Time for Plan B: Our Civilization Is on the Edge of a Systemic Breakdown

“How many failing states before we have a failing global civilization?” asks environmental pioneer Lester Brown in Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, premiering March 30 on PBS as part of its continuing Journey to Planet Earth series. It’s a Gordian knot of a question with no simple answer and nothing but complex, demanding solutions, fearsomely put forth as the fate of humanity totters in the balance.

Based on Brown’s book of the same name, Plan B is likely the scariest horror film that was ever disguised as a documentary, despite its calm narration from superstar Matt Damon. That’s because the acclaimed environmentalist has deeply studied the variety of environmental and geopolitical tipping points we are fast approaching, and found that we’re headed for a seriously dark dystopia if we don’t turn civilization as we know it around, and fast. A catastrophic confluence of food and water shortages, overpopulation and pollution, collapsed governments and communities and more natural disasters than Roland Emmerich can dream up await us on the other side of Plan A, which Brown calls “business of usual.”

“Environmentalists have been talking for decades about saving the planet, but the planet is going to be around for some time to come,” Brown told AlterNet by phone from his Washington D.C. office at theEarth Policy Institute, which he founded at the turn of the century after decades of public and private service in the name of sustainability. “The question is will civilization as we know it be around for some time to come? Can it survive the mounting global stresses of rising pollution, starvation, food prices, water shortages and failed states? These are the real threats to our security now, but we’re not responding to them.”

In a sense, we are without knowing it. Japan’s bungled response to a mounting nuclear crisis, thanks to one of Earth’s most destabilizing earthquakes and tsunamis, has in a cosmological eyeblink reset the entire world’s nuclear ambition. Uprisings in hotspots like Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and more, compounded by America’s continuing quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, are squarely knitting together civilization’s crappy experiments like preemptive war, biofuels and light-speed financial stratagems into one titanic mess that is demanding new theories of cleanup.

 

Complete Article

 

Winding Down Obama

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/25-2

Published on Friday, March 25, 2011 by CommonDreams.org 

Occupying Iraq, the U.S. spends about $300 million a day. For Afghanistan, it’s $200 million. These numbers are approximations because the Pentagon doesn’t really know how much it has spent on anything, or how many it has killed in its several wars, big and small. It doesn’t really care, I don’t think. Imagine a team of alcoholics parked permanently at the bar, downing pints and shots with an open tab into infinity, or until the Second Coming, at least. In 2001, Donald Rumsfeld admitted that $2.3 trillion were unaccounted for. He blamed it on sloppy bookkeeping. It must be hard to keep track of so many digits. As firemen and cops are being fired across America, as teachers are being told they must accept austerity measures, the country is broke, after all, as public radio and television, with their supposed liberal bias, lay on the chopping block, as more homeless sprawl and tent cities spring up, as casinos, a sure sign of desperation, mushroom, the United States has entered another costly war without any fanfare or discussion whatsoever. Obama didn’t have to persuade anybody, no sending a Secretary of State to make a fool of herself in front of the United Nations’ General Assembly, no congressional vote, which, last time I checked, was supposed to be a Constitutional requirement, no media blitz. No lies even. He simply ordered more than a hundred Tomahawk missiles, so far, to rain down on Libya, with many more to come. In any case, this it not even a war, but merely a “kinetic military action,” according to an Obama aide. Such straight faced butchery of language, even as one butchers real people, shows that the United States has entered a deep psychotic state. Upon winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama himself declared, “I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence.”

 

 


Complete article at Common Dreams

There is much more at the link.  For my part, I dislike being vulgar but that sentence in bold is truly pukeworthy.

Thoughts on Japan

Earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster.  The repercussions from this calamity will be lived by millions, and for many decades.  The Japanese island has moved closer to North America.  The length of a day has been shortened.  The earth’s axis has shifted.  If this is not earth shaking….

Natural type disasters aside, there is something very morbid and disconcerting about the Japanese people facing another nuclear holocaust.  I confess to being unaware of Japan’s reliance upon nuclear fuel.  An understandable situation given the dearth of hydrocarbon fuels in Japan.  The effects that this calamity will have on that nation’s psyche are difficult to comprehend.   This is the type of historical event that changes courses.  Not only the course of a nation, but of all mankind.  (Ah yes, the interconnectedness of things – the NY stock markets have opened the day sharply lower.  Therefore, “Rule 48” has been invoked.  Apparently that means putting a stop to trades if people panic too much)

Peace.