This Southern Town Was Growing So Fast, It Passed a Ban on Growth Reply

By Valeria Bauerlein

Wall Street Journal

LAKE WYLIE, S.C.—This lakefront suburb of Charlotte, N.C., is among the Sunbelt’s strongest magnets for young families.

Since 2000, Lake Wylie has tripled in population to 12,000 on the strength of its good schools, low taxes and proximity to Charlotte’s jobs in the financial and technology sectors. But those schools are filling up, the water system frequently fails under increased demand and 20-mile commutes are stretching to 90 minutes.

Now, the town that grew too fast wants to stop growth.

In December, the York County Council, which is led by Republicans, put a 16-month moratorium on commercial and residential rezoning requests and consideration of any new apartment complexes or subdivisions. It is the most comprehensive ban so far in a state where fast-growing cities are temporarily blocking everything from dollar stores to student housing, the Municipal Association of South Carolina said.

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Human Scale Revisited: A New Look at the Classic Case for a Decentralist Future Reply

Kirk Sale’s classic.

Sometimes ATS contributor Rick Moore once said that any country larger than Liechtenstein is likely to be a tyranny. If we compare different countries, we see that the larger ones tend to be the most imperialistic and the most internally tyrannical. Nicky Reid once pointed out that while communist Cuba, fascist Singapore, and social democratic Iceland each have much different systems, the fact that they are all island micronations keeps them from becoming expansionist empires. Scale is everything.

Amazon.com: Human Scale Revisited: A New Look at the Classic Case ...

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Naomi Seibt Faces Prison For Incorrect Climate Views Reply

A German teenager runs afoul of the new blasphemy laws. I consider the tribal civil war between the Red Tribe and Blue Tribe to a low-intensity variation of the traditional Catholic/Protestant conflicts in Europe during the early modern period or the Sunni/Shia conflict in the Middle East today. Each side has its own preferred version of religious or sumptuary law, (for example, laws against flag-burning for the Red Tribe or hate speech for the Blue Tribe).

The EU/NATO countries are essentially colonies of the US empire (with Western Europe being a collection of additional Blue colonies, and Eastern Europe largely being a collection of Red colonies). Just as China (an outlying province in the US-controlled global capitalist empire) is a test market for the police/surveillance state, so is Western Europe (particularly the Anglo-Celtic-Germanic-Scandinavian countries) a test market in totalitarian humanism. Naomi Seibt is the modern equivalent of a heretic who has denied a primary article of Blue Tribe orthodoxy (like denying the Trinity in a pre-modern theocratic state).

By Paul Homewood

While our attentions have been focussed on the coronavirus, something alarming and rather shocking has been going on in Germany.

You will probably be aware of Naomi Seibt, the 19 year old from Germany who has been making a name as the anti-Greta lately. Her common sense messages about global warming have not gone down well with the climate establishment, who prefer the hysterical outpourings of Greta.

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A world redrawn: US coronavirus response fatally ‘chaotic,’ says Noam Chomsky 1

This interview with Chomsky is generally pretty good. He calls out the use of the pandemic as a pretext for expanding the surveillance state and the role of “big tech” in facilitating it. But there is one glaring contradiction. He criticizes the US inadequate response to the pandemic by blaming it on the lack of a strong federal government and then points out that Europe’s response has been even worse, and blames that on the transfer of power from individual countries to the EU. Is a strong central government only good in America but not good in Europe? Many of the US states are larger than many European countries. The EU is the US of Europe. Make up your mind, Noam.

AFP

The United States is on a chaotic path with no federal plan against the coronavirus pandemic as it reduces public health funding and ignores the advances of climate change, according to activist scholar Noam Chomsky, considered the founder of modern linguistics.

What follows are extracts, edited for clarity, from an AFP interview with the 91-year-old leftist intellectual, who has authored more than 100 books and is currently a professor at the University of Arizona.

For two months he’s been confined in Tucson with his Brazilian wife Valeria, his dog, and a parrot who can say “sovereignty” in Portuguese.

