No, we’re not crying wolf

I gain a shred of hope for the future when I read about the heroic efforts of Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, to draw attention to the criminal exploitation of the Arctic by fossil fuel prospectors.

Last week Naidoo braved hosing with cold water in the frigid temperatures of the North to take a stand on a huge Russian oil platform.

It was a publicity stunt, yes.  But how else are we going to attract the attention of the multitudes who need to know what is being done under the radar in the new Arctic Oil Rush?

As the pack ice melts at a historic pace, the fossil fuel industry is moving in.  Never mind the fact that oil spills in these waters will be almost impossible to stop.  Never mind the fact that this is the last refuge for so many endangered species, from polar bears and seals to whales and seabirds. Never mind that the more oil we pump out of the bowels of the earth, the faster we’ll wreck our fragile climate.

I am doing a lot of pondering lately about tactics.

The Occupy movement here in the States seems to have largely fizzled.  Oh yes, a couple of busloads of protestors did go down from NYC to Tampa to protest at the RNC—and it’s true that the hurricane warnings put a damper on people’s enthusiasm to venture forth.

But if Kumi Naidoo and his team can brave the Arctic to climb the side of an oil rig, it seems to me that we ought to be able to mount a better protest at our Stateside behemoth, the Republican National Convention.

But no.  The mainstream media is reporting on the Convention in level terms, as though it weren’t a circus aimed at gutting what is left of the social contract that, at least since FDR’s time, Americans have come to consider a birthright. It reminds me of how reporters went along with the “WMD mushroom cloud” nonsense in the build-up to the invasion of Baghdad, or how they all but waved American flags in our faces when publishing the photos of the American soldiers killed in Iraq.

Hardly anyone has bothered to remark on the fact that we just passed our two-thousandth dead American soldier in Afghanistan this summer.

These deaths just creep upon us, the same way that oil rigs spring up like weeds in previously pristine waters, along with aquaculture farms, chemical runoff, GMO seeds and fracking wells.

It all happens so quietly and so deftly, while we are busy trying to pay our bills, or getting in a little vacation, or saying farewell to another loved one who has succumbed to cancer.

The Kumi Naidoos and the Tim DeChristophers and the Rachel Corries of the world jerk us back to reality and remind us that while we weren’t paying attention, the thieves got in and began “minding the store.”  In their own fashion.

Their tactics are always the same.  Catch people unawares; get them to sign documents ceding their rights; then systematically go about the business of resource extraction as quickly as possible, with as high a profit margin as possible.  Get it done before the sleeping populace awakes, before the regulators notice anything amiss, before people and animals begin to sicken and the lawsuits begin.  After all, the legal process can be held up in appeals for generations, and meanwhile how many fortunes can be made?

What should our countering tactics be?

Visibility is important: hence the merit of the Greenpeace approach.

Building a movement is important—not just among those willing to camp out in city parks, but among senior citizens and the middle class, unemployed white collar workers and soccer moms, as well as the marching band kids.

People need to realize that this is deadly serious.  No one is crying wolf here.

If we don’t act now to break our fossil fuel addiction, our time on this planet is almost over.

Maybe if we’re lucky, we can come back as bacteria or cockroaches.  But humans?  We’re just about done.

 

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28 Comments

  1. Martin Lack

     /  August 29, 2012

    I am really pleased to see you blogging about this, Jennifer. I have been getting the emails from Greenpeace too but am in the middle of “Project Solutions” (i.e. a series of posts trying to focus on solving the insanity rather than just complaining about it as I have been doing)…

    Talking of insanity, this is what I said regarding Gazprom, in response to a recent comment on my blog:
    …I would love to see how people can deny the significance of an ice-free Arctic Ocean for the first time in 800,000 years. However, in your haste to blame everything on Anglo-Saxons you seem to have forgotten about Russia, which has started to drill for oil in the Pechora Sea this week: Unsurprisingly, Gazprom denies that Greenpeace activists have had or will have any effect; so the insanity continues…

    Reply
  2. Like Martin, I’m glad to see you (a person with such a flair for words) writing about this. Unlike Martin, I have now lost all hope that there is anything that can be done about it.

