Friday, November 30, 2007

Capitalism = making, selling, consuming, trashing – stuff, people, planet

Capitalism - RIP / RID*
* RIP / RID = Capitalism ‘Rest-in-peace’ / Get ‘Rid’ of capitalism

The following analysis allows many features of capitalism to be discerned:

- such as the inevitable drive, downwards, of wages and salaries, along with ever-increasing drive, upwards, of pollution, violence and insecurity.

Remember the ‘Wealth- and Pollution-creating Equation’ of applied chemistry and chemical thermodynamics’ from earlier posts –

raw materials + energy --> 'wealth' (or ‘Added Value’) + pollution

(Read the arrow as - ‘goes to give’ )

Diagrammatically this becomes:


I$$$$$$$ I

I$$$$$$$ I

I$$$$$$$ I } 'Added Value'

I$$$$$$$ I

I$$$$$$$ I

I$$$$$$$ I

I$$$$$$$ I

I$$$$$$$ I


I$$$$$$$ I } the cost of raw materials and energy


This 'Added Value' gets distributed* as follows:

[ ----------------]

I $$ wages $$ I

I ------ I

I $$ salaries $$ I ------- wages, perks and salaries are

I ------------ I ------ the three forms of return 'to labour' **

I $$ perks $$ I


I $$ interest $$ I

I ----------- I ------ Rent, Interest, Dividends* (RIP) are

I $ dividends $ I ------ the three forms of return to 'capital' **

I ie $ profits $ I (* including the sale proceeds of materials and energy)

I ----------- I

I $$ rent $$ I


I $$$$$$$ I }the cost of raw materials and energy


This step-wise analysis allows many other features of capitalism to be discerned, such as the inevitable drive, downwards, of wages and salaries, along with ever-increasing drive, upwards, of pollution, violence and insecurity.

For example,

Who bears the cost of a ‘competitive market’ ?!

Just guess!

[ ----------------] Overall lower 'Added Value'

I $ wages $ I So lower wages - and benefits - for waged workers

I ------ I

I $$ salaries $$ I

I ------------ I

I $$ perks $$ I


I $$ interest $$ I

I ----------- I

I $ dividends $ I

I ie $ profits $ I

I ----------- I

I $$ rent $$ I


I $$$$$$$ I }the cost of raw materials and energy


?! Guess who! - 'Fighting for market share' - and 'resource use optimization' ha! (not!!)

Further: the diagram, above, describes the initial – or primary – distribution of the money proceeds from the sale of the finished products.

** Subsequent - or secondary – distribution of the primary distribution includes taxation (even though ‘deduction at source’ of income-tax occurs before the primary distribution actually reaches the hands (or bank accounts) of the primary recipients). Discussion of these secondary distributions will have to wait until later.

(Note also: the terms ‘earned-' and 'unearned-income’ might be considered here, but these terms seem to be culturally specific and, certainly, politicized. See the final note at the end of this essay.)

So, the solution to getting rid of capitalism is to have strategies that deal with:

a) inequitable ownership of the knowledge and land resources held through ownership of 'workplaces' (ie machinery - 'frozen knowledge' - and the 'soft-know-how' - licenses, patents, etc embedded in workplaces).

b) exploitation through the use of money and interest-bearing credit/debt necessary to lubricate production / trash the planet (in a money economy)

c) inequality in the 'returns to labour': the inequalities in income form wages, salaries and 'perks', along with inequalities in income from those 'in paid work' and those not 'in paid work' (carers, home parents, the elderly, students, those 'unable' to join in 'paid work' and so on)

Naomi Klein - The Shock Doctrine - YouTube Part 6 of 6 plus Adam Smith on conspiracy, capitalism and the public 'good' (ie, global ill)!!

"Shock is only a temporary state"

Watch Naomi Klein video speaking about The Shock Doctrine - Part 6 of 6

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives -

!! Not to be confused with! (Cemented Carbide Producers Association!) or! (Canada’s Chemical Producers) !!


- "People of the same trade seldom meet together, ... but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public."

- Adam Smith

'Adam Smith Was a Socialist'

§ "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice." (vol. I, bk. I, ch. 10.)

More at

Finally - plotting a quick graph of YouTube Part 1-6 of 6
views of the Naomi Klein videos speaking about The Shock Doctrine - makes for interesting data - internally and against, say that Mentos and Diet Coke fave!

ps For the book The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Hardcover)
by Naomi Klein

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

new e-zine - The Bubble - eco and ethical living in Canada

Recommended new e-zine The Bubble from Toronto, with well-researched articles.

