Bill McKibben and Alex Epstein square off on fossil fuels — do they make the planet a worse place to live or a better place to live?
Some scientists say the earth’s climate changes constantly and naturally, but the vast majority of them believe the current rise in global temperature is man-made, and could be catastrophic for the planet. But is all this but a case of extreme ‘climate alarmism’? Climate change sceptic Richard Lindzen is challenged on his view that concern about global warming is alarmist nonsense.
Last week, a few dozen Native Americans showed up to protest the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile-long pipeline that would cross right through their sacred land. As word spread, however, the few dozen turned into more than 2,500 native Americans. Because of the large turnout, a brief victory ensued for the people after the developers of the four-state oil pipeline agreed to halt construction until after a federal hearing in the coming week.
In spite of both the company building the pipeline, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, and the federal government applying pressure, the Native Americans from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have remained resilient.
The media coverage of Superstorm Sandy was 24/7. However, there was little mention of climate change. Why is this? And why didn’t Obama or Romney mention climate change at all in the three TV debates despite a summer of record temperatures, historic drought and wildfires in the US? Why are so many people in the US in denial of this dire situation? And is the thermometer going up or down? CrossTalking with Patrick Michaels, Denis Rancourt and Richard Milne.
Climate change is an urgent topic of discussion among politicians, journalists and celebrities…but what do scientists say about climate change? Does the data validate those who say humans are causing the earth to catastrophically warm? Richard Lindzen, an MIT atmospheric physicist and one of the world’s leading climatologists, summarizes the science behind climate change.
Tom Woods interviews a climate change dissident. Listen here.
To call any aspect of the climate change orthodoxy into question is to risk being condemned as “anti-science.” But are the arguments and computer models of the so-called mainstream really so rock solid?
About the Guest
Chip Knappenberger is assistant director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute. He has over 20 years of experience in climate research and public outreach, and has published numerous papers in the major atmospheric science journals on global warming, hurricanes, precipitation changes, weather and mortality, and Greenland ice melt, among many other areas.
I don’t personally have a dog in this fight. I sympathize with anyone who is in revolt against the U.S. federal system, left, right, or center. Other than that, it’s none of my business how Oregonians organize their own economy or approach to ecological issues.
Here’s another piece on this topic by “anti-fascist” Alexander Reid Ross.
Like I said, I don’t begrudge anyone their perspective on this topic, though I do wish these circles would show as much interest in overthrowing the U.S. empire as they do in opposing “the fascists” (whoever they are).
I don’t do a lot of current events commentary here, but there are occasions where it seems both useful and necessary. What follows is notes drawn from my responses to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, outside Burns, OR. They range from quips to more extended analysis and draw on my family connections to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, including a stint living on refuges much like Malheur in my extreme youth. I have tried not to rely on information that is not available elsewhere online.
I’m posting the material because it has garnered interest on social media, but also because I think that the question of anarchist alternatives to the federal lands is one worth taking up. An extension of my C4SS comments on “mutual extrication” and the “gift economy of property” is already in the works.
The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and all the problems of Harney County, are fifty miles from the middle of nowhere, but the issues that are really driving the conflict are the sort of things that we can examine much closer to home. Nearly all of us have experienced uncertain climate conditions and many of us have had very recent occasions to think about floodwater management. Given the very slow acceptance of decentralized methods of flood and storm-water management, I expect most of us think of these things as a responsibility of the government, when we think of the responsibility at all. Most of us don’t have to go too far to find clear evidence of the massive public works projects that have made agriculture and grazing possible in its present forms, but we also don’t have to go far to see clear evidence of the failures and limitations of our resource-management efforts to date. Agencies like BLM and USFWS have seldom sacrificed commercial interests to environmental ones, and when they have opposed immediate commercial interests, it has almost always been in the interest of preserving them in the long term.
In this episode of teleSUR’s The Empire Files, Abby Martin interviews world-renowned philosopher and linguist Professor Noam Chomsky. Prof. Chomsky comments on the presidential primary “extravaganza,” the movement for Bernie Sanders, the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, modern-day libertarianism and the reality of “democracy” under capitalism.
By William T. Hathaway
This year marks the 20th anniversary of wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park. From 66 released originally they’ve increased to over 300 and are no longer endangered. That they thrive here is not surprising, for they are creatures of this raw land in a way that we aren’t. Wolves are fitted to this environment, and so to understand them, we have to know the country that nurtures them.
