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Corporate Culture and Global Empire: Food Crisis, Land Grabs, Poverty, Slums, Environmental Devastation and Resistance

Corporate Culture and Global Empire: Food Crisis, Land Grabs, Poverty, Slums, Environmental Devastation and Resistance

By: Andrew Gavin Marshall

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Corporate power is immense. The world’s largest corporation is Royal Dutch Shell, surpassed in wealth only by the 24 largest countries on earth. Of the 150 largest economic entities in the world, 58% are corporations. Corporations are institutionally totalitarian, the result of power’s resistance to the democratic revolution, which was begrudgingly accepted in the political sphere, but denied the economic sphere, and thus was denied a truly democratic society. They are driven by a religion called “short-term profits.” Corporate society – a state-capitalist society – flourished in the United States, and managed the transition of American society in the early 20th century, just as Fascists and Communists were managing transitions across Europe. With each World War, American society – its political and economic power – grew in global influence, and with the end of World War II, that corporate society was exported globally.

This is empire. The American military, intelligence agencies, and national security apparatus operate with the intention of serving U.S. – and now increasingly global – state and corporate interests. Wars, coups, destabilization campaigns, support for dictators, tyrants, genocides and oppression are the products of Western interaction with the rest of the world.

In the same sense that “God made man in his own image,” corporations remade society in their own interest; and with equal arrogance. Corporations and banks created or took over think tanks, foundations, educational institutions, media, public relations, advertising, and other sectors of society. Through their control of other institutions, they extend their ideologies of power – and the variances between them – to the population, to other elites, the ‘educated’ class, middle class, the poor and working class. So long as the ideas expressed support power, it’s ‘acceptable.’ It can extend critiques, but institutional analysis is not permitted. Ideas which oppose institutional power are ‘ideological’, ‘idealist’, ‘utopian’, and ultimately, unacceptable.

Corporate culture dominates our society in the West. Being inherently totalitarian institutions, the culture – and its institutions – become increasingly totalitarian. This is the response by private economic power to undo the achievements in human history which came through increased democracy in the political sphere. Corporations and banks seek to control and consume all things, to dominate without end.

The only reason corporations were and are able to be the defining cultural institution of the 20th and now 21st century, is because of their economic power. This is derived from exploitation: of resources, the environment, labour, and consumers. It is enforced with repression: the job of the state in the state-capitalist society, along with massive subsidies and protectionist measures for corporate and financial interests. As corporate power extended around the world, the rapid destruction of the environment and resources accelerated, and Western powers ‘outsourced’ the environmental devastation our consumer societies ‘require’ to the so-called Third World. We consume, and they suffer; a marriage of inconvenience that we call “civilization.” Corporations and our state keep the rest of the world in a state of poverty and repression, eternally attempting to block the inevitable global revolution to create a human society that acts… humanely. We were busy buying things. Couldn’t be bothered.

Now what our societies have done to the people on whose land we now live, or everyone else in the world, is being done internally, to us. Everything is up for sale! Corporations make record profits, hoard billions and trillions in cash reserves, NOT being invested, but likely waiting until your standard of living is significantly reduced so that your labour and resources are cheaper, and thus, ultimately more profitable. This is called ‘austerity’ and ‘structural reform,’ political euphemisms for impoverishment and exploitation.

Corporations, banks and states have in recent years caused a massive global food crisis, driving food costs to record highs almost every subsequent year from 2007 onward. With billions of people in the world living on less than $2 per day, the majority of humanity spends most of their income on food. Price increases in food, caused primarily by financial speculation (big players include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Barclays), push tens of millions more people into poverty and hunger. Roughly one billion – 1/7th of the world’s population – live in slums. And they are growing rapidly. Massive urban slums were developed out of the imperialism Western states and corporations imposed upon the rest of the world, pushing people off the land and into the cities, whether induced by poverty or coerced by bombs and guns. All billed to the imperial Western state sponsors of terrorism. We supported (and support) ruthless and tiny elites in the countries we dominate[d] around the world, and now we are just beginning to realize the ruthless and tiny elite which rules over our own domestic lives. Their social function is that of a parasite: to suck the life blood out of all global society.

Food price increases have helped spur a massive global land grab, with Western (as well as Gulf and Asian powers) grabbing vast tracts of land – and water – around the world, for pennies on the dollar. This grab is most extensive in Africa, where in the past several years, mostly Western investors have grabbed land which amounts to an area roughly the size of Western Europe. The land not only contains extensive resource wealth, most importantly water (the Nile is up for sale!), but it is home to hundreds of millions of people, and globally, there are 2.5 billion poor people engaged in small-scale farming. This is primarily done through communal land ownership, something which Western society – with its ‘divine right’ of private property – does not understand. Thus, in international, state, and corporate law – which we designed – we deem communally owned and used land to be legally owned by the state. Our ‘investors’ – banks, hedge funds, pension funds, corporations and states – strike deals with corrupt states across the world to give us 40-100 year contracts for vast tracts of land, paying little or sometimes no rent. Then the “empty land” – as we call it – is cleared (of it’s “emptiness”, no doubt), evicting peoples who have been there for generations and beyond, who depend upon the land and the food it produces for their very lives. These people are being driven to cities, and ultimately, slums.

This is what we call “productive” use of land. So naturally, we then destroy it, eviscerate its environment, poison and pollute, extract, exploit, plunder and profit. Or we simply hold onto the land, not using it at all, just waiting until it goes up in profit. Even major American universities like Harvard are getting involved in the massive land grabs across Africa and elsewhere. This is the largest land grab in history since the late 19th century ‘Scramble for Africa’ where Europeans colonized almost the entire continent. When we do use the land for ‘productive use’, we say it will “help the climate” and “reduce hunger.” How? Because we will produce food and biofuels. And in doing so, we will use massive amounts of chemicals, pesticides, genetically modified organisms, deforestation, biodiversity destruction, highly mechanized and heavy fuel-use farming techniques. The food we produce – which is not much, we have more interest in things like biofuels, lumber, minerals, oil, cash-crops, etc. – is then exported to our countries, and away from the poor ones where hunger and poverty are so prevalent. They lose their land, gain more poverty, with the added bonus of extensive food insecurity, hunger, starvation, slum growth, increased mortality rates, disease, and violence. Poverty is violence.

This is how Western states, banks, corporations and international organizations address the issue of “hunger”: by creating more of it. And in a deeply disturbing irony, we call this moving towards “sustainability.” Little did we know that power interests have a different definition of “sustainability” than most people: they simply combined the words sustained and profitability, and called it “sustainability.” And coincidentally, that word already has a meaning to most people, so we simply misinterpreted the meaning. But there are people who take that concept seriously, those who experience the major costs of an unsustainable society.

We are witnessing a massive global resistance to these processes, largely driven by indigenous peoples – in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and now in North America. In Canada, the ‘Idle No More‘ movement began with four indigenous women in Saskatchewan deciding to meet up and discuss their concerns about Steven Harper’s “budget bill,” which, among other things, had reduced the amount of Canada’s protected rivers, lakes, and streams from roughly 2.5 million (as of Dec. 4, 2012) to somewhere around 62 (as of Dec. 5, 2012). Now a large, expanding, and increasingly international social movement led by indigenous peoples is taking place. Less than two months ago, it began with four women having a discussion.

Canada’s Indigenous peoples are showing Canadians – and others around the world – how to stand up against power. And they’ve had practice. For over 500 years, our societies have been oppressing and often eradicating indigenous populations at ‘home’ and abroad. Indigenous peoples, like other oppressed peoples, are at the front lines of the most oppressive nature of our society: they experience and have experienced exploitation, environmental devastation, domination and decimation. With the world’s Indigenous peoples speaking – not only in Canada, but across Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere – it is time that we in the West begin to listen. It is always important to listen to those who are most oppressed; the histories of our ‘victims’ are rarely written or known, at least not to us. Victims remember. And it matters that we begin to listen.

How can we expect to change – or know what and how to change – our societies if we do not listen and learn from those who have experienced the worst of our society? Indigenous people are now giving us a lesson in democratic struggle. If we continue on our current path, Indigenous communities will be completely wiped out; the powers that rule our society will have completed a 500-year genocide.

So we have to ask ourselves the question: should we now listen to, learn from, and join with these people in common struggle for justice and the idea of a humane society, or… are we still too busy buying things?

Perhaps it is time we all should be ‘Idle No More’.

The above was a short summary of roughly three separate chapters currently being researched and written as part of The People’s Book Project. To help the Project continue, please consider spreading the word, sharing articles, or donating.

The Great Corporate Colony: Welcome to Canada Inc., A Subsidiary of the American Empire & Co.

The Great Corporate Colony: Welcome to Canada Inc., A Subsidiary of the American Empire & Co.

By: Andrew Gavin Marshall

Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird (left), Prime Minister Stephen Harper (centre), and Chinese Premier Web Jiabo (right). Photo from the Globe and Mail.

Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird (left), Prime Minister Stephen Harper (centre), and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (right). Photo from the Globe and Mail.

 

The following is a sample from the first volume of The People’s Book Project, a crowd-funded initiative to produce a series of books studying the ideas, institutions, and individuals of power and resistance. Please consider donating to help the Project come to fruition.

As one of the most resource-rich countries on earth, and the largest single trading partner with the United States, Canada is strategically positioned to influence the changing nature of global power structures. Do we support – and siphon our resources for the benefit of – the American Empire, co-operating in the wholesale plundering of the world, the oppression and impoverishment of peoples, destruction of global ecology, all for the benefit of an increasingly small class of global corporations and banks… Or, do we become independent and free? Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper once said, “You won’t recognize Canada when I get through with it.” With multiple “free trade” agreements under way, expanded corporate rights, expropriation of vast amounts of natural resources, Canada is becoming one of the world’s foremost corporate colonies, unrecognizable from what Canadians once imagined our nation to be.

The Plundering Potential of Resource Wealth

Canada is the second largest country by landmass in the world, after Russia, and with roughly 10% of the population of the United States, it is also one of the most resource rich countries on the entire planet. Looking at a list of the ten most resource-rich nations on earth (determined not by the multitude, but rather the ‘market value’ of the resources they contain) is rather revealing. At number ten, and in descending order is: Venezuela, Iraq, Australia, Brazil, China, Iran, Canada, Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Russia. Canada has one of the largest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia and Iran (though these are largely located in the difficult-to-extract Alberta tar sands), as well as having some of the largest mineral resource deposits in the world, with the second-largest proven reserves of uranium and the third largest amount of timber.[1] According to Statistics Canada, the nation’s natural wealth tripled in value between 1990 and 2009, then valued at $3 trillion, largely due to the increased price of oil.[2]

In June of 2012, the United Nations released a major report in which it established a new index to account for and define ‘wealth’ beyond mere reports of GDP. Termed the “Inclusive Wealth Index” (IWI), it determines national wealth based upon three types of assets: “manufactured” (machinery, buildings, infrastructure, etc.), “human capital” (the population’s education and skills), and “natural capital” (land, forests, fossil fuels, minerals, etc.). The study, Inclusive Wealth Report 2012, analyzed 20 different countries, and was intended to take into account depleting resources and sustainability for future generations when determining a nation’s real wealth. While GDP growth has taken place in China, the U.S., South Africa and Brazil, these nations have significantly reduced their natural capital. Between 1990 and 2008, the “natural capital” of the United States declined by 20%, 17% for China, 25% for Brazil, and 33% for South Africa. In fact, 19 out of the 20 countries studied showed a decline in natural capital, offset only by an increase in human capital (education and skills).[3]

Human capital is based upon the average years of schooling, wages that the country’s workers can demand, and how many years they are expected to work before they retire or die. With this measurement, human capital amounts to the largest percentage of a nation’s wealth (except for Nigeria, Russia, and Saudi Arabia), accounting for 88% of Britain’s wealth and 75% of America’s.[4] Canada is of course included among the 19 countries with rapidly declining natural capital.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver spoke to a gathering of Canaccord Genuity Corporation (a financial services conglomerate) in Toronto in September of 2012, where he explained that Canada’s “tremendous natural wealth” included “huge capacities and reserves of energy, including the third-largest proven oil reserves in the world,” as well as “tremendous hydroelectric capacity, massive tracts of forests and an abundance of minerals and metals.” He added, however: “it’s not enough to have the resources… You have to do something with them.” Oliver listed some of the many resources which Canada has and produces in abundance: oil, natural gas, hydroelectricity, uranium (second largest producer in the world), more than 200 mines turning out more than 60 minerals, “including more potash than anyone else,” as well as aluminum, cobalt, diamonds, nickel, platinum group metals, titanium concentrate, tungsten, chromite, the second-largest exporter of primary forest products, and is the “biggest exporter of wood pulp, newsprint and softwood lumber.” The resource sector, explained Oliver, “is the cornerstone of our economy, our long-term prosperity and our quality of life.”[5]

Oliver explained that the energy, forestry, metals and minerals industries accounted for roughly 15% of Canada’s nominal GDP, the “direct contribution” to the Canadian economy, while the indirect GDP (taking into account “goods and services purchased from other sectors – construction, machinery and equipment, business and professional services”) takes the number up to roughly 20%. The key areas and industries are oil in Alberta, forestry in British Columbia, potash and uranium in Saskatchewan, mining in Ontario and hydro-power in Quebec. Oliver told the assembled crowd in the heart of Toronto’s finance industry that there was “about $650 billion invested in over 600 major resource projects currently underway in Canada or planned in the next 10 years.” He added: “Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are especially hungry for the energy and minerals and metals and forest products they need to fuel their growth and build a better quality of life for their citizens.” There were, he acknowledged, still inherent problems with the global economy which could effect this outlook, but suggested that what the Canadian government can – “and is doing – is establish a competitive business climate so the private sector can capitalize on our enormous potential.” In other words, the Canadian government will establish a highly protective and subsidized market for multinational corporations to more effectively plunder the natural resources.[6] All for altruistic intentions, of course!

Canada’s highly influential big business dominated think tanks have not been far behind in promoting resource plundering by multinational corporations. The Conference Board of Canada published a report in June of 2012 arguing that “Canada’s trade strengths are concentrated in industries that extract natural resources and process raw materials,” including agricultural and food products, minerals and metals, forest products, and electricity exports. In the report, Adding Value to Trade: Moving Beyond Being Hewers of Wood, Michael Burt wrote: “These industries rely heavily on natural resource wealth such as land, water, forests, and mineral products. The abundance of these resources gives Canada a robust comparative advantage in the industries that extract and process them.” Thus, it would be desirable to promote the “development and use of our natural resources, and industries that support the primary sector are competitive with world standards.”[7] The board of directors of the Conference Board of Canada includes executives and/or board members of the Business Development Bank of Canada, EPCOR Utilities, CGI Group, GE Canada, Canada Post Corporation, TransAlta Corporation, ICICI Bank Canada, Cisco Systems Canada, Desjardins Group, IBM Canada, Shell Canada, Xerox Canada, SaskTel, SaskPower, and John Manley, the President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), the main business interest group in Canada, made up of the top 150 corporate CEOs in the country.

In October of 2012, the Canadian International Council (CIC) – the Canadian counterpart to the Council on Foreign Relations in the U.S. – published a report entitled, Becoming a Resource Superpower, in which the author, Madelaine Drohan (the Canada correspondent for The Economist) argued that, “without strong leadership and collaboration we risk losing an opportunity to become a real resource superpower.” A series of recommendations were laid out, including the possibility of establishing a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) to pool and invest money made from resources, encouraging the provincial and federal governments in Canada to “stop treating” revenue from resources “as income to be spent and start treating them as capital to be saved or invested.” In other words, the money made from resources should not go back to benefit Canadians, but rather be used to exclusively benefit the investor class.[8]

Other recommendations focused on expanding the relationship between government, business, and academia (as if we don’t have enough of this already): “To do this, federal and provincial governments must concentrate their funding for research and development on collaborative projects between groups of companies and academic institutions.” Another recommendation focused on expanding “trade” networks and energy customers, specifically in the Asia-Pacific, noting: “Canada should focus on negotiations involving the largest possible number of countries, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and look beyond China so we do not repeat the error of putting all our eggs in one basket.” The report then recommended the government to establish highly protectionist trade agreements for corporations, writing: “Government can help companies plug into global value chains by removing impediments and securing the right trade and investment deals.” By definition, that is the opposite of “free trade,” which is why it is important that we call it “free trade,” when in actuality, it is highly protectionist, involving state intervention designed to undermine the ‘market’ and give corporations a subsidized advantage, thus, undermining competition. The last major recommendation was for federal, provincial, and territorial governments to “collaborate on a national blueprint for resource development that identifies the gaps to be filled – including in infrastructure, environmental protection, trade diversification, education, immigration, technology, and supporting sectors – and sets out how to address them, with achievable goals and deadlines.” In other words, massive state-capitalist planning and plundering is required.[9]

The board of directors of the Canadian International Council (CIC) includes the president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Atlantic Council of Canada, Raymond Chrétien (nephew of former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien), while the chief sponsors of the CIC include: Bennett Jones, Power Corporation of Canada (owned by the Desmarais family, Canada’s Rockefellers), the Royal Bank of Canada, AGF, Barrick Gold, BMO Financial Group, Sun Life Financial, Scotiabank, and TD Bank. So naturally, it has everyone’s interests at heart, and by ‘everyone’, I mean, everyone that matters to the investor class (i.e., the investor class).

