Sunday, June 18, 2017

The End of Being: Abrupt Climate Change One of Many Ecological Crises Threatening to Collapse the Biosphere

As industrial human growth continues its relentless assault upon nature, at least nine unfolding global ecological catastrophes in addition to deadly climate change have the potential to destroy the biosphere. Any number of other environmental planetary boundaries besides climate change such as biodiversity, water, soil, and ecosystem loss and diminishment has the potential to end being. The already substantial climate change movement must embrace a richer ecology ethic, morphing into a concerted effort to more broadly achieve global ecological sustainability.
“We could solve climate change tomorrow, and soil and water loss – or any number of combinations of surpassed planetary ecological boundaries – would still destroy civilization, potentially killing the living biosphere, and ending being.” – Dr. Glen Barry
Earth Meanders, Deep Ecology Essays by Dr. Glen Barry

At least 10 planetary boundaries exist that
threaten to make the biosphere uninhabitable
Human industrial growth is systematically dismantling the natural ecosystems which constitute our life support system. Rightly so, there has been an enormous amount of attention given to climate change (though action to rapidly reduce emissions still lags far beyond what is required). Climate change  is becoming abrupt and runaway; and threatens just by itself to collapse societies, economies, and ultimately the biosphere.

Yet climate change is only one of at least ten global ecological catastrophes which threaten to destroy the global ecological system and portend an end to human beings, and perhaps all life. Ranging from nitrogen deposition to ocean acidification, and including such basics as soil, water, and air; virtually every ecological system upon which life depends is failing. Gaia is dying.

The threat to global ecological sustainability goes well beyond climate change, and represents a more systematic failing of current political and economic models. Namely, the commodification of natural ecosystems – that are our and all life’s habitat – and their unsustainable industrial clearance for short-term profit, is sheer ecocidal madness.

The author has hypothesized that more old-growth
forests have been lost than the biosphere can bear
A branch of ecological science known as Planetary Boundary science knows much regarding ecological thresholds whereby Earth and her life may collapse and die. Planetary boundaries have been identified for ten global-scale processes including climate change, rate of biodiversity loss (terrestrial and marine), nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, ozone depletion, ocean acidification, freshwater, land use change, chemical pollution, and atmospheric aerosol loading (and others clearly exist). For each scientists have set thresholds beyond which the global ecological system’s integrity as a whole is threatened. At least three thresholds – climate change, biodiversity loss, and nitrogen deposition in ecosystems – are generally considered to already have been surpassed, meaning the planet is already in a state of ecological overshoot.

Recently I proposed in a peer reviewed scientific paper a tenth Planetary Boundary, adding a threshold for terrestrial ecosystem loss: hypothesizing that 2/3 of Earth’s land base must remain ensconced within natural and semi-natural ecosystems to avoid biosphere collapse (see Terrestrial ecosystem loss and biosphere collapse at http://ecointernet.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/MEQ-Terrestrial-Ecosystem-Loss-and-Biosphere-Collapse.pdf). Already some 50% of natural ecosystems have been cleared, meaning yet another planetary ecological limit has been exceeded. My identification of a terrestrial ecosystem boundary was the first published science proposing a planetary boundary based upon terrestrial ecosystem loss and connectivity, and has since been validated in other studies by scientific luminaries.

The point is that while abrupt climate change may well become runaway, collapsing society, the economy, and the biosphere; it is but one of nearly a dozen means whereby humanity has overshot the carrying capacity of the Earth System. Consider this: nearly half of all topsoil has eroded, 90% of large fish are gone, 4,500 kids die from bad water a day, nearly a billion human-beings live in abject poverty, and daily an unknown numbers of species disappear forever.

Highly inequitable, unjust, and unsustainable industrial human growth is systematically dismantling the ecological systems that make Earth livable.

We could solve climate change tomorrow, and soil and water loss – or any number of combinations of surpassed planetary ecological boundaries – would still destroy civilization, potentially killing the living biosphere, and ending being.

Gaia is dying as planetary ecological boundaries are crossed
Achieving just and equitable global ecological sustainability depends upon the human family becoming more aware of the numerous ecological threats facing our shared survival and well-being. 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 nature – the plants, wildlife, and  ecological processes that make life possible. Ecology is the meaning of life.

Clearly much more research remains to be done on Planetary Boundaries and threats to the biosphere in sum, as well as communication of dangerous thresholds, and policy development to pull back from the precipice. I hope to look further at lag times in regard to when exceeding planetary boundary’s thresholds become dangerous, and to use what is known regarding Pacific Islands’ sustainability as a test case for terrestrial ecosystem loss, and to publish further ecological science. Most importantly, much more effort must be made to act with urgency and resolve upon the science that indicates we face mortal danger.

The way forward on a potentially terminally-ill planet include 1) transitioning to a steady state economy, 2) slowing population growth and then justly reducing human numbers, 3) committing to equitably meeting all of humanity’s basic human needs, 4) ending all natural ecosystem destruction and assisting remnants to naturally regenerate and spread, 5) ending the use of fossil fuels, 6) embracing organic, non-industrial, perma-culture based agriculture less dependent upon animal husbandry, 7) ending industrial clearance of natural ecosystems such as old-growth forest logging and factory fishing, and 8) demobilizing standing armies and diverting these resources to meeting humanity’s and nature’s needs.

Only such comprehensive, ecological-science based policies can prove sufficient to end climate change and all threats to global ecological sustainability, averting mass human suffering and death as the Earth collapses and dies.

As long as seeds and organisms exist, the propagules to regenerate Earth remain. It is vital that the diminution of Earth’s biotic diversity across scales – from the gene, to plants and animals, through the communities and ecosystems they come together to form, right up to our one shared biosphere – be halted immediately. We must not further squander humanity’s biological inheritance upon the altar of frivolous over-consumption by some. And together we must usher in an era of natural ecosystem protection and restoration.

