A CONSTITUTION FOR ALL HUMANITY FOR THIS CENTURY

29 Nov

We the People of Planet Earth, in Order to form a Sustainable Society, establish Justice, insure a Peaceful, Healthy Coexistence between All and with our fellow living Species we share this Planet with; in Order to secure the Protection of Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood and the pursuit of Happiness for ourselves and our Posterity within the Necessary Limits of our Obligation as Caretakers of our World, the Respect for the Rights of Others and Other Species and to allow a Sustainably Society to flourish, do ordain and establish this Constitution for Our Planet, for our Home, to which we all belong.

In view of the unsustainable race towards a collapse of our society due to the unsustainable increase of our population, massive overconsumption, reckless pollution of the atmosphere, the oceans, rivers and the lands of our great Planet, in view of the extreme inequality amongst ourselves and the large scale destruction of natural habitat and animal and plant species, We, the People of Planet Earth, ordain and establish this Constitution for our Planet for the rest of this Century:

 

TO COUNTER THE GRAVE DANGER OF CLIMATE CHANGE, OVERCONSUMPTION, POLLUTION AND RESOURCE DEPLETION

We ordain a, global price on the extraction of carbon from fossil materials at the rate of 100 USD per barrel of oil equivalent, in order to diminish CO2 emissions on a path to zero by 2050. If necessary this tax can be increased.

Extraction of all primary resources will be taxed as well. Proceeds from these levies will flow in the Global Fund for Planetary Restoration and the Eradication of Poverty, called REPAIR.

All materials used in the production of goods must be recycled and reused 100%

No ground water can be extracted unless repleted within a year. No tree can be cut without a same species one planted.

A 30 % VAT will be levied on meat, as well as for non-food items that do not pertain to education or health care. No VAT will be levied on basic food items.

TO COUNTER THE GRAVE DANGER OF EXTREME INEQUALITY AMONGST PEOPLE

No taxes will be levied on income up to 30.000 USD per person per year.

Salaries above 1,2 million USD per person per year will be taxed at 90%.

All wealth above 20 million USD per person shall be granted to the Global Fund REPAIR to alleviate poverty and restore our planet. The grantor will be actively involved to assign the capital to projects of their personal choice.

All young people have the right to education till the age of 16. No young people need to work till the age of 16.

All able adults – from 23 years – till the age of 70 years have the right to a paid job of a minimum of 12.000 USD per year by the year 2030. Minimum wages between the ages of 16 and 22 will start at 6000 USD and reach 12000 USD at the age of 23. Increase of local minimum wages needs to started forthwith to reach the ordained minimum level.

All those without work, studying and those above the age of 70 years have the right to a Sustenance Payment of minimum 3000 USD per year. This includes maximum two children per family from the age of four years old.

All adults are entitled to open a bank account free of set up or running costs and with minimal formalities. If the transaction volume passes 24.000 USD annually, the bank is allowed to charge reasonable banking fees.

All are entitled to basic health care.

TO COUNTER THE GRAVE DANGER OF OVERPOPULATION

We ordain that no woman shall give birth to more than two children that reach their reproductive age.

TO COUNTER THE GRAVE DANGER OF THE DESTRUCTION OF NATURAL HABITATS AND THE EXTINCTION OF SPECIES

All natural forests and other remaining natural habitats, like wetlands, mountainous areas, desert and grassland areas, ice covered lands, as well as all lakes, seas and oceans, will be designated forthwith and remain designated as protected areas. Human activities in these areas will be allowed only under the strict condition of complete sustainability. Severe penalties on par with the penalties for murder will be implemented for crimes against vulnerable wild species. Destruction of prime habitat housing these species will be equally punished.

TO COUNTER THE GRAVE DANGER OF DISRUPTION DUE TO WEATHER EXTREMES

Trees and forests temper weather extremes, nourish the soils and keep the hydro cycle intact, including the on cloud formation, precipitation, water infiltration, storage and drainage. Therefore a huge worldwide restoration program of forests needs to be executed.