So, as Canada increases production of oil from Alberta’s tar sands, the government is seeking to expand the major pipelines to the coast in the hopes of acquiring China as a major trading partner, instead of just the United States.[10] Canada sits atop “unknown quantities” of natural gas reserves, what The Economist calls an “unconventional bonanza,” adding: “Just as the 20th century was the age of oil, the 21st could prove to be the century of gas.”[11] However, in August of 2012, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared that Canada’s future economic hopes depend upon the natural resources of the Arctic, which has been the focus of a new global grab for resources since the Arctic ice has begun to break up more rapidly. On a visit to the region, Harper stated, “Obviously, there is a tremendous economic opportunity here. The fact that we are attracting investment not just domestically, but from around the globe speaks very highly to the future.” As revealed by documents released to the press, in late 2011, the Mining Association of Canada was lobbying the Environment Minister Peter Kent “to change regulations and allow non-metal mines, such as diamonds, oilsands and coal, to discharge potentially polluted water under federal guidelines.”[12]

In other words, now that the ice is breaking and resources are being readied for plunder, the major mining conglomerates want the government’s permission to treat the Canadian environment the way they treat the environment in the rest of the world, notably, in poor, conflict-ridden countries like Colombia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. After all, what is plundering without the added bonus of environmental devastation? It’s not just a matter of extracting and exploiting all available resources, from which to gain massive profits, but it’s also important for corporations to destroy the surrounding environment so that little, if anything, can flourish and replenish. That is plundering at its most profitable. In October of 2012, it was reported that Canada was going to claim ownership of a massive size of undersea territory in the Arctic, larger than the size of the province of Québec, and roughly equal to 20% of the country’s surface area.[13]

In 2013, Canada will begin chairing a two-year term of the Arctic Council, a grouping of eight nations working together to manage the development of the Arctic as an economically and strategically important global region.[14] With the opening of new and large opportunities for economic exploitation and resource plundering, the states with territory in the Arctic have become increasingly aggressive in their military posturing in the region, “increasingly designed for combat rather than policing,” according to a study by the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions. The report noted: “Although the pursuit of co-operation is the stated priority, most of the Arctic states have begun to rebuild and modernize their military capabilities in the region.”[15]

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had been publicly making aggressive statements about competition in the Arctic, particularly in relation to Russia. In private, however, Harper had been making different claims. As revealed by Wikileaks, Harper expressed the message to the Secretary-General of NATO that there was no real military threat in the Arctic, instead expressing the perspective that, “Canada has a good working relationship with Russia with respect to the Arctic, and a NATO presence could backfire by exacerbating tensions.” Harper added, according to the released cables, “that there is no likelihood of Arctic states going to war, but that some non-Arctic members favoured a NATO role in the Arctic because it would afford them influence in an area where ‘they don’t belong’.” All the public statements and aggressive military stances in the region have, however, helped to sway public opinion into believing that there is a “security or sovereignty threat to the northern border,” and thus justify increased expansion into the region for exploitation. The issue is not one of security, but of securing resources (for corporations, no doubt). One released cable from 2009 relayed this point accurately, noting that Canada’s defense plan to build six Arctic Patrol ships for the navy was “an example of a requirement driven by political rather than military imperatives, since the navy did not request these patrol ships. The Conservatives have nonetheless long found domestic political capital in asserting Canada’s ‘Arctic Sovereignty’.”[16] By the summer of 2012, the aggressive rhetoric had essentially vanished, and Harper’s missions to the Arctic were entirely diplomatic and aimed at exploiting the region’s vast natural resources.[17] The Obama administration has also identified the Arctic as “an area of key strategic interest.”[18]

Canada For Sale: “Free Trade” Fanaticism

Canada has been pursuing a vast array of so-called “free trade” agreements with specific countries around the world, as part of the overall program of plundering resources and giving multinational corporations unprecedented control over society. Since the 1988 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada has pursued agreements with several countries, including Israel, Jordan, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Honduras, Panama, Peru and is in talks with the European Union and Japan, as well as China and India.[19]

On August 15, 2011, the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement – a highly protectionist corporate-driven agreement (like all “free trade” agreements) – came into effect. The agreement was reached in 2008, receiving “royal assent” in 2010, and is sure to benefit major corporations and help finance a state which is responsible for the greatest human rights violations in the Western Hemisphere. Canada’s top five exports to Colombia include wheat, newsprint and paper, machinery and equipment, dump trucks as well as beans, peas, and lentils. Colombia’s top five exports to Canada include coal, coffee, bananas, fuel oil and cut flowers (note: this list excludes illicit trade products like cocaine, of which Colombia is a major global exporter).[20]

As critics of the deal pointed to Colombia’s record on human rights abuses, Stephen Harper commented, “No good purpose is served in this country or in the United States by anybody who is standing in the way of the development of the prosperity of Colombia,” by which he means to say that human rights are irrelevant so long as multinational corporations are making large profits. And indeed, policies fit that paradigm very well. Harper added: “Colombia is a wonderful country with great possibility and great ambition. And we need to be encouraging that every step of the way. That’s why we have made this a priority to get this deal done. We can’t block the progress of a country like this for protectionist reasons.”[21] In this sense, the word “protectionist” refers to any impediments, regulations, or barriers to the unhindered exploitation and plundering of a country by multinational corporations. When agreements are protectionist in favour of corporations, securing and enforcing their unhindered monopolization of markets and exploitation of resources, this is called “free trade.”

With more than 70 Canadian corporations in Colombia, from oil and mining to finance, the agreement will open up more access for major companies. For those who mention human rights abuses, Harper had this to say: “I think there are protectionist forces in our country and in the United States that don’t care about development and prosperity in this part of the world. And that’s unfortunate.” Chris Spaulding of Talisman Energy, a Canadian corporation doing business in Colombia, commented that, “It’s very business friendly. They want foreign investment. The labor force is very good. The resources are there.”[22]

According to the Globe and Mail, Colombia has “near bullet-proof potential for rapid growth,” due to low wages, abundant resources, and with the return of “order” (a euphemism for state oppression and control), though the country still has a high murder rate, five times the rate of the United States. Colombia not only signed a free trade agreement with Canada, but also with the U.S., and has received top rates from the World Bank for fostering a good “business climate.”[23] Scotiabank, one of Canada’s big five banks, made a $1 billion purchase of a 51% stake in Colombia’s fifth largest bank, Banco Colpatria.[24] Rick Waugh, the CEO of Scotiabank, declared that, “Colombia is very important to us.”[25]

Toronto-based mining company Gran Colombia Gold Corp has been seeking to remove an entire town, a 500-year old community, to make way for an open-pit mine. When the Colombian government was preparing to displace the town, villagers in the community formed a committee to defend themselves. One of the organizers, a local priest, Father José Reinel Restrepo, publicly denounced the plan to move the town for the benefit of a foreign corporation, even giving television interviews in which he denounced “Canadian imperialism.” He explained: “If they are going to drive me out of here, I would tell them they would have to expel me by way of bullets or machetes – but they can’t oblige me to leave.” Four days later, Father Restrepo was shot dead while traveling to visit his family.[26]

Colombia has a long history with powerful business interests allying themselves with paramilitary outfits to “silence opponents and displace rural populations living atop natural resources.” Under the guise of the “war on drugs,” Colombia’s military, with billions in “aid” from the United States, has co-operated with big business interests and criminal paramilitary groups, purportedly to fight rebel groups (notably FARC), but mostly to clear rural communities to allow for corporate plundering of the resources upon which they sit. In recent decades, some four million people have been displaced by such actions, leaving the country with Latin America’s “most inequitable distribution of wealth.” On top of that, Colombia is a major narco-state, with state, paramilitary and rebel groups all participating in the massive cocaine trade. Many historians have described Colombia as “the world’s most enduringly violent country,” with over five decades of constant internal warfare. With over 20 major Canadian companies holding major investments in Colombia, it’s no wonder that the World Bank rated the country as the best investment climate in Latin America.[27]

The brand of “order” that the government of Colombia has enforced in recent years represents a continuation of the policies of several administrations before it. The human rights and humanitarian crisis in Colombia is “staggering in scale,” with millions displaced, killed, tortured, raped, kidnapped or “disappeared,” more than 280,000 people had to flee their homes in 2010 alone. State, paramilitary and rebel groups have all routinely been accused of vast human rights abuses and war crimes. While the new government of President Santos promised to prioritize human rights when he came to power in 2010, the reality, according to Amnesty International, was that “threats against and killings of leaders of displaced communities and of those seeking the return of lands misappropriated during the conflict, mainly by paramilitary groups, have increased during the Santos government.” In criminal investigations of human rights abuses, witnesses, victims, lawyers, and judges have continuously been threatened or even killed. Threats and murders have also increased for human rights activists, trade unionists, and community leaders.[28]

Canadian law demands that the government table a human rights report for Parliament on the impact of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Instead of submitting the report, the Canadian government decided, in May of 2012, that it would not even adhere to Canadian law, and refused to submit any such report, instead stating that it would produce a report for May of 2013. With more than 259,000 people displaced from their homes in Colombia in 2011 (on top of the 280,000 displaced in 2010), human rights abuses and war crimes will continue, with the tacit (and perhaps active) cooperation of Canadian corporations, notably mining companies. The Canadian government has effectively given the green light for such abuses to continue. While Colombia’s Constitutional Court identified 34 Indigenous nations in the country that were in “grave danger of extinction,” Canadian indifference continued. Alex Neve, the Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada declared that, “Canada must not turn its back on the human rights crisis in Colombia for yet another year… The crucial question that should not be postponed is what role is Canadian investment playing with regard to this emergency?” Neve added: “Failure to carry out a full impact assessment violates Canada’s responsibility of due diligence under international law and denies Canadian corporations working in Colombia the information they need to avoid implicating themselves in grave human rights violations.”[29]

The website for the Canadian ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Trade declared that the Canada-Colombia FTA provided “a key boost for Canadian companies in five important sectors: agriculture, information and communication technologies, mining, oil and gas, and services.” Noting that Canada’s interest in the narco-state was “growing strongly,” the ministry website added that Colombia had “undergone important economic and legal reforms, spurring democracy and global direct investment.” The business climate, it declared, was “now stable and predictable, making Colombia a secure business partner and a solid investment destination.”[30] With that in mind, Canada’s Defence Minister Peter MacKay signed an agreement with the Colombian military in November of 2012 to strengthen its “military relationship with Colombia,” which MacKay stated, “represents a natural evolution in our relationship… And we look forward to continuing to build our ties with the Colombian Armed Forces.” No doubt, as they continue to displace hundreds of thousands of innocent people in order to clear the land for foreign corporations, and of course, to help advance the profits of the international illicit drug trade.[31]

Scotiabank decided to expand its operations further in Colombia, with the purchase of a majority stake in one of Colombia’s largest pension fund companies. Scotiabank has taken on a major role in “financing Colombia’s energy and mining sectors,” with the bank’s head of global wealth management stating, “We look to continue the growth and expansion of this business.” Another executive at Scotiabank stated, “We continue to invest in Colombia because we see this as a market with great potential for growth.”[32] Interestingly, the Canadian Embassy in Colombia is located in the new Scotiabank Tower in Bogota.[33]

Canada continues to pursue further “free trade agreements” with other countries as well, notably, Japan and China. In March of 2012, Canada and Japan agreed to begin free trade talks, already steadfast trading partners. On top of “free trade,” the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced that Canada and Japan would also be advancing defence and security “co-operation.”[34] At the announcement, Harper declared that, “This is a truly historic step that will help create jobs and growth for both countries.” Jayson Myers, the president of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters association stated, “Japan is a strategic commercial partner… However, it is also a country with whom we’ve had a persistent trade deficit when it comes to manufacturing. These negotiations provide the appropriate forum to resolve ongoing concerns.”[35]

As revealed by secret documents obtained by the media, the Canadian government had been lobbying the United States to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement for the main reason of gaining more access to Japan, with one document noting that the TPP without Japan “does not excite us.”[36] In November of 2012, it was reported that Japan was likely to follow Canada’s entrance into the TPP, the largest and most secretive trade agreement in history, involving 11 Pacific rim countries, and negotiated in cooperation with over 600 corporations. The TPP is highly controversial within Japan, since it could potentially – and likely would – lead to reduced protections and subsidies for the Japanese agriculture sector, an area long considered untouchable. A spokesperson for the Canadian department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade stated, “We welcome Japan’s interest in joining the TPP. Japan’s participation in the TPP would further strengthen Canada and Japan’s strong trade and investment relationship. We are already working closely with Japan towards a bilateral free trade agreement that will bring new jobs and increased prosperity to Canadians and we would welcome the opportunity to also work together in the TPP.”[37]

(For more information on the TPP, please see my three-part series here: The Trans-Pacific Partnership)

Canada has also begun talks with India and hoped to sign a free trade deal with the country by the end of 2013, with Stephen Harper stating, upon a visit to India, “I think I am very clear that we need to go farther and faster.” Stephen Harper lamented against the fact that India has democratic institutions, and thus, undemocratic policies are harder to implement. He stated: “What we do have to realize when we deal with India, as opposed to some other countries that we’re dealing with in the developing world – this country is a democracy… And that means that governments cannot simply dictate a whole set of policy changes to happen the next day. That means governments must develop consensus behind policy changes. And that, in this country is not easy. We understand that.”[38] Luckily for Harper, he doesn’t have to face any such problems at home, with a majority government, tearing the country to pieces day-by-day. Stephen Harper once boasted many years ago, that if he was given the chance to become Prime Minister, “You won’t recognize Canada when I get through with it.”[39] Indeed, that turns out to be quite true. Indeed, back in 1997, Harper wrote an article in which he referred to Canada as “a benign dictatorship,” though there seems to be little ‘benign’ about his majority-government rule.[40]

In September of 2012, Stephen Harper signed an investment treaty with China (as a precursor to a potential free trade agreement), called the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). The details of the agreement were kept secret until the deal was tabled in the Canadian Parliament in late September, but the agreement is not to be debated in Parliament because treaty making “is a royal prerogative,” and can thus become law through the initiative of the Prime Minister’s cabinet alone, so long as the treaty is ‘tabled’ in Parliament. Canada already had roughly 24 FIPAs in operation, with roughly a dozen more in the works. FIPAs are not “free trade agreements,” but are designed to simply “protect and promote” foreign investment in legally-binding agreements.[41] In essence, they are quicker and smaller versions of “free trade” agreements, and designed with a similar purpose: to advance corporate rights and the expense of democratic rights.

China’s ambassador to Canada stated that the two countries should move quickly toward a free-trade agreement within a decade, adding, “It’s time to open each other’s markets.” The comments came as a major Chinese state-owned corporation was seeking to take over a Canadian energy company, which would be the first direct foreign takeover of a major actor in Canada’s energy sector, a major concern for Canadians who fear Canada’s resource wealth will not benefit Canadians. On this issue, the Chinese ambassador noted, “Business is business. It should not be politicized… If we politicize all this, then we can’t do business.” The ambassador told a Canadian journalist, “We are not coming to control your resources.”[42] No, of course not, they’re just coming to take the resources. Within a couple months, Prime Minister Harper approved of the Chinese takeover of the Canadian energy company Nexen, as well as another takeover by a Malaysian company in the Canadian energy sector. However, Harper then stated that there would be restrictions on foreign governments buying some of Canada’s largest energy conglomerates (just not these ones in particular). At a press conference, Harper stated, “When we say that Canada is open for business, we do not mean that Canada is for sale to foreign governments.” Except, of course, for all the exceptions to that rule.[43]

Critics of the Canada-China FIPA warned that it would reduce Canada to little more than a “resource colony,” which would bind Canada to new investment rights with China for 30 years.[44] Not only does it allow China to gain an increased foothold in Canada’s economy, and specifically, in purchasing Canadian resources, but it also acts “to protect Canadian capitalists when they go into China.”[45] What more could someone ask for? The Council of Canadians, a public interest organization, referred to the Canada-China FIPA as a “corporate rights pact” that would have serious repercussions on Canadian environmental, energy, and financial policies. This is because the deal would allow for lawsuits against the Canadian federal and provincial governments for having “barriers” to investments, which could then be overturned.[46]

Canada is also in the final stages of negotiating a trade agreement with the European Union, called the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), designed to reduce tariffs and open up “new markets,” having major impacts upon agriculture, intellectual property rights (copyright and patent laws), with drug prices likely to increase “significantly,” as well as allowing for more “labour mobility,” a euphemism for increased labour exploitation.[47] The agreement, which has been in negotiations for years, would “deal another blow to Canada’s already battered manufacturing sector,” with roughly 28,000 jobs under threat, deemed to be the “best-case scenario” by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The “worst-case” scenario could see up to 152,000 jobs being “vaporized.”[48]

As is typical, the negotiations are “behind closed doors” and barely deal with actual “trade.” CETA is, much like the TPP, termed a “next generation” free trade agreement, negotiated since May of 2009, and would further deregulate and privatize the Canadian economy, and of course, therefore, increase corporate power, and thus at the expense of democratic accountability. The agreement could restrict how local and provincial governments could spend money, even banning “buy local” policies, increase the cost of drugs by $3 billion, increase Canada’s trade deficit with the EU, allow for European corporations to attack environmental and health protections within Canada as “barriers to investment,” potentially even apply pressure to privatize water, transit, and energy, and even prevent farmers from saving their seeds, as a major gift to GMO manufacturers.[49] Where corporate rights are advanced, democratic rights are dismantled.