Riba - usury - war - oil - all are not sustainable

Compound Interest:
Financial Weapon of Mass Destruction

Ellen Brown, November 13th, 2007


El Diwany commented, "The UNDP does not say that the bankers are killing the children, it says that the debt is. But who is creating the debt? The bankers are of course. And they are creating the debt by lending money that they have manufactured out of nothing. In return the developing world pays the developed world USD 700 million per day net in debt repayments."



On October 25, 2007, the United States announced harsh new penalties on the Iranian military and its state-owned banking systems. Sanctions, bellicose rhetoric and the implicit threat of military action are goads for another war, one that critics fear is more likely to ignite a nuclear holocaust than prevent one. The question is, why is Iran considered such a serious threat? The official explanation is that it is planning to develop nuclear weapons. But the head of the UN watchdog agency IAEA says he has "no concrete evidence" of an Iranian weapons program.1 And even if there were one, a number of countries have tested or possess nuclear weapons outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including Pakistan, North Korea, India, and probably Israel; yet we don't consider that grounds for military action. Iran would just be joining a long list of nuclear powers.

Another theory says the push for war is all about oil; but Iran supplies only 15 percent of total Persian Gulf oil exports, and its oil is already for sale.2 We don't need to go to war for it. We can just buy it.

A third theory says the saber-rattling is about defending the dollar. Iran is threatening to open its own oil bourse, and it is already selling about 85 percent of its oil in non-dollar currencies. Iran has broken the petrodollar stranglehold imposed in the 1970s, when OPEC entered into a covert agreement with the United States to sell oil only in U.S. dollars. As Dr. Krassimir Petrov explained this suspected motive in a 2006 editorial in

"As long as the dollar was the only acceptable payment for oil, its dominance in the world was assured, and the American Empire could continue to tax the rest of the world. If, for any reason, the dollar lost its oil backing, the American Empire would cease to exist. Thus, Imperial survival dictated that oil be sold only for dollars. . . . If someone demanded a different payment, he had to be convinced, either by political pressure or military means, to change his mind." 3

An interesting theory, but it still fails to explain all the facts. In a March 2006 editorial in Asia Times Online, William Engdahl noted that war with Iran has been in the cards as part of the U.S. Greater Middle East strategy since the 1990s, long before Iran threatened to open its own oil bourse.4 And Iran is not alone in wanting to drop the dollar as its oil currency. To curb currency risks, Russia is planning to open an Energy Stock Exchange in St. Petersburg next year to trade oil in rubles, something that will have significantly more impact on the dollar than Iran's oil bourse. Central bankers in Venezuela, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates have all said they will be investing less of their reserves in dollar assets due to the dollar's weakening global position.5 When those countries switch to other currencies for their oil trades, will the United States feel compelled to invade them as well?

These theories all have some merit, but none of them seems sufficient to explain the war drums. What is so special about Iran? Here is another possibility: Iran poses a serious threat, not only to oil and the dollar, but to a secret financial weapon that keeps a global banking empire in power. . . .

Compound Interest:
Financial Weapon of Mass Destruction

Around 1980, when interest rates were soaring, Johnny Carson quipped on The Tonight Show that "Scientists have developed a powerful new weapon that destroys people but leaves buildings standing – it's called the 17% interest rate." Compound interest is the secret weapon that has allowed a global banking cartel to control most of the resources of the world. The debt trap snapped shut for many countries in 1980, when international interest rates shot up to 20 percent. At 20 percent interest compounded annually, $100 doubles in under 4 years; and in 20 years, it becomes a breathtaking $3,834.6 The devastating impact on Third World debtors was underscored by President Obasanjo of Nigeria, speaking in 2000 about his country's mounting burden to international creditors. He said:

All that we had borrowed up to 1985 was around $5 billion, and we have paid about $16 billion; yet we are still being told that we owe about $28 billion. That $28 billion came about because of the injustice in the foreign creditors' interest rates. If you ask me what is the worst thing in the world, I will say it is compound interest.7

What bankers call the "miracle" of compound interest is called "usury" under Islamic law and is considered a crime. It was also a crime under Old English law until the sixteenth century, when Martin Luther redefined the offense of "usury" to mean the taking of "excess" interest. Modern Islamic thinkers are not averse to a profitable return on investment when it takes the form of "profit-sharing," with investors taking some risk and sharing in business losses; but the usurer gets his interest no matter what. In fact he does better when the borrower fails. The borrower who cannot afford to pay off his loans sinks deeper and deeper into debt, as interest compounds annually to the lender.

