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Archive for Abril, 2013

Inês Dias

VALSA SOMBRIA

 

Não há propriamente

mistério, é só triste.

Como a vida e alguns

dos seus melhores livros:

um excesso de palavras

 

perseguindo a inexactidão

da memória, perdendo-se

rua abaixo sem trela

ou sarjeta para o que restou

da paisagem, cão

 

fugidio de chave na boca.

Ela chama-lhe meigamente

ladrãozito, bárbaro,

meu segundo cancro.

Cada vez menos corpo

 

a decidir, sempre

mal, que ontem não

é prazo suficiente

nem amanhã o bastante.

Um abandono suave.

 

(In Um Raio Ardente e Paredes Frias, Averno, 2013)

 

Anúncios

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¿Pueden un socialista o una comunista del siglo XXI no ser vegetarianos?

 

Jorge Riechmann

 

 

Usted no se lo cree, se titula el excelente blog (sobre calentamiento climático) de Ferrán Puig Vilar. Usted no se cree que dos siglos después de Malthus el mundo esté al borde de una crisis maltusiana. Usted no se cree que cientos de millones de personas –si no miles de millones- estén en peligro. Usted no se cree que vayamos hacia una nueva “Edad Oscura”. Usted no se cree que las conquistas que más apreciamos en eso que llamamos “civilización” puedan tener los días contados. Usted no se cree que extensas zonas del planeta puedan tornarse inhabitables. Usted no se cree que las guerras climáticas y otras formas “nuevas” de violencia puedan hacer del mundo un lugar donde muchísima gente deseará no haber nacido. Y como no se lo cree, usted la mayoría social— sigue instalado en la denegación, y no actúa, tratando de aprovechar los menguantes márgenes de acción de los que aún disponemos

A la hora de explicar la incredulidad de usted, creo que una de las razones de más peso tiene que ver con nuestra humana, demasiado humana dificultad para entender las dinámicas de crecimiento exponencial (con esos tiempos de duplicación que menguan prodigiosamente) […] Cómo ha cambiado el metabolismo sociedad-naturaleza en los últimos ochenta años aproximadamente, y sobre todo en los últimos treinta (los años alrededor de 1930 y 1980 como goznes del siglo XX), es algo que desafía la imaginación humana. ¿Desde qué fecha diría usted que los habitantes actuales de la Tierra hemos emitido la mitad de los gases de efecto invernadero, en tiempos históricos? La respuesta es estupefaciente: ¡desde 1980! Apenas en tres decenios, tanto como en muchísimos milenios antes: así se comportan los crecimientos exponenciales. Nos cuesta entender que el mundo actual, en lo que a impactos sobre la biosfera y los ecosistemas se refiere, no tiene nada que ver con aquel donde vivían nuestros abuelos.

Comer carne hoy no tiene las mismas implicaciones político-morales que hacia 1930 -¡ni siquiera que hacia 1980! Pues, en efecto, una de las cosas que usted no se cree es que el tipo de dieta que se gasta –que nos gastamos en los países ricos— pueda tener un gran impacto socioecológico y convertirse en una dimensión determinante de la (in)justicia global. Bueno, esto es lo que desearía mostrar en este artículo: mientras que en un “mundo vacío” (a saber: un planeta con pocos seres humanos y mucha naturaleza) la dieta no sería un asunto con gran peso político-moral –salvo para quienes desafiasen los confines de una moral estrechamente antropocéntrica-, en un “mundo lleno” o saturado en términos ecológicos (un planeta con muchos seres humanos y poca naturaleza —en términos relativos) sí que lo es (sobre la noción de “mundo lleno” véase Daly, 1991).. Por eso, cualquier persona que defienda valores igualitarios, a quien preocupe la sustentabilidad y la justicia, debe plantearse a fondo la cuestión de la dieta –con independencia de lo que opine sobre los “derechos de los animales”.

