Update 1 June 2015: See new related articles: "Concern that Australian PM Abbott position on MH17 has no solid basis and is unfair to Russia" and "Anti-Russia Sanctions rely on False Statement by Julie Bishop, Australian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister." This is an occasion for people to make factually based comments and inquiries to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Prime Minister's Office on the way Australia is participating in what appear to be ill-based hostilities. See ABC Australia apologises for bias against Russia in reporting MH17 crash and general tag: http://candobetter.net/taxonomy/term/585. This human aspect, coupled with the involvement of oil industry concerns, highlights the problems associated with globalised, commercialised universities, globalisation and US/NATO alliances and energy resources. This is yet another warning signal of a population and economy in overshoot, locally and internationally. Expansionism is driving blocs of countries into a collision course. Our association with America has made us officially unfriendly with a large number of countries and complicit in the destruction of several. Human rights obligations are under scrutiny. We must pull back from escalations like these. [Ed. Broken link now fixed.]
Permission to publish this eloquent and magnificently drawn cartoon gratefully acknowledged to the artist, Keith Nesbitt of Sustainable Population Australia, South Australia. The original drawing was done in black and white. Jill Quirk (President of SPA Victoria and Tasmanian Branch) coloured it electronically.
The new science of ecology will now describe animals as they really are---moral agents, not biological automatons. And as such, they are to be charged with a moral responsibility to constrain their cravings and live simply so that other animals like them can simply live. Or as they now say on St. Monbiot Island, “Be the reindeer you want the world to be.”
Island in the Behring Sea Renamed To Reflect New Paradigm
Guilty as charged:
Fat, Greedy and White---guilty ungulate “Rudy” reacts to news that responsibility for the infamous St. Matthew Island Reindeer die-off is now attributed to his appetite, rather than to excessive reindeer numbers. Had he eaten lichen modestly, a scientific report says, other reindeer could have lived and the island’s bio-capacity would not have been exceeded. According to data released by the GHN (Global Hoofprint Network) in San Francisco, if all reindeer consumed as much as Rudy did, four planets would have been needed to supply the species sustainably.
I live in a community of right-brained people with innumerate minds full of New Age mush, devoid of logic and antagonistic to science. The shibboleths of 'compassion' and 'caring and sharing' prevail over dispassionate analysis. The medieval mentality of Tibetan Bhuddism combines with the prescriptions of soft-green environmentalism to produce a brew of 'thinking' that is toxic to comprehension. It is a community where people will pay $50 for a psychic reading or a quack medical therapy but balk at paying the same amount of money to fix a leaking kitchen sink or a subscription to Science Daily. I wrote this almost 5 years ago, and despite the development of our much acclaimed "Community Garden" and a local "transition" initiative, I can think of no good reason to make more than one amendment----even we do grow a backbone and a "hard edge"---a local 'fortress' would not indefinitely endure. We are hopelessly dependent on the outside world in ways that we have not yet contemplated. Our deficiencies will only become apparent, I think, when our "Long" emergency becomes a permanent one.
Social Scientist and petroleum depletion writer, Ted Trainer, gives his views on a way forward that does not involve growth. Most of you out there are working three times too hard, and going down with depression and obesity, as your social cohesion crumbles. How about trying a different, simpler way?
So much of the discussion of the human predicament takes for granted a uni-dimensional view of development, wealth, progress. For example many people (especially of the red-left variety) argue that there must be much more economic growth and therefore energy use to increase production so that the poorest billions can rise to satisfactory living standards. They therefore criticise the many green people who are saying that there is already far too much producing and consumption, production, energy and resource use going on. Many red left people argue for redistribution but many green people say that wouldn’t change the amount of consuming so it wouldn’t reduce resource and environmental pressure. So it looks like an insoluble dilemma.
The Julian Simon/Matt Ridley School of economic optimism essentially denies the limits to growth and the possibility of human extinction because they believe that human technological capacity makes humans exceptional. But technology is applied science and it is well recognised that science in itself has limits, perhaps intrinsic limits.
by Fiona Heinrichs
Sitting above an article by Paul Howes for The Australian about alleged ‘thought crimes’ (20 June, 2011, p.14) is an article by the author of The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley, ‘Left Activists Profits of Doom’. Ridley is of the Julian L. Simon School of optimism that sees the world as getting better and the future as so bright that we’ll all need to wear shades. The Australian, especially in columns such as ‘Cut & Paste’ has pushed the line that the ABC appears intolerant of controversial views, but The Australian has its own economic correctness, that of a faith in endless economic growth.
