Wake up, Folks! Please Lose Some Sleep over This

My 12-year-old daughter Rebecca runs summer track with a local track club. They have meets every Saturday and the summer sun is intense.

A couple of weeks back after a track meet in Dallas, I took Rebecca and some of her 4X400 relay teammates to NRH2O. While they played on the water slides and made the rounds in the “lazy river,” I grabbed a lounger and camped out near the “NRH2 Ocean” wave pool.

The park was cool and refreshing and a great way to beat the heat. But as I sat in the lounger watching the chlorinated waves crest and subside on the concrete beach, I couldn’t help but think of the BP oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. I wondered what real beachgoers were seeing along the coastlines in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. It occurred to me that artificial beaches might be the wave of the future.

As we begin to kill off larger and larger expanses of ocean or at least sully them enough that they’re too oxygen-depleted or nasty to live in, much less swim in, will Mother Nature be able to revive them? Will She be able to save the coral reefs, biodegrade the garbage patches, eliminate the dead zones or dissipate the oil plumes?

I often hear people say that technology will save us. I wonder if they don’t conveniently forget that technology got us into this mess.

Wiser folks than me contend that we should try to do less harm than good during our time on this planet–that we should try to leave this world better than we found it.

It may be a hard pill to swallow, but as a species we’ve been an utter failure at this. In fact, we may be the most destructive lice in Creation.

Let that sink in for a minute. Me and you. The human race. Planetary enemy number one.

It should be keeping us up at night.

The only serious, out-of-state fishing trips I’ve ever been on were to the Chandeleur Islands off the coast of Mississippi. That was the first place the oil from the Deepwater Horizon rig made landfall. The first beach I ever got to play at as a kid was Pensacola in Florida. Now, like the rest of the Southeastern U.S. coastline, it’s a greasy bank on the edge of a petroleum soup.

Ultimately, as I attempted to get a tan in a lounger perfectly placed at the center of a pristine concrete beach on a sparkling blue artificial ocean, it was hard to get excited about what’s happening in Pensacola, Destin or Ft. Walton. It was no skin off my sunburned back, right? If they disappeared tomorrow, we’d still have NRH2O, Hurricane Harbor and Great Wolf Lodge, fun in the surf without the growing swarms of jellyfish or the disturbing death throes of oil-covered pelicans and dolphins.

We like to pretend that what we’re doing in our every day lives has no bearing on the disaster in the Gulf. And we desperately try to believe that technology is curbing the catalogue of destruction that we’re responsible for. But the unpleasant truth may be that technology isn’t solving the problems so much as distracting or insulating us from them. If the mountains we like to ski are low on snow, we just have to turn on a snow machine or visit one of the new indoor ski lodges. If it’s too hot outside, we can go inside and turn on the air conditioning. If the beaches are poisoned or the local waterways are too polluted to enjoy, well, I have my concrete beach. And if my surroundings are dreary or my existence seems ineffective, I can turn on the TV and escape into a drama or action flick where the characters are doing something that matters or at least enjoy some level of empowerment.

Our artificial comfort zones and playgrounds are nice, and the vicarious living we do in TV land is usually harmless, but, in this case, there’s too much a stake. The most valuable, sacred fluid in our entire galaxy is not oil. It’s water. Water is the nectar of gods, the puddle from which we sprang. If we can’t take better care of it, we’re doomed. And we’re a disgrace to life.

At the rate we’re going, by the time we hand off the baton to my daughter’s generation, the race will already be lost. It won’t matter how graceful or gazelle-like she or they can run. They’ll never be able to outrun our excesses or the horrors we’ve wrought. Wake up, folks. Please lose some sleep over this.

E.R. Bills is a writer from Aledo, Texas and the author of Texas Obscurities: Stories of the Peculiar, Exceptional and Nefarious (History Press, 2013). He can be reached at: erbillsthinks@gmail.com. Read other articles by E.R..

