Volatility

August 5, 2018

You Can Hoard, But You Can’t Hide (Svalbard’s Broken Freezer)

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When we built the seed vault, there was not even discussion of the permafrost,” Hege Njaa Aschim, the press representative of the organization that oversees the project, told me. But the weather last winter, she said, was “like a Norwegian summer.” “We didn’t come up with the term doomsday vault,” Cary Fowler, the mastermind of the seed vault, told me. “The idea there was to provide an insurance policy, so if anything were to happen to those other facilities, it wouldn’t be an extinction event.”
 
Destruction of seed biodiversity is one of the worst crises and crimes of corporate agriculture. The proprietors of Svalbard – the agrochemical cartel and the governments that serve it – all want the total death of humanity and the Earth. For the ecology, agronomy, and human freedom it’s essential that we the living people breed our own necessary organic crops and sustain and expand a decentralized network of seed saving and seed exchange.
 
You won’t hear this in the corporate media. There you’re far more likely to find the hagiography of Svalbard, the “doomsday vault” which is going to save us all, the seed bank which in crisis is going to enable Monsanto and the Gates Foundation to continue to “feed the world” even though so far all they’re doing is starving it.
 
Svalbard is part of the system dedicated to centralized corporate control of all genetic diversity and committed to the destruction of agroecology, participatory breeding, networked seed sharing and conservation. Consider who controls the Svalbard project: Bayer/Monsanto, the Gates Foundation, Syngenta, DuPont, USAID, the CGIAR, the World Bank, all dedicated to totalitarian technocracy.
 
The project is a typical “public-private partnership” which fits into the decades-long pattern of CGIAR institutions traversing the global South to collect germplasm, convey it to the corporations (i.e. to perform corporate research with public money), and to proselytize on behalf of Western corporate agriculture among Southern officials, intellectuals and farmers, but using a “public” veneer. USAID and the Gates crew specialize in this. The seeds they heist and convey to the corporate vault then come under corporate control and will be used only for the elites’ purposes. The same system which is trying to enclose seeds everywhere will deploy its corporate vaults in the same way.
 
The doomsday vault is supposed to come in handy if the political and corporate elites ever were to have catastrophic need. In the meantime the place serves as a standard publicly-funded corporate gathering and research facility for Monsanto and the rest of the GM seed cartel. In that day-to-day way it represents doomsday for humanity and the Earth.
 
 
Beyond that, the idea of Svalbard – a centralized, literal fortress – is completely wrong ecologically. Here as everywhere else we need networked decentralization. We need a vast network of thousands of seed banks, all devoted to adapting landraces on a regional basis. Also, storing seeds is only second best. For varieties to remain attuned to the ecology people need to keep growing them. There’s no way to rely on the ecological viability of even the most carefully stored seeds as time passes while the plants aren’t being grown in the real world. You have to keep planting and growing them.
 
This also is the only way to restore seeds and crops as a core part of human culture, human spirit. They must be part of our living experience, our immersion in the flows of the ecology.
 
 
Svalbard’s broken freezer, its melting permafrost, is a reminder of how physically and politically vulnerable a bunker like this is, how it’s the wrong path. It’s ironic that the climate chaos being driven most of all by the industrial agriculture paradigm of which Svalbard is a devoted part is coming home to threaten the vault itself. This project of Monsanto and Gates does indeed represent doomsday: First human doom through socioeconomic attack, then ecological doom through poisonism and destruction of habitat and biodiversity, and above all total human and ecological doom through total climate chaos.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

July 30, 2018

We Need Renewable Ideas, Not Stale Ones About “Renewables”

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They may say I look like Don Quixote, but they’re the ones charging a mirage.

 
 
Industrial renewables are unsustainable because of their dependency on a foundation of cheap plentiful fossil fuels: Especially, they and the industrial economy they’re supposed to rescue would continue to be completely dependent upon fossil fuels for transportation. Industrial renewables also are bound up in ecological destruction: The destruction of arid ecosystems for CSP monocultures, the murder of rivers for hydroelectric, the straight extractionist rape from the metals mining it requires. And of course the wholesale massacre of birds by industrial windmills. It takes a special kind of depravity to call this “environmentalism”, and only today’s corporate environmentalists could reach such a level of depravity.
 
The main evil of the propaganda of a large-scale industrial renewables buildout is that it’s supposed to replace fossil fuels in powering what would otherwise be the same corporate globalization regime. This is no improvement. Centralization itself, gigantism itself, is at the core of the crisis. No one who would want a high-consumption grid based on CSP and industrial wind mega-farms would care about replacing fossil fuels anyway; they’d only want to supplement them. If the paramount imperative is to feed the monstrous consumption maw (and for the advocates of the industrial civilization this is the only imperative), then the climate crisis and all other environmental crises can’t have any importance at all, other than as propaganda gambits on behalf of further escalated destruction. On the contrary, if averting the worst of the crises was any kind of goal, then the goal of maximizing energy production automatically would be downgraded severely.
 
What’s most promising about renewables is their decentralized, non-grid potential to contribute to a decent life for human beings, such as the great potential of passive solar heating. Just as with agroecology, here we can provide warmth and comfort and sufficient electricity for family and community use, as opposed to the productionist mindset which only wants massive corporate-controlled electricity generation for its own sake. It’s the same as how growing food for human beings is vastly more productive and healthy in every way than producing agricultural commodities from which food is then supposed to trickle down as an afterthought. It’s true that acre for acre agroecology is far more productive in every way – calories, nutrition, biodiversity, every other ecological function – than industrial monoculture, whereas decentralized renewables would produce less gross energy quantity than any kind of industrial generation. But the better quality of life provided by a decentralized ecological society would more than make up for that.
 
Anyway, industrial-scale renewables never could be self-sustaining rather than dependent upon a fossil fuel foundation. Therefore the whole quantity-vs.-quality debate is moot since the quantity couldn’t be sustained anyway.
 
All this must be placed in the context of humanity’s great need to abolish the onslaught of industrial poisons. This is a more immediate and dire threat even than climate change, as pressing as that’s becoming. (But these two crises are completely intertwined and cannot be separated. What drives one drives the other, and the only solution for one is the only solution for the other.) Many of those who tout industrial renewables want to use this to prop up poison-based agriculture. Obviously it won’t be possible really to do that once the necessary cheap, plentiful fossil fuels aren’t available. But the idea itself is pernicious since it’s part of the “delayer” form of denialism, the de facto denialism of the climate crocodiles shedding their usual crocodile tears.
 