    The time to have built a groundswell of opinion was three decades ago, when I (to give one example) was a teenager concerned about the reports I was hearing that we were ‘going to run out of oil in thirty years’. Unfortunately, the process of growing up got in my way; and Those Who Were Supposed To Know reassured us that Solutions Had Been Found. I did nothing, because I was seduced by the very thieves you’re talking about here.

    But I was not alone. We didn’t take that opportunity. And now it’s too late.

    Getting seniors involved? That’s a laugh. I can’t even persuade my mother to turn the television off when she’s not watching it, or order milk in glass bottles from the milkman rather than in plastic ones from the local supermarket. (The latter are, in her reality, ‘much cheaper’.) It’s the seniors who’ve caused the problem: those still alive are on the gravy train that was designed by their generation to allow them to prosper into an old age that will, I’m sure, be the last of its kind.

    Reply
    • Martin Lack

       /  August 30, 2012

      Woah there, I am not such a big optimist, actually. It is just that I think optimism plays better with the unconvinced. If you were a teenager three decades ago then you must be more or less the same age as Jennifer and (gulp) me as well. I was born in 1965, the year the LBJ admitted to the world what Roger Revelle had told him – that we were conducting a vast geophysical experiment on the atmosphere. Unfortunately, while everyone was busy “never having had it so good”, the fossil fuel lobby set about constructing their denial machine (using blue prints borrowed from the tobacco industry’s PR consultants). Many people today think the FFL started attacking climate scientists in the late 1980s (e.g. Hansen and Santer etc.), but the truth is they started at least a decade earlier – by discrediting the late John Mercer…
      See http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/global-weirding-and-optimism-bias/

      Your comments about the older generation are interesting; I have always assumed their recalcitrant agnosticism is a function of their age (i.e. you can’t teach old do new tricks) but, I suspect that you are right, it is more insidious than that.

      Reply
      • I hear you about optimism > pessimism (though in my experience both sides lay claim to be talking ‘realism’ anyway…).

        Thanks for dragging me back here. After I hit ‘Post Comment’ on my post above, I realised I wanted to also harangue the youngsters, who are aren’t helping the situation, because most of them have bought into the ‘oh! oh! there’s a new [insert popular widget here] being released — I simply must have it (or my life will not be worth living)!’

        … although that behaviour is almost certainly the fault of the now-old-fogeys-who-lacked-vision, because of their tacit agreement to allow their darling-chilluns-at-the-time to be brainwashed from birth by the constant drip, drip, drip of repetitive adverts on the idiot box.

      • Martin Lack

         /  August 30, 2012

        Advertisers sell only one thing – dissatisfaction.

  3. Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

     /  August 30, 2012

    Martin & Pedantry: I think it’s precisely the old and the young we need to be awakening most particularly. The young, obviously, because it’s their future at stake. The old because they have the time and the social position to be particularly effective. Bill McKibben has been calling on the older folks to get out to the protests and get arrested with him, the logic being that a police record will not harm them as much as it would a twenty-something who still has to try to make it in the mainstream working world.

    Like you both, I have been doing some thinking lately about my responsibility as part of the generation that blindly accepted the easy life provided by American imperialism and environmental predation. I am working on a longer piece of writing that I call a “political memoir” because it starts from personal memories of the different stages of my life, and sets them against the larger socio-political background, to which I was often oblivious at the time. I think this is an exercise more of us in middle age should be doing, to understand how we got here, to the brink of disaster.

    It’s all about waking up, and the more of us who wake up now, the more chance we have of pulling back from that brink.

