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Messages - wili

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1
Policy and solutions / Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« on: February 19, 2019, 05:05:18 AM »
ger, thanks for the post about Rabaul. I was surprised to hear how very few people died, and how well the well-prepared-for evacuation went, even though there wasn't a lot of time before the warning and the eruption.

I have a feeling there is some kind of lesson in there for us, but I'm not quite sure what it is...

2
Policy and solutions / Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« on: February 19, 2019, 05:02:06 AM »
Arch wrote:
Quote
If the plan is to collapse our world to save the world, then we should all expect to be part of the population reduction. We should not think for one second that "we" will survive while "they" will die...

Indeed, if one were to plan some kind of magic reduction in world population to reduce the severity of the now inevitable catastrophes coming our way, the best place to start would be the richest 20% of the world population, who do about 80% of the consumption and so of the ecological destruction. I'm quite sure that would include just about everyone on this board.

One can't 'quickly' reduce population in a humane way, if by 'quickly' means "in less than a decade or two." And we do need rapid reduction to zero and beyond of ghg emissions. The only thing that can get us close to there in 5 - 10 years is, as you say, lots more efficiency, even faster build out of alternative energies, but also great reduction of consumption, especially 'non-essential' consumption. Ultimately, these could also be viewed as essentially kinds of efficiency--in most cases, it is not efficient to feed 7.3 billion people on high-meat diets, not to zip them around the world on airplanes...

But back to population...the humane way to reduce population is, of course, to insure women's rights and their free access to education and to healthcare, including contraception and abortions. This has been shown to not only reduce on average the number of new births, but also leads to women having their first (and often only) child at an older age, and of course spacing generations out further can have a dramatic impact on reducing the total population. And of course you get the added benefit of happier women and a more just society as icing on the cake (or really maybe that's the cake below the icing!? :) )

Making gentle voluntary euthanasia more widely and easily available, as they have done in The Netherlands, I hear, could also be an important component. This also brings with it less horrific final days, and less money wasted hopelessly trying to keep dying people alive while making their last days a terror.

But nearly all these approaches fly in the face of the goals of growth-based capitalism. For this and other reasons, many people see that as one of the biggest obstacles to moving forward (not that socialism by itself is any guarantee of a green economy).

What is and is not politically possible is not really anything that anyone can very accurately predict. Few people could have accurately predicted the timing of the fall of Apartheid or of the Iron Wall, and few, even of his supporters, really thought that Trump would win...

There are stirrings among young people that I find hopeful, but of course the time is way past late.

3
Policy and solutions / Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« on: February 18, 2019, 02:13:26 AM »
"I agree that BAU will kill us all. I know that with certainty. But sudden "not BAU" might fail to feed all 7 billion people"

Sooo, BAU kills us all for certainty, while not-BAU 'might fail to feel all 7 billion people'

Hmmm, I think the second is the better option. Especially since BAU is already not adequately feeding all 7 billion people.

Some elements of the Green New Deal go beyond BAU, so that's a start. But really we have to walk away from car culture, plain culture, cow eating culture as quickly as possible Every burger no produced frees up lots of nutrients that can give us wiggle room for the inevitable failures that will come about in the transition.

4
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: February 16, 2019, 09:52:23 PM »
Thanks, kassy. I fixed the link.

I wondered about that last last quote, too. Many of the canals in the Netherlands are very beautiful.

5
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: February 16, 2019, 07:49:58 PM »
Yeah, otherwise known as 'crossing the Rubicon'!

He has indeed just openly declared that it is all about expedience, and has nothing to do with emergency.

Just ran across this nice essay that some may enjoy (sorry if it's already been posted here and I missed it): https://worldofwonder.net/quora-nate-white-hilariously-answers-the-query-why-do-british-people-not-like-trump/?fbclid=IwAR2i_BGF0UH5-uKg1NbPx9c7WxLhancJuDTooOgpXYBUH1LnXODq2HUp3mE


I'll just give the finale here, but the whole thing (not long) is worth a read:

Quote
...it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form;

He is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit.