(Ler o resto em Viento Sur)

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Why Krugman and the Keynesians Are Lackeys for the Neofeudal Debtocracy   (April 24, 2013)

Charles Hugh Smith

The heart and soul of the Keynesian Cargo Cult is the dogma that the cure for all economic ailments is more aggregate demand, i.e. consumption. The Keynesians’ fanatic faith in boosting consumption would be merely childishly naive if it didn’t directly support a parasitic neofeudal debt-serfdom. Sadly, Krugman and his fellow cultists’ single-minded parroting of “aggregate demand” makes them well-paid lackeys and toadies for an extractive neofeudal-neocolonial debtocracy.

[…]

Like all cargo cults, Keynesians maintain a magical-thinking belief in the power of wanting more stuff. But in so doing, they embrace and support the mystification that protects the power structure that is dooming the nation and its economy to stagnation and eventual collapse (call it “reset” if you prefer).

By focusing on increasing demand and consumption by any means, the Keynesian Cultists miss the key dynamics of sustainable growth and fail utterly and completely to acknowledge the corrupt and exploitive nature of our cartel-state crony-capitalism economy.

Has their naivete blinded them to the power structure of the neofeudal-neocolonial debtocracy? It seems unlikely, and so that leaves a less savory motivation: co-option. They’re raking in big bucks as apologists for cartel-state crony-capitalism, and as a result they don’t dare question the power structure, much less hazard a critique of the hands that feed them.

The Krugman-Keynesian Cargo Cult is incapable of distinguishing between productive investment and profligate spending. Keynesian cultists focus on an incredibly blunt and misleading indicator of gross domestic product: GDP. Burn down a house and rebuild it, pay people to dig a hole and fill it, build bridges to nowhere, buy costly weapons systems the military doesn’t even want, purchase boatloads of particle board furniture from China that’s headed for the landfill: it’s all equally wonderful to the Keynesian apologists because it boosts GDP.

Incredible as it seems to GDP-worshippers, there is a difference between productive investment and squandering money. A productive investment generates a multiplier effect: most importantly, it increases productivity which then creates value, surplus and wealth.

There is no multiplier in building McMansions in the middle of nowhere, bridges to nowhere, particle board shelving from China or a university degree in film studies, etc. Housing is consumption, a bridge to nowhere is consumption, particle board shelving is consumption, and a $180,000 bachelor’s degree in a field of study with near-zero economic premium in the real economy is also consumption.

 

(mais…)

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Gianfranco Sanguinetti, Do Terrorismo e do Estado, Antígona, 1981

Todos os actos de terrorismo, todos os atentados que tiveram e têm poder sobre a fantasia dos homens, foram e são ou acções ofensivas ou acções defensivas. Se fazem parte de uma estratégia ofensiva, a experiência há muito demonstrou que estão sempre condenados ao malogro. Se, pelo contrário, fazem parte de uma estratégia defensiva, a experiência mostra que estes actos podem obter algum sucesso, que no entanto é momentâneo e precário. Os atentados dos palestinos e dos irlandeses, por exemplo, são actos de terrorismo ofensivo, enquanto a bomba da Piazza Fontana e o rapto de Aldo Moro são, pelo contrário, actos de terrorismo defensivo.

Contudo não é apenas a estratégia que muda, conforme se tratar de um terrorismo — ofensivo ou defensivo, mas também os estrategos. Os desesperados e os iludidos recorrem ao terrorismo ofensivo; pelo contrário, são sempre e unicamente os Estados que recorrem ao terrorismo defensivo, quer porque se encontram mergulhados numa grave crise social, como o Estado italiano, quer porque a temem como o Estado alemão.

O terrorismo defensivo dos Estados é por eles praticado directa ou indirectamente, com as suas próprias armas ou com as de outrem. Se os Estados recorrerem ao terrorismo directo, o mesmo será dirigido contra a população — como aconteceu, por exemplo, com a carnificina da Piazza Fontana, com a do Italicus, e com a de Brescia. Se, pelo contrário os Estados decidirem recorrer a um terrorismo indirecto, este deverá parecer dirigido contra o próprio Estado — como, por exemplo, aconteceu com o caso Moro.

