Is California BERNing?

California could be the turning point. Or not… Growing numbers of Americans seek to live a parallel life by limiting their consumption as much as they can to low and no emissions products. But so much more is needed. California has led the nation in some of the steps it has taken against global warming, but giant steps lie ahead.

Californians are caught in an exceptionally severe drought. Water tables continue dropping. Its great cities depend on water from declining snowmelt and the oversubscribed Colorado River. At the same time, agriculture uses the vast majority of the state’s water, much in the wasteful manner it always has. The once fertile San Juaquin valley is polluted and under severe strain from over-use by industrial agriculture.

If any state epitomizes both the potential and the dangers we all face, it is California. Many trends of industrial consumerism begin and are fully realized in California, perhaps most notably the car culture. Much of the digital revolution, which has led to vast consumption of electricity by Internet “cloud” services, began and continues there.

As the urgency of achieving ecological sustainability grows, politics just gets crazier. The pundits babble over Trump’s brash buffoonery, including his pandering to climate deniers, as well as his peculiar popularity. Talking-heads question Hillary’s character as she waffles on various issues, including the climate, as she feigns a false populism and holds exclusive fundraisers for super-rich donors. They all try to ignore the exploding popularity of Bernie Sanders.  Yet we “feel the Bern.”

AParallelWorld.com (APW) is a website that brings environmentally conscious consumers together with vendors of minimal carbon-emissions products and services. It has avoided involvement in political conflicts or campaigns. But APW has now endorsed Bernie Sanders, the only candidate who publicly calls for major climate action. APW members are typically “sustainability voters” who want politicians to make urgently needed climate policy. Fear of the consequences of global warming has grown among all voters as climate facts have overcome climate denial propaganda.

Bernie_Slate.photoDespite media denial, the surge of public support for Bernie reflects an even broader public concern about global warming as well as social and economic justice. Bernie’s consistent record on diverse social justice issues has resonated with a growing number of voters. As the only candidate who refuses corporate contributions has become more widely known, so has his popularity.

Yet, because of the strange party politics of primaries, especially the DNC “super delegates,” pre-committed to Clinton, the increasingly clear preference of voters may not be realized. That is why the California primary is so important, with the large number of delegates at stake. The “political revolution” Bernie calls for must be achieved to move the nation anywhere near the halt to global temperature rise necessary for climate stabilization.

California at the Crux

Bernie supports local organic farming, which uses less water and does not use dangerous petroleum-based chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Industrial agriculture has so damaged California’s Central Valley – the bread basket of the nation – that only a revolution in farming practices can save it. Under the extreme growing conditions of severe drought, California agriculture is at great and growing risk; its productivity has already started to fall.

Californians have a very big stake in achieving the political revolution that Bernie Sanders calls for. California agriculture uses far more water than the cities or suburbs. Far deeper change than not-watering-your-lawns is needed to avoid the food production failures that agriculture-as-usual will allow to happen. The changes needed to seek a “future we can believe in” where the food chain is sustainable, require a political revolution.

The most important prospect right now to stabilize the climate and achieve economic sustainability is to realize Bernie Sanders’ political revolution. That, as Bernie regularly points out, is not just about Bernie becoming president. It is about mobilizing a broad public movement for change. If Bernie does not get the nomination, that will be much more difficult to achieve. That is why the California primary is so important.

Getting the nation to “feel the BERN” has been a long up-hill battle. Starting with very low name recognition, Bernie’s straight-forward message has resonated with voters as more people listen. If his views and policies had been as well-known at the beginning, he would probably have enough delegates now to clinch the nomination.

Overwhelming victories in the remaining states, especially in California with its large number of delegates, will place Bernie in a very strong position at the convention. Democrats know that in poll after poll, Bernie beats Trump be wide margins. At the same time, Hillary’s marginal lead over Trump has narrowed to a statistical draw.

With all her ethical and policy vulnerabilities, Clinton could very possibly lose to Trump. He is vulnerable too. Do we really want a president whose key business strategy is to file bankruptcy to avoid paying investors? With every appearance of being a narcissistic sociopath, the dangers of Trump’s unpredictability surpass even HRC’s risky neo-conservative interventionism and subservience to her Wall Street donors. Neither of them is capable of leading the kind of political revolution that is necessary to mobilize the people to make the fundamental changes required to mitigate climate disruption.

