Volatility

January 20, 2019

The Bliss of the Knife

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Gaia’s greatest beauty, our ancestral home, our only hope going forward

 
 
The judge speaks: “Why did this criminal murder? He wanted to rob.” But I say: His soul wanted blood, not robbery. He thirsted after the bliss of the knife.
 
His poor reason, however, did not comprehend this madness. It persuaded him: “What matters blood? Don’t you want at least to commit robbery with it? To take revenge?” And he listened to his poor reason; it lay upon him like lead. So he robbed when he murdered. He did not want to be ashamed of his madness.
 
What is this man? A heap of diseases which through his spirit reach out to the world: There they want to catch their prey.
 
What is this man? A ball of wild snakes which never enjoy rest from one another: So they go forth singly and seek prey in the world.
 
Look at this poor body. What it suffered and coveted this poor soul interpreted for itself: Murderous lust and greed for the bliss of the knife.
 
– Nietzsche, “On the Pale Criminal” from Also Sprach Zarathustra, Part One
 
 
Do the destroyers of the Earth do it for energy and profit? Fracking has bad fundamentals and no long-term future but leaves behind everywhere a toxic desert and wrecked communities. Yet the elite consensus exalts it and the people tolerate it. It seems that energy and profit aren’t the real collective reasons civilization is fracking to death its own basis for life, fracking to death the water, air, soil, the all-comprehending environment.
 
Since there’s no rational or practical basis for turning much of America and Europe and the rest of the globe into fracking death zones, since even by their own productionist measures they could instead subsidize alternatives which are more effective and less destructive, we’re left with the conclusion that the real purpose of the fracking onslaught is destruction for the sake of destruction. They do it for the bliss of the knife.
 
And the economic civilization as a whole, “growth” aka cancer, and the science cult, historically are grounded in the Christian dominion theology, Man vs. Nature, the reclamation of Earth from the wilderness of Satan (and before that the long, bitter Hebrew monotheist struggle against the Canaanite Asherah cult), destruction for the sake of destruction, waste for the sake of waste, ecocide for the sake of ecocide. It wants the bliss of the knife.
 
Then there’s the faction which explicitly denigrates profit (sometimes), and even (sometimes) suggests using less energy: The mainstream environmentalists, leftists, etc. They say they don’t want profit, don’t want maximal extreme energy – so why can’t they relinquish the productionist civilization itself? Why must they too cling to the campaigns of destruction, for industrial fake-“renewable” energy, the continued crippling and enslavement of rivers for energy, proposed monkeying with the already dying oceans for energy? They too want the bliss of the knife.
 
Perhaps this doesn’t sum up each individual murderer. But we know productionism, consumerism, capitalism, the modern civilization itself is a suicidal-homicidal failure. We know it makes no one happier, healthier, more free, that on the contrary it harms all of these. We know all the economic civilization’s propaganda is nothing but trickle-down lies. But when we look at how far this civilization has gone, how we know it’s all a failure, yet how the collective anthill, leadership and mass, continues the destruction, escalates it, accelerates it, even as the propaganda increasingly hijacks the name of the environment, the climate, the Earth: When we look at the unrelenting action of destruction and the sadistic mockery which accompanies it, we can see nothing but the bliss of the knife, if we’re honest with ourselves.
 
The destroyers continue out of nothing but hatred of the living Earth, hatred of the truth that human beings once lived happy and free amid the Earth, hatred of the prospect that human beings will ever again live free and happy, the way so many did before being “put to work”, before “civilization”. This hatred drives them to hack with the knife.
 
And this is the hatred which above all drives silvicide, tree-hatred, the bliss of the chainsaw. From the wholesale destruction of natural forests for the sake of vast industrial monoculture farming of agricultural crops and plantation trees for pulp and “biomass”, down to the individual suburban squatter who pointlessly and mindlessly murders the trees on “his property”, we see a civilization deranged with homicidally insane hatred of trees. Here most of all there’s no rationale, only pointless destruction. We depend for our very lives on the forests, the primary conjurers of rain and primary sinkers of carbon. Civilization destroys the forests in order to generate desert – in the Mideast, in the Sahara, in the Harrapan and spreading through southern Asia, spreading across South America and soon to engulf the entire Amazon, spreading across North America soon to bring the ultimate dust bowl. The campaign of civilization to destroy forest and replace it with desert has been ongoing for thousands of years. Modern civilization strives to complete the desertification of the globe once and for all. That’s the core globalization campaign, in tandem with suffusion of the whole Earth with industrial poisons and heating the climate beyond complex life’s endurance.
 
These three campaigns of civilization – desert, poison, global heating and climate chaos – go together and reinforce one another, and the pivot point is the destruction of the trees.
 
The nominal purposes of deforestation are to open more space for industrial agriculture, so that it can slather more poison; and directly to log the trees to generate industrial commodities. The real bliss is to end the rains, release the carbon, parch the soil, heat the air, bring the desert. Assorted geeks of the climate-industrial complex pretend to care about the heating. Under this propaganda gambit they push for the accelerated destruction of the forests and the acceleration of the climate crisis by touting another industrial commodity, wood pellets for biomass and biofuels. The lies about “biomass” are absurd and long debunked: Destroying natural forests is always a massive carbon hemorrhage, bringer of aridity, and eradication of biodiversity, while monoculture tree plantations are never carbon sinks and only contribute to drought and mass extinction, as they provide almost no wildlife habitat. They’re a pure loss and pure destruction. But tree plantations have everything in common with grain and soybean plantations: They wipe out the natural forest ecology and replace it with a dead zone, they provide the pretext for the massive slathering of poisons which suffuse the entire environment, they destroy the most capacious sinks and spew massive amounts of carbon into the air, and they dry out the air, dry out the land, bring the desert.
 
