Monday, January 31, 2011

From Truth To Freedom

The truth will not set you free.

The truth only clears your mind for you to set yourself free.

Wikileaks, internet news, and social networks are now much more than just a PR problem for politicians, corporatocracies, and tyrants. They have now become the truth that inspires revolutions.

We saw this happen in Tunisia.

Wikileaks documents showed examples of the vast corruption at the top in Tunisia. This was just too much for the people of Tunisia to take. They stood up and overthrew the tyrant who had oppressed them for years.

And when Egyptians saw this happen, they too stood up against tyranny. We could call this the domino theory of democracy. But you won't hear that from Vice President Joe Biden. Instead we hear Biden say (about Hosni Mubarak); “I would not refer to him as a dictator.” …And why not?

Wikileaks has published U.S. documents that point out that Hosni Mubarak definitely fits the description. Our government knows this. They're just lying to us – and worse. “Our” U.S. Government gives $1.3 billion to Egypt every year in “aid.” (That's Orwellian speak for military support to a totalitarian government.) And our tax dollars have been going towards this for over 30 years now!

Why? Supposedly so that Egypt won't go to war with Israel again. But, the money we've sent to Egypt has resulted in that nation now having the 11th largest military on the planet. So, if we cut off their aid, they now have the military buildup to go to war with Israel. WTF? We've been played... We've been hosed by Hosni. But not just Egypt is behind draining our National treasure. You can bet that much of that (military) aid money got spent on U.S. made weaponry (enriching the usual military/industrial complex suspects).

And what do we hear about this from the mass media? Not much. But we do hear about the Muslim Brotherhood. We hear about terrorism. We hear about rioting, looting, and anarchy... all of which are minor issues so far. However, we also hear about the stock market dropping. U.S. “interests” are at risk.

Most people don't really think about what the term “U.S. interests” really means. Personally, I (and most Americans) don't have any “interests” in Egypt – other than my concern for the welfare of the Egyptian people. However; U.S. (and international) corporations do. (Once again, capitalists are favoring a totalitarian government over a democracy.) And just why should international corporations care who runs the Egyptian government? Of course, the answer is obvious. The present Egyptian government gives"favors" to these corporations – at the expense of the Egyptian people. The only logical conclusion is that the corporate economic cycle of oppression is at risk if the Egyptian people take over.

And we're supposed to be concerned about that.

... I guess I am.

I want Egypt to be free.

But maybe I'm asking too much. Maybe the radicals are on their way to power.

Is this another Iran? Maybe. But it doesn't look like it. Iran had the Ayatollah Khomeini. Egypt doesn't seem to have an equivalent. One thing for sure however; if we continue to support a tyrant in Egypt, and he continues to suppress his people, when they finally do overthrow him, we will have another Iran – with a military infrastructure we paid for.

One more thing. It's obvious that the events in Tunisia aren't the only reason Egyptians are out in the streets demanding democracy. The crippled Egyptian economy has played a major role in the peoples' unrest. Yes, the 2008 banking crisis hurt Egypt's economy too. Which means U.S. and international banks played a significant role in this political turmoil. In other words, we helped bring all this on.

That's right; we.

The American people have allowed our politicians to gut responsible laws that regulated the banks. We too, have to deal with rampant corruption. The banking meltdown may not have been our fault, but the dysfunctional government we have allowed to exist is.

We know the problem here. Campaign contributions are essentially required bribes. If a candidate refuses to take these “contributions,” they won't win any elections. And if business owners don't give out these “contributions,” their markets will eventually be legislated away. This is how a democracy slowly becomes a corporatocracy, and then eventually a fascist state. So far, we've just let it happen. And things just continue to get worse.

We've seen that when the free market dominates democracy, our government is for sale. And when our laws are for sale, we no longer have effective laws. And when our laws are for sale to the highest bidder, those with the gold make the rules with no regard for right and wrong. When established industries dominate a market, innovation gets stifled. When a monopoly dominates a market, eventually quality goes down and price goes up. When international corporations control our government, domestic issues get ignored.

Eventually, the consequences of systematic corruption will inevitably lead to our downfall. The consequences of doing things callously wrong result in poverty, sweatshops, resource depletion, pollution, and Climate Change. Even in America, we can only ignore this for so long...

Maybe someday things will get so bad here that Americans will take to the streets too.

