27
Nov
2005

Is Wal-Mart good for America?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/view/

This program focuses on the extraordinary power Wal-Mart has over its suppliers, effectively allowing it to require them to off-shore manufacturing. I found it more balanced and persuasive than the other films out about the company, and it's what convinced me to encourage people to avoid shopping there. It seems like a lot of the other disturbing things about Wal-Mart flow from this strategy and their excessive power in the marketplace.

Ken Broomfield
Wymea Bay
http://www.irider.com


Informant: Hopedance

In Terror Cases, Administration Sets Own Rules

The administration has argued, with varying degrees of success, that judges should have essentially no role in reviewing its decisions.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11152.htm

Lawmakers Under Scrutiny in Probe of Lobbyist

Ney and DeLay Among the Members of Congress Said to Be a Focus of Abramoff Investigation.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11151.htm


From Information Clearing House

Bolton loses British backing for UN tactics

The rare public disagreement between the two close allies comes as the showdown over reforms at the UN's New York headquarters becomes increasingly acrimonious.

http://tinyurl.com/bmosg


From Information Clearing House

Europe protests CIA activity on its soil

Outrage in many countries triggers parliamentary inquiries and a handful of criminal prosecutions.

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051126/NATION/511260424


From Information Clearing House

Canning reform

In light of Islamist electoral victories, neoconservatives in Washington about face, seeing democracy in the Middle East as not such a good idea after all.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/770/op11.htm


From Information Clearing House

Where Was the Media Between Invasion and Murtha?

While We Were Sleeping: Where Was the Media Between Invasion and Murtha?

Networks Gave Vietnam War Twice the Minutes Iraq Gets; Baghdad Bureaus Cut Back; Amanpour: ‘Patronizing’

http://www.observer.com/pageone_coverstory1.asp


From Information Clearing House

Growing bored of the carnage as crime of the century unfolds

We’ve all familiar now with “compassion fatigue”, when we become inured to the plight of disaster victims in uncharismatic parts of the world such as Kashmir. Well, I fear we are now developing a kind of “atrocity fatigue” over Iraq.

http://www.sundayherald.com/53063


From Information Clearing House

So what have they got to hide?

Official secrets, lies, and the truth about the assault on Fallujah
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article329622.ece


From Information Clearing House

Why is the world's most powerful man so worried about a TV station?

Bush plot to bomb al-Jazeera is a conspiracy theory, says Blair:

People who have seen the document say the real reason that it is being suppressed by the Government is because it contains a potentially damaging private discussion between the two leaders about the controversial United States attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah last year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/11/27/njaz27.xml



The leak that revealed Bush's deep obsession with al-Jazeera :

The US president planned to bomb the Qatar-based channel - that was the remarkable claim made in a top-secret memo. Why is the world's most powerful man so worried about a TV station?

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1651765,00.html



Rumsfeld’s Al-Jazeera outburst:

Al-Jazeera was accused by Donald Rumsfeld, the American defence secretary, of broadcasting “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable” reports about the war in Iraq the day before President George W Bush met Tony Blair at the White House and apparently suggested bombing the station’s headquarters.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-1892464,00.html


From Information Clearing House

Iraq Sunni clerics urge U.S. boycott

Iraqi Sunni scholars Saturday called on Iraqis to boycott U.S. and British goods and demanded the gradual withdrawal of foreign forces from their country.

http://washingtontimes.com/upi/20051126-122448-6417r.htm


From Information Clearing House

Abuses as bad as under dictator, claims Allawi

Abuse of human rights in Iraq is as bad now as it was under Saddam Hussein, if not worse, former prime minister Iyad Allawi said in an interview published yesterday.

http://tinyurl.com/87uxo


From Information Clearing House

'Trophy' video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers

The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.

http://tinyurl.com/ag2va


From Information Clearing House

Iraqi Food Security: Destroyed and then Deconstructed

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=9176


Informant: Hany Khalil

From ufpj-news

Nonthermal microwave radiations affect the hypersensitive response of tobacco to tobacco mosaic virus

http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/italy.pdf

Betti L, Trebbi G, Lazzarato L, Brizzi M, Calzoni GL, Marinelli F, Nani D, Borghini F.

Department of Agro-Environmental Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Bologna University, Italy.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of nonthermal extremely high-frequency microwave radiations in a plant-based bioassay, represented by tobacco plants reacting to tobacco mosaic virus with a hypersensitive response leading to the appearance of necrotic lesions at the infection sites.