With the biomass scam all the political factions, the whole “political spectrum” joins hands to exalt big logging and big coal, and does it in the name of “the climate”. Arbeit Macht Frei. Such vileness, such sadistic glee in destroying while smiling and saying, “This is because I love you Mother Earth”, is not the act of regular greed. It’s the act of a psychopath caressing his knife. Or in this case his chainsaw.
 
 
We owe everything to the trees. The forest is our ancestral home, it spawned us, it sculpted us. That’s why so many have never forgiven the trees. It’s the same hatred of origins, the same hatred of history, which infuses all modern ideology and religion. It’s the same hatred of the physical Earth, the same hatred of biology, the same hatred of our bodies, the hatred of sex, the hatred of the fact that we have to breathe and drink and eat, which infuses the technocratic onslaught, its totalitarian drive to eradicate all of nature and replace it with artificial control. Deforestation and regimented tree plantations are one stage of the destruction and replacement of Gaia with a desert. The same is true of industrial agriculture. Genetically engineered trees are intended to escalate and accelerate this destruction and replacement, just as commodity crop GMOs have accelerated agricultural destruction and desertification, just as they have begun to replace true food.
 
There’s all kinds of superficial power and profit goals here, and elite motives seem manifold. But the collective mass, even as it feels ambivalence, even where it feels revulsion and an ancient imperative to fight or flee, numbly follows where told. The geeks who turn out to “vote” in fake elections invariably vote for the same destruction they fear and deplore. This is a collective inertia, not so much an anthill as army ants on the march. To find the deeper reason we can look at the scientism-technocracy cult for whom modern ecocide-genocide is a religion. They’re the tip of the iceberg, the glaring neon sign fronting the dive, the glint off the blade of the knife.
 
“What matters blood? Don’t you want at least to commit robbery with it? To take revenge? And he listened to his poor reason; it lay upon him like lead.”
 
The revenge campaign as well as the global plunder expedition are part of the vandal berserking. The myths of parricide have haunted our collective unconscious for thousands of years. Now the modern civilization plays out the final act of the infinitely greater crime of matricide, the attempt to murder our Earth Mother Gaia, the core of the future’s myth through which it will try to make sense of this infinite insanity, this infinite blood-lust, this infinite bliss of the knife.
 
 
 
 

January 14, 2019

A Desert of the Soul

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The Sahara, a favorite target to be covered with one huge electricity factory

 
 
At first glance the natural desert may not look as lavish as a rain forest. But the natural desert is full of diverse life, efflorescent, and very fragile.
 
“During my weeks in the field, the paleontologists leading the expedition repeatedly warned us not to “bust the crust,” a reference to the paper-thin desert “glue” that covers much of the ground in the desert southwest.
 
This unprepossessing knobby black varnish is actually Cryptobiotic soil, a biologically active film that takes decades to form yet has big effects on everything from storing spring runoff to allowing plants to fix nitrogen in sandy ground. This in turn supports a healthy habitat for herbivores and predators, like the large rattlesnake I encountered one afternoon sporting a suspiciously mouse-sized lump in its midsection.
 
The soil is so fragile that some dig sites require that even theropod bones, which can weigh hundreds of pounds, be carried out on foot, since wheeled vehicles of any kind cause too much damage to the landscape.
 
If something as small as a single wheelbarrow can do years of damage to the desert, imagine how destructive uranium mining will be.”
 
A careful dinosaur dig must take such precautions. As she says, imagine the destruction to be wrought by uranium mining (remember that next time you hear a shill touting nukes on “climate” grounds, and know how much he really cares about the Earth). Imagine the destruction wrought by oil and gas drilling.
 
In the same way, imagine the destruction wrought by vast CSP industrial electricity-generation factories such as the one which destroyed a large swath of the Mojave Desert, with near-full support from California’s “environmental movement”, so that Los Angeles industry could continue to burn cheap electricity.
 
The Big Green climate-industrial complex spits on the desert ecology for the sake of their industrial fetish. As I wrote earlier, the corporate environmental movement has perfect consensus with the corporate destroyers of the Earth on total commitment to the production-consumption economy. Therefore all prescriptions touted by the establishment climate movement really have zero to do with the climate or with any other ecological crisis but have everything to do with saving the cancer economy (the metastatic “growth” economy) from its own death wish.
 
As Derrick Jensen put it, “The desert is being sacrificed not, as the article states, to save the earth, but to generate electricity—primarily for industry. The earth doesn’t need this electricity: industry does. But then again, from this narcissistic perspective, industry is the earth. There is and can be nothing except for industry.”
 
 
Corporations, the government, NGOs, the Democrat Party, all work to co-opt and hijack every social and ecological movement.
 
The climate movement was pre-co-opted. Before most of the people became aware of the crisis the “movement” already had coalesced on a technocratic basis, a basis of UN conferences, international accords, Big NGO marketing campaigns, “sustainability” initiatives at Walmart, top-down (usually wonkish) prescriptions and policy.
 
The purpose of this pre-fabricated establishment-led movement was never real climate action but the fake facade of it. That’s why the movement’s been active for over thirty years (the IPCC was established in 1988) and over that entire time emissions have continued to increase, at an accelerating rate, and sinks continue to be destroyed at an escalating rate. And now we have the Paris accord whose primary purpose is to accelerate the destruction of what’s left of Earth’s forests (the most important carbon sinks) in the name of “the climate” (the “biomass” scam and assault). Arbeit Macht Frei.
 
You don’t like what Bolansaro threatens to do to the Amazon? He’s just following the Paris playbook.
 
Here’s the real purposes of the mainstream technocratic climate movement.
 
1. This faction among the technocrats believes that climate chaos and peak oil will destroy the existing fossil-based economy, and they’re looking for a way to preserve industrial cancer (“growth”), productionism-consumerism, capitalism, elite power, and extreme material luxury for the elites.
 
