Compulsive race to Hell
Oil consumption is more than addiction. Where it holds hegemony's ground, freedom too is defined as motor travel - in the military's wake. With market mechanism inflating petroleum's price beyond consumer reach, that political stability depends upon war waged successfully for oil is ever more critically exposed. Industrial nations will inevitably clash again over this economic lifeblood, unless a second possible future has been faultlessly prepared. Aiding the road-fork, this work examines our two future alternatives.
At stake: greatest catastrophe, or integrative evolution - an obvious binary switch. Great signposted fractures of the human evolutionary chain show the gravity of botching the choice facing us all today - marked 'shallow', 'medium-depth' or 'deep', in the following analysis.
Capitalist revolution rides a fiery demon unleashed. Befouling land, river, sea and sky, transport's engine killed organic horsepower - an economy measure to defeat organised labour crafts. Coal's rise brought crisis peak, with miner sway ended in 1914-18 trenches for Middle East oil plunder. Dependence on this mitigation progresses the system's undoing - its foremost ungoverned threat. The Earth now dries from anthropogenic climate change, and tinder met by abandoned youth promises more arson and conflagration.
Yet where modern governance restricts and cuts off individual access to fire tools (space heating, fireworks, firemakers, and - ultimately - combustion engines too), this poses significant medium-depth risk to evolved human capability. Without fire our lives must either be very different, and conducted on some higher community plane, or not possible at all. Fire is that fundamental to our species. Solving the growing energy crisis is largely about enhancing democracy so to leave fire deployment skills and opportunity in the hands of each citizen - either directly or by agreed collective proxy - or else our evolutionary survival thread is lost. The deep-level fracture is identified next, after more on the energy theme.
Global warming is our environment knocking capital accumulation back. Individual profit drew us down from the trees, but promises desert - lifeless failing ecology, carbon and energy cycles sickly destabilised - desert religion's bequest. Civilisations fall to such fates. Ours is advanced and potentially different, but only through its rational, humanist science - the democratic revolution well that capitalism capped by lordish mere 'representation'.
Time has moved on to the promising future awaiting united humanity, as a single social organism. Urgency builds for fundamental economic change, to a new, fully inclusive, and cooperative level. The gross wastage of today, especially of human lives, can quickly become a thing of the past.
There originates humanity's choice: nuclear obliteration - for resource conflict inherently escalates - or conscious peace; 'Heaven on Earth' is within everyone's reach. But only by our dismantling of humanity's destructive and aquisitive enemy. This regressive agency we must know well, in order to finally contain it. The 'evil' within and without us all can be buried with its historic climax. Relief of all suffering is very near at hand.
The global, 20th- and 21st-century, capitalist system convergence is outlined within the Green Future platform. Without choosing the alternative, capitalism's culminating deadline draws ever nearer: Global ecosystems 'face collapse' - "Current global consumption levels could result in a large-scale ecosystem collapse by the middle of the century, environmental group WWF has warned.. at the current rate, two planets would be needed to meet global demand by 2050.. if the world's population shared the UK's lifestyle, three planets would be needed to support their needs" - WWF Living Planet Report [news.bbc.co.uk Oct06 + Global Warming Capable of Sparking Mass Species Extinctions "Joint study largely confirms earlier dire predictions of species loss from climate change" Apr06]. It is time to move, and politicians are finally becoming aware: "Members of the Republican Party in Congress, recognising that international and domestic action is inevitable, are already quietly abandoning the President. They are authoring and supporting legislation to set limits on US emissions" [Al Gore: A matter of convenience news.bbc.co.uk Sep06]. See NZ Labour Party conference Oct06 too, for new-found urgency.
Note: system-failure date is thus clearly being found, by approximately 2050. So now what?
Water scarcity: A looming crisis? and Climate change 'brings huge cost' - "Climate change could end up cutting global growth by as much as a fifth unless drastic action is taken.. economist Sir Nicholas Stern.. Without action up to 200 million people could become refugees as their homes are hit by drought or flood.. An international plan to tackle climate change is needed to prevent a global recession.. 'On the basis of Sir Nicholas Stern's report, we would be crazy not to take action,' said the BBC Business Editor Robert Peston. 'Stern calculates that not doing anything would be a reduction in the value of the global economy of 20% - we would all be a fifth poorer as a result of climate change - which he says would be as big a shock as we would get from a global war.. Stern comes up with the stark conclusion that if we do nothing to stem climate change, there could be a permanent reduction in consumption per head of 20%'.. Failure to act early could end up costing between 5% and 20% of global GDP and render large parts of the planet uninhabitable with poor nations hit first and hardest" - Stern Report. Yet Where have all the leaders gone?: "Consumer choice is not going to deliver the goods to combat climate change.. the world needs strong political leadership, not just market forces.. the hard-won ban against slavery deliberately went against what was considered economically justified.. We must find the courage to remove the worst products from the market.. Consumers will then take care of the rest", says Dr Matt Prescott, environmental consultant; let us thus be a guide to working consumers [news.bbc.co.uk Oct06].