DESIGN: This study was performed blind and different experimental protocols on tobacco plants inoculated with tobacco mosaic virus were used.

BIO-OBJECTS: Tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum L. cultivar Samsun) carrying the resistance gene N against tobacco mosaic virus.

INTERVENTIONS: Tobacco plants or leaf disks were either directly or indirectly (water-mediated) irradiated using a medical device, designed for microwave resonance therapy. It produces nonthermal weak-intensity extremely high-frequency radiations, either modulated at extremely low frequency or in continuous flux of waves, coupled with a nonthermal red/near-infrared radiation. Outcome measurements: The working variable was the number of hypersensitive lesions per leaf disk.

RESULTS: Both direct and indirect nonthermal microwave radiations led to significant effects on the hypersensitive response of tobacco plants: modulated radiations generally induced a resistance increase, whereas a continuous flux of waves induced a resistance decrease with direct treatments only.

CONCLUSIONS: Nonthermal microwave radiations are effective on the hypersensitive response of tobacco to tobacco mosaic virus and their low-frequency modulation seems to be more bioactive than the continuous-flux of waves, particularly in the indirect water-mediated treatments.

MeSH Terms:

* Biological Assay
* Microwaves*
* Plant Diseases*/virology
* Plant Leaves/radiation effects*
* Plant Leaves/virology
* Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
* Tobacco/radiation effects*
* Tobacco/virology
* Tobacco Mosaic Virus/immunology
* Tobacco Mosaic Virus/radiation effects*


PMID: 15673988 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=15673988&dopt=Citation


Informant: Iris Atzmon

BUSH GOT IT RIGHT: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

http://www.newswithviews.com/Brownlow/david50.htm

Activist Chained Himself to 3G Antenna Installation

http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/Nov2005/2285.htm

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27 november 2005 - An activist against UMTS (3G) is ready to chain himself to an antenna installation fence tomorrow morning. He says his group will be satisfied only when UMTS is absolutely banned from the town of Spijkenisse near Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Monday morning operator Orange plans to install three UMTS antennas in a power pylon, about 75 metres from the nearest dwellings. The workers will meet with a crowd of people. "We call them by flyers throughout the neighbourhood", says Bertus van Drongelen. "To help and prevent the installation of these antennas. If the workers do not leave, one of us will chain himself to the fence." The activists prevented the installation before, in October.

Alex Swinkels, Bertus van Drongelen and Gerard de Kimpe are not just worried about the UMTS-antennas. They know the permanent radiation of mobile communication can have terrifying health effects. Some time ago they visited the occupants of the top floor of the Marrewijkflat, an apartment building in Spijkenisse. "80 Percent of them have severe health complaints, from insomnia to cancer", says Van Drongelen. On top of the Marrewijkflat are several antennas for mobile communication.

The same problems were found at the 5th and 6th floor elswehere. Opposite are antennas for mobile communication, on top of a four story apartment building. "Insomnia, headache, nausea and a general feeling of sickness", the occupants report. Some of them are urinating blood. The physicians and specialists can not find any known disease or abnormality. When the occupants leave the premises, they feel better. Back home the sickness returns.

Therefore, the three activists are convinced of the health effects of the radiation. "It is impossible to have a radiation-free town. The problem of radiation pollution is too complex and it is too late to stop the other antennas", says Van Drongelen. "But at least we want a town without UMTS. The citizens have to be made aware of the radiation hazard." According to scientists, the radiation of mobile communication causes toxic effects.

The activists concentrate on all UMTS-antennas in Spijkenisse. The town council is behind them. The council decided two weeks ago not to grant new antenna mast permits anymore. Councillor Gerrit van Buuren asked operator Orange to respect the wish of the people and cancel the installation. "We have the right permit and documents, we don't see any reason to stop", says an Orange spokesman.

