Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Can we change the world without taking power?

Recently, in ROARMAG,  Professor John Holloway revisited his thesis about changing the world. He recognized the need for change, but he wanted to minimize the role of the state, and challenge the workings of capitalism.  I want to argue that any challenge to capitalism requires the direct role of the State.
Some people argue that anarchy would be most effective. I want to argue that anarchy may satisfy the demands of the one, but we need the support of the collective.

What is meant by "we"?    
All references to we  are usually directed at the peoples who live in Europe and the United States and/or are part of the systems of capitalism.

Who do I include amongst those who can change the world?
Should I include all or some of the 7.2 billion people that live on earth and live in families, tribes, sects, classes, working groups; hierarchies;communities; neighbourhoods; ;nations, states, exercising different languages, celebrating different histories, cultures, and religions.  What about the tribes of Amazonia in Brazil?: feeding off the trees and flora; with own languages; unaware of the people who live beyond the forests? or the Inuits of the Arctic who survive on the glaciers?  What about the the millions of refugees, and migrants desperately trying to find a better, safer place to live?
Would these communities want survival or change? Would it ever be possible for them to act in unison ? Of course, it would not be possible to know all these peoples, although I may come to know what their preferences are by means of modern media.

Population maps show us that the world population lives in river valleys, estuaries and coastal lands as well as grasslands and forests. The maps also reveal that most of the Earth is empty …..... Yes, it is empty because many lands are unfit for human habitation, the hot deserts: and cold deserts; the tropical rain forests of Africa, and South America; the glaciers of Arctic and the Antarctica; and the cold lands of Russia, and Canada.  It may be the case that there will be a natural limit on the number of people on earth.   But at the moment it is 7.2 billion,more than at any time in history.
Can 7.2 billion people change the natural world? When the winds blow at 100 miles an hour; or the rains fall at 50 inches an hour, or the temperature rises to 50c in the summer, it is clear that we cannot cope with the vagaries of nature. The extreme events destroy our homes and factories and communities.
However, over a long period of time, the actions of 7.2 billion people are causing changes in the atmosphere, and the biosphere. As a result of our development of industrial processes and products since 1800’s, we are increasing the levels of nitrogen, carbon, and methane in the atmosphere, altering oxygen levels, the balance of green house gases, and raising the global temperatures by +2c each year, We are now being urged by environment agencies to lower the temperatures by changing our behaviour and reducing pollution and emissions. For example,as we have taken to driving cars,and lorries and increasing carbon emissions, so we will have to stop driving petrol vehicles and reduce carbon levels, and adopt renewable energies such as solar power and wind power.

What is meant by "we"?   The UN and many charities estimate that
5 billion people try to thrive and ;survive on less than $10 a day; among whom are
3,25 billion  on $2 a day.
1 billion people are known to starve to death each year, of which many are children.

I live in a world in which the norm is to be poor, and starving. I live in a world in which it is expected that a minority forms a privileged elite. In this world the elites exploit the majority with no shame. They see nothing wrong with paying little for a lot of work; living amongst communities that have little to eat, depending upon food banks and nowhere to live.. We are poor and starving; abused and exploited. And ;we are the majority. The central element of global society is poverty!  That is, lack of money and resources.
Following more than 500 years of Euro-capitalism and colonialism, it is declared in 2014 by FORBES: Merrill Lynch; Morgan Stanley, the TIMES  and other rich lists that 1,654 people across the world are billionaires, in control of $6.4. trillion, amongst 12 million $millionaires who control $46 trillion…………..the so called 1%.

.We consider that money is power; and purchasing power allows 12.16 million people to influence and control the lives of the other 99% of the global population: what is consumed and produced, what jobs are available, how much money is shared: money is power. The World Bank tells us that in 2013, the world produced $85 trillion: most of which went to enrich the 1%.

Discussions about ;wealth always seem to assume that wealth is the norm, and poverty the exception. This is not true. 
It is true that 12 million rich people form a significant group, but it is less than 1% of the 7.2 billion. Poverty is the norm.
Any debate about who takes control has to accept the fact that most people in the world are trying to survive. Their poverty results in their starvation; malnourishment; without sanitation; no clean water; subject to disease; inadequate medical care.This evidence indicates that the key social change that must take place to reduce poverty and attain a fair, just, equal society, is the redistribution of $52 trillion private wealth, and the $85 trillion world GDP.
It is clear that the billionaires and millionaires are not going to take part in this social change. Government authorities, State agencies, are to be directed, entrusted to redistribute the wealth of the 1% to the 99%. Of course one could argue that the 99% direct their actions to the removal of the 1,654, and the 12 million, [all of whom are known] and confiscate their riches for the benefit of all.

This needs to be done peacefully in democratic parliaments organizing legislation to promote social change. It will only be done if the actors are committed, honest, just, and not corrupt.

