11/4/19

The Innards and Machinations of Agenda 21

Part Two of Inside Agenda 21 and 30

A 35 page Dense Essay

“If you don’t have a plan, you become part of somebody else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

Much like when the old snake oil merchant used to ride into town. Agenda 21’s goals and targets were deemed critically important for both, the great improvement in our personal lives and for the world being transformed into a better place. And all to be accomplished by 2030 or it’s all over, all bets off the table. So they bark from atop their loudly lit wagon instilling fear into our hearts.

It is a conspiracy, not a theory, but fact. Agenda 21 is an inventory and control plan of all things; food, land, water, energy, minerals, plants, animals, construction, all means of production, information, and all people. It is a plan for the destruction of representative government, and for unelected regional boards to take its place. It is mostly driven because the current and past lifestyle consumption patterns of a once large affluent middle class (the baby boomers) are no longer sustainable. Consumption patterns that the globalists created, but now deemed a problem. A classic “problem reaction solution”, where a problem is purposely created, and when the public react and scream for something to be done, the solution becomes the perceived or otherwise problem. So because of our meat intake, consumption of frozen processed convenient food, use of fossil fuels, use of motor vehicles, air-conditioning, a huge inventory of small electrical appliances and suburban housing, but a few examples, the globalists will make it sustainable not by getting rid of such things, but by controlling such things. There are many ways they are going to go about this; one of the ways is to move everyone into surveillance managed and controlled cities and regional centers. But first, and because absolute power is being able to control what people think about what happens, the Agenda’s first tenet is all about people. The agenda is “determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfill their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment”. As to how to go about this, to be determined by a select few.

The Agenda’s second tenet concerns the planet Earth, where they “are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations”.

Moving on to prosperity, they “are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature”. Tenet four is all about peace, “to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature”.

The final tenet lies with partnership, to ensure that the purpose of the new Agenda is realized. “To mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people”.

The drivers of these tenets are four main sections of the Agenda. (My comments within the parenthesis).

-Social and Economic Dimensions, meaning “combating poverty (combating the poor), especially in developing countries, changing (controlling) consumption patterns, promoting health (numbing pain), achieving a more sustainable (smaller) population, and sustainable settlement in decision making” (they will decide for us).

-Conservation and Management of Resources for Development, which covers “atmospheric protection (through geo-engineering projects), combating deforestation, protecting fragile environments (by forcefully removing people from them), conservation of biological diversity (control private property), control of pollution (only in Western nations) and the management of biotechnology, and radioactive wastes”.

-Strengthening the Role of Major Groups, (through diversity) including the roles of children and youth, women, NGOs, local authorities, business and industry, and workers; and strengthening the role of indigenous peoples, their communities, and farmers (by subsidizing them all).

-Means of Implementation, “science, technology transfer (control patents), education, international institutions and financial mechanisms”, which will all be covered below.

Much of the Agenda is being implemented at the local level. In 1990, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) or Local Governments for Sustainability was formed. It is an international organization that helps to implement Agenda 21 concepts across the world. Building a global network of cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future.

Today, the ICLEI network includes more than 1,750 local and regional governments in more than 100 countries. The only requirements for ICLEI membership are a self-defined commitment to climate protection and the payment of annual membership dues based on population size. They also give out millions of dollars in grants, but you must first cede any decision making to them. Hundreds if not thousands of city and town councils abide by their directions.

While European countries, especially the Scandinavian countries have generally been the most obedient and accepting of Agenda 21, the US has nearly half of the ICLEI’s global membership of 1,200 cities, (528 cities/75 per cent of their cities), all promoting sustainable development at a local level. Australia is second with over 90 of its municipalities adopting the Agenda’s plan. The ICLEI representatives/handlers in these communities assist local governments to push for change along five interconnected “pathways” that cut across sectors and jurisdictional boundaries, and which enable “local and regional governments to think and design solutions in a holistic and integrated way, creating change across entire urban systems”. The pathways they push include, “low emission, nature-based, circular, resilient, and equitable and people-centered developments”.

While Agenda 21 has infiltrated at the local level, the 2030 Agenda is more a global plan. As mentioned earlier, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by 193 UN member states in September 2015. The remaining three of the world’s 196 countries, Kosovo, the Vatican and the State of Palestine, are not a part of the UN so were not allowed to vote. So basically it was all in, and here we go. Notably, looking around the world over the past four years, since its inception , I can’t be the only one who thinks somebody has cranked up the crazy meter. Especially after the shock created when just over a year after 2030 Agenda was signed, instead of the expected Hillary, President Trump was elected.

The globalists plan for transforming the world relies on 17 points. With the word “sustainability” to be repeated to death so that we can all believe. And not wanting to take up too much of your time, I’ll give an overview of each point, with examples, and hopefully you get the drift. It may perhaps answer some of the, often befuddling decisions being made in our towns, communities, cities and regions.

1. “End poverty everywhere.”

By way of welfare, food stamps, housing subsidies, universal basic income (UBI), Planned Parenthood, abortion, and other handouts. In fact, the overall poverty rate is actually dropping globally, mostly because of free-market capitalism, not socialism. Socialism is where everyone except the elite make $30,000 per year. Capitalism, and not corporatism, is where some can make $50,000 and some can make millions, if they worked hard enough for it. And the rest live on welfare, unemployment insurance, disability, or the soon to be universal basic income.

While capitalism at it’s base is where natural resources, energy and human labour go in one end and commodities and waste comes out the other, it is the opposite of how nature and ecosystems work. When resources are depleted the game is over. The planet is indifferent to our existence for it doesn’t need us to survive. But capitalism, not fascist corporatism-globalism, is still our best bet. It has been estimated that at the end of the 18th century, when industrialization began to rise and eventually bring forth labour laws that modernized and humanized the workplace and eradicated most child-killing diseases, about 90 per cent of the planet’s population at the time (800 million people) lived in poverty. The average life expectancy was 30 years. Today less than 10 per cent of the global population of 7.7 billion live in poverty, with the average life expectancy 70 years.

While the problem with socialism, especially Bolshevism, is it does not take into account human nature, nor the fact we are not equal. It operates by taxing the wealthy and making everyone poor, except of course for the elite at the top, who control all industry and commerce. Instead everyone is treated the same, no matter who you think you are. At the same time, being an individual has been programmed into us so much because it has paradoxically been used to only divide us. Eventually, if your not paid for being an individual, being one will be looked down upon.

In reality under present corrupt economic and government policy, more and more people are falling deeper into debt and extreme poverty. Because the present economy in most developed nations, only works for 30 per cent of the population, with tens of millions of people already mathematically eliminated. Statistical fraud by the government on poverty, cost of living and unemployment, cannot cover up the fact that the overwhelming majority of the population is on a fast track to impoverishment.

In the US there are only enough full-time jobs for 50 per cent of the working-age population, and half of the full-time jobs pay under $35,000 per year. “In current conditions, it is nearly impossible for perhaps 70 per cent of the working-age population are hard-pressed to earn enough income to afford the basic necessities without taking on ever-increasing levels of debt. And in many cases unable to ever pay back because there are not enough jobs that generate the necessary income to keep up with the cost of living”. Ergo, hamsters on a wheel in a cage.

The US government’s inane policies and actions in dealing with the growing epidemic of poverty couldn’t be more blatant. Cut billions of dollars from assistance programs and pour billions of dollars into the military, subsidizing corporations, and the prison industry. To also control the impoverished by militarizing the police. The private prison industry in the US is currently growing at an insane 1600 per cent rate. This is not a typo. Even though technology can now make it so we can be imprisoned, and monitored just as much, in our own homes. As it is, the US has the largest prison population in the world. Especially since in many inner-cities, poverty has become criminalized, with an assembly line of incarceration now in place. From birth, by a lack of family values, and indoctrinated through the public school system. Besides, the globalists feel that there’s no point in educating the poor because there is nothing for them to do. All told, in the US, 42 percent of children born to poor families will still be in poverty as adults, a higher percent than in any other advanced nation.

There is enough wealth in the world today to eliminate poverty. That there is poverty makes no economic sense whatsoever. It costs society more to have poverty than it costs to eliminate it. That is the insanity of the current system. Political candidates and parties spend billions of dollars to be elected to represent the poor. At the same time, the planet doesn’t have the resources for every human on it’s surface to become “middle class”.

Universal basic income conveniently, is where everyone, regardless of their earnings or employment, receive regular checks from their government instead of receiving any benefits. To be eligible, one must have citizenship, and vetted, as for one’s availability for the labour market and/or the willingness to perform community services. Those for it believe it will offset and counter the jobs lost due to automation and computerization by taxing private business. And will “free humanity from the burden of working hard”. Such a scheme could also replace the complex arrangement of government benefits, rebates and tax rebates. And supposedly everyone will have at least enough to eat, have available fresh water, able to clothe themselves, and able to rent a roof over their heads.

Currently, only about 9 per cent of jobs are at risk of disappearing because of automation, with unskilled workers the most vulnerable. Some estimates suggest 50 per cent of jobs will be automated in 10 years. A very recent study (Sept.2019) showed that most who are for UBI are 18 to 29 years old. The study also shows that 75 per cent in the US, 53 per cent in the UK and only 49 per cent in Canada would be willing to pay any extra taxes to fund such a project. The majority in the study, in all three of these countries, agreed that companies who switch to automation should have to pay more in taxes to do so. Which they gladly will pay of course, because of the money saved by going automated, while the government will add the incoming money to their coffers, perhaps even using it to subsidize fossil fuel companies, while people will still lose their jobs.

Many believe that UBI will reduce the incentive to work, or for one to live up to their potential. It would no doubt be inflationary, and that by attempting to move people out of poverty might simply raise the poverty line. It is a scheme, which will make the majority of the population permanent wards of the state. There is also concern that by reducing taxable income for the many will reduce a government’s ability to cover other expenses, like health care or a universal basic income. There is also worry that it will cause perpetual economic stagnation, higher interest rates, currency depreciation, and onerous tax hikes. And though some countries are already trying the idea, in April 2018, and only two years after Finland implemented such an experiment, they have decided to shut it down. Mostly because it became a question of where’s the money going to come from.

Yes, for some, being able to rent a roof over their head and able to lock the front door, have enough to eat, have medical insurance, afford internet access fees, hydro, and the opportunity to attend the occasional gatherings of friends and family would relieve much stress. And having the freedom to spend eight or more hours a day doing something you have a passion for and would like to share with others, would be wonderful. But which also means having a work ethic, and the dedication and discipline to do such a thing. And yes, with the option of still working in a job you really enjoy or climbing some corporate ladder, one can fill one’s boots, and make all the money you think you’ll need. Won’t necessarily bring happiness, but makes it easier to pretend you are, and at least will keep you busy.

In reality, things will stay much the same. The gifted, creative and driven will continue walking their roads, while the majority will take what is given, and spend more time online, and in front of an ever enlarging TV screen, and soon will be staring at the wall. Any money left over wasted buying a better phone, then spending the better part of the day staring at it. Indulging in as many distractions as one can. Filling up each moment of one’s day. Perhaps gaining ever more weight, needing more health care, and giving more money than they did before to the wealthiest people on the planet by buying their stuff and once again racking up debt. All to be told what to watch, what game to play, what to wear, what story to follow, what to eat and drink, and how to act and think.

There will still be serious mental and physical health issues, fewer people educated, addictions running rampant and increasing distractions. The problem with such a concept as UBI is the same problem with Gross Domestic Product (GDP), (the sum of the market values, or prices, of all final goods and services produced in an economy during a period of time). Work is not just a means of subsistence, it is a moral psychological necessity for individual and community well being. But universal basic income is not just another type of socialism either; instead it’s just another type of control to keep the status quo docile and tamed. Just like the soon to be, negative interest rate, and making physical currency illegal. It’s all created to benefit some and harm many others, but most importantly, to control the herd.

2.“End hunger by achieving food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”

Meaning, giving the poor, food that will bring them heart disease and cancer, thus simply getting rid of the hungry. Promote Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Most engineering genetic pollination and cross species genetic experiments, are all carried out with no idea of long term consequences. But many tests where rats are fed strictly GMO food, by the 3rd generation they are all sterile, as will all who follow. The globalists are giddy about such an outcome.

The World Economic Forum, based in Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland, is an NGO, founded in 1971, with a membership of 1,000 multinationals corporations. Through a partnership between the Earth Bio-Genome Project and the Earth Bank of Codes are collaborating to sequence the DNA of all life on earth. It was estimated to take ten years and cost $4.7 billion.

In June 2018, one of the world’s most morally corrupt corporations, the chemical and medicinal suppliers, Bayer AG, purchased the other most morally corrupt corporation in the world, the agrichemical giant, Monsanto, for $66 billion, thereby controlling over one quarter of the global medicinal and agriculture industry, and are ever increasing the usage of ever more deadly herbicides and genetically modified food. A recent report (2019) found that roughly of all produce sold in the US has pesticide residue on it, even after it is washed. Especially most fruit, whether nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries and pears. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) figures at least 90 per cent of North Americans have detectable pesticide levels in their urine and blood.

Another scathing new report from Food & Water Watch, outlines the madness of Monsanto. Their seeds are genetically engineered to withstand the massive, growing amounts of herbicides and pesticides, and artificial growth hormones, created and used by themselves. Such genetically modified seeds are grown on over 282 million acres worldwide, including 40 per cent of US farmland. In the US alone Monsanto earns over $11 billion in net sales, while spending over $60 million over the past two years lobbying the US government. The report found that indeed, as we’ve known for decades now, “Monsanto has become synonymous with the corporatization and industrialization of our food supply.”

Automation and technological centralization will undoubtedly take over the food industry, while tillage (plowing) of land, will probably soon be not allowed, and portrayed as an “unsustainable” practise by humans. With sadness is the fact that we will then have destroyed future generation’s ability to grow and harvest food, as well as collecting seeds for future harvests, by erasing such knowledge from our social memory. As we have already done by removing our knowledge and ability to hunt and forage to provide the necessities needed to survive.

Just over one hundred years ago about 80 per cent of the people on the planet were still living rural, in counties, towns, and on farms. The rest lived in the big-cities. Farming was hard work, some risk, and for most it became a passion. Truly providing for family and community. The smell of hay, dirt and manure, and killing animals which were raised, to eat them and use their hides.

Today, recent calculations show that there is about 1.9 hectares of arable land per person to supply the food and resources and absorb that human’s waste over a year. In reality, the average human on the planet uses about 2.3 hectares worth. Comparatively, the average American needs about 9.7 hectares for their resources and waste, the average African, less than half a hectare. Canada, with more land to grow food than every other country in the world, except one (Russia), has to import more than 80 per cent of all the fruit, vegetables, and nuts, she consumes. In the 1970’s the province of British Columbia, grew 75 per cent of it’s own food, today (2019) and because of globalism, it barely grows 5 per cent.

Actual food has become nothing but a commodity and is not distributed on the basis of need but in accordance with market demand. In other words, the paying consumer rather than the hungry human is the target of corporate food production. And though humanity produces more food than at any other time in history; we waste 40 per cent of it. And in most cases the reason for it is because of our expectations and demand for high-quality food that must be pleasing to the eye. Similar to how humans interact with each other, North American supermarket chains reject over 30 per cent of all fruits and vegetables because they aren’t attractive enough.

Canadians alone waste over $31 billion dollars worth of food every year, 47 per cent of which gets wasted at home. At the same time over 13 per cent of Canadians (4 million people) do not have reliable access to adequate amounts of safe, good-quality, nutritious food. Along with extreme inequality and distribution, one of the main reasons being they are poor, and because the food that is good for you, as with all things good for us, is not cheap.

Meanwhile, and yet another paradox, nearly 800 million people in the world are starving. That’s about one in nine people on Earth. The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 per cent of the population is undernourished, yet at the same time there are over one billion people in the world who are obese, and over 1.6 billion people who are overweight.

Globally, only 10 companies control almost every large food and beverage brand. And speaks volumes on our consumption habits and health. They include;

Nestlé ($87 billion annual revenue), and among many other items, owns Gerber baby food, Perrier, DiGiorno, Hot Pockets, and candy brands including Butterfinger and KitKat. And seem to have a global monopoly on bottled water.

PepsiCo ($63 billion) which in addition to Pepsi and other sodas, also owns brands such as Quaker Oatmeal, Cheetos, and Tropicana.

Unilever ($59 billion) has a diverse list of brands including Axe body spray, Lipton tea, Magnum ice cream, and Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

Coca-Cola ($44 billion) is moving beyond soda, with beverage brands including Dasani, Fuze, and Honest Tea. And are also trying to gain a monopoly on bottled water.

Mars ($33 billion) is best known for its chocolate brands, such as M&M, but it also owns Uncle Ben’s rice, Starburst, and Orbit gum.

Mondelez ($30 billion), this snack-centric company’s brands include Oreo, Trident gum, and Sour Patch Kids.

Danone ($25 billion) is best known for yogurts like Activa, Yocrunch, and Oikos. They also sell medical nutrition products and bottled water.

General Mills ($17 billion) produce cereals like Cheerios and Chex, but also owns brands like Yoplait, Hamburger Helper, Haagen-Dazs, and Betty Crocker.

Associated British Foods ($16 billion). This British company owns brands such as Dorset Cereals and Twinings tea, as well as the retailer Primark.

And Kellogg’s ($13.5 billion) which owns Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, and non cereal brands including Eggo, Pringles, and Cheez-It.

And while millions of small farmers are still producing the majority of the planets’ food, the transnational companies who favour global food chains rather than local, and their chemical-intensive industrial farming practices, are gaining ever more ground. To affirm, between 2003 and 2013, 33 per cent (4 million) of private farms in the European Union disappeared. Gobbled up by corporations. Today only three per cent of the chemical-intensive industrial farms control over 50 per cent of the European Union’s agricultural land. The same thing is happening in America where bankrupt farms are not purchased by other farmers but by corporations. Farmers all over the globe are having their livelihoods taken away from them, and are sadly taking their own lives. American farmers now have the highest suicide rate of any other profession in the US (84.5 per 100,000), more than four times the rate of the general population. And even though not one new food staple has been developed from a wild plant since prehistoric times, today biotech and agribusiness corporations, such as Monsanto, have taken out patents on crop seeds, genetically modified or not, and even some animals, which they claim to have “invented”.

The world’s largest crop today is not as in the past, a cereal, it is sugarcane – surprise. Corn is the second largest food crop, with rice number three. But rice is the most important grain, as it provides over one-fifth of the calories consumed by humans worldwide. As to calories, today about four billion people live on a plant-based diet, while about two billion live on a meat-based diet.

Though not a grain, but a legume, soybean is another important crop to humanity but is unfortunately being grown where rain forests once stood, with over 80 per cent of its production being used to feed livestock. But by far the world’s biggest feed-grain is corn. Yes, it and bubble gum being two of the few things able to pass through a digestive system unscathed.

The US is the leading producer and exporter of corn, accounting for four-fifths of the total world grain harvest. They use 56 per cent of their available water to grow such crops. Globally the US corn crop exceeds China’s rice and wheat harvests combined, with twice as much corn grown than rice. Thirty-seven per cent of all corn production is used for creating ethanol, with bio-fuel production having grown 300,000 per cent (again, not a typo) in the last ten years, converting ever more land from farming food to production of fuel. Approximately one bushel (approx. 30 L) of corn produces 10.5 liters of ethanol, nearly 8 kg of waste (which is used for livestock feed) and 8.1 kg of carbon dioxide. With over 10 per cent of corn production going to syrup, sweeteners, starch, beverage alcohol and cereals, while the rest continues to be used as simple filler for manufactured foods and for feeding livestock.

The predominate insecticide (neonicotinoids) used on many corn and soy crops, affects bees and other insects’ central nervous system, and is considered one of the main causes for the loss of more than 30 per cent of bees across North America. China and the Europe are also experiencing bee colonies dying off, as well as further loss from mites, viruses, climate conditions and habitat loss. What is now called colony collapse disorder might be the start to imminent extinction for the honey bee, which plays an important role in pollination. Its extinction alone would be disastrous for the food chain.

Today, animal pastureland which corrals and processes the world’s 20 billion chickens, 1.6 billion cows and bulls, and one billion pigs and sheep, now accounts for over 40 per cent of the planet’s usable surface. The bulk of which, is in China, US, India and Australia. Not counting the trillions of fish, crustaceans and molluscs harvested or caught, the total biomass of the world’s livestock is nearly twice that of humanity. Weighing twice as much as we do, taking twenty times as much land and crops, and using hundreds of times more water to grow.

To grow a half a kilogram of edible animal products on say one acre of land, you could instead grow twelve to twenty times the amount in kilograms of edible vegetables, fruit, and grain. Today, nearly 2,000 cattle, chickens, pigs and sheep are slaughtered every second for food, about 500 billion a year, and worth about $1 trillion a year. With humanity eating 25 per cent more meat than five years ago, it is estimated that the demand for meat will double over the next fifteen to twenty years, and that by 2050, as our population rises along with land costs, real meat will be a luxury item. While fake meat will not be, and “soylent green” not so far-fetched. Soon meat will be taxed as much as cigarettes, gas, and sugar.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently analyzed data which the National Antimicrobial Resistant Monitoring System (2015) received after testing 47,000 pieces of meat sold in supermarkets, including beef, chicken, pork and turkey. And though the tests were conducted in the US, much of the same meat is sold throughout the world. Where animals enclosed within corporate factory farms, live in such stressful, crowded and unsanitary conditions they must be fed huge quantities of antibiotics to survive, and grow more quickly. The data shows antibiotic resistant bacteria in 79 per cent of turkey samples, 71 per cent of pork chops, 62 per cent of beef and 36 per cent of chicken parts. Suffice to say, children, pregnant women, older adults or the immune compromised, beware.

Today there has been extensive research on synthetic agriculture, where molecules replace dirt, animals, land, and hard work. But before something like this can go forward, certain fundamentals should be met, Such as affordability, nutrition, and taste. When this criterion is met we’ll all buy into it in the name of “sustainability”.

3. “Ensure healthy lives and promote the well being of all people at all ages” (pharmaceutically).

