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Klein writes: "The fact that the business-as-usual pursuit of profits and growth is destabilizing life on earth is no longer something we need to read about in scientific journals. The early signs are unfolding before our eyes. And increasing numbers of us are responding accordingly ..."

Author, journalist and activist Naomi Klein says her choice to risk arrest at the XL Pipeline protest 'was a last-minute decision,' 09/02/11. (photo: Shadia Fayne Wood/Tar Sands Action)
Author, journalist and activist Naomi Klein says her choice to risk arrest at the XL Pipeline protest 'was a last-minute decision,' 09/02/11. (photo: Shadia Fayne Wood/Tar Sands Action)


How Science Is Telling Us All to Revolt

By Naomi Klein, NewStatesman

29 October 13

 

Is our relentless quest for economic growth killing the planet? Climate scientists have seen the data - and they are coming to some incendiary conclusions.

n December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year's conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa's Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles.

But it was Werner's own session that was attracting much of the buzz. It was titled "Is Earth F**ked?" (full title: "Is Earth F**ked? Dynamical Futility of Global Environmental Management and Possibilities for Sustainability via Direct Action Activism").

Standing at the front of the conference room, the geophysicist from the University of California, San Diego walked the crowd through the advanced computer model he was using to answer that question. He talked about system boundaries, perturbations, dissipation, attractors, bifurcations and a whole bunch of other stuff largely incomprehensible to those of us uninitiated in complex systems theory. But the bottom line was clear enough: global capitalism has made the depletion of resources so rapid, convenient and barrier-free that "earth-human systems" are becoming dangerously unstable in response. When pressed by a journalist for a clear answer on the "are we f**ked" question, Werner set the jargon aside and replied, "More or less."

There was one dynamic in the model, however, that offered some hope. Werner termed it "resistance" - movements of "people or groups of people" who "adopt a certain set of dynamics that does not fit within the capitalist culture". According to the abstract for his presentation, this includes "environmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups".

Serious scientific gatherings don't usually feature calls for mass political resistance, much less direct action and sabotage. But then again, Werner wasn't exactly calling for those things. He was merely observing that mass uprisings of people - along the lines of the abolition movement, the civil rights movement or Occupy Wall Street - represent the likeliest source of "friction" to slow down an economic machine that is careening out of control. We know that past social movements have "had tremendous influence on . . . how the dominant culture evolved", he pointed out. So it stands to reason that, "if we're thinking about the future of the earth, and the future of our coupling to the environment, we have to include resistance as part of that dynamics". And that, Werner argued, is not a matter of opinion, but "really a geophysics problem".

Plenty of scientists have been moved by their research findings to take action in the streets. Physicists, astronomers, medical doctors and biologists have been at the forefront of movements against nuclear weapons, nuclear power, war, chemical contamination and creationism. And in November 2012, Nature published a commentary by the financier and environmental philanthropist Jeremy Grantham urging scientists to join this tradition and "be arrested if necessary", because climate change "is not only the crisis of your lives - it is also the crisis of our species' existence".

Some scientists need no convincing. The godfather of modern climate science, James Hansen, is a formidable activist, having been arrested some half-dozen times for resisting mountain-top removal coal mining and tar sands pipelines (he even left his job at Nasa this year in part to have more time for campaigning). Two years ago, when I was arrested outside the White House at a mass action against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, one of the 166 people in cuffs that day was a glaciologist named Jason Box, a world-renowned expert on Greenland's melting ice sheet.

"I couldn't maintain my self-respect if I didn't go," Box said at the time, adding that "just voting doesn't seem to be enough in this case. I need to be a citizen also."

This is laudable, but what Werner is doing with his modelling is different. He isn't saying that his research drove him to take action to stop a particular policy; he is saying that his research shows that our entire economic paradigm is a threat to ecological stability. And indeed that challenging this economic paradigm - through mass-movement counter-pressure - is humanity's best shot at avoiding catastrophe.

That's heavy stuff. But he's not alone. Werner is part of a small but increasingly influential group of scientists whose research into the destabilisation of natural systems - particularly the climate system - is leading them to similarly transformative, even revolutionary, conclusions. And for any closet revolutionary who has ever dreamed of overthrowing the present economic order in favour of one a little less likely to cause Italian pensioners to hang themselves in their homes, this work should be of particular interest. Because it makes the ditching of that cruel system in favour of something new (and perhaps, with lots of work, better) no longer a matter of mere ideological preference but rather one of species-wide existential necessity.

Leading the pack of these new scientific revolutionaries is one of Britain's top climate experts, Kevin Anderson, the deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, which has quickly established itself as one of the UK's premier climate research institutions. Addressing everyone from the Department for International Development to Manchester City Council, Anderson has spent more than a decade patiently translating the implications of the latest climate science to politicians, economists and campaigners. In clear and understandable language, he lays out a rigorous road map for emissions reduction, one that provides a decent shot at keeping global temperature rise below 2° Celsius, a target that most governments have determined would stave off catastrophe.

But in recent years Anderson's papers and slide shows have become more alarming. Under titles such as "Climate Change: Going Beyond Dangerous . . . Brutal Numbers and Tenuous Hope", he points out that the chances of staying within anything like safe temperature levels are diminishing fast.

With his colleague Alice Bows, a climate mitigation expert at the Tyndall Centre, Anderson points out that we have lost so much time to political stalling and weak climate policies - all while global consumption (and emissions) ballooned - that we are now facing cuts so drastic that they challenge the fundamental logic of prioritising GDP growth above all else.

Anderson and Bows inform us that the often-cited long-term mitigation target - an 80 per cent emissions cut below 1990 levels by 2050 - has been selected purely for reasons of political expediency and has "no scientific basis". That's because climate impacts come not just from what we emit today and tomorrow, but from the cumulative emissions that build up in the atmosphere over time. And they warn that by focusing on targets three and a half decades into the future - rather than on what we can do to cut carbon sharply and immediately - there is a serious risk that we will allow our emissions to continue to soar for years to come, thereby blowing through far too much of our 2° "carbon budget" and putting ourselves in an impossible position later in the century.

Which is why Anderson and Bows argue that, if the governments of developed countries are serious about hitting the agreedupon international target of keeping warming below 2° Celsius, and if reductions are to respect any kind of equity principle (basically that the countries that have been spewing carbon for the better part of two centuries need to cut before the countries where more than a billion people still don't have electricity), then the reductions need to be a lot deeper, and they need to come a lot sooner.

To have even a 50/50 chance of hitting the 2° target (which, they and many others warn, already involves facing an array of hugely damaging climate impacts), the industrialised countries need to start cutting their greenhouse-gas emissions by something like 10 per cent a year - and they need to start right now. But Anderson and Bows go further, pointing out that this target cannot be met with the array of modest carbonpricing or green-tech solutions usually advocated by big green groups. These measures will certainly help, to be sure, but they are simply not enough: a 10 per cent drop in emissions, year after year, is virtually unprecedented since we started powering our economies with coal. In fact, cuts above 1 per cent per year "have historically been associated only with economic recession or upheaval", as the economist Nicholas Stern put it in his 2006 report for the British government.

