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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:20 PM

James Wells: The Ringwraiths of Despair. (x-post from GD)

Hello, fellow DUers,

I've been finding a lot of good material on DailyKos lately concerning climate change; this particular article by James Wells illustrates the desperation of climate deniers, and their shift in tactics from "It's not happening/not bad" to the likes of, "We cannot stop it.", "Renewables are a failure no matter what.", etc.(and unfortunately, some of our resident "doomers", it seems, have fallen quite hard for the latter two things.). BTW, if you're a Tolkien fan, you'll love the many references he drops to TLoTR.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/14/1185744/-Forward-on-Climate-The-Ringwraiths-of-Despair

When the Ringwraiths arrived on any scene, they always brought their most powerful weapon. It wasnít their swords, nor the fell flying beasts they rode. It was despair. Wherever the Nazgul went, hope fled.

Here, late in the Fourth Age, the Nazgul have returned, no longer only nine in number. You can recognize them by a clear signature: Their insistence that nothing can be done.

At last our country appears to be gaining some awareness of the climate crisis that has already arrived, and will worsen in the years to come. Since itís getting tougher for the deniers to deny the facts that are singing outside our windows, now we are seeing a big wave of stirring calls to inaction: Itís going to happen no matter what, so thereís no reason to even try to do anything.

The arrival of swarms of Nazgul is actually great news, because it means that deniers are running out of other options. Outright denial has allowed them to delay effective climate action for years, but it won't work any more. If their main remaining argument is "There's nothing you can do", then this creates the perfect opportunity for us to showcase the many positive climate solutions that are already happening, and new ones that are arriving on the wings of the eagles every day.


Of course, itís always been in the denier playbook to create a feeling of futility. Take for instance the so-called Jevons Paradox, which states that increased efficiency will result in increased usage, undoing any gains from the efficiency. The purveyors of despair often reach for this one, because it purports to show that energy efficiency standards, or mileage standards, are futile.

Woo hoo! My mileage is so good, I think Iíll go drive another hundred miles today! I donít think so. If you really need the hard core debunking, it's at the Climate Progress link above. This one should be called the Jarnevon Paradox, after the planet on which this theory might have originated.

To see why this matters, itís worth looking at the layers of climate denial. Similar to the Four Dogs defense used by tobacco lawyers and other polluters, climate deniers wear layers to ward off the weather of the facts. When a layer gets peeled away by the truth, they move back to the next one. ďItís not happening.Ē Oops, itís happening! Ok, ďItís not caused by humans.Ē Hmm. Letís move back to ďBut itís not a bad thing.Ē
Then came Sandy.

For a denier, if youíre down to ďThereís nothing you can do,Ē it means that youíre running out of layers. In fact, the only layer behind this one is "Squirrel!" That very last layer, also known as ďAl Gore sold out to Al Jazeera!Ē, is time tested and should not be underestimated, but is much less effective when itís all they have left.

So when the Nazgul are swirling around saying ďThereís Nothing You Can Do,Ē it means they have been recalled to defend Barad Dur. This unleashes all of us to answer that last desperate attack: we can show all of the great things that we can do, and are doing.





Defeating the Ringwraiths of Despair

We can apply tough emission standards to existing coal burning power plants, and then use the EPA Endangerment Finding to reduce emissions from the most egregious other GHG sources. We can set a carbon tax and put some of the proceeds toward clean energy. Leading public figures can keep climate change in the center of national conversation, as President Obama has begun in his inaugural address and State of the Union.

As individuals and communities, the sky is the limit. We can reduce the energy and materials that we use, recycle the materials that come our way at a very high percentage, and use recycled materials. We can turn away from factory food. We can support great local and regional organizations that devote every working day to creating climate-friendly solutions. We can push our communities to expand transit, recycling, and other services that preserve our climate. We can live like hobbits, cherishing the simple things that make life special.

Each of us can spread the word on climate change and positive solutions, in person, in lights, online, or even on a first date. We can share information about the beauty and importance of places that must be protected. We can help get out the vote for real climate hawks. We must be willing to change, and to help others not to fear change.

Our Future - Worth Saving


And there you have it. Some real hope for the future.

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Reply James Wells: The Ringwraiths of Despair. (x-post from GD) (Original post)
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 OP
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #1
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #2
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #3
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #4
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #5
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #6
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #7
4dsc Mar 2013 #13
4dsc Feb 2013 #8
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #9
4dsc Feb 2013 #10
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #11
AverageJoe90 Mar 2013 #12

Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:01 AM

1. *Bumping*, for more exposure.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:07 AM

2. The Nine glide silently overhead. A messenger descends, alights, and speaks.

"I come to speak to you of the Power. Listen and hear me well, humans - your time is short."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022433075

All life from bacteria to global civilizations is structured by single fundamental underlying natural principle: to turn energy into useful work. This principle is the measure by which self-organizing systems either prevail or fail: turn as much energy as is available into useful work as effectively as possible.

