Climate Change Stan Cox Ukraine

How Not to Cope with Vladimir Putin by Drilling and Pumping

A Bipartisan Oil Rush or the Phasing Out of Fossil Fuels?
By Wirestock Creators on Shutterstock

By Stan Cox / TomDispatch

While the Ukrainian people bear the lethal brunt of Russia’s invasion, shockwaves from that war threaten to worsen other crises across the planet. The emergency that loomed largest before Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began — the heating of Earth’s climate — is now looming larger still. The reason is simple enough: a war-induced rush to boost oil and gas production has significantly undercut efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

U.N. Secretary General António Guterres made that clear in an angry March 21st address blasting world leaders scrambling for yet more oil and gas. “Countries could become so consumed by the immediate fossil-fuel supply gap that they neglect or knee-cap policies to cut fossil-fuel use,” he said, adding, “This is madness.” He linked obsessive fuel burning with the endpoint toward which today’s clash of world powers could be pushing us, using a particularly frightening term from the original Cold War. “Addiction to fossil fuels is,” he warned, “mutually assured destruction.”

He’s right. In this all-too-MAD moment, we’re facing increasingly intertangled threats of the first order and can’t keep looking away. To achieve mutually assured protection against both global broiling and global war, humanity will have to purge oil, natural gas, and coal from our lives as quickly as possible, a future reality the Ukraine disaster seems to be making less probable by the day.

To Cap Climate Risk, Cap the Wells

When Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent the cost of a barrel of oil into the triple digits, the fossil-fuel companies and their friends in government, always on the lookout for profitable opportunities amid market chaos, responded predictably.

Oil and gas trade associations in Alaska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas promptly called for even less regulation and more investment in their industry. The Texas association’s president claimed that consumers, now facing steep price hikes at the gas pump, are “feeling the repercussions of canceled pipeline projects, delayed approvals for permits, and the discouragement of additional expansion” and want his industry unleashed. On that point, congressional Republicans couldn’t agree more. In a CNBC op-ed, House minority leader and wannabe speaker Kevin McCarthy called for fast-tracking liquid natural gas exports to NATO countries, issuing drilling leases that the Interior Department has been holding back since last year, and “immediately approving projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline” that President Biden had functionally cancelled by revoking a key cross-border permit.

McCarthy’s fellow Republican Bill Cassidy of Louisiana did him one better. He called for the launching of an “Operation Warp Speed for domestic production of energy.” It would presumably be modeled on the congressionally funded 2020 program to boost Covid-19 vaccine development.

And it wasn’t just the Republicans. The new oil rush is remarkably bipartisan. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), both acting distinctly in character, declared that oil and natural gas are gifts from God and that He has obliged us to pump and use them in perpetuity. Then there’s the Biden administration. Speaking at a Houston clean-energy roundtable last May, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said all the right things about a damaged climate and fossil fuels. Just 10 months later, however, with that boycott of Russian oil already beginning to squeeze the economy, she returned to Houston and pleaded with oil and gas executives to ramp up their production to record levels. At the same time, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki urged those very companies to use the thousands of new drilling permits the administration has issued to “go get more supply out of the ground” — pronto!

Three days before Guterres’s remarks, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published a 10-point conservation plan to address the oil-supply issue, a welcome antidote to the ever more insistent “drill, baby, drill” policies of U.S. officials. In it, the IEA, an institution no one could mistake for a band of climate activists, recommended reduced speed limits; increased work-from-home arrangements; extra incentives for biking, walking, or taking public transportation; car-free Sundays in cities; ever more carpooling; more rail and less air travel (including deep cuts in business air travel); and other energy-saving policies.

Better yet, most of its proposed measures could be put in place with immediate effect. If that were done, the IEA’s experts estimate that “the advanced economies alone can cut oil demand by 2.7 million barrels a day within the next four months.” That would exceed Russia’s pre-embargo oil exports, helping keep global supply and demand in balance amid the Ukraine war. But even that wouldn’t be enough, given what’s already happening on this planet. For the affluent world to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases rapidly and deeply enough to save us from a climate disaster, government policies would have to go far beyond the measures on that IEA list.

