Colorado Set to Pass Mandatory GMO Labeling Initiative 'Load Willin and the Crick Don't Rise'

This coming Tuesday Nov. 4th is election day stateside. It's pretty much a contest between corporate supported candidate A and B at all levels. The shining light in U.S. politics is the ballot initiative. The process, though the results here too are most often bought by the big-bucks side, contains a crack in the Corporate Empire's armour and they know it. That's why between 2012 and mid-2014, this David (the people) vs. Goliath (giant corporations) struggle over GM food labeling has unleashed a total of $100 million in spending by Monsanto and industry lobby group, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), to block GMO labeling in campaigns across the U.S.

Lauren McCauley of CommonDreams writes, "As voters in Oregon, California, Hawaii and Colorado prepare to weigh in on whether genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, should be banned or regulated in their states or communities, grassroots campaigns are being overwhelmed by millions that agrochemical and food industry titans are pouring in to defeat such measures."  It's obvious that citizen-led initiatives to regulate GMOs face deep pockets from agribusiness.

The crack, i'll grant ya, is tiny, but, thin edge of the wedge wise, if the normally fearful were to stand up, if the middle class could for an instant be unfazed by the deceivers, if GMO labeling could mandated by initiative and the sky doesn't fall, then by the next election cycle state after state will vote for labeling.

GMOs are an indispensable part of agri-business. GMOs require doses of pesticides to fight the on going evolutionary battle that Mother Nature's 'pests' present...Ca-Ching. GMOs, their snakeoil sales teams say, generate huge profits and they do but those profits go to he banks that finance the special equipment, the seed itself, the petro-chemical fertilizers, the ground water pumps, etc. not the farmers. The multi-generation farmers mostly go bankrupt as soon as they miss a beat [think drought or twister] the land gets sold, agribusiness buys it up. GMOs are the linchpin of the global theft of agricultural land from the hands of the flesh and blood people.

Millions of people are aware that chemical-and energy-intensive industrial food and farming as a whole, not just GMOs, pose a fundamental threat to public health, the environment and climate stability. Forty per cent of all greenhouse gases come from the use of fossil fuels and chemical-intensive industrial agriculture.

Even more disgusting are the endless lies about GMOs feeding the world. The U.S. devotes 40 per cent of its corn crop to ethanol production. Corn growers use the most fertilizer of all major U.S. crops and every year millions of tons of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer leach into groundwater and run off the fields into suface and underground waterways eventually reaching the oceans and creating a massive dead zones like the one in the Gulf of Mexico where no marine life can survive.

But, as usual, i digress. Tuesday will be a big day for the flora, fauna, microbes, minerals, forces and faeries if the chronically fearful can stand up on their back legs and be strong. All 4 states are seeing massive ad buys by the corporations peddling fear. Poll numbers in Oregon, California and Hawaii that once showed the Yes side winning widely have now reversed, as they have in previous initiatives under the combination barrage of corporate lies and middle class self-interest.

Then there's Colorado where i predict that Coloradans, having seen that the falling sky syndrome preached by the corporate criminals before the pot referendum two years ago not only didn't happen but that things turned out better than anyone dared dream, will pass the mandatory labeling initiative.


Harper Using Fear Tactics to Gut Civil Lberties in War on Tree-Huggers and Other Terrorists

A couple days ago Thomas Mulcair agreed that the War Memorial shooting in Ottawa was not terrorism. He gave a great answer here as to why words, especially words that are both undefinable and carry such gravitas, matter so much. Within minutes of the attack Canadian authorities and MSM were using the 'T' word. Almost immediately Harpo began using the killing to market the need for an upgraded 'security state'.

Daniel Therrien, the federal Privacy Commissioner, a former government national security lawyer, says, "Police and security agencies have enough powers to combat terrorism." Other civil liberty wachdog groups are warning that the 'Canadian National Security Bill May Curtail Civil Liberties. Harpo thinks that Canadians will fall into the trap that Americans did after 9/11 by permitting passage of the Patriot Act and the pandora's box of so-called "security" measures have since gone wild.