An industry that is not about curing anything, but instead, is all about making money to mitigate the pain and trying to stave off death. Globalism has created a health care system that has become simply disease treatment, operating with a lack of resources for the mentally ill, and a manufactured ignorance about addiction because people aren’t willing to go through the “hell and back” stage it takes to recover. Throw in rising costs of living, the lowering of our morals, the destruction of the family, modern homelessness, and our consumption habits.

In the seventies, the globalists got many liberal and democratic governments to start shutting down facilities for the mentally ill, because they thought it would save them money. Instead the costs to deal with the increasing homeless and mentally-ill population, including the bulk of time and services spent by the police, medical personal, the court system and the health ministries, are over ten-fold over when they were living in places to keep them safe. Locking them all up on some remote island would be as much or far more costly. But as time went on, modern homelessness became where we stopped seeing people and instead started to only see problems. The causes are many, but are most all symptoms of a much deeper crisis. The society we live in and the continuing process of dehumanizing much of the population. The globalist’s have also instilled mass victimization, obedience, and hinder any upward mobility based on merit alone. And when we stray we are locked up in prisons, or driven broke defending our innocence.

Tens of millions of people in the developed world who have been suffering mentally, could have perhaps been cured by now if it were not for the doctor and pharmaceutical salesmen induced prescription epidemic of drugs such as methylphenidates, a dopamine re-uptake inhibitor drug, which include the brand names, Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate and Methylin. Along with, anti-psychotic tranquilizing drugs, from Thorazine, Haldol, Prolixin, Clozapine, Abilify, Clozapine, Fanapt, Geodon, Invega, Risperdal, Saphris, Seroquel and Zyprexa. The most popular by far, are the anti-depressants, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, and Lexapro. All simply distracting the pain instead of dealing with it. Whether depression or addiction from lack of spiritual care, trauma, or chemical imbalances, far too many people today are facing illness and grief by finding comfort and meaning through pills. Sadly the medicated are also less inclined to do something new, like to change and become a better person.

In the US, over 95 million people take prescription painkillers for chronic pain. But then for over fifty years now, “many people, usually middle-aged and elderly women, were prescribed opioid medications for the often most trivial conditions, personality inadequacies and social influences”. And then when sufficiently addicted, health insurance runs out and people have to get their supply elsewhere to feed the addiction. Getting big-Pharma to monopolize the opioid industry, and control the Afghan opium fields using the US military for nearly twenty years now, was brilliant. Especially now, when after people’s prescriptions runs out on their “pain relief”, they go the cheap route, heroin from the Afghan poppy fields.

The current cost for their prescription drug created opioid epidemic is more than $78 billion a year. The majority of this money is going to the makers of the prescription painkillers, by not fixing an injury, instead making it so we just don’t feel it, because we’re high. Other countries are also experiencing rising costs and deaths attributed to the opioid epidemic. But then, alcohol and tobacco are together, more than four times as costly to economies as the combined costs of opioids and cannabis. Americans are now dying more by overdoses than car accidents and guns. The highest drug-related death rates in the world today are in the US, Canada, and Mexico. In reality most people aren’t necessarily addicted to alcohol, porn, gambling or opioids and other drugs; they are addicted to escaping reality. And is why the supposedly War on Drugs, is actually a War on People.

Two recent studies showed that in Canada, and the US, over 60 per cent of the populations couldn’t cover a $500 emergency repair bill. Nor afford a single pill of a life-saving drug, such as for hepatitis, anti-infection, or the new multiple-sclerosis (MS) pill ($300,000 for a years prescription).

AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons), a US-based non-profit interest group with more than 38 million members as of 2018, and whose stated mission is “to empower people to choose how they live as they age”, recently completed a study of 115 specialty drugs and found that the average cost of a year’s worth of prescriptions was over $50,000, three times more than the average Social Security benefit. Although it’s true that most people don’t pay the full retail cost of medicine, the portion paid by insurance companies is ultimately passed on to consumers through higher premiums. The companies claim they need the high prices to pay for better medicines. But for every $1 they spend on basic research, they invest $19 in promotion and marketing. They also pay competitors to keep generic drugs out of the market, and have successfully lobbied Congress to keep Medicare from bargaining for lower drug prices.

Another proponent of the Agenda is to call for mass medication “prevention” programs, and claim they will improve the health of citizens. To mandate over 100 vaccines to be administered to all babies, children and adults, with those not abiding will be taken somewhere and given the shot there, or physically restrained in their own home. And to push heavy medication upon children and teens while their brains are still developing. It is also strongly advised that children get vaccinated starting at two months of age and that the recommended schedule be strictly followed. The pharmaceutical companies that come up with these vaccines promise they protect children against diseases that can cause serious illness, long-term disability and death. As of today, from birth to six years old we receive fourteen vaccination shots.

As of 2018, vaccine manufacturers, specifically Merck, shared in the over $85 billion of the “outsourced healthcare logistics market”. This is expected to grow to $105 billion by 2021. U.P.S. will dispatch nurses, and their security, to vaccinate adults in their homes. Each vaccine will target a viral illness of some kind. Coincidentally Merck supposedly already has vaccines for shingles, Hepatitis-B and the flu. And just like any other business plan they want to increase access to its medicines and vaccines, by boosting adult vaccination rates. Meanwhile in 2018, the US government paid $100 million for vaccine injuries and death. Since 1989 they have paid out in excess of $4 billion.

Not all vaccinations are bad, but they do disrupt and/or degrade our immune system. Though eating healthy balanced food builds a healthy immune system, few accomplish this today. And in our toxic world one needs an immune system. As it is people with allergies, infections, cancers, asthma attacks, suicide, anxiousness, depression and autism are all on the rise, with vaccine auto-immunity, causing chronic health problems. Why are babies given vaccines for Hepatitis-B, when it is picked up through unprotected sex and needle use? Then by the time they are teens they no longer have protection when they do become sexually active. For this, upon birth a baby is given 250 macro-grams of the neuro-toxin aluminum. The highest daily adult dosage is 50 macro-grams. In many places, children who are not vaccinated for Hepatitis-B are not being allowed to even attend school.

In a recent report where 3,345 cases were looked at, 715 of which were not vaccinated; there was only one case of autism. Another report showed that people who were on a vaccine-friendly plan (choosing certain vaccinations), out of every 440 patients, one was autistic. But the gospel according to The Center of Disease Control, which everyone obediently abides by, states there is one case of autism every 45 people not vaccinated. Yet in the 1980’s, medical students were not even taught about autism. Personally, growing up in a big city I never saw it. In the 1990’s it starting becoming an issue. Mostly because vaccinated kids are sicker than non-vaccinated kids. Meanwhile, polio has been eradicated, babies don’t need to be vaccinated to prevent Hep-B, and as far as the measles, mumps, and rubella go, they are.

Besides germs, the leading health risks of our species today are high blood pressure, chronic illness and pain, alcohol, smoking, injuries, mental health conditions, and bone and joint disease. Mostly because seriously, we haven’t had to run around each day hunting and gathering for quite some time. We are mostly dying from the things that come into contact with our skin, lungs, and whatever we put into our mouths and brains. With most of us dying from heart disease, cancer, especially to the lungs and large intestine, respiratory diseases, dementia, unintended accidents caused by not being aware and in the moment, stroke, diabetes, flu and pneumonia, kidney disease and suicide, which sums up our species perfectly.

As to life and death, the latest estimates figure the planet’s human population will be about 9.5 billion by the year 2050, and perhaps 11 billion by 2100. Studies also suggest that while Africa’s population will grow, Asia’s population will peak in about 2050 at about 5 billion and then decline, while North America, Europe and Latin America’s population will stay below one billion each. Almost 45 per cent of the growth will be concentrated in countries that are the least able to feed themselves – Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Currently two-thirds of the most malnourished people on Earth live in seven countries, and that over the next few generations there is going to be about one billion people born in these seven countries.

Today (Oct.2019) the world’s population is 7.7 billion people. This number is currently rising by over 130 million per year, about 10 million, per month. On the other hand nearly 60 million die every year. Over 48 per cent of them people over 70 years of age. And that 69 per cent of all deaths are from either our environment or what we ingest. Things like heart attacks and disease, cancers, respiratory and lower respiratory diseases, dementia, and digestive diseases. All the stuff corporations and our own consumption habits, have thrown at us. While the fears they instill in us, like drugs, alcohol, hepatitis, conflicts, terrorism, and natural disasters, are all less than one per cent of all deaths.

Any war certainly helps in more deaths and injury, which the US and the UK have gleefully provided. Ethnic cleansing also helps, and of course such events, as socialism in the 20th century, where Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China and the killing fields of Cambodia, killed around 100 million people. Or Rwanda in 1994. Rwanda is the biggest Catholic country in Africa, and the world. Some of their priests, nuns and bishops, by radio, TV and sermons, incited violence which killed in just 100 days, about 800,000 people. Slaughtered by ethnic Hutu extremists, who were targeting members of the minority Tutsi community, as well as their political opponents, irrespective of their ethnic origin. Neighbours killed neighbours and some husbands even killed their Tutsi wives, saying they would be killed if they refused. At the time, ID cards had people’s ethnic group on them, so militias simply set up roadblocks where Tutsis were slaughtered, often with the weapons of choice, machetes. Thousands of Tutsi women were taken away and kept as sex slaves.

Also in Africa, and although the continent is home to about 15.2 per cent of the world’s population, more than two-thirds of the total infected worldwide with HIV/AIDS (35 million people as of 2017), were Africans, of whom 15 million have already died. The problem with Africa is that the best prevention is of course safer sexual behaviour, and emphasizes the need for fidelity, fewer sexual partners, and a later age of sexual debut. All of which goes against many aspects of many African cultures. And of course since many of the African cultures are predominately Catholic, condoms are deemed evil. Which certainly doesn’t help, and deeply disturbing.

Then there is tobacco, which globally is the cause of one in five deaths annually. Over 7 million deaths a year. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. In Canada, 17 to 18 per cent of all deaths are attributed to cigarettes. And yet, obviously putting any ethics aside, the Canadian government through it’s Canada Pension Plan (CPP), and through work and private pension funds and RRSP’s (registered retirement savings plans), over $1 billion is directly invested in big tobacco companies, including 35 per cent of vaping company Juul, and $118 million in Japan Tobacco.

4. “Ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”

And yes of course there is indeed untold numbers of incredible teachers out there, but the typical unfocused mediocre underfunded but union driven public education system, is about producing obedient workers rather than independent thinkers. By way of the development of a dumbed-down education system operating under international “Common Core” educational standards. Such a system was established by the globalists in the early 1950’s and is set up to meet the needs of the average student despite any individual differences with their classmates, within an instructional construct. It’s curriculum, where students are expected to excel at everything in the same way and rate as their classmates. It is standardized against the average through test scores, which is odd because there is no average. And while the very few are still able to skip grades, everyone now graduates, deservedly or not. As a system that made every effort to produce equal outcomes for different categories of people, it has failed miserably. So today, the progressives and their globalists handlers are only left with plain coercion to force equal outcomes at all costs. This can be seen throughout society.

The money that could fund a better public education system is used elsewhere, to more important matters such as arms manufacturing or subsidizing their monopoly on oil. Challenging and disciplined academic education on the other hand is being left to private education, and those who can afford it. Because only through individualized curriculum can the greatest number of students will be able to learn anything. Yet colleges and universities, have made billions, sending millions into sometimes life long debt, with a degree that doesn’t mean anything in the real world, though at the least gives the person a sense of identity. With many of the same schools trying to eradicate objectivity and free from bias, individualism, a belief in meritocracy, a political system in which economic goods and/or political power are vested in individual people on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than wealth or social class, and finally having a protestant work ethic. All these values are now deemed the root cause of bigotry, and represent what is now called “white privilege”. Indeed, the core curriculum of most education systems today, whether in public or private, grade school, college or university, is politically influenced at the least, but mostly by blatant political propaganda. The only course that may still be an exception is mathematics.

Current education systems are partly based on the globalist’s belief in Malthusianism. Related to the idea that population growth is potentially exponential while the growth of the food supply is linear, and that the planet’s greatest enemy is human creativity. So allowing humanity from developing their minds, critically thinking, and experimental learning, in order to make more discoveries and inventions which could offset the current, and future world’s crises’, must not be allowed. Malthusians believe that science should only be used to understand and guide the welfare of mankind. And is why by 1971, instead of funding the curiosity and discovery in atomic, medical and space sciences, the globalists began funding practical engineering projects, such as the humanities, monetary economics and social sciences.

In the public education system, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are disappearing. Mostly because these are hard things to do, they take work, discipline and focus. Many public school systems have become social clubs, where it’s all about participating and having fun, with as little stress as possible. For the vast majority, dancing, cooking, drama, school band, and sports have nothing to offer if one wants to apply for post-secondary programs, they are hobbies. Instead, teacher and former school board member Geoff Johnson, suggests maybe teaching science, civics, and history, which, after us baby boomers die off, will have already been completely rewritten anyways, with real history not to be spoken or else people might realize that they’d rather not repeat it. And to teach only an overview of math, especially algebra, which is all about thinking about numbers abstractly. Perhaps even courses on debating or public speaking, or economics, especially the dangers of illusory economics, and money management in a cashless society, debt and credit cards, what interest means, because it’s obvious many parents aren’t teaching such things anymore.

And yes a very few will have the dedication, work ethic and sacrifice what is required to be a world class athlete, artist, dancer, cook, lawyer or doctor, but the character of that person is already there or not. It doesn’t mean they are good people either, because success has never produced or developed character, it only expresses it. And that worthwhile achievement is its own reward.

The latest thing to drop out of the sky from those above, is the soon to arrive, Universal Child Day Care. They will then be able to start programming children before they even make it to kindergarten. Instead of just 13 years of kindergarten/elementary/high-school, they’ll now have one to two year old children for the next fifteen to sixteen years of their lives. Then when they are grown up and sufficiently indoctrinated in only one narrative, they will be no threat to the collective world order. The plan of course is to get people to chain themselves, by making them just smart enough to pay taxes, make them think voting actually means something, keep their head down, opinion to themselves, and that silence is golden. This is why the restructuring of the family unit has been going on for the past fifty years. Going after the family unit is the bedrock of the globalist’s plan, because family is the bedrock of civil life. For tens of thousands of years, it has been the smallest form of government. It is where children are taught how to become adults, and knowing both a mother’s love and a father’s, are taught about responsibility, respect, honesty, empathy for others, having a work ethic, love and forgiveness, and pride of one’s country or tribe. Thus family must be destroyed.

5.“Achieve gender equality”

By further dividing us as human beings. Criminalize Christianity, marginalize heterosexuals, and promote the very small minority of people, who are of the LBGTQ (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer) communities.

The erosion of protestant Christianity, not the Roman Catholic Church version, is happening because everything is now corrupt. Whether the globalists or governments, its all about power and nothing to do with ethics anymore. For ethics does not exist in nature, it was mostly taught to us humans through such things as Christianity. So it must be gone. Writer Brandon Smith, says so well, “The difference between Christianity and capitalist corporatism, is the latter only uses the symbolic and avoids the meaning. This allows culture to define morality, instead of scripture. They have taken the symbols of Christianity, especially family values, and removed its substance.”

Meanwhile about 1.7 per cent of people born will have emotional systems which will make them either gay men or lesbian women. This has been occurring over the history of our species. If one were to add bisexuality and transgender, which are both not biological but psychological, the current LBGTQ community in some Western countries is about 4.5 per cent of the population. Besides LBGTQ’s there are also now over seventy other genders, with each having its own unique pronoun. Such singular gender neutral third person pronouns must now be used when someone’s gender is unknown or when the person is neither male nor female. So instead of he/him/his or she/her/hers, and even if the person may look like a woman or a man, the politically correct pronouns to use now are, they/them/theirs, and to further confuse, zie/hir/ey/em or eir, among many others. In some countries, including Canada, calling someone the improper pronoun is considered hate speech.

To further achieve gender equality the goal is to shame anyone who expresses any male characteristics, especially if they are white. Because only male energy has the strength to rise up against tyranny and oppression and fight for human rights. This must be curtailed. The suppression of male energy is instrumental in keeping the herd docile. Then slowly feminize society, create widespread acceptance of gentle disobedience, share everything, and weaken any ideas of communal property. Many progressives look down on women who dress sexually, but will clap and cheer when trans-men wear the same thing.

While the well used adage, “a woman born into a man’s body or a man born into a woman’s body” is false, for human sexuality is binary. Gender identity on the other hand are thoughts and feelings of our emotional system that do not match with one’s assigned sex, which are not hard-wired within us, they are developed.

Both males and females develop two emotional systems, based on the chemistry going on in our bodies: the mirror neuron system (MNS) and the temporal-parietal junction system (TPJ). The MNS is responsible for emotional empathy for others, while the TPJ guides cognitive empathy and the ability to distance oneself from another person’s emotions by focusing analytically on solving a problem. Both sexes start their empathy process in the MNS, but the male brain often quickly switches over to the TPJ.

Sex is a question of biologically determined male and female, while gender is socially determined masculinity and femininity. There are three categories of biological human sex: male, female, and intersex. The vast majority of humans are born with male or female reproductive systems, secondary sexual characteristics, and chromosomal structure, and there is a very small segment born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the definitions of female or male anomalies of sex chromosomes, gonads, and/or anatomic sex. Gender meanwhile is the state of being either masculine or feminine, and is typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. Gender is fluid and based upon personal desire and sometimes surgery. Such determination of gender by the very few, now allows public financing for surgeries that destroys healthy tissue; and the use of potentially dangerous hormone/drug therapies, especially for children, while many a child’s gender is now determined by their parent, whether or not that child has a penis or a vagina.

Sadly, evidence suggests many of those who are having a hard time trying to figure out their gender, whether male or female, masculine or feminine, are also suffering from depression, with the suicide rate amongst themselves four times higher than the general population. All of which only further divides us as human beings.

As to the transgender movement, there are arguments being made today that it is an attempt to make it a civil right to have a mental illness, much like there is discussion lately that perhaps pedophilia should be listed as a sexual preference. And that perhaps it is acclimatizing the general public into familiarity for when we are interacting in our daily lives with AI machines. Who knows?

Yet, and also in reality, in most industrialized countries, rules, rights and laws are, and have been in place, where equality between the sexes should be no longer an issue. Everyone has the equal rights to make decisions on how they want to live their lives. Women rule over nations, and yield much influence and power working in government, and some become very successful in private business. As of 2019, the president, chairman and CEO of the largest arms manufacturers in the world, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, are women. Another one of the biggest, Northrop Grumman’s president/chairman is a women. The head of the CIA is a woman. As to the infamous “pay gap” between men and women. Bits of the data was selected and used, omitting, in nearly all cases, it was based on the fact that on average men work 42 hours per week, women on average work 32 hours per week. And on average men work riskier jobs, where the pay is higher, even for the women who also work such jobs.

Further to the differential qualities of men and women, brain scans, controlled studies, basic biology, chemistry, evolutionary psychology, and anthropology, all demonstrate that men and women are physically and mentally different. We absorb, process, and deliver information differently. And though we are all one consciousness but having different experiences, we also evolved with different priorities, and are immersed in different combinations of hormones. This leads to a varied interpretation and perception of reality, which is the root of the problems between male and female, within our families, and in the lives of our children. To remedy it, all one has to do is embrace the differences empathically, where equality only exists in compromising. Accept the reality that often and in many ways, men and women have pre-determined biological and psychological roles. Our differences are not always mutually exclusive, but we must face the fact that in some evolutionary way we complement each other so very much, and must not allow such a symbiotic nature of man and woman to be destroyed.

6. “Ensure availability and sustainability management of water and sanitation for all.”

Through privatization, allow a few corporations to become the “Water Division”. Free to seize and control the world’s water supplies and charge monopoly prices to build a new water delivery infrastructure that “ensures availability and sustainability”. Even if it means war with other countries to achieve. The monolithic corporation Nestle Foods, owns over 8,000 brands of water around the world. Such a new water delivery system has turned out to be the more than one million plastic water bottles humanity drinks each and every minute of each and every day. With less than 15 per cent of them actually recycled.

As it stands today, 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface is water, of this, only two per cent is fresh groundwater, 99 per cent of which is not available fresh drinking water, but instead water that is stored in lakes, rivers, swamps, glaciers and ice sheets. The Antarctic ice sheet itself holds about 60 per cent of the Earth’s fresh water supply.

The minimum amount of water a human needs to survive in a moderate climate with average activity level is about five liters per day. The minimum amount of water needed for drinking, cooking, bathing and sanitation combined, is about 50 liters per day, per person, and as a general rule, each person should have safe drinking water available less than fifteen minutes away. But in many parts of the world these minimums are still not being reached, and in fact are declining, with the supply of these basic needs being the most affected by the planet’s changing climate and pollution.

The United Nations Environment Program, reports that 450 million people in 29 countries currently suffer from water shortages, and by 2025 an estimated 2.8 billion people (20 per cent of world’s population) will be living in areas that will have increasingly scarce water supplies. After 2050 it is predicted that perhaps 40 per cent of the world’s population will be living in areas of severe water shortage. Other estimates suggest that anywhere from 768 million to 3.5 billion people currently have no access to fresh water due to diminishing groundwater supplies, 2.5 billion live without decent sanitation, and over 4 billion are without wastewater disposal. At the same time over 20 per cent of the world’s aquifers are already over-exploited, further degrading the wetlands which purify water supplies.

Americans and Canadians use 250 to 350 liters of water per day per person for drinking, cooking, showering, washing, cleaning, flushing toilets and watering lawns. In the Netherlands, they use just over 100 liters per day, while in Gambia, in Africa, they use only 4.5 liters per day. Overall, half the 7.6 billion people on the planet use about 94 liters of water per day for all their needs. And while about 85 per cent of the fresh water that is available on the planet is used by only 12 per cent of the population of the world, more than 12 million people die each year from lack of water.

In June 2018, in Cape Town, South Africa (nearly half a million people), water rationing was set at 50 liters per person per day. The minimum amount a person needs per day. An average shower (8 minutes) uses about 65 liters of water, in Cape Town people are down to 90 second showers, with many skipping days in between. A typical load of laundry uses 150 L, while a dishwasher uses 22 L. It is also now illegal to water the gardens, wash the car and to top up one’s pool. But they are adapting, by designing such things as systems which takes a home’s “gray water”, the water from a shower or dishwater, and using it to flush their toilets. At the same time, in California, it is now against the law to shower and do laundry on the same day.

