Krugman’s Ignominious Retreat on Quantitative Easing

December 20, 2014

In the 1980’s Paul Krugman worked at the White House under Reagan. In later decades, he somewhat mysteriously acquired a left wing reputation for what he wrote (in particular for daring to oppose the Iraq War; that, in 2003, qualified you as far out leftist). Naturally, after he got the Nobel Prize in Economics, his colossal reputation gave him great influence in the Obama administration.

Krugman gave the advice to institute a massive “Quantitative Easing”. In this the Central Bank (“Fed” in the USA) buys assets held by the largest banks (so a branch of government, the Central Bank, buys something sold by another branch of government, Government Bonds, and held by others, supposedly private parties, large banks; it’s all very absurd).

The USA and the EU engaged in trillions of Quantitative Easing.

Result?

More plutocracy than ever, as I had anticipated, more than 6 years ago by calling TARP (the lending of nearly a trillion dollars to the largest banks), Transfer of Assets to the Richest People

Increasing the money supply to banks is not increasing the money supply to people. Especially with the derivative trading being 12 times world’s GDP. So no wonder QE does not work: most of the financial activity is not about financing the real economy, but the big banks casino.

Under the last part of his reign, when Clinton demolished the Banking Act of 1933, FDR’s great work, financial derivatives trading was only 80 trillion dollars. Now it’s 800 trillions. A weakening of rules in effect only weeks ago, written by Citigroup, is now the new law…

People need money and they need work. The government is the lender, and employer, of last resort. When things go back to normal, the government can withdraw. Cyrus the great, founder of Achaemenid Persia used the government, and then, wild private capitalism: there is a time for either. Now we are at a time where governments need to provide with an economy for common people, not just an economy for fat cats.

Absent the will to do this renewal of economic activity in a civil way, the military option will show its ugly face… Yes, could start in Russia… Wait…

Here is Krugman:

“Money isn’t everything… Well, the money supply isn’t everything, either.

… I argued that it’s hard to see why anyone believes that money supply increases will do the trick after the past six years. … maybe describing my own conversion to monetary pessimism may help clarify what’s happening now. 

So, back in 1998 I was looking at Japan’s troubles, and — like Evans-Pritchard and many others now — believed that the Bank of Japan could surely end deflation if it really tried… doubling the monetary base will always raise prices, even if you’re at the zero lower bound… To my own surprise… when you’re at the zero lower bound, the size of the current money supply does not matter at all. You might think that it’s a fundamental insight that doubling the money supply will eventually double the price level, but … short-term interest rate is currently zero, changing the current money supply without … raising expected inflation — matters not at all.

And as a result, monetary traction is far from obvious. Central banks can change the monetary base now, but can they commit not to undo the expansion in the future, when inflation rises? …

But, asks Evans-Pritchard, what if the central bank simply gives households money? Well, that is, as he notes, really fiscal policy — it’s a massive transfer program rather than a conventional monetary operation… it would have no effect … households would know that future taxes will have to rise to pay for today’s gift, and save all of it.

[How silly and wealthy can Krugman be? Really poor people have no money… And very good things to spend it on, should they have any. All poor people know that, but Krugman never interviewed any of them, apparently. If the government gave the poor money, they would spend it right away. It’s actually a well-known fact that all the money given to the poor is immediately recycled in the economy!]

More Krugman:

“… Central banks aren’t in the business of just giving money away; what they do is always some kind of asset swap, in which they buy assets or make loans which then become assets. I’m pretty sure that neither the Fed nor the Bank of England has the legal right to just give money away as opposed to lending it out; if I’m wrong about this, put me down for $10 million, OK?”

Still, isn’t this just theory? Well, no. Huge increases in the monetary base in previous liquidity trap episodes had no visible effect.

And now we have the post-2008 experience, and it’s certainly not an example of central banks easily dealing with economic downdrafts.

Just to be clear, I have supported QE in both Britain and the US, on the grounds that (a) central bank purchases of longer-term and riskier assets may help and can’t hurt, and (b) given political paralysis in the US and the dominance of bad macroeconomic thinking in the UK, it’s all we’ve got. But the view I used to hold before 1998 — that central banks can always cause inflation if they really want to — just doesn’t hold up, theoretically or empirically.”

So Krugman supported Quantitative Easing for the same reason as a drunk searches for his keys below a lamp post: it’s the only thing he sees. How smart is this?

As I said, the state will have to be the employer of last resort, it has always been, and always will be. The free market is great, but it’s not really free; the state pays for it.

Patrice Ayme’

Human Minds: Absolute, Relative, Baboon-Like

December 19, 2014

The discovery of primate ancestors of mass up to 1.5 kilograms contemporary to dinosaurs was just announced. Our primate ethology is old, and made ready to handle big, ferocious things.

A few lapidary answers to some recent comments.

Brodix, in an impressive conceptual salad, brandished Good and Bad. Are God and Evil relative or absolute? The answer is both.

Is Bad good because without bad there would not be good, and that would be bad? This is an old quandary, often used cynically by various brutes throughout history.

The oldest process is the fight for resources, as Putin pointed out yesterday, adding that is why Russia will be alright in the future, as the fight for resources will intensify, and Russia is resource-rich (so my dictatorship is OK).

Baboons Are Resourceful

Baboons Are Resourceful

Clearly Mr. Brodix is no physicist (Brodix believes “all the colors of the spectrum are between black and white”… whereas the colors are between ultraviolet and infrared…or deep red and deep violet).

However, Brodix touched on deep stuff.  Brodix pondered where do things start, where do they end? And suggested that “Form is the apex of that process.”

Believe it or not, Quantum Physics is in the process of answering a lot of this, it turns out, using non-locality, and entanglement. The Tunnel Effect means things do not start, or end, as we thought. And so on.

“Form” is indeed what drives Quantum processes. And the Quantum is certainly a driver of the sort of evolution Lamarck envisioned (no screaming: this is state of the art research…).

The fundamental property of life is adaptation.

Human ethology is also, like Baboon ethology, absolute. Morality, ultimately, is codified ethology, so morality, good and bad, are also absolute.

Another commenter, Brandholm “would consider us closer to super-Bonobos than super-Baboons. Regardless, I have a question regarding your claim that ancient Greeks didn’t know of them.”

The Greeks knew about baboons, indeed. They also learned mathematics from the Egyptians, including some theorems which now bear Greek names. However, no Greek school of philosophy took baboons as models for humans. I do. But well, I’m not Greek.

My point: Homo is a super-baboon because both species evolved in the same environment, and found the same neurological, and thus ethological, solutions.

There were giant baboons, and they came early on the the Homo Erectus extermination list, as they competed for the same resources.