A leaked document from the European Commission dated November 6, 2012, revealed that the practice of Canadian municipalities “buying locally” would disappear with the Canada-EU CETA, and that “provincial development programs could go with them.” Canadian municipalities were offering better terms for European access to municipal contracts that those which Canadian provinces give each other. The document, prepared for the European Commission’s Trade Policy Committee noted that the agreement is “the most ambitious and comprehensive offer Canada and its provinces have made to any partner, including the U.S.” EU negotiations will, however, continue to press for more access to energy sectors. Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians noted: “The amount of room our provinces, municipalities and local communities have to support local farmers and otherwise create the jobs of tomorrow is threatened again by a Canada-European Union free trade deal that will forever prohibit these kinds of economic strategies.” The province of Ontario could alone lose between 13,000 and 70,000 jobs as a result of the agreement, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.[50]

Openly acknowledged by European politicians was that Canada would be getting the short end of the stick in the CETA deal, as a Danish member of the European Parliament stated, “At the moment Europe will be able to export more than what Canada will be exporting.” Another European official closely linked to the negotiations stated, “We will gain a bit more.” Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast said, “[t]he potential benefits to Canadians under a free trade agreement with the European Union are immense,” though he forgot to acknowledge that the ‘Canadians’ he was referring to are largely corporations, and the elite class that owns them. Michael Hart, a trade expert at Carleton University noted, “[t]rade agreements do not create jobs. Never have. Never will. But ministers have never accepted that economic insight.”[51] And understandably so, after all, it’s rather challenging to sell a trade deal to the public if one openly declares it is for the singular purpose of advancing corporate rights, domination, and plundering. So instead, politicians must always mutter the magical word of “jobs,” which in political language, translates accurately into “profits,” as Noam Chomsky has suggested in the past. Thus, when politicians say that trade agreements will “create jobs,” which they never do, what they are actually saying is that such agreements will “create profits,” and exclusively for major multinational corporations, which they always do.

Canada’s trade agenda is of course driven by big business, whose interests will be served by such “free trade” agreements. In regards to CETA, the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business (CERT) was established in 1999 to contribute “recommendations on trade and investment to government officials and hosting thematic, high-level meeting focused on developing strategic relationships between company executives and with government officials,” according to the website for CERT. A declaration of support in 2008 for a Canada-EU trade agreement was signed by over 100 executives in Europe and Canada, urging Canadian and EU leaders to “design a new type of forward-looking, wide-ranging and binding bilateral trade and investment agreement.” Such an agreement, the document stated, “will provide European companies with a gateway into the vast North American free trade area, while increasing Canadian opportunities in the European Common Market,” serving as “a strategic and important step towards the eventual creation of a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment area.” Among the signatories to the statement were top executives at the following companies: Anglo American plc, AstraZeneca, Barrick Gold Corporation, BASF, Bayer, Bertelsmann, BNP-Paribas, Bombardier, British Airways, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, CN, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, E.ON AG, Gaz de France, GlaxoSmithKline, Lafarge, Manulife Financial, Merck, Monsanto Canada, Munich Re, Pfizer Canada, Power Financial Corporation, Rio Tinto plc, Royal Dutch Shell, Siemens, SNC-Lavalin, Société Générale, SUEZ, Suncor, ThyssenKrupp, TOTAL SA., TSX Group, Ubisoft Entertainment, and Volkswagen, among many others.[52]

In late October 2012, a number of European and Canadian big business lobbying groups, including BusinessEurope, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business (CERT), sent a letter to the Canadian and European trade negotiators, Ed Fast and Karel de Gucht, respectively, urging them to push through on the CETA. The signatories called for Canada and the EU to reach “an ambitious and successful conclusion to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations by the end of 2012.” The letter said it was “imperative” to “maintain a high level of ambition” in key areas which would benefit Canadian and European corporate interests. Among the many areas for which the letter suggested “a high level of ambition” were in recommending the “full and rapid dismantling of tariffs for all industrial goods,” and “[a]ccess to raw materials and energy products,” the removal of barriers and “discriminations” in service sectors, “full access” to the agricultural sector, including “a satisfactory path forward on the bio-tech issues that have caused trade impediments,” by which is meant to advance the interests of GMO manufacturers. Further recommendations included “access to government procurement” which removes all barriers and allows for increased privatization, and of course, “[r]obust protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights in both markets,” which would include “the targeting, seizing and destroying of counterfeit imports and exports,” so as to undermine competition and protect monopoly and oligopoly corporations. Finally, the letter stated that the Canada-EU agreement “must also ensure improved labour mobility,” which would allow for increased labour exploitation, enhancing competition between the labour forces of Europe and Canada, which always results in lost jobs, lower wages, and reduced protections and benefits.[53] These are, of course, all very good things for multinational corporations. Since they are terrible things for the populations, they have to be coded in political and economic language, so instead of saying, “we want easily exploitable and cheap labour,” they suggest, “improved labour mobility,” which is also at times referred to as “labour flexibility” (i.e., making labour “flexible” to the interests of multinational corporations).

The Great Canadian Corporate Colony

Such letters from corporate leaders are necessary in order to remind political leaders whose interests they are in office to serve. The Canadian government ensured that it would serve big business interests through trade policy by appointing, in May of 2012, a new ‘advisory panel’ which would “help guide Canada’s ambitious, pro-trade plan in large, dynamic and fast-growing priority markets.” Speaking at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, International Trade Minister Ed Fast stated: “Our government’s top priority is the economy – creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadian workers, businesses and families… We understand the importance of trade to our economy… That is why we are deepening Canada’s trading relationships in priority markets around the world.”[54]

Ed Fast announced the formation of the new advisory panel at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The members of the panel include: Murad Al-Katib, president and CEO of Alliance Grain Traders Inc.; Paul Reynolds, president and CEO of Canaccord Financial; Kathleen Sullivan, executive director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA), representing 80% of Canada’s agri-food sector; Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, former president and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, former president and CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations (CBC), and former government minister; John Manley, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, former Foreign Affairs and Finance Minister, and currently president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), a corporate interest group made up of Canada’s top 150 CEOs; Catherine Swift, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses; Jayson Myers, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters; Brian Ferguson, president and CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc, a major Canadian oil company; Serge Godin, founder and executive chairman of the board of CGI Group Inc, one of the largest information technology businesses in the world; and Indira Samarasekera, president of the University of Alberta. Upon the announcement of this panel, Ed Fast stated: “I look forward to receiving advice from these knowledgeable Canadian leaders.”[55]

So we return to the statement once made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “You won’t recognize Canada when I get through with it.” Sadly, this is quite true as Harper Inc. advance Canada to the status of one of the world’s premier corporate colonies, where plundering for profits, environmental degradation, mass privatization, deregulation, and democratic devastation are the rules of the day. A Canada once thought of as democratic, free, and peaceful, is ever-advancing toward a fully privatized outpost of global corporate tyranny: Canada Inc., a subsidiary of the American Empire & Co.

 

Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada, with a focus on studying the ideas, institutions, and individuals of power and resistance across a wide spectrum of social, political, economic, and historical spheres. He has been published in AlterNet, CounterPunch, Occupy.com, Truth-Out, RoarMag, and a number of other alternative media groups, and regularly does radio, Internet, and television interviews with both alternative and mainstream news outlets. He is Project Manager of The People’s Book Project and has a weekly podcast show with BoilingFrogsPost.

Notes

[1]       “The World’s Most Resource-Rich Countries,” 24/7 Wall St., 18 April 2012:

http://247wallst.com/2012/04/18/the-worlds-most-resource-rich-countries/

[2]       Kim Covert, “Canada’s natural wealth tripled between 1990 and 2009,” Financial Post, 28 June 2011:

http://business.financialpost.com/2011/06/28/canada%E2%80%99s-natural-wealth-tripled-between-1990-and-2009/

[3]       UNEP, “A New Balance Sheet for Nations: Launch of Sustainability Index that Looks Beyond GDP,” UNEP News Centre, 17 June 2012:

http://www.unep.org/newscentre/default.aspx?ArticleID=9174&DocumentID=2688

[4]       Free Exchange, “The real wealth of nations,” The Economist, 30 June 2012:

http://www.economist.com/node/21557732

[5]       Joe Oliver, “Natural Resources: Canada’s Advantage, Canada’s Opportunity,” Natural Resources Canada, 4 September 2012:

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media-room/speeches/2012/6475

[6]       Ibid.

[7]       CNW, “Canada’s trade strengths come from natural resources and related industries,” Canada Newswire, 19 June 2012:

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/995619/canada-s-trade-strengths-come-from-natural-resources-and-related-industries

[8]       Jameson Berkow, “Canada could become a global resource superpower in just nine easy steps,” The Financial Post, 9 October 2012:

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/10/09/canada-could-become-a-global-resource-superpower-in-just-nine-easy-steps/

[9]       Jameson Berkow, “Canada could become a global resource superpower in just nine easy steps,” The Financial Post, 9 October 2012:

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/10/09/canada-could-become-a-global-resource-superpower-in-just-nine-easy-steps/

[10]     Energy in Canada, “The great pipeline battle,” The Economist, 26 May 2012:

http://www.economist.com/node/21555928

[11]     “An unconventional bonanza,” The Economist, 14 July 2012:

http://www.economist.com/node/21558432

[12]     Jordan Press, “Future lies in Arctic resource development, Harper says,” Postmedia News, 21 August 2012:

http://www.canada.com/business/Future+lies+Arctic+resource+development+Harper+says/7122937/story.html

[13]     Randy Boswell, “Canada poised for massive undersea land grab off Arctic, Atlantic coasts,” The Ottawa Citizen, 4 October 2012:

http://www.canada.com/Canada+poised+massive+undersea+land+grab+Arctic+Atlantic+coasts/7345687/story.html#ixzz2BZr0yMiK

[14]     Randy Boswell, “Canada to take helm of Arctic Council as region heats up,” Postmedia News, 25 September 2012:

http://www.canada.com/Canada+take+helm+Arctic+Council+region+heats/7298225/story.html

[15]     Terry Macalister, “Arctic military rivalry could herald a 21st-century cold war,” The Guardian, 5 June 2012:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/05/arctic-military-rivalry-cold-war

[16]     Campbell Clark, “Harper’s tough talk on the Arctic less stern in private,” The Globe and Mail, 12 May 2011:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harpers-tough-talk-on-the-arctic-less-stern-in-private/article579749/

[17]     Campbell Clark, “Harper’s Arctic trips are now diplomatic ventures,” The Globe and Mail, 22 August 2012:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/harpers-arctic-trips-are-now-diplomatic-ventures/article4494231/

[18]     Jacquelyn Ryan, “As Arctic melts, U.S. ill-positioned to tap resources,” The Washington Post, 9 January 2011:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/09/AR2011010903400.html

[19]     “Free trade with Canada has become a global aspiration,” The Vancouver Sun, 2 November 2012: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Free+trade+with+Canada+become+global+aspiration/7488138/story.html#ixzz2BfUjOQxc

[20]     “Canada-Colombia trade deal takes effect,” CBC, 15 August 2011:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/08/15/f-colombia-canada-trade.html

[21]     Mark Kennedy, “Harper defends trade agreement with Colombia,” 10 August 2011:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/08/10/harper-in-colombia-to-mark-launch-of-free-trade-agreement/

[22]     Ibid.

[23]     Martin Hutchinson, “Colombia’s turnaround: from bullets into drill bits,” The Globe and Mail, 19 January 2012:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/rob-insight/colombias-turnaround-from-bullets-into-drill-bits/article1359576/

[24]     Caroline Van Hasselt and Dan Molinski, “Scotiabank Buys Stake in Colombian Bank,” The Wall Street Journal, 21 October 2011:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204485304576643353880991840.html

[25]     Paul Christopher Webster, “Colombia is Canada’s new best friend,” The Globe and Mail, 26 April 2012:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/colombia-is-canadas-new-best-friend/article4102946/?page=all

[26]     Ibid.

[27]     Ibid.

[28]     Alex Neve, “Canada’s tainted trade partner,” The Toronto Star, 21 September 2011:

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1057525–canada-s-tainted-trade-partner

[29]     News Release, “Canada-Colombia trade deal: Empty human rights impact report yet another failure by government,” Amnesty International, 16 May 2012:

http://www.amnesty.ca/news/news-item/canada-colombia-trade-deal-empty-human-rights-impact-report-yet-another-failure-by-go

[30]     FAITC, “Colombia FTA gives Canadian firms a big boost,” Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, 7 December 2012:

http://www.international.gc.ca/canadexport/articles/111012b.aspx?view=d

[31]     Jessica Hume, “Canada, Colombia strengthen defence relationship,” The Toronto Sun, 17 November 2012:

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/11/17/canada-colombia-strengthen-defence-relationship

[32]     Grant Robertson, “Scotiabank bulks up in Colombia,” The Globe and Mail, 14 August 2012:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/latin-american-business/scotiabank-bulks-up-in-colombia/article4479935/

[33]     Paul Christopher Webster, “Colombia is Canada’s new best friend,” The Globe and Mail, 26 April 2012:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/colombia-is-canadas-new-best-friend/article4102946/?page=all

[34]     “Canada, Japan agree to free-trade talks,” CBC, 25 March 2012:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/03/25/harper-japan-trade.html

[35]     Shawn McCarthy, “Canada, Japan launch free-trade talks,” The Globe and Mail, 25 March 2012:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-japan-launch-free-trade-talks/article534401/

[36]     Jason Fekete, “Secret documents show how hard Conservative government lobbied to get into TPP talks,” Reuters, 12 June 2012:

http://o.canada.com/2012/06/19/secret-documents-show-how-hard-conservative-government-lobbied-to-get-into-tpp-talks/

[37]     Andy Hoffman, “Japanese PM looks to join Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal,” The Globe and Mail, 11 November 2012:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/japanese-pm-looks-to-join-trans-pacific-partnership-trade-deal/article5186241/

[38]     Mark Kennedy, “Stephen Harper says Canada-India trade links must come faster,” The Montreal Gazette, 8 November 2012:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Stephen+Harper+says+Canada+India+trade+links+must+come+faster/7518117/story.html

[39]     Frances Russell, “True colours of Mulroney, Harper revealed,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 May 2009:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/true-colours-of-mulroney-harper-revealed-45462077.html

[40]     Terry Milewski, “Ending Canada’s ‘benign dictatorship’,” CBC, 30 March 2011:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/story/2011/03/30/cv-milewski-harper-coalition.html

[41]     “5 things to know about the Canada-China investment treaty,” CBC, 27 October 2012:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/10/27/pol-the-house-fippa-with-china.html

[42]     Campbell Clark, “China calls for free-trade deal with Canada within a decade,” The Globe and Mail, 22 September 2012:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/china-calls-for-free-trade-deal-with-canada-within-a-decade/article4561149/

[43]     Shawn McCarthy and Steven Chase, “Ottawa approves Nexen, Progress foreign takeovers,” The Globe and Mail, 7 December 2012:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/ottawa-approves-nexen-progress-foreign-takeovers/article6107548/

[44]     Heather Scoffield, “China deals would leave Canada a resource colony: opponents,” The Financial Post, 31 October 2012:

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/10/31/china-deals-would-leave-canada-a-resource-colony-opponents/

[45]     Don Butler, “Understanding FIPA in under 1,000 words,” Ottawa Citizen, 31 October 2012:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Understanding+FIPA+under+words/7472421/story.html

[46]     Daniel Tencer, “Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion And Protection Agreement ‘A Corporate Rights Pact,’ Council Of Canadians Says,” The Huffington Post, 1 October 2012:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/01/canada-china-investment-fipa_n_1929663.html

[47]     Janyce McGregor, “5 key issues in the Canada-EU trade deal,” CBC, 22 November 2012:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/11/21/pol-ceta-canada-europe-trade-list.html

[48]     Greg Keenan, “Free-trade deal with EU could cost thousands of Canadian factory jobs,” The Globe and Mail, 27 October 2010:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/free-trade-deal-with-eu-could-cost-thousands-of-canadian-factory-jobs/article1215960/

[49]     Campaigns, “Canada-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA),” The Council of Canadians:

http://canadians.org/trade/issues/EU/index.html

[50]     Daniel Tencer, “Canada-EU Free Trade: Leaked EU Document Sheds Light On Negotiations,” The Huffington Post, 26 November 2012:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/26/canada-eu-free-trade-leaked-document_n_2192949.html

[51]     Althia Raj, “Canada Trade Deal With European Union: CETA May Benefit EU Over Canada, Officials Say,” The Huffington Post, 17 October 2012:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/10/17/canada-may-get-short-end-of-stick-in-economic-and-trade-agreement-with-eu_n_1014707.html

[52]     CERT, “Declaration in support of a Canada-EU trade and investment agreement,” The Canada Europe Roundtable for Business.

[53]     “The Canadian and EU business communities’ call for a successful conclusion to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA),” BUSINESSEUROPE, 29 October 2012.

[54]     Press Release, “Harper Government Launches Next Phase of Canada’s Pro-Trade Plan for Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity,” Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, 29 May 2012:

http://www.international.gc.ca/media_commerce/comm/news-communiques/2012/05/26a.aspx?lang=eng&view=d

[55]     Ibid.

New Eugenics and the Rise of the Global Scientific Dictatorship

Introduction

We are in the midst of the most explosive development in all of human history. Humanity is experiencing a simultaneously opposing and conflicting geopolitical transition, the likes of which has never before been anticipated or experienced. Historically, the story of humanity has been the struggle between the free-thinking individual and structures of power controlled by elites that seek to dominate land, resources and people. The greatest threat to elites at any time – historically and presently – is an awakened, critically thinking and politically stimulated populace. This threat has manifested itself throughout history, in different places and at different times. Ideas of freedom, democracy, civil and human rights, liberty and equality have emerged in reaction and opposition to power structures and elite systems of control.

