Tuesday, December 8, 2015

End of Road for Homo sapiens! Slow death or Armageddon

End of Road for Homo sapiens! Slow death or Armageddon


Part1) Apocalyptic Capitalism

PartII ) World War III: Why Russia will bury the West


Limits to Growth, a study about the future of our planet, on behalf of the Club of Rome, worked on systems analysis at Jay W. Forrester's institute at MIT. They created a computing model which took into account the relations between various global developments and produced computer simulations for alternative scenarios.


Most scenarios resulted in an ongoing growth of population and of the economy until to a turning point around 2030. Only drastic measures for environmental protection proved to be suitable to change this systems behaviour, and only under these circumstances, scenarios could be calculated in which both world population and wealth could remain at a constant level. However, so far the necessary political measures were not taken.


This is not likely to happen.


Major cities like Beijing, Delhi, Paris and others are more or less gas chambers.


Of course West wants others ie East and South to make sacrifices? Both China and India want to catch up with the West. Why not.


The situation can only get worse.


The world was saved by Russian Naval officer from minor Armageddon in Cuban water in 1962.Since then there have been many misses.


In both the scenarios US led west are the Culprits. Destruction is US DNA ever since Europeans arrived there.


I have come to this sad and depressing conclusion based on study of international situation, for 35 years as a diplomat and then as a journalist and have written over three hundred articles, which have been translated into 12 major languages of the world.




Apocalyptic Capitalism

By Chris Hedges


December 08, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "Truthdig" - The charade of the 21st United Nations climate summit will end, as past climate summits have ended, with lofty rhetoric and ineffectual cosmetic reforms. Since the first summit more than 20 years ago, carbon dioxide emissions have soared. Placing faith in our political and economic elites, who have mastered the arts of duplicity and propaganda on behalf of corporate power, is the triumph of hope over experience. There are only a few ways left to deal honestly with climate change: sustained civil disobedience that disrupts the machinery of exploitation; preparing for the inevitable dislocations and catastrophes that will come from irreversible rising temperatures; and cutting our personal carbon footprints, which means drastically reducing our consumption, particularly of animal products.

"Our civilization," Dr. Richard Oppenlander writes in "Food Choice and Sustainability, "displays a curious instinct when confronted with a problem related to overconsumption—we simply find a way to produce more of what it is we are consuming, instead of limiting or stopping that consumption."

The global elites have no intention of interfering with the profits, or ending government subsidies, for the fossil fuel industry and the extraction industries. They will not curtail extraction or impose hefty carbon taxes to keep fossil fuels in the ground. They will not limit the overconsumption that is the engine of global capitalism. They act as if the greatest contributor of greenhouse gases—the animal agriculture industry—does not exist. They siphon off trillions of dollars and employ scientific and technical expertise—expertise that should be directed toward preparing for environmental catastrophe and investing in renewable energy—to wage endless wars in the Middle East. What they airily hold out as a distant solution to the crisis—wind turbines and solar panels—is, as the scientist James Lovelock says, the equivalent of 18th-century doctors attempting to cure serious diseases with leeches and mercury. And as the elites mouth platitudes about saving the climate they are shoving still another trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), down our throats. The TPP permits corporations to ignore nonbinding climate accords made at conferences such as the one in Paris, and it allows them, in secret trade tribunals, to defy environmental regulations imposed by individual states.

New technology—fracking, fuel-efficient vehicles or genetically modified food—is not about curbing overconsumption or conserving resources. It is about ensuring that consumption continues at unsustainable levels. Technological innovation, employed to build systems of greater and greater complexity, has fragmented society into cadres of specialists. The expertise of each of these specialists is limited to a small section of the elaborate technological, scientific and bureaucratic machinery that drives corporate capitalism forward—much as in the specialized bureaucratic machinery that defined the genocide carried out by the Nazis. These technocrats are part of the massive, unthinking hive that makes any system work, even a system of death. They lack the intellectual and moral capacity to question the doomsday machine spawned by global capitalism.  And they are in control.

Civilizations careening toward collapse create ever more complex structures, and more intricate specialization, to exploit diminishing resources. But eventually the resources are destroyed or exhausted. The systems and technologies designed to exploit these resources become useless. Economists call such a phenomenon the "Jevons paradox." The result is systems collapse.

In the wake of collapses, as evidenced throughout history, societies fragment politically, culturally and socially. They become failed states, bleak and desolate outposts where law and order break down, and there is a mad and often violent scramble for the basic necessities of life. Barbarism reigns.

"Only the strong survive; the weak are victimized, robbed, and killed," the anthropologist Joseph Tainter writes in "The Collapse of Complex Societies." "There is fighting for food and fuel. Whatever central authority remains lacks the resources to reimpose order. Bands of pitiful, maimed survivors scavenge among the ruins of grandeur. Grass grows in the streets. There is no higher goal than survival."