Saturday, 4 October 2014


Islamic State in Syria and Levant looking for a Caliphate.
Kurds looking for home!
Turkey looking for Empire
Communities in Conflicts in ARABIA.
Recent events in Syria and Iraq, triggered by the actions of the ‘Islamic State ‘and their Caliphate, have revealed the complexity of the struggles.
Indeed the situations are so complex that the views of the USA and UK seem naive and simplistic.
Of course the USA, in particular, is acting in the belief that ‘might is right’: a privilege that it vigorously denies to other countries.
A corollary of this view is that the peoples of the countries that the USA invades or attacks : ‘hate’ the Americans!
The Kurds are taking advantage of the situation to further their claims for 'a homeland'. They lost their place during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after 1918. But in 2014, they are fighting the ISIL, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey and the USA to re-establish Kurdistan. But no one wants to support them. Their conflicts are leading them nowhere.
At the moment, the Christian American and European democrats are busy intervening in the affairs of Muslim Ottoman Arabian dictators and all the associated tribes and religious sects.
The current conflicts are economic [to protect sources of oil] ;  political [to support the Israelis, and other friendly regimes, and to control the growth of Iran; Syria; Egypt, and Turkey];  and religious [to stop the rise of extreme sects]: and a combination of all these. For example, the leaders of the ‘Islamic State’ have captured oil fields and refineries, and are selling the oil to their enemies to finance their wars against the infidels! At the same time the forces of the USA along with allies from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, are attacking these sources of oil and gas so as to get rid of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ and protect their own prosperity.
The emergence of the ISIL, Islamic State of Iraq, and Levant, has resulted in direct aggression against various groups who are declared the enemies of Islam. Recently, ISIL/ISIS/IS have been accused of being an enemy of Islam, and subject to attack by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, the USA, and the EU.
ISIL is perceived as challenging the viability of  the first Caliphate, and thereby the Prophet Muhammad, by declaring itself as the fifth Caliphate and the Caliph Ibrahim as the  leader of Islam, contrary to the rulings of  the many sects and tribes.
Having been identified as the enemy of the USA and the EU, ISIL has become identified as the enemy of  Sunnis and Shias in Arabia.
632 AD: the Prophet Muhammad  had founded the religion of Islam, and  left behind a community of 100,000 followers. These Muslims were organized as an Islamic State in Arabia, centred in Iraq and Syria. They were arguing about who should succeed Muhammad on his death. There were many claimants among the relatives and family, sisters, daughters, cousins, sons in law, and supporters.
The divisions of the Islamic religion were not resolved and   those who chose Abu Bakr, came to be known as ‘Sunni’; those who chose Muhammad’s son in law, ‘Ali’ were called ‘Shia’.
The history of Islam has been punctuated by the conflicts between the Sunnis and the Shia Muslims.
2014 AD: it has been calculated that there are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world: 85% Sunnis; 15% Shia.
In the ‘Middle East’, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, are Sunni: Whereas Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar are Shia/Shiites. It is clear that the conflicts between these countries is rooted in religion. The USA and the EU and Russia are perceived in the ‘ Middle East’ as the agents of Christianity determined to undermine Islam.
At the same time, ISIL is being seen as an enemy of Islam! On the other hand, it is clear that they regard themselves as the Saviours of  Sunni Islam, getting rid of all dissidents and heretics.
The situation is made more complicated by the struggles for power between the tribes and religious sects of Arabia. As well as the divisions between the Sunni and Shia, there are the Bedouins, Ottomans, Kurds, Jews; the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ba’ath Party, the Bahai: The tribal defence forces of Hezbollah, Hamas, Mahdis, Fatah.; The sects of Mahmud, Karim, Druze, Copts, Maronites; Alawites, Ibadis, Ismailis, the Shafis, the Sufi, the Wahabbis; Salafis, Yazidis, Zaidis.
The conflicts are not between countries/nations. It is between families, tribes and sects!
At any one time these groups can be involved in conflict which may result in the death of many thousands of citizens e.g. the attacks on the Yazidis, the aggression of the Alawites in Syria; the attacks by Hamas against the Israelis; the claims for land by the Kurds; the on going rebellions in Yemen.
Turkey has entered the ‘ring’ with the Parliament agreeing to organize their troops in opposition to Syria and the IS and in support of the USA.
The role of Turkey is perplexing in that it is the ‘rump’ of the Ottoman Empire that ruled Arabia/North Africa for many years. Currently it is a member of NATO, and therefore an ally of the USA, and will be a key player in the USA/Arab League coalition. At the same time, it is an enemy of the Kurds and opposes their claims for a homeland. However, it is the homebase for more than 1million refugees from Northern Syria, including  Syrians and Kurds.
At this time, the ruling families of Arabia are to be counted among the richest peoples in the world, controlling the supply of oil and gas to the world; as well as the financial markets. We have to reconcile excessive materialism with intensive spiritualism, as well as the divisions between Sunnis and Shiites.
It is worth noting that the present conflicts may be settled, and peace restored., and the USA withdraw, but the religious differences between the Sunni, Shia, and Jews will continue in many forms for many years.

