Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Epoch of The Straw That Broke ...

People are struggling to find an appropriate name for the times we live in.

One candidate is "The Criminally Insane Epoch", another is The Anthropocene Epoch (ibid).

I offer the name The Epoch of the Straw That Broke The Camel's Back.

Environmental scientists use a term "the tipping point", another form of the ancient folk concept "the straw that broke the camel's back".

There is a place at the edge, the boundary, the twilight zone, where the tiniest, infinitesimal, possibly even unmeasurable force will become the trigger that starts a catastrophic cascade that is incomparable in size and effect to the tiny trigger that "caused" it to happen.

The trigger of course does not "cause" that catastrophic cascade to happen, it only triggers it.

This leads some folks to mock the notion that a single, small, but out in the open disaster can trigger mega-catastrophes.

Military folk know that we have come to the verge of catastrophic nuclear war by accident and on purpose over the course of The Nuclear Weapons Daze.

A small rogue and mavericky nation could trigger that nightmare under certain circumstances.

We all have our own tipping point where just one more word, the straw, the trigger, can "cause" us to "fly off the handle" and say or do things we would not otherwise do, if the stage had not been set.

That is the point, to avoid the straw that breaks the camel's back, we must not allow the stage to be set.

The focus of this post is not the nuclear war problem, but the environmental disaster problem that could wipe out the current civilization.

The stage is well set for that, but it is not as easy to discern that stage as it is to discern the tipping point for nuclear war, or one individual's angry outburst.

The flora and fauna of the earth are well aware that the stage is set, scientists are well aware that the stage is set too.

To add to the drama, we will not know when the final straw is added, because then it will in fact be too late to take that straw back to avoid the catastrophe.

Our only play, our only card, our best shot is to take down the stage quickly by radical, effective, and comprehensive moves to renewable energy sources.

Otherwise, even a straw thrown onto the load by a foreign nation far away can hold us accountable.

As long as the stage is set we are hostage to the whims of the collective madness.

Friday, June 18, 2010

All Ecological Disasters Are Local

The 9/11 event was local yet it sparked what is mythically called a "global war" on "terrorism".

The truth is that the "global war" was local to the U.S. bushie ideology; the only global part being that nations around the globe were threatened and invaded by bushie ideology.

This winter's snowpocalypse in D.C. was seen as a local event.

The record flooding in France, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas recently were seen as local events, because all weather is local?

The Exxon Valdez spill was seen as a local event, way off in Alaska somewhere.

The current "Gulf of Mexico event" is seen as local to the states where oil is washing up, local fishing has been destroyed, and livelihoods of all kinds upended.

The tendency is to see disasters as local events, instead of seeing them for what they really are, global disasters, in the sense that climate is global and the "local" disasters affect the global cycles which impact all of us every day.

Two examples which make it easy to see the true global nature of the "local" events is to consider the methane leaks at Deepwater Horizon and at the East Siberian Arctic Shelf:
The research results, published in the March 5 edition of the journal Science, show that the permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in methane, is perforated and is leaking large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.

"The amount of methane currently coming out of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is comparable to the amount coming out of the entire world's oceans ..."

Methane is a greenhouse gas more than 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
(The Bubbling Up To Rude Awakening). We have found out that some 40% of the leakage into the gulf is methane.

If release of "even a fraction of the methane" in one location could trigger abrupt climate warming, then we have a global problem, and the only thing local about it is the solution.

All politics is local so it is time to harass local legislators and government officials until they get it ... all local areas are on the globe too.

UPDATE: NOAA says this is the warmest year on record so far, so we certainly do not need the extra methane.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ode To MOMCOM From Mother Cosmos

Well, you’ve got your diamonds and you’ve got your pretty clothes
And the chauffeur drives your car
You let everybody know
But don’t play with me, ’cause you’re playing with fire

Your mother she’s an heiress, owns a block in saint john’s wood
And your father’d be there with her
If he only could
But don’t play with me, ’cause you’re playing with fire

Your old man took her diamond’s and tiaras by the score
Now she gets her kicks in stepney
Not in knightsbridge anymore
So don’t play with me, ’cause you’re playing with fire

Now you’ve got some diamonds and you will have some others
But you’d better watch your step, girl
Or start living with your mother
So don’t play with me, ’cause you’re playing with fire
So don’t play with me, ’cause you’re playing with fire

(Rolling Stones).


