Tag Archives: Law

Rewinding Life

The Humpback Whale: endangered

Nations of the world are coming together at COP 10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to face up to the fact that our efforts to rein in the current mass extinction crisis have failed. In an attempt to put the issue on the political map, biodiversity is being allocated a monetary value much as the Stern Report’s did with climate change. However, this approach fails to acknowledge a bigger truth. Reducing the diversity of life on earth effectively puts evolution in rewind taking us back to an ecological period when humans didn’t exist. This unraveling of life’s rich tapestry destroys real value that took millions of years to create and shifts ecosystems away from those human’s are adapted to.

The Gorilla: endangered

Human’s who continue to generate ‘wealth’ by consuming nature are perverted and sinful. This may not be the conventional attitude today but it will be the attitude of our wiser descendants if they survive the coming austerity of a decimated planet. They will look back at our time as an idyllic Eden, so rich in life it was home to panda’s, cheetahs, blue whales and other extraordinary creatures. They will consider the leaders and powerful elite who presided over this ecocide as criminals. To prevent the worst from happening this must become the attitude of us all now.  We must wake up to the true value of nature.

Everyone has been talking about climate change and for nefarious reasons the media insists on including climate scepticism in the debate as if it were a sane position. But leaving all that noise to one side, it is still hard to discern how fragile life on earth is and therefore how precarious a situation human civilization is in. On one extreme we have scientists and environmentalists telling us that the human eco-footprint is unsustainable and that many critical ecosystems we depend on are nearing collapse and on the other we have pioneers and prospectors who, appealing to our rugged, masculine urges, tell us that nature is strong and we should concern ourselves with the folks back home not something ‘out there’ called ‘nature’.

WWF’s Living Planet Index: decreasing

How can we examine the world around us to objectively determine where on this scale we actually are and therefore what our course of action should be? Measuring carbon in the atmosphere or the abundance of natural resources is reasonable, but both are debatable and therefore political. For example, the warming effect of CO2 can in theory be reversed by geo-engineering or perhaps captured by a new technology and turned into a fuel. Declining resources can, in theory, be restocked and a complete knowledge of, say, a cod stock, can be disputed.

The Leatherhead Turtle: endangered

In contrast, biodiversity is an absolute that cannot be disputed. As we destroy the natural world, species go extinct. This is not negotiable. Either you can find a living specimen or you can’t. If you can’t, it is game over. It is not possible to bring a species back and habitat loss means that if in the future we can, they won’t have anywhere to live.

 

Gradinsko Lake Croatia

Human’s turn ‘natural capital’ (forests, fisheries and mountains) into ‘human capital’ (cloths, cars and iphones) and in doing so are pruning the tree of life. The current loss of species is so extreme it is being called the 6th mass extinction event. The last one is the most famous because it caused the extinction of the dinosaurs but several others were far more severe. For example the Permian extinction event led to a 90% die off. It takes at least 10 million years for diversity to begin to recover from such an event.

The Dinosaur Impact 65 million years ago

Mass extinctions are thought to result when a long-term stress is compounded by a short term shock.  Remarkably humans appear to be doing both simultaneously with cataclysmic results: “The speed at which species are being lost is much faster than any we’ve seen in the past — including those [extinctions] related to meteor collisions,” said Daniel Simberloff, a University of Tennessee ecologist and prominent expert in biological diversity. If present trends continue one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in less than 100 years, as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species, and climate change.

Humans are killing the world that we evolved from. This is far worse than biting the hand that feeds us; it is kicking the vagina that delivered us. This petulant destruction will cost us money; it will limit new opportunities in medicine and cuisine and travel and adventure; but it will also shift the planet’s ecology away from one that can sustain us massively increasing the risk of our extinction. Surely this is the main reality to engage with?

Today, whilst human minds fixate on the financial ‘crisis’ and channel unprecedented resources into keeping pathological markets afloat, the real crisis goes unchecked. It is nature that really needs the bailout.