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  1. bozh said on June 26th, 2010 at 9:50am #

    Yes, those great inventions heralding great things to come. All were owned-controled by cosa nostra and used against cosa mias.
    And, of course, against nature as well.
    And one person saw it! Or is it a few thousands? Ok, whatever. But none were members of the cosa nostra gang; which grew ever larger from 1559; rising from just a few hundred members to ab 10mn now.
    Or maybe 20mn?
    Wily fathers [where were mothers?] of the confederation realized that they wld be recognized as a gang of gangsters and to avoid it being espied, they split the gang into dozen segments: Banksters, judiciary, congress, media, bounty hunters, private spies, army, school principals, ‘educators’.
    A prez, as we know, functions as a puppet. U cld have a chimp or bush for a prez-it mattered not!
    Media role was to check WH and WH role was and is now to check media. But never ever checkmate one another; just kind of checking on pawns to make sure they are moving in the right direction.
    Both are out to outcheque everybody else.
    I think BHO reads only NYT, washing town’s post. And it feels so good to read them!
    How ab DV? Does WH know it even existst?
    A caveat! It is OK to ramble but not ok to grumble ab it! If u do, then own it! tnx

  2. BartFargo said on June 26th, 2010 at 10:52am #

    One could make a case that only severe volcanic eruptions and meteor impacts have inflicted the same level of damage upon Mother Earth as have humans. That’s not very good company to be keeping.

  3. Don Hawkins said on June 26th, 2010 at 11:03am #

    Both are out to outcheque everybody else am thinking on that one Bozh and will I lose sleep thinking probably.

  4. Don Hawkins said on June 26th, 2010 at 11:13am #

    Well BartFargo good one and the damn truth think man think. Outcheque a new word ivented just today well Bozh did.

  5. Don Hawkins said on June 26th, 2010 at 11:18am #

    We will all know very soon as if we see cap and trade a watered down bill is there any other kind pass or not even that I hope you got those boot’s.

  6. mary said on June 26th, 2010 at 11:55am #

    The energy needed to move that water around, create the artificial waves and to manufacture the chemicals to keep the system clear of bacteria depends on oil. So this NRH2O place is not sustainable. Oil was also needed to power the vehicle that took you there. I agree that water is going to prove more valuable than oil and the next wars will be fought for it.

  7. Don Hawkins said on June 26th, 2010 at 12:21pm #

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/23/australia-australia

    There’s just one example and Here are some of the ‘water facts’: In the last 64 years between 1950-2010 the global availability of water per person per year registered a sharp decrease of 60 per cent from 16,800 cubic meters while in Pakistan it has decreased by a whopping 80 per cent from 5,600 to 1,100 cubic meters.

    I have noticed that to google water drought less articles and is that because water fresh water is making a come back, no.

  8. Don Hawkins said on June 26th, 2010 at 1:29pm #

    We have the G20 and yes protests and who will win the argument the State. And just who is the State now there’s a good question. In the United States we have the left and the right I guess and of the same tree. Hay there’s a good one for Glenn Beck a tree Glenn a tree you won’t need as many blackboards. So here in the States who will win the argument nobody as there really is no argument it’s an illusion. My first try at this a ruff draft. Wait I just thought a contract with America and I’ll bet must be notarized oh got that it’s right here in my desk where did I put that? We always’ hear the bill is watered down it’s like hay that’s normal folks this is America. Well wise ones go ahead and water down a climate change bill and watered down is the wrong way to think of it more like water rise along with a few other minor changes. If you watch CNBC they talk a lot about the Bills and they seem to like watered down Bills well in just a few years when Wall Street is under about five feet of water then maybe they will get it but I have my doubts.

  9. Don Hawkins said on June 26th, 2010 at 2:04pm #

    The G20 costs one billion dollars. Amazing so these so called leaders can dress up and have lunch and dinner anything else no not much I guess they talk to each other about let’s see special interests. Maybe some of the special interests get to go the foods great. Outside of course here’s a few pictures

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/06/26/g20-saturday-protests.html

    And as this is going on back inside it’s business as usual and do they use two forks or three as it does appear there is a fork in the road up ahead and so far the low road is the choice, fill that glass sir.

