Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Frustrated Greenie calls for a Fascist uprising
He forgets that Fascism was popular -- with the appeals of both nationalism and socialism behind it. How popular would a movement that does its best to smash all modern life be?
Fuck Earth Day.
No, really. Fuck Earth Day. Not the first one, forty-four years ago, the one of sepia-hued nostalgia, but everything the day has since come to be: the darkest, cruelest, most brutally self-satirizing spectacle of the year.
Fuck it. Let it end here.
End the dishonesty, the deception. Stop lying to yourselves, and to your children. Stop pretending that the crisis can be “solved,” that the planet can be “saved,” that business more-or-less as usual—what progressives and environmentalists have been doing for forty-odd years and more—is morally or intellectually tenable. Let go of the pretense that “environmentalism” as we know it—virtuous green consumerism, affluent low-carbon localism, head-in-the-sand conservationism, feel-good greenwashed capitalism—comes anywhere near the radical response our situation requires.
So, yeah, I’ve had it with Earth Day—and the culture of progressive green denial it represents.
Let me tell you who I am: I’m a human being. I’m the father of two young children, a 14-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter, who face a deeply uncertain future on this planet. I’m a husband, a son, a brother—and a citizen. And, yes, I’m a journalist, and I’m an activist. And like more and more of us who are fighting for climate justice, I am engaged in a struggle—a struggle—for the fate of humanity and of life on Earth. Not a polite debate around the dinner table, or in a classroom, or an editorial meeting—or an Earth Day picnic. I’m talking about a struggle. A struggle for justice on a global scale. A struggle for human dignity and human rights for my fellow human beings, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable, far and near. A struggle for my own children’s future—but not only my children, all of our children, everywhere. A life-and-death struggle for the survival of all that I love. Because that is what the climate fight and the fight for climate justice is. That’s what it is.
Because, I’m sorry, this is not a test. This is really happening. The Arctic and the glaciers are melting. The great forests are dying and burning. The oceans are rising and acidifying. The storms, the floods—the droughts and heat waves—are intensifying. The breadbaskets are parched and drying. And all of it faster and sooner than scientists predicted. The window in which to act is closing before our eyes.
Any discussion of the situation must begin by acknowledging the science and the sheer lateness of the hour—that the chance for any smooth, gradual transition has passed, that without radical change the kind of livable and just future we all want is simply inconceivable. The international community has, of course, committed to keeping the global temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above the preindustrial average—the level, we’re told, at which “catastrophic” warming can still be avoided (we’ve already raised it almost one degree, with still more “baked in” within coming decades). But there’s good reason to believe that a rise of two degrees will lead to catastrophic consequences. And of course, what’s “catastrophic” depends on where you live, and how poor you are, and more often than not the color of your skin. If you’re one of the billions of people who live in the poorest and most vulnerable places—from Bangladesh to Louisiana—even 1 degree can mean catastrophe.
But the world’s climate scientists and leading energy experts are telling us that unless the major economies drastically and immediately change course—leaving all but a small fraction of fossil fuel reserves in the ground over the next four decades—we are headed for a temperature rise of four or five or even six degrees C within this century. The World Bank has warned that four degrees “must be avoided.” But we’re not avoiding it. Global emissions are still rising each year. We’re plunging headlong toward the worst-case scenarios—critical global food and water shortages, rapid sea-level rise, social upheaval—and beyond.
The question is not whether we’re going to “stop” global warming, or “solve” the climate crisis; it is whether humanity will act quickly and decisively enough now to save civilization itself—in any form worth saving. Whether any kind of stable, humane and just future—any kind of just society—is still possible.
We know that if the governments of the world actually wanted to address this situation in a serious way, they could. Indeed, a select few, such as Germany, have begun to do so. It can be done—and at relatively low cost. And yet the fossil-fuel industry, and those who do its bidding, have been engaged in a successful decades-long effort to sow confusion, doubt and opposition—and to obstruct any serious policies that might slow the warming, or their profits, and buy us time.
