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Overcoming the Disinformation of Wall Street

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JP Morgan’s misinformation on the clean energy disruption – a handy guide

Source: Rethink X

 

The JP Morgan Asset and Wealth Management Annual Energy Paper is one of the most influential publications among global investment and business leaders in the energy sector.

But JP Morgan Chase’s 2021 Annual Energy Paper is a deeply flawed piece of work that promotes some serious misinformation about the clean energy transformation, reinforcing the mistaken belief – often promulgated by fossil fuel companies – that it will be slow, expensive and require onerous state intervention.

Coming from JP Morgan Chase – the world’s fifth largest bank, and the largest lender to fossil fuel industries – the paper informs the policy, investment and business decisions of many influential companies, organisations and governments around the world. Which is why it is important to understand that the world’s largest fossil fuel lender appears largely oblivious to the dynamics of technology disruptions and energy transitions.

Myth 1: Renewable energy forecasts are too optimistic

The Annual Energy Paper, authored by chairman of JP Morgan Asset Management’s chairman of market and investment strategy Michael Cembalest, was overseen by its technical advisor, influential academic Vaclav Smil.

Its tone is set by a graph on the first page depicting alleged failed ‘renewable energy forecasts’. The graph seems to show that these forecasts were overly optimistic, and then repeatedly turned out to be false.

Yet according to Ketan Joshi, who previously worked in science communications for Australia’s national science agency, the sources for the alleged forecasts are impossible to trace.

For instance, he writes: “Danish physicist Bent Sørensen, for instance, seems to have published the figure between 1978 and 1980, and it isn’t easy to figure out where the prediction of 50% by 2000 was made. There was never any ‘Clinton Presidential Advisory Panel’ – the phrase can only be found in republications of this very chart; so that’s a mystery.”

In short, some of the alleged forecasts simply didn’t exist and therefore amount to little more than fabrications.

The other ‘forecasts’ were not forecasts at all, but policy scenarios that some experts advocated ‘should’ happen. Here’s another example noted by Joshi: “And, finally, a single sentence at the end states that ‘In 2020, Mark Jacobson forecasted 80% by 2030’. No, he did not. ‘It is not a graph of what will necessarily happen. It is a graph of what we need to happen to avoid 1.5C warming and to eliminate as much pollution ASAP’, Jacobson said on Twitter, describing his recent modelling studies.”

Many of the scenarios can’t even be classified as ‘overly ambitious’ yet, because they are still in the future. Scenarios 4, 5, 6, 7 and Mark Jacobson might turn out to happen.

So the JP Morgan paper opens with a piece of flagrant misinformation that conceals an important reality: conventional forecasts of renewable energy have consistently failed not because they’ve been too optimistic, but too pessimistic: completely the opposite of JP Morgan’s claim.

Consider the year-on-year forecasting failures of two of the top energy watchdogs in the world – the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US Energy Information Administration – both of which are repeatedly cited as authoritative by JP Morgan:

Under normal scientific standards, such consistent forecasting failures would render these agencies, their models and assumptions laughing stocks. Indeed, the incumbency’s track record of failed forecasts regarding renewable energy growth is very well-documented. The omission of this track record from the JP Morgan analysis is the hallmark of a biased document that is self-selecting and misrepresenting evidence.

Myth 2: Energy transitions are always slow

The JP Morgan paper’s general thesis is that energy transitions are always slow, and extremely expensive: “How is the global energy transition going? Taken together, the aggregate impact of nuclear, hydroelectric and solar/wind generation reduced global reliance on fossil fuels from ~95% of primary energy in 1975 to ~85% in 2020. In other words, energy transitions take a long time and lots of money.”

This assumption about energy transitions traces back directly to the report’s main advisor, Vaclav Smil, who was previously a fellow from 2008 to 2015 at the American Enterprise Institute (a well-known neoconservative think-tank with close ties to oil and gas firms, where much of Smil’s writing there, such as about fracking, reflected conventional mistakes).

The JP Morgan analysis traces back to three core arguments put forward by Smil throughout his work:

  1. Energy transitions must always be slow;
  2. Renewables will therefore not scale fast enough;
  3. Renewables will ultimately never be able to replace fossil fuels due to their lower energy density.

However, all these claims are deeply questionable, and rely on unstated and unjustifiable assumptions.

For instance, while it is true that the biggest energy transitions in human history have been slow, Smil offers no meaningful system dynamics-based explanations of why this was the case.

In fact, there are fairly obvious explanations. Prior to the interconnectedness of the era of globalisation, the global diffusion of technology was obviously much slower than what is possible today, and so a transition period of up to a century or longer for a major energy transition would not be unexpected. Fossil fuels are unequally geographically concentrated, and prior to the age of globalisation, it took time for supplies to be distributed around the world as the infrastructure to do so was built-up.

Another major issue is that the world of the nineteenth century (and prior) lacked both the financial capital and human expertise to deploy and scale energy infrastructure.

Today where large amounts of capital are available and solar, wind and battery technologies require far less capital than fossil fuels, and unlike the latter, they can be built anywhere at scale. This explains why many recent energy transitions at national levels have been far faster, taking place on decadal time-scales.

It also shows why solar PV and wind will not follow the same pattern as much older energy transitions. They are not limited by the same geographical production, refinement and distribution constraints of fossil fuels, and have entirely different deployment dynamics facilitated by an already existing global transportation and manufacturing infrastructure.

However, Smil mistakenly applies the past to the present without acknowledging that the last 200 years has seen the possibility space for rapid global change fundamentally transformed in a way that bears no antecedent in human history.

Drawing on Smil, the JP Morgan paper in effect repeats this basic category error which completely overlooks the fundamental difference between past and present. For most of human history, the world was not interconnected. We now live in a context where technologies can diffuse rapidly around the world, which has important new implications for energy disruptions.

In his compelling analysis of cases of rapid energy transitions, Nikos Tsafos of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Energy Security and Climate Change Program concludes:

“Many countries that have managed to grow without consuming more energy have reduced their consumption of specific energy sources and have changed their energy mix in a decade or two.”

As my colleague RethinkX research fellow Dr Bradd Libby points out, the bulk of the entire US military nuclear arsenal was built over a ten-year period from 1955 to 1965. In France, the nuclear industry provided less than 10% of national electricity demand in 1975, but this jumped to around 70% in just one decade by 1985. And there has been a dramatic drop in coal use in the US and UK in the last decade, replaced by a switch to natural gas.