Even after the Soviet Union collapsed, reductions of this duration and depth did not happen (the former Soviet countries experienced average annual reductions of roughly 5 per cent over a period of ten years). They did not happen after Wall Street crashed in 2008 (wealthy countries experienced about a 7 per cent drop between 2008 and 2009, but their CO2 emissions rebounded with gusto in 2010 and emissions in China and India had continued to rise). Only in the immediate aftermath of the great market crash of 1929 did the United States, for instance, see emissions drop for several consecutive years by more than 10 per cent annually, according to historical data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre. But that was the worst economic crisis of modern times.

If we are to avoid that kind of carnage while meeting our science-based emissions targets, carbon reduction must be managed carefully through what Anderson and Bows describe as "radical and immediate de-growth strategies in the US, EU and other wealthy nations". Which is fine, except that we happen to have an economic system that fetishises GDP growth above all else, regardless of the human or ecological consequences, and in which the neoliberal political class has utterly abdicated its responsibility to manage anything (since the market is the invisible genius to which everything must be entrusted).

So what Anderson and Bows are really saying is that there is still time to avoid catastrophic warming, but not within the rules of capitalism as they are currently constructed. Which may be the best argument we have ever had for changing those rules.

In a 2012 essay that appeared in the influential scientific journal Nature Climate Change, Anderson and Bows laid down something of a gauntlet, accusing many of their fellow scientists of failing to come clean about the kind of changes that climate change demands of humanity. On this it is worth quoting the pair at length:

. . . in developing emission scenarios scientists repeatedly and severely underplay the implications of their analyses. When it comes to avoiding a 2°C rise, "impossible" is translated into "difficult but doable", whereas "urgent and radical" emerge as "challenging" - all to appease the god of economics (or, more precisely, finance). For example, to avoid exceeding the maximum rate of emission reduction dictated by economists, "impossibly" early peaks in emissions are assumed, together with naive notions about "big" engineering and the deployment rates of low-carbon infrastructure. More disturbingly, as emissions budgets dwindle, so geoengineering is increasingly proposed to ensure that the diktat of economists remains unquestioned.

In other words, in order to appear reasonable within neoliberal economic circles, scientists have been dramatically soft-peddling the implications of their research. By August 2013, Anderson was willing to be even more blunt, writing that the boat had sailed on gradual change. "Perhaps at the time of the 1992 Earth Summit, or even at the turn of the millennium, 2°C levels of mitigation could have been achieved through significant evolutionary changes within the political and economic hegemony. But climate change is a cumulative issue! Now, in 2013, we in high-emitting (post-)industrial nations face a very different prospect. Our ongoing and collective carbon profligacy has squandered any opportunity for the ‘evolutionary change' afforded by our earlier (and larger) 2°C carbon budget. Today, after two decades of bluff and lies, the remaining 2°C budget demands revolutionary change to the political and economic hegemony" (his emphasis).

We probably shouldn't be surprised that some climate scientists are a little spooked by the radical implications of even their own research. Most of them were just quietly doing their work measuring ice cores, running global climate models and studying ocean acidification, only to discover, as the Australian climate expert and author Clive Hamilton puts it, that they "were unwittingly destabilising the political and social order".

But there are many people who are well aware of the revolutionary nature of climate science. It's why some of the governments that decided to chuck their climate commitments in favour of digging up more carbon have had to find ever more thuggish ways to silence and intimidate their nations' scientists. In Britain, this strategy is becoming more overt, with Ian Boyd, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, writing recently that scientists should avoid "suggesting that policies are either right or wrong" and should express their views "by working with embedded advisers (such as myself), and by being the voice of reason, rather than dissent, in the public arena".

If you want to know where this leads, check out what's happening in Canada, where I live. The Conservative government of Stephen Harper has done such an effective job of gagging scientists and shutting down critical research projects that, in July 2012, a couple thousand scientists and supporters held a mock-funeral on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, mourning "the death of evidence". Their placards said, "No Science, No Evidence, No Truth".

But the truth is getting out anyway. The fact that the business-as-usual pursuit of profits and growth is destabilising life on earth is no longer something we need to read about in scientific journals. The early signs are unfolding before our eyes. And increasing numbers of us are responding accordingly: blockading fracking activity in Balcombe; interfering with Arctic drilling preparations in Russian waters (at tremendous personal cost); taking tar sands operators to court for violating indigenous sovereignty; and countless other acts of resistance large and small. In Brad Werner's computer model, this is the "friction" needed to slow down the forces of destabilisation; the great climate campaigner Bill McKibben calls it the "antibodies" rising up to fight the planet's "spiking fever".

It's not a revolution, but it's a start. And it might just buy us enough time to figure out a way to live on this planet that is distinctly less f**ked.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

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+39 # indian weaver 2013-10-29 14:19
Incredible suffering, tragedy and violence is now on everyone's doorstep worldwide. We know who the enemies of our very survival and existence are. Radical extreme violence against the enemy is one road but, nothing is going to save us now. Maybe the extreme violence against the enemy will assuage some homicidal and suicidal tendencies anyhow, until we die.
 
 
+31 # Barkingcarpet 2013-10-29 22:16
Life IS 100% fatal. How ARE we living in the meantime?
However dismal things look, I have no doubts that we can change, and restore balance, however unlikely.

Tikkun is possible, with every breath, with every waking dollar, work for peace, and a future worth living in. There is no time for b.s.

Everything's future will thank us.
 
 
+21 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 09:29
I have no doubt that our species will survive. That's not my issue. It's more, one of justice. How many billions of people have to starve and/or become homeless before the people with the power to fix it do something?

The honest truth is that much of this responsibility rests on the shoulders of the American government, and unless we can figure out a way to either teach conservatives that their fantasies are dangerously idiotic, or at least get them out of the way (like an imobile obstacle), we won't be able to affect any change for the better.

Right now, we aren't even trying to fix this. As a whole, we've done literally NOTHING.

Meanwhile, we're playing defense more than ever, against conservatives who want to actually ACCELERATE the environmental devastation (e.g. Even if we were to stop Keystone XL, that wouldn't actually "improve" anything, just prevent some of that accelarated destruction).

Taking this seriously would involve, among other things, spending money (on the order of what's been spent on war, for the past 12 years) to refurbish our entire infrastructure.

1. We need a national power grid completely reliant on a combination of wind, solar, geothermal (where possible) and hydroelectric (where feasible).

2. We need redundancy built into the system.

3. We need to outlaw all non-electric vehicles.

4. We need to start looking into alternate food sources and farming techniques (Why not mega-complexes devoted to hydroponics and aquaponics?)
 
 
+14 # Capn Canard 2013-10-30 13:20
Billy Bob, I would go a step further and suggest that we don't need a national power grid. We need all houses to have independent decentralized energy production. Having a centralized system leaves power concentrated in a small number of hands and that can be a dangerous node. I would recommend complete decentralizatio n of power sources.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 18:27
That sounds great, but not everyone can afford it, and we need everyone to. What about renters? Do you think you can talk each and every conservative landlord into following your "INDIVIDUAL MANDATE"?

It just wouldn't work.
 
 
-13 # Malcolm 2013-10-30 19:50
I guess what it comes down to is some people such as Capn Canard, favor individual responsibility, while others, e.g. billybob, want the bloody GOVERNMENT to make it all better.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 21:59
How much "personal responsibility" are conservatives willing to muster right now, about "individual mandates" for health care?

GIVE ME A BREAK!