There are many righteous livelihoods – that go far beyond the benefits provided by a slave-like debt economy – to be found in rewilding and pulling humanity back from the ruin of usurping planetary boundaries. But profiteering upon the systematic ecocide of our one living Earth will have to be banished, and strictly enforced for the common good, by a much reduced government.

There is much joy to be found in nature. Rediscovering wild places and clear waters in communities embraced by nature provides for a far richer life than shopping malls and highways. As we rediscover a sense of place there are multitudes of pleasures to be found as well in human literature, music, drama, sexuality, and community. Urban centers can be reclaimed from automobiles and once again become re-natured centers of commerce, culture, and civilization.

It is time to come together and choose life over death, truth over ignorance, beauty over industry, flowers rather than electronics. It is time to return to the land and embrace nature and ecology as the meaning of life. And to address with sufficient policies climate change and all threats to global ecological sustainability at once. Or being ends.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Toughen Up: Freedom of Speech Is Absolute, There Are No Thought Crimes

Do The Right Thing and Protect Free Speech
WARNING: This essay contains materials that will offend just about anyone in one way or another. Yet free thought and speech – even when offensive or in bad-taste – is the underpinning of liberty. Only through the fearless sifting and winnowing of ideas can we usher in an era of peace, justice, equity and sustainability based upon the identification of truthful action. All political ideologies, democratic liberties, the human family’s well-being, and the ability to identify solutions to looming global catastrophes are ill-served by efforts to stifle freedom of thought and expression. I have written at length that there is no god. That both authoritarian fascism and progressive elitism threaten our liberties. That it is a self-evident fact that we are all one human family. And that in an era of environmental collapse and abrupt climate change, ecology is the meaning of life. How can I hope that my unorthodox (yet I believe truthful) ideas are given fair consideration, if I don’t insist upon the right of self-expression by others that may be equally challenging? Censorship is undemocratic and can only lead to tyranny.

Earth Meanders, Deep Ecology Essays by Dr. Glen Barry
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.” – The Christian Recorder, 1862
“Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death.” – George Orwell, 1984
“Mookie: You garlic breath, pizza slinging, spaghetti bending, Vic Damone, Perry Como, Luciano Pavarotti, Sole Mio, non-singing motherfucker.
Pino: You gold teeth, gold chain wearing, fried chicken and biscuit eating, monkey, ape, baboon, big thigh, fast running, high jumping, spear chucking, three-hundred-and-sixty-degree basketball dunking, titsun, spade, Moulan Yan. Take your fucking pizza-pizza and go the fuck back to Africa.
Stevie: You little slanty eyed, me-no-speaky-American, own-every-fruit-and-vegetable-stand-in-New-York, bullshit, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, Summer Olympics ’88, Korean kickboxing son-of-a-bitch.
Officer Long: You Goya bean eating, fifteen-in-a-car, thirty-in-an-apartment, pointed shoes, red wearing, Menudo, meda-meda Puerto Rican cocksucker. Yeah, you!
Sonny: It’s cheap, I got a good price for you, Mayor Koch, how-I’m-doing, chocolate egg cream drinking, bagel and lox, B’nai B’rith Jew asshole.” – Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee, 1989
“In a democracy, the only correct response to impolite political speech and imagery is to grin and bear it, choosing either to ignore or respond, while fighting with your life for the right of the offender to think and speak. Otherwise your free speech may be shutdown next, and there can be no lasting liberty or revealed truth.” – Dr. Glen Barry

As one with both progressive and libertarian tendencies, I am terrified to see the efforts to stifle free speech from across the political spectrum. Freedom of thought and speech is the bedrock of human advancement and an absolute global human right; that once lost, threatens a return to medieval ignorance.

No one is ever justified in telling another person what they can think or say, period.

One must differentiate between words and actions. And be particularly careful to not abridge the right of political satire and comedy (even when ill-conceived and poorly done) as a particularly adept way to facilitate thoughtful insights.

Words Such as “House Nigger” Should Not Be Said Lightly, Nor Should History Be Denied (Image from movie Django Unchained)

It is unacceptable that one race can use the word Nigger and it is perfectly acceptable, yet others are pilloried for doing so. It is racist to say some races can utter these sounds and sentiments, while others cannot. If one believes in universal truths and a society free of bias, either uttering this offensive term is acceptable in limited instances by all including for shock value; or no one should ever speak the word, and we accept that we live in a totalitarian society. It is historical fact that under unimaginably onerous slavery that some were imprisoned to work in houses – disparagingly referred to by some as "House Niggers" – and others were enslaved in the fields. We must not turn away from historical truth that shows the magnitude of evil-incarnate, and de-legitimatize any reference, however in-artful.

As an early #BlackLivesMatter supporter married to a dark complexioned woman, I assure you I am keenly aware that black people have been persecuted terribly, and systematic oppression continues to this day. Yyet so have other ethnicities and religions. Speaking freely about race including in a purposefully shocking satirical manner – such as in my favorite movie scene of racial tirades from Do the Right Thing that mocks bigotry (quoted above), or recently by serial-offensive comedian Bill Maher – helps to promote free thinking, and at the margin ensures that the most egregious forms of racial violence do not happen again. There has been no comparable censorship of terms regarding the Jewish holocaust and other historical travesties, nor should there be.

My point is simple: use of such a repugnant and emotionally charged word should be rare, only in limited appropriate situations and contexts (i.e. satire or discussing history), and the user be prepared for the consequences; but it should not be forbidden on the basis of race. Freedom of Speech means freedom to speak. And liberty's prohibition on thought crimes is absolute.