And Smil himself acknowledges evidence that at a country-level analysis, rapid energy transitions do happen (and all in the last century), but fails to offer a framework to understand why and how some transitions are fast, while others are slow. Smil writes in his 2010 book Energy Transitions:

“… the record displays a remarkable scope of developments, ranging from the centuries-old dominance of English coal to an almost instant demise of Dutch coal mining, from a highly idiosyncratic and swiftly changing evolution of Japan’s energy use to the US orderly sequence of fuels during the first half of the twentieth century followed by a surprising post-1960 near-stasis of the primary energy make-up.”

In short, Smil’s transition analysis conflates renewables and fossil fuels as if they are like-for-like, ignoring the dynamics of technology disruptions. But renewables and fossil fuels are completely different, in the same way that coal was not like whale oil, cars were not like horses and smartphones are not like landlines. Ultimately, Smil’s work doesn’t provide any sound reasons for why solar, wind and batteries will not follow the rapid trajectory of other technology disruptions.

Myth 3: Fossil fuels’ domination of primary energy means they are here to stay

The JP Morgan paper argues that as wind and solar only account for 5% of primary energy, this proves that the transition is so slow that we can expect fossil fuels to enjoy dominance for decades: “In other words, direct use of fossil fuels is still the primary mover in the modern world, as the demise of fossil fuels continues to be prematurely declared by energy futurists”.

But in reality, this very figure suggests the transition is actually happening faster than previous projections. Consider what the IPCC 5th Assessment was predicting in 2014 – citing sources such as the IEA. In its best-case scenario (RCP2.6), the IPCC projected that solar, wind and geothermal would grow to provide 4% of global primary energy as late as 2100.

Consider, in contrast, the graph below from RethinkX’s report, Rethinking Climate Change: How Humanity Can Choose to Reduce Emissions 90% by 2035 through the Disruption of Energy, Transportation, and Food with Existing Technologies, which plots the growth of renewable energy on a logarithmic scale (the straight line up therefore indicating exponential growth).

The red dot at the top right represents the IPCC’s IEA-based projection. The dark line shows what’s happened up to 2013 with renewables. The blue line is the RethinkX forecast, which goes up to the present day, and if projected forward at that rate suggests renewables will hit 4% of global primary energy before 2029. So if it is already at 5%, that means the transition is already happening faster than anticipated.

As my colleague RethinkX research fellow Dr Adam Dorr commented on the stark implications: solar and wind growing are growing exponentially 78 years ahead of schedule on an 86-year forecasting horizon.

 

 

Myth 4: The renewable energy disruption, specifically, is slow and expensive

The JP Morgan paper cites the IEA’s projection that “70%-75% of global primary energy consumption may be met via fossil fuels in the year 2040.” Yet this ignores the economic implications of solar, wind and battery cost curve declines.

The data suggests not only that global solar and wind expansion are following Wrights Law of exponential growth, but that they are only just at the beginning of this ‘S curve’ of disruption.

Several independent experts, looking at the empirical data, have projected a rapid global transformation of the energy system within the next two decades. One recent reputable forecast, bizarrely ignored by the JP Morgan paper, was published by Oxford University’s Institute for New Economic Thinking in late 2021.

It found that early pricing prediction models have consistently underestimated both how far the costs of renewable energy sources might fall, and therefore how rapidly they can scale due to economic factors.

While the Oxford team see a rapid transition to 100% solar accelerating out to 2070, their ‘fast transition’ scenario based on current growth rates (which are actually still conservative) sees fossil fuels completely displaced by renewables by 2040 – the same date which the IEA insists fossil fuels will still be supplying three quarters of primary energy.

Most important is the Oxford team’s costs analysis. They found that the fastest deployment scenario is also the cheapest, creating savings of $26 trillion.

These findings are consistent with RethinkX’s conclusions, and with those of several other research teams – although our projections are more bullish (there are some limitations with the Oxford model, not least because they examine the energy system as if it exists in a silo immune to systemic feedback effects from other converging disruptions in transport and food systems).

All the available data, ignored by the JP Morgan paper, is consistent with solar, wind, batteries and electric vehicles being in the initial stages of the S curve, which means that the disruption – driven by economic factors – will be unstoppable well within the next two decades.

Myth 5: Renewables won’t scale as too many sectors are ‘hard to electrify’

The paper also displays a lack of understanding of the distinction between fossil fuels and renewables when it comes to primary energy. One of the most persistent claims of skeptics of the energy transformation is that as renewables still only account for such a small (5%) quantity of primary energy, this vindicates the idea that the transition is moving very slowly.

The JP Morgan paper asks: “Why don’t rapid wind and solar price declines translate into faster decarbonization? As we will discuss, renewable energy is still mostly used to generate electricity, and electricity as a share of final energy consumption on a global basis is still just 18%.”

But this is misleading, because in reality the global economy does not run on primary energy – the energy embedded in natural resources before conversion by human activity – but on final energy: the energy delivered to consumers to power our cars, keep the lights on and heat our homes. The difference between primary and final energy is in what the fossil fuel sector itself requires, along with huge transformation and distribution losses, all related specifically to the fossil fuel system.

What the paper obfuscates is that in the process of getting from primary to final energy, a huge amount of energy is wasted due to transmission as well as heat losses. In converting primary energy to electricity, some 63% is lost to waste heat. Yet solar, wind and batteries do not generate the same sorts of losses because they supply electricity immediately straight to the final energy stage. This means that we don’t need to replace all of primary energy because solar, wind and batteries represent a completely different type of energy system altogether without the same type of energy waste.

As Seb Henbest, chief economist at BloombergNEF, explains:

“It can also help to explain why many of the world’s most eminent energy experts have underestimated the growth to date of renewable energy, and its future potential. If we consider that the electricity sector consumes about 38% of fossil fuel production; and that renewables make up 25% of electricity, and wind and solar PV make up 25% of that, it easy to see how these technologies can get lost in the noise of a much larger primary energy analysis.”

This also means that the easiest way to replace fossil fuel dominance of primary energy is to electrify key sub-sectors such as residential heating and industrial processes, so that they can be powered directly from the new clean energy system.

The JP Morgan paper, in contrast, spends a lot of energy using fossil fuel’s dominance of primary energy to explore how industrial processes like steel and cement remain carbon-intensive and heavily fossil fuel dependent. It describes chemicals, pulp, paper, food, glass, brick and cement as “hard to electrify”, and claims:

“The challenge: low/medium electrification potential sectors use 2.5x the energy as high potential sectors. Even if we assume that all sectors are eventually electrified using new technologies, there’s still a large increase in cost. In addition to upfront switching costs, industrial companies would face costs per unit of energy that are 3x-6x higher for electricity than for direct natural gas. Electric heating efficiency gains vs combustion could offset part of this cost, but not all of it.”

