Letter to the editor www.ecologicalcitizen.net.
Hello Ian, I just read your Editorial titled “Life’s Catastrophe: An angry editorial” and frankly I enjoyed your essay. It was thorough, thoughtful and concluded that action is required.
You open with a quote “There is no right way to do a wrong thing” Doug Thompkins, I offer another: “There are no technical answers to ethical questions” Theodore Rozak, from “Where the wasteland ends”.
I spent a few hours looking at your site, reading articles, looking for what you were crying out for when you said “I feel that I am weak on the hows (they are hard)…please send in your good ideas, or other comments” So here are my comments and impractical ideas, good ones will not suffice.
Comments about www.ecologicalcitizen.net.
- A few good articles like Robin Maynard: Overpopulation denial syndrome and your “Life’s Catastrophe: An angry editorial” I enjoyed them both, well thought out, well documented. You claim that “science and reason have utterly failed the earth and Eco centrists” I think that statement is like a worn pencil: in need of sharpening. More on that in my suggestions.
- “A Vision for an eco centric society” nailed the solution in changing tax laws but got lost in a nonsensical reverence for “aboriginal” culture. When it comes to ecology we are all equally ignorant, just because you could not invent the wheel, does not mean you have not used the wheel since it was shown to you.
- Sadly much falls under the heading of emotional nonsense. Ecology has not shed a tear, it exists, evolves, a process of variation in progeny and the weak and not suitable die. We all sit around a giant feast, eating each other, emotions play no part in anything. Articles like:
- Simon Leadbeater: Feeling is more important than thinking “In defense of tears”
- Bob Percival: An Eco centric perspective on eating animals.
These are worse than useless, they perpetuate nonsense. If you wanted to save the Titanic you had to restrain or kill Edward Smith the Captain and J. Bruce Ismay the owner of the White Star line, who somehow survived the sinking. Condemning the speed of the ship, or starting a peer reviewed journal about ice would be of no consequence to your survival.
Some of your articles are just ignorant and offensive, to quote a Roman Catholic Friar such as Joseph Blay in The catholic Church…. Or an Islamic scholar on issues of living in harmony with the planet is absurd. If I have to explain this; you could not understand.
A quick survey from signatory page from Osullivan to Vivek listed 30 people
>Researcher / Professor / PhD candidate: 14
>Naturalist / Earthling / Eco-Activist: 10
>Writer / Other: 6
Sadly Professors and PhD candidates are only occasionally noted for creative solutions, with a few notable exceptions they are slaves to convention and obedient.
You have no Generals, Business People or Politicians in your ranks. They run the show. As a navel gazing preaching exercise to the choir you are an overwhelming success. The challenge of course it to change the course of society not be a narcissistic reflection of your own sanctimony.
Suggestions for www.ecologicalcitizen.net.
- Make it a submission policy that you only publish articles that focus on action towards achieving a change in our economic ecology. Specifically do not accept narcissistic advocates of personal change when societal change is in order. I remember in my green party days having the conversation “do you want to have 100 people who produce no garage at a Green party convention or do you want to reduce 20 million Canadians garbage output by 10% this year and 10% next year.” I wish I could say were talking about C02 in the 90’s but we did not.
- Learn root cause analysis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_cause_analysis if you go through the exercise you discover the problem is not a lack of vegans, or not enough bicycles, but rather to many people and a tax system that focuses on consumption of goods and concentration of wealth. That’s it, overpopulation and taxation. Not as appealing as the Bees, or how you love your horse in your Sierra Nevada ranch (12 acres by C.C. Mania) but focusing on those issues will make a difference.
- As long as you are ineffective you will get no resistance from the state, you will know you are relevant when the police try to shut you down or your precious PhD candidates and professors get expelled from their universities.
- Do not be practical or ideological. Just get the job done, any solution that will actually solve our problems will be reviled as impractical and upsetting to the status quo. Good, that is what you are going for. You should be criticized, burned at the stake, ostracized, ridiculed and shunned. Being nice is not going get the captain off the bridge or the owner out of his life raft.
