Archive for the ‘Biosphere’ Category

I FEEL, Therefore I THINK

June 17, 2015

It has been discovered recently that bilingualism helped with setting up a theory of mind in children, and also that physical exercise helps the brain.

It’s not surprising: in both cases, the brain is forced to exercise more. In a way, the brain is asked to do something, a particular task belong to a new category of tasks, and, when tested about that category of tasks, test higher than if it had never engaged in these tasks.

Exercise forces much of the brain to get active, and at a sufficient performance level (otherwise one crashes).

An Aspect Of My Personal Alps, Where I Frequently Run

An Aspect Of My Personal Alps, Where I Frequently Run

Bilingualism forces to realize that the logos depends upon generalized semantics, that is what one means by a particular word, and which emotion a particular concept is supposed to connect two. Having two versions of semantics and truth, forces one to practice arbitrage, hence higher mental functions. Maybe the Jews of Central and Western Europe, were so smart because they learned both the local language and Yiddish. Similarly for children of upper classes learning Greek and Latin on top of their language (Caesar learned Greek before Latin).

Are there other activities which force our minds to expand?

Facing lions and killing mammoths comes to mind. Neanderthals did this, and their brains were significantly larger than those of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. (Racist Homo SS having been trying to insult Neanderthals about this, ever since the first one was identified in 1856 as a “ricketty Cossack“).

More generally I favor the racist explanation that, living in much harder circumstances, Neanderthals were actually smarter, and their domestication of wolves proves it.

Confronting bears with bare hands, is an interesting activity. Bears hate stones, as they are familiar with the fact stones are dangerous, and when stones start flying, that’s strong magic which gives them an enticing excuse to retreat.)

Short of confronting bears with bare hands, what can we do? To improve mental performance?

What should we do?

Well, go to nature. Real nature, complete with wasps (another big black flying insect trying to sting me since my wasps adventure, but got tangled in my hairdo several times, instead; amusingly it was less than 1,000 feet from where I got attacked by wasps, but this time on a standard fire road, which allowed me to escape more readily; I am going to ned up believing in genies like the Muslim god, if they keep coming at me in the same place…).

Real nature activates, I believe, the proper neurohormones.

Making love makes the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richard happy, because it’s a strong passion.

However nature, wild, savage nature, provides with even stronger passions. A sex maniac such as the famous navigator Olivier de Kersauzon, admits that, when he sails around the world, he thinks about sex not once for one second, being too worried by survival, or crushed with fatigue. John Muir climbed a tall conifer during a storm in the Sierra, to appreciate the passions nature provides with, even more.

Nature feels beautiful: it evokes in us the neurohormonal states we call beauty. How are we going to experience beauty otherwise? Love? Yes, sometimes, somewhat, somehow, love is beautiful. But love is tied either to family, children, or where they all come from, the desire to unite with some other(s). It’s a bit too contingent upon others.

But give a human a desert, with grand vistas: even with no one else around, beauty will be had, aplenty.

Appreciating the beauty of the universe, its cosmicity, is related, in humans, no doubt, to many deep emotions we, humans, are made to leverage, to use our minds to their full capabilities. Not just scanning for prey, water, or enemies. But also contemplating what we humans created, because we are stewards of the Earth. We are of this world (that’s what “cosmic, kosmikos” means, in Greek). This world we created (as the Earth has become a vast human garden, complete with totally modified ecology, from pole to pole).

The Beatles insisted: All we need is love!

Well, sometimes we can’t get love, just from the circumstances. Where is love, walking alone under the starry sky, surrounded by darkness? If you are on a barren island, where is love going to come from?

Well, even in the desert, there is always the beauty of nature, love for the beauty of nature, of which love for other human beings is a particular case. Love for nature is not just a faithful companion, it’s a teacher of love and hope.

I think therefore I am, said the other one. But to think better, thus to be better, we have enjoy more the teacher no one can eschew, nature itself. And all the emotions, all the neurohormones, all the mind it can endow us with.

