations alike. These extremes have impacted hundreds of millions of people and resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars in losses, all across the globe. (p. 5)

Early on in Funk’s book a chart of weather-related losses (1980 to 2018) clearly shows a four-fold increase in less than 40 years, which is foreboding and demanding of attention. Funk educates readers how and why such huge increases have occurred in such a short time:

One goal of this book is to describe how energy moves through the Earth’s energy system, so you can both better appreciate the beauty of our life-sustaining complex planet, and how human-induced warming is altering this system in a dangerous and alarming way. (p. 12)

Drought Flood Fire delves into the onset of complex life, as well as the rudimentary basics of the mechanisms by which greenhouse gases warm the planet, to wit:

Even most people who believe in climate change don’t really understand the basic mechanism of why adding greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere has to increase the amount of energy reaching the surface of the Earth.  (p. 65)

This book serves as a tutorial and, as such, a compelling asset for students and advocates and world policymakers. It’s an authoritative teaching tool with occasional fun images that depict the ironic fragility of our enduring planet, e.g.,

Imagine an egg painted blue. The atmosphere is as thick as the blue paint. (p. 67)

Ever wonder how tropical storms originate or hurricanes or cyclones via understanding the intricate details behind the reported facts, in plain English?

Is Earth uniquely fragile or steadfast and how is it that humans disrupt its ecosystems?

Indeed, Drought, Flood, Fire is a primer on the most elemental developments of all aspects of the universe and solar system and the origin of complex life itself. This seminal book is essentially a lecture series about the remarkable features and development of the universe ultimately devolving into today’s anthropogenic distortion of nature. It’s well worth the read.

Funk personally describes his approach, as follows:

Some aspects of climate change are complex and hard to fathom. Some are fairly straightforward concepts and facts that everyone really needs to understand. This book is mostly about the latter. Some of the most important mechanisms of climate change can be understood by everyone: Why do greenhouse gasses have such a direct warming effect on our planet? How does this warming intensify the impact of droughts and fires? How can this same atmospheric warming, paradoxically, also increase the frequency of extreme precipitation events and floods? This book approaches these questions with a Do-It-Yourself  (DIY) attitude.  (p. 59)

He explains the dynamics of extreme events, as for example, the interrelationship of California fires, warmer air temperatures, and drier vegetation like the infamous Thomas Fire of 2017, which was for a brief period the biggest most damaging fire in California history with flames roaring six stories into the sky.

Interestingly enough, along with that California example, Funk spells out warning signals for all of humanity, to wit:

By looking carefully at both weather data and disaster statistics, we can see with our own eyes that a 1°C warming is already having dire consequences.  (p. 64)

That one fact alone “dire consequences” at only 1°C, especially in the context of a world currently at 1.2°C above baseline, should alert policymakers around the world to the inescapable gravity of today’s scenario with worldwide firestorms, floods, and droughts bordering on the apocalyptic, which are broadcasts on TV for all to see.  These are unprecedented, out of control real time scenes of climate destructiveness never witnessed before. And, it’s happening around the world, and it’s happening now. It’s unvarnished reality!

According to Funk:

The intent here is serious. California just experienced a large increase in fire extent, due in part to an exceptional increase in temperatures. We will likely see this happen again, and again, over the next forty years. (p. 65)

Statements like that are backed up by scientific data that needs to be front and center for policymakers. His book should be on the desks of every policymaker because immediate remediation measures have never been more urgently crucial, especially with so much destruction at today’s global temperature of only 1.2°C above baseline. Whether they thoroughly read the book or not, policy wonks need a reminder of Drought Flood Fire on their desktops. It’s essential.

The rate of increase of global warming, as detailed in Funk’s book, sends a clear message of deep concern. Figure 5-3 in the book demonstrates “exceptionally warm” ocean and air temperatures throughout the planet. It’s the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s monthly temperature data set of sea surface and land temperatures. In true Michael Mann fashion the graph is parabolic!

The graph shows the fraction (percentage) of Earth that’s exceptionally warm over time, as explained by Funk:

This time series should deeply disturb you. The fraction… is increasing very rapidly. When I was born, it was about 2%. By the time I started graduate school it was around 5%. When my children were born, it hovered around 7%. Since that time the area of exceptional warmth has doubled again to around 17%, increasing rapidly just between the beginning and end of our focus period (2015-2019). Now almost one-fifth of the globe experiences extreme temperatures at any given time. (p. 99)

Those extremes result in severe health impacts, including death. For example, China has reported “at least 300 deaths” as a result of recent record-making floods whilst the same flooding traps passengers in subway trains standing in neck-deep water in the provincial capital Zhengzhou; meantime, hundreds of people died in the recent Pacific Northwest heat wave, according to estimates; there were at least 486 deaths in British Columbia, 116 in Oregon, 78 in Washington… there were more than 3,500 emergency department visits for heat-related illness this past May and June in a region that includes Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington State, which is normally a very cool region.

Funk’s research group has developed a methodology to provide accurate estimates of maximum air temperatures called the Climate Hazards Center Infrared Temperature dataset.  His accomplishments at U of Calif. Santa Barbara involve satellites and computers used to identify and predict climate hazards. Because of the planet’s berserk climate system of late, Funk’s work should be mandatory for nation/state policy wonks.

Funk’s Extreme Event Attribution methodology identifies “the fingerprint of climate change” well ahead of time.  For example, his research group explains the mechanisms or observations by which extreme weather events can be anticipated to help formulate humanitarian aid well ahead of a severe drought. As for example:

In late 2016 we predicted the spring 2017 drought that struck Kenya, Somalia, and southern Ethiopia.  (p. 15)

According to Funk, we live on a “Goldilocks Planet” with a life support system entirely dependent upon a “very thin atmosphere and the absolute necessity of maintaining temperatures with a narrow range.” In that regard, Drought Flood Fire focuses on what’s happening to the planet now vis a vis extreme heat, extreme precipitation, and out of control droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes turbocharged by human-generated greenhouse gases.

Of interest, in spite of Funk’s careful examination of the dangers presented by human-generated greenhouse gases and examples of how devastating those have been at only 1°C above baseline, towards the end of his book he discovers an upbeat note by referencing the German and California experiences of effectively mitigating GHGs whilst experiencing rapid economic growth as examples of what the world can do to favorably resolve the climate crisis.

He goes on to tabulate all of the wonderful positives of modern day society, the accomplishments in medicine, science, etc., which are all true.  Yet, it somehow comes across as way too Disneylandish in the face of repeated failures by the nations of the world to uphold their climate mitigation commitments. After all, every world climate conference, like Paris 2015, has failed, horribly failed. This is worse than a tragedy and cause for not holding one’s breath over the outcome of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Glasgow in November called COP26 where 30,000 delegates are expected.

Yes, since 1995 in Berlin, the world has already held 25 COPs! Begging the question: What results? Namely, annual CO2 emissions have skyrocketed (double the 20th century rate), unrelenting global warming (a new heat record, 2020) CO2-e at record levels year-by-year. Meanwhile, Biblical fires, massive flooding, and killer droughts haunt civilization like never before.

What’s to celebrate?

Maybe it would be better if COP26 is cancelled and save the millions spent on 30,000 professionals gathering to chitchat, meaning “lots of smoke but no flames,” except for the long-standing forests of the world, which are burning like crazy.

At the end, Funk comes back to reality, which is crucial for understanding where the planet’s health stands and what must be done, to wit:

Right now we appear to be headed for 3°C of warming or more. This level of warming would almost certainly have catastrophic and potentially irreversible impacts on our planet’s life support system. (p. 299)

But, according to Drought Flood Fire, it’s already happening with just 1°C warming, as Funk additionally queries: Imagine +3°C or +4°C bringing on decimated crops, super storms, and considerably higher sea levels, but yet:

Even the difference between 1.5°C and 2°C of warming will make an incredible difference.  (p. 300)

Nobody knows for certain where climate change/global warming is headed, but one thing is certain, it’s always worse than climate models; it’s always worse than scientists expect. That’s a concerning preamble to yet one more UN Climate Summit.

All of which gives one pause with today’s 1.2°C above baseline as Biblical droughts, floods, and fires scare the daylights out of scientists. They’re publicly admitting it, which is a refreshing bold approach.  Hopefully, their deep-seated concerns override, supersede the bureaucratic nightmarish results of past COPs.

Meanwhile, Drought Flood Fire, How Climate Change Contributes to Catastrophes puts everything into perspective.

The post Drought Flood Fire first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Trying to Put All America Behind

Cape Cod

Sixty years ago this summer, on August 7, 1961, President John Kennedy signed the bill creating The Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts.  It consists of forty miles of immaculate sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and upland along the Atlantic Ocean, with some portions stretching across the land to Cape Cod Bay in the west.  Henry Thoreau walked this wild Outer Atlantic Beach in 1849.  He said you can stand there and look out to sea and “put all America behind” you.

I am trying to do that as I stand looking at the waves breaking on a foggy early morning shore.  I am alone except for the hundreds of seals moaning on a sand bar and the gulls fishing in the tidal inlet at the far southern end of Coast Guard Light Beach.  A few laughing gulls swoop by as if to mock me with their laugh-like calls.

It is very hard to put the United States of America behind you when the fog of an endless propaganda war warps your mind and tries to crush your spirit even when you look away as far as the eye can see.

Across the ocean to the northeast, Mathew Arnold, on a far distant shore in England, wrote his famous poem “Dover Beach” at about the same time that Thoreau was walking where I stand.  Two very different men standing in different worlds, not just one at a window and the other in the blowing wind.

The former was an academically connected school inspector whose faith, vague as it was, was falling away as he described in “Dover Beach”: the turbulent ebb and flow of the breaking waves of faith that was being replaced by the sad withdrawing roar of melancholic human misery, devoid of love, light, joy, certitude, or help for pain.  It was the rhythmic sound of world weariness and declining faith in the Old World.

The latter, a child of the New World, harsh critic though he was of the resigned lives of quiet desperation most people live, was still a man of deep if unorthodox faith in the divine, telling us that most people are determined not to live by faith if they can help it, as if anyone could live without faith in something, whether that something be God, skepticism, atheism, or the then emerging new god of science. He considered people’s constant distrustful anxiety an incurable disease and he would no doubt consider the current religion of science a subject for his withering scorn and underappreciated humor.  Try imagining the government telling Thoreau that he had to be vaccinated and he needed a document to travel by stagecoach from his home in Concord to the Cape.

The young rebel Thoreau (he was in his early thirties like Arnold) still held to the conviction that if enough people gave serious attention to the transcendent nature of their natural surroundings and lived by its divine revelations, a new world was possible.  But also only if they simplified their lives and lived by principles that excluded the mad pursuit of money, slavery, and the worship of false gods.  This was eleven years before the American Civil War, which Thoreau didn’t survive.  He died on May 6, 1862.  His final words were: “Now comes good sailing.”

Arnold died at age sixty-six of a heart attack while running to catch a train.

Old and new symbols of power marked their final journeys: the iron horse and wind-filled sails.

Where Arnold saw a nightmarish illusion in the sea, Thoreau saw wonder and possibility, but not devoid of possible doom.  Although often cast as a wild dreamer, Thoreau had his feet planted solidly in plain reality.

“I sat down on the boundless level and enjoyed the solitude, drank it in, the medicine for which I had pined,” wrote Thoreau, so I followed his lead and sat on a stretch of sand with no human in sight and gazed at the glimmer of a fading moon until I lost my senses.  For a few minutes I was gone.

But nature and solitude do not necessarily quiet the mind, and when I returned from my cataleptic state the wind was blowing from the west and the USA snuck up behind my back.  America may be hard to find, but it’s also hard to lose. The wind blew my mind’s eye straight across the imaginary northern latitude line to Cannes, France and its Film Festival where Oliver Stone’s new documentary, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking-Glass written by James DiEugenio, has just premiered.

It is hard here on the sands of the Cape not to think of JFK, especially since he saved these sands for posterity, a bit of the USA that remains if you ever go looking for it. He saved this land whose evil CIA forces slayed him. And the ironic thing about Stone’s documentary is that he could find no US backers for his film and had to go to Arnold’s Old-World England to get the money to tell this inherently American story, which still doesn’t have a distributor in the United States..

Thirty years ago, his movie JFK was sabotaged by the CIA-controlled media as a fictional illusion, and now the truth is still verboten here.  But Stone will win out.  For his new work tells the same story but tells it straight with facts, the same facts, and more, that supported JFK in 1991.  And the facts tell an overwhelming tale of truth, not the nonsense still proffered by disinformation specialists that JFK was a war-monger, a phony, and a cold warrior to the end. Those accusations are either lies or ignorance, as if the CIA would want to assassinate him if they were true.

JFK was murdered because he was trying to end the Cold War, eliminate nuclear weapons through negotiations with the Soviet Union, withdraw American military advisers from Vietnam, rein in the CIA, and reduce the power of the military industrial complex.  This is why he was killed. These are among what Stone calls “conspiracy facts,” and even as I look out at the wild Atlantic and try “to put America behind” me for a short respite, the wind fills my mind with their contemporary importance.

Stone is out front where you can see and hear him, while the CIA always operates behind our backs.

As I return to myself and my contemplation of the ocean, a lone fisherman approaches and passes me with a nod and a rod.  I soon see him disappear around the strand where the inlet flows like a strong river deep into the marshes.  Memory tells me Thoreau was right to say that “many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish that they are after.”

Thoreau knew he was always obsessively fishing for elusive truth and needed no bait, only his eyes and ears and the deep state he entered when he cast his pencil across the vastness of an empty page.

Oliver Stone, too, has spent his life chasing the light of truth to expose the crimes of another deep state, the despicable men who conspired to execute JFK, the man who many a day looked out upon these waters and saw a vision of a new country he hoped to bring to reality even at the risk of his life.  A country devoted to peace and domestic tranquility.

