Saturday 23rd of October 2021

rivercide...

borisboris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 60 action-packed minutes, this world-first live documentary ... set[s] out to discover who is polluting Britain's rivers and why nobody is stopping them.

 

Presented by journalist George Monbiot, directed by The Age of Stupid’s Franny Armstrong and with live performances by Benjamin Zephaniah and Charlotte Church, Rivercide is both gutsy investigative journalism and ground-breaking filmmaking.  The livestream is free to view at 19.00 UK-time on Weds 14th July via https://rivercide.tv. The full recording will then be posted on https://rivercide.tv a few days later. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ID0VAUNANA

 

Note: picture at top from the doco taken on the run by Gus Leonisky... Pollution of rivers everywhere in the world is a major problem. In Australia we had fish kills... Chemicals, chicken shit, cow poo, run offs from fertilisers, etc... Here in the programme the point is made that NOT a single river in the UK is "healthy", ALL rivers are polluted and the level of officialdom care is appalling... 

 

FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

of ending growth...

 Our World Is Dying Because We Don’t Value Un-Making Things

 

By Caitlin Johnstone

 

 

I talk a lot about how we’re destroying our environment with a global system where human behavior is driven by the pursuit of profit, how the power structure which dominates that system does so by violence, exploitation, oppression, and the threat of nuclear war, and how we’re all going to die if we don’t change this system.

Whenever I say this I get a bunch of capitalism cultists bleating “You just don’t understand economics bruh,” which is the line they’ve been trained to say to anyone they see criticizing capitalism. It’s silly for a number of reasons, among them the fact that nobody who regurgitates that line understands economics themselves, and the fact that one’s understanding of economics has nothing to do with the death of the ecosystem our species relies on for survival.

The claim that anyone who opposes capitalism “just doesn’t understand economics” is premised on the notion that unfettered capitalism is the best way for a civilization to attain economic growth, which is arguably true; governments like China saw their economies explode when they started implementing elements of capitalism for pragmatic reasons. If you want to create a bunch of stuff and generate a tremendous amount of wealth, a good way to do that is by giving the capitalist class the protection of the state so they can rake in billions of dollars exploiting the global proletariat without being guillotined.

Problem is, that only looks like a valid point if economic growth is the only value by which you judge a system’s success. If you value quality of life, overall happiness, health, average lifespan, education, eliminating poverty, homelessness and hunger, and many other possible metrics, nations like the United States are far from ideal. If you value avoiding climate collapse, then the only way to think capitalism is the answer is to espouse on blind faith the belief that the world will be saved by greedy union-busting tech oligarchs who just want to make more stuff and send us all to space.

 

That’s not to say that socialism in and of itself has all the answers on this front either. Nations which have attempted socialism have not historically had the best environmental records, and even a hypothetical ideal socialist society where workers own all the means of production would not be inherently dissuaded from destroying the environment for profit.

What we need, if we are to turn away from the path of extinction and begin working in collaboration with our ecosystem, is a society which values the un-making of things.

Since the dawn of civilization humanity has valued achievement, conquest, invention, creation; it has valued doing things, and it has not valued the undoing of things. Creating a new kind of machine will bring you fame and fortune and put your name in the history books, while figuring out how to clean up all the pollution caused by the manufacturing and operation of that machine will not. Discovering a new way to kill thousands of people at a time will make you rich, while choosing to sit on that invention instead of unleashing that horror upon the world will not. Cutting down a tree to make toothpicks will make you money, while leaving it to grow for future generations will not.

Interestingly this disparity parallels with the inequality in traditional gender roles throughout the ages. While hunter-gatherer societies were largely egalitarian, after the invention of agriculture some twelve thousand years ago women came to be generally regarded as second-class citizens because they were unable to do fieldwork or conquer other tribes for their land. Since that time women have had very little say in the construction of our society and its values systems, and for that reason the work they traditionally do — cleaning, caring, conserving, resolving conflicts and building community — has gone unrewarded by money or esteem compared to traditional men’s work. Doing and making are valued, undoing and unmaking are not. The rise of capitalism poured rocket fuel on this dynamic.

Most mothers will tell you it’s a pretty thankless job compared to how much labor you pour into it from the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you lay your head down at night. Because so much of her work goes into disappearing things — dirty diapers, laundry, messy floors, dishes in the sink, owwies, tears, tantrums — people who are conditioned by a society that has for millennia only valued making and doing tend to only notice when her work doesn’t get done. Their attention scans right over all the undoing she spent all day working on; it’s not paid, it’s not rewarded, and for the most part it’s not even appreciated.

 

In the same way, and for the same reason, people’s attention tends to scan right over the obvious solutions to the ecocidal trajectory our species has been on. Because thousands of years of conditioning have trained us to value doing things and making things and turning over a profit, our attention skips right over the simple solution right under our noses to do less and unmake things and stop pursuing profit at the expense of future generations.

