Saturday, March 24, 2018

Absolute Radical Green Freedom

On the rise of high-tech global authoritarianism, as freedom and ecosystems fail, and Amerika falls into Russian and Chinese style tyranny
“Nothing is so unworthy of a civilised nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct.” – The White Rose, Hitler Resistance Pamphlet
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.” – George Orwell, 1984
“The world is converging on trans-national state terror as the biosphere collapses.” – Dr. Glen Barry
Earth Meanders – Deep Ecology Essays
By Dr. Glen Barry

Big brother is not your friend
As a child I remember the awe and pride of learning the history of human advancement. From the realization of the rights of man, and the ending of the slave trade, to the sharing of wealth with workers, onward to constant — albeit incremental — progress on greater racial and gender equality, as we stepped back from the brink of nuclear war, embraced international law and human rights, and began addressing global environmental issues; the human condition was always improving.

What a wonderful time to be alive, I thought as a young man working for rainforests, indigenous rights, and climate. Surely my generation would complete the journey to a just, equitable, peaceful, and sustainable world. The human family was inevitably evolving to a higher level of consciousness and thus shared well-being.

Now in my middle age, I realize how fragile and impermanent are all advancess in the human condition in the face of sloth, ignorance, and envy. Full blown global authoritarian fascism is descending upon the Earth as China, Russia and America reject human rights and environmentalism. In a series of largely bloodless coups, charlatan demagogues have seized power, rolled back democratic progress, stonewalled necessary measures to pursue global ecological sustainability, and are thus committing treason against Earth and her peoples. A small yet concentrated global oligarchy controls over half of Earth’s wealth, and are harnessing big data technologies to forcefully maintain their advantage, blocking all efforts to achieve global justice, equity, and sustainability.

Centuries of human progress are being jettisoned to placate the masses with ever more shiny trinkets, as the rich ensconce themselves in unimaginable opulent splendor far removed from failing ecosystems. Summary arrests, show trials, abrupt climate change, routine spying, degraded environments, centralized authority, minority scapegoating, growing inequity, drone murder, and perma-war are pervasive. In general the rejection of global human rights and environmental protections have become the new international norm.

The world is converging on trans-national state terror as the biosphere collapses.

The American, Chinese and Russian political systems are increasingly characterized by authoritarian tyranny under the guise of various nationalistic window-dressings. In each surging inequitable consumption destroys the ecosystems and atmosphere that are our shared habitat. Fascist surveillance states fueled by faux-populism are all the rage, as freedom and Earth let out their last gasping breath, before together we fall into nothingness.

We are being led in chains to our miserable deaths. The end of being is at hand.

THE NOT SO GREAT POWERS

China is a foul ecocidal failed state whose repulsive political system is rife with corruption, tyranny, state thievery, voracious growth, and an unsustainable appetite for resources that consumes global ecosystems. Past glories of ancient ancestors do little to soften the brutal savagery of a hyper surveillance state bent upon absolute control through dehumanization. The hunger of over a billion potential consumers, believing in little else but having more, alone threatens to collapse and pull down the biosphere with it at any time. With Xi, yet another tyrannical tin-pot dictator has arisen, the cult of personality and mass murder are sure to follow.

Russia is a constantly under-achieving and envious failed state which seeks to get ahead through nefarious means and cults of personality rather than substantively creating anything of value for its citizens or the global system. Whatever contributions have been made to human history in the past, Russia has become a perpetual basket-case of poverty, mediocrity, and state violence. Putin would nuke the world because of hurt pride. There are no notions of human rights, environmentalism, or progress in this Potemkin nation. When the oil is gone Russia will once again collapse into serfdom, but not before the current state of impotent insecurity unleashes war upon the West in support of murderous nationalism.

In America a treasonous regime has seized power, usurping the rule of law, and threatening global ruin at any moment – perhaps over a slight on Twitter. A once proud nation has become a belligerent, insolent failed state that keeps itself drugged and amused to avoid addressing the harm their over-consumption and militarism wage upon the environment and global well-being. What was once Earth’s last great hope is now shooting up on heroin and guns as fortunes fade as the easy resources are gone and the environment and social cohesion collapse. A series of stolen elections have installed a decadent self-serving oligarchy, placing in the tiny hands of UnPresident Trump (a narcissistic authoritarian madman) the button to impulsively destroy the world many times over. The Trumpkin cult is bereft of personality.

False, competing claims of exceptionalism by America, Russia, and China share one thing in common – they each consider it their birthright to destroy the world if they are not perceived as worthy of great nation status (deservedly or not) and if they can’t have more of everything regardless of the fate of others. Bots, learned machines, and drones keep the riffraff under constant surveillance and control lest they realize they are adrift upon a dying planet whose imminent collapse under the weight of inequitable over-population makes them expendable.