Shadow of Time Governs The Earth - 2

The greatest danger that Deepwater Horizon presents usually is not being discussed in the Ken & Barbie main stream media.

In a post on Ecocosmology Blog, in 2009, some of the realities American journalists avoid, deny, and cover up (favoring Ken & Barbie journalism instead) were discussed.

The focus was on problems inherent in a civilization that measures everything by growth, never distinguishing between good growth and bad growth:
Specifically, [John Beddington, the UK government's chief scientific adviser] points to research indicating that by 2030 "a whole series of events come together":
* population will rise [grow] from 6bn to 8bn (33%)
* Demand for food will increase [grow] by 50%
* Demand for water will increase [grow] by 30%
* Demand for energy will increase [grow] by 50%
He foresees each problem combining to create a "perfect storm" in which the whole is bigger, and more serious, than the sum of its parts.
(Shadow of Time Governs The Earth). One can be reminded by those numbers that the fundamental nature of cancer is to grow, grow, grow, and do nothing but grow (a.k.a. metastasis).

Catastrophe producing ideologies about growth that are inherent within our civilization also have an adverse effect on the life sustaining systems of the Earth itself, upon which civilization derives sustenance in order to survive.

In its natural format the Earth can sustain indefinitely, because the Earth, in contrast to human civilization, is not a cancer, thus, growth occurs only when it is needed.

Further, that growth is always governed by a balanced set of cycles (air, water, nitrogen, carbon, seasons, etc.).

Our human body has a cyclical immune system that protects itself, however, when that system is overcome by toxins, and is inundated, the situation is said to be "terminal", hence the oft repeated words "terminal cancer".

The cancer in our civilization can grow to the point of destroying one or more of the cycles of the Earth's immune system, but theoretically that has not happened yet:
Humanity may soon be approaching the boundaries for global freshwater use, change in land use, ocean acidification and interference with the global phosphorous cycle (see Fig. 1). Our analysis suggests that three of the Earth-system processes — climate change, rate of biodiversity loss and interference with the nitrogen cycle — have already transgressed their boundaries. For the latter two of these, the control variables are the rate of species loss and the rate at which N2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted to reactive nitrogen for human use, respectively. These are rates of change that cannot continue without significantly eroding the resilience of major components of Earth-system functioning. Here we describe these three processes.


... biodiversity loss in the Anthropocene has accelerated massively. Species are becoming extinct at a rate that has not been seen since the last global mass-extinction event.


Modern agriculture is a major cause of environmental pollution, including large-scale nitrogen- and phosphorus-induced environmental change. At the planetary scale, the additional amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus activated by humans are now so large that they significantly perturb the global cycles of these two important elements.

(The Damage Cannot Be Undone?). These sorts of behind the scenes cycles perform their work in various places such as the atmosphere, flora & fauna, and in the oceans.

We risk severe damage to one of these cyclic organs when we damage the atmosphere, vegetation, animal kingdom, or the oceans.

Which brings us back to Deepwater Horizon and what it is doing to the oceans.

Ken & Barbie journalists focus on the local impact they can see with their eyes, which ends up coming across as a local story for a few states.

They seem to not usually be aware of the deeper and more significant impact of the catastrophe, the dire straits it puts civilization into.

When politicians like Al Gore wake up to it by educating themselves about issues that are not acceptable to MOMCOM, she-it goes into a manic slander mode, slandering Al Gore and others who have become enlightened to the catastrophic state of affairs, and want to share anti-bodies with their fellow citizens.

Cancer does not stop at physical damage, no it actually causes psychological problems too, as we see happening to MOMCOM while she self destructs.

The dangerous situation called "ocean acidification", mentioned in the quote above, is back on the table for discussion, since it is a candidate to be the straw that broke the camel's back, the straw that takes civilization down.