2. This faction includes many corporate sectors which can profit from an industrial “climate” program, especially something on the scale and subsidy level of the Manhattan Project or Apollo program, to name two of the favored militarist metaphors of the climate mandarins. These sectors include industrial renewables, finance (“offsets”, carbon taxes, “cap-and-trade” etc.), Big NGOs (nominally non-profit, effectively profiteering), along with new subsidized markets for industrial agriculture (“climate-smart agriculture”, Monsanto’s “Climate Corporation”), automakers (electric vehicles as loss-leaders, the upscale hybrid market, all to mask the real goal of increasing SUV sales), logging and coal (the biomass scam), and yet more subsidies for Big Oil, nukes, and other hoary destroyer sectors.
 
3. The climate movement is a happy hunting ground for the scientism wingnuts who now have political space to propagate such deranged notions as geoengineering, biofuels from genetically engineered algae, or ramping up the space program since Homo domesticus soon will need a new planet to destroy. These psychopaths gain legitimacy when they cloak their planetary serial-killer fantasies in “climate” garb.
 
4. And then we have the standard, inescapable liberal hypocrisy. If you shed crocodile tears for the climate, donate to a Big Green corporate front group like the World Wildlife Fund or Nature Conservancy, sign some online petitions and vote Democrat, then you can go about your extreme high-carbon, high-impact, Earth-destroying Western lifestyle in perfect serenity of conscience.
 
 
No doubt this technocratic cultural wave is part of the reason there’s so many de jure denialists among the 99% who can’t benefit from climate denial and can only be harmed by climate chaos itself. But like creationism, and fundamentalism among the three Abrahamic religions as such (a purely modern phenomenon, in spite of moronic epithets like how it’s a “medieval” mentality), bottom-up climate denial (which is different from but tutored and exploited by astroturfed top-down denial led by Big Oil – the flip side of the top-down climate-industrial complex) is a reaction against technocracy and scientism.
 
 
For the moment, for as long as fossil fuels remain cheap and plentiful (so-called “renewable” industrial energy is completely dependent upon fossil fuels for parts, transportation, much of its own fuel, and the vast majority of the fuel for the productionist economy which industrial renewables are intended to help prop up for a little while longer), the electricity is cheap and plentiful. The electricity as well as the coal, oil, and gas are cheap since the Earth pays almost all of the cost. That’s the essence of the parasite and vandal civilization.
 
It’s clear that any movement true to the ecological heart, faithful to the Earth cannot proceed in any such way. The production-consumption-technocratic Extreme Energy Civilization itself is destroying the Earth including natural humanity, the human soul. Wherever this civilization goes, on the Earth and into our minds and souls, it leaves nothing but desert.
 
This desert has nothing in common with the natural diverse flowering desert. It’s the desert of wasteland, a dead zone.
 
The industrial climate movement, like the corporate industrial environmental movement as a whole, offers nothing to Gaia or her human element. Like all that’s industrial, all that’s productionist, all that’s corporate, all that’s mass-produced, commodified and consumed, it offers nothing but destruction.
 
Gaia hovers at the brink of the great Kinesis, the great phase change. The cancer civilization will not survive it. Homo domesticus will be the keystone victim of its own onslaught of mass extinction. Humanity itself will survive only if we start heading home to Earth right now. The only idea sufficient to the crisis, the only movement, the only culture, the only politics, is the Gaian movement. This is the only way home. All else is the politics of parasite squatters and vandals.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 6, 2019

Either/Or

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Eucalyptus plantations, “gasoline trees” as South American community peoples call them because they’re so incendiary, burn in Portugal in 2017 killing over sixty, burning them alive in their cars. The plantations burn in Chile, in Africa, in Australia, soon GMO plantations will bring flaming death to the US Southeast. And the same fires burn across the globe, everywhere the natural habitats have been devastated and parched. This civilization will burn every last BTU’s worth it can, will burn every last splinter, will dry every last clod of soil, will pump every last molecule of carbon, will poison every drop of water, will kill every plant and animal, will be as a mythologist of modernity wrote “free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and reveling in joy”, until Gaia finally puts an end to the horror.
 
 
It’s self-evident that profit-seeking corporations can never seek any goal other than power and profit. By definition they can’t be enlisted toward any other goal. Any other goal automatically would constitute a constraint on maximal profit-seeking.
 
This is logically self-evident. And for those who don’t trust logic, we have the entire evidence record of capitalist history proving it out. Without exception every example where profiteering was enlisted on behalf of a goal outside the pentacle of power, the venal motive always hijacked, distorted, destroyed the nominal goal. And that’s not even taking into account technocratic religious hatred of nature and freedom. This has been most obvious through the tragic and treacherous history of the environmental movement, whose mainstream quickly decided to become an adjunct of the corporate state with results which easily were predicted.
 
This is obvious to anyone who knows history or who has common sense. At this late date, at this extreme of the crisis, anyone who still claims to believe it’s possible to seek a climate goal through a corporate tollbooth is a liar or an idiot. There’s no other option.
 
Then we have the mass of mainstream environmentalists, Big Green NGOs, climate scientists, progressive and fake “socialist” politicians, and the mainstream media. We have thirty years of a unified, highly visible, lavishly financed climate movement, all dedicated to the proposition that the way to solve the climate crisis is to enlist the profit motive and set up more corporate tollbooths. This movement has accomplished nothing but ever rising emissions and corporate subsidies, ever more severe climatic effects, and ever more threadbare rationales from the likes of the IPCC for how civilization still has time to make those tollbooths work.
 
To the extent these are idiots rather than conscious liars, they comprise those who have been so brain-washed that they assume corporate profit-seeking as literally a law of the universe and find the claim that profiteering and any other goal are mutually exclusive, or very idea of an alternative to profiteering, inconceivable. Therefore they assume on faith that the climate answer has to be a profit-seeking answer. And since this is the only way possible, and since they want it to work, therefore it has to work. That’s their mode of magical thinking. They want the cancer economy (“growth”), they want the resource intensive worthless junk, they want their fundamentalism of Extreme Energy, and so they must have it, and their climate too.
 
