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'There Will Be A Reckoning'


#1

'There Will Be A Reckoning'

Jon Queally, staff writer

On the verge of retirement, noted environmentalist and celebrated systems analyst Lester Brown has a dire warning for the world he has spent more than half a century advising on issues of food and energy policy: there is no end in sight for the interrelated scourge of climate change, global poverty and hunger.

In fact, according to Brown, in several vulnerable areas around the world, the situation may be about to go from very bad to much worse.


#2

The Dumbing Down Evangelical Response appears to be working.


#3

When I look into the eyes of young people and see the astonishment boardering disbelief that we adults have let the Eaarth and America slide into catasthropic disaster, I want to change my ways.
There's a few things I can do as an individual. Meatless is one. Solar is one. Electric generation is another along with an electric car. Gardening is something that is endearing. Understanding being poor is not a crime, and suffering and loneliness happens to everybody. All of a sudden, it feels like there is quite a lot of meaningful things to do.


#4

In his final book, "Sowing Seeds in the Desert"

Masanobu Fukuoka has left us a path....


#5

Unfortunately, I think everyone is too cheap to save humanity. Enjoy the time we have left!


#6

"The thinking that got us into this mess it not likely to get us out. We need a new mindset."
-Lester Brown

That is why the economic platform, which guides decision making, must be rewritten to account for externalities that affect all forms of planetary life. These include, but are not limited to, pollution, poverty, and population (of major consumers, primarily). Tweaks, such as treaties, tariffs (or lack thereof), and subsidies just feed game playing in the pursuit of greed. Reality MUST be folded into the elemental structure of the decision-making platform known as economics if robust solutions are to be found.


#7

A broad based shift in understanding, value and belief is required – these are the most conservative of human qualities; that is, the most resistant to change. And for good reason: for most of our millions of years as hominids, the world changed slowly; it was better to stay with what worked historically rather than jumping onto the most recent bit of imagining (the other thing that humans do really well). But today the world is changing much faster than genetic evolution can respond to and, now, much faster than even human understanding and adaptive belief can keep up with.
However, we must try: search "With Nature's Consent: Biology of Wealth" for an eBook that looks more deeply into these issues.


#8

It is amazing how we humans change when we swim in cash that keeps growing boundlessly, how our mind gets laser focused on money making, partying and just living for the now. "Enjoy the time we have left" isn't the answer, we have to use the time we have left to fight back to fuse the fossil fuel industry onto it's tracks and leave that deadly stuff where it was intended to be.


#11

The fate of mankind is written in its history of perpetual violence. Our Nature is hostility, not only towards our own species, but against the environment in which we are dependent for life - all life.

In spite of our intelligence and remarkable achievements we are naturally given to selfishness, particularly among those of good fortune. An impetuous, self indulgent, better than thou reveals itself over and over again. Like a contagion others gravitate into cabals to perpetuate their unwarranted status as a superior breed.

So is our species. Hurtling forward, with a dementia blind to the looming catastrophe they create and helpless to stop it, less they show themselves to be fallible. It isn't the overwhelming will of mankind driving us into the abyss, it's the Nature of homo sapiens.


#13

If we don't drastically and quickly lower World population to pre-Industrial Revolution levels we will be looking at the sixth great extinction event. It may already be too late. If it happens, it will be our fault for ignoring the warnings of the past 50 years, and it will be a deserved extinction for Homo Sapiens. The World does not need the 23 chromosome contribution of most of it's people to go on. Indeed, it would do much better without them.


#15

Maybe you're just having a tough morning, Robert, but I'm having trouble discerning anything but despair in this post: there is no time, we're stuck with the system as it is, where the obstacles are insurmountable. What, exactly, are you advising, other than giving up?