This is why people who are awake to what’s going on in our world so often feel hopeless and despondent, and why the quote “it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism” resonates with so many. Because we live in a society that has no framework or conceptual infrastructure for valuing the disappearing of things, and because making things and turning a profit has no answer for our situation, solutions look impossible.

But solutions are not impossible. They just won’t involve turning millionaires into billionaires and billionaires into trillionaires.

Cleaning up this mess will take a lot of work and cost a lot, and the reward for that investment won’t be anyone getting rich or any power structure securing a geostrategic advantage, it will be a future for our children and grandchildren. The oceans for example are one of our planet’s biggest carbon sinks, and their ability to function as such is being choked off by plastics in the water. Getting that plastic out of there in an environment-friendly way won’t turn a profit like clearing a forest or drilling an oil field will, so if we leave it to the Captains of Industry nothing will be done about it. Capitalism offers no incentive to do it.

 

Ending growth for its own sake, producing less, consuming less, paying people to stay home instead of commuting to pointless jobs; all of these would help the ecosystem far more than producing some new battery made of strip-mined materials. But there’s no profit, so they’re overlooked as viable solutions. You’re only ever going to look for solutions to problems through the reality tunnel you’ve been conditioned to look through. For thousands of years human civilization has been valuing the making of more things and devaluing the unmaking of things, when the latter is what we need right now.

A hidden cost is mental illness. In order to manipulate people to buy things that they don’t need with money they don’t have to keep capitalism from collapsing, you need to keep up a non-stop barrage of trauma-inducing consumerist propaganda. We are all suffering from various mental disorders, from the subtle to the extreme, as a result of this relentless onslaught of brainwashing. Some of these disorders are so prevalent that people assume they are normal. Everything from eating disorders and obesity, to hoarding and shopping addictions, can be traced back to advertising constantly and repetitively ringing our pavlovian bells, while also constantly reminding us that we are not perfect or whole or worthy of love (but maybe if you buy this you will be).

Many readers will attest that you don’t have to be that far along in your waking up journey to start becoming really sensitive to the psychological violence of TV advertising. A TV ad break suddenly becomes physically repellant. In the future we will look back on how coercive and non-consensual mass-scale advertising is and shake our heads in wonder that it was ever allowed to be a thing. Of course, by then, advertising will barely work because too many people will be too awake to manipulate in mass numbers.

 

But for now, we are manipulated by the millions into consuming massive amounts of products that aren’t good for us, don’t serve us, or are just another thing that we won’t hardly use but we need to find some cupboard space for. Ending advertising would allow so much health to rebuild in our minds and reduce consumption of materials dramatically; but ending advertising would mean ending capitalism. They are inseparable. We have the tools now to find everything we need via word-of-mouth, but capitalism requires infinite growth. Even your mom-and-pop shop owner feel the pressure to grow in order to keep up cash flow and cover increasing overheads.

Growth is baked in to capitalism, and right now we need more than anything just to chill. Do less, be less, compete less, expect less of ourselves and each other, produce less, consume less, commute less; but take more naps, be more kind, be more gentle with ourselves and each other, laugh more, cry more, feel more, and regenerate all the energy stolen from us from a rat race that we were never gonna win anyway.

Only when we have systems in place that make this possible will we find the energy to start cleaning up our world and begin living in harmony and integrity with the very ecosystem that we are intrinsically a part of.

____________________________

 

Caitlin Johnstone:

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi or . If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at  or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded,  to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, 

 

Read more:

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/07/23/our-world-is-dying-because-we-dont-value-un-making-things/

 

 

assangexassangex

recycled politicians...

 

From Malcolm Turnbull

 

With a recycled Barnaby Joyce back as leader, and deputy PM, the National Party broke ranks with the Morrison Government to demand major changes to the Murray-Darling Basin plan.

Their proposed amendments were ultimately defeated but the move underlined the importance of water to the Nationals’ political agenda.

The criticality of water to human survival far transcends politics, and yet as the evolution of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan would show, water management is always political. As Mark Twain observed ‘Whisky is for drinking and water is for fighting over.”

 

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan – originally part of the National Plan for Water Security – was first introduced when I was Minister for the Environment and Water Resources in 2007. The revolutionary Water Act 2007 was enacted in the midst of a terrible drought, which was devastating communities throughout regional Australia and especially in the irrigation communities in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Things were so bad we thought Adelaide and Brisbane would run out of water. The Murray was perilously close to running dry and not reaching the sea. Water was being trucked to regional towns. We had to find a way of managing what water there was left, in an equitable way, which met the needs of the many communities, farmers and irrigators who relied on the river.

Historically, far too much water had been allocated to agriculture at the expense of the environment. The Murray-Darling Basin is mostly flat country, and its ecology depends on regular floods to water the surrounding country. As more and more water was diverted for irrigation, that ecology was starved of water. Equally, over-allocation encouraged farmers to be wasteful in their use of water.