    Reply
    • Martin Lack

       /  August 30, 2012

      I don’t know about you, Jennifer, but I find it hard to come to terms with the reality that I am middle-aged. However, this is mainly because I am currently unemployed and living on my own (if I had my two teenagers running around me the whole time I think I would feel much older). That is an interesting point you make about older people having nothing to fear from gaining a criminal record – it kind of stands conventional wisdom on its head (i.e. the view that older people are sensible and stoical; whereas youngsters are imprudent and impulsive)…

      Reply
  4. Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

     /  August 30, 2012

    Not only do I live with my teenage sons, but I teach “early college” students, and it’s getting to the point where I am older than some of their parents! Age is definitely just a state of mind, but I am beginning to relish my new status as “older & wiser.” I certainly have no desire to return to any previous decade of my life, unless it were perhaps the very first, my first 10 years….the dreaminess of early childhood was wonderful. But to return to that now would just be another way of pulling the covers back over my head. I’m too awake for that now.

    Reply
    • “When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye… I turned to look but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now, the child has grown, the dream has gone…”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jySUpMqmzd4

      Reply
    • Martin Lack

       /  August 30, 2012

      I know what you mean, I can’t get over how young some of my children’s teachers look!

      When I left Australia in 1989, the Pastor of the Baptist Church of which I had been a Deacon gave me a Bible verse to remember – “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past…”. I think he did this because he understood how conflicted I was over deciding to return to the UK to do an MSc (rather than go to a theological college in Western Australia)… Sadly, I seem to have spent much of the last two decades dwelling on the past and wondering whether I made the wrong decision (and/or married the wrong person 4 years later). I know it does no good (for either me or my wonderful children), but I find it hard to avoid wondering what would have happened if I had chosen differently 23 years ago.

      Reply
  5. Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

     /  August 30, 2012

    Looking back, it does seem that certain choices we make represent real crossroads, and doors close behind us as we move on. But I would imagine that you could still go to Seminary if you wanted to, Martin. Your writing is scientific and political, but also infused with ethics, which is what makes it powerful. Maybe you need to revisit that choice, at least!

    Reply
    • Martin Lack

       /  September 1, 2012

      Thanks Jennifer. I think the Seminary door is closed to me now as well. I enjoyed explaining to people what Biblical texts probably meant (by placing them in their historical and scientific context). However, I was always too much of a “Doubting Thomas” (I prefer to think of myself as merely having been intellectually honest) to be the spiritual head of household my ex-Wife wanted me to be. Sadly, this eventually led me to getting divorced because I realised I could never live up to her expectations. Finally, of course, as much as I might enjoy a postgrad diploma in Theology, I think I already have enough letters after my name – what I need are some $$$ in my bank account.😉

      Reply
      • Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

         /  September 1, 2012

        I hear you on the $$$ front, Martin. I guess I was thinking that if you join a seminary they will cover your education–if you’re willing to become a minister at the other end. Which may not be what you have in mind at all.

        On a slightly related topic, Bill McKibben has been saying how important it is to awaken “faith communities” to the reality of climate change, since these social groups have often been the source of positive social change (ie, abolition of slavery, civil rights, antiwar efforts, etc). What do you think about that? Could religious groups “evangelize” the anti-fossil fuel movement and make things happen? Or would their take on the whole thing be so apocalyptic as to be defeatist?

        Just FYI, I speak as very much an outsider, not having been raised in any religious structure. My own gut-level, naive beliefs are closest to pantheism….

      • Martin Lack

         /  September 1, 2012

        Faith communities are – or will be – very important. That is why I get so upset with their anti-scientific and anti-intellectual elements – and those who have allowed their economic prejudices to reinforce their theological ones – who have constructed a mental fortress of confirmation bias against which no weapons of rational thought are remotely effective.

  6. While I share your admiration for Kumi Naidoo, et al, I’m afraid I’ve come to the conclusion that what’s been done cannot be undone. Hence the momentum of the global state shift we have triggered cannot be stopped and the havoc wrought by the ruling global pathocracy will drive this historical cycle to its inevitable self-destructive conclusion.