That too is a reason to reject any version of the call for productionist Business As Usual, including the version which would have it all powered by industrial renewables. Such a program, if it were possible and actually carried out, would continue destroying the Earth and would continue to drive the climate crisis since it would continue destroying the forests, grasslands, and soil.
 
No aspect of the modern technocratic-corporate system is redeemable. Productionism, capitalism in itself is the most evil of all ideologies and systematically maximizes all other evils because it can’t use or tolerate anything that’s good in people or the Earth, only the bad, destructive, and wasteful.
 
We must reject concepts of absolute production and consumption, but rather think and speak only in terms of what’s sufficient and desirable. This includes the social/community element. All the worthless high-maintenance material junk which has been available to the Western rich and middle classes and their apes around the world have not made them psychologically secure, content, happy. On the contrary, it’s evident how unhappy, insecure, insane and deranged the “modern” human type has become.
 
Conversely, and as a corollary, people still close to an indigenous or national way of life, or who faithfully seek such a life, don’t need more “stuff”. We can benefit from modern agroecological science (which is knowledge, not imported junk like commodified seeds and poisons) and some of the medical knowledge (there too, it’s basic knowledge and low-tech practice which helps most, not modern high-maintenance technology; the fact is that most of the modern medical gains were achieved by things like better sanitation, while hi-tech modern medical science has had a much smaller and diminishing-returns role, and in any event is increasingly impossible financially for most people even in the West). Agroecology is not a revelation to people still close to the Earth, but builds upon and modifies traditional knowledge.
 
For the physical reasons of Peak Oil, the climate crisis and the many other environmental crises, driven by the socioeconomic and spiritual evils of productionism and corporate capitalism, all our ideas about energy and technology must mean finding the level which is best for the most constructive and fulfilled human experience and interaction within the ecology, our only home. The workable political and economic level for the ecology is also the best level for human happiness and contentment, on an individual and community level. All the evidence says this level is low in terms of the physical technological sophistication and grossness, high in terms of knowledge. The best example is the extreme contrast of the technologically highly ramified, but intellectually and scientifically very stupid and retrograde poison agriculture regime, vs. the “low-tech” but intellectually highly advanced agroecological paradigm. The same is true for money and finance. The same is true for everything else. And the same is true for energy, where the low-hanging fruit of fully developing passive solar knowledge to provide adequate heating for home and community use, joined with the necessary social transformations, is far more promising than generating extreme amounts of electricity amid an ongoing consumer atomism while the civilization attempts to murder the Earth and commits suicide in the process.
 
 
 
 
 

July 28, 2018

The Lying Media-“Political” Culture of the Climate Crisis

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Disaster Capitalism, Mainstream Media, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 5:49 am

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The corporate media has failed abysmally at preparing the public for a climate changed world, let alone reporting on it. According to a Media Matters survey:
 

Throughout the recent record-breaking heat wave that affected millions across the United States, major broadcast TV networks overwhelmingly failed to report on the links between climate change and extreme heat. Over a two-week period from late June to early July, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired a combined 127 segments or weathercasts that discussed the heat wave, but only one segment, on CBS This Morning, mentioned climate change.”

 
Ten years ago the mainstream media was full of stories about the real effects of climate change. They ran regular features summing up the science and the prognosis.
 
Today the coverage is very different. As the survey cited above demonstrates, the media has jettisoned most real-world reportage on the climate crisis. Instead they’ve gone back to reporting on “natural” disasters: (1) as if they actually were natural rather than man-made; (2) as ad hoc things that happen at random rather than part of a coherent trend.
 
The media’s coverage of climate change has departed from the real world and instead focuses only on certain fake political angles, such as “Trump” taking the US out of the sham Paris agreement, as well as the alleged virtue of the sham agreement itself. This normalizes the climate crisis, or more specifically having fervid “opinions” about it, as just another lifestyle ornament. Just another part of fake celebrity and culture-war pseudo-politics.
 
The main reason the media used to report on the climate crisis in a semi-serious way is that it took some years for the corporate sectors to reach a consensus on downplaying/denying the crisis. At first they left this to Big Oil, led by ExxonMobil. Other sectors were uncertain what it all meant for them. Wall Street seriously considered trying to blow up a bubble based on cap-and-trade, “offsets”, and derivatives based on such scams. The frackers took potshots at the coal industry. Monsanto and the biotech sector touted the scam of “climate-smart agriculture”, as well as fraudulently citing climate denial in their propaganda even though they themselves are climate deniers. Those are examples of why climate change used to get more play in the corporate media. But by now, although there’s still some of this exploitative propaganda, the corporations largely have decided they want to deny the whole thing. Some still engage in de jure denial, most have joined the liberals in de facto denial. This means expressing “right belief”, paying lip service, shedding crocodile tears, emitting sham proposals, but never really proposing to do anything but continue to emit and destroy.
 
The hand-wringing, virtue-signalling, and fake prescriptions of the climate crocodiles – Keep Shopping! Shopping Uber Alles! for example, replacing fossil fuels with corporate-industrial renewables; Keep Driving! hybrids and electric cars of course; never mind that most of the emissions and environmental destruction are bound up in the initial manufacturing process – fits in well with this since little of this is actually going to be done, and if it were done it merely would add to civilization’s consumption and destruction maw while doing nothing but making the climate crisis worse.
 
Meanwhile for as long as modern civilization staggers along, emissions will continue to rise and sinks will continue to be destroyed. All the other ecological crises will continue to get worse.
 
But it’s always been true that there is one and only one solution to avert the worst of climate chaos:
 
Stop emitting; stop destroying sinks; rebuild sinks.
 
All else is a lie. Most of all, that anything constructive can be done within the congenitally destructive framework of the economic civilization.
 
 
 
 
 

July 23, 2018

This Civilization is Collective Murder-Suicide

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The end point for everything the extreme energy civilization is doing: The Earth nothing but a desert with ruins.

 
 
1. Civilization is destruction. For humanity and the Earth it is death. We’re bogged down in it. It’s driving us to the brink of nuclear war at the same time it’s giving us all cancer. Most civilized people want the missiles to fly, and most want cancer for themselves and their children. Their actions prove it.
 