Sources:

http://www.ad.nl/rotterdam/voorneputten/article69465.ece (Algemeen Dagblad, newspaper)
interview by telephone with Bertus van Drongelen article in local newspaper The Botlek, November 2, 2005
http://www.stopumts.nl/pdf/motie2_spijkenisse.pdf and
http://www.stopumts.nl/pdf/motie1_spijkenisse.pdf (council decisions)

--------

A Militant of Group STS (Spijkenisse Tegen Straling) connected against an installation of Orange UMTS - Holland
http://www.next-up.org/divers/image_semaine1.php

Pentagon Expanding Its Domestic Surveillance Activity

The Defense Department has expanded its programs aimed at gathering and analyzing intelligence within the United States, creating new agencies, adding personnel and seeking additional legal authority for domestic security activities in the post-9/11 world.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/112705X.shtml

Radioactive Tank No. 9 comes limping home

http://www.sfbayview.com/110905/radioactivetank110905.shtml


Informant: NHNE

UNIFIED VETERANS COALITION PRESS RELEASE # 1

(excerpt)

From: Tom & Caren (vets advocates)
Date: Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:24 pm
Subject: UNIFIED VETERANS COALITION PRESS RELEASE

UNIFIED VETERANS COALITION

Special Links For Agent Orange, Gulf War Illness Depleted Uranium Research, Ionized Radiation Articles JP-8 Jet Fuel Toxicity Studies, Secret Government Testing Political Action, Women's Vet Issues

http://xsorbit27.com/users5/un­ifiedveteranscoalition/

Open to active duty, veterans, family, spouses, and concerned private citizens and health professionals.

Seeking Veteran Advocates, Veterans, Family Members, Concerned Citizens, Health Professionals, Clergy, and Activists for active opposition to investigational new drug testing on US troops, opposition of the Feres Doctrine that allows for it to happen, and active opposition to the continued force fed anthrax vaccine program on active duty US troops without informed consent or the ability to refuse the six shot vaccination program without facing severe punishment including court marshal, loss of rank and/or pay, etc.

This is a new discussion board and online think tank for veterans from all branches and eras of service who are seeking to make a positive change in the system and to help each other with moral support and to actively seek health and claim info help for each other.

This board is owned and operated by Tom & Caren Trefts in cooperation with the Backwoods Vets who are represented on this board by Moderator JJ " Paul " Jenson, and fellow Backwoods Vets & other Decorated Vietnam Veterans Hawkeye, Al Cole, among others.

Tom is a very sick (and we use this term broadly)Gulf War vet still in the process of banging his head against the wall with his VA, SSI, & SSD claims and author of this dribble. His Lovely Wife Caren Patricia Trefts is his partner for life, nurse, and would-be editor.

Caren is the daughter of an Agent Orange vet who was a tank commander in Vietnam in the late 60's.

Tom, Caren, JJ and others on this board are outraged by the way that veterans rights have been violated over the years and the deplorable delays and the purposeful roadblocks that keep veterans with needy families from getting their benefits which they so richly deserve for putting their health and bodies on the line in the service of our great country.

Here are some things we are currently working on:

NO VETERAN LEFT BEHIND: MANDATORY ANTHRAX VACCINE INVESTIGATION PETITION
http://www.thepetitionsite.com­/takeaction/346670507

VERPA'S PETITION TO STOP HUMAN TESTING ON SOLDIERS
http://www.petitiononline.com/­fd1950/

PETITION TO STOP THE ABUSE OF NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN VIETNAM VET IRON THUNDERHORSE BEING TORTURED IN THE TEXAS STATE PRISON SYSTEM
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/286295701

PETITION TO BAN THE USE OF LARIUM ON TROOPS
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/274153815

PETITION TO RECOGNIZE THE GULF WAR RESEARCH OF TULANE UNIVERSITY:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/955329478

IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOUR HEALTH PROBLEMS WERE ADVERSLY AFFECTED BY THE VACCINATIONS YOU RECEIVED IN THE MILITARY, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO LODGE A FORMAL COMPLAINT.

The VAERS Web site at http://www.vaers.org . Download a copy of the VAERS form (PDF 23K).

The Food and Drug Administration's Web site at
http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaers/­vaers.htm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/nip

The VAERS reporting system is a passive nationwide vaccine problem reporting area.

The FDA link is more political in nature and is asking for public commentary before a judge in Washington either stops, delays or allows the program to continue in one form or another.

Join us for what promises to be a committed effort to support the rights and need for quality healthcare for our brother & sister veterans in a decidedly friendly online environment.

It is our desire to fight for the cause that is just and keep the pressure up on those that would seek to hinder our collective path.

If this sounds like something that you can really get behind, then join in today and help us make a better future together.

GOD BLESS THE USA

GOD BLESS OUR VETS


Respectfully,

Al Cole Served 1971 to 1977 E6 82nd Airborne good conduct, + 100% Disabled My chutes didn't work.

