‘Trees pray for us’

June 21st, 2022

by ULIL AMRI

PHOTO/Collectie Tropenmuseum

Kyai Habib leads the al-Imdad religious pesantren (boarding school) in Bantul, Yogyakarta. His students are known as santri. For him, environmentalism is both an everyday spiritual and a material practice. He urges his santris to always follow Allah’s mandate to protect the earth, while at the same time involving them in a recycling program as well as a small-scale biogas project. For his hard work, he was awarded a prestigious provincial environmental prize in 2020: the Kalpataru DIY. Kyai Habib is an exemplary religious leader who has successfully mobilised resources to green a local region in Indonesia. Many more like him are out there, yet they do not often appear in the media, whether mainstream or otherwise.

The involvement of religious groups in halting environmental problems in Indonesia is a relatively new phenomenon. It took shape within broader secular environmental discourse about climate change from the early 2000s, specifically after the Bali Climate Conference of 2007. Government meetings since then have often featured religious non-governmental institutions (RNGIs) like Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). These two biggest RNGIs each have environmental councils. Muhammadiyah’s, originally known as the Lembaga Lingkungan Hidup (Environment Institute), is now called the Majelis Lingkungan Hidup, MLH-Muhammadiyah (Environment Council). NU has its Lembaga Penanggulangan Bencana dan Iklim – LPBI-NU (Disaster Mitigation and Climate Change Institute).

The future of religious environmentalism is promising. Muhammadiyah claims to have 35 million members, and NU 90 million, representing almost half of Indonesia’s population. With their pesantrens, schools, mosques, and universities, these organisations have the power to transform the country from a developing nation into a sustainable one. But how might these institutions initiate such a transformation? To understand the answer, we need to examine how they mobilise their adherents at the local level to create concrete environmental initiatives.

Muhammadiyah schools have been investing in green schools and building renewable energy sources. NU pesantrens have been planting trees. These programs reach beyond adherents to also engage local villagers, who are attracted to both the spiritual and the material incentives they offer.

Muslims affiliated with Muhammadiyah and NU believe God will compensate them for their involvement both in the hereafter and materially in this world. Spiritually, God will increase their iman (faith) and recompense those who have protected nature in the life hereafter by granting them jannah (paradise). Materially, God will increase their concrete resources, such as money and property, in the here and now. 

Indonesian pious environmentalism involves both ecological and economic activities. The intertwining of material and spiritual profit is like two sides of a coin. They refer to the Qur’an to find the religious basis for protecting nature. Some Qur’anic verses clearly mention humanity as the vicegerent of God on Earth, mandated to look after it. The emphasis is on balancing the needs of humanity and the rights of nature. The Qur’an does not mandate Muslims to prioritise one over the other, and many of the devout Muslims I talked to take this message seriously.

The Earth is bigger than us

Kyai Thontowi for example, a leader of Pesantren Al-Wasilah Garut in West Java, has been involved in local efforts to green Garut, while at the same time mentoring local communities to secure their livelihoods. He said the Qur’an acknowledges the existence of non-human beings, including the earth itself. These non-humans always pray and glorify God. The earth is bigger than we are, he said, yet we are arrogant and ignorant and we act as if we are bigger than the earth. The Kyai says that we should reduce our ego by respecting the earth and positioning ourselves as its equal instead of its master. Kyai Thonthowi used this notion of equality to teach his santris to practice ecology (nature conservation) and economy (nature commodification). According to him, conservation is for the earth, and the economy is for humanity.

Inside Indonesia for more

The battle for Covid-19 vaccines: The rich prevail over the poor

June 21st, 2022

by THALIF DEEN

The 164-member World Trade Organization (WTO) has implicitly rubber-stamped a widely-condemned policy of “vaccine apartheid” which has discriminated the world’s poorer nations, mostly in Africa and Asia, depriving them of any wide-ranging intellectual property rights.

As Max Lawson, Co-Chair of the People’s Vaccine Alliance and Head of Inequality Policy at Oxfam, said at the conclusion of the WTO’s ministerial meeting last week: “The conduct of rich countries at the WTO has been utterly shameful”.

“The European Union (EU) has blocked anything that resembles a meaningful intellectual property waiver. The UK and Switzerland have used negotiations to twist the knife and make any text even worse. And the US has sat silently in negotiations with red lines designed to limit the impact of any agreement.”

