Friday, November 2, 2012

How Fifth Graders Analyze Hurricane Sandy

Parts in a System of Education
By the Fifth Grade able students know that we live on a globe which has systems that are planet wide in scope: global systems.

One of those systems is the global climate system of the planet Earth.

By then they also know that the planet Earth is part of a larger system, one we call the solar system, which is itself part of yet another and larger system, which is the galactic system of many, many solar systems within what we call The Milky Way Galaxy.

The individual stars and their behaviors are central parts of the solar systems, and they are likewise a part of the galactic system.

The planets orbiting those stars are likewise individual parts of the system, even though they do not all have the same behaviors, movements, size, or looks.

Able Fifth Graders also know that all systems work systematically, so that any systemic event within any system belongs to and functions within and according to that system.

The global climate system on any given planet is composed of individual weather events or parts that are generated by the global climate system of that planet.

All local weather and all individual weather events on the Earth are likewise parts of the whole system, that is, all of the Earth's weather is a systemic part of the global climate system of the Earth.

Local weather events, local parts, do not generate the global climate system, rather, the global climate system generates all local weather events.

For example, the tropical depression which formed south of Jamaica, then became a tropical storm, then eventually morphed into Hurricane Sandy was a part of and within that global climate system of the planet Earth.

That global climate system, like any global Earth system, can be damaged by the endeavors of human civilization, specifically endeavors which we now call pollution.

Any damaged global climate system is still that, a global system, even though it is a damaged system.

However, any damaged system is damaged goods, therefore, that system functions like anything that is damaged will function: in a dysfunctional manner.

The degree of damage determines the degree of dysfunction, so that, as the damage increases the dysfunction increases.

But be that as it may, once the global climate system is damaged and dysfunctional, all weather, whether it be local weather or remote weather, is still a part within a global climate system, a dysfunctional global climate system.

That is why able Fifth Graders will say:
"Hurricane Sandy was a weather phenomenon that happened within a global climate system that has been damaged by the pollution of human civilization, and is therefore weather in a dysfunctional global climate system. Single weather events like Hurricane Sandy are parts of that system which is now dysfunctional because of global warming damage."
Some of the parts of the system, individual weather events, may resemble the pleasant characteristics of individual weather events that were happening before the global climate system became dysfunctional, while at the same time other parts, other weather events in other places, may have unpleasant dysfunctional characteristics that did not happen in the properly functioning system of the past.

But either way, all individual weather events are now part of the damaged global system, thus, local or individual weather events do not define or make up the whole system, because the global climate system is still damaged whether individual weather events are classified as "good" or are classified as "bad" on any given day.

Therefore, Fifth Graders know that even though there are characteristics in individual weather events which may resemble other individual historical weather events that happened long before the global climate system became dysfunctional, that resemblance does not magically transform the damaged global system back into a non-dysfunctional state.

Similarly, like a serial killer who does not murder every day, but instead resembles normally functioning people on some days when s/he does not kill, that "good day behavior" does not mean that the serial killer is no longer dysfunctional.

Discussion of local weather events should never be given greater weight than the big picture, which is the understanding of the damage that has been done and is still being done to the global climate system by green house gases that enter the atmosphere when we use fossil fuels.

Otherwise "we won't be able to see the forest for the trees", and we therefore won't be as smart as Fifth Graders.

The next post in this series is here.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

A History of Oil Addiction - 2

Are you in good hands with Oil State?
In the first post of this series we skimmed over the big U.S. oil discovery in Texas which converged with the invention of and "improvements" to the internal combustion engine.

These late 19th and early 20th century events fused automotive industrialization technology with fossil fuel use at a time when little was known (only a very few scientists like Tyndall and Arrhenius concerned themselves with such questions) about where this convergence of fossil fuels and industrial technology would lead (The Peak of Sanity - 3).