Other ways to control water consumption include voice activated wireless faucets, which will dispense whatever metered amount of water you tell it to. It will also be able to listen in to whatever is being said in that room. And voice activated “intelligent” toilets, which are hooked up to Amazon’s Alexa. This allows one to sit on the toilet and ask for the sports scores, weather update, news, traffic reports or perhaps a song. With Alexa listening in, one can personalize their defecating or urinating. Alexa will know the difference in other users voices, so whether spouse, child or friend they too can personalize the experience. The potential is there for a private company or program, to monitor how often the toilet is used and even what gets flushed.

Global fresh water is dwindling quickly, not so much from drinking, cleaning and cooking, but from growing food and industry. We whine about what a liter of gasoline costs, yet will pay a bit more for the same amount of water, about three cents worth, in a plastic bottle. As for our drinking water, multiple studies are finding that over 90 per cent of it, from sampled bottled water worldwide, are full of plastic particles and chemicals, including heavy metals, phthalates, pesticides, PCB’s, and other chemicals. Also included are the innumerable amounts of microfibers which wash off our mostly polyester clothes. A recent study took tap water samples across five continents and found synthetic microfibers in every sample – 94 per cent in the US. Many of which are linked in both animal and human studies to cause cancer, premature puberty, reduced immunity, birth defects, endocrine disruption, insulin resistance, and other major diseases.

Adapting to present and future water needs will mean designing rainwater catchment and grey water systems, desalination technologies and if able, increased use of well water, but only if groundwater table is not already polluted.

Then there is our waste. Of all the landfills in the world, the majority are made up of industrial waste, including wood, while the rest of the garbage is mostly household and personal consumption trash. Billions of kilograms of disposable diapers, cell phones, sandwich bags, pens, plastic packaging, Bic lighters, TVs, fridges and stoves, clothing, shoes, electronic parts, razor blades, pill bottles, rubber tires, etc, etc, etc. Nearly a third of the landfills in the developed world are of packaging material. With every $100 we spend, about $10 goes for packaging, which then gets trashed. And though many of the manufacturers try to emphasize the importance of recycling what they use, with many in the West believing they are making a difference in the world by sorting their jars, paper and plastic, less than 2 per cent is actually recycled of the total waste stream.

Worldwide, 1.2 kg of urban waste is produced per person per day. Producing the least waste are places like Ghana, .09 kg, and Uruguay, .11 kg (about three ounces). Though Canada’s urban waste rate is about 1.8 kg per person per day, overall it produces more garbage per capita than nearly every other country on the planet, except for Australia and the US.

The US stands alone at the top of the trash pile. With only 5 per cent of the humans on the planet, they somehow gobble up more than 25 per cent of the planet’s resources, and produce over 40 per cent of the planet’s waste. Which itself spews more than an estimated 3.3 trillion kg of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere every year. Over half of the 220 million tons of waste produced in the US each year ends up in one of over 4,000 landfills spread across the land, or barged to Asia, with over 10 million tons of the waste plastic. Of this, it is estimated that perhaps 5 per cent might get recycled. Americans also use over 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour of every day. And of the 400 million or so tons of hazardous waste produced each year globally, the US alone accounts for 250 million tons of it.

Further degradation of the atmosphere, oceans, waterways, ground water and soil comes from other modern waste, such as antibiotic, genetic engineering, military, nuclear, and nano-waste. We could also add in the pollutants of fake news and junk info that deny reality.

And because we can’t fit all our junk on this one planet, there are nearly a million pieces of debris orbiting the earth from the last 50 years of space exploration, satellite launching and manning the space station. About 35,000 of these pieces are larger than 10 cm.

7. “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.”

Ensuring such access, seems at odds with, as previously mentioned, the globalist environmental groups currently running campaigns to disrupt the flow of natural gas to certain countries, forcing these same countries to build more coal-fired plants, which emit twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas plants. The globalists are also penalizing coal, natural gas, and oil companies through the cash grab called a Carbon Tax, and then they subsidize them to continue what they are doing. Just like they subsidize and push “green energy” companies, who are many times inept, and often go bankrupt in five years. Energy consumption quotas will be set on each living being and we will be punished and criminalized for “lifestyle decisions” Smart meters that notice when someone exceeds energy usage limits set by government. Total surveillance of individuals, in order to track and calculate energy consumption.

As to the globalist’s “Green New Deal”, it’s mostly all about our energy consumption. About 20 per cent of the global population, who happen to live in a developed, high-income country, consumes 86 per cent of the world’s goods. This doesn’t look good for the remaining 80 per cent of humanity; especially when such consumption was driven by corrupt corporations, who are now saying they’ll save us, and all we’ll have to do is give up our personal sovereignty. Such consumption is leaving a trail of waste, deforestation, energy disruptions, compromised fresh water sources, ocean acidification, and all sorts of other pollution. We should all realize such a threat, because the globalists do, and believe the remedy is to get rid of the source, we the people. And the waste and pollution we leave behind.

But some realities are not mentioned in the Green New Deal, such as none of the new renewable energy sources can easily be relied upon to produce enough energy in winter, especially in northern latitudes.

Hydroelectric is great, but is usually a spring dominated resource, and that most all the suitable locations around the globe are already jam-packed with dams, and heavily developed. And while winds tend to be variable year to year and month to month, wind energy is great in the winter months, but it is also dependent on the continuation of the present economy, to offset the high costs of the high-tech moving parts and technological maintenance to keep the blades turning. And the fact that the larger turbines need at least a 9 to 11 km per hour wind to get them moving. When winds reach 85 km per hour they must be shut down, because there is a limit to blade pitch adjustment, to safely deliver power to the grid.

Twenty-first century be damned. About three billion people still cook and heat their homes using wood-burning household fires and inefficient stoves. The typical cooking fire produces about 400 cigarettes’ worth of smoke an hour, and prolonged exposure is associated with respiratory infections, eye damage, heart and lung disease, and lung cancer. And besides, if the current global population had to do the same, whether burning wood or other parts of the biomass, the planet would soon enough be bald.

Solar panel installations meanwhile, don’t keep the lights on during a power outage or on a cloudy day, because if they don’t have battery backup, their supply of power goes to the grid, not directly to houses. Battery backup is an issue for all these renewable energies. A very costly enterprise, batteries are expensive, and tend to be used only for short time periods, on average, a three day storage level. While broken or discarded panels become toxic electronic waste. And along with damaged wind turbine blades, batteries and other pieces, much of it is unable to even be recycled; with any recycling so costly it will have to be subsidized.

To compensate for limited wind and solar power, especially over the winter months, and the still needed development in battery technology, there will still need to be underground storage for natural gas and connecting pipelines for use in the winter months, then not used for much of the year. With specialized maintenance and expertise in natural gas work expensive.

The thing is that whether, solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and modern hydroelectric dams, all would not be possible without fossil fuels. Just like agriculture is also very dependent on fossil fuels. Currently over 80 per cent of global energy production comes from fossil fuels, seven per cent comes from (maxed out) hydroelectric power, two per cent from wind power, and one per cent from solar power. The Green New Deal’s credo is to ramp up wind and solar power from its current three per cent production level to over 90 per cent by the year 2030, and not use fossil fuels anymore.

Then there are facts. Since 1985, electricity’s share from all renewable energy sources, of total energy consumption, rises 0.37 per cent per year. Of the total energy consumption today, 43.4 per cent is electrical, from all sources. So continuing on with such a growth rate, it will take 153 years until the world economy can operate completely, using only electricity.

Today, around 25 per cent of world marketed energy consumption comes from renewable sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind). It was estimated that by 2050, about 50 per cent of the world’s energy will come from solar and wind. In the US today, only 10 per cent of energy comes from renewable sources (mostly hydroelectric energy). Projections suggested that this will increase to 17 per cent by 2040.

The plan is to eliminate electricity for extended periods of time to further “keep us in the dark”, and like in California recently, “to quell forest fires”. Because of the fear of a spark erupting from under-maintained infrastructure and power-lines, the excuse. Black outs and grey outs will become the norm. And to further control electricity with smart meters and the use as surveillance devices. Having no choice in not having one. Appliances will talk to the meter, we will be instructed to wash at night, it will know how many people are at home, and what devices we use and when. If using more power than a neighbour, they will want to know why and notify you. Individual rights, personal and private will be compromised. Then there are the health concerns from wireless, as smart meters pulse out their information every 15 minutes. Easily hacked, it will know when you are home or not. Refuse hooking up one will be criminalized.

People who are experts on such things suggest that if the power went out in most Western countries, and never turned back on, after thirty days half the population would be dead. Within a year 80 to 90 per cent would be dead. All infrastructure, from sewers, bridges, roads, buildings, welfare, health care, social programs to even our own physical and mental health would quickly crumble. A critical issue that we take for granted, three days without fresh water we die. But the number one killer will be water-borne diseases, then either freezing or starving to death, dying from an accident, stupidity and ignorance, or because one is fat and/or out of shape. The trick would be to somehow at least preserve the purpose of law, not justice per se but a mechanism to solve disputes. Such ways can be highly imperfect, but it’s better than the alternative.

8. Promote sustained, inclusive, sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Regulate small business out of existence with government mandated minimum wages that will bankrupt huge sections of the economy. Currently, the jobs on the decline include mostly private industries in manufacturing, construction and natural resources. Jobs on the rise are within mostly ever expanding government controlled bureaucracies, such as education, health and social assistance. And though Canada, and the US, have the lowest unemployment rates in 40 years, the majority of job growth is in part-time employment, in many cases jobs where no experience is necessary. Which is a sore point for the concept of a guaranteed minimum wage, where small business’ especially, will have to pay a set minimum wage to someone no matter if that person brings anything of value or not, such as experience, showing up on time, having a good attitude, and willing to learn. And is why places like McDonald’s are switching to electronic “kiosks” instead of actual people. At the same time, relying on working at McDonald’s for “a living wage” is of course not the way to go if one wanted to raise a family.

The globalists are also forcing employers to meet hiring quotas of LGBTQ etc workers, just like the “affirmative action” plan for blacks. This where getting a job based on merit goes the way of the dodo bird. And of course, they are destroying free market economics by denying permits and licenses to companies who don’t comply. But support “chosen” private corporations with public funds for “sustainable development”.

They also got many believing that the wealthy and their corporations are job creators, so must not be taxed. They lie, the middle class and poor are the job-creators through their purchases of goods and services. If they don’t have enough purchasing power because they’re not paid enough, companies won’t create more jobs and economy won’t grow.

In 1965 a CEO of a company made twenty times more in income than a private-sector non-supervisory production worker. Today (2019) a CEO makes 300 per cent more. And in the same time frame most all the wealth created went right to the top. From 2007 to 2013, overall wealth increased over 26 per cent, while the average household lost 43 per cent of their wealth. In 2003 the inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical American household was nearly $88,000, just ten years later it was only $56,000. If this gap continues, it is estimated that over half of all US households will be bankrupt within the next decade. Since 2007/08 the US economy has lost 14 million jobs. During this time their population has grown by 17 million people.

Defining the world today very well, is the current global job market. The top employer on the planet is the US Department of Defence, with 3.2 million employees, 1.6 million of which are said to be active and reserve duty troops. Then China’s, People’s Liberation Army, with 2.3 million employed, all of whom are active duty troops. Next are Walmart, with 2.1 million employees and McDonalds, with 1.9 employees. Others in the top ten include the UK National Health Service, the China National Petroleum Corporation, the State Grid Corporation of China, India Railways, the Indian Armed Forces, and the Hon Han Precision Factory (Foxconn), all with more than 1.3 million employees each. Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer and the fourth-largest information technology company by revenue. It is also the assembler of Apple’s I-Phone, one of the most addicting drugs in the world..

The US prison industrial complex is the country’s third largest employer. And because of over-regulation and the criminalization of debt, a market was created by the simple act of keeping a person locked up in a cell, often for minor offences that carry stiff penalties, which often can’t be paid, or unwarranted sentences, and in many cases zero tolerance. Often such prison’s employees are high-school educated men and women with no other options in the small town they reside in. With the actual prison often the biggest employer in the county. And that the majority of those doing time are black, because the majority of them have grown up without a father, so the local gang leader often stepped into that role.

As to the economy, the globalists, through their central banks, plan on funding their Agendas by using such concepts as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Neither modern nor a theory, MMT is the printing of money to create unlimited amounts of real wealth, with rates of exchanges between money and goods and services to be set by a central body, bypassing market demand. But there are limits to the amount of real resources that you can extract through seigniorage, the difference between the value of money and the cost to produce and distribute it.

The globalists believe that this means they can never go broke, ignoring the fates of the Roman Empire, Weimar Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and more recently Zimbabwe and Venezuela, among others. Their downfalls were caused by hyperinflation. Also, as the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and North Korea proved, any inefficient use of resources leads only to economic impoverishment. Unable to feed their people and nearly impossible to gain any traction for development.

While Keynesian’s believe in increased government spending during recessionary times, but calls for government restraint in a rapidly growing economy. Which prevents the increase in demand that spurs inflation, and forces the government to cut deficits and save for the next down cycle in the economy. The globalists don’t worry about debt, they believe only government spending creates goods and services, and that taxation drains any excess liquidity and controls inflation. The International Money Fund and World Bank meanwhile pride themselves in their “austerity programs”, which have impoverished millions, and even bringing down developed nations. Such austerity measures hide behind the slogan “social equity”.

Under MMT there is also the jobs guarantee, where anybody who wants a job would be guaranteed to have one, at a living wage, by the government. MMT is the sovereign-friendly justification for deficit spending without end. It allows globalist controlled governments to bribe the populace to keep voting for them, and to fund one or another of their incessant wars from an inexhaustible supply of credit or funding.

Meanwhile the stock market is a blatantly riggedwealth extraction operation”. Other rigging operations include high frequency trading, dark pools, Quantitative Easing (QE) and the Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP), which gives interest free money to a select handful of “primary dealers”, post hoc rationalization of political expediency, and power-expanding action.

The globalist’s Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing (QE) program, under the guise of stimulating job growth, recently used QE to create US$4 trillion out of thin air. Most of the $4 trillion created went to the richest .01 per cent of the population who already had $21 trillion in unused wealth. In reality, QE is a massive welfare program for the mega-wealthy. With that $4 trillion, the Federal Reserve could have instead given every non-millionaire US household $40,000, or they could have given around 114 million Americans $35,000 each. The remaining two hundred million people would be out of luck.

If QE went to the American people, poverty would undoubtedly be eliminated, with every person over the age of 18 be given a guaranteed living income. Instead, in many developed nations the majority of the populations are living in a neo-feudal society, where instead of the indentured servant we are now indebted wage slaves. The globalist’s centrally planned economic policy and government legislation are designed to keep the population economically insecure, subservient and enslaved in debt. Using their ownership of mainstream media companies to keep us ignorant and unaware.

All the while, liberal democracy, protectionism with free trade, and authoritarianism are starting to mean the same thing, while most other pressing issues of today are ignored by way of distraction. Much like the reality that many industrialized countries today are “hovering between status quo and authoritarianism, and are no longer distinguishable from their apparent enemies”.

Some even believe that the increase in the value of newly produced goods and services, and the ideology of capitalism, have created an environment that is responsible for improvements in a person’s well being. This is what has been instilled into our brains. But since the 1970’s, the pursuit of happiness has simply morphed into the “pursuit of affluence”.

Many factors create changes to one’s quality of life, including economic equality. And all is not equal. An economic system whether capitalism or communism, has nothing to do with the quality of our lives. Consider that the majority of lottery winners are broke within a few years. And further in debt than they were before they had won. But then with money, it depends on where you live, what money means to you, and how you were taught to manage it. Unfortunately, the harsh truth is that, one of the most important drivers of one’s living standards, opportunities, education and the ability to create wealth, are determined at birth, and to what family one is born into.

9. “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.”

Instead of building new infrastructure, we are mostly repairing old infrastructure that’s been neglected for fifty years. With most such infrastructure projects over budget to build, then an endless stream of cost over-runs to be paid for faulty construction, design and materials, break-downs, and ever ongoing maintenance. Previously mentioned, The globalists use the World Bank and the IMF to put countries into extreme debt, by spending money to hire corrupt corporations to build large scale infrastructure projects that ensnares developing countries into further debt.

Further to infrastructure, I have always found it odd that China has built more than 30,000 kilometers of high-speed rail over the last decade. That Japan’s bullet trains can reach nearly 320 kilometers per hour and date to the 1960s, and have moved more than 9 billion people without a single passenger casualty. And that France began service of their high-speed train in 1981 and the rest of Europe quickly followed. Yet in the US there is no true high-speed train service, aside from sections of Amtrak’s Acela line in the Northeast Corridor, where it reaches 240 kilometers per hour for only 55 kilometers of its 735 kilometer span. Its average speed between New York and Boston is about 104 kph. There is a high-speed rail system under construction in California, but whether it will ever get completed as intended is uncertain. The second largest country in the world, Canada, is the only G7 country that does not have high-speed rail.

As for fostering innovation (see education) the globalists will soon control all patents, and will punish the rich, entrepreneurs and innovators, and confiscate nearly all the gains of those who choose to work hard and excel, then redistribute to the masses of non-working and unemployed.

10. “Reduce inequality within and among countries.”

When I coached midget (15 to 17 years old) hockey, I saw the time when I was no longer allowed to give out an MVP award, or most dedicated player. Instead everyone had to get a medal, to protect their self esteem. No more patting players on the butt or touching them. In the dressing room there had to be two adults, never just one. The players confused because they were being told it’s not about winning anymore. And if it wasn’t, why do we still keep score and why bother with competition. Maybe that’s the globalist’s point.

The globalist’s ideal is “equality of outcome” over “equality of opportunity”. The latter is where we all begin life like we are all standing on a start line. Ahead of us is our lives and what we want to do with them. And how we want to live them. Then a starter’s pistol goes off. Some never make it to a standing position, some may lie down, and some may sit. The rest run forward, and some walk. Some get pushed aside, some are attacked, and some even die. Some tire out, get sick or break down. Some slowly walk forward constantly looking over their shoulder, some have stopped and turned around staring back from hence they came. Many fall, some get right back up. For many, their individual lives within their environment prevents them from getting ahead, some don’t care, and simply hold out their hand. And some strive, survive, keep their morals, empathy, and integrity intact, are disciplined, and work hard, and who are most often those who achieve what it is that strive to be. Their success is their reward, and should be rightfully earned, though sometimes it is not.

Equality of outcome on the other hand, is where we begin life standing on the same starting line, a bell gets rung and everything mentioned above happens to the same number of people. The race to achievement, worth and personal development is still on, whether the achievement means, fame, fortune, or self-awareness. The same articles of human conduct apply, but this time when everyone nears their end, everyone gets the same reward. No matter what they did to get there, deserved or not.

As for reducing inequality among countries, this means no borders, so that trade can move cheaply, and large groups of unskilled workers can be moved around to where needed. It would be open season for the growth of trafficking of all things, whether children or drugs.

And though it may be politically correct to say that “diversity is strength”, a recent study out of Denmark, meta-analyzed 1,001 estimates from 87 other studies and found that in actual fact, there is a “significant negative relationship between ethnic diversity and social trust.” Even when controlling for deprivation. Basically, it found, what has perhaps always been the case throughout human history, that mass immigration by those unwilling to assimilate into a new culture erodes community trust and harms society.

11.Make cities and their suburbs inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.”

Criminalize living in most rural areas by instituting “protected areas” where no people will be allowed to go. Force all people into mega-cities where they can be kept under 24/7 surveillance, and easier to manipulate and control. Any growth outside such a region, not allowed. A private farmer would be unable to get goods to market because he couldn’t afford the costs, surcharges, regulation bureaucracy, and taxes to do so. The farmer’s energy will be well monitored and severely restricted, with the share of most all services, including school services and medical clinics eventually cut. Only option will be to move into high density development regions.

City centers will be populated by a vast government employed populace, whether banking, surveillance, intelligence or management. Any land outside such civic or regional centers will be owned by the government. Surrounding such centers will be the vast majority, living in crates piled on top of each other, compressed into towers, lining transportation routes into the city center. With most everyone massively government dependant. Streets lined with smart lampposts, each able to send its signals by wireless. Topped off with cameras, listening devices and censors for the collection of air quality, traffic, and weather data, and of course for monitoring, we the public. Our lives determined by algorithms, with a person’s bio-metrics, home, health, and habits, all monitored and regulated. Facial recognition programs track us based on what we buy, where we go, what we say, text, tweet, e-mail and what we do in public. It was estimated that currently, about half the population of both Canada and the US have their image “on file”. Then there’s the surveillance complex and their monolithic data collecting agencies. A hundreds of billions of dollars industry, where everyone in the populace here and abroad, are deemed suspect, and monitored, regulated, tracked and spied on. Such data agencies have compiled lists of those deemed threats to “national security”, so that in times of national emergency or under martial law, such individuals, whether they are or not, will be rounded up and incarcerated. Can’t imagine how many are on such lists today, but in 2008, there were already more than 8 million Americans on the lists.

Ban all gun ownership by private citizens. Only ones to have them obedient enforcers ruling over an unarmed, enslaved class of impoverished workers, with or without a universal basic income, consisting of a dumbed down, never questioning population, all following only one narrative. Making the cities safe by taking away the population’s freedom.

Get rid of cars and create walk-able cities in designated regions. Penalize car owners and eventually ban vehicle ownership. Any cars will be self-driven and strictly monopolized. Force everyone onto public transit where facial recognition cameras can monitor you better, and report the movement of any person in society. Put bike lanes in everywhere whether to be used or not, and paint crosswalks in rainbow colors. As for small electric cars, they are currently only available to those who can afford them. If everyone had one we’d see our electrical energy usage spike each night while everyone charged their car. Much like if we all installed yet another air conditioner. But if they ever were able to replace fossil fuel cars all together, then there would no longer be a gas tax, which pays to take care of roads and its infrastructure. As it is, cars will soon have smart odometers, and we will be taxed by mileage, to achieve “sustainability”.

12. “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.”

Levy punitive taxes on consumption of fossil fuels and electricity, causing standards of living to drop to Third world levels. Control the narrative, running campaigns on TV, movies and social media to shame people who use gasoline, water or electricity, creating a social construct of ninnies, social justice warriors and tattlers, people who rat out their neighbours in exchange for food credit rewards, a pat on the back, and even a hug that they no doubt never got.

