Interviews: Bartlett and Ehrlich

Below are two interviews worth a listen. The first is with Al Bartlett. The second features Paul Ehrlich. Each is, of course, a leading thinker and writer on a variety of topics in sustainability. (Both, by the way, will appear in Dave Gardner’s film, Hooked On Growth.) You can find other interviews with each, but these are fairly recent as well as engaging. They range across topic including population, economic sustainability, politics, and energy. The Bartlett interview is 72 minutes long while Ehrlich’s is just 19 minutes:

Al Bartlett interview

Paul Ehrlich interview


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Advertisements

37 responses to “Interviews: Bartlett and Ehrlich

  1. Please understand that I am concerned my generation of elders could be “selling a bill of goods” to our young people today; but we have no intention of fulfilling our promises and will fail to deliver the goods. In part, these unfortunate circumstances result from my generation’s unbridled over-consumption of Earth’s finite capacity to sustain life as well as from our reckless and unrestrained dissipation of limited natural resources bound up in the huge scale and growth rate of economic globalization.

    My not-so-great generation appears to be mortgaging and threatening the future of its children by remaining religiously focused upon the endless accumulation of material wealth, the unchecked increase in per capita consumption of scarce resources, and the continuous consolidation of political power. Despite all our high-minded rhetoric to the contrary, we need not look far to see that money, power and privilege for ourselves, for our bought-and-paid-for politicians, and for our newly-made rich minions in the mass media are the primary objects of our desire. Regardless of the human-induced calamities that might befall our children and coming generations, the leadership in my generation advises all of us to live long, and live large, in a patently unsustainable world of idle comforts, effortless ease, conspicuous consumption, secret handshakes, exclusive clubs, exotic hideaways and thousands of private jets, having abandoned our regard for the less fortunate among us, for the maintenance of life as we know it, and for the preservation of the integrity of Earth. Please, now, recognize the single-minded pursuit of dollars, political power and privileges to profligately consume, and to magnificently ignore the practical requirements of biophysical reality, as our raison d’etre, come what may for the children.

    When my not-so-great generation completes its unsavory ‘mission’ on Earth, I fear young people will look back in anger and utter disbelief at the things we have done and failed to do…..all things we proclaim loudly now as evidence of our many virtues.

    Yes, of course, there is an ecological debt. Please, let us get real for moment and understand what my generation does not want its children to know: your elders are determined to let the ecological debt and looming threats to human and environmental health, for which we are responsible, fall into your lap, come what may.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001

  2. Steve: “Please understand that I am concerned my generation of elders could be “selling a bill of goods” to our young people today; but we have no intention of fulfilling our promises and will fail to deliver the goods.”

    – —

    SPOT ON! – — 😀

  3. Ehrlich lost me when he compared global warming skeptics with those in the 911 truth movement. This is a major disservice that Alex Jones and others have done for 911 truth. Guilt by association has men such as Ehrlich snowed, unless he’s a ringer. I would suggest anyone questioning the official fairy tale for the first time visit ae911truth.org. It’s members are non-partisan Architects and Engineers, not blaming anyone, but pointing out the impossibility of WTC’s 1,2&7 collapsing in the manner that they did gravitationally. Ehrlich should do his homework.

  4. John, the stars must be aligned. I listened to both of those interviews about a week ago and was thinking about writing a post. All I can do is echo your encouragement for others to give them a listen. It’s quite interesting to me to hear these guys speak after reading their words, makes what they have to say even more immediate and enlivening.

  5. RJ,

    I haven’t investigated the 911 Truth stuff. I’m kept pretty busy by the ecological crisis. Even if Ehrlich was wrong about that, I would just take his message for what it is. He’s making a case for why climate change “skeptics” are off base and pushing a far fetched argument when they call the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming a “hoax.” If the same argument doesn’t actually apply to the 911 issue, well, his point about climate is still persuasive.

    He could research the 911 topic, but as I can’t find time for it myself, due to the overwhelming amount of information I have to try to synthesize in the area of ecology/sustainability, I can understand him not doing so (if indeed he hasn’t). And if he’s wrong about it, so he erred in referring to it the way he did. It doesn’t invalidate his message, I don’t think. I can understand, though, how you might feel otherwise if you’re really into the 911 material.

  6. Steve,

    An important message, and well said. Any thoughts, though, on the topic at hand – Bartlett and Ehrlich? 🙂

  7. Trinifar,

    I think it’s probably helpful for people skeptical of their messages to hear these guys, not just to read something by them. Hearing them, one realizes they’re remarkably bright, articulate people. One gets a sense their ideas deserve open minded consideration, even if one was able to rationalize disregarding them upon mere reading. At least I have a hunch that’s the case.

  8. Dear John,

    If there was something really meaningful that I could add to the what Dr. Al Bartlett and Dr. Paul Ehrlich are saying, please be assured that I would do so.

    Of all the scientists I can think of, these two are giants who have produced some of the most significant work from the past few decades regarding the science of absolute global human population numbers.

    At some point in time, hopefully sooner rather than later, I would like to get a professional response from either Al or Paul to one simple question, one I have asked of them and others over the years since 2001.

    Will you please comment openly about the apparently unexpected scientific evidence that has been developed so carefully and skillfully by Dr. Russell P. Hopfenberg and Dr. David I. Pimentel on the dynamics of human population numbers?

    I would also like to humbly and tentatively request comments from John Holdren, Donald Kennedy, Bruce Alberts, Tony McMichael, Caroline Ash, Peter Gleick, Peter Raven, Peter Saundry, David Dickson, Richard Heinberg, Richard C. Duncan, Peter Salonius, John Rowley, Joseph Baker, Mickey Glantz, Eric Chivian, E.O. Wilson, M.H.King, Thoraya Obaid, Walt Reid, Stan Bernstein, Bob Watson, Bill Rees, Carl Pope, Jennifer Ferenstein, Lester Brown, Chris Flavin, Anne Ehrlich, Gretchen Daily, Jan Juffermans, Stan Becker, Joel Cohen, Jesse Ausubel, Susan Adamo, Nafis Sadik, Audrey Chapman, Amory Lovins, Paul Hawken, Pedro Sotolongo, Fred Magdoff, Danielle Nierenberg, Stuart Pimm, Richard Cincotta, Larry Smith, Werner Fornos, Neville Ash, Alex de Sherbinin, Cynthia Lloyd, Hal Mooney, Ken Arrow, Habiba Gitay, Jack Caldwell, Humam Ghgassib, Jeff Sachs, Honia Zlotnik, John Cleland, David Blockstein, Eric Chaisson, Richard Dawkins, Bob Engleman, Amy Cohen, Ellen Carnevale, Jonathan Lash, Steve Pinker, Peter Seligmann, Jeffrey McNeely, David Wasdell, Richard Grossman, Glen Barry, Keith Wilde, Richard Bilsborrow, Judea Pearl, Marc Hixson, Eric Pianka, Phil Henshaw, Stanley Salthe, Rajendra Pachauri, Roberto Peccei, Ernest von Weizsaecker, Jamal Saghir, Judith Bruce, Jane Lubchenco, Mary Kritz, John Delaney, Vivian Ponniah, Aubrey Meyer, Jack Alpert, Norman Myers, Richard Pelto, Tony Cassils, Brian Craig, Jane Menken, Jean Krasno, Joseph Romm, Virginia Abernethy, Osman Nour, Reiel Folven, Elliott Maynard, Hazel Henderson, David Suzuki, Dave Alberswerth, Molly Sheehan, Bob Citron, Walter Kistler, Patrick Burns, Charles Fowler, Timothy Wirth, Wolfgang Sachs, Vandana Shiva, David Seaborg, Ralf Fuecks, Tim Johnson, Lucy Fish, Kristian Teleki, Richard Benedick, Mark Collins, Steve Sawyer, Hilary French, Marc Safley, Sergey Kapitza, Raoul Weiler, Paul Demeny, John Bongaarts, John Guillebaud, Bill Ryan, Stephen Mills, Jeffrey Barber, Carl Lundin, John Mukoza, Henk Simons, Jean Thie, Hamdallah Zedan, Mikhail Kokine, Jerry Glenn, Barney Cohen, Ted Gordon, David Policansky, Hunter Lovins, Scott Walker, Susan Oliver, Bruce Halweil, Leah Probst, Stefan Schwarzer, Richard Leete, Keith Suter, Lars Bromley, Michael Dorsey, Roseann Runte, Mark Malloch Brown, Shashi Tharoor, Gary Gardner, Peter Vitousek, Keith Robinson, Ashbindu Singh, David Tillman, Alan Thornhill, Jane Goodall and Prince El Hassan bin Talal.

    With warm regards for a happy and healthy 2008,

    Steve

  9. http://www.behindthename.com/random/

    – — 😀

    Steve,

    So maybe your first comment here didn’t quite meet up with the topic, but hey: this happens all the time, doesn’t it? I still want to tell you that I agree with everything you’re saying up there, in the first of all comments to this blog post. As a matter of fact, you consistently prove to have a way of saying things rather bluntly and straight out, where most people hold their breath just a little, before they tune their language to meet up with the rhythm of mass media commentators or columnists in general.