That ocean acidification is being, and will continue to be, exported by the U.S. into the world by the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, underneath, below Ken & Barbie journalism's radar, as life in the ocean is hampered by more pollution.

That cancer is spreading via the loop current in the gulf, which flows into the Atlantic, then through the Gulf Stream it flows up to another current that takes it to the South Atlantic via a current that flows south between Africa and South America.

There it comes to a "Y" in the road and takes it, going in several directions, none of them good.

Methane is 30 times more of a dangerous green house gas than carbon dioxide.

Now we find out that the "oil" coming up the bore hole and up the casing at Deepwater Horizon is FORTY PERCENT METHANE:
The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill.
(Palm Beach Post). A post on Dredd Blog, "Bubbling Up To A Rude Awakening" discusses several dangerous new sources of methane gas that trouble scientists.

The previous post in this series is here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Better Approach, A Better Speech

There was much less propaganda in last night's Oval Office speech given to the nation by our President.

The hype about making the gulf region better than it ever was got cut out and thrown away as it should have been.

The Deepwater Horizon episode is seen as what it is, a great loss for that region, for our entire nation, for our planet, and for world civilization.

The history of our addiction was described as giving mostly lip service to the addiction, while we increase the addiction, which really is the state of the nation in terms of our energy history, wisdom, and mastery of the wrong things.

All that is happening to us while other nations are making "going to the moon in ten years" progress in alternative energy, even as we lag behind on a national scale.

I am glad so much of the bloviation was removed and the speech was closer to the reality we can attain at the moment.

Which is closer to nothing than we like to admit.

So much of the impact is psychological, in the form of debilitating depression, because we can't seem to shake this terrible addiction, economic woes, nor being a divided nation.

Obama pointed out that many are fighting for the addiction, and thereby fighting against those who want to get rid of this fossil fuel addiction, which slows us down considerably.

I would only ask that he admit his mistake of embracing offshore drilling 21 days before the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe began, and that he admits what a colossal mistake that was, so others will grasp that reality.

UPDATE: President Obama orchestrated a $20,000,000,000 fund, which comes from BP, with an independent overseer to distribute it to those in need in the states damaged by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The BP stockholders will have to wait for their dividends.

He obtained an additional $100,000,000 for those who are hit by the moratorium on deep water drilling pending the ongoing investigation.

How much has your republican politician done for you folks lately, besides calling for more drilling?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Obama Doubles Down On Propaganda -2

Some commentators were miffed by the Dredd Blog post Obama Doubles Down On Propaganda because we pointed out that President Obama indicated that when BP and the federal government were done with the Gulf of Mexico it would be better than it ever had been.

He repeated it again yesterday from the Gulf, indicating that "we" would return to normal and things would be better than ever.

Bullsh*t, that is not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Instead, that is lame bloviating by an amateur who recently exposed his technological naivete by bloviating about how good the technology for oil drilling is now, making it safe for all things, and urging us all to believe that catastrophic oil spills were a thing of the past (that was 3 weeks before Deepwater Horizon exploded, sank, and created an oil volcano).

It is worthy to note that his words were a mirror of statements that had been made by Bush II when he also lifted the administrative ban on new deep water offshore drilling leases.

President Obama seems to have a dearth of his own democratic speech writers, so he is resorting to cut and paste from old neoCon dogma and doctrine it would seem.

So now, as we pointed out in From State Secrets To State Propaganda, Obama is becoming a natural propagandist embarrassed by his own folly, and fenced in by his conflicts of interest.

It will not work, because each year we will remember these words and compare the actual destruction of habitat to his destruction of the applicable facts of reality. (Spicing up one of the the other debacles, "minerals just found in Afghanistan" propaganda is belied by old reports of the same data.)

Why bring the extinction of civilization closer when you can stave it off if you try?

With Dust You Shall Return

The Japanese sent the spacecraft Hayabusa to an asteroid in 2003.

It was able to land, but communication and other problems left doubt as to whether it had scooped up some of the surface material of the asteroid, as it had been designed to do.

