You are herecontent / Reasons Not to Try to Stop War and How We Actually Can Stop War
Reasons Not to Try to Stop War and How We Actually Can Stop War
By David R. Weyeneth, Sr.
I. Many Reasons or Excuses
II. Realistic Anti-War Scenario
III. Stop War on Drugs, Too
IV. Balanced Diet Is Like Balanced Peace Work
V. Peace Workers Need a Support Group
VI. Make the Oppression Obsolete
VII. Democracy Education
VIII. Changing Minds by Violence or by Nonviolence
IX. Intentional Community may be Necessary
X. Resisting Token Economy Psychology
XI. Fiat Currency
XII. Bubbles Break
XIII. Fossil Fuel Madness and Gold Fever
XIV. Planet for Sale
XV. World Enough and Time: To His Coy Mistress, Andrew Marvel
XVI. Jet Contrails Are a Big Problem, as Is Atmospheric Carbon
XVII. Jet Contrails Are Not Necessary
XVIII. What Goes Around Comes Around: Sunlight
XIX. Wasn’t Asbestos Banned?
XX. Non-Intrusive Mining
XXI. Forest Custodians
XXII. Paying for Detective Work and Inspectors
XXIII. Sea-steaders Demonstrate Space Colony Structure
XXIV. Anti-bullying Efforts Train Kids to Respect Each Other
XXV. Rationality and Religion Can Each Promote Nonviolent Civil Society
XXVI. Meet Human Needs and Don’t Make People Desperate
XXVII. We Can Do This
XXVIII. The Alternatives Are Not Good
XXIX. Note on Citations
How We Actually Can Stop War
Many Reasons or Excuses
There are many reasons or excuses people have for not actively trying to stop wars. Meanwhile,
there are other people working hard to stop wars and related violence.
People get a picture of the way things are ‘spozed to be. Perhaps the biggest reason for people
supporting wars is that they don’t know any better.
Realistic Anti-War Scenario
We could live on Planet Earth in a sustainable way without wars. If you can look at the ideas I
offer and say, “Hey! That could really work,” then you will be ready to stop wars and make this
a better place to live.
Stop War on Drugs, Too
The war on drugs is no good, either. European countries and the USA have been using drug
addiction to control people for a long time. Afghanistan’s government had rid the country of
opium only to have the USA re-establish the opium farms in 2001. USA rich addicts pay for the
illegal marijuana and cocaine which corrupts USA police enforcement. Money goes to drug
gangs who kill thousands of people in Mexico. There are nonviolent ways to deal with drug
addiction. The 1933-2012 USA drug policy is even worse than the Prohibition of 1920 to 1933.
Balanced Diet is Like Balanced Peace Work
First, let’s get some perspective by thinking about food.
Nutrition is poorly understood by most people. Our mothers and grandmothers seem to have had
good ideas about food. What they grew in their gardens and farms and how they cooked in their
kitchens made sense. There have been some mistakes, such as the Mississippi American Indian
cultures which ate corn so much that people died at a young age. Some Native American cooks
leached wood ashes to make lime in which to boil the corn kernels. That improved the flavor,
and made the niacin of corn edible. Niacin prevented rickets. The corn and tortillas tasted better
and was more healthy. Nutrition is not simple. We need many different foods at the same meal.
People say we need a balanced diet, with protein, vegetables, and the right amount of healthy
microbes, minerals and vitamins.
Stopping war will be like getting good nutrition. We will need a balanced, comprehensive and
simultaneous effort. Piecemeal focus on dolphins or global warming or slavery or atomic
radiation or holes in the ozone layer or mercury in vaccine serum or voter fraud or banker fraud
or disposal of nerve gas canisters in deep trenches in the ocean lets the other problems keep
Take a minute and intertwine the ten fingers of your two hands in front of you. Each issue of
2. police brutality,
3. poor medical care,
4. global warming from fossil fuel,
5. global dimming from atmospheric particulates,
6. uranium reactors and nuclear war,
7. wasteful mining,
8. unethical marketing of asbestos,
10. poor education
could be represented by one of your fingers. A single finger does not make a strong fist. All
issues must be worked on at the same time. And we didn’t even mention how stupid it is to sit
here on Earth amidst showers of huge meteors and not even make a shield against them.
We must unite all opponents to war and violence.
Peace Workers Need a Support Group
Peace workers see young people drift away from stopping war when they get married.
They get jobs in “the system.” That takes them away from working for change. A balanced and
comprehensive movement to stop war must allow for people marrying, having children and
earning a peaceful living, too.
Make the Oppression Obsolete
Make oppression obsolete. We can nonviolently meet social needs without using violence. This
could happen in schools by having courses kids like, instead of making the classes boring or
stressful. Stopping school bullying is very important.
Conscientious war objectors at mental hospitals during WWII made violent treatment of the
insane obsolete by their gentle therapies. Voluntary carpooling during the Montgomery,
Alabama bus boycott (1955-1956) made the oppression of racial discrimination obsolete.
A Yakima policeman in 2012 killed a man because the guy had his radio up too loud. The officer
came into the man’s one-room apartment and when he saw the guy walk toward him with a
butter knife in his hand, he shot him.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005) by Malcolm Gladwell bears on the
Amadou Bailo Diallo shooting in New York City (1999). Police officers are told to take cover
and give themselves a minute to think. Don’t stand out where you might get hurt, and then try to
talk before shooting.
A nonviolent domestic response crew might, for example, have turned off the electric power to
the tiny room and talked with the crazy man. R. Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change
things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the
existing model obsolete.”
Danilo Dolcci, a nonviolent activist in Sicily, used an article in the Italian Constitution
guaranteeing paid employment for people who needed jobs when public works projects required
workers. He led reverse strikes in which road repair crews went to work fixing dangerous
potholes and sent the bill for labor to Rome. Organized crime groups prevented construction of
dams because they feared losing their power to control supplies of water which they purposely
kept scarce. Dolcci nonviolently confronted the violent power of the Mafia.