The elites, trained in business schools and managerial programs not to solve real problems but to maintain at any cost the systems of global capitalism, profit personally from the assault. They amass inconceivable sums of wealth while their victims, the underclasses around the globe, are thrust into increasing distress from global warming, poverty and societal breakdown. The apparatus of government, seized by this corporate cabal, is hostile to genuine change. It passes laws, as it did for Denton, Texas, after residents voted to outlaw fracking in their city, to overturn the ability of local communities to control their own resources. It persecutes dissidents, along with environmental and animal rights activists, who try to halt the insanity. The elites don't work for us. They don't work for the planet. They orchestrate the gaiacide. And they are well paid for it.

The Anthropocene Age—the age of humans, which has caused mass extinctions of plant and animal species and the pollution of the soil, air and oceans—is upon us. The pace of destruction is accelerating. Climate scientists say that sea levels, for example, are rising three times faster than predicted and that the Arctic ice is vanishing at rates that were unforeseen. "If carbon dioxide concentrations reach 550 ppm," writes Clive Hamilton in "Requiem for a Species," "after which emissions fell to zero, the global temperature would continue to rise for at least another century." We have already passed 400 parts per million, a figure not seen on earth for 3 million to 5 million years. We are on track to reach at least 550 ppm by 2100.

The breakdown of the planet, many predict, will be nonlinear, meaning that various systems that sustain life—as Tainter chronicles in his study of collapsed civilizations—will disintegrate simultaneously. The infrastructures that distribute food, supply our energy, ensure our security, produce and transport our baffling array of products, and maintain law and order will crumble at once. It won't be much fun: Soaring temperatures. Submerged island states and coastal cities. Mass migrations. Species extinction. Monster storms. Droughts. Famines. Declining crop yields. And a security and surveillance apparatus, along with militarized police, that will employ harsher and harsher methods to cope with the chaos. 

We have to let go of our relentless positivism, our absurd mania for hope, and face the bleakness of reality before us. To resist means to acknowledge that we are living in a world already heavily damaged by global warming. It means refusing to participate in the destruction of the planet. It means noncooperation with authority. It means defying in every way possible consumer capitalism, militarism and imperialism. It means adjusting our lifestyle, including what we eat, to thwart the forces bent upon our annihilation.

The animal agriculture industry has, in a staggering act of near total censorship, managed to stifle public discussion about the industry's complicity in global warming. It is barely mentioned in climate summits. Yet livestock and their byproducts, as Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn point out in their book, "The Sustainability Secret," and their documentary, "Cowspiracy," account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51 percent of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Methane and nitrous oxide are rarely mentioned in climate talks, although those two greenhouse gases are, as the authors point out, respectively, 86 times and 296 times more destructive than carbon dioxide. Cattle, worldwide, they write, produce 150 billion gallons of methane daily. And 65 percent of the nitrous oxide produced by human-related activities is caused by the animal agriculture industry. Water used in fracking, they write, ranges from 70 billion to 140 billion gallons annually. Animal agriculture water consumption, the book notes, ranges from 34 trillion to 76 trillion gallons annually. Raising animals for human consumption takes up to 45 percent of the planet's land. Ninety-one percent of the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest and up to 80 percent of global rain forest loss are caused by clearing land for the grazing of livestock and growing feed crops for meat and dairy animals. As more and more rain forest disappears, the planet loses one of its primary means to safely sequester carbon dioxide. The animal agriculture industry is, as Andersen and Kuhn write, also a principal cause of species extinction and the creation of more than 95,000 square miles of nitrogen-flooded dead zones in the oceans.

A person who eats a vegan diet, they point out, a diet free of meat, dairy and eggs, saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forested land, 20 pounds CO2 equivalent, and one animal's life every day.

The animal agriculture industry has pushed through "Ag-Gag" laws in many states that criminalize protests, critiques of the industry, and whistleblowing attempts to bring the public's attention to the staggering destruction wrought on the environment by the business of raising 70 billion land animals every year worldwide to be exploited and consumed by humans. And they have done so, I presume, because defying the animal agriculture industry is as easy as deciding not to put animal products—which have tremendous, scientifically proven health risks—into your mouth.

We have little time left. Those who are despoiling the earth do so for personal gain, believing they can use their privilege to escape the fate that will befall the human species. We may not be able to stop the assault. But we can refuse to abet it. The idols of power and greed, as the biblical prophets warned us, threaten to doom the human race.

Timothy Pachirat recounts in his book, "Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight," an Aug. 5, 2004, story in the Omaha World-Herald. An "old-timer" who lived five miles from the Omaha slaughterhouses recalled the wind carrying the stench of the almost six and a half million cattle, sheep and hogs killed each year in south Omaha. The sickly odor permeated buildings throughout the area.