Big impact mass extinction

65 million years ago it wasn’t the impact of the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs. It was the ecological changes that occurred as a result of the long, nuclear winter that followed. Massive plant eating dinosaurs starved after plants withered and soon so too did their predators. The tiny shrew-like early mammals we are descended from probably survived the long darkness by gnawing on the fetid flesh of the multifarious dead behemoths.

Evolutionary destiny

If humans do not wake up out of this mass, suicidal hallucination and start apportioning a proportional value to their life support system it may be the cockroaches who survive the dark of our nuclear winter by gnawing on the dead bodies of people laid strewn through the wreckage of civilization. Maybe the roach descendents will learn from our ruins and exist for long enough to seize life’s opportunities and increase exploration of (both internal and external) space?

Although the trends today are apocalyptic, the solutions to the biodiversity crisis are well understood. The way to stop species going extinct is to preserve their habitats. The only effective way of preserving habitats is by creating large nature reserves that are off-limits to human exploitation. We could imagine a future sustainable world in which human cities, towns and farms are nestled within an international network of mega-wildlife corridors which are large enough to allow for terrestrial species migrations. Huge human-free marine zones are also required.

The Blue Whale: endangered

Dead

To secure these vital eco-systems the human economy must acknowledge and respect limits to its prospecting of nature’s bounty. Limiting human expansion isn’t even on the table as an option as government’s fall over each other to try and endlessly stimulate new economic growth. When will they see that as Edward Abbey says: “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” And that growth that destroys life is actually death.

We must put part of nature beyond the reach of markets. This is entirely logical because, as our cosmic mother, home, nourishment and inspiration nature is, of course, literally priceless. Whilst this may be anathema to free-market apostles who understand their universe only through attaching dollar signs to everything, human species-control is the only practical way to maintain the ecological integrity of the biosphere; which is the way for us to survive.

The Orang-Utan: endangered

To make limiting further growth of the human economy politically viable we need people’s values, attitudes and behaviours to change. First up, understanding that it is not just that losing species depletes our planet and undoes value that has taken millions of years to accumulate, value well beyond the puny, vulgar dollars and pounds that rule this brief epoch. It is that we are undoing the ecology that we evolved into. We cannot be certain that whatever follows may not be so hospitable. Whether pioneers, prospectors, religious fundamentalists and other anthropocentrists can stomach it or not, our destiny is utterly and completely bound to the destiny of all the other species of life on earth.

White Ttiger Swimming: endangered

We also need to share widely the understanding that improving the human condition is no longer dependent on extracting more from nature. Collectively, we have all we need. All future progress must be dematerialized; from government policy to business development through to what we do on the weekend, enough with stuff.

We are the smartest species that ever existed but somehow we are not collectively using our brains. We are blessed with a planet brimming with, literally, the most extraordinary richness in the known universe. This phenomenal, unique, living layer which pulses and shimmers against the dead blackness of infinity and drawing on the energy of the nearest star steadily increases in mass and diversity is not just our home. It is our destiny. So it is time to show compassion to the millions of other species who share our world. Let’s follow the golden rule and do unto them as we would have done unto us. Let’s love our fellow creatures as we love ourselves because ultimately any sense of separation is an illusion.

Gaia

Will we stop mass extinction?

I’ve just signed an urgent global petition supporting a new treaty to prevent mass extinction. The petition will be delivered Friday at UN talks in Japan — check out the email below and sign on here:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/the_end_of_whales/98.php?CLICKTF

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Peace… or die

Liberty Doom by azrainman

  • Part 1: Peace… or die.
  • Part 2 Monkey wrenching the war machine
  • Part 3: The Horrors of War (including video)

Part 1: Peace… or die.

