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Michael Klare: Do African Famines Presage Global Climate-Change Catastrophe?

There are the terrorists, who get attention out of all proportion to their actual clout, and then there are those with big-time clout — I think of them as the terrarists — who get almost no attention at all. Back in May 2013, I came up with that term and here’s how I described those I thought it should apply to:

“We have a word for the conscious slaughter of a racial or ethnic group: genocide. And one for the conscious destruction of aspects of the environment: ecocide. But we don’t have a word for the conscious act of destroying the planet we live on, the world as humanity had known it until, historically speaking, late last night. A possibility might be ‘terracide’ from the Latin word for earth. It has the right ring, given its similarity to the commonplace danger word of our era: terrorist.

“The truth is, whatever we call them, it’s time to talk bluntly about the terrarists of our world. Yes, I know, 9/11 was horrific. Almost 3,000 dead, massive towers down, apocalyptic scenes. And yes, when it comes to terror attacks, the Boston Marathon bombings weren’t pretty either. But in both cases, those who committed the acts paid for or will pay for their crimes.

“In the case of the terrarists — and here I’m referring in particular to the men who run what may be the most profitable corporations on the planet, giant energy companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell — you’re the one who’s going to pay, especially your children and grandchildren. You can take one thing for granted: not a single terrarist will ever go to jail, and yet they certainly knew what they were doing.”

Almost four years later, there’s a new set of names to be added to the ranks of those terrarists, including Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, Rex Tillerson, and every climate-change denialist and energy-company aider and abettor now in the ranks of the U.S. government. And almost four years later, as TomDispatch regular Michael Klare points out, the early evidence of what their dystopian crimes will mean on a planetary scale is on display in Africa and Yemen — and it couldn’t be grimmer.

In 2013, I concluded: “To destroy our planet with malice aforethought, with only the most immediate profits on the brain, with only your own comfort and wellbeing (and those of your shareholders) in mind: Isn’t that the ultimate crime? Isn’t that terracide?” Read Klare’s piece, think about the greenhouse gases that will be pumped into the atmosphere in prodigious amounts in the Trump years, and tell me that we’re not talking about the greatest crime of this or any other century and, even among the worst butchers of history, potentially the greatest criminals of all time

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Africa, Global Warming, TomDispatch Archives 
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  1. Calm down.

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  2. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    This has been happening to Africa forever.

    Blacks run societies to the ground.

    If the West is to blame, it is by providing free medicine and food to Africa.

    That made population grow beyond what is sustainable by African economic skills.

    Read More
  3. Cut out all the free stuff to Africa. They must learn to manage their own affairs. Welfare is not the solution.
    And keep African immigrants out of the West. They don’t belong here and, when given the choice, whites avoid blacks and have little use for them. But it gets worse.

    Collectively, Africans are unable to make long-term sacrifices to plan effectively for their future. This is why Africa is such as basket case. Their growing numbers and general dysfunction threatens higher civilization.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Agree 100%. As long as Africans get bailed out by the west, they will not change. People need to suffer the consequences of their actions to learn.
  4. Certainly we have only this one planet, and it is utterly reasonable to want to avoid trashing our own nest. Also, while the science about climate change is still not clear, given that we don’t completely understand the dynamics of long-term climate change, and given that we don’t have a back-up plan if we screw it up, simple conservatism suggests that we should stop hitting with hammers things that we don’t understand and yet rely on absolutely for life.

    And yet… most of what the climate change alarmists are saying is so bad that, to quote Einstein, it’s not even wrong.

    The problem in Africa etc. is not climate change. It’s explosive population growth.

    If a population doubles and quadruples and octuples etc.etc., then whether mean annual rainfall increases or decreases by 10% is simply not relevant. It doesn’t matter!

    Check out what governmental pro-natalist policy did in Syria:

    http://globuspallidusxi.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-real-story-on-syria-forced.html

    Sure there were some dry years and some wet years, but so what? The aquifers were being sucked dry regardless, even when rainfall was at historically normal levels. If mean rainfall had increased by 20% over the historical mean and then stayed perfect forever (which is not reasonable), it would only have delayed the collapse by a few years at best.

    Malthus was right. Once a nation reaches a certain level of population, human beings do not have the ability to double their populations every 20 years or so. Which means that, not starvation mind you, but grinding crushing misery will limit us. Which has happened. Which is happening now. We just refuse to acknowledge it, because cheap labor.

    But if the West is to blame, I suggest it is not so much by providing free food etc., but by blocking any honest discussion of this issue. How can we blame poor Africans for having large numbers of children when all these western Nobel prizewinners keep screaming that more people are always better and the west will need all these virtuous third world breeders? Isn’t this the message we have been spreading?

    Read More
  5. What is the point of this article?

    Why is this being published on UNZ.COM?

    Like many readers, I disagree with many articles on UNZ.COM, but one can usually tell what they are saying, what the author wants to convey, etc. Indeed, many articles – even the bad ones – and accompanying comments contain illuminating insights and interesting and often surprising items of factual information.