The old sixties bumper sticker, “If you don’t like the cops, next time you’re in trouble, call a
hippie,” is actually a good idea. Nonviolent opponents of police abuse of power could run a
reverse strike of squads of nonviolent interveners in domestic disputes.
What would happen if people required their own personal American Automobile Association
(AAA) towing insurance policy to be used if their car was improperly parked? What would
happen if people had personal contracts with a security agency such as Brinks or ADT or
Pinkerton, and police officers arresting them were required to call that person’s private security
agency to lock them up? Would that make some of the police brutality obsolete?
Could nonviolent actionists make war oppression obsolete? Quaker teams of Witness for Peace
go to towns to provide observers. They become witnesses to shame corporations and armies
away from attacking peaceful villages. Cauca Province, Columbia, was the scene of Indigenous
residents armed only with sticks and stones driving out FARC rebels and government troops to
make their neighborhoods free from both sides of the war. Some of the FARC rebels were
spanked or flogged. The village residents did not kill, but they were serious about stopping the
war fighting in their town.
What if corridors of safety were set up in each country? Allowing people to escape war is a good
idea. The loss of sovereignty could be small. Good governments should not want to keep people
from moving away from violence.
Right now, charity ships full of food for starving people are required by the International
Monetary Fund and other banks to be sold in order to pay interest on bank loans to corrupt
governments. Community kitchens and pantries should be set up where donated food can be
given directly to starving people, and not sold to pay interest to rich bankers.
The Sullivan principles (1977 and 1999) of Rev. Leon Sullivan helped make the oppression of
war obsolete. Stopping apartheid in South Africa needed good information about which
companies were fair and which ones were discriminating.
Who sends attack helicopters, tanks, armored personnel carriers and other weapons to Syria? If
Russia sends anti-civilian weaponry, is there any economic pressure which could penalize them
for that? The international community of nations, corporations, Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGOs) and individuals have cooperated with the ethnic genocides, rooftop sniper
nests and shoveling of whole neighborhoods into pre-dug graves during 2011 and 2012. Not
actively oppose Syria’s Bashar al-Assad means they now share in his guilt.
In 1958 USA President Eisenhower imposed an arms embargo stopping armored cars and other
military shipments to Batista’s Cuban government. He would not allow the use of USA
armaments against the civilian people. Even tho Eisenhower’s ethics were far from what I
approve, this embargo on anti-civilian munitions was a good example of a way to stop violence.
“He started it,” is a poor excuse for Bashar al-Assad’s army shooting unarmed civilians in Syria.
Can journalists effectively counter the lies of politicians? If Assad directed his army to spark a
civil war to cover his own repression, we must call it the trick that it was.
Civilian volunteers using toy helicopters carrying cell phone video cameras with footage “going
viral” on the Internet got the news to Al Jazeera. They made the oppression of government
censorship pointless, if not obsolete.
Nonviolent civilians cannot put up with the false charges against information freedom fighters
such as Julian Assange (Wikileaks) and Bradley Manning. USA Army Private First Class
Bradley Manning, arrested in 2010 in Iraq and charged with treason for his whistle blowing
activity is not alone. The USA government now has laws in place to charge just about any
government whistle blower with treason.
The first way to make war obsolete is to give up using fossil fuels, plastic bag pollution, harmful
mining, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) of nuclear war threat, and all use of nuclear
reactors. We must turn to healthy alternatives. International bank schemes, World Bank,
International Monetary Fund, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and
the like must be eliminated. We must stop the veiled violence and economic coercion which
enslaves poor people and their nations.
Police, detective work, criminal prosecution and international courts must be used to penalize
people who wage small-group or national war. War against war only makes more war.
Photovoltaic and other sustainable generation of electricity can make fossil fuels and nuclear
reactors obsolete. Connecting up the global electric grid will help share power from the sunlit
side of Earth to the night side. This will be difficult. That is no excuse for not doing it. As a
carpenter, I worked on crews where we joked, “If it was easy, they’d have somebody else do it.”
Democratic government is not practiced well in the USA. We boast of our democracy, but
politicians and corporations and other groups do a poor job of it. Labor unions often practice
authoritarian and undemocratic rule. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People (NAACP ) has an anti-democratic leadership. These organizations are far more
democratic than those which are found in most other countries of the world.
Making authoritarian and anti-democratic leadership obsolete can happen only by more members
taking personal responsibility for learning democracy. Robert’s Rules of Order and other
leadership techniques should be learned and practiced. We must actively teach democratic
Homer Lane (1875-1925), founder of Detroit’s Ford Republic and England’s Little
Commonwealth, practiced teaching democratic government and rule of law by providing for
actual student government in his schools. Students as well as teaching staff served terms as
judges on the school court. Twentieth Century USA schools in which school staff assume in loco
parentis status, censure student newspapers, arrogate to themselves the right to search student
lockers without cause and restrict student “government” to pro forma committees to decorate the
gymnasium for a dance are certainly not teaching democratic government skills.
Do ordinary people have the ability to make up a government? Benjamin Franklin thought the
Iroquois Confederacy had good ideas which the European immigrants should copy. Should the
movement for nonviolent defiance of dictators trust those dictators to be honest and fair? Can we
negotiate “in good faith” with despots? Would you trust an armed kidnapper who promises that
you will not be hurt?
Christians are admonished to “be as wise as serpents” while they are being “gentle as doves.”
Just as craftsmen strive to “work smart, not hard,” nonviolent defiance organizers must be smart.
They have to work hard, too.
Making oppressive government obsolete means people taking the reins of leadership in churches,
schools, labor unions and workplaces and practicing free speech, open discussion, voting and
judicial inquiry. Use it or lose it.