Some of us want to take over the government and make it ours. Others (e.g. you) are perfectly content with things just as they are (i.e. our government and our civil rights completely subservient to our corporate masters).

You just want EXXON to make it all better.
 
 
-2 # Malcolm 2013-10-31 13:06
Exxon? You fool. Exxon needs to take a long walk off a short pier.
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2013-10-31 13:13
Is that it? Is that your proposal? So your strategy amounts to 3 things:

1. Insult people who have ideas

2. Wish Exxon would magically disappear

3. Hold on to conservative talking points.

GOOD PLAN! (note: sarcasm)
 
 
+8 # Alfwyn 2013-10-31 09:33
I'm with you. With Monsanto in the final stages of controlling most of the world's food supply, and the Gates Foundation keeping all the non-radioactive seed in an artic vault, we cannot trust our corporate-contr olled government to supply us. Non everyone can do this, but those of us who can, should try to supply ourselves. Scientists are sending us a warning of imminent and dire danger, and those of us who are sentient dare not ignore it. The most important thing we can do as a group is turn out ALL of our elected representatives , with the exception of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson and a very few others in the 2014 election. And God help us, don't fall for the candidacy of Hilary Clinton. My family does not: use ANY plastic, use any herbicides or fertilizers, use a clothes dryer, use a car for any unnecessary trips,discard ANY food. We write letters, go to marches, have a large garden, trade with neighbors and have solar panels and a high-efficiency wood-burning stove, collect water in rain barrels for watering the garden, and generally try to make do with what we have.
 
 
+2 # 6thextinction 2013-10-31 12:27
We don't have time to reform our hopeless government. We have to form large groups of seriously motivated planet-savers and start doing what they won't, which probably means overthrowing them. Look what changes they are making in voter "rights" recently to make sure we can't vote them out.

I applaud your family's changes, and would challenge RSN readers to put our effort where our mouths are by following your example. Enviros complain, but will say solar is too expensive when it is far far less than their car cost. Mine was half the cost of a mid-priced car with the present exemption on federal taxes.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-10-31 13:14
What about people who own apartments, poor people, and renters? Any proposals to include them in your plan?
 
 
+20 # tigerlille 2013-10-29 22:51
Well, at least we will have the eventual satisfaction of watching the 1% get f**cked right along with the rest of us, eh?
 
 
+25 # Billy Bob 2013-10-29 23:08
Don't count on it. I expect they'll be just fine - as in the end of "Dr. Strangelove".
 
 
+12 # tigerlille 2013-10-29 23:33
Nope, ultimately they are f**ked too. Kind of gives me something to hold on for, you know?
 
 
+22 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 08:37
The main danger of climate change is starvation. Guess who'll starve first?

If it makes you feel better to assume they've f**cked themselves too, fine, but don't count on it. They really see themselves as being apart from the rest of us, whom the view as inferior. They know very well what they're doing to us and they don't care. They also know that they can afford to prepare for all eventualities and they are doing that.

They're like rats who eat through electrical wires, and are the only ones to escape the burning building.

The only thing we have over them, is if we somehow "take over" our government and make it truly represent us. This government I'm imagining would tax the hell out of them and force them to actually pay for the damage they've done, while halting (or reversing) further damage.

Don't count on that happening either.

As it stands, the kinds of non-violent revolt this article discusses are all we have, and it better start 10 years ago, or, as the article states, "we're f••cked".
 
 
+8 # Quickmatch 2013-10-30 11:16
I agree with "don't count on it". As far as '"Take over" our government'goes , isn't that what the tea party people have in mind/ Only, what do those highly conservative people expect from "taking back" their government/ Seems to me that they would be on the opposite side from those of us who read and sympathise with the ideas presented in Klein's piece above. You know, everybody will suffer, but there will be those who can insulate themselves from the worst of it.
 
 
+13 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 11:29
Good summary. I think the Twit Party version of "taking back" refers to the country as a whole, and not just the government, and specifically pertains to an unmentioned and unwritten truth: that they want to "take back" what they see as the "righteous" former dominance of white rural straight Protestant upper-class culture. This is what they see as "true America" and refuse to accept that America is bigger than the tiny lens they choose to view it through.

Twit Party anger is also a reaction against the idea than anybody, other than rich white conservatives, should even have a voice in anything our country does.

Their anger will subside gradually as they lose their ability to express it. Within the next 20 years, they'll be obsolete.

The problem is that in 20 years, my kids will be adults, the people in this conversation will be too old to suddenly become useful, and the environment will be 20 years worse off.

We just can't afford to wait that long.
 
 
+3 # bingers 2013-10-30 19:31
Well, if you are indeed an American Indian you certainly have a good understanding of unfair treatment. My stepfather was Cree, so I heard some of it at his feet. I went to a school that didn't whitewash history, but it also didn't go into the gory detail.
 
 
+39 # Dust 2013-10-29 17:20
Outstanding. Infinite growth is impossible - I remain surprised that any economist could ever honestly promote such an idea in this century (not being an economist, however, I may be far wrong...)

A number of years ago, I decided to stop recording CDs and give everything away for free. It started as a desire to reduce the waste headed for the landfills, but over the last few years, it's become a deliberate, small move on the chessboard away from capitalism and the endless quest for more money and power. It would be great to see more small ideas develop that allow individuals to make their own moves on their own boards to change the game from the ground up.
 
 
+8 # theory≠opinion 2013-10-29 22:49
Where can we hear your music?
 
 
+4 # Dust 2013-10-30 09:48
Here's the downloads page, and there's also a link on the page to a longer essay on why I do this.

www.krayvankirk.com/songs.html

You're free to download, share, give away or whatever you like with the songs (you just can't charge money). I hope you find some you like!
 
 
+3 # bingers 2013-10-30 19:35
Dude, you rock! Everyone, just listen. WOW!
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 08:40
How do you pay your bills? I'm not making fun. I honestly want to know.
 
 
+8 # Dust 2013-10-30 09:56
Well, that's the $50,000 question! You're absolutely correct, and it addresses exactly how we are supposed to practically take steps to move an extremely entrenched system and viewpoint. I don't think I could have done this back in the day when I was touring full time, living out of my van and needing every penny; most musicians make far more from CD sales than tickets or admission fees.

But these days I can take advantage of the fact that I am a single parent, and since that means I can't tour full time, it also means I have a day job on which I can lean. Currently, touring is supported by ticket sales (and some t-shirts here and there) and stands on its own. The goal is to generate a sufficiently large audience so that I could indeed make a living again solely from concerts and still give everything away.

It's a little bit footsteps in the dark, trying to find ways to practically do what needs to be done - we all need to pay bills and feed our children, so we can't do what St. Francis of Assissi did. But what CAN we do? And how do we do it? It's quite the conundrum sometimes!
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 11:38
But, if you have a day job, and still charge for performances, how is that substantially different from charging for CD sales? It seems like just replacing one source of income for another one. It doesn't change the system in any way. It just means you won't get paid for one of the things you provide.

Also, what about music that is best expressed as an art form with the recording itself, rather than as something to be performed publicly? That one has always bothered me. When I was a kid, a new album by your favorite musical act was a big big deal, and we sat alone in a room with headphones exploring the music, with nothing between our souls and the music itself. It wasn't a social event, but it was a pure appreciation of the art of music.

