The Equator: Reflections on ‘Equality’

One Point Zero
Howard Fairbank
Tue 6 Sep 2016 02:33

ANL Bindaree's position today:     00:56.10S 148:36.40W

'From the Bridge'
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                            No sign of Neptune, so: Africa Equator, Uganda                          First shot of the Southern Hemisphere…So different hey! 

The pics say it all:  We are into the Southern Hemisphere now, and our clocks have been set back a total of three hours since leaving Pacific Standard Time in California.  Two more hours backwards to go before the International Date line and our lost day with an immediate step into the future! 

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                             Good party outside on the deck…..                                                                The most travelled New Zealand Green Lip mussels! 

Perfect weather and it was just so nice to have a ‘different’ dinner outside last night.  With ‘free’ wine, compliments of The Captain on offer, I broke my ‘fast’ and we shared a bottle over a great chat… It’s really ‘funny’ how he is like ‘God’ on board and ‘nobody’ comes and sits near him, nor chats to him…. Just the Chief Engineer and me chatted with him…. It was all so very civilized; the food and music was great; I could see the guys all enjoyed it and I complimented The Captain on what a great spirit there was.  Interesting Captain this one: A lot stricter and more formal than the Cap Capricorn one, both very effective in their so different styles! 

Interestingly The Captain was telling me that our Ship is chartered out for around $7000 a day, which I thought was ‘nothing’.  He then said that the same size ship was chartered for $30 000 8 years ago!  The industry is bleeding and margins at an all-time low.  That’s why there is this micromanagement on vessel speed, and course from the head office.  Fuel usage can make the difference between a profit or a loss!

Life on board continues, and I have a regular 5am ‘social time’ with Comin, the Chief Officer who is on watch from 4am to 8am.  The Chief Engineer joins us at around 6am to hear what machinery the guys on watch have ‘broken overnight’??!!  Relationships are real good now, and I sense we all enjoy the camaraderie and chat time every day!  We all learn about the others’ diverse and interesting life offering and I find that quite special.  We are just interacting as humans to human.  There are no rank, ego, class or nationality issues now.  It’s just great.  Cap Capricorn was the same! 

Entering the Southern Hemisphere we will start passing islands in the next few days.  For the past five days, the ocean floor has been pretty flat, some 4700 metres below us.  The underwater mountain ranges and sea mounts will start coming up soon… 

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Maupiti Island,  French Polynesia! 

Auckland is eight days off, and I am making the best of this ‘no flying’ experience, albeit I do often think about how a future without flying will work….For me, and ‘The World’???  We can’t have everyone stealing free footprint container ship footprints, as then the ships will become passenger ships, and that will be Ten Point Zero living!!  So keep the container ship travel a secret hey!  Ha-ha!

I wonder if you have contemplated a no flying world and what that would mean for you?  Maybe you don’t fly anyway, so it’s not an issue?  Imagine the day airports are silent museums of a past anthropocentric world…!  How will we get there???  Do we want to??  Do we have to??  Has Howard lost it????  Oh well, ‘stupid’ questions hey!  

The New ‘Wealth Gap’:  This one ‘Beyond Excuse’!!

We all know about the Wealth Inequality issue, and depending on whether you are strongly capitalist or not, you may see this as a sign of success of ideology or not?  Here is what two ‘Icons of Wealth’ have to say: 

Warren Buffet and a New York Times quote from a few years back: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” 

Bill Gates in another recent quote said:   “I very much agree that High levels of inequality are a problem—messing up economic incentives, tilting democracies in favour of powerful interests, and undercutting the ideal that all people are created equal.”

We all know that the ever widening Wealth Gap is a fact and the cause of ever increasing conflict within the societies of the world today.  This ‘Result’ is all to be expected and inherent in the design of capitalism encased in a Western ideology. (Western ideology being “a rationally orientated culture based on reason, and represented in several core ideals and values, which include Individualism, Happiness, Rights, Capitalism, Science and Technology.” )

Some may even justify this ‘Result’ saying that “This is also how Nature works”: Survival of the Fittest, and Natural Selection of the Fittest!  Where in this Western Ideology, ‘Fittest’ equals Wealthy, and ‘Natural Selection’ is based on Anthropocentric Power, where Power is derived from Wealth of Capitalist ‘Success’. 

In the past, without the concrete knowledge of our 1970 fractured relationship with Nature, maybe the ‘Western Success’ with its ever widening ‘Wealth Gap’ was almost defensible: Without legitimate moral or ethical flaw! 

As Warren Buffet laid out above: This was a ‘war game’ designed by humans, and only for humans: “A class war”!  One void of any transcendental or Spiritual context: ‘Success’, with the rules of the game clear and known to all it seemed fair.  In voluntarily participating in the game one accepted there could be winners, losers, and maybe some in ‘between-ers’, and each chose to play the game at the level they deemed fit!  The winners were free to enjoy their ‘well deserved’ victory spoils.  Losers had no choice but to accept defeat graciously.  

