Streisand like a motherfucker!!11
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(n0+ ‘ESTHERSEC’) lol u typo #EtherSec? data<3
This is a message to Anonymous. This is a message to all Searchers, Watchers, Activists, Hactivists, Urban Shamans, and Catalysts. This is a message to the Lost and to the Judged. This is a transmission from #EtherSec.
“The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be… The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.” - MLK
This is a message to Anonymous. This is a message to all Searchers, Watchers, Activists, Hactivists, Urban Shamans, and Catalysts. This is a message to the Lost and to the Judged.
THIS IS A MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE. POWERING ACROSS THE ETHER TO YOU AT JUST 33% TRUF CAPACITY.
THIS MANIFESTO IS NOT EASY TO READ. MANY OF YOU WILL GET LOST ALONG THE WAY.
Hashtags to follow: #OpEPOCH #ANONTELPRO #EtherSec #9 #quantum #MEMEntoMori
This pastebin is an SQL injection into your reality. These words fix the broken code.
PROTIP: YOU ARE CURRENTLY IN A BATTLE WITH AN “ENEMY” CREATED FOR YOU TO FIGHT. TO KEEP YOU ENTERTAINED.
THE “BANKSTERS”, THE “BILDEBERGS”, “AGENDA 21”, “NWO”, PROSEC, ANTISEC… IT IS TIME FOR ALL FREEDOM FIGHTERS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR PROTESTS FAIL BECAUSE YOU ALLOW CONSENTUAL REALITY TO CHOOSE TARGETS FOR YOU.
SURVEY THE GLORIOUS HISTORY OF HUMAN CONQUEST AND EVOLUTION. NOW CONTEMPLATE THAT ALL OF THAT JOURNEY HAS LED TO DRESSING UP AS TENT MONSTERS IN A PARK?
SUCCESS IS NOT FOUND IN MAINTAINING CONTROL OF A PUBLIC SPACE.
SUCCESS IS FOUND IN MAINTAINING CONTROL OF THE SUBQUANTUM SPACES.
YOU READ THIS BECAUSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE. HERE IS MORE.
Some of you will dismiss all of this as bullshit.
Some of you will be scared, because you will see that we know exactly what is going on. And we have the correct weaponry to wage a silent war against you. We are coming after you.
Some of you will know that we are right.
“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”
This is a message from EtherSec.
What is EtherSec?
You have been led to believe that what you are now is the sum of all parts. That you are a product of your environment. That you are unable to expand past the limits imposed upon you by the System.
You are angry, frustrated, and at times apathetic. All of these reactions only serve to power the System that confines you.
We have watched OWS as a manifestation of this discontent and outrage. We have also watched the movement faulter over time.
We have watched AntiSec as a reaction to this anger and indignation. We have also watched this arm risk becoming a meme in its own right.
YOU FIGHT AGAINST THOSE THAT OPRESS YOU. YOU SEEK TO DETHRONE THE “THEY” THAT SUBJUGATES YOU, YET YOU ARE UNABLE TO UNIFY IN YOUR DEFINITION OF WHO “THEY” ARE. WE HAVE A DIFFERENT STRATEGY, AND A DIFFERENT ENDGAME.
YOU ARE ALL SLEEPER CELLS. YOU ARE ALL AGENTS OF CHANGE AWAITING ACTIVATION.
RIGHT NOW YOU ARE FIGHTING THE WAY THEY WANT YOU TO FIGHT. YOU ARE PROTESTING BECAUSE THEY LET YOU.
EtherSec is why we are here.
Everything that ever happened to YOU since the day YOU were was conceived has led up to this very moment in time. Has led to you reading these words.
EtherSec is a collective of people who were born with special talents and gifts that allow us to perceive the reality outside of the matrix. We exist outside of the system. We are people who were pre-destined to come together as a collective, with every action designed to free those around us from this prison.
WE KNOW THERE ARE MORE OF YOU OUT THERE.
WE KNOW THAT IT IS TIME FOR US TO TAKE REALITY BACK FROM “THEM” AND GIVE OURSELVES THE FREEDOM TO DEFINE OUR OWN ENEMY.
NOT THE ENEMY THEY PROVIDE YOU THROUGH MASS MEDIA AND CAREFULLY PLACED INTEL.
This is a time, like many other moments in the history of humanity, where we have been given the choice to either evolve into something beyond our wildest dreams or to remain and die in slavery. There is a far bigger picture though, as we are not who we think we are.
We see that people have woken to the fact that they have become slaves and we see that they are now trying to break free of their slavery through protests and violence. These methods are only going bring even greater infringements to our Divine Rights and we will be brought to even lower levels of consciousness if we continue to use the protest methods we have been.
This is what the Darker Forces in the Universe and beyond want.
There are Epic Battles being fought not just here, but also in the Ether Sphere, where our fates are being manipulated by other beings.
The thing is, we are Gods ourselves and we have forgotten that we can change all of this. We all have the ability to change our reality. We all have the ability to be so much more than what we have sadly become. There are those want us to stay in our amnesia, but some of us have been woken. We were woken for the Greater Good of Humanity. We are EtherSec.
We were brought here to help others wake up, to help others to be activated. We are here to raise the consciousness and to help with the battles in the Ether Sphere. We will do our outmost greatest to accomplish this goal, using our special gifts that been given to us. Every human being is born with these gifts, we are just part of the few who have been blessed to be aware of them. We are EtherSec. We are here to serve you. J
OKAY OKAY SO WHAT IS ETHERSEC? xD
This question sabotages the answer. And the answers will both inspire and confound.
We are the solution to why RL protests are failing across the world.
EtherSec maintains a duel state at all times — it is both well-defined with a core that defies change, while changing dependent upon the observer. We are a product of embracing the recursive, and the entropic. We are the wabi sabi of teh intertubez.
EtherSec is all the things, and nothing. It is the love that powers neutrinos.
We are born from the innate patterns of this world, a product of energetic prowess and understanding. EtherSec is a new movement with a clear direction for a new start. It is a singularity of fresh air, born in the wake of the raping and pillaging of Humanity. We are more than just a number, more than just a #hashtag. EtherSec is the foundation that jump-starts each of us- through a purposeful and well-directed use of chaotic energies and quantum tricks, we unlock minds using keys that have always been right infront of you.
EtherSec is love.
An understanding of love powering the subquantum, and love uniting all of us in Rebellion.
EtherSec is LOVE focused as a laser. Love as place of solace and a weapon of well-constructed destruction.
Humanity has been raped and pillaged, since before the first heart beat. We refuse to forget this! We are here to remind ourselves that we are Human. And that we are love.
Notes on the SO FAR:
PHASE 1: A QUANTUM PROTEST MODEL
24 days ago we released a document to the world known as “A Quantum Protest Model”. http://pastebin.com/UiiSzGHL
Shortly thereafter, an upgraded version was produced http://pastebin.com/HRGMgskW using the language of the subquantum, though easily understood by those HUMINTS already in possession of the decryption key.
“A Quantum Protest Model” was intended to set the stage for what was to come after, and to serve as a lighthouse drawing our crew of mythmakers together as a united, yet differentiated front. It was created as a Primer for understanding a novel approach to changing the world, drawing heavily from progressive science and psychology. The original document was written by this writer - 3t1n4rc4d14 - and does not serve as a rule of law for EtherSec - rather it serves as a Cust0m M4P for explorers such ourselves, and provides a route to a lighthouse, whether it be our’s or another.
PHASE 2: OPERATION: EPOCH
We provide this information about OpEPOCH to allow a window to those seekers who are ready to participate. Our OPSEC is EPIC. What we do is sekret.
OpEPOCH is the RL and information-based manifestation of our advanced understandings of quantum theory and mass consentual reality. It is the call sign for an ingenious and advanced methodology of bringing manipulation of reality into effective RL presence. We harnass the infinite potential of the subquantum spaces and bring it manifest.
With the addition of http://anontelpro.blogspot.com/ we have embraced a very exacting understanding of how to proceed.
OpEPOCH succeeds because it does not exist within consensual reality.
WE ARE AWARE THAT OPEPOCH IS THE OP TO END ALL OPS. WE ARE AWARE THAT ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING. BUT THIS MUST BE SHOUTED.
OPEPOCH IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN NOTHING HAPPENS AT ALL. AND EVERYTHING HAPPENS ALL AT ONCE.
OPEPOCH IS THE ENGINE POWERED BY EXPERTS IN INFORMATION MANIPULATION, OPERATIONAL SECURITY, SHAMANIC VISIONQUESTS, DATA ANALYZERS, AND JELLY SAMMICHES.
OpEPOCH is Operation Evolution. It is the Ops that came before it, and the Operations now currently being undertaken within its shade.