But these unsubstantiated figures are related only to the framework of ‘switching’ within the incumbent system dominated by fossil fuels, rather than understanding the ground-breaking systemic implications of an optimally-designed 100% solar, wind and battery system which, recent figures suggest, would potentially produce more net energy than the incumbent fossil fuel system.

Such a system would enable what RethinkX has called ‘super power’ – producing 3-5 times more energy than is generated today, at a fifth of the cost.

Far from being ‘hard to electrify’, this massive surplus electricity generated at near-zero marginal cost will allow us to cheaply electrify transportation, heating, industry, mining, and other forms of energy use to a degree completely impossible within the incumbent system.

Myth 6: Fossil fuels are a better investment than renewables

“We recommend that investors stick with oil & gas for now,” the JP Morgan paper says, citing the IEA Stated Policies scenario to justify the conclusion that “the world is not on track to strand a lot of oil and gas in the future.”

To justify this stance, the paper criticises forecasts from Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon Tracker referring to the imminent peak of global fossil fuel demand, saying that these are premature. However, it misrepresents even these forecasts.

In reality, Rocky Mountain cited Carbon Tracker which was referring to the DNV Energy Transition Outlook. The latter had concluded that “oil use may never again exceed 2019 levels”. The JP Morgan criticism offers little detailed assessment of this claim, nor does it acknowledge the broader evidence that peak fossil fuel demand is now unavoidable give or take a few years. Instead it sets up a narrative strawman to then ‘refute’ the idea that fossil fuels are facing an inevitable and imminent economic demise.

But even the IEA admits in its ‘net zero policies’ scenario that peak fossil fuel demand is imminent, and will occur by 2025 at the latest. And many other incumbent agencies converge with the DNV analysis – such as McKinsey (which sees peak oil demand at 2019), Boston Consulting, Rystad Energy, and even BP’s 2020 annual energy report.

Whether or not it might be premature to see peak fossil fuel demand happening as early as 2019, what one hopes to receive from a paper by JP Morgan is a balanced analysis of genuine use to investors. Instead we have a dogmatic approach hellbent on trying to show that fossil fuels are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

The evidence suggests, instead, that what comes next is very much dependent on societal choices. Bad decisions can indeed prolong the life of fossil fuel industries to some degree, but cannot ultimately stave off the economics of disruption. Such decisions are not due to market factors reflecting rational economic processes.

Instead, the economic analysis consistently suggests that one way or another fossil fuels have entered a downwards spiral of economic decline. Disruptions happen because of economic forces. As the new technologies are so much cheaper, the displacement of incumbent industries happens fast due precisely to the catastrophic financial consequences of failing to do so.

Renewable energy systems are vastly more economically competitive than conventional power plants in a fair market. Data shows that renewable energy systems are already cheaper than fossil fuel systems in most regions, and there is evidence I’ve assessed elsewhere indicating that their net energy returns are also already higher and will likely continue improving over time even while EROI for fossil fuels continues to decline. Together, these metrics provide a clear indication of where the economics is pointing: that renewables and technologies linked to them are outcompeting fossil fuels, and will increasingly disrupt them at an accelerating rate as this reality eventually becomes inescapable.

The incumbency faces disruption not just from one technology, but multiple. As costs continue to plummet and performance continues to improve in the energy and transport disruptions – both now happening exponentially – they are heading toward finally becoming up to ten times cheaper over the next two decades, a cost differential which is consistently associated with mass adoption, and the swift obsolesce of incumbent industries. The biggest danger to investors is complacency about what’s coming.

Myth 7: EVs are overvalued and internal combustion engines will be in business for many decades

That brings me to JP Morgan’s claim that EVs are vastly overvalued, and that investors are therefore going to lose their shirts. There may well be some valid grounds to believe some EV companies are overvalued – stock markets do operate in a way that routinely permits unsustainable bubbles. However, the JP Morgan paper appears to use this to imply that the EV disruption of conventional auto industries is not going to happen, and that they are on an equal footing with the disruptors.

The intellectually dishonest nature of this analysis can be seen when we factor in the deeper reality, once again completely ignored by the JP Morgan paper, that if we are going to be genuinely concerned about the overvaluation of assets or companies, it’s not EV companies where the action is. Rather, it’s fossil fuel investments that for decadeshave been vastly overvalued – in fact, strictly speaking, they already constitute stranded assets.

As RethinkX co-founder Tony Seba observed last year, “the fossil fuel industries and their value chains are already technically bankrupt”. Without $6 trillion a year subsidies, “these industries would collapse under their own economic dead-weight.”

Indeed, when using accurate data for the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), solar, wind and batteries are already cheaper than conventional energy in most regions of the world, which is getting more expensive with time.

In other words, LCOE figures are actually far, far higher for conventional power plants than recognised by incumbent agencies like the IEA and EIA. The implication is stunning. It means that trillions of dollars of investments in these assets, premised on valuations linked to LCOE, cannot generate projected profits based on these figures. This means that conventional power generation assets, and assets across the entire value chain (from mines to wells to refineries to pipelines to ports to ships) are already vastly overvalued and will never meet hoped for returns. In other words, there is now a large and rapidly expanding financial bubble around conventional coal, gas, nuclear, and hydropower energy assets. The real scale of this overvalued trillion dollar bubble, built up over decades, is therefore massive.

Yet, for some reason, JP Morgan’s paper appears to suggest that it’s more important to argue that EV companies are overvalued in the market, and that investors will lose money investing in EVs – rather than in fossil fuel assets whose real economic value is already “technically bankrupt.”

Overall, JP Morgan’s suggestion that EVs are rising far too slowly to generate a disruption to conventional auto industries is seriously mistaken. All the data shows that EV cost curves are declining exponentially, and that adoption is at the beginning of the S curve. Mass deployment is happening faster than RethinkX previously forecast, not slower.

Arguably, the analysis fails to appreciate the economic factors behind why a company like Tesla might receive such high valuations. If the RethinkX, Oxford and other projections are remotely accurate, renewables, EVs and other disruptive technologies are opening up exponential economic opportunities and introducing tens of trillions of dollar savings. Clean energy systems will also introduce vast new business models. Companies at the forefront of these disruptions will therefore be in prime position. That the market might reflect these underlying economic dynamics is therefore not surprising – rather than indicating an EV bubble that will collapse, it indicates an EV growth trajectory that will permanently and inevitably disrupt companies invested in internal combustion engines.

