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Archive for April, 2011

BPSDB

I admit it, I have underestimated the virulence of the climate change Deniers.

I had thought that they were merely  politically motivated, close minded, frightened people egged on by a corporate driven profit agenda.

Increasingly I am convinced (by them) that we are dealing with a hysteric, desperate, terrified mob driven by ideologues.

My post Love, blood and rhetoric really got the Digg Patriots into a froth, so I used the opportunity to see if I could cajole/goad/bait anyone of them into making a single relevant, rational comment about the post. I wasn’t hoping for much, just about anything that referred to what was actually said and responded with something that made any sense would have done.

No luck. Several of the commenters even took took pride in their certainty that what I had written was treasonous, dangerous propaganda despite their not having read a single line of it. Several threatened to (and supposedly did) report me to the FBI/Homeland Security even though they hadn’t actually read the piece. Wow!

Which led me to rereading a Sun Magazine interview with Chip Berlett, and realizing that I had failed to appreciate the full significance of something he said.

“Barsamian: The virulence of language on the Right is acute. Everything is Armageddon, apocalypse, or a “nuclear option.”

Berlet: That’s because it’s portraying the political opposition not as people with whom you disagree but as a force of evil with whom there can be no compromise. How can you compromise with Satan? How can you compromise with the people who want to destroy America?

Brewing Up Trouble: Chip Berlet On The Tea Party And The Rise Of Right-Wing Populism by David Barsamian

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BPSDB As we hurtle into the catastrophe of the sixth great mass extinction that defines the Anthropocene, it is interesting to note just how recently we only just began to understand that which we are now annihilating, and why it is so important to preserve it.

(12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882)

“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

On the Origin of Species, First edition

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BPSDB 

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Just over a year ago I did two posts documenting at length that uber climate change Denier PopTech’s (aka PopTart) list of “skeptic” science was blithering nonsense of the worst kind:

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Those who have any experience with PopTech are well aware that he never lets inconsequential trivia like facts or reality influence his beliefs, so you won’t be surprised that he kept adding to his Septic List and finally managed to double it “900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm ” (simple math for PopTech, 2 times 0 is still 0).

Now Carbon Brief has had a look at the expanded list and brings us:

  1. Analysing the ‘900 papers supporting climate scepticism’: 9 out of top 10 authors linked to ExxonMobil
  2. “Using our paper to support skepticism of anthropogenic global warming is misleading.” Part II of our analysis of the 900+ climate skeptic papers

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BPSDB  This trailer for a new documentary that is still in production popped up five days ago and it looks interesting. Clips from the interviews have been being posted every day since (selection below). See what you think.

Oooh, they just added Elizabeth Kolbert and Barbara Bramble (The Birth of the Rainforest Action Network) (and look for Steve Schneider in the trailer).

A Fierce Green Fire Official Trailer

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Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

Bill McKibben – Public Consciousness and Climate Change

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War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Lois Gibbs – The Uniqueness of Love Canal

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Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’
Our very street today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost its way

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SOA Quebec City 2001

BPSDB In the dim mists of time hundreds of us were gathered by a foundation to discuss how we were going to move from our then state of impending environmental crisis to a sustainable society. Demographically we were a sampling of politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, business people, NGO staffers, and community organizers.

We talked and worked over three days in ever changing combinations that always had representation from each sector. By the last evening we were a much smaller, exhausted group consisting almost exclusively of the NGO staffers, community organizers and scientists, with only a handful of the others still present.  The organizers then revealed our last task, which was to answer:

  1. What needs to happen?
  2. What will it take?
  3. Who will pay for it?

There was a long silence, and then finally a voice (an environmental consultant) said in a calm, measured manner “Revolution … Blood in the streets … Eat the rich.”

There was another long silence as we all looked around to see how the others were reacting to this.  What we saw was a room full of people calmly nodding. We then spent the last few hours translating that answer into language that the Foundation could actually publish in it’s report.

Make no mistake, this was not a gathering of radical activists. The participants were drawn from quite mainstream, moderate organizations and institutions. Nor, I think, would that have been the answer given when we first gathered, even by the subset of us still there at the end.

Although the group had an abundance of experience trying to make change, the day long sessions of quibbling over trivia and dross had brought into stark relief just how inert “the system” was. Apparently imminent catastrophe was simply not sufficient reason to fiddle with the price of gas, or anything else for that matter.

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BPSDB Mark Hertsgaard (author of  On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency) is interviewed by Democracy Now about his new book “Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth.”

Some worthwhile points that he makes:

It’s a crime

Our inaction on climate change is a crime. It is and should be treated as such. The lies and propaganda of the Anti-science Machine are crimes against humanity and hopefully they will be formally recognized as such.

“Uncertainty”

The alleged uncertainty of the science is very much an American phenomenon. Not that there aren’t Bolts, Delingpoles, Balls and Mtols all over the world (what village is without its’ idiot?), but that widespread and official Denial is peculiar to the US.

Update 18/4/11:

Nukes

I am not yet ready to talk about Nuclear Power, but Hertsgaard makes some interesting points relevant to that discussion.

Food & GMOs

As with Nukes, here is another I will be returning too, but he is certainly right in saying that food is the issue with respect to climate change.

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BPSDB

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Head

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Heart


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Hands


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If by any remote chance you have not heard of them, Koch Industries is a major funder of many right wing agendas including climate change Denial (The Machinery of Climate Anti-Science) and a core driver of the Tea Party movement.

Of course it is unlikely that you haven’t heard of them, which begs the question of what the point of this post is? I want to suggest that it is not enough to simply  know about them, what are we going to do about it?

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