Jun 262011
 

One of the great things about America is you are free to believe whatever you want.  As long as you do no harm to another, your belief is entirely up to you.

You can even be certifiably crazy if you like (as evidenced by so many nutcases posting online).

But this idiot, is not “harmless”. He’s dangerously deluded and is seeking to delude thousands more.

There are virtually thousands more videos just like this all over the IdiotNet. Some have bits of truth, but most are so full of (sh)it that it only bears the briefest viewing to realize that these people are dangerous, and certifiably crazy.

Several people have contacted me, seeking my support for fear-mongering material just like this over the years, but I have long since learned to discern truth from delusion.

The agenda is always the same, some big cataclysmic / Apocalyptic “event” is “heading our way”, and predictions / prophecies / signs are “there” for anyone who can “see”. The only survivors will be those who “heed the warnings” and usually, “head to the hills” for their refuge and safety.

Ahem… well, most of this, is utter bullshit. While real cataclysmic events can, do and are happening (right now), the brain mud these fear-mongering idiots are shoveling tends to ignore the rest of reality.

Anything can happen, including chocolate-covered aliens landing in our midst and demanding our first-born, but it is only within the realm of reality that we should base our expectations and responses (if any).

What is real about most of these claims?  Very little is real. The “dwarf star” theme (Planet X) is presently running the gauntlet of fear-mongering fools who are convinced that we are all in dire peril.

I’ve seen hundreds of such claims (if not thousands now) by fear-mongers who all lay claim that they alone, are correct, and you absolutely MUST follow their guidance.

Their claims are based upon what all such claims are based on: belief (and secret “evidence” from anonymous sources).

Believe us, we are telling the truth, we alone are the “interpreters” of “events” (which includes the weaving together of disparate evidence into a conspiratorial “proof”).

The danger here to followers, like all such Jonestown outcomes, is people are going to get seriously hurt.  The stronger the belief, the greater the danger of this happening.

Imagine if you will, if (any) people do what this guy is claiming.  Abandon their homes, jobs, lives, even their unbelieving spouses and children, leaving it all behind…. and head for the hills, converging in hundreds, or thousands in the Ozarks awaiting Armageddon events to occur…

Now multiply this by 1,000.  5,000.  Or 10,000 armed crazies… that’s a virtual army of idiots running from their lives, abandoning everything in their past, converging upon the unsuspecting towns and hills in the Ozarks, awaiting end-time events.

What do you suppose is going to happen to these people?  Should we even care?  Perhaps a little thinning of the gene-pool is overdue anyway.

If I, like the author of the video claims, was willing to capitalize on this fear-mongering, I’d dare not bother posting this kind of reality-correction, since I sell survival foods.  His claims that “survival stores” are selling out all their food to the rich is quite literally crap. Almost nothing he’s claimed is true, but there are 41,000 hits already to this video on Youtube.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  That Americans can be so gullible and stupid, or that somebody has actually capitalized on this stuff to rip people off, or that our country is so far gone now in intelligence, wisdom, comprehension and understanding that you can shovel virtually anything and people will lap it up like dogs.

2012 is approaching, and you can be absolutely certain that much more of this fear-mongering will be making its way into the mainstream.  Whatever happens, use your head.

Reality is what we should be accepting, and reality is what we should be trying to deal with.  One of these things these fear-mongers all do is to deny reality.  Instead, they fabricate other threats and ignore the very real ones we already have.

I’m not sure why they do this.  It is escapism, similar to the Rapture crowd, all who would prefer to escape this life and its day-to-day reality.  The problem with this is there IS no escape.  We’re all stuck with this reality, whether we like it or not, and whether we even agree with it or not.  Tomorrow will be much like it is today, and the day after that and the day after that. Real events do occur, including losing your home in a catastrophic flood or tornado event.  There are even earthquakes and failing nuclear power plants to be aware of.  But not chocolate-covered aliens or invisible dwarf stars.

A few other points: deliberately making yourself a refugee is stupid beyond belief.  You WILL suffer beyond all your expectations and you may even lose your life.  It is one of the LAST thing you want to have happen to you.

If you are making “your stand” or final preparations because you are convinced that you must (and sometimes this is true), then do it right.  Heading for the hills is going to be a disaster in itself for all those who try this.  I’ve written several times on this topic.  In short, you are not welcome; you are not adequately prepared; and you will be facing harsh environmental conditions; and you cannot hope to “last” long.  The “living off the land” notion that most have is exactly that — a notion and it will not work for 98% of the people who try this.

The “flee” doctrine embraced by all end-time adherents is basically b.s., and anybody who has truly thought this through should know this.  Almost always unnecessary, poorly executed and destined to fail.  The truth is, you’re going to be safer right where you are, unless your life is in immediate jeopardy.  And if that happens, you still need someplace to go where you will be safe.  Running around in your well-stocked R.V. maybe fun for a while, but it can’t last.  Even worse would be hiding in a cave eating your last MRE and wondering what in hell you are going to do next.

I don’t know.  Maybe I should give up on the idiots and let them self-exterminate.  I’ve received this advice many times, so there are more then a few of you who feel that way.

I suppose it will take a severe reality check to wake some people up to their dangerous delusions.

Ok then, I can help with that.  Check out my food offerings, some Mountain House cans are in stock and can be shipped to you pretty fast.  You can hunker down with your freeze dried scrambled eggs in the confidence of knowing that you’ve got a 30 year shelf life…

Jun 242011
 

There is a new hall of shame candidate, Mr. Lee Smith. No offense to all the other Mr. Lee Smith’s out there. This Mr. Smith is a buffoon.

June 22, 2011 – Do you have a list of products that you can ship right away (within a week)? That can be sent to me.

Jun 22, 2011 – Hi, Nothing can be shipped immediately. All orders are first-come, first- serve and subject to our current shipping times. Continue reading »

Jun 242011
 

The unrest in the Middle East, the convulsions in Ivory Coast, the hunger sweeping across failed states such as Somalia, the freak weather patterns and the systematic unraveling of the American empire do not signal a lurch toward freedom and democracy but the catastrophic breakdown of globalization. The world as we know it is coming to an end. And what will follow will not be pleasant or easy.

The bankrupt corporate power elite, who continue to serve the dead ideas of unfettered corporate capitalism, globalization, profligate consumption and an economy dependent on fossil fuels, as well as endless war, have proven incapable of radically shifting course or responding to our altered reality. They react to the great unraveling by pretending it is not happening. They are desperately trying to maintain a doomed system of corporate capitalism. And the worse it gets the more they embrace, and seek to make us embrace, magical thinking. Dozens of members of Congress in the United States have announced that climate change does not exist and evolution is a hoax. They chant the mantra that the marketplace should determine human behavior, even as the unfettered and unregulated marketplace threw the global economy into a seizure and evaporated some $40 trillion in worldwide wealth. The corporate media retreats as swiftly from reality into endless mini-dramas revolving around celebrities or long discussions about the inane comments of a Donald Trump or a Sarah Palin. The real world ““ the one imploding in our faces ““ is ignored.

The deadly convergence of environmental and economic catastrophe is not coincidental. Corporations turn everything, from human beings to the natural world, into commodities they ruthlessly exploit until exhaustion or death. The race of doom is now between environmental collapse and global economic collapse. Which will get us first? Or will they get us at the same time?

Carbon emissions continue to soar upward, polar ice sheets continue to melt at an alarming rate, hundreds of species are vanishing, fish stocks are being dramatically depleted, droughts and floods are destroying cropland and human habitat across the globe, water sources are being poisoned, and the great human migration from coastlines and deserts has begun. As temperatures continue to rise huge parts of the globe will become uninhabitable. The continued release of large quantities of methane, some scientists have warned, could actually asphyxiate the human species. And accompanying the assault on the ecosystem that sustains human life is the cruelty and stupidity of unchecked corporate capitalism that is creating a global economy of masters and serfs and a world where millions will be unable to survive.

