How investment banks encourage America’s hidden addiction to petroleum

30-Nov-2020 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:50 AM Print This Post

I have watched the sad sight of high school students led by Greta Thunberg and other climate activists demanding of political leaders that they change their policies and receiving sorrowful apologies and inspiring promises only to discover, to their surprise, that absolutely nothing has changed in six months, or in a year.

This tragic-comedy is no accident; it is the result of a systematic strategy of misinforming the public through the media and through educational materials as to how policy decisions are made and why we are paralysed in the face of climate disaster. The truth is that all important decisions are made by banks and corporations, and not by nation states and their governments. The leaders who appear on television have no more impact regarding economic policy than Bozo the clown has over the acts in the three rings at the circus.

Let us start with the basics: The global economy has been taken over by a small group of investment banks, sovereign wealth funds, and, above all, the super-rich. The direction of United States policy (and that of other countries) is determined by these players and then passed down by consulting firms and law firms to the politicians below.

The end of the Cold War produced a global system in which there is no serious ideological or philosophical analysis of policy or of the economy. The media, and the textbooks used in schools, and the writings of the famous experts do not offer any critical perspective, or even an alternative perspective, on society, on the economy or on the environment. Deep thinking about the future of the nation has vanished.

At best we are fed a sad litany of complaints about politicians that ignores structural issues and assumes that all problems flow from the selfishness of specific people, not the flaws in governance.

Imperfect as the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China were before the rolling 1990s, they at least had experts in Marxist economics who pressured Western scholars to think more critically about the world. That exchange kept us on our toes. We have fallen asleep at the wheel since then.

Journalism has decayed into fluffy reporting aimed at creating an emotional response. Most news is aimed to distract and to mesmerise, not to inform or to inspire. Education, similarly, has lost all ethical and scientific imperative to demand the truth.

The politicians involved in the formulation of policy have turned into entertainers and clowns who feed pre-digested slop to citizens. Intellectuals, who once played a leadership role, are forced to write articles for obscure academic journals and are barred from any meaningful participation in policy.

Global investment banks and their proxies have stepped in to fill this space.

Moreover, advances in technology have produced banks of supercomputers that make the real decisions for investment banks, calculating ruthlessly the monetary value of every drop of water, every Amazon tree and every worker in the world. The only real long-term plans are for efficiently exploiting both humanity and the environment to the hilt while using artificial intelligence (AI) and complex algorisms to distract and mislead the public as to what is going on.

As far as those supercomputers are concerned, it does not matter if the Earth ends up a smoldering bare rock in 20 years. All that matters is short-term profit.

These investment banks will do everything in their power, legal or otherwise, to make sure that every action taken by every citizen in the world produces profits for the multinational corporations that they own stock in. They do not want citizens to produce their own food, their own energy, their own cultural content or their own organisations. Similarly, these banks do everything in their power to make sure that this system of economic parasitism is hidden from your sight, never treated seriously in the media, or in academic research.

If you eat food, drink water, travel, receive an education, seek treatment at a hospital or are buried in a cemetery, the bankers want to make sure that they get a part of the required monetary transaction.

They do not want you to eat food that you grew on your own land using your own seeds. They do not want you to use tools, or furniture, or to live in a house that you built with your own hands. They do not want you to cure yourself of diseases with herbs that you grew in your backyard. They do not want you to enjoy art, films, novels or dramas that you and your friends produced for yourselves.

Above all, they never want you to produce your own energy, or to reduce your use of energy. They want to make sure you are addicted to petroleum.

Petroleum has been the primary means that allows investment banks to get their pound of flesh every time that you need energy (although they also have their claws in coal and uranium and control renewable energy in a manner that assures its full implementation is delayed for as long as possible).

They do not want you to know that citizens once produced most of their energy, most of their own food and most of everything that they needed without a penny going to investment banks.

The investment banks have spread their money around, paying off experts in just about every field to create a world deeply dependent on petroleum.

They designed your cities, they set your priorities in life from kindergarten on glorifying a world dominated by automobiles and airplanes and by wasteful consumption so as to make sure that you are so addicted to petroleum that you cannot even conceive of an alternative society.

At the same time, the banks, and the companies that they own, pay writers, consultants and politicians to make sure that the horrible consequences of the consumption of petroleum are hidden from you, that you never associate your use of petroleum with the environmental crisis that we face. The policy debate in the political sphere never allows anyone to ask what the long-term costs of using petroleum are.

