TZM Newsletter May 2014
Welcome to the TZMUK newsletter for May 2014, and a special welcome to all the new members who have come on board since the last issue.
We begin with a sad farewell to Mike Ruppert, Investigative journalist, founder of Collapsenet and author of ‘Crossing the Rubicon’. Mike took his own life last month aged 63. He was a major force in exposing the corruption and unsustainability inherent in today’s economic system, and was known for his work for the Peak-oil movement. He became a whistleblowing legend in 1996 when he spectacularly exposed a CIA operation for importing narcotics aboard US military transport aircraft.
More recently, Mike hosted ‘The Lifeboat hour’ on the Progressive Radio network – with the title being a reference to humanity’s need to start building lifeboats as our deluded political and business leaders continue to rearrange the deckchairs aboard the Titanic.
He made a significant contribution to Zeitgeist: Moving forward, and articulated brilliantly how our entire economic model is a structured Ponzi scheme.
Here is one of his hard hitting lectures: The great awakening: www.youtube.com/watch?v=87giGsiH4aA
Rest in peace, Mike. So sorry you won’t be with us to see the great transition that you’ve been such a rock in paving the way for.
As usual, stories abound about the various petty, willfully blind, narcissistic and irrelevant acts being perpetrated by those in control of the politico-corporate complex. For a great broadcast giving some valuable insight into how their minds work, have a listen to this: jari.podbean.com/2011/04/25/the-unreal-world-of-narcissists-sociopaths/ I think I’m having a touch of Cameron/Osborne overload this month, so let’s have a look at a couple of instances on how mother Earth has been having the last word: –
Packed into buses, boats and helicopters, carrying nothing but a handful of belongings, tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in Bosnia and Serbia to escape the worst flooding in a century.
Rapidly rising rivers surged into homes, sometimes reaching up to the second floors, sending people climbing to rooftops for rescue. Hundreds were also evacuated in Croatia.
Authorities said on Saturday 25 people had died, but warned the toll could rise. Tens of thousands of homes were left without electricity or drinking water.
Landslides triggered by the floods also raised the risk of injury or death from land mines left over from Bosnia’s 1992-95 war. The landslides swept away many of the carefully placed warning signs around the minefields.
Three months’ worth of rain fell on the region in three days last week, creating the worst floods since records began 120 years ago.
Meanwhile, more Than 20,000 Evacuated as California Spring Turns to Summer of Fire
Written by Ari Phillips
Springtime in California. Birds chirping, flowers blooming. And this year wildfires raging, winds howling, and heat pounding.
In Southern California, almost a dozen fires sent tens of thousands of residents fleeing their homes as exceptionally strong Santa Ana winds from the east, reaching close to 90 mph, pushed back the normal cool coastal breezes blowing in — priming already tinderbox-like fire conditions. More than 20,000 evacuation notices have been issued.
A fire in San Diego County Wednesday forced the partial evacuation of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, currently undergoing decommissioning with significant nuclear waste stored on site. According to CAL FIRE spokesman Daniel Berlant, this year the state’s department of forestry and fire protection has responded to more than 1,350 wildfires, with the average for this time of year being 700.
A little farther north around Los Angeles, Thursday is forecast to bring triple-digit heat that could exceed the 99-degree daily record. And farther north along the coast, several places including San Francisco, Mountain View and Monterey all set or tied heat records. Mashable reported Wednesday that, according to the National Weather Service, so far two days this May in San Diego have ranked among the top eight hottest May days on record dating back to 1896.
“Research has shown that in Los Angeles we can expect to see a temperature increase on average of three to four degrees over the next couple decades,” Heather Kachel from Climate Resolve in Los Angeles, a non-profit addressing the challenges of climate change, told ThinkProgress. “This means a doubling or tripling of extreme heat days over 95 degrees.”
Kachel said the fire-breathing Santa Ana winds are also likely to intensify due to climate change. “To the chagrin of firefighters and residents, some preliminary findings show that the Santa Ana wind season is going to extend more frequently into spring and summer from fall and winter. Fire season is no longer just July, August, September, but will start much earlier in the year and extend into fall as well.”
As of Tuesday, the latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows 100 percent of California being abnormally dry, with 25 percent in the highest category of exceptional drought.
In the midst of this fire, heat and drought, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency this week to help free up resources for those on the front lines and others experiencing the worst impacts.
Earlier this year, Gov. Brown issued a state of emergency declaration to address the crippling drought consuming the state. 2013 was California’s driest on record dating back over 120 years. On April 1, the typical seasonal snowpack peak for the Sierra mountains lining interior California was a meager 32 percent of average. An analysis by The Weather Channel found that the state’s 20 largest wildfires on record dating to 1932 have all occurred from June through October. But with the essential absence of a wet season, this year could be the new normal in the establishment of the onset of an earlier fire season across the state.
“It is pretty amazing to see these in May,” San Diego Fire Chief Javier Mainar told NBC News of the fires. “We certainly have seen climate change and the impact of climate change … We live in a fire-prone environment here, but when things are this dry, and the humidity is this low, and the winds are blowing as we see here today, we’re very, very concerned.”