The area from Yellowstone to central Idaho has one of the lowest densities of human population in the United States. Those who do live here are held in thrall by land and weather, too harsh for most of our species. The elements keep us ever on the defensive without even noticing us.
People claim to own this country, but she owns us. Daily she teaches us how small our power is: we are like children clinging to a shaggy bison, helpless riders on a massive beast. We had enough power to exile the wolves, but then the wilderness was no longer whole, the grazing herds became unhealthy, and we had to bring back these culling predators. The banishment was short from their time frame.
The mountains they lope around are the eruption of a force that begins to rise in the Dakotas, gathers momentum as it buckles the prairie into ridges and ravines, then thrusts the earth’s crust into peaks. Humans read time on the land, and it dwarfs us: Rivers cut the earth for millennia, then vanished into the bottoms of their canyons, leaving them lime dry. Glaciers sheared off mountains, scraping them down to flat mesas. Epochs of wind are still gnawing the buttes into knobs of pocked rock. Now it’s time for wolves again. A missing totem, Sunmánituthaka of the Sioux, has been restored, an ancient spirit returned to us. More…
By Deep Green Philly
“Sometime during the middle of the rondy a rupture took place that led to much discussion as well as many emotional outbursts. It also led to a general malaise which in turn led to a mass exodus of about half the camp. It was sparked off by the usual suspects: identity politics, issues of cultural appropriation, and general feelings of discontent with demographics. I’m not going to go into detail about that situation because I’m sure others will be chiming in with their own perspectives on this situation. All I will say about it is that I’ve encountered this sort of thing before at other non-EF! gatherings. There has definitely emerged a certain group of people who take it upon themselves to disrupt what they see as white supremacist organizations. While I wish that they would take that shit to a Hillary Clinton rally or something, I can respect the spirit of it if not the specific tactics and general anti-social, juvenile and trollish behaviors of some of these people (one of whom almost got a fist to the face for trying to get up in mine). Radical communities are struggling enough as it is and don’t really need that sort of social justice warrior adventurism malarkey, but hey, this is the landscape we currently inhabit and what we must endure by having spaces that are open to everyone.”
In the days and weeks leading up to this year’s Earth First! rondy my thoughts were often preoccupied with the state of this world that is lurching from crisis to crisis and slipping deeper into chaos. In a time when our victories seem increasingly few and strictly symbolic, and as the machinery of industrial capitalism continues its assault on the earth and those who depend on it for survival, I was very much hoping for the rondy to be a place of reflection, strategizing, commiseration with like minds, and yes, escape from the mental stress of the city. To a certain degree I was not disappointed; there were a lot of great conversations, interesting workshops and time for reconnecting with nature. Yet, as is often the case, there’s no real escape from the intellectual and emotional quagmire of civilized life.
“Are you now or have you ever been a climate contrarian?”
How long before this McCarthyite question is asked of everyone who enters into academia, in order to weed out those who refuse to bow and scrape before green orthodoxy?
If you think this sounds like a far-fetched proposition, consider a recent scandalous act of academic censorship at the University of Western Australia (UWA). And consider, more importantly, the lack of outrage it caused in the West’s professorial circles.
It involves Bjorn Lomborg, the blonde-haired, Danish annoyer of environmentalists everywhere.
The Skeptical Environmentalist—in which he argued that, yes, climate change is real, but, no, cutting back on economic growth won’t help—Lomborg has been a brilliant piece of grit in one-eyed green thinking for more than a decade.Famous for his book
The Australian government, headed by the semi-skeptical Prime Minister Tony Abbott, decided to offer a base to Lomborg for his greenish but pro-growth analysis and agitation.
It asked him to bring his Copenhagen Consensus Center, the U.S.-based, Danish-funded not-for-profit think-tank he’s been running since 2006, Down Under. It would now be based at UWA, would be renamed the Australia Consensus Center, would be funded to the tune of 4 million Australian dollars, and would continue to stoke heated debate about whether mankind really is on the precipice of eco-doom (no) and whether more growth, not less, is the most sensible solution to the problems we face (yes).
Well, that was the plan. But it was scuppered by what can only be described as a ramshackle modern-day Inquisition, which found Lomborg guilty of the crime of denial—not of God, but of climate-change alarmism—and had him cast out of UWA.
An interesting take on the climate change issue from Kevin Carson.