    It needs to be said, though (oh well, I’ve said so many times before): the leading classes of this world consist of a relatively small minority of people who are in the habit of living large, “in a patently unsustainable world of idle comforts, effortless ease, conspicuous consumption, secret handshakes, exclusive clubs, exotic hideaways and thousands of private jets,” and do not intend to provide treatment to this planet, even though they can agree with the IPCC scientists’ diagnosis of a planet which is ill and has a fever.

    The Climate Change Conference in Bali spelled it out for me, once and for all. Whatever may be in the best interest of the planet is of a secondary or even third interest as compared to the national economy of each and every country present at the talks, plus, of course, the monetary needs of multinational business corporations.

    Now, all that I’ve just said may prove to be good and well, but this doesn’t mean that established household names of the university sphere of our modern and sanitized societies are going to jump up and down, shouting: “Goodness me! Isn’t this really something that needs be looked into by a host of scholarly experts?!” Oh, not at all. We do not bite the hands that feed, — now do we?

    You see: I think I can agree with Ashit Shanker Saxena’s remark in the “Humanity is the greatest challenge” thread. Comparing the civilization of ours with the ancient Egyptian and ancient Greek civilizations (plus the European Aristocracy at the eve of the Renaissance), he said:

    “Of course, the current system is probably the most planet-wide of all systems of the recently-recorded history of a few thousand years. Consequently, its depredations are so very insidious and, also, quite impossible to turn back. It has to run its course.”

    Just think about it: The Age of Globalization was kick started in the years around 1989 – 1992. It’s not a very long time ago. I mean: countries and societies around the world are still adjusting to the system of globalized capitalism. And then: on with the communication revolution which has its base in personal computers and connection to the internet — the process is just about to kick off in the developing world.

    And here we are, some morons, asking peoples of all nationalities and races to make a long range of lifestyle adjustments, as it seems as if the planet’s atmosphere is cooking. —

    Am I naïve? Just a little?

  10. John,

    I don’t know exactly what went into me just now. Be so kind as to delete the second paragraph of the comment above. — Please. 🙂

  11. Dear Magne,

    Your perspective delights me; but then your writings have seemed to me singular and remarkable since the first time I ever saw your contributions to the GIM blog, the most vital conversation on the surface of Earth in these days, at least in the light of my very limited perspective and humble experience.

    Not only do I agree that “the planet’s atmosphere cooking” due to human-induced global warming; but, as you also put it so neatly, a global “communication revolution” is appearing, one that appears to me to be heating up. Who knows, perhaps these signs of “fire down below” are precursors to necessary change in the offing.

    It does please me to report that other blogs are beginning to “heat up” by expressing a willingness to acknowledge the global issues we have been discussing here every day for many months.

    Magne, something completely unexpected has occurred. Recently I posted a comment on a random thread. Admittedly, I had no idea what responses, if any, I would get. The responses I have gotten appear to present me with a rare opportunity, the likes of which I have rarely seen in the years since 2001. When such uncommon opportunities have occurred in the past, I invariably felt at a loss somehow because I could not decide how to respond so as to encourage a dialogue. That same self-doubt plagues me this time, too. Anyway, I am going to post the link to this “Ecological Economics” thread,

    http://www.env-econ.net/2007/12/im-in-kentucky.html ,

    and also invite you and our friends at GIM to take a look.

    Sincerely,

    Steve

  12. Magne said to Steve,

    So maybe your first comment here didn’t quite meet up with the topic

    Yes, that was really where I was trying to provide a gentle nudge. It makes for more cohesiveness (or something 😕 ) if the comments under a post at least start with something more or less addressing the topic at hand. Naturally, they’ll often go off on all sorts of tangents after that, but… 🙂

  13. Steve,

    Regarding the comment you left on the Environmental Economics blog: Just be aware that “environmental economics” is generally just mainstream economics with a few tweaks to account for environmental concerns. “Ecological economics,” on the other hand, is the truly transformed approach to economics, incorporating ideas such as the fundamental recognition that the global economy is a part of and completely dependent on the biosphere. That’s the branch of economics for which I have hope. (See this article, for more.)

    I tend to doubt you’ll get the kind of response you’re looking for at that blog if only because the whole environmental econ approach seems to be based on acceptance of an existing model.

  14. Steve,

    Don’t be annoyed, okay? Let me just tell you that I’m not a fan of Hopfenberg and Pimentel’s. The best thing I can ever say about their research, is that it is highly experimental; a quality which is, in many circumstances, commendable. I find it difficult to agree with their working hypothesis, and when it comes to their recommendations to humanity — that of reducing food production in order to reducing the number of human beings alive on this planet — well, what can I say? This is one of the instances where science and absurdity go hand in hand. I’m sorry: I cannot relate to any of this.

  15. Magne Karlsen

    Steve,

    Hopfenberg and Pimentel’s food production/population size connection may even ring true in a matter-of-factual kind of way, but it would still be impossible for me to defend a population policy based on a reduction of food availability.

    To me, it would be almost like being in favour of war, simply for the reason that whenever peace is coming to a country that has been at war for a while, what comes next is almost always a period of happiness and relief, which inevitably leads to baby boom.

    If you can understand what I mean? Even though the population explosion informs great many of my other concerns, I cannot — just because one social-psychological side effect of war is that it leads to a slow-down of child births — I cannot be in favour of perpetual war.

  16. Dear Magne,

    I understand you but you and I are seeing things differently now. War is not an answer. Never has been, never will be.

    Hopfenberg and Pimentel give us empirical evidence of a non-recursive biological problem that is independent of ethical, social, legal, religious, and cultural considerations. This means human population dynamics are essentially like the population dynamics of other species. It also means that world human population growth is a rapidly cycling positive feedback loop, a relationship between food and population in which food availability drives population growth, and population growth fuels the (mistaken) impression that food production needs to be increased. Their evidence indicates that as we increase food production every year, the number of people goes up, too. This evidence also makes it abundantly clear that humanity does not have a food production problem; our abundant harvests will meet the needs of the human community. Of course, Gandhi was correct in observing that there is plenty of food to meet the needs of people everywhere; however, that cannot occur if, and only if, many brothers and sisters in the human community choose to be insatiable, rapacious and greedy. Can there be reasonable doubt that humanity has a food distribution problem?

    With every passing year, as food production is increased, leading to a population increase, millions go hungry. Why are those hungry millions not getting fed year after year after year… and future generations of poor people may not ever be fed? Every year the human population grows. All segments of it grow. Every year there are more people growing up well fed and more people growing up hungry. The hungry segment of the global population goes up just like all the other segments of the population. We are not bringing hunger to an end by increasing food production; we are giving rise to millions more hungry people as we begin 2008, just as we have done in the recent past. While millions of people become obese, billions of people worldwide are going hungry. Humanity is confronted with a food distribution problem not a food production problem.

    The way the global economy has been organized has produced spectacular successes. No doubt about it. Likely you and certainly I are beneficiaries of that astounding expansion of production and distribution capabilities worldwide. Surely, we can share an understanding of a desire on the part of global warming denialists, however misguided, to present ideological factoids of any and every kind to deny good scientfic evidence showing us that we cannot keep doing what we doing now by overpopulating Earth, by conspicuously overconsuming limited resources, and by endlessly “growing” big-business activities and polluting the relatively small, evidently finite, noticeably frangible planet God blesses us to inhabit……..and not to overrun, I suppose.

    If we keep doing what we are doing now, how on Earth can a good enough future for our children be assured? We will consume the lion’s share of Earth’s resources and, in the process, will dissipate those resources much faster than the resources can be restored by the Earth for the benefit of our children. The way things are going now, I think we can confidently say that we will leave our children with a stupendous economic mortgage to repay as well as an incalculable ecologic debt, most of which cannot be reclaimed.

    Magne, let us look at our predicament another way. If per human overconsumption of scarce resources, unbridled economic globalization, and the skyrocketing increase of absolute global human population numbers could be occurring synergistically in our time, and could have something to do with the distinctly human predicament which looms ominously before humanity, does it not make good and common sense to consider, at least for a moment, what might to done to set limits on increases only in these dangerously overgrown human consumption, production and propagation activities now rampantly overspreading the surface of our planetary home?

    Sincerely,

    Steve

  17. Magne Karlsen

    Steve: “I understand you but you and I are seeing things differently now. War is not an answer. Never has been, never will be.”

    You can’t seriously believe that I’m in favour of war? All I am saying is that, during times of war, the birth rate goes down, which is true. I could equally say that during times of war, death rates go up, and quite naturally so, — but I would still be in favour of peaceful (ie. “rational”) solutions to the untimely problems the human species is faced with, especially in terms of the ecology of this planet — a crisis point which can only (and I mean: ONLY) be understood as a call for people of all nationalities and races to finally join forces, and meet up with common problems in unison.