Even conventional analyses bear this out. Last July, for instance, Ernst & Young found that combined electric vehicle sales in the US, China and Europe will outstrip all other engine sales by 2033, and that by 2045, non-EV sales will shrink to less than 1% of overall sales. Needless to say, although this study came out a month after Arnott’s paper, JP Morgan ignores it.

In this context, it’s extremely difficult to take seriously the below graph in the JP Morgan report.

The graph is presented as if it implies that EVs and conventional auto industries are on an equal footing. Without even quibbling the presentation of the underlying data, it’s clear that these figures – limited to January 2021 – are already outdated, irrelevant and of little use to projecting where things are heading in 2022.

 

And those trends are not exactly invisible. From 2020 to 2021, EV sales doubled despite the pandemic as part of a continued exponential growth rate.

Colin Mckerracher, head of BloombergNEF’s transport analysis, argues that EV sales will near double again in 2022, comprising around one in seven of all vehicle sales. He concludes: “This is usually the tipping point for market adoption into the exponential growth phase of the S-curve.” Another analysis projecting forward this growth rate concluded that “most new vehicles” will have a plug in by 2027.

No wonder in January 2021, Morgan Stanley was seeing an entirely different reality, as reported here by Yahoo! Finance:

“New research from Morgan Stanley argues that traditional internal combustion engines – the mainstay of automobiles for more than a century – are destined to become money-losers as early as 2030. ‘We believe the market may be ascribing zero (or even negative?) value for ICE-derived revenues at GM and Ford,’ auto analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a Jan. 29 analysis. He lists a variety of factors likely to ‘transform what were once profit-generating assets into potentially loss-making and cash-burning businesses.’”

While these dynamics will not manifest immediately – taking time to unfold as EV costs continue to decline and mass adoption continues to accelerate – the JP Morgan report essentially keeps trying to say, in effect: ‘it’s not happening right now, so it won’t happen for decades and conventional industries are here to stay’: a verdict that is just not borne out by the data.

The paper also fails to understand the implications of the EV disruption, casting the longer lifespan of cars as an inhibitor to vehicle replacement that is slowing down adoption. The longer age of light vehicles “has the unintended consequence of delaying penetration of new technologies like EVs”, claims the paper. If there were any validity to this claim, EV sales would not be increasingly exponentially. In reality, it demonstrates a genuine incomprehension of how disruptions work.

EVs will replace internal combustion engine vehicles because they are cheaper, better and longer-lasting. As the disruption accelerates, these metrics will improve so dramatically that owning an ICE vehicle will be increasingly costly, self-defeating and pointless. As costs-per-mile declines, the EV disruption will kickstart ‘Transport-as-a-Service’ (TaaS) because it will end up being cheaper to travel in EV vehicle fleets run by a private firm or public agency than to own a car.

And the paper completely ignores how TaaS, too, will be transformed due to exponentially improving autonomous driving technology. As EVs hit mass adoption, the network effect of real-time autonomous driving data will accelerate this improvement, making self-driving EVs a reality quicker than most conventional analysts expect. This will make TaaS even cheaper as the cost of labour is removed, which will further accelerate the transport disruption. In short, all the signs of massive, rapid transformation in our energy and transport systems are now unmistakeable.

We can, of course, fundamentally agree with one contention of the JP Morgan report – that not every EV company currently receiving high valuations will necessarily survive. In a highly competitive market, we can expect many different disruptors to come and go before we know which companies make it at the end of a decade or two of disruptions. But one thing that is clear from the pattern of disruption in history is that incumbents generally do not survive disruptions, because they are incapable of understanding the dynamics of the disruptive technologies that displace them – they are locked, instead, into the prevailing, old value chains, mindset and paradigm that are all about to be swept away.

The JP Morgan paper does not, in my view, offer its investor clients genuine insights into the prospects of the unfolding energy transformation. But it does offer a brilliantly insightful window into the Ostrich-like mentality of the incumbency: desperately trying to convince itself, and more importantly its investors, that change is not coming, and that it will be so expensive and difficult to transform our energy and transport systems, that business-as-usual is going to continue virtually indefinitely.

None of this means the path ahead will be easy. But the biggest obstacle to transformation does not come from inadequacies in solar, wind and batteries, or EVs. It comes from institutions like JP Morgan which, unwittingly or otherwise, appear to be in denial about the unstoppable clean energy disruption that is unfolding right now, and sadly as a result capable of promoting egregious misinformation in pursuit of that denial.

Source: Rethink X

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Ralph Nader: No to Nukes, Yes to Ketanji Brown Jackson

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Ralph welcomes nuclear weapons expert, MIT professor Theodore Postol, to give us his insights into the possibility and the ultimate consequences of Vladimir Putin employing tactical nuclear weapons in the Russian conflict with Ukraine. And our resident constitutional scholar, Bruce Fein, weighs in on the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Plus, Ralph answers your questions about the latest Boeing crash and money in politics.

The Ralph Nader Radio Hour is a weekly talk show broadcast on the Pacifica Radio Network. Ralph Nader is joined by co-hosts Steve Skrovan and David Feldman for a lively informative hour of interviews with some of the nation’s most influential movers and shakers and thought-provoking discussions of the week’s news.

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Chuck W.

CHUCK W.: How to create the future when the world is upside down?

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It has been well over 70 years since the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Created by Eleanor Roosevelt and colleagues after the atrocities of WW2, it shows how we can govern through the Rule of Law instead of War.

Combined with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, It provides a roadmap of what we can do to enable a peaceful and healthier co-Existence.
But it takes more than just words. It takes action.

After ongoing failures at U.N. symposiums, this public health leader discusses ways to prevent continual crises from famine and climate catastrophe to violence and safeguarding public health and human rights.

How can we go from thinking about our own Nations to realizing that all decisions we make in one location affect and impact those living in another nation?

This lively discussion features Mobilized News’ Jeff Van Treese and The Other Chuck Woolery (not the TV guy) discussing what we as a society can, could, and must do to prevent ongoing crises.

Chuck Woolery (not the Game show host)

Chuck’s professional grassroots organizing and advocacy successes on global health issues led to his elected position on the respected Action Board of the American Public Health Association (membership of 120,000 US Health Professionals). Later he was then elected by his peers to Chair the United Nation’s Association Council of Organizations (over 110 US based NGOs representing a collective membership of over 25 million Americans). His focus has been connecting local and global issues to US national security interests and using non-partisan fundamental principles to advance public thinking and US policy on vital systems and structures essential to forming a more perfect union and sustainable environment.