  10. diane said on June 26th, 2010 at 2:07pm #

    A great article.
    Marg Piercy explored this theme in two of her science fiction novels Women at the edge of Time (circa 1970’2) and Body of Glass (He,She,It) circa 1991. Put aside your jewish prejudices for a minute and try and get hold of both books, in the light of today they are both well worth reading.
    diane

  11. bozh said on June 26th, 2010 at 2:30pm #

    Don hawkski,
    I don’t want u to lose sleep over u outchequing me. Actually, i am probably outchequing u at this tme. But i don’t feel a bit guilty ab it! tnx

  12. Don Hawkins said on June 26th, 2010 at 2:46pm #

    Jun 15, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
    The spring (March/April/May) of 2010 in the northern hemisphere was the warmest (land/sea combined) on record going back to 1880, according to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).
    The northern hemisphere averaged .96 C above the 1951-1980 base period normal.
    ———-
    The southern Hemisphere experienced its second warmest fall (Mar/Apr/May) on record with temperature anomaly of +.50 C.
    ———-
    Now, since both the northern and southern hemisphere had record or near record warmth, you must figure that Mar/Apr/May 2010 was a record for the globe. Indeed it was!
    Mar/Apr/May 2010 was the warmest on record for that three month period with a temperature departure of +.73 C. The old record was +.65 set in 2002.
    May 2010 was tied with May 1998 as the warmest May on record for the land/ocean surface with a temperature departure of +.63 C, according to GISS. AccuWeather

    Cap and trade is a joke on the human race it will not work. A harder choice is needed and needed soon. Bozh when you wrote Both are out to outcheque everybody else to make a long story short the truth it is and the low road.

  13. Deadbeat said on June 26th, 2010 at 4:22pm #

    It may be a hard pill to swallow, but as a species we’ve been an utter failure at this. In fact, we may be the most destructive lice in Creation. Let that sink in for a minute. Me and you. The human race. Planetary enemy number one.

    So Capitalism is the “human race”. Thus the billions who are suffering under Capitalism is responsible for BP’s negligence. No mention nor any analysis of the inequality of POWER and how that inequality is maintained in order to repress the human race.

  14. Deadbeat said on June 26th, 2010 at 4:23pm #

    It may be a hard pill to swallow, but as a species we’ve been an utter failure at this. In fact, we may be the most destructive lice in Creation. Let that sink in for a minute. Me and you. The human race. Planetary enemy number one.

    So Capitalism is the “human race”. Thus the billions who are suffering under Capitalism is responsible for BP’s negligence. No mention nor any analysis of the inequality of POWER and how that inequality is maintained in order to repress the human race.

  15. BartFargo said on June 26th, 2010 at 4:59pm #

    I disagree Deadbeat, I believe it’s simply the pace and luxury in which modern man lives that contributes to the destruction of the globe. Last I checked socialist economies like the former USSR and PRC did more than their part in polluting the Earth. Lifestyles of citizens in any industrialized country – capitalist or socialist – require a massive amount of energy and materials every day, and the more the population grows, the closer Earth gets to its carrying capacity. We either need to continue finding better methods of efficiency to be allowed to live our comfortable little lives, or drastically cut back on consumption altogether. It may feel relieving to shift responsibility to those in power or to abstract concepts of economic structure, but in the end we’re all responsible.

  16. Don Hawkins said on June 26th, 2010 at 5:18pm #

    This is a tuff one DB. The hinges are coming off the door as well they should. These people can fly over the spill in a helicopter or sail off into the sunset and not just BP but I have noticed they seem to be getting a little nut’s as well they should. Boring this will not be. You can’t take the easy way out for ever although a few are giving it one hell of a try.

