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Culture Change e-Letter #58

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  • Patrick Neuman
    http://www.culturechange.org/e-letter-58.html#cont Culture Change e-Letter #58 For a global warming revolution: Putting Iraq, oil prices, and 9-11 in
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 10, 2004
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      Culture Change e-Letter #58

      For a global warming revolution:

      Putting Iraq, oil prices, and 9-11 in perspective

      $ociety is driven, in vain, to overshadow pressure cooker of global

      by Jan Lundberg

      We are not quite getting the message, certainly not from the mass
      media or government officials: The pressure cooker of global warming
      is underway with no let up. More greenhouse-gas emissions within the
      planet's closed system traps us with a lid over the biosphere, and
      new findings indicate it may be too late to turn down the heat.

      Meanwhile, despite more evidence of human-caused climate change, the
      mantra of the global warmers is "Jobs (and profits) First! (at all
      cost)" Ironically, the group "Earth First!" has sometimes been
      treated as terroristic. But Earth Jobs First (e.g., ecological
      restoration) might satisfy everyone — except the mega-profiteers
      running $ociety.

      If we beleaguered mainstream citizens do not replace our form of
      economics and way of life as profligate energy consumers, we will
      someday witness or be a part of a backlash by the masses of people
      reacting to devastating climate change. Just because our "leaders"
      and the corporate news media are able to skirt the issue and keep the
      present economy burning along does not mean the wrath of the people
      will not rear up. Consider Iraq: the U.S. and other invaders have
      been in denial. The population of that abused nation would not stand
      by while its civilian casualties mount and their oil is coveted and
      controlled. Now, the general uprising is like an exploding pressure

      We can blame the government and the corporate news media for
      distracting us, but there are several critical stories getting our
      attention now. Global warming isn't one of them, despite the new
      finding that it is spiraling out of control (read on).

      Upsetting/interesting news developments, besides Iraq in rebellion,
      include higher oil prices and the Bush/9-11 case. These events
      minimize people's ability to concentrate on their long-term survival
      and that of the biosphere. The effect is to maintain the global
      economy and U.S. foreign policy as the major engines of global
      warming. The strategy of the major global-warming interests would
      logically be to focus people on any number of other major crises, so
      that profit making and expansion can continue unimpeded. It seems to
      be working.

      Two major stories in the Washington Post on April 8, 2004 were "Rate
      of the Amazon's Deforestation Rises" and "Protection Lacking for Rare
      Species." But these alarming developments rated mere blurbs on page
      A-8 under a small heading called "Findings." Meanwhile, whole square-
      yardage of print space of the Post is constantly devoted to articles
      like, for example, what some suburban politician thinks about public
      services. A regular section or two in the Post is solely on cars —
      page after page — to really suppress global-warming awareness and
      related issues. This is typical of all capitalistic newspapers
      today. The free press is thus barely alive, and is certainly not in
      the realm of mass media.

      To make matters much worse, news developments grabbing headlines all
      over the U.S. often reflect values counter to curbing global
      warming. The most obvious statistic that disturbs an ecologist is
      the joyous 4% jump in U.S. car sales in March.

      Less clear as a global warmer is the recent growth in nonfarm-payroll
      employment, which increased by 308,000 in March. The fact is, more
      people running machines, commuting to work, and being able to buy
      their consumer items (which were trucked via petroleum) mean more
      global warming gases emitted. (This is not the column for making the
      case that the unemployment rate of 5.7 percent is too low. To
      consider the right to be poor and to thrive, see Culture Change
      Letter #57.)

      As to the "rebounding" economy, in which more overwork is available
      (oh, goody!), the statistics don't yet reflect the higher price of
      oil that, if sustained, can monkeywrench the entire global economy.

      Whatever excites the news media and makes the talking heads happy is
      often very bad for the Earth. We are being killed, possibly driven
      extinct, by a murderous economic system that knows no limits. The
      culture pervades well: you may know someone with five cars. Guess
      if the person recycles. However, there are limits: Nature Bats

      The Independent (London) reported new CO2 levels from the Mauna Loa,
      Hawaii US Observatory (pictured), on March 28, 2004:

      "The latest measurements, taken a week ago, showed that carbon
      dioxide had reached about 379 parts per million (ppm), up from about
      376ppm the year before, from 373ppm in 2002 and about 371ppm in 2001.
      These represent three of the four biggest increases on record (the
      other was in 1998), creating an unprecedented sequence."