The greatest triumphs of the human mind – whether in art, science or thought – have arisen out of and challenged great systems of power and control. The greatest of human misery and tragedy has arisen out of the power structures and systems that elites always seek to construct and manage. War, genocide, persecution and human degradation are directly the result of decisions made by those who control the apparatus of power, whether the power manifests itself as intellectual, ecclesiastical, spiritual, militaristic, or scientific. The most malevolent and ruthless power is that over the free human mind: if one controls how one thinks, they control the individual itself. The greatest human achievements are where individuals have broken free the shackles that bind the mind and let loose the inherent and undeniable power that lies in each and every individual on this small little planet.

Currently, our world is at the greatest crossroads our species has ever experienced. We are in the midst of the first truly global political awakening, in which for the first time in all of human history, all of mankind is politically awakened and stirring; in which whether inadvertently or intentionally, people are thinking and acting in political terms. This awakening is most evident in the developing world, having been made through personal experience to be acutely aware of the great disparities, disrespect, and domination inherent in global power structures. The awakening is spreading increasingly to the west itself, as the majority of the people living in the western developed nations are thrown into poverty and degradation. The awakening will be forced upon all people all over the world. Nothing, no development, ever in human history, has posed such a monumental threat to elite power structures.

This awakening is largely driven by the Technological Revolution, which through technology and electronics, in particular mass media and the internet, have made it so that people across the world are able to become aware of global issues and gain access to information from around the world. The Technological Revolution, thus, has fostered an Information Revolution which has, in turn, fed the global political awakening.

Simultaneously, the Technological Revolution has led to another unique and unprecedented development in human history, and one that is diametrically opposed, yet directly related to the global political awakening. For the first time in human history, free humanity is faced with the dominating threat of a truly global elite, who have at their hands the technology to impose a truly global system of control: a global scientific dictatorship. The great danger is that through the exponential growth in scientific techniques, elites will use these great new powers to control and dominate all of humanity in such a way that has never before been experienced.

Through all of human history, tyrants have used coercive force and terror to control populations. With the Technological Revolution, elites increasingly have the ability to control the very biology and psychology of the individual to a point where it may not be necessary to impose a system of terror, but rather where the control is implemented on a much deeper, psychological, subliminal and individual biological manner. While terror can prevent people from opposing power for a while, the scientific dictatorship can create a personal psycho-social condition in which the individual comes to love his or her own slavery; in which, like a mentally inferior pet, they are made to love their leaders and accept their servitude.

So we are presented with a situation in which humanity is faced with both the greatest threat and the greatest hope that we have ever collectively experienced in our short human history. This essay, the third part in the series, “The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom,” examines the ideas behind the global scientific dictatorship, and how it may manifest itself presently and in the future, with a particular focus on the emergence of ‘new eugenics’ as a system of mass control.

Free humanity faces the most monumental decision we have ever been presented with: do we feed and fuel the global political awakening into a true human psycho-social revolution of the mind, creating a new global political economy which empowers and liberates all of humanity; or… do we fall silently into a ‘brave new world’ of a global scientific oppression, the likes of which have never before been experienced, and whose dominance would never be more difficult to challenge and overcome?

We can either find a true freedom, or descend into a deep despotism. We are not powerless before this great ideational beast. We have, at our very fingertips the ability to use technology to our benefit and to re-shape the world so that it benefits the people of the world and not simply the powerful. It must be freedom for all or freedom for none.

What is the ‘Scientific Dictatorship’?

In 1932, Aldous Huxley wrote his dystopian novel, “Brave New World,” in which he looked at the emergence of the scientific dictatorships of the future. In his 1958 essay, “Brave New World Revisited,” Huxley examined how far the world had come in that short period since his book was published, and where the world was heading. Huxley wrote that:

In politics the equivalent of a fully developed scientific theory or philosophical system is a totalitarian dictatorship. In economics, the equivalent of a beautifully composed work of art is the smoothly running factory in which the workers are perfectly adjusted to the machines. The Will to Order can make tyrants out of those who merely aspire to clear up a mess. The beauty of tidiness is used as a justification for despotism.[1]

Huxley explained that, “The future dictator’s subjects will be painlessly regimented by a corps of highly trained social engineers,” and he quotes one “advocate of this new science” as saying that, “The challenge of social engineering in our time is like the challenge of technical engineering fifty years ago. If the first half of the twentieth century was the era of technical engineers, the second half may well be the era of social engineers.” Thus, proclaims Huxley, “The twenty-first century, I suppose, will be the era of World Controllers, the scientific caste system and Brave New World.”[2]

In 1952, Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher, historian, mathematician, and social critic wrote the book, “The Impact of Science on Society,” in which he warned and examined how science, and the technological revolution, was changing and would come to change society. In his book, Russell explained that:

I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology. Mass psychology is, scientifically speaking, not a very advanced study… This study is immensely useful to practical men, whether they wish to become rich or to acquire the government. It is, of course, as a science, founded upon individual psychology, but hitherto it has employed rule-of-thumb methods which were based upon a kind of intuitive common sense. Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called ‘education’. Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the Press, the cinema and the radio play an increasing part.

What is essential in mass psychology is the art of persuasion. If you compare a speech of Hitler’s with a speech of (say) Edmund Burke, you will see what strides have been made in the art since the eighteenth century. What went wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man is a rational animal, and framed their arguments on this hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band do more to persuade than can be done by the most elegant train of syllogisms. It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment.

This subject will make great strides when it is taken up by scientists under a scientific dictatorship.[3]

Russell went on to analyze the question of whether a ‘scientific dictatorship’ is more stable than a democracy, on which he postulated:

Apart from the danger of war, I see no reason why such a regime should be unstable. After all, most civilised and semi-civilised countries known to history have had a large class of slaves or serfs completely subordinate to their owners. There is nothing in human nature that makes the persistence of such a system impossible. And the whole development of scientific technique has made it easier than it used to be to maintain a despotic rule of a minority. When the government controls the distribution of food, its power is absolute so long as it can count on the police and the armed forces. And their loyalty can be secured by giving them some of the privileges of the governing class. I do not see how any internal movement of revolt can ever bring freedom to the oppressed in a modern scientific dictatorship.[4]

Drawing on the concept popularized by Aldous Huxley – of people loving their servitude – Bertrand Russell explained that under a scientific dictatorship:

It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries. Fichte laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished… Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.[5]

Russell explained that, “The completeness of the resulting control over opinion depends in various ways upon scientific technique. Where all children go to school, and all schools are controlled by the government, the authorities can close the minds of the young to everything contrary to official orthodoxy.”[6] Russell later proclaimed in his book that, “a scientific world society cannot be stable unless there is a world government.”[7] He elaborated:

Unless there is a world government which secures universal birth control, there must be from time to time great wars, in which the penalty of defeat is widespread death by starvation. That is exactly the present state of the world, and some may hold that there is no reason why it should not continue for centuries. I do not myself believe that this is possible. The two great wars that we have experienced have lowered the level of civilization in many parts of the world, and the next is pretty sure to achieve much more in this direction. Unless, at some stage, one power or group of powers emerges victorious and proceeds to establish a single government of the world with a monopoly of armed force, it is clear that the level of civilization must continually decline until scientific warfare becomes impossible – that is until science is extinct.[8]

Russell explains that eugenics plays a central feature in the construction of any world government scientific dictatorship, stating that, “Gradually, by selective breeding, the congenital differences between rulers and ruled will increase until they become almost different species. A revolt of the plebs would become as unthinkable as an organized insurrection of sheep against the practice of eating mutton.”[9]

In a 1962 speech at UC Berkeley, Aldous Huxley spoke about the real world becoming the ‘Brave New World’ nightmare he envisaged. Huxley spoke primarily of the ‘Ultimate Revolution’ that focuses on ‘behavioural controls’ of people. Huxley said of the ‘Ultimate Revolution’:

In the past, we can say, that all revolutions have essentially aimed at changing the environment in order to change the individual. There’s been the political revolution, the economic revolution . . . the religious revolution. All these aimed as I say not directly at the human being but at his surroundings, so by modifying his surroundings you did achieve – at one remove – an effect upon the human being.

Today, we are faced, I think, with the approach of what may be called the ‘Ultimate Revolution’ – the ‘Final Revolution’ – where man can act directly on the mind-body of his fellows. Well needless to say some kind of direct action on human mind-bodies has been going on since the beginning of time, but this has generally been of a violent nature. The techniques of terrorism have been known from time immemorial, and people have employed them with more-or-less ingenuity, sometimes with utmost crudity, sometimes with a good deal of skill acquired with a process of trial and error – finding out what the best ways of using torture, imprisonments, constraints of various kinds . . .

If you are going to control any population for any length of time, you must have some measure of consent. It’s exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely, it can function for a fairly long time; but sooner or later you have to bring in an element of persuasion, an element of getting people to consent to what is happening to them.

Well it seems to me the nature of the Ultimate Revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: that we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques, which will enable the controlling oligarchy – who have always existed and will presumably always exist – to get people to love their servitude. This is the ultimate in malevolent revolution…

There seems to be a general movement in the direction of this kind of Ultimate Control, this method of control, by which people can be made to enjoy a state of affairs by which any decent standard they ought not to enjoy; the enjoyment of servitude . . .

I am inclined to think that the scientific dictatorships of the future – and I think there are going to be scientific dictatorships in many parts of the world – will be probably a good deal nearer to the Brave New World pattern than to the 1984 pattern. They will be a good deal nearer, not because of any humanitarian qualms in the scientific dictators, but simply because the ‘brave new world’ pattern is probably a good deal more efficient than the other. That if you can get people to consent to the state of affairs in which they are living – the state of servitude – if you can do this, then you are likely to have a much more stable, a much more lasting society; much more easily controllable society than you would if you were relying wholly on clubs, and firing squads and concentration camps.[10]

In 1961, President Eisenhower delivered his farewell address to the nation in which he warned of the dangers to democracy posed by the military-industrial complex: the interconnected web of industry, the military, and politics creating the conditions for constant war. In that same speech, Eisenhower warned America and the world of another important change in society:

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.[11]

In 1970, Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote about “the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society,” in the “technetronic revolution”; explaining:

Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control. Under such circumstances, the scientific and technological momentum of the country would not be reversed but would actually feed on the situation it exploits.[12]

New Eugenics

Many sciences and large social movements are directed by the same foundations and money that financed the eugenics movement in the early 20th century. The Rockefeller foundations, Ford, Carnegie, Mellon, Harriman, and Morgan money that flowed into eugenics led directly to ‘scientific racism,’ and ultimately the Holocaust in World War II.[13] Following the Holocaust, Hitler had discredited the eugenics movement he admired so much in America. So the movement branched off into forming several other social engineering projects: population control, genetics, and environmentalism. The same foundations that laid the foundations for eugenic ideology – the belief in a biological superiority and right to rule (justifying their power) – then laid the foundations for these and other new social and scientific movements.

Major environmental and conservation organizations were founded with Rockefeller and Ford Foundation money,[14] which then continued to be central sources of funding to this day; while the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was founded in 1961 by Sir Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley’s brother, who was also the President of the British Eugenics Society. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands became the organization’s first president. Prince Bernhard also happened to be one of the founders of the elite global think tank, the Bilderberg Group, which he co-founded in 1954; and he was previous to that, a member of the Nazi Party and an SS officer.[15] Sir Julian Huxley also happened to be the first Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). In 1946, Huxley wrote a paper titled, “UNESCO: It’s Purpose and its Philosophy.” In it, he wrote that the general focus of UNESCO:

is to help the emergence of a single world culture, with its own philosophy and background of ideas, and with its own broad purpose. This is opportune, since this is the first time in history that the scaffolding and the mechanisms for world unification have become available, and also the first time that man has had the means (in the shape of scientific discovery and its applications) of laying a world-wide foundation for the minimum physical welfare of the entire human species…[16]

At the moment, it is probable that the indirect effect of civilisation is dysgenic instead of eugenic; and in any case it seems likely that the dead weight of genetic stupidity, physical weakness, mental instability, and disease-proneness, which already exist in the human species, will prove too great a burden for real progress to be achieved. Thus even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for Unesco to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable…[17]

Still another and quite different type of borderline subject is that of eugenics. It has been on the borderline between the scientific and the unscientific, constantly in danger of becoming a pseudo- science based on preconceived political ideas or on assumptions of racial or class superiority and inferiority. It is, however, essential that eugenics should be brought entirely within the borders of science, for, as already indicated, in the not very remote future the problem of improving the average quality of human beings is likely to become urgent; and this can only be accomplished by applying the findings of a truly scientific eugenics…[18]

It is worth pointing out that the applications of science at once bring us up against social problems of various sorts. Some of these are direct and obvious. Thus the application of genetics in eugenics immediately raises the question of values- what qualities should we desire to encourage in the human beings of the future?[19]

On page 6 of the UNESCO document, Sir Julian Huxley wrote that, “in order to carry out its work, an organisation such as Unesco needs not only a set of general aims and objects for itself, but also a working philosophy, a working hypothesis concerning human existence and its aims and objects, which will dictate, or at least indicate, a definite line of approach to its problems.”[20] While much of the language of equality and education sounds good and benevolent, it is based upon a particular view of humanity as an irrational, emotionally driven organism which needs to be controlled. Thus, the ‘principle of equality’ becomes “The Fact of Inequality”:

Finally we come to a difficult problem-that of discovering how we can reconcile our principle of human equality with the biological fact of human inequality… The democratic principle of equality, which is also Unesco’s, is a principle of equality of opportunity-that human beings should be equal before the law, should have equal opportunities for education, for making a living, for freedom of expression and movement and thought. The biological absence of equality, on the other hand, concerns the natural endowments of man and the fact of genetic difference in regard to them.

There are instances of biological inequality which are so gross that they cannot be reconciled at all with the principle of equal opportunity. Thus low-grade mental defectives cannot be offered equality of educational opportunity, nor are the insane equal with the sane before the law or in respect of most freedoms. However, the full implications of the fact of human inequality have not often been drawn and certainly need to be brought out here, as they are very relevant to Unesco’s task.[21]

Many of these “genetic inequalities” revolve around the idea of intellectual superiority: the idea that there is no equality among the intellectually inferior and superior. That inequality is derived from human biology – from genetics; it is a “human fact.” It just so happens that elites who propagate this ideology, also happen to view the masses as intellectually inferior; thus, there can be no social equality in a world with a technological intellectual elite. So eugenics must be employed, as the UENSCO paper explains, to address the issues of raising human welfare to a manageable level; that the time will come where elites will need to address the whole of humanity as a single force, and with a single voice. Eugenics is about the social organization and control of humanity. Ultimately, eugenics is about the engineering of inequality. In genetics, elites found a way to take discrimination down to the DNA.

Genetics as Eugenics

Award-winning author and researcher, Edwin Black, wrote an authoritative history of eugenics in his book, “War Against the Weak,” in which he explained that, “the incremental effort to transform eugenics into human genetics forged an entire worldwide infrastructure,” with the founding of the Institute for Human Genetics in Copenhagen in 1938, led by Tage Kemp, a Rockefeller Foundation eugenicist, and was financed with money from the Rockefeller Foundation.[22] While not abandoning the eugenics goals, the new re-branded eugenics movement “claimed to be eradicating poverty and saving the environment.”[23]

In a 2001 issue of Science Magazine, Garland Allen, a scientific historian, wrote about genetics as a modern form of eugenics. He began by citing a 1998 article in Time Magazine which proclaimed that, “Personality, temperament, even life choices. New studies show it’s mostly in your genes.” Garland explains the implications:

Coat-tailing on major advances in genetic biotechnology, these articles portray genetics as the new “magic bullet” of biomedical science that will solve many of our recurrent social problems. The implication is that these problems are largely a result of the defective biology of individuals or even racial or ethnic groups. If aggressive or violent behavior is in the genes, so the argument goes, then the solution lies in biomedical intervention–gene therapy in the distant future and pharmacotherapy (replacing the products of defective genes with drug substitutes) in the immediate future.

By promoting such claims, are we heading toward a new version of eugenics? Are we getting carried away with the false promise of a technological fix for problems that really lie in the structure of our society? My answer to these questions is “yes,” but with some important qualifications that derive from the different historical and social contexts of the early 1900s and the present…

The term eugenics was coined in 1883 by the Victorian polymath Francis Galton, geographer, statistician, and first cousin of Charles Darwin. It meant to him “truly- or well-born,” and referred to a plan to encourage the “best people” in society to have more children (positive eugenics) and to discourage or prevent the “worst elements” of society from having many, if any, children (negative eugenics). Eugenics became solidified into a movement in various countries throughout the world in the first three decades of the 20th century, but nowhere more solidly than in the United States and, after World War I, in Germany.[24]

While genetic traits such as eye colour and the like were proven to be hereditary, “eugenicists were more interested in the inheritance of social behaviors, intelligence, and personality.” Further:

American eugenicists also strove to disseminate the results of eugenic research to the public and to lawmakers. They supported the idea of positive eugenics [encouraging the ‘best’ to become better], but focused most of their energies on negative eugenics [to encourage the ‘worst’ to become fewer]. Eugenicists wrote hundreds of articles for popular magazines, published dozens of books for the general (and some for the scientific) reader, prepared exhibits for schools and state fairs, made films, and wrote sermons and novels.[25]

American eugenicists, fully backed by the financial support of the major American philanthropic fortunes, passed eugenics legislation in over 27 states across the United States, often in the form of forced sterilizations for the mentally ‘inferior’, so that, “By the 1960s, when most of these laws were beginning to be repealed, more than 60,000 people had been sterilized for eugenic purposes.” As Garland Allen wrote:

For the wealthy benefactors that supported eugenics, such as the Carnegie, Rockefeller, Harriman, and Kellogg philanthropies, eugenics provided a means of social control in a period of unprecedented upheaval and violence. It was these same economic elites and their business interests who introduced scientific management and organizational control into the industrial sector

[In 1994] we saw the resurrection of claims that there are genetic differences in intelligence between races, leading to different socio-economic status. Claims about the genetic basis for criminality, manic depression, risk-taking, alcoholism, homosexuality, and a host of other behaviors have also been rampant in scientific and especially popular literature. Much of the evidence for such claims is as controversial today as in the past.