It returned to the earth, so we will soon find out:
Arriving right on schedule, the Hayabusa spacecraft streaked across the skies above a vast desert in central Australia on June 13 at 11:51 p.m. local time. The probe jettisoned a small sample return capsule before breaking up and disintegrating in a shower of sparks in Earth's upper atmosphere.

The capsule continued its descent as a bright pinpoint of light for several more moments before deploying a parachute and landing in a sparsely populated military-testing zone in the South Australia (map) outback known as the Woomera Prohibited Area.

A search helicopter confirmed the capsule's location around 1 a.m. local time on June 14 and a team of scientists returned later that day to retrieve it.
(National Geo). The asteroid belt begins just past Mars and generally extends outward almost to the planet Jupiter.

One theory is that the asteroids are the remains of a planet that exploded, destroying an ancient ecosystem on Mars, and causing craters on planets and moons throughout our solar system.

Some scientists hypothesize that could be the reason vast oceans on Mars disappeared:
"Our findings lend credence to the existing theories regarding extent and formation time of an ancient ocean on Mars," said researcher Gaetano Di Achille, a planetary geologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "Moreover our test suggests that early Mars could have likely had a global water cycle similar to the present hydrological configuration of our planet."
(Space). If there is dust in the returning Hayabusa capsule as hoped it may give some more clues to help solve the controversy and mystery.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Translating the News

Report: US finds mineral riches in Afghanistan (AP)

Translation: Here’s something to get the public’s attention off the gulf oil spill.

WASHINGTON — A team of U.S. geologists and Pentagon officials has discovered vast mineral wealth in Afghanistan, conceivably enough to turn the scarred and impoverished country into one of the world's most lucrative mining centers, The New York Times reports.

Translation: After bombing the sh*t out of this third world hell hole for the past seven years for spurious, if not totally fabricated reasons, we’ve finally found a reason for Americans to give a shit about this place. PROFITS!

"There is stunning potential here," Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, told the paper in a report published Monday. "There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant."

Translation: This is huge! I can see a possible presidential nomination coming from this if I play it right.

Americans discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, including iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium, according to the report. The Times quoted a Pentagon memo as saying Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium," a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and cell phones.

Translation: We’ve discovered nearly $1T worth of fresh sh*t to exploit – almost 59% of our FY10 federal deficit! Now if these g*d damn third world dirt eaters would just calm down and play ball, we’ll make ‘em our bitches like the Saudis. Can the world ever have enough cell phones? Of course not - that was a rhetorical question.

During a visit last month to Washington, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his nation's untapped mineral deposits could be even higher — perhaps as much as $3 trillion.

Translation: Since we’re making up numbers anyway, $3T sounds even better, don’t you think?

The mineral resources are a "massive opportunity," Karzai said at a May 13 event with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Translation: This may finally be our chance to legitimize this crooked bastard and make him play ball with us. We in the US believe that throwing massive amounts of money at any problem can corrupt … er … FIX, I meant FIX, any problem.

The report in the Times said the U.S. Geological Survey began aerial surveys of Afghanistan's mineral resources in 2006, using data that had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Promising results led to a more sophisticated study the next year.

Translation: The USGS was tasked with finding exploitable resources as soon as we invaded this god forsaken sh*t hole, both for the wealth we could steal from these stupid ass third world simpletons, as well as the political cover it would provide while we conduct what will essentially be a never ending war of occupation and exploitation.

Then last year, a Pentagon task force that had created business development programs in Iraq arrived in Afghanistan and closely analyzed the geologists' findings. U.S. mining experts were brought in to validate the survey's conclusions, and top U.S. and Afghan officials were briefed.

Translation: Private sector business interests were brought in and a private auction for mineral rights were conducted. Little does anyone know, but these poor motherf**kers have already been f**ked and they don’t even know it. It’s all over but the diggin’ now. We’ll leave that to them – for third world subsistence wages of course.

Waheed Omar, Karzai's spokesman, said at a news conference Monday that the USGS was "contracted by the Afghan government to do a survey, so this is basically an Afghan government initiative."

Translation: I’ve been paid to lie about this to give cover to the U.S. Fortunately, the payout was very generous.