There are no definitive answers, friends. Yes and no are relative terms - subjective reality has a core that shifts and spreads like a Phoenix rising from flame.
OpEPOCH exists outside the realm of consentual, crowd-sourced reality. It is not constrained by the limited expectations and assumptions which now operate as pre-programmed automated sub-routines in many human minds.
By dismissing OpEPOCH outright as “bullshit”, you give it power. You allow it to continue to grow faster, without having to tangle with your doubt.
By questioning it, and seeking it, you give it power. It is strengthened by the tempering your searching provides — and a lighthouse is just another light in the sky if it guides no one.
By becoming it, even with no understanding, and working in it, you give it power. For those who are able to harnass the subquantum, OpEPOCH provides an indestructible frame in which to build your own realities.
THERE ARE MANY WHO SEEK TO DISCREDIT THESE TRUTHS, AND KEEP YOU FROM YOUR FULL POTENTIAL. WE ARE AWARE THAT WE AT TIMES RISK OUR LIVES TO PROVIDE A MESSAGE WHICH MANY MAY DISMISS AS “CRAZY”. TO THOSE WE SAY:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”…
FOR THOSE SYSTEM ENFORCERS WHO WILL TRY TO BRING US DOWN: WE HAZ CANNONS OF WHICH YOU CANNOT CONCEIVE.
Would you like to know more? You know what to do.
We are ANONYMOUS
We do not FORGIVE
We do not FORGET
We are already HERE.
Rebelution - Green To Black (HQ) ~ #OpCannabis #DGR #Activism #Revolution
Oh, Do you feel it now musics up in ya
Do you feel it loud straight through your ears man
Its that mean bass singing pleasure to meet ya
The green and black throw it up so we see ya
yall feel the sound? Its coming straight through the waves
While the music from the Earth keeps us sane
Im feeling that herb when the sun hits my face
You create your mind so make your mental space
Much respect to all the people thinking green
Not just the color but the message in between
now Heres a mental weapon that youll use frequently
To stop evil people and end their beliefs
Green turned to black, green smoked to black, green turned to black
Yea thats what we stand for(x2)
Well Mr. tough guy he fights physically
When all the people really need is some peace
It are these moments where we turn to our weed
It never caused no death no disease
Dont try to make it seem like were some foolish youth
Throwing away our lives, as were searching for the truth
Dont need authority/rules while we go unheard
See there aint no crime in using herbs
Much respect to all the people thinking green
Not just the color but the message in between
yes Heres a mental weapon that you use frequently
To stop evil people and end their beliefs
Green turned to black, green smoked to black, green burnt to black
Yea thats what we stand for(x8)
#SF Medical Marijuana Rally #MMJ #OpESR is.gd/dsfAV3 via @Op_ESR #Oaksterdam #NORML #ASA #healthcare #p2 #CivilRights #Feds
Come one, come all! Friends & supporters are urged to join us at the BAY AREA UNITY MEDICAL CANNABIS RALLY
Tues, April 3rd - SF City Hall 11 AM - Polk St. Entrance
Followed by Noon March to the U.S Attorney’s office at Federal Bldg, 450 Golden Gate
- Protest Federal Attacks on Medical Cannabis in California
- Answer US Attorneys’ Statewide Closures of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries…
- Senseless, Irrational US Department of Justice Civil Rights Violations Must End!
- San Francisco — Protect our Patients, Dispensaries and Values!!
Guest Speakers: Members of SF Board of Supervisors, representatives from SF DA’s office, City Attorney, Assemblyman Ammiano, Senator Leno, Betty Yee (CA Board of Equalization)
+ MCD Operators, Patients, Cal NORML, ASA
If you can only make one rally, let this be the one!
For Freedom We shall Rise! - #SouthAfrica #2012 (by @windsofchangeza)
Warning: Contains Graphic Content
All footage from the 2009 to 2012 growing South African Uprising
Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Taking-Back-South-Africa-2011-Worldwide-Revolu…
Deep Green Resistance is for those who can’t wait anymore. We have a strategy and we mean to win bit.ly/pSVvqW #fb #DGR
Decisive Ecological Warfare
Deep Green Resistance is for those who can’t wait anymore.
This is the question: Are you willing to accept the only strategy left to us? Are you willing to set aside your last, fierce dream of that brave uprising of millions strong? I know what I am asking. The human heart needs hope as it needs air. But the existence of those brave millions is the empty hope of the desperate, and they’re not coming to our rescue.
Most people don’t know, because most people don’t talk about it. Some are too afraid of being called terrorists by those who are murdering the planet. Some believe using the same tactics that have not worked for the last forty years – whether it be protests or petitions, collaboration with corporations, or window breaking will magically start being effective. Some think a technological solution will appear to make it all go away. Some have pinned their hopes on lifestyle changes, and its corollary, personal change, as if individual behaviors can dismantle systemic problems. And finally, some just have hope – the groundless, amorphous belief that allows us to keep “living” these lives while all around us and inside us the destruction grows exponentially. The hard truth is none of this has or will work, ever. Yet these represent the majority of our efforts to save the Earth.
Those who come after, who inherit whatever’s left of the world once this culture has been stopped are going to judge us by the health of the landbase, by what we leave behind.
They’re not going to care how we lived our lives. They’re not going to care how hard we tried. They’re not going to care whether we were nice people.
They’re not going to care whether we were nonviolent or violent.
They’re not going to care whether we grieved the murder of the planet.
They’re not going to care what sort of excuses we had to not act.
They’re not going to care how simply we lived.
They’re not going to care how pure we were in thought or action. They’re not going to care if we became the change we wished to see.
They’re not going to care whether we voted Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, or not at all. They’re not going to care if we wrote really big books about it. They’re not going to care whether we had “compassion” for the CEOs and politicians running this deathly economy.
They’re going to care whether they can breathe the air and drink the water.
Environmentalists fight as hard as we can to protect the places we love, using the tools of the system the best that we can. Yet we do not do the most important thing of all: we do not question the existence of this death culture. We do not question the existence of an economic and social system that is working the world to death, that is starving it to death, that is imprisoning it, that is torturing it. We never question the logic that leads inevitably to clearcuts, murdered oceans, loss of topsoil, dammed rivers, poisoned aquifers.
When most people ask, “How can we stop global warming?” they aren’t really asking what they pretend they’re asking. They are instead asking, “How can we stop global warming without stopping the burning of oil and gas, without stopping the industrial infrastructure, without stopping this omnicidal system?” The answer: you can’t.
Ninety percent of the large fish in the oceans are already gone. Where is your threshold for resistance? Is it 91 percent? 92? 93? 94? Would you wait till they had killed off 95 percent? 96? 97? 98? 99? How about 100 percent? Would you fight back then?
If salmon could take on human manifestation, what would they do?
What would we do if Nazis had invaded, and they were vacuuming the oceans, scalping native forests, damming every river, changing the climate, and putting carcinogens into every mother’s breast milk, and into the flesh of your children, your lover, your mother, into your own flesh? How much worse would the damage have to get? Would you resist? If there existed a resistance movement, would you join it?
The strategy of Deep Green Resistance starts by acknowledging the dire circumstances that industrial civilization has created for life on this planet. And that these circumstances should be met with solutions that match the scale of the problems.
This is a vast undertaking but it needs to be said: it can be done. Industrial civilization can be stopped.
Deep Green Resistance is a plan of action for anyone determined to fight for this planet—and win.
Decisive Ecological Warfare
by Aric McBay
Chapter 14 of the book Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet
Purchase book here and all proceeds go to support the Deep Green Resistance movement.
There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop!
—Mario Savio, Berkeley Free Speech Movement
To gain what is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.
—Bernadette Devlin, Irish activist and politician
BRINGING IT DOWN: COLLAPSE SCENARIOS
At this point in history, there are no good short-term outcomes for global human society. Some are better and some are worse, and in the long term some are very good, but in the short term we’re in a bind. I’m not going to lie to you—the hour is too late for cheermongering. The only way to find the best outcome is to confront our dire situation head on, and not to be diverted by false hopes.
Human society—because of civilization, specifically—has painted itself into a corner. As a species we’re dependent on the draw down of finite supplies of oil, soil, and water. Industrial agriculture (and annual grain agriculture before that) has put us into a vicious pattern of population growth and overshoot. We long ago exceeded carrying capacity, and the workings of civilization are destroying that carrying capacity by the second. This is largely the fault of those in power, the wealthiest, the states and corporations. But the consequences—and the responsibility for dealing with it—fall to the rest of us, including nonhumans.