Os atentados directamente realizados pelos corpos destacados ou pelos serviços paralelos do Estado não são usualmente reivindicados por ninguém, mas são sempre imputados e atribuídos a este ou àquele “culpado” cómodo, como Pinelli ou Valpreda. A experiência provou que esse é o ponto mais fraco de um tal terrorismo, o que determina a extrema fragilidade do uso político que do mesmo se pretende fazer. É até a partir dos resultados desta experiência que os estrategos dos serviços paralelos do Estado procuram agora dar uma maior credibilidade, ou pelo menos uma menor inverosimilhança, aos seus próprios actos, quer reivindicando-os por esta ou aquela sigla de um grupo fantasma, quer fazendo-os inclusive reivindicar por um grupo clandestino existente, cujos militantes são aparentemente, e por vezes crêem-no, estranhos aos desígnios do aparelho de Estado.

Todos os grupúsculos terroristas secretos são organizados e dirigidos por uma hierarquia que permanece clandestina para os próprios militantes na clandestinidade, o que reflecte perfeitamente a divisão do trabalho e dos papéis própria desta organização social: na cúpula decide-se e na base executa-se. A ideologia e a disciplina militar protegem os verdadeiros chefes de todos os riscos, e a base de toda a suspeita. Qualquer serviço secreto pode inventar uma sigla “revolucionária” e levar a cabo um certo número de atentados, que a imprensa se encarregará de propagandear, e a partir dos quais lhe será fácil formar um pequeno grupo de militantes ingénuos, que dirigirá com a maior das facilidades. No caso de um pequeno grupo terrorista espontaneamente constituído, nada demais fácil no mundo para os corpos destacados do Estado do que nele se infiltrarem e, graças aos meios de que dispõem e à extrema liberdade de manobra de que gozam, de se aproximarem da cúpula original, substituindo-a por elementos seus, quer pelo assassínio dos chefes iniciais, que regra geral se produz quando de um conflito armado com as “forças da ordem”, prevenidas de uma tal operação pelos seus elementos infiltrados, quer por determinadas prisões realizadas em altura oportuna.

A partir desse momento, os serviços paralelos do Estado passam a dispor a seu bel-prazer uma organização perfeitamente eficaz, formada de militantes ingénuos ou fanáticos, que não pede outra coisa senão ser dirigida. O pequeno grupo terrorista original, nascido das ilusões dos seus militantes sobre as possibilidades de se levar a cabo uma ofensiva estratégica eficaz, muda de estratégia e nada mais passa a ser senão um apêndice defensivo do Estado, que o manobra com a maior agilidade e a melhor das seguranças, segundo as sua próprias necessidades do momento, ou segundo aquilo que julga ser as suas próprias necessidades.

Da Piazza Fontana ao rapto de Moro, o que mudou foram os objectivos contingentes, que o terrorismo defensivo atingiu, mas aquilo que nunca pode ser alterado por quem se encontra na defensiva é a meta a atingir. E a meta a atingir, desde 12 de dezembro de 1969 a 16 de março de 1978, e ainda hoje, foi sempre a mesma, que é a de fazer crer a toda a população, que já não suporta este Estado ou está em luta contra ele, que ela tem, pelo menos, um inimigo em comum com este Estado, inimigo do qual ela será defendida pelo Estado sob a condição de este não mais ser posto em causa por quem quer que seja. A população, que geralmente é hostil ao terrorismo, e não sem razão, deve assim convir que, pelo menos neste campo, ela carece do Estado, em quem deverá portanto delegar os poderes mais amplos para que ele possa enfrentar com vigor a árdua tarefa da defesa comum contra um inimigo obscuro, misterioso, pérfido, impiedoso, em suma, quimérico. Perante um terrorismo sempre apresentado como o mal absoluto, o mal em si e para si, todos os outros males, bem mais reais, passam para um segundo plano, e devem mesmo ser esquecidos; uma vez que a luta contra o terrorismo coincide com o interesse comum, essa luta torna-se o bem geral e o Estado que generosamente a conduz passa a ser o bem em si e para si. A infinita bondade de Deus não poderia sobressair e ser apreciada como convém se não existisse a malvadez do diabo.