The debt trap that snapped shut in 1980 was set in 1974, when OPEC was induced to trade its oil only in U.S. dollars.

The price of oil then suddenly quadrupled, and countries with insufficient dollars for their oil needs had to borrow them from international lenders. By 2001, enough money had flowed back to First World banks from Third World debtors to pay the principal due on their original loans six times over; but interest had consumed so much of those payments that the total debt had actually quadrupled.8 In 1980, median income in the richest 10 percent of countries was 77 times greater than in the poorest 10 percent. By 1999, that gap had grown to 122 times greater. In December 2006, the United Nations released a reported titled "World Distribution of Household Wealth," which concluded that 50 percent of the world's population now owns only 1 percent of its wealth, while the richest 10 percent of adults owns 85 percent. At interest compounded annually, the debts of the poorer nations can never be repaid but will just continue to grow.

The Private Global Banking Scheme

It is this debt scheme, with its lethal weapon of interest compounded annually, that has allowed a small clique of financiers to dominate the business of the world. In Tragedy and Hope, Professor Carroll Quigley wrote from personal knowledge of this financial clique, which he called simply "the international bankers." Dr. Quigley, who was Bill Clinton's mentor at Georgetown University, said the aim of the international bankers was "nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole," a system "to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements."9 The key to the bankers' success was that they would control and manipulate the money systems of the world while letting them appear to be controlled by governments.

Most countries have now been brought into this private global banking scheme, with most of the world's money being created by commercial banks in the form of interest-bearing loans. In the United States today, the only money created by the government consists of coins, which compose only about one one-thousandth of the total money supply. Federal Reserve Notes (dollar bills) are created by the Federal Reserve, a private banking corporation, and lent to the government. The vast bulk of the money supply, however, is created when commercial banks make loans. They do this by double-entry bookkeeping: the sum of the borrower's promissory note is simply credited as a deposit to the borrower's account and offset with a matching liability on the bank's side of its books.10 Money creation is now a private affair in most other countries as well.

Even where the central bank is technically state-owned, as in the United Kingdom and Canada, the central bank creates only the paper currency of the nation, leaving most of the money supply to be created by commercial banks as compound-interest-bearing loans.11

The alternative to this independent "central bank" system is what used to be called "national banking."

A state-owned central bank issued the national currency as an agent of the government, and the government spent the money or lent it into the economy for internal development and public needs. The "seigniorage" on this money - the difference between the cost of creating it and its face value - accrued to the government, which got the money debt- and interest-free. The goal of the international bankers was to privatize this system and bring it under their control. The central bank would still create the national money supply, but it would lend the money to the government, leaving the government with a massive debt on which it owed interest. Once caught in the debt web, the government could then be induced to privatize other assets, making them available for purchase and control by international finance capital.

At a 1968 meeting of the secretive globalist group known as the Bilderbergers, a U.S. official named George Ball spoke of creating a "world company." Ball was U.S. Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs and a managing director of banking giants Lehman Brothers and Kuhn Loeb. The "world company" was to be a new form of colonialism, in which global assets would be acquired by economic rather than military coercion. The "company" would extend across national boundaries, aggressively engaging in mergers and acquisitions until the assets of the world were subsumed under one privately-owned corporation, with nation-states subservient to a private international central banking system.12

Before World War II, the head of this private global banking system was in England; but it moved to Wall Street with the economic ascendancy of the United States. Under the Bretton Woods Agreements, the U.S. dollar became the world's "reserve currency" along with gold. In 1971, President Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard, and the dollar became the world's reserve currency without that tether. U.S. lenders could create and lend dollars to whatever extent the world could be induced to borrow them. To insure that the lenders got their interest, in the late 1970s the World Bank and International Monetary Fund began imposing "conditionalities" on loans to Third World debtors, requiring them to open up their capital markets, slash spending on social programs, and privatize their industries. Meanwhile, speculative attacks on local currencies that had been left to "float" in foreign exchange markets without the tether of gold caused radical currency devaluations, allowing
foreign investors to pick up these privatized assets at bargain basement prices.