Australia uses huge volumes of water to produce products for export, but cannot find enough water to keep its river systems alive.
The driest inhabited continent on earth - also the world’s biggest water exporter!
While the Murray-Darling Basin Authority apparently struggles to find even a paltry 3,000 gigalitres of water in its increasingly compromised attempt to restore the nation’s most vital and productive river system, a new report reveals Australia to be the world’s largest net exporter of virtual water. This water is exported in crop, livestock and industrial products. It is the water consumed to create produce for export.
The report also indicates that our agricultural sector is responsible for the vast majority of the total volume of water exported from Australia in this way, shipping an average of 72,000 gigalitres of virtual water overseas every year.
Overpopulation conjures up many images. Most typically, one thinks of traffic gridlock or bulldozers ripping up forests or farmland to make way for more housing developments. But these images fail to impress the green wing of the Growth-Management Industry, the so-called "environmentalists" of the "progressive" coalition of feminists, eco-socialists, soft-greens and human rights advocates. For them there are always "solutions" that obviate the need to face the elephant in the room. Public transport, smart growth, green technology and good green living habits will do the trick. The trouble is, they won't. It is all a delusion. Numbers matter--the social justice agenda cannot defeat the laws of physics. And the best metaphor to make that point remains Garrett Hardin's sinking lifeboat.
Of all annual rituals, Halloween strikes me as the most absurd. The eternal question is, why do we need to scare children in an era when real-life horror envelopes us?
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself
Have you seen the latest TV commercials promoting the new Jeep Grand Cherokee for 2011? The theme is summarized with the slogan, "The Things We Make, Make Us". The 'manifesto' video ad, 1:01 minutes long, makes an unanabashed appeal to American pride and patriotism. Poignant scenes are punctuated by proud declarations.
"This once was a country that made things, beautiful things, and so it is again." "It was a country of colts (with the image of colts galloping across the screen) that made Colt revolvers, and Jeeps (pictures of a stream of Army Jeeps presumably poised for the Normandy invasion, then liberating the streets of European towns in the Second World War).... These things make us who we are."
illustration from http://www.elzpublishing.com/index.html
(Thanks to editor Jim Stiles and author John Feeney for permission to reprint this article, that was originally posted at Zephyr Canyon at http://www.canyoncountryzephyr.com/html/aug10-20.htm)
So how's all that modern environmentalism working out for us -- the green living, the carbon credits, reduced consumption, development in the Third World, better solar panels? If it all seems hopelessly inadequate, even laughable in the face of today's global ecological crisis, perhaps that’s because it’s rooted in denial of the origins of the ecological drama now playing out.
It's a drama of which climate change is only a part. It goes back ten thousand years and farther into the human past, confronts us with how we relate to nature, and brings reminders of abandoned civilizations.
"Humankind cannot stand very much reality" T. S. Eliot
Analyst Chris Clugston offered a sobering assessment of our response to the crisis that is unfolding before us.
"Seems to me", he said, "that the 'perspectives' regarding our predicament fall into 5 clusters:
1. Delusionists--totally oblivious
2. Denialists--see reality but turn away
3. Happy Ending(ists)--acknowledge reality but believe that a "down-scaled" BAU will prevail
4. Soft Landing(ists)--acknowledge reality but believe that "lifeboats" are the answer
5. Realists-- (like you) who acknowledge the reality that imminent social collapse is inevitable
In America, there are about 300 million in the first cluster, 8 million in the second, a few thousand in the third, a few hundred in the fourth, and a handful in the fifth. I guess I'm glad; if it was the other way around, we'd be over-run by panicked idiots! Probably better that they watch Amercian Idol..."
Is this "Newspeak" for a decision the Australian PM feels uncomfortable about?
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he makes "no apology" for believing in a "big Australia". he also said " I make absolutely no apology whatsoever for taking a hard line on illegal immigration to Australia."
But Mr Rudd should apologise !
Rudd is socially-engineering Australia's population growth
He presides over a massive rate of population growth which his government has engineered. He should apologise to the present population and also to the future population that will be so much worse off than we are now as the Australian environment inevitably declines . Australia's environment right now suffers from population overload. It's the number of us and the way we live, the way waterways are interfered with for human activities, the way natural habitat is taken over for human habitation, the impact on our environment of human wastes both domestic and industrial, mining extraction and agricultural..... the sheer scale of our activities !