Our punch-drunk planet

by TJ Walton on April 17, 2011

I have long been an admirer of Tom Engelhardt’s commentaries and analyses, and the erudite voices he nurtures. Against all odds they give us a view of the world that few dare to admit or acknowledge. His website TomDispatch, for me, is a lighthouse illuminating a dark world of vested interest, power play and mainstream media spin. While the majority of the world’s populace is kept blindsided, pacified and in blissful ignorance, the affairs of the planet are far from well.
Where it goes, we go.

RECOMMENDED READ: The Planet Strikes Back – Why We Underestimate the Earth and Overestimate Ourselves

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SAFELY IGNORED?

by TJ Walton on April 14, 2009

To what point do we ignore
the american experience; how long 
do we pretend that summer has no end?  
Immersed in our denial we play on, 
ignoring plight around us; blind 
to our bastardisation of nature, 
fretting for financials 
more than our credentials 
as humans.

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citizen vs citizen

by TJ Walton on December 21, 2008

streetwar

streetwar


Citizen vs citizen
Streetwar
Clanking cranking armoured shells advance
internal organisms shaking in their boots
sick in their masks, fetid fearful sweat
massing for power, uniting to exceed it.

Mechanism of the state subduing, ignoring
humans’ rights abusing, streets marching
signs of discontent everywhere out loud
seeking voice noisily, messages contained
limited by instruments of the state – deliberately
deaf lest mutiny stirs – deeply knowing
their authority teeters finely defined.

Civil war describing lunging batons stunning
gunning teargas canisters shields bloodied
brutalising defenceless-ness; charging down
contrary views to the letter of the law; not
hearing protest; these human beings holding
down their jobs as officials – instruments of distant
power, disgusting force, state power
tucked up in beds of privilege

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How the Myth of Food Miles Hurts the planet

by TJ Walton on March 24, 2008

Robin McKie, the Observer science and technology editor, puts forward food for thought. His article is an intelligent counter-balance to the environmental knee jerk reaction that would penalise the world’s food producers and plunge countries into economic chaos.
It begins…

Ethical shopping just got more complicated. The idea that only local produce is good is under attack. There is growing evidence to suggest that some air-freighted food is greener than food produced in the UK. Robin McKie and Caroline Davies report on how the concept of food miles became oversimplified – and is damaging the planet in the process

It was my observation in the previous post that:

The UK is a trading nation with a vastly rich infrastructure courtesy of the historical Empire, and still existing because of its huge wealth emanating from abroad. Why would you stop that?
Stop traveling? Stop sending apples? Stop the ships and planes? Stop imports and exports? You may as well stop the blood that flows in our veins.
How come “they” want to stop many of the good things our civilization has built up? It’s a serious absurdity, this carbon footprint talk, that wants to tax and penalise those least able to afford it. Where is the talk and political will for encouraging the makers of polluting machines to go for the breakthrough.

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You asked me to comment why I unsubscribed.
The answer is manifold.
I support your ideals. I like your local level actions and initiatives. Anything for awareness. Everybody needs to wake up.

You asked me if it was because of the Buddhist gambler. Well, no, not especially. I may have had some mild disdain for the gambling approach but it was more that, at one stage, I subscribed to lots of sites that touched on my view; sites that seemed to provide answers for my frustrations and helplessness in a world gone mad – powered and controlled by a minority over a hapless majority.

Over time I have had to drop most off for the sheer volume of reading. In your case I forgot about you because your communications were so sparse. Then, when you popped up in my intray, I couldn’t see enough relevance for me in the sense that I am no longer in the UK. I am on the other side of the planet in New Zealand and not close enough to interact with your local goings on.

Oddly enough though, when I went to your site to reconsider (because of your question – nobody has ever asked before) I caught this bit about the politics of food.

