Remember . . . the president
throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for the Washington home team on the opening
day of Major League Baseball? This tradition started in 1910 by William H. Taft
has been, if not laid to rest, at least put into a coma in 2005 by George W.
Bush. A certain facsimile sputtered in 2006 when Cheney�s bullet-proof vest
bulked his red-and-blue Washington Nationals jacket, and under massive
security, to a soundtrack of boos and jeers, from in front of the mound Cheney
threw a limp sinker into the dirt. That was it.
Neither Cheney nor his Bush will
ever again willingly expose themselves to such public reality, so widely
despised by the American People that for years both have spoken only to groups
sanitized of all but loyal supporters. And beneath the perfunctory platitudes
shoveled at the �Great American People,� contempt and loathing for The People
has petrified into our top leaders� perspective. So with We The People
despising our leaders, and our leaders despising us back, any progress toward
Peace and Clean Energy . . . let�s just say, they�ll never throw out a first
pitch. Only dragged kicking and screaming will they ever approach genuine
progress for The People, at the expense of their de facto constituents.
Considered the father of modern
fascism, Benito Mussolini said that fascism could more accurately be called
corporatism, the marriage of government and big business. This Bush
administration and their cheerleading corporate media have stripped the term
fascism of all meaning with such contrived oxymorons as �Islamofascist,�
simplifying popular conception down to: fascism = BAD! But if we could ask
Mussolini, surely he would say our government is as classic an example of
corporatism as the world has seen.
Take for example the invasion
and occupation of Iraq; for the American People this has been a profound
disaster; for war-profiteering corporations it has been paradise. War is the
most profitable enterprise going. Moral strictures have even spun off a whole
separate industry to manufacture justifications for killing and maiming
innocent people for profit, an industry lubricated by religion.
For an excellent example of
corporate fortunes in war, look at Halliburton�s 284 percent increase in war
profits for the second quarter of 2005.  With former CEO Dick Cheney
currently belted into our War Pilot Seat, success of Haliburton securing no-bid
rides into pseudo-performance contracts, plus slightly more conventional
contracts -- performance of which is currently under illusory investigation,
profits of Haliburton and subsidiaries could eclipse oil company profits, the
most obscene of all time.
And when it comes to alternative
fuels, old battle-hardened warrior Cheney would be first to tell you that they
are for sissies. Oil, now that�s a Man�s kind of energy. Maybe that snarl on
his face goes with a chip on his shoulder over being deprived of his chance for
live combat in Vietnam because he had �other priorities� -- but he can kick-ass
with that world-class snarl and send other peoples� sons and daughters into the
meat grinder of war like nobody else. He�s also a terror with a shotgun, mowing
down ducks released from cages while relaxing with Supreme Court buddies, even
shooting other buddies in the face when hapless quail fail to obey The Snarl.
He is SO good, hunting partners and even their families abjectly apologize for
any embarrassment caused The Snarler and His family by partners sticking their face in front of a blast.
OOPS, MY FACE -- er, FAULT, Richard, er, Dick.
And then there�s Dick�s Bush,
who was also deprived of live combat in Vietnam because the skies of Texas
needed a pilot seasoned in cocaine and booze and privilege for protection. . .
. The point here is, with these combat-deprived warriors telling us it�s going
to be a Long War, possibly spanning generations, a self-defense affair because
the enemy hates our freedoms, and we will not be safe until we root out the
Haters Of Freedom from every nook and cranny (wherever there�s
easily-recoverable oil), we simply can�t afford peace -- we have other �priorities.�
Corporatism lives by a single
priority: corporate profit. That�s the main reason our government has been one
of the last two in the world to even tacitly acknowledge the existence of a
burgeoning problem with the potential to toast civilization, fast. The main
driver of global warming is carbon dioxide released from the combustion of
fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas are lumped here into Big Oil [BO]). Any
replacement of fossil fuels by Clean Renewable Energy hits BO in the profits.
Their first line of defense was denial, the pouring of millions into convincing
the public that global warming is not real. It�s already very difficult to
convince people that what is happening is not really happening, and though
returns on their denial-dollars investments are evaporating, those dollars keep
BO, by its very nature, is
branching out in profit protection. Eight major automakers have current plans
to commercialize fuel cell vehicles.  And as the options for providing
hydrogen to the fuel cells are being politicized down to natural gas, gasoline,
or diesel, fuel cell vehicles have been getting some rather high-placed nods.
