Refugees

Number 59’s Wall

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Published on Peak Surfer on July 24, 2016

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— Te-lah-nay

 

When we first published this essay in September of 2009, our blog was in its infancy and to this day the post has received only 219 reads. Now, in 2016, with the dog days of summer upon us, we are setting off to find a nice beach somewhere and find it the perfect opportunity to repost this story, one of our personal favorites and one we shall tell our granddaughter some day. Likely we will take her to the Wall when we do.
 
The Wall came to pass from a series of events in the Nineteenth Century, beginning with the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which was opposed by our local Congressman of that time, David Crockett of Tennessee. A lawsuit for the Cherokee Nation reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1832 and Justice John Marshall ruled in Worcester v. Georgia, (31 U.S. [6 Pet.] 515) that an indigenous nation was a "distinct community" with sovereign self-government and the power to engage in treaties with the United States.
 
President Andrew Jackson wrote that “the decision of the Supreme Court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate.” He sent General Winfield Scott to effect the clearances while Congress busied itself passing fake treaties to paper over the ethnic cleansing.
 
Ewashnay-e-e-mello
 
A little girl named Tah-nan-kay was living with her people in the Euchee Nation of Northern Alabama at that time. They called themselves Tsoyaha yuchi, “the Children of the Sun from faraway.” Ironically, the Euchee had fought alongside of Andrew Jackson at the battle of Callabee Creek, in the Indian Wars of 1814, and were praised by the General for their gallantry and valor.
 
 
The Euchee language is a linguistic isolate, not known to be related to any other language, but there are similarities to ancient Hebrew and the Bat Creek Stone (Smithsonian Collection), removed from an East Tennessee mound (since plowed flat), contains a Semitic inscription of the first or second century C.E. which translates "For the Judeans." Carbon-dating has confirmed the linguistic dating.
 
We know that the Euchee were descendents of the original Mississipian mound builders, that they were decimated by European disease following contact with DeSoto (1540) and Pardo (1567) expeditions, and that their widely scattered villages were the consequence of that decimation and of being on the losing side of conflicts with in-migrating Muskhogean, Iroquoian, and Algonkian peoples.
 
The Euchee are now the oldest recognizable residents of the Southeast. There are only 7 native speakers left.
Tah-nan-kay and her sister, Whana-le watched from the bushes where their father had hid them when the whites, led by Hairy Face, who drank from a jug and walked crooked, came to their wasi. Hairy Face killed their family before their eyes, but, guided by their grandmother, the sisters, aged about 16 and 14, reached a canoe and went down the Singing River to the Muscle Shoals. There they were captured, removed to a stockade, and then put aboard a Navy keelboat going to Arkansas, with 20 Chicasaws, 12 Creeks, 11 Choctaws and 30 Cherokees. 
 
They were given necklaces with brass tags bearing numbers. Tah-nan-kay and Whana-le were given 59 and 60, which they understood to be their new names, the names the Shiny Buttons called them. They said the canoe was so large they could not hear the Woman in the Singing River. From West Memphis, they joined the long walk to Oklahoma. Many stories are told of that forced winter march, and of the more than 4,000 who died, and they will not be recounted here.

 

 

We have an artist friend, Bernice Davidson, who has done a series of public art monuments to the Trail of Tears. In one mural she prepared for Lawrenceburg, Tennessee,  she shows a long line of bedraggled men, women and children, some of them in manacles, being frog-marched through town by mounted cavalry. In every window and doorway there are white residents looking on, and they are crying. Those tears are not being shed by the proud and honorable peoples being marched through the town. They are being shed by the citizens forced to witness in shock and horror what their own government is capable of.

 

 
After a winter or more in Oklahoma, Number 59 resolved to return home. She told her younger sister that she had visited all the rivers and creeks in that place and they were silent. She did not know the birds. She was not a flower that could bloom in that place, like her sister was, she said. She had spoken to her grandmother in her dreams, and her grandmother had told her to return to the Singing River.
 
When the snows melted, she left Oklahoma and walked back. In her dreams, her grandmother told her to mark where the Blue Star rose, and to go that way under cover of dark, avoiding the roads and settlements, and especially the dogs around them. The hardest part about crossing creeks was not the swim, but getting through the cane breaks on the banks, which often had nests of the snakes that drum with their tails.
 
She observed a fox, who her grandmother had told her was very smart. The fox picked up a cane in its mouth and waded slowly into the river. The bugs on the fox moved up to the cane and out onto its dry ends to keep from drowning. Then the fox dropped the cane and swam back to the shore. 
 
Number 59 told her grandchildren many years later that she spent some months with a family who took her in at their settlement near the warm water (Hot Springs), and then, after she went around the “firefly village” (Little Rock), she met a Natchez Indian woman, named Wachetto, who had married a white settler named Pryor Donelson. Number 59 stayed with the Donelsons that winter. They arranged for a ferryman they knew to take her to Batesville, Mississippi, and from there she kept walking east. 
 
After she left, the Donelson’s boy, Jacob, discovered a small circular wall of stones behind the barn. Inside the wall there was a stone with the name of each member of the Donelson family, and one for Te-lah-nay, with the Euchee symbol of remembrance. 
 
 
 
Eventually, after more than two years on the trail, she heard the sound of the Night Singer (whipporwill) and Rain Crow (yellow-billed cuckoo) and she knew she was nearly home. Already there were many new white settlements in the 25 million acres of confiscated lands. When she found her home, she sat by the bank and listened to the low voice of the Woman in the River. After a journey of more than 700 miles, “I’ve come home, Grandmother,” she said. 
 
Wichahpi
 
This story was told to us by her great-great grandson, Tom Hendrix, who sat on a folding chair inside the garage behind his house, as the rain fell in torrents. He showed us a basket woven by a Euchee in Oklahoma, and how precise the weaving was. We were just off the Natchez Trace in Lauderdale, County, Alabama, about 50 miles from The Farm. The story Tom told came from his grandmother and his uncle. 
 
He says he is not much of a storyteller. Tom’s Euchee name means the Stonetalker. For much of his life, he has been building a wall to remember Te-lah-nay. The wall is actually two massive walls, running nearly parallel, for more than a quarter mile through the forest. The outer wall, representing the Trail of Tears, is very straight and broad – 16 feet or more at the start, tapering to 10 feet, then 8 feet, then nothing. It ends in a tapered hook. The inner wall, representing the trail back for Number 59, is more idiosyncratic, weaving around trees, with alcove seats, prayer circles and small chapels, and many special gifts that have been left in the wall.
 
Stonetalker, now age 77, told us that each stone has been picked up at least three times. Once in the field, once from his truck, once from his wheelbarrow. He has been through many wheelbarrows, and his favorite, the one that lived longest, was named Fred and when Fred retired he had a special retirement party, dressed in a necktie and party hat. Fred is buried in the wall.
 
Between the parallel walls Tom has left some low stumps in the path. He says he leaves the stumps as “toestubbers,” to remind people of what it was like to travel at night in the forest.
 
Near where the wall begins the Nations have sent young stonecrafting emissaries to place sacred protection on both sides — rocks with eyes that look out to each person entering the path. 
 
At the guidance of a holy man from the Nations whose name we forget he built the prayer circle seven times before leaving it as it is now. Each time he thought he had it right, but the emissaries from the Nations came and measured it with their special sticks and said he had to do it again. He did that until after the seventh time, when they said it was right. “What was wrong before?” he asked. 
 
“Nothing,” they said. Each time was for a generation, first his great-great grandmother, then his great grandmother, his grandmother, his mother, him, his children, and his grandchildren. 
 
The inner wall is built with three steps. The ground is birth, the first step is life, the second is death, the third is rebirth. 
 
For the past 30 years, Tom has been building the wall, a little longer, a little wider, each stone, one stone at a time. He has been visited by people from many countries and many faiths. He works still. He says the wall does not belong to him, it belongs to everyone. It is wichahpi, "like the stars."
 

US Climate Migrations About to Begin

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Published on The Daily Impact on May 12, 2016

Too close for comfort: rising waters of the Gulf of Mexico are turning the residents of Isle de Jean Charles, LA, into the first U.S. climate refugees. (Photo by Karen Apricot/Flickr) Too close for comfort: rising waters of the Gulf of Mexico are turning the residents of Isle de Jean Charles, LA, into the first U.S. climate refugees. (Photo by Karen Apricot/Flickr)

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Does the Congress know about this? The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development in January approved grants of about a billion dollars to communities in 13 states to help the deal with climate change — a problem that according to a majority of the leaders of Congress, and a majority of the members of the Senate, does not exist. Among those grants was one for $48 million to help move an entire Louisiana community to higher ground as rising seas obliterate its land. This is a first for America. It is hardly the last.

The community is Isle de Jean Charles in southeast Louisiana, an island community of Native Americans that has lost 90% of its land to the sea already (not only, but increasingly, because of climate change and rising sea levels). There are just 60 people left on the island, whose resettlement will cost taxpayers about $800,000 per person. Wrenching as their experience is bound to be, these folks have a first-class ticket that will not be available when the crowds arrive.

The waves of change are lapping at the feet of Americans all along the East and Gulf Coasts. Just last week, flood waters from one to three feet deep inundated areas (West End, North Wildwood) of Atlantic City, New Jersey. There was no rain, and no storm — just a northeast breeze and a seasonal high tide. The water bubbled up into the city through storm drains that are supposed to carry it the other way. Imagine if you put a storm on top of that.

Even without a major storm, the rate of sea level rise alone may make Atlantic City untenable within 15 years. Will we have $800,000 for each person that needs to relocate then?

Fortunately, the area is represented by the hard driving governor Chris Christie, who given his experience with Superstorm Sandy will no doubt take forceful action…wait, what? [Christie Says Climate Change “Not a Problem.”]

Similar incidents — often referred to as “blue-sky floods” — are occurring with increasing frequency from Boston to Norfolk to South Miami Beach. For a year and more, candidates from Florida, Virginia and New England have been running for President of the World; wouldn’t you think a problem as real and present as this one would have come up? It didn’t.

We will have climate refugees,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell ten days ago, but she wasn’t referring to Louisiana or Atlantic City, but to the Arctic. The threat there is not so much from rising seas as warming temperatures, which are melting the sea ice and the permafrost. As the sea ice disappears, the storm waves get bigger and closer to human settlements; as the permafrost melts, the ice highways on which many villages depend for supplies become impassable. Probably the first to go completely under will be Kivalina, Alaska, population 400. President Obama has been there to empathize with the refugees to be; there is no evidence that the Congress believes in Alaska.

Given the tunnel vision and the obtuse denial of American financiers and politicians, the onset of the American Climate Diaspora will not be slow. It will start only when enough tasseled boat shoes are deeply under water, and then it will likely be a stampede.

We are seeing today all of Europe being seriously destabilized by climate refugees out of North Africa and the Middle East. (Yes, climate refugees. Everything that is happening in that beleaguered region has roots in severe, prolonged, famine-inducing drought.) That crisis will no doubt worsen for many years to come, and may well call into question the survival not just of the European Union, but the countries of Europe.

And what will our own, homegrown climate migration call into question? Everything.

Don’t tell Congress, you’ll only upset them.

No Season

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Published on Peak Surfer on April 10, 2016

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"They have given up their banana and avocado farm in Africa and hope to make a go of it in a land where they do not recognize the trees and have a bit of trouble understanding the local dialect."

 

  We are midway through #REX3 — a 10-day advanced permaculture design workshop with our friends Darren Doherty and Cliff Davis here in Southern Tennessee. The site this year is the newly acquired farm of an emigrant family in the rolling hills of Maury County, just about 20 miles from The Farm community.

For those not familiar with the changes going on in the southern regions of Africa, a bit of history might be helpful. The British took control of the Cape of Good Hope in 1806 in order to prevent it from being occupied by the French during the Napoleonic Wars. Dutch-speaking Afrikaners who had been there more than a century chaffed under British authority and didn’t like being forced to speak English, so they migrated inland and although the British recognized the independence of the South African Republic in 1852 and the Orange Free State in 1854, after gold was discovered the Empire returned and reclaimed those regions in the Boer Wars. A visitor from New Zealand described the typical Afrikaner Kraal of that era:

The Boer republics were sparsely populated and most farming communities lived in isolation, linked to each other by crude wagon trails. Following the custom of their forefathers, the Boers believed a farm should be at least 2400 hectares. Boer farms, even those tending livestock, often had no enclosures; the farmhouse would simply be surrounded by open pasture, a few fields of crops and maybe an orchard. The house itself would often be built from clay and usually consisted of two rooms with a thatched roof. The decorations within were modest and the clay floors were routinely smeared with a mixture of cow dung and water to reduce dust.

Of course, the large farms of the Afrikaners did not remain poor. Thanks to slave labor, many generations of farm toil, and the commerce of the British Empire, they grew to be some of the wealthiest and most productive in the world.

Afrikaner history, although now a distant past, was a thorn in the side of the later African anti-apartheid drives of the last century and animosities linger. For a very long time a small white minority had ruled cruelly, and now, finally, majority rule returned. What happened in nearby Zimbabwe is illustrative of what that can mean for the whites.

Like Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress in South Africa, in the white-ruled state of Rhodesia the opposition party ZANU was banned and its leader Robert Mugabe was imprisoned in 1964. In prison Mugabe taught English to his fellow prisoners and earned multiple graduate degrees by correspondence from the University of London. Freed in 1974, he went into exile in Zambia and Mozambique where he built the resistance movement. Later, with support of British negotiators, the new state of Zimbabwe was given majority rule and in 1980 it elected Mugabe, who has been president ever since and has no intended successors.