All countries will completely protect their currently existing natural forests. All current production forests must be maintained sustainably. Those countries that lack enough forest, will start massive reforestation plans  forthwith. These are mentioned in this constitution.

In the following countries plans to reforest the lands to at least 30% of its surface will be executed:

China, Australia, contiguous USA, India, South Sudan, Turkey, Chile, Thailand, Nigeria, Ukraine, Poland, Philippines, Romania, Uganda, Nepal, Malawi, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, United Kingdom, Cuba, Ghana, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Bangladesh, Togo, Ireland, Uruguay, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Moldova, Rwanda, El Salvador, Burundi, Cape Verde, Haiti.

In the following countries plans to reforest the lands to at least 20% of its surface will be executed:

Mali, Niger, Iran, Mongolia, Sudan, Morocco, South-Africa, Namibia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Eritrea, Kenya, Oman, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Cyprus, Afghanistan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Swaziland, Palestine, Lesotho.

In the following countries plans to reforest the lands to at least 5% of its surface will be executed:

Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Libya, Jordan, Egypt, Iceland, Djibouti, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar.

THE GLOBAL FUND REPAIR

We ordain the installment of a Global Fund for Planetary Restoration and the Eradication of Poverty called REPAIR which will get the proceeds of the Carbon extraction levies, the other primary resources extraction levies and the management of the excess assets of people having possessions worth over 20 million USD per person. The Global Fund will receive no less than 10 Trillion USD per year to carry out its task of restoring the planet and eradication poverty.

Funds for reforestation will be provided the Global Fund REPAIR, who provide salary payments to hundreds of millions of local people, employing them for tree planting and habitat restoration.

REPAIR will receive all proceeds centrally and pay those proceeds to national REPAIR organizations based on local needs and progress of restoration programs. Efficient organization will prevent that the running of the fund including national funds will cost more than the legal limit of 0.5% of proceeds.

THE REDISTRIBUTION OF LAND

Local authorities will give every person or family who wants, 1-2 hectare plots of land in permanent lease provided they are proper caretakers, reforest a third and keep this part forested and stick to the rules of this constitution. The rest can be used for food production. The exact size depends on local precipitation and soil conditions.

WE MUST DO IT!

If we all open our eyes, we know that if we do not mend our ways soon, this century will be one of unspeakable suffering and destruction. The solution is simple if we are honest, enlightened and compassionate. Let us do this before we descend towards a chaos that will spread and spin out of control without its own unstoppable momentum till we are all devastated. Let us do whatever it takes to restore our planet as a home for all now and for many generations to come.

Paris, 29 November 2015

 

 

Calculus

Hereunder you will find a rough calculus of the effects of this constitution.

World GDP 2015 = 80.000.000.000 USD or 80 trillion USD

Nr of people = 7.4 billion

Demographic breakdown:

Children 4-16 years: 1.6 billion x 3000 USD = 4.8 Trillion USD

Adults 16-22 = 900 million

Out of which willing and able to work 500 million x 9.000 USD = 4.5 Trillion USD

Adults 23-70 = 4.2 billion

Out of which willing and able to work 2.5 billion x 12.000 USD = 30 Trillion USD

Not working 1.6 billion + adults over 70 0.4 billion = 2 billion x 3000 USD = 6 Trillion USD

Total estimate 45 Trillion USD necessary to support this system

35 Trillion left for higher payment.

REPAIR FUND would start with all excess wealth of high worth individuals over 20 million USD. This is roughly 100 Trillion USD, delivering a 5% dividend per annum = 5 Trillion USD.

Carbon Tax (100 USD per barrel of oil equivalent x pollution factor, would bring around 12 Trillion USD per annum (but decreasing rapidly) to close to zero in 2050.

Total income REPAIR would be 17 Trillion USD per year, enough to give 1 billion people a minimum wage job repairing the Earth.