His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

‘My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set
.

6
The rest / Re: The problem of Corporate Democrats and how to kick them out
« on: February 15, 2019, 03:47:16 PM »
Sounds like we finally have a 'kumbaya moment' here!! :)

And all prompted by the brave and truthful words of my awesome Rep, Ilhan Omar. She was the first person that my daughter got to vote for, and right when we came back from the polling place, there she was at our front door, with one of my daughters good friends who was helping to make a film about her. Believe me, she is every bit as poised, bright, and wonderful in person as you see her in her fierce questioning of the slime bag Elliott Abrams!

7
Consequences / Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
« on: February 14, 2019, 08:15:14 PM »
How about 'Killer Scots,' then?  ;D :P :)

8
Policy and solutions / Re: US Green New Deal
« on: February 11, 2019, 05:06:41 PM »
For the record, I agree that socialism is no guarantee of low emissions. On the other hand, if your goal is both adequate human welfare and small footprint, I think we will need some system that at least incorporates some aspects of socialism.

As I recall, Cuba is the only country that has ever hit the sweet spot of low percapita foot print and adequate human well being (according to a WWF survey a few years ago), and surely that had something to do with their socialist policies (as well as being in the midst of their 'special period').

But yes, we have to move beyond these 19th century ideologies if any part of the human project is going to make it into the next century with anything like a civilization.

9
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: February 10, 2019, 04:15:24 PM »
They meant University of Chicago.

https://geosci.uchicago.edu/people/david-archer/

(Seems like a strange thing to get worked up about. It's a British publication, so maybe give them a bit of a break on not getting US institution's names exactly right. In any case, easily checkable if you really were concerned that Archer, one of the most famous climatologists, by the way, is a real person...)

10
Glaciers / Re: Himalayan glaciers
« on: February 04, 2019, 01:48:26 PM »
A third of Himalayan ice cap doomed, finds 'shocking' report

Even radical climate change action won’t save glaciers, endangering 2 billion people


Quote
At least a third of the huge ice fields in Asia’s towering mountain chain are doomed to melt due to climate change, according to a landmark new report, with serious consequences for almost 2 billion people.

Even if carbon emissions are dramatically and rapidly cut and succeed in limiting global warming to 1.5C, 36% of the glaciers along in the Hindu Kush and Himalaya range will have gone by 2100. If emissions are not cut, the loss soars to two-thirds, the report found.

The glaciers are a critical water store for the 250 million people who live in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region, and 1.65 billion people rely on the great rivers that flow from the peaks into India, Pakistan, China and other nations.

“This is the climate crisis you haven’t heard of,” said Philippus Wester of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Icimod), who led the report. “In the best of possible worlds, if we get really ambitious [in tackling climate change], even then we will lose one-third of the glaciers and be in trouble. That for us was the shocking finding.”...

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/04/a-third-of-himalayan-ice-cap-doomed-finds-shocking-report

11
The forum / Re: Milestones
« on: February 04, 2019, 01:14:13 PM »
Congrats, Neven!

12
Walking the walk / Re: Terra Preta / Biochar - Theory and Practice
« on: February 03, 2019, 05:01:29 PM »
I gotta ask, Bruce, does your place just smell like bacon all the time? :)

And if you give it enough time, composted pig manure should be fine on anything. It can't be more dangerous the humanure, can it? And I assume you are familiar with that book/concept? But maybe that would require using too much space for too long?

13
That's quite a tale, sidd. Thanks.

I dunno where you are, but here in Minnesota the temperatures we are experiencing now are mostly not unprecedented, but they were never very common...maybe once or twice a decade on average. Also, some people are remembering earlier much lower wind chills, but the formula for calculating those changed some time ago, so those are not reliable.