Globally, as already mentioned, about 20 per cent of humanity who happen to live in a developed, high-income country consumes 86 per cent of the world’s goods. At the same time, over 30 per cent of the world’s population who live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa consume only 3.2 per cent of the world’s total. The poorest countries in the world account for only 1.3 per cent of all spending. The richest 20 per cent of the world consume 45 per cent of all meat and fish of the planet’s supply, the bottom 20 per cent consume 5 per cent. The top 20 per cent, also use up over 58 per cent of the total energy produced, the poorest use less than 4 per cent. They consume more than 84 per cent of all paper, the bottom a mere 1.1 per cent. They also own over 87 per cent of the world’s vehicle fleet, while the bottom 20 per cent own less than 1 per cent.

The US alone uses up a third of the world’s paper, a quarter of its oil, over a quarter of the coal, and nearly 30 per cent of the aluminum. America’s per capita use of energy, metals, minerals, forest products, fish, grains, meat and yes, even fresh water, rises to a monolith compared to people living in the developing world. In fact, one American consumes as much energy as seven hundred Africans. They have attained this not by being smart but by stomping around the planet destabilizing the ability of independent states to exist and protect their own resources from being plundered, by military means, often by the art of coup, and replacing elected leadership with obedient tyrants.

Fueling global consumption, the world’s 3,000 biggest corporations cause about half of all environmental damage, and about one-third of their profits. Any other profits go to a few CEO’s and speculators, even though current external costs now total $7.3 trillion a year. To counterbalance this discrepancy, the global fossil fuel industry is conveniently subsidized by respective governments to the tune of $5.6 trillion a year, using tax payer dollars.

13. “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.”

But first we must recognize who is affecting the climate the most. And take the word urgent out of the above sentence. It is true that 10 per cent of the world’s population who are responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions live in North America, because of their consumption habits, not their numbers. While the two biggest economies in the world China and the US are producing the most greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide. It’s interesting that according to most of the studies, surveys, and polls that have been taken around the world over the years, the consumers of these two countries are also found to be the least concerned about carbon emissions. The silent majority remain silent, cloaked in cognitive dissonance. But then, the biggest impacts upon this planet are not because of greenhouse gases. If it was, we could combat climate change fairly quickly.

You want to better the planet and avoid future climate disruption, and much civil unrest, start with the Orwellian-named, US Department of Defence. Per capita it is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere today, by far. It is also the largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels (mostly petroleum) in the world, more than any other country. Its air force alone consumes over 60 per cent of it, about 11 trillion liters. An F16 jet-fighter (nearly $18 million to build) consumes over 11,000 liters of jet-fuel an hour. An M1 Abrams battle tank, burns over 220 liters an hour, getting about 250 meters per liter. And of course they are also the world’s greatest terrorist state and threat to world peace, with 10 aircraft-carrier battle groups, and over 900 U.S. military bases, installations and facilities around the globe, which are nearly all toxic, radioactive, polluting, and immoral cesspools. In fact many of their bases consistently rank among some of the most polluted places in the world. The US produces more hazardous waste than the five largest chemical companies combined. Whether depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants or lead. They are currently polluting more than 140 countries. On a side note, the US Navy is planning (Nov/2019) to release 20,000 tons of “environmental stressors”, including heavy metals and explosives, at sea, off their Pacific Northwest coastline.

The globalists are trying to speed up the process of culling the global population down to a level where further geo-engineering and the greater use of renewable energies will allow CO2 levels to drop, allowing the Earth’s atmosphere return to natural rhythms. With their agenda including further enhancing any effects of climate change attributed to CO2 emissions, through geo-engineering projects such as HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program). Started up in 1993, HAARP is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency. It is being used for either electromagnetic warfare capabilities or weather modification. Especially using sky’s seeded with conductive aerosols, such as aluminum, barium, and strontium, by way of “chem-trails” which manipulates the jet stream. If HAARP is also electromagnetic capable, it could create such things as wildfires, hurricanes, drought, flooding and perhaps even earthquakes. Perhaps a way to get people off the land, whether homesteader, farmer, rancher or villager, by corporations who will pay out the insurance money, then buy the land for a far better price. With the people then having to move to a city or its suburb.

Credited non biased researchers have recently concluded that the adaption to unavoidable consequences of climate disruption, and to prevent the crises from worsening in the coming decades, over $2 trillion should be invested over the next ten years, which would create early-warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved agriculture crop production, global mangrove/wetlands protection, and investing in making available and limited water resources more resilient. The only problem in the equation the globalists see is that the population must be lowered, which would lower the stress on the planet’s available resources and environment.

It’s interesting that a few trillion dollars would be enough, along with further adaptation and innovation, to get climate disruption at the least, from worsening, yet the globalist backed progressive democratic socialists in the US, if elected, want to somehow come up with over $20 trillion over the same next ten years, so that every American has health care.

14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and marine resources for “sustainable development”.

Ban most all ocean fishing, causing runaway food price inflation. Criminalize the operation of private fishing vessels, and place all ocean fishing operations under the control of government. Only allow certain corporations to carry out ocean fishing operations, under government contract, with product sold to an elite market. Such decisions will be based on how much a corporation donates to lawmaker’s campaigns. All other fish to be farmed in stagnate and nasty conditions, infused in a soup of hormones, fish-feed, waste, anti-bacteria, and chemicals.

Along with more than one-third of the world’s total grain output, one-third of the world’s fish catch is also fed to livestock. Of the world’s fish catch, 90 per cent of the largest fish in the oceans, including tuna, cod, shark, marlin, swordfish, and halibut are already gone, just in the last 50 years.

Consider salmon stocks continuing to drastically drop. Climate change is a very small contributing factor but is used so we don’t have to point the finger so much at ourselves. The problems include degradation of their habitat, hatchery fish have complicated genes, too high fish harvest limits for way too long, dams with no upstream or downstream passage, pollution, ocean plastics, warming oceans, and dead zones of ocean acidification.

According to a recent study, if things carry on as they are, by 2025 the oceans are expected to contain about one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. Chew on that for awhile.

It is estimated that about 150 million tons of plastic debris currently floats around the seven seas. Much of it takes hundreds of years to break down back to its base, tiny plastic nodules. These beady little pellets are less than one micron in diameter, about the diameter of a bacterium. Comparatively, spider web silk is about three to eight microns, a single human hair averages between ten and two hundred microns. These oil-based plastic nodules, as well as the previously mentioned micro-fibers, are used in everything from toothpaste to cosmetics, shampoo, soap, and aspirin. Such nodules and fibers are also what such things as socks, shoes, bed-sheets, acrylic, polyester, latex, cotton or wool blends, are made up of. And are all things which we wash on a regular basis.

While the larger pieces of plastic kill thousands of the largest animals, like the sea lion, seals, turtles and birds. The micro-plastics nodules, can absorb certain pollutants, and are easily ingested by many water species, including fish and shellfish. Millions of sea creatures are affected by consuming plastic. With many, eventually ending up on our dinner plate, and what we don’t eat gets thrown out in a plastic bag, another lion king circle of life sort of thing.

Recently, a young blue whale washed up on a Spanish beach. An autopsy deemed it died from peritonitis, basically an infection of the inner lining of the stomach, as it was unable to digest or excrete the over 29 kilograms of plastic found within its digestive system.

From 1950 to 1999, plastic production rose 20,000 per cent. In the first 10 years of the 21st century, more plastic was produced than in all of the last century. This includes the over 70 billion plastic bottles and one trillion plastic bags that are produced each year globally. Currently about 300 million tons of plastic is produced yearly. About half of which is for single use packaging.

When such plastic, chemical sludge and other debris end up in the oceans, currently at the rate of one dump truck dumping its load every minute, it creates such things as trash vortexes in the oceans. Plastic debris comes mostly from Asia and Africa, while the Western countries’ obedient citizens at least attempt to recycle their jars, cans, plastic and paper, nearly shamed into doing so.

15. “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of land ecosystems, and to sustainably manage forests. To combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation. Halt biodiversity loss.”

Meanwhile, since 2016 over 50 per cent of total global forest loss happened in only three countries, Brazil, Canada, and Russia. Romania lost all its intact forests. Madagascar has lost over 90 per cent, Paraguay 79 per cent. Current estimates suggest Paraguay, Laos, Cambodia and Equatorial Guinea will lose all their forests within the next twenty years. Even the rich, vast northern forests of Canada, has lost or altered over half of its forest cover. British Columbia doesn’t even do anything with the forests they are cutting down; they simply export the tree intact, de-limbed, but bark still on her, to Asia.

Overall and everywhere, logging is the principal devourer of forests, with cattle ranching and commercial agriculture a close second. Fires linked to human action accounted for 21 per cent of the loss, with mineral exploitation taking its fair share. West Africa’s coastal rain forests have nearly all but disappeared since 1900. Because of air currents, if all the African rain forests were to vanish, rainfall in the Gulf of Mexico, the Ukraine, and Southern Europe, would drop drastically.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia alone deforests one million hectares a year. Brazil has lost about 95 per cent of its coastal forest, and much of its 60 per cent share of the Amazon basin, with their government declaring their deforestation addiction a national emergency. The biggest chunk of rain forest remaining is still the Amazon basin. Now only covering about four million sq km, it represents over half of the planet’s remaining rain forests. It is the largest and most diverse rain forest on the planet. Besides many other living species, it has been estimated that the Amazon forest still has 390 billion individual trees, of 16,000 different species. Twenty per cent of the Amazon forest has already been clear cut, another twenty per cent is close to being gone. Of the remaining forests, over 90 per cent are now being affected by forest degradation. It is estimated that if conditions persist, by 2030, there will only be about 20 per cent of the Amazon forests remaining, with half of it in a degraded condition. In fact, one tenth of all global carbon emissions today are coming from the clearing of land and accompanying fires in the Amazon forest.

For the quickly disappearing Amazon basin, its future climate is already here. As it loses its tree cover rainfall in parts of the US Midwest, Northwest, and in most of their Southern states, will drop significantly, and already is. By 2050 it is estimated that all tropical forests will be gone from the Earth. Such land degradation, besides causing more flooding and water run-off, is also the root cause of most socioeconomic problems in many of the developing countries. But the madness of deforestation for profit continues unabated.

To “combat” this the globalists plan, as already mentioned, is to force people to move into human settlement zones, urban/mega-cities. There we will be put into 28 square meter (3 by 9 meter) urban modular housing units, predominately stacked on top of each other. Mass resettlement as people are forced to vacate where they live, and abolition of all private property . Create vast wilderness spaces, for future use. Criminalize private land ownership. Tightly control all agriculture and agricultural tracts, including ranches, by policies dictated by Monsanto/Bayer and government regulators. Regulate every input that a farmer uses. Nationalize farms.

Ban wood stoves, rainwater collection and home gardening. Criminalize self-reliance, and force total dependence on government. Can’t have people living off the grid and living in “protective forests”. Allow no private ownership, no private land, and stop allowing people from doing what they want to the land/property they do own. Using “Sensitive lands” laws, your private property overlay and public property can be taken away at any time. Whether a copse of Garry Oak trees, or a stream running through or under your property, or your back yard is an animal crossing, lands will be seized without compensation and dedicated forever to protection. Often, without you even knowing.

All zoning laws and bio-diversity areas will be mapped out. Here in British Columbia, there are many whose main residence is either in another province or country, who also own a home or condo here. The majority, especially those with single dwelling homes, spend months here. That’s why they bought here. They shop, furnish their home, garden, get their car fixed, go to Home Depot every weekend, dine, contribute to the community and carry on as if they live here, which they do. They know and are friends with their neighbours. But now, such owners have to pay a two per cent speculation tax, if they do not live in their home at least six months out of the year. If it’s less time one is now required to rent the place out. Even though many of these foreign and domestic owned homes/condos are on the higher end of the scale for renter availability. The working poor, unemployed, homeless, student or single mom with children certainly won’t be able to afford the rent. Especially when you’d have to move out for some months while the owners live there. And who’s furniture and artwork on the walls is it. So what sort of diversity are we talking about here exactly.

16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, private access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels”. The scariest line in the Agenda.

Once again, everyone herded into mega-cities. Where theoretically, if any dissidence occurs we could all be sprayed down if needed.

One of the other many ways is granting legal immunity to illegal aliens and “protected minority groups”. As well as medical care and whatever else they need, and eventually their vote. This will free some of them to maybe engage in illegal and even immoral activity, because they are now entitled as a “protected class” in society. And because of “diversity”, they no longer have to assimilate into the general population. Just look at what is happening to Sweden and the UK. As to the “inclusive institutions”, this means that corporations who hire illegal aliens, the LGBTQ etc, community, and other protected classes, over merit, will be given favourable tax structures and government grants. And though many are walking around saying “Hello. I am special”, policy decisions will favor the “common good” (the herd) over individuals. With the ends justifying the means. The moral principle of the ends can never justify the means will become a myth.

As for law, which often has nothing to do with justice, use revenue, tax and other federal agencies to selectively punish unfavourable groups with punitive audits, and regulatory harassment. All the while ignoring the criminal activities of those corporations favoured by the government. Because the elites have no problem that everyone be allowed to be treated the same before the law and enjoy the same rights as other citizens, except of course for the elite. In reality there is a two-tiered law system. But really no one is more in favour of equal rights and abolition of social privileges than the elite, since they have no need for social privilege since they control the real power, money. Further, they’d rather remove due process, especially since the majority of those being incarcerated are unable to have proper representation as it is, nor can afford to submit any sort of defence. Get it into the mainstream media and one can be convicted not by a jury but a biased public opinion. Then the government will destroy you because you are no match for the funds they can spend. Without even being proven guilty by a court of law, you can be destroyed financially, lose your family, friends, all your possessions and livelihood. With many then putting a gun in their mouths and pulling the trigger.

Over-regulate everything. In many western countries, especially the US and Canada, the typical person goes through each day breaking at least three laws, that we aren’t even aware of. And we are beyond simply thinking someone is doing wrong that law enforcement can give a good enough excuse for a warrant to bug someones phone. “It’s no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing. It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love.”

17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

By way of enacting global trade mandates that over-ride individual national, state or province, and local laws. Grant unrestricted powers to corporations such as Monsanto, Dow Chemical, RJ Reynolds, Coca Cola, and Merck. Enact laws where a town or province can be sued if they “effect the profit making ability of such entities”. Pass global trade agreements that bypass a nation’s lawmakers and override intellectual property laws, to make the world’s most powerful corporations maintain total monopolies over drugs, seeds, fresh water, chemicals and technology. Nullify national laws and demand total global obedience to trade agreements authored by an unelected world body and rubber stamped by the US. Implement policies meant to incentivize a reduced population, through vaccinations, health care, and reproductive services, like pharmaceuticals, and abortion, genetically modified food, fluoride, and radiation manufactured diseases.

A major piece of the plan also includes the insidiously modern technology, called 5G (fifth generation cellular network technology). All things will become a part of the web, including ourselves. To explain, humans possess only four basic emotions, arousal, pleasant, unpleasant, and calm. And since we are electromagnetic and electrical organisms, with even our cells and cell structures communicating electrically, these basic emotions operate on their own separate frequency. Though unable to travel through solid objects, such frequencies are felt when we interact with one another. They are the vibes we get from one another, whether it’s romance in the air, or the undertone of unease and danger, “cutting the air in the room with a knife”. The frequencies are also based on our five physical sensors: of taste, sight, hearing, touch, and smell, which along with the senses of balance, pain, hunger, thirst, and temperature contributes to our experience of our surroundings, but which only shows us a three-dimensional universe. Our behaviour on the other hand will come from inherited traits, while our perceptions of things, comes from information received, experiences, and our consciousness. When such fields are in balance we are healthy, when they are not, we experience disease – physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically. 5G technologies can manipulate these frequencies, and destabilize their distributions, to induce feelings of arousal, conviviality, meanness, friendliness, anger, and even experience extreme pain, without our awareness. Indeed, 5G technology initially was developed to be used as crowd control weapons, where when used can either make a crowd feel like their skin is on fire, or everyone is crying and in need of a hug. The technology is also what’s behind the body scanners at airports, introduced two years ago, and the now rising cases of cancers among those employees who spend their shift operating such machines.

The previous four generations of cellular transmitters used between one to five gigahertz (GHz), 5G on the other hand operates from 24 to 90 GHz and uses millimeter waves, not cellular. These waves have a shorter range than microwaves so their antennas will have to be everywhere. A typical urban street will have to have them atop every fourth or so light pole. The 5G waves also cannot travel through solid objects, such as trees, so in many urban areas they will have to be the first to go.

And though scientific studies are not yet written, because of it being so new and overall effects are still unknown, according to reports already coming out, there are cases of both people and insects alike getting sick due to nearby 5G towers is already on the rise. But more importantly we will have quicker internet.

Even scarier is the recent reports where scientists, and because we are electrical beings like every other living thing, now have the ability to predict our choices before we are consciously aware of them, and can translate our thoughts into speech. One all encompassing net/grid/matrix, is the goal. With the end game, to connect the human brain to artificial intelligence (AI) and through such a matrix, control our emotional perceptions by the information coming from AI.

Control the digital grid is all important. In India where 60 per cent of the population lives under the poverty line, over a billion people are bio-metrically profiled. Data includes fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition programs. In Russia all digital data, phone, email, Facebook, and Twitter is now recorded. Online, any blogger who has over 3,000 followers is put on file with the government, and is not allowed to remain anonymous. In China, they have the ultimate control system where each person has a social credit score attached to them until they die. Few people can afford to be “blacklisted” while every action they make is tracked and rated for acceptance or consequence. No one dares to do anything outside of collective norms for fear they would be interpreted as socially negative. This is also happening in most of the Western world. One must always be politically correct, all follow the same narrative, and not to upset others or the government.

The control of the narrative is all important. The globalists and their presstitutes at the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, BBC, CBC, NPR, and all the rest in the US, UK, EU, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, learned their craft from Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Most importantly the globalists are relying on manufacturing consent through the media. Starting with the ownership of the media by corporations, where it’s all about profit and the push for profit by whatever it takes. Whether getting advertising money by selling advertisers customers, or creating customers to become consumers and not citizens, and who are able to be swoon one way or another, with no basis if it is true or not. Doing this by using the our emotions to get us to purchase what we are programmed to believe that we need. The media elite provide the complicity.

In conclusion, the globalist’s agenda is for sustainability, stability, and security, of themselves. In reality there is presently more than enough wealth and capabilities to solve both societal and climate problems. We live in the most wealthy and technologically advanced society in the history of civilization. People should not have to struggle and be buried in debt to get basic necessities and live a healthy life. But the globalist elite want the goal to be centralization. To use “saving the environment”, which they are destroying (disaster capitalism), to justify the industrialization and end of democracy.

The dilemma the globalists have is either somehow lower the population or simply program us, and get us all crammed into huge regional capitals. I think they’ve been doing both. Control of the land, natural resources, and entire populations. To control air through carbon emission regulations, the ground by sustainable development and the sea through environmental regulations. A comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally, by organizations of the UN system, governments, and major groups in every area which humans impact the environment. State management of all Eco-systems, all land, forests, mountains, rivers, lakes and oceans, agriculture, bio-technology, food and fresh water, ensuring equity equals slavery. This is mostly happening at the local level, so question town representatives, and explain the facts of what they are blindly teaching. And hope they see the light.

Of the 7.7 billion residents on the planet 5 billion of us have a mobile device, half (over 2.5 billion) are smartphones. Meanwhile, The Internet of Things (from traffic lights to fridges phones and tablets) is expected to grow to around 20.4 billion devices by 2020, and use of cloud services will grow as well. Of these billions, about 73 per cent of people who misplace their phone experience a mild to severe state of panic until it’s found. But then the average adult today spends 2 to 4 hours a day on their phone, swiping and touching it, sometimes even feeling our phones vibrating in our pockets when they aren’t even there. Our phones are a surveillance and tracking device that governments and corporations can exploit anytime they wish. Even creating our relationships, including building up illusions of friendship and intimacy. Making us all dopamine addicts.

Dopamine is a chemical produced by our brains that plays a huge role in motivating our behaviour. It gets released when we take a bite of delicious food, when we have sex, after we exercise, and, importantly, when we have successful social interactions. “I feel tremendous guilt,” admitted Chamath Palihapitiya, former Vice President of User Growth at Facebook, to an audience of Stanford students. He was responding to a question about his involvement in exploiting consumer behaviour. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works,” he explained. He highlighted that smartphones and social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram leverage the very same neural circuitry used by slot machines and cocaine to keep us using their products as much as possible.

As for technology saving us, maybe. But the advancements in the world of machines do not necessarily mean advancements in the world of people. Dependence upon digital devices, makes our lives more convenient and comfortable, but in reality only enslaves us. So entranced with a screen and the dopamine rushes it gives. Some will say that our society has simply become more convenient and more comfortable with the digital age, which they feel is a positive. Others are afraid of the social changes that come with the globalization that the digital age brings. Others believe that centralization and dependency are “natural” extensions of man’s evolution and inevitable. and so we should embrace it. While the Futurists, a subculture of drum-beaters believe that all old ideas and ways of living are obsolete and must be thrown out to make way for all new ideas and ways of living. That all new ideas are an automatic improvement, with each new generation superior and more wise to the one before it, because each new generation will have access to ever more information. Reality is there are very few new ideas in the world, only old ideas rehashed and recycled and repainted to look different.

The influx of many technologies today is not necessarily the problem; it is how these technologies are being applied in our society. Having unlimited information at our fingertips is not the same thing as wisdom. Besides the aforementioned loss of our knowledge to grow, forage and hunt food. Many no longer know how to fix anything that is broken. Whether their car or knowing how to use a hammer and screwdriver. Completely dependent on automation. With far too many people living completely on the grid, with many born into it. People, that if you could reach down into their world of comfortable slavery and grab them by the scruff of their neck and drop them into the middle of a forest. With food, water and possible shelter everywhere around them, they would still die.

