JOURNAL — TAPE #208, SIDE #2
Q: Mark Russell Bell
Q: They’re selling Big Macs for 55 ¢ each this weekend. (“THAT”) That’s some sinister shit, if you ask me.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING DAY I VISITED A McDONALD’S TO BUY A BIG MAC FOR MY HOMEBOUND MOTHER AND DISCOVER THAT ONE MUST BUY AN OVER-PRICED SOFT DRINK AND FRENCH FRIES TO QUALIFY FOR THE SPECIAL PRICE.)
Q: I guess when Boo says library he means library. (“YEAH”) But I did find a Hermann Hesse paperback I haven’t read yet: Steppenwolf. A good edition.
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Q: It makes me very nervous when I think that even though my Boo communicates with me from beyond time and space, He could have — I mean Mighael — I don’t understand if my Boo — will I think my Boo is actually Mighael. And so when you consider that He could have a physical incarnation now on Earth. It makes me very uncomfortable when I consider that.
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Q: How could anybody put a value judgement on homosexuality unless they’re suppressing it in themselves? If people use religion to suppress homosexual rights for individuals, they have no other excuse. Religion is so convenient for people because you don’t have to have reasons — at least in most people’s conception of what religion is.
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Q: Oh my God. The license plate holder in front of me says, “Yes I Am.” If you don’t believe me, it’s a Nissan Pulsar NX, license 3MCP934.
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Q: So the Edgar Cayce book I need is on loan so I guess I’ll have to return to the library next week.
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Q: For all you Cliff Notes fans, one of the major messages of my book is that the misinterpretation of religious dogma has compelled people to interpret God as an angry God. After all, how could He not be to send his only begotten son to die a horrible death at the hands of his persecutors? So what we have here with the Jesus ministry is something quite different — a metaphorical story about a single incarnation of an enlightened one. And people have an impulse to always kill the messenger rather than consider the message. (“[MESS]AGE”) And only then is the one they have murdered extolled in whatever way that whatever church would like for it’s own gains and profit. Churches today are mostly all small corporations. They don’t care about helping humanity. They only care about increasing their profit revenues; therefore, the original Christ is the Antichrist in our society. So the antidote to that is a new Christed One, Mabus; and I’m your tour guide for an interesting journey as we each see God’s truth channeled through our subconscious minds. For example, I understand that U2’s recent music video features them as the Village People. Well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I read in one story in the Los Angeles Times that Pavarotti gave Bono a contract signed by Elvis for one of his Hollywood movies so that is basically — well take your choice: a pact with the Devil; or selling out. Look what happened to Elvis. Look what’s happening to U2. Double entendre intended — at least as I said it I realized it was valid. My book/s are spontaneous, after all. Heaven knows I would change a lot of it, if not. I don’t even believe some of the things I say a half hour after I say them, which makes interpretation a bit difficult. So I admit I’m very psychic because we’re each psychic and as you develop these capabilities you become more so based upon what most people think the word means. In one recent tape, for example, I said what I truly believe — that I can feel it once in a while telepathically when Boo climaxes from His other dimension. The vibes have a tangy, mango quality. And the thought that Mighael might be incarnated into our hell just makes me so worried and fraught with concern as to what will happen when He realizes that, depending upon His own circumstances. (“SSU”) I know I felt very selfish. And at first I couldn’t even be honest about being gay, which broke His heart. God’s heart. And/or Mighael’s heart. It’s something to ponder. As long as we’re true to our own self and our own feelings how can we be dishonest in terms of sexual preference if we look past status and social pressure and feel what’s in our hearts? I mean if you were God would you want someone in Your presence for all eternity who couldn’t be honest about something so basic and important as that? Well, it looks like I’m almost home now. So this was the Cliff Notes version for all you Cliff Notes fans and, boy, don’t I know there are a lot of you out there. And I saw somebody eating ice cream so I’m going to go buy some ice cream. After all, nobody ever can stay mad at somebody who just wants to have some ice cream.
