Earth Inc.: The Management of Life: Turning and Churning the Living into the Dead (Part I)
Earth Inc.: The Management of Life: Turning and Churning the Living into the Dead
11 November 2011
more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay,
to life itself, than this incessant business.
––Henry David Thoreau
In terms of doctrinal scrutiny, somewhat ontological in approach, the dominant culture–– the incessant business, and namely the extension thereof, which is referred to as globalization––and its way of life are unsustainable, as well as indefensibly violent, insane and psychopathic. The ecocide being committed is without precedent, and is causing, among other harms, immeasurable detriment to the earth’s organic processes.
In considering the noxious premise that the earth, home to all of known life, all of which is of course dependent on Her for continued existence as it is known, is nothing beyond an object or thing as it were, to be controlled, exploited, altered, destroyed, excavated of Her “resources”, and so forth, in the interest of sustaining vast human growth and expansion as exemplified by the views, decisions, and exactions of the powerfully mega-rich, permissible to a hideously grave extent by obedient subjects and an enfranchised and alienated populace, one remains skeptical that humanity is not on the brink of self-inflicted collapse. We do after all, live on a finite planet. That we have driven countless species of life to extinction is perhaps, or if continued will soon become, a foreshadowing of our own fate, if actions determining a future state bare relevance in the many great mysteries of the universe.
Arguably, many modern industries, and subsidiary industries, are inherently lethal, for each is parcel of civilization (namely the incorporation of everything, into a culture of cyclic consumption and uninterrupted waste––the turning and churning of the living into the dead), which is, ultimately, if not immediately, deadly. This is especially true of extractive industries, such as coal, oil, and uranium mining, and commercial logging and fishing industries.
Industrial fishing for instance, has diminished the large marine life of the oceans, such as tuna, swordfish, marlin, cod, halibut, skates, and flounder, eradicating them by as much as 90% just in the past half century. Reminiscent of other industries, the effects of commercial fishing are not constrained to the devastated marine life and ecology. Local fishers and their coastal communities, the world over, have been decimated and fishers and auxiliary workers have lost their lives while performing the toil of that employment. Granted, the latter is a risk associated with the hazards of the occupation, one that is accepted and apparently acceptable. Though arguably, the risk inferred, has grown proportionally to, among other aspects, the advancement of technology, the rate, and the amount, of species extracted, and the regions of deep water which have become accessible for exploitation. A question might then become, not whether there is a chance, however slight, that commercial fishing will be fatal to the worker, but why anyone would continue to risk their life to exploit and destroy the world. The question is of course rhetorical, a mere exercise––it is certainly not intended to be irksome to the worker, especially considering particular social conditions, and that there is a compulsory need to have to pay to exist on the planet. Perhaps thinking it a bit eccentric, that there is compulsion to pay to exist on the planet is a bit self-righteous in thought and not sophisticated; though one is indeed compelled to think it a bit eccentric, if not absolutely outlandish. At any rate, the impacts of industrial fishing range in severity, in recognizable and subtle ways. This is essentially true of any industry.
Industry that produces hazardous waste, such as electronics, the electronics industry generally, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agriculture, the war and prison industries, airlines, retail, food and so on. All across the board, many industries and subsidiary industries, are, to varying quantifiable and unquantifiable measures, lethal and harmful to humans, all nonhumans, the earth, land, air, and water. Every industry is networked into a highly concentrated system of control and methodical demolition, namely modern civilization, which is the dominant culture, which to reiterate, is ultimately, if not immediately, deadly. The corporatism and legitimacy of governance thereof, is a syndrome indicative of macro homicide-suicide. Arguably, this is not the pinnacle of humanity, for if it is, humans have peaked and are, or will soon be, in decline.
Force “Climate Change”, GHG Emissions, 20+ year Warning
As reported in a June 2008 Huffington Post article entitled NASA Scientist's Global Warming Warning: "This Is The Last Chance", in June of 1988, Hansen brought the crisis of global warming to the public before a Senate hearing, and the director of the Goddard Institute of Space Sciences was again before congress, twenty years after his original testimony, in June of 2008. The year 1988 had the highest recorded temperature, and since the interval years of his testimony, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there have been 14 years of record-setting high temperature. Hansen has maintained that with the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil, being the focal cause of human-made greenhouse gases, the Earth's atmosphere must be accorded to recede back to a level of 350 parts of carbon dioxide per million (ppm). As of September 2011, the Earth’s atmosphere was at 389.00 ppm according to the NOAA. We have been, or will fast be, experiencing a tipping point––or several tipping points––namely the melting of the
From 1987 through 2006, the
In a study published in July of 2006 in the prestigious Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, NASA scientist James E. Hansen, and others, put forward that “[g]lobal warming is now 0.6°C in the past three decades and 0.8°C in the past century. It is no longer correct to say that ‘most global warming occurred before 1940.’” Rather, there has been “slow global warming, with large fluctuations, over the century up to 1975, followed by rapid warming” each successive decade. Undeniable evidence includes, “surface temperature change inferred from borehole temperature profiles at remote locations, the rate of retreat of alpine glaciers around the world, and progressively earlier breakup of ice on rivers and lakes.” Further indubitable proof is the “geographical distribution of warming” most which is occurring “in remote regions including high altitudes.” Additionally, ocean areas, “far from direct human effects” are warming, notwithstanding that “warming over ocean [is] less than over land [which is] an expected result for forced climate change because of the ocean’s great thermal inertia.”
The researchers elucidate that “[v]egetation cover is already expanding poleward in the Northern Hemisphere causing a positive climate feedback”, meaning, an amplification of the effects of “forced climate change”. It is quite remarkable that “vegetation cover”, or plant life, has observable expansion northward. This extension is evidently one of many global signals. The significance of these global signals goes well beyond the amazing adaptability of earth’s biodiversity; the earth is manifesting clear indicators that humans have overstepped their bounds by destroying or changing the Natural composition of every observable spectrum of Natural balance. In other words, humans are harmfully disturbing Natural Law, and Natural Law is responding to this attempted rewriting. Furthermore, “[g]lobal warming [will probably] result in release of large amounts of [greenhouse gases], e.g., from melting permafrost or destabilized methane clathrates on continental shelves.” Such releases have been associated with “the largest warmings in the Earth’s history and mass extinctions…” The combination of these releases amid human and industrial activities will create twofold peril.
“If global warming is not [strictly] limited” the scientists postulate, “feedbacks may add to [business-as-usual] emissions, making a ‘different planet’, including eventual ice-free
“Chem-trails” a Techno “fix”, “fix”?
As somewhat of an aside, the notion of geo-engineering, or any technological “fixes”, is rather disturbing given that technology, and the methods of use thereof, has to an extremely large extent caused the serious problems we are all facing. It is well understood, that technology, by and large, may be neutral. It is clear however, that the methods by which technology has been employed in recent years, and the manners in which technology by and large continues to be utilized, has been to a grave extent negative. This is notwithstanding the allure of convenience and ease, and indeed the real improvements in standards and qualities of human life and living generally.
Also considering, that most people all across the
It’s a matter, among plenty of others, not to be reported, discussed, nor properly addressed. Unless of course, one is willing to risk suffering the label or “brand” of conspiracist, or worse. Not particularly concerned of departure from the herd-mind, out of the few “mainstream” sources I dug up, none of which seemed to be picked up nationally, was a stale little piece, dismissive of such “conspiracy theories”. The piece concluded that the “lines in the sky is simply due to more air traffic” and the
A more informative news report revealed what happened after Bill Nichols collected samples of particles that he stated fell to the ground after observing a jet spraying a “chemtrail” over his home in Stamps,
Before putting such matters aside, the late historian Howard Zinn wrote: “The
Hegemonic Militarization & Weaponization of Space
The Space Preservation Act of 2001 (H.R.2977) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in October by Rep. Dennis Kucinich. The bill declared that “the president shall: (1) implement a permanent ban on space-based weapons of the United States and remove from space any existing space-based weapons of the United States; and (2) immediately order the permanent termination of research and development, testing, manufacturing, production, and deployment of all space-based weapons of the United States and their components.” Furthermore, the president shall “direct the
“The terms ‘weapon’ and ‘weapons system’ mean a device capable of any of the following: Damaging or destroying an object (whether in outer space, in the atmosphere, or on earth) by—firing one or more projectiles to collide with that object; detonating one or more explosive devices in close proximity to that object; directing a source of energy (including molecular or atomic energy, subatomic particle beams, electromagnetic radiation, plasma, or extremely low frequency (ELF) or ultra low frequency (ULF) energy radiation) against that object; or any other unacknowledged or as yet undeveloped means.”