Sounds all plausible, but unfortunately the Western Ideology’s anthropocentric orientation and Spiritual void, has created another ‘Inequality Gap’: One that is non-defensible as it defies that very same Nature and its fundamental ‘Law of The Planet’!

This is the ‘One Point Zero Inequality Gap’. 

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                                                                                       The wealthy 10% consume 59%    

The facts are beyond doubt, almost without exception, whether at a National, Community or Individual level, the more ‘Western Success’ one achieves, the further away from One Point Zero one moves.  The further away from One Point Zero one moves, the more of a ‘Net-Taker’ of Nature one becomes.  In the context of our 1970 fractured relationship with Nature, surely this is tantamount to a moral / ethical crime against humanity.   If all of us was a Diamond Medallion Frequent Flyer in the USA we would need more than 15 planets just to deal with the footprint of the flying ‘required’ to keep our Diamond status!  They clearly turned their back on any hope of stepping up to meet Nature’s condition for a flourishing relationship again! 
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So rather than being in sync with Nature’s Rules, this ‘War Success’ is actually in direct breach of the Law of Nature.  The One Point Zero Law that says there is a limit to Nature’s ability to Support Human Life, and us using beyond that, the relationship with Nature is fractured and Humanity’s survival is doomed.  

The ‘Successful’ Nations are almost without exception the ones with the ‘multi Planet’ demands on Nature’s bio capacity.  Within those nations it’s the ‘Real Successful’, the ‘classes’ that form the elite ceilings of the Wealth Gap, who have ecological footprints that are way out of line with the ‘less successful’ classes.  At a ‘class level’, in many cases this ‘One Point Zero Gap’ is an order of 40, or more,  ie. some people in these nations and communities have life styles that demand more than ‘forty Planet Earths’, when the good, simply living, salt of the community citizens may only demand a ‘fraction of The Planet’.  If you want to see what your ‘One Point Zero footprint’ is try this calculator from Global Footprint Network   (More on Footprint Calculators in the next blogs. I’m working on a more appropriate way of doing this, versus the ones online that I have seen) 

This ‘One Point Zero Gap’ is much more serious than the ‘Wealth Gap’ as it is surely not morally or ethically defensible?:  This ‘One Point Zero Gap’ is about taking a very scarce resource from others without their engagement or consent.  Further without the low ecological footprint ‘subsidy’ of the ‘simple living’ citizens, these ‘Successful’ people would be part of an even more serious ‘Ecological crime’:  They desperately need this credit, and the simply livers to live ‘even more simply’, to recycle more, to reduce consumption more, so that they can carry on using more of their Ecological Footprint credit!  

The huge ‘One Point Zero Gap’ in directly tracking the ‘Wealth Gap’, now makes the Wealth Gap also morally indefensible in today’s Socio landscape.  I have no doubt that the obvious linkage of the ‘Two Gaps’, as the One Point Zero Gap becomes apparent will result in a significantly increased revolutionary energy!  I cannot see how this could be opposed as a Revolution without deep moral and ethical conviction?  If one believes this, then positioning oneself as things unravel, can provide some personal challenges that bring on some turmoil!  Spiritual turmoil and ‘relationship turmoil’.  To be selfish when ‘everyone else is’, or to be humanitarian, to be class loyal, to be a more lonely revolutionary?  Then the whole question about one’s ‘Environmental Identity’:  Our personal relationship with Nature, and the non-human that I discussed two blogs ago…???  

I know this ‘turmoil’ all too well, because I have been personally dealing with this within my own context for a while now?  

We are all at different points along the “Class” / “Success” continuum, different chronological points in our lives.  ‘All’ in our own struggles for ‘merely’ our own Success as we have defined it, and this all may challenge one’s soul?  We each have to work out what stance we will take for these issues and make a decision on whether the revolution will take off?  My only guiding light for me is what fits right with my soul, and then I have to take care of the details flowing out from that… Some of these details aren’t just small ‘dot’ bullet points, but huge ‘planet size’, ‘Life Meaning’ ones! 

Gee, the Equator and its equal split symbolism brought all this unequal ‘Gap stuff’ above up hey!  Thanks Equator!  We will see what that Tropic of Capricorn brings!  That’s quite a few days off from here, so peace for 20 degrees of latitude ahead!  Ha-ha: Our journey continues in two days!

PS:  Sorry for not being able to have a place for comments on this Blog, but please send me your comments, support, ‘hate mail’, etc. to: lifeaseriesofadventures {CHANGE TO AT} gmail {DOT} com. 
I’ll only be able to read them when I get to Auckland, but If you ‘urgently’ need to ‘vent off’ or make a point, I like that, and you can send it to me on the ship at HFairbank {CHANGE TO AT} telarus {DOT} net.