Friday, December 21, 2012

The Peak of The Oil Lies - 3

Oh up us for heaven's sake
In this series the issue is whether there is any such thing as "peak oil", a time when we reach the point where we have used up one half of the finite resource called petroleum.

It seems to be common sense that any finite resource that is not renewable will eventually be exhausted.

That is what the book "Peak Everything" by Richard Heinberg is all about, the inherent limit of finite resources, including fossil fuels, as the graph above indicates.

Thus the argument that renewable resources are a safer bet.

The fossil fuel industry has been spending a lot of money to get us to believe that we need not concern ourselves about running out of oil.

Never mind that even if it were true it would still present civilization with calamity as was discussed in the recent post "Embryonic Look At Civilization's Future - 5."

There are observers who do not accept the fossil fuel industry's protestations about peak oil:
When people read about a long-term forecast of world oil supply--say, out to 2030--they often believe that the forecasters are merely incorporating our knowledge of existing fields and figuring out how much oil can be extracted from them over the forecast period. Nothing could be further from the truth. Much of the forecast supply has not yet been discovered or has no demonstrated technology which can extract or produce it economically. In other words, such forecasts are merely guesses based on the slimmest of evidence.
(C.S. Monitior). That is contrary to what we hear lately in the McTell News where there is no mention of the dangers civilization faces whether peak oil is true or whether it is false.

It is a Catch 22 situation, because if we have enough to continue to use fossil fuels and warm the Earth up another 4 degrees there will be hell to pay.

But if we reach peak oil where what civilization needs to keep functioning is not available at affordable prices, there will be hell to pay as well.

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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Embryonic Look At Civilization's Future - 5

The fog of warm
This is a series that deals with the scientific reality of civilization's known future in the context of pollution.

The definition of "civilization", for the purposes of this series, is defined by two posts "What Do You Mean - World Civilization?", and "Confusing 'Civilization' With 'Species'."

A peer reviewed report written for The World Bank and prepared by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics has been circulated since about November of this year.

The title of that report is "Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided", and is available for download in a link that follows.

One of the first questions that naturally arises is "where did they get the four degree celsius ("4°C") figure?"

The answer to that question is in the report itself:
It is my hope that this report shocks us into action. Even for those of us already committed to fighting climate change, I hope it causes us to work with much more urgency.

This report spells out what the world would be like if it warmed by 4 degrees Celsius, which is what scientists are nearly unanimously predicting by the end of the century, without serious policy changes.
(Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided, emphasis added). Ok, so the scientific establishment came up with the four degrees, so let's look further to what else they said:
The 4°C scenarios are devastating: the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics;
Coastal cities are endangered
substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions; increased frequency of high-intensity tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity [species], including coral reef systems.

And most importantly, a 4°C world is so different from the current one that it comes with high uncertainty and new risks that threaten our ability to anticipate and plan for future adaptation needs.

The lack of action on climate change not only risks putting prosperity out of reach of millions of people in the developing world, it threatens to roll back decades of sustainable development.

It is clear that we already know a great deal about the threat before us. The science is unequivocal that humans are the cause of global warming ...
(ibid, emphasis added). In other words they are saying it would be bad beyond the beyond, but could even be surprisingly worse than that in some ways.

The previous post in this series is here.

The lyrics to the following song are here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Elections of Pontius Pilots - 4

News Conference: "You can't remember what I meant?"
This series now concerns the President's confusion and/or conflation of the meaning of the word "compromise" with the meaning of the word "capitulation", which was originally carried in the series Mystery of Compromise v Capitulation.

In the previous post we used the term "Alchemy" to describe this American political technique.

Having become lost in the maelstrom of propaganda, the President seems to think that because the right wing neoCons scare the hell out of those in America who are still sane, and therefore will not vote for those neoCons, he can abuse the election accountability process to now cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid without there being any negative connotations for so doing -- that wee the people will simply roll over and play dead.