    However! — As far as I’m concerned, in terms of politics the year is “1984”, and the situation, as a whole, can easily be regarded as kafkaesque. The human well of compassion is running dry, which means the only sort of peace that is available to us may be one that is secured at gun-point. And I beg of you to appreciate the idea that the social and cultural elites of this all so westernized world (people who almost always stays away from the view of TV cameras, but remain everpresent in the background somewhere, pulling the strings of international politics and shutting up about it) of ours may even decide to take the problematic sides of population explosion seriously; and that in a manner which is less than humane.

    – —

    Steve: “Can there be reasonable doubt that humanity has a food distribution problem?”

    No. Modern humanity just don’t distribute food, it buys and sells it. Food is produced at such and such prize, it is sold to depots at a profit, then it is sold on to shops and supermarkets at a profit, of course; not to forget about the transportation costs and profits. At the end of the day, ordinary people — consumers — go to the supermarket and buy the food at an unpredictable price.

    Now, … this is not to assume that human beings have ever been in the habit of sharing food. You — as an individual person or Neanderthal family — have always had to work for it, earn access to it, deserve it.

    The normal and humane practice of rational food distribution between the continents is a lightyear away. Organized food distribution in such a way that noone is left starving, has never been tried. Market mechanisms and capitalist logics team together in turing the throwing away of surplus food a rational and good choice. You just don’t give away anything (except, perhaps, a t-shirt with your company’s logo stamped on it) to make a profit.

    – —

    Steve: “… to set limits on increases only in these dangerously overgrown human consumption, production and propagation activities now rampantly overspreading the surface of our planetary home?”

    I’d wish for people to understand that you do not neccessarily need to pursue a typical American middleclass lifestyle in order to be a successful human being. But then again: how can I assume that such a thing is going to happen? Not so long as the average American middleclass family can allow itself to push on for an upperclass lifestyle to become their way of life.

    It is mission impossible, my friend. It is true to say that the United States of America is holding the keys to our common future. The U.S.A. has for a very long time been the trend-setter for the rest of the world to follow. And I’m afraid that is going to continue to be the case. The American (and indeed also the European, the Australian, and the Japanese) Ecological Footprint may well remain oversized; the result of which will be that the Korean, Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Brazilian Ecological Footprint is going to keep growing. I’m afraid that’s just the way it is.

    A Law of Human Nature.

    Western countries (and peoples) must lead the way. And if we can’t do that … ?!

    Okay.

  18. Magne Karlsen

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_relativism

    “Although Herder focused on the positive value of cultural variety, the sociologist William Graham Sumner called attention to the fact that one’s culture can limit one’s perceptions. He called this principle ethnocentrism, the viewpoint that “one’s own group is the center of everything,” against which all other groups are judged.”

    – —

    Cultural relativism, I believe, is a key concept of which everyone who wants to affect change on this planet needs to have at least a general idea of what actually entails.

    I think we can all agree that in order to make way for real lifestyle changes, it is important that we think globally while acting locally — as that good, old phrase goes. But a reason to believe that the populations of the developing world are going to simply sit themselves down and accept the status quo of our times, just doesn’t exist. Of course I’m thinking about the enormous gap between the rich and the poor of this world: rich and poor countries as well as rich and poor neighbourhoods. — The difference between haves and have-nots on a global as well as a more local local level, is astounding. And the bitter fact is: everybody knows this.

    Now, in terms of what might happen as different political regimes and different social, cultural, and economic systems start to realize that humanity — locally as well as globally — is at serious risk of delivering the ecosystems of this planet a hard blow to the central environmental nerve system, so to speak (and again: locally as well as globally) … I only know that whatever is going to happen, is going to do so primarily on a local level …

    This is where the cultural relativity, as a concept, comes in. It will be noteworthy in terms of which social policies are going to be adopted in reaction or relation to whatever might come as a natural response of individuals, social groups, and even entire populations.

    This is where I know that my “1984” thesis can easily be understood, even by philanthropists of the western world who very often do not want to know about any measurement of evil in their own democratic and free societies, but are more than ready to accept the notion that the political culture can — in plenty of geographic locations — be extremely hard core.

  19. Dear Magne,

    In light of your incisive remarks just above, especially as they relate to “cultural relativism,” “political regimes” and a “central environmental nervous system,” please examine and, if it pleases you to do so, comment on what follows. Thanks. Of course, comments are welcome from everyone.

    Please know that I would like to be mistaken in suggesting that humanity may not have 20 to 25 years to figure things out and to begin to move with all deliberate speed from soon to be seen as patently unsustainable ways of living in this world to alternate lifestyles that put the human community on a road toward sustainability.

    At least to me, time is of the essence; it is in short supply; and there is no time whatever to waste. I expect that people here in this small community are going to play a large part in developing strategies and implementing able responses to the global challenges posed to humanity by human over-consumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities, inasmuch as these activities appear to be approaching a leviathan-like scale of unsustainability on a planet of the size and with the make-up of Earth.

    Young people ask every day, “What needs to be done now?”

    At least one of the correct responses to the children’s good question is so astonishingly simple, so incredibly obvious and yet so difficult to so much as even acknowledge because too many wealthy people, their bought-and-paid-for politicians and their talking heads in the mass media willfully ignore it. For all of the super-rich and their minions, silence is golden.

    All of the trillions of dollars of wealth, that are concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority of people within the family of humanity, have been derived from taking something of value from the Earth and doing something productive with it. For a long time, taking from the Earth in this way did not pose a clear and present danger to biodiversity, the environment, the integrity of Earth and, perhaps, humanity. For a moment, consider that the trillions of dollars comprising the global economy is wealth which has been “transferred” from Earth’s body into the bank accounts of people we call “haves.” Millions of “haves” hold almost all of the money. The problem, however, is that billions of less fortunate “have-nots” in the the human community are hungry and destitute. Even though the “have-nots” have ecological footprints, we know the impact of the “have-nots” on the Earth is a small one. On the other hand, the millions of “haves” who possess the lion’s share of world’s wealth have huge ecological footprints because they have extracted a great deal from the Earth and also have conspicuously consumed Earth’s resources to the point of appearing obscene in our time.

    The task at hand is evident. The “haves” who have almost all of the world’s wealth, almost all of which has been accumulated at the expense of the Earth, need to return to the Earth a portion of that which they have commandeered from it. The wealthy and powerful among us are asked to help humanity transition from a perverse dedication to the endless accumulation of wealth and power that is effectively dissipating Earth’s resources, degrading Earth’s frangible ecosystems and recklessly consuming Earth’s body, to a more fair and equitable sharing of wealth with the “have-nots” as well as to a willing commitment to protect of Earth’s biodiversity, promote renewal of Earth’s resources, and do whatsoever is required of us to save the Earth as a fit place for human habitation by our children and coming generations.

    As has been noted in the Stern Report, the IPCC Report, and in many other reports, those who hold almost all the wealth are called upon to make effective reparations to a ravaged Earth from which almost all that they possess has been derived.

    Sincerely,

    Steve

  20. Magne Karlsen

    But “those who hold almost all the wealth” are, from all manners of perspective, in complete and unrestricted control of the political systems of this world. It doesn’t matter where you want to take a look; this is the logic of every single nation state system of this world, as has always been the case. Political systems cater for the interests of very wealthy people, extremely wealthy business corporations, private, national and multinational industry giants, private and public institutions of banking services and financial enterprises. Now, the sorry fact is: the depressing news that we are all receiving (so long as we want to keep our eyes and ears open, and not act like some idiots, some ignorant half-wits, deaf, dumb and blind morons and common fools), as concerns global warming, climate change and a long — very long — range of other issues, are from the point of view of most of these ultra-wealthy corporations, institutions, organisations and indeed people, intolerable. It’s like THEY DO NOT WANT TO BE BOTHERED with any aspects of dilemmas or concerns that do not fit in neatly with their business goals or plans for the next quarter-of-a-year. Business-as-usual is all that political-economic movers and shakers really want. And the same goes for all the people who are ordinary employees. A status quo, in all general terms, is what ordinary people seems to be after. It’s funny, really, but the fact is: what’s in the best interest of the really big employers of this world, is also in the best interest of ordinary everyday people: blue-collar or white-collar; it’s the same thing. An economy which is booming is good news to everyone. So: at the end of the day, you’re probably going to see that the “thing” that is going to be protected and safeguarded for the future, is, as a matter fact, not the environment but the system that works to destroy it. Anyway: as far as I know, this has been the trend for many years already.

    Steve, you asked me to “please examine and, if it pleases you to do so, comment” — and the fact is, no! It doesn’t please me. I mean: the politics and economics of environmental degradation isn’t all that funny anymore; like it used to be, some very few years ago. I was genuinely mad at the time, and absolutely convinced that the stupidity of preserving a system based on the selling price of fossil-fuels, simply had to be soon understood as total madness. I was wrong. It’s not madness, it’s the way it is. CO2 emissions or not; it’s simply the way it is.

  21. Magne Karlsen

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Corporation

    Back in 2003 a group of Canadian filmmakers was in the business of making fun of the most important and most relevant political-economic building-block of our time and age. I watched it with aw! And thought that this production could come to make a difference. Well, it didn’t.