It is so beautiful where I sit.  The sun is breaking through the fog and blue patches stipple the heavens. Call it dreamy. Here the Nauset Indians fished these waters long before Thoreau.  Fishing for them was like the clam shells that litter the beach.  It was bifold, providing sustenance for body and soul, and their connection to the Cape eco-system was sacred. (I ask them for forgiveness for using the word eco-system.) This was long before the profane skepticism and faith in science of Arnold’s mind and times seeped in to poison land, water, and consciousness, not to mention human and animal bodies.

As I recall, “Dover Beach” was composed a few decades after the first generally accepted laboratory synthesis of a naturally occurring organic compound from inorganic materials. Only yesterday I saw many beachgoers spraying themselves with canisters of chemicals that are the offspring of that original synthetic creation that is called urea but which I call piss.  I don’t know what the Nausets called it, but I am sure they did what I did as I got up and pissed into the wind and water, hoping it wouldn’t come back to get me.  It was a relief, although my mind kept reeling backwards historically.

The white invaders – they like to be called explorers – led by Captain Thomas Hunt, arrived on the Cape in 1614 and captured seven Nausets together with twenty from the Pawtucket tribe and sold them into slavery.  There is so much US history that is hard to stomach. Thinking of the slaughter of native peoples from California to the New York island can only make a US American deeply ashamed.  When Woody Guthrie composed and sang “This Land Is Your Land,” I hope he had a double entendre in mind, for surely the shore I sit upon is soaked with the blood and tears of many an innocent soul whose land was stolen from them.

It is no exaggeration to say that from the enlarging sandbar the seals’ moans sound like restless ghosts. The wind carries their ancient calls like a Greek chorus above the crashing waves.  I feel as though I am attending a sacred rite that is both a funeral, a celebration, and a call to resist. The music haunts me.  My mind’s eye ebbs with the receding tide.  More sand bars emerge as the sun pierces the fog veiling the water and my mind.

Behind me across the narrow strip of land and Cape Cod Bay lies the city of Boston.  It was built to its current renown on the money made by its famous blue blood families through the opium trade that killed so many Chinese in the 19th century.  They were money-obsessed, bloodthirsty killers. I don’t think they warned the Chinese that they were being sold a drug pandemic.  You have heard their “illustrious” names: Forbes, Cabot, Cushing, Weld, Delano (the grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Perkins.  These drug dealers laundered their massive drug profits by giving to Harvard, founding Massachusetts General Hospital, and creating Boston’s renown reputation for culture and education.

First the native Americans and then the Chinese and Vietnamese and Afghanis, et al. – it makes no difference whose blood was shed to create an elegant city upon a hill, a beacon of human benevolence – and to keep it going.  The beat goes on.  It is a war of drugs, foreign and domestic.  Follow the trail.

These “illustrious” families were also crucial in the founding of the CIA whose tentacles stretch their banking interests in black operations worldwide.  These are the criminals they like to call the Agency whose existence is sustained through drugs and blood.  Agents of death.

It is terrible to think such thoughts on this beautiful beach, but my forgettery seems to fail me when the wind is blowing from behind.

And to think the disinformation specialists doing the CIA’s bidding have for years tried to denigrate those Irish upstarts, the Kennedys, by falsely claiming Joseph Kennedy made his fortune in the illegal liquor business and in association with the Mob.  The CIA’s war on the Kennedys, and their murder of their leading men, is a multi-faceted operation, as Oliver Stone will show you.

Here on the beach the light now seems to be chasing me.  I look to my left and see a figure walking my way.  It is time for me to leave.  I turn and start walking north, back to civilization.  As the figure gets nearer, I see it’s a woman.  I gasp at the mask she is wearing.  No doubt she has taken the drug the authorities have told her was necessary to inject if she wanted to be safe and join the crowd.  The drug trade is where the money is. It runs on lies, but it brings power and glory and will anesthetize your fears until it is too late.  It’s not a new story, and it brings death.

We pass and she looks away.

I hear the laughing gulls and turn to see the seals standing on the waves howling in delight as they clap their flippers in applause.  I’m happy to laugh along.

In the distance I see a boat heading for land.

The wind off the water blows this Dylan song into my ears:

The post Trying to Put All America Behind first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Trying to Put All America Behind

Cape Cod

Sixty years ago this summer, on August 7, 1961, President John Kennedy signed the bill creating The Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts.  It consists of forty miles of immaculate sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and upland along the Atlantic Ocean, with some portions stretching across the land to Cape Cod Bay in the west.  Henry Thoreau walked this wild Outer Atlantic Beach in 1849.  He said you can stand there and look out to sea and “put all America behind” you.

I am trying to do that as I stand looking at the waves breaking on a foggy early morning shore.  I am alone except for the hundreds of seals moaning on a sand bar and the gulls fishing in the tidal inlet at the far southern end of Coast Guard Light Beach.  A few laughing gulls swoop by as if to mock me with their laugh-like calls.

It is very hard to put the United States of America behind you when the fog of an endless propaganda war warps your mind and tries to crush your spirit even when you look away as far as the eye can see.

Across the ocean to the northeast, Mathew Arnold, on a far distant shore in England, wrote his famous poem “Dover Beach” at about the same time that Thoreau was walking where I stand.  Two very different men standing in different worlds, not just one at a window and the other in the blowing wind.

The former was an academically connected school inspector whose faith, vague as it was, was falling away as he described in “Dover Beach”: the turbulent ebb and flow of the breaking waves of faith that was being replaced by the sad withdrawing roar of melancholic human misery, devoid of love, light, joy, certitude, or help for pain.  It was the rhythmic sound of world weariness and declining faith in the Old World.

The latter, a child of the New World, harsh critic though he was of the resigned lives of quiet desperation most people live, was still a man of deep if unorthodox faith in the divine, telling us that most people are determined not to live by faith if they can help it, as if anyone could live without faith in something, whether that something be God, skepticism, atheism, or the then emerging new god of science. He considered people’s constant distrustful anxiety an incurable disease and he would no doubt consider the current religion of science a subject for his withering scorn and underappreciated humor.  Try imagining the government telling Thoreau that he had to be vaccinated and he needed a document to travel by stagecoach from his home in Concord to the Cape.

The young rebel Thoreau (he was in his early thirties like Arnold) still held to the conviction that if enough people gave serious attention to the transcendent nature of their natural surroundings and lived by its divine revelations, a new world was possible.  But also only if they simplified their lives and lived by principles that excluded the mad pursuit of money, slavery, and the worship of false gods.  This was eleven years before the American Civil War, which Thoreau didn’t survive.  He died on May 6, 1862.  His final words were: “Now comes good sailing.”

Arnold died at age sixty-six of a heart attack while running to catch a train.

Old and new symbols of power marked their final journeys: the iron horse and wind-filled sails.

Where Arnold saw a nightmarish illusion in the sea, Thoreau saw wonder and possibility, but not devoid of possible doom.  Although often cast as a wild dreamer, Thoreau had his feet planted solidly in plain reality.

“I sat down on the boundless level and enjoyed the solitude, drank it in, the medicine for which I had pined,” wrote Thoreau, so I followed his lead and sat on a stretch of sand with no human in sight and gazed at the glimmer of a fading moon until I lost my senses.  For a few minutes I was gone.

But nature and solitude do not necessarily quiet the mind, and when I returned from my cataleptic state the wind was blowing from the west and the USA snuck up behind my back.  America may be hard to find, but it’s also hard to lose. The wind blew my mind’s eye straight across the imaginary northern latitude line to Cannes, France and its Film Festival where Oliver Stone’s new documentary, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking-Glass written by James DiEugenio, has just premiered.

It is hard here on the sands of the Cape not to think of JFK, especially since he saved these sands for posterity, a bit of the USA that remains if you ever go looking for it. He saved this land whose evil CIA forces slayed him. And the ironic thing about Stone’s documentary is that he could find no US backers for his film and had to go to Arnold’s Old-World England to get the money to tell this inherently American story, which still doesn’t have a distributor in the United States..

Thirty years ago, his movie JFK was sabotaged by the CIA-controlled media as a fictional illusion, and now the truth is still verboten here.  But Stone will win out.  For his new work tells the same story but tells it straight with facts, the same facts, and more, that supported JFK in 1991.  And the facts tell an overwhelming tale of truth, not the nonsense still proffered by disinformation specialists that JFK was a war-monger, a phony, and a cold warrior to the end. Those accusations are either lies or ignorance, as if the CIA would want to assassinate him if they were true.

JFK was murdered because he was trying to end the Cold War, eliminate nuclear weapons through negotiations with the Soviet Union, withdraw American military advisers from Vietnam, rein in the CIA, and reduce the power of the military industrial complex.  This is why he was killed. These are among what Stone calls “conspiracy facts,” and even as I look out at the wild Atlantic and try “to put America behind” me for a short respite, the wind fills my mind with their contemporary importance.

Stone is out front where you can see and hear him, while the CIA always operates behind our backs.

As I return to myself and my contemplation of the ocean, a lone fisherman approaches and passes me with a nod and a rod.  I soon see him disappear around the strand where the inlet flows like a strong river deep into the marshes.  Memory tells me Thoreau was right to say that “many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish that they are after.”

Thoreau knew he was always obsessively fishing for elusive truth and needed no bait, only his eyes and ears and the deep state he entered when he cast his pencil across the vastness of an empty page.

Oliver Stone, too, has spent his life chasing the light of truth to expose the crimes of another deep state, the despicable men who conspired to execute JFK, the man who many a day looked out upon these waters and saw a vision of a new country he hoped to bring to reality even at the risk of his life.  A country devoted to peace and domestic tranquility.

It is so beautiful where I sit.  The sun is breaking through the fog and blue patches stipple the heavens. Call it dreamy. Here the Nauset Indians fished these waters long before Thoreau.  Fishing for them was like the clam shells that litter the beach.  It was bifold, providing sustenance for body and soul, and their connection to the Cape eco-system was sacred. (I ask them for forgiveness for using the word eco-system.) This was long before the profane skepticism and faith in science of Arnold’s mind and times seeped in to poison land, water, and consciousness, not to mention human and animal bodies.

As I recall, “Dover Beach” was composed a few decades after the first generally accepted laboratory synthesis of a naturally occurring organic compound from inorganic materials. Only yesterday I saw many beachgoers spraying themselves with canisters of chemicals that are the offspring of that original synthetic creation that is called urea but which I call piss.  I don’t know what the Nausets called it, but I am sure they did what I did as I got up and pissed into the wind and water, hoping it wouldn’t come back to get me.  It was a relief, although my mind kept reeling backwards historically.

The white invaders – they like to be called explorers – led by Captain Thomas Hunt, arrived on the Cape in 1614 and captured seven Nausets together with twenty from the Pawtucket tribe and sold them into slavery.  There is so much US history that is hard to stomach. Thinking of the slaughter of native peoples from California to the New York island can only make a US American deeply ashamed.  When Woody Guthrie composed and sang “This Land Is Your Land,” I hope he had a double entendre in mind, for surely the shore I sit upon is soaked with the blood and tears of many an innocent soul whose land was stolen from them.

It is no exaggeration to say that from the enlarging sandbar the seals’ moans sound like restless ghosts. The wind carries their ancient calls like a Greek chorus above the crashing waves.  I feel as though I am attending a sacred rite that is both a funeral, a celebration, and a call to resist. The music haunts me.  My mind’s eye ebbs with the receding tide.  More sand bars emerge as the sun pierces the fog veiling the water and my mind.

Behind me across the narrow strip of land and Cape Cod Bay lies the city of Boston.  It was built to its current renown on the money made by its famous blue blood families through the opium trade that killed so many Chinese in the 19th century.  They were money-obsessed, bloodthirsty killers. I don’t think they warned the Chinese that they were being sold a drug pandemic.  You have heard their “illustrious” names: Forbes, Cabot, Cushing, Weld, Delano (the grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Perkins.  These drug dealers laundered their massive drug profits by giving to Harvard, founding Massachusetts General Hospital, and creating Boston’s renown reputation for culture and education.

First the native Americans and then the Chinese and Vietnamese and Afghanis, et al. – it makes no difference whose blood was shed to create an elegant city upon a hill, a beacon of human benevolence – and to keep it going.  The beat goes on.  It is a war of drugs, foreign and domestic.  Follow the trail.

These “illustrious” families were also crucial in the founding of the CIA whose tentacles stretch their banking interests in black operations worldwide.  These are the criminals they like to call the Agency whose existence is sustained through drugs and blood.  Agents of death.

It is terrible to think such thoughts on this beautiful beach, but my forgettery seems to fail me when the wind is blowing from behind.

And to think the disinformation specialists doing the CIA’s bidding have for years tried to denigrate those Irish upstarts, the Kennedys, by falsely claiming Joseph Kennedy made his fortune in the illegal liquor business and in association with the Mob.  The CIA’s war on the Kennedys, and their murder of their leading men, is a multi-faceted operation, as Oliver Stone will show you.

Here on the beach the light now seems to be chasing me.  I look to my left and see a figure walking my way.  It is time for me to leave.  I turn and start walking north, back to civilization.  As the figure gets nearer, I see it’s a woman.  I gasp at the mask she is wearing.  No doubt she has taken the drug the authorities have told her was necessary to inject if she wanted to be safe and join the crowd.  The drug trade is where the money is. It runs on lies, but it brings power and glory and will anesthetize your fears until it is too late.  It’s not a new story, and it brings death.

We pass and she looks away.

I hear the laughing gulls and turn to see the seals standing on the waves howling in delight as they clap their flippers in applause.  I’m happy to laugh along.

In the distance I see a boat heading for land.

