Volatility

January 23, 2019

Earthways

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Where I live in northern New Jersey I walk through succession woodlands mostly of beech, birches, several kinds of red and white oak, maples, elms, black cherry and hickory, with scattered groups of conifers – white and pitch pines, red cedars, hemlocks.
 
Currently this is a temperate climate, a place long farmed and later built up, but today with large spaces of resumed woodland. The forest is growing back and restoring old growth ecology given freedom and time.
 
This is life, the natural ecology for this climate and soil, for the natural community and for the human soul. The forest is our home, where we were born and evolved and from whence we once set out on an open road which we chose to make a road to nowhere. In the same way we chose to revile our origin and ancestry, the way so many vagrants do, and to deny the possibility of home by destroying its image everywhere we see it.
 
Against the trees we call the grassland our home and even totemize it with the urban and suburban fetish of lawns. Of course civilization also hates wild grasslands and rampantly destroys these as well but at least gives them fake honors while regarding the trees with horror and contempt.
 
Silvicide, deforestation on every level, from the mass murder of clear-cut logging to mass destruction in order to clear space for agriculture, tree plantations, and pavement, right down to individual suburbanite tree-killing, is a campaign of invasion and total war. It’s every bit as destructive and murderous as the Nazi invasion of Russia but is happening everywhere and nowhere. Therefore it’s not seen the same way by those indoctrinated into official notions of history, which mostly is about human-on-human violence within civilization’s framework. Civilization-on-uncivilized-human violence, and civilization-on-Gaia violence, are regarded as outside history, even as necessary primitive accumulation in order for history to begin.
 
History conceived and written as a sub-discipline of natural history is an educational reform which will have to wait for the great ecological correction and collapse of the production-consumption-technocratic-extreme energy civilization. Then history will see the campaigns of ecocide as they really are, and will place all genocide in this context since the two go together.
 
Today in Brazil the new Bolsonaro government promises to eradicate all remaining indigenous peoples, by forced assimilation if possible, by mass murder if necessary. There are many expressing concern about this in the West. But in spite of the often smug hand-wringing of these Good People of the West, they represent the same campaign of ecocide-genocide Bolsonaro does: The ongoing destruction of the Earth and its peoples for the sake of the Economic Civilization.
 
What’s your position on industrial agriculture? On commodity logging and tree plantations? Your position on these dictates your real positions on everything else, since all else stems from support for or opposition to ecocide and the destruction of habitats, which is nothing less than the destruction of the very basis for life, our own most of all. This includes the ability and space for peoples to live traditionally, to live in peace and freedom and provide their own shelter. This includes food sovereignty and food security, the skills and land and healthy soil, the peace and freedom of a community to grow its own food. This includes the climate, clean air and water, the enhancement or destruction of natural habitat and biodiversity. (Not “conservation”; everything always is in flux of building or tearing down. In the context of total ecocidal war to say one wants to stand still is to concede ecological death, only “more slowly”.)
 
From there this ecological world view, or lack of it, dictates all the mere “politics” of the squatter-vandal civilization. Are yours the politics of squatters on the surface of Earth who want to remain squatters, always taking never giving? Vandals who want to remain vandals? Or are yours the earthways of those who recognize that ecocide and the mass murder-suicide of humanity are inextricably conjoined evils, that this portends total destruction for humanity and the attempted final murder of Gaia, that all the internal human evils of the civilization stem from the basic ecocidal campaign which is the core activity of this civilization.
 
The only way possible is to end all commodity production and consumption (waste and destruction), end all industrial energy generation, and redeem human ways of truly renewable usufruct living amid the truly renewable earthways. Only in this way can humanity physically survive and begin to give back to the Earth which has given literally everything we have. Only in this way can we stop being the destruction (“green” destruction is still destruction) and become part of the ecological renaissance, revolution and restoration. Only in this way can we avert the worst of climate chaos and the sixth mass extinction. Only in this way will we find our long-lost souls again, where after such a prodigal death-marching we once again walk lightly among the forests once again attaining their primeval communities.
 