    A fig for partridges and quails,
    ye dainties I know nothing of ye;
    But on the highest mount in Wales
    Would choose in peace to drink my coffee.
    ~Jonathon Swift

  17. Don Hawkins said on June 26th, 2010 at 5:56pm #

    BartFargo abstract concepts the way you put that is an interesting concept. In old twenty ten it appears we all live in an abstract concept in many way’s an illusion now I could write a few thousands words here but I’ll bet you get that.

  18. Deadbeat said on June 27th, 2010 at 2:36am #

    Bart Fargo writes …

    Last I checked socialist economies like the former USSR and PRC did more than their part in polluting the Earth.

    Was the USSR democratic? The answer is NO. They too repressed their citizens. Despite all the Cold War propaganda, the USSR was not Socialist. The fact is that Socialism cannot exist within a global Capitalist system. Thus we cannot ignore the power of the state and its monopoly on violence.

    This fact is a major reason why the atomized masses are fearful to change the system. It is when people can get beyond their atomized state and organized around common interests and are willing to struggle in the face of discomforts and death that the people becomes a threat to the ruling elites.

    Therefore to lay blame on the “human race” is to ignore a major condition of Capitalism and Despotism. Most folk rationally like life and its going to take a lot of convincing to put ones life on the line to change the system. This BP catastrophe may move some folks into those ranks.

  19. Deadbeat said on June 27th, 2010 at 2:44am #

    Don writes …
    This is a tuff one DB. The hinges are coming off the door as well they should … but I have noticed they seem to be getting a little nut’s as well they should. Boring this will not be. You can’t take the easy way out for ever although a few are giving it one hell of a try.

    I agree the BP mess is an indictment of the Capitalist system of production. Why was BP allowed to “lease” the Gulf of Mexico in order to ruin it for private profits.

    As you say it won’t be boring but it’s going to take a while for like Richard Wolff says for the “trauma” to set in. The “trauma” being the reality that Capitalism is a failed system and these apologists for the system to come to terms. Liberalism and WWII created the “American Dream” but the “dream” has been a nightmare since the ’70′s. Who know but this crisis may be the one that convinces most people that Capitalism has to go.

  20. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2010 at 4:08am #

    Who is addicted to the system 100% and will fight to keep it? The sail off into the sunset people and the go to Vegas people ever read the Stand? The system is really in control as once you get to a certain point you must feed the system and that’s just what they are doing. Oops there’s they again. Feed the system at all cost and now we know that is going to be one hell of a cost. Money will not solve this little problem they can print all they like not the answer a new way of thinking is. Of course printing money for the people who are addicted to the system is not there first choice as they are not worth as much and fools with that whole sail off into the sunset part or maybe just not to bright an addiction weakens the mind as the rest of us go down the drain in not such slow motion I need a cup of coffee, four.

  21. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2010 at 5:05am #

    One of the fascinating part’s to me is the people who think they are in control of our thought’s have talked about the problem climate change for so long now they seem to have forgotten about the problem itself getting worst you know see with our own eye’s but they still do it. So far Cap and trade seems to be there best choice keep’s the money and power sort of in good hands. Cap and trade is a joke on the human race a band aid at best and that stands a very good chance of not making it kind of like all of us. We are still in first gear so to speak and in not to many years like two just might shift into second gear as the Sun that medium sized Star is headed to a warm mode as the Sun goes. I will put the chart for all to see. So where is the masses in front of the Capital good question.

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/UpdatedFigures/SolarIrad.pdf

  22. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2010 at 5:19am #

    For those of you that looked at the chart note how it stayed at a solar minimum a tad bit longer this time around. From the people scientists who know of such things the word is look out human’s those cell phones might knot be what they used to be along with 109 degrees in New York City that’s hot. Is there still time yes with a new way of thinking you don’t get what you want you get what you need a tuff one. Will a few if we did try still get to sail off into the sunset good question as the rest of us stay here and fry good question.