"I think it's very, very big news for the people of Afghanistan and that we hope will bring the Afghan people together for a cause that will benefit everyone," he said. "This is an economic interest that will benefit all Afghans and will benefit Afghanistan in the long run."

Translation: This will provide a modicum of legitimacy for the corrupt Afghanistan government, which will hopefully last long enough for us to abscond with the profits after the US imperialists move on to greener money pits.

So far, the biggest mineral deposits discovered are of iron and copper, but finds include large deposits of niobium, a soft metal used in producing superconducting steel, as well as rare earth elements and large gold deposits in Pashtun areas of southern Afghanistan, the report said.

Translation: We’ve got all kinds of sh*t for sale, but keep your hands off the gold; the world banking cartel’s already got that spoken for.

Charles Kernot, a mining analyst with Evolution Securities Ltd. in London, said it typically takes three to five years to get a lithium mining operation up and running. Factors include how close the deposit is to power sources and other infrastructure and the size of the deposit.

Translation: Exploiting this sh*t is dependent on how soon we can subdue these renegade bastards. Every effort will be made to bribe, or otherwise corrupt them, if the standard shooting and bombing don’t yield timely results.

And large lithium deposits may not mean an automatic windfall — given competition and the uncertainty of the market.

Translation: We reserve the right – indeed, we have every intention - to f**k these ignorant hicks out of the profits from what we take out of here. Hey, the game's called CAPITALISM BITCHES!

"Bolivia wants to expand its lithium mining operations dramatically over the next few years so there is a risk of oversupply if demand from electric cars does not meet expectations," Kernot said.

Translation: We’re already in the process of f**king over Bolivia, but they’re as good of an excuse as any to use here as well.

Ghazni Province, where the lithium deposits are reported to be, is a dangerous place, home to many Taliban.

Translation: This is just another excuse to keep the profits. We’ll carpet bomb the f**king Taliban. It makes the mineral extraction easier anyway.

guest post by disaffected

The Luck of MOMCOM

The Irish have nothing on MOMCOM, in terms of luck.

What a fluke that we invaded Iraq, and then lo and behold it had no WMD but had lots of oil.

We invaded Afghanistan but did not find Terrorist Number One in the caves, but we have now found gold, lithium, and lots of other shiny stuff.

The luck of MOMCOM is phenomenal:
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.
(NY Times). I am waiting for them to declare how much latinum there is for the Ferengi before I calculate how long the war will have to be extended.

The Greene Party

This blog has written about the vulnerability of electronic voting machines a time or two.

For example see Election Conspiracy Confirmed? written in March of this year.

A year before that we did the post Election Officials' Lack of Integrity which concerned criminal prosecutions for election fraud in Kentucky.

Now what has been called conspiracy theories all these years has raised its ugly head and everybody is a conspiracy theorist it seems:
Depending on whom you ask, Alvin Greene's electoral victory in Tuesday's South Carolina primaries is either evidence that voting machines don't work, or that the Republican Party is planting phony candidates in Democratic races -- or both
(Raw Story). We pointed out that this is a tired old story in the post Carpet Baggage, detailing complaints, analysis, and warnings going back decades.

The thing that seems to have changed in this story is that the election fraud is far more brazen that it used to be, reminding us of the words of the election master Stalin who is purported to have said: "Voters decide nothing, those who count the votes decide everything".

UPDATE: The Democratic Party in N.C. voted not to dis this primary, and the opponent decided not to appeal their decision.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Open Thread

Weekend Open thread ...

Obama chats with British PM about BP

Did they also talk about the World Soccer competition where Britain & U.S. tied (1-1)?

The Sun is getting into one of its 11-year cycles.

This is a reminder that smart nations will bring their power grids "up to code" (cosmic code) or will suffer if the Sun goes rogue.

Russia backs away from Iran missile deal - does Russia know something we don't?
Russia becomes leading oil producer ...

The world's oil production dropped by 2m barrels per day in 2009 (peak oil or consumption?)

global gas production declined for the first time on record, falling 2.1%.(recession caused?)

Here's $1 Trillion To Cut -- From The Pentagon war budget