    This little piece simply plays through the classic nuclear winter, er, global warming, er, climate change shuck-and-jive to BOUNCE the world into establishing and paying a doomsday priesthood:

    (1) OMG this is too serious! We are DOOMED! Give me your money now!

    (2) The science is settled and 100% of our paid scientists agree to agree!

    (2b) Also, we can’t afford to wait for trifles like replicable scientific evidence and understanding!

    (3) We can’t tell you what the weather will be in 10 days but we know for SURE that there will be a climate catastrophe in 100 years.

    (4) I can’t believe you mansplain about CO2-less nuclear power! Nuclear power is so hetero-normative and is RAPE and the harridans teaching gender studies don’t understand it!

    (5) Anyone who denies money to warmist scammers is a DENIER and guilty of super-duper genocide and of course literally Hitler, and now we are adding Trump and Tillerson, and everyone else who denies money and power to the Goreist scam cult.

    P.S. We take cash and bullion and little boys but everyone else will be switched to cashless Big Brother Bank.

    Read More
  6. I think climate change/global warming is just the latest hippie myth.

    joeyjoejoe

    Read More
  7. This is just an example of defining the narrative. “Climate change” is undeniable. The climate changes from week to week, season to season, century to century. Has for as long as there has been a planet. Sometimes it is warmer, sometimes cooler. It has as much to do with the variable amounts of radiation coming from the Sun as anything else. What is BS, though, is “Man-Made” Climate change. Declaring that man has the capability to destroy this planet by his actions is just another variation of Humanism. Man is God. He can create or destroy things. It is proof of his “divinity” that he can destroy his planet and, as a result, destroy himself.

    If you talk to a believer in the Church of Climatology (TM), they will tell you all the proof, based on different “models”, as to why mankind is destroying the planet with his selfish actions. When you point out that it is not climate change which you deny but man-made climate change, you will see them calm down a bit. A bit. But, they will continue using the term climate change, rather than man-made climate change. Climate change let’s them play God. Man-made climate change forces them to acknowledge reality, which is why they avoid arguing against it and try to make the two synonymous.

    A fun type of the Church of Climatology (TM) zealot is the believer in Gaia. They assign a life and personality to the Earth itself. I usually mess with them by pointing out that if man ever really did threaten this entity, it would just shrug its shoulders and stop us. We are no more than insects to it. It has nothing to fear from us. This really screws with their minds. Try it.

    Read More
  8. Yeah, it’s all America’s fault. China, India and Europe have nothing to do with it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alden
    Every afternoon a beige brown polluted fog pours through the Golden Gate to San Francisco and then east to the rest of the country. The Golden Gate is the narrow channel of water leading from the ocean to San Francisco Bay.

    Before China industrialized that fog was pale gray. Now it is beige brown with China's industrial waste. I've known Chinese who went home for vacation and because of pollution didn't see the sky the entire time they were there.

    I couldn't read the article it was so blathering and blithering. I do remember however there was a book published around 1978 titled "The Coming Nuclear Winter" There was also talk of a coming ice age around that time.

    Too bad high school kids don't take world history any more. Then they would learn that 1,000 years ago the world was so warm the Norwegians established a European farming economy on Greenland which is now covered with glaciers. They might learn that America was settled in the little ice age 1600 to 1850.

    From grad students and instructors and professors in all discipline to kindergarten it is amazing the junk science and propaganda taught in education and academia.
  9. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Famines are a natural response to over-population. A well organized modern society can partially avoid them by either setting excess foodstuffs aside in good years for future downturns or buying food elsewhere in the world where there is a surplus. None of these options really apply in sub-Saharan Africa. Famines are natures way of restoring the balance when the carrying capacity of the land has been exhausted. The west is partially to blame by providing aid to Africa, ensuring that their numbers increase but not their economies or abilities. Ironically both Africa and the west might have been better off today had no aid ever been given. Africa would have less people, less pressure on the land and Europe would not be looking at a CAMP OF THE SAINTS scenario.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Klokman
    Oh please, read the definition of famine. It has nothing to do with Nature or natural response. It is the consequence of human behavior, except for Natural catastrophe.
  10. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Mark Green
    Cut out all the free stuff to Africa. They must learn to manage their own affairs. Welfare is not the solution.
    And keep African immigrants out of the West. They don't belong here and, when given the choice, whites avoid blacks and have little use for them. But it gets worse.

    Collectively, Africans are unable to make long-term sacrifices to plan effectively for their future. This is why Africa is such as basket case. Their growing numbers and general dysfunction threatens higher civilization.

    Agree 100%. As long as Africans get bailed out by the west, they will not change. People need to suffer the consequences of their actions to learn.

    Read More
  11. YOU’VE! GOT! TO! BE! KIDDING! ME! Who is this guy? Mr. Engelhardt, you are writing on this site to intelligent readers. You can’t publish your BS here without some serious negative feedback.

    Eagle Eye and A.W. Male lay it out pretty well already for you, but Peak Stupdity has posted a lot on the problem with the claims of any working mathematical model of the entire world’s climate. You can start here if you’d like, Tom.