Go to the woods, or the woods will come to you.

Making fun of “I think, therefore I am” dates back at least to Wittgenstein. However, my point is serious. Whereas robots can walk, robots do NOT have sensations. Worms do. So worms feel, and decide what to feel: they are unpredictable, as I pointed out in “Three Neurons, Free Will“.

I would suggest that consciousness is more basic than the impression of “thinking”. And that unpredictability is a symptom of consciousness. Yes, consciousness has a feel to it, and that varies… Hence the unpredictability, both of sentient beings, and of the thinking process itself (and the Quantum Computer will confirm that!)

Patrice Ayme’

Antarctica Heat Records. A Consequence Of Hubris?

April 1, 2015


Hubris melting down world security, including Antarctica. Five national heat records were beaten since the start of 2015.

Including the one in Antarctica, last week.

The poles are where heat records are going to be achieved the most.


Planetary warming is concentrated there. If the temperature goes up two degrees Celsius overall, it will get up TEN degrees Celsius at the Poles. Or so I claim. (Right now we are up officially only .8 degree Celsius, in the global average.)

NASA explains why climate change is warming the poles of our planet faster than the rest this way: “energy in the atmosphere that is carried to the poles through large weather systems.”

That is true, but does not explain the big picture.

500 Kilometers South Of Esperanza Base, Lemaire Channel.

500 Kilometers South Of Esperanza Base, Lemaire Channel.

[Antarctica has 70% of the World’s sweet water.]

The big picture of why the poles are warming up so fast is proven by history, and explained by simple physics. The history of the last five million years, basic thermodynamics, biology and celestial mechanics. It’s etched in stone.

Five millions years ago, the planet was warm. The global CO2 level was the same as now. The global sea level was much higher (30 to 40 meters higher). Then the Central America isthmus closed down, thanks to all its volcanoes. This modified currents worldwide. Or, at least, so went the theory that reigned for thirty years. But now doubts have surfaced; the isthmus between the Americas may be much older than previously thought.

In any case, a few million years ago, Earth’s orbital parameters changed: the inclination of the Earth on the ecliptic (the plane in which its rotation occurs) diminished. That implied colder summers, hence the persistence, thus built-up, of ice at the poles.

Glaciations are all about the peak temperatures, in summer (the rest of the year does not count: ice melts mostly in the warmest two months).

The Arctic became colder, as it got colder in summer. Ice gained, shutting down the CO2 within the ocean with a cold water lid. So CO2 levels in the lower atmosphere collapsed… Down to about 280 ppm. That increased the cooling down. The ice gained further… Until it went so south that it melted in summer.

The planet ended up with two very white, snowy and icy poles, reflecting a lot of light back to space. Earth got equipped with two immense refrigerators. This is the environment in which our species evolved (although there were a few transient spikes even warmer than today, for as inclination over the ecliptic became momentarily pronounced, with torrid summers that made ice melt; the present warming is different, as it is Anthropogenic Green House Gases driven; particularly nasty volcanism could drive the CO2 up, but did not happen in the last five million years.)

Now we are back to Pliocene CO2 levels, 5 million years ago. With these levels of CO2, so much infrared radiation gets trapped close the ground, that the refrigerators are bound to melt. Another reason is that the warm CO2 blanket tends to unify the temperature.

Another way to look at it is that the temperature of the equatorial regions is an average of 25C. The average temperature of the planet is 15C. The average temperature within Antarctica goes from -10C (Coast) to -60C (Interior). Say it’s minus 45C (the official estimate).

If the CO2 blanket is thick enough, the poles will roughly get as warm as the rest.

There will be a lot of inertia: when an ice cube melts in water, the water stays around freezing during the process.