Thomas W. Trefts aka RainbowRising Disabled USAF Veteran National Defense Medal RAF Alconbury ( 1989-1991 ) Son of an Air Force Vet Son In Law of a Vietnam Agent Orange Army Vet Brother -In - Law of a retired Air Force Vet Nephew of 2 late WW2 vets Grandson of a Methodist Missionary To Ethiopia Grandson of a decorated WW 1 vet Great Grandson of another decorated WW1 vet Etc.

Paul Ray Jensen aka "JJ" (air commando) Extreme Air Force Vietnam 68-71 MACV/SOG 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses 11 Air Medals Father WW-I ("Grunt") Uncle WW-II (101st Airborne) Brother Korea (7th Division)

Caren P. Trefts UNIFIED VETERANS COALITION WOMENS MINISTRIES UNIFIED VETERANS CO- FOUNDER Daughter of Army tank commander and Agent Orange Vietnam Vet

UNIFIED VETERANS COALITION

Special Links For Agent Orange, Gulf War Illness Women's Vet Issues
http://xsorbit27.com/users5/un­ifiedveteranscoalition/


Tom Trefts Ohio Veteran Party-Chairman unified veterans coalition http://www.xsorbit27.com/users5/unifiedveteranscoalition/

A Rise in Deadly Storms Has Researchers Worried About the Future

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/26/AR2005112600355_pf.html


Informant: NHNE

Coburger Mobilfunkappell

http://openpr.de/in/69891

--------

Nun hat sich auch eine Gruppe von Ärzten aus Coburg und der Umgebung unter dem Eindruck von neueren Forschungsergebnissen zum Thema Mobilfunk zusammengefunden (siehe auch „Naila-Studie“ bzw. siehe: „Aktualisierter Kommentar des BfS zur Naila-Studie“):

http://www.bfs.de/elektro/papiere/Stellungnahme_Naila

Die Ärzte dieser Gruppe zeigen sich sehr besorgt über die gesundheitlichen Auswirkungen der Mobilfunktechnologie in der Form, wie sie derzeit überall angewendet wird. Eine Reihe von Beschwerden wird mit elektromagnetischer Strahlung in Verbindung gebracht. Außerdem besteht die Befürchtung unter den Ärzten, dass die drastische Zunahme der Krebsrate ebenfalls auf Elektrosmog zurückzuführen ist.

http://www.forum-mobilfunk.de/cobapp.html

Aus: FGF-Infoline vom 25.11.2005

Omega: Der Forschungsgemeinschaft Funk e.V. (FGF), gehören alle deutschen Mobilfunkbetreiber an.

--------

Coburger Mobilfunkappell

Homepage der Coburger Mobilfunk-Bürgerinitiativen
http://www.forum-mobilfunk.de/index.html

Eine Gruppe von Ärzten aus Coburg und der Umgebung hat sich unter dem Eindruck der neueren Forschungsergebnisse zum Thema Mobilfunk zusammengefunden. Die Ärzte dieser Gruppe sind sehr besorgt über die gesundheitlichen Auswirkungen der Mobilfunktechnologie in der Form, wie sie derzeit angewendet wird. Eine Reihe von Beschwerden werden mit elektromagnetischer Strahlung in Verbindung gebracht. Dazu gehören insbesondere

o Konzentrationsstörungen,
o Ein- und Durchschlafstörungen,
o Tinnitus und Hörstörungen,
o Schwindel und Kopfschmerzen,
o depressive Verstimmung,
o Erschöpfung und Gereiztheit
o Hyperaktivität und Lernstörungen bei Kindern

Außerdem besteht die Befürchtung unter den Ärzten, dass die drastische Zunahme der Krebsrate ebenfalls auf Elektrosmog zurückzuführen ist.

Dies führte zur Formulierung einer Reihe von Forderungen:

o Massive Reduktion der aktuellen Grenzwerte für elektromagnetische Strahlung
o Berücksichtigung der medizinischen Studien bei der Erweiterung der Mobilfunktechnologie
o Pflicht zur Aufklärung über Mobilfunk/DECT-Telefone bereits bei Kindern
o Überarbeitung des DECT-Standards

Text des Coburger Appells
http://www.forum-mobilfunk.de/cobapp01.pdf

Formular zur Unterstützung des Coburger Appells
http://www.forum-mobilfunk.de/cobapp02.pdf

Bisher unterstützen folgende Ärztinnen und Ärzte den Coburger Mobilfunkappell (in alphabetischer Reihenfolge):
http://www.forum-mobilfunk.de/cobmobfuappliste.pdf


http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/coburger_appell.html

--------

Ärzte-Appelle gegen Mobilfunk
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1064751/

Global warming stalks Yosemite

Retracing the steps of a meticulous early 20th century biologist, researchers find that some of the park’s tiniest residents have moved a startling distance uphill.