No person is worthy of such power
In triplicate, self-absorbed political charlatans hold the power to push a button and launch nuclear weapons that will destroy the world. These ethically dubious individuals can do so at any time based upon fits of rage, hurt feelings, or other human inadequacies multiplied by their false sense of importance. Such power in the hands of authoritarian megalomaniacs in service to their oligarchies is unacceptable and must be revoked now through global denuclearization, demilitarization, and a democratic decentralization of power.

Ever wonder what you would have done as Hitler rose in Germany (or for that matter Stalin or Mao)? Now you can answer as Trump, Putin, and Xi follow similar paths toward absolute power and certain yet unknown atrocities to come. Each of these governments are horrific in terms of lack of commitment, indeed a shared disdain, for human rights and the environment. At least in America there is a prospect, at least for now, of a democratic change in government. Each nation’s peoples continue to largely lead normal and worthy lives, though they do share culpability for allowing authoritarianism to emerge unchallenged, and for embracing unsustainable lifestyles that destroy ecosystems. As has been noted throughout history, trading liberty for security provides neither.

What meaning is there besides various nationalistic myths and more stuff in post-Modern America, China, and Russia? What is there to believe in that is noble, equitable, and just? What higher vision for sublime truth and goodness are to be found among the cheap throw away consumer goods and blood? How will livelihoods of the masses be sustained across landscapes whose ecosystems have been decimated to build mammonist temples as playhouses for the uber-rich?

Only revolutionary social change away from trans-national charlatan oligarchic demagoguery can save the human family from final enslavement and mass death before an apocalyptic collapse.
We need a return to a shared sense of basic decency, including a respect for global human rights, international law, and nature; in order that we can address existential threats to our continued shared being.

We must seek to return to and remain in our natural condition of absolute freedom and deep greenness.

WHAT HAS BECOME OF AMERICA

The United States of America has become decadent and depraved. Where once many Americans stood together for human advancement and rights, we have descended into hateful politics between deceitful extremes. It is difficult to know which is worse: smug, corrupt, elitist Progressives or fascist, treasonous, hypocritical Conservatives. The political center has collapsed, spiraling crises such as climate change and perma-war are going unaddressed, and the nation is on the verge of breaking apart.

Fellow Americans it’s time to take a good hard look at our country. How have we become a grotesque caricature far removed from reality? Amnesty International now places the US in the second tier of democratic states. We speak of freedom as we enslave others, of liberty as we wage drone-based perma-war (often murdering innocents), and of exceptionalism as we regress on virtually every measure of human well-being.

True lovers of liberty can’t sit by and watch the once greatest Democracy in the world becoming self-destructive with substance abuse, homelessness, and guns. Our rapacious appetites have left behind a filthy environment and a slew of broken people. Deaths attributed to alcohol, drugs and suicide increase at a record pace. With human trafficking we are descending back into slavery.

The opioid crisis, school shootings, a state of perma-war, and Trumpian fascism are all symptoms of the disease that threatens to destroy the America we all claim to love. We have no shared meaning, no overarching commitment to anything other than ourselves and our immediate gratification.
Depression brought on by a sense of meaninglessness pervades the American psyche.

Americans have turned into sullen, self-absorbed, and self-entitled people. However much we have, we only care about having more. I know because I am one of these Americans. I too feel a constant nagging desire to consume more no matter how much I have already. And a sense of hypocritical outrage over foreign election meddling and military occupation by others, yet realize these are things our country has done surreptitiously overseas for years.

The USA has never really lived up to the rhetoric on human rights, but until recently it has been committed to continued self-improvement, and its turbulent democracy has nonetheless been the worst form of government except for all the alternatives. Fascism is on the rise globally. Putin to Duerte to Xi to Trump. Will America remain the last beacon of liberal democracy? Or have we become something else, Amerika perhaps? It is looking precarious as Trump is bent upon destroying democratic institutions and norms required to maintain liberty.

America’s commitment to freedom, however imperfect, is waning. America: what have we become? Who shall stand for global freedom?

True lovers of American liberty must return to the political center, and cultivate basic human decency in order that we can address existential threats to our very being. I am first to admit at times I have been a vicious troll on the Internet in service to what I believed to be good causes. However others on the other side thought so as well.

We must take a good hard look at ourselves and our country. And step back from the precipice, tone down the rhetoric (but not the shared pursuit of truth), and listen to each other. Good governance requires making sensible compromises.

It is time to embrace ambitious societal goals. Let's end abject poverty. Stop and reverse destruction of nature. Demobilize our militaries and redirect expenditures to health, education, and jobs. And embrace arts, sport, literature, wildlife, music, and all the other beautiful aspects of human existence. A shared spirituality that acknowledges the holiness of natural creation is long-overdue.