Glen Greenwald said a few days ago, "It is always stunning when a country that has brought violence and military force to numerous countries acts shocked and bewildered when someone brings a tiny fraction of that violence back to that country." Harpo, though wasn't shocked, he was waiting for this, it's just like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. A lunatic attacks, the fear factor, amplified by the media and the 'T' word in every sentence, skyrockets. Harpo wants you to fear these attacks by 'outsiders' while he guts your civil liberties in another part of his god-given quest to subdue the environment in the service of the corporate elites who support him.

Words matter. When Justin Bourque murdered 3 Moncton Mounties and shot two others then both personally and in written form catalogued his obhorance of Canada's foreign policy in the Middle East, and beyond, as well as his anti-capitalist, anti-authority, anti-police and pro-violence stances, never once has Bourque called a terrorist in the MSM or by the authoritires...Crown prosecutor Cameron Gunn said Bourke targeted police to start a rebellion...HUM guess Bourque didn't fit the 'T' profile somehow, maybe it's his first name?

Bourque, pled guilty and is being sentenced for three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Speaking through tears, Justin Bourque apologized in a Moncton, N.B., courtroom Tuesday morning during his sentencing hearing. Bourque, is/was a murderer by Mulcair's definition and mine.

What's missing in Bourke's case is the bogeyman paste. Harpo squeezed the Middle East toothpaste and he needed bogeyman paste to squirt out. A reader and buddy sent this link that's circulating among Canada's First Nation folks today, it's about the effects of bogeyman paste.


Ottawa and the Media Can Break the Circle of Fear by Calling Zehaf-Bibeau a Criminal or Murderer

Yesterday morning a murderer shot and killed Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo [above] at the Ottawa war memorial. Cirillo was 24 and as his uncle said, "...didn't deserve this".

IMO both of the young people killed yesterday were victims. Terrorism is the word being jumped to across Canadian synapses today. Defining terrorism though is a slippery business. The same group may be described as 'freedom fighters' by its supporters and considered to be 'terrorists' by its opponents. For instance, ANC leader Nelson Mandela was, at one point, considered a terrorist by the 'civilized' world.

Terror is an emotional state not a political one. The innocent family huddled in wait of the drone's bombs are in terror. Terror is an internal state, once terrorized an individual or group will often react irrationally when another uncontrollable negative situation occurs. Around and around it goes - the molested child becomes the adult molester,  the terrorized become the terrorizer. Terror may go into remission, but there is no cure.

Both of these people who died yesterday in Ottawa are victims of 'blowback'. As Glen Greenwald said today, "It is always stunning when a country that has brought violence and military force to numerous countries acts shocked and bewildered when someone brings a tiny fraction of that violence back to that country. Regardless of one’s views on the justifiability of Canada’s lengthy military actions, it’s not the slightest bit surprising or difficult to understand why people who identify with those on the other end of Canadian bombs and bullets would decide to attack the military responsible for that violence."

We need a new word. Tomis Kapitan's well written piece The Reign of ‘Terror’, mentioned by Greenwald, attempts to corral terrorism's definition but it doesn't consider how everyone who actively opposes the Empire's goals is a terrorist now, how in Canada Ottawa's new anti-terrorism strategy lists environmentalists and First Nations as threats.

We need a new word because we are all terrorized. For instance, look at the reaction in Amerika to Ebola recently if you want to see a terrorized population in action. The obvious, irrational, over-reaction illustrates how terror closes eyes, closes them even to the exact actions that could save the terrorized were they able to open their eyes and act decisively.

When negative shit happens a wise person or group doesn't react, they respond. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is/was a murderer. Ottawa's response in the coming days should be to never mention the slippery 'T' word, instead, if i were Emperor, i'd command the use of criminal, the 'C' word.  Breaking the circle of fear would be the most appropriate response IMO.


Oregon Set to Become a Part of History With Twin Legal Pot and GMO Labeling Initiative Wins

The clock is ticking, two weeks to go. On Nov. 4th Oregonians get to vote on initiatives legalizing pot, #91, and GMO Labeling, #92. The two Yes campaigns have similarities, including supporters. The big difference between them is that just as in the prior mandatory GMO labeling votes in California and Washington, the corporate goons are spreading the bucks and lies around, but, whereas in the past the pot legalization efforts in other states always faced lagging far behind in fund raising, now that Colorado and Washington have had such success, many of the nay-sayers have packed up their tents and its the Yes campaign raising way more money..

