Archive for May, 2008

FREE REINS TO THE AUGMENTATION INSTINCT AS THE MOTHER OF MENTAL, SOCIAL AND CIVILIZATIONAL INSTABILITY.

May 28, 2008

WHY DISREGARDING MORE BASIC INSTINCTUAL FORMS OF AUGMENTATION IS FRIENDLY TO WISDOM.

Can one kill a relationship with hope and certainty? Yes, one can! Better can be worse! How come? People always want more, and that includes relationships. Once they feel socially secure enough, many move on. To know more, to possess more.

Why do people want more always? Well, it’s a survival skill that turned into an evolutionary advantage: expand, augment when the going is good, and the probability of surviving will be greater for the group. The larger the territory, the more to exploit, the more buffer. After all, Homo evolved as a hunter, and social hunters on land have to be highly territorial, they spend a lot of time acquiring a place they will defend to death (wolves, lions, hyenas are example; non territorial hunters like polar bears are sea based). Everything else being equal, having more means such a higher survival capability, that the “Will to Augment” was a strong psychobiological evolutionary advantage.

A subset of this psychobiological “Will to Augment” acquired in turn a spiritual life of its own under the label of “Will to Power” (Nietzsche, etc.). When people have it all, all they wanted, they move on to want even more, and not just landscape, or material goods, it extends to all mental dimensions. Augment as much as can be imagined, and when the going is good, get going some more. The instinct to augment is so ravenous, it’s why so many tyrants never stopped, even when it was clearly wiser to.

In particular, once people have a relationship full of hope and certainty, they tend to want to move on. It’s psychobiological, all about getting maximum territory under control, in this case, social territory. Perhaps the greatest asset for survival has been the quest for power by extension of alliances. Ultimately, most of what people do is to extent these alliances (in particular when it’s called a “career”, from the Old French meaning “horse race”). So if one can depend upon an individual, one tends to move to the next one to extent an alliance with: the bigger the total set of alliances, the stronger. There is always a greener meadow on the other side of the fence, a new spring somewhere, and more interesting (the “Will to Augment” may even be the root of the anti-incest “instinct”: no point augmenting what you already got).

The quest Will to Power spurs one into is unending. Or is it? It’s not just that when astronauts went in orbit, they found nowhere else to go. The Dark ages themselves show that controlling the augmentation instinct is key to ongoing civilizational expansion. Augmentation here may mean diminution out there, somewhere more important.

For the longest time, indiscriminate augmentation was NOT what the Roman republic was about. Just the opposite: the law was Rome meta structure, in overall mental and social control. It prevented augmentation for augmentation’s sake (that naturally occurs most simply along the simplest instinctual lines). Roman secular law as the overlord of Roman psychology  kept for many centuries the Roman republic as the most civilized place on Earth. The People, Populus Romanus, augmented its power as the plutocracy reluctantly relinquished its power.

But then, after Hannibal hanged around Italy defeating and massacring Romans for 15 long, devastating years, indiscriminate augmentation of Roman material power and territorial extension was felt safest (all the more since brute augmentation of the military allowed the plutocracy (the Senate) to beat back the People, into submission). But it was deadly as far as civilizational progress was concerned. “Augustus” means “Augmenter”. It was the title Rome’s first official “Princeps” kindly found for himself. The fascist “augmentation” that great nephew and adoptive son of Caesar provided with, proved to be a disaster for civilization, putting it mostly in reverse, and ending with the Christian theocracy of the Dark Ages, and its apocalyptic drive.

So, for more than two thousand years, the lesson has been that the quality and nature of what one wants to augment is more important than augmentation for augmentation’s sake. Augustus reached that conclusion himself in his testament, tentatively, but without drawing any deep consequence therefrom (except by telling his successors to stay out of Germania, a bad reaction exaggerating the other way, that the Franks corrected as the mistake it was, five centuries later). Precisely for having the wrong concept of augmentation, the Augmenter, “Augustus” single-handedly insured the diminution of Greco-Roman civilization into something only the barbarian Franks could save and refurbish.

The quest “Will to Power” spurs one to is unending, it’s a blind psychobiological instinct. It cannot be stopped, but only be redirected towards internal, mental growth. And what is this growing inside about? Civilization. It starts inside.

If one wants more civilization, one wants to transform relationships between people in ways which augment mental creativity. That’s what the Franks succeeded to do, by freeing women and slaves. When the slave is slave no more, and talk back she will, dumb exploiters of the people are forced to get smarter (or devise smarter schemes to exploit people). Thus that increase of intelligence feedbacks on itself. The entire society is forced to get smarter. That’s how the Franks resurrected Western civilization: by using higher ethics to force down more basic instinctual forms of the “Will to Power”, which had been thoroughly rotting the Greco-Roman edifice.

So maybe material and social comfort is not something one wants to augment too much, in the name of creating a context more friendly to the very highest civilizational principles. An advantage of discomfort, and resisting the call to more simplistic instincts is that one has got to get smarter.

A very prosaic application of all this have been the huge taxes on energy long found in the European Union. The discomfort they induced have forced the Europeans to get smarter. A more subtle application of the psychological mechanisms exhibited here is that easy and cool mental attitudes are not the smartest. Unsurprisingly, both subjects are entangled: US society has learned to love it cool and easy, and general intelligence should have suffered as a result. It did! Hence in particular the spurning of energy taxes, and becoming demonstrably ever more stupid, at least in the domain of energy, or in the incarceration rate, or in the distribution of riches, or in health care, or the sub prime heist, or by going to invade the Middle East, or in letting a country that wants to define itself as being about freedom become the pathetic victim of unbriddled propaganda of the few, the rich, the plutocrats, etc.

Patrice Ayme.

Advertisements

FRANCE VERSUS GREENHOUSE, OR HOW TO MITIGATE.

May 21, 2008

IF WE DON’T COOL IT, A NASTY NUCLEAR WORLD WAR WILL DO IT. FRENCH RECIPE FOR BETTER PLANETARY COOKING.
***

Overview: It is often asserted in that obstinate greenhouse perpetrator, the USA, spastic procreator of 25% of the world’s CO2, that science fiction technologies need to be developed BEFORE the emission of greenhouse gases can be mitigated. Hence, thank you Jesus, thank you Lord, nothing can be done, except “taking a vacation from” (the quasi inexistent) US taxes on gasoline, Sen. McCain suggested.

But McCain also said: “My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.” (May 2, 2008). “Again“? Wow. Yesterday’s “leftist” critique is now today’s conservative truth. Progress.

If “No more war for oil!”, how? Energy has pretty much defined human mental capabilities since there are men, and they think. The human brain is an energy guzzler taking 20% of energy, at rest. It can do this only because hunting allowed it to access high energy in a sustainable way. Devouring animals and their fat was not a matter of taste, but an energetic necessity (that was before genetic engineering created almonds, beans, corn, rice, in the last few thousand years).

But things have changed. We are getting hoisted on our own over-energetic petard.  We went from the conquest of fire, to the over consumption of fire, and setting fire to the house. Our civilization, a giant machine, has several entangled energy problems: too much is used by too few, for no good reason, ravaging and cooking the planet (although there is hope we will run out of it all too soon, heading back towards cannibalism before we destroy the biosphere).

Energy solutions have been deployed in Europe which should be used worldwide. A big country such as France, in no way less exuberant than the USA, emits less than a third of carbon dioxide per person that the US does, although enjoying an arguably much higher per capita income of the good stuff (best health care, good food, freedom and giant vacations).

The USA has shown little interest for technologies already massively deployed in France. Clear and present French technology became American science fiction. Although it does not look so, there is a method to this. The USA is bitterly clinging to a world, and technologies, it once dominated, at the cost of everyone’s future.

The only way the planet is not going to jump into its HOT MODE is by stopping carbon emissions, IMMEDIATELY. The way to do this is by developing advanced technologies, and then IMPOSING them worldwide. The globalization of higher energy (and related higher moral) standards is already happening, in spite of US opposition at every turn.