  22. Magne Karlsen

    Hmmmm. Come to think about it. A Norwegian author — one of our finest by any standard; both in terms of artistic style, personal sentiment and shear book-sales — Dag Solstad — once said, in an essay, I think, or some interview, that he ceased to understand “the meaning of it all” in 1992, and that he had come to realize that “revolutionizing the television-society would be very difficult, if not impossible.” Ever since I heard the guy make this very simple but unsubstantiated statement, I’ve (secretly) been thinking the same thing. — I believe this statement of Solstad’s needs thinking over. Not least because everybody knows every aspect of the television culture, but seldom think it through.

  23. I have spent several hundred hours wading through information about what happened on 9/11/2001 …

    What I looked at, and my thoughts about that, are under the “9/11” thread on my forum at

    http://www.marijuanaparty.ca/forum.html

    I agree with RJ above regarding:

    “the impossibility of WTC’s 1,2 & 7 collapsing in the manner that they did gravitationally”

    The official story is the most ridiculous of all the conspiracy theories.

    Paul Ehrlick probably, like John Feeney, simply has not had the time to investigate … there is no doubt there is a lot of disinformation, and it takes a lot of effort to wade through it.

    In the end, I think it requires a paradigm shift to be willing to consider that our governments are the best organized gangs of criminals.

    Most people do not want to go through that shift.

    I refer to the resulting situation as becoming

    Plans, A, B, and C.

    Plan A is what happens when one believes that the government is the good guys, and that with more evidence and logic, truth and justice will prevail.

    Plan B is what results
    when one faces the facts that the world is controlled by lies and coercion, and that governments are the best at doing that.

    Plan C is the attempt to accomplish the goals of plan A, after allowing for the reality of Plan B.

    I think that 9/11 was clearly a triumph for plan B. I think that anyone who wants to solve the world’s problems without facing the facts about plan B is a reactionary revolutionary.

    Plan B is already controlling the real world.

    Plan B built the debt engines of fractional reserve banking.

    Plan B is run by fascist warmongers who are adapted to benefit from wars.

    In the real world, those who are best at being dishonest and violent ended up prevailing. They run the real plan B, and they have already built a global system of organized robbery and fraud.

    In the old days, one could simply accept that fact, and attempt to become better at dishonesty and violence, in order to fit into that reality, and benefit from it.

    However, with the progress of post-modernizing science making weapons become billions and trillions of times more powerful, plan B has become totally insane.

    However, in the short-term, any attempt to really change anything has to face these social facts that plan B is now almost totally triumphant.

    Plan C is the hope for a creative synthesis of solutions that works after accepting the reality of Plan B, along with the desire for the goals of Plan A.

    Pure Plan A is bullshit.

    Pure Plan B is evil.

    Plan B benefits from Plan A being based on impossible ideals.

    Realistic ideals should face the social facts about the real plan B.

    Since plan B based on huge lies, backed up with coercion, but the coercion can not make those lies become true, plan B automatically gets farther and farther away from reality, and plan B’s greatest danger to itself is failure from too much success.

    Our world is spinning out of control because we are controlled by huge lies, that only work to the degree that they can be backed up with violence.

    The lies are getting bigger, and the ability to use violence to back those lies up has gone into astronomical magnitudes of omnicidal insanity.

    We have never been here before, and we do not know where we are going …

    There is a profoundly different attitude towards population control that comes from plan C.

    Paul Ehrlick has become a goofy promoter of plan A.

    Plan A is silly because it ignores the depth of the real plan B.

    Paul Ehrlick’s plan A goals become radically different in how they could be achieved according to any realization in a plan C.

    Plan C faces the fact that the world is already directed by real rates of robbery (with death control the most extreme form of that robbery).

    Plan C is an attempt to move towards the goals of plan A after facing the facts that plan B is how the real world is running, and facing the real reasons why that is so.

    The laws of nature are at work when human nature goes down the path of least resistance.

    Organizing resistance to change the path of least resistance ought to recognize the reality of plan B, and respect why plan B is actually controlling the real world.

    Most of the people who talk about ecological and environmental problems stay in the realm of various versions of the ideal plan A. Thus, they end up being reactionary revolutionaries promoting impossible ideals that can never work.

    Instead, such impossible ideals actually make the opposite happen in the real world.

    The real world was designed and built by plan B. Real world systems were made and maintained by lies and coercion serving organized systems of robbery and fraud.

    Since that is what exists, that is what we have to try to evolve in order to continue existing.

    The real world will be an evolution of plan B, and our real goals should be to find realistic ways to blend more of plan A into a creative synthesis with plan B, to become a better plan C.

    Plan A is the thesis that evidence and logic, or truth and justice, should matter.

    Plan B is the antithesis that lies and coercion, or dishonesty and violence, actually control the resolution of conflicts.

    Plan C is the creative synthesis that endeavours to incorporate more of the goals of plan A through the mechanisms of plan B.

    Paul Ehrlick spoke about tending more now in his research to work on cultural evolution.

    However, I heard nothing to indicate that he has gone through the necessary paradigm shifts to do that kind of thinking about cultural evolution.

    Somebody who believes the official story about 9/11 is too naive to be able to understand our culture.

    I think Paul Ehrlick is on a dead-end path regarding his understanding of population control.

    His language is too much based on the bullies’ bullshit world view.

    There are two things which I think are interconnected and equally important:

    one is the destruction of the natural world,

    while the second is social polarization.

    One of the important dimensions of social polarization manifests itself in the ways that people are able and willing to face the facts that their governments are huge liars, and that those lies are triumphant because those lies were systematically backed up with violence for many generations.

    Some people believe the huge lies that their government has been telling them.

    Some people begin to disbelieve these huge lies.

    Of the people who begin to disbelieve the government, some retreat and regroup at another level of huge lies.

    I call those who believe in the huge lies that they were brainwashed to believe the “mainstream.”

    I call those who disbelieve the huge lies, but retreat and regroup at another level of huge lies, the “reactionary revolutionaries.”

    I say scientific revolution is to face the facts that society is already being controlled by lies and coercions, and that we need new systems of lies and coercions,
    to accomplish the necessary social and environmental purposes in more effective and efficient ways that have better chances of longer term survival.

    I say that scientific revolution accepts the fundamental social facts that governments are, and must necessarily be, the best organized gangs of criminals, and works with those expressions of natural laws to evolve new systems of organized robbery and fraud that could survive for a longer time.

    Plan C requires radically different language than Plan A, because Plan C faces the facts that Plan B is what is real.

    Scientific revolution is paradigm shifting, and the frame of reference may thus be turned upside-down, inside-out, and backwards.

    Going through the paradigm shift to perceive that “growth is madness” leads one to say that, generally, we should be doing the opposite of everything we are now doing.

    That includes the way that we think about our culture and how it may evolve.

  24. Steven,

    Your opening comment — brilliant and eminently quotable! It states what is obvious and indeed, an article of faith to many of us who discuss here at GIM… but that doesn’t take away from it at all. It is nonetheless brilliant… so much so that I’m gonna copy-paste this and quote it at my two Rotary talks next week.

    Of course I’m also gonna look for selections from others in our circle, like John and Trinifar… but please accept a rather gratuitous compliment from me this morning.

    Warmly,
    Krish

  25. Magne Karlsen

    Plan A is what happens when one believes that the government is the good guys, and that with more evidence and logic, truth and justice will prevail.

    Plan B is what results when one faces the facts that the world is controlled by lies and coercion, and that governments are the best at doing that.

    Plan C is the attempt to accomplish the goals of plan A, after allowing for the reality of Plan B.

    Most of the people who talk about ecological and environmental problems stay in the realm of various versions of the ideal plan A. Thus, they end up being reactionary revolutionaries promoting impossible ideals that can never work.

    – —

    Blair,

    I hear you, and I believe you’re on to something here. I can only answer for myself, be honest and admit that I’m naïve. I know, very well, that the world systems of politics, economy, and social or cultural control are all based on “lies and coercion, and that governments are the best at doing that.” I know this, I understand this, and in my opinion it is making it impossible to believe in a successful transition from a situation where the natural world is being systematically and methodically destroyed to another situation; one in which “the meaning of life” would be to prevent any further environmental distruction from happening.

    As I see it, a “Plan A” political culture is needed in order to achieve any large-scale changes in the direction of preserving the natural world, and not only treat it like a pool of natural resources put in place in order to be exploited. A “Plan A” political culture is needed in order to make way for a higher level of equity and trust, on a local as well as a regional, continental and global level. As I have come to understand it, a higher level of equity and trust within the global population — as well as more local populations — is probably the first and most important prerequisite for success. Because we need to “be in this together.” A sense of togetherness can only be established by and within a political culture in which “truth and justice will prevail.” As it is, right now, we’re not all seated in the same proverbial boat; we’re seated in each our boats, jeering and spitting all sorts of insults at each other, and if this situation that can’t be corrected, all hopes for a greening future will be purely academic.

    So here I sit. Stupidly hoping that the political culture of our time and age will “grow up”, “face the facts” and start to “deal with” a long range of manmade natural disasters, not as inconvenient truths but as challenges to the human race which can and must be solved. — And that we’re dealing with something much larger than a more energy-effective lightbulb.

