The Salvation of General TMIC

images (3)I’m setting out on a rather difficult task here in this article. It is for me anyway. I can’t help it, the issue of the day is the combination of many issues, all coagulating into a material that is most definitely explosive. It’s like being in a burning barn, and the possible horrific scenarios come in all shapes and sizes, will a beam fall on my head, will a wall collapse and burn me alive, will a gas tank explode, will a pitchfork fly my way and stab me in the neck? Pick one.

Usually when a situation gets as bad as the one I’ve set above, where many scenarios of doom are available, the more ways to die means there are fewer ways to survive. In that barn there might be only one thing you can do and that’s take a run for that burning door that’s set in flames and do a flying dive at it, slamming your shoulder into it and busting it open, it’s your only chance.

Climate change is the leading scenario towards doom right now, but others right behind her are the doom scenarios of population, food/water, nuclear and financial. Including climate change, these are the big five doom scenarios, climate affects the others, but they really don’t need it to do some heavy damage all by themselves. I want to show you here that the mindset we must obtain as a collective species is a vast and comprehensive one. And that this mindset needs to be obtained quickly. Our time ‘reference’ must set its priorities to decades, rather than monthly, weekly or yearly. Our frame of reference must turn from local to global and back again. We must become a pulsating machine, giving us the power to bust that door wide open. It will take a lot of people and a mutually flowing cooperation between them and their nation’s governments to make it happen.

As per usual, I am speaking primarily to climate activists in this writing, but all can get something for it, I hope.

The Conglomerates–Us and Them

What’s more important about this collection of possible outcomes are not the outcomes so much as is what burning door do we chose to bust to avoid the outcomes? This is the important link, or question, I wish to answer in this article. If there is only one way out of this mess then what is it and more concerning to me is to convey why it is that it is the only way?

In a burning barn when trying to survive the ordeal you don’t spend a lot of time questioning yourself and spinning the situation to be something other than it is. No, you more or less look frantically around and act instinctively from there, your instincts are your best friend at that moment, they are pure since all fluffs, and frills surrounding them are gone. The focus becomes you and the way out, that’s it, nothing else.

Collectively, in our relationship with these five threats that combine to become one big threat, WE are the answer. Just as they are coming en masse` at us, we will be coming back at them in kind, we’d better I should say. WE will need more force against them than they have against US.  Collectively, we will need the same focus and the instinctual survival response as the guy in the barn and this will have to be clearly evident to us in the form of a collective mindset, not just as individual units of our species. I think it is more or less scientific in some way.  Whether it is or not, we need it the same as a car needs gasoline to start. Without a unified effort, like at least 85% of the human population of the world demanding it, much will not happen in the fight against these issues and their outcomes when taking them together as one big issue (which they are in reality).


TMIC, or “the military industrial complex”, is a concept that can slide right off the back of our hands and not be taken very seriously; making it not much more than a characterization of big business. Well that don’t matter, it’s still the mother fucker of our time.

If that dude ain’t going along then you’d better hope aliens come to help or else he somehow gets Jesus or some damn thing. TMIC is the foundation of our daily lives, he’s why we go to the store, drive a car, have a job, or live in a shithole and starve. TMIC’s gotta change, or TMIC’s gotta go, that’s the fundamental equation here.

There are many reasons for this but I will only focus on a couple. The first and foremost is none other than time, we don’t have time to take the long, long looks at the science, the percentage risks, etc. They are all too far off to calculate and much too complex to resolve in the short time we have to safely avoid the tipping points of these collective issues. I believe the general conclusions seems to say no more than fifteen years and maybe as little as ten to the ticking bell. I’m fairly sure that’s the correct consensus.

The other is history repeats itself. We gain on a thing, say fuels or communications, whatever, say soap. The point is, when we look at the long term and the overall advancement of humans, we lose, hands down.  That is, we lose when factoring all the net gains and all the net losses. And of course, factoring what is actually valuable, obviously staying alive is valuable. We are convincingly moving towards death as a collective, TMIC’s choking right now and it’s therefore easy to conclude we are at a net loss as of today.

TMIC wants to not change, TMIC wants to continue his current problem solving techniques to survive this accumulation of threats. Those techniques primarily involve the market, they involve the concepts of self interest and competition, they involve the flow and bounce of the money markets, the actions of the fed, taxes, consumer choice, product growth, and a million other economic functions of one huge equation stretching for miles. Right now this minute, that is TMIC’s stance and he’s telling us to stay the fuck away or he’ll shoot. Get it?

TMIC is also the head of the human conglomerate right now and he rules it. He’s not just a cliché for revolutionaries to sling around, he’s real and he is alive. We as individuals don’t recognize this a lot, but more and more we are beginning to, still, we are not all that conscious of it as yet as a collective, not nearly what we need.  And that’s the pocket we need to fill, that is, the realization of how deeply short our supply of power to deal with TMIC’s state of mind we are in. At this point it’s like one ant standing up to the entire colony, good luck.

The whole reason TMIC is getting away with this is because he’s real good at putting out fires by implementing something that resembles mitigation.  He patches himself along the path to his own destruction and therefore stays just above reproach. Of course, that reproach is more thwarted by the illusions we followers of TMIC receive than by the impact of his policies. We as a collective, just like him, have diluted ourselves into thinking BAU with just a few adjustments and some new kind of fuel was gonna do it. No need for an upside down hoe down; we could stay basically the same kinda humans operating basically the same kinda ways…whoop…

Hey, I ain’t saying anything new here am I? We all know that “the machine” is out of control, we know that in some form or amount anyway. The point I wish to make is that it is much more out of control than we allow our collective self to believe. That collective self needs to wake up real soon and get this fact straight. TMIC’s gotta be dealt with, he’s nuts.

The first way to get that done is to not follow the same operations manual we been following. However, I’m not going to say we need a new one just yet, maybe we’ll eventually go back to the old one, but surely with some adjustments, but then, I don’t know, maybe we’d find something new altogether. The point is that “for now” let us quit using this one.

To quit on something this big you gotta go easy. But see, that all’s I’m saying is just quit, you know, slow it down, shut down what we don’t need, all that. Let’s just survive and stop doing the emitting, the over consuming, the wars, all of it, let’s just chill and eat, drink, sleep and keep warm as best we can.