Changing Minds by Violence or by Nonviolence
Carl von Clausewitz (1780- 1831) said, “The object of war is to change the mind of the
opponent.” If a criminal points a gun at you and commands you to kill another person, his goal is
to change your mind and your actions. You still have the choice to resist even if he says he will
Criminals who order murders often kill those people too, after they kill the other victim. Joseph
Stalin (USSR) was said to hire truck drivers to crash into his intended victims and then to have
the truck driver murdered to cover up the first crime.
Resistance fighters in the Syrian civil war (2012) observed Bashar al-Assad’s troops to have
been bound and executed by Syrian government forces before they escaped from a fort attacked
by the rebels. Were Syrian Army troops killing their own wounded or killing dissidents, or what?
Indigenous resisters to corporate and government violence in Central and South America have
announced that they are aware that they might individually die, but that their resolve is to protect
their way of life nevertheless.
Saul Bellow, in Henderson the Rain King (1959), wrote of the ring of violence, in which a big
circle of people, each shooting the next in the circle under threat of death, could be salvaged by a
single person absorbing the violence and refusing to pass it along.
It amuses a type of sadistic personality to cause opponents to kill one another. Some psychopaths
order family members to humiliate one another with sexual perversion. A technique of the
Christian-Muslim wars over control of Constantinople/Istanbul was to tie the hands of one
opponent to the feet of another. When the bound pair was thrown into the Mediterranean Sea, it
amused those psychopaths to see one opponent drown the other in an attempt to get a breath of
A principle of military organization practiced by USA armies as well as recently demonstrated
by the army of Bashar al-Assad in Syria is to have a row of conscripts advance on an objective,
such as a crowd of unarmed protestors with orders to shoot the opponents. Behind the front row
is another row of soldiers commanded to shoot the front rank if they fail to “do their duty.” In
Syria, we have reports of large formations of such conscripts entirely executed.
It is the responsibility of leaders and organizers of nonviolent resistance to prepare carefully for
opposition to violent opponents. All human life is precious. Delegating some nonviolent resistors
to negotiate for stopping the flow of munitions to their violent oppressor at the international level
is needed. Leaders have a fiduciary duty to be effective. “Fiduciary” is a word meaning that you
have someone else’s life in your hands. You cannot break faith with those who depend upon you.
Do your job, and do it well.
Dr. Gene Sharp (born 1928), professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts
Dartmouth, with research appointments at Harvard (ret.) and founder of the Albert Einstein
Institution, has written a guidebook for nonviolent direct actionists. From Dictatorship to
Democracy (1993, 2010) has been translated into 31 languages and is credited with powerful
influence in the “velvet revolutions”, Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements.
Nonviolent defiance of dictators may not be rocket science, but it is complex and requires the
best thinking and strategy people can come up with.
The number of freedom fighters killed by a violent opponent is not the only way to judge the
success or failure of a nonviolent anti-war campaign. A nonviolent struggle, teaching democratic
governance and evidence-based judicial procedure, may result in a much earlier achievement of
civil society than could be achieved by all-out violence.
USA Committees of Correspondence were tools fostering self-government skills among North
American colonies seeking justice in relation to the colonial masters of Great Britain. Gene
Sharp advises nonviolent defiance revolutionaries to prepare detailed and documented plans for
transition from dictatorship to democratic and civil rule. In Syria of 2012 there are many issues
of peaceful transition that are vitally important for democratic revolutionaries. Just a single
example is safe management of the chemical and other weapons of the old Syrian army.
Revenge and retaliation is taught. Popular movies artificially arrange scenes in which the
audience is meant to cheer for the woman who turns the tables on a violent thug and kills her
attacker. Death and the Maiden (1994) is a fictional film story similar to Chilean or Argentine
repressive violence. The heroine, played by Sigourney Weaver, helps capture her suspected
attacker. They catch a doctor and she is pretty sure he is the one who raped and tortured her
while she was blindfolded in prison. Her desire for revenge is complicated. She hates the man
who really raped her, but is troubled by doubts as to whether the captured doctor is that same
man. He tells them he had been working at a hospital in Spain at the time of her imprisonment.
On the other hand, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, such as that in which Bishop Tutu
worked in South Africa, are thought by some to be necessary. They are a process of admitting
guilt, asking for forgiveness and cultural resolve not to tolerate such revealed violence.
Some people think criminals guilty of child abuse or spouse abuse will not stop unless they are
convicted and sentenced for their crimes.
Guerilla war has a destructive consequence which outlasts the civil war in which it is begun.
Traditional soldiers may be demobilized and debriefed and ceremoniously discharged from the
duty and permission to commit murder. Guerilla soldiers may never have the benefit of
structured rules of engagement and formal decommissioning back into civil society. One result
has been the continuance of illegal violence by guerilla fighters in personal vengeance and bank
Nonviolent defiance fighters keep to civil order and respect for human life right through the
conflict and then they help in the reconstruction of civil society.
Intentional Community May be Necessary
Face-to-face intentional living groups will provide support for nonviolent leaders. Health
insurance and retirement income separate from the government will make them independent of
political influence and vengeance. Unemployment, poverty, eviction from housing for lack of
rent payment and inability to buy food at a grocery store have led people to give up defiance and
take jobs that help bad governments.
Community gardens could provide steady employment and food. Habitat for Humanity is but one
of many examples of how people might achieve a dwelling place without signing a thirty-year
mortgage making them feel like they were not free to protest a corrupt economy.
Henry David Thoreau wrote in his “Indian Book” [Walden (1854) ] about American Indian
communities in which a person held a house-raising party with a bunch of friends and in a couple
of weeks built a comfortable house with food storage in the warm earth below the frost line. He
wondered at the wisdom of European immigrants who signed up for life-long mortgages simply
to get the right to inhabit a house.