 

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World GDP in current US dollars seems to have peaked; this is a problem

15 Aug

Our Finite World

World GDP in current US dollars is in some sense the simplest world GDP calculation that a person might make. It is calculated by taking the GDP for each year for each country in the local currency (for example, yen) and converting these GDP amounts to US dollars using the then-current relativity between the local currency and the US dollar.

To get a world total, all a person needs to do is add together the GDP amounts for all of the individual countries. There is no inflation adjustment, so comparing GDP growth amounts calculated on this basis gives an indication regarding how the world economy is growing, inclusive of inflation. Calculation of GDP on this basis is also inclusive of changes in relativities to the US dollar.

What has been concerning for the last couple of years is that World GDP on this basis is no longer growing robustly. In…

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Researchers have been underestimating the cost of wind and solar

23 Jul

Our Finite World

How should electricity from wind turbines and solar panels be evaluated? Should it be evaluated as if these devices are stand-alone devices? Or do these devices provide electricity that is of such low quality, because of its intermittency and other factors, that we should recognize the need for supporting services associated with actually putting the electricity on the grid? This question comes up in many types of evaluations, including Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI), Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), and Energy Payback Period (EPP).

I recently gave a talk called The Problem of Properly Evaluating Intermittent Renewable Resources (PDF) at a BioPhysical Economics Conference in Montana. As many of you know, this is the group that is concerned about Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROI). As you might guess, my conclusion is that the current methodology is quite misleading. Wind and solar are not really stand-alone…

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Waar is de Nederlandse Macron?

22 Jun

Image result for macron

Waar is de Nederlandse Macron?

De Nederlandse politiek interesseert me bijna niet. De uitdagingen voor de komende tien jaar zijn mondiaal en worden niet uitgevochten op het stukje land ter grootte van een flinke postzegel met 0,23 procent van de wereldbevolking. Maar mijn tenen krommen bij het gebrek aan leiderschap van dat praatvolk zonder visie in Den Haag.

Rutte die al jaren vrolijk op de snoepwinkel past, Pechtold die zeer serieus in de camera kijkt met de uitstraling van een dooie vis en nu gaan ze praten met die aardige betrokken Gristenen van de Christen Unie, lief voor milieu en vluchteling maar verder een soort van lokale Taliban met den Bijbel in de hand. Het is een beschamend gezicht en het wordt tijd dat een nieuwe bevlogen beweging, gedragen door Jonge mensen, het roer overneemt.

Waar is de Nederlandse Macron en kunnen we ook de partijprogramma’s wat korter houden ajb?

Hier is mijn voorstel voor een complete partijprogramma voor zo’n nieuwe beweging:

  1. Iedereen verbindt zich aan de grondwet, en met name artikel 1. Allen die zich in Nederland bevinden, worden in gelijke gevallen gelijk behandeld. Discriminatie wegens godsdienst, levensovertuiging, politieke gezindheid, ras, geslacht of op welke grond dan ook, is niet toegestaan. Bevalt je dat niet, dan ben je niet welkom. Geen enkele religie is een probleem, maar de waarden van een religie proberen op te dringen aan anderen is dat wel.
  2. Een Verenigd Europa is nog steeds de beste garantie op vrede op ons continent, laten we het gruwelijke verleden niet vergeten. De gevaren nemen momenteel toe, mede door de aggressie van Rusland en de verontrustende politieke ontwikkelingen in de Verenigde Staten. Daarom moet de defensie binnen Europees verband versterkt worden. Nederland is rijk en zal veel geld moeten besteden voor het voorkomen of verkleinen van menselijke rampen in het Midden-Oosten, West-Azie en Afrika. Dit is geheel eigen belang om niet onder de voet gelopen te worden door tientallen miljoenen vluchtelingen in de komende decennia.
  3. De mensheid staat voor de grootste crisis uit haar bestaan door de combinatie van klimaatverandering, overbevolking, over-consumptie en vervuiling van water, atmosfeer en grond. De bestrijding van deze crisis moet de hoogste prioriteit hebben. De overgang naar een economie gebaseerd op duurzame energie en het recyclen van goederen moet met alle middelen worden versneld. Daarbij moeten ook de belastingen verlegd worden van belasting op arbeid naar belasting op broeikasgas uitstoot en op goederen. Banken worden verplicht leningen van meer dan 1 miljoen euro te testen op hun effecten op het milieu.
  4. Nederland moet veel investeren om met zijn kennis economie bij de wereldtop te blijven behoren. Op het gebied van transport moet de overgang naar driverless electrische auto’s, niet gebaseerd op eigendom maar op basis van pay per use zo snel mogelijk worden ingevoerd.
  5. De samenleving moet weer iets worden wat gewaardeerd wordt en iedereen moet zijn steentje bijdragen. Het is goed als jongeren kort na hun 18e een jaar dienst te doen in de gezondheidszorg, defensie of andere zorgtaken van de overheid, zoals vluchtelingen opvang.
  6. Het helpen van vluchtelingen die direct uit een levensbedreigende situatie in Nederland aankomen, moet zonder voorbehoud gebeuren, de anderen dienen elders te worden geholpen. Eventueel kan Nederland vluchtelingen in deze categorie opnemen uit Europese landen zoals Italie en Griekenland, die aan het front liggen. Wie mag blijven, moet integreren en de taal snel leren. Wie dat niet wil, moet weer terug.
  7. Er moet weer een kies drempel van minimal vijf zetels komen om in de kamer te komen, want er zijn nu teveel partijen. De Eerste Kamer moet afgeschaft worden, de burgemeester direct gekozen. Het referendum moet belangrijker worden. Wij moeten vooral op lokaal niveau weer direct betrokken worden bij het bestuur en het oplossen van lokale problemen.
  8. Er moet een fijnmazig plan geimplementeerd worden om Nederland zo weerbaar mogelijk te maken tegen de gevolgen van klimaatverandering, waaronder een nieuw deltaplan voor zee en rivieren, plannen voor het opvangen van stortregens, zware stormen en hittegolven.
  9. Rijkdom brengt niet alleen voorrechten met zich mee, maar ook verantwoordelijkheden. Mensen met een vermogen van meer dan 20 miljoen euro moeten een plan overleggen hoe zij hun vermogen zullen gebruiken ter verbetering van de samenleving.
  10. De NS moet worden opgeheven, die hebben aangetoond geen behoorlijke treindienst te kunnen opereren. Of Deutsche Bahn of de Franse SNCF mag een plan voorleggen om het beter te doen.

Plant a tree per hour you fly

11 Jun

Your CO2 emissions matter as the world is heating up. While only concerted international efforts like the Paris accords can really make a difference, most experts agree that those efforts, even if successful, are not enough to avoid dangerous climate change, so more needs to be done.

If you are reading this, you probably agree that you and I and everyone has the moral responsibility to make our lives carbon neutral. I have decided (quite late) to try and plant enough trees to leave this life so that the CO2 my actions emitted, will be compensated by the planting of trees. We owe it to young, innocent life on our Planet after us.

There are many ways in which you contribute to emissions. Like the production and use of an average laptop (provided the electricity is generated with fossil fuels) will emit around 800 kg of CO2 over its lifespan. So your carbon footprint is made up of many elements and there are many sites where you can make a rough calculation of the amount of CO2 that is emitted by the way you live, but this one I can recommend:

www.carbonindependent.org

The best way to go about it is of course simpler living, consuming less, eating less meat, eat local food, move around by bicycle, train or electric car. Transport is a major factor in the emissions that you and I cause, especially petrol and diesel cars and of course flights. But stopping flying will shrink your world considerably and is therefore a step too far for many, including me. Therefore I came up with a simple formula, roughly based in calculations, to offset your flight emissions, and it is simple:

Plant a tree per hour you fly!

How did I get to that simple formula to offset your flight emissions?

