The Republican Party's triumph in the 2010 congressional elections, coupled with the rapid depletion of the earth's natural resources, signaled the impending collapse of human civilization, according to a world-renowned scholar known for his left-wing politics.“You could almost interpret [the election] as a kind of a death knell for the species," Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a recent interview.
But he's not the only one worried; the US business press is, too.
Chomsky continued, "There was an article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, you know – not a radical rag exactly. They’re running through the new Republicans coming to Congress, and they’re worried about them.”
The cause for concern is that these newly-elected conservative members that now comprise the majority in Congress believe that global climate change is not the result of human industrial activities.
Now that the WikiLeaks releases about Tunisian corruption have directly sparked a peoples' uprising in Tunisia; now that Egypt is in the throes of pro-democracy protest driven in large measure by WikiLeaks' revelation in the Palestine Papers about US manipulation of Palestine, surely one would expect key U.S. news organizations and journalists to rally prominently to the defense of the right to publish that that site represents. One would expect lead editorials supporting Assange's right to publish from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and USAToday, not to mention every major TV outlet. But instead, what we have heard is the deafening sounds of what middle-schoolers call 'crickets' -- that is, an awkward silence. As Nancy Youssef in the McClatchy papers reported recently, most U.S. journalists -- and, even more shamefully, journalists' organizations -- decided, regarding supporting Wikileaks' freedom to publish, to "take a pass."
Maybe it’s all part of a grand theme. Last month, they [the republicans] voted to repeal the health care law. This month, they’re going after an organization that provides millions of women with both family-planning services and basic health medical care, like pap smears and screening for diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.Our [republican] legislative slogan for 2011: Let Them Use Leeches.
Brazil's first working class president and an icon of the downtrodden said Monday that the global financial crisis proves capitalism is broken. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also said it was time for affluent countries to begin paying attention to nations like Senegal, ranked as one of the world's poorest.
As we've watched the dramatic events in the Middle East, you would hardly know that we had a thing to do with them. Oh yes, in the name of its War on Terror, Washington had for years backed most of the thuggish governments now under siege or anxious that they may be next in line to hear from their people.
Today, the ninth anniversary of the day George Bush decided that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to "enemy combatants," two torture victims filed legal complaints asking that Swiss officials investigate Bush for war crimes. Bush is safe for now, having scrapped plans for a Switzerland visit. But activists say an indictment is waiting for him. The welcome message: "Be careful in your travel plans."
Meatless Monday: The Missing Link
by Ellen Kanner
Feb 7 2001 Huffington Post
You may be chilly now, but on the global scale, things are heating up. Recent findings by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) conclude climate change will affect food security by 2050. Crop yields are forecast to be lower, and food prices, accordingly, will be higher, with staples like rice going up as much as 78 percent. That means we're going to have to work hard not to go hungry. Or as Charles Darwin might have put it, we adapt or perish.
One way to adapt could have huge positive consequences. The United Nations International Panel of Sustainable Resource Management has called for "a substantial worldwide diet change away from animal products." A UN panel analysis indicates meat and dairy production accounts for 70% of our global water supply and more than a third of our land use. We're going to need every inch of arable land to grow food. Reducing meat consumption might be what saves us.
No one liked what Darwin had to say, either. All the guy did was observe the natural world. Darwin didn't make up the idea of natural selection. He wasn't pushing any kind of agenda, just reporting his findings after years of research -- findings which pissed many people off. We're supposed to be God's appointed rulers of this earthly dominion, damnit, and it really fried our collective ass to think all that separated us from the apes were a few links in the evolutionary chain. It was easier to brand Darwin as a heretic and a wingnut than to buy his theory on the origin of the species. Many people still deride Darwin's notion and the man's been dead since 1882.
Similarly, the link between meat production and climate change has its host of detractors, too. It's easier to blame or defame the messenger than it is to change, to reduce the amount of meat we eat or face the fact we're out on a rapidly melting polar ice cap (thanks, climate change).
Maybe, despite the evidence, you don't believe in global warming. Or you think it's just part of God or nature's plan, that the planet is (intelligently) designed to throw climate curveballs every millenium or so. And in the long run, we're all going to die, anyway. That doesn't mean we need to hurry the process along, globally or personally.
The new USDA and Human Health Services dietary guideline tell you what you've already known -- making the move to a plant-based diet is good for you. Meanwhile, the American Cancer Society links daily meat consumption with heightened mortality risk. Eating meat shortens your life.
Change is hard, whether it's a matter of changing your world view or your diet. But all evidence points away from eating meat, if you want to stick around. To quote Darwin, "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. . . but the one most adaptable to change."
It's not to late to adapt. That's what life on earth is about. As Darwin wrote, this is where "endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
London After Midnight / Sean Brennan