Bing states that “A paper tiger is something or someone that appears powerful or dangerous but is actually ineffectual and unable to withstand challenge. The term is a calque of the Chinese phrase zhǐlǎohǔ (simplified Chinese: 纸老虎; traditional Chinese: 紙老虎). The term is often used to describe a person, country, or organization that seems to be powerful but does not really have any power.”
The Free Dictionary notes, “This expression became well known in the West from its use by Mao Zedong, the Chinese Communist leader. In an interview in 1946, he expressed the view that ‘all reactionaries are paper tigers’.”
Does Mao Zedong’s caution apply to the West’s drive to electrify everything, and other sustainability/clean green energy initiatives that are not sustainable, clean, or safe?
For example, literally, paper straws?
Paper Straws – Toxic, Worse Than Plastic
The New York Post is among the news outlets recently reporting “Paper straws contain toxic ‘forever chemicals’ — could be worse than plastic: study.”
”Paper straws might not be the “eco-friendly” drinking tube they’ve been promoted to be: Belgian researchers found that these so-called “green” utensils are toxic and therefore potentially worse for the environment than their much-vilified plastic counterparts, according to a new study published in the journal Food Additives & Contaminants”
The new research comes following multiple initiatives enforced by numerous US cities, including New York, and restaurant chains to ban disposable plastic suckers comprised of polypropylene and polystyrene, which take hundreds of years to decompose and are linked to health problems from liver problems to birth defects.
“…researchers analyzed the PFA concentrations of 39 brands of drinking straws, which were comprised of five materials: paper, bamboo, glass, stainless steel, and plastic.
They found that paper straws were the most PFA-filled with a whopping 90% of paper straws containing the chemicals.
Meanwhile, bamboo straws — another highly touted green alternative — clocked in second with 80%, followed by 75% of plastic straws, 40% of glass straws, and none in steel straws.”
The Seattle Times noted, “Thimo Groffen, an environmental scientist at the University of Antwerp, said the team of researchers wanted to find out if PFAS were in plant-based drinking straws sold in Belgium, after they were discovered in straws sold in the U.S.”
The presence of the chemicals in almost every brand of paper straw means it is likely it is, in some cases, being used as a water-repellent coating, the researchers said.
The most commonly found PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has been banned globally since 2020.
Also detected were trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and trifluoromethanesulfonic acid (TFMS), “ultra-short chain” PFAS which are highly water soluble and so might leach out of straws into drinks, according to the report.”
“Addressing Carbon” Worse Than Fossil Fuels – Not Protecting Human Health
The dysfunctional scenario of replacing plastic straws with paper straws as a sustainability initiative that is creating additional harm is playing out in numerous run-away train scenarios. From light bulbs to wireless smart utility meters to electric vehicles to variable drive motor ceiling fans to the drive to “electrify everything,” the frantic ‘drive’ towards “efficiency” is causing unacknowledged, uncontrolled pollution of the grid itself.
As explained by Dr. Sam Milham, the pollution does not stay on the grid, it infiltrates the premises,
Humanity’s ‘Green’ Movement is Nauseating for Nature and Informed Environmental Stewardship
Nature’s report card encompasses cradle-to-grave calculations; while man-made manufactured math regarding “sustainability” borders on deluded and delusional.
A simple example of green energy gone awry is the felling of trees to site industrial-scale solar and wind turbines.
Less obvious is the fact noted by researcher Sarah Aminoff, “According to Wildancestors blogspot, “Richard York, a University of Oregon, found that for every unit of “green” power brought online, only one-tenth as much fossil fuel was taken offline….fossil fuel is functionally irreplaceable.’ Electric cars can’t be made without it. Nor can wind turbines, solar panels, planes, ships, concrete, cell phones.””
Not Counting Warfare and the Race for Space Does Not Compute
Another example of inaccurate math is not including the full greenhouse gas emissions in calculations for the costs of warfare. (See The Pentagon, Climate Change, and War by Dr. Neta Crawford.)
Mary-Jane Rubenstein, author of Astrotopia: The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race, said in a recent podcast shared on Truthout:
The environmental damage that the contemporary space race is doing is one of the most under-discussed crises of our contemporary moment.
