Greed, hubris & ignorance and "fake news" are killing our grandchildren's future.
It isn't a political perspective, but a human one.
Uh oh TAT friends, it’s Monday again.
Today, is a topic near and dear to me personally, and that absolutely impacts every human being on the planet. I haven’t said much specific to this topic in earlier articles but today, I will offer an overview that I will delve into again over the coming months. Today’s topic is specific to the murder of our planet, via greed, hubris, ignorance and "fake news." I’ve been turning this topic over in my head since REUTER’s published one of their excellent graphic products, last December. In fact, and as the following, opening, personal story illustrates, I have been really thinking about it my entire life.
I will begin with a brief story from childhood. Growing up in the rural Midwest and like most youngsters of the era, life was spent outdoors. By default, this brought us into contact with all manner of nature, whether it was with lightning bugs in the front yard while living on the edge of a community or the delightful years where my father, a rural elementary and high school principal rented a small farm. Family and friends had farms and city friends, typically lived on the edge of an adjacent small town where our feet and bicycles took us on great adventures among forests, creeks, ponds and lakes. The earth was as they say, “our oyster.”
Farms in those days were often family farms, not the commercial leases of those farms by corporate giants now. Individual farmers heeded the advice of the County Conservation Agents and their fellow farmers down at the CO-OP. Kids, adults and businesses knew that thoughtful stewardship of the land, was not only the key to profitable, sustained farming, but encompassed a religious obligation to protect what God had created.
Our days outside with cousins and friends, exploring every woods, valley, animal, creek etc. were sheer adventure and there was always a new adventure on the other side of the next hill. There were the wild black raspberries to gorge ourselves on, that line the rural country roads of the Ohio Valley and that annoyed our mother’s endlessly, due to the hard to wash out stains from wiping our hands on our blue jeans, sporting holes in the knees. There were walnuts to pick in fall, snowy hillsides for our sleds, corn on the cob lining most roads in summer and of course, the proverbial, “be home by dark” calls from the back door from our mothers. Days weren’t complete without grass stains, mud covering our shoes and even the fairly common blood stains, from learning the hard way, that climbing trees and falling out of hay lofts, required our then absent ability to exercise good judgement.
My friends, this is not just a nostalgic trip down memory lane for me. It’s a portrait of what our planet will not be able to offer our children, grandchildren and beyond. Our four grandchildren, between 4 and 7 love the outdoors but now have far less opportunity than I did in my youth. Climate Change has claimed much, as have the destruction of habitats, the oft unsustainable ravaging of our natural resources for profit and far more hubris and greed.
If you are like me, you want your future generations to have the full experience and discovery of youth, including the health, happiness and enjoyment of our earth. Daily, we are further from achieving this for those generations.
Let’s look a little closer at the topics included in today’s headline: greed, hubris, ignorance and "fake news". Each of these topics will be discussed in-depth in future articles. Today, we’re just getting our feet wet.
The curse of American and global oligarchy are the root causes of this topic. Profitable farming, fishing, mining and other exploited industries like fossil fuels put profits over planet and people. There are exceptions which focus on sustainable and responsible use of our resources, but they are not the standard. A few examples are:
“Over the years, as fisheries have caught less and less, humans have begun to understand that the oceans, assumed to be unendingly vast and rich, are in fact highly vulnerable. In 2006, a study of catch data published in the journal Science grimly predicted that if such unsustainable fishing rates continue, all the world's fisheries will collapse by 2048.”
- Amy McKeever and the National Geographic staff
- February 2022
It’s not just one or two nations that contribute to our demise but China, takes the cake when it comes to exploitive and unsustainable commercial fleets.
- For decades, the public policies and big corporations that shape our food and agricultural system have pressed farmers to manage their land like food factories—places where inputs in the form of seed, fertilizer, pesticides, or animal feed are converted to outputs in the form of marketable food products.