If we want to save the Earth from climate collapse, we must first make sure that all citizens know why we have been forced to rely on petroleum and by whom. They must know which banks and which billionaires are involved and why. They must comprehend the manner in which those players forced us into an addiction to fossil fuels.

When the hidden strategies of investment banks like Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Bank of America and Morgan-Stanley are made clear, when the massive investments in fossil-fuel-related industries by billionaires like Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Bill Gates men who cultivate a positive image in public are revealed, only then will the true conspiracy become manifest.

The Plan

These international investment banks have worked relentlessly over the past 80 years to make sure that oil-producing countries are run by selfish dictators and that the money produced by the sale of the petroleum in those countries is pumped back into financial institutions controlled by those banks. They want to create political economies that are incapable of surviving without the production of petroleum. That means that these oil producers also will spend billions of their own dollars to block any effort to limit the use of petroleum. We may blame Saudi Arabia, but the hidden hand remains as it always has, on Wall Street.

Oil-producing nations are made dependent on petroleum by reducing the diversity in their economies. The powerful global banks have made Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Nigeria into intellectual and cultural wastelands that lack the cultural diversity and self-awareness required to demand an economy independent of petroleum.

The titular rulers of these sad nations toil away at the only business they know, digging a grave for humanity by releasing deadly pollutants. But it is the banks, not the dictators, who wrote the script.

Of course, investment banks create complex plots that include real battles between investment banks in London, New York, Moscow or Beijing, battles over the division of profits. Such battles give the audience the impression that there is a struggle for change. But those battles are but acts in the play that leave the system untouched.

The confusion of petroleum and security

Investment banks that derive wealth from petroleum provide the funding for research, and the formulation of policy proposals at think tanks and research institutes. The assumption in all of these bogus reports is that the fundamental role of the US military should be to defend the production of petroleum and its shipment around the world.

That is to say, in all these discussions on security it is assumed that the United States is dependent on the import of energy and that it must be ready to defend that petroleum militarily.

The possibility that security can be obtained by the development of 100 percent renewable energy at home, and a massive reduction of the consumption of energy, is never mentioned.

Such skewed research is intended to define the role of the US military entirely in terms of the defense of petroleum. The assumption in the security analysis funded by these multinational banks is that the United States must protect the transportation of energy resources around the world by making a massive investment in ships, planes, missiles, and satellites.

Moreover, the US military has been made into a massive consumer of petroleum that dwarfs the consumption of most other nations. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the US military has been remade, stealthily, to consume petroleum and render profits to the banks that fund the very companies supplying petroleum for fighter planes, tanks and other weapons systems.

That distortion in the role of the military means that few leaders in the national security field are allowed to discuss climate change as a serious threat. The rare figure who does, like Admiral Samuel Locklear, is summarily destroyed.

All planning in the military is for imagined future wars that will involve the massive consumption of petroleum.

Currency and petroleum

The pricing and sale of petroleum generates tremendous profits for the multinational investment banks that control the process. The United States’ financial system has been restructured so as to make petroleum a core factor in all economic activity. The intentional outsourcing of American manufacturing by investment banks has made the control of petroleum even more critical to the economic health of the nation.

The value of the US dollar is not backed by gold reserves any more, and the level of debt for the United States is so high, and the value of American assets so diminished, that the greatest economic asset for the country has become the sale of petroleum in US dollars. A serious move away from the pricing of petroleum in US dollars by other nations has met deep opposition, and the response often takes the form of military action.

If the global sale of petroleum were detached from the US dollar completely, hyperinflation would follow ? and has already begun.

The moves of Russia, China and Iran to start selling petroleum in other currencies has not only increased the threat of war against those nations, but fueled an insane effort to produce natural gas and petroleum in the United States using the dangerous process of fracking. Fracking threatens to poison our water for generations in an effort to make sure that petroleum continues to be traded in US dollars.

Petroleum and agriculture

It did not take investment banks long to figure out that food is an absolute necessity for life and that they should insert their proboscis in at every level in the food production chain so as to make sure citizens are incapable of consuming food that does not render up profit to them.