World risks 'dirty' energy future: "The world could be dependent on 'dirty, insecure and expensive' energy by 2030, an influential report has warned. Current trends showed that demand for power was set to grow by 53% by 2030, the International Energy Agency said." So nuclear proponents claim Clean energy is 'cost effective': "By 2010, China will be the world's largest emitter of CO2, overtaking the US, the report predicts. Such an increase would '"amplify the magnitude of global climate change'", while Greenhouse gases reach record high - "35.5% above pre-industrial levels" [news.bbc.co.uk + edie.net/news Nov06].
Difficult is Satisfying China's demand for energy, whom is "running around the world signing oil deals with everyone from Iran, to Sudan to Angola. In the race to secure future oil resources China is prepared to deal with even the dodgiest regimes, and pay the highest prices.. China, with a fifth of the world's population, consumes only 4% of the world's daily oil output. It imports about three million barrels a day.. 15 years ago, it imported virtually no oil - it was self-sufficient.. Beijing [has] three million private cars. A thousand new cars.. every day. By 2020 China will have 140 million private cars, more even than the United States.. China's future fuel will be coal". No less, Soaring energy demand spark Indian fears, as "more than a million cars were bought in India last year.. India imports almost three quarters of its energy to meet the demands of its population of more than a billion people. This proportion is set to rise as energy demand is expected to double in the next five years. By 2020, the country may have to import all of its energy needs.. India's 3% share of global oil demand is set to rise to 10% by 2030" [news.bbc.co.uk Feb06].
China and India's industrialised CO2 emissions are what will decide everyone's greenhouse fate, and very soon too - eclipsing the advanced world's output, reformed or not. This presents our major species survival challenge - to stop political and policy segmentation from leading to catastrophic remedy deficiency. The evidence that we are failing is already in:
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Nov06: "one of the biggest threats to life on the planet..'frightening lack of leadership' on the issue" [Rich, Poor Nations Wrangle on Global Warming Planet Ark; wikipedia]. "Africa will be hit hardest by climate change" [A matter of life and death guardian.co.uk - Green Belt Movement GBM Billion Tree Campaign]. "The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation has issued a report saying that the world's rapidly growing herds of cows are the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife.. This is not about stopping dairy farming, but about recognising that increasing intensification of dairying, for example through the Central Plains Water scheme [Canterbury NZ], are untenable." [Fed Farmers must stop hitting snooze button on environment greens.org.nz 11Dec06]. The fatal flaw in most Green Party parliamentary method is that of fostering the illusion that capitalist economy can be reformed into sustainability, through their state administration means. Instead, this prolongs the pain by displacing further costs of exploitation onto its human victims, so tarnishing Green initiative. Much more analytical, class-orientated Green political work is required. It is policy initiatives that key into rapid substantial change at the international level that are most urgently needed.
Heaven on Earth for All (heaL)
Free and good quality water, food, shelter, health care, and training opportunities, for all, as basic human rights.
Functional, secure and educative home communities, for every individual. Freedom from want, conflict, market competition, poverty, and from obsessive wealth.
Full and equal decision-making by direct democracy, to manage universal resource held in common.
Abolition of extracted and abstract values: industrial and common good uses only for gold, diamond, and every precious gem or element; money system scrapped - voluntary adoption of sharing ethics.
Complete and permanent disarmament, 'turning swords into ploughshares', lifting living standards worldwide to the same advanced level - but without junk materialism. Real food, communally grown, pooled and distributed - largely deglobalised trade. Meeting need, not greed.
A seamless, nationless, borderless world, without fear, bureaucracy, power or inequality. Waste minimisation, and sustainable collective care for unlimited life experience for all human beings.
Forward-looking teamwork for our species and sub-groups, transcending the backward-looking divisions, cultural difference, and identity conflicts of the mystified past.
Waking up after sufficient sleep. The freedom and opportunity to work from home or wherever, as much as interest deems necessary, fully resourced towards maximum productivity.
To be cont'd..
Compulsive race cont'd.