    Individual persons and families can only do so much. Change lighbulbs, save some electricity, send some of their thrash for recycling, make use of their bicycle more often than they normally would, travel collectively and slow down on general consumption.

    As soon as you reach village, neighbourhood and town levels, there’s not much anyone can do. We are all proving totally unable to voluntarily act in concert. Economic man, with all of his social structures and cultural constructs keep getting in the way. That is why government help, guidance and assistence is required.

    So here I am. Nothing other than “a reactionary revolutionary promoting impossible ideals that can never work.” I’m sorry.

  26. Magne, your posts demonstrate you care and have taken the time to learn more than most other people about the big picture problems.

    I certainly started as a person in favour of what I can “plan A.” (By which mean a world in which evidence and logic, truth and justice, were priorities.)

    However, along the way, I stumbled into and was forced to face the facts that the evidence and logical arguments tend to prove that all the big established institutions were made and maintained by the triumph of huge lies.

    I find that this makes political problems become extremely paradoxical.

    For instance, there is the paradox of enforcement. In order to enforce any rule of law, the enforcers have to be capable of being more dishonest and violent than all other groups that the enforcers enforce the law against.

    Most of what I try to do is develop a system of understanding that will allow social science to be more consistent with physics and biology.

    That effort does not change much, except the way I use language.

    The reality continues to be mostly the same, but the attitudes towards it change significantly.

    Magne, from reading your posts, I would surmise that you have already gone a long way towards what I call “plan C.” You are already well aware that governments might not be the “good guys.”

    I say that sovereignty is based on the power to rob, and that we need the power to rob to solve any of our problems, because most of those problems were caused by past uses of the power to rob.

    The three steps I see:

    1. We see that governments are robbers,

    (The private property parties are those who controlled the governments to use the power to rob to benefit themselves.)

    2. We must rob the robbers back to a better balance.

    (The process of robbery is never finished, and the world system is always evolving different ways and rates of real robberies.)

    3. We must recognize that we are robbers too, and thus must rob ourselves.

    (This third point returns to the paradox that everything we know is a relative illusion, created when we subtract everything from a Whole.)

    A book I recommend is Darwin’s Blind Spot by Frank Ryan, where he states:

    “Symbiosis is about predation and parasitism and, even in its mutualistic form, it is about tough bargaining and hard compromising, with each partner’s survival depending on the outcome.”

    The end goals may be mutual cooperation and peace, however the real means to achieve that are through conflict and balancing the rate or robbery and the forces of war.

    Promoting change by exhortations
    based on the transcendental poetry of truth, justice, freedom, or democracy, etc., is like attempting to build something from the roof down, instead of from the foundation up.

    I am not against good ideals, I am against thinking those ideals can be used as the mechanisms of change.

    The world systems have already been built and are running automatically.

    The debt engine fractional reserve banking systems are the worst, since they require endless growth, and force everyone inside of a debt engine treadmill that automatically gets worse and worse, faster and faster, since the whole thing is the triumph of huge lies backed up with coercion.

    These debt controls were made by the death controls that triumphed in the past.

    We are all inside of a fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting system, and everything we do inside that monetary system is axiomatically distorted by that frame of reference.

    The banksters are the biggest gangsters.

    As President Madison said

    “History records that the money changers have used
    every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and
    violent means possible to maintain
    their control over governments
    by controlling the money
    and its issuance.”

    — James Madison (1751-1836)

    To summarize, everything I say is based on the fundamental concepts of subtraction and robbery.

    Everything human beings know is subtracted from a Whole that we can not experience. Everything we know is a relative illusion. Everything we know is some degree of a lie.

    The scientific method is an attempt to be critical of how we know something, and the degree of confidence we have in knowing that.

    The important point is that everything we know is always going to be subtracted by the Whole that we can not know, and thus everything we know is going to be a relative lie. Therefore, all new systems of understanding are going to be new systems of lies.

    The goal is to diminish the dishonesty, but it is itself too dishonest to assert that we will base our understanding on the truth, instead of on some relative lies.

    Similarly, the fundamental force is robbery, and human beings act as robbers in their environment, and civilizations are, and must be, systems of organized robbery.

    What we can do is change the relative rates of real robbery to evolve more sustainable ecologies of robbery. Indeed, that is what the evolution of life has been doing for billions of years.

    Intelligence is the internalization of natural selection. It may take more shocks from natural selection to apply the selection pressures to select for even more intelligent people who will care more about the long-term consequences of their actions.

    I regard social storms as being similar to natural storms. People are already part of nature, and their artificial world will always be.

    We are evolving systems of artificial selection that are being selected for by the forces of natural selection.

    Natural selection permitted those who were best at being dishonest and violent to build systems of organized robbery and fraud.

    The global political economy has already done that. Engaging that reality, to try to change it to become able to adapt and enjoy more long-term survival, has to face the facts that we already have an organized system of robbery, and that the future hopes are for changing the real rates of robbery to become a better balanced ecology of those forces of robbery.

    We need more truth and justice in our monetary systems, so that our accounting will not be so crazy and corrupt.

    Right now, we have a tiny minority who are able to make new money out of nothing but the borrower’s promise to pay, and that system demands that more and more new money be made out of nothing, or else these systems will collapse into chaos.

    The way to understand what the banksters, and the government run by the private property parties, do is to perceive they are similar to organized crime gangs.

    They run debt controls backed up with death controls.

    Any genuine solutions have to face these fundamental social facts.

    We need different death controls, to make it possible to have different debt controls.

    Those are the keystone or lynch pin considerations to any system of alternatives.

    Most people concerned with ecological and environmental problems tend to operate in the lower levels of the systems of alternatives. They look at alternative energy, or alternative agriculture, and so on …

    However, the crucial alternatives are alternative death and debt controls. The central point is that we already have well-established systems of both of those, and changing those systems is vital to being able to change everything else to become more sustainable.

    I advocate scientific revolution which is primarily a paradigm shift to perceive what already exists, and to then talk about it with a different use of language.

    Governments already care more about death and taxes than anything else. Governments already pay more attention to maintaining their systems of death control and debt control, than anything else.

    What happens in paradigm shifts is that the overall reality stays the same, but our way of seeing it changes radically.

    For instance, everything that people describe as “birth control” is actually a form of “death control.”

    That is what is necessary to understand the kind of new age warfare that is needed to fulfil the ancient purposes of warfare, after we have post-modernizing sciences that have built weapons that are billions and trillions of times too power to use for any rational purpose.

    Warfare is already the oldest and best developed of social sciences.

    Social engineering did work to do what it was really designed to do.

    The global fascist plutocracy is astonishingly successful at sucking up the wealth and pumping it to the top of the social pyramid.

    The image I use is that we need to use the established social pyramids as the scaffolding to build a global arch, or social system shaped like a global sphere, on and around.

    I share the goals of Plan A, however, I face the facts about the reality about Plan B. My kind of Plan C is an indication of how we need new systems of lies and coercions to provide a new government.

    I say new lies, because everything we know is necessarily a relative illusion.

    I say new coercions, because everything human beings do is based on real forces, and those real forces are mainly expressed in the form of robberies.

    With new systems of lies and coercions, we can be consistent with the reality of how the existing established systems actually are operated.

    With new systems of lies and coercions, we can work towards the goals of plan A in a realistic way that accepts the reality of plan B.

    More than anything else, we need to change the death controls.

    Any attempt to change our political economy has to change our debt controls. We can not mellow out as long as we are trapped inside the debt engine treadmills.

    We can not make rational decisions as long as our financial accounting systems are already fundamentally fraudulent.

    The debt controls control the direction of economic development. All of the lower level alternatives, such as alternative energy and agriculture, etc., require changing the debt controls.

    However, we can not change the debt controls without changing the death controls, since the established debt controls were built by old death control systems.

    I think it all fits together in a neat package that the most important things are also the things that are the most denied and suppressed.

    Of course, population control is the most important feature of all our our ecological, environmental problems. Of course, population control is really death control, and is as taboo as a social topic can be.

    The paradox is that the most important social truth is surely going to be the most buried under the bullshit of bullies that are doing the controlling.

    Since death control depended upon dishonesty, we are the most dishonest about our death control.

    Reality is not far away from truth.

    However, the dominant social stories are extremely far away from reality, and getting farther.

    Going through a scientific revolution in political science is merely to go through a perceptual paradigm shift.

    The reality continues to be the same as before … we merely can see and talk about it in a radically different way.

    Seeing and talking about our problems in radically different ways makes it possible to eventually resolve those problems in radically different ways.

    The creative synthesis of plan C
    takes the ideals from plan A and makes them more realistically possible, by going through the real means that plan B already uses.

    This thread of posts started with a talk by Paul Ehrlick. Of course, I read his works when I was a yonng man. I had great respect for him back then. However, when I heard him pooh, pooh the idea that the 9/11/2001 events were a false flag operation, that must have been some kind of inside job, then I found myself on the other side of the social polarization around this issue.

    That split is symbolic of the other ways that I now have a radically different view of what the population problem is, and how to deal with it.