The Geneva-based WTO, whose members account for nearly 98 percent of world trade, takes decisions by consensus resulting in a rash of compromises on some of the disputed issues.

Lawson said: “This is absolutely not the broad intellectual property waiver the world desperately needs to ensure access to vaccines and treatments for everyone, everywhere. The EU, UK, US, and Switzerland blocked that text.”

This so-called compromise, he argued, largely reiterates developing countries’ existing rights to override patents in certain circumstances. And it tries to restrict even that limited right to countries which do not already have capacity to produce COVID-19 vaccines.

“Put simply, it is a technocratic fudge aimed at saving reputations, not lives”, he warned.

Summing up the conclusions of the meeting, the New York Times said last week that WTO members agreed to loosen intellectual property rights “to allow developing countries to manufacture patented Covid-19 vaccines under certain circumstances.”

”The issue of relaxing intellectual property rights for vaccines had become highly controversial. It pitted the pharmaceutical industry and developed countries that are home to their operations, particularly in Europe, against civil society organizations (CSOs) and delegates from India and South Africa.”

Oxfam’s Lawson said: “South Africa and India have led a 20-month fight for the rights of developing countries to manufacture and access vaccines, tests, and treatments. It is disgraceful that rich countries have prevented the WTO from delivering a meaningful agreement on vaccines and have dodged their responsibility to take action on treatments while people die without them.”

“There are some worrying new obligations in this text that could actually make it harder for countries to access vaccines in a pandemic. We hope that developing countries will now take bolder action to exercise their rights to override vaccine intellectual property rules and, if necessary, circumvent them to save lives.”

In a statement released last week, the People’s Vaccine Alliance, said waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines have sparked worldwide debate, from Washington to Beijing and Davos to the World Trade Organization.

A group of Nobel laureates wrote to President Biden arguing that a temporary waiver of COVID-19 patent rights is essential to halting the global pandemic.

“Waiver advocates say that prioritizing the intellectual property rights of vaccine developers (many of whom have received governmental support) is making the vaccination rollout slow and unaffordable for billions of people in less-wealthy nations”.

Supporters of the status quo say a waiver would chill investment in the very pharmaceutical research that led to the vaccines’ creation, the Alliance said.

Inter Press Service for more

Russia’s Bourse to start trading HK stocks

June 20th, 2022

by JEFF PAO

Russia’s Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange has announced it will allow the trading of 12 Hong Kong stocks from Monday, June 20, raising concerns that Russians may use Hong Kong to evade western sanctions. It remains unclear how the proposed cross-border stock trading can be done without the SWIFT.

According to the SPB Exchange’s announcement , brokers will be able to trade 12 Hong Kong stocks from June 20. The 12 companies include CK Hutchison Holdings, WH Group, Tencent Holdings, CK Asset Holdings, Sino Biopharmaceutical, Xiaomi Corp, Sands China, Country Garden Holdings, Sunny Optical Technology Group, Meituan, Alibaba Group and JD.com.

Sputniknews, a Russian news agency, said that the number of the Hong Kong-listed stocks that could be traded on the SPB Exchange would increase to 50 in two months, 200 by the end of this year and more than 1,000 next year.

Mankevich Vitaly Vikentievich, President of the Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RASPP), was quoted in the Friday Sputniknews report as saying that Russian people could diversify their investments by trading Hong Kong stocks.

A stock trading department head of Russia’s Alfa Group told Sputniknews that Russians would increase their investments in Chinese assets, particularly Hong Kong’s information technology sector, due to the rising risks of having their foreign assets frozen by the West amid the unstable geopolitics. He said some Russians would convert their euros and US dollars into renminbi.

Currently, the SPB Exchange allows brokers to trade 17 foreign-listed stocks, mostly US-listed companies, such as Citibank, the Bank of New York Mellon and Lumen Technologies. A statement titled“SPB Exchange is operating normally” has stayed on top of the bourse’s website since late April but it is unclear how it can trade foreign stocks without the SWIFT.

Herman Gref, chairman of Sberbank, said Friday during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that Sberbank stopped clearing its cross-border contract payment service in the Chinese currency from June 7 but the service had already been resumed.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong stock exchange said it had not formed any partnership with the SPB Exchange. It said on Friday that it believed that the scheme was part of the global issuer promotion program rolled out by the SPB Exchange.