US obstructionism is understandable: in the old scheme, the USA sat at the top of the heap, because it controlled most of the world’s energy supply (e. g., US oil was sold to Hitler to conquer Spain; in exchange Hitler gave juicy monopolies and collaborations to hundreds of US corporations and wealthy individuals, like IBM or Prescott Bush). Present US strategy audaciously is despairing of keeping the USA on top, so it became violent. Just one oil field in Saudi Arabia (Ghawar) produces as much as the entire US. US energy procurement the old fashion way is getting murderously expensive: the USA spends $15,000 EACH SECOND IN IRAQ, to occupy what may be the world’s largest reserve of light sweet crude. Iraqis are harder to subdue than the Amerindians. Reversing the flow of civilization can get prohibitively expensive (as Romans and Islamists found out earlier).

In a Nature article of 3 April 2008 “Dangerous Assumptions” (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v452/n7187/full/452531a.html) R. Pielke Jr, T. Wigley and C. Green argue that “the technological advances needed to stabilize carbon-dioxide emissions may be greater than we think”. We disagree with that pessimistic conclusion (pointing at France to prove the case). What is true, though, is that stiff energy regulations are needed immediately, worldwide.
(In particular, the carbon cap system of the Kyoto Protocol, which allow developing nations to pollute more, should be scrapped ASAP.)
****

EARTH COULD TURN INTO VENUS:

Earth’s climate oscillates within the ICE MODE, in which she has been for millions of years, but has also known the (ancient) HOT MODE. Greenhouse gases turn hot by capturing escaping infrareds. They interact with life, volcanoes and the geography of the continents, to create climate. The ice mode is self limiting, THE HOT MODE IS NOT . That’s why Mars, with a very weak greenhouse, is cold as a cold day on Earth (minus 55 Celsius), whereas on Venus (which intercepts twice the sun’s energy as Earth, but reflects a lot away), a tremendous greenhouse has blown the oceans into space, and melts lead (temp: plus 460 Celsius on the surface, although less sunlight reaches the ground than on Earth).

In the hot mode, gigantic amounts of CO2 are up in the air (not only the more CO2, the hotter it gets, but the hotter it gets, the more CO2). The hot mode results into having warm polar oceans (22 Celsius), as happened under the dinosaurs. The absence of ice cover makes the planet’s dark ground absorb a lot of heat. Dinosaurs ambled in Alaska, crocodiles lurked in Greenland. Glaciations have been particularly virulent in the last three million years, maybe because the closure of Mesoamerica attenuated heat transfer from the tropics by oceanic currents.

The Carboniferous era, piled up, over dozens of million of years, huge carbon deposits that we are frantically burning all of a sudden. This giant conflagration puts back up in the air the entire Carboniferous, when CO2 levels were eleven times higher, and sea level is said to have been 400 meters higher. Some Siberians may look forward to the hot mode, and sure the poles will open to human activity (there are huge deposits of goodies in the Arctic, for example natural gas). The seas would go up at least 75 meters. Some of the pseudo wise will mumble: ‘we will see when the oceans rise many centimeters a year’. But then mankind would be busy building giant levees and dams all over the planet, and thermonuclear plants to rise rivers above them, desalinate and irrigate continental areas in the tropics threatened with desiccation. That would use a huge proportion of the world energy. We would be pumping all day long (imagine the Amazon, 100,000 tons a second, going up 100 meters!) . Besides we do not have tame thermonuclear fusion. Civil and thermonuclear, that would be the rosy scenario. More probably there would be a world war when the rats fight for vanishing resources (even now we are running out of copper and steel).

****

AS WE SPEAK, HYPOXIC OCEANS ARE TURNING INTO DESERTS:

Alarmism, will say those who love to rearrange chairs on Titanic Earth, as she speeds towards hell. But we have oceans, and the oceans have life, because the seas contain dissolved oxygen, and that is only possible because the seas are cool enough. The cooler, the more oxygen can be dissolved inside the water, thus life is teeming in the polar oceans, and Walruses get to be a metric ton, stuffing themselves on bivalves, and nowhere else could they do that, because only in the Arctic is it cold enough to have enough dissolved oxygen to support so much shellfish. Conversely, if one heats up the oceans, as we are doing now, the oxygen content falls. It can fall below what is necessary to sustain life. Verily, the greenhouse is not a question now of just heating up, or drying up the continents, or of learning to swim, but actually of running out of oxygen. 

Those who live in denial, because they know not enough, will scoff nervously: they never heard of that one, how could it be true? But not only is it true, but it is precisely ascertained, let alone unavoidable. The minimum level of dissolved oxygen to sustain life is 120 micromoles per liter (L. Stramma, Univ. of Kiel). Some oceans, such as off equatorial Africa, have fallen as low as 90 micromoles per liter, as deep as 700 meters down (twice deeper than a few years ago). It’s similar in some zones of the equatorial Pacific ocean.

****

CLIMATE CATASTROPHE IS NEARING SELF AMPLIFYING TIPPING POINTS:

How big is the energy challenge of climate change? Massive anthropogenic production of several greenhouse gases is now approaching self amplifying tipping points. Any of these could throw the planet into the hots. A few examples:

1) CO2 CONTRIBUTES 26% TO THE GREENHOUSE, THE LATER CAUSING MORE GREENHOUSE GASES: carbon emissions lovers often deny man is heating Earth because the heat caused by CO2 rise itself augments CO2. How?

a) HEAT AND SHAKE THE OCEANS SOME MORE AND THE CO2 WILL ERUPT: this effect can be checked by taking a bottle of soda pop, heating it, and then shaking it. The superficial layers of the world oceans have been used as soda pop by humankind in the last few decades, absorbing to the order of 30% to 50% of the anthropogenic emissions of CO2. But now the oceans are being heated and shaken (by the high winds the equipartition of energy enforces). So the CO2 bubbles out; this is already happening to the Antarctic Ocean. According to Dr. Hansen (NASA), we have another 40 ppm of CO2 ready to come out at the present temperatures from all the heating and shaking. We are at 387 parts per million, highest in at least 650,000 years, we started at 280 ppm, everybody agrees that 450 ppm would be a disaster (present policies insure we will get there shortly).

b) As the permafrost melts, CO2 and CH4 (methane) are released from frozen dozens of thousands of years old layers dozens of meters thick, stuffed with frigid roots, ready to rot. Methane is 43 times more absorbing of infrared radiation per ppm than CO2.

2) REMOVE THE ICECAPS AND THE PLANET LOSES ITS SUNSHADES: melted ice caps, when replaced by dark water or dark ground, do not grow back (Antarctica was covered by forests for dozens of millions of years). This is related to the essence of the Milankowitch glaciation explanation: the world climate is determined by how dark the northern hemisphere is in July-August (it’s the non linear boost to climate: if it’s snowy then, summer light gets reflected back in space, and the climate becomes colder; if not, it becomes warmer. Only the Arctic counts, because the Antarctic zone is mostly a (relatively) warm and salty ocean, unfriendly to ice.

3) AGRICULTURE GREENHOUSES US: As the greenhouse progresses, food and fossil energy productions are getting more difficult, more energy is spent on fertilizers, releasing NO2. Long life NO2 is 253 times infrared boosting than CO2! Moreover agriculture destroys forests, which absorb CO2 and prevent desiccation. As the greenhouse disrupts wet belts, augments evaporation, congregates rain, food production itself contributes to (the conditions favoring) food shortages.

4) WATER VAPOR CONTRIBUTES 60% TO THE GREENHOUSE, AND THE WARMER, THE MORE OF IT. At the limit, a RUNAWAY BOILING OF THE EARTH IS POSSIBLE (if all the oceans would be made into steam, the greenhouse would be tremendous). Earth has been lucky so far. JUST LUCKY. Conversely, the earth turned into a snowball 650 million years ago, but that is self contained: volcanoes kept belching CO2, which could not be absorbed by the ice covered oceans, thus bringing back a strong greenhouse, which melted the ice, and plankton restarted until it absorbed the CO2, burying part of it under the oceans until plate tectonic belched it back out with volcanoes, etc.

5) “FLAMMABLE ICE” (METHANE HYDRATE) IS READY TO ERUPT: water molecules can imprison methane molecules, constituting what looks like ice (it’s white and floats at the surface of the sea). Bring a match to it, it burns. The methane comes from organic matter decomposition, it lurks in many places. It can erupt in huge quantities suddenly, causing instantaneous, massive planetary heating. Tsunamis wrecked Northern Europe from the gigantic Storegga under-oceanic methane landslides about 6,000 BCE. Such eruptions could occur as the oceans warm further. The Japanese government want to exploit the seven trillion tons of this methane that may lay around Japan.

