What A Fucked Up World We Live In!

Hot on the heels of my declaration yesterday that I had ceased to be stirred enough by life today to write about it, today I came across this article by Ilargi of The Automatic Earth blog titled: The Untouchables of the 21st Century, which again reignited the spark inside me.

I said yesterday that there was recently nothing new in the debate on our crumbling society, lurching its way aimlessly onward to ultimate decay and destruction, that was interesting enough to express as matching my own opinion here.  But this writing struck a chord in me.  Ilargi does not blog as frequently as he has done in the past but when he does, it is usually worth the wait.

The article talks about how…

“…we are now on the verge of casting a huge group of people, essentially our own neighbors, outside of our communities. They are no longer allowed to participate in what makes our societies tick.”

These are the millions of unemployed, who now form part of the new untouchables.  If you are not familiar with what that means, read the article.

A growing percentage of these unemployed ‘untouchables’ are the young people.  In some countries making between 30% and more than 50% of this new class of social outcasts.  These are people who today do not possess the political might to alter conditions in their favour.  Many of them have never held a job, known what it is to have disposable income, and more than likely never will.  They are not only unemployed, but sadly, through no fault of their own, they are considered unemployable under the current paradigm.

“Companies won’t even look at resumes of the long-term unemployed.”

The current paradigm stinks and needs to be changed.  Society is building up for itself a heap of future trouble around this situation, notwithstanding all of the other troubles it has been stacking up for itself pile upon pile over the decades.  Chickens that will eventually come home to roost.  How will that happen?  The older generations who now wield the political power and hold the keys to maintaining the system to cover their own mistakes and bad decisions, will gradually or perhaps sooner than they expect, have to give way to the current have-nots, the unemployed and younger generations.

“This is not a road to nowhere, it’s a road to surefire mayhem. There will inevitable come a point where the younger generation we now leave out to dry gains the voting power and asks: What have you done for me lately? And then, what will be the answer?”

Things will change one way or another but it is not simply a question of restoring and maintaining high employment rates.  The very definition and purpose of employment, work, jobs, occupations, whatever you want to call it, needs to change at the same time.  Otherwise we will just go back to the same old economic growth situation which was the cause of our plight.  The following paragraph, perhaps more than anything else said in the article, is the jewel of the piece and it addresses this point.

“Our definition of work has slowly slid from doing something that is useful to yourself, your family and the society you live in, to doing something, a job, that will allow you to buy as big a car and home as possible, and consume as many products as you can whether you need them or not, in order to keep the economy growing. This change in definition has gone largely unnoticed until now, but in light of the levels of – youth – unemployment we see in ever more places, maybe we should take another look at what it means.”

Ilargi goes on to talk about how this particularly applies in Europe, which directly or indirectly affects all of us anyway.  There is even a mention of Monsanto.  That name always causes my hackles to rise.  They are the pinnacle of my pet hates among that group of useless global business organisations organisms, parasites, worms that seek to control our lives.  Here it is, speaking of how Europe needs to quickly dump the EU:

Better be quick though: the EU has one of its numerous edicts coming out soon that bans people who grow their own food in their gardens, in small plots and allotments, from using their own seeds. They must instead by law buy their seeds from vendors “ordained” by Brussels (yeah, there’s Monsanto again…).

So, I have popped my head up again and said my piece.  I am still perplexed about why people generally don’t care about the big questions.  About the injustice of it all. The greed.  The clambering for the power of being at the top of the heap.  How do we make any sense of what is going on in our world?  Why has it all been allowed to happen?  Why are there so few voices being raised in objection?  Why are the warning signs being ignored?  Can’t they see?  Can’t you see?

