Category Archives: 11th HOUR

Big Money in Politics

How Big Money in Politics Blocked U.S. Action on Climate Change

In politics, no piece of carbon dioxide regulation legislation has managed to get very far because of the fossil fuel industry artillery. There stand the sentinels of the fossil fuel industry threatening politicians with political extermination if they dare to budge using big money.big money politics

One Republican senator observed that you look at fossil fuel-funded front groups that are threatening your elimination as a political figure on the one side, and you look over at the other side, and everybody is just sort of standing around looking at the ceiling tiles. Nobody is saying to you, “Look, you got to do the right thing here.

When it came to climate change legislation there was a floodgate of corporate political contributions, much of it in the form of “dark money” whose origins do not have to be disclosed. 

To begin with, the Obama-era pledge made under the Paris agreement to cut emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels. It appears that United States has not been on track to meet the Obama-era pledge anyway for 15 percent of global emissions.

In announcing his decision to withdraw from the Paris accord, President Trump cast it as a matter of putting America first. Trump praised a study showing that the economy would be plunged into darkness if forced to meet Obama’s pledge—a scenario that few, today, take seriously.

Making cost-effective cuts in the emissions that cause climate change is firmly in America’s self-interest and the interest of the whole world crisis

The documentary, a Climate of Change relies on the expert insights of several revered scientists to debunk the skepticism of global warming deniers. Each scientists concurs that further catastrophe can be avoided if our species is willing to take the appropriate steps to act. 

The climate change movement has suffered in part by the inactivity of a younger generation that feels overwhelmed and consumed by daily struggles, and helpless in their ability to affect change within such a far-reaching crisis. 

 It’s not enough to know the problem: you must also know how you can be a part of the solution. 

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Real Limits to Growth

What are the Real Limits to Growth?

Limits to Growth was published in 1972, and its assorted charts and graphs made remarkably real that, as the authors of that book put it at the time, “If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.”

The scenarios, which are called World3, showed how population growth and natural resource use interacted to impose limits to industrial growth, a novel and even controversial idea at the time.

 Though Limits to Growth was the biggest-selling environmental book of all time, with 30 million copies sold — it wasn’t enough to divert our trajectory. People convinced themselves the limits to growth were far enough away they’d be someone else’s problem.

Real Limits to Growth

In 1992, this was no longer true. On the 20th anniversary of the publication of Limits to Growth, the team updated its book called Beyond the Limits. Already in the 1990s there was compelling evidence that humanity was moving deeper into unsustainable territory. Beyond the Limit argued that in many areas we had “overshot” our limits, or expanded our demands on the planet’s resources and sinks beyond what could be sustained over time.

The new book proved to be accurate on many of the basic trend extrapolations: the gap between rich and poor has only grown wider in the past three decades. Thirty years ago, it seemed unimaginable that humanity could expand its numbers and economy so soon to alter the Earth’s natural systems.Real Limits to Growth

The most common criticisms of the original World3 model were that it underestimates the power of technology. But even with the most effective technologies and the greatest economic resilience that seems possible, this model generated scenarios of collapse because of a shortage of resources:

  • The most obvious limit on food production is land. Millions of acres of cultivated land are being degraded by processes such as soil erosion and salinization, while the cultivated area remains roughly constant.
  • Only one-fifth of the planet’s original forest cover remains in large tracts of undisturbed natural forests. Although forest cover in temperate areas is stable, tropical forest area is plummeting
  • Another limit to food production is water. Per capita water withdrawals are going down because of environmental problems, rising costs, or scarcity.
  • Another limit to growth is today’s world population of 7.2 billion. Can you believe 9 billion people predicted in 2050 , when it was only 4 billion people in 1974, the year of the first Skylab? How coincidental is the hockey stick graph of both population and carbon emissions.Real Limits to Growth
  • More than 80 percent of year 2000 commercial energy use comes from non- renewable fossil fuels—oil, natural gas, and coal. The underground stocks of fossil fuels are going continuously and inexorably down. The stock of reserves is finite and non-renewable; the peak for oil production will occur within the next decade.
  • If an eventual nine billion people on earth all consumed materials at the rate of the average American, world steel production would need to rise by a factor of five, copper by a factor of eight, and aluminum by a factor of nine.
Real Limits to Growth
Real Limits to Growth

From source to sink, the processing, fabricating, handling, and use of materials leaves a trail of pollution. Look at the prediction for pollution on the graph above: it is right off the chart beginning right now. Imagine the cost to bring this back to normal.

So it is predicted that  industrial output begins to decline around 2040 because the rising expense of protecting the population from starvation, pollution, erosion, and resource shortage cuts into the capital available for growth.