Right now, sea level is going up 3 millimeters a year. We just gave some reasons for the SELF AMPLIFYING non linearity of greenhouse heating, and its eminent acceleration. Although the Equipartition of Energy Theorem implies that the planet could very well go in a state of agitation rather than heating as sea currents, the main carriers of climate energy, reorganize themselves before further horrendous heating. For the general Equipartition Theorem applied to climate change see: http://www.patriceayme.com/ltr_032_climate.html.

****

WITHIN TWO DECADES, ANTARCTICA WILL PASS ITS TIPPING POINT:

It is now understood that climate change is highly non linear, and will accelerate ever more by adding ever more greenhouse causes as we add greenhouse gases ever more. In the decade before 2003, the rate of melting of Greenland had quadrupled (relative to preceding eighty). Melting Greenland will add about seven meters to sea level, unstable Western Antarctica just as much: there giant glaciers rest on what would be sea bottom, if warm sea water could slip below, and sure enough, it’s starting to (at one kilometer a year; it will accelerate, and cause vast shelves shattering, as was already observed).

How much will it take to melt the rest of Antarctica? Fifty million years ago, Antarctica acquired its icecap when falling CO2 levels went below 425 ppm. We are now sure to go above that threshold within two decades. Then the only reason that there will be snow in Antarctica is that there is already snow in Antarctica. We will be grasping at snowflakes. So what do we do when seas go up ten times faster (two feet a decade, as happened in the past)? Inquiring minds want to know. Because, at some point soon, they will.
****

MAKING FOOD INTO FUEL IS A CRIME WITHOUT A FUTURE:

Making food into fuel has already caused a worldwide food shortage . In 2008, a third of US corn acreage (138 million tons) is for making corn into ethanol fuel, and this, amplified by similar moves worldwide, by other fast buck artists, has cascaded in disastrous food shortages. Billions $US were given by the US government to help this. The food for fuel program devours arable lands worldwide (so that some can waste fuel driving around, making wars). To fill up a tank with corn ethanol one needs 358 kilograms of corn, enough to feed a child for a year. On one side a child, with an empty stomach, on the other a tank. Swedish law says: fill up the tank, thanks to a 50% ethanol-from-food mandate. How many children does a Volvo make a year? Ah, also, the more corn, the less soya. In Europe, in a new blossom of the culinary arts, (protein rich) wheat is made into fuel.

Some Europeans have erroneously accused the commodities futures market to have caused the problem, showing an amazing lack of financial sophistication: the futures just looked at what the governments were doing worldwide, converting food into fuel, with more coming, and drew the correct conclusion faster than the self described altruistic teary types who should thank the commodity traders for pointing out the looming catastrophic future. TURNING FOOD INTO FUEL IS A CRIME. What will the plutocrats propose next to maintain their luxury? TURNING PEOPLE INTO FOOD?

Obama said that converting edible corn into ethanol was just a transition technology before cellulosic fuel (which would turn inedible parts of plants into ethanol or methane). But to cover the present needs of the USA for fuel more than between two to five times the area of France would have to be given to cellulose (wood or switch grass), begging the question of where exactly the USA would grow its food (ONLY 18% of the USA is arable land, half the percentage of France, and that turns out to be exactly three Frances…). Oh, by the way, to break cellulose, industry uses acid (cows use bacteria).

The only biofuel with a bright future would be from algae. Land use would be less than 4% to cover ALL US fuel needs, with algae. CO2 extraction will be twice the contribution of corn ethanol. Yes, algae would produce fuel, while disappearing CO2 at a high rate . Slight problem: the technology is not ready. That’s where government money is needed (some algae produce hydrogen, too). Lots of genetic engineering is needed.
*****

TURNING AIR INTO SMOKE SHOULD BE MADE UNLAWFUL:

There is no future to burning carbon. Turning the air into poison, that’s a slow Auschwitz for all. Make no mistake: if not enough is done, people will soon be fighting to death for the last drop and the last gulp. Exporting heavy industry into China provided with cheap dedicated labor, but the pollution comes back to drown us all.

Besides, we have passed PEAK OIL. More exactly, peak, light sweet, low sulfur, easy to extract oil. OK, there are lots of sulfur oil, tar sands, shale, and coal left, etc… But the overall economic and pollution impact of most of these promises to be disastrous. Tar sands mining require a huge amount of energy and water for extraction (by mining and heating to separate). It’s only one million barrels a day in Alberta, and ramping up is slow, and will ultimately ravage an area the size of Florida (when say oil is $2,000). The mythical shale oil is even worse (once heated for extraction, it poisons water, which is even more precious).

Thousands more coal plants around the planet, as are planned now, will insure the melting of West Antarctica (and seas 15 meters higher). The old fashion carbon industry is warming up the house by setting fire to it, claiming the fumes are nothing, it will be OK. The carbon voodoo priests promise voodoo science will prevent the consequences:
*****

SCIENCE FANTASY, A PERNICIOUS HALLUCINATION:

Some want to keep on burning carbon, claiming they will arrest it, and sequester it underground, as if carbon dioxide could be handcuffed like a common criminal. To be effective this would have to be implemented on a gigantic scale. Stuffing CO2 below the ground would be to create man made volcanoes. While an interesting feat of great energy, it would be ridiculously dangerous: volcanoes have killed people by the thousands, by belching CO2. Remember: belching CO2 by volcanoes is how the snowball Earth became warm again. The quantities involved in CO2 sequestration could smother dozens of millions of people a year, should the gas escape. This is much more crazy than the craziest nuclear “waste” (which is an immovable solid, not a gas, and besides does not have to exist, and is not a waste, cf. below)!

Some, still having volcano envy, want to make shade by spreading sulfates in the atmosphere. True, by injecting giant quantities of these above the stratosphere, volcanoes can shade the lower atmosphere (the part where the greenhouse occurs). Pinatubo, Philippine volcano, lowered overall temps by half a degree Celsius a few years ago. In 1814, Tambora, then the highest volcano in Indonesia, disintegrated over 4 days, bringing frosts to Europe the following summer. There would be tremendous environmental problems, including with the ozone layer. Besides, the energies involved would be that of a nuclear war every month or so. Thus, if we are that crazy, why not the real thing?
*****

THE ECONOMICS OF ENERGY SYSTEMS HAVE HUGE INERTIA:

Deploying new energy technology so that it can replace its predecessor economically has, historically, taken at least 50 years. The only clean energy which could be immediately scaled up massively is that of solar thermal towers. But mostly in deserts (like LA).

The only clean energy which could be deployed everywhere is nuclear fission. There are military problems to solve, which will require an attentive, effective and feared United Nations. To become a global solution for electric production one would need 8,000 reactors instead of the present 400. There is not enough uranium for this with the present technologies for more than 50 years (especially with the so called “open cycle” used in the USA, which, being nuclear wasteful is uneconomically and dangerous). One needs to deploy reactors of generation IV or V. Such high temperatures and breeder reactors would be safe and extremely efficient, and would crucially extend the uranium reserves (using Thorium, etc…). But the research needs to start now (and not just in India!). On the thermonuclear front, if ITER functions as expected (producing ten times in thermonuclear power the energy put in to heat up the plasma), it will take another twenty years to come out with the first thermonuclear plant to be hooked up on the grid (new materials capable of resisting to red dwarf like temperatures have to be invented). We don’t have this kind of time (neither climatically nor politically nor economically, nor, to be blunt, militarily).
*****

THE FRENCH WAY: MITIGATION WITH THE TECHNOLOGY WE HAVE NOW:

France “a dominant nation-state … one of the most modern countries in the world” (CIA) with a GDP larger than Russia, the best health care in the world, half the poverty rate of the USA, the military and diplomatic ability to arrest Somali pirates in Somalia and drag them to Paris for trial (April 2008), and a nominal GDP per head now superior to the US, is in all technological and economic ways comparable to the USA. Except that FRANCE EMITS PER CAPITA LESS THAN A THIRD OF THE CO2 THAN THE US. Richer in all ways that really counts, and still ONE-THIRD OF THE CO2. How come?

French institutional memory covers many historical energy and ecological crises; the oldest when Rome collapsed, with all its society, economy, mines, ecology, international trade and transportation, and its food and water procurement systems. Cities and populations disappeared. Rebuilding was a slow slog, up from micro local economy (the so called feudal system). By 1200 CE, though, the GDP per head and the population had passed the Roman stage, and the ecology collapsed again. The forests were all used up: no more construction materials, no more fuel (wood was then what oil is now). The Roman State had been weak, stupid, and confused but the French government around 1200 CE remembering this, implemented drastic legislation to rebuild the forests civilization crucially depended upon.