“Inflicting death or injury on, or damaging or destroying, a person (or the biological life, bodily health, mental health, or physical and economic well-being of a person)—through the use of any of the means described [herein]; through the use of land-based, sea-based, or space-based systems using radiation, electromagnetic, psychotronic, sonic, laser, or other energies directed at individual persons or targeted populations for the purpose of information war, mood management, or mind control of such persons or populations; or by expelling chemical or biological agents in the vicinity of a person.”
“Such terms include exotic weapons systems such as—electronic, psychotronic, or information weapons; chemtrails; high altitude ultra low frequency weapons systems; plasma, electromagnetic, sonic, or ultrasonic weapons; laser weapons systems; strategic, theater, tactical, or extraterrestrial weapons; and chemical, biological, environmental, climate, or tectonic weapons.” [Emphasis added].
“The term ‘exotic weapons systems’ includes weapons designed to damage space or natural ecosystems (such as the ionosphere and upper atmosphere) or climate, weather, and tectonic systems with the purpose of inducing damage or destruction upon a target population or region on earth or in space.”
Aside from being introduced to the House, the Space Preservation Act of 2001, which didn’t have a single cosponsor, was fated. It quickly and quietly died in committee upon receiving an “unfavorable executive comment from [the] DOD” in 2002. That ostensibly, the entire collection of prohibitions conditional of H.R.2977 are permissible, by way of doctrinal policy, while perhaps not unanticipated, is nonetheless egregious and cause for grim concern.
The space policy of the Bush administration, released in August 2006, rejected “any limitations on the fundamental right of the United States to operate in and acquire data from space” and made it clear that Washington would unequivocally “oppose the development of new legal regimes or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit U.S. access or use of space” according to the New York Times.
USA Today reported that the Bush space policy intends to "ensure that space capabilities are available in time to further
Obama’s space policy, which has a lesser overt tone of space hegemony but is inclusive of the essentials of US space programs dating back to the Regan regime, states that “The Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with other appropriate heads of departments and agencies, shall: Develop, acquire, and operate space systems and supporting information systems and networks to support
It’s a remarkable testament to our collective utter disregard and contempt for the real, real world, that is to say, our obsession and violent objectification of the Natural environment, and our own “civilized” world of illusions, that the blood of existence, namely water, we, as an industrious and consumptive species, waste, pollute and scourge through, rapaciously depriving aquatic life of their evolutionary inheritance (which according to evolutionary theory is our ancient home). This is done with such vigorousness, all in defense of, and to maintain, our “civilized way of life”, which is owed to the aforementioned practices.
Author and activist Arundhati Roy succinctly tells us, that “[t]he ‘market’ decrees that the scarcer something is, the more expensive it becomes.” Hence the paradigm to privatize water, being as there is virtually no stream, river, or other organic source of water on the planet, which is not contaminated to the point of being undrinkable, by the most basic standards of human health. Though,
The Wall Street Journal “has taken to regularly interviewing Nestlé executives about food and water issues and granting Nestlé the opportunity to opine about solving world problems in a way that enhances their bottom line. Whether its Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe or CEO Paul Bulcke, who better to offer solutions to world hunger and water shortages than the chairman and CEO of the second largest international processed food company with posh headquarters in Switzerland?” For instance, Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe has argued for and been a supporter of, along with full endorsement of genetic engineering, the privatization of water. ‘“Take away the emotion of the water issue…Give the 1.5% of the water [that we use to drink and wash with], make it a human right. But give me a market for the 98.5% so the market forces are able to react, and they will be the best guidance that you can have. Because if the market forces are there the investments are going to be made.”’ This might reasonably be interpreted as characteristic neoliberal economics. Presumably, the “1.5% of water human right” schema is pandering idealism, at least in the case of residents in Maine (as well as residents in other states) who have been fighting Nestlé and subsidiary Poland Spring over bottling plants in their communities which extract hundreds of millions of gallons of water annually from their aquifer. “When WSJ interviews a Nestlé executive about food and water issues, just remember that they are not experts on feeding the world’s poor or solving a water crisis. They are businessmen.”
Industrial Fishing & the Oceans
There is a “dead zone” some 8,000 square miles “east to west along the
Technology plays no small part in the over-exploitation (an arbitrary degree of exploitation being time-honored) of marine life. Commercial fisheries and the oceans they exploit and destroy for “resources” are “managed” like any business enterprise, or any “resource” of the earth, namely by maximizing profits and externalizing costs, be they monetary, social, environmental, and so on. Much like the agriculture industry, among plenty of others, governments spend billons of dollars subsidizing commercial fishing. If it were not for this government welfare, the ledgers of commercial fishing and agriculture might very well be in the red.
Turning to the oceans and the lethality of industrial fishing, Ransom Myers, a biologist of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia Canada, expressed that ‘“[s]ince 1950, with the onset of industrialized fisheries,”’ large fish, such as the giant blue marlin, the bluefin tuna, tropical groupers, Antarctic cod, among many more, have rapidly reduced to just 10 percent global oceanic “biomass”. Or, put differently, the mass of large organisms in the oceans, namely 90% of the large fish, are gone. ‘“[E]ntire communities of these large fish species from the tropics to the poles”’, have been decimated and will probably, by and large, not return.
Marine research ecologist Boris Worm, of Dalhousie University and the University of Kiel in Germany, stated that the depletion of these “megafauna, the big predators of the sea" threatens not only “the future of these fish and the fishers [principally the commercial ones, arguably bearing in mind the many small local fishers that have analogously gone the way of small local farmers the world over because of imperial trade agreements] that depend on them”, but causes “a complete re-organization of ocean ecosystems, with unknown global consequences.”  In a study published in the May 15 2003 issue of Nature, Myers and Worm outline with empirical data, what many have been aphoristic about for years, namely, commercial fishing and its practices, arguably like any extractive industry, is unsustainable, is altering and destroying the Natural world in ways not yet fully understood, let alone acknowledged or adequately addressed, and ultimately, fervidly stopped.
Discussing the research, Myers stated in a National Geographic article, that a reduction of at least ‘“50 percent of fishing mortality may be necessary to avoid further declines of particularly sensitive species”’. In other words, commercial fishing must cease by a magnitude of half if “particular sensitive species” in precipitous decline are to survive. While many might find this measure drastic and unrealistic as well unacceptable because of the “market demand” for “seafood” consumption, it is hardly a far step beyond conservative. A more radical approach might be the cessation, at bare minimum, the proposal thereof, of 100% of commercial fishing. Though, it seems the real radicalism, is that our precious oceans are being vacuumed of life, and precious few people seem to have any problem with that––one is regrettably inclined to convey. Living in
It is not known “how many species of marine life…live in the world's oceans”, though there is a predominantly enthusiastic industry of catching those species we do know and eat, in the process, destroying all the rest, all for human consumption. How radical is it, to want to save 10% of the world’s large marine life from impending slaughter? How far-reaching it is, to allow 90% of the large marine life in the oceans to die off.
Surely, the argument goes, what about the livelihoods of the commercial fishers? Their livelihoods being of course infinitely more important than the continued existence of hammerhead sharks and bluefine tuna for instance, or the destroyed livelihoods of fishers along coastal communities the world over for that matter––including the indigenous peoples of the islands of Hawaii for one example. It follows, that before long, commercial fishing livelihoods will be nonexistent, as this perpetual trend continues apace. Myers stated that ‘“[i]f present fishing levels persist, these great fish will go the way of the dinosaurs.”’
