"Free" trade is a euphemism for predatory corporatism roaming the world freely, enriching the rich, impoverishing the poor, abusing workers, ripping off consumers, corrupting governments, and, more critically, destroying the environment.

Just factoring into the larger equation all the unnecessary extra transportation costs alone -- bouncing raw materials and finished goods back and forth between countries like ping-pong balls -- accounts for a huge percentage of humankind's wasted economic energy that could be directed toward more constructive endeavors. God knows there are countless worthy projects, both public and private, screaming for attention.

Then think of all the extra megatons of unnecessary carbon released into the atmosphere by all those ships, planes, trains, trucks, and carbon-spewing conveyances crawling all over the planet like ants on a rotting apple. To stay focused on the salient points for the article, Thom, as he mentioned, deliberately set aside for the time being a more in-depth discussion about the "value of nature." That's because the more inclusive economic picture is quite complex.

Suffice to say, the common denominator in most sane and sober studies is the hard-won acknowledgment that the preservation of the balance of nature is the basic component that must be included when one zooms out to consider the overall plight of humanity clinging to the skin of an overheating planet, gobbling up resources almost twice as fast as Mother Nature can replenish them. Earth Overshoot Day: https://www.overshootday.org/about/

Theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku loves to point out that our so-called "known universe" makes up only about five percent of reality. The rest is shrouded in a baffling mystery: dark matter (appx. 23%) and dark energy (appx. 72 %). So, in other words, the great thinking ape is actually pretty damn stupid and ignorant and should just shut up, sit down, and pay attention if it has any hope of evolving much further. We're making hugely wrong assumptions about the basics of survival that are sickening and killing precious life in all its varied and interdependent forms, including our own.

The whole paradigm of worldwide economics needs to shift from one based on ever-escalating overconsumption to satisfy endless insatiable whims and desires (and to make billionaires into trillionaires) to a system that adheres strictly to the other basic law of supply and demand, i.e., frugality: demanding LESS supply. In technical terms, that means the cupboards are so fcking bare even the damn spiders are dying! So quit stuffing chow down your pie hole, ya fat bastard!

Okay, that line was probably not included in the formal climate-summit report, but this report on the report drives the main point home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FqXTCvDLeo ("Fossil-fuel industry gets subsidies of 11m a minute, IMF finds," which also distorts the market for investing in renewable, non-polluting sources of energy.)

Expand full comment

Deepspace, thanks, once again, for your inciteful analysis, and I especially liked your ants on a rotting apple simile. I also highly recommend watching the link you provided that is great and tells us Earth’s citizens are subsidizing the carbon oligarchs at a rate of $11 million dollars/minute which works out to $5.78 trillion/year. The root cause of every really bad thing that happens on our planet is the fact that rich sociopaths who run the oligopolies have constructed a relatively unassailable position in public sector decision-making. Until that position is deconstructed, they will continue their kleptocratic ways by manipulating our poorly educated citizens to control their Kakistocrats.

Expand full comment

Kakistocracy is exactly -- and only -- what Trump Republicans have to sell.

Expand full comment

According to info I read, Biden is not keen on making new trade agreements. I suspect he is working on the issues in this Report. He knows we cannot go on with meds being made in China and India. Sending fossil fuel from one end to the other of a tired, hot planet is insane too. Electrification IS the answer to that. Let's make our own energy from sun, wind, wave and geo-thermal. There are amazing new inventions that will be used as backup battery power, and they have nothing to do with lithium. These are all great job creators.

I am somewhat wondering how many people here will want manufacturing jobs. But, the methods of creating a product have been automated considerably, so many of those jobs will be computer assisted design and robotics which might be more appealing.

I hope the lessons of the pandemic concerning the essential workers will be part of how we move forward. More and more women are getting involved in the construction trades, and on a wonderful note, more and more men are becoming nurses. The gender revolution is going to help us get people back to work where they get PAID and treated properly in the jobs they love. So much invention has come out of our amazing country. Ask China, they are constantly stealing it, when we are not just giving it to them.

Expand full comment

Can you imagine how much better off the world would be if the renewable energy industries were subsidized to the tune of $11 million a minute? Or how much better off America would be with a strong union movement to counteract the power of monopolized, top-down corporatism/authoritarianism?

Expand full comment

I am a avid UFO/UAP buff and find the intentional secrecy on this subject aligns clearly with all other attempts to keep citizen ignorant and asleep with shiny new distractions. In 1970’s Peter Coyote’s father said on Jeffrey Mishlove’s program they were stripping the entire country of our wealth. Should talk to Peter. Here is the interview. Brought back tons of memories. https://youtu.be/dVVpFLMqr1k

Expand full comment