Mugabe worked to convince his country’s 200,000 whites, including 4,500 commercial farmers, to stay. Then, in 1982, Mugabe sent his North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to smash dissent. Over five years, an estimated 20,000 civilians were killed and many whites were dispossessed of their farms with no advance notice. In 2000 Mugabe rewrote the Zimbabwean constitution to expand the powers of the presidency and legitimize seizures of white-owned land. The country’s commercial farming collapsed, triggering years of hyperinflation and food shortages in a nation of impoverished billionaires.

In recent years the horrors inflicted by Mugabe have been so sadistic that we are left wondering whether he is demented by syphillis. And yet, through all of this, he enjoyed the support of the ANC in South Africa and has widespread approval in the continent. With the death of Mandela, South Africa has begun moving away from the policies of equanimity between races and it has become increasingly difficult for whites to attend universities and obtain professional employment. Which brings us to Tennessee.

The farm where our students are congregating this morning is a lifeboat for this old family of Dutch ancestry. They have given up their banana and avocado farm in Africa and hope to make a go of it in a land where they do not recognize the trees and have a bit of trouble understanding the local dialect. Back in South Africa are a number of relatives who look towards this young couple and their Tennessee farm as Noah’s Ark in event of a hard rain coming.

The REX advanced course “cuts to the chase” with farm design to assay what the needs are and what strategies will get this ark on a prosperous footing most rapidly. As the Regrarians website describes it:

In the world of workshops & courses there is nothing quite like the #Regrarians 10 day Integrated Farm Planning course or #REX. A carefully crafted distillation of the world’s greatest and most effective methodologies, the #REX is designed for nothing less than effective outcomes. People are participants, not ‘attendees’ or ‘students’ at a #REX, such is the integrity of the course model for its inclusive approach. Following the Regrarians already renowned & highly respected #RegrariansPlatform, the #REX follows a subject a day, building layer by practical layer for the real client and real enterprise that is the basis for this unique 10 day experience.

DAY 1 – Climate (90 minute sessions)
A – Client ‘Climate’ Briefing, Develop Holistic Goal/Concept, Terms of Reference
B – Atmospheric Climate retrieval & analysis, macro & micro climate factors
C – Legal ‘Climate’ retrieval & analysis, Municipal & State planning, other regulations
D – Climate Layer Exercise – Over 60 mins in small work-teams frame responses to the above and report to course findings in 10 mins each group (includes feedback)
E – Thermophyllic Composting Demonstration (scalable)

DAY 2 – Geography
A – Revision; Sandpit: Keyline Geography, Geometry & Applications
B – Assemble & Study Cadastral, Geology, Soil, Topographic, Planning & Mining Maps
C – GIS/GPS/Survey Applications & Technologies, Online GIS resources, Developing Effective Plans
D – Farm Walk ‘n’ Talk, Landscape Reading & Analysis, ‘Farmscape’ Analysis, Define Primary Land Unit & Land Component Boundaries, ‘Bullseye’ Demonstration

DAY 3 – Water
A – Revision; Examine & Overview of Existing Farm Water Systems, Farm Catchment
B – Earth Dam Construction & Water Harvesting Infrastructure – Design, Processes & Applications
C – Farm Irrigation Systems – Design, Applications & Installation
D – Water Layer – Over 90 mins (plus break time) develop farm water storage, harvesting
E – Water Layer Presentation & Feedback session + 10 mins each group for presentation & feedback

DAY 4 – Access
A – Revision; Examine & Overview of Existing Internal & External Farm Access
B – Access Earthworks Design, Engineering, Construction & Applications
C – Dam, Water Harvesting & Access Set Out Practicum: using Surveyor & DIY Instruments (RTK-GPS, Total Station, Transit & Laser Levels)
D – Access Layer – Over 60 mins develop farm access concept plan + 10 mins per group for presentation & feedback

DAY 5 – Forestry
A – Revision; Forestry Systems Applications: Shelterbelts, Alleys, Orchards, Avenues, Woodlands, Blocks, Riparian
B – Forestry Systems Design & Establishment Strategies
C – Forestry Systems Management & Utilisation
D – Forestry Layer – Over 60 mins develop farm forestry concept plan + 10 mins per group for presentation & feedback

DAY 6 – Buildings
A – Revision; Building Types & Technologies: Dwellings, Sheds, Yards & Portable Livestock
B – Building placement strategies, Existing Building Analysis & Retrofitting Options
C – Lucas Portable Sawmill Practicum + Broiler Shelter Construction
D – Building Layer – Over 60 mins develop farm building concept plan + 10 mins per group for presentation & feedback

DAY 7 – Fencing
A – Revision; Fencing Technologies, Applications & Costings
B – Fencing Placement – Land Components/Structures/Livestock systems
C – Fencing Installation Practicum – with local ‘Pro’ Fencer: Build end assemblies, ‘wires & pliers’, electric net fencing, tumblewheel
D – Fencing Layer – Over 60 mins develop farm fencing concept plan + 10 mins per group for presentation & feedback

DAY 8 – Soils
A – Revision, ‘5 Ingredients for Soil Formation’ – House Envelope & SilvoPastoral Applications
B – Farm Soil Classifications & Sample Analysis: Earth Building, Earthworks & Agricultural
C – Yeomans Keyline Plow ‘Pattern Cultivation’, Survey & Set Out
D – ‘Time Poor’ Farm Garden Practicum: No Dig/Wicking Beds; Keyline Plow Forestry &
Orchard Ground Preparation
E – Holistic Management Planned Grazing – Grazing Plan Practicum
 

DAY 9 – Economy
A – Revision; Farm Enterprise Planning: Comparing Enterprises, Market & Resource Analysis, Complementary Enterprise Options & Liaisons, Managing & Limits to Growth & Expectations
B – Farm Enterprise Management: ‘The Team’, Interns/WWOOFERS, Apprentices, Employees/SubContractors, Terms of Reference, Job Descriptions & Contracts
C – Economy Layer – Over 90 mins prepare a Farm Enterprise & Marketing Concept Plan
D – Economy Layer – Continued from Session C – 60 mins of Farm Enterprise & Marketing Concept Plan preparation then 10 mins per group presentation & feedback

DAY 10 – Energy
A – Revision; Farm Energy Conversion & Storage Systems: Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Biomass, BioDigestor, Wind, Hydro; Analysis of suitability & applications
B – Energy Layer – Over 60 minutes prepare an Farm Energy Concept Plan + 10 mins per group presentation & feedback
C – Farm Enterprise Development & Reporting; Client & Contractor Liaisons; Prioritising Works
D – Completed REX ‘Regrarians Platform’ Concept Plan Layer Analysis & Review – Client & Participant Feedback; ‘What’s Next?’; Presentations

Today we are on Day 7 – Fencing. Tomorrow we get to speak about biochar and carbon farming and are looking forward to that part.

As we walked the high ridges of this farm we happened upon an old cemetery, overgrown with vines, its raised crypts caving in, its carvings fading. We posted a photo of one stone on Instagram and someone was kind enough to provide the reference to the verse, which is by poet Felicia Dorothea Hemans (1793-1835). It is called The Hour of Death.

Leaves have their time to fall
And flowers to wither at the north wind’s breath
And stars to set, but all
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, o Death

In many ways this family is lucky. They sensed the north wind’s breath and got out before the knock on the door in the night. They cashed in and took the value of their previous farm with them. All across Europe and the Middle East, changing climate and conflicts over dwindling resources — effects of the population bomb long ago forecast —  are sending waves of penniless and desperate refugees fleeing with nothing at all, just the clothes on their backs.

With the increase of global climate weirding we sometimes get the sense that we may be entering a time without reliable seasonality. There is only one name for that. Death.

In the end, there is no refuge. There is just this one blue marble in space. Either we begin to steward the land the way this workshop of Darren’s teaches, or it will heat up, dry out and support no one.

Alternatively, we can school ourselves with methodologies such as these and live on a garden planet once more, keeping our numbers and demands in harmony with her natural abundance.

Is it even a serious choice?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE & Steve Collapse Update 1

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 23, 2016

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By Popular Request from the Collapse Fans 😀 , Steve and I got together to do a "Collapse Update" show on Sunday, modelled after the old Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update".

  https://bjanecarp.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/ignorantslut.jpg

"RE, you Ignorant SLUT!"

In this episode, we discuss POLITICS, specifically the shenanigans going on in the POTUS election with The Donald, Shillary and the rest of the Clown Show running for Chief Marionnette.  On an international level, we discuss Vlad the Impaler's unexpected withdrawal of his penis from the conflict in Syria.

http://image.slidesharecdn.com/withdrawalmethod-090513203031-phpapp01/95/withdrawal-method-2-728.jpg?cb=1242246658

Let us know in the commentary what subjects you wish us to discuss in future editions of the Collapse Update Show. 🙂

Bugout Bags 4

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 20, 2016

http://3219a2.medialib.glogster.com/media/4d/4d2c8695b6ac7047a8074403b42212d9010928fa8f35cdf98fceb1b64c4d6eff/covered-wagons-jpg.jpg

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The First Bugout Bags: History of Migrations of Homo Sap from Cro-Magnon to The Mormon Trail

The ongoing migration of Homo Saps currently underway from devastated communities and countries like Syria and Afghanistan is not the first mass migration to take place of our species, either before the era of Ag and then Industrialization, nor is it likely to be the last of these migrations either.

Way back in our distant past, there were actually two brands of the species Homo wandering around the Earth at the same time, around 45,000 years ago, well before the development of Agricutlure.  They are designated in the Anthropology texts as Neanderthal Man and Cro-Magnon Man.  Cro-Magnon man was more or less anatomically identical to modern humans, the Neaderthals had the classic "caveman" look.

  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0c/05/36/0c053645cbcf0c2b7a0a7034d867b46c.jpg

They occupied the same territory in Europe for a few thousand years, with Cro-Magnon eventually completely displacing the Neanderthals who got there first.  There is some evidence that interbreeding went on through this period, and that there are still some Neanderthal genes floating around in modern humans, but for all intents and purposes they were wiped out.

How did the Cro-Magnon do their migration?  Given the technology of the day, they had no wheels and probably no boats that could travel across anything but small distances of water, more like rafts than boats.  So it was mostly foot travel, and the equipment they carried with them pretty spartan, perhaps a hand axe and a spear and a few animal skins for making temporary shelters.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/b6/9b/92/b69b92a087aa1358cf63558a059829df.jpg

The advantage they had over modern migrants is there were few other Homo Saps or Homo Neanderthals they would run into, and there was a lot more wild foods to be accessed along the migration routes than there are today.  The migrations also didn't happen rapidly over a single generation, they happened gradually over many generations.  As each neighborhood they occupied filled to carrying capacity, groups would migrate another few miles to an empty spot of people with decent resources, and the process would rinse and repeat.  This process eventually took anatomically modern Homo Saps across the entire globe in a series which basically came to a close when the Big Island of Hawaii was discovered by Polynesian Navigators around 1000 AD.

http://image.slidesharecdn.com/bigera2-140821003700-phpapp02/95/big-era-2-overview-power-point-11-638.jpg?cb=1408581473

By that time even Stone Age technology people had developed cat-rigged sailing canoes capble of traversing the vast distances of the Pacific Ocean, although it would take the Europeans another 400 or so years before they had their own design of sailing ships capable of such ocean voyages.  For Vikings who made the trip to North America before Columbus, they did it in their Longboats by Island Hopping from Iceland to Greenland to Newfoundland, and they weren't succesful with setting up colonies and displacing the natives who got there thousands of years earlier.

http://pvs.kcc.hawaii.edu/images/graphics/kane_hokulea_2006.jpeg https://thornews.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/viking-ship-norway.jpeg http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01122/new-zealand-cook_1122386c.jpg

In the case of the migrants who populated North America early on, they got here by crossing a land bridge between Asia and North America now covered by water in the Bering Straight.  Over thousands more years, those migrants eventually populated both North and South America, and their own civilizations developed independently, the Mayans and the Aztecs most significantly in terms of numbers.  However, there were now Homo Saps pretty much covering the globe, and the days of completely free migration came to a close.

In the years that have followed, no migrations have not been accompanied by some sort of warfare, either internal like the Pogroms in Russia where the Jews were forcibly driven out, or like the expansion of various Empires, like the Mongols or the Huns who would expand into other areas by making war on them and if successful, killing off most of the male locals and then intebreeding with the female locals of the area left alive.

Here in the FSoA, the main migrations of Europeans took place against the backdrop of the genocide of the First Nations people, which occured in large part due to diseases like the smallpox and tuberculosis they brought with them from Europe and which the natives had no immunity to, but also incorporating a huge amount of violence as well in the Indian Wars which went on non stop from the 1500s right through the 1800s, more or less coming to a close with the Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890.

https://www.popularresistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/1woun-e1388371891567.jpg

The migrations to colonize North America with Europeans are glorified in our political history as "Manifest Destiny", and the migrants of this period are themselves glorified as "Pioneers", with all the images and films of hardy folks crossing the North American continent in horse and oxen pulled Covered Wagons along the Oregon Trail.  There are more than a few stories about the trials and travails of these Refugees as they made their way across the country with their Covered Wagon Bugout Bags, such as the story of the Donner Party which resorted to Cannibalism in order to survive after becoming trapped in a Blizzard in the mountains before making it to the Promised Land of Oregon.

http://blogs.rgj.com/renorebirth/files/2012/07/rendc5-5f4u03bwirl1efzkee34_original.jpg

Notice that I switched from using the popular term for these people from "Pioneers" to "Refugees", because that in fact was what they really were.  Nobody would undertake such a difficult and dangerous journey unless they were FLEEING from something worse, which in many cases was Religious Persecution in Europe, and/or economic deprivation they faced wherever they came from.

