18 Jul What’s In It For M.E. (Mother Earth)?
“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before” – Neil Gaiman.
Dear Climate Healers,
As a child, when I first read the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, I wondered why the parents and grandparents in the town did not protect their children and prevent them from following the Pied Piper into a watery grave in the river.
Were they also mesmerized by the Pied Piper’s tune?
If you recall, in the fairy tale, the elders of Hamelin engaged the Pied Piper to lure their town’s rats into a watery grave in the river. When the town elders couldn’t pay the Pied Piper the wages he demanded, the Pied Piper lured the town’s children also into a watery grave in the river.
In today’s world, global industrial capitalism has rid the world of food scarcity. We grow so much food today that we not only waste 40% of it, but we also funnel nearly half the grains we harvest to domestic animals. Now the owners of global industrial capitalism are demanding their infinite wages. No matter how much they are paid, they want more.
As John Tuld, played by Jeremy Irons in “Margin Call,” puts it,
“It’s just money. It’s made up. Pieces of paper with pictures on it so we don’t have to kill each other just to get something to eat.”
Is that even true? Are we not killing each other just to get something to eat? Each year, nearly ten million people die of hunger related causes and 20-30 million people die of avoidable chronic diseases from dietary excesses, as the capitalist money-making machine incessantly feeds us comforting lies about the self-destructive food habits that it persuaded us to adopt.
But, I digress.
In “Margin Call,” John Tuld continues,
“It’s all just the same thing over and over. We can’t help ourselves. And you and I can’t control it, or stop it, or even slow it, or even ever so slightly alter it. We just react. And we make a lot of money if we get it right. And we get left by the side of the road if we get it wrong. And there have always been and always will be the same percentage of winners and losers, happy foxes and sad sacks, fat cats and starving dogs in this world. Yeah, there may be more of us today than there’s ever been. But the percentages – they stay exactly the same.”
But now that we are growing way more food than we eat, isn’t there a better way to organize ourselves so that the capitalist optimization criterion, “What’s in it for me?” which is destroying our planet, is replaced by the eco-spiritual optimization criterion, “What’s in it for M.E., Mother Earth?” Such a switch is needed anyway to restore our planet.
Can we not do that?
Whenever I bring this up, I’m told that capitalism is the best of all the ‘isms’ that have been tried and any other ‘ism’ would never work, even ones that we haven’t invented yet. Distributed decision making processes in an eco-spiritual economic system with universal basic income, free healthy vegan food, clothing and comfortable shelter for all? Can we not invent such an economic system?
Indeed, what choice do we have except to invent such an economic system? As the catastrophic floods and wildfires continue around the world, are we going to be standing around with folded hands anticipating a watery grave for our children and grandchildren in the near future, even as we ourselves burn to a crisp?
For background, when I first proposed upgrading the flaky, high-speed analog communications infrastructure of the internet into a digital version that can run ten times faster, I was told that we have only ever implemented high-speed communications with analog methodologies and that digital methodologies at such speeds will never work. “We will believe it when we see it,” went the mainstream response.
Today, those digital internet connections are ubiquitous and the rest is history. There was so much bloat in the bandwidth resource usage of the analog internet communications system that we could implement a digital version that ran ten times faster and make it more robust, to boot.
Likewise, there is so much bloat in the material resource usage of the capitalist economic system that I’m sure we will be pleasantly surprised at how much healthier and happier we will all be when the future, distributed eco-spiritual economic system gets implemented and it is truly aligned in harmony with nature.
Meanwhile, prompted by a request from Congressman Jamie Raskin’s office, and with much help from the Climate Healers Core team, I’ve written an open one-page letter to global climate policy makers regarding the UN IPCC’s dangerously misleading emissions accounting conventions:
Date: July 11, 2023
To: Global Climate Policy Makers
Subject: UN IPCC’s Dangerously Misleading Emissions Accounting Conventions
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) is misleading global policymakers, and the public into advocating policies that will not solve the climate crisis and instead, will actually exacerbate it.
That’s why I’m writing this open letter to you today, asking you to look into this matter in depth.
As you know, the UN IPCC is the scientific group that monitors and assesses all global science related to climate change. However, it is fatally flawed because it uses a consensus process by which the political representatives of nations override and veto scientific recommendations, potentially distorting the science.
Specifically, the Summary for Policymakers section of the UN IPCC reports is filtered through greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting conventions that are dangerously misleading and could end up leading the world down a path of ecological annihilation.
In my professional assessment, the UN IPCC’s emissions accounting conventions systematically minimize the impact of animal agriculture and maximize the impact of fossil fuel burning by using NET accounting for anthropogenic land use change data and GROSS accounting for fossil fuel use data.
At present, the vegetation and soil on land store an estimated 7883 Billion tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide). Humans have cut down roughly half the trees on the planet over the past 10,000 years, while destroying the native vegetation and eroding the soil on more than half the ice-free land area of the planet. And yet, the UN IPCC’s NET accounting (subtracting the CO2 stored away by nature) assigns just 92 Billion tons of CO2 emissions due to anthropogenic land use change over those 10,000 years.
In contrast, by using GROSS accounting, without subtracting the CO2 stored away by nature, the UN IPCC calculates that fossil fuel burning has caused 1632 Billion tons of CO2 emissions.
By mixing NET and GROSS emissions accounting, using an apples vs. oranges comparison, the UN IPCC is misleading policymakers and the public into advocating policies that will not solve the climate crisis and instead, will actually exacerbate it.
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About the author: Dr. Sailesh Rao is a systems engineer by profession and he has been working on healing the earth’s climate full-time since 2006. He is the author of the Animal Agriculture Position Paper that was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Ecological Society in 2021. Prior to founding Climate Healers in 2007, Dr. Rao was mainly responsible for the transformation of early analog internet connections to more robust digital connections, while accelerating their speed ten-fold.
Please download a PDF of the letter here and forward it to relevant climate policy makers in your network. At Climate Healers, we are looking forward to assisting global climate policymakers in making the right choices to heal the climate.
Thank you for your support.
HELP us every day to
Heal the planet.
It’s that simple.
Thanks again for being a superhero and joining our herd. Please forward this post to all your friends and let’s grow our MOOOvement together.
With much love,
Sailesh on behalf of the Climate Healers core team
(Akhil, Alison, Anne, BJ, Carl, Chip, Debra, Gabriele, Giva, Ilse, Jamen, Kelly, Ken, Kimaya, Krish, Maggie, Marco, Paige, Pareen, Paul, Ray, Sailesh, Sarah, Shankar, Stacey, Suzanne, Tami and Vega, the Cow and Climate Healer).