As I’ve said elsewhere, let’s be clear about what this means: at this late date, given what we know and have known for decades, to willfully obstruct any serious response to global warming is to knowingly allow entire countries and cultures to disappear. It is to rob the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet of their land, their homes, their livelihoods, even their lives and their children’s lives—and their children’s children’s lives. For money. For political power.
These are crimes. They are crimes against the Earth, and they are crimes against humanity.
What, are you shocked? The same industry, the same people committing these crimes—while we subsidize them for their trouble—have been getting away with murder along the fence lines and front lines for generations.
What is the proper response to this? How should I respond?
Remain calm, we’re told. No “scare tactics” or “hysterics,” please. Cooler heads will prevail. Enjoy the Earth Day festivities.
Fuck that. The cooler heads have not prevailed. It’s been a quarter-century since the alarm was sounded. The cooler heads have failed.
You want sweet, cool-headed reason? How about this? Masses of people—most of them young, a generation with little or nothing to lose—physically, nonviolently disrupting the fossil-fuel industry and the institutions that support it and abet it. Getting in the way of business as usual. Forcing the issue. Finally acting as though we accept what the science is telling us.
Um, isn’t that a bit extreme? you ask. Really? You want extreme? Business as usual is extreme. Just ask a climate scientist. The building is burning. The innocents—the poor, the oppressed, the children, your own children—are inside. And the American petro state is spraying fuel, not water, on the flames. That’s more than extreme. It’s homicidal. It’s psychopathic. It’s fucking insane.
Coming to grips with the climate crisis is hard. A friend of mine says it’s like walking around with a knife in your chest. I couldn’t agree more.
So I ask again, in the face of this situation, how does one respond? Many of us, rather than retreat into various forms of denial and fatalism, have reached the conclusion that something more than “environmentalism” is called for, and that a new kind of movement is the only option. That the only thing, at this late hour, offering any chance of averting an unthinkable future—and of getting through the crisis that’s already upon us—is the kind of radical social and political movement that has altered the course of history in the past. A movement far less like contemporary environmentalism and far more like the radical human rights, social justice and liberation struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Does that sound hopelessly naïve to you? Trust me, I get it. I know. I know how it sounds.
And yet here I am. Because I also know that abolishing slavery sounded hopeless and naïve in 1857, when Frederick Douglass spoke of struggle.
What I’m talking about is not a fight to “solve the climate crisis.” That’s not possible anymore. But neither is it simply a fight for human survival—because there are oppressive and dystopian forms of survival, not to mention narcissistic ones, that aren’t worth fighting for.
What I’m talking about is both a fight for survival and a fight for justice—for even the possibility of justice. It’s a fight that transcends environmentalism. It requires something of us beyond the usual politics and proposals, the usual pieties. It requires the kind of commitment you find in radical movements—the kind of struggles, from abolition to women’s, labor and civil rights, that have made possible what was previously unimaginable.
Because our global crisis—not merely environmental but moral and spiritual—is fundamental: it strikes to the root of who we are. It’s a radical situation, requiring a radical response. Not merely radical in the sense of ideology, but a kind of radical necessity. It requires us to find out who we really are—and, nonviolently, in the steps of Gandhi and King and many others, to act. In some cases, to lay everything—everything—on the line.
And it requires us to be honest, with one another and with ourselves, about the situation we face. We’ll never have a movement radical enough, or humane enough, until we are.
That is, until Earth Day is buried—and a day of reckoning begins.
A dialogue with Dr Leonard Weinstein
Retired NASA Scientist Dr. Leonard Weinstein declared that the global warming doctrine had no clothes back in 2009. Weinstein worked 35 years at the NASA Langley Research Center, finishing his career there as a Senior Research Scientist. So it is good to hear that he is still going strong. The dialogue below is from a recent email correspondence with Rick Loberger
I retired from NASA in 2007, and this blog was posted 2009. However, there was not any NASA policy on the issue. In fact many of the top NASA people are skeptics of significant human caused global warming. This includes the former NASA administrator, Michael Griffin, many of the astronauts such as Buzz Aldrin and Harrison Schmitt and several others, and many of the original Apollo support team. In fact a group of them sent a letter to congress objecting to the government position. In addition, several petitions were made by thousands of scientists (over 30,000 in one case including 9,000 PhD's) that gave skeptics positions. I am enclosing some lists in a zip file, including a more recent ppt by Burt Rutan with more info.