The fundamental problem arises because society’s implicit goals are to exploit nature, enrich the elites, and ignore the long term. As a result, society will develop technologies and markets that destroy the environment, widen the gap between rich and poor, and Real Limits to Growthoptimize for short-term gain. In short, society develops technologies and markets that hasten a collapse instead of preventing it. Continue reading Real Limits to Growth

Secrets of the Super Rich

The Panama Papers: Secrets of the Super Rich

The international news media have been preoccupied by a new financial scandal as of late and the secrets of the super rich. Their stories focus around the Panama Papers, a set of leaked documents which reveal the identities of over 200,000 companies, trusts, foundations, criminals, world leaders, and other figures of wealth and influence who keep great sums of their money hidden in offshore accounts. Calling upon the talents of highly skilled investigative journalists across the world, the new documentary, The Panama Papers, probes the contents of these documents in an effort to unravel a complex tapestry of suspicious financial activity.

Secrets Super Rich

These 11 million documents all originate from a single source: Mossack Fonseca, or MossFon for short, a Panamanian-based corporate law firm that provides convenient tax havens for the wealthiest entities across the globe. While some of their clients operate within the boundaries of the law and utilize the company’s services for legitimate purposes, many others do not. Offenders include Rami Makhlouf, the richest man in Syria and a chief financial backer of the oppressive Assad regime, and Marlorry Chacon Rossell, a high-profile Guatemalan cocaine trafficker. Mobsters, money launderers, arms dealers, terrorist enablers and other wealthy criminals work with MossFon to set up dummy companies as a shelter from public scrutiny. This allowed them to continue their operations without the fear of leaving a traceable money trail.

The realm of politics also plays a key role in the scandal. World leaders are counted among MossFon’s most notable clientele, including the Prime Ministers of Iceland and Saudi Arabia.

To what extent is MossFon aware of their client’s criminal activities and motives, and at what point is the firm itself veering into illegality? That’s one of the central points of contention explored in the documentary, and it’s a dilemma that has few easy or concrete answers

The Panama Papers were not a leak like Wiki Leaks. It was an illegal hack of selected information handed to 300 “journalists” if you could even call them that. United States involvement was not really revealed: the dirty secrets of western corporations still remain unpublished.

WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED?

GREED FATAL DESIRE

According to the United Nations Development Program, the 20 percent of the world’s people who lived in the wealthiest nations had 30 times the per capita income of the 20 percent who lived in the poorest nations. By 1995 the average income ratio between the richest and poorest 20 percent had increased from 30:1 to 82:1.

TO CHANGE THE WORLD, WE MUST BE GOOD TO THOSE WHO CANNOT REPAY US! 

Pope Francis

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Greed: A Fatal Desire

Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, and it seems to be an integral component of human nature. It could also serve as the gateway to moral bankruptcy and the trigger for global devastation. The documentary, Greed: A Fatal Desire, addresses all of these key concerns with probing insight.

There are several theories as to why the human species might harbor greedy tendencies. Most of the film’s narrative is driven by the teachings of Sheldon Solomon, a social psychologist who believes that greed is a reaction to our inherent fear of death, and that each new material possession represents a means of stalling this inevitability. As long as we need, we live. In this age of ego – where the needs of the individual trump all else – our self-esteem is often defined by the things we own.greed fatal desire

In part, this instinct can ensure survival and achievement. But when our quest for more power, possessions, and attention comes at the cost of others, this behavior can cripple individual, communal and cultural relationships. The class divide widens, and an acceptable quality of life becomes unattainable for far too many citizens of the world.Greed fatal desire

In reality, of course, money and possessions do not result in immortality; they’re temporary rewards that can easily enslave us. The things that really matter – family, love, compassion, and harmony with our natural environment – transcend the notion of power and status. It is through them that we can achieve true peace and contentment. We must raise our level of self-awareness and recalibrate our priorities for the benefit of all.

WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED?

GREED FATAL DESIRE

According to the United Nations Development Program, the 20 percent of the world’s people who lived in the wealthiest nations had 30 times the per capita income of the 20 percent who lived in the poorest nations. By 1995 the average income ratio between the richest and poorest 20 percent had increased from 30:1 to 82:1.

TO CHANGE THE WORLD, WE MUST BE GOOD TO THOSE WHO CANNOT REPAY US! 

Pope Francis

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The Super GREED Rich

Super Rich: The Greed Game

As the credit crunch bites and a global economic crisis threaten, the documentary,  Super Rich: The Greed Game reveals how the super-rich have made their fortunes, and the rest of us are picking up the bill.Super GREED Rich

Robert Peston, the BBC’s Business Editor, speaks to some of the heavy hitters in hedge-fund and private equity scene. Along with the investment bankers, these are the very people who have been blamed for the current financial woe’s of the world.

