Syria War Diary: Order Returns To Western Cities, Civilians Recount Horrors Of “Rebel” Rule

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Originally posted on In Gaza:
After reconciling with the Syrian government, former militants clear debris as they rebuild their homes, and their lives, in al-Waer, Homs. (Photo: Eva Bartlett/MintPress News) In revisiting Madaya and al-Waer after their reclamation by the…

Time-Line Relevance to a Clear View

I  spent a lot of time today writing a piece on my Facebook page which is where I do most of my work these days.  I thought I would share that here verbatim other than tidying up the links.  I hope it may help someone who may be struggling to come to terms with the issues covered.  Here is a link to my Facebook page.

Having a day off from bashing America I thought I would revert to one other of my favourite memes.  One that I have not recently visited.  Time for a refresher.

The problem, whether considered to generally be a problem or not, is the issue of over-population.  My mind was focused on this through a post by my FB friend Bev here (which is also very worth reading): Bev’s FB post    That story contained a statement that the world would pass 9billion population by 2050.  True, but not the whole truth.  I have previously shown that there will be more than 10billion souls alive in 2050 (barring nasty but real events that could well quickly reduce our numbers drastically).

I will get to that in a minute, but Lo and Behold, while I was thinking about this I opened this post: A Timeline of Earth’s Average Temperature Since the Last Ice Age Glaciation    This is an amazing timeline of human existence which shows that our current world climate conditions have never been as extreme as they are today.  It is not a complete history of mankind, in that it does not include our origins and I would argue some of the time points but that it not my focus today.

One thing it does show is the very small period of time in which man has had the capability to engineer his own destruction, and the consequences of following that path projected a little way ahead.

All of that is interesting in itself and you could spend all day looking and thinking about that yourself if you had a mind to, but my purpose here is to overlay (in words) the timeline of human population growth on this fascinating picture.  It won’t take long and I don’t mind if you ignore what I have to say and just take some time to consider what is already there.

First I need to rework the figures to bring them right up to date.  For this I use as a basis the data from the Worldometers website (very interesting).

The current annual population growth rate is taken as around 1.13% with a net annual increase of around 86million folk and a period of 11.6 years to add the next billion people. Let’s see how that is going.  Take the current net increase so far this year given as over 58.7million.  We have just passed the 2/3 point in the year so if we add half of the current growth that should give us a rough figure for the whole year.  It comes to 88million which gives us a period of just 11.36 years to add the next billion.  Does that look like a decreasing population.  Well, if you are looking through the wrong end of the telescope it might.

One step further – has the annual growth rate changed based on that figure?  OK, 88million into 7.45billion (current pop. count) as a percentage is 1.18%.  It does not sound much when you consider that in the 1960s the growth rate peaked around 2% but in terms of the absolute number it is a considerable increase on recent figures.  All of this demonstrates that if anyone tries to tell you that the population will stabilise around 2020 they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

Here are the historical facts and my calculations for the future (again barring any unfortunate ‘accidents’ that may occur).

From our earliest historical beginnings, way back in the mists of time (did you follow that time-line through slowly to get some sort of feel for that?), our numbers never, as far as we know, exceeded 1 solitary billion right up until the year 1804CE (Current Era).  Just 212 years and probably less than 10 generations of your ancestors ago.  Make a mental note of where that position is on the time-line.

From that point, 1804, go forward 123 years to 1927.  That is the period when population growth began and it took those 123 years for it to reach the next billion mark.  When I was born in 1945, just 18 years later, the figure was ~2.5billion and it took just 37 years in total – that is to 1960 – to reach the next billion milestone.

Those post-war years were the period of our greatest percentage growth (but the actual numbers were minuscule compared to today’s figures – because total population was still quite small – but growing).

The move from 3billion to 4billion took just 14 years to 1974.
The move from 4billion to 5billion took just 13 years to 1987.
The move from 5billion to 6billion took just 12 years to 1999.
(Are you following this on the time-line?)
From that point it has taken just 12 years to again add the next billion.
The move from 6billion to 7billion took just 12 years to 2011.
We now stand at 7.45billion just 5 years later and it looks like we are moving to an eleven year period for new billions to be added.
Let’s project that into the future.
By 2022-3 the population could be 8billion.
By 2034-5 the population could be 9billion.
By 2046-7 the population could be 10billion.