Yeah, really simple; “too simple” you say. However, I guarantee that there is no other choice, this is not going to be one of several options we’ll have some day, at some point, we are just going to be trying to take care of basic living and that will be the only option we will have. It’s 100% guaranteed with BAU, but even with the current efforts to deal with our problems growing at their current rate, we are sure to reach these points of critical mass if those efforts remain on their same posit. The force against us way outmatches us otherwise. We need to increase the magnitude of our present efforts by at least 20 fold to catch up. Look closely at the climate science, I mean look closely. And then add to that the condition of the other four horseman of population, food and water, nuclear and economy and if your glance is done with objectivity and reality, you’ll see we are walking in the blind and actually quite delusional to believe we got this by the tail in any sort of way. Personally, it’s the degree of that delusion that astonishes me, and scares me, and makes me lack hope.

So, the One Way Out, you know that’s really hard to say very proudly or boldly, “the one way out”, sounds like some kinda religious shit. Well, take it how you need to but it ain’t where I’m coming from, there’s only one way out of this mess cuz as I said earlier, the more ways to die means there are fewer ways to survive. In our case what this means is to shut TMIC’s main power sources down while building a safe and secure camp of food, water clothing and shelter or to at least do the bear minimums, depends on how fucked up we are at the onset. So we do that and stay in that state of being until we have the mind to know what to do next, get it? And maybe that’s all we can do for the time being, though I suggest in another article, Rapid Climate Mobilization and Government Control, that we can do much better if we act collectively and do it well. So given that, I leave you to check that article out and weigh this question in your mind, can you actually continue to live like ‘you’ do right now and hope for real success? At the moment, I am talking to climate activists. Good day my friends.

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Human Beings (and my giving up on trying to do something about them)

images (2)I grew up on a dairy farm, and I gotta tell ya, cows are the dumbest things on earth. I’ve seen cows get themselves into such entanglements that they had to be helped out. Get one inside a stall sometime and you’d see what I mean. They can get themselves to into such predicaments that you have to say, “Damn, that’s a dumb animal.”

Yeah and then there are the smart animals, like ravens, or dogs. Of course, some dogs actually can be pretty dumb too. Speaking of dogs, you ever notice how different from one another they can be? Some dogs are so sweet and kind you’d think they’d seen a vision from god or something. And then there are dogs who are just plain old mean and will bite you if given the chance, just for the hell of it. Then there’s dogs who are selfish, who hog the feed bowl from other dogs, or who won’t leave you alone and want to be petted all the fucking time. And here’s a dog for you, how about the dog that just don’t give a shit. They just sit around, never bark, don’t really seem to care about their owners, their home, nothing really. Yeah, all kinds of dogs out there.

OK, here’s the punch line, yeah you guessed it, what about those human being animals? Well I have come to peg them to be like dogs, some smart, some dumb, some good, some bad, all that. And yes, human beings are animals, not just in the science way either. Check’em out sometime, you’ll see that they are nothing any different from other animals, just a bag of bones and flesh with above average intelligence for an animal.

I came to this conclusion just recently. Actually, it’s been coming on for some time now, at least a couple years. I’ve kept hearing this voice in my head saying, “ Human beings are bags of bones and flesh, with desires.” Yeah we’re full of desires. If humans had only two words to say for the rest of their existence (which ain’t long now) it would be, “I want”. How do you think we got so god damn industrious? Now of course the ‘I want” aspect of the human being is not always a bad thing. A lot of humans are able to curtail their desires, in fact, many of them seem to be more concerned about the desires of others more than their own. Or maybe they’re not all that good, but good enough to not take, steal, or do harm to and from others. And then some are just not “very” good. They’re not killers or thieves and anything illegal, but their morals and ethics would kinda make the good human a little sick. Yeah, all kinds of human beings out there.

Well, coming to realize this, and especially the part about humans being nothing more than animals, good or bad, I got kinda depressed. Yeah I thought humans were above all other forms of life on the planet, I thought that maybe even we were invented by god or aliens or something and all the other beings on this planet got here by struggling evolution. Nah, we got here the same way, I’ve conceded.

Only I have to say, our evolution I think may have stopped somewhere and we actually have come to be devolving. You can see this watching TV or on the internet news or just knowing a few human beings. If you look and think about it, we got murders, sociopaths, rapists, child molesters, and politicians. I’m not kidding about that last one, yeah, we got politicians. And we also have CEO’s, employers, school kids and co-workers. That last bunch can be worse than the first, in a shithead kind of way I mean. Just like the dogs, they can be just mean enough to bite you, so to speak, but not hard enough for it to be a crime. It’s these types of humans that I think that have caused our devolving status. At least the killers and rapists are known to be bad. But the bad that happens behind the closed doors of CEO’s, politicians, employers, parents, their children, volunteers, day care workers…the gambit, is a bad that is sleazy, pukey, slimmy, and just plain evil. Evil because of the trickery and deception they do in order to get one up on the other guy.

The Koch brothers are a good example. Those guys could give two shits about the damage they are doing. I can see them actually taking pleasure in their schemes, see, and that’s evil. And it goes the same for probably the majority of CEO’s and the corporate elite. But hey, you don’t gotta be an elite to have this disposition, you can be some dad who ignores his kids to the point that it makes them sick, or a co-worker who will lie about you to take your job, or the school kid who heartlessly takes the little kids lunch money and laughs, or the guy who says fuck you to the problems of the world and takes his comfort by being non-caring about anything but himself. Yeah, all kinds of bad out there.

So I see it splitting about 50/50, half of us good or at least not pitiful, and the other half, well…pitiful. So as a climate change activist, I’m finding I gotta look at this human condition and make some decisions about it. Figuring that half the world is more or less worthless in this regard, that is, those who could give a damn whether climate change is happening or not, I’m thinking that it is most likely if not certain that we ain’t gonna get past this climate change deal. I mean look at us, we are barely evolved when you consider a species that has a brain like ours. Many of us are evolved enough to deal with climate change, but ‘too’ many of us are not even close. I wouldn’t be saying this but the thing is it’s gonna take nearly all of us to get the job done. Hey look, to actually do something about climate change we gotta change our ways and change them heavy duty and we can’t be selfish about it either, we have to give all. But with that bad half around, it’s gonna take a miracle for that to happen. I don’t disbelieve in miracles, but I also have never seen one either.