“Growth”, the idol of fundamentalist worship by all the civilized, including “environmentalists” and the climate crocodiles, is physically unsustainable and must collapse with unfathomable consequences. It is cancer as well. Symbolically growth is directly analogous to cancer metastasis, and growth’s reality depends upon physically killing us with cancer, starvation, bullets.
 
Look everywhere Western globalization has spread, look at any government, any Leader, any journalist, any academic, any NGO, see what they unanimously say: If you’re not rich, then die.
 
It is self-evident that anyone who thinks this way also will think murderously, though few are as honest as the Canadian bankster who openly says, “There are some people that are going to die in protesting construction of this pipeline.”
 
What this means is, “We should kill anyone who is in the way of our tyranny, whether as activists or simply as obstacles.” This means the entire 99%. All system cadres think this way and intend to act on this. This is the intended consummation of modern civilization, the total murder of the Earth and murder-suicide of humanity.
 
Smash the bottlenecks.
 
2. Politics is dead. Electoral democracy is a proven failure and by now a fraud. We’re bogged down in it. Its partisans – “voters” – aren’t political at all but rather are rival mobs cheering on entertainers and wrestlers, like the Blues and Greens of ancient Constantinople. Most of all they’re chanting for the missiles to fly. Only the most cloddish and inertial still dream of “alternative parties”, which invariably turn out to be new glosses on the same scam. Humanity and the Earth need something vastly greater than paltry reforms. The need is a movement and spiritual way dedicated to joining Gaia in destroying the stale and toxic anti-culture and building a whole new vision, a whole new culture.
 
Smash the bottlenecks.
 
3. Ecological catastrophe is rampant, still gathering tremendous force, and accelerating. The consequences are unfathomable but will include mass starvation and mass cancer. The campaign of destroying the Earth and provoking Earth’s kinesis in response has been deliberate on the part of all governments, corporations, the entire political and media class, the scientific establishment, all of academia, all system NGOs. It’s the intended action and goal of globalization, capitalism, technocracy, scientism, productionism, the economic/commercial civilization as such.
 
The catastrophe deniers are merely witting or unwitting tools of these destroyers of the Earth. Worst are the de facto deniers with their crocodile tears and fake “solutions”. All deniers are peas in a pod.
 
The climate chaos driven by civilization’s greenhouse emissions and destruction of sinks is gathering momentum to destroy us all unless we take action against the monstrous machine itself.
 
Here most of all we see the affinity of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans (that is, identical Party-mongers). Both want humanity to sit still while the death machine devours us all.
 
Keep Shopping! That’s the prescription for the climate crisis propagated by liberals and scientists. This also is their prescription for all the other ecological crises. Keep Shopping. And of course Keep Driving.
 
Just shut up, sit still, stay the course. Keep voting when told. Believe your Party Leaders, and your media and academic betters. Yes, the two types of denier are peas in a pod. Just as the Dembots and Repbots are peas in a pod in every other way.
 
4. Democrat Party partisans are the most vile of all. Anti-ecology, anti-human, pro-destruction, pro-Mammon, pro-famine, pro-war, pro-police, pro-corporate, pro-technocracy – there’s not a single evil on earth the liberal Democrats aren’t doing all they can to drive to its worst.
 
That applies to America. A similar anti-political process has transpired in most or all other Western countries.
 
 
By now we have to give up on the Party people, the terminally inert, stupid, and malign. Those who even at this late date still receive their marching orders and their very ideas and words from Party Leaders, from corporations, from academic/scientific nabobs. These are nothing but purely inertial conformist non-entities.
 
 
The extreme energy civilization, having bottlenecked all human potential and driven humanity into a socioeconomic and political dead end, now drives itself into its own terminal bottleneck.
 
Do you feel ill, or your children or pets? Do you fear sickness? Do you feel financially secure? Secure in your job? Are you optimistic things will change for the better? Do you know who has destroyed all security? Do you know what’s making us sick? Do you feel safe when you look at the news from America and around the world? Do you know why the world is going insane?
 
You’re feeling the great bottleneck. Our health, our security, our peace of mind, our work, our culture, our spirit, our freedom, all are bottled up. You feel the fear, you sense our psychological, spiritual, cultural, economic bottleneck.
 
To anyone who feels bottlenecked, whatever the surface reason seems to be, you must understand that yours is a symptom of a global ecological crisis. You cannot solve your crisis within the bottleneck which causes it any more than the civilization can pull itself out of its own bottleneck.
 
All of this civilization’s bottlenecks boil down to the simple equation: Wealth and power accumulation must be accompanied by an equal level of physical, economic, spiritual, cultural, and ecological destruction. Modern civilization’s accumulation of wealth and power, which has not and will not trickle down to us even if we wanted it to at the price of murdering humanity and the Earth, equals our destruction.
 
Smash the bottlenecks.
 
 
 
 

July 3, 2018

Earth’s Call

Filed under: Agroecology, Climate Crisis, Dance of Death, Freedom — Tags: , , — Russell Bangs @ 10:51 am

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*I cry from the wilderness. I’ve warned against the physical poisons and the artificial structures which propagate the physical poisons. I continue to warn against these all, against the corporate “person”-demons, against Mammon.
 
I cry out in the streets and am invisible and cannot be heard.
 
*For years I dreamt of a globe transformed to societies based on agroecology and food sovereignty. The evidence says this physically can be done. The evidence says even 10 billion people could grow their own food agroecologically for the price of everyone working a few hours a day at the equivalent of gardening chores. The agroecological society would have nothing in common with the slavery of commodity field work. We’d be healthy and free. The only obstacles are political.
 
Be clear: Agroecology requires less space, less resources, less impact, less money, to produce food for more people, than industrial agriculture.
 
There are no physical obstacles to a global transformation of all human society to an infinitely better order. The only obstacles are political.
 
But such a political transformation would require such a radical rewiring of the inflamed brain as to render the idea of it utopian. I see no way such a political change ever could happen. “Political” types can’t even get it together to enact reforms within their civilization, let alone transform the civilization itself.
 
The only way is to channel the spirit of Gaia, help the people hear the Earth with their own ears, help them feel the Earth with their own souls.
 