    I’ve not seen a dumber article on here since Fred Reed’s column telling us America can be 1/2 Mexican and it’ll all be fine, but at least that guy can write a good piece.

    Terracide is your claim to fame and your legacy? How about Stupidicide. Something tells me that is far more likely.

    Read More
  12. @Eagle Eye
    What is the point of this article?

    Why is this being published on UNZ.COM?

    Like many readers, I disagree with many articles on UNZ.COM, but one can usually tell what they are saying, what the author wants to convey, etc. Indeed, many articles - even the bad ones - and accompanying comments contain illuminating insights and interesting and often surprising items of factual information.

    This little piece simply plays through the classic nuclear winter, er, global warming, er, climate change shuck-and-jive to BOUNCE the world into establishing and paying a doomsday priesthood:

    (1) OMG this is too serious! We are DOOMED! Give me your money now!

    (2) The science is settled and 100% of our paid scientists agree to agree!

    (2b) Also, we can't afford to wait for trifles like replicable scientific evidence and understanding!

    (3) We can't tell you what the weather will be in 10 days but we know for SURE that there will be a climate catastrophe in 100 years.

    (4) I can't believe you mansplain about CO2-less nuclear power! Nuclear power is so hetero-normative and is RAPE and the harridans teaching gender studies don't understand it!

    (5) Anyone who denies money to warmist scammers is a DENIER and guilty of super-duper genocide and of course literally Hitler, and now we are adding Trump and Tillerson, and everyone else who denies money and power to the Goreist scam cult.

    P.S. We take cash and bullion and little boys but everyone else will be switched to cashless Big Brother Bank.

    Well said.

    Read More
  13. Utterly ridiculous, you can talk about global warming if you want, but to completely ignore the African population explosion and its relation to famines and other problems would be like physics trying to ignore gravity when explaining the motion of the planets.

    Read More
  14. No, Africa is falling to shit because its being run by greedy thugs with an army of thugs who all have one goal in life, gets lots of dollars and shiny stuff to show off how good they are by robbing everyone else of their dollars and shiny stuff.

    See a good well run farm by a white family, kill the men, rape the women then bury them all in a ditch and give the farm to some drug addle boot licker who will shoot all the farm hands before mining the fields to protect it.

    See a factory, take it, trash it and sell the stuff inside to a scarp yard for a quick hand out. See a family, shoot the father, put the mother in a brothel and use the kids as slaves. See a Christian church, shoot the pastor, rape the nuns, burn it down and use the bible to wipe your ass with while lamenting the horrors of white religion.

    See a university, call it a sign of colonial oppression and restructure all classes to teach blacks to feel sorry for being born as a race of slaves exploited by whites who happened to pay for all of the university expenses.

    Look, I’m sorry, but its time to accept that Africa breeds stupidity by the hundreds, for every Mandela there’s a thousand Mugabe’s and a hundred Bokassa’s. We spend millions trying to make life easier for Africans and all they do is whine about us being colonial when we help them, more often than not they wreck the stuff we give them for free because they fail to understand how it works or just feel like wrecking some stuff made by whities.

    If we want to make Africa better, we should step back, stop giving them any money, food or medical aid and most of all, we should stop giving them attention.

    Read More
  15. @anon
    Famines are a natural response to over-population. A well organized modern society can partially avoid them by either setting excess foodstuffs aside in good years for future downturns or buying food elsewhere in the world where there is a surplus. None of these options really apply in sub-Saharan Africa. Famines are natures way of restoring the balance when the carrying capacity of the land has been exhausted. The west is partially to blame by providing aid to Africa, ensuring that their numbers increase but not their economies or abilities. Ironically both Africa and the west might have been better off today had no aid ever been given. Africa would have less people, less pressure on the land and Europe would not be looking at a CAMP OF THE SAINTS scenario.

    Oh please, read the definition of famine. It has nothing to do with Nature or natural response. It is the consequence of human behavior, except for Natural catastrophe.

    Read More
  16. @The Plutonium Kid
    Yeah, it's all America's fault. China, India and Europe have nothing to do with it.

    Every afternoon a beige brown polluted fog pours through the Golden Gate to San Francisco and then east to the rest of the country. The Golden Gate is the narrow channel of water leading from the ocean to San Francisco Bay.

    Before China industrialized that fog was pale gray. Now it is beige brown with China’s industrial waste. I’ve known Chinese who went home for vacation and because of pollution didn’t see the sky the entire time they were there.

    I couldn’t read the article it was so blathering and blithering. I do remember however there was a book published around 1978 titled “The Coming Nuclear Winter” There was also talk of a coming ice age around that time.

    Too bad high school kids don’t take world history any more. Then they would learn that 1,000 years ago the world was so warm the Norwegians established a European farming economy on Greenland which is now covered with glaciers. They might learn that America was settled in the little ice age 1600 to 1850.

    From grad students and instructors and professors in all discipline to kindergarten it is amazing the junk science and propaganda taught in education and academia.

    Read More
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