Well like I said, this a something new in my life. I spent my first 57 years believing that humans were basically good and that we would stick together in a crisis. Maybe we do in hurricanes or when a gun is pointed at our head, but like the dumb cow, we can be just dumb enough to not be able to get ourselves out of our own entanglements, like climate change. However, it’s not really about dumb, it’s about being a devolving species that was lucky enough to get a big brain but only able to use it properly about half the time, mostly because our precious wants tend to overrule our good sense.

Well I don’t know if I’m gonna decide to walk away from a useless cause or not. I threaten myself with it all the time these days, I even made a public announcement I’s quitting recently. Of course I could get all principled and say to myself it’s right to fight the good fight, but I ain’t all that good myself so I don’t think that principle is gonna stop me from ditching this fucked up mess. I’ll be 60 in October, I’m getting kinda tired. I’m gonna go to bed and think about it tomorrow, I’ll let you know.

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Rapid Climate Mobilization and Government Control

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I am presently on the plan development committee for the organization called The Climate Mobilization. We are currently working on the first year mobilization effort involving what government actions will be taking place to reach a goal of 80% reduction in GHG emissions in five years. Personally, I am stuck on two preceding issues that I need more information on before I can determine what actions government(s) should or could take. I posed these questions to the group.

  1. As a movement, what are we trying to stop? Meaning what are the maximum impacts we are willing to allow? Have we reached them already? Do we think we can stop “all” impacts by reducing emissions by 80% in five years? Or is it going to take more than just this one goal, for instance, sequestration and/or geo-engineering? In short, is our goal just the targeted emissions reductions or is it to eliminate all trouble caused by climate change or somewhere in between? Setting these science parameters as a group are vital to knowing what sort of plan to develop.
  2. For me, an essential component to know in developing a plan for government action is how much can we expect from citizens? Can we ask them to give up their current employment and go to work for the cause? Can we ask them to forgo products of luxury and anything that does not deal with food, water, clothing, shelter, or any other need that does not fulfill fundamental living? Can we ask them to give over central control to the federal government, making all citizens wards of congress? Setting these social parameters as a group are vital to knowing what sort of plan to develop.

Lead Up to Government Action

I’m gonna go ahead and move forward and delineate that first year government action effort and to do that I am going to assume the answers to my questions above to be settled as such:

  1. We are trying to stop destruction of any type related to climate change impacts from gaining no more than 15% increase before the percentage begins to decrease to a stable level. So we will assume further impacts to be taking place for a given time. Our target is comprehensive, we not only wish to stop climate change in its tracks and return to 350 ppm or less, but we also in the process are going to eliminate inequality, completely reform our economic and social paradigms, eliminate consumer consciousness, reduce population and return to a more agrarian society that makes water like gold. We may even get to throw in a redesign of nuclear programs and destroy all nuclear arms. Oh, and who knows? We might even be able to restore world peace. Not kidding.
  1. Citizens can be expected see a change in their intrinsic values as the concepts of self-interest and competition will be replaced by community interest and cooperation. The concept of employment will change from one of monetary return to services in kind. Energy, housing, food, water, clothing, transportation, communication systems, education, and health care all provided for by the government but you work to get your share. Your work will likely be in one of the aforementioned areas. Luxury items will become extremely rare, as our society will be more agrarian in nature and not so attuned to material possession. Basic provision will be our main concern, all else is secondary or nonexistent. State solidarity will lose its place to central control by the federal government, but of course, this will only happen by public approval, more so, by public demand. This phenomenon will come about as a result of Climate Mobilization’s social movement campaign prior to the public introduction to the government action plan we’re dealing with now.

Please note that the above and below assumptions are mine and not the plan development committee of the Climate Mobilization group.

Government Action

The social movement campaign will have generated in the public a sense of urgency that will result in a demand on government to act and act dramatically. The public will be ready to do what is necessary and will consider itself and the next few generations as ‘sacrifice generations’. No collective human achievement of the past will compare to enormity of this social movement to deal with climate change.

The government will be presented with a plan overwhelmingly endorsed by the public to ensue with action on the measures in the outline below. The plan will have three basic components that will work together simultaneously to achieve the goal of 80% reductions in GHG emissions within five years. One, to reduce or eliminate the production of anything outside of energy, housing, food, water, clothing, transportation, communication systems, education, and health care. Two, a massive production and transfer effort to switch over to renewables completely within 5 years after the 80% cut has been achieved bringing us to zero emissions. Three, endorsing and promoting to the public that this effort is not about some drama striving for the ideologies of utopia, this drama is about the future of life on the planet. It just so happens that something resembling utopia is needed to pull this craziness off.  Between these three actions, a new government and a new society will have emerged; it has to.

Government Action Outline

I. Government Mandates for Reduced, Eliminated and Redirected Production

  1. Government will do a study to determine what goods and services outside of energy, housing, food, water, clothing, transportation, communication systems, education, and health care should be eliminated or reduced in production or use.
  2. The targets are to eliminate 60% of total production and use of unwanted goods and services and reduce the use and production of the remaining goods and services unless they fall into one of the categories of energy, housing, food, water, clothing, transportation, communication systems, education, and health care.
  3. Resource allocation to defense will cease except for maintenance of domestic protection from foreign invaders. In terms of budgets (though money might be passé in this society) most likely something like a 70% cut. In return, those resources will be allocated to the development of renewables and to public transportation and communication systems.
  4. Massive campaign to collect recyclables using citizens to collect from their own trash and storage to dumps and warehouses or wherever they can be found and collected. R&D devoted to converting these recyclables to synthetic materials of all kinds to be use in infrastructural changes due to the assumption of long term impacts going beyond climate change. Again, using citizenry as the workers and also much of the kinetic energy to move everything from earth to buildings. It’s the war of crowbars, hammers, buckets and shovels…with muscle power over diesel power. A workforce of tens of millions.
  5. Specialize an array of citizen’s workforces and R&D efforts, totaling in the tens of millions, to develop and implement a citizens owned and operated entity whose purpose is to provide publicly shared resources that are nationally open networks and systems for transportation and communications. Result is every citizen has full and equal use of these resources.
  6. Specialize an array of citizen’s workforces and R&D efforts, totaling in the tens of millions, to develop and implement access and infrastructural changes for housing, food, water and clothing. This will be a citizens owned and operated entity whose purpose is to publicly provide these resources to citizens. And yes, fashion can remain for clothing. Food and water will become a public responsibility. At least 70% of households and neighborhoods will be involved in water (catching and storing) and food production. Housing is going to change dramatically. Average home size will be reduced from about 3000 square feet now to 800 square feet upon completion of the housing effort. Result is every citizen has full and equal use of these resources. Primarily made by hand.
  7. Specialize an array of citizen’s workforces and R&D efforts, totaling in the tens of millions, to develop and implement a citizens owned and operated entity whose purpose is to provide publicly shared resources for health care of all kinds from head to toe. Result is every citizen has full and equal use of these resources.
  8. Specialize an array of citizen’s workforces and R&D efforts, totaling in the tens of millions, to develop and implement a citizens owned and operated entity whose purpose is to provide publicly shared resources for education of all kinds from Sesame Street to post doctoral research to sending us to Mars. Result is every citizen has full and equal access to these educational opportunities.
  9. In all these efforts of government action I would not declare exactly how the government gets the power to declare these upheavals and impose a new world onto us all. But I would never endorse military or police action. Laws that can be enforced would be understandable and useful, but enforced while bearing in mind what we’ve thrown at the public, there will be social unrest unforeseen and I would suspect that empathy towards their cause will be not hard to find. However, this mission will not even start until, as I alluded to earlier, when a large majority of the public is actually demanding to be redirected.  Nevertheless, preparation for defense against direct action scenarios needs to be included, regretfully.

