This is the personal blog of Rick Staggenborg, MD. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the official positions of Take Back America for the People, an educational 501.c3 nonprofit established by Dr Staggenborg.

Feel free to reproduce any blogs by Dr Staggenborg without prior permission, as long as they are unedited and posted or printed with attribution and a link to the website.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011


Today's blog refers to politics in Oregon, but the lesson is one that all Americans should learn. Only the Tea Party can save the Republic. It is time that we reached out to them to work together to end fascism in the United States. The following is an editorial that will be published in Oregon in the next month.

The corporate media and the politicians who depend on it to get their message out would have us believe that Americans are sharply divided about the issues that are causing gridlock in the US Congress. Nothing could be further from the truth. Roughly 70% of citizens want out of Afghanistan, nearly everyone wants the debt limit raised most Americans agree in principle that we should work to achieve universal health care in some form and a large majority wants no cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.  The difference between what Americans want and need and what the corporate-driven Congress will give us is appropriately referred to as the “democracy gap.”

What was quickly forgotten by the corporate media and largely by the “alternative” media is the fact that nearly 80% of both self-identified liberals and conservatives are opposed to the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. Recognizing that giving corporations carte blanche to buy the politicians of their choice to serve their interests in Congress is a dagger aimed at the heart of democracy, Americans across the political spectrum were momentarily united in the common cause of defending the possibility of true representative democracy. Unfortunately, the point was lost to most as the story was quickly buried in the 24 hour infotainment cycle.

The significance of the Citizens United case is not just that it is an outrageous step closer to fascist control of the US government but lies in the possibility of using the nearly universal anger toward it to build a bridge across the artificial divide between those who regard themselves as liberals or conservatives, Democrats, Republicans or independents. We the People now have an historic opportunity to create a truly democratic Republic in which the interests of the citizens of the US take precedence over those of the corporate Puppetmasters of Congress. All we need to do is to heed the lessons of 1775 and come together to fight for liberty and justice for all.

There is a growing movement to abolish corporate personhood and overturn the Supreme Court in Citizens United by working together to get a constitutional amendment introduced and passed in Congress. Oregon’s own US Representative Kurt Schrader recently took an important first step in introducing an amendment that would give states the power to regulate corporate money in elections. While still falling short of the goal of eliminating all “rights” granted corporations by an Imperial Supreme Court, has the potential to lead to the end of corporate control of the US government. If enough in Congress are willing to step up and support it, the issue will finally get the attention it deserves in the so-called “alternative” media.

Imagine if Peter DeFazio were to support the Schrader amendment. It would shine a spotlight on the issue of where Robinson gets his campaign funding.
 Last year he came from nowhere to raise $1.3 million dollars, much of it as soon as he announced his run. That’s pretty good for an unknown. Apparently he is not unknown to the big money interests who supported him and other ostensible “Tea Party” candidates. As was pointed out by a member of Americans for Prosperity in the district, he cannot be both a Republican and a Tea Party candidate, since the Tea Party represents those to the Right of the Republican Party. Similarly, Sharon Angell challenged Harry Reid and almost beat him, Rand Paul was actually elected in Kentucky and other candidates who were marginal at best were elected with sophisticated and very expensive corporate-funded propaganda campaigns.

In 2008 DeFazio won with 82% of the vote.
  In 2010 he won with less than 54%. Despite his liberal voting record, he has historically been supported by conservatives in his purple district because of his staunch support of veterans and his principled stands with Republicans when the Democratic leadership is on the wrong side of issues such as the first bankster bailout. In 2010, amid wild charges of socialism by the Robinson camp, his re-election was seriously challenged for the first time in years. The corporate money behind Robinson financed a very successful propaganda campaign that convinced many self-described conservatives to place a false ideological principle ahead of their own interests and that of the people of Oregon.