Often if not all the time, the Religious Persecution itself stems from Economic reasons, as one Religion gains economic hegemony over an area and portions of the population that have other religious beliefs become impoverished.  The persecuted population is just about always the poorer part of the population, the Refugees are not coming from the portion of the population that gets the wealth of a given area.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9OLdJ1vrFmA/T2TWz7AcuUI/AAAAAAAABfQ/PKtJDb_mx-o/s1600/steerage%2Bpassengers%2Bon%2Bdeck.jpgOnce over here in the FSoA, travelling in steerage on overcrowded ships, Refugees piled up in cities like New York, forming huge ghettos of impoverished people.  Sound familar?  Those people would find work in the rapidly industrializing economy of the FSoA, and once they had enough money to afford a wagon and a couple of oxen to pull that wagon, off they would go to look for their own land and their own piece of the new pie that had been acquired by killing off all the natives that had been there before.

Except of course in the early years of this Refugee Crisis, all the Natives had NOT yet been killed off, and the ones still left were in a fight for their lives and their way of living.  So there was plenty of fighting between Refugees and Natives, plenty of captives taken by both sides, and plenty of women got raped as well from both sides.  Again, this sounds pretty familiar now, doesn't it?

http://www.altermann.com/gallery/images/533m.jpgAnyhow, for this era of refugees, the Gold Standard of Bugout Bags was the fully equipped Covered Wagon, pulled by a couple of hardy Oxen, and then hopefully also you could afford a Horse and a Mule or two to ride out and do Recon, and then maybe a couple of goats too trailing along behind for a steady source of milk and cheese on the journey.  Fresh water was pretty abundant in those years except for traversing some desert areas, so refilling your water bags and casks wasn't too big a problem.  Fresh Game was available to hunt down as well, and along with the rest of the preps you carried you had your Henry Rifle along as well.  For the earliest Refugees, they could pretty much supply themselves with food along the way as long as they were well prepped to start out with.

As this Refugee Highway developed, Trading Posts were established along the way, and then it became possible to barter for or buy with Money if you had some, which in those days usually meant Gold or Silver coins, because Bank Notes usually weren't too reliable outside of a small neighborhood a bank might be operating.  It is unlikely too many of these refugees had many Gold Coins, but they could trade furs for some gunpowder, jerky they made for a bag of flour, etc.

The final stage of these migrations tok place along the Mormon Trail.  Unlike many of the refugees that had preceeded them, many of these Mormons were so desperately poor that they could not even afford the Covered Wagons pulled by the oxen, the horses and goats etc.  They were fleeing Religious Persecution too, and Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had found one of the last great refuges on the planet, The Valley of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, surrounded by Mountains on all sides.  The Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints put out the call to all Mormons to come to Utah, and they came by the thousands in one of the last, if not the last great migration on foot by a large population of Homo Saps.

To replace the horse or oxen drawn Covered Wagon, impoverished Mormons substituted a Human Powered Bugout Bag arrangement, the Hand Cart.

http://aboutmormons.org/files/2014/07/mormon-pioneers.jpg

It is unlikely in the early years of the migrations that many people could have made a cross country journey pulling a hand cart.  Their prep supplies would be too limited, they would be too vulnerable to the natives whose neighborhoods they passed through and there would not yet have been well marked out trails you could pull such a device along.

Such a migration had to wait until there was a network of trading posts along the way, and bridges and ferries that would take the Refugees and their handcarts across the larger rivers, in particular the Mighty Missippi.  Even so, it was a massively difficult undertaking, and many Mormons died along the trail to the Promised Land in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.  By percentage, it might even be larger than the current percentage of Syrians drowning as they attempt to cross to Greece from Turkey in small inflatable boats.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/6/v/m/9/q/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620x349.16veu1.png/1442498084955.jpg

Like the MOrmons, for the modern refugees making their migration, they are dependent on a network of services and way stations along the route.  Boats, Trains and Buses to cover the vast distances in a reasonable amount of time, refugee camps along the way to stop off at and hopefully get Free Food handed out by the Red Cross, and some form of working money to pay transit fees.  The ferry ride across the Mississippi did not come free for the Mormons any more than train fare from Greece to Stockholm is free, even assuming you can get across all the borders in between, which probably takes some bribery in many cases.

The modern refugee also can't bring along nearly as much stuff as you could pull along with a handcart, you couldn't load so much stuff onto one of those small inflatable boats, and packing so much to get it on and off buses and trains would require many bags likely to be lost or stolen along the way.

On the upside for the modern refugee, you don't need to carry so much stuff, since much of what you might need you will be able to purchase as needed along the way, as long as you have some working money.  You don't buy and carry a sleeping bag and tent in Turkey before you make the crossing to Greece in the small inflatable, for that you just take a small backpack with some clothes, your money and your passport.  When you arrive in Greece, THEN you buy the tent and sleeping bag, although likely at inflated prices since there is bound to be someone out there making a profit off your misery.

http://www.whiteheather.co.nz/outdoor/images/store1.jpg

Other items are cheaper and easier to replace for the modern migrant than for the Mormons on the trail, a good example would be Boots and Shoes.  A good set of boots that would last a walking journey to Utah cost a fortune for people of that era, but relatively speaking such boots are much cheaper now due to mass production in China and automation.  You also can replace worn out shoes or sneakers most anywhere you would be migrating through.  You're also not walking nearly as much or over such rough terrain, so your footwear will last longer also.

Of course, all this replaceability falls apart once the monetary system fails and JIT delivery of Chinese Sneakers to retail outlets on Kos and Lesbos stops, but for now these things still work so you don't necessarily need extra shoes for your journey, just enough money to buy new shoes if you need them.  Still a good idea though to start out the journey with a good high quality set of hiking boots, at whatever your migration budget will allow.

The current form of migration being undertaken by refugees from MENA to Europe is not likely to continue in its present form too much longer.  Borders are closing and refugees are stacking up at the Choke Points along the way, and even just getting yourself across the borders with just the clothes on your back much less have the 3 Bugout Bag combination suggested in Part 1 & 2 of this series is going to become increasingly more difficult.  However, in North America and in Australia, the border crossings are not as yet too much of an issue once you are on the continent, although crossing to Mejico or Canada from the FSoA is increasingly more difficult too.  In part 5 of the Bugout Bag series, we'll look at another form of Human Powered Bugout still possible in these regions.

Danger! EU Demolition in Progress

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Published on the 22 Billion Energy Slaves on February 22, 2016

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It’s getting harder all the time to distract oneself from how threadbare the fabric of our societies is becoming. No matter how much you avert your eyes it is all but impossible not to notice things unravelling around you. This is happening on every level, from the local to the international, manifesting itself in a multitude of ways.  Just as a fractal pattern has both the macrocosm in the microcosm, and the microcosm in the macrocosm, we are seeing signs of collapse small and large all around us.

 
 
At the micro level I could mention the town in which I live. In the past year we’ve seen a couple of big box retailers close down at one end of the scale, and quite a few small independents as well, some of which have been trading for decades. Streets have so many boarded up shop-fronts that the local council has taken to plastering them with posters showing images from happier times. Homelessness has spiked too, as has drug and alcohol abuse. The police station hasn’t officially closed down, but try getting hold of an officer when you need one – as I did when some drunken youth vandalised my car. The building is still there but instead of it being open there is a phone beside the front door that you must use to report a crime.
 
Aside from the police and the shops closing, public toilets are closed virtually all of the time, and the Post Office too is soon to close down, having been privatised and now asset stripped. The council is being forced to raise its taxation rates by 4% this year to cover the shortfall caused by spiralling costs and diminished funding from central government. Clinics and charities are being squeezed out of existence and the local council tried (and failed) to privatise the town’s midsummer festival.
 
My wife works in the care sector. The stories I get to hear will make you never want to be dependent on the state in your old age. If you can’t rely on your kids to look after you in your dotage it might be wise to keep a bottle of whisky and a revolver in your bottom drawer. Or maybe you'd rather die of thirst lying in your own mess because the 19-year-old unqualified carer who works for minimum wage is too busy checking Facebook on her phone to hear you pressing the emergency button by the bed.
 
Food banks are popping up. Schools are cancelling the more costly trips due to a lack of pupils being able to afford them, and local councils are cutting down trees in public places as they are ‘costly to maintain'. Streets are lined with weeds.  
 
This might sound like a laundry list of woes, but despite it all there is still a reasonably solid façade of normality. Potholes in the road get fixed, people are still buying shiny new cars and householders do up their homes. The county council is still pressing ahead with its plans to install super-fast broadband that will ‘connect us to the world’ as if we weren’t already, and the newspapers continue to repeat that the economy is recovering, that everyone who wants a job now has one, and that generally speaking things are pretty good and getting better all the time. Children’s TV programmes are still talking about us all going off to live on Mars at some point in the future, Richard Branson has unveiled a new spaceship and true believers are still talking earnestly about self-driving robot cars that are fuelled by water.
 
All well and good if you are not paying attention, but on another level it is also getting harder to ignore the cracks that are appearing around us. And crack-ups don’t get much larger than the EU. The UK prime minister David Cameron recently announced there would be a referendum on whether Britain should remain a part of the EU aka ‘Brexit’. This has had the effect of a starting gun being fired in the race to win votes for the respective ‘In’ and ‘Out’ campaigns. If the ‘ins’ win then the UK will remain within the EU, albeit still on the periphery and with various half-measures in place to ward off unwelcome EU policies. If the ‘outs’ win then the UK will be out of Europe and millions of lawyers can expect to look forward to years of lucrative work as we try to disentangle ourselves from the biggest bureaucratic mess the world will have ever seen.
 
Even though it is early days, a basic and simplistic narrative has emerged in the debate. It goes something like this:
 
From the INs: “The EU brings us peace and prosperity. It has eliminated borders, improved the environment and lifted consumer standards. We would be X b/million (insert random number from your favoured think tank) pounds worse off if we left. It protects us from Russia and ISIS and the Brexiters are nothing but a bunch of right-wing racist Neanderthals who want to steal the EU’s (benign) power and use it against us.”
 
From the OUTs: “The EU is undemocratic and nobody should have the right to decide our national policies – especially immigration. It is run by unelected technocrats who are paid a fortune to make up silly laws. The European Court of Human Rights is the go-to place for Islamic terrorists and paedophiles who should be tried (and hopefully hung) in Britain.”
 
That might be a bit simplistic, but that’s the kind of level of debate that is going around at the moment. Everybody is talking about whether the EU is a good thing or not to be part of, but nobody is asking whether it can exist at all for much longer. I would argue that it cannot. The EU, at heart, is a vast trading bloc of half a billion people. Its very existence is predicated on capitalism, acquisitive expansion and favourable trade deals at the expense of the third world. It runs on cheap energy – the kind of energy that will not be readily available for much longer, and when the inevitably huge financial unwind picks up pace it will severely curtail European access to capital markets and energy. The EU might be rich but it is only rich because of historically unfair trading conditions that have impoverished half the world. And it has very few viable energy sources that would keep it in the manner to which it is accustomed.
 
The EU has always contained the seeds of its own destruction. By regarding monetary union as an inevitability (an inevitability that has steamrollered democracy in the process) it would logically reach a point where the weaker member states would not be able to keep pace with the stronger ones. By flooding the southern periphery nations with cash – and then asking for it back with interest – the EU looks from the outside to be a self-cannibalising monster. Peace in Europe? Let’s see how long that lasts. There are many in Greece, Spain and Portugal who see ‘the EU’ as Germany in disguise.
 
Pro-EU liberals tend to regard the continent in terms of what consumer benefits they can extract from it. To be ‘pro Europe’ is to retain one’s right to fly to Barcelona for the weekend on Easyjet and enjoy tapas on Las Ramblas. They warn that this kind of easy living won’t be possible if we leave the EU.
 
 
If the EU were to quit the EU it probably wouldn’t be a death blow. Britain has a vastly over-inflated sense of its own importance in world affairs and the reality is that the EU might barely notice our exit. A far bigger existential threat to the EU comes in the form of the immigration crisis, which it is already at war itself over. So far, only a tiny number of refugees have arrived in Europe and yet people are already whipped into a frenzy of fear and anguish. In 2015 around a million beaten-down desperate people fled war, drought and economic collapse, to arrive on the shores of Europe – many of them drowning along the way. A million sounds like a lot of people until you remember that there are already half a billion people living here in an area of 1.7 million square miles. If the refugees were spread out equally they would have nearly two square miles each. Lebanon, by contrast, has some two million refugees – and Lebanon is a country you could lose under a crumb on a world map. A Belgian minster's response to the EU's refugee ‘crisis’; tell Greeks to push them back into the sea. There’s your liberal EU for you.
 
 
This is also the same organisation that is trying frantically to get a secret trade deal ratified that would hand over yet more power to trans national corporations and take it away from nation states. If TTIP goes through we can kiss goodbye to basic rights and freedoms, such as being able to choose whether our kids eat genetically modified food or can be told that smoking is bad for them.
 
By now you’re probably thinking that I’ll be ticking the ‘Out’ box on my voting slip on June 23rd. I will be, but its more or less irrelevant as the EU cannot last much longer anyway. This point of view, alas, will not go down well with many people. To be a ‘Brexiter’ is conflated with being a pig-headed xenophobe who refuses to regard social justice issues as the most important battle in human history. The ‘debate’ is far too tribal in any case. The arguments of the ‘Ins’ are confusing and make no sense to me. They talk about democracy yet want to give it away, and they celebrate diversity but at the same time think a ‘one size fits all’ mindset will deliver that.
 
The irony of being called anti-European is that I am ardently pro-European. I’ve lived in four different EU countries, travelled all over and am married to an Italian Dane. Europe, to me, is the most diverse place in the world and has an amazing spread of history and culture. My ideal life would involve spending several months each year travelling around Europe in a camper van and getting to know it in an even more intimate manner. The EU is not Europe; it’s an abstract concept masking a faceless undemocratic organisation that funnels wealth from one place to another and keeps its modesty intact behind a fig leaf of supposed liberalism.
 