It’s fashionable to laud Bonobos. Bonobos are the modern version of the good savage of Rousseau. A figment of the politically correct imagination.

However, it’s fashionable to admire what one does not know. Bonobos live south of the Congo River, in the deep, tall forest, in a gentle environment, free of lions, hyenas, gorillas, chimpanzees. Bonobos have few enemies: leopards fear them, and humans are few. They eat the world’s largest fruits, some of them fifty pounds or more. Bonobos have plenty of sex in captivity, and females are large and dominant. So cheap lovers of love proclaimed Bonobos to be lovers, and ideal primates.

Yet, it turns out, Bonobos still kill each other. However, not doing it with as much enthusiasm as normal chimps do, Bonobos could never compete with normal chimps, let alone kill the occasional lion (some chimpanzee races are called “lion killers”).

Normal chimps have evolved in a very competitive, lethal environment. I saw one once, in the savannah park, miles from any serious forest, where plenty of lions roam. He went up a ridiculously small tree, looking very threatening and hyper energetic. Then he ran off. How could that be, miles from any forest? Well, lions are not stupid: they avoid dangerous prey (they will generally leave if human children walk towards them, as I personally experienced).

 

Baboons roam the savannah, far from any forest. They are very much like human in a crucial way: to survive in the savannah, they are born soldiers. They form armies, they get militarily organized, with lethal discipline, they have fierce leaders. And they are experts of terror and make-belief: they depend upon both to drink everyday.

 

Predators fear baboons: although they sometimes sneak on them at night, they typically flee when a large baboon troop is on the move towards water. As baboons need to drink, nothing stop them. And their terror tactics are astounding. They also throw stones (from below, and that gave me some advantage, in mock fighting; yes, they are playful).

 

The quandary of the Baboon condition is that they need lethality, organized mass violence and terror, so that they can express the love that allows them to survive. No species does this to this extent, but for man.

If you want to understand, and, thus, predict, the Islamist State, you have to understand baboons.

Double entendre meant, of course! Differently from Sony pictures, which does not dare risk satire with the North Korean nuclear dictator, crazed baboons don’t scare me. Making scathing fun of the North Korean dictator is not just a question of freedom of speech, or thought. It is a question of survival.

North Korean goons have often threatened even pre-emptive nuclear strikes.

“If the U.S. imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival … our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon — the sources of all evil,” Hwang Pyong-So, the director of the North Korean military’s General Political Bureau, said in a televised speech 28 July 2014, according to Agence France-Presse.

Charlie Chaplin made a satire of Hitler. It was not enough to wake-up the supine public opinion of the USA. But it helped.

From lack of satire, few in the USA know that their country is threatened by one of the most grotesque dictators in history, a crazed baboon who, Constantine-like, killed a large part of his family (and even his main sponsor).

Satire is not just about what we know for sure, it is also about what could very well be. Obama correctly irate, pointed out that: “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States.”

The Baboons’ main weapons are make-belief, and terrorization. They are experts at moving an entire front of trees (by jumping on branches, hidden by leaves), or at looking completely crazed, and as if inflecting a terrible bite was the only thing in the universe which mattered to them, due to their astronomical hatred and derangement of all senses.

These extreme behaviors are actually careful computations. How do I know this? I have played with wild baboons who engaged in parodic versions of the more serious, really crazed stuff.

Patrice Ayme’

When Dog Turned Into God

December 18, 2014

We have a striking historical case of someone, whom history ought to treat as a dog, and who was famously told he was a dog (but in a way too sophisticated for him to understand), who later came to consider himself as a god.

Alexander, son of Philippe, visited Diogenes. He stood in front of Diogenes’ barrel, and told him he would do for him whatever he wanted. Great leaders like to pose as helpful, and open minded.

Diogenes told him to stop making a shadow.

These were the times when a shadow was been thrown over all of civilization.

In the USA, Church And State Are Not Separated. Anymore.

In the USA, Church And State Are Not Separated. Anymore.

A correct trajectory is one according to the Principle of Least Action. Correct thinking may be the one achieving the most, while supposing the least.

Cynics know the theists have a dog in the fight, and his name, or that of his Representative, Messenger, Archangel, Son, Demiurge, or whatever, is Sacrosanct. Sacrosanct is a concept coming from Republican Rome: Tribunes were sacrosanct: attacking them physically meant death.

Cynics know theists insist upon a particular name, because they want to make their champions more respected and powerful than anybody else. Alexander went back east where Orientalism thrived. Alexander saw his blood flow. He wondered: “Is that the blood of a God?” His fellow Macedonians, and a few Greeks, companion in arms, laughed.

In the Orient, Godism was strong (sorry, let’s be polite with those who come from the fanum, the temple: Theism). Because, in a Hydraulic Dictatorship, you need a great dictator, and thus a great god created in His image, thus demonstrating that the dictatorship on the ground is ordained by the dictatorship in heavens.

The original cynicism was a reaction to the rising plutocracy: it’s no accident that the fundamental plutocrat, this follower of the demonic instinct, who had annihilated the entire City-State of Thebes, Alexander the Great, was viewed by the fundamental cynic, Diogenes, as a blot on an otherwise cloudless sky.

Reminding Alexander that humans were just dogs, was a way to remind Alexander that he himself was just a dog. (And a dog who kills tens of thousands in a city which has surrounded, is indeed rabid; Alexander the “Great” also crucified thousands in Tyr, and annihilated that City-Civilization too.)

Alexander’s reply: I am a God, not a Dog.

If humans are dogs are not their deities in their image too? Are not, thus, the gods, dogs? It’s hilarious to see debates about cynicism in the USA being transformed into the usual my-god-is-bigger-than-your-dog quarrel. As one commenter said, “continental” philosophy is pretty ignored. Too anti-God, of course, to survive deep down in the American aquarium.

To kill the Dog who wants to rule us (Alexander and his countless imitators, some contemporary), we have to kill the God they pretend to be, or in the image of (or live according to, thus giving them divine power, while bringing to life the ahistorical Jesus)

Nietzsche famously said: “Man is a rope, stretched between beast and Übermensch.” I prefer the truth: “Man is a hope, stretched between beast and Übermensch.”

But there is no hope, when all the hope there is to follow the Dog, especially when he strive to make himself believe he is a so-called “God” (As Alexander did, until Antipater told his valet, Antipater’s youngest son to do away with him… At least so it is pleasant to believe).

There is the paradox of the (make-)believer. Somebody who goes through life, assuming more than s/he needs, to gain theoretical advantage.

In the blessed USA, churches don’t pay tax, and thus legions believing the American world is the will of God (or, as Diogenes implicitly said, Dog) are ready to serve a government of plutocrats, by plutocrats, for plutocrats.