The wind off the water blows this Dylan song into my ears:

The post Trying to Put All America Behind first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Symbol of Our Age: Slime of the Sea

As a possibilist, I see all this progress, and it fills me with conviction and hope that further progress is possible. This is not optimistic. It is having a clear and reasonable idea about how things are. It is having a worldview that is constructive and useful. — Hans Rosling1

There are a thousands images each hour, if one were to scour the world wide net, and the news services, wires, that would put a pit in the stomach of any humane human.

You have one 9 minute video of hog-tied, tasered, knee-on-back, then flip  over to a story on how Idaho is murdering wolves the US and taxpayers set out as “protected” to the tune of millions of dollars. No water for Southern/Northern California farms and ranches, then flip to a mass shooting in San Jose.

Forget about the click-bait of celebrity-millionaire-billionaire-perverse politician/athlete/ actor/musician blurbs/features/stories on all the major and minor mush head “news” outlets, actually, news organs, as in the alimentary canal.

Blinded by the images, brought you/us via Yahoo, Bing, Google, you name it.

An aerial view of sea snot in Istanbul.

For months, Turkish fishermen in the Sea of Marmara have been running into a problem: They can’t catch fish.

Concerns that the unappealing mucus could discourage tourism abound, and some have called for the government to do more. Ismet Cigit, a columnist for the newspaper Ses Kocaeli, lamented that humans had “betrayed this world’s most beautiful sea” by allowing chemical storage facilities, fuel tanks, factories and other industrial sites to be built along the coast.

“Clearly, there are no deterrent penalties for those who pollute the sea,” he wrote in Turkish, adding, “Marmara is dying.”  (Source)

That, of course, in a nutshell, is the crux of the world — “no deterrence for those who pollute . . . the sea . . . soil . . . fetuses . . . air . . . food . . . the airwaves . . . humanity’s brain (collectively).”

“Polluted” as a term goes a long way in retail capitalism. Homo retailopithecus and Homo consumo erectus are the vessels for every known and soon-to-be-developed pollutant.

Given the images one might see to illustrate the rapacious, inhumane, murderous ways of big and little man business, and of the corporations, and of  the law makers (thugs in a protection racket for the corporations), compared to the murders of Palestinians over a 10-day bombing campaign seem small in comparison.

That’s the point, then, for those images after bloody images to mean, well, nothing in the end. We are in a constant chaotic and self-dellusional mindset, collectively, and those that resist, well, you know the story of Man/Woman against Nature; against God; against Culture; against Self; against Man/Woman; against Artificial Intelligence/Robotics/Internet of Things. Stirring a few wet tears, gulps, and then onto the next thing. Because capitalism is about stealth distraction, stealth and mostly overt ways to pull the wool over the eyes of everyone. Even those who doubt governments and corporations and so-called experts, yet, well, yet — Covid-19 Jab; Covid-19 Booster Jab; No Jab, No Job; Covid-19/SARS-CoV2 a Novel Man/Woman made (engineered) SUPER virus; Lockdown; Masks; Social 3, 6, 10, 20 feet Distancing.

Sometimes the wool is easily pulled over one’s eyes when that person wants no conscience. When the media and the mob/bandwagon pushes whichever narrative to force compliance, well, that is Capitalism. Things Go Better with Pfizer Jabs, err, better with CocaCola.

Tobacco kills, no? USA “aid” to Israel kills, no? Even those double cheeseburgers kill, no?

You think there’d be people on the streets protesting against and vying to stop the fast-food killers, no? It is so clear, however, if we put the brakes on bad stuff, which is all of capitalism, then there will be blood to pay. Even a small pumping of the brake pedal means war:

A chilling documentary released a few years ago, Fed Up, narrated by Katie Couric, highlighted how the U.S. government capitulates to Big Food lobbies such as the sugar industry and followed the money involved in keeping people fat. Moreover, labs across the country ensure that such junk food is addictive. Finally, Big Food has launched aggressive campaigns, sanctioned by governments, to cast obesity as “lack of exercise” and not something they cause.  (Source)

SCHOOL LUNCH EDITION: PEPPERONI PIZZA BROWNIE & CHOCOLATE MILK MUKBANG - YouTube

Think about this — if there were campaigns to cut the eating of bad food, fast food, by, oh, say, one-third, or even one-fifth, well, again, there would be blood. Capitalism is all about the business of making money any way possible, and once that money stream is steady — fats, sugars, salts, high calorie foods, nicotine, opioids  — no amount of action and citizen uprising could do shit. Kids born into one to six generations drive-thru, fast-food, Uber Eats normality (baseline), well, the eating and the wrongs of capitalism are baked into DNA. How many times were penny or three penny taxation bills against soda companies (so-called sugar taxes) fought and shot down? We are talking a few pennies tax.

And, let it be known, that High Fructose Corn Syrup has many wonderful things cooked into it to create an addiction cycle, and creates the “I am never full even after four Big Gulp Mountain Dews” biophysical reality. There are studies on the RNA of papa’s sperm baking in obesity for offspring. Oh, the epigenetics of bad food, chemical food, and high density calories, the like, well, I would have to say after decades of reading and being on the front lines, that obesity is actually cooked into the gene code, the epigenetics of it all.

Don’t be fooled by the lie after lie coming from industry lobbies and those sons of bitches who would file lawsuit after lawsuit against any citizens’ group or government group tying fast-food to faster death and plethora of chronic illnesses on the way to that death.

Svelte Biden and Svelte lawmaker x or y are all part of the show. The disease is the dollar, and each pinch of the profit margin precipitated by real sanctions and laws and regulations is a poke into the hornets nest that is rapacious capitalism.to

Oh, those Ivy Leaguers, all those beautiful people, running the show, they must get a kick out of the overweight, limping, ragged masses.  It is a tale of two worlds. They get stem cell cocktails, plasma and blood doping, IV’s full of herbs and vitamins and, well, the rest of us, we get, hmm, disease maintenance by USA Big Med/Big Pharma/ Big Insurance.

Parents Misperceive Weight Of Overweight Children - Gazette Review

There is no “choice” for this child. I have been in the schools, people, for more than 48 years. This is it for choice (habituation). It is criminal what we do to their minds, but absolutely sadistic what we do to their bodies:

By 2025, 43 million children under the age of five will be overweight

But the images are rarely tied to deep stories, deeper analyses, and deeper regard that the system is sick — that “system” is industrial food, education, media, social media, advertising, the entire system of “capitalism makes right” any form of “offering” or “choice” these Mengele Types continue to bark anytime groups of people decide to question their narrative, the entire wasted system of exploitation.

The exploitation is at the cellular level, at the nanoparticle level, even the electromagnetic waves exploit us, to the tune of profits galore, gushing in every which way possible under the mantel of dirty capitalism.

So we just continue to cruise the insanity of the wasteland, and here, in my neck of the woods, successionists: The proposed new border would encompass 18 full and three partial Oregon counties and account for about 860,000 people in Oregon, which is  21% of the state’s population; however, that chunk would represent 70% of its land.

The land of the original people’s — imagine if those Yanquis/Stars’n’Bars dudes and dudettes really looked at the land, the original benefactors and stewards of the land. Again, redneck, mean as cuss, and, yes, Portland is mean as cuss, sure, and this is what we have looking forward to. This is 2021, major snowpack deficits, major government subsidies to these big old tough independent farmers wanting to create a bigger Aryan Brotherhood Idaho. It ain’t your land, boys and girls.

 

native american tribes in oregon - Google Search | Native american tribes, Native american quotes, State of oregon

This is the reality of the White Settler/Colonial/Racist/Slave Embodied people. It may seem hickster out in Idaho, but you can find the same DNA and big mouthed whites in the Fatherlands —  Germany, Nordic countries, France, Belgium, UK. The amount of hate for anyone other than white, well, this is a disease throughout the land throughout the EU Zone.


Greater Idaho

Real issues of crop failures, cancer rates out the roof (all those poisons for all that farmland), extreme weather, and, well, just whose land and whose farms and ranches and goods and services are those?

The sham is the American system of bowing to two corrupt parties, allowing the elites and the riff-raff corrupt ones to run the society, through electoral politics, which is just a giant bribery scheme. All those sniveling Rachel Maddow freaks, with the Trump Derangement Syndrome, well, they do not give a shit:

Behind the scenes of Trump's Joe Biden obsession - Axios

“Biden says his hands are tied.”

The absence of a strong and well organized movement means that harm reduction is always a fantasy. The Democratic Party establishment chose Biden to be the nominee and didn’t get the pushback that was needed against their backroom deal making. Unscrupulous Black operatives derided anything other than obedience to their bosses. We were told to go along and be quiet and that any other response meant the return of Trump. The lack of demands set us up for failure, propaganda about cutting poverty, and phony progressives taking a dive instead of standing up for the people. Black people have nothing to show for a Biden presidency despite turning out in droves to put him in office.

The moment is ripe to acknowledge that this system is a complete sham and exists only to help the 1% do as much as they can to oppress the 99%. We will live with a cycle of Republicans and Democrats who use different methods but always end up working against our needs.  (Black Agenda Report)

The capitalists paint us all into their corners, while they reap the benefits of billions in bribery. We are children, unorganized, malcontents, wasted lives in their eyes. It’s how they see ‘us versus them.’ They as a collective go to the same schools, believe in the same propaganda, and tout the stupidity of patriotism and exceptionalism. Arrogant and dumb, this is the America we all have been sucked into. By birth, for fuck sake, some of us.

The scam is the scam, really, all those spinning bullshit and good cheer amongst themselves at their Aspen Institute conferences, or what have you. They have no plan, except for shoveling with front end loader, the cash they make in the big scam. There is no Green Deal for the Environment when it goes through the jagged teeth of the rich and superrich capitalists.

To the scientists’ warnings, there have been rumblings of concern from some financial investors, businesspeople (in non-oil-producing industries), and local politicians. But overall, the response of conventional politicians has been business-as-usual. The main proposals for limiting climate change has been to place some sort of taxes on carbon emissions. From liberals to conservatives, this has been lauded as a ”pro-market” reform. But, as Richard Smith (2018) has explained, these are inadequate, and even fraudulent, proposals. “If the tax is too light, it fails to suppress fossil fuels enough to help the climate. But…no government will set a price high enough to spur truly deep reductions in carbon emissions because they all understand that this would force companies out of business, throw workers out of work, and possibly precipitate recession or worse.” (Source)

 

434 - Wolf - Barsamian

Richard Wolff: The reason the U.S. government takes in less than it spends is because it chooses not to tax corporations and the rich at the rates applied to them in the 1950s and 1960s. Then the government turns around and borrows money. It borrows from foreign governments, but also from banks, insurance companies, large corporations, and rich individuals who purchase Treasury bills, notes, bonds, and securities. In effect corporations and the rich can not only keep more tax dollars; they can then turn around and loan the money they kept to the government and earn interest on it. The interest that must be paid to them comes either from taxes levied upon the mass of Americans or from the savings the government achieves by cutting its payrolls and programs. So the rising deficits are a result of an unjust tax system. Eventually, as the financial burdens grow and the public grasps why, social tensions will rise. The U.S. tomorrow could look like Greece today. [9 years ago, interview by David Barsamian]

Smoke rises from a fire onboard the MV X-Press Pearl container ship off the Colombo Harbor, in Sri Lanka May 25, 2021.

Oh boy, recall the Suez canal container ship logjam?

Now, this Singapore-flagged ship carrying 1,486 containers, including 25 tons of nitric acid and other chemicals that were loaded at the port of Hazira, India, on May 15, is burning, baby, with a 25-member crew includes Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals.

Globalization! Daily scene. How many oil spills, how many chemical spills, how many barrels of DDT or radioactive sludge are leaking? Christ, do the math.

capture1.png

[You’ll notice “Evergreen” is written across the Ever Given’s body, but confusingly, that’s branding for the Taiwanese company that operates the ship. (Julianne Cona/Instagram)]

All of this is unsustainable, way beyond insane, and, until we do more localized work big time, and until we stop cruise ships, container ships like these on a second to second basis; until we stop cutting down North American forests, to send logs (full trees, delimbed) to overseas markets, and then have that come back in another container ship as cardboard, fiberboard and wood products; until we stop California orange juice tankers meeting up with Florida orange juice tankers in Houston on their east-west crisscrossing journeys; until we go way beyond any new or old green deal; until we actually work with the poor, the subsistence farmers and fishers, and work on real harvest, real sustainable ecologies, with restorative conservation AND anti-poverty programs and peasant worker cooperatives; until, until and until.

I contacted this film maker/scientist/professor, and complained about how white, how “great white burden” like his short piece on net carbon zero, zero dark 2030, or what have is you coming off. No response, yet, however, we need to pushback on these people who always work within the frame of Capitalism. They will never see that, Capitalism, for how polluted, globally heating, water scarce, amazingly diseased the world and our food and sisters and brothers in flora/fauna land.

Stop the New Deal for Nature! – no "deal" for nature

James Dyke, Senior Lecturer in Global Systems, University of Exeter — I doubt he will respond.

  1. Hans Rosling, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, 2018.
The post The Symbol of Our Age: Slime of the Sea first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Seaspiracy’s Nightmarish Odyssey

Seaspiracy is a powerful new documentary about the hazardous, unruly world of industrial fishing and stomach-churning abuse, overuse, disregard for life, as shown on Netflix, released by Disrupt Studios March 24th 2021.

The opening scene of the film sets the tone with a long-shot of an isolated fishing trawler at sea as the voice-over of a former fishing vessel crew member, who escaped forced slavery after 10 years non-stop at sea, exclaimed: “When ships are in the middle of the ocean. When problems occur. They can throw you overboard into the sea. It is dangerous for you to make this documentary. There are many risks.” A second escapee intones: “If you’re scared of dying, go home.”

The War Zone

War flattens terrain and kills. Based upon Seaspiracy’s story, industrial commercial fishing fits this description to a tee.

