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Mon

02

Jun

2008

But Can We Handle the Truth?
Monday, 02 June 2008 22:49
by Stephen P. Pizzo

First, let's take a short accounting:

Consumer confidence has just plummeted to a nearly 30-year low. The war in Iraq has become a tar-baby entanglement. Global warming appears to be working up a real head of steam. The world also seems to be running low on it's fuel of choice. Food prices have suddenly surged. Foreclosing on homes and credit counseling have become the nation's only growth industries. The ice caps are melting faster with each passing day. Fishing fleets return home with smaller and smaller catches. Grain, once so plentiful it was often stored in piles on the ground, is suddenly in short supply driving feed and food prices through the roof. The fertilizers and chemicals needed to maintain high grain production are in short supply and prices are at record levels. Diesel, the fuel that moves nearly everything that needs moving, is now over $5 a gallon and going higher each day. Somethings gone wacky with the weather too. Living in America's Midwest, has become like living in a Cuisinart.

When you add up all the different "disturbances in the Force," it leaves one wondering why those running for president aren't sounding a lot more alarmed. After all, come next January 21st one of them is going to have it all dumped in their lap.

In fairness, the candidates do touch on many of these issues in their stump speeches. They talk about global warming, home foreclosures and the price of gas. And they each offer the hope that, if elected, they can and will do something about all this. But do they mean it ... really? It's a truism that "talk is cheap" and no talk is cheaper than the politic variety. (i.e. "I'm a uniter, not a divider," and "America needs to adopt a humble foreign policy." GW Bush circa 2000.) These guys and gals will say anything to get elected. After that it's always been back to business as usual.

And, even a more frightening possibility, do they even "get it?" I have no idea if any of the candidates actually understands how serious things are, or how much worse they are becoming with each passing day. And, even if they did, or do, understand, would they tell us the truth? Would any of them risk being the skunk at a garden party?

So far the answer to that question is "no," I don't think any of them would risk that, even if they understood the true depth and breath of the problems ahead.

That's as much our fault as it is theirs. We don't react well to bad news and we are not kind to the bearers of such. So candidates tell us what we want to hear. When they do address problems they shave the sharp edges off them, then assure us that the problem, while real, is "manageable"and that the only reason it has not been managed is because the other candidate or party has failed to manage it.

Sometimes that's true. This is not one of those times. This is no run-of-the-mill "problem." This is a cancer that has been allowed, by both parties, to metastasize. This patient doesn't need a trip to the doctor, it needs to be put into intensive care, and fast.

Here's the truth, none of the candidates dares utter because so few want to hear it:

We — (and that would be the global "we,") — are about to come face to face with the most jarring social, financial and ecological crisis in eight centuries. Nothing like what's bearing down on us has been happened since the plague swept Europe in the mid-1300's, wiping out one in three souls and nearly thrusting Europe 300-years back to the dark ages.

Yes, it's that serious and it's that threatening.

Yet you have not, and will not, hear any of the candidates sounding anything like the sense of urgency such dire circumstances require. Tipping points will soon will be reached. After that we'll all be on for the ride of our lives — literally.

Here's a related truth we can't handle: We're been living in a fool's paradise. That's what you get when virtually no consideration is given to the sustainability of the systems that underpin, fuel, feed, house and finance everything that matters in our daily lives.

Instead we embrace the quick, the easy, the cheapest, the short-term fixes. That's because short-term fixes can quickly address immediate problems, despite the often obvious finite nature of the resources required and/or the negative impacts such quick fixes almost always produce as byproducts.

Well, short-term solutions are just that. And we are now discovering that the meter has run out on a whole lot of short term fixes all at once. It's been a great, but careless, ride, and now the wheels are falling off.
Get used to high food costs, water shortages
Climate report offers a dire look at next 50 years in U.S.

Seattle, Washington: Shocked by rising food prices? Get used to it — and be ready for water shortages, too, says a sweeping new scientific report rounding up likely effects of climate change on the United States' land, water and farms over the next half-century.... Some effects already can be felt, says the report released Tuesday, which synthesizes results of more than 1,000 individual studies.

And it's not just humans' food that's at risk, said witnesses at a congressional field hearing in Seattle on Tuesday. An intense and sudden acidification of the Pacific resulting from climate change presages a possible breakdown in the marine food web, experts said at the hearing, headed by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

"This is not a problem of tomorrow but a problem for today," said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., noting that nearly 10 percent of protein in the human diet is from the oceans. "It just scares the heck out of me."
And well it should scare the heck out of him. It should also scare the heck out of anyone who thinks he or she should become President of the United States. And it should scare the heck out of all the rest of us as well. Because, when this one hits the fan, no one will be left untouched — not even the wealthy. This happens maybe once every thousand years or so, when all of mankind finds itself in the same sinking boat. If it goes down, we all go down together.

Still, by listening to the candidates, you'd never know mankind teeters on the edge of such biblical-quality disaster.

"Maybe the candidates just don't want to panic us," you say.

Maybe. But I doubt that's it. Instead I suspect they really don't get how serious it really is.

Which is why I say, bring on the panic.. please. And soon.