We continue to talk about personalities ““ Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama or Stephen Harper ““ although the heads of state and elected officials have become largely irrelevant. Corporate lobbyists write the bills. Lobbyists get them passed. Lobbyists make sure you get the money to be elected. And lobbyists employ you when you get out of office. Those who hold actual power are the tiny elite who manage the corporations. The share of national income of the top 0.1 percent of Americans since 1974 has grown from 2.7 to 12.3 percent. One in six American workers may be without a job. Some 40 million Americans may live in poverty, with tens of millions more living in a category called “near poverty.” Six million people may be forced from their homes in the United States because of foreclosures and bank repossessions. But while the masses suffer, Goldman Sachs, one of the financial firms most responsible for the evaporation of $17 trillion in wages, savings and wealth of small investors and shareholders in the United States, is giddily handing out $17.5 billion in compensation to its managers, including $12.6 million to its CEO, Lloyd Blankfein.

The massive redistribution of wealth happened because lawmakers and public officials were, in essence, hired to permit it to happen. It was not a conspiracy. The process was transparent. It did not require the formation of a new political party or movement. It was the result of inertia by our political and intellectual class, which in the face of expanding corporate power found it personally profitable to facilitate it or look the other way. The armies of lobbyists, who write the legislation, bankroll political campaigns and disseminate propaganda, have been able to short-circuit the electorate.

Our political vocabulary continues to sustain the illusion of participatory democracy. The Democrats and the Liberal Party in Canada offer minor palliatives and a feel-your-pain language to mask the cruelty and goals of the corporate state. Neofeudalism will be cemented into place whether it is delivered by Democrats and the Liberals, who are pushing us there at 60 miles an hour, or by Republicans and the Conservatives, who are barreling toward it at 100 miles an hour.

“By fostering an illusion among the powerless classes that it can make their interests a priority,” Sheldon Wolin writes, “the Democratic Party pacifies and thereby defines the style of an opposition party in an inverted totalitarian system.” The Democrats and the Liberals are always able to offer up a least-worst alternative while, in fact, doing little or nothing to thwart the march toward corporate collectivism.

It is not that the public in the United States does not want a good healthcare system, programs that provide employment, quality public education or an end to Wall Street’s looting of the U.S. Treasury. Most polls suggest Americans do. But it has become impossible for most citizens in these corporate states to find out what is happening in the centers of power. Television news celebrities dutifully present two opposing sides to every issue, although each side is usually lying. The viewer can believe whatever he or she wants to believe. Nothing is actually elucidated or explained. The sound bites by Republicans or Democrats, the Liberals or the Conservatives, are accepted at face value. And once the television lights are turned off, the politicians go back to the business of serving business.

Human history, rather than being a chronicle of freedom and democracy, is characterized by ruthless domination. Our elites have done what all elites do. They have found sophisticated mechanisms to thwart popular aspirations, disenfranchise the working and increasingly the middle class, keep us passive and make us serve their interests. The brief democratic opening in our society in the early 20th century, made possible by radical movements, unions and a vigorous press, has again been shut tight. We were mesmerized by political charades, cheap consumerism, spectacle and magical thinking as we were ruthlessly stripped of power.

Adequate food, clean water and basic security are now beyond the reach of half the world’s population. Food prices have risen 61 percent globally since December 2008, according to the International Monetary Fund. The price of wheat has exploded, more than doubling in the last eight months to $8.56 a bushel. When half of your income is spent on food, as it is in countries such as Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Somalia and Ivory Coast, price increases of this magnitude bring with them widespread malnutrition and starvation. Food prices in the United States have risen over the past three months at an annualized rate of five percent. There are some 40 million poor in the United States who devote 35 percent of their after-tax incomes to pay for food. As the cost of fossil fuel climbs, as climate change continues to disrupt agricultural production and as populations and unemployment swell, we will find ourselves convulsed in more global and domestic unrest. Food riots and political protests will be frequent, as will malnutrition and starvation. Desperate people employ desperate measures to survive. And the elites will use the surveillance and security state to attempt to crush all forms of popular dissent.

The last people who should be in charge of our food supply or our social and political life, not to mention the welfare of sick children, are corporate capitalists and Wall Street speculators. But none of this is going to change until we turn our backs on the wider society, denounce the orthodoxies peddled in our universities and in the press by corporate apologists and construct our opposition to the corporate state from the ground up. It will not be easy. It will take time. And it will require us to accept the status of social and political pariahs, especially as the lunatic fringe of our political establishment steadily gains power as the crisis mounts. The corporate state has nothing to offer the left or the right but fear. It uses fear to turn the population into passive accomplices. And as long as we remain afraid, or believe that the formal mechanisms of power can actually bring us real reform, nothing will change.

It does not matter, as writers such as John Ralston Saul have pointed out, that every one of globalism’s promises has turned out to be a lie. It does not matter that economic inequality has gotten worse and that most of the world’s wealth has become concentrated in a few hands. It does not matter that the middle class ““ the beating heart of any democracy ““ is disappearing and that the rights and wages of the working class have fallen into precipitous decline as labor regulations, protection of our manufacturing base and labor unions have been demolished. It does not matter that corporations have used the destruction of trade barriers as a mechanism for massive tax evasion, a technique that allows conglomerates such as General Electric or Bank of America to avoid paying any taxes. It does not matter that corporations are exploiting and killing the ecosystem for profit. The steady barrage of illusions disseminated by corporate systems of propaganda, in which words are often replaced with music and images, are impervious to truth. Faith in the marketplace replaces for many faith in an omnipresent God. And those who dissent are banished as heretics.

The aim of the corporate state is not to feed, clothe or house the masses but to shift all economic, social and political power and wealth into the hands of the tiny corporate elite. It is to create a world where the heads of corporations make $900,000 an hour and four-job families struggle to survive. The corporate elite achieves its aims of greater and greater profit by weakening and dismantling government agencies and taking over or destroying public institutions. Charter schools, mercenary armies, a for-profit health insurance industry and outsourcing every facet of government work, from clerical tasks to intelligence, feed the corporate beast at our expense. The decimation of labor unions, the twisting of education into mindless vocational training and the slashing of social services leave us ever more enslaved to the whims of corporations. The intrusion of corporations into the public sphere destroys the concept of the common good. It erases the lines between public and private interests. It creates a world that is defined exclusively by naked self-interest.

Many of us are seduced by childish happy talk. Who wants to hear that we are advancing not toward a paradise of happy consumption and personal prosperity but toward disaster? Who wants to confront a future in which the rapacious and greedy appetites of our global elite, who have failed to protect the planet, threaten to produce widespread anarchy, famine, environmental catastrophe, nuclear terrorism and wars for diminishing resources? Who wants to shatter the myth that the human race is evolving morally, that it can continue its giddy plundering of nonrenewable resources and its hedonistic levels of consumption, that capitalist expansion is eternal and will never cease?

Dying civilizations often prefer hope, even absurd hope, to truth. It makes life easier to bear. It lets them turn away from the hard choices ahead to bask in a comforting certitude that God or science or the market will be their salvation. This is why these apologists for globalism continue to find a following. And their systems of propaganda have built a vast, global Potemkin village to entertain us. The tens of millions of impoverished Americans, whose lives and struggles rarely make it onto television, are invisible. So are most of the world’s billions of poor, crowded into fetid slums. We do not see those who die from drinking contaminated water or being unable to afford medical care. We do not see those being foreclosed from their homes. We do not see the children who go to bed hungry. We busy ourselves with the absurd.