The warmest temperature recorded on the continent of Antarctica occurred on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, when the mercury shot up to 63.5°F (17.5°C) at Argentina’s Esperanza Base on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Shown below:

Esperanza Base, Antarctica: the Glaciers Even Appear To Be Melting

Esperanza Base, Antarctica: the Glaciers Even Appear To Be Melting

[Glaciers that are melting are thin at the margins, and convex… Just as above on the left and center.]

The previous record was 63.3°F (17.4°C) set just one day previously at Argentina’s Marambio Base, an island just off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

I am warming up to this subject. (And I did not even mention the relationship between obesity and rising CO2 that some researchers have recently suggested. C02 rose around 30% in 60 years…)

According to satellite data, researchers from the University of Southampton in the UK, found that sea level rise around the coast of Antarctica over the past 19 years was 8 centimeters (3.15 inches).

Average sea level rise was 6 centimeters (2.36 inches).

Why the difference?

Last summer, in Nature Geoscience, the specialists explained that melting glaciers create an outflow of sweet water. As it is less dense, it floats above the salted water, according to Archimedes Principle.

This will only accelerate melting.

Up north, on February 25, 2015, Arctic sea ice extent reached its annual maximum extent. It was the lowest, and earliest, ever.

Humanity would seem to be in a fascinating state of denial. But not really. After all, maybe only 2,000 individuals lead the world.

Those individuals, who Obama calls the “leaders” (what else?) can only adopt Louis XV of France’s utterance: ”Après moi, le déluge”. (After me, the flood.)

Indeed those leaders are different creatures. Those who are so much greedier for personal power that they end up dominating billions, can only be blinded by it. They have more power than anybody before. More power than any tyrant ever had before.

Contemplate Benjamin Netanyahu: he could fry Iran, with Israeli H bombs. That has got to make him dizzy. And he leads only six million Israeli Jews (who make 75% of Israel’s 8 million).

Now think of Putin, with 24 times more subjects, and more than 8,000 nukes.

Then contemplate the senseless wars the Greek city-states were making to each other. Everybody was allied, and enemy, of everybody else, and often in very short order (weeks). Meanwhile the “King”, namely the emperor of Persia, was busy making the mess messier, with the tremendous money, power and influence at his disposal.

This fibrillating, bellicose frenzy went on and on. Until the plutocrats from the north, the Macedonians, whose wealth rested on horses and gold mines, swooped down.

We could easily fall back in a similar state.

It was the inability of Athens to impose a sustainable empire that caused the war panic in Greece. The war itself was launched by Sparta’s anxiety for the rise of Athenian power (said Thucydides, 24 centuries ago). Sparta’s socio-economic model, ferocious racist exploitation (of the Helots) was failing. Athens’ global trade was winning.

But, too sure of her strength, Athens mismanaged the war (in several dimensions: ethically, strategically, tactically, diplomatically, epidemiologically, etc.).

Result? 23 centuries of eclipse of direct democracy. And counting. Direct Democracy has been re-installed only in Switzerland. Now the stakes are higher. Western Europe is at peace… All too much.

The Main Stream Media have put everybody to sleep. Regularly the media, in turn, publish articles of Matt Ridley. An excellent writer, with a PhD in biology, author of many best sellers in life sciences, Matt Ridley returns to the Wall Street Journal to to argue against clean energy rapidly scaling up, and the science linking the year 2014’s record heat, widespread extreme weather with carbon pollution.

Lord Ridley is a parody of plutocrat. Not only he sieges at the Chamber of Lords, he is a “coal baron” with a revenue from a coal mine on his family estate of six million dollars a year. Yes, he is a major corrupt banker too.

Such people mold world public opinion, as their friends in the MSM give them the means for propaganda. See Lord Ridley’s Rule.

Because they did not have even enough elements to get angry, let alone fight our corrupt leaders, and take over their so-called leadership, our supine populations will soon have to fight the flood. And a real one.

And that will come with a Greek situation, the war of all against all (whom Xenophon related in his Hellenica, the primary source for Greek history from 411 BCE to 362 BCE, the explicit continuation of the History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides).