'Shock and Awe' Bagdad 2003

On August the 2nd President Obama reaffirmed his plan to end the War in Iraq (AKA ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ AKA ‘Operation New Dawn’).  Between 2003 and 2010 the UK spent £4.5 billion and the total cost to the U.S. economy is estimated at $3 trillion. The Iraq Body Count project estimates the violent civilian deaths from the conflict to be between: 94,902 – 103,549. At a time when scientists were reporting on the increased speed and severity of climate change the most powerful nation on earth backed up by the nation in which the industrial revolution started were doing exactly the wrong thing. The world needed to be uniting to combat climate change and move away from fossil fuels. Instead a coalition of politicians and corporations backed up with the planet’s fiercest war machine were invading a sovereign state to steal its oil. Now is an appropriate time not just to look at the gross stupidity of this war; but also to reflect on how the process of war is diametrically opposed to the emergence of a human civilization that might survive this century.

An early victim of the Iraq War

War is the apex of human stupidity. It is the antithesis of sustainability. It is the most extreme example of waste. Wasted resources, wasted human potential, wasted land, wasted minds and wasted lives. The modern era’s most bellicose nation, The USA, has allocated $533.8 billion to the Department of Defence in fiscal year 2010. The U.S. military is the single largest consumer of energy on the planet. In 2007 it used 132.5 million barrels of oil (363,000 barrels per day). Imagine what all these resources could do if aimed at ending global poverty or conserving biodiversity or actually doing something good in the world. Now in a sick irony they are sure to miss a twitchy Pentagon is warning us of peak oil reporting that output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015. One obvious solution is to stop burning unimaginable quantities of oil in the violent quest for more oil.

US soldiers in Iraq

The absurdity of expending precious, dwindling resources on deliberate destruction and pollution at a time when the scientific community is in agreement that human activity is driving the current ecological crisis is compounded by the fact that at the same time as fighting this war for oil it has also been engaged in international negotiations for a binding climate treaty. Well surprise surprise we haven’t signed one yet. How are nations suppose to agree a binding treaty which in effect is an agreement to share the atmosphere, a pivotal moment in the ethical evolution of our species, when countries are still bombing each other and fighting wars for resources!? It is time to grow up.

It’s not just the climate. The ongoing rise in human population and per capita consumption means that everywhere you look resources are running out; from oil to fish to fresh water. As resources are increasingly constrained we face the spectre of escalating violence and increasing wars for resources. Bold pre-emptive action is required to ensure we allocate resources fairly and safeguard against a surge in brutality.

Child in front of a burning oil well in Iraq

The fundamental changes to our world we currently are living through mean that finally war’s time has come. Exponential population growth means that our species now controls a majority stake in the planet’s biology; emergent new technologies transform our potential to change our world and resource depletion pushes ecological systems close to collapse.  With great power comes great responsibility and our ethics and morality must now take a great step forward to match that of our technological progress. The novel treaties and structures required to bind our species to a common goal are already well under way. Now is the time to use the international framework of the United Nations to begin the process of agreeing treaties binding nations to disarmament, cooperation and peace.

The British military in Kuwait pre-invasion

Part 2 Monkey wrenching the war machine

Statue in front of the UN in NYC

‘There will always be war… it is a part of human nature’.

This is a logical fallacy that has dogged human progress for generations. The persistence of war significantly reduces the probability of the persistence of humanity. This is most obvious in the case of nuclear obliteration. Less obviously but more significantly the solution to climate change and resource constraints is a treaty based on global cooperation. This will not be possible in a world of antagonistic nation states.

Peace is possible

The logical statement is ‘there will not always be war’. This is true because either we will remain a world of antagonistic nation states and annihilate each other / be wiped out by runaway climate change or we will become sustainable which requires uniting as a species, rising above the limitations of the outdated concept of the nation state and together creating a globally regulated resource based economy. Either way, war is over.

‘Naive, idealistic, dreamer’ we hear the jaded, soulless readers of the right wing press spit out of their fearful faces. It’s not idealistic. It’s pragmatic. It isn’t naive either. We know, full well that there is a small powerful minority of men who have a vested interest in keeping fighting wars, of course, this has always been the case but the information age is tipping the balance in favour of the peaceful.  Information activism brings the horrors of war into clear view and we understand more clearly than at any time in history why wars are fought, who is driving them and how they manage to coerce the young people of their country over to another to commit murder and more than at any time we have the tools to stop wars before they start (see below).