- Michelle Nijhuis
Sunday, November 27, 2005

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/11/27/ING66FMV901.DTL


Informant: binstock

Working for Transition From Consumer Society to a Simpler, More Cooperative, Just and Ecologically Sustainable Society

It's amazing how much of and how well Ted Trainer can state the bottom line in 14 minutes: that dealing adequately with the climate crisis and overshoot means an abandonment of consumer capitalism and the end of acquisitiveness. If you memorize one essay, this might be it.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1515951.htm

You can listen to this on mp3 or as a podcast by going here for a few more weeks:

http://abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/

And you can find transcripts of several of his other interviews (and those with contrary views) here:

http://search.abc.net.au/search/search.cgi?form=simple&num_ranks=20&collection=abcallmeta_v=rn&query=ted+trainer&submit=+go+

Such as

Natural Capitalism Challenged:
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/earth/stories/s156837.htm

Let's Scrap the Economy:
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s50.htm

His web site is "The Simpler Way: Working for Transition From Consumer Society to a Simpler, More Cooperative, Just and Ecologically Sustainable Society":

http://socialwork.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/

I am subscribed to the weekly podcast of this program, "Ockham's Razor". You can subscribe to it here at their web site, but I did it at the iTunes Music store with iTunes.

http://abc.net.au/rn/podcast/default.htm

Oh, and today's news? Greenhouse Gas levels highest in 650,000 years (380 ppm). "Today's still rising level of carbon dioxide already is 27 percent higher than its peak during all those millennia," according to Thomas Stocker of the University of Bern, Switzerland. Moreover the rise is occurring at a speed that "is over a factor of a hundred faster than anything we are seeing in the natural cycles." This is reported in next week's issue of Science.

Climate Action NOW! Andy Caffrey

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/rwilliam.htm http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/default.htm http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/email.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/archives/rts/radio_tapes.htm http://www.abc.net.au/rn/freq/map.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/about.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/index/index.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/earth/
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/mind/
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/helthrpt/
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/ http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/incon/ http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/buzz/ http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ss/default.htm http://www.abc.net.au/science/
http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/
http://www.abc.net.au/quantum/
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/default.htm

Sunday at 8.45am,
Repeated Wednesdays at 9.45pm
Presented by Robyn Williams
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/rwilliam.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/cgi-bin/common/printfriendly.pl?
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1515951.htm

What is our biggest problem? Sunday 27 November 2005

Summary

Ted Trainer from the School of Social Work at the University of New South wales tells us that the fundamental cause of the big global problems facing us is over-consumption.

Program Transcript

Robyn Williams: Well last week on this program we had Jennifer Marohasy taking on what she called the celebrity scientists, and their gloomy forecasts. She said that most indicators of natural wellbeing show improvement, not decline. By the way, she also accused Jared Diamond of asking Australia to give up agriculture, something Professor Diamond tells me he did not say, although his book ‘Collapse’ certainly gives that impression.

So this week, a contrasting point of view. Ted Trainer from the University of New South Wales, with his assessment of our prospects, as we come to the end of the year 2005.

Ted Trainer.

Ted Trainer: The fundamental cause of the big global problems threatening us now is simply over-consumption. The rate at which we in rich countries are using up resources is grossly unsustainable. It’s far beyond levels that can be kept up for long or that could be spread to all people. What is not clearly understood is the magnitude of the over-shoot. The reductions required are so big that they cannot be achieved within a consumer-capitalist society. Huge and extremely radical change in systems and culture are necessary.

Several lines of argument lead to this conclusion, but I’ll note only three.

Some resources are already alarmingly scarce, including water, land, fish and especially petroleum. Some geologists think oil supply will peak within a decade. If all the world’s people today were to consume resources at the per capita rate we in rich countries do, annual supply would have to be more than six times as great as at present, and if the 9 billion we will have on earth soon were to do so, it would have to be about ten times as great.

Secondly, the per capita area of productive land needed to supply one Australian with food, water, settlements and energy is about seven to eight hectares. The US figure is close to 12 hectares. But the average per capita area of productive land available on the planet is only about 1.3 hectares. When the world’s population reaches 9 billion the per capita area of productive land available will be only .9 hectares. In other words, in a world where resources were shared equally we would have to get by on about 13% of the average Australian footprint.

