More sharing the thoughts of others.

Unexplored waters ahead!

My sub-title comes from personal knowledge of what it feels like to set out on an ocean voyage into waters that one has not sailed before. In my case, leaving Gibraltar bound for The Azores on my yacht Songbird of Kent in the Autumn of 1969.

Tradewind 33 - Songbird of Kent.
My home for five years – Tradewind 33: Songbird of Kent.

Despite me being very familiar with my boat, and with sailing in general, there was nonetheless a sense of trepidation as I headed out into a vast unfamiliar ocean.

Coming to matters closer to hand, there is a sense of trepidation felt by me and countless others as to what world we are heading into if we don’t take seriously the risks that are ‘tapping on our door’.

So hold that in your mind as you read a recent essay published by Patrice Ayme’; an essay that highlights very uncertain times ahead if we, as a global society, don’t get our act together pretty damn quick. Republished here on Learning from Dogs with Patrice’s kind permission.

ooOOoo

Record Heat 2015, Obama Cool

2014 was the warmest year ever recorded. 2015 was even warmer, and by far, by .16 degrees centigrade. The UK (Great Britain) meteorological office announced that the temperature rise is now a full degree C above the pre-industrial average. At this annual rate of increase, we will get to two degrees within six years (as I have predicted was a strong possibility).

What’s going on? Exponentiation. Just as wealth grows faster, the greater the wealth, mechanisms causing more heat are released, the greater the heat. Yes, it could go all the way to tsunamis caused by methane hydrates explosions. This happened in the North Atlantic during the Neolithic, leaving debris of enormous tsunamis all over Scotland.

heat-2015
2015: Not Only Record Heat, But Record Acceleration Of Heat

The Neolithic settlements over what is now the bottom of the North Sea and the Franco-English Channel (then a kind of garden of Eden), probably perished the hard way, under giant waves.

Explosions of methane hydrates have started on the land, in Siberia. No tsunami, so far. But it can, and will happen, any time. The recent North Easter on the East Coast of the USA was an example of the sort of events we will see ever more of: a huge warm, moist Atlantic born air mass, lifted up by a cold front.

Notice that, at the COP 21 in Paris all parties, 195 nations, agreed to try their best to limit warming to 1.5 degree Centigrade. At the present instantaneous rate, that’s less than 4 years away. Even with maximum switching out of fossil fuels, we are, at the minimum, on a three degrees centigrade target, pretty soon.

By the way, if all nations agree, how come the “climate deniers” are still heard of so loudly? Well, plutocrats control Main Stream Media. It’s not just that they want to burn more fossil fuels (as it brings them profit, they are the most established wealth). It’s also that they want to create debates about nothing significant, thus avoiding debates about significant things, such as how much the world is controlled by Dark Pools of money.

Meanwhile, dear Paul Krugman insists in “Bernie, Hillary, Barack, and Change“, that it would be pure evil to see him as a “corrupt crook“, because he believes everything Obama says about change and all that. Says Krugman: “President Obama, in his interview with Glenn Thrush of Politico, essentially supports the Hillary Clinton theory of change over the Bernie Sanders theory:

[Says Obama]: ‘I think that what Hillary presents is a recognition that translating values into governance and delivering the goods is ultimately the job of politics, making a real-life difference to people in their day-to-day lives.’”

This is all hogwash. We are not just in a civilization crisis. We are in a biosphere crisis, unequalled in 65 million years. “Real-life differences“, under Obama, have been going down in roughly all ways. His much vaunted “Obamacare” is a big nothing. All people in the know appraise that next year, it will turn to a much worse disaster than it already is (in spite of a few improvements, “co-pays” and other enormous “deductibles” make the ironically named, Affordable Care Act, ACA, unaffordable).

The climate crisis show that there is no more day-to-day routine. At Paris, the only administration which caused problem, at the last-minute, was Obama’s. How is that, for “change”? The USA is not just “leading from behind”, but pulling in the wrong direction. Really, sit down, and think about it: under France’s admirable guidance (!), 194 countries had agreed on a legally enforceable document. Saudi Arabia agreed. The Emirates agreed. Venezuela agreed. Nigeria agreed. Russia agreed. Byelorussia agreed. China, having just made a treaty with France about climate change, actually helped France pass the treaty. Brazil agreed. Zimbabwe agreed. Mongolia agreed. And so on. But, lo and behold, on the last day, Obama did not.

I know Obama’s excuses well; they are just that, excuses. Bill Clinton used exactly the exact same excuses, 20 years ago. Obama is all for Clinton, because, thanks to Clinton, he can just repeat like a parrot what Clinton said, twenty years ago. Who need thinkers, when we have parrots, and they screech?

I sent this (and, admirably, Krugman published it!):

“No doubt Obama wants to follow the Clintons in making a great fortune, 12 months from now. What is there, not to like?