The war of all against all may have already started. See Obama desperate to strike a deal with his friends of the instant, in Iran and Russia, while others (notably France) want an exemplary accord, and hang tough. Well, France is right. The last thing we need is nuclear weapons all over, while the global flooding accelerates.

Patrice Ayme’

2014 Warmest Year? Satan Loves It

September 23, 2014

2014 is on track to become the warmest year ever. It is in competition with 2010. As it is, the warming is accelerating: this summer was the warmest. If so, it starts a new trend: warming so strong, it’s all messed up. (I predicted long ago that equipartition of energy applied to greenhouse warming would cause wild fluctuations.)

The five warmest years on record are: 2010, 2005, 1998, 2013, and 2003, in that order. 1998 had the strongest El Nino. Only 2013 and 2014 didn’t start with a full grown El Nino, according to NOAA (USA’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The latter fact is curious, and tells a tale, as we will see.

Apparently, we experienced the warmest June-August period, globally:

Warmer? Plutocracy Loves It Hot

o Warmer? Plutocracy Loves It Hot

What does El Nino do? It is characterized by a huge blob of warm water, which usually sits in the West Pacific, transferring itself to the East Pacific, by spreading out towards the Americas. By doing so, El Nino brings heat over half of the Earth’s atmosphere. To start with. Then consequences extend worldwide.

Sedimentary records indicates that, during strong global planetary warming, El Nino happens every year. (There have been examples of fast warming before, from natural causes that are now elucidated; the present warming is definitively the work of the present energy system, an extension of the one Neanderthal had, already 75,000 years ago.)

Of the top 10 warmest years on record, 1998 is the sole year that didn’t occur in the Twenty-First century, showing how much global temperatures have risen due to the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Atmospheric Warming. Oceanic Warming Is Worse.

Atmospheric Warming. Oceanic Warming Is Worse.

2014 the warmest? This may sound weird to denizens of the East Coast of America, who experienced a cold winter. However that cold winter there is directly tied to the Global Warming.


OK, let me go on a creative spur. The following is greatly speculations on my part, from observation I made. Yet I am pretty sure I will be proven correct, and very soon.

What is known is this: Trade Winds off California have doubled in speed. That was so true that hypersonic tests off Hawai’i by NASA had to be put off during the whole month of June 2014, because of said high winds.

Trade Winds go towards the South West, before turning increasingly West. Thus those winds acted like a high pressure system off the West Coast of the USA, deflecting storms there to the north (Canada), and the south (Mexico). Hence a drought in the Western USA, but also a counter to the gathering El Nino (announced with fanfare last May, before it petered out).

Another effect of Trade Winds off the West Coast has been a deflection north of the jet stream, as it hits America. As the jet wiggled back down, after its excursion into cold Canada, it brought polar air with it. Hence the East Coast cooling.

Another personal observation: there was a totally abnormal amount of sea ice in the Svalbard-Spitzbergen area this summer. Everywhere else, except the North-West passage, sea ice was in dramatic retreat. How come?

Very simple: the northern reaches of the Gulf Stream, a set of currents, are supposed to shut down, in case of strong surface melting of Greenland. And that’s apparently exactly what they are doing.

To finish with an aside that was just published. A few years ago, the Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegrated in a few days. At the time, it seemed likely that the grounding line, where the ice stops touching the sea bottom, had retreated so fast, that Larsen B broke apart. However, research, it is claimed show that the grounding line of Larsen B had not moved for 12,000 years.

Conclusion: it is warming of the air above Larsen B that caused the collapse. This informs that the same may happen to other ice shelves in Antarctica. So the shelves may well disintegrate much faster than expected by just looking at the retreating grounding lines. The shelves hold back the huge glaciers behind them.

All this greenhouse gas built-up is happening not because it’s too expensive to fix. In truth, it’s cheaper to fix