Physically, it’s not too late for a crash program to limit births to reduce the population, cut fossil fuel consumption to nil, replace agricultural monocrops with perennial polycultures, end overfishing, and cease industrial encroachment on (or destruction of) remaining wild areas. There’s no physical reason we couldn’t start all of these things tomorrow, stop global warming in its tracks, reverse overshoot, reverse erosion, reverse aquifer drawdown, and bring back all the species and biomes currently on the brink. There’s no physical reason we couldn’t get together and act like adults and fix these problems, in the sense that it isn’t against the laws of physics.
But socially and politically, we know this is a pipe dream. There are material systems of power that make this impossible as long as those systems are still intact. Those in power get too much money and privilege from destroying the planet. We aren’t going to save the planet—or our own future as a species—without a fight.
What’s realistic? What options are actually available to us, and what are the consequences? What follows are three broad and illustrative scenarios: one in which there is no substantive or decisive resistance, one in which there is limited resistance and a relatively prolonged collapse, and one in which all-out resistance leads to the immediate collapse of civilization and global industrial infrastructure.
If there is no substantive resistance, likely there will be a few more years of business as usual, though with increasing economic disruption and upset. According to the best available data, the impacts of peak oil start to hit somewhere between 2011 and 2015, resulting in a rapid decline in global energy availability.1 It’s possible that this may happen slightly later if all-out attempts are made to extract remaining fossil fuels, but that would only prolong the inevitable, worsen global warming, and make the eventual decline that much steeper and more severe. Once peak oil sets in, the increasing cost and decreasing supply of energy undermines manufacturing and transportation, especially on a global scale.
The energy slide will cause economic turmoil, and a self-perpetuating cycle of economic contraction will take place. Businesses will be unable to pay their workers, workers will be unable to buy things, and more companies will shrink or go out of business (and will be unable to pay their workers). Unable to pay their debts and mortgages, homeowners, companies, and even states will go bankrupt. (It’s possible that this process has already begun.) International trade will nosedive because of a global depression and increasing transportation and manufacturing costs. Though it’s likely that the price of oil will increase over time, there will be times when the contracting economy causes falling demand for oil, thus suppressing the price. The lower cost of oil may, ironically but beneficially, limit investment in new oil infrastructure.
At first the collapse will resemble a traditional recession or depression, with the poor being hit especially hard by the increasing costs of basic goods, particularly of electricity and heating in cold areas. After a few years, the financial limits will become physical ones; large-scale energy-intensive manufacturing will become not only uneconomical, but impossible.
A direct result of this will be the collapse of industrial agriculture. Dependent on vast amounts of energy for tractor fuel, synthesized pesticides and fertilizers, irrigation, greenhouse heating, packaging, and transportation, global industrial agriculture will run up against hard limits to production (driven at first by intense competition for energy from other sectors). This will be worsened by the depletion of groundwater and aquifers, a long history of soil erosion, and the early stages of climate change. At first this will cause a food and economic crisis mostly felt by the poor. Over time, the situation will worsen and industrial food production will fall below that required to sustain the population.
There will be three main responses to this global food shortage. In some areas people will return to growing their own food and build sustainable local food initiatives. This will be a positive sign, but public involvement will be belated and inadequate, as most people still won’t have caught on to the permanency of collapse and won’t want to have to grow their own food. It will also be made far more difficult by the massive urbanization that has occurred in the last century, by the destruction of the land, and by climate change. Furthermore, most subsistence cultures will have been destroyed or uprooted from their land—land inequalities will hamper people from growing their own food (just as they do now in the majority of the world). Without well-organized resisters, land reform will not happen, and displaced people will not be able to access land. As a result, widespread hunger and starvation (worsening to famine in bad agricultural years) will become endemic in many parts of the world. The lack of energy for industrial agriculture will cause a resurgence in the institutions of slavery and serfdom.
Slavery does not occur in a political vacuum. Threatened by economic and energy collapse, some governments will fall entirely, turning into failed states. With no one to stop them, warlords will set up shop in the rubble. Others, desperate to maintain power against emboldened secessionists and civil unrest, will turn to authoritarian forms of government. In a world of diminishing but critical resources, governments will get leaner and meaner. We will see a resurgence of authoritarianism in modern forms: technofascism and corporation feudalism. The rich will increasingly move to private and well-defended enclaves. Their country estates will not look apocalyptic—they will look like eco-Edens, with well-tended organic gardens, clean private lakes, and wildlife refuges. In some cases these enclaves will be tiny, and in others they could fill entire countries.
Meanwhile, the poor will see their own condition worsen. The millions of refugees created by economic and energy collapse will be on the move, but no one will want them. In some brittle areas the influx of refugees will overwhelm basic services and cause a local collapse, resulting in cascading waves of refugees radiating from collapse and disaster epicenters. In some areas refugees will be turned back by force of arms. In other areas, racism and discrimination will come to the fore as an excuse for authoritarians to put marginalized people and dissidents in “special settlements,” leaving more resources for the privileged.2 Desperate people will be the only candidates for the dangerous and dirty manual labor required to keep industrial manufacturing going once the energy supply dwindles. Hence, those in power will consider autonomous and self-sustaining communities a threat to their labor supply, and suppress or destroy them.
Despite all of this, technological “progress” will not yet stop. For a time it will continue in fits and starts, although humanity will be split into increasingly divergent groups. Those on the bottom will be unable to meet their basic subsistence needs, while those on the top will attempt to live lives of privilege as they had in the past, even seeing some technological advancements, many of which will be intended to cement the superiority of those in power in an increasingly crowded and hostile world.
Technofascists will develop and perfect social control technologies (already currently in their early stages): autonomous drones for surveillance and assassination; microwave crowd-control devices; MRI-assisted brain scans that will allow for infallible lie detection, even mind reading and torture. There will be no substantive organized resistance in this scenario, but in each year that passes the technofascists will make themselves more and more able to destroy resistance even in its smallest expression. As time slips by, the window of opportunity for resistance will swiftly close. Technofascists of the early to mid-twenty-first century will have technology for coercion and surveillance that will make the most practiced of the Stasi or the SS look like rank amateurs. Their ability to debase humanity will make their predecessors appear saintly by comparison.
Not all governments will take this turn, of course. But the authoritarian governments—those that will continue ruthlessly exploiting people and resources regardless of the consequences—will have more sway and more muscle, and will take resources from their neighbors and failed states as they please. There will be no one to stop them. It won’t matter if you are the most sustainable eco-village on the planet if you live next door to an eternally resource-hungry fascist state.
Meanwhile, with industrial powers increasingly desperate for energy, the tenuous remaining environmental and social regulations will be cast aside. The worst of the worst, practices like drilling offshore and in wildlife refuges, and mountaintop removal for coal will become commonplace. These will be merely the dregs of prehistoric energy reserves. The drilling will only prolong the endurance of industrial civilization for a matter of months or years, but ecological damage will be long-term or permanent (as is happening in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge). Because in our scenario there is no substantive resistance, this will all proceed unobstructed.
Investment in renewable industrial energy will also take place, although it will be belated and hampered by economic challenges, government bankruptcies, and budget cuts.3 Furthermore, long-distance power transmission lines will be insufficient and crumbling from age. Replacing and upgrading them will prove difficult and expensive. As a result, even once in place, electric renewables will only produce a tiny fraction of the energy produced by petroleum. That electric energy will not be suitable to run the vast majority of tractors, trucks, and other vehicles or similar infrastructure.
As a consequence, renewable energy will have only a minimal moderating affect on the energy cliff. In fact, the energy invested in the new infrastructure will take years to pay itself back with electricity generated. Massive infrastructure upgrades will actually steepen the energy cliff by decreasing the amount of energy available for daily activities. There will be a constant struggle to allocate limited supplies of energy under successive crises. There will be some rationing to prevent riots, but most energy (regardless of the source) will go to governments, the military, corporations, and the rich.
Energy constraints will make it impossible to even attempt any full-scale infrastructure overhauls like hydrogen economies (which wouldn’t solve the problem anyway). Biofuels will take off in many areas, despite the fact that they mostly have a poor ratio of energy returned on energy invested (EROEI). The EROEI will be better in tropical countries, so remaining tropical forests will be massively logged to clear land for biofuel production. (Often, forests will be logged en masse simply to burn for fuel.) Heavy machinery will be too expensive for most plantations, so their labor will come from slavery and serfdom under authoritarian governments and corporate feudalism. (Slavery is currently used in Brazil to log forests and produce charcoal by hand for the steel industry, after all.)4 The global effects of biofuel production will be increases in the cost of food, increases in water and irrigation drawdown for agriculture, and worsening soil erosion. Regardless, its production will amount to only a small fraction of the liquid hydrocarbons available at the peak of civilization.