Don’t tell me what your society is: tell me what your gods are, and I will tell you what your elites do claim they believe in, and what they can get away with.

Patrice Ayme’

Baboon Philosophy Needed

December 17, 2014

Many people hold a cynical attitude about Cynicism. They hold that it’s nothing other than an unwarranted, exaggerated, mostly negative attitude, non-constructive way to live, feel and think.

And, as Scientia Salon puts it “if they think they’re talking about Cynicism the philosophy, with a capital C, they’re dead wrong“.

I propose to go much further than simply rehashing cynicism.

Baboons Are A better Model Than Dogs To Understand Humans

Baboons Are A better Model Than Dogs To Understand Humans

Cynics, kynikos, means “dog-like”. The main idea was for humans to live according to nature… And thus reject the “nomos” (the way things are managed), when it does not fit nature. In extreme form, it meant living like dogs (that Diogenes embraced, and so did the enemies of cynicism).

The question arises: what is it, to live according to nature? Rousseau thought it was to live like angels. Sade replied that Rousseau had no idea what he was talking about. Voltaire (a friend of Sade) told Rousseau that “jamais autant d’intelligence” had been deployed to make us all stupid, and he felt like “marcher a quatre pattes” after reading his book.

French sailors, fresh from believing Rousseau, discovered Tasmania. The French has dressed au naturel, as they expected that the Natives, being the most primitives on Earth, would be happy and welcoming. Instead, the Tasmanian tried to kill the French in a massive premeditated ambush, and the sailors came back to France, announcing Rousseau had been found incorrect.

http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/tasmanian-effect/

So is the nature of man that of a dog, or wolf? Is the famous Roman “Homo Homini Lupus”, true?

Well Ancient Greeks knew dogs, but not baboons. Baboons technical name is “cynocephali” (dog-heads). In more ways than simple appearances, they are half-way between dog and men. As I grew up in Africa, I observed baboons in the wild, or captivity. I was struck by their humaneness.

Recently the great apes were re-labelled as “Hominidae”, to remind us of their humaneness. However, in one important way, baboons are closer to man than to any other species. Both man and baboons have evolved to make a living in the savannah, instead of among the trees. This brought to bear on the species the same evolutionary pressures, hence the same solutions. Particularly in the realms of defense, attack, group-think (and specifically what I call intellectual fascism).

To do so, to live in the savannah, where they go drink everyday, in a killing gallery, baboons had to evolve not just an omnivorous way of life, but super-predatory ways, all the way to the fascist, military instinct some insist could NOT possibly be human. As they move about, baboons form well organized armies, and the fierce military spirit to go with them. The larger, the noisier, the more horrific the army, led by seemingly crazed leaders, mad with uncontrollable hatred and rage, the better, to put all predators to flight.

Back in Africa, it seemed to me that no philosophy that did not understand baboons could pretend to understand man. Thus a philosophy of origins had to encompass baboons. Conversely, baboons are easier to understand than people: people hide behind complicated cultures and their various make-belief “creators”, whereas baboons do not have this sort of arrogance.

The zoologist Buffon pontificated that baboons were “too obscene to describe”. Baboons were an experimental model contradicting Rousseau. A progress from the Greeks, I would respectfully suggest, would be to graduate from dog to baboon, as a philosophical paradigm, a simpler model of Homo Sapiens.

Once one has understood that people are super-baboons, one has made a gigantic step forward in the true nature of humanity, and its “nomos”. As we bring the greatest crisis in 65 million years, it’s high time.

Patrice Ayme’

Not With Putin As With Hitler

December 16, 2014

Things Are Getting Serious:

Krugman was in Dubai, in a conference, plutocratizing, I presume. Wrote he:

“A lot of the conference was actually about geopolitics, and I don’t want to think about the quite grim stuff from that end.”

Yes, things are getting interesting. In Lima 196 countries decided that Global Warming was a problem, and all and any country had to present a plan to reduce CO2 emissions within 6 months.

Global temperatures seem ready for a significant jump-up, the exact thing I have been saying, for more than a decade, that it would happen someday. Amusingly, at this rate, in ten years, temperature would jump as high as the worst predictions… for a century from now.

The gigantic Gulf of Maine has already warmed up. It was the stronghold of cod, ever since Europeans, more than 5 centuries ago, started to massively fish there. From Boston to the Bay of Fundy, the Gulf of Maine has become too hot for cods, and they vote with their fins to go somewhere fresher. At the rate we are going, cods may run out of planet within twenty years.

Back to Krugman: “Venezuela-with-nukes (Russia) keeps looking more vulnerable to crisis. Long-term interest rates at almost 13 percent, a plunging currency, and a lot of private-sector institutions with large foreign-currency debts. You might imagine that large foreign exchange reserves would allow the government to bail out those in trouble, but the markets evidently don’t think so. This is starting to look very serious.

It is called war. War with Putin. War is serious. It’s better done early, on one’s own agenda. Cratering the price of oil is part of it.

Russia’s central bank, in a bid to prevent the Ruble to turn into ruble, raised its key interest rate Tuesday, Dec. 15 2014, to 17% from 10.5%. The repo rate went up to 18%.

War with Putin, is better than the alternative, namely peace with the dictator. Fortunately, we are not following the script from January 1933 (election of Hitler) to December 1941 (Hitler declares war to the USA).

***

Hitler Blossomed Because As Assad And Putin, He Had Western Plutocratic Allies:

War with Hitler started in 1933, as far as the French Republic was concerned (and the French economy got seriously affected by the war preparations: enormous fortifications, and being ready to field more than 100 divisions).

However, all of France’s potential allies signed deals, official or not, with Hitler. Poland inaugurated this with a January “Non-Aggression Treaty with Hitler.

Great Britain signed a so-called “Naval Treaty” with Hitler in 1935, with the understanding that Hitler could invade the East as he pleased. The Treaty allowed Hitler to re-arm as much as he pleased, in violation of the Versailles Treaty.

Meanwhile American plutocrats invested massively in the Reich. Texaco provided Hitler with all the oil he needed to transport a fascist army from Africa into Spain, and wage war there. Standard Oil (Exxon) provided secretly the Nazis with synfuel technology (not to be shared with the Anglo-Saxon militaries), IBM was given the monopoly of computing in the Reich, Ford (Hitler’s first sponsor) build thousands of military vehicles, and so on ad nauseam: the Reich had turned into an Eldorado for American plutocrats.

When France (1936) declared her intention to give weapons to the Spanish Republic, she was opposed on the world scene & had to back-off. France could not afford to antagonize the Anglo-Saxons, so the Spanish Republic got no weapon, and was progressively devoured in the next three years by Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and their goons.