It doesn’t have to be that way. We could still have a Europe united around some core values other than money and power and capitalism. How about a Europe focused on an emerging eco consciousness? Or what about remaking it as a loose cooperative of bio-regions? Or perhaps, at the very least, we could all agree on a shared constitution founded on liberty, equality and fraternity. Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has suggested something along those lines, setting up a pan-European umbrella group called DiEM25 that aims to shake things up ‘gently, compassionately but firmly.’ Perhaps there could be more debate about what kind of Europe would be better suited to weathering the coming financial, ecological and energy shocks without causing so much collateral damage to both itself and other nations.
 
Until that happens we’ll just have to stand back and watch the fireworks. Big institutions like the EU are like skyscrapers; they don’t come crashing down to the ground without taking out plenty of other nearby buildings and the EU is like the leaning tower of Pisa on steroids.  Big things are an artefact of the age of oil – the future is necessarily smaller and more local. The best course of action is to stop arguing over whether it is best to be stood on top of the creaking tower it or beside it, and simply get the hell out of the way before it goes over. 

Europe’s Slow Motion Debacle

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Originally published in Op-Ed News on March 3, 2016

 


From a failed attempt to clear the Calais jungle to the appalling situation at the Greek-Macedonian border, the EU crumbles under the strain of a massive refugee crisis. Even the Kafkaesque Brussels Eurocrat construct admits it — off the record, because official EU must always project a mythical image of unity: We are on the edge of an abyss.

Across the EU and amidst Russian intellectual elites, scenarios proliferate on the imminent collapse of Western civilization, as a huge number of refugees cannot be properly assimilated. In Russia, this process is examined with extreme concern because it happens not far from Russia's western borderlands, and involves what the Kremlin traditionally defines as our partners.

But what if this European slow-motion debacle was not enacted as a Mad Max dystopia, but rather brought about by a tsunami of Muslims ultimately displaced by Western-engineered wars?

Behold Fortress Europe

It was only six months ago that Chancellor Angela Merkel's government took a huge gamble in adopting a so-called humanitarian refugee policy; call it the civilized face of the otherwise politically tainted R2P (responsibility to protect) concept, which was ruthlessly manipulated for the invasion and destruction of Libya.

Six months later, we have swarms of refugees stranded all along the Balkan Route — and progressively encircled/trapped by strict border controls, the disappearance of social benefits, creeping fences and walls, and the practical extermination of the Schengen accords. The Merkel gambit is over; Fortress Europe is back with a vengeance.

 

Can you hear the sound of a basket of myths crumbling? Here are a few. The notion of European solidarity — not to mention egality and fraternity. The notion that EU members would accept a sensible, harmonious, proportional distribution of refugees. The notion that Europe would not reject, deport and repatriate people fleeing from war zones. The notion that Turkey would protect the EU from the crisis.

The Balkan Route, for all practical purposes, is now sealed off to refugees while Ankara, for its part, is slowly building a wall along stretches of the Turkish-Syrian border — not as much to really contain them (after all Ankara must keep open the Jihadi highway), but as a propaganda coup.

(image by Rabble, UK)   DMCA

Germany's humanitarian refugee policy is in tatters and corroded by self-doubt; only two weeks ago Chancellor Merkel was wondering whether she should pursue our European-Turkish approach or whether the EU should order the absolute sealing off of the Greek-Macedonian border, pure and simple.

And that leads us close to the heart of the matter — which is, of course, Turkey.

The majority of German conservative politicos want Merkel to seal off German borders to refugees, while Merkel still believes in the Hand of Providence; help from European partners — which won't come — and most of all from Ankara.

And that's exactly where Turkey's Sultan Erdogan wants her to be; as a supplicant, not as the leader of the number one European economic power.

Ankara's power play

One of the key myths of the whole refugee crisis is that Erdogan's AKP government is doing all it can to contain it.

Nonsense. The crisis itself was engineered by Ankara in 2015 — when refugees were released from their holding camps in Turkey under threat that they would not be cared for anymore. The refugee flood was not a spontaneous creation, as Syrians, Iraqis and/or Afghans suddenly decided to flee to the EU; it was directly instigated by Ankara. And Erdogan from the start was already contemplating the Big Prize; to bribe the EU, especially Merkel, to pay — at least 3 billion euros — so most refugees remain not on Turkish soil, but on one of his own neo-Ottoman sub-plots; a safe zone to be built inside Syrian territory.

Extra evidence pointing to Ankara's plotting is the fact that Turkey has not increased patrols on its Mediterranean coast — the departure point for scores of refugees to try their luck by boat on their way to safety of the Greek islands. The priority for Ankara was to close the Turkish-Syrian border. Not really close it, as safe passage remains guaranteed for selected moderate rebels.

The Warsaw-based European border control agency Frontex is absolutely convinced that the Turkey-EU refugee power play will continue. Diplomatically, Frontex's director Fabrice Leggeri advances that Turkey has to make it more difficult for the migrant smugglers.

Yet that won't happen. And Germany — and the EU as a whole — will continue to be hostages of Ankara's political maneuvering.

A EU-Turkey summit was held in November 2015. At the time, Erdogan promised there would be more security in the Aegean coast and more raids on migrant smugglers. Too little, too late. Turkey's Aegean coast is 2,800 kilometers long. Ankara does not have the resources to police it properly.

So smuggling on a massive scale proceeds unabated. Smuggling rings with the right contacts — within Turkish police and AKP-related politicians — only need to pay roughly 3,000 euros for each group of refugees to clear the border and hit the sea.

In parallel, Ankara is clearly at war in Southeast Anatolia against the PKK Kurds. This is the number one priority, not smuggling of refugees, not to mention fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu could not be more straight to the point when he visited Berlin late last year: the Erdogan/Davutoglu Plan A is to annihilate the PKK Kurds. There is no Plan B.

Chaos, created then applauded

No one in Brussels will do it. So Frau Merkel ultimately would have to be the only EU leader to confront Erdogan and read him the riot act. It's not only a matter of politely requesting Ankara to reduce refugee numbers. It's to order him to do so; question him on why he released them en masse in the first place last year; and withhold any future financial rescue package, including the building of refugee camps inside Syrian territory.

The stark fact is that the whole refugee crisis — an existential crisis for Europe — is being used by Ankara as a bargaining chip for an elaborate extortion racket. Erdogan wants a tsunami of EU cash; and he wants a tsunami of concessions regarding Turkey's negotiations for accession to the EU.

Meanwhile, there's no concerted EU refugee policy to be seen. Not even a balancing act between humanitarian concerns and deterrence, altruism and realpolitik. No EU political leader will confront the responsibility of NATO's wars (with petrodollar GCC support) crafting the whole crisis. The absolute majority of refugees are Syrians, Afghans and Africans who depart the continent via NATO-destroyed Libya.

Polls consistently show that a majority of EU citizens don't want to welcome refugees anymore. As Belgium-based Jean Bricmont, author of Humanitarian Imperialism has correctly stressed, EU citizens who were never consulted on the issue of refugees and who are constantly asked to make sacrifices because "there is no money" understandably do not accept this moral discourse anymore.

Bricmont is among the very few in Europe to connect the dots: The same people who encouraged "humanitarian" interventions and "support" for armed insurrections abroad, that have led to perpetual wars, generating a constant flow of refugees, are now demanding that the population of our countries "welcome the refugees." They first generate chaos there, then they applaud chaos here.

Well, that's the whole logic of the Empire of Chaos in a nutshell.


PepePepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

Hypocrisy of the Geneva Convention

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 2, 2016

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geneva_conventionsRecent events such as a variety of War Atrocities being committed by just about everybody on all sides of the ongoing wars, as well as the calamitous mishandling of the European Refugee  crisis led me to do some investigation and RANT on a hallowed idea/ set of protocols, the Geneva Conventions.  There are 4 of them, covering Land Soldiers, Sailors, Prisoners of War and Civilians caught in a War Zone.

Although the Geneva Conventions have been around in one form or another since 1864, they never have done a whole heck of a lot of good in any real war zone.  In a war zone, nobody studies rule books on "civilized behavior", and whether it was the Concentration Camps of WWII or the Tiger Cages or Vietnam Prison Camps or GITMO, just about nobody ever follows this rule book during wartime.

Nevertheless, the Geneva Conventions are trotted out for Propaganda purposes every time you get a decent size war going, with the attendant "Humanitarian Crisis".  The HCs are then trotted out as justification for another type of military intervention, "R2P", or "Responsibility to Protect".  In most of these cases, what is being Protected here are not the lives of the innocent, but rather the property and infrastructure of Multi-national Corporations.  Protecting the civilians is just a sideshow and cover story.

In the rant, I LOL at what some might think are "innapropriate" moments, like the mass tragedy of refugees stranded at borders or children stuck in War Zones.  For myself, I can only laugh or cry when confronted with these events, Tragedy & Comedy are flip sides of the same coin as Shakespeare well knew.

It is a horrific situation already, and the likelihood here is it is only going to get more horrific moving forward.  It is all so absurd to me at this point now that I can only laugh at it anymore.  If I let the tears overwhelm me, I would lapse into an uncontrolled spiral of depression.  It is so sad, so very sad what is going on right now and what lies in the future for Homo Sap.  To keep my spirits up, I laugh in the face of death.  Still though, I cry on the inside always.

Anyhow, most of us have heard "Geneva Convention" yanked out by the MSM and Politicians either to prosecute someone they don't like on the "bad guy" side of a war or to justify a military intervention, but most of us haven't actually read the rule book.  We just know that it's supposed to protect people in war zones, both soldiers and civilians.  Unfortunately for all the dead people in the war zone, the Geneva Conventions didn't do them any good and it's doubtful that these documents stopped many atrocities from occuring either.  However, you may want to read them for yourself, so here is the pdf outline issued out by the International Red Cross:

Basic Rules of the Geneva Conventions

There are many problems with these rules I covered in the rant, particularly selective enforcement of the rules and who the rules actually apply to.  The "Right to Asylum" is perhaps most in the news these days with the Refugee Crisis ongoing in Europe.  However, if some "Authority" decides your country isn't really at war, you are designated an "economic migrant" and you get no right to asylum.  What if there are riots in the streets and daily violence in your neighborhood though?  What if there are gangs of armed men terrorizing the population?  At what point is this violence sufficient to be considered a "war zone"?

The right to asylum also doesn't specify who is supposed to give the asylum, it doesn't address the problem of millions of people fleeing war zones and countries they flee to not having the economic means to support them.  At some point these countries start shutting their borders, and then how does someone who has the right to asylum exercise this right?

I'm not the only one to question the effectiveness of the Geneva Conventions, it has been called into question as well by academics researching the problem. From the Washington Post:

You might think the Geneva Conventions protect civilians, or that the Red Cross does. Think again.

…As part of a project on civilian victimization in civil wars, we looked to see whether the signatory states held up their commitment to spare the innocents who were not fighting. We conducted an empirical analysis for the years from 1989 to 2004 for 72 countries based on data on the number of civilian victims in civil wars. Information about the state parties’ year of ratification to the treaties related to international humanitarian law and the ICRC’s on-site presence and activities were extracted from the ICRC’s website and the ICRC annual reports.

Unfortunately, what we found suggests that international humanitarian law is of doubtful effectiveness—and that the ICRC is failing as a watchdog for international humanitarian law….

It is truly a Wicked Problem.

Terrorism Survey Results

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 22, 2015

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TAKE THE TERRORISM SURVEY HERE

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Early results are IN, and quite remarkable in how completely OPPOSITE they are to the policies actually being undertaken by Western Goobermints to try and combat this problem.  Also, many very strong opinions expressed by the Survey takers in the Open Text response areas of the survey.

The results speak for themselves, I am going to publish them without comment until the end.  The Survey remains open, and if there are significant numbers of additional respondents and/or the percentages change very much, I will publish an update of the survey results in 2016.

Now, on to the results!

 

Question 1: Do you think air strikes will resolve the Terrorism problem?

  Yes, retaliation with air strikes will help No, retaliation with air strikes will make it worse It doesn't matter either way. No opinion Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 3
(4%)
46
(64%)
23
(32%)
0
(0%)
18.43 72


Question 2: Rank these solutions to the Terrorism problem in Western countries in order of Most Effective to Least Effective

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standard Deviation Responses Weighted Average
Sending money to Border Countries to build Refugee Camps 19
(35%)
12
(22%)
10
(18%)
5
(9%)
4
(7%)
4
(7%)
1
(2%)
0
(0%)
5.97 55 2.62 / 8
Closing all borders and building Fences 6
(11%)
11
(20%)
11
(20%)
14
(25%)
7
(13%)
3
(5%)
3
(5%)
0
(0%)
4.51 55 3.47 / 8
Ground Troops in MENA 4
(7%)
9
(16%)
6
(11%)
11
(20%)
10
(18%)
9
(16%)
6
(11%)
0
(0%)
3.41 55 4.18 / 8
Stricter Gun Control Laws 3
(5%)
12
(22%)
9
(16%)
3
(5%)
8
(15%)
5
(9%)
11
(20%)
4
(7%)
3.37 55 4.45 / 8
Air Strikes in MENA 2
(4%)
4
(7%)
9
(16%)
10
(18%)
15
(27%)
10
(18%)
5
(9%)
0
(0%)
4.65 55 4.49 / 8
Everyone should carry a Gun so Terrorists can be killed before they kill too many people 2
(4%)
3
(5%)
7
(13%)
7
(13%)
7
(13%)
15
(27%)
9
(16%)
5
(9%)
3.76 55 5.18 / 8
Other (explain below) 17
(31%)
3
(5%)
2
(4%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(2%)
4
(7%)
28
(51%)
9.52 55 5.22 / 8
Nuking MENA 2
(4%)
1
(2%)
1
(2%)
5
(9%)
4
(7%)
8
(15%)
16
(29%)
18
(33%)
6.25 55 6.38 / 8

Question 4: Detail any other solutions to the Terrorism problem you can suggest here.