As a matter of fact, our favorite musical acts at the time, often spanned a more diverse selection of genres, and many of us were actually turned off by the marketing of "singles", since we knew the album was a complete statement.

That seems lost to me, in an economic paradigm that won't allow musicians to profit from recordings of their own music.

Did I mention the statistical fact that there was also more live music being performed back then, as well?

Do you see any trends that could possibly bring back that magic, or is it gone forever, and are we faced with the reality that we'll never see another golden age of recorded music treated as an art in-and-of itself?
 
 
+5 # Dust 2013-10-30 13:16
I sure hope that there is a new golden age of recorded music ahead! The availability of good software and the (relatively) low cost of good hardware these days make it possible for individuals to theoretically match a good studio IF they take the time to learn the process. There's a lot of direct-to-audie nce music out there and a lot of it suffers from sub-par technical recording. In my case, I'm working on refining my studio right now, because so much of what I do gets shared and downloaded in places I will likely never do a live show (maybe).

Regarding money, the music has to support itself to some degree, especially if we want to devote our entire time to writing and performing it. If we simply say all of us should have day jobs and write, tour and perform for free, then you are correct: we have simply switched income sources and our ability to play music is rooted in the old system, because without it we'd have no money. Plus, I think music is very valuable and worth supporting! I give my songs away because I don't want to add CDs to the landfills, and because I want people to be able to freely share over the modern medium with no DRM or anything like that. Although I could make more money selling CDs or downloads (making things easier!), I don't NEED it, and that's the point: why not develop other things that we DO need, like a human community that places more value on time, music, and love than money? But our changes have to be practical, or they're not real changes.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 18:39
That all sounds good as an individual choice. If you want to make money on the recordings, you could still sell downloads. If you want to avoid getting paid for the recordings altogether, that's fine. Some musicians even do that, with the idea that they'll make more performing with the added promotion of making the recordings free.

I just long for the days of the "album artist". There's an intimacy that's missing now (in my own opinion). To me, listening to one song, or movement, or individual piece, isolated from the rest of many of my favorite albums, is no different than watching a 5 minute snippet of a movie. To me, listening to my favorite album with my eyes closed and my ears opened (w/ headphones) was very similar to watching a movie. If you cut that movie up into smaller pieces, or cheapen the significance of it, to the point where few artists feel enabled to make a complete statement of that scope, I feel something (of depth) is missing.

Anyway, good job doing as much as you are in this economic environment. I know a lot of very serious, very talented musicians who can't find a way to make one red cent with it.
 
 
+3 # Dust 2013-10-30 19:46
I agree with you about the album concept as an entire suite of connected pieces- absolutely! :-)
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 19:47
I just checked out your site (and I checked you out on youtube).

You're very talented. That's good stuff. I dig it!
 
 
+39 # Activista 2013-10-29 22:03
Naomi Klein is one of the most brilliant journalist there is. Please read the article above - out greed, money culture is destroying the planet -
 
 
0 # brux 2013-10-31 02:31
> greed, money culture is destroying the planet -

Yeah ... heard it before. No one has an answer to this. Nothing brilliant in pointing it out for the 50 millionth time - for money. Don't you see the same conflict of interest with these talking heads you do with Exxon ... maybe not quite as much.

They have to keep writing these stories and selling them, and creating their brand so people will generate web hits for them - but they never do anything. They just lead all these weak and stupid people to post back and forth agreeing or disagreeing with each other.

None of these so-called journalists are friends, or collaborate like they want everyone else to. Maybe if they modeled some of this co-operation between each other, but they just keep acting like they all are the smartest best know-it-alls on the internet.

Klein's mother was another one, she's just following in the family business.

Got some skepticism and lose your gullibility. We all know about global warming, and if we didn't we all know it is wrong to exploit nature and leave poison in it place. None of us apparently want to do anything about it but play around on the internet.
 
 
+25 # Walter J Smith 2013-10-29 22:23
This is a hugely important article.

It should be required reading for every High School Senior and every college student.

It is directly aimed at exactly who most needs to see it: the young.

Our over 25 generations are too senile to take these issues seriously. Our government is totally negligent about these things, and if we had a little self respect we would be screaming in the streets of Washington, D. C., in the tens of millions until those bastards take this seriously and pass & fund serious, specific, comprehensive ecologically restorative legislation, funding it with taxes on Corporations and Investment profits.
 
 
+50 # tigerlille 2013-10-29 22:58
Over 25 year olds are too senile to take these issues seriously!?! Give me a break, those of us who are hold overs from the '60s seem to be one of the few segments of the population that do take this issue seriously. Thoughtless generalizations don't help the situation.
 
 
+2 # bmiluski 2013-10-30 09:55
"those of us who are hold overs from the '60s seem to be one of the few segments of the population that do take this issue seriously."

Isn't that a generalization? ....Just say'n
 
 
+2 # Doubter 2013-10-30 17:59
Not "thoughtless."
 
 
-3 # brux 2013-10-31 02:32
Just shut up.
 
 
+18 # Activista 2013-10-29 23:39
This is a hugely important article. I agree - likely most important article I read in the long time. It will affect my life and life priorities for sure. Let's make the American Spring!
 
 
-1 # brux 2013-10-31 02:33
> Let's make the American Spring!

OK, I'll check with China, what size springs do we need?
 
 
+21 # Nominae 2013-10-30 00:06
[Quoting Walter J Smith:


Our over 25 generations are too senile to take these issues seriously.

Our government is totally negligent about these things, and if we had a little self respect we would be screaming in the streets of Washington, D. C., .. until those bastards take this seriously.... funding it with taxes on Corporations and Investment profits.


WoW, Walter, shocking indeed. If I were not used to much more nuanced logic in your many prior posts, I would have skipped this effort as beneath the dignity of a response.

I am confident that you yourself are not of the "under 25" description, and neither are Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Bill Moyers, etc. etc. ad infinitum. This is a reverse echo of the '60s admonition "Never trust anyone over 30". But then we grew up, and got over it.

As to the plaintive and stunningly naive rant demanding that D.C. "straighten up" and start taxing the hell out of Corporations, and start passing sensible legislation, the Earth Climate likewise does not have the time necessary to wait for *that* to happen.

Change *is* coming, but it will not come from the "top down", it will, like all significant social change before it, look for it to come from the "ground up".

Take heart - "the ground" is approaching critical mass.

These tipping points Naomi points out will actually be the impetus for people to jettison the old systems. Humankind is never more magnificent than when it's back is up against the wall.
 
 
+12 # Activista 2013-10-30 00:11
Change *is* coming, but it will not come from the "top down", it will, like all significant social change before it, look for it to come from the "ground up".
Yes - power of powerless - voting for status QUO is NOT enough
 
 
+7 # Nominae 2013-10-30 00:15
Quoting NOMINAE:
[
These tipping points Naomi points out will actually be the impetus for people to jettison the old systems. Humankind is never more magnificent than when it's back is up against the wall.


And the beauty of that fact, is that it takes only a *very* small percentage of people on the planet to *effect* those positive changes.

The ideas themselves must change, and, fortunately, the Greed Masters have overplayed their hand in a panic to "get theirs" before the House of Cards folds

A sufficiently large percentage of the public *is* waking up to the "Game in Play*, and the Greed Masters are in the midst of their "Last Dance".