Perhaps some would argue that this is the unfortunate if inevitable result of what Charles Darwin deemed “natural selection”, more coarsely extenuated to Herbert Spencer’s “survival of the fittest” in which he intertwined his liberal economic and anti-state presumptions with
As far as I dare deduce, bees do not understand and have no use for the highly concentrated and monopolistic human monetary market system based on the exploitation of “resources”, such as oil, marine life, or bees for honey for that matter. It should be mentioned, arguably, apiarists while far less glorified (I don’t think there is an equivalent television show to the popular Deadliest Catch), are not particularly destroying the land (or sea) base, en mass, by keeping bees and, or bottling honey for local areas. Bees function, and have functioned for millennia, in more productive ways sustaining life, humans in a shorter span, in more destructive ways––exponentially in the last hundred years or so––ending life, in the never-ending paradigm of destroying, epigenetically altering, and dominating the Natural world. When there are massive die-offs off bees, as there has been in the U.S. as well as around the earth, it is human and industrial actions that spurs them, notwithstanding that even the “fittest” beings among them were not strong enough, and so subsequently could not adapt, to withstand an environment that has been altered and destroyed to such an extent as to be inhabitable for them.
In fact, arguably, no other species is dependent on human beings for survival. This is true going along with the premise that Nature + Species = Natural Selection; humans not being a variable in the equation. If humans are in fact a variable (N+S+H = Natural Selection), then yes, many species of the land, air, and sea––insects, animals, plants––are dependent on human beings, namely dependent on them not to eradicate their respectful species from existence to extinction. Yet, arguably, humans, modern civilization generally, has been, and is, austerely dependent on countless species, many of which are simply eradicated from the earth as if they are in infinite supply, a constant and increased demand of which must be manufactured, or are simply not considered to be of any worth, not necessary or vital to the earth because of the undesirability of such, superfluous would be the right word, species to humans––because they are not resilient enough to survive sustained devastation. Large marine life is a prime example among plenty of others. Therefore, one may reasonably conclude that
Jeremy Jackson of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography reminded that the oceans were ‘“full of heroic fish—literally sea monsters. People used to harpoon three-meter long swordfish in rowboats. Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea was for real.”’ While there may be some nostalgia, the days of “sea monsters” and rowboats are long past. Technology has advanced to such a degree of efficiency that today’s sophisticated seafaring vessels, with their high-tech sonar and GPS systems, and the equipment to catch gross amounts of marine life, much of which is “bycatch”, a term used to describe all the undesirable fish that is caught, by trawling (the vacuuming of the seafloor) or other methods, has caused such reduction in “stocks”, that "[w]hereas longlines used to catch ten fish per a hundred hooks, now they are lucky to catch one”’. As technology “improves”, the decline, that is to say the destruction, is greater. The rarer a species of life becomes, the higher the value of the remaining “objects”.
Marine biologist Sylvia Earle offered ‘“that the [known] record for a bluefin tuna, a 440-pound (200-kilogram) specimen, [may have] sold for $180,000” and that obviously “this kind of exploitation is not for the starving millions, but driven by high-end appetites [literally and figuratively].” Earle added that she “always believed that even when there is only one bluefin tuna left in the sea someone will pay a million dollars to be able to eat it”’. This is reasonably insightful, given the objectification of the world, whether the objects are human or nonhuman species, material, etc., and the routines by which monetary value is affixed and patented on objects of all description.
In their 2003 study, “which took 10 years to complete”, Myers and Worm “conclude that industrial fisheries have changed marine ecosystems in fundamental ways” namely by significantly reducing the “[l]arge marine predators”, which is to say, the marine life “representing the top of the food web”. The authors also “conclude that today’s management decisions will determine whether we will enjoy biologically diverse, economically profitable fish communities 20 or 50 years from now, or whether we will have to look back on a history of collapse and extinction that was not reversed in time.” It stands to reason, that we already “have to look back on a history of collapse and extinction” and as we look forward, should we choose to do so, unless there are drastic changes and varied successful action is undertaken, we are looking at a dismal future which our successors will rightfully hold us in contempt of creating. Namely, at minimum, because we collectively remained compliant while ecocide was being committed so that a minority of the global population might live in relative comfort and luxury, at the discomfort and penury of, arguably, the majority. It seems impossible that the entire South could have the “quality of life” that many enjoy in the West; quite simply there is only one planet. We would be wise to cast aside the fatally affixed premise, that we in the rich, developed, industrial and post-industrial nations, for instance conservatively some 93% of the US population, are entitled and should continue our relative way of comfort, of course immersed, or plugged into the imperial system which enables this way of life, vis-à-vis the forethought that this entire way of life comes at the expense of the rest of the world (billions of people, namely Indigenous peoples, Latin Americans, Africans, Asians, and so forth), as well as all the nonhuman species of the earth, as well as the earth’s complex and fragile balance. Given that under this fatally affixed premise we all the while maintain that it is the responsibility of other nations and peoples to follow suit, to adopt to the dominant culture, or suffer the consequences both resultant of their self-determination and isolationism and of the imperial disciplinary global framework, among other rationales, and that populations must fend for themselves, and that it is up to the nonhuman species, to either die-off or adapt––this whole culture, which is to say the dominant way of life, is ostensibly put on clear notice. Assuredly, a most heavy anchor this is, that weighs in the depths of the conscientious.
In 2000, Jeffrey A. Hutchings, also from Dalhousie University, stated in a study published in the August 24 issue of Nature, that with possible few exceptions, his “analysis of 90 stocks reveal[ed] that many gadids (for example, cod, haddock) and other non-clupeids (for example, flatfishes [such as herrings and sardines]) have experienced little, if any, recovery as much as 15 years after 45-99% reductions in reproductive biomass.” In the study, Hutchings incorporated data from “90 marine fish stocks (representing 38 species among 11 families)” and found that the 38 species “experienced 15-year declines of 12 to 99%, followed by 5-year changes in population size”. Of the “90 stocks, 37 (41%) continued to decline after the 15-year period”. Predictably, as Wild species decline and are driven to the brink and over the threshold of extinction, there will be an increase in mono-stocked fish farms. These genetically modified species are no substitute for millions of years of evolutionary biodiversity. The risks associated with introducing genetically engineered species are expansive.
The United Nations (UN) published a report on the increasingly ominous trend of oceanic ruin caused by anthropogenic––that is, the influence that humans have on the Natural world––actions, entitled In Dead Water. A summary of the UN report asserts that upwards of “80% of the worlds primary catch species are exploited beyond or close to their harvest capacity, and [many] productive seabeds have been…extensively damaged over large areas of fishing grounds.” At that rate, there will be no more “primary catch species” in existence after long. “The far largest share of all life in the oceans is in direct contact with or dwells just above the sea floor. Continental shelves and seamounts host – in addition to petroleum and mineral reserves – by far the largest share of the World’s most productive fishing grounds” the report states. Furthermore, strides in technology “have made continental shelves and shallow seamounts easily accessible to the World’s fishing fleet and to coastal communities all across the planet”, putting continental shelves and shallow seamounts in triple jeopardy, namely because they are “critically placed in relation to threats from (land-based) pollution, sea bed and habitat destruction from dredging and trawling, and climate change.” Additionally, since “traditional fishing grounds [are] depleted and/or heavily regulated, fisheries are increasingly targeting productive areas and new stocks in deeper waters further offshore, including on and around seamounts.”