We could be so much better. We are not caring for our children. Or our habitat. Or each other.

We must turn back from becoming sullen, bitter, angry, self-destructive people. We must care about more than having more. I know because I am one of these Amerikans.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND NATURE ARE ABSOLUTE, NON-NEGOTIABLE

The natural state of humanity is absolute freedom. Humans have evolved from the same primordial soup, and share ecological habitat, with all Earth’s kindred life. Each person, like all organisms, holds an inherent right to complete autonomy and control over their minds, bodies, and actions; as long as they do no harm to others and the environment, and while realizing the consequences of misdeeds.

By nature of your existence you possess absolute radical green freedom.

True liberty can only be achieved and maintained through continual free thinking and sustained natural ecosystems.

For millennia as early humans settled and population densities increased, there has been a constant diminution of free will, and growth of centralized control. From storers of grain determining who ate, to the rise of royalty, to being indoctrinated with myths that the reward for suffering injustice was eternal life in paradise, to our present misguided faith that big government will care for us and keep us safe; we have continually moved away from our true nature.

The past centuries’ advancements in living conditions, political freedoms, and free thought for some worked to reverse this trend. But only briefly as a resource constrained world needs complex hierarchical relations to control the means to allocate what remains.

Advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence threaten to complete the creation of an Orwellian authoritarian nightmare of constant state surveillance and murder. The benefits that flow from free thinking in a liberal democracy must not be traded away for a false sense of security from the nanny state.

Big brother is not your friend.

The necessary policies for sustainability may more easily be achieved under authoritarian command driven government. But the price of slavery is not worth it.

Better the human spirit remain untethered than in chains, at any cost.

A call goes out to all global lovers of liberty to resist the rise of fascism and other forms of despotic control wherever they may be found. There is no higher calling than free thinking, absolute liberty, and serving nature. Continued improvement in the human condition requires defending human progress that has been achieved thus far, as together we work for further human advancement by demobilizing the war industry, achieving greater equity, establishing universal human rights, and committing to global ecological sustainability.

We sprang forth from wild natural ecosystems where we fended for ourselves and our kin with no higher authority than the forest canopy and stars above. Our better nature which has brought us so much progress must be rekindled as we return to the garden.

All that really matters in these troubled times is sustaining green liberty before it is too late.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Ecology Ethic

Nature
Nature
Our one shared living biosphere is collapsing and dying. Continued being depends urgently upon reconnecting with nature through global embrace of an ecology ethic whose individual affirmative outcomes for natural ecosystems are sufficient in sum to sustain global nature. A primary ethical measure of a person is the degree to which their lifestyle positively or negatively impacts nature.
"Ecology is the meaning of life. Truth, justice, equity, and sustainability are the ideals whereby ecology is maintained." – Dr. Glen Barry

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” – Aldo Leopod, The Land Ethic, A Sand County Almanac.

"To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival." – Wendell Berry

"To the question: Wilderness, who needs it? Doc would say: Because we like the taste of freedom, comrades." – Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang
Earth Meanders by Dr. Glen Barry

Let’s start from the self-evident premise that Earth is a living organism. Like cells aggregating to tissues, and onward into organisms and populations; species and ecosystems are the lower level parts of the biosphere in sum. Old forests, natural waterways, oceans, soils, wetlands, and the atmosphere are the organs that together constitute a living Earth.

Big old trees in large, connected, and ecologically intact old-growth forests stabilize global climate and power the biosphere, making Earth habitable. Water is the elixir of life without which organic life is not possible. Soils take millennia to accumulate, providing the basis for plants, food growth, and ultimately wildlife and humanity. Wetlands and oceans, the atmosphere and climate, together constitute the environment needed by all life.

Such natural ecosystems – and the cyclic homeostasis of their interactions – provide the basis for all life and are thus godlike and worthy of veneration. Modern lifestyles have forsaken the ethical framework necessary to perpetuate 3.5 billion years of natural evolution.

Ancient flows of energy and nutrients between air, land, water and ocean ecosystems - that maintain our one shared biosphere - are ending. Earth is being killed by human industrial growth caused ecosystem loss, abrupt climate change, over-population, nationalistic perma-war, and inequity and injustice. Global biosphere collapse, the end of being, is upon us.

Ecologists have been warning of global ecosystem collapse and abrupt climate change for decades. So many of the "natural disasters" we see in the daily news are in fact symptoms of this decline. However, much nature remains, and lag times when natural loss inevitably collapses the whole are unknown. And Earth is amazingly tough and regenerative (but not infinitely so). There may be a brief window of opportunity to transition together to global ecological sustainability, otherwise together we face biosphere collapse and the end of being.

But it will require a revolutionary change in mindset – an "ecology ethic" which will be herein defined – to be nearly universally accepted. And fast.

