The Best Advice on Earth Day and Every Day is to Divest in Every Aspect of Capitalism

Yesterday another Earth Day came and went and what Pogo said on the 1st Earth Day: "We have met the enemy and he is us." becomes more true and more ignored with each iteration. Humans are, as BeezleyBillyBub accurate details in 'Collapse Data Cheat Sheet' - an impressive curriculum vitae of a self-exterminating species - responsible for the disease. Beazley says: "You can blame capitalism, big banks and monstrous corporate conspiracies for the near term collapse of life on earth, but these things could not exist without us..."

Most of us, but not all, some choose to live a life of non-compliance, to fly under the radar, to use their energy growing healthy food and healthy children who understand that real wealth isn’t measured in money.

A stake in capitalism
Unfortunately in the past decades many folks started to believe they had a stake in capitalism. They ‘invested’ in mutual funds, they accepted the logic of defined contribution pension plans, they used their credit cards to buy needless crap again and again because they deserved it. Now they must turn their eyes and their minds away from the grotesque obscenities of consumer capitalism lest they are forced to admit what Pogo, Beazley and many others who have cast aside their culturally installed blinkers clearly see.

Capitalist vampires live on the blood of the compliant. There are other ways to live, better ways, but consumers fear their imaginary wealth would disappear if vampire capitalism were to crumble and they’d be forced to do the hard work it takes to live a truly sustainable life.

The only viable divestment strategy on Earth Day, and every day, is to divest in every aspect of capitalism, to refuse to comply. Turn on, tune in and drop out is still the best advice.


Starve the Vampires, Save the Earth - STOP CONSUMING NEEDLESS CRAP - Refuse to Comply

Ignite your inner rebel, refuse to comply!

The message of wanting and consuming less may not sell, but it doesn't really have too. In reality we're already seeing how the limits to growth are creating deflation and slow degrowth caused by both debt and wealth inequality. What the economists call a drop in discretionary spending is to me a drop in spending on needless crap. That drop is now curtailing the demand for all types of commodities including fossil fuels by the manufacturers and shipping industries without consumers having to buy into the concept of choosing less consciously.

Slow degrowth is inevitable in a deflationary world. Avoiding the alternative - a massive environmental collapse - can happen through 'cooperative self-limitation' but it can also happen when, for whatever reason, consumers choose of bread over oreos, needs over wants. Even the most addicted consumers, living in a slowly degrowing world with a modest 2%-3% defationary economy, like we're seeing right now in many 'developed' economies', will learn a new trick.

Less may not sell, but needs must trump wants. Living simply can be a revolutionary act, but it also can be as involuntary as shading your eyes in the direct sun. Humans can refuse to participate in a dead society gone shopping. "Once we understand what feeds it, it becomes possible to think of stopping the Machine. I puzzled over this one for a long time, only to suddenly grok the obvious: the fodder for the Machine is our precious life energy! This is the crux. Any machine can withstand tinkering, but no machine can run without fuel." - Joe Bageant

Our life's energy, feeds capitalism's craw. Hedges thinks: "We have the capacity to say no, to refuse to cooperate", and that, ..."only this refusal to cooperate that will save us." Adding: "Any boycott or demonstration, any occupation or sit-in, any strike, any act of obstruction or sabotage, any refusal to pay taxes, any fast, any popular movement and any act of civil disobedience ignites the soul of the rebel and exposes the dead hand of authority."

The human world teeters on the brink of war i fear. The news becoming to depressing to watch, unable to change any of it that "give them bread and circuses" was the Roman Emperors' answer. Monetized, profited on and traded, our life's work - chicken feed for the vampires. Ignite your inner rebel, refuse to comply, STOP CONSUMING NEEDLESS CRAP starve the vampires, save the environment.