The film highlights the fact that these very few people have become super rich, and while the global economy is collapsing around us, they get to sail off into the sunset, with bulging pockets, to lay back, and wait for the next set of opportunities that will come along.

This is a man-made problem, created by the devotion to the false idea that an unregulated free market is the best thing for everyone. This would be true in a perfect world, but there is no single example of a free market on earth. Every government is lobbied by monopolistic companies, and every government subsidizes its uncompetitive industry, which may be failing at the time.

One of the real problems was a lack of regulation in the banking sector. When there were no rules of governance then people cheated and committed fraud. The financial crisis of 2008 was the largest fraud ever seen by the global community and its effects continue today. secrets super rich

The one film out there that explains the greed game is Inside Job a must see film. It takes Reagan and Bush to task for tax cuts that benefit the wealthy; it criticizes Clinton for encouraging derivatives and Obama for failing to deliver on the promise of reform.Super Rich Greed

It’s an artificial situation, and if we deem it unfair to the collective whole of human society, then as a matter of ‘fairness’ we need to change the rules of the game.

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11th HOUR

    THE ELEVENTH HOUR

11th HOUR  The expression “the eleventh hour” means the last moment when change can happen to avert possible disaster. The 11th Hour film proposes potential solutions to these problems by calling for restorative action by the reshaping and rethinking of global human activity through technology, social responsibility and conservation.

Hasn’t anybody noticed the droughts, floods and heat waves … the pollution of the rivers, the clear cuttings of forests and the plastic that now exists in the oceans? These are symptoms of a broken connection between humans and nature.
Things are 79 to 100 years ahead of schedule. Scientists are scared. It’s appropriate to be scared when facing extinction.

 

11th HOUR

 In summary, the earth is nearing meltdown, beyond climate change. The process began with the Industrial Revolution, when people started mistakenly looking on nature as external to themselves and exploitable without limits. Forests have undergone major destruction. The ocean is becoming stagnant. Almost everywhere, the soil itself is largely damaged. In addition, 50,000 species a year are becoming extinct; no ecosystem can be identified as improving. 

Humans suffer from increasing numbers of diseases caused by pollution. At fault is the overproduction of non-sustainable manufactures, immense waste and destruction, and an unsupportable population. The primary cause for much of the crisis is the fuels we use, petroleum being the primary one.

Through nature itself, the technology exists to solve some of these crises, and part of the solution is for people to live more consciously in harmony with nature as opposed to dominating it. According to the film, in a few years we will have reached the point of no return. We are not only at the eleventh hour, but at the last few seconds of that hour. Within this century, if nothing effective is achieved, planetary damage will be dramatic and total in every area. Although impossible to predict, extreme disaster could be quick once the balance is decisively tipped in the wrong direction, and it will happen everywhere.

Experts interviewed underlined that everyone must become involved to reverse the destruction and climate change. The role of humans in the destruction of the environment is explained from the viewpoint of several different professional fields including environmental scientists, oceanographers, economic historians, and medical specialists. The many experts called upon in this documentary effectively demonstrated a consensus concerning human-caused climate change, and the many other impacts of industrialization such as the dramatic loss of species (biodiversity).

It’s sad that so few people have seen this as it is so important that people understand how we are messing up this planet:

The 11th Hour (documentary) DOWNLOAD  (2007 – 86 min.)

The 11th Hour (documentary) to watch the trailer and the film

If this movie does not pull your heart strings and inspire you to change not only your outlook but that of everyone’s around you and rekindle your connection to nature.  Many of us have removed ourselves from nature by thinking we as humans are superior and therefore, nature and many forms of life can be considered possessions, mainly (or ALWAYS) for the purpose of profit. 

The 11th Hour is the last moment when change is possible. The film explores how we’ve arrived at this moment – how we live, how we impact the earth’s ecosystems, and what we can do to change our course.  Featuring ongoing dialogues of experts from all over the world:

11th HOUR

Leonardo DiCaprio: Global warming is not only the number 1 environmental challenge we face today, but one of the most important issues facing all of humanity … We all have to do our part to raise awareness about global warming and the problems we as a people face in promoting a sustainable environmental future for our planet.

With contributions from over 50 politicians, scientists, and environmental activists, the film documents the grave problems facing the planet’s life systems. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans’ habitats are all addressed. The film’s premise is that the future of humanity is in jeopardy.

Stephen Hawking: One can see from space how the human race has changed the Earth. Nearly all of the available land has been cleared of forest and is now used for agriculture or urban development. The polar icecaps are shrinking and the desert areas are increasing. At night, the Earth is no longer dark, but large areas are lit up. All of this is evidence that human exploitation of the planet is reaching a critical limit. But human demands and expectations are ever-increasing. We cannot continue to pollute the atmosphere, poison the ocean and exhaust the land. There isn’t any more available.