Obama’s rather insignificant activities will just be viewed, in the future, as G. W. Bush third and fourth terms. A janitor cleaning the master’s mess. Complete with colored (“bronze”) apartheid health plan.

What Sanders’ supporters are asking is to break that spiral into ever greater plutocracy (as plutocrat Bloomberg just recognized).”

Several readers approved my sobering message, yet some troll made a comment, accusing me of “racist “slander”. Racist? Yes the “bronze” plan phraseology is racist. I did not make it up. And it is also racist to make a healthcare system which is explicitly dependent upon how much one can afford. Krugman is all for it, but he is not on a “bronze” plan. Introducing apartheid in healthcare? Obama’s signature achievement. So why should we consider Obama as the greatest authority on “progressive change”? Because we are gullible? Because we cannot learn, and we cannot see? Is not that similar to accepting that Hitler was a socialist, simply because he claimed to be one, it had got to be true, and that was proven because a few million deluded characters voted for him?

We are in extreme circumstances, unheard of in 65 million years, they require extreme solutions. They do not require, nor could they stand, Bill Clinton’s Third Term (or would that be G. W. Bush’s fifth term? The mind reels through the possibilities).

“Change we can believe in”: the new boss, same as the old boss, the same exponentiation towards inequality, global warming and catastrophe, the same warm rhetoric of feel-good lies.

As it is, there is a vicious circle of disinformation between the Main Stream Media, and no change in the trajectory towards Armageddon. Yes, Obama was no change. Yes, Obama was the mountain of rhetoric, who gave birth to a mouse. Yes, we need real change, and it requires to start somewhere. And that means, not by revisiting the past.

Patrice Ayme’

ooOOoo

Yes, we do need real change, and every day that we think that this change is the responsibility of someone else then that is another day lost forever. Or in the more proasic words of Mahatma Gandi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

21 thoughts on “More sharing the thoughts of others.

    1. Thanks, John! And, if one looks at the facts as coldly as possible, such is, indeed, the case. The threat of extinction weights on more species now than in 65 million, and perhaps 250 millions years ago (that was the Permian-Trias extinction, due to massive volcanism in Siberia, when all large advanced species were exterminated).
      Thus, its worst aspect is that this sentence is not hyperbola.

      1. Patrice, I know from your writings that you have a far deeper insight into both the corporate and political ‘soul’ of America than I do so let me ask you a question to which I would love to hear your answer.

        Namely, with the degree of inequality in American society now so commonly understood by millions of citizens (plus the odd holder of a Green Card 😉 ), plus the gloabl indebtedness of the USA, and a pretty widespread awareness that we are leaving it perilously late to save our biosphere, why do the political carrying-ons this 2016 Presidential election year seem so irrelevant to 21st C. society?

  1. Americans are not as interested by politics as Europeans are. First, they did not suffer as much. Second, when there was suffering, it was often to the ADVANTAGE of the American establishment, and We The People of the American Republic.

    Third, the USA is huge, and immensely rich. 10 million square kilometers, twice the European Union, with a bit more than half the population. The USA also is full of oil, and gas (consider the collapse of the price of oil; that’s caused mostly by American fracking; earlier, American fracking a divided by three the price of American gas, but gas can’t be transported easily.

    Fourth, the take-over of the Main Stream Media by plutocrats is nearly total. Thus people worry about what they have been instructed to worry about. Mostly sports and scores they watch on TV, or the Internet.

    Considering all the preceding, there is little will, let alone interest, to ponder what is really going on. Whereas Europe is on the frontlines. It used to be that most problems went through France, France being at the crossroads of Europe, and both a northern and southern power, and what stopped the Muslim invasions of the Eight Century. But now all Europeans are pretty much in the same boat, with only a partial understanding of history (they miss big chunks of understanding in their true interaction with America and Plutocracy).

    Americans do not want to dig in what they guess would make them unhappy. They wait for calamity, calmly, pragmatically, like frogs whose pond is getting ever warmer. They also know the election are rigged, that was made crystal clear with G W Bush’s election… And if not that way, then through money: Ted Cruz has already 100 millions to spend, Bloomberg announced he was ready to spend a BILLION, from his own pocket.

    Maybe I missed something?

    1. Very, very interesting, and I am truly grateful to you for that reply. I hadn’t picked up on that difference between Europe and the UK regarding an interest in politics. Plus, when we moved here to Oregon we decided not to subscribe to any American television service. At first it was because the house needed so much work (the previous owners had their bank foreclose on them and it was left empty for over two years) and then we just settled down to what we could watch online. So our exposure to poltical news and American current affairs has been minute compared to turning on the television each evening after supper, as we both did in previous lives.