Climbing into the mere single digits below zero F later today will feel like a heat wave after what we've been through!

14
-55 F wind chill here in Minneapolis (-48 C). Most everything is shut down, including postal service. But I'm going out in a few hours to make tons of soup for the homeless and anyone else who wants it. Probably minestrone. Anybody have good recipes?

15
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: January 24, 2019, 11:57:02 AM »
Since 'extinction' and 'abyss' strike me as similar, I thought I'd put this here. We so often get wrapped up in technical issues, whether about ice or cars or politics. This paragraph, to me, sums up the deeper and even more urgent need to re-examine our priorities:

Quote
We’re told, often enough, that as a species we are poised on the edge of the abyss. It’s possible that our puffed-up, prideful intelligence has outstripped our instinct for survival and the road back to safety has already been washed away. In which case there’s nothing much to be done. If there is something to be done, then one thing is for sure: those who created the problem will not be the ones who come up with a solution. Encrypting our emails will help, but not very much. Recalibrating our understanding of what love means, what happiness means – and, yes, what countries mean – might. Recalibrating our priorities might.

An old-growth forest, a mountain range or a river valley is more important and certainly more lovable than any country will ever be. I could weep for a river valley, and I have. But for a country? Oh, man, I don’t know…

Roy and Cusack.  "Things that can and cannot be said"

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/28/conversation-edward-snowden-arundhati-roy-john-cusack-interview

16
"...the degree to which aerosols cool the earth has been grossly underestimated..."

That sounds...rather bad!

17
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 20, 2019, 02:46:09 PM »
Sounds like this may be fake news:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is Not Fighting ‘For Her Life’ With Pneumonia, Despite Outlet’s Claim

https://www.inquisitr.com/5254187/ruth-bader-ginsburg-fights-for-her-life-with-pneumonia-dodgy-website-claims/

18
Science / Re: Underground temperatures trends
« on: January 17, 2019, 10:58:24 AM »
Thanks for these, Bernard.

We have learned that over 90% of global warming has actually been warming of oceans. But I have never seen something that quantifies what portion of warming has actually gone into heating the land itself. If anyone has such info, I thank them in advance for sharing... :)

19
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: January 13, 2019, 09:24:53 PM »
There will also likely be an increase in biological activity on and in the ocean floor, both microbial and more complex life forms. These are of course hard to model, but could burrow into methane pockets, releasing the gas more quickly than a merely physical model would suggest is possible.

And then there are slopes. I large release at a crucial point along a slope could cause a kind of un-zippering effect, iirc.

I think we can't be complacent about these possibilities, but at the same time they all just mean that we have to double down on reducing our lion's share of the contribution in hopes that the optimists are right and that these more rapid release mechanisms don't end up coming into play, at least at current levels of warming.

20
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 06, 2019, 06:36:54 PM »
Sig, I'm not a twitter-er. Can you explain briefly what is on the video? Or is it a kind of joke that would be ruined in the explaining of it?

21
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 06, 2019, 06:29:48 PM »
sidd wrote:
Quote
I have no doubt that in the event of widespread crop failure the starving would switch very quickly to vegetarian diet. Hunger is a powerful motivator.

Not sure what you're talking about here. Most of the world's poorest billion or so people are already living near-vegan diets. The problem is (and almost always is) the world's wealthy eating meat, the livestock for which are eating the grains and beans that could have provided good nutrition for the poorest, especially since livestock are not particularly efficient at turning plant protein into animal protein...something like ten pounds plant protein to yield one of animal protein, especially cattle. (Yeah, yeah, they could be raised on inedible-to-us grasses, but most are at least finished with corn and soybeans.)

During the potato famine, most of the Irish poor were subsisting on potatoes, if they could get them, and not much else. But at the same time that millions were starving or emigrating, beef was being exported from Ireland to the British elite. Common sense and basic humanity has little to do with these things, as Swift so well satirized in his famous, "A Modest Proposal."