    We are already well begun on the sixth great extinction event and too many “tipping points” have been passed. If you look back for some bridges by which to return and make changes, you will find nothing but smoldering embers.

    Martin’s wish to seek “solutions”, while admirable, is, IMHO, an exercise in futility.

    Please bear in mind that what I offer are no more than my own personal conclusions and opinions. I do not proffer them as absolutes.

    I have reached the conclusion that “civilisation”, as we have known it, is coming to an end. There are fundamental changes coming to our world and we cannot stop them.

    I would suggest that the only option now remaining is, for those who are able, to prepare for the world that is coming.

    We should probably be thinking of the change, which is imminent, as something akin to a “natural disaster”. In other words; if you know with a very high degree of certainty that a category 10 hurricane is heading your way and there is no chance of avoiding it, you don’t waste time attempting to stop or change the direction of the hurricane.

    Instead, you first devote your efforts and resources to ensuring the survival of yourself and those with whom you share a common bond. Then you focus on planning what course of action should be taken once the cataclysm has ended.

    In this way it should be possible to avoid the extinction of our species and, just possibly, if enough foresight is employed, begin anew on a fundamentally different path that will lead to the first real human civilisation.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

       /  August 31, 2012

      Thanks for your comment, Richard. You’re probably right, and I have been thinking about the Transition Town movement, the Dark Mountain/Uncivilisation Project, and have been reading all the works of Derek Jensen. I find it hard to give up hope of a relatively smooth transition to a sustainable society even as I know in my heart of hearts how unlikely it is. The collapse of civilization as we have known it all our lives is a scary prospect!

      But yes, I do agree with you that those who are preparing now to live off the grid and in a self-sufficient manner are the ones who will survive. We need to learn from the indigenous peoples who are in harmony with their surroundings and not in need of Western Civ for survival. And perhaps we also need some spiritual insight. I have been looking into these areas quite a bit too, and will be blogging on them in the near future.

      Do you have any concrete suggestions for “planning a course of action” for the post-collapse era?

      Reply
      • One of the most essential elements for the “post-collapse era” will be remembering how and why the collapse happened in order to avoid doing it all over again; as we have done for at least the last 14,000 years. (see link at the end)

        It will be vitally important to avoid any attempt at returning to what we now think of as “normal”. That normal is what brought this ruin upon us.

        The survivors must remember. They must never forget what brought utter destruction to their and they must teach their young to recognise the signs of it.

        It will be necessary to build a society of small, autonomous, yet interconnected and cooperative communities, which will keep their populations small while working, sharing and progressing with each other.

        The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but, the parts are separate nonetheless. They work together for a common cause; the greater good of all, not against each other for dominance and exploitation.

        One of the most important things to avoid will be the creation of large, centralised hierarchical institutions given authority over massive populations.

        Simply put; no empires, no nations, no cities. Also; no privatisation of the commons, ever.

        A Resource Based Economy will be essential as well.

        I could go, and have gone, on for pages like this. I will offer a bit more here and then provide a couple of links that you can investigate if you so choose.

        If you will look into the science of Ponerology, you will learn that, throughout the cycles of history, there has always been a small portion of humanity that is clinically psychopathic. These pathological are like parasites that live upon the body of the human species. They have been the primary cause for the cyclical rise and fall of “civilisations” and empires and all the attendant pain, suffering and death that have been their hallmark.
        http://wp.me/p1SIHk-7x

        In it’s early stages, Homo sapiens was nomadic and lived in small gatherer-hunter units. The full cooperation and commitment of every member was absolutely essential for the survival of the group.