In the light of the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Caliphate and the Caliph we need to consider the significance of their rulings on Sharia Law.
‘Sharia’ is a code of conduct for all aspects of Muslim life.
’The clear, well trodden path to the water’.
For example, it embodies the Five Pillars of Islam: declaration of faith; prayer; fasting;charity; and pilgrimage. It is expected that men and women dress with modesty and do not expose private parts. Women in particular should conceal their whole bodies. This is applied differently in different countries. For example, it may be acceptable for women to wear dresses that cover the body, but not the head.
The rulings about marriage are complex and controversial. Marriage should be between ‘virgins’, who are pure, not abused. nor violated. When this is not possible, it is essential that the man must not be a fornicator at the time of the marriage.. Of course, the demand for a virgin bride makes it possible for the man to marry a virgin child. Reports have shown that 3year old girls have been promised for marriage.
The practice of ‘child brides’ is illegal in the UK. It is a crime. In this case Sharia  is in direct opposition to civil law in Europe.

SHARIA LAW is Islam’s legal system expressing how to behave socially, in family affairs,finances, business.

Sharia Law is based on the Koran, as the word of God ; the sayings of Muhammad the Prophet; and the fatwas - the rulings of the leading scholars in their debates about the interpretation of the laws.
For example, Adultery is a crime. Sodomy is a crime.Theft is an offence. Apostasy, the leaving of the faith, is a serious offence. Usury is illegal.
It seems that there are  no standard punishments. They vary according to the nature of the offence, and the rulings of the law courts.
But the punishments are severe and include: caning, lashing with a cane; cutting a hand off; cutting a head off as in executions; stoning to death. It is the severity of these punishments that appal the citizens of Christian countries. Although it is worth reminding ourselves that execution by electric chair, or by lethal injection, is still common in the USA.  Comments about  Sharia Law and courts make it clear that while the offences are common, the punishments are rarely performed. It is unusual for offenders to be stoned to death, or have their head cut off. In Europe  Muslim lawyers will argue that it is important to observe the laws of the country you live in, rather than rigorously apply Sharia  Law or even incorporate it into the civil law.

However, the rulings by  the 5th Caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant have insisted on the strict application of Sharia Law and punishments. Recently, the Muslims of Indonesia have reaffirmed the strict adherence of the codes of Sharia.
In both cases, traitors to the faith will be punished by death : having their heads cut off. Women who dress without modesty are caned with a 100 lashes. Financiers who lend at interest will be punished.
The severity of the punishments in Sharia Law is  justified on the grounds that the offenders know what the punishments are if they are caught by witnesses. But  as they continue to offend. It is argued that their defiance of the laws invites strict punishment.
On the other hand the Caliph of ISIL insists that Muslims must endeavour to reaffirm the truths of Islam, and the rulings of the Koran. If they do not, they will be punished according to Sharia Law, risking humiliation, mutilation  and death.
It seems that the militants of ISIL are intent on a campaign of Holy War in which all sects of the Sunni and  Shias are to be treated as  heretics, as traitors to the faith, and executed  in war.
All Americans are to be regarded as the enemies of Islam and are to be executed in war and peace.
One has to conclude that the Caliph of the Islamic State is intent on a world war! and the 5th Caliphate  is the centre of Islam, in opposition to Saudi Arabia, to Egypt, to Indonesia, to Nigeria, to Pakistan, among others.


Saturday, 20 September 2014



Polly Higgins wishes to establish that Ecocide is one of the Crimes against the peace and security of mankind: crime of aggression; crime of genocide; crimes against humanity; war crimes.

Ecocide is a crime of aggression when it leads to the waging of aggressive acts against communities and territories. For example, recent reports have revealed that gangs of ‘drug barons’ have killed indigenous tribes, and destroyed  rain forests in Peru and Ecuador so as to plant many acres of cannabis.

Ecocide is a crime of genocide when agents of corporations; syndicates; governments; kill and maim members of indigenous tribes in the forests of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia. Genocide results from the planned destruction of environments that support the local communities. This ecocide  leads to the hunger and starvation of the communities.

Ecocide is a crime against humanity when tribes are murdered; animals are exterminated; local peoples are tortured and enslaved to enable syndicates of drug barons, and corporations, to destroy the rain forests  and to deport local communities.

Ecocide is a war crime when civilians are attacked so as to cause widespread damage to natural environments in the territory and to gravely prejudice the health and survival of  the population.

Ecocide is a crime against the peace and security of mankind.