The main stream media and government, and many collages, have fed a one sided position that makes most people think the issue is settled, but that is a big lie. I, as well as many of the worlds top scientists consider the current positions to be one of the biggest scientific scandals in history, where some well meaning scientists jumped to a conclusion, and socialist leaning governments jumped on board and started to force the issue.
Keep in mind that essentially no proposal to prove AGW wrong is funded or allowed to be published, so all proposals and funding is directed to support a lie that is becoming impossible to maintain.
In a few years the issue will explode. I do expect a modest ENSO to occur this year, so a small temperature spike will likely occur. However this will probably be followed by La Nina (resulting in cooling), and the average global temperature by 2020 will likely be flat to down for over 20 years. This would support the claims of human caused problems as being wrong.
I appreciate your response and would agree on what you are espousing. I am a supervisor for wikianswers.com and find it frustrating that when it comes to global warming issues, only one position is allowed to be stated, despite the ability to back up an alternative position.
Like you, I tend to believe that the current warming we believe to have experienced is not out of lines of natural events. It appears to me to be more of a political issue to force lifestyle modifications on unwitting participants that are unable or unwilling to look at facts.
I have been an engineer working with various aspects of alternative energy and get very frustrated when I see specs for items I am dealing with being displayed. Our solar applications, for example, can not reach 60% of what is being claimed. I was involved with a wind farm in northern Michigan a few years ago. The Governor demanded we add a "return on investment" display in the marina to show the energy payback of the three million dollar system. When he saw it showing that the payback was still sixty years away and two of the four towers had maintenance techs working on them, he agreed to let us shut the display down.
Sadly this is not that uncommon. UW- Milwaukee has a solar collection system that is equally terrible in terms of payback. I was showing my 18 year old daughter the system and the fact that payback was still fifty years away and a student walking by informed us that the administration told them it was already at a positive position in terms of generating income. How does one even begin to explain to "minds of mush" that a solar collection system can not possibly be neutral in terms of payback in under a year?
It is refreshing to see that some people still are able to use logic. I do thank you for responding. I honestly needed the pep talk and you were a bright spot in my day. I hope I did not bore you, or eat up your time foolishly. It is a weird coincidence that we even talked, but I am very glad I had the opportunity to email you.
Thanks for your assistance. I actually meant more than you know.
EPA Chief Flying to 5 Cities to Urge Carbon Reduction
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is flying around the country this week to "ask Americans to act on climate change through simple actions to reduce carbon pollution in their daily lives," a news release said.
Her first stop is New York City, where she will appear on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart Monday night to plug President Obama's Climate Action Plan, which supposedly will "slow the effects of climate change and leave a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations."
On Tuesday, Earth Day, McCarthy will be in her home state of Massachusetts, appearing first at the New England Aquarium, and later, throwing out the first pitch at the Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway Park. McCarthy is an avid Red Sox fan, according to the EPA website.
Wednesday, it's on to Cleveland for a press conference on the health impacts of air pollution. McCarthy also will deliver the keynote address at a climate meeting.
Thursday, McCarthy will join the Hip Hop Caucus "Act on Climate Tour" in Atlanta, where she'll "speak about the disproportionate impacts and the costs of climate change" on poor communities.
McCarthy winds up her tour Friday in Memphis, Tenn.
As the EPA advises Americans to reduce their carbon footprint, McCarthy herself is a frequent user of carbon-emitting conveyances.
According to a "day in the life" feature on the EPA's website, McCarthy "keeps a small apartment near EPA headquarters," but "almost every weekend McCarthy travels back to Boston, to her home and her husband."
Last week, McCarthy traveled to Taiwan and Vietnam to promote continued cooperation on various environmental issues.
As part of this week's tour, McCarthy will urge Americans to take what the EPA calls "simple actions," such as "changing a light bulb, powering down electronics, using less water and recycling." By doing those things, the press release said, "we can all reduce carbon pollution."