Film: The Power of Nightmares

The Zeitgeist Movement-Activist Orientation Guide identifies 3 motivations for war. 1) Industrial Profit, maximized for the elite 2) Resource Acquisition (theft) 3) Geopolitical Alignment to increase the ease of further industrial profit and resource theft. Whether you make bombs, mine resources or pump oil the spoils of war equate to bumper profits unachievable in peace time. When the time is right governments and corporations collude to create the conditions for an invasion. Fear, nationalism / racism and twisted morality can all be manipulated via propaganda to stoke the flames. The information age means increasingly the general public is not fooled but even as far back as 1935 the shine was coming off the industrial war machine. In the words of Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, Major General Smedley D. Butler:

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes…”

US veterans protest against the war

Another vile racket was the international slave trade. Tens of millions of people suffered horrendous fates and a small number of slave traders amassed vast fortunes. No doubt the slave traders said in their defence that it was a natural feature of the human condition. Fortunately, the good people of that time had the vision to see forward to a fairer, better world and stood up for what they believed in. William Wilberforce in a speech before the House of Commons, 18 April 1791:

William Wilberforce

“Let us not despair; it is a blessed cause, and success, ere long, will crown our exertions. Already we have gained one victory; we have obtained, for these poor creatures, the recognition of their human nature, which, for a while was most shamefully denied. This is the first fruits of our efforts; let us persevere and our triumph will be complete. Never, never will we desist till we have wiped away this scandal from the Christian name, released ourselves from the load of guilt, under which we at present labour, and extinguished every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times, will scarce believe that it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonour to this country.”

Anti war protest

War is not a fundamental part of human nature. War is the most sinister part of human nature manifested, magnified and exploited by evil, powerful men. The fact that wars are created by a tiny number of people makes them easier to prevent in the information age. We must more effectively and proactively go after warmongers; isolating and stopping them. Like the great Wilberforce before us we can be bold and ambitious and wipe away this scandal to create a better world. We are conditioned to believe that war is inevitable because this is all that we have seen but another world is possible. In fact, another world is imminent… our species has to learn to cooperate to survive.

Ending war is no more farfetched then ending slavery, giving women the vote or going to the moon. Martin Luther King ‘had a dream’ and it became reality. So we must dream it, plan it, and then make it happen.

UN peace poster

Things you can do right now:

  1. Take and maintain a united zero-tolerence attitude to violence and aggression. Hold to account anyone who attempts to use violence as a means to an end by use of non violent direct action and all other available means.
  2. Go ethical: change your bank and if you have money to invest put it only in ethical funds. Did you know that most banks will invest your money with the arms industry? This makes you complicit in the industrial war machine. Take a stand, wash the blood of your hands and switch to an ethical bank e.g. in the UK: Smile. For ethical investment: Triodos. Make a point of telling your current bank why you are leaving.
  3. Fax / email / speak to your MP (or political representative). Tell them that you want your country to take a lead in peaceful foreign policy, supporting the United Nations and reducing the military budget. In the UK now is a critical time to stand against the nightmare of the Trident Missile System. Who the hell are we going to use it on!?
  4. Sign up for organized protests, for example via Avaaz or 38 degrees.
  5. Cultural: let’s make involvement in the death industry a taboo alongside racism and incest. Do you know someone who designs missiles? Or a soldier? Let’s make the case in a polite and non-judgemental way that there are far better ways for them to be spending their time and that it is no longer acceptable to be making a living from war.
  6. Name and shame: we all know Donald Rumsfeld was a key architect of the Gulf war and that more than anyone he profited via his large stake in Halliburton. Who else profiteers from war? Let’s get a public list together and let them know what we think of their sick existence.
  7. Arrest Tony Blair (and get paid!) check out: http://www.arrestblair.org/
  8. Be Peaceful.
  9. Any other suggestions? Please post in the comments below.

