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FEBRUARY 24, 2013 6:51PM

3 Books For What Little Time We Have Left (Part I)

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Georgia Guidestones

 This monument is known as the Georgia Guidestones, installed in 1980.  Located in Elbert County, Georgia -- an unknown businessman commissioned the installation of this monument in English and 9 other languages as well as four ancient languages.  Its message is meant for many years in the future after mankind has depleted all of the resources on the planet, and it attempts to provide guidance to the people left after the global catastrophe on how to conduct their lives and their relationship to the Earth.

 

LIMITS TO GROWTH: The 30- Year Update by Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, & Dennis Meadows

I have decided to tie together three  books that I've read lately, as I think they provide  some excellent roadmaps to what we are collectively going to face for the rest of our lives -- particularly baby boomers like myself.

Spoiler alert:  Limits to Growth  is in many respects a downer. If you read the book, you might be tempted to either slit your wrists or joing some fundamentalist cult.  This is not recommended.   Stick around to see Parts II and III, as  I lay out not only a positive analysis of the condition we face as a species, but ultimately -- one potential solution to realistically address the challenges that we're facing together.

Limits to Growth is a very curious book.  As important as its findings and messages are, I would not recommend reading it. Many parts of Limits to Growth are technical and devoted to systems analysis.  More annoyingly, it is written in a kind of style that would be appropriate for a comprehensive review of some local land use policy.   Be that as it may, the message of the book is critically, vitally important to the human condition.

It all began with the Club of Rome in the late 1960s. A distinguished group of businessmen, statesmen, and scientists decided to track historical patterns of economic and population growth.  They then took those trends and extrapolated information about vital human resources and conditions to the year 2100.  It's worth noting that this report was instrumental in founding the first Earth Day  in 1970.

Their report was fleshed out by scientists, statisticians, and computer programmers from MIT in 1972. What the original reports  found from the various computer models was that economic growth and population increases would continue until shortly after 2000.  After that, there would be a period of leveling off, followed by a systemic colllapse of critical elements needed for human society -- unless significant and worldwide corrective action was done.  Without a change in the way the world has historically worked, this collapse would continue until a newer, much lower level of prosperity and population existed -- some time around the year 2100.

Using a systems analysis approach, the technicians isolate particular variables and examine how changes in particular forms of behavior can improve the long term lot of mankind.  For the thirty year update, the future of the world has been divided into eight scenarios of varying optimism. 

 What they found has not been pretty.  Mankind has been behaving in accordance with a profligate resource usage scenario laid out in the original.  What this means is that collectively, the world has not made any serious effort to control either its consuming impulses or its environmental destruction.We have been spending our inheritance while we max out on our credit cards. We are eating our seed corn.

To be sure, there have been minor deviations from the original Club of Rome findings.  For example, mankind has devoted more energy into providing services and less energy into producing goods than was originally projected.  And people should be collectively applauded for whatever efforts that they've placed into recycling and carbon reduction.

But the bottom line for the pessimistic book is found on page 14, where the authors lay out in graphic form the trajectories of the  eight various scenarios for the 21st Century.  Although the graphs are divided into 50 year increments, I took the liberty of measuring out where we are now and where we're headed. For the most part the immediate future can be seen as the peak of the human condition.  And although many scenarios indicate that our species and our planet could continue to tread water up to perhaps 2040, the most pessimistic scenario shows that the trap door for homo sapiens could open up between 2025 and 2030.

The computer modelers admit that their assumptions on human behavior show no wars or excessive military spending,  no bad national leadership, or some other foibles of human behavior that currently bedevil us. Thus, there is every reason to assume that the most pessimistic scenario is the most realistic one.

In short, we as a species have ten to fifteen years before things begin to go really horribly wrong with our planet.  For those of us who are baby boomers, we will all die at exactly the right time.  Our generation will have succeeded in sucking out all of the juice and pulp of the planet's fruits.  And our generation will then throw the bitter rind on the ocean of steaming pig shit that we will bequest to our children and grandchildren.  And yet...

All is not lost.  First, I have seen with my own eyes, the dedication, energy, and competence that the younger generation has demonstrated. Even in my days as a student radical in the 1960s, I've never encountered a crop of young people as there is today.  While they share the knowledge of the vast injustices perpetrated by our system, their answer has been to respond in a completely different way from the student demonstrations and sit ins from my youth.

