Friday, January 27, 2017
Greenies still sympathetic to Nazism: "Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning"
Book by Timothy Snyder. Published in 2015 by the German media conglomerate, Bertelsmann. Review by William Kay
Black Earth was a collective endeavor. 14 archivists and librarians dug up the data. 30 academics and publishing execs reviewed drafts and submitted recommendations. The book was released simultaneously in every European language. It became a bestseller in four countries and won numerous awards.
Snyder is American-born but is better known in Europe than the USA. Much of his success derives from his involvement with the Vienna-based Institute for Human Sciences which employs 40 academics with funds from the Austrian and German governments. Their mission is to overcome obstacles to Central and Eastern Europe integration through re-writing history with "thematic daring."
While not an outright work of Holocaust denial, Black Earth, forcefully deploys the controversial genres of: Holocaust Obfuscation, Double Genocide Theory, and Holocaust Inversion.
Black Earth is also a meticulously crafted enviro-propaganda text concluding with a long, preachy chapter on Global Warming. The book devotes more page-space to Climate Change than to Auschwitz. Snyder's opinions about the dangers posed by Climate Change place him among the strident fringe of the Global Warming faithful. He argues future Holocausts can be prevented with carbon taxes.
In 35 separate passages Black Earth affirms the Nazi-environmentalist connection. Professor Snyder claims Adolph Hitler's core ideology consisted of:
a) A profound commitment to ecology;
b) A hostility to free market capitalism;
c) A belief in an overpopulation crisis;
d) A disdain for modern agricultural technology;
e) A deification of Nature; and
f) An overriding phobia that industrial activity was destroying Earth's ecosystem.
In other words, Adolph Hitler was, by today's standards, a typical environmentalist.
As an aside here, Snyder made an astonishing admission in an interview with The Atlantic magazine in 2015. He said that in 2010 he had a vague "intuition" that might be a connection between ecology and Hitler's mindset. Re-reading Hitler's writings convinced Snyder: ".in fact, that Hitler's quite explicitly an ecological thinker, (and) that the planetary level is the most important level."
Snyder obtained his PhD in History from Oxford in 1997. He then taught at Yale and Harvard. His field of expertise is Central European politics circa World War II. Yet somehow, in 2010 he possessed only an intuition of a connection between ecology and Nazism! By 2010 a dozen books describing in expansive and minute detail the ecological orientation of the Third Reich had rolled off the presses at Yale, Cambridge, etc. None of the works of the scholars who uncovered the eco-Nazi link appear in Black Earth's 800-plus text bibliography. This suggest suppression of evidence on Snyder's part and it also suggests Snyder is an intellectual poseur - a celebrity pundit who signs off on texts largely written by underlings.
Uniquely, Snyder's team clumsily and unsuccessfully tries to use Hitler's allegedly idiosyncratic ecologism to exonerate Europe's other fascist dictators (whom he treats favourably) from any guilt for Hitlerite crimes.
The book traffics in anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism; both staples of Euro-fascism. The book overflows with a militant statism seldom heard in the English-speaking world. (To fascists, of course, the state-building project is a manifestation of the divine.)
Black Earth is a battle cry for Pan-German oligarchs and their ultranationalist Polish, Ukrainian, and Baltic clients. Snyder wrote this book while writing reams of articles for the mainstream media defending the 2014 overthrow of Ukraine's lawfully elected government. In those articles, and in Black Earth, the Russians, particularly Vladimir Putin, are demonized. Most critically, Russian (and North American) fossil fuel reserves are deemed an existential threat to Earth's ecosystem.
Tim Snyder is a Benedict Arnold. He's an Ezra Pound. He's a Tokyo Rose. His portrait shall forever hang in that shameful gallery of treasonous Americans whose ideology, vanity, and greed drove them into the arms of foreign reactionaries determined to scuttle the American project.
Researchers report new understanding of global warming
The first sentence below is false (See here, here and here) so the "explanations" based on it must be false too
Researchers know that more, and more dangerous, storms have begun to occur as the climate warms. A team of scientists has reported an underlying explanation, using meteorological satellite data gathered over a 35-year period.