Courtesy of some of the comments to the Ilargi article on TAE, I think part of the answer is that we as a species are pretty much asleep, dead to the world.  We have amused ourselves to death.  I must add this to my list of favourite quotes:

This species has amused itself to death.
–Roger Waters

Speaking of Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd and one of the finest of song writers I know of, some of my questions are addressed in the following song from his Amused to Death album, lyrics below:

A clearer recording, but no live performance is at:  http://youtu.be/v6mjR5JNX7w

1992 “Perfect Sense” 


Part I

The monkey sat on a pile of stones
And stared at the broken bone in his hand
And the strains of a Viennese quartet
Rang out across the land
The monkey looked up at the stars
And thought to himself
Memory is a stranger
History is for fools
And he cleaned his hands
In a pool of holy writing
Turned his back on the garden
And set out for the nearest town
Hold on hold on soldier
When you add it all up
The tears and the marrowbone
There’s an ounce of gold
And an ounce of pride in each ledger
And the Germans killed the Jews
And the Jews killed the Arabs
And the Arabs killed the hostages
And that is the news
And is it any wonder
That the monkey’s confused
He said Mama Mama
The President’s a fool
Why do I have to keep reading
These technical manuals
And the joint chiefs of staff
And the brokers on Wall Street said
Don’t make us laugh
You’re a smart kid
Time is linear
Memory is a stranger
History is for fools
Man is a tool in the hands
Of the great God Almighty
And they gave him command
Of a nuclear submarine
And sent him back in search of
The Garden of Eden

Part II

Can’t you see
It all makes perfect sense
Expressed in dollars and cents,
Pounds, shillings and pence
Can’t you see
It all makes perfect sense

Little black soul departs in perfect focus
Hold on soldier
Prime time fodder for the News at Nine
Hold on, hold on soldier
Darling is the child warm in the bed tonight

[Marv Albert:] “Hi everybody I’m Marv Albert
And welcome to our telecast
Coming to you live from Memorial Stadium
It’s a beautiful day
And today we expect a sensational matchup
But first our global anthem”

Can’t you see
It all makes perfect sense
Expressed in dollars and cents,
Pounds, shillings and pence
Can’t you see
It all makes perfect sense

[Marv:] “And here come the players
As I speak to you now, the captain
Has his cross hairs zeroed in on the oil rig
It looks to me like he’s going to attack
By the way did you know that a submarine
Captain earns 200,000 dollars a year”
[Edward:]”That’s less tax Marv”
[Marv:]”Yeah, less tax
Thank you Edward”
[Edward:]”You’re welcome”
[Marv:]”Now back to the game…he fires one…yes
There goes two; both fish are running
The rig is going into a prevent defense
Will they make it? I don’t think so”

Can’t you see
It all makes perfect sense
Expressed in dollars and cents,
Pounds, shillings and pence
Can’t you see
It all makes perfect sense
Can’t you see
It all makes perfect sense

Finally, and I know this has nothing to do with the subject, but indulge me, I found this interview with Roger Waters on his song-writing method, to be quite fascinating.  Enjoy.


For me, It’s Now A Wait & See Game

I have been blowing the trumpet for some time now, warning about the state of the world, politics, economics, climate and the environment.  It seems, at least for the time being, that I have lost the drive to continue on this theme.  The mojo has retreated to a safe place.  The subject has become a little same-same, with repetitious information being cycled through again and again and many of the leading lights at the forefront of the ‘movement’, if that is the right descriptor, appearing to be mainly concerned with selling books, advertising space, speaking engagements and other business as usual commercial ideas.  There is nothing really new about anything being said just now, except for a few ideas that mostly sidetrack the discussion in well-meaning but pointless directions that don’t really address the important issues.

Don’t get me wrong, my thoughts and ideas on the subject have not changed.  I am still very concerned about what is going on and for the future of our civilisation, the very real dangers we face and the fact that no-one seems to care very much about all that.  At least not enough to alter their way of living at all or to any great extent.

So, for me, it has now become more of a wait and see game.

I may of course still pop my head up to relate some juicy news from time to time when I get stirred up enough to do that.

Things are still moving along and I expect very soon to be able to issue some ‘I told you so’ messages.  Perhaps even as early as the middle of this year, during the southern hemisphere Summer/ northern Winter.  I hope I am wrong  …but I doubt that is the case.

Remember last year, 2012?  It may have not been the end of the world as some expected, but it was a watershed year in many ways.

People generally have very short memories, being fed by the 24 hour news media cycle. Remember the floods, fires, droughts, excessive heat, excessive cold, melting sea ice and glaciers, hunger, poor harvests, economic stagnation, unemployment, poverty, homelessness, illness, riots, demonstrations, wars, conflicts, changes of government, corruption and crime, etc., etc.?