We seem to be increasingly unwilling to accept what we view as imperfection in ourselves and others. As health care costs skyrocket, we are coming to accept a bottom-line, cost-benefit analysis of human life. This mind-set has serious implications for reproductive decisions. If a health maintenance organization (HMO) requires in utero screening, and refuses to cover the birth or care of a purportedly “defective” child, how close is this to eugenics? If gene or drug therapy is substituted for improving our workplace or school environments, our diets and our exercise practices, how close is this to eugenics? Significant social changes are expensive, however. If eugenics means making reproductive decisions primarily on the basis of social cost, then we are well on that road.[26]

Genetics unleash an unprecedented power into human hands: the power of unnatural creation and the manipulation of biology. We do not yet fully understand nor comprehend the implications of genetic manipulation in our food, plants, animals, and in humans, themselves. What is clear is that we are changing the very biology of our environment and ourselves in it. While there are many clear and obvious benefits to genetic technology, such as the ability to enhance ailing senses (sight, hearing, etc.) and cure diseases, the positive must be examined and discussed with the negative repercussions of genetic manipulation so as to better direct the uses of this powerful technology.

Debates on issues such as stem-cell research and genetic manipulation often focus on a science versus religion aspect, where science seeks to benevolently cure mankind of its ailments and religion seeks to preserve the sanctity of ‘creation’. This is an irrational and narrow manner to conduct a real debate on this monumental issue, painting the issue as black and white, which it most certainly is not. Science can be used for good as well as bad, and human history, most especially that of the 20th century, is nothing if not evidence for that fact. Incredible scientific ingenuity went into the creation of great weapons; the manipulation of the atom to kill millions in an instant, or the manufacturing of biological and chemical weapons. The problem with the interaction of science and power is that with such great power comes the temptation to use and abuse it. If the ability to create a weapon like an atom bomb seems possible, most certainly there are those who seek to make it probable. Where there is temptation, there is human weakness.

So while genetics can be used for benevolent purposes and for the betterment of humankind, so too can it be used to effectively create a biological caste system, where in time it would be feasible to see a break in the human race, where as human advancement technologies become increasingly available, their use is reserved to the elite so that there comes a time where there is a biological separation in the human species. Oliver Curry, an evolutionary theorist from the London School of Economics predicted that “the human race will have reached its physical peak by the year 3000” and that, “The human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures.”[27] Such was the plot of H.G. Wells’ classic book, “The Time Machine,” who was himself, a prominent eugenicist at the turn of the 20th century. While this would be a long time from now, its potential results from the decisions we make today.

Population Control as Eugenics

Not only was the field of genetics born of eugenics, and heavily financed by the same monied-interests that seek social control; but so too was the field of population control. In environmental literature and rhetoric, one concept that has emerged over the years as playing a significant part is that of population control. Population is seen as an environmental issue because the larger the population, the more resources it consumes and land it occupies. In this concept, the more people there are the worse the environment becomes. Thus, programs aimed at controlling population growth are often framed in an environmentalist lens. There is also a distinctly radical element in this field, which views population growth not simply as an environmental concern, but which frames people, in general, as a virus that must be eradicated if the earth is to survive.

However, in the view of elites, population control is more about controlling the people than saving the environment. Elites have always been drawn to population studies that have, in many areas, helped construct their worldview. Concerns about population growth really took hold with Thomas Malthus at the end of the 18th century. In 1798, Malthus wrote a “theory on the nature of poverty,” and he “called for population control by moral restraint,” citing charity as a promotion of “generation-to-generation poverty and simply made no sense in the natural scheme of human progress.” Thus, the idea of ‘charity’ became immoral. The eugenics movement attached itself to Malthus’ theory regarding the “rejection of the value of helping the poor.”[28]

The ideas of Malthus, and later Herbert Spencer and Charles Darwin were remolded into branding an elite ideology of “Social Darwinism”, which was “the notion that in the struggle to survive in a harsh world, many humans were not only less worthy, many were actually destined to wither away as a rite of progress. To preserve the weak and the needy was, in essence, an unnatural act.”[29] This theory simply justified the immense wealth, power and domination of a small elite over the rest of humanity, as that elite saw themselves as the only truly intelligent beings worthy of holding such power and privilege.

Francis Galton later coined the term “eugenics” to describe this emerging field. His followers believed that the ‘genetically unfit’ “would have to be wiped away,” using tactics such as, “segregation, deportation, castration, marriage prohibition, compulsory sterilization, passive euthanasia – and ultimately extermination.”[30] The actual science of eugenics was lacking extensive evidence, and ultimately Galton “hoped to recast eugenics as a religious doctrine,” which was “to be taken on faith without proof.”[31]

As the quest to re-brand “eugenics” was under way, a 1943 edition of Eugenical News published an article titled “Eugenics After the War,” which cited Charles Davenport, a major founder and progenitor of eugenics, in his vision of “a new mankind of biological castes with master races in control and slave races serving them.”[32] A 1946 article in Eugenical News stated that, “Population, genetics, [and] psychology, are the three sciences to which the eugenicist must look for the factual material on which to build an acceptable philosophy of eugenics and to develop and defend practical eugenics proposals.”[33]

In the post-war period, emerging in the 1950s and going into the 1960s, the European colonies were retracting as nations of the ‘Third World’ were gaining political independence. This reinforced support for population control in many circles, as “For those who benefited most from the global status quo, population control measures were a far more palatable alternative to ending Third World poverty or promoting genuine economic development.”[34]

In 1952, “John D. Rockefeller 3rd convened a group of scientists to discuss the implications of the dramatic demographic change. They met in Williamsburg, Virginia, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, and after two and a half days agreed on the need for a new institution that could provide solid science to guide governments and individuals in addressing population questions.”[35] That new institution was to become the Population Council. Six of the Council’s ten founding members were eugenicists.[36]

According to the Population Council’s website, it “did not itself espouse any form of population policy. Instead, through grants to individuals and institutions, it invested in strengthening the indigenous capacity of countries and regions to conduct population research and to develop their own policies. The Council also funded seminal work in U.S. universities and further developed its own in-house research expertise in biomedicine, public health, and social science.”[37]

In 2008, Matthew Connelly, a professor at Columbia University, wrote a book called, “Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population,” in which he critically analyzes the history of the population control movement. He documents the rise of the field through the eugenics movement:

In 1927 a Rockefeller-funded study of contraception sought “some simple measure which will be available for the wife of the slum-dweller, the peasant, or the coolie, though dull of mind.” In 1935 one representative told India’s Council of State that population control was a necessity for the masses, adding that “it is not what they want, but what is good for them.” The problem with the natives was that “they are born too much and they don’t die enough,” a public-health official in French Indochina stated in 1936.[38]

Connelly’s general thesis was “how some people have long tried to redesign world population by reducing the fertility of other’s.” Further:

Connelly examines population control as a global transnational movement because its main advocates and practitioners aimed to reduce world population through global governance and often viewed national governments as a means to this end. Fatal Misconceptions is therefore an intricate account of networks of influential individuals, international organizations, NGOs, and national governments.[39]

As one review in the Economist pointed out, “Much of the evil done in the name of slowing population growth had its roots in an uneasy coalition between feminists, humanitarians and environmentalists, who wished to help the unwillingly fecund, and the racists, eugenicists and militarists who wished to see particular patterns of reproduction, regardless of the desires of those involved.” The Economist further wrote:

As the world population soared, the population controllers came to believe they were fighting a war, and there would be collateral damage. Millions of intra-uterine contraceptive devices were exported to poor countries although they were known to cause infections and sterility. “Perhaps the individual patient is expendable in the general scheme of things,” said a participant at a conference on the devices organised in 1962 by the Population Council, a research institute founded by John D. Rockefeller, “particularly if the infection she acquires is sterilising but not lethal.” In 1969 Robert McNamara, then president of the World Bank, said he was reluctant to finance health care “unless it was very strictly related to population control, because usually health facilities contributed to the decline of the death rate, and thereby to the population explosion.”[40]

A review in the New York Review of Books pointed out that this movement coincided a great deal with the feminist movement in advancing women’s reproductive rights. However, “these benefits were seen by many US family planning officials as secondary to the goal of reducing the absolute numbers of people in developing countries. The urgency of what came to be known as the “population control movement” contributed to a climate of coercion and led to a number of serious human rights abuses, especially in Asian countries.”[41] Dominic Lawson, writing a review of Connelly’s book for The Sunday Times, explained that:

the population-control movement was bankrolled by America’s biggest private fortunes – the Ford family foundation, John D Rockefeller III, and Clarence Gamble (of Procter & Gamble). These gentlemen shared not just extreme wealth but a common anxiety: the well-to-do and clever (people like them, obviously) were now having much smaller families than their ancestors, but the great unwashed – Chinamen! Indians! Negroes! – were reproducing themselves in an irresponsible manner. What they feared was a kind of Darwinism in reverse – the survival of the unfittest.[42]

As the New Scientist reported, while contraceptives and women’s fertility rights were being expanded, “For much of the past half-century, population control came first and human rights had to be sacrificed.” Further, the New Scientist wrote that Connelly “lays bare the dark secrets of an authoritarian neo-Malthusian ethos that created an international population agenda built around control.” One such horrific notion was “the official policies that made it acceptable to hand out food aid to famine victims only if the women agreed to be sterilized.”[43] In a sad irony, this seemingly progressive movement for women’s rights actually had the effect of resulting in a humanitarian disaster, disproportionately affecting women of the developing world.

In 1968, biologist Paul Ehrlich wrote his widely influential book, ‘The Population Bomb,’ “in which he predicted that global overpopulation would cause massive famines as early as the 1970s.”[44] In his book, he refers to mankind as a “cancer” upon the world:

A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. Treating only the symptoms of cancer may make the victim more comfortable at first, but eventually he dies – often horribly. A similar fate awaits a world with a population explosion if only the symptoms are treated. We must shift our efforts from treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparent brutal and heartless decisions. The pain may be intense. But the disease is so far advanced that only with radical surgery does the patient have a chance to survive.[45]

The American political elite fully embraced this population paradigm of viewing the world and relations with the rest of the world. President Lyndon Johnson was quoted as saying, “I’m not going to piss away foreign aid in nations where they refuse to deal with their own population problems,” while his successor, Richard Nixon, was quoted as saying, “population control is a must … population control must go hand in hand with aid.”[46] Robert McNamara, President of the World Bank and former Secretary of Defense in the Johnson administration, said that he opposed World Bank programs financing health care “unless it was very strictly related to population control, because usually health facilities contributed to the decline of the death rate, and thereby to the population explosion.”[47]

Ehrlich was also influential in tracking India’s rapid population growth into the 1970s. The rapid population growth in India was attributed at the time to the result of the public health system the British had set up under the colonial government, as well as the fact that, as a means to maintaining a relationship of dependence with Britain, the British had discouraged industrialization in India. As famine was around the corner in India, President “Johnson used food aid to pressure the Indian government to meet its family planning targets,” and “By the early 1970s, Bangladesh was spending one third of its entire health budget on family planning and India was spending 60 percent.”[48] Further:

[B]etween the 1960s and 1980s, millions of people in India and other Asian countries were sterilized or had IUDs [intrauterine devices], as well as other contraceptives, inserted in unhygienic conditions. Numerous cases of uterine perforation, excessive bleeding, infections, and even death were reported.[49]

The Population Council knowingly sent un-sterile IUDs to India, and in the 1970s, nearly half a million women in forty-two developing countries were treated with defective IUDs that “heightened the risk of infection and uterine perforation,” after the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had “quietly bought up thousands of the devices at a discount for distribution overseas.” Then sterilization was introduced as a means for “keeping the quotas” on population control in India, as “sterilization was made a condition for receiving land allocations and water for irrigation, as well as electricity, rickshaw licenses, and medical care.” A Swedish diplomat touring a Swedish/World Bank population program at the time was quoted as saying, “Obviously the stories… on how young and unmarried men are more or less dragged to the sterilization premises are true in far too many cases.”[50]

In 1967, the UN Fund for Population Activities was created, and in 1971, “the General Assembly acknowledged that UNFPA [United Nations Population Fund] should play a leading role within the UN system in promoting population programmes.”[51] In 1970, Nixon created the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, known as the Rockefeller Commission, for its chairman, John D. Rockefeller 3rd. In 1972, the final report was delivered to Nixon.

Among the members of the Commission (besides Rockefeller) were David E. Bell, Vice President of the Ford Foundation, and Bernard Berelson, President of the Population Council. Among the conclusions were that, “Population growth is one of the major factors affecting the demand for resources and the deterioration of the environment in the United States. The further we look into the future, the more important population becomes,” and that, “From an environmental and resource point of view, there are no advantages from further growth.” Further, the report warned:

The American future cannot be isolated from what is happening in the rest of the world. There are serious problems right now in the distribution of resources, income, and wealth, among countries. World population growth is going to make these problems worse before they get better. The United States needs to undertake much greater efforts to understand these problems and develop international policies to deal with them.[52]

In 1974, National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200 was issued under the direction of US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, otherwise known as “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” Among the issues laid out in the memorandum was that, “Growing populations will have a serious impact on the need for food especially in the poorest, fastest growing LDCs [Lesser Developed Countries],” and “The most serious consequence for the short and middle term is the possibility of massive famines in certain parts of the world, especially the poorest regions.” Further, “rapid population growth presses on a fragile environment in ways that threaten longer-term food production.” The report plainly stated that, “there is a major risk of severe damage to world economic, political, and ecological systems and, as these systems begin to fail, to our humanitarian values.”[53]

The memorandum lays out key policy recommendations for dealing with the “crisis” of overpopulation. They stated that “our aim should be for the world to achieve a replacement level of fertility, (a two-child family on the average), by about the year 2000,” and that this strategy “will require vigorous efforts by interested countries, U.N. agencies and other international bodies to make it effective [and] U.S. leadership is essential.” They suggested a concentration on specific countries: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia.[54]

They recommended the “Integration of population factors and population programs into country development planning,” as well as “Increased assistance for family planning services, information and technology,” and “Creating conditions conducive to fertility decline.” The memorandum even specifically mentioned that, “We must take care that our activities should not give the appearance to the LDCs [Lesser Developed Countries] of an industrialized country policy directed against the LDCs.”[55] Essentially, NSSM 200 made population control a key strategy in US foreign policy, specifically related to aid and development. In other words, it was eugenics as foreign policy.

In 1975, Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, declared martial law. Her son Sanjay was appointed as the nation’s chief population controller. Sanjay “proceeded to flatten slums and then tell the residents that they could get a new house if they would agree to be sterilized. Government officials were given sterilization quotas. Within a year, six million Indian men and two million women were sterilized. At least 2,000 Indians died as a result of botched sterilization operations.” However, the following year there was an election, and Indira Gandhi’s government was thrown out of power, with that issue playing a major factor.[56]

Next, however, China became the major focus of the population control movement, which “offered technical assistance to China’s “one child” policy of 1978-83, even helping to pay for computers that allowed Chinese officials to track “birth permits,” the official means by which the government banned families from having more than one child and required the aborting of additional children.”[57] Further:

Even China’s draconian population programs received some support in the 1980s from the US-funded International Planned Parenthood Federation and the UN Population Fund. Before China launched its infamous “One Child Policy,” concerns were being raised about its “voluntary” family planning program. In 1981, Chinese and American newspapers reported that “vehicles transporting Cantonese women to hospitals for abortions were ‘filled with wailing noises.’ Some pregnant women were reportedly ‘handcuffed, tied with ropes or placed in pig’s baskets.‘”

After 1983, coercion became official Chinese policy. “All women with one child were to be inserted with a stainless-steel, tamper-resistant IUD, all parents with two or more children were to be sterilized, and all unauthorized pregnancies aborted,” according to the One Child Policy. During this time, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the UN Population Fund continued to support China’s nongovernmental Family Planning Association, even though some of its top officials also worked for the government.[58]

The UN was not a passive participant in population control measures, as it actively supported these harsh programs, and in many cases, rewarded governments for their vicious tactics in reducing population growth:

In 1983, Xinzhong Qian and Indira Gandhi were awarded the first United Nations Population Award to recognize and reward their accomplishments in limiting the population growth in China and India in the previous decade. During the 1970s, officials in these countries had launched extremely ambitious population programs that were supposed to improve the quality of the population and halt its growth. The measures used were harsh. For example, slum clearance resulting in the eradication of whole urban neighbourhoods and the widespread sterilization of their inhabitants was an important part of India’s ‘Emergency’ campaign. In Delhi, hundreds of thousands of people were driven from their homes in events that resulted in numerous clashes, arrests, and deaths, while a total of eight million sterilizations were recorded in India in 1976.[59]

Horrifically, “between the 1960s and 1980s, millions of people in India and other Asian countries were sterilized or had IUDs, as well as other contraceptives, inserted in unhygienic conditions. Numerous cases of uterine perforation, excessive bleeding, infections, and even death were reported, but these programs made little effort to treat these conditions, or even determine their frequency, so we don’t know precisely how common they were.”[60]

In the late 1980s, revelations in Brazil uncovered the NSSM 200 in Brazil since its implementation in 1975 under the Ford Presidency. An official government investigation was launched, and it was discovered that, “an estimated 44% of all Brazilian women aged between 14 and 55 had been permanently sterilized.” Further, the programs of sterilization, undertaken by a number of international organizations, were coordinated under the guidance of USAID.[61]

At the UN’s 1994 World Population Conference in Cairo, Third World delegates to the conference emphasized the need for development policies as opposed to demographic policies; that the focus must be on development, not population. This was essentially a setback for the radical population control movement; however, it wasn’t one they couldn’t work around. There was still a great deal of support among Western elites and co-opted developing world elites for the aims of population control. As Connelly articulated:

It appealed to the rich and powerful because, with the spread of emancipatory movements and the integration of markets, it began to appear easier and more profitable to control populations than to control territory. That’s why opponents were correct in viewing it as another chapter in the unfinished history of imperialism.[62]

It was around this point that the population control movement, while continuing on its overall aims of curbing population growth of Third World nations, began to further merge itself with the environmental movement. While always working alongside the environmental movement, this period saw the emergence of a more integrated approach to policy agendas.

