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Irish Neutrality League launches on UN International Day of Peace - 21 Sep 2022 filed by the editor - General, International, Ireland
Idiot Anti-Nukers Will Only Have Seconds to Say They Were Right - 27 Apr 2022 filed by the editor - Features, International
OMG, War Is Kind of Horrible - 14 Mar 2022 filed by the editor - Features, International

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OMG, War Is Kind of Horrible       printable version
14 Mar 2022: posted by the editor - Features, International

By David Swanson

For decades, the U.S. public seemed largely indifferent to most of the horrible suffering of war. The corporate media outlets mostly avoided it, made war look like a video game, occasionally mentioned suffering U.S. troops, and once in a blue moon touched on the deaths of a handful of local civilians as if their killing were some sort of aberration.

The U.S. public funded and either cheered for or tolerated years and years of bloody wars, and came out managing to believe falsely that a large percentage of war deaths are of troops, that a large percentage of war deaths in U.S. wars are U.S. troops, that wars happen in a mysterious place called a "battlefield," and that with rare exceptions the people killed by U.S. troops are people who need killing exactly like those given death sentences in U.S. courts (except for the ones later exonerated).

For decades, wise and strategic peace advocates counseled against bothering to mention the millions of men, women, and children slaughtered, wounded, made homeless, terrified, traumatized, poisoned, or starved by U.S. wars. Nobody would care about them, we were told, so mentioning them wouldn't actually help them. It would be smarter to mention only U.S. troops, even if it perpetuated the false belief that the wars were not one-sided genocidal slaughters. It would be even smarter, we were told, to focus on the financial costs of the wars, even though the U.S. government simply invents how ever much money it wants for more wars. Money, we were told, is something that people can care about.

Of course, the obvious problem wasn't what we talked about, but that we weren't allowed on television. Of course, the average U.S. resident is not a heartless sociopath. Of course, people care all the time about distant and different human beings. When hurricane victims are presented in the media as worthy, people donate. When a famine is blamed on nature, the money gushes forth. When cancer is depicted as arising from a pristine, unsullied environment, I just dare you to find a neighborhood that won't run a marathon to cure it. So, in theory, I always believed that people in the United States could in fact care about war victims. Just as they could declare "We Are All French" when a bomb went off in France, they could in theory declare "We Are All Yemeni" when the U.S. and Saudi militaries terrorize Yemeni children, or announce "We Are All Afghans" when Joe Biden steals billions of dollars needed for basic survival.

You'll have spotted the actual problem, of course. There's no such thing as being terrorized by the U.S. military or a U.S. president stealing from foreigners. Just about nobody, in fact, even knows what colors the Yemeni flag is - much less have they pasted them up everywhere. In the U.S. media those things do not exist. But caring about war victims does exist. I distinctly remember how much people cared about fictional infants removed from incubators to get the first gulf war going, or the impact had by videos of individual victims of ISIS. "Rwanda" was a nonsensical argument for a war on Libya precisely because people are understood to care about war victims when needed to. Syrians have been worthy war victims when the wrong side has been falsely accused of using the wrong kind of weapon. Caring about war victims was always a possibility, and now it has burst forth onto central stage. We now see, directed toward Ukrainians, the concern and empathy that were always possible for little children and grandmothers murdered by war in Iraq or dozens of other countries.

For those of us whose opposition to war was always principally driven by concern for its direct victims - augmented by concern for the victims of diverting so many resources into war instead of into useful things - this is an opportunity to speak honestly. Speaking honestly is always more persuasive than speaking manipulatively. Unless you've decided to cheer for Russian mass-murder, here is a chance to say to the media-consuming public: YES! YES! We are with you! War is horrendous! War is immoral! There is nothing worse than war! We must abolish this barbarism! We must abolish it no matter who does it or why. And we'll only do that if we learn the power of nonviolent action to resist it.

Millions of Russians and non-Russians believe that Russia is acting defensively and that whatever it does is justified. Millions of Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians believe that whatever it does is defensive and justified. The arguments are wildly different, and we need not dignify the idiocy of objecting to equating them. There is nothing equal or even measurable about human actions. But Russia had nonviolent alternatives to resist NATO expansion and chose violence. Ukraine had nonviolent alternatives to resist Russian invasion, and U.S. televisions are not telling us to what extent Ukrainians have in fact chosen, with little support or organization, to attempt them.