All roads lead to WTF
All the while letting the warmonger military budget continue to increase, cause deficits, cause foreign policy problems, and ultimately bankrupt more and more people in America.

This is the kind of claptrap that reinforces the notion of epigovernment, a notion that something other than the American people is influencing the federal government in a direction that is damaging to the people, who are metaphorically being treated as if they were the traditional "stepchildren in an abusive home."

This type of politically correct lying, a.k.a. spin, is the talk of psychotics like Ayn Rand, heroine of the right, and Edward L. Bernays, hero of those who are not able to know the truth about the people.

Anymore, it seems that "the powers that be" are people who are the foundational pillars of this type of government illusion, delusion, and sicko warmongering, no longer respecting the visionaries who founded our great republic.

The Plutocracy prefers, instead, that we sing the only form of religion they think is good and appropriate for us and for them:

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Security: Familyland, Fatherland, or Homeland? - 2

Poppa's Got A Brand New Bag
In this series we have been looking at group dynamics within nations, specifically the social dynamics that derive from psychological relationships between the citizenry and their government.

Even more specifically, we have been looking at the dynamics involved when the citizenry sees the government as a parental figure.

That may sound strange to those who have not read up on it, but according to those who labor in this realm, as professors and social scientists, it is generally understood to be a real cultural phenomenon:
Have you ever noticed how many "family" words are associated with the concept of "nation" in literature, politics, and government?

A quick check of a few relevant metaphors (forefathers, father of the constitution, Uncle Sam, motherland, fatherland, homeland, father of the nation, founding fathers, mother of the nation, family of nations, etc.) makes me want to look at perhaps the key source-metaphor for this notion:
... a common metaphor, shared by conservatives and liberals alike -- the Nation-as-Family metaphor, in which the nation is seen as a family, the government as a parent and the citizens as children ...
(The Nation-as-Family Metaphor). To expand upon this concept a bit, consider these comments:
It’s no accident that our political beliefs are structured by our idealizations of the family. Our earliest experience with being governed is in our families. Our parents “govern” us: They protect us, tell us what we can and cannot do, make sure we have enough money and supplies, educate us, and have us do our part in running the house.

So it is not at all surprising that many nations are metaphorically seen in terms of families: Mother Russia, Mother India, the Fatherland. In America, we have founding fathers, Daughters of the American Revolution, Uncle Sam, and we send our collective sons and daughters to war. In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the voice of the totalitarian state was called Big Brother.

As George Lakoff discussed at length in his 1996 book, Moral Politics, this metaphorical understanding of the nation-as-family directly informs our political worldview. Directly, but not consciously. As with other aspects of framing, the use of this metaphor lies below the level of consciousness.
(Security: Familyland, Fatherland, or Homeland?). When the government evolves in a direction from left to right, the citizenry will in general also have that tendency.

Obviously we are not talking about an axiomatic, direct, and robotic response, but what we are talking about is social tendencies involved when and where there is that type of a psychological framework.

Following the 9/11 attack this "below the level of consciousness" dynamic could be observed more easily as the nation became "the homeland", as seemingly endless wars began, as military spending practically bankrupted us, and as the nation evolved toward the dynamics of bullying.

Since then suicide is the number one cause of injury death in the citizenry as well as in the military in America, many such suicides occurring after the mass killing of innocents by the one who then takes their own life.

If we cast the notion of epigovernment into this discussion, then apply these same dynamics, is seems as though metaphorically we are stepchildren in an abusive home.

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

Evolution From Left to Right - 5

American cranium and brain changes
Regular readers know that Dredd Blog has a series of posts under the heading or title of today's post.

This series primarily deals with an increase in violence across the land as well as the source of that violence.

The killing of children and adults by a young gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary last week is yet another episode in the ongoing "American social evolution."

In this context by "evolution" I mean social change within the nation.

