Quite the clever lot aren't we.....always have been, it would appear.
Full article (long) at:
By William M. H. Kötke
12 September, 2007
We are all looking at the end of the world as we know it. Our attention
is focused on the holes in the ozone layer, planet warming, peak oil,
the spread of DU weapons, the collapse of the house of credit cards,
and the prospect of the planetary financial elite quickly establishing
fascist control of the planet. Below this threshold of conscious
awareness our biological survival systems are rapidly eroding. At this
point some twenty percent of the planet’s soils erode each twenty-five
year period. Each year at least two hundred thousand acres of irrigated
crop-lands go out of production because of salinization or
water-logging and experts say that sixty to eighty percent of all
irrigated acreage is due to follow the eight to ten million acres that
have historically gone into ruination from irrigation. The total
drylands of the planet are 7.9 billion acres of which 61% are
desertified, that is, driven by human abuse toward uselessness.
Globally, 23% of all arable crop lands have been lost since 1945
through human use and experts say that all arable land on the planet
will be ruined in 200 years.
It is estimated that prior to the human culture that we term
civilization, one third of the planet was covered with closed canopy
forest. Now forests cover 10% of the earth. In the oceans the collapse
of major fish stocks is increasing. At least eight stocks have
collapsed beginning with the Antarctic Blue Whale in 1935 to the
Peruvian Anchovy stock collapse in the late twentieth century. Since
1984 the world fish catch has been shrinking even with greater
investment and the taking of what in former times were considered
“trash” fish. Of the 32 ocean fisheries, 30 are in decline and some of
those are collapsing. At the same time coral reefs and mangrove swamps
which are considered the “incubators” of sea life are dwindling
Soil is the basis of the planetary terrestrial life. In the best of
circumstances such as old growth forests and prairies, soil builds at
the rate of one inch each three hundred to a thousand years. It is
being exhausted and is eroding away. The way that the industrial system
has continued to increase the food supply is by trading off soil
fertility for fossil fuel energy through artificial fertilizers. Now,
nearly half of the world’s people eat because of the added production
of food caused by artificial fertilizers being injected into depleted
soils and the use of all of the other accouterments of fossil- fueled
industrial agriculture.. Half of the planetary population are hanging
out on a limb essentially eating petroleum! Now as the population
continues to explode we reach peak oil and its decline. We do not need
to continue filling in the details. Our intellect can draw the
conclusion for us. An exponentially exploding world population with
increasing material consumption, based on dwindling resources and a
dying planet, won’t work!
But this is not a new phenomenon as some would assume. This culture of
civilization, of empire, was an ecological catastrophe when it began
some eight thousand years ago. It is this culture and its inculcated
reality-view that is the disaster. Half of China was once a great
temperate zone forest. That forest was gone before recorded history,
destroyed by the Han Chinese Empire. The Indus River Valley Empire had
ecologically destroyed its habitat before recorded history. We do have
recorded history of the Sumerian and Babylonian empires. We know they
decimated the forests and overgrazed the landscape. One third of the
land in Iraq that should be arable right now is still so salinized from
imperial irrigation four and five thousand years ago that it cannot be
used. The erosion material coming down the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
from that destroyed watershed has filled in 185 miles of the gulf. As
we follow the history of this type of human culture we find the
Mid-East ecologically denuded. The empires of Greece and Rome used
Turkey and North Africa as “breadbaskets.” Now, there are towns in
Turkey, North Africa and even in Italy that were port cities during
those empires which are now ten and fifteen miles from the water - all
filled in with erosion material from the ecologically destroyed
landscapes. Then we go on to the destruction of the great forests of
Europe and now the whole world. These examples and many more are
indelible effects on the world ecosystem which have not recovered in
thousands of years.
Goggle Earth is really neat. Does all sorts of thing and smart people
are writing interesting tools like the one listed below.
Google Earth layer helps mapping industrial pollutants
29 June 2007
Morelia, Mexico, 27 June 2007: The environmental officials of Canada,
Mexico and US have collaboratively launched initiative on tracking air
pollution in North America. The three countries have introduced an
interactive Google Earth mapping tool, which will expand public access
to information on air pollutants.