If we all survive this crisis, the one lesson we need to take away from it is that human beings live under those fantastic streaks of light that television talking heads ooh and aah over. And if those human beings don't seem to matter much, we can just try thinking of them as if they were Ukrainians. Then we can work on comprehending that the enemy is not the people in whose names the bombs fall. The enemy is war.

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Towards global energy sustainability — special report from Science Magazine

GLOBAL 2000 —
the report that was but wasn’t

    first published February 13, 2004 - Newsmedianews

 

“Measurements of greenhouse gases at Mace Head in Ireland have shown that baseline concentrations of many of the gases reached the highest background concentrations ever recorded in 2000, the latest year for fully validated data.” - from DEFRA study

Check it out ...It is interesting that on an average visit to the family GP you will be asked with something approaching a frown if you are a smoker. Chances are too that if you say yes you will again be the focus of a frown. And yet interestingly enough that same GP will probably leave his surgery, get into a car and quite uncaringly spew contaminants over every person on every street down which he or she drives.

And should they go on holiday, once again the chances are that they will fly, becoming part of an airborne culture that is inexorably killing off our planet. And this is not a doomsday gripe from some pot smoking target of the ignorant—it is the reality that will unavoidably affect your own life and the lives of our children.

This is the selfish, blinkered vision world we are developing. Regardless of all of our conscientious streams of blather, they remain just blather, disinfected and wiped by the conglomerates who are poisoning our planet for their own profits.

In the mid-70s, initiated by the US administration of the time under President Carter, what was to become the most comprehensive international scientific examination into global environment change ever conducted began. Under the auspices of the UN, almost every country of the world participated in what was to become the largest scientific gathering and analysis of environmental data in history.

The results of the investigation were duly published and contained a bleak forewarning of doom. This was not the ramblings of some hash-brained hippies writhing in grief over visions of the end of civilisation. It was the dedicated work of eminent and highly skilled and knowledgeable scientists, backed by the latest and most reliable techniques and equipment available.

In short, they knew what they were talking about. Within an astonishingly short space of time, the report had been buried. Tackling the issues raised was contrary to all industrial and national economies and profit ideologies. The short term greed driven vision took precedence over any sensible long term view of reality. And we are now reaping the results of that short-sighted greed.

 

The below graphs illustrates the dramatic rise in annual temperatures for the UK between 1700 and 2000. Note how the mean average, shown by the red line, soars from the late 80s on. (reprinted from DEFRA)

     
The graph on the right shows the annual global picture.
  

RIO
By the time of the UN Conference on the Environment held in Rio in 1992 and which led to the drafting of the Convention on Climate Change, the Global 2000 Report had been all but forgotten. The actions advocated at Rio, and later at the second Convention on Climate Change held in Kyoto, Japan in 1997, were equivalent to pissing against the wind.

The true impact of the realities and globally catastrophic dangers posed by the acceleration of global warming through fossil fuel use, industry and motorisation failed to be grasped, despite their widespread knowledge. It is an astonishing view of a global civilisation willing to ignore its very survival in favour of personal wants.

A comprehensive search of the Internet fails to produce easy to find references to the Global 2000 report. Among the predictions it contained was the stark warning of instant catastrophe waiting in the wings as the southern and northern ice packs change in density. The current one degree ‘wobble’ of the earth about its axis is partly due to and is affected by the offset mass of the Antarctica ice pack. Should that fragile balance change, the wobble will not simply get worse or less—it will throw the whole kilter of the earth’s axial rotation off.

Chaos will result as the planet adopts and adjusts to the new axis of rotation. But before then, global flooding, instant ice ages and global weather mayhem will transform the surface of our world far beyond anything that even the most far fetched environmental horror movie has ever even tried to conceptualise. It will be the old age of global civilisation as we know it and the effects may well all but eradicate limbed life on this planet. Those are the harsh facts.

Some months ago scientists from the UK attempted to inform the US of the true realities of the dangers of global warming and climate change. It is a threat that far surpasses any threat posed by Al Qaeda or any terrorist group, they say—something that has held the US preoccupied since 9/11.