Frankly I like seeing fake images of Donald Trump being beheaded. I understand it as imagery meant to signify the horror of his immoral and narcissistic rule, which threatens human decency and our very survival. Such expression does not constitute a threat of actual beheading. If someone were to try to do that ACTION, an actual crime of volition would have been committed. Thought crimes harm no one and exist only as ideas which have the potential to enlighten.

UnPresident Trump's Actions Are Far Worse
Than Any Harm Caused by Democratic Political Satire
The picture of Kathy Griffin holding a fake human head pales in comparison to the fascist, charlatan, authoritarian, pussy-grabbing terror being unleashed by a narcissistic madman who couldn’t even win the popular vote; yet rules with imperial fervor. UnPresident Trump routinely attacks other in obscene manners outside of what has been contemporary political norms. Billions may suffer and die as this sociopath unleashes nuclear war and climate change ruin upon Earth. I think that is what Kathy was getting at in her satire, and it is protected political speech in any true democracy.

Even bigoted self-aggrandizers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Anne Coulter have the right to say whatever they wish, and to be ignored.

Many of my thoughts and words offend others. Frankly, I think Islam is a violent and vile medieval religion bereft of truth and with little to offer to post-modern humanity. Yet as an atheist, I think exactly the same of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and any other illogical faith that uses myth and violence to dominate our lives based upon self-serving lies regarding what non-existent ghosts in the sky want us to do. This is God Pollution.

I’ve taken some hard knocks speaking truth regarding the powerful in Wisconsin. Congressmn Mark Pocan should not get away with bragging of raping children. Nor should politicians like Governor Scott Walker be able to victimize others for a lifetime with impunity as a means to gain power.

If I don’t acknowledge the right of others to speak whatever they wish, how can I legitimately expect people to respond to my own challenging notions of truth? Censorship however carried out is for the weak and inarticulate, and can only lead to unchallenged falsehoods and tyranny.

There are no thought crimes. If you don’t like what someone says? Don’t listen. Or argue back persuasively your viewpoint. But don’t try to stifle free thought and expression. Otherwise suppression of your voice is equally justified. And what constitutes acceptable speech will be arbitrarily determined by transient social mores and whomever is in power at the time.
Both political correctness and rising authoritarianism are equally responsible for getting us to this current point of perpetually aggrieved sensibilities, an inability to address numerous looming catastrophes, and the very real potential for political violence.

The political middle where most truths are to be found has grown slender and disturbingly irrelevant.
Faced with abrupt climate change and biosphere collapse, in a world of grotesque injustice and perma-war, only the fearless sifting and winnowing of ideas can save the human family. We live in a world of tremendous diversity, and only by embracing our differences while learning from each other can we hope to survive as a species.

The right to speak your mind must be extended equally to anti-science climate deniers as to experts who have trained and acquired knowledge for a lifetime. To racists filled with hate, as well as to peaceful prophets of love. Free thinking and speech are granted as a human right equally to right-wing fascists as well as left-wing elitists. All have the right to think and say as they wish (while being held accountable for the veracity of their words, but not censored including self-censorship), including graphic art and satire meant to shock in a manner intended to bring about thoughtful reflection upon important matters.

We have a responsibility as a society to create an educated citizenry who can logically and rationally examine competing claims in order to arrive at judgments of fact and ultimately achieve knowledge. Individually it is up to all engaged citizenry to forcefully push back in the public arena against pseudo-science, fake news, and other nonsense. Yet while remaining open to new ideas.

In a democracy, the only correct response to impolite political speech and imagery is to grin and bear it, choosing either to ignore or respond, while fighting with your life for the right of the offender to think and speak. Otherwise your free speech may be shutdown next, and there can be no lasting liberty or revealed truth.

And through the discussions, often rabid and desultory, an educated citizenry can converge upon the truth. There may be missteps along the way, but only through fearless exchange of ideas do we have a chance at enlightenment and righteous action.

It is a well-recognized matter of law that speech which purposefully incites imminent violence is an exception to absolute free speech. This should not necessarily mean it is never justified, just that those espousing such thoughts have to be willing to accept legal responsibility for doing so.

So stop being such pansies. Toughen up. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t let political correctness or authoritarianism stifle your own self-awakening and free thought. Confront yourself with the speech and ideas to which you have not been exposed and thus go beyond the limited worldview into which you were born and have been indoctrinated.

If anything in this essay made you uncomfortable, good, that was the intent. Break out of rigid orthodoxy and join in the global discussion. Toughen up, stop being weak and whiny, as you hone your own message. Seek truth and purity of thought and expose ideas of others that are neither.

Monday, May 29, 2017

This US Memorial Day: One Human Family on the Precipice

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin, 1755

“We may be different races and religions but we are all part of the same human family.” – Dalai Lama
“We are all one human family, tragically placed on a dying planet.” – Dr. Glen Barry

One Human Family Sharing a Borderless Planet That Is Dying
On a recent Memorial Day I called for an end to glorifying war, and rather than a day for celebrating war murders, suggested we take a “day to memorialize senseless acts of love, peace, sharing, and kindness.”

As America remains in a state of perma-war with a deranged narcissistic madman at the helm (continuing a long history of bi-partisan militarism), never has it been more important to remember that War Is Murder. And that modern warfare is waged on the basis of intolerable lies such as the sanctity of the nation state and conflicts over various unknowable god myths (which I have termed “God Pollution“).

The truth of the matter is that there are no countries, nor is their one iota of proof to favor one god story over another. This essay will focus upon the utter madness of nation-states seeking security, claiming to be ensuring liberty, through standing armies meant to murder others.

Nationalism is a particularly pernicious myth meant to divide humanity. People of all sorts are one species, with essentially identical needs and aspirations. We have far more in similar than differences; each of us put our pants on one leg at a time, seek love and affection, do not want to suffer, and desire the best for our children.

We are all one human family, tragically placed on a dying planet.