 
 
 
 

January 21, 2019

Ghosts and the Goddess

Filed under: Poetry — Tags: — Russell Bangs @ 5:03 am

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The Kentucky Coffeetree, a mainstay of the ecology and native culture, is now rare in the wild, more ghost than wildlife. It will endure and return to its wild vibrancy.

 
 
The wooded ghosts sprout in a vision flung
Across a century spanning the phase
Our Earth reaches of healing, a few days
To germinal wilds. Gaia’s broken lung
Breathes back the airs the bright bunting had sung
Through the dry winds, chaotic fires’ dark haze
For joy for the end, as the cities raze
Themselves. Sing out all birds with cheery tongue,
Serenade tree blossoms where bee-bells rung
Throughout the night in dreams of new-grooved ways
Of sun and moon and stars, for newborn trees
Who spire to new heavens, bring them to Earth.
No longer ghosts for birds, new vibrant bees
Conjoin on blossom branch, Gaia’s rebirth.
 
 
 
 
 

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 18, 2019

Green Cancer

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“Green growth” is a contradiction in terms, unless of course the “green” meant is money, and the “growth” cancer. Metastatic growth is cancer. This is true biologically and ecologically, and it’s true metaphorically. Although, since so many of the industrial chemicals required for the growth economy, including any “Green New Deal” version, cause physical cancer, to call the growth economy the cancer economy is hardly even a metaphor. And of course the cancer-industrial complex itself is big business. That’s just one reason no one within the system wants to prevent cancer (the way I’ve dedicated my life to doing), and all the rhetoric is about “curing” it. In the same way, no one wants to stop destroying the Earth, but propaganda gambits like a green new deal are calculated to let the tear-shedding climate crocodiles feel like they’re going to “cure” some of the ecological ills. And this too is a lie.
 
Under the Green New Deal vision, investment in renewable energy and infrastructure production would be the mechanism for revving up the economy.”
 
It’s the economy itself, the productionist high-energy growth economy, which by its inherent action is driving the ecological crisis and destroying the Earth. Anyone who still wants to “rev up” this economy is dropping the mask and openly admitting they don’t want to help the Earth, only (temporarily) salvage the destruction-based economy. That’s all the “Green New Deal” is about.
 
The mainstream climate movement has no ecological vision or commitment and is nothing but the same old squatter-vandal politics. But the cancer economy of production-consumption fired by extreme energy needs to die. It needs to perish absolutely. This is the only way to preserve any part of the existing Gaian phase. And it’s humanity’s only existential prospect.
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 17, 2019

While Elitist Support Holds Steady, Democracy Increasingly Rejects GMOs

Filed under: GMO Corporate State, GMO Hoaxes, Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Russell Bangs @ 6:43 am

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While support for GMOs among cultural elitists has held steady (but not increased) over the last two years, already high negative and ambivalent attitudes among the general public are rising, according to polling by the pro-GMO Pew Research Center.
 
As GMWatch says in their introduction, “Given the source – a news service for US agricultural producers – this is an interesting article.” From the article:
 
“I have complained often about the lack of horizontal polling for public acceptance of genetically modified food – where the same question is asked in the same way at regular intervals, so the results can be compared to detect opinion trends. Finally, we have one good effort from one of our best public opinion research organizations – The Pew Research Center.”
 
This is especially interesting since in 2015 Pew, in collusion with the AAAS, put out pro-GMO propaganda in the guise of a fraudulent poll. I dissected it here.
 
“Unfortunately, these rigorous results are not what many in agriculture want the answer to be. First, here is the question that was asked both in 2016 and 2018: “Genetically modified foods are [blank] for one’s health than foods with no genetically modified ingredients”. Respondents could choose better, worse or neither to fill in the blank.”
 
It’s interesting that Pew offered a question so calculated to garner a negative reply. Asked that way, who but a wingnut is going to say “better”. More often they ask in terms of “what’s your general impression” and offer a range of responses, or “do you have an overall good or bad opinion.” Stuff like that. Even the pro-GM activists seldom claim that GM foods are straight-up “better” than non-GM. Rather, they usually claim GMOs are necessary for other reasons, almost always focusing on quantity over quality. (That too is a lie; agroecology outproduces industrial agriculture, including GM-based agriculture, in both quantity and quality. Indeed GMOs often suffer from “yield drag” because they’re genetically debilitated.)
 