This transition will not happen overnight, and it will not come from D.C. (until they have no choice), but there is more than ample proof that it *is* happening.
 
 
+22 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-10-29 22:34
THANK YOU Naomi Klein. SHOCK DOCTRINE changed my life (for the better) and I can only hope more and more people are listening to you. Boycott the corporations that are killing us.
 
 
+13 # tigerlille 2013-10-29 22:48
Remember, it is humans that are f**cked, not the planet. To earth, we are just a blink of the eye.
 
 
+17 # Peakspecies 2013-10-30 02:33
Quoting tigerlille:
Remember, it is humans that are f**cked, not the planet. To earth, we are just a blink of the eye.


As we go we will take millions of other species along with us since most of us think we must do everything in our power to survive and that we are so much superior compared to all other organisms inhabiting this planet. Why is it that we tend to always point to saving ourselves, over saving the other creatures that happen to serve as our life support systems? I suggest the answer lies in the human ego and our ever pervasive sense of hope.
 
 
+7 # Glen 2013-10-30 05:59
Correct, Peakspecies. Thousands of animals are already dying and flora suffering. Industry rules, and have not only the protection of governments, they have real protection from any serious protests.

The planet itself is in danger from pollution that will affect the water and soil for hundreds of years. The atmosphere is being destroyed also, which is the only thing between this planet and the rest of the universe. In other words - certain death. With such obvious damage to the planet itself, the atmosphere is forgotten. CFCs continue to be produced, which also continue to ruin the ozone layer.

The future could easily be a true horror.
 
 
+1 # SundownLF 2013-10-31 00:04
Maybe our ever pervasive sense of entitlement!
 
 
-2 # brux 2013-10-31 02:34
That's so comforting ... thank you.
 
 
+1 # tahoevalleylines 2013-10-29 23:42
Does anybody here follow "Suntrain Transportation Corporation" page, Christopher C. Swan?

Not only trains, Swan is an industrial designer with a compendium of off-grid methodologies to a local scale, beyond the scope of the horse & buggy picture posited by J. H. Kunstler in "World Made By Hand".

Swan is orders of magnitude more optimistic than Kunstler, and there is robust realism in his details. Local economies that actually work are the best and most elegant, poetic solution to corporate rule.

James Chapter 5 is in the New Testament and is addressed to rich oppressors. James was a sibling of Jesus Christ...
 
 
+11 # thekidde 2013-10-30 07:19
Once again, Naomi Klein presents a stark reality promoted and echoed by many who are rightly concerned about the efficacy of "life on Earth". Unfortunately, the "powers that be" couldn't care less. Their mantra of I've got mine, F you resounds.
 
 
+2 # barbaratodish 2013-10-30 07:23
I do individual activism:I transcend(?) most of my capitalistic, socialistic, communistic, etc., identities! I PLAY,as much as possible,as though I am now the young child whose playtime was shortened by many various stresses. Maybe the world only allows celebrities, recognized artists, etc., to transcend identity. Otherwise you're at risk to be called crazy. So I kind of
try to "flee" from the world and from my own judgement, but I FLEE back to playful ME! It can be lonely but I drop the "L" from LONELY and I make me ONELY!I need to keep remembering that I DESERVE to be the playful, limitless ME, instead of being the "ME" who struggled all the time, in order to COMPETE in the relative rat race of "I struggle more than you do", etc, that I used to think was necessary to DESERVE EXISTENCE in the first place!It took me a long time to transcend? my
existential consciousness, and/or my relative social identity.Now instead of any identity, I am PLAY-IN-ITSELF, or I am when I
allow myself permission to be. Now I'm PLAY ACTIVISM, instead of struggle. Or I sleep a lot! I almost always am at risk, though, to return to a STRUGGLING (comparative) existence capitalistic-ty pe performance "existence", so I need and enjoy articles like Naomi Klein's here republished by rsn.org, because such articles help me to remember that I deserve my PLAY ACTIVISM, my SLEEP ACTIVISM, instead of feeling guilty, and demanding that I SHOULD COMPETE by having a more structured disciplined, struggling life.
 
 
+12 # wrknight 2013-10-30 08:08
Unfortunately, the bulk of the population is still asleep, so the political stalling will continue and continue and continue because the politicians are bought and paid for by those whose financial interests are best served by the status quo.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2013-10-30 09:26
Earth isn't fucked: a certain cross-section of Homo-Sapiens is, unfortunately the most powerful, greedy and destructive elements and the ciphers, lemmings-yessir s and finks who pander to them.
The rest of us must ask ourselves and batter these human misfits (Yes misfits -which other of our creature-specie s seeks to destroy others and shit in their own and their spawn's nests?) with the cold, hard fact that they don't have the BASIC MORAL RIGHT to do it to the rest of us and our planetary relations who are more grateful for the beautiful mother planet and the tiny "Goldilocks Zone", as Dr Michiu Kaku puts it, in which we were permitted to evolve over the eons.
Yes, the planet will survive and re-evolve without us but it's just a relative few that are doing the wanton destruction and they need to be rubbed-out so that those of us who are better stewards can evolve with our mother into a more responsible and connected species, led inevitably by the indigenous peoples of this and other countries who have been and are in touch with her many, subtle rhythms -and teach these to our children along with the creative arts of sustainable growing, culling, cooking and recycling, with all technology subservient to these goals and energy creation.
It IS doable if we obliterate the brutish, savage obstacle-makers with all means necessary including massive civil disobedience. -I'm ready - again!
 
 
+1 # JohnBoanerges 2013-10-30 11:15
Be sure that you "rub out" control freaks else the matrix will regenerate ever so quickly. Then, of course, a maintenance program to discourage those who tend to not mind their own business - like those who would resort to legislating behaviors, economies, morality, etc., like the ones in this discussion calling for more of the same - and we just might enjoy an agorist, voluntary world.
 
 
+1 # Glen 2013-10-30 11:51
See my post above. Human beings are doing far more damage than most realize, and it WILL help kill the planet, not just living things.
 
 
+2 # Nominae 2013-10-30 22:16
Quoting Glen:
See my post above. Human beings are doing far more damage than most realize, and it WILL help kill the planet, not just living things.


Please. Have you never heard of Major Mass Extinctions of life on this Earth, in say, a biology / geology class ? They are defined as events were over 90% of *all* living entities on the Planet are wiped out. There have been SIX such Major Mass Extinctions that we can identify.

For perspective, the event that wiped the Dinosaurs off of the face of the Earth was not even ONE of the Six Major Mass Extinctions. That event killed only about 60% of life on the Planet at the time.

So, Cheer up. The Earth has been taking dandy care of herself for the past 4.5 Billion years.

It is the absolute apotheosis of arrogance and ignorance when pitiful little hairless apes like human beings decide
that they have the power to "kill the planet". Like head lice thinking they can kill the host. Let's not foolishly flatter ourselves.
 
 
+2 # Glen 2013-10-31 07:32
Ah, but NOMINAE, were there human beings involved in those extinctions, spewing chemicals into the air and water, removing entire mountain tops, depositing nuclear waste, overfishing the seas, and dumping trash into those seas, strip mining in breathtakingly massive holes in the ground, clear cutting trees and taking down much needed forests and jungle thousands of acres every year, testing nuclear weapons by the hundreds, contaminating the environment with actual nuclear weapons used when Israel and the U.S. attack countries? I could go on and include those CFCs and so much more.

