Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Art of Pacification

Two years ago I wrote a what I then thought was a contrarian piece on why I did not support Earth Hour and felt it is actually counter productive with negative impact. A lot has happened since then and with all the recent debate about the relevance of Earth Hour I thought I would update my thoughts on the matter in particular due to a few points some mentioned recently in response which my post does not clearly cover. Don't worry, my reasoning is nothing along the lines of Ezra Levant's.

Let's just review that last 2 years. Occupy, Idle No More. Triple-A economies losing their status. Resource Wars. Currency Wars. The rise of China as a major power. LIBOR. No-KeystoneXL, Montreal Student Protests, and so on and so on.

Across all of these events has been one constant response to the population's concerns:

Therefore the first point which I must address is this one: "Earth hour isn’t a hollow gesture; our participation sends a message to local and federal leaders that we care and are prepared to make sacrifices and cut back."

They know you care, they know you want change, but they don't care and they don't want to change because the required changes likely mean an end to the status quo. How many elites do you think are down with that? With all the mass movements over the last two years I'm pretty sure they "get it", and are increasingly using their signature response. Then there is Earth Hour, advertised on TV, state landmarks getting shutdown, a completely state sanctioned "protest" of sorts. It appeases environmentalists for days as they review the stats of energy usage for that hour while this hour energy usage has resumed, energy wars continue to rave on and countries continue to war over the remaining depleting resources. It's pacification, folks, and also misdirection.

Earth Hour embodies a pre-packaged and incorrect premise which is designed to resonate with those who are looking for change - "change" usually equating to some pie-in-the-sky idea that we'll make significant changes and keep our style of living too. It's usually very focused on the environment and not resource usage itself. For instance: Recycling centres use immense amounts of energy to perform the act of "recycling" yet this is often not considered when one might say "always recycle". Perhaps the ordering of the old "3Rs" should be noted here: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Reduce, THEN reuse, THEN recycle. See the difference? Consuming the same amount and then recycling what you're consuming unto itself solves nothing. The inaccuracies only magnify when this over-simplification of our predicament is scaled to account for the processes an industrial society requires to operate.

Authors such as Daniel Yergin or Ezra Levant embody the opposite side who want to continue on as is. The classic X vs Y smokescreen to keep the population arguing amongst itself using pre-defined talking points.

Both the "Saudi America" and the "Life after oil" arguments are propaganda. Half-truths to disable true opposition and change and create division.

"I find this sad and cynical for the most part. The thing that is different about Earth hour is the press attention it gets."

Yes, the world situation is quite sad. But is my position cynical? I don't think so. I'm looking seriously at this situation and my only motivation is survival. I write this blog as a donation to the community because I don't feel very many in Canada truly have a good idea what's coming down the pipe. I don't put ads on here, I in no way benefit from any decisions you may make in response to the information I put out, especially because I leave it up to you how you should respond or even if you should respond. Garbage like that "Peak Canada" article floods our media and influences our population. Governments and industry are working around the clock and investing significant resources to keep you convinced in the official narratives and to follow the official sanctioned actions. The truth is our situation is very complex and there are many portions to take into account - some of those portions the status quo doesn't want you to look at.

"Everything starts small and sometimes we need to get the ball rolling. Maybe the Earth hour shouldn't be about what we are consuming but by how it is getting made and stored but If we see Earth hour as a jumping off point and continue making real changes, it will be more than a symbolic action."

What do you see every day in the paper? "We need to restore growth". What's Justin Trudeau saying? "We need to restore growth." What are they saying in the Euro? Same thing. So long as "growth" remains the primary goal of our society real changes are not being made.

Why? Because, as Chris Martenson has shown, GDP and energy consumption are strongly linked. Of course. This is where the Jevon's Paradox aspect comes into play. Without meaningful change in the economy any reduction on your part is countered by an equal increase in consumption somewhere else. Changing the monetary system is the key to saving the environment, but where's that in the Earth Hour campaign? Nowhere, because the option isn't on the table to begin with and no one in our government (perhaps with the exception of May) is willing to change it anyway.

If we want to see real change in our society we need to identify the real culprits and reasoning and address that. I can tell you right now, no press covered government sanctioned action is going to focus on those and will most likely be designed to ensure you don't either.

"it got you guys talking about it didn't it"

No it didn't, opening my mind to understanding the dark truths and facing reality got me talking about it and I feel so strongly about our situation I haven't stopped since.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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