Unemployment is an invention of a repressive government. Economists working for corporations
counsel that an unemployment rate of at least 6% is needed just to keep people hungry enough to
find one of the jobs corporations need filled.
Imagine people living in a forest or on a plain. Yonder is food, growing in the ground or in the
shape of birds laying too many eggs or animals people might kill and eat. We just cannot
imagine a healthy person with clear thinking simply sitting down, starving and getting rained
upon in a state of unemployment. Self-sufficiency is one of the joys of camping in the
wilderness. We find out that we can make a shelter, start a fire and find something to eat. Hunter-
gatherer societies did not typically work forty to eighty hours out of a 168-hour week just to get
something to eat and a dry place to sleep. Ordinarily there was time for leisure, artwork and
instruction of the young by caring adults. Culture was celebrated in music, stories, dance and
Anti-war writing and organization is employment. Earning a living from such employment is a
problem. It is said that philosopher Albert Camus (1913 -1960) made his living as a printer in
part to avoid commercial influence on his philosophical positions. Perhaps peace workers also
require a source of income separate from that activism. Peace or environmental activists who
earn a living from lawsuits or “selling out” to corporations taint their reputations.
During the 21st Century it is still not necessary for people to work 2,000 hours or more per year
in order to be able to indulge in the joys of music, dance, athletic exertion, eating and sleeping in
warm clothing under a snug roof. Thoreau urged us all to reduce overhead, and pay attention to
developing the flower of our cultural contribution, rather than continuing to work to pile up
Resisting Token Economy Psychology
Some economic systems keep people from living voluntarily. People can be channeled into wage
slavery or chattel slavery by law and finance. People are given token reinforcers to keep them on
the tasks set by masters. B.F. Skinner was a scientist who improved our knowledge of how a tiny
M & M candy delivered within a half-second of an action desired by the candy boss would
insensibly lead to the subject of his experiment repeating that behavior.
Skinner was called a behavioral scientist. He worked out the psychology of a bridging signal,
such as a beep or click indicating that the reinforcing treat was earned and on the way. Tokens
and other bridging signals could get the subject to delay gratification for some time.
Wage slaves receive bridging signals when the foreman nods approvingly, when the time clock
punches their work card, when the noon whistle blows and when the paper paycheck is handed
over. Economists and business analysts figure out a variety of ways to trick people into
continuing to perform jobs they hate. Workers are trapped like pigeons in a Skinner Box or one-
armed-bandit (slot machine) casino customers. They act on ancient biological impulses they fail
Al Jazeera (English) television news has done in-depth reporting on appalling working
Yossarian, the protagonist of Catch-22, (1961) an anti-war novel by Joseph Heller, reflects on
the co-optation sort of employment: (Co-opting is getting people to sell out for money, and
abandon their values.)
“Just do a few little things for us, and…”
“What sort of things?”
Yossarian blinked. “Like you?”
“That's right, ... Like us. Join us. Be our pal. Say nice things about us here and back in the States.
... and [we’ll] send you home a hero, recalled by the Pentagon for morale and public-relations
Atomization is the process of separating out particles and droplets to make a fluid substance
easier to manage. People are a sort of fluid substance, and if they self-organize into clumps and
cooperatives they are harder for dictators and corporations to control. Therefore, corporations
and dictators seek to make people isolated from one another and dependent upon the corporate
economy and dictatorial rule for every necessity.
Voluntary self-organization is a necessary part of nonviolent defiance to dictatorship. When
people no longer rely on the heartless corporation or dictatorship for food, clothing, shelter and
human companionship, they are making that dictatorship obsolete.
A most amazing trick of economists, goldsmiths and behavioral scientists has been the invention
of fiat currency to take the place of money. Money is stuff of real value, like pure alcohol or
gold. It is worth a lot in itself, and people will trade their time and treasure for it. It is infinitely
divisible, and light in weight. Farmers convert heavy wagonloads of grain into grain alcohol in
order to save shipping costs and create a commodity that is resistant to rot and loss to insects and
rodents. Such alcohol is real money. Gold is real money. Cigarettes are famous as money in
Early goldsmiths learned that they could shave just a bit off each coin and fraudulently make up
extra money by stealing just a bit from each customer. This chiseling was countered by knurling
the edges of minted coins, with the mint mark testifying to the honest weight of the gold coin.
Then bankers warehousing people’s gold coins learned that nobody would be the wiser if they
made a few extra receipts for gold in the warehouse and spent this fraudulent bank note
Recognizing and legitimating this theft was the policy of partial reserves. Then, in a partnership
between gold warehousemen and armed governments, a new plan was hatched. The governments
called the paper notes from the gold warehouses legal tender and told people they must pay taxes
with those bank notes. Using the power of the armed government, they required that everyone in
the land must accept such notes in payment for any debt, public or private. Now the gold
warehouse need not have any gold whatsoever! The statement, or fiat, of the armed government
backed up the fraud of fiat currency with firepower and police power.
In ancient Mesopotamia the rulers came up with the base-12 mathematical system in part to
confuse average people who used the base-ten math because they had ten fingers. Knowledge is
power. Modern fiat currency governments and economists confuse people with language about
“money supply” being based on how much the big banks can loan to governments. The common-
sense name for fiat currency is counterfeit. Economic hit man teams ensnare corrupt
governments into more debt than they can repay and thus gain control of a whole nation.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn informed us of the Soviet gulag system of two bosses in his Gulag
Archipelago (1973). Prison trustees exerted ultimate pressure on inmates. Prisoners themselves,
they creatively devised sophisticated ways to torture and control inmates more effectively than
could be done by the first level of overall prison bosses.
Sexist societies which require males to dominate and control women “by any means necessary”
operate a related form of the “system of two bosses.” The government and courts tolerate
violence by the male delegated to control a specific woman, and a “hands off” policy endorses
the implied violence of “any means necessary.” The top bosses achieve what they call “plausible
deniability” for abuse and if anyone is penalized, it is only lower level functionaries who are
blamed. USA torture and violence within prisoner of war camps, if revealed to the public, results
in only lower level soldiers getting court martialed.
