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Rolla Peace News

October 1, 2019
Dear Friends:

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          In this newsletter is:

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Another Fairytale of Eternal Growth
          b) Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Makes Progress



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office, THIS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, FROM NOON TO 1:00 PM (and most subsequent Thursdays until Peace is established). Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be in the 70s. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Another Fairytale of Eternal Growth
          b) Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Makes Progress

Another Fairytale of Eternal Growth

A record crowd turned out at last week's meeting of the Rolla Chapter of the Citizens' Climate Lobby for a showing of Leonardo DiCaprio's Ice on Fire. The photography was superb. The narration was faultless. The story line should be quite familiar by now. I'll summarize in a few sentences:
The situation is dire. Human activity has caused a spike in CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere resulting in warming temperatures, melting ice, rising sea levels, species extinction, reduced crop yields and catastrophic hurricanes, droughts, floods and fires. But there is hope, if we act immediately. If we listen to the scientists and make a few small changes, adding less carbon to our atmosphere and removing more from it, all will be well and we can continue to live our lives in fairytale bliss.
While at one point in the narrative, DiCaprio remarks, “we can come together, we can innovate,” it is far from clear who he means by “we.” Is he talking about the children at our southern border living in filthy cages without clean water? Is he talking about the Afghans, Palestinians and Yemenis being starved and slaughtered by bombs that were made in the USA? Is he talking about North Koreans, Iranians and Venezuelans living in poverty imposed on them by US sanctions? Is he talking about folks in Flint, Michigan, suffering from drinking lead-tainted water?

One might surmise that should we make these changes, the wealthy of the world will receive 90% of the benefits, while the poor and oppressed will pay 90% of the costs. For example, what will happen to the subsistence farmers and indigenous communities whose land is forcibly taken for wind and solar farms to satisfy the wealthy's ever-increasing demand for “clean energy?” Will they, who have contributed little or nothing to our climate catastrophe, be forced to join the 70 million refugees that have already been created by war, violence, oppression and changing climate? And who will benefit from selling all this clean energy? Will it be those whose land was taken by force? or rich investors from wealthy countries who pat themselves on the back for having turned a handsome profit while doing something for the environment?

And can we even make these changes while much of the world is armed to the teeth and ready to go to war, if not already fighting with it's neighbors? Besides being just plain wrong, I find it absolutely abhorrent that so many, who should know better, believe the fairytale that we can avoid the ravages of runaway climate change, while the world spends $2 trillion annually on war and destruction and billions of people live in abject poverty.

As Benjamin Franklin put it, “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Yes, all of us, all 7.5 billion of us. But how can we hang together while we spend trillions to kill each other? And if we can't learn to all hang together, I fear that Nature will hang us all, one at time, until we are all gone.

Here's some related reading:

Medea Benjamin discusses the many ways in which militarism and climate change feed on each other.

Don Fitz argues effectively that there is no such thing as clean energy. The only clean energy is less energy (conservation).

And Robert Koehler argues that a shift in consciousness is a necessary condition for preventing runaway climate change. Koehler quotes this piece of Arhuaco tribal wisdom:
“When you go to dig your fields, or make a pot from clay, you are disturbing the balance of things. When you walk, you are moving the air, breathing it in and out. Therefore you must make payments.”
Yes, that says it all. We take and take and take all that we can without ever making payment. We have disturbed the balance of things, and now Nature is exacting payment in her own way. Until we are ready to make payment, catastrophic climate change will only get worse.

Read these three short articles. Then see whether you agree.

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Makes Progress

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons garnered six new ratifications in September reaching 32. 50 is necessary for the treaty to go into force. Bangladesh, Ecuador, Kiribati, Laos, Maldives and Trinidad & Tobago have newly ratified the Treaty. Botswana, Dominica, Grenada, Lesotho, St. Kitts & Nevis, Tanzania and Zambia signed the Treaty in September but have not yet ratified it.

Lets hear a loud HOORAY for these 13 countries that have stood up for a world free from nuclear blackmail.


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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com