While it is impossible to make exact calculations how much your personal contribution to flight emissions is, as it depends on multiple factors: how many passengers on the flight, how long is the flight (taking off requires a lot more fuel than cruising at high altitude), how old is your aircraft, we use as a rule of thumb that you can assume you emit ¼ ton CO2 or 250 kg CO2 per hour flying. For detailed calculations you can have a look at: http://www.carbonindependent.org/sources_aviation.html

If you want to compensate this, there are several sites where you can pay to offset your emissions and more and more airlines offer emission off set programs, which I propose you do. But the latter do this based on very low prices for carbon offset based on the Kyoto protocol which is not realistic.

So here is what I propose, what you do on top of compensating through known programs:

Plant a tree per hour you fly. Throughout its life span, a tree absorbs carbon dioxide and while it starts slowly as a sapling after about a decade it starts absorbing larger amounts. While this also depends on tree species, climate zone and other factors, we can assume that an average tree over a lifespan of 40 years can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide. But since some will die and more importantly your emissions start to heat up the atmosphere from the day you fly, while the effect of the slow growing tree are years behind your initial warming, I propose that you plant one tree for every hour you are flying.

If you cannot plant them yourself, there are many options to have them planted for you, which you can find on the internet. I personally support Tree Sisters, a wonderful initiative with a goal to plant one billion trees by 2020.

See: www.treesisters.org

Myself I have a more modest program to plant about 50.000 trees by 2020 on a piece of former forest in Brazil, but will need some help to accomplish that as well, so if you are interested, send me a mail at robdelaet@yahoo.com For companies or wealthy people, I can also help to reforest large tracks of deforested wasteland in that area as a way to compensate for their emissions. It will be done in an area where there was once tropical forest and the reforestation will be done with about fifty different indigenous tree species that once made up a large part of those forests.

The time for action is now!

Rob de Laet, June 2017

Death by GDP

28 May

Consumers Against Climate Change!

Why we need a consumer strike to save the world

Our planet is doing miserably. Whether we consider the loss of biodiversity, the acidification and pollution of the oceans, or climate change, the signs are alarming. We are about to destroy the only habitable planet in the known universe, making it unsuitable for human existence. Why?

This is a perfectly relevant question. After all, there are currently no external threats to our planet. The sun is still shining and we are not being attacked by aliens. We also know exactly what is causing the problems and what is needed to solve them. In spite of this, humanity has decided to continue down the path of self-destruction.

To understand what is going on, it is useful to consider the correlation between global carbon emissions (CO2) and gross domestic product (GDP). The figure below shows the historic data on global GDP (blue)…

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TO TODAY’S YOUTH: RISE UP AND TAKE HOLD OF YOUR PLANET!

10 Feb

The world was shocked by the election of Trump as 45th president of the US. The world’s remaining superpower had chosen someone who is leading the world on the road to disaster. Don’t take it from me, here are just two of many scientists who have commented in this fashion: “A Trump presidency might be game over for the climate,” said Michael Mann, a prominent climate researcher. “It might make it impossible to stabilize planetary warming below dangerous levels.” Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, added: “This [administration] is an unmitigated disaster for the planet.” The actions that have come out of Washington in the first weeks of government are chilling. Meanwhile in Europe fascism, which almost eighty years ago triggered World War II and untold destruction and the death of maybe as many as 80 million people, is taking hold again and it is threatening the stability of the European Union after the longest period of peace and prosperity on our continent.

We are in crisis

Life on our planet is in a multi-faceted crisis with overpopulation, increasing inequality, resource depletion, species extinction and the most lethal of all, carbon pollution leading to dangerous global warming, climate change and ocean acidification, while we are governed by an economic system that has gone rogue and does not support society but in fact preys upon it. What is happening has been predicted decades ago. The Club of Rome foresaw in 1972 the collapse of human society in the decade to come in their report: The Limits to Growth. The world was told to take strong action to avert the worst. It never did. Or to put it in the words of Naomi Klein in This Changes Everything: “our economic system and our planetary system are now at war. Or, more accurately, our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life. What the climate needs to avoid collapse is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources; what our economic model demands to avoid collapse is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it’s not the laws of nature.”