Last August, Joseph Yam, an Executive Council member and the former chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, said Hong Kong had a role to help connect the financial markets of the mainland and foreign countries. He suggested that investors should be allowed to buy Hong Kong stocks in renminbi and sell them in Hong Kong’s dollar currency, which is pegged to the US dollar.

Yam’s suggestion has so far not been implemented. However, The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said in early May that it had prepared emergency plans in case Hong Kong or mainland China eventually is sanctioned by the US.

MENA FN for more

New report details the influence of Christian nationalism on the insurrection

June 20th, 2022

by JACK JENKINS

In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Trump supporters, including Doug Jensen, center, confront U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the U.S. Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington. PHOTO/AP$/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

Christian nationalism was used to ‘bolster, justify and intensify the January 6 attack on the Capitol,’ said Amanda Tyler, head of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

A team of scholars, faith leaders and advocates unveiled an exhaustive new report Wednesday (Feb. 9) that documents in painstaking detail the role Christian nationalism played in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and calling it an unsettling preview of things to come.

Christian nationalism was used to “bolster, justify and intensify the January 6 attack on the Capitol,” said Amanda Tyler, head of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, which sponsored the report along with the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Tyler’s group is behind an initiative called Christians Against Christian Nationalism.

The organizations touted the report as “the most comprehensive account to date of Christian nationalism and its role in the January 6 insurrection,” compiled using “videos, statements, and images from the attack and its precursor events.”

Religion News for more

The British conquest of Sind

June 20th, 2022

by DR. MUHAMMAD ALI SHAIKH

The Battle of Miani 1843 by Edward Armitage

Located at the confluence of two great civilisations — the South Asian and the Middle Eastern — Sindh has been prone to invasions from all sides throughout history.

It was first annexed to the Persian Empire during the reign of Achaemenian ruler Darius Hystaspes, around 519 or 518 BC. Sindh’s last annexation took place in 1843, at the hands of the British East India Company under the command of Sir Charles Napier.

This conquest may be considered a watershed in the history of Sindh. However, barring a few exceptions, the event has not received the attention it deserves. Over time, many myths have cropped up and hidden the facts. An effort has been made here to narrate this real-life drama played on the stage of Sindh in 1843, and the roles played by various characters, from the Talpur rulers to Ranjeet Singh to the East India Company.

THE TALPURS

The Talpurs migrated from Balochistan to Sindh on the invitation of their murshid (spiritual guides), the Kalhoras, who needed their trusted disciples to augment their defences. Dr Hamida Khuhro describes in Mohammad Ayub Khuhro: A Life of Courage in Politics how the Talpurs left their hilly abode and came to Sindh “with their camel caravans, wild hillmen in their baggy trousers, long shirts, long matted hair, and huge turbans, carrying their sheep across the hill streams, their women on the camels, and bards singing of the great deeds of Baloch heroes.”

With their warlike qualities, they acquired such power that the later generations of the Kalhoras felt insecure about them. The assassination of a high-ranking officer through the machinations of the Kalhoras proved to be the proverbial last straw on the camel’s back, and the Talpurs revolted against their erstwhile masters and defeated them at the Battle of Halani in 1783.

Dawn for more

Weekend Edition

June 17th, 2022

Child labor in the US will soon be inevitable

June 17th, 2022

by B. R. GOWANI

“View of the Ewen Breaker of the Pa. Coal Co. The dust was so dense at times as to obscure the view, January 1911 S. Pittston, Pa” PHOTO/Flashbak
“Young pickers on Swift’s Bog. All working. Falmouth, Mass, September 1911” PHOTO/Flashbak
The only country in the world not to ratify the United Nations treaty to protect children’s right is the United States (in purple on the map) MAP/Humanium
The first thing you notice is their eyes. Their eyes are filled with hardship, pain, and an immeasurable burden, intensely focused on the work-on the oranges or the broccoli or the wood. These are the eyes of the subjects of David Bacon’s new series of photographs, Living Under the Trees. PHOTO/TEXT/Santa Barbara Independent
“An estimated 500,000 children are working on tobacco fields in the United States, most of them in extremely hazardous conditions.” PHOTO/DW

in the past, child labor was common in the United States

many laws were introduced to stop this practice

Quaker-pacifist, social reformer Sarah Cleghorn (1876-1959) wrote:

The Golf Links

The golf links lie so near the mill
That almost every day
The laboring children can look out
And see the men at play.

the laboring children never disappeared in the United States

or indeed, around the world, more children are working now

of course, many of the things children make end up in the US

more adults are working to survive & support families

in 1908, Lewis Hine summed this up:

“There is work that profits children, and there is work that brings profit only to employers. The object of employing children is not to train them, but to get high profits from their work.”

now exploiting children for high profits, has become the norm

an old Native American chieftain was a given a tour of the New York City

Brooklyn Bridge, circus, skyscrapers, etc. were shown to the chieftain

many Christian men asked him:

“What is the most surprising thing you have seen?”

the Native American chieftain took his time and replied:

Little children working.”

United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

a document that protects children’s rights worldwide

was adopted in 1989 & ratified by all countries, except the United States

people – single and those with children – are struggling to exist

inflation has run rampant outpacing wages at a much higher rate

gone are the days when father was the sole supporter of the family

a “good” provider or breadwinner was the standard

now even two parents, despite hard work, fail to cover expenses

the day is not far off, when most children too will need to work for survival

B. R. Gowani can be reached at brgowani@hotmail.com

How to defeat the billionaire class

June 17th, 2022

by CHRIS HEDGES

VIDEO/The Real News Network/Youtube

Since being elected to office in 2013, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and her socialist party have been locked in a bitter battle against the city’s moneyed elites, who have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a corporate PAC called “A Better Seattle” and saturated television and digital platforms with negative advertising. Sawant is hated because she is effective. Following a three-year struggle against the richest man in the world—Jeff Bezos—and his political establishment, she and her allies pushed through a tax on big business that increased city revenues by an estimated $210 to 240 million a year.

Her leadership and her party provide an example of effective resistance to the war being waged on the working class and the poor—but, as she explains in this episode of The Chris Hedges Report, every victory has been won in spite of entrenched opposition from Democrats. Instead of depending on the Democratic Party establishment, Sawant says the only way to make advances in the class war is through class struggle and mobilizing ordinary people.

Chris Hedges interviews writers, intellectuals, and dissidents, many banished from the mainstream, in his half-hour show, The Chris Hedges Report. He gives voice to those, from Cornel West and Noam Chomsky to the leaders of groups such as Extinction Rebellion, who are on the front lines of the struggle against militarism, corporate capitalism, white supremacy, the looming ecocide, as well as the battle to wrest back our democracy from the clutches of the ruling global oligarchy.

Chris Hedges:In December, Socialist Alternative leader and Seattle city council Member Kshama Sawant defeated a well-funded campaign by the city’s business community to remove her in a recall vote. Since being elected to office in 2013, Sawant and her socialist party have been locked in a bitter battle against the city’s moneyed elites, which has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a corporate PAC called A Better Seattle and saturated television and digital platforms with negative advertising.

She and her party have been denied ads by Google, YouTube, and Hulu. Amazon alone spent over $3 million to defeat her when she ran for office in 2019. Sawant is hated because she is effective. She helped lead the fight in 2014 that made Seattle the first major American city to mandate a $15 an hour minimum wage.

Following a three-year struggle against one of the richest men in the world, Jeff Bezos, and his political establishment, she and her allies pushed through a tax on big business that increased city revenues by an estimated $210 to $240 million a year. She was part of the movement that led to Seattle’s successful ban on school year evictions of school children, their families, and school employees. She was one of the sponsors of a bill that protects tenants from being evicted at the end of their term leases, requiring landlords to provide tenants with the right to renew their leases, and prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent if the rent was due during the COVID emergency and the renter could not pay due to financial hardship.

Her leadership and her party provide an example of effective resistance to the war being waged on the working class and the poor. Joining me to discuss her nearly decade-long battle against the billionaire class and the lessons we can take from her successful struggle is Kshama Sawant.

So Kshama, the campaign to remove you from office was dirty. It was highly funded. But rather than go on the defensive, you used the recall campaign to collect over 15,000 signatures to establish rent control, which I expect shocked your rich adversaries. I wondered if you could explain those tactics.