Spain fell in 1939. Millions more Spaniards would be eliminated by the fascists in the next few years. Great Britain had not supported the French-Czech alliance, and Czechoslovakia had been invaded. Finally the UK understood how serious the situation was, and agreed to support the French-Polish Alliance’s fine print.

Hitler supported German minorities, he said, and gave an ultimatum to Poland. This time France declared her intent to declare war. So Hitler allied himself with Stalin, and invaded Poland. But France, now joined by Britain, which had no army to speak of, declared war. The British Commonwealth soon followed (Canada, Australia, India, etc.)

What did the USA do? The President of the USA, acting on the “Neutrality Act” signed a law making it unlawful for American citizens to support France or Britain, or even set a foot on their ships. Why? France and Britain were viewed as “belligerent”.

Meanwhile, American plutocratic support for Hitler augmented.

***

Hitler Got Lucky In May 1940:

The rest is well known: the Nazis’ 150 divisions got lucky against the 100 French divisions in May 1940, however the French made it so that the small British army escaped at Dunkirk, and that prevented Hitler to establish a bridgehead in Britain.

Less well known is the fact that the top German generals asked Britain and the USA to simply say that they would support France. Then the generals were to get rid of the Nazis to save Germany. Instead, the British and Americans told Hitler that his generals were plotting against him (this happened in 1937-1939).

Lesson of all this?

The Anglo-Saxon support of Hitler was crucial in allowing Hitler to pursue his apocalypse

And even encouraged it: Hitler made countless discourses about the democracies having no will.

Is Putin Hitler?

Not exactly, but Putin has nukes. And the foundations of their ideologies have a lot in common. Hitler thought that, to develop economically, Germany needed a greater “vital space” (Lebensraum). Putin has made it clear that he had to reconstitute a greater empire, the USSR

If we do not want to renew the mistakes of the 1930s, the lessons are clear:

France, Britain and the USA have to be united, and promote civilization. They are now joined by Germany, and the rest of Western Europe. The traitors of 1939, among them Sweden and Switzerland, are now firmly on the side of (greater) democracy and against blatant dictatorship (with which they had collaborated in 1939).

When the French Republic went to war against the awful troika from hell, Hitler, Stalin and American plutocrats, the odds were long. Right now, the odds are excellent: the GDP of Russia is less much less than that of France. The Russian economy is in free fall.

United We Have To Stand:

The difference with the 1930s is that, this time, the West is united. Hitler would have been killed by his own generals if the USA and Britain had been solidly behind the French Republic in the 1930s (instead the USA and Britain informed dictator-president-Kanzler Hitler that his own generals were plotting against him).

A non-difference with the present plutocracy in the West is that Moscow has the greatest number of billionaires in residence. Putin was encouraged by what plutocracy got away with in the West, and tried to go a bit further… big mistake.

Now the West has to grimly pursue the job.

In the 1930s, the war of democracy against fascism, by proxy, was in Spain. Democracy lost, fascism was encouraged. Now the show by proxy is in Syria. It’s an enormously complicated situation.

But, as I said, the (representative) democracies had to get involved. They all are: Australia is bombing Iraq. Great. All right, the mentally unbalanced supports of Islamism come out, and fire their weapons in Sydney’s harbor. Not surprising… except to those who did not read the Qur’an.

Mayhem comes from two sources: bad guys, and bad situations. They are entangled: bad guys create bad situations, bad situations create bad guys.

The ultimate bad situation is the CO2 crisis. There too the lesson is that the West has to be united (it was not united in the last two decades, as the USA pursued its own selfish CO2 splurging, namely 20 tons per person per year of CO2, more than double the EU’s; fortunately, Kerry went to Lima).

Hitler was encouraged by his Anglo-Saxon plutocrat friends to get ever worse, until the bad situation he had created escaped his control, September 3, 1939, when France and Britain declared war.

Putin had a bad situation, namely the kleptocratic plutocracy he created led Ukraine to break formally away by associating itself with the European Union. He tried to stop that with threats, and then, prisoner of its own rhetoric, and his thirst for oil, by invading Crimea, and annexing it.

It was the first unilateral annexation in Europe since Hitler annexed parts of France in 1940.

It will not stand, it cannot stand.

Patrice Ayme’

Economic Incompetence A Cover-Up?

December 14, 2014

Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat, Massachusetts) is one of the couple of American politicians with a progressive mindset. She has criticized the latest government funding bill because it repeals part of Dodd-Frank (notice that the Democrats are still in power, doing this re-augmentation of the power of financial plutocrats, just before leaving office, no doubt to reap their rewards when they will be looking for juicy compensations in a few weeks).

Warren also disagreed with Obama’s nomination of investment banker Antonio Weiss for the Treasury Department (not the first time Obama names such a fat cat to watch the hens, a method now copied by Hollande).

Warren will never be part of the real government of the USA (those are people such as Weiss, or (famous for her “Fuck-Europe) Nuland who stand just below the figure heads (Obama, Hagel, Kerry, etc.) Or then she will have to do what she is told.

It is true that some American politicians instituted forceful reforms: the two Roosevelts and JFK were from a plutocratic background, and the three of them were also warriors (real ones). Johnson, however rotten, rode JFK’s assassination to pass a progressive agenda, and Eisenhower, with his 93% upper margin tax, was also a warrior.

In all cases, progressive American politicians were extremely aggressive types. In comparison, Bill Clinton, a spineless schmoozer, made it so that the financial derivatives market went from 80 TRILLION dollars to the present 800 trillions.

So the financial derivatives market is about 12 times WORLD GDP. In other words, for one transaction among the low lives, the fat cats make 12.

Here comes Krugman, in his latest, “Made As Hellas”:

“The Greek fiscal crisis erupted five years ago, and its side effects continue to inflict immense damage on Europe and the world. But I’m not talking about the side effects you may have in mind — spillovers from Greece’s Great Depression-level slump, or financial contagion to other debtors. No, the truly disastrous effect of the Greek crisis was the way it distorted economic policy, as supposedly serious people around the world rushed to learn the wrong lessons.”

Well, I have several twists on this: first, the fundamental crisis was the financial derivatives crisis in New York and London. Second, as I will show, the wrong lessons were taught by the usual cast of deviant characters and their servants. It was, it is, a case of intoxication with the wrong ideas, to poison the world’s entire economy, thus its society, and future… to profit the few who hold the strings.

Krugman pursues: What happened last time, you may recall, was the exploitation of Greece’s woes to change the economic subject. Suddenly, we were supposed to obsess over budget deficits, even if borrowing costs were at historic lows, and slash government spending, even in the face of mass unemployment. Because if we didn’t, you see, we could turn into Greece any day now. “Greece stands as a warning of what happens to countries that lose their credibility,” intoned David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, as he announced austerity policies in 2010. “We are on the same path as Greece,” declared Representative Paul Ryan, who was soon to become the chairman of the House Budget Committee, that same year.