      Mind you, we both love our life here in rural Southern Oregon underscored by having the most generous and sympathetic neighbours around us. America, in general, and this part of Oregon, in particular, are so openly friendly to strangers; even foreigners!! 😉 That is not my experience of England and most of Europe. (And in no way have I turned against my old country!)

      Patrice, thank you.

  2. Dear Paul:
    Americans have to be open, be it only because they come from all over (not so with Europeans: in many places there one can find people who lived there for generations).

    Rural America, especially on the West Coast (differently from the East Coast!) was recently settled, and tends to be most welcoming. I confess I did not follow at all the confrontation in Oregon.

    As a general rule, I watch no American TV these days (I used to, a lot, decades ago). I watch German and French, Italian (!) or Spanish, even Chinese (!!!!!) speaking channels. I am already immersed in the American Internet…

    What turned me off was to be fully immersed, in a crucial (I think!) way in Obama’s campaign, eight years ago (mostly in interactions with journalists). This changed my life, mostly in a very bad way. I got exposed to evil which, even my stellar standards, was deeply hurtful. I got very depressed, so here I am! I have tried to rebound since… Writing helps, because, by writing, I can write the truth. Whereas for talking, I was shut up, like vulgar shutters.
    Thanks to you too!

  3. Yes, a great conversation Paul, Patrice and John.
    Two things are destroying our world – greed and apathy.
    One of the things I love about the Internet is that you can find people who are not apathetic, indeed it’s heartwarming when you find people of similar outlook and values on blogs and discussion sites like this one.
    In this day and age, when it is so easy to access information and to discover viewpoints different to those on the MSM, it confounds me that so many people seem to be disinterested in what’s happening in our world, especially regarding environmental and political issues. Many use their computers solely for entertainment, gaming and catching up with friends and relatives. Perhaps it’s because they just don’t want to think about anything that might concern or worry them. Maybe it’s because they do have an idea of what’s unfolding but feel powerless? Maybe it’s simply the culture of narcissism and self-involvement?
    Theoretically it should still be possible in the west for the mass of people to educate and inform themselves, to kick out the existing politicians and to effect positive, progressive change. Realistically, of course, that won’t happen, because of failings in human nature. Most people, IMO, aren’t prepared to explore an issue in depth or to examine other perspectives. Ego, self-interest and distrust all act to thwart this. Ignorance of history and inability to learn from the past, plus a great disconnect from nature are other factors. The big greed -driven corporations and predatory capitalists are fully aware of these human weaknesses and exploit them.
    As regards the current US Presidential contenders, a comment I came across elsewhere summed it up – ” Hillary, Cruz, Trump -it’s comparing awful, to terrible, to downright pitiful…”
    Most of the others are just as bad. Bernie Sanders is somewhat better, but still supports the great military-industrial-complex within the US. Among many other political reforms, I really believe the US needs to reform its voting system to allow for preferential and proportional voting. This would involve changing the Constitution, which is extremely unlikely. However, without some significant change of a progressive nature, I think we shall see great internal chaos and conflict within the not too distant future.
    Sorry to be so long-winded. ( And pessimistic….)

    1. Marg, what a truly fantastic reply from you. Please never apologise for taking the trouble to express your thoughts and views in such a passionate and heart-felt manner. I have my fingers crossed that Patrice and/or John will also read your reply and offer their own thoughts in return. If ever there was a time when we should embrace the qualities that we see in our dogs then that time is now! Thank you!

  4. “We are not just in a civilization crisis. We are in a biosphere crisis, unequalled in 65 million years.” Indeed. It is difficult to get through to the deniers (yes, they do exist, for sure in my own family of origin and even in my own small community, not to mention at large), though the facts stare them in the face. In a country that hangs on reality TV, it’s not surprising that a political race that includes Trump and Palin exists and that climate deniers could exist in such profusion. For me personally it’s hard to deal with ignorance in any form, but especially in this regard (global crisis). Thanks for the great post.

    1. Bela, oh thank you so much for your supporting reply. Yes, these are quite peculiar times and there are days when I wonder if I will die (I’m currently age 71) hardly understanding the world that we are all living in. (Apologies: not the best constructed sentence!) It reminds me of a silly banter-type reply that was used back in my English days: “So tell me, what part of the word ‘No’ are you having trouble with?”

  5. Mahatma Gandi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” a line I carry on the bottom of my email.. 🙂 and so true.. It is not someone else’s problem it is everyone’s problem and right from as far as I remember https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJJGuIZVfLM there have been those telling the UN and the world to get their act together.. Still no one is really listening..
    Thank you for sharing Paul

      1. Yes I am sure I have shared it with you before.. Yes 92.. Sad… wonder if when the last fish and the last tree and our last clean gasp of air, we will say Oh why didn’t we Listen!

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