“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, the use of fossil fuels, electrical appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.” ~ Maurice Strong
Austerity…in a nutshell. The solution to environmental ills and climate change rests on the shoulders of the “affluent middle class”, not the ultra-rich elite or huge corporations.
People in France, especially rural people, are rejecting austerity. I wonder if the people in yellow vests are considered to be part of the affluent middle class.
Why would anyone listen to what Maurice Strong said about the environment; who was this guy?
Maurice Frederick Strong, PC, CC, OM, FRSC, FRAIC (April 29, 1929 – November 27, 2015) was a Canadian oil and mineral businessman and a diplomat who served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Strong had his start as an entrepreneur in the Alberta oil patch and was President of Power Corporation of Canada until 1966. In the early 1970s he was Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and then became the first executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme. He returned to Canada to become Chief Executive Officer of Petro-Canada from 1976 to 1978. He headed Ontario Hydro, one of North America’s largest power utilities, was national president and chairman of the Extension Committee of the World Alliance of YMCAs, and headed American Water Development Incorporated. He served as a commissioner of the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1986 and was recognised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a leader in the international environmental movement.
What Wikipedia does not mention specifically is that this oil man/environmentalist was a dedicated henchman of the Rockefellers and Rothschilds and clearly of higher status than the affluent middle class. (More about Strong is this article, Meet Maurice Strong: Globalist, Oiligarch, “Environmentalist” by James Corbett.)
I have to think that the French protests are making the powers that be a bit nervous. France has a pretty “green” economy already and has one of the world’s highest tax rates. The addition of a carbon tax seems to be pushing average, non-wealthy citizens over the brink. The protests are a reaction to forced austerity. And, France may be the bellwether.
There seems to be some naïveté about the proposed “solutions” to climate change. Jimmy Dore, a self proclaimed progressive, that supports global warming initiatives and legislation says this about the protests in France…
“They’re raising gas prices…which is a form of austerity in a sense…so, they’re putting the burden on the workers and people who have to use their car to get to work are being burdened, instead of rich people. Again…it’s austerity for you and socialism for the wealthy.”
Link to the video.
Jimmy, rightly, praises the protesters but doesn’t seem to grasp that they are protesting against a carbon tax that is exactly the type of measure put forth by the ruling elite and organizations like the U.N. I can understand it when the establishment media promotes the scenarios, carbon taxes and cap and trade etc., provided by the ruling elite because those outlets are owned and controlled by the ruling elite. But, it’s a bit maddening when “alternative media” pundits buy in to such schemes without considering the origins of them or the consequences.
1. Carbon taxes and exchange schemes were designed by the power elites (the same ones that are big oil)
2. Carbon taxes and exchange schemes won’t negatively affect the power elites.
3. Forced austerity negatively affects the middle class and poor.
4. Forced austerity = power over the middle class and poor.
The situation in France demonstrates the absurdity surrounding conversation of climate change. Beyond the name calling, the “solutions” extended aren’t genuine or practical. Indeed, the news today is that France is suspending the fuel tax raises in an effort to stave off the protests.
“Just 51% of Americans said they have faith in democracy, and 37% say they have lost faith in democracy, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll conducted in late October.”
Also, 9% say they’ve never had faith (curiously up from 5% in October, ‘16).
The article also states…
“The big picture: SurveyMonkey also found that half the country believes America is more divided today than ever before — and that these divisions will probably continue far into the future (ranging between 46% and 51% over the past two years).”
I see this on the morning of the latest “most important election of our lifetimes”.
Aside from the core dis-ingeniousness of the poll; the question being “What is your view on American democracy?” and obviously since we live in a representative republic, there is no such thing as American Democracy…aside from that, if one has faith in the methodology of the poll, it’s bad news/good news.
Over half believe things are okay or, they believe things can be fixed by choosing sides in false, left vs right, propaganda construct and getting out there to vote.
The good news is that almost half are at least aware, on some level…possibly deeply subconscious and not understood, that our system doesn’t work and won’t work.
I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn kids: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.'” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, just congratulate them on being so observant.
~ George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?
I remember one hellishly uncomfortable road trip. 18 hours on the way to the Poconos with an aging Elvis impersonator, a seven piece band and a road manager cramped up in a Ford Transit van.