*Gaia sculpted us to be hunter-gatherers. Evolution worked our clay. With sane use of the inflamed brain we figured out how to pasture animals on appropriate land, how to do horticulture and husbandry on appropriate land.
 
But agriculture and animal agriculture are the seeds and leaves of the city, corrupt seeds and poison leaves of its prison walls. These are never adaptive, never ecological. They never work for people or the land.
 
*Gaia gave us the idea of her. We’ve learned from observation and eventually from theories. We learned to understand aspects of the Earth. We learned ecology. We’ve seen with our own eyes the campaign of destruction.
 
Let’s take just one part of it, deforestation, the mass murder of trees across all zones especially the tropical:
 
1. Deforestation brings the drought, brings the desert.
 
2. It’s a major part of the ongoing sixth major extinction event in Earth’s history.
 
3. It brings erosion, brings the carbon, which brings the heating, which brings the methane, which is bringing the real heating.
 
The number one driver of global deforestation is the Western consumption maw, especially that of the US.
 
That puts in perspective the lame, fake “solutions” to climate change offered by “activists” in the US. These solutions – offsets, industrial “renewables”, hybrid cars and other product substitutions – also drive deforestation.
 
The truth is there is one and only one real solution for averting the worst of the climate crisis: Stop all industrial greenhouse gas emissions, stop destroying sinks (this means ending ALL deforestation), rebuild sinks on a massive scale.
 
Anything short of that is a lie.
 
*The injury, often lethal, is practical, directly to our bodies, directly to our ability to eat, to sustain ourselves. The injury is to our feeling of beauty and spirit. The injury is to our humanity.
 
There are those who say our humanity makes us superior to the other animals and to nature. Even leaving aside all the other reasons this is false, most of all it’s false because modern civilization, by driving the ecological sunder to its utmost and exterminating all that’s left of human spirit and culture, destroys our very humanity most of all.
 
*Watch the moon travel the sky across thirty sunrises. These are regular phase changes. Then there’s Gaia’s non-linear phase changes triggered by extreme forces. Today the berserk species Homo domesticus, civilized man, is using the billions of years of stored solar energy to murderously assault Gaia. As always Gaia will impose her correction upon this vermin affliction.
 
We can’t know exactly how Gaia’s kinesis will play out, but still we must begin work on the post-kinetic life, the village, the tent camp, whatever the form becomes. We must base our future not on where we were or what might seem to work right now, but on where the grounding of future human life will be, after the collapse. We must understand the unfolding kinesis and prepare to endure it.
 
We’re already enduring it, in the form of the depredations of the corporate technocratic civilization itself and all its horrors: Ecological, socioeconomic, cultural. Things are going to get much worse.
 
*If humanity has more days at all, the return home to Gaia must itself be part of Gaia’s phase change. Our best chance is to build the necessary ideas in our brains.
 
If we’re to have a future at all, our nation has to be phase changing right now in harmony with Gaia’s change. No longer to be the deranged parasitic squatting vandals of industrial civilization but the renaissance of primal humanity living as one with the ecology.
 
That’s what Gaia means today for us.
 
*The mass murder of the trees is one of the most savage feedback loops of ecological destruction.
 
As the trees are murdered by logging and clearance for corporate agriculture, the carbon stored in their biomass and the soil they maintain is released, and the clouds and rains they generate through their evapotranspiration fade out, bringing in their wake drought. The now unanchored soil dries and erodes.
 
The drought then helps kill more trees driving warming and drought further, bringing on the desert.
 
Modern civilization is turning the physical Earth as well as the human soul into a desert. That’s the end goal
 
Gaia will purge this vermin infestation, and she will continue in a new phase. The only question is whether humanity will continue after having done its best to commit suicide.
 
Will we?
 
 
 
 
 

June 28, 2018

Appendix and Prediction

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Of course for most participants Congress is a luxury beach resort. But anyone who really does view it as a swamp, who enters alone and on foot, is going to get sucked down.
 
(This is an addition to yesterday’s post about movements and parties.)
 
Lots of people are excited over the Democrat primary wins of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others who calls themselves social democrats and such.* Well, here’s a chance to make a prediction:
 
If they reach office, none of these people will buck the system in any significant way. (I’m not predicting that they’ll try and fail; I predict they won’t try in the first place.)
 
For example, if a number of them get to Congress, they won’t form a bloc which truly will fight status quo measures using whatever means available. (As opposed to the existing “progressive bloc” which is nothing but a rubber-stamp sham.)
 
Why won’t they? No doubt some are con artists or will sell out. But let’s be optimistic and say some are sincere. Nevertheless, they ran as Democrats. So how can they accomplish anything lacking any institutional support? Nor will they get together to build their own institutions, their own street organization. But these are the things necessary to fight an entrenched system from within that system.
 
One classic indicator is: Do you have your own grassroots organization? And assuming you had one in the first place, then upon reaching office: What do you do with that organization? Do you keep it independent and continue to build it up against the system, or do you destroy it in some way.
 
For anyone who was in any doubt about Obama in 2008, a key indicator was: Now that he’s been elected, what’s he going to do with his grassroots organization? Sure enough, within days of the election he announced that he was going to assimilate it to the regular Democrat Party structure. In other words, destroy it.
 
For those who had any doubt at all, this was clear proof that Obama intended nothing but to continue with business as usual.
 
In the same way, one proof that Bernie Sanders was offering nothing new, and all other pseudo-alternative candidates as well, was that he did nothing to build a lasting movement structure when the dynamism of his campaign gave him a chance to do so. Nor did he try to use the November debacle to galvanize anyone. In November 2016 I checked the Sanders website to see what kind of great renewal he was promising. What did I find? A banner across the top of the page with a slogan announcing some kind of millennium, with a notice below: “Page Under Construction”. That was all.
 
Such nothingness is typical of all these so-called alternatives. None of them even have a permanent organization to call their own, let alone draw upon the living force of a real social movement.
 
Today’s alleged reformers-really-honest-and-for-true-this-time among the Democrats have no grounding and aren’t seeking any. Like Sanders said of himself from day one of his campaign, they’re Democrats through-and-though and intend to remain dependent upon the Democrat Party organization. That guarantees they’ll either remain part of the Democrat Party status quo ideology, or else fail miserably for lack of any basis for their being.
 