The French existing awesome efficiency, including in urbanism, housing, not just transportation, is the fruit of millennial long effort to displace energy with ideas. More recently, during W.W.I, France depended upon US oil. Thereafter energy stayed central to French strategy. The simplest way out was found to tweak the free market by making energy extremely expensive. But France also used the full panoply of available behavior modifications, including taxes, regulations, legislation. In other words anything short of torture and invasion (notwithstanding Algeria). It’s not just that more than 93% of the French electricity production is carbon emission free. Efficiencies have been enforced all over. Gasoline is nine (9) US dollars a gallon (at least), a price mostly due to taxes (without tax, oil would be cheaper in France than in the USA, the supply lines being shorter).

The French car makers build the most efficient fleet in the world. Peugeot, sells the 308, a family car with miles per gallon between 63 and 75 and CO2 emissions of 120 grams per km (the US average is 330). Not to be left behind, Renault-Nissan is scrambling with a plan to sell millions of electric cars as soon as 2010. As CEO Ghosn soberly observes: “We must have zero emission vehicles, nothing else will prevent the world from exploding.” The latest French electric train, the AGV uses less electricity than its predecessor the TGV, and goes at 360 km/h (which means it would take 11 hours San Francisco to New York, but of course, the USA does not have the money to build one). France has the most advanced nuclear plants: they run on recycled “nuclear waste” (this fuel, MOX, is even made from US nuclear warheads, and shipped back to the US for the day when the US population will embrace modernity). Differently from burning carbon, which results in CO2, extremely dangerous, as we have been insisting, thoroughly “burning” fissionable elements results in innocence materialized. France has had a tidal power plant working for half a century, and one city heated geothermally

All of Europe has followed the French lead. In Switzerland, helicopters with infrared detectors have been spying on houses which leak too much heat. Germany is the world leader in wind and sun (although it’s as north as Canada). Britain is developing sea current energy. Overall Europe has been pressing for stringent regulations, and trading carbon caps. The EU is planning to get around 20% renewable energy around 2020. The EU has been trying to use the free market to find some price for carbon dioxide, up to $30 per metric ton of CO2. The idea, incorporated in the Kyoto Treaty, is to force carbon industries to pay for their mess (and trade the caps). This allows Europe to use its scientific superiority, and make a gift of it to the world, in exchange for which it gets industrialized goods from the ex Third World. It’s a worldwide trading system, where one exchange each other’s strengths. So the rest of the world has followed good-naturedly. Except of course the USA, which seems more inclined to extent worldwide the sort of police state it is building at home.
*****

BITTERLY CLINGING TO GUNS, RELIGION, AND CARBON, THE USA PERFIDICALLY ENCOURAGED THE GREENHOUSE:

The USA had it good in the last century as the great war between fascism and democracy occurred on Eurasian soil. OK, it was not an accident. The US president envoy (Col. House) went to excite the Kaiser (May 1914), to propose an alliance against France (!). Europe nearly self-destructed, and the US found itself master of the world. The same method (stealthily supporting the bad guys) was used in South America, and with Muslim fundamentalists, and with the same result: the USA pulled all the strings (the French were even expelled from their own front yard, North Africa).

The US had gigantic oil. War was run on oil. Better: the entire 20C economy ran on oil. The US ruled, with its oil, and methods honed in the exterminating peacemaking with the Amerindians. France, the old nemesis of US conservatives, had long been in the line of fire, since well before the head of the French national guard under the Ancient Regime, La Fayette, enjoined his friend, the US first president, Washington, to outlaw slavery. France, procreator of Western civilization, just as much as Greece or Rome, sister republic of the USA in its modern incarnation, continually gnawed on American consciousness, and on the consciousness of the Rest. The US conservatives know fighting France too much backfires (because it stirs the forces of progress in America).

The Rest has wised up, and now sees through US plutocratic tricks. “9-11”, sitting out of Kyoto, but on top of Iraq, are as many defeats of, and for, the old fashion of US policies. (“9-11” was set up by Muslims who had been excited and taught the trick to attack innocents by the CIA in Afghanistan! “The chickens came home to roost…”etc.) Ironically, those debacles are a scale model of the unsustainability of dealing with our planet the way we used to deal with it.

France has demonstrated that carbon emission reduction can be done right away. There is no need to wait for the great pie-in-the-sky of futuristic technologies. That usual cop out argument of the US governments is the puppet of mental laziness and the special interests of giant, obsolete US industries. We can’t wait for 2050.
*****

Conclusion: THE FOOD, WATER, AIR AND GREENHOUSE TRAGEDIES UNFOLDING NOW CAN BE SOLVED, BUT ONLY WITH THE CORRECT ENERGY, RESEARCH AND INVESTMENT STRATEGIES, RIGHT AWAY:

In truth, there is no energy problem: a square 100 kilometers on the side with photovoltaics using today’s low efficiency technology would be enough to cover all of the US gasoline needs. But today’s photovoltaics are expensive and hard to make, and it would take a long time and lots of energy to deploy them (cheaper ones soon).

Mitigating the greenhouse means the worldwide deployment of non carbon technologies, RIGHT AWAY. The anthropogenic forcing of the climate is equivalent of 1% of the solar energy intercepted by Earth. It’s not much, so it should be easy to correct, but it’s deadly poison which will kill our climate, should we persist for decades.

Globalization is the ultimate state of decolonization. Or the penultimate stage of westernization. Its success means energy usage has to be multiplied by an order of magnitude within a generation. This is obviously impossible with the past and present energy mix (not enough sources, and they would kill us).

There is not enough EFFICIENT energy to go around, at this point. So far about one billion people have been eating and traveling to their satisfaction. Another 5.5 billion want to join, and every day that globalization makes, they are less poor, and want to eat richer and travel beyond their horizon too. Moreover, mankind is increasing by 70 millions mouths a year. Three billion people are poorly fed, 800 million are hungry, and 9 million die of hunger. Energy and food availability are entangled: food needs energy to grow and be transported. The world shortfall of food is evaluated at 33%. An obstacle for the massive ramp up in food production is the dearth of water: many major rivers are running out (which can ONLY be solved by massive desalination, hence massive energy).

Thus most of the growth in greenhouse gases emission will come from developing nations, looking forward. (Even the temple of mindless waste, the USA, is slipping behind China in CO2 production, which augments its carbon emissions by 13% a year.) Hence to slow down the greenhouse, but also to survive, the developing world has to deploy massively clean technologies. Those technologies have to be invented by the most advanced countries. Instead of spending hundreds of billions making new weapons and going out to kill people, the USA should help its security by joining this effort with its considerable technological skills.

A problem with globalization has been that the developed countries are running out of jobs and things to do besides passively waiting for their demise. Well, the solution is THINK AND SELL. Fighting the greenhouse can be done only with the most advanced technologies, and developing them will give developed countries something to do.

There is a lot of research to do in solid state, nuclear physics and biology which will help solve the energy crisis. Fission (Gen. IV and V) and thermonuclear reactors, and biotechnology for algae based biofuels should have priority. Solar towers in the US West could solve the US energy crisis there very quickly (with tanks of molten salt below, they could produce cheap hydrogen for cars at night). Solid state could bring cheap maglevs, high temperature conductors, futuristic batteries.

Rome’s civil wars, depopulation, demotivation, social, economic and ecological problems, and finally huge military problems, and its plunge in theocracy, all originated with the plutocracy which came to control the Roman mind to serve itself. This could have been all avoided if the mental manipulations of the plutocrats had been exposed in time. The US has drifted in a somewhat similar situation. But, whereas then the destruction of Roman peasantry by slavery could have been avoided, and the ecology and the republic saved if Rome could have gone high tech in a timely manner. Instead emperors pushed for ANTI mental creativity. Engineers were rewarded, as long as they kept silent. Rome had it all wrong. The rich Roman monkeys had got scared, and the more so, the more they huddled together under the umbrella of fascism, and became uselessly aggressive, and finally against themselves and their own civilization. Instead of thinking creatively, it shrunk its mind around the use of force (culminating with Diocletian’s theocracy, which led to Christian fascism).