The one person in this crew that I knew was the drummer who often had an incredible knack for rubbing people the wrong way. He would make truly bizarre and insensitive remarks and repeat punch lines from tasteless jokes over and over. Despite these quirks, I considered him a friend and through the years I had noticed that his outbursts of odd behavior often happened during the presence of fatigue and stress. And this was a really stressful fatiguing run. The rest of this particular crew had their fill of this guy quick and would have gladly voted for him to walk the plank if that were an option.
This whole affair was a one-off casino gig that paid pretty well…a quick turnaround. On the long haul back home, as we lumbered through Indiana, the band leader (Elvis impersonator) started to question the irritating drummer about his rumored involvement with Scientology. This turned in to another reason for the rest of the crowd to hate the guy and as Elvis was shouting “Are you a Scientologist or not?” and the mob cheered and egged it on.
I must admit that by this time in the trip I was pretty tired of this guy myself and I was taking some pleasure in his comeuppance.
Anyway, the drummer was trying to be evasive in the face of interrogation and finally said something along the lines of “I admire some of the concepts and principles of Scientology but, I’m not a member of the church.”; something like that but, the horde wouldn’t let it go that easy and continued to berate him for many miles.
I feel bad looking back on it. I could of stuck up for him if for no other reason than, he was refusing to be identified as part of a group while others were dead set on labeling him as such.
This morning, early, I watched an interview with Van Dyke Parks. He’s always been on the periphery of my musical consumption and I find him to be a fascinating figure.
Like I said though, periphery…I haven’t really spent much time on his actual work under his own name. And thus I found myself listening to a couple of his albums while doing my some of my daily chores.
I would describe a good deal of his arranging as cinematic. Which brings up an interesting notion; a lot of actual cinematic music is designed to invoke specific emotions in the viewer. However, those emotional-musical connections are often based on historical, even ancient precedents. When a composer comes up with music that reminds you, vaguely perhaps, of something from a movie…is that composer using the movie as a resource or, hearkening way back? Or, just playing to what’s in the mind’s ear?
Anyway, while listening as background music (maybe I should say “hearing” because I recently heard someone make the distinction that “most people nowadays are hearing music as opposed to listening to it)….anyway, Van Dyke was playing in the background and a thought came upon me just willy nilly: It must easily be in the hundreds of times that I have heard people talking about “the incredible power of music” because it has the ability to “take you back to a place and time”.
I just don’t feel like that…at all. I like music but I’m not interested in time travel.
I finally got around to listening to some of the more recent, posthumously released Jimi Hendrix music. I noticed on several of the studio cuts that there were some little mixing/engineering tricks here and there. Subtle and tasteful but, very digital sounding delays, guitar tones that sound beefed up by overdrive effects…maybe even re-amped (seems like in the back of my brain, I remember hearing Eddie Kramer praise re-amping).
I remember a conversation I had with Lou Whitney back when digital was taking over as the norm in the recording field. I was deep in to studying all facets of the process at the time. I mentioned that future folks, that were deep-geeking on recording, would have evidence of every single step; punches, edits, effects patches…all the minutiae of a great record. Imagine being privy to every one of Teo Macero’s tape splices on Bitches Brew or all of the editing Tom Dowd did on a comped guitar solo. Like I said, deep-geeking.
But, even though there is a digital log of all events on a particular recording, that doesn’t mean that the curator is going to let you see it. So, even after the fact, way after the fact tweaks and twizzles can remain secret.
And that brings up some interesting stuff in this era where bands are first and foremost “brands” and people don’t seem too bothered by shelling out cash to see acts that don’t even have one original member (which by the way, isn’t a brand new idea; see Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Oak Ridge Boys etc.), they aren’t going to be put off by hearing an original recording greatly altered to include the new technology.
Now we’ve become accustomed to the idea of “re-mastered”; it’s a selling point. To be fair, the great majority have no idea what mastering is in the first place. And, of course, there have been major re-releases that had tape speed corrections, noise reduction all that sort of stuff. But, “re-engineering” can involve taking each individual part sung or played and manipulating it…sometimes subject to the whims of current tastes.
The ability to even listen to recorded music is new in the grand scheme of things. With that, the ability to evaluate an individual performance as if under a microscope.
If Coltrane were still with us, he would very likely be blowing his sax in to the same kind of microphone he was over 50 years ago. All in all though, it’s weird and a little offsetting for me to hear Jimi’s guitar played through a rig that didn’t exist in his lifetime. I’m not so sure he would be in to a “Dual Rectifier”, you know?