The game is over. We lost. The corporate state will continue its inexorable advance until two-thirds of the nation and the planet is locked into a desperate, permanent underclass. Most of us will struggle to make a living while the Blankfeins and our political elites wallow in the decadence and greed of the Forbidden City and Versailles. These elites do not have a vision. They know only one word: more.  They will continue to exploit the nation, the global economy and the ecosystem. And they will use their money to hide in gated compounds when it all implodes. Do not expect them to take care of us when it starts to unravel. We will have to take care of ourselves. We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one. — Chris Hedges

Jun 232011
 

An important read and covers many issues besides climate. This treatise is actually a “peak behind the curtain” at the political sell-out and corruption of the United States government.  Bolded emphasis is mine — Admin

The first time I remember hearing the question “is it real?” was when I went as a young boy to see a traveling show put on by “professional wrestlers” one summer evening in the gym of the Forks River Elementary School in Elmwood, Tennessee.

The evidence that it was real was palpable: “They’re really hurting each other! That’s real blood! Look a’there! They can’t fake that!” On the other hand, there was clearly a script (or in today’s language, a “narrative”), with good guys to cheer and bad guys to boo.

But the most unusual and in some ways most interesting character in these dramas was the referee: Whenever the bad guy committed a gross and obvious violation of the “rules” — such as they were — like using a metal folding chair to smack the good guy in the head, the referee always seemed to be preoccupied with one of the cornermen, or looking the other way. Yet whenever the good guy — after absorbing more abuse and unfairness than any reasonable person could tolerate — committed the slightest infraction, the referee was all over him. The answer to the question “Is it real?” seemed connected to the question of whether the referee was somehow confused about his role: Was he too an entertainer?

That is pretty much the role now being played by most of the news media in refereeing the current wrestling match over whether global warming is “real,” and whether it has any connection to the constant dumping of 90 million tons of heat-trapping emissions into the Earth’s thin shell of atmosphere every 24 hours.

Admittedly, the contest over global warming is a challenge for the referee because it’s a tag-team match, a real free-for-all. In one corner of the ring are Science and Reason. In the other corner: Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues.

The referee — in this analogy, the news media — seems confused about whether he is in the news business or the entertainment business. Is he responsible for ensuring a fair match? Or is he part of the show, selling tickets and building the audience? The referee certainly seems distracted: by Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen, the latest reality show — the list of serial obsessions is too long to enumerate here.

But whatever the cause, the referee appears not to notice that the Polluters and Ideologues are trampling all over the “rules” of democratic discourse. They are financing pseudoscientists whose job is to manufacture doubt about what is true and what is false; buying elected officials wholesale with bribes that the politicians themselves have made “legal” and can now be made in secret; spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on misleading advertisements in the mass media; hiring four anti-climate lobbyists for every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. (Question: Would Michael Jordan have been a star if he was covered by four defensive players every step he took on the basketball court?)

This script, of course, is not entirely new: A half-century ago, when Science and Reason established the linkage between cigarettes and lung diseases, the tobacco industry hired actors, dressed them up as doctors, and paid them to look into television cameras and tell people that the linkage revealed in the Surgeon General’s Report was not real at all. The show went on for decades, with more Americans killed each year by cigarettes than all of the U.S. soldiers killed in all of World War II.

This time, the scientific consensus is even stronger. It has been endorsed by every National Academy of science of every major country on the planet, every major professional scientific society related to the study of global warming and 98 percent of climate scientists throughout the world. In the latest and most authoritative study by 3,000 of the very best scientific experts in the world, the evidence was judged “unequivocal.”

But wait! The good guys transgressed the rules of decorum, as evidenced in their private e-mails that were stolen and put on the Internet. The referee is all over it: Penalty! Go to your corner! And in their 3,000-page report, the scientists made some mistakes! Another penalty!

And if more of the audience is left confused about whether the climate crisis is real? Well, the show must go on. After all, it’s entertainment. There are tickets to be sold, eyeballs to glue to the screen.

Part of the script for this show was leaked to The New York Times as early as 1991. In an internal document, a consortium of the largest global-warming polluters spelled out their principal strategy: “Reposition global warming as theory, rather than fact.” Ever since, they have been sowing doubt even more effectively than the tobacco companies before them.

To sell their false narrative, the Polluters and Ideologues have found it essential to undermine the public’s respect for Science and Reason by attacking the integrity of the climate scientists. That is why the scientists are regularly accused of falsifying evidence and exaggerating its implications in a greedy effort to win more research grants, or secretly pursuing a hidden political agenda to expand the power of government. Such slanderous insults are deeply ironic: extremist ideologues — many financed or employed by carbon polluters — accusing scientists of being greedy extremist ideologues.

After World War II, a philosopher studying the impact of organized propaganda on the quality of democratic debate wrote, “The conversion of all questions of truth into questions of power has attacked the very heart of the distinction between true and false.”

Is the climate crisis real? Yes, of course it is. Pause for a moment to consider these events of just the past 12 months:

Heat. According to NASA, 2010 was tied with 2005 as the hottest year measured since instruments were first used systematically in the 1880s. Nineteen countries set all-time high temperature records. One city in Pakistan, Mohenjo-Daro, reached 128.3 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest temperature ever measured in an Asian city. Nine of the 10 hottest years in history have occurred in the last 13 years. The past decade was the hottest ever measured, even though half of that decade represented a “solar minimum” — the low ebb in the natural cycle of solar energy emanating from the sun.

Floods. Megafloods displaced 20 million people in Pakistan, further destabilizing a nuclear-armed country; inundated an area of Australia larger than Germany and France combined; flooded 28 of the 32 districts that make up Colombia, where it has rained almost continuously for the past year; caused a “thousand-year” flood in my home city of Nashville; and led to all-time record flood levels in the Mississippi River Valley. Many places around the world are now experiencing larger and more frequent extreme downpours and snowstorms; last year’s “Snowmaggedon” in the northeastern United States is part of the same pattern, notwithstanding the guffaws of deniers.

Drought. Historic drought and fires in Russia killed an estimated 56,000 people and caused wheat and other food crops in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan to be removed from the global market, contributing to a record spike in food prices. “Practically everything is burning,” Russian president Dmitry Medvedev declared. “What’s happening with the planet’s climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us.” The drought level in much of Texas has been raised from “extreme” to “exceptional,” the highest category. This spring the majority of the counties in Texas were on fire, and Gov. Rick Perry requested a major disaster declaration for all but two of the state’s 254 counties. Arizona is now fighting the largest fire in its history. Since 1970, the fire season throughout the American West has increased by 78 days. Extreme droughts in central China and northern France are currently drying up reservoirs and killing crops.

Melting Ice. An enormous mass of ice, four times larger than the island of Manhattan, broke off from northern Greenland last year and slipped into the sea. The acceleration of ice loss in both Greenland and Antarctica has caused another upward revision of global sea-level rise and the numbers of refugees expected from low-lying coastal areas. The Arctic ice cap, which reached a record low volume last year, has lost as much as 40 percent of its area during summer in just 30 years.

These extreme events are happening in real time. It is not uncommon for the nightly newscast to resemble a nature hike through the Book of Revelation. Yet most of the news media completely ignore how such events are connected to the climate crisis, or dismiss the connection as controversial; after all, there are scientists on one side of the debate and deniers on the other. A Fox News executive, in an internal e-mail to the network’s reporters and editors that later became public, questioned the “veracity of climate change data” and ordered the journalists to “refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.”