Tax revenues in both Wash and Colo. are up far beyond projections. Colorado estimated revenue prior to passage – Year 1: $4.7m to $22.6m Actual revenue from recreational – Year 1 in first 6 months: $17.2 million - Colorado Department of Revenue, July 2014 Crime and traffic accidents, both bogey men in earlier anti-pot campaigns, have decreased since legalization. The Washington stats are similar though of shorter duration due to the more effective foot-dragging by politicians in Wasgington St. Colorado has also seen a explosion in jobs related to pot tourism, motels, car rentals, tour operators, twinkie sales...they all employ people who in turn buy stuff and pay taxes.

The website 'Sensible Changes Coming to Oregon – Be a part of history!' has an easy to use online registration setup [still 4 days o register]. Surely the good people of Oregon won't be hoodwinked by slick, fork tongued, liars as their neighbors in Wash. and Calif. were. But who knows...in the meantime there's lot of good info and encouraging testimony on the Yes on 92 website.

The Yes on 91 website is great too and it's chocked full of great info. and stats. on both Colorado and Washington. Living up here in Canada makes me jealous of the state by state initiative process in America. Though far from perfect and subject to big money's pressure, among other things, it does give people a venue to force change past the barrier of vested interests. Whether they take that opportunity or not...

Next year i'm hoping Justin Trudeau can use the genius of folks like Afroman, who's video below rocks my boat "Because i got high."


The Deserts Will Re-Bloom Someday Despite Us. For Now Head North, It's The New West.

The white “bathtub ring” of mineral deposits marks the decline of Lake Mead

My daughter and i often drove over Hoover Dam and Lake Mead on our winter road trips to escape the rain. Each time we commented that it seemed even lower than the last. Lake Mead which is able to store two years of the Colorado River’s historic annual flow currently holds only 9 months worth of that flow. Lake Mead hasn't been this low since it was being filled.

Satellites show groundwater supply at greater risk than previously thought. The bigger problem is that the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin has experienced rapid and significant groundwater depletion since late 2004 according to a new study by NASA and University of California, Irvine. Many experts agree that about 70 percent of the Colorado River Basin water supply goes toward irrigated agriculture. YIKES

Bigger yet is the reality that the Western states and surrounding deserts are all in the worst drought in 2,000 years and they are far from alone. There are wide swaths of moderate to severe drought stretching from Oregon to Texas, with problems impacting numerous states west of the Mississippi River. Even more frightening is that much of the rest of the world is dealing with water scarcity issues too.  In fact, North America is actually in better shape than much of Africa and Asia.

Decades after reading 'Cadillac Desert', and years after watching 'Last Call at the Oasis', after driving the desert southwest's blue roads as often as possible, after loving every mile, every cactus, every critter and realizing both what a lucky shit i am to have been born when and where i was and how all of it is into all kinds of catastrophic trouble because of the rogue primate's obscene abuse of everything it sees.

i may never drive the 'dark desert highways, cool wind in my hair' again but i know that, try as we might to destroy them, we can't. About one day after we're finally history a seed will sprout through the cracked asphalt somewhere, it'll grow nourished by the good soil we idiots paved over once upon a time and it's seed and it's seed will walk on the winds generation after generation. Others will too, the desert will re-bloom someday despite us.

If you live in the desert, it ain't gonna get better soon, my advice is to head north [it's the new west].

i loved our road trips though i'm sorry now a bit for the extravagance i see in them that i didn't then. i've learned and keep learning that all i can do is my best, as defined by the parameters of what i know and believe that day everyday. As i was lucky to be born when i was, i'm lucky to now live on a small piece of the Great Mother's bosom with abundant clean water, air and poor hard working neighbors. It perfectly fits with my beater to beamer real estate metric.