Above all else, the film depicts a war zone, bloody and creepy with myriad red-ish/orange-ish streaked rusty hulls of cadaverous trawlers prowling, dropping gigantic nets, denuding entire seafloors, nothing escapes this creepy crawl in a dark otherworldliness of villainous shadowy Mafioso-type slave-infested fishing vessels that drop 10-mile nets or long-line fishing with enough hook-lines to wrap 500 times around the planet, on a daily basis. Nothing survives this war zone.

According to Seaspiracy, fisheries crime is the same as transnational organized crime. The syndicates that operate behind the scenes of illegal fishing are the same as those behind drug trafficking and human trafficking.

Fishery workers at sea are involved in the most dangerous jobs on Earth, 24,000 deaths per year. Slavery is commonplace, as for example, according to Seaspiracy; there are 51,000 fishing boats in Thailand waters under the Thai flag. Those boats are uneconomic without free cheap labor. Seaspiracy traveled to Bangkok to interview escaped fishing boat slaves: Some spent 10 years non-stop at sea. Nobody could get off the vessel with its hired guards, similar to the infamous overseers of the Deep South. One interviewee claimed the ship’s captain used an iron bar as a weapon to control workers.  Dead bodies were simply dropped overboard.

This film captures horrific scenes of massive splashing bloody deaths behind industrialized commercial fishing, which is depicted as the preeminent issue of whether fish stock survive on planet Earth, 2.7 trillion caught per year, five million killed every minute. Global fish populations have plummeted; e.g., halibut -99%, cod -86% Bluefin tuna -97% haddock -99%. These are extinction-type numbers, as industrial fishing knows no limits. If current trends stay on track, by 2048, the oceans will be empty! Thereafter, the seas will emit strange sour odors as pitch-blackness gradually discolors, displaces its rich vibrancy of life.

The oceans are home to 80% of all life on Earth, rapidly dwindling by the day as 4,600,000 commercial fishing vessels work away, many ethical, honest hard-working, but far-far-far too many violating international rules and regs, crime on the high seas, murdering difficile workers, as well as death of law enforcement officers, but mostly, in the big picture, slaughter of marine life by the tons, literally wiping out some species as Seaspiracy searched for impossible answers to a most difficult question: “What is sustainable fishing”?

At its heart, Seaspiracy depicts the fishing war zone as epitomized by the callous slaughter of sharks. Sharks kill 10 people per year. The fishing industry kills 11,000-to-30, 000 sharks per hour. Yes, per hour. Alarmingly, one-half of the kill is “by-catch” thrown overboard as waste by commercial fishing fleets, 50,000,000 sharks caught annually in nets, side by side with your favorite seafood, tossed overboard as waste or “by-catch.”

Not only that, but shark slaughter Phase 2 is “shark-finning, a Mafioso directed enterprise of shark fins shipped to Asia, predominately China, for shark-fin soup, a status symbol that has no nutritional value and no special flavor, but can cost up to $100/bowl. HK is known as Shark Fin City, where Seaspiracy’s video cameras were decidedly pushed back by more than idle threats.

Sharks are known as “apex predators” at the very top of the food chain. Loss of sharks topples the entire marine food chain from the top down. Sharks keep the ocean healthy and maintain healthy fish stocks. Without sharks the oceans turn into swamps. They are as important as dolphins and whales for survival of the oceans.

According to Seaspiracy calculations, shark species are crashing, thresher shark -80%, bull shark -86%, hammerhead shark -86%, overall, the total shark population is down by 80-99%. These are disturbing extinction-type numbers, comparable to the planet’s worst extinction event, the Permian-Triassic of 250 million years ago that wiped-out 95% of marine life. The planet is thus fast approaching an endpoint of ‘extinction of the seas.’ Obviously, a bigger question is how long does humanity hang in there?

Inordinate shark deaths bring in their wake death of almost all other ocean species. For example, the abundance of seabirds has declined 70%. Why? Marine predators such as sharks drive fish near the surface for feeding purposes where seabirds dive and grab dinner. No predators, no near surface fish for seabirds to catch.

As exposed in the film, several issues threaten total decimation or unmitigated deadening of the oceans. As a matter of fact, people comfortably seated at home see TV news items of whales washing up on beaches or turtles or birds strangled in netting or stomachs filled with plastic. Fishing nets are the single biggest cause of unintentional marine death because of industrialized fishing, as trawlers lose miles of netting. Forty-six percent (46%) of the notorious Great Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean consists of lost commercial fishing nets.

As explained in Seaspiracy, whales and dolphins drown when caught in fishnets. Yet, they are integral to the survival of the ocean. When they surface to breathe, their excretion fertilizes tiny marine plants called phytoplankton which, on an annualized basis, absorbs 4x the amount of carbon dioxide as rainforests, keeping the oceans alive and serving as one of the planet’s major sources of oxygen. Alas, according to Seaspiracy, “Our oceans have turned into a toxic plastic soup.”

Along the way, Seaspiracy discovered double-trouble for whales, as Japan resumed commercial whale hunting, heading out to Antarctica despite the worldwide ban since 1986. Not only Japan, several countries have been killing whales under the radar.  The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986 because of “extreme depletion of most of the whale stocks.” Nevertheless, Japan and Iceland hunt under the guise of “scientific whaling.”

Seaspiracy discovered Japan’s national fixation on whales and dolphins extends to mass slaughter in the south of the country at Taiji, where dolphins and small whales are rounded up for an annual kill-off. Japan’s government attempts to cover up this slaughter or war on dolphins. Upon arrival at Taiji, Seaspiracy encountered pushback by police monitoring strangers with cameras.

Taiji’s annual dolphin slaughter: Fishermen bang poles against the hulls of their boats to herd the dolphins into a cove where they are slaughtered, every day during the duration of this bloody celebration. It’s done under the guise of “pest control.” Dolphins, which are very smart mammals, are considered “competition” for the fishing industry. For years now, Japan has pointed the finger at the dolphins as “the culprits behind over-fishing.” Yes, believe it or not, it is true.

Seaspiracy hooked up with one of the few NGOs in the world that attempts to police the international illegal fishing trade named Sea Shepard, a nonprofit marine conservation group that works with governments to track down and arrest illegal fishing vessels, for example, in Liberia. According to Stefano Tricanico of Sea Shepard: “We have mostly international fleets coming from countries where they’ve already depleted their own local stocks, and they’re pushing further and further away to try and make up for that. And using more and more sophisticated technology to increase catch numbers. They are illegal, and they catch huge amounts.”

The Seaspiracy crew witnessed Sea Shepard and the Liberian Coast Guard track down illegal vessels, which are virtual floating slaughterhouses, blood everywhere in the water. In Liberian waters, they boarded a Chinese trawler with enormous quantities of illegally caught fish stored away in its hold. The vessel was detained and fined.

Sea Shepherd travels the world policing violators of international rules. By and large, over 100 fishing regulations are not enforced. Shocking discoveries ensued as Seaspiracy discovered, for example, 10,000 dolphins are killed every year as “by-catch” just offshore France. Come to find out, the greatest threat to whales and dolphins is commercial fishing. Over 300,000 whales and dolphins are killed annually as “by-catch” and tossed aside into the sea.

Even though many fisheries claim “dolphin-free tuna,” the authorities caught 2 tuna boats that caught and  killed 45 dolphins, tossed away, per 8 tunas kept and then claimed “dolphin-free tuna.”  The vessel was working for “Dolphin Safe canned tuna.” In turn, The Earth Island Institute is behind the Dolphin-safe labels. When Seaspiracy met with and interviewed Earth Island personnel, to their dismay, nobody really goes to sea to witness whether dolphin-safe is a reality. Earth Island admitted this and admitted that when they do send observers, they can be “bribed” into agreeing to label the catch as “dolphin-free.”

Earth Island, a non-for-profit observer of sea catch on behalf of the general public, is paid to license their dolphin-safe label by the fishing industry. Along the way, they generally take the vessel captain’s word for it that the catch is dolphin-free, meaning “no dolphins killed during the catch.” This is a bold-faced lie, hoodwinking consumers around the world.

Based upon interviews of people in the know, the internationally recognized dolphin-free label is a fabrication, no guarantees according to a spokesperson at Earth Island.

Meanwhile, Pacific Bluefin tuna, with less than 3% remaining in the wild as a result of overfishing puts the $42 billion tuna industry at risk of imminent collapse, as a result of its own overfishing, fishing-out the most glorious fish of the sea, the queen of the sea, a powerful swimmer that crosses the Pacific Ocean in 55 days. Because of the plunging decline of the species, The Monterey Bay Aquarium (Ca) recommends that consumers say “no thanks” to restaurants that dare serve Pacific Bluefin tuna.

According to an investigation by Seaspiracy, the Marine Stewardship Council (“MSC”), a nonprofit whose label is found on cans of fish on grocery store shelves, certifies fisheries that unfortunately produce astonishing levels of “by-catch.” MSC refused an interview to discuss “sustainable fishing.” Unilever (owner of a seafood retailer) is a founder of MSC, which is the world’s largest promoter of “sustainable fishing.” In fact, 80% of MSC yearly income is from licensing its imprimatur on seafood as “sustainable catch.” But, as Seaspiracy questioned, how can commercial fishing that includes 40% “by-catch” carry sustainable labeling?

Is there such a thing as sustainable fishing?

Seaspiracy talked to Captain Paul Watson, former National Director of the Sierra Club who quit because “they didn’t want to come out against fishing and hunting because they thought they would lose membership support.” According to Watson, “Well, first of all, there’s no such thing. It’s impossible. There’s no such thing as a sustainable fishery. There’s simply not enough fish to justify that. It’s not sustainable, it’s just a marketing phrase, that’s all.”

Oceana is the world’s largest marine conservation group. Oceana advocates sustainable fishing. But they could not define “sustainable” when questioned by Seaspiracy about the meaning behind the phrase. Yet, they’re one of the world’s biggest advocates: “Eat sustainable fish.”

Beyond the issue of whether “sustainable fishing” is even a reality, another very serious issue is the impact of commercial bottom trawling, as vessels cast 10-mile nets scooping up everything in sight. This form of extracting fish, also deforests the oceans. Seaspiracy interviewed Richard Oppenlander who informed them “bottom trawling by big fishing boats wipes out 3.9 billion acres of underwater life forms every year. Equivalent to wiping out the land area of Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Iran, Thailand and Australia combined, every year.” Marine plants per acre store 20 times more carbon than forests on land. Most of the planet’s CO2 is stored with help of marine vegetation, algae, and coral.

Fishing vessels are death machines that mop up the basis of the whole marine food chain. Which also removes a source of nutrients for coral reefs, which feed off fish excrement. As it happens, commercial fishing has become a major threat for coral reefs around the world. For example, 90% of the large fish which prospered in the Caribbean coral reefs through0ut the past 1,000 years are now gone.

Seaspiracy, in search of a sense of relief, made the decision to look at fish farming with its eco satisfying reputation. After all, 50% of the world’s seafood now comes from fish farms. Scotland is one of world’s leading producers of farm salmon. Seaspiracy discovered issues. Fish farming requires enormous quantities of fish oil and fishmeal that comes from wild fish. So, in essence, fish farming lives off the catch of wild fish. Seaspiracy met with Dan Staniford, a whistleblower that exposed the problem of severe sea lice infestations in the farms. The crew filmed salmon being eaten alive by sea lice parasites, which, according to Staniford, is common in fish farms worldwide. Additionally, and kind of icky to consider, each fish farm in Scotland produces organic waste equal to a town of 10-20,000 people. Thus, salmon restrained in confined fish farms swim in their own feces.

According to Dan Staniford, 50% of salmon in fish farms die from anemia, lice infestation, chlamydia, heart disease, “Salmon farming is a waste of resources.”  As explained by Staniford, farm salmon without colorants added to the feed would be completely gray. The pinkish coloration is artificial.

After discovering so many serious issues with the commercial industry, Seaspiracy decided to check out marine protected areas. An expert on the subject informed them that yes, there are ocean-protected areas. Presently, 5% of the oceans are marine protected areas, but that is misleading. Over 90% of those protected areas still allow fishing on a sustainable basis. In reality, less than 1% of the oceans are being regulated via marine protected areas.

Seaspiracy interviewed Dr. Sylvia Earl, founder of Mission Blue and founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research. According to Dr. Earl, based upon current commercial fishing activities, “by the middle of this century, commercial fishing will cease to exist because, there won’t be enough fish to catch.”

In support of Dr. Earl’s statement, in the middle of the North Sea in the mid 19th century, a typical fishing boat (one vessel) would catch one to two tons of halibut per day. Today, the entire fishing fleet at the same location catches two tons of halibut per year.

The post Seaspiracy’s Nightmarish Odyssey first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Hiking Along the Wrack Line

Capitalism’s Deadly Quartet — Food, Plastic, Air, Weathering!

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.

— Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962)

Definition: An ecological bridge between land and sea … the wrack line.

I’ve been looking at the unimagined biological and genetic effects on planet earth caused by “better living through chemistry” capitalist mentality. While Rachel Carson’s seminal work, Silent Spring, catalogued just one aspect of the plethora of physiological effects on animal life, in 2021 we can confidently state there is so much evidence of all the pollutants, toxins, spewing gasses, pesticides, hormone disruptors, radioactive isotopes, forever chemicals, nanoparticles, fungicides, heavy metals and waste pits conspiring to completely disrupt all manner of life.

In that process of contemplating this yesterday, while railing against local older folk who will for Year Two have a Zoom Earth Day (April 22) instead of celebrating this day utilizing our amazing atmosphere and beachside waysides to bring people together, I walked the wrack line.

This is that “line” of organic material that ends up on beaches when tides go back out. It is a biologically important micro-ecosystem of seaweeds, crustaceans, shells, decaying birds and fish and mammals. This wrack line is studied by marine biologists. It provides an amazing supply of food and building components for living crustaceans.