The examination of the movement and interaction of mechanical energies across the atmosphere, published Jan. 24 in the journal Nature Communications, is the first to explore long-term variations of the Lorenz energy cycle -- a complex formula used to describe the interaction between potential and kinetic energy in the atmosphere -- and offers a new perspective on what is happening with global warming.
"It is a new way to look at and explain what people have observed," said Liming Li, assistant professor of physics at the University of Houston and corresponding author of the paper. "We found that the efficiency of Earth's global atmosphere as a heat engine is increasing during the past four decades in response to climate change."
In this case, increased efficiency isn't a good thing. It suggests more potential energy is being converted to kinetic energy -- energy that is driving atmospheric movement - resulting in a greater potential for destructive storms in regions where the conversion takes place.
"Our analyses suggest that most energy components in the Lorenz energy cycle have positive trends," the researchers wrote. "As a result, the efficiency of Earth's global atmosphere as a heat engine increased during the past 35 years."
In addition to Li, researchers involved in the work include Yefeng Pan, first author and a former doctoral student at UH; Xun Jiang, associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at UH; Gan Li, Wentao Zhang and Xinyue Wang, all of Guilin University of Electronic Technology; and Andrew P. Ingersoll of the California Institute of Technology.
The researchers used three independent meteorological datasets to track variables including three-dimensional wind field, geopotential-height field and temperature field at points across the globe from 1979 to 2013. They then used the data to compute the Lorenz energy cycle of the global atmosphere. Such an energy cycle in the atmosphere significantly influences weather and climate.
Previous studies have covered only five-year and 10-year periods before 1973, Li said. "Now we can investigate the Lorenz energy cycle of the global atmosphere during the past 35 years, using satellite-based observations," he said.
While the researchers reported that the total mechanical energy of the global atmosphere remains constant over time, there has been a significant increase in what they describe as "eddy energies," or the energies associated with storms, eddies and turbulence.
Li said the positive trends for eddy energies were especially pronounced in the southern hemisphere and over parts of Asia, and the researchers point out that intensifying storm activity over the southern oceans and increasing drought in Central Asia contribute to the positive trends.
"This is a new perspective to explain global warming from an energy standpoint," he said.
Danish Think Tank: $9B Cloud Project Could Prevent All 21st Century Global Warming
Since AGW seems to have stopped all by itself, it might be hard to show this works
Instead of collectively spending $100 billion annually under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to combat global warming, developed nations should consider investing just $9 billion in a marine cloud whitening project that could prevent global warming for the rest of the 21st century, according to Bjorn Lomborg, director of a Danish think tank.
Marine cloud whitening mimics the effects of a volcanic eruption by inserting salt particles into the atmosphere to make clouds denser so they reflect more sunlight back into space.
"Spending just $9 billion on 1,900 seawater-spraying boats could prevent all the global warming set to occur this century," Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, writes in a January 18 column for Project Syndicate, adding that the benefits the project would generate would be worth an estimated $20 trillion.
"This is the equivalent of doing about $2,000 worth of good with every dollar spent," he pointed out.
To put this in context, the Paris climate agreement's promises will cost more than $1 trillion annually and deliver carbon cuts worth much less"To put this in context, the Paris climate agreement's promises will cost more than $1 trillion annually and deliver carbon cuts worth much less - most likely every dollar spent will prevent climate change worth a couple of cents," Lomborg continued.
"Even climate activists increasingly recognize that the lofty rhetoric of the global agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, concluded in Paris just over a year ago, will not be matched by its promises' actual impact on temperatures," he said. "This should make us think about smart, alternative solutions."
"All of the global warming for the century could be avoided" by using geo-engineering such as marine cloud whitening, according to a working paper by Americans J. Eric Bickel and Lee Lane for the CCC, which "has commissioned 21 papers to examine the costs and benefits of different solutions to global warming."
Warning that such technology "is not ready for deployment" and "even base case estimates for many important benefit and cost parameters are unknown," Bickel and Lane estimate a 5,000-to-1 direct benefit-cost ratio for a marine cloud whitening project, which would use unmanned GPS-navigated ships to spray seawater into ocean cloud formations.
According to the co-authors, "reflecting into space only one to two percent of the sunlight that strikes the Earth would cool the planet by an amount roughly equal to the warming that is likely from doubling the pre-industrial levels of greenhouse gases."
