Recognizing Reality

 

Question Beliefs

“We live in a culture that is embedded in unquestioned beliefs passing as truth. These beliefs are the source of our current crisis. We attempt to solve the problems of degradation of our environment and climate disruption, but we do not look at these core beliefs. We hold on to the idea that capitalism is the only right way to organize an economy, that democracy is essential to our freedom, that freedom itself is a core ingredient to our happiness. We believe corporate slogans such as “Progress is our most important product” (General Electric), and subscribe to the belief that technology will solve whatever problems we have, even the ones caused by technology.”

The Need for a Greater Vision: Recognizing Reality

By Norton Smith, originally published by Resilience.org

November 19, 2019

 

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-11-19/the-need-for-a-greater-vision-recognizing-reality/

 

Beliefs can go stale.  A belief that one incorporates at one stage of intellectual/spiritual development may not serve a person as they grow older and perhaps wiser.  That’s why beliefs should be reviewed from time to time.  No need for a schedule, just practice staying in the present and one may find an uncomfortable feeling with a particular behavior.  That’s the trigger to question the belief structure behind the action. We are creatures of habit and may find that we have become a slave to a few unquestioned behaviors that do not serve us any longer.  No good blaming the devil!

 

Tearing Down the System

 

“In a nutshell, American politics have tilted our economic system so far in favor of wealthy elites—and this has been by and large a bipartisan project—that establishment lawmakers are really the ones guilty of “tearing down” a modest (if flawed) system that once upon a time distributed riches more fairly. When Americans—the vast majority of whom are not millionaires—read reports like this one showing that “[f]or the first time in history, U.S. billionaires paid a lower tax rate than the working class last year,” for Obama to ask us to not tear down the system is deeply insulting. The system has already been destroyed—by billionaires and their backers in Congress and the White House, including Obama.”

 

Sonali Kolhatkar is a columnist for Truthdig. She also is the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV (Dish Network, DirecTV,

 

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/ok-obama-its-time-to-cancel-centrism/

Ships fitted with ‘Cheat Devices’ to Divert Poisonous Pollution into Sea

Ships fitted with ‘cheat devices’ to divert poisonous pollution into sea

 

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/shipping-pollution-sea-open-loop-scrubber-carbon-dioxide-environment-a9123181.html

 

Wil Crisp The Independent

 

“Global shipping companies have spent billions rigging vessels with “cheat devices” that circumvent new environmental legislation by dumping pollution into the sea instead of the air, The Independent can reveal.

 

More than $12bn (£9.7bn) has been spent on the devices, known as open-loop scrubbers, which extract sulphur from the exhaust fumes of ships that run on heavy fuel oil.”

 

Is this the result of a mature capitalism?  If so, then these kinds of actions reveal a severe mental illness.

Questions About Slavery from Tourists in US South

The awkward questions about slavery from tourists in US South

By Ritu Prasad BBC News, Charleston, South Carolina

  • 2 October 2019

 

 

“Centuries of slavery followed by decades of institutional repression, according to Eaves, has reinforced old narratives that portray black Americans “as second class citizens”. An ignorance of the complete story is behind the persistence of nostalgia for the antebellum south – and for some, a rejection of anything that questions it.

‘They wouldn’t go to Auschwitz or Dachau and expect to hear a happy narrative and walk away cheerful, because they have an understanding that this was a place of death and exploitation and forced labor. A slave plantation was just that, even though, yes, this was someone’s home.’”

Prejudice against persons of color is a nasty, incredibly hurtful and unforgivable practice.  It is handed down from generation to generation and just recently re-emerged from the previously hidden behaviour of ignorant and vicious malcontents.  It needs to be resisted and condemned wherever it rears its ugly head.

 

Greta Thunberg’s defiance upsets the patriarchy

Greta Thunberg’s defiance upsets the patriarchy – and it’s wonderful

 

Suzanne Moore

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/01/greta-thunbergs-defiance-upsets-the-patriarchy-and-its-wonderful

 

 

“She is a 16-year-old, and these are grown men. And they are terrified. Wonderful. Who knew you could shake the patriarchy simply by refusing to smile for it, dress for it or demur to it? A refusal to acquiesce to the male gaze has these dinosaurs squirming.