Methanol and ethanol are renewables that can also provide hydrogen, but they
are less, as BO�s euphemism for profitable goes, �versatile.�
Biomass ethanol is our greatest
hope for clean and renewable transportation energy; biomass diesel our best
clean energy for industry.  Both of these technologies have potential to hit
BO profits hard. For another angle of profit protection, witness Arthur Daniels
Midland (ADM: �The Supermarket to the World�) trying to twist the ethanol
discussion into a �food versus fuel� framework, as though corn is the only --
or at least the very best feedstock for ethanol. For ADM, corn is best, and
they certainly have receipts for the enormous political favor they have
purchased -- enough to set records for corporate welfare.  ADM would have a
profit crisis if the genuine very best feedstock for ethanol were utilized:
hemp biomass. Various modes of energy are available from hemp and its seeds.
[6, 7, 8] But hemp is a venerable pioneer, having already been demonized since
the thirties for threatening the profits of Hearst, and du Pont -- if you don�t
count the government�s �Hemp For Victory�! campaign in the final years of WWII.
 Hemp is a true agricultural superstar, the only crop that can be grown in
all 50 states, and with little or no petrochemical inputs (fertilizers,
pesticides, fungicides. . . . ) As a rotational crop, hemp actually improves
soil. A thriving biomass hemp industry would be a boon for local economies,
empower farmers, create jobs, help balance the carbon cycle -- fighting global
warming while minimizing petroleum imports . . . and that really is just for
starters. Perhaps the benefits of hemp are clarified by what a profit nightmare
it would be to BO, ADM, Monsanto -- elucidated by the fight they will put up
if, like Canada, the U.S. smartens up into restoring to The People what is
truly our most valuable resource.
Hemp is nature�s greatest �fixer�
of solar energy, breathing in carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen while turning
sunlight into a cornucopia of useful, superior materials. Nothing grows faster,
is easier to grow, or treats the soil better. Much of the solar energy the
Earth has bathed in for billions of years has been fixed biologically, and
through various metamorphoses, been stored as fossil energy. But the cheap,
abundant energy of the eons carries a lethal legacy. Not only is oil extremely
toxic, carbon locked up in fossil fuels will destroy balances that make Earth
so hospitable. It�s almost as though all that stored energy is a test for
humanity: If you are clever enough to tap the energy of eons, are you wise
enough not to destroy yourselves with it?
We can live within our current energy systems, everything needed is
constantly provided. But, everything we want, that�s the dark side. Will we
show the wisdom to live on what is freely given, or will we dig out what was
given over billions of years to have a big rush of energy we do not actually
need? Will our cleverness for tapping what we want, for such instantaneous and
exclusive profit, compromise our very existence, or will wisdom to live within
our energy systems mean we�ll be able to look back on this hospitable speck in
space, and thank the wisdom in humanity for conquering the want, and redefining
the concept of profit.
Our current energy architecture
has led to global warming, a potentially-terminal problem at least for
civilization and the majority of Earth�s higher species. Everything we need to
rebalance the carbon cycle is in our hands. But the enemy that has gotten
enormously powerful delivering us to this crucial predicament will use this
power to protect its profits. All the corporations. All the profits to be made
warring for fossil energy reserves, and maintaining current energy
architecture. All the profits from the upcoming conflicts over fresh water that
global warming is guaranteeing. All the Armageddonists. . . .
There�s going to be hurricanes
of rhetoric about feasibility, cost-effectiveness, price-at-the-pump, ad
nauseam. But there is only one issue: profits. Do the corporations hang on to
the vast majority while killing most everything off, or will The People gain
control of profits, and point us back toward life?
 Newsweek Hides
Global Warming Deniers Financial Ties to Big Oil.
 Fuel Choice
for Fuel Cell Vehicles.
Report: Fueling Controversy.
Daniels Midland: A Case Study In Corporate Welfare.
 Hemp Biomass For Energy.
 Hemp as
as a Fuel / Energy Source.
 Hemp for
Part 1: Weather Versus Climate
Part 2: True Costs of Fossil Fuels
Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington, and welcomes your comments at email@example.com. His novels CASTLING
and TIMING are published by StarChief Press.