Research into the behaviour of agents of criminal syndicates; soldiers, militants carrying out acts of war in order to exploit the resources of territories, it is clear that they will kill, torture, destroy. Attack, plunder, pillage, all those who are deemed to be ‘in the way’.
For example, at the moment all these crimes are being committed in the Middle East; in the Ukraine; in North Africa; and West Africa; in the forests of Amazonia; as well as all those territories where groups are intent on the illegal exploitation of forests; of minerals; of oil and gas reserves; of animals.

In the future, SOCIAL ECOLOGY must focus on the discovery of the perpetrators of these crimes, and to promote the peace and security of mankind and protect the exercise of human rights; to protect and preserve the global environments, and reduce the impacts of climate change.





Saturday, 6 September 2014



Any survey of the actions of mining corporations, logging companies, chemical companies, Oil, and gas groups,  in association with governments , and crime syndicates [growing and making drugs]  will reveal that they are actively involved in the pollution of the environment of the earth. They are ‘environmental criminals’ committing ‘ECOCIDE’………and denying all the evidence, and the accusations!  Oil Pollution can be seen across the world and the oil companies persistently deny their responsibility, and the consequences.

The crime of Ecocide has been identified  by the lawyer Polly Higgins. She has been particularly concerned to devise a law for the UN. She wishes to apply the Law of Ecocide to natural events as well as to humans; to corporations as well as individuals; to those in command and control as well as to those whose defence is that they were doing as they were ‘ordered’.

So what is ‘ecocide’?  It is when human agents are actively involved in the damage, loss, destruction of ecosystems of a given territory to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished. As the law stands at the moment ‘abstract agents’ such as corporations, or syndicates, or governments, cannot be held responsible for ECOCIDE. Only human agents can be accused, prosecuted, called to account, for their environmental crimes.

The International Lawyer, Polly Higgins, wants to identify all those in command and control of their corporations and to render them responsible for the consequences of their ecocide behaviour , and subject to investigation and prosecution.
She also wants to apply the Law of Ecocide to natural events during which vast areas of the environment are damaged following typhoons/ tornadoes, storms/earthquakes/forest fires/floods/tsunamis/droughts: all of which may have been triggered by human mismanagement of the environment and the initiation of climate change.

I am proposing that Social Ecology should pursue new directions which would lead it to direct action to prosecute/fine/imprison/control ‘environmental criminals, and clearly identify ‘environmental crimes’ and support the work of Polly Higgins. Voluntarism is no answer to crime syndicates and corporate crimes.


SEPTEMBER 4 2014: Judge Barbier announced in New Orleans that BPOIL  was guilty of gross negligence at DeepWater Horizon oil disaster and would face a  fine of $18billion.
Oil drilling can lead to environmental crimes  by environmental corporate criminals. The profits and the fines generated by these corporate criminals can be huge, immense, unbelievable, sufficient to rectify the damages or sufficient to compensate for losses.
Oil Companies have been pursuing ‘fracking’ since 1950’s. Normally, it is developed when oil and gas have stopped flowing efficiently and need to increase their liquidity. Water and chemicals are injected into the wells and oil and gas are drawn out under pressure. When the pressure is too great, the base rock will crack and quake; and the water/oil/gas will leak and pollute all ground water! in the basin. The ‘fracking’ companies will commit an environmental crime, polluting the shale base.

AUGUST 2014 Reports revealed that government agents in Brazil/Peru had discovered tribes of indigenous peoples that had lived in complete isolation in Amazonia from the migrant communities such as the commercial loggers, and shifted cultivators.
 Logging and farming can lead to the destruction of rainforests in South America; and Malaysia, and Australia. Also major projects like the construction of hydro-electric dams; mining for bauxite; and industrial operations like iron and steel making, and aluminium smelting;  lead to the direct loss of forests due to the clearing of land., building roads,  and long term water/air/land pollution.

If the object is to conserve the rain forests, then any activities that result in the destruction of the rainforests, and their communities, must be considered an environmental crime.
 Logging companies select trees and cut them down. They depend upon the maintenance of the forest, and the removal of the best trees. Their work involves the removal of a few logs but it results in extensive damage to the forest due to heavy machinery, road building, as well as soil disturbance, soil erosion, siltation; deforestation, following the trees falling to the ground, and creating ‘jungles’.

Once the roads have been built into the rainforests, they are used by the ‘shifted cultivators’ to move into the forests to start small scale farming. Many of these farmers are landless, having lost their land to the government and the corporations. They are directly involved in the total clearance of the forests for food crops; tree plantations, grazing cattle, and fuel wood. In fact, they are the environmental criminals committing environmental crimes!  Total clearance is pusued by agriculture.
Governments see the forests as trees, and offer the areas under licences to international logging companies. Illegal logging is carried out by local communities, many of whom are sponsored by criminal syndicates.
Forest experts argue that the forests should be seen as sources of important plant, animal, and insect species, micro-organisms, as well as medicines. It is a real benefit of the forests to harvest the fruit, seeds, the products of the trees. The rainforests should be harvested.  It is a crime to log, cut, slash and burn trees.


