Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Dick's KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-32)

BOOKS CITED IN EDITORIALS.
These editorials of 5 to 7 minutes that appeared on KPSQ Radio from April 2017 to the present derived mainly from the following books.

Louis Beres.  America Outside the World: The Collapse of U.S. Foreign Policy.  (1987) (#8, 12-13-17)
Rosalie Bertell.  Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War (2001) (#22, 3-22-18)
Peter Carter & Elizabeth Woodworth.  Unprecented Crime: Climate Science
     Denial and Game Changers for Survival. (
2018) (#23, 3-31-18).
Noam Chomsky and Laray Polk, Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe
      (2013)
(#14, 1-27-18)
Ashley Dawson.  Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age
     of Climate Change. (
2017).  (#26, 4-28-18, & Engelhardt; #27 5-5-18).  
Tom Engelhardt.  The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the
      Disillusioning of a Generation. 
(1995/2007).   (#16, 4-26-18, & Dawson).
Tom Engelhardt.  A Nation Unmade by War.  A TomDispatch Book.  Haymarket
     P, 2018.  (#31, 6-2-18)
Andrew Feinstein. The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade (2011) (#9,
     12-20-17)
J. William Fulbright.  The Price of Empire (1989) (#2, Spring 2017)
Al Gore.  Inconvenient Sequel. (2017) (#5, 10-27-17)
Lindsey Grant.   Too Many People: The Case for Reversing Growth.   2001.  
James Hoggan with Richard Littlemore.  Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to
      Deny Global Warming
(2009) (#11, 1-3-18).  See Mark.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports 1991-.  (#27, 5-5-18)
Diana Johnstone, “Doomsday Postponed?” from MAD to Madness by Paul
      Johnstone
(2017) (#25, 4-21-18)
Naomi Klein, No Is Not Enough (2017)
Rachel Maddow, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (2012).
Magdoff and Foster.  What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About
      Capitalism
(2017)
Michael Mann and Tom Toles.  The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change
      Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us
      Crazy
(2016).  (#19, 3-3-18).
Jason Mark.  “”The Case for Climate Reparations.  It’s Time the Carbon Barons
       Paid the Costs of Our Unnatural Disasters.”  (#28, 5-12-18).    Sierra
      
(April/May 2018).  See Hoggan and other books on ff corporate deception.
Christian Parenti.  Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of
     Violence
(2011).  (#20, 3-10-18; #27, 5-5-18)
Cleo Paskal.  Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political
     Crises Will Redraw the World Map  (
2010).
Joseph Romm.  Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know  (2018).
           (#27, 5-5-18).
Richard Rubenstein.   Reasons to Kill: Why Americans Choose War (2010)
Barry Sanders, The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism (2009)
Dan Smith and Janani Vivekananda.  A Climate of Conflict: The Links Between
       Climate Change and War (
2008).
Gar Smith, The War and Environment Reader (2017). (#24, 4-14-18).
Richard Smith.  Green Capitalism: The God That Failed (2016).  (#6, 12-1-17, #7,
     12-6-17)
Norman Solomon, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning
      Us to Death
(2005) (#17, 2-17-18)
Nick Turse.  The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives.   
      
Metropolitan/Holt (2018).  (#30, 5-26-18)


KPSQ EDITORIAL #32, BETSY HARTMANN, THE AMERICA SYNDROME: APOCALYPSE, WAR, AND OUR CALL TO GREATNESS.  Seven Stories, 2017.
Title: 
     My main reference today is THE AMERICA SYNDROME: APOCALYPSE, WAR, AND OUR CALL TO GREATNESS by Betsy Hartmann, 2017.  The United States is bombing 7 countries.  Its military budget is $1 trillion a year.  Its troops and planes and ships cover the earth.  Yet the War on Terror was a response to the bombings of three buildings on US soil, masterminded mainly by one man, carried out by 19 others, and costing around a half-million dollars.   How explain this?
     One explanation is a staggering number of the US population believe the world will end in a battle in Armageddon.  A 2012 Reuters poll found that over one-fifth of the US population believed the end of the world will happen in their lifetime.  This is not surprising in a country whose beliefs about the apocalypse derive mainly from Christianity, especially the Book of Revelation, which relates the grotesque violence and glories of divinely justified war
     That is, war is necessary and inevitable.   Religious prophecies, sci-fi movies, doomsday TV shows, and worst-case national security scenarios are the fear we breathe.  A 2010 Pew poll reported six out of ten saw another world war as definite or probably by 2050.
     During the Civil War leaders and clergy on both sides invoked divine authority to justify the slaughter.   Patriotism became a sacred duty.  In WWI the US became world redeemer in a global war between good and evil.  Henceforth we became the defender of freedom around the world, and our national mission was bound tightly to our military might.
    Until by 1961, President, formerly General Eisenhower, warned of the growth of the military-industrial complex, the conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry.  Since then, the power of the military-industrial complex has become so pervasive that we have entered an era of permanent or endless war, in which we are always preparing for wars or fighting or both.  War has become normal, peace the aberration.   The global military supremacy that the US presently enjoys—and is bent on perpetuating—has become central to our national identity, which then feeds susceptibility to imagining the end of the world, rather than the end of US war-making.
     And now the Pentagon Complex has become so powerful that it operations as another government, effectively independent of Congress, the judiciary, and the executive branch.  In the sphere of national security, constitutional democracy  has become ore and more a charade.  Always looking toward new apocalyptic threats to legitimize its financial and political power, the military-corporate, congressional, White House complex generates a constant stream of worst-case scenarios to terrify the elected officials and the public into compliance.
     And we are trapped in the America Syndrome: 
1) US Exceptionalism that we are God’s chosen for the good of the world;
2) Expansion, occupation, and empire re our God-given destiny, US war are just and extreme violence is justified.
3) Exclusion, inequality: a chosen people must distinguish themselves from those who are not, who must be punished and banished.
4) Nature is part of our providential mission to conquered and control.
5) Paranoia and anxiety, our enemies are everywhere.  No matter how hard we try, we never have enough military to protect us and our mission, leading to apocalyptic, fearful fantasies.
     And climate change is intensifying the militarization of our nation.  Powerful economic interests stand to gain from the cataclysms from warming already ravaging the planet, and from feverish apocalyptic imaginings.  The national security state capitalizes on the premise that climate change will lead to violent conflict, and the budget must be increased.  593
KPSQ EDITORIAL #31, June 2, 2018, Tom Engelhardt, A Nation Unmade by War. Haymarket, 2018.
     The main theme of these editorials is the convergence of ceaseless wars, climate catastrophe, voracious capitalism, and population increase.  My title today is: 5 Trillion Dollars Bombing Rubble.   My main source is A Nation Unmade by War by Tom Engelhardt (2018).
      A tiny group of jihadis attacked the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, and George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, and other ruling warriors reacted with a “Global War on Terror,” invading and bombing globally.
     $5.6 trillion dollars is the cost of the US war on terror from September 12, 2001 through fiscal year 2018 estimated by the Costs of War Project at Brown University.    For what?   Did ceaseless war make the US people more secure?   What is sure is that it did enrich the owners of the military-industrial complex and give jobs to employees of the US National Security State evermore secure in Washington and spreading around the globe—the Pentagon, the National Security Agency and the other intelligence agencies, the US nuclear complex, the Department of Homeland Security, and the rest of the vast and vastly profitable state within a state.  
      But this is only part of the dollar costs.  What about the costs beyond the budget?   What about the cities of Ramadi or Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa or Aleppo in Syria, Sirte in Libya, or Marawi in the Philippines destroyed in the War on and of Terror?  And by the way murdering bin Laden.
     Mile upon mile upon mile of rubble in country after country.   What is the price on that?  What price the children whose lives were ended or twisted and mangled too horrible to imagine?    How can you put a dollars and cents value on the larger human costs of those wars?
     The hundreds of thousands of dead?  The tens of millions displaced in their own countries or sent as refugees fleeing across any border in sight?  How factor in the way those masses of uprooted peoples of the Greater Middle East Africa are unsettling other parts of the planet? 
     And seventeen years after the invasion Afghanistan, and fifteen years after the invasion of Iraq, how include the costs to our country’s neglected infrastructure, which has been crumbling while taxpayer dollars flowed copiously in what’s laughably called “national security.”   While our leaders repeated endlessly that the USA was uniquely greater than any empire that ever existed, they couldn’t find the $5.6 trillion dollars just for starters necessary for our roads, dams, bridges, tunnels, health care for all, and paying down the national debt incurred by the wars. 
     This on a planet where “extreme weather” is increasingly wreaking havoc on that same infrastructure, while the leaders of the one superpower, the exceptional nation USA, distracted by its ruinous wars and the terrorist groups they engender, refuse to mobilize against the drowning and frying of our world.   472
Mel Gurtov.  “The Number One Global Security Issue? Climate Change.” The Free Weekly (Fayetteville, AR, 8-20-15, p. 14, via PeaceVoice).
KPSQ EDITORIAL #30: Nick Turse, The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. 
Title: The United States military establishment and the arms industry in US culture
       The main subject of my radio editorials is the convergence of ceaseless war, climate change with extreme weather, population increase, and unbounded capitalism. 
     President Eisenhower warned us of the military industrial complex, but he never imagined how deep the foundation, how wide the reach the US military would become. 
      My main source today is The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives by Nick Turse, 2008.
       In his farewell speech Eisenhower warned us of the unwarranted influence of the military and the arms industry; now a thousand of times more entrenched, they reach into virtually every aspect of US life.  He labeled this pervasive domination the military industrial complex, and privately added Congress to make a triangle of power.    Now we must call the US System the military-financial—corporate-industrial-technological-entertainment-academic-scientific-media-intelligence-homeland security-surveillance-national security-imperial complex!  In countless, often invisible ways our lives are wrapped up in the militarized economy
       At the time of Eisenhower’s farewell address, 1961, the Pentagon was spending $23 billion a year for military goods and services.  In 2007 that would equal around $200 billion.  In 2007, the Pentagon’s budget  was $439 billion.  Adding the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the expenditure was over $600 billion.  Factoring in all the many related activities carried out by related agencies, actual US national security spending in 2007 was nearly $1 trillion per year.
      Back in Ike’s day, arms dealers and mega-corporations, such as Lockheed and General Motors, dominated the corporate side of the military-industrial complex.  Now they are dwarfed by the sheer number of contractors that stretch from coast to coast and across the globe.  By 1970, ten years after Ike’s address, 22 thousand prime contractors did business with the Pentagon.   By 2008 that number topped 47,000 with subcontractors reaching well over the 100,000 mark, making for one massive conglomerate touching nearly every sector of society, from top computer manufacturer Dell to Ace Hardware, AMF bowling alleys, Avis rent-a-car—try to imagine the size of the total list!   The Pentagon payroll is not only a who’s who of the top companies in the world—IBM, Ford Motor, Sony, Sara Lee, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart--, but through their retail outlets to most of the stores  in your town.  Just drive around and store after store is connected to Pentagon contractors—framed photos on Kodak paper, Budweiser beer, AT&T telephones, Duracell batteries.
        After WWII some Democrats, as a continuation of the full employment during WWII and an extension of their New Deal of the 1930s, proposed a program of full employment in which all able-bodied citizens could find work building the nation’s agriculture, towns and cities, the infrastructure of a thriving nation.   That did not happen; opposition to big affirmative government for the people was too strong. 
       But it did happen in another way:  the New Deal idea of universal employment was militarized.   In his departing speech, Eisenhower warned that the US had built “an immense military establishment” and  “a permanent arms industry of vast proportions” that imperiled democracy, and he called on the public to compel the peaceful meshing of that power with liberty.
     But by the time of Eisenhower’s warning, the military-industrial complex was already entrenched throughout economic and social life, and the public was not up to the task of reversing or even checking its power, especially in the Cold War world.  Today it’s impossible to think the public might even consider a change.   The emergence of a Complex of such epic proportions, composed of thousands and thousands of small town niche contractors, has almost entirely enveloped US culture, to such an extent few people are aware.
     Eisenhower at one point in his farewell did foretell our present fate.  “The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—[of the conjunction of the military establishment and the large arms industry] is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government”-- today’s omnipresent, all-encompassing, cleverly hidden system of systems that invades all our lives, in which we are all complicit.           
      And all of this occurred at the moment when the planet most needed a new kind of knitting together, at the moment when humanity’s future was at stake in ways previously unimaginable, thanks to its still increasing use of fossil fuels.   718
References for #30
Nick Turse, The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. 
Tom Engelhardt, A Nation Unmade by War.
#29, KPSQ EDITORIAL #29, Too Many People: The Case for Reversing Growth by Lindsey Grant .    2001.   Broadcast May 19, 2018
TITLE:  We Must Reverse Population Growth
     The general subject for these editorials is the catastrophic convergence of Warming, War, Capitalism, Population Growth, and Economic Inequality.   My subject today is population, and my main reference is Too Many People: The Case for Reversing Growth by Lindsey Grant (2001).
         Politicians, planners and environmentalists usually treat population growth as an independent variable to which they must adjust, rather than as a factor that must be changed if a real solution to wars, climate chaos, and the economic system is to be found.  
     Data:  Global human population growth amounts to around 83 million annually, or 1.1% per year. The global population has grown from 1 billion in 1800 to 7.6 billion in 2017. It is expected to keep growing, and estimates have put the total population at 8.6 billion by mid-2030, 9.8 billion by mid-2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100.

         Replies to the question, what world population size is compatible with achievement of our goals? depend upon the goals.   For me, it’s a population size that provides nutrition and health, social and economic compassion and justice, and adaptability to extreme weather for most people and other animals.   Such values are enshrined in the UN’s UDHR, the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and the Earth Charter.

      Given these goals, has the recent growth of human numbers and economic activity imperiled our well-being, social justice, and even the natural support systems on which we and other creatures depend?  Despite the nearly universal enthusiasm for endless growth in the US, is it actually a main root of environmental and social problems, not simply a potential danger?
       Given these goals and regarding the evidence concerning climate chaos, ceaseless war, food and water scarcity, tillable land shrinkage, chemicals, pollution, growing energy demands and their threat to living systems,  what world population might be sustainable at a decent standard of living for the majority of the world’s population?    Do we need to reduce growth or reverse it?
       Has the world already exceeded the limit for that standard two or three generations ago?  Many scientists fear that has happened, and they seek ways to reverse the trend.  Many applaud Europe’s population turnaround.  Most will like its economy: population stabilization and especially reversal will save money.
   We are already at war with the biosphere that supports us. More than any other proposed solution, a solution on the demand side — population — offers an effective way to ameliorate the problems inflamed by the great leap from one to 7 billions in 6 centuries.  
       But the subject is controversial.  Ian Angus undertook a refutation in his Too Many People?  that acknowledges population as a major problem but not as much as capitalism and its profit-obsessed need for infinite growth on a finite planet.
      I hope to return to the subject soon.   468