Bankers are the top bosses and national dictatorships with their thugs become the prison trustees
who perform the dirty work of collecting exorbitant taxes or high food prices. These trustees are
loaned huge amounts of money for personal gain and for munitions to repress civilian
populations. Of course the signature of the dictator does not obligate him or her to repay the
loan. That bill goes to the repressed population.
International banks and government coalitions enforce such loan repayment with their armies
and with spy assassination teams. In this manner Haiti was billed for the value of the human
beings who escaped slavery from the French. Over a billion dollars ($USA) was charged, plus
interest, for the human lives liberated in Haiti’s successful war of independence. The USA has
repeatedly sent its USA Marine Corps in to keep Haitian governments subservient to
international banks. Haiti won the war against chattel slavery and then was locked into financial
slavery and debt servitude.
The private corporation called the Federal Reserve System can loan the USA government money
(for a fee), print more paper Federal Reserve notes, and get folks to accept it as if it were money.
That is, unless some competing government gets the bright idea to do the same thing.
That is the current situation in the 21st Century when Russian rubles and Chinese yuan are now
being considered as the world reserve currency. Should that happen, the Federal Reserve System
in the USA may no longer be able to get people outside the reach of USA police power to accept
its hundred dollar bills as if they were money. They might lose the power to print unlimited
Uh-oh! Maybe we are headed for another world depression. In 1929 Wall Street bankers and
investment brokers were saddened because of their big personal losses. During the 21st Century,
bankers have been able to get government police power to require taxpayers to pay trillions of
dollars to those big banks, so bankers will feel less worried about their personal losses when they
squander the life savings of their customers.
The short story is that big banks have colluded with unethical governments to manipulate
people’s wage slave mentality, even causing genocide in Rwanda. Bank coercion to eliminate
food production there was meant to break the price of coffee and other non-food products. When
Rwandan coffee also dropped way down in price, people faced starvation and conflict over
ownership of a small garden plot. Economic hit men have gone to governments to get them to
enslave their populations to the system of pretend money.
Pretend money has bought billions of dollars of jet fighters, drones and other munitions,
War profiteers and economic hit men might well pay attention to analyses such as that of Jared
Diamond. He wrote in Collapse (2005) that societies just before disintegrating often seem to be
at the height of their power. Like a balloon just before it bursts. USA bankers in late 2012
offering the full faith and credit of the USA government to back up faltering European Union
economies may be placing the neck of their host country into a noose.
USA Cold Warriors crowing about how they bankrupted the USSR with an unrealistically
expensive arms race seem oblivious to the unrealistically expensive military expenditures of the
Fossil Fuel Madness and Gold Fever
One thing governments and corporations have been fighting over has been fossil fuel. Burning
coal, gas or petroleum gets a lot of energy for very little effort, compared to burning wood. Fossil
fuels are the result of millions of years of solar energy storage by plants. Hydrogen is separated
from the oxygen of water by sunlight and photosynthesis. Hydrogen is held in place by a carbon
atom anchor. This carbo-hydrate is storing solar energy. Burning coal found at the surface of the
ground has been known for as much as four thousand years. Not much coal was used earlier than
a thousand years ago, though. Deep mining of coal awaited such inventions as the steam engine
to pump out water that flooded the deep shafts. Petroleum was not economically important until
Italians figured out how to refine it into suitable naval fuel in 1890. Release of stored carbon has
melted the world’s glaciers.
Fossil fuel use is recent, disastrous and not necessary. It is a messy way of getting the use of
Since 1850, governments have used spy agencies to subvert and assassinate government officials
and parliaments who opposed the deals whereby dictatorships would grant privileged access to
oil supplies by wealthy corporations.
Some of those governmental bribery schemes give police and military backup to mining
corporations . In their greed, they wreck the habitat of fish, animals and people. They dig up
forests at the rate of a square mile of land sifted through machines and acid baths to get a few
ounces of gold. As much as one half metric ton of gold is destructively extracted per square mile
of Peruvian rainforest, (or 16,075 Troy ounces gold per half metric tonne) at $27 million in July
2012 prices. A half metric ton of mercury is dumped into the water supply per each square mile
of rainforest mined.
Miners get paid a small amount, usually something close to a subsistence wage. The square mile
where gold is taken out is badly damaged, and the downstream poisoning of the 17,637 ounces of
mercury is deadly. (No, I do not know just how much mercury is released into the environment.
Would you like to accept the word of the mining corporations?)
Governments issue permits for legal mining and mercury use, and turn a blind eye to illegal
activity. With no guarantees, a square mile of rainforest is often destroyed with far less profit to
the foreign corporations digging up the ground. One mine garnered 50 ounces of gold per square
mile of forest ruined. Digging gold out of the ground only to hide it back underground in a vault
such as that at Fort Knox is about the stupidest thing people do.
Planet for Sale
Pebble Mine proponents want to ruin a huge area of Alaska’s Bristol Bay habitat in order to
extract and acid-bathe the crushed rock into $300 billion dollars worth of copper and chemicals.
They then falsely claim that this huge lake of copper-poisoned acid-bath will be held behind a
mud dam engineered to resist a 7.5 magnitude Richter Scale earthquake in perpetuity, or forever.
Earth will be a fine place for people to live for the next 5 billion years. If all the gross production
(including the profit) of $300 billion worth of chemical extraction were to be spent completely
on this perpetual protection activity, it would amount to only $60 per year. The perpetual
protection scheme is pure pernicious propaganda.
However, if people can have patience, we can get that $300 billion worth of copper and
chemicals without gouging a huge hole into the Bristol Bay wilderness. We won’t have to poison
the region’s salmon runs and bear/eagle/human habitat.