Pointing to the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, which "reduced global mean temperature by about 0.5% C," they wrote that "scattering this amount of sunlight appears to be possible."
In addition, the expected research and development costs for a marine cloud whitening geoengineering project "are clearly quite low. Indeed, they appear to be almost negligible," the study's co-authors noted.
"People are understandably nervous about geoengineering," Lomborg acknowledged. "But many of the risks have been overstated. Marine cloud whitening, for example, amplifies a natural process and would not lead to permanent atmospheric changes - switching off the entire process would return the world to its previous state in a matter of days."
Reversability is important because Bickel and Lane point out that one of the negative effects of "changing global temperatures without lowering the level of GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations.. is the possible lessening of rainfall."
Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement - which was signed by former Secretary of State John Kerry but not ratified by the U.S. Senate - the U.S. and other developed countries pledged to raise $100 billion a year to help developing nations limit carbon emissions, which the United Nations claims is the chief cause of global warming.
The stated goal of the international agreement is to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels while carbon emissions are eventually reduced to zero worldwide.
As part of his promise to cut U.S. carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent over 2005 levels by 2025, President Obama pledged $3 billion to the UN's Green Climate Fund, which was set up to help developing countries meet their carbon reduction goals.
To date, the U.S. has contributed $1 billion to the fund, with $500 million transferred just days before President Trump's inauguration on January 20.
During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to "cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs" during his first 100 days in office.
Trump's Pipeline Approvals Are a Win for the Economy and Environment
In a win for the economy and the environment, President Donald Trump signed executive orders backing the construction of two unnecessarily controversial energy infrastructure projects: the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline.
Getting the green light for the completion of the pipelines is kind of like receiving your appetizer halfway through your meal. You're happy it's finally here but also disappointed it didn't come when it should have, which is much, much earlier.
Politicians often speak of the need to balance economic growth and environmental protection. But energy projects should not be viewed in this manner where a trade-off needs to take place between the two.
Sensible, free-market policies that protect private property rights and respect the rule of law will create jobs while protecting the economy. The approval of Keystone XL and Dakota Access demonstrate that.
For Keystone XL, the Obama administration's own State Department reviewed the project multiple times and concluded that the pipeline would pose negligible environmental risk and not contribute significantly to global warming-a big sticking point and one of the reasons former President Barack Obama rejected the application.
The State Department's final environmental impact statement concludes that Canadian oil is coming out of the ground whether Keystone XL is built or not, so the difference in greenhouse gas emissions is miniscule.
Despite environmental activist fearmongering, the State Department also determined that the project poses minimal environmental threat to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, and wildlife.
But instead of listening to sound science and technical analysis, support from unions, and the majority of the American people, Obama capitulated to his environmental activist base.
Even Obama's first secretary of energy, Steven Chu, called the debate over the pipeline what it was, saying, "The decision on whether the construction should happen was a political one and not a scientific one."
The same disregard for the rule of law and scientific analysis holds true for the Dakota Access pipeline. Despite the protests and opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the federal government completed an extensive, thorough environmental review.
As Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., wrote last year:
The Army Corps consulted with 55 Native American tribes at least 389 times, after which they proposed 140 variations of the route to avoid culturally sensitive areas in North Dakota. The logical time for Standing Rock tribal leaders to share their concerns would have been at these meetings, not now when construction is already near completion.
Together, the two pipelines could carry up to 1.4 million barrels of oil per day, safer and far more efficiently than transporting the product by rail.
The reality is the two pipeline projects shouldn't have been as big of a deal as they were made to be. The U.S. is a spider web of pipelines and many Americans live near a pipeline without even knowing about it.
Our country has more than 500,000 miles of crude oil, petroleum, and natural gas pipelines and another 2 million miles of natural gas distribution pipelines. When it comes to accidents, injuries, and fatalities, pipelines are the safest mode of transporting oil and gas.
Though the environmental risk is minimal, the pipelines' completion will have significant impact for the economy and for American households and businesses. The projects will result in thousands of construction jobs and lower prices at the pump by delivering more supplies to the market.
Opponents of the pipeline dismissed the job numbers and economic impacts, arguing that pipelines will create only "a handful" of permanent jobs.
But the fact that pipelines only have a handful of permanent workers simply conveys how remarkably efficient pipelines are.