By 1200, Europe confronted a disastrous ecology, but, the plutocracy was not as acute, the (sort of) free peasants (“serfs”) had not been dispossessed, and the Regnum Francorum, and its descendant regimes, by then controlling most of Western Europe, did not go fascist. Europe kept pushing into high tech and forcing a drastic reduction in carbon waste.

A back of the envelope computation shows that, were the entire planet to magically adopt French energy efficiency, and French low carbon intensity, the CO2 emissions would still more than double very soon. Besides, some of the French investments date basically from the Middle Ages, many have been hyper expensive (the high speed train lines cost hundreds of billions to build), and spread over decades. Thus new technology, much cheaper and efficient, have to be developed. Agricultural subsidies for the rich, about $300 billion for the EU and US, have been mostly killing Third World peasantry (note the analogy with Rome, which impoverished her peasants, as the first move in her descend to hell: the world is much more one now than Rome was), besides making the rich richer (such as HRH the Price of Wales, one of the world’s richest men, at the time a recipient of millions of EU aid). That investment capacity should be directed to energy research ASAP.

Patrice Ayme

SOPHIA: BIBLICAL THINKING, OR HOW TO SEIZE CONTINENTS.

May 14, 2008

AMERICANISM, NAZISM, GENOCIDES, BIBLE, SLAVERY, RACISM, BIG TIME LYING, AND HOW THEY ALL RELATE.
***

NAZISM WAS MORE OF AN ACCIDENT:

Roger Cohen of the New York Times points out that there is a US museum about the Nazi holocaust of the Jews, “a German crime”, but that there is no museum about slavery, an “American crime”. He finds the USA dangerously hypocritical: “Germans have confronted the monstrous in them… The truth can be brutal, but flight from it even more devastating. America’s heroic narrative of itself is still in flight from race … it’s time for the country to ask itself the hard post-jingoistic questions and allow the memorialization of even its darkest chapters. To demand truth commissions of other nations, while evading them at home, is self-defeating.”

(04/16/08; http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/16/opinion/edcohen.php).

 

Civilizations can change, and Germany has changed completely. If time travel were possible, and today’s Germans could go back to 1938, they would join the French republic to fight Nazism, in the blink of an eye, no questions asked. Actually many July 1944 German officers did (survivors were later honored by France)! When Colonel von Stauffenberg asked his superiors in the Coup-Against-Hitler hierarchy whether they should proceed, because the war was clearly lost anyway, and Germany was going to be severely punished; he was told to proceed, because the German Army had to show the world and posterity some things were worth rebelling against and dying for. Many of the highest officers, even several marshals of the Wehrmacht were involved in the coup (elite officers were to shoot Hitler in the face in Ukraine, during a breakfast they had contrived, in 1943, a year earlier, but because Himmler did not show up at the last moment, their commanding marshall told them not to).

Fascism in Germany, however abominable and of great consequence (all together, at least 100 million dead), was a slip in history, abhorrent to the deepest roots of German civilization, and pretty much contrived by a few generations of leaders who co-opted each other (unfortunately starting with the sometimes respectable Bismarck, political instigator of a fascist self amplifying machine he came to regret). The two main flaws of the German error were xenophobism and hubris. Sitting above the preceding two to make them possible, was blind and servile obedience to fascism, itself allowed by the death of the mind, which had been carefully instigated by tweaking the school system (obedience was adverse to the original German character, which had gone to large scale war by resistance to Pax Romana, archeology found).

The German flight from the truth of what really happened on August 1, 1914, caused a profound revisitation of the same horror in January 1933, in a more obstinate and self righteous version. It was the flight from truth that created Nazism (Hitler was the first to assert this in print, there are entire chapters on it in “Mein Kampf”). In the case of the USA, the flight from truth is clear and present, it prevents to analyze what went wrong, and thus what’s wrong now.
***

… AMERICA IS MORE OF A SYSTEM:

Murderous fascism in America is at the core of the American system of thought. It’s a fact, not an opinion. It’s also the fact US Americans like to talk the less about, lest they be viewed as un-American. It’s four centuries old, and it has force multiplied since, as it flew from success to success. Its most important metaprinciples were mostly accepted by dominant Americans for twenty generations, and it molded the country’s institutions. As we will explain, although they got increasingly diluted by universalism and the Enlightenment, the principles that allowed murderous fascism to thrive and hide, -anti-intellectualism and profits uber Alles- have not changed much in their preponderance, in spite of hefty immigration.

American fascism can be measured with funny details: with less than 5% of the planet’s population, the US holds more than 2.3 million prisoners, more than a quarter of the world captives (yes, more than China’s 1.6 million; like China, the US has also many ex convicts under surveillance, and without full civil rights).
***

GENOCIDE, THE BIBLE, AND RACISM WERE CRUCIAL TO THE AMERICAN THOUGHT SYSTEM FROM INCEPTION:

America is in flight from some of its own master generating ideas, for the deepest reasons intrinsic to its very nature. Genocides, the Bible, slavery, racism, formed an intricate network of mind characteristic of, and crucial to, a growing English speaking North America for four centuries. From those entangled evils blossomed out many a splendid attribute of America. No intrinsic monstrosity, no American splendor (no wonder many careful students of America, such as Tocqueville, ended baffled and ambivalent). Without understanding this, major malfunctions will occur looking forward, and not just for the US. There are lessons in this, to be carried all over the world.

The American thought system, progenitor of the success of the USA, originated well before the Enlightenment. It was the twisted expression of a de facto democracy (people-POWER). “We The People…” was made of rich white males: only real estate owners could vote. According to the modern moral standards of the Enlightenment, the American thought system was not pretty. Efficient, yes, pretty, no. The English speaking American colony, and its successor, the young USA, were out to conquer a continent. They were not out to enlighten the natives. If only the Enlightenment had reached the Amerindians, they would still be around (although Prof. J. Diamond insinuated otherwise). The USA does not look racially like Bolivia, not because of the Enlightenment, but in spite of it.

In that sense the American thought system is similar to fascist versions of Islam: in the very genesis of a thought system can lay the paralysis it gets afflicted with. The US mental paralysis is a world problem, because the USA was long one of the mental leaders for the world, but now it clings to memory loss and decerebrated childhood, feeding its various denials, such as being addicted to waste, enslaved to the Rich, terrorized by thinking, petrified by change. The USA is the last place in the world using systems of units dating from the Middle Ages. No wonder the USA still uses Biblical thinking . Only in the USA, and nowhere else. In more ways than one, the USA is stuck in full mental reverse (just as this Taliban it gave birth to). Why? Because the US thought system is on the verge of a breakdown. It becomes ridiculously destructive: after conquering Iraq, it did not have to destroy it!
***

BIBLICAL GUIDANCE FOR THE LONDON COMPANY: GOTT MIT UNS!

What is a civilization? A system of thought carried by the many minds of a people (typically living in one or more cities, hence the root “civilis”). The US system of thought originated in English colonial America (hence not in 1776, nor in 1789, but in 1606). The US system of thought had two main proximal inputs: England herself, of course, and the London Company. It was a symbiotic mix of heavens and hell, each serving the other. We passed the 400th anniversary of the hidden Constitution of the USA in total silence, but the democratic candidates for the US presidency were embroiled in theology, as befits savages of 1606 CE, not philosophers of 1789 CE.

The London Company was an English stock company established by royal charter on April 10, 1606, with the purpose of establishing profitable colonial settlements in North America. The London Company had right of life and death over the entire continent, and the mission to impose Christianity on the natives (1609). Things went on according to the master plan. The USA is the one country that originated in a conspiracy of a few men, and we have its foundational document, black on white.

The Puritans arrived later, in 1620, under the authority of the London Company (and of the military). Their master idea fit perfectly well the London 1609 Charter, they thrived. The Puritans had decided to impose the Bible on earth (and planned to go back in strength and invade Europe to impose their god!). As soon as established, they exterminated whoever was preventing the full expression of their purity. Puritans exterminated not just Indians, although Indians had just saved them, but also “rough fellows”, independent British settlers further north, who had committed the sin of being too friendly with native women (who could be massacred and enslaved at will, since they were unbelievers; cf. Christ below, or the literal Qur’an).