One must remember that the globalist elite are a separate culture from the rest of humanity, with its own tribal customs, mythologies and beliefs. They are a secretive occult group of narcissistic sociopaths, whose main motivation is to condition or tear down normal, moral and free society until it becomes a place in which they can openly be themselves without fear of judgment or consequences. They want to change the world into a habitat that will accept them.

According to criminology not all criminals are full blown narcissistic sociopaths, but most full blown narcissistic sociopaths are criminals. How successful they are usually depends on their ability to blend in and mimic or manipulate normal people. Their defining character features include “a complete lack of conscience and empathy, the ability to rationalize any and all destructive behaviour, a desperate need to be adored or admired by everyone around them, a feeling of being “more special” than most people, a feeling of superiority, delusions of grandeur or an inherent right to manage the lives of others, an obsessive need to control and manipulate, impulsive desires and deviant sexual inclinations, and they will only associate with people they feel are like them and are “equally superior”.

Their primary drive is to fulfill their fantasies of superiority and godhood. The more deviant the action, and the more successful they are at getting away with it, the more dopamine they generate and the more satisfied they feel. This leads to an endless cycle, seeking out more and more exploitation of others which becomes less and less satisfying, which leads to even greater deviance.

These traits are inborn, not a product of environment. In some cases environment can play a role in activating these traits, but if a person is not born with them, they generally do not adopt them later in life because of a traumatic environment. Narcissistic sociopaths defy all forms of treatment and cannot be reformed. They have no concrete personality beyond these traits, therefore, if you remove the traits, they are left with nothing else.

Using the basic requisites of socialism’s core ideology of confiscation and redistribution of private property, combined with enforced collectivism and a strong central planning apparatus that erases individual liberty, the economy and society would be entirely transformed. Car and air travel would be banned, except for the elite of course, and law enforcement. All jobs created would be unionized, and every family given a guaranteed income and paid retirement, even those unwilling to work. Such ideas though could never be attained because many citizens don’t want to be unionized, they don’t want to have to rebuild a perfectly good home, give up their car or to never fly again. And especially don’t want to fund the living expenses and retirement of other people who are “unwilling to work”. Under the globalist’s regime the vast majority who do have a job, will be working for the government. So the only way left for the globalists is to continue creating the effects of inequality, poverty and the overall deterioration of society, which will only lead to widespread chaos and violence.

From Antifa to democratic socialists, the goal of the globalists is to use such extreme leftist groups to prod conservative movements, which are the primary threat to globalism. To make people feel unsafe yet provide no dialogue. Instead will forcibly make you believe in their ideology through violent protests and harassment where you dine and live. You will not have freedom of speech and must be anti-constitutional. Mussolini would be proud of them. They are currently trying to manipulate conservatives into voluntarily abandoning their principles of constitutional liberty and limited government. By making certain conservatives into tyrants. In order to dismantle democratic institutions as fast as possible and install a complete centralized command economy run by unelected tsars, which is neither participatory nor democratic.

But a new paradigm is organically evolving: new economic systems, sustainable communities, solar energy, organic farming, liquid democracy, worker co-ops and new media. For all the problems we are confronted by, there are existing viable solutions. There is much to feel positive about. There is currently many decentralized global uprisings, undermining systems of centralized and consolidated power around the globe. A new world is being born. It remains to be seen what will unfold, but if the world’s largest silent majority continue to stare into their phone, TV screens and tablets every moment of our waking lives the vision can be seen watching films such as Blade Runner (both of them), The Matrix, Clockwork Orange, the Purge films, Minority Report, Fahrenheit 451, the Running Man, and Soylent Green, among so many others. So many books as well, by the great visionaries Orwell, Huxley, and Atwood, et al.

Since the elite now know so much about us because they have created us, they are able to manipulate our psyches better than we even understand ourselves. But we do still have a choice. Indeed life is decisions, then how we live based on those decisions. And though there are many people who are growing acutely aware that much of what we say and do is becoming officially retrievable and could be used against us someday, somehow. Whether engaged in a phone discussion, email correspondence, online searches, banter at a party or even a quiet conversation at home, people are losing a sense of activity that is truly private. All that is left to do is to be relentlessly honest as possible with ourselves, friends, family, co-workers and social media followers. Be truthful when we see or hear an untruth. Because truth will set us free, and is actually the one thing the globalists cannot manipulate whether its about them, the world or us. But only if we stay open to each other. While silence is continuing complicity.

10/20/18

Grand Deluges – A Pedantic Wet Dream

A Book by Joe Peters

Proudly and humbly announcing my new book, Grand Deluges – A Pedantic Wet Dream

From a 32 page essay I wrote years ago and kept going back to, I fell down the rabbit hole it became and after a couple of years of writing at night and painting houses during the day, Grand Deluges appeared. Feedback so far has been very good, from “unique writing style and pace” to “very relative to today considering it’s like an encyclopedia written as a story” to “refreshing, rational and at times even funny”, and a “very interesting non-linear read”.

A dense tale told in fragments, covering a plethora of topics branching out from the inception of the planet Earth, through its geological, environmental and atmospheric changes, to the beginning of life forms, and the development of the human species, in body and mind. With forks in the road, covering such things as science, myth, spirituality, hunters and gatherers, the birth of agriculture, religions, civilizations, empires and our social worlds, and societies. And signposts along the way touching on everything from climate disruption and the actions of nature, whether human or otherwise, the degradation of forests, land, the sea and air, to pluralistic ignorance, cognitive dissonance, facts, myths and theories, education, politics, capitalism, socialism, monetary systems, and to be or not to be human.

Hope you enjoy the read.

484 Pages / 23 Pages Bibliography, Research & References

Proof-Reader/ Co-Editor: Janet James

Cover Design: Peter Scott

Author/Publisher/Editing /Formatting: Joseph Peters

Printed by Bruce A. Cadorette / Advantage Graphix Inc

Vancouver BC, Canada, August, 2018.

For ordering information –Go here

10/9/15

Sticky Notes and Random Quotes I

pliny the elder

  “Man is the only animal that knows nothing and can learn nothing without being taught. He can neither speak, nor walk, nor eat, nor do anything without the prompting of nature, but only weep.”

-First century Roman, Pliny the Elder (23 – 79), lawyer, author, naturalist, natural philosopher, army and naval commander, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian, comparing humanity to the wonders of the animal kingdom. He died at the beachside resort of Stabiae, on the south-west coast of Italy, sixteen kilometers (nine point nine miles) away from Mount Vesuvius when it blew its stack in the year 79, and which also took out the nearly twelve thousand residents of nearby Pompeii, almost instantaneously.

 

“Fascism is capitalism in decay.”lenin

-Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (1870-1924), also known as Lenin. Russian communist revolutionary, politician, and political theorist, he was head of the government from when the Russian Empire was dissolved and replaced with the Soviet Union, a one-party socialist state. He remains an ideological figurehead behind the political theories of Marxism and Leninism.

 

 

 

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

mussolini-Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (1883-1945) also known as ll Duce, was an Italian politician, journalist and leader of the National Fascist Party, which ruled Italy from 1922 to 1945. He was the founder of fascism, a form of radical authoritarian nationalism, and venomously anti-liberal, anti-communist and anti-conservative.

 

 

08/22/13

Dreams of Inheritances and Lotteries

While reading the daily rags a few weeks ago, on scan and bee-lining for the crossword, a smidgeon of information passed my way and halted my progress. At first I feigned surprise, recent surveys show that nearly half of Canadians are relying on either receiving an inheritance or winning a lottery for their retirement, with similar numbers showing up in other developed countries as well. My surprise died when I realized holy shit, I am one of those people. And then, as I happen to be currently reading up on social contracts, I wondered in a most dedicated and peculiar way, are lotteries and inheritances becoming but another interpretation of unrealistic hope subsidizing the con of what has become familiarly known as the “American dream”?

The seeds of the dream could be traced back to the concept of Res Communes (common things), from the Roman Justinian Code, issued in 535 AD. Res Communes were all the things owned by no one and subject to use by all. “By law of nature these things are common to mankind – the air, running fresh water, the sea, and its shores.” It would become known as the Public Trust Doctrine, where “a state serves as a trustee for such things on behalf of the present and future generations.” Today, International law recognizes all those things that lay outside of the political reach of any one nation state, but belongs to all people, as the global commons; the high seas, the atmosphere, Antarctica and Outer Space. To ask how this particular human contract is going we’d have to stand in front of a mirror before we answer, and then lie to our own face.

A thousand years after Res Communes, the contract had an amendment attached to it. During the Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries when birth was given to humanism, there came a new way of thinking about humans and their place in the universe, that people’s actions were not directed by God, but instead, people are responsible for their own lives.

In Europe, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Renaissance would evolve into the Age of Enlightenment, where philosophers, artists, and scientists discussed the theory of a social contract, made up of unwritten constitutions of nature and society. Such a social contract was theorized to be the blueprint for modern society, where individuals are suggested to surrender certain definitive freedoms and submit to the authority of a ruler, in exchange for protection of their remaining assumed rights. Consent is given to be ruled by an executive power, though consent to be a part of society is not necessarily consent to such an executive. As Thomas Hobbes wrote in 1651, a social contract should be “a mutual exchange of benefits necessary to the formation of a valid contract.”

The deal would become where the ruling state would provide a neutral authority to act to protect the lives, freedoms and property of its citizens, and that justice was to be for all. The citizens on the other hand would promise to avoid doing harm to others, to not interfere with each other, and would be recognized to possess natural unalienable rights. The problem with this concept was that there was no shaking of the hands to seal the deal because it is a theory, and the authority of the state had nothing above it to control it. And most importantly Res Communes began to become privatized. Democracy was the promised placebo to deal with such lack of accountability, but alas it has failed. And though hundreds of millions of law-abiding citizens over the centuries have sacrificed their lives, and even more than that, in fulfilling their duties and their part of the deal to their state and country, the state hasn’t had to sacrifice anything. If such a social contract was indeed co-operative, changes would then  have been different than the present, and once again, collapsing of the middle class and the ever widening problem of distribution of wealth.

As to the planet, according to the international sustainability think tank, Global Footprints, August 12, 2013 marks the day when humanity has used up all the natural resources and waste absorption that the earth can provide in a year. Our human consumption and waste for the remaining four and a half months will be borrowed from future generations. This day has arrived three days earlier each year since 2011. Global Footprints have calculated that if everyone in the world consumed the same as the United States; it would take four Earths to sustain the global population.

The social contract theorized during the Enlightenment would eventually arise in the American Constitution, and would expand out globally and became everyone’s dream. Though it wasn’t until 1931, and historian James Truslow Adams’s book “Epic of America”, that the American dream became popular with the masses in North America and Western Europe. He felt the American dream, was the “dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement….. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position…. The American dream that has lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of merely material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has been much more than that. It has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.”

The dream was then interrupted by the Great Depression, which brought a deep understanding of deprivation. Soon after, World War II and its untold hardships and death on a massive scale erupted. After the horror and madness, those who survived returned and reunited, after sometimes years of separation, with their loves and families, all the while held intact through simple monthly letters. With many of the men, and no doubt much of the populations in many countries, suffering post traumatic shock. Never being able to tell their stories of what they had seen and done. They dreamed of a calmer life, where they felt safe, could toil in meaningful work, and aspire to educate themselves, get married, buy a house and raise kids in it. For decades on end working long full days, putting each of their children through school, and who after graduating, would themselves take on the responsibilities and accountability of being an adult, and stand on their own two feet. One’s dream in life was to be achieved based on individual talent, energy, perseverance, audacity, and a little bit of good luck once in awhile. But the reality of life dictated such a dream could not be for everyone, though generations have tried.

The dream would supposedly continue until the day came to retire and then life would become days of gardening, reading, playing crib, and knitting, baking, and puttering around aimlessly. Maybe obsessing over a lawn, or practising a craft, and if blessed, seeing the grandkids from time to time. Golfing, playing bingo, meeting with friends once a week, and every year going on a little vacation, by plane, train or automobile, to visit family, with the rest of the time spent watching a lot of television. This was not so much how people thought and hoped for; it was what was taught to us, rather advertised to us. Today, the end game of retirement isn’t something people necessarily look forward to at all; instead, for far too many individuals it has become a very, very scary thing. In Canada, 32% of 45 to 64 year olds are expecting lotteries to support them in their retirement, while only 34% of those who do retire have either relied on their savings and investments, or had a pension to achieve it. So for about six out of ten Canadians, retirement is not becoming an option.

Over the past forty years the one dream has morphed into four dreams and has laid waste through our societies at an ever accelerating rate. Writer and Professor of history, Ted Ownby, identifies the four dreams as, Abundance; of material goods, The Democracy of Goods; access to the same products for everybody, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or class, Freedom of Choice; where everyone can fashion their own lifestyle, and Novelty; of ever changing models and products and “expanding the consumer experience and fine tuning people’s purchasing skills and awareness of the market.”

Our societies have become top down structures of capitalistic enterprises, with no one above them to curtail their greed and ego. They have skillfully revised the social contract into being all about maximizing corporate profit at the expense of the citizenry. For all intents and purposes the social contract is now null and void, and we’ve allowed it to happen, for we have been sufficiently distracted enough from reality that we continue to buy into the con, that we can have anything we want, be anybody we want to be, and be able to fulfill all our desires, whether self-indulgent, degenerate or with the best of intentions. Any changes to the contract have not been co-operative in any way, shape or form, and instead have been dictated to us.

Thus, inheritances and lotteries have become a part of the dream, subtly replacing jobs and opportunities. Where all we’ve got to do is buy a ticket and dream, while cruising through the nicer areas of town, doing the slow looki-loo drive by, ogling all the homes and finely kept lawns. Dreaming of what it would be like sitting inside that house, with an even bigger screen TV, an even more expensive couch, and a big truck, Sea-doo, Ski-doo and a ride-a-mower parked in the garage. Dreaming of the opportunity to live in a luxurious way, by not dedicating oneself to education and working hard and having the discipline to do so, but instead simply by winning the lottery, or with about the same odds, becoming a sports hero or celebrity. So wrapped up in technology and upgrading it every few months that we’ve become Star Trek’s, the Borg.

Many think that when they win, which they actually believe will happen, eventually, they will be able to expand their material wealth and instantly retire and do nothing in particular. Bigger house, a few vehicles, and month long travel vacations, with the destinations prone to be places one can shop. Some also believe they will, perhaps, maybe, probably win, but are thinking of the freedom it would bring. To finally go buy a guitar, get that easel you’ve always wanted and spend a couple of hours in an art supply store picking out tubes of oil paints, writing a book, or perhaps even going back to school or finally getting your teeth fixed, making a difference in one’s community, or finally being able to help out a friend or family member. Paying it forward in meaningful ways to people who truly deserve it, all the while not even carrying a phone, but for most of us this is all but a dream.

While in the reality of our daily lives we, and those who are supposed to lead us, have together accumulated debt on a massive scale, which has overshadowed and distracted us from seeking and finding true abundance, which is good health, education, family, friends, a healthy natural world and meaningful work. Instead we are searching for meaning and acceptance through what we consume. It’s like people actually seem to believe if you are rich you are automatically accepted as being successful, smart, honorable, and someone who should be looked up to. Even if what you do to make a living goes against all that is moral and right. It seems we have become simply paychecks, and are defined and accepted as such. If indeed this is the case, then of course inheritances and lotteries are important dreams for many people. They have become key to any long term financial security, especially considering that getting or winning such a windfall saves us from having to work for it in a job that isn’t there anymore. People feel they will gain importance and be more than who they are, but don’t understand its nothing but window dressing for what’s really inside. We have reached the point where we have become so successful at being consumers we haven’t the wherewithal to even retire, unless of course, as mentioned, we win this week’s lottery or someone close to us dies and leaves us the money to do so.

Inheritances

Of all the Canadians who have received an inheritance, nearly half preferred not to divulge how much. Of the rest, 47% said they received an average $57,000, one in five said they received $100,000 or more, while one in four received less than $5,000. Higher up the ladder, 36% of the wealthiest families have received an average of $136,000 inheritance, with this figure predicted to swell to about $300,000 in cash, real estate and other valuables, but then assuming and knowing can be the defining difference between fantasy and reality. It’s like the reports today concerned with climate change, worried that when the earth’s ecosystems collapse it’ll cost us tens of trillions of dollars. With the question instantly coming to mind, who’ll and how many will be left to pick up the tab? And who’ll care?

In a perfect world where all goes well, the economists and soothsayers estimate that Canadian seniors and boomers will leave nearly a trillion dollars to their offspring. On the other hand this estimate is in constant flux, as much of the bulk of inheritances is tied up in homes and property. Those lucky enough to have bought their house in the seventies, and stuck it out, now find the place’s worth has risen 300%. But there’s that second, perhaps third, mortgage that was taken out a decade ago for the $60,000 update on the kitchen. Before that the roof had to be replaced, then the trip to Europe, the loan to your kid so he or she could purchase their first home, a 550 square foot “condo”, the new car loan, thankfully now able to be amortized over 84 months, so that some money is left over monthly for buying other stuff, like food, and every year Christmas is finally being paid off in April. Over the past ten years, such home equity lines of credit have risen 170%. This is why today, about 68% of home owners have, on average, only about 34% in equity in their home.

In 1980 the average home was about $100,000, with an average household debt to income ratio of 66%. Meaning for every $1000 a homeowner earned, $660 went to the bills; mortgage, household expenses, food and such, while $330 was left over for savings and frivolous spending. Today the average house in Canada is about $353,000, over 11 times the median family income, with an average household debt to income ratio of 161%. In other words, the average Canadian household debt, as of 2013, is about $1650 for every $1000 of disposable income. Even crazier, more than one in eight homeowners’ debt to income ratio was 250%, meaning two and a half times their annual income went to mortgages, credit cards and other forms of debt, creating -you guessed it- more debt. It’s a similar system to how many governments work their books.

Canadian house prices today have doubled since 2002, and over 13% since 2008, but seem to now be bogging down; you can just about hear the balloon stretching if you’re quiet and turn the TV down. The only reason the Canadian housing today has stayed fairly steady is because we are buoyed up somewhat by the continuing global economic crisis. Meanwhile the most expensive homes, condos and properties in the major cities are being gobbled up by foreign buyers. The average house value in BC today is $498,000. In Vancouver it’s $684,000. Ontario’s average is $369,000, but $479,000 in Toronto, with Alberta’s average house value at $363,000, $420,000 in Calgary.

It is estimated that over the next ten years, house prices will rise perhaps 2%, barely keeping up with inflation, and while current debt and housing levels are ever more unsustainable, when the lending rates rise, and they will, they’re be hell to pay for many. Economists suggest that with only a half of one percentage point increase in the lending rate there would be an immediate drop of about 10% in house sales and over a 3% decrease in prices. A mere 1% increase in borrowing rates would drop house sales over 15% and decrease the price of the home by more than 7%. For many Canadians, they will not be able to  afford to live in the homes they own.

But over 80% of Canadians aged 18 to 29 years, still continue to expect an inheritance, especially those who attended post-secondary school, are savvy to the real estate market and the value of their parent’s home, and who are graduating with an average of $28,000 in student loans into a world where there will never be enough jobs or opportunities. While only 48% of the 45 to 64 year old baby boomers are expecting an inheritance of some sort, because they understand the fact that people are living longer and spending more in retirement, and are seeing firsthand how tough it’s going to be as we age. Boomers in particular are becoming more concerned with debt reduction than retirement and leaving an inheritance, and it’s highly likely we may well be one of the last generations to inherit anything. As to how much wealth is transferred to the next generation, it’s changing all the time, because of the high costs of living in one’s final years, especially if you want to live with a better than average standard of living. The reality will be mostly determined by the actions of the real estate market. As it is, forty-five percent of those 60 or older are going to need their savings to fund their retirement, with only one in four willing to make personal sacrifices to ensure an inheritance for their family. At the same time, only four in ten Canadians actually have a will.

Baby-boomers’ parents were unique, in that they grew up with a very deep understanding of deprivation, untold hardships and World War Two. When and if able to leave an inheritance, they feel compelled to provide financial assistance to their family. Boomers on the other hand have grown up in a relatively peaceful and affluent time, and a life of abundance. They are compelled more to treat any monies or property that they leave to certain people or charity and non-profit organizations, as a bonus, instead of a requirement. Of course that’s only if there is anything left after keeping us in diapers and well medicated in our final years.

Another generational difference is that no longer do the majority believe in a life after death, instead it’s now all about holding on to this one, even to the point of sculpting and altering one’s body to give the impression “age doesn’t mean anything”. Holding onto all we have, and getting as much of it as we can. Never going airborne to look down and see how massive our herd has become and how so alike we look.

At one time we used to inherit the best of family legacies, traditions and values. Perhaps an old watch or chiming clock, an antique dining room table with ornate chairs, perhaps a cache of recipes or a set of dishes and a tea set, or maybe some small plot of land and/or the family home, which was built to raise a family in and not just another investment. Or more importantly such things as honour, the level-headedness of one’s grandmother, the reason people respected your grandfather, having a good work ethic,  being taught etiquette, things like poise and reservation, or how to respect each other even if you don’t like each other. There are also other traditions and values that have been passed on which humanity could do without, such as out-dated social and religious values. But nothing lasts anymore, so there is less to be passed on. Even antiques will soon be no more, and more expensive, for I highly doubt an IKEA bookshelf or Wal-Mart writing desk will be around for auction in seventy years. Our legacies will be plastic effigies of ourselves.

Unfortunately, much of the best of past legacies, traditions and values have been replaced with economic inheritance. Which itself is based on the soft and shaky ground called real estate speculation, a global economic crisis, diminishing ecosystems, and a declining number of people who have planned for retirement, in non-existent or non-sufficient savings, tax, and insurance plans. As for stocks and bonds being a part of one’s inheritance, about 90% of all stock, including bonds, is owned by the top 15% wealthiest individuals. I know, made me cry too.

A few final thoughts on inheritances and why they are diminishing, debt is rising, and the ever widening gap between those with and those without continues. Between 1976 and 2010, Canada’s middle class saw their income grow only 7% when adjusted for inflation, which is about 0.2% per year. The top 20% of earners saw their incomes rise more than 40%, while those in the top 5% saw their incomes rise by that much annually.