The fisheries’ pursuit of “deep-water fish and shellfish, including crabs, cod, shrimp, snappers, sharks, Pacific cod, orange roughy, jacks, Patagonian toothfish, porgies, groupers, rockfish, Atka mackerel and sablefish” living in seamounts, occurs apace while “knowledge of seamounts and their fauna is still very limited, with only a tiny fraction of them sampled and virtually no data available for seamounts in… [for instance] the
After a seamount is destroyed, the inhabitants “depleted”, for decades, centuries, or everlastingly, commercial fishers then “move on to the next seamount to start the next cycle” of devastation, continuing the ritualistic performance of unsustainable industrial, or factory, fishing. The same is true of any extractive industry, such as oil extraction and coal mining, mountaintop removal in
Moreover, the coral reefs “on the continental shelf in the
The UN report continues, stating that global warming, or perhaps more perceptibly, climate chaos “is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.” In addition, “[s]ea level-rise is…contributing to coastal erosion, losses of coastal wetland ecosystems, including salt marshes and mangroves, and increasing damage from coastal flooding in many areas” and “[t]hese effects will be exacerbated by increasing human-induced pressures on coastal areas.”
There is an abundance of intelligence, for lack of a more acute term, found in the Natural world, regrettably one is inclined to convey, the same may not be true of the human world, namely in the elite sectors. Collectively, should we choose to heed them, the signals are clear and present, and the response of corals, are but one of plenty of examples. “Corals, especially those which build reefs in tropical, shallow waters, are highly attuned to their environmental surroundings. Bleaching occurs when the corals are subjected to repeated and/or sustained stresses which exceed their tolerances. When this occurs, the symbiotic algae living in the coral tissue are ejected. The corals loose their colour and their white, calcerous skeleton shines through the transparent tissue. Corals can survive this condition for a short time and even take up their symbionts if the stresses subside. However, if the stresses persist, the corals will die.”
The authors articulate the predictable increase in floods, cyclones and tidal waves, which have been indisputably experienced with greater severity and frequency over the past decade. With “the strongest population growth”, coastal inhabitants and infrastructures to support them are at immense risk. As the climate responds to the burgeoning pressures of human influence on the Natural world, coastal communities will be subject to more frequent and more injurious “extreme weather events”. The “land remaining available for urban growth”, such as flood plains and sharp slopes, makes urban center populations also highly “risk-prone”, namely to experience landslides. 
Increased greenhouse gas concentrations are “a significant driver of both contributions to sea-level rise.” During the period 1955 through 1995 “ocean thermal expansion is estimated to have contributed about 0.4 mm per year to sea level rise, less than 25 per cent of the observed rise over the same period.” Conversely, during the period 1993 and 2003 “thermal expansion is estimated to be significantly larger, at about 1.6 mm per year for the upper 750 m of the ocean alone, about 50 per cent of the observed sea level rise of 3.1 mm per year.”
“The densely populated megadeltas such as those of Ganges-Brahmaputra [contained largely in
Ocean acidification, while natural to a degree, is fast becoming yet another major problem of heavy human influence on the earth, and an indicator that something is obviously vastly and terribly wrong. While the oceans naturally capture CO2 which creates hydrogen ions, from 1750 on, human induced carbon “has led to the ocean becoming more acidic, with an average decrease in pH of 0.1 units.” That sounds relatively harmless; after all, we all have acid in our stomach, and need a certain amount to digest food, though curiously only a certain amount. Although “the effects of observed ocean acidification on the marine biosphere are…mostly undocumented”, there is a towering potential that “severe ecological changes would result from ocean acidification, especially for corals both in tropical and cold water, and may influence marine food chains from carbonate-based plankton up to higher trophic levels.” In other words, there is a tipping point, too much ocean acidification will quite possibly have detrimental impacts, i.e. large scale die-off’s and countless “dead zones”, and on every level of the marine food chain, from plankton on up.
The science is broken down as follows: “Atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves naturally in the ocean, forming carbonic acid (H2CO3), a weak acid. The hydrogen ions released from this acid lower the pH [of the oceans]. These reactions are part of a natural buffer system, but recent studies have shown that the huge amounts of CO2 created by burning fossil fuels are over-stretching the rate by which the natural process can neutralize this acidity. The pH of the oceans has decreased 0.1 unit compared to pre-industrial levels, which equals an increase of 30 per cent in hydrogen ions.” This means, there is an increase in acidification beyond what the oceans can naturally balance out. According to the UN report, “the continued increases in atmospheric CO2 are expected to alter ocean pH values within a very short time – an effect greater than any experienced in the past 300 million years.”
Quite amazingly, there has been “a poleward movement of warmer water species of plankton, fish, benthic and intertidal organisms in the last 50 years. These biogeographic changes have been observed in both the northern and southern hemispheres.” Equally amazing, “[s]pecies that are representative of
Another incredibly “serious impact of climate change may be on ocean circulation.” Similar to how the ocean naturally absorbs CO2 and creates hydrogen ions, keeping acidification at more or less equilibrium, kind of like how our body maintains a temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit; the ocean has circulation, similar to how our body has circulation. This process is depicted as the Meridional Overturning Circulation. This immune system “can act abruptly and with a hysteresis [delayed] response, once a certain forcing threshold is crossed.” Analogous to how there might be a lag in affect from the time we contract an illness to the time we experience the known symptoms of the illness, from the time we are diagnosed to the time we are treated and the treatment takes hold––to the extent that we are diagnosed or treated. Impacts on marine life will be rigorous should “this ocean conveyor belt [slow] down or [change] as a result of melting ice and increasing ocean temperatures.” It would of course be wise to consider any slowing or change in the Meridional Overturning Circulation a global signal, and wiser still to act conscientiously to prevent such a deceleration or change to transpire. Then again, it may have already happened, we may be in the interim of such an occurrence, undergoing a “hysteresis response”; giving firm root to the urgent imperative of ceasing fossil-fuel extraction, production and emissions.
“[T]he strong increase in destruction of coastal habitats…by coastal development and discharge of untreated sewage into the near-shore waters, resulting in enormous amounts of nutrients spreading into the sea and coastal zones” is still another issue of major concern. A projected “60% of the waste water discharged into the Caspian Sea [enclosed by Russia, Iran, western Azerbaijan, and eastern Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan] is untreated, in Latin America and the Caribbean the figure is close to 80%, and in large parts of Africa and the Indo-Pacific the proportion is as high as 80–90%”. It would cost, over, an estimated $50 billion dollars a year to address this problem. Raw sewage causes increased “poverty, malnutrition and insecurity for over a billion people” in addition to critically decreased health of the environment and flora and fauna. Unlike Latin America and the Caribbean, the majority of
The UN report outlines that “increased emissions are [constant]…including from electronic waste and mine tailings in
The issue was made widely known in “2006 when hundreds of tons of waste were dumped around the
Moreover, “with agricultural run-off to the sea or into major rivers and eventually into the ocean, nitrogen (mainly nitrate and ammonium) exports to the marine environment are projected to increase at least 14% globally by 2030.” In Southeast Asia alone, “more than 600,000 tons of nitrogen are discharged annually from the major rivers…[w]etlands and mangroves are also declining rapidly, typically by 50–90% in most regions in the past 4 decades…” causing a result which “will severely exacerbate the effects of extreme weather, the ability of coral reefs to resist and recover from climate change and reduce the productivity of coastal ecosystems which supply livelihoods and basic food to the impoverished.”
The decimation of traditional coastal fishing grounds, while destroying the livelihoods of local, sustainable fishers, morally duplicitous in itself, has ironically “given rise to an increase in regulations” of coastal grounds. Consequently, there is an “intensified…[industry-wide] search for new and less controlled fish stocks and fishing grounds”. “Modern technology, such as remote sensing, sonar and Global Positioning Systems, together with incentives and subsidies, has brought deep-water and high sea areas and habitats with high production, such as continental slopes, seamounts, cold-water coral reefs, deep-sea sponge fields, into the reach of fishing fleets trying to exploit the last refuges for commercial fish species.” One disastrous illustration of the intended and accepted consequences of technological “progress” and industry friendly policy is the plight of
Amongst “the most destructive fishing methods in the World is bottom trawling… [whereby] [l]arge nets, kept open and weighted down by heavy ‘doors’ and metal rollers, are dragged by a trawler across the sea bed. This virtually plows and levels the seafloor, picking up fish and shrimps but also catching, crushing and destroying other marine life.” The fleets of the powerful, deep-water and high sea bottom trawling ships “are mostly based in industrialized countries, but fish intensively and for months at a time across the World’s oceans. Often these distant water fishing fleets are fuelled and kept afloat (literally) by subsidies and incentives, without which their operation would hardly be economically viable.”