It Takes 5000 Years to Replenish Groundwater, Yet the Frackers Keep Pumping Waste Into Californian Aquifers

An email yesterday from a friend/comrade schooled me about a recent report that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry waste water have been illegally dumped into central California aquifers that supply drinking water and farming irrigation, according to state documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity. The waste-water entered the aquifers through at least nine injection disposal wells used by the oil industry to dispose of waste contaminated with fracking fluids and other pollutants. This despite the fact that California's State Legislature recently came to its senses, if only partly and momentarily, and halted the re-injection of fracking waste water, warning it may be contaminating California's aquifers.

California’s oil and gas fields produce billions of gallons of contaminated waste-water each year, and much of this contaminated fluid is injected underground. California has an estimated 2,583 waste water injections wells, of which 1,552 are currently active in different ares throughout the state. For sure i'm gonna get emails say, "lay off Califiornia, eh, it's no worse than most places". Ain't that the truth, but California grows so much of the US and Canadian food supply, it's in a mega-drought, its pumping its aquifers dry, the snows ain't there to re-fill the dam damns, the urban sprawl gallops everywhere in the desert southwest laying more of water pipe for more houses...etc.

Ironically, Tulare County, in the San Joaquin Valley of California and home of Tulare Lake, ran out of tap water a couple of weeks ago and is now trucking in everything due to that state’s never-ending mega-drought. Another report says chances are increasingly high that California and other states could be facing a water crisis worse than anything seen in 2,000 years. "Nobody knows how disastrous it's going to be" say most California water experts in their private moments over a beer.

Much of Tulare Lake is now disguised as interstate highway but this too shall pass someday.

Tulare Lake was the largest of several similar lakes in its lower basin. Most of the Kern River's flow first went into Kern Lake and Buena Vista Lake via the Kern River and Kern River Slough southwest and south of the site of Bakersfield. If they overflowed, it was through the Kern River channel northwest through tule marshland and Goose Lake, into Tulare Lake. Musta been magnificent until shortly after the Europeans arrived. For lots more interesting stuff check out 'Tulare Lake Today' .

On average, groundwater resources are 5000-years old. That is, it takes, on average, 5000 years for a drop of rain that makes its way into a freshwater aquifer to make its journey to a spring or the sea. By contrast, river waters globally average a residence time of 17 days between rain and entry to a sea (if they aren't sucked out first). On average a water molecule spends around 8 days in the atmosphere once evaporated from a surface water body or transpired from vegetation before returning as precipitation.

This 5000-year (fresh) groundwater residence time is important because 1) it demonstrates that groundwater mining (extracting at a net rate that exceeds replenishment) is a serious problem and 2) that pollution of such resources will take heroic measures to mitigate, if even possible. Groundwater is special. Mistakes regarding it are more or less permanent.

But, as we all know, corporations have only one master - shareholder profits. It's far more effective to use a few bucks to buy off the politicians than conform to the regulations they might impose on the flow of shareholder cash. So it sure appears meaningful government regulations are impossible without a 9.0 earthquake event.

That very earthquake is coming, one way or another, with or without regulations. The best option IMO is already well unfolded - demand reduction fueled degrowth and modest deflation. The DOW has dropped 1500 points in 3 weeks, Asia's oil demand is off 60% in the last year, the petrodollar is dodging BRICS but wobbly. In reponse - panic is currently gripping global central-planning headquarters as pictured below courtesy of Victor Leonardi:


Cottonwoods Will Break Through the Desert's Dams and Snow Will Cover the Sierras Again Someday

There is only so much fresh water and it is under attack, a pincer attack, one of the pincers is fracking because of its ability "break caprock, shoot out of zone, link to natural fractures and penetrate into groundwater" says an independent technical review panel appointed by Canadian Natural Resources. Pressures created by the fracking of shale rock can create a zig-zag of traveling fractures that resemble the cracking of ice on a frozen lake.

Further, the geology and terrain interact to make no two 'plays' the same making the whole science of hydraulic fracture models fail to predict fracture behaviour precisely, and in many cases, models fail completely, largely because of incorrect information and assumptions used in the models." So whatever the industry or any expert says, they just don't know what they don't know.