References to #29
Lindsey GrantToo Many People: The Case for Reversing Growth.   2001.   Grant is a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment and Population Affairs and author of Elephants in the Volkswagen and Juggernaut: Growth on a Finite Planet.  Click here to access the complete text of Too Many People,  Books by Lindsey Grant, Comments
Angus, Ian.  Too Many People?  Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis.  Haymarket, 2011.
Also see: TONY MCMICHAEL.  Climate Change and the Health of Nations:  Famines, Fevers, and the Fate of Populations.   2017. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif  FRED PEARCE.  The Coming Population Crash and Our Planet’s Surprising Future.  2010.\
#28 KPSQ EDITORIAL for MAY 12, 2018:  Jason Mark, “The Case for Climate Reparations,” Sierra (May/June 2018).
To OMNI’s Climate Book Forum Committee: a shorter version of the following summary of the article we discussed this afternoon will appear in KPSQ’s “Folkus” Saturday.
 The main source of this editorial is the article in Sierra Magazine, The Case for Climate Reparations” by Jason Mark.  The subject of these editorials is the catastrophic convergence of war and warming,  US capitalism, and over-population..
The title of this editorial is: Fossil Fuels Corporations Knew Their Harms a Long Time Ago and Should Be Accountable
          What is our fundamental principle for these assertions?  A corporation that makes a product causing severe harm when used exactly as intended should shoulder the costs of abating that harm.   
  For nearly 40 years, the Carbon Barons—ExxonMobil and other producers of fossil fuels—have been aware that their products were emitting dangerous greenhouse gases.  In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the oil companies’ own in-house scientists had confirmed that CO2 from oil products was contributing to the green house effect.  As early as 1977, scientists at Exxon warned the company that the use of fossil fuels should not be encouraged because of the risk they posed. 
     In 1988 longtime NASA climatologist James Hansen gave his now famous congressional testimony warning of the dangers of climate change.  That was 30 years ago.  That is, by 1988, the Carbon Barons knew that global warming could be catastrophic.  Thus they are guilty of fraud and reckless negligence.  1988 is significant for another reason:  more than half of all industrial CO2 emissions have occurred since then.
     Yet instead of sharing their findings with the government and the public, the Carbon Barons began a well-orchestrated and well-documented campaign of deception.  They gave money to think tanks, individual researchers, and advertising firms to create an atmosphere of uncertainty around climate change, a system of disinformation already well-practiced by the tobacco companies.   A 1998 memo to the American Petroleum Institute members declared that victory will be achieved when average citizens believe the science is uncertain.
      The campaign was successful.  Between 2006 and 2016, the percentage of Americans who believed humans and fossil corporations were responsible for global warming decreased even as the scientific proof increased.  And during the last 20 years, ExxonMobil has broken U.S. records for corporate earnings:  $32 billion in 2014.   
      On  January 10, 2018, New York City announced it was divesting its holdings in fossil fuel corporations  and was filing a lawsuit against five Carbon Barons—ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Royal Dutch Shell—seeking to recover damages from Hurricane Sandy as well as the costs for sea level rise adaptation.  The NY suit was the 8th local US government to hold the Carbon Barons legally accountable.
     The lawsuits rest on tort law surrounding product liability and the polluter pays principle.  The suits claim that the Carbon Barons failed to disclose the dangers of fossil fuel combustion which they have been aware of since the 1980s, or at the very least since 1994, when the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change went into effect.  They  argued also that the Carbon Barons sought to meet the shareholder’s expectations of profit instead of the wellbeing of the public.   
     Thus the suits demand that because the corporate Carbon Barons are uniquely culpable they should be held accountable.   They are guilty not only of failing to use their early knowledge about climate change to prevent harm, but they possessed the scientific awareness, the economic might, and the political influence to have avoided climate chaos, and they chose not to.
    [ Simultaneously, global population continues to explode and create conflict, and corporate War Barons and their agencies received trillions of dollars of public funds to threaten, invade, bomb, and occupy a dozen nations.]   
 References for #28
Jason Mark, “The Case for Climate Reparations,” Sierra (May/June 2018).  
Richard Heede’s research: google Richard Heede, fossil fuels emissions
This article from Union of Concerned Scientists reports on Heede’s and corroborating studies.    “Study Finds Top Fossil Fuel Producers’ Emissions Responsible for as Much as Half of Global Surface Temperature Increase, Roughly 30 Percent of Global Sea Level Rise.  Findings Provide New Data to Hold Companies Responsible for Climate Change.”      WASHINGTON (September 7, 2017)— https://www.ucsusa.org/press/2017/study-finds-top-fossil-fuel-producers-emissions-responsible-much-half-global-surface#.Wunh1C7wa1s
Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth, Unprecedented Crime (2018) (#23).

#27 KPSQ EDITORIAL, MAY 5, 2018: Dawson, Extreme Cities; IPCC 2014; Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos (2011);  Joseph Romm, Climate Change (2018). 

Title: Climate, War, and Refugees
     The first US government recognition of and assistance to internally displaced climate refugees occurred in 2016.   I drew from several   books for today, including Joseph Romm, Climate Change (2018).   My theme for all of these editorials is war and warming.

Climate Refugees:  Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana
    “Perhaps the modern era’s first climate refugees were the five hundred thousand Bangladeshis left homeless when half of Bhola Island flooded in 2005.”    At least officially, the first US climate refugees were recognized in 2016.   In that year the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $52 million to help members of the Louisiana Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians relocate their disappearing community.  In 1955, the Isle de Jean Charles comprised more than 22,000 acres.  Today only 320 acres remain, more than 98 percent lost to the seas.
     This was a momentous governmental decision with sweeping implications.   If these victims of climate change can be resettled with taxpayer funding, why not others in Louisiana, or in other states?  Where will the money come from?   After all, “over 75 percent of the ocean shoreline of the United States is disappearing.”   We are very late in responding with mitigation and adaptation.  Why is that?   We are just now officially recognizing the need because of 2 decades of corporate disinformation, denial, and coverup.  And the warfare state garners over a trillion dollars annually.
War Refugees
      The stage was set for the long neglect of coastal ruin—the failure to mitigate and adapt to warming--by the  pathologies of Cold War militarism and neoliberal capitalism.  Over the last forty years , both of these forces have distorted our government’s relationship to its citizens. The Cold War sowed instability throughout the Third World and left a legacy of armed groups, cheap weapons, smuggling networks, corrupted officialdoms, and masses of people fleeing for their lives.  For example, Somalia was destroyed by Cold War military interventions.  In economics radical privatization  and economic deregulation have pushed many countries into extreme inequality and permanent crisis.  In the US, beginning in the 1980s, our leaders increasingly removed and undermined the state’s affirmative regulatory and redistributive functions, and transferred those functions to police repression, replacing caring by punishment, and this process has accelerated under President Trump.  Until now our chief response to refugees is expelling and putting up walls.  Climate change now joins these crises, acting as an accelerant.
Climate/War Refugees:  Syria
   Climate change and war do a dance.   Climate change, extreme weather increases group violence, civil war, and national war, and those conflicts increase food and water shortages, pandemic disease, poverty, hunger, which increase violence and war.    Climate change makes violent conflict more likely and that violence makes a nation more vulnerable to climate change.  
     Syria is a dramatic contemporary example.  Climate change was a major trigger of Syria’s brutal civil war.   From 2006 to 2010 the worst extended drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent spawned the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS).  The drought destroyed the livelihood of 800,000 people and sent vastly more into poverty, displacement, and flight, which created the unrest that exploded in spring 2011.  That is, climate change caused agricultural collapse and mass migration, which led to widespread discontent and the uprising and the civil war.  And brutal multi-year droughts are likely to become the norm, with similar consequences.
     The most colossal set of events in human history is occurring: the catastrophic convergence of climate change and extreme weather, global violence, unceasing wars, and poverty.   A recent study projects that 700 million climate related refugees will be on the move by 2050.   614
References to #27: War, Warming, Refugees
Ashley Dawson, Extreme Cities (2017).  98-9 (Isle de Jean Charles).
IPCC 2014, “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.”
Christian Parenti.  Tropic of Chaos (2011).  Chapter 1, “catastrophic
      convergence.” 
Joseph Romm, Climate Change (2018).  133-37 (Syria).
Related: CHOMSKY ON WAR AND WARMING
"’A Complete Disaster’: Noam Chomsky on Trump and the Future of US Politics.”
Tuesday, April 24, 2018.   By C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout | Interview
·          
President Donald Trump speaks during a joint presser with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 18, 2018. (Photo: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images)
Just how bad are things with Donald Trump in the White House? And what does having a racist, misogynist, xenophobic and erratic president who continues to enjoy unquestionable support from his base tell us about the state of US politics and the dangers to the future of democracy in the US and in the world on the whole? Noam Chomsky shares his thoughts on these and other related questions in an exclusive interview with C. J. Polychroniou for Truthout.
C.J. Polychroniou: Noam, it's been already 14 months into Donald Trump's turbulent White House tenure, but sometimes we still need to pinch ourselves to make sure that it's not a nightmare that a racist, misogynist, homophobic man who apparently cares only about himself runs the world's most powerful nation. But, really, how bad is it having Trump in the White House?
Very bad. As Trump began his second year in office, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists advanced their Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight, citing increasing concerns over nuclear weapons and climate change. That's the closest it has been to terminal disaster since 1953, when the US and USSR exploded thermonuclear weapons. That was before the release of Trump's Nuclear Posture Review, which significantly increases the dangers by lowering the threshold for nuclear attack and by developing new weapons that increase the danger of terminal war.
On climate change, Trump is a complete disaster, along with the entire Republican leadership. Every candidate in the Republican primaries either denied that what is happening is happening or said ... we shouldn't do anything about it. And these attitudes infect the Republican base. Half of Republicans deny that global warming is taking place, while 70 percent say that whether it is or not, humans are not responsible. Such figures would be shocking anywhere, but are remarkably so in a developed country with unparalleled resources and easy access to information.
It is hard to find words to describe the fact that the most powerful country in world history is not only withdrawing from global efforts to address a truly existential threat, but is also dedicating itself to accelerating the race to disaster, all to put more dollars in overstuffed pockets. No less astounding is the limited attention paid to the phenomenon.
ABOVE IS THE FULLER VERSION WITH REFS 600+ WORDS.  THE FOLLOWING IS THE RADIO SCRIPT OF UNDER 500 WORDS, 5 min. 30 sec.
Title: Climate, War, and Refugees
     The first US government recognition of and assistance to internally displaced climate refugees occurred in 2016.   I drew from several   books for today, including Joseph Romm, Climate Change (2018).   My theme for all of these editorials is war and warming.

Climate Refugees:  Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana
    “Perhaps the modern era’s first climate refugees were the five hundred thousand Bangladeshis left homeless when half of Bhola Island flooded in 2005.”    At least officially, the first US climate refugees were recognized in 2016.   In that year the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $52 million to help members of the Louisiana Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians relocate their disappearing community.  In 1955, the Isle de Jean Charles comprised more than 22,000 acres.  Today only 320 acres remain, more than 98 percent lost to the seas.
     This was a momentous governmental decision with sweeping implications.   If these victims of climate change can be resettled with taxpayer funding, why not others in Louisiana, or in other states?  Where will the money come from?   After all, “over 75 percent of the ocean shoreline of the United States is disappearing.”  
War Refugees
      The stage was set for the long neglect of coastal ruin—the failure to mitigate and adapt to warming--by the  pathologies of Cold War militarism and neoliberal capitalism.  For example, Somalia was destroyed by Cold War military interventions.  The Cold War sowed instability throughout the Third World and left a legacy of armed groups, cheap weapons, smuggling networks, corrupted officialdoms, and masses of people fleeing for their lives.  In economics radical privatization  and economic deregulation have pushed many countries into extreme inequality and permanent crisis.  In the US, our chief response to refugees is expelling and putting up walls.  Climate change now joins these crises.
Climate/War Refugees:  Syria
   Climate change and war do a dance.   Climate change, extreme weather, increases group violence, civil war, and national war, and those conflicts increase food and water shortages, pandemic disease, poverty, hunger, which increase violence and war.    Climate change makes violent conflict more likely and that violence makes a nation more vulnerable to climate change.  
     Syria is a dramatic contemporary example.  Climate change was a major trigger of Syria’s brutal civil war.   From 2006 to 2010 the worst extended drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent spawned the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS).  The drought destroyed the livelihood of 800,000 people and sent vastly more into poverty, displacement, and flight, which created the unrest that exploded in spring 2011. 
     The most colossal set of events in human history is occurring: the catastrophic convergence of increasing population, extreme weather, unceasing wars, poverty, and global violence.   A recent study projects that 700 million climate related refugees will be on the move by 2050.  475

End #27

#26, KPSQ EDITORIAL, APRIL 28, 2018: DAWSON, EXTREME CITIES; ENGELHARDT, THE END OF VICTORY CULTURE.
Title:  Imperial Victory versus Cities
     In his speech “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq” at the Naval Academy on Nov. 30, 2005, President Bush used the word “victory” 15 times.   Meanwhile, cities around the world were increasingly threatened by climate chaos.
      My references today are Tom Engelhardt, The End of Victory Culture (             1995/2007) and Ashley Dawson, Extreme Cities (2017).
      In 1991, after a half-century of Soviet Union and United States—mirror images SU and US-- planet-endangering, planning and threatening nuclear war, SU collapsed. The US was militarily and economically triumphant.  The US, stood alone as the Great Super-Power, the global sheriff, challenged by no terrestrial frontiers.   Such a colossus, its leaders dazzled by such military power, inevitably confirmed its power by expanding its conquests over its puny post-Cold War global opponents: Panama, Iraq War I, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Haiti, and the US bombed Syria a few days ago.   Even more inevitable, and beginning before the collapse of SU, the US was preparing for war in outer-space, the last frontier to conquer and occupy.
       This US Wall Street-Capitalism-White House-Pentagon-Congress-Mainstream Media, will to dominate the world, has scarcely considered the global warming rushing toward catastrophe;   to the contrary, the US has much denied the overwhelming evidence.  Cities house the majority of humanity; most megacities are in coastal zones threatened by sea level rise; urbanites are particularly vulnerable to deadly heat waves by the “heat island” effect; and inequality continues to spiral.   Yet how cities cope with inequalities of race, class, and gender determines how well it will weather the increasingly extreme storms bearing down upon them.    After hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, residents of coastal cities, especially the poor, wait anxiously for the next superstorm, fearing the sea walls and pumps will again be inadequate, because individuals, city and state governments, and the national government are deeply in debt already to the last superstorms.
     Thousands in the US alone are already displaced.  Fayetteville, AR, houses refugees from Katrina.  Coastal communities throughout the US are threatened by sea level rise caused by global warming, and the displaced are not prepared for, budgets everywhere stretched thin even in wealthy, but unequal, US.  And countless neighborhoods, towns, and nations, because they chose less rather than more planning, and unprepared for the coming catastrophe.
     Climate change and violent conflict go In both directions.  Violent conflict increases vulnerability to extreme weather.  Violent conflict absorbs money and harms a6ssets that facilitate adaptation, including infrastructures, institutions, natural resources, and jobs.  In the other direction, climate change makes violent conflict more likely, which makes a population and the land more vulnerable.  Thus climate change creates more and more of the most dangerous places on Earth: failed cities and nations.
     Anthropogenic superstorms are dramatically invading cities while the horrific convergence of urbanization, climate change, and war seems invisible to our Super-Power leaders in the White House and Congress who prefer to grow big-business neo-liberal urban policies and to invade and dominate the world,                               instead of providing affirmative, caring government for all.  497
    References to #26
Ashley Dawson.  Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age
     of Climate Change.
(2017). 
Tom Engelhardt.  The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the
      Disillusioning of a Generation. 
(1995/2007).  

William Blum.  Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II.  1986; 1995 (new chapters 50-53, 55); 2004 (new chapter 56 “The American Empire: 1992 to Present”).
Emmalina Glinskis.  “After the Flood: Debt.”  The Nation (Ap 23, 2018).
END #26  600 words

I read the above for KPSQ but I created the following shorter version if needed.
Title:  Imperial Victory versus Cities
     In his speech “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq” at the Naval Academy on Nov. 30, 2005, President Bush used the word “victory” 15 times.   Meanwhile, cities around the world were increasingly threatened by climate chaos.
      My references today are Tom Engelhardt, The End of Victory Culture (             1995/2007) and Ashley Dawson, Extreme Cities (2017).
      In 1991, after a half-century of Soviet Union and United States—mirror images SU and US-- planet-endangering, planning and threatening nuclear war, SU collapsed. The US was militarily and economically triumphant.  The US, stood alone as the Great Super-Power, the global sheriff, challenged by no terrestrial frontiers.   Such a colossus, its leaders dazzled by such military power, inevitably confirmed its power by expanding its conquests over its puny post-Cold War global opponents: Panama, Iraq War I, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Haiti, and the US bombed Syria a few days ago.   Even more inevitable, and beginning long before the collapse of SU, the US was preparing for war in outer-space, the last frontier to conquer and occupy.
       This US Wall Street Capitalism-White House-Pentagon-Congress-Mainstream Media, will to dominate the world, has scarcely considered the global warming rushing toward catastrophe;   to the contrary, the US has much denied the overwhelming evidence.  After hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, residents of coastal cities, especially the poor, wait anxiously for the next superstorm, fearing the sea walls and pumps will again be inadequate, because individuals, city and state governments, and the national government are deeply in debt already to the last superstorms.  And countless neighborhoods, towns, and nations, because they chose less rather than more planning, are unprepared for the coming catastrophe.
     Climate change and violent conflict go In both directions.  Violent conflict increases vulnerability to extreme weather.  Violent conflict absorbs money and harms assets that facilitate adaptation, including infrastructures, institutions, natural resources, and jobs.  In the other direction, climate change makes violent conflict more likely, which makes a population and the land more vulnerable.  Thus climate change creates more and more of the most dangerous places on Earth: failed cities and nations.