According to the polling comparison of 2018 to 2016, “In 2018 the results were 49% said worse, 44% said neither, and 5% said better. While these results are discouraging for GM proponents, more disturbing is the trend. In 2016, only 39 percent said GM foods are worse. Digging deeper, those with high science knowledge were essentially unchanged, but those with less science knowledge showed sharp increases in the doubts about GM foods. The bottom line is not only are people who can understand the issue not embracing GMOs more, but GM acceptance is diminishing markedly among the rest of the population.”
 
In other words those who have more formal education (and almost always, more money) maintain a higher level of pro-GMO support than the people. The article and Pew frame this in a fraudulent way, equating “science knowledge” with one’s level of formal education, as in the 2015 fake poll. In reality the formally educated, including scientists themselves, and especially pro-GMO activists among scientists, are no more likely either to have broad scientific knowledge or knowledge of how science even works, than “the rest of the population.”
 
As for understanding the issue, GMO deployment is overwhelmingly an economic and political struggle and has vanishingly little to do with science. (Although, those who support GMOs are by definition climate deniers (since they automatically support the escalation of industrial agriculture, by far the worst driver of the climate crisis) and opposed to ecological science.) Anyone who thinks it’s a science issue understands nothing about the issue, and understands nothing about politics or science. Especially since genetic engineering ideology goes against the sciences of ecology, agronomy, biology, and genetics itself. Pro-GMO activists, including pro-GM scientists themselves, are anti-science wingnuts.
 
The piece thinks that the pro-GMO propaganda campaign, which always has been highly belligerent, aggressive, obnoxious, and expensive, has become counter-productive.
 
“At the very least, the mini-industry of speakers and organizations that preach to the choir at farmer and agribusiness meetings should be recognized as at best handholding for anxious GMO users, not an effective influence on public opinion. We don’t appear to have much to lose if simply get out of consumer faces, do our jobs, and let the spotlight shift to other food quarrels. In nothing else, giving it a rest will generate some very usable data for planning future action.”
 
If I were a corporate marketer I might agree with this. But they have a problem in that many of the most ardent pro-GM activists are techno-religious fanatics for whom proselytizing in itself is most important for cult self-affirmation and group cohesion, more important than practical results. So business is not as important to them as to the corporates. Bill Gates, whose Gates Foundation has become the lead coordination body for global GMO deployment, is a combination of cynical bottom-liner and fanatical true-believer in the scientism cult. Perhaps the best example of such a holy roller preaching-to-the-choir assembly of the anxious flock for mutual hand-holding is Cornell University’s Monsanto-Gates funded and coordinated “Alliance for Science”, which is really an alliance against science, against humanity, against the Earth.
 
“I hope Pew continues to conduct these surveys, but even with just two dots to connect, GM proponents should seriously reconsider their strategy. Maybe even ask some questions like, is the now considerable advocation effort worth it? While a tenuous case could be made with without the constant pro-GMO public relations effort, the results could have been a lot worse, but that’s a pretty small accomplishment. Is it unthinkable to just disengage from this debate? What if our advocating is the driving factor for this trend? That cannot be ruled out.”
 
What’s truly unthinkable would be to desist from a product line so odious to consumers. But as we see the corporates themselves aren’t motivated by the bottom line alone. They too are fanatics, as is their destruction-based civilization as a whole.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 Bolsonaro 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 12, 2019

Suicide With a Silver Bullet

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The Extreme Energy Civilization and all its technology boils down to a gun at the head of the Earth and humanity. Today the cultists promise a silver bullet in the head

 
 
Ecological humanity must venture beyond equivocation or compromise in our permanent rejection of the Extreme Energy Civilization, productionism-consumptionism, Mammon, capitalism, corporate rule, technocracy, and the big lie that high-maintenance technology is in any way necessary or can be a “solution” to any of the existential crises of the Earth being compounded by this very civilization. It’s necessary to burn our bridges, make a clean sweep.
 