II. Government Mandate for Development of New Power Grid

  1. Specialize an array of citizen’s workforces and R&D efforts, totaling in the tens of millions, to develop and implement a citizens owned and operated entity whose purpose is to provide publicly shared resources for energy.
  2. First task to dismantle the fossil fuels industry while replacing it with renewables. This will be a massive production and transfer effort to switch over to renewables completely which would then bring us to zero emissions. The remaining 20% to be swallowed up within 5 years ‘after’ the 80% cut has been achieved. Result is every citizen has full and equal use of these resources for energy.
  3. Specialize an array of citizen’s workforces and R&D efforts, totaling in the millions, to develop and implement a citizens owned and operated entity whose purpose is to provide publicly shared resources derived from carbon sequestration efforts. This could be everything from compost to some kind of recycled energy; depends on the R&D. The target being getting enough sequestered to get us to a minimum 350 ppm.

III. Government’s Endorsement and Promotion of Essential Mindset Needed for Victory

  1. This will be something very new to functions of government as it could be related to the propaganda machine of North Viet Nam or something of the like. The Climate Mobilization social movement campaign will have fired up and unified the citizenry, but thereafter all will be under stress and working hard to achieve these massive goals, so motivation will be key. Whether it be the government kicking your butt or the psychotherapist forgiving your shortcomings, either way, you will need motivation. This is a unique time in human history, unique governments must apply. Government will make this effort an entire division.
  2. The message must have backbone. Core to motivation in this case is more about what it is we are trying to avoid rather than what we are gaining. Though we can hope that this new culture will be welcomed in the end, hopes of utopia will not be a reliable motivator, but the idea of rotting bodies will be. In other cases, positive motivation might work, and I’m not saying to not interlace it with the negative. However, the government must remember, it’s an emergency we are dealing with and when you are in a hurricane your motivation isn’t hope for utopia, it’s more about securing your ass from flying debris. Whatever the message may be, it must be upfront, bold and repeated, just as the captain does out in the trenches of battle.


You may have noticed I did not have much discussion, or any for that matter, about economic growth, jobs in market context, budget by dollars, well, nothing quantitative by money or market functions. I am not literally suggesting doing away with means of exchange, I’m just not including it as a means for measurement. But I will say that I believe that in this case market systems may not be possible to retain, let alone use. If we just gotta work this out with banks and the money supply, wages and retail prices, all that, well then, all I can say is good luck cuz I don’t know no better about it anyway, I got opinions like I got farts, so, go figure. However, as far as looking at needs, resources, power and end results I stand behind all of the above.

I fully am aware of how dramatic this plan is. But I am also quite convinced and confident in my awareness of this situation. As dramatic as you may see this government action plan, there is an equal and opposite reaction coming from climate change, perhaps greater.  So if it takes the concept of bucks to make this plan happen, then for Jumpn’ Jesus let’s do it, whatever. But in the end if we succeed, I’d bet a buck and a half that the greater source of this success will be much more about what was in our hearts, minds and bodies than the net dollars in our wallets. This will be evident by the massive sounds coming from sighs of relief wafting throughout the lands.

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Forced Utopia

imagesAccording to Wikipedia, “A utopia is a community or society possessing highly desirable or near perfect qualities.” That’d be something, wouldn’t it? Well, we just might get it someday, and soon. You’ve seen the utopian thing on TV, you know, some village on another planet, people wearing some kinda cloth looking robe like thingy’s. Playing flutes, all that. They got that way by becoming cooperative with each other, ‘concern for one concern for all’ kinda thing. Oh yeah, they live in earth bound structures and everyone grows food, that kinda stuff.

Of course, most of these utopian societies here on earth (?), or out there in the universe came about via some sort of cultural evolution, I mean, I’d guess that.  Not probably after many times of grief though. You don’t learn without pain. So in a way you could say utopian societies have their origins in pain so that in the beginning a culture finds itself more or less forced along evolution’s path towards utopia.

Yeah well I think we’re there. That is, we here in the 21st century. Yeah we’re gonna get our ass kicked right into utopia, you bet. Climate change is the boot. I always figure to be writing to climate activists so I won’t go into the details of how that is the case, but we know it is. OK, I’ll say why.

So we know our state of being in regards to climate and what’s heading our way, even with drastic action, we’ll still be faced with a likely 2C earth.  Any serious climate action plan will most likely have a wartime approach involving a majority of the citizenry in its efforts; as well as a completely new paradigm on economy. How things work, why they work and for whom they work will all be set within a new paradigm. However, unlike societies on planet Caprotiea, we will not be “evolving” into this state of being; we’ll be tossed into it like the morning trash.

To mount an arsenal and the soldiers aground that will stand the battle against climate change will take a society dedicated to that one purpose. We’ve changed the climate, the results are just getting out the gates and we are already lagging far behind our foe. A cooperative citizenry? Complete central control? The idea of “standard of living” set to the shelf? An actual working, functioning collective consciousness awakened? Yeah, I’d say utopia would have arrived, it’d have to in order to pull all that off.