Posted: 03 Sep 2014 06:46 PM PDT

Large quantities of wood extracted from forest "conversion" projects are reaching international markets illegally, in full knowledge of Cameroon’s Ministry of Forestry (MINFOF) and the European Union (EU), says Greenpeace Africa.
The failure to fully monitor and regulate timber from such projects is undermining international agreements Cameroon has with bodies such as the EU, including its Voluntary partnership Agreement (VPA), part of the bloc's Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan.
Greenpeace Africa obtained evidence that Uniprovince, a company owned by US agribusiness company Herakles Farms, has cut at least 10,000 m3 of commercially valuable wood. While official documents  from the port of Douala show that a shipment of over 3000 m3 has already left Douala for the Chinese port of Zhangjiagang.
The Herakles Farms project in the country's South West region has proved highly controversial since its announcement in 2009 and attracted the opposition of local residents, civil society and international NGOs who say it threatens an area of important biodiversity value and the livelihoods of communities who live there.
"Sadly it comes as no surprise to Greenpeace Africa to see this wood find its way to China despite all the evidence of its illegality" said Irène Wabiwa, Forest Campaign Manager.
In a report published last May, Licence to Launder, Greenpeace Africa documented how Uniprovince obtained a Vente de coupe permit to log without public auction, in violation of Cameroonian law.
"Three different Cameroonian state prosecutors were given information proving Uniprovince's illegal logging operations, but no action has been taken to our knowledge," explains Wabiwa. "The Cameroon's Ministry of Forestry and the EU, in charge of the implementation of the FLEGT  Partnership Agreement, were also repeatedly informed; but unfortunately, it did not prevent the wood from being exported."
On August 19th, Greenpeace East Asia submitted the evidence to the competent authorities  in China, asking them to investigate about the Chinese company that is involved in importing illegal timbers from Herakles Farms/Uniprovince.
Regrettably, the case of the illegal logging title obtained by Uniprovince is just the tip of the iceberg. There are strong indications that the allocation of thirteen Ventes de coupe permits earlier this year, to a variety of timber companies for operations in the Kribi area, failed to respect procedure.
A large proportion of wood from Cameroon's Vente de coupe logging operations is destined to China via the port of Zhangjiagang, taking advantage of the fact that the country doesn't yet have legislation in place to prevent the imports of illegal wood.
"If these operations continue with total disregard for the law, it will undermine the credibility of the FLEGT partnership agreement ratified in December 2011, accelerate forest destruction and deprive communities who depend on the forest for their livelihood in Cameroon" warns Wabiwa.
Cameroon made a commitment to verify the legality of all timber and derived products covered by the agreement whether these are sold on the internal markets, exported to the EU or to markets outside the EU.
Sources: Greenpeace (http://www.greenpeace.org
RainTree RainForest Facts
Tropical Rain Forest Animals.com
Save the RainForest.com
Forests Monitor.Com