BERN, California, BERN

As Bernie has often said, this is not about Bernie Sanders; it is about all of us. The fight will go on, yet be so much harder if Bernie is not nominated. But go on it must, and it will not be easy in any case. Much of the work that needs to be done will involve the reestablishment of local and regional sovereignty over all matters of public health and welfare, including fracking, mining, and electricity generation.

At some point, early on, national-level policy transformation must be put in place to radically reduce carbon emissions nationally. No president can make Congress move on that, given the influence of corporate lobbyists, without a mobilized public consensus demanding action. The massive climate action that must be launched immediately, will not happen without a prescient president with a mass social movement to back him up.

There is just no way around it. The population will have to be mobilized to take the actions necessary to stabilize global temperatures. We must also undo much of the damage already done to the earth’s living systems upon which we all depend. But with Bernie Sanders in the White House, having trounced Trump, the political revolution to achieve national sustainability will be at hand. That is why we must hope that California is BERNing.

New Demographic Transition: Is the Aging Global Population a Problem?

“The demographic transition” is a concept that has been around for decades, but has received declining interest as populations have changed. A half century ago, some social scientists suggested that it is the key to national development. Once a nation reached the economic “takeoff point,” it would experience both sustained economic growth and a slowing of population growth.

A good deal of data suggested that this model of development in the West might be replicable elsewhere. If a significant middle class is established and grows, people will have fewer children and population will gradually reach an equilibrium. But like so many theories, that seems to be sometimes true and sometimes not true.

What the western economic development theories ignored is the historical and contemporary processes of intercontinental exploitation of colonialism, then imperialism. The economic and military domination by Europe and North America short-circuited the development dynamic in the Global South. The industrially developed nations of the Global North have consistently extracted resources from the not so developed nations of the Global South.

The robust development of Europe and North America both depended upon and caused the underdevelopment of the Global South. So-called “developing” nations remained underdeveloped and dependent for revenue, usually from underpriced commodity sales and politically incurred debt, on the developed nations. The theory of economic takeoff falls apart under conditions of political and economic dependency that resulted from historical colonialism and modern imperialism.

Economic Growth Here, Population Growth There

Population growth and resource depletion have been problematic issues for a long time.[1] Several key issues come up and fade away generation after generation. Human populations have long influenced their environments. Sometimes too many people have strained local ecosystems to the extent that they can no longer provide the resources those people depend on for survival. Jared Diamond illustrates how this happened in several past societies in his now famous book, Collapse.[2]

World.Population passes 7 Billion

World Population passing 7 Billion

Despite world population approaching seven billion and evidence of resource depletion everywhere, the debate over how many humans the planet can support rages on. Proponents of the conventional theory of endless economic growth through technological and resource innovation don’t see population growth as a problem. The form of neo-classical economics that dominates business and government policies today requires endless economic growth to satisfy the demand for return on capital investment.

Environmentalists, on the other hand, see the damage that human populations inflict on ecosystems as a clear threat to the environments that humans depend on. This leads them to conclude that limits to growth[3] of both populations and economies must be achieved to avoid complete resource exhaustion and human devastation. Global warming and accelerating climate destabilization, along with the sixth mass extinction now underway, provide conclusive empirical evidence that the environmentalists are right.

But minds attached to economic interests are hard to change. Mainstream economists claim that human creativity and technological innovation can support growing populations indefinitely, if corporations are given enough tax breaks. The growing number of their opponents argue that at current levels of resource depletion we have already surpassed the capacity of earth’s ecosystems to sustain human life. Resource depletion is real; the evidence is clear. But the facts of physical limits to growth conflict with the ideology of endless economic growth, the presumed engine of all prosperity. This ideology dominates the thinking of most conventional economists and politicians. It is no more than collective magical thinking in the form of pseudo-science.

Another Demographic Transition

Despite having reached unprecedented numbers, population growth has slowed in some regions, notably China, Japan, and the U.S.A. The slowing of population growth means that as fewer babies are born and medical technology improves, a population grows older. That is, an increasing proportion of the population is old and a decreasing proportion of the population is young.