  23. mary said on June 27th, 2010 at 5:26am #

    There seems to be a soliloquy.

  24. bozh said on June 27th, 2010 at 6:12am #

    DB,
    Was SU socialist or not? This is an EITHER-OR usage of language. It seldom, if ever fits reality.
    I suggest, we study what SU did or wished to do and not say that USSR was socialist or not.

    Communists in SU wanted a peaceful co-existence with inegalitarian societies. Asocialist democracies, kingdoms did not. Right now they do not want a peaceful co-existence even with some asocialist countries let alone socialist ones like korea, cuba, or china.

    The constant military threats against china froces china to spend more money on defense than it wld have to spend, had there been peaceful co-existence.

    The fact is that SU was much more egalitarian than the western countries. Every bully and bully country wants peaceful co-existnece with people and peoples after they meet their demands.

    And SU not being democratic? But where do u find an honest democracy? tnx

  25. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2010 at 6:44am #

    The captains of industry do they have a good idea what’s coming down the track yes they sure do and I wonder how many of these captains maybe have a boat and a stash of say natural gas somewhere. Natural gas can stay good for years not diesel. Of course to start and start now switching over heavy machinery to natural gas and tax carbon return the tax back to the people along with research in a rather large way mass transit farming practices think local and labor along with a slowdown of sorts any of that well no more of just a few close friends and sail off into the sunset. Heck here’s some names Forbes, Gates, Murdoch, Oprah, Inhofe and a few more the United States Congress, the executive branch, some in the military and how about the people who make only a million a year or the little people that’s us or maybe the camera man or the people in the control room at say Fox New’s or CNBC sorry your not on the list. Who would like to help me write the book let’s see we could call it “The List.” Of course this has never crossed the minds of the captains of…………………………………….

  26. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2010 at 7:04am #

    Oh and the Captains of the Universe let freedom ring a Free car, climate change is a hoax, fair and balanced, freedom work’s the tea party a good choice, my house is the size of a large mall, yes the bill is watered down it’s the best we could do, have hope, war is peace. Off into the sunset…………………………..

  27. BartFargo said on June 27th, 2010 at 1:13pm #

    Deadbeat writes: “The fact is that Socialism cannot exist within a global Capitalist system. Thus we cannot ignore the power of the state and its monopoly on violence. ”

    By your definition of socialism, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. How is socialism ever to gain a foothold if it’s impossible for a socialist enclave to exist within a capitalist system? If the state has a monopoly on violence, that suggests a violent revolution is always doomed to fail. Barring a massive simultaneous global uprising, something like a worldwide French Revolution, you seem to be admitting you’re pursuing a hopeless goal. But if that’s what you’re holding out for, I wouldn’t hold my breath, and I doubt the result of such an uprising would be anything approaching socialism anyway.

    “Who know but this crisis may be the one that convinces most people that Capitalism has to go.”

    I also doubt a single oil spill (no matter how big) is going to overturn centuries worth of economic practice. Hell, “we the people” can’t even make up our minds whether to place a temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling.

  28. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2010 at 2:20pm #

    Not so much “we the people” can’t even make up our minds whether to place a temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling all we are told is this decision is made and think of the jobs going elsewhere we need energy to keep going and going and going ah here’s where the system needs to change. And what’s your name BartFargo a stranger in town someone said you needed a new sheriff, Fargo is the name and clean up the…………………..is the name.

  29. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2010 at 2:56pm #

    http://www.crownweather.com/?page_id=29

    For the coming weeks, months this site doesn’t miss much check out Africa. Who needs the Weather Channel or MSM can we make up our own mind? Of course we can with a little help from our friends.