The officials had gathered in Morelia, for the regular annual meeting of
the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), an organization
created by Canada, Mexico and US to address regional environmental
concerns as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The
talks focused on harmonizing air quality data between the three
countries and strengthening Mexico¹s pollutant monitoring and reporting
Using the Google Earth mapping service, the CEC¹s map layer plots over
33,000 North American industrial facilities that reported releases and
transfers of pollutants in 2004, the most recent data available from all
The tool allows viewers to find industrial facilities located near their
homes, their workplaces, or their schools. They can learn about the
pollution profile of each facility, including which pollutants are
generated and how the facility handles them.
Information used in the mapping tool comes from publicly accessible
³pollutant release and transfer registers,² or PRTRs, maintained
separately by the three North American countries: the National Pollutant
Release Inventory (NPRI) in Canada, the Registro de Emisiones y
Transferencias de Contaminantes (RETC) in Mexico, and the Toxics Release
Inventory (TRI) in the United States.
The mapping tool developed by the CEC, can be downloaded from:
Source : http://www.ens-newswire.com
S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
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On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 09:28:55 -0400, William Wagner
Hi Bill! Long time no see, good to be back.....for now anyhow.
Gotta get some different music playing and Joni outta me head....
A couple weeks with the complete works of Joni has perhaps, uh, been
enough on that side of things for a while. Any suggestions?
Roger McGuinn Live From Spain
Hard too find but all you need is someone to love you.
If you were not to follow than perhaps Mr. Spaceman may matter. Cuss
You ain't goin' nowhere. Mr. Tambourine Man when he is Turning Turn
Bill like all of us are
Knockin' On Heaven's Door 4:36 Roger McGuinn Live From Spain Rock
S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
This article is posted under fair use rules in accordance with
The problem with this is we all know this but are not willing to make
changes to our living habits. For example did you know that 95% of the
land mentioned in that artical is used to grow animal feed to be fed to
animals that we eat?
It takes almost 75% more water to grow food and a cow to be fed to a
human than it takes to grow a field of food for humans. The food grown
for humans replaces the nutrients to the soil with crop rotation and
Also, the cow waste gets washed into our streams and rivers and poisons
our water systems. The manure also gives off gases that help to destroy
the ozone layer.
Think about it. we have the ability to produce enough food to feed the
world but don't because we grow food to feed animals to feed us that end
up killing us and our planet.
Welcome To...May I Take Your Order?
What strange logic you use (and I can see the vegetarian leanings in
your thought process). Our wasteful ways are what pollutes the water.
If animals are fed properly, housed properly, and allowed to live
properly they aren't the problem. It's our factory mentality that's
the problem. Business' need to squeeze every last cent out of every
operation is what is killing our planet. Instead of building
environmental responsibility into their bottom line, they do
everything they can to avoid it.
One can either make a point in an articulate and well reasoned
fashion, or name call.
Your choice indicates an underlying weakness in your righteous
argument that you don't wish to expose, or the inability to articulate
It seems it's not _my_ homework left undone.
Sorry, what part of witch or crook don't you understand? I have catered
to Ann's sensitivities for too long. If you had read this group for any
time at all, you would understand that. Would you care to make an
argument for Bush? Don't be timid.
OTOH, I'm not too thrilled that a vocal anti-Bush/government/cartel
crusader is name calling and setting up straw man arguments instead of
posting intelligent talking points.
That seems to be an endemic problem with "our" side, Billy.
Too much heart and very little head. It doesn't help, and in fact
Why do you hate progress, Billy? ;-)
Hey Steve, just jumpin' in with an article I found interesting. Bein's
I ain't so good with words and coherent argument and thought, I read
others and recognize things *I* see as truth. Rather than regurgitate
or try and debate them I just post them for others to think about.
All this fun and games reminds me a bit of the good old days, sittin'
in the bar and both sides yellin'...."Love it or Leave It." "Hell No,
We Won't Go".....then somebody would throw a peanut then someone else
would throw a punch and then we usually got hell beat out of us, cuz',
you know, we were peace lovin' and all that......plus we were usually
too stoned to defend ourselves. ;-)
Throwing digital turds is much less painful.