O Estado, enfraquecido em extremo pelos ataques de que quotidianamente é alvo de há dez anos a esta parte, e com a sua economia debilitada, por um lado, devido aos ataques do proletariado e, por outro, devido à incapacidade dos seus gestores, pode assim esconder uma e outra coisas, incumbindo-se solenemente de encenar o espectáculo da sacrossanta defesa comum contra o monstro terrorista e, em nome desta piedosa missão, pode exigir de todos os seus súbditos uma porção suplementar da sua exígua liberdade, porção essa que vai reforçar o controle policial sobre o conjunto da população. “Estamos em guerra”, e em guerra contra um inimigo tão poderoso que o mínimo desacordo ou conflito seria um acto de sabotagem e de deserção: o recurso à greve geral só é legítimo quando se protesta contra o terrorismo. O terrorismo, e “a emergência”, dum estado de emergência e de “vigilância” perpétuas, eis os únicos problemas existentes, ou pelo menos os únicos de que é permitido e necessário ocuparmo-nos. O resto não existe, ou é esquecido, e em todo o caso silenciado, distanciado, removido para o inconsciente social, perante a gravidade da questão da “ordem pública”. E, face ao dever universal da sua defesa, todos são convidados à delação, à baixeza, ao medo: pela primeira vez na história, a covardia torna-se uma virtude sublime, o medo é sempre justificado, e a única “coragem” não desprezível é a de se aprovar e apoiar todas as mentiras, todos os abusos e todas as infâmias do Estado. Como a crise actual não poupa país algum deste planeta, já não existe qualquer fronteira geográfica da paz, da guerra, da liberdade, da verdade: esta fronteira passa pelo próprio interior de cada país, e todos os Estados se armam e declaram guerra à verdade.

(mais…)

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Boston on Friday, April 19, 2013

Dmitry Orlov

An interesting thing happened in Boston. Not the explosions that killed several people and maimed many more—such gruesome events happen with some regularity in more and more parts of the world—but what happened afterwards. Under the thinnest of pretenses, Boston was placed under martial law, with heavily armed troops patrolling the streets, pointing machine guns at civilians who dared so much as to look out their windows.
A large part of the city was placed under lockdown, supposedly because a single 19-year-old, on foot, was on the loose. (There may be dozens of armed teenagers on the loose in Boston on any given Friday.) The official story makes little sense. Do you think the Tsarnaev brothers did it? I doubt it. They seem like patsies at most. They seem to have been picked because they are Chechen, and tying in Chechnya, and Russia, and radical Islam, makes it a better story. As with 9/11, the official version has many holes in it, there is contradictory evidence, but the officials and the official media steadfastly ignore it, ready to label anyone who calls the official story into question a “conspiracy theorist.”

I am not an investigator or an intelligence analyst; I am merely expressing an opinion based on my intuition. While all of this was unfolding, I was making use of the good weather to paint a boat (the fancy two-part polyurethane paint doesn’t cure well if it’s humid or under 50°F, and it was finally warm and dry enough to apply it) and I had the boat’s stereo blasting NPR as I worked. I wasn’t even listening all that carefully because I had to concentrate on avoiding drips and smudges. But after a while I had a sudden realization about the voices on the radio: They Are All Lying! There is a certain intonation that is hard to suppress, and it indicates that someone is trying very hard to sound like they believe what they are saying. I heard that intonation over and over again. Now, granted, some of them didn’t even know for sure that they were lying, but to me it appeared that somebody was hastily concocting a story for public consumption. Not being an intelligence analyst or an investigator, I asked Mike Ruppert, who is both of these things, and he wrote back “Of course the bombing was a lie and a set-up. I don’t chase the details anymore though. Waste of energy.” And I have to agree with him; I have neither the time nor the interest. But somebody else has chased down a few of the details, and they don’t look good for the official story. See for yourself: here, here and here.

If this is another false flag operation by the special forces, what, you might reasonably ask, is the motive? From whose perspective, you might wonder, was it a good idea to stage a horrific mock terrorist incident right in the cradle of the American Revolution, and specifically on Patriot’s Day, which is a state holiday commemorating the first battle of the Revolutionary War? And from whose perspective was it a good idea to then stage a military occupation of Boston? The symbolism is unmistakeable: were these the first shots fired in the Counterrevolutionary War? Obviously, the people behind it are the ultimate scum of the earth. But let me try to propose a few ideas for their rationale.

The US can no longer afford to fight foreign wars. It just doesn’t have the money. The twin fiascos in Iraq (where only something like 50 people got killed in terrorist attacks on that same day) and Afghanistan (similar story) have cost the country a prodigious amount of money, most of it borrowed, with precious little peace and stability to show for it, and now there are simply no resources for further overseas military adventures. But the US military is a beast that cannot be tamed by anyone—not the President or the Congress—because it is simply too profitable. And so, of necessity, the new venue for military operations will have to be the US itself. There are some inconvenient laws currently on the books that make this difficult but, as the experiment in Boston has shown, they can now be safely ignored.

Also, we should expect there to be plenty of good excuses for deploying troops on the streets of American cities. There are some nasty financial and commercial disruptions on the horizon, which will result in serious domestic mayhem. For many years now, more and more as time went on, the US has been critically dependent on its ability to print and export US dollars. The dollar is the country’s #1 export. But recently more and more countries have started turning away from the once popular US dollar and entering into bilateral trade agreements based on their own currencies or gold, and this shift is now unmistakeable and quickly running its course. As this happens, the US dollar loses its reserve currency status, and countries shift their reserves out of the dollar and into gold.

(mais…)

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(Informação Complementar)

Uso de Pesticidas (kg/hectare) por País


Fonte

# 1   Costa Rica: 51.2 kg
# 2   Colombia: 16.7 kg
# 3   Netherlands: 9.4 kg
# 4   Ecuador: 6 kg
# 5   Portugal: 5.3 kg
# 6   France: 4.6 kg
# 7   Greece: 2.8 kg
# 8   Uruguay: 2.7 kg
# 9   Suriname: 2.6 kg
= 10   Honduras: 2.5 kg
= 10   Germany: 2.5 kg

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Jules Renard

Excertos do Journal (1887-1910)

Quantas pessoas, desejando suicidar-se, não se contentaram em rasgar a sua fotografia.

Aplicamos os nossos elogios como aplicamos o nosso dinheiro, para que nos sejam devolvidos com juros.

Nunca tendo observado nada, ele adora o grandioso e o enfático.

O estilo é o esquecimento de todos os estilos.

Nunca estar satisfeito: toda a arte se resume a isto.

Um senhor calvo que me fala incessantemente do meu livro. Se me falasse de outra coisa, quão insuportável me pareceria!

Não ser demasiado severo consigo próprio, mas exigir aos outros a perfeição.

Já fiz inimigos por não ter conseguido ver talento em todos os que me dizem que tenho carradas dele.

A morte dos outros ajuda-nos a viver.

O medo do aborrecimento é a única desculpa para trabalharmos.

A clareza é a cortesia do escritor.

Um escritor muito conhecido no ano passado.

Quanto mais se lê, menos se imita.

Nunca me aborreço, quem se aborrece está-se a insultar a si próprio.

Estilo é usar a palavra certa. O resto pouco importa.

Preferia uma má teoria a uma boa acção.

Ah, fazer a sua viagem de núpcias sozinho!

Gosto muito do seu livro porque lhe vejo bem os defeitos.

Ele adora viajar. Aquilo que o aborrece é mudar de sítio.

Toda a nossa crítica literária consiste em censurarmos o outro por não ter as qualidades que julgamos ter.

O homem verdadeiramente livre é aquele que sabe recusar um convite para jantar sem apresentar qualquer desculpa.

A modéstia fica bem nos grandes homens. Manter-se modesto quando se é um zé-ninguém, isso é que é difícil.

Sobretudo, nada de confundir o tédio com a tristeza.

Um canário honrosamente morto de tédio.

Se a preguiça nos faz infelizes, tem o mesmo valor que o trabalho.

Leio o que escrevo como um mortal inimigo de mim mesmo.

As coisas desagradáveis fazem-me sofrer, mas ainda são as que prefiro.

Tenho os meus defeitos, como toda a gente; só que não tiro deles qualquer benefício.

O homem nasce com os seus vícios; as virtudes são adquiridas.

É o tipo de parvoíces que se perdoa a uma mulher, desde que ela as diga nua.

A cada momento a pluma cai-me da mão porque me digo: “Isto que escrevi não é verdade”.

O corpo é o bom cão-guia da nossa alma cega.

Quando penso em todos os livros que me falta ler, sei que serei feliz por muito tempo.

“Cornudo”. Coisa estranha, esta palavra não ter feminino.

Reconheço o exacto momento em que a literatura perde o pé e deixa de estar em contacto com a vida.

Há gente tão enfadonha que em cinco minutos nos faz perder um dia inteiro.

Beleza da literatura. Morre-me uma vaca. Eu escrevo sobre a morte dela, e com isso ganho o suficiente para comprar outra.

Qualquer homem vale mais do que a sua maneira de se exprimir.

Aqueles que nos apreciam e nos admiram mais são os que pior nos conhecem.

Sou mais capaz de uma boa acção do que de bons sentimentos.

É mais difícil ser honesto durante oito dias do que herói por quinze minutos.

O automóvel: o tédio vertiginoso.

Todos temos alguém para quem a nossa morte “viria a calhar”.

Criar uma comuna ideal, sim. Mas com quem?


In Telhados de Vidro, nº 14 (2010), escolha e tradução de José Miguel Silva,

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EXPLOSÕES EM BOSTON PROVOCAM ETC. (Público)

Poderemos esperar para breve a detenção de uma quadrilha de sírio-coreano-venezuelano-iranianos de origem americana, todos com flagrantes ligações ao governo sírio-coreano-etc., e devidamente munidos de alcorões, perdão, de ordens de ataque assinadas pelos líderes dos respectivos países?

Certo é que uma guerra de bom tamanho viria mesmo a calhar, já que permitiria à máfia militar-financeira global camuflar o último estertor do capitalismo, transferindo a culpa do colapso financeiro para os “inimigos da democracia” e, de passagem, aplicar a machadada final no que resta das cómicas liberdades e garantias típicas da democracia de consumo.

Ou será que ainda não é desta, que isto foi apenas um ensaio falhado? Já vamos ver.

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Uma entrevista com Dennis Meadows

 

3/6/2012

FORMAT interviews Dennis Meadows, author of “The Limits to Growth”, about the shocking position of the planet. 40 years ago, Dennis Meadows presented the best seller “The Limits to Growth”. In it, he predicted, not the exact date of the apocalypse, but the U.S. researchers showed by means of computational models, that by mid-century, the resources of planet Earth will be depleted.

The book sold 30 million copies and Meadows is now regarded as the most famous “Sunset prophet” of the world. FORMAT’s writer Rainer Himmelfreundpointner met Meadows on a visit to Vienna for an exclusive interview. The message of the nearly 70-year-old is now no more optimistic as then, and is not for the faint of heart.

FORMAT: Mr. Meadows, according to the Club of Rome, we are currently facing a crisis of unemployment, a food crisis, a global financial and economic crisis and a global ecological crisis. Each of these is a warning sign that something is quite wrong. What exactly?

Meadows: What we meant in 1972 in “The Limits to Growth”, and what is still true, is that there is simply no endless physical growth on a finite planet. Past a certain point, growth ceases. Either we stop it … by changing our behaviour, or the planet will stop it. 40 years later, we regret to say, we basically have not done anything.

FORMAT: In your 13 scenarios the end of physical growth begins – that is, the increase in world population, its food production, or whatever else they produce or consume – between 2010 and 2050. Is the financial crisis part of that?

Meadows: You cannot compare our current situation that way. Suppose you have cancer, and this cancer causes fever, headaches and other pain. But those are not the real problem, the cancer is. However, we try to treat the symptoms. No one believes that cancer is being defeated. Phenomena like climate change and hunger are merely the symptoms of a disease of our earth, which leads inevitably to the end of growth.

FORMAT: cancer as a metaphor for uncontrolled growth?

Meadows: Yeah. Healthy cells at a certain point stop growing. Cancer cells proliferate until they kill the organism. Population or economic growth behave exactly the same. There are only two ways to reduce the growth of humanity: reduction in the birth rate or increase the death rate. Which would you prefer?

FORMAT: No one wants to have to decide.

Meadows: I don’t either. We have lost the opportunity of choice anyway. Our planet will do it.

FORMAT: How?

Meadows: Let’s stay on diet. Do the mathematics, take food per person since the 90s. The production is growing, but the population is growing faster. Behind every calorie of food that comes to the plate, ten calories of fossil fuels or oil are used for its production, transportation, storage, preparation and disposal. The less oil reserves and fossil fuels, the more the increase in food prices.

FORMAT: So it’s not just a distribution problem?

Meadows: Of course not. If we share it equitably, nobody would starve. But the fact is, it needs fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal for food production. But those supplies are running low. Whether or not new shale oil and gas reserves are exploited, peak oil and peak gas are past. This means tremendous pressure on the entire system.

FORMAT: According to your models the population, which in 2050 will be around 9.5 billion people, even with a stagnation of food production for another 30, 40 years.

Meadows: And that means that there will be a lot of very poor people. Considerably more than half of humanity. Today we can not feed a large portion of humanity sufficiently. All the resources that we know of are declining. One can only guess where this will lead. There are too many “ifs” for the future: If people are smarter, if there is no war, if we make a technological advancement. We are now already at the point where we cannot cope with our problems, how we should do it in 50 years, when they are bigger?

FORMAT: And blame is our way of doing business?

Meadows: Our economic and financial system, we do not just get something. It is a tool that we have developed and that reflects our goals and values. People do not worry about the future, but only about their current problems. That is why we have such a serious debt crisis. Debt is the opposite of that, worrying about the future. Anyone who takes on debt says: I do not care what happens. And when for many people the future does not matter, they will create an economic and financial system that destroys the future. You can tweak this system as long as you want. As long as you do not change the values of the people, it will continue. If you give someone a hammer in his hand and he uses it, and it kills his neighbour, it helps nothing to change the hammer. Even if you take away the hammer, it remains a potential killer.

FORMAT: Systems that organise the kind of coexistence of people come and go.

Meadows: But man remains the same. In the U.S., we have a system in which it’s okay that a few are immensely rich and many are damned poor, yes even starve. If we find this acceptable, it does not help to change the system. The dominant values are always the same result. This value is reflected in climate change enormously. Who cares?

FORMAT: Europe?

Meadows: China, Sweden, Germany, Russia, the United States all have different social systems, but in each country rising CO2 emissions, because the people really don’t care. 2011 was the record. Last year there was more carbon dioxide produced than in all of human history before. Although all want it to decrease.

FORMAT: What is going wrong?

Meadows: Forget the details. The basic formula for CO2 pollution consists of four elements. First, the number of people on Earth. Multiplied by the capital per person, so how many cars, houses and cows per man, to come to Earth’s standard of living. This in turn multiplied by a factor of energy use per unit of capital, ie, how much energy it takes to produce cars, build houses and to supply or to feed cows. And finally multiply that by the amount of energy derived from fossil sources.

SIZE: Approximately 80 to 90 percent.

Meadows: Approximately. If you want the CO2 burden to decline, the overall result of this multiplication must decline. But what do we do? We try to reduce the share of fossil energy as we use more alternative sources like wind and solar. Then we work to make our energy use more efficient, insulate homes, optimise engines and all that. We work only on the technical aspects, but we neglect the population factor completely and believe that our standard of living is getting better, or at least stays the same. We ignore population and the social elements in the equation, and focus totally on just trying to solve the problem from the technical side. So we will fail, because growth of population and living standards are much greater than we would save through efficiency and alternative energy. Therefore, the CO2 emissions will continue to rise. There is no solution to the climate change problem as long as we do not address the social factors that count.

FORMAT: You mean the Earth will take things into its own hands?

Meadows: Disasters are the way to solve all the problems of the planet. Due to climate change, sea levels will rise because the ice caps are melting. Harmful species will spread to areas where they do not meet enough natural enemies. The increase in temperature leads to massive winds and storms, which in turn affects precipitation. So, more floods, more droughts.

FORMAT: For example?

Meadows: The land which today grows 60 percent of wheat in China will be too dry for agriculture. At the same time it’s going to rain, but in Siberia, and the country will be more fruitful there. So a massive migration from China to Siberia will take place. How many times have I told people this in my lectures in Russia already. The older people were concerned. But the young elite has merely said: Who cares? I just want to be rich.

FORMAT: What to do?

Meadows: If I only knew. We come into a period that calls for a dramatic change in practically everything. Unfortunately, changing our society or government system is not done quickly. The current system does not work anyway. It did not stop climate change, or prevent the financial crisis. Governments are trying to solve their problems by printing money, which will almost certainly result in a few years of very high inflation. This is a very dangerous phase. I just know that a person, whenever in uncertain times, has the choice between freedom and order, he chooses order. Order is not necessarily right or justice, but life is reasonably safe, and the trains run on time.

FORMAT: Do you fear an end of democracy?

Meadows: I see two trends. On the one hand, the disruption of states into smaller units, such as regions such as Catalonia, and on the other hand a strong, centralised superpower. Not a state, but a fascist combination of industry, police and military. Maybe there will be in the future even both. Democracy is indeed a very young socio-political experiment. And it does not currently exist. It produced only crises that it cannot solve. Democracy contributes nothing at the moment to our survival. This system will collapse from within, not because of an external enemy.

FORMAT: You talk of the “tragedy of the commons”.

Meadows: This is the basic problem. If in a village everyone grazes his cows on the lush meadow – called in old England “Commons” – the short term benefit goes most to those who choose to have more cows. But if that goes on too long, all the grass dies, and all the cows.

FORMAT: So you have here an agreement, such as the best use of the meadow. That can be democracy at its best.

Meadows: Maybe. But if the democratic system can’t solve this problem on a global level, it will probably try a dictatorship. After all, it’s about issues such as global population controls. We are now 300,000 years on this planet and we have ruled in many different ways. The most successful and effective was the tribe or clan system, not dictatorships or democracies.

FORMAT: Could a major technological development to save the earth?

Meadows: Yes. [But] Technologies need laws, sales, training, people who work with them – see my above statement. Moreover, technology is just a tool like a hammer or a neoliberal financial system. As long as our values are what they are, we will [try to] develop technologies that meet them.

FORMAT: All the world currently sees salvation in a sustainable green technology.

Meadows: This is a fantasy. Even if we manage to increase the efficiency of energy use dramatically, use of renewable energies much more, and painful sacrifices to limit our consumption, we have virtually no chance to prolong the life of the current system. Oil production will be reduced approximately by half in the next 20 years, even with the exploitation of oil sands or shale oil. It just happens too fast. Apart from that you can earn more than non oil with alternative energy. And wind turbines can be operated, with no planes. The World Bank director (most recently responsible for the global airline industry) has explained to me, the problem of peak oil is not discussed in his institution, it is simply taboo. Whoever will try to anyway, is fired or transferred. After all, Peak Oil destroys the belief in growth. You would have to change everything.

FORMAT: Especially with airlines the share of fossil fuels is very high.

Meadows: Exactly. And that is why the era of cheap mass transport by air will end soon. This will only be affordable in large empires or countries. With a lot of money you might buy the energy, and cause food shortages. But you can not hide from climate change, which affects both the poor and the rich.

FORMAT: Do you have solutions to these mega miseries?

Meadows: This would change the nature of man. We are basically now just as programmed as 10,000 years ago. If one of our ancestors could be attacked by a tiger, he also was not worried about the future, but his present survival. My concern is that for genetic reasons we are just not able to deal with such things as long-term climate change. As long as we do not learn that, there is no way to solve all these problems. There’s nothing we could do. People always say again: We need to save our planet. No, we do not. The planet is going to save itself already. It always has done. Sometimes it took millions of years, but it happened. We should not be worried about the planet, but about the human species.

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