When Dominoes Won't Fall

Iran was among the few nations to have escaped this global privatization scheme. Iran had its own oil, and it managed to avoid the trap of speculative currency devaluation by imposing foreign exchange restrictions and price controls on its currency, something it could do because it had adequate foreign exchange reserves from its oil sales.13 Iran's state-owned oil industry has allowed its economy to perform well, despite economic sanctions and rumors to the contrary.14

A "reformist" movement toward increased privatization ended with the 2005 election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a "populist" who has promised to redistribute Iranian oil wealth more expansively and has committed the government to funding public-sector projects and charitable investments.15

Islamic scholars have been seeking to devise a global banking system that would serve as an alternative to the usury-based scheme now in control internationally, and Iran has led the way in devising that model. Iran is characterized as a democratic Islamic republic, which enforces Islamic principles not only morally but legally and politically. The American-backed Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979, ending 2,500 years of monarchical rule. All domestic Iranian banks were then nationalized, and the government called for the establishment of an Islamic banking system that would replace interest payments with profit-sharing. Iran's state-owned central bank issues the national currency, with the seigniorage accruing to the government rather than to private banks.16 The Iranian government is among the few to have very little foreign debt. It uses its state-owned banks to make loans and credits available to industrial and agricultural projects.

The most unique feature of the Iranian banking system, however, is that it follows the Islamic proscription against usury. That means loans are made interest-free.17

At least, that is true in principle. To make their system work with the prevailing scheme, Islamic economists have had to come up with some creative definitions of "interest." Assuming Iran can develop a workable alternative model, however, it might well threaten the usury-based banking system that now dominates international finance and trade. If governments were to start doing what banks do now - advancing "credit" created out of nothing with accounting entries - they could sidestep the hefty interest that is the principal cost of most government programs today. It has been estimated that eliminating interest charges could cut the average cost of infrastructure, sustainable energy development, and other programs in half.18 Third World economies might finally escape the iron grip of the international bankers, bringing a 300-year global banking empire crashing down.

The size of the stakes was suggested by Tarek El Diwany, a British expert in Islamic finance and the author of The Problem with Interest (2003). In a presentation at Cambridge University in 2002, he quoted a 1997 United Nations Human Development Report which said:

"Relieved of their annual debt repayments, the severely indebted countries could use the funds for investments that in Africa alone would save the lives of about 21 million children by 2000 and provide 90 million girls and women with access to basic education."

El Diwany commented,

"The UNDP does not say that the bankers are killing the children, it says that the debt is. But who is creating the debt? The bankers are of course. And they are creating the debt by lending money that they have manufactured out of nothing. In return the developing world pays the developed world USD 700 million per day net in debt repayments."

He concluded his presentation:

"But there is hope. The developing nations should not think that they are powerless in the face of their oppressors. Their best weapon now is the very scale of the debt crisis itself. A coordinated and simultaneous large scale default on international debt obligations could quite easily damage the Western monetary system, and the West knows it. There might be a war of course, or the threat of it, accompanied perhaps by lectures on financial morality from Washington, but would it matter when there is so little left to lose? In due course, every oppressed people comes to know that it is better to die with dignity than to live in slavery. Lenders everywhere should remember that lesson well."19

That could explain the big guns trained on Iran, and the tightening of economic sanctions against it. Dominoes that won't fall into the debt trap must be pushed. Like in the brutal attacks in Lebanon in July 2006, the military targets in Iran are liable to be economic ones - ports, bridges, roads, airports, refining infrastructure.20

The threat posed by Iran's alternative economic model will be obliterated by blasting it back into the Stone Age.


1 "U.S.: Iran Seeks Nuclear Weapons," (October 31, 2007).

2 Rob Kirby, "The Looming Fiat Currency Train Wreck," (January 16, 2006).

3 Krassimir Petrov, "The Propose Iranian Oil Bourse," (January 15, 2006).

4 William Engdahl, "Why Iran's Oil Bourse Can't Break the Buck," Asia Times Online (March 10, 2006).

5 Julian Phillips, "Gold Positive: Iran Wants Yen from Japan Not the U.S. $ for Oil," (July 27, 2007).

6 "Compound Interest Week,"; Fido Compound Investment Tool Kit,

7 Rodney Shakespeare, The Modern Universal Paradigm (2007), pages 63-64.

8 Achin Vanaik, "Cancel Third World Debt," The Hindu (August 18, 2001),

9 Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (New York: Macmillan Company, 1966), page 324.

10 See Ellen Brown, "Dollar Deception: How Banks Secretly Create Money,", July 3, 2007. See also Affidavit of Walker F. Todd, attorney for the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Cleveland, (2004).