Which is likely why we see “our” U.S. Government taking preemptive steps to stop democracy on the streets here.

Our” government is trying to legislate an Internet “kill switch” which could shut down the U.S. Internet during those times revolutionaries might need it to communicate (during any uprising against the powers that be). Also, the Internet is being privatized right before our eyes, against our will. Freedom of speech is gradually being usurped on the Internet by an undeserving system of greed - controlled by monopolistic corporations intent on charging you for what we built for free!

Like Egypt; the U.S. has been in a state of emergency for years (almost a decade now).

Moreover, it has been exposed that rampant civil liberties violations (approximately 40,000) have occurred in the U.S. since 9/11.

Of course, there's much more. Just check out Project Censored.

And what are we doing about all this? Not much.

At least the Tunisians and the Egyptians love freedom enough to do something about it.

...Freedom is more than just the freedom to pay taxes.

We know that, but we aren't hungry enough yet to assert ourselves.

Apparently, that time is coming.

Robert F. Kennedy (in a speech to the US Senate):

A revolution is coming – a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough, compassionate if we care enough, successful if we are fortunate enough – But a revolution which is coming, whether we will it or not. We can effect its character. We cannot alter its inevitability.”

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Was Taught Wrong

I spent over a decade working as a Systems Engineer. It took a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering qualify for this position. My classes and work were all very advanced and seemed very thorough. Yet, in all that time I never studied or worked on a truly functional system.

I was taught wrong what a system is.

I took Economics classes back in college too. Their idea of what an economic system is fell just as short.

They tried to teach me that a system is something linear, with an input and an output. They tried to get me to ignore the consequences – the rest of the system. They tried to teach me that dysfunctional systems were normal.

My professors back in college weren't evil or stupid. They were just caught up in a dysfunctional society that didn't want to hear that we were dysfunctional...

Nature can teach us what a functional system looks like. Functional systems are cyclical. There is no input and output. Or more appropriately, everything along the functional system process is output to the next input. Most importantly, profit is something that happens at every step. For example:

Once upon a time; there were no animals. Plants breathed carbon dioxide and exhaled oxygen. In time, they used up much of the carbon dioxide. That was a dysfunctional system – much like the systems humans rely on now. Had life not figured out a way, the plants would have breathed up all of the carbon dioxide and gone extinct. But every generation of new life is essentially a new idea – a new combination of genes that just may have the answer to the last generations' problems. Animals evolved. We breath oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. A cycle evolved. And a functional system was born. This functional system has served the balance life well for billions of years.

My Native American ancestors were not trained as System Engineers. But they comprehended better than we do that complete, healthy systems are cyclical. This is why the circle was of such importance to so many Native American cultures. They saw how life worked. They paid attention.

Though scientists understand these systems much better than my ancestors did, our present culture doesn't pay attention to the systems of life. We pay attention to profits. We want output.

Humanity has developed a way to get ahead in the short term. But the cost is predictably catastrophic in the long term. Our dysfunctional systems are destroying functional systems. Our quick profit economic rewards have blinded us. But the short term is now over. Now we have to deal with the consequences of our actions.

Years ago, climate scientists predicted that (due to Global warming) the American West would see heavy snowfalls – which would melt early. And then we would see much less precipitation for the rest of the year. This last year has played out exactly as predicted – with frighteningly damaging consequences.

Recently, climate scientists have let us know that the effects of massive excesses of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (released by fossil fuel reliant humans) will not dissipate for over a thousand years.

We have damaged the balance of the functional system of the life cycle of the air we breath. And we are going to have to live with the consequences for at least a thousand years.

To see an ABC news report video on Climate Change already happening click here.

Like when life once faced the challenge of what to do with all that oxygen, we are now faced with the challenge of what to do with all that carbon dioxide. We could just wait and see. Life will let the poorly prepared die off, and the next generations may just have the answer. But life has evolved almost seven billion human brains to deal with this issue. Humanity doesn't have to die off in droves (or evolve genetically) to find a better way.

What we have to do, if we don't wish to eventually go extinct, is to learn how to create functional systems.

We have created economic systems that reward destruction and waste. This is not just irresponsible. This is insane in the long run. INSANE!

So, why do we keep doing it? Too many people are just making too damn much money.

And if they stopped, others would just jump in to take their place.