  30. bozh said on June 27th, 2010 at 3:20pm #

    An egalitarian society, with pay difference no more than the double of minimum income; with vast mojority getting ab same paycheque, did exist in SU and e. europe. And now exists in all communist lands.
    True, these people have much less than some other peoples, but they share more or less equally of what there is. So, they are satisfied with that!
    An enormous + in communist lands had been that most people ate at home; nobody went hungry of w.o. bed, health care; most had no suit, car; everybody had a few shirts and pants, 2 0r 3 pair of shoes.

    Pollution then was caused by heavy industrialization; manufacturing aircraft, tanks, ships, artillery.
    And US knew it. Thus, its emplacemnet of n-missiles around SU. The aim is obvious: force the communists to enter arms race which they cld never win and probably counting on SU fascists to weaken it and force it into capitulation.

    This the reason why marx chose germany to build first communist state; russia being much rural and peasant was not thought as suitable because of its military weakness .
    Marx must have known that facsists wld eventually attack a weak socialist state and they did in 1941.
    Actually, 1850-1941 the strongest communist countries had been italy and germany; with most russians being much asocialistic.tnx

  31. lichen said on June 27th, 2010 at 3:33pm #

    Mining is a crime against humanity, a crime against the earth and all of it’s plant and animal species. Mining must be stopped, whether it is done by right wing classical marxists, or milton friedman. True economic equality can exist in one country alone–to say otherwise is to excuse the pathetic unimaginative right wing scumbags that call themselves communists.

  32. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2010 at 3:59pm #

    Communists, left, right, Democrat, Republican, rich, poor, man, women, Socialists, Capitalists, young, old. What’s coming down the track and headed for the cliff probably none of the above will slow it down a new way of thinking could just work.

    We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

    The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

    Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known. Sagan

    So far it’s full speed ahead with a very old way of thinking.

    The dot and that picture is on my refrigerator.

    http://obs.nineplanets.org/psc/pbd.html

  33. Deadbeat said on June 27th, 2010 at 4:40pm #

    Bart Fargo writes …
    By your definition of socialism, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. How is socialism ever to gain a foothold if it’s impossible for a socialist enclave to exist within a capitalist system? If the state has a monopoly on violence, that suggests a violent revolution is always doomed to fail. Barring a massive simultaneous global uprising, something like a worldwide French Revolution, you seem to be admitting you’re pursuing a hopeless goal. But if that’s what you’re holding out for, I wouldn’t hold my breath, and I doubt the result of such an uprising would be anything approaching socialism anyway.

    Bart in order for your argument to hold you have to ignore history. Throughout history the state always had a monopoly on violence yet there has been reforms and revolutions. So just because the state has such a monopoly doesn’t guarantee that it cannot be overthrown.

    Because the state studies history it also know it cannot merely rely on violence therefore it deploys propaganda, Liberalism, identity politics, entertainment, the “American” Dream, usury, family courts, income taxes, racism, and other tactics that keeps the population distracted and isolated. Therefore the goal of socialism is not “hopeless”. It is really our only hope and very possible.

    The propaganda that surrounds Capitalism is very powerful — especially in the U.S. This is due to the unique characteristics of the U.S. economy up until the 1970′s. The problem is that real analysis of the Capitalist system has been suppress for decades and badly articulated if at all by the Left stuck in Keynesianism. In addition, the U.S. is the world center of Capitalistic ideology.

    The world, especially Latin America has suffered under the “Washington Consensus” for decades and has been rejecting the neoliberal ideology that was imposed on them. So they have instituted policies that redistributes some of wealth but none of these countries are Socialist. In order for that to happen what is needed is a world-wide movement.

    You may have noticed that both Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales have been speaking out for the need to move to Socialism. Chavez has called for an Fifth Socialist International. He recognizes that Socialism cannot exist in isolation. This is a major reason why the U.S. wants to take out Chavez which is in contracts to the Left’s all things “War for Oil” axioms.

    Clearly understanding that the state has a monopoly of violence did not stop the peoples in both Venezuela and Bolivia from changing their country’s direction. This is also why the U.S. has been in a 50 year war with Cuba as well because of the example they set. If changes can occur in these countries it certainly can happen in the U.S. and that is the ultimate fear of the U.S. elites.