Agriculture in the United States has been yoked to petroleum at every stage. Pesticides and fertilisers derived from petroleum are required by the industrial agriculture that the government subsidises. Family farms have been destroyed, and now a massive amount of land is farmed with only the profits of multinational corporations in mind.

Farming has been automated and mechanised unnecessarily to increase the consumption of petroleum. Agricultural products are shipped by truck around the country, and by ship around the world, in a manner that consumes an enormous amount of petroleum. It is falsely assumed that this cost is necessary for the production of food. Local agriculture is assumed to be backward and inefficient in the fraudulent debate on agricultural productivity.

The citizen has no choice but to consume food produced using petroleum. Even if you eat only vegetables with the intention of saving the environment, you will consume vegetables raised and shipped using a tremendous amount of petroleum and packaged in deadly plastic.

It is assumed to be natural, even by socialists and Marxists, that we must export and import food, shipping it in container ships that consume large amounts of petroleum and coal. There is no international effort to calculate the damage to the environment resulting from such international trade in agricultural goods, but the consumption is universally assumed to be a positive.

The cult of luxury and exclusiveness

We consume far more energy than we need to live meaningful lives because we are subject to constant advertising on television, on billboards, in newspapers and on the internet that promotes the glamorous lives of the upper middle class, and of the rich, lives in which resources are wasted as a matter of pride. People in the TV commercials we are forced to watch live in pointlessly large buildings, spending their time alone, cut off from their neighbours and driving large automobiles.

It is no accident that the meaningful dialogue in a movie takes place when a character is driving.

Such images suggest to us subliminally that waste is the way to creativity and self-realisation. In other words, citizens are expected to see these grotesque images as a model, as a paradigm.

The promotion of luxury and waste is part an effort to justify and to glorify the extravagant lives of the super-rich. Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are fed to us as models to be emulated, rather than criminals to be rounded up.

The advertisements for fashion, for automobiles or for vacations that we are confronted with every time we open a magazine are not intended to sell us specific products but rather to create a wasteful and thoughtless culture in which the consequences of today’s actions are never discussed.

Newspapers and magazines that are dependent on advertisements create content that promotes consumption and censor stories that question such waste.

The religion of automation and the cult of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”

Enormous funds are pumped into advertising, media and entertainment for the purpose of making the rapid automation of our society appear to be an “inevitable” process driven by scientific principles. Similar efforts are made to hide the political and economic agenda behind this new form of class warfare that is aimed at destroying all resources for workers, a class conflict that is dressed up, and marketed by adverting agencies, as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

A campaign is on to convince innocent youth that they should devote their studies to preparing for a world run by machines, rather than thinking deeply about whether such a world is a positive at all, and who benefits financially from such shifts in society. We are told that life will become more convenient, more advanced and more creative, but we are never told what sort of a price will be paid in terms of the production of energy via coal, petroleum or uranium to drive such a world.

The assumption promoted by advertisers, and by the experts bought off by investment banks, is that energy for this new automation of all aspects of daily life will be free. The terrible destruction of our environment by energy generated for an online world over the next hundred years is a complete taboo.

The outsourcing of databases and server farms to India and other countries allows those in wealthy nations to make use of energy from coal and petroleum in third-world countries. From the point of view of the climate, however, there is no difference.

The truth is that it would be better to do most things by hand from the point of view of protecting the environment. This truth too is an absolute taboo.

Making the AI revolution seem like a necessity dictated by God, demanding that we must build “smart cities” to replace the perfectly good communities that we live in today, is a tremendous fraud that will condemn our youth to a brutal and dim future. That so many so-called scientists have bought into this agenda because of the juicy research grants they are offered suggests a level of moral decadence on a par with the late Roman Empire.

Pushing the response to climate change out to 2050

One of the favourite methods that the pawns of the investment banks employ when pushing petroleum is the promotion of high-profile discussions about climate change that give participants opportunities to indulge their egos, and to be lauded by the media, but that accomplish almost nothing. The Paris Agreement is a perfect example and, sadly, the Democratic Party currently suggests that going back to this travesty would be a significant step forward.

The leaders of major industrialised countries are pushing climate agreements that assume that a magical transition to sustainable energy will take place in 2050, or, if we are lucky, in 2030. Those dates are so far away, and long-term planning in government has been so degraded by privatisation, that such announcements are meaningless. The public relations firms serving petroleum interests are happy to promote these high-profile events as a means of giving citizens the impression that something is being done.