Environmentalism as Eugenics

Michael Barker extensively covered the connection between the Rockefeller and Ford foundations in funding the environmental movement in the academic journal, Capitalism Nature Socialism. As Barker noted, following World War II, the public became increasingly concerned with the environment as the “chemical-industrial complex” grew at an astounding rate.[63] Since Rockefeller interests were heavily involved in the chemical industry, the rising trend in environmental thought and concern had to quickly be controlled and steered in a direction favourable to elite interests.

Two important organizations in shaping the environmental movement were the Conservation Foundation and Resources for the Future, which largely relied upon Rockefeller and Ford Foundation funding, and both conservation organizations had interestingly helped to “launch an explicitly pro-corporate approach to resource conservation.”[64] Laurance Rockefeller served as a trustee of the Conservation Foundation, and donated $50,000 yearly throughout the 50s and 60s. Further, the Conservation Foundation was founded by Fairfield Osborn, whose cousin, Frederick Osborn, became another prominent voice in conservation.[65] Frederick Osborn was also working with the Rockefeller’s Population Council and was President of the American Eugenics Society.

In 1952, the Ford Foundation created the organization Resources for the Future (RFF), (the same year that the Rockefellers created the Population Council), and the original founders were also “John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s chief advisors on conservation matters.” Laurance Rockefeller joined the board of the RFF in 1958, and the RFF got $500,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1970.[66] The Ford Foundation would also go on to create the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund.[67] McGeorge Bundy, who was President of the Ford Foundation from 1966 until 1979, once stated that, “everything the foundation did could be regarded as ‘making the world safe for capitalism’.”[68]

Certainly one of the pre-eminent, if not the most prominent environmental organizations in the world is the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). The WWF was founded on September 11, 1961, by Sir Julian Huxley, the first Director General of the UN organization, UNESCO.[69] Sir Julian Huxley was also a life trustee of the British Eugenics Society from 1925, and its President from 1959-62. In the biography of Julian Huxley on the British Eugenics Society’s website (now known as the Galton Institute – a genetics research center), it stated that, “Huxley believed that eugenics would one day be seen as the way forward for the human race,” and that, “A catastrophic event may be needed for evolution to move at an accelerated pace, as the extinction of the dinosaurs gave the mammals their chance to take over the world. It is much the same with ideas whose time has not yet come; they must survive periods when they are not generally welcome. Like the small mammals in dinosaur times they must await their opportunity.”[70]

In 1962, Rachel Carson, an American marine biologist, published her seminal work, Silent Spring, which has long been credited with helping launch the modern environmental movement. Her book was largely based around the criticism of pesticides as harmful to the environment and human and animal health. Of particular note, she is seen as being the starting force for the campaign against DDT. Carson died in 1964, but her legacy was set in stone by the emerging environmental movement.

The Environmental Defense Fund was founded in 1967 with the specific aim to ban DDT. Some of its initial funding came from the Ford Foundation.[71] This also spurred the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an official US government agency, in 1970. In 1972, the EPA banned the use of DDT in the United States. Since this time, “DDT prohibitions have been expanded and enforced by NGO pressure, coercive treaties, and threats of economic sanctions by foundations, nations and international aid agencies.”[72]

DDT is widely regarded as a carcinogen, and most have never questioned the banning of DDT until understanding the effects of DDT usage beyond the environmental aspect. In particular, we need to look at Africa to understand the significant role of DDT and why we need to re-evaluate its potential usage, weighing the pros and cons of doing so. We must bring in the “human element” and balance that out with the “environmental element” instead of just simply writing off the human aspect to the issue.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in 2000, that, “malaria infected over 300 million people. It killed nearly 2,000,000 – most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Over half the victims are children, who die at the rate of two per minute or 3,000 per day,” and that, “Since 1972, over 50 million people have died from this dreaded disease. Many are weakened by AIDS or dysentery, but actually die of malaria.” In 2002 alone, 80,000 Ugandans died from malaria, half of which were children.[73] The fact is, that:

No other chemical comes close to DDT as an affordable, effective way to repel mosquitoes from homes, exterminate any that land on walls, and disorient any that are not killed or repelled, largely eliminating their urge to bite in homes that are treated once or twice a year with tiny amounts of this miracle insecticide.[74]

Donald Roberts, Professor of Tropical Public Health at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, explained that, “DDT is long-acting; the alternatives are not,” and that, ultimately, when it comes to the issue of poor countries and poor people, “DDT is cheap; the alternatives are not. End of Story.”[75]

Richard Tren, President of Africa Fighting Malaria, said that, “In the 60 years since DDT was first introduced, not a single scientific paper has been able to replicate even one case of actual human harm from its use.” At the end of World War II, DDT was used on nearly every concentration camp survivor to prevent typhus, and the “widespread use of DDT in Europe and the United States played vital roles in eradicating malaria and typhus on both continents.” Further, in 1979, a World Health Organization (WHO) review of DDT use could not find “any possible adverse effects of DDT,” and said it was the “safest pesticide used for residual spraying and vector control programs.”[76]

However, organizations such as the WHO, United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the World Bank, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, and a variety of others still remained adamantly opposed to the use of DDT. While DDT is not outright banned, it is extremely difficult to have it used in places like Africa due to funding. The funding for health care and disease-related programs comes largely from western aid agencies and NGOs, and “The US Agency for International Development [USAID] will not fund any indoor residual spraying and neither will most of the other donors,” explained Richard Tren, which “means that most African countries have to use whatever [these donors] are willing to fund (bed nets), which may not be the most appropriate tool.”[77]

A Ugandan Health Minister said in 2002 that, “Our people’s lives are of primary importance. The West is concerned about the environment because we share it with them. But it is not concerned about malaria because it is not a problem there. In Europe, they used DDT to kill anopheles mosquitoes that cause malaria. Why can’t we use DDT to kill the enemy in our camp?”[78]

Michael Crichton, an author and PhD molecular biologist, plainly stated, “Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die, and we didn’t give a damn.” As author Paul Driessen eloquently explained, the West “would never tolerate being told they had to protect their children solely by using bed nets, larvae-eating fish and medicinal treatments. But they have been silent about conditions in Africa, and about the intolerable attitudes of environmental groups, aid agencies and their own government[s].”[79]

James Lovelock, a scientist, researcher, environmentalist and futurist, became famous for popularizing his idea known as the Gaia hypothesis. He first started writing about this theory in journals in the early 1970s, but it shot to fame with the publication of his 1979 book, “Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth.” The general theory is that the Earth acts as a single organism, where all facets interact and react in a particular way that promotes an optimal environment on Earth. Thus, the theory was named after the Greek Earth goddess, Gaia. In the opening paragraph of his book, he stated that, “the quest for Gaia is an attempt to find the largest living creature on Earth.”[80] His theory provoked a fair amount criticism within the scientific community, with some referring to it as merely a metaphorical description of Earth processes.[81]

Lovelock has also been known to make wild predictive statements. In 2006, he wrote an article for the Independent, in which he stated that, “My Gaia theory sees the Earth behaving as if it were alive, and clearly anything alive can enjoy good health, or suffer disease,” and that the Earth is “seriously ill, and soon to pass into a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years.”[82]

In 2008, the Guardian interviewed Lovelock, who contended that it was “too late” to do anything about global warming, that catastrophe was inevitable, and that, “about 80%” of the world’s population [will] be wiped out by 2100.”[83] In August of 2009, Lovelock became a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, a British population control organization. Upon his becoming a patron, he stated that, “Those who fail to see that population growth and climate change are two sides of the same coin are either ignorant or hiding from the truth. These two huge environmental problems are inseparable and to discuss one while ignoring the other is irrational.” He added, “How can we possibly decrease carbon emissions and land use while the number of emitters and the space they occupy remorselessly increases? When will the environmentalists who claim to be green recognise the truth and speak out?”[84]

Taxes and trades in carbon and carbon credits virtually commodify our atmosphere, so that the very air we breathe becomes property that is bought and sold. A tax on carbon is a tax on life. Since the lifeblood of an industrial society is oil, this requires carbon emissions in order to develop. The restraints on carbon, particularly the notion of trading carbon credits – i.e., trading the ‘right’ to pollute a certain amount – will disproportionately affect the developing world, which cannot afford to finance its own development. Corporations and banks will trade and own the world’s carbon credits, granting them the exclusive right to pollute and control the world’s resources and environment. The carbon trading market could become twice the size of the world oil market within ten years time.[85]

In regards to the Copenhagen Climate talks, which essentially broke down in December of 2009, the real source of this failure lies in a document that revealed the true nature of the negotiations, referred to as the ‘Danish Text.’ The ‘Danish Text’ was a leaked Danish government document which outlined a draft agreement “that hands more power to rich countries,” as, “The draft hands effective control of climate change finance to the World Bank” and “would make any money to help poor countries adapt to climate change dependent on them taking a range of actions.”[86] In other words, it becomes the new means of exerting “conditionality” upon the developing, and increasingly the developed world. ‘Conditionality’ implying – of course – a restructuring of society along lines designated by the World Bank.

While these are but examples of the influence and shaping of science to mold society and control humanity, much more discussion and debate is needed on these issues. While science can be used for the benefit of mankind, so too can it be used for the control and oppression of humanity. The people who run our societies view us as needing to be controlled, so they redirect the social apparatus into systems of control and coercion. Science can allow us to understand an idea or organism; but in doing so, it can also allow us to understand how to dominate and control that idea or organism. We must continually engage in a discussion of our changing society to better understand the nature of its changes and how that could affect us both positively and negatively.

If not for the Technological (or ‘Technetronic’) Revolution, elites would not have access to such powerful means of control; but, simultaneously, people have never had such great access to each other through mass communications and the Internet. So while environmental science can allow us to better understand our environment, something we seem still to be very much an adolescent in accomplishing, it also unleashes an ability, and what’s greater – a temptation – to control and shape the environment. Science can be used to both free and imprison the human mind. It is imperative that we approach and discuss the sciences (and all issues) from this perspective, not from a narrow-minded and divisive black-and-white world of ‘left’ and ‘right’, of religion or science. We cannot simply view criticism and opposition to social and scientific endeavours as ‘backwards’, or based on ‘religious doctrine’. There are rational reasons and purposes for criticism and debate on all of these issues, and rational positions of dissent.

Issues like climate change are generally divided upon those who ‘believe’ in climate change, and those who are termed ‘deniers’, which is a disingenuous and divisive approach to rational debate. It silences the critical scientists, who do not get funding from governments or corporations. It classifies those who dissent as ‘deniers’, employing rhetoric like that used against Holocaust deniers, whereas the majority of the dissent within the scientific community comes from those who simply see the role of other forces (often natural) in shaping and changing our climate, such as solar radiation. They do not ‘deny’ climate change, but they dissent on the causes and consequences. Is their opinion not worth hearing? If we are reshaping our entire global political and economic spheres as a result of our supposedly ‘collective’ perception of this issue – as we certainly are – then is it not of the utmost importance that we hear from other voices, especially those of dissent, in order to better understand the issue?

Merging Man and Machine: The Future of Humanity

Eisenhower warned, “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded,” and that, “we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”[87]

Bill Joy, a computer scientist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, who was co-chair of the presidential commission on the future of IT research, wrote an article for Wired Magazine in 2000 entitled, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us.” Joy explained the possibilities in a technological society of the near future, that “new technologies like genetic engineering and nanotechnology were giving us the power to remake the world.” One startling development in the world is that of robot technology and its potential impact upon society. Joy explains:

Accustomed to living with almost routine scientific breakthroughs, we have yet to come to terms with the fact that the most compelling 21st-century technologies – robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology – pose a different threat than the technologies that have come before. Specifically, robots, engineered organisms, and nanobots share a dangerous amplifying factor: They can self-replicate. A bomb is blown up only once – but one bot can become many, and quickly get out of control.[88]

Joy explains that while these technologies can, and consistently are promoted and justified in the name of doing good (such as curing diseases, etc.), “with each of these technologies, a sequence of small, individually sensible advances leads to an accumulation of great power and, concomitantly, great danger.” Joy ominously warns that:

The 21st-century technologies – genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics (GNR) – are so powerful that they can spawn whole new classes of accidents and abuses. Most dangerously, for the first time, these accidents and abuses are widely within the reach of individuals or small groups. They will not require large facilities or rare raw materials. Knowledge alone will enable the use of them.

Thus we have the possibility not just of weapons of mass destruction but of knowledge-enabled mass destruction (KMD), this destructiveness hugely amplified by the power of self-replication.

I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation-states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment of extreme individuals.[89]

In other words: we are entering an era faced with the “scientific dictators” of Huxley’s nightmare vision in ‘Brave New World’. Joy explained that by 2030, “we are likely to be able to build machines, in quantity, a million times as powerful as the personal computers of today.” Thus:

As this enormous computing power is combined with the manipulative advances of the physical sciences and the new, deep understandings in genetics, enormous transformative power is being unleashed. These combinations open up the opportunity to completely redesign the world, for better or worse: The replicating and evolving processes that have been confined to the natural world are about to become realms of human endeavor.[90]

Joy examined the transformative nature of robotics, as an intelligent robot may be built by 2030, “And once an intelligent robot exists, it is only a small step to a robot species – to an intelligent robot that can make evolved copies of itself.” Further, “A second dream of robotics is that we will gradually replace ourselves with our robotic technology, achieving near immortality by downloading our consciousnesses.” Joy further warns of the potential for an arms race to develop in these technologies, just as took place in the nuclear, radiological and biological weapons of the 20th century.[91]

Joy aptly explained that in the 20th century, those technologies were largely the products of governments, whereas in the 21st century, the new technologies of genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics (GNR), are the products of corporations and capitalism. Thus, the driving force is that of competition, desire, and the economic system. Hence, there is far less regulation and discussion of these new technologies than there was of the 20th century technologies, as the new technologies are developed in privately owned labs, not public. Joy often quotes a passage from Kaczynski’s Unabomber Manifesto regarding a future dystopia, which Joy feels has “merit in the reasoning.” In the event that human control over machines is retained (as opposed to the machines taking over):

[C]ontrol over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite – just as it is today, but with two differences. Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite.

Or, if the elite consists of soft-hearted liberals, they may decide to play the role of good shepherds to the rest of the human race. They will see to it that everyone’s physical needs are satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes “treatment” to cure his “problem.” Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove their need for the power process or make them “sublimate” their drive for power into some harmless hobby. These engineered human beings may be happy in such a society, but they will most certainly not be free. They will have been reduced to the status of domestic animals.[92]

A horrifying vision indeed; but one which builds upon the ideas of Huxley, Russell and Brzezinski, who envisioned a people who – through biological and psychological means – are made to love their own servitude. Huxley saw the emergence of a world in which humanity, still a wild animal, is domesticated; where only the elite remain wild and have freedom to make decisions, while the masses are domesticated like pets. Huxley opined that, “Men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution. There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown.”[93]

We Can Have a Scientific Dictatorship, or…

We can create an alternative. We use, strengthen, mobilize, decentralize, and mobilize the global political awakening into a global movement of people not simply politically aware, but politically active and engaged. A world where people do not simply observe the apparatus of political, economic and social power influencing their lives; but in which the people actively seek to change it to better suit their lives and their freedom. We need to understand each other better; but to do that, we cannot view each other through the harsh and deceptive lens of power.

To understand each other, we must know each other. People must communicate with one another around the world; ideas must be exchanged between people and discussed, debated, and decided upon; the people must determine their own futures. Take the elites out of the equation: if you do not want them to dominate your lives, do not give them the power to do so. Talk to each other and determine your own polities, economies and societies. Do not entrust dying ideas and diseased institutions to determine your future for you.

The tools and systems of social control are vast and evasive; they penetrate the very psychology and biology of the individual. The elite feel that they are entrusted – due to their supposed ‘innate’ superior intelligence and specialization – to control society and reshape it as they see fit, to actively mold and construct public opinion and ideas. They have a belief that people are essentially irrational emotional beings, and that they must be controlled by an elite or else the world would be in chaos. This is what underpins the ideas of ‘stability’ and ‘order’. The state has been used to fight every progressive form of change that society has ever developed for its betterment: women’s rights, racial rights, civil rights, the anti-war movement, gay rights, etc. Initially, the impulse – the immediate reaction of the state – is to oppress social movements and to suppress human freedoms. This approach often leads to a situation in which social movements are only accepted by the state when they are co-opted by the state or powerful economic forces, which then exert their influence over the state to alter the policy.