This is only the beginning.

Watch this space…

The Mad Scientists At AMEG Are At It Again

It has been a while since I blogged here last.  I have been continually observing of course and have been posting some brief and interesting news items on my Facebook page but have not found the need to write an extended piece here.  That has now changed.

On April 12 I posted this on Facebook:

Well, it looks like we are well over the peak of northern hemisphere ice building for this year (courtesy of the National Snow & Ice Data Center graph of Arctic Sea Ice Extent) and about to embark on the annual melt season. I wonder if it will be another record breaking year for ice melt? Chances are good that it will be. Some scientists are expecting to see ice free Arctic Summers in the next 2-3 years. Not good news for you and me or the critters we share the planet with.

I accompanied this post with a link to the latest NSIDC graph at http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/ and added a couple of comments:

Let me explain a little about this graph. If you look at the pinkish line for ice build up in 2013 you will see that none of this ice is more than 3-4 months old. That means it will be no more than 1 metre thick. Not much when you consider it is riding on a warming ocean of water. The Arctic region is gathering heat faster than any other part of the planet. Where is the heat going? Not too much into the air, or ice would not form. It is going into the ocean and this is why we now see killer whales hunting up there in recent years. 1 metre ice is going to break up and melt real fast. Next look at the green dashed line for last year. A record low ice cover in September at the height of the melt season. This shows over 80% of existing ice had melted since the previous winter. Meaning that less than 20% of existing ice is now more than one year old and even this ‘old’ ice is being weakened by the relatively warmer water beneath it. Every year there is less and less of this ‘old’ ice remaining. A complete collapse of Arctic Sea Ice is imminently (within a few years) inevitable.


Here is another graphical view of the Arctic Sea Ice scenario, this time courtesy of The Cryosphere Today and the Polar Research Group of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The picture is much the same but they show less ice (about 1 million sq kms less) year round than in the NSIDC chart, presumably because they have a different definition of just what constitutes the area of the Arctic region.http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/arctic.sea.ice.interactive.html

8 days later, on April 29,  the Arctic News blog posted this, saying much the same as my earlier post: http://arctic-news.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/arctic-sea-ice-in-steep-descend-more-than-four-days-earlier-than-in-2012.html using data from the Cryosphere Today site.

Today,   I find that The Guardian has news that the US Government is beginning to sit up and take notice of the situation at the northern end of our world, in the article:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/may/02/white-house-arctic-ice-death-spiral with the headline:

White House warned on imminent Arctic ice death spiral 

National security officials worried by rapid loss of Arctic summer sea ice overlook threat of permanent global food shortages

I suggest you read the whole Guardian article for yourself but here are a couple of interesting quotes from it:

“The loss of Arctic summer sea ice and the rapid warming of the Far North are altering the jet stream over North America, Europe, and Russia. Scientists are now just beginning to understand how these profound shifts may be increasing the likelihood of more persistent and extreme weather.”


“The weather extremes from last year are causing real problems for farmers, not only in the UK, but in the US and many grain-producing countries. World food production can be expected to decline, with mass starvation inevitable. The price of food will rise inexorably, producing global unrest and making food security even more of an issue.”

These are the sort of things that I have been warning about for some time now.  It is beginning to get real folks.  The wise will even now be taking steps to prepare and protect themselves as much as possible from these effects.

My greatest concern  is that the calls from the mad scientists at AMEG and certain others for, to quote the Guardian article again:

The AMEG statement adds that governments should consider geoengineering techniques – large-scale technological interventions in the climate system – to “cool the Arctic and save the sea ice” in order to avert catastrophe.

Madness in the extreme.   Interfering with nature is not the answer.  We have been interfering with the balance of nature on this planet for the last few centuries.  This is why we are on the edge of disaster already. More of the same, but different, is not going to help in any way.  We just have to stop what we have been doing.  And do that really quickly.  At this stage of the game, even if we all went back to stone-age living conditions it is doubtful whether the worst of the ‘inevitable’ outcomes that are foreseen can be averted.

I have said that before too, but it bears repeating.  I will probably say it again before too long.