Then there is the makeup of the average Canadian family today, where it’s not simply the married for forty years parents passing away and leaving their wealth for their two children and three grandchildren. Today if there is a pot left behind to be pissed in, it might well have to be divided between two or three unmarried and/or sometimes remarried spouses, children from the various relationships, siblings, next of kin, and of course creditors. This issue also appears when someone wins a lottery, and the relatives and friends start appearing out of the woodwork for their cut, whether entitled or not.

Most sadly, where grandparents were once very important within the family makeup, experience and values, especially to their grandchildren; far too often the thread of this legacy is rare or non-existent today. At the same time more and more parents and grandparents are dipping into their savings and retirement funds to financially help their struggling adult children who are finding it difficult to get jobs or meaningful work. But then, for three generations now, around the globe, television and mainstream media have far too often been the parents minding the children.

Reality is, for the majority in the present world, people need to keep for themselves what they would have left as an inheritance to finance their senior years, and/or need to keep working past the American dream’s unnatural sixty-five years old deadline. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that such a deadline is perhaps the reason for the rapid growth of people today developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. Preventing mental decline is all about keeping physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged; while drooling over daytime television sitting in a lazy-boy rocker, in a small apartment, taking your meds, smoking your reefer, or drinking enough so that you may sleep that night, does not. People should be able to work as long as they physically and mentally can. Today most have to, before having to spend their final years, often in decrepit, unsafe, and vulnerable situations, or having to rely on Government assistance and eating cold soup out of the can over the kitchen sink. All the while the body and mind deteriorate and one becomes ever more alone and frightened. Many thank God for bringing contemplation, forgiveness and erasure of sin before going to heaven, others now thank god for lotteries, for all the same reasons.

Lotteries

Once upon a time, when we began to jam ourselves into villages, then towns and cities, we slowly stopped believing in ourselves, we also stopped using both sides of our brain at the same time. But we had to believe in something to get through our daily lives, doing those things we usually didn’t want to do, so we came up with the concept of religion. Today we have lotteries.

Any local convenience store clerk will tell you they can actually see the physical and mental reaction a person goes through when coming in to check their tickets. Some people are either cheery, feeling that positive vibes will help their chances, or glum and quiet, hoping and praying under their breath. The “sorry not a winner” from the clerk, is followed by the customer exhaling all their air, shrugging and slumping their shoulders, dropping their heads, and feeling beaten down again. But then the moment they decide to spend the last toonie to their name on a “scratch and win”, voila, hope is restored. The ticket will be taken home or to a place where the aura will make the scratching almost ritualistic and holy. Or by using “reverse psychology’, they scratch the ticket immediately, like they don’t care if it’s a winner or not, and then nonchalantly wading it up and dumping it in the trash bin. The hope, loss and recovery are quickly experienced, as they then continue to go on about their day. For most, even a free ticket win nearly brings out the choir. The dreams a major lottery creates, believing if you don’t play you’ll never win, could put a spring into one’s step for a whole week. People will spend hundreds on Keno or pull-tabs, drinking coffees or beer specials for hours, chatting within their like-minded group, and win fifty bucks and feel like a million dollars. The altar is no longer in a church, it’s in a casino.

Meanwhile, the odds of dying in a terrorist attack in North America are about 1 in 20 million, while travelling abroad these odds drop to 1 in 650,000. In Canada, we have the lowest risk of dying from terrorism out of all the Western economies in the world, about  1 in 14 million, about the same odds of winning the national Lotto 6/49, which odds can be, on average, anywhere from 1 in 14 million to 1 in 28 million. In the States, the chances of winning one of their Powerball or mega-millions state lotteries is about 1 in 175.7 million. A typical, two dollar, thousand dollar prize scratch and win, where the odds of winning a thousand dollars is about 1 in 960,000 is similar to the odds (1 in 1 million) of being killed by flesh-eating disease. So getting beheaded in a terrorist attack, and winning a major lottery have about the same chance of happening in one’s life – interesting. Yet in Canada, we’ll drive at least 16 km (10 miles) to get our lottery ticket, consuming gas worth more than the ticket, and its 3 to 20 times more likely for us to be killed in a car accident than winning a lottery or being car bombed.

The odds of being killed by a bee sting or a snake bite are about 1 in 100,000. Dying in a plane crash 1 in 360,000, becoming a pro athlete 1 in 22,000, getting a hole in one in golf, 1 in 5,000, the same odds for getting injured or dying sometime over the next year. Then raw reality lays bare the odds of getting cancer – at least once in our lives – 1 in 2.

As to the Canadian lottery, Lotto 6/49, if you spend two dollars a week on one set of numbers you’re likely to win $10 at least once every 13 months. Another study found that spending $25 per week for 20 years on lottery tickets, you could make over a third back, occasionally winning in increments of either $10 or the 4th place range of $75 The odds of winning a free ticket are 1 in 8; winning ten to twenty dollars, 1 in 77. The average Canadian spends $257 per year on lottery tickets. British Columbians spend the least at $240, while 45 to 64 year old men spend the most at $880 per year.

One of the largest lottery jackpots won in the world was in March 2012, in the States, where three tickets shared in a $640 million cash payout. After taxes each of the winners shared $474 million. In the US, the federal individual income tax rate is 35-39.6% on taxable income above $400,000 for a single and $450,000 for a couple, plus state and municipal taxes. The highest combined federal, state and city tax rate paid by someone winning the lottery is in New York State at 48.5%. In Canada there are no taxes on lottery winnings, but there are on interest earned from them.

One of the highest lottery prizes in Canada was in April 2013, where there were four winning tickets sharing $63 million. Which was $15.8 million per ticket, but one of the winners had two winning numbers, because eccentrically, for 30 years he always purchased two identical sets of the same numbers, doubling down each time, thus he was able to pocket $31.6 million.

The good thing about the lottery is it’s like the left-brain right-brain thing. It gives hope, some solace during the week perhaps, where one walks a bit straighter, and a humbled confidence could even enter their realm. And in most cases it only cost two bucks. Then there’s the view of where does the money go, won or lost. The winners more often than not are broke within five years, while the money pooled by the lottery corporations, surprisingly, is often money well spent or at least it’s what we are led to believe.

Lotteries in North America are a fairly recent addition, and unfortunately governments have become enamoured with lotteries and casinos, because instead of some of the escalating revenues going to actually help communities, as has been the case, the monies they receive now are put into general spending, most often to cover their, but really our, growing debt. One can also say that lotteries give false hope, a release valve for the population, so that there is less pressure on political leaders, to remedy the growing inequality of modern society. But then these negative aspects of a lottery have been used for thousands of years, and as mentioned, have only been recently accepted, when governments wanted a piece of the action once controlled solely by the underworld and despots.

Evidence suggests lotteries began in China over four thousand years ago, with the first recorded signs of a lottery during the Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 BC. It’s believed lotteries were created to finance government works, such as the Great Wall of China. Gambling has gone on as long with the Egyptians, who became notorious dice players three thousand years ago. The first known European lotteries were during the Roman Empire. By 1400, many communities of Europeans would hold lotteries for needed public works.

Gambling, lotteries and sweepstakes were illegal in many countries, including Canada, the US and most of Europe well into the early 20th century. Gambling Mecca’s were always elsewhere, Havana, Beirut, Monte Carlo…. It wasn’t until the sixties that casinos and lotteries began to push for amendments in both Canada and the US.

In Canada, it wasn’t until 1969, when the Criminal Code was amended, that the federal government and the Provinces were allowed to operate such “lottery schemes.” BC offered Canada’s first lottery in 1974, with everyone else soon following. There are five lottery corporations in Canada today, covering all the provinces and territories; Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Western Canada and BC. Combined they bring in $8.5 billion in revenue annually. In the US there are forty-four States or Territories which offer government operated lotteries.

In 1985, selling under the umbrella of the Western Canada Lottery Foundation, BC opened its own lottery, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), which today is the largest net income generating commercial Crown Corporation in BC. But like the BC Transit Corporation, it is placed outside of direct government oversight. In 2011/12, over 5,000 community and charitable organizations received a combined $134 million in Community Gaming Grants for arts and culture, youth and disabled sports, public safety, environmental groups, animal welfare agencies, fairs, festivals, museums and for people in need. A further $100 million went to local governments that host casinos and community gaming centers and local economic development projects. With 900 employees, its revenues for 2012-13, by operating 2.5 lottery machines per 1000 people in BC, were $2.76 billion. While $624.5 million was paid out in winnings (39%),  total expenses were $910 million. Net income was $1.2 billion, of which $100 million in taxes goes to the BC government, hopefully going where it’s supposed to go, which is support for health care services and research, and a consolidated revenue fund to support other health care and education programs. Of the remaining monies, $128 million goes to debt; $116 million goes to Capital expenditures and finally the federal government gets its $9.1 million share. Millions also are allocated to gambling addictions. The bottom line is that, for every one dollar gambled in BC, eighty-seven cents goes back into BC. Funny enough, so do most of the prize payouts.

Twenty-five per cent of Canadians consistently play the lottery, while it’s estimated that more than 60% of Canadians will plunk down at least two dollars on any lottery which prize has grown to mega-million size. And like all big business the push is always on. Previously noted, subsidizing a government’s lack of fiscal restraint means the revenues from gambling are paying for the services the government can no longer afford to provide, and of course the push has reached mainstream radio stations, where the evolvement of never ending contests has reached a place where if you win, you will receive $100 to play Lotto, plus have an on-line account set up for you, so that “you never have to worry you don’t have a ticket ever again”, and as a special bonus you will receive an e-mail notification when you win, oh yes, when you win! So all that is needed is to sit in front of the television, mouth agape, watching regular programming, drooling in front of the computer, or playing video games until three am, and simply waiting for the phone to magically ring, and will change your life.

Nine out of ten winners of $100,000 or less spend all their winnings in five years or less. Researchers have offered a few theories as to why so many winners blow it all rather quickly. Theories abound that most lottery players have below-average incomes and education and are highly likely to be financially illiterate and that winners might also engage in something behavioral economists call “mental accounting”, where a person treats their winnings less cautiously than they would their earnings, because the winnings are something they didn’t have before. And of course some people simply develop a taste for luxury goods that outlasts their money. Just like any other addiction.

According to a study by the Statistic Brain, compiled from 34 national lottery winners (8 male, 26 female, with an average age of 46), and who averaged $175,000 in winnings, suggests that 55% were of course much happier after winning, because of improved financial security, 65% were less worried, could purchase anything they wanted, and that 23% felt their life became easier, while 43% of the winners felt no effect on their happiness. Other studies suggest that such happiness, on average, ebbs over time. Interesting effects from this study include, 58% of winners’ families claimed to be happier, 40% increased their contributions to charity, 38% have moved since winning, 48% were in a career job before and are still there, 15% started a new job, 30% started their own business, and 32% have gained weight. The average number of friends that male winners gave money to – three; the average number of friends female winners gave money to – one; while 44% would spend their winnings within five years, and the probability that any such new wealth will be gone by the third generation (grandchildren), is 90%. Of course, all these numbers are dependent on the amount of money won and who the people were.

As for multi-million dollar winners, at least those who have a head on their shoulders, who are happy with who they are, thus, are well grounded, American Brad Duke of Star, Idaho, could be used as an example. When he realized he had won the $220 million Powerball jackpot in 2005, he kept it to himself and went about his daily routine. The breakdown of what he finally did with the loot, when he finally went public; $45 million invested in safe, low-risk investments such as municipal bonds, $35 million in more aggressive investments such as oil, gas, and real estate (personally, real estate for sure, oil and gas, not even if my life depended on it, which it does. I’d go solar and wind alternatives), a $1.3 million family foundation, $63,000 spent on a trip to Tahiti with 17 friends, he paid off the $125,000 mortgage on his 1,400 square-foot house, paid off his outstanding student loan of $18,000. As a mountain bike enthusiast he spent $65,000 on new bicycles, bought a used black VW Jetta for $14,500 and now gives an annual $12,000 gift to each family member.

But it’s all relative, depending on the winner’s sense of well-being, which doesn’t fundamentally change, and their current situation which will most certainly exaggerate. If you are unhappy, can’t manage money and you’re surrounded by people you do not trust, winning millions of dollars will probably make your problems worse. If you are happy with your life, it fulfills you, you are careful with your money and you have strong relationships in your life, a lottery win is likely to build on those strengths. We are who we are.

The downside of it all is that many people’s lives have become nearly entirely economic, and lacking any depth whatsoever. We believe we have very healthy relationships with our stuff, while our human relationships become ever more dysfunctional. And is perhaps why dog ownership is growing in leaps and bounds; people seeking unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness. This gets us back to the idea of the American dream, discussed earlier, and how it has evolved into simply being the best consumer you can be, all the while, it is clearly warping our senses and human values. It has become the way of the world, for it keeps the global economy going. The 1% who run the world, control us by constantly reminding that if we buy, use, discard, then buy some more, all is well. If we do not, the economy will die. Meanwhile fossil fuel limits, environmental limits and debt limits are all being reached, and no heed is taken, and if it is, its then quickly squashed. It seems the only dying that’s going on here is us and all the other species that live on this rock.

In the US, it’s becoming blatantly obvious such a way of living is not working. A recent report out of Oxford University, estimates 80% of Americans (four out of five adults) will suffer the hardship of joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives by 2030. In 2012, 33 million American adults, 15% of the population, and only two million fewer people than Canada’s entire population, who were responsible for a family of four, saw their annual income fall below the poverty line of $23,021.

So if after eking through life and getting cancer, a hip replacement, suffering depression, getting hit by lightening, having a parasitic worm gnaw its way through your body, getting into a traffic accident where somebody died, becoming a superstar, writing a novel and fourteen million other things, you actually do win a lottery or receive an inheritance, be cool, chill for awhile, take your time and keep it to yourself. Yes, this will be very difficult, but so is life, and if indeed you won and if you play your cards right, it could get better.

Put one or two steps between you and your ability to spend the principle. Surround yourself with people you trust, whether a lawyer, financial advisor or even a committee of three of those closest to you. Meet with estate lawyers, accountants and financial advisors, and when you meet them do not let on you have fourteen or so million sitting in your savings account. See if they will show you respect thinking you’re just regular folk. Provide for your children with savings accounts; hold off on giving money to anybody else until you have a financial plan in order. Set aside a small amount as crazy money, but set a very small limit, do not dwell on it, and don’t hurt anyone.

Winning a lottery is much more than just money and managing it though. It is also very much about managing one’s behaviour. A real bitch or prick filled with self-indulgence, hate, greed and zero empathy living in a hovel, will no doubt be of the same character and possess the same attitude, if living in a castle. For as they say, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is a sign of utter madness.

As for the American dream, many citizens today the world over, are realizing that such a dream is becoming unattainable, and perhaps it never was, as George Carlin eloquently deadpanned, thirty years ago, “It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

No matter if one wins a lottery or has an inheritance thrown into one’s lap, or not; making a difference in your life has got nothing to do with money. Money simply gives one the freedom to do more. Our stuff does not define us. We are who we are. And we don’t change as much as we think we do.

Though I have no pension, nor substantial savings, and will never be able to retire, I don’t care. I’m a writer and though I don’t make money doing it, I wish it was all I had to do. But I continue to work, have a roof over my head, be fed and I’m blessed with family, trusted friends and acquaintances. I accept and deal with the dark days as they periodically appear, and enjoy the good ones, one at a time. So yes, I will still saunter over to the corner grocery store once a week, grab some chocolate milk and eggs, smell the smells, sample some freshly made pakora’s, gratefully take a small container of chutney, chat with the merchant and his family, smile at people there and back, perhaps shove my face into a blooming Lilac bush, and spend five dollars on BC/49. Because you never know, and no matter the truths written above, if five dollars is what it takes, in this economic world of ours to inject some confidence in looking forward to the future, and the freedom it would bring, and be able to dream of things outside our boxes and daily routines, without harming ourselves or others, I figure it’s money well spent.

 

 

04/8/13

Costs Of Living – Inequalities, Poverty Levels, and the Cost for one Person to live in Victoria BC

“Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and for his family an existence worthy of human dignity”  U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights


 

While we have been busy climbing ladders, wishing we were someone else and purchasing our personalities, the basics of life have become much more than simply the costs of living, and are in fact taking much more from us than just income and capital; it’s taking away the planet we live on as well.

To exist as a biological species we need safe drinking water, food, clothing, a roof over our heads, and sex. To be human we need someone to love, someone to love us, friendship, an individual talent which gives us self worth and the ability or opportunity to question. To keep humanity’s greatest resources, imagination and ingenuity, in proper context, we need what Albert Einstein called “the principles of free and responsible development of the individual so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of mankind.” To keep ourselves mentally healthy is to relish each one of these essentials. But each one of these essentials, especially over the past thirty years, has now become nearly entirely privatized, as we stare like deer caught in the headlights.

Today such basic needs and rights also include education, health care, parks and recreation and freedom of speech, all of which are now packaged into products to be simply bought and sold, with many of these rights easily taken from us. Obtaining them is now based on who can pay the most, because anything good, important, healthy or reliable costs more.

The cost of living before agriculture and civilizations was called life and death. Then about twelve thousand years ago, after seventy thousand years of our current mutation as modern humans; we began to domesticate animals and invented agriculture to feed them, eventually feeding ourselves as well. We also began to live communally in larger numbers, which rose exponentially after such villages became cities. The cost of living became income. At this time the characters bearing psychopathic tendencies, such as “self-esteem derived from personal gain, power, or pleasure; failure to conform to lawful or culturally normative ethical behaviour; lack of concern for feelings, needs, or suffering of others; lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another; exploitation is a primary means of relating to others; deceit; the use of dominance or intimidation to control others and misrepresentation of the self”, were finally able to rise to the top, feeding on their thirst for power, to control the food source, and demand tithe for doing so. Where once there was enough for everyone slowly became never enough. The seeds of inequality among humans began to quickly sprout and split into the haves and the have-nots.

At the same time, laws were formed by the individuals who controlled the wealth to control the public and soon the populations began to lose the opportunity to be noble or heroic, with everyone’s destiny and position in life laid out for them. Distractions such as literature, theatre and sports quickly followed, becoming the places where we could live out an honorable life, through someone else’s actions.  To further control the masses the elite created capital, usury, then debt, by imposing scarcity on their own populations, and any conquered ones, thus causing inequality which created poverty. To keep at least a wee bit of hope, religion was created.

Eventually the distractions and illusions became what they are today, sports heroes, movie stars, politics, and numerous economic theories that only exist on paper and which keep us focused on anything other than our own lives. Ideas such as GDP, which we base our economic worlds and societal success on, but which have nothing to do with our personal well-being or the planet’s. It operates under the illusion that unlimited growth under free market capitalism, operating on only one delicate and finite planet will work, and that a person’s well-being has all to do with material gain and how much one consumes. As it devours our social and natural environments it has us thinking that money will bring us happiness, where instead life should be doing that.

But we do not live in a world where the economy understands that there are now over seven billion people living on a single and finite planet and concerns itself with the importance of everyone getting along, the welfare of each individual, and having enough for everyone, even future generations, by caring for the earth’s resources. Instead we have an economic system, neo-liberal capitalism, which only generates extreme wealth for a very few individuals and is destroying the planets ecosystems by replacing the earth’s resources with waste, and controls the majority of the human race using nationalism, intolerance and oppression by economic means. For instance, if every country on earth were to consume resources and generate as much waste as the United States, we would need five planet earths.

Meanwhile we are extolled through the corporate government media machine that we should worry about events in far-flung places, rather than what’s happening in our own communities, ignoring the depravity within our own society by watching it happen somewhere else. More often than not, global mainstream media is not the real world; our everyday lives are not filled with horror, crime, and continuous bad news nor are they filled with the need to always exact revenge. Most all news stories are about things we cannot influence, and the daily repetition of such things we cannot do anything about, makes us passive. It is grinding us down and is undoubtedly one of the core reasons for the widespread disease of depression which is ravaging our societies. Media could and should, put life into better perspective though in many instances it is verboten to do so and now simply sticks to peddling the ideology of the corporate state.

We are further led to believe that lavish spending and waste makes one a better person somehow, to be a true human you need stuff, especially stuff you don’t need. That what one is wearing or what vehicle one drives denotes their personality and that money is everything. Even assets and debts are to be carried over, and still to be paid after we die. We are bludgeoned and brow beaten about debt and how much is owed, numbers in the billions and trillions on the national level and which we have no hope of ever relating to. On a more personal level we simply try to ignore the amount we ourselves are amassing.

We are also told that having a distinct personality is imperative to be the most powerful, invincible, admired, sexy and unique, yet our daily lives are interactive and interdependent worlds, as are most all species whether animal, bird or fish. No matter the distraction or how far one buys into it, the underlying questioning of what we are told to do, say, act and buy, goes against the reality of who we are. And it’s confusing the hell out of us.

For generations’ topics such as religion, politics, what one does for a living, inequality and sex were simply not spoken about or brought up. Climate change and the current economic crisis can also be added to this list. Yet these are all things we should be talking about, because they are the causes of the abuse we are doing to ourselves and the planet. We get upset when talking about such issues because it’s taken personally, thus we become emotional and offended. Talk about any other fundamental global issues today and people really get their hairs up and knickers in a twist, and either emotionally expounds their personal world-view at you or simply doesn’t want to talk about it and quickly changes the subject. The main reason for this is because it gets too close to the bone; we are hurt emotionally because our inaction, obedience to the system, and denial are complicit with the digression of our unequal societies and destruction of the earth’s eco-systems.

It is getting harder and harder to differentiate between truth and fiction so we interpret reality through illusion, believe what we want to believe, and are quickly rid of anything unpleasant, instead of learning to cope. Our comfort zones have been separated from reality, with the media working their best for their corporate masters, to ensure that they shall never meet. The paradox today is that people have to be far enough out of touch with reality to function and yet acknowledge reality to survive.

The separation between reality and illusion is a thin veil and is creating so many contradictions in our lives that many people today, especially in the developed countries, simply can’t cope with daily life. Each year the United States and Canada consumes more than two-thirds of the world’s pharmaceutical anti-depressants, the bulk of the global cocaine supply and have some of the highest rates of alcohol abuse in the world. Not to mention deteriorating physical and mental health. There is a reason for this.

We have become a public overwhelmed, numbed, and weary of the stories and realities of climate change, unwinnable wars, whether drugs or terrorists, and the ever worsening global economic recession and the strain it’s putting on our lives. No matter how much one becomes distracted, such issues weigh heavily upon us. For many, worrying about where the next meal will come from creates stress and worry, which affects our health, therefore also becomes one of the costs to live today.