Terrorism is not a problem until we in Europe have a situation similar to Israel. Paris clearly shows that politicians endanger democratic values.
Deporting Muslims
Apologize, end American occupations and weapons exports, send reparations, send unarmed aid teams with equipment.
Terrorism, in my mind, is a lot like domestic violence in families. It's a cycle of abuse you could say. Violence begets violence. The lack of economic and educational opportunity, employment after education creates, or marriage prospects creates a bunch of young men who have no outlet. Young men without a purpose are very dangerous. So, long term, we need to make sure men don't want to turn to terrorism because they can see a stable future elsewhere.
Inequality in many aspects is the root of terror, in order to tackle that you would need to change the current system of capitalist economics, which operates as a wealth transference mechanism. The current system transfers wealth from developing countries to core countries, or more simply stated from places that have less money to places that have concentrated money and even within the core countries themselves, as shown by the amount of inequality in the United States and other Western economic dominated countries.
Prevent radicalisation more efficiently, destroy ISIS' money sources
Accept & encourage as many refugees from affected countries as possible. Afterwards: Dissolve all majorly affected countries from their status as a nation, conquer the resulting territories and establish a new temporary military government. Immediately enact martial law.
No trade policy with involved countries
Stop giving them the attention they want do not publish names or photos of perpetrators.
Investments in Islamic countries- particularly in education. Improving efforts at integrating immigrants into European and American society so as to reduce propaganda material and decreasing susceptibility to radicalization.
International / Global coalition and participation in efforts and information sharing
Recognitio of the terrorist groups within our borders not affiliated with Islam. Correcting the "counter factual information" spread amongst the extreme right political and religionist.
Quit killing millions of innocent people in a culture where their relatives are bound by tradition and religion to set aside their daily lives until the deaths are avenged.
economic development
How about NOT FUCKING BOMBING THEIR COUNTRIES! THE CIA IS THE TERRORIST, THEY ARE HAVING FALSE FLAGS!!!!!
Abolish the Us military, disolve NATO, say we are sorry, make reparations
NATO to be disbanded. Ban the sale of all weapons to MENA especially those that are actively supporting terrorism – S. Arabia, Qatar. Turkey and others. Western leader brought to account for their warmongering. Cease regime change and other interference in MENA. Western countries should apologise to MENA and offer reparations for the damage they have caused. Financial assistance must be offered by western govt to rebuild infrastructure and create jobs in affected countries.
Degrowth
Stay the hell out of the middle east. Let them all kill themselves.
Just leave them the fuck alone.
Negotiate and inform.
Keep out of other countries. We just make it worse.
Stop bombing other countries and overthrowing other governments.
Spend the billions spent on arms in humanitarian aid. Withdraw troops and cease hostile action Buy the oil legitimately Put in birth control programmes Assist with local economy and growing some of their own food.
Stop destroying other countries
Let's have a war. An all-out Holy War. Can We get a Table Dance. Then we can get on with our lives.
Stop harrassing other countries for their resources.
as per my article on how to cure terrorism
People only use terrorism as a tool to archive their political objectives. While at full extent it is impossible, avoiding being their enemies and as many interactions as possible you can indeed reduce being a target of their interests to start with. Dialog, despite it can lead to nasty concessions, is also a potential and more civilized approach.
Massive investments in family planning and environmental protections. It's hard to be a terrorist when you are safe, comfortable, employed and well fed. Might want to also collectively stomp on religious fundamentalism. Stop supporting Saudi Arabia, Israel, Pakistan and make trade concessions only upon harmonizaiton of their policies with our. (China too)
Withdraw from MENA and everywhere else. Stop being the biggest terrorist.
Redistribute wealth from rich countries to poor countries and establish more options for a livabel future for the young people in their countries. Better education about Islam and religion in muslim communities in western countries to prevent radicalization.
The single best strategy to reduce terrorism would be to quit meddling in the sovereign affairs of other countries. Gun control might have an impact, but I don't like the cost (of losing my rights).
It is done by the 1% and they are not going away. No solution.
Send The Donald to Syria without a haircut for 2-3 months. The Donald's appearance will terrorize the terrorists into submission.
Deportation of anyone who 1) attends a radical mosque, 2) travels to MENA, buys guns, and grows a beard, and 3) pledges allegiance to IS on Facebook
leave those people the hell alone, that might help.
Stop fucking bombing them! Stop Turkey buying their oil and supporting them. Stop using oil at all and so stop funding them.
Don't elect Democrats or Republicans and completely replace all our elected representatives with new independent blood.
The obvious one is to remove all imperial forces from MENA, collapse voluntarily (properly prepare nuclear plant shutdowns, with ample funding for the 40 to 60 years it takes to decommission them)), and try to live as people 200 years ago did. So, yeah, this is a unicorn, but it's still a possibility for policy.
diplomacy, negotiation, compromise, understanding, intelligence, common sense, peaceful resolutions
Get out of MENA immediately. "Support the troops" and bring the troops home. Round up the neocons and oblige them to retire in public disgrace.
redirect us war effort to washington d.c. the enemy is there
The "terrorism problem" is mostly a fraud.
Give up the industrial lifestyle, ground all planes and junk all cars.
Treating terrorisim for what it is: crime an not as an existential threat. As well not loosing our shit every time someone with an Arabic name walks by.

Question 5: Where do most Terrorists come from?

  Most are recent immigrants from foreign countries Most are home grown locals who become radicalized It's about equal between Foreigners and Locals Other Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 4
(5%)
28
(38%)
29
(40%)
12
(16%)
10.64 73

Question 6: Are most Terrorist actions Centrally Planned by Masterminds operating abroad or are most independent actions by disaffected individuals and small groups?

  Most are planned abroad by Masterminds Most are disaffected Locals It's about equal between planned abroad and locally grown Other Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 5
(7%)
33
(46%)
26
(37%)
7
(10%)
12.03 71

Question 7:Who kills more innocent civilians each year, Terrorists shooting, beheading and suicide bombing people or NATO dropping Bombs and using Drones?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Terrorists NATO It's about equal in Death Count of civilians between Terrorists and NATO Other Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 3
(4%)
56
(78%)
7
(10%)
6
(8%)
21.99 72

Question 8: Rank these current US Presidential Candidates in terms of who would do the Best Job of handling the Terrorism problem and who would do the Worst job Best to Worst.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Standard Deviation Responses Weighted Average
Bernie Sanders 26
(52%)
8
(16%)
7
(14%)
2
(4%)
1
(2%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
2
(4%)
4
(8%)
7.72 50 2.56 / 9
Rand Paul 7
(14%)
18
(36%)
5
(10%)
5
(10%)
5
(10%)
1
(2%)
5
(10%)
4
(8%)
0
(0%)
4.86 50 3.52 / 9
Hillary Clinton 6
(12%)
14
(28%)
8
(16%)
6
(12%)
2
(4%)
0
(0%)
3
(6%)
4
(8%)
7
(14%)
3.83 50 4.16 / 9
Jeb Bush 0
(0%)
3
(6%)
14
(28%)
14
(28%)
5
(10%)
4
(8%)
3
(6%)
5
(10%)
2
(4%)
4.74 50 4.64 / 9
Chris Christie 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
4
(8%)
12
(24%)
13
(26%)
12
(24%)
4
(8%)
4
(8%)
1
(2%)
5.04 50 5.32 / 9
Ben Carson 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
6
(12%)
4
(8%)
9
(18%)
7
(14%)
11
(22%)
10
(20%)
3
(6%)
3.86 50 6.1 / 9
Ted Cruz 1
(2%)
2
(4%)
2
(4%)
3
(6%)
6
(12%)
11
(22%)
13
(26%)
9
(18%)
3
(6%)
4.17 50 6.18 / 9
Marco Rubio 1
(2%)
2
(4%)
2
(4%)
1
(2%)
8
(16%)
13
(26%)
9
(18%)
11
(22%)
3
(6%)
4.42 50 6.22 / 9
Donald Trump 9
(18%)
3
(6%)
2
(4%)
3
(6%)
1
(2%)
2
(4%)
2
(4%)
1
(2%)
27
(54%)
7.92 50 6.3 / 9

Question 9: What percentage of Refugees trying to get to Europe are Terrorists in disguise traveling with the specific intention of doing a Terrorist action?

  <1% 1%-5% 5-10% 11-50% 50-100% Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 57
(78%)
12
(16%)
3
(4%)
0
(0%)
1
(1%)
21.62 73

Question 10: Is State Sponsored War a form of Terrorism?

  Yes No It depends (explain below) Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 50
(68%)
13
(18%)
10
(14%)
18.19 73

Question 11: Explain what circumstances State Sponsored War is Terrorism and what circumstances it is not Terrorism

is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Program is not: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_phosphorus_munitions#Use_in_Iraq_.282004.29 its all pretty crappy though
It's terrorism on a larger scale
When the stated goal of an invading force is "terrorize into submission". See invasion strategy shock and awe, United States invasion of Iraq strategy. They define it as inflicting terror on a population. That any moment they could be killed; and that any resistance they would be killed.
Generally, war could be considered terrorism if you're on the losing side. However, terrorism generally is associated with actions against primarily civilian targets.
no
I think anytime it's underwent with the express purpose of furthering an ideology, or meant as a "show of power" to either citizens or non-citizens.
Mutual aggression is not terrorism
Killing innocent people by the millions as collateral damage is terrorism.
attacks on non-military targets to harm civilians. think israel blowing up the only water treatment facilities in gaza.
All war is terrorism, premeditated, mass murder
War is just terrorism by another name – it is sponsored by the state and has a larger budget – those being the main differences.
Its terrorism if regime change is being sponsored from abroad.
CIA operation after WW2 OSA operation during WW2
State Sponsored War has legal status. Terrorism is extra-legal action. EG Mr Cameron killing in Syria prior to vote in Parliament authorising action.
It is not when it is in self defence. All other times it is terrorism.
It is not terrorism if directed at specific source of an attack on the country. Otherwise terrorism.
wars of choice and exploitation
I suppose Killing people is wrong, no matter what you call it.
USA bombing Iraq and Afghanistan is terrorizing those countires. We terrorized Lybia and Syria as well. What is one to expect from these countries in return, Thank You notes.
this requires a ten page essay
When instill fear is the main mean to archive your political interests, like bombing your foes with collateral damage to civilians not in consideration. It is not terrorism when there is a clear military objective to forcefully impose partly or fully your political interest (though it is still a crime).
Self-Defense of the state is similar to self defense of a person. Self defense is always a legitimate form of war. Foreign wars of aggression are not.
State sponsored war is not terrorism if it's done to repel a foreign invasion of native soil. So the kind of war we're in now is terrorism.
If aggression it is terrorism. If defense it is war. The war of 1812 was OK. The rest terrorism.
SSW as terrorism is sending The Donald to Syria without a haircut for 2-3 months. It is not SSW as terrorism when ISIS/ISIL captures The Donald and beheads him and his hair.
retalliating against a nuclear attack, or physical invasion of the US would not be terrorism.
killing innocents and children is not terrorism. Show me a bomb that can target only those people we are calling terrorists today and I will stop calling state sponsored war terrorism
Dead is dead. It does not matter how you get there the destination is the same.
State sponsored terrorism is, like other forms, using lethal violence to obtain political objectives (that usually reflect the narrow focus of a limited group and often against the will of the great heard. ) Kent State was clearly terrorism, for example.
defense when attacked directly is not terrorism going abroad to commit violence is terrorism
Clausewitz said War is Politics by other Means. To the extent that our serial wars in MENA are a latter day version of colonialist extraction, all military operations in MENA (as well as Ukraine) is terrorism. "Terrorism" is whatever the definer says it is.
state sponsored war is always terrorism
Anything that isn't a declared war by a state upon another but involves violence or coercion is terrorism. Period. Most of what the US does as foreign policy under this definition is indeed terrorism which is most US foreign policy since 2001.
When you are in a fight for survival and there are only enough resources for one group or the other. All the rest of the time it is terrorism, which is most of the time since the beginning of the Age of Agriculture.
Terrorism is a tactic. A state's foreign policy, including war, is a strategy. A tactic cannot be a strategy.

Question 12: Which driver of Terrorism is more powerful, Religious Fanaticism or Economics and Poverty?