Cap and Trade - a Deception That Profits Polluters and Carbon Traders Without Curbing CO2 Emissions

Today Ontario announced it will join Quebec and California's dubious Cap and Trade scheme. A scheme that even the Globe and Mail has trouble really endorsing in it's article this morning.'The Story of Cap and Trade' by Annie Leonard [above], Story of Stuff creator, outlines why Cap and Trade is a deception designed to generate profits for large corporations and carbon offset traders while increasing, not decreasing emissions. Consumer capitalism's pollution of the biosphere is a disaster and like all disasters there's money to be made by selling false hope to the fearful.

Annie's quote: “You can only compromise to a point before a solution isn’t really a solution.” leads off  'A devastating critique of cap-and-trade' by Marc Gunther that ends with another quote from Annie's acclaimed video: The danger with [carbon] offsets is that it’s very hard to guarantee that real carbon is being removed to create the permit, yet these permits are worth real money, This creates a very dangerous incentive to create false offsets—to cheat. Now in some cases cheating isn’t the end of the world. In this case, it is.

An excellent analysis of Cap and Trade's deceptions is by Oscar Reyes of Carbon Trade Watch, an organization that seeks a "justice-based analysis of climate change and climate analysis."

Another oft quoted piece, 'Carry On Polluting', by Larry Lohmann, says: "The damaging effects of carbon trading schemes are felt severely in poor countries. The Durban Group for Climate Justice has documented that almost all the carbon credits are generated by polluting companies, while communities that follow climate-friendly practices such as preserving local forests or defending their lands against oil exploitation are ignored. Only big firms can afford to hire carbon accountants, liaise with officials and pay the costs of getting projects registered with the UN. Yet these are often the companies that local people battle hardest against in defense of their livelihoods and health."

Lohmann goes on to cite  Friends of the Earth’s  report, 'A Dangerous Distraction', which concludes that the practice of carbon offsetting isn't leading to global emission reductions or helping developing countries, but instead is leading to more ways to avoid cutting emissions.

Cap and Trade fits perfectly into the neo-liberal delusion that the 'market' is always the best solution. What all cap-and-trade systems have in common is the creation of a new commodity – the right to pollute – that is then sold in a new market from which the traders scoop their cut out if every transaction. The financialization of nature is not about protecting the environment; it is about creating ways for the financial sector to continue to earn high profits.

Cap and Trade plans in Ontario and beyond won't curb CO2 emissions, won't stop any type of pollution of the biosphere, but it will enrich those who level the mangrove forests that protect the coastlines of the global south in order to replant those areas in GMO Palm oil plantations and it will subsidize the leveling of the Amazon for sugar beets that will end up as transportation fuel. Unfortunately pollution of the biosphere is a disaster and like all disasters there's money to be made by selling false hope to the fearful.


Obama's Convenient Dismissal of History Rings Hollow to Latin America's Victims of it

Raul Castro during historic Summit of the America's speech

How convenient for Obama and the Untied Snakes of America to dismiss the history of colonialism, intervention and abuse throughout Latin America because it happened before Obama was born. And of course the lapdog global mainstream media regurgatated their dear leader's wit. South of 'the border', in Latin America itself, where the people live with the disastrous effects of that history every day, the media and the people know that it's much easier for the oppressors to dismiss their abuses as old news than for the oppressed whose families have been murdered, whose resources have been stolen and whose inalienable rights have been crushed by racism and greed to forget it.

For instance Latin America listened to Raul Castro's historic speech to the Summit of the Americas, not a summation by the corporate press. Raul Castro's speech itself called for an end to the U.S. blockade against his country. Castro said "...the decades-old blockade has harmed the Cuban people, and is a violation of international law.”  Castro argued relations between Washington and Havana are far from normalized, saying, "...the continued presence of a U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay still usurps part of our territory.”

John Wight's overview 'Latin America not US backyard' from a few days ago played out these last few days when the Summit of the Americas became the "triangle of tension" when Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro arrived and said he would hand U.S. President Barack Obama a petition with more than 11 million signatures asking him to repeal the sanctions. Immediately the other leaders spoke out in support of Maduro. Obama was in full retreat, once or twice seeming to stumble over his slower, older, lapdog Harper in the process.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said, "We reiterate our strong condemnation of the unacceptable and unjustifiable unilateral sanctions imposed against the sister nation of Venezuela and the continued foreign interference with the purpose of creating a climate of instability in that sister nation. We ratify our firmest support to the Bolivarian Revolution and the legitimate government headed by President Nicolás Maduro." Brazil, Argentina, Boliva, Equador, Mexico, Nicaragua, even Columbia said Obama must rescind the sanctions against Venezuela.