See that’s the bitch here, for us serious climate activists, that is. We have to sell utopia to guys like John Boehner and the Tea Party all the way down to the lower middle class school teacher who considers herself a climate activist pushing for a carbon tax that doesn’t hurt economic growth. But that’s just it, we have to make that sell. If we don’t make it, climate change will.

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Climate Change, the Market, Us and Beyond

23205446-homeless-man-family-beggar-jobless-stick-figure-pictogram-iconI just read an informative article from Rolly Montpellier at  titled, Carbon Fee and Dividend. Its Time Has Come. Yeah its time has come, but thinking for the long term, I hope we see it go faster than we’ve seen it come. Of course, that’s only if we have replaced it with something much, much, better. I’ll get into that more later. First, we need to understand a few things about this market strategy and the system it stems from.

When I say the system, I am referring to free enterprise and its two main operators, self-interest and competition. These two functions of free enterprise are what built America and have since contributed to the growth of many nations in both the developed and developing worlds. It works like a charm, for a time at least. In America’s case it worked well for about 250 years. We became the most powerful nation in the world both economically and of course, militarily (funny how those two go together). Then long about the 1870’s, we began to see problems ranging from crime to corrupt governments and corporations, to pollution to wars.

You say, “Well hell, those have been around since the cave man days.” Yeah, I suppose so, but never have they actually threatened the existence of human life and many other life forms on our planet. The biggest threat here in the 21st century is climate change, which came right out of free enterprise. Now you’d say, “You can go straight to hell buddy, I got a comfortable home and a well educated family, don’t be knocking free enterprise around me, mister.” I understand that response. All in all free enterprise has been the most innovated system ever conceived for everything from medicine to military might (whoops, slipped that one in there again, sorry). Yeah I mean look around you, just look at that stuff out there: cars, boats, planes, artificial hearts, computers, radio, TV, telephones…all kinds of stuff … all kinds of stuff … stuff … and stuff.

Is this good? Sure it is, but only if you are a beneficiary of this system that brings this stuff about. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day; not gonna get a new heart on those wages. You say, “Hey dude, we are making gains on poverty, wake up man!” If you read that article I linked you’ll note that the gains on poverty are more about how many are not dying or how many more now make greater than $1.25 a day. But are they still poor? You bet they are. No, I’m not going to say this is good, better than nothing maybe, but good? No. The War on Poverty started in 1964. Fifty years of this fight and we’re gonna be happy that an African subsistence farmer can now buy seed from Monsanto? Don’t think so.

The reality of this is that when you throw in climate change, population growth and wars the future progress of our fight against poverty is going to fall by the wayside. If you look at what we call the improvement of humankind, you’ll see that it is quite artificial. That is because our means of gain have been artificial and they stem mostly from irrigation and chemical control of crops along with the utilization of cheap labor from starving countries. These gains are going to be reversing in just a few short decades.

From the National Ground Water Association:

  • About 60% of groundwater withdrawn worldwide is used for agriculture; the rest is almost equally divided between the domestic and industrial sectors.
  • In many nations, more than half of the groundwater withdrawnis for domestic water supplies and globally it provides 25% to 40% of the world’s drinking water.

  And this from Science Daily:

“In recent decades, the rate at which humans worldwide are pumping dry the vast underground stores of water that billions depend on has more than doubled”

  As for uses beyond water, see this from the Pesticide Action Network:

“In 1940, we produced 2.3 food calories for every 1 fossil fuel calorie used. By industrializing our food and farming systems, we now get 1 food calorie for every 10 fossil fuel calories used — a  23-fold reduction in efficiency.”

 In the USA alone, without the use of agrochemicals. “U.S. food production would decline, many fruits and vegetables would be in short supply, and the price of food would rise. What’s more, America’s production of important fibers for clothing, such as cotton, would decrease as farmers would lose their harvests and livelihoods to crop pests and diseases”.

 So when I say the improvement of mankind is artificial it appears I am not wrong. Why? Because groundwater is disappearing and according to the United Nations agrochemical use is beginning to show problematic trends. In short, we cannot artificially improve human life on earth forever because if you can’t feed and water the population, then there’s no need to get excited about everyone having access to cars, boats and planes let alone artificial hearts—see what I mean?

So if you only want to look at those who have benefited from free enterprise, then you are not going to be looking at a very large group of people and certainly not a group that could be called representative of the human species.  But again, with no water and a planet full of doped up soil, well, you can’t eat your artificial heart. At some point in the near future this is all going to become apparent to these beneficiaries. And at that point they’re gonna go, “Free enterprise? Bullshit.”

Market Reality

Yeah OK let’s get down to it. I been saying free enterprise, let’s just call it the market in this segment, but it’s the same thing really. Yeah you see we’re out here, we climate activists, jumping for joy over renewables and carbon taxing and we’re damned determined that these are the answer to thwarting climate change, and maybe they will do just that and all by themselves no less. I rather doubt that, I’ll get into why in a minute. But let’s say they actually do fix the climate problem. How does life go forward from there?

Well since we could claim the market via carbon taxing fixed this deal, why couldn’t it fix the rest of our issues? Here’s why it can’t. If the market should actually save the day on climate change, for one we’d be so hyped by the success we’d claim the market to be God itself and therefore would dedicate our ways and means to it as never before. However, we’d soon find out a little numbers problem with applying market strategies to other issues like resources or population. That is because the market has this one little ditty it sings without ceasing, “I gotta grow, I gotta grow, I gotta grow…or I’ll die.”

Ever notice how the GDP is constantly tracked? That’s because if our growth rate does not average out to at least 3% a year we start to go into what we call recessions, and then if we keep that up enough years in a row we come to a thing called a depression. From there if it doesn’t get better we come to another thing called economic collapse and then we’re SOL. It’s the math folks, it’s the math. We been living by that math for nearly 300 years now, and guess what? We are collapsing. Not quickly mind you, but we are in definite decline and the only reason complete economic failure has not happened yet is because of our artificial use of water and chemicals that I addressed earlier. Yeah we haven’t run out of metals yet, we still have fossil fuels though falling, and we’ve gotten pretty innovative with synthetic materials, but again, you can’t eat or drink these. Without a completely new paradigm, food and water issues are going to collapse us. Look what’s happening in the middle east right now; their greatest issues are food and water.

