Monday, February 12, 2007

Waking up, Into the Nightmare!

Much of what I have written on the blog lately ("Give me a Child Until...." and "Mudpies and Dunce caps Part 2") has to do with the degree of social indoctrination and brainwashing in support of current society. I have always been and still am most concerned with government, business, media and religious indoctrination in the elementary levels of the public school system (a phenomenon which is now increasingly creeping into private schools as well), the degree to which those institutions take control over the formation of the character of our children to suit their aims, the role of media through television, radio, music, movies and magazines in targeting our children and reinforcing that institutional indoctrination. There is a solid reason for that concern. This article should be seen, therefore, as a continuation of the above series of articles. Many of the other articles on the blog also are musings on various specific aspects of the same line of thought (e.g. "The Right to Pursue Powerdown").

We are arguably headed into the most difficult struggle for survival that our species has ever had to deal with. We and our children are, in this new century, going to have to deal with some combination of serious global problems any one of which by itself could force a serious readjustment of human society. To have to deal with a number of them within the same century is a more onerous prospect than the problems underpinning any of the major turning points in human history. What are those problems?

* Global population growth that has already pushed us well beyond the natural carrying capacity of this planet and continues to push us even beyond the artificial carrying capacity achieved through the use of fossil fuels. 20-40,000 people die globally every day from starvation and nutrition-related illness. A full third of the human population is, by our western standards, malnourished or undernourished.
* Peak oil and peak energy or, more importantly, the decline in oil, natural gas and other forms of energy following the global peak in oil and natural gas. Professor Richard Duncan, in his Olduvai Theory, draws a direct link between the peaking in oil and natural gas and the comparatively rapid depletion of other sources of energy that will follow.
* Global warming and climate change and its attendant issues of desertification, ice cap and glacier melting, sea level rise, shift of growing zones, possible shutting down of the Atlantic thermal conveyor and the strong potential of an associated new ice age in Europe, a steady dramatic global increase in storm severity and unprecedented aberrant weather patterns, etc.
* Global loss of soil fertility through top soil degredation and depletion through the use of pesticides, artificial fertilizer, over irrigation, over cultivation, over cropping, loss of organic matter and humus, etc. Once the artificial fertility afforded by fossil fuel inputs is no longer available (it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel input to produce one calorie of food using western agricultural methods) we will have only natural fertility to support us.
* Accelerating global decline of fresh water resources through pollution, aquifer depletion, loss of ground water through global warming, overuse of fresh water for irrigation for agriculture, golf courses, unnatural desert cities, etc.
* The increasing global loss of viable agricultural land to urban sprawl, infrastructure spread, soil salination and toxicity, erosion from wind and water, etc.
* The increasing global loss of food security through unfettered population explosion, loss of soil fertility, nutrient loss in increased photosynthesis due to global warming, inexorable encroachment and destruction of traditional farming practices by multinationals like Monsanto, Dupont, ADM, etc.
* Runaway global species extinction through increased competition from the growing human population, wholesale habitat destruction and destruction of natural migratory routes, habitat destruction through global warming, shifting of critical climatic ranges toward the poles through global warming, breaking the ecological links between different species through isolation, reduction of species gene pools to critical levels, human monopolization of insolation to grow our crops at the expense of natural food sources for other species, etc.
* The growing potential of endless terrorism and resource wars, very possibly including nuclear and biolgical weapons.
* The dramatically increasing probabability of a major global pandemic (bird flu, HIV/AIDS, ebola, hanta, marburg, west nile, etc.) due to human encroachment on disease reservoirs in Africa, South America, and elsewhere, on global degredation of human immune systems due to overuse of antibiotics and vaccines, the continuing avoidance of breast feeding in developed and, increasingly, developing nations, the increasing use of antibiotic cleansers and other products in the home and its impact on impairing the immune system development in our children and causing a global epidemic increase in childhood illnesses, etc.
* The strong potential of a global economic meltdown following peak oil and other disasters listed above.

AND MORE...................

None of this is news, of course, at least not if you are a regular reader of my blog or Energy Bulletin or any of the hundreds and thousands of online websites, newsgroups, e-mail groups and other sites that have been discussing these issues, or any of the hundreds of books available on peak oil, global warming, overpopulation, and other imminent global disasters. If you do a google on "peak oil" you will find that there are over six million links available, and that number grows by thousands every day. A global warming google will net you more than 65,000,000 links. So if all of this is so readilly available why can I still run across tidbits like this in The Cheap Oil Mirage in The Daily Reckoning - Weekend Edition:

"Recently . . . the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an extraordinary session, heard testimony that the nation is in grave danger of a permanent oil crisis. Some of these senators affected to be shocked and surprised. What planet have they been living on? What is the nation getting for the hundreds of million of dollars paid to their staffers? Outgoing Republican chair, Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), said to the witnesses that "what you told us today is absolutely startling with reference to the future." Is it too early for a dumbass of the year award?"