"It was the smell of money," the old-timer said. "It was the smell of money."

Chris Hedges previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

"The Sustainability Secret," a book quoted in this column, has an introduction by Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges and was ghostwritten by Truthdig's books editor, Eunice Wong.

World War III: Why Russia will bury the West

30 November 2015 


 If a global war breaks out, here are the key factors that could decide the outcome in Russia's favour.



In June 2014, the Pentagon conducted a "table top" exercise – a sort of war game between Russia and NATO. The scenario was Russian pressure on NATO member Estonia and Latvia. Would NATO be able to defend those countries?


"The results were dispiriting," Julia Ioffe writes in Foreign Policy. Even if all US and NATO troops stationed in Europe were dispatched to the Baltics – including the 82nd Airborne, which is supposed to be ready to go on 24 hours' notice – the US would lose.

"We just don't have those forces in Europe," explains a senior US general. "Then there's the fact that the Russians have the world's best surface-to-air missiles and are not afraid to use heavy artillery."


The Russian 'victory' was not a one-off. The Americans conducted the exercise as many as 16 times, under various scenarios, all favourable to NATO, always with the same conclusion. The Russians were simply invincible.


In this backdrop, Turkey's rash act of shooting down a Russian Air Force jet portends grave tidings for NATO. Because Turkey is a NATO member, if the Russian Air Force pounds the living daylight out of the Turks, at least in theory all the other members of the US-led military bloc are treaty-bound to come to its defence.


Although the chances that the Americans will risk New York for Istanbul are smaller than small – which leaves a very nervous Turkey on its own – one can never rule out the possibility of a NATO hothead wanting to attack Russia.


A nuclear exchange will undoubtedly have catastrophic consequences for both sides – and perhaps the entire planet – but there are certain factors that could skew the fighting field in Russia's favour.


Megaton capability

According to data exchanged on October 1, 2014 by Moscow and Washington, Russia has 1,643 deployed strategic warheads, compared with 1,642 for the US. Marginal difference in numbers but Russian land-based strategic forces have an explosive yield that is an order of magnitude greater than anything in the US armoury.


Moscow's primary deterrent weapon is the mighty SS-18, a single one of which can destroy an area the size of New York – the state, not just the city. To get an idea of the destructive power of the SS-18, just look at the nuclear weapon the US used to destroy the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The Hiroshima bomb was a primitive 15 kiloton warhead and yet it wiped out a city of 70,000 in a few seconds. The SS-18 – code named Satan by NATO – carries 10 warheads, each having a yield of 750 to 1000 kiloton). Some of these missiles carry a single 20,000 kiloton warhead – that's 1333 times Hiroshima.


At the same time, 80 per cent of the American population resides on the eastern and western seaboards, so a few well-aimed nuclear missiles can end all human life in these densely populated coastal strips. Russia has a population only half of the US but it's dispersed widely across the country's massive landmass so that pockets of human inhabitation can survive both a first as well as a second strike.


Russia has another trump card up its sleeve – its supersonic bomber fleet of Tupolev Tu-160s. These Mach 2 plus aircraft can take off from well-defended airbases located deep in the heart of Russia, fly over the North Pole, launch nuclear-tipped cruise missiles from safe standoff distances over the Atlantic, and return home to watch the destruction on CNN.


That's assuming CNN will be around. For, the Russian strategic bomber fleet can singlehandedly wipe out every major city in the US.

It is because the Americans know the capability of Russia's nuclear forces that they have tried hard to eliminate the doomsday weapons like the SS-18 through arms limitation talks.


Tactical warheads

Before the use of strategic weapons, Russia could cripple forward NATO bases with tactical – or battlefield – nukes. Russian military doctrine emphasises the use of small-yield nuclear weapons as a war fighting tool early on in a conflict in order to stun and confuse NATO forces, impacting their ability to think and act coherently.

After tactical nuclear artillery decimates forward deployed NATO military troops, Russia could deliver small-yield warheads via intermediate range missiles that could devastate the next line of military bases, while limiting civilian casualties. At this point the US would be faced with the option of retaliating with strategic weapons and face a devastating response from Moscow. A good guess is the option won't be used.


For, no American president would risk a single US city for a dozen European ones. John F. Kennedy didn't risk it in 1962 for the same reason – the loss of even one city was too many.


State of US strategic forces

How reliable is the US Strategic Nuclear Command? If you are an American, you won't feel so reassured after reading that Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both "reportedly lost the launch code cards that presidents are expected to have on them at all times – Clinton for months, according to a former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. Carter allegedly sent his out with a suit to the cleaners".


In any conflict – more so in a high stakes nuclear standoff – morale, training and discipline are key factors. Russian officers who have the job of deciding when and where to aim their nuclear missiles include PhD holders who are required to think on their feet. On the other hand, American personnel whohave the same role are beset with alcoholism, depression and cheating.