    I continue to agree that unlimited population growth is central to the entire madness of exponential growth, which could end in catastrophic collapse.

    Where I differ most is that I regard the possible future genocides as being on a continuum with all of the other superior ways to have better death controls.

    All of the better ways to achieve death control are well-known,
    such a more education for women, and lower infant mortality, etc..

    However, these ideas are being developed inside of the bullies’ bullshit world view, instead of being developed within the reality of the world run by the bullies.

    False fundamental dichotomies set up ideals that are not based on reality, and could never be made real. True unitary mechanisms are based on what already really exists. Changes based on true unitary mechanisms are possible, and can be aimed at the ideal goals which are presented by the false fundamental dichotomies.

    However, it is backwards to start with the roof, and then build the walls down to the floor.

    We do not get to the ideals by building on the ideals. Those ideals are nothing more than transcendental poetry.

    We may approach the ideals by changing reality in realistic ways that are guided by our overall ideals.

    What reactionary revolutionaries do is recognize and condemn the ways that the world is controlled by dishonesty and violence, but then claim they will provide truth and justice instead.

    Over and over again, I see excellent analysis of the political problems followed by bullshit solutions.

    The real solutions are always going to have to be new systems of lies and coercions. The real solutions are going to have to change the real death and debt controls.

  27. Magne Karlsen

    I regard social storms as being similar to natural storms. People are already part of nature, and their artificial world will always be.

    We are evolving systems of artificial selection that are being selected for by the forces of natural selection.

    Natural selection permitted those who were best at being dishonest and violent to build systems of organized robbery and fraud.

    — –

    – Thank you. This is something that I really have to consider. You’ve positively not an idea what kind of extreme social storms I’ve been through already. I’m traumatized to the bone, and do not think I will ever fully recover.

    As it is, I do not even have language skills that is up to the task of describing a social storm. — But you’d better believe that I know exatly what it is you’re referring to.

    Did you ever hear of the term “mass-psychosis”?

    – —

    What reactionary revolutionaries do is recognize and condemn the ways that the world is controlled by dishonesty and violence, but then claim they will provide truth and justice instead.

    – —

    This gives me the opportunity to provide yet another key concept from my scholarly field of social anthropology:

    POSITIONALITY. — In essence, a term that was adopted by feminists in order to account for the gender differences which pervail in societies, and it’s relevance to the concept of knowledge, or the production of knowledge. The general idea is, at the root, very simple (and simplicity is genius): it is the realization that “truth” is a social construct which finds its base in the position of the person who is telling “the truth”; i.e.: the observer or the storyteller.

    The concept of “positionality” was, I think, a late 1970s invention of the social sciences, and was quickly picked up by Marxists and other groups who specialize in class systems theory. The idea that any variety of “truth” is associated with the social standing of the subject or person.

    So “the truth” is always a social construct which is relative to the position of the person of whom you ask to be truthful.

    – —

    💡 “You know what?! We have the right to remain stupid!”

  28. Magne Karlsen

    http://www.lecturelist.org/content/view_lecture/3241

    http://www.haworthpress.com/store/ArticleAbstract.asp?sid=UGR01UPVGELS9L66WEJ09PM8SFJA0DGB&ID=73921

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4397/is_199711/ai_n15307120

    – —

    I just googled the term “death control” — I didn’t have much luck there, I’m afraid. So Blair, if you know of any good internet sources for me to look up, please don’t hesitate. 🙂

    – —

    Blair: “I say that sovereignty is based on the power to rob, and that we need the power to rob to solve any of our problems, because most of those problems were caused by past uses of the power to rob.”

    Would it be possible to simply sell the planet to some illusion buyer, and then, after that, start to redistribute all that is to it?

    I mean: strictly speaking: the World Bank could be allowed to confiscate all the moneys of this world, for no other reason than it had to be done, as a matter of logic. Or we could tell our children and children’s children that a group of seriously concerned space aliens descended on the White House lawn and fairly and squarely robbed us of this planet. Why? Well, because they depended on the fruits of our soil in order to prepare one or two extremely health-bringing cocktails, and they had come to conclude, after watching us for what seems to be “aeons” — and had finally come to conclude that the fruits of this soil had to be safe-guarded for their own pleasure, and that the extremely arrogant human race was no longer up for the task. So therefore, as a matter of common sense — pure and simple — the space aliens made us an offer that mankind just couldn’t refuse. — As a matter of the aliens’ kindness, they decided to let us all live. But that, provided we humans did all that had to be done in order to clean up the environmental mess of a space station the Earth really is: a relatively small but infinitely beautiful and very fruitful planet that was being poisoned, polluted and desperately overgrown by a very large race of utter planet spoilers; a number of which was rising in an exploding kind of way … and what a pity that was! … and so on … so on … on …

    Stupid me. 8)

  29. Magne Karlsen

    Blair: “I say that sovereignty is based on the power to rob, and that we need the power to rob to solve any of our problems, because most of those problems were caused by past uses of the power to rob.”

    Blair: “We need more truth and justice in our monetary systems, so that our accounting will not be so crazy and corrupt.”

    – —

    Well, I gave you an example of “how to tell the lie about a planet that got robbed by a nice race of green-winged space aliens.

    John, … I think that was the point of my previous comment. – 8)

  30. I agree that personality is a mask created by social roles.

    I think there are limits regarding what range of alternative social roles are possible to maintain, however, I agree that within that our concepts of self “depend upon the other.
    __________________

    I agree that it is practically impossible to imagine what social storms feel like when one is actually inside them. Analogies would be like the difference between thinking about giving birth, versus actually giving birth. Or another example would be imagining being in an earthquake, compared to actually being terrified when the ground that we take so for granted being solid is bouncing us up and down.

    Surviving brief social storms can be crucial. In nature, the power of something like a flood goes up by the fourth or fifth power as the river floods more. Social storms can change more things faster than we can imagine.

    As with things like a hurricane, the tropical sun gradually heats the ocean, and eventually, that heat rises, and organizes itself into a storm. The same with a tornado on the land, only more intense and focused.

    I totally agree that while we can try to imagine and attempt to be prepared for social storms, we can not feel what things like that are like unless we are actually in the middle of them.
    ____________________

    As far as the concept of “death control” goes, I have been researching that for several decades, and I have never found anything published anywhere that I respect.

    The problem is that the people who are best at death control are also the best at being dishonest about that. Furthermore, since it is the most taboo social topic, as you know, it tends to be avoided as much as possible by most people.

    I have been writing things about artificial selection for several decades, but mostly for my own amusement, not for any reader. I recognize that I am safer to not be known. I tend to deliberately be too obscure. Mostly these days, I use the English language forum on our Web site like my personal diary, and for a few years I have been repeating my thoughts about death control there.

    However, most of my political career I have spent on court cases against the government about the laws controlling the funding of political parties in Canada. I won one case against the government by proving they had been lying about the political contribution tax credit. I currently have another live court case about the money for votes formula in the Canadian elections law. We won that at trial, lost at the provincial court of appeal, and we hope now to be able to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

    Unless we can find an alternative way to fund alternative politics that works enough, then we can not do much.

    Even the death control has to be paid for.

    The most important issue behind the scenes is always the funding of the political process, and that has been my main interest for a couple decades.

    However, learning about the monetary and taxation systems drove me more and more to realize how crucial death control events were to those debt controls.

    Like with any other organized crime gang, the government does not have to kill everybody who does not pay debts, but only be able to punish people who do not, and that must include the limit case of killing them, if they resist being punished.

    The most important historical facts are that the international banksters have already taken control of the monetary and taxation systems of most of the main governments in the world. It is extremely important to recognize the historical facts that every politician who became a serious threat to those debt engine systems was assassinated. (The only significant exception that I know of was President Andrew Jackson, and he was almost miraculously lucky to have survived the assassination attempts against him.)

    Death control issues are the most extraordinary because they are so plainly obvious, if one only opens one’s eyes to look at them, but are simultaneously the most deeply buried under the bullies bullshit.

    If I win our current court case, or otherwise gain more funding for my fringe political party, then I may use that to develop our Web site, including more systematically present my radical political philosophy. However, I think that will still be done primarily for my own amusement. I do not think that my ideas are going to change anything significant in the foreseeable future.

    I think paradigm shifts regarding artificial selection in general, and death control in particular, are extremely important in theory. However, in practise, I can not imagine them becoming significant enough to change the immediate future.

    Indeed, as I said above, I personally continue to be a lot safer when people tend to ignore me and my ideas.
    ______________________

    I agree with the de facto thought experiment about what would happen if aliens with overwhelmingly superior technology landed on Earth and said it was theirs. If they could rob us, and we could not stop them, then the Earth would be theirs.

    One can only hope that aliens who survived having advanced science and technology would have to have simultaneously developed higher consciousness and more compassion.

    At the present time, we have no idea how human beings are going to actually survive having weapons billions and trillions of times more powerful than any previous generations had. Imagine how we, or other advanced aliens, could possibly survive if we or they had weapons that were quadrillions of quadrillions more powerful than we already have now?

    In general, there is no such thing as private property, and there never can be.