And finally, by 2050 the population could be well on its way to 11billion.

Get the picture?

So, that’s it.  That’s what faces us.  And if you don’t see that as being a huge problem then I feel sorry for you.  I make no representations as to what this means, action it may call for, or likely consequences.  Those should all be fairly obvious.

I’m done now.  Need a cup of tea.

Speaking My Mind

Pretty much everything I write here and elsewhere, is designed to make people aware that the world we have now, the kind of society we have grown to know, the ongoing progressive advancement of our cultural, scientific and technological achievements, leading us to a better world in which everyone can share and enjoy the benefits of our endeavours (or somebody’s endeavours, foresight, organisational skills and wealth), are merely temporary illusions subject to change and decay, simply because of the basis on which they have been built.

Further, the purpose behind the things I write, is to hopefully make it clear that there can be no such thing as endless progress, endless growth, endless achievement, endless wealth, even endless debt.  All of which are again simply temporary illusions (except for endless debt, which is just a fools paradise).

I have no personal viewpoint that through my writing about these things anything is going to change about the way other people generally perceive the situation. Anything, that is, until the change and decay in the man-made world around us becomes indisputable or blindingly obvious.  And even then there will be those that will argue all of that can be overcome by human ingenuity or the decay itself is only a temporary setback to progress.

That people broadly do not perceive these things to be a problem requiring thought or attention, or that there is any sort of necessity for us to call a halt to progress or to change anything about the way we live as a society, is a dilemma.

There is no readily available or foreseeable answer to this dilemma.  Even though a growing number of people, many of them either disillusioned insiders or some kind of fringe-dweller, on a mission to promote some idea or other that will be the magic cure, if only everybody would see it and get on board, it’s not going to happen.  I have long realised that is the case.  The development of humanity doesn’t work that way.  It never has.

Oh, yes, I know there have been past revolutions of thought and deed that have sought to alter the way things are in some particular part of the world, and finding out that the revolutionary changes they were able to make, actually resulted in nothing lasting or even turned out to be much like what they had intended them to be.  There has never been, and I doubt there ever will be, a worldwide awakening that will join everyone’s hands in common purpose to solve a problem that is unsolvable by any other means.  By any other means at our disposal, at any rate.

Oh yes, I am sure there will be proposals from already rich and powerful organisations with solutions that would do the trick in their estimation or in their publicly declared position, when in reality their only abiding interest is to make more money and to prolong the current state of affairs or to turn those things to be even more in their favour, for as long as they can.  They are very good at doing that.  They have been practicing those tactics for several decades already, if not longer, quite successfully.

And so, what’s the answer?  And is it worth my while continuing to try to raise awareness in this way?

Well, whether it is worth my while or not, in terms of personal satisfaction nothing more, to keep on telling the story as I have been for a few years now, I will most likely continue to do so.  Though I confess to getting tired, weary, and increasingly saddened by the prospects of those things that I see unfolding for the generations now coming to maturity, those that are still embryonic and those as yet unthought of.  Still I expect that I will continue to try to tell it as I see it, as best I can, while I can.

The Answer?  Well, there is none.  At least not until the current world build has been destroyed, and a time of rebuilding commences.  That will be the time for the ideas of the fringe-dwellers and the disillusioned experts, if such remain, to come to the fore.  Otherwise it will be a case of starting from scratch and digging up past knowledge, just as we have done (perhaps with a little help), and as probably those bygone civilisations that came before us also needed to do.

There is not a single shred of hope that by thought or deed mankind can collectively change their world from what it has become to something better and hopefully more lasting and workable to the benefit of all nature, without such an upheaval as will be necessary to do away with all things both visible and invisible, which together form human culture and society today.  Not a single shred of hope.  There is ample evidence though that we can, intentionally or otherwise, make things much worse.

So, let’s look forward to, and perhaps lend a helping hand (for what that’s worth) to bringing on that breaking down period, before it makes a future rebuild all but impossible.

The only effective way that I know of to bring the current system down, is to shun it.  The system needs you and your input for its very survival.