Underlying our human madness is the reality of each day in an individual’s life and the fact that our basic, modern needs, and fundamental requirements to exist as a healthy biological species, along with, income disparity and the lowering of our morals, are all becoming more expensive and much more than we, as well as the planet, can afford.

It is estimated there are billions of people in the world living on less than $2.50 per day. Most are indeed poor, but then again there are also some peoples and places on the earth, where consumerism and capitalism haven’t become a belief system, nor has the surrounding environment been eroded or poisoned. In such places $2.50 a day is all you really need to fulfill one’s daily need for water, food and a roof over your head, with lives which are just as fulfilling, loving, rich and rewarding as anywhere else. But for much of the planet’s populations, one’s life is determined by how much money one makes and what you do with it.

Today the cost of living is based on what is called the “poverty level”, which is the minimum level deemed adequate to afford the essential resources an average human being needs to consume in one year. It is based on a human’s basic food and water requirements necessary to exist.  With food, a human’s health is determined by what’s called “body-mass index”, which is a human’s body shape based on an individual’s weight and height. The minimum “allowed” body-mass index is 16, although the more accurate and real body-fat % number is being used more often as the scale, with the highest percentages being in North America. The BMI is still used globally, with the lowest BMI scores, averaging 19, are found in many of the poorest countries, especially Eritrea, Congo, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, and Southeast Asia. The highest rates are Tonga, Micronesia and Samoa, with an average of 32. As a rule a BMI of over 25 puts one overweight.

Though there is no standard caloric intake list, a person needs a minimum of 1500-2000 calories of food per day. With the actual number of calories each individual needs depending on multiple different factors, including age, gender, height, weight, lifestyle, availability and metabolism, and that not all calories are created equal, so it depends more so on what kinds of calories you eat.

The minimum amount of water our bodies need, in a moderate climate and average activity level, is about 5 litres (1.3 gal) per day, while the minimum water needed for drinking, cooking, bathing and sanitation combined is about 50 litres (13 gal) per day, per person. In perspective, Americans and Canadians use 250-300 litres (65-78 gal) of water per day per person for drinking, cooking, bathing, flushing toilets and watering lawns. In the Netherlands, they use 104 litres (27 gal) per day, while in Gambia, in Africa, they use only 4.5 litres (1.17 gal) per day. The poverty level minimum water needs also states that every person must have safe drinking water available less than 15 minutes away. And although 70% of the earth’s surface is water, less than 2% of it is fresh water, of which only a few hundredths of a per cent is actually drinkable.

As for food and water, these minimums are scary as in many parts of the world they are still not being reached, and in fact are declining, with the supply of these basic needs being the most affected by climate change. The UN estimates that there are 925 million humans with insufficient food, 1 out of every 7 people, with over half of all the children in the world today living in poverty. Global fresh water is dwindling quickly, not so much from drinking, but from growing food, while the acidification and oxygen depletion of the earth’s oceans, lakes and rivers, drought, severe weather, glaciers disappearing and rivers drying up continue unabated.  We whine about what a litre of gasoline costs, yet are paying sometimes twice as much for the same amount of water in a plastic bottle. Heck, in Victoria we are paying fifty-cents to simply put air in our tires.

The poverty level provisions must also include proper sanitation for our biological waste, health care for serious illness, injury and pregnancy, and shelter, where fewer than four people live in each room with at the least a floor and a roof.  Next up is education, where each person is able to read and write, thus learn. Finally, the poverty level includes that everyone should have the modern essentials of having information at hand, whether in books, magazines and news sources, as well as access to services such as further education, health advice and care, legal assistance, social services, and financial services such as credit unions.

While in reality many of these minimum requirements can never be reached by someone actually living at the poverty level; with many of them slowly being erased or priced too high and out of reach for the majority of humanity.

Before we continue I would like to emphasize that I understand very well there will be a wide range of circumstances when further discussing the cost of living, and to some extent income inequality, but I’m just going for an average, ballpark figure of an average Canadian, with the odd comparison to the Americans. I’m not really comparing but generalizing, because there are so many variables, such as where one lives – city, small town or suburb. Are they male or female, single or have a large family, or two people sharing expenses and with a joint income of $40,000 and having a higher standard of living than two individuals living alone on $20,000 each, with all sorts of intangibles in between.

In Canada the after-tax poverty thresholds are $18,421 for one person, $34,829 for a family with two children. One in ten Canadians live at or below these levels; 3.2 million people, of whom 634,000 are children, with British Columbia continuing to have the highest child poverty rate in Canada. In the US the poverty level is $11,344 for one person, and $22,133 for a family with two children, with more than one per six Americans living at and far below these levels.

Such income levels have not changed much over the past 30 years, though the actual costs of living and the income of the top earners have risen dramatically. Consider that in 1982 the median income of an average Canadian was $28,000 annually after taxes, while the income for the top one per cent was $191,600 after taxes, seven times higher. Fast forward to today where our economy has grown twice as large, the richest one per cent now report a median income of $283,400, nearly 10 times higher than the median income of the other 99% of Canadians whose median income has only risen to $28,500.

Income inequality is even more disturbing in the US. In 1980 the average CEO’s annual pay was 42 times more than the average worker. By 2011, their pay was 340 times more, regardless of business performance or shareholder value.  As to income growth over the past 45 years and adjusted for inflation, 90% of Americans annual income, has risen a mere $59 per year, while the top 1% of the top 1%’s annual income has risen to $18.7 million. To put this in perspective, for each dollar that an average household’s income rises, the household incomes of the top 1% of the top 1% rises $311,233 annually.

In Canada the top 100 CEO’s earn an average of $6 million per year, while the average minimum hourly wage in Canada is nine dollars, in the US its $7.25 per hour. The lowest minimum monthly gross income in Canada, working a 40 hour work week, is $1,631 per month. To currently live in Vancouver B.C. an individual needs to earn at least $18.81 per hour and work a 40 hour week. In 2012, the average weekly wage in BC was $860.57 before taxes, with an hourly average wage of $23.53. In a nut shell, more than half of all Canadians are living on less than $25,400 per year after taxes and would need to work one month to make the same amount a top CEO makes in one hour.

Out of the pie, 51.9% of Canadians make $29,299 a year or less, 48% make more than $30,000 per year, and the final 1% makes $169,000 or more a year, with 0.1 % of these individuals making an average of $30 million a year. Breaking it down further, if you make more than $60,000 per year you are in the top 19%; above $120,000 per year you are in the top 5%. As for weekly income, the top 10%, who are mostly just the managers of the top 1%’s industries, governments, corporations and wealth, and who are really just commodities themselves, average $6,000 per week. Their bosses make about $160,000 per week.

The disappearing middle class in BC have individual earnings between $40,000 and $125,000, while in the US their middle class is determined to be those earning $36,000 to $57,657 per year. In both countries it’s becoming blatantly clear, yet readily ignored, that the bulk of the populations of both are below middle class, with a few at the very top.

The latest employment reports show that since the economic downturn in 2008, 60% of all jobs lost during the subsequent recession paid middle income wages, while 60% of jobs gained are low paying jobs in the accommodation or fast food industry. Declining traditional middle class jobs include executive assistants and secretaries, construction laborers, carpenters, bookkeepers, accountants, telephone operators, general maintenance and repairmen, and reporters and correspondents.  With the biggest drops in employment occurring in utilities, public administration and especially manufacturing. Although actual manufacturing sales are rising, the higher paying manufacturing jobs are disappearing quickly, and being replaced with low paying service jobs. Staying stagnant are jobs in business, trade, and information, culture and recreation, while rising employment opportunities are in education, health, and as previously mentioned, the fast food and service industry, which is growing four times the overall rate. People are getting jobs but staying poor, because the increasing low-wage jobs don’t pay enough to live off of.

Besides income disparity, wealth inequality is equally outrageous. The richest 300 people in the world have the same wealth as the poorest 3 billion. In Canada, the top 1% possesses more than 45% of the wealth, while eight out of every 10 working Canadian share 7% of the wealth between them.  As for who actually has the wealth, meaning who has the share of money, gold, real estate, stocks and bonds, not very many. In 2012, Canadians with more than $30 million in assets numbered only 4,922 individuals, with a combined worth of over $148 billion. In 2010 the population of Canada was 43 million people, yet only 164,000 individuals made more than $250,000, while in BC there were only 18,810 individuals making that much, and once again, possessing nearly 45% of the wealth.

In the US, the Walton’s, heirs to the monolith that is Wal-Mart, are worth a combined $110 billion, more wealth than the bottom 42% of Americans combined. If Wal-Mart was a country it would be the 26th largest economy in the world, with yearly sales exceeding $444 billion, $20 billion more than Austria’s GDP.

The problems with such growing inequality are that most of the wealthy do not even invest their wealth back into where they live; instead they move it offshore as quickly as possible. There is no trickle-down effect. Record profits in the private sector haven’t led to an increase in wages, but rather quite the opposite, less wages along with fewer jobs.

After all that, and taking a deep breath, we come back to how much does it really cost for somebody to live. In BC the average working stiffs, putting in 40 hour weeks, with no dental plan and no pension plan, other than what the Canada Pension Plan eventually pays when we are 65 years old, gross median annual incomes, range from the ticketed master carpenter making $50,070, to a construction labourer averaging $36,147, an apartment manager making $32,300, a bartender $23,198, to a waitress making $22,242, while a bookkeeper makes on average about $17.95 per hour,  a pharmacy technician, $15.91 per hour, and someone working in retail/fast food $10.25 gross per hour. Currently, the before taxes, gross median annual income in Canada is $30,800.

The poverty level mentioned earlier, supposedly is the least one needs to survive as a human being in a developed nation. In Canada, as earlier noted, it is $18,421 per year after tax, while one’s actual cost of living is determined by how much of a consumer you are and how much of the bullshit do you buy into. In Canada, in 2012, for every $100 an average Canadian family earned in disposable after-tax income they owed over $164 in market debt.  Why this is so, is in part because many of us are buying stuff we don’t need, and with stagnant wages for the past few decades the basics are costing so much more.

An example; a single male living in Victoria BC in 2012, pulling in $24,000 a year gross, whether $2000 per month salary or working 40 hour weeks for $12.50 per hour, is determined to be on the poverty level.  Off the top goes $3600 (15%) to Federal taxes, $1214 (5.06%) to Provincial taxes, $1080 (4.5%) to Canada Pension Plan, and about $360 (1.5%) for unemployment insurance. Using public transit with a bus pass costs $82 per month ($984/year) and living in a one-bedroom apartment costs an average $830 per month ($9960/year).  Cost of consumables such as food one only makes at home and personal care averages $280 per month ($3000/year). BC Medical (health care) is $55 per month ($660/year), $66.50 per month if you make over $30,000. Some sort of Life insurance, Critical Illness insurance or even savings, will cost at least $40 per month ($480/year), and that’s if you don’t smoke. Though I will not be adding such a cost to total when complete, a pack of cigarettes averages $9.30, a pack a day habit will cost you $279 per month.

Apartment insurance is about $15 per month ($180/year); the average cell phone costs are $71 per month ($852/year), though a basic land-line phone on one’s home runs about $26 per month.  Very basic cable is about $38 per month, including taxes ($456/year), while having an internet connection is about $40 per month ($480/year).  The cost of electricity for an apartment, with free hot water with heat registers, is on average $18 per month ($216/year), if it’s electric heat, $50+ per month. Entertainment is going out for a dinner for two ($50) once a month, grabbing the $10 burger and beer special once a week at the local pub, buying a bottle of cheap wine ($10), a new book ($15) and perhaps going to a movie once a month ($12), will total about $127 per month ($1524/year).

After paying these costs of living, the single person living in Victoria will be left with nothing, in fact they will be in arrears $1046, and still have to cover any clothing expenses, stamps, laundry, newspaper and occasional coffees, and emergencies. While the two week holidays one gets annually, never really includes an actual vacation. Such things as owning a car, paying for its gas, smoking, having a drug problem, eating out and being an obedient consumer is simply not possible. Though many cut corners and/or borrow to do so, a minority steal to do so. With over half of Canadians making less than $30,800 net per year, the poverty level is not so far away for the majority, and it is very true that “most everyone is a couple of paychecks away from being on the street.”

Many people whose income is $60,000 a year are also living paycheck to paycheck. The more you make, the more you spend, most times on frivolous and disposable stuff that has no actual value, and on such things as a bigger car loan or lease, a mortgage, higher credit card debt, purchasing higher end stuff and more of it, such as phones, clothing, TVs and shoes, personal loans, eating out more often, expensive holidays, TFSA’s, RRSP’s and savings, maintenance of home and a higher standard of living. It’s all relative. Though of course, no matter how much a person makes still does not guarantee them happiness.

The proverbial wrenches thrown into the cost of living are the facts of life that drop in and disrupt our lives from time to time, the stuff that happens in between paychecks. One’s mother dies on the other side of the country. Can one afford to fly there and bury her? One breaks their collarbone in an accident at home and has to go on six weeks unpaid leave, or someone has the flu and can’t afford to take the time off work. The car needs new tires, or one who has no dental insurance needs a tooth pulled, a root canal, or heaven forbid needs a crown.  It is estimated that 60% of all the people in the States who go bankrupt each year, have done so because they had a medical crisis and huge medical bills and costs.

As it is, wages have been stagnant for thirty years, which we have compensated with debt. Our society is becoming ever the more insecure, living in fear of losing one’s job, not being able to provide for family and the worry of losing one’s stuff. Stuff which we have been programmed to believe that we simply could not get by without, but which has no value whatsoever. Yet our response to the madness continues to be, think me and mine.

We have been told to do things in our lives that make us feel important, more independent, vital and valued. Interacting in the world of my daily life, I see so much of it, where people have taken what should be self confidence and empathy, and instead have created a profound sense of entitlement and a drone like stare. But no matter the cape one wears, we are all having a hard time of it mentally and emotionally. Though we try to smile and coo that everything is alright, we are actually barely putting up with the arrogance and ignorance of our fellow human beings, including ourselves.  But then this should not be surprising considering its now three generations of people, in Canada, the States, Europe, et al, who have been raised by television, and we are never wrong.  History has also proven that the worse society becomes the more delusional they become.

Ever since television, the powers that be have worked very hard at selecting for us what decisions we make. Forty years on, most of our decisions are already made for us well in advance and the income equality and wealth distribution gaps have widened to a point never seen in all of human history. Meanwhile the majority of us are finding it ever more difficult in bearing the brunt of what the cost of living today is demanding from us.

With any society truly only “three meals away from a revolution,” the trigger point for change in how our economic and social worlds operate is nearing. But when people rise up because their child is starving and they themselves have no prospect of an advancement or job, because as our population grows there will never be enough jobs for everyone, will pharmaceutical drugs and the gods of consumerism replace the most powerful drug we possess, which is hope?

Extreme wealth and social inequality is nothing new, nor is the inability to afford the cost of living. It has happened more than a few times over the course of human history. Each time there was ever worsening of physical and mental health, shorter life spans and more criminal behaviour, especially among the wealthiest, because unfortunately, when life gets hard, living wrong is easier than living right.

But when we cannot feed ourselves or get access to drinkable water anymore, enough will then be enough. And there will be change. Such crises in the past have touched off revolutions, which more often than not are led by middle class, educated leaders, doctors and teachers; though the problem with revolution has always been that they are messy and very violent affairs. For to achieve true change, the system must not only be beheaded, the base has to crushed and swept away as well. Leaving it and just getting a new head, operating within the same system, same rules and regulations or lack thereof, eventually fails as well, because the system is broke, and has never worked. At that time the step will have to be made to cross the great divide between being aware of our current dysfunction yet only standing back and pontificating about it, and start acting on the dialogue about alternatives and solutions to the problems and becoming involved in its reform. It’s why many of the earliest civilizations had laws where wealth would be distributed anew and all debt erased every seven or so years.

Today I fear that I myself am caught up in the current age of myth and capitalism and that as a people we do not have the courage to rescue ourselves from ourselves anymore. It has become too easy to shut out the madness of our corporate governments and oligarchs with sports, movie stars and reality TV. I sit here and peck away on the computer analyzing, researching and giving an opinion about problems that thousands have already and quite often have done so more eloquently and intelligently, but I feel this is all I can do. Of course it is not.

The proof in the pudding will be when enough of us scream “time out”, get up from our couches, step away from our routine distractions, put one foot in front of the other, get out onto the street and make our voices heard, and come up with options and alternatives as to how we currently operate as societies. Instead of future generations cursing our names, we should at least give them the impression that we tried the best we could, and for once stopped thinking about me, myself and I. How can we expect any hope for our children and our children’s children if we do not?

The height of ignorance would be for us to continue to operate on self-denial, excess and self-indulgence and believe it’s all about us, with no thought to our children and grandchildren and what type of world they will be allowed to grow old in. The epitome of ignorance personified is to actually think the ecosystems and weather patterns of the earth, which we have greedily altered, care if we can cope or change our ways, or not.

After forty short years, the reality being proven in most developed countries is that in general, and not through a lack of trying or working hard, but because we are operating within a flawed system and have become distracted, we won’t do better than our parents, and our children will not do better than us. Heaven help our grandchildren.

 

 

 

11/7/11

Summary to Grand Deluges

Note: Reposting this summary for the essay Grand Deluges, which was completed in 2010, because of the world’s population reaching the seven billion mark in November 2011. This essay was written working with the world’s population being “well over six billion”, the latest rise was expected but it places more relevence and truth behind the essay’s title, as well as the need for action by each one of us. Innovation, technology, tolerance,  moderation, reform and empathy are going to have to start being used as they are truely defined to make this work, this being, us living with each other on the earth thing.  JP.

In summary, considering that the modern era we currently dwell in is only a few hundred years old, and that millions of years of changes have happened to the earth and are still to happen, the belief we have of our newly discovered technologies and progress has made us think we are much more in control of our world, than say the Sumerians, or even Neanderthal man. Natural disasters today are thought of as inconveniences that nature has untimely brought upon us. “How dare that hurricane destroy my car and house” or “Damn it! I had things to do today”, we have replaced the temples and pyramids with malls and sports arenas.

Drought, famine, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and floods still happen every single day. But unlike the situation a millennium ago, we humans are in greater numbers and are using up the earth’s resources much, much faster. At the height of the Roman Empire in 200 AD, the world’s population was estimated to be about 200 million people. The addition of the next 200 million took over fifteen generations, while the last 200 million were added to the planet in the past three years. The world presently has a population of well over six billion people, with more than 75 million added every year. One million children are being born every four days. The rate of growth is staggering. Consider that the 54 million lives lost during World War II were replaced by the natural occurring process of the surplus of births over deaths in only ten short months. The latest estimates (2009) put the world’s future population at about nine and a half billion by the year 2050, with most of this increase happening in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The scary thing is that most of this growing population will be concentrated in the countries that will be the least able to feed themselves, and will represent almost 45 per cent of the global population growth by 2050. Consider that currently two-thirds of the most malnourished people on earth live in seven countries. Over the next few generations there is going to be about one billion people born in these seven countries. The acceleration of the rising world population is currently putting incredible strain on our planet; let alone what would happen in a couple of decades from now. China alone is adding a city the size of Chicago, Illinois to its region every three months. This rise in population will be the world’s next greatest deluge, a flood of humanity and no matter our advancement in technology or our attempt to ignore the natural occurrences of the planet through regular delusional routine, if we open our eyes and actually look around, we will see how vulnerable we humans are to the forces of our environment; much like the people of ancient times.

What is most concerning about floods is that the flooding is usually salt water which is of no relief to crops and makes rivers, streams, and lakes of fresh water undrinkable to humans, animals, in addition to the crops. Floods have always proven to be very good at not only damaging crops and soil, which affects the ability of the planet’s inhabitants to feed themselves, but also very adept at killing humans and animals with equal abandonment. What usually goes hand in hand with flooding is its opposite, drought, which is just as devastating because once again, it affects the planet’s food supply and available fresh water.

Estimates by numerous international institutes state that by 2010 around 300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone, nearly a third of their population, will suffer from malnutrition because of intensifying drought. The United Nations Environment Program reports that 450 million people in twenty-nine countries currently suffer from water shortages, and by 2025 an estimated 2.8 billion people will be living in areas that will have increasingly scarce water supplies. Even today, 20 per cent of the world’s population lacks access to safe drinking water. The Peruvian Andes have lost at least 22 per cent of their glacier area in the last 30 years alone, with two-thirds of Peru’s 27 million people living on the coast, where only 2 per cent of the country’s water supply is found.

Along with drought and the growing lack of fresh water, floods still happen, but now because of the increasing population, the majority of which live along rivers, lakes and coastlines, each one can be more lethal and have farther reaching effects.

In the last five hundred years, floods in China alone have killed more than four million people. The 1931 flood of the Huang He (Yellow), Yangtzee, and Huai Rivers killed more than three million alone and it is estimated that 200,000 drowned in their sleep. The Yangtzee river valley had just over half a metre of rain fall in less than a month. At Hankou, the river rose 16 metres above normal, flooding more than 87,000 square kilometres. In northern China, in 1969 -71 famines caused by flooding, killed about 20 million people. More recently, in 1998 the Yangtzee flooded and left 14 million homeless.

In 1910 Paris, France saw three months of heavy rain and snowfall causing the river Seine to rise more than eight metres above normal. An estimated four billion cubic metres of water contaminated with sediments and municipal sewage flooded nearly 25 square kilometres. There were 150,000 casualties, and more than 20,000 buildings affected.

The 21st century has brought some of the worst floods in recorded history. The cost to humanity in deaths from natural disasters in 2010 alone is more than 260,000 souls and will probably be much greater when Haiti’s final death toll is included. In fact 2010 has been the deadliest year since 1976, with more than twice as many people dead from natural disasters than from global terrorism in the same time frame.

The 2007 African floods have been quoted by the U.N. as being one of the worst floods in recorded history. On Sept.14th, 2007, it began to rain and eventually flooded more than 14 countries; through the middle of Africa from Senegal on the west coast, through Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. More than 2.5 million people were affected. They were hit again with similar flooding in 2009, which caused more than $152 million in damages.