    The only thing which exists is some system of public violence, and everything else we say about private property is bullshit. Private property has no real existence outside of some system of public violence.

    It began with the privatization of God, and then developed into the privatization of the environment.

    These things were all systems of huge lies backed up with coercion, running systems of organized robbery and fraud, that had labels from various religions, ideologies, or political economies.

    The main problems are that claims to privatize God are awesomely arrogant, while cutting the environment up into little pieces is resulting in a world where the little pieces can not survive as those little chopped up parts of the whole.

    These main problems are extremely acute because of the contradictions in the progress in post-modernizing sciences, that are based on understanding the unity of the world, and the unitary mechanisms that make that unity work, (like that matter is extremely concentrated energy, or that all living things on Earth use the same DNA code, etc.), end up channelled through social systems based on false fundamental dichotomies that are based on huge lies, backed up with coercion, to keep systems of organized robbery and fraud going.

    The point in history where we are at is that is has become both possible and necessary for human beings to develop systems of artificial selection that are consistent with natural selection.

    However, the established systems of artificial selection are based on huge lies about how they exist and work, and the people doing it have developed their ability to hide the truth, and rationalize what they are doing with an extremely well-developed systems of hypocrisy.

    One of the bizarre things that I have found is that many people tend to blame Malthus for inventing the Malthusian dilemma, which is like blaming Newton for inventing gravity, when the only thing Newton did was describe how gravity worked.

    Chronic political problems are inherent in the nature of life.

    All living things can reproduce at an exponential rate, but no environment can sustain that indefinitely. Instead, ecologies evolve whereby energy is conserved in non-linear functions.

    Similarly, all animals have to eat, and they use force to eat other organisms. Robbery is the proper English word to describe using force to take things. Human beings eat other things, and in the real world that means we rob the life of other beings to feed ourselves. In civilization, some human beings organize themselves to rob other human beings, who in turn are robbing what they take from their environment.

    In the past, various religions, ideologies, and political economies attempted to rationalize or justify these behaviours.

    In the overall context, the problems that human beings act as robbers in their environment, and thus groups of human beings operate organized systems of robbery, and the problem that human populations constantly have the potential to reproduce at an unsustainable exponential rate, means that we always had, and always will have, these chronic political problems, that are inherent to the nature of life.

    What is new is the progress in science and technology that is making it both possible and necessary to have quantum leaps in the way we understand and resolve these chronic political problems.

    At the present time, the vast majority of human beings continue to be brainwashed to believe in various old-fashioned kinds of bullshit from their bullies, and those bullies operate systems that were evolved to be able to discredit and destroy any alternatives to those bullies’ systems.

    We are going through the curse of extremely interesting times, as the established systems of huge lies, backed up with lots of coercion, are spiralling and spinning out of control, which is driving the potential for social storms to blow through, and force unprecedented changes to occur.

    We should make a greater use of information (which is the operational definition of higher consciousness). I believe that higher consciousness necessary leads to more compassion.

    Democracy permits a greater use of information, and more than anything else we need to make a greater use of information regarding death and debt controls, which means we could have more of a democratization of death and death controls.

    When it comes to the monetary system,
    the elite of international banksters have set up a privileged system that is doing what everyone else should do too.

    It is a dead end to try to stop them.

    That is both practically and theoretically impossible. Instead, we should have more and more people understand what the banksters have actually done, and thereby have more people join the banksters in doing that.

    The problem is that our current human ecology depends upon most people acting like brain dead sheep that are routinely being fleeced and eventually being set up to be slaughtered, while the
    “top carnivores” in that human ecology literal metaphor are more and more doing an extremely bad job of doing what they should be doing to sustain that human ecology.

    The social pyramid systems depend upon the compression of ignorance and fear, and those are totally opposite to what the new stretching systems need to do.

    We should have a monetary system based on a truth standard, which includes recognizing the truth that lies and coercions controlled civilizations.

    This is the sort of paradoxical higher consciousness and compassion that more people need to appreciate in order to make the quantum jump to new age warfare, manifested as more efficient and effective artificial selection systems that are consistent with natural selection.

    We need monetary systema where we have a principle of the preservation of information that is related to the principle of the conservation of energy and momentum.

    I have no reason to believe any human beings are creating new energy or matter out of nothing, nor sending those to nothing.

    I have no reason to believe that any human beings that provide services or goods can do that by either making those services or goods come from nothing, or go to nothing.

    However, the monetary systems we operate under now are a huge fraud whereby new money appears to be made out of nothing and returns to nothing.

    It is thus impossible to reconcile our fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems with the ecology of our environment.

    Since matter and energy can not be created out of nothing, nor turned into nothing, our money should not be either.

    That is equally true in the special cases of getting rid of goods or services, in the forms of garbage or pollution, or waste heat.

    As long as our monetary systems continue to based on the triumph of huge lies, then nothing we measure using those systems can truly fit into the natural world.

    More crucially, the creation of human consciousness, which is expressed as the value creating element, in the form of money, depends upon still living in the natural world. (In that context, I continue to believe in a principle of the preservation of information that is consistent with the conservation of energy.)

    However, what really controls our political economy now is an electronic fraud, backed up with the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

    We have debt engines that must continue to make more and more new money out of nothing, which are used to pay for strip-mining planet Earth.

    The real reasons that such huge frauds are able to exist and continue is that they were forms of dishonesty backed up with violence. Furthermore, any real changes to those systems must be within that reality as expressions of new systems of lies and coercions, but new systems which are not so insanely dishonest and so suicidal. What we have now are systems that rob other human beings, and rape the natural world, that are running amok without enough effective feedback to prevent that happening more and more, faster and faster. In theory we need to make the kinds of greater use of information that would provide our political economy with a new quaternary set of controls to regulate the primary, secondary and tertiary systems that have already been built so far. However, the actual quaternary controls that we already have are the death and debt controls that are based on the past triumph of lies and coercions which deliberately lies about themselves to themselves, and resort to violent to keep those lies going, to be able to control the rest of our political economy.

    Merely talking about this seems pretty pointless, when the people who are already inside those systems and making them operate are accumulating trillions of dollars worth of recognized social control powers, and accumulating trillions of times more powerful weapons of mass destruction to ensure nobody else can force them to stop satisfying their lusts for power.

    Anyway, in that context, I regard my redundant rambling, radical philosophy as being bla, bla, blah that I primarily write for my own amusement.

    I have no practical way to deal with the immediate real problems that there are billions of people who have already been brainwashed to believe in bullshit, and are emotionally attached to that.

    I have no practical way to deal with the immediate real problems that millions of people are armed with weapons, including mass destruction weapons, which they may use according to their morbid social habits, as ordered to do so by the big bullies.

    Most of what I do is endeavour to accept that the perfection of the universe apparently includes both the conservation of energy and the increase of entropy.

    Empirically, we live in an exploding universe, and we are lucky to be alive to be surfing the shock waves of that explosion.

    I would like to survive the coming social storms, and catalyze the changes necessary to prepare and survive those social storms.

    However, I see no reasonable basis to believe that I will be able to do that.

    So far in my life, I have only been barely successful enough to continue to barely be able to work on my system of understanding problems.

    In that context, I regard working on the kinds of problems discussed in this growth is madness Web site to be a kind of goofy work that barely works.

    By and large, most people are busy solving their own short-term problems, and nothing else interests them.

    Therefore, what I do is situated at the fringe of the fringe of the fringe …

  31. Magne Karlsen

    And this is what scares me the most: the idea that all these ecology/environment blogs — new ones and older ones, and understood as a collective of seriously concerned human beings from around the world — are going to end up as a spectacular worldly diagnosis system as concerns the simple issue: “this is how humanity is slowly but steadily (or “quickly, very quickly”; well, according to Al Gore and the IPPC, and from the perspective of the time scope of generations: “very quickly: we are dealing with a window of opportunity of just a few years”) destroying the Earth, and these are the political, cultural, social, psychological, and spiritual reasons why there is nothing we can do about it.” The idea that we are actually going to come to the conclusion that human overgrowth is a natural fact of life, an evolutionary process which cannot, by any humanitarian means and efforts, be stopped. The idea that the human race must come to be regarded as a paracitic species of the cruellest of all kinds: one that is capable of destroying the entire biosphere of the planet, to the point of mass extinction, and knowingly and willingly doing so. I’m afraid that we are going to just have to repeat ourselves indefinitely. That it is all going to end up as a competition of who’s got the better understanding of all the things that seems to be going wrong around here; inside this solar system, and on this planet.

    As a matter of fact: I believe this sentiment is much more widespread than many of us — the internet idiots — are ready to accept. Now, I’m thinking of the notion that the world is full of people who are ignorant of the problems we are faced with here. I believe that must be false. We have just been through a few years of rather eye-opening forms of press and media coverage on the environmental problems at hand, especially in terms of the reality of global warming, climate change, and the CO2 connection. I believe most people knows about this. It’s only that they have reached a conclusion a long time ago; namely the conclusion that politicians and scientists, leading environmentalists and self-serving bloggers can make any claim they ever want to make, but the idea of a human race that can successfully tackle the problem of climate change, manmade or not, is simply impossible to imagine. The problems at hand are just too immense. “And serious lifestyle changes are out of the question, so there you are! Now, get stuffed.”