So, given that income inequality is at an all time high, I'm quite sure that even if there were widespread crop failure, the rich would still be arranging to have much of the little grain and beans left fed to cattle for their elite consumption. The whole point of being rich, after all, is so that you don't have to share one whit in the suffering of others, however widespread and horrific. But yes, the rest will be left with a largely 'plant based' diet, but not likely one that will be sufficient to keep body and soul together. 

22
Thanks, FB. I had heard about Foehn winds, but hadn't thought about how they might relate to lapse rate. Makes sense to me! Is this more of a factor in Antarctica than in most of the Arctic?

23
Already, corporate dems are working to limit what progressives can do with a 'pay as you go' rule:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/progressives-ro-khanna-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-paygo-rules-fight_us_5c2d2401e4b0407e9087b393


24
The rest / Re: Ukraine, Nazis and western support
« on: January 02, 2019, 09:54:42 PM »
Ah, whataboutism. How original!  ;D ;D ;D

25
Thanks, as always, aslr!

26
The rest / Re: Ukraine, Nazis and western support
« on: January 02, 2019, 04:30:38 PM »
Harvard Library lists Greanville Post as a fake news site...just sayin'

27
Thanks, as always, aslr

28
Thanks, sidd.

So in the tropics, the lapse rate (basically the change in conditions, in this case temperature, as you move up through the atmosphere, iirc) involves a warmer upper troposphere, leading to more loss of radiation from the top of the atmosphere...so, a negative (damping) feedback on global warming.

But in the Arctic, less heat accumulates in the upper troposphere (because of lack of water vapor to conduct it up there??), so less heat is released to space, leading to a positive (exacerbating) feedback.

And this study found that this lapse rate feedback dominates others in the Arctic, as I understand it. Is that likely to change somewhat as water vapor levels increase in the region?

29
The rest / Re: Immortality
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:09:46 AM »
Thanks, Tim. Have read and taught Ishmael many times. I agree that it's essential, if not perfect (what is?)

Eager to check out Forbes.

And I'm perfectly happy with 'obscure'! :)

30
The rest / Re: Immortality
« on: December 31, 2018, 03:18:25 AM »
"civilized culture all around the world could certainly do with some (non metaphysical) soul searching to see why it is they hold some of the assumptions that this now worldwide culture does, and how common some of those hidden premises actually are, and where they actually came from, and when, and why, and what problems that causes that show up in the anthropological footprint over and over again wherever civilization has gone"

Yes, to me, too, this seems about the most important activity to be engaged in, but I rarely come across it, and when I bring it up, I tend to get similar responses (and non-responses).

Are there any fora where you have been more successful in sparking a meaningful dialogue along these lines, and are there any resources you could recommend for those interested in pursuing it?

31
From the abstract:

"polar amplification is found to be dominated by forcing in the polar regions, specifically through positive local lapse-rate feedback"

Could you or someone explain a bit about what exactly lapse-rate feedback is, hopefully in terms that I and others can understand?

It sounds like it's pretty important, and it seems like a gap in my GW knowledge I'd like to fill.

Thanks ahead of time for any light you can throw on this.

32
Consequences / Re: Heatwaves
« on: December 31, 2018, 03:10:29 AM »
There is, though, a strong trend in the 'hot daily lows' graph, which is just where one would expect the clearest and earliest trends to be detected in a planet being over-heated by greenhouse gasses (as opposed to, for example, increased insolation).

33
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 28, 2018, 06:09:57 AM »
Yes, good and sobering article. Thanks, Bruce.

One question. The article says, "As temperatures climbed toward the 10-degree mark, the model’s oceans became depleted of oxygen, a trend scientists are evaluating in today’s oceans, too."

So does the heating itself cause the oxygen depletion directly? Or does acidification or some other intermediary play the crucial role?

Is it just the issue that gas passes more easily from water into the atmosphere at higher temperatures?