#16

Two million years ago our ancestors that had evolved binary vision and opposable thumbs that served them well in the trees started spending more time on the ground to exploit a niche that by learning to coordinate individual behavior together in more strategic ways beneficial to the group, became a catalyst for socialization that altered not only our actions but our very faces. Huddled around campfires at night it became important enough to assess the emotional state of the other members of the group in order to harmonize, that humans have not only developed the most complex facial muscular structure of any known animal, in order to express our array of emotions, but also the ability to instantly know the emotional state of others by looking at their face, from infancy. It follows that we learned compassion from our prowess at empathy, There have been excavations of our primordial campsites that include the remains of those who had aged to the point of having lost all of their teeth yet were not only fed by the more able bodied, but ate food that was chewed up and given to them for there was no other way they would have survived at that time. Humans evolved a greater capacity for love, strong enough to expend labor and resources on those no longer able to contribute to the well being of the group in material ways. The enlargement of our frontal lobes gave us the ability to synthesize new behaviors that allowed us to adapt and flourish in new and changing environments, changes of individual and collective behavior in a single lifetime as opposed to the rest of the species changing behavior through generational transfer of successful instinctive intelligence. Our plasticity in behavior is moderated however by our value of experience, that we tend to stick with tried and true behavior throughout our lives, yet this ingrained limiting factor is offset between generations. Having started life in a drastically different set of circumstances, the new iteration of self finds what the previous generation thought to be wrenching change, normal for it’s own set of experience. Therein lies the hope of survival of mankind. We are a complex group that varies the balance of stasis and dynamics not only across the range of the current 7 billion plus people that are alive at this moment, but more so throughout the ongoing collective of regenerating individuals over the span of our spawn.

I have no doubt that I will witness some of the most portentous upheaval in all the time of humans. I am a participant foremost and have the mindset that I will draw from my heritage and my experience the strengths to express love for my extended tribe and through my actions will leave a legacy that will live on through as of yet unborn generations, that from my standpoint are doomed to the ravages of a wounded planet. I take solace that what appears to me as impending calamity will be seen as another beautiful day by beautiful children that grow proportionately to this existential challenge and turn the brutal lessons of humanity’s shortcomings into wisdom and healing, fomenting an elegant balance wherein our consciousness not only survives but thrives.


#17

I see that Richmond is taking the lead again by trying to ban Agent Orange based poisons for unwanted plants. I remember your admirable efforts to keep your local government from being bought by Chevron, are you personally involved again? Good to see CD diaspora repopulating this ghost town, IMHO you are one the most thoughtful posters.


#19

To be clear: Richmond just banned the use of glyphosate by the city itself or by the contractors it hires - not all other uses within city limits.

Thanks for your kind words. Yep, I'm still at it, for the time being.


#20

Of course we can't wait for radical change. No sane person would say we should bide our time. That doesn't mean we can't work for radical change. We have no basis to speculate on how long radical change might take to accomplish, since there's never been a time in which our very survival depended on it so much as today.

All kinds of changes, coming together, are essential sooner than feasibly possible. For instance, we can't shut down the fossil fuel industry without envisioning how the people who currently work there will continue to support their families. We can't just erect walls and let all the climate refugees fend for themselves.

To oppose radical, systemic change is to block our only chance of survival, however unlikely that might be.


#22

See the big chart of all the inter-connected boards of the 500 biggest corps, and realize that no change such as is needed will ever emerge from that matrix.
We cannot depend on people without vision- those who cannot or will not see- beyond the quarterly report, to alter the status quo.


#23

There is NATURE and there is NURTURE. Children are not born hostile. Nor are they born with bias and prejudice. They are, however, quite adept at following role models. We have been very poor role models. Religion and politics are used to divide the Peoples. Neither institute is 'natural', they are the machinations of humans. You seem to be claiming that the source of our stupidity is a Nature. I totally disagree.

There is no other species that wastes Nature and the Planet for the profits of war. That makes us whores. War is an abomination against Creation. Nothing to blame on Nature. It's all about humans and our history of not learning from our mistakes. Nature learns. We deny.


#24

Yep...you got that right and I wish it would hurry up.....


#29

OMG...one of the beest posts ever... I have been thinking and talking about this type of social ability between humans.... and how that may be our next step in evolution... more of the same in the way of empathy, compassion, and just over all social evolution.... I am afraid that there will also be a branch that will evolve toward a more "Spock" like species..
and will further the devolution with focusing on robots.... instead of making themselves more empathetic and compassionate... they will try to make a robot that is...go figure....


#30

Meatless , dairyless, and leave fish off the plate is the most immediate and holisitic response to what ails us.. Animal agriculture generates the most Co2 and deadlier methane emissions, as much as 51%, while also cutting down rain forests for cattle grazing, devastating carbon photosynthesis. 70% of grain production on earth's 30% land area (70% of surface is water) is livestock feed. See Mad Cowboy film, Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, and Earthlings, all free online. See Cowspiracy and share with others.
Our FOOD production system, rooted in an ancient ideology that animals, other sentient beings, can be used, dominated, exploited, bred, and slaughtered for humans.... Vegan is an ethic, a way of life that seeks to do the least harm.