Having served my country in both the Army and Peace Corps, I have had the opportunity to ponder questions of war and peace, and my Political Science degree has helped as well. Out of a life-long quest for truth, I have emerged a militant pacifist, unwilling to condone violence other than in the most extreme instances of intolerable imminent harm (including perhaps the rise of global corporate fascism or collapse of the Earth’s biosphere). Yet I am fully aware that assertive people power expressed through non-violent direct action is the most just, lasting, and effective means of social change; and  must be exhaustively pursued in these times of global troubles.

While various forms of government exist, with liberal democracy being the worst and least effective, except for all the others; we are witnessing an era of creeping authoritarianism across the global political spectrum. This comes as the world is plagued by grotesque expenditures upon the military (over $1.6 trillion globally, around 37% by the US) at direct expense to global health, education, jobs, and the environment. And the world is awash in military equipment (including potentially stray nukes) sold to anyone with cold hard cash and the desire to murder.

There is not as much difference as one would suppose between autocratic Chinese market-based communism, an European Union of police-states, and American authoritarian democracy. In each governments and corporations have merged to ensure access to resources through the systematic killing of “others” that stand in their way.

This consolidation of power between commerce and state propels the ongoing ecocidal onslaught against nature that is collapsing the biosphere and threatens to end being, but not before a painful period of authoritarian suffering in a global wasteland.

Super-sized governments and corporations are rapaciously stripping Earth of natural ecosystems required for a habitable planet, largely to meet artificially created needs for non-essential goods and services for some elite over-consumers. This global oligarchy – dominated by the oil industry – exists to stymie people uniting globally for ecological sustainability, justice, equity, human rights, and community-based and autonomous livelihoods (jobs).

We are taught to respect imaginary lines on the ground more than the flesh and blood of our brethren.
Frankly I am appalled at the cost to societies of a permanent war-making economy to protect parochial self-interests of the war-mongering elite. Until just a century ago, militaries were largely demobilized between conflicts. The military-industrial-Congressional complex’s institutionalizing of war murders based upon artificial lines drawn on a map is grotesquely appalling, and threatens global ruin at any time.

To that end, it is absolutely essential that any order by UnPresident Trump to launch nuclear weapons be declared unlawful and not be implemented.

For such nationalistic corporate rule to work, we must hate others that are different than us. And to  have our less fortunate be willing to murder others who are less fortunate in the name of country and god.

It is vital that true personal liberty (to think, feel, express, and act as we wish as long as not harming others; not the sloganeering type of fascists equating liberty with obedience) not be traded for claims of security through militarism and a state of perma-war. Terrorism by both nation-state militaries and disaffected populations are bred in the back-and-forth of resource thievery, murder of innocents, criminal killing by small bands of madman, and resultant raining down of drone based missiles.

After 911 a gradual and effective shift towards global law was jettisoned. UnPresident Trump’s call to put America first returns us to a dangerous medieval tribalism unfit for an era of loose nukes and collapsing ecosystems.

The price of true liberty is the risk of criminal non-state murder, and resisting false nation-state claims that only militarism, nationalism, and war murders can keep us safe. Even with complete national corporate rule of every aspect of our lives, it will never be possible to murder our way to peace and security.

Survival and universal well-being of the human family and brethren species depend upon recommitting to creating international norms of behavior that ensure an end to war, injustice, inequity, and ecosystem loss.

True liberty and security can only be had through commitment to a universal non-sectarian rule of law, and global mechanisms to end war murders of all types. We can respect and celebrate our ethnic variety, coming together in bioregionally based federations, while eliminating the duplicity of arbitrarily delimited national boundaries. Policies such as a global and guaranteed basic income, ending fossil fuels, demobilizing standing armies, limiting income inequity, and protecting and restoring natural ecosystems can finally be given the attention they deserve by an empowered global government.

It is well past time for one human family, standing upon the precipice of global ecosystem collapse, to come together through a strengthened United Nations type organization. Together all global citizens must reject the utter madness of nation-state based perpetual war and conflict. Many details remain to be worked out, but building upon the International Court of Justice, the Paris Climate Change Treaty, and expanding highly decentralized, yet global, governance seems the only path to avoiding utter ruin.

The human family must come together now to find common cause in the protection of our habitat, dismantling the engines of state murder, and ensuring that the basic needs of all are met. The only path to liberty AND security lies in global institutions, international law, and an end to absolute national sovereignty. And a growing global citizenry committed to peace, justice, equity, and ecology.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Death of Gaia

Earth is alive like other organic life across scales
It is known scientifically that the Earth System, or Gaia if you will, is organized and functions similarly to other scales of biology, including organisms and old-growth forests. Gaia is a self-regulating, reproducing life-form, and as such is alive. As industrial human growth destroys Gaia’s naturally evolved ecosystem organs, the human family is failing to embrace a rich and truthful deep ecology understanding (long known by indigenous peoples) of a living Earth, risking biosphere collapse. Not enough progress is being made on sufficient ecological solutions to sustain Gaia such as protecting and restoring natural ecosytems (including a ban on old-growth forest logging), ending the use of fossil fuels, and ridding the world of war and inequity. Both powerful science deniers, as well as celebrity posers promoting shallow ecology, ensure Gaia's demise for their own selfish benefit. Thus while Earth is alive, sadly she is dying.
Larry: [to Jennings, while high] Okay. That means that our whole solar system could be, like one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being. [Jennings nods] This is too much! That means one tiny atom in my fingernail could be–
Jennings: Could be one little tiny universe. – Animal House
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!
“Earth – like organic life across scales – is alive yet needlessly dying as human industrial growth overwhelms natural ecosystems.” – Dr. Glen Barry

Gaia
Earth is a living organism some call Gaia. This Earth System – all life’s one shared biosphere – is composed of coupled ecosystems that cycle energy and matter, self-regulating like all organic life.