11 E. Brown, Web of Debt, op. cit.

12 Daniel Estubin, "Bilderberg 2007 – Towards a One World Government?", Nexus Magazine (August-September 2007).

13 Taylor & Francis Group, The Middle East and North Africa (2003), pages 405-07; "Iran's Exchange Rate Freeze," (July 2003).

14 Kelly Campbell, "Is Iran Facing an Economic Crisis?", (May 2007).

15 "Iran Profile," (July 2007).

16 Kamran Dadkhah, "Reform of Exchange Market in Iran," (2003), page 4 ("Seigniorage"); Clifford Thies, "Radioactive Money," (March 2007).

17 "Economy of Iran," "Iran Banking," (2004).

18 Margrit Kennedy, Interest and Inflation-free Money (1995), discussed in Deidre Kent, "Margrit Kennedy Inspires New Zealand Groups to Establish Regional Money Systems," McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis, (2002).

19 See E. Brown, Web of Debt, op. cit.

20 Tarek El Diwany, "Third World Debt," presentation at Cambridge University's "One World Week" in February 2002, citing UNDP Human Development Report (1997), page 93; "A Debate on Money," (July 2001).


Ellen Brown, J.D., developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and "the money trust." She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Brown's eleven books include the bestselling Nature's Pharmacy, co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker, which has sold 285,000 copies.

Site by Phoenix Development.
© Copyright 2007 Ellen Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Wit to make one weep!! - mortgages = Grip of Death = unsustainable market mechanisms

John Bird and John Fortune - satire on how it all 'works' - enjoy!


Friday, November 23, 2007

Bubble Man - hurrah! - enjoy!

My thanks to my dear friend Sabine McNeill for the following sweet piece of music, humour - and nourishment - at


For your blog, John:

In case you were worried about him, don't.

Former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan says he "has no regrets."

Some recent quotes from the "Maestro."

* "The housing bubble is not a reflection of what we did, as it is a global phenomenon."

* The collapse of the U.S. subprime market "was a shocker because no one expected it."

(Sure. Defaults on no money down, no income verification homes loans are a big surprise.)

* The rout in the market for subprime loans "is over"
because it "went to zero and cannot go any further."

Yes, this is the level of intellect that managed the US money supply in the late 80s, 90s and the first half of this decade.

I wonder if we're going to find out later that, like Ronald Regan, Alan Greenspan was senile for most of his time at the top.

A musical tribute to "Big Al", the Bubbleman, just in time for the holidays.


- Brasscheck

P.S. Please share Brasscheck e-mails and videos with friends and colleagues.

That's how we grow. Thanks.

Brasscheck TV 2380 California St. San Francisco, CA 94115

With best wishes for your blogging elbows,


Publisher, Green Credit for Green Growth

Initiator, Climate Monitoring Project

Organiser, Forum for Stable Currencies


Why Capitalism Isn't Sustainable - Part 2 of 2

Touch Base Article July 2007 issue


‘Everything coming together,’ the subway advert says. ‘Nicely’ is the implication.

And, yet, as suggested by my last column (on the implications of thermodynamics for the planet’s future), everything should be degenerating into low-energy, random, high entropy goop.

How can this be?

If we look around, the natural world on this planet is one of beauty, order, vibrancy and coherence, while those laws of thermodynamics suggest that we should be seeing disorder and blah.

The paradox is resolved when thermodynamics talks of systems – particularly of living systems.

Other writers have tackled this, by observing that local systems can defy the drive towards low energy and high-entropy blah by externalizing the drive to disorder out-side themselves, causing their surroundings to be the recipient of disorder. On a personal level, the disordered, low-energy and high entropy waste that your life (and mine) creates goes down the toilet, into the air and into the garbage can.

As for a tree, it, like all other photosynthesizing plants, uses the high energy light from the sun to concentrate energy in the cellulose and so on of its body and, moreover, organizes that material in a highly ordered - and to our eyes – beautiful way. As, indeed, it was seen to be beautiful to the God described in Genesis.

Locally, therefore, the two driving forces in thermodynamics can be run ‘backwards’, but only if the local effects alone are considered. At a global – or, even, universal – level, the laws do have to be obeyed, since the local order is only achieved if the overall change is thermodynamically consistent. And, in particular, if Gibbs Free Energy must be negative (downhill) for the change, overall, to occur (because, if you’re pressing me!, the equilibrium constant for the change has to be large and positive).

So, what of this and the future for (human) life in Canada, globally, for new, settled and, even, yet-to-be immigrants?