California's State Legislature recently came to its senses, if only partly and momentarily, and halted the re-injection of fracking waste water, warning it may be contaminating California's aquifers. [Technicians were probably lucky to recovered their data at the rate California's aquifers are dropping]. There's an estimated 25,000 fracking wells in Calif [millions more globally]. They take between 2-8 million gallons of water each, some much more, and a well may be fracked multiple times, with each frack increasing the chances of chemical leakage into the soil and local water sources.

The western states, especially California, are in a drought that's going from bad to catastrophic. The U.S. Drought Monitor reported that more than half of the state is now in experiencing 'exceptional' drought, the most severe category available. And most of the state – 81% – currently has one of the two most intense levels of drought. While California’s problems are particularly severe, that state is not alone in experiencing significant drought right now. There are wide swaths of moderate to severe drought stretching from Oregon to Texas, with problems impacting numerous states west of the Mississippi River. Even more frightening is that much of the rest of the world is dealing with water scarcity issues too.  In fact, North America is actually in better shape than much of Africa and Asia.

So, California isn't unique, neither is drought. Loooooong droughts come and go from the desert as they did when they drove out the Chaco 1100 years ago. Of course the snows and rain will return but maybe not until the humans have been eliminated long enough for the climate to return to it's mid-glaciation period. Fortunately one day though the cottonwoods will break through the dams, the snows will return to the high sierra and California's big valley will have its lake back and filled with migratory birds and countless other life forms.

One of the greatest lessons in my life comes from geology's accounting of the scale of time. We are a speck, we can, have and will continue to take down countless innocents in our hubris, but in the looooooong run we'll be a thin shiny line in the sediment. Life will continue on it's merry way without us. That realization gives me the power/energy to care, to try to help civilization break it's fall, to help some fellow travelers have some seed in the feeder, some crunchies in the bowl each day.

Water is under attack from our callous abuse in the immoral pursuit of possessions, We could all change...but in any case, cottonwoods will break through the desert's dams and snow will cover the Sierras again someday.


Frack is Wack, It's Insane, It's dumb, It's Capitalism and Only Terrorists are Opposed

Yesterday, October 11th, was "Global Frackdown Day", a day when anti-fracking activists all over the world demanded an end to the destructive practice of hydraulic-fracture drilling that the oil and gas industries are aggressively trying to expand in regions across the planet.  On Friday the group sent a joint letter (pdf) to United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, in part it reads:

"Mounting scientific evidence shows that fracking is not only inherently unsafe for both public health and ecosystems, but that fracking may actually drive global warming more than conventional fossil fuels due to methane leakage from oil and gas drilling operations and their attendant infrastructure. According to the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Synthesis report, methane from oil and gas is 87 times as powerful at trapping heat as carbon dioxide, pound for pound, over a 20-year period and 36 times more so over 100 years. So, while natural gas may burn relatively cleaner than oil or coal, the cumulative effect of extracting gas and building the necessary transport infrastructure is a greater threat to the planet. net."

Everywhere the frackers go, extensive groundwater contamination, air pollution, land fragmentation, property devaluation, road destruction, earthquakes, public health issues, soon follow. This includes contamination of drinking water by fracking fluid, massive water consumption (an average frack well requires 2 to 8 million US gallons of water over its lifetime), air pollution, fugitive methane emissions and lost habitat from thousands of roads, wells and pipelines.

The details of fracking's complex impact on geology and groundwater are the focus of a new independent technical review looking into the 2013 bitumen leak in northern Alberta which found hydraulic fracturing to be the main culprit. The panel, also documented that industry frack jobs, contrary to industry claims, can break caprock, shoot out of zone, link to natural fractures and penetrate into groundwater. The same paper added, "All hydraulic fracture models fail to predict fracture behaviour precisely, and in many cases, models fail completely, largely because of incorrect information and assumptions used in the models."

"In simple terms", as Andrew Nikiforuk says, "pressures created by the industrial injection of fluids in bitumen or shale rock can create a zig-zag of traveling fractures that resemble the cracking of ice on a frozen lake." As a consequence California recently halted the injection of fracking waste warning of contaminated aquifers.