In reality, Britain and the United States…were and are nothing like Greece. Now Greece appears to be in crisis again. Will we learn the right lessons this time?

I have no idea how events in Greece are about to turn out. But there’s a real lesson in its political turmoil that’s much more important than the false lesson too many took from its special fiscal woes.”

Krugman is superficially correct, but fundamentally naïve.

An elite of sort-of thinking thieves conspiring with the world’s biggest plutocrats, rules, abuses, exploits, and splurges.

That elite of robbers has run out of sophisticated bogus arguments which everybody believes in, so, now, they are trying to present themselves as incompetent … but they then add that anybody else would do much worse than they do.

In other words, the plutocrats and their political accomplices and agents use now their own incompetence as a cover-up.

How do I know that they deliberately use incompetence as a cover-up?

I saw recently the worst accusations being flung at some cabinet ministers in France (where it is a crime to insult the members of the government) and against others, such as Juncker (a fitting name, close to “junk”).

Juncker, the new head of the European Commission, who, over a quarter of a century, as Finance Minister, and then Prime Minister of Luxembourg, organized outrageous tax evasion of the order of trillions of Euros by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the world, thus putting in misery hundreds of millions of Europeans. Juncker, is arguably, one of the world’s top criminals, ethically speaking. His monstrous crimes leave him impassible: apparently he has seen, or committed, worse.

So how do these extremely high level politicians react, when they are told, in public, they are greedy, thieving, conniving, low lives? Well, they react as if they fully expected those complaints and insults: they find them natural. Why? Obviously because they did, indeed, commit them, and they know very well their crimes are in plain sight.

We have many examples of the worst regimes in the last 4,000 years of recorded history, when regimes went astray, and yet, they found many to serve them.

We are experiencing now such a case. Basically all European politicians, and the political system they grew from ought to be thrown out, and replaced by direct democracy. How? Just copy what is done in Switzerland.

The problem is the same in the USA. But, as the world’s largest national economy, and military, and networked empire, the USA plutocrats have fed their servants with more crumbs. Hence the more subdued and less revolted state of the American populace…

Patrice Ayme’

Religion: Delusion Serves Tribalization

December 13, 2014

[The following was censored by an American philosophy site. Why? It “exacerbates things”.]

In culturally advanced countries, such as the USA, religious believers with a modicum of general culture and awareness, know very well that, when they embrace a superstition, a so-called religion, they fancy something that is not the truth.

So what is going on? Why do they outwardly believe in something, that they truly do not believe in?

(For the purpose of this essay, I will override the joke that the difference between the USA and yogurt, is that yogurt has live culture.)

Thus believers know that they do not believe in the truth, they just have “faith” that they will get away with it. In advanced countries, believers have seen enough TV, and videos, to know this.

So why do they embrace something that they do not believe in, deep down inside? If you ask them, they will say because so did their parents, or that it’s a “tradition”.

Thus the motivation of believers is essentially tribal: I believe what my tribe believes, however absurd (and the more absurd, the more well defined it is). Religion is not just tribalism, it’s in-your-face tribalism. No wonder the so-called Islamist State behaves just the same. They heed the example generously provided by the USA (or, more exactly the leading, opinion making circles, of the USA; thus: are Islamists Americanists in heavy disguise?)

This is evidenced by the situation in Israel. Weirdly dressed people, often coming from overseas, namely the USA, have decided to occupy the land of others, and, if one observes this, they brandish racism, or even dark allusions to Nazism.

Tribalists always call critiques unduly offensive, or even racist and disrespectful of their religion (it is a sin, precisely because religion is tribal, and thus, attacking religion is attacking the tribe).

This, religion being a deliberate lie masking a tribal purpose, is why the god delusion has deflated in Europe: Europeans, deep inside, know that the old religions were essentially tribal excuses to go to war manipulated by elites for their own profit (see Israel again for a live example). And Europeans have had enough of wars.

(By the way, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine killed at least 4,500 people, it was announced today.)

The rejection of religion by Europeans was helped by the SS motto: “Gott Mit Uns” (God With Us). Nazism evoked “Gott” a lot, and Biblical semantics (superior race versus “Elected People”, “Lebensraum”, the vital space to the east, as in the Bible, in parallel with “Promised Land”, without counting the many god-organized genocides of the Bible, etc…)

It dawned on Europeans that the old elites walloped in faith. With the enthusiasm of various predatory beasts, walloping in gore. This is not meant to be an insult, by the way. It’s a description: predators rub themselves in the smell of decaying flesh of their prey to disguise their true nature, and make it easier to approach the next meal.

Thus Christianism did with love. Love was rubbed all over it, but the purpose was just the opposite: Christianism killed millions…. Yet, it did not even originate European style welfare, nationalization, and socialism (the Franks did that).

If, as I asserted, believers have made a conscious decision to believe in lies, what does that tell us? That here are people whose meta-ethics is lying.

Do we want to encourage this? Do we even want to tolerate this? Should this be viewed as a deviant psychological behavior? This is what somebody such as Dawkins believe. I do not like Dawkins on genes, but I approve him on that.

One cannot have faith, a faith one knows is a lie, a faith that lies should rule the minds, and it is of no consequence.

We encourage meta-lying by not calling, at least among intellectuals, the God Delusion for what it is. Not just a delusion, but a tribalization. The delusion of tribalization.

It is not a question of telling a child dying of cancer that god does not exist, and will not take care of her. I am ready, and I certainly will lie, in such a case, as I comfort a child, and not just a child, with such lies… And maybe they are not lies, gods know…

By the way, Christians ought to stop holding the Solstice hostage. The Winter Solstice feasts, complete with cut conifers, lights, decorations and gift giving, are known to be older than Christianism by more than five centuries.

An exasperated Imperator Augustus passed a law to limit the “Saturnials”, as the Romans called the solstice feasts, to less than three weeks.

In a debate among intellectuals, the connection between gods’ delusion and tribalization ought not to be censored.

That such a connection is censored in American “philosophical” sites is telling.

Primitives go to war. Those who claim to be primitive enough to persuade themselves that they are primitive, will also go to war, because, once they have persuaded themselves that they are primitive, they are free to act like the primitives they have persuaded themselves they are. When Bush invaded Iraq, in 2003, monolithic war thinking ruled all over. USA media systematically censored all my comments (although the New York Times editorial board was reading them for themselves, as they communicated with me).

Religionism is tribalism by another name. Tribes are the primitive war units. However, war fabricates history.