Under those conditions, a new demographic transition is underway. The “working age” population becomes a smaller portion of the total. This has an effect on the economy. The economic growth that is touted as necessary and inevitable requires more workers than are available. In the U.S. and Europe, that has meant immigration and all the social resentments and political turmoil that entails. In China, plenty of young rural poor are still available to fill the ranks of the urban industrial plants. In Japan, which has traditionally not welcomed immigrants in significant numbers, industrial growth has stagnated. This has made Japan a model for the fears of other industrial nations with dwindling supplies of workers.

Population patterns are not that difficult to project in the short run, but demographic trends over long periods are far less certain, both in numbers and in the complications for life on the planet resulting from changes in population composition and growth. If we hold to the myth of necessary endless economic growth, we will not find answers to our demographic dilemma. We will not consider the fact that our technological capacity for production does not require large numbers of workers anymore.

The problem is not that the industrial world has insufficient workers. It is that the economy is not organized in a way that recognizes that fewer workers should be needed with more efficient production. The extant economic system attempts to take up the slack of too many workers by expanding production. Part of that effort involves the creation of artificial wants to prop up consumer demand. The world over-produces, concentrates consumption in a decreasing segment of the total industrial population and leaves many in non-industrial regions without work.

The problem is not insufficient economic growth. The problem is not insufficient numbers of “working age” adults among industrial populations. Instead, the problem is a combination of over-production of artificial demand in industrial populations and the consequent overproduction of superfluous consumer products. Needed goods are under produced in non-industrial populations as their resources continue to be depleted by the extractive capital of the industrial nations. The result is an over-concentration of wealth and economic decisions in the world’s financial elites and the impoverishment of everyone else.

All this is leading to what Christian Parenti[4] calls a “catastrophic convergence” of global poverty, agricultural failures, resource wars, mass starvation and forced migration, and political upheaval with climate collapse. Each crisis interacts with the others, accelerating the headlong rush of humanity to join the sixth mass extinction.[5]

Ironically, the solution to all these converging crises is the same. A New Great Transformation of human institutions will be required to align economies with their ecological sources to attain human sustainability. That will be the most monumental task humanity has ever taken on. Nevertheless, such a transformation of the deepest levels of social order is the only way to restrain the carbon emissions that drive climate destabilization and amplify these crises. It is also the only hope to retain some semblance of civility in addressing humanity’s greatest crisis ever. The only alternative is chaos and collapse. The choice is very hard, but it is ours.

[1] The classic warning of excessive population growth came from Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (New York: Ballantine Books, 1971). Unfortunately, Ehrlich’s forecasts were premature, not having accounted for surges in industrial agriculture and other short term factors. It appears, however, that he will soon be right.

[2] Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Penguin Books, 2005.

[3] The first comprehensive modeling of resource depletion, population growth, and economic growth was published in Donella H. Meadows, The Limits to Growth (New York: Signet, 1972). The research and computer modeling were done at MIT, and sponsored by the Club of Rome. The original forecasts have been remarkably accurate nearly a half century later. See Donella H. Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis L. Meadows, Limits to Growth: the 30-Year Update (Burlington, VT: Chelsea Green, 2004).

[4] Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. New York: Nation Books, 2011.

[5] Elisabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. New York: Picador, 2015. See also the scientific assessment of the sixth extinction in Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H., Ehrlich and Paul R. Ehrlich, The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015.

Is a Left-Right Coalition Against Trump Viable?

Our national politics has fully descended into the gutter at a very perilous time. The Republicans have ostensibly nominated a narcissistic buffoon. The Democratic Party establishment continues its attempts to force the only popular candidate with genuine ideas out of the race by anointing the candidate of empire. Essentially, the rich and powerful are fighting among themselves, while the rest of us languish on the political sidelines.

The planet heats up to levels near the point of threatening human survival. Meanwhile, the nation responsible for the greatest total quantity of greenhouse gases – the USA – descends into political chaos. We live in extremely dangerous times.

Conservative writer, John McCormack, opposes the unreasonableness of it all in the following piece from The Weekly Standard. McCormack objects to the Republicans backing a man with no apparent ability to lead the nation and who has potentially very dangerous personality defects.  He is concerned that his party’s tolerance and even support for ignorant demagoguery, not rational policy choices, is a fool’s errand. He reviles the blatant hypocrisy of Trump’s defeated opponents who now support him despite mere weeks ago arguing his total unacceptability.