Sadly, decades of procrastination have so narrowed our range of options for heading off climate catastrophe that humanity now faces the necessity of a far steeper mandatory phase-out of fossil fuels as soon as possible. Indeed, the current disruption of world oil and gas markets makes this the optimal time to start driving fossil-fuel use down to zero on an expedited schedule, while ensuring universal, equitable access to affordable (and, as time passes, increasingly renewable) energy.

Unfortunately, the already badly broken 117th Congress has proven incapable of passing any effective climate legislation and so will surely not enact a fossil-fuel phase-out. You would think that the present convergence of catastrophes — a horrific war in Europe, our crippling dependence on fossil fuels, a global climate going haywire, and worsening injustice and inequality across the globe — should be a wake-up call to us all. But no such luck, and the political future in this country looks anything but bright right now with the possibility that the Republicans will take Congress in 2022 and the White House in 2024.

Is the Fossil-Fuel Industry’s Hold on the Economy Only Growing?

Some prominent American figures in the climate movement suggest that the most effective way to react to Russia’s Ukraine war and the rising oil and natural gas prices accompanying it should be, above all else, to accelerate the development of this country’s renewable-energy capacity and the electrification that goes with it. While acknowledging the obvious — that wind and solar parks built today won’t save Ukrainian lives or shield American society from economic shocks now or in the near future — they argue that such a renewable energy mobilization could at least reduce our long-term dependence on oil, gas, and coal. In the process, they add, it would strengthen our position against corrupt, violent petro-states like Russia and Saudi Arabia, while reducing the likelihood of future resource wars.

Unfortunately, in this world of ours, that argument puts the cart before the horse. Significant increases in renewable-energy capacity are needed to see us through a decline in fossil-fuel use, but such renewables can’t be relied upon to bring about that decline in time. There’s no reason to believe that such increases in green electric capacity will work fast enough through market forces to drive fossil fuels out of electricity generation, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, and construction. History and scientific research show that, when such transitions are left to the market, new energy sources mostly go toward increasing the total supply of energy, not displacing older sources of it.

The climate crisis has already reached a point where fossil fuels must be driven out of the energy supply far more quickly than full-scale new energy systems can be developed. The rate of phase-out now required is astonishing. The United Nations Environment Program has estimated that global greenhouse emissions must be reduced by 8% annually, starting immediately, if the heating of the planet is to be held to reasonably tolerable (though still too harsh) levels. In fact, to achieve global equity, affluent nations like the United States would need to phase out their fossil fuels even faster, at perhaps a 10% yearly rate.

As far as I can see, there will be no way to reach that precipitous rate of reduction without pushing fossil fuels out of the economy speedily and directly by law. Only then could renewable energy development, electrification, efficiency, and, crucially, deep reductions in the wasteful production of military armaments play their crucial roles in helping us compensate for the shrinking of fossil-fuel supplies.            

Policies of that sort were, of course, absent from Washington’s agenda even before all eyes turned (as they should have) toward supporting the Ukrainians, while being careful not to set in motion a cascade of events that could lead to World War III. Unfortunately, if Armageddon is indeed forestalled and the war ends with the world outside Ukraine about the same as it was, my fear is that Congress and the White House will have even less stomach for phasing out fossil fuels than they did before. It’s more likely that this destabilizing episode will further strengthen the fossil-fuel industry’s hold on our economy, leading only to increased carbon emissions.

Still, it’s crucial that, in the years to come, those of us who see the situation for what it is keep pushing for an ever-faster fuel phase-out, because a late start will be so much better than no start at all. Climate researchers are stressing that for every tenth of a degree of eventual heating that we prevent, future generations will see less ecological devastation and human suffering.

Is There a Path to Phase-Out? Well

How would our economy and society change if we did commit to phasing out oil, gas, and coal and adapting to dwindling fuel supplies in a just and equitable way? Based on America’s history of grappling with energy shortages in the 1940s and 1970s, as well as the growing amount of research on supply-side restraint, here’s my stab at describing policies that could achieve just such goals.

First, because the fossil-fuel industry would never truly cooperate with a statutory phase-out of the very products it sells so profitably, it would have to be nationalized. This isn’t as radical as it sounds. In fact, there’s a great American tradition of nationalization. Repeatedly in wartime, Washington has taken control of critical resources and industries to scale up production of essential goods or halt unwanted production. Episodes of nationalization have even occurred in peacetime, as for instance with the takeover of more than 1,000 savings and loan institutions during the 1980s financial crisis.