A habitable global environment depends critically upon maintaining broadly distributed natural ecosystems as the context for human endeavors. Thus the foremost tenant of an ecology ethic is to maintain all the ecological parts in order that their sum – the biosphere which makes our and all life's very existence possible – remains intact. This over-riding ecological necessity must guide all individual choices.

Together we must commit to the radical, science-based social change necessary to sustain Earth and all her life. This will certainly require a shared ecology ethic which universally values and enhances nature – the plants, wildlife, and ecological processes that make life possible – and that fosters individual-based community actions on behalf of natural ecosystems that are adequate to avoid biosphere collapse.

Humans are one species within a web of ecological relationships. The trees, animals, sky, and land you see is what there is to reality. We must stop killing other species, and ensure that all species have large expanses of habitats to meet their needs, as concurrently by securing the needs of all species, the well-being of the global whole is met by the presence of these large intact wildlife habitats.

Earth's carrying capacity has been exceeded and we are in ecological overshoot. Merging climate, food, water, ocean, soil, justice, equity, and old-growth forest crises destroy ecosystems and threaten to pull down our one shared biosphere. All life not just humans have intrinsic worth. All are part of the web that together constitutes the living Earth. Human activities that threaten the whole by destroying the parts will need to be restrained.

Ecology is the meaning of life. Truth, justice, equity, and sustainability are the ideals whereby ecology is maintained. Universal embrace of an ecology ethic before the biosphere collapses is all that really matters.

ECOLOGY ETHICS

In general an ecology ethic requires a profound shift in global consciousness to re-embrace our oneness with nature. Recognition of global ecology ethics begins with deep reflection upon and acceptance of ecological and other truths. Ecological truth exists. We need clean water to survive, land can only support so many people, we are all one human species, and there are no invisible ghosts in the sky ruling over us – just the nature from which we have evolved.

All we have is each other, kindred species, ecosystems and the biosphere.

Humanity is one species - separated by religious, class and tribal myths - yet utterly dependent upon ecosystem habitats. Love of other peoples and species, and of nature, truth, justice, and equity, are the only lasting basis for global ecological sustainability.

The ethical measure of a person is the degree to which they serve these ecological truths in their daily actions. An ethical ecological life requires living within nature without destroying it, and given historical environmental decline, that one is actually contributing to the regeneration of nature. A global ecology ethic also critically includes a sense of enoughness. There are limits to personal consumption in order that all basic needs of humans and other species are met, and that the biosphere thus remains intact.

Many years ago I wrote: "God is truth. Truth is Earth. Thus Earth is God." I was trying to communicate that sacredness aligns with truthfulness, and that the most truthful of all observations is that we need nature. Moving beyond belief in ghosts in the sky that judge us as our primary moral center, humanity would be well served by ethics that embraces the spirituality found within nature.

Aldo Leopold's classic Land Ethic was foundational in reemergence in Western society of knowledge long known by indigenous peoples of how to avoid destroying your habitat. Yet it must be expanded to better serve the needs of the entire global ecological system through maintenance of all natural ecosystems in a manner that stresses freedom, fairness, and justice.

The ecology ethic is about individual actions that maintain and restore ecosystems. Each of us is best judged by the balance sheet of whether our cumulative actions serve or destroy nature. Whether the sum total of humanity's ecological balance sheet remains within the bounds of the scientific requirements for maintaining the biosphere will determine whether together we avoid global ecosystem collapse (and much excruciating pain including the rise of authoritarian demagoguery and other widespread suffering).

An individual's ecological ethicalness is determined by whether the impacts of their existence positively impact natural ecosystems or not. Whether your sum impact upon ecology is positive or negative determines whether you are part of the disease or the cure afflicting your home.

An act is right to the extent that it increases the well-being of nature. And it is wrong, even evil, if nature is diminished. It follows that a crucial measure of the ethicalness of each human being is whether in sum your actions increase the welfare of natural ecosystems or not.

Only widespread embrace of such an ecology ethic can now save Earth and humanity.

ECOLOGY ETHICS AND PERSONAL ACTION

What does this notion of embracing an ecology ethic personally mean in practice? It starts with the impacts of your lifestyle and daily decisions upon natural ecosystems. There are so many things that you can avoid or limit in order to reduce your environmental impact, and that you can do to protect and allow natural ecosystems to expand and heal. And it doesn't require you to become a saint, just that you act to limit the totality of your impact upon Earth.

There are so many positive steps one can and must take if we are all to survive and thrive. Limit yourself to one child. Sell your car. Return to the land to produce food and restore ecosystems. Eat less or no meat, and local organic foods. Travel via air infrequently if at all. Protect and restore old forests, make love and share, revolt by embracing green liberty. And reject over-consumption as the meaning of life, instead valuing fairness, truth, and nature.

