Food security should be job number one for everyone right about now. As our food supply is under increasing threat, taking matters into your own hands (by working with the soil and nature’s forces) can provide both food and sanity. You’d be amazed how much food you can grow in a small amount of space and how good you’ll feel working with living things. What are you waiting for?
Infinite economic growth flies in the face of real limits that exist in the Earth’s biosphere. Excessive loading of carbon into the atmosphere has disrupted the earth’s natural carbon cycle and has changed our weather patterns that were stable before the industrial revolution. Our monoculture and corresponding destruction of diversity has led to a global pandemic that is threatening to bring down civilization as we know it. These phenomena are integrally linked to humanity’s obsession with growth. Time for de-growth!
If you view the manner in which humans have inhabited the Earth, you can see it as a monoculture. This, as is discussed in the video, is the problem where the absence of organisms diversity leads to conditions where pandemics can occur wiping out entire populations of the impacted species. Is the answer setting aside vast areas of the Earth to be wild, free from human habitat? Is that any sort of guarantee that humans will remain pandemic free? The separation can never be complete. Why do we deny the fact that we are nature and meant to live embedded amongst a diversity of species? Maybe our designed habitat needs to change. Let us consider an end to anthropocentrism and a shift to ecocentrism or biocentrism or biosynergism. Something like that. [Note: new study shows wild habitat loss increases transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans.]
While Chris Hedges is considered far too radical by many, he has keen insights into the whys and wherefores of our present predicament. By sharing this interview on my blog, I am not endorsing XR America. Apparently Extinction Rebellion has had a bit of a schism in the USA due to either immature, megalomaniacal leadership and/or state subterfuge. Regardless, the interview with Chris stands on its own merit. Highly recommended!
The CORVID-19 pandemic and our response to it has exposed systemic flaws in our civilization in a crescendo manner. The protagonist in this moment is the federal government, which was by benevolent design intended to have command and control of the resources necessary to mobilize a response at the scope and scale necessary to deal with a national emergency. In my emergency management career, I have worked for government at all levels, including FEMA. For the most part I’m an unabashed believer in government, at times like this especially. I shake my head when I see how government has been stripped of its power (and effectiveness) and replaced with laissez-faire economic liberalism and free market capitalism. Starting with Reagan, the solution to waste and inefficiency in government (not to mention increased taxes and regulations) was to reduce the size of government and shift its traditional duties and responsibilities to the private sector. A neutered government rendered incapable of mounting the necessary response in a timely manner. The end result? The circulation of do-it-yourself recipes for constructing face masks. Shame on us.
It wasn’t always like this. During the mobilization for WWII, the Richmond shipyards on the west coast built a ship a day. That’s right, a ship a day. That was before neoliberalism. Look at us now. When President Trump was pressed to enact the Defense Production Act to manufacture masks and ventilators that are in short supply and critical to mitigate the pandemic and save lives, he basically said the private sector will handle it, refusing to enact the statute. Excuse me? Do you mean to say that the private sector where parties are competing with one another relentlessly pursuing profitability are going to cooperate and scale up in a timely manner? The slogan now being heard in widening circles is ‘people before profits’. Hence the tyranny of private sector corporations that have no accountability to the people. None whatsoever. Of course, as everybody knows people can vote with their dollar and take it elsewhere. Meanwhile, how many people will become infected and die during this pandemic? Government anyone?
The rich and powerful who have by omission or commission neutered government are to blame for the present situation we find ourselves in. Their emissary in the White House is their wet dream come true, a person mentally deranged, a loose cannon if you will, but brazen enough to do the unthinkable. Like refusing to utilize the Defense Production Act. The elite who can afford treatment at any cost simply do not care. In this moment I witness neoliberalism as being vicious, cruel and uncaring. Democratic socialism anyone?