Friday, October 29, 2004

"The system which governs our economic lives, which we call capitalism, is itself is a limited resource. Capitalism is a pyramid scheme. Let me try to explain this.

It is a built on a system called fractional reserve banking. Almost the entire money supply – generally, depending on where you live, between 90 and 95% of it – is issued not by the state, but the commercial banks. It is issued not in the form of notes and coins, but in the form of loans. Between 90 and 95% of the money supply, in other words, is debt.

To pay off the debt that is issued today, the banks must issue more debt tomorrow, and so on and so forth. In a world which is not based on material realities, the world which might exist, for an example, in a computer model, it could expand for ever. But in the real world, the supply of money is linked to material realities called collateral: the real wealth which gives the loans meaning, and without which the whole scheme would be exposed as a fraud. Eventually the amount of lending must inevitably exceed the availability of meaningful collateral, for the simple reason that the material world is finite while the possible issue of credit is not. That is the point at which the whole structure comes tumbling down." 1

1. George Monbiot, 06/10/2004. No Longer Obeying Orders.

Myths and facts

Myths

"there is no limit to human potential" 1

"the assumption that industrial and post-industrial development will automatically distribute wealth, rather than concentrating it" 1

"the resources required to bring this utopia about are infinite" 1

Facts

"At any rate of use, non-renewable resoures are, by definition, depleted" 1

"Beyond a certain rate of use, renewable resources are depleted." 1

"Beyond a certain rate of exploitation, renewable resources become non-renewable resources." 1

"The earth’s capacity to absorb pollution is limited." 1

"The system which governs our economic lives, which we call capitalism, is itself is a limited resource." 1

"The people who get hit first and hit hardest by any one of these realities are not the rich but the poor." 1

1. George Monbiot, 06/10/2004. No Longer Obeying Orders.





Europe and the US

"Rather than whinge about how horrid Bush and his cohort are, Europeans should accept US ideology and power and forge a real European identity and foreign policy as a counterbalance." 1

1. Lellouche, ???

Monday, October 25, 2004

Church of Satan

"Nine Satanic Statements, which include "Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence", "Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek" and "Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification"." 1

1.. BBC News, October 2004.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Speed, Time and Experience

"The machine city is pre-occupied with output; a future state. Speed is an attempt to beat time and bring the future forward. It reinforces our future-oriented 'mode of becoming' because the focus of the jorney is the activity (which we are rushing to. Speed also destroys the opportunity to experience the immediate environment at the immediate moment and divorces us from place." 1

1. David Engwicht, 1992. Towards an Eco-City.

Monoculture

"Mono-cultures, for example single crop farms, are inherently unstable. They must be sustained from the outside with massive supplies of fertiliser, water and pesticides. Ironically the farmer is fighting against nature's attempt to reassert its diveristy." 1

1. David Engwicht, 1992. Towards an Eco-City.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Forum Theatre

Theatre should bring about social transformation, and it should be "a theatre as politics rather than political theatre" 1

1. Liza Ann Acosta, 2001. Review of Augusto Boal's Legislative Theatre.

Planet Under Pressure

"Food: An estimated 1 in 6 people suffer from hunger and malnutrition while attempts to grow food are damaging swathes of productive land.

Water: By 2025, two thirds of the world's people are likely to be living in areas of acute water stress.

Energy: Oil production could peak and supplies start to decline by 2010

Climate change: The world's greatest environmental challenge, according to the UK prime minister Tony Blair, with increased storms, floods, drought and species losses predicted.

Biodiversity: Many scientists think the Earth is now entering its sixth great extinction phase.

Pollution: Hazardous chemicals are now found in the bodies of all new-born babies, and an estimated one in four people worldwide are exposed to unhealthy concentrations of air pollutants.

And underlying all these pressures is a seventh - human population." 1

" How many of us can live at northern consumption levels, and what level should everyone else be expected to settle for?" 1

"How can we expect poor people to respect the environment when they need to use it to survive?" 1

"
And how can we act when sizeable and sincere parts of society say we are already overcoming the problems, not being overwhelmed by them?"

"The challenge we face is not about feeling guilty for our consumption or virtuous for being "green" - it's about the growing recognition that, as the human race, we stand or fall together." 1

"Living within the planet's means need not condemn us to giving up what we now assume we need for a full life, just to sharing it." 1

1. Alex Kirby, 01/10/2004. Planet Under Pressure, BBC News Online.