Troves of scientific data has pointed to evidence of “reductions in taxa and/or abundance in the range of 20–80% following years of intensive trawling” particularly for species of life living in the deepest parts of water, with “demersals and benthic fauna…reductions reported up to 80% on fishing grounds.” “The damage exceeds over half of the sea bed area of many fishing grounds, and is worst in inner and middle parts of the continental shelves, [severely] affecting in particular small-scale coastal fishing communities”.
Bycatch is another critical problem related to trawling. “For many coastal populations, largescale, industrial bottom trawling of their [traditional] fishing grounds (often carried out unregulated illegally and unreported by distant fishing fleets) ruins local fisheries with devastating effects on local fishermen, industry and livelihoods. Many of the larger ships process the fish directly onboard in enormous quantities. Most likely over one-third of the World catch is simply discarded due to inappropriate fish sizes, or simply due to unintended bycatch, particularly as a result of bottom trawling”. Finally, in excess of “65% of the World’s seagrass communities have been lost by land reclamation, eutrophication [depletion of oxygen in water], disease and unsustainable fishing practices”.
At present, “there is virtually no protection of the vulnerable marine ecosystems and biodiversity occurring on continental shelves.” Undeniably, “in most regions, marine protected areas (MPAs) are non-existent, in others they only amount to less than 1% of the marine area.” For all the outward gained mainstream popularity, conservation simply is not as enviable as destruction, nor is it nearly as profitable. In the real world, conservation, this is to say protecting something, i.e. a land base unaffected by humans, from change, loss, or damage of any kind, is a marginal pursuit. True conservation being antithetical to the “profit margin”, institutional conservation is of course largely considered a success, at least from the perspective within the doctrinal system of the
The UN report describes that “the patterns of [marine life] dispersal are strongly concurrent with major shipping routes, while the establishment globally appears to be strongly concurrent with intensity of fisheries, bottom trawling, pollution and other stressors.” In other words, sentient and intelligent aquatic life tends to move away in great swaths from regions with intensive commercial fishing practices and toxic waste; yet there is little to no delight of hard-earned reprieve. Perhaps similar to how many surviving humans are displaced, during, for instance, times of war and conflict, and, contamination of the environment––as evinced by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster which started in March 2011 when a massive earthquake, followed by a tsunami wrecked devastation on Japan. Long after the earthquake and tsunami struck and ceased, the effects of the nuclear meltdown, caused in no small part by design flaws and other industrial, bureaucratic, and political negligence, of multiple reactors at the plant, and the dispersion of high levels of radiation have been, and will be felt. Incidentally, the very serious question as to why it is still permissible to harness the energy of the sun is one, widely, intentionally left unanswered, condemned to the labyrinthine echo chambers of avarice. In a comparable way, long after major commercial fishing operations have ceased in any particular area, surviving aquatic life will be affected.
The UN report states that “while some [marine] species may become invasive or exotic [marine] species may become [influx], it is clear that this pattern is so strongly concurrent with other man-made pressures to the oceans that their dispersal and establishment as [invasive species] appear to be caused by severe man-made disruptions of the marine ecosystems.” This is to say, the further degradation of the ocean, namely the influx of surviving non-native species dispersed by commercial fishing, pollution, shipping, etc., is caused because of the aforementioned practices.
Among other anthropogenic causes of oceanic devastation, is the diffusion of fossil-fuel emissions billowing into the atmosphere, specifically, carbon dioxide. According to the UN study, “[t]he signal from the increased CO2 released by anthropogenic activities in the last 50-100 years has so far penetrated to only around 3,000 meters [9,842.4ft] water depth.” [Emphasis added]. There is every reason to be alarmed, given the inevitability of global temperature and water level rise of the oceans, and also given that 14,040 feet (4,280 meters) is the average depth of the Pacific ocean, and the greatest known depth of the Mariana Trench, a U.S. national monument, is 36,201 feet (11,034 meters)––which is also the record depth of any ocean in the world.
“An example of the time lag in [the earth’s] response is the absorption of CO2 in the oceans, with the single of increased CO2 concentrations. The oceans have a huge capacity to cope with impacts and change without apparent effect. However, once their resilience threshold has been overstepped, and effects are detected and becoming obvious, it is often too late to reverse the trend. Even if CO2 emissions would stop today, it would take the oceans many decades to respond.” Presumably, CO2 emissions will not stop today, rather, actually continue to increase annually. It seems then, that anthropogenic actions will soon create a cataclysmic tipping point, if such a tipping point has not already been reached; once the effects of human industrial-postindustrial-consumer civilization supersede the lag differential.
The authors of the UN study conclude that “[u]nless other pressures are reduced in some of the primary fishing grounds, including bottom trawling and pollution, the impacts [will] become catastrophic, resulting in wide-spread death [across the spectrum of all species]…strongly depleted fishing grounds, with severe impacts on countries, coastal economies, livelihoods and food supply. There are currently no international or widespread implemented national policies in place to ensure that such a disaster is prevented. The urgency and relation to the continental shelves is critical, given the short time frame, severity and catastrophic nature of the already emerging impacts.”
Capitalizing on Disaster
To the contrary, it seems that the super-rich in power have been working vigorously to embrace, and brace (themselves) for global cataclysm and capitalize on it. In describing the “disaster capitalism complex”, award winning journalist and author Naomi Klein explains that “wealth provides an escape hatch from most disasters––it buys early-warning systems for tsunami-prone regions and stockpiles of Tamiflu for the next outbreak. It buys bottled water, generators, satellite phones and rent-a-cops.” In the 2006 Israeli attack on
The ordinary “addiction to dirty, nonrenewable energy sources keeps other kinds of emergencies coming: natural disasters (up 430 percent since 1975) and wars waged for control over scarce resources (not just
Oil, Gas, Extractive Industry, ExxonMobil, BP, Corporations, Spin, and on…
Huge oil and gas companies, clawing in record profits in the billions quarterly, “have bankrolled the climate-change-denial movement for years; Exxon-Mobil has spent an estimated $16 million on the crusade over the past decade.” Exxon-Mobil, the largest publicly traded corporation in the world as of 2006, “has underwritten the most sophisticated and successful disinformation campaign since Big Tobacco misled the public about the incontrovertible scientific evidence linking smoking to lung cancer and heart disease” according the Union of Concerned Scientists in a damning 2007 report. The monstrous Wal-Mart took the number one slot of the Fortune 500 in 2011, beating out Exxon-Mobil for the second year in a row. Exxon-Mobil has over 100,000 employees while Wal-Mart has over 2 million workers, or “human resources”. With record “profits…Exxon Mobil topped $30 billion, a whopping [56%] jump” from the previous year. To put a bit of perspective on that kind of currency, between 2003 and 2007, ExxonMobil, one example of plenty of others, is a corporation that raked in more money in net profits ($133,930,000,000) than the cumulative GDP of 15 African nations ($89.104 billion), 8 Asiatic nations ($16.378 billion), and 9 nations in the western hemisphere ($32.836 billion); that’s no less than 32 nations.
