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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/30/11

Fiddling While the Planet Burns

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Message robert wolff
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One weekend decided to read news and the opinons explaining what it all means. Real news is hard to find, violence everywhere. Opinions are all over the web. A new vocabulary of words used to mean something other than what these words meant before. Systems, gross national product (gross? product?), capitalism of course Whether Asia will rescue capitalism. Theories and counter theories, writings of famous economists, political science professors -- surely super intelligent all. 

But the thought bubbled up, what a waste of brain power. They are playing games. winding complex sentences around assumptions, and words thrown back and forth with new meaning. 

As an ignorant once psychologist it all seems a game. Clever narratives, some bending this way, the next the other way, then one upside down. Experts never see the big picture; you can be expert only about a small piece of the whole. Sure, lots of statistics, graphs. Economy is about money and how to get it all; money no longer used to make things but only to make more money; more for one less for everyone else. Even a modern Croesus dies leaving it all behind.

Not a word about the planet. Globalization but not global warming. Yet that is something we/they are actually doing. It is happening. The game of politics is getting hysteric; maybe they know that the board they play on is burning? 

A previous president said when all of us and the world were still in shock: Don't worry, go shopping, spend money. The party of the very rich says, Ya ya it's all about jobs but first we must make sure that no woman can get birth control, let alone an abortion--a medical procedure, none of the business of politicians. Ya ya jobs, but first we must destroy unions, and then we must make it more difficult to vote so that perhaps those who successfully jump through all the hoops will vote for us. I bet that next year, closer to a presidential election, they will yell and scream at the top of their voices jobs, jobs, jobs, Obama has done nothing about jobs, but WE will. That is why now they block every effort to get the economy going. They count on it that we will have forgotten four years of mindless nay-saying.

Politicians seem to have forgotten, or ignore, that we elected them to uphold the Constitution that says that our government is by and for We the People. Elected to represent us, not a party.

Global Warming Image, from flickr,  By db - Dave Burnham

I know very little about economy or politics, but would it not be smarter if we did something about global warming? Compared to earlier years in 2010 we smoked more CO2 into the planet's atmosphere, not less. So-called green jobs seems to be such an obvious thing to promote making jobs. The party of the very rich does not believe in global warming. Or, repair and improvement of our broken infrastructure, also creating jobs. No, the party of the very rich sternly mumbles fixing that unsafe bridge is not the way. They said in so many words that we're against anything and everything this president proposes.

There are a few countries that have in a few years greened their economy making a profit. If we did that also we might soften the worst effects of global warming. If our automobile companies had built buses and super fast trains instead of ever larger trucks, they might have done something real. Or even (heaven forbid) smaller cars that get 70 or 100 mpg -- oh yes, that is possible. Our government could stop giving permits to dig for the last bit of very expensive oil; that would force us to use other fuel. We could stop cutting huge enormous forests.

But no, we can't do any of that, they say. Not now. Politics trumps reality.

Our survival as a species is no game. We have become a species hell bent on destroying the planet, forgetting or denying that we are of the planet. We are racing full speed to our own extinction, taking as many species with us as we can. According to at least one Holy Book once we were all but erased but cleansed by water; this time it will be by fire and all other extremes the planet can come up with.

Politics has become a show. Experts tell expert managers of politicians how to destroy an opponent with an edited movie. When the truth comes out a few days later, the damage has been done. The stock market does not know whether it is coming or going. Billions of humans have nowhere to go, not much or nothing to eat; throw them away. Millions protest, masses fill the squares in big cities of the world but our media see or hear them only if they can find a thread to Al Qaeda. The media can fill all their hours with our leaders and a half dozen wannabe's busy sharpening their own points for an election still 14 months ahead. Down here we try to stretch the food we got with food stamps.

A small mid section of the world's people are asleep; they have a house, enough to eat, they see the commotion and close their eyes, hoping that things are not as bad as they look. Or hoping that, surely, one of these days things will be the same again" 

Meanwhile a tiny tiny minority of all humans think themselves at the top, so far removed they can afford to ignore us. They have most of the wealth of the planet. They buy power and play roulette with each other. They are the ones that insist that we must first dig up all the oil and coal there is left, regardless of cost in dollars or poverty. First destroy all nature. Global warming can become a problem only when all the world's wealth is safely stored in their hidden numbered bank accounts.

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robert wolff lived on the Big Island, called Hawai'i

his website is He passed away in late 2015. He was born in 1925, was Dutch, spoke, Dutch, Malay, English and spent time living and getting to know Malaysian Aborigines. He authored numerous books including What it Is To Be Human, (more...)

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