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Glasgow – Guinness mugs on the loose

posté le 18/11/21 Mots-clés  luttes environnementales 

1 - The mandarin spectacle – COP 26

It becomes absolutely evident that COP 26 is just a media number to convince the naive that the large and small national mandarins present in Glasgow will do something substantive in the environmental chapter. With less media attention, an event supported by the Alliance of World Scientists in August with more than 15,000 signatories, from 160 countries, in support of the following declaration : World Scientists Warning of a Climate Emergency.

For the solemnity intended to be given to the Glasgow conference, it began with an error revealing gross ignorance. Prosecutors presented a video about the extinction of dinosaurs and did not think that those animals died in a cold climate after a meteorite hit ; and not with global warming like the one we are witnessing. The meteorite of that time today would be capitalism. And if someone insane thinks of applying a radical solution to cool the climate, it’s enough to generate a… nuclear war ; the bombs and vehicles to drop them are in constant need...

COP26 clearly shows its oligarchic spirit by considering, almost exclusively, the presence of representatives from countries, from governmental spheres ; with the … natural removal of thousands of NGOs dedicated to gathering information and putting in the field options that governments, on top of their oligarchical pedestals, do not consider it per se and, even less, deign to apply. On November 3, thousands of NGOs present in Glasgow, the accredited were just four ! The dichotomy between the set of political classes present at the conference, and the NGOs, is clear. NGOs originated social initiatives, in spite many of them they naively believe that those political classes, under the effect of a divine breath, will be in charge of burying capitalism and redeem themselves, like ascetics, in a frugal convent life…

For national oligarchs, the world belongs to them, even if some are more equal than others… ; and the common people, they cannot mix with the oligarchs, they stay at the door. The young Greta Thunberg[1] portrayed this situation very well – “This is no longer a climate conference, it is a festival washing the green image for the global North” ; thus, this situation deserves all critical radicalism, showing itself as a mirror of what capitalism is and, in this context, it deserves all the opposition that is necessary to make to the political classes that, as a rule, are problems in themselves and only for the naive, resolution builders.

The global political class, faced with opposition as weak as that emanating from ecological parties and groups, does not even hide ; on the contrary, it has no concern to hide its image as reckless spendthrifts, nor the exhibitionism and arrogance typical of those who know how poor the understanding and performance of victims of the dominant economic and political system is. As it is mirrored in Glasgow… Let’s look at some examples.

A few days ago, from October 29th to 31st, in Rome, at the meeting of the G20, a group formed by the countries with the greatest economic power in the world, they received from the partner Maserati 40 cars available to the mandarins (read heads of State and of Government) for use during the conclave.

To participate in COP26, 400 private jets arrived in Glasgow, each with a mandarin (the ride is not planned !) all “full of enthusiasm” to participate in the circus. It is known that they emit 13,000 t of CO2, equivalent to the consumption of 1600 Scots during a year, according to the Sunday Mail !

Still in Glasgow, Biden’s enthusiasm was so great that he was dozing a little during a session… Days before, Biden (some people call him Zombiden) disembarked in Rome for a G20 session, in his Cadillac One, a mastodon with an 8100 cc engine, very ecological because… it consumes only 29 to 64 litres of gasoline per 100 kilometres (!) and that circulated in a procession with more… 84 cars for the safety of the individual. But it would be unfair if we limited ourselves to the behavior of the limited Biden as Ursula von der Leyen, more measured, only used her private jet on 18 of her 34 official trips, including in one of them a route of… 50 km, between Vienna and Bratislava.

Biden knows he has little leeway in Congress to apply $555,000M to climate change. In contrast, in the US, the fossil fuel sectors have received $3B over the past six years. Interestingly, the same Biden facilitated a 900% increase in coal shipped to China while seeking to limit Russian and Qatari gas sales to replace them with shale gas, the extraction of which is an environmental crime ![2]. Years ago, we observed in a National Geographic article a very strange situation… In a place close to one of these extractions, in the USA, when a burning match approached from the water that came out of a tap, the liquid produced small flames.