Chuck credits much of his successes to his mother’s love, father’s violence, the study of Biology and wrestling (having qualified for the 1972 Olympic Trials only to find out he was seriously not qualified – but was honored to make it that far after a childhood of obesity and sloth.) “We are all”, he says “always wrestling with issues and concerns our entire life. Or we should be — given the persistent changes in our bodies and the world.” “Loving persistence” and “ruthless compassion” are two qualities his mentors offered him. Admittedly to his detriment he usually offers people what they need to know instead of what they want to hear. Chuck is an avid quote collector… one of his many favorites — “Science is my passion, politics my duty.” Thomas Jefferson

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A web of Life for ALL Life

Truths or Consequences

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The Age of Consequences of Systematic Failure: Our existing situations are not problems. They are Consequences

By Chuck Woolery, Former Chair, United Nations Assn., Council of Organizations (not the TV host!) and Steven Jay, Creative Director, Mobilized

“At the root cause of our problems is the failure to recognize that Independence is a man-made concept. The truth of our reality is that everything is connected to everything and therefore, everything impacts everything.  Every action impacts the whole. Mobilized is firmly rooted in this natural law.” –Chuck Woolery

Every day is a new story of systematic breakdown, of tragedy, a shooting, a broken system, the election of an incompetent sociopath, a social media fiasco, or media companies at war with each other.  It’s a constant struggle to keep up with it all.

We feel like screaming from the roof “What the F%&K is going on here?”   Or,   we can go down the rabbit hole and discover the root cause–the epicenter of most of our inherent, continual, and seemingly unsolvable problems.

What follows is a blog Mobilized released a few years earlier.  It is even more relevant now.  Some edits have been made and a few recently relevant events added.  Please share it with others if you find it useful


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The Age of Consequences of Systematic Failure: Our existing situations are not problems. They are Consequences

By Chuck Woolery, Former Chair, United Nations Assn., Council of Organizations (not the TV host!) and Steven Jay, Creative Director, Mobilized

Summary:  After the Great Depression and the end of WWII the general sense of the common good generated by these global calamities gradually disappeared from public discussion.  With the exception of some civil rights activities that did yield important civil progress things have gotten worse. And most agree, things are going to worsen more, before they get better.  This is an examination into why things have gotten worse. And how we must change to change things for the better.

America’s success in the world and our fear of Communism helped fuel individualism, greed, and selfishness (the illusion of individual separation from the whole). This largely un-examined mindset eclipsed the ‘united we stand’ American character. It was an aberration of logic, compassion, and empathy that basically steamrolled American politics into the train wreck we have today. Recently, technology greatly accelerated this dysfunctional trend.  A trend that had been well established by a largely unregulated capitalism system that had spread the dangerous meme of independence globally for the past few decades.

The tragic and lethal consequences are now around us everywhere in the US and abroad.  And instead of recognizing our collective mental flaw that got us here, and confronting it, many people have doubled down on their narratives.  They want to make American Great Again or finance a Green New Deal to bring back the comforts, prosperous conditions, and selfish culture that tragically nurtured our disconnect from reality. The fundamental truth that “United We Stand” – still stands. And divided we are going to fall.   This time it will be a hard fall. One we may not recover from.

  • Trump is not the problem. He’s a consequence. …
  • Climate change isn’t the problem. It’s a consequence.
  • Unprecedented obesity rates, opioid deaths, mass shootings, and suicides rates are not health emergencies. They are consequences.
  • Flint, Michigan’s contaminated water, Honeybees’ Colony Collapse Disorder, Florida’s red tide… these are not environmental problems. They’re consequences.
  • The continuing violence in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria are all consequences.
  • The Russian/Ukraine dilemma threatening nuclear Armageddon or the use of biological/chemical weapons with the potential to spark a hot World War III.
  • Radical extremism, WMD proliferation, and China/Russian cyber hacks are now top national security threats.  Again, consequences a poorly engineered global governance system.
  • Growing economic inequality, fake news, and loss of privacy are not dilemmas.

They are all consequences.

  • These, and most of the other problems we are now encountering at a breakneck pace in newspapers and in our lives are the inevitable consequences of our thinking and actions.  They were not however inevitable.

They are the result of our collective failure to do what we know is needed to prevent such problems.

“Human behavior is the greatest threat to human existence”  Dr. Monty G. Marshall

All Americans have solemnly pledged dozens, if not hundreds of times, “Liberty and Justice for all”. But our desire for comfort, wealth, distractions, popularity, and freedom comes with all too real life and death consequences.

Americans love freedom. It is all we really have.  But freedom also comes with consequences.   Some freedoms have arguably been worth the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives and trillions of our tax dollars. But it has been our overindulgence with freedom without the responsibility that is the fundamental cause of our (and the world’s) growing list of profoundly dangerous, destructive, unhealthy, increasingly lethal, and persistent consequences. Unsustainable consequences that were predictable and often warned about.  Costly consequences that were, and remain, related to a simple conceptual flaw within our mental calculations.

We believe and then act out of that belief that we are independent.  We are not.  Yet, as Americans, we reinforce that sentiment every 4th of July.   In reality, it is only a concept that doesn’t exist anywhere in the known universe.  And it has zero accurate applications here on earth.  Our Declaration of Independence should have been titled the Declaration of Political Separation.  Not as catchy!  But powerfully accurate.

It has been and remains our unyielding faith in, allegiance to, and reflexive defense of this flawed human principle that has mentally disconnected us from much of our personal, civil, environmental, social, health, and economic responsibilities. Like Neo in the Matrix, we all sense something isn’t right… but can’t see the truth;

Every aspect of our lives is dependent on other people, the environment, our nation’s laws, other nation’s laws, and most importantly, the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” which is expressed in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.

“Everything is connected, everything is interdependent, so everything is vulnerable”… “this has to be a more than whole of government, a more than whole of nation [action]. It really has to be a global effort.”   CISA (the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) Director Jen Easterly  (Oct. 29, 2021)

The growing mass of undesirable consequences that threaten our freedom, security, and prosperity were as inevitable as they were unintentional. But they are only self-evident when we are honest with ourselves about reality.