Aarrgh!  Forget the previous two paragraphs.  I was just reverting to the sort of wishful thinking that I have been trying to dispel with this post.  A classical example of what will never work.  Forget it.  Well, you could do it if it makes you happy.  Better to do something than sit around moping about the situation.  But do it if you must, knowing that it will make not the slightest difference to the outcome.  It will take forces much more powerful than we can now or at any time in the past, generate by our own efforts, individually or collectively.  Our only hope is to rely on natural forces and the limiting factors of physical existence to come into play on our behalf or, more appropriately, to preserve nature.

Something That Naturally Follows

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There is a corollary to this (something that naturally follows), and it is this:

Grandma’s descendants today would not have a hope of surviving the next Great Depression (coming soon to a nation near you).

Because their supply chain is anything but local, and they know how to do stuff-all.

You see, great depressions are very unforgiving, and mistakes can be fatal.  The ‘not knowing how to do stuff‘ is the worst part.  Now, is the time for learning, when mistakes are not quite so serious.  And the best way to learn is to do.

So, do localise your supply chain (and there is nothing more local than your back yard), make mistakes in the doing, and learn from those mistakes.

That does not cover everything of course.  The next Great Depression may be due in part because your back yard (and the surrounding region) may be rendered useless for growing food (the actual reason for that occurring, is immaterial).  Your only hope then, will be to join the hordes of migrants from your street, village, town, city, or region, looking for somewhere else to put down roots.  I really hope that you are prepared to at least consider that prospect and not decide to simply stay put and starve when the time comes.

The way to learn, is to do.  The time to think about it, is now.

Added after publication:

Hmm… maybe people won’t know what I meant by ‘stuff-all’. Maybe it’s just an old pommy saying.  I googled it and it came up with nothing, but actually that’s exactly what it means; nothing.  It’s just a polite(r) way of saying this …maybe if I had stuck the word ‘sweet’ in front of it?

Taking The Piss Out Of Pomposity

Now, if I were mischievous, …oh well, let’s face it, I am, sometimes.  But there is always a serious side to my mischief, whether people get that or not, and they probably mostly don’t.

It’s 42°C (108°F) outside today (bloody hot), and the heat may have driven me to do this (a weak excuse).  I commented on this rather pompous over-declaration of human value post on a FaceBook page that streams to my News-Feed, not with the intention of promoting the post in any way but of putting some perspective on the subject.

The FB post featured the image to the right, borrowed without crediting the owner, as far as I can tell (the image in the post was clipped).

I have not reproduced the image very large as, once again, it is not something I strongly agree with.  In fact I think it presents a rather pompous, over-inflated view of human importance in the affairs of this planet on which we dwell.

But enough of that.  Here is the comment stream I promised.
changetheworld

On the face of it, that may appear to be a lighthearted jab on my part, and really that is what it was meant to be.  Of course there are always the Serious Sams, caught up in their own world view, who have to pass on their own usually irrelevant viewpoint.  Having said that, I know that whatever I say is also open to interpretation as well, and I do often struggle quite heavily with that burden.  None of us are perfect I know, so I am not going to get into cross-examination of replies here.  It is just sad that most folk think that one or two sentences make for a cogent argument about anything.  But then I expected that.

Like I said earlier, I always have a serious side to my mischief.  The comment I made, apart from the last sentence (since I have only vague ideas like everyone else does about how things will end for the human race) was meant to be a thought provoking history lesson of sorts.  I doubt if anyone really understood that, but I hoped as I often do, that what was said might raise questions in people’s minds.  There were six ‘likes’  and only two ‘replies’ so I have some hope (although I will probably never know) that some of the others could grasp what I was saying.

What questions did I hope might be raised?

Original purpose, serving gods‘?  What gods?  How did that come about?
Working in mines‘?  What mines?  Where?
The gods got fed up and left‘?  Why?  Where did they go?  What did they expect to become of us?  Are they coming back?

Good questions, assuming that any truth and importance can be assigned to the statements that raised them.  So?

Anyone with an understanding of ancient history, based on written records from historically investigated locations and the times of historical figures widely known to us, unbiased by any religion – ancient or modern, and presenting a complete account of prehistorical events (on which are based many modern religious creation accounts), would already know the answers to these questions.

Whether we believe the ancient accounts or the various interpretations assigned to them, is entirely another matter.  Many of us are gullible enough to believe the second-hand accounts derived from them, so why not the originals?