Some three years ago, 300,000 commercial aircraft circulated daily, in addition to the totally nefarious and useless exercises carried out in the context of military manoeuvres. In addition to other specific operations with a useful purpose, between the military, in Portugal, we only register as worthy the coordination carried out by Gouveia e Melo within the scope of covid 19.

Such a nourishing party in Glasgow seems to be destined to present a novelty — the creation of the first global tax (“carbon tax”) by the States, levied by the respective local mandarins, who will, of course, be responsible for transmitting this tax burden to the people.

Of course, this won’t affect fossil fuel emporiums much ; they are well aware that the automobile is the most loved element of families, who sacrifice themselves to have a vehicle available at their doorstep. Experience shows that the appreciation of the car is so great that the common people will accept, resignedly, to pay any increase in taxes that may encumber the ownership of a vehicle and its circulation. On the other hand, no one sane will believe that the political classes will override the interests of their national companies in the field of automobiles and fuel sales ; imposing limitations and tax burdens on those who, by tradition, finance the dominant parties and their bosses.

The WHO, which has not been brilliant in combating the coronavirus, even with substantial financial support from Gates, presents, in times of COP26, a proposal to reduce accidents and deaths on the road that are guided, per year, respectively, in 50 and 1.3 millions of people (Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety). This plan aims to reduce speed limits to 30 km/h in urban areas, to 80 km/h in localities and to 100 km/h in motorways. According to the director of the WHO Department of Social Determinants of Health, Etienne Krug, the more than 50 M who have died on the roads since the invention of cars clearly outnumber those killed in the four years of World War I (20 M).

The dominant economic environment shows the focus on increasing profits, increasing production, exports, competition, inveterate consumption fostered by advertising ; as well as in the reduction of the direct intervention of the workers, in the reduction of the production costs or, of the ratio of wages/profits. The WHO Plan, confronted with the real economic environment, would have to imply a profound change in the economic paradigm, in a political involvement barely visible in the global context of economist, of corrupt political classes captured by economic interests. Above all, it demands strong activism from the populations themselves in favour of the health and well-being of all, which would make evident the uselessness of the political classes, financed by the States and by entities with hidden interests ; an alternative for the construction of effectively democratic models of political representation with the annulment of the existence of political oligarchies, such as those present at COP26.

2 - Against the irrationality inherent to capitalism ? Not really…

The aforementioned elements point to profound changes to be developed in human mobility, both in long distances and in current, short-distance movements and, above all, in commuting to home/work, especially when accompanied by triangular paths involving schools or nurseries. The solutions contemplate the reduction of time and dimension of the home/work routes through public transport, without emission of gases and, to the detriment and discrimination of car transport when, in addition, with the driver as the only passenger. And, one could go even further, mixing workplaces with residential areas in order to reduce commuting routes on transport or even cover these routes on foot.

It is completely irrational to spend an inordinate amount of time in public transport, full of people, with the air saturated and bottled up in traffic, in the well-known stop-and-go ; it is irrational to spend a considerable amount of time in an endless line of cars, idling, releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere, in the morning and at the end of the afternoon, passing through a school or kindergarten ; The low investment in electricity-powered rail routes is irrational : it is irrational to build huge buildings with several dwellings per floor, with elevator costs and little space for parking, even if free and not subject to payment to a local authority or a company. The constant increase in urban and suburban areas always comes before careful planning of the transport network ; and these end up adapting to the layout of the streets, available to the buildings, without any planning or rationality on the part of municipalities mined with shady business between mandarins and property developers.

The concentration of economic activities in urban areas, sometimes gigantic, constantly attracts population, contributing to the depletion of rural areas, with little economic activity and reduced sanitary coverage, adjusted for an ageing population, with deserted villages and closed houses, when not in accelerated degradation. That is, a dichotomous and regressive occupation of the territory.

Clean energies fall into two groups.

Some require heavy and expensive infrastructure, operating in a contractual, market logic, between producers and consumers, with the inevitable presence of an increased tax burden to feed political classes, always eager to use the state machine, not retreating from favours and other acts corrupt. They are based on mercantile logic and tend to be invasive – wind towers, hectares covered with solar panels, requiring transport networks with inherent losses along the way.