As ClimateProgress’ Joe Romm reported earlier this year, scientists have been linking hotter and drier conditions across California to climate change for over a decade. In a letter to the New York Times in March, three drought experts wrote that the California drought “has certainly been exacerbated by climate change for one simple reason:”
Temperatures in California are now higher today, as they are globally. This alone increases water demand by crops and ecosystems, accelerates snowpack loss, and worsens evaporation from reservoirs. There are other complicating effects, but the influence of higher temperatures on drought is already real and cannot be ignored.
We are now unambiguously altering the climate, threatening water supplies for human and natural systems. This is but one example of how even today we are paying the cost of unavoidable climate changes.
There is little ambiguity that it will be a costly summer as California enters its official hot, dry season. Source: www.care2.com/causes/more-than-20000-evacuated-as-california-spring-turns-to-summer-of-fire.html#ixzz31uJDUFAB
Sowing the seeds of transition: time for an economic safety net
One of Albert Einstein’s many famous quotes is “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
One of the biggest barriers we in TZM face is not the abuse we might get from a minority of narcissistic guardians of the status quo, but the apathy from people who will typically respond to the NL/RBE concept by saying something like “well it all sounds like a lovely idea, but it will never happen in our lifetimes – ooh I mustn’t miss TOWIE…“.
So wouldn’t you like to be able to casually respond by saying “actually, it is already happening” and show them photos of TZM volunteers at work helping to meet the needs of all the disenfranchised people today’s failing system is unable to help?
After all, isn’t that what the bankrupt government is trying to encourage through its Big society program? Aren’t they all too keen to embrace any initiative that relieves them of the burden of having to support all those rising numbers of technologically underemployed people from a shrinking pool of tax revenue? And aren’t there myriad public and private institutions keen to support sustainability initiatives if they are professionally researched and presented?
So what are we waiting for?
The time is right for those of us who get it to develop an economic safety net that can catch, re-train and re-enable people in the production of life supporting resources using local raw materials and talent.
Imagine you’re unemployed, go onto your local council’s website and are directed to your local 3d printing group, which runs at your local primary school on evenings and weekends. You go along, sign up, and log on to www.thingiverse.com and access the library of 3d printed items contributed to by a global, open-source user community. A fellow member shows you some files that are frequently downloaded, printed, modified, and re-uploaded by the local energy and food production groups. The files are for components for aeroponics, solar panel and windturbine systems. The school runs on locally made renewable energy systems made using many of these components.
You volunteer to be the coordinator in your neighbourhood for collecting waste plastic milk cartons, which are the source of plastic for printed objects. Then you go along to a local urban farming group to see how these printed components are being used. You see other volunteers taking aeroponically grown fresh food to the local food bank where it will be distributed to needy locals.
The farming group manages a section of a local park, whose trees are a mixture of fruit trees and willows, which are coppiced to produce wood for biomass burning stoves. Volunteers from the renewable energy group collect the pruned wood in partnership with a local charity for helping the elderly combat fuel poverty. In exchange they have provided a solar system for powering the farm’s aeroponics system.
The Local MP is on the local radio station, congratulating the volunteers over the numerous social improvements the town has enjoyed directly and indirectly from the program – and all without the need for high council tax or revenue-raising car-parking schemes.
Public health is flourishing throughout the district. His re-election prospects are looking good, and he makes the most of all the positive PR opportunities in showing off the project. He thinks all those re-trained people will be moving on to new salaried jobs. But with shrinking markets and robots like Baxter to compete with, people’s intrinsic motivations tell them its better to stick with what they have, and enjoy the new-found freedom and personal engagement it brings.
All over the country, other local MPs are doing the same, attracting confidence, investment and volunteers to their local safety net programs. The open-source connectivity in the network is growing stronger by the day, as is the range of benefits being enjoyed by participants off the grid from the monetary system.
Employed friends and relatives of the participants are starting to ask the question: ‘why am I still banging my head against a wall, getting stuck in traffic jams ten times a week, doing a soul-destroying job, and getting very little out of it while my friend here is having a ball. Sod it, I think I’ll just throw my job in and join this program instead. I’ve got some great ideas about how I can enhance the functionality of the local 3d printer so it can start printing out fully functioning electronic components to enable hydroponic tropical fruit growing.’
As more and more people get more of their needs met through this system, they pay off their debts and have less need to take out new loans to buy anything. Retail GDP falls and the money supply shrinks as the bank credit making up 97% of the money supply ebbs away. All those banks and retailers lay off employees, who swell the ranks of new volunteers producing more and more things in local safety net programs…
So rises the NL/RBE, expediting the demise of the moribund monetary/market system in the process. And those in the establishment didn’t even see it coming until it was too late.
Do you feel that this would be a practical and achievable way to bring about the great transition? Do you feel you could contribute something to help make it happen? I’ve just started a Facebook group to start sharing ideas on how we can move forward:
Let’s build a lifeboat for Mike Ruppert. I look forward to seeing you there.