Another question: when did any of those past events move along as quickly as it is happening now?

Oh, and head lice don't kill the host because they are parasites dependent on that host. Human beings haven't learned the lesson of keeping their host alive because they are dependent on the life it offers. They ARE parasites, however.
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-10-31 16:54
Quoting Glen:
Ah, but NOMINAE, were there human beings involved in those extinctions......

Oh, and head lice don't kill the host because they are parasites dependent on that host....


I fully concede and applaud your every point re: human caused environmental degradation. No question. I simply
reject the conclusion you draw from it.

As Billy Bob has pointed out, one of the most insidious results of using our atmosphere and oceans as a toilet is that it will eventually destroy our Planetary Food Cycles.

Drought alone has the potential to kill huge percentages of the human population, "not with a bang, but with a whimper". Drought has wiped out many civilizations in the past.

As a resident of the Southwest, watching huge droughts and wildfires, that is a no brainer.

Howsoever we end up killing ourselves by screwing with cycles and processes we don't (or won't) understand, the Planet will hiccup, adjust herself, and carry on as she always has before humans ever showed up a brief "five minutes ago" in terms of geologic time.

We could remove all the oxygen from the Planet - she doesn't need it, the little life forms do. This planet existed
for literal Eons with *NO* life on it *and* no oxygen. We do indeed forget who really needs whom.

Lice and humans avoid killing their hosts because, by natural law, they *cannot*, not because they *would not*.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-10-31 07:49
That's right. As George Carlin said, "The planet will be just fine...

WE WON'T".
 
 
+2 # 6thextinction 2013-10-31 12:49
Glen is right. Look into the science of what we are doing. It's primarily the CO2, but the other stuff is problematic too. We humans are killing the planet.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-10-31 13:15
Even bacteria, huh?
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-10-31 17:29
Quoting 6thextinction:
Glen is right. Look into the science of what we are doing.... We humans are killing the planet.


We agree upon the science, and maybe we are even saying the same thing in different words.

What is happening is that we are destroying the incredibly delicate balance that sustains life *as we know it* upon the Planet. No argument.

We have already (in the last 50 years) seen the full extinction of *thousands* of plant, insect and animal species, and the conditions are not improving for the species remaining. No argument.

And, while all the word parsing will not matter when *we* are all gone, the Planet Itself will STILL be here ! She was here before life forms as we know them ever evolved, and she will still be here, very much alive, in the event that all of her current dependent little life-forms die off. She will clean up our environmental poop-pots, and carry on, and perhaps even create a hospitable environment for completely new life forms. We cannot know.

So, if you mean we are destroying the *environment* necessary to sustain life *as we know it*, no argument.

If you literally mean that we are "killing the Planet", there is no *Literal* way we can do that. We will all perish long before that takes place.

In a few billion years, the Sun will go Super Nova, and *that* will destroy the Earth. But she is in no peril due to a bunch of little pygmy people pooping into the life support systems she evolved for us.
 
 
+1 # 6thextinction 2013-11-01 15:11
Life will not be able to exist, same as the rest of the planets in our solar system.

You can research this pretty easily.
 
 
-17 # brycenuc 2013-10-30 10:06
The all-out war against carbon dioxide is patently insane. It is extremely limited in the "global warming" it can possibly cause--a minuscule fraction of what is being claimed for it. It's OK to fight pollution and fight for the environment, but it's not OK to misplace the blame, particularly against a substance which is not only harmless but essential to all life on earth.
 
 
+7 # Activista 2013-10-30 11:13
"misplace the blame, particularly against a substance which is not only harmless but essential to all life on earth" yes it is essential in the proportion all life evolved - NOT tons of carbon dioxide pumped int the atmosphere mostly by industrial nations burning fossil fuels in decades that were accumulated in millenniums. Just take ocean acidification - killing coral reefs - this is only one of indicators "canary in the coal mine" of humans pumping excess of carbon dioxide into the air.
 
 
-6 # Malcolm 2013-10-30 19:31
Quoting Activista:
"misplace the blame, particularly against a substance which is not only harmless but essential to all life on earth" yes it is essential in the proportion all life evolved - NOT tons of carbon dioxide pumped int the atmosphere mostly by industrial nations burning fossil fuels in decades that were accumulated in millenniums. Just take ocean acidification - killing coral reefs - this is only one of indicators "canary in the coal mine" of humans pumping excess of carbon dioxide into the air.


I'm confused about this. According to wikipedia (and the numbers seem about like those cited elsewhere) "Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.25 to 8.14."

As we all surely know, a pH below 7.0 is acid. Above 7.0 is base. 7.0 is neutral. So the ocean's pH seems to be a fairly strong base. How is that "acidification" ? Lowering of pH? Ok. Acidification? Seems like a bit of a misnomer. Unless, of course, you're saying that the ocean's pH has dropped below 7.0 recently...
 
 
+3 # Texas Aggie 2013-10-31 01:18
Going from 8.25 to 8.14 is acidification. It's like going from 90F to 85F is cooling. While you may claim that 85F isn't cool, the process going from 90 is actually cooling.

And it turns out that in the last few years the measured pH has been dropping faster than before. When you saturate your buffer, then pH changes more rapidly and that is what is happening with the oceans now to some extent. Their capacity to soak up CO2 with little effect is being reached.
 
 
-3 # Malcolm 2013-10-31 13:15
Thanks, Aggie. I guess that's a valid way to look at it. But "saturating your buffer"? More buffer. means more pH stability.

And pH 8.14 is a long, long way from actually being acid. Some people seem to think we've actually turned the ocean into acid. NOT.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-10-31 19:48
No one said acidification means "acid". That's not the point. The point is that the species that actually have to LIVE IN the ocean (remember them?) are not evolved to deal with a pH this far out of balance. If the pH was going further in the other direction, that would also be a threat.

Stop worrying about the word, "acid", and pay attention to what's actually happening. Making light of it won't change the reality.
 
 
+2 # Activista 2013-10-31 09:50
"According to wikipedia (and the numbers seem about like those cited elsewhere) "Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.25 to 8.14" this was 20 years ago - try to go one step further and check:
ongoing acidification of the oceans also poses a threat to the food chains connected with the oceans
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification
 
 
+1 # JohnBoanerges 2013-10-30 11:18
What HE says.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 11:45
Salt is also essential to sustain your life. Care to eat several pounds of salt and wash it down with a salt water chaser?

WARNING: Don't actually perform that experiment on yourself. I'd hate to be responsible for your death. Take my word for it. Several pounds of salt ingested at one time is poisonous.

And while you're at it, take the word of the scientific community. The amount of carbon-dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere right now is also poisonous.
 
 
-9 # Malcolm 2013-10-30 19:46
Quoting Billy Bob:
Salt is also essential to sustain your life. Care to eat several pounds of salt and wash it down with a salt water chaser?

WARNING: Don't actually perform that experiment on yourself. I'd hate to be responsible for your death. Take my word for it. Several pounds of salt ingested at one time is poisonous.

And while you're at it, take the word of the scientific community. The amount of carbon-dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere right now is also poisonous.