But in the “real” world, the record droughts, fires, floods and mudslides continue to increase in severity and frequency. Leading climate scientists like Jim Hansen and Kevin Trenberth now say that events like these would almost certainly not be occurring without the influence of man-made global warming. And that’s a shift in the way they frame these impacts. Scientists used to caution that we were increasing the probability of such extreme events by “loading the dice” — pumping more carbon into the atmosphere. Now the scientists go much further, warning that we are “painting more dots on the dice.”  We are not only more likely to roll 12s; we are now rolling 13s and 14s. In other words, the biggest storms are not only becoming more frequent, they are getting bigger, stronger and more destructive.

“The only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change,” Munich Re, one of the two largest reinsurance companies in the world, recently stated. “The view that weather extremes are more frequent and intense due to global warming coincides with the current state of scientific knowledge.”

Many of the extreme and destructive events are the result of the rapid increase in the amount of heat energy from the sun that is trapped in the atmosphere, which is radically disrupting the planet’s water cycle. More heat energy evaporates more water into the air, and the warmer air holds a lot more moisture. This has huge consequences that we now see all around the world.

When a storm unleashes a downpour of rain or snow, the precipitation does not originate just in the part of the sky directly above where it falls. Storms reach out — sometimes as far as 2,000 miles — to suck in water vapor from large areas of the sky, including the skies above oceans, where water vapor has increased by four percent in just the last 30 years. (Scientists often compare this phenomenon to what happens in a bathtub when you open the drain; the water rushing out comes from the whole tub, not just from the part of the tub directly above the drain. And when the tub is filled with more water, more goes down the drain. In the same way, when the warmer sky is filled with a lot more water vapor, there are bigger downpours when a storm cell opens the “drain.”)

In many areas, these bigger downpours also mean longer periods between storms — at the same time that the extra heat in the air is also drying out the soil. That is part of the reason so many areas have been experiencing both record floods and deeper, longer-lasting droughts.

Moreover, the scientists have been warning us for quite some time — in increasingly urgent tones — that things will get much, much worse if we continue the reckless dumping of more and more heat-trapping pollution into the atmosphere. Drought is projected to spread across significant, highly populated areas of the globe throughout this century. Look at what the scientists say is in store for the Mediterranean nations. Should we care about the loss of Spain, France, Italy, the Balkans, Turkey, Tunisia? Look at what they say is in store for Mexico. Should we notice? Should we care?

Maybe it’s just easier, psychologically, to swallow the lie that these scientists who devote their lives to their work are actually greedy deceivers and left-wing extremists — and that we should instead put our faith in the pseudoscientists financed by large carbon polluters whose business plans depend on their continued use of the atmospheric commons as a place to dump their gaseous, heat-trapping waste without limit or constraint, free of charge.

The Scorched Earth

How will climate change affect the planet? A new study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research warns that based on current projections of global-warming pollution, vast swaths of the world’s most populated areas could begin suffering from extreme drought within decades. The increasingly dry  soil would threaten water and food for hundreds of millions.

Areas in darkest red represent most extreme drought, while those in blue indicate wetter areas. No data was available for areas in white.

2000 – 2009

Although periodic dry spells have always been normal, the new study suggests that global warming is already causing more serious droughts, which have more than doubled since the 1970s. (Drier areas are indicated in red, wetter areas in blue.) The extra heat in the atmosphere evaporates more water and dries out the land, which in turn fuels devastating fires. Extreme droughts in China and France are currently drying up reservoirs and killing crops, while the fire season in the American West has increased by 78 days over the past 30 years.

2090 – 2099

Using 22 computer models of the climate, the study indicates that the extent and severity of droughts could soon be unprecedented. While some areas of the northern latitudes may grow wetter, much of the U.S. and Latin America ““ along with central China and most of Europe, Africa and Australia ““ could be hit by extreme and prolonged drought. “If the projections come even close to being realized,” says climate scientist Aiguo Dai, who conducted the study, “the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous.”

Source: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Data Visualizations by Joe Zeff Design

The truth is this: What we are doing is functionally insane. If we do not change this pattern, we will condemn our children and all future generations to struggle with ecological curses for several millennia to come. Twenty percent of the global-warming pollution we spew into the sky each day will still be there 20,000 years from now!

We do have another choice. Renewable energy sources are coming into their own. Both solar and wind will soon produce power at costs that are competitive with fossil fuels; indications are that twice as many solar installations were erected worldwide last year as compared to 2009. The reductions in cost and the improvements in efficiency of photovoltaic cells over the past decade appear to be following an exponential curve that resembles a less dramatic but still startling version of what happened with computer chips over the past 50 years.

Enhanced geothermal energy is potentially a nearly limitless source of competitive electricity. Increased energy efficiency is already saving businesses money and reducing emissions significantly. New generations of biomass energy — ones that do not rely on food crops, unlike the mistaken strategy of making ethanol from corn — are extremely promising. Sustainable forestry and agriculture both make economic as well as environmental sense. And all of these options would spread even more rapidly if we stopped subsidizing Big Oil and Coal and put a price on carbon that reflected the true cost of fossil energy — either through the much-maligned cap-and-trade approach, or through a revenue-neutral tax swap.

All over the world, the grassroots movement in favor of changing public policies to confront the climate crisis and build a more prosperous, sustainable future is growing rapidly. But most governments remain paralyzed, unable to take action — even after years of volatile gasoline prices, repeated wars in the Persian Gulf, one energy-related disaster after another, and a seemingly endless stream of unprecedented and lethal weather disasters.

Continuing on our current course would be suicidal for global civilization. But the key question is: How do we drive home that fact in a democratic society when questions of truth have been converted into questions of power? When the distinction between what is true and what is false is being attacked relentlessly, and when the referee in the contest between truth and falsehood has become an entertainer selling tickets to a phony wrestling match?

The “wrestling ring” in this metaphor is the conversation of democracy. It used to be called the “public square.” In ancient Athens, it was the Agora. In the Roman Republic, it was the Forum. In the Egypt of the recent Arab Spring, “Tahrir Square” was both real and metaphorical — encompassing Facebook, Twitter, Al-Jazeera and texting.

In the America of the late-18th century, the conversation that led to our own “Spring” took place in printed words: pamphlets, newsprint, books, the “Republic of Letters.” It represented the fullest flower of the Enlightenment, during which the oligarchic power of the monarchies, the feudal lords and the Medieval Church was overthrown and replaced with a new sovereign: the Rule of Reason.

The public square that gave birth to the new consciousness of the Enlightenment emerged in the dozen generations following the invention of the printing press — “the Gutenberg Galaxy,” the scholar Marshall McLuhan called it — a space in which the conversation of democracy was almost equally accessible to every literate person. Individuals could both find the knowledge that had previously been restricted to elites and contribute their own ideas.

Ideas that found resonance with others rose in prominence much the way Google searches do today, finding an ever larger audience and becoming a source of political power for individuals with neither wealth nor force of arms. Thomas Paine, to take one example, emigrated from England to Philadelphia with no wealth, no family connections and no power other than that which came from his ability to think and write clearly — yet his Common Sense became the Harry Potter of Revolutionary America. The “public interest” mattered, was actively discussed and pursued.

But the “public square” that gave birth to America has been transformed beyond all recognition. The conversation that matters most to the shaping of the “public mind” now takes place on television. Newspapers and magazines are in decline. The Internet, still in its early days, will one day support business models that make true journalism profitable — but up until now, the only successful news websites aggregate content from struggling print publications. Web versions of the newspapers themselves are, with few exceptions, not yet making money. They bring to mind the classic image of Wile E. Coyote running furiously in midair just beyond the edge of the cliff, before plummeting to the desert floor far beneath him.