Europe is anxious to forget war. But the feeling is not reciprocal. The American leadership, by making sure that the population does not forget religion, thus tribalism, makes sure that most of the military budget of the planet originates in the USA.

Thus religion is at the core of the military-industrial complex. They are both strong in the USA, because they are related.

The USA was also spectacularly in denial about the poisoning of the biosphere by CO2. That, too, is related to religion: after all, why to worry? God is omnipotent, remember? And no need to do anything about a violent society, violent police, and the might of plutocrats: God is in charge.

Religion does not just organize tribalism, it can make it conservative, that is, in a few hands. Don’t ask why American universities censor agnosticism, ask why they should censor those who want a society less defined by the few, who make them rich.

Time to “exacerbate things“?

Patrice Ayme’

Torture Denies Brotherhood, Reason: Plutocrats Love It

December 13, 2014

Rejecting Torture Is Torture To Those Who Refuse Civilization. Let’s Torture Them That Way:

The government of the USA, fully duplicitous:

The Bush administration decided that Middle-Ages tortures (such as immersing a face under water) were not torture, when ordered by the government of the USA. This official policy of the USA got a further twist under Obama. Obama pontificated that “Torture is contrary to what we are”.

Thus the Obama administration did not prosecute torture advocates and torture administrators: surely we cannot be prosecuted for the opposite of what we are. Leon Panetta, CIA head and Defense Secretary wrote in “Worthy Fights” that, summoned to the White House by Obama’s chief of staff (now the mayor of Chicago), Rahm Emanuel “got ugly”. Says Panetta: ‘The president wants to know who the f**k authorized this to the committees,’ Rahm said, slamming his hand down on the table. “I have a president with his hair on fire and I want to know what the f**k you did to f**k this up so bad.”

Obama Facing Torture, Dec. 10, 2014

Obama Facing Torture, Dec. 10, 2014

It’s “contrary to what we are”, said Big Brother. So it cannot possibly be. And that sure infuriates Him.

Hitler used to tell the highest Nazi Party officials, that exterminating the Jews was out of the question. When asked about that much-emphasized position of the “Guide” at the Wannsee Conference, SS General Reinhart Heydrich bluntly said that it was what Hitler would keep on saying, if asked: thus the necessity of the Wannsee conference to make explicit to the highest officials what the real policy of the Reich was.

So what’s the real policy of the USA?

Now that the Democratic Party is in the last few days of its control of the Senate of the USA, Senator Diane Feinstein released a heavily “redacted” (= censored) report of CIA torture (over objections from the apparently pro-torture Obama administration). Feinstein is apparently keen to leave a trace beyond her own personal greed for money. She is suddenly interested by truth.

An aside: another Senator, Mark Udall, a Democrat from Colorado, who is in office for another few weeks (he lost re-election), said on Thursday that: “The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate intelligence committee computers. This grave misconduct is not only illegal but it violates the US constitution’s requirement of separation of powers.”

Funny all these pseudo-progressives trying to wash their souls in their last few days of power…

***

Why not to engage in torture? The answer was found by the Roman Republic:

The Republic outlawed the torture of citizens. Why? Well, first, because it was not needed. In a coherent, cohesive society of peers, peers don’t torture peers, because peers never engage in some conspiracy so dastardly that only unbearable suffering is the only thing that will get them to confess.

So engaging in torture meant precisely that hatred, not fraternity, ruled.

France, the ex-Francia Occidentalis, had developed, by 1300 CE, the modern police state. (Proof? All Templars were arrested at the same time on the same day, all over; also the Pope was arrested in Rome by French Special forces headed by a lawyer, and died in custody.) By then torture was very scientific, and delivered results.

However, by 1600 CE, police methods were so advanced that torture was found to be counterproductive. The subtlety of having an informant networks was found much more efficient. During the famous “Affaires des Poisons”, a gigantic, mind boggling conspiracy of poisoners, greedy wives, sorcerers, plotting socialites, plutocrats, mistresses, duchesses, and the like, careful police work was more effective than torture to obtain (too much, said the King) information.

(That does not mean that burning alive some miscreants who had killed up to 2,000 children did not have a salutary effect on the public! Torture for punishment, and torture for intelligence are two different things… Observed a winged devil who passed by…)

So one can say that employing torture is a testimony to a non-cohesive social situation. Apparently, during the Battle of Algiers, French paratroops, confronted to amateur, but deadly bomb makers, were able to extract, through torture, crucial confessions under extreme time pressure, as bombs were literally ticking.

However what torture gains in military efficiency, is more than lost in the propaganda battle. To this day, the cogent reasons for paratroops to use torture in that very peculiar situation, are drowned by the jeers of those who wanted the Algerian society deconstructed.

Torture Is Contrary To The Brotherhood Of Reason Known As Direct Democracy, Our Ideal:

When the civilized West is confronted to barbaric fanatics, Muslim or not, it’s of its essence to not exchange nature: the West has to stay civilized. The West does not have to stay civilized at all and any cost, but close to it.

The aim of the war of civilization against barbarity is to establish a brotherhood of reason.

So we have to enforce both brotherhood, and reason.

It goes without saying that plutocrats like neither. That’s why they love torture: it contradicts both brotherhood, and reason. Instead it extolls the rule of cruelty, brute force, and extermination, it brandishes torture as an achievement, and gives it another name. (Just as Christianism did.)

Hence it was not a coincidence that torture became the official policy of the USA under Bush’s plutocratic government. Because it was not just the CIA. The CIA acted under order from the Bush government, and several torture lawyers such as Mr. Yoo (who made the mistake of inviting me to his home).

Now Obama is trying to hide all this, by saying that “true patriots” got panicked after 9/11. Says he:” “We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values. I understand why it happened.”

We? Maybe you understand why it happened, but you are trying to say the CIA and others did it all, whereas they obeyed orders by plutocrats from above. And their obsequious servants down below, from the gutter.

Mr. John Yoo, the lawyer, is a Berkeley Law Professor of pure Asian genetics, and who saw an occasion to make a name for himself in plutocratic circles with deviant legal reasoning in his famous “TORTURE MEMO”. Yoo was Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States.

It was signed in August 2002 by Assistant Attorney General Bybee, now an all-powerful Federal Judge, also a denizen of Berkeley. The memo advised the CIA, the DOD, and Bush and his goons that torture was legal. (So probably is slavery if you call it something else!)

So Obama, once again, is covering-up for the forces of evil. And the message is: if you, little mongrels, get out of line, and rebel against the powers that be, remember torture is contrary to what we are, and we get away with it.

You can escape the judgment of today’s pundits. But not that of history.

Patrice Ayme’

American Energy Conspiracies

December 12, 2014

Science is about what we know, for sure. Philosophy is about what we can guess.