    I also doubt a single oil spill (no matter how big) is going to overturn centuries worth of economic practice. Hell, “we the people” can’t even make up our minds whether to place a temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling.

    The BP catastrophic spew can’t be covered up like the Kennedy assassination or 9-11. It’s ongoing as well as its detrimental environmental and economic effects.

  34. Deadbeat said on June 27th, 2010 at 4:48pm #

    lichen writes…

    Mining is a crime against humanity, a crime against the earth and all of it’s plant and animal species. Mining must be stopped, whether it is done by right wing classical marxists, or milton friedman. True economic equality can exist in one country alone–to say otherwise is to excuse the pathetic unimaginative right wing scumbags that call themselves communists.

    Lichen you are a typical liberal provocateur. Mining is a very ancient practice that even predates Capitalism and is NOT a “crime against humanity”. What is a crime is mining for profit and the exploitation of humans, animals and the environment in the process.

    right wing classical marxists

    What a ridiculous oxymoron. But then again I should omit the “oxy” when it comes to lichen’s arguments.

  35. Deadbeat said on June 27th, 2010 at 4:56pm #

    Don Hawkins (quoting Carl Sagan) writes …

    Communists, left, right, Democrat, Republican, rich, poor, man, women, Socialists, Capitalists, young, old. What’s coming down the track and headed for the cliff probably none of the above will slow it down a new way of thinking could just work.

    This is cliche Don. If none of the above is useful then please tell me what is this “new way of thinking?”. Don’t tell me that it’ll come right back to democracy and convincing the masses to change the system for the benefits of all because that doesn’t sound new to me.

  36. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2010 at 5:50pm #

    The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task a new way of thinking must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

    And tax carbon and soon as a new way of thinking will take generations more than a few.

  37. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2010 at 6:31pm #

    Capitalism is about based on self when thinking of a corporation self interest same thing. We now see with BP how well self, self interest works it doesn’t. The bible of the Capitalists that I have always’ found strange to say the least Atlas Shrugged.

    In the novel, Galt is the son of an Ohio garage mechanic, who leaves home at age twelve and begins college at Patrick Henry University at age sixteen. There he befriends Francisco d’Anconia and Ragnar Danneskjöld. John Galt is double-majoring in physics and philosophy. After graduating, Galt becomes an engineer at the Twentieth Century Motor Company, where he designs a revolutionary new motor powered by ambient static electricity. When the company owners decide to run the factory by the collectivist maxim, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” Galt refuses to work there any longer and abandons his motor.

    Galt takes over the airwaves to deliver a lengthy speech explaining the irrationality of collectivism and offering his own philosophy (actually a summary of Rand’s Objectivist philosophy) as an alternative. Galt spoke against what he saw as the “evil” of collectivism and Christian ideas of collective sin and guilt, and said they should be replaced by “enlightened” selfishness and individualism.[1] Seeking Galt after the speech, Taggart accidentally leads the authorities to him, and he is arrested. Taggart and the strikers rescue Galt as he is being tortured by the government. They return to Galt’s Gulch and prepare to build their own society as the collectivist government collapses. wiki

    Enlightened selfishness and individualism is it John and abandon the motor did you. One thing for sure with what we now know tax carbon and hope like hell we can build that motor. So far with Capitalism it’s still self, selfishness it will not work.

  38. Deadbeat said on June 28th, 2010 at 4:26am #

    Bozh can you then clarify your point about whether the USSR was Socialist or not. My interpretation of your comments is that you would describe the USSR as Socialist but Socialism could not hold in the face of being attacked by more powerful global Capitalist forces like the USA.

    As you go on to say this is why Marx preferred Socialism arising in the Capitalist states as to dismantle the powerful centers of Capitalism. If this argument is correct than that would mean from my perspective is that I’ve been misinformed by the Left’s description of the USSR as “State Capitalism”. Which would lead me to ask why the Left consistently described the USSR this way.