Interestingly, when I asked Robinson in Roseburg at one of his mock “debates” why he referred to a government that funneled taxpayer money to corporations “socialism,” he had a momentary lapse into reason. He shouted “You’re right! It’s fascism!” Then he expounded on the point for a full five minutes while I listened in amazement. Of course, by the time he got to the real debate in Coos Bay he had returned to the script written for him by his corporate Puppetmasters. If even Art Robinson recognizes that allowing corporations to buy Congress and dictate legislation and policy amounts to fascism, why don’t more Democrats capitalize on the fact when running for Congress? Neither Defazio nor Merkley take dirty money. Making their support of a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood would not only be principled but would tap into the truly independent voters who want to see something done about our system of corporate welfare.
Some time ago I wrote an editorial for the Advocate in which I argued that the key to saving the Republic is to get Tea Party supporters to join the effort to abolish corporate personhood through a constitutional amendment. Many of my friends scoffed at the idea. What they seem to have forgotten is that these people are more highly educated than the general public. They are not stupid, just misinformed and thus unable to see that the solution to our woes is not fighting the imaginary specter of “socialism” but in fighting creeping fascism. It is our job to educate them of this fact. They value democracy as much as the rest of us do. I spoke to Jeff Kropf, former state director of Americans for Prosperity about this. He was intrigued by the idea of working together to restore our democratic Republic through the process of constitutional amendment. He also confirmed my impression that although the Koch brothers initially provided funding for Tea Party events, the state organization is now self-funded.

Tea Party supporters are actually ahead of the political curve in one respect: They have rejected both Republican and Democratic politics as usual and are seeking to create the change America must see to save itself from economic, social and moral destruction. While I remain convinced that they are going about it in entirely the wrong way, they will be key allies in the fight to end corporate rule in America once they understand what Robinson in a rare moment of honesty admitted: Fascism is the enemy, not our fellow Americans. Partisan Democrats can take a lesson from the Tea Party. If they learn to put America before the Democratic Party, they can join in common cause with the Tea Party to rid Congress of the corporate tools who are destroying the American experiment in democracy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Imagine a vast cesspool teeming with hungry sharks and you have a pretty good idea of what it is like to be in Congress these days. The stench became too much for a principled senator like Byron Dorgan, who got out of the pool just in time before the Supreme Court dropped chum into the filthy water in the form of Citizens United. Now the sharks are in a feeding frenzy, fighting to get to the source of their sustenance: the corporate money that feeds them all and whose waste is the stuff that they swim in. Unlike predators who are careful not to excrete their wastes in their own habitat, these foolish and short-sighted men and women are quite content to live in the foul environment they have created.

How is an honest politician supposed to survive in this putrid environment? It is not true that there is no such animal. Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley Peter DeFazio and others are all in the fight, but not for themselves. They understand that they were elected to serve the People, not the voracious appetites for wealth and power that impels others to swim with the sharks.

Regardless of the risk of being soiled with the excrement of their colleagues they hold their noses and do what they can in the clear knowledge that if no one does the wealth of the nation is inevitably going to become food for the sharks and their handlers, the international corporate terrorists and war profiteers who feed them.

This is all to the good, of course. The thing about a feeding frenzy is that in the end, the sharks end up feeding on themselves when the chum is exhausted. The wounds can be fatal. Survivors can be injured to the point that they can no longer lead the attack on the common man on whom they depend to stay in the pool.

The only question is do we provoke the feeding frenzy that will eliminate the sharks and leave honest members of Congress the biggest fish in the pond so that they can clean it and take measures to assure that it will never be polluted with corporate cash again.

It turns out that the solution to this apparent dilemma depends on honest politicians being smarter than the carnivores whose only interest is to feed themselves for the benefit of the corporate Puppetmasters whose pets they have become.

Fortunately, sharks in a feeding frenzy are focused on only one thing. Normally that is the smell of warm blood but in this case it is the smell of cold, hard cash. That makes them easy prey for the smart fisher of men. The astute politician will protect him- or herself by supporting a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood.