History has been fruitful to the USA, so it should be repeated. Again and again, and again. Historians are viewed with suspicion, as soon as they don’t stick to the official, fruitful version of history. Indeed, not repeating history is viewed as counterproductive, in highly successful empires.

Conspiracies is what the most impactful part of history is made of. The USA started as a conspiracy, mostly conducted in Paris. It was so conspiratorial that the King of France had the budget for the war of liberation of America written in secret ledgers.

Many A Conspiracy Explain This Weird Oil Price Graph

Many A Conspiracy Explain This Weird Oil Price Graph

No wonder that the concept of “conspiracy theorist”, is a well-known demeaning expression, in the USA, among those who, in the best universities, aspire to make a career from supporting the established order. The fox hides its trail, with its tail.

Conspiracy is in the genes of the American institutional psyche.

To understand human evolution, especially in the last ten million years, one has to understand energy. Our distant ancestors decided to venture in the Savannah to grab the food, that is, the energy, there. They were immigrants in search of a better world.

The rise of European civilization in the Middle Ages was caused by the outlawing of slavery in 655 CE by the Merovingian Frankish Empire: it forced society to develop mechanical and animal advantage. That turned out to produce a lot of energy. By the year 1000 CE, Europeans commanded more energy, per person, than anybody else, leaving behind China.

In 1939, the dictator-president, Kanzler Adolf Hitler, wanted Poland absolutely, one reason being that Poland had oil (whereas the oil Hitler was getting was from the Americans, or a synthetic oil process, also a, secret, courtesy of American plutocrats). Ironically, Hitler’s ally Stalin got to Polish oil first, thanks to his conspiracy with the Nazi dictator.

Before World War Two, the British and the French controlled the Middle East (which they had freed from the Turks). In particular, Britain controlled Iraq directly (wrestled from Germany in WWI), and Saudi Arabia, indirectly. Thus European democracies had their own oil supply.

After WWII, the USA took control of the Middle East. That was done with an irresistible cocktail of implicit military force (against France and Britain, which culminated when the USA allied itself with Soviet Russia during the Hungary-Suez Canal week of 1956), and debt (when Britain and France were under threat of invasion by the Nazis, the USA exchanged military equipment for debt, or cash).

In the Orient, the USA was not keen to see European influence re-establishing itself. So the USA allied itself with the Vietnamese Communists against the French (and even, for a while, de facto, with Mao). The USA provided the Vietminh with weapons to fight the French, and would not rest until the French got kicked out of North Africa.

Thus the worldwide empire of the USA grew. (No, the Ukrainian situation is not the same, contrarily to what Putin propaganda has been claiming.)

The end result? The Chinese and Arabian plutocracies are doing great. Thanks to the Big Brother plutocracy based in the USA.

The USA give the feudal oil regimes the military backbone they need to stay in place. The USA gave China the capital, technology and companies to establish itself as the number one factory in the world. This has been excellent for American plutocrats. If built in the USA, Apple’s iphone would cost three times more (that is $2,000! For the cheapest model.) Mostly due to higher labor cost. Fortunately Apple’s management has been able to cut out all these greedy American workers (who can now wait on the tables of Apple executives, or clean their luxury electric cars). Geeks and wealthy teenagers are forever in the debt of American plutocrats.

But let’s go back to energy.

Jesus has obviously been conspiring with the USA by providing it with vast quantities of oil, all over, from Pennsylvania to California, and Texas to North Dakota. Without oil, the USA may just have been a larger version of Argentina (Argentine has some oil, but not as much, and not as easy to get; in places in the USA, such as Los Angeles, oil literally makes lakes on the surface).

American plutocrats then conspired with their servant, Adolf Hitler, to provide those-who-wanted-to-kill a lot of people, the Nazis, with all the oil they needed to invade countries, starting with Spain (when their oil got cut-off, the Nazis found their war toys could not be used; but, by then, Nazis were not useful to American plutocrats).

The price of oil stagnated around twenty dollars a barrel for the longest time. The USA was the world’s main producer of oil, but then its production peaked at around ten million barrels a day, and went down. It was the end of cheap oil, at least in the USA.

The world’s main producers, real and potential, became the feudal regimes of the Middle East: Arabia, Iraq, Iran. Iran, in a plot helped by Iraq and France, rebelled from under the American lordship, and went its own way: it got punished. Iraq thought it could be independent from Washington: a series of plots, wars and embargoes, subdued it.

Iraq had the greatest, or second greatest, reserves of oil. The subjugation of Iraq took it out of the oil market. Hence the price of oil took off, helped by financial futures market conspirators.

But sometimes there is too much of a good thing: oil became so expensive that many Americans walked off their mortgages (housing is mostly borrowed from banks in the USA, not properly owned). That was something the whizz kids in American banking had not expected, and the whole, highly leveraged house of cards collapsed.

Thus so did demand for anything, the economy collapsed, and the price of oil went from $140 down to $40.

However, even with that hiccup, the price of oil, thanks from the Washington conspiracy to take out of the oil market both Iran and Iraq, stayed high.

Thus the USA was able to develop TIGHT OIL.

The USA was past CONVENTIONAL, CHEAP OIL, but a new technology was able to get at the oil tightly embedded in rock by fracturing said rock. Actually the technology was not new, but to deploy it massively, using wells which bent and went horizontal, was new.

This technique, called FRACKING, is expensive. Not just expensive on the environment, and deleterious for water supplies. It is intrinsically expensive: instead of just digging a hole and having oil gushing out, one needs to dig deep and massage the rock hundreds of times with water laden with corrosive chemicals and sand. Then one needs to go make another hole close by and start all over again, after having thrown away the humongously disgusting water, now laden with all sorts of poisons, toxic minerals, and, often, radioactivity, somewhere discrete.

Fracking needs an oil price around $60 a barrel to be profitable.

The oil price just broke below $60 on December 11, 2014.

Why?

The short of it is that Saudi Arabia is producing massively, and has announced it decided to target $60 a barrel for the price of oil. It is like an official conspiracy.

How come? Well, Vlad the Invader, having ravaged his country’s economic prospects, like Hitler, is reduced to oppress other nationalities, and minorities (Tatars), to imprint on his followers that he is worth following blindly, being a great chief.

The total fossil fuel (oil and gas) production of Russia is 22 million barrels a day, and was just equaled this year by the USA, making these two empires the largest fossil fuel producers in the world. Russia makes all its money that way.

To squeeze Russia, squeeze the oil price. To squeeze oil, just ask the Saudis, and make oil futures guys understand that it is in the national interest that the oil price go down.

Here we are.