The Politics of Food
Back in the day – way back – the major food issue was whether to hunt or gather for the next meal. Now food is much more complex. From fair trade to free trade, supermarkets to farmers markets, fast food to slow food, the choices are all consuming. As the great genetic modification (GM) debate continues to rage, free market forces create absurd scenarios – apples are left rotting on our doorstep while fresh ones flown in from New Zealand place a direct cost on the environment and our local economies. – AntiApathy”

And I just thought – how absurd. Not for the discussion of the complexities of the food chain and good arguments that should ensue – but for the notion that stopping the likes of New Zealand apples arriving on your doorstep solves anything. We (New Zealand) are an agricultural producer and our exports to you supports our survival as critically as it would for a 3rd world nation. I would say to you – use your surplus to make more scrumpy. Send us some, We’d buy it.

The UK is a trading nation with a vastly rich infrastructure courtesy of the historical Empire, and still existing because of its huge wealth emanating from abroad. Why would you stop that?

Stop traveling? Stop sending apples? Stop the ships and planes? Stop imports and exports? You may as well stop the blood that flows in our veins.

How come “they” want to stop many of the good things our civilization has built up?

I know, let’s get the man in the street to start making sacrifices for the environmental mess we are in. Tax him to pay for all the changes that are needed.

It’s a serious absurdity this carbon footprint talk that wants to tax and penalise those least able to afford it. What real role can the man in the street play in this vast game of ecopolitics.

Where is the will to REALLY go green with the cost shared amongst the truly wealthy, the polluters, the greedy?

Where is the talk and political will for encouraging the makers of polluting machines to go for the breakthrough. Where is the encouragement for the giant corporates, transport makers and oil companies to flip back through their archives and trot out some of the inventions we all know have been bought out and squirreled away over the years.

Where is the talk of seriously stopping the pollution and resource consuming activities of the US and UK (amongst others) in their vile warmongering. Is that gargantuan or not?

Where is the squeeze on the financial powerhouses to put something back? Where is the incentive to help the wealthy to stop squandering on hugeness and luxury in some meaningful way and rehabilitate them into the universe of souls all looking out for each other

I know a good game to play. Let’s create this thing that pretends to do something good and throw the responsibility to some one else. Let’s trade in carbon credits (whatever they are in the real world) and make obscene gluts of money while planet’s life is being squeezed.

But I digress. I was talking about unsubscribing from AntiApathy. However I have changed my mind. I’d like to stay. I like the fact you bother to be there against all the odds. Every little bit counts and I like associating with people with social conscience and a eye to what is left of our future.

Yeah, your question made me think. Thanks.

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Hi
Sorry to see you go. Do you mind me asking whether it was because you were ready to move on or because you didn’t like our poker for the planet proposition?
Thanks for your time,
AntiApathy

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Postcard protest. How novel.

by TJ Walton on March 21, 2008

Snail mail come back into its own as Greenpeace asks the concerned to help mr Dimas. Commissioner for the Environment, European Union, fight off the the intense lobbying and isolating tactics of the agri-chemical industry seeking to flood the world with GM crops. Amongst other things.

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Ms Rice said the only solution was a sustainable and enduring peace.
Her words were reinforced later by US President George W Bush who said: “I support a sustainable ceasefire that will bring about an end to violence… Our mission and our goal is to have a lasting peace, not a temporary peace.”

Don’t these people in powerful (safe places) positions have a clue about loving kindness?

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The powerful control … and abuse

by TJ Walton on July 18, 2006

Where is the outrage? Where is the lawfullness of any of this action. Is Israel colluding with the United States to create mayhem and murder abroad in preparation for the mid term US elections – or is it embarking on its own deep fissure of resentment in the region? It saddens me to see the Jews resorting to the bully boy tactics so recently employed by the US, UK and Australia in Iraq and so memorably by Hitler in World War 2. Where is the respect for life?

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The suicide of planet earth

by TJ Walton on July 18, 2006

Aren’t you just sick of people who claim their god is right. Sick of the carnage one bloc of god people cause upon another … and others. Sick of the politicians without human traits, without the guts to do the right thing, without the humanity to love and nuture their fellow earth inhabitants … let alone the imperative solving of the life threatening environmental catastrophe?
Huh?

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