Not only will the voters finally have a simple issue by which to choose the politicians who will work for We the People and not to make us shark bait, but by creating the conditions necessary for honest politicians to live and work in a healthy environment, they will in the end be able to not only survive but to thrive in the newly created atmosphere of a democratic Republic.

We have to ask ourselves why it is so hard to convince our fellow Americans that this is the only way to restore democracy to the United States. There are many factors to consider in the ecology of American politics but in the end it boils down to a few variables that We the People can control if we can learn how to work together in the common interest of ensuring that our children grow up in a rational and sustainable world.  

First and foremost we have to redefine what it means to be American. The corporate media would have us believe that the singular American virtue is self reliance. Nothing could be further from the truth. The American Revolution would have turned out quite differently had the English colonists not recognized their common interest in shaking off the oppression of British Empire and working together to fight the corporate Puppetmaster behind the throne: The East India Company.

The equivalent enemy today is Goldman Sachs and its fellow criminal conspirators in the international banking and financial community. Britain ruled the waves with the backing of the corporate war profiteers of the day until they were challenged from within by a newly awakened People that was determined to shake off the chains of colonialism and determine their own future.

In putting aside for the moment the political and economic interests that divided them they came together to fight the mightiest power the world had ever known they secured for themselves and prosperity the opportunity to create a more perfect union where all men and women would eventually be treated as equals.

In the end the Revolutionaries  realized that they could not win this war alone and so reached out to other foreign powers who had waged a losing battle against the British corporate Empire. With financial help from the Dutch government and military and economic aid from the French, in the end the cause of freedom prevailed. 

America became a beacon of freedom and hope for the common man by demonstrating that a People united is more than a match for international corporate terrorism. The American Revolution inspired the people of France to rise up against the oppression of their government and to overthrow the royalty that had until then deluded the masses into believing that they had a God-given right to sovereignty over the People.

The revolutionary idea that a People could rule itself became the dream of all oppressed men and women everywhere. Unfortunately, the realization of that dream has been blocked by the rise of corporate Empire in the United States, now working in tandem with the economic royalty of the United Kingdom to enslave the Peoples of the world in a fascist New World Order.

The time then has come for the Peoples of Earth to form a united international front against fascism and war. When Americans once again taste the sweet flavor of freedom other Peoples will have the opportunity to do the same. In removing the threat of corporate control of the American government we will free ourselves from the rule of the self-appointed Masters of the Universe.

No democratic nation has ever fought a war against another nation. A free America will thus guarantee the realization of the dream expressed in the Declaration of Independence: All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Among these are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

If we end America’s Civil War and fight together to finish the Revolution, soon the valleys and hills across the nation and throughout the world will ring with the cry “The King is dead! Long live We the People!”

Saturday, July 16, 2011



Those of us who came of age in the tumult of the 60s amid the protests against the Vietnam war remember well that it was universally believed that the revolution we saw beginning to occur would not be televised. The movement that is only now regaining momentum was treated by the corporate media as a spectacle and not an important social change. The revolution that is now building had its birth in the coming together of feminists, African-Americans, gays and most of America’s youth. McLuhan taught us that the medium was the message; most of us concluded that the medium was the massage. How little we realized that we were living in a time when the media bore a relatively close resemblance to reality compared to the Matrix that modern corporate media moguls have created.

First CNN brought us the 24 hour news cycle, which proved very convenient in promoting the Persian Gulf War. Later FOX News was spawned by the Australian promoter of fascism Rupert Murdoch, who first conquered the UK before embarking on his quest to reunite the US and the UK to help create an Anglo-American coalition destined to lead the world in creating a fascist New World Order. Murdoch’s plan was simple: brainwash the already complacent and ignorant American public into accepting the premise that whatever corporations wanted represented real conservatism. Any politician who dares to put the interests of We the People over those of the corporations sponsoring his media Empire and the US government it gradually came to control was labeled a “socialist.”