  Religious Fanaticism Economics and Poverty Other (explain below) Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 17
(24%)
36
(50%)
19
(26%)
8.52 72

Question 13: Explain other drivers for Terrorism you think are as important or more important than Religious Fanaticism or Economics and Poverty.

cyclical effects in control systems, there has been terrorism before, some research might be in order
Oppressive governments that make life seem hopeless
False flag attacks by states against themselves, such as 9/11.
I think they're both at play. Fanaticism is a primary reason there is even a war right now. Some religious extremists want a theocratic state instead of a secular one. However, the key factor to getting low-level recruits is that those folks lack opportunity to hold normal jobs or they are pissed off about losses in their lives.
both
History
It's both.
NATO killing family members
I think media helping to drive the polarization of groups – be it political parties, religions, nationalities – creates a constant cultural narrative of "us vs. them" that increases and incentivizes and confines extreme/violent behavior to the "other" group.
Religious fanaticism is a vehicle through which economics and poverty leads to terrorism
Both factors drive terrorism together, with historical military actions and international relationships playing a role.
Profit by warmongers and bankers in the "civilized" world.
Poverty is number one because if people have shit to do or buy they wont build bombs
The CIA is the root cause of all terrorism.
US military and the US state dept
Anyone with a personal grudge against society can perform an act of terrorism – losing a job, being personally rejected by another or even imagining a perceived rejection can lead to terrorism – the many high school/college shooting in America being a case in point.
But the two combined are a fatal, toxic brew!
Climate change
Arms and Funding from Gulf States or the Pentagon
Energy
Religions tend to have reached accomodations with one another. Terrorisim tends to flow from a combination of political and religious views that narrowly promote their wellbeing at the expense of others.
Corporate greed.
Nearly as important as economics and poverty is the lust for power. Religion is simply the tool used for rationalization.
domination and occupation of other societies
I believe the two go hand in hand. People turn to strange religions (pretty much all of them) to help them cope with feelings of inadequacy financial, cultural, etc. But Islam is Bullshit.
was hen or egg first……
Hatred of Western exploitation of world resources.
Revenge and anger fueled by abuse and injustice.
Both in equal partts. Economics and poverty create the fundamental motivations, Religious fundamentalism shapes the motivations into weapons.
Greed. Anger. Fear.
Economics and poverty are more powerful, but religious fanaticism plays a strong role as of right now.
The sadism of the ruling class in the west followed by the sadism of all other ruling classes.
Looking at The Donald's hair is worse torture than fanaticism and poverty. Are NY Yankee or Green Bay Packer fanatics the result of poverty and religion. Well, yes, poverty of the intellect and a strong belief that professional sports are essential to existence.
Poverty amplifies fanaticism.
climate change. climate change,. climate change
The CIA and the Department of Homeland Security.
How about Classism. The Global .01% don't give a rip about the rest of their fellow humans, and steal wantonly from the great multitudes. It is inevitable there will be pushback as 99% is a large amount to keep docile and underfoot.
ignorance, lack of education nationalism tradition fear
Ignorance and nationalism.
Imperialism
As a driver, climate change is setting up the underlying unstable conditions that lead to war, conflict as terrorism.

Question 14: Would Terrorism be reduced if Wealth was redistributed from Rich Countries to Poor countries internationally and from Rich People to Poor people locally?

  Yes No It would remain the same Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 40
(56%)
16
(23%)
15
(21%)
11.56 71

Question 15: You may explain your answer to Q14 here (optional)

You know of the correlation between riots and food prices, beyond that you can pay off many people the rest you can ignore or avoid pissing off.
The governments of poor countries would steal all the aid money and give it to the already rich elite. Also giving free money to poor people is just a temporary solution that makes them passive and lazy.
it is self evident.
When a country is in conflict or poor, there is often a high level of corruption. If you attempt to get aid to actual citizens, it will likely be siphoned off before it reaches them.
Think of it as the law of the instrument, "often stated as" if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail". The current "real existing capitalism" operates as the "instrument", and whoever is in charge of wielding the instrument begins to see everything as "a nail." A change to the system of wealth transference is a necessary step, but that only addresses one item. It does not address environmental, or social institutional needs.
I don't think there are any right answers here, for all the questions
I don't know
By no means do I suggest that distribution would solve terrorism, but constant poverty often creates a vacuum of purpose and general anger/ feeling of "unfairness" that extremists exploit to garner followers. I think it would certainly help measurably.
Wealth redistribution may not solve the driving issue
Poverty and lack of education and opportunity result in disaffection, and alienation. Religionists are providing "answers" and a way to belong – to strike back at the evil and evil ones "responsible" for these dismal conditions.
reduce poverty would help alleviate terrorism
The CIA plans all false flags, they may contract the shit out, but they control all.
The rich countries are only rich because they stole from the poor, give it back.
A more egalitarian distribution of wealth would help reduce resentment between different socio economic groups and between different cultures but is not a cure all as other factors are also in play – religious fanaticism, resource depletion – the disputes over water resources are a good example of a driver that can lead to war/terrorism.
Rich people, even middle class people, vested in their socieites have better things to do than wage war and die.
I kinda feel like it would have varied effects across the board. I kinda feel like global redistribution might cause more problems in some places even as it decreases problems in other places. I support it locally but I dont know how it could work internationally, it would mostly change things up
It is called stress. Stress leads to action. Sometimes good, but too easy to be hijacked for the worst purposes.
Poverty is not the cause. Exploitation and inequality in a nation are the causes.
Terrorists come from the group that is disaffected economically, socially and politically. Committing acts of terror becomes a reason d'etre to some of the disaffected.
wealth distribution is not related to terrorism
It would also help if people could unit within their own communities and work together for their common good. Running to the white developed countries and demanding to be cared for may not be the best plan.
People would be less drawn to religious fundamentalism, or any risky behavious if they had a roof over their head, a job and a full belly AND their neighbours had it too.
Yes, and when that happens monkeys will fly out of my butt.
No act for increased efficiency will work if the number of humans are not limited. Too many humans.
Each month I make my rent, insurance, and car payments, I feel poor and thus am terrorized financially and economically. Therefore, I deserve to have a rich guy pay at least half of my living costs so I can use the difference to buy guns and ammo, and to make pipe bombs to terrorize terrorists who are coming to the US by the millions to kill us all.
It would help in the short term but ultimately be ineffective as new grievances arose and violence ensued.
I have no earthly idea.
It would intensify if governments were not changed out. The terrorists don't want their stuff given away and would be orchestrating the return of their stuff if it were redistributed. Redistribution is a bad answer anyway. There are other better ways. Of course redistribution is impossible with the government we have so it really does not matter.
As long as the Global North keeps looting the South, there will be problems. The wealth doesn't need to be redistributed; the North and the West just need to stop stealing ftom the South and East.
Scarcity breeds aggression.
Eat the rich.
poor countries are poor because we've already raped them
It would help, but ultimatly there will be blood regardless.

NOW…

Democracy comes to you - bomberWhat is the takeaway from this Survey????

Quite obviously, at least amongst people who frequent collapse websites, they are in COMPLETE DISAGREEMENT with just about every policy being followed to combat terrorism.  Not by a small margin either.  About nobody thinks bombing is doing any good, most think The Donald would be the absolute WORST choice for a POTUS who might be able to handle the problem, few think Refugees are a huge source of Terrorists, and even fewer think there are big time Terrorist Masterminds out there like Osama Bin Laden planning all the mayhem from caves in Afghanistan, and most think a redistribution of wealth (from rich to poor rather than poor to rich) would if not solve the Terrorism problem, might at least make it a little less problematic.

Now, are Kollapsniks TM really THAT different from the population at large?  Or is the opinion of the population at large simply being IGNORED by TPTB running the show here?  I tend to think toward the latter, but the general population is so Brainwashed I'm not entirely sure of that.  If the opinion of the population at large is just being ignored here, what does that say about the so-called "Democracy" that we supposedly live under and are delivering to the rest of the world via Carpet Bombing them all?  What does it say about the power of the Ballot Box and Voting?  It's obviously not changing the policies here no matter WTF you vote for!!!

On the other hand, if it's true that the general population DOES think these policies are a good idea, then what does that say about Democracy?  Do you really want a Democracy when most of the Voters are Brainwashed IDIOTS?!?!?!  Imbeciles electing Morons is a good way to run a Goobermint?  What?  I'm no fan of the Dictatorship idea either, so clearly we need to come up with a different plan here, because Plan A and Plan B are not working.  Suggestions?  Buehler?

https://images.rapgenius.com/60512a3c587a53cd3492c56154e88845.500x205x33.gif

 

Terrorism Survey

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 8, 2015

terrorists-Anthony-Freda-Studio

TAKE THE TERRORISM SURVEY HERE

Discuss this article at the Survey Table inside the Diner

Our latest Collapse Survey TM aims to see what the Collapse Community thinks is the best way to handle the problem of increasing Terrorism as we move further down the Collapse Highway.  Before you take the survey however, it might be worthwhile to review some of the Options currently on the table, either already being implemented or being proposed by various Pols from Obama-sama to Tony Blair to Geert Wilders to Marine LePen to The Donald.

As Terrorism becomes ever more prevalent around the Globe, the population at large begs for their leaders to DO SOMETHING about this nasty problem!  Over in Europe, the Pols in Charge are doing something, they are putting up electrified fences at the border crossings, dispatching NATO troops to Greece, and dropping bombs on Syria.  So far of course, these actions haven't done a damn thing to staunch the flow of blood on the streets of Paris though, if anything it is only serving to increase the frequency of shootings and bombings.

Over in Brussels they put the city under Martial Law for several days officially while they went searching for the "Usual Suspects", and I'll bet the streets are still crawling with Special Forces in Camo Outfits and RoboCops in Black & Blue Pajamas.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/abbde32b4fe505c77b73a21da9807a8c53ff2f3d/0_342_5176_3106/master/5176.jpg?w=620&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&s=5bc05db4dd89843ba9588bbbdbdf17c2

http://media.vocativ.com/photos/2015/11/brussels-security-lockdown2401615694.jpg

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/OJ-AC811A_eLION_P_20151122233635.jpg

Notice these guys all have their faces covered?

Over here in the FSoA, we have the Texas Pols threatening to sue the Federal Goverment if they send any Syrian Refugees to TX and The Donald threatening to deport all Muslims once he gets elected POTUS, but neither of these ideas seems to be doing a lot to slow the tide of Campus Shoot-em-Ups and freshly radicalized and disaffected locals with their own personal armories from blowing away random citizens in San Bernadino.

http://sharing.abcactionnews.com/sharescnn/photo/2015/12/04/SanBernardinoShootingsCar_1449246566171_27881145_ver1.0_640_480.jpg

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/eee6faa14149742387ce249399a9eb2c6bbf7f16/c=0-6-2766-2086&r=x404&c=534x401/local/-/media/2015/12/03/USATODAY/USATODAY/635847092891547105-AP-APTOPIX-California-Shootings.jpg

http://www.trbimg.com/img-56625ea6/turbine/la-me-san-bernardino-shooting-pictures-20151202/650/650x366

Of course once again the call goes out for more Gun Control, but this is not real popular amongst the legal owners of guns first of all, and then there would be the logistical problem of trying to confiscate all the guns already out there.  This is one of those horse left the barn/genie out of the bottle problems, aside from the fact that the Right to Bear Arms is one of the few Constitutional protections that hasn't been completely undermined yet.

Another faction thinks the solution would be for EVERYBODY to be Packing Heat.  Sort of like the good old days of the Old West when every cowpoke Had a Six Gun on his hip.  Well, except for Lucas McCain, who carried his modified Winchester Lever Action Rifle with him and could hit a beer can at 1000 yards without even aiming.  LOL.

Better than a Kalishnikov!

Then of course you also have a crew of people out there with the FINAL SOLUTION to Terrorism, Glaze over all of MENA with "Surgical" strikes with "Tactical" Nukes, thus wiping out the breeding ground of Terrorists!

http://www.shomreitorah.org/wp-content/upLoads/2015/08/nuclear-explosion.jpg

To be fair, there are Peaceful Solutions being proposed and even undertaken, like sending $Billions$ in Aid to build spanking new Refugee Camps in Turkey along with Truckloads of MREs so the Terrorists won't keep trying to migrate to Europe, they'll be happy to live in a Refugee Camp where the average length of stay is now up to 17 years!

https://helenemontpetit.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/refugees-jpg.png?w=736&h=490

Homemade Self Organized Refugee Camp

http://seithyulagam.com/news_images/tamilanagam.jpg

Upscale Goobermint Organized Refugee Camp.  This one in Kenya supposedly houses around 300,000 Human Souls!

Seventeen years: the average length of stay in a refugee camp. The figure came up in a conversation last week with a French journalist who’s making a documentary about camps, but I’d heard it many times before—perhaps you have, too. Here are a selection of international sources quoting this figure, which I turned up with a bit of cursory googling in English and an even briefer bit in French:

  • A 2013 article on TakePart.com (“a digital news & lifestyle magazine and social action platform for the conscious consumer”), quoting Liesl Spitz of FilmAid.
  • From 2012, the Khalid Hosseini Foundation supporting a UNHCR campaign.
  • A 2008 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Hobart) news article about an Oxfam educational resource.
  • From the same year, an edited volume in one of the best academic series on refugee studies, Berghahn’s Studies in Forced Migration: Hajdukowski-Ahmed et al., Not born a refugee woman (see p16).
  • The info page for the Ideas Box, a Libraries Without Borders initiative (and toolkit) for providing education in refugee camps.
  • A Radio France news article about the above, including an interview with the designer, Philippe Starck (yup, that Philippe Starck).

Granted, there is some dispute over the 17 year figure, but I think most of the statisticians would agree it is over 5 years for sure, and IMHO anything more than maybe 2 years and all these camps become is a breeding ground for still more Terrorists.  But of course, as long as we can keep them all on the Turkish side of the border, we should be OK, right?

So there is no shortage of suggestions on how to solve or at least reduce the Terrorism problem, but the question is will any of them work at all?  Will one at least work better than the other ones?  Are there other solutions to this growing problem that could be undertaken?  If so, what are they?  These questions and more appear on the Terrorism Survey TM, and this is your opportunity to be heard (if only by a tiny number of Kollapsniks) on this very important topic.  Your Vote is IMPORTANT here!  VOTE TODAY!