It would seem that having ongoing reliance on the market system turns out to be very dangerous. You simply cannot grow economies forever. And the worst thing that can happen in growing them is that if the entire population of the planet found itself in the benefit category (will never happen), in no time we’d be out of not only food and water but materials to produce them as well. The planet does not have the resources to make us all middle class human beings and that is especially so when you throw in growing populations. I mean, isn’t that a big “dah”?  So why do we keep trying to make it so?

The Market and Climate Change

I said earlier that I doubted climate change can be solved by clean energy and carbon taxing alone. That is because dealing with climate change is about much more than reducing carbon emissions. And that is because we already have enough carbon in the air to lock in some pretty hefty climate impacts, some of which we are seeing already and in no small matter. Therefore we have a basket full of adapting to do, and soon. Personally, I believe we have as much or more to accomplish concerning adaptation as we do switching to renewables.

Outside of adaptation realities, using the market to deal with carbon emissions has this huge contradiction in it. We can’t continue on the path of endless economic growth, the planet won’t allow it. Yet we still think that the market is the answer to reducing carbon emissions; therefore, we must still think we can grow economies forever. Look at what’s in the article that Rolly Montpelier wrote concerning our market economies and going the carbon tax route.

–National employment increases by 2.1 million jobs after 10 years, and 2.8 million after 20 years. This is more than a 1% increase in total US employment we don’t get without a carbon tax

–$70-$85 billion increase in GDP from 2020 on, with a cumulative increase in national GDP due to F&D of $1.375 trillion

–Size of monthly dividend for a family of 4 with two adults in 2025 = $288, and in 2035 = $396. Annually, this is $3,456 per family of 4 in 2025 ($1152 per capita–children get ½ dividend)

–Electricity prices peak in 2026, then start to decrease. Real incomes increase by more than $500 per person in 2025. This increase accounts for cost of living increases

–Maximum cost-of-living increase by 2035 is 1.7-2.5%, depending on region

–Biggest employment gains in healthcare, retail, and other services (excluding public administration). This is because people have more money in their pockets to spend, and these industries are labor-intensive, responding to increased consumer spending by creating more jobs

–Regional Gross Product is steady or rising in 8 of 9 regions

Why do you think that the powers that be push for market solutions? Because if they don’t go that route, then they’d have to instead go the way of community interest and cooperation and forgo self-interest and competition. Get it?  This wish is not held only by conservative republicans, the developed world’s liberal camp including a good portion of its climate change advocates and activists are glued to that hope as well. It’s a huge threat to their ideologies and more so their bank accounts. They object strongly to the term sacrifice, they don’t want to hear it. And here’s the kicker, the majority of these folks are not only not poor, most of them are quite well off by global standards. Yet they are the ones primarily representing climate action. Do you see the picture here? The surest and ready to fight for continuing the free enterprise system of economics are those who are at or above lower middle class status in the developed world. Go ask somebody walking miles carrying vessels of water in Bangladesh, they’d say, “Free enterprise? The market? I don’t relate.”

Finally, using the market and carbon taxing won’t work, not to completion anyway. It’s processes are too slow due to the haggling of who gets what and who don’t. If we stick with this approach, it’ll be decades before it would have any impact on future climate disruption. By then it’s most likely to be too late. If any one of the mainstream scenarios for carbon taxing were implemented right now most would not yield any significant emissions reductions of CO2 for several decades. Emissions reductions start out slow in every case, the best call for 20 to 30 per cent by 2030, but that’s for current emissions, not concentrations of carbon that will be up there kicking our ass for hundreds of years. The proposals are much too weak. Put it this way, we not only need to reduce or basically eliminate emissions, we also need to sequester the existing concentrations to get to a stable climate of 350 ppm and we are at 400 ppm now. We ain’t even started to deal with this thing and we are concerned about growing economies? That’s nuts.

What Instead?

Well there is no instead just yet, not in the works anyway. So for now let’s do the damn carbon tax and hope for better judgment later and that is as long as we start this taxing immediately and heavy duty taxing at that. Otherwise, we’re sitting and staring in a blank haze.

I said there is nothing in the works but actually there is ‘one’. I’ve come across an organization that has just about all the right answers, it’s called The Climate Mobilization. I saw their mission and was floored to actually see what I been calling on for years, almost to the letter. It promotes taking a war time stance on climate change.  It’s strong language and ask for sacrifice not just from government, but citizens as well, more so actually. Check it out and pledge your support, it’s really the only way to go at this point.

I don’t know people, we’re in a shit load of trouble, and we’re locked in debate over what to do and on top of that we have the debate as to whether there is any trouble at all…hard to believe. Ask yourself if you want your future generations to look back and say, “A damn carbon tax is all? What were they thinking, it sure wasn’t about us.”

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Seeking an End to Chaos


Let’s talk about climate change in relation to optimism, pessimism and realism. And let’s talk it about in today’s context, July 2014. Furthermore, let’s talk about it in the context of our current activism, deniers not included, just advocates and particularly mainstream climate activists. Essentially, where are we going wrong? Whoa! We got a lot to talk about!

There are two areas of concern I wish to discuss and analyze. The first concern is the current status of climate change and the second is our response to that and how that response is not only out of touch with reality, but is also in a state of chaos.

Concern 1

Alright, here’s a list that’s hard to deal with:

–The California drought happened and we were not ready for it.

–The middle-east crisis due to water shortage happened and we were not ready for it.

–Sandy, Katrina and Haiyan happened and we were not ready for them.

–The planet’s ice is melting beyond control now and we are not ready for it.

–The droughts in Russia, China, Africa, Australia and India happened and we were not ready for them.

–The floods in Boulder, Alberta, Pakistan and the Himalaya’s happened and we were not ready for them.

–The Ogallala Aquifer is dropping to the point of no use and we are not ready for it.

–The mudslide in China’s Sichuan Province happened and we were not ready for it.

–The record breaking 2011 tornado out-break in the southeast USA happened and we were not ready for it.

–The 2012 Bucharest blizzard happened and we were not ready for it.

–The European 2003, Australian 2009 and the Chinese 2013 heat waves happened and we were not ready for them.

–Oh, let’s do one more and it’s a biggy: The sea is going to rise by at least 3 feet by the end of the century and we will not be ready for it.