For them this is religion, and in the world of the Western middle class corporate system they exclusively inhabit, its cultural and intellectual life, this religion is thus far an unchallenged theocracy. And like the faithful flock of any other theocracy, they don’t see their religion as a religion, indeed can’t comprehend having things phrased to them that way.
 
For example, last week I got into an online argument with someone who vehemently insisted that climate scientists are not pro-capitalist shills across the board, invariably touting nothing but corporate profit-seeking “solutions” to the climate crisis and invariably insisting that the climate crisis can and must be solved purely within the framework of capitalism. (Typical examples – industrial “renewables”, biomass, biofuels, electric cars, carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, “offsets” and similar long-proven frauds, all purely within the framework of capitalism and productionism/consumptionism as such.) This person demanded I give him an example of a pro-capitalist climate scientist. Amazed at such cluelessness, I cited their big climate hero James Hansen (who has never touted anything but capitalism and these days has a second career as a nuke shill) and from there could only reply “Show me an example of one who doesn’t.” This person is typical of a mainstream “environmental” type so inured to an economy, polity, and culture completely dominated by the capitalist imperative that to say to him “climate scientists are pro-capitalist” is like saying to a fish, “you swim in water.” A fish would have no intellectual notion of what water (or swimming) are. In the same way, the devotees of any theocracy don’t recognize themselves as “religious” or their system as a theocracy. To them such things are just the way of the world. Only under pluralistic conditions do people even develop such words and concepts as “religion”.
 
What follows from this? It’s not only impossible to work constructively toward any real action within the system, it’s practically impossible even to talk about it with system devotees, the faithful flock of “green capitalism”, a “green new deal”, a UN climate conference directly sponsored by Big Coal, IPCC reports designed mostly to keep moving the theoretical goal posts to assure its constituency there’s still time and a “carbon budget” left to burn, a Paris scam designed mostly to give political cover for the final destruction of the world’s forests and grasslands under the rubric of a planetary Arbeit Macht Frei of climate policy called “biomass”.
 
And the whole congregation keeps holy rolling with hymns to “1.5 degrees” (or the Paris-enshrined 2 degrees, depending on which establishment climate preacher one follows), dispensing the old snake oil (and of course palm oil). Yet reality says the last time the global atmospheric carbon concentration was above 400PPM, as it has been for several years now, the global temperature was 5-10 degrees higher than now. That much heating already is locked in, although temperatures will take some time to catch up to millions of years worth of carbon increase compressed into a hundred year deluge.
 
And the carbon will continue to escalate, and escalate at an increasing rate as it’s been doing throughout the UNFCCC period. The atmospheric concentration, and the eventual heating, will continue to escalate for as long as the Extreme Energy Civilization exists. So wave bye-bye to 1.5 degrees, let alone to “350” PPM, a fake goal one prominent mainstream sect names itself after. The Earth already is at 410PPM and surging. We won’t see 350 again until hundreds of years after the demise of the technocratic-industrial civilization.
 
 
Again we come down to the need to burn our ships and build a movement completely outside and against the system, very likely with no adherents who ever had any stake in the system, and devote this movement to preparing for the imminent catastrophes and collapses as Gaia goes kinetic and the Earth’s reaction against civilization’s vermin onslaught gathers force. Prepare to endure this storm, and the inevitable extreme violence of an already ultra-violent civilization now in its death throes. Prepare to endure these storms, and speak truth, spread the word of the coming storm – what the Shock Civilization is, what it has wrought, what the inevitable ecological shock reactions are and shall magnify to become, how the burning tower shall never quench its own flame but only do all it can to spread the flame to consume the entire Earth if it doesn’t collapse first, and therefore why nothing can be done with this system and nothing hoped for; but also what must and can be done outside and beyond the system, and what an ecological way of life, what restored natural communities such as those humanity enjoyed for thousands of years before being forced out upon the death march, will truly mean……
 
 
 
 
 

January 2, 2019

Let’s Drive Drunk in the Blizzard

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Dance of Death, GMO Health Hazards, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: — Russell Bangs @ 2:42 pm

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EXCELSIOR!

 
 
The latest lie from the pro-GMO psychopaths:
 
GMO proponents lobbying for lax regulation of GM plants and animals produced with “new GM” techniques, including genome editing, argue that living organisms naturally contain many mutations (DNA damage), making them “natural GMOs”. They add that it is often impossible to distinguish mutations induced by the new GM techniques from naturally induced mutations and that therefore GMOs produced with these techniques should not be regulated more strictly than conventionally bred varieties.
 
This is yet another version of the “logic” we see often across the spectrum of environmental assaults, which boils down to: “It’s a blizzard outside already and I have to go out driving in it anyway, so I might as well get drunk too.”
 
In this case, “There’s already plenty of natural* mutations, so we might as well artificially add more.”
 
I first thought of this parallel around fifteen years ago when I first began studying the climate crisis and was becoming familiar with the standard canned denier “arguments”. One that’s commonly seen to this day runs, “Although there may be global warming from a greenhouse effect, there’s no way to separate out how much of this is caused naturally by volcanism and how much by industrial emissions, therefore there’s no call to limit emissions.” It immediately struck me that such idiots are saying “Since we have to drive in a blizzard anyway, might as well get drunk too.”
 
Of course any sane person would draw the exact opposite conclusion: If in fact there were a significant volcanic factor driving the greenhouse effect (in reality there’s no evidence of any such “natural” factor), that’s all the more reason it’s imperative that humanity greatly reduce its emissions.
 
But of course, as we see every day, and will continue to see until the day civilization definitively destroys itself, it’s impossible to reason with the type of lunatic who wants to drive drunk in a blizzard. Like the pro-GMO psychopaths. The only thing they understand is force, since that’s the only mode of thought and action they themselves are capable of.
 