The worst natural disaster to occur in Europe in nearly 200 years began with heavy rainfall in May 2010. Two months of rain came down in one 24 hr. period. In what would be called the Central European Floods, most crops, especially wheat, would be destroyed. Hardest hit was Poland, but Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, and the Ukraine were also affected.  At the same time the Cumberland River in the United States, would gorge on torrential rains and crest at a height of nearly 16 metres in Nashville, Tennessee.. The end of 2010 saw three-quarters of the state of Queensland, Australia, engulfed with surges from a cyclone. The flooded disaster zone covered more than 70 towns, with more than 200,000 people affected and $30 billion in damages.

Besides loss of life, natural disasters now come with huge price tags. The 1987-89 drought in the United States, covered 36 per cent of the country, which was less than 70 per cent of the area affected in the 1934-40 Dust Bowl, but at an estimated cost of $39 billion makes it one of the most expensive natural disasters in American history. In comparison the damage associated with 2005’s hurricane Katrina has, as of 2008, cost $81 billion and continues to rise. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake killed more than 250,000 people in eleven countries. The tsunami’s waves were as high as 30 metres. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. With a magnitude of 9.2, it was the largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph. It lasted about nine minutes and caused the entire planet to vibrate, which triggered earthquakes all over the world. Humanitarian aid to date has been more than $7 billion. The energy released by this earthquake, on the planet’s surface alone, is estimated at 26.3 megatons of TNT, more than fifteen hundred times that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, by the Americans in 1945. Humanitarian aid to date has been more than $7 billion.

Since our first ancient civilizations developed, we as a species have advanced considerably. As the gods of our man-made organized religions instructed us so long ago; go forth and multiply and subdue the earth and all upon it. Well we have. Our current unrestrained exponential growth began five hundred years ago in Europe, which at the time had a population of perhaps sixty million people. At the time, European society was heading down the toilet, the stench of despair and misery were everywhere. Both in substance and spirit, the people were lost. They had no belief in anything other than to survive another day and hopefully stave off ever present disease and hunger. They had no values to rely on, nor governments to lead the way. Everyday life was simply survival, filled with violence, starvation and plague. Many felt the world was truly dying and that the end was near. But then a fellow who strongly believed the inevitable end decided to head out into the ocean and seek salvation or wealth, whichever came to him first. This is where our Modern Age began and our current deluge started, over five hundred years ago.

In his lecture, The Columbian Legacy and the Ecosterian Response, Kirkpatrick Sale details four essential components by which the Europeans spread across the globe and dominated not only other peoples but other species as well. Such exploitation would bring us to our present day crisis where once again people are lost, in spirit and substance, with the world seemingly headed for the abyss. The difference today is that far too many people aren’t willing to recognize this reality because they have drunk the cool-aid, living within an illusion.

The four characteristics Sale outlines which would get the current age started are, firstly, the rise of humanism; “The declaration and celebration of the human species as the most important species of all.” This brought forth the God-given right to have dominion over other species, the elements and the resources of the earth. Secondly, the rise of rationalism, which through reductionism, would spawn science and would become our way of asserting control over nature. The third component is materialism. Things of the world would become corporate and everything had a measure of value, which led to accumulation and possession, with the only consideration being to not let anything interfere with the always and immediate goal of profit with the exchange of goods. This would become our new belief-system. The final component is nationalism, where various “royal families” would create institutions which would become nation-states, which would eventually lead to the central institutions in our daily lives. Deposing churches, associations for mutual aid, the promotion of common interests, city-states and community and the individual would become acceptable. To sustain these nation-states, standing armies became the norm and the philosophy of militarism. The crest of this wave grew with each passing century and is now upon us. What we must realize today is that these characteristics of the modern world are not natural, inevitable or eternal conditions; they are constructs, inventions of a particular time, place and people.

These characteristics of our societies and our present day technologies have indeed changed much of our lives and the planet, but the changes we have made in our environment and to our planet are not necessarily in our best interest. The industry of living on this planet, using up its resources for an ever growing population, is warming the atmosphere globally. This causes climate change. Some places will become wetter, other places drought stricken. Some areas will become much colder in the winter and then much warmer than usual in the summer. It is becoming all about extremes. Temperature changes in the Polar Regions, north and south, are resulting in continuing glacier and ice-sheet melting, sea ice retreat, coastal erosion, rising sea levels and extinction of species of birds, animals, and marine life. Deforestation, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, ocean acidification, soil erosion and other aspects, all related to our present climate crisis, will only intensify. With the warming by only a couple of degrees, the Greenland Ice sheet would be in danger of disappearing thereby raising the sea level perhaps as much as four to five metres. As of the summer of 2007, the Polar Ice sheet shrank to its lowest extent in recorded history. Further melting of the earth’s ice sheets would submerge the lowest lying countries and all it will take, is for the earth’s temperature to rise by only a few degrees for flooding to change the world as we know it.

If the present sea-level rises one metre, or even say the length of your arm, the cities of Miami, Venice, and New York, among hundreds of others, will have to be hidden and protected by dikes to survive. In New York, if it was not for subway crews and 753 electric pumps, within a half an hour the subway system would fill up with water and reach a level where subway trains would be unable to travel. Within 36 hours everything beneath New York’s streets would be filled with water, and overflowing into the streets themselves. The eastern shoreline of the United States sea level has risen one foot in the last one hundred years. Adding another foot of water, the high-water line in Florida will move inland over 300 metres, in Louisiana it will be several kilometres. Let alone sea levels rising, present levels of coastal erosion projected over the next couple of decades on the same shoreline, will take out all homes located up to 150 metres inland. Low Countries everywhere will be devastated with places like Bangladesh completely under water. Consider the $21 billion English Channel tunnel, the Chunnel. The Coquelles, France terminal, on the Calais Plain, is only about five metres above sea level.

In the past, most all natural disasters were happening naturally, something we of course had no control over, and even to this day we never really plan and prepare for them at all. The difference now however is that rather than say an asteroid hitting the planet, or a great flood happening, or the earth’s plates violently shifting, or thinking it to be the wrath of a god, today, many of the natural disasters, we the people, cause. We are the ones polluting our rivers, lakes and oceans, and filling our atmosphere and ourselves with toxins. Over 70% of commercial fish stocks are depleted, over-fished, and exploited beyond maximum yield sustain-ability. Today one in every three fish eaten by humans is farm raised. Soon the oceans will be left with the smallest fish and plankton and with the continuing acidification and oxygen depletion of many parts of our oceans; these too will disappear. By then the remaining sustainable areas of the oceans will probably be overpopulated with jellyfish, which are immortal. Consider the tiny sea creature, the Turritopsis Nutricula. It is a jellyfish-like hydrozoan, about five millimetres in length. While most all jellyfish die after they produce their young, this hydrozoan switches back to its juvenile form once it reproduces through a process called transdifferentiation.

We continue to clear-cut our forests, erasing entire species of animals off the planet. Knowing how silly and ignorant we have become could fill volumes, but then that would take up a lot of trees. Yet nearly three billion, or half the world’s population, still use wood as their primary source of energy. And 85% of the energy the world’s commercial industry uses is from fossil fuels. In fact, the root of most socioeconomic problems in many developing countries is land degradation. Included in our thirst for wood, over 1.8 million board metres of temperate and tropical hardwoods of mahogany, walnut, and teak are cut down every year just to make coffins, which are then buried back underground. How crazy is that?

I find our biggest challenge is to just admit that as a society we have been fooled and deceived since the 1970’s into believing global warming and climate change was a debate, where in actual fact the earth is in crisis. We seem to have an inability to face up to the fact that the environmental crisis of this planet is human induced. Any policy to do something about it gets postponed, ignored or defeated. Humanity’s efforts so far remain inadequate. The earth has always gone through cycles of global warming and cooling, the difference now is that it is not just a natural cycle the earth is going through but a cycle we have brought on ourselves. And we’ve got to stop denying the fact. If we continue to deny the effects of global warming, we will reach a point where it will be too late to reverse it. We will have gone from denial right into the arms of despair. If we continue on this path we are walking, we will run out of fresh water to drink and will be unable to grow enough food to feed everyone, and then when that happens, it will become a very, very scary world. As it is, more than nine million people starve to death each year.

But looking back over the ages, there is one thing we must remember and that is, after each natural catastrophe humans have dusted themselves off and adapted. We are now at the point where, because of the sheer number of people on the planet, we must not settle for any short term responses or remedies. Instead we must get past our ignorance and provide massive intervention on an international and long term scale. Climate change is a planetary issue. We cannot continue to think of only the drought problems in our own backyards or in our own countries. Drought is a global problem. We are all interconnected and until we start believing we are not and never have been masters of the natural world, we are surely doomed as a species.

An indicative article, The Deepening Crisis, written by Jeffery D. Sachs seems to explain quite well our dysfunction toward the earth’s growing climate crisis. The risks cited in the article, about sustaining our cultures globally, have developed rather quickly over the past two generations. The problems are scientifically complex and involve many uncertainties, which both public opinion and certain sciences must address. The problems are global and unfortunately politics is local and nationalistic. This does not bode well for timely, coordinated, international action. Many governments are in power for four years or less and more often than not, decisions and reforms are based on the next election, while instead much of the earth’s problems are unfolding over decades. While corporate interests control the media, they have the dissemination of propaganda and deliberate misinformation, down to an art form.

We must stop forcing our own agenda upon nature. Many of us must also stop thinking that the end of time will be taken care of by a god. Believing in the “rapture,” is a cop-out and as the bumper sticker correctly implies, is simply not an acceptable exit strategy. Many millions of people are actually looking forward to the end-times and put no effort whatsoever into fending off such catastrophic events; although we humans, will be the cause. Many fundamentalist Christians and extremist Muslims are quite happy in fact, that things are getting worse rather than better. These believers are not concerned with the planet at all, instead only their own individual salvation. They believe a time will come where all the unrighteous and nonbelievers will die horrible deaths. But they also believe the dead will be resurrected, though they continue to disagree about who is righteous or not and to what sort of planet they will be returning to.

Buddhism and Hinduism on the other hand believe that everything will start over from scratch. But science does not offer such principles, beliefs, or criteria. We must begin to control our appetites and our rising population, and to gain the courage and the wisdom to make, sometimes agonizing and disturbing decisions. As draconian as it may be, limiting every human female on the planet to bearing only one child, no matter the sex, would be a huge step in the right direction. As it is, the poorest countries in the world have the highest birth rates. If the status quo continues to dictate that we stay on this course of unsustainably and with our reluctance to change course, the end-game may very well be where it’s simply not allowed to have children, at least not allowed to have children because of egotistical and careless thinking, that copies of ourselves will make the world a better place.

We must become partners with the natural world once again, to show it the respect it deserves and to show each other more respect, and become an ecologically sustainable culture. We need to get reconnected to the earth’s ecosystem and prepare for natural events, before they occur, instead of being shocked when they do. We have got to put our heads together and develop a way of life that meets our present needs without threatening the environmental legacy of future generations. We already have the technology, but it is being used in other materialistic endeavours, such as war. We must not overlook or forget one of our greatest assets which are opportunism and the ability to adapt.

Perhaps our optimistic nature is what causes us to be inflexible and persistent in our unwillingness to accept that the worst may actually occur. A human’s survival instincts have always included optimism, but also denial, defiance, and ignorance to such portents. We are afraid of the changes that could occur and of the fright that would be inevitable. But if we allow these traits of ours to fool us into waiting until it is too late, then we have lost. Instead, the fear of such portents should fortify our resolve, and propel us into action. Even if one does not believe the earth is in trouble that should not take away the fact that we must change the way we use the earth’s dwindling resources. Even the Catholic Church recognizes that the present ecological destruction of the planet is a moral problem. The current Pope has stated that, “there is and always has been a covenant between human beings and the environment.”

But before we can be optimistic we must be realistic. Environmental crises have been driven mainly from the consumptive habits of the richest 15% of humanity with economic growth driving up our energy use. Our societies have created too many elitists, who all demand the best of everything, to excess. We must learn to control our ravenous appetites, which for many will be very difficult, for most of us are ego-driven, which can never be satisfied. But no one wants or is willing to slow down the world’s economies. Capitalism moves ever forward, so very flawed, in that it is based on infinite growth operating in a finite system. We must seek an economic alternative. Because the issue is not to make sure everyone on the planet has equal opportunity in owning a house, a car, a big-screen TV, but it’s whether they will be able to feed themselves, breath the air, and have enough fresh water to live on, no matter their material wealth. Much like the often quoted adage, insanity is doing the same thing we have always done, while hoping for a different result. The reality is our environment is the economy, and we must start living within our ecological means, instead of arguing over the spoils of its industrial wealth. For what is behind the threats of habitat destruction, loss of wetlands, unnatural flooding, urban sprawl and pollution is capitalism and the fact that 40% of deaths worldwide are caused by water, air and soil pollution and with the rising growth in world population, rapidly increasing human diseases. We are killing ourselves and the planet for economic prosperity. But we are not moving fast enough in making changes to our environmentally destructive mind-sets because of the constructs that shape our daily lives, such as religion, politics, the economy, current and past ideologies, marketing and the media, and our consumption patterns. We think technology and science will save us from ourselves and our exploitive nature, our unchecked population growth and deem everything on the planet as a resource. Though there are many scientists working on ways to use technology for the betterment of the planet, no one technology can do it. They must combine their discoveries and work together. The challenge is that all the technologies that could slow or cease carbon emissions, everything from geo-thermal technology to solar panels are still extremely expensive. Once we put enough effort into making them cheaper, only then will we begin to make a difference. Many technologies, such as wind power are very effective but unfortunately no one wants it in their backyard.

Sadly though, human society oversees the planetary controls. The sheer size of the human population, our perceived affluence, our consumptive habits and our technology, which we only use to meet our perceived needs are driving global disintegration and destructive changes. We have come to dominate the planet without taking the responsibility of managing it, including the balancing act of maintaining populations of all species and ecosystems on one side, and maintaining the flow of goods and services that provides for humanity on the other. Unfortunately, far too many of us cannot even manage ourselves. Even if all growth in population and economic activity were to cease right now, this very moment, just continuing on exactly how we do today would still bring about serious molestation and destruction of the earth’s habitat and its resources. The price of our economic success extends beyond environmental deterioration. For it includes widespread loss of livelihoods, social tensions and conflict and staggering economic costs. To save our planet we have to realistically and morally change the way we think. It’s not so much, are we responding properly to environmental threats, which we aren’t, what we should be worried about and should be asking ourselves is why are we not responding.

James Gustave Speth, who wrote the book in “Red Sky at Morning,” believes that we used to have some slack with Mother Nature, but that is now gone and we are currently playing out the end game with our traditional, historical relationship with the natural world. Any aware person, opening their eyes and really taking a good look around would surely have to agree. For most of us the real and only concern of our daily lives is our next meal and pay check; not worrying about the destruction of the planet or that half of the people living in the developing world, who get by on $2 a day. It is estimated that 57% of the global population is malnourished. As to the environment, many don’t care because they believe it probably will not be at the 11th hour until after they are dead and gone. Others, especially the very wealthy, think they will be able to buy their way out and that their wealth will insulate them from the earth changing. How unrealistic is that?

We can’t just run and hide anymore, cloaked within routine, ignorant to the environment. We seem to be playing the delayed reaction game. We think about preparedness and only take action after a catastrophe has happened. And when enough time passes we ignore it until the next natural disaster happens, where we are once again shocked and unprepared for the disruption in our daily routine. As our world continues to change so must we, but what is most important, this time we are going to have to be much quicker, and decisive about it. We simply cannot wait any longer or it will be too late. We must all start working together for the good of the earth, and we who live upon her. Simply start to treat our environment with more respect, and just as importantly, for each other, because we are all in this together.

As humans we tend to be overwhelmed, uncomfortable, and feel alone when faced with such large scale problems. Thinking we cannot make a difference or that we have to change immediately and completely. This “all or nothing” mentality creates pressure and is the best way to fail at changing. This type of attitude also takes away the impetus to change. It would be better to break issues down to a more local level and stop trying to jump four stairs at a time. Just take one step at a time. Some people will have a sense that they must do something as unwillingness to act is simply not acceptable to their strong moral code. This is where discomfort in an individual comes from and we scramble to bury it. This is the stage where one’s character takes over; to have the courage to seriously look at their discomfort and ask why. This is where the beginning of hope dwells. To be brave when being asked to make changes is really asking, what it is do we believe about ourselves. Change doesn’t have to be a great act. It is being the change you seek.

Our best tools are information, human adaptability and strong leadership. Though what we use instead is disinformation, denial, and allowing a lack of leadership. Over the last decade there has been a groundswell of support and agreement among people trying to create change. Many on the planet are trying to make a difference, for our consciousness is evolving. Nationalism effects the need to change as well because one country can strive to be responsible for the welfare of the environment, while another can continue to soil the nest they live in. Reality is, we all live on the same planet.

So what can one do about it? The answer; there’s lots we can do, but the importance lies in the fact we must do something now. Stephen Hume of the Vancouver Province newspaper and Rex Weyler, one of the founders of Greenpeace, both argue for getting the right information; to get out there and do your homework, research national science academies and organizations. Get educated on how society and nature work. Be engaged citizens and not simply consumers. Most importantly, don’t be intimidated by the consequences of having a conscience. Practise self-reflection, for our greatest failures are most often ego driven. Possess the “quiet courage of decent people doing the right things.”

Among the many who are concerned, the consensus is that we must all start thinking globally but acting locally. One can’t force another country to act, but one could lead by example.  Hume, as well as many others, has the most excellent idea to shift certain redundant taxes to provide incentives for good behaviour, while discouraging bad behaviour. This should be implemented on many levels of our societies. Many on the planet, the most fortunate anyway, are supposedly living in democracies. Well then, speak out. Let all levels of government know empty rhetoric will not be tolerated, regardless of their “party.” Many people have completely tuned out politics, simply not interested. Some people, especially the young, believe there is nothing they can do individually by voting, that it would not make a difference in the result, with most people merely concerned with just trying to make a living. It’s sad that in totalitarian states people will risk their lives for the right to vote while in democratic states the majority of people don’t even bother to vote.

We must rebuild community ethics and attack urban sprawl. There should be incentives for people who develop under-used urban space. Underdeveloped property should have high tax rates, while high density developments, lower tax rates. Public transit must be convenient, efficient and inexpensive, because it can, but refuses to be.

Make it so anyone who removes a tree has to replace it with six, and then plant them everywhere. Harvest forests in 300 year cycles. Rethink work schedules, because most businesses today are working hours based on 19th century factory models. If one has to attend a work-site on a regular basis, make public transit a benefit. Continue to invest in wind, tidal, solar, geothermal, and hydrogen power, in fuel cells, carbon sequestration, electric and magnetic rail technologies, electric car grids, desalinization technologies and most important, more efficient air, land, and sea transportation.

Begin to hold one’s own self accountable. Drive less, walk more, ride a bike or take the bus. If you eat meat nearly every day, cut it back to a couple of days a week. Don’t flush every time you take a leak. Grow a garden. Mandate recycling and then recycle everything. Shop second hand. Turn off the television. Above all else, believe in your abilities to change.

We are facing an expanding population deluge, which will affect everyone equally no matter where you live. The most important way to control such a flood is we’ve got to start controlling our behaviour. We continue to try to control human behaviour with laws, fines and treaties. Punishment is always after the deed is done. We abuse the planet or each other and after the damage is done we pay money or we are jailed. What if instead we start to focus on changing the physical conditions most responsible for wrong behaviour in our communities, such as poverty, malnutrition and homelessness? To be concerned that far too many of our children lack direction or interests because they have very few good role models to emulate. They are bombarded with violence in the media and in sports, dealing with stresses in their daily lives and dwindling family life. Society has become impatient and arrogant. We define success in money and not character, thus women have it harder because instead of character they continue to be judged by their sexuality. There is unfortunately no positive vision for many communities to work toward. This is our fault, each and every one of us. But we can create change.

As far as natural flooding and as to what we can do about it, reality is we can’t do much about it. But we can prepare for the inevitability of it happening and apply common sense in where and how we live. Climate change has altered the way the planet earth operates; it has and will continue to affect its natural cycles and rhythms. And what must be stressed is that the pace of the earth’s deterioration is quickening. We are hugely affected by unnatural flooding and drought. Besides loss of property and lives, it jeopardizes our food supply, which of course affects everyone. The two largest wheat producers in the world, Canada and Russia, lost much of their 2010 crops because of unnatural flooding. We also should not worry so much about a global, grand deluge happening, for any river in any country, alone can kill millions all by simply overflowing its banks. What is needed most is a deluge of consciousness, to rid ourselves of and dispel the grand deluge of illusion that our materialistic and capitalistic societies have thrust upon us. History has proven that when humanity acts, it extinguishes the feeling of hopelessness and that daily actions by individuals can make large-scale changes possible.

In spite of the changing climate, doom or die world economics, rising seas levels and quickening of the size of the earth’s population, there is now more than enough food and material goods on earth to take care of everyone’s needs. But resources need to be managed properly and not strictly controlled to gain wealth as they have become today. There is enough for everyone to have a decent standard of living, as long as we use technology intelligently so that it’s not harmful to people or the planet and which doesn’t waste time and energy. We must start managing our resources, just like we have to start managing ourselves. The corporate and economic models we are operating have seriously misjudged the importance of the earth’s environment and the impacts of industrialization. It is now time to change. We are seeing the effects now. The real worry should be for children and their children and their children, who will be faced with what we have left of the planet after we are gone. This is the most important aspect; indeed, it is what drives environmentalism and the only reason we should care about saving the planet. For heaven or hell is a condition not a place. We are racing for the edge of the abyss and we’re all fighting over who should steer, or at least who gets to sit up front. Not realizing that if we do drive off into the abyss, we might be taking nearly every other species of plant and animal, and most of the earth’s ecosystems along with us. Today there are about 1.8 million species of living creatures known to science, including us. Nearly 40% of these organisms are currently endangered and soon to be extinct. The bottom line is that it is time to get our priorities straight and, in the language we can all relate to, we have got to seriously get our shit together people.

 

“Making a stand for a principle sharpens our own ideas and induces others to sharpen their ideas. When one person stands up, others are inspired to stand up.”   Rex Weyler.

 

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.”  Confucius