Across scales of biological phenomena there exist discontinuities; boundaries which can be abstracted, that differentiate a life form. Throughout the continuum of cells, organisms, plant communities, and even natural ecosystems, many entities can be said to be alive. The Earth is the penultimate life-form.

Gaia is alive.

Think of land and natural vegetational communities as similar to tissue in an animal, blood and water are synonymous, the atmosphere like cellular fluid. Wildlife including humans is a special type of cell. All life across scale is coded in DNA, the original programming language.

Earth, like the human body, is intricately perfect; both engineered through epics of iterative evolution to be resilient and reproduce.

Earth’s reproductive cycle can best be thought of as the re-radiation of species diversity post mass extinction upon the same framework of inert non-organic Earth. By such a measure Earth is only a handful of generations old. Or perhaps Earth’s reproduction involves exo-biology seeding of planets through rare dispersion events. In either case the Earth system reproduces.

Old-growth forests are alive too
As originally devised in James Lovelock’s “Gaia Hypothesis”, the conception of a living Earth goes beyond metaphor; and is a self-evident, emergent property of natural ecosystems’ cycles. Cells, microbes, forests, soil, oceans, water, air, plants, and wildlife are all miraculously alive, even as they create the conditions for life at other levels of organization.

It is profoundly beautiful that life begets life. For far too long the concept of living natural ecosystems has been denied and denigrated. A naturally evolved old-growth forest ecosystem is no less an organism than you or me, or Gaia. Such complex, tightly-coupled super-organisms make life possible.

Let me be clear: cells are not organisms, nor are old-growth forests exactly like the biosphere, yet they are remarkably similar. Each are bounded, with sub-systems cycling energy and matter, to remain intact (alive) while reproducing.

Earth – like organic life across scales – is alive yet needlessly dying as industrial growth overwhelms natural ecosystems.

Natural ecosystems are being murdered in a plague of democratic resource gluttony. In a relatively short time geologically, industrialism radiated from Northern Europe in waves of ecological colonialism. The concept that nature exists only as resources to be consumed is now universally embraced.

Millions of year old natural ecosystems that constitute Gaia’s living flesh continue to be liquidated in an ecocidal death wish misconstrued as “development”.

Under such circumstances of runaway exponential growth – amidst resource scarcity driven perma-war and grotesque inequity – “certifying” natural ecosystem destruction, or waxing eloquently as one over-consumes, is even more dangerous than denying climate, ecology, and other scientific truths.

Leo’s over-consumption sets a bad example
Donald Trump’s fact free world of anti-science, authoritarian demagoguery, and Scott Walker’s evisceration of education while stifling climate and conservation science; are equally as dangerous as Rainforest Action Network benefactor Chris Noth’s (Mr. Big) old-growth mahogany laced bar (aptly named “The Cutting Room”), and Leonardo DiCaprio prattling on about the reality of climate change from the back of private jets and yachts. Each in their own way are colluding in Gaia’s murder for personal benefit.

Old-growth forest logging must end. Natural ecosystems be restored. Fossil fuels ended. A steady state economy achieved. And equity, peace, and justice embraced.

Or Gaia dies. And being ends.

Only profound, radical, science-based social change that embraces a deep ecology vision of a living Earth, by reversing natural ecosystem loss, will prove adequate to avoid biosphere collapse.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

On Ecology and Climate, Sad to Say, Scientists Told You So


Given long-predicted and self-evident abrupt climate change and ecosystem collapse, and resultant perma-war and rise of fascism, despite decades of scientific warnings which went unheeded; will you now listen to science, embrace an ecology ethic, and act to avoid biosphere collapse and the end of being before it is too late?
“One last time swords must be beaten into plowshares (and restored ecosystems)… Simply, pollution of land, air, and water must end or we all needlessly die” – Dr. Glen Barry
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Deep ecology essays by Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet


Choose your fate, embrace an ecology ethic, or die
Essentially every warning from ecological and climate scientists regarding the limits to growth have come to pass. Climate models have been amazingly accurate, if anything under-predicting the magnitude of the climate apocalypse dramatically playing out in Polar Regions and radiating heat globally. Water, farmland, soil, wetlands, oceans, old-growth forests, and the atmosphere are, as forecasted, in precipitous decline.

Whole regions are collapsing ecologically and are on track to being uninhabitable and will have to be abandoned. Yet demands for inequitable consumption placed upon nature by seven billion top predators continue to grow exponentially (as a billion live in opulent splendor, another billion face abject soul-sucking poverty, and a handful enjoy half of Earth’s wealth).

There are few naturally evolved large ecosystems remaining to cut, burn, and otherwise plunder for short-term ill-gotten gains as the biosphere and society bear the unpriced external costs. Those natural ecosystems that remain are under threat as the oil oligarchy consolidates its power in order to access and burn every last drop of oil and chunk of coal, destroying our atmosphere and last natural ecosystems in the process.

The global ecological system – our one shared biosphere that makes Earth habitable – is collapsing and dying as human industrial growth overruns natural ecosystems and the climate.

Resource scarcity resulting from ecosystem loss, albeit delayed through the advent of information technology, nonetheless underlies the surge in uncontrolled mass migration and diminished economic prospects for the formerly affluent Western middle classes. Landscapes ravaged by industrial capitalism in the developing countries in particular are barren wastelands unable to support indigenous and other local self-reliant lifestyles that provided for quality lives for millennium.

As foreseen by this author, authoritarian fascism has arisen to exploit both environmental decline and surging inequity between the super-rich and multitudinous have-nots. A state of perma-war and institutionalized war murders masked as a clash between cultures are more accurately depicted as a scramble for dwindling resources upon which to base overly consumptive and clearly unsustainable lifestyles for the privileged few for a while more.