In many respects, they have the skills of a seasoned Chicago ward heeler.  They are consumate political pros, and they are fully up on the methods and technolgies to maximize results at the polls for a progressive agenda.  Others are already embedded in and around national governments all over the world.  As consumate insiders, they know how to operate all the machinery of public influence and power.  And again, they are succeeding in subtly shifting the political discourse in the direction that all of us oldsters have been hoping to see take place for forty years or more.

Many of these actions are not visible now.  But they exist all over America -- under the radar. And it is guaranteed that they will make a major difference in the way business and government are operated in the future. Ten years from now, we may all look back and be pleasantly amazed at what has transpired.  But clearly, there is work to be done by all of us.

Lastly, going back to Limits to Growth, the book itself holds many ways in which significant change can occur.  Since it is written by systems analysts, it goes without saying that they take the attitude that everything is interrelated.  All things are stuck together, and a change in one isolated area has wide ramifications in a whole different set of areas.

Some of the things they recommend for significant change are basic, like moving towards more democratic systems, using technology to the utmost to help solve some of the global problems facing us, and practicing conservation and sustainability at all times.

 I will leave you with an extended part at the end of the book that talks about the attitudes that our species needs to adjust to in order to successfully transition the most significant challenge to our survival, perhaps since the Ice Age:

Not: A warning about the future is a predition of doom.

But: A warning about the future is a recommendation to follow a different path.

Not: The environment is a luxury or a competing demand or a commodity that people will buy when they can afford it.

But: The environment is the source of all life and every economy.  

Not: Change is a sacrifice, and it should be avoided.

But: Change is a challenge, and it is necessary.

Not: Stopping growth will lock the poor into their poverty.

But: It is the avarice and indifference of the rich that lock the poor into poverty.  The poor need new attitudes among the rich; then there will be growth specifically geared to serve their needs.

Not: Everyone should be brought up to the matieral level of the richest countries.

But: There is no possibility of raising material consumption levels for everyone to the levels now enjoyed by the rich.  Everyone should have their fundamental material needs satisfied.  Material needs beyond this level should be satisfied only if possible, for all, within a sustainable ecological footprint.

Not: All growth is good, without question, discrimination, or investigation.

But: What is needed is not growth, but development.  Insofar as development requires physical expansion, it should be equitable, affordable, and sustainable, with all real costs counted.

Not: Technology will solve all problems. Nor: Technology does nothing but cause problems.

But: We need to encoujrage technologies that will reduce the ecolgical footprint, increase efficiency, enhance resources, improve signals, and end material deprivation.  And: We must approach our problems as human beings and bring more to bear on them than just technology.

Not: Industry is the cause of all problems or the cure.  Nor: Government is the cause of all problems or the cure.  Nor: Environmentalists are the cause or the cure. Nor: Any other group (economists come to mind)  is the cause or cure for the problems we face.

But: All people and institutions play their role within the large system structure.  In a system that is structured to overshoot (or consume wastefully or selfishly) all players deliberately or inadvertently contribute to that overshoot.  In a system that is structured for sustainability, industries, governments, environmentalists, and most especially economists will play essential roles in contributing to sustainability.

Not: Unrelieved pessimism.

Nor:  Sappy optimism.

But: The  resolve to tell the truth about both the successes and failures of the present and the potentials and obstacles in the future.

 And abve all: The courage to admit and bear the pain of the present while keeping a steady eye on the vision of a better future.

In Part II, I'll tell you about why we are now living in one of the most revolutionary periods in human history, some of its implications, and how we are already involved (whether we know it or not) in radically transforming the world.

 

 

 

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These books seem past my level of understanding so I will follow along and learn from you.
All this is based on the idea that money is real and should be treated as such. But there is no future for the fiction of money (or any falsehood). The answer isn't in any book, it's in the human heart, ready and waiting for anybody to read anytime. Glad you at least broached this taboo subject.
I guess it's time for me to make like "Dr. Evil" and fire up my Dandee Boy spaceship. R
Fascinating, ONL. I remember when the Lyndon LaRouche bunch targeted the Club of Rome, lumping it with the so-called "Rockefeller Cabal" as the true enemies of mankind. That seems so long ago, yet it wasn't really. I wish I had read this report when it first came out. Many thanks for the summary!
If I remember it correctly, the original Limits to Growth got their oil projections badly wrong as they under-projected the discovery and exploitation of new resources. Nonetheless, it would seem that in general resources must run out, whether that's in a few decades or a century or more. But it looks like they learned lessons from the criticisms of the 1972 edition.

Grounds for some optimism include the developing technologies for utilizing renewable resources and new technologies like the 3D printer. Before long the latter could make large manufacturing plants all but obsolete.

This will all get played out just a the more severe effects of global warming are occurring. It should make for a hell of a schmozzle but I guess neither of us will be around to witness that.
interesting analysis. have you heard of the document "silent weapons for quiet wars"? would be interesting to hear your perspective on that one sometime.
Waiting for the next installation. This looks really good
I have read of the Georgia Guidestones, very curious indeed. Fascinating post, we seem to be a very self-destructive species bent on immediate pleasure seeking and unable to use our intellect to our advantage. Instead we follow the least intelligent and least admirable. I wonder if we will choose instead to save ourselves and the life around us.
Thanks for this great book review! I agree, we need to adjust our attitude and thinking in order to change our behavior--or the Earth will force us to change, ready or not. So true, "The environment is the source of all life and every economy."

Maybe you've seen this (I think) great TED video: Hans Rosling on Global Population Growth Similar to these authors, he says he is not an optimist, or a pessimist, but a possibilist. He reaches some similar conclusions as your authors; also he believes the real key to stabilizing the global population is to reduce infant mortality and eliminate extreme poverty, because when that happens, the birth rate drops. Really interesting & informative post!
not before time. it may be physically possible to avoid extinction levels of environment collapse, but human culture and psychology does not permit the radical changes that are immediately necessary. it simply takes too long to turn the ship. still, 'go, stranger to lacedaemonia and tell, that here in answer to its command, we fell.' makes a better story than staying drunk with the kid's inheritance.
Lunchlady, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand some of the principles that I'm talking about. Being concerned about human beings and your environment and the state of the world makes you able to pretty much understand all you need to know on this subject.

Cheshyre, although money is an artificial concept it still makes the world go 'round. However, you are certainly correct in saying that what's in our hearts is collectively the most important thing. And I would add, how do we collectively deal with greedheads?

Trudge, that rocket ship sounds pretty appealing. I'm a planetary chauvinist : OUR PLANET. LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!

Matt, I had completely forgotten Lyndon La Rouche's opposition to the Club of Rome report. Of course, Lyndon was in thrall to the extreme libertarians who now worship Ayn Rand. It's nice to know that you're hated by the right people sometimes.

Abrawang, I could have taken a lot more time detailing out some of the misprojections and misassumptions in the Club of Rome reports and the ten year updates that followed it. However, the major findings of the whole shebang still appear to be very sound.

You are right about the implications of 3D printing. This type of technology could fit in nicely with a more sustainable future, potentially buying our species and our planet more time. However, one can never totally assess the future impact of any technology. So we shall see.

One of the things I'm struck by in looking at this ten year old review of the Club of Rome findings is how cautious scientists were about the impacts of global warming AKA the Big GW. Ten years down the road, there is dramatic evidence of really catastrophic effects of greenhouse gases, not just with CO2 but with the melting of the permafrost and the massive amounts of methane, which contribute to atmospheric heatings 34 times greater than CO2. With many scientists saying that we are rapidly approaching a tipping point of extremely catastrophic climate change, we may all have substantially less good time remaining than even the Limits to Growth book postulates.

We must use what time we have left exceedingly well. It might indeed be later than we think.

vzn, I briefly inspected "silent weapons for quiet wars." It appears to be more command and control oriented for the national security state. It also has deficiencies in assuming some electromechanical or software analysis of the economy alone. The problem with this is that the world economy is considerably more complex than what the models in SW4QW indicates. If people had been able to cobble together such a program for even just one national economy, perhaps the Soviet Union would have never died.

The Club of Rome findings, I believe take a much better approach at analyzing things. For one thing, the reports take historical consumption patterns of gross indicators worldwide. How much energy does the world use in a year? How much copper does it consume? What are the per capita incomes of all the countries in the world historically? Indicators like these are put into the hopper, and perhaps thousands of computer runs are done with different variables. These are then aggregated into eight overall scenarios.

As I said before, the findings have serious deficiencies, but their assumptions are out in the open -- allowing anyone to challenge those assumptions. All in all this is much more scientific than whatever confidential information could be gathered and aggregated by one spy agency or another.

XJS, Some people say that the Bookhenge was actually funded by Ted Turner.

l'Heure: My theme in all three parts is that by necessity we must save our collective selves as well as the environment around us. And living by this pretty much conforms to what all the great religions teach.

Clay ball, I've loved Hans Rosling's TED lectures. I've gone over them multiple times. He gives a very optimistic account of what the human condition has managed to do in the last 50 years or so.

However, given the time pressure that our species is under -- it's time to steop up to the plate and redouble our efforts to make the world a better place. The clock is ticking.
al, many people around here view you as the resident cynic. I, however, appreciate your cold realistic take on politics and life.

What you have posed to us is in fact an existential question. And it should be clear that while my time here is brief, I will try to change what I can change -- even while realizing the potentially Sysyphean nature and absurdity of it all.

Why not fight the good fight, instead of just surrendering?
the idea of a "trapdoor" is very intriguing/interesting, however believe it is unlikely.
humans will adapt to new conditions. this is already happening. world population growth might be levelling off, this is a clear trend seen in the childbirth rate of developing countries. this analysis, while deep/thorough, did not take into account this key demographic shift.
also, there is an interesting historical study of a "bottleneck" in human evolution about 70k yrs ago when apparently the supervolcano Toba eruption almost wiped out the entire human race, it definitely wiped out a large part of existing life. a major extinction event.... the human race has survived through multiple ice ages etcetera. we are incredibly adaptable. however, there may be monumental/nonlinear shifts in basic organizational structures such as states, cities, families, etc... this is happening now, the early signs are there.
I saw the movie The End of Growth before I read the book. I was working with a group of students for an outfit called Christian Action in 1973. We were rehabing a tenement in East Acton in London. One afternoon they excused us from work, and they took us downtown to show us the film.

LaRouche is right about the Club of Rome being an elite Round Table group. It was founded by the Rockefeller family and only people of a certain income level are invited to join. That's not to say that everything the ruling elite says and does is wrong - those people have children and grandchildren just like we do and have good reason to be concerned about the impending planetary crisis.

At present their current pet project seems to be reforming the global monetary system (i.e. taking control of the money supply out of the hands of private banks). They have a recent presentation by Bernard Lietaer on their website: http://www.clubofrome.org/?p=4478

Lietaer by the way has been actively promoting the proposal by IMF economists Kumhof and Benes to discontinue the debt-based (private bank) system of money creation and have national governments take control of the money supply. This is known as The Chicago Plan, after a proposal initially floated during the Great Depression.

Abrawang is not remembering correctly. Oil exploration peaked in 1964 exactly as Limits to Growth predicted. See http://www.manicore.com/anglais/documentation_a/oil/oil_future_peak.html

Here's a link to Kumhof explaining how The Chicago Plan would operate: http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/YnAtHbDptj8&hl=en_US&fs=1&
Fascinatiing post. Rated. I have to say I agree with you, just looking at my kids and their friends. Their combination of idealism and pragmatism, combined with an ironic cynical digust for the world as it is that seems to enegize rather than ennervate them, never ceases to amaze me. I admit it's a very small sample, but ...
Although there are necessities obvious to extended survival there is little evidence that those necessities are being used to motivate current policies. The obscenely rich who own and control the bulk of the worlds wealth show little real interest in environmental considerations. That there should be any debate at all over the chopping of mountain tops and the fracking that is inexorably destroying vital water sources or that here is any sane thought from those in power to stop the disasters incipient in the filthy Canadian pipeline or that the poorer classes are getting anything other than a kick in the teeth from the powerful financial sector or that there is any sense of cooperation in sharing the world's natural resources instead of the open wars to cause chaos in countries with this remaining wealth in order for the most militarily powerful nations to grab them, it is thoroughly hidden from me. I am not a pessimist, merely an observer. The world is run by vicious greedy fools with all the impulses of a colony of termites destroying the structure in which they live.
ONL--On the "writing about something that is actually important" scale, I'd score you at 10. I also appreciate what you are doing here in translating the message, putting it in context and preparing the reader.

Your comments on young people having the talents and skills of a seasoned Chicago ward heeler has been what I've seen too. I have been endlessly delighted with the fact that my alderman invented an app to report potholes.
I must say ONL I don't think that Georgia Guidestone Monument is a positive thing at all. One of the things that it says is maintain global population at 500 million. I don't have the foggiest what is being promoted there, considering that there are nearly 7 billion human souls living on this rock (third one from the sun) right now.

Of course, it is an immense conundrum, the amount of resources humans -- especially first world ones -- consume just to live. Population is, of course, expected to continue in rising and with the global warming predictions and such; I feel it will be an interesting time to be alive. Certainly, there are some pessimistic possibilities, and I certainly hope none of them come to pass.

Necessity is the mother of invention, it doesn't seem like we have enough green technologies to be a good steward of our planet right, but hopefully someday -- in the not too distant future -- we will. The existence of human life may, certainly, depend upon it.
The thing is, your generation comprised a large chunk of the population. Baby boomers were 40-50% of the population when they were teenagers, due to the fact that the WW2 generation was horny as hell when they came back from Europe and the Pacific, screwed like bunnies, didn't use condoms, and had a shit load of kids.

The over-saturation of the nation with affluent kids led to the student radicalism of the 1960s, as well as much of the instability we saw culminate in 1968.

Today's youth, while more liberal, educated and committed, is also less numerous as a percentage of the population. In your day, old, conservative, system-supporting pro-Establishment people died around the age of 60. Today, they regularly live until they are 80. Plus, their expensive retirements suck up all the family savings, meaning their kids and grandkids will inherit shit. In your time, the WW2 generation died early and left enough for their kids and grandkids. This doesn't happen anymore. The doctors, HMOs and nursing homes suck it all up today.

This means our liberal youth are so busy working to pay off student loans, and/or working to pay off the credit card debt they incurred when they were unemployed (most jobs today are independent contractor jobs, which means when you get fired or laid off you don't get unemployment benefits), they don't have time for activism.

The Trilateral Commission wrote a paper on this, on how to curb student activism through debt and work. Its on the internet, but it costs $300 to purchase.
Oh look, here is the trilateral commission paper I was alluding to, for free.

http://www.trilateral.org/download/doc/crisis_of_democracy.pdf
Dr. Bramhall, thank you very much for pointing out the Club of Rome's website to me. I really don't care where I get my information from, as long as it's accurate and reliable. Elite groups like the CFR, Trilateral Commission, or Club of Rome have information that I prize -- as there are very few organizations that have the ability to deploy top talent in search of extremely obscure information that can be analyzed.

Interestingly enough, a 40 year update on the original 1970-72 findings is available, and I hope to get a hard copy of it ASAP. Right now, it appears as if it's either available only in German or under peer review by the Club. However, I did see a presentation of findings last night, and (with some of my comments) are some of the significant findings:

A hard landing for homo sapiens is now likely (SURPRISE! And I might add, probably a lot earlier than the new projections indicate.)

We will max out in pumping CO2 into the air around 2030, and CO2 levels will continue to rise until roughly 2080 before going down. This will cause a 3 degree rise in global temperatures -- enough to set off runaway global warming and climate change.

Population will now peak at 8.1 billion. (When coupled with catastrophic climate change, only 500 million people will be capable of surviving on our new, improved Earth. That's equal to a 93.6% dieoff.)

Pollution will be the biggest challenge mankind will face, not food, water, or fuel.

We are currently consuming the equivalent of 1.4 planet Earths.

There's lots to critique from the findings of the report, but that's for another post.

Steve and Chicago Guy, I'm glad that you've noticed the new generation as well. My next post will have additional reasons why they're focused like laser beams.

Jan, you are very eloquent.

Sean, I've never thought that the Georgia Guidestones were anything except a monument to the insane greed and destructive idiocy of human beings. And the knowledge of what's facing us collectively must spur all of us into action to at least put some brakes on the runaway train heading for the broken bridge.
Check out the discussion that begins on p. 101
http://www.trilateral.org/go.cfm?do=file.showdirectory&list=Triangle-Papers

Here's all their publications, which you can download for free in pdf format.
I also think that this is an elitist idea dedicated to removing poor people from the world through slow death.

I mean, the 500,000 people left alive. They would all be elitists, oligarchs and Harvard Graduates, no?
ONL, I have to agree with Che about how your vaunted youth will continue to be marginalized. Do you think that AARP and all the older generations, the lawyers and lobbyists and business people and professionals, and the Republicans and FOX News are going to be overturned by a few tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of youth activists, in a population of over 300 million? Are you kidding? The establishment powers will continue to block any genuine transformation. That's all they have to do, is block progress, maintain inertia in the system, and that's what they will do. What kind of Mexican ganja have you been inhaling?...lol and wink
Ernesto,
I'd think they'd need people to do the hard physical labor. Though, we could be looking at robots capable of doing all of this, not too far from now. Which, of course, doesn't necessarily augur well.
I feel like I know less now than I did before I started reading.
To everyone who's commented since my last comment, you're taking things into a very interesting area. While the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral, and COR are all excellent starting points, we should be very wary about swallowing their recommendations hook line and sinker because, after all-- they are elitists with an elite self-interest.

For just one example, the latest COR findings recommend both more liberal democracy at every level, while they simultaneously advocate possibly unchecked power to supranational organizations (G-20, World Bank? etc.) Obviously, the idea of grass roots democracy and greater social and economic equality is in direct contradiction to this finding. And this is only one area where the elite recommendations and findings try to put a slant on their analyses for their own interest.

As to the elite's unwillingness to give up power, they have potentially placed themselves into the position of having to capitulate to legitimate (and revolutionary) demands of the people as a whole. If there is going to be a relatively peaceful and harmonious working towards solutions to our global problems, they will have to cede their power in significant areas.

The ground is shifting underneath them, and you can connect the dots between the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. More on that in my Part II.
I've come to the conclusion that since the majority of people are "greedheads" all one can do is make peace with one's Maker. There can be battles that are won but the war is lost. We've bet that the laws of men can trump the laws of nature. No too hard to figure out who's going to win that bet!
Are you crazy? Where is Occupy Wall Street today? What revolution is coming? Millions of guns are in the hands of conservative Amerikans. How many guns does the youth movement or OWS have. You are dreaming lefty...hugs
Ah, nothing gets conservatives riled up like being reminded they've been wrong for over 40 years.
Odd that you are writing this ONL. I am writing a book that started off as an article on the War on Drugs and now has become something of a Project on Humanity and it's Systems. I am hoping to distill the essential elements down into something like this in size, but the scope (like the book "The Limits of Growth" aptly shows) covers SO MANY AREAS of human endeavor, physical disciplines, current technology, it's uses and abuses, as well as our ecosystem and how it can be sustained, changed and improved upon by us, Humanity, changing the way we live, build, work and grow.

All in all, I am an optimist. I am also a cynic. Most people confuse cynicism with pessimism, though this is in fact, an error of semantics. Important semantics to be sure. Pessimism is a view that things are the way they are and they aren't going to improve -- or will, in fact, get worse. Cynics do not make such assumptions.

A cynic see what is, without filters, and makes the observations internally as to their level of efficacy -- or lack thereof.

I am an cynical optimist because I see the world and note that historically, things have progressively gotten better on the whole. I see the incredibly stupid, mean, cruel and selfish behavior of many of my fellows out there and recognize that, with the observation of many people doing things without thinking them through, that most people are not purposely cruel, selfish, mean or stupid -- they just aren't paying attention.

You combine this with how often we humans do stupid, thoughtless things in situations where people should be dying left and right and see how often we come out clean -- and it gives me hope that those of us that are paying attention (and everyone falls prey to inattentiveness, occasional thoughtless stupidity and the odd moment of mean or cruel behavior in extremis, even the really smart and attentive folks) will have even better odds of making a change and surviving through quick thinking, good reflexes and sheer force of will to survive.

I, too see kids (and when I say kids, I am referring to those "whippersnappers" born post 1985 or so and slightly older as well as the teens today) who are smart as whips, politically aware, motivated to make useful, sustainable changes and have a strong and well defined sense of how injust the status quo inherently is. They are sharp minded and keenly interested in making the world a better place.

And I support them all the way. They give me, a slightly too late to be a hippie (born in 1960) free thinker, that our Revolution of the 1960's is nothing more than Revolution: Interrupted. Today, I am hoping we see Revolution: The Conclusion.

It is, in my view, the obligation of any older person who hopes for the future to nurture and provide wisdom to these younger folks and to also recognize when to get the hell out of their way and let them do what we couldn't irrespective of the reasons we couldn't back then.

--r--
cheshyre, that is your choice. I choose to do what I can to make the world a better place, however small or insignificant my efforts are.

Yagoda, I also mentioned the Arab Spring. And as to the millions of conservative gun owners, in Part III, I'll reveal how to turn red states blue.

Tobbar, the future is always potentially scary. But we must try to win the day.

Sean, there will be plenty of time to worry about robots in the future. As to the 1%, as I said before -- they are caught on the horns of a dilemna. On the one hand, they enjoy their privileges. On the other hand, they have posited democratic means of government. And even though they hope that supranational agencies like the G-20, BIS, World Bank, or other groups can take command and control of various aspects of trying to save the planet -- they are deathly afraid of a legitimate upwelling of the people for a cleaner environment and redistribution of wealth.

The task facing us all is to mobilize and organize at the local level while we remain connected to the best ideas and practices in the world. And the time is opportune to start that process.

Dianne, do not be confused. I know that you have good instincts. Follow them.

dunnite, wise words indeed!
Malthus and Ehrlich were right. But the Right Wingnuts still assert that we have to breed like roaches. God said to.