The big lies of growth and consumption

Investment banks and the corporations that they own fight desperately to make sure citizens only see statistics that describe the economy in terms of the stock market, growth and consumption. None of these indicators has anything to do with the economy. None of these indicators considers the long-term impact of economic activity on the environment.

We are told, rather, that we must consume and dispose of things in order to increase growth, in order to promote the required consumption.

Humans lived without these dangerous twisted concepts for millions of years. Most of the growth and consumption discussed by economists is about the consumption of energy, primarily petroleum and coal.

So twisted is the logic of growth that if you make houses that last for 500 years, if you wear clothes that last for 50 years, or if you make sure everything you consume is recycled in the true sense of the word, you will be harming “growth.”

If citizens lived simple, modest lives, found spiritual depth in reading books, in writing, in painting, in music and in engaging each other in deep conversations, we would have a healthy and sustainable society again and would reduce pollution.

Such a healthy society would be a disaster in terms of economic growth and consumption. The stock market would plunge, the media would scream bloody murder.

Virtues such as frugality, modesty, self-sufficiency, and spiritual depth are discouraged. A throw-away culture that degrades human experience is promoted by progressives and conservatives alike.

Linking money and assets to petroleum

One of the darkest sins perpetrated in the United States is the linkage of money, currency, to petroleum. The United States dollar has been propped up by its use in the sale of petroleum in the years since the end of the gold standard.

For many Americans, money is about retirement and receiving some sort of income for those years after one stops working. In the old days, the employer was required to provide a pension. Since Wall Street took over the economy, however, the employee is forced to put retirement funds in the stock market and to live off the profits made by multinational corporations.

Financial institutions make sure that citizens have no choice but to buy stocks and bonds for their future retirement that are linked to energy consumption in general, and to petroleum specifically.

The tax system is set up to penalise anyone who tries to get out of a system that demands that the citizen puts his money into subsidising the consumption economy. Even those companies that promote themselves as “green” are organisations that consume immense amounts of energy needlessly.

The promotion of international trade

One of the great taboos in the debate on climate change is international trade. Few indeed are the climate activists willing to step forward and demand an end to the environmentally damaging system by which we ship raw materials, components and finished products around the world in a search of marginal profits.

It is assumed that the encouragement of trade, and its reward with government subsidies, is an unmitigated positive for everyone and that a country like North Korea that limits trade is a “hermit kingdom” that deserves our disdain.

Anyone who questions this free trade ideology is treated as a Luddite, as an outcast.

Nevertheless, the fact that a lie is embraced by virtually everyone fails to make it true.

The shipment of products over tens of thousands of kilometers of ocean, products that could be easily manufactured locally, consumes tremendous amounts of petroleum and coal. That cost, and the damage to local economies that results, is carefully erased by the experts who feed at the trough of the investment banks.

Without our knowledge, and without our consent, we have been forced into a system that produces profits for petroleum producers.

In a particularly cynical move, the powerful offer the American citizen an impossible choice. Either we can prepare for war with Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, or we can embrace ruthless economic exchanges with those countries that are controlled by multinational corporations, economic exchanges largely linked to the consumption of (and the production of) petroleum.

This corrupt system will never offer us a third way. There is no possibility in the current political system of a relationship with these countries that is both peaceful and sustainable. There is no space for cooperation in science, culture and education. City planning and transportation

The investment banks and their corporations hire countless lobbyists, lawyers and former government officials to put pressure on every aspect of decision making concerning the planning of cities. They also fund myriad sham NGOs that convince the federal government, state government and local government that citizens are clamoring for highways, shopping malls and new housing developments all to be subsidised by tax dollars. The fact that most of the assets of citizens are tied up in real estate whose value will be greatly diminished if transportation by automobile is not available, is no accident.

The lobbying of politicians concerning city planning pays off big. Cities are designed around automobiles and the immense costs of highway maintenance is assumed to be unavoidable and is not even discussed when spending becomes an issue. For that matter, the cancer caused by pollution from automobiles, the deaths from car crashes, and the negative impact on quality of life of auto travel are all unimportant details carefully buried out of sight by city planners, politicians and experts anxious for funding from foundations tied to fossil fuel companies.