Thursday, 14 August 2014

COMMUNITIES IN CONFLICT: palestine and Israel

Palestine Mandate
It is apparently easy to forget that a major player in the so-called Middle East following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 was the British Government.The British ruled Ottoman Syria, as well as Palestine, and Egypt,  from 1923 to 1948. The League of Nations set up the Palestine Mandate and commissioned the British ;to create the protectorates of Palestine, [.including Israel, the homeland for the Jews;] and TransJordan - later Jordan. The British set up Israel in Palestine without consulting anyone! except the Zionist Association. They failed to recognize the hostilities between Palestine and the Jews. They did not accept that the Islamist movement in Palestine demanded that the Jews were rejected .The Jewish leaders welcomed the Mandate as providing the opportunity for Jewish communities to return to their homeland, from which they were ejected by the Romans.
From 1941 to1948, the British witnessed the rise of Nazism and anti-semitism in Europe and the persecution and holocaust of the Jews. They initiated the migration of Jews to Palestine to settle in their designated homeland, Israel. The migration of the refugees was not simple. The Jews were rejected by most European countries as well as many Arab states, including Palestine and Egypt. In fact, the British found it so difficult to settle the Jews in Israel, that they were forced to set up detention camps in Cyprus. The state of Israel first started with tented cities .In 1947 the British withdrew from Palestine. In 1948, the hostilities led to ;the first Arab-Israeli War. In 1967 the Six day War revealed that the state of Israel was highly militarized and capable of defending itself against all comers. The current hostilities are the new steps taken by Palestinians, against the Israelis, and vice-versa
.Israel and Palestine.
BBC World News, over the summer of 2014, has devoted a lot of time to report about the continuing Israel/Gaza conflct. The reports, however, give the impressions that the attacks are new and they tend to ignore the facts that they have been going on for many decades. For example, in 1917, Prime Minister Balfour committed the UK to settling Jews in Israel. 1921 was marked by conflicts between the Jews and the Palestinians. In1948 after several conferences and negotiations, Israel was declared the homeland of the Jews, in Palestine. However, the declaration was rapidly followed by the onset of the First Arab/Israeli War! The war came to an end after 4 ceasefires had been agreed and observed.
June 2/2014, the government supported by Fatah and Hamas ended, surrendering their authority to a new government of national consensus. Then, June 12 2014. the steps towards effective government were disrupted by the kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli teenagers. The Israeli government blames Hamas. But Hamas has not claimed any responsibility. In July, the Israeli Defence Force launched Operation Protective edge., designed to counter the rockets fired by Hamas at the Israeli cities. The IDF targets ;airstrikes, followed by ground operations in Gaza.
August 2  Egypt arranged a ceasefire. Israel declared that they will withdraw their IDF and that the main objective of their attacks had been achieved -the closure of the tunnels used by the militants to attack Israel. And the reduction of the rockets attacks by Hamas against Israel.
August 8th the ceasefire was broken . Palestinian militants fired up to 30 rockets into Israel.  The IDF resumed attacks at once. Clearly, they are not going to be lenient towards any group that breaks a ceasefire. And nor do they have to because they form the most effective and efficient fighting force in the Middle East. The fighters for Hamas/PLO/PA/Fatah can only win by negotiation.
August 11th marks the onset of another ceasefire, and negotiations in Cairo to settle the range of demands. Hamas is now seeking through confrontation what it couldnt obtain through a peaceful handover of responsibilities. Gaza had electricity for barely eight hours a day, water was undrinkable, sewage was dumped in the sea, fuel shortages caused sanitation plants to shut down and waste sometimes floated in the streets. Patients needing medical care couldnt reach Egyptian hospitals, and Gazans paid $3,000 bribes for a chance to exit when Egypt chose to open the border crossings.

How to settle matters in Palestine?
The mediators, EU/US/UN/Russia, demand that Palestine renounce violence; recognize Israel; accept PLO agreements. Israel and Palestine are locked in combat that can only lead to death and destruction. Peace will only be achieved between Israel and Palestine when they both stop the attacks.It is reported that Netanyahu wants to work for ‘quiet and quiet’ .that is,  mutual ceasefire. However, members of his coalition government are more militant. Some want Israel to retake Gaza. Others want to uproot Hamas. The islamist movement in Palestine, including Hamas, want to be rid of Israel and the Jews. It is not surprising that Palestine and Israel find it very difficult to talk to each other. The militant mindsets of all sides/factions lead to the emergence of community violence. However, the President Abbas of the National consensus coalition has urged Palestine to continue cooperation with Israel. The only way to settle matters in Palestine is for all factions to cooperate and negotiate.

 Who are involved in the negotiations?   We have already seen that the British were involved in the Mandate and it can be argued that the current situations in Palestine and Syria are very much to do with the British. The direct involvement of Egypt in the ceasefires is a measure of the spheres of influence of the USA. The collapse of the Ottoman Empire not only allowed the increasing influence of USA and Britain, but also the emergence of the USSR/Russia in Syria, in Iran, in Lebanon, in Egypt. At the present times, the situations in Palestine are very complicated according to whom pays aid; who receives aid,who provides armaments and what are the realcosts? Qatar funds Hamas; looking for an islamist state. Israel is funded by the USA and EU looking for a Jewish state in Palestine. The current consensus is the two state solution.reiterated today, August 12th, by US Secretary of State John Kerry. But the viable future is cooperation, negotiation, conflict prevention for all parties. As in all democracies, they depend upon all parties ‘begging to differ; compromising; and accepting the votes of the majority, and working for peace.

Thursday, 3 July 2014


At this time,  July 2014, legal proceedings in New Orleans are defining environmental crimes in terms of oil exploration and exploitation., revealing the range of $billions in fines and penalties, and costs..

APRIL 2010 : Gulf of Mexico was the site of major Environmental Crimes at Deepwater Horizon.
Indeed, the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and subsequent oil spill has been called the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.  In January 2013, BP pled guilty to 14 criminal counts, including felony manslaughter, and paid $4.5 billion in fines. 