We have created a self-perpetuating system of self destruction – by rewarding unhealthy greed. To see just how entrenched this dysfunctional system has taken over our beloved U.S. government, I highly recommend watching the video “Casino Jack and the United States of Money.”

As stated in the video, all we really have to do to fix most of the corruption problem is to get money out of the election process. Until then, free market economics will mean politicians for sale to the highest bidder.

This is a very entrenched system. The politicians make tons of money and the “contributors” get special favors – for pennies on the dollar. Some of those favors include unfair economic advantages over better ideas.

Part of the reason so many small businesses have failed over the past 30 years – crushed by monopolies; is that our government has legislated unfair advantages for the monopolies (with subsidies for established industries, tax breaks for the rich, monopoly favoring red tape, and trade treaties that give unfair advantages to multi-national corporations). This in turn, has resulted in the suppression of good ideas. Some of these ideas would have already been saving us from environmental destruction – had we implemented them.

I named my blog NoShootFoot for this very reason. As a Native American with formal training as a Systems Engineer, I have seen what we as a culture don't want to see. We look at the world as a resource to be exploited. We ignore the fact that our systems weren't designed to last. We are failing. We need massive change to survive. But surprisingly, I don't believe we really have to change our system of government. What we really need to do is change our system of rewards.

This will take a change in our Constitution. (To see how to change our Constitution click here.) And it will take a change in our power structure. Moreover, it will take a change in our information distribution system. And most importantly, it will take a total change in the way we reward long-term behavior.

We need to know what works, be able to implement it, and be rewarded for our good deeds.

We need to evolve... socially.

Friday, January 14, 2011

How Low Can They Go?

After a while, one begins to expect the bad guys to cheat at every opportunity.

We Western Shoshone were invited on 1/12/2011 to a meeting with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), concerning Native American cultural, historical, and religious concerns in the construction of the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) Ground Water Development Project (watergrab).

Of concern was the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

A number of subjects were covered – mostly updates. We appreciate being kept up to date. And I personally believe that the local BLM officials are on our side. But as time went by, it became more and more apparent that someone (above the BLM representatives attending) wants this project to happen – and is willing to stack the deck in favor of SNWA.

Case in point; the BLM publication “Right-of-Way Project Update” (December 2010 – Newsletter No. 6) lists nine different “Alternatives,” but somehow overlooked the do-nothing (don't drain Nevada) alternative.

Moreover; It took years to develop the hydrological model to assess the damage the watergrab will have on Rural Nevada and Utah, while we get ninety days to review it.

And it is estimated that there will be somewhere near three thousand pages to review in the DEIS, while we only get ninety days to review and write comments on it.

But the real fox-in-the-hen-house moment came when Washington DC attorney John Clark handed us a Programmatic Agreement to sign.

This Programmatic Agreement was the only actual item that we would be asked to act upon that day. So, it isn't unreasonable to assume that this was the main reason for the meeting.

Washington DC attorney John Clark introduced himself as an authority on historic preservation and proceeded to inform us on BLM responsibilities. He did happen to mention that SNWA was paying his bills, but he reassured us that his priority was protecting our traditional cultural properties.

And then he started to explain this Programmatic Agreement. Let's just say it became easy to fall asleep during his explanation. Most of what he said concerned the procedures the BLM would go through to “protect” us. The explanation was tedious. But I paid attention and tried to read along as he spoke.

The draft of the Programmatic Agreement had been handed out at the meeting. This was the first time we had seen it. Most of it looked like basic procedural blah blah blah. But hidden in it was what looked to me like a trap. So, after his presentation, I asked about it.

To the best of my recollection, this is what we said:

Rick Spilsbury; “I'm not a lawyer, and I don't know bureaucrat-speak, but something about this Programmatic Agreement just doesn't look right. For example; right at the top, the agreement is between the DOI, the BLM, the SHPO, etc. etc. including SNWA, but the only place the Tribes are mentioned is back where we sign as “Concurring Parties.”

And if there is a dispute, is says here in the Dispute Resolution section that the BLM Nevada State Director will have authority to make a “final determination.”

Washington DC attorney John Clark; “Well, that's just the way these issues are typically handled.” (Not his exact words, but close.)

Rick Spilsbury; “It looks to me like this is just going to eliminate our opportunity to sue.”

Washington DC attorney John Clark; “Oh, you can still sue.”