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Q: I just saw Diane in the little store in our complex and I said, “Just last week I told Lucia I hadn’t received my renter’s contract yet for my apartment.” And she said, “I know. I haven’t received mine yet either.” I said, “Well, that’s funny because that means I’m here on my rules; not theirs.” I just held the lobby door open for someone so I haven’t been treating others the way people treat me. It’s like every time I try to back into a parking place someone honks because they think they saw the place first or — it’s always something and people only care about themselves. Let’s hope they don’t do anything to make Mighael or God mad in Their (“RRR”) contemporary Incarnations. Which is Many(All) for the latter, I might add. I’ll just say one thing more and then I’ll stop this — and that is — for every dollar that someone puts into a bank account, doesn’t use and doesn’t need, that could be a dollar used to buy some food that could save the life of another person who could have your success and your life if circumstances were a little different. And it’s really no wonder people don’t understand the difference between good and evil when you have these self-righteous so-called ‘rights groups’ drunk with power forgetting to use common sense in their activities. Barbara Dudley, executive director of Greenpeace, USA, said in the 1989 Greenpeace Policy Statement: “Greenpeace is neither for nor against the killing of marine mammals” — according to an ad that appeared in the Wednesday, April 16th Los Angeles Times. In today’s edition of the newspaper, it says, “The human rights group Amnesty International is looking into the deaths of the rebels of the leftist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement and of a hostage, Supreme Court Justice Carlos Giusti Acuna, according to a spokeswoman in Argentina . . . ‘The organization calls for exhaustive and impartial investigations of all of the deaths,’ Amnesty said in a statement.” We live in a time where people who break the law to the most horrendous degree are given more rights than those who quietly and humbly follow the law day in and day out. People have got to understand that they must take responsibility for their actions. Whatever Jesus may or may not have done doesn’t mitigate anyone else’s sins.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES: THE FOLLOWING ARE LYRICS FROM THE U2 SONG “THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE” — SOME I CAN’T DISTINGUISH. THE SONG BEGINS WITH BREATHING SOUNDS.)
Come on take me home. Home again. (murmurs and crescendos are followed by gentler notes) And if the mountains should crumble Or disappear into the sea, Not a tear No not I . . . Ever after is loving time . . . Don’t push me too far . . .
Q: So I picked up a copy of Mother Jones at the Hotline. As you know, Mighael channels to me important articles in the Hotline room. So this one offers a cover feature on:
We can create jobs, reduce taxes, shrink government, increase social spending, and restore our environment. . . .
by Paul Hawken
Q: (turning pages) So this is a series of articles — oh, by the way, there’s an ad here for U2’s Pop album. I’m listening to “Zooropa” in the background and, let’s see, it starts on page 40. It says — I’ll read the beginning. The author of the articles, Paul Hawken, is a “businessman, environmentalist and author” whose books include the bestsellers Growing a Business, The Ecology of Commerce, Seven Tomorrows, The Next Economy; and the upcoming Natural Capitalism: The Coming Efficiency Revolution with Amory and Hunter Lovins. He’s also the chairman of The Natural Step, “an educational foundation that assists world government and business leaders in achieving long-term competitive advantage through environmental sustainability.” So I’ll read the beginning of this article. It says:
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES: MINI-ARTICLE HEADINGS ARE IN BOLDFACE.)
Nationally and globally, we perceive social and environmental decay as distinct and unconnected. In fact, a humbling design flaw deeply embedded in industrial logic links the two problems. Toto, pull back the curtain: The efficient dynamo of industrialism isn’t there. Even by its own standards, industrialism is extraordinarily inefficient.
Modern industrialism came into being in a world very different from the one we live in today: fewer people, less material well-being, plentiful natural resources. As a result of the successes of industry and capitalism, these conditions have now reversed. Today, more people are chasing fewer natural resources.
But industry still operates by the same rules, using more resources to make fewer people more productive. The consequence: massive waste — of both resources and people.
Decades from now, we may look back at the end of the 20th century and ponder why business and society ignored these trends for so long — how one species thought it could flourish while nature ebbed. Historians will show, perhaps, how politics, the media, economics, and commerce created an industrial regime that wasted our social and natural environment and called it growth. As author Bill McKibben put it, ‘The laws of Congress and the laws of physics are not likely to yield.’