The type of social change where the characteristics traditionally attributed to Americans by the other nations, and even by our own citizens themselves, noticeably changes over time.

We are not talking about more roads, cars, planes, cell phones, computers, or things of that sort, no, we are talking about change of heart, change of mind, and change in civility of a sort that characterizes a nation.

One simple example might be a movie in this Christmas season that glorifies torture (Zero Dark Thirty) compared to a traditional American Christmas season movie (It's a Wonderful Life).

The national debate at the moment, by pundits and advocates alike, is divided into groups of those who think gun control will and will not solve the problem of the mass murder of innocents.

That focus is misplaced, because the problem is with the direction in which our nation has been going, from a kinder, gentler society into a bullying society where the stronger among us oppress the weaker among us.

This has spilled over into our foreign policy where a cascade of invasions and occupations of weaker nations has been ongoing.

Our national attitude is not looked upon with the favor that it once was in the world community, evidenced by a recent case handed down the day before the Sandy Hook massacre:
A European court issued a landmark ruling Thursday that condemned the CIA’s so-called extraordinary renditions programs and bolstered those who say they were illegally kidnapped and tortured as part of an overzealous war on terrorism.
(“Heroine” Outed, see also this and this). Another court within the nation indicated "an overzealous war on terrorism" that has evolved in the wake of 9/11 to cloud our national mind as it were:
By proceeding on the terrorism theory, the People were able to introduce evidence about numerous alleged criminal acts committed by members of the SJB gang over the course of three years. Without the aura of terrorism looming over the case, the activities of defendant's associates in other contexts would have been largely, if not entirely, inadmissible. Based on the record, it is apparent that the volume of proof regarding unrelated assaults, murders and other offenses created a reasonable possibility that the jury's findings were prejudicially influenced. Hence, the spillover effect requires reversal and a new trial on the underlying offenses.
(People v Morales). What one lawyer sees happening is an evolution in our social concept of justice:
What the court is admitting here is amazing. It is saying that when someone is accused of terrorism, the rules governing trials and law completely change. All sorts of things that the state is normally barred from doing on the grounds that it is unjust suddenly become permissible when someone faces terrorism charges. Indeed, so "prejudicial" are these special rules of "justice" for terrorism cases that anyone convicted under these rules is, by definition, treated unfairly if terrorism is inapplicable.

But if these special rules for terrorism cases are prejudicial and unfair when applied to murder defenders, then they are unfair for everyone. It means these rules are inherently unfair. But that's what has happened in the post-9/11 era: a whole new system of "justice", with all new rules designed to ensure convictions and long prison terms, have been invented exclusively for those facing "terrorism" charges. And since the term "terrorism" has no discernible meaning other than "acts of violence committed by Arabs and/or Muslims against westerners", this illustrates why New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal was exactly right when, under the headline "Liberty and Justice for non-Muslims", he wrote:
[I]t's rarely acknowledged that the [9/11] attacks have also led to what's essentially a separate justice system for Muslims. In this system, the principle of due process is twisted and selectively applied, if it is applied at all."
It's a separate system of justice so intrinsically unjust and unfair - designed to ensure that Muslims accused of "terrorism" have basically no chance of acquittal - that any trial that proceeds under its warped rules for non-terrorist defendants must be thrown out in its entirety, said the New York Court of Appeals. That's extraordinary.
(Glenn Greenwald). The truth is getting to be "extraordinary" as our society evolves from one personality into another.

Traditionally the U.S. was fair to other religions, even making that tradition the supreme law of the land by putting freedom of religion in the U.S. Constitution.

When a Muslim, following his election to the U.S. Congress, took the oath of office on a Koran, which was once owned by President Thomas Jefferson, it outraged some people who have evolved in a direction away from traditional values.

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog places blame on propagandists who have engineered this evolution from left to right.

The problem is more serious than you might think, because what is evolving is the physical brains of the populace, which cannot be remedied by mere elections or statutes.

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

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