My strategic vision

We needed to make every drop count. The objective of the plan was to recover water for the environment by investing in infrastructure so that irrigators could produce as much food and fibre with less water.

And so, most of the $10 billion fund was to go into water-saving infrastructure on and off farm. The money we allocated for buying back water was designed to be used strategically to support the infrastructure upgrades.

Following the 2007 federal election, the new Labor Government bought back water randomly as though it was an entirely fungible commodity. There was no connection with the infrastructure investments.

The object became: recover as much water for the environment as cheaply as possible. This meant that some farmers benefited by selling, but their communities lost out.

Over time, the new government lost the trust of the irrigators which I had relied on to get the Water Act passed in the first place. This breakdown of community trust led to the over-politicisation and weakening of the plan.

 

We cannot have effective water management without public trust. And we cannot afford to be complacent about water management – not now, and especially not in the years to come.

The science is very clear. The CSIRO has warned that on its current trajectory, climate change will reduce average river flows by 10 to 25 per cent in southeast Australia by 2030.

Water management is a global problem, with local solutions. Changes in the water cycle are the primary consequence of climate change, including droughts, floods, melting glaciers, sea-level rises and more intense storms. As the climate crisis worsens, so too does our water crisis.

Cheap as water

But water has a very low value to weight and to volume. It costs a lot to move around and to store. That is why long-range water plans, like piping water from the Kimberley to Perth or even Melbourne, will never stack up. Think about this – you can buy a 1000 litres from Sydney Water for a few dollars. That is one tonne and one cubic metre!

A surge of water innovations have emerged in recent years, necessitated by both market and social forces. One of the most recognisable, desalination, shows great promise in increasing our water supplies without depleting our natural resources.

The equitable allocation of water resources, for human and environmental use, as well as for different stakeholders – is possible. However, I know from experience how hard it is to balance these interests when water is scarce. That’s why the government needs to prioritise effective water management and regaining community trust now, when water is plentiful.

Yes, water is political, because we’ve made it that way. But water must also transcend politics – without it, our vulnerabilities are multiplied. Securing our water future has flow on effects to every pillar of human and environmental wellbeing and failing to do so will affect far more than party votes.

 

 

Malcolm Turnbull talks more about Australia’s water management future as a guest on the winter series of development podcast Good Will Hunters.

 

Read more:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/australian-politics/2021/07/25/malcolm-turnbull-murray-darling-basin/

 

Read from top. One could say that Malcolm Turnbull did not do his job properly on this subject when he was Prime Minister, otherwise the issue would have been resolved... 

not enough CO2...

The British government is racing to avert shortages of meat, poultry and packaged foods amid a crisis in the food processing industry triggered by soaring energy costs.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said on Tuesday (local time) that he hoped to reach a deal with Britain’s primary supplier of food-grade carbon dioxide to restore supplies of the gas that is used to stun animals before slaughter, preserve fruits and vegetables before packaging and put the fizz into carbonated beverages.

Mr Kwarteng is in talks with CF Industries, which halted operations at its British plants last week due to high natural gas prices.

 

“We’re hopeful that we can get something sorted today and get the production up and running in the next few days,” he told the BBC.

“It may come at some cost. We’re still hammering out details. We’re still looking at a plan.”

 

Four small energy providers have failed in recent months and the British government is in talks with larger businesses to ensure that gas and electricity keeps flowing to customers this winter if any other suppliers collapse.

The squeeze on Britain’s food processing industry is among the most visible impacts of a spike in natural gas prices as the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic – boosting demand for energy.

Wholesale gas prices have tripled this year in Britain.

The government is also under pressure to protect consumers from spiraling energy costs at a time when the fallout from the pandemic is already putting household budgets under strain.

Energy prices for many consumers will rise next month after regulators approved a 12 per cent increase in the price cap for 15 million customers who don’t have long-term contracts.

That comes after Britain’s annual inflation rate jumped to 4.1 per cent last month, the highest in almost a decade.

 

CF, which generates carbon dioxide as a byproduct of making fertiliser, announced on September 15 that it was halting production at two plants in Britain.

The company said it had no estimate for when production would resume.

Mr Kwarteng said the government was discussing a range of options to bolster carbon dioxide supplies, including subsidising production at CF.

Unless there was a deal soon, shoppers would begin to notice shortages “in about 10 days”, said Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation.

The just-in-time supply system that underpins supermarkets and the hospitality industry “is under the most strain it has ever been in the 40 years it has been there”, Mr Wright told the BBC.

“It is a real crisis.”

Poultry and pork production are likely to begin declining by the end of this week.

Richard Griffiths, chief executive of the British Poultry Council, said 20 million birds were grown and slaughtered each week, the majority of them chickens.

“It will be a real challenge if there is a shortage of CO2 to the point that slaughterhouses cannot process the birds,” he said.

“That is really the worst-case scenario, which is why we are so hopeful that the government can step in here.”

-AAP

 

Read more: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/uk-news/2021/09/22/british-gas-shortage/

 

 

Read from top.