Ukraine and Gardening – Yet Again

Photo courtesy of NSSL

April 19, 2014

[My condolences to the family, loved ones and friends of Michael Ruppert. I didn’t know Mike personally, but his writings on peak oil and his blog, From the Wilderness, were among the handful of sources available when I first struggled to understand the implications of peak oil back in 2006 – 2007. I am very grateful for his work in this area.]


Well, those bad little boys, Obama and Putin, are at it again – despite telling Mom they’d behave themselves and “de-escalate tensions” just last Thursday at the meeting in Geneva between the US, Russia, the EU and Ukraine.
“For the first time, Russia has confirmed that it has built up its military presence on the Ukrainian border (according to Agence France Presse). On the heels of the de-escalation and the West’s threat of tougher sanctions (if Russia failed to abide by the new ‘deal’), Kremlin spokesman Dmirty Peskov told Rossiya TV that “we have troops in different regions, and there are troops close to the Ukrainian border. Some are based there, others have been sent as reinforcements due to the situation in Ukraine.””
“So what part of “All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions,” did the US not understand when they decided that deploying troops to Poland was in keeping with the four-party deal? As WaPo reports, Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine.”

None of this, of course, has anything to do with Ukraine, the country, or the wishes of the Ukrainian people, except as one more chess piece in the Great Game of Empire, to which: By the time this battle in the great game ended, Ukraine would be little more than another bug splat on the windshield of the Empire’s jeep, Russia, stripped of its naval base in Crimea, would be cowed – never again to regain empire status – the petrodollar, with all its perks to the Empire, would be safe from challenge once again and the corporations and financial institutions of the Empire and its European allies lackeys would be free to loot the guts of Ukraine, (once called “the bread basket” of the old Soviet Union,) the oil and gas fields off of Crimea’s coast, along with the wealthier industrial areas of eastern Ukraine.

At least, that appeared to be the plan.

Russia, however, seems not so willing to be cowed. While the neo-cons in Washington were slapping themselves on the back over their successful coup in Kiev, Crimeans voted themselves, their gas and oil fields and the Russian naval base back into the safe, loving arms of Mother Russia. Check.

The US and Europe began a series of sanctions against Russia.  Russia, in turn, hinted that, if Ukraine didn’t pay the huge gas bill it owed them, it might have to protect Europe from Ukrainians stealing the gas meant for Europe by shutting off that gas.  Check, again.

Last Thursday, at the meeting in Geneva, all parties agreed to de-escalate the situation.  Well, we saw how long that lasted.

Where will things go from here? I wish I knew. But, whether the final checkmate comes via the Empire or Russia, whether the next move in the “game” becomes an economic or a military war, whether one side “wins” the war or everyone loses, it will have repercussions for all of us.

Which, once again, brings us to the subject of gardens.

Plant one. If you can, plant early; if you can’t, plant late – spring, summer, fall, even indoors next winter. Whether you live in Berkley or Bangladesh, get some of your own food in the ground because food supply and food prices will be affected.

Keep reducing your dependence on fossil fuels and work to replenish your small corner of the earth. Conventional oil has peaked, climate change has not gone away and war – economic or military – will only exacerbate the effects of both.

While you’re at it, learn some oil-independent skills and do what you can to encourage your children, friends and neighbors to do the same. The Empire may win this particular battle, but it will have to fight others to maintain business as usual for as long as possible. Each one will weaken it further. One of them will inevitably bring it to its knees and this civilization as we know it will make its own passage into history, having squandered the very resources that built and maintained it. We will have to build a different one without them.

We have no guarantee that you and I will be among those builders, or that humanity itself will survive these huge problems, but as John Michael Greer pointed out, at the beginning of his blog post this week,

“Nothing is easier, as the Long Descent begins to pick up speed around us, than giving in to despair—and nothing is more pointless.”

As far as I know, this is the only life we get. Live it as though you will be one of the survivors; savor it as if you won’t.

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4 Responses to Ukraine and Gardening – Yet Again

  1. graveday says:

    Linda, you have parsed the paradigms precisely perfectly. Who could complain? And why?

  2. eugene says:

    The term “bad boys” is so appropriate. The consequences are far beyond bad boys and so, so deadly. And not just in the dead but in the physically, emotionally handicapped who’s lives are ruined. Not long ago, I was rambling on my battered old motorcycle and stopped at a small country store. One thing led to another and the owner talked a bit about his daughter home from the war. She is a different person. As a tired old vet with decades of struggle behind me, I recognized instantly. I didn’t tell him she will be this way the rest of her life. But it has always been this way. Selfish, childish old men supported by the masses, men and women, who, in a patriotic fever wildly cheer the sickness on. At 73, still anger in my gut and tears in my eyes.

    I don’t know for others but for me your writing is precious.

    • theozarker says:

      I know, Eugene. Every time I hear someone glorify war or some poor soul who died or was injured “for freedom and democracy”, I just want to cry. So much foolish propaganda. So difficult, when you’ve lost a loved one to war, ( physically or mentally) to see the Empire for what it really is. Breaks my heart.

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