..Billionaires like Elon Musk have promoted fantasies that humanity’s best hope, in the face of an apocalyptic crisis, lies in the colonization of space. Jeff Bezos has argued that the extractive industrialization of space will ultimately make life on Earth sustainable.Book Review: The Pentagon, Climate Change, and War (substack.com)
The challenge is not that evidence about the downsides of the choices being made and imposed is lacking. For example, this summary from the U.K. explains how next generation 5G telecommunications green washing measures up against environmental stewardship. “The France, Spain and California Green Parties, France Climate Change Council and Greenpeace East Asia have all warned of the power-hungry nature of 5G.”
The challenge is that an economic and growth-oriented economy invokes planned obsolescence, even under the guise of increased safety and/or efficiency, with the underlying goal of expansion derived from consumption and exploitation. The military-industrial complex and financial interests have placed more emphasis on finding new applications for toxins and toxic byproducts (for example, chemicals manufactured for war repurposed as pesticides) than on protecting human health and the environment.
Rising Above the Deluge Begins with Admitting That We’ve Lost Our Way
The effort exerted and resources consumed to oppose reality must be rejected in favor of the ability to reason and to think critically and independently, resulting in evolutionary and responsible choices.
For example, rather than an implication by industry interests that both cell towers and bananas emit radiation and are therefore safe, see recent works by Katie Singer:
Green Energy as Paper Tiger
“Chairman Mao did not claim that the paper tiger of the US was without any power, but merely that that power was transient and would be “unable to withstand the wind and the rain.”- Source
Chairman Mao also reported stated, “Furthermore, even though the tiger was paper, it had to be fought.”
Necessary discernment and wisdom is not coming from “the top-down” or from the leading mainstream environmental groups.
But signs of a rebirth of reason are emerging.
For example, Human Rights Watch reports that this week “Ecuadorians Vote to “Keep the Oil in the Soil” in the Amazon: Historic Vote Establishes Moratorium on Oil Operations in Key National Park. “The people of Ecuador voted on Sunday to halt all current and future oil drilling in the heart of Yasuni National Park in the Amazon rainforest. This comes after decades of organizing led by a coalition of Indigenous peoples, youth, and activists from across the country. Voters also chose to ban all mining in the Choco Andino forest, near the country’s capital, Quito.”
Will Americans and leading environmental organizations also recognize the need to protect National Parks, as noted by Devra Davis in her editorial “We cannot ignore the dangers of radiation in our national parks” published in “The Hill?”
“In authorizing millions of dollars to states and tribes to expand internet access, the Biden administration has set a vital economic goal. But it’s imperative that this expansion is built in the safest, fastest and most secure way to achieve this result while also protecting public health and the environment. Pending legislation assumes that wireless systems provide a reliable and safe network. Unfortunately, these systems are neither reliable nor safe.
The recently proposed Connect Our Parks Act calls for increased cell service in parks but does not weigh the damaging impacts of wireless radio frequency (RF) radiation — emitted by cellular installations — on all living creatures. Introduced by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Angus King (I-Maine), this new bill does not consider the many ways that cell tower radiating equipment can impair ecologically sensitive areas and every living thing in its wake, ranging from insects to mammals to the plants and trees on which their survival depends.“
It’s not only the parks that need protection.
An Indepth Policy Brief: “Effects of Unregulated Digitalization on Health and Democracy”
It’s up to individuals who inadvertently find themselves on the wrong side of environmental stewardship, to recognize the dangers of reactivity, and to pause, re-center, ground, re-claim reason, look at the emerging carnage, and change course.
Here is a good place to start:
“An expert group in political science and the natural sciences has prepared an in-depth policy brief on the effects of unregulated digitalization on health and democracy.
The document provides an overview of aspects of the process of digitalization that negatively impact (public) health, essential human rights and democracy. It also contains policy recommendations to effectively address these issues and avert harm. Further, this document is meant to empower the reader to take informed decisions in their own every-day life when interacting with specific technologies and the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.“
Issues addressed in the 46-page document include:
- Effects of wireless technology on health
- Effects of digital technology on mental health and development
- Mining and production issues associated with digital technology
- Digital ID, surveillance, and social credit systems
- Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and the threat to cash
Effects of Unregulated Digitalization on Health and Democracy can be downloaded here.
The unexamined, unrestrained drive towards digitalization and wireless technologies is, literally, making people sick -from the health vulnerable to those mining minerals to minors suffering from digital addiction.
It’s also making the planet sick.
The antidote to the run-away technocratic age requires a U-turn to restore the rights of a sovereign Earth. Supposedly reducing one’s carbon footprint without examining the effects of tech, wireless, and war is a dead-end street.
Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”