TAKE THE TERRORISM SURVEY HERE

The Diner Lens 5

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 28, 2015

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Migrants demonstrate as they wait to cross the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni, Greece November 21, 2015. (REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis)

                 
   In this photo taken on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, a Myanmar 11-year-old child laborer carries soil as he works at a brick factory in Mandalay, Myanmar. Brick makers earn 3500 Kyat (about $3) per day as markets call for more demands for sake of the expanding city structure. (AP Photo/Hkun Lat)

                     
        Internally displaced girls warm up by a stove after their family left their village in the Achin district of Afghanistan, due to clashes between the Islamic State group and other insurgent groups, on the outskirts of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photos/Mohammad Anwar Danishyar)

                  
                                       Fascists and extreme far right wing supporters rise their right arm saluting the fascist anthem as they remember former Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco on the 40th anniversary of his death, in Madrid, Spain, Sunday. Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP

              
    An Israeli soldier reacts at the scene where a Palestinian stabbed and killed an Israeli soldier Monday at a petrol station near the West Bank village of Khirbit Al-Misbah, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, before he was shot dead by soldiers. Ammar Awad/Reuters

           
     Volunteers assist refugees from a dinghy after they crossed from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. Santi Palacios / AP

           

               
        Children pass a police officer as they arrive for school in the center of Brussels on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Paris Massacre: Circle of Mayhem

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on November 20, 2015

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The Massacre in Paris last Friday has already had much of the expected Blowback.  France is under Martial Law, 1000s of Police, National Guard and Military units are patrolling the streets in Camo outfits and Black Robocop Gear.  The Ruskies have joined the Frogs to send their long range Bombers and Cruise Missiles in to further bomb Syria back to the Stone Age.  They do this because this method has clearly been so successful for the FSoA in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Right. Roll Eyes

The Saber Rattling is reaching deafening proportions as everyone from Hollandaise Sauce to Marine LePew  to The Donald first want to Glaze over the whole neighborhood there with Nukes, and after that Deport all the Muslims currently living in Eurotrashland or Amerika back to the nuclear wasteland!

Clearly, this Circle of Mayhem could only be treated properly with a RANT.

Snippet

In terms of asymmetric warfare, if in fact it's true that ISIS is responsible and has smuggled in 4000 Allah Akbars to wreak mayhem around Europe, then they should be following up with more attacks in other cities. Otherwise it smells more like a 9-11 style false flag, providing a good excuse for Euro countries to try to close their borders and refuse more incoming refugees.

 

Newz now also is that France has deployed their ONLY Nuke powered Aircraft Carrier to the waters off the Syrian coast. The purpose of which is to do precisely WHAT? The Ruskies are bombing in Syria and so is NATO already. One Frog aircraft Carrier here will make a big difference? What? More bombs dropped just means more refugees and more radicalized terrorists. Besides, their real problems aren't in Syria anyhow, they are right at home in Frogland, and Krautland and the Limeyland too!

A more humane response to the refugee crisis

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 11, 2015, and on Peak Resources

Source: UNHCR (2015)

 

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There are around 20 million refugees in the world out of 60 million displaced persons, according to UNHCR. During the period January-November 2015 some 820,318 refugees has arrived to Europe by sea and 3,485 have died or are missing. A full 65% of arrivals are men, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan. Most refugees have arrived in Greece to later make their way towards Germany and Sweden, through Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria.

What we see in the Mediterranean is a humanitarian crisis of huge proportions and need to be treated as such. Telling refugees they can have a permanent residentship while not establishing boundaries (domestic capacity and which people to prioritize) or approving visas for safe travel is not a humane policy. Countries like Germany and Sweden have had to revise their policies because it’s creating so much confusion and encouraging the growth in human trafficking and thus increasing the death toll on the sea.

We have to understand that many refugees trying to reach Europe over the Mediterranean are often men with some money searching for better opportunities than they currently can find in e.g. Turkey or Lebanon. One reason for this is because the world’s rich countries have not funded the UN’s humanitarian agencies which are now on the verge of financial bankruptcy (The Guardian, 2015). This year the World Food Programme had to cut food rations to 1.6 million Syrian refugees, warning that this leaves many vulnerable to recruitment by extremist groups (The Guardian, 2015). Less humanitarian help in places of conflict has in turn lead to larger migration flows. Deteriorating conditions in Lebanon and Jordan have become intolerable for many of the 4 million people who has fled Syria, driving the latest waves of immigration towards north-west Europe.

A humane policy would not reward only young men with the money to cross the sea. Instead it would determine the right to asylum based on needs, e.g. the sick or orphans, and give them a visa to safely travel into Europe. A more humane policy with increased funding to UN’s humanitarian agencies will also safeguard that social tensions don’t spin out of control in Europe, so that the refugees that get to come feel safe and welcome while people that want to stay in the region can do so without starving or turning to violence.

A more humane policy by the rich EU is to provide resources (food, water, healthcare, family planning service, ecological restoration etc.) to vulnerable countries in the MENA region, not to accept only some rich ones that manage to cross the sea. Europe has long been a centre that has sucked in natural resources from the world's poor in exchange for worthless fiat currency and unpayable debts. Now it’s time to repay some of those resources, in the interest of peace and stability in the region.

 

Credit: Ekathemerini

 

According to the Guardian article, quote: “The Syria regional refugee response plan is only funded to 35% of the $1.3bn needed to support refugees, both in the camps and by providing resilience funding for the countries hosting them” which is a disgrace, wealthy countries complaining about a refugee crisis but being unwilling to fund the response in the region. The article goes on to state: “In August, a multi-million dollar shortfall forced the World Health Organisation to close down 184 health clinics across 10 of Iraq’s 18 districts, in an area that has seen severe fighting and massive internal displacement. The cuts have left 3 million people without access to healthcare. The World Health Organisation is trying to raise $60m to fund healthcare in Iraq but so far only $5.1m has been given by donors. Dr Michelle Gayer is director for emergency risk management at the WHO. She told the Guardian that the gap between the desperate need in countries such as Iraq and current funding levels risked permanent damage to public health across whole populations” (The Guardian, 2015)

There are plenty of young unemployed people in Europe that wants a job so why don't governments fund UN's programs that could make use of young talents at the same time as it helps vulnerable communities in the MENA region. That could actually help lower the risk of extremism spreading, as opposed to military intervention which only creates extremism. Better yet, take money from defence budgets and put it into aid if there "isn't enough funding" at the moment. Have we learned nothing from our previous failures?

Exxonomics 101

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Published on the Peak Surfer on November 8, 2015

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"You don't need 100,000 marines to secure windmills in North Dakota."

 

 The New York Times, which is quickly becoming to print media what Fox is to television news, has done what no first year news stringer should do. It buried the lead. 

It buried the lead on what is likely to become one of the most important stories of all time.

Hidden in the science section of its November 6th daily edition is this headline from a story by Clifford Kraus: More Oil Companies Could Join Exxon Mobil as Focus of Climate Investigations.  Kraus's lead is:

HOUSTON — The opening of an investigation of Exxon Mobil by the New York attorney general’s office into the company’s record on climate change may well spur legal inquiries into other oil companies, according to legal and climate experts, although successful prosecutions are far from assured.

The story goes on to describe the fraudulent activities undertaken by Exxon Mobil, Chevron and other oil majors from 1990 to 2001, using astroturf fronts with names like Global Climate Coalition and the American Legislative Exchange Council. The writer, and presumably the Times editorial team, assumes the reason NY Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is investigating is because the companies spent millions or billions on a disinformation campaign, purchasing no fewer than four U.S. presidents and vast numbers of Congressmen and Senators. These disinformation campaigns cast doubt on climate science by parading shill pseudoscientists before legislative committees. The purchased politicians then went before the public and parroted the oil company line: "Climate Change? Nothing to see here, move along."

The Times seems to think the NYAG is after some kind of conviction for perjury or advertising fraud.

By now this spin on the story is so old and been told so many times, we are surprised that it is still considered news. Maybe that is why it got bumped to the science page. Everyone knew, despite the feigned shock of Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and others, that Exxon had extensively researched the subject in the 1970s, concluded by the mid-80s that climate change was a serious threat, and then killed its own research program and financed opposition.

The real news story is something else. It is not what the investigation is but where it is. The New York Attorney General's office peers from its eyrie in Albany down the Hudson River, across the white plains and palisades to lower Manhattan, but it is only one of two such offices that watches. The other is located closer to the action, in the Federal Courthouse just below Wall Street, where dwells the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, a Mr. Preet Bharara. If you bike by there, however, you see that dog is chained by a very long chain that runs all the way to the back porch of a big white house in Washington. Lest we forget, the nation's last Attorney General came from and went back to Wall Street's Covington & Burling, after 6 years of hearing nothing, seeing nothing and saying nothing as the nation's top law enforcer.

Why should Exxon and Chevron be worried? That would be because what is of interest to a NYAG watchdog is not about buying politicians or suborning perjury. It's about stock manipulation. After a decade of pretty good in-house science, Exxon and the other majors knew by the 80s that the pace of global warming was accelerating and that very soon there would be a massive, increasingly desperate effort underway to shift from fossil fuels to carbon-free renewables in order to escape Cauldron Earth. The hotter it gets, the more frenzied this effort will become, and the less likely Exxon will be able to cash in its balance sheet of fossil assets.
 

Meadows, et al, 1971 Limits to Growth with overlay of
Bates 1990, Climate in Crisis

If you were a CEO of one of these companies, the math would trouble your mind. It would cloud your thinking as you set up for that long putt on the 8th green. It would creep into your internal dialog as you are eyeing that cocktail waitress at a swank restaurant. Your worth as a company, the basis for the company's share price, and your own compensation and stock option packages, all depend on the estimated and proven reserves of oil and gas still in the ground. If, for some reason, those reserves could never be withdrawn – never be burned – then you have a serious problem. Your company is overvalued, and likewise the share price, and your own personal net worth. This is what interests the NY Attorney General. It's the math. Its also the mens rea – your state of mind; what you knew and when you knew it.

It is one thing to have a company whose worth exceeds not only that of any company on Earth but also of any company in history. It is another entirely if that worth is overstated, perhaps by a factor of 100, 1000, or one million times. That becomes the biggest stock fraud in history. For a young or politically ambitious AG, it is a ticket to glory.

On Thursday the Times reported:

Attorneys general for other states could join in Mr. Schneiderman’s efforts, bringing far greater investigative and legal resources to bear on the issue. Some experts see the potential for a legal assault on fossil fuel companies similar to the lawsuits against tobacco companies in recent decades, which cost those companies tens of billions of dollars in penalties.

Potential fines and imprisonment don't begin to tell the story here. Devaluation of the stock – mark to market – is the real penalty. Is Exxon, whose shares are held by teachers' credit unions, public employee pension funds, and more people than almost any other stock, too big to fail? Whether it is too big to jail is irrelevant. Once that asset is devalued, something huge will be set in motion: a trillion dollar switch away from fossil investment, and just coincidentally, an end to the leading justification for military adventurism, support for Israeli hardliners, the puppet regime in Kiev, the ISIS black op and Saudi Arabian feudalism, among other pastimes.


That whole shooting match in Syria, driving millions of refugees into Europe, is about whether Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Russia and Iran and a proponent of a gas pipeline from Iran across Kurdistan to the sea, will be deposed by ISIS terrorists trained by CIA in the Colonel Kurtz style of spectacular horror and funded by the Pentagon so that the US could instead build a pipeline to European markets through Syria from Iraq. The Russian Air Force, with a new generation of fighters that can fly circles around anything built by Lockheed Martin, is looking like it will decide that one. It is pulverizing ISIS.

You don't need 100,000 marines to secure windmills in North Dakota.

That is the story the Times is missing.

In the Thursday story, the Times had a link to a 29-page Exxon report for its shareholders. The company essentially ruled out the possibility that governments would adopt climate policies stringent enough to force it to leave its reserves in the ground, saying that rising population and global energy demand would prevent that. “Meeting these needs will require all economic energy sources, especially oil and natural gas,” it said. Here is an image from that report. We especially enjoyed the absurdity of their idea of what better farming looks like.

 

World population is going to grow by 3 North Americas in 15 years.

In their report, Exxon predicts that the world will add 2 billion more people in the next 15 years, or roughly four more North Americas if you include Mexico and Canada. This tracks similar assessments by the UN and the World Population Council. That increase is baked in the cake just from the number of adolescents reaching childbearing age in these coming years. Exxon believes GDP will grow at 3 times the rate of population if energy supply is adequate. "We see the world requiring 35 percent more energy in 2040 than it did in 2010."
 

"In analyzing the evolution of the world’s energy mix, we anticipate renewables growing at the fastest pace among all sources through the Outlook period. However, because they make a relatively small contribution compared to other energy sources, renewables will continue to comprise about 5 percent of the total energy mix by 2040."


While we don't buy the whole package, we find ourselves agreeing with Exxon about one thing. Business as usual is not possible with an all-renewables portfolio. We wonder where even the finance for such a build-out would come from? More debt? The world financial system came with in a hair's breadth of financial collapse in 2008. Since then the balloon has reinflated and stretched bigger. China just arrested its free-falling stock market by issuing even more debt. But sooner or later loans have to be repaid, with interest, and in a shrinking resource economy they cannot be. When the day of reckoning eventually arrives, our chances of avoiding collapse are very slim. Gail Tverberg says,  "The change … is similar to losing the operating system on a computer, or unplugging a refrigerator from the wall."

Where we part company with Exxon is that Exxon thinks governments will choose to keep heating the planet and we think they will dispense with business as usual. Only time will tell, although the issue will be up for serious debate this December in Paris.

Business as usual will not be an easy thing to give up.

In terms of energy conservation, the leaps made in energy efficiency by the infrastructure and devices we use to access the internet have allowed many online activities to be viewed as more sustainable than offline.

On the internet, however, advances in energy efficiency have a reverse effect: as the network becomes more energy efficient, its total energy use increases. This trend can only be stopped when we limit the demand for digital communication.
 

***

In recent years, the focus has been mostly on the energy use of data centers, which host the computers (the “servers”) that store all information online. However, in comparison, more electricity is used by the combination of end-use devices (the “clients”, such as desktops, laptops and smartphones), the network infrastructure (which transmits digital information between servers and clients), and the manufacturing process of servers, end-use devices, and networking devices.  