The oil industry was quick to begin to influence U.S. government as that industry gained economic power:
Yes, the foreign policy that fundamentally supports oil barons has never been a big secret: "One of our greatest helpers has been the State Department" - John D. Rockefeller (1909).
(Oil's Well That Ends Well - 2). Let's note that John D. Rockefeller was able to use wealth to get his way with government:
John Davison Rockefeller (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American industrialist and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. In 1870, he founded the Standard Oil Company and aggressively ran it until he officially retired in 1897. Standard Oil began as an Ohio partnership formed by John D. Rockefeller, his brother William Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, Jabez Bostwick, chemist Samuel Andrews, and a silent partner, Stephen V. Harkness. As kerosene and gasoline grew in importance, Rockefeller's wealth soared, and he became the world's richest man and the first American worth more than a billion dollars. Adjusting for inflation, he is often regarded as the richest person in history.
(Wikipedia, emphasis added). Another boost, "industrialization on steroids", came in the form of World War I, which accelerated and expanded upon the union of oil and internal combustion engine powered vehicles, to include mass production for use in war:
We began doing research on the subject of Cadillac's relationship with the military, and it turns out that Cadillacs were being used, and modified, by our military as early as 1904, some in the form of fully armored cars with Colt Machine guns mounted on top! General Black Jack Pershing had Cadillacs (Dodges also) in Texas in 1916, while fighting Pancho Villa in the border war with Mexico, prior to U.S. involvement in WWI. Cadillac's quality and superior design was the reason it was chosen for military service. I have spoken with civilian and military historians at museums across the country about this Cadillac. Many people have contributed in the quest for the historical facts. I have condensed much of the research into the following, describing what is known so far about how this Cadillac helped win The Great War!
(GM Heritage Center). After that war the oil and industrial manufacturing companies continued to exert political influence until finally the Pentagon became the greatest single user of fossil fuels (Pentagon, World's Biggest Fossil Fuel User).

In one relevant case, the oil barons / vehicle makers focused on the national infrastructure in a manner that was designed to help them - at the nation's expense:
The Great American streetcar scandal (also known as the General Motors streetcar conspiracy and the National City Lines conspiracy) refers to an largely unpublicized program led by General Motors to systematically replace streetcars and electric train in many cities across the United States with petroleum fuelled bus services.

Some believe that this program was directly responsible for the virtual elimination of effective public transport in American cities by the 1970s.

General Motors Corporation and others were subsequently convicted in 1949 of conspiring to monopolize the sale of buses and related products via a complex network of linked holding companies ...
(Corp Germ > Corp Seed > Corp Monster - 3, emphasis added). With the government in their pocket they paid a fine and went about their business of plutocratic domination, embedding themselves in war profiteering:
General Motors produced vast quantities of armaments, vehicles, and aircraft during World War II for both Allied and Axis customers ...

The General Motors UK division, Vauxhall Motors, manufactured the Churchill tank series for the Allies. The Vauxhall Churchill tanks were instrumental in the UK campaigns in North Africa (ironically often being used to attack German logistics units using Opel [GM made] trucks). Bedford Vehicles manufactured logistics vehicles for the UK military, all important in the UK's land campaigns. In addition, GM was the top manufacturer of U.S. Army 1½ ton 4x4 vehicles.

Nevertheless, while General Motors has claimed its German (Opel) operations were outside its control during World War II, this assertion appears to be contradicted by available evidence. General Motors was not just a car company that happened to have factories in Germany; GM management from the top down had extensive connections with the Nazi Party, both on a business and personal level. During war Opel's Brandenburg facilities produced bombers JU-88, trucks, land mines and torpedo detonators for Nazi Germany.
(ibid). You may have noticed that they had branches in other countries and often were suspected of not having national interests exclusively, but instead having primarily international interests.

That is, America was no longer their first priority, rather the international corporation was now their first priority.

Indeed, Dredd Blog has shown in another series, MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 4 , that these originally American companies have now become international companies.

By quoting an oil company (ExxonMobil) CEO saying "I am not an American company", we shared the fact that they don't mind not being American.

That series also points out that these originally American entities have grown into The Private Empire, a vast international entity composed of interlocking international corporations that "run the show" (see also Islamic Ruler of Dubai).

Nevertheless, under U.S. law those international entities are now considered to be "persons" who may inject any sum of money they want to into our U.S. elections (Foreign Citizens United v FEC).