Center for a Stateless Society
It’s been a pretty bad couple of weeks on the climate front. Two separate teams of climate scientists warn that the collapse of the western Antarctic ice sheet has already begun and is now too late to stop. The six glaciers already in retreat are enough, by themselves to add four feet to global sea levels. Although total collapse will probably take 200 years or more, the loss of the whole sheet could bring the total sea rise to between 14 and 17 feet — over and above previous predictions, which assumed the western sheet would remain intact. In California alone, this would put LAX, the San Francisco airport and the San Onofre nuclear plant underwater, according to governor Jerry Brown. North America is entering its third summer in a row of extreme drought — the worst in centuries in the southwest US.
Meanwhile, Harvard Ph.D. student Vanessa Williamson suggests Tea Partiers are skeptical of anthropogenic climate change because of two beliefs: “First, the coastal elite looks down on people in Middle America; second, the government wants to exert ever-more control, and will use any pretext to do it.” The goal of the “global warming hoax,” Tea Partiers believe, is “to undo the American way of life — big cars, big homes, suburban sprawl — and make the heartland look more like the coasts” (Christopher Flavelle, “Climate Change is Stuck in the Culture War,” BloombergView, May 9). More…
Caity and Dan finally acknowledge that there is a general election looming in the UK and start to attempt some political analysis (which inevitably goes off on strange tangents).
Caity starts by explaining why she feels like a voyeur when she looks at sociopathic politicians screwing the people and each other. We bash the Green Party heavily, largely because of their crazy policies and the fact that they are a fast-growing party but no-one within the party seems to have cracked open a serious book on economics.
We also wonder why so much effort is made to demonize UKIP (who we don’t support) but not the Green Party despite their larger membership and more ‘radical’ policies. We get into Natalie Bennett’s terrible interviews, the decline of the Scottish Labour Party, how many ‘shat it’ at the Scottish independence referendum and the unpopularity of being someone with a basic understanding of economics. We also express our alarm at so many so-called ‘Scottish secessionists’ drifting towards the Greens, the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Socialist party.
It is not unreasonable to suggest that the decades ahead will witness the unfolding of a golden age of anarchism. What is the evidence for this?
-The most powerful state in the world, the United States, the mother country of the empire, is slowly losing its internal legitimacy and serious political discontent is beginning to rise.
-Antiwar sentiment in the United States is at an all time high. War fever could rise again in the event of a war with ISIS or Iran, an intervention in Syria, or a confrontation with Russia. But none of these scenarios would turn out well for the United States in the long run. Instead, the state would continue to lose its legitimacy and antiwar and anti-imperialist feeling would come back on an even stronger level.
-Class divisions are the widest they have been in a century in the United States. This all but guarantees the re-emergence of class-based politics at some point in the future. Proponents of alternative forms of decentralist economics will then begin to find a ripe audience for their ideas.
-Public opinion is slowly turning against the police state, prison-industrial complex, and the war on drugs. Sentiment of this kind will likely begin to grow exponentially in the future. It is likely that resistance to domestic American fascism will be the civil rights movement of the 21st century.
-One in four Americans are now sympathetic to secession by their region or community, and these sympathies will probably increase as the system begins to deteriorate.
-One in four American adults now has a criminal record due to overcriminalization. This can only have the effect of undermining respect for the state and its legal decrees.
-The idea of the state as the savior of humanity is an idea that is coming under increasing disrepute. The fiscal debts alone of modern welfare states likely guarantee their ultimate demise.
By Keith Preston
When the future history of the former United States of America is written, the pivotal turning point that likely marked the downfall of the USA will be the events of September 11, 2001.
The United States emerged from World War Two as the most powerful nation-state in the world, rivaled only by the second-rate Soviet Union. American hegemony and dominance spread throughout the world as Western Europe became protectorates of the USA, and the colonies of the former European colonial empires in Asia, Africa, and Latin America became U.S. client states. However the postwar era and the late 20th century were also a time of anti-colonial insurgency, leading the U.S. to get bogged down in the anti-colonial war in Indochina and eventually experience defeat. This had the effect of de-legitimizing U.S. militarism to a great degree. More…
The awareness that humans could alter the climate of Earth has dawned slowly on our consciousness. In 1896, Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius deflected his anguish over a failed marriage into remarkably tedious and, as it turned out, accurate calculations about the effect of CO2 emissions on climate. It was an oddly therapeutic thing to do, but it had no more effect on public attention than the smallest cloud on a distant horizon.