        In such small “societies”, some of which survive to this day, the actions of every individual are easily observed by the others. It’s easy to identify anyone not acting in the best interest of the clan and is therefore quite a simple matter to keep the pathological from becoming a serious, long-term threat;
        “A story reported by Dr. Jane M. Murphy, now director of Harvard’s Psychiatric Epidemiology Unit, serves as an example of the vigilant stance that one millennia-old indigenous culture – a group of Inuit in Northwest Alaska – takes regarding psychopathic types within their midst. So aware is this group regarding the existence of these individuals that their language includes a term for them – kunlangeta – which is used to refer to a person whose “mind knows what to do but does not do it,” resulting in such acts as lying, cheating, stealing and taking advantage of the tribe without making sufficient contribution. And how seriously do the group’s members take the need to respond to the threat such individuals pose to the group’s sustainability? When asked what the group would typically do with a kunlangeta, Murphy was told “Somebody would have pushed him off the ice when nobody else was looking.”
        http://www.systemsthinker.com/interests/mind/psychopathy.shtml

        It was not until humans gave up the nomadic existence of gathering and hunting for sedentary farming that the pathological began to find a foothold in the resultant hierarchies of villages, towns, cities and, finally, nations and empires.
        http://wp.me/p1SIHk-7S

        I apologise for the lengthiness of my response or if the manner of my presentation seems presumptuous, but this is, IMHO, an issue of the utmost importance.

        I hope I’ve gotten the HTML correct for the text links since there doesn’t seem to be any way to preview and edit my comments.

    • Martin Lack

       /  September 1, 2012

      Hey Richard, my focusing on solutions was probably only temporary; to demonstrate to some of my critics that I am not just a doomsayer. Unfortunately, I suspect that I am a bit of doomsayer. But I am not so, because I want to be.

      I am so because I agree with you. Faced with the reality of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the concept of Entropy, I suspect optimisim is indeed an exercise in futility. Humans may well be programmed to remain opimistic (i.e. as a survival mechanism – search ‘Optimism Bias’ and ‘Tari Sharot’ online) but, there comes a point when one must admit that such optimism is little better than sticking one’s head in the sand: Reality does not cease to exist when we close our eyes.

      Reply
      • Sorry I didn’t respond sooner on this Martin. My aged mind wanders.

        I’ve always been very fond of the concept of Entropy. The idea of “heat death”, the thermodynamics reference, is somehow perversely elegant.

        It seems, if that is how the universe will be completed, almost as if the “pathological” I keep talking about will ultimately be proven the more rational and pragmatic of us.

        The complete and absolute order of nothingness, born of the chaos of the living universe. A nihilist’s wet dream I suppose.

        Speaking of thermodynamics, you should have a look at Economics and Thermodynamics. It’s really pretty fascinating, as is the rest of the site.

        Ah, Reality. What a concept. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out where the line between objective/subjective belongs. It seems to move around quite a bit.

        Yes. I suppose I’m a bit of a “doomsayer” myself. However, I can’t seem to escape the unwarranted conviction that there is a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel and its not an oncoming train!

        I’d say we agree to such an extent that we really don’t have much to disagree about.

        Anon.

      • Martin Lack

         /  September 5, 2012

        Richard, I think you will like my next post (on Friday).

      • Thanks Martin. I look forward to it. Why don’t you send me a link once it’s posted? coldwarbaby at myopera dot com

  7. Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

     /  September 1, 2012

    “The survivors must remember. They must never forget what brought utter destruction to their and they must teach their young to recognise the signs of it.

    “It will be necessary to build a society of small, autonomous, yet interconnected and cooperative communities, which will keep their populations small while working, sharing and progressing with each other.”

    I have spent a lot of the past 20 years studying accounts by survivors of social breakdown in places like Congo, Rwanda, Bosnia, Chile/Argentina, Guatemala and further back in history as well. What has happened in these places has been the reorganization of people by threat of force. Whoever is the most ruthless with weaponry and attack gets to rule, and rules with a brutal hand. Women always suffer worst. The old and young perish.

    So while of course I share the dream of “cooperative communities” coming out of the collapse of our current socio-political economic order, I don’t believe this is what will happen. It is more likely to look like armed gangs fighting for scarce resources and safe territory, with women held hostage as sex slaves and servants.

    Sorry to be blunt early in the morning on a beautiful day, but if we’re being real here: there it is.