There are times when a cool head and calm talk are just what the doctor ordered. For example, when financial turmoil strikes financial markets the last thing those trying to fix things need is to panic the public and cause a run on banks. But this is different. This time panic is exactly what's needed to break through all the denial, wishful thinking, inertia, special interest spin and political cowardliness, Public panic is precisely what it's going to take to shake things loose and get those who need to get off the dime to do just that — and fast — and furiously — and and with white knuckles on the controls — as if their lives — and yours — depended on it.
Forget oil, the new global crisis is food

Donald Coxe warns credit crunch and soaring oil prices will pale in comparison to looming catastrophe...A new crisis is emerging, a global food catastrophe that will reach further and be more crippling than anything the world has ever seen. The credit crunch and the reverberations of soaring oil prices around the world will pale in comparison to what is about to transpire, Donald Coxe, global portfolio strategist at BMO Financial Group said at the Empire Club's 14th annual investment outlook in Toronto on Thursday..."It's not a matter of if, but when," he warned investors. "It's going to hit this year hard." (Financial Post)
But yet there's still no sense of panic. Instead candidates spar over unimportant nonsense, such as which of their religion peddlers is crazier, or how long they should be allowed to keep campaigning. They offer counter-productive summer gas tax breaks so SUV and RV drivers can burn more gallons for less.

And, of course, the candidates are also sparing over the war, whether it's smart to withdraw the troops from Iraq in 16 months or 16 years. Both miss the point at hand. Here's the sane position: End it now! Just end it — immediately. Not because "we're winning" or because "we're losing," or because it's immoral, illegal or both. End it because it's no longer matters. It's no longer important enough to waste precious time and limited resources upon.

Because it's all hands on deck time. Everyone and everything is needed to fight a common enemy that has the ability to kill, not thousands, or tens of thousands, or millions of us, but billions of us. (A 33% die off, of the kind that hit Europe in the 1340s, would kill upwards of 2 billion. And if you think those deaths will be restricted to the usual suspect regions, think again. Think SARS, think Bird Flu, think social decay and disorder.)

Which is why wars, including this one, can wait until both we and our enemies are no longer each threatened with mass extinction. It comes down to just that... the core, fundamental priority of our lifetime — if we and our progeny are to continue having one.

Oh sure, McCain and Obama talk about how we have to begin "addressing global warming." The only trouble with that approach is that the days when we could simply "address global warming" are long gone. Those days were way back in the 1980's and that train left the station, and it left the station empty.

If everyone fully understood just how serious the threats bearing down on us are, they would panic and demand that every candidate for any public office in the land have an attack plan in hand and pledge that implementing that plan will Job 1 on day 1. That they convince voters that understand that this is our generations Normandy — but on a global scale.

I will leave all this hand wringing there. If you think I've gone all Chicken Little on you — here's some reading for you.

WHITE HOUSE ISSUES CLIMATER REPORT 4 YEARS LATE


"If we see oil at $300 per barrel, we will be looking out over the smoldering ruins of the world's economy."
OIL AT $300 MEANS TOTAL ECONOMIC SHUTDOWN

OIL HEADED STRAIGHT FOR $200 A BARREL

THE FACTS AND THE RESEARCH: WHY DOES OIL COST OVER $120 A BARREL?

CLIMATE REPORT OFFERS DIRE FORECAST FOR FOOD PRICES AND WATER SHORTAGES

VANDANA SHIVA: WHY WE FACE A FOOD AND WATER CRISIS

THE WORLD'S FISHING INDUSTRY IS IN PERIL

Trivia question: What would happen if all the 6.6 billion people on earth attained a moderate western style standard of living?

Non-trivial answer: The resources required to maintain such a worldwide modern standard of living would require somewhere between 4 and 6 entire planet earths.

Trivia question: How many gallons of fresh water does it take to grow one ton of wheat?

Non-trivial answer: It takes 900 gallons of fresh water to produce 1-ton of wheat.
 
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PF said:

0
Stop Running This Man's Articles
Mr. Pizzo has nothing beyond superficial nonesense to offer. Gee, the candidates really do talk about important issues but we don't want to hear it. It's "our" fault. Actually, it's his fault, and other media idiots who cannot see the reality that working people in this country have known for years. The government rules us; we have no control over it. Elections and the government apparatus are fascades, form without substance. The real decisions are not being made by our "elected" (if in fact they were elected) representatives. It is absolutely inconceivable that Obama or Clinton (and obviously no McCain) will ever say or do anything that threatens Wall Street, the oil industry, or military contractors. It is not the government that tells Wall Street what to do but vice versa.

As many, many analysts (even from such leftie dailies as the Washington Post and NY Times) have pointed out, the soaring oil prices are the result of rampant speculation (as investors try to bail out from the mortgage crisis) and the plummeting dollar. Gee, which factor is controlled by Wall Street? (Hint: both). Now, where has the bulk of funding for the diversionary "contest" between Clinton and Obama orginated? Hmmm.

We are in this mess because we are not organized to fight back, to seize control of our industries, our resources, our lives, our country from a criminal ruling class that continues to loot the national treasury for personal gain. We are in this mess because hacks like Mr. Pizzo refuse to believe what we all know is true -- we are being screwed by the rich. We are in this predicament because the media is owned by the same people who own the banks, the oil, and all industry, and Mr. Pizzo is owned by them.
 
June 03, 2008
Votes: +0

P. Crosby said:

0
...
PF you are absolutly right.

President Andrew Jackson knew the score about those money eyed centralised bankers. When Lincoln created greenbacks his life was numbered. This is the same reason why we lack the cohesion to fight because people think they will end up a wage slave or a Lincoln at worst. Fear has a direct influance towards apathy and decadence and a population saturated in that level of thinking is trapped in an inescapable void which is then easier to condition and manipulate, a reflection of western societies especially.
 
June 03, 2008
Votes: +0

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