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A Terrifying Truth

By       Message Dave Lindorff     Permalink
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It wasn’t too long ago that the death of socialism, the triumph of capitalism and the end of history were being widely hailed.

What a difference a few years and a few fractions of a degree in world temperature change makes!

We may still be contemplating the end of history, but of a different sort. It is suddenly becoming painfully obvious that the pursuit of profit and the philosophy of growth for growth’s sake and of dog eat dog is about to kill us all off.

Now that it has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the earth is headed for a global heat wave the likes of which hasn’t been seen in hundreds of thousands and perhaps tens of millions of years--the kind of killing heat that in the past has led to mass extinctions--it is ludicrous to talk about things like carbon trading and raising vehicle mileage standards.

We need a revolution in the way we human beings live and the way we treat each other.

There is no way that the world’s 6.5 billion people--and especially the 2 billion of them who live in wealthier societies--can continue to consume energy at even close to the level that we have been consuming it. There is no way we in the developed world can continue to live the way we have been living, in oversized houses, heated in winter and cooled in summer. There is no way in the northern hemisphere we can continue to have teakwood or mahogany-floored living rooms and eat strawberries in December.

There is no way that we can continue to squander trillions of dollars on war and military spending every year.

No way, that is, if we plan on leaving a livable world for our children and grandchildren.
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The so-called “green” politicians who talk about instituting carbon-trading schemes, about driving hybrid automobiles, about buying fluorescent light bulbs, and about turning down the thermostat and wearing sweaters, are deceiving us or themselves.

None of this is going to save us.

What will save us is recognizing that the age of consumer-driven capitalism is over.

We either come up with a new way to organize society, in which production is based upon real needs, not upon manufactured needs, and in which scarce resources are made available to those who need them, not just to those who can afford them, or we will all be doomed--or at least our progeny.

The peoples of the world--especially of the developed world, but really everywhere--need to recognize that unless our expectations are changed, unless our selfish desire for more is curbed, unless wasteful production is ended, we are all likely to be on that extinction list.
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So where are the leaders of boldness and vision in politics, media and academia who are ready to tell the truth? Where are the people who are willing to listen to, and reward that truthtelling?

This is not an “inconvenient” truth we need to confront. It’s a terrifying truth.

We need to change everything, and we need to do it quickly, too.

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)

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