Homo Sapiens pick through the wrack line for treasures like polished agates, whole shells, burled drift wood, and seeds from afar. These wrack lines, unfortunately, are now clogged with that deadline by-product of “better living with chemistry,” plastics. There’s other rubbish, for sure, from the by-products and by-processes of  consumerism and industrialism.

There are hidden ones, like radioactive isotopes and impossible to pronounce elements added to the periodic table of elements since I was a high school student in 1973.

The wrack line is also symbolic, allegorical, since if we look deeply at all those industrial processes and all the other processes tied to a Military-Medical-Pharma-Fossil Fuel-Mining-Big Ag-AI-Surveillance-Retail-Media Complex, the fallout of negative chemical influences on humankinds and all flora and fauna are worth a billion lifetimes worth of investigations. This system is run on untold new polymers, additives, lubricants, surfactants, stabilizers, metals, organic compounds, forever chemicals, volatile organic compounds, PFAs, PCBs, resins, and other dandies as part of the sloughing off, combusting, off-gassing, leaching, reactive synergistic war on plant life, animal life, genetic life.

This is far from hyperbole, though in essay form the reader might pause and doubt some of my veracity, but the fact is that any process in this system of consumerism and capitalism ruling the land by the rich who are not held to account with highly regulated precautionary principles and do no harm ethos WILL spoil life in some form or fashion.

For an on-line newsletter like Hormones Matter (where I’ve written a few pieces a few years ago) there are synergies being studied tied to hormones, entwined to biological processes at the cellular and genetic levels within the humanscape. These trillions of cells, these highly complex and fragile human systems of biology are studied with a fair mind, kind heart and open dialogue to help people mitigate, survive or reverse many of the ailments covered, all somehow tied to epigenetics and physiological deregulation and autoimmune discombobulating, to put it brutally simplistic.

The wrack line for those readers/chronic illness sufferers tapping into sources like Hormones Matter is composed of all those people struggling with their ailments and diseases, under a system of Western Patriarch and Machismo Arrogant Medicine. The wrack line in a larger sense is that proverbial line in the sand for communities far and wide attempting to provide safe water, safe food, safe products, safe air, safe housing in order to congregate as a community of caring, supporting and holistic healing.

The concept of holism, community-engagement and community-directed support for health, safety and prosperity is truly built into Homo sapiens DNA, yet under capitalism and rampant consumerism and this highly dog-eat-dog wrecked Darwinism, it has been perverted, subverted, derailed and forcefully forgotten. Memory holed. Orwellian in it’s scope — Organic Food is Poison, Disease is Health, Community is Dangerous.

Food

Imagine the starvation in places like Yemen, and in dozens of other countries because of the strategic playbook moves of predatory, disruptive, and destabilizing capitalism. Starvation because of failed governments after wars and proxy wars. Failed crops because of soil degradation, negative weather patterns, and criminal ill distribution of wealth.

The number of countries that are forced to use the so-called green technologies Rachel Carson alluded to in her 1962 book is more than 150. GMOs, high fertilizer and pesticide inputs. Massive factory farming, concentrated feeding operations. Round-up Ready crops and sprays are just the tip of the iceberg. The economies of scale have created lakes of blood, waste, urine. The amount of pig waste that gets untreated is equal to four humans per pig.

And this stuff is collected near waterways, rivers, streams, and enters the water table and into croplands. These ponds are emptied with gizmos that spray the liquid poisons into the air, onto vast miles of cropland. Atomized death.

So even before the products get to the table, wrapped in plastic, sped along vast fossil fuel spewing supply lines, and before the hormone disrupting, and antibiotic-laced flesh gets cooked in millions of ovens, the seed of disease has already been planted throughout the land. These places of sacrifice, so-called sacrifice zones in a form of disaster capitalism, are also termed forms of environmental racism.

This system of genetically engineered transgenic foodstuffs, and this system of chemicals beyond chemicals sprays on crops, well, that is the modern food system.

The results are firmly planted in research paper, journal article, white paper, and on-the-ground ground truthing. I’ve seen in my 38 years teaching, each year, more and more nervous ticks, attention deficits, learning deficits, food allergies, mental acuity challenge, physical ailments, chronic illnesses in my students, pre-teen all the way up to adults.

Asthma, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, brain fog, emotional discombobulating regular bouts, and more. I’ve even had the “luck” to teach active military at an academy and on several military bases/posts. The amount of destroyed immune systems, as well as the toll on hearing, sight, thinking and the body, well, it’s no wonder so many utilize the socialized system of health called the Veterans Administration. I have had people show me reports of the negative effects of the forced vaccinations and medical treatments soldiers in or out of war time have been burdened with. Lots of reports of service connected disabilities, and we are not just talking tinnitus or a back injury. We are talking more than just Agent Orange. We have a suite of illnesses and diseases tied to service at or around Camp Lejuene. There is a documentary titled, Semper Fi, which I have reviewed and screened to homeless veterans at a 24 hour facility I worked in as a social worker run by that poverty pimping place of ill repute, Salvation (starvation) Army. That camp/base was a dumping ground for chemicals used to propel internal combustion machines, and to clean those machines – dumped into the water.

The result of that human forced wrack line – miscarriages, Parkinson’s, tumors, cancers, and any number of diseases. This list below for Camp Lejeune conditions is very similar to other workplace “injuries”:

  • Adult leukemia.
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes.
  • Bladder cancer.
  • Kidney cancer.
  • Liver cancer.
  • Multiple myeloma.
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Parkinson’s disease.

It’s a small and incomplete list, and of course, the tally doesn’t include all the learning disabilities, all the attention deficits, all the allergies, all the other cancers that offspring might develop over time.

I haven’t touched upon all the genetic mutations in animals, frogs with extra legs “growing” out of their heads, or butterflies dying by the billions, or bird eggs thinning and thinning.

This is the way of our system – wrack lines from the chemical companies are equally on my mind when I walk these beaches and contemplate the billions of gallons of contaminated water from Fukushima about to be released intentionally.

The food of capitalism is industrialized, ramped up to unimaginable scales that require energy inputs, fossil fuel inputs, and massive clear-cutting and bulldozing of natural ecosystems. From industrialize coffee plantations in Vietnam, to miles of monocrop organic (sic) strawberries in California, to confined animal feeding operation to oil slicked sea.

A society that warns pregnant women to not drink the well water in those eight states that produce most of the soy, corn, chicken, beef, pig, and eggs for this country, well, if the wrack line is not absolutely warped and demonstrably upside down, then I find it difficult to give a more simple, pure example of this sickness.

Don’t drink the water or you may have a miscarriage, or you might give birth to a diseased baby? If that isn’t truth in advertisement, then I don’t know what is.

Nitrate in water widespread, current rules no match for it | WisconsinWatch.org

Imagine the exponentially worse conditions in Mexico, in other countries, without as robust a phalanx of groups fighting against and exposing this crime against humanity.

But the irony is there are more water defenders, crop defenders, community defenders in many Latin American countries, than in this country, per capita. There is a reason we have organizations that expose the murders of environmentalists throughout the world for attempting to hold accountable and stop so many US and transnational/global corporations in the business of creating their own wrack lines – oil, mining, cattle, swine, commodity crops, corn, sugar, and a suite of other capitalistic systems of oppressive business models and pollution creators..

Just the short elevator speech on Atrazine, the most widely used pesticide in our crop systems in the USA. Imagine, this is acceptable risk, allowable negative effects of this poison: “Large numbers of chemicals that are included in pesticides cause toxicity and as a result loss of neurons occurs through necrosis or by apoptosis. Such neuronal loss is irretrievable, and may result in a global encephalopathy. This is known as neuropathies.” Just go to the research site, Beyond Pesticides.

Here, some facts about Monsanto’s Roundup:

Although glyphosate should be associated with a low toxicity recent studies related to the potential toxicity of this herbicide have pointed out more evidence of the health risks .In this sense, in 2015, the herbicide glyphosate was classified as probably carcinogenic to humans. A growing body of literature points to possible, adverse environmental, ecological, and human health consequences following exposure to glyphosate and/or AMPA (its primary metabolite aminomethyl-phosphonic acid), both alone and in combination with ingestion of genetically engineered proteins.

Environmental studies encompass possible glyphosate impacts on soil microbial communities and earthworms, monarch butterflies, crustaceans, and honeybees. Studies assessing possible risks to vertebrates and humans include evidence of rising residue levels in soybeans, cancer risk, and risk of a variety of other potential adverse impacts on development, the liver or kidney, or metabolic processes.

— Impact of Glyphosate on Human Health: Risks and “Needs” of its Use by Maria Drumond Chequer Farah and André Leiliane Coelho.

The fact is just Genetically Modified soybeans grown in the U.S.A., Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay — accounting for 86.6% of the 11.6 billion bushels of soybeans produced globally in 2014, and nearly all global trade in soybeans and soybean-based animal feeds — have been a plague on ecosystems — terrestrial, avian, aquatic we call Mother Nature — as well as a plague on humans, children, adults and the unborn.

Indeed, more and more independent researchers are looking at Roundup as a source of dozens of ailments, from gut diseases to attention disorders. Imagine the “null” use of the precautionary principle just with this one weed killer! Multiple the number of other poisons and toxins entering the food-stream by hundreds.

Refer to the first part of this series related to the spraying of chemicals closely formulated from the precursor, Agent Orange (a mixture of equal parts of two herbicides, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D with some dioxins thrown in) — including Roundup and  2,4-dimethylheptane.

Plastic in Your Poop

The work of artist  Chris Jordan on plastics and just on the consumer waste in our capitalist consumer society is amazing. His documentary, Albatross, stays with me as I walk the wrack lines on the Central Oregon Coast. I’ve walked wrack lines all over the world, and been in places where plastic bags and single-use plastic containers and bottles have destroyed ecosystems, on beaches, in harbors and along river ways. Here, on the coast, we get all manner of bits and pieces and larger trash, mostly plastics, on those wrack lines. Microplastics, well, the schools here in this county where I substituted I had the opportunity to talk about plastic bag bans, the effects of plastics on marine life, and the inevitable class giggle topic of plastic in our poop. The reality is that every person on planet earth has microplastics in their feces. We talked about plastics in everything they eat, the packaging, the clothing, in bottled water, and the soil. I showed parts of Albatross. That bit of relevant education, from a well-traveled substitute, got me banned from the school system for showing these documentaries, “for upsetting the students (customers).” For me this is yet another symbolic wrack line in my life, one of the washed up and failed education system that I might allude to in part three of this series.

Chris Jordan Documents the Devastating Impact of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on Wildlife

As a diver, as an environmentalist, as a deep green sustainability proponent, and as a journalist and teacher and someone with a load of urban and regional planning under my belts, the reality for me is we have been at war with nature, with ourselves. Plastic is yet another symbolic manufactured element that is emblematic of our capitalism gone wild. Plastics are the thing of fossil fuels, and heavy natural gas consumption. Those fancy polymers are more than just a physical eyesore in the form of Pepsi bottles and single serving ketchup packets. This stuff is entering the blood-brain barrier, and is causing untold havoc on the human biological ecosystem. Delayed or premature puberty. Diabetes. Gut ailments. The reality is we do not know all the possible negative health outcomes of microplastics alone, as opposed to microplastics mixing with all those nanoparticles and the other chemicals coming into play in the human physiology.

Last year, I viewed on line a Remote Operated Vehicle filming the deepest part of the globe, the Mariana Trench, with ghostly images of single use plastic shopping bags floating by. It wasn’t a surprise, since I have been a scuba diver for more than 45 years. That revelation  was, however, yet another cut in the 10,000 cuts of spiritual and intellectual death people like me have to steel himself from.

So, things may go better with Killer Coke, in the minds of marketers and consumers, but the reality is that if we take one thing out of the complicated web of processes and products, separate one intended or unintended consequence of the revolutions we label industrial and post industrial (Fourth Industrial Revolution is a digital one, so research that through writers like Cory Morningstar, Whitney Webb and Alison McDowell), we see that Minute Maid/Coca-Cola’s heavy use of sugar and HFCS, and their anti-labor union work in tropical countries where their oranges and other citrus crops are under armed guard, behind concertina wires and CCTV security system bring with them huge intended and unintended consequences: negative impacts to ecosystems – nature, culture, economy, communities, human health.

Is that my plastic bag in the Mariana Trench? - Macleans.ca

Again, John Muir a hundred years ago, stated it clearly —

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
— My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911, page 110.

Now, let’s reverse this adage by stating it this way – When you put in anything by itself from industrialized processes, we find it hitches onto one thing or many things in the Universe of the biological universe.”

So, those deadly Bic lighters and all those bits and pieces of plastics washing up on shore into wrack lines, or clogging rivers and wetlands and deltas, well, we can see the effects on a meta and micro scale.

Akin to global biogeochemical cycles, plastics now spiral around the globe with distinct atmospheric, oceanic, cryospheric, and terrestrial residence times. Though advancements have been made in the manufacture of biodegradable polymers, our data suggest that extant nonbiodegradable polymers will continue to cycle through the earth’s systems. Due to limited observations and understanding of the source processes, there remain large uncertainties in the transport, deposition, and source attribution of microplastics. Thus, we prioritize future research directions for understanding the plastic cycle.

– Constraining the atmospheric limb of the plastic cycle

Plastic bottles

So, microplastics in poop just is the funny side of things for elementary and junior high school students. The reality is microplastics are found in the liver, lungs, spleens and other organs of humans. BPA, also known as bisphenol A, is a chemical in the production of plastics. It’s a reproductive, developmental and systemic toxicant in animal studies.

It would be naïve to believe there is plastic everywhere but just not in us, said Rolf Halden at Arizona State University. We are now providing a research platform that will allow us and others to look for what is invisible – these particles too small for the naked eye to see. The risk [to health] really resides in the small particles.