Kshama Sawant:Yes. I think the idea of going on the offensive for the working class and our representatives and our movements to go on the offensive against big business and the politicians that represent them is contrary to the conventional guidebook we are handed down by the Democratic Party officials and by the NGO leaders. And in fact, unfortunately, even many social movement and labor movement leaders, the idea is that you can actually make change by not antagonizing the powers that be and resorting to moral persuasion and prioritizing peaceful – And not just peaceful, but extremely cordial relationships with big business, politicians, with Democratic Party politicians as in Seattle, and with big business lobbyists.

Well, we threw that guidebook out the window because we understand from our study of history as socialists, as Marxists, that that is precisely what doesn’t work in the interest of the working class. And in fact, it is not an incidental idea, this pervasive idea that, well, we should all be talking nicely regardless of our position in society, and that is the way to convince rich people to hand a little bit of crumbs to those of us who don’t have any.

That idea is a false one, but it doesn’t incidentally exist in our society under capitalism. It is very much a conscious narrative that is put forward by the ruling class, by the capitalist class, by their political representatives, and their media representatives in the corporate media. Because it benefits them for working people to be lulled into this idea that we’re all on the same side, this is a shared situation, that COVID was a shared sacrifice.

Well, I think people’s eyes have been opened for the most part in understanding that the very essence of capitalism is that the very wealthy at the top, they make this enormous profit at the expense of ordinary people. And the only way really to address the class war that we face is through class struggle.

Chris Hedges:Can you talk about the role of the Democratic Party, especially during your efforts to raise the minimum wage, to protect people from evictions, to increase taxes on large corporations such as Amazon? Where were the Democrats?

Kshama Sawant:Yeah, I mean just to make sure all your viewers know, Seattle, the electorate, the ordinary people are extremely progressive, and you could say it’s a left-leaning city for the most part. And the city council has nine council members. I am one socialist, and the rest of the eight have always been Democrats from as long as I know. And certainly as long as I’ve been on the council, since I took office in January 2014.

One of the first things that happened when I took office was these two prominent Democrats, Democratic council members who came into my office, sat me down, and said, well it’s all well and good – I mean, I’m paraphrasing, obviously, I don’t remember the exact words – But paraphrasing, that it’s all well and good. You roused the rabble and got elected as a socialist, but we’re here to tell you that City Hall runs on our terms and you are not winning any wage increase, let alone $15 an hour. And less than six months later, we had won the $15 an hour minimum wage. So that about sums it up for the Democrats.

And as you indicated, Chris, it has never changed. It has never been different. It’s not like they were close to $15 an hour, but they were forced to concede, and then they were morally persuaded to then be on the side of working people. No, it has never been that way. As a matter of fact, even the more self-described progressives, not the overt corporate Democrats, even have played a role which is actually contrary to the interest of working people, and every step of the way they have placed obstacles in the path of winning these victories.

And so every such victory, not just $15 an hour, but the Amazon tax that you mentioned, all the renters rights victories that we have won, unprecedented renters rights victories that we have won, every single victory has come about despite the either overt or backroom opposition and tactics by the Democrats. And the reason we have won is because we mobilized ordinary people, union members, to fight for it.

Chris Hedges:Yet, the rhetoric of the Democratic Party is aligned with your campaign. I mean, for instance, Biden, when he ran for the presidency, promised that he would work to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He also promised to cancel student debt. And yet, once in power, of course, I think as your situation illustrates, they work at cross purposes, from certainly what they have espoused during campaigns.

Scheer Post for more

Ayahs’ Home: Remembering the forgotten Indian nannies of London

June 17th, 2022

by GAGGAN SABHERWAL

The Ayahs’ Home housed hundreds of destitute caregivers

During the heyday of the British empire, thousands of women from India and other parts of Asia were brought to London to look after young children – but many of these nannies were later abandoned and left to fend for themselves. Now, a building in London which housed them is set to be commemorated with a blue plaque.

The blue plaque scheme, run by the UK charity English Heritage, honours buildings across London that have been closely associated with important historical figures.

Several Indians – including independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and the architect of its constitution BR Ambedkar – have been commemorated with the plaques. In 2020, World War Two spy Noor Inayat Khan became the first woman of Indian origin to receive a blue plaque.

The honour for the Ayahs’ Home, which stands at 26 King Edward’s Road in Hackney, East London, is the result of a campaign started by Farhanah Mamoojee, a 30-year-old woman of Indian origin, who first heard of the place when it was briefly mentioned in a BBC documentary.

