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Member since: Sun Jun 4, 2017, 04:46 PM
Number of posts: 1,660

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A new Pledge of Allegiance is coming

I pledge allegiance to the President of the United States of America, and to the Banana Republic for which he stands, one Nation under surveillance invisible, with liberty for him and the Department of Justice for his enemies.

Trump gives Barr power to declassify intelligence related to Russia probe

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), who as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee leads one of the ongoing congressional investigations of Trump, called the action “un-American.” Trump and Barr, Schiff said in a statement Thursday night, are conspiring to “weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies.”

Welcome to the nightmare.‬
Posted by The_jackalope | Fri May 24, 2019, 05:53 AM (2 replies)

Global food crisis ahead as extreme weather events devastate crops

This article contains a selection of links to current news stories about the effects of the unfolding climate catastrophe on food production in various parts of the world.

This is exactly what we hysterical, chicken-little doomers have been warning about for a decade. Well, it's here and happening now, on a continent near you. Got garden?

Global food crisis ahead as extreme weather events devastate crops and fields around the world

Extreme weather events are devastating crops and thus the food business around the world. From Australia to North Korea and Argentina here are the latest reports of food shortage around the world.
  • Australia imports wheat for first time in over a decade after worst drought in 116 years
  • Floods, hail and bad weather affect fruits and vegetables in Italy
  • Planting in France slowed down by extreme cold temperatures
  • Severe drought devastates crops in Yucatan, Mexico
  • Lowest rainfall in 100 years leaves millions at risk of starvation in North Korea
  • Spring’s record-late arrival in parts of the U.S. has catastrophic consequences for food industry – Food prices set to rise
  • Cracks are appearing in the edifice of modern agriculture: Australia’s biggest grain producer’s revenue collapses after horrific crop losses
  • Floods leave 600 000 ha (1.5 million acres) of crops damaged in Argentina
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu May 23, 2019, 07:43 PM (2 replies)

We are burning ourselves to death

"Our spread over the earth was fuelled by reducing the higher species of vegetation to charcoal, by incessantly burning whatever would burn. Combustion is the hidden principle behind every artefact we create. The making of a fish hook, manufacture of a china cup, or production of a television programme, all depend on the same process of combustion. Like our bodies and like our desires, the machines we have devised are possessed of a heart which is slowly reduced to embers."
-WG Sebald, "The Rings of Saturn"

This is precisely why our civilization is inextricably wedded to fossil fuels - they're the easiest thing on the planet to burn, and easy to transport to wherever we want to burn them. More broadly, it's why humanity is in a carbon trap" Our continued survival depends on the very thing that is killing us.

For an intelligent species living on a high-carbon planet with an oxygen atmosphere, burning stored carbon and using the released energy of combustion is easy and obvious. It would probably be done fairly early in the life of the species, well before they accumulate enough scientific knowledge to detect the long-term planetary danger of the carbon dioxide exhaust gases. In our case we have been burning carbon to use its stored energy for hundreds of thousands of years. But we figured out the dangers of CO2 (global warming, climate destabilization and ocean acidification) less than a hundred years ago.

By the time the danger is realized, the species will be carbon-dependent - locked into the burning of carbon for energy - trapped in a vicious spiral of thermodynamically-driven self-organization, energy-dependent maintenance of existing physical and social structures, increasing energy dependence, increasing CO₂ production - and increasing planetary heating from the greenhouse effect.

If there is enough carbon available (as there seems to be here on Earth), the species will become technologically advanced, will send out signals for a short while and will then go extinct due to an inability to adapt to the planet's changing climate. The species will not climb out of its gravity well and fly to the stars, because the energy required will all be soaked up in its own growth, and extinction will happen well before it gets to the "Dyson Sphere" stage of development.

To my mind, this is a highly probable explanation for Fermi's Paradox, aka 'Where is everybody?" Clever species in an environment suitable for developing technology (i.e. one with a lot of stored carbon and an oxygen atmosphere) have a very high chance of burning themselves into collapse in short order.
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu May 16, 2019, 09:48 PM (1 replies)

In support of the anti-abortion legislation

The name of the state has been officially changed to al-Abama.
Posted by The_jackalope | Wed May 15, 2019, 07:49 PM (0 replies)

The Climate Movement: What Next?

This is a great explanation of why, Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion and other environmental movements are playing into the hands of the corporations and helping to neutralize the possibility of real revolutionary change.

What is required for planetary survival is degrowth. Degrowth is not possible in today's world, because virtually all economic and political power structures are allied in favour of growth. Therefore degrowth (the fundamental necessity) will not happen.

Que sera, sera.
Case closed.

The Climate Movement: What Next?

The climate movement, like all environmental NGOs, has been subject to the influence of neoliberalism and corporate capture. Neo-liberals love to attack government while totally ignoring the corporate control of the economy. In the USA the extent of government capture is just ignored (from the President down and not just the most recent President either). There is a general failure to link the social and economic to the ecological. Political analysis is lacking, social theory is absent and there are a dearth of substantive ideas as to alternative economies from the existing paradigms of economic growth and price-making markets.

Hence the climate movement promotes price incentives (taxes, carbon trading), innovation and new technologies, commodification of Nature (ecosystems as goods and services, natural capital), offsetting losses of biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions, and new quantitative measures of growth as progress.

The aim is for a large shift in financing towards new energy sources, which is basically the mainstream (neoclassical) economic argument that substitutes exist and the price mechanism will supply them. This relies on the belief that price mechanisms send the right signals and actually reflect resource costs rather than being determined by power relations, rules and regulations, subsidies and public infrastructure. If its cheap it must be good. There is little or no connection to politics, resource extractivism or biophysical limits (e.g., on the resources required for electric technologies), nor the need for demand control rather than supply increase. Technology will save us, markets work and there will be ‘free’ electricity for all.

The existing institutions of modern economies are those supporting economic growth. The growth priority has been made clear by the over 3500 economists supporting a climate tax and opposing structural change. Similarly, Lord Stern is the academic figure head of the New Climate Economy, a concept created by members of the Davos elite, with its ‘Better Growth, Better Climate’ reports. Their explicitly stated concern is that: “In the long term, if climate change is not tackled, growth itself will be at risk.” Change is coming and the corporations and billionaires are fully aware of this. They have been actively lobbying on climate and environment since Johannesburg (Earth Summit 2002) and were a dominant force at Paris. They have also long been seeking to control the environmental movement for their own ends.
Posted by The_jackalope | Sat May 11, 2019, 10:20 AM (2 replies)
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