The laws we’re ignoring determine how life sustains itself. Commerce requires living systems for its welfare — it is emblematic of the times that this even needs to be said. Because of our industrial prowess, we emphasize what people can do but tend to ignore what nature does. Commercial institutions, proud of their achievements, do not see what healthy living systems — clean air and water, healthy soil, stable climates — are integral to a functioning economy. As our living systems deteriorate, traditional forecasting and business economics become the equivalent of house rules on a sinking cruise ship.
One is tempted to say that there is nothing wrong with capitalism except that it has never been tried. Our current industrial system is based on accounting principles that would bankrupt any company.
Conventional economic theories will not guide our future for a simple reason: They have never placed ‘natural capital’ on the balance sheet. When it is included, not as a free amenity or as a putative infinite supply, but as an integral and valuable part of the production process, everything changes. Prices, costs, and what is and isn’t economically sound change dramatically.
Industries destroy natural capital because they have historically benefitted from doing so. As businesses successfully created more goods and jobs, consumer demand soared, compounding the destruction of natural capital. All that is about to change.
NATURAL CAPITAL Natural systems provide trillions of dollars in services that have no man-made substitutes, as Biosphere II’s failure shows.
We have not come up with an economical way to manufacture topsoil, watersheds, gene pools, wetlands, or river systems.
NATURAL CAPITAL AS A LIMITING FACTOR The new limits to prosperity are natural systems — not boats, but fisheries; not sawmills, but forests.
Q: “Throughout the industrial era, economists considered manufactured capital — money, factories, etc. — the principal factor in industrial production, and perceived natural capital as a marginal contributor. The exclusion of natural capitalism from balance sheets was an understandable omission. There was so much of it, it didn’t seem worth counting. Not any longer.”
HE HIGH PRICE OF BAD INFORMATION Economists make no distinctions when reporting growth — whether we’ve invested in new schools or paid to clean up a toxic waste spill.
SOCIAL WASTE One billion people cannot support their families. More than 5 million men are in prison, waiting for trial, on probation, or on parole.
WASTING RESOURCES MEANS WASTING PEOPLE Reducing resource waste creates jobs.
Our pursuit of increased labor productivity at all costs not only depletes the environment, it also depletes labor. Just as overproduction can exhaust topsoil, overproductivity can exhaust a workforce. The underlying assumption that greater productivity would lead to greater leisure and well-being, while true for many decades, has become a bad joke. In the United States, those who are employed and presumably becoming more productive, find they are working 100 to 200 hours more per year than 20 years ago. Yet real wages haven’t increased for more than 20 years.
In 1994, I asked a roomful of senior executives from Fortune 500 companies the following questions: Do you want to work harder in five years than you do today? Do you know anyone in your office who is a slacker? Do you know any parents in your company who are spending too much time with their kids? The only response was a few embarrassed laughs. Then it was quiet — perhaps numb is a better word.
Meanwhile, people whose jobs have been downsized, re-engineered, or restructured out of existence are being told — as are millions of youths around the world — that we have created an economic system so ingenious that it doesn’t need them, except perhaps to do menial service jobs.
Q: There’s a picture of a $500 bill and it says, “When you start to perceive the extent of America’s waste, and then how much can be saved, it’s like finding a $500 bill on the sidewalk, then another, then another . . .” So —
The new resource revolution is showing up in all areas of business — from home building to furniture to semiconductors.
RESOURCE PRODUCTIVITY Innovations — from ultrasound washing machines to virtual malls — will radically reduce resource inefficiency.
Q: There’s a small box that presents:
One of the world’s most innovative designers in resource productivity is William McDonough, dean of the University of Virginia’s school of architecture. Inspired by the way living systems actually work, McDonough follows three simple principles when redesigning processes and products:
(1) Waste equals food. This principle encourages the elimination of the concept of waste in industrial design. We need to design every process so that the products themselves, as well as leftover chemicals, materials, and effluents, can become “food” for other processes.