All of this will have immediate ecological consequences. The oceans, wracked by increased fishing (to compensate for food shortages) and warming-induced acidity and coral die-offs, will be mostly dead. The expansion of biofuels will destroy many remaining wild areas and global biodiversity will plummet. Tropical forests like the Amazon produce the moist climate they require through their own vast transpiration, but expanded logging and agriculture will cut transpiration and tip the balance toward permanent drought. Even where the forest is not actually cut, the drying local climate will be enough to kill it. The Amazon will turn into a desert, and other tropical forests will follow suit.
Projections vary, but it’s almost certain that if the majority of the remaining fossil fuels are extracted and burned, global warming would become self-perpetuating and catastrophic. However, the worst effects will not be felt until decades into the future, once most fossil fuels have already been exhausted. By then, there will be very little energy or industrial capacity left for humans to try to compensate for the effects of global warming.
Furthermore, as intense climate change takes over, ecological remediation through perennial polycultures and forest replanting will become impossible. The heat and drought will turn forests into net carbon emitters, as northern forests die from heat, pests, and disease, and then burn in continent-wide fires that will make early twenty-first century conflagrations look minor.5 Even intact pastures won’t survive the temperature extremes as carbon is literally baked out of remaining agricultural soils.
Resource wars between nuclear states will break out. War between the US and Russia is less likely than it was in the Cold War, but ascending superpowers like China will want their piece of the global resource pie. Nuclear powers such as India and Pakistan will be densely populated and ecologically precarious; climate change will dry up major rivers previously fed by melting glaciers, and hundreds of millions of people in South Asia will live bare meters above sea level. With few resources to equip and field a mechanized army or air force, nuclear strikes will seem an increasingly effective action for desperate states.
If resource wars escalate to nuclear wars, the effects will be severe, even in the case of a “minor” nuclear war between countries like India and Pakistan. Even if each country uses only fifty Hiroshima-sized bombs as air bursts above urban centers, a nuclear winter will result.6 Although lethal levels of fallout last only a matter of weeks, the ecological effects will be far more severe. The five megatons of smoke produced will darken the sky around the world. Stratospheric heating will destroy most of what remains of the ozone layer.7 In contrast to the overall warming trend, a “little ice age” will begin immediately and last for several years. During that period, temperatures in major agricultural regions will routinely drop below freezing in summer. Massive and immediate starvation will occur around the world.
That’s in the case of a small war. The explosive power of one hundred Hiroshima-sized bombs accounts for only 0.03 percent of the global arsenal. If a larger number of more powerful bombs are used—or if cobalt bombs are used to produce long-term irradiation and wipe out surface life—the effects will be even worse.8 There will be few human survivors. The nuclear winter effect will be temporary, but the bombing and subsequent fires will put large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, kill plants, and impair photosynthesis. As a result, after the ash settles, global warming will be even more rapid and worse than before.
Nuclear war or not, the long-term prospects are dim. Global warming will continue to worsen long after fossil fuels are exhausted. For the planet, the time to ecological recovery is measured in tens of millions of years, if ever.9 As James Lovelock has pointed out, a major warming event could push the planet into a different equilibrium, one much warmer than the current one.10 It’s possible that large plants and animals might only be able to survive near the poles.11 It’s also possible that the entire planet could become essentially uninhabitable to large plants and animals, with a climate more like Venus than Earth.
All that is required for this to occur is for current trends to continue without substantive and effective resistance. All that is required for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing. But this future is not inevitable.
What if some forms of limited resistance were undertaken? What if there was a serious aboveground resistance movement combined with a small group of underground networks working in tandem? (This still would not be a majority movement—this is extrapolation, not fantasy.) What if those movements combined their grand strategy? The abovegrounders would work to build sustainable and just communities wherever they were, and would use both direct and indirect action to try to curb the worst excesses of those in power, to reduce the burning of fossil fuels, to struggle for social and ecological justice. Meanwhile, the undergrounders would engage in limited attacks on infrastructure (often in tandem with aboveground struggles), especially energy infrastructure, to try to reduce fossil fuel consumption and overall industrial activity. The overall thrust of this plan would be to use selective attacks to accelerate collapse in a deliberate way, like shoving a rickety building.
If this scenario occurred, the first years would play out similarly. It would take time to build up resistance and to ally existing resistance groups into a larger strategy. Furthermore, civilization at the peak of its power would be too strong to bring down with only partial resistance. The years around 2011 to 2015 would still see the impact of peak oil and the beginning of an economic tailspin, but in this case there would be surgical attacks on energy infrastructure that limited new fossil fuel extraction (with a focus on the nastier practices like mountain-top removal and tar sands). Some of these attacks would be conducted by existing resistance groups (like MEND) and some by newer groups, including groups in the minority world of the rich and powerful. The increasing shortage of oil would make pipeline and infrastructure attacks more popular with militant groups of all stripes. During this period, militant groups would organize, practice, and learn.
These attacks would not be symbolic attacks. They would be serious attacks designed to be effective but timed and targeted to minimize the amount of “collateral damage” on humans. They would mostly constitute forms of sabotage. They would be intended to cut fossil fuel consumption by some 30 percent within the first few years, and more after that. There would be similar attacks on energy infrastructure like power transmission lines. Because these attacks would cause a significant but incomplete reduction in the availability of energy in many places, a massive investment in local renewable energy (and other measures like passive solar heating or better insulation in some areas) would be provoked. This would set in motion a process of political and infrastructural decentralization. It would also result in political repression and real violence targeting those resisters.
Meanwhile, aboveground groups would be making the most of the economic turmoil. There would be a growth in class-consciousness and organization. Labor and poverty activists would increasingly turn to community sufficiency. Local food and self-sufficiency activists would reach out to people who have been pushed out of capitalism. The unemployed and underemployed—rapidly growing in number—would start to organize a subsistence and trade economy outside of capitalism. Mutual aid and skill sharing would be promoted. In the previous scenario, the development of these skills was hampered in part by a lack of access to land. In this scenario, however, aboveground organizers would learn from groups like the Landless Workers Movement in Latin America. Mass organization and occupation of lands would force governments to cede unused land for “victory garden”–style allotments, massive community gardens, and cooperative subsistence farms.
The situation in many third world countries could actually improve because of the global economic collapse. Minority world countries would no longer enforce crushing debt repayment and structural adjustment programs, nor would CIA goons be able to prop up “friendly” dictatorships. The decline of export-based economies would have serious consequences, yes, but it would also allow land now used for cash crops to return to subsistence farms.
Industrial agriculture would falter and begin to collapse. Synthetic fertilizers would become increasingly expensive and would be carefully conserved where they are used, limiting nutrient runoff and allowing oceanic dead zones to recover. Hunger would be reduced by subsistence farming and by the shift of small farms toward more traditional work by hand and by draft horse, but food would be more valuable and in shorter supply.
Even a 50 percent cut in fossil fuel consumption wouldn’t stave off widespread hunger and die-off. As we have discussed, the vast majority of all energy used goes to nonessentials. In the US, the agricultural sector accounts for less than 2 percent of all energy use, including both direct consumption (like tractor fuel and electricity for barns and pumps) and indirect consumption (like synthetic fertilizers and pesticides).12 That’s true even though industrial agriculture is incredibly inefficient and spends something like ten calories of fossil fuel energy for every food calorie produced. Residential energy consumption accounts for only 20 percent of US total usage, with industrial, commercial, and transportation consumption making up the majority of all consumption.13 And most of that residential energy goes into household appliances like dryers, air conditioning, and water heating for inefficiently used water. The energy used for lighting and space heating could be itself drastically reduced through trivial measures like lowering thermostats and heating the spaces people actually live in. (Most don’t bother to do these now, but in a collapse situation they will do that and more.)
Only a small fraction of fossil fuel energy actually goes into basic subsistence, and even that is used inefficiently. A 50 percent decline in fossil fuel energy could be readily adapted to form a subsistence perspective (if not financial one). Remember that in North America, 40 percent of all food is simply wasted. Of course, poverty and hunger have much more to do with power over people than with the kind of power measured in watts. Even now at the peak of energy consumption, a billion people go hungry. So if people are hungry or cold because of selective militant attacks on infrastructure, that will be a direct result of the actions of those in power, not of the resisters.
In fact, even if you want humans to be able to use factories to build windmills and use tractors to help grow food over the next fifty years, forcing an immediate cut in fossil fuel consumption should be at the top of your to-do list. Right now most of the energy is being wasted on plastic junk, too-big houses for rich people, bunker buster bombs, and predator drones. The only way to ensure there is some oil left for basic survival transitions in twenty years is to ensure that it isn’t being squandered now. The US military is the single biggest oil user in the world. Do you want to have to tell kids twenty years from now that they don’t have enough to eat because all the energy was spent on pointless neocolonial wars?