Third, the greenhouse problem is the most powerful and alarming illustration of the overshoot. The atmospheric scientists are telling us that if we are to stop the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere from reaching twice the pre-industrial level, we have to cut global carbon emissions and thus fossil fuel use by 60% in the short term, and more later. If we did that and shared the remaining energy among 9 billion people, each Australian would have to get by on about 5% of the fossil fuel now used. And that target, a doubling of atmospheric CO2, is much too high. We’re now 30% above pre-industrial levels and already seeing disturbing climatic effects.

These lines of argument show we must face up to enormous reductions in rich world resource use if we’re to solve the big global problems. This is not possible in a society that’s committed to the affluent lifestyles that require high energy and resource use. We in countries like Australia should reduce per capita resource use and environmental impact, to something like one-tenth of their present levels.

Now all that only makes clear that the present situation is grossly unsustainable. But that’s not the most important problem. This society is fundamentally and fiercely obsessed with raising levels of production and consumption all the time, as fast as possible, and without any limit. In other words, our supreme, sacred, never-questioned goal is economic growth. We’re already at impossible levels of production and consumption but our top priority is to go on increasing them all the time.

If we in Australia average 3% growth to 2070 and by then the 9 billion people expected on earth have all risen to the living standards we would have then, total world economic output each year would be 60 times as great as it is now. Yet the present level is grossly unsustainable.

Many respond here by saying that Yes, the problems are very serious but No, we don’t have to think about moving from consumer-capitalist society because more effort and better technology could solve the problems. It only takes a few seconds to show that this tech-fix position is wrong. The overshoot is far too big.

Technical-fix optimists like Amory Lovins claim we could cut the resource and ecological costs per unit of economic output to half or one quarter. But if global output rose to 60 times what it is now, even a Factor Four reduction by 2070 would leave global resource and environmental costs 15 times as great as they are now, and they are unsustainable now.

The foregoing comment has only been about sustainability and our society is built on a second deeply flawed foundation. We have an extremely unjust global economy. It’s a market economy and that means scarce things go to those who can pay most for them, that is, to the rich and not to the poor. So the rich countries gobble up most of the world’s resource production.

Even more important, in a market economy what’s developed is what’s most profitable not what’s most needed. So the development that takes place in the Third World is development of what will maximise the profits of corporations. Look at any Third World country and you see a lot of development but most of it puts their resources into producing to stock our rich world supermarkets and very little goes into the industries that produce the basic necessities the majority of poor people need. Conventional development is therefore well described as a process of plunder.

Our living standards in countries like Australia could not be anywhere near as high as they are if these unjust processes did not occur and we had to get by on our fair share of the world’s resources.

If one is to understand the nature of the problems facing us, one must focus on these concepts of gross unsustainability and injustice. For instance, they show that the conventional concept of ‘development’ for the Third World is totally impossible; there are nowhere near enough resources for all of them to rise to anything like our rich world ways and standards. Yet that’s the taken-for-granted goal of development.

Similarly few green people seem to recognise that the environment problem cannot be solved without dramatic reduction in the level of producing and consuming going on, and therefore without radical social change to frugal living standards and a zero-growth economy. Yet our peak environmental agencies do not focus on the absurdity of the quest for economic growth.

And how many within the Peace movement realise that if we refuse to dramatically cut rich world demand for resources, and everyone strives to rise to our living standards, then there will inevitably be increasingly fierce competition for the dwindling resources. If we insist on remaining affluent, then we had better remain heavily armed. We can’t expect to go on getting far more than our fair share of the world’s resources unless we’re prepared to use force to invade oil fields and prop up compliant dictators.

What then is the answer? If the question is how can we run a sustainable and just consumer-capitalist society, the point is that there isn’t any answer. We cannot achieve a sustainable and just society unless we face up to huge and radical transition to what some identify as The Simpler Way, that is to a society based on non-affluent but adequate living standards, high levels of self-sufficiency, in small scale localised economies with little trade and no growth, to basically co-operative and participatory communities, to an economy that’s not driven by market forces and profit, and most difficult of all, a society that’s not motivated by competition, individualism, and acquisitiveness. Many have argued that this general vision is the only way out of the mess we’re in.