(Note: Of course, we can still sue; but our odds of winning would be greatly reduced if we have signed our rights away.)

Rick Spilsbury; “I just don't get this. What's in it for us?”

Washington DC attorney John Clark; “It's the law that we follow these procedures.” (More was said. However, it wasn't particularly relevant. It felt like he was trying to change the subject.)

(Note: If the law is so concrete, what is the point of us signing this agreement?)

Rick Spilsbury; “So, what if we don't sign this agreement?”

Washington DC attorney John Clark; “Then they will proceed with this anyway.” (More was said. However, it wasn't particularly relevant. It felt like he was trying to change the subject.)

Essentially, all of these U.S. Government agencies got together and decided how they will do things, and a lawyer paid by SNWA wanted us to just sign away that we agreed to let them handle it for us.

Not no, but NO WAY!

We're not signing any more Treaties.

The most telling part of this document is the Dispute Resolution section. As I mentioned earlier, final determination for any objection was written into the fine print (which Washington DC attorney John Clark conspicuously passed over). This document gave the BLM Nevada State Director final say on most issues. How convenient...

Allow me to remind you that we were told it was the BLM Nevada State Director who agreed to the Stipulated Agreement with SNWA that led to the BLM dropping all its Protests to the State water applications for the watergrab.


Protests from the BLM to the State Engineer could have reduced the amount of water approved for export from BLM land. The Stipulated Agreement eliminated any possibility of the BLM warning the Nevada State Engineer that the environmental effects of draining a river of water from a place that has no rivers just might be catastrophic.

And the Stipulated Agreement doesn't have any teeth. The Stipulated Agreement doesn't have any actual real world triggers. SNWA agrees to “monitor and mitigate.” So what? Everything else is going to have to be determined in court. Dan Netcher, from the BLM, claimed that this Stipulated Agreement was the only way the BLM would have any control over what happened later – if the State Engineer permitted the watergrab. There may be some merit to this argument, but the BLM sure could have agreed to something with more substance.

And what did the BLM gain by stipulating out? They can complain later – that's it. It was a give-away – with lots of fancy words to make it sound like they were being responsible.

(Oh, and one more thing; since the Nevada State Supreme Court has forced SNWA back to square one because the Nevada State Engineer favored them so much over the citizens of Nevada, the BLM quietly stipulated out again!)

Up until the end of 2010, the BLM Nevada State Director has been Ron Wenker. It is most likely he has been behind the Stipulated Agreements with the BLM (though the order to stipulate out came from the Department of the Interior). It will be interesting to see whether he ends up with a “job” at SNWA.

This draft Programmatic Agreement states that Amy Lueders is the acting BLM Nevada State Director. Is she to be trusted? I didn't vote for her. And since she is just “acting” Director, we don't really know who will end up making final determinations.

If I were a paranoid conspiracy nut, I might suspect that SNWA has offered someone in the Department of Interior (and/or higher up in the BLM) a “job.” The revolving door between Government regulators and private industry has been spinning quite often lately. This may be no different. We need to watch very closely who ends up with the position of BLM Nevada State Director.

And we definitely DO NOT want to sign anything that just agrees to let them handle it.

You know; if SNWA had spent the money they have spent on trying to lie, cheat, and steal this water from Native Americans, Rural Nevadans, Americans, the wildlife that needs this water, and future generations that may need this water far more than Southern Nevada developers; they would have already built an offshore desalination plant and been able to trade that water for more water out of the Colorado River. Or they could have used the money to reform Nevada water law to save some water for the future.

I guess scheming minds rarely think about what's best for us all.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Who Are We Really?

from Sarah Palin website

Kennedy poster distributed in Dallas before his assassination.

I recall the statement made by Malcolm X, about the inevitability of the assassination of John F. Kennedy; “the chickens have come home to roost.”

It appears to have happened again.

The press will likely frame the story of the assassination attempt on Congresswoman Giffords as the act of an insane lone gunman. Where have we heard this before?

John F. Kennedy

Robert Kennedy

Martin Luther King

George Wallace

Gerald Ford

Ronald Reagan

and now Representative Gabrielle Giffords

This has happened so many times that we can't help but consider; is this a reflection on us? Does America condone, even promote political violence?

Is this a part of the War on the Left I have posted about before? Or is it even bigger?