The high output of labor generates value and wealth and frees up Americans to be more productive elsewhere in the economy, in the same way that one man on a backhoe loader increases efficiency and frees up a group of men with shovels to dig a ditch.
The approval of the pipeline should also serve as a guiding point for how the Trump administration moves on infrastructure policy. Remove unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and empower the private sector to drive investment.
President Trump institutes media blackout at EPA
The Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants, part of a broader communications clampdown within the executive branch.
The prohibitions came to light Tuesday as the agency moved to delay implementation of at least 30 environmental rules finalized in the closing months of President Obama's term, a potential first step to seeking to kill the regulations.
A summary of the actions posted in the Federal Register includes a long list of regulations that include updated air pollution rulings for several states, renewable fuel standards and limits on the amount of formaldehyde that can leach from wood products. President Trump signed a directive shortly after his inauguration on Friday ordering a "regulatory freeze pending review" for all federal agency rules that had been finalized that have not yet taken effect.
E-mails sent to EPA staff and reviewed by the Associated Press also detailed specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates, or posts to the agency's social media accounts.
The administration has also ordered what it called a temporary suspension of all new business activities at the department, including issuing task orders or work assignments to EPA contractors. The orders were expected to have a significant and immediate impact on EPA activities nationwide. EPA contracts with outside vendors for a wide array of services, from engineering and research science to janitorial supplies.
Similar orders barring external communications have been issued in recent days by the Trump administration at other federal agencies, including the departments of Transportation, Agriculture and Interior.
Staffers in EPA's public affairs office are instructed to forward all inquiries from reporters to the Office of Administration and Resources Management. "Incoming media requests will be carefully screened," one directive said. "Only send out critical messages, as messages can be shared broadly and end up in the press."
A review of EPA websites and social media accounts, which typically include numerous new posts each day, showed no new activity since Friday.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday he had no specific information on the blackout. "I don't think it's any surprise that when there's an administration turnover, that we're going to review the policies," Spicer said.
Doug Ericksen, the communications director for Trump's transition team at EPA, said he expects the communications ban to be lifted by the end of this week. "We're just trying to get a handle on everything and make sure what goes out reflects the priorities of the new administration," Ericksen said.
Beyond what was stated in the internal email, Ericksen clarified that the freeze on EPA contracts and grants won't apply to pollution cleanup efforts or infrastructure construction activities. The agency later said it would also seek to complete that review by Friday.
State agencies that rely on EPA for funding were left in the dark, with both Democratic and Republican officials saying they had received no information from EPA about the freeze.
"We are actively seeking additional information so we can understand the impact of this action on our ability to administer critical programs," said Alan Matheson, executive director of Utah Department of Environmental Quality.
Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the Trump administration should immediately reverse the media blackout and contracting freeze.
"This decision could have damaging implications? for communities across New York state and the country, from delaying testing for lead in schools to restricting efforts to keep drinking water clean to holding up much-needed funding to revitalize toxic brownfield sites," Schumer said.
The executive director for the advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Jeff Ruch, said the orders go beyond what has occurred in prior presidential transitions.
"We're watching the dark cloud of Mordor extend over federal service," Ruch said Tuesday, referring to the evil kingdom in the epic fantasy "The Lord of the Rings."
Ruch noted that key posts at EPA have not yet been filled with Republican appointees, including Trump's nominee for EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt. That means there are not yet the new senior personnel in place to make decisions.
Environmentalists said the orders were having a chilling effect on EPA staff already suffering from low morale. Trump and Pruitt have both been frequent critics of the agency and have questioned the validity of climate science showing that the Earth is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame.
Staff at the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service also received orders not to issue any news releases, photos, fact sheets and social media posts. After an email of the order leaked to the media, the agency said it would rescind the memo.
At the Transportation Department, employees received an e-mail message Monday morning that was "broadly worded and hard to interpret," but which appeared to be a directive not to issue any news releases or post to social media, according to a DOT employee who wasn't authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
"Everybody's being very cautious," the employee said.
The AP reported over the weekend that staff employees at the Interior Department were temporarily ordered to stop making posts to its Twitter account after the official account of the National Park Service retweeted a pair of photos that compared those gathered for Trump's inauguration with the much larger crowd that attended Obama's swearing-in.
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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 1:33 AM