Houses are designed with large windows that waste energy and those designs are promoted as stylish. Although we are being told to wear masks for COVID-19, solar panels are not required for buildings, even in the face of climate catastrophe.

Few television dramas, or movies, feature a protagonist who does not own an automobile, and most important dialogue takes place within them. Living in luxurious houses, and indulging in wasteful practices, is presented in movies and in TV reports as a positive.

The conspiracy to keep us addicted to automobiles also means that the only good jobs remaining in the United States in manufacturing are those dedicated to the production of automobiles, of airplanes or of other petroleum-powered weapons for the defense industry.

The system is rigged so that moving away from petroleum would not only make life impossible in automobile-centered communities, but would also threaten the best jobs.

Consumption ideology

Although the promotion of an ideology of consumption that violates the basic principles of human society of the last hundred thousand years is not only about petroleum. The link is clear. Financial powers have invested heavily in glorifying consumption to drown educated citizens in this cloyingly sweet sauce until they cannot think about anything but possession and consumption. Intellectuals have ceased to have any sense of responsibility to society, or even to each other.

The advertising we are subject to instructs us that image, fashion, cosmetics, travel, automobiles and the consumption of gourmet food shipped around the world is critical to our social status. Ethical concerns about family and community, about the dignity of all humans, and the embrace of honesty, frugality, modesty and compassion are belittled, even mocked, at every turn in this twisted culture.

The promotion of plastics

The covert promotion of plastics in all aspects of American society, and the campaigns to suppress all information about the dangers of micro-plastics for our oceans, our rivers and our soil, is a critical part of the plan to increase the use of petroleum by investment banks.

Many citizens are not even aware of how plastic is created through naphtha cracking from petroleum, or what damage it does to our environment after it is disposed of.

Everything around us at the supermarkets, in the restaurants, in the department stores, and in our refrigerators is wrapped in plastic, stored in plastic or contains plastic parts. It would be no exaggeration to say that in many regions one would starve if one tried to avoid plastics.

They lie to us about the dangers of those plastics, presenting us with “recycling bins” for plastics that they know cannot be recycled in any meaningful way. They will never tell us that the consequences of using plastic is the equivalent of pouring crude oil into the ocean, that storing food and liquids in plastic is a health risk.

The promotion of airplanes

Every action film serves as a big advisement for airplanes, one of the greatest wastes of energy imaginable. We are convinced by the media, and by movies, that travel by airplane is harmless and that it designates a higher social status.

Lobbyists have convinced citizens that every city must have an airport in order to be taken seriously.

The damage to the climate resulting for airplanes is a terrible secret.

Although travel by wind-powered boats, or by train, or even by zeppelin, could be cheap and almost free of emissions, the topic rarely comes up. Airplanes could be covered with solar panels that would significantly reduce the use of petroleum. Such a step has never been advanced.

The diplomats who attend climate conferences have no problem flying in airplanes from all over the world to discuss a solution to the problem that they perpetuate through their actions.

The distortion in education regarding energy

The contents of education, from kindergarten through graduate school, is manipulated so as to avoid scientific analysis and objective thinking, and to make sure that climate change is treated as a problem in the distant future. Petroleum and coal are presented as things we must slowly move away from in the rare textbooks that even address climate change. Never is it suggested that we can, and must, drop fossil fuels immediately.

The destruction of the government via privatisation by investment banks means that today universities rely on funding from corporations, foundations and wealthy donors for research and education. In most cases, those funders are extremely sensitive to any serious discussion of fossil fuels and their dangers.

It is the implicit intention (and explicit in the case of the Charles Koch Foundation) of these sources of funding that researchers avoid controversial topics that could impact the profits of the corporations providing funding. That means no serious discussion of climate change.

A class of shameless scholars at American universities bend over backwards to write articles for major journals suggesting that it is OK to reach a “carbon neutral” state by 2050, that geo-engineering is a solution to climate change, or that there is no need to change our culture of waste and consumption.

Their worthless articles describe a slow transition to solar and wind power over decades, and praise hybrid and electric cars that merely displace the use of fossil fuels to an invisible source. Such research is financially rewarded and broadly promoted in popular and scientific journals so as to crowd out more scientific research that focuses on the dangers of climate change.