 
*Of course a large if unspecified proportion of “natural” mutations are caused artificially by industrial and agricultural poisons, air and water pollution, nuclear radiation, minuscule plastic particles, and other civilizational assaults on our bodies. So the psychopaths not only want to drive drunk, but to drop acid, snort blow, shoot heroin, and smoke angel dust as well before heading out into that storm.
 
 
 
 
 

December 25, 2018

A Christmas Tale: The Forest of Eden

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Dance of Death — Tags: — Russell Bangs @ 3:47 am

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According to one version of the story of Eden, God forbade Adam and Eve to taste of the fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they tasted of knowledge, God promised them, “you shall surely die”. In this version the serpent entered Eden and enticed Eve and Adam to taste of knowledge. To punish them for this disobedience God cast Adam and Eve from the abundant forage of the Garden, dooming them to toil for their food and shelter, dooming them to mortality.
 
There’s another version of this story. According to this variant God never forbade the taste of knowledge, on the contrary he encouraged it, but warned against letting false knowledge usurp life to the corruption and death of both. The serpent entered Eden and enticed Adam and Eve, not to eat of the tree but to cut it down. Eve said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of every tree of the garden, but God has said we must not touch any tree to hurt it, lest we die.
 
And the serpent said, you shall not die, for God knows that in the day you kill his trees and poison his garden you shall drive him out and become as gods, dictating good and evil. Your murder gains life for your own godhood.
 
Adam and Eve were seduced. The serpent fired their lust for power, and they cut down the tree believing this would liberate them. But they found only their fear and alienation, God no longer was to be found, the garden withered, themselves doomed to worthless toil and mortality.
 
 
Another story is told of a Jewish spiritual reformer who was crucified by the Romans and then rose again, because he was really the human incarnation of God. Followers, onlookers, even his persecutors looked on in awe as God cried out from the cross and gave up the ghost. According to another version of this story, Jesus dodged the nails leaving a sign while the cross went up alone, and all who looked on felt the magnitude of the wood of the cross itself, the sacrifice of the trees which were felled to crucify God.
 
 
All the trees are coming back. All the trees murdered for greed and spite will rise again. All the trees come back, millions everywhere, the forests sprout from the lawns, break from every street and parking lot, burst through the houses, level the strip malls, rip open the McMansions, purge the industrial plantations.
 
All versions of the story agree that when the reformer was tempted by the devil, offering the same promise of becoming a god himself, to dictate good and evil, to receive the submission of millions, to murder for his own godhood, Jesus rejected the devil and rejected the temptation.
 
 
At Christmas the people think again of the primal trees but drive themselves to reprise the sacrifice. To symbolize the original sacrifice they kill another for the ceremony, or kill the very idea of the tree in favor of an artificial simulation. Idolatry of the anti-tree is most symbolic of the modern idol-worship, the worship of every technology and every idea of technocracy in proportion to how much it promises to murder nature, to murder reality.
 
 
In this West at its final climax it’s murder for commodity, murder for monoculture, murder from spite most spiritually deadly of all. The suburbs spawn psychopaths, powerless atoms who can play at voting for evil but truly can exercise their love of death only in murdering the most ancient, most beautiful, most sentient beings. Where each middle class suburbanite, including the most impeccably liberal or radical, gleefully murders trees or blandly looks on amid such massacre, we can expect nothing but the same banality toward the climate crisis and ecological destruction in general. And that’s exactly what we have. Politics is Dead. Tree-murder is a cause and a symptom.
 
Nature’s laws are a wall, however much they temporarily may seem like mist. God sees the truth but waits, and Gaia’s correction proceeds according to its own timetable but arrives completely in the end. An organism cannot rebel against the foundation of its life other than as a mode of suicide. The extreme energy civilization and all who exalt it are committing suicide. Humanity’s great mission is to redeem itself and not commit suicide as a species. Ecologically, suicide is in exact balanced ratio with insane homicide. We must stop murdering or else die ourselves. Whatever humanity chooses, Gaia’s kinesis is imminent.
 
 
All the trees are coming back. The tree of knowledge of good and evil stands everywhere, this is every tree. The tree of life stands everywhere, this is every tree. The tree of beauty, the tree of love, the tree of peace, the tree of happiness, the tree of wisdom, the tree of childhood, the tree of health, the tree of vigor, the tree of strength, all stand everywhere. All who once stood are coming back. The tree of Earth still stands everywhere, and everywhere is coming back. If it ever were felled, humanity surely would die, but the true life would continue.
 
This is the true Christmas tree, if there still were such an idea in the mind of humanity. This will decide whether we can reclaim ourselves.
 
All the trees are coming back. This is the true reclamation.
 
 
 
 

December 24, 2018

Green Deal, Big Deal, Same Old Deal

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Feel the burn

 
 
Why is the green deal a scam? Because like every other corporate “solution” it assumes productionism, consumerism, capitalism, industrial electrical generation and consumption (the great majority for industry), and the dominion of The Car. George Bush said the proper response to 9/11 was to Keep Shopping. And today’s climate scientists, Big Green NGOs and “progressive”/”socialist” politicians say the proper response to the climate crisis is to Keep Shopping. More and Better Capitalism. And of course Keep Driving.
 
But these are the very things driving the ecological crisis. More of the same ecological assaults cannot result in anything but more of the same ecological destruction.
 
There is one and only one way to avert the worst of the climate crisis:
 
Stop industrial emissions; stop destroying sinks; rebuild sinks.
 
And this is the only way to avert the worst of the general ecological crisis.
 
But all corporate system “solutions”, including the “green new deal”, propose to continue massive emissions (industrial “renewables”, to give the most egregious example, can exist only on a foundation of fossil fuels and are ecologically destructive in themselves), continue the massive destruction of sinks (one of the main purposes of the Paris scam was to enshrine the carbon-hemorrhaging “biomass” assault as a system-legitimated climate action), and pay only the most modest lip service to rebuilding sinks.
 