Operating under federal law, the newly nationalized fossil-fuel industry would place caps on the numbers of barrels of oil, cubic feet of gas, and tons of coal allowed out of the ground and into the economy annually. Those caps would then be ratcheted down quickly, year by year, until extraction rates and therefore greenhouse-gas emissions were driven close to zero.

Such rapidly declining caps would provide the strongest possible incentive for building renewable-energy capacity and improving energy conservation and efficiency. Fuels and probably other resources would also have to be reallocated for the production of essential goods and services. For example, the massive flow of resources that now goes to the military-industrial complex could be mostly diverted toward building renewable infrastructure and, in the process, provide far more genuine “national security” for this country.

Like today’s disruption of global oil markets, a future phase-out of fossil fuels would indeed push energy costs up. In both cases, the best remedy would be to keep energy affordable through price controls and rationing to ensure sufficient, equitable energy access for all. Price controls and rationing were used this way with much success during World War II. Indeed, if such rationing had been employed during the energy crisis of the 1970s, it could have prevented the endless gas-station queues and the resulting misery for which that decade is now mostly remembered. Back then, gas rationing drew bipartisan support. For example, both President Jimmy Carter and conservative columnist George F. Will called for it. But by the time Carter’s standby gas-rationing plan was finally passed by Congress in 1980, it was too late to help.

Today, as enthusiasm for a carbon tax wanes, climate proposals like cap-and-ration that directly target the fossil-fuel industry while protecting everyone’s access to energy are gaining broader support. In a 2020 Data for Progress poll, for instance, almost 40% of Americans supported the nationalization of the fossil-fuel industry, while such backing hit 50% or more among those under 45 and Black respondents.

Similarly, more than 2,700 scientists and researchers have signed a letter urging the adoption of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Think of it as a global version of just such a declining cap. (A similar international effort is called Cap Global Carbon.) Meanwhile, in both North America and Europe, more leading climate scientists, scholars, and activists have begun advocating for nationalizationdeclining caps, just-resource allocation, price controls, and rationing. (In a recent essay recommending such policies, Richard Heinberg of the Post-Carbon Institute provided an impressive list of people and groups pushing such an agenda.)

None of this will happen, however, as long as a political minority, backed by powerful economic forces that fiercely oppose any action on climate, controls a country in which pathetic or nonexistent public transportation systems force a continuing deep dependence on the private vehicle. To make matters worse, as the Covid-19 pandemic showed so devastatingly, a militant minority of Americans fanatically devoted to individual “freedom” can effectively veto policies that promote the common good or even, in the case of climate change, the very possibility of living a reasonable life on this Earth.

Nevertheless, whatever the limitations of our moment, it’s important to plant some markers out there on the horizon of possibilities. That’s the only way to show just how deep the policies needed to ensure our collective survival must go, however abhorrent they may be to those in power. In times like these, when the stakes are higher than ever, we have to push even harder for those markers and maybe get at least a little closer to some of them.

17 comments

  1. Whew! And then, lifting more nonesense by invoking that “militant minority” who questioned the narrative of SARS-CoV2 (InfinityCron).

    Cox says this early one: the fossil-fuel companies and their friends in government, always lookout for profitable opportunities amid market chaos, responded predictably.

    Profitable opportunities? It’s profiteering in the very real sense of looting the tax coffers. War profiteering. Thievery. And until all utiliities and public health safety and well being programs are nationalized and prioritized as daily bread, daily living, then all the profiteers will continue their looting. War? Or Russia going in to stop the murder of Russian-leaning citizens and cleaning up Nazis? Not a good cause for old USA Stan?

    Retrenchment, bioregional planning, global systems to help all nations weather the bad weather. All those carcinogenic fun things from capitalism? All the over-harvesting of oceans? Come on, this is more than climate change.

    Let the Nazis rule? Or, shall that be a resetting with the Fortune 10,000 ruling the world? All bets off for mom and pops and main street?

    Right, let the Cox green porn begin!