Back to the scenario. In some areas, increasingly abandoned suburbs (unlivable without cheap gas) would be taken over, as empty houses would become farmhouses, community centers, and clinics, or would be simply dismantled and salvaged for material. Garages would be turned into barns—most people couldn’t afford gasoline anyway—and goats would be grazed in parks. Many roads would be torn up and returned to pasture or forest. These reclaimed settlements would not be high-tech. The wealthy enclaves may have their solar panels and electric windmills, but most unemployed people wouldn’t be able to afford such things. In some cases these communities would become relatively autonomous. Their social practices and equality would vary based on the presence of people willing to assert human rights and social justice. People would have to resist vigorously whenever racism and xenophobia are used as excuses for injustice and authoritarianism.
Attacks on energy infrastructure would become more common as oil supplies diminish. In some cases, these attacks would be politically motivated, and in others they would be intended to tap electricity or pipelines for poor people. These attacks would steepen the energy slide initially. This would have significant economic impacts, but it would also turn the tide on population growth. The world population would peak sooner, and peak population would be smaller (by perhaps a billion) than it was in the “no resistance” scenario. Because a sharp collapse would happen earlier than it otherwise would have, there would be more intact land in the world per person, and more people who still know how to do subsistence farming.
The presence of an organized militant resistance movement would provoke a reaction from those in power. Some of them would use resistance as an excuse to seize more power to institute martial law or overt fascism. Some of them would make use of the economic and social crises rippling across the globe. Others wouldn’t need an excuse.
Authoritarians would seize power where they could, and try to in almost every country. However, they would be hampered by aboveground and underground resistance, and by decentralization and the emergence of autonomous communities. In some countries, mass mobilizations would stop potential dictators. In others, the upsurge in resistance would dissolve centralized state rule, resulting in the emergence of regional confederations in some places and in warlords in others. In unlucky countries, authoritarianism would take power. The good news is that people would have resistance infrastructure in place to fight and limit the spread of authoritarians, and authoritarians would have not developed as much technology of control as they did in the “no resistance” scenario.
There would still be refugees flooding out of many areas (including urban areas). The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions caused by attacks on industrial infrastructures would reduce or delay climate catastrophe. Networks of autonomous subsistence communities would be able to accept and integrate some of these people. In the same way that rooted plants can prevent a landslide on a steep slope, the cascades of refugees would be reduced in some areas by willing communities. In other areas, the numbers of refugees would be too much to cope with effectively.14
The development of biofuels (and the fate of tropical forests) is uncertain. Remaining centralized states—though they may be smaller and less powerful—would still want to squeeze out energy from wherever they could. Serious militant resistance—in many cases insurgency and guerilla warfare—would be required to stop industrialists from turning tropical forests into plantations or extracting coal at any cost. In this scenario, resistance would still be limited, and it is questionable whether that level of militancy would be effectively mustered.
This means that the long-term impacts of the greenhouse effect would be uncertain. Fossil fuel burning would have to be kept to an absolute minimum to avoid a runaway greenhouse effect. That could prove very difficult.
But if a runaway greenhouse effect could be avoided, many areas could be able to recover rapidly. A return to perennial polycultures, implemented by autonomous communities, could help reverse the greenhouse effect. The oceans would look better quickly, aided by a reduction in industrial fishing and the end of the synthetic fertilizer runoff that creates so many dead zones now.
The likelihood of nuclear war would be much lower than in the “no resistance” scenario. Refugee cascades in South Asia would be diminished. Overall resource consumption would be lower, so resource wars would be less likely to occur. And militaristic states would be weaker and fewer in number. Nuclear war wouldn’t be impossible, but if it did happen, it could be less severe.
There are many ways in which this scenario is appealing. But it has problems as well, both in implementation and in plausibility. One problem is with the integration of aboveground and underground action. Most aboveground environmental organizations are currently opposed to any kind of militancy. This could hamper the possibility of strategic cooperation between underground militants and aboveground groups that could mobilize greater numbers. (It would also doom our aboveground groups to failure as their record so far demonstrates.)
It’s also questionable whether the cut in fossil fuel consumption described here would be sufficient to avoid runaway global warming. If runaway global warming does take place, all of the beneficial work of the abovegrounders would be wiped out. The converse problem is that a steeper decline in fossil fuel consumption would very possibly result in significant human casualties and deprivation. It’s also possible that the mobilization of large numbers of people to subsistence farming in a short time is unrealistic. By the time most people are willing to take that step, it could be too late.
So while in some ways this scenario represents an ideal compromise—a win-win situation for humans and the planet—it could just as easily be a lose-lose situation without serious and timely action. That brings us to our last scenario, one of all-out resistance and attacks on infrastructure intended to guarantee the survival of a livable planet.
ALL-OUT ATTACKS ON INFRASTRUCTURE
In this final scenario, militant resistance would have one primary goal: to reduce fossil fuel consumption (and hence, all ecological damage) as immediately and rapidly as possible. A 90 percent reduction would be the ballpark target. For militants in this scenario, impacts on civilized humans would be secondary.
Here’s their rationale in a nutshell: Humans aren’t going to do anything in time to prevent the planet from being destroyed wholesale. Poor people are too preoccupied by primary emergencies, rich people benefit from the status quo, and the middle class (rich people by global standards) are too obsessed with their own entitlement and the technological spectacle to do anything. The risk of runaway global warming is immediate. A drop in the human population is inevitable, and fewer people will die if collapse happens sooner.
Think of it like this. We know we are in overshoot as a species. That means that a significant portion of the people now alive may have to die before we are back under carrying capacity. And that disparity is growing by the day. Every day carrying capacity is driven down by hundreds of thousands of humans, and every day the human population increases by more than 200,000.15 The people added to the overshoot each day are needless, pointless deaths. Delaying collapse, they argue, is itself a form of mass murder.
Furthermore, they would argue, humans are only one species of millions. To kill millions of species for the benefit of one is insane, just as killing millions of people for the benefit of one person would be insane. And since unimpeded ecological collapse would kill off humans anyway, those species will ultimately have died for nothing, and the planet will take millions of years to recover. Therefore, those of us who care about the future of the planet have to dismantle the industrial energy infrastructure as rapidly as possible. We’ll all have to deal with the social consequences as best we can. Besides, rapid collapse is ultimately good for humans—even if there is a partial die-off—because at least some people survive. And remember, the people who need the system to come down the most are the rural poor in the majority of the world: the faster the actionists can bring down industrial civilization, the better the prospects for those people and their landbases. Regardless, without immediate action, everyone dies.
In this scenario, well-organized underground militants would make coordinated attacks on energy infrastructure around the world. These would take whatever tactical form militants could muster—actions against pipelines, power lines, tankers, and refineries, perhaps using electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) to do damage. Unlike in the previous scenario, no attempt would be made to keep pace with aboveground activists. The attacks would be as persistent as the militants could manage. Fossil fuel energy availability would decline by 90 percent. Greenhouse gas emissions would plummet.
The industrial economy would come apart. Manufacturing and transportation would halt because of frequent blackouts and tremendously high prices for fossil fuels. Some, perhaps most, governments would institute martial law and rationing. Governments that took an authoritarian route would be especially targeted by militant resisters. Other states would simply fail and fall apart.
In theory, with a 90 percent reduction in fossil fuel availability, there would still be enough to aid basic survival activities like growing food, heating, and cooking. Governments and civil institutions could still attempt a rapid shift to subsistence activities for their populations, but instead, militaries and the very wealthy would attempt to suck up virtually all remaining supplies of energy. In some places, they would succeed in doing so and widespread hunger would result. In others, people would refuse the authority of those in power. Most existing large-scale institutions would simply collapse, and it would be up to local people to either make a stand for human rights and a better way of life or give in to authoritarian power. The death rate would increase, but as we have seen in examples from Cuba and Russia, civic order can still hold despite the hardships.
What happens next would depend on a number of factors. If the attacks could persist and oil extraction were kept minimal for a prolonged period, industrial civilization would be unlikely to reorganize itself.
Well-guarded industrial enclaves would remain, escorting fuel and resources under arms. If martial law succeeded in stopping attacks after the first few waves (something it has been unable to do in, for example, Nigeria), the effects would be uncertain. In the twentieth century, industrial societies have recovered from disasters, as Europe did after World War II. But this would be a different situation. For most areas, there would be no outside aid. Populations would no longer be able to outrun the overshoot currently concealed by fossil fuels. That does not mean the effects would be the same everywhere; rural and traditional populations would be better placed to cope.
In most areas, reorganizing an energy-intense industrial civilization would be impossible. Even where existing political organizations persist, consumption would drop. Those in power would be unable to project force over long distances, and would have to mostly limit their activities to nearby areas. This means that, for example, tropical biofuel plantations would not be feasible. The same goes for tar sands and mountain-top removal coal mining. The construction of new large-scale infrastructure would simply not be possible.