     Anthropogenic superstorms are dramatically invading cities while the horrific convergence of urbanization, climate change, and war seems invisible to our Super-Power leaders in the White House and Congress who prefer to grow big-business, neo-liberal urban policies and to invade and dominate the world,   instead of providing affirmative, caring government for all.   396

#25, APRIL 21, 2018, KPSQ EDITORIAL ON AIR.   Nuclear War: Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) and the PLANET.
 Diana Johnstone, “Doomsday Postponed?” in Paul Johnstone, From MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning (2017), pp.  276-   Seymour Chwast.  At War with War (2017).

Title:  Nuclear War and the Planet
     During the Cold War, awareness of the overwhelming extent of mutually sustained damages during a nuclear war between Russia and the United States led to agreements to lessen the possibility of nuclear decimation of the planet during the Cold War.   My main references today are found in From MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning  by Paul Johnstone.   2017.  Paul Craig Roberts wrote the “Foreword” (2016) (8-14), and Diana Johnstone’s 2 commentaries: “The Dangerous Seduction of Absolute Power” (15-30) and the interrogative  “Doomsday Postponed?” (272-286).
     Today the situation is far more dangerous than during the Cold War period.    From the Soviet collapse in 1991 came the belligerent warfare doctrine of US world hegemony.  For example, Moscow’s acceptance of the reunification of Germany in exchange for the promise that US/NATO would not move farther east resulted in US/NATO breaking the promise and ringing Russia’s border with military bases.
    The old US anti-Communist obsession evolved from Sovietphobia into Russophobia during over a century of threat and fear mongering. Today, demonization of President Putin keeps the wheels of the US economy whirring”-- the Military-Industrial complex thrives, people find employment, stockholders get their cut, and Congress members enjoy their campaign donations, and the US national debt rises. 

     In contrast to the Soviet Union, the US has always maintained its “right” to carry out a nuclear first strike.  This policy was reaffirmed in 2016 by Pentagon Secretary Ashton Carter.  “That’s our doctrine now, and we don’t have any intention of changing that doctrine,” he emphasized.
     But that’s no deterrence.  Given the great advantage to the side that strikes first, this policy is an enormous incentive to the other side to strike first in a crisis.  Faced with an aggressive trillion dollars US buildup in tactical nuclear weapons, as initiated by President Obama, coupled with a first strike policy, a potential adversary might panic and attack. 
     Nuclear war would devastate the planet and alter the climate. 
     In a U.S.-Russia war hundreds or even thousands of nuclear weapons might be launched. The climatic consequences would be catastrophic: global average temperatures would drop as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) for up to several years — temperatures last seen during the great ice ages. Meanwhile, smoke and dust circulating in the stratosphere would darken the atmosphere enough to inhibit photosynthesis, causing disastrous crop failures, widespread famine and massive ecological disruption.  The effect would be similar to that of the giant meteor believed to be responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. This time, we would be the dinosaurs.
     North Korea would most certainly “lose” a nuclear war with the United States. But many millions would die. Such vast damage would be wrought in Korea, Japan and Pacific island territories (such as Guam) that any “victory” wouldn’t deserve the name. Not only would that region be left with horrible suffering amongst the survivors; it would also immediately face famine and rampant disease. Radioactive fallout from such a war would spread around the world, including to the U.S.  Later, this fallout would cause genetic mutations in plants, animals and human beings, as it has in the vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Conclusion
      US world domination is unattainable.  The quest for absolute domination leads to absolute destruction.  Or we could work for the first time to build a peaceful international structure with other nations as partners, rather than as vassals  or enemies.  Working seriously for nuclear disarmament would be the basis of a new world order based on cooperation rather than fear.
      Let us imagine what the world would be like today if the enormous effort for nuclear war had been directed toward finding ways to understand the enemy.  Arkansas’ former Senator Fulbright appealed for empathy during the 1960s and ‘70s.  Seeing others as part of a human community, he wrote, guides us away from parochialism and nationalism and  extermination.   660 
   
SHORTENED FINAL SCRIPT 
  
Title:  Nuclear War and the Planet, Dick Bennett  April 21, 2018

     During the Cold War, awareness of the madness of a nuclear war between Russia and the United States led to agreements to lessen the possibility of nuclear decimation of the planet.   My main references today are found in From MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning by Paul Johnstone.   2017.  Paul Craig Roberts wrote the “Foreword” (2016) (8-14), and Diana Johnstone wrote 2 commentaries: “The Dangerous Seduction of Absolute Power” (15-30) and “Doomsday Postponed?” (272-286).
     Today the situation is far more dangerous than during the Cold War period.    From the Soviet collapse in 1991 came the belligerent warfare doctrine of US world hegemony.  For example, Moscow’s acceptance of the reunification of Germany in exchange for the promise that US/NATO would not move farther east, resulted in US/NATO breaking the promise and ringing Russia’s border with military bases.
    The old US anti-Communist obsession evolved from Sovietphobia into Russophobia during over a century of threat and fear mongering. Today, demonization of President Putin keeps the wheels of the US economy whirring-- the Military-Industrial complex thrives, people find employment, CEOs and stockholders get rich, Congress members enjoy their campaign donations, and the US national debt rises. 
     In contrast to the Soviet Union, the US has always claimed its “right” to carry out a nuclear first strike.  This policy was reaffirmed in 2016 by Pentagon Secretary Ashton Carter.  “That’s our doctrine now, and we don’t have any intention of changing that doctrine,” he emphasized.
    But nuclear war would devastate the planet and alter the climate. 
     In a U.S.-Russia war hundreds or even thousands of nuclear weapons might be launched. The climatic consequences would be catastrophic: global average temperatures could drop as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) for up to several years — temperatures last seen during the great ice ages.
     North Korea would most certainly “lose” a nuclear war with the United States. But many millions would die.
Conclusion
      US world domination is unattainable.  The quest for world domination will lead to world destruction. 
      But we have an alternative, as advocated by former Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright.  We could work to build a peaceful international structure with other nations as partners, rather than as vassals or enemies.  Working seriously for nuclear disarmament would be the basis of a new world order based on cooperation rather than fear.
      Let us imagine what the world would be like today if the enormous effort for nuclear war had been directed toward finding ways to understand the enemy.  Senator Fulbright appealed for empathy during the 1960s and ‘70s.  Seeing others as part of a human community, he wrote, guides us away from parochialism, nationalism, and  extermination.   Read his books, The Arrogance of Power, The Price of Empire.  459
      
References
Paul Johnstone.  From  MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning.   2017.  Paul Craig Roberts, “Foreword” (8-14).   Diana Johnstone’s Commentaries, “The Dangerous Seduction of Absolute Power” (15-30),  “Doomsday Postponed?” (272-286).
J. William Fulbright, The Price of Empire.  1989.  Chap. 7, “Seeing the World as Others See It.”  Afterword: Changing Our Manner of Thinking.” 
END #25

 #24  Saturday April 14, radio editorial presentation (DELAYED FROM APRIL 7)
Gar Smith, The War and Environment Reader (2018) 
Title of Editorial:  US Militarism, Serial Wars, and Global Warming

     Even before war breaks out, the Earth suffers.  Its minerals, chemicals, and fuels are torn from the Earth’s plains and hills and forests, and transformed into bombers and bullets that further crater and sear and poison the land.     My chief reference today is The War and Environment Reader by Gar Smith (2017).
      As the Palace Guard of the most expansive empire in world history, the Pentagon’s operations impose unparalleled environmental impacts on the planet.  The United States maintains tens of thousands of troops stationed at more than 1,000 bases in more than 60 foreign countries.  To put it another way: the Pentagon’s 2010 global empire included more than 539,000 facilities, at nearly 5,000 sites, covering more than 28 million acres.  With the world’s largest air force and naval fleets, the Pentagon is the world’s greatest institutional consumer of oil, burning 320,000 barrels of oil a day, Not including military contractors or weapons producers.
         Entire generations have grown up in a culture of war of endless wars.  The Pentagon, Congress, and White House, the corporations, the big banks, mainstream media, even most of the religions are militarized, and all together--the military-industrial complex--spin and conspire to defend and even glamorize weapons, bombings, killings.  
     It should come as no surprise therefore that war has become one of USA’s biggest exports.  The grim truth is that war is “good for business.”  In 2015, of the hundreds of billions of dollars worth of weapons sold in the world, US corporations grabbed 56%.  
      Five of the world’s largest war-profiteering companies are based in the United States:  Lockheed Martin (the world’s largest arms dealer, responsible for nuclear weapons, Trident submarines, Hellfire missiles); Boeing (B-52 bombers, smart bombs); Raytheon (missiles, munitions); Northrop Grumman (drones, laser weapons), and General Dynamics (jet fighters, tanks, missiles, guns).
     With so much of our wealth going to war, it is again no surprise that eight rich men control as much wealth as 3.6 billion of the world’s poorest.   Were the Pentagon’s 2016 budget redistributed, Lockheed Martin’s underperforming F-35 fighter could have allowed the National School Lunch Program to feed 31 million US children—one-fifth of them malnourished--for 24 years.  Yet our leaders continue to feed Pentagon contractors, including $1 trillion to modernize  nuclear bombs in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.   
     Armies commanded by generals target the earth’s land, seas, and air for control.  Armies of capital, of wealth, stalk the globe in search of plunder and profit.  The two predators are inseparable—the generals to seize the biosphere, the corporations to exploit and commodify it.  
        At the expense of nature, cities rise and sprawl as forests and wetlands shrink.  Biodiverse wildlands are transformed into chemically addicted monocultures.  Oil,    --burned to warm and cool homes, to propel aircraft, vessels, and vehicles--,    is exhausted into the atmosphere.  As the air and oceans grow hotter, coral nations and coastal cities disappear under rising seas, and polar ice fields, crumble and collapse.  Growth at all costs, succeeded by climate change, drought and floods, succeeded by unprecedented refugees. 
     And all contributing to unrest and conflict and civil war driving desperate people to the sinking cities.
     “But it doesn’t have to be that way,” friends sing their hopeful song.  We do not lack strategies for a more peaceful, just, and ecological world.  Organizations are already putting those strategies into action, like OMNI, and as listed by Gar Smith.  And they are inviting you to join with them.   584 words

References
Gar Smith, The War and Environment Reader (2018).
 Related:
John Dower, The Violent American Century (2017).
Tom Engelhardt, Shadow Government (2011, 2014).  Esp. see Ch. 9,
     “Destroying the Planet for Record Profits” on ecocide and “terrarists.”

#23, March 31, Sat. radio broadcast
Text:  Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth, Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival.  2018

Editorial Title:  Corporate CEOs, Government Leaders, and Crimes Against Humanity.

     The global human population is projected by the FAO to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, meaning   that   about 50% more food will be required.  Yet, as climate change and extreme weather deepen, so will lack of available food and water. 
      My main reference today is Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival by Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth.
     The UN reported in September 2017 that world hunger is rising again, driven by wars and climate change, which often go hand in hand.  Nobody doubts that severe economic and political dislocation, followed by strife and war, will take place if the world becomes a much hungrier place.   And nobody doubts that facing the crisis now by transitioning to renewable energy as quickly as possible—like NOW—will be much less destructive than the inevitable climate wars if we fail to come to grips.
          Most people know who is to blame and most people know what to do—especially, applying a carbon tax on fossil fuels and stopping the trillions of dollars of fossil fuel subsidies.   In Northwest Arkansas the chapter of Climate Change Lobby, supported by the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology, is putting pressure on the government to achieve both goals.   But our fossil fuels companies, resolute in squeezing all the profit out of the remaining oil, owns both Parties and spreads disinformation, while global emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses have increased by 30% since 1992, and average temperature continues to rise. 
     High-CO2-emitting nations have declined to act upon the science, and have ignored the pleas of NGOs representing the people.   In June 2014, the Climate Action Network International, representing over 90 organizations in over 100 countries, presented at the UN climate negotiations.  They called for an end to the fossil fuel era.  By cutting emissions to zero before 2050, and by an accelerated transition to a 100% renewable energy future, a global warming  limit of 1.5 degree C is possible
     Yet the national governments most guilty of CO2 emissions continue to sacrifice our survival, and the survival of all future generations for fossil fuel corporate profits that include untold oil for military operations subsidized by our money.
      So? how to compel a carbon tax and removal of subsidies?
      First, we must recognize that climate science denial is the worst   crime    against    humanity. 
      The fossil fuel industry has led climate change denial via massive disinformation, which is defined as “false information deliberately and often covertly spread in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth.”   A crime against humanity
 is “a deliberate act, typically as part of a systematic campaign that causes human suffering or death on a large scale.”
           This means that corporate officials and investors and individual owners of fossil fuel industries, and government officials of high CO2-emitting countries, who have allowed the atmospheric CO2 to rise to 407 ppm, where it is today—the highest CO2 in millions of years--, that risks a temperature rise to catastrophic 3 or 4 degrees Celsius, have committed crimes against humanity.   
      That is, ArchCoal, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Consol Energy, ExxonMobil, Peabody, and Shell, and their agents like The Heartland Institute and the Koch brothers, and their paid politicians, especially including those of the United States, are guilty of crimes against humanity.   For they knew the consequences of excessive CO2 by the 1980s and spent billions of dollars to prevent the public from knowing and taking action. 
     To be continued.       589
    
References to #23, March 31, 2018
Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth, Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science
      Denial and Game Changers for Survival. 
2018.
Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.  Merchants of Doubt.  2010.

#22, March 24, Sat. radio broadcast
Text: Rosalie Bertell.  Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War.   Black Rose Books, 2001.

Title:  The Pentagon Needs a New Job Description 

 So many days are beautiful in the Ozarks, it’s difficult to believe we—the people, the leaders, the economic system--have damaged the Earth—its atmosphere, its soil, its oceans--perhaps irreparably. Yet our scientists have been telling us for over 40 years.   So why is the atmosphere still getting hotter, the weather becoming more extreme, the oceans rising and more acidic?      My main reference today is Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War by Rosalie Bertell published in 2001.  Yes Rosalie fully knew the score by 2001.
      At least since the United Nations Conference on the Environment in 1972, 46 years ago, Earthlings have known, or been able to know, that the average temperature was rising, forests dying or clear-cut, species becoming extinct, drinking water contaminated and depleted, soil eroding, smog and poverty worsening, while population grew faster and faster.  More recently—i.e., during the 1980s and 1990s, violent weather increased at an alarming rate, AND we learned that many so-called natural disasters are human-made. 
     A lot of people were aware and have worked hard to stop these degradations.   The environmental slogan—reduce, reuse, recycle—was popular by the 1960s.  
      Why then in September 1999, 19 years ago, did the UN Environment Program announce again that the environmental crisis was deepening, not receding?    ?Why have all of our efforts to protect and restore the health of the planet by reusing, recycling, and reducing, not stemmed the tide-- an apt metaphor, since coastal cities world-wide are now being flooded?
       Yes people like to drink water from billions of bottles made from fossil fuel.
Annual spending on bottled water in the U.S. in 2017 was
$12,725,000,000.
Global sales revenue from bottled water was
$75,000,000,000
         And yes many of our political and corporate leaders took the cash and denied the warming.  We know this.  Yet the crisis deepens. 
     So let us go deeper.   Let’s consider that we have been treating symptoms instead of causes.  One enormous source of abuse that has increased in frequency since the 1940s has been US wars and preparations for wars.   Wars result not only in immediate deaths of humans, but thousand-fold other species of fauna and flora.   And wars attack not only species but soil and air and water, and through them the climate itself, with consequences lasting hundreds to thousands of years.  And not only war itself undermines our life-support system, but also the research and development, the military exercises and general preparations for battle that are carried out on a daily basis in most parts of the world, where we have 800 military bases.   All in the name of a paranoid concept of “security” enthusiastically embraced by the military industrial complex.          
     Blowing up a nation or a region because a major criminal lives there, contaminating a nation’s food, air, water, and land as a means of achieving justice and peace, are surely not ways to create either, but surely do increase climate change, big time.   Instead of sixty years of war-war, we could have promoted harmony by nonviolent methods.  Instead of military security for the military economy building and sustaining 19 aircraft carriers, 18 Trident submarines with their ballistic and cruise missiles, and another drone base at Ft. Smith, we might have relieved conflicts arising from rapid population increases and poverty. 
     While pursuing the economic bottom line through military domination, we lost the crucial struggle to protect Earth’s restorative power.  
      Despite all the denial and disinformation from many corporate and political leaders, today the majority of our millennials consider warming our main threat.   I give thanks to them and from them I hope will arise a network of global thinkers and planners who will transform our institutions nonviolently to save our civilization and human other species.  Particularly, we need a new job description for the Pentagon.   