There’s no way forward voting and party-mongering within the system. The only group action possible is the blood, toil, tears and sweat of building a movement against the productionist system itself.
 
 
*I also said yesterday that these alternatives aren’t really offering anything alternative even in principle. So I saw that the media is calling Ocasio-Cortez a “climate hardliner” who will stand for no more nonsense. I clicked the link to her site, and of course she touts the same old industrial renewables build-out. Same old nonsense indeed: Implicitly dependent upon fossil fuels in order to be physically possible – thus a scam in principle; ideologically geared to champion the standard “we’ll deal with climate change and still keep capitalism growing!”; highly destructive ecologically in itself; designed to continue the general civilizational project of destroying the Earth. To sum up: The best way to deal with the climate crisis is to Keep Shopping!
 
(Note how the media’s quiver includes the lie that a real New Deal-type commitment to renewables is radical and would mean the climate action gloves are really coming off. They’ll keep that one ready to deploy as the climate kinesis really starts to bite. At that point, in order to forestall any serious consideration of real action, they’ll put the Big Renewable idea into mainstream play.)
 
So there you have it, the kind of “alternative” that all the people who say they want alternatives really want.
 
 
 
 
 
 

June 26, 2018

To Cross the Bridge At All You Have to Burn It

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And if you don’t cross it you must burn the Earth

 
 
Another lament from a science-concerned liberal. Science ethics professor Sheldon Krimsky is typical of the breed, coupling the usual factual demolition of Monsanto’s lies with hand-wringing about the honor of “Science” which often spills over into attacking the people who really threaten to destroy the basis of the power of Monsanto and the technocracy as a whole, something the good liberal establishment could never do and doesn’t want to do:
 
“This short aphorism [a slogan on a button he saw*] brought into focus two unfortunate realities. First, there are growing segments of the population who have lost confidence in science and choose to act on un-scientific or pseudo-scientific truth claims. And second, other segments of the population view scientists as just another stakeholder group subject to the same market influences in the competition for producing credible knowledge.”
 
On the contrary, these are promising realities. They indicate one of the widening fissures in the corporate prison wall. It is of course nothing but plain truth that establishment scientists are nothing but another stakeholder group which cares about power, money, prestige, not “truth.” (They may or may not seek scientific truth insofar as they can do this within the corporate science paradigm. But this paradigm always dictates the limits of allowable “truth”, as well as dictating the research agenda in the first place.)
 
And it’s equally plain truth that the people are acting rationally and adaptively (in a Darwinian sense) when they reject the nostrums of corporate “science”. It was never any different, at least not since “science” became an institutionalized capitalist profession rather than the domain of independently wealthy generalists such as Darwin. (And even they usually theorized scientifically in accord with the dominant socioeconomic theories of their class. Thus Darwin framed his depiction of evolution in terms of competition and natural selection of individuals, not because the evidence demanded such framing – the evidence at least as readily supports depictions based on cooperation and group selection – but because he was thinking along the lines of a commercial animal breeder, and more broadly in terms of Smithian capitalist ideology.)
 
Let’s see who really acts according to pseudo-science: For example, in the first third of the 20th century who believed most ardently in eugenics? That’s right, it was almost the entire scientific establishment, and educated “progressive” types in general. Just as these comprise the vanguard of the resurrected eugenics movement today. (Meanwhile in the 1920s the opposition was led by the despised “un-scientific” churches. That’s not the only time the churches have been on the side of actual scientific truth while the institutional science cadre was anti-science. Today organized religion hasn’t done humanity all that much good in opposing today’s eugenics. But today as then the most virulently anti-science group on earth is the STEM establishment. It’s no accident that in both cases the most cherished notion of scientists is eugenic control over life, and especially over human beings.)
 
But Krimsky, as an establishment cadre, has far more in common with Monsanto than with the people, which is why his criticism must remain within technocratic elitist bounds. But this guarantees that the criticism never becomes more than criticism, never becomes total war to abolish those who are murdering us and would murder us all.
 
Krimsky may think he’s fighting Monsanto, like some knight errant rushing to save the honor of the fair damsel “Science” from the foul clutches of the evil wizard. But in reality anyone familiar with the history of scientists knows there was little honor to save in the first place, and none today. Krimsky, by continuing to propagate good civics fantasies like “independent science” and “peer review”, is really reinforcing the corporate propaganda line that what’s really a biological and socioeconomic war should be viewed merely as a technical dispute within technocracy which should be disputed only on Monsanto’s chosen fake battlefield, that of establishment-vetted “science”. He’s trying to help Monsanto stop the people from freeing their minds by rejecting the whole fake scientism ideology.
 
 
*The slogan: “Science is Peer Reviewed, Not Politician Approved.” This is ahistorical nonsense. Power always has chosen what research is done in the first place and what the allowable results are. By the time one gets to “peer review” the research already has jumped through several far more important hoops which have zero to do with any exalted notion of scientific “truth”.
 
No doubt the button is supposed to be worn especially at fake “climate” demonstrations put on by tear-shedding liberal climate crocodiles who actually oppose all meaningful climate action every bit as much as their bugbear Trump does. The de facto climate deniers are vastly more pernicious than the de jure ones, since they pretend to care about the crisis and pretend to have the solution, when in fact their fake “solutions” have zero purpose but to let them feel smug while they buy time for civilization to destroy the Earth completely.
 
Their alleged solutions all involve the continuation of productionism, capitalism, consumerism. Just as George Bush said the right response to 9/11 was to keep shopping, so our climate crocodiles assure us that the right response to the climate crisis is to keep shopping. Just like their Monsanto-critical counterparts like Krimsky say is the right response to the ecological catastrophe of poisonism: Keep shopping, and only in system-approved venues. Thus his despair over the plummeting legitimacy of corporate system science.
 
Sure enough, Krimsky has declared that he cherishes the fantasy of “a livable planet without setting limits on economic growth.”
 
Economic “growth”, of course, never has been anything but cancer, in every figurative as well as literal sense. It is one of the most evil psychoses humanity has developed, and by far the most insane and self-destructive.
 
To reprise what I’ve written innumerable times at this site, there is one and only one solution to avert the worst of the climate crisis:
 
Stop emitting greenhouse gases at anything close to an industrial level; stop destroying carbon sinks; rebuild sinks on a mass scale.
 