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Soaring Beyond the Green New Deal Reply

By Don Fitz

When Stan Cox was writing his book, The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can, he scripted these prophetic words: “The oft-predicted national decline in use of fossil fuels is nowhere to be seen, and it is unlikely to occur on its own, at least until the next economic meltdown.”  He became one of those few people who dare predict the future; but it was unfortunate for humanity that his prediction came true.  Between the time that Cox foresaw the conditions under which fossil fuel usage would go down and his book appeared in print, the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, production crashed in country after country, and CO2 emissions dropped even more than they did during the 2008 financial crisis.

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The Rise Of Religious Nationalism with Katherine Stewart 7

A leader of an organized atheist group (the far left of organized religion) interviews a member of the liberal media class (the new clerisy) on the role of the religious right (clerical oligarchs manipulating naive peasants on behalf of the right-wing of the ruling class/dying WASP elite/Likudniks/war profiteers).

Journalist Katherine Stewart, whom the Boston Globe has called “the Paul Revere of American civic life,” is a leading authority on the politics of the Religious Right. Her first book, “The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children,” came out in 2012, and this spring her new book, titled “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism,” has been released. Stewart has written for the New York Times, the New Republic and the Washington Post.

“The role of the right-wing propaganda sphere in fostering distrust of fact-based media and scientific expertise really can’t be overstated here,” she explains in the interview, done remotely, about why a section of society is exhibiting such an irrational response to the pandemic. “The rank of the movement have been told over and over to dismiss the real news as fake news even before Trump.”

No Return to Normal 1

By Troy Southgate

Tens of millions are labouring under the false impression that the current state of emergency is about to come to an end and that things will soon return to ‘normal’. If these people had paid more attention to history, rather than eagerly consuming anything which happens to be thrown in their general direction, a sizeable proportion will have realised that capitalism simply doesn’t work like that. What if I told you that the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Great Depression of the 1930s, the two devastating world wars on either side and the raping and pillaging of resources that has continued ever since, means that we have been in a state of emergency for a considerable period of time? You would think that the inherent selfishness displayed by those Europeans and Americans who were born during the last seventy-five years of ‘peacetime’ would awaken them to the stark realities of their own predicament.

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Who Is the State, Ruling Class, and Power Elite? 1

It seems that most people even on the far left and far right have a limited perception and definition of what concepts like the “state,” “ruling class,” or “power elite” actually mean. It would also seem that we need a much more modernized and expansive definition of these concepts if we are going to be intellectually and strategically prepared to fight our common enemies in the future (assuming that is what we want to do, which many apparently do not).

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Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 7: What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Washington and Beijing? Reply

Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3,  Part 4,  Part 5, and Part 6.

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

As the smoke slowly settles on the bucolic hills of my farmland community and many others, the Coronavirus nightmare may be far from over but the worst of it appears to be in the rearview mirror of the pickup. The worst also appears to be far less horrific than the self-appointed television experts had predicted, at least in the parts of the country already skeptical of such institutions, further dredging the chasm of trust between us simpleton country folk and the metropolitan slumlords who always seem to know better. Maybe if we had taken a page from Sweden and displayed a little more trust in our citizenry… Nah, never mind such strategically fruitless distractions. Never mind the swelling police state behind the curtain. The important thing now is who do we blame? What monster of the week do we scapegoat to keep people from asking the annoying questions about transparent democracy and honest journalism?

After a good zeitgeist rattling catastrophe, America, like all propaganda-weaned state-subsistent sheople, loves a good boogeyman to blame for a complicated mess. The right in this country, now represented by not one, but two rapists headlining both major parties thanks in part to Coronavirus, has stuck to the tried and true strategy of blaming the filthy foreigner. Clearly, bark Jurassic candidates Trump and Biden on opposing commercials, this plague was brought to us by that fearsome red dragon clothed in the sun called China. Aha! Communism, an oldie but a goodie. And these syphilitic oligarchs aren’t without a grain of truth, however blunt they may have rendered it with their nursing home grade racism. This thing did creep out of a city with a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory. The kind built curiously with US funding to keep up with Uncle Sam’s post-anthrax lust for black death. But ‘the brown guy did it!’ still feels more than a little played out in this day and age, like some white suburban bluebeard in Salt Lake City wailing that the Dominican drifter is responsible for the blood on his Brigham Young sweater.

