Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Sea of Lies

Yesterday, the first lone bee was gathering pollen from the crocus peeking out of the litter of leaves.  As any gardener would know looking at the size of the bee compared to the flower, every year this violet harbinger of spring emerges smaller and more pale.  Although the bulbs should divide and spread, as time goes on there are, like the daffodils, fewer and fewer along the long drive that leads through the woods to Wit's End, and less and less along the banks of the Cold Brook where they were planted by the former owner, long before I moved here, when first daughter had yet barely learnt to walk.  As air pollution increases, and the ecosystem collapses, how many notice their silent absence?
The intricate tapestry of life is being systematically unraveled.  Even back in 1991 a paper was published:  "Unraveling the tapestry of life...Can we mend our earth?"  Of course we commenced nothing of the sort, despite the prescient abstract which reads in part:
The industrial revolution has reached its most significant turning point. For the 1st time in its history the limiting factor in its growth has not been our ability to utilize resources, but rather a lack of the resources themselves. At the same time the largest problem to ever face our species, the loss of biodiversity, is threatening our own survival. Clearly we can not support our current numbers under the current consumptive system. All our food is provided by wild species that have been genetically manipulated to serve our ends...It is impossible to isolate ourselves from the Earth ecosystem. Soil microorganisms are but one example of our dependence upon nature. The rainforests also serve as our planets lungs, without them we will choke to death. Yet we continue to destroy them at an alarming rate."
Related papers from that era also warn in the most dire terms of global warming and its effects on agriculture, of pollution, overfertilization and overpopulation (abstracts here and here).

Meanwhile the sea of lies from our corporate controlled government has only become more crammed with mendacity, so thick and opaque it's overwhelming to try to penetrate the murky depths despite daily revelations.  As Dorothy Parker famously responded whenever the phone rang, "What fresh hell is this?"

Some examples - the first stepping back into history.  Some of us remember the Iran hostage crisis as being the undoing of Jimmy Carter - and our last chance to elect a politician willing to urge the citizenry to pull back from the brink of irreversible, catastrophic climate change.  Instead the hostages weren't released, Americans felt humilitated, and turned in droves to Ronald Reagan's promise of "morning in America" - where no one ever need sacrifice for the greater good.  Guess what?  Those of us who suspected a dirty deal were right, as emerging evidence confirms.

But it goes back even further, to Nixon's surreptitious dealings to undermine Johnson's peacemaking efforts during the Vietnam War...negotiations Johnson deemed treasonous - and now documented.  Hey, let's not stop there - the Iran-contra scandal and Watergate, it turns out, were all premeditated and planned at the highest level - not the work of a few rogue bad apples.  

What does this tell us about the other "conspiracy theories" that are routinely ridiculed by main stream journalists and politicians and historians?  It might be a good idea to read the full article in Alternet before you decide.

Another truly revolting exposé has been published in Mother Jones.  In a sickening collaboration, major so-called "green" organizations with budgets in the many millions of dollars - donated by big multi-national corporations - provide cover for said corporations to influence politicians by providing obscenely luxurious vacations in exotic places under the guise of "education".  Kieran Sukling, head of the Center for Biological Diversity, was quoted:
Hobnobbing with oil executives and providing "green cover" to anti-environment lawmakers signals that the conservation community "is not serious enough about climate change to hold everybody accountable," Suckling says. Environmental groups "have been fooled into thinking that the access that they get is actually influence. At the end of the day, they're the ones that are influenced."
I suspect Kieran is being overly generous.  Personally I doubt that the paid staff of these environmental groups have "been fooled".  I think the people who support them and believe their are motivated by altruistuism are the ones who have been fooled.

In yet another example of grotesque corruption, the Union of Concerned Scientists has released a summary of the egregious omissions by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which, they document, is "tolerating the intolerable - a ripped nuclear safety net" thereby putting lives at risk.  You can check the link to see if you or maybe someone you love reside anywhere near one of the fourteen plants that experienced a grave "near-miss" incident in 2012.

Wherever you look (unless you're only looking at the tv and major media outlets), we are drowning in omissions, untruths, and shadow-boxing spectacles.  Matthew Nisbet and Andy Revkin characterize Bill McKibben as a "radical" in "overdrive" for pursuing a strategy of denying the Keystone permit and university divestment of fossil fuel stocks.  Erm...radical would be calling for universities to divest from the stock market completely - and buy farms for out-of-work, indebted students to establish permaculture havens to prepare for peak oil and extreme weather.  Radical would be targeting the horrendous explosion of fracking and mountain-top coal removal right here in the USA...but the Washington celebrity cocktail party activists prefer to blame big oil companies and foreign tar sands than rattle the American consumer by suggesting that there is something terminally awry with their lifestyle.  (Fortunately, local direct actions are running out in front.  People who can now see that their water, soil, air and forests as well as climate are being ruined are more and more organizing their own protests.)

Even the established cimate science websites downplay or ignore permafrost and clathrate methane release.  Aaron Franklin posted at Arctic News that, "sometime soon"...
"...the extra methane, ozone, water vapour, and the loss of sea ice reflecting sunlight back into space will together be producing about 3x present day global warming effect.
...The ex tundra boglands will start to dry out. Its been learnt that when you thaw and soak permafrost peats, waking up the frozen bacteria. Then drain them.... 
-Significant quantities of Nitrous Oxide start being emitted. Another "super-greenhouse" gas, with its own special radiative absorption band. 
-With even more water vapour, more methane, more NO2, more ozone being produced by the methane, less SO2 forming clouds because methane destroys it.... 
Global warming will start to spike very high."
His  chart illustrates the relative influence as methane and NO2 are released, and ozone is formed, compared to the initial forcing from CO2:

There's nowhere to hide, and it's sometimes hard to decide what is worse.  The horrors that we are perpetrating on all the species of the natural world and inflicting on future generations of humans - or the freakishly insane and intensifying refusal to admit that we are relentlessly pursuing ecopocalypse?

1 comment:

  1. If the eloquence of the analysis would solve the problem, your essays would have us on the road to recovery. But sadly money has more influence than words. Yet money is an illusion, a promise to pay, drawn on a bankrupt planet. We all loose


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