References #22
Rosalie Bertell.  Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War.   Black Rose Books, 2001.
Barry Sanders.  The Green Zone.  2009.
https://www.ecowatch.com/millennials-climate-change-2482557556.html
Sep 7, 2017 –  


#21 Saturday, 8:45, March 17, broadcast date
Dan Smith, Janani Vivekananda, A Climate of Conflict.  2008. This report is an adapted version of International Alert’s report “A Climate of Conflict: The Links between Climate Change, Peace and War” (November 2007). https://www.sida.se/contentassets/0c0498eb4310425b96e57f6f81199f3b/a-climate-of-conflict_1177.pdf
Title: The Links between Climate Change, Peace, and War.
My main reference today is the book by Dan Smith and Janani Vivekananda, A Climate of Conflict: The Links between Climate Change, Peace and War.
  Roughly three kinds of books have been written about wars and warming: 1. War and its consequences causing warming, 2. Warming and its consequences causing wars, and 3. Integration of the two processes.  This book concentrates on the second: warming, i.e. weather extremes and their consequences producing conflicts. 

       Climate change is upon us and its physical effects have started to unfold   Growing strains on ecosystems translate directly into national, regional and global security threats. Pollution, desertification, scarcity of fresh water, changing weather patterns resulting in floods, storms, etc, cause food insecurity and population displacements, which may lead to political instability and violent conflicts. These, in turn, risk setting back development by decades. Two-thirds of the world’s population live in countries that are at high risk of instability as a consequence of climate change. Many of the countries predicted to be worst affected by climate change are also affected, or threatened, by violent conflicts. The very poor are hit the hardest. Climate change also impacts on regional and global economic patterns, with new risks for investors and corporations.         

     Consequently, the need for social, environmental, political and economic stability must go hand in hand. Tackling the challenges of climate change must include a holistic perspective of state- and human security. A great leap in awareness and preparedness is needed on the part of organizations, businesses, public officials and state agencies.

     Climate, poverty, governance:  To understand how the effects of climate change will interact with socio-economic and political problems in poorer countries means tracing the consequences of consequences. This process highlights three key elements of risk – political instability, economic weakness, food insecurity.  Each alone can produce large-scale displacement of refugees.   And large-scale displacement carries high risk of conflict because of the fearful reactions it often receives and the inflammatory politics that often greet it.
     Countries at risk:  Many of the world’s poorest countries and communities thus face a double-headed problem: that of climate change and violent conflict.   Climate change is already compounding the propensity for violent conflict in these countries, which in turn will leave communities poorer, less resilient and less able to cope with the consequences of climate change. There are 46 countries  in which the effects of climate change interacting with economic, social and political problems will create a high risk of violent conflict.
      There is a second group of 56 countries where the institutions of government will have great difficulty taking the strain of climate change on top of all their other current challenges. In these countries, though the risk of armed conflict may not be so immediate, the interaction of climate change and other factors creates a high risk of political instability, with potential violent conflict a distinct risk in the longer term.

     It is too late to believe the situation can be made safe solely by reducing carbon emissions worldwide in order to mitigate climate change. Those measures are essential for our great-great grandchildren, but their effects will only be felt with time. What is required now is for states and communities to adapt to handle the challenges of climate change NOW.   

     These global realities explain why the United States is so much needed in the world.  Most of the countries that face the double-headed problem of climate change and violent conflict cannot be expected to take on the task of adaptation alone. Some of them lack the will, more lack the capacity, and some lack both. What is required is international cooperation to support local action, both as a way of strengthening international security and to achieve the global goals of sustainable development. Without dropping or downplaying the long-range goals of mitigation, the US needs to significantly increase its energy and resources that are focused on adaptation.  Against estimated global costs of adaptation that range from $10-40 billion, the resources currently available amount to only a billion.   At the same time as adaptation must receive more emphasis and more funding, it matters even more that it is the right kind of adaptation and that money is spent in the right way.  A different approach is possible, based on peacebuilding, engaging local communities’ energies in a social process to work out how to adapt to climate change and how to handle conflicts as they arise, so that they do not become violent.      


Adaptation and peacebuilding:   The double-headed problem of climate change and violent conflict thus has a unified solution – peacebuilding and adaptation are effectively the same kind of activity. At the same time as adaptation to climate change can and must be made conflict-sensitive, peacebuilding and development must be made climate-sensitive. A society that can develop adaptive strategies for climate change in this way is well equipped to avoid armed conflict. And a society that can manage conflicts and major disagreements over serious issues without a high risk of violence is well equipped to adapt successfully to the challenge of climate change. 1174/847
References
Dan Smith and Janani Vivekananda.  A Climate of Conflict: The Links between Climate Change, Peace and War.  2007.
Related
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.  March/April 2018 Issue: Resilience and the Climate Threat, guest-edited by Alice C. Hill.     

EDITORIAL #20 (Saturday March 10, broadcast date).  War and Warming.   Christian Parenti.  Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (2011).    Original draft of 988 words.  See below for shortened radio version.
 Title: This is Dick Bennett with War and Warming editorial #20.   My title:  The Catastrophic Convergence of Wars, US Neo-Liberal economics, and Warming
     The subject of these editorials is war and warming, and I turn now to several emphasizing warming.  My chief source today is Christian Parenti’s  book Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.
     Climate change is happening, and its consequences are everywhere experienced by increasing and increasingly extreme weather events: heat, desertification, agricultural disruption, hurricanes, ocean acidification, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, coastal inundations.   These roots of human conflict are being experienced around the world, causing more civil and cross-border wars and more refugees, and more species extinctions.
         Sea levels are already among the world’s climate change related greatest stresses, and are estimated to rise an average of 5 feet over the next 90 years.   Such heights will lead to massive dislocations.  One study projected that 700 million climate refugees will be on the move by 2050.  The modern era’s first massive climate refugees were the five hundred thousand Bangladeshis made homeless when half of Bhola Island flooded in 2005.  In Bangladesh an estimated 22 million people will be forced from their homes by 2050 because of climate change.
    India has almost completed a militarized border fence along its 2,500-mile frontier with Bangladesh, and Hindu anti-immigrant forces are agitating to deport refugee Bangladeshi.  
     Meanwhile, twenty-two Pacific Island nations, home to 7 million people, are planning for relocation as rising seas threaten them with national annihilation.  Where will they go, and how will they be received?   
    In the United States, also building a wall against Latin Americans, What will happen when its coastal cities flood? 
     Globally, What chaos and violence will result when Shanghai, New York City, London, and Tokyo are under water? 
     Climate change arrives in a world already in crisis.  The current and impending dislocations of climate change intersect with the already-existing crises of ceaseless wars and endemic poverty. It’s a catastrophic convergence of political, economic, and environmental disasters. 
          The Pentagon calls climate change a “threat multiplier.”  All across the planet, extreme weather and water scarcity escalate existing social and international conflicts.  There are some 46 countries—home to some 3 billion people—in which effects of climate change, interacting with political problems, create a high expectation of internal and cross-border wars.  
     US and western military planners recognize a world of civil war, refugees, pogroms, and social breakdown.  But instead of building a caring, rescuing world, the US particularly, President Trump’s 2018 budget, provides $700 billion for a global, open-ended, violent counterinsurgency.     
   Resistance:
     Political adaptation means transforming human relationships from their present violence, to new peaceful relationships including economic redistribution and diplomacy instead of militarism.
       We need a new metaphor for our crisis.  Now US leaders and their followers see themselves as in an armed lifeboat responding to climate change by arming, excluding, neglecting, repressing, policing, and killing.   Our lifeboat is the wealthiest and best built and armed, and several more intend to survive similarly.   All other lifeboats descend in quality toward chaos; many are leaking; some are sinking.  
To speak straightforwardly, fortress USA (Pentagon, Wall Street, White House, Congress, wealthy individuals) is developing a militarized adaptation to climate change to contain failing and failed states, or-- violent counterinsurgency forever.
     But will this adaptation be successful?  Will not the collapse of the Global South take us all down?  If climate change is allowed to destroy whole economies and nations, will walls, guns, barbed wire, armed aerial drones, permanently deployed mercenaries, or nuclear bombs save us? 
References #20, March 10:
Christian Parenti.  Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.  2011.  Chapters 1 and 2, Notes pp. 246-7.
Related:
Cleo Paskal.  Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map.  2010.
Dan Smith and Janani Vivekananda.  A Climate of Conflict: The Links Between Climate Change and War.  2008.

EDITORIAL #19 (Saturday March 3, broadcast date).  Warming, Denial, War.   Michael Mann and Tom Toles.  The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy (2016).


Title:  Global Warming:  Deniers Delayed Action, Warriors Diverted the Needed Funds.
The Deniers
     My last editorial dealt with the environmental costs of militarism.   My subject today is two of the many obstacles to public acceptance of the scientific facts of global warming.  First, the anti-science deniers of climate warming.  They are of several kinds, among them:  the officers of organizations and front groups established by corporations or wealthy individuals to confuse the public; the media talking heads, public relations mercenaries, and politicians who serve as accomplices; and the media outlets that serve as mouthpieces for business as usual propaganda.   I will identify some of the politicians.  The second obstacle to public understanding is the enormous diversion of tax money to the US empire for oil, rationalized by fear mongering.  The additional costs of warming to warring make the subject of warming doubly repugnant to a financially stressed populace, and the massive fearmongering by the Pentagon and its warrior allies of foreign “terrorists” everywhere wanting to hurt us, reinforces the people’s evasion of climate realities.  My chief source today is The Madhouse Effect by Michael Mann and Tom Toles.
     Florida has maybe the worst situation.  With 1,200 miles of coastline and more than 5 million residents who would be displaced by just 10 feet of sea-level rise, Florida has more to lose by unmitigated climate change than any other state.  So what was Republican Governor Rick Scott’s plan to protect his state?  He proposed banning the use of the terms climate change and global warming in all official state communications and publications.    And Florida’s US senator and former presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio?  He attacked the scientists, denied any human role in warming, and oppose all viable policy solutions.  
     Climate denialism is not only coastal.  Senator James Inhofe (R. Okla.) is one of the worst.   He declared that climate change is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”  And Republican Representative Joe Barton of Texas, said: “the science is not settled, and…is actually going the other way,” “we may in fact be going into a cooling period,” “C02 is rising, but it is not necessarily…causing temperature to rise.”  He was chair of the House committee on Energy and Commerce.  Both Inhofe and Barton received considerable money from the fossil fuel industry during their congressional fossil fuel industry service.  
     
Global Warming and Wars
     Global warming will increase conflict. The population is increasing.  Warming will increase competition among a growing global population over less food, less water, and less land—a prescription for a storm of wars small and large.   That storm has long been brewing.  The ongoing drought in Syria was made worse by the aggravating effects of climate change, increasing population, and increasing scarcity of water, all of which played a role in the civil unrest and social instability that led to the civil war there, in which the US has intervened.
      Let’s never forget the foreign wars we are fighting in dangerous regions of the world, like the Middle East to keep oil flowing to the US and its allies.  The US had as of October 2015, approximately 35,000 U.S. military personnel in the Middle East.   In Iraq in 2016, 5000 and in the other ME countries.   And that’s not counting the  contractors keeping them combat operating.  Think of these wars as a $100 billion subsidy to the fossil fuels industry, courtesy of the US taxpayer.
Conclusion
     Lying deniers of warming delayed government action to mitigate and adapt to the effects of warming—needed on the massive scale of the Marshall Plan perhaps plus the Apollo Moon space flight.   The warriors diverted the money we needed and need for coastal cities, for all the sea walls, the removal of towns and cities to inland locations, for forest fire-fighting, for recovering from hurricanes and tornadoes, and the list continues into the trillions of dollars.
     Our executive and congressional leaders were first warned by James Hansen in the 1980s.  We are not much better prepared today for the advancing warming catastrophe as then.  666 words add no more.
References:
     Michael Mann and Tom Toles.  The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy (2016).
     Related:  --James Hoggan with Richard Littlemore.    Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming. Greystone Books, 2009.  “This is a story of betrayal, a story of selfishness, greed, and irresponsibility on an epic scale.” 
Dr. Peter D. Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth, UNPRECEDENTED CRIME: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival.  2018.  The first half ratchets up the  Hoggan/Littlemore exposes to urge prosecution of truth-deniers.

  #18 (Sat. Feb. 24 broadcast date).  War v. Environment. Barry Sanders, The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism (2009). 
Title:  The Military Bridge from Holocene to Anthropocene

       What are your favorite ironies today?   Let me suggest two more.  One:  The fortress at the center of Baghdad is called the “Green Zone.”  Two: In 2008, while the Burj Dubai tower was being built (twice the height of the Empire State Building), the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London was saying Farewell to the Holocene, Hello Anthropocene!
       The Holocene epoch of stable climate that allowed our civilization has ended.   Because of the extraordinary human buildup of population, consumption in affluent countries, capitalism, economic growth, CO2/greenhouse gases, warming, weather instability, deforestation, acidification of the oceans, and mass destruction of animals and plants, the Anthropocene epoch has begun.  Humans have forced evolution itself into a new, rapidly developing trajectory.
      Perhaps the single greatest institutional contributor to warming, the largest single source of pollution in the world, is US militarism; in particular, the military in its most ferocious mode, the US military at war, now ceaseless.     The military produces enough greenhouse gases to place the entire globe in danger of extinction. 
     The scale of environmental damage over the last half century is unprecedented. Falling water tables, shrinking forest cover, declining species diversity all presage ecosystems in distress. These trends are now widely acknowledged as emanating from forces of humanity's own making; ironically however, war, that most destructive of human behaviors, is commonly bypassed.
       The disregard that all wars engender for all living things, especially for ostensible enemies, is so common as to be unremarked, and the Pentagon keeps no record of numbers of enemy combatants or civilians killed.  The private Information Clearing House, as of January 2009, counted Iraq War civilian deaths at 1,297,997 since the invasion in 2003.  I have found no record of the cows and chicken, dogs and cats, birds and snakes, crickets or butterflies killed during those or any other years or wars.
    If humans who were seeking to avoid death were so slaughtered, how enormous must have been the decimation of other species from the shooting, firing, dropping, exploding, and incinerating.  The “Shock and Awe” invasion of Iraq began at 10:15 the evening of March 19, 2003, when some 1,700 bombers and fighter planes flew some 1,400 sorties and fired 504 cruise missiles directly into Baghdad.  In the first two days 800 cruise missiles were fired, one every four minutes, day and night.  Each missile weighed about 3,000 pounds, adding up to a total of 1,200 tons, or 2,400,000 pounds of explosives. 
     When the US goes to war against a foreign nation it is a war not only against people, but against the Earth, the soil and animals and plants, in the most far-reaching, annihilating ways.  The earth can no longer absorb the punishment of war of the ferocity that the greatest superpower in history is capable of inflicting. 
      Yet the US will not only not let go its will to dominate the world; rather it is tightening its grip.  In its latest National Defense Strategy, the Pentagon declared a new Cold War with both China and Russia and promised to wage the war around the globe.  That is, it is not a defense strategy, but an aggressive attempt to justify a massively expensive military buildup for global control, the effects of which on the environment and climate are beyond imagination.  
     What we need is an International Rescue Strategy against the consequences of the onrushing climate catastrophe that includes not only coastal city adaptations to rising seas but relief for global economic inequality within and among nations, and millions of displaced refugees.   Instead, the Pentagon offers us the old, ruinous, ostensible threat of Cold War adversaries.  As Pentagon Secretary Jim Mattis expressed it, “Great Power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security.” To the Pentagon, China and Russia threaten the world, not warming, hurricanes, drought, extinctions, or rising oceans.
Resistance
      You and I can make two effective responses right now.  We can stop saying Department of Defense.   It’s the War Department, just as it was before President Truman and the Pentagon cunningly changed its name.  And we can support anti-war, anti-imperial organizations; such as Veterans for Peace, Peace Action, AFSC/FCNL, ICAN, NAPF, OMNI.
      And then we can urge the United Nations to estimate the environmental and climatic destruction of US wars before and afterward, toward pushing Congress to force the Pentagon to declare the true costs of its wars.  This is a feasible and even familiar practice.   For example, a 2010 study found that 3,000 companies were responsible for $ 2.15 trillion worth of environmental damage in 2008.
       And then we can laugh out loud at all the green washing distracting us from these war and warming connections and costs, many as absurd as Baghdad’s “green zone.”  (800 words, I cut this for the radio editorial to around 650 to be under 7 minutes)
    
References #18:
Barry Sanders, The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism.  2009. 
Mike Davis, “Foreword,” to The Green Zone, “ Living on the Ice Shelf: Humanity’s Melt Down” (2008).
https://www.trucost.com/trucost-news/putting-price-global-environmental-damage/
Oct 5, 2010 - 

 Robert Borosage.  “Trump’s Forever Wars.”  The Nation (Feb. 26, 2018).
Alice and Lincoln Day, Producers.  Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War.  The effects of war and war preparations on the environment, while profound, have been largely overlooked.

EDITORIAL #17 (Sat. Feb. 17 broadcast date) War #9.    Presidential/Media Complex for War.  Norman Solomon, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death (2005).  
Title:  Challenging US Pro-War Myths
      The US is a nation of war.  It began by war; it conquered continental USA--some 500 Indian nations--by war; it grabbed a third of Mexico by war; it subdued the Philippines by war; in WWI it joined one side in a colonial war of massive slaughter; since WWII its wars—some 40 interventions and invasions-- have been virtually ceaseless.  As one historian wrote, the US has killed thousands of “enemy” soldiers and millions of civilians by war.
      How was that possible?    When a warrior hawk president and his advisors, whether liberal or conservative, want war, the president begins by besieging the public.  From the outset, warrior leaders, all of whom represent themselves as the commander in chief, seek the impression of consensus behind the president.
     His main weapon is media spin.  A media campaign for hearts and minds at home, means going all out to persuade us that the next war is as good as a war can be—necessary, justified, righteous, and worth any number killed.
     US leaders follow 2 steps to war: The first is this battle over public opinion, and support  for  war  is  the  first  victory.  Conquest is the second—since WWII, to name a few of the invaded countries:  Haiti, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Chile, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, War on Terror!  The people of the US have been sold a succession of wars, in their names and with their tax dollars, time after time. 
    Among all the methods of propaganda, one of the most obvious is fear-mongering.  The president’s interventionists,  his congressional supporters,  and mainstream media enablers   insist that military action is necessary to prevent a whirlwind of calamities.
     Less obvious is the deployment of unexamined myths repeated so often for so many years, for so many generations,  most citizens take them for granted.  The march to war has been a 24-7 advertising campaign inseparable from the constant US self-aggrandizement and cultural reinforcement for war.  Here are a dozen of the many MYTHS that keep us ready for war:

The US is a Fair and Noble Superpower
Our Leaders Will Do Everything they Can to Avoid War
Our Leaders Would Never Lie to Us
The Enemy Is a Modern-Day Hitler
The US Stands for Human Rights
The War Is Not about Oil or Corporate Profits
We Had to Invade to Protect US Citizens
The Enemy Is the Aggressor, Not Us
Opposing the War Means Siding with the Enemy
Even if the War is Wrong We Must Support Our Troops
The Pentagon Fights Its Wars as Humanely as Possible
Our Soldiers Are Heroes, Theirs Are Inhuman
Withdrawal Would Cripple US Credibility
     These have been features of US self-branding as a good nation and people, and therefore as good war-makers.  But they have not always been successful, especially if the war is lengthy.  The US was defeated in Vietnam after over fifty thousand US troops and some 3 million Vietnamese were killed.   The US invasion of Cuba was stopped at its shores, which intensified the US economic invasion. 
     Hermann Goering offers a partial explanation of public war acquiescence:   “…of course, the people don’t want war. . . .But it is a simple matter to drag the people along. . . .the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders [for war].  That is easy.  All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce [opponents] for lack of patriotism.”
     But Goering was generalizing from a nation lacking robust democratic institutions.  The US has had those institutions, and Goering unintentionally suggested how we might strengthen them to prevent or stop wars, at least to make it less easy for our leaders to be sheepherders
     Challenging fear-mongering wherever and whenever by vigorous application of knowledge through the First Amendment can be a safeguard against falsehoods and manipulations by war demagogues.   Sturdy critical thinking in the public schools, questioning all the leaders and myths that grease the wheels of war, can be another bulwark against the Democratic/Republican War Party.  674  the editorial we recorded today is 7 minutes 14 seconds long.
References #17:
Norman Solomon, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death (2005).  
War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. Written and directed by Loretta Alper and Jeremy Earp. Produced by Loretta Alper. Based on the book by Norman Solomon. Narrated by Sean Penn. 
https://fair.org/extra/the-military-industrial-media-complex/
But on the large TV networks, such voices were so dominant that they amounted to a virtual monopoly in the “marketplace of ideas.” This article is excerpted from Norman Solomon's book, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death (John Wiley & Sons, 2005). The first chapter of the book can ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNyBEw93NrA
Nov 3, 2008 - Uploaded by University of California Television (UCTV)
William Blum.  Killing Hope and Rogue State.  Gives a chronology of US interventions and invasions.  Source of my statement regarding millions killed by US aggressions.

Editorial #16, War, Saturday, February 10, 2018 (broadcast date).   
Rachel MADDOW, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power.
Title:  How US Leaders Led Us Into Endless Wars.
     My broad subject is US culpability or complicity in most of its wars and for warming since WWII.   Today I’ll ask again (see #10) how the US became a nation of wars, how we became so quick to war.   My main source is Rachel Maddow, her book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (2012).
     In foreign affairs George Washington sought primarily to keep the United States neutral.  He was not only successful, but set a precedent for U.S. foreign policy for many years to come. How the US rejected that policy is a long history. In late 19th century, the US brutally invaded and occupied the Philippines.  But the US was reluctant to enter WWI, a war already three years in duration before the US joined the allies in combat. 
      So how did the US in recent years become a nation of frequent wars?  Why has it become so easy for our leaders to choose war rather than diplomacy?  What happened to the constraints keeping us from going to war first established by George Washington?
          Let’s start with August 2, 1990.  The Soviet Godzilla was dead.  There was talk of a peace dividend.  We could now convert the trillions of dollars for war preparation to human needs at home and abroad.  Dick Cheney, Secretary of the Pentagon, and Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, had been working feverishly to head off a congressional effort to reduce the military budget. 
     And then Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait replaced the Soviet Union as the enemy, while Cheney and his deputies, like Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby, refitted the US military for this New World Peril, as they claimed: without increasing expenses.
       What magic was this?  Cheney expanded the old pillars or criteria of military capability from 4 to 6 to make it appear to do more with less, by increasing employment of contractors under the new pillar of  infrastructure and overhead.
          In the 1990s, with many wars behind us, the double expense of a standing army and R&D led the Pentagon to consider private contractors, who, it was argued, would be less expensive and more efficient in ensuring US military preeminence  in the coming century. 
      The first private contractor under this program was signed in 1992.   It was a company called Brown & Root.  And then Cheney became CEO of B&R’s parent corporation, Halliburton.   By the time of the Bosnian war of the Clinton administration in 1995, the private military industry had come of age, and an equal number of private company employees went with the troops. 
       The 1996 Defense Science Board Task Force on Outsourcing and Privatization declared that private contractors should be expanded throughout the military.  In Clinton’s 8 years in office military privatization exploded with massive cost overruns—from a few hundred million dollars to $300 billion when he left office, but not labeled military spending.  The militarization by corporations happened so fast and so enormously that the Pentagon could not say whether 125,000 or 600,000 employees were on the payroll.
            But what the profit-seeking privateers had not warned the government about was the criminal behavior of the contractors.  As one investigator wrote about DynCorp in Bosnia: they were a secretive, unregulated, well-paid, lawless, band of mercenaries guilty of  malfeasance, fraud, bilking, and purchasing live-in sex slaves.
     DynCorp illustrates the creep to full, unaccountable privatization.  By the time Clinton left office, the Pentagon was also outsourcing information technology, payroll, mapping, aerial surveillance—even intelligence gathering.
     What had happened, with acute and lasting harm, was the  unmooring of our wars from politics, from the decision to go to war to public debate about that decision.   Thomas Jefferson’s citizen soldiers made it harder to go to war.  Privatization made it easier.         The move from a somewhat restricted military to unrestricted private contractors occurred without the public much noticing, which helps explain public acquiescence and silence.
      James Madison understood well the consequences of war:  “Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.”  685  (8 minutes?? Shorten next to 7 or 600 words)
References to #16
Rachel Maddow, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (2012).
A sample of books cited by Maddow:  P. W. Singer, The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry; Robert Griffith, Jr., The U.S. Army’s Transition to the All-Volunteer Force, 1968-1974;  Steven Hayward, The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution, 1980-1989;  David Sirota, Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now; Tom Gervasi, Soviet Military Power: The Pentagon’s Propaganda Document ; Lawrence Walsh, Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up; Charlie Savage, Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy;  Joseph Cirincione, Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons.
Editorial #10 is also partly about why the US chooses war so quickly.
Forthcoming editorial:  Norman Solomon, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death .

Editorial #15, War, Saturday, February 3, 2018 (broadcast date).    Gar Smith, ed., The War and Environment Reader (2017). 
Title of Editorial: “US Permanent War, Terracide, and Ecolibrium”
    
     The preceding three editorials described aspects of the warming planet with connections to continuing war.  The last editorial summarized the catastrophic twins of warring  and  warming and, as in other editorials, suggested a resistance--the Magna Carta’s Charter of the Forests in defense of the commons.
     A recent special issue of The Nation magazine is devoted to, “The Resistance,” the dissenters to the powers presently ruling the US.  John Nichols praises Bill Moyers as the “Most Valuable Modern Pamphleteer,” and compares him to Tom Paine in the 18th century, both of whom advocated revolutionary ideas, radical proposals, and transformational movements.   Let’s keep them in mind.
     Now we return to the subject of war.  My main reference is The War and Environment Reader, edited by Gar Smith (2017). 
Permanent War
        The  history  of  the  world  has  never  seen a Palace Guard even near this size and destructiveness.  The Pentagon justifies such expenditure as the protector of the largest empire in history, its population, its freedom.  So let’s ask first, What is the cost of all this militarism?  In later editorials we’ll assess the military-industrial complex.
         By the 1960s the industrial-military-congressional-White House merger already seemed too large and too profitable to reverse.  That complex of power controlled not only the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, but the countless other secret or hidden national security departments: NSA, CIA, Energy Dept. (nuclear weapons), Veterans Affairs, State Dept., Treasury Dept.    By 2017 the budget was nearly $1 trillion: over half of all the military expenditures of all countries in the world combined.
      Today the US maintains tens of thousands of troops at some 800 bases in more than 60 foreign countries, and has troops in about 150 countries, total.  It has nineteen aircraft carriers, and ten carrier battle groups.   And thousands of combat aircraft.   In Arkansas, in Fort Smith, drones.  In Little Rock, the C-130Js.  In Camden, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman.
     Five of the world’s largest war-profiteering companies call the US home.  Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest arms dealer, responsible for nuclear weapons, Trident submarines, Hellfire missiles.   The next four are Boeing, that makes B-52 bombers and smart bombs.  Raytheon:  Tomahawk long-range missiles, munitions.  Northrop Grumman: Global Hawk drones, laser weapons.  And General Dynamics: jet fighters, tanks, missiles, guns. 
      In 2014 total sales for the top six US arms makers topped $241 billion.   Two-thirds of the world’s arms makers are based in the US or Western Europe, and they control more than 84 percent of the global arms trade.
     In addition to its combat bombs, tanks, and fuel consumption, according to the Pentagon’s FY 2010 Base Structure Report, its global empire included more than 539,000 facilities at nearly 5,000 sites covering more than 28 million acres.   The Pentagon burns 320,000 barrels of oil a day, and that estimate ignores fuel consumed by its contractors and weapons producers.  And the Pentagon is exempt from reporting its actual total pollution, that might arouse the public. 
         Even when not engaged in outright war (but when was that?), the Pentagon’s far-flung operations damage the environment at home and around the world.  Inside the US exist more than 11,000 military dumps containing explosives, chemical warfare agents, toxic solvents, and heavy metals.  The military is responsible for at least 900 of the country’s 1,300 super-toxic “Superfund” sites.
Abroad, the scale of environmental destruction wrought by the US military tops all the other military powers. 

       Think of the Pentagon as the greatest institution for export for profit.  At home:  a few people, especially investors and CEOs, making a mountain of money.  Abroad: all of these weapons to ensure global control of investments, natural resources, and transportation-- exporting war and threatening war to ensure perpetual profit.  The motto of the military-industrial complex is: War is good for business.  War profiteering is the USA.

      Let’s pause a moment for two of the ironical features of this egregious weaponizing.   First, the greatest linguistic coup in all history occurred in 1947 when President Truman and Congress changed the name of the War Department to the Defense Department, and used that misnaming to manipulate the US taxpayers to pay for unceasing intervention, invasion, and occupation.   Second, now the Pentagon and its contractors realize that winning wars is not their goal, but much more profitable is fighting unending wars.  Hence the some 40 wars since the end of WWII and the unwinnable, undefinable, infinitely expandable “war on terror.”
     It should not surprise then that the Pentagon Secretary in 2001, Donald Rumsfeld, confessed: “We cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.”  (The Pentagon is the only federal agency exempt from annual audits.)    What should surprise is the   silence   of the public in every town in the nation that cannot find enough money for good health, water, roads, and education. 
    War on Planet/Terracide
     If one takes time to reflect about this gargantuan military encroachment throughout the world, one can begin to imagine how much of nature it destroys
      Thus, with its thousands of facilities and dumps, its intervening, invading, and occupying countries around the world, and possessing the world’s largest air force and navy, the Pentagon is the world’s greatest institutional consumer of oil and a leading producer of climate-changing CO2.  That is, the US military does unparalleled environmental harm to the planet.  
     In 2016, National Geographic warned that new perils were likely to arise from the collision of war and nature.  Wars, and other acts of violence will likely become more commonplace in coming decades as the effects of global warming cause temperatures to flare worldwide.   A team of researchers predicted personal violence, civil unrest, and war could increase 56 percent by 2050 as the planet warms--accelerating droughts, floods, disease, crop failures, and mass migrations—and violence and wars.
     And President Trump endorsed President Obama’s plan to spend $1 trillion improving the US nuclear arsenal.
     Equilibrium/Ecolibrium
     In contrast, the peace movement hopes, by exposing the incentives, structures, and facts of war and warming, to explain the cascading dangers of terracide, to resist directly the war and warming profiteers, and to convert war profits to ecolibrium—to life for all species in harmony with nature.  To this end the movement is pushing for Green Constitutions, a Green Geneva Convention, a U.S. Department of Peace, End of Invasions and Occupations, Green Marshall Plan, Earth Federation, Cultures of Peace, Peace Journalism, Planetary Citizenship, a Nonviolent Peaceforce, Military Accountability and Restoration, Peacebuilding Programs in the State Department, National Budgets for People, Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Abolition of Arms Trade, Common Security System, Institutions of Nonviolence, Demilitarized National Security.
     Next week we’ll continue the environmental costs of militarism.     1105 (radio reading cut to 800)
References:
Gar Smith, ed., The War and Environment Reader (2017). 
Numerous books reinforce Smith’s picture of US aggression.  Two books by William Blum: Killing Hope and Rogue State.  Derber & Magrass, Bully Nation.  See any of the many books on US conquest of continental N. America and near-extermination of the indigenous people.  Additional books catalog the decimation of nature by these aggressions; e.g., Barry Sanders, The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism.  I will discuss these and more books in later editorials.  

EDITORIAL #14, WARS AND WARMING, Bridging Editorial #2, JANUARY 27, 2018, Noam Chomsky and Laray Polk, Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe (2013)
Twin Planetary Threats:  Nuclear War and Warming   
 My overall topic is War and Warming, the emphasis alternating back and forth. The last three editorials were about warming.   Today we transition to wars, or I say, war, singular because for several decades the US has invaded and bombed, or threatened to invade and bomb, many other countries. My title is: Nuclear War and Climate Change.   My main reference today is Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomsky and Laray Polk. 
     Humanity and all species face the twin catastrophes of nuclear war and climate change.   I say twin, because they  are  inseparable.  There will be no limited hydrogen nuclear war, which will immediately kill millions and destroy numerous whole cities, which will significantly increase more warming and more war.  And very soon, unless extraordinary alterations are made in our economic and energy system, climate change will become rampant.  Already occurring extraordinary weather extremes, will worsen, lead to more hunger, more refugees, and more wars, more hunger, more wars.  Even a nuclear war between the nuclear powers Pakistan and India, for example, threatened almost daily by their military clashes in and on the borders of Kashmir, would significantly disrupt the Middle East and Asia and the climate by spreading millions of tons of smoke and debris into the atmosphere, disrupting agriculture worldwide.
       The world knows we would do it, based on US history and the double-standard that rules our foreign policy.  We are the only nation to use nuclear weapons, and we have threatened their use a dozen times, because of that double standard that we apply to other countries but not to ourselves.   For example, President Kennedy was willing to risk nuclear war with the Soviet Union based on the principle that the US had the right to ring the USSR with military bases, missiles, and nuclear bombs, but they do not have the right to place their missiles in Cuba, even to defend Cuba from US terrorist attacks then occurring and invasion being planned by the US.  
     A decade later, Henry Kissinger called for a nuclear alert to warn the Soviets not to interfere when he was informing Israeli leaders they could violate a cease-fire established under US/Soviet auspices.  President Reagan risked nuclear war when he sent air and naval probes near Soviet borders and military bases, causing Russia to fear a nuclear attack was imminent.  And many more examples.
     To these macho risks, US political and business leaders added the denial or downplay of global warming while increasing consumption of fossil fuels, and consumption of the dirtiest tar sands oil and offshore drilling.  It was profit first, short-term profit.    The war/warming twins are still racing toward environmental catastrophe, deliberate nuclear war or by accident, the seas engulfing the coastal cities, hurricanes ravaging entire countries, fires sweeping millions of acres.   
     We need to ask ourselves: what aspects of our society caused this madness.  Why have our leaders not engaged in an Apollo moon-shot size, or Manhattan Project crash program, or another Marshall Plan, to build a sustainable energy future, for their and our grandchildren, with good jobs for sustainable energy?  Why do we not move to save ourselves, our children and children’s children?  Why are we so blind, so paralyzed?   The answer must be:  our ruling economic system of capitalism more than in any other country in the world not only permits but encourages all-out extraction and development and growth until all the fossil fuel is exhausted and heat has desertified our land and acidified our oceans.
     The principal architects of this system—from Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce to Congress and the White House-- the business/political elite make  sure  their  interests, their ideology of short-term gains,  succeed, including permanent war, whatever the consequences, no matter how grievous the effects on the entire world and future generations. 
     These principal architects include media allies who have successfully immunized the population against their common interests, against international amity, mutuality, cooperation, sharing, the values of the United Nations.
      To conclude, let’s look to the past to see an avenue to the future.  Remember the Magna Carta?   It’s really two Charters.  This great British statement of rights in the year 1215 inspired protections for civil and human rights in Britain, then the US Bill of Rights, and eventually the UN Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR).  But it also stressed saving the commons from autocratic destruction and privatization, by its Charter of the Forests. The Charter of the Forest was the first environmental charter incorporated in a government. It was the first to assert the rights of the property-less, of the commoners, and of the commons.

     To be continued next week.  769                     
References to #14
Chomsky and Polk.  Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe, especially chapter 8. 
Chomsky.  “How the Magna Carta Became a Minor Carta, Part 1 and 2.”  Guardian (July 24-25, 2012); “Carte Blanche,” TomDispatch.com (audio) July 21, 2012.  (Cited by Chomsky). 
NOAM CHOMSKY. Magna Carta Messed Up the World, Here’s How to Fix ItThe “logic” of capitalist development has left a nightmare of environmental destruction in its wake. CLIMATE CHANGE MARCH 23, 2015
NOAM CHOMSKYIt’s Time to Get Serious About Climate Change. Seriously.  Our dysfunctional political system is now a threat to the existence of all mankind. CLIMATE CHANGE JUNE 13, 2016
NOAM CHOMSKYIt Is a Wonder We Are Still Alive.   Sixty-nine years ago today, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, beginning a countdown toward the inglorious end of our species.  NUCLEAR ARMS AND PROLIFERATION AUGUST 5, 2014
Graham Allison.  “The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50: Lessons for U.S. foreign Policy Today.”  Foreign Affairs (July-August 2012).  Allison predicted the deaths of 200 million US and Soviet citizens.
Lawrence M. Krauss.  “Judgement Day.”  New Humanist (March-April 2010).   
National Security Archive Electronic briefing Book No. 281, s.v. “Documents 8A-D: DEFCON 3 during the October War.”
Stephen Rabe.  The Most Dangerous Area in the World: John F. Kennedy Confronts Communist Revolution in Latin America.  1969.
(Allison, Krauss, and Rabe were cited by Chomsky

EDITORIAL #13, WARMING (#6 ), JANUARY 17, 2018, 697 words
Title: Resistance to US Capitalism: Giant Engine of Warming
     My preceding two editorials discussed the successful two crucial decades of denial of warming by the fossil fuels companies and made a case for replacing profit-first US capitalism with an economic system for all the people.   My present editorial gives more specific substance to the resistance to the system.  My chief reference is NAOMI KLEIN’s book, NO IS NOT ENOUGH. 
      Corporations and their government supporters sought to lay a pipeline for the dirtiest oil from Alberta, Canada, across North Dakota to Houston refineries, its destination China.  They met BDS resistance all the way--boycott, divestment, sanctions-- by people who knew that more fossil fuels ensured that global temperatures would rise beyond safe levels.  The people created blockades to stop the despoilers.    The resisters needed help.
     President Obama finally denied the pipeline permit.  Resisters had been successful: saying no to an imminent threat while working tirelessly to build the yes for the world we want and need.   But then Donald Trump became president and began dismantling and reversing against the planet more ferociously than had President Bush.
      One achievement of the struggle to stop the oil pipeline was its clarification of the system behind the outrage.  The struggle had inspired awareness among the people.   Ecocidal capitalism laid the pipeline over the Oglalla Aquifer, under the Native reservation, and through the Missouri River.  Racism/white supremacy made it possible to treat indigenous water and climate protectors with water cannons in freezing weather.   People were seeing and speaking out about the connections:  “that the economic interests pushing hardest for war, at home and abroad, are the very same forces most responsible for warming the planet” and “that the economic precariousness” that most people were feeling flowed “from the same place: a corrosive values system that places profit above the well-being of people and the planet.    The same system has allowed the pursuit of money to so corrode the political process in the United States that a gang of scandal-plagued plutocrats could seize control of the White House.” (NO 232).
     The limitless taking and extracting, the maximum grabbing from workers, the less job security, and lower wages, community resources taken away, and workers laid off.  Did you see the headline January 9?  “UAMS Slashing 600 Jobs to Curb Deficit.”   This is what a system addicted to short-term profits and wealth does: it treats people, the earth, and the atmosphere like resources to be mined to their limits
     In contrast, when people speak about the world they want, the words are care and caretaking—care for the land, care for the planet’s living systems, care for one another.  A system in which everyone is valued, and we don’t treat people or the natural world as if they were disposable. 
       Out of these experienced connections arose a vision of cooperation for the well-being of all--in Canada called “The Leap.”  The world people want and need would create unionized jobs and deliver justice. Green jobs would become anything useful and enriching, without fossil fuels.  Nursing, teaching were renewable energy.  The goal was to transform an economy of destruction into an economy of love for the rebirth of humanity.    
     The result is The Leap Manifesto—A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another.  Even more urgently, it is a call to the United States.  
     For decades, ruling elites around the world have been using the power of shock to impose nightmares.  Donald Trump thinks he’ll be able to do it again and again—that we will have forgotten by tomorrow what he said yesterday (which he will say he never said).  But we can build a movement of resistance and hope and justice and love.
     The corporate coup described by Naomi Klein in NO IS NOT ENOUGH and hundreds of books and articles and films and speeches is a crisis with global reverberations that could echo through geologic time.  As Santee Dakota artist and poet John Trudell said:  “I’m not looking to overthrow the American government, the corporate state already has.”    How we respond to the crisis is up to us.  So let’s leap to the call for the United States to care for the earth and one another.  697
References:
Naomi Klein.  No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need.  2017.   (Leap Manifesto at end).
______.  The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
Wolin.  Democracy Inc.

EDITORIAL #12, WARMING (#8), JANUARY 10, 2018.  (The date is that of the studio recording, not of the radio broadcast.)
REPLACING THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM TO ONE LESS DESTRUCTIVE OF THE ENVIRONMENT
    My last editorial reported the massively funded and well-organized campaign of warming denial that delayed mitigation and adaptation for some two decades, continuing and hardening under President Trump.  This editorial offers a basic response to those who agree with the President.   My main reference is: What Everyone Should Know about Capitalism by Fred Magdoff and John Bellamy Foster.

      The US, mainly, has pursued an economic system confusingly called “neo-liberal” capitalism of unlimited, minimally regulated growth in a limited environment.   It’s a catastrophic equation for the planet.  At present it is producing extreme economic inequality among and within nations.   Here’s a sample headline:  “World’s Richest Add $1 Trillion in 2017.”   “The richest people on earth became $1 trillion richer this year, more than four times last year’s gain.”  Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos gained $34.2 billion. 
       But more important, the continuation of this, grow-or-die capitalism based upon unlimited capital accumulation, is a flat impossibility.   For all those concerned with the fate of the earth, the time has come to face facts: not simply the dire reality of climate change and nuclear weapons loaded and aimed and leaders threatening to use them, but the pressing need to change the basic relationships between humans and the earth.    Put simply, we must break with a system based on the motive of profit, and ideology of individualism and competition for the accumulation of capital.  Instead we must create a new world in harmony with the planet. 
     George Monbiot locates this new world in “community,” for the new politics, communities “to own and manage local resources, ensuring that wealth is widely shared. . . . common riches to fund universal benefits.“      But President Trump and his Party are pushing the system farther and farther toward ferocious extremes of extraction and consumption, for a few, regardless of consequences.
       Can we stop Trump, get rid of fossil fuels, and Save the Climate?  To do so will take tremendous personal restraint in consumption in the developed nations, unprecedented political courage in planning and organizing government for the planet, and global cooperation hardly yet even imagined.
     Here’re some ways we can change the present economic system of profit and accumulation, to one that will protect the planet and meet the needs of all species.   
1.  Give equal weight to equality with freedom in deciding social choices.
2.  Infuse public education with understanding of how the US economic system has promoted environmental destruction. 
3.  Massively cut military spending and thus the military-industrial complex by converting that spending to needs caused by warming.
 4.  Pressure the US to cooperate in a world agreement for a drastic reduction in carbon emissions.  This could follow the Peoples’ Agreement drafted in 2010 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
5.  Establish environmental justice for all suffering from environmental inequality.  
6.  Rich countries provide a fund to help developing countries pay for the costs of adapting to climate change.
7.  Provide for all of the world’s energy needs with wind, water, and sunlight (WWS):  turbines, wave, geothermal, small hydroelectric, batteries, tidal, solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar, hydrogen.
8.  Create jobs for workers displaced by wars and warming, and by automation.  Listen to President Roosevelt in his 1944 State of the Union address advocating an Economic Bill of Rights: “the right to a useful and remunerative job…the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation…the right of every family to a decent home…adequate medical care…good education.”

Here are several specific changes to advance these larger goals:
1.  Institute a carbon tax in which dividends are returned to the people.
2.   Close old coal plants and block new ones. 
3.   Stop use of tar sands and oil/gas shale to replace diminishing crude oil supplies.
4.  Make more efficient use of energy, for example harnessing the enormous heat wasted by industry for greenhouses.
5.   Conversion of public subsidies from cars to mass transit.
6.  By taxes and incentives, encourage sustainable agriculture, discourage industrial agri.
7.  Contain urban development and sprawl that are now taking over agricultural land needed for food.
8.  Reverse the privatization of fresh water and put it under public control.  Cease the drawing down of groundwater which is exhausting the world’s aquifers.
12.  Protect the commons and habitats of endangered species.
13. Stop the “revolving door” by which elites control power and money.  718
     My next editorial will launch off from Naomi Klein’s book, No Is Not Enough.  Then I will return to my co-subject:  war.
References
Magdoff and Foster.  What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism.  Monthly Review, 2011.
Tom Metcalf and Jack Witzig (Bloomberg News).  “World’s Riches Add $1 Trillion in ’17.”  NADG (Dec. 28, 2017).
George Monbiot.  Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis.  Verso, 2017.
Angela Park.    Everybody’s Movement: Environmental Justice and Climate Change.   2009. Chap. 9 explores “the means by which [the book’s dreams] might be realized.”
Peoples’ Agreement on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth.    Cochabamba, Bolivia, 2010.

EDITORIAL #11, WARMING (# 7 ), JANUARY 3, 2018, 600 words.
DENYING THE EVIDENCE OF WARMING
     My editorials discuss warming and nuclear wars, the two greatest threats to our planet.  I alternate from one subject to another.  Today I return to warming, specifically those who deny the evidence.  My main reference is Climate Cover-up by James Hoggan with Richard Littlemore.
          This is a story of betrayal, a story of selfishness, greed, and irresponsibility on an epic scale.  In its darkest chapters, it’s a story of deceit, of poisoning public judgement, of an attack on our political structures, and undermining the journalistic watchdogs who keep our social institutions honest.  But it is also a story of resistance, of great public service by investigative reporters, and of finally successful revelation of corporate crime and public truth.
       Over twenty years ago the scientific consensus asserted the fact that human-caused, global warming was increasing weather extremes.    All of the world’s scientific academies stated emphatically that the world’s climate was changing dangerously and humans were to blame.   But that was not what was being reported.   
      Mainstream newspapers were reporting conflicting stories, because coal and oil billionaires like the Koch brothers and fossil fuels companies like Exxon Mobil had financed an organized campaign to cast doubt on the science.  
         The corporate deniers were twisting the data to mislead people, hiring the few denier scientists to practice not science but public relations, and hiring the best advertising companies to purvey their lies.  The media manipulation worked, exactly as it had years before in delaying regulation of smoking tobacco.  For two decades the disinformation campaign was successful, and the government did nothing to disrupt the profitable oil status quo.     
        Gradually the people of the world learned they had been lied to.   As early as 1988 the director of NASA’s  Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James Hansen, told a Senate committee: “the greenhouse effect is here.”  Another early truth-teller was Ross Gelbspan.  Near the end of the 20th century, he had discovered that the fossil fuelers had organized a huge, well-funded campaign to make the public think that climate science was controversial, and climate change unproven.  He revealed the truth in two  books, The Heat Is On (1997) and Boiling Point (2004). 
        But the carbon corporate/congressional campaign to defeat climate science increased its money and its lobbying.  The year 2008 was particularly corrupt, we know thanks to reporting by the DeSmogBlog, OpenSecrets.org, and the Center for Public Integrity.   One headline declares: “Oil and gas lobbying on Capitol Hill up a Whopping 57% in 2008.”  But get this: The industry lobbying budget in 2008 was already $82 million.  So the total lobbying budget for 2008 was $128.6 million.  Some 770 companies hired an estimated 2,340 lobbyists to influence our congressional representatives on climate change, as the issue headed toward a vote on Capitol Hill.  That’s more than four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress.
       The public’s struggle for the truth has not gotten easier in another way.  Whereas the money flow corruption was somewhat restrained in 2008, in its Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, Jan 21, 2015, the US Supreme Court opened the campaign spending floodgates.   Thinking back to the 1970s, to President Nixon and the Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency, as I speak, much of the regulation passed earlier is being systematically dismantled by President Trump.  
      But it’s a free country and oil companies have every right to protect their profits??  Or it’s wrong, and we should all stand up and demand our government work for us before the fossil fuelers push us off the cliff onto the ever-more undeniable rocks waiting below.  Next week I’ll discuss that question.   574
References to Editorial #11
Ross Gelbspan.  The Heat Is On (1997), Boiling Point (2004).
James Hoggan.  Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming.  Greystone Books, 2009.

EDITORIAL #10 (Dec. 27, 2017) WARS (#6), WHY THE US CHOOSES WAR SO EASILY, THE US OUTSIDE THE WORLD QUICK TO WAR (p. 22)
     My broad subject comes from the title of the book  America Outside the World by Louis Beres.   On the climate catastrophe rushing upon us, President  G. W. Bush rejected the Kyoto Climate Treaty and President  Donald  Trump rejected the Paris Climate Agreement.   On nuclear weapons, against 122 nations, President Trump rejected the UN General Assembly’s treaty abolishing nuclear weapons.  And Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in defiance of the world’s nations.   Actually, “outside” the world is a euphemism; rather let’s say outlaw against the world.   
     Today’s subject continues the theme of US wars, continuing my alternation of wars and warming.   My source today is Reasons Why Americans Choose to Kill by Richard Rubenstein.
       The 9-11 murder of thousands of innocent men and women in the NYC Trade Towers is an unforgiveable atrocity.  But it does no good to call terrorist acts senseless or cowardly, when we need to understand why the NYC buildings were attacked.  Malice and fanaticism were in the terrorists’ heads, but so also was opposition to US policies in the Middle East.  Osama bin Laden had made that emphatically clear.  If we think of the bin Ladens as devils, then consideration of options, of complexity, of thought, are impossible. 
      Hence Bush and Cheney in furious thoughtlessness invaded all of Afghanistan, defeated the Taliban and killed many civilians, then occupied the country while killing many more civilians and our own troops, in a country where only a handful of Afghans had participated in the bombings of the NYC Towers, while the actual perpetrator, bin Laden, escaped.  Two years later George and Dick ordered shock and awe against Iraq based on a pack of lies, and hundreds of more US troops and thousands of Iraqis perished, and the occupation and killings continue in both countries.  
     The first two questions we might ask is, who are these despicable leaders, and how did they get elected?  But leaders are not my purpose. They have received much, though hardly enough, study.  Similarly, why would the people of the US elect such leaders, so quick to attack and bomb and destroy?  How could they have been so thoughtless?  But again that question has been often studied.
       Rather let us ask more specifically:  Why did so many of the public so quickly accept the Bush administration’s assertions that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (which he did not)?  Why was there no public uprising when respected General Powell lied at the UN about Iraq’s wmd on the flimsiest of evidence?  Why did the public so willingly believe that invading and occupying and destroying Iraq should be the first instead of the last response?  The UN Security Council had refused to authorize the invasion.  Why, before sending to war and possible death our young men and women, did the people not insist upon the strongest of evidence?  Why, given such absence of justification, did so many accept the most violent, cruelest action over peaceful communication, diplomacy, and negotiation?  
      The full reply is multiple, but it must include this truth:  the majority fell for the oldest of war justifications: the alleged enemy was a super-enemy, he was capital E EVIL who sought to harm the US, that is us.  Thus we had a sacred right to violate the standards of clear thinking and of ethics, and to shred international laws, including the UN Charter, by invading and occupying two sovereign nations that had not threatened the US.  Later our leaders claimed our moral duty to liberate the people of Afghanistan and Iraq and to create democratic republics.   How?  By by invading, bombing, destroying the countries and killing their people.  
        These are familiar arguments by the leaders of the US:  from the wars against Mexico, Spain, two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf War to Libya and Syria.   Their purpose?  To create fear.  By causing the people to abandon critical thinking and ethics and instead to embrace authority for truth and protection.   To create fear by stressing defense against Evil Enemies.  Bush’s Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice tried to scare everyone into invading Iraq by saying “we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."     She put the final nail in the war hysteria begun in 1947 when the Department of War was renamed the Department of Defense.      And our troops have been fighting abroad for the longest continuous stretch in their history: over two decades if one starts with the first Persian Gulf War in early 1990s and the sanctions that killed a half-million Iraqi children.
            Many cried out for peaceful and honorable alternatives to war, but the invasions moved forward.  A minority of voices declared that war would destabilize the Middle East and even the world, and harm the US, and that proved true.   Conflict resolution reason was drowned out by the ruses of war deployed by the highest officials to secure mass approval of yet another war, most of the population acquiesced,  and the slaughter in Yemen and the threats of slaughter against North Korea continue the derangements of violent force.
         But the human search for a just and therefore peaceful society has not been defeated.  We have yet to get at the root of such violent history.   Let’s grasp this deplorable shift to ceaseless mass bloodshed as the opportunity to reconceive our public education K-12, above all as the time to learn critical thinking, ethical reflection, healthy skepticism, questioning authority, and demanding evidence before we give our assent to mass killing.
     Our leaders tell us we must choose war for freedom, national security, the flag.  Instead, let us urge our school superintendent, our principals, teachers, librarians, and ourselves at home, to teach clear thinking, ethics, and alternatives to war.   And we must act now, because our country is outside the world, and the next shock and awe is being planned.    
References to #10
Richard Rubenstein.  Reasons Why Americans Choose to Kill.
Stephen Zunes.  “Trump’s Reckless Action on Jerusalem.”  Z Magazine (Jan. 2018).   
5 essays on Trump and Jerusalem in WRMEA (Jan./Feb. 2018). 
OMNI CRITICAL THINKING NEWSLETTER #3, March 16, 2013.

EDITORIAL #9 (Dec. 20, 2017) WARS (#5) , p. 19
(MILITARIZATION OF US) CREATION OF THE US WARFARE STATE:  WWII TO PRESENT
     My last editorial sought communion and cooperation with all other nations, if we are to avoid climate or nuclear destruction.  Today let’s consider why control by armed force is the goal of the United States instead of international amity.  Andrew Feinstein’s book, The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, is our guide.   
    US victory in WWII ironically eventuated in long-term defeat--the decline from a civilian to a militarized government.  Militarized Industrial output doubled between 1940 and 1943 to a level nearly that of Britain, the Soviet Union, and Germany combined.  The atomic bombs dramatically increased the power of the presidency and transformed the affirmative New Deal of, by, and for the people, into a National Security State.    The US populace learned to accept militarization as its way of life:  an increasing proportion of US national resources was directed into the military; a closeness grew of US military, government, the presidency, and corporations.  While it won the war, victory by war lost the peaceful future. 
      Particularly unprecedented was the increase of presidential power. 
Under Franklin Roosevelt power of command and secrecy increased while under demands of war accountability decreased.   By exterminating two civilian city populations, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ordered by President Harry Truman exceeded anything ever imagined for the executive branch, and that bomb power influences our foreign policy to this day.   The secrecy and military discipline of the Manhattan Project that created the atomic bombs became a model for the covert operations and overt authority that have defined US government in the nuclear era.  The wartime emergency put in place during WWII extended into the Cold War and the war on terror, the Middle East war, and the pivot to encircle China.    For over 70 years a state of continuous war has dominated the US and therefore the world.
     After WWII when the “Cold War” as it was called with the Soviet Union heated up, the Truman Doctrine created the most significant expansion of US foreign intervention since the Monroe Doctrine.  Truman set in motion the militarized response to Soviet communism as a threat to free people everywhere requiring US protection everywhere, and permanent military preparedness.  The National Security Act of 1947 increased the war-making power of the president in specific ways; including the unification of the armed forces, changing the Department of  War to the Department of Defense (a title that has bumfuzzled the public ever since), the creation of the CIA and the NSA/National Security Agency, and diminishing the foreign policy power of the State Department.  The CIA created an invisible, new layer of secrecy and reduction of accountability.   The US national security state had been formally launched.
       The main beneficiaries  were the arms industry.  Since 1947, the Pentagon has become the center of a vast system of recruitment centers, propaganda centers, military bases, laboratories, testing grounds, command centers, intelligence centers, corporations, and academic institutions, for which one thing is certain: it spends more on war than on human needs.  Now the military and industry share an unprecedented level of cooperation, compounding their cumulative level of influence over policy--the MIC OR military-industrial complex as described by President Eisenhower—or as he might say today: the corporate, military, intelligence, presidency, Congress, mainstream media, national security state.
      In 1953 President Eisenhower delivered his “Chance for Peace” speech:  “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”  Alas, despite these truths, Eisenhower’s administration conducted its foreign policy as did Truman before him and as did all subsequent US presidents—through covert operations in foreign countries, most notoriously Guatemala and Iran. 
     All under the guise of saving the world from communism, that gigantic octopus reaching around the world and knocking over national dominoes, mixed metaphor disregarded, while never mentioned by the ruling elites, Increasingly, corporate stockholders’ profits soared.   Another general told the truth about corporate profit and US empire.  Major General Smedley Butler, two-time Medal of Honor recipient and the most decorated marine in US history, said of his own participation in profit-driven US military actions around the world:  “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service, and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business.  In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”  And that was long before General Eisenhower made his “Chance for Speech” speech.  As I said at the beginning, Big Business has always been in the war racket, and all the time Big Business has grown Bigger and Bigger.   774 words
References
Feinstein, Andrew.  The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade. 2017.
     (
Feinstein drew from Eugene Jarecki, The American Way of War (2010),
      for the section I used.)
Wills, Gary.  Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State.   2010.

Editorial #8 (12-13-17):  Wars (#4), the US Outside the World
    These commentaries explore the US role in the wars and warming engulfing the planet.  Today my very broad theme is “The US Outside the World.”  That is, despite the many good things our country has accomplished for humankind, they are undermined by our having become the leading warfare and warming nation.
         My last editorial reported on the power over the US and the world of what is called “neo-liberal” capitalism as the primary engine of the climate catastrophe.   Today I will report on US imperial,  military power, from America Outside the World by Louis Beres.  President Eisenhower called the two powers the military-industrial complex.  The two main manifestations—warming and wars—are inseparable, and are the subject of these editorials.
      During the Cold War from the 1940s to 1980s, US warfare foreign policy—chiefly arising from the presumed need to maintain military superiority over the Soviet Union—exacerbated the economic system:  deficits in budget and trade, inflation and waste, commodity obsolescence, frequent product change, unstable markets, cost-plus pricing, and  large corporations and bureaucracies beyond public control.  The massive transfer of capital away from civilian industry to the military sector neglected the industries the people need.  Instead of stimulating productivity, competitiveness, and innovation, Washington’s commitment to war as foreign policy dislocated the productivity of the past, causing the lowest tiers of the middle class to fall into poverty, and many of the poor to become destitute.
       Military spending absorbs resources that might have been invested for the people.    While the budget goes to weapons, our country ignores essential research that could develop alternate sources of energy, increased food production, better housing, and improved public health.  These distorted priorities limit innovation and investment, and lead to the trade deficit and to the national debt, now $20 trillion .
     Also, military spending creates a debilitating shortage of professional talent in the civilian sector.   With the military sector claiming 30 to 50 percent of the scientists and engineers, US industry is unable to contend with foreign competition.   Pretending to solve the problem, our leaders exhort us to “buy American,” but the remedy is to end the wars, and to return our skilled workers from their Pentagon-directed laboratories and drawing-boards, and all else destructive of climate and environment, like the Pentagon, to the capital-starved solar and wind industries and all else beneficial to the people.
     I suspect all of this is obvious to most of our population, but now we are beaten down into acquiescence and conformity by the incessant propaganda machine for war, making it preeminent  everywhere in every nook and cranny of life.  With the support of the economic system, the military system crushes independent, alternative thought and action.  
     We might be rescued from this captivity of Sovietphobia, now Russophobia, of “war on terror,” and the many enemies contrived by the military-industrial system.   We might be liberated from the economic-military-political system’s manufactured, subjugating movie of the world.    We might restore the USA to the world by creating the conditions wherein citizens can become autonomous persons.   We might, each in our individuality, live in commonality and cooperation with others worldwide. 
     But I do not believe it will be achieved by some St. George defeating the Dragon.   Liberation from wars and warming depends upon self-liberation, people creating affirmative government of, by, and for all the people of the planet.      Only then will the nation pursue foreign policies that point not to the perils of nuclear war or climate catastrophe but toward planetization, seeking  communion with all other nations.  But that kind of education and culture is at present only a dream of those who repudiate the economic and military system ruling the country, those who refuse profit and conquest under the guise of providing safety and freedom, those who reject patriotism and national unity by means of endless slaughter. 
      My next two commentaries will survey specific events in the recent history of US wars.   651 words
References
Louis Beres.  America Outside the World: The Collapse of U.S. Foreign Policy.  1987.
Martin Crutsinger.  “Budget Deficit Tops $138.5 Billion.”  NADG (December 13, 2017).  Reported also the national debt of $20 trillion.

 Editorial #7 (Warming #3), 12-6-17: Capitalism and Global Warming: RICHARD SMITH’S GREEN CAPITALISM Continued p. 129-
  
My last editorial introduced Richard Smith’s book, Green Capitalism: The God That Failed.  Smith exhorted us to stop over-extracting and overconsuming natural resources, stop burning fossil fuels, stop producing waste that can’t be recycled by nature.  But under capitalism these goals are virtually impossible.  Here’s why: the eighteen features of an economic system with too little government, that is public, oversight.
1.  Massive Corporations too big to fail
2   Human Right to Dominate, Exploit, and Destroy Nature
3.  Capital accumulation, drive for personal profit
4.  Commodification, turning everything into a product for sale
5.  Growth essential to profit, even to exhausting resources
6.  Over-Consumption ruinous in developed countries
7.   Consolidation,  Monopoly, elimination of competition,
8.  Instability of Market System, boom and bust
9.  Advertising, creating needs, Inducing consumption
10.  Hostility to the Commons, everything that cannot be commodified
11.  Hostility to Organized Workers, against unions, vs. sharing power
12.  Hostility to Government Oversight, to affirmative gov
13.  Hostility to Taxes on corporations and the rich
14.  Inequality of 1% and 99%
15.  GNP as Measurement of national success
16.  Waste  (see Advertising)
17.  Wars and imperialism for domination, resources, space
18.   Warming, C02, extreme weather

     These are the features of US capitalism today.  In Green Capitalism: The God That Failed, Richard Smith indicts the economic regime for producing the planet-killing surge of C02 from the 18th century to the present, spiking upward particularly during the past seventy years since WWII. 

 He presents six theses regarding this system, the US economic system.
1.        “Capitalism is, overwhelmingly, the main driver of planetary ecological collapse.”   The key to this human-caused rampage is corporations.    Their purpose is not the good of the people of the world, but they function for the benefit of their shareholders.  Shell Oil loots Nigeria and the Arctic of fossil fuels that cook the climate.  That’s its purpose; that’s what shareholders demand—profit.  For example, IKEA, the third largest consumer of lumber in the world, can’t help but level the forests of the world to feed furniture mills.  That’s what the CEO is hired by the shareholders to do. 
      And we’re all locked into the economic system dependent upon fossil fuels  in which companies have to grow to compete and reward their shareholders and because we  all need the jobs. 
2.  “Solutions to the ecological crisis are blindingly obvious, but we can’t take the necessary steps to prevent…collapse because, so long as we live under capitalism, economic growth has to take priority over ecological concerns, or the economy will collapse and mass unemployment [and violence] will be the result.”   Under capitalism, for example, the incentive is to increase the population consumption.  How can one make a profit if everything is static.  Take cars.   In 1950 there were about 2.6 billion people.  Today the planet has 7.5 billion.  Now add advertising to increase consumption.  ln 1950 Americans had 1 car for every 3 inhabitants.  Today we have 1.2 cars for every person, and a world total of 1 billion cars, and the car manufacturers are hoping for 2 to 2.5 billion by mid-century.  That’s an exponential growth in cars, natural resources use, energy production, and waste.
3.  “If capitalism can’t help but destroy the world, then what alternative is there but to nationalize and socialize most of the economy and plan it directly, even plan most of the global industrial economy?”
There is no alternative to planning.  We need planning on all levels and coordination among them.  We need comprehensive global, regional, national, and local plans.  When climate scientists call for cuts in CO2 emissions if we are to have a liveable planet, they are asking for forethought, for planning.
4.  “Rational planning requires democracy: voting the big questions.”
Today huge decisions that affect all species on the planet, even the fate of life, are private.  Under capitalism the big issues are not put up to a vote, but are decisions made by corporate boards on behalf of self-interested investors, and by their well-lobbied political representatives.  But alternatives are available.  The public utilities are run democratically with public, that is, government oversight.  Greg Palast wrote a book about them, Democracy and Regulation: How the Public Can Govern Essential Services.
5.  “Democracy can only work in context of rough socio-economic equality and social guarantees.”
And finally, 6.  “This is [not] crazy, utopian, impossible, will never happen.”

Smith’s Conclusion:
The climate problem threatening our planet and all species is CO2 increasing, and atmosphere, ocean, and land warming.  These changes will destroy life on Earth.  The problem is rooted in the ruling economic war for profit which compel corporations to pour on the gas instead of slamming on the brakes.  The solution, impossible as it may seem, is to overthrow this system and all the governments of the 1%  that prop it up, and to replace them with a global economic democracy, a radical, bottom-up, democratic  ecosocialist civilization.  This is no pipedream, no delusion, but a necessity if we are to prevent the train wreck capitalism has prepared for us.  Globally people are awakening to a democratic uprising for an alternative economic and social order designed, not for the 1% stockholders and CEOs and their politicians, but for the people.    
    
These editorials explore US wars and warming, past, present, future.  Next week we’ll return to the wars.   But they are never far from the warming; armaments and warming say to us:  SLEEPERS AWAKE!   

Editorial #6 Global Warming (#2), 
FROM GORE TO RICHARD SMITH’S GREEN CAPITALISM

      So what must we do to slow down Arctic ice melting and global oceans warming?  We must reduce C02 in the atmosphere.  That is, we must reduce fossil fuels emissions drastically.  OMNI is hard at work at that, especially by supporting Climate Change Lobby’s efforts since                              
2014 to tax fossil fuels at their sources.  Also, since 2006 OMNI’s Climate Book Forum has discussed several dozen books covering the causes and consequences of warming from many perspectives.
        For example, scientists ask, what is the cause?  Fossil-fuels emissions yes.  But pushing deeper, what’s the cause of planet-killing fossil-fuels?   Scientists use the word anthropogenic, or human-caused.  But which humans?  A number of economist scientists blame the ascendant human economic system, capitalism.  But there are degrees of capitalisms.   US capitalism, or extreme capitalism, sometimes confusingly called neo-liberalism, differs considerably from the economies of Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland, for example, countries described as social democracies.  These countries, by the way, enjoy the top ranking in the 2017 World Happiness Report.  And third world countries produce comparatively low emissions. 
      Therefore some sociologists, especially economist climatologists, argue we must move beyond reforms to revolutionary change.   One such economist is Richard Smith, in his book Green Capitalism: The God That Failed.   To Smith, US hyper-capitalism’s goal of unrestrained development is driving us to ecological collapse.  Overdevelopment began at the beginning of the industrial revolution and accelerated extraordinarily during the last six decades, from WWII to the present.   Under the pressures of profit, deregulated growth, competition resulting in monopoly, expanding markets and resulting empire, and increasing population, we now live with an atmosphere increasingly dense with C O2 and therefore warmer and more humid, the oceans warmer and rising, and the weather more extreme.  307 words
     When the industrial revolution began in the 18th century, when population and production were comparatively small, capitalist freedom to make and consume at will didn’t matter much.  But now when production is in billions of items and increasing, and the population swells toward 9 billion, development and growth, competition and waste, seem frantic and senseless.    Between 1950 and 2000 the human population more than doubled from 2.5  to 6 billion, and in these same decades consumption of major natural resources soared more than 6-fold.
     Thus the world’s climate scientists tell us we’re facing a planetary emergency.  But no government opposes growth, especially not our own.  To the contrary, in capitalist governments, which is most of the world, growth is God, and the supreme goal is to accelerate growth for profit.  439words
       We know what we to do: stop over-extracting and overconsuming natural resources, stop greenhouse gas emissions, stop producing waste that can’t be recycled by nature.  We don’t need some magical new technological breakthrough to solve these problems.  We just need to stop what we are doing through the capitalist system.  
     My next editorial will continue Richard Smith’s Green Capitalism: The God That Failed.   

Editorial #5 Global Warming (#1),  Consequences of Warming and Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel, fewer than 500 words (I cut some to be sure), 10-27-17
     My slogan is: Think Global, Act Local and Global.   My editorials encompass wars and warming.  I have spoken about US wars and empire, particularly about nuclear weapons, and their origins and consequences.  Now I’ll discuss global warming similarly, today specifically the effects of warming and begin to explore its deep cause and its solutions.  
     Here are a few consequences of warming from the U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report, leaked to the New York Times in August 2017 because of fears the Trump administration might suppress it.  Carbon dioxide has increased to dangerous levels in the atmosphere.  Global temperatures are increasing.  Arctic ice is melting.  The oceans are rising.
     “Global mean atmospheric carbon dioxide (C02) concentration has now passed 400 ppm parts per million, a level that last occurred 3 million years ago when sea level was significantly higher than today.  There is no climate analog to this century any time in at least the last 40 million years.”
     “…average temperatures in recent decades over much of the world have been much higher, and have risen faster during this time period, than at any time in the past 1,700 years or more….”
     “The Arctic is warming at a rate approximately twice as fast as the global average,” and distant changes in the climate system affect other parts of the world.
     “The world’s oceans have absorbed about 93% of the excess heat….Global mean sea level has risen by about 7-9 inches…since 1900, with about 3 of those inches…occurring since 1993….the “rate of rise…is greater than during any preceding century in at least 2,800 years.”
   
       Al Gore’s new documentary, Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,     
concentrates on the effects of global warming already happening around the world, and the politics, diplomacy, and moral power of efforts to mitigate it.   Al Gore “was perhaps the most scientifically informed vice president in U.S. history.  His interest in and knowledge of climate…goes back four decades.  He does his research.  He respects science.”
     An Inconvenient Sequel offers powerful ways to illustrate both the latest scientific data and the effects” of warming.  Gore returns to the Greenland ice cap to show us rushing rivers of meltwater plunging into huge holes in the ice…Time-lapse photography shows vast realms of the ice crumbling before our eyes….Where is that melt-water going?   Gorre segues to Miami Beach, its ocean-side streets flooding under high tides.” Then he moves to India on a 120-plus-degree day where a woman’s sandals stick to the melting asphalt.”
     “As was long ago predicted scientifically, a warming world leads to more frequent and much more intense heatwaves, storms, and rainfall, and, in dry areas, more severe droughts.”
     The film is also about Gore’s long experience in climate diplomacy.   Before the 2015 Paris climate accords he worked successfully to get India not to build hundreds of coal-fired power plants by arranging funds for India to go solar.  His organized groups of hundreds of climate science trainees around the world. 
     Although his work has been slowed in the US, the rest of the world is going ahead without us, and Gore is exuberant in the film showing how Chile is undergoing exponential growth in solar capacity.  And even in Texas, a Republican mayor led his town to supplant fossil fuels by wind and solar.   
      Gore is scientist and preacher.   When our grandkids look back at us, he warns, they will ask: What were we thinking by not leading the world to protect the climate?
      My  next commentary will be about Richard Smith’s book, Green Capitalism.

References: 
“The 2017 Climate Science Special Report: Excerpts from Key Findings.”  Skeptical Inquirer (Nov.-Dec. 2017), 5-7.
Kendrick Frazier.  “Truth to Power on Climate.” Skeptical Inquirer (Nov.-Dec, 2017), 56-57.

EDITORIAL #4 TEXT,   definitely under 500, around 468 WORDS

     I have given 3 editorials on US wars and especially on US nuclear bombing and threatening.  My next main subject is the approaching climate catastrophe.   In preparation, today I’ll speak about the connected global issues necessarily conditioning local perspectives.
      My chief assumption is that the US economic system, US empire, and US gender and racial arrangements are by their nature and practice unjust, justice defined as equity, a word meaning fairness.   
     Six years ago, supporters of Occupy Fayetteville/NWA, in association with Occupy Arkansas and Occupy Wall Street, walked in the name of justice and peace, and demonstrated on the Fayetteville Square to ban racism and nuclear bombs -- for justice, for fairness.   Our leader in perceiving the link was of course Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   When asked about nuclear weapons Dr. King said: “the development and use of nuclear weapons should be banned.  It cannot be disputed that a full-scale nuclear war would be utterly catastrophic.”  And he asked, “What will be the ultimate value of having established social justice in a context where all people, Negro and White, are merely free to face destruction by strontium 90 or atomic war?”  Air war, indiscriminate decimation of cities, destroys all achievements by their citizens of any color, and we ought to add: of any gender.
     “For King,” wrote Michael McPhearson, “Civil Rights was inextricably linked to [world] peace.”  King repeatedly connected what he called the triple evils of war, poverty, and racism, or war, the economic system of inequality, and racism. 
       The prominent writer, James Baldwin, made the same case.  When he spoke at a rally on “Security Through World Disarmament,” he was asked why he chose to speak at such an event, and he replied:  The fight for world peace and the struggle for civil rights are the same.  “It is just as difficult,” he said, “for the white American to think of peace as it is of no color.”  
     And again we should add gender.  Another important great source of injustice, perhaps even underlying war and racism, is patriarchy.   Domination is again the key.  To some white men in power, the accumulation of nuclear weapons to dominate and bully other nations is like the desire for power over women.   
     And perhaps the present greatest, the most dangerous domination is that of planetary warming, the result of human extraction of resources, particularly of fossil fuels.   From the beginning of the industrial revolution, the mostly masculine economy has been devoted to exploiting nature for human benefit but also producing too much overheating CO2.
     All our main struggles are inextricably linked.  Yours is mine, mine is yours.  Global is local is global.
     That is why we need a full-spectrum movement for peace, justice, and ecology—to ban the bomb, to end color and gender inequality and discrimination, and to defend the climate.

Ref.:  Michael McPhearson, “Peace at Home: Mourning Philando,” Peace In Our Time” (Summer 2017, p. 3).
Maria Mies, Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labour.  1986. 

EDITORIAL #3  (War #3)  494 words
 “Facing Nuclear Madness from Hiroshima 1945 to North Korea 2017”   (for KPSQ’s Weekly Program Fayetteville Folkus aired July 29 hosted by Jim Lukens.  This recording was supervised by Mary Gillcoat.)
 My slogan for these thumbnail commentaries is: “Think globally, act locally and globally.”   We must cultivate our local gardens, but national and international problems require us to link local to national and international actions.   My chief assumptions are that our main dangers are the two catastrophes of nuclear war and climate warming, and our response should be nonviolent.  
     The second largest population of Marshall Islanders live in Washington County.  Thus my first editorial told about the Marshall Islands law suits versus the nuclear nations to make nuclear weapons illegal. 
     My second editorial summarized Fayetteville native and former Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright’s concept of empathy in his book The Price of Empire.  Then  I applied his ideas to the challenge of ending United States/North Korean nuclear threatening today.
    Now my subject is the long remembrance in Fayetteville of the WWII nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The commemoration was begun by the local Peace Organizing Committee during the 1960s, and held in the University’s Greek Amphitheater.  Each year we learned more about the bombs and their consequences from books like John Hersey’s Hiroshima and Robert J. Lifton’s Survivors of Hiroshima, and more about how to realize our slogan “Never Again” from speakers of campus and towns, from songs, and music.   The 1960s’s Peace Committee evolved into the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology in 2001.
     Our Remembrance has been enhanced by the addition to the university campus of the Fulbright Statue and Peace Fountain, and by the Peace Planet sculpture by Hank Kaminsky on the Fayetteville Square.  We have alternated our ceremony between the two locations.  And our program has also enlarged as part of the growing international desire to ban those bombs entirely.   We remember, and we join with others to abolish nuclear weapons.  It’s happening:  the United Nations General Assembly voted to make the bombs illegal, along with chemical and other weapons of mass destruction, and the Treaty is now being ratified, though not including the United States.
      On Sunday, August 6, at 6 p.m., at our location for this year--the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 901 W. Cleveland--the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology invites you to attend our annual Remembrance of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  We remember the deaths of 230,000 innocents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the victims of all indiscriminate air war, we renounce war and threats of war, join Global Nuclear Zero hopes of all humanity for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and celebrate the United Nations Treaty Initiative to ban nuclear weapons.  Music, poetry and speakers will reflect on the meaning of the day.  And a live-stream video with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui or his representative is anticipated.
     This is always a deeply meaningful occasion for people who long for peace.  Please join us Sunday, August 6, 6:00 pm .

EDITORIAL #2    
TO KEEP THE TALK WITHIN 5 MINUTES I EXCISED THis OPENING PAR on empathy/compassion
      Fayetteville nourishes many compassion advocacy groups.   Compassion is defined in one dictionary as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for someone struck by misfortune, accompanied by a desire to alleviate the suffering.”  No Empathy advocacy group exists here, by name at least, but it is close to compassion.  We might describe one mission of the UAF’s Fulbright College to be the enlargement of empathy, defined as “the identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, etc., of another.”  Let’s for a moment consider the feelings of empathy and compassion as two steps toward a moral life: empathic capacity to imagine another’s state of mind and compassionate capacity to sympathize with that other person.
 
TITLE of #2:  For World Peace, See the World as Others See It  (War #2)  432 words

      Usually discussion of empathy is personal and local.  But it is also important for national and international affairs, and for world peace.   Fayetteville’s native son, J. William Fulbright, exemplifies that belief.  Fulbright was briefly president of the Univ. of Arkansas and later a U.S. senator and chair of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.  He is perhaps best known for his international educational exchange program, partly based upon a philosophy of empathy defined as the identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, etc., of another.” In his book The Price of Empire Fulbright explained his commitment to empathy in the conduct of national relations.  His final chapter is titled “Seeing the World as Others See It,” and his “Afterword” describes “Changing Our Manner of Thinking.”   “Why is it,” he asks, “that so much of the energy and intelligence of nations is used to make life painful and difficult for other peoples and nations, rather than to make life better for all?”  His answer is:  insufficient ability to perceive and feel the experience, the outlook, the feelings of others, including official national enemies.  He notably opposed the Vietnam War and other US invasions, such as the Dominican Republic and Guatemala, and his opposition arose partly from his belief in the power for peace and justice in empathy.
     Thus it seems natural to ask how Fulbright might respond now to the confrontation between the United States and North Korea.  An aspect of empathy is that knowledge of the other is essential.  We must know the history, the feelings and thoughts of North Koreans.  But our leaders make no effort to see the world as Kim Jong Un sees it, or as his father and grandfather saw it, despite the ample evidence of their worlds.    Many books and articles give us the history of the ancient culture of Korea, by which we can know where the Kims are coming from, why for example they detest the Japanese who brutally occupied their country, and with whom the U.S. has formed a military alliance opposed to North Korea.  At least five books—by I. F. Stone, Bruce Cumings, Hugh Deane, Martin Hart-Landsberg, and Charles Hanley--and many articles explain why the Korean War and its horrendous decimation by the United States of N. Korea’s cities and towns have such a powerful hold over Kim Jong Un’s mind.   
    Armed with knowledge and understanding of the feelings and thoughts of the North Koreans, our leaders could break the present dangerous pattern of threatened invasion and nuclear devastation.

Editorial #1 ON NUCLEAR WAR: MARSHALL ISLANDS SUIT V. NUCLEAR NATIONS  386 words
Think globally, act locally.   Rather, Think globally, act locally, act globally
I.    2 Primary dangers: Nuc War and Warming

II.  Nuclear War
Think Globally
We must abolish nuclear weapons.   The nations possessing nuclear weapons have increased from one to 9.   So long as the weapons are available, nations will seek them.  Trimming the existing number will not stop their proliferation and bring us safety. 

Connect Local and Global
I expect you know that the US tested some 60 hydrogen bombs in the Pacific Ocean’s Marshall Islands during the 1950s.    And you know that the Marshall Islands community centered in Springdale is the largest outside the Islands.  Springdale is the home of Marshall Islands’ US consulate.   Not so well known is that nation’s legal suit brought against all of the nations possessing nuclear weapons.   In courts in the US and in the ICJ, the International Court of Justice, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is challenging the nuclear nations for violating the Nonproliferation Treaty, the NPT.    Specifically, the suit challenges their failure to initiate nuclear disarmament negotiations   in    violation   of   Article  VI  of the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law.  In fact to the contrary, the Pentagon and Obama administration in 2015 initiated a 10-year trillion dollar program to upgrade US nuclear weapons.

Think of that.  Already, each of the Ohio-class Trident submarines can carry up to 24  ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with multiple, independently-targeted bombs.  One of those subs alone is called a doomsday machine, and the US has 14 of them.  Add the bombs carried by our intercontinental airplanes and in the missile sites around the country.   And the bombs of the other 8 nuclear nations.   The danger is incalculably immense—from accident, fear, or malice. 
So congratulations to the government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and to former Foreign Minister Tony de Brum for being voted the 2016 Arms Control Person of the Year by the Arms Control Association.    The award was given for taking the case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague against the world's nuclear-armed states. 
     The OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology during its entire existence has warned against the proliferation of nuclear weapons with our annual remembrance of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  A few years back we joined the international movement to Abolish the Bombs.   Check it out.  Get the links 


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