NZ CO2 Levels Reach Record Highs "Carbon dioxide levels over New Zealand have reached an all time high. The greenhouse gas is considered to be the key driver of global warming. Figures from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research have found the levels have risen sharply in the past 10 years. Principal scientist, Dave Lowe, says the average rate of increase has doubled. Dave Lowe says the increase is due to worldwide rises in industrial releases and changes in land use such as deforestation in South America." [NewsRoom newswire.co.nz 01Jun06]. In other words, CO2 levels are not something we can easily alter. We have to select effective means, which are international engagement. That is, economic change here can never form a big percentage of global outputs, whereas we are looked to for example that has more effect. Yes massive improvement is essential in the performance of our national profile.
In the 'greenest' of nations, the growth-sycophant delusion is greatest: 100pc Kiwi could be NZ's achilles' heel "Social insights researchers The Providence Report released Code Green, a report designed to create a framework for thinking about the environment, sustainability and climate change in a New Zealand context, in Auckland on Thursday. 'No other country tells the world they are 100 per cent pure,' said Providence Report director Dr Sandy Callister. But according to international research New Zealand's ecological footprint - a measure of the impact it has on the environment - was, on a per capita basis, only slightly behind the US and ahead of Britain" stuff.co.nz 8Dec06 & 100% Pure vulnerablity frogblog + Callister interview 'if we don't see serious action against climate change within 18 months, it's time to be very alarmed' RadioNZ 14Dec06 & TV3 Cambell Live review 'NZ report card D'..
Given the weight of negative statistics now abundantly available showing the accelerating decline of the Earth environment, and the late and conservative remedy proposals, there is a 99% chance that our Earthly home is now 'doomed', that the human population is going to collapse - along with its ecological base. The 'Heaven' column here starts the description of what our 1% survival chance looks like - with all the precision necessary for the urgent situation we face. The first thing to realise is that the political leadership of the planet has been trained in avoidance, in perpetuation of the capitalist systems' decline, and that a range of entirely new or suppressed perspectives and method are required to resolve the impending global disaster. Which is to give priority to castigating the lie perpetuated by (self-serving) capitalist 'leadership', that there is any chance at all of protecting our planetary ecosystem's viability on the current course (they dictate).
Our second realisation must be of the need to cease our running away - into material delusion and escape - from g0od external internal. Primarily, this means striving to complete the humanist democratic revolution - of science - stunted and distorted by capitalist market rule, abstract value, and universal commoditisation. Only this shared means can relieve the pressure, that segregated profit is accumulating, against our living environment. The increasingly competitive, militaristic, and geopolitically unstable trends we are now witness to offer only a disastrous alternate course.
Summary - human civilisation faces a simple, binary choice: world resource management and peace initiated on the basis outlined here; or global, tribal cataclysm along the East -- Islam -- West axes, within decades, leaving few survivors. Please help us choose good, to heal humanity and the Earth, now.
N.B. Deadline: 2050.
Two Futures theme
Two futures: One active, one passive review "Darknet: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation" Jul05
Two Futures, One Hard, One Easy Sustainability Institute
Two Futures for Working Class Education Jim Craven bk reviews 97 Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! protest newsp UK
Two Futures: The Sustainable Home "Wake up from the 'American Dream' & start building a community worth living in" Raise The Hammer blog Nov05 Can
Two Anniversaries, Two Futures NAFTA/EZLN - Americas Program, Interhemispheric Resource Center Jan04
Two Tiers, Two Futures? "wage policies like Caterpillar's" NYTimes Mar06
Two worlds, two futures "The hidden competition for U.S. health-care resources" Stanford Uni School of Medicine 06
Two 9/11s: Two Stategies, Two Futures American Democracy Project "'Democracy has to be born anew in each generation, & education is its midwife.' - John Dewey, 1916" lecture Sep06 US
A Tale of Two Futures "Introduction to Futures Thinking" futureswatch.org "studying tomorrow for better decisions today ..200-Year-Old Pattern Points to Major Amercian Conflicts During Early 21st Century" ...
Foundation For the Future "mission to increase & diffuse knowledge concerning the long-term future of humanity" US & 'Crossroads for Planet Earth' Humanity 3000 Seminar + William Calvin UniWash "Designing for Bounceback" earthfever.net etc
Human evolution at the crossroads "Genetics, cybernetics complicate forecast for species" Fast Forward: The Future of Evolution MSNBC.com May05
Industrial Society and its Future Theodore Kaczynski 1995 (b1942) the 'Unabomber Manifesto' - by way of condolence & objective warning
James Martin 21st Century School "Finding solutions to problems & harnessing opportunities of the 21st century.. goal is to formulate new concepts, policies & technologies that will make the future a better place to be" The Answers School Oxford Uni UK