This bioaccumulation in tissues, that is, in the animals we eat, like tuna or salmon, is also part of the bioaccumulation of plastic particles in the food we eat, air we breathe, water we drink. With the Covid-19 hysteria, plastic masks, plastic everything, is now in the waste stream. As one Wall Street guru stated, “Plastics, that’s what you should invest in . . . the goofy plastic shopping bag bans is making MORE money for the plastics industry . . . more heavy plastic bags are being purchased to make up the difference.”

Disaster capitalism, and shock doctrine, which writer Naomi Klein has written about extensively, is tied to that old saw that the GDP goes up when Walmart of Amazon delivers more things to places and communities under some sort of disaster.  When hurricanes and tornados hit, companies far and wide make money. Wars in the Middle East, well, the list of corporations that make money on the entire effort of war and warring, it’s huge. The disease maintenance of USA’s private for profit medical systems, whether it’s a for-profit United Health Care, or for-profit nonprofit religious hospital, makes people money. Lots of it. Poverty and disease and war are profitable circumstances for a large swath of American businesses.

The public pays for the diseases and illnesses and loss of time with family, lost wages, lost communities. We pay for the birth defects in our newborns, and we pay for the multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s in our older people.  The externalities of capitalism are the various issues Hormones Matter covers when looking at diseases. The convenience of plastic bottles and pipes in our homes is the cancers of the future. Those plastics in the belly of whales, birds and albacore are the bioaccumulated toxins in our daily meals. We don’t need to study the great Pacific plastic gyre to understand how plastics break down, unseen, or subsurface. We will at some point have more plastic particles in the oceans than all the organic biomass. These are not the fictions of Ursula La Guinn or Margaret Atwood.

Weathering and Weather Proofing

This is descriptive of how to keep that house from getting peeling paint, curling roof tiles, mossed over eaves, and worn down carpets and floors. It sounds benign, too, when we look at the studies around weathering for African-Americans. For youth, we utilize ACEs — Adverse Childhood Experiences for outcomes here in Oregon as social services practitioners.

10 ACEs, as identified by the CDC-Kaiser study: Abuse. Physical. Emotional. Sexual. Neglect. Physical. Emotional. Household Dysfunction. Mental Illness.

These are what a child’s circumstances could be no fault of their own. Poverty, parent(s) with substance abuse issues, with mental health issues, with spousal abuse in the home. Of course, the more direct of these 10 on the developing child will create probable outcomes, possible lifetime issues. Pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps is an inane concept for youth presented with one or many of these areas of ACEs. Yes, poverty hurts, but if the family has sets of resilient measures and safety nets, then the negative future effects on the child with that one ACE could be actually negligible or even self-empowering.

But now that other overarching set of circumstances tied to the idea of weathering:

Repeated exposure to socioeconomic adversity, political marginalization, racism, and perpetual discrimination can harm health.  This weathering has created a slew of medical issues for African Americans, especially, but other minorities like Latinx. However, the fabric of a racist society with all the heavy hand of Jim Crow and The New Jim Crow is q quilt of many death by a thousand cuts for Blacks. Quality of life diminished, but also life expectancy cut too.

In her later work, Dr. Arline Geronimus and other scientists who embraced the weathering hypothesis extended it to apply to Black adults in general, not just Black women.

For instance, a 2006 paper by Dr. Geronimus and colleagues set out to test the hypothesis that Black adults “experience early health deterioration as a consequence of the cumulative impact of repeated experience with social or economic adversity and political marginalization.”

In the NPR interview, Dr. Geronimus explained the notion of weathering using a metaphor that is in equal measure disheartening, troubling, and alarmingly true.

Referring to the activist Erica Garner, who died of complications from a heart attack at the age of 27, Dr. Geronimus said that the feelings of stress leading to such an early death are like playing a game of Jenga.

Paraphrasing the activist’s sister, she said: “They pull out one piece at a time, at a time, and another piece and another piece, until you sort of collapse. […] I thought that Jenga metaphor was very apt because you start losing pieces of your health and well-being, but you still try to go on as long as you can.” 
— Medical News Today

Another feature and term is the allostatic load — the repeated  exposure of societal and economic stress creates a physiological response, and weathering. These are biomarkers such as cortisol levels, sympathetic nerve activity, blood pressure reactivity, cytokine production, waist-to-hip ratio, and glycated hemoglobin levels.

I’ve seen this up close and personal first-hand when I started teaching in El Paso, at community colleges and universities. I saw this in the faces and body blows and prevalence of diabetes and heart disease and asthma in the parents of my students. Many of the parents were from poverty and from racist communities in Texas. These parents were categorized as non-white Hispanics. Many were farm laborers, migrant workers. Many were cooks and maids and construction laborers.

This relationship I had with my students and their families and my friends, as well, was parlayed into more observations in Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador and Belize. The more pressures on people, on indigenous poor people, the more rapid the decline. In most cases. For Black Americans, this is a triple whammy since there are a few examples of Blacks overcoming the poverty and the heavy toll of hard work and constant Diaspora. But just because there is an Orpah or Vice President Kamala Harris, doesn’t mean anything to the Black or Latinx in constant struggle to work their bodies hard, sometimes three jobs a person, to get out of institutionalized and systemic poverty.

My friends in the Army and Air Force, African American friends, still paying the toll of a life before military service and even racism while in the armed services. This weathering is both descriptive of a general biological and mental toll on people always on the move, always going from paycheck to paycheck, always one step ahead of the repo man or forced eviction from the county sheriff.

So many of my Black colleagues in social services have told me that “this office, this job, this nonprofit, well, it’s like the old South — this is not my house.” The toll on my colleagues with the overt and covert racism was huge. Just going out into a rural area of Oregon to serve foster children clients for a Black woman was more than just nerve-racking. Seeing confederate flags in yards populated with snarling pit bulls with 2nd amendment stickers on pick-up trucks with bumper stickers stating, “This vehicle is protected by Smith and Wesson,”  caused great emotional harm. I was asked many times to accompany my fellow social workers on these calls.

This higher level of sickness and weathering and death at an earlier age is not just a matter of economic circumstances. No matter how hard people in the USA want to hem and haw,  “racial disparities in poverty suggested to the researchers that living in a ‘race-conscious society’ and the efforts required to cope is what causes weathering.

This leads to other factors tied to weathering in a more geographically determined way — environmental racism. The father of environmental justice is in fact Dr. Robert Bullard, an African American professor of urban planning at Texas Southern University.

His website states it succinctly what this environmental injustice/racism is:

America is segregated and so is pollution. Race and class still matter and map closely with pollution, unequal protection, and vulnerability.  Today, zip code is still the most potent predictor of an individual’s health and well-being.  Individuals who physically live on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ are subjected to elevated environmental health threats and more than their fair share of preventable diseases. Still, too many people and communities have the ‘wrong complexion for protection.’ Reducing environmental, health, economic and racial disparities is a major priority of the Environmental Justice Movement.

Weathering then takes on another component — polluting industries and agricultural practices end up on the wrong side of the tracks. Exposure to massive amounts of chemicals goes right into the lap of migrant farmers and field hands. Those plastics refineries are in the low rent district of a town or city. The burden of air contamination and dirty water (think lead and Flint, Michigan) is placed more heavily on people of color.

Yet as we now know, chemicals and carcinogens are an equal opportunity killer when it comes to our food system as it is sold in grocery stores. More than 80 percent of the wheat products — bread, pasta, crackers, cereal — have Roundup in them from field spraying close to wheat harvest. We all are in one giant rotating mass experiment. The weathering of the human psyche kills us earlier, but the weathering creates by poor nutrition, poor choices, polluted choices, that is now flowing out from the Black community into many more communities.

You Are What You Eat, Drink, Read, See, Say, Dream, Do, Hope for, Plan, Listen to, Care About

This is a thread to my teaching and my own life — you are what you do, or what you do not do. Replace the subheading above with the negative, and that also explains a person’s heart, hearth, health and hopes.

I used to have my college students go over the implications and deep multiplicity of concepts and research topics tied to photographer Peter Menzel’s and writer Faith D’Aluisio’s travels around the world and their documenting the foundational human behavior of  what we eat. Their project, “Hungry Planet,” depicts everything that an average family consumes in a given week—and what it costs.

Their book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats in 2005, showcases meals in 24 countries.

Germany: The Sturm Family of Hamburg. Food Expenditure for One Week: € 253.29 ($325.81 USD). Favorite foods: salads, shrimp, buttered vegetables, sweet rice with cinnamon and sugar, pasta.

Germany: The Sturm Family of Hamburg. Food Expenditure for One Week: € 253.29 ($325.81 USD). Favorite foods: salads, shrimp, buttered vegetables, sweet rice with cinnamon and sugar, pasta.1

They did follow up with a worldwide day’s worth of food.

What I Eat Around the World in 80 Diets

© Peter Menzel / What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets

Vietnam, The Rice Farmer
Name: Nguyen Van Theo
Age: 51; Height: 5′ 4″; Weight: 110 pounds
Caloric value of food this day: 2500 calories

  • BREAKFAST: Rice noodles, 2.7 oz. (dry weight), boiled and eaten with fish sauce, 1.5 tbsp.
  • LUNCH: Pork loin cooked with bean sprouts and green onion, 3.6 oz. Pork back cooked with pickled mustard greens, 3 oz. White rice, 1.4 lb.
  • DINNER: Pork back seasoned with fish sauce and caramel sugar, 1.6 oz. Eggs, from his chickens, fried with green onion, 2.6 oz. Spinach and spinach water broth, 5.2 oz. White rice, 1.4 lb. Homemade ruou thuoc (strong rice wine with herbs), 1.9 fl. oz.
  • THROUGHOUT THE DAY: Green tea, 7.8 fl. oz. Tobacco, 0.5 oz. Boiled rainwater, 1.6 qt.

“In this food portrait, a pile of last year’s rice straw lies in the background. It is used as fuel to boil water in the family’s small kitchen. Cisterns collect rainwater for drinking and cooking.”

*****

Those so-called food deserts, the neighborhoods where there are more 7-11’s, gun shops, liquor stores, PayDay loan outfits and fast-food joints than anything else, including a place to purchase green groceries and a place to learn how to cook them, that’s another project of weathering the body to fit the capitalist quick dirty buck schemes. Imagine food disparagement bills, so-called Cheeseburger bills, that prohibit media from attacking bad food and fast-food for negative health outcomes. Imagine that scenario, and it isn’t in a Brave New World, but it has been an un-brave old world of protecting polluters, whether it’s coal ash and smelters spewing in the air, or if it’s bad food, nutritional empty food, salty-greasy-sugary foods pushed down the throats of toddlers by school systems. Weathering also caused by subsidies for the big eight — soy, wheat, pork, dairy, corn, beef, poultry, canola — but nothing for the organic vegetable and fruit farmers.  A decent sized organic apple costs as much as a cheeseburger, Coke and fries.

Yes, I worked in Vietnam, and yes, the mother’s milk in 1996 had 15 times the EPA’s allowable PCBs in it, thanks to the gift that keeps on giving — soil laden with those carcinogens and dioxins from Agent Orange. The places I went to were just getting snarled in dirty motorcycle traffic and more and more cars. The lifestyle became more supercharged, more consumer focused, and alas, beautiful trees would be cut down to accommodate larger and larger lorries and semi-trucks.

In the hinterland, where I also spent time with scientists from Hanoi and from the UK and Canada, I did engage with robust and personal conversations with Vietnamese, sometimes ethnic Vietnamese, in their homes, as they shared meager but tasty meals, sharing bongs of tobacco, and yes, the rice wines. Not to idealize the rural and agrarian and sometimes subsistence lives, I still know for a fact from my other travels into Latin America, there is a multitude of negative prices to pay — Faustian bargains galore — for adopting Western consumerism, lifestyles and diets. Obviously, a refrigerator is life-saving, for sure, and a fan, another lifesaver. But the rolled cigarette smoke in the air and lungs, as well as the black soot and persistent aromatic particles are more carcinogen and COPD gifts that come in a delayed package.

Weathering. Sort of the reverse weathering, far different than the weathering of Black men and women in the USA. But still, a good way to look at things broadly. That consumption of everything, from books to movies, from beer to beets, from burgers to briskets, all of it has a short-term and long-term effect on everything, inside the person’s body, all the way through the economic and environmental/cultural webs.

The Air We Breathe at Home

This sort of polemic can really never end, for in fact, there are literally entire human lifetimes of work which could easily be put into book form to the 10th or 100th power. The simplest things like soil and water are easily seen as what should be help sacrosanct, but inevitably, we see that the systems in place through industrial ag or industrial harvesting, anything on an industrial level, including such amazing practices as mountain top removal for coal, or fracked subsurface geology for bitumen, or cyanide slurry sprayed on rocks to get at gold.

Necessity, for capitalists, is the mother of invention. And the “necessary” thing (necessity to be gotten at is, of course, profits.

I remember my mother, who grew up in Canada, Powell River, the largest pulp mill in the world at the time placed there, producing megatons an hour of paper, newsprint, tissue. The town is on Indian territory, but I never knew it as a kid visiting there. What I remembered was the heavy weight of the air, that burn rotten egg smell, the sulfuric acid like sing at the back of the throat. Then the quaint town was hit with ash showers several times a day. I recall free car wash stations in several parts of town to keep the old Ford’s paint from really peeling.

Many townspeople were hit with lung diseases, eventually COPD and emphysema in their 30s or 40s. My mom was constantly having bronchitis in both lungs. Other youth also had the same problems.  The giant company of course rattled off plausible deniability, citing poor genes, poor lungs, poor diets, you name it.

I could see it, touch it, taste it, smell it, and hear it, all those blasts of pollutants coming from the cookers and bleachers and peroxide vats. The proof was in the back of the throat and in the hacking up of green stuff, but again, jobs, a union, a company town ethos.