Pre-existing obsolete political groupings, including self-alleged “radicals”, usually regress to mainstream technocracy and productionism, especially where it comes to utopian, counterfactual techno-cults. The entire left-right political spectrum is a spectrum of various styles of technocracy, and almost everyone on this spectrum, however far apart they may play at being on that left-right axis, are at the same point where it comes to technocracy, production-consumption and therefore, at least implicitly, corporate rule.
 
A brief review of the reasons to reject the idea of high-maintenance technology:
 
1. It’s physically unsustainable (energy). Fossil fuels are finite and cannot be replaced. Here the techno-cult comes to the temporary psychological rescue with castles in the sky. Only counterfactual, fundamentalist-type cults still babble that “technology will save us” when we reach the point of needing to replace fossil fuels.
 
2. It’s physically unsustainable (the environment). Even if it were possible to replace fossil fuels, this would only ensure maximum destruction of the Earth’s ecology. Humanity would force itself literally to extinction, since the elites and all who follow them are like a collective heroin addict presented with a massive pile of dope. They’ll never stop short of total death, ecocide-genocide, collective murder-suicide. They’re kamikazes flying their silver bullets into Gaia’s temple. If the energy is available, they’ll be maximally destructive and ultimately self-destructive with it. While Gaia eventually will recover at a new phase state, humanity would not. So this is a purely malign wish. In reality it’s physically impossible for reasons of the physical limits of energy and ecology. But that won’t stop every kind of scammer touting every kind of silver bullet, from electric cars to “biomass” to “climate-smart agriculture” to geoengineering. I write to counteract this propaganda and to find others who will help counteract it, since even trying to put these scams into action will be tremendously destructive of the environment and human society and will waste vast amounts of time and effort we don’t have to waste.
 
3. Technocracy is inherently elitist, hierarchical, authoritarian, and requires the rule of a secretive priesthood operating according to rules and laws inscrutable to the people and kept as secret as possible, as systematic policy. Any technology which is sufficiently complex and which requires globalized supply lines is therefore inherently elitist, hierarchical, and authoritarian. History gives complete proof of the ecological and social evils of such structures.
 
4. Just on its own terms, we already know this kind of technology doesn’t work for any human purpose. All the main gains for food production, public health, basic physical and spiritual comfort come only from low-maintenance technology deployed according to the right humane, ecological ideas. High-maintenance technology, at best, always exists within the realm of steeply increasing costs to produce steeply diminishing returns. In practice high-maintenance technology never has been deployed under any best-case scenario, in accord with any good ideas. On the contrary it always has been deployed for the worst: Productionism-consumptionism, capitalism, corporate personhood, militarism, scientism, technocracy. The diminishing returns have have been monopolized by the ever-smaller elite class. The escalating environmental and social costs have been borne completely by the Earth, by the poor, by the global South, increasingly by everyone but the elites. Most profound of all, we know the technological civilization has not made us feel sane, secure, or happy. People are at least as anxious, fearful, insecure, angry, and depressed as ever. The magnitude of these is worse today than prior to modernity. High-maintenance technology has not increased prosperity, health, or happiness. By now it has reached the point of doing active harm, being actively destructive. We have cancer and we are sterile. We decay. We rot.
 
The only way forward, the only sapient and spiritual human way, the only way biologically and physically open to us, the only way Gaia leaves open, is the way home to the Ecological Renaissance. Earth will abolish the evils of the Extreme Energy Civilization, the productionist death march will come to an end, no longer will there exist physically toxic commodities for corporate profit and power with only poisoned food trickling down from this regime, corporate poison-based industrial agriculture will collapse forever and we’ll resume wholesome food, wholesome air and water and light, restoration of the whole where we once enjoyed existence and essence as one. Tomorrow and yesterday revolve as one. Today is only a nightmare. The orcs in our nightmare who rampage, committing mass murder and mass suicide, are nothing but verminous figments of nightmare who shall cease to exist as Earth awakes. That finally shall be the human morning as well.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 9, 2019

The Housebroken Environmental Movement

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You can’t “vote” against this. Indeed those who vote all vote for it.