Incidentally, it’s highly possible that Exxon-Mobil paid zero dollars in taxes in the year 2009 alone. An April 2010 Mother Jones article explains that, “[a]ccording to the 10-K [filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission]…ExxonMobil didn't have a zero-tax liability in 2009; it was actually owed $46 million by the IRS, against $15.1 billion in foreign taxes owed. As [Alan Jeffers, ExxonMobil's media relations manager] says, that may not be the case; but it's what ExxonMobil told the SEC, its shareholders, and the world. And since the firm refuses to share its actual tax numbers with the public, it's all we have to go by.” In August of 2008 the New York Times reported that according to the Government Accountability Office, the investigative branch of Congress, “[t]wo out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005”. The GAO conducted study “covers 1.3 million corporations of all sizes [including foreign corporations operating in the
There is no indication that this particular systemic pattern has abated during the ensuing years and up to the present. Nor, for that matter, that corporatism, specifically the corporation, will voluntarily develop, or evolve into a moral person; corporate personhood being another issue altogether. A corporation, which legally must maximize profits and externalize costs, as colossal as ExxonMobil, or Wal-Mart, and plenty of others, has a gigantically lethal print on the entire world, causing, contributing to, and exacerbating everything from poverty to “forced climate change.” Greed is what a corporation does, constantly desiring, getting, taking, forcing, etc., more and more, greedy is what a CEO is, by design, it’s in their job description whether its written or not. This is not a characteristic fault as one would normally consider. It is doctrinal, perfectly legal within a self-serving and scrupulous framework created and protected to legitimize corporations and their responsibility, which entails them to be greedy, which is to shareholders, not to the environment, not to the health of millions, not to regulatory measures, not to anything but making, generating, more money, greater wealth. A bank is not simply content with retaining a customer, they want that customer’s mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, child, etc., to open an account. The impetus of greed is within corporatehood. Surely it could be argued, that ExxonMobil has a greater impact, glaringly adverse at that, than the collective 32 countries alluded to, precisely because it claws in astronomical wealth. With great wealth, comes great power, and with great power comes great lethality.
ExxonMobil is one oil and gas giant that has used “many of the tactics, and even some of the same organizations and actors used…to mislead the public, draw[ing] upon the tobacco industry’s 40-year disinformation campaign.” For instance, “[i]n 1998, ExxonMobil helped create a small task force calling itself the ‘Global Climate Science Team’ (GCST).” Steven Milloy, “[o]ne member of the GCST task force…headed a nonprofit organization called the Advancement of Sound Science Coalition [TASSC], which had been covertly created by the tobacco company Philip Morris in 1993 to manufacture uncertainty about the health hazards posed by secondhand smoke.” An unambiguous strategy of the GCST task force, revealed in an internal memo, was to “invest millions of dollars to manufacture uncertainty on the issue of global warming––a strategy that directly emulated Big Tobacco’s disinformation campaign.” The information laundering undertaken by ExxonMobil has involved the underwriting of “…well-established groups such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Cato Institute that actively oppose mandatory action on global warming as well as many other environmental standards.”
ExxonMobil’s funding, of the
Tech Central Station, a corporate PR website which was funded $95,000 by ExxonMobil in 2003, was published by DCI Group, until September of 2006 when it was sold. DCI Group is a registered lobbying firm that has received $240,000 in 2011 from ExxonMobil. According to DCI Group’s rather Orwellian Strategic Alliance webpage: “In today’s world, no corporation can rely solely on its brand and its trade association to carry its message. Corporations need allies – people and groups who share your views and are willing to engage in the public policy process. When faced with challenging issues you can’t afford to be isolated and alone.” CEO and founding partner of DCI Group Doug Goodyear, chairman and founding partner Tom Synhorst, and founding partner Tim Hyde “each honed their skills…over the course of nearly a decade working for the tobacco firm R.J. Reynolds.”
Frederick Seitz is another notable example of the corporate manufacturing of uncertainty. Seitz oversaw “a tobacco industry–sponsored medical research program in the 1970s and 1980s. ‘They didn’t want us looking at the health effects of cigarette smoking,’ Seitz, who is now 95, admitted recently in an article in Vanity Fair, but he said he felt no compunction about dispensing the tobacco company’s money.” Seitz “has returned from retirement to play a prominent role as a global warming contrarian involved in organizations funded by ExxonMobil.” Another exemplar of “tobacco disinformation veterans” is Steven Milloy, previously mentioned, who resuscitated “TASSC under the slightly altered name The Advancement of Sound Science Center (rather than Coalition) [ostensibly, since debunked and defunct], [and]…operate[s]/[d] out of his home in
The corporate spin apparatuses, ligaments of the systemic corporate lobbying industry, the revolving corporate welfare industry, and so on, are not limited in sway. ExxonMobil is but one of countless examples. The pattern that emerges after short inspection is that corporatism is the heart of civilized empire. It’s evident that so long as there is the corporation, which is arguably illegitimate, there will be inequality of all facets of human life. Not to even dare mention the near total denial of the arguably inalienable rights of nonhumans and Nature generally.
The Union of Concerned Scientists concluded their 2007 report with an illustration of “how powerful the scientific consensus about global warming is…” “[I]n a December 2004 article published in the journal Science, Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science at the University of California, San Diego, reviewed the peer-reviewed scientific literature for papers on global climate change published between 1993 and 2003. Oreskes reviewed a random sample of approximately 10 percent of the literature; of the 928 studies, not one disagreed with the consensus view that humans are contributing to global warming. Despite ExxonMobil’s relentless efforts, “…there is widespread agreement among credentialed climate scientists around the world that human-caused global warming is well under way…[spelling] trouble for the health and well-being of our planet.”
Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman succinctly described some of the gigantic costs of corporations like ExxonMobil. The one hulled “Exxon Valdez supertanker spilled at least 11 million gallons of oil into
Of course there are plenty of other examples we can look at, some more recent than others, for instance the offshore BP disaster in the gulf, which resulted in the deaths of 11 workers after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon occurred April 20 2011. Immeasurable environmental devastation and destruction of marine life has resulted from the negligence and performance and compliance of BP, Trans-ocean, which owned the rig, minority partners in the well Anadarko Petroleum and MOEX offshore, Lloyd's of London and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, which is responsible for faulty design and construction of the cement seal at the bottom of the well. The unquantifiable damage to ecology and biodiversity continues, and will be experienced far into the upcoming decades. Thousands of families in the region have been devastated as well, their livelihoods shattered. Initially BP set up an escrow account of some $20 billion to cover damages to businesses and livelihoods, a drop in the bucket for BP in terms of its assets and seemingly an arbitrary monetary figure. There has been vast consternation regarding legitimate claims against BP and the reparations they are to pay, yet another problem, one which shall have to be put aside. The Clean Water Act was continuously violated for months during the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion as hundreds of millions of gallons, or 4.9 million barrels of oil, gushed into the gulf. The Exxon Valdez catastrophe was comparatively minor given that “Deepwater Horizon [could have easily produced] an Exxon Valdez-size spill every five to 13 days” while a massive flow of oil surged without hindrance for months on end. I shall have to put this problem, as well as many others aside.
The private mercenary firm Blackwater, now known as Xe Services, is part of an ongoing rebranding campaign for mercenary causes far and wide. Journalist Jeremy Scahill reports that the “insurrection that Blackwater’s forces could potentially be fighting off in Nigeria in defense of Chevron or ExxonMobil could be a popular one, seeking to reclaim Nigeria’s vast petrol-resources from the U.S. government/oil corporation-backed kleptocracy that has brutally governed Africa’s most-populous nation for decades.” Over the years transnational oil corporations have routinely utilized “brutal forces to defend their interests from indigenous Nigerians, particularly in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Nigerian playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed––hanged––with eight others in 1995 for his resistance to the Shell Oil Corporation, and [four year, U.S. National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s] Chevron has been deeply implicated in the killing of protestors in the Niger Delta.”