Greta, you teach us about more than one kind of climate. Thank you.”

  • Suzanne Moore is a Guardian columnist

 

 

 

A Religious Left

A religious left

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/24/684435743/provoked-by-trump-the-religious-left-is-finding-its-voice

 

 

“Activists on the left should welcome the emergence of a religious core in their ranks because when political activity is morally inspired, it becomes more passionate — as conservatives already understand. Liberals are famous for being cerebral. A religious left may bring more energy to the progressive movement.”

“Democrats got a jolt of that passion at their last national convention with an appearance by the Rev. William Barber, an African-American preacher from North Carolina who started the “Moral Monday” movement in that state.

“Jesus, a brown-skinned Palestinian Jew, called us to preach good news to the poor, the broken, the bruised, and all those who are made to feel unaccepted!” Barber thundered, bringing the delegates to their feet.

Describing himself as “an evangelical Biblicist,” Barber said the nation is need of “moral defibrillators” to work on its weak heart.

“We must shock this nation with the power of love. We must shock this nation with power of mercy. We must shock this nation and fight for justice for all!” Barber said, in the most rousing speech of the convention.”

 

I have no problem with concern for the poor, the broken, the bruised etc.  However, to ignore the health of the Earth, to ignore an emphasis on “other than humans” is to invite extinction. We truly have a “climate crisis.” CO2 in the troposphere is increasing at an increasing rate.  The increase is non-linear and unpredictable.  A tipping point has been reached.

Definition of tipping point: the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place. The process at work here, and that imperils us, is un-predictable and poorly understood positive feedback.  We must remember that with a CO2 reading of 414.7 ppm, in May, from the Mauna Loa Research Station on the big island of Hawaii, we have reached levels never before experienced by humans. Notice the caveat “often.”   We don’t understand the Earth behaviour triggered by a “runaway” increase of CO2.  We must consider that the “often” is probably a “certainly.”

 

 

Brexit Systematic Risk and a Warning

Brexit: Systematic Risk and a Warning

By David Korowicz, originally published by Geneva Global Initiative

  • September 26, 2019

 

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-09-26/brexit-systemtic-risk-and-a-warning/

 

“It was only after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union that people began to seriously consider how it might be achieved. Some had assumed it would be trivial. For them, even waiting out the two-year official notice period prior to departure was an indulgence that displayed an unpatriotic lack of resolve.

Most were not so sanguine.

 

But on all sides, there was a general unawareness of just how complex and risk-laden the departure would be. This only gradually came into view.

 

Months after the run-down had been triggered it was discovered that:

(1) over 759 treaties would have to be renegotiated.

(2) There was growing alarm that the intricate web of Just-In-Time logistics that enable industry, supermarkets and medical care could be profoundly disrupted, especially if the UK left without a deal.

(3) Each week new concerns came to the fore, for example, how do you slaughter millions of livestock and dispose of the carcases if the market for them evaporates?

(4) When the scale of the potential disruption became clearer, military contingency planners were drafted into various government departments to help direct the response.”

 

 

 

 

“It has been a disorientating and depressing experience for many to experience the rise in anger and polarization of recent years. But the reality of our lives, irrespective of wealth or position, is that we are thoroughly interdependent with each other, the socio-economic networks that bind us, and the planet and its living system that holds us all. When we tear at the fabric of our relationships, we undermine the welfare of all, and our capacities to face the dire challenges ahead.”

Change in AMOC

Carbon Brief

https://www.carbonbrief.org/major-study-uncovers-sea-change-in-worlds-understanding-of-atlantic-conveyor-belt

OCEANS 31 January 2019  19:00

Major study uncovers ‘sea change’ in world’s understanding of Atlantic conveyor belt

 

“The results highlight how important long-term data collection is to fully understanding the impact of climate change on the AMOC, says Prof Monika Rhein, an oceanographer from the Institute for Environmental Physics at Bremen University, Germany, who is also not involved in OSNAP. In a Perspectives article accompanying the new research, she writes:

‘Only long-term continuous time series can provide the much-needed benchmark to evaluate the climate model simulations. The promising results from the OSNAP array, its proximity to the Labrador Sea, and the questions raised about the processes causing AMOC variability provide excellent incentives to continue the OSNAP array for the next decades.’”