- Climate change is hitting farmers hard already, and it’s only going to get worse. Droughts, floods, extreme heat and other climate impacts will wreak havoc in farm country, reducing yields, increasing erosion and pollution, and threatening both farmers’ businesses and our food supply.
The predominant industrial agriculture model has left farms even more vulnerable to climate impacts. But policies and tools that support farmers in adopting science-based sustainable practices can make agriculture more resilient and adaptable, ensuring that farmers—and our food supply—can withstand climate challenges.
Hubris & Ignorance
Today’s commercial industries, most dangerous to the planet, operate with extraordinary hubris and ignorance. This is difficult to fathom and will require at a future date, a deep dive. For today, I will make a couple of the most salient points. Even the US Department of Defense is onboard with a strategic vision and has been addressing this on their list of threats, for decades.
No one does hubris and imposed ignorance on the unthinking, like big oil producers like ExxonMobil, Conoco, Shell, BP etc. Their 40 plus years of financing climate denial has been the single most destructive act in regard to our ongoing climate disaster. The cost of the increasing number of these disasters is $2.590 Trillion since 1980. ExxonMobil and their fellow big oil pirates have funded a massive PR campaign about Climate Denial, for the past 40 years, despite the fact that their own scientists had long told them, that burning fossil fuels would most certainly and dramatically increase global warming. Yes my friends, this is a cover-up by big oil, not different from what tobacco industries did for decades.
Those who are responsible for the ongoing, slow, tortuous murder of our environment are driven by greed and supported by the hubris of immoral PR firms, the big checkbooks that support them and the knowledge that politicians, mostly within today’s MAGA controlled GOP will provide what the military calls, “overwatch.” In other words, they arrogantly act in any manner they wish to pursue their bottom line while that Congress and today’s activist SCOTUS enables them. A perfect example is the recent SCOTUS ruling that hobbles the authority of the EPA/ Environmental Protection Agency.
The one industry that primarily benefits from immoral congressional and state government benefactors, is the fossil fuel industry and to everyone’s detriment. This increase of carbon in our atmosphere has dramatically increased in the past 150 years. Congressional enabling, especially from the GOP has reduced regulations and oversight over the industry. This industry alone, well known as financing climate denial for the past 40 plus years, is the most egregious offender driving the dramatically increased death and destruction tolls, from climate change based, disasters.
As a youngster exploring the world around me, I knew about sustainable stewardship of our earth. In fact, everyone I knew was aware. We learned it at home, in school, and on Sundays at church, etc. Now, so much of what is taught in school, especially here in TX, Ohio, and Missouri where I have called home, taking care of the environment is considered one of those asininely labeled political tags, called, “woke.” To be blunt, those who label the sustainment of mother earth as “woke,” will fare no better than anyone else as time goes on, without policy and legal focus, to protect our earth. More on this in the last segment entitled, “fake news.”
What most people don’t know, can and should be seen in this 2022 report from the UN, on The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022 its bulleted findings:
From 2000 to 2019, total domestic material consumption rose by more than 65 per cent globally, amounting to 95.1 billion metric tons in 2019.
During this period, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia showed the steepest rise in domestic material consumption, from 31 per cent in 2000 to 43 per cent in 2019.
In 2020, an estimated 13.3 per cent of the world’s food was lost after harvesting and before reaching retail markets.
An estimated 17 per cent of total food available to consumers (931 million metric tons) is wasted at household, food service and retail levels.
Food that ends up in landfills generates 8 to 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2019, the amount of e-waste generated globally was 7.3 kilograms per capita, out of which only 1.7 kilograms was managed in an environmentally sound way.
E-waste collection rates are relatively high in high-income countries but are much lower in low- and middle-income countries – only 1.6 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa and 1.2 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The capacity of developing countries to generate electricity from renewable sources has soared over the last decade, from 109.7 watts per capita in 2011 to 245.7 watts per capita in 2020.
Renewables represent over a third (36.1 per cent) of developing countries’ total electricity-generating capacity.