I had to really reach middle age to understand that British Columbian town, and the pre-white man history: These were Coast Salish people of the Tla’amin Nation. The gold fever created a spot for gold prospectors coming from Vancouver Island to make their way on the Fraser River for that boom or bust quick fortune.

[Mill+001.jpg]

This is leading up to that air we breathe, the stuff my daughter and stepdaughter breathe in their respective schools they attend. We are talking about dust collected and analyzed from a university revealing again, more invisible-to-the-eye gifts that keep on giving: Study.

Cell-based assays are an emerging method to quantify the total activation or suppression of hormone receptors by complex environmental mixtures of hormone-disrupting chemicals. Compared with traditional targeted laboratory approaches that measure each chemical in a mixture individually, cell-based assays of dust are inexpensive, rapid, and statistically simple to model. Hormonal activities in assays of dust also reflect the combined effects from co-exposures of all hormone-disrupting chemicals in the sample, including unmeasurable chemicals and unknown regrettable substitutes. The assays account for any mixture effects, such as when a chemical’s effect is triggered, enhanced, or reduced in the presence of another chemical.

Background:
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), organophosphate esters (OPEs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are hormone-disrupting chemicals that migrate from building materials into air and dust.

Objectives:
We aimed to quantify the hormonal activities of 46 dust samples and identify chemicals driving the observed activities.

Methods:
We evaluated associations between hormonal activities of extracted dust in five cell-based luciferase reporter assays and dust concentrations of 42 measured PFAS, OPEs, and PBDEs, transformed as either raw or potency-weighted concentrations based on Tox21 high-throughput screening data.

Results:
All dust samples were hormonally active, showing antagonistic activity toward peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPARγ2) (100%; 46 of 46 samples), thyroid hormone receptor (TRβ) (89%; 41 samples), and androgen receptor (AR) (87%; 40 samples); agonist activity on estrogen receptor (ERα) (96%; 44 samples); and binding competition with thyroxine (T4) on serum transporter transthyretin (TTR) (98%; 45 samples). Effects were observed with as little as 4μg of extracted dust.

This is a scientific research study of 46 dust samples from 21 buildings on a US university campus. It’s the old flame retardant sloughing off issue. Imagine, there is no evidence that flame retardants applied to all manner of things prevents fires. But we know that more than 90 percent of Americans have the retardant in their/our blood, and we know the health effects include infertility, diabetes, obesity, abnormal fetal growth, and cancers.

This study helps explain how these PFAS and flame retardants  enter the body. For the initiated, PFAS first gained press as compounds in Teflon. They are utilized as part of a coating for carpets, furniture, and clothing. Even inside electronics you’ll find these PFAS.  And much-much more:

Understanding PFAS | riversideca.gov

Right off the bat, when baby comes out of mother’s womb, she is exposed to hundreds of chemicals, including PFAS and another species of flame retardants found in the dust — polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs. These PBDEs may have been phased out in eight years ago — after they were implicated in health issues such as infertility and thyroid dysfunction. But they are still around, in all sorts of products. Recycled plastics contain them as well. Swaddled babies wrapped in PFAS and other materials coated and sprayed with organophosphate esters.

The price of capitalism and better living/dying with chemistry is a sick and sickening society: again, just these family of chemicals cause through some very sophisticated and synergistic processes  amazingly harmful things such as “impaired fetal development, obesity, decreased vaccine response, preeclampsia, testicular cancer, immune dysfunction, kidney cancer, and elevated cholesterol levels.”

Some price we pay for the air we breathe!

Image credit: State of Michigan
  1. Peter Menzel, Hungry Planet: What the World Eats.
The post Hiking Along the Wrack Line first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Approaching a Risky 1.5°C Global Overshoot 

A recent UN Assessment, as of February 26th, 2021, regarding progress or lack thereof by the 195 nations to the Paris 2015 climate agreement is starting to look like a big bust.

As described in the report, nations are not meeting their voluntary commitments to decrease carbon emissions, especially based upon the Paris ‘15 goals to decelerate CO2 emissions of cars, trains, planes, and collectively, the human-generated colossus.1

According to data provided by the 74 nations that have reported to the much-heralded Paris climate accord, collectively, their plans are to reduce emissions by 2030 to only 0.5% of 2010 levels, which is totally inadequate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) clearly stated that global emissions be reduced by 45%, otherwise, there’s no chance of staying below 1.5°C. 2

Whether by avoidance or ignorance, one-third of the nations to the Paris climate agreement are failing to meet goals. The plans of the remaining two-thirds are unknown at this time, but the trend doesn’t look very promising. Therefore, it’s probably a good idea to plan for a global temperature overshoot beyond +1.5°C (2.7F).

So then, what does +1.5°C above pre-industrial look like?

For starters, according to NASA, it’s important to note that +1.5°C has already been surpassed in many regions of the world, for example, Australia (massive fires) and the Arctic (open seas). The impact of climate change is not evenly spread around the planet. Nevertheless, according to the Global Warming Index, as of December 2020, global temperature has increased by 1.168°C over the past 170 years. But, of course, it’s noteworthy that the rate of emissions has doubled since the turn of the 21st century, as the Great Acceleration, post WWII, kicks into overdrive.

At 1.5°C above pre-industrial, NASA claims that roughly 15% of the world population will experience extreme heat waves that have the potential to threaten life. On the hottest days at mid-latitudes, temperatures will be up to 3°C (5.4°F) hotter. These extremes will hit central and eastern North America, central and southern Europe, the eastern Mediterranean and many Asian and African regions.

Kuwait is an ongoing example of the impact of extreme heat. An analysis of 15,000 deaths in Kuwait from 2010 to 2016, when extreme temperatures exceeded 109F, versus the daily average of 94.5F, found death rates by cardiovascular disease 3.5 times higher for men and 3.8 times higher for working-age people ages 15-64. According to that report: “The warming of our planet is not evenly distributed. Regions that are inherently hot, like Kuwait and the Arabian Peninsula, are witnessing soaring temperatures unlike ever before. We are sounding the alarm….” 3

The unevenness of a 1.5°C world simply implies: “The hottest of the hot temperatures will increase throughout the planet as some regions turn dangerously hot.” 4

Overshooting the 1.5°C threshold generates sufficient heat to push some ecosystems to the edge of tipping points, or even beyond. That’s when things get dicey with intermittent shortages of critical resources like food and water, already a huge problem in some regions of the planet. And it’s expected almost total wipe-out of some critical ecosystems, coral reefs, for example, especially considering the well publicized excessive bleaching events, three times successively in only five years, clobbering the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) of 1,400 miles, already in an extremely critical condition, as it resides in ocean temps too warm for coral reef survival. As of February 2020, ocean waters surrounding GBR were at the warmest/hottest since record keeping started in 1900.

The failure by countries to achieve results according to Paris ’15 is immoral at best, and at worse, a criminal activity against humanity. Seriously, it’s outlandish that 195 countries commit to hold down global emissions, yet flagrantly fail. The proof of failure is found in atmospheric chemistry: Monthly average CO2 levels measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii: March 1, 2020 @ 414.25 ppm versus March 1, 2021 @ 417.86 ppm. CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase by the year, every year, without fail. It’s the one event that does not fail. Curiously, the “400 ppm Crossover” occurred April 2012, the first monthly average >400 ppm in human history, and for even more history, count back in time to prior extinctions. There are five.

The rate of CO2 increase is the key determinate as to whether society should be concerned about global warming disrupting life, as we know it. Already, at all-time highs, historically, emissions are too rapid for comfort. The current rate is ~2.0 ppm/yr., whereas it was approximately one-half that rate throughout the 20th century. In academia that’s considered a significant CO2 rate of increase, especially in light of the telling fact that it is not only extraordinary by today’s standards, but it’s also a record-breaker on a millennial time scale. Throughout the Holocene Epoch, CO2 increased by ~0.003 ppm / year or +40 ppm over 12,000 years versus our current rate of ~2.0 ppm / year or +40 ppm in only 20 years. That illustrates the difference between nature’s CO2 influence of +0.003 ppm versus the human influence of +2.00 ppm, or 666 times more powerful than nature.

The Anthropocene Epoch, or the age of human climate disruption, is setting all-time records, by the year!  For example, on a long-term scale, atmospheric CO2 of the past 400,000 years has been as high as 280 ppm and as low as 180 ppm in contrast to >400 ppm over the past eight years.

Meanwhile, as disruption hits floral, biota, and fauna, ecosystems start collapsing or actually do collapse smack-dab in the face of a largely disinterested public, for example, two-thirds (66%) of wild vertebrates dead within only 50 years, which is clear evidence that something is horribly wrong.

The protagonist is most likely a robust cocktail of human impact, like destruction of rainforests, in concert with the consequences of global warming, for example, desertification. In fact, desertification crises have hit 168 countries, prompting a declaration of the UN Decade of Desertification for 2010-20.

Curiously, these disturbing, perplexing events as outlined heretofore are discussed in magazines, newspapers, scholarly articles, and throughout the Internet. So, society knows all about these challenges to life on Earth but nothing much gets done about it.

Unfortunately, there is a long list of international agreements or protocols designed to help the planet that fail, for example: (1) The Aichi Biodiversity Targets intended for 2020 set at the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010 have not been met, not even close (2) Most of the nature-related United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs 6, 13–15 are on track for failure (3) The Paris ’15 carbon emission deceleration plans are a basket case. The list could go on.

Clearly, sustainability of the planet stands on its own without help from inhabitants. Still, Earth has demonstrated exceptional recovery skills, surviving five major extinctions, most recently the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event 65MYA when 75% of plant and animal species went extinct. Hmm, the current wild vertebrate 66% extinction rate is closing in on that 75% rate, proving that the planet is already “in the thick of it.”

What will stop it from getting a whole lot worse?

  1. “We Are Nowhere Near Keeping Warming below 1.5°C Despite Climate Plans”, NewScientist, February 26, 2021.
  2. “Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C, Summary for Policymakers”, IPCC, 2018.
  3. “American Heart Association, Extreme, High Temperatures May Double or Triple Heart-related Deaths”, ScienceDaily, March 30, 2020.
  4. Ibid.
The post Approaching a Risky 1.5°C Global Overshoot  first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Eye of the Wolf: Measuring Myself through Death

If I were asked what I want to accomplish as a writer, I would say it’s to contribute to the literature of hope.

— Barry Lopez, About This Life

A passing. A death. Moving on. Back to earth. A new journey.

Image result for Barry Lopez Oregon

He filled the air with lyrical words and ideas grafted to our role as writers and people living inside and with our natural world. He was steadfast in his role as a naturalist of sorts, but through and through he was a word conjurer.

He came to me when I was young, inside his book about wolves. I was in Arizona jumping the skeletons of saguaros with my 360cc Bultaco and learning the art of passage: working with ministers and laypersons helping Central Americans cross that political line between USA and Mexico.

Barry Lopez’s written words were in my heart.

The wolf exerts a powerful influence on the human imagination. It takes your stare and turns it back on you. … from Of Wolves and Men

Luckily for me, I heard wolves in 2002 along the Clearwater in Idaho, being let free on Nez Perce land.  Now, 42 years later, the tributes to his life, his writing, and how he touched soil and words come trickling in.  But the Lopez I also know is the young man who went to Norte Dame and considered being a Trappist monk, while a deep scar from his youth galvanized into his very being and turned him away from much man’s ways.

He is a writer who helped humanity understand their stories are valuable. I remember the television interview of him years ago, with Bill Moyers. Again, Lopez stressed he may be considered a nature writer but, in reality, he is writing about humanity.

Every story is an act of trust between a writer and a reader; each story, in the end, is social. Whatever a writer sets down can harm or help the community of which he or she is a part.

He was a gifted wordsmith. And like Winona LaDuke, he wanted to “recover the sacred.” The land shapes us all, and for Lopez, he spent time in that land – five years in the arctic as a biologist. His own biography is compelling in that odd American way.

Barry with his wife, Debra Gwartney, and his daughters Amanda, Stephanie, Mary and Mollie. Finn Rock Oregon, 2016
RIP — 1945-2020

Nascent Dreams

He was born Barry Holstun Brennan in Port Chester, New York. His family moved to Reseda, California, after the birth of his brother, Dennis. He was raised in a low-income single-parent family for a while, and his mother married Adrian Lopez, a businessman, in 1955. Adrian adopted Barry and his brother, and they both took his surname.

He died with laurels, awards, and 20 books to his name. Years fighting prostate cancer didn’t lessen his ferocity for wanting to be a “writer of help.”

For me, Walt Whitman says it in a nutshell, what it was to be Barry Lopez: “Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”

Part of Barry’s call to duty is acting as a bridge, a translator, an intermediary for humanity (Western Civilization) which has in general lost that language of animals. We have forgotten to talk to our brothers and sisters.

He stated in an interview with Nick O’Connell.  “I’ve always been deeply interested in animals, in what they were doing and where they lived. They are for me parallel cultures. I think about them a lot and spend a certain amount of time with them. Natural history is the metaphor I feel most comfortable with as a writer—a kind of natural history that includes geography.”

When Lopez was 11, his family relocated to Manhattan, where he attended the Loyola School, graduating in 1962. He attended the University of Notre Dame, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees there in 1966 and 1968.

He also attended the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Conquest’s Lesson

He ended up planting his field of muses to grow into an Oregonian. In this process of tending his writing and spirituality in this adopted land, he always spoke of this amazing place that for thousands of years was home of people with a real land ethic. People who planned to live here generations into the future. Who planned their lives, habits and culture around the fact they would not be leaving, or engaging in some Diaspora.

That manifest destiny, that interloper mentality of settlers, Lopez also discussed with me and my students, since I had spent much of my life in land conquered by Spain – Mexico and Central America. And others who knew Barry personally also write about this root in his own intellectual life.