    1. We the everyday average citizens of the planet still act as if this is all their fault choosing to make it a them or us world. It’s like telling the worse drug dealers today while their businesses are booming to quit selling their dope and hoping that it isn’t we that has to refuse to use it. Were addicted and it’s we that don’t know how to quit. Inclusive of myself. I’m a senior that lives a mile away from the store, with COPD, Arthritis, and other reasons I can easily come up with and choose to drive there instead of walking. So in writing this I’ve decided to change my own lifestyle and walk more, although slowly, and look into other alternatives, such as electric bikes.

      1. So good clean trolleys and other public transportation are out of the question? And ending millions of semi trucks with cancer causing diesel soot and pulverized tires, no option with criminal capitalists at the helm. Planned obsolescence? Come on. Ending this rat race is not possible for kids and youth when they are forced into consumerism in the womb.

  2. “… a war-induced rush to boost oil and gas production has significantly undercut efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

    It has been clear for a very long time that humans will do what’s immediately expedient, convenient, and easy — or even apparently so — when confronted with any substantial stress or crisis, and they will ignore what’s best for the planet, best for life, and best for the future under those conditions. That’s why implementing disaster capitalism works is so easily. The calls for increased drilling & fracking after the war started are in fact perfect examples of disaster capitalism, except that the harms will be visited on the Earth and all of the life here, not just on some humans.

    “How would our economy and society change if we did commit to phasing out oil, gas, and coal and adapting to dwindling fuel supplies in a just and equitable way?”

    First, it’s not about “just and equitable,” because what Stan Cox means by that is “just and equitable” for humans. It’s about ceasing the wrecking of the planet and the life here. Environmental justice is a social issue, not an environmental one. If we’re going to continue to argue about whose fault all this is and who has to give up how much INSTEAD OF ALL HUMANS MOVING AWAY FROM INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY, we’ll continue to fry the Earth.

    “Today, as enthusiasm for a carbon tax wanes, climate proposals like cap-and-ration that directly target the fossil-fuel industry while protecting everyone’s access to energy are gaining broader support.”

    Hate to break it to you, but cap & trade, are nothing but scams and do nothing to alleviate or stop global warming/climate change, and offsets even more so. A fossil fuel tax would actually do something to reduce fossil fuel consumption, but it would have to be a high enough tax for everyone, including rich people, to change their behavior.

    What we really need here is major population reduction through birth control combined with a total restructuring of society to get rid of industrial living. Nothing short of those things will fix this problem. Those actual solutions will be hard and will take a long time, far longer than even current newborns will live. But if we start moving in the right direction instead of constantly moving in the wrong one and proposing false solutions, there would be an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.

    It’s not as if humans were even trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels before this war. Each year, these emissions continue to increase. At most, some people are trying to maintain our unnatural and destructive lifestyles by proposing a change from fossil fuels to wind or solar power, or to equally or even more destructive sources, such as hydropower. For one thing, we cannot even come close to maintaining this lifestyle with anywhere near this many people on the planet without using fossil fuels, because they provide more “bang for the buck” than any source of energy. So we’d still be emitting massive amounts of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels even if we were to implement wind & solar as much as possible. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, even countries that have implemented substantial amounts of wind and/or solar power are still continuing to increase their emissions of greenhouse gases, because all adding “alternative” energy sources does is add electricity to the power grid for more consumption. For another thing, wind and solar cause their own set of major environmental and ecological harms. For example, we’re currently fighting a lithium mine in Nevada that would destroy the natural area called Thacker Pass. That lithium would mainly be used to power batteries for electric cars; solar panels require mining and the use of toxic chemicals, and cannot be recycled — and those are just the harms from rooftop solar, big projects are much worse — wind farms kill birds, etc. Those are just a small number of many more examples, if you want to see all the harms caused by “alternative” energy sourced, read Deep Green Lies.

    The conclusion is that in order to fix this problem, people have to be willing to live a lot more simply & naturally — which in this case means without industrial society (no electricity, no machines, etc.) — and in a lot lower numbers (the Earth can’t support more than one billion people without industrial society, because fossil fuels are needed in order to produce artificial fertilizer, the latter of which is needed to feed more than a billion people*). So humans, make a choice: either do what you can to move as quickly as possible away from industrial society — both on personal and societal levels — and limit your families to one child, or continue to fry the planet by burning fossil fuels and causing other major harms like mining and toxic pollution. There is no magical technological solution here, no having your cake and eating it too.