The accounts have been traced by various authors to physical places and locations as described in the accounts.  Sometimes a little sensationally and sometimes by stretching the imagination a little or a lot, depending on how stretchy your imagination is, currently.  This is why we need to have a good basic knowledge of history and science and, well, everything, really.  Too many of us are fooled into accepting what we were told from our childhood and have never questioned any of it personally.  That amazes me, given how the world (or should I say ‘society’, falling into my own trap) is turning out these days.

I have used this quotation, assigned to The Buddah, in another post recently, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it here:

Believe nothing, merely because you have been told it or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings, that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.

Unfortunately, like many hidden truths, unsavoury organisations including some with a Nazi bent, have inappropriately taken these historical accounts for their own in recent times, so a genuine researcher needs to beware of falling into those spheres by accident.  Where is Indiana Jones when we need him?

Added after publication:

Occasionally, just once in a while, one gets to feel some sort of deep satisfaction that some little thing that one has done has actually been worth it.  That means a lot.

I have added this extra bit (a post-post?) to show what I mean.  Here is a snapshot of the comment stream I posted earlier following on from where that ended.

changetheworld2

Who knows?  I may have helped start someone on a path of investigation which will, if nothing else, assuming they genuinely seek knowledge, expand their horizon of thought and open up their life to a rich world of possibility.  One cannot ask for more than that from something as simple as writing a few words.

Maintaining The Trust

In spite of the almost daily barrage of innuendo, misrepresentation and outright lies emanating from biased Western media, the disinformation and outright lies coming from Western government propaganda sources and the pure gibberish put out by oral mucous ejecting, rabid, uninformed and ill-informed internet opinion ‘experts’ and trolls, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin still, after all this time, manages to present as the only extant sane world and national leader currently operating.  His people should be proud.

No, I am not a Putin Fanboy.  I just recognise the difference between quality and Kmart.

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I personally trust this man.  I trust his judgement.  I trust his integrity.  I trust his motives.  I trust his vision for his nation and the future.  Why?  Because I believe that I fully understand what he is trying to do, and his reasons and passion for pursuing those goals, which are at the same time, simple, reasonable and laudable.

I cannot, unfortunately, make the same statement about any other world leader, nor about any of the prospective replacements for them over the next few years.

Why do Western nations have to choose idiots, criminals, fools and the disreputable to lead them.  I always thought that the cream was supposed to rise to the top.  There is obviously something inherently wrong, sick, corrupt or just plain bad about how we in the West set about getting someone with the right human attributes and characteristics to lead us.  And this is not a new phenomenon.  It has been this way for a while now.  It reflects pretty badly on our societies, on our collective and individual values, and our lack of backbone and gumption to do any fucking thing about it.  We are content to sit back and let slimy snakes from the undercurrents of our sewer systems drag us to the brink of war and national ruin.  Not to mention assisting corrupt and evil corporate organisations to feed us shit, make us sick, and rob us blind in pretending to treat us make us well again.  Well fuck ’em all.  We deserve what we get, unless we decide to take care of ourselves in spite of the situation and ignoring everything they try to tell us is being done for our good.

Hmm… Well, that’s not what I started this for, so I will just end by offering this RT article for your reading pleasure and hope that it will dispel some of the crappy lies ‘they’ want you to believe, and it is much more than just the title may indicate: Russia supports both Assad troops and rebels in battle against ISIS – Putin

Happy reading, or whatever.  I think I need a drink.

 

Green Power, Not

Look, I know this is not a huge issue, it’s just one UK power station as far as I know, that is burning wood pellets instead of coal to produce electricity, but it is huge in that it reflects the stupidity of the human race and the short term memory that we exhibit.

19-drax-coal-fired-power-station-afp-gettyPhoto credit: The electricity generated by Drax accounts for about 7 or 8 per cent of the total power of the National Grid AFP/Getty

 

The main reason that we started digging coal out of the ground was not that we just discovered that we could, but that we were rapidly running out of trees (in the old world industrial nations).  And, of course, the population was only about 20% of what it is now (perhaps as low as 10% in those same industrial nations) back then.  The population of a large industrial town would be numbered in the tens of thousands, maybe a few over a hundred thousand, but nowhere like the millions that we see in even medium sized cities today.  Imagine catering for the needs of today’s crowds with only timber as an energy production as well as construction source.  It would be a situation not unlike Easter Island over the whole of Europe and other places.

