(noun, etymology Dutch from ‘boedel’: estate, possession, inheritance, stock.). 1. Crowd, pack, lot, as in ‘the whole boodle.’ 2. a. Counterfeit money b. Money acquired or spent illegally or improperly, particularly when used in bribery for political purposes. 3. Slang for money in general.

How to Know if You Are Dead or Not (Part II)

Posted on: Mar. 22, 2016  |  By: Ronnie Kahn  |  Category: Advice, General

China realizes that fossil fuels are a technology that has seen it’s time and yet the U.S. Congress keeps focusing on fixing highways rather than fixing climate change.  The U.S. still thinks that the market will fix all our problems so green companies and alternative fuels will establish themselves if there are demands for it and yet even China and other countries put massive amounts of money and initiatives toward alternative fuels because they know where the future is headed.  Europe, especially Germany, and the Scandinavian countries have been doing all this for quite some time.  I guess the U.S. is content being the follower of technology nowadays.  Even local communities do more than the Feds because they don’t have to worry about killing the golden goose but just know the quality of the environment where they live in.  Yes, the market can make products that are more energy efficient but it’s not as fast as the biblical floods that are coming and besides, new technology money gets spent on new carbon fossil fuel extraction methods that keep accelerating the warming.  It’s not just extracting fossil fuel that needs to change; agriculture needs to employ systems that adapt to keeping carbon in the soil and uses less water and harmful fertilizers and pesticides along with seed diversity.

We could use this time to change the U.S. economy but how can that happen when the hens are being guarded by huge amounts of money.  In this world, the U.S. wouldn’t even allow a change to slavery if it still existed today because there would be too much money flowing in to leave things alone.  Some would argue that wages are slavery with the way our current oligarchy and wealth inequality works.

If we do examine our cultural narrative, we can look at the world as one of interconnection, regeneration, harmony, and stewardship or take the opposite approach and continue to think that humans can tame, exploit, and dominate nature by treating it as a poison waste dump and using endless resources.  If we feel kindred to the working with nature side then the point becomes to just stop using fossil fuels and the time for partial measures is too late.  While we are at it, lawyers and lawsuits are not the answer but collective action is.   Having polluters do the paying is also part of the solution.  Expecting politicians to get the polluters to pay while they are being bribed by campaign contributions is also delusional.  It is time to draw the next pipeline in the sand.  It is time to change the myth that our resources are infinite.  It is time to fight back by individuals, pensions and government entities selling off the energy investments they own.  It is time to make rules against taking things out of the ground that should be left there or make rules that outlaw using risky and highly toxic ways of extracting them.   Now we even find the U.S. Environment Protection Agency has a culture of not protecting its citizens in the form of methane escaping just a few miles away from me in Porter Ranch or the corroded water of Flint Michigan.

End of the world one way or another so we might as well plan.  Waiting for some miracle fix just makes it worse every day.  As we saw in Paris for the climate change summit, we are trying to light a match to see in the dark while we do not realize that we are inside a gasoline tank.  It is the responsibility of developed nations to not only cut their emissions but to help the smaller countries out economically in order to also not make the problem worse.  Also, letting Capitalism lead the way is just as much folly to expect that the market will find demand in lowering emissions or things will turn around the climate by companies regulating themselves.  They might think the hero may be riding in to save the day but he is coming in on a gas guzzling SUV.  The real hero of today doesn’t stand in front of a military tank but stands in front of a bulldozer.

Some give into magical thinking that some geoengineering miracle solution will save the planet like pumping something into the atmosphere to counteract the carbon dioxide.  This would be like they thought in the 50’s when, like Alan Turing, they would attempt to “cure” homosexuals by chemical treatment.

If they kill you too, at least you will have the comfort of knowing that we saved a few new pollution and poison producing jobs.  How about flipping the coin and trying to solve climate change and income inequality together at the same time.  There is a connection between consuming crap that we do not need and a changing climate.  As I have said, Capitalism does not know when to stop depleting resources to the point of no return.  All of this would involve a change of the cultural zeitgeist to rejuvenation and regrowth rather than control and tearing away the fabric that sustains us.  This means changing values and moving away from a profit at all costs for corporate shareholders.  That means values of diversity, stewardship, and caretaking of the environment.

In my neighborhood, living in Hollywoodland, we have film crews that constantly invade our neighborhood to make TV commercials, TV shows, and movies.  The way it works though is the city gets paid some revenue while the homeowner gets a large stipend to let them use their house.  For the rest of us though, there is only the massive inconvenience of street closures, competition for parking spaces, trash strewn about, and chaos instead of peace and quiet.  The homeowner though, never thinks to try and spread the wealth since everyone is being inconvenienced.  They figure it is their individual house and they cannot be blamed for a system that leaves others out.  This is a microcosm of our economy.  The gains go to the few at the top while the government looks the other way and yet the minute few at the top really do not do all the work or sacrifice.  Those who head the oligarchy would love you to keep thinking that big government is the problem and that the free market is what keeps things moving.  That is because all the rules are created to keep adding to their power and incomes while everyone else is busy pointing the finger at each other but not blaming those who are really the ones that gain by using their influence to change the rules.  It seems easy to imagine someone who inherits money and never worked a day in their lives as appearing privileged and not worth as much as those who work for a living.  On the other hand, those few families who have the rules all rigged in the favor seem to get a pass from everyone’s judgment.

The only thing that can save us now is some massive social upheaval to take power back from the almost uncontrollable downward spiral.  Can this happen though when people are too busy buying and using cell phones and watching YouTube videos to seem to notice or they just don’t get how much power they really could muster by taking collective action?  The power has to come from below (as opposed to our fuel sources) and not above as our leaders have been paid off to let the current way stay the course.  There is just too much money involved for change to happen from political camps and too much economic entrenched power for businesses to turn responsible.  Every person would have to become an activist and stop, like myself, just complaining.  Every person would have to think collectively and not just be a kin to consuming satisfaction machines.

I remember when I was younger, how the American car companies looked on with arrogance that they were on the top of the heap and did not need to concern themselves that there was a huge demand building for smaller cars.  So foreign cars filled the void and left American auto makers in an eventual shambles.  This is a lot like how we are responding to income inequality and Capitalism.

By the way, on my tombstone it just read “Death by Capitalism.”


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