ECO-Tours only purchases trees and dirt to plant them in...

Friday, March 7, 2014


As with many movements, those of us who are ecologically aware find that our cadre of Earth aware individuals has grown into a very real force across the face of the planet. The groups that we have formed have been poked and prodded, provoked and infiltrated by agents provocateur,  perhaps understood better from outside the movement by those who are threatened by our success than we could ever do to others whitin our various groups and movements. Wedge issues have been created by think tanks, injected into our ranks and files have been amassed on those who sympathize or empathize with every group imaginable. Part of the ruse that has been foisted upon us is the "fact" that all environmentalists are part of a vast and shadowy sub-culture that believes in Zero Population Growth (ZPG). Again, if you are at all astute, the ZPG crowd feels that the growing population equates to or accounts for the biggest threat to our survival as a species or the continued balance of the ecosystem. In my own exploration of an eco-friendly life-style, I have only met a few individuals who were of this persuasion. Having only two children over the lifetime of any woman would, in fact, reduct our need for many resources, but that alone cannot heal the damage that has already been caused to climate, our natural resources or the bio-sphere.

It is not hard to understand why these events take place. The wealtihiest and most powerful agents want things to stay pretty much the same, without threat of change. Pitting one "extreme" group against another is the oldest trick in the book of exploiting the largest number of people for the benefit of the fewest. I want to remind my readers of just a couple examples of this sort of demonization. I first heard of MOVE because the Yippies wanted everyone to know about the police brutality and arbitrary prosecution of people who were living the revolution that will not be televised. MOVE, if you are not familiar, were folks who were attacked for being members of a group that had successfully created an inner-city, ecologically sustainable compound of sorts. They tore out their yards, and planted organic produce and grew rooftop gardens in a neighborhood of Philly (Philadelphia, PA) where even police had written off. Instead of knowing their place and being subservient to the powers that be, they stood proud in their self-sufficiency, living in ways that later became known as "off the grid". Ironically, there is a current fascination within the "Prepper"/survivalist groups that believe in end-times scenarios and apocalyptic events that will require us to be completely responsible for ourselves. The MOVE was doing that a generation or more ago.

The police showed up to "assist" the health department in presenting the MOVE members a letter about code violations. Monday, May 13th 1985, surrounded by heavy weapons, riot gear and the thin blue line of secrecy that was present within the Philadelphia police at the time, the residents of the MOVE compound were surrounded and barricaded themselves inside. It seemed to me at the time that any reasonable person would have taped the letter to their door and withdrawn. Instead, the police called in a helicopter which dropped a bomb, which the police asserted was just teargas canisters onto the fuel depot that the MOVE had for emergency fuel needs like lighting, heat and generators. During the conflagration that took out more than an entire city block, guns drawn, the police rushed the building and several MOVE folks were gunned down in cold blood by over-ambitious cops. The police that were killed had .38 cal. holes in them, but my understanding is that the MOVE folks had small caliber weapons, mostly for shooting pigeons and ill critters. As the circle of fire was drawn like a noose around the compound, some were caught in their own crossfire.

MOVE made it back in the news this week because one of their members who stood trial for murder and who was incarcerated for his "crimes" got his sentence reduced from execution down to life in prison by a recent appointee to high office. The Rethuglicans, urged on by "conservative" voices in Philadelphia have used the fake news of mayhem perpetrated by peaceful loving people as grounds for keeping a well respected person from serving the public.

Similarly, The American Indian Movement was called out for their "radicalism" in a similar series of events. With only what can be called an utter paucity of evidence, Leonard Peltier was convicted and sentenced to life imprison as part of the FBI smear campaign against native peoples who were also demanding their rights to live peacefully and without molestation in a manner that can be in harmony with nature. I seemed to many at the time that the ecological crisis identified in the mid sixties would force much needed change into the political and social spotlight, but instead we had trotted out for us a series of "radical" groups that grew ever more harsh in their rhetoric and ever more violent in their orientation. The Earth First people came under fire as did deep ecology movements across the nation. Greenpeace was demonized and the many local groups which were spawned in the wake of people moving with conscience away from total annihilation of the ecosphere for profit were also described as radical.

Earth's population has continued to rise. As "environmentalists", we have become much more savvy to the methods of our oppressors and the exploitation that they seek to wreak upon us. This whole population issue has always been a tough nut to crack because it represents a double edged sword on many different levels. First, the corporate outlaws, let us call them corporados, took the moral high ground right away. They wanted us to look at them as saviors of those less fortunate. Where was the highest concentration of  needy folks? Africa and Asia, so they concocted what was once called the green revolution. In the name of feeding the world, these mega corporations, which by today's standards were rather small, sent expensive hybrid seed to nations that faced starvation. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund spread the debt to pay for said seed. Then the agricultural chemical and fertilizer companies which the seed producers were mere subsidiaries of lined up, taking their share of the money. finally, the implement manufacturers lined up for their subsidies. Two thing then happened. First, there was no infrastructure to get food to markets and therefore no infrastructure was available to bring in fuel or spare parts for the expensive machinery. Second, the seeds could not be saved season to season which had always facilitated long-term stability amongst the native farmers. Mass starvation ensued.

The quandary we have faced since then is that for economic security, many "underprivileged" people the world 'round produce far more children than they can afford to care for in the hopes that one day, they will each help the parents to live a better life by caring for them. Many "liberals" who are far more likely to be branded as "environmentalists", are now without any respectable base on which to build a movement. If they claim that Zero Population Growth is important to save the planet, they can be said to be culturally insensitive, racist or worse anti-humanitarian. If they say to the undeveloped regions of the world, "Don't do what we did. Learn from our mistakes." they can be told that they are being capricious and not letting other parts of the world enjoy the freedoms and privilege that we enjoyed during our industrialization. The table was set with falsehood before environmentalists ever got invited into dinner. The exploitation of third world countries continues today. Child slavery is rampant in every country that looks for it, human trafficking is now the largest source of illicit income on the planet, yet we cannot figure out why. People have been dehumanized by watching the other folks who sacrificed their humanity for economic security not only become disgustingly rich, but insulated from responsibility as well. Crimes against humanity are rarely prosecuted and as I believe Joseph Stalin said, "A thousand deaths are a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic." The scale of deaths attributable to Nestle', are unimaginable, but as they always claim, it is either just business or they were actually trying to help. The level of deceit is just as incomprehensible as the actions that have been taken to derail any viable political or cultural campaign for change.

The biochar science is proving to those who learn of it that twice as much food can come out of the arable land that exists on the planet. Our concern need never have been how to limit population, but how to live a better quality of life using less energy, less resources and less waste. all of these things threaten the wealthiest individuals on the planet because as we get more efficient and live better life styles, they have less and less wealth, which they equate with power and control over the rest of us. Even their claims that we want to depose them as our rulers is a bit disingenuous because the real goal is to find a way to have more people capable of getting their needs met with less effort and expense. Asking the ultra wealthy to actually do some sort of meaningful work other than exploiting their fellow humans and abusing the planet is more about their actions than themselves as people. The 1% as they have come to be known, the oligarchs and their minions seek to derail any meaningful change out of hand because they are comfortable with the current state of affairs. We must learn to see through the smoke screens that they throw up every time their authority is challenged.

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