An amazing journey in time, space, and history, “The Passing Wisdom of Birds,” from Crossing Open Ground still drills into my core.  Lopez writes about Hernan Cortez’s destruction of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec Capital known today as Mexico City. Not surprisingly, Charles V called this Aztec jewel “the most beautiful city in the world.”

We know the story – after being driven out of the city a year earlier by Montezuma, Cortez then returns with a larger army and with vengeance in his heart and vindictive violence as his tool of domination. Lopez writes, Cortez’s army “laid siege to the city. Canal by canal, garden by garden, home by home.”

This is the barbarity of the Old World launching its systematic destruction of a people, culture and their own praxis by gestating in a new land as conquistadores with guns, the holy cross and racism. Cortez set fire to the great aviaries and nests of wild birds found throughout the city. Lopez writes,

The image I carry of Cortez setting fire to the aviaries in Mexico City that June day in 1521 is an image I cannot rid myself of. It stands, in my mind, for a fundamental lapse of wisdom … an underlying trouble in which political conquest, personal greed, revenge, and national pride outweigh what is innocent, beautiful, serene and defenseless — the birds. … Indeed, one could argue, the same oblivious irreverence is still with us, among those who would ravage and poison the earth to sustain the economic growth of Western societies.

I spoke with Barry when he addressed classes at Eastern Washington University and the two Spokane community colleges where I taught. I brought up the chaos of the country when we spoke. That was  in 2006. It was easy to rebuke much of America then as it was clear to pundits, academicians and writers this country was adrift (some déjà vu now, uh?). Easy to blame media, computers, celebrity culture and political impotence, for sure, but Lopez stressed to me and the students that we were widening the cultural disconnect with the land.

He actually posed this very question in the end of that essay, “The Passing Wisdom of Birds.” Is it possible to move beyond a moment in the Valley of Mexico when we behaved as though we were insane? Lopez’s answer can be found in Arctic Dreams:

Staring down pecatta mundi that day on the tundra, my image of God was this effort to love in spite of everything that contradicts that impulse. When I think of the phrase ‘the love of God,’ I think of this great and beautiful complexity we hold within us, this pattern of light and emotion we call God, and that the rare, pure ferocity of our love sent anywhere in that direction is worth all the mistakes we endure to practice it.

Think Like a Mountain

He hitched his entire life to the land, and the mental manifestation of what land language and biotic ethics mean to people who hold land as more than “just” sacred.

The land is the very essence of our own DNA, as many of us attempt to mine lost narratives in order to understand people who know the land and its inhabitants and geological prominence like the backs of their hands.

Sure, I met Barry Lopez several times – in bookstores and classrooms: Missoula, Seattle, Spokane, Portland. His Arctic Dreams and Of Wolves and Men I read early in my own writing career.

I am part of the geology connected to Lopez. I live on the Central Oregon Coast, and the fires we had in 2020 tore through his and his wife Deborah’s property. The land will heal, but his 50-year personal archive of all his writings went up in flames.

Here on the Alsea River along the Pacific, I smelled the drifting ashes of those fires for weeks.

During the fires, Debra and Barry ended up in Eugene, and many have stated Lopez repeated these universal healing words we know from nature when asked what was next: “rebuilding, repairing, and replanting.”

I remember another appearance, at Spokane’s Auntie’s Bookstore, 15 years ago when he was reading from a new collection for which he choreographed, along with his wife, Debra Gwartney – Home Ground.

More than 45 writers, including Barbara Kingsolver, Charles Frazier, William Kittredge and Terry Tempest Williams, riffing with words found at the intersection of human culture and physical geography:  examples include just these — “portage” and “outcrop,” “windbreak” and “dry fall.”

What distinguishes American literature — especially from European literature — is this deep attachment to place [Lopez told Ann Colford of the Pacific Northwest Inlander].  And it’s not just in the usual suspects, like Cather and Steinbeck and Melville and Thoreau; it’s there in everybody’s work. Truman Capote. Updike. One of the impetuses in choosing the marginalia was this sense of, ‘Look at all these people and how they think about the landscape.’

ACE – Adverse Childhood Experiences

I have to end this remembrance of Barry Lopez with another path he crossed in his life, at a very young age, an adverse childhood experience for which I ended up also intersecting as a social worker for homeless, veterans, youth and those living with a developmental disability.

Lopez and I talked about the precarity of my own work as a part-time adjunct, part-time journalist, failed novelist with a New York agent and other gigs tied to social services. When I last spoke with him, I had not yet launched into working with the disenfranchised:  substance addicted humans, or the just-released prisoners, homeless and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The impact of Lopez’s childhood trauma and repressed PTSD hit me hard. I read his 2013 article in Harpers because someone who had remembered my reviews of two of his books when I was a reporter and Sunday book editor for the El Paso Times contacted me on Facebook.

“Did you see that amazingly open, truthful and sad article he wrote about his own abuse? Wow?”

Lopez was nearing seventy when he wrote this piece in Harper’s Magazine – “Sliver of Sky — Confronting the trauma of sexual abuse” (January 2013).

He was seven when his family was introduced to this man, who ran a sanatorium and was known in California for his ability to help alcoholics kick the habit. Lopez’s story of shame, packing away trauma, sublimating that five years of abuse he experienced into a life — on the surface and deeper within through his own passages with nature, writing and teaching (he visited over 80 countries) – wallops any empathetic reader hard. While Lopez is compared to Henry David Thoreau and William Faulkner, he was in one sense carrying a shattered child inside.

Here, one of the less graphic passages from the Harper’s memoir –

From what I have read over the years in newspapers and magazines about scandals involving serial pedophiles, I have gathered that people seem to think that what victims most desire in the way of retribution is money and justice, apparently in that order. My own guess would be that what they most want is something quite different: they want to be believed, to have a foundation on which they can rebuild a sense of dignity. Reclaiming self-respect is more important than winning money, more important than exacting vengeance.

Victims do not want someone else’s public wrath, the umbrage of an attorney or an editorial writer or a politician, to stand in for the articulation of their own anger. When a pedophile is exposed by a grand-jury indictment today, the tenor of public indignation often seems ephemeral to me, a response generated by ‘civic’ emotion. Considering the number of children who continue to be abused in America — something like one in seven boys and one in three girls — these expressions of condemnation seem naïve. Without a deeper commitment to vigilance, society’s outrage begins to take on the look of another broken promise.

Sitting at the Table of Greats

Sure, my own life in the wild, inside nature, communing with manatees, hornbills, hammerheads or what-have-you has also been tied to not just the “land ethic” that Aldo Leopold wrote about, but also to recovering the sacred, which to me are the people who are in, by, because and for the land.

There is no climate change mitigation for vanishing forests, coral reefs and rivers unless there are holistic and deep green relationships we build within the biotic community as we work with the community of Homo Sapiens.

Interestingly, the work I have done with sexually-abused veterans, people living as homeless, and even those who are deemed “people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” as well as the work as a community college and K12 teacher, all tied into the threads that Barry Lopez gifted me to understand that connection – or in most cases, disconnection – we as a society have lost to the land.

Image result for Arctic Dreams

Yet Barry Lopez’s message, even among all the dire calls to action to stop the polluting, the razing, the clearcutting, the harvesting, the burning, the damming, the killing, comes to me in one of the last things he published – a forward to a biography of Richard K. Nelson,  Raven’s Witness: The Alaska Life of Richard K. Nelson by Hank Lentfer (July 2020, Mountaineers Books).

This is an elegant and amazing connection to his own life writing in an old chair that Lopez had to mess with to keep viable as the place he found the fortitude and the ferocity of spirit from which to write and keep connected to Nelson man who was a real person of the people and land.

It seems appropriate for me to reflect first on the undistinguished chair I’m sitting in as I try to put together a few words to introduce you to this biography of Richard Nelson. I bought the chair long ago in a second-hand store, in Springfield, Oregon. I’ve had to repair it occasionally, to ensure its sturdiness. Two worn-out seat cushions, one atop the other, make it easier to occupy for hours at a time. Two newel posts brace a tapered backrest of wooden spindles. The caps of the newel posts gleam from the rub of human hands over the decades.

I’ve written seventeen books sitting in this chair, and I hope to complete a couple more in the years ahead. In the early 1980s, because I sensed that resting my back against a pair of cured blacktail deer hides from Richard’s hunts would put me in a more respectful frame of mind when I wrote, and that they might induce in me the proper perspectives about life, I wrote him and asked for his help. Would he honor our friendship by sending me a couple of blacktail deer hides? These were from deer he’d been given as a subsistence hunter (as he understood that relationship with them) in the woods near his home.

In my experience, no other non-native hunter’s ethical approach to this archetypal form of fatal encounter was as honorable as Richard’s. He hunted to feed his family, imitating the way his Iñupiaq, Koyukon, and Kwich’in teachers had taught him to, through the example of their own behavior in engagements with wild animals—humble, grateful, respectful. I felt the hides might care for me as I stumbled my way through life, in the same way that our friendship with each other would take care of both of us in the years ahead.

Even without the deer hides stitched to my own office chair, or the close camaraderie and corresponding with Lopez, I too feel the words of poets and writers like Lopez will “take care of me in the years ahead, wherever that passage way Mother Earth leads me.”

Image result for Raven’s Witness: The Alaska Life of Richard K. Nelson

I am reminded that Lopez believed a writer’s job is “to be of service.” Again, Lopez stated many times that we as writers are not placed in this role to tell people what to think. Our job is to help people frame their own thoughts. And to know their own stories and be able to tell those stories to themselves, their circle of family, or in the case of Lopez, to the world.

cover of Of Wolves and Men by Barry lopez

See Thank you, Barry Lopez from Orion Magazine Staff!

Barry, forty years ago you taught me that all stories are about relationship: who I am to all creatures where I am . . . who I am to who you are . . . who we are to who we will become. So goes, now and always, my story with you.

— Kim Stafford, Oregon Poet Laurette

The post The Eye of the Wolf: Measuring Myself through Death first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Shrinking Ireland: Global Warning in Local Communities

Portrane Beach, 2021 (Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

A recent walk at a local beach revealed to me how fast coastal erosion is affecting local communities. This area where I live is essentially a peninsula with two large popular beaches, Donabate beach and Portrane beach which are joined by cliffs, on the coast of north County Dublin, Ireland.

I have already written about erosion at Donabate beach and erosion at the cliffs over the years but, in a far worse condition, is Portrane beach.

As can be seen from photos I took in 2013 compared with the ones I took a few days ago, coastal erosion is happening at a significant rate.

Portrane Beach (looking south), 2013 (Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

Portrane Beach (looking south), 2021 (Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

According to one local resident, David Shevlin,  “We live in the midsection of the beach and our property has lost upwards of about 20 metres of established garden since 2018. […] At the current rate of erosion, our garden was 30 metres and it’s gone to 20 metres in two years so it doesn’t take much to calculate that we don’t have very long.”

Portrane Beach (looking north) 2013 (Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

Portrane Beach (looking north), 2021 (Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

The local council has tried to stem the rate of erosion with concrete Seabees before more permanent groynes are constructed. A groyne is a structure built perpendicular to the shore, that interrupts water flow and limits the movement of sediment and can be made out of wood, concrete, or stone. According to a local spokesman the Seabees will be “an interim solution pending the installation of specially designed Y-shaped groynes structures which will be complemented by a beach renourishment scheme in order to achieve a suitable beach level. This will reduce incident wave energy along the coastline by limiting the prevailing water depth and thus mitigating the threat of erosion.”

The seriousness of the problem can be seen as the Seabees are almost completely submerged at high tides.

Seabees, Portrane Beach, 2021 (Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

The Housing and Planning Minister, Darragh O’Brien, has commented that:

Around Ireland, it’s projected that by 2050, the impact of coastal erosion could potentially affect up to 2 million people who live within 5km of the coast, all the major cities, and much of the country’s industry and infrastructure and utilities, including transport, electricity and water supplies.

A European Commission document describes Irish vulnerability to climate change:

Ireland is the third largest European island. It is situated at the north-west of continental Europe. The coastline measures 4 577 km, bordering the Atlantic Ocean on the north-west and the Irish Sea on the south-east.  More  than  50%  of  the  population  lives  within  15km  of  the  Irish coastline.  Most  of  the  population  is  concentrated  in  cities,  with  the  major  coastal  cities  being  Dublin,  Cork,  Limerick  and  Galway.

They further note that:

Approximately  20%  of  Ireland’s  entire  coast  is  at  risk  of  erosion.  Sea  Level  Rise  (SLR)  combined  with  an  increase  in  severity  and frequency  of  coastal  storms  is  expected  to  exacerbate  the  problems,  especially  along  the  Atlantic  coast.

Portrane Beach, 2021 (Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

Historically, vertical seawalls were common but now flat-sloped revetments (sloping structures placed on banks or cliffs in such a way as to absorb the energy of incoming water) using rock or unusual shaped concrete units are used to reduce impact on beaches.

It is interesting to see that “in the US hard structures such as revetments and groynes are no longer allowed in many states because of potential negative impacts on the beach and coastal protection is provided by nourishing the beach with sand brought in from external sources. This is called beach nourishment and is now the most common method of coastal protection worldwide but is rarely used in Ireland and it needs to be repeated every three to five years to replenish lost sand. This recurring cost does not fit well with how Irish projects are funded.”

Portrane Beach, 2021 (Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

It can be seen that engineers are under serious pressure to come up with new ideas to deal with coastal erosion and, maybe over time and with more experience and newer technology, they will be able to limit erosion with more success. However, we know the seas are rising and despite efforts to hold back the waters, it seems that what is really needed is global action now before large swathes of the planet become uninhabitable.

The post Shrinking Ireland: Global Warning in Local Communities first appeared on Dissident Voice.