Well, we definitely can blame Sarah Palin, Fox News, John Boehner, and the Tea Party for creating an environment of hate that makes it more socially acceptable (in potential assassins' minds) to commit such heinous crimes. Had there not been such an atmosphere of violent anger, maybe Jared Loughner would have chosen to seek help – instead of a gun.

However, I recently read a comment on one of the articles about the assassination attempt.

The comment reads:

Democrat or Republican really doesn't matter. What we have here is a government that is pushing people over the edge by caring about special interests (their own, mostly) rather than us.”

This is much bigger than Sarah Palin.

Though Jared Loughner is likely insane, this killer may have seen himself as a revolutionary.

This is a key point.

America has created an atmosphere of violence that has now bred even more violence.

If it's OK to expose a CIA agent (Valerie Plame) to potential harm for anti-war comments made by her husband. If it's OK to torture Bradley Manning, who was trying to expose the callus and self-serving nature of our political and war machine on Wikileaks. If it's OK to imprison (for no apparent reason) the CIA asset (Susan Lindauer) who knew the real motivation behind the 9/11 attacks. If it's OK to kill or allow the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for the 9/11 attacks (of which no Iraqis participated in). If it's OK to invade and occupy at least two countries on the slimmest of excuses. If it's OK to run our nation into financial ruin to pay for a military budget that exceeds the next six countries combined. Then what have we become?

This isn't just about a crosshairs map. This is about a systematic failure within our Nation. This is about a kingdom of hate and fear on the verge of coming apart at the seams. This is a sign... And this will not be televised – because there are powerful people making too damn much money not fixing anything.

Oh, by the way...

There is another list.

This list of (likely) assassinated public figures is less well known because the official records claim they were accidents. However, these people all died in plane crashes:

Senator Paul Wellstone – the most outspoken critic of the Bush Jr. administration

Mike Connell – Carl Rove's chief IT consultant, the key witness to the 2000 and 2004 election thefts

Former Senator John Tower – chair of the commission that investigated the Iran/Contra scandal

Senator John Heinz – an outspoken critic of the Viet Nam war

House Majority Leader Hale Boggs – one of the members of the Warren Commission who had strong doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone

In all, 23 air crashes have killed 48 U.S. politicians.

Needless to say, most of these plane crashes were just accidents. But when a pattern emerges, the possibility of them all being accidents becomes less and less likely. Especially when it is generally accepted that two South American leaders (Jamie Roldos and Omar Torrijos) were assassinated by the CIA in airplane crashes.

We live in a country where, whether true or not; violence is seen as a commonly used option by those in power. So, why are we surprised when we see others emulate them?

In what is supposed to be the greatest democracy on Earth, we now have a huge, angry mob of people who don't feel they are being represented. And a few of them feel the only option they have is violent revolution... Maybe, just maybe, we need the threat of that to get motivated. Of course, we now have that threat, whether we want it or not. The big question is will we dismiss this assassin as a lone gunman, panic and further push our Nation towards a police state, or try to fix the system that created him.

This is not about freedom or security.

It's about money and our insane economic reward system. It's about an unhealthy culture. It's about an abundance of man-made chemicals in our environment. It's about our Big Pharma and illegal drug culture. It's about concentrated power over what we know. It's about the powers-that-be making every decision with brutal self interest. It's about the rest of society following along.

This is about our society's violent collective mental illness – which we don't understand and don't even want to admit exists.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Religion's Fatal Flaw

It has been said that hidden within your greatest strength is the weakness that will ultimately lead to your demise.

Everything we do has consequences.

Everything we believe also has consequences.

The world is filled with thousands of religions – in a myriad of forms. Not all of the religions of the world have this fatal flaw. But the big organized traditional religions (such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) do.

And what is this fatal flaw? It is the down side of what has made them so popular. Traditional organized religions have relied on centralized power based upon wisdom gleaned from a particular era. The down side of that is that they ignore the wisdom of anyone outside of the power base – and wisdom from any time other than the chosen time frame.

Traditional organized religions' inherent weakness is that they stifle innovation – which encourages established powers to stifle innovation also.

Our world is constantly changing, and has changed so much in the past century that we need to consider all the innovative ideas we can get. But that isn't happening. There are those who don't want change because they're making too damn much money doing things wrong.