This lethal combination of resource depletion and exploding population plus the effects of climate change is putting more and more pressure on more and more people. The stress is spreading rapidly, exponentially and we are nearing dark times indeed. Europe is destabilizing just from the influx of relatively small numbers of refugees and this is only the start of a much larger migration in the decades to come if we do not act now. Because the masses of the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and above all the countries east of Turkey are bursting at their seams.  These movements have all been pointed out by scientists in thousands of publications. It took decades to get the world moving towards the Paris accord and the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the two major global tools to find solutions to these crises. While they are not sufficient, they are a necessary first step. But now, they are under threat from the new US government. The world has gotten much more volatile after the 2008 financial crisis and we all know that the root causes from that crisis were never removed. The political fall-out of that crisis, which was, a crisis of sustainability is now culminating both in Europe, the US and elsewhere, whilethe causes of that crisis have not been analyzed and the world has not adopted an economic system compatible with our needs. there is a big chance of a new financial crisis. The Trump regime is another big nail in the coffin of humanity’s future and we, you cannot let that happen.

Change is in the air

Change is in the air, enormous change. We all feel it, but do not want to linger too much on it, because it is scary stuff. We are being anesthetized by the media with trivialities and titbits of spectacular things that are happening daily. We anesthetize ourselves shopping and consuming, running after the latest gadget and fashion, reporting daily nonsense and liking funny videos by the millions on facebook. Meanwhile the large structural changes, the tectonic movements that are building the pressure to  break up our society are hardly reported on. ‘’Capitalism and market forces are very powerful in producing wealth and innovation. But we need to ensure that these forces act in the common interest.’’ (Thomas Piketty). The way the system works now it is solidifying the old formations, increasing the build-up of tensions. The big question that nobody wants to formulate, but needs to be asked, is, can we still stop the world from falling apart in an explosion of fear, hate and violence? The ghost of the Nazi’s is haunting our countries again.

I beg you, rise up!

The youths of today need to rise up, not to build fortresses safeguarding the wealth of the few, not to set race against race and religion against religion. It will simply not work. Instead you need to rise up, push for change towards a new culture of sustainability and sharing, a world organized around the needs of people and other living beings, not around greed. A world where serving life is again an honor and helping a pleasure. Do it in the non-violent tradition of Gandhi, Satyagraha, that brought the world’s super power of that era, Great-Britain,  to its knees in India and ended the racist system of Apartheid in South-Africa. Please, rise up for the sake of your future and those of your kids and all life we share our planet with. The current generation in power (to which I belong) has failed badly to protect our only home. We had the information, but we failed to act upon it. It is up to you now. The world is at a cross roads, a choice between the destructive route towards fascism as is emerging in the US, Europe and elsewhere on the one hand and the choice to transcend towards a new spirit of community and the celebration of life in all its variety. Your horizon needs to widen to embrace the whole of your planet with all its miraculous beauty. I know you know, please answer the call, take hold of your Planet, there is no time to spare!

IS THE TRUMP TEAM PREPARING FOR A STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH PUTIN?

15 Jan

The American and even the global political landscape have been thrown into chaos with the election of Trump and many explanations have been put forward how he succeeded in becoming the most powerful man on Earth. While all kinds of socio-economic reasons have been mentioned, a lot of emphasis has been put on techniques to sway the vote. Gerrymandering, designed to favor Republican candidates, together with computer hacking and propaganda supported by the Russians as well as voter suppression of minority voters were all in play.

TRUMP WON THE ELECTIONS VIA THE SOCIAL MEDIA

But a fourth element has hardly gotten the attention in the media it deserved and that was the last-minute application of social media marketing techniques based on automated psychological (or psycho-) profiling, used to sway voters sitting on the fence with messages styled to their personality. Nothing new, but the level of refinement and automation of the process were new and have likely been responsible for the additional Republican votes in critical states that were required to get Trump a victory in the US Electoral College.