Part 3: The Horrors of War (including video)

Important speech by US Iraqi war veteran

The information age means that wars fought in distant lands can now be brought into our homes. The immediacy of information flows makes it far harder for those in power to conceal either their motives for war or the atrocities committed to achieve their aims. For example, Wikileaks is an “uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking“. In April it released a secret video (see below) showing US air crew falsely claiming to have encountered a firefight in Baghdad and then laughing at the dead after launching an air strike that killed a dozen innocent people, including two Iraqis working for Reuters news agency. The video brings into sharp relief, if we needed reminding, how appalling, uneven, cold blooded and ultimately devastating modern warfare has become.

Collateral Murder

A classified US military video depicting three airstrikes from a US Apache helicopter on July 12, 2007 in New Baghdad, Iraq.  At least eighteen people were killed in the airstrikes, including two journalists working for Reuters, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen. The video was recorded by the gunsight camera on the Apache helicopter, identified as Crazyhorse 18, and is accompanied by the radio communications of the helicopter gunmen as they communicate with their commanders and troops on the ground.

U.S. Army specialist Ethan McCord was one of the first on the scene after the helicopter attack. He describes what he saw:

Ethan McCord

“The top of one guy’s head was completely off… another guy was ripped open from groin to neck. A third had lost a leg … Their insides were out and exposed. I’d never seen anything like this before.”

Then McCord carried a child crying from a black minivan caught in the barrage of 30mm bullets. Inside, he found a frightened and wounded girl, perhaps 4. Next to her was a boy of 7 or so, soaked in blood. According to McCord their father,

“…was slumped over on his side, like he was trying to protect the children, but he was just destroyed… I started seeing images of my own two children back home in Kansas.”

Unsurprisingly McCord was devastated by his experiences. The Pentagon is struggling to deal with legions of young people warped by the stress of war. Back home McCord was dosed with antidepressants but turned to a zombie and took to downing pills with whiskey and walking around the house with a military knife. However, he isn’t doing so badly in June 32 members of the US military could bear it no longer and killed themselves.

The terrible legacy of the Iraq War goes beyond the trauma of the heart and minds of the survivors. The use of depleted Uranium in Iraq is now causing a surge in birth defects passing on the suffering to a new generation of innocents.

Nuclear War (it’s a mother fucker)

Music by Sun Ra:

Home is a giant spaceship with a rejuvenating supply of psychedelics onboard for all the crew!

The Spaceship Earth

As humanity has extended its reach the planet has seemingly shrunk giving rise to the concept of ‘Spaceship Earth’. If you have to go journeying through the cold, black void you really couldn’t really do better then our 6 star vessel. This baby comes equipped not just with the essentials (forests to produce oxygen, fungi to break down dead things etc) but with all manner of lush, decadent add-ons that have snuck into existence.

Creatures like the blue whale, snow leopard, giant salamander and lantern fish reveal the mad exuberance that the life-process is capable of.

Japanese Giant Salamander

From a species perspective, our home is the whole planet and we are nestled within a complex global ecosystem. So it may not come as a surprise that the term ‘ecology’ (coined in 1873 by the German zoologist Ernst Haeckel) is derived from Okologie, from Gk. oikos “house, dwelling place, habitation” + -logia “study of.”

Assuming humans can grow up and stop crapping all over the play pen, our home, Spaceship Earth could provide for our physical needs for 2.3 billion years (until the sun goes red dwarf on our collective asses). This may be enough time to develop intergalactic travel allowing our descendents to go and find fresh pastures. Luckily, there is so much going on aboard our mother ship we are unlikely to get bored over this vast stretch of time. However, in case we do nature abounds with a range of powerful and magical compounds that offer a means to radically change our perspectives. That’s right! Spaceship Earth provides for our mental and spiritual wellbeing as well as physical. Psychedelic compounds are produced by nature in a vast array of forms on every continent.