    – —

    Blair: “So far in my life, I have only been barely successful enough to continue to barely be able to work on my system of understanding problems.”

    Exactly. 🙂

  32. Magne Karlsen

    Chamillionaire – Hip Hop Police/Evening News: CORRECT VERSION

    – —

    The thing with this video (and these lyrics) — is that it helps to establish the general idea that the awareness of all that is wrong with this world of ours, is actually shared by most everyone of us. At least, the fact remains that a bunch of North American hip-hop artists has actually come up with a compelling video like this, and this can be considered as good news about very bad news, so to speak.

    If you’re not particularly fond of hip-hop (which is “officially dead”), you can skip the first 4 1/2 minutes of the video, and watch the remainder of it. Some of you may even be amazed by what you are seeing and hearing here.

    As for my posting yet another a hip-hop video, I say: “Well, that’s also a form of communication, dude!” — And not to worry.

    – —

    Blair,

    Let me tell you that I’m rather amazed at the way you’re thinking about the world civilization crisis we are dealing with here. You have identified and understood a set of perfectly natural aspects of human living: natural facts of life that the vastest possible majority of people have no more than a subconscious knowledge of, while they deal with and live with it every day.

    The issues of death control and debt control are interesting concepts, both of them. — And so are the social, cultural and political facts of nuclear warheads, hydrogen bombs and bazookas. As is the reality of the well known children’s games of “police and thieves” and “cowboy and indian” — games that are all about lawful life, family life, criminal life, fast life, imprisonment and violent death. These are also facets of human nature and cultural/societal might and plight.

    You have no qualms about laying the facts out, bare naked on the table, in all its cruelty and all its complexity; and that without making use of an overly academic language. These are things that I have no qualms about admiring. Simplicity, I believe, is the real thing. You’re just being loyal to honesty. As simple as that and as cruel as that, but believe me: honesty matters.

    You discuss the way “the monetary systems we operate under now are a huge fraud whereby new money appears to be made out of nothing and returns to nothing,” and conclude that “as long as our monetary systems continue to based on the triumph of huge lies, then nothing we measure using those systems can truly fit into the natural world.”

    Every frequent visitor to this blog would agree with you here, without doubt. What is more, if you take a close look at the content and agenda of many of the blogs found on John’s blog roll, you will definitely understand that the problem of environment/ecology versus economy is, by now, a very pressing issue. People of all walks of life seem to be starting to grow weary about this problem. And again: that’s good news about bad news. At this moment in time, we can do nothing more than digest it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization_(computer_game)

    You know what? The situation as a whole, and especially as concerns scientific and technical advances as well as that of the monetary system, makes me think about the well-known computer game of “Civilization” — the final outcome of the game, is the discovery of a cure for cancer, the construction and building of a star ship that can enable humanity to undertake interstellar travel, mass pollution and mountainous cities that can make a home for 60 or 70 million people each; and after all that, the only thing that is remaining of the game, is the concept of “capitalization” — at which stage nothing more can be invented or built, and therefore everything of value is being turned into golden coins; i.e.: hard cash.

    – —

    Blair: “I have no practical way to deal with the immediate real problems that there are billions of people who have already been brainwashed to believe in bullshit, and are emotionally attached to that.”

    Agreed.

    And here we have arrived at the place where I’ve got to search for an alternative area on which to land. As the brutal fact is that people can actually devote their whole personal life to the protection and preservation of political, administrative, and beaurocratic systems that are brutal, cynical and evil, through and through. Artificial systems that have little or nothing to do with social life, and allow for no dignity and no respect, and has no compassion to offer. Artificial systems that can never (or, to the very least, extremely seldom) openly admit to the fact that mistakes have been made; these systems are always right. Never do they lie, and never do they act unfairly, they are the glue of the nation state, to which every single citizen must sit, and be still, like that proverbial fly in the spider’s web does. It sits still until it dies, and that is all there is to it. The message to modern humans, as communicated by all these authoritarian systems, is: “Do what is expected of you, nothing more and nothing less, remain loyal to your employer, retire, whither away and die in the end.”

    Just accept it.

  33. Magne Karlsen

    Ooops! 😀

    Magne: “the general idea that the awareness of all that is wrong with this world of ours, is actually shared by most everyone of us.”

    That’s definitely not correct. I need to get rid of that little word: “all” — Nobody knows about all that is wrong with this world, but people ought to have ENOUGH KNOWLEDGE by now, to really understand that we’re in trouble.

    I mean this sincerely: we have all been exposed to such a lot of CO2 information over the past few years; now, I cannot believe that people in general are unaware of the problem of polluting the atmosphere with this stuff. And that’s only for starters.

    Anyway: it’s possible to feign ignorance, and it is possible to deliberately ignore the information. It is even possible to deny the relevance of the science produced by the IPCC. But to deny the fact that you’ve even heard about such a thing as the enhanced greenhouse effect is utter bullshit. Oh yes. That would be a lie.

  34. Magne, thanks for the compliment that I am being “loyal to honesty.”

    An irony with intellectual integrity continues to be that many other people seem to be much more successful in the short-term by being professional liars.

    Politicians do not find themselves being successful by “laying the facts out, bare naked on the table, in all its cruelty and all its complexity.” On the contrary the most successful politicians tend to be the most skillful liars and sincere sounding hypocrites, who excel at telling people what they want to hear.

  35. Magne Karlsen

    http://greenie.wordpress.com/2007/12/17/polar-bears-disrupt-shell-wildlife-photography-show/

    – Good evening my name is Derek Leavussum, public relations director for Shell. I want to welcome you all to the 2007 Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award. As you can imagine- I don’t have an easy job, what with all this fuss about melting glaciers, extreme weather and wildlife extinctions. I’d like to thank the Bristol City Council, BBC Wildlife Magazine and the Natural History Museum for making my job all that much easier by allowing us to sponsor your wild lie- I mean wildlife- exhibition.We prefer not to see the melting of the Arctic ice cap as a threat to human civilization. We see it as a business opportunity. After all, there are millions of barrels of oil under there just waiting to be extracted. And we’ll need all the energy we can get since we’ve just abandoned our solar program. When you see the Shell logo, we don’t want you to think about the whale habitat we’re destroying in Siberia and Ireland, human rights violations in Nigeria, and especially not climate change. This may all be true but the fact is that the world needs oil and this is simply the price of progress.

    Some say it’s ironic that the world’s second largest oil company is sponsoring a wildlife photography exhibition- but Shell is truly committed to preservation of the polar bear and other wildlife- in photographs if not in the real world. Some say it’s the end of the oil age- but we say it’s just the beginning- we’re thrilled about digging into Canada’s oil sands and with your help we can continue to deceive the public into thinking we’re a responsible corporate citizen. Thank you all for coming tonight and we hope you enjoy viewing these amazing photographs of wildlife that Shell is destroying- I mean conserving.

    Also a special thanks to Dawn Primarola and the Labour party for supporting a third runway at Heathrow and ensuring that there remains a healthy demand for our products.

    — –

    Brilliant. 😀

  36. Magne Karlsen

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DEFD71539F93BA1575BC0A96E948260

    “There is, of course, the example of Machiavelli. Look what happened to him for indulging in exposing frank and practical political strategy to the reading public. Mr. Bailey mentions his name only when he needs a synonym for political evil. His own candidacy for world-class unpopularity is based on the declaration that all politicians, not just a few rotten individuals, are deceitful. Furthermore, he asserts, they must be that way to do the job properly. A person who scrupulously operated within the rules of his culture, whatever they happen to be, would not be able to lead.”

    ”Leaders are not the virtuous people they claim to be; they put politics before statesmanship; they distort facts and oversimplify issues; they promise what no one could deliver; and they are liars,” Mr. Bailey says. Then, in what ought to be the politician’s favorite statement since the invention of ”I was quoted out of context,” he adds: ”Leaders, if they are to be effective, have no choice in the matter.””

    – —

    F.G. Bailey is, and has always been, my favourite political anthropologist.

  37. Blair T. Longley: “Our world is spinning out of control because we are controlled by huge lies, that only work to the degree that they can be backed up with violence. / The lies are getting bigger, and the ability to use violence to back those lies up has gone into astronomical magnitudes of omnicidal insanity. / We have never been here before, and we do not know where we are going …”

    – —

    http://home.swbell.net/revscat/perilsOfObedience.html

    http://www.djournal.com/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=5794&posts=237

    “Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.”

    – —

    Since I’ve been in the middle of what Blair T. Longley here characterized as a social storm. As a consequence of these social storms I have learnt to accept that the social democratic health and social beaurocracies are populated by people on a payroll, who have no qualms about destroying a person completely in every possible way: socially, psychologically, and mentally. And that, most probably for no reason at all, other than the basic fact of being inside a social storm together with me; as medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, etc., etc., but also — simply and squarely — “only human.”

    Now, … “only human” is a kind of pathological condition which is extremely … scary …

    Hmm, for once in my life I no longer know what to say.