Anything short of this is a lie. (Needless to say, no room left there for “growth”.) The only answer to every other ecological and human crisis is the same kind of answer.
 
 
 
 
 
 

June 18, 2018

Joel Looks Further, to Machine Agriculture, to US Imperial War, to Gaia’s Kinesis

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1. The word of Gaia comes to us.
Hear this, you old men,
And all you inhabitants of the land.
Has this been in your days,
Or even in the days of your fathers?
Tell your children of it,
And let your children tell their children,
And their children another generation.
 
The poisons have laid the crops bare,
The chemicals and genetic vandalism,
They have denuded the flesh and the code.
They have laid the crops bare to destruction.
 
That which the armyworm has left has the earworm eaten,
That which the earworm has left the rootworm has eaten,
That which the rootworm has left the locusts have devoured,
While all is submerged in the pigweed, and the horseweed, and the waterhemp,
And all the poison of the land can only destroy us
And not kill the pest.
 
Away you drunkards,
You are drunk with poison,
It suffuses you and seeps from you,
Poison is all you are.
But your toxic wine shall be cut from your mouth.
 
A nation is come up upon the land you stole,
Strong, without number,
Whose teeth are the teeth of a lion,
Whose wings are a tornado,
Whose vines the serpents of infinity,
Who defies your poison army
And reduces it to dust.
 
The nation lays your vine waste,
Rips your bales apart,
Drowns your pods of commodity:
It lays you entire clean bare
And casts you away.
 
The poisoned meat offering and drink offering
Are cut off from your priests;
And your ministers,
Your parasite legion,
All mourn.
 
The field is wasted, the land mourns;
The spirit of the field rejoices,
The soul of the land exults;
For the corn is wasted,
The poison is dried up,
The ooze languishes.
 
Be ashamed, machine farmers,
Howl, animal destroyers,
For the toxic corn and the poison soy;
For your toxic harvest is perished.
 
You dessicated the field,
Now it dessicates complete.
 
The tomato is shriveled,
The citrus orchard withers;
The imprisoned pomegranite,
The violent oil palm also,
And the poison apple tree.
All the false crops of the field are withered:
Glee is withered from the toxic horde.
 
Gird yourselves and lament, you priests:
Howl, you ministers of the serpent.
Lie all night in sackcloth,
Sanctify a fast with another feast,
Gather all the dignitaries to Paris:
Then cry to the papers,
Alas for the day!
Gaia’s kinesis is at hand:
As destruction from the almighty shall it come.
 
The meat is cut off before our eyes,
Yeah all the glee of the killers.
The seed is rotten under the murdered soil,
The garners laid desolate,
The barns broken down;
For the corn is all dead.
 
How they’ve made the animals suffer,
Their entire nourishment from one great Auschwitz.
The herds are perplexed for they have no pasture;
Yeah, the pigs are made desolate,
The chickens insane.
 
Your fire has devoured
The pastures of the wilderness.
You burned all the trees of the land
And brought the sands upon you.
 
You stanched the rivers,
You damned the waters,
And sucked up the entire moist Earth.
Now the rivers fail you,
The aquifers run out,
And the dirt subsides and is covered with sand.
 
Your crops all die.
Your beasts of the factory and the field all die.
 
You love fire,
And your fire has devoured all the pastures of the Earth.
Now you shall eat your fire.
 
 
 
2. Let the trumpet resound across America,
Sound alarms in the mountains,
Let it ring across the plains:
For Gaia’s kinesis is at hand.
 
A time of smog and smoke,
Clouds and thick darkness
Spread as if morning spanning the peaks.
A great people and strong;
There never has been the like,
Nor shall ever again be the like
Throughout the generations.
Their frames and souls now choke
On the smog and smoke they’ve used as blood.
 
A devouring fire precedes them,
And behind them towers of flame rage.
A Garden of Eden once lay before them,
Behind them now nothing but blasted desolation.
 
They come as if metal horses,
So they gallop across the land.
Like chariots leaping from pinnacle to pinnacle
They blast open the air;
Like a flame of fire
They surge the sands,
With hissing and silence
They slash the seas.
 
In their eyes all people are pain and the target of pain,
All faces become blackened.
 
They run like mighty men, each upon another,
They climb up on the house
To cast down bombs upon the next.
 
They muster their guns
And shoot one another.
Each thrusts the next
And walks over his corpse.
Each pushes the next onto the sword
And makes sure there are no wounded.
 
They run to and fro in the city,
Shooting, stabbing, burning each other.
They surmount the walls to shoot at the sky
To bring down their own chariots.
They put guns on the hills to shoot at the sea.
 
The Earth quakes beneath them,
The heavens tremble,
The chariots blast the rock below,
The ships bombard the writhing shores.
 
The moon goes dark.
The stars stop shining.
 
And Earth will convulse
Under the berserking army
Which eats its own fire
To consummate itself.
 
The day of the Earth is great and terrible,
And who can abide it?
 
All the planes plummet in flames,
All the ships sink bleeding below,
All tanks and cars are shattered in smoke;
The final two soldiers left standing deranged,
Stab one another to death.
 
Turn back to the Earth,
Turn back with fasting and mourning.
Rend your heart
And return home to Earth.
 
Blow the trumpet for Gaia,
Sanctify a fast,
Call an assembly,
Gather the people,
Sanctify the group,
Let all come together as one to say,
Redeem us O Gaia;
We shall redeem our heritage,
Never again forever to say,
What is the Earth?
 
And Earth will answer with full reclamation,
Corn, wine and oil,
Now gleaned in peace
From Earth’s own fount,
In harmony with Gaia
Not against her.
We shall be satisfied,
And know happiness and peace.
 
We shall banish the fear of death,
And the hatred from this fear,
And we shall be satisfied
And know happiness and peace.
 
Beasts of the field,
Pastures of the wilderness in Spring,
The tree bearing fruit,
The vine yielding strength,
The constant rain returning,
The wheat abounding,
The wine and oil again overflow.
 
We shall restore the balance
With locust and worm and caterpillar,
No more shall they be an army
Reared against us by the spirit of poison.
We shall be satisfied,
And know happiness and peace.
 
We shall eat in wholesome plenty
And be satisfied with happiness and peace.
 
 
Gaia shall pour out her spirit upon all flesh,
Our sons and daughters shall channel her word,
We all shall dream and see visions all day.
 