(ETA: Ah, I see I missed this a bit below the sentence I quoted: "But warm waters can’t contain as much dissolved oxygen, which means less was available to them.")

34
Consequences / Re: Volcanoes
« on: December 24, 2018, 01:25:57 PM »
FD wrote: "Runup height reported from Java at 19 meters..." then later "...10 meters..."

Where are you getting these figures from? I don't see anything that mentions heights more than 10 feet (which is plenty bad enough).

35
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 21, 2018, 09:03:22 PM »
Thanks again, Bruce. Interesting about cannabis, but also about vineyards. I was just trying to brush off my Latin with Cato the Elder's De Agri Cultura (~160 BC) and noted that his advise to new farmers was that of all the use you could put farms to, grape vines was his first choice. Mast orchards (glandaria ) were fifth or sixth, about the same as orchards combined with grape vines. Grain was pretty far down, too, probably because they were already getting lots of cheap grain from North Africa by then.

Anyway, I, at least, do appreciate your updates.

36
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 21, 2018, 05:00:52 PM »
Thanks again, Bruce. Over a million per acre, wow! I assume that comes with increase risks of theft. Probably not a lot of people lurking around trying to steal your acorn mast :)

 "feeding millions of small towns is a viable tragectory"

That's what many of us have been talking about for quite a while, but there doesn't seem to be much of a trend in that direction yet. Back a bit, Astyk had a book called '5 million farmers' calling on a return to the land. Again, not many harkening to that call.

One more question, and sorry if it's been already discussed to death. Around here, there is now quite a bit of wind electricity generated in the middle of good farm land, and more every year. I have seen some examples of electric farm equipment, but haven't kept up with developments on that front. Is this one way that zero or near zero emissions farming could be accomplished on a largish scale?

37
The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: December 21, 2018, 04:52:43 AM »
Again, your source has been described as 'neo-conservative'

You seem to be rather addicted to far-right, white-supremasist, and fake-news sources for your information.

I can't help but wonder if these are the kind of posts Neven wants, crowding out science based, fact based, and non-hate based sources.

I, as do we all, of course, leave it to him. But the more that these kinds of posts and posters are tolerated, the fewer sincere posters are like to frequent this once very valuable forum

38
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 21, 2018, 04:37:18 AM »
Bruce wrote: "Nobody even talks about the difficulty of the task. Everybody here knows we need to get to zero carbon, correct ? We don't currently have the technology to feed the current population without emissions and the future declines in agricultural production from climate change will only exacerbate our dilemma .
 So this is where I say our humanity is screwing with the goal. The goal is to get to zero or insure a damn big extinction event. We have no idea how to feed ourselves without BAU and BAU is death. So saying you are more worried about how many people any system can support , or worried how we can feed 8 or 10 billion souls is totally getting the wagon in front of the horse. How do you feed ANY of us with zero carbon emissions ? You gotta have some idea how to feed yourself and several other people first, a small village next, and then maybe a city or two. Claiming this is possible without any way to maintain modern agriculture is just wrong.  Well it's wrong when nobody is trying anyhow. I doubt is is possible at the scale  necessary  but that doesn't stop me from working at it at least on one small farm.
I haven't really even had any interest in how I can farm without  fossil fuel . Strange the future we see coming and the disconnect with current preparations. Faith , religion, or optimism just don't get us where we need to go. Better start getting scared cause reality is going to be vicious."

For the record, I pretty much agree with all of this. We are in what can only be called a predicament, now. Getting to some remotely good place without tons and tons of absolute misery and death is now out of reach. I am ready to head to the next world or the void or whatever at any time, but in the mean time, I do to some extent try to get the low hanging fruit--divert some of the vast waste of our culture to sustaining some of the people least responsible for our current catastrophe, and start the long, difficult process of trying to learn how to raise food on relatively small bits of urban land. But I know as I go past blocks and blocks of high rises full of people that it will always be impossible for even a fraction of them to follow my example.