      Lest anyone believe that people only appear to be apathetic and
      spineless because of the media censorship of "the real stories,"
      consider this April 7 story in the New York Times: "White House staff
      members deleted or modified information on the toxic effects of
      mercury when writing regulations for coal-fired power plants..."
      People don't want to believe mercury is as dangerous as it really is,
      or that their government/industry "leaders" would betray them as
      surely as a knife in the back. But such information is out there to
      be had and acted upon.

      Global warming is real too, and it appears to need to explode in
      people's faces for there to be action. The action then may not be
      patient and rational, but vengeful and devastating. U.S. policy has
      historically pushed people past the breaking point, and then reacted
      with even more violence: Examples include native American genocide
      and today's rebellion in Iraq. Regarding global warming, it will
      most certainly have its "fifteen minutes of fame" and will then
      remain uppermost in people's minds. U.S. policy, from local pro-
      business pollution that changes the climate all the way to U.S. bombs
      releasing carbon dioxide into the air, is about force and profits.
      Legislators and other officials are not dealing with global warming
      because they are players in the business elite.

      What would be a global warming revolution? What started out as a
      jocular greeting may be evolving into a prophesy of sorts:

      "Have a global warming day," goes a song by the Depavers, heard on
      NPR and CNN International during the Kyoto climate change
      conference. Now, after seven years of no action, "Have a global
      warming revolution" might reflect what is to come. People want to
      live and know that their grandchildren will live. People want nature
      to stay, not disappear or become hopelessly distorted. Just because
      people are trapped making a living today, and consuming resources in
      such a way to fry the planet, does not mean they will take kindly to
      learning that the atmosphere is spiraling into a Venus syndrome of
      the ultimate greenhouse effect.

      It's up to you. Damn the distractions, Have a Global Warming
      Revolution! Make it nonviolent, as Gandhi would have.

      Join the cause. If you say it's impossible to slash gluttonous
      energy consumption, do the impossible. Isn't life worth doing so?
      To place hope in politicians — present and future — is a cop-out.
      In the case of global warming, citizen action has to mean a
      revolution starting with the individual's own self.


      April 8, 2004

      Protest the U.S. occupation of Iraq and read background on war for oil
      Global Warming Crisis Council and the Pledge for Climate Protection
      Culture Change's coal/mercury emissions site
      Independent/UK: Global warming spirals upward

      Back to Home Page

      Jan Lundberg's columns are protected by copyright; however, non-
      commercial use of the material is permitted as long as full
      attribution is given with a link to this website, and he is informed
      of the re-publishing: info@...
      Are you ready for the FALL OF PETROLEUM CIVILIZATION?

      Articles of interest:
      Anti-globalization protest grows, with tangible results. WTO
      protests page

      Tax fossil-fuel energy easily by Peter Salonius

      UK leader calls War on Terror "bogus"

      Argentina bleeds toward healing by Raul Riutor

      The oil industry has plans for you: blow-back by Jan Lundberg

      It's not a war for oil? by Adam Khan

      How to create a pedestrian mall by Michelle Wallar

      The Cuban bike revolution by Christian Huot

      How GM destroyed the U.S. rail system excerpts from the film "Taken
      for a Ride".

      "Iraqi oil not enough for US: Last days of America?"

      Depaving the world by Richard Register

      Roadkill: Driving animals to their graves by Mark Matthew Braunstein

      The Hydrogen fuel cell technofix: Spencer Abraham's hydrogen dream.

      Ancient Forest Protection in Northern California. Forest defenders
      climb trees to save them.

      Daniel Quinn's thoughts on this website.

      A case study in unsustainable development is the ongoing crisis in
      Palestine and Israel.

      Renewable and alternative energy information.

      Conserving energy at home (Calif. Title 24)

      Culture Change/Sustainable Energy Institute mailing address: P.O. Box
      4347, Arcata, California 95518 USA
      Telephone 1-215-243-3144 (and fax)
      Web: http://www.culturechange.org
      E-Mail info@...

      Culture Change (Trademarked) is published by Sustainable Energy
      Institute (formerly Fossil Fuels Policy Action), a nonprofit, 501(c)
      (3) California non-stock corporation. Contributions are tax-
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