Low Tech Magazine

By 2017, the electricity use of the internet globally is expected to rise to between 2,547 teraWatt-hours (low case) and 3,422 tWh (high case). The high case is made more likely by underdeveloping nations bypassing wired communications to go directly to smart phones and other devices, which are increasingly dependent on cloud services. Under these circumstances electricity use for internet will likely double every 5 years, to 110000 tWh (110 petaWatt-hours) by 2040. This would add another USA in electricity consumers every 5 years  three more USAs in 15 years. That, of course, assumes that cloud computing doesn't follow the exponential growth its proponents seek.

Can renewables meet this demand? Right now in the US, renewables account for 13.2 percent of domestically produced electricity. Wind turbine capacity is 65 GWe installed (0.07 tWe), but because of wind and load intermittency, the mills only turn about 32% of the time, producing about 180 million kWh last year (180 GWhr, or 0.2 TWh). That was one ten-thousandth of what was used globally by the internet. To build out renewables to power just the internet by 2040 would require 110 pWh, or more than a million times all the renewable electricity produced by the USA today.

How probable is that? Exxon is completely accurate in labeling it fantasy.

And speaking of fantasy, imagine for a moment that Mr. Schneiderman gets his teeth into Exxon's stock fraud and won't stop shaking until the company restates its book value, sans proven reserves. There has been a recent fall in oil price (owing less to fracking, as the popular narrative has it, than to China's deflationary spiral that has tanked world demand), but if you are a shareholder, this might be a good time to sell.

Or you could take your advice from the nation's paper of record and assume everything is hunky dory. 

Collapse Cafe Special Edition: Paris Massacre

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on November 16, 2015

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Our plan originally was to discuss Collapse Priorities.  What do you need to concern yourself with most first?  Is it Climate?  Is it Economics?  Is it Energy?  Is it Geopolitics?

The Plan was disrupted by what occured in Paris on Friday.  Geopolitics took center stage of its own accord.  When TSHTF, you have to adapt.

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Also, don't miss the latest Rant!!!

A Tsunami of Human Overshoot

A Human Tsunami of Overshoot

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on November 13, 2015

 

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By now, everyone who follows the Collapse blogs knows about the escalating Refugee crisis in Europe, as desperate Syrians and Afghanis attempt to escape War Zones for a new life in the Promised Lands of Sweden and Germany.

Already, with barely the first ripple of this wave rolling in, communities from Kos & Lesbos in the Greek Islands right up to the border between Mother Russia and Norway north of Murmansk and north of the Arctic Circle are being overwhelmed by a HUMAN WAVE.

To date, only a few hundred thousand have begun the migration to GTFO of Dodge before it is too late, but for most it is already too late.  The Borders are closing and the local populations becoming less accepting by the day of the thousands crossing their borders looking just for a meal to eat and peace in their lives.  They are sacrificing everything they have, all they have ever known for the chance to make it to the Promised Land.  They have NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE.  They know they are dead if they stay where they lay.  So move they will, en masse here.

For those on the receiving end, they have EVERYTHING TO LOSE.  Their peaceful lives to begin with, but eventually an existential battle for survival.

This year to date in the Refugee Crisis is not the End of it.  It is not even the Beginning of the End.  It is only the End of the Beginning.  Thank you once again Winston Churchill.

If you like Happy Endings, don't listen to this rant.  It will not make you happy.

http://usherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/refugees.jpg

 

Snippet:

Even if they had food enough, they don't have the infrastructure necessary to handle so many coming in at once. The Finns are talking about using Conex shipping containers for housing refugees this witer in Finland, one hopes with some insulation added and a wood pellet stove for heating. However, what are they using for Toilet facilities in these instant ghetto communities? What is the water supply for the community? Who is hauling out the solid waste of water bottles and MRE cans and paper plates and plastic forks and spoons? Who pays for all of this and with what working money?

This crisis is already here, even without a global food deficit, and it is not going to get any better next year. Measures will be taken to try and close off borders, which will become increasingly harder to enforce and increasingly more violent. Refugee camps will be attacked and set on fire, as has already occurred in Sweden. There will be pileups of refugees in countries with very porous borders like Turkey, which again is already beyond capacity for handling the flow. It's a Human Tsunami of Overshoot, and the Wave hasn't even crested yet…

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The Diner Lens: 2015 Issue 1

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 31, 2015

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With this issue, we begin a new Feature here on the Doomstead Diner, The Diner Lens TM.  Diners have a long tradition of collecting images from around the net depicting the ongong Collapse of Industrial Civiliation in the Diner Art & Photography Forum.

We also include many graphics and videos with our Blogs, but The Diner Lens TM will be dedicated solely to photos (with captions), and the images will speak for themselves.  Credit will be given to the photographer when we can find the credit.

Photography Editor for The Diner Lens is Golden Oxen, moderator of the Diner Art & Photography Forum.

RE

Now, this Week's Top 5 Doom Pics!

Refugees and migrants arrive aboard the passenger ferry Blue Star Patmos from the island of Lesbos at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, Oct. 29, 2015. More than half a million migrants have transited through Greece so far this year, many fleeing Syria's civil war on a short but perilous crossing from Turkey on inflatable rubber boats. (REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Refugees and migrants sit atop a heavily-listing small vessel as they try to travel from the Turkish coast to Skala Sykaminias on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. Authorities in Greece say 21 people have died in other islands after two boats carrying migrants and refugees from Turkey to Greece sank overnight, in the latest deadly incidents in the eastern Aegean Sea. (AP Photo/Kostis Ntantamis)

Paramedics evacuate a wounded Palestinian attacker in Jerusalem on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. The Palestinian stabbed and seriously wounded a man at a station of Jerusalem's light rail Friday before he was shot and wounded by Israeli forces, police said. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

A car washed up against a tree in Cyprus Creek, a tributary of the Blanco River, in Wimberley, Texas, on Oct. 30. More than 200 low-water crossings were closed due to the storm, which hit in the same area where flooding in late May caused more than 20 deaths. Illana Panich-Linsman / Reuters

A girl cries as hundreds of migrants wait to cross to Austria, in Sentilj, Slovenia. Darko Bandic / AP

Mass Migration of All Species: Report from Sweden

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Published on Peak Resources and the Doomstead Diner on October 28, 2015

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Migration is a response to a changing environment

When soils become eroded, fresh water scarce, landscapes deforested, the air polluted and climate unstable, species either adapt, move or go extinct. Because the climate is changing so rapidly most species have a hard time adapting to new conditions. Evolution would have to occur 10,000 times faster than it typically does in order for most species to adapt and avoid extinction. And so they move instead, along with the shifting climatic zones. According to a 2011 study, species are now moving to higher elevations at a rate of 11.1 meters per decade and to higher latitudes at an average of 16.9 kilometres per decade. Life cycle events like mating, blooming and migrating that follow seasons are also changing. Mismatches in timing of births and food availability will inevitably lower population sizes of many species while pests and pathogens thrive due to warmer temperatures. Even if some species are able to migrate there are still many hinders (cities, high-ways etc.) on their way to territories where the competition for food will be tough. Highly specialized species and those who already live in the most northern regions might go extinct. For example, many Arctic species like the caribou, arctic fox and snowy owl are losing their habitat and the food they depend on at a rapid pace.

From having been almost extinct in Sweden, some 15 years ago, the arctic fox may be on its way back, but only due to support feedings and a return of lemmings. Credit: TT

 

Human mobility and Conflict

Human population mobility is not that different. For many of the poorest people of the world mobility is sometimes the only adaptive strategy available. Most sub Saharan African countries are finding it difficult to cope with existing climate stress, not to mention future climate change. Extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and storms have a direct impact on human migration patterns while long-term changes such as desertification and deforestation can lead to declining living standards that indirectly pushes people to move. Already at +1°C warming, since pre-industrial times, we see a drastic increase in the number of displaced people. Furthermore, when essential resources become increasingly scarce or costly tensions rise and conflict can break out. In Syria a devastating drought forced millions of farmers to abandon their fields in search of alternative livelihoods in the city. And when food prices spiked in 2008 and 2011, along with oil prices, food riots and civil unrest broke out in a number of countries where people spend a large part of their income on food. Some of these conflicts have turned into full on wars which further reinforces migration.

 

 

People on the move

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) some 26.4 million people have been displaced by disasters (geophysical and weather related events) every year since 2008. The likelihood of being displaced by disaster today is 60% higher than it was in the early 1970s. The number of displaced people from natural disasters spiked during the strong El Niño years of 1997/98 which does not bode well for this winter and next year, with a similarly strong El Niño now taking shape. Losses from natural disasters and conflict increasingly outpaces the adaptive capacity of a growing number of people around the globe who are forced to relocate permanently. According to UNHCR, one in every 122 humans are now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. The number of conflicts have increased during the last decade and 15 newly erupted or reignited conflicts have broken out since 2010.


Shows total people of concern (refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced, returnees, stateless, and others of concern to UNHCR) in 15 countries as of 2014. Based on UNHCR – Global Trends 2014: World At War

The conflict in Ukraine together with 502,500 people crossing the Mediterranean and the large number of Syrians in Turkey (1.59 million) has lead to a doubling of refugees in Europe between 2013-2014, according to the UN Refugee Agency. However, while Germany and Sweden accepted the biggest volume of asylum seekers the largest proportion of refugees are located in Turkey and the Russian Federation.

Earth to humanity

Most people in Europe, and elsewhere, are currently focused on issues of immigration with endless political debates and moral outrage in mainstream media. People think that we are experiencing a political crisis but it's much worse than that. Migration is only a symptom of the real underlying predicament – limits to growth in a finite world. As long as society tries to grow its population and economic activity we will continue to experience mounting social and ecological stresses, for example in form of: increasing inequality, disruptive climate change, mass migrations, hunger, epidemics etc. These pressures are warning signals that indicate overshoot, this is a fact, and yet we refuse to talk about limiting population growth or downsizing our economy (i.e. lowering our energy per capita consumption).

 

Irreversible change in carrying capacity means that a return to their homeland will be impossible for many environmental refugees. Since ecological deficit is a global phenomenon, millions of ecorefugees will be seeking new locations. But very few places will have the biocapacity necessary to take them in without undermining their own ecological capital. Are there any lifeboats (nations) in suitable condition to accept ecorefugees on a long-term basis? If we have a quick look at different country's biocapacity as measured by the global footprint network we can see that Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, Russia, Latin America and parts of central Africa still have (in theory) the ecological capacity to host more people. While most countries located around the equator are in serious overshoot.


 

Accepting limits

Eventually, resource depletion and biophysical stresses will grow so large that the economy will crash and population is forced to go down. This is not a pessimistic viewpoint, it is a realistic one based on scientific evidence of population dynamics in a closed natural system. We can always hope for the best, but we better prepare for the worst, like any prudent risk manager would.

 

As most people probably have noticed by now, there is very little real wealth generation in today’s economy. Most of the economic activity these days consist of wealth transfers, from the poor and the middle class to the financial elite. This is why we see such huge and widening gaps between rich and poor (80 people own 50% of all global wealth). When the resource pie isn't growing anymore then one person's gains will imply another one's losses, it's a zero-sum game. Absent abundant, cheap energy (especially oil) the economy cannot grow as more people go broke and become excluded from the marketplace. Only the rich will be able to afford to keep on over consuming, over the short-term that is . Our society has tried to “paper over” this problem by piling up ever more debt (borrowing purchasing power from the future), but we have now reached a level when people cannot or are unwilling to take on more debt. And this is also why we see falling commodity prices, there just isn’t enough demand. Instead we have debt deflation.

 

In time, depressed commodity prices could lead to falling supply of oil which in turn could be devastating for food production and transportation. All the while pollution is growing and climate change becomes more severe. Meanwhile social unrest and political extremism is on the rise once again in Europe.The so called “refugee crisis”, however, is neither temporary or political in nature. Ideologies like left or right-wing doesn’t matter anymore, there are only those who accept ecological limits and those who don't. But accepting limits also leads to the realization that there are two possible outcomes, sharing or conflict. And people do not like to share. Especially not the rich.

Postcard From Sweden

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on October 15, 2015

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With this interview, we introduce the most recent in the pantheon of Diner Cross Posting Bloggers, Linda Bergqvist, aka Fenixor.

FX runs the blog Peak Resources, hails from Sweden and is one of the younger Diners, along with Monsta from the UK who cohosts the Collapse Cafe Videos & Podcasts with me usually.  This interview was done on short notice though, so it's just the Talking Heads of RE & FX in this one.

Following the Video, we'll be cross posting  recent blogs from FX under her byline.  Visit her Peak Resources blog to catch up on her previous articles.

Rant Double Feature: Refugee Soup & Fed Waffles

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 24, 2015

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DON'T FORGET TO TAKE THE FATE OF COUNTRIES IN COLLAPSE SURVEY!

Boat-Refugeeshttp://mischlerfinancial.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Federal-Reserve-Bank-of-New-York-logo.jpgThe Refugee crisis has continued to escalate in the 2 weeks since the last "Daily" rant, so in this episode I updated on the latest insanity going on with that clusterfuck.

Second half of this rant covers the latest in waffling by Da Fed WRT raising interest rates, which supposedly they were going to do but didn't.

Raise your hands if you think these folks know what they are doing.

I didn't think so.

Snippet:

…Further talk elsewhere around the financial blogosphere is about “Helicopter Money”, Brit Prep School Butt Boy Ambrose Evans Pritchard is a big fan of this idea. The idea in this case is that of instead of handing out free money to the TBTF banks, instead they will hand out free money to J6P, to “stmulate demand” from the bottom up. Instead of “trickle down” economics, in this topsy turvy world of finance “trickle up” is the latest rage!

Precisely how they will manage such a helicopter distribution is as of yet unclear. Since they also seem to be in favor of banning Cash, they're probably not really going to drop FRNs from Helicopters, although that certainly would be cinematic if nothing else…

FOR THE REST, LISTEN TO THE RANT!

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