Bear witness to ecocide, highlight ecosystem collapse, propose and implement sufficient ecological science-based solutions. Favor deep experience, community, nature, and learning over more stuff. Consume only as much individually as is fairly available universally for all. Know how much is enough and how to share. Embrace the here and now of the living Earth, to which you – like all naturally evolved animals – are an integral part, and return to upon death.

Such an ecology ethic in action is the new categorical imperative if together we are to avoid abrupt climate change and global ecological collapse. We need to embrace this change personally as we vociferously persuade others, as if our lives depend upon it, to do so as well. It does.

Go back to the land, returning to nature to once again make her your home.

SOCIETY'S WAY BACK TO NATURE

Protection and restoration of large, enveloping natural ecosystems is the penultimate task of all remaining time. It is critical for human survival and well-being that our population centers remain surrounded by lush natural and semi-natural ecosystems. That is, humans can only live sustainably within a sea of nature. We are at risk of fragmenting and surrounding nature with our works.

Life is all about green liberty - maintaining our environment and all life's well-being as we remain radically free. Centuries of advancement in human rights and welfare are at risk as climate and ecosystem collapse are met with authoritarianism.

Specific ecological policy actions required to remain free and ensure nature remains the context for humanity can only be based upon the individual ecology ethic of us all multiplied by billions as we come together to return to nature. There are multitudes of actions that society must take as a whole if Earth is to remain habitable.

The threats posed by global climate and ecosystem collapse are leading more than ever to the need to end our current state of perma-war and descent into authoritarianism. We must stop glorifying war murders and their perpetrators, and demobilize globally in order to address the far greater threat of abrupt climate change and ecosystem collapse

Stopping the violence waged upon natural systems will require urgent measures to reduce human fertility. We have our incentives all wrong in terms of family size. There must be real advantages granted to individuals that have one child, and real incremental costs imposed for each additional birth, in order that families internalize the burden their growth places upon our shared habitat. Educating all children equally and free contraception are essential as well.

Greater fairness in wealth distribution (not equality, some who work hard and are smart will have more, but much reduced extremes) including a universal basic income to ensure all basic human needs are met is a must. The festering wound of abject poverty for billions as several individuals control half of Earth's wealth will never allow for global ecological sustainability.

We will require substantial resources to control the run-away growth machine consuming natural being. The magnitude of financing required can only come from making peace and dismantling the war industry, and by greater equity in the sharing of Earth's bounty. Massive diplomacy through re-invigorated international institutions is required to find and make the necessary compromises required to demobilize the war machine and to divert costs of war-making into nature, people, and community making.

Only through ending war and greater sharing can Earth's salvation become reality.
Make Love Not War
Make Love Not War


With the proceeds from the ill-gotten Congressional-Military-Industrial complex, a massive sustained program of green peace can be waged. Massive employment programs to rebuild natural ecosystems and transition our agriculture to a sustainable basis can be launched. Science, art, and education that nurture our soil, wetlands, oceans, waters, forests, and air can be given the human and other resources they demand.

Abrupt climate change looms. Our shared atmosphere has been so polluted that burning will have to stop. All burning. Now. This will require substantial reduction in energy demand through efficiency, sharing, and living more simply. Failure to do so will destroy the biosphere and end being. Each of us are called upon to dramatically reduce our use of automobiles and airplanes, to grow and eat higher quality and more ethical food, and to live in smaller homes. And in so doing our personal ecological balance sheet will be much improved.

COMMIT YOURSELF TO ECOLOGICAL TRUTH

Workable solutions to climate change and broad-based environmental decline exist – including ending fossil fuels, protecting and restoring ecosystem, making love not war, reducing population and inequity, and establishing a steady state economy – but it is not going to be easy. There are no easy answers to avoid global ecosystem collapse. Yet the longer we wait, the more limited our options, and the increased possibility that it is too late and our end days are full of tremendous horrors of our own making.

Collectively taking the actions required to sustain the biosphere will require free thinking and commitment to the truth. Numerous societal forces such as organized religion, intersectionality, nationalism, and economic class enslave humanity and murder people, species and Earth for elite profit, absent gods, prejudice, and nanny nations. Resisting god pollution and other societal myths is a requirement for re-embracing all that is natural, decent, and good.

We need to quickly change our ways personally and societally to embrace an ecology ethic, which includes a nature based spiritually. We are all one human family, entirely dependent upon ecosystems, kindred species, and each other for life and well–being. The establishment of ritual to encapsulate spirituality found in the natural world is the natural and truthful way to experience and serve the divine.