The fundamental principles of both London Co. and Puritans were pretty much according to a racist book full of Shoahs (holocausts), a book they were reading every time they wanted to look deep. That “Mein Kampf” of the invaders made holocausts, and the grabbing of lands, into a religion. It was easy to transpose the ideas of this book; the Puritans were the Elected People, their enemies happened to be occupying their promised land, and had to be destroyed, as Jesus confirmed, because they were enemies of their God. Thus murderous, genocidal racism was instated at the top of the mental agenda, and with God’s stamp of approval. The Bible insisted that, it was not good behavior which was its own reward, but that (material) rewards would be given by God, as they are to dogs (example of rewards: Israel, America). This sort of barbarousness would never have sailed through the republican Roman Senate, but, armed with the Bible, a book which extols events that happened more than a millennium before the Roman Senate agonized about destroying Carthage, the English settlers of America did what Western Civilization had not done before: genocide on a Biblical scale.
***

CHRIST AS HITLER’S MENTOR:

Murderous anti-Judaism was invented by the top Christians: Constantine, St. Hilarius, Constantius, St Augustine, St Louis, Luther, etc. (and absolutely not by Pagan Rome, which fought Jewish extremism fair and square, not with genocidal hatred). None of this was accidental: emperor Constantine, a vicious killer, selected Christ, because Christ made murderous fascism divine.

Six centuries before the Qur’an, Christ himself fed xenophobism, hatred for diversity, and intellectuality, by ordering to kill anybody non Christian: “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and kill them before me.” (Luke 19; 27). There are many such homicidal statements in Christ’s New Order, his “New Testament”. Sometimes Christ recommends drowning: “And whoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” (Mark 9; 42). Sometimes a “fiery furnace” or “unquenchable fire” will do [Matt. (13; 42, 25; 41) Luke (3; 17)]. Of course, Jesus destroys cities: “Whoever does not receive you [apostles], nor heed your words…it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.” (Matt 10; 14-15; Luke 10;12). Inspired, fanatical followers destroyed millions of people and books (thus Christianity caused the Dark Ages of the late Roman empire: 312 to 632 CE). 

 As Hitler summarizes it: “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. [Jesus]… once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.” [Hitler, 1922]. Christ’s murderous mania was also the official justification for the North American holocaust.
***

SLAVERY, EXTERMINATION AND RACISM ARE MORE AMERICAN THAN APPLE PIE:

To start with, modestly enough, because the Amerindians were watching their every move, the London Company reinvented slavery for Europeans. Jamestown was initially crewed by white slaves: convicts and indentured servants, to be punished and killed in atrocious circumstances at the smallest pretext (those who fled to the Indians were quartered alive).

By comparison the French government sent to its colonies only people who had been checked for their highest morality, and they were free to return any time! In the English colonies, slavery of the whites was, naturally enough, soon replaced by that of the natives, and, when the colonies could finally afford them, by (expensive) African slaves (bought with tobacco revenue, and that is why African slavery was mostly in the South).

The English colonists had versed into criminality, not just because of the Bible, and the London Co. Charter, but also because they were without adult supervision. England was distracted. She was shaken by civil and religious wars, and revolutions, fighting and being conquered by Holland. So, in far away America, the most basic standards of civilization could be trampled with alacrity. The European colonists in America turned feral. Perhaps finding that the burning of Indian towns (following Jesus!) left too many natives roaming the woods, municipalities were paying for Indian scalps.

One of New England’s most esteemed religious leaders, the Rev. S. Stoddard, as late as 1703, formally proposed to the Massachusetts Governor that the colonists be given the financial assistance to purchase and train large packs of dogs “to hunt Indians as they do bears” (1703). [American Holocaust, Oxford (1992)), p. 241].

The passionate hatred between Indians and English settlers soon got encouraged by the passionate hatred between enslaved Africans and Whites (some southern states had more slaves than Whites, and only terror made them stable; burning blacks alive was cruel and usual punishment). American racism was an acquired staple of survival. It was married to slavery, creating the particularly monstrous progeny of racially determined slavery (even worse than in 1500 BCE India, three millennia earlier!).

None of this, of course was very European: racism was unknown in Europe ever since the Romans had Spanish (1C), African and Arab emperors (3C). Slavery had been unlawful in Western Europe since the Merovingians (660 CE).

In English America slavery and racism were means to an end: the conquest and possession of an entire continent by greedy Europeans maximizing profits. But it’s no accident that both the Spanish and the French, who both used ethics that were not flying as low, completely failed in North America. Although the temperate coast of North America had been known since the Vikings (who imported timber from it for many centuries), it could not be colonized for military reasons: the natives were too fierce, and they knew that the Europeans had come to steal the land (see Viking and Cartier reports). The English settlers used all the weapons at their disposal, and the war manual that suggested many of them, and the righteous spirit to go with it was the Bible. It’s still true today: Bush attacked Iraq because his “Higher Father” told him to. Long live the Bible and its God! An argument few Americans can resist.

So one should not scoff, and call the European settlers in America naive. That system of thought, which mixed Bible primitivism and European high tech, was immensely successful: English Americans became quickly the richest, best fed, and often best educated people on earth (they held that position for three centuries). They were free, and formed into a de facto republic before London and Paris figured out what was going on. Nine generations after inception, excited by French agents, the republic declared its independence (1776). Tocqueville, arriving another four generations after that, declared, not without scathing irony:

“The Spaniards, by unparalleled atrocities which brand them with indelible shame, did not succeed in EXTERMINATING the Indian race and could not even prevent them from sharing their rights; the United States Americans have attained BOTH these results with wonderful ease, quietly, legally, and philanthropically, without spilling blood and without violating a single one of the great principles of morality in the EYES of the world. It is impossible to DESTROY men with more respect to the laws of humanity” (from “Democracy in America”).
***

DEVASTATING IDEAS LEFT UNCHALLENGED KEEP ON FESTERING; HOW THE AMERICAN GENOCIDE INSPIRED EUROPEAN RACISTS AND EXTERMINATORS:

Racism is a natural instinct, a consequence of psychobiological tribalism, when all one sees is white men, and one identifies civilization with them, and civilization is in a worldwide fight (against superstitious religion, habits and elites of the past, etc…). Savagery got identified with anybody not white, such as black men. Although such an identification was certainly culturally correct (outside of Eurasia, cannibalism was endemic), it was genetically erroneous, sure. But the point is that racism, however erroneous, flourished in Europe, and the conquest of the “New World” was seen as its prophet. The Franks had fought savagely to protect and push European civilization inside Europe (succeeding where Rome failed). The Europeans in America showed that even more savagery brought even greater fruits (Euroamericans were the richest, healthiest, and freest earthlings). It seemed wise to extend such a violent European effort all over the world.

English America and its USA were a great inspiration for many (a particular Belgian king devastated Congo for Ivory, allegedly killing millions). The racist Prussian fascists, such as governor Goering (the father of that WWI war hero, Herman Goering), instituted in Namibia an accelerated program trying to do very fast, around 1900, what the Americans had done in centuries, away from prying eyes. The British themselves used against fellow Europeans (the Boers) US style concentration camps and pseudo accidental mass death (killing more than a third of all the Boer women and children).

America invented and justified, by its very success, slavery, extermination and racism. Those (Biblical) ideas fed back to Europe: many Europeans were impressed by their triumph in North America, and longed to duplicate it all over the planet. European 20C fascism was inspired by the NEW WORLD AND ITS NEW ORDER, the New World being the only place with dramatically successful fascism prior to the 20C, for all to see.

The Nazis, of course, were the most dedicated students of the genocide of the Amerindians. They decided to duplicate it in Europe, applying it to all their enemies (starting with the Poles, then the Jews, etc…) They put all these ideas on steroids, missing out completely on the plausible self denying moral subtlety of the Biblico-American ways (which made them sustainable). As Tocqueville indicated, the Americans had become expert at lying to themselves and keeping appearances civilized. Although of course, coming after 220 years of continual holocaust, Tocqueville missed most of it. (US American civilization took three centuries to exterminate the Indians, and, by trying to do the same to all of the advanced Europeans of Eastern Europe in three years, the Nazis were bound not to make friends, even among themselves.)

