THE race for the top job in the White House is under way with United States presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barak Obama the choices.
The one who deceives the country’s voters most convincingly will be the one who succeeds — that, sadly, is the way the system works.
Why are folk so gullible?
Kids figure out quite early that what adults expect from them in word and deed is different from what they themselves say and do. But concepts of compromise and integrity are beyond their young uncluttered minds.
Injustices, double standards, bullying and confusing values often occur during childhood. They take their toll.
Not conforming to accepted standards results in being branded as a rebel by peers . . . so kids develop skills of compromise and pretence to maintain a rightful place on life’s journey.
The dark side of these necessary tactics is a clouding of truths and a little dishonesty creeps into thoughts and habits.
No matter what social mix one becomes part of, there will be conflicting views and compromise is essential. At home, school, clubs, political gatherings, work or in the military, this has to be the way for smooth, harmonious functioning.
It is human to outrightly reject issues without considering alternatives that challenge prevailing world views.
In these ways our cultures have shaped us to conform. Call it brain-washing if you like.
Not wishing to challenge our installed thoughts, we deny all that threatens us without further examination.
Minds are made up beforehand. Integrity takes a lower priority in politics as well.
If Romney or Obama were to front up about their nation’s true plight, it would be the death knell for either of their presidential chances.
There has been no mention in the debates of pending oil shocks or climate change. Another century of steady consumption of available, affordable fossil fuels is promised.
The truth of peak oil is long past and the reason such desperate, eco-unfriendly measures are being used to fill the shortfall is not faced. Fracking, extreme deep-sea drilling and tar sands oil pipelines are all shockingly damaging to land, water and air.
In 1973, President Nixon responded honestly to the OPEC oil crisis by announcing a need for United States to be more energy efficient and lessen its dependence on oil. Then later that decade, during President Carter’s term, James Schlesinger gravely warned of an “energy-bleak future in decades ahead”.
The OPEC exports restarted — all was forgotten and it was back to business as usual.
Currently scientific information shows an acceleration of global climate change far greater than most “alarmists” formally predicted. Still no ringing bells.
Concerned? Not at all. Western societies are so accustomed to the comforts of the fossilfuel age that the warnings still go unheeded.
The message to get ready to lower our expectations of entitlements and move to lower-impact lifestyles is hard to get through to blind eyes and deaf ears.
We are now at the end of growth. Ecosystems suffer, species disappear at an alarming rate.
Ecocide is the crime we all collectively commit.
Warnings to ease up on our relentless attack go unheeded by industry, corporations and governments worldwide, New Zealand included.
Individually we can make a difference, collectively we can do more — we have free will.
Dare to step off the pathway you are on to a place where you can get another view.
How can we explain to the next generation that it was good for the economy when they can’t farm the land, breathe the air or drink the water.