The study of economics is the most disgusting field of all. Short-term growth is valued and the stock market is presumed to accurately reflect the health of the economy. The impact of automobile and factory emissions, of the production of petroleum and coal, of the spread of micro-plastics through the ocean, and of the destruction of water through fracking and mining over periods of 50 or 100 (or 200) years are never mentioned in economics classes.

Why? Because if the profitability of petroleum were assessed over the long term it would become obvious that it must be abandoned immediately for the economic well-being of humanity. Scientific research is excluded from the pseudo-science of economics, even among scholars who claim to be progressives.

The degradation of journalism

Journalism is a direct extension of education, the only means most citizens have of learning about how the world works and how they should interpret the changes that they observe around them. Corporations and investment banks have focused on the control of journalism to assure that citizens do not have access to reliable information about critical issues.

Free, or near-free, information is offered to citizens by newspapers and TV and radio stations that have been bought up by corporations over the past 20 years.

The profits for these media sources come not from delivering the truth, but rather from misinforming the public to satisfy their corporate clients. Corporations pay for the advertising because the media produces docile citizens, not because of the products sold by advertisements.

Over the past three years, the media has become increasingly weaponised, serving as a tool meant to degrade the intellectual capacity of citizens and to sugarcoat brutal truths so as to create the appearance of a consensus for the destruction of the economy and of the environment.

The promotion of petroleum is not the only agenda for the corporate media that feed drivel to citizens across the country, but it remains an important imperative behind the scenes.

Climate change is not treated seriously in the media. In most cases, changes in weather are treated as abnormalities unrelated to the current economic system.

The temperature for each day is never compared with what it was 10 years ago, or 50 years ago. The listener of news programmes is bombarded with superficial information until he or she is incapable of concentrating and of comprehending complex issues.

The promotion of weak and ineffective leaders

Investment banks and corporations love ineffective leaders in politics and in NGOs who are more concerned about promoting themselves than effecting change. Such leaders cultivate a narcissistic circle of followers and are incapable of establishing self-sufficient organisations focused on real issues that can run themselves without corporate funding.

The Democratic and Republican parties cultivate hordes of parasitic NGOs that serve as a graveyard for activism.

Everything possible is done by the banks to make sure that no leaders emerge in politics who are capable of organising citizens into independent organisations that set their own goals without guidance from the experts at corporate-controlled media, think tanks or universities.

“Leadership” in politics has come to mean raising money (that comes directly or indirectly from investment banks) rather than organising and inspiring people.

Ample funding for ineffective or bogus environmental movements

The investment banks make sure that any appeal to reduce the use of petroleum, or inform citizens about the climate crisis, is conducted in the most ineffective manner possible by poorly organised groups that ask citizens for donations but do not allow any participation by them in the decision-making process and do not authorise them to take the initiative. These NGOs leave the real decisions up to Washington insiders who will never cross the powerful investment banks.

Environmental NGOs like Greenpeace, or, are intentionally made dependent on donations from wealthy individuals, or corporations, to such a degree that the opinions of ordinary donors are ignored. More radical, and more appropriate, policy cannot be adopted, no matter what the degree of support among members.

Teaching people about climate change and the dangers of fossil fuels is cheap. All you need to do is to go door to door and tell people the truth. You then invite them to form citizens’ organisations that become active, vital communities.

But billions of dollars are spent behind the scenes to make sure such activism is fragmented, unfocused and unsustainable.

Environmental NGOs know that they will never be covered by the corrupt corporate media unless they talk about a slow transition away from fossil fuels, and stress how alternative energy can be competitive with petroleum and coal.

They are prohibited, because of their funding, from demanding that criminal charges be brought against the corporations that have polluted the environment and promoted the dangerous substances ? let alone suggesting that the assets of such companies should be seized.

Instead, the NGOs funded mislead their audiences into thinking that a few personal choices in daily life (like driving a hybrid car or becoming a vegan) are sufficient to stop climate change. They studiously avoid any discussion about who exactly is making money from the promotion of these dangerous sources of energy.

It is common for these environmental movements to promote a tiny handful of famous people in the media and to starve efforts to create powerful organisations at the local level. That means that these NGOs are often empty shells. They may tell you what to do, but if you call them up and try to reach someone you will be led into a maze of recorded messages.

These environmental NGOs cannot tell us that growth, consumption, the stock market and trade are not measurements for happiness, but rather are rather human constructions promoted by the rich and powerful for their own benefit.


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