A recent president pointed out to congress, in a state of the union speech, that we are now "addicted" to fossil fuels, which brings to mind the lack of foresight on the part of both industry and government on this issue:
A society that does not plan or prepare, that does not consider the consequences of the present and contingencies of the future, a society that lives only for today, the next quarter or the next election is doomed.

Events and a changing reality will, sooner or later, catch up with those that refuse to prepare. Available resources, time and most importantly, wisdom will simply not be at hand to allow us to adapt and recover from foreseeable negative developments – developments that reasonable people would have started to prepare for decades ago.
(Corp Germ > Corp Seed > Corp Monster - 3). We discussed that issue recently in the context of the catastrophes that fossil fuel use is generating (Groundhog Day & The Climate of Fear).

That is all for today's post, but more is to come in this series.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

What lack of planning ahead Dredd?


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Groundhog Day & The Climate of Fear

Good environmental policy?
Have you noticed that those who want to be our leaders would not mention the global warming induced climate change during the presidential debates (see New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage - 9)?

It had been debated in every presidential debate since 1988 (ibid).

This fear on the part of leaders and the media has led to a lack of understanding of the nature of what is happening concerning, for example, Hurricane-Superstorm Sandy.

It has a lot of people asking questions that the people who should be answering those questions want to run from, and regular readers know that Dredd Blog is not afraid to ask those questions, but likewise is not the only source to have wondered or asked why the leaders are now becoming afraid to discuss global warming induced climate change:
This morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Dr. Jeffry Sachs was asked "why didn't the presidential candidates discuss climate change in the debates", to which he replied "they are terrified of the oil companies."
(MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 4). Well, fear is not a valid reason to fail to face up to the challenging question, so let's consider the issue of cause, and let's do it without fear:
Yes, global warming systemically caused Hurricane Sandy -- and the Midwest droughts and the fires in Colorado and Texas, as well as other extreme weather disasters around the world. Let's say it out loud, it was causation, systemic causation.

AGW 'caused' Hurricane Sandy
Systemic causation is familiar. Smoking is a systemic cause of lung cancer. HIV is a systemic cause of AIDS. Working in coal mines is a systemic cause of black lung disease. Driving while drunk is a systemic cause of auto accidents. Sex without contraception is a systemic cause of unwanted pregnancies.

There is a difference between systemic and direct causation. Punching someone in the nose is direct causation. Throwing a rock through a window is direct causation. Picking up a glass of water and taking a drink is direct causation. Slicing bread is direct causation. Stealing your wallet is direct causation. Any application of force to something or someone that always produces an immediate change to that thing or person is direct causation. When causation is direct, the word cause is unproblematic.

Systemic causation, because it is less obvious, is more important to understand. A systemic cause may be one of a number of multiple causes. It may require some special conditions. It may be indirect, working through a network of more direct causes. It may be probabilistic, occurring with a significantly high probability. It may require a feedback mechanism. In general, causation in ecosystems, biological systems, economic systems, and social systems tends not to be direct, but is no less causal. And because it is not direct causation, it requires all the greater attention if it is to be understood and its negative effects controlled.

Above all, it requires a name: systemic causation.
(Global Warming Systemically Caused Hurricane Sandy, Lakoff). The lack of understanding about systemic causation injects a paralysis that takes the solution out of the picture (see also It's Global Warming, Stupid).

Instead of presenting and discussing the solution, fear traps us within a macabre realm of being able only to suffer the consequences of fossil fuel pollution over and over again, like the Groundhog Day movie plot.

The difference between the Groundhog Day movie and our current suffering of environmental catastrophes is that after each repeated catastrophe we are worse off because of the damage, thus, soon enough we will not be able to repair the damage because of the crippling costs that we will have to repeatedly bear.



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage - 10

Climate Change Divides America
This is the final post in this series which began on September 28, 2009.

The events that transpired over the past week, the Hurricane Sandy saga, help Dredd Blog to now hopefully give the full meaning of this series, that is, to complete our elucidation of government climate catastrophe "policy."

We have not cast aspersions on the efforts of first responders, meteorologists who warn us, nor government officials struggling with what to say to comfort the populace.

A populace that faces the catastrophe of the global warming induced climate changes that fossil fuel addicted civilization has caused; along with the offspring of that climate change: weather that has become wild and destructive, yes, weather that is wired to get more and more destructive.

