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01.22 How Orkney leads the way for sustainable energy

01.22 Greenland's ice melting faster than scientists previously thought – study

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01.20 Doctors are frightened by climate change. Their industry is a big part of the problem.

01.18 Learning From Cuba’s ‘Medicare for All’

01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists

01.17 Studies Show Ice Melting and Ocean Warming Both Happening Much Faster Than Previously Thought

01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic [charts]

01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]

01.15 Australia could hit 100% renewables sooner than most people think

01.15 Ion age: why the future will be battery powered

01.15 Barclays on wrong side of history with climate policy, says Greenpeace

01.15 'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory

01.15 Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total  per-capita costs]

01.14 Saudi Arabia Increases Solar Targets To 20 Gigawatts By 2023 & 40 Gigawatts By 2030

01.14 Solar + Storage Half The Cost Of Gas Peaker Plants — 8MinuteEnergy

01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]

01.14 Air pollution 'as bad as smoking in increasing risk of miscarriage'

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01.22 'Literally What Jesus Told People to Do': In Arizona, Possible Prison Time for Leaving Food and Water for Migrants

01.22 White students in MAGA gear crashed the Indigenous Peoples March and harassed participants [3:44 video; we must stop growing/programming more sociopaths]

01.21 Trump’s One Legislative ‘Win’ Is Actually a Failure

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01.19 The Ebola outbreak in Eastern Congo is moving toward a major city. That’s not good.

01.19 Ahead of Third Annual Women's March, Group Releases Far-Reaching 'Intersectional Feminist Policy Platform'

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  Waking Up
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VIEWPOINT:

Waking Up

Because our societies are deeply fragmented, broken and clashing, we are unable to grant ourselves the necessary pause required for conciliation and unity.

by Pablo Ouziel
7 July 2009

Amidst the media frenzy, the future of the world is being orchestrated as attentive spectators watch in silence and (sometimes) disbelief.

We wake up in the morning to hear and watch the newest tragedy that has swept the world’s media attention. One morning it is the tragic crash of an airplane, the next some contested elections that turn violent as people revel. Soon, the media lens is directed to the death of a star, but after a few days, the media bytes ease and as a few specialized commentators continue discussing previous events, cameras and microphones have gone somewhere else. Amidst this media frenzy, the future of the world is being orchestrated as attentive spectators watch in silence and (sometimes) disbelief.

Serious events and acts are taking place every day which merit serious social debate, yet because of the fact that our societies are deeply fragmented, broken and clashing between each other, we are unable to grant ourselves the necessary pause required for conciliation and unity. Because of this, we are easy to control as a mass of isolated individuals held together by norms and regulations, bureaucracies, military, and police, and concepts such as the nation state, the church and the corporation. If we are to stay in this model of society, I fear we will live in perpetual war until we destroy ourselves by not paying attention to the fact that something is drastically wrong.

We are easy to control as a mass of isolated individuals held together by norms and regulations, bureaucracies, military, and police, and concepts such as the nation state, the church and the corporation.

We are living in societies plagued with corruption at all levels. We are constantly expanding our militarized societies, surveilled by police forces and colonizing armies that are rapidly eroding our freedoms. In the meantime, the resources of the world are generating massive amounts of wealth for a small minority, as our natural heritage is being rapidly dilapidated. In exchange, the majority of the global population receives what we have come to identify as ‘security,' when in effect, it could be clearly labelled as racketeering. As a collective, the mass of the population gets terrorized and soon succumbs to authoritarian rule.

In the Western world—the bastion of democracy—we console ourselves with the thought that we are free, we refer to ourselves as members of the "free world" and compare our free societies with tyrannies that govern in other parts of the planet. This we justify by the fact that our elected officials have reached the podium through an electoral system of some kind, thus in effect being representatives of our interests as citizens. It can be argued that this is a fair assumption, as long as we conduct our field research in a laboratory, but if we engage with members of the numerous sub-communities, which exist within the boundaries of delineated Nation States, we quickly realize that there is tremendous discontent and frustration brewing amongst the population. At the same time, there exists in our societies a sense of impotence and fear that if the boat is rocked, things will get worse.

Without the virtues of just analysis, honest critique and self-amelioration, we fall into the trap of blaming others for our barbarous crimes.

As the world globalizes on different planes—intellectually, spiritually, socially, politically, economically and militarily, to name a few—we are faced with the realization of the global consequences of our actions, or our inactions. At this point, all we can do is practice the great and often forgotten virtues of just analysis, honest critique and self-amelioration, hoping to contribute something of value to the global village. Without these virtues, we fall into the trap of blaming others for our barbarous crimes.

When starving kids in poorer nations are dying and have no access to food or water, we blame the country’s tribal lords and corrupt politicians, we forget to mention the exploitation and extortion carried out by our corporations with the aid of our governments and laws. When we go to war, we blame tyrannical leaders for forcing us to attack them—we unload bombs on civilian populations in the name of pre-emptive strikes and the defence of freedom. We forget to question whether we have become animals and have lost all sense of reason

When our free-market banking system collapses and our politicians tell us that institutions are too-big-to-fail and must be bailed out by the taxpayers, we are quick to accept their jittery explanations and swiftly approve their actions. We forget to wonder whether we are being conned. Finally, when a surveillance society rises from within our democratic communities and our freedoms are radically eroded, engrossed in our own delusion of freedom, we forget to evaluate whether we are still living in democratic states, or have transcended into something different. It is this lack of questioning which has paralyzed us as a collective-mass, and keeps us extracted from the true decision making process—the one that defines our present global reality and is shaping the future we will leave for others to inherit.

Although I believe professor Noam Chomsky is right in advocating that “prediction in human affairs is a very uncertain enterprise," I think it is safe to predict, that tomorrow we will wake up in the morning and the media will be playing out the show of the day—perhaps it will report on North Korean bombs, street fights in Iran, the failing state of California, the Madoff financial scandal, or the bombings in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan—amidst millions of other news stories that will navigate through our systems of communication mobilizing us in one direction or another. It is also safe to predict that, unless there is a drastic change in the will and choice of the majority, we can expect only isolated demonstrations making isolated requests: stop the war in Gaza, fight for gay rights, defend freedom of speech in Iran, or save the polar bear.

We are still far from defending a globally united cause for environmental sustainability and continuity, equality, freedom and justice for all, a fair system of distribution, and an end to oppression and war.

We are still far from defending a globally united cause for environmental sustainability and continuity, equality, freedom and justice for all, a fair system of distribution, and an end to oppression and war. If we can one day unite under that banner—all together at the same time and prolonging our request—popular uprisings in Iran, in Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan will inspire us all. If this happens, together we will break our chains from the elite that govern us and bridge the abyss that has separated us from each other.

A brilliant man I know once told me that, despite what we are told, human beings are not too different from each other. I believe he is right, but we must wake up in order to understand this.


Pablo Ouziel is a sociologist and freelance writer based in Spain.



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This story was published on July 7, 2009.

 

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