Newscorps is Murdoch’s baby, spoon fed with money invested at a loss initially in the sure belief that a Congress increasingly corrupted by corporate money would repay the investment with great interest. Together, FOX “News” and its friends in Congress came to frame the issues facing America in their own interest and to coerce craven politicians to accept their fascist line or suffer the wrath of the Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks of the network. These millionaire entertainers laughed all the way to the bank as their transparent lies were greedily swallowed by a large plurality of an angry and divided US citizenry. At great personal profit they have stoked the anger of the willfully ignorant and hidden the  truths that might lead to solutions to the problems faced by all Americans and the world at large. The reason is obvious: What is good for humans generally adversely affects the corporate bottom line.

The game is simple: Point at any particular group of Americans and paint them as un-American. After years of this practice, the FOX definition of a real American has been narrowed to old white men with minority viewpoints that they present as “mainstream.” In looking for scapegoats among their fellow Americans, viewers deluded into believing that fascism was not only conservative but the majority opinion were sucked into the matrix of lies and became unwitting fascist collaborators. The result is that in an America that had yet to heal from the scars of Vietnam it was completely acceptable to attack another nation that seemed to present an even more formidable enemy than the hallucinatory “socialists” they had convinced themselves had taken control of the US government.

To their eternal shame, the so-called “leaders” in Congress fell over themselves to hand power to a Bush administration that made no effort to conceal its contempt for We the People. The same deluded people who bought the lie that “government is the problem” from the Gipper and who had handed it over to those who would destroy it demanded ever more government power be given over to an authoritarian madman. Congress willingly complied with barely a whimper, the only protest of note coming from 90 year old Senator Byrd, who despite his age seemed to one of the few who remembered the price we paid in blood and treasure for the debacle in Vietnam. Having given the Bush administration police state powers in the Orwellian-sounding Patriot Act, Congress then meekly handed over its war power, just as the international corporate terrorists for whom Cheney worked wanted.

To the undiscerning eye, the Left appears disorganized and demoralized, beset on all sides by fascists on the Right and fascist collaborators just a few steps closer. The war on the middle class rages and few reinforcements are to be found in Congress or the Executive office. The Tea Party dominates the media while protests receive pitifully little coverage, even from the so-called “alternative” media that functions primarily as the gatekeeper of the Left. The most popular “alternative” commentators are shills for a Democratic Party that does little to defend working Americans out of fear of angering their own corporate Puppetmasters. People like Markos Moulitsas see their role as keeping real progressives at a distance from the corporate Democrats whose boots they lick in return for an occasional pat on the head. Union leaders are no longer consulted by “news” reporters, who prefer to go to their favorite corporate spokespersons in Congress for commentary on current events and the circus that Congress has become.

With all this in mind one might wonder how I can argue that the Revolution will in fact be televised. The answer is that under the radar of both the corporate media and their echo chamber in the “alternative” media there is building a movement that rejects the two-Party framing of the issues threatening the survival of America economically, socially and morally. Some of us are succeeding at convincing frustrated progressive leaders that the only way to wage asymmetric warfare against the powerful fascist forces arrayed against those of us struggling for democracy is to find common interests that will bind us in a unified front against fascism and war. While most of these leaders continue to employ euphemisms to describe the situation as corporate welfare, crony capitalism and the like, in the end what they are describing is the fascist takeover of the United States government and the media on whose independence democracy depends.

This then is the significance of the fact that Murdoch’s empire is under siege. More even than ABC, Newcorps is the voice of Big Brother speaking. Heard in nearly every bar, airport, hotel and restaurant that has a TV on, the constant stream of corporate propaganda has until recently had its desired effect of infecting the American collective consciousness with the dangerous idea that the supreme American value that defines us is our radical individualism. If FOX fails, it will be as if the curtain has fallen to reveal the pitiful old man who has been at the controls of the Oz that America has become. Awakened from its slumber, the giant that is the American public may yet rouse itself sufficiently to realize that it has been dreaming of democracy while our shared reality has become a nightmare.