Rather, our criticism is that the government continues to do what causes these catastrophes, yes, our criticism is that government has doubled down on the addiction to fossil fuels, therefore guaranteeing more and larger catastrophes than Hurricane Sandy has just brought to us.

The government policy is to get our fossil fuel drug at home rather than abroad, as if where you buy an addictive and destructive drug is how to control the addiction:
Consider that one similar theme at the two conventions was "let's get off foreign oil", that is, let's use local oil instead of foreign oil so that we will be more secure.

This theme will eventually give rise to "all oil is local", but how does that help with the addiction to dirty oil, because we must still ask "is local oil clean, is local coal clean, and is local pollution clean?"

Additionally we must ask "is the big issue concerning oil addiction who the dealer is?"

If we simply become our own oil drug peddler, does that heal our oil addiction?

Are we brazen enough to think that our oil is not addictive, our oil does not pollute, in effect saying "our you know what does not stink?"

The only sane way to look at this issue is of course to grasp the reality of the damage which the addiction does, and to stop using the drug no matter who is selling it, because not using the oil drug anymore is the only solution ...
(New Drug Dealer - Same Addiction). Our government is controlled by The Private Empire, which is owned at its core by the international fossil fuel cabals that have no allegiance to any one country.

Thus the Dredd Blog series conclusion is the same as the beginning:
New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage, indicating exactly what was going to happen and what has happened; civilization causes the catastrophe by becoming addicted to polluting fossil fuels; then they come in after addiction caused catastrophe occurs, using your tax dollars to bury the dead and clean up the damage; then they insure another catastrophe by continuing the addiction to fossil fuels.
The flooding of tunnels and subways was the worst in the 108 year history of that system of transportation.

That was predicted time and time again in the series "It Could Happen Tomorrow" on The Weather Channel, and was predicted by many other sources.



The previous post in this series is here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 4

Hidden Taxes of The Private Empire
In this series Dredd Blog has been looking at some of the the private aspects of the nature of MOMCOM, that is, the private parts.

In the first post of this series (MOMCOM: The Private Parts) we focused on an essential element of "The Private Empire", which is the fact that they do not have any concept of belonging to any particular nation.

For example, we focused on the statement of the CEO of ExxonMobil, who declared in an interview, "I am not an American company."

In the second post of this series (MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 2) we focused on some of the tactics and methodologies which The Private Empire uses to assure that its global influences remain viable.

In the third post of this series (MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 3) we noted that The Private Empire is a conglomerate of some 147 incestuous, cronyism practising, and otherwise intertwined international corporations that sit atop many governments, or at least have substantial influence and control over many governments.

In today's post we will concern ourselves a bit with the way The Private Empire taxes the public without using a certain instrumentality, the venerable I.R.S.

In so doing we focus on who is responsible for global warming induced climate change, yet who pays for the damage it causes (e.g. Hurricane Sandy's imposition of damages), and who pays for the military costs associated with the acquisition and control of hydrocarbons (oil, coal, gas), the source of green house gases?

The answer is the citizens of various nations, especially the citizens of the United States of America, because:
The US has established its control over 191 governments which are members of the United Nations. The conquest, occupation and/or otherwise supervision of these various regions of the World is supported by an integrated network of military bases and installations which covers the entire Planet (Continents, Oceans and Outer Space). All this pertains to the workings of an extensive Empire, the exact dimensions of which are not always easy to ascertain.
(MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 2). The federal government spends more on militant imperialism that the rest of the other nations combined, which means that the citizens of the U.S.A. pay for a vast military which does the lion's share of The Private Empire's imperialism, including protecting its oil and other interests (see e.g. The Peak Of The Oil Wars - 7, Secret Afghanistan Underground, MOMCOM And The Sins of Libya - 2, Oil's Well That Ends Well - 3, and Iraq: World's Number One Oil Producer? - 8).

What is actually happening is that The Private Empire is an International Plutocracy that extracts wealth from the citizenry of many victim nations.

This morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Dr. Jeffry Sachs was asked "why didn't the presidential candidates discuss climate change in the debates", to which he replied "they are terrified of the oil companies."

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Ode to Speaker Boehner: