Category Archives: My writings

Everywhere I go, the Echoe of Corporations

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Global hunger and obesity are symptoms of the same problem and, what’s more, the route to eradicating world hunger is also the way to prevent global epidemics of diabetes and heart disease, and to address a host of environmental and social ills. Overweight and hungry people are linked through the chains of production that bring food from fields to our plate. Guided by the profit motive, the corporations that sell our food shape and constrain how we eat, and how we think about food. The limitations are clearest at the fast food outlet, where the spectrum of choice runs from McMuffin to McNugget. But there are hidden and systemic constraints even when we feel we are beyond the purview of Ronald MacDonald.

Even when we want to buy something healthy, something to keep the doctor away, we’re trapped in the very same problem that has created our ‘Fast Food Nations’. Try, for example, shopping for apples. At supermarkets in North America and Europe, the choice is restricted to half a dozen varieties: Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and perhaps a couple of others. Why these? Because they are pretty: we like the polished and unblemished skin. Because their taste is one that is largely unobjectionable to the majority. But also because they can stand transportation over long distances. Their skin won’t tear or blemish if they are knocked about in the miles from orchard to aisle. They take well to the waxing technologies and compounds that make this transportation possible and keep the apples pretty on the shelves. They are easy to harvest. They respond well to industrial production. These are reasons why we won’t find Black Oxford, Kandil Sinap or the ancient and venerable Rambo on the shelves. Our choices are not entirely our own because, even in a supermarket, the menu is crafted not by our choices, nor by the seasons, nor where we find ourselves, nor by the full range of apples available, nor by the full spectrum of available nutrition and tastes, but by the power of food corporations.

The concerns of food production companies have ramifications far beyond what appears on supermarket shelves. Their concerns are the rot at the core of modern food system. Why there is a worldwide epidemic of farmer suicide, why we don’t know what is in our food system anymore, why black people in the United States are more likely to be overweight than white, and why there are cowboys in South Central Los Angeles?

In ever country, the contradictions of obesity, hunger, poverty and wealth are becoming more acute. India has, for example, destroyed millions of tons of grains, permitting food to rot in silos, while the quality of food eaten by India’s poorest is getting worse for the first time since Independence in 1947. In 1992, in the same towns and villages where malnutrition had begun to grip the poorest families, the Indian government admitted foreign soft drink manufacturers and food multinationals to its previously protected economy. Within a decade, India has become home to the world’s largest concentration of diabetics: people – often children- whose bodies have fractured under the pressure of eating too much of the wrong kinds of food.

India isn’t the only home to these contrasts. The contrasts are global and are present even in the world’s richest country like U.S.

Moreover, to not forget that the general problem of rapid resource depletion that occurs in the poor countries of the world is frequently a result of foreign exploitation and not because of a country’s growing population. The exploitation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s natural resources by shady means—“opaque deals to acquire prime mining assets”—organized through shell companies by British and Israeli capital is an example of what can happen.

 

I have visited a quite good number of countries when I was younger than now, and I am very thankful to my dad for his ability to make us, my family and I, travel to several countries during the summer. I personally enjoyed the travel that we used to do from country to country by bus. I used to write short notes while in the bus.  Here is one of them:

“Everywhere I went, foreign commercial interests were exploiting resources after signing contracts with the autocratic government. Prodigious logs, four and five feet in diameter, were coming out of the virgin forest, oil and natural gas were being exported from the coastal region, offshore fishing rights had been sold to foreign interests, and exploration for oil and minerals was under way in the interior. The exploitation of resources in North America during the five-hundred-year post-discovery era followed a typical sequence—fish, furs, game, timber, farming virgin soils—but because of the hugely expanded scale of today’s economy and the availability of myriad sophisticated technologies, exploitation of all the resources in poor developing countries now goes on at the same time. In a few years, the resources of this African country and others like it will be sucked dry. And what then? The people there are currently enjoying an illusion of prosperity, but it is only an illusion, for they are not preparing themselves for anything else. And neither are we.”

 

We are now living in the postmodern era. Nietzsche was the first philosopher to predict this era. Postmodernism has emerged due to the detrimental impacts of technological developments. We see the serious consequences of environmental ravages in agriculture (soil loss due to the intensification of production methods). Still talking about the field of environmental studies, postmodernism has emerges with people like Rachel Carson. We see the exploitation of resources (nuclear Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first energy crisis), weapons (nuclear bombs and chemical weapons development) etc.. We also see the effect of technology on health, with the Unethical Nazi doctors, the introduction of drugs with serious side effects on the health and epidemics caused by increased production rates high the agri-food industry. The era of world wars marked the end of the belief in the dogma that science is the key to universal truth to cure all ills. Postmodernism represents a philosophical current issued from the reaction to modernism following this transformation of society.

Postmodernism didn’t work, and you know why? Because it is based on the cumulative effect of accumulation, of mass accumulation. Yes, capitalism! People were talking about the end of the world. To me, the end of the world is the end of postmodernism, but of course not of all its components. The social aspect of postmodernism should remain with the emergence of another era. The social aspect should only remain in all kinds of sciences, but it should also extend to the life of each one of us; hence, the emergence of ethical norms instead of economic ones. The arrival of this paradigm shift was inevitable and today, the direction of the epistemology of science is difficult to predict. Certainly, there will be a paradigm shift, but when and what will be, will remain a mystery till now.

Certainly, there is hope: Farmers suing Monsanto. Permaculture. But to be honest, yesterday, a friend of mine asked me a question. He said: “I didn’t know much about the world until lately .. it doesn’t leave my head .. in a way I wish I’d never looked … does it make you upset or are you at peace .. maybe cause you know lots for longer .. just wondering .. it’s a kind of question I suppose.” I replied by: “I can’t reply clearly on this question because it is kind of mixed feelings. Sometimes I feel very mad, and each time I ask questions about, us, humans, and our society, I remember some people having a binary vision. It is like living in an illusion. And on the other hand, knowing such facts, I feel like I am having cold nerves.” And still talking about hope, I have a friend, currently living in Lima, who is leaving the system. I can’t wait to hear his news and maybe to write about it, and I think that we can all do like him.

 

Industrial civilization requires that we trade life for power. We must resist for all life is worth.

 

Earth, Parents & Children

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“My mother groaned, my father wept,

into the dangerous world I leapt.”

― William Blake

The ability of giving birth to a child is one of the world’s greatest wonders. It is a biological phenomenon which makes one of the love affections, but not necessarily since there are always exceptions. Also, it is not necessarily especially in these days. Nowadays, humans are destroying their planet by their own hands. It is obvious from now that there will not be compromises and good promises for future generations. Things have changed to the worst. The following scheme will explain what I am talking about: Globalization, industrial revolution, capitalism, the tragedy of the commons, and climate change.

Population growth and economic growth triggered by capitalism are the root causes of our world’s environmental problems. Instead of solving the root causes, the symptoms are treated. This is mainly because there is too much money to be made from working on the symptoms rather than the root causes. Plus, it is because of some people who still aren’t aware of this mainly due to authoritarianism. Most people are running behind money. Morals are gone when people give a huge attention to money. As a result, greed is established. And I don’t think that humans lack morals since human morality is unthinkable without empathy. Asked if wide public acceptance of empathy as natural would change the intense competition on which capitalist economic and political systems are based. According to a recent study published in PSYCHORG.com on the social and behavioral science of humans, “morality is developed in humans in small communities. It is a challenge … it is experimental for the human species to apply a system intended for (in-groups) to the whole world.” The notion of globalization, its disadvantages in particular, comes to my mind after reading this. I don’t believe in evolution anymore than I believe in gravity.

When I was 12 years old, I said to my friend of mine from school days that I don’t want to marry because simply I don’t want to have children. She replied:” I am certain that you will change your mind in the future.” I am now witnessing PCOS-polycystic ovarian syndrome. The syndrome was diagnosed when I was at the age 15-16. At some point, I used to believe that this is genetic since my mom used to have it. It turned out that I am witnessing a harder condition than my mom. I am handling the syndrome very well and don’t have diabetes thus far. I think that most probably that the syndrome I am witnessing is directly related to the statement I made when I was 12 years old.

Trust me my friends. The human brain is astonishing, and that’s what differentiates humans from animals. It all related to your mind my human friend. You are going to be sick if you believe so. This is true as much as it is ironic. It is like a placebo.

Let’s take Montreal as an example of what is happening in these days. In Montreal, I see parents feeding their children McDonalds especially on breakfast time! Once, I was taking the bus to go to my cousin’s house. In the bus, a woman sat in front of me with her little child. She was feeding him McDo. Then, after the child finished eating the hamburger, he said to his mom:” It really tastes good!”. Talking to myself, I said:” Seriously!”. Then, the mother started to eat her hamburger. The child is very thin, but his mom isn’t. Talking to myself ofcourse, I said:” What a century we are in? Parents literally feeding their children toxins. And yes, you are what you eat. However, ‘what you eat’ doesn’t necessary represent the weight of a certain person. Bearing children is a huge responsibility. Ofcourse parents are going to feed their children what they are going to eat, and they will continue to feed their children as long as they don’t notice the impacts of bad food on their health first.” This is really DISGUSTING!

Another example will be the massacre attack in Syria. Last time, I turned on the TV, I got to see a mother crying because of her  one and half month old baby that died in one of the ongoing 17 days of continuous attacks in the city of Homs in Syria – another mother carries her baby that is crying, the expression in the child’s eyes was that of fear and obvious discomfort –  the fact that basic requirements are running out such as water and medicines for such cases is indeed alarming, and there is no sign of this coming to and end. “What is everyone waiting in the world? she sobs  ‘Waiting for all of us to die?’ – and through watching this I can only breathe realizing that I am a spectator of such suffering in front of a screen wondering ‘how could I not react to this?’ – however, this is our reality and manifestation and we can only get to face it by daring to just place ourselves for a moment in such shoes – would we still ‘not care’?

Bearing a child is a huge responsibility. You can’t give birth to a child if you are especially not aware of what is happening around you. It is like a cycle of birth a premature death. And yes, parents can be seen as greedy if they do so. In addition, you can’t bear a child if you are aware of what is happening around you but not able to control it.

What’s happening is insane. Children are not to pay other’s and their parents’ faults.

I know that decreasing the number of population is good for the sake of the environment. Also, I am not totally opposing to the idea of giving birth to a child. However, I am not convinced with the idea in nowadays. We are talking here about intergenerational equity that definitely leads to intergenerational equity.

Breaking through the past by taking a more ‘open minded’ stance in societies where money dictates the trends of the world, has become humanity’s drive to ‘get rid of the past’ through consuming, transcending ‘morals’  and what is usually considered as ‘politically incorrect,’ which has become the usual way of human beings to shout out to the world: we’re not alright, yet we can ‘handle’ the truth and numb our reactions to acknowledge what is actually going on in this world through neglecting anything that goes on here and see it just as another picture shown on TV, newspapers or magazines.

Desensitizing is then from the perspective of losing all common sense as the sensual-physical reality that is here – this is done through building a nice niche for ourselves through spirituality/ god, entertainment, jobs, sports,  virtually anything and all that can allow us to escape from our reality. It seems that it doesn’t really matter what images we get to see in the media, we will simply continue digesting them like any other piece of cake, losing all sense of realizing that such war images, poverty, abuse and chaos on the streets of some other place is still part of the same Earth that we all live in = it is ourselves in fact.

For that, we already have a place to educate yourself, we’re already walking the process of stepping out of this general sedated and jaded state of mind and have begun opening our eyes to what is really going on, which is certainly not glamorous, not pretty, not nice – yet that is exactly what we have to acknowledge as ourselves, as the points that are HERE behind the bright lights and fuzzy loving-feelings awaiting for something marvelous to just ‘change the world’ – Nothing will come and save us, nothing will change the world and we can only turn a blind eye as long as we are apparently ‘not affected.’

Let this not be a ‘it’s too late’ excuse for you to stand up and will yourself to see reality and walk the necessary process to educate yourself, to see what you are currently existing as and make a decision to Live, to consider what living in Equality can be like if we all place ourselves to establish this principle as a living reality on Earth.

This won’t be easy – we have an entire past chain of ‘original sins’ to stop – each one of us has to do this – and the more we wait, the longer it will take to wake each other up to see what is it that we are in fact doing to ourselves while only living as disposable motion pictures seeking for a purpose in life.

It is time to live, I once felt lost and blind – yet I dared to open up my eyes to see that I have always been here, as myself, just immersed in a built up mind reality that was too comfortable to leave behind  – yet I realized I could not hide any longer – this is it.

Even if you think I am wrong or controversial or whatever, but what I wrote comes from my soul.

If you say:” having children in its purest and honest sense is our way to preserve ourselves. The rest will be taken care by nature, the environment and our gene’s ability to adapt. It is good to think hard and long when having children, but we can control only so much, the rest should be accepted as natural selection.. In fact, the counter argument is that having more children will increase the rate of survival and adaptation of one’s genes. At the end, having children are the most amazing experience in one’s life. If you did not experience it, you cannot talk about it.”, I will say to you that I don’t need to justify why I don’t want to bring a child into the world. All who do want to get pregnant – they are the ones who should justify it.”

The 20s’ Earth Summits- Legal meetings Where Corporations Unite to the Destroy Planet Earth

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The Rio+20 Earth Summit and the G20 Summit are starting to convene to start the negotiations on a global sustainability framework.  The common goal of these summits is to create an economy that serves the health and well-being of both people and the planet.

20 years after the 1992 UN Rio Earth Summit, the environmental movement has been green-washed by the world’s leading corporations. The environmental institutions and ministries have been increased in number while the environmental crisis has been deepened and widened Carbon emissions reach “troubling milestone” as 400 ppm recorded at Arctic monitoring stations . What a contradiction!

Globalization has more disadvantages than advantages. Since 1970, our world’s financial actors decided to create a single global capital market in which financial economy is highlighted. Financial economy is the one who is dominated by finance and financial actors. People have been daily exposed to financial markets in aspects which go home-ownership, to financing, to schooling. Instead of financial markets providing money for what people need, money is increasingly invested into financial markets just to operate and expand Great short film explaining what the UK and the EU really mean by the ‘Green Economy’ they are pushing in the Rio+20 talks.

Unfortunately, this is the goal of capitalism- accumulating more and more capital while constantly increasing the gap between rich and poor. A good example on this would be the large dams – and particularly the complex multipurpose schemes once again being promoted by the World Bank – that provide energy to extractive industries controlled by multinational corporations while bypassing the rural poor. 94% of the people of Democratic Republic of Congo still have no access to electricity in spite of the billions of dollars that have been poured into the Inga hydro-electric project in the country over the past five decades Infrastructure for whom?

In the summits, debates are focusing attention on a foundational choice between two divergent paths to the human future, which are the money path and the life path Rio+20: A Defining Choice. Financial markets are now seeking new investment opportunities, and this is where nature comes in picture. We hear about ‘green economy’ from the Rio+20 Earth Summit and about ‘green growth’ from the G20 Summit. This is called greenwashing. This means that financial markets take control over nature. In other words, this means commodification or financialisation of natural resources.

In UN conference-speak, the privatisation of the atmosphere is known as carbon trading, the privatisation of the world’s forests is known as REDD and the privatisation of everything else known as “payment for ecosystem services” Rio+20 Earth Summit: time to change the narrative. Much of this has been done by companies and politicians under the banner of ‘sustainable development. Within the rubric of ‘green economy’, corporations are seeking new technological ‘false solutions’ to the climate and other environmental crises, including dirty forms of ‘clean energy’ (nuclear, so-called ‘clean coal’, fracking ‘natural gas’, hydropower, hydrogen, biofuels, biomass and biochar); dangerous Carbon Capture and Storage experiments; and other whacky geoengineering gimmicks such as Genetically Modified trees to sequester carbon, sulfates in the air to shut out the sun, iron filings in the sea to create algae blooms, and large-scale solar reflection such as industrial-scale plastic-wrap for deserts At Rio+20: Values versus prices. In this context, sustainable means to be able to keep making money into the future Big business goes to Rio. As Leo Tolstoy said:” I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means except by getting off his back.”

It is absurd to let corporations profit in the name of  ‘saving the planet’ Suzuki: ‘Absurd’ to Let Corporations Profit in Name of ‘Saving Planet’ . It is absurd to continue growing exponentially in a finite planet. The laws of thermodynamics state that very clearly. These summits have failed for the same reason that the banks have failed.

However, there is hope. It is true that these summits might have failed, but this time the light of reason is descending gradually upon the world. There are many examples of the rejections of ‘green economy’ around the world. Oppositions to Rosa Luxemburg Foundation as she wants to demonstrate that green economy is a contested term, which can be filled with many different contents – according to different interests Beautiful green world? On the myth of the green capitalist economy. In the early morning hours of June 16, 2012, three hundred women and children arrived in the hamlet of Belo Monte on the Transamazon Highway, and marched onto a temporary earthen dam recently built to impede the flow of the Xingu River. Using pick axes and shovels, local people who are being displaced by the project removed a strip of earthen dam to restore the Xingu’s natural flow Three hundred people breach earthen dam, free Xingu River from Belo Monte project. A new report by International Rivers, challenges the top-down approach to infrastructure projects promoted by the World Bank and the powerful Group of 20 Infrastructure for Whom? A Critique of the Infrastructure Policies of the Group of 20 and the World Bank. The water warriors gathered at the plenary discussion on Water as Commons in Countering Green Economy, Privatization and Commodification during the opening of the Cupula dos Povos in Rio de Janeiro Water Warriors reject corporate control of water at Peoples’ Summit. La Via Campesina has been actively participating in the construction of this activity in order to denounce the false solutions of the same failed economic model that is now being dressed in green under the name “green economy” Peasants of the world mobilize against green capitalism in Rio. Moreover, after working through the night on Monday, international negotiators agreed on a framework for “sustainable development goals” that could help guide a wide-range of policies on issues like poverty eradication, clean energy deployment, sustainable cities, and fisheries management. But with very few specifics on how to actually implement these sustainability goals, the text has angered almost every single civil society group observing the negotiations The State Of Play In Rio: Draft Agreement Sparks ‘Alarm And Concern’. Plus, when the indigenous people speak like this  Kari-Oca 2 Declaration- Indigenous Peoples Global Conference on Rio+20 and Mother Earth.

I am wondering… why the Rio+20 Earth Summit and the G20 Summit start at the same day? Why isn’t there a single summit? Such conferences bring more depression than hope.

Political systems which were supposed to represent everyone now return governments of millionaires, financed by and acting on behalf of billionaires. The past 20 years have been a billionaires’ banquet. At the behest of corporations and the ultra-rich, governments have removed the constraining decencies – the laws and regulations – which prevent one person from destroying another. George Monbiot said: “To expect governments funded and appointed by this class to protect the biosphere and defend the poor is like expecting a lion to live on gazpacho” The Mendacity of Hope.

Such summits should be leaded by indigenous people; not by corporations. Also to notice that capitalism is male-based system; it degrades women. See How capitalism degrades women. As a result, our world needs women leaders instead of males. Mother Earth is a ‘she’; that’s why our world needs women leaders.

What our world needs is a moral system. We must focus on local economy instead of green economy. We need a real economy- not a trojan horse for bankers. We must focus on food sovereignty. We must protect the commons. We must defend the public control of finances. The Earth will be fine. The real conflict is not between humans and nature. It is between humans. It is between current and future human generations.

We should mobilize. We should mobilize more aggressively. There is hope in everything, and it is certain. There is hope on each rope we hang.

My Notion about Time

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We are all born once. And eventually, we are all going to take the direction of a certain path that combines consciousness and unconsciousness together. Also, some past events are going to manifest into now and future moments. As a result, each one of us decides whether or not to repeat the pages of the past events that are going to manifest in the future moments. Time is an illusion and each one of us is living in that illusion.

The poor are no longer with us; These bills are long unpaid – Thoughts triggered by ‘Degrowth in the Americas’ conference

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No one’s poor any longer. Listen to politicians. They mourn the middle class which is shrinking as we watch in the mirror. The poor have been already into the oblivion pail of not to be spoken words. They are as lepers were treated once, to be shipped off to fortified islands of the mind to rot quietly. If poverty is a disease, quarantine its victims. If it’s a social problem imprison them behind high walls. Maybe its genetic: how often they catch easily preventable diseases. Feed them fast garbage and they’ll die before their care can cost you, of heart attacks, stroke. Provide cheap guns and they’ll kill each other well out of your sight. Ghettos are such dangerous places. Give them schools that teach them how stupid they are. But always pretend they don’t exist because they don’t buy enough, spend enough, and give you bribes or contributions. No ads target their feeble credit. They are not real people like corporations.

Capitalism is a form of colonialism. It has been a taboo subject in the United States. Among politicians, journalists, and academics—and in public conversation generally—the word has been avoided or else exclusively praised in over-the-top prose. Professional economists have used words like “perfect competition” and “optimal allocation of resources” and “efficiency” to teach their students and assure one another how absolutely wonderful capitalism was (and is) for everyone. Attending ‘Degrowth in the Americas’ conference (the title is very clear to give an idea about the topics held in the conference), I was very interested to watch two documentaries: GrowthBusters (a documentary done by Dave Gardner. It focuses a lot on overpopulation; therefore, promoting ‘Endangered Species Condom’ was one of Dave ideas to reduce population growth- the elephant in the room), and Surviving Progress (a documentary in which some of the world’s foremost thinkers, activists, bankers, and scientists challenge us to overcome “progress traps”, which destroyed past civilizations and lie treacherously embedded in our own). According to GrowthBusters, it is a cultural myth when we say/believe that growth equals prosperity. In addition, in Surviving Progress, the brilliant David Suzuki was mentioned. Suzuki said:”Economics is not a science.” He adds:” You see, as long as those trees are alive, they are taking carbon dioxide out of the air and putting oxygen back. Not a bad service for an animal like us who depend on it, you might think. But to an economist that is an externality. Not a bad service for an animal like us who depend on it, you might think. But to an economist that is an externality. Those trees are clinging to the soil so when it rains the soil does not erode into and destroy the salmon spawning beds. That is an externality. Those trees pump hundreds of gallons of water out of the soil, transpire it into the air to affect weather and climate. That is an externality. That tree provides habitat to countless bacteria, fungi, insects, mammals and birds. That is an externality. So in our crazy system that forest, as long as it is standing, performing all of those functions has no economic value. And this is nuts!”

“Green Economy” and “Sustainable Capitalism” are oxymorons as well as being two forms of greenwashing. Those who advocate sustainable capitalism are often challenged to spell out why sustainability adds value. Yet the question that should be asked instead is: “Why does an absence of sustainability not damage companies, investors and society at large?” From BP to Lehman Brothers, there is a long list of examples proving that it does.

Economics and ecology are words built on the same root – ‘eco’ – from the Greek word ‘oikos’ meaning home. Ecology is the study of home. Economics is the management of home. What ecologists try to do is to determine the conditions and principles that govern life’s ability to flourish and survive.

What if globalization is really meant to mean we are ALL connected rather than emphasizing on technologies, industries, free-market, and capitalism? What if globalization is really meant to mean that WE are ALL LOVE?

We notice that the price goes up every time history repeats itself. What about forgetting the payment of the debt, including the ecological debt, by developed countries to developing countries and starting a new era? A new era in which forgetting to apply the market rules to Nature is a necessity. A new era in which we ,humans, need is to forge a new system based on the principles of:

  • peace, harmony and balance among all and with all things;
  • complementarity, solidarity, equality and social and environmental justice;
  • collective well-being and the satisfaction of the basic necessities of all;
  • recognition of human beings for what they are, not what they own;
  • elimination of all forms of colonialism, imperialism and interventionism.

We cannot keep promoting such destructive model of development that does not acknowledge the planetary limits of economic growth. New technologies should not mean limitless, reckless economic growth propelled only by capitalist motives. Scientific advances, under some circumstances, can contribute to resolve certain problems of development but cannot ignore the natural limits of the Earth system.

Intellectual property rights over genes, microorganisms and other forms of life are a threat to food sovereignty, biodiversity, access to medicine and other elements that are essential for the survival of low-income populations. All forms of intellectual property over life should be abolished.

To predict disaster, to invoke treachery and malice, to spin tales of rotten luck to make it not happen: it doesn’t work. The wind is still rising with hail in its teeth. The waves are piling up then spilling back way, way baring bottom you’ve never seen. There’s ashes in  the wind, darling, a taste of ashes in our food ashes on our lips in bed eyes blinded with ash. There’s a mortgage on my spine I cannot pay. Somebody has bought my teeth and wants them out tomorrow for dice. There are real monsters under the bed, hungry for blood. They own the land this house stands on to stripmine for coal. Santa isn’t coming. The bounty hunter is. There’s a lien on your ass and the bank is itchy to fore close your future. If you’re going to stand get up. If you’re going to fight, get moving. Nothing comes to those who wait but hunger’s claws digging into the soft belly. If you value your blood, fight to keep it in your veins. You have nothing to lose but your life and it was sold to them decades ago by your parents’ parents. Their greed is endless. Your patience shouldn’t be.

Reverence

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Day in and day out the inhabitants of lonely planet earth kill, maim, conspire, steal, abuse, violate, destroy, poison, fight and, well, hurt each other’s feelings. It is a wonder that we – a socially constrained pack of wild animals – survive. We may not survive in the long run. Some cold-minded scientists suggest the earth’s population will be extinct in 1000 years and claim to have evidence to support it. All this is due to what is called the “cycle of stupid”. The cycle of stupid is the most vicious of all cycles. This cycle has deep philosophical and causes most of the angst on the earth today. It happens when intelligent, sentient beings (people) act like they couldn’t be denser if someone hit them over the head with a stupid stick.

Why our world is corrupted, why sustainable development (even if it is an oxymoron) is not met yet?

Sustainable development is reached when the three pillars- economic, social and environmental aspects are reached in integrity. In fact, economic, social and environmental aspects are all related. In a short-written piece analyzing what Friedman wrote on the environmental sources of the Arab Spring in nytimes, Professor Rania Masri stated that “separation of use of natural resources from economics is a fallacy” when Friedman said: “economics *is* the management of natural resources.”

Another factor contributing to the destruction of our environment is the strong belief in Social Darwinism. Other than having about as much purpose as gravity, Social Darwinism is portrayed, especially nowadays, with its links to scientific racism, eugenics, imperialism, and the notion that the “more fit” out-compete the “less-fit,” “more-fit” usually defined since Darwin’s day as the ones with the guns, the money, the means and the meanness and a hankering for other people’s lands. While saying Social Darwinism, four words echo in my mind, which are industrialization; globalization; capitalism; tragedy of the commons; and climate change.  After all, natural selection shows us that cooperation, and not just competition, can be a successful strategy for survival.

What each one of us needs is reverence. Reverence is the feeling of awe in the face of something greater than us. People from all cultures experience reverence, and the experience is accompanied by a sense of humbleness. With reverence, we treat each other and the world around us with respect.

I am passionate about the natural world. I prefer hearing and feeling a place, then engaging with it. Reverence towards the land, as I feel when I think about the food I eat entering my bloodstream and replacing old tissue, or when I look up at a Redwood tree and acknowledge an organism that survived through immense environmental pressures over the course of one hundred human generations, organizing particles from the earth and atmosphere into something that supports and survives in ecosystems that we are only beginning to understand.

Many of our best scientists, including Einstein, pointed out how our ethical systems have long lagged behind our capacities for invention and economic development. And clearly, the lack of an ethical container is the first half of what’s wrong with capitalism.

The issue is that the root causes of global warming should be solved; not the symptoms. Notice that all climate summits emphasize on solving the symptoms of the environmental problems. The Rio+20 looks just a celebration of the previous climate summits.  Economic (triggered by capitalism) and population growth are the two major causes for this global problem. What our world needs is an ethical system just like economic one. Also, despite the development of a growing environmental consciousness and the movements to which it has given rise in the last century, the environmental crisis continues to deepen. There is nothing in the record or on the horizon that could lead us to believe the situation will significantly change in the foreseeable future.

The solution is to replace capitalism with a social order based on an economy devoted not to maximizing private profit and accumulating ever more capital but rather to meeting real human needs and restoring the environment to a sustainably healthy condition.

There is a light of hope now. The time has come for global action to build a new world economic system that is no longer based on the illusion that limitless growth is possible on our precious and finite planet. Encouraged by the government of Bhutan, the United Nations held a High Level Meeting for Wellbeing and Happiness where 650 political, academic, and civic leaders from around the world came together on April 2, 2012 to discuss a New Economic Paradigm.

Change comes from within. Small steps do count. Instead of waiting for policies and politics to take the right track toward a sustainable world, each one of us should take environmentally-friendly action or responsability on the individual level. This is one of the ways to understand and participate in democracy. When understanding that citizens are the fuel of their government’s fire, changing the distribution of power becomes relevant.

On a final note, I want to say:” There are dreams. There are emotions. We are all connected. We are all energy.”

The picture below is taken somewhere in Iceland (http://www.bustler.net/index.php/article/choishine_wins_bsa_unbuilt_architecture_award_for_land_of_giants):

Three Things that make Animals more Interesting than us- Humans

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We became alone along animals- afraid of death.

Evolution has always sparked my mind. I always wonder who are we as ‘Homo Sapiens’. We, humans, have become so impressed by ourselves to an extent at which we are not capable of controlling our own actions.

Humans are social animals. So what certainly differentiates us from animals? Certainly, the human mind and its potential abilities. However, from my experience, I always see that animals are more interesting than humans as species. This is due to noticing three factors, which are: the huge gap between poor and rich (or capitalism); sexuality and borders.

First, capitalism or the big gap between poor and rich can’t stop getting my attention. It reminds me of the predator prey relationships. Talking about humans, we only see one type of predator prey relationships, which is ‘rich preying on the poor’. Talking about animals, all types of predator prey relationships are present. This is a difference that makes us, humans, realize that animals are more interesting than us.

Second, sexuality is a controversial topic among humans. However, it is a natural thing among animals.Honestly, I don’t care if something is unnatural. Babies incubators aren’t natural. Dialysis machines aren’t natural. I will tell you what ‘natural’ is. ‘Natural’ is earthquakes, stinging nettles, wasps, shit, pain and death.

Third, talking about borders, we know that our world is shaped by laws of physics (i.e: speed of light, gravity, entropy, etc…); chemistry (i.e: chemical reactions, molecules properties, etc…) and biology (i.e: carrying capacity, etc…). And despite what we know and unlike animals, we- humans- take the concept of borders among us so seriously. We, humans, draw lines around our property, around our being, around our country, and thus, to our thinking. We go to war and die. You know what? Nature couldn’t give a shit about humans boundaries. Take for example a spawning salmon. Can you imagine a spawning salmon coming from Alaska and saying:” Oh shit! I can’t spawn here?!”. An example on this in which humor is used here as a positive tool is:” For sale: (used) farm 10452 km2. Sea view. Lots of animals (copied, w modification)”. Explaining this example would be:”  We can work towards liberating our land from its owners and liberating our minds from foolishness and division. We have a few good leaders and more good people so all is not lost. Plus, we have a sea view- a view based on the absence of borders.”

We have come to a century in which day in and day out the inhabitants of lonely planet earth kill, maim, conspire, steal, abuse, violate, destroy, poison, fight and, well, hurt each other’s feelings. It is a wonder that we – a socially constrained pack of wild animals – survive. We may not survive in the long run. Some cold-minded scientists suggest the earth’s population will be extinct in 1000 years and claim to have evidence to support it. All this is due to what is called the “cycle of stupid”. The cycle of stupid is the most vicious of all cycles. This cycle has deep philosophical and causes most of the angst on the earth today. It happens when intelligent, sentient beings (people) act like they couldn’t be denser if someone hit them over the head with a stupid stick. It seems that our actions aren’t humane. As a result, I can’t be that proud of evolution.

To end, “When asked, as frequently am, why I should concern myself so deeply with the conservation of animal life, I reply that I have been very lucky and that throughout my life the world has given me the most enormous pleasure. But the world is as delicate and as complicated as a spider’s web. If you touch one thread, you send shudders running down all the other threads. We are not just touching the web, we are tearing great holes in it” ~Gerald Durell