But that is exactly the situation we will be facing after our resource-based industrial society finally crashes as a direct result of us either discovering that we are unable to find or extract further resource supplies from the ground or we finally realise that continuing to do so will result in our rapidly killing ourselves off from the effects of that abuse on our finely balanced climate.

When that comes about, as eventually it must, I am sure that we will, given the opportunity, wonder whether we can go back to just using the trees to meet our needs.  Timber, and other plant products, being the ultimate and perhaps only truly renewable resource which can be adopted without technology no longer available to us, that we may utilise to rebuild a saner society.

We may not get that opportunity, but if we do, and take a look around us, we will see that there is no region of this planet that we have not already trashed in our pursuit of easy power, that is immediately capable of producing the number of trees which would be needed to bring such a concept into reality.

Are you beginning to get just a vague inkling of the idea that I keep preaching?  The idea which suggests that if any of us are to survive to create new generations following that societal crash, then most of us have to die somehow, to enable that to happen?

Why?  Because we need the bloody trees so that we can keep breathing and also to provide all of our other basic necessities.  And there is a limit to how many people can be supported by such a situation.  Simple as that.

How many people?  I would suggest the approximate number would be around the population level, or maybe a little lower than that, extant at the time when things started to go wrong for us.  Say, one to one and a half billion.

 Added after publication:

I would further suggest that this will also take place before the world population clock reaches 8 billion or shortly thereafter.  That should be sometime around 2023, give or take, depending on events transpiring in the meantime ie. the possibility that we may kill ourselves off earlier.

 

The Sting In The Tail Of FTAs

07pipeline-web1-superjumboPhoto: A decision in November by President Obama to deny TransCanada a permit for its Keystone XL pipeline project was widely praised by environmental groups. Credit Andrew Cullen/Reuters

 

This is why Free Trade Agreements (so beloved of the LibNats and LabRats in Australia and various political parties of other nations under the thumb and in the pay of mega-corporate structures) are just bad, bad, bad, bad, baaaaaad:  TransCanada Seeks $15 Billion From U.S. Over Keystone XL Pipeline

They are designed to protect big business.  That is their only purpose.

And if some future (or present) government decides to do something that will negatively impact the business model of one of these corporate entities, they are allowed to sue the pants off that government (and that means you and me as taxpayers, because governments have no money of their own) to compensate for their loss of income.

How, and in what universe, is that fair?

And who gave our governments the right to sign away our futures in this way?

Politicians.  Stupid, conniving, self-aggrandising Bastards all.

I’m holding back.  Can’t you tell?

Calving Ice, Redux

It has been three years since I first saw this amazing video.  It was hard to convince anybody about the reality of climate change back then.  Few were interested.  That has changed some, a little, now, I guess, and as the next year and years roll out, that interest will continue to grow, simply because we won’t be able to ignore the facts as they confront us ever more disruptively.

It has been three years, but I still haven’t seen the entire Chasing Ice video.  There is a good reason for that.  Human greed and the need to make money, even out of such tragedies as the melting of Earth’s poles.  This dramatic footage was not shot for the public good.  If it were, it would have been distributed freely.  The fact that it hasn’t been, is a human failure to comprehend the trouble that we are in as a species.  Commerce and money tops that sort of thing and dominates all else, every time.  As a result, I doubt if many would even remember the Chasing Ice movie today because very few would ever have seen it around the world.  That, in itself, is a tragedy.

Still, it’s nice to have even this short video to give us the opportunity to grasp the portents of the climate carnage that we have released on ourselves.  Watch it full-screen.  Feel the immense power of nature.  And tremble at what awaits us as our coastal infrastructure becomes torn apart and buried by and under rising tides in the coming years.

Misplaced Trust

Do you rely on medication, any sort of medication?

Do you trust the medical profession and/or the medical industry?

Unfortunately, that reliance, that trust, could very well kill you.  Here’s a little of why: Pfizer Vice President Blows The Whistle & Tells The Truth About The Pharmaceutical Industry

screen-shot-2015-07-06-at-11-28-13-am-728x400Photo credit: Unknown – copied from linked article