The efforts of the scientists, no matter how sincere, can be somewhat compared to teaching grandmother to suck eggs. Grandmother, in this case the United States, believed she already knew how to suck eggs so well that she simply put them all back in the cupboard and forgot all about them as unimportant.

It is quite likely that the new efforts to focus on the very real and very pressing dangers posed by global warming will be equally ignored and buried, just as was Global 2000.

And it may be that having prevaricated for so long, we have left it too late to tackle. We may well begin to be seeing the advent of the collapse of civilisation in as little as 15 years from now.

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Note added on August 9, 2005
In 1980, Dr. Gerald O. Barney directed the Global 2000 Report for President Carter. This was the first and only report by any national government on the economic, demographic, resource, and environmental future of the world. It sold over 1.5 million copies in 8 languages!

Now, in this new, updated Global 2000 Revisited: What Shall We Do?, Dr. Barney, Jane Blewett, and Kristen Barney have assembled new data on global trends -- and challenged the world to devote the 1990s and beyond to addressing the critical issues of the 21st century.
Read Global 2000 Revisited (pdf file)      web page

Related links:

www.meto.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre
www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/research/report02
www.earthscan.co.uk/asp/bookdetails.asp?key=1735
www.netlondon.com/news/1999-37/C0CFB2C0E7D41CC3802.html
www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99992315

Climate change - a result of increase in solar radiation?

Climate Change - The Extreme Conflict
At the age of seven I had a dream that I was consumed by a nuclear blast. I saw the distant explosion, the shockwave, felt the onrush of the searing heat and saw my bones through suddenly translucent skin, as if through X-ray eyes.
I knew exactly what happening in the dream, which was strange.
Strange, because when I was seven it was 1957. No movies had then been made showing nuclear explosions. We certainly didn't learn about them at school in those days, and it was not something I'd seen on television, in those days again only black and white, of course.
The dream had been in full vivid colour. And I was right there, and died in that searing blast.
In later years, a friend thought I may have somehow tuned in to the thoughts of someone who had been in the Hiroshima or Nagasaki blasts, but I doubt that somehow. Not its possibility, but that it was what had happened on this occasion.
There was an eerie perception that I was actually there, but had been transported to another and not too distant time. And it was, it seemed, time from the future and not the past. But then, what did happen in the past? Why are there such vacant holes in our known history? Why are there so many variations in global localised radiation levels? Why so many why's?
President Bush and Tony Blair have been spearheading a war against terrorism since 2001. They urge that that world must be protected from such destruction.
And yet, destruction through another major conflict looks increasingly likely as levels of hope sink.
And sinking they are, if we exercise honest appraisal. The turmoil in draught and poverty stricken countries wrenches at us, but does not wrench from hopelessness. We know we can change such poor circumstances for the better, if it does take a long, long time given existing trends.
Thus, hope survives.
Global warming and planetary chaos through nature gone wild is, however, beyond us. We cannot do anything to change it. We can do very, very little to protect ourselves against it other than try to prepare a path for our best chances of survival, and nothing at all to avoid it short of fleeing the planet. Climate change is natural, cosmos driven and not, as the alarmists mistakenly would have us believe, due to CO2 emissions. Such emissions have barely a perceptible effect. Being told to switch off appliances etc to ‘save energy’ and reduce CO2 emissions is like throwing ping pong balls at the moon in the stupid belief that they will shift the moon from its orbit. The eminent UK scientist Professor Stephen Hawking has advocated that if humanity is to survive it must begin looking to colonise other planets. The cycle of global pollution has simply progressed too far and the runaway train has left the tracks and is racing across the plain… But the reality is, we must look to ensure survival possibilities for future generations.
It is however the loss of true hope for the future that is perhaps one of the greater unseen dangers of our present time.
Hopelessness breeds several things in addition to resignation. It breeds despair and reduces the sense of identification. And the loss of identification leads to the loss of care.
It is that eroded sense of care that is most dangerous. In isolation, it can be countered. When it becomes a part of the herd mentality, chaos ensues.
Surely history has taught us that?
Modern communications have broadened public awareness many thousandfold over the course of the last 200 years. What might not have been known about outside of just one small locality of the world 200 years ago can now be known about almost across the entire planet in just a matter of hours.
The herd on the stampede.
Prayer might help. It sends out positive vibrations for hope. But it cannot defeat the inevitable. For that, we can only wait for a miracle.
 


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