Earth will show wonders,
Heaven and Earth,
Sun, moon, all vistas transformed
As they’re freed of the glare and smoke and stench,
Clear sensation forever.
 
And in these coming days
Whoever shall call on the name of Gaia
Shall be delivered,
Each of us home to Eden.
 
 
 
3. In those days, in that time,
The Earth shall liberate its people from their captivity,
The Remnant of the First Nations everywhere
Shall Return as the Second Nations.
 
Gaia will gather her nations
And bring them to the Valley of All Rivers;
We shall redeem our heritage
And resume our land.
 
While you who cast lots for our people,
Gave a boy for a harlot,
And sold a girl for wine that you might drink,
Yeah what have you to do with us,
New York and Los Angeles,
And all your coasts enslaved to cargo?
Will you render Gaia a recompense?
Yeah, you have offered it;
Swiftly and speedily will she return your recompense
Upon your own head.
 
You have poisoned our water,
Murdered our trees,
Raped our soil and genes,
Taken them all into your temples.
Our children you have driven and sold and killed,
That you might remove them far from your border.
 
Behold, Earth will raise them out of the pit,
And return your recompense upon your own head.
Earth will sell yours into the hands of the Earth,
To a place far off from you;
And the stars you boasted you’d grasp,
You can climb up to them alone.
 
Earth proclaims, Prepare war,
Summon the mighty forces,
All the muster of Kinesis come near:
Beat their plowshares into our swords,
Their pruning hooks into spears for us:
Let the weak say: I am strong.
 
Assemble ourselves, and come,
All we people of the Earth,
Gather ourselves together round about:
Cause our mighty ones to come down, O Earth.
 
Let us waken and come up to the valley of Dakota:
There Gaia will sit to judge all round about.
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe:
Come down, the press is full, the vats overflow;
For their wickedness is great.
 
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision:
The day of the Earth is near in the valley of decision.
 
The sun and the moon shall be darkened,
The stars shall withdraw their shining.
 
The rage of the Earth shall roar out of Siberia,
And utter its voice from the Atlantic and Pacific;
The heavens and the earth shall shake:
But Gaia shall be the hope of her people,
And the strength of the children of the land.
 
 
So shall you know Gaia dwells in the Earth,
Our holy mountain,
Then shall our Gaian city be holy,
And no strangers pass through her any more.
 
And it shall come to pass in that day,
The mountains shall drop down new wine,
And the hills shall flow with milk,
And the rivers shall flow with waters,
And a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Earth
And shall water the Valley of All Rivers.
 
The brownfield shall be a desolation,
The cities shall leave behind deserts,
For their violence against the children of Gaia,
For the innocent blood they shed on the land.
Yet even this destroyed land Gaia shall reclaim in her time
And restore to beauty and life.
 
Gaia shall dwell for the rest of time,
And her children from generation to generation.
She will cleanse our wounds:
For the Earth dwells in her and us.
 
 
 
 
 

June 10, 2018

Self-Destruction: The Faster the Better

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Their nice little china shop is getting wrecked. The horror!

 
 
Any revolutionary, anyone who shares Earth’s need, has always understood that the system must destroy itself completely, with whatever help we can add along the way. Therefore we have always wanted the system’s leadership to be as brutal and stupid as possible, since this hastens a system’s self-destruction. Today we’re talking about the US empire and the overall regime of productionism and globalization driven most of all by the US corporate state. Donald Trump just gave a superbly destructive performance at the imperialist G7 conclave, even promising to throw a trade war monkey-wrench into the globalization mechanism.
 
So far Trump is living up to my hopes for him. While Obama and the Clintons are at least as brutal as Trump, they are perhaps less aggressively stupid in how fast they drive everyone on Earth to the conclusion that US power must be destroyed one way or another. Korea, Iran, Palestine, Europe, everyone knows the US corporate state is the planet’s great evil which has to be overcome at all costs.
 
Well, the poodles of Europe aren’t yet willing to pay all costs as we see from their so far abject obedience to the Iran sanctions. But their pathetic G7 experience can only help wake them up to reality.
 
Part of the reason Europe is unable to quit the US is that, whatever style differences there may be, there’s no difference between the goals of US elites and the goals of Eurotrash elites. Trump left early prior to the G7’s sessions on the climate crisis and the destruction of the oceans because, like everyone else in the Western political class, he regards the total destruction of the Earth as non-negotiable.
 
That’s why the G7 sessions themselves, just like the Paris accord, will be a fraud: Because no one in the West actually wants to do what’s necessary: Stop emitting greenhouse gases, stop destroying carbon and methane sinks, start rebuilding sinks.
 
Trump is simply more openly aggressive (more de jure “stupid”) about his climate denial. But in substance his kind of denial is identical to those who cry crocodile tears over the environment and tout fake “solutions” like Paris but don’t actually want to do anything real. Because that would crimp their junk-based, destruction-based lifestyle.
 
You don’t like Trump, because he’s a lout? Where it comes to the substance, look to the beam in your own eye.
 
The climate-whining link includes this sub-heading:
 
“Trump is the only world leader at the G7 who fails to grasp the basic science, and the urgent threat, of the climate crisis.”
 
Actually Trump is at one with all world leaders (and all previous US presidents) in refusing to do anything about the threat. Instead they do all they can to ratchet up the destruction regardless of what they “believe” about the science or the threat, which they see as purely abstract.
 
 
I can see why liberal imperialists hate Trump and his “reckless tariffs”. They see how he is, in spite of his own pro-empire self, sawing off the branch they’re all sitting on.
 
As an anti-imperialist who hates the corporate-technocratic empire and wants its total destruction, I’m enjoying everything Trump’s doing.
 
 
To say again: De facto climate denial, any version of “we can avert the worst of the climate crisis (and all the other ecological crises) within the framework of capitalism, within the framework of productionist civilization”, is a vastly worse and more destructive lie than de jure denial.
 
To say again: There is one and only one way to avert the worst: Stop emitting greenhouse gases, stop destroying carbon and methane sinks, start rebuilding sinks.
 
You’re either for climate destruction or against it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

——

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

June 4, 2018

The Fault is Not in Our Stars….

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 12:32 pm

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Throughout the billions of years life has inhabited Earth the sun has been growing brighter and hotter. This process will continue for billions of years to come until the sun expands and engulfs the solar system.
 