Is that a problem for fracking? Not really. Not only has fracking a lot of inertia, but several of the aims of the fracking movement, such as the repatriation of the chemical industry, or the lowering of the price of energy in the USA, and energy independence thereof, have been achieved (never mind that the poles are melting).

One of the problems with Europe, is that it cannot generate plots at this scale: European national governments and administrations are all too independent. A strength of the USA is that it can conspire on a gigantic national, and worldwide basis. Top American leaders come from very few elite schools, the plutocratic universities. Where they are taught exactly what to know, what to not know, and how to listen.

Then they implement.

Patrice Ayme’

Outlaw Carbon Burning

December 11, 2014

Abstract: Uncertainties of climate scenarios from human pollution are so great, and potentially so catastrophic, that the only reasonable course is to outlaw carbon burning. Replacement technologies already exist. We have ten years to catastrophe. This is the bottom line for the world climate talks right now in Lima, Peru.

***

The USA and its dictatorial poodle, the People’s Republic of China, cause 44% of the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emission in the world.

The European Union causes only 11% of said emissions. The spectacular relative decrease of European Union pollution exacted a heavy price in comparative advantage.

Great Acceleration: World Ocean Temperature Record, September 2014

Great Acceleration: World Ocean Temperature Record, September 2014

Of all excess heat caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases, 93.4% goes into oceans. Thus the temperature of oceans has reached new records, month after month in 2014.

The average September GLOBAL ocean temperature marked a record high for that month in 2014, at 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average, breaking the previous record that was set just one month earlier.

The American and Chinese economies are progressing by leaps and bounds, greatly from their wild and cheap carbon burning. But the price on the planet will be heavy.

China and the USA are progressing by leaps and bounds, or, at least their plutocrats are: President Xi’s family has hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate, in Hong Kong alone. The climate crisis is entangled with the plutocratic crisis.

Right now, the CO2 density in the atmosphere augments by 1% a year. CO2 blocks Infra Red (IR) radiation. Thus the heat of the ground, instead of fleeing back to space, is blocked in the first few kilometers of the atmosphere (yes it should lead to a decrease of temperature at very high , stratospheric altitude, and it, indeed, does).

The rise of temperature next to the ground heats up the oceans, liberating water vapor, H2O, itself a potent greenhouse gas, which amplifies the CO2 greenhouse effect blanketing the ground.

These are highly non-linear effects, extremely difficult to compute.

Although we do not understand the details with certainty, paleontological records clearly show that high CO2 concentrations are associated with complete melting of the icecaps, as happened, say, 100 million years ago, or during the Carboniferous era.

Yet, in these cases, the changes were progressive, so life on Earth, and the Gaia system of temperature regulation by weathering of silicate rocks, volcanoes and plate tectonics, had time to adjust accordingly.

The change the present human industry is imparting on Earth is too fast for Earth’s biosphere and geology to compensate.

Hence an extreme risk to launch a run-away greenhouse episode.

The argument has been deployed by fossil fuel partisans that all is fine: OK, the ten warmest years on the record are all since 1998, but nothing much has happened. So what?

Well, the climate is the largest system known, aside from astronomical phenomena. Thus, it has extreme inertia. Yes, it barely moved. So far. But that does not mean that an enormous force is not applied to it. When the climate starts to move significantly, from one year, to the next, it will be unstoppable.

Most of the warming will be concentrated in the high latitudes: the tropics cannot get much warmer, but the poles can get much warmer. And we know that this is what happened in the past: there used to be dinosaurs in Antarctica, and Alaska, crocodiles in northern Greenland.

That may sound pleasant and intriguing, but those dinosaurs had evolved over millions of years to handle months of obscurity.

Right now, the biosphere has no time to adapt (some species will, contributing to further imbalance: for example, some parasites are infesting forests in North America, because of the lack of frigid winter weather; the forests then die, and burn).

What to do?

The case of Europe shows that there a price to be paid for expensive energy.

Europe was caught flat-footed: it decided to cut on its CO2 emissions, but that meant cut on cheap energy, thus on industry…

Proof? As the USA produced cheap energy from fracking, industry in heavy duty fields such as chemicals came back to the USA.

Cutting in European industry meant cutting on the economy, and thus on Europe’s place in the world… And thus in Europe’s influence in the fight against carbon burning.

However sustainable energy, at this point mostly solar and wind, are getting as cheap as fossil fuels.

Yet, they cannot replace fossil fuels completely, because they are intermittent, and we don’t have ways of storing massive energy, besides dams. Building dams and elevated lagoons everywhere is not realistic.

Fortunately, we have advanced nuclear energy. Or, rather, we could have it, had we tried to develop it.

Civil nuclear energy has never killed anyone in the USA, or France. (Even including the expensive Three Mile Island snafu.)

Fossil fuels kill at least seven million people a year, say the World Health Organization, which adds that the unfolding climate catastrophe kills already 500,000 people a year.

Denmark and Germany decided to use fossil fuels for base energy (and French and Swedish nuclear reactors; besides Norwegian dams). That’s the energy they need to produce when the winds die, and the sun cannot be seen.

This is not a correct decision: fossil fuel plants cost are of the same order as an Advanced Nuclear plant. That means that they cost billions of Euros. Once built, they, and the whole energy system they are part of, have to be used.

It is crucial to change the attitude relative to nuclear energy. It is changing.

In May 2011, the Swiss government decided to not build new nuclear reactors. The country’s five existing reactors would be allowed to continue operating, but would not be replaced at the end of their life span. The last would have been closed in 2034.

However, by 2014, the grotesque, and self-contradictory coal circus in Denmark and Germany came to the attention of the Swiss. In December 2014, the Swiss government announced that the lifespan of the nuclear plants would be extended indefinitely, with the same thorough controls every ten years, which presently exist.

Switzerland, once again, shows the way.

Let me hasten to add that the design of the Swiss reactors is nearly seventy years old. Although they probably can be operated safely (once taken into account quakes and terrorism), Advanced Nuclear reactors and Thorium plants ought to be developed. Those could be made safer than a wind turbine.

Uncertainties On Sea Level Rise Are Even Greater Than This 2012 Graph Shows.

Uncertainties On Sea Level Rise Are Even Greater Than This 2012 Graph Shows.

In any case, the worst case climate scenario is what ought to enter the political computation, because not only it cannot be excluded, but it seems all too likely. In that worst case scenario, the impact of the greenhouse gas crisis would not be far removed from that of a large comet.

We can avoid this because the three leading non-CO2 emitting technologies: Wind, Solar and Advanced Nuclear are all cost competitive with the cheapest fossil fuels.

Outlaw carbon burning: it is technically feasible, and it is a precaution we have to take.

Patrice Ayme’


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