POISONOUS? CO2? Seriously? I guess we REALLY should avoid breathing all this air, then. CO2 and nitrogen both seem fairly benign, but while CO2 makes up 0.04% of our atmosphere, N makes up 80%-2000 times the concentration of CO2!

Be afraid! BE VERY AFRAID.
 
 
+5 # Nominae 2013-10-30 21:56
Quoting Malcolm:

POISONOUS? CO2? Seriously? I guess we REALLY should avoid breathing all this air, then. CO2 and nitrogen both seem fairly benign, but while CO2 makes up 0.04% of our atmosphere, N makes up 80%-2000 times the concentration of CO2! Be afraid! BE VERY AFRAID.


CO2 is *causing* the acidification of our Oceans, killing organisms like krill and plankton below.
The Oceans. You know .... the BASIS of the planetary
FOOD CYCLE ?

Buildup of CO2 and other gasses are also causing Climate Change. Fact. Don't even bother with rebuttal. Water runs downhill, Fact, The Planet is not Flat, Fact.

It is true that a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Both concentrated oxygen and concentrated nitrogen are causes of INSTANT death, and that's a fact, even if they do *NOT* explode and take your face off. CO2 is concentrating in the atmosphere & oceans.

"Poison" is a relative term. Belladonna in small amounts can cure the symptoms of colds, fever and flu. Belladonna by the tablespoon means your last day on Earth.

Arsenic is both medicinal and deadly.

The human being cannot LIVE without water. However, TOO MUCH water can quickly spell instant death. Oceans again. Take a life raft out into the middle of the Pacific and poke it all over with an ice pick.

The good news is you have five days worth of potable water onboard. The "other news" is that the surface of the planet is three quarters salt water. Fact.

Bon appetit !
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-10-30 22:04
Great comment. Thank you.
 
 
+2 # Glen 2013-10-31 07:40
So you do recognize that human beings are doing some major damage to the planet. They are, after all, producing major amounts of CO2.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-10-31 07:58
I think he agrees with you. His point is just that, after we cause our own extinction, just like when the dinosaurs died off (through, in their case, no fault of their own) some other life forms will somehow manage to survive, and eventually repopulate the Earth, perhaps, one day, becoming more intelligent than we were.

I think his hope for the future is that, one day, a race of super-intellige nt cock roaches will finally do all the things humans were capable of, but too arrogant and stupid to actually follow through with.

I find no comfort in that. But, apparently, he does.

I still love his comments anyway.
 
 
+3 # Glen 2013-10-31 09:23
The comments are instructive, of course, and rich in concepts. My point was made in my own comments. It isn't as simple as saying the planet will survive after we kill off ourselves. The atmosphere is also dying. The changes slow then accelerate, the weather is chaotic, and warming continues to creep in. I began asking folks around the world, wherever I traveled, what changes they have seen locally. Every single person I spoke with listed off many changes.

But, increased radiation getting through the atmosphere is noticeable now. Cataracts is on the rise, in addition to skin cancers, flowers here in the U.S. have bloomed out in January and November, and that has nothing to do with light or temperature. Plants are being stimulated by more than the usual, which is affecting everything.

You don't hear about it because there is nothing that can be done. Once the atmosphere is shot, Welcome To Mars.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-10-31 10:19
If the human species dies off, I don't think it matters much. I'm a species bigot. If we can save the habitat for ourselves, I think that's the best we can do.

Other planets almost certainly have life as well, so I'm not concerned about the concept of life.

Beyond that, I think you're probably wrong. There's life on Earth existing in habitats so foreign that literally nothing we can do would kill them, even if we tried.

At least, I HOPE you're wrong...

Either way, panic is just as paralyzing as living in denial.

Right now, I'm in the middle of a personal issue, that is showing to me the fact that people fall into camps, whenever faced with a reality none of us wants to deal with.

camp #1: Panic, jump up and down, scream and shout, and do nothing else.

camp #2: Live in denial and assume that by pretending you don't notice the reality, it will magically go away.

camp #3: Be responsible and "respond" accordingly.

We need to get everyone in camp #3 (I only WISH I could do that with the people involved in my own personal thing). But as it stands, option #3 is the most work, and it's easier to just comfort ourselves with one of the other, more useless, options.
 
 
+1 # Glen 2013-10-31 13:15
Billy, I'm not that much into human beings myself. Having been a teacher, and into science, and observing parents over the years and all things related to human activities, it became obvious that the world would be better off without the neuroses and psychoses of those humans. Even my screen saver says Nature is Waiting for US to Leave.

But, when you mention any type of life on planet Earth, you must consider the atmosphere. Regardless of their independent environments, that life existing in foreign habitats could not exist without the atmosphere. The planet would burn up without it.

It is not panic, and I do hope the majority of people will attempt objectivity when assessing these issues, specifically science based research. As Michael Crichton advised, be careful who you rely on - go for independent researchers, which I did in the early '90's when studying the atmosphere.

Your illustration of camps is so accurate I harken back to my own issues with people in serious situations.

All that aside, the future of the planet, not just us, is in jeopardy. Studying the universe, the planets, "far galaxies" is rather humbling. This planet is but a speck, which renders the violence and chaos rather small. Other bodies in the universe have come and gone. The Earth is but one small whiff in the cosmic dust.

But it has been a beautiful object, surpassing both Saturn and Jupiter.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-10-31 19:57
Good arguments. I'm not real happy with many of the human beings I've been dealing with lately (for reasons I alluded to already), but unfortunately, I AM one, and so are my children. So, I can't afford to be non-chalant about the survival of my species.

I'd gladly cut off my own legs with a hacksaw to save my own children. They happen to be human beings worth saving. If you knew them, you'd agree.

I hope you're wrong about the extent of your bleak outlook. It sounds like you've taken the subject pretty seriously, so you may know intimately.

Either way, whether the human species dies off, or the entire biosphere, I won't be around to bitch about it. Once I'm gone, my troubles are over.

If only we could just get the environment to stabilize for another few decades (I know we can't). By the time my kids are adults, they (and the rest of their generation) will just push the rest of us obstacles aside and take care of business. I hope they don't punish us all for the harm we've done, although we'll deserve it.
 
 
+1 # Glen 2013-11-01 07:54
Your response to Malcolm concerning teaching science to everyone is exactly what is needed. Let's hope the teachers are good ones. So often, as with math teachers, the teacher is good at science or math so assumes they can teach it.

Your children quite likely will have children, and you will love them dearly, also. They will carry on into the future. They will be that bit of you that lives on into that future. I do care about that, being in the same position.

Being aware of possibilities does not necessarily require negative outlooks or taking it all to the gut. We shall see what comes. It appears to me, human beings will kill themselves off before the world crumbles via expanding war.

As when I read up on emerging viruses, serious bacteria that continue to morph into serious killers, and the atmosphere, I'll write here what my first thoughts were after feeling a bit depressed:

LET'S PARTY !!
 
 
-3 # Malcolm 2013-10-31 13:23
Yes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, as you've demonstrated. Do you seriously believe b. Boy's claim that our atmosphere is now poisonous? If so, don't breathe it.

BTW, water does run uphill. Also downhill and horizontally. So try not to be so bloody smug.

BTW. Saying that CO2 causes global warming is a "fact" doesn't make it true. It's an admittedly popular theory. There are lots of theories.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-10-31 19:59
It's a popular theory with the scientific community. If you're getting your "facts" elsewhere, I'll stick with the actual experts on this one - rather than some arrogant goof on the internet.
 