The key thing is that life generally, and human life in one particular, is in a life or death struggle with an alien, but human-created ‘life’ form called money. An alien ‘life’ form that is increasing in population and appetite – as it gobbles the planet up.

Money, at present is a species that ‘lives’ by demanding its maximum return in the shortest possible time and, as the wealth-creation equation (that I suggested last month) operates, money – through the four accumulation processes of rent, interest, profits and greater than average earned income – moves from being a circulation to provide for human needs to the ‘investment’ (ha!) cycle – that drives the dash for short-term production – and accelerating ‘externalised’ entropy (disorder) production – ie atmospheric heating, pollution and eco-destruction. More, as we now all know, than ‘Gaia’ – the whole earth system – can cope with* (by radiation of low-energy heat into the rest of the universe and remediation by bio-sequestration processes).

So, what to do to halt the degradation and for Gaia to self-remediate?

In a few words – the answer is to kill off the killing mechanism. In other words, stop money running the world and reformulate human activity as ones that are co-operative, not-for-profit and for stewardship and care, rather than for ownership, profit, accumulation . . . and destruction.

And right quick!


* Two worthwhile books: Margrit Kennedy ‘Interest and Inflation Free Money’ and the Ninth Schumacher Briefing by Roy Madron and John Jopling ‘Gaian Democracies’.



(Created 20 June 2007 - two typos corrected, 22 November 2007)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why Capitalism Isn't Sustainable - Part 1 of 2

Touch Base Article June 2007 issue


There are two key forces that drive everything in the physical world. First, energy flows ‘downhill’ – energy flows from hot to cold, from concentrated to dilute, from ‘humanly useful’ to ‘waste heat’ (how human-needs-centric the north-western world’s zeitgeist is!).

Secondly, entropy – or disorder – flows ‘uphill’ – from order (low entropy) to disorder (high entropy).

Back at the end of the nineteenth century, a group of people – called ‘thermodynamicists’: those interested in the science of thermodynamics – discerned these driving forces, while one of them, Josiah Willard Gibbs was one of them who saw that these two driving forces could be brought together in one concept – that of ‘Free Energy’.

Thus, the arithmetic of ‘Gibbs Free Energy’.

Now, this has nothing to do with perpetual motion machines, or free-for-ever electricity -but, rather, the thermodynamicists were able to show that these fantasies were/are, well, fantasies. By contrast these ideas put on firm footing the forces with which – notice my prescriptive ‘not of this zeitgeist’ certainty! – human beings must be conformable.

So, what’s this got to do with the lives of Canadian immigrants and globally-minded Canadians?

Well, actually, everything.

The life support system of all Canadians – food, air, water, warmth, cooling, shelter and clothing* - are the products of application of the laws of chemistry: including the laws of thermodynamics.

Thus, I’m going to assert – in the hope of reasoned rebuttal – that (so-called) wealth creation is the consequence of the following word equation (the arrow is read as ‘goes to give’):

Raw Materials + Energy --> ‘Wealth’ + ‘Pollution’

(Think, from your own experience, about any wealth creation process – domestic or industrial.)

Now, not only is the global north-west’s life support system (its/our, so-called, ‘economic’ system) one that is, not only, wasteful of human lives, dreams, training, education, and hope, it is mightily wasteful of the well-being of the ‘rest of’ the creation/commonweal.

Since the global north-west runs on the – fantasy - notion that money must make its maximum money return in the shortest possible time, then the equation above is driven at maximum speed – to generate maximum pollution. More pollution - as we know from our day-to-day experience - than the creation/commonweal can cope with.

And, hence, global (and local!) climate change.

Now, while the second law of thermodynamics tells us that every change results in an overall increase in the entropy – disorder – of the universe, a more subtle understanding of thermodynamics – particularly of Gibbs Free Energy – tell us that localized sub-systems – life forms (you, me, a tree) can create local order and concentrate energy locally (think ‘tree’ or your cooked dinner) – but only at the expense of disorder elsewhere (think ‘your’ kitchen after dinner preparation).

Now, the significance for Canadians of all this is the very geographical and climatic marginality of Canada – and of Canada’s part in the global financial ‘economic’ sub-system that is driving all this mayhem-creation.

More anon.


*ie our ‘selfish needs’ – the needs necessary to sustain our-selves as individuals – as compared with our social needs: see the Four Needs essay in the papers section at



(Created 28 May 2007 - three typos corrected. 22 November 2007)