So which of these problems is our biggest one? None of them. The most disturbing problem of all is our failure, our refusal to even recognise that the pursuit of affluence and growth is a terrible mistake.

Despite our vast educational systems, information technologies and media networks, despite having hordes of academics and experts, there is almost no official or public recognition that the quest for affluence and growth is the basic cause of our alarming global predicament. There is no recognition of any need to move to The Simpler Way. These themes are almost never mentioned in the media, educational curricula, or government pronouncements.

We are dealing here with a fascinating and powerful ideological phenomenon, a failure, indeed a refusal, to even think about the possibility that we are sitting on the railway tracks and there is a train fast approaching. It would be difficult to imagine a more profound case of denial and delusion. Some of the forces at work are understandable, such as the fact that profit driven media are not going to raise such issues but will work hard to seduce people into preoccupation with trivia, sport, celebrities and mindless consuming. But how do you explain why so very few academics and intellectuals concern themselves with these themes while many of them work at providing the economy with the technocrats, the managers, and the mentality that it needs.

Obviously the corporate class is most culpable. Their very existence depends on maintaining the conviction that we need not even think about reducing consumption. The economists are high on the list too, teaching and practising an ideology, which casts the consumer capitalist way as the only conceivable way. But why do the educators so diligently teach that worldview. Why do the curriculum makers, and the ABC program makers, and journalists and the intellectual ranks so studiously avoid any reference to limits or the possibility that affluence and growth are suicidal goals or the possibility that survival requires urgent transition to some kind of Simpler Way? How can it be that almost all of our most intelligent and educated people devote themselves to pursuits which never challenge over-consumption and have nothing to do with the sustainability crisis now threatening the survival of all of us.

Toynbee analysed the fate of civilisations in terms of their capacity to respond to challenges. What then are our prospects, given that we cannot even recognise that we are committed to fatally mistaken goals.

If the thing threatening our survival was a comet headed for earth, or a global flu epidemic, or another Hitler, there would instantly be focused attention and energetic and massive effort to deal with it. But what’s threatening us is the very thing that is cherished in consumer society above all else, greater material wealth. We suffer from the blinding curse of affluence. The situation was summed up elegantly by that insightful analyst, George W. Bush, when he said recently ‘The American way of life is not negotiable’.

The greatest tragedy is that we could quickly and easily move to sustainable and just ways, if we wanted to. Essentially that would involve people in suburbs and towns getting together to organise local economies with small farms and firms using local resources and labour, to produce to meet local needs. There would be many voluntary working bees and committees and town meetings. Some things would be free, such as fruit from trees planted on the commons. For the detail see The Simpler Way website.

This could be a far more satisfying way of life. Consider being able to live well on two days work for money a week, without any threat of unemployment, or insecurity in old age, in a supportive community. These are the kinds of conditions that thousands of people enjoy in eco-villages around the world. Many of these communities are trying to demonstrate the alternative ways to which the mainstream can move.

I believe we are now entering a time of rapidly intensifying problems which will impact heavily on the complacency within the rich countries. The coming peak of petroleum supply might concentrate minds wonderfully, but I think the probability of us achieving the transition is very low.

Your chances in the next few decades will depend very much on whether your region manages to build local economies, and whether the people living there are willing to shift to frugal, co-operative and self-sufficient ways.

Robyn Williams: And those self-sufficient ways are on that Simpler Way website, which you can look up by going to abc.net.au/rn and following the prompts to Ockham’s Razor.

Ted Trainer is from the school of Social Work at the University of New South Wales and by contrast, Bob Carr, former Premier of New South Wales, on his return from China a couple of weeks ago, insisted that the only way that that great nation can handle its environmental future is via the creation of wealth through the market economy.

We shall see.

Next week on this program, Joanna Penglase talks about Orphans of the Living – growing up in care in 20th century Australia.

I’m Robyn Williams.

Guests on this program:

Ted Trainer School of Social Work University of New South Wales Sydney http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/

Further information:

The Simpler Way
http://socialwork.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/

Presenter: Robyn Williams
Producer: Brigitte Seega


From Climate Action NOW!