Fascist demagogues have arisen that spout charlatan alternative facts as they stifle voices of ecological and other truths.

Environmental and climate crises long perceived as distant or affecting others, but not you, are increasingly impacting average people in their daily lives, particularly in the over-developed world. Food and water systems are failing and prices rising, as regular patterns of seasonality are lost. Jobs based upon ravaging natural ecosystems are a thing of the past, as they are exhausted, and are not coming back. Foreigners from hard scrabble over-populated countries will work far harder for much less and increasingly take even domestic high-tech positions excluding locals.

Our present state of environmental collapse, driven by inequitable over-population and ecosystem loss, fomenting precipitous social and economic decline, was foreseen by ecological scientists. Numerous warnings from a host of ecological visionaries sought to highlight the problems and the course of action required to move towards not only sustainable, but also just and equitable, development.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s the preceding work of Malthus, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson and others went mainstream as the self-evident need to protect land, air, and water led to bipartisan efforts.  The ground-breaking Limits to Growth publications highlighted once again the irrefutable fact that exponential growth can only lead to collapse. The advent of micro-processors has pushed back some limits, as other global ecological limits (sometimes called Planetary Boundaries) like the absorptive capacity of the atmosphere have clearly been breached. Yet even small, reformist environmental protections have proven inadequate and unable to be maintained.

It has been two years since I proposed a 10th Planetary Boundary in my peer-reviewed scientific journal article entitled Terrestrial ecosystem loss and biosphere collapse regarding how many natural ecosystems can be lost before the biosphere collapses. Noting how smaller ecosystems, indeed anything from which portions are cut, fragment and fall apart at around 40% loss; I proposed a threshold of 66% natural and semi-natural terrestrial ecosystem retention as being required to avoid biosphere collapse.

Despite my pioneering findings being subsequently validated in other studies by scientific luminaries, precisely nothing is being done by world governments and even leading environmental NGOS to begin the process of ending natural ecosystem loss and beginning an age of ecological restoration.
With about 50% of natural ecosystems having been destroyed already there can be no other outcome (after unknown lag times) than biosphere collapse and the end of being.

It is not through lack of effort by others and me that deep ecology has not caught on. Indoctrination into a nationalistic, consumptive worldview is pervasive and all-encompassing. Very few are able to escape the religious, racist, nationalistic, and economic lies forced upon them in youth.
Much of humanity has forgotten that it is possible to live in peace and within the bounds of nature. Social cohesion has dangerously frayed. Poorly educated folks falling from middle class lifestyles, as well as the well-off feasting upon the last ill-gotten fruits of nature, are unable and/or unwilling to grok causal connections between declining natural systems and limited economic prospects, and that such growth can only end in collapse.

Our fatally flawed education system fails to provide the necessary cognitive skills to grasp basic truths – like nothing grows forever, ecosystems make life possible, and water is required for life – upon which our existence depends.

Again, nothing grows exponentially forever, it is a physically impossible.

To deny Malthus, indigenous wisdom, and all subsequent iterations upon ecological knowledge and intuition found in science is sheer utter madness.

The truth of the matter is that while ecological trends are clear, the breaking point of ecosystems and societies is not known with certainty. There may be sources of ecological resiliency of which we are unaware, and lag times for fully realizing the impacts ecosystem collapse (including 2nd order) are uncertain. Yet, given the drive for self-survival of a species can be found in all genetic code, including the hairless ape with the amazing opposable thumb, it would be incautious, indeed ludicrous, to give up.

But we need to quickly change our ways personally and societally to embrace an ecology ethic. We need to listen to ecological and other scientific experts and dramatically reduce industrial and population growth, as well as inequitable over-consumption, or we are faced with ecological apocalypse and biosphere collapse.

One last time swords must be beaten into plowshares (and restored ecosystems).

It is known with certainty that human prospects depend upon functioning natural ecosystems. And the personal and societal changes required to maintain such systems are known with surety as well.
Simply, pollution of land, air, and water must end or we all needlessly die.

To sustain local ecological patterns and processes globally upon which all life depends, old-growth forest logging and industrial scale marine fisheries MUST cease immediately, and massive investments in natural ecosystem restoration be made. Decentralized renewable energy grids and nega-watts from energy conservation must be embraced with utmost urgency as fossil fuel burning ends. Massive investments in women’s education, birth control, and tax incentives for small families must be made worldwide to slow growth and then reduce human population. Genetic modifications and oil intensive agriculture must end as we return to family farming embracing organic permaculture. And all sources of sacred water must be protected whatever the cost.

Fascism and the threats posed by both large governments and corporations must be eliminated. A guaranteed minimum income must be established worldwide. Armies must be demobilized and international institutions strengthened to pay the price for our continued existence, while ending systematic war murders. Liberty, justice, and equity for all members of the human and all species’ family must be ensured.

This course of action is based upon scientific truths, and further ignoring of ecological limits is a willful death wish.

Humanity heeds the warnings of its sage elders and embraces such an ecology ethic now in all haste, or we face intensified abject human misery prior to biosphere collapse and an imminent end to being.

Let’s come together now to give Earth and her humanity a chance.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Find Meaning in Nature and #TheResistance to Trump Fascism

There is no left or right, only tyranny or freedom, nature or ecocide. Ascendant authoritarian fascists seeking to oppress others and obstruct responses to scientific truths with hate speech and alternative facts must be resisted and eliminated from public discourse and power.
“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Hate speech and alternative facts targeting nature and liberty must never be normalized. American fascism must be resisted at all costs or we face the end of being.” – Dr. Glen Barry
Deep ecology essay by Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet, http://www.ecointernet.org/

 
Resist American Fascism
Post-modern being has become overwhelmingly meaningless. There is little to believe in but consumption, the stories you were indoctrinated into as children, and hating others that are different. Abuse, neglect, and addiction are rampant, and positive communities of support have frayed. Very few are able to overcome such abject soulless misery by thinking freely and choosing their own path in life. Out of such an existential state of misery all sorts of grotesque and vile ideologies can emerge.