    Reply
  8. Well Jennifer, you asked about “planning a course of action”.

    Evidently your studies, research and involvement, beside which my own pale in comparison, lead you to the conclusion that the human species is simply doomed to repeat the same cycle of history until it joins all the other failed evolutionary experiments in extinction. You may well be right.

    In that case; pick your favourite post-apocalyptic action movie and plan accordingly. Fortify, weaponize, hoard and prepare to kill or be killed. Same as it ever was.

    If we are truly fated to keep repeating the same actions and expecting a different result, which has become widely accepted as a popular definition of “insanity”, then extinction is what we deserve and there really is no point in planning at all.

    I have searched, with great persistence, throughout more than fifty years, for some crumb of optimism in the piles of evidence Life has yielded. That quest has left me a devout pessimist Martin.

    Nonetheless, despite all the indications to the contrary, I find I cannot escape the conviction that, somehow, the human race will manage to achieve its full potential, which I imagine to be far beyond anything we have even thought to attain thus far.

    When I look at the present cycle and compare it to those past, I see all the familiar characteristics of the stereotypical imperial samsara, with one major exception; never before, as far as we know, has this scenario been played out upon a truly global stage.

    In very simple terms; through a process called ponerogenisis, a ruling power becomes a pathocracy, which is by nature oppressive and tyrannical, causing great suffering for the majority. When people thus abused finally reach a point beyond which they can be pushed no further, they take up arms against their oppressors and, after much violence and death, the existing regime is overthrown, a new one replaces it and the entire self-destructive cycle begins again.

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
    Pete Townshend, The Who, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Who’s Next, 1971

    With some variations in the details, this has been basic human history since the Neolithic revolution. However it happens, the collapse is inevitably the result of a pathological ruling class incapable of restraining its lust for power and control.

    Until the present, all empires that have come and gone were relatively localised. They affected a limited number of people within a narrowly defined region.

    While the Nazi pathocracy was an abortive attempt at a truly global empire, it never came near success. However, the present capitalist empire, with america as its titular “leader” du jour, has succeeded where all others have failed.

    So, now there is an entire world population being subjected to the same oppression, impoverishment and abuse by a single tyrannical pathocracy; capitalist globalisation embodied in an international banking cartel. The cause for revolution is being homogenised by an actual global empire.

    What will happen when billions of people, worldwide, all reach the threshold of endurance simultaneously? I think we shall soon know.

    IMHO, the result will be a major paradigm shift. We have reached a pivotal point in our brief history. The direction we choose next will determine whether or not that history continues into the distant or only the very near future.

    In every local instance of past pathocratic cycles, the forces for ill have always failed; always. When these forces fail yet again, as all empirical evidence indicates they must, on a global scale, I think there is a small chance our species may finally choose to stop being insane; id est, doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.

    As you said earlier Jennifer, we may look to the remnants of certain indigenous societies that have survived the onslaught of “western civilisation” for some degree of guidance. Even some isolated sub-cultures such as the Amish may provide valuable examples of specific methodology.

    And don’t forget the story of the kunlangeta.

    The new communities of tomorrow should be forming today. People able to drop out, to disengage from the current pathological system, can begin building the foundation for a genuine civilisation to rise upon. Maybe the “hippies” were on the right track? Too bad we dropped the ball.

    Much existing technology will probably remain after the smoke clears. Who then controls it and determines how it’s put to use could orchestrate a new renaissance, speed the healing of Gaia and enable a quantum leap in our evolution.

    Those of us who are able to prepare for this opportunity, to begin building real communities now, may be able to help make a positive outcome a bit more probable.

    Educating those who are the future is one of the most important steps that can be taken in that preparation. Knowledge without wisdom is a deadly weapon, yet wisdom is unattainable without knowledge.

