Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why do the political leaders, academics, etc. seem (mostly) moderately to extremely pro-fracking

As I've wandered around, attending meetings,
I've noticed something very very strange...

I'm wondering if you all have thought about this.

It has become quite clear to me
(as it is apparently to most common folk)
that Fracking Mother Earth
is a really bad idea for all involved.

There are only short term benefit for a small number of people.
There are certainly long term negative quality of life impacts for many people
and perhaps a small chance of a great catastrophe
which may be unimaginable in scale. 

Amongst common people, this activity seems to be hugely unpopular.

Yet, why do the landowners, politicians, academics, scientists,
business, labor unions, and professional journalist,
seem to mostly exist between "drill baby drill" and "on the fence"?
Why does there seem to be so little opposition amongst the people
who are in a position to make a difference?

(I do not want to have this idea be too creative, because
I am also seeing GREAT CHANGE recently in our leaders!
Just look at the importance of Maurice Hinchey -- in a hotly
contested race, to boldly re-assert his core values and
make the very risky political move of signing the
Toxic's Targeting Coalition Letter to Kill the Draft SGEIS!)

But there still seems to me (nearing Nov 2010)
there are quite a few people who are less able
to take a bold stance against fracking.

Why is this?

Is just just all about the money?
Are all of these people just greedy people
who would grab some fast cash
despite bad consequences for many people?

This doesn't seem right to me.
People are basically kind at heart.
I know this.

They must be the victim of what Richard Dawkins
would call a "memetic disease", which originates in the mind,
which causes people to act out of synch with their own value systems.

There is a great essay by Douglas Hofstadter on this question.
It's in the book called Metamagical Themas.
Read the last 5-6 chapters, all about the Prisoner's Dilemma
up to the essay called "A Tale of Happiton".
This essay was so brilliant and politically offensive
that got him fired from Scientific American,  BTW.
It's an allegory about Nuclear War and Mutually Assured Destruction,
but the message applies equally to Hyrdofracking.

Anyway, here is a little chart I'm starting to think about...

  • artificially structured social order where people think they need money to live
  • land-rich but money-poor farmers and landholders looking for some source of cash
  • some landowners are foreign to this place, and thus do not have a stake
  • permitting and regulating. See the essay on this here:

  • nexus between capitalist media + industrial money
    turning professional journalists into public relations operatives,
    effect on elections

  • 2 party duopoly presents a false dichotomy on the issues, thus, radical environmentalists or socialists (anti-capitalists) are a) screened out early b) pressured into moderate positions by the party machine, & consigned into one of the "fringe" parties, which are kept in their marginal place by the proper functioning of the popular media.

academics + scientists
  • fallacy of certainty
  • ethical neutrality (to say it nicely) of American schools
  • capitalist bias of an academic bourgeois,
  • aristocratic orthodoxy

business  leaders
  • merchantile class want to see thriving local businesses
  • investor class all want to see money moving around
  • bankers love boom economies because they can make a bunch of loans...
    When the inevitable bust comes, they just move on to the next boom town,
    leaving this one is a pile of rotting garbage.

  • (political ads, public relations, and commercials)=make $$$
    vs. (investigative journalism, public service, public access)=spend $$$
  • For a machine which is designed to make money, this is a "no brainer" :)
  • FCC created under the Commerce Clause
  • Citizens United v FEC
  • First Amendment guarantees free speech,  yet
  • Supreme Court declares in many cases (e.g. Buckley vs. Vallejo)

Our saving grace is found in the examination of populist movements in the past,
such as the Black Civil Rights movement. It didn't depend on the
academics, media, political leaders, court decisions, business leaders, etc.
Those things are really irrelavent.

What matters is the Will of the People.
When there is a huge popular movement,
this is when change happens.

The decendents of freed slaves
did not win the right to vote because it was granted of them,
Nor were women granted the right to vote.

Blacks and Women won the right to vote
because they went into the streets and demanded it.

The Resistance Movement which has spontaneously arisen
against Shale Gas Extraction
is the biggest populist movement I've seen the 1970s.

I think this is a beautiful thing!
Remember: The people have the power!

Stay organized, decentralized,
and stand together with affinity groups.
There is power there.

Believe you have the power!

And when you feel burned out, exhausted,
angry, afraid, or in deep despair,

Then retreat into the forest,
sit for a few hours,
away from people.
Leave your cell phone.

Go to nature, feel the rhythms and sounds.
The trees and forest animals and birds
will bring you important messages and inspiration.

Quiet your mind.
Stop Doing
and Start Being.

Get in touch with your breath and body.
You are alive, and that's what matters now.

Peace+Love and keep it all up, people.

William Huston  
Binghamton NY             Phone: 607-321-7846

Binghamton-area discussion; spirituality topics:
Binghamton Public Access TV is Open-To-Everyone!

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