The best imaginable economic system would identify and promote the best ideas. But, we don't have the best system imaginable. We only have what we've inherited from simpler times. Unfortunately, our economic system has repeatedly failed to adopt the best ideas – often because our economic system has been manipulated to maximize profits for a few (who only have control over the old ideas. Example; fossil fuels.)

It shouldn't be this way.

There are almost seven billion of us on the planet. That's almost seven billion individual perspectives on humanity's predicament. That's almost seven billion creative minds addressing unique challenges with unique ideas. Most of these ideas aren't particularly helpful to the rest of us. But some of these ideas have immense potential.

Humanity likely has the capacity to deal with our new challenges.

However, if the good ideas get ignored; we face unnecessary painful consequences that could ultimately risk our civilization.

In the real world, our economic and political systems strongly support the established powers-that-be. The established industries, established social classes, and established leaders have the upper hand – by inherent design of the systems... They designed them. And the established organized traditional religions essentially support this – because the established traditional religions resist change.

The mindsets that we have within our economic and political systems are that of much greater respect of established power over that of new ideas. Or, in other words; “money talks, bullshit walks.” Obviously, this is not necessarily a bad outlook. However, when a good idea does come along, it will have a long uphill battle if those with established money don't see any direct benefit for themselves. And that uphill climb will be even greater if our religious beliefs unwaveringly resist change on a deep emotional level.

Change is not necessarily good. However, if we resist all change, history will leave us stranded in the past – while those who encourage sound change overwhelm us.

Of course, when you think about it; religions that base their whole existence on documents thousands of years old have essentially committed themselves to living in the past – at least to some extent.

Change can be good – essential, even. Good ideas are often the keys to what keeps us alive. In other words; the stifling of innovation is often slow suicide.

Traditions can also be good – essential, even. But relying solely on wisdom from the past ignores wisdom just learned. And relying on a society that reinforces the dependence on old ways of thinking (and consequently; old technologies) just strengthens the hand of the powers-that-be who only support change when it benefits their bottom line.

In other words; religious conservatives and traditionalists are being used.

Fundamentalist religions are being manipulated to support the greedy – with no regard for the long term consequences.

For example:

The Christian Religion didn't start out as a way to make money. But, in many ways today, making money appears to be one of the primary functions of many Christian organizations. And obviously; these organizations get their money from people with money. Which makes them beholden to those donors (and their for-profit ideologies).



It appears that some Christian organizations have even evolved into what are effectively non-profit profit machines. And some of these religious “leaders” are just swimming in money. Why would they want to change anything? They wouldn't. But that's not traditionalism. That's not conservatism. That's just simply greed.

You may recall that Jesus said that it would be easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to go to heaven.

Why do you think he said that?

(We can only speculate – but I think that's a good thing – because that means I get to speculate.) Allow me to speculate:

When accumulating far more money than one needs becomes more important than making the right decisions, we end up making the wrong decisions. One of those wrong decisions is to choose short-term profits over better ideas.

And when our own religions promote behavior that reinforces the suppression of innovation, we are at real risk of making some terrible choices... which could eventually lead to us mistakenly creating a man-made Hell on Earth.

Maybe that's what Heaven and Hell really are in practical (this world) terms – mental images of what we can create – stories of our possible futures.

Maybe we have been distracted by a politically expedient interpretation of Heaven and Hell. Maybe religion isn't about death after all. Maybe religion is about life. Maybe we have focused too much on the life-after-death Hell, when it is our own life's future we need to focus on. I'm not saying that the Bible is wrong. I'm saying that it has been misinterpreted (possibly for manipulative reasons). And I'm saying that the Bible may be referring to a figurative Hell (right here on Earth).

If you ask most anyone who considers them self religious, they will tell you that religion is about faith – not logic. OK. Then why does the interpretation of the Bible have to be literal? This is about faith. Only logic would require that the Bible be interpreted literally. Not that that means the Bible is illogical. It's just that religion is about faith. So, what does that mean?

Our traditional image of Hell is a fiery hot place where people suffer for eternity for their sins.

Our image of a man-made Hell on Earth is a planet suffering from extreme global warming, with people (who have developed the technology to live far longer than we think we will) suffering for centuries for our sins of excess.

I don't believe it is a coincidence that these two stories are so similar.

It appears that, in a way, we are being warned... use our best ideas or end up in Hell.