If our national and global leaders are ignorant of the crises before us, either intentionally or unintentionally - and I am very much not suggesting that they are ignorant of these crises - is it any wonder that the vast majority of average people likewise remain unaware of the crises ahead? I would strongly suggest, however, that the vast majority of our politicians and leaders are very much aware of the crises ahead of us. So why aren't they talking? Would you? If you were in George Bush's shoes and you were aware of the imminence of peak oil and the implications of a declining global oil supply would you admit it publically? The thing with being a politician is that admitting to an awareness of a problem imposes upon that politician expectations that something will be done about. The politician who talks about a problem must have solutions for that problem. Does any politcian or leader on the planet have a viable solution to peak oil, global warming, or any of the other global disasters that are likely to assault us over the course of this century?

I would suggest the answer is a resounding NOOOOOOO.........

So think about it. You're George Bush. You know peak oil is fast approaching. You know you have no solutions, probably know there are no solutions. You know you can't admit that you know these things because you don't have answers. So what do you do? All of this information is out there in the public arena so more and more people will gradually find out. You can't shut down the sources of that information. They're too numerous and global in nature. If a critical mass of awareness develops it could lead to uncontrollable civil unrest. You can't let that happen. What's your best course of action? Fall back on tried and true methods. Deny, deny, deny! Never utter the words. Spearhead a campaign of misinformation and disinformation to discredit such information, to cause confusion. Capitalize on social loyalty of the sheeple to authority. Use the words "theory" and "conspiracy" often, always accompanied by a smirk or a laugh or a lifting of the eyebrows accompanied with a shrug. Keep the populace focussed on other problems like terrorism, political scandals, corporate scandals, WMD and if there aren't big enough problems already then create some. Keep waving the flag and reminding the sheeple that you are the only truly patriotic leader they have available. And most importantly, you ratchet up the indoctrination and brainwashing of the nation's children to ensure that they perpetuate the compliance of the masses to the desires and directives of the national leaders. And most importantly, you keep the focus away from the problems long enough to leave it to the next president to solve.

Our government, business, religious and media leaders are doing absolutely everything they can to keep us sleepwalking toward the cliff ahead. Bereft of solutions they are doing all that they can to ensure they at least continue to have control of the masses. But there is an absolute nightmare ahead of us. More and more people everyday are waking up to the nightmare of an increasingly uncomfortable reality. When the spell of the global hypnosis is finally broken and a critical mass of the population realize that the nightmare is real we will be at potentially the greatest turning point in human history. Leaders who have maintained their hold on power by keeping the masses ignorant of a serious and unpreventable and unsolveable problem always eventually fall to the overwhelming will of the people when the subterfuge is revealed. The longer and more aggressively the masses are kept ignorant of the problem the more passionate and voilent the backlash when it comes. But leader after leader has still naively followed this path. Manipulating public apathy and ignorance of the truth can only be carried on for so long.

Awareness is building. The more it does the closer we get to potentially a global day of reckoning. To quote, I think, P. T. Barnum, "You can fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time." With a global erosion of civil liberties leaders are playing a very dangerous game. Be careful dealing with a people who have nothing left to lose.

I will return to this theme again and again. Stay tuned.


Brishen Hoff said...

My blog also covers some similar topics.

A friend in BC has a related blog as well:

Anonymous said...

Sure, very likely, hardship is ahead for masses of people, including myself, who are used to occasionally reminding themselves about the hardships many people in other parts of the world have been experiencing as they struggle for resources. Now, many of us are envisioning ourselves as part of the suffering masses.
However, I have not entirely lost my faith in the ability of governments to help people at least soften the blow of these problems.
They can't be avoided, likely, but giving up and investing ourselves too readily into apocalyptic thinking is not the solution.
Ironically, that is the easy-and , no offense, but cowardly- way out. It takes courage to have hope, and to try to salvage some remnants of a society worth living in, despite all of these very real problems. my email address is

Alex Thompson said...

We do not have the management systems in place on the planet to avert the coming energy and ecological problems - hell, we do not even see ourselves as a combined species with a planetary outlook.

We are more like a series of primitive tribes hiding behind nationalism - pretty scary stuff when you think about it!

So what will happen? I will tell you exactly what will happen:

Energy production will shift to nuclear and coal for those countries with the resources. For those nations without the resources I see mass migrations and conflict.

The environment won't get a look in here, yes there will be some tentative steps, but energy is going to be so great a challenge that it will get thrown out the window.

Be prepared for a hot future with some serious conflict thrown in.

Or we could develop a planetary outlook, move to sustainability, curb population growth and exploit the universe's resources.

There is only one path out of this situation, your either in it for the species or in it for yourself.

Leon said...

Richard, I am making my way back through your earlier posts. I find myself doing what I can to build awareness of the looming catastrophe. I am an attorney and work with a lot of other attorneys, educated, capable, and reasonable people. When I first started talking in the office about the peak oil/global warming topics a couple of years ago I got this you are a flat earth crackpot nut case type of reaction. I just gently and with good humor kept up the dialog. The unfolding of events over the past two years has led to a grudging sort of vindication for me. I must say that where before in my office there was an obliviousness to the wolf at the door, today there is a widespread acceptance that yes Houston, we do have a problem.
As you say, at some point there will be a critical mass of awareness and things will really start to happen. Although we can't predict how that awareness will play out, we simply cannot afford to stay in denial. Thanks for your continuing efforts in this campaign.