There is of course only one issue that will unite the Left and ultimately, the Left with the Right. Eighty percent of Americans are opposed to Citizens United and its removal of all limits on the ability of corporations to buy the loyalty of members of Congress. If everyone knows how corrupted Congress has become due to the influence of corporate influence, we have to ask ourselves why is it not more generally accepted that the first thing that we have to do to get America on track is to restore democracy to its political process. Only then can we address the myriad other threats to American vitality and the world at large that have resulted from corporate rule.

There is occasional excitement when a Democrat proposes electoral reform, but the Supreme Court’s shutting down of Arizona’s innovative public finance law should have convinced all but the most starry-eyed optimists that legislative remedies are no match for a fascist-dominated Supreme Court. The only way to overrule these bastions of fascism is through constitutional amendment. As tempting as the idea of a complete overhaul of the constitution as currently interpreted might be, it is unrealistic to expect a plurality of Americans to agree on what needs to be done in a constitutional convention, where all things are possible. The Tea party supporters already think that socialists control the government, while partisan Democrats do not yet recognize that it is operated by and for fascists and their collaborators in Congress.

Simply put, it is only a matter of time before the fumbling leaders of the Left realize that they cannot coalesce around dozens of issues but must focus strategically on the linchpin of fascism: corporate personhood. When they do, the lapdogs of the “alternative” media will follow unless they remain hopelessly confused. Eventually, their friends in the Democratic Party will be able to see that the political winds are changing and finally do what should have been done in 2010. Eventually it will dawn on them that they paid dearly in the polls for their own stupidity in moving to the Right as the fascists led them over the brink. 
When they do, they will introduce a constitutional amendment in both Houses of Congress that will strip corporations of all the ‘rights” granted them by an activist Supreme Court and the Imperialists who put them in their lifetime offices. Until they realize this, the pendulum could continue to swing to the Right until there is violent resistance from an increasingly well-armed population that may not know what is happening, but are ready to take action against their perceived enemies. God help us if we don’t end the civil war and finish the Revolution soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Egypt’s revolution could not have happened without the energy, creativity and networking savvy of the youth in that nation. Labor leaders teaming up with young workers and their network of friends reached out to large segments of the Egyptian community to which members of the coalition were connected. Suddenly, everyone in the country not on the US payroll realized that their mutual interest in freedom outweighed any of the traditional differences that had kept them divided and at war with each other. At long last, they realized that their common enemy was the greed and corruption of those who benefitted from looking out for the interests of the international corporate terrorists seeking to impose a permanent fascist New World Order on us all.

The key to securing the blessings of life, liberty and happiness for all Americans and creating a world where democracy movements everywhere will eventually succeed is to establish a democratic republican system of government in the US. This will only occur when the lonely sentinels who have been crying in the wilderness in America for decades work energize the youth of America. In their youth and limited experience they have been sorely disappointed that their hard work in electing President Obama did not immediately solve the problems of the world that during the Cheney-Bush regime had promised them only a future of endless war, a lack of education for them and their children and poor job prospects throughout their lives.

Young Americans have been raised by parents so cynical of the political process that many have come to accept corporate rule as inevitable. The millions of citizens who have dropped out of the political process themselves unsurprisingly raised a generation of children who have largely abandoned electoral politics. Instead, they overwhelmingly favor striving for an increasingly unafforable education in the naïve hope that this will assure them a bright middle class future. Meanwhile that middle class is under assault and losing the class war started by the same fascists who are destroying the economy on which the future security of their families will depend. The most pitiful group of these idealistic youths are those raised by parents who blindly accept the corporate propaganda on which the corporatocracy depends to maintain control of the American government. These parents have failed their children in acting as the linchpin of the Machine of the US government that was created of, by and for We the People. As a result, we no longer have such a government but one of, by and for the corporations who profit from privatization of the Commons, destruction of the environment and endless war.