Also for the record, I am more deeply impressed by Bruce's efforts than nearly anything else I have ever heard of. I hope he keeps reporting on both progress and setbacks, as both are highly valuable and interesting.

39
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 20, 2018, 09:10:35 PM »
"although a lot less meat consumption is undoubtably a good thing it is but a small portion of how we collectively need to change"

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/7/14/15963544/climate-change-individual-choices

Certainly smaller than some others, but not insignificant--one of the top six in the first chart at this article. And has the advantage of being relatively easy to do, and immediately healthful for your body (unless you do 'vegan junkfood diet'! :)

But yeah, as the article says, not being rich is the over all best chance to contribute less. Even in the US, the homeless folks I work with every day hardly contribute anything--no car, definitely no flying (and we serve them hearty vegetarian...usually vegan...soups, with most of the veggies being saved from the dumpster from the local groceries, that is the stuff that I don't grow in my urban farm! :) )

Having one kid--or better, NO kids--is really big, especially if they grow up to live the standard high consumption lifestyle of most Americans. (My solo child moved to the Netherlands, so hardly ever is in a car, and definitely eats plant based, with an occasional fish thrown in. But if she continues to have an annual flight to visit Dad, that a bunch of that will be canceled out! :/ )

Then travel, now the biggest overall contributor, over electric power generation, tho that's obviously still important...we technically get all wind, and have helped local businesses get solar roofs.

As to how much corn goes into cows: "Nearly half (48.7 percent) of the corn grown in 2013 was used as animal feed." That doesn't count the leftovers from ethanol production that goes to cattle, so I think we can say well more than half. Feeding that and soybeans directly to people would definitely allow those calories and nutrients to go much, much further (not to mention saving lots of water).

But when I promote plant-based diets, I always say, "If you're raising or hunting all or most of your own meat sources, give yourself a pass." We couldn't all do that, of course, but most wouldn't want to anyway. For the rest, committed meat eaters who give anything close to a flying f about the earth and climate change...they should all be the biggest chearleaders for veganism and vegetarianism, since that allows more of the relatively small quantity of meat that can sustainably be grown for them! :)

40
The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: December 20, 2018, 01:08:33 PM »
Do you realize that Hal Turner "is an American white nationalist, Holocaust denier"?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Turner

41
The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: December 20, 2018, 01:00:53 PM »
LOL.
 You do realize, I hope, that you are citing NewsPunch, described as:

"NewsPunch is a Los Angeles-based fake news website that frequently spreads conspiracy theories and political misinformation mixed in with real news stories."

So, was your post intended as irony?

42
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 16, 2018, 11:42:54 PM »
sis and nev, here are at least two politicians who want to put a cap on wealth:

http://inthesetimes.com/article/21114/maximum-wage-keith-ellison-jeremy-corbyn-income-ceo-pay

43
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 15, 2018, 09:15:40 PM »
Yes, those and many more.

The biggest proximate cause is the 'discovery' of fossil-death-fuels, which put all the worst propensities already inherent in pre-industrial* culture into hyperdrive. (Asterisk, because there were many elements of industrial society in place before coal and then oil and gas super-charged them.)

I have a friend who thinks we were doomed once we learned to reliably control fire. I would like to think there were some at least small scale cultures (post control of fire) that were essentially sustainable. But control of fire certainly set the stage for cultures thinking...if we can control this very power aspect of nature, maybe we can control others...

(We also may not be the only animal that has learned to use fire to our benefit, though we have tamed and domesticated it like no other, as far as I can see: )

44
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 15, 2018, 08:47:58 PM »
The problem is that this is not the narrative that civ has told itself. It has placed itself always as against and other than nature. If you just say that nature = everything, then don't bother with the word nature.

But the words 'nature' and 'civilization' both have histories, histories that have very extreme consequences.