Gaia – the Earth System – is god–like and the giver of all life, the mother's womb from which all life flows, a loving but firm nurturer, that provides as long as her rules – and duties of her children – are recognized and respected. Gaia is spirituality that matters, because it is based upon truthful observation, not ancient and irrelevant god myths. Worshiping Earth and her life speaks to the challenges of ecocide, collapsing ecosystems, justice and equity, and truthfully sustaining global ecology, her peoples, and all life.

Truth, love, life, nature, and ecology are the only bases of a meaningful, knowledge based ethics and spirituality that liberate rather than control, that create not destroy.

Abrupt climate change and ecosystem collapse are a global ecological emergency that threatens all lives very survival, thus resistance to such ecocide is self–defense. If we are to be sustained, Earth's family will one day soon rise up all at once and end war, poverty, injustice, and abuse of children, women and Earth; to embrace a future of green liberty.

It is time for the whole world to come together in Earth Revolution based upon a shared ecology ethic to achieve sustained ecosystems, global human rights, lasting peace, and economic fairness. This is the very definition of justice.

As long as together we pull breath there is hope we can sustain Earth, but realistically the state of ecosystems and the biosphere is grim and worsening. We act courageously and resolutely based upon the requisite ecologically ethical conduct and our combined knowledge or we face final global ecological collapse.

The meaning of life is sustained ecology, radical freedom, free–thinking, truth and justice, and loving all life like kin. Everyone, the whole human family, will be green and free. And enjoy decent lives as we and all species live forever in global ecological grace.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Coming Climate Famine Anarchy

Organic permaculture is both the past and the future of food
Organic Permaculture


Together as a society we choose to embrace an agro-ecology ethic that governs our relationship with our food and the natural world or we face the coming climate anarchy including mass famine, needless societal and economic collapse, horrendous suffering and depredation, and then death. EcoInternet is committed to re-localizing, de-toxifying, and making global food systems ecologically sustainable (and more tasty, nutritious, and healthy as well). Critically this will require reducing human populations and greater equity.
“The future of food – if the biosphere and her humanity are to be sustained – is local, organic, permaculture exchanged without intermediaries.” – Dr. Glen Barry

By Dr. Glen Barry

The global environment is collapsing and dying. For too long we have lived our lives as if nature doesn't matter and have failed to embrace an ecology ethic. We have treated water, air, land, and oceans as resources to be plundered and as waste dumps. Nothing grows forever – certainly not economies on the back of finite ecological systems – and mass psychosis pretending infinite growth is possible is a death wish.

Such ecological imprudence is now catching up with us, threatening our very daily bread.

Climate change is having profound impacts upon agricultural systems including a lack of regular seasonality. That is, the boundaries between cold and warm, and dry and wet, periods have become highly variable. In much of the world this makes it difficult to know when to grow your food.

Knowing when to plant and when to harvest is becoming extremely problematic and this aseasonality is decreasing yields. This climate weirding is the direct result of our haphazard changing of atmospheric chemistry.

Climate change is making it more difficult to grow food the way we have been. Huge swathes of farmland are faced by droughts and floods. Temperate region's lack of cold weather and snow has meant an increase in agricultural pests. Similarly, factory animal agriculture and fisheries are being hammered from disease, parasites, and decreased feed stocks brought on by abrupt climate change.

Shifting seasonality, and at times even a lack of seasonality, simply exacerbate problems associated with industrial farming. Modern agriculture consumes massive amounts of fossil fuels which cause both warming and are finite. Factory animal farming's prodigious amounts of fecal waste become even more toxic in the heat. Increasingly toxic GMO Frankenseeds are being peddled in conjunction with a soup of dangerous chemicals as a means to keep production high.

Our increased dependence upon limited genotypes mean that one crop or animal disease could swiftly kill vast amounts of agricultural products ushering in massive price increases and widespread hunger. Soils are eroding and becoming less fertile due to increased industrial intensification.

Any increase in plant growth from increased temperatures and/or carbon dioxide is quickly eliminated as another limiting factor such as water and nutrient availability goes unmet. In many cases rising temperatures simply kill plants. And the food that is grown is often stressed and thus contains fewer nutrients. The end result of climate stressed industrial agriculture is low quality junk foods that are killing our bodies and our planet. Much of the over-developed world is addicted to the sugar and additives found in this industrially produced crap.

As the global food supply becomes more precarious and subject to unexpected extreme weather events, the global population continues to soar, and has now reached approximately 7.5 billion people.

Already nearly one billion people experience chronic hunger, sapping their soul and energy, and providing limited opportunity for a healthy and fulfilling life. Billions of emerging consumers now view steaks and hamburgers as their birthright, with all the attendant medical and ecological costs. In much of the world the cost of food is by far the greatest expenditure, and quality food is increasingly expensive in over-developed nations as well.

