Thank you to the insurance companies Liberty Mutual and HDI/Talanx. News by email was read today, 12th June 2020, that "Liberty Mutual" has categorically ruled out further insurance of Adani's coal project in Queensland. HDI/Talanx sent "Market Forces" at letter stating that they had "terminated the insurance cover for this project" and "have even excluded the Carmichael project from insurance coverage for significant suppliers." Thank you to many activists that supplied the ongoing social pressure who are still campaigning hard
Now all we need is the Gas and Coal coalitions of conniving politicians in the Australian Federal Government, and State governments to be denied reserve bank and global finance and bonds for funding for their reckless promotions of new coal and gas projects in Australia. They are meeting and plotting with their culpable lobbyists everyday in the halls and desktops of money and power. The economic downtown has been deemed the perfect time for emergency powers and corporate ambush of democracy. Coalitions of conniving political units powered by fossil fuelled wealth are still plotting systemic ecosystems destruction. We need a loud and commensurate opposition, not a bunch of willing political collaborators.
The global consumption of fossil fuels now needs to be falling fast. There is no climate science support for a coal to gas "transition" ramping up now. The most that climate science papers supported this for making any sense, was for a limited time period. That time is well over. Global carbon budgets for a global climate, that is compatible with long term human survival, are being used up fast, within the next decade.
Why are the most per capita intensive fossil fuel states like Australia among the worst global non-conformists who are still promoting Climate Armageddon from fossil fuelled economic growth? You can pick out many factors. Armeggedon, from the online google, is where kings of the earth under demonic leadership will wage war on the forces of God at the end of history. Our political "leaders" are not demons. They are third rate deal makers, a coalition of wealthy suits, comprising mates and vested corporate interests. Fossil fuel lobbyists and their money pull Australia's political strings. Their media ownership and information control manipulate the public. Fossil fuelled dependent power, urban transport and food systems dominate our lifestyles. Our psychological remoteness from our absolute dependence on nature makes Australia absolutely unprepared for climate and economic collapses directly ahead on the road we are daring to accelerate along. We also have too many sad cases of unreactive public apathy about the entire process.
Political assassins, usually male, have always been ready to overthrow anything, that does not agree with their status and power, if they can get away with it without personal consequence. Coalitions of "proactive aggression" plot campaigns against those threats of non-conformity with their rules. This has been the case from the earliest human societies. In the recent publication of the book "The Goodness Paradox", author and anthropologist Richard Wrangham settles much long term evidence about the nature of human aggression. The subtitle is "How Evolution Made Us Both More and Less Violent".
Two prime pieces of evidence are the very low amounts of reactive aggression that homo sapiens have on average, you may be surprised to know, and the physical evidence of past species domestication that all homo sapiens born today have.
Homo Sapiens are "Mostly Harmless", a docile self-domesticated species.
Compared to the observed violence among other social species and primates, homo sapiens have strong inate abilities to somehow escape getting into lethal fights, even considering the effects of alcohol and spouse beating we still exhibit. This allows our social co-operation, our language, our cultural transmission and negotiation skills. This is called the "inhibition of reactive aggression". Of course our tamping of reactive aggression works best with the people we can recognise as being familiar enough to be the same "kind" as us.
Selection for inhibition of reaction aggression is exactly the process that achieved "domesticate" species over generations, so that they are no longer fearful and aggressive domestication of humans, that made us as "homo sapiens" so long ago. The domestication process also brings out physical changes - smaller brain size, rounder skull shape, smaller cute faces, smaller teeth, and many other "juvenilized" physical attributes. These have been directly and experimentally observed in breeding programs that only selected for tameness of young animals at their youngest testing age, for a developmental period before onset of fear of strangers. This was first done deliberately on Silver foxes, by Balyaev, who proposed the hypothesis. Selection for this one key attribute caused the appearance of all the other attributes of the "domestication syndrome" in subsequent generations. These have subsequently been recognized as being linked in phylotype development of most animal species. This links the many apparently disparate internal changes of domestication to "nueral-crest" cell migrations in developing embryos, and so produced wide-spread physical changes, much the same as many other genetic syndromes that can link a small region of gene change to widespread changes found in the adult form.
The full changes of human domestication can be seen when compared to the fossil remains last of our robust species cousins, the Neanderthals, and all of our fossilised antecedents. About 300,000 years ago, fossils at least one fossil site in Africa indicate the start of developing our "modern" features. By this time human stone tool making was getting sophisticated and precise, we used and controlled fire. The question which "The goodness paradox" addresses, is just how did the selection process against reactive aggression happen. The Bonobo Chimpanzee species also shows evidence of having undergone a self-domestication evolutionary process.