An important lead came from a German article in the Swiss magazine DAS on 3 December 2016, titled:

“I have only shown that the bomb exists.”

It was an interview with psychologist Michal Kosinski, who had developed a method for analyzing human beings in great detail through their behavior on Facebook. In the article Kosinski clarified the methodology that helped Donald Trump win. I need to explain it a bit in detail for you to understand why the information from the article is very important. The basis is that psycho-profiling done on “mouse click and Facebook Like” behavior could be processed into an algorithm to customize a message to selected individuals to ‘take the bait’.  “Take the bait” means that the targeted user would either click a specific link supplied by the marketers or political persuaders, or else the user would at least consider making a slight change in their behavior (e.g., voting for a specific candidate instead of staying home). It stated that with just a few hundred Facebook Likes, savvy marketers had enough information to know someone better than their life partner. Kosinski claimed that up to a 1400% improvement on the number of clicks on a message could be achieved by applying this technique to tailor the message to someone’s psychological profile, and all this fully automated.  This form of psychological analysis based on an assessment of a user’s Facebook behavior is an extraordinarily clever, even extreme marketing method. If you want to test the basics of the method, you can go to a website from the Cambridge university https://applymagicsauce.com/demo.html and see what this method makes of psychological profile based on your facebook behavior. (This is just a test site based on a few Likes and while it does show the output and method, the samples are too small to give an accurate outcome.)

It turns out that on the company that developed the psycho-profiling into a highly effective commercial marketing tool, based on user Facebook selections, is called Cambridge Analytica.  One of Cambridge Analytica’s Board members is Steve Bannon, the former publisher of the ultra-right online newspaper “Breitbart News” and now the appointed Donald Trump’s chief strategist. The first time the psycho-profiling political marketing technique was applied in national politics was months before, in the UK’s Brexit campaign. Cambridge Analytica likely helped the Vote Out campaign win an unexpected victory with the application of the same techniques, throwing Europe into disarray.

When Trump won, all the pundits and pollsters saw their predictions go up in smoke as the results of the presidential election came in and it was clear that Trump had won, in many cases by razor thin local majorities in states like Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It turns out that through these techniques, directed at a small portion of strategically chosen undecided voters in swing states, they could lead to winning results. Persuaded by these messages, many undecided voters were swayed and through the addition of their votes, these states could to go to Trump and with that, the election. The technique was used in the same way with the Brexit campaign months earlier and since then its full force applied to the Americans. At a presentation by Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica gave a presentation at the Grand Hyatt in New York on 19 September 2016, where he stated confidently: ‘We have a psychogram of all adult US citizens – 220 million people’.  It was this information that gave Trump confidence about his winning chances, despite the polls. This is why he could confidently say in the weeks leading up to election day: ‘the elections are rigged – unless I win’, in spite of what the media proclaimed was a 3-0 win (though without a clear knock-out) for Clinton in the presidential debates. While everybody was admiring the organization of Clinton’s campaign and how they outspent Trump’s activities, Trump was confident about his win, exactly because of what his campaign manager Bannon explained to him about the capacities of Cambridge Analytica.

THE ALLIANCE WITH RIGHT-WING EUROPE

Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader and winner of the Vote Out Brexit campaign showed up very quickly after Trump’s win and Trump suggested to London that he would make a great ambassador to the US under Trump. Meanwhile Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, a niece of the leader of the French Front National tweeted   “I answer yes to the invitation of Stephen Bannon, CEO of @realDonaldTrump presidential campaign, to work together.” Cambridge Analytics will do work for the French presidential elections in April 2017 and there have been indications of contacts between the right-wing parties in Switzerland, Germany and Italy and Cambridge Analytica for campaign assistance. (1)

WHO IS REALLY BEHIND CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICS?