The world's agricultural system is weak and vulnerable to major disruption that will soon result in an international famine of the sort that already ravages numerous nations such as Haiti and Somalia. Abrupt climate change may well be the final straw that ushers in global mass hunger and collapse into the bad sort of anarchy.

It is difficult to communicate the horrors that await us if the globe faces widespread failure of food systems. Suffice it to say that post-modern collapse will utterly strip cosmopolitan consumers of technological vestiges of comfort including variety of high-quality and nutritious food. Rural areas will face a shortage of open-pollinating seed due to seed monopolies, and lack of traditional farming know how. Everyday life will be a struggle to avoid murder, find food, and otherwise meet basic needs. Sadly this is already the reality for a billion people who live in abject poverty, and soon it will be all our fates if we don't change.

It is increasingly probable that climate change will precipitate a massive crop failure on a global scale. Perhaps America's wheat and corn crops fail. Or globally a drought persists for years that wrecks the majority of Earth's foodstocks. Or a super pathogen takes out genetically modified corn. One can expect in our lifetime for periods where the supermarkets are mostly empty and each of us left to persist from what we can raise, exchange, or gather locally.

Imagine the coming horror of starvation in the heartland as formerly petite bourgeoisie experience the depredations of the street people they once ignored.

The solutions are difficult yet known. We must re-localize our agriculture systems. More of our food must be grown in our own bioregion, and exchanged and consumed locally. Much more of our population is going to have to find employment in growing food. Every human being will be called upon to grow an increasing percentage of their own food, and bartering and otherwise exchanging their surplus with those nearby.

The use of fossil fuels must be eliminated from the global food chain. Factory animal feedlots must be eliminated and whatever meat is produced come from time-tested small scale animal husbandry practices (or when desired eliminated).

Monocultures protected with synthetic toxic pesticides and herbicides are literally death traps. We must return to inter-cropping and no-till agriculture that focuses upon maintaining the soil's structure and fertility. The emphasis must be upon organic food production and permaculture from natural seed stocks, whereby the boundaries between natural ecosystems, tree crops, and food crops are not strictly delineated.

Permaculture is committed to realizing the full potential of righteous land and soil management to benefit the community's well-being including both high quality food and ecosystems. Increasingly our forest tree crops and traditional garden vegetables will be intermingled, to the extent feasible given a bioregion's flora, as forests and gardens merge.

In general an agro-ecology ethic requires a profound shift in global consciousness to re-embrace our oneness with nature. Industrial agriculture has viewed natural ecosystems as decadent wastelands that should be destroyed, rather than embracing them as the ecosystem engines that make the biosphere habitable. And which provide the genetic seed stocks and inspiration for constructing semi-natural productive ecosystems.

Continued exponential growth in human populations, particularly as some have so much as many have so little, can only result in global ecological collapse. Human population growth must be limited with urgency through incentives, and educating all girls and boys, including in the use of contraception; or the global environmental system will seek balance far more harshly.

There is no path to food sustainability that does not include reducing military expenditures, a basic income, and more sharing. Fairness is not communism.

In sum, much more work must be done to achieve the balance between natural and semi-natural productive ecosystems necessary to sustain Earth, her humanity, and all creatures. My peer-reviewed science "Terrestrial Ecosystem Loss and Biosphere Collapse" suggests that 2/3 of Earth's land mass must remain as ecosystems, 2/3 of which must be natural ecosystems (44%), and 1/3 semi-natural permaculture and other productive ecosystems (22%).

Or we face biosphere collapse and the end of being.

The future of food – if the biosphere and her humanity are to be sustained – is local, organic, permaculture exchanged without intermediaries.

EcoInternet is committed to re-localizing, de-toxifying, and making global food systems ecologically sustainable. We are in the process of creating Internet resources which will help fulfill this vision. And we could use your help. More soon on these exciting initiatives.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Appalling Meaningless of Being in a Post-Modern, Pre-Apocalyptic World

There is nature
Nothing really seems to matter much when your Planet is needlessly collapsing and dying. Big important ideas to base your life upon are in short supply. Pretty much god myths, stuff, and tribes are all we got. There is nature. And she needs us.

“The Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is…42!” – Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)

“Lady Presenter: Well, that’s the end of the film. Now, here’s the meaning of life… M-hmm. Well, it’s nothing very special. Uh, try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations. And, finally, here are some completely gratuitous pictures of penises to annoy the censors and to hopefully spark some sort of controversy…” – The Meaning of Life, Monty Python (1983)

“The meaning of life is nature, and universal embrace of an ecology ethic before the biosphere collapses is all that really matters anymore. Bathe in the forest. Grow plants. No more burning. Stop bulldozers. Howl at the moon. Know how much is enough. Be one with nature or die.” – Dr. Glen Barry
By Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet

Living in an era of precipitous environmental decline, it is hard to know what to do with oneself. Most choose to just muddle through life, spending all their time working hard in order to be able to enjoy the last ill-gotten fruits of ecological devastation.