Fracking is the dumbest idea yet in a long-term series of dumb moves, 'Frack Is Wack', but it makes rich people richer, so their govt. and media stooges line up to praise it. Tons of good vibes from The Mud Report to everyone who put out their energy to bring awareness to the stupidity of making things worse. Of course, each of those good vibeees will now be under surveillance as a probable terrorist, in fact a recent report says that just being opposed to fracking makes one a probable terrorist.

IMO it's not a change of energy sources we need, it's a change of lifestyles. The rich can only get richer when we buy the needless bangles their advertising stooges dangle. Frack is Wack, but it thrives in the cultural field of consumption as palliative. Conservation, as in simplicity, and efficiency can slow our demand for fossil fuels, creating energy [unused] with no footprint. None of this, or my other schemes, will make the rich richer, so they don't get much press but lottsa followers from .gov websites.

Fracking will lose its allure when the next even Free-er Lunch delusion comes along or, when the people stop consuming needless crap or when the bubble bursts. But in the meanwhile, everyday the fucking frackers blast unknown chemicals, and who knows what else, into the earth, fracturing it for short term profit at the expense of the non-renewable, clean fresh water our children will need. It's insane, it's dumb, it's capitalism and only terrorists are opposed.


Organic Agriculture and Perennial Grasses, Not Green-Washed Corporate-Ag, are the Solution

Dr. Kristine Nichols and Mark 'Coach' Smallwood, of the Rodale Institute, are walking with a message and carrying a solution.

The solution to many of the biospheric blights our current consumption creates is, as Dr. Kristine Nichols and Mark 'Coach' Smallwood of the Rodale Institute are trying to draw broader attention to, beneath our feet. It's the soil, it's organic agriculture's ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Combined with 'the Perennial Solution - perennials are thrifty, their long, massive root systems hold on to soil, water, and fertilizer, which means less pollution as well as sequestered carbon.

Many studies like the 40 year multinational, multidisciplinary, peer reviewed study 'Organic Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in the Context of Food Security' have proven that "If farmers could stop planting GMOs, and make the transition to organic farming, farm and ranch land can become a significant sink or sequestration pool for greenhouse gasses, literally sucking excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them safely in the soil, where they belong."

The data that Rodale has collected since 1981, and others have corroborated, from Rodale's Farming Systems Trial has revealed that soil under organic agriculture management can accumulate about 1,000 pounds of carbon per acre foot of soil each year. This accumulation is equal to about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre taken from the air and sequestered into soil organic matter.

Billions of tons of carbon - excess waste generated extractive capitalism, can be returned to the soil, our water resources can suffer one less huge contamination source, our pollinators would throw no-pesticide party, our weather as well as our climate would gradually 'relax', especially after the heating already built in by the 30 year timelag ends.

In addition to capturing more carbon as soil organic matter, organic agricultural production methods also emit less greenhouse gases through more efficient use of fuels. Energy analysis by Dr. David Pimentel from Cornell University show that organic systems use only 63% of the energy input used by the same sized 'conventional' agri-business operations.

Family farmers produce nearly 80 percent of the world’s food, things can change, there are solutions. So why don't our 'dear leaders' hear them? Money honey, as always. Capitalism ate government for lunch long ago, it had the MSM for dessert. Small scale, locally produced, hands on organic framing doesn't make the rich richer [the opposite in fact] so it can't possibly get access to the microphone. Organic farming and the reestablishment of perennial grasslands IS a real challenge to the status quo.

One of the articles published in the first muddy month here was 'Organic Gardening and Carbon Sequestration'. Re-reading it just now and then going over my most recent offering on the topic i'm happy to report that not much has changed in five years between my ears, but sad to report not much has changed beyond that space either. Please read Soil not Oil by Vandana Shiva and please visit, follow and support La Via Campesina in their bottom-up fight against the forces of evil globally.

Kristine and Mark are due to arrive on Oct. 16th from eastern Pennsylvania after completing their 160-mile journey to Washington, DC with a walking sticks, a brimmed hats, and a simple but profound message: Organic agriculture can reduce the output of carbon dioxide by 37-50%, reduce costs for the farmer, and increase our planet’s ability to positively absorb and utilize greenhouse gases.