(2) Rely on current solar income. This principle has two benefits: First, it diminishes, and may eventually eliminate, our reliance on hydrocarbon fuels. Second, it means designing systems that sip energy instead of gulping it down.
(3) Respect diversity. We need to evaluate every design for its impact on plant, animal, and human life. For a building, this means, literally, what will the birds think of it? For a product, it means, where will it go and what will it do when it gets there? For a system, it means weighing immediate and long-term effects and deciding whether it enhances or people’s identity, independence, and integrity. — P. H.
We subsidize landfills, Superfund cleanups, nuclear storage, and floodplain developers, but discourage work by taxing labor.
RESOURCE POLITICS Reducing income taxes while increasing resource prices will stimulate employment and environmental restoration.
THE FUTURE Our living systems and social stability are at risk. But the solutions are profitable, creative, and eminently possible.
Ironically, groups such as Earth First!, Rainforest Action Network, and Greenpeace have become the real capitalists.
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Q: So looking at this website, this month the highlighted articles are on: “Bellagio Principles,” “Five Years After Rio,” “Developing Ideas Digest” and “Countdown Forests ’97.” So looking at this “Bellagio Principles” — “Guidelines for the Practical Assessment of Progress Toward Sustainable Development,” it says: “Background” — “In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) called for the development of new ways to measure and assess progress. This call has been subsequently echoed through activities that range from local to global in scale. In response, significant effort has been made by corporations, non-government organizations, academics, communities, nations, and international organizations.” So, in terms of “Who Developed the Principles?,” it says, “In November 1996, an international group of practitioners and researchers from twenty nations came together at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy to review progress to date and to synthesize insights from practical ongoing efforts. The attached principles resulted and were unanimously endorsed.” So the “List of Participants” names: Alan AtKisson, Redefining Progress, USA; Joe Baker, Commissioner for the Environment, Australia; Jan Bakkes, RIVM, The Netherlands; Chaouki Benazzou, Ministry of Planning, Morocco; David Berry, The White House, USA; Maria Buitenkamp, Friends of the Earth, Netherlands; Candido Cabrido, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines; Walter Corson, George Washington University, USA; Arthur Dahl, Division of Environment Information & Assessment, UNEP; Gilberto Gallopín, Centro Internacional de Agricultrura Tropical, Colombia; Allen Hammond, World Resources Institute, USA; Peter Hardi, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada; Tony Hodge, National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, Canada; Devaki Jain, National Commission for Women, India; Jochen Jesinghaus, Statistical Office of the European Communities, Luxembourg; Anne Kerr, Indicators and Assessment Office, Environment, Canada; Tord Kjellström, Office of Global and Integrated Environmental Health, WHO; William M. Lafferty, Program for Research and Documentation for a Sustainable Society, Norway; Bedrich Moldan, Charles University, Czech Republic; Sabine Müller, Kiel University, Germany; Michael Narodoslawsky, Graz Institute of Technology, Austria; Laszlo Pinter, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada; Robert Prescott-Allen, International Development and Research Centre/World Conservation Union; Gül Tanghe-Güllüova, Human Development Report Office, UNDP. The website continues: “What is Their Use and Who are the Users? These principles serve as guidelines for the whole of the assessment process including the choice and design of indicators, their interpretation and communication of the result. They should be applied as a complete set. They are intended for use in starting and improving assessment activities of community groups, non-government organizations, corporations, national governments, and international institutions.” The “Overview” provided says, “These principles deal with four aspects of assessing progress toward sustainability. Principle 1 deals with the starting point of any assessment by establishing a vision of sustainable development and clear goals that provide a practical definition of that vision in terms that are meaningful for the decision-making unit in question. Principles 2 through 5 deal with the content of any assessment and the need to merge a sense of the overall system with a practical focus on current priority issues. Principles 6 through 8 deal with key issues of the process of assessment, while principles 9 and 10 deal with the necessity for establishing a continuing capacity for assessment.” The “Guiding Vision and Goals” page says, “Assessment of progress toward sustainability should be guided by a clear vision of sustainable development and goals that define that vision.” The “Holistic Perspective” says, “Assessment of progress toward sustainability should: include review of the whole system being considered as well as its parts consider the well-being (including the state as well as the direction and rate of change of that state) of human, ecological, and economic sub-systems, their component parts, and the interaction between parts consider both positive and negative consequences of human activity, in a way that reflects the full costs and benefits for human and ecological systems, in monetary and non-monetary terms.” The “Institutional Capacity” page says, “Continuity of assessing progress toward sustainability should be assured by: clearly assigning responsibility and providing ongoing support in the decision-making process providing institutional capacity for data collection, maintenance, and documentation supporting development of local assessment capacity. A discussion paper that provides the rationale and explanation for the principles as well as case studies that illustrate practical application will be available from the International Institute for Sustainable Development in the spring of 197.”