History doesn't determine the future but it does frame it. So to does the media not only present content but also frames it.

For instance, just before the Summit the U.S. State department officially recommended that Cuba be removed from the Terrorist watch list, no mention at all by the MSM of the fact that Congress has a 45 day window in which to vote against it, which given the Republican Majority in both houses is a forgone conclusion.

Speaking Friday, Obama said the US is not looking to interfere with Latin American countries as it used to. Saying, "The days in which our agenda in this hemisphere so often presumed that the United States could meddle with impunity, those days are past," The hypnotized Norte Americanos may believe this crap but the people of Latin America know better, they've heard the fork tougued snake's speeches before.

Not everyone wants to be a consumer,
the world needs us all to want less.
Cuba stands as a symbol
of real wealth for all.
Para todos, todo. Para nosotros, nada


Living Simply, Joyfully, Refusing to Comply With Immoral Rules, Is a Revolutionary Act

Hermit, hippie, or scoundrel - O.B. Joyful in 1920

O.B. Joyful - 'America's First Hippie' - left an indelible legacy on Berkshire County where i grew up. He lived most of his years in Lanesborough, Massachusetts about 10 miles away from my hometown of Adams. He was born in the same year as my grandfather who knew him a bit and often, after a few Genesee Ales, would tell me stories about the "crazy old man" down the road a peice.

Joe Durwin reminds the readers of his recent article that O.B. Joyful was viewed in his time as a eccentric or a criminal depending on the viewer's perspective. Luckily for me, grandpa was a unique individual himself and allowed others the same right. Today's labels have expanded and now include hermit, renowned poet-philosopher and pioneer hippie. None the labels do him justice, as no label can for any of us. O. B. was a cultural revolutionary who lived his life close to nature. In an age of unquestioning reliance on 'growth' O. B. thrived by having and wanting less. O.B. joyful was a prophet for the coming age of 'Aquarius' in the '60's and '70's and an example for us all then and today that living simply is a revolutionary act.

O.B. knew in his bones and manifested in his actions what half a century later was being written about in the book 'Limits to Growth' which predicted our civilization would probably collapse due to our inability to live within nature's limits. Looking back now at the '70s or further back to O.B.'s time it's easy to see that modern 'civilization' by and large has never heeded those warnings and the delusion of self-centered endless material growth has brought the natural world that underlies all real wealth to its knees.

A few days ago The Mud Report wrote, in response to Chris Hedges article that 'Only Refusal to Cooperate Will Save Us From Totalitarian Capitalism', saying in part: "Humans do, hopefully, still have the capacity to say 'no'. Will they? Refusal to cooperate isn't easy. Refusal, individually and collectively, to capitulate can save us and make us whole as well." O. B. Joyful was both prophet for and example of how to live another way in the world, a way that fulfills the individual, the society and the nature's undeniable limits.

Hedges wrote: "...any act of civil disobedience ignites the soul of the rebel and exposes the dead hand of authority. It is only this refusal to cooperate that will save us." Refusal to comply, cooperate, capitulate with who? The fascist forces of corporate domination? The Machine? The Man? or the conditioning that 'civilization' attempts to pound into us from every corner in an attempt to form within each of us a uniform worldview from which escape is near impossible?

The materialist internal domination O.B. escaped is escapable by everyone. Escape isn't easy, but it is essential. There can be no freedom, there is no salvation without it. The Machine, The Man, Pirsig's Giant are created by the collective projections, the complicit dreams, of the prisoners of materialism. When a person complies, cooperates, capitulates to civilization's crass commands that person dies on the vine.

O.B. Joyful's actions, and mine to the best of my ability, show that living simply is a revolutionary act.