Nothing can sugar coat the crisis plaguing the US strategic forces. In October 2013, Major General Michael Carey, responsible for the command of 450 nuclear missiles, was fired after drunken behaviour on a visit to Russia. Days earlier, another military officer, Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, with high-level responsibility for the country's nuclear arsenal, was relieved of his duties after he was caught using counterfeit gambling chips at an Iowa casino.


Think that's frightening? Check this out. A US Air Force general who supported the command mission to provide nuclear forces for the US Strategic Command was an alcoholic. General David C. Uhrich kept a vodka bottle in his desk and repeatedly drank on duty, so much so that another officer told investigators that "if he did not have his alcohol, the wheels would come off".

The rot has trickled down to US missileers who have a culture of cheating on competency tests, endangering the readiness off American ICBMs. Again, in February 2014, the US Navy revealed it was looking into allegations that enlisted sailors cheated on tests involving the nuclear reactors that power its submarines and aircraft carriers.


The US strategic forces are also suffering from systemic neglect, with its ICBM bases in North Dakota and Montana reporting "leaking roofs". The missileers, who work in blast-proof bunkers located 60 feet underground, are forced to defecate in buckets and urinate in jugs, and bring it all back up at the end of 24 hours. How ready these personnel will be when they have to react to a Russian missile strike is questionable.


On the other hand, Russian Strategic Forces are treated as the very elites in the military. The quality of Russian personnel can be deduced from the actions of Russian strategic forces officer Lt Colonel Stanislav Petrov. On September 26, 1983, a Russian early-warning satellite indicated five US nuclear missile launches. Tensions were high between Washington and Moscow after the downing of a South Korean airliner weeks earlier, and Petrov had only minutes to respond. With little additional information to go on, he deemed the readings a false alarm, reasoning that "when people start a war, they don't start it with only five missiles".

This is precisely why highly qualified personnel matter. When you're placed squarely in the cross hairs of the enemy's nuclear missiles and you're holed up in a bunker 60 feet below the earth's surface, then nervousness, insomnia and depression are part of your daily life. Unable to cope, less educated personnel will abuse alcohol and drugs and even exhibit criminal behaviour. On the other hand, educated and motivated officers will keep their cool even in the event of a thermonuclear showdown.


For, a nuclear war may not necessarily involve a quick exchange of ballistic missiles. According to War Scare: Russia and America on the Nuclear Brink, by Peter Vincent Pry, Director of the US Nuclear Strategy Forum, the Russian Strategic Forces are trained to "launch pre-emptive or retaliatory nuclear strikes, survive a hammer blow from a massive enemy nuclear attack, launch follow-on nuclear strikes, and supervise military operations in a protracted nuclear war, expected to last weeks or months".

In such a drawn out, harrowing scenario, Russia's nuclear warfare specialists clearly have the edge.


Reflexive Control: Ultimate Weapon

Disinformation, camouflage and stratagem are some of the ways one can influence the outcome of a war. The Russians have taken these ancient arts to another level through the use of the theory of Reflexive Control (RC).


Developed by Russian military strategists in the 1960s, RC aims to convey information to an opponent that would influence them to voluntarily make a decision desired by the initiator of the action. It can be used against either human or computer-based decision-making processors. Russia employs it not only at the strategic and tactical levels in war but also in the geopolitical sphere.

Russian Army Major General M.D. Ionov was among the early proponents of RC, having pursued it since the 1970s. In an article in 1995, he noted that the objective of reflexive control is to force an enemy into making decisions that lead to his defeat by influencing or controlling his decision-making process.


Ionov considers this a form of high art founded of necessity on an intimate knowledge of human thinking and psychology, military history, the roots of the particular conflict, and the capabilities of competing combat assets.

Timothy L. Thomas writes in the Journal of Slavic Studies: "In a war in which reflexive control is being employed, the side with the highest degree of reflex (the side best able to imitate the other side's thoughts or predict its behaviour) will have the best chances of winning. The degree of reflex depends on many factors, the most important of which are analytical capability, general erudition and experience, and the scope of knowledge about the enemy."


If successfully achieved, reflexive control over the enemy makes it possible to influence their combat plans, their view of the situation, and how they fight. RC methods are varied and include camouflage (at all levels), disinformation, encouragement, blackmail by force, and the compromising of various officials and officers.


According to Robert C. Rasmussen of the Center for International Maritime Security, "It is exactly this type of application of Reflexive Control that a young Vladimir Putin would have learned in his early development at the 401st KGB School and in his career as a KGB/FSB officer."

Because every battle is first fought in the head before a bullet is fired on the ground, Russia's long experience with RC would be a key factor in its existential struggle with the US.