Coalitions of plotters to kill non-conformists and tyrants
Prior to human self-domestication, robust aggressive bones, muscles and bodies, relative to height, particularly in males, were a standard hominid pattern. Richard Wrangham makes a strong case that self domestication began with the combination of excellent hunting and weapons skills, plus increased language and cooperation ability of sub-ordinate males to plot together. This meant that their most disliked and annoying physically aggressive fellows could be dispatched by ambush, or by overwhelming numbers. The average run of the mill male could terminate the alpha male tyrants. Prior to sophisticated kill at a distance weapons, and political language skills, physical strength formed dominance and primary breeding rights. Now politics has intervened.
With the arrival of planned and communally approved executions, the bullying of an alpha male was exchanged for the subtler tyranny of the previous underdogs.
The author gives examples of present day hunter and gatherer social justice. To balance to possibility of being socially dispatched prematurely, we homo sapiens also developed a greatly enhanced moral sense of conforming to social expectations, and awareness of personal reputation. Like all complex behaviour we add layers of childhood learning, social skills, parental status and personality types. We are all become aware to some degree of pressures to conform. The process has had plenty of time to bend the selection of human genetic variation, over the last 300,000 years, or about 12,000 generations, and the changes are all clearly marked in our our present day bodies and behaviour. It must be a little galling to know, for us humans being so proud of our domestication of other species, domesticated themselves a long time prior. The domestication of our sub-ordinate species is also traceable in fossil bones. Dogs were probably first, and may have self-domesticated as wolf pups that self-selecting to get food from human camps, more than 14,000 years ago.
Proactive aggression is wired differently
Our peace loving and genial fellow beings behaviour is somewhat different when we combine to achieve social goals by force. There are different aggression centres in the brain for reactive aggression and active aggression activities, like the hunting instincts and behaviours of carnivores. In humans proactive aggression is both a violence and a political force. Both reactive and proactive forms of aggression can be active independently. In some other smaller species, activation of one is more likely to inhibit the other. We can use both strike out in anger at socially identified non-conformity, and organise warfare.
A coalition of proactive human aggressors can choose when and how to be aggressive to their victims in such a well-planned way that they can achieve their goal with overwhelming force and without risking their own safety. As long as the victim cannot assemble a defense, the ability to plan with clinical detachment gives a coalition extraordinary power. ...Collaborative planning enables murders to be conducted with cold efficiency. ... The cost-benefit dynamics of coalitionary proactive aggression make murderous violence an alluringly easy tool.
Our capacity for complex war and organized violence
We are all aware of the shifting balances of power between nations and social groups. Organised warfare against people is also linked to organized destruction of nature, both to obtain the resources for the betterment and population growth of our own particular social kind. When a political party talks about "growth" they are instinctively talking of benefits to their most bounded social grouping, and not for everyone else. They are getting away with arranging the systematic future murders of just about everyone else. You might not be herded into gas chambers, but future heat waves, fires, diseases and starvation are all increasing, and will increase until they take out most, if not all of humans and today's remaining eco-sensitive species. The ambush with overwhelming force and no consequence to oneself is the preferred mode of proactive aggression. We have all imagined it, and fed it by our stories and media.
For global problems that effect the future for everyone, global social and ecosystem rules need to be enforced
We should therefore not find it surprising that small groups of men with disregard for national laws easily form gangs that take advantage of local imbalances of power to kill.
Unless our societies are constantly working to organize good, sophisticated coalitions with strong social support, we will fail to uncover in time, oppose and inhibit too many of the dark strivings of human societies. We need to take away opportunity of easy victories that come with little direct cost to aggressors, various criminal and corporate types will continue to undermine efforts to save nature and climate from the rapacious efforts of bad corporations and states. In many cases of opposed societies that are measuring each other up for war, human biases of overconfidence and claims of easy victory often bring on aggressive moves that eventually lead to disaster. Reason and evidences to the contrary are usually ignored by plotting coalitions, who have eyes only on reasons why they should win, in order to steel their nerves. Plotters inside coalitions in government are responsible for most of the follies and disasters of our past violent histories, and the likelihood is, given our human natures have changed little, is that we will continue will do it to ourselves again and again, until we start to recognize it as a pattern of our societies to deliberately organise against, with more sophistication, efforts and self-species knowledge we have displayed so far. Much more effort is required, given our species-suicidal fossil-fuelled political coalitions. All of the lobbyists ought to be banned, preferably arrested for inducement of corruption, because of their totally unrepresentative influence over government policy. "Separation of Powers" is a known principle of good governance, lest they conspire together.
We have failed to acknowledge the evil powers and temptations formed by powerful corporations and wealth, and separate them from our own real long term interests. The powers of fossil fuels are way above what are still are limits for the upper stimuli thresholds and dreams of wealth and growth for hunter-gatherer minds, and too many humans get overwhelmed. Absolute power corrupts all human coalitions absolutely. Capitalism is the success of the proactive aggression centres of human brains, whether or not we noticed the victims. Most of the past major wars of 20th Century of planned murder have been organized around fossil fuel resource access. Do you think these fossil fuel crazed human families and mafia coalitions are going give up because bunches of weakly influential, relatively poor climate activists, and poor nations tell them they should stop? Apparently not, at least for 30 years so far.