If we gain stability and order at the cost of our very humanity, is it worth it? Do we really need this eternal guidance, which has been constant through almost all of human history, to treat the human species as if it was in a constant state of adolescence, never quite prepared to make its own decisions or go out in the world on its own? Well it is time for humanity to grow up, leave the strange comfort of mental authoritarianism. The strive for human autonomy has only just begun; only now is all of humanity politically awakened; only now – and never before – has all of known humanity had such a great and perfect opportunity to remake the world, retake power, re-imagine individuality and revitalize freedom.

Our world is governed not by a conspiracy, but by ideas: ideas of power, money, the state, military, empire, race, religion, sex, gender, politics and people. The only challenge to those ideas, are new ideas. There are roughly 6,000 members of the ‘global elite,’[94] there are over 6.8 billion people in the world. That sounds like a lot of potential for new ideas. The greatest resource for the future of humanity is not in the ‘control’ of humanity, which is doomed to ultimate failure, but for the release and encouragement of the human mind and spirit.

People can understand the science and mechanics of the brain, the functions of psychology, the ability of human strength; but still, today, we do not know how all that biology can create Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Humanity is still very much a mystery to humans, and it would seem likely that the best answers to the questions of ‘how should we live?’ and ‘how should our societies function?’ are best answered with the bigger question of ‘why are we here’?

If the purpose of people and humanity is to consume and dominate, then our present situation seems only natural. If we were meant for more, then we must become more. If we were meant to be free, we must become free. Ideas are powerful things: they can build empires, and collapse them just as easily.

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered one of his most moving and important speeches, “Beyond Vietnam,” in which he spoke out against war and empire. He left humanity with sobering words:

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.[95]



Endnotes

[1]        Aldous Huxley, Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited. (Harper Perennial, New York, 2004), page 255

[2]        Ibid, page 259.

[3]        Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society, (Routledge, 1985), page 40

[4]        Ibid, page 66.

[5]        Ibid, page 62.

[6]        Ibid, page 58.

[7]        Ibid, page 117.

[8]        Ibid, page 118.

[9]        Ibid, page 63.

[10]      Aldous Huxley, The Ultimate Revolution, March 20, 1962. Berkeley Language Center – Speech Archive SA 0269: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Speech/VideoTest/audiofiles.html#huxley

[11]      Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation. January 17, 1961: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

[12]      Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era. (Viking Press, New York, 1970), page 97

[13]      Edwin Black, Eugenics and the Nazis — the California connection. The San Francisco Chronicle: November 9, 2003:
http://articles.sfgate.com/2003-11-09/opinion/17517477_1_eugenics-ethnic-cleansing-master-race

[14]      Michael Barker, The Liberal Foundations of Environmentalism: Revisiting the Rockefeller-Ford Connection. Capitalism Nature Socialism: Volume 19, Number 2, June 2008

[15]      Bruno Waterfield, Dutch Prince Bernhard ‘was member of Nazi party’. The Telegraph: March 5, 2010:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/7377402/Dutch-Prince-Bernhard-was-member-of-Nazi-party.html

[16]      Julian Huxley, UNESCO Its Purpose and Its Philosophy (1946). Preparatory Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, page 61.

[17]      Ibid, page 21.

[18]      Ibid, pages 37-38.

[19]      Ibid, page 38.

[20]      Ibid.

[21]      Ibid, page 18.

[22]      Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race. (New York: Thunders’s Mouth Press, 2004), page 418

[23]      MARTIN MORSE WOOSTER, The War Against Fertility. The Wall Street Journal: April 1, 2008:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120700566688178565.html?mod=hpp_europe_leisure

[24]      Garland E. Allen, “Is a New Eugenics Afoot?” Science Magazine, October 5, 2001: Vol. 294, no. 5540:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/294/5540/59

[25]      Ibid.

[26]      Ibid.

[27]      Niall Firth, Human race will ‘split into two different species’. The Daily Mail: October 26, 2007:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-489653/Human-race-split-different-species.html

[28]      Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2004), 11-12

[29]      Ibid, pages 12-13.

[30]      Ibid, page 19.

[31]      Ibid, page 28.

[32]      Ibid, page 416.

[33]      Ibid, page 418.

[34]      Simon Butler, The Dark History of Population Control. Climate and Capitalism: November 23, 2009: http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=1293

[35]      History, ABOUT THE POPULATION COUNCIL. The Population Council: September 10, 2008: http://www.popcouncil.org/about/history.html

[36]      MARTIN MORSE WOOSTER, The War Against Fertility. The Wall Street Journal: April 1, 2008: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120700566688178565.html?mod=hpp_europe_leisure

[37]      History, ABOUT THE POPULATION COUNCIL. The Population Council: September 10, 2008: http://www.popcouncil.org/about/history.html

[38]      Review, Horrid History. The Economist: May 24, 2008

[39]      Heli Kasanen, BOOK REVIEW: Fatal misconception: the struggle to control world population, By Matthew Connelly: The Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development, 2009, 1(3), page 15

[40]      Review, Horrid History. The Economist: May 24, 2008

[41]      Helen Epstein, The Strange History of Birth Control. The New York Review of Books: August 18, 2008: http://www.powells.com/review/2008_08_18.html

[42]      Dominic Lawson, Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population by Matthew Connelly. The Sunday Times: May 18, 2008:
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/non-fiction/article3938455.ece

[43]      Fred Pearce, Fatal Misconception by Matthew Connelly. The New Scientist: May 21, 2008:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19826572.400-review-ifatal-misconceptioni-by-matthew-connelly.html

[44]      Jack M. Hollander, The Real Environmental Crisis: Why Poverty, Not Affluence, Is the Environment’s Number One Enemy. (University of California Press: Berkeley, 2003), page 30

[45]      Lara Knudsen, Reproductive Rights in a Global Context. (Vanderbilt University Press: 2006), page 3

[46]      Simon Butler, The Dark History of Population Control. Climate and Capitalism: November 23, 2009: http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=1293

[47]      Nicholas D. Kristof, Birth Control for Others. The New York Times: March 23, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/books/review/Kristof-t.html

[48]      Helen Epstein, The Strange History of Birth Control. The New York Review of Books: August 18, 2008: http://www.powells.com/review/2008_08_18.html

[49]      Ibid.

[50]      Ibid.

[51]      UNFPA, UNFPA and the United Nations System. About UNFPA: http://www.unfpa.org/about/unsystem.htm

[52]      Population and the American Future, The Report of The Commission on Population Growth and the American Future. The Center for Research on Population and Security: March 27, 1972:
http://www.population-security.org/rockefeller/001_population_growth_and_the_american_future.htm#Commission

[53]      NSSM 200, Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests. National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200: April 24, 1974: http://www.population-security.org/11-CH3.html#summary

[54]      Ibid.

[55]      Ibid.

[56]      MARTIN MORSE WOOSTER, The War Against Fertility. The Wall Street Journal: April 1, 2008:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120700566688178565.html?mod=hpp_europe_leisure

[57]      Ibid.

[58]      Helen Epstein, The Strange History of Birth Control. The New York Review of Books: August 18, 2008: http://www.powells.com/review/2008_08_18.html

[59]      Heli Kasanen, BOOK REVIEW: Fatal misconception: the struggle to control world population, By Matthew Connelly: The Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development, 2009, 1(3), page 15

[60]      Helen Epstein, The Strange History of Birth Control. The New York Review of Books, August 18, 2008: http://www.powells.com/review/2008_08_18.html

[61]      F. William Engdahl, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation. (Global Research, Montreal: 2007), page 65

[62]      Simon Butler, The Dark History of Population Control. Climate and Capitalism: November 23, 2009: http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=1293

[63]      Michael Barker, The Liberal Foundations of Environmentalism: Revisiting the Rockefeller-Ford Connection. Capitalism Nature Socialism: Volume 19, Number 2, June 2008: page 15

[64]      Ibid, pages 19-20.

[65]      Ibid, page 20.

[66]      Ibid, page 22.

[67]      Ibid, page 25.

[68]      Ibid, page 26.

[69]      WWF, A History of WWF: The Sixties. World Wildlife Fund: November 13, 2005: http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/who_we_are/history/sixties/index.cfm

[70]      John Timson, Portraits of the Pioneers: Sir Julian Huxley, FRS. The Galton Institute: December 1999 Newsletter: http://www.galtoninstitute.org.uk/Newsletters/GINL9912/julian_huxley.htm

[71]      Michael Barker, The Liberal Foundations of Environmentalism: Revisiting the Rockefeller-Ford Connection. Capitalism Nature Socialism: Volume 19, Number 2, June 2008: page 25

[72]      Paul Driessen, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death. (Merril Press: 2004), page 67

[73]      Ibid, page 66.

[74]      Ibid, page 67.

[75]      Ibid, page 68.

[76]      Ibid, page 69.

[77]      Ibid, page 71.

[78]      Ibid, page 72.

[79]      Ibid, page 73.

[80]      James Lovelock, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. (Oxford: 1979), page 1

[81]      S.J. Gould, Kropotkin was no crackpot. Natural History, June 1997: pages 12-21

[82]      James Lovelock, The Earth is about to catch a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years. The Independent: January 16, 2006:
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/james-lovelock-the-earth-is-about-to-catch-a-morbid-fever-that-may-last-as-long-as-100000-years-523161.html

[83]      Decca Aitkenhead, ‘Enjoy life while you can’. The Guardian: March 1, 2008:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2008/mar/01/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange

[84]      OPT, GAIA SCIENTIST TO BE OPT PATRON. News Release: August 26, 2009:
http://www.optimumpopulation.org/releases/opt.release26Aug09.htm

[85]      Terry Macalister, Carbon trading could be worth twice that of oil in next decade. The Guardian: November 29, 2009:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/29/carbon-trading-market-copenhagen-summit

[86]      John Vidal, Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after ‘Danish text’ leak. The Guardian: December 8, 2009:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/08/copenhagen-climate-summit-disarray-danish-text

[87]      Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation. January 17, 1961: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

[88]      Bill Joy, Why the future doesn’t need us. Wired Magazine: April 2000: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html

[89]      Ibid.

[90]      Ibid.

[91]      Ibid.

[92]      Ibid.

[93]      Time, The Press: Brave New Newsday. Time Magazine: June 9, 1958: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,868521,00.html

[94]      Laura Miller, The rise of the superclass. Salon: March 14, 2008: http://www.salon.com/books/review/2008/03/14/superclass

[95]      Rev. Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/058.html

Climate Change: Breaking the “Political Consensus”

Climate Change: Breaking the “Political Consensus”
The Science of Climate Change: What does it Really Tell Us?
Global Research, August 7, 2008

The purpose of this report is to examine the science behind climate change so as to better understand the issue at hand, and thus, to be able to make an informed decision on how to handle the issue. The primary aim here is to examine climate change from a perspective not often heard in media or government channels; that of climate change being a natural phenomenon, not the result of man-made carbon emissions.

The “Science” of Consensus

When addressing the issue of climate change, it is important to understand that climatic change is an important field of study in science. However, it is not an exact science, like all sciences. Our understanding of the climatic sciences is always changing, just as our understanding of all sciences changes. If our understanding of science does not change, we would still think that the Earth was flat and the Sun revolved around our little planet. When these great achievements in science were first discovered, the scientists who discovered them were attacked, denounced, or even imprisoned.

There is an enormous political, social and economic interest in a scientific consensus, because it determines our understanding of our environment and all that is in it, including humanity, itself. A challenge to a perceived consensus is a challenge to all the powers in human society, as it can take a person’s understanding of the world we live in, and flip it upside down. This encourages people to think “outside the box,” fosters creativity and to be critical thinkers. This can ultimately threaten any power structure, as people may come to understand the forces that seek to control our lives. A consensus is an amazing tool in the hands of elites to control and manipulate people. And challenging a consensus is an amazing tool for people to remain free and independent thinkers.

This does not mean that any perceived consensus is inaccurate or completely manipulated. But it is important to understand how such a consensus can be used. It is also vital to understand that without questioning and challenging a scientific consensus, science would never advance. The key to scientific discovery is being able to change your perspective as the science changes. This is why debate on climate change must not be simply reduced to a one-sided debate; those who “know there is a problem,” and those who are “deniers.” All sides must be heard, so that we can come to a better understanding of the issue.

We hear consistently the one side of the debate, that climate change is caused by increased Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, and that humans are the greatest contributor of this toxic greenhouse gas, and thus, the greatest contributor to climate change, and that there will be catastrophic consequences as a result. I hope to give voice to the other side of the debate.

A Brief Climate History

First of all, it is important to note that climate change is not new. There has always been climate change, and there will always be climate change. After all, there was a period known as the Ice Age, which was a long-term period of reduction in global temperatures. This expanded the continental ice sheets and glaciers. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets were created in this period. The ice age left its imprint upon our environment, forming valleys, fjords, rock formations, and the like as glaciers advanced across the continents. As they receded when the ice age passed, it left the landscape altered and free for plant growth and life to flourish. The Great Lakes between Canada and the United States were carved out by ice. Following the Ice Age, the Halocene period began roughly 12,000 B.C. All human civilization has occurred within the Halocene period.

During the Halocene period, there was both global warming and cooling periods, which have lasted until today. During the period of 10,000 to 8500 BC, there was a slight cooling period known as the Younger-Dryas. However, that passed, and between 5000 and 3000 B.C., temperatures increased to a level higher than today. This period is referred to as the Climatic Optimum. It was during this warming period in history that Earth’s first great human civilizations began to flourish, such as ancient African civilizations around the Nile.[1]

Between 3000 and 2000 B.C., a cooling period occurred, resulting in a drop in sea levels, from which islands such as the Bahamas emerged. There was a subsequent warming period between 2000 and 1500 B.C., again followed by a cool period, which led to glacial growth. The Roman Empire (150 B.C. – 300 A.D.) occurred during a cooling period, which went until roughly 900 A.D. During the period of 900 A.D. until 1200 A.D., a warming period occurred known as the Medieval Warming Period, or Little Climatic Optimum, which was warmer than today, allowing settlements to flourish in Greenland and Iceland.

Then a cooling period followed and between 1550 and 1850, temperatures were colder than at any other time since the end of the previous Ice Age, leading to what has been called the Little Ice Age. Since 1850, there has been a general warming period.[2]

CO2 and Temperature

This latest warming period has also coincided with the Industrial Revolution, which saw the greatest output of human induced CO2, leading many, like Al Gore, to compare the rise in CO2 levels with the rise in temperatures, drawing a conclusion that the rise in CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere was the determining factor in the rise in temperatures. However, if one studies statistics and how to read and interpret stats and graphs, one of the primary lessons is that correlation does not imply causation. Simply put, two factors lining up on a graph, does not necessarily imply that there is a cause and effect relationship. One could take a graph of increases in temperatures and increases in the consumption of peanuts, and they may line up. However, common sense will tell us that eating peanuts does not increase global temperatures. Simply because there appears to be a correlation between the two, that does not imply that there is a cause and effect relationship.

When it comes to CO2, however, there is a much more important factor to analyze than simply statistical interpretation. Al Gore popularized the CO2/temperature connection in his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, in which he showed the correlation between the two on a graph. However, he interpreted the graph as evidence of a cause and effect relationship. His information came from an ice core sample related to CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. However, paleoclimatologist and earth sciences professor at USC, Lowell Stott, released findings of a study in September of 2007, which concluded that, “Deep-sea temperatures warmed about 1,300 years before the tropical surface ocean and well before the rise in atmospheric CO2” at the ending of the last ice age, which “suggests the rise in greenhouse gas was likely a result of warming,” not the cause of warming.[3] [Emphasis added]

As well as this, an ice core sample of air bubbles in 2003, “revealed a precise record of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations” and concluded that, “the CO increase lagged Antarctic deglacial warming by 800 +/- 200 years and preceded the Northern Hemisphere deglaciation.” Simply put, the analysis of the ice core samples, published in Science Magazine, reported that CO2 increases lagged behind temperature increases by roughly 800 years.[4]

In statistics, this is what is called a “lurking variable,” meaning a hidden variable that can have an outcome on the results of a statistic without having been taken into consideration in the statistic’s interpretation. For example, Al Gore’s graph showed a correlation between CO2 increases and temperature increases. The interpretation he gave was that the correlation implied causation; that because they lined up, there was an established relationship, and that relationship was defined as CO2 increases driving temperature. However, the lurking variable was that he did not take into consideration whether CO2 followed temperature increases, as the ice core samples have shown, but he rather chose to conclude that because they line up on a graph, CO2 is therefore the driver. This is bad science and statistical analysis at best, or intentional political deception at worst.

A Lesson in Weather and Carbon

I want to briefly cover what factors affect our weather on Earth and what greenhouse gases are so that we can better understand the science of climate change. Weather takes place in the atmosphere, which is the layer of air directly surrounding the Earth. Air is simply a mix of gases, the most plentiful of which is nitrogen, making up 78% of the air we breathe. Oxygen is 21% of the air we breathe, and the other 1% is a variety of different gases.

Weather tends to occur in the lowest level of the atmosphere, the troposphere. Air temperature, air pressure and humidity are the three factors that determine weather in the troposphere. The most important factors in determining temperature in the atmosphere are radiation arriving from the Sun and flowing from the Earth.

The Sun sends energy into space in a variety of ways. There is visible light, infrared heat rays and ultraviolet rays. Roughly 30% of solar radiation coming into the Earth’s atmosphere is reflected back out to space by clouds, while the remaining 70% is absorbed into the atmosphere, increasing the temperature. This is what is known as the greenhouse effect. Air temperature changes from day to night and season to season, as the amount of radiation from the Sun changes, largely determined by our planet’s tilt towards the Sun. The equator is the exception to the changing temperature with seasons, because it generally receives equal radiation from the Sun year-round.