We are faced with a fascist coup in the United States of America. A mentally ill megalomaniac has seized power through FBI misconduct, foreign intervention, and anti-intellectual hate. It is the duty of all who love America, indeed a free and green Earth, to resist this predator’s awful policy agenda and ruthless self-aggrandizement, or face nuclear annihilation and final biosphere collapse. The end of being is nigh unless we come together to embrace truth and justice by resisting fascism.

UnPresident Trump is unfit for office. I call for immediate impeachment of Donald Trump for a slew of crimes against humanity already in progress and to come. Until such time as this occurs, all truth, peace, and liberty loving Americans and global citizens are implored to practice widespread non-cooperation with this illegitimately elected tyrant. It is up to the #TheResistance to enforce environmental regulations, care for those in need, make peace including with our oppressors, and fiercely defend scientific and other truths.

During Trump’s mercurial reign assurances are sought from the U.S. military command (and other nuclear powers) that under no circumstances will nuclear missiles be launched. Creepy Donald’s little fascist temper tantrums must not be allowed to blow up the world.

Indigenous peoples will lead the way
The human family faces unprecedented threats to our very being as a species on a living Planet from ecosystem destruction and the resulting rising of authoritarianism. Abrupt climate change is only one manifestation (albeit deadly in its own right) of impending biosphere collapse. Humanity’s state of inequitable over-population has scraped the land of natural ecosystems, fouled water, cleared oceans, over-worked soils, and otherwise waged ecocide upon the very ecosystem habitats that make Earth livable. Anti-science ignorance cannot be tolerated.

Withdrawal from the Paris climate treaty and suppression of climate change science are tantamount to a declaration of war against the Earth and all her life including people. Climate denial as state policy will not be tolerated and will be resisted whatever the cost. The alternative is runaway abrupt climate change that destroys the biosphere and all life. This must not be allowed to happen. Indigenous peoples, long brutalized by settlers’ colonization, nonetheless are resurgent, providing much needed environmental leadership. Respectfully make common cause with all such Earth protectors.

Despite broken families, drug abuse, atomized communities, and hate and war being the norm; we can choose to come together to give meaning to the sum of our being. The #NoDAPL movement was founded by troubled teens and young adults seeking a sense of community to heal their brokenness. What can you create with others for nature and against fascism? There are at least 198 non-violent means of protest and non-cooperation with evil (see http://www.mapm.org/documents/198_nonviolent_methods_2007.pdf).

Come together now in #TheResistance to heal our broken lives and societies with a shared commitment to truth, justice, equity, and ecology. The Alt-Majority will find meaning in soundly defeating the Alt-Right and their vile hate speech and alternative facts justifying racism, tyranny, ecocide, and genocide.

With so many ways to resist, there is no reason for not doing so, unless you yourself are a fascist or a fascist-sympathizer. Perhaps widespread non-cooperation with the government and entire communities swarming and shutting down offending institutions through sheer numbers are my favorite means of peaceful yet forceful opposition (Who did it? We all did!). Embrace truth. The scientific method is one, albeit imperfect, path to identify and respond to objective reality. See you at the March for Science in Washington DC on Earth Day.

Go back to the land. Heal yourself and help others do so as well as you create intentional communities based upon protecting and restoring nature, as you resist rising authoritarianism and every form of hierarchical oppression in all their manifestations. Grow your own food, and work to build real community committed to justice, human happiness and well-being, and sustainable livelihoods. Or stay right where you are and clandestinely wage non-compliance with fascism, providing a much needed support network to others putting their bodies and lives on the line.

Find meaning for your life by helping others continue to be free to sustainably exist within naturally evolved ecosystems. Create a lifestyle rich in experience, learning, knowledge, and in service to the truth.
We are all one human family

Stop letting what others think of you hold you down. The past is the past. Now – as humanity is faced with war, pestilence, and collapse – is your hour to shine. You can be whatever you want to be, and there are more enlightened and soulful lifestyles available to you than you can imagine. Many of which don’t involve crass over-consumption and personal anger aggregating to a state of global perma-war, final ecological collapse, and unimaginably horrific mass death.

Those willing to bear the risks may want to consider joining the anti-fascist movement. I fully expect Trump to start murdering those he has scapegoated as well as fellow Americans at any time. Unpopular authoritarian demagogues always resort to war murders and violence against the opposition to appear strong. It is time to prepare to defend ourselves and American values when Trump’s fascist jack-booted thugs start killing scientists, free thinkers, Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, gays, atheists, blacks, intellectuals, and those that take part in #TheResistance.

At such a point there is no recourse but rebellion. Prepare yourselves to remain free and green.

I would suggest that a green libertarian political philosophy is the answer. It is time to unite as one human family to embrace nature and freedom, and reject authoritarianism, and big governments and corporations alike, using all just means necessary.

Hate speech and alternative facts targeting nature and liberty must never be normalized. American fascism must be resisted at all costs or we face the end of being.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Wretched State of the Human Family and Our Shared Ecological Habitat

Humanity’s one shared biosphere that makes Earth habitable is collapsing and dying as industrial growth overruns natural ecosystems and climate; as we have utterly failed to embrace our dependence upon each other and nature for our well-being and very survival. It is time to come together as one human family to resist injustice, inequity, violence, and non-sustainability as we create a rich and verdant life for all amidst resurgent natural ecosystems on a living Earth that can last essentially forever.
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. – George Orwell
We are one human family. Best we end the dysfunction and start acting like it or we destroy ourselves and our one shared habitat... Let us unite as citizens of the world, coming together as one human family on an Earth that lives forever. – Dr. Glen Barry
Deep ecology essay by Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet

We Are All In This Together, One Human Family
In Beijing, New Delhi, and London one can barely breathe. Those sick with addiction are murdered in the Philippines by the state. The socialist paradise of Venezuela is becoming a failed state of wanton hunger, prostitution, and murder. Advanced western democracies turn towards fascism as long anticipated inequitable over-population and abrupt climate change lead to mass flows of refugees.