Fortunately for the future of America and democracy itself, young Americans are as capable as young Egyptians of seeing the truth to which their parents are willfully blinded. Unlike their parents who have witnessed and often cheered the growth of corporate Empire in the US and the world, they see the world with fresh eyes and have the imagination to envision a future in which it is worth raising their own children. They simply need those who understand the problem to recognize the solution, educate them as to the realities of electoral politics and the Constitution and join them in the fight to assure that they and their children can live in a rational, sustainable future. In this battle for the soul of America teachers, unions and advocates of social justice will play a crucial role. In particular, leaders of the environmental movement must take advantage of youthful enthusiasm to save the planet itself from destruction by the international corporate terrorists who are raping and pillaging the planet at the cost of their own children’s future. In this environmentalists have an obvious role to play.

In 1960 John F. Kennedy overcame tremendous odds to win the presidency despite the handicap of his Catholic faith. He could not have done this without tens of thousands of adoring youth prepared to work for a brighter future for the US and the world. Those of us old enough to remember the campaign photographs will recall that in nearly every photo of campaign events, front and center in the audience were cheering young women and men. Kennedy also had the support of unions that recognized that the interests of the worker were intimately tied to the values of the leader of the free world. JFK embodied the traditional American values and was able to articulate them to the people of the US and the world, offering them hope for a future of peace and prosperity. He did not live long enough to fulfill that promise because the international corporate terrorists with the help of the CIA, FBI, Secret Service and military decided that such a threat to their plans for world domination could not be allowed to live. Now it is time once more for us to ask not what our countries can do for us but what we can do for our countries and the world.

The only way to ensure that Barack Obama is in a position to move America back to the path of peace and prosperity for all is to take out the Puppets of the corporate interests that finance the lavish campaigns of our members of Congress. These international corporate terrorists control the corporate media and the government that has failed to regulate both. The so-called “alternative” media has failed miserably to focus attention of the American public on solutions, instead becoming tools of the corporate Democrats by functioning as the gatekeepers of the Left. Worse, they have become an echo chamber of the Right, using the politics of fear to keep America divided along party lines. When they do criticize Democrats they focus on the many failings of the Obama administration almost to the exclusion of covering those of us working to free him from corporate control.

While I have no quarrel with those who criticize Obama as a warmonger and a slave to the banksters who profit handsomely from war, we must remember that throughout his campaign he warned us that we had to be the change we want to see in America. The “alternative” media have failed miserably in that task, instead focusing criticism on him that echoes that of the corporate media. Our time and effort would be better spent working to take out the corporate tools of both parties who now dominate Congress. Union leaders who have sold out the worker to maintain access to the powerful in Washington must be put on notice that Trumpke was right when he warned corporate Democrats not to automatically expect union support. Democratic leadership has largely abandoned the American worker. From keeping single payer off the table to failing to enact card check to expansion of free trade policies to failing to rally to the side of union workers under attack by corporations, they have lost the right to expect the support of the American worker. They prefer to suck up to powerful corporate interests who want only to pay slave wages and stash the wealth created by the workers in offshore accounts, safe from the incurious gaze of government watchdogs.

With the support of unions, their allies in the single payer health care, environmental and antiwar movements we can begin to take the long road to democracy with the youth of America in the vanguard. By August of 2012 when Congress takes leave to campaign for our votes, we will be in a position to tell them they can earn them only if they support a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood. An awakened citizenry will Take Back America for the People only when they end their civil war and finish the Revolution. Each of us has a serious moral responsibility to come together for the good of all to defeat the forces of fascism in the United States and the world. When we pack town halls across America demanding this amendment restore democracy to America, democracy will indeed have come to the USA. Failure to fulfill our responsibility would dishonor those who have died in the belief that they were fighting for the freedom of all the Peoples of the world. More importantly, it would be an unforgivable betrayal ofour own children and all future generations.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Today's blog should give readers a reminder of why we need to finish the American Revolution. Unless we Take Back America for the People, we could be the next species to suffer extinction. The corporate media isn't talking about it, so we need to.