Our Founding Fathers understood reality as “Truths to be Self-Evident” based on the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”. Their catastrophic error was failing to codify this wisdom into their new government blueprint — the U.S. Constitution. The consequence was a civil war that killed more Americans than all the wars our nation has fought in since then, combined. And some of those consequences remain with us today.

Far more Americans will die from preventable causes in the years ahead related to global factors SUCH AS terrorism, pandemics, climate change, wars, and poverty because the systems and structures that our Constitution protects today on both the national and international level still fail to codify the wisdom of “liberty and justice for all” in a world of irrefutable and irreversible interdependence.

Interdependence is accelerating due to the advances in technology that are accelerating exponentially.  During the same time, our government’s capacity for change (or adaptation to change) has virtually stopped.  And in some areas, it has actually reversed.

Even before Trump was elected a survey of US national security experts put our own nation’s “government dysfunction” as the second greatest threat to our national security.  Just behind terrorism.  It was higher than, China, Russia, Iran, N. Korea, and Climate Change.  Pandemics were not on the list.

The illusion of Independence underlies most of our short-term thinking, long-term planning, slow policymaking, and reactive actions.

We assume without question our personal, budgetary, institutional, and national independence. The endless war against terrorism (a tactic that cannot be defeated) has only accelerated our loss of freedoms (including privacy) and security. Our modern world of unprecedented and increasingly powerful, affordable, and ubiquitous technological capacity for WMD creation – and the increasing difficulty in accurately attributing the identity of the attacker, put everything increasingly at risk.

Imagine the loss of lives, freedom, and prosperity from a bioterrorist attack or global pandemic far worse than Covid19 or the 1918 Flu epidemic.  Unlike nuclear war, such a biosecurity threat is inevitable. Yet we remain lethally unprepared for a catastrophe that will NEGATIVELY affect every system and structure in our bodies, our homes, our economies, and the world.
We have based our policies on our illusion of independence – instead of obeying nature’s fundamental principles that are used in science and technology to engineering things that work like magic.  Medicine, instant global communications, electrical appliances, and tools that work to save and protect life, while making our lives more comfortable, profitable, and secure.

It is our flawed human assumption of independence that leads us to abuse or misuse many of these amazing science and technology tools — that results in the creation and exacerbation of many of our current health and environmental problems.  Sometimes with catastrophic results.  But easily preventable problems if we had followed the laws of nature and nature’s God.

If you doubt this read the preamble of the U.S. Constitution.  As you do, offer a school grade to each of the five clearly stated intentions to form “a more perfect Union.”

Then consider the fact that Abraham Lincoln wrote that our “Declaration of Independence” is our “Apple of Gold” and our “Constitution” is its ‘frame of silver’.  Yet our elected officials swear an oath to protect the Constitution believing without reservation that it will protect our freedoms and security.  How’s that working out?

Now imagine a government that is engineered on the fundamental principles offered in the Declaration of Independence. A government that … soundly embraces and promotes the responsibility of inclusion with ‘liberty and justice for all’, globally.


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Some have asserted that the primary fundamental principle in both the laws of nature and nature’s God is justice. Note that the foundation of every major religion is the Golden Rule.  To do unto others as you would have them do to you.   Anyone experiencing an injustice doesn’t need to be a religious believer to understand the supreme value of this.  Our US Justice Department offers two quotes engraved in its exterior’s stone.

“Justice is found in the rights bestowed by nature upon man. Liberty is maintained in security of justice.”    And,

“Justice is the great interest of man on earth. Wherever her temple stands, there is a foundation for social security, general happiness and the improvement and progress of our race.”

Yet our federal (and lower) systems and structures of justice are profoundly unjust. They are in fact “legal” systems in which it is better to be guilty and rich than innocent and poor. Many of our laws are simply unjust.   And unacceptable injustices can also be found in our nation’s economic, electoral, education, healthcare, agriculture, military, foreign policy, and intelligence systems.

Is it really any wonder that things don’t work, that Trump has so many followers, wars persist, the environment is trashed, and our society is ailing?

Every time I witness another failing in our nation, a phrase I heard last year comes to mind;  “How healthy can we be if we are well adjusted to a profoundly sick society?” We are afflicted with a societal mental illness;  Before Covid, the Surgeon General rated ‘loneliness” as our nation’s greatest health risk.   Our mind has the capacity to believe anything! Literally, anything. We don’t even do what we know we should.  The spread of fake news and conspiracy theories are just consequences of a flawed and sometimes corrupt government system.   This should all be stunningly clear…as with our inappropriate worship of independence and freedom without responsibility or virtue.

Again.  Every system and structure in our body, our house, our environment, and our world is interconnected and interdependent.  And all depend on the health and sustainable functioning of a just world order.   Our mind’s illusion of independence … disconnects us from our vital needs of love, a safe community, healthy food, and functional relationships.   These vital things we have largely taken for granted.  Thus we have insufficient respect for the natural systems that maintain our planet’s capacity for sustaining all life, human health, future prosperity, and ultimately our species survival.

There is no guarantee … our nation will last.

The Federalists worried that hostile nations could exploit any domestic divisions. George Washington warned in his farewell address that partisan “factions” could rip the country apart. James Madison feared that liberty could be lost by the “gradual and silent encroachments of those in power.” John Adams said, “There never was a democracy yet, that did not commit suicide”. But, many in our Republic praise democracy, and rightfully blame both parties that are dominating our flawed two-party system that persistently delivers the consequences we are suffering today.

Some are proposing the creation of a “People’s Party”.  This puts too much promise in the will of the masses.   It offers a platform based on creative progressive or conservative ideas that are often devoid of fundamental principles. In other words – they would be engineering a political party that relies on creative and popular proposals that could win a majority.  Yet completely incapable of transforming the profound flaws in our current system and structures at either the national or international levels.

FACT:  Earth has an expiration date. And we the American people (and probably most of humanity) still reflect the opinion offered in the second paragraph of their Declaration of Independence.   It states “accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.” That’s bad!

But the tragic news is that the suffering that’s coming in our age of Consequences may be so great that our species may expire long, long before Earth. Given the acceleration of technology (WMD proliferation and AI) already knocking on our door, the majority of Americans or others in the world may not even get the chance to suffer the full effects of climate change. Due to a multiplicity of factors, time is NOT on our side.