This power-seeking principle that drives us on lies beneath our biology, below our genetics, underneath our socioeconomic structures, and far below the thoughts, values and beliefs that we believe are what move us. The entire human edifice from biology to belief has sprung up to implement, support and rationalize the continuous search for more energy to transform into useful work and waste heat.

And so all our precious human illusions of control are revealed as the quaint pretensions they are, as our dreams of glory, self-perfection and eventual transcendence crumble into dust.

ďMy name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!Ē


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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:01 PM

3. You do realize the point Wells is trying to make, right?

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:09 PM

4. Of course I do.

I just enjoy playing Nazgul to his Moron. He hasn't the faintest clue what he's talking about, or how deeply wrong he is on how many levels. He's a self-satisfied mouthpiece for Empire. I'm stunned that you would give such a complete waste of skin and breath the time of day.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:12 PM

5. Re: "He hasn't the faintest clue what he's talking about, or how deeply wrong he is....."

Look who's talking.....face, meet mirror.

Sometimes, the truth hurts.....and sometimes, it can actually comfort you. In this case, it's a double edged sword For climate activists, it's the latter. For deniers, and perhaps, some(or even many, I'd wager) of those who feel that civilization's doom/humanity's extinction/etc. is somehow inevitable, it's the former.

He's a self-satisfied mouthpiece for Empire.


Uh-oh.....the Empire. *plays the Imperial March*. (Seriously, where do you come up with this stuff?)

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:20 PM

6. Unfortunately, I know exactly *why* he's wrong.

On a factual, scientific and empirical basis, I know why he's wrong. I've already laid out why he and the rest of our culture's apologists for business as usual are incorrect. I know you don't believe what I've said about the Maximum Power Principle, and that's your prerogative. But on this I'm not just fucking around playing Nazgul for shits and grins. I know exactly why we can't stop doing what we're doing. All the evidence of the world in my favour. And all that the people on Wells' side of the fence have is misrepresentation, sly innuendo, ad hominems and insults.

Even with his deliciously ego-stroking attitude, he's not worth the time you've given him.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:29 PM

7. Complete and utter fail on your part, G.G.

I've already laid out why he and the rest of our culture's apologists for business as usual are incorrect.


And here's where you begin to fail hard, G.G. If you had bothered to read the article in context, you'd know very well that he's not only against business-as-usual(at least how 99% of us would define it), but actually put forth some REAL solutions.....that's something you can't exactly say of your favorite wannabe Doomsday prophet, Guy McPherson.

I know exactly why we can't stop doing what we're doing. All the evidence of the world in my favour


Not even close. If anything, the evidence is more and more turning towards Wells, myself, and our comrades, even if slowly.

And all that the people on Wells' side of the fence have is misrepresentation, sly innuendo, ad hominems and insults.


Quite to the contrary, G.G., and in fact, all I've ever seen from YOUR side is insults, ad homs(Can't count how many times I've been labelled a denier or a "minimizer" for stating the truth of the matter), and plenty of misrepresentation to go around(though I'll give you a little credit for walking back one of the more ridiculous claims you made, i.e. the "10*C by 2100" thread.....even though you didn't go all the way.).

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 10:26 AM

13. Good response GG.

most people don't understand our current system of resource depletion and its ramifications down the road.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:51 AM

8. There is no hope because we are all consumers

Sorry but 99% of Americans will never change their way of living in a consumer society. You can suggest all the ways in the world to reduce carbon out put but in the end we are a product of 30 years of consumerism. And unless consumerism is brought to the fore front of the problem we will not change.

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Response to 4dsc (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 08:16 AM

9. If that was really true, we'd never have made any progress at all.

Not only that, but how would you propose to end "consumerism" anyhow? Hell, I'll go a step further and ask: "Just what IS consumerism, to you?" since there's so many different views on this.

You are entitled to your own opinion as much as I am, but the wheels of reality are indeed turning, if perhaps slowly, in the favor of environmental progress.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:05 PM

10. Really?

You don't understand what consumerism means and how its effected us for the past 30 years?

Try google and start educating yourself.

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Response to 4dsc (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:51 PM

11. No, I have a good idea of what it is.

But there's so many different usages of the word, that it's hard to keep a track of them all.

I always thought that consumerism was about having the best and newest things whenever it was possible, at any cost, to anyone, as well as, in its most extreme form, ostracizing those who do not partake in such; as bad as it is, I don't really see how you can directly blame consumerism for a lack of progress against AGW.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 04:33 AM

12. And also, how come nobody's recced this yet?

Damn shame, man, this was a well-written article, and very truthful too.....

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