- Specifics in terms of tax law
- Separate corporations and the state, make it a crime for a corporation to talk to a politician
- Tax corporations that are not owned by employees at 20% flat tax on earnings, tax employee owned corporations at 10%
- Tax any individual income over 10,000,000 dollars at 100%
- Put tariffs on the flow of capital and the flow of goods if they can be made locally.
- Tax any corporation that owns another corporation at a 25% flat tax on earnings. Is any of this practical, of course not it would lead to a collapse of our economy, a drop in the GDP, a massive redistribution of wealth, planes would be on the ground and cars in the garage. The sales of private jets and 300’ yachts would plummet. I can hear the call for the execution of those advocating such changes already.
- Specific in terms of Population
- Recognize our goal of a global population of between 1.5 to 2 billion people enjoying all that technology has to offer and a long healthy life doing as they please, just no replicating.
- Require every sit com, documentary, news program to have an underlying focus on birth control and the increased standard of living that comes from few children. A simple switch from focusing on racism to birth control is all that is needed.
- Provide tax incentives that result in free education, health care, interest free loans and mortgages to the first child, none for second and tax penalties for the third
- Ban immigration from countries with a growing population
- Include age appropriate birth control messaging in the curriculum from kindergarten to grade 12.
- Purge academia of advocates of economic growth and the holy union of corporations and the state. Now that’s impractical. You bet it is.
As Murray Bookchin once stated “If we do not do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable.”
And lastly reflect on the years 536, 1815, 1958 and 2020
The year 536 has been described by some historians as the worst year of all time to be alive, a giant volcano erupted in Iceland which lead to extreme weather events and ultimately a massive famine that is described in the Annals of Ulster as killing much of the population of the time.
The year 1816 also known as the year without a summer because of a severe climate disruption that caused global temperatures to vary by 0.4–0.7°C. The results in both cases were major food shortages, this was caused by a volcanic winter coincidental to the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies and the 1814 eruption of Mayon in the Philippines.
The year 1958 saw a strike slip earthquake trigger an underwater rock-slide of 40 million cubic yards of rock, the sudden displacement of water resulted in a tsunami that washed out trees to an elevation of 1,720 feet (524 meters) at the entrance of Gilbert Inlet.
Every 500 or 1,000 years a massive volcano blows, a fault line moves, an undersea mountain slips and creates a tsunami or a meteor the size of a mountain slips past us in the night consider 7482 (1994 PC1) or (7335) 1989 JA, a kilometer wide or dozens of smaller asteroids 2020CW, 2020JJ, 2020QG, or 2020VT4. They hit surprisingly (always a surprise) often.
Mother earth is a bitch who does not care about you, your ideological perspective is of no concern to anything. We are a temporary slime reflecting on our significance and thinking we are going to end the world. We are not, the earth is going to continue spinning, the only question is are we going along for the ride?
So the Challenge is of course to scale our numbers, focus on surviving the next time this disagreeable planet hiccups and in the process resist authority, defend the rights of the individual and a belief in free enterprise. This is difficult in an environment of media control that is so tight it will only produces an aimless demoralization population engaged in a struggle to survive. And that my friend is the problem.
Only science and reason can lead us, as citizens we have failed the earth by allow corporations, aided by the state to dominate a heavily-regulated and centrally-directed economy. This should be your masthead.
I believe in freedom and free enterprise but not the fascist, centralized mercantilism of massive corporations and state capitalism, Murray Bookchin’s vision of a system of Libertarian Municipal ism in which people divide their labour, specialize in producing certain goods and services, and trade among themselves offers hope. Bookchin told us in Toronto that he would say that is not capitalism, and truthfully the name makes no difference at all.
On a cool clear -16 degree Celsius Wednesday morning after a big snow. Lots of snow. Lots of wind. Time to set out and spread fireplace ash on the hill to prevent a slip and a fall.