Curbing carbon’s just the tip of our great green leap
[We must] make corporations serve the public …extinguish their interests in fossil/nuclear fuels …end their profit centers in waste and war … restore organic sustainability and …embrace the power of women on this Earth.
By Harvey Wasserman / The Rag Blog / December 13, 2009
The epic fight over carbon emissions is barely the tip of how we survive.
Mother Earth demands that fossil/nukes be transcended. This green-powered leap defines our technological, economic and ecological survival. Authoritarian “population control” always leads to unintended anti-human consequences. Who is the “too-manieth” person is an issue to be settled between Mother Earth and our mothers. When the world’s women have full human rights, and unlimited access to quality education, fair pay and reproductive freedom, they will deliver our species’ sustainable numeric balance.
But climate chaos and financial ruin do not stand alone. Green gadgetry aside, we don’t get to 2030 unless we confront:
- The power of the corporations;
- Social justice and ballot-based democracy;
- Ending waste and war;
- Growing food that’s truly organic;
- Empowering women while harmonizing population growth.
1. Blunting carbon emissions alone will never solve our climate crisis. Nor will it be done without taming the most powerful institution humans have ever created: the global corporation.
Right now no mere government, or gathering of them, can seriously challenge the networked clout of globalized industry and finance.
Corporations claim human rights… and the military clout to enforce them… but no human responsibilities. Their sole mandate is to make money. Human and ecological considerations are ultimately nil.
These same corporations now deem it profitable to face the public with the best greenwashed veneer money can buy. But when push comes to shove (as it always does) corporations must and will opt for the short-term bottom line, filthy and anti-human as ever.
Organizations like the Project on Corporate Law and Democracy, and writers like Richard Grossman, have helped pierce this veil (POCLAD.org). There are no illusions about the magnitude of this challenge.
But without subduing globalized corporate power, nothing else follows.
2. In the long run, the only force capable of overcoming corporate power is social democracy, which demands justice. Without universal access to food, shelter, clothing, medicine and education, the human ecology is not sustainable.
Nor can it survive the scam of electronic voting. Democracy demands hand-counted (recycled) paper ballots with universal automatic registration for all citizens, casting their votes at times convenient to working people as well as the rich.
3. Waste is not sustainable. Nor is its most toxic incarnation — war. Survival demands that nothing be produced that cannot be entirely recycled and re-used.
This includes the military, whose business it is to kill and destroy. War in all forms, in all places, for all reasons, is a private profit center that furthers human, ecological and financial suicide. It is deeply ingrained in the human condition. But, one way or another, war must be definitively relegated to the compost heap of evolution.
4. Likewise agribusiness. Pesticides, herbicides, industrial fertilizers, monoculture, over-farming/grazing/fishing, habitat destruction and genetic modification plough the path to extinction. This applies to biofuels, meat, fish, paper, fiber and all else we take from the soil and seas. Small scale permacultured organics are what will feed us on this planet.
5. Authoritarian “population control” always leads to unintended anti-human consequences. Who is the “too-manieth” person is an issue to be settled between Mother Earth and our mothers.
When the world’s women have full human rights, and unlimited access to quality education, fair pay and reproductive freedom, they will deliver our species’ sustainable numeric balance.
There are also numeric calculations as to how much poison our planet can sustain while still allowing us to live here.
As the revolution in green technology escalates, ridding the planet of fossil/nuclear fuels, installing a Solartopian system of renewables and efficiency becomes the key to employment and our economy, as well as to our ecological survival.
But it all turns on a simple, far more challenging equation:
With justice comes peace… with peace comes freedom… with freedom all is possible… including a sustainable planet.
That demands the human will to make corporations serve the public, to extinguish their interests in fossil/nuclear fuels, to end their profit centers in waste and war, to restore organic sustainability and to embrace the power of women on this Earth.
Like the term Solartopia, achieving these ancient imperatives may seem like little more than an impossible dream. But the alternative is the ultimate nightmare.
The future is now. If it isn’t, we’re history.
[Harvey Wasserman’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth is at www.harveywasserman.com, along with Harvey Wasserman’s History of the United States. He is senior editor of www.freepress.org where this article also appears.]
Fast forward 10 years. The hundreds of $Billions that participants in Copenhagen want the US to pay to developing nations for “climate projects”, has been diverted into the pockets of the corrupt leaders in those developing nations. Waste, fraud, and corruption mean little if any real progress on climate change has been made. America, struggling economically from efforts to reduce its own emissions, will be called upon again and again to send even more money to these developing nations.