One of the most serious consequences of our actions is global warming brought about by rising levels of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. The danger is that the temperature increase might become self-sustaining if it has not done so already.

Kenny Ausubel: When we all talk about “saving the environment” in a way it’s misstated because the environment is going to survive. We are the ones who may not survive. Or we may survive in a world we don’t particularly wanna live in. Probably the greatest weapon of mass destruction is corporate economic globalization.

James Hillman: But even to think that we are separated from Nature is somehow a thinking disorder. You cannot be separated from Nature. Why we think that way is the interesting thing.

Thom Hartmann: The problem is the way we are thinking. The problem is fundamentally a cultural problem. It’s at the level of our culture that this illness is happening. Our biosphere is sick.

David Orr: We are now products of $500 billion of advertising each year. So as we destroy nature, we will be destroyed in the process. There’s no escaping that conclusion. This is “all hands on deck” time.

Thomas Linzey: Not only is it the 11th hour, it’s 11:59 and 59 seconds.

Wes Jackson: It’s not just global warming. It’s not just fossil-fuel dependency. It’s not just soil erosion It’s not just chemical contamination of our land and water. It’s not just the population problem. And it’s not just all of those. – The deterioration of the environment of our planet is an outward mirror of an inner condition. – Like inside, like outside. And that’s a part of the Great Work.

Sen. James Inhofe: Could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people?

11th HOUR

Ray Anderson: So we’ve got bad things happening on a lot of fronts. And Earth is hurting… and we are the culprit.

David Suzuki – Scientist, Environmentalist, Broadcaster: Economists don’t include all of the things that nature does for us for nothing. Some technologies would never be able to do what nature does. For example, pollinating all of the flowering plants. What would it cost us to take carbon dioxide out of the air and put oxygen back in, which all the green things do for us for nothing? It’s possible to do a crude estimate of what it would cost us to replace nature. Well, it turns out, he estimated it would cost us $35 trillion a year to do what nature is doing for us for nothing. Now  let’s put that in perspective. If you had added up all of the annual economies of all the countries in the world at that time, it would come to $18 trillion. So, nature is doing twice as much service for us as the economies of the world. And in the madness of conventional economics, this is not in the equation.

11th HOUR

If you take the Darwinian evolutionary path, then humans are earth’s cancer.  Man is a party animal and the earth is the toilet into which we vomit.

Not only do each one of us need to clean up after ourselves but also clean up the pollution inside of ourselves as well.  All of these things help to eliminate the toxins within that pollute our very thinking making it harder to listen to our inner voices for the steps we as individuals could be taking to make this world we have created a healthier one. After all, no human being has anything without their health, and our health ultimately depends on the health of the planet we live on.

Profit and ethics simply don’t mix in the corporate world. Corporations “think” they are the all-powerful “beings” who can attach themselves to whatever they choose to, and because the driving force of this is profit and NOT morality, how can we trust this can be at all ethical?

We have a political system where lobbying, campaign contributions and monetary gifts are protected by law as “expressions of speech”. Money drives our political decisions.  Politics is very much dependent on the economy and corporations. It is government’s role to show concern over the public’s well-being by lifting some of the laws that allow the corporations to continuously gain more power and profit through the plundering of our natural resources.  If only governments and corporations could see past their own greed and put their enormous amount of power, money and energy into DOING SOMETHING for the sake of the planet., for example, funding and implementing sustainable sources of energy.

11th HOUR

Capitalism simply cannot function on a planet with finite resources. Wealth is held in fewer and fewer hands. China and India have just now reached their industrial revolutions and their vast populations want the “standard of living” that Americans have enjoyed.

As for us as consumers, we have truly lost touch with what is most important: the real world in which we live in. We have lost touch because our society is overwhelmed with over-marketed commodities we are constantly confronted with, such as branded clothing we “must” purchase and entertainment and music we feel we need to have to give us fulfillment, and the “necessary” vehicles we must drive in order to function on a day to day basis, and the specific “look” we constantly aspire to have with fashionable clothing and shoes, hair, makeup, etc. 

It is a human problem. Is the ability to have a faster car, a bigger house, or a more expensive purse more important than having natural resources and life? So why are we not doing anything drastic about it? We as humans never do anything about anything until it is too late. We face extinction unless we address it.

 The most important thing individuals can do is to become educated about the global crisis and act in accordance with newly acquired information. Follow local and federal legislation and contact your elected officials regularly to let them know how you want them to vote on issues affecting the environment. Write letters to the newspaper so that your commitment becomes public and energizes others.

11th HOUR

It’s our generation that gets to change the world – forever. Let’s turn mankind’s darkest hour into its finest.  You will ask your political representative, what are they doing in the various levels of government to help the environment for our own good?

We have to have a sense of responsibility not only about now but about our children’s and grandchildren’s future.

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