The average American, meanwhile, is watching television an astonishing five hours a day. In the average household, at least one television set is turned on more than eight hours a day. Moreover, approximately 75 percent of those using the Internet frequently watch television at the same time that they are online.

Unlike access to the “public square” of early America, access to television requires large amounts of money. Thomas Paine could walk out of his front door in Philadelphia and find a dozen competing, low-cost print shops within blocks of his home. Today, if he traveled to the nearest TV station, or to the headquarters of nearby Comcast — the dominant television provider in America — and tried to deliver his new ideas to the American people, he would be laughed off the premises. The public square that used to be a commons has been refeudalized, and the gatekeepers charge large rents for the privilege of communicating to the American people over the only medium that really affects their thinking. “Citizens” are now referred to more commonly as “consumers” or “the audience.”

That is why up to 80 percent of the campaign budgets for candidates in both major political parties is devoted to the purchase of 30-second TV ads. Since the rates charged for these commercials increase each year, the candidates are forced to raise more and more money in each two-year campaign cycle.

Of course, the only reliable sources from which such large sums can be raised continuously are business lobbies. Organized labor, a shadow of its former self, struggles to compete, and individuals are limited by law to making small contributions. During the 2008 campaign, there was a bubble of hope that Internet-based fundraising might even the scales, but in the end, Democrats as well as Republicans relied far more on traditional sources of large contributions. Moreover, the recent deregulation of unlimited — and secret — donations by wealthy corporations has made the imbalance even worse.

In the new ecology of political discourse, special-interest contributors of the large sums of money now required for the privilege of addressing voters on a wholesale basis are not squeamish about asking for the quo they expect in return for their quid. Politicians who don’t acquiesce don’t get the money they need to be elected and re-elected. And the impact is doubled when special interests make clear — usually bluntly — that the money they are withholding will go instead to opponents who are more than happy to pledge the desired quo. Politicians have been racing to the bottom for some time, and are presently tunneling to new depths. It is now commonplace for congressmen and senators first elected decades ago — as I was — to comment in private that the whole process has become unbelievably crass, degrading and horribly destructive to the core values of American democracy.

Largely as a result, the concerns of the wealthiest individuals and corporations routinely trump the concerns of average Americans and small businesses. There are a ridiculously large number of examples: eliminating the inheritance tax paid by the wealthiest one percent of families is considered a much higher priority than addressing the suffering of the millions of long-term unemployed; Wall Street’s interest in legalizing gambling in trillions of dollars of “derivatives” was considered way more important than protecting the integrity of the financial system and the interests of middle-income home buyers. It’s a long list.

Almost every group organized to promote and protect the “public interest” has been backpedaling and on the defensive. By sharp contrast, when a coalition of powerful special interests sets out to manipulate U.S. policy, their impact can be startling — and the damage to the true national interest can be devastating.

In 2002, for example, the feverish desire to invade Iraq required convincing the American people that Saddam Hussein was somehow responsible for attacking the United States on September 11th, 2001, and that he was preparing to attack us again, perhaps with nuclear weapons. When the evidence — the “facts” — stood in the way of that effort to shape the public mind, they were ridiculed, maligned and ignored. Behind the scenes, the intelligence was manipulated and the public was intentionally deceived. Allies were pressured to adopt the same approach with their publics. A recent inquiry in the U.K. confirmed this yet again. “We knew at the time that the purpose of the dossier was precisely to make a case for war, rather than setting out the available intelligence,” Maj. Gen. Michael Laurie testified. “To make the best out of sparse and inconclusive intelligence, the wording was developed with care.” Why? As British intelligence put it, the overthrow of Saddam was “a prize because it could give new security to oil supplies.”

That goal — the real goal — could have been debated on its own terms. But as Bush administration officials have acknowledged, a truly candid presentation would not have resulted in sufficient public support for the launching of a new war. They knew that because they had studied it and polled it. So they manipulated the debate, downplayed the real motive for the invasion, and made a different case to the public — one based on falsehoods.

And the “referee” — the news media — looked the other way. Some, like Fox News, were hyperactive cheerleaders. Others were intimidated into going along by the vitriol heaped on any who asked inconvenient questions. (They know it; many now acknowledge it, sheepishly and apologetically.)

Senators themselves fell, with a few honorable exceptions, into the same two camps. A few weeks before the United States invaded Iraq, the late Robert Byrd — God rest his soul — thundered on the Senate floor about the pitiful quality of the debate over the choice between war and peace: “Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent — ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing.”

The chamber was silent, in part, because many senators were somewhere else — attending cocktail parties and receptions, largely with special-interest donors, raising money to buy TV ads for their next campaigns. Nowadays, in fact, the scheduling of many special-interest fundraisers mirrors the schedule of votes pending in the House and Senate.

By the time we invaded Iraq, polls showed, nearly three-quarters of the American people were convinced that the person responsible for the planes flying into the World Trade Center Towers was indeed Saddam Hussein. The rest is history — though, as Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Because of that distortion of the truth in the past, we are still in Iraq; and because the bulk of our troops and intelligence assets were abruptly diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq, we are also still in Afghanistan.

In the same way, because the banks had their way with Congress when it came to gambling on unregulated derivatives and recklessly endangering credit markets with subprime mortgages, we still have almost double-digit unemployment, historic deficits, Greece and possibly other European countries teetering on the edge of default, and the threat of a double-dip recession. Even the potential default of the United States of America is now being treated by many politicians and too many in the media as yet another phony wrestling match, a political game. Are the potential economic consequences of a U.S. default “real”? Of course they are! Have we gone completely nuts?

We haven’t gone nuts — but the “conversation of democracy” has become so deeply dysfunctional that our ability to make intelligent collective decisions has been seriously impaired. Throughout American history, we relied on the vibrancy of our public square — and the quality of our democratic discourse — to make better decisions than most nations in the history of the world. But we are now routinely making really bad decisions that completely ignore the best available evidence of what is true and what is false. When the distinction between truth and falsehood is systematically attacked without shame or consequence — when a great nation makes crucially important decisions on the basis of completely false information that is no longer adequately filtered through the fact-checking function of a healthy and honest public discussion — the public interest is severely damaged.

That is exactly what is happening with U.S. decisions regarding the climate crisis. The best available evidence demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that the reckless spewing of global-warming pollution in obscene quantities into the atmospheric commons is having exactly the consequences long predicted by scientists who have analyzed the known facts according to the laws of physics.

The emergence of the climate crisis seems sudden only because of a relatively recent discontinuity in the relationship between human civilization and the planet’s ecological system. In the past century, we have quadrupled global population while relying on the burning of carbon-based fuels — coal, oil and gas — for 85 percent of the world’s energy. We are also cutting and burning forests that would otherwise help remove some of the added CO2 from the atmosphere, and have converted agriculture to an industrial model that also runs on carbon-based fuels and strip-mines carbon-rich soils.

The cumulative result is a radically new reality — and since human nature makes us vulnerable to confusing the unprecedented with the improbable, it naturally seems difficult to accept. Moreover, since this new reality is painful to contemplate, and requires big changes in policy and behavior that are at the outer limit of our ability, it is all too easy to fall into the psychological state of denial. As with financial issues like subprime mortgages and credit default swaps, the climate crisis can seem too complex to worry about, especially when the shills for the polluters constantly claim it’s all a hoax anyway. And since the early impacts of climatic disruption are distributed globally, they masquerade as an abstraction that is safe to ignore.

