Joseph Stiglitz, an economist I admire and would trust as one of several advisers has written a provocative essay, “The Post-Crisis Crisis” (Project Syndicate, 9 January 2013). Here is his opening:
NEW YORK – In the shadow of the euro crisis and America’s fiscal cliff, it is easy to ignore the global economy’s long-term problems. But, while we focus on immediate concerns, they continue to fester, and we overlook them at our peril. The most serious is global warming. While the global economy’s weak performance has led to a corresponding slowdown in the increase in carbon emissions, it amounts to only a short respite. And we are far behind the curve: Because we have been so slow to respond to climate change, achieving the targeted limit of a two-degree (centigrade) rise in global temperature, will require sharp reductions in emissions in the future. Some suggest that, given the economic slowdown, we should put global warming on the backburner. On the contrary, retrofitting the global economy for climate change would help to restore aggregate demand and growth. Read full article.
Joseph is well-intentioned in his focus on global warming and the need to create resilient localities and nations that ut people to work creating green infrastructure, but this is — with all humility — like painting the Titanic before driving it into the iceberg. Cosmetic.
The center of gravity for saving the West as well as empowering the East and the South is the same center of gravity Buckminster Fuller and others have identified: free energy. With free energy comes unlimited seawater desalination and land water purification, a massive recovery of deserts, a massive employment of individuals in local farming and crafts, and so on. Chile is particularly well suited to achieve the goal first — it has every free energy source known to man in close proximity, and could become the engine for a renaissance of South America and then quick leaps across to Africa and Australia-Indonesia.
The second center of gravity is free access to the Internet for the five billion poor, implementing my concept of “The Virgin Truth” along with my concepts (always on the shoulders of others) of the World Brain and Global Game such as devised by Earth Intelligence Network, the 501c3 that is still eligible to receive tax-deductible donations.
The ONE THING that John Brennan, Susan Rice, John Kerry, and Chuck Hagel could do that would begin the long hard process of restoring intelligence with integrity to the Republic is to create the Open Source Agency (OSA) and let me either run it, or be the special assistant to someone like Susan Rice or Gary Hart as the first Director.
The truth at any cost lowers all other costs. Robert Steele
When things are not going well, until you get the truth out on the table, no matter how ugly, you are not in a position to deal with it. Bob Seelert
Fedor Dostoevsky: A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else.
Daniel Ellsberg speaking to Henry Kissinger: The danger is, you’ll become like a moron. You’ll become incapable of learning from most people in the world, no matter how much experience they have in their particular areas that may be much greater than yours” [because of your blind faith in the value of your narrow and often incorrect secret information].
Carl Jung: The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko: When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.
Alvin Toffler: Information is a substitute for time, space, capital, and labor
Thomas Jefferson: A Nation’s best defense is an educated citizenry.
Thomas Jefferson: Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
Thomas Jefferson: I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of Constitutional power.
James Madison: Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
James Madison: The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.
Voltaire: When a nation begins to think, it is impossible to hold it back.