What a meaningless existence to be concerned only with the stimulation of your nerve endings, to love only a relatively small group of family and friends, and have no further connection with the profound wonders to be found in the natural order.

Humans evolved from the same genes as all life and are utterly one with the natural world. Whether we know so or not. Our evolutionary history goes back billions of years. We are part of a miraculous web of life, whereby life begets life, and the sum total of all life – the biosphere – is itself a living entity. Flowers, genes, meadows, wildlife, ecosystems, and landscapes are our kin.

Sadly, this living global ecological system is collapsing and dying as human industrial growth systematically destroys the very habitat necessary for our shared survival and well-being.

Most have been more than willing to trade this epic eco-evolutionary lineage for a world of toxics, violent video games, mindless television, perma-war, wage slavery, and ongoing and intensifying ecological diminishment. Resource scarcity, a global economy, and the rise of artificial intelligence mean middle class bourgeoisie lifestyles are shrinking fast. Dwindling natural ecosystems continue to be tilled and paved. All the violent, misogynist imagery in music and movies definitely coarsens and cheapens the real world of plants, lovers, stars in the sky, and wildlife.

Who can blame opioid addicts for seeking to numb the existential horror of meaninglessness found in the post-modern era? This terrible epidemic is but the most recent attempt at self-medication to numb the pain of fewer opportunities for personal gratification as profoundly inequitable consumer violence murders a living Earth.

More stuff is not the answer
To be ecologically and socially aware is to be constantly confronted with dilemmas. What are we to do when the doctor says to eat more fish and you know the ocean’s fisheries are collapsing? How has perpetually having more as many have nothing been universally accepted as development? How does one go to work in the modern economy knowing your actions in sum with others are killing Earth?
How tragic that relentless modern techno-optimism’s quest for human comforts has spawned an ecological apocalypse.

Primordial, pre-modern humans were part of something that mattered. Like a cell in an organism, indigenous ways of being were part of the larger whole. Imagine the thrill of being the hunter as well as the hunted, knowing your bioregion intimately and how to use natural materials to meet your every need, lifetime intimate loving relationships with your kin and surrounding life, sitting with friends around the fire pit in the forest peering out to boundless endless stars and trying to make sense of it all.

Now as we seek to make a sensible, satiating life on a dying planet there is very little if anything that is special and of real truthful importance to care about. By and large we live empty, atomistic lives, cut off from each other and our rightful place enmeshed within a vibrant, living natural world. We live programmed, brain-washed lives in service to non-existent gods, fake countries, and illusory consumption.

What is there to believe in that matters? What is the meaning of life (other than popular entertainment’s silly suggestions of 42 and pictures of penises)? How is one even able to find any sort of profound meaning, sense of purpose, and righteous intent and action in a post-modern, pre-apocalyptic world? What can possibly matter when the mere act of being is destroying your host and 3.5 billion years of naturally evolved life, the only life of which we are currently certain?

To bring a child into a dying world is an act of negligent homicide to the child and our shared Planet. Unimaginable horrors await all of us, indeed already afflict hundreds of millions of fellow human beings and countless members of other species, unless we end war, learn to share, stop destroying natural ecosystems, and end burning of fossil fuels.

We must find our way back to the garden. Our only hope, and the only meaning for remaining human being, is to be part of the transition to a sustainable, just, and equitable world. A glorious, truth-filled existence can best be found in service to nature.

Personal efforts to cut consumption and be green are of course justified but they are far, far from sufficient. The only means of achieving global ecological sustainability is collective action to immediately stop biological diminishment and restore nature. That is destruction of nature must itself be destroyed.

The magnitude of change required to avert biosphere collapse is mind-boggling. There are innumerable environmental and social movements doing good work (but watch out for greenwash). Join with an established effort or start a group of your own. Being part of #TheResistance to a charlatan demagogue is worthwhile but we must think bigger, and come together in mass action to stop the ecocide of nature that is killing us all.

Howl at the moon
We have to stop the cutting, lashing, puncturing, burning, and lacerations occurring to natural ecosystems – the water, soil, oceans, air, forests, animals, and plants that sustain us – or shortly we face painful and enduring utter ruin.

Stopping ecocide at all costs is the only justification for existence at this pivotal moment in the human family’s being. Even as you earn a wage to pay off debts, work to transition yourself to an ecologically righteous existence as you go back to the land, and make sure to come together as one human family to say no to the end of nature.

The meaning of life is nature, and universal embrace of an ecology ethic before the biosphere collapses is all that really matters anymore.

Bathe in the forest. Grow plants. No more burning. Stop bulldozers. Howl at the moon. Know how much is enough.

Be one with nature or die.