 
-2 # Malcolm 2013-10-31 13:38
Yes, CONCENTRATED N or CO2 can kill you. 80% concentration of N seems safe enough, since that's how much is in the air we breathe. I suspect we could replace the N with CO2 and the air would not cause "instant death"

Obviously 0.04% hasn't caused instant death. What percentage of CO2 do YOU think would cause instant death?

As children, my sisters and I would make haunted houses every Halloween. We made fog by letting several pounds of dry ice sublimate, which of course chilled the air enough to cause real, live, pea-soup fog. The concentration of CO2 in the air must have been HUGE!

To my recollection, the only risk of death would have been terror :)
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-10-31 20:01
Is this unintentional bad humor, or are you intentionally cracking lame jokes, based on your own misunderstandin g of science.

You're a perfect illustration why we MUST teach science to our kids, and maybe force adults to go back and learn what they didn't bother paying attention to the first time.
 
 
-7 # Malcolm 2013-10-30 19:54
Careful, brycenuc. Don't forget how the Inquisition deals with herecy :)
 
 
+4 # Texas Aggie 2013-10-31 01:13
You need to take your data to the climatologists because their data shows that CO2 isn't at all limited in the global warming it can cause. Who knew that their data was wrong? You need to tell them.
 
 
+4 # cordleycoit 2013-10-30 10:19
Looking at the problem over and over again one sees where the failure lies.The political system is run by people without foresight. Greed is such a cardinal response to power that we will have to seize power physically from those who would destroy the planet to line their own pockets. These are the very same people who enriched themselves from the death camps and slave labor of Germany 1933-45. Nothing changes....
 
 
+3 # JohnBoanerges 2013-10-30 11:21
The political system is mostly run by people who, as T. S. Elliot said, want to feel important.
 
 
+3 # EmilyCragg 2013-10-30 14:11
... brings tears to my eyes. Finally! We're seeing WHO CARES about this planet and a future for our kind.
 
 
+2 # brux 2013-10-31 01:06
Sadly, when it comes to guns, we all know that no matter how many guns individuals have, if our government wants to impose a tyranny on us, the guns are not going to help.

Likewise, if we want to have or support local resistance movements, those same governments will take them down. They have been taken down in foreign countries and taken down in the US as well.

There might be alternative strategies for hitting the system where it hurts economically, but the unions have been infiltrated and discredited, and if you think about what "too big to fail" really means, it says that the government and major defense corporations and support systems will not allow themselves to fail - no matter what costs it levies on all of us.

So you might think that citizens can band together and get together and talk, to devise ways of finding weaknesses in the system, like Sarah Connor taking down SkyNet in Terminator. To that I ask - what do you think the global NSA surveillance is all about, and the command and control of drone firepower?

I'd say what I think the only answer is, and it is the same answer for global warming ... there just is not one, until something breaks, until there is something real that affects us all - that is not fake, that is not engineered, that really chills billions of people to the bone - and we seem to be racing towards it with a number of possibilities.
 
 
-3 # Malcolm 2013-10-31 13:49
Something that's not fake-right on! Is it possible that AGW IS fake, and has been blown out of proportion in order to divert our attention from REAL issues, such as ______,_______, __________, and _______? Fill in the blanks. There's no shortage of outrageous behavior perpetrated by our "Leaders".
 
 
+3 # Texas Aggie 2013-10-31 01:11
Speaking sarcastically, but who knew that the teahadists in the House were acting to stabilize the climate when they tried to take down the whole world economy by making the US default? They should have mentioned it and they would have gotten a little more favorable consideration in the MSM.

Bringing a Super Depression would have brought about the same reduction in greenhouse gas production that the Great Depression did. And Eduardo Cruz has promised to make it his life's work to defund everything.
 
 
+2 # tomslockett 2013-10-31 22:02
Naomi Klein has written a crucial article focusing on the reality of impending disaster in the face of worldwide denial. As laudable and well intended efforts across the globe are (and which I support) to utilize solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and other types of energy, we must face the reality that they have been insufficient to address the problem. Furthermore the are not sufficiently scaleable to succeed. There is only one solution to the problem that I am aware of that has the possibility of success. I urge everyone to focus on the importance of educating ourselves and others about it. Many brilliant people are attempting to encourage that the resources necessary be committed for the all out worldwide effort necessary to succeed. A number of other countries are working on this solution. What is needed is for the full weight of US technology and economic resources to be applied. A number of people on this who are aware of this solution. Those of you not familiar, I recommend an interesting and readable book on this solution, "Super Fuel Thorium, The Green Energy Source For The Future". For those who believe Klein's article and are familiar with this solution, I ask for focus on the question: Are you aware of any other alternative energy source that even has the possibility of reducing carbon levels in time to save the planet without employing this one? If so, what is it? If not, let's get to work getting our government to apply it's resources.ASAP.
 
 
-1 # brux 2013-10-31 22:23
Not really any different from any article she has written before ... so what is the difference? Why does she keep writing the same articles, doing the same thing, and not getting any results along with the rest of our "intellectual" class of the left?

I'd imagine it's because whatever they say and do, they have to live comfortably in the world they criticize, so the whole thing is entertainment for them, it's very stimulating to live on the edge but never getting anything done or risking anything.

I shouldn't say that probably ... I don't know that Naomi Klein has never risked anything, but I do know all these folks are in their own space, they pick at each other for things to say, but they do not serve as catalysts or building blocks to get things done. It's been tried, but the more they get together the less money they generate, and that is what they really need, not change for you or change for me, or justice for the third world or saving the planet ... they have to pay the rent, and so they have to play the game at least in some ways.

That's fine ... people who are actually living in poverty and being oppressed do not have the time or resources to write articles, they are too busy trying to stay alive. I just say be very wary about giving your money to anything these days. You money is your only power in this world, so do not throw it away or give it to the enemy in some form.
 
 
+3 # tomslockett 2013-11-01 22:48
brux, Naomi's article made a difference with me. I found it especially convincing. Clearly you disagree with her thesis. Otherwise, you would not question why she writes on this topic. You question whether she is willing to take a risk for her beliefs? Check out the caption under the picture and notice her escort? You don't think willingness to be arrested for standing up for her beliefs shows muster? Could it be that you don't want to admit that she has convinced you and that makes you uncomfortable? I hope that is the case. "Me thinks thou doeth protest too much."
 
 
0 # brux 2013-11-02 09:42
I don't really disagree with her - I more find that she just uses the fact that she is a journalist, writer and speaker to hype what she does to make money. I find that a conflict of interest. She is using her own shock doctrine to promote her career, not that she is wrong on the issues, but that she does not and can not get anything done alone.

What we need is less of all the individual people writing articles, although that is necessary for information, but we need action, we need to see that people, and these people in particular acting as models can put aside their differences, come together on a prioritized and reasonable agenda and then work together in a way that puts their own individual interests behind that of the group and the country - OTHERWISE, there is no difference between them and us.

Being arrested as a PR stunt is an old tactic Tom .... you really need to reset your skepticism meter.

Quit trying to find some way to think I am broken or sick and just listen to what I say instead of trying to have to twist it to put yourself above me - otherwise there can be no communication.

Methings thou dost think to little.
 

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