Another 69 years would pass before scientists warned a U.S. president of the potential for serious climate disruption, and still another 30 years before the first report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Now, facing climate destabilization, our choices for action are said to be adapting to a warmer world or mitigating the severity of climate change by sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, neither adaptation nor mitigation alone will be sufficient, and sometimes they may overlap. But in a world of limited resources, money, and time we will be forced often to choose between the two. In making such choices, the major issues in dispute have to do with estimates of the pace, scale, and duration of climatic disruption. And here the scientific evidence tilts the balance strongly toward mitigation.
Decolonial monarchism! This jives well with Bioregionalism and indigenous clan/band/village level sovereignty. A fellow member of my tribe commented that “sovereignty should not be defined at the whim of U.S. congressional mood swings.” I agree entirely but would add that the US would never allow for any genuine, self defined sovereignty for indigenous nations within it’s borders. I theorize that the only conditions under which that might happen are when the US is weak and badly in need of winning the support of indigenous peoples, Native Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and First Nations to maintain its legitimacy. But at that point why would we need such a weak ally? Until then, the only acceptable level of “sovereignty” will be that of a client state at best, but more likely we’ll remain as just another colonial administrative unit of the bureaucratic empire.
Kanaka Maoli to Feds: ‘Get Out of Our House! Go Home!’
by Chad Blair
To help the U.S. Department of the Interior understand how some Native Hawaiians view federal recognition, DeMont R. D. Conner offered this analogy:
Your car is stolen. The person who stole the car later apologizes and offers you a bicycle.
The only proper response to such an offer, said Connor, is to insist that the stolen property be returned to its rightful owner.
“Go back and tell your boss, ‘Give ’em back da car!’” he told a panel of Interior officials as the audience that packed the Hawaii State Capitol Monday morning erupted into laughter and hearty applause.
Connor’s point was that the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 was a theft.
For federal officials to offer recognition, a 121 years later, to Kanaka Maoli as an indigenous people entitled to government-to-government status with the United States is like giving them a bike. Not just any bike, either, said Conner: a Schwinn.
He was one of 143 people who testified — and shouted, cried, pleaded, prayed, chanted and sang — for more than three hours Monday before Interior officials. It was the first of 15 public meetings in the islands scheduled over the next two weeks.
The hearings are part of a “listening tour” being conducted by Interior to solicit comments and feedback on “whether and how” the process of reestablishing a government-to-government relationship should proceed.
The answer from nearly everyone who testified Monday was that it should not. In their view, Hawaii is still a nation and the Americans are occupiers — like the U.S. military — who should leave.
The fact is, Somali ‘pirates’ are ordinary Somalian fishermen who at first took speedboats to try to dissuade European vessels from illegally fishing and dumping into their waters. With the absence of the government’s navy, the fishermen joined together and formed the National Volunteer Coast Guard of Somalia.
He sure sounds like it. Hedges is an example of what a serious Left would look like, although he’s still obviously not as radical as ARV-ATS.
The issues that motivate those on the margins-radical environmentalism, gun rights absolutism, racial nationalism, socialism, radical feminism, queer power, religious fundamentalism-mean nothing to most people. The ordinary citizen is concerned only with his own day to day business. His issues are unemployment, housing, taxes, health care, provisions for old age and education.(95) Some people may also have one or two social issues, like abortion or the environment, that they are interested in or have strong opinions about. Most Americans have received something of a libertarian education from the Jeffersonian strand of traditional American politics. For this reason, populist rhetoric denouncing “big government” resonates well with the commoner. A populist movement that combined both libertarian and socialist themes, without explicitly describing itself as such, would likely go over well with the broad American working class.
According to Gallup, the only thing that Americans worry about less than climate change is race relations. Nice priorities, America.
February 15, 2014
- The need to preserve the legal space of alternative infrastructure through active legal defense organizations.
- Prospects posed by the possibility of technological innovation and technological decline.
- The implications of procreation rates, demographic shift, and cultural assimilation.
- Parallels between the modern American and ancient Roman empires.
- The foundation for alternative infrastructure provided by presently existing organizations.
- The cultivation of cohesive value systems in order to maintain the durability of alternative infrastructure.
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“We’ve outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us.”
So says University of California scientist Steve Davis.
Smog from Chinese factories has already saturated cities like Beijing, where residents go about in surgical masks, and crossed the East China Sea to foul the air of Korea and Japan.
Now China’s smog is coming to America’s West.