These vulnerabilities, rooted in our human nature, are being manipulated by the tag-team of Polluters and Ideologues who are trying to deceive us. And the referee — the news media — is once again distracted. As with the invasion of Iraq, some are hyperactive cheerleaders for the deception, while others are intimidated into complicity, timidity and silence by the astonishing vitriol heaped upon those who dare to present the best evidence in a professional manner. Just as TV networks who beat the drums of war prior to the Iraq invasion were rewarded with higher ratings, networks now seem reluctant to present the truth about the link between carbon pollution and global warming out of fear that conservative viewers will change the channel — and fear that they will receive a torrent of flame e-mails from deniers.

Many politicians, unfortunately, also fall into the same two categories: those who cheerlead for the deniers and those who cower before them. The latter group now includes several candidates for the Republican presidential nomination who have felt it necessary to abandon their previous support for action on the climate crisis; at least one has been apologizing profusely to the deniers and begging for their forgiveness.

“Intimidation” and “timidity” are connected by more than a shared word root. The first is designed to produce the second. As Yeats wrote almost a century ago, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

Barack Obama’s approach to the climate crisis represents a special case that requires careful analysis. His election was accompanied by intense hope that many things in need of change would change. Some things have, but others have not. Climate policy, unfortunately, is in the second category. Why?

First of all, anyone who honestly examines the incredible challenges confronting President Obama when he took office has to feel enormous empathy for him: the Great Recession, with the high unemployment and the enormous public and private indebtedness it produced; two seemingly interminable wars; an intractable political opposition whose true leaders — entertainers masquerading as pundits — openly declared that their objective was to ensure that the new president failed; a badly broken Senate that is almost completely paralyzed by the threat of filibuster and is controlled lock, stock and barrel by the oil and coal industries; a contingent of nominal supporters in Congress who are indentured servants of the same special interests that control most of the Republican Party; and a ferocious, well-financed and dishonest campaign poised to vilify anyone who dares offer leadership for the reduction of global-warming pollution.

In spite of these obstacles, President Obama included significant climate-friendly initiatives in the economic stimulus package he presented to Congress during his first month in office. With the skillful leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and committee chairmen Henry Waxman and Ed Markey, he helped secure passage of a cap-and-trade measure in the House a few months later. He implemented historic improvements in fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles, and instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to move forward on the regulation of global-warming pollution under the Clean Air Act. He appointed many excellent men and women to key positions, and they, in turn, have made hundreds of changes in environmental and energy policy that have helped move the country forward slightly on the climate issue. During his first six months, he clearly articulated the link between environmental security, economic security and national security — making the case that a national commitment to renewable energy could simultaneously reduce unemployment, dependence on foreign oil and vulnerability to the disruption of oil markets dominated by the Persian Gulf reserves. And more recently, as the issue of long-term debt has forced discussion of new revenue, he proposed the elimination of unnecessary and expensive subsidies for oil and gas.

But in spite of these and other achievements, President Obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change. After successfully passing his green stimulus package, he did nothing to defend it when Congress decimated its funding. After the House passed cap and trade, he did little to make passage in the Senate a priority. Senate advocates — including one Republican — felt abandoned when the president made concessions to oil and coal companies without asking for anything in return. He has also called for a massive expansion of oil drilling in the United States, apparently in an effort to defuse criticism from those who argue speciously that “drill, baby, drill” is the answer to our growing dependence on foreign oil.

The failure to pass legislation to limit global-warming pollution ensured that the much-anticipated Copenhagen summit on a global treaty in 2009 would also end in failure. The president showed courage in attending the summit and securing a rhetorical agreement to prevent a complete collapse of the international process, but that’s all it was — a rhetorical agreement. During the final years of the Bush-Cheney administration, the rest of the world was waiting for a new president who would aggressively tackle the climate crisis — and when it became clear that there would be no real change from the Bush era, the agenda at Copenhagen changed from “How do we complete this historic breakthrough?” to “How can we paper over this embarrassing disappointment?”

Some concluded from the failure in Copenhagen that it was time to give up on the entire U.N.-sponsored process for seeking an international agreement to reduce both global-warming pollution and deforestation. Ultimately, however, the only way to address the climate crisis will be with a global agreement that in one way or another puts a price on carbon. And whatever approach is eventually chosen, the U.S. simply must provide leadership by changing our own policy.

Yet without presidential leadership that focuses intensely on making the public aware of the reality we face, nothing will change. The real power of any president, as Richard Neustadt wrote, is “the power to persuade.” Yet President Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has simply not made the case for action. He has not defended the science against the ongoing, withering and dishonest attacks. Nor has he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community — including our own National Academy — to bring the reality of the science before the public.

Here is the core of it: we are destroying the climate balance that is essential to the survival of our civilization. This is not a distant or abstract threat; it is happening now. The United States is the only nation that can rally a global effort to save our future. And the president is the only person who can rally the United States.

Many political advisers assume that a president has to deal with the world of politics as he finds it, and that it is unwise to risk political capital on an effort to actually lead the country toward a new understanding of the real threats and real opportunities we face. Concentrate on the politics of re-election, they say. Don’t take chances.

All that might be completely understandable and make perfect sense in a world where the climate crisis wasn’t “real.” Those of us who support and admire President Obama understand how difficult the politics of this issue are in the context of the massive opposition to doing anything at all — or even to recognizing that there is a crisis. And assuming that the Republicans come to their senses and avoid nominating a clown, his re-election is likely to involve a hard-fought battle with high stakes for the country. All of his supporters understand that it would be self-defeating to weaken Obama and heighten the risk of another step backward. Even writing an article like this one carries risks; opponents of the president will excerpt the criticism and strip it of context.

But in this case, the President has reality on his side. The scientific consensus is far stronger today than at any time in the past. Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act.

Those who profit from the unconstrained pollution that is the primary cause of climate change are determined to block our perception of this reality. They have help from many sides: from the private sector, which is now free to make unlimited and secret campaign contributions; from politicians who have conflated their tenures in office with the pursuit of the people’s best interests; and — tragically — from the press itself, which treats deception and falsehood on the same plane as scientific fact, and calls it objective reporting of alternative opinions.

All things are not equally true. It is time to face reality. We ignored reality in the marketplace and nearly destroyed the world economic system. We are likewise ignoring reality in the environment, and the consequences could be several orders of magnitude worse. Determining what is real can be a challenge in our culture, but in order to make wise choices in the presence of such grave risks, we must use common sense and the rule of reason in coming to an agreement on what is true.

So how can we make it happen? How can we as individuals make a difference? In five basic ways:

First, become a committed advocate for solving the crisis. You can start with something simple: Speak up whenever the subject of climate arises. When a friend or acquaintance expresses doubt that the crisis is real, or that it’s some sort of hoax, don’t let the opportunity pass to put down your personal marker. The civil rights revolution may have been driven by activists who put their lives on the line, but it was partly won by average Americans who began to challenge racist comments in everyday conversations.

Second, deepen your commitment by making consumer choices that reduce energy use and reduce your impact on the environment. The demand by individuals for change in the marketplace has already led many businesses to take truly significant steps to reduce their global-warming pollution. Some of the corporate changes are more symbolic than real — “green-washing,” as it’s called — but a surprising amount of real progress is taking place. Walmart, to pick one example, is moving aggressively to cut its carbon footprint by 20 million metric tons, in part by pressuring its suppliers to cut down on wasteful packaging and use lower-carbon transportation alternatives. Reward those companies that are providing leadership.