From 2015 to 2020, the compound annual growth rate of renewable energy in developing countries was 9.5 per cent versus 5.2 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively, for least developed countries and landlocked developing countries.
In 2020, governments spent $375 billion on subsidies and other support for fossil fuels.
Around 90 per cent of countries report that education for sustainable development and global citizenship education are at least partially mainstreamed in national education laws and policies, curricula, teacher education or student assessments in primary and secondary school.
Finally, what matters most for the US as a global leader, is to put an end to big fossil fuel producers and their highly paid PR/ Public Relations hitmen, manipulating reality, with their decades-long investment in fake climate news or what is known as “climate denial.”
Like my profession in support of US and allied national security, these PR firms and Strategic Communications, prostituting themselves to big fossil fuel producers and at the expense of every human on the planet, are professional influencers. When we legally begin taking control of these assassins for profit and those producers who pay them, we will finally come to a point that we can make some real progress.
At the moment, climate denial is a well-cultivated, decades long campaign that has become a part of GOP identity. Their identity, like Pavlov’s dog, is conditioned to react subconsciously to act precisely in a manner the influencers wish. In this case, they will continue to vote for anyone that even slightly suggests that climate change is a hoax. In fact, in the nearly 30 years of FOX not the news, we now have at least two, successive generations of GOP voters that will never separate from their climate denial beliefs. It’s just how narrative identities retain what they have been conditioned to, if done well.
It’s not just PR firms that spew fake news at the behest of folks like ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell, BP and so many others. Today’s GOP politicians (I intentionally don’t call the MAGA version conservatives) have a standing position on all thing’s climate related… it is whatever big oil wants them to say. None of it favors positive actions to save the planet for our children and grandchildren. Even if we stop the denial today, we will have to wait at least a generation before the GOP loses its Pavlovian control over the issue. This makes the MAGA/ GOP, the most dangerous threat to US national security and the effects of global warming/ climate change. They have, via other professional influencers, the same control over issues like the culture war distractions they impose on us, while they steer the US towards authoritarianism rather than democracy.
For more reading on this topic, the two links below are worth your time.
Time to wrap this up.
If you recall from the opening story of my youth, the gift of nature to our future generations should have been their birthright. Greed, hubris, imposed ignorance and fake news have gotten in the way. As I wrote a couple weeks ago, “If you're sweltering too... look no further than big oil. They and political enablers are to blame. The murder of our planet is bought and paid for with American and foreign oligarchy. In the case of carbon overload that causes climate change, the primary villains are big fossil fuel producers. They have a whole cast of supporting actors though, like politicians, PR hired guns, now the US SCOTUS etc. I also want to make it very clear that the hard-working men and women of the fossil fuel industry, are not to blame. It is the board rooms of ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil etc. that are to blame.
The only way we can mitigate these threats will be to vote for those who don’t subscribe to climate denialism, for profit and power. There will not be, in the foreseeable future, a US Congress with a strong enough majority, to reverse the disasters imposed by the immoral, unless we act now. This is not fearmongering, it’s reality. Many of the reports embedded in today’s article, say the same and some even include dates for irreversible effects within our lifetime. There will be far more in our children’s and our grandchildren’s lifetime. The science is clear. The lies of the denial community are obvious. Still, so long as the US and the world cannot defend ourselves against immoral influencers, we are at risk. This is a topic I have written ad nauseum.
Gratefully, we have four beautiful and healthy grandchildren. I hope they will find far more of nature than the scientists predict. It’s their birthright. The data though is sobering, and nothing good comes from inaction. If you love your grandchildren as most, me included, please demand politicians, right, left or otherwise, to reject the bribes to look the other way, while greedy corporations murder our planet.
There are forests, mountains, oceans, etc. to explore, as only the imagination of a child can do. Einstein believed that imagination was the most important of intellectual attributes for innovation. Let’s not stunt that imagination in our future generations by limiting the world that stimulates it.
My very best for your week,