The second version consists of the easy adaptation to a family house or a group of tenants in a medium-sized building, capable of production for self-consumption ; without tax, but with partial interference from large electrical companies, in periods of low production. In Portugal, the intervention of the troika in 2013/15 introduced a 23% VAT rate, the same one used for sumptuous consumptions and for necessities, such as electricity consumed in homes ; this situation is inside the action of a predatory State, collecting an immeasurable tax burden and revealing a reality in which taxes can be created, maintained but rarely reduced. And, when reduced, it is because of compensation in another tax.

The lightness of the political classes in the face of the situation associated with the contempt for the human multitude on the part of the capitalists, especially the powerful, such as Bezos[3] or Gates ; or from inept politicians like Biden or Boris. Fearful of any more harmful attitude to their important carcasses, they only feel safe, in the company of their peers, always surrounded by police and security guards.

The problem in today’s world is that smart people are

full of doubts and idiot people are full of certainty

The common press lives in a concubinage relationship with the political class ; together they constitute a pair of entertainers from the crowd. Members of the political class need the media to constantly divulge their abilities, their speeches, their presence in public places, the applause of the bastards ; and, vice versa, the media, in order to sell the advertising that pays the costs, unfolds itself in the collection and dissemination of opinions, promises, criticisms of the opposition, by the mandarins ; the more tense a political dispute, the more the subject matters to the media. Political class and press constitute two osmotic worlds where emptiness, lies, is the main elements placed in the press in general or, broadcast on TV, for the more media, 24 hours a day, interspersed with contests, idiotic series or full of violence and football ; and, in the latter case, it is a matter of extremely narrow effective content, made up of exacerbated rivalries and conflicts, between managers eager for money from player transfers.

It is evident that the capitalists and the political classes have always been light-hearted in the face of transformations that lead, all over the place, to poor air quality, diseases, exhausting displacements within urban areas, exhaustion, and poisoning of agricultural soils, etc. everything, following its productivism, its eagerness for the growth of the GDP or, the accumulation of capital, if you prefer…

To say lightness is, in fact, very… light. Both groups — capitalists and political classes — are fierce defenders of the so-called free market, even if its operation, in the main business areas, has been controlled by companies or oligopolies of enormous size and power. The drive for a constant valuation of securities on the stock exchanges dominates the large global emporiums, and this drive has repercussions on the lower levels of business. On the other hand, this valuation incorporates billions of fictitious currency units, so that said financial markets are always expanding. And, governments follow the same logic by that dazzle people, taking as their objective the infinite growth of the GDP, covering up, in between, the stagnation or the weak evolution of real income from work[4].

As for global warming, the subject will drop off the agenda when the Glasgow meeting closes. Capitalists and their peers will continue to show a reasonable disinterest, more focused on the appreciation of securities on the stock market. And, the political classes will keep global warming on the agenda, on a low heat, as a way of putting pressure on governments. As for the ecological groups, they become parties like the others, like the German Greens, entering the German government, as years ago in the war in the former Yugoslavia ; or, they are content to present creative technologies to postpone the moment of a massive collapse, without touching the global model of capitalist management or even the representational model, oligarchic and authoritarian.

The perfect dictatorship will have the appearances of democracy, a prison without walls in which prisoners will not even dream of escaping. A system of slavery where, thanks to consumption and entertainment, slaves will love slavery

This and other texts in :

[1] Has Greta learned that there is no constructive dialogue with the top names of the political class ? We recall her (useless) meeting a couple of years ago with Obama, the promoter of the wars of destruction in Libya, Syria and Iraq ; the same Obama who appears with the purity of a dove, at the conclave of COP26, as he presented himself as a dove of peace, deserving the Nobel, just before deciding to invade Libya , proceeding with the destructuring of West Asia and validating the coup d’etat in Egypt to bring dictator al-Sisi to power.

[2] The factual elements contained in the previous paragraphs are mostly from (G20 and COP26 : WYSIWYG)

[3] Bezos hasn’t found anything smarter than paying a fortune for a four-minute suborbital ride

[4] The Portuguese Prime Minister recently proposed an increase, for 2022, of the minimum wage, from €700 to €705, ie +0.71%, which is below the expected inflation (0.9%). It is about the misery of a Portugal of the little ones.

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