At the end of his otherwise reasonable rant, McCormack assails Hillary Clinton with typical right-wing claims. HRC has her flaws if not exactly those conjured by rightist Hillary bashers. Nevertheless, John McCormack otherwise recognizes the underlying importance of electing a president on the basis of policy preferences, not pejorative and platitudinous pontifications of a narcissistic demagogue of the lowest order.

Trump-cartoon-_Petar.Pismestrovic of Kleine Zeitung, Austria

Drumphus Narcissus Pontificus

Except for those last few partisan sentences, McCormack demonstrates the validity of Ralph Nader’s call for a left-right coalition of reasonable people who seek real solutions to urgent real problems the nation faces. A lot of ideological obstacles are in the road ahead, but could Republicans and Democrats muster the civic will to engage each other in real political discussions?  Or will this extremely critical time continue to be mired in irrelevance and demagoguery until it is too late to deal with the real problems our national politics are so far unable to face?

Cartoon Credit: Petar Pismestrovic of Kleine Zeitung, Austria. ~It is a bit flattering, I suppose… Caption added.

Unfit to Serve

MAY 16, 2016 | By JOHN MCCORMACK   ~   The Weekly Standard

http://www.weeklystandard.com/unfit-to-serve/article/2002273

Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is manifestly unfit to be president.

His unfitness has little to do with ideology. Trump doesn’t have anything consistent or coherent enough to be called an ideology. Trump has no business being commander in chief, but not because of any particular policy position—Trump’s foreign policy agenda, like his domestic agenda, blows with the wind. He was for the Iraq war before he was against it. He backed U.S. intervention in Libya in 2011 before he opposed it. He said the United States shouldn’t fight ISIS before he promised to “bomb the sh—” out of them and deploy ground troops to the Middle East.

No, it isn’t because of ideology that Trump has no business being commander in chief. It is because he is an unstable conspiracy theorist with an authoritarian streak.

Let’s start with the authoritarianism. Trump has long been an admirer of and apologist for autocrats, including Vladimir Putin. Asked in December to condemn the Russian government’s assassination of reporters, Trump suggested the United States is no better. “Our country does plenty of killing,” Trump said on MSNBC. “In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know that he has,” Trump said on ABC.

Back in 1990, Trump expressed admiration for the strength of China’s Communist dictators. “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it, then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength,” Trump said in a Playboy interview. “That shows you the power of strength.” Trump insisted in a debate this year that he wasn’t endorsing the massacre of peaceful protesters but merely describing how the Chinese “kept down the riot.” That Trump would describe the Tiananmen protest as a “riot” says it all.

Perhaps even more troubling than Trump’s authoritarian streak is his taste for conspiracy theories. His first major foray into politics during the Obama era was in promoting the claim that Barack Obama’s birth certificate was fake—that the president, born outside of the country, had been constitutionally ineligible to run for the office.

Trump has been willing to traffic in conspiracy theories of more dangerous consequence: In his effort to dispatch Jeb Bush, Trump made use of the leftist accusation that President George W. Bush lied the United States into the Iraq war: “They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none.”

Is there any nutty conspiracy Trump won’t embrace? The day that he effectively wrapped up the GOP nomination, Trump floated the lunatic claim that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination.

Add to this Trump’s manifest inability to control his more vulgar impulses. He mocks the disabled. He insults women. He trashes POWs (“I like people who weren’t captured”). Have we all forgotten Trump threatening to dish dirt on Heidi Cruz and disparaging her looks? Or the bragging about the size of his manhood? Even some of Trump’s top boosters have seemed to admit he is unhinged. Newt Gingrich said that Trump “sent a signal of instability” to voters. “Our candidate is mental. Do you realize our candidate is mental?” Ann Coulter remarked. “It’s like constantly having to bail out your 16-year-old son from prison.”

Yet, as Trump has marched toward the nomination, many Republicans have decided to ignore the candidate’s serial nuttiness. After Trump read a platitudinous foreign policy address last week, Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that Trump’s speech was “full of substance” and that he was “very pleased” with it.