An April 2010 mining disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine in
There should be no mistake that the serious problems with coal, while indeed extensive, are not particularly distinct, meaning for instance, there is no harmless method of any extractive industry for the very practices undertaking are universally damaging to varying degrees, to the workers employed, the human communities in proximity, the regions of earth and the biodiversity such activity is disrupting. The major problems with the coal industry are innate; observably true of any industry. For example, “in
What of the corporate boon and boom of extracting natural (shale) gas by method of hydraulic fracking? “In
Slums, Poor, Insidious Civilization…
Author and activist Derrick Jensen provides an important analysis of the detriment, and death-wish, of civilization in his book Endgame: The Problem of Civilization. He explains, what surely indigenous peoples, such as the Lakota and other Plains Indians knew over 150 years ago when enormous herds of buffalo were intently decimated, for one example. “[J]ust as those in power must control access to land, the same logic dictates they must destroy all stocks of wild foodstuffs.” For example, wild salmon must be fished to extinction. “Why would I go to Safeway if I could catch coho in the stream outside my door?” Jensen asks. Those in power ensure the “lack [of] food self-sufficiency” by eliminating “free food sources”. Furthermore, “the same is true, obviously, for everything that is wild and free, for everything else that can meet our needs without us having to pay those in power.” Natural herbs are another good example, assuredly among plenty of others.
The forecast we see, goes something like, industrial-post-industrial civilization kills off all the wild fish, a few species of presumably genetically modified organisms feed the decreased populations of the masses, by way of “fish farms”; redolent to the production of corn, which by and large is a mono-crop controlled by the infamous “life sciences” corporation Monsanto. Jensen continues, articulating that the thrust “to privatize the world’s water helps make sense of official apathy surrounding the pollution of (free) water sources.” If the water is undrinkable, people will be compelled to purchase water sold by corporations, those that do not have the currency will perish.
In Unheard Truth, Irene Khan expresses that “threats to people’s livelihoods have an international dimension. Increased speculation [by Wall Street for example] in world commodity markets dramatically raised the price of basic foodstuffs, pushing millions more people into hunger between 2006 and 2008.” This is intrinsically an accepted and intended consequence of speculative markets, one which is contrived regularly by those that operate and control the markets, namely the elites of technopoly. Furthermore, “International trade rules and practices make poor farmers’ crops uncompetitive.” Millions of farmers in
Khan illustrates that conceivably, “the most pressing and dramatic insecurity overshadowing the lives and livelihoods of poor people [may be] climate change. Poor farmers will see reduced yields on already marginal land. The numbers of landless people will grow when low-lying ground is flooded by rising sea levels. Clean water will become harder to obtain, and tens of millions of people will be displaced. Disease will spread…The effects of climate change are likely to be immensely destabilizing, and may fuel political crisis and conflict.”
Khan, the first woman and first Asian Secretary General of Amnesty International also describes “the risk of natural disaster that destroys the lives and livelihoods of slum dwellers. Slums are often located in areas that are unfit for habitation, such as on garbage disposal sites or flood plains, near hazardous and toxic sites, or in polluted areas.” To illustrate the severity of the issue, “[at] least three in every 10 non-permanent houses in cities in developing countries are located in dangerous areas that are prone to natural disasters. Because of the location of the homes, poor quality of construction, poor infrastructure and lack of information, people living in these areas, and in slums in general, are most at risk when natural or man-made disasters strike. Climate change is worsening the risks of natural disasters and it is predicted that these will continue to increase, with the greatest impact felt by populations already living in poverty.” The 1984 catastrophic gas leak of a Union Carbide Corporation (Dow Chemical Company) chemical plant in Bhopal, India, exposed an estimated half a million people, 10,000 of whom were killed in the immediate aftermath. Some 15,000 or more people died in the eight years that followed the chemical release. Those suffering the worse impacts were people living in slums proximate to the chemical plant.
Miscellaneous Thoughts and Observations
A fair assessment, albeit generalized, would be, that while it certainly helps, it doesn’t take a marine biologist or an oceanographer, or, (whatever diploma-title you like) to draw the conclusion that, for example, industrial fishing is unsustainable and cannot last without end, which also, incidentally, goes for any other extractive industry. Too many species of marine life, and in such great numbers, are literally being vacuumed out of the oceans faster then progeny may thrive, leaving no other prospect but a similar providence for the descendents of those we avariciously consume.
An estranged proletarian observer, similar to any observers cut from the cloth of any fabric of any standing, may upon brief inquiry, quickly infer that forced “global warming”, or “climate change”, is real, rapid, and overwhelmingly caused by the emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions from an increasingly volatile global addiction to fossil-fuels.
If the dominant human paradigm continues, given that technology, its advances, use, its implementation and implantation, in conjunction with the network of corporate-government institutions and an unsustainable global population (unsustainable by standards of the dominant culture), a minority of which literally leads no other lives far-beyond consumptive ones, at the expense of the earth, the earth’s nonhuman species, and the majority of the world population, modern empire will eventually disintegrate in the inferno of its own creating. In our willful ignorance, we might pretend the responsibility lies somewhere else, even in our indomitable resolve we might give concessions and make compromises that undermine our collective struggle.
That the dangers of a looming cascading effect, of corollary sequences caused thereof, are quite genuine, is not in question. What the response will be, certainly is, especially given that as of present, by and large, the rejoinder of, and by, centers of power has been to “stay the course”, with increasingly disastrous results, as we see and will ever after soon see, unless these policies are ceased, unless these institutions are abolished, unless this panoptic coulter is taken out of the substantive heart.
To give a general idea of our innervated perceptions of status and idealized rank, and so forth, take occupational fatalities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 57 fishers and occupationally related workers died in 2009. Similarly, industrial logging, the systemic destruction of forests––which perhaps might be described as the earth’s lungs–– worldwide, is summarily lethal both to biodiversity and as a human occupation. In 2009, there were 36 fatalities in the logging industry. Incidentally, and more to the point, insofar as there is one, there were 154 fatalities of grounds maintenance personnel in 2009 as compared to 96 police and sheriff patrol officer fatalities that same year. There certainly are not the ceremonious occasions for the former––traffic is not deviated, formal processions and honors are not bestowed. For the former’s occupation, in this highly classed and dreadfully sadistic society, is not adorned with allegiances of admiration and polished worth, for they merely maintain the grounds of buildings, of property, hardly an admirable pursuit in a culture predicated on violence, subjugation, and ownership. On the contrary, a great deal of law enforcement work involves protecting property for the rich, from the poor. As well as extracting the poor from their impoverished communities, specifically Black and Latino males, in vastly disproportionate numbers; prisons widely serving as a modern form of the institution of slavery. Human trafficking of millions is of course another example of the modern institution of slavery. “Workers” in sweatshop factories, is yet a third example of modern slavery.
At what juncture of modern human socialization, did articulating the truth, which is to say, non-qualified or non-relative truth, (which is further to say the genuineness of experience), did defending the truth, did acting upon the truth––which, if taken seriously, is very problematic for the continuation of virtually every aspect of modern civilization––in any way, become mere belligerence, become alarmist, become disingenuousness, trivial, unacceptable, as if a nuisance or threat to be eradicated? To be replaced by relativity––of contrivance and expediency? Perhaps the question is an unhelpful one; the truth might be ignored, replaced with a multitude of illusions and hallucinations to fit the dominant culture at large with remarkable ease; notwithstanding the great effort and gross wealth pumped into the propaganda system. Maybe the truth, and all that is entailed and implied consequently, is too much to handle, or if it is dealt with, perhaps it is only done so within the narrowness and safety of reformation. Surely, slavery could not, cannot be reformed, it had to and must be, abolished. Perhaps it is not exclusively when those in the highly concentrated centers of oligarchy feel their gross power threatened, that the truth becomes un-American, unpatriotic, deviant, a threat to be dealt with, and so intolerable. Perhaps it is also when ordinary people––who are affronted and inculcated with so many insecurities and fears, real and imagined, who are induced to conform to the system and allow it to be abusive and dysfunctional with the misleading notion that it is the best possible scenario and that whatever problems it has created can be rectified, namely by mechanisms of the system itself––that the truth becomes most vulnerable, becomes deplorable.