Could biofuels be HARMING the environment? Ethanol produces MORE CO2 emissions than petrol, study claims
In a blow to ‘green’ fuel campaigners, a recent study has shown that biofuels made from the leftovers of corn plants are worse than petrol in releasing harmful emissions.
The find directly challenges both European and U.S. policymakers who claim biofuels are a much cleaner oil alternative and could help combat climate change.
But a $500,000 (£297,000) by the U.S. government claims that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 per cent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional petrol.
While biofuels are better in the long run, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln study claims they won't meet a standard set in a 2007 U.S. energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.
However, the biofuel industry and U.S. administration immediately criticised the research as flawed.
They said it was too simplistic in its analysis of carbon loss from soil, which can vary over a single field, and vastly overestimated how much residue farmers actually would remove once the market gets underway.
'The core analysis depicts an extreme scenario that no responsible farmer or business would ever employ because it would ruin both the land and the long-term supply of feedstock. It makes no agronomic or business sense,’ said Jan Koninckx, global business director for biorefineries at DuPont.
Later this year the company is scheduled to finish a $200 million (£119 million) facility in Nevada, Iowa, that will produce 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol using corn residue from nearby farms.
An assessment paid for by DuPont said that the ethanol it will produce there could be more than 100 per cent better than gasoline in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
The research is among the first to attempt to quantify, over 12 Corn Belt states, how much carbon is lost to the atmosphere when the stalks, leaves and cobs that make up residue are removed and used to make biofuel, instead of left to naturally replenish the soil with carbon.
The study found that regardless of how much corn residue is taken off the field, the process contributes to global warming.
‘I knew this research would be contentious,’ said Adam Liska, the lead author and an assistant professor of biological systems engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. ‘I'm amazed it has not come out more solidly until now.'
Ian Plimer returns to the fray
He has a new book due out next month called NOT fOR GREENS with the subheading: "He who sups with the Devil should have a long spoon". It is a A full frontal attack on Greens, their climate and energy policy etc etc. Quite a bit on US energy policy, fracking and US coal. Price: $29.95. The blurb is below
The processes required to make a humble stainless steel teaspoon are remarkably complicated and every stage involves risk, coal, energy, capital, international trade and finance. Stainless steel cutlery has taken thousands of years of experimentation and knowledge to evolve and the end result is that we can eat without killing ourselves with bacteria. We are in the best times to have ever lived on planet Earth and the future will only be better. All this we take for granted.
Greens may have started as genuine environmentalists. Much of the green movement has now morphed into an unelected extremist political pressure group accountable to no one. Greens create problems, many of which are concocted, and provide no solutions because of a lack of basic knowledge. This book examines green policies in the light of established knowledge and shows that they are unrealistic.
Policies by greens adopted by supine governments have resulted in rising costs, increased taxes, political instability, energy poverty, decreased longevity and provide no solutions because of a lack of basic knowledge. This book examines green policies in the light of established knowledge and shows that they are unrealistic.
Policies by greens adopted by supine governments have resulted in rising costs, increased taxes, political instability, energy poverty, decreased longevity and environmental degradation and they don’t achieve their ideological aims. Wind, solar and biomass energy emit more carbon dioxide than they save and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions does nothing to change climate and only empties the pocket. No stainless steel teaspoon could be made using green “alternative energy”.
This book argues that unless the greens live sustainably in caves in the forest and use no trappings of the modern world, then they should be regarded as hypocrites and treated with the disdain they deserve.
The Richer We Get, The Greener We’ll Become
In the past 50 years, world per capita income roughly trebled in real terms, corrected for inflation. If it continues at this rate (and globally the great recession of recent years was a mere blip) then it will be nine times as high in 2100 as it was in 2000, at which point the average person in the world will be earning three times as much as the average Briton earns today.
I make this point partly to cheer you up on Easter Monday about the prospects for your great-grandchildren, partly to start thinking about what that world will be like if it were to happen, and partly to challenge those who say with confidence that the future will be calamitous because of climate change or environmental degradation. The curious thing is that they only predict disaster by assuming great enrichment. But perversely, the more enrichment they predict, the greater the chance (they also predict) that we will solve our environmental problems.