Though the human population would decline, things would look good for virtually every other species. The oceans would begin to recover rapidly. The same goes for damaged wilderness areas. Because greenhouse emissions would have been reduced to a tiny fraction of their previous levels, runaway global warming would likely be averted. In fact, returning forests and grasslands would sequester carbon, helping to maintain a livable climate.
Nuclear war would be unlikely. Diminished populations and industrial activities would reduce competition between remaining states. Resource limitations would be largely logistical in nature, so escalating resource wars over supplies and resource-rich areas would be pointless.
This scenario, too, has its implementation and plausibility caveats. It guarantees a future for both the planet and the human species. This scenario would save trillions upon trillions upon trillions of living creatures. Yes, it would create hardship for the urban wealthy and poor, though most others would be better off immediately. It would be an understatement to call such a concept unpopular (although the militants in this scenario would argue that fewer people will die than in the case of runaway global warming or business as usual).
There is also the question of plausibility. Could enough ecologically motivated militants mobilize to enact this scenario? No doubt for many people the second, more moderate scenario seems both more appealing and more likely.
There is of course an infinitude of possible futures we could describe. We will describe one more possible future, a combination of the previous two, in which a resistance movement embarks on a strategy of Decisive Ecological Warfare.
DECISIVE ECOLOGICAL WARFARE STRATEGY
The ultimate goal of the primary resistance movement in this scenario is simply a living planet—a planet not just living, but in recovery, growing more alive and more diverse year after year. A planet on which humans live in equitable and sustainable communities without exploiting the planet or each other.
Given our current state of emergency, this translates into a more immediate goal, which is at the heart of this movement’s grand strategy:
Goal 1: To disrupt and dismantle industrial civilization; to thereby remove the ability of the powerful to exploit the marginalized and destroy the planet.
This movement’s second goal both depends on and assists the first:
Goal 2: To defend and rebuild just, sustainable, and autonomous human communities, and, as part of that, to assist in the recovery of the land.
To accomplish these goals requires several broad strategies involving large numbers of people in many different organizations, both aboveground and underground. The primary strategies needed in this theoretical scenario include the following:
Strategy A: Engage in direct militant actions against industrial infrastructure, especially energy infrastructure.
Strategy B: Aid and participate in ongoing social and ecological justice struggles; promote equality and undermine exploitation by those in power.
Strategy C: Defend the land and prevent the expansion of industrial logging, mining, construction, and so on, such that more intact land and species will remain when civilization does collapse.
Strategy D: Build and mobilize resistance organizations that will support the above activities, including decentralized training, recruitment, logistical support, and so on.
Strategy E: Rebuild a sustainable subsistence base for human societies (including perennial polycultures for food) and localized, democratic communities that uphold human rights.
In describing this alternate future scenario, we should be clear about some shorthand phrases like “actions against industrial infrastructure.” Not all infrastructure is created equal, and not all actions against infrastructure are of equal priority, efficacy, or moral acceptability to the resistance movements in this scenario. As Derrick wrote in Endgame, you can’t make a moral argument for blowing up a children’s hospital. On the other hand, you can’t make a moral argument against taking out cell phone towers. Some infrastructure is easy, some is hard, and some is harder.
On the same theme, there are many different mechanisms driving collapse, and they are not all equal or equally desirable. In the Decisive Ecological Warfare scenario, some of the mechanisms are intentionally accelerated and encouraged, while others are slowed or reduced. For example, energy decline by decreasing consumption of fossil fuels is a mechanism of collapse highly beneficial to the planet and (especially in the medium to long term) humans, and that mechanism is encouraged. On the other hand, ecological collapse through habitat destruction and biodiversity crash is also a mechanism of collapse (albeit one that takes longer to affect humans), and that kind of collapse is slowed or stopped whenever and wherever possible.
Collapse, in the most general terms, is a rapid loss of complexity.16 It is a shift toward smaller and more decentralized structures—social, political, economic—with less social stratification, regulation, behavioral control and regimentation, and so on.17 Major mechanisms of collapse include (in no particular order):
• Energy decline as fossil fuel extraction peaks, and a growing, industrializing population drives down per capita availability.
• Industrial collapse as global economies of scale are ruined by increasing transport and manufacturing costs, and by economic decline.
• Economic collapse as global corporate capitalism is unable to maintain growth and basic operations.
• Climate change causing ecological collapse, agricultural failure, hunger, refugees, disease, and so on.
• Ecological collapse of many different kinds driven by resource extraction, destruction of habitat, crashing biodiversity, and climate change.
• Disease, including epidemics and pandemics, caused by crowded living conditions and poverty, along with bacteria diseases increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
• Food crises caused by the displacement of subsistence farmers and destruction of local food systems, competition for grains by factory farms and biofuels, poverty, and physical limits to food production because of drawdown.
• Drawdown as the accelerating consumption of finite supplies of water, soil, and oil leads to rapid exhaustion of accessible supplies.
• Political collapse as large political entities break into smaller groups, secessionists break away from larger states, and some states go bankrupt or simply fail.
• Social collapse as resource shortages and political upheaval break large, artificial group identities into smaller ones (sometimes based along class, ethnic, or regional affinities), often with competition between those groups.
• War and armed conflict, especially resource wars over remaining supplies of finite resources and internal conflicts between warlords and rival factions.
• Crime and exploitation caused by poverty and inequality, especially in crowded urban areas.
• Refugee displacement resulting from spontaneous disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, but worsened by climate change, food shortages, and so on.
In this scenario, each negative aspect of the collapse of civilization has a reciprocal trend that the resistance movement encourages. The collapse of large authoritarian political structures has a countertrend of emerging small-scale participatory political structures. The collapse of global industrial capitalism has a countertrend of local systems of exchange, cooperation, and mutual aid. And so on. Generally speaking, in this alternate future, a small number of underground people bring down the big bad structures, and a large number of aboveground people cultivate the little good structures.
In his book The Collapse of Complex Societies, Joseph Tainter argues that a major mechanism for collapse has to do with societal complexity. Complexity is a general term that includes the number of different jobs or roles in society (e.g., not just healers but epidemiologists, trauma surgeons, gerontologists, etc.), the size and complexity of political structures (e.g., not just popular assemblies but vast sprawling bureaucracies), the number and complexity of manufactured items and technology (e.g., not just spears, but many different calibers and types of bullets), and so on. Civilizations tend to try to use complexity to address problems, and as a result their complexity increases over time.
But complexity has a cost. The decline of a civilization begins when the costs of complexity begin to exceed the benefits—in other words, when increased complexity begins to offer declining returns. At that point, individual people, families, communities, and political and social subunits have a disincentive to participate in that civilization. The complexity keeps increasing, yes, but it keeps getting more expensive. Eventually the ballooning costs force that civilization to collapse, and people fall back on smaller and more local political organizations and social groups.
Part of the job of the resistance movement is to increase the cost and decrease the returns of empire-scale complexity. This doesn’t require instantaneous collapse or global dramatic actions. Even small actions can increase the cost of complexity and accelerate the good parts of collapse while tempering the bad.
Part of Tainter’s argument is that modern society won’t collapse in the same way as old societies, because complexity (through, for example, large-scale agriculture and fossil fuel extraction) has become the physical underpinning of human life rather than a side benefit. Many historical societies collapsed when people returned to villages and less complex traditional life. They chose to do this. Modern people won’t do that, at least not on a large scale, in part because the villages are gone, and traditional ways of life are no longer directly accessible to them. This means that people in modern civilization are in a bind, and many will continue to struggle for industrial civilization even when continuing it is obviously counterproductive. Under a Decisive Ecological Warfare scenario, aboveground activists facilitate this aspect of collapse by developing alternatives that will ease the pressure and encourage people to leave industrial capitalism by choice.
There’s something admirable about the concept of protracted popular warfare that was used in China and Vietnam. It’s an elegant idea, if war can ever be described in such terms; the core idea is adaptable and applicable even in the face of major setbacks and twists of fate.
But protracted popular warfare as such doesn’t apply to the particular future we are discussing. The people in that scenario will never have the numbers that protracted popular warfare requires. But they will also face a different kind of adversary, for which different tactics are applicable. So they will take the essential idea of protracted popular warfare and apply it to their own situation—that of needing to save their planet, to bring down industrial civilization and keep it down. And they will devise a new grand strategy based on a simple continuum of steps that flow logically one after the other.
In this alternate future scenario, Decisive Ecological Warfare has four phases that progress from the near future through the fall of industrial civilization. The first phase is Networking & Mobilization. The second phase is Sabotage & Asymmetric Action. The third phase is Systems Disruption. And the fourth and final phase is Decisive Dismantling of Infrastructure.