Of course, the giddy miracles aren't even dreamable without reduced demand for needless crap, without conservation, without reducing our demands on this one blue dot we share.  But if somehow ...be it recession, deflation, degrowth or outright economic collapse, disease, or enlightenment...we do figure out how to be happy with less, we can re-establish the natural balance thrown off kilter right now by our over-indulgence and through long practiced methods of organic agricultural methods re-establish a little bit on the 'garden'.


Naomi Klein - Heroine and Heroin - Offers No Real Challenge to Capitalism in Her New Book

i've loved, read, re-read and learned tons from Naomi Klein's two previous books, i'm pretty sure i will again this time [once i find a copy to borrow]. In the meantime there's been countless interviews in the media in which our heroine has done very well, she's quick, smart, well spoken, sure glad she's there. Her presence in the spotlight brings capitalism's role into the conversation, into new eyes and ears. The Tyee recently said, "We Must Heed Naomi Klein's Call" and that, Her new book 'This Changes Everything' makes clear what we're up against and what has to happen. But...but ...but

But Naomi's book is being criticized from both sides. From the right-wing, her celebrity lefty status means Naomi is a big bulls-eye, the left...the defiant delusional left, like me, see Naomi's solutions as unreal and based on faulty assumptions. In addition, her injunctions about conservation and change are roundly seen as 'do as i say, not as i do', especially as they come from a rich globe trotting celebrity.

Germany is held up by Klein, throughout the book apparently, as a paragon of renewable energy changeover. The reality is that Germany's renewable energy policy is a failure because when the sun goes down and the wind stops so does the electricity generation. Germany now relies on an expanding coal generation system that burns thermal coal, Donbass coal, [the dirtiest kind] to balance the demand. The results are an overall rise in GHGs not a drop.

Not only do the 'green alternatives' require a parallel non-green capacity to be built and maintained but the new technologies themselves come with their own GHG footprint embedded and usually overlooked in the rosy scenario projections. Another seldom accounted for reality is neither solar or wind arrays ever produce anywhere near the capacity the rosy eyed engineer's project [in the real world birds shit on panels, rats eat through wires, etc]. Then there's the efficiency lost in the transmission of the electricity through the grid. For example, if a power plant produces electricity at 30%, higher than average for wind or solar, efficiency and the grid is 40% efficient, the electricity at the householder level is only 12%.

As energy expert Ozzie Zehner of the University of California-Berkeley says, "There is an impression that we have a choice between fossil fuels and clean energy technologies such as solar cells and wind turbines. That choice is an illusion. Alternative energy technologies rely on fossil fuels through every stage of their life. Alternative energy technologies rely on fossil fuels for mining operations, fabrication plants, installation, ongoing maintenance and decommissioning."

The basic problem is that there is no free lunch. There is no way to consume our way out of over-consumption. There is only one 'green' alternative, the only energy source with no footprint is conservation. Naomi in her new book joins the long list of those who want to change energy sources not lifestyles.

As Pogo famously said, "I've seen the enemy and he is us." The fossil fuel industry is driven by demand, just like all capitalist expansion. Until humans learn to live within their means, learn that hard work isn't a sin - debt is - and get rid of capitalism, capitalist expansionism (endless growth) will continue. And oil, be it tar sands crud or any other will, like water, flow and ooze via the path of least resistance to meet the demands of consumers.

Naomi is allowed access to the media microphone because her ideas offer no real challenge to the status quo. Naomi's message is philosophical heroin. Her focus on top-down government action to regulate the supply side argument sets back the wider environmental movement because even if some magical solution to GHGs is regulated the overall effect is just a license to continue the unlimited growth paradigm [keep shopping] that is the real evil destroying the biosphere. Regulations, technological innovation, pixie dust...any meaningful solution, other than conservation, leads to more consumption, more short term profits, more costs to be paid by future generations, more, more more...

As far as the corporate owned and operated MSM goes 'the way that can be spoken of is not the way'. Divestment in one aspect of the capitalist matrix is meaningless if the money is simply moved to anther aspect of it. If you're really ready to dropout of capitalism ya gotta get your money out. If you need an investment, put it in your home's insulation, in your kids education, in your backyard garden or in some other positive change. Folks need to stop driving to the mall, stop consuming useless plastic crap and just slow down.