Land acquired over past decade could have produced food for a billion people

chris morton crisscross at
Fri Oct 5 10:13:33 BST 2012

This article is so reminiscent of Locke's justification for the 1st round of colonialism, paraphrased:

It is 'natural' for man to wish to improve himself, so 'unnatural' to sit on land not screwing out its maximum yield. It is therefore ethical to take over such land and countercharge for the cost and bother if this is resisted. 

By that argument societies like the hunter-gatherer groups of Papua New Guinea, Botswana or the Amazon forest are the worst of all. What just living in ecological balance with the land for millennia?- when they could be developing with 'good years' population increases, then fighting the neighbours for theirs when the first bad year comes.

Returning to the article by James Hansen Paul recently linked us to, do we really expect a senior government officer to tax carbon and then give the proceeds direct to the citizens? On the Greek model of Tragedy, obviously not, because, although it would easily turn the story round to a good ending, it would be an act profoundly out of character.

Instead, just maybe, we can go to the Judaic tradition that a lead character can be prompted to do an about turn, as was St Paul and alter the course of history. (Doesn't matter whether through divine intervention or extreme psychological stress) Given that our prime ministers (or presidents) are now chosen for their command of the stage to perform a script written in dark back offices, maybe David C could suddenly see the light…..revive the Independent Labour Party….and to get up to speed on ecology quickly for the 1st term by teaming up in equal coalition with the Green Party? Dissolve the Cabinet  and cabinet Office and substitute Clerks of the Parliamentary select committees in rotation in the chair. Use the Lords' 'chamber' as a permanent moot. For a start.

I don't think your either/or preface is valid, Paul. The green party already has radical and key ingredients for (apart from ecologicy) change (aswell as ecology)  like participative decision making and de-linking income from (often intrinsically useless)  employment and more constructive socialism than NL. As bio-fuels use as much energy as they yield (±), I don't see they would be supported any more than international banking mafias. We can't seriously reduce energy use while 'creating' employment using ever more joules/head.
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