Past performance is no guide to future performance, of course, and a well aimed asteroid could derail any projection. But I am not the one doing the extrapolating. In 2012, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asked the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to generate five projections for the economy of the world, and of individual countries, in 2050 and 2100.
They make fascinating reading. The average per capita income of the world in 2100 is projected to be between three and 20 times what it is today in real terms. The OECD’s “medium” scenario, known as SSP2, also known as “middle of the road” or “muddling through”, sounds pretty dull. It is a world in which, in the OECD’s words, “trends typical of recent decades continue” with “slowly decreasing fossil fuel dependency”, uneven development of poor countries, delayed achievement of Millennium Development Goals, disappointing investment in education and “only intermediate success in addressing air pollution or improving energy access for the poor”.
And yet this is a world in which by 2100 the global average income per head has increased 13-fold to $100,000 (in 2005 dollars) compared with $7,800 today. Britain will be very slightly below that average by then, yet has still trebled its income per head. According to this middling scenario, the average citizen of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who today earns $300 a year, will then earn $42,000, or roughly what an American earns today. The average Indonesian, Brazilian or Chinese will be at least twice as rich as today’s American.
Remember this is in today’s money, corrected for inflation, but people will be spending it on tomorrow’s technologies, most of which will be cleverer, cleaner and kinder to the environment than today’s — and all for the same price. Despite its very modest assumptions, it is an almost unimaginable world: picture Beverly Hills suburbs in Kinshasa where pilotless planes taxi to a halt by gravel drives (or something equally futuristic). Moreover, the OECD reckons that inequality will have declined, because people in poor countries will have been getting rich faster than people in rich countries, as is happening now. All five storylines produce a convergence, though at different rates, between the incomes of poor and rich countries.
Can the planet survive this sort of utopian plutocracy? Actually, here it gets still more interesting. The IPCC has done its own projections to see what sort of greenhouse gas emissions these sorts of world would produce, and vice versa. The one that produces the lowest emissions is the one with the highest income per head in 2100 — a 16-fold increase in income but lower emissions than today: climate change averted. The one that produces the highest emissions is the one with the lowest GDP — a mere trebling of income per head. Economic growth and ecological improvement go together. And it is not mainly because environmental protection produces higher growth, but vice versa. More trade, more innovation and more wealth make possible greater investment in low-carbon energy and smarter adaptation to climate change. Next time you hear some green, doom-mongering Jeremiah insisting that the only way to avoid Armageddon is to go back to eating home-grown organic lentils cooked over wood fires, ask him why it is that the IPCC assumes the very opposite.
In the IPCC’s nightmare high-emissions scenario, with almost no cuts to emissions by 2100, they reckon there might be north of 4 degrees of warming. However, even this depends on models that assume much higher “climate sensitivity” to carbon dioxide than the consensus of science now thinks is reasonable, or indeed than their own expert assessment assumes for the period to 2035.
And in this storyline, by 2100 the world population has reached 12 billion, almost double what it was in 2000. This is unlikely, according to the United Nations: 10.9 billion is reckoned more probable. With sluggish economic growth, the average income per head has (only) trebled. The world economy is using a lot of energy, improvements in energy efficiency having stalled, and about half of it is supplied by coal, whose use has increased tenfold, because progress in other technologies such as shale gas, solar and nuclear has been disappointing.
I think we can all agree that this is a pretty unlikely future. It’s roughly like projecting forward from 1914 to a wealthy 2000 but with more people, lots more horse-drawn carriages and coal-fuelled steamships, and no clean-air acts. But the point is that making these sorts of assumption is the only way you can get to really high levels of carbon dioxide in 2100. And even so, remember, the average person is three times as rich. If the food supply had collapsed and fossil fuels had run out, then there would hardly be 12 billion people burning ten times as much coal and living like kings, would there? You cannot have it both ways.
These IPCC and OECD reports are telling us clear as a bell that we cannot ruin the climate with carbon dioxide unless we get a lot more numerous and richer. And they are also telling us that if we get an awful lot richer, we are likely to have invented the technologies to adapt, and to reduce our emissions, so we are then less likely to ruin the planet. Go figure.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 6:15 PM