Western consumption is violence against the natural world and each other. Over a billion people live in abject poverty on $1.50 a day, as a few hundred oligarchs enjoy half of Earth’s wealth. In much of the world shocking and grotesque opulence exists within a sea of absolute human and natural misery. Wildlife continues to be slaughtered as vermin, as do unwanted human beings. Resurgent indigenous protectors are brutalized by settlers as they have been for 500 years.

The current pampered ruling elite in the United States stole an election from a good man working to channel the aspirations of everyday people, while committed to addressing societal issues that threaten us all. Instead we have an US President elect who is an anti-science lunatic that grabs women’s crotches and has sold out the nation to autocratic Russia. This creepy bankrupt reality show host will soon possess the button that can destroy the Earth many times over. Or his turning over of climate and environmental policy to the oil oligarchy may take care of that.

After centuries of war driven by ecological imperialism, and two world wars which brought horrors at unimaginable scale, much of the world supported institutions to make peace, and the desirability of demobilizing and ridding the world of nuclear arms. Then America reacted incautiously to the banditry of a small bunch of Islamic fanatics, using this horrific international crime as a pretext to settle other scores through wanton imperialist invasions. Now radical and medieval christianity and islam are at each other’s throats, which increasingly becomes a conflict between the haves and have nots, as we are plunged into a state of Perma-war from which we may never emerge.

The ecosystems that enable our very being are being cleared for toilet paper to wipe our asses and lawn furniture to luxuriate upon as being ends. Those that are relatively well-off are in profound denial that their inequitable over-consumptive lifestyles can continue as ecosystems and climate collapse. Decadent over-consuming celebrities prattle on about climate change as they flit about in highly-polluting private jets.

Society has atomized, not only between the well-off and dispossessed, but also between those enmeshed within supportive communities and those that are marginalized, unsupported, and ignored. Families have grown dysfunctional, ostracizing and vilifying rather than loving and nurturing, particularly those family members that are different. All life including other human beings (particularly women) and wildlife have become objectified for what they can do for me now, otherwise they are considered disposable.

Not so long ago things were looking good for human advancement. An end to slavery, racial equality, women’s and worker’s rights, environmental sustainability, and a lasting peace dividend were all in our grasp. Decades of human advancement are now threatened by pervasive anti-intellectualism, self-absorption, and simple human greed.

Previous generations believed in social progress, while current self-entitled generations believe in iPhone apps. Things could be so much better if we wanted; or at least had the intelligence, strength, and morality to try.

Until we educate every single one of us, and commit to truthful action to meet the basic needs of every human being, all species, and our shared habitat; humanity is little more than bacteria on a pile of sugar. Those that live extravagantly will soon burn through the living Earth’s resources and then being ends.

We simply must do better or our one shared environment will be destroyed as we die gasping for breath and starving, at each others' throats as society and the biosphere collapse.

We are one human family. Best we end the dysfunction and start acting like it or we destroy ourselves and our one shared habitat.

To thrive, indeed to survive, we simply must accept and embrace that we are more alike than different, we all feel pain and have desires, and we are utterly dependent upon each other for our well-being. We must do so despite our race, education level, income, and which ultimately unknowable faith we embrace; as we find ourselves hurtling together through space on one shared biosphere which is being murdered.

Lines on the map are vacuous nonsense meant to limit our unity. Nothing threatens the oligarchy's elites more than the thought of us coming together to demand peace, justice, equity, and ecology.
Together much could be achieved as we learn to value knowledge, experience, shared well-being, and natural ecosystems as the meaning of life or we fall into nothingness. The many visionary sages that speak of and lead us in this great transition must be supported, loved, and heeded, not ignored and vilified.
Where are the necessary lovers of ecological and other truths to lead us to salvation? Who will rise up with them as one and together destroy the ruling oligarchy class sucking the life from humanity and her habitat? From which quarters and unlikely alliances will The Resistance emerge to usher in the great transition to just, equitable, and global ecological sustainability?

There is more to life than throw-away consumption based upon liquidating ecosystems to soothe and comfort your nerve-endings as the expense of other life and your habitat. Stop being a turd polluting and ultimately killing miraculous Gaia and transform yourself and community into a state of personal well-being, societal harmony, and bioregional sustainability.

Make Love Not War
Believe in something greater than yourself. Commit to action for the land, air, and water. Reach across boundaries to share and love. Nurture and restore natural ecosystems. Work for greater equity where all basic needs are met as those that are smart and work harder have reasonably more. Heal your dysfunctional families and communities. Care for the sick and indigent. Join together in mass protest, when necessary swarming the sources of ecocide and fascism.

Make love not war.

Risk everything to be part of the great ecological transition to come. Ditch your car. Eat less or no meat. Do not consume old-growth forests, rather protect and restore native ecosystems as holy cathedrals that sustain life. Reduce your personal emissions as you come together with others to do so societally. Grow your food, and exchange the surplus with others.

Be kind and giving. Be not envious but rather rejoice in the success of others as it lifts all and provides valuable inspiration to your own journey. Empathize with the broken and aged, and young and stupid. But for the grace of Gaia there go any one of us.

Let’s stop being afraid of taking the actions individually and collectively required to get better and recover from human neuroses. Let us unite as citizens of the world, coming together as one human family on an Earth that lives forever.