    “…chance favours only the prepared mind.”
    Louis Pasteur

    Reply
    • Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

       /  September 2, 2012

      This is both scary and inspiring stuff you’re talking about here, Richard. Ponerology is entirely new to me, and fascinating–I will study it and see where it takes me. If it is true that a relatively small group of pathologically evil people have been able to pull human civilization so far out of the right path, well–what does it say about us sheep in the herd? Truly Nietzsche may have been right after all….

      I agree with you that only those who can drop off the grid and survive in small-scale, close-to-the-land communities (a la native peoples) are likely to make it through the coming collapse. Am I ready to drop everything and make a beeline for such a community, or try to found one myself? Not yet. But I do hear the clock ticking, and think that this is what I probably ought to be putting my energy into.

      I am working in the field of education, and I do feel that this is where I have most to contribute–along with my talents as a writer. it is sad how few teachers or writers are focusing attention on the climate change/collapse issue. Major denial going on, and not wanting to panic or depress the young. I am beginning to break free of that mentality, and glad to be in a position where I can, if I choose, have many long conversations with very smart young people….

      To be continued….

      Reply
      • Fear is perhaps the single most devastating weapon that has been used to manipulate the masses since the first “permanent” human settlement was established and people actually began to “mass”. That action was, IMHO, the “big mistake”.

        The sheep metaphor is particularly apt when one considers this; in order to become a successful shepherd, one must first acquire a flock of sheep.

        At the risk of being accused of rank self-promotion, I will suggest that you begin your investigation into Ponerology at a place called Gobekli Tepe.

        Archaeological evidence from this site suggests that it was quite possibly there that Homo sapiens was first detoured off the path of adaptive evolution onto the road toward self-destruction.

        “Anthropologists have assumed that organized religion began as a way of salving the tensions that inevitably arose when hunter-gatherers settled down, became farmers, and developed large societies.

        Göbekli Tepe, to Schmidt’s way of thinking, suggests a reversal of that scenario: The construction of a massive temple by a group of foragers is evidence that organized religion could have come before the rise of agriculture and other aspects of civilization. It suggests that the human impulse to gather for sacred rituals arose as humans shifted from seeing themselves as part of the natural world to seeking mastery over it.

        It’s my own opinion that this decision to “settle down” was either carefully orchestrated or, at least, co-opted by some of the earliest and shrewdest of the “kunlangeta”, the pathological. I think it represents the first successful effort to use their natural skills of deceit and manipulation in what has since become a millennia-spanning quest for supremacy.

        For a soft introduction to the science of Ponerology, try The Genetics Of Tyranny. It will give you a modicum of insight into the reality of the pathological without the many pages of tedious clinical discussion you will find in what should be your next research source.

        Unless you are a great fan of lengthy clinical tomes filled with an abundance of technical terminology you will find Political Ponerology a difficult read. Persist. The knowledge is well worth the effort. It is my firm conviction that this knowledge holds the key to breaking the cycle of history that has stalled human evolution.

        The Systemthinker site is a place where you should also devote some time. While also quite scholarly and clinical in style, it offers deeper understanding through a more detailed review of Lobaczewski’s work.

        As a teacher, much responsibility for the future will rest upon your shoulders should you choose to accept the burden. An in-depth grasp of the principles of Ponerology may fundamentally change your approach to the task at hand.

        If those who survive the coming collapse are armed with the appropriate knowledge, they will have at least a chance of ending the destructive cycle in which our species has been trapped for thousands of years.

  9. Martin Lack

     /  September 3, 2012

    Ponerology is a new term to me too; but Gobekli Tepe I have heard of… thanks to one of my blogosphere aquaintances, Paul Handover. However, Paul’s take on Gobekli Tepe was entirely positive; and focused on its amazing art and architecture (as opposed to whatever it was the people did there). Therefore, at this time, I do not feel qualified to comment further; other than to say that ponerology just appears to be another way of labelling the intergenerational injustice of unsustainable development.

    Reply
    • If you’ll take a bit of time to study it a little further, I think you’ll find both go a great deal deeper and further than that. Both, but especially Ponerology.

      Reply

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