If you are seeking the most practical action to take, a ‘justice for all’ system it is obvious that it would not be welcomed immediately by most policymakers or political parties.  Such a goal would require the legal protection of inalienable human rights for all and our environment with the force of law (ie the Rule of Law:  laws made and enforced by a democratic process, applied equally to all, and only used to protect human rights and the environment.    The only other option is what we have now.  The law of force.   This is where the protection of national sovereignty is more important than protecting human rights or the environment.  The working definition of ‘national sovereignty (another human-created concept using international law as it exists today with the UN) is the right of any nation to do anything it wants, to anyone it wants, anytime it wants within its own borders.  And, if it has nuclear weapons, it can do these things anywhere it believes it can get away with it.  Again, this is what we have now.  An irresponsible and unaccountable use of force prioritizing national interests which tends to accelerate chaos.  Chaos that often leads to refugees, the loss of freedoms, lives, prosperity, and our planet’s vital life support system.

There is a third option.  It would require the funding of those rights by the force of political will.   President Roosevelt offered the basics in his four freedoms speech; freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and … fear.”  Eleanor Roosevelt led the passage of a detailed list known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Like our nation’s Bill of Rights on steroids- but with no means of government enforcement.   Seven decades ago (December 10, 1948) this Declaration was offered in the context of world security. Those who had experienced World War II, the holocaust, and a new weapon that could vaporize 100,000 people in a second understood the essentials of ‘justice for all’ and these fundamental human rights.  But the UN’s lack of democratic power left it useless in this context leaving states’ rights above human rights.  This structural flaw in the UN resembles the original flaw in the US Constitution that led to our catastrophic Civil War.

What are some of UDHRs rights intended as a foundation for peace?  Universal access to clean water, safe sanitation, adequate food, access to basic health services, basic education, and an equal opportunity to earn a living wage are good starters.

Fortuitously, the fastest, most affordable, practical, and effective means of maximizing this movement of ‘Liberty and Justice for all” (both here and abroad thus laying the foundation for maximizing humanity’s freedom and security globally) is the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  These have already been agreed on by every nation in 2015 to be achieved by the year 2030.

It’s obvious that we will not get an enforceable Global Bill of Rights any time soon. But we could virtually enforce most essential human rights by funding the SDGs. The growing array of global threats to our freedom and security demands that we do this as rapidly as possible.

WARNING!   We have been repeatedly warned of the consequences of failing in prioritizing this human security approach.

In 1980 a bipartisan Presidential Commission concluded  “In the final analysis, unless Americans — as citizens of an increasingly interdependent world — place far higher priority on overcoming world hunger, its effects will no longer remain remote or unfamiliar. Nor can we wait until we reach the brink of the precipice; the major actions required do not lend themselves to crisis planning, patchwork management, or emergency financing… The hour is late. Age-old forces of poverty, disease, inequity, and hunger continue to challenge the world. Our humanity demands that we act upon these challenges now…” Presidential Commission on World Hunger, 1980.

Its commissioners specifically warned …“The most potentially explosive force in the world today is the frustrated desire of poor people to attain a decent standard of living. The anger, despair, and often hatred that result represent real and persistent threats to international order… Neither the cost to national security of allowing malnutrition to spread nor the gain to be derived by a genuine effort to resolve the problem can be predicted or measured in any precise, mathematical way. Nor can monetary value be placed on avoiding the chaos that will ensue unless the United States and the rest of the world begin to develop a common institutional framework for meeting such other critical global threats… Calculable or not, however, this combination of problems now threatens the national security of all countries just as surely as advancing armies or nuclear arsenals.”

They also stated “that promoting economic development in general, and overcoming hunger in particular, are tasks far more critical to the U.S. national security than most policymakers acknowledge or even believe. Since the advent of nuclear weapons, most Americans have been conditioned to equate national security with the strength of strategic military forces. The Commission considers this prevailing belief to be a simplistic illusion. Armed might represents merely the physical aspect of national security. Military force is ultimately useless in the absence of the global security that only coordinated international progress toward social justice can bring.”

In 1990 the nations of the world (including the US) agreed on funding a less ambitious but measurable, achievable, and affordable goals for the year 2000.  This was World Summit for Children.  Even though all governments at the time signed a pledge to “make the resources available” to meet these goals, few were fully funded or achieved.

In 2000 another more ambitious set of “Millennium Development Goals” was set for the year 2015.  These were also shorted.  Contributing to the wars, terrorism, climate change, refugees, famines, revolutions, state failures, infectious diseases, international crime, and genocides we’ve seen around the world and hounding us today.  Not as separate issues!  But as interdependent consequence.

If we fail this time in achieving the SDGs the deteriorating global conditions may overwhelm any chance of us or our children setting things right.

The discouraging news would appear to be that achieving these 17 goals would cost trillions.  And especially after Covid’s systemic costs, most governments have no money to spare.

The exciting news is that they don’t need to.  Governments just need the political will to freeze and seize a good portion of the estimated $32 trillion dollars that has been stashed in offshore bank accounts for years.  Thousands of accounts obtained by kleptocrats (dictators), oligarchs (their cronies), criminal cartels (drugs, guns, sex, hackers), violent extremist groups (terrorists, white supremacists…), and the extreme wealthy (avoiding taxes).   Most of these ill-gotten gains…should have been going to basic government services.  Now they can be devoted to basic human rights and environmental protection.

The political will could be generated if the general public is aware that their nation’s security and cherished freedoms depend as much on meeting the SDGs as they do on more military spending or a new “Space Force”.

This level of political will in the US could be achieved by progressives working together. With their millions of members personally petitioning their own Members of Congress with loving persistence.  This strategy and daily tactic is infinitely more powerful than voting every 2 or 4 years, protesting, or counter-protesting. If the peace, environment, and economic/social justice movements and their thousands of organizations came together to focus on one piece of legislation on all 435 House members, 100 Senators, and anyone running for these offices, our currently dysfunctional Congress could finally prove useful.  And Americans would finally have a government of “We the people” “by the people, for the people” with “a new birth of freedom” with “liberty and justice for all” that “shall not perish from this earth.” 

In the long run (if we have one) it truly doesn’t matter who is in office or what party they represent.  If fundamental principles are codified into laws, budgets, and all government action we could have the world we know is possible.  On earth, as it is in heaven.  A sustainable global garden of eating.

Given the multiple threats we face as individuals, nations, and a species it must be clear that few threats can be stopped with military power.  And, many are exacerbated by its unprincipled use.

Our primary goal as voters and citizens must be to recognize our global interdependence as the human race and the profound value of ensuring “liberty and justice for all”.  Make it your personal goal to educate your policymakers on this fundamental reality and act as though your life and your children’s future freedoms and security depend on it.