And then there’s Marco Rubio, who suggests that Trump’s “performance has improved significantly” over the last few weeks. “I’ve always said I’m going to support the Republican nominee, and that’s especially true now that it’s apparent that Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic candidate,” Rubio said.

Really?

Back in February, Rubio was saying of Trump that we should not hand “the nuclear codes of the United States to an erratic individual.” He likened the idea of Trump to the “lunatic in North Korea with nuclear weapons.” Asked by Greta Van Susteren if he really believed Donald Trump “is a con artist who should not get access to nuclear codes,” Rubio said “Absolutely. Absolutely.”

Rubio called Trump “dangerous,” and he was right. If Rubio genuinely feared handing Trump control of nuclear weapons in March, there is no reason he should support him in May.

Perhaps Trump will prove over the next 6 months that the last 10 months of kookiness has all been shtick, a big act put on to win the nomination. Maybe he’ll publicly recant his conspiracy theories. Maybe he’ll demonstrate that he would be serious and sober enough to serve as commander in chief. Maybe pigs will fly.

But what about Hillary Clinton, who would be a disaster as president? She is a habitual liar who believes in a constitutional right to kill healthy and viable unborn infants. That alone ought to be enough to disqualify her.

Conservatives who believe that Clinton and Trump are both genuinely unfit to be president can work to get a principled third-party candidate on the November ballot. Donald Trump is toxic enough among independents that he would most likely lose the election even if conservatives did support him. But by rejecting the Clinton-Trump choice conservatives would at least send a message to the Republican party and the country about the limits of what they will tolerate in a presidential candidate.

They would also get to keep their dignity. That’s no small thing.

Energy Waste Almost Everywhere

Energy is something that we “moderns” have put to incredible use to create the grand complex systems that have served us in many ways. But are likely to be our undoing. We have created and become accustomed to an abundance of products, comforts, and conveniences unprecedented before the last century or two. Cheap virtually unlimited energy has become a given in advanced industrial economies and the goal of every developing nation. At the same time, waste is pervasive mostly because it has been so cheap and accessible.

We tend to waste what we believe is bountiful. It makes us feel powerful. But the times are now shifting from expansion and abundance to contraction and scarcity. The financial, corporate, and political elites are mostly in denial about resource depletion. We retain our illusions of unlimited energy access – whether conventional or renewable. We believe in seeking an endless widespread (conventionally defined) affluence at our peril. Yet our “consumer lifestyle” is about to change radically, like it or not. The only real question is how we deal with the changes that have already begun.

The Energy Transition will be a Social Transformation

We are headed for a New Great Transformation.[1] It will happen; that is certain. Only its form and outcome are unknown. It will take us in one of two directions: 1) catastrophic climate chaos causing societal collapse and likely species extinction, or 2) unprecedented human creativity leading us through an extremely difficult struggle to survive and adapt to extreme environmental conditions. That creativity, if we allow it to flourish, will potentially enable us to achieve a new ecological society. It may even allow the climate to slowly re-stabilize, but that cannot be predicted at this point. The human response to climate destabilization will determine which direction our path follows: catastrophic collapse or creative revitalization.

Both paths will involve great hardship, but only the second offers any hope. The first will likely propel Homo sapiens to join countless other species in the sixth great mass extinction.[2] The second path, if followed, may permit human survival and may even enable an unparalleled leap in human development. The character of the New Great Transformation – extinction or renaissance – will be determined by our ability to rapidly respond to the crisis we now face.

The energy-climate crisis gradually emerged into my consciousness over the past few decades. The scientific evidence of impending catastrophic climate change has steadily grown and is as overwhelming as it is definitive. As the crisis became noticeably acute, its urgency became undeniable – except for the likes of Senator “Snowball Inhofe” and other propagandists of Exxon Mobil. In that context, the myriad ways energy is wasted in the conduct of our everyday lives, work, and industry, became profoundly important if not much acknowledged.

For the most part, consumers of mass media content are not aware of the central role of fossil fuels in the various ways energy drives the way we live. Electricity, for example, energizes so many of the household to industrial tools and toys we use, that it pervades almost every aspect of our lives. Yet we barely notice, if at all – as we recharge our smart phones and laptops – that it is only available in such unbounded quantity because it is generated by burning fossil fuel.