  39. Don Hawkins said on June 28th, 2010 at 6:26am #

    Competing ideology’s and remember

    Our amazing intelligence seems to have outstripped our instinct for survival. We plunder the earth hoping that accumulating material surplus will make up for the profound, unfathomable thing that we have lost. Arundhati Roy

    If advanced spacefaring aliens exploit resources like humans we’d better hope they don’t find us anytime soon. Hawking

  40. bozh said on June 28th, 2010 at 6:53am #

    DB,
    The first thing one needs to understand ab any ism, wld be to distinguish btwn any ideology and setting and praxis of it.

    Americanism was and is now a butiful ideology or to say it simpler”: it appears as thinkings-sayings. But what is it in practice? It is quite different than thinkings suggested to us.

    To understand life better or even to build more egalitarian societies, lets call isms [includes so called religion] ideating or thinking.
    And on this level we can compare them as we wld an apple with an apple. Once we’ve done that, i suggest fervently, people chuck away all isms and simply look at or inquire ab what is going on.

    So, SU was not socialist– if socialism at the end of development wld amount to an idyllic society where all kids wld get all the schooling, dental-medical care; adequate nutrition, etc.

    Let’s also note, that before one is a communist or catholic, one is first of all human, who grew up in an iniquitous society and, believe me, it raises mostly or only nutcases.
    So, the nut- or basket- cases manage our affairs. And hell descends upon us!

    Practice makes perfect people say. Building an egalitarian society and a timocratic governance-administration [this being a proces; and whatever one says it IS; well, it ISN'T that] takes time.
    No one and no thing can BE! Everything and everybody changes, becomes, is related. If one wants to use the verb TO BE, it wld be ok if one keeps in mind that one is talking ab a process.

    So, what WAS USSR? But who cares? The question appears, what it was doing?
    Well, we all know that asocialistic {fascist media} did not tell us that. And we were talking ab settings in russian empire which was not propitious for building an egaliatarian society quickly.
    Germany had been by far more suitable for that because of its high-level industry and not because of its peasantry!

    US had always told us what SU WAS: evil, bloodthirtsy, foolish, backward, oppressive, etc.

    “State capitalism” What does that mean to me? But first, how does one describe state. It is high-order term. The anwers wrong-right or true false do not apply to any thinking that label channels one into.
    So u can talk ab “state capitalism” for trns of yrs and no matter what us say u’l never be wrong or false.

    Now u know why clinton, obama deliver brilliant speeches! Because they cannot be understood, since there is no grain of salt worth of instructive value there!
    Hope i have clarified some of the nomenclature. tnx for ur comment an inquiry.

  41. bozh said on June 28th, 2010 at 7:30am #

    Let’s for a moment disregard whether lichen is wrong or right {i know; i am using EITHER-OR thinking which nearly always deceives unwary people} ab stating that mining IS a crime.
    Let’s just evaluate the word “crime” as a high-oder term; subsuming every mine or metal mined over the last 10-15 k yrs.
    So, lichen is overgeneralizing. So?: lichen shld be aware of this. The inductive thinking might not support his or her generalization. {inductive thinking goes from: particular to general}

    I think we need tools. Not weapons, of course! There may have been at least one shallow surface mine in bare rocks hurting only a few ants and and toads and maybe not as they may have moved a few yards away from the mine.

    Communists [some christians attempeted to practice it 2k yrs ago] condemn imams, muftis, beys, beks, begs, ceos, large ranch owners, killers of indigenes, priests, lords, boyars, plemiches, counts, earls, media owners, banksters, et al,
    So do i! But that still makes me only me!
    I Y’AM still part fascist, communist, robber, liar, pretender, abuser of people-nature [aphids, slugs, bed bugs], waster of time-water-gasoline, zuni, shemitic, slav, germanic, mongol, lapp, inuit, bankster, et al. tnx