We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Human ‘technosphere’ weighs 30 trillion tonnes

Click here to access article by Tim Radford from Climate News Network.
Scientists have calculated the mass of that unnatural achievement called the “technosphere”, demonstrating the scale of human activity that drives climate change. The bleak conclusion is that cities, factories, cars, railways, cameras, computers, ballpoint pens, swords, machine guns and all other manmade things now weigh about 30 trillion tonnes.
What is excluded from this otherwise excellent account of "human activity that drives climate change" is the system of capitalism created by a particular socioeconomic class that seized power in the 17 and 18 centuries from feudal authorities. Authors writing for capitalist funded websites (see section "About our funders" on their "About Us" page), publishers, and other media resort to abstractions, as Radford does here, in order to avoid any "controversial" references to a system and class that are really responsible for any significant problems: particularly alarming problems like global warming, widespread pollution, and related health problems. Writers know from their indoctrination and/or experience that such references are verboten if one wants any kind of lucrative career in media (or any line of work).

Under this system the production of 30 trillion tons of stuff created the extremely concentrated wealth and power for capitalists who are only a tiny portion of the Earth's population and left many in dire poverty and powerlessness. The 30 trillion tons was also facilitated by the capitalist sector of advertising in order to create desires for many unnecessary products that make up this huge amount. This concentration of wealth and power has been also facilitated by wars that capitalists love to create because wars not only supercharge their profits, but it destroys things which need to be produced again.