 

More time, more time.  We heard this by the US officials after obvious acid rain had killed off all living things in some Canadian lakes.  More time will not enable scientists to achieve certainty in how the Earth is affected by greenhouse gasses.

Anyway, we don’t have “more time.” There will be no benchmarks.  More and more methane is being released in the northern hemisphere and CO2 is increasing at an increasing rate and increase is variable.  Computer models will not give us reliable predictions simply because the increase in CO2 is an unknown variable.  In other words, the increases in amount vary from year to year.  The tipping point for CO2 has been reached.

 

 

Greta Thunberg’s Speech

Greta Thunberg’s Speech

Greta Thunberg’s Speech at the UN Climate Action Summit

By Greta Thunberg, originally published by PBS News Hours

September 24, 2019

 

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-09-24/greta-thunbergs-speech-at-the-un-climate-action-summit/

“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing.

We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

 

“How dare you pretend that this can be solved with business-as-usual and some technical solutions. With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than eight and a half years.”

 

“There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today. Because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

You are failing us. But young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you.

 

We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

 

It takes courage to tell it as it is.  It takes courage to speak out when your neighbours are speaking with their heads in the sand. Our exploitative economic system sucks us into such a subservient system – a “company store” – binding that we are compelled to shut up and put up.  The ecosystem is still a misunderstood theory to many, boundless, loving Earth energy is credited to God and disaster is too often credited to God’s will. The environment is understood by many to be something “other” than us that we are at the mercy of. Many pray as if they think that the creator needs our praise and dishes out favours to selected followers. Some, hopefully a growing number realise that we “are” the planet.  Thus, as the planet suffers so do we.

“It is not a matter of being “close to nature.” The relationship is more one of identity, in the mathematical sense, than of affinity. The Earth is, in a very real sense, the same as ourself (or selves), and it is this primary point that is made in the fiction and poetry of the Native American writers of the Southwest.”  Paula Gunn Allen.  Maybe that’s why a homespun, behavioural, saying goes:  You must love yourself before you can love others.

As long as we see the Earth as “other” there is very little chance that we will change our behaviour or our destructive lifestyle.

Flight Prices

Thomas Cook customers in shock over flight prices

By Katie Hope Business reporter, BBC News

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49805534

 

 

 

“Thomas Cook customers have accused airlines of cashing in on the holiday firm’s demise after being faced with high bills to book replacement flights.

People who booked flights with the company, now trying to find replacement deals, told the BBC that in some cases prices for the flights have tripled.

Holidaymaker Angela Mills said a flight from Glasgow to Rhodes, Greece, was £280 on Sunday, but was now £1,000.”

 

This is full on exploitation and seems to be the behaviour of an economic system that has reached maturity.  For instance, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, there is an annual balloon festival lasting for a week.  For many years, almost all Albuquerque motels raise their price significantly, some nearly double, for that week.  Two years ago, I only found one motel, where I stayed, that did not raise their price.  last year, that motel followed the rest.  For many miles around Albuquerque, prices were significantly higher. In California, south of San Jose and down to at least San Luis Obispo, motel prices nearly double every Friday and Saturday nights.  The answer to how much is your house worth? Is what somebody is willing to pay.  The principle, of course falls under the subject of supply and demand.  Notice the screaming absence of cost of production here.  In many restaurants in the UK, the cost of a couple of the cheapest vegetables on a plate is right up there with the cost of a plate of 1 veg, a roast potato and roast beef.  So, actually you pay for the room you take up in the restaurant.

No wonder Russia finally adopted capitalism!

 

 

 

“John Strickland, an airline analyst at JLS Consulting.”

 

“If the airlines don’t make profits where they can on a minority of flights then they don’t stand a chance of surviving.”