For one simple example, all the dry material dug out of the swampy Bristol Bay ground richly
watered and charged with underground streams could be loaded onto barges and taken to a dry
desert impermeable bedrock somewhere and carefully turned into copper and chemicals without
endangering the water table.
Means of electronically separating the copper and chemical particles may yet be discovered
which do not require crude soaking in acid or cyanide reservoirs retained by mud dams. And
what is up with engineering a structure in Alaska to resist 7.5 magnitude earthquakes, anyway?
Twelve recent quakes in Alaska were far stronger than that.
An electric-powered mining tunnel machine could get copper out of the ground without making a
big pit. It might take a thousand years to get to that technology. So what? We are not in a big
hurry and can afford to take our time with our beautiful blue planet.
World Enough and Time
To His Coy Mistress Andrew Marvell (1621–1678)
Had we but world enough, and time, [We DO have world enough, and time.]
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near; [Earth has 5,000,000,000 years yet to enjoy!]
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey, [No duh! Vultures eating our Earth we don’t need.]
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Humans, like ALL other living organisms, are highly motivated to mate, to get things and to lie
if necessary to accomplish these objectives. It is not necessary to get on our moral high horse
about this behavior. Tares grow in amongst wheat on the same basis as humans seducing one
another and lying and stealing. Accidentally, tares happen to look like wheat in many phases of
their growth. That is a sort of visual deception, except that there is no need to imagine that tares
thought about lying. When humans collect and plant wheat seeds and cultivate and nurture
wheat, tares accidentally come along for the ride.
Any species which somehow failed to reproduce, use resources or hide when necessary simply
would not have as many descendents as others and would fade from the scene. Organisms have
DNA which leads to proteins like hormones which lead to behavior. Our big human brains
would have done us no favor if our ancestors had neglected to parent children, procure food
and prevaricate about where they were hiding from enemies. Our big brains do give us the
ability to think and plan a lot better than other plants and animals, tho.
Without embarrassment, we may confidently state that an accurate way to determine if a mining
company representative is lying is to see if the rep’s mouth is moving. That said, it is up to
planners of good public policy to seek other evidence than the self-interested reports of the
person or corporation seeking to make a profit.
Andrew Marvel’s wonderful poem should be enjoyed as it has been by three and a half centuries
of college girls and boys. Using it as an excuse to jump into bed with your poetry-quoting suitor
would not be wise.
Andrew Marvel, in his heat of passion, probably was willing to overlook the risk of pregnancy or
sexually transmitted disease (STD) when he longingly batted his eyes at the girl of his affection.
“Hurry up and let’s get to the good stuff!” was his theme. “Time’s a-wastin’.”
Gold miners and copper miners are like that. Nuclear reactor builders are like that when people
worry about safe storage of hazardous radioactive junk for ten thousand years or more. When
there are billions of dollars of money to be made and the future is so very far away, it is
understandable how people are attracted to getting that money right away. After all, the decision-
makers long for a new automobile right now, and the payments for perpetual maintenance will be
problems for other people who are not even born yet.
In the libertarian economics so favored by far-right (fascist) think tanks like the Cato Institute,
that is called “externalizing the costs.” The businessman/thief miner gets the copper and
everybody else gets the shaft.
Smart college students tell their seducers, “Hey, I was born at night, but not LAST night!” There
is more to be considered than a suitor’s urgent concupiscence ( randy horniness).
Public policy must be rationally planned with an eye to a long, healthy future.
Another word about time. It takes a long time to read a book about stopping war. Some people
say they have never read a book in their lives. Fashion-conscious people take a great deal of time
with makeup and clothing selection. Shopping takes up a lot of time and money for some folks.
Gold medal-winning Olympic athletes are known to spend every available minute preparing for
Fortunately, it is not necessary for every single person in a culture to be devoted to a given social
change project. Often, just one per cent or less of the population constitutes the needed activists.
It is part of the job of social change agents to work with reality as they find it, and waste very
little time wishing other people would change. Creating a very good, workable plan will make it
easier for others to cooperate when the time comes.
Jet Contrails Are a Big Problem, as is Atmospheric Carbon
Jet contrails contribute to atmospheric particulate pollution causing sunlight to bounce away
from Earth into space. Those errant rays of sunlight never reach the ocean where they once used
to evaporate water into rainclouds. Therefore, all the dust in the atmosphere is making the Earth
dry into a parched drought. This is called global dimming. Sadly, if the atmosphere were cleared
of contrails as it was in the few days of USA no-flight panic after the 11 September 2001 airliner
bombings on the USA east coast, more sunlight would get thru and the temperature of our planet
would go up even faster than the global warming trend we worry about so much. One thing is
connected to another.
Understandably, corporations and politicians profiting from the carbon economy lie and
minimize the dangers of global warming. Natural gas “frack” miners want to claim that they are
not polluting the underground water. If possible, polluters prefer that no one even mention
However, just as wheat farmers must separate the wheat from the tares, citizens acting to
establish appropriate public policy must nod and smile about the culpability and mendacity
(guilt and lying) of those greedy gobblers, while nevertheless going ahead to restrict carbon
emissions and atmospheric particulate pollution. Responsible parents know kids might want
more Halloween candy than is good for them.
Good parents and public planners
Must guide greedy people
To social good manners.
So the theme of comprehensively and simultaneously addressing all of our problems is played
out in the global warming/global dimming problem and in these other issues.
Jet Contrails Are Not Necessary
People think that rapid transit around the 26,000 mile circumference of our globe necessarily
requires petroleum-fueled high altitude jet aircraft flying at 700 miles per hour. Not so.
If absolutely straight tunnels are made between any two places on Earth, the total transit time
through an air-evacuated tube will be only 42 minutes. Such a friction-free train “falls” toward
the center for 21 minutes and “coasts” uphill for the second half of the pendulum swinging trip.