US Military Admits It Burned Bodies, Taunted

The US military admitted on Saturday that its soldiers in Afghanistan had burned the bodies of two dead Taliban guerrillas and taunted insurgents about it, claiming the desecration was for 'hygienic reasons'.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/112705Z.shtml

Abramoff probe broader than thought

Prosecutors in the department's public integrity and fraud divisions are looking into Abramoff's dealings with four Republicans -- former House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, Rep. John Doolittle of California and Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana.

http://tinyurl.com/a95uf


From Information Clearing House

Iranian president calls for war crimes charges on US

Iran’s hard-line president called for the Bush administration to be tried on war crimes charges related to Iraq and denounced the West for its stance on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, state-run television reported today.

http://www.breakingnews.ie/2005/11/26/story232183.html


From Information Clearing House

We're Prepared To Pay The Price Of Freedom, Are You?

After Blair's threat to jail any editor who reports the Bomb Al-Jazeera memo, we thought there would be an outcry. Who would stand up for press freedom, or at least the freedom not to be bombed to buggery?

http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/603


From Information Clearing House

Terror suspects should be prosecuted not tortured

For the past year, beginning with the Senate testimony of Alberto Gonzales, US attorney general, in January, the Bush administration has claimed the power to subject detainees to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”, as long as the victim is a non-American held outside the US. To provide a locale for such mistreatment, it has established secret detention centres in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2005/11/22/usint12079.htm


From Information Clearing House

ONE NIGHT OF ABUSE

VIDEO

"A Few Bad Apples", unravels the events of one night—October 25, 2003—events captured in one of those famous photographs. Three Iraqis, detained by American soldiers at the prison, are dragged from their cells, made to crawl naked along the floor and chained together on the ground and forced to mimic sex. More soldiers gather. Some participate in the humiliation of the detainees, others stand by and watch.

http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/video_player.html?badapples
http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/badapples/index.html


From Information Clearing House

Britain gives approval to torture, claims Amnesty

"We want to open people's eyes to what is being done in their name. Whilst we used to be sending diplomats around the world stopping torture we are flying them around the world to sign agreements with countries that use torture.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11147.htm

Media Disinformation and Death Squads in Occupied Iraq

This article considers who the intellectual authors of these crimes against humanity are and what purpose they serve in the context of the ongoing occupation of the country.

http://tinyurl.com/893en


From Information Clearing House

Lost Legs, Burned Faces and White House Lies: What Are They Dying For?

Nothing has appeared in the mainstream media about Specialist Benson of the 101st Airborne who has lost his legs, or about Sergeant Akers of the Michigan National Guard who is horribly burned. They are not on the front pages.

http://www.counterpunch.com/cloughley11262005.html


From Information Clearing House

Our unconscious minds know the truth: the war is lost we must get out

The occupation didn’t work. Only the order of retreat remains to be settled.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1065-1891608,00.html


From Information Clearing House

Assassinations

By River Bend Blog

When you read it on the internet, it’s nothing like seeing scenes of it on television. They showed the corpses and the family members- an elderly woman wailing and clawing at her face and hair and screaming that soldiers from the Ministry of Interior had killed her sons. They shot them in front of their mother, wives and children… Even when they slaughter sheep, they take them away from the fold so that the other sheep aren’t terrorized by the scene.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11148.htm

A World Gone Mad

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Global_Secrets_Lies/WorldGoneMad_Galeano.html


Informant: Hopedance

Sweep e-bulletin 10

http://www.omega-news.info/sweep_e_bulletin_10.htm

Even Supporters Doubt President

http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?id=149495;article=96316;show_parent=1

If It Can Happen to Padilla, It Can Happen to You

http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?id=149495;article=96315;show_parent=1

Mainstream journalism is the voice of rampant power

http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?id=149495;article=96313;show_parent=1

United States Prepares For ‘Catastrophic Event’

http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?id=149495;article=96306;show_parent=1

Katastrophale Folgen des Klimawandels für die Armen

22.11.2005

"Brot für die Welt" und Germanwatch: Industrieländer müssen ihre Treibhausgasemissionen reduzieren und Entwicklungsländer bei Anpassung an Klimawandel unterstützen.

http://www.sonnenseite.com/index.php?pageID=6&news:oid=n4101

Rep. Norm Dicks Sees War Vote as Mistake

Rep. Norm Dicks regrets his endorsement of war, believing he should have pressed harder for more answers from 'doctored' pre-war intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/112605G.shtml

"Sheehan's Stand" Monument Unveiled in Crawford



Anti-war demonstrators, back in Crawford to protest during President Bush's holiday vacation, unveiled a stone monument Friday with the words "Sheehan's Stand" in honor of the woman who inspired their efforts.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/112605D.shtml



Cindy Sheehan
http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=Sheehan
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