 
(Check out Bernie Sanders’ “Feel the Bern” website for a typical example of all this: Lip service to “family farming” alongside proclaimed support for the centralized corporate poison-based agriculture which is the #1 driver of the climate crisis. (Support for industrial agriculture automatically makes one a climate denier.) He proclaims his support for GMOs (and therefore for the entire pesticide, consolidation, and commodity speculation paradigm) and regurgitates several of the standard canned lies about them. Lip service to the climate along with support for the biomass assault and other scams, and of course support for the military which is a massive emitter. (I didn’t see the military mentioned anywhere on Bernie’s climate pages. Nor do any other green new deal advocates ever seem to acknowledge how the climate crisis and the US military are inextricably conjoined.) Meanwhile elsewhere he’s babbling idiotically about NASA and space travel. There’s just a few typical examples of the typical climate crocodile. With this kind of ideology, the climate will feel the burn all right.)
 
 
 
 
 

December 21, 2018

Liberals Shriek for More War, More Blood

Filed under: Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism, Global War On Terror — Tags: , , — Russell Bangs @ 1:07 pm

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…and for more profits for the weapons contractors and the rest of the long list of war profiteers.
 
There has never been more perfect proof that American liberals want war, mass murder, the aggrandizement of the military-industrial complex, the dictatorship of corporations, authoritarian government, mass starvation, genocide, and total ecological destruction, than the chorus of braying we’re seeing today objecting to Trump’s claim (which is probably bogus anyway) that the US is going to pull its military out of Syria.
 
I thought it wasn’t possible to feel greater hatred for liberals than I already did, that their vileness could reach a greater extreme. But today they’re proving me wrong.
 
This liberal psychopathy goes well with the Democrats’ fake Yemen resolution, a typical Sanders con job, which they specifically designed to ensure it wouldn’t end US aggression and genocide in Yemen.
 
And as we’ve seen for many years now, but especially since 2016, liberal Dembots salivate at the prospect of nuclear war against Russia. It seems to be their ultimate fantasy. I can’t think of any other reason for Russia Derangement than the fantasy of WWIII and total destruction. God knows there’s no rational explanation for the 21st century Russia-hatred in America.
 
I think sometimes of how in the 1950s, said to be a social dark age, it was still possible to shame the supporters of a Joseph McCarthy by asking if anyone had any human decency left. Today there would be no point in asking such a question. It would only bring laughter from the mob of psychopaths who pass for “political” people today. There’s no decency left in the US Sodom and Gomorrah. No humanity period. Abraham was able to haggle the Lord down to agreement to spare the cities of the plain if ten honest people could be found. Abraham plead in vain. And he’d be no more successful today, not if he looked for honesty and decency among partisans of the Corporate One-Party, and especially among Democrat partisans, the most vile persons ever to defile the Earth with their existence. The whole shithole needs to be scoured by its own flame and heat and poison. It all needs to come down. And most of all, the anti-politics of liberalism, dedicated to total human atomization and total ecological destruction since its inception in the 19th century, needs to cease to exist. This is an absolute social, aesthetic, ecological necessity.
 
 
 
 
 

December 20, 2018

Onslaught

Filed under: Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 5:42 am

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H/T Deep Green Resistance
 
 
 

December 15, 2018

The Basic Ecological Flow of Modern Civilization

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Over the long run the ecological measure is the one and only real measure for life on Earth. All the artificial measures of Babylon which currently seem so powerful, which often seem even to have superseded the measure of life itself, are ephemeral. The best example is the most extreme example. The fakeness of money, which through global financialization claims to be the most granite reality of all, is just the most extreme fakeness of a civilization whose adamantine towers are always just one breeze away from toppling. These measures of rock built on sand are measures only for the very short run, however long that seems to the victims, and to we ecological dissidents.
 
And so ecology is the only reality-based measure. What’s the basic ecological cycle and flow of modern civilization?
 
1. Extract fossil fuels (and fossil water, fossil phosphorus, minerals, everything which can be exploited for productionism), mine all “resources” (anything and everything including human beings is nothing but a resource), theoretically renewable or not, such that it renders them non-renewable.
 
2. Put all this into motion as aggressively, chaotically, destructively as possible. (Their ideologues call this “creative destruction”.) Force everything and everyone to participate in frenzied action to no purpose. What is the ecological purpose of any action characteristic of civilization? None whatsoever, other than destruction for the sake of destruction. Damage, ravage, poison, destroy the ecology. From the point of view of ecology, the only reality-based measure, almost all civilized hominid action serves zero purpose but destruction.
 
A simple ratio demonstrates this: Look at any hominid and tally what he takes from the Earth, and what he gives to the Earth.* In the case of almost any civilized hominid it’ll be difficult or impossible to discern in what way he’s anything but a pure parasite. And in almost all cases gratuitously destructive as well, a vandal as well as a parasite.
 
3. As the waste product of the pointless frenzy, fill the atmosphere with greenhouse gases and other wastes, fill the water with pollutants, accumulate plastic and other wastes in the oceans, suffuse the general environment with plastics, industrial and agricultural poisons, and every other kind of waste. For as long as the ecology functions, some of this waste biodegrades, some only very slowly, some, especially plastics, maybe not at all. The more waste accumulates the greater the pressure on the ecology to break down and cease function.
 
 
There’s the ecological essence of modern civilization: Extraction of non-renewable “resources”, pointless orgy, massive and terminal buildup of waste and toxification. The ecological measure is the only real measure, over the long run. For civilization it’s a suicide race. Which will come first: Resource depletion, the orgy going to nuclear war or total pandemic, general ecological collapse? Which mode of death: Starvation, shooting yourself, poisoning yourself.
 
The only real questions are, once the nightmare’s over and what’s left behind is a Learian desolation, how much will be left for Gaia to use to rebuild, and at what stability or chaos of a new phase state.
 
This is the long run history of the future. There’s a popular Keynes quote, “In the long run we’re all dead.”
 