Maximum speed, theoretically through the center of the molten Earth , 7,926.34 miles divided by
.7 hours equals 11,323 miles per hour. We will not build tunnels that deep, but a 42 minute trip
between San Francisco and New York City, 900 miles deep and 870 degrees Celsius, (a bit over
half the melting temperature of iron) would be about 4,000 miles per hour. Entering that truly
deep subway in Manhattan would bring the commuter to Telegraph Hill in less than an hour.
A surface-level air-evacuated tunnel in which a train rode on a magnetic levitation field could
travel at 7,000 miles per hour. JFK to SFO (airport code for New York and San Francisco
airports) in 25 minutes. Round the world in four hours. Connect any two places in two hours.
Initial tunnel expense would be large, but operating costs would be low for approximately 5
billion years. Economy of scale means a long amortization of the debt.
Other than 7,000 mph rapid transit we may develop GPS-guided small aircraft powered by
efficient batteries, ethanol, bio-fuel or hydrogen fuel cells. This would provide for dispersed
airfields and rapid access to previously remote cities in planes flying at 100 mph to 250 mph.
Hydrogen blimps may yet prove far safer than thought by anti-hydrogen propagandists harking
back to the Hindenburg disaster, which was probably caused by flammable airship skins and
improper management of electric charges on the surface of the craft. Perhaps hydrogen freight
could be remotely drone piloted, and rare hydrogen fires might then pose less risk of human
fatalities. Blimp pilots might ride in helium-lifted cockpits floating a safe quarter-mile from the
hydrogen cargo ship. Blimps might get photovoltaic power from special paint on the skin of the
craft. Free electric power for propellers. Then heavy loads could move without roads at very
Billions of dollars have been spent since 1945 on proliferating “Peaceful Atom” reactors in a
reckless bid to make nuclear reactors and nuclear war seem desirable. If that money had been
spent on alternate technologies, our world would be safer and richer. Richer in more ways than
What Goes Around, Comes Around: Sunlight and Electricity
We could interconnect the electric grids all over the globe and share solar photovoltaic power
from the night side to the light side. There is an area in the southwest desert area of the USA
which could provide 80% of the electricity used on Earth in 2012.
In 2030, the world is projected to need about 33,264 terrawat hours (TWh) of electricity. The
amount of sunlight that hits the Earth's surface in one hour is enough to power the electric
demand of the entire world for a year. One solar power plant, using Cool Earth's technology,
covering 150 miles by 150 miles, would generate enough energy to meet all the electrical needs
of the United States through 2030. (http://www.coolearthsolar.com/faq/ and the 2008 EIA
International Energy Outlook Report.)
Chile is placing photovoltaic electric generating arrays on the mountaintops where less
atmospheric dust interferes with solar radiation reception. Chile in the 21st Century inaugurated a
program to provide solar water heating for poor people at no charge to the recipients.
Connecting up the global grid might be done as cheaply as a trillion dollars, with high tension
power lines costing only $1 million to $4 million per mile.
We must ban all uranium mining and use.
Wasn’t Asbestos Banned?
Why should Canada continue to mine asbestos to make housing for poor people in India, when
we know this will cause asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer?
Nodules of rare metals lie on ocean bottoms where minimally intrusive collection could provide
people with material without damaging precious rain forests. Technology for getting minerals
from the mud of very deep water is yet to be fully developed and is likely to be expensive. But
Buckminster Fuller pointed out that the modern mine for tungsten is the supply of burnt-out light
bulbs. He envisioned valuable materials circulating through the world economy as blood
circulates through animal bodies.
Indigenous tribes could be paid to protect their lands and could be provided with GPS, cell
phones and computers to help them ward off intruding miners and loggers while coordinating re-
Paying for Detective Work and Inspectors
People willing to start wars and assassinate opponents must be confronted in order to implement
a fossil fuel-free society. Rapacious miners and loggers must be policed by high-quality
investigations and interdictions. Journalism and public information campaigns must be created to
nonviolently defend nonviolent technologies. A good mantra is, “You can’t expect unless you
How might these inspections and detections be paid for? One system is to require companies
doing potentially hazardous work to hire other companies to check up on them. Now who will
inspect the inspectors? That is a fine place for governments to enter the picture. If every ocean
shipping cargo box entering a country were required to pass inspection for weapons, radioactive
substances and so forth, it would be a good thing. When a government makes spot checks and
finds a problem with a box carrying the seal of approval of a given inspection company, that
company might be in danger of losing its license to conduct inspections. In that manner, meat
and vegetable inspections could also be paid for. Government fines for inspection company
errors would pay for the government inspectors.
Lack of taxpayer funding for police work should not allow rotten meat or insecticide-laden
vegetables to reach the family dining table. User fees would be better. Cargo boxes carrying
bombs and nerve gas should not be welcomed into port without scrutiny. People bribing
politicians to eliminate scrutiny and regulation should be ridiculed in the media. Politicians
should have their campaigns for public office paid for by public funds.
Sea-steaders Demonstrate Space Colony Structure
Sea-steaders are pioneering the social and economic structures of remote communities, providing
ideas on how asteroids might be colonized into interplanetary and interstellar habitats.
Anti-bullying Efforts Train Kids to Respect Each Other
Notions of living peacefully with diverse folks are getting a boost from people helping pre-
schoolers and kindergarteners learn how to get along without bullying. Adults are learning how
to interrupt bullying and avoiding telling kids to just sock back when they are socked. John
Hunter is running 4th grade simulation games on world peace.
