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.