Back now to the regularly scheduled debates. ;-)
Charlie, havin' a bad day.....the damn dane barfed five times on the
The Right's Garden of False Narratives
The false outrage of perpetually offended conservatives serves as
cover for the true outrages of our era, including: truncated civil
liberties, rising levels of social and economic inequality and
injustice, and foreign wars of aggression waged by an insular and
secretive executive branch and fought by a permanent underclass.
The outrages keep arriving, because the collective imagination of the
citizen/consumers of the US, arbitrated by a careerist media elite, has
been, for decades, in the thrall of false narratives that serve the
interests of the elite of the corporate/militarist classes.
Concurrently, a sense of unease and despair, due to a sense of personal
and collective powerlessness before exploitive power, has created the
tone and tenor of the times, and begot the phenomenon of supine
liberalism and Viagra conservatism. (In this way, liberals stand
fecklessly by, as the public is, time and time again, screwed by the
decrepit schemes of the right.)
In this way, liberal paternalism is insufferable; worse, it is
This has been the right's craftiest accomplishment: inducing
"reasonable" liberals and "sensible" centrists to enable their crimes,
from stolen elections to their present preparation for a massive
bombing campaign of Iran, by intimidating them with the fear that any
protest on their part will cast them among the ranks of America-hating,
lefty moonbats, who wish to see the terrorist win, dumpsters piled high
with discarded fetuses and metro-sexuality made the official state
Moreover, these assaults upon both reason and the republic (what's left
of it) will persist until progressives begin to effectively counter the
narratives of the predatory right. Some call it shameful demagoguery;
although, conservatives call it career advancement.
This is not a novel situation. Throughout history, these kinds of
pernicious mindsets have always been with us; it is our tragedy that
they have been allowed to prevail.
Conservatives are eager to embrace false narratives: The surge is
working; the terrorists hate us for our freedom; Fred Thompson is
Ronald Reagan incarnate, but with a touch of Jed Clampett "folksiness."
Accordingly, when the times are roiled with uncertainty, when thoughts
of the future are tinged with dread, conservatives, like a character in
Southern Gothic literature, will fall into a swoon, longing for the
return of an imagined, purer past that never was.
One can picture these right-wing sorts wandering the streets, wearing a
faded prom dress and a broken, prom queen tiara, twittering and cooing,
while repeating over and over again, "the surge is working; Anbar
Province is now a beacon of freedom unto the world...") in an imaginary
dialog with the ghost of their long lost beau, Ronald Reagan.
On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 12:39:34 -0500, Charlie wrote:
If you believe that name calling and straw men are elements of
"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of
reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt,
is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert
an atheist by scripture."
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial
appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in
defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more
converts than reason." ~ Thomas Paine
On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 18:03:53 -0500, Charlie wrote:
I fail to make the connection between Billy's name calling and your
quote from Paine's introduction to the third edition of Common Sense.
However, since it seems to work for you, I offer the lines of a
paragraph later from the same introduction:
"In the following sheets, the author hath studiously avoided every
thing which is personal among ourselves. Compliments as well as
censure to individuals make no part thereof."
Actually, Ann started this whole shebang when she responded to a post
that Billy made to someone else... he wasn't talking to her.
Now then, things start going to hell after this, one can read all about
it over where it happened in rec.gardens. Ok, here is the first
incidnet of name-calling......
Now, it would appear that Ann didn't care to participate in any
discussion, reasoned or otherwise (this was apparent earlier in the
thread) and tossed one of the Usenet Standard Issue insults, TROLL.
Things quickly proceeded downhill from there, as we have all seen.
Now back to my paine quote. Given that you and I know nothing about
each other, likely have dissimilar backgrounds, education, interests,
ages, likes and dislikes, spiritual beliefs, politicla beliefs,
etc.......it is no wonder you didn't get my point. Our heads be
different and the synapses don't connect the same way, Cap'n. :-)
Plus it's that old Usenet thingie, ya' know.
Point was, and yes it was a slap at Ann, and any others who fail to see
the situation in the good old usa, that things are wrong here and yet
many don't see how bad it is and when confronted with the situation
"raise at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom."
Enough discourse and whacks and time passes and some people begin to
see the light. "Time makes more converts than reason."
Things are going to hell in big hurry and those that don't see it are
stoopit and are in for a big fat surprise.
"When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of
liberty quits the horizon." ~Thomas Paine
"You got your mind right, Luke?" "Yah, I got it right, Boss."
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