Another meta feeling that was comforted by the keeping of appearances, was that English America, come hell and high water, was always right: nothing succeeds like success. It was fundamental to assert this loud and clear, because loud crowing was part of the cover-up (another was to play dumb and inarticulate). This lack of doubt about America has become a US mental tradition. It explains why the role of the USA in helping fascist regimes (and, first of all Hitler’s) was never put front and center. Unsurprisingly, so has it been for the role of the USA in pushing Judeo-Christo-Muslim fanaticism (before S. Hussein put God on the Iraqi flag, the USA chose as motto “In God we trust” in 1954. This religious slogan unconstitutionally replaced the US Founders’ “E Pluribus Unum”; Congress made an “establishment of a religion”, and that is explicitly forbidden by the US Constitution. But nothing succeeds as well as enormity, Hitler insisted.
***

AMERICAN ANTI INTELLECTUALISM AS THE ULTIMATE COVER UP:

A characteristic of the American thought system is anti-intellectualism. Pushed around, Americans tend to evoke their “faith” in “god”, rarely supreme reasoning ability and sensibility. The Bible overlords it all, in some ways more than ever (some American Founding Fathers wrote very strong anti-Christian stuff, and got elected, whereas saying the same nowadays would be politically deadly). At the same time, in part to prevent the rule of absolute idiocy, which would be counterproductive to the overall mission, the USA has the best universities in the world (if “best” is carefully evaluated in the realms of the easily thought, and readily publishable; don’t expect the first genuinely American Abelard, Buridan, Voltaire, Gauss, Nietzsche or Einstein any time soon…).

Europeans remember the old Nazi proverb that “whenever I hear the word Kultur, I pull out my Browning” (Browning being an American brand of revolvers American capitalists smuggled to the Nazis in vast amounts). Culture was what ultimately stopped Nazism (the German army coup against Hitler of 1944 was launched as a matter of cultural principle by its upright instigators). France opposed Nazism at every turn, from January 1933 on, mostly for higher cultural reasons (just as the US plutocracy cooperated with Nazism against France, by common hatred against those who detested genocides, racism, slavery, and the Biblical god).

The American thought system, increasingly laden with contradictions, encouraged by its devotion to the Bible, has avoided to think. Thinking is intrinsically creative, and would turn to dust the old American mummy of obsolete habits, if it ever touched it. In any case, the verdict of the American elite, when asked why they went to Iraq, admit that it was by “lack of intelligence”. No kidding. They don’t even understand what they say.
***

THE TENACITY OF CIVILIZATION NEEDS TO DEAL WITH THE FINAL AMERICAN IDEA:

 In the 19C, most of the system of thought supporting slavery in America was destroyed. In the 20C, racism and extermination came into direct conflict with democracy, and democracy won, and the system of thought of racism ended fatally damaged. In no small reason because especially France (but also Britain and America) used colored troops in combat to munch through the white master race: many extremely fierce “French” divisions were mostly African; for thirty one years, Senegalese and Germans were not in the habit of making a single prisoner: the lethal hatred was mutual, a good ground for future respect.

 After a crafty hesitation of four centuries, full bore European civilization threatens to finally land in North America (if it had landed earlier, the USA would not be white). The opportunistic causes of the English American monstrosity have faded; the continent was conquered, the Amerindians exterminated, the beast should be digesting its prey, instead of getting all agitated. The Biblical political philosophy of holocausts, racism, slavery, and theft of the land, having fulfilled its role, should be safely disposed of, instead of trying to recycle it in Iraq or Afghanistan (with Halliburton in the role of the London Company). But old habits die hard. Although it worked well against the Neolithic ones, the Bible will not work where people have been numbed out by that other Biblical derivative, the Qur’an (made to be used in a similar fashion).

 Moreover there are more pressing issues. The greenhouse disaster is upon us, and some old American ideas, such as the unrestrained exploitation of everything, long successful in a continent voided of its native population, have to be detected, exposed and thrown out before they attempt to germinate all over the planet, in the fury of the overcrowded rats.
***

THE ORIGINAL FOUNDING IDEA OF ENGLISH AMERICA SURVIVES TO THIS DAY:

As we said above, the London Company itself was founded for profits, Biblical extermination was its tool, and the ultimate master idea of its foundation was that BIG PROFIT IS THE END THAT JUSTIFIES ALL AND ANY MEANS (an example of the application of this idea is in US health care, where death of American humans is OK, as long as the profits roll in! Death of profits would be major, death of humans a way to prevent that). Slavery, extermination, racism, Bible and war crimes, and systemic lying and dissembling were just instruments of that master idea, in total violation of 20 centuries of explicit Western civilization (religion, aka the Bible, allowed and instigated that violation, and that is why it became the sacred American text par excellence). The progenitor idea of all master ideas has survived so far, and reached a new level of achievement by sending the US Army to the Middle East to protect the oil, as the paramount mission of America. And by having the richest Americans taxed at the lowest rate (15%!).

So now what is left among US bad mental habits, that still set it aside from its parental European thought system? Is there a head to this nagging obsolescence? One idea is left above all, and it’s at the genesis of it all. It shows up in basic principle of the US health “care” system.

The overall American idea that BIG PROFIT IS THE END THAT JUSTIFIES ALL AND ANY MEANS has to see its prominence destroyed. It was appropriate to the invasion and destruction of the old North America. But now is a new World, all over the planet, and we don’t want it destroyed. Throughout old civilizations, capitalism always checked the excesses of plutocracy, ever since there were cattle herders, and there was a wealth tax (and yes, a “death” tax!). Contrary to legend, Adam Smith (a student of French economists) was perfectly aware of the limits of the free market (so was his economic grand father Voltaire!).
***

THE US REVERSAL OF CIVILIZATION AS JUST A VORTEX IN ITS FLOW:

The main drift of civilization over the last 3,000 years has been towards the universal. The Athenians at their best insisted on democracy and the “open” society. The Romans insisted on the law for all free men, no more racism, and universal citizenship. Unfortunately they devolved because of theocracy, that, while honoring the preceding insisted to destroy thought. Then came the Franks, who wiped out the theocracies, and also slavery, opening the way to high tech, and the universal civilization we have today. English colonial America became great because it did on a huge scale what the Romans accused Julius Caesar to have done on a smaller scale in Gaul: war crimes.

The whole idea that English colonial America succeeded with methods the Nazis failed to duplicate is deeply abhorrent to the US intellectual class. US intellectuals such as Jared Diamond insist that it was all about germs and steel. Although Diamond mentioned guns, his main drift is that the European environment that the Europeans carried with them did the dirty job (ergo, it has nothing to do with the Bible!). Well a detailed study of circumstances show this was not the case. True, germs did a lot (allowing e.g., the initial settlement of the Puritans; in the same place exactly, 20 years before, a French scientific expedition found too many people!). They did a lot initially. But they have nothing to do with US president Jackson “removal” policy (which used methods of deportation and extermination Stalin and Hitler duplicated later). And Jackson came on the tail end of 200 years of deliberate racism, slavery and thorough genocide. After the French got defeated in 1763, and expulsed from Canada, the Indians, having lost their support, revolted. (Pontiac rebellion”.) The commanding general of the entire British army, Jeffrey Amherst, ordered the distribution of smallpox infected items and “to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race.” Amherst is the town named after him, in his honor. Honor to some, shame to others.
***

A NEW SURVIVAL SKILL. THE DECONSTRUCTION OF DANGEROUSLY OBSOLETE THOUGHT SYSTEMS:

The time for holocausting some obsolete thought systems, before they holocaust us, has definitively arrived. We may as well start with this new approach to thinking within the USA rather than with Afghanistan (or China!). After all, the US Americans want to pretend that they can think, that they are an elite of a crowd.

Candidate Obama has been trying to think in public, and the screams of the Beotians have been loud (the US plutocratic elite insists that thinking should be despised as “elite”, in a successful strategy to prevent the American people from thinking disobediently). A warning: anti-intellectual theocracy mangled the civilization of the so called “Golden Age of Islam”, and brought even Constantinople to her knees. Civilization was saved by the barbarian Franks, who smashed with their huge battle axes not just the theocracies (Catholic and Islamic), but much of what was wrong with Greco-Roman Antiquity.