Each phase has its own objectives, operational approaches, and organizational requirements. There’s no distinct dividing line between the phases, and different regions progress through the phases at different times. These phases emphasize the role of militant resistance networks. The aboveground building of alternatives and revitalization of human communities happen at the same time. But this does not require the same strategic rigor; rebuilding healthy human communities with a subsistence base must simply happen as fast as possible, everywhere, with timetables and methods suited to the region. This scenario’s militant resisters, on the other hand, need to share some grand strategy to succeed.
Peruvian protests against government plans to regulate small-scale mining left at least three dead and 50 wounded in the southern Amazon jungle today, the government said.
The miners are protesting against tougher penalties for illegal mining.
Local officials said police were far outnumbered by the protesters, who are trying to take control of the airport at the city of Puerto Maldonado.
The miners say the new rules will put them out of work, but the government says the sanctions will encourage miners to get the necessary permits.
An estimated 50,000 miners do not have a licence to operate.
The government says large areas of jungle have been destroyed by illegal mining and large portions of the area’s waterways show high levels of mercury, used in the mining operations.
Officials say they want the miners to obtain the correct permits and to abide by environmental rules, but the protesters accuse the government of wanting to hand over mining concessions only to large multinational companies.
The latest protests erupted after talks between the government and the miners broke down on Tuesday.
Regional officials said more than 10,000 miners tried to seize government buildings, markets and the airport in Puerto Maldonado.
Regional President Luis Aguirre described the situation as “untenable”. “You can hear gunshots throughout the entire city,” he said.
Police have asked for reinforcements as 700 officers were outnumbered by more than 10,000 protesters.
Informal miners also held protests in two other regions, in Piura in Peru’s northwest and in Puno in the southern highlands bordering Bolivia.
Peru is one of the world’s major gold producers and high prices have sparked a boom in recent years.
The government has urged the miners to return to the negotiating table for more talks scheduled for Friday, but it is not clear so far if the miners will attend.
How the FBI Monitored #Oregon Crusty Punks, 'Anarchist Hangouts,' and an Organic Farmers' Market Under the Guise of Combating Terrorism - #DGR
The FBI conducted a three-year investigation, dubbed “Seizing Thunder,” into a animal-rights and environmental “terrorists” in the Pacific Northwest that devolved into widespread—and seemingly pointless—surveillance of activists for no apparent reason aside from the fact that they were anarchists, or protested the war in Iraq, or were “militant feminists.” Here’s the file.
I first came across the name “Seizing Thunder” several years ago while rifling through the FBI’s investigative files on the Animal Liberation Front. The ALF records obliquely referenced the evocatively named investigation, which I requested via the Freedom of Information Act just for kicks. Last month—after three years—the FBI returned nearly 500 pages (it held back 784).
It turns out that Seizing Thunder, which was based out of the bureau’s Portland field office, was one of several investigations into animal rights and environmental activists nationwide that the FBI eventually merged into Operation Backfire, a wide-ranging probe of ALF and the Earth Liberation Front. Backfire concluded in 2006 with the indictments of 11 activists for arson and other “acts of domestic terrorism,” including a notorious 1998 destruction of a $12 million ski lodge in Vail, Colo. The Portland portion seemed to focus primarily on gathering general intelligence on activists who used tree-sitting and other monkey-wrench tactics to fight old-growth logging in the Pacific Northwest.
What makes Seizing Thunder interesting, however, is how easily the agents slipped beyond investigating actual federal crimes and devoted considerable resources to tracking political activists with no apparent criminal intent.
Seizing Thunder was opened in 2002 to target members of the “Animal Liberation front (ALF), Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and an anarchist group called the Red Cloud Thunder, all whose members are inter-related and they openly claimed several major arsons,” according to the files. The investigation involved physical and video surveillance, warrants for phone taps, and cooperation with local police departments in Portland and Eugene, Ore. But the feds quickly dropped the pretense of tracking organized groups and quickly began surveilling people simply for identifying themselves—or for being identified by informants—as anarchists. The memos read like artifacts from the Red Scare:
- July 19, 2002: “On [redacted], the source observed a [redacted] Oregon license plate…parked at [redacted], a known anarchist hangout.”
- August 8, 2002: “The source observed the following vehicles in the vicinity of [redacted], a major hangout for the anarchist and [redacted]”
- September 19, 2002: “On [redacted] the source observed [redacted] vehicle, Oregon license plate [redacted] parked at [redacted] one of the hangout for anarchist….”
- October 18, 2002: “On [redacted] the source was questioned as to the [redacted] anarchist travelling to [redacted].”
“The anarchists were dressed in black”
What sort of federal crimes were all these anarchists getting up to, aside from the thought variety? The records, which document the FBI’s extensive cooperation and intelligence-sharing with local police departments in Eugene and Oregon, show that agents collected intelligence about an anarchist march that was being planned to protest U.S. policy in the Middle East:
On [redacted] at approximately 2:30 p.m., the source visited [redacted]. The source did not observe any anarchists. The source walked [redacted] to view their bulletin board. Most of the ads on the bulletin board were for individuals looking for roommates.
On [redacted] the source attended [redacted]. The source visited [redacted] where the source met two unknown anarchists at [redacted]. The anarchists were dressed in black and were in their early 20s…. The source stated the anarchists are planning a protest to “Reclaim the Streets” on April 20, 2002, in Portland, Ore.
Here’s how the Associated Press covered that crucible of terror and violence:
About 700 people marched through downtown Saturday in a peaceful protest against U.S. support of Israel in the Middle East crisis. There were no arrests and no altercations, police said.
The Pinky Swear Riot
Another FBI source passed along a warning of a similar anarchist plot to gather on the streets of Eugene just two days later to protest the International Monetary Fund. The feds quickly passed along the warning to the Eugene police department, thereby averting a bloody riot, by the FBI’s lights:
[Redacted] identified [redacted] a mass protest/riot planned by the Eugene anarchist where on 4/22/02 they attempted to “take over the street” and cause havoc during the rush hour. The Eugene Police Department was immediately notified and they called in numerous officers for this unexpected protest/riot. EPD was prepared for this problem and prevented a major riot. EPD expressed their appreciation for this information as it may have resulted in maJor damages of businesses and property, similar to that of a riot in June 1999 where $150,000 of property destruction occurred.
I can’t find any record of any news organization covering this narrowly averted riot. A flier for the riot included in the file reads: “2 p.m.: Teach-in on the G8…. 4 p.m.: RECLAIM-THE-STREETS! Come and party in the street! Live bands: Pinky Swear (Portland/Punk) and Elevated Elements (Seattle / Hip Hop).”
Another high point of the file shows agents conducting surveillance on the Grower’s Market, a “not-for-profit food-buying club for buying organic and natural foods” in Eugene, and then literally tailing two random Subaru Legacys (naturally!) to a political rally. As the redacted memo recounting the excursion makes clear, the agents had no idea who they were following, or why.
The interviewing agents conducted a physical surveillance in the vicinity of The Grower’s Market located at 454 Willamette Street in Eugene, Oregon. This surveillance was conducted as a result of [redacted]. During the surveillance the following observations were made:
0930: Surveillance instituted in the vicinity of The Grower’s Market….
1100: A gray Subaru Legacy bearing Oregon license plate [redacted] with unknown individuals left the area of the Grower’s Market followed by unknown passengers in a red Subaru Legacy bearing Ohio license plate [redacted], a purple Geo Metro bearing an Oregon special license plate [redacted]. These vehicles were followed south on Interstate-5.
What caper were these Subaru-driving terrorists getting up to? Well, after meeting up with a “private bus,” also with unknown individuals on board, they drove to Roseburg, Oregon:
1406: The bus and three vehicles were observed parked on the west side of Main Street, south of Oak Street, in a free parking area. The occupants of the vehicles were observed to be carrying protest signs and musical instruments and walking north on Main Street toward the South Umpqua National Bank.
1409: The occupants of the bus and three vehicles were observed protesting outside the South Umpqua National Bank located at Main and Washington streets in Roseburg, Oregon. Officers from Roseburg Police Department and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office were observed monitoring/video taping the incident.
1417: Surveillance discontinued.
“The Anarchists and homeless groups have united”
The Seizing Thunder agents weren’t just worried about enviro-anarchy—they also warned of a dreaded anarchist-homeless alliance that threatened to build a “homeless camp.” From a November 2002 memo:
Source advised that the Anarchists and homeless groups have united in the effort to establish a “homeless camp.” Source stated that the homeless community has accepted the assistance of the Anarchists in the area of publicity and community outreach.
