Friday, October 1, 2010

The Limits of Technology and Growth

Someone has wisely written:
War is hardly cheap for human beings or the environmentInfinite growth is impossible on a finite planet.

The more we develop, the more we destroy.
The wealthier we become, the more we waste.
The faster we move, the more we pollute.
The stronger we get, the more we suffer from arrogance.
Most importantly, the deeper we dig, the less we have left.

The Moral? Cut dependence on fossil fuels, urge more public transportation and an end to Neocon planetary wars, and let us all get sane again. St. Francis and his voluntary Gospel simplicity point the way.

--->Revisited: Lew Rockwell back in 2002: "This war is really about oil! Pull the troops out!" "To what lengths will the Bush administration, which everyone knows is the muscle end of the domestic oil industry, go to pursue its desire for more production? To war, perhaps? Plenty of dissidents out there doubt that the overthrow of the Taliban and the war on terror generally are about justice for terrorists and security for the Americans. Rather, like the War on Iraq before it, this war is really about securing the profits of American oil companies doing business internationally. Actually, that position is not a stretch. The State doesn’t usually tell the truth about its own motivations ...Read it all

Subsequent points at Youtube

--->See also the Case against Peak Oil...

--->Iraq: One of History's Greatest Crimes By Stephen Lendman. "America's hidden history is ugly and disturbing. No nation ever matched it. To Iraq alone, over the past two decades, it includes ongoing genocide, destruction, terror, occupation, and contamination - a horrendous combination of crimes, unmentioned in Western discourse" ...Read it all

Note: Let's not hate America, our nation, but urge and help her to return to decency and justice because "Infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet. The more we develop, the more we destroy..." and because too many people have died, and are dying.

Rumaylah_Oil_Fields. War is hardly cheapIn the past when nations began to decline they too often raided other peoples and killed and stole their way to buy time. But then they stretched themselves out too thin. When this happened eventually to ancient Rome, chaos erupted at home and the end began. It could happen here too, obviously, if we do not reduce our habit of endless consumption and reject the TV's iconography of corporate greed and false promises which entice us to spend our way deeper into debt.

It's time to reduce, recycle, and eliminate our personal and collective debt, the wisest economists urge. 'Austerity' as we measure it, based on Western habit, is hardly real austerity at all measured by the standards of others who are truly poor. A little sacrifice personally is a lot collectively. We can and should debate the policy details of "austerity" and protest draconian measures as we seek better ones, but it will do us no good in the long run to ignore the handwriting on the wall, because "the deeper we dig, the less we have left".

--->Update 10.12.10 - Obama administration lifts [multinationals] deepwater drilling moratorium. Salazar suspended certain deepwater drilling activities on July 12 under the premise that certain deepwater drilling posed a threat to the marine, coastal, and human environment.

Meanwhile, we can do lots of ordinary things; avoid shopping at Walmart, make our own clothes or shop second-hand stores, build extended families again, plant a garden almost anywhere, etc., etc. See Detroit Community Gardens Grow Optimism

Note: I'm not barking "Peak oil" above, only common sense. There may be plenty of oil left in the world for all I know, but how many wars and BP disasters will it take to keep extracting it to sate our radical materialism, and at the expense of others? Wars and other potential ecosystem disasters hardly add up to cheap oil, even if other justifications are given for our 'perpetual wars' also (See next story below). As Rockwell suggested, hardly anyone does not believe oil was at least a factor in our decision to go war against Iraq.

--->Robert Gates: 'We're Not Ever Leaving' Afghanistan

--->Scientists: 40 Times More Cancer-Causing Toxics in Gulf than Before Spill ... Dispersants to blame

--->RT: Clinton / Kissinger: Lessons learned from Vietnam? ..."Extreme Ironies" "Will Secretary Clinton [who opposed the war in Vietnam as a student] learn from the mistakes made by Kissinger in the Vietnam War? Journalist Fred Branfman said that Kissinger was responsible for the deaths of thousands and yet none of that was mentioned at the event."

--->"US media fails to cover global issues," as witness huge story of coup attempt in Latin America...

September 11, 2001

Even apart from the repugnance of thinking that a democratic government could slaughter thousands of its own people, the reason I find it difficult in the extreme to think 9-11 was an "inside job," is that the whole idea proves too much which strains credulity.

I have looked at the concerns expressed more than a few times since September 11, 2001, but I cannot shake the opinion that the most powerful objections against the "Truthers," it seems to me, are often the simplest ones. Much is asserted by them, but they would have to suspend Murphy's Law to suggest that so much could be accomplished by insiders ---and with flawless precision, defying so many odds. More questions I believe are raised by the theories than answered.

Not one building was initially taken down but two (after a failed lower level attempt in 1993)---hit dead-on in the nation's financial center as though such a feat were almost easy and riskless for the planners who stood to lose everything if an "inside job" was exposed. More, unlike in the JFK assassination where only one target had to be cut down, in these events, before morning's end, not only two targets on September 11 were hit but three counting the very Pentagon near the nation's capitol itself; and no credible accounting is made of who or what commandeered the planes or how.

Nor is there any convincing accounting of how outside family members received calls from their recognized doomed loved ones relating what was happening before the devastating end. Yet even "truthers" agree, at least in principle, that radicalized Islamists in many parts of the world used suicide missions to accomplish their goals of settling grievances and as military tactic, and so on. Moreover, the WTC buildings as mentioned had already been targeted (1993).

Yes, there are problems that remain bizarre, like why US Jets did not successfully intercept and prevent the tragedy, but Murphy's Law, the messiness of real life (whatever can go wrong likely may go wrong, complacency), can account for that in light of the unprecedented surprise attack. Bad stuff and even ineptness happens.

And finally there is not only how insider planners could count on the horrifying deadly success of such a plan, but also count on secrecy within all the agencies involved after the fact---well, what are those odds...

Then there is not one leaker, not one Deep Throat? Not even one with a troubled conscience after killing so many? After so many years? It is hardly conceivable.

That we have exploited those events to military and other ends appears undeniable to me, as the top of this post shows; but governments have always done similar things against foes. We rightly protest the (lack of) morality of such a disproportionate response but are hardly surprised to see multiple strategic aims, even outrageous ones, implemented in the wake of the attacks. 'Never waste a crisis,' we hear them say openly. In a democratic society where free speech still exists we can and do lament that we as a nation brought some of this on ourselves by our own misguided and often vicious foreign policy; but it serves no useful end to attempt to prove too much.

Many questions remain as they always do. Building 7. But the burden of proof for the outrageous alternative has not been met, it seems to me, whatever the loose change.

Updated--Dec. 2010

9/11 Debate: Loose Change vs. Popular Mechanics

Subsequent parts at YouTube

--->See also an additional debate on Loose Change 9-11 here...