Energy Production, Over-use, and Waste

Energy waste reduction is as important as clean energy production in seeking to reduce carbon emissions. Sure, we can replace much of electrical generation by solar and wind powered systems. And we must. But they too take huge quantities of energy to manufacture and install. By the time the process of replacement is near complete, we may well have passed the tipping point of climate destabilization. Not much acknowledged is the fact that much more is needed than renewable energy sources. It is not really about national “energy independence,” as some would have us believe. It is about a much bigger problem: energy over-use and waste by continuing the culture of consumerism.

IMG_1768

Wind Energy in Netherlands

 

Energy over-use can be attacked in two basic ways. First, energy-wasting practices and technology must be curtailed. It is important, however, to understand that this is not merely a “personal problem” of individuals not turning out the lights or not recycling everything we can. It runs much deeper than that. If every head of lettuce you buy at Whole Foods is sold in a plastic clam-shell container, the energy wasted cannot be recycled with the plastic. It is gone, dissipated into the entropic haze. Of course, plastic packaging is now so pervasive that most of us cannot even remember how we got along just fine a few decades ago without any of it.

Most systems for maintaining our comfort and sheltering us waste a great deal of energy. Homes and offices can be constructed to be “net-zero” energy users because the right designs capture as much energy from sun and wind as is used in the building. But we cannot simply design and construct all new buildings. Even if new building codes suddenly permitted only net-zero construction, the resulting energy savings would be quite small compared to the total energy waste in the larger “built environment.”

We must retro-fit existing structures with energy conserving technologies to minimize energy waste. One of the most important ways to do this is to insulate and weather-strip all existing buildings, now. That is a major societal undertaking that incidentally would provide a great source of new employment. Such energy efficiency projects should be at the top of the priority list for the often touted national need for infrastructure modernization. To accomplish this multi-benefit mission will require putting enough pressure on the political process to enact legislation enabling the mobilization of an entire industry, training many workers, and providing financial support. Numerous other energy saving practices and technologies could be listed. All of it constitutes a major societal mobilization not unlike that executed at the entry of the U.S. into World War II. It can be done, but will it?

Replacing Consumerism

Landfill.trash

Proliferation of Consumer Plastic Waste

The second way to attack energy over-use and waste is to change what and how we consume. Current levels of consumerism in the industrial nations cannot be sustained. Nor can western consumerism be sustainably adopted by the developing nations. Yet, the biggest – India and China – are rapidly ramping up their own versions of the culture of consumption. That is not at all surprising, given how addictive consumerism is.

Consumerism as we know it, must be abandoned if we are to reduce carbon emissions to levels that will not be catastrophic for climate, ecology, and humanity. At the level of individual and family consumption, we must replace carbon intensive products with carbon neutral ones, as those of the parallel strategy, while constraining total consumption. At the level of economic production, we must both abandon wasteful production processes and stop producing trivial and unimportant consumer products. Here, I’m talking about the myriad products that are the result of marketing strategies to generate desires, not product development to respond to genuine needs.

The consumerism that is driven by the corporate economic growth imperative is very different from production that responds to actual human needs. Many of what we now consider essential products needed for our “consumer lifestyles” are directly detrimental to our survival. They were not “needed” until they were created and marketed to drive ever expanding consumption of industrial production for the purposes of assuring high return on capital investment.

All this requires a comprehensive overhaul of the politics of the economic system, something our politicians mostly just don’t get. That is why the burgeoning social movements for climate action and social justice are the most likely source of human survival. Small cities, such as Santa Fe, NewMexico, are so far leading the way in developing new policies of carbon neutrality and climate justice. The most likely sources of pressure on the larger political economy to radically change its ways are the small local grass-roots efforts to shift economic power to the localities where we live. It will not be easy.

___________

[1] Karl Polyani, The Great Transformation (1944) delineated the major transformation of society that the industrial revolution and the concomitant rise of corporate capitalism was already having. He explained some of the damaging effects of this unbridled system of economic growth on humanity and the world as it generated a degree of affluence and inequality on a scale the world had never before seen.

[2] Plenty of evidence has already been documented revealing that the sixth great mass extinction is already well underway. Details of the currently accelerating mass extinction and previous such events can be found in The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals by Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015) and The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (New York: Picador, 2015) by Elizabeth Kolbert.