For millennia indigenous peoples all around the world have ceremonially and recreationally ingested Mother Nature’s finest and reaped a range of benefits. From San Pedro using shamans, Ayahuasca drinkers in the Amazon, the Mazatec who use hallucinogenic mushrooms, and the Huichols who use Peyote; hallucinogenic plants have been used as religious sacrament, healing medicine, and spiritual guides. The Aztecs called them “the flesh of the gods” and Siberian shamans used them to enlighten their path to the spirit world. In Europe the psychedelic experience was extremely common, whole communities would trip out when their crops where infected with Ergot.  and Celtic warriors are known to have consumed a psychedelic potion derived from mushrooms before entering into battle.

In the preliterate world entheogenic substances were an important part of everyday reality and were highly respected for their ability to bring forth the divine. Often entire tribes would partake in rites and rituals used as an initiation into adulthood, for healing, to help guide the community in the decision process, and to bring the direct religious experience to anyone seeking it.

Maya Mushroom Moon

The potential of these compounds is broad and mysterious. Shamens who use Ayahuasca in the Amazon report being able to enter new worlds and dimensions beyond our own. In his extraordinary book The Cosmic Serpent Jeremy Narby presents the case that Amazonians’ encyclopedic, specific knowledge of pharmacology derives not from arduous testing of thousands (millions) of species of plants  (there may not have been enough time for this to have worked) but from direct communication with the plants themselves whilst in hallucinogenic trance.

A record of ancient hallucinogenic mushroom cults symbiotic relationship with fungi is found in prehistoric rock art in the Sahara Desert dating back to 9000-7000 B.C.  However, it is highly likely that humanoids will have used psychedelics for far longer than this. Given the long and illustrious ethno-botanical relationship of humankind with naturally occurring, hallucinogenic compounds the modern taboo and laws against ingesting them seem retrograde at best and at worst a deliberate, self-induced lobotomy on our collective mind. Indeed the industrial decimation of the biosphere, genocide of indigenous tribes and homogenization of culture may be more closely linked to our collective denial of Dream Time then we might think. Terence McKenna, in Whole Earth Review (1989) writes:

“Re-establishing direct channels of communication with the planetary other, the mind behind Nature, through the use of hallucinogenic plants is the last, best hope for dissolving the steep walls of cultural inflexibility that appear to be channeling us toward true ruin. Careful exploration of the plant hallucinogens will probe the most archaic and sensitive levels of the drama of the emergence of consciousness.”

This is in stark contrast to the drugs currently prescribed by contemporary doctors in the US, which are designed precisely to normalize behavior and maintain the ‘walls of cultural inflexibility’. For example, the noisy, impulsive, outspoken (fun) kids in school are labeled as having ADHD and placed on Ritalin. Ritalin aka Methylphenidate’s pharmacological effect on the central nervous system is almost identical to that of cocaine and may prevent free thinking children from asking pesky questions like ‘why are we being taught this bullshit’. Ritalin is currently prescribed to approximately six million people in the US. 75% of these are children, with boys receiving Ritalin about four times more often than girls.

Pill Head

In the United Kingdom the use of antidepressants increased by 234% in the 10 years up to 2002.[28] In the United States a 2005 independent report stated that 11% of women and 5% of men in the non-institutionalized population take antidepressants.[29] For severely depressed people these interventions may be useful. However, for many it may avoid proactively making the changes to their lives which are necessary to improve well being for example, seeking out meaning in life, finding creative outlets and connecting with others on a profound level. Most worryingly of all is the prospect that it is precisely the materialist, atomized dystopia we have created that causes depression which has now led to the new profitable industry of corporations reducing the symptoms with their synthesized chemicals. In this Brave New World the people lulled into their Soma-like druggy happiness will never stand in between an ancient woodland and a JCB saying ‘the line stops here… we don’t need any more roads, malls or car parks’. We can drug ourselves happy while we pave over paradise. It is either nonsensical or purposely repressive to treat natural psychedelics like other drugs. McKenna again:

“The pro-psychedelic plant position is clearly an anti-drug position. Drug dependencies are the result of habitual, unexamined and obsessive behavior; these are precisely the tendencies that the psychedelics mitigate.”