Rationality and Religion Can Each Promote Nonviolent Civil Society
Personally, I have no god belief and think many problems come up when people pretend they
heard god telling them to kill their neighbors and so forth. But Rabbi Brad Hirschfield of the
National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL) is a stout and orthodox Jewish
believer in God. He thinks a modern, moderate and tolerant faith can be practiced by the many
Islamic sects, varieties of Jews, Christian denominations and Hindus, Feather Religion and the
hundreds of other faith systems. We need pretty-near unanimous agreement that nuclear war and
holocaust are unacceptable, even if people used to think that would bring on the Muslim Mahdi,
Christian or Jewish Messiah or Hindu ascendency through a Hundutva Avatar. Can we agree that
the battle of har Megiddo was fought between Egypt and the Hittites about 3,500 years ago and
quit planning for a nuclear war about Israel, please?
I know many people think their religion is also scientific and rational. Within the limits of civil
society and prohibiting murder and so forth, there is room for irrational faith and mystical
Civil society must insist that stoning or honor killing of women who drive into a shopping center
without a male chaperone must be prohibited. Infant male and female genital amputation
(circumcision) must be outlawed. Placement of a suicide vest on your children must be counted
as child abuse as well as attempted murder.
Meet Human Needs and Don’t Make People Desperate
Rational science, appropriate population limitation per square mile (allowing for extra
populations on planetoids of interstellar space), guaranteed food, clothing, shelter, medical care,
education and leisure for all the people on Earth, and provision for transformation of criminals
rather than punishment are all part of my vision for a sustainable Earth.
California Governor Ronald Reagan was known to fail to recognize his own son. When Michael
Reagan graduated (1964) from the Judson School, a boarding school outside of Scottsdale,
Arizona, Gov. Reagan greeted him in a reception line by introducing himself as, “Hello, I’m
Ronald Reagan, the governor of California and what is your name?” He behaved as if he didn’t
much care if he started a nuclear war. Other people know and love their children and sometimes
get extreme about protecting them and future generations. George W. Bush blustered about using
nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive strike. Rich nations seem to care little that large numbers of
people are desperate for lack of food or medicine. What can we say about a military policy that
embitters victims of shock and awe civilian bombing campaigns and home invasion raids?
I like the joke about the patient who came in to the doctor’s office saying, “When I do this, it
hurts,” only to hear the doctor say, “Don’t do that.”
Rich nations with powerful military forces should not do that.
We Can Do This
So there! Very quickly we can sketch out a vision of a sustainable future for Planet Earth. It
could be improved. Think tanks, if they shifted away from “Thinking the Unthinkable,” (a phrase
about how planning for a nuclear war is a good idea) could come up with better and better plans
for living cooperatively here on Earth, and living in amazingly divergent and sustainable ways
on planetoids cruising the Universe.
The Alternatives Are Not Good
The terrible alternative is that nations and corporations using the full power of human ingenuity
to kill masses of other humans could very well succeed at killing all intelligent life on Earth
before colonies could be sent out among the stars.
I judge the reasons for not stopping wars to be greedy, short sighted, narcissistic, irrational and
pathologically oblivious to the deadly hazards of keeping on as we have been doing.
Here are some of my summaries of reasons not to oppose war with all the energy at our disposal.
If the reasons seem puerile and easily attacked, then I hope you will attack them. Contact me if
you have difficulty getting with some organization in which to work toward the goals of peace,
justice and freedom from war.
Note on Citations
Puh-leeze! You have enough trouble reading even an 8,000 word article. I can’t spell it all out
for you. Google these topics. I did.
Reasons Not to Try to Stop War
1. You are a soldier in a war.
2. Your job is to make or sell munitions
3. You are a politician who thinks you will be elected or kept in office because of your war
4. Supporting war is viscerally easier than figuring out other complex and controversial
policies. You think “Supporting the Troops” means getting them shot at.
5. Wars and hatreds distract people from your other nefarious goals.
6. You like being seen as “against” war, but fear that really working to stop war would
interfere with your personal luxurious lifestyle. After all, stopping war will take many
years, and in the meantime you can enjoy your own luxurious lifestyle. Luxury is such
fun, and you imagine that the few years you will continue to live will not be a big
contribution to the pro-war or anti-war effort either way.
7. You fear that working to stop war would expose you even more to the violence of war
and vengeful political leaders.
8. You are personally against war, but it seems to be the better of bad alternatives.
9. You personally are against war, but a family member is a soldier, munitions maker/seller
or politician benefitting from war.
10. You are a fatalist who imagines that whatever currently exists has probably existed
forever and will continue as it is forever and it is hopeless for little you to help actually
change things, so it will be better for you to go along with what is happening, even if you
don’t like it; it is impossible to eliminate war, you think.
11. You imagine that war will not cause the end of life as we know it. Wars have been
prosecuted for a very long time, and probably a global thermonuclear war will not really
happen, and terrible new diseases will not be released. Besides, I can't think about that
right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.
12. You imagine that war brings out the best in people.
13. You enjoy killing lots of people. Or you do not mind killing lots of people.
14. You are unaware of the expense of war in current costs, future costs of pensions and
healthcare for soldiers, and lost opportunity costs in what people could have achieved
with their money and effort if not for the investment in war. You have no direct
knowledge of the human costs of victims being blown up and soldiers committing suicide
and murdering their own family members because they became psychologically screwed
up by killing opponents and civilians during battles and raids. You never heard about the
27 C-130 cargo jets packed with USA hundred dollar bills that “went missing” after
landing at the Haliburton warehouses in Iraq. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-
2003101/Missing-6-6billion-sent-George-W-Bush-aid-Iraq-stolen.html and other sites
which could be Googled.
15. You imagine that USA wars are fought by “us,” the “good guys,” and are unaware of the
USA government hiring, equipping and training mercenaries and foreign armies who will
later use their training and munitions against USA targets. You imagine MAn Portable
Air Defense Systems ('Manpads') and lightweight tactical nuclear weapons which have
been stolen in recent years will not be used to attack your town or airport.
16. You know very little about nonviolent alternatives to war.