Connect the dots (everything is connected). See the web of life (all systems and structures are interdependent). Work for justice (always and for all) …or prepare for the consequences (which will inevitably happen and be increasingly catastrophic).

Chuck Woolery, Former Chair, United Nations Association, Council of Organizations
Steven Jay, Founder and Creative Director, Mobilized.news

 


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America loves to think of itself as a rose, in bloom.  We trumpet our freedoms and strength as if they are bright red petals on a summer day.  It’s a damn shame though, that for most of the world, for 6 or 7 decades now, they look at us… and they only see the thorny stem.

It was merely August, 7 months ago, that I decried the pointless and fruitless war in Afghanistan.  It wasn’t ever necessary, was doomed to failure, and represented a complete failure by our leaders to learn any lessons from history.  

I am a pacifist.  War is not the answer, and we’ve had 15,000 years to figure that out.  Over and over again old grudges birthed new conflicts.  So I decry this stupid war as well, the one Putin has started because he has nearly completed looting his home nation of Russia and now needs new lands to loot.  It is a pattern seen over and over again, so the fact that he is the most successful mob boss in the history of the world should not blind us to the fact he is also just another tinpot dictator flailing about in an effort to preserve his gains.  

Those are points 1 and 2: war is bad, and this bum is pretty run of the mill.  Point 3 is less obvious, but the Ambassador from Kenya made it very well in his speech the other day: nurturing grudges from the past does no good, it’s better to look ahead and build a better future.  This is something that is still possible, even though it seems unlikely with tanks rolling into Ukraine.  

Point 4: it’s shockingly hypocritical how we have chosen to ignore so many other conflicts because this one feels ‘closer to home’ for our politicians.  Syria has been mired in a water war for 8 years at least, too bad for them.  Yemen has been trying to throw off the yoke of their Saudi neighbors, but gosh darn it Mohammed Bone Saw is our ally; so you Yemeni’s get to die.  Gosh darn it.  But oh look, Europe has gotten it’s feathers ruffled because 20 years ago a bunch of venal politicians lied to each other and now tempers have flared about it.

Point 5: We must go back to my very first statement: learning from history is a MUST.  We failed to do so in our last 4 wars – – and pretty thoroughly lost them all.  We failed to do so at the beginning of WWII, when we chose to let Spain fall to the Fascists, namely to some guy named Franco.

Not all of us, natch.  Many Americans rightly saw the looming threat, and formed the Lincoln Brigade.  They fought and bled and died alongside the Republicans in Spain.  They lost, but they were on the right side of history.  And so it is with point #5… we need to be on the right side of history here.  

For 9 decades, since fall of 1945, the entire planet has lived under the shadow of the mushroom cloud.  It has, to put it mildly, clouded our judgment.  Most folk have pretended since 1991 that the cloud had lifted, but of course nothing at all had changed.  And so now two very large armies are skirmishing in the winter mud outside of Kiev, and mothers across the planet are wondering how they will be able to shelter their children if fallout comes their way.  

It’s unfortunate that the Russian people are going to be victimized just as the Ukraine’s people are.  They didn’t want war.  But they are trapped under his murderous sway, just as with Stalin and Lenin before him.

Pete Seeger told us that even pacifists should defend their home if it was invaded.  For years I wrestled with that, I told myself that pacifism means nothing if it is not absolute.  Fact is Seeger was right.  And Putin isn’t just invading Ukraine.  He is laying the groundwork for another time of soviet-style darkness for the whole world.  

The rose that America deems itself to be cannot fail this time to prevent the rise of Putin-style Fascism.  It galls me to say it, but this time we must set aside points 1 through 4 because #5 outweighs them all.  This war was preventable, yet it is here, now.  We made a deal with Ukraine when they gave up their nukes, we promised to protect them.  Before all that we founded the United Nations and wrote the UN charter, which specifically demands action in defense of basic democracy and human rights.  For these reasons, and for the ideals that we clung to as we defeated Hitler, this madman must be stopped.  Don’t let Putin’s paid lackeys Carlson and Trump pull the wool over your eyes.  After all, they have labored for ages to undermine the ideals of freedom and democracy.  

So it comes to this: it’s time for the thorns.  

I’m appalled at myself to be calling for war.  So be it, the time for diplomacy came and went, regardless of how I felt about it.  

I am a pacifist, though I never have been much of one.  My hope now is that the Allies act swiftly, and fully.  Don’t ‘half-ass’ it like we did in Viet nam, Iraq, etc.  Make a plan and commit to it.  Make plans not just for the battles but also for their aftermath.  And do it now.  There should not need to be a Lincoln Brigade stood up this time, governments should take the initiative.

The lessons of the Nuremberg trials were stark, and clear, and demanded that we never forget why that war was fought.  Once again a madman seeks to enslave the world, starting with his next door neighbor.  This time we need to rise against the threat, early enough to prevent a global catastrophe.


https://youtu.be/zZXuuKwhVvI

This version of “Morning Dew” features the song’s author, Bonnie Dobson.  It also has a calmness to it that I appreciate, as an older dude.  Of course it’s the most famous anti-nuke song of all time, it has been covered by just about everybody.  I first heard it done by Blackfoot, their version is a barn-burner.  Nazareth, too, tore the walls down with their cover.  But I’m old.  And tired, and this version sums it up best.  No war, no nukes.  The endgame is too horrifying to contemplate.  


https://www.facebook.com/heathercoxrichardson/posts/497064328455471

 

“Rather than form nations that looked ever backward into history with a dangerous nostalgia, we chose to look forward to a greatness none of our many nations and peoples had ever known,” Kimani said.

https://www.npr.org/2022/02/22/1082334172/kenya-security-council-russia?

 

https://truthout.org/articles/chomsky-outdated-us-cold-war-policy-worsens-ongoing-russia-ukraine-conflict/

 

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/02/ukraine-russia-invasion-putin-kyiv-interview.html

 

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/christopherm51/ukraine-bomb-shelters-russia-attack-kyiv

 

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/44296/what-putins-options-in-ukraine-really-look-like

 

“People who place themselves in the camp of Vladimir Putin are not patriots, they aren’t America First, they aren’t Christians, and they aren’t pro-life.

They’re also not people who get to drape themselves in the flag, or invoke allegiance to this nation, or feign offense at kneeling football players, or spout some red, white, and blue nationalistic nonsense—because they never cared about any of it.” – John Pavlovitz

https://johnpavlovitz.com/2022/02/23/when-americans-support-murderous-foreign-dictators/?

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