Uhhh…ya starting to see a pattern here? This is a small list, much more has happened with our climate and we have not at all been ready for any of it. Oh yeah, we got our FEMA’s out there, but they are a small band-aid in regards to “being ready” for the type of climate events we are seeing and will see. We are going to fall into a very large trap that we have been setting for ourselves unless we begin to see things for what they are and we begin preparing, mitigating and adapting now. Here are 5 things we know right now about our situation with climate change.

1. 97% of scientists agree that the Earth is warming and it is caused by humans

2. Science has determined we need to be at 350 ppm of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to stay clear of serious climate disruption; we are at 400 ppm and rising.

3. As of 2014 only 21% of global energy is renewable.

4. We already are experiencing serious climate change, and we are not ready for any of it.

5. Far more reports come out about climate change that say “worse then previously thought” than “not as bad as previously thought”.

The strongest indicator of our future with climate change is not the 97% consensus , nor the 400 ppm concentrations, that the sea is rising, that the ice is melting, that the weather is changing, nor our slow progress on renewables and emissions reductions, none of that. The biggest thing telling us where we are headed is that science is repeatedly conservative on their projections and is always saying, “it’s worse than previously thought”. THAT is what tells us where we’re headed. Considering that this phrase has been repeated for 30 years now, I’d imagined it would be safe to say that a good deal of the projections established at this point here in 2014 are likely to be conservative as well.

OK, let me ask again, are you starting to see a pattern here? I find it rather easy to conclude that these patterns are showing us that we are not in reality about our relationship to climate change, well, not even close.

Concern 2

Have you ever been caught in an emergency? For instance, say you were in a plane crash that fell deep into the Colombian forest and right next to a murdering drug cartel that kills anyone who does not belong in their domain. You don’t have any idea where you are at and how to get out of there, but you do know you are in grave danger of being shot and killed or worse. Let’s ask, what would the pessimist do, what would the optimist do and what would the realist do? The short answer is they’d all do the same thing; they would  look for help and someone to guide them out of there.  They would not take time to be concerned about optimism, pessimism or realism, they’d just move their ass and be looking for help. That’s what an emergency of a life or death situation does to you, it focuses you to act immediately on the issue at hand with no editorials going on in your head. You don’t pretend you are not in a serious situation, you don’t dwell on how they are going to kill you and you don’t stop and weigh the balances of what your situation is, good or bad. No, you run and you focus on that running.

Similarly, this is the case with climate change; it is an emergency, though it is an emergency on historic time scales and not in our immediate face. Normally when a climate change takes place it’s on geologic time scales, but due to our current trends this is not so with human caused warming, it’s a matter of decades.

So, we have the pessimist, the optimist and the realist all involved in summarizing our situation with climate change and to boot having many different levels in each category. Each of them not really considering they are in an emergency, that’s particularly so with the optimist, somewhat with the realist and never in the case of the pessimist. I’m going to average these categories out and state a general postulate to each one. Let’s start with the realist.

First off, let me say that I am in the realist camp so I have prejudices, but I’ll do my best to be accurate in my assessments. In the case of climate change the realist looks first at what are the dangers, or, what does the science actually say about it? The realist tends to take the science at face value with little doubting but at the same time does not go over board with that trust. They tend to find the most common denominators on scientific assessments and then associate that directly as to what should be done about it. In other words, they are number crunchers. So their solutions scenarios tend to be developed the same way, by the numbers. The only real problem with this is they are not giving any credence to the possibilities that the numbers could be wrong on both sides of good or bad in regards to outcomes.

The optimist has a tendency to acknowledge the dangers and the actual science, but lets that go quickly and immediately turns their attention towards what can be done about it. They spend little time on the problem and devote their focus on solutions. This sounds like a good thing. However, in the case of climate change this is not always so. To put it bluntly if you look at Concern 1 above and then look at the solutions scenarios of the optimists, they don’t match at all. In short, the optimists are way over doing their optimism.

The pessimist tends to ‘only’ look at the science and determines that we are dead and that the science tells us catastrophic warming is on its way and we can’t do a damn thing about it. The obvious problem here is that there is plenty we can do about it, we may still suffer some, but we have it in our means to reduce that suffering measurably if we act appropriately and do it soon.

Each of these positions on climate change can be demonstrated by the proposals they each put forward to cope with this issue. In the case of the realist their solutions scenario is quite drastic as the actual and by the numbers account from science on climate change is that without dramatic action our future becomes catastrophic.  The realist sees that assessment and so they propose huge and immediate cuts in emissions, like 80% by 2025, and say to do whatever is necessary to make that happen. Including reducing economic output and imposing government mandates on industry and citizenry. They promote a wartime stance on climate change and are not as concerned about replacing our energy systems with renewables as they are about just getting emissions down, if that means turning off the juice then that’s what it means.  Also, their focus is as much on adapting to as it is to mitigating climate change, actually more so.

The optimist sees climate change as an opportunity to make life better on the planet. They see that clean energy is the way to do this and that if we get renewables switched over soon as possible we can continue our lives as modern citizens with economic growth and employment actually rising. They tend to not talk so much about adaptation but stress mitigation almost exclusively.

The pessimist acknowledges the same solutions scenarios as the realist but everything taken down many notches to the near point of may as well shoot our brains out as try. They have concluded that there really is no solution and that only a miracle can save us now. Simply, they’ve given up and many are never heard from again about anything related to climate change.

I’ll ask again, are you starting to see a pattern here? If you look deep into this like I have, you’ll see the pattern is one of chaos. I want to go back to the list of five things we know about our situation with climate change. Review that now if you please and also check again the list of climate events we’ve not been ready for and are still not. Looking at those it’s hard not to go the way of the pessimist and one wonders that if you are a realist or a pessimist, how can the optimist think the way they do?? It is here that chaos begins because the focus as to what it is we should actually do gets lost in all the proposals of these many camps. Simply, we are all over the place when it comes to decision making.  We all have a voice and need to share it, but the ensemble get’s so loud you can’t hear a damn thing.

There is a lead voice that tends to overrule the others and that is the voice of optimists. I say overrule because most of the optimists come from the developed world and are also those in the developed world who have benefited by it through their successes. This also gives them a great deal more power as the modern world’s foundations and functioning’s are guided by economic conditions. And so governments respond accordingly as their job tends to be oversight of economic health. Given this, it is no surprise that the optimists are winning the day. This is evident in that the biggest push thus far has been the implementation of clean energy.  We hear very little about adaptation (though it is gaining a little ground the last two years, Mayor Bloomberg’s proposals for New York are an example).