JUNE 2014  Court House in New Orleans was involved in the identification of  Environmental Criminals.
As the trial has unspooled in an elegant courtroom in downtown New Orleans, numerous parallel legal proceedings have played out. BP has pleaded guilty to criminal negligence and 11 counts of felony manslaughter, and agreed to pay penalties and fines of $4 billion. In addition, the London-based company admitted withholding documents and lying to Congress regarding oil flow rates.
At one point during the crisis, more than 1,000 miles of coastline were befouled with oil. Scientists are assessing the effects on marine life and coastal wetland systems.
 a study by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi found the blowout had damaged marine life for 57 square miles from the blast site, concluding that recovery could take a generation or more.
Tar balls are still found on beaches as far away as Florida. And this summer, a 40,000-pound tar mat — a slab of oil residue mixed with sand — was found on a Louisiana barrier island.
JULY 2014 the onset of the Hurricane season will further test the damage  to the Gulf of Mexico, and the persistence and spread of tar residue.
 BP asked Barbier to suspend payments in a $7.8-million fund the company had established to settle private economic and medical claims. The company argued there was a "feeding frenzy" of false claims. Barbier had rejected a similar request twice before. How much oil flowed into the gulf and what will it cost the companies? Was it the 2.45 million gallons that BP contends, or the more than 4 million gallons estimated by government scientists?  U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier will use that information when he determines culpability among the partners on the rig: BP, which owned the well; Halliburton, which sealed the wellhead; and Transocean, which owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling vessel.
Depending in part on that calculation, BP could be exposed to as much as $17 billion in fines for violating the Clean Water Act, the largest environmental penalty in U.S. history. A portion of the fines is earmarked for gulf restoration.
In addition, the court will determine whether BP's actions on the rig were negligent or grossly negligent. That distinction is important because it is the difference between a $4.5-billion fine and the maximum $17-billion penalty.
It is worth noting that despite the enormity of the damage done at Deepwater Horizon, BP has been awarded contracts:  in late 2011, BP was awarded its first permit to drill in the Gulf since the spill and has since secured more licences.

With reference to the latimes; to the BBCNews; to the HuffingtonPost.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Economic Unions across the world must support sustainable futures.
Economic Unions  must pursue a Social Ecology Manifesto.

Humans and all other organisms function in the biosphere: the blogosphere;  the atmosphere; the lithosphere; the troposphere; and the hydrosphere.
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations of living organisms with each other and their surroundings in the biosphere. Ecologists are biologists who describe and analyse the biosphere with a view to explain the evolution of organisms, how they have adapted to survive, and offer explanations of their behaviours.
Social Ecologists analyse the impact of human actions upon the biosphere, and offer explanations about the relations between the environment, and all organic species.

Social Ecology is reflexive and normative, offering prescriptions and manifestos about how humans ought to behave in relation to the environment, other species, and all extended ecological communities, so as to ensure their mutual co-existence.
It evaluates evidence so as to devise social, moral, philosophical, economic, ecological, environmental manifestos in order to identify the principles, policies, and actions that are necessary to protect the environment and enable the survival of all ecological communities in the biosphere in the future.
‘Social Ecology’ is best regarded as a social science. Social ecological manifestos should be available to  any organization, government, or group; from a dictatorship, or a plutocracy, or a parliament, or a corporation, or a local authority, or a municipality, to any political party.

Nevertheless, for some reason or other, Social Ecology has become associated with particular politics such as anarchy; libertarian municipalism; direct democracy; inclusive democracy; or communalism, or even communism, to the exclusion of all others. I suggest that there is no valid reason why Social Ecology has been so completely tied to these  political perspectives. In fact, to do so has led it into a dead end! 

  Today, most organisations are hierarchies. Nation States are plutocracies …even those parading as democracies. All states and corporations are actively involved in capitalism, and state socialism has failed. Most people in the world live in large cities with little sense of community.  Most people, that is 6.5billion out of 7.2billion, are poor and uneducated, struggling to survive.
Does all this mean that there is no place for Social Ecology? On the contrary, it is most important that all these groups pay attention to, and enact, a Social Ecology manifesto.
We must be actively concerned with protecting the environment, nature, blogosphere, biosphere; and learning how to organize our societies so that we can thrive where there are  limited demands and no growth. The recent European elections witnessed the emergence of Nationalist politics, and the emphasis on growth, and the associated employment of local people to the exclusion of immigrants. The electorate was returning to right wing politics and rejecting the manifesto of the European Union. The MEPs have forgotten about the need to negotiate, persuade, discuss issues with their electorate .The European Union must commit itself to a Social Ecology Manifesto.