Yes. And “Homo sapiens” is determined to make that long run as short as possible for itself as a species. In its civilized form H. domesticus it wants to make life itself extinct. The suicide race also is a homicide race – how much of Gaia can civilization murder before it kills itself. And what can ecological dissidents do: To defend and conserve until the clock runs out; to fight back; even to speed up the clock.
 
 
*To anticipate trolls or even honest questions, here’s what I give to the Earth: On all the land available to me I grow food according to agroecological principles (aka organically). Beyond directly growing food I’ve been active in the community food movement, dedicated to restoring natural modes of food production and distribution, for almost ten years now. I’m a writer and educator, director of two community gardens, have worked at a farmers market and at our herbal medicine garden. In these ways I act and propagate ideas toward restoring these more ecological modes. All voluntary aspects of my life are on Gaia’s vector.
 
I would like to be a full time farmer if I had my rightful place on the land. Civilization encloses the land for only idle or destructive purposes. I’m foreclosed by the religion of money (Mammon), the religion of property, the police. This is to explain how civilization forces limits on how much any of us who isn’t rich or otherwise lucky can give.
 
I offer Gaia my writing, I propagate the necessary ideas to whatever extent I’m able and anyone’s listening. I do all I can to speak to fellow mammals amid the underbrush, calling upon us to wait out the dinosaurs, destroying their eggs whenever we can. I do the maximum I can do. And I engage in no high-impact, high-GHG actions except under duress. I’m conscripted into driving a car; if I could abolish the car completely I’d do so in a second. If I could press a button and cause all fossil fuels to disappear immediately, I’d do so in a second.
 
I envision the coming ecological restoration of humanity, the coming natural community which includes humanity as fully giving and receiving participant. And until then I do what I can to envision the ideas and organization we need today, in order to endure and carry through the little that’s worthwhile, and take whatever action we can.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

December 1, 2018

Morally, Ecologically, COPFOs Are the Same as CAFOs

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Exploited, tortured, malnourished, poisoned, regimented.

 
 
1. Factory farms are among the worst evils of modern civilization. The civilized smugly invoke Auschwitz as a near-mythical symbol of pure evil. Meanwhile Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), identical concentration and death camps by any measure other than that of domesticated hominid supremacism, continue to multiply across America and the globe.
 
The sadistic cruelty which is the daily routine is beyond sane imagination. The living animals are packed together like dead sardines. They are driven insane with physical pain and crowding and unfathomable psychological stress. Babies are wrenched from their mothers to render the mothers “productive” again as fast as possible. The inmates are fed a gruesome poisoned grain diet which makes them sick. It’s just enough to drag their zombie forms along till they reach slaughter weight. (Producing this weight is the one and only thing GMOs ever have been tested for by the system. Never once has the system performed a legitimate safety test. Governments, corporations, academia, and the corporate and science media systematically lie about this, the ultimate fake news.)
 
Egg layers have it the worst. Broilers can’t be pushed too far into madness lest they rub their breasts raw against the wire till the flesh is stripped to the bone, much as maddened concentration camp inmates would commit suicide by trying to climb the wire. That would ruin the product. But for the layers anything goes as long as eggs can be forced from them.
 
Imprisoned in boxes, living with nothing but foul air and artificial light, never seeing or feeling the sun, or the grass beneath, or the flowing breeze, they live dead lives of misery and torment, all to satisfy the depravities of the sadistic and gluttonous civilized.
 
CAFOs are a clear and present danger to public health. They automatically incubate every kind of animal and animal-to-human disease. This, along with the hideous living conditions and toxic diet, renders the inmates chronically sick. They’re maintained on a constant regimen of antibiotics. CAFO feed also is contaminated with antibiotic resistant GM bacteria which are left over from the factory synthesis of riboflavin and other feed additives. The main effect of these practices is radically to accelerate the evolution of antibiotic resistant pathogens and the failure of drug after drug. By any rational or moral measure we must conclude that the goal of corporate industrial agriculture and government policy is the complete eradication of antibiotics as a medically effective treatment. CAFOs guarantee pandemics from this vector.
 
CAFOs also guarantee epidemics of human and non-human animal illness and environmental destruction from their massive output of air and water pollution. CAFOs spew vast amounts of particulate matter (much of it carrying pathogens), ozone smog, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants. The Biblical flood of sewage which surges forth from CAFOs, unassimilable by farmland or the natural environment, is a constant volcano of methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, and other potent greenhouse gases. CAFOs are among the reasons industrial agriculture is by far the number one driver of the climate crisis.
 
Agronomically CAFOs reinforce the overproduction of worthless commodity grain. This condemns to effective sterility vast spans of arable land which could be used to grow food for human communities on an agroecological basis. Instead the output of most of the land, and the ecological devastation which goes with poison-based agriculture, all goes down the CAFO rathole in order to produce cheap (at the retail checkout), grotesquely expensive (by any reality-based accounting) meat for the Western and Westernized middle classes.
 
This productionism of worthless grain, and the deployment of subsidies and propaganda in order artificially to generate such “markets” for this grain as the CAFO system, is a long-standing, perverse policy of the US government, fully supported by the entire political, intellectual, and media class.
 
Most important from the point of view of the corporate-technocratic state, the CAFO system reinforces the GMO deployment. This deployment of a worthless, extremely expensive and destructive product genre, depends completely on such artificial dumping grounds for worthless over-produced commodity grains.
 
Socioeconomically the CAFO system is a key driver of farm consolidation and the domination of farming by agribusiness. The system directly destroys small animal farms, indirectly destroys small grain farmers by reinforcing the mass commodity system.
 
CAFOs destroy the communities where they’re sited (always among lower income people of course). They foul the land, water, and air for many miles around rendering the landscape unlivable.
 
