Survival means change now:
Stop the corporate apocalypse
By Harvey Wasserman / The Rag Blog / June 16, 2010
BP’s apocalyptic Gulf gusher has put our ability to survive in serious doubt.
We have no reason to believe the end is near — or even in sight. Nor can we begin to calculate the damage to our Mother Earth… to her oceans, to the core of her being… and to each of us as individual organisms.
Only one thing IS clear: we cannot ultimately survive without a rapid conversion to a Solartopian economy that is totally green-powered. That transformation will be forced by biological imperatives, not money or markets.
The powers that be studiously avoid the core reality that this disaster stems from the ability of large corporations to make all of us pay for their irresponsible greed.
The black poisons killing our global body gush from a system that grants corporations human rights but does not demand human responsibility.
It is suicidal to allow corporations to deploy technologies they cannot manage or insure and then make us pay for their greed.
From banking to industry to energy, the system privatizes profits and socializes disaster. It is the essence of what Mussolini called “corporate control of the state.”
Liability at the Deepwater Horizon was set at a paltry $75 million. Had BP been forced to account beforehand for the scale of harm now being done, that well would never have been drilled.
The $20 billion Obama wants BP to ante up won’t cover a fraction of the damages. In fact, BP does not have sufficient assets to pay for what it has done, any more than any owner of any nuclear power plant could cover the downwind horrors of a major meltdown.
The liability pool for an atomic reactor disaster stands at a scant $11 billion. These reactor pushers all claim such an accident is virtually impossible. Just like BP.
The Obama Administration supports these nuclear loan guarantees. But it could no more meet the monetary and logistic challenges of a melt down than it’s done at Deepwater Horizon.
As always, society as a whole, not the corporate perps, would be forced to pay.
For us to survive, technologies that can’t be insured must be replaced with ones that can. That means wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, ocean thermal, sustainable biofuels, wave energy, current energy, and a massive push for increased efficiency and conservation, including a restoration of mass transit.
All the above bear risks of some sort. But all can get liability insurance. None threaten our survival.
Fossil/nukers say such technologies are years away from meeting our needs.
But the barriers are not primarily technological — they are defined by the corporate-run world of money, markets and bureaucratic corruption.
Remove socialized risk while taxing ecological impacts and Solartopian technologies would eventually force fossil/nuclear fuels to extinction.
But could the market make that happen before we terminally pollute our planet?
The BP gusher says: not likely.
After Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt set completely “undoable” goals for armaments production. All defied a market economy and sober assessments of what we could actually accomplish. And all were met.
In crisis, we’ve conjured military mobilizations, the New Deal, Manhattan Project, Marshall Plan, stimulus package, bank bailouts, public works projects, and whatever else it took to survive.
Now energy consumption must plummet as efficiency and green production rise to supplant the fossil/nuclear technologies that are killing us. Our basic biology demands the twain meet before BP and its buddies kill us all.
The Solartopian scenario requires not just a shift in energy production and consumption. It means an end to war, which is not sustainable anywhere, for any alleged cause. Real peace in turn demands social justice, which can come only with true democracy — paper ballots and all. Our food needs to be raised organically. Our numbers can only be controlled by freely educated, empowered women in bio-conspiracy with our Mother Earth.
Above all, the corporate structure that rules our world must be replaced with a means of organization that serves people and the planet, not the reverse. BP’s black death pouring through our oceans says we cannot afford the free market illusions of a corporate-sponsored apocalypse.
A system that is peaceful, just and totally green-powered is the only way we survive.
Let’s hope we have the time, wisdom and will to get there.
[Harvey Wasserman is author of Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth.]