    * This is by far not the only reason to lower human population, and one billion people is still far too many ecologically. The Earth is choking from far too many people, and humans now occupy most dry land on Earth between themselves, their agriculture, and their infrastructure. The remainder of the rest is only habitat for the most primordial species, most others can’t live there. Other species basically have nowhere to live, which is both totally immoral and ecologically destructive.

    1. To Jeff -it’s cap and ration, not cap and trade – big difference. No electricity – then how would you post all your comments?

      1. I can’t tell whether you’re being sarcastic, purposely dense, or serious.

        As I said, “[t]hose actual solutions will be hard and will take a long time, far longer than even current newborns will live.” Getting rid of industrial society would take 150-200 years. as I’ve already told you and to which you responded.

      2. @SH
        The only solution is to stop extracting and burning fossil fuels. I haven’t paid any attention to these phony solutions like can & whatever for years. If cap & ration actually results in a major reduction and eventually elimination of greenhouse gas emissions, great, I’m all for it. But the name reeks of BS, I’ll believe it when I see it.

        Climate change “solutions” are like solutions to human overpopulation: they address anything but the problem. People without housing? Build more housing, even though there’s so much of it you can’t see the sky and people are living on top of each other like sardines in a can. Don’t address overpopulation or affordability, those real solutions go against human self-worship and the ability to make money! Same with global warming; let’s concoct some ridiculously complicated scheme that we can make money off of while not actually doing anything about the problem. Again, if this is actually a real solution, which I highly doubt, then explain what it is and how it works. Otherwise, just more of the same crap.

  3. All well and good. I’ve heard this before. We must do this, we must do that. The problem is that those who have the power to do anything are bought and paid for by those who have created the problem. I find a disparity in the piece. The author states that all eyes are for supporting the Ukrainians which means supporting them with guns and bullets to protract the war. The longer this war lasts the worse things will become. Don’t forget, the fundamental reason for this war is the inability of the western powers to listen to the Russians. Instead of cheerleading the Ukrainians we should not support them at all. The Russians didn’t just decide that it’s Thursday, therefore let’s invade Ukraine. They had stated objectives: de-nazify the country, relieve the military pressure on the Donbass, and prevent Ukraine from joining a military alliance against them.

    1. Supporting the Nazi Uki’s? The murderers of the Russians? Supporting the Monsanto thieves coming into Ukraine? Supporting the nefarious bioweapons’ labs? Supporting the dirty comic and his overlords? Supporting the comic ZioLensky and his billion bucks? Supporting what? The Ukrainian people who are not Nazified are brothers and sisters to the Russians. But these politicians and the racist (against Russians) battalions fed, trained and whipped up by CIA and DoD and EU, those we support?

      The Russian military is doing so much to not war the country, but these devils with guns and Facebook accounts and smart video phones, those UkiNazi’s, they are human stain. I doubt the great warriors of the mouse generation over at Scheer Report would not want to have one of the UkiNazi’s as neighbors, and as far as the thief Zelensky, you want that messed up human madness next to you?

      Right!

      Ritter is all over the place analyzing this, including the Scheer Report:

      Scott Ritter, a former Marine intelligence officer who served as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq, who has both knowledge of bioweapons and excellent sources in the military, laid waste to the Anglo-American effort to deny the Russian exposure of the U.S.-funded and -controlled bioweapons labs in Ukraine. In a special, extra interview by former British MP George Galloway, beginning on minute 37:00 on his “Mother of All Talkshows” (MOATS) internet TV channel, Ritter began by explaining that the effort by Victoria Nuland and others to claim the labs were for research, not for weapons, was bogus. “The U.S. is walking a thin line regarding what is legal and what is not under the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention.” He remarked that the head of the Convention had warned before the Russians began their military operation that there was a danger if a lab were bombed and the power went out, the frozen pathogen samples could melt and leak. Ritter further stated that several of the labs were formerly Soviet weapons labs, and scientists save their work. “So yes, these are weapons labs.”

      He said he expected the Russian forces to use overwhelming power, “which they are fully capable of doing.” But they did not, and Ukrainian families still in the country have told their relatives overseas that the Russians have been polite, and even withdrew in several cases when Ukrainian forces counterattacked an area they had occupied, because they did not want to fight in civilian areas. A Russian general said they were using “the tactics from Syria,” not, as the Western press claims, by flattening Aleppo, but the opposite—by surrounding it and allowing the jihadists to leave on buses, so that there would be no urban warfare. He said a Russian team of special forces entered Kharkiv to negotiate moving through, but the mayor who negotiated with them was murdered along with the Russian team by the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.