Working conditions are very dangerous, with high risks of direct injury, acute illness which is sometimes lethal (workers as well as animals often are killed outright by surges of hydrogen sulfide from manure lagoons), physical and mental disease from the fumes, chronic illness from the general disease incubation, and drowning in the manure lagoons. The working conditions and pay are atrocious. The legal “owners” of the CAFO are themselves indentured servants, forced by the corporation to take on all the work, risk, and debt while the corporation dictates all procedures and reaps all the profit.
 
In every way CAFOs add up to nothing but evil, destruction, death. A sane humanity would abolish them immediately on moral and self-preservation grounds. The fact that the masses not only tolerate but support this system is one of the direct proofs that modern civilized hominids are clinically insane, and incapable of Darwinian adaptation. This has nothing to do with lack of mediated information; mentally sound animals directly sense what will destroy them and fight or flee. Only civilized hominids have lost this core evolutionary trait. That goes for all self-destructive human “politics”.
 
 
2. Plant monocultures, which I will henceforth call COPFOs (COncentrated Plant Feeding Operations), are little better. Everything we just condemned about CAFOs – working conditions, destruction of communities, farm and agribusiness consolidation, agronomic perversity, ecological destruction, public health hazards including the epidemics of cancer and reproductive problems from poisons in the fields and food, including antibiotic resistance driven by herbicides (all herbicides are broad-spectrum biocides, i.e. antibiotics; glyphosate was patented as an antibiotic before it became part of herbicide formulations) and the promiscuous use of antibiotic resistance markers in genetic engineering – all are just as severe and destructive with COPFOs. I’ve written about this in hundreds of pieces over many years and don’t need further detail here.
 
Industrial monoculture denudes and destroys the soil, which becomes a disintegrated, inert medium in which the plants are physically propped up, jolted with synthetic fertilizer, slathered in poison which suffuses all their cells. The plants, malnourished except for a few artificially supplied (usually grossly oversupplied) macronutrients, physically weakened by being constantly drenched in poison, genetically weakened by breeding programs focused myopically on perverse traits like gross yield (meaningful only from a capitalist commodity point of view, not from any ecological perspective or the perspective of growing food for people), genetically tortured by unnecessary surgery and Nazi-style experimentation called “genetic engineering” (the scientists also torture the animals this way), too damaged and weakened to deploy their natural processes which signal one another, summon beneficial insects, and repel pests, become easy targets for pests. So they require even more poison, which then weakens the plants and soil that much further. (The eventual food quality of such crops is of course very low.) This vicious circle is deliberate and goes together with the equally deliberate pesticide-pest, pesticide-resistance arms race, the pesticide treadmill which is as old as the large-scale deployment of pesticides themselves.
 
Both CAFOs and COPFOs are radically toxic, radically polluting, radically destructive of the ecology, radically destructive of human health and well-being, radically destructive of the human community.
 
 
3. Empathy for non-human animals and the moral feeling and philosophy which encompasses them as fully as the human animal is grounded in the fact that non-human animals are as sentient as humans. They have feeling, they have emotion, they have ideas, they have language, they have culture. Only the flat-earth speciesism typical of civilized hominids would deny something so self-evident to healthy perception and so overwhelmingly confirmed by science.
 
But perception and science say we must go further than just moving the boundary of speciesism from human-vs.-animal to animal-vs.-plant. Plants too are sentient. They communicate about weather, pests, drought, they signal to beneficial insects. They can sense nearby plants being eaten and react. They make decisions. They forecast future climate conditions, water availability, and sunlight access and extend their branch and root growth ahead of time in accord with their forecasts. One species, the stilt palm, even “walks” toward a better location it has anticipated by extending new rooting stilts in that direction and detaching from the opposite stilts. Plants remember the effects of stimuli and will modify their reactions accordingly. Integrated with mycelial mats they join to form intelligent collective organisms. Botanists studying plant communication via chemicals released into the air and soil have compiled plant vocabularies of over three thousand “words”.
 
There is no more call to doubt plant sentience than to doubt animal sentience. If we find it difficult to empathize with the mind of a plant, this is no less true of the mind of a whale or dolphin, yet no one but a domestic-hominid supremacist denies the sentience of whales and dolphins.
 
(Of course, relative to potential, so-called Homo sapiens, in the form of H. domesticus, is by far the least sentient, least sapient, most stupid and “vegetative” species on Earth.)
 
 
4. In truth all of us, all plants and animals (and fungi and protozoans and bacteria), are part of the same food web. We all are “predators” and we all shall become “prey”. It’s impossible to refute this, only to deny it and lie about it. This civilization and its apostles, including almost all who claim to care about animals and/or the environment, do little or nothing but deny and lie. (It’s telling that an “or” is even conceptually possible there, yet few things are more common than reductive cherry-picking among things that in reality are inextricable and irreducible.) Thus we have corporate “environmentalists” who support CAFOs, and vegan/animal welfare types who support COPFOs. Indeed both tout such evils as part of their fake “solutions”.
 
In ecological reality, the only reality, the only possible way of life is to take responsibility for ourselves – as individuals, families, communities – as integral parts of the ecology. We must have reverence for Gaia. We must take only what we will use and give back at least as much as we take. Otherwise we’re not even predators but parasites. The modern civilized can never be anything but wasteful and destructive parasites.
 
Whether one believes in eating meat or not, either way industrial monoculture, CAFOs and COPFOs, is beyond the moral and ecological pale. Short of a complete reversion to hunting-gathering (which is not necessary, though the apostles of industrial agriculture seem intent on forcing us to that extreme once their system inevitably collapses; they intend a global Somalia of post-agricultural failure) the only sustainable future is decentralized, low-input agroecology, with or without animal pasturage. This is the great goal our movement must work toward. Meanwhile anyone smugly content to cherry-pick within the industrial commodity system and otherwise be content with that system is offering no solution at all, only a scam which is irrational, anti-scientific, anti-ecological, and morally evil.
 
 
Destroy the dinosaurs’ eggs every chance you get.
 
 
 
 
 
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