Third, join an organization committed to action on this issue. The Alliance for Climate Protection (climateprotect.org), which I chair, has grassroots action plans for the summer and fall that spell out lots of ways to fight effectively for the policy changes we need. We can also enable you to host a slide show in your community on solutions to the climate crisis — presented by one of the 4,000 volunteers we have trained. Invite your friends and neighbors to come and then enlist them to join the cause.

Fourth, contact your local newspapers and television stations when they put out claptrap on climate — and let them know you’re fed up with their stubborn and cowardly resistance to reporting the facts of this issue. One of the main reasons they are so wimpy and irresponsible about global warming is that they’re frightened of the reaction they get from the deniers when they report the science objectively. So let them know that deniers are not the only ones in town with game. Stay on them! Don’t let up! It’s true that some media outlets are getting instructions from their owners on this issue, and that others are influenced by big advertisers, but many of them are surprisingly responsive to a genuine outpouring of opinion from their viewers and readers. It is way past time for the ref to do his job.

Finally, and above all, don’t give up on the political system. Even though it is rigged by special interests, it is not so far gone that candidates and elected officials don’t have to pay attention to persistent, engaged and committed individuals. President Franklin Roosevelt once told civil rights leaders who were pressing him for change that he agreed with them about the need for greater equality for black Americans. Then, as the story goes, he added with a wry smile, “Now go out and make me do it.”

To make our elected leaders take action to solve the climate crisis, we must forcefully communicate the following message: “I care a lot about global warming; I am paying very careful attention to the way you vote and what you say about it; if you are on the wrong side, I am not only going to vote against you, I will work hard to defeat you — regardless of party. If you are on the right side, I will work hard to elect you.”

Why do you think President Obama and Congress changed their game on “don’t ask, don’t tell?” It happened because enough Americans delivered exactly that tough message to candidates who wanted their votes. When enough people care passionately enough to drive that message home on the climate crisis, politicians will look at their hole cards, and enough of them will change their game to make all the difference we need.

This is not naive; trust me on this. It may take more individual voters to beat the Polluters and Ideologues now than it once did — when special-interest money was less dominant. But when enough people speak this way to candidates, and convince them that they are dead serious about it, change will happen — both in Congress and in the White House. As the great abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass once observed, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”

What is now at risk in the climate debate is nothing less than our ability to communicate with one another according to a protocol that binds all participants to seek reason and evaluate facts honestly. The ability to perceive reality is a prerequisite for self-governance. Wishful thinking and denial lead to dead ends. When it works, the democratic process helps clear the way toward reality, by exposing false argumentation to the best available evidence. That is why the Constitution affords such unique protection to freedom of the press and of speech.

The climate crisis, in reality, is a struggle for the soul of America. It is about whether or not we are still capable — given the ill health of our democracy and the current dominance of wealth over reason — of perceiving important and complex realities clearly enough to promote and protect the sustainable well-being of the many. What hangs in the balance is the future of civilization as we know it. — Al Gore

Jun 222011
 

The following Mountain House cans are available:

SA1549    Rice & Chicken
SA1555    Vegetable Stew w/Beef
SA1559    Beef Stroganoff
SA1569    Noodles & Chicken
SA1587    Egg Mix, Butter Flavor
SA1594    Diced Chicken, Cooked
SA1586    Precooked Scrambled Eggs w/Ham
SA1597    Instant White Rice

These can be shipped out in about two weeks. Supplies are limited to stock availability.

Jun 202011
 

World’s Oceans in ‘shocking decline’

Not a long read, but it is already causing a lot of controversy from the denial crowd.

I’m appalled at the willfully stupid reactions I’ve seen over the last several years to what is dead obvious now.  This is, in my opinion, much more then cognitive dissonance, it actually resembles a coordinated campaign similar to a “denial of service” attack.

The general idea in a denial of service attack is to “dog-pile” on to any evidence or report or study that presents that point that humans could even be remotely responsible for climate change, ocean decline, acidification, rising sea levels, melting polar ice caps, disappearing glaciers, even deforestation.  Attack it and deny it, override it, get louder and louder, to a screeching crescendo and cacophony of pure noise, and do this over and over again, until you have exhausted the opposition.

It’s worth noting that these people are going on record now as being morally bankrupt, siding with the non-evidence and straw arguments that invariably go along with their counter-claims.  But they do gain a lot of traction, which doesn’t say much for the intelligence of humanity.

Or our future.

Which is what these type of reports and assessments (and my blog) are trying to warn about.

Denial is not a virtue, but a clear signal of refusal.

The important thing to remember is very simple: What is all this refusal leading up to?

Allow me to pretend for a moment that they’re right.  What has this gotten us?

Are our oceans healthier now after decades of refusals?

Has fishing improved?

Is our water cleaner?

What about our forests?

Or even yearly temperatures?

What about C02, is this also now better?

Are the polar ice caps actually not melting?

Is the permafrost also not melting?

What about the glaciers, and the billions of people that depend upon them for fresh water?

Are we experiencing better weather?

Fewer droughts?

Less floods?

Fewer fires?

It is now so bloody dead obvious what is happening that only the deranged continue to make claims of denial.

There is not one human on the ENTIRE PLANET that is now “better off” or has a more “secure future” as a result of the points presented above.

Now just imagine what another ten or twenty years of this will bring….

That’s just long enough for your kids to grow up, become full-fledged adults and in shocking horror, come to realize the terrifying legacy that we have left them.

The “denial of service” type attacks that are now taking place will be clear evidence of deliberate, premeditated biocide, and all that they will need to condemn us.

Instead of this generation smartening up, and accepting the reality of what is clearly happening, a large percentage of us are choosing a deliberate path of willful stupidity, literally reveling in our herd mentality and ignorance.

Unbelievable.

We’re not just sheep, we’re lemmings.  Jumping off a cliff in a “follow the leader” style of self-extermination.

Makes you wonder who is really holding a gun to our heads.  Or why we simply close our eyes, ignore the evidence and choose the highway to hell.

This isn’t going to be a fun ride.

Jun 182011
 

This should make you mad:

It tells how, between 2009 and this year, the ATF instructed agents to turn a blind eye to hundreds of AK-47 assault rifles, sniper rifles, and revolvers purchased from gunshops in Phoenix and en route to Mexico. They hoped to eventually recover them from crime scenes and build a complex conspiracy case that might take down the leaders of a major drug cartel. Exposed: The secret guns sting that backfired on the US

Good god these people are f*cking stupid. You should read the link.

Of course, this is the same incompetent and notorious ATF (again), who made global headlines with their botched “raid” on Randy Weaver and Waco.

The “plan” it seems is “recover weapons from crime scenes” by enabling the crimes to happen!

Kind of like when the FBI gave real explosives to the ‘terrorists’ to blow up the World Trade Center (first attack).

Your protectors are (often) completely clueless and incompetent to boot.  Seems that ‘collateral damage’ to Americans is just as acceptable in North America as it is in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Jun 172011
 

Some important updates on the food situation:

New prices have all been updated on the website to reflect wholesale price increases and product availability.  Wheat went up as expected, but not by much. Not yet.

We lost several products: soy milk, dough enhancer. Organic Ezekial mix is now gone too.  Several organic beans are no longer available in cans.  Oat bran, soybeans, Nuwick candles, coconut shreds, all gone now.  We’re having serious issues with TVP availability, and Mainstay food rations have disappeared.  I do not expect to try and offer these items again except for TVP.

We have put Eggs back up on the website too (finally).  USDA has taken nearly a year to get their act together on this issue.

The biggest change is Organics.  USDA has made this really difficult to handle organic products. There is separate paperwork requirement for organic products. The paper work and certification are extremely time consuming.

It is getting so bad that in the future it will require separate buildings and may even require separate shipping from the non-organic products in an order. Of course, this is absolutely ridiculous and beyond insane.  But it gets worse.