      Ritter said he believes the time for Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy to accept Russian demands may be running out, and the Russians might switch to full-force tactics. He termed Zelenskyy as “bipolar,” offering compromise one day and posing as a hero the next. “He is managed by the CIA-MI6 crew. His speech to the U.K. Parliament and to the Congress were written by CIA and MI6 controllers. Shame on the Parliament and the Congress for allowing their intelligence agencies use them to propagate such lies,” he told Galloway.

  4. the comment by haeder above exposes cox to be a peurile nazi—nothing more needs to be added

  5. the comment by haeder above exposes cox to be a peurile nazi—nothing more needs to be added…indeed the French Marxists Alaine Badiou describes “environmentalism/climate change” activism as “a crude and counter-revolutionary movement”

  6. ARCTIC CRISIS

    Here is a direct effect of the political version of religious dualism that sharply divides good and evil.

    All Russians are evil and therefore banned, even ones who should be participating in the Arctic Sciences Summit Week in Norway. Something that rarely, if ever, happened even during the height of the Cold War, when scientists in many fields attended conferences together despite hostilities between their governments.

    The article points out that since Russia controls 50% of the Arctic coastline, their participation is crucial. Temperature rise, thinning ice, algal blooms, declining numbers of fish, whales, and polar bears are nearing a crisis point.

    https://hakaimagazine.com/news/with-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-arctic-science-crumbles/

  7. The major underlining reason for NATOs continual advances into Eastern Europe, and thus the Russian border, is this: All the fossil fuels underneath the melting polar caps and who can legitimacy lay claim to those reserves. For documentation of this thesis, please read Michael T. Klare’s ‘ All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective On Climate Change’ As global warming continues, and the Middle Eastern oil fields dry up (also, these zones will become unlivable, thus inoperable), where will the planet get it’s much needed energy (clean green renewable energy would seem the best solution but I really don’t see the fossil fuel industry giving in or giving up their wealth and power) to keep the planet’s profit machine running.

    One other major if not vital reason for these advances on Mother Russia: Agricultural land. As the “dead” zones, where nothing eatable might be grown, continue to dominate the Earth’s landscape, the question might be asked: Where we gonna get the food to feed our people? As the planet continues to heat, zones which had always been much too cold to produce on a yearly long basis will now be PRIME agricultural land, and to the point, in demand! Russia fits this need even as we speak, agricultural output in Siberia annually continues to grow.

    In short (unless a peaceful, non-violent revolution happens here in the United States), sooner than later, we’re toast as a profit driven planet has no hope. Will the banksters and their Wall Street driven Hedge Funds give-up their power and domination? Hardly, it must be taken, which unfortunately, I don’t see happening up at the top of the pyramid as it must be a bottom driven, once again, peaceful nonviolent revolution whereas we the people of this nation (USA), people of this world refuse to cooperate with a profit driven economy. How might you ask? Refuse to pay off ALL debts! Refuse to pay rents and/or mortgages! Refuse to Pay federal taxes! Refuse to work within the industrial system! Refuse to consume except for the basics which sustain life. Stay home or do as the English did when Robert Owen called for a general strike of 1926: Go to the park and have a picnic. Can and will masses do this? We had better because not to, will lead us to this place of: POINT! SET! AND MATCH! GAME OVER for planet earth.

    We, the people of this planet are in a horrible place with very few oppositions. I can hardly imagine the horrors to come as people everywhere, yes, even in the USofA, become climate refugees seeking but finding no sustenance for one more day of life for them and their children: Wasted on the way, death and decay everywhere, hopelessness worldwide, kind of makes one think about nuclear annihilation as a mercy killing, hard to imagine. So, what’s to be done? Fight like hell to prevent this. Never give in. Change your thinking that nothing can be done. Refuse to comply with the present economic system and force that less than 1% to give-up their power and begin the extremely long (the damage is actually so widespread that it’ll take generations just to level-out to a reasonable point of existence) journey to (1) planet survival, (2) a basic life sustaining economy, (3) all-inclusive prosperity for every man, woman and child on the planet, and (4) an actual life worth living.