Furthermore, our governments seriously endanger the wellbeing of young people by automatically banning anything non-corporatized and failing to accurately communicate the relative risks. Professor David Nutt was recently sacked as the chairman of the government’s drugs advisory panel for saying that taking E was no more dangerous than riding a horse. This may rankle Middle England but if your child is determined to get high wouldn’t you rather they were taking E then a harmful drug like crack or smack?!

From the paucity of information emerges worrying trends. Kids in the UK are increasingly turning to Ketamine for their high which is cheap and readily available. What these kids do not know is that regular use attacks their bladders and they may end up needing a catheter . Prof David Nutt, suggested that Ketamine should be upgraded from a class C drug due to the harm it can cause users but since the government sacked him this is unlikely to happen. Meanwhile, naturally occurring magic mushrooms are rated as a class A drug whilst being non addictive with widely reported beneficial effects.

It is, of course, an awful irony that the US which leads the world in corporate drug pushing (which is now so out of control that we are seeing widely reported sex reversal in frogs as an effect of drugs in the environment ) also leads the world in the ridiculously named War on Drugs. The War on Drugs seems to exist mainly to mask the U.S. counter-intelligence and paramilitary presence abroad and contribute to the cyclic creation of a permanent underclass.  Whilst their government fights an endless war with another fabricated, intangible enemy millions (70 % non-white) of Americans waste their lives incarcerated in dehumanizing prisons.

Sheriff Arpaio Prisoners

In the UK some enterprising people found a legal loophole allowing them to sell fresh magic mushrooms.

Camden Mushroom Company

As recently as 2005 the my friends and I would stroll down Portobello road and visit the Camden Mushroom Company and enjoy regular trips with close friends. These happy, fun times in the park came without a hangover normally accompanied with profound insights and plentiful giggling.

On discovering the legal loophole enabling good citizens to legally trade these highlights of nature’s bounty a dark and evil force was again extended from the government and within 2 years the good times were over. The 2005 Drugs Act labeled mushrooms a class A drug (like crack cocaine and heroin) with a 7 year jail term for possession.

This draconian step feels like a totally disproportionate intrusion into my life. On whose authority do these law makers act? What right do they have to ban us from intimately connecting with nature and extending our own conscious reach? Making something illegal that grows out of the ground is exactly the kind of perverted authoritarian distortion you would expert from leaders who think they can persuade the people you can bomb a country to avoid a war.

Dark and Evil Force

Are these law makers the same people who lied to take the nation to war wasting billions of our tax pounds to invade and control a distant sovereign state illegally? Are they the same people have spent all our money bailing out banks in what has been termed the greatest swindle of all time with money that should be paying for the transition to a sustainable society? Are they the same people who finally lost any moral credibility and were been rumbled with their hands in the till ?  If so I will defer to my own moral judgments rather then following knee jerk laws written by suited, drab, automatons operating in parliamentarian bubble.

Houses of Parliament

As the human species grows up there will be an ever growing range of narcotics knocking around. Those who seek to control the supply would be better off regulating and raising tax revenue rather then banning with all the subsequent problems of drugs being controlled by the black market and global underworld. Decriminalization and regulation is the only way to control drugs and protect the young. Furthermore, if the government is going to regulate drugs why not do so according to the harm they cause as established by scientists?

Whilst the government sorts out its perverse legislation the good citizens of this country needn’t worry. They can ban but they can’t exterminate. So in the mean time the rest of us can head out to those special patches in the English countryside where our slimy mushroom friends push their pretty heads out of the dark Earth and together celebrate the mad journey us life forms are on. It is a difficult thing for many people to get their heads around, but the fact remains home is a giant spaceship with a rejuvenating supply of psychedelics on board. Let’s enjoy the trip!