USDA is also requesting where every pound of organic product is being sent, which we consider an invasion of privacy, so we have not agreed to this (don’t worry, I would never do this).

I suspect (without any real evidence, just experience) that this is being driven by the large ag-giants who truly hate organic producers and the organic food market.  They consider anyone growing their own food or offering organic “alternative” food to be a threat to their control and profits. Nobody should forget that the Terminator seeds being forced upon farmers worldwide are defacto evidence of how they fully intend to control the world food supply.

This onerous burden will therefore be dealt with as follows: all of our dehydrated products (formerly labeled Organic) are now labeled as “Natural”.  They come from the same companies as before and have the same item numbers.

I can fully understand and appreciate the need to protect the U.S. food supply, but I cannot understand the insane bureaucratic requirements that seem to come with this. This situation will only worsen, quite dramatically in my opinion, as a tighter and tighter grip of food stuffs is exhibited worldwide. If you have not followed the raids and arrests of mom and pop “food producers” that have made the news, then this might be a bit of a shock to you.

The reasons are simple: market protection will be the first culprit to look for. Every major industry in the world plays this “self-defense” card. They attack anyone who threatens their own coveted markets.  The food industry is no different and especially with their attacks of the “alternative” food industry (organics) and the supplement industry.  The FDA has long sought to attack supplemental manufactures and virtually outlaw natural supplements.

It’s all being driven by money, pure, unadulterated greed. Under the guise of “protecting” you, they are in fact attacking you and your right to healthy food.  In other words, they are attacking human health in many, many ways.  Human health comes at a price in today’s world, and if they can’t own it or don’t control it, they will DEFINITELY try and find a way to do so or put a stop to it.  All at a profit of course.

Get your food storage now.  I don’t bother with incessant promotions here, but you’ve been warned again and again that you absolutely have to look out for yourself.  Nobody else will do this for you. I can easily envision the days ahead when food rationing will be in effect. The world is creaking along from one disaster to another now, with much of it affecting the world food supply. The knee-jerk totalitarian response we’re seeing is to force more and more control upon everyone.

Of course, none of this type of authoritarian behavior will actually solve anything.  That would be “too expensive” to even contemplate. The status-quo is to be protected at all costs, just in case you haven’t taken notice of this fact.

I have managed to make a purchase of new Mountain House cans.  This is “unheard of” right now since Mountain House has not allowed any can sales for months. They are still dealing with a large back order and do not expect to allow can orders for an unknown while yet.

These cans will be put up on the website soon (don’t bug me about this, just check the website or this blog for their availability).  These will soon be available on a first-come, first-serve and when they’re gone I won’t have anymore for who knows how long. All the canneries are still dealing with very large back orders.  I do not expect this situation to actually ever change. The need to store long-term food now is greater then ever.

Finally, realize that we are doing everything we can to accommodate as many people as possible.  This can be quite frustrating at times for you and for us. We are going as fast as we can. Supplies are drying up on some products and this only exacerbates the situation.

I can honestly say I am quite tired of “pointing to the problems” when there are no acceptable solutions for the vast, vast majority of people.  Understand that there are virtually zero solutions to industry, who are all profit-motivated and have little to no interest in completely redesigning their business models unless there are profits to be made.

This can NEVER work to our long-term collective advantage when you think about it.  Ultimately, it means we must rob something from somewhere:  labor, resources, materials, minerals, land, water, air, forest, whatever — and refashion these resources into products — all for a profit.  But what have we actually done?  For a little while, and for a single generation, and often, for a single individual, we have taken these resources and used them up.  Many can never be replaced, and some take generations to “renew”.  This type behavior is not being rightly understood for what it actually is.

This is the description of our world today — a world in decline because we are in fact using too many resources with short-term returns for immediate profits. Our generation has been willing to over-fish the world’s oceans for example, depleting entire species, working our way down the food chain (we’re almost to the jellyfish now as foodstuffs, I am not kidding). We’ve done this to devourment to forests and agricultural land, mineral resources, coal, oil, and virtually every habitable region on the planet.  We’ve denuded the place everywhere we grow, leaving behind only our residue.

Don’t let the monoculture plantation “forests” fool you as evidence that we are actually replacing enough trees, these are not natural, healthy or even sustainable and nothing much will live there (not even you).  The export of essential forest minerals occurs when we remove trees. The corresponding soil depletion and biological viability is something humans are doing all over the world.

To what end?  Overpopulation?  We can barely take care of all that we have now. Nothing about our world today is sustainable, despite the talk I’ve seen on this topic. You cannot truly sustain 7 billion humans without having 3 or 4 more Planet Earths available, obviously something we don’t have. The only answer to this is the one nobody will talk about, nobody will accept.  It is not profit or even money oriented, so it’s drowned out by the sea of noise regurgitated by government and media.

This generation is guilty of everything: ecocide, biocide, genocide. Even infantcide. All because we cannot bring ourselves to contemplate the horrifying truth of our own collective behavior and what is happening.  Our cognitive dissonance is a collective disease, hiding our rank denial that we don’t have the right to use it all up.

While there are no solutions for industry, as long as profits remain their driving motivation, there are solutions for individuals.  It all boils down to individuals rejecting their dependency on the status-quo and learning to do for themselves what humans have always done through history. This, plus a new paradigm of living, is going to be required if we are going to leave ANYTHING for the next generation.

There is little evidence that this is going to happen. The news is full of stories daily about how fast we are depleting the world around us. Too few are doing too little, and the ones who have ownership and control are simply not interested in doing enough beyond token lip-service and carefully crafted fake documentaries about how they “care” for our planet.  If they truly cared, they’d utterly stop doing what they’re doing.

Our world has already spiraled out of control, we’re now just wage-slaves, totally dependent upon the plantation masters for our sustenance and livelihood.  We’re still chained to their bidding and decisions and until that changes, nothing will change.
I find this completely and totally unacceptable.  And I find this all leading to one inevitable conclusion as humanity virtually destroys itself.  Collapse, as it all comes crashing down, domino by domino, sweeping us all along with it.

If it’s not sustainable, then what is it?

It’s death.

We describe this with adjectives such as “growth” or “development” or “prosperity” or some other such nonsense, desperately trying to hide the true meaning of what these terms mean.  To grow, you have to deplete something, because there are none of us that can make something from nothing (unless your talking fiat money of course). We virtually rob from one place to enrich another, over and over again, scouring the earth down to thousands of feet deep and dredging even the depths of the sea in an endless quest to heap to ourselves riches of one sort or another.

How long can this possibly last?  What will this leave the next generation?

Do we even care?

It is just a matter of time, as voracious appetite and clinically insane behavior multiplied the world over by billions and billions and predatory corporations, all acting in unison, consume it all, leaving behind gigantic wastepiles of “civilization”, the refuse of our existence.

It’s beyond stupid.  And it’s out of your control.  And it’s all leading to the same place.

Jun 162011
 

The Live Free or Die is the motto of the State of New Hampshire.

But all is not well in New Hampshire: Last Statement Sent

It’s a long read, so here is the short version: man sets himself on fire and dies in front of the county courthouse. His last testimony is about why he did this.  You should read it.

You may not agree, but that isn’t my point. He was clearly fed up, like

the guy that flew his plane into the IRS building. There was also that other guy that immolated himself protesting animal rights.

The growing dissension in this country, even in the Live Free or Die state is palatable.

And it is about friggin’ time.

I’ve long wondered when people would say “enough is enough”.  Everyone has the right to decide that for themselves.

Anybody that does however, will be painted in the worst possible light, so expect that.