It’s now time to clear the mental tables, not just for the sake of the USA, but because now, whether we like it or not, whether we realize it or not, we are one world, one spaceship, and the air is getting foul, and the waters are rising, and the food stores are running low, and the third class passengers are rioting, and the oceans are getting empty of all, but poisons… It’s the road to hell, and no Bible can paper it over. Only hard core truth can come to the rescue, and appreciation for it is not found in many of the parts of American (lack of) thinking that made the USA such a success. Therein the conundrum for the pusillanimous, and the challenge for the wise: how to save America by changing what in its soul need to be jettisoned.
***

Conclusion: PASSION IS NEEDED FOR DECONSTRUCTING YESTERDAY’S ATROCIOUS MIND:

The American Biblical revisitation of an atrocious past was transposed in modern times to seize an entire continent. It was a civilizational devolution that directly preceded, encouraged and inspired such extravagances as Nazism. The least US American civilization could do now would be to acknowledge the enormous terror of its old ways with museums allowing children to learn how the full horrors of racism, slavery and genocides made the USA the success it is now, and that horror can be viewed as justice. It is not for begging forgiveness on ones’ knees. After all, contemporaries did not commit these crimes. But re-enacting such crimes nowadays would be a self destroying, even world destroying, error. The trains of thoughts and emotions that allowed these crimes are still in great part still around (cf. Iraq). We don’t want others to copy these now completely inappropriate ways (as the idiotic Hitler did). Passionately condemning these crimes will energize the vigilance against the cognitive, logical and emotional patterns that gave rise to them.
***

Patrice Ayme (& CR).

 

P/S: Marx famously called “religion the opium of the people”. Going further, we exposed the Bible as a holocaust manual, making it fundamental in the colonial English America and the USA, to bring the maximum riches slavery and extermination provided with. A third advantage of the Bible is that it makes people really stupid, and stupid people are easier to manipulate and make delusional. Now, the London Company, from inception, the English Colony of America, was a plutocratic creation, a stock company given divine powers and mission. Stupidity advantaged both plutocrats and “We The People”, those chosen few, and Promised-Land-providing mindlessness is the real justification for “American anti-intellectualism” (“how we got into Iraq by lack of intelligence”)… now the remaining symbol of worldwide stupidity and brutality.

 

$200 OIL YES, WORLD WAR NO.

May 1, 2008

Some want the world simpler than it really is… Curiously few saw expensive oil come. Now some predict war as the way out all too readily (and that prediction can be used as an excuse to not look for (policy or energy) alternatives, in the name of entrenched interests). In truth, what should be predicted should rather be the end of US waste and preset ways…

***

WORLD OIL RECESSION ONLY ABOVE $200:
The $120 per barrel oil price of April 2008 regained the inflation adjusted price peak of 1980 (in 2008 dollars; in 1980, an Arab oil embargo was enacted to protest the US military support of Israel in the Yum Kippur war).

In 2004, investor Marc Faber, of “The Gloom Boom & Doom Report” observed that the Chinese car population had decupled already, while if China used as much oil as Mexico, per person, it would consume as much as 30% of the existing world’s oil production (an impossibility, except if China accepted to pay more for its oil that anybody else… or if China played Tibet with the Middle East, a role in which others are already starring). The supply of oil cannot grow: no major oil field was discovered in more than 40 years.

World oil production is not augmenting anymore, but demand is: the five billion strong world underclass, the fastest growing segment of the world population, unsatisfied with its lack of power, wants energy too. Oil has the highest density of energy (short of nuclear). Some say there is plenty of oil to be had. They evoke tar sands (as in the Canadian province of Alberta). Others suggest to make oil out of coal (as Hitler did in his little plan to conquer the world). Both cause such immense pollution and carbon emission problems that they have no positive long term economic justification, on a planetary scale. True, long term we are all dead, but coal and tar, a form of smoking, is a bit too quick that way.

Still another proposition has been to exploit the super gigantic deposits of oil in shale rock in the mountains of the US West. Unfortunately, the easiest way to get the oil out is to heat the rock in situ, and lots of it would escape and pollute the water table (although the flight of fancy of freezing back the rock in vast cylinders has been grotesquely suggested). Clean water itself will soon be more precious than oil (all the more since one needs energy to extract it from shrinking, deep underground aquifers).

Thus the price of oil will go the sky: there is no substitute (yet). Even if the West became super efficient, cutting its energy usage by half, the six billion who want to go from close to zero energy usage to something non negligible will cause most of the future demand. Demand will abate only when the price is so high that it causes a world (growth) recession.

So when will there be an oil price induced world growth recession? Energy usage efficiency has roughly doubled since 1980, thanks to more advanced tech: twice more GDP is created for the same energy unit. Thus oil would have to reach around $240 to create a stress comparable to that of the seventies (except this time the rise is slower, so it may need to go even higher). The USA would be badly hit well before that, considering its inefficient economy. The EU could muddle through by reducing the taxes on gasoline to keep it around $10 a gallon as it is now; in some regions of France local taxes on gasoline have been decreased.

***
… BUT NO WORLD WAR:
Marc Faber has a simplistic view of what brought the two world wars in which fascism was involved. He wrote: “in the case that oil prices were to rise in real terms to their 1980s highs – well over US$ 100 – then the foundation for World War Three would be laid … “

Indeed it is true that oil contributed both to W.W.I and its second round, W.W.II. Hitler’s friends at Texaco gave him the oil he needed for his early years, true. Yes, Texas oil was all over Guernica, thank you, Uncle Sam! In both world wars, Germany, which had no oil, but frustrated imperialistic dreams, desperately wanted to get some (oil is much more efficient than coal in ships, let alone in tanks and planes!). Hitler and company used oil as still one more reason for invading Poland. But the invading Nazis got short circuited by their buddy, the crafty Stalin (who got to Polish oil first). Then Hitler targeted the Soviets’ main oil, in the Caucasus. The Nazi assault through North Africa targeted another major oil source, Iraq.

Marc Faber (not an American but a Swiss), seems to be implicitly assuming that the USA is as badly obsessed as Hitler’s Reich, and will keep on invading for oil (as Hitler did). But that is overestimating the present gullibility of the US public and his military men (even Hitler’s military men rebelled in the end, in a society that had not known democracy for 2,000 years). Since everybody now knows that powerful armies have been sent to invade for oil by the world’s worst criminal idiots, many times over, another world war should not happen again that way.

True, for years, US opinion makers have insisted that the USA could not afford an energy policy of research and innovation. Even in 2008, all money towards the US contribution to the experimental thermonuclear reactor ITER was cut off. Meanwhile, France, with a much more efficient economy, emits not even a third of the CO2 that the US does, per person. But such facts as this are slowly percolating up common US consciousness… Even bomber pilots on giant US aircraft carriers in the Gulf are starting to wonder what they are doing there.

***

WORLD WAR TWO OCCURRED WHEN AGGRESSION WAS LEFT UNPUNISHED:
The fundamental path to W.W.II was purely psychological. Before Hitler (and militaristic Japan) got obsessed by oil, they got used to get things by force, and get away with it. Thus, as what happened then, the real danger is that several of the major powers engage in a competition of unpunished brutality, encouraging each other down the pernicious slope of stealthy fascism.

Mussolini started “fascismo”, Lenin the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, both encouraged the rise of Nazism; in turn Hitler made Mussolini more fascist, and then the “Axis” was formed with Japan, boosting the later’s fascism, and then Hitler, worried by France, allied with Stalin; at that point all the fascists were allied with each other, in a terminal fight with democracy (only France was really in the way;  US capitalists were massively helping Hitler; the UK was doing an awkward 180 degree turn).

Thus, should one want to avoid W. W. III, one would discourage drifts towards unnecessary brutality: they can be contagious and mutually sustaining. Fascism was in fashion before W.W. II. That’s why it’s encouraging that enough people make enough waves about Iraq and Tibet to cause great powers to reconsider (maybe). The tipping point into generalized fascism (hence world war) would be reached if not enough people could be found to accomplish this.

***

Patrice Ayme

Ref.: Marc Faber http://www.ameinfo.com/47129.html.

P/S: OPEC President Chakib Khelil on April 28 2008 declared that the sharp rise of oil had to do with the fall of the US Dollar (which it obviously does, in part). What we said above is that there is a natural (and increasing) upper bound to the rise of the price of oil, and that it is pretty high, and naturally rising, as energy efficiency rises. But it’s way higher than what the USA can stand, and that is why it invaded Iraq, as peak oil was reached (the audacity of hoping for IRAQ AS THE NEW AMERICAN OIL STRATEGIC RESERVE). That theoretical peak oil production could be higher by using very deep, or very heavy oils and coal is irrelevant, the global cost being way too high.