Air pressure, the second determining factor in weather, is “the weight per unit of area of a column of air that reaches to the top of the atmosphere,” with pressure decreasing the higher you get, because there is less air above you. Humidity, the third main factor in determining weather, is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air. The amount of water vapor that air can hold increases with temperature increases and decreases as temperatures decrease. When relative humidity is at 100%, water vapor condenses and forms droplets, changing from a gas to a liquid.[5]

We often hear of “greenhouse gases” as being bad things. Yet, water vapor is the largest greenhouse gas of all. Carbon dioxide follows, with methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and many smaller gases. Water vapor is by far the largest greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, making up a much greater percentage than the gases that follow it.

CO2, or Carbon Dioxide, is produced by all plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms, and it is then absorbed by plants. As people breathe in oxygen, we then breathe out carbon dioxide, plants take it in through photosynthesis, and thusly emit oxygen for us to breathe in.

Carbon dioxide cannot be so simply classified as a toxin. In fact, it is a life accelerant. Recent research has shown that “shifts in rainfall patterns, cloud cover, and warming temperatures triggered a 6 percent increase in the amount of carbon stored in trees, grass, shrubs, and flowers,” in particular in the Amazon rain forests, which saw the greatest growth rates in the world.[6] The study, conducted from 1982 to 1999, showed that “global climate change has eased climatic constraints on plant life around the globe, allowing vegetation to increase 6 percent.”[7] Vegetation was taking in increasing amounts of CO2 in North America between 1982 and 1998, and “increased atmospheric CO2 and climate change are the primary causes of the recent U.S. vegetation increases.”[8]

A NASA study revealed in 2001, that, “when the atmosphere gets hazy, like it did after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines in June 1991, plants photosynthesize more efficiently, thereby absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” as volcanoes emit massive amounts of CO2 during an eruption.[9] Another study conducted in 2006 revealed that, “Diversity increases as the planet warms and decreases as it cools,” yet, deforestation can reverse this effect, simulating the effects of a global cooling trend.[10]

In 2007, a new study revealed that as icebergs break off from Antarctica, “some as large as a dozen miles across – are having a major impact on the ecology of the ocean around them, serving as ‘hotspots’ for ocean life, with thriving communities of seabirds above and a web of phytoplankton, krill, and fish below,” and that the icebergs “can serve as a route for carbon dioxide drawdown” as it sinks into the sea.[11]

In 2002, it was reported that, “The southern Saharan desert is in retreat, making farming viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa,” and that, “dunes are retreating right across the Sahel region on the southern edge of the Sahara desert. Vegetation is ousting sand across a swathe of land stretching from Mauritania on the shores of the Atlantic to Eritrea 6000 kilometres away on the Red Sea coast,” which was largely attributed to increases in rainfall.[12] A scientific study conducted in the Netherlands predicted that global warming “could significantly increase rainfall in Saharan Africa within a few decades, potentially ending the severe droughts that have devastated the region,” which could in effect cause a “greening of the Sahara.”[13]

What Causes Climate Change?

If CO2 increases lag behind temperature increases, it does not make sense that CO2 can be the cause of temperature increases. It would be the equivalent of saying that growing older is caused by the graying of hair; there appears to be a cause and effect relationship, it is just of vital importance to understand which is the cause and which is the effect. So, from here we must examine what some major causes of climatic change can be.

The most important factor in climatic changes is what is called solar variations. This refers to radiation emitted from the Sun and its variations, in particular, the sunspot cycle. Sunspot cycles are the irregular rises and drops in the number of sunspots, which are regions on the Sun’s surface, which have lower temperatures than its surrounding area and strong magnetic fields.  The cycles tend to last 11 years.

An important thing to note is that Earth is not the only planet that experiences climate change, as in 2002, it was reported that Pluto was “undergoing global warming in its thin atmosphere,” likely due to it’s orbit, which, “significantly changes the planet’s distance from the Sun during its long ‘year,’ which lasts 248 Earth years.”[14] In 2006, it was reported that a new storm on Jupiter could indicate that the planet is “in the midst of a global change that can modify temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.”[15] As far back as 1998, it was reported that Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, “has been undergoing a period of global warming,” since 1989.[16] This could have much to do with the fact that, as reported in 1997, the “Sun is getting hotter,” leading some scientists to say that Earth’s global warming “is part of a natural cycle for the planet.”[17]

In 2004, the Telegraph reported that, “Global warming has finally been explained: the Earth is getting hotter because the Sun is burning more brightly than at any time during the past 1,000 years, according to new research.” The study, conducted by Swiss and German scientists, “suggests that increasing radiation from the sun is responsible for recent global climate changes.” Interestingly, the Sun “is brighter than it was a few hundred years ago and this brightening started relatively recently – in the last 100 to 150 years,” coinciding with the warming trend experienced since the Industrial Revolution.[18] This is what can be referred to as a “lurking variable” in Al Gore’s analysis of his graphs of carbon and temperature increases since the Industrial Revolution. It is a lurking variable because though the temperatures and carbon emissions match up on a graph, it doesn’t take into account other factors that may influence the statistics, such as increasing radiation from the Sun, which also correlates with increasing temperatures.

National Geographic News quoted a scientist in 2007 that, “Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet’s recent climate changes have a natural—and not a human-induced—cause.” Mars’ ice caps had been diminishing for three years in a row, and the scientist, “Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.” He further stated that, “changes in the sun’s heat output can account for almost all the climate changes we see on both planets.”[19] A NASA study in the same year also reported that Mars warmed since the 1970s, “similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period,” which, they conclude, “suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.”[20] A study in 2007 on climatic changes on Earth and Neptune suggested that, “some planetary climate changes may be due to variations in the solar system environment.”[21]

In 2006, a study was conducted regarding Venus being the “solar system’s most inhospitable planet.” A planetary scientist at Oxford University stated, “It’s very disturbing that we do not understand the climate on a planet that is so much like the Earth,” and that, “It is telling us that we really don’t understand the Earth. We have ended up with a lot of mysteries.” Venus was “unbelievably hot, dense, and had virtually no oxygen.” Venus has a very pronounced greenhouse effect, as its “thick atmosphere traps solar radiation and heats the world to boiling point.” Scientists say that Venus being closer to the Sun than Earth is a factor, yet, there may be other factors. One brought up was that Venus’ atmosphere is almost entirely made up of CO2, which is effective at trapping heat. CO2 is roughly 95% of Venus’ atmosphere, compared to Earth’s atmosphere, which is 0.038% CO2, so it is extremely understandable that CO2 would have a greater effect upon Venus than Earth. The question as to why Venus has so much CO2 may be because it lost its water, whereas on Earth, “carbon dioxide is absorbed by the oceans, where it forms carbonate minerals and over the millennia is deposited as rock. That process was arrested early on Venus when it lost its oceans.”[22] Perhaps we should put more focus into preserving and protecting our oceans.

Get Your Parka, Here Comes Global… “Cooling”?

There is a little problem with the whole “global warming” consensus, in that recent scientific research has shown that, “A study of sea temperature changes predicts a lull as traditional climate cycles cancel out the heating effect of greenhouse gases from pollution,” and that, “Global warming will be ‘put on hold’ over the next decade because of natural climate variations.”[23] In other words, the natural climate cycles that Earth goes through, and always has gone through, has changed once again, just as a political consensus was reached. This is very significant because if CO2 was the prime cause for recent warming, and CO2 consumption has not gone down, yet, the Earth’s climate has engaged on a cooling trend, this appears to pose a problem for the CO2 hypothesis.

This cooling trend is supported by many recent events. In 2008, “Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966,” and China went through its most brutal winter in a century. Also, when we are told that the Artic Sea ice is melting to its “lowest levels on record,” it is important to note that the records date back to 1972, and “that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past.” As it turns out, the ice itself has not only recovered from melting, but has grown thicker in many places. With the previous melting of the Arctic, we have been told it was caused by human activity and will result in catastrophe. However, climate modelers, predicting the future climate with computer models based upon information they provide, such as CO2 consumption, are highly inaccurate, as, “Climate models until now have not properly accounted for the wind’s effects on ocean circulation, so researchers have compensated by over-emphasizing the role of manmade warming on polar ice melt.”[24]

Many places have experienced unusual cold and snowfalls in the last year. Argentina got its first snowfall in Buenos Aires since 1918,[25] Johannesburg, South Africa, experienced snow for the first time in 26 years,[26] Baghdad experienced snow for the “first time in living memory,”[27] and Saudi Arabia went through sub-zero temperatures and snow storms, making it the coldest winter in over 20 years.[28]

Even the BBC reported that temperatures will decrease, “as a result of the cold La Nina current in the Pacific,”[29] which is a natural phenomenon, and has a large effect on increasing cyclonic activity in the Atlantic. It’s interesting how La Niña and El Niño have disappeared from discussion on climate and hurricanes. Today, whenever there is a hurricane or natural disaster, it is instantly blamed on global warming and having been accelerated by human activity. Even Al Gore’s movie poster pictured a smoke stack with a hurricane coming out the top. An MIT climate scientist, who previously wrote about the link between hurricane energy and warming, produced a study in 2008 where he changed his pervious claims, saying that its not a clearly defined connection, saying there is a “lot of uncertainty,” and he was quoted as stating, “It’s a really bad thing for a scientist to have an immovable, intractable position.”[30]

In March of 2008, NPR reported that after a survey of the ocean by 3,000 scientific robots, information was retrieved that showed that, “the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather.” The article quotes a NASA scientist as saying that, “the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.”[31]

In July of 2008, a major peer-reviewed journal of the American Physical Society, Physics and Society, concluded that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report “overstated” the effects of CO2 on temperature in their climate models by between 500 and 2000%. The paper concluded that there is no “climate crisis.” The paper further reported that CO2 will add “little more than 1°F (O.6°C) to global mean surface temperature by 2100;” that the IPCC report took their predictive information from four published papers, not 2,500, as was claimed; that “global warming” stopped ten years ago; the IPCC overstated the “effect of ice-melt by 1000%”; that 50 years ago, it was proved that “predicting climate more than two weeks ahead is impossible”; and that an important factor in explaining the previous warming was that, “In the past 70 years the Sun was more active than at almost any other time in the last 11,400 years.”[32]

What About the Consensus?

We are often told, (especially by Al Gore), that on the issue of the effects of human activity on climate change, there is a “scientific consensus” on humans being the primary cause. If the above information does not provide some proof as to a lack of consensus on the subject, perhaps the fact that for the UN-organized 1992 Rio Earth Summit, which concluded that, “global warming and other environmental insults were threatening the planet with catastrophe,” was countered with a petition of scientists decrying, “the unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action.” The number of signatories to the petition eventually reached 4,000 scientists, including 72 Nobel Prize winners. In 2000, to counter the Kyoto Protocol, a petition was made up of “1,500 clergy, theologians, religious leaders, scientists, academics and policy experts concerned about the harm that Kyoto could inflict on the world’s poor.”[33]

A current petition makes the statement that, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.” This petition has been signed by over 31,000 scientists.[34]

The former editor of New Scientist magazine, Nigel Calder, wrote that, “When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works.” He explained how roughly 20 years ago, “climate research became politicized in favour of one particular hypothesis,” and that the media, “often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies. As a result, some key discoveries in climate research go almost unreported.” He also explained the results of a scientific study conducted in 2001 in Denmark, which found that, “cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds. The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier.”[35] So not only is the Sun a determining factor, but so are cosmic rays.

Conclusion

I won’t state exactly what is causing climate change on our planet, as the reality is that there are many answers to that question; the Sun, cosmic rays, ocean currents and other natural phenomena, etc. However, it is safe to say that the wealth of science points to a natural change in our climate, and the entire history of the world and of all humanity supports this hypothesis. Throughout history, as in the earliest African civilizations, it was the ability of different peoples to change and adapt to climate change, which determined their survival as a civilization.

Today, we are trying to fight it. This is a dangerous road to walk, and history will not look kindly upon our scientific ignorance and politically fear-driven society. How will we be viewed in the future? How have we viewed the people of the past who thought the Earth was flat, or the Sun revolved around Earth?

Trying to fight and stop a natural phenomenon is possibly one of the most ignorant and dangerous things humanity has ever engaged in. How would history view a civilization that tried to reverse the spinning of the Earth, or the blowing of wind? It is a recipe for the fall of a civilization.

Much of the people in the world have been riled up with predictions of a catastrophic end to mankind and the world unless we don’t do something about so-called “man-made” climate change. Ironically enough, our refusal to adapt to a changing world, and instead a determination to fight it with our efforts to “go green” and “carbon neutral” may, in fact, cause the catastrophic end of our civilization. And sadly, in this instance, it would undeniably be a man-made disaster.

Notes

[1]        Pidwirny, M. (2006). “Earth’s Climatic History”. Fundamentals of Physical Geography, 2nd Edition. http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7x.html

[2]        Ibid.

[3]        Terah U. DeJong, Clues to End of the Last Ice Age. USC News: September 27, 2007: http://www.usc.edu/uscnews/stories/14288.html

[4]        Nicolas Caillon, et al., Timing of Atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic Temperature Changes Across Termination III. Science Magazine: Vol 299, March 14, 2003: Page 1728:

http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/CaillonTermIII.pdf

[5]        Moran, Joseph M., Weather. World Book Online Reference Center. 2005. World Book, Inc. http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar596160

[6]        Peter N. Spotts, World’s vegetation is cleaning more carbon from skies. Christian Science Monitor: June 6, 2003: http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0606/p02s02-usgn.html

[7]        John Roach, Climate Change Upped Earth’s Vegetation, Study Finds. National Geographic: June 5, 2003: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/06/0605_030605_climatechange.html

[8]        Jeffrey Hicke, New satellite study shows vegetation increases in North America. Bio-Medicine: http://news.bio-medicine.org/biology-news-2/New-satellite-study-shows-vegetation-increases-in-North-America-9791-1/

[9]        Goddard Space Flight Center, Large Volcanic Eruptions Help Plants Absorb More Carbon Dioxide From the Atmosphere. NASA: December 10, 2001: http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/20011210co2absorb.html

[10]      Rhett A. Butler, Does tropical biodiversity increase during global warming? Mongabay: March 30, 2006: http://news.mongabay.com/2006/0330-stri.html

[11]      K.L. Smith, Jr., et al. (2007). “Free-Drifting Icebergs: Hotspots of Chemical and Biological Enrichment in the Weddell Sea,” Science 22 June 2007

[12]      Fred Pearce, Africa‘s deserts are in “spectacular” retreat. New Scientist: September 18, 2002: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn2811

[13]      David Adam, Global warming could end Sahara droughts, says study. The Guardian: September 16, 2005: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2005/sep/16/highereducation.climatechange

[14]      Robert Roy Britt, Global Warming on Pluto Puzzles Scientists. Space.com: October 9, 2002: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/pluto_warming_021009.html

[15]      Sara Goudarzi, New Storm on Jupiter Hints at Climate Change. Space.com: May 4, 2006: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060504_red_jr.html

[16]      News, Global Warming Detected on Triton. Science A Go-Go: June 28, 1998: http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/19980526052143data_trunc_sys.shtml

[17]      NYT, Sun Is Getting Hotter, Satellite Data Indicate. The New York Times: September 30, 1997: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE5D9133AF933A0575AC0A961958260

[18]      Michael Leidig and Roya Nikkhah, The truth about global warming – it’s the Sun that’s to blame. The Telegraph: July 18, 2004: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2004/07/19/ecnsun18.xml

[19]      Kate Ravilious, Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says. National Geographic News: February 28, 2007: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

[20]      Sunday Times, Climate Change Hits Mars. Times Online: April 27, 2007: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1720024.ece

[21]      H.B. Hammel and G.W. Lockwood, Suggestive correlations between the brightness of Neptune, solar variability, and Earth’s temperature. Geophysical Research Letters: Vol. 34, April 19, 2007: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006GL028764.shtml

[22]      Robin McKie, Venus: the hot spot. The Guardian: April 9, 2006: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/apr/09/starsgalaxiesandplanets.spaceexploration

[23]      MaONT>

[25]      AP, Buenos Aires gets first snow since 1918. USA Today: July 9, 2007: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-07-09-argentina-snow_N.htm

[26]      Mike Nizza, In Johannesburg, First Snowfall Since ’81. The New York Times: June 27, 2007: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/06/27/in-johannesburg-first-snowfall-since-81/

[27]      BBC, Baghdad Wakes Up to Rare Snowfall. BBC News: January 11, 2008: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7183881.stm

[28]      RIA, Saudi Arabia covered with snow in coldest winter for 20 years. RIA Novosti: January 11, 2008: http://en.rian.ru/world/20080111/96210251.html

[29]      Roger Harrabin, Global temperatures ‘to decrease’. BBC News: April 4, 2008: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7329799.stm

[30]      Andrew C. Revkin, Hurricane Expert Reassesses Link to Warming. New York Times Blog: April 12, 2008: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/12/hurricane-expert-reassesses-climate-link/

[31]      Richard Harris, The Mystery of Global Warming’s Missing Heat. NPR: March 19, 2008: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025

[32]      Robert Ferguson, Proved: There is No Climate Crisis. Science and Public Policy Institute: July 15, 2008: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/press/proved_no_climate_crisis.html

[33]      Lawrence Soloman, 32,000 Deniers. National Post: May 16, 2008: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2008/05/17/32-000-deniers.aspx

[34]      OISM, Global Warming Petition. Petition Project: http://www.oism.org/pproject/

[35]      Nigel Calder, An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change. Times Online: February 11, 2007: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk//article1363818.ece?Submitted=true