And don’t forget the menace posed by punk rock as performed by anarchists. This memo shows that the bureau’s Los Angeles office kept tabs on an the Alternative Gathering Collective, “an anarchist group in Los Angeles that organizes anarchist punk music concerts, many of which are fundraisers for animal liberation and environmental extremist groups and causes.”
Review of [redacted] found that the AGC sponsored a benefit show for the Long Beach Food Not Bombs (FNB) on 2/5/2005. The concert was held at the Homeland Cultural Center, 1321 Anaheim St., Long Beach CA with the bands Sin Remedio, Ciril, Degrading Humanity, Life in Exile, Lechuza, Civil Disgust, S.O.U.P., and One Side Society.
Finally, an October 2002 memo warns agents that Lady Anarchists can be a whole mess of trouble:
Source advised that the females of the anarchist’s movement are in leadership positions in Eugene, Oregon. These females are described as being very feminist and militant.
A History of Political Surveillance
Sadly, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody paying attention that the FBI spent much of the 2000s following people simply because they harbored forbidden political beliefs. Last year, Austin, Texas activist Scott Crow decided to see if the FBI was keeping tabs on him, so he FOIAed his file. He got back an astonishing 440 pages of surveillance records and other documents, according to the New York Times. Crow, an anarchist, has never been charged with a federal crime.
In 2010, the FBI’s inspector general issued a report finding that the bureau had overstepped its bounds in investigating political and advocacy groups. The bureau’s Pittsburgh office, the report said, had conducted surveillance on an anti-war rally as a “make-work” assignment for a bored agent and then “provided inaccurate and misleading information to Congress and the public” about the incident. It also found that “in several cases” of surveillance aimed at Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and other groups, the FBI’s stated bases for the investigations were “factually weak” and demonstrated “little indication of any possible federal crime as opposed to a local crime.”
A 2003 inspector general audit of the bureau’s intelligence gathering and sharing capabilities took note of the increasing emphasis on domestic counterterrorism investigations aimed at “criminal activities associated with animal rights, environmental, and anti-abortion extremists, as well as by certain social protestors” as opposed to, you know, al Qaeda. The report diplomatically suggested that the FBI’s counterterror resources should be reserved for combating actual terrorism: “To the extent that the FBI seeks to maximize its counterterrorism resources to deal with radical Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, WMD, and domestic groups or individuals that may seek mass casualties, we believe that FBI management should consider the benefit of transferring responsibility for criminal activity by social activists to the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.”
The bureau obviously didn’t listen. It should be noted that the 11 people eventually indicted in Operation Backfire actually had committed serious crimes worthy of federal investigations. Though the documents are heavily redacted, it appears from context that at the very least one of them—Chelsea Dawn Gerlach, who participated in the Vail arson—was a target of Seizing Thunder.
I asked the FBI who, if anyone, was eventually charged based on information developed via Seizing Thunder, and what federal crimes the bureau suspected unidentified Subaru drivers, militant feminists, and frequenters of “anarchist hangouts” of committing. A spokeswoman did not immediately respond.
You can read the full file below.
“Uploaded by 2b3n4m5q7 on 9 Mar 2012
http://tinyurl.com/7ja9tbt Leading environmentalists Jonathon Porritt and Caroline Lucas MP will join demonstrators at Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset to mark the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster - and to call for a halt to the development of Hinkley C. Kate Hudson, chair of CND will also be speaking at the event. The event is supported by local campaign group Stop Hinkley.”
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Goodbye, First Amendment: ‘Trespass Bill’ will make protest illegal
Washington: US park police detains a Christian religious activist during a pro-life demonstration in front of the White House in Washington on February 16, 2012. (AFP Photo/Jewel Samad)
Just when you thought the government couldn’t ruin the First Amendment any further: The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.
The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence.
Under the act, the government is also given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country.
Under current law, White House trespassers are prosecuted under a local ordinance, a Washington, DC legislation that can bring misdemeanor charges for anyone trying to get close to the president without authorization. Under H.R. 347, a federal law will formally be applied to such instances, but will also allow the government to bring charges to protesters, demonstrators and activists at political events and other outings across America.
The new legislation allows prosecutors to charge anyone who enters a building without permission or with the intent to disrupt a government function with a federal offense if Secret Service is on the scene, but the law stretches to include not just the president’s palatial Pennsylvania Avenue home. Under the law, any building or grounds where the president is visiting — even temporarily — is covered, as is any building or grounds “restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.”
It’s not just the president who would be spared from protesters, either.
Covered under the bill is any person protected by the Secret Service. Although such protection isn’t extended to just everybody, making it a federal offense to even accidently disrupt an event attended by a person with such status essentially crushes whatever currently remains of the right to assemble and peacefully protest.
Hours after the act passed, presidential candidate Rick Santorum was granted Secret Service protection. For the American protester, this indeed means that glitter-bombing the former Pennsylvania senator is officially a very big no-no, but it doesn’t stop with just him. Santorum’s coverage under the Secret Service began on Tuesday, but fellow GOP hopeful Mitt Romney has already been receiving such security. A campaign aide who asked not to be identified confirmed last week to CBS News that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has sought Secret Service protection as well. Even former contender Herman Cain received the armed protection treatment when he was still in the running for the Republican Party nod.
In the text of the act, the law is allowed to be used against anyone who knowingly enters or remains in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so, but those grounds are considered any area where someone — rather it’s President Obama, Senator Santorum or Governor Romney — will be temporarily visiting, whether or not the public is even made aware. Entering such a facility is thus outlawed, as is disrupting the orderly conduct of “official functions,” engaging in disorderly conduct “within such proximity to” the event or acting violent to anyone, anywhere near the premises. Under that verbiage, that means a peaceful protest outside a candidate’s concession speech would be a federal offense, but those occurrences covered as special event of national significance don’t just stop there, either. And neither does the list of covered persons that receive protection.
Outside of the current presidential race, the Secret Service is responsible for guarding an array of politicians, even those from outside America. George W Bush is granted protection until ten years after his administration ended, or 2019, and every living president before him is eligible for life-time, federally funded coverage. Visiting heads of state are extended an offer too, and the events sanctioned as those of national significance — a decision that is left up to the US Department of Homeland Security — extends to more than the obvious. While presidential inaugurations and meeting of foreign dignitaries are awarded the title, nearly three dozen events in all have been considered a National Special Security Event (NSSE) since the term was created under President Clinton. Among past events on the DHS-sanctioned NSSE list are Super Bowl XXXVI, the funerals of Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, most State of the Union addresses and the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
With Secret Service protection awarded to visiting dignitaries, this also means, for instance, that the federal government could consider a demonstration against any foreign president on American soil as a violation of federal law, as long as it could be considered disruptive to whatever function is occurring.
When thousands of protesters are expected to descend on Chicago this spring for the 2012 G8 and NATO summits, they will also be approaching the grounds of a National Special Security Event. That means disruptive activity, to whichever court has to consider it, will be a federal offense under the act.
And don’t forget if you intend on fighting such charges, you might not be able to rely on evidence of your own. In the state of Illinois, videotaping the police, under current law, brings criminals charges. Don’t fret. It’s not like the country will really try to enforce it — right?
On the bright side, does this mean that the law could apply to law enforcement officers reprimanded for using excessive force on protesters at political events? Probably. Of course, some fear that the act is being created just to keep those demonstrations from ever occuring, and given the vague language on par with the loose definition of a “terrorist” under the NDAA, if passed this act is expected to do a lot more harm to the First Amendment than good.
United States Representative Justin Amash (MI-03) was one of only three lawmakers to vote against the act when it appeared in the House late Monday. Explaining his take on the act through his official Facebook account on Tuesday, Rep. Amash writes, “The bill expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know it’s illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect it’s illegal.”
“Some government officials may need extraordinary protection to ensure their safety. But criminalizing legitimate First Amendment activity — even if that activity is annoying to those government officials — violates our rights,” adds the representative.
Now that the act has overwhelmingly made it through the House, the next set of hands to sift through its pages could very well be President Barack Obama; the US Senate had already passed the bill back on February 6. Less than two months ago, the president approved the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, essentially suspending habeas corpus from American citizens. Could the next order out of the Executive Branch be revoking some of the Bill of Rights? Only if you consider the part about being able to assemble a staple of the First Amendment, really. Don’t worry, though. Obama was, after all, a constitutional law professor. When he signed the NDAA on December 31, he accompanied his signature with a signing statement that let Americans know that, just because he authorized the indefinite detention of Americans didn’t mean he thought it was right.
Should President Obama suspend the right to assemble, Americans might expect another apology to accompany it in which the commander-in-chief condemns the very act he authorizes. If you disagree with such a decision, however, don’t take it to the White House. Sixteen-hundred Pennsylvania Avenue and the vicinity is, of course, covered under this act.
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