I gotta say, that the optimists are our lead right now scares me, not as much as the pessimist would if they lead, but nearly as much. Looking at those two lists above and seeing that our lead is coming from a sector of society that thinks climate change is an opportunity…well, that’s scary. I acknowledge that being a realist has its draw backs while at the same time being a pessimist is quite understandable (though useless), but the current stance of the optimist just simply defies common sense and reality. It is the only thing that’s good about the chaos we are in because at least there are enough contrary voices to the optimists to have hope they’ll be slowed down enough to wake up.

I haven’t intended to promote the realist in this essay, but I admit that I clearly have. Yet, I don’t think it can be avoided when assessing our condition when we take off either our rose or black colored glasses. We can do that with the little things, the every day problems of the world, but with something that has the risk of committing us to the world’s sixth great extinction I believe looking at it squarely and realistically is the only way to look at it. Having done that, we act in direct correlation to our findings. We already have the findings via our science which is solid given there is 97% agreement on it in the field. Therefore, it is appropriate to be realistic and forgo our other tendencies of optimism and pessimism and decisively choose to be realistic and in doing that we end the chaos and get on with the proper action. It’s likely that realism may not turn out to be fun while it fights doom, but it also may be the only thing that gives us a chance to avoid catastrophic warming and its impacts.

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The Collective Decision

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I write a lot about the collective mind.  This article will be dedicated to that subject, but not in the way I usually talk about it.  I always state that we need the collective mind to wake up and help get us out of this mess, or at least help us to adapt to it. In this article I want to delineate just a bit on what this awakening actually is. I realize that my discussions regarding the awakening of the ‘collective mind’ may sound a bit ethereal, or something like mind reading or maybe something spiritual. If you have thought any of that, then hopefully this article will clarify the reality of it. It is none of these things, though they can be a part of it if we chose to do that; in our case making choices is what the collective mind is all about.

As societies we make choices now, even while our collective mind is in its catatonic state, or if you prefer a softer analogy, sleeping.  At present we make collective choices as a collective of individuals and as a result we get a collective impact of sorts, but not a waking collective consciousness. What we do get are laws, customs, traditions, etc. It’s kind of what I’d call a half-ass collective, which is why we also get a whole slew of unwanted byproducts, but that’s another article.  Suffice it to say we are not completely out of touch with ourselves as a collective, within national boarders that is, globally not so much.

The actual re-awakening of the collective mind is a different animal though.  It’s a different experience in that as an individual, you will experience the collective as if it were an individual. This is about as mysterious as it will get, that is, if we are only waking it up to help us out for a time, like a foxhole prayer. The experience will be about the same as when your home team scores a basket; for awhile, we’ll all sort-a smile the same way, maybe give a couple claps. In other words, it’s not all that magical. This is so because all that happens is that collectively we make a decision, a choice. It would be a similar experience to voting or democracy, but not quite either.

All this becomes clear when the collective itself becomes more or less tired of itself. We as a collective species will begin to give out, and as this steam lets off along with it comes an awareness of the collective.  In other words, somewhat simultaneously we’ll turn to each other and collectively we’ll know at least one thing, that we are all tired. This has to come first or we will not make a collective decision about anything. Until this happens, we, as a collective, will continue on relying on the miracles of science and the success of our policymakers; while we the people just vote and spend. But as you may have come to understand already, this isn’t working anymore…and we are getting tired of it.

So let’s say we finally get damn tired and are all aware of it to boot, then what? What does the collective mind (somewhat awaken) do next? Well, it will quickly come to understand that it has a choice, and that is to remain tired and on deaths path, or to find a new way to live.  Believe it or not, all of my discussions regarding the collective mind can be boiled down to this one point in time, this time of choice. I’ve never spoken to the choice of remaining as we are; I’ve said plenty about the results of that choice, but not the choice itself. Nevertheless, I hope that will not be our decision, in fact; I think it is ultimately ruled out as a choice. If we continue as we are…well, it might be we’ll have to get all the way down to ten people left on the planet, but eventually we’ll decide for a new way of living.  Yes, I suppose we don’t have to make that choice, but as for me, any other choice is ruled out.

So let’s say we go with Door No. 2 and we decide to live a new way (good choice). So while the collective mind is still awake, we can then decide on what that new life will be. It is at this point that leaders will step forward and lay out the path for how we will collectively make this decision on what our new world will be. And it is also at this point that the collective mind can choose to stay awake or go back to sleep, we will have made some choices and now we’ll just be carrying them out. We won’t need it anymore.  But hey, it can stay around as long as it likes as far as I’m concerned.

So you see, the awakening of the collective mind is a very tangible thing, it is something we do more than think or feel, it’s just making a decision—collectively.  And it will be a physical act, you can bet on that. We’ll probably have to vote or something similar. We are not going to be like the Borg, where suddenly we are all connected mentally as one mind. That’d be cool, but don’t wait for it in your life time.  No, there will have to be some sort of standardized communication effort, probably voting, but who knows? I couldn’t rule out a cognitive collective experience, these are powerful times; anything can happen, however, I don’t see us ready for that sort of magic yet. Of course this ‘stepping forth of leaders’ I referred to earlier will be sort of a magical kind of thing. It could be our existing governments, but that’s only if they have gone through major changes as a result of the awakening.  Or it could be some sort of emulsion from the collective, something that takes place organically, this could be from government or some other thing; a computer maybe?? That’s the best I can describe it, whatever steps forward to lead us, I’d imagine it’d be sort of magical.

A primer for this to happen is simply that we as individuals begin to at least think about the collective mind or the need for a cooperative decision to change. If enough of us get it into our waking consciousness that we need the collective mind to waken, then it becomes a powerful mindset that can get the ball rolling. I’d say we are doing that right now with things like CollapseNet, the TransitionTown movement and the Occupy movement; we are beginning to wake this gal up. It’s like she is aware in her dreams that the sun is coming up, but right now it’s only a dream. In any case, the sad truth is it all boils down to a numbers thing. We need more people aware that they are tired than people unaware that they are tired, and then she will sit up in bed. And then it will go like this: the more the numbers, the clearer her speech. Again, there is nothing all that magical about this, its math. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t the biggest deal the human race has ever confronted. The question is, will we?

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