Humans have walked the earth for less than 200,000 years - a relatively short time in comparison to the existence of the biosphere. From 7000BC to 2014AD, humans have grown more numerous, and developed tools and processes to enable them to reconstruct the environments in the biosphere. It is true that they suffer from the catastrophes of nature: solar flares, earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons, tornadoes, cyclones, monsoons, ice and snow storms, floods, forest and grass fires, and diseases like malaria, but are better able to protect themselves and predict the events.
After 1800AD, humans began to manufacture tools of mass construction and destruction which enabled them to mine coal, iron ore, limestone; cut down trees by the thousand; grow wheat, corn, barley, rye, rice on thousands of acres - in fact, to completely transform the biosphere; or to be more precise, to completely destroy nature!
As a result of these endeavors the global population of humans has risen to 6.87 billion, reaching 7.2 billion, May. 2014; and is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, in response to the more efficient use of water and the creation of new plants for food.
As a result of their industrial activities, humans have become a threat to the survival of all living organisms. Human communities are no longer committed to the mutual coexistence of living organisms. They are actively involved in the destruction of other living organisms so as to ensure the survival of ‘homo sapiens’. Nevertheless, in the near future, some humans will face extinction because of the lack of drinking water; and others will suffer from pollution, and global warming.
Many writers have argued that in order to make an impact on water shortages and world pollution, all societies will have to work together. If the world is to survive as an 'eco-system' and be sustainable, we will all have to act together. Every individual and every government will have to agree to take specified actions designed to reduce pollution and  global warming. The peoples and all other organisms of the world form an extended ecological community within complex networks, and humans must pay attention to their interdependence if they are to survive. ‘Development, Conservation and Environmentalism’ mean that we should all share the resources of the globe so that we all achieve a satisfactory sustainable standard of life. It means caring and sharing.  The nature of our interdependence is such that the greed of some brings about the hunger of others. In order to secure the greatest happiness of the greatest number, we must act in consideration of all others. The warnings are all around us from scientists, activists, and, increasingly, from our personal experiences of climate catastrophes with flooding, droughts , forest fires, tornadoes, hurricanes,  species extinction, and other natural disasters.
Social Ecology indicates that in order to protect the environment, and expect a sustainable future, we must make different choices and alter our behaviour,  our lifestyles, our economics, our notions of self; our cultural filters, our priorities, our morality. These changes will require us all to analyse our mindscapes, our cultural filters. Roszak (1973) argues that what is important in the examination of  people’s mindscape is not what they articulately know or say they believe. What matters is something deeper; the feel of the world around them, the sense of reality, that   spontaneously discriminates between  knowledge and fantasy .Pepper (1989)  states that: It is of prime importance for us to study the real and tangible physical environment, how different groups and individuals perceive that environment and the nature of the ecologically, socially and culturally based presuppositions which colour these perceptions, or as some express it, the cultural filter. This means that we have to think and act, locally and globally. Concern for the environment, conservation, development, and ecology are not only about nature, they are calling for social changes: the development of a social ecology, according to which we realize that we are interdependent and connected to each other, as part of complex networks in the biosphere.

Social Ecology is
the study of human behavior in the biosphere;
concerned with Development, Conservation, Environmentalism, Sustainability, and Subsistence, in order to foster extended ecological communities in the biosphere.
It will study political systems, and economic issues in the municipality, the city, the factory when they challenge the viability of the biosphere;
the identification and analysis of the problems caused by human behavior in the biosphere;
the development of solutions to the problems caused by human behavior in the biosphere;
the formulation of social practices that will ensure that humans live in mutual coexistence with all living organisms;
the formulation of social policies and practices designed to allow all humans to survive and thrive in relation to all living organisms;
the development of systems of governance, [social, political, economic] that will enable human communities to take decisions that promote the mutual co-existence of all living organisms in the biosphere;
the study of the ways in which humans exist in cooperation with each other, and with other species, for their mutual benefit as an extended ecological community.
the study of biological entities, with various traits, that choose different, unpredictable behaviors in order to adapt, evolve, survive, in the face of threats to their survival.
will be concerned with behaviors and systems in the municipality, the city, and factory, as aspects of humans in the biosphere;
Social Ecologists will study human behavior and climate change;
the emission of pollutants and gases;
the exploitation and destruction of forests, and grasslands;
the exploitation and mining of oils, ores and minerals;
the destruction of species.
They will formulate policies and practices to help conserve the biosphere.
They will identify alternative systems of economy and politics in order to ensure that humans live in mutual coexistence with all living organisms.
Social ecologists recognize the role of humans in the destruction of the environment and the consequences of capitalist  enterprise to the exploitation of natural resources.
They propose policies and practices that preserve the environment, and do 
not poison the biosphere.
They draw our attention to the facts that ‘we’ are responsible for the pollution of nature.
They urge  governments to move towards a sustainable economy based on subsistence, conservation and preservation.
They devise  models of a steady state economy which will stabilize consumption and growth. They emphasize the need to ‘care and share’, and for communities to provide welfare for the benefit of all by redistributing wealth.
Such a manifesto would lead to significant social change whether it was adopted by local or central government, direct or participatory democracy, hierarchical or non-hierarchical organizations.
To be relevant to our present lives, it has to be available to all organizations, bureaucracies and democracies.