Listen carefully to the song. It gives some pretty sound advice on how to conduct a revolution and how not to.

This blog entry was originally posted under the title extinction event? on Mon, Feb 7, 2011 by Guy McPherson on the website of Nature Bats Last:

The Arctic is defrosting as warm Atlantic waters rush through the Fram Strait instead of skirting the southern coast of Greenland. This is an important event, regardless of the deafening silence exhibited by the mainstream media.

How important? First consider the background, from the perspective of long-time climate scientist James Hansen and colleague Makiko Sato, who report the disaster awaiting us at 2 C warmer is truly catastrophic (although they downplay the likelihood we’re already committed to this outcome): “We conclude that Earth in the warmest interglacial periods was less than 1°C warmer than in the Holocene and that goals of limiting human-made warming to 2°C and CO2 to 450 ppm are prescriptions for disaster” (the paper is titled “Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change: Draft paper for Milankovic volume”, as described on Hansen’s website). Currently, Earth’s atmosphere contains about 390 ppm carbon dioxide, and simply including methane (one of many greenhouse gases) brings the atmospheric equivalent of carbon dioxide up to about 460 ppm.

At the same time Arctic ice is melting, the planet is losing its lungs. Catastrophic drought in the Amazon has it emitting carbon dioxide more rapidly than the United States. Simultaneously, permafrost is thawing and methane stored in eastern Siberia is venting into the atmosphere at an alarming rate. Methane, by the way, is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Against this background, it is easy to foresee a rapidly and profoundly warming Arctic as a trigger for positive feedbacks such as release of methane hydrates and reduced albedo. These extremely dangerous feedbacks, which forecasters did not expect until the planet becomes 2 C warmer than the baseline (vs. the current level of ~0.75 C warmer), could trigger runaway greenhouse. In other words, any of these event — never mind all of them at once — could lead directly and quickly to the extinction of Homo sapiens.

Is that important enough for you?

If you’re among the mainstream media, the answer is no. If you’re any politician in the industrialized world, the answer is no. If you want to continue the process of human-population overshoot on an overshot planet, the answer is no. If you’re one of the kingpins of capitalism — or even a defender of capitalism — the answer is no. I’ll go further: If you’re a defender of western civilization, your answer is no. But if you’re among the few people working to terminate western civilization before it terminates our species, it seems we’ve lost this most important of battles.

Like economic collapse, extinction is a process that leads to an event. The last human on Earth will not die today, tomorrow, or even next week. But it clearly could happen within a generation. Indeed, the odds grow with every passing day while we continue to deny our role in our own demise.

What will it take for the people to act? For that matter, what will it take for the people to notice?

Nothing to see here. Move along. This time is different. It can’t happen here. I’m just another purveyor of negativity to be ignored by a world full of happy optimists hedonists.

I am routinely accused of being an insane terrorist because I want to terminate the industrial economy, thereby giving our species an opportunity to persist a few generations longer. At this point, with our knowledge of the adverse consequences of civilization for non-industrial cultures, non-human species, and even the persistence of our own species, how can any sane person want to keep the industrial age alive?

In the race between collapse of the industrial economy and climate chaos, it seems climate chaos won. Words are no match for the sadness I feel. I can only imagine the agony of parents as they comprehend the horrors we have created for them, and especially for their children. Or perhaps this childless atheist — as I am labeled by every writer who pens me into a story — cares about the future of humanity more than most parents. After all, nearly every parent with whom I speak — failing to notice the dependence of the industrial economy on the environment — is far more interested in growth of the former, for their child’s sake, than with protection of the latter (for their child’s sake).

We traded in future generations of human beings — all of them — for a few dollars more. We worshiped at the heavenly altar of economic growth, and triggered hell on Earth.

Chaos on this planet isn’t restricted to the climate, and it’s going global this year. We’re witnessing not merely a riot but a revolution, and it’s coming soon to a city near you.