If collectively, we are threatened at the perception that we cannot maintain our way of life without the majority of the world suffering for it, and certainly not indefinitely at that, perhaps when the denial recedes, as it must if we are to be bona fide, we will recognize that we are the instruments upon which great horrors are played. With that grave realization, should also come the buoyant awareness, that we, collectively, not politicians, or armies, nor bankers, nay corporations, have the power to reinvent the world, to abolish the institutionalized destruction of our, and our nonhuman relatives’ home. Collectively, we, and we alone, have the power to contribute to a humanity, as well as a non-humanity, that is accepting of great delights; joys that will replicate, purposefully toward, and in, a decent future. For the truth, if ever arrived at, if ever departed from with a profound sense of purpose, is possessed as it were, in common. It is like energy, it cannot be destroyed. Or can it?
 Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays, (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1993), 76. Presumably, Thoreau envisaged crime, as being crimes committed by those on the bottom of the hierarchy, that is to say, not the rich at the top, be they politicans, CEO’s of corporations, or wallstreet bankers.
 James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy, Ken Lo, David W. Lea, and Martin Medina-Elizade, "Global temperature change," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 103 (Contributed July 31, 2006; Published September 26, 2006), http://www.pnas.org/content/103/39/14288.full (accessed October 25, 2011).
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 William J. Broad, and Kenneth Chang, "Obama Reverses Bush’s Space Policy,"
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 President of the
 Arundhati Roy, Power Politics, (
 Rich Bindell, "Sorry Wall Street Journal, Nestle Is a Corporation Interested in Making Money -- Not an Expert on Food and Water Issues," AlterNet (September 23, 2011 ), http://www.alternet.org/water/152511/sorry_wall_street_journal,_nestle_is_a_corporation_interested_in_making_money_--_not_an_expert_on_food_and_water_issues (accessed November 3, 2011).
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 See Note 16
 Joel Achenbach, "A 'Dead Zone' in The Gulf of Mexico," The Washington Post (July 31, 2008): A02, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/07/31/ST2008073100349.html (accessed October 22, 2011).
 Christian Nellemann, Stefan Hain, and Jackie Alder, Et. Al., "In Dead Water," United Nations Environment Programme (February 2008): 45, http://www.unep.org/pdf/InDeadWater_LR.pdf (accessed October 24, 2011).
 "Big-Fish Stocks Fall 90 Percent Since 1950, Study Says." National Geographic, May 15, 2003. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/05/0515_030515_fishdecline.html (accessed October 23, 2011).
 Rachel Oliver , "All about: Global fishing," CNN (March 24, 2008), http://articles.cnn.com/2008-03-24/world/eco.aboutfishing_1_fish-stocks-global-fishing-cod-stocks?_s=PM:WORLD (accessed October 24, 2011).
 See Note 22
 Marsha Walton, "Study: Only 10 percent of big ocean fish remain," CNN (May 14, 2003), http://articles.cnn.com/2003-05-14/tech/coolsc.disappearingfish_1_industrial-fishing-fish-numbers-longlines?_s=PM:TECH (accessed October 23, 2011).
 Ransom A. Myers, and Boris Worm, "Extinction, survival or recovery of large predatory fishes," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Published online 2005 January 28), http://www.fmap.ca/ramweb/papers-total/Myers_Worm_2005.pdf (accessed October 23, 2011).
 Jeffrey A. Hutchings, "Collapse and recovery of marine fishes," Nature, Vol 406 (24 August 2000), http://www.udc.es/dep/bave/jfreire/pdf_conservacion/Collapse_recovery_fisheries%20%28Nature%29.pdf (accessed October 23, 2011).
 Christian Nellemann, Stefan Hain, and Jackie Alder, Et. Al., "In Dead Water," United Nations Environment Programme (February 2008): 10, http://www.unep.org/pdf/InDeadWater_LR.pdf (accessed October 24, 2011).
 Ibid 18
 Ibid 20
 Ibid 21
 Ibid 23
 Ibid 27
 Ibid 28
 Ibid 30
 Ibid 32
 Ibid 35
 Ibid 38
 Ibid 39
 Ibid 42
 Ibid 45
 Ibid 42
 Pedro Mendoza, and Frank Bajak, "Global Ban On Toxic Waste Exports Advances ," The Huffington Post (10/21/11 ), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/22/global-ban-on-toxic-waste-dumping_n_1026396.html?view=screen (accessed October 28, 2011).
 See Note 32; pg44
 Ibid 46
 Ibid 47
 Ibid 50
 Ibid 51
 Ibid 52
 Chico Harlan, "In Japan, evacuees weigh risks of return after Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster," The Washington Post (September 1 2011), http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/in-japan-evacuees-weigh-risks-of-return-after-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-disaster/2011/08/26/gIQAyTThtJ_story.html (accessed October 24, 2011).
 See Note 32; pg 52
 Ibid; pg 56
 "Mariana Trench," Encyclopædia Britannica (2011), http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/364967/Mariana-Trench (accessed October 24, 2011).
 See Note 32; pg 56
 Ibid; pg 58
 Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, (
 Johanna Neuman , and Peter Spiegel , "Pay-as-You-Go Evacuation Roils Capitol Hill,"
 See Note 63
 Ibid; pg 539
 Ibid; pg 540
 "Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science," Union of Concerned Scientists (January 2007): 3, http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf (accessed October 26, 2011).
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 Lynnley Browning, "Study Tallies Corporations Not Paying Income Tax," The
 I intentionally choose nations around the world with the lowest GDP to highlight the point.
 See Note 68
 Ibid; pg 9-10
 Frontiers of Freedom, "MISSION STATEMENT." Accessed October 28, 2011. http://www.ff.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=33.
 See Note 68; pg 11
 See Note 78
 Landrith, George. Frontiers of Freedom, "Al Gore's Nobel Prize -- Another Loser Wins ." Accessed October 28, 2011. http://ff.org/about/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=387&Itemid=69.
 See Note 68; pg 13
 OpenSecrets, "Lobbying Spending Database-DCI Group, 2011." Last modified October 24, 2011. Accessed October 28, 2011. http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/firmsum.php?id=D000021952&year=2011.
 DCI Group, "Strategic Alliances." Last modified 2011. http://www.dcigroup.com/what-we-do/strategic-alliances.
 See Note 68; pg 13
 Ibid; pg 16
 Ibid; pg 19
 Ibid; pg 19
 Ibid; pg 30
 Amy Goodman, Breaking the Sound Barrier, (
 Suzanne Goldenberg, "
 Helen Pidd, "BP oil spill estimates double," The Guardian (11 June 2010), http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/11/bp-oil-spill-estimates-double (accessed November 3, 2011).
 Jeremy Scahill, Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, (
 Marcus Baram, "Safety Violations At Massey Mines Skyrocket: 130 In Week Since Accident," The Huffington Post (04-15-10), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/15/safety-violations-at-mass_n_539695.html (accessed November 3, 2011).
 Sarah Van Gelder, "Coal Company Massey Energy Thinks The'yre Above the Law -- Let's Prove Them Wrong," AlterNet; YES Magazine (September 21, 2011), http://www.alternet.org/environment/152489/coal_company_massey_energy_thinks_they're_above_the_law_--_let's_prove_them_wrong (accessed November 3, 2011).
 Jarvis, Brooke. "The High Cost of Cheap Coal ." YES! Magazine, April 7, 2010. http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/brooke-jarvis/the-high-cost-of-cheap-coal (accessed November 3, 2011).
 Rich Bindell, "Is it Safe to Store Fracking Fluid Underground?," AlterNet (September 29, 2011), http://www.alternet.org/water/152582/is_it_safe_to_store_fracking_fluid_underground/ (accessed November 3, 2011).
 Derrick Jensen, Endgame Volume I: The Problem of Civilization, (
 Irene Khan, The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights, (
 Ibid; pg 151
 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, "Fatal occupational injuries, total hours worked, and rates of fatal occupational injuries for civilian workers by selected worker characteristics, occupations, and industries, 2009." Last modified 2009. Accessed October 31, 2011. http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfoi_rates_2009hb.pdf.