But yes, ideally we would be able to re-imagine a civilization that does not see itself as essentially the enemy of the rest of living (and much of non-living) nature. That works constantly to live within its bounds, that could truly be sustainable over the very long term. But that would be a very, very different civilization than the one we have and than the one most here seem to be imagining.

45
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 14, 2018, 04:51:53 PM »
"Katha Upanishad"

My favorite one! Opens with a little boy persistently asking his dad difficult theological questions, to the point where is dad tells him to go to hell, so he does just that, and had a nice long philosophical discussion with the king of the underworld, Yama.

(By the way, one theory is that 'Yama' is the linguistic and mythological cousin of Old Norse Ymir, the giant hermaphroditic first creature in Norse creation myth.)

46
The rest / Re: Debt in a decreasing economy
« on: December 14, 2018, 04:42:29 PM »
We did the same, ettienne. We also paid ahead on the principle, and kept track of the (at the time falling) interest rates (harder to do than it should have been, imho) and refinanced when we saw it would not increase our monthly payments. Probably saved at least $100,000 that otherwise would have just gone to the f'n banksters in interest.


47
The rest / Re: The problem of Corporate Democrats and how to kick them out
« on: December 14, 2018, 02:32:06 AM »
More on sidd's story here:

https://gritpost.com/health-lobbyists-centrist-democrats/?fbclid=IwAR1VJJmaTVjIhsppMeRRYvQhfmh-x01opfwEvLCyJ54NBVip1MgJZf5mEgc

Health Insurance Lobbyists Team Up with Centrist Democrats to Crush Medicare for All

(I think the phrase should be 'gang up' and the object of 'crush' should simply be 'all of us'!  >:( )

48
The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: December 03, 2018, 09:26:00 PM »
For those interested in a nuanced approach to the history of US-Israeli relations, you could do worse than the recent book Our American Israel by Amy Kaplan-- http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674737624

One surprise to me was how supportive American anti-Semites were about the founding of a Jewish state. From their perspective, better to have all those nasty Jews go to Palestine than move into their American neighborhoods.

(Recall that even into the '70s, in many parts of the US, Jewish doctors were barred from working in most hospitals, hence the large number of 'Mt. Sinai' hospitals in so many cities...they had to set up their own hospitals to have a place to work! US has been and continues to be a very racist place, in case anyone hadn't noticed. :) )

49
Consequences / Re: Near Term Human Extinction
« on: December 03, 2018, 07:37:29 AM »
Good points, Ktb.

It is important to remember that we are not just talking about individual species going extinct, but the collapse of entire ecosystems.

On the one hand, driving or even allowing for species to go extinct and for ecosystems to collapse is on a very basic moral level unconscionable.

But if one wants to insist on putting it in the malignantly narcissistic terms of 'what's in it for me,' well, ecosystems provide all sorts of 'services,' both material and im-. As we are already seeing, regional hydrological cycles tend to get very badly disrupted when you wipe out all or even most of, say, a rain forest. And loss of a major rain forest (or most other terrestrial ecosystems) is also going to have quite an effect on the carbon cycle...ie, it will greatly exacerbate gw. Forests also build and stabilize soils, and without them (or a robust grassland ecosystem to replace them), soils will blow and wash away. And we still do kinda depend on soils to grow the vast majority of our food crops.

Some people tend to think, "Oh, well, the pandas are cute, but really, we can live just fine without them." But when we wipe out not just the pandas but the bamboo forests they inhabit (as we are in the process of doing), and do the same sort of thing over and over again throughout the world...which is pretty much we have been doing at an increasing rate...we create havoc of all sorts that will harm not only ourselves, but yet other eco-systems...

50
The rest / Re: The problem of Corporate Democrats and how to kick them out
« on: December 02, 2018, 05:18:00 PM »
"designed to disinform the deludable"

Terry, you are reaching new heights of alliterative, elocutionary excellence! :)

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