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Michael Moore Presents: Planet of the Humans | Full Documentary | Directed by Jeff Gibbs Reply

Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It’s too little, too late.

Michael Moore, filmmakers respond to criticism of new bombshell environmental film Reply

Michael Moore has always generally struck me as a largely talentless, sanctimonious fuckhead. But it’s interesting to see him calling out Big Green for the scam that it is.

Academy award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore and associates discuss their new documentary, ‘Planet of the Humans,’ a documentary that says we are selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.

The world is on lockdown. So where are all the carbon emissions coming from? Reply

By Shannon Osaka

Grist

Pedestrians have taken over city streets, people have almost entirely stopped flying, skies are blue (even in Los Angeles!) for the first time in decades, and global CO2 emissions are on-track to drop by … about 5.5 percent.

Wait, what? Even with the global economy at a near-standstill, the best analysis suggests that the world is still on track to release 95 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted in a typical year, continuing to heat up the planet and driving climate change even as we’re stuck at home.

A 5.5-percent drop in carbon dioxide emissions would still be the largest yearly change on record, beating out the financial crisis of 2008 and World War II. But it’s worth wondering: Where do all of those emissions come from? And if stopping most travel and transport isn’t enough to slow down climate change, what will be?

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As people stay home, Earth turns wilder and cleaner. These before-and-after images show the change Reply

Mother Nature is cleaning house?

By Seth Borenstein

Associated Press

Virus Outbreak Earth Experiment

An unplanned grand experiment is changing Earth.

As people across the globe stay home to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, the air has cleaned up, albeit temporarily. Smog stopped choking New Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world, and India’s getting views of sights not visible in decades. Nitrogen dioxide pollution in the northeastern United States is down 30%. Rome air pollution levels from mid-March to mid-April were down 49% from a year ago. Stars seems more visible at night.

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‘It’s positively alpine!’: Disbelief in big cities as air pollution falls Reply

The ghost of Pentti Linkola and the imprisoned Ted Kaczynski are now happy as nature corrects itself.

by in Delhi, in Bangkok, in São Paulo, in Bogotá and in Beijing

The Guardian

The screenshots began to circulate on Delhi WhatsApp groups last week, captioned with varying expressions of disbelief. Having checked the air quality index, something of a sadistic morning ritual among residents of India’s capital, most could not believe their eyes.

Gone was the familiar menacing red banner, indicating how each intake of breath is really just a toxic blast on the lungs, replaced instead by a healthy, cheerful green. Could it really be that Delhi’s pollution levels now fell into the category of … “good”? “It’s positively alpine!” exclaimed one message.

A nationwide lockdown imposed across India on 24 March to stop the spread of the coronavirus – the largest lockdown of its kind attempted anywhere – has led to widespread chaos and suffering, especially among the country’s 300 million poor. Yet in Delhi, the world’s most polluted city, it has also resulted in some of the freshest air the capital has seen in decades.

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The Limits of Clean Energy Reply

Big Green is simply the left-wing of capital in the energy sector mounting a challenge to the traditional hegemony of Big Oil. The “Green New Deal” is merely about shifting the focus of state-capitalism/crony-capitalism from Big Oil to Big Green. It’s amazing how many “left-wingers” are falling for this.

By Jason Hickel

Foreign Policy

The conversation about climate change has been blazing ahead recently. Propelled by the school climate strikes and social movements like Extinction Rebellion, a number of governments have declared a climate emergency, and progressive political parties are making plans—at last—for a rapid transition to clean energy under the banner of the Green New Deal.

This is a welcome shift, and we need more of it. But a new problem is beginning to emerge that warrants our attention. Some proponents of the Green New Deal seem to believe that it will pave the way to a utopia of “green growth.” Once we trade dirty fossil fuels for clean energy, there’s no reason we can’t keep expanding the economy forever.

This narrative may seem reasonable enough at first glance, but there are good reasons to think twice about it. One of them has to do with clean energy itself.