On 22 August, 2016, Ann Marlowe wrote an article titled: ‘’Will Donald Trump’s Data-Analytics Company Allow Russia to Access Research on U.S. Citizens?’’ (2). In this article, Marlowe researches a dizzying web of relations around the veiled ownership of the company, which she then traces back to U.K. property mogul Vincent Tchenguiz, who himself has connections to Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, a Putin protégé, who the US has indicted for bribery and tried to get extradited. So, the elections have also been targeted, possibly decisively, through an instrument at least partially in the hands of people linked to the Kremlin.

WHAT DOES THIS ADD UP TO?

While the media are only talking of the sway the Russians hold over Trump and their interference in the elections at the behest of Trump, it is quite possible that we are actually seeing a much larger mutually sought alliance of right-wing parties with the Kremlin emerging. But what is it, they are after?

Since Trump clearly does not have a coherent world vision beyond a smiling look in the dressing table mirror, the input must be traced back to several strains of power in the people around Trump. While the ‘’free for all capitalism’’ candidates are well represented in Trump’s team (Tillerson, DeVos, Sprite, Pruitt, Zinke, Perry, Mnuchin), the Christian, western culture ideological guys clearly play a crucial role as well: Bannon, Pence, Sessions, Mattis and the Christian Orthodox on the team, Priebus. Mike Flynn is one of the most outspoken members of Trump’s cabinet regarding the ‘’danger of Islam’’. Bannon, who turned Breitbart, (the most influential alt-right website in the US run by ideologically driven journalists that attracts a lot of extreme right-wing Americans to its website) into a demagoguery tool for Trump and who got Cambridge Analytics to help win the presidency, is a central figure in the ideological make-up of the new government.

Can we read in all this information as circumstantial evidence of a geopolitical line-up between the Trump team and the Kremlin? How does Trump want to ‘’Make America Great Again’’? One possible explanation comes from what the author of ‘’The Race for What’s Left’’ (3) Michael Kale describes as ‘’The pursuit of untapped oil and mineral reserves in remote and hazardous locations is part of a larger, more significant phenomenon: a concerted drive by governments and resource firms to gain control over whatever remains of the world’s raw materials base. Government and corporate officials recognize that existing reserves are being depleted at a terrifying pace and will be largely exhausted in the not-too-distant future. The only way for countries to ensure an adequate future supply of these materials, and thereby keep their economies humming, is to acquire new, undeveloped reservoirs in those few locations that have not already been completely drained. This has produced a global drive to find and exploit the world’s final resource reserves— a race for what’s left.’’ At the same time, mass robotization and Fourth Industrial Revolution are shaping up to put hundreds of millions of people out of work within a decade. In that sense, Trump is right that he could bring production home again, just not with the promised jobs attached to it.  The predictions of Limits to Growth are clearly visible on the horizon now. In a world confronting (or attempting to deny in some cases) overpopulation, resource exhaustion and climate change, maybe the Trump-Putin team are starting to reshape the global world order in a final separation of the haves and the have-nots and secure what they will need to keep their countries going. It is a situation where stark choices need to be made. Maybe they think the time has come for a Russian-US alliance to keep those strong countries safe and wealthy while large parts of the world will start to disintegrate. Key words in this alliance are: oil, resources, dominance of western (white) culture and Christianity, a crusade against Islam, propaganda and forcing China into a retreat. Democracy, compassion, a free press and human rights are not key to this emerging world view. The world seems to be preparing for an epic and disastrous battle and there is little time left to avert the worst of consequences. Pay attention to the upcoming French elections in April, because if the Front National wins in France, the EU will splinter and no counterweight against a Kremlin-Washington axis will come from that continent anymore.

1: For the complete article in the reputed Swiss ‘’Das Magazin’’: https://www.dasmagazin.ch/2016/12/03/ich-habe-nur-gezeigt-dass-es-die-bombe-gibt/

2: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/211152/trump-data-analytics-russian-access

3: Klare, Michael. The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources (Kindle Locations 209-215). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.