 
 
As a rule, people’s principles and goals boil down to what they personally want to do. Every religion started with the invention of the kind of gods the inventors wanted, and everything followed from there. One starts with desire and ramifies a philosophy and program from this all-too-human wellspring. There are few exceptions, the main one being understanding of the physical and biological crisis of the global ecology.
 
Ironically, the mainstream environmental movement is one of the worst examples of self-indulgence. It is congenitally hobbled by the fact that its participants and supporters mostly are middle class types who have faith in the Extreme Energy Civilization, who desire its high-energy, high-maintenance, high-input, high-impact junk, and therefore whose “environmentalism” can only be an afterthought to these and can exist only within that consumerist framework. They then generate the political ideology which goes with this consumerism – statism, regulatory bureaucracy, politics conducted through government-controlled elections. All quite prim and proper and well-monocultured. This is why all mainstream environmentalism is performed within the framework of productionism-consumptionism, capitalism, technocracy. That’s why all its prescriptions boil down to “Keep Shopping!”
 
 
In many pieces over the years I’ve offered my corporate regulator template. Its explanatory and predictive power surpasses any other model I’ve seen. It goes:
 
1. Corporate productionism must always go forward. Its core imperatives of profit, power, control, and techno-religiosity must never be hindered.
 
2. Given (1), the regulator may sometimes work to mitigate the worst extremes, illegalities, “abuses” of corporate action. More often it only pretends to be taking action but never does. Often it doesn’t even pretend.
 
3. The regulator then puts its imprimatur on the corporate project, assures the public that things are orderly, sound, safe. Most of all it conveys the message that knowledge and action can be left to the regulator, and that the people should be content to accept the dispensation, relinquish all public responsibility and concern, get on with their private affairs.
 
Thus the regulatory bureaucratic model is anti-political, anti-participation, anti-democracy, but rather works to enshrine and reinforce authoritarian technocracy (but with a pseudo-democratic facade – that’s what the fake elections, and the ideology of electoralism, are for).
 
The regulatory ideology is an outgrowth of liberal ideology, which rose out of capitalism as a mode of indoctrination against the cooperative social primate nature we evolved over millions of years and into a competitive, privately-oriented, self-indulgent individualism. In this case the public faith in regulators, and the corporate state as such including its fake electoralism, dovetails perfectly with the brain-washed urge to fixate on one’s individual predicament, ignore our collective plight, and automatically reject all thought of real organization and organic community.
 
I first developed the template to apply to pro-corporate regulators like the EPA, FDA, USDA in their context of assisting poison-based agriculture. I quickly found the template applies just as well to all regulators, the media, academia, the legal system, the scientific establishment, establishment funders and NGOs, individual opinion leaders. In every case (1) is the same: Corporate productionism, or the productionist civilization no matter how it’s formally organized, must continue. Nothing the entity does must try significantly to hinder productionism or call it into question in any way.
 
This applies especially well to mainstream environmentalism, and most of all to the climate-industrial complex. Climate scientists, all mainstream activism, all mainstream media coverage (for that matter almost all “alternative” coverage), all academic study, all prescriptions (here too mainstream and “alternative” meld as one), all adhere to this template:
 
1. The productionist Extreme Energy Civilization, usually in its capitalist form (some alternatives call for “socialism”, but only as a cosmetic formal change – it’s still the same extreme energy productionism), must continue no matter what.
 
2. Given (1) they may try to reduce some emissions in some cherry-picked way, preserve some wilderness here, an endangered species there, all on an ad hoc basis. More often they only pretend to do these. Their touted climate solutions are usually based on inherent false accounting, including the monumental “offset” fraud, and are ecologically highly destructive in themselves such as the mining required for industrial “renewables”. Of course electric cars, biomass, and biofuels are both horrifically destructive and examples of fraudulent carbon accounting.
 
For Big Green NGOs (1) is always primary and getting big funding always second. Or we could conflate these – they combine to give the NGO a mandate to collaborate with the destroyers of the Earth rather than oppose them. And indeed many NGOs are nothing but corporate front groups, while others pick and choose where to explicitly collaborate and where to pretend to oppose. Even those who sometimes do oppose do so firmly within the civilization’s framework and assume the productionist imperative as God-given.
 