It’s a fools game where America becomes a giant ATM for the rest of the world in the name of climate change. But hardship and suffering by the poor and middle class doesn’t matter to politically correct liberals and progressives. In their view, America deserves its punishment and they are all too happy to help administer it.
Ultimately, everything havung to do with government and human social organization comes down to "growing" the economy, I quite agree. Afterall, to survive people must eat, have water and shelter.
In that regard, given the projections about climate change, your delightful assumption that the USA will always occupy the position of "ATM" is charmingly uneducated.
31,000 scientists have been trying to get your attention, but without Mr. Al Gore I suppose it's an idle attempt. Man is NOT the source of Global warming, Mars is heating in cooling in pace with us. The South pole is thickening, and the portion that they show melting in the summer (as it does every year) has been melting for 6000 years! CO2 is not poisonous, and it is what trees live on (
What you say may be true; who knows?
As I see it the only explicit measure of fossil fuel combustion is atmospheric CO2 levels. They are rising fast! The consequence of higher levels is up for grabs; but communities,countries, do have a point in saying “we don’t want your CO2”. All the other arguments, ice,temperature, etc go in circles-babble talk. We can only focus on CO2 and the right or not of people to have a say in levels. We need more energy and less CO2. How?
Anonymous. There is an obvious and proven answer that provides more power and less C02. Build more nuclear power plants and use them to replace existing and future coal plants.
Minimal CO2 creating lots of power to plug in those new hybrid cars. Plenty of high paying jobs.
The painting is beautiful…..
E to DHS
I hate to sound negative; (and I’m not) but nuclear, doesn’t it involve a lot of risk, what to do with old plants,spent fuel, bio-hazards?
See for example http://www.ccnr.org/open_letter.html.
My own pet solution is algae. It sucks up CO2,creates oil, and the residue can be green fertilizer.
I’m sure it has a downside but I haven’t found it yet!
A more recent example.
The Russians dropped a climate bombshell yesterday (link below to Russia Today article). They claim that IPCC researchers have intentionally manipulated the climate data they have collected. This manipulation comes in the form of cherry picking only the reporting sites that gave a favorable results and discarding the rest, about 65%. This is particularly relevant given the large amount of Arctic area in the Russian reporting data. The Russia Today article reports that the global temp rise since 1860 has been exaggerated by 40% due to this selective use of data.
NASA’s refusal for two years to respond to a FOIA request for its underlying climate data begs the question, did they do the same thing?
Harvey–Of course you’re right about the role of the corporations. But there is no way to control them and make them serve the people. The only thing going back to paper ballots will do is to more accurately count whether people voted for the “A” team or the “B” team of corporate capitalism (and maybe we’ll get a “C” team and a “D” team to make it more fun). We need to get rid of the profit system completely and that will take a revolution–an immense challenge, to say the least.
On CO2–a lot of folks seem to have it backwards. Rather than more CO2 leading to more plants, it’s that fewer plants lead to more CO2 hanging around in the atmosphere. Thus the urgency of stopping the destruction of tropical rain forests (and deforestation everywhere). This won’t happen when corporate agriculture controls the land, or when extreme economic inequality leads desperate poor farmers to burn off the forests even though they know it’s hurting their own sustainability in the long run.
And you’re absolutely right about the women. Education, economic security, and control over their own lives leads to lower birth rates. And why are governments in places like Italy and Australia giving women bonuses for having MORE babies? Why don’t those countries increase their populations by allowing in the immigrants who want to come?
If Leslie had been successful in getting rid of profit 100 years ago, she would still be lighting her house with an oil lamp. She would drive around looking at the back end of the pair of horses pulling her buggy. When she got sick, the doctor would his best 19th century technology and education to treat her.
Nothing you that makes your life better today would exist without the drive for profits. Greed and profits are the engines of innovation. Altruism is the luxury of those who either already have money, and those who have given up hope that they ever will have it.
In your last paragraph you reference your hopes for women with the following words “Education, economic security, and control over their own lives”
Without a service based economy where women can work outside the home and lead independent economic lives, they go back to being cooks and maids and birthers of baby boys that can help with the chores and baby girls that can help with the household.
So explain again to me about those evil profit motives that you want to get rid of?
It seems someone (76565111) is trying to trash the blog! How do we stop it?