    To close, in order for this to be accomplished (and not to become toast, lights out), we must (1) change how we do our economics, (2) redefine what is “work” and (3) change our political structures which have allowed the industrial machines in this world to dominate. Kind of simple when you look at it, now isn’t it?

    1. @Mark+Oglesby
      I generally agree, with two exceptions:

      First, the only real solution to global warming/climate change is to greatly reduce both human population and human consumption. In other words, we need to live a lot more simply & naturally, and with a lot fewer people. The physical roots of all environmental and ecological problems are overpopulation and overconsumption, and if you don’t fix those, you’re at best rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Humans clings to their lifestyles like they’re life preservers on an open ocean. We must give up these unnatural lifestyles because they’re killing the planet. These solutions will take a long time, well beyond our lifetimes, but the benefits will start to be seen as soon as we start doing this.

      Second, revolution doesn’t have to be nonviolent. Nonviolence has a better chance of working, but violent revolutions work too, and nonviolence is a strategy, not a necessity. We’re talking about saving the planet and the life on it, so that’s the priority. Whatever works!

  8. Oh. We are made of oil. Every sweat gland, every defecation, every breath we take. Unfortunately. Speaking of oil and human suffering, https://www.mintpressnews.com/yemen-seventh-anniversary-seeks-to-end-war/280134/

    SANA’A, YEMEN -– Seven years have passed since the brutal war against Yemen, a ship-shaped country located on the southern Arabian Peninsula, began in March 2015. The war has been acknowledged as one the bloodiest in modern history and called the “world’s worst humanitarian disaster” by human rights groups. Yet, rather than breaking Yemeni resolve, the Saudi-led war backed by the collective military might of the world’s most powerful nations has only strengthened the poorest country in the Middle East; and Ansar Allah, its underdog combatant, is now stronger and more united than it has ever been.

    On the seventh anniversary of the war, MintPress News spoke with survivors, relatives of victims, and refugees of the conflict, who recount their stories and explore the current state of the conflict as evidence suggests that the Saudi-led Coalition’s grip on Yemen may be loosening.

    ”I remember when a huge explosion rocked my home, then I went up on the roof. There were fires like a volcano.” Mourad Yahya told MintPress, referring to Saudi airstrikes that killed an entire family in Bani Hawat shortly after Saudi Arabia announced operation “Decisive Storm.” Yahya, a father in his sixties who was displaced from his home, now lives in a makeshift refugee camp in the Dhahban Center for the Displaced in northern Sana’a. Despite the short supply and high prices of goods, which have been aggravated by the war in Ukraine, Yahya says he has become more determined to persevere. “Today, I see the same fires not here but in Saudi [Arabia]” he said, referring to the images of huge fires that were plastered across international media last week after Ansar Allah struck a Saudi state-run oil facility in Jeddah.

  9. Letter to Ian Morris
    Imorris@stanford.edu

    Dear Professor Norris,

    My family was given an after hours tour through the St. Louis Zoo. I was ten or eleven.

    The zookeeper took us into the rhinoceros house where a massive rino stood behind a six inch concrete wall about five feet high. Opposite him was another rino behind another 6” wall opposite the walkway. The zookeeper said “they can squish us anytime they please!”

    We were their buffer zone!

    Last night at dinner I talked with a helicopter mechanic who described an auxiliary power supply or APS.

    “What’s that?” I asked.

    “The copter has three engines that depend on the APS to start, to fly, to governor and keep the mechanical wonder in sync and from ripping itself apart!,” he said. We can’t figure out why this helicopter’s APS and replacement APS isn’t responding!”

    “Kind of like Ukraine situated between NATO and Russia?” I asked.

    Your “Ian Morris: War! What Is It Good For?” Shows the “bigger is better” for a governing Leviathan of the Hobbes model.

    I wrote a friend!

    Dear J,

    “Morris is brilliant, but he hasn’t figured out that the hope of the world is “Little Leviathans” like the 6” buffer walls and APS systems.”

    See his “Ian Morris: War! What Is It Good For?” video.

    If planet earth is to survive? Buffer zones or “little essential bushings, washers, 6 inch walla and APS’s” are the next big little thing.

    WHC

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