And then good liberal individualists can mouth the words, sign a petition, contribute to the World Wildlife Fund or the Nature Conservancy, vote Democrat. In other words do nothing, and in fact support the ongoing massacre, but attain cheap grace.
 
3. Then the “movement” puts its imprimatur on the state of things. Corporate collaboration deals mean progress, they assure us. If the NGO says a deal has done real preservation work it must be true. At any rate the official NGO-coordinated Movement is on it, and all the people need to do is support the movement, accept its prescriptions as sufficient and practicable, sign and vote where told, of course donate, and otherwise get on with their non-political, apolitical, anti-political private lives.
 
Today, indeed, Politics is Dead. To a big extent this is because the natural political space has been constricted and filled by the kind of fake politics described here. One might shrug and think that’s all the more reason to go with the private individualist flow.
 
But the vaster reason there are no longer meaningful politics is that all struggles internal to civilization pale and shrink in the face of the mounting, already catastrophic ecological crisis being driven by the war this civilization has launched against the Earth. By now everything fades in the spotlight of the only real Either/Or left: Are you willingly part of the onslaught or do you oppose it.
 
To be clear, one can’t burn down one’s house and live in it too. In the millennial war of Man vs. Nature, “man” always was doomed to lose. Homo domesticus certainly will become the showcase victim of this Sixth Mass Extinction event it has launched. Just as prior mass extinctions are named after the formal time periods they cap and bring to a close, so the most appropriate use of the otherwise suspect term “Anthropocene” will be to denominate the (very short) period which closed with the extinction of “civilized” hominids. Whether the hominid species will go physically extinct depends to a large extent on how many people choose a new ecological road home now, and how well we work to endure the imminent great storms of history, climate, biology.
 
It’s an irony that the movement which first had inklings of all this seems to have domesticated itself out of any potential to help with this necessary transformation. But anyone fixated on a “green new deal” amid their ongoing dealing gaming life isn’t going to be able to help escape the casino, or indeed even to understand the concept. And in fact they love the casino, love the gamble, love the rush. And to switch to a closely related metaphor, they’re addicted to the drug. They only squabble with fellow addicts over who’s using too much etc. Where it comes to the productionist civilization that’s barely a metaphor; it pretty much directly describes the psychosis of stuff.
 
And this, along with the theological urge to destruction all the civilized have in common, is what the civilized truly desire. Their “politics” never will transcend this. We who want the great transformation, and we who recognize the ecological necessity, must burn our bridges once and for all. As we see, Gaia shall insist regardless.
 
 
 
 
 

January 8, 2019

Indelibly Authoritarian

Filed under: Freedom — Tags: , , , — Russell Bangs @ 7:31 am

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The intensity on the left when a Supreme Court appointment – that utmost seat of authority – falls to a Republican president, while the actual ongoing multi-front evils of creeping neoliberalism continue almost unnoticed, may suggest an unconscious obsession with authority.
 
From.
 
Obsession with the “supreme court” is one of the litmus tests by which you can tell whether someone’s a true anti-authoritarian or just another kind of authoritarian. Anyone against “authority” as defined by capitalism would be at least skeptical of the court as such, and would understand that it makes little difference which party fronts the president, since any judge who could be a candidate for such a court automatically would have to be an authoritarian. Otherwise they could never have any respectability within this system.
 
The same goes for anyone who would be capable of saying something like, “Trump makes me ashamed to be an American.” That means the person identifies with the presidency as such, and with the US government as such. Only an authoritarian could hold such identifications.
 
By contrast, Trump doesn’t make me ashamed of anything. How could he? I despise the presidency as such, the government as such, and regard it all as a regime of occupation. Therefore I have zero identification with any of it.
 
This is just one of the many reasons it’s impossible to accomplish anything but self-destruction with the Democrat Party or with anyone who makes a cult of voting and elections: They are indelibly authoritarian and will never think or act against the corporate state in any but the most trivial ways. Their authoritarian bent is demonstrated by many things, but most obviously by their very fixation on such elements of the system as courts, presidents, elections.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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……
 
 
 
 
 
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