Saturday, March 10, 2007

Gwynne Dyer: We Live In A Time Of Peace And Prosperity

From Canada's University of Western Ontario comes this report by Dave Ward in the UWO Gazette: Gwynne Dyer visits Wave, talks climate change
“People who are really worried about climate change are not worried about rising sea levels in 2020, but about famine in 2040,” Dyer said.
According to Dyer, the world is already straining to meet food production demands for its population. Predicted rising global temperature would significantly cut current production, he added.

Dyer said this forecast is causing some governments to move toward protecting themselves from moving populations of famine refugees.

“That is why Britain is getting a new generation of nuclear weapons,” he said, adding they’re sending the message they won’t be letting starving people onto “lifeboat Britain.”
Is that so? Is Britain really developing new nuclear weapons in order to stem the anticipated tide of climate-change refugees? What are they planning to do? Nuke the boat people?
According to Dyer, we are living in an unprecedented golden age of peace and prosperity.

“No great power is preparing for war with another power,” he said.
Is that so? Hmmmm ... Iran is not a power? The US is not preparing? Or maybe the thing the US is preparing to unleash on Iran is not war? So ... what, then? Are we looking at another cakewalk here? Perhaps they'll greet us with flowers? Maybe their grandchildren will sing songs about us, too?

But then, paradoxically,
He argued U.S. policy-makers are panicking and have begun forming alliances to encircle China. This includes luring India into a military pact by offering nuclear technology, Dyer said.

Dyer said the average Chinese person isn’t aware of U.S. actions because public opinion is so well controlled in China.

“The paradox is we must allow this to persist,” Dyer said.
Wow! This is stunning!!

"We must allow this to persist", whoever "we" are; in other words have to continue to allow the Chinese government to control public opinion in China! -- not that we could do anything about it anyway -- but we have to allow it because why? Because if the Chinese people ever found out that the USA is trying to encircle them, then what?
He said if the Chinese become aware, they will want the Chinese government to react, resulting in a cold war with the U.S.
This gets better all the time. If we allow the Chinese people to find out what the United States is doing, they would want the Chinese government to try to defend against the threat -- and that would be bad because ...
This cold war would eliminate any chance of a global deal on climate change, Dyer said.
It's difficult not to speculate, at least a little bit. I would venture to guess that by the time Gwynne Dyer reached this point in his address, most of the students at the University of Western Ontario had no idea whether he was making any sense or not.

But they would have been spellbound in any case, for it's safe to say that none of the professors who usually instruct them in such subtleties as the hypothetical future of mankind do so with beer in hand.

Life can get plenty confusing with so much going on, so it's a good thing that no major power is preparing for war with any other power.

A damned good thing, in my estimation... unless you happen to consider the USA a major power and Iran a power of some sort.
Dyer said he’s reasonably optimistic about the future, especially since a new U.S. administration might change course and stop encircling China.
Well that's bloody likely, isn't it, Gwynne?

The current administration's foreign policy is by no means a break from the foreign policy pursued by every previous administration, Democratic or Republican, since the end of the second World War.

The aim may be little or no different, but the reach is considerably more ambitious; Bush, Rove, Cheney and the rest -- enabled by the attacks of 9/11 and the artifially created myth surrounding those attacks -- move in a bolder way than any of their predecessors. Nonetheless, 2004 Democratic "challenger" John Kerry tried to outflank Bush on the pro-war side ("I have a plan. Get more allies involved. Send more troops to Iraq.") and the current flock of Democratic sheep in Congress look like they're trying to outflank him on the "right" on the crucial issue of who can be toughest with Iran. So -- no matter who succeeds the current regime -- US foreign policy is hardly likely to make a U-turn anytime soon.

And speaking of Iran, BINGO! The country the USA is preparing to attack next is ... Iran!

An unprovoked war with Iran would almost certainly engulf the entire Middle East, causing countless unnecessary deaths and poisoning a huge area of the world -- maybe even the entire planet -- forever, ruining the global economy once and for all, and setting up generation after generation of the most frightful blowback ... For what?

Why doesn't Gwynne Dyer know this? Or if he does, why doesn't he want to talk about it?

What has happened to Gwynne Dyer all of a sudden?

Three weeks ago he was talking about what might happen if US generals got an order to attack Iran, and now this!

I can't figure it out ... unless ... unless ...

Maybe he was right about Loose Change after all. Maybe it is rotting his brain.

Or maybe he should just have another beer.