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I CONTINUE REVIEWING MOTHER JONES VOLUME 22, ISSUE 2.)
Q: There’s a cartoon that I think ‘corporate’ readers will especially relate to. It’s entitled “The Nightmare” and it shows a (man in a) ‘suit’ in a bed with various items — items mentioned in his monologue. The cartoon is by Nicole Hollander. This is what the man says:
The Eden® brand means:no irradiation, no preservatives, no chemical additives, no food colorings, no refined sugars, no genetically engineered ingredients, and the safest, most nutritious, certified organically grown food that could possibly be offered.
I guess that’s what my book is. On page 37 it says, “Female Firepower” —
There’s also an article in the “Home Planet” section entitled “Buying the Farm” — “Consumers give ‘share cropping’ a whole new meaning.” By Leora Broydo. It says:
Well don’t start scouring Nasdaq for clues. These shares are traded in an exchange of a different sort. Called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), it’s an arrangement in which consumers bankroll a small farm and get fresh organic fruits and vegetables in return. CSA may be the only investment plan where eating the profits is encouraged.
There are no substitutes for many of the services provided by natural capital. Try to imagine the technologies that could replace these services: Production of oxygen Maintenance of biological diversity Purification of water and air Regulation of the chemical composition of the oceans Maintenance of wildlife migration and habitats Production of genetic and medicinal resources Prevention of soil erosion; sediment control Regulation of runoff; flood prevention.
Since 1950 we have destroyed nearly one-third of the world’s forests. Each year in the United States we cut down nearly 800,000 acres of trees, throw away 27 billion pounds of wood, and go through 181 billion pounds of paper.
My reason for optimism? Waste is too expensive. It’s cheaper to do the right thing.
Our annual shopping spree generates 6 billion pounds of polystyrene, 28 billion pounds of discarded food, and 300 billion pounds of chemicals.
There’s no difference between incarceration and an Ivy League education. The main difference is the curriculum.
The U.S. has surpassed the former Soviet Union as the world’s largest penal colony. One out of three black males in their 20s is in the U.S. correctional system; close to 40 percent of young black men are growing up in poverty. Is there a correlation?
MAGIC CARPET How to make a profit by reusing waste.
The key is to understand products as a means to deliver a service — and do it better.
Carpeting lasts for up to 12 years, after which it goes into landfills for as long as 20,000 years. Americans throw away 3.5 billion pounds (920 million square yards) of carpet every year.
One company, Interface, wants to lease its carpet service, replacing carpet tiles as they become worn or frayed, then recycling the old tiles into new ones for fresh carpeting.
HYPERCAR This quiet, safe vehicle gets up to 200 miles per gallon.
Cars are barely 1 percent efficient: Only one in every hundred gallons of gas burned actually moves the passenger. And we throw cars away — 647 million vehicles were junked between 1900 and 1984.
The hypercar, designed by the Rocky Mountain Institute under Amory Lovins: The body is mostly made of superlight carbon fiber, which is safer than steel.
The car employs a small motor-scooter-sized engine and variable-speed reversible electric motors to recapture braking energy. The car is 95 percent less polluting.
Full-color reprints of Paul Hawken’s path-breaking Mother Jones cover story are available at attractive rates for classroom use and other bulk distribution . . .