The building is known to have housed hundreds of destitute ayahs and amahs – as Indian and Chinese nannies were called respectively.

Ms Mamoojee, and historians who have researched the role and contributions of these nannies, now hope that the honour will help shine a spotlight on these forgotten women.

Who were the ayahs?

Most of these women came from countries such as India, China, Hong Kong, British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Burma (Myanmar), Malaysia and Java (part of Indonesia).

“Ayahs and amahs were basically domestic workers and the backbone of British families in colonial India. They looked after the children, entertained them, told them stories, and rocked them to sleep,” says Rozina Visram, historian and author of Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History.

When these families returned to Britain, they would often bring their ayahs back with them. Some were asked to accompany the families just for the long, difficult voyage, Ms Visram says, while others were employed for a few years.

“These nannies were usually provided with a return ticket back home at the expense of the family,” she says.

But not everyone was as lucky – many were dismissed and abandoned by their employers without any pay or arrangements for their passage back home. Some were also forced to stay on because they couldn’t find families to accompany them on the return voyage.

“This led to the ayahs being forced to fend for themselves,” says Florian Stadtler, a lecturer in literature and migration at the University of Bristol who has worked with Ms Visram on the topic.

BBC for more

The Fermi paradox – From the gas chambers to a radioactive greenhouse Earth

June 16th, 2022

by Dr. ANDREW GLIKSON

According to Fermi’s Paradox the apparent absence to date of observable extra-terrestrial intelligent life suggests the lifetime of technological civilizations may not be long, consistent with Carl Sagan’s estimate of relatively short life span of intelligent species which discover the means of self-annihilation. As the nuclear arms race began to escalate again in the late 1970s, Sagan became increasingly concerned about the life expectancy of our own civilization. The proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and of wars around the world in the 20-21st centuries, as well as currently, testifying to the relevance of Fermi’s paradox for the likelihood of a near-term omnicide of our war-like civilization.

That humans are capable of committing the most horrendous crimes toward each other, other species and nature, including mass exterminations, is demonstrated during the last century by the Nazi concentration camps and genocidal conflicts such as in Viet Nam, Cambodia, Rwanda, Yemen, the list goes on …

Following Hiroshima and Nagasaki the rising prospects of a nuclear war, with consequent firestorms, radiation from fallout, a nuclear winter, and electromagnetic pulses are looming ever greater. According to Robock and Toon (2012) paper “Self-assured destruction: The climate impacts of nuclear war“, a thermonuclear war could result in the end of modern civilization, in part due to a long-lasting nuclear winter and the destruction of crops. In one model the average temperature of Earth during a nuclear winter, where black smoke from cities and industries rise into the upper stratosphere, lowers global temperatures by 7 – 8° Celsius for several years.

The effects of global heating are as severe as well as longer term. As stated by Hansen et al. (2012)Burning all fossil fuels would create a different planet than the one that humanity knows. The palaeoclimate record and ongoing climate change make it clear that the climate system would be pushed beyond tipping points, setting in motion irreversible changes, including ice sheet disintegration with a continually adjusting shoreline, extermination of a substantial fraction of species on the planet, and increasingly devastating regional climate extremes

A global nuclear war, with consequent radioactive environment in the background of an accelerating carbon saturation of the atmosphere and global heating, can only lead to the demise of the biosphere. The propensity of “sapiens” for genocide and ecocide, culminating in the Nazi gas chambers, the nuclear arms race , the destruction of the atmosphere, the mass extinction of species and the basic life support systems of the planet, are hardly  masked by the spate of hollow words and Orwellian untruths by politicians and the bulk of the media, divorced from morality and any action to avert the demise of life on Earth as we know it.

Whereas the ultimate consequences of global heating could occur within a century, including temperature polarities such as heat waves and cooling of large ocean regions by ice melt flow from Antarctica and Greenland ice sheets (Gikson 2019), a nuclear war on the scale of the MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) can erupt on a time scale of minutes …

On July 16, 1945, witnessing the atomic test at the Trinity site, New Mexico, Robert Oppenheimer, the chief nuclear scientist, cited the Hindu scripture of Shiva from the Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”.

Sadly the behaviour of “Sapiens” is providing evidence for Fermi’s paradox in terms of species’ self-destruction, unless humans can wake up in time???

Countercurrents for more