A billion years from now the sun will be 11% brighter, raising global average temperatures to around 120 °F. That will cause the oceans to quickly evaporate and lose Earth’s water-bound hydrogen to space. This finally will overwhelm Gaia and render Earth untenable for life, certainly for human beings in the unlikely event they’re still around.
 
The technocracy/scientism cult fantasizes about using unicorn technology – billions of rocket launches, or bringing asteroids from the Kuiper or Oort groups to pass within miles of Earth, or deploying a solar sail a dozen times the width of the Earth – to change Earth’s orbit and move it away from the sun.
 
Why not just tell everyone on Earth to pray as one and move Earth with their minds, like the way they levitated the Pentagon? That would have a better chance of working than this idiocy.
 
Obscenely, these parasites are killing everything alive now. They and their civilization are murdering humanity and the Earth. So what’s their point in talking about trying to rescue terrestrial life a billion years from now?
 
To understand how astronomers, for example, really view life, real life in the real world as opposed to some abstract notion of “life” in their techno-daydreams, consider how they’re destroying Arizona’s Mount Graham, desecrating sacred First Nations sacred ground and trying to exterminate the Mount Graham red squirrel, an endangered species, for the sake of nothing but a worthless toy telescope. We see the cult’s lust for destruction. It’s a perfect two-fer: They get to desecrate sacred human ground and re-exterminate an animal previously thought extinct but re-discovered.
 
Similarly on the big island of Hawaii the Mauna Kea Observatory franchise has been expanding recklessly, destroying sacred native ground and wiping out the habitat of many rare native birds. In spite of the religious rhetoric of scientism, politicians have made it clear that the main reason for this expansion is another fundamentalist cult, that of Mammon. They tout tourism as the main reason to build telescopes which are worthless even from the point of view of science, let alone humanity and the Earth. Needless to say the astronomers and the broader scientism cult are ardently committed to this project which is fake in every way except its waste and destruction.
 
Remember this next time you see mention of astronomers. Know what they are.
 
We all can marvel at the stars and planets we project upon the sky canvas of our perception. None of us ever needed equipment to do this, let alone extremely expensive and destructive high-maintenance technology. Only these shut-ins need this mediation.
 
They happily destroy real people and the true Earth in order to look at their painted stars (and to release doctored fake pictures to the media). For them it’s not valid to look the way stargazers have for tens of thousands of years, because human beings always have looked to the stars out of a sense of wonder and a spur to imagination and creativity. But today’s techno-cult looks at nothing other than from the gutter of technocratic instrumentalism and corporate profitability. That’s why for them right from the start it’s not worth doing anything unless the action deploys expensive, cumbersome high-maintenance technology, preferably technology which erects as many barriers between the observer and reality as possible. It’s a more extreme version of the general cultural pathology of those who stand physically in the presence of something but are willing to experience it only as mediated through camera, cellphones, “smartphones” and the ever-towering array of other worthless gadgets. This is the use of technology to reinforce and aggravate the modern alienation of Homo domesticus from the Earth, from humanity, from reality. Astronomers pretend to care about physical phenomena, the information spectra of the cosmos. They pretend to care about the beauty and majesty of the heavens. But they really care only about the telescope itself, since no one needs a telescope to revel in the stars, and no decent human being would be willing to kill and destroy for the sake of this toy.
 
The expense, destruction, and gratuitous complexity and dependency of the endeavor is precisely what the scientism cult values in it. As with every faction of modern civilization, the core goal is to be as wasteful and destructive as possible, on principle. Of course there’s also the usual corporate welfare and personal corruption as well.
 
These two examples are perfectly symbolic: The scientism cult is willing to rob, defile, and kill in order to look at long-expired light which radiated from a sterile source. It is a cult of death, not of life.
 
What proves this most of all is the fact that even as they speculate about future ages of Earth and life, they and their civilization are doing all they can to drive up Earth’s climatic temperature now, to drive maximum climate chaos now, to poison all air, water, soil, and organisms now, to eradicate all of nature and kill everything not engineered in a lab now. They intend a campaign of massacre far more comprehensive than any atmospheric transformation, far more total than any asteroid, indeed as complete and absolute as the sun itself engulfing the living Earth.
 
Civilization is death, and the scientism cult is the ultimate priesthood of death. Earth must deal with them accordingly.

 
 
 
(A contemplation based on W. H. Auden.)
 
 
Hearing of harvests, poisoned or rotting in the valleys,
Seeing at end of street the quarried mountains,
Round corners coming suddenly on poisoned water,
Knowing them liars who launched for islands,
We condemn the wardens of these starving cities
Whose dishonour is the image of our sorrow,
 
Which cannot see its likeness in their sorrow
That brought them desperate still to dream of cities;
Dreaming of evening walks through tamed valleys
They set loose their violent mechanized horses on the mountains,
Stripped fields to fill ships to the wealthy on islands,
Peddled visions of green to them who craved for unpoisoned water.
 
They built and dammed rivers and at night the ghost of water
Which once ran past windows increased their sorrow;
Each in his little bed conceived of islands
Where every day was dancing in the valleys
And all the green trees blossomed on the mountains,
Where love was innocent, being far from cities.
 
But the smog dawn came back and they still worshiped cities;
Their marvelous creature rose up from their dream of water;
They ripped the gold and silver in the mountains
And hunger was all their subjects’ sorrow,
While jet-setters debauching in captive valleys
Played at pilgrims describing their islands…
 
“The gods”, they promised, “live with us on our islands,
Are strutting, loud, bright and violent through our cities;
Now is the time for all others to leave their wretched valleys
And sail where we send them across CAFO lagoons, tar sand lakes, and plastic water,
Sitting at their white sides, they must forget their sorrow,
The shadow cast across their lives by promised mountains.”
 
So many, desperate, perished in the mountains,
Climbing up crags to get a view of still-free islands,
So many, fearful, took with them their sorrow
Which stayed them as they stayed in unhappy cities,
So many, careless, dived and drowned in poison water,
So many, wretched, were whipped from their valleys.
 
It is our sorrow. Shall it melt? Then water
Would gush, flush, green these mountains and these valleys,
And we stop dreaming of cities, nor dream of islands.
 
 
 
 
 
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