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Survival of the Richest Reply

By Douglas Rushkoff

Medium

Last year, I got invited to a super-deluxe private resort to deliver a keynote speech to what I assumed would be a hundred or so investment bankers. It was by far the largest fee I had ever been offered for a talk — about half my annual professor’s salary — all to deliver some insight on the subject of “the future of technology.”

I’ve never liked talking about the future. The Q&A sessions always end up more like parlor games, where I’m asked to opine on the latest technology buzzwords as if they were ticker symbols for potential investments: blockchain, 3D printing, CRISPR. The audiences are rarely interested in learning about these technologies or their potential impacts beyond the binary choice of whether or not to invest in them. But money talks, so I took the gig.

After I arrived, I was ushered into what I thought was the green room. But instead of being wired with a microphone or taken to a stage, I just sat there at a plain round table as my audience was brought to me: five super-wealthy guys — yes, all men — from the upper echelon of the hedge fund world. After a bit of small talk, I realized they had no interest in the information I

I had prepared about the future of technology. They had come with questions of their own.

They started out innocuously enough. Ethereum or bitcoin? Is quantum computing a real thing? Slowly but surely, however, they edged into their real topics of concern.

Which region will be less impacted by the coming climate crisis: New Zealand or Alaska? Is Google really building Ray Kurzweil a home for his brain, and will his consciousness live through the transition, or will it die and be reborn as a whole new one? Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?”

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Climate Cthulhu: A Post-Modern Horror Story Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

is October 2019, dearest motherfuckers, and we are living in a horror story. To say that these are apocalyptic times seems to be a gross understatement. The Biblical notion of Armageddon, what with the gnashing of teeth and pillars of salt, seems almost quaint in our age, like some new attraction at Disney World where the Dipping Dots are served up to the kiddos by friendly leather-clad catamites. The Thunderdome looks like a goddamn jungle gym when compared to the Lovecraftian horrors of climate change. Mankind itself is being stalked by a colossal beast of our own creation with tentacles reaching far and wide across the globe.

From the sinking islands of the South Pacific, which are being swallowed whole like pills by the sea, to the frontiers of Alaska, where the once long frozen tundras are being set ablaze in massive god-size funeral pyres. From the tropical jungles of Central Africa, being erased from the globe by a tidal wave of rapidly expanding Saharan dunes, to the urban jungles of South Asia, where the sun burns so hot that the pavement of the streets themselves melts like ice cream in an oven and the sadhus shrivel up like burnt jerky on the blistering sidewalks. This beast has killed millions. This beast has slaughtered whole civilizations, liquidated glaciers the size of continents and murdered entire seasons in cold blood. Spring and Fall have been burned from the fucking calendar and Winter is next. This beast is just getting started and soon the dog days will last forever, or at least until forever too falls victim to this environmental Cthulhu. Howard Philips shrieks as Mother Nature wails. Ladies and gentleman, we are fucked. The killer has us cornered in the attic and their will be no final girls in this slasher nightmare.

This beast of which I speak, call it climate change, call it global warming, call it whatever the hell you like, is the bastard creation of a Doctor Frankenstein which too goes by many names; globalism, capitalism, neoliberalism, consumerism, industrialism, imperialism. All just different genres of that fickle vice known as modernity, a fork in the road of human evolution where the brightest monkeys fooled themselves into believing that their self-serving technology made them superior to the rest of the living world. As usual, Marx was right and Marx was wrong. Marx was right to observe that capitalism, one of modernity’s more garish offspring, thrived on the nihilistic, almost vampiric thirst for constant expansion. He was wrong however to assume that capitalism’s insatiable hunger would inevitably lead to its own demise. There is another, far more unsavory, end game for the capitalist beast besides the karma of popular revolution, and that is a mass murder-suicide by expansion itself. Marx never imagined, even in his most fevered dreams, that humanity could be so ruthless as to destroy itself with toxic pleasure and use the old Kraut’s beloved industrialism to do it. It took mad men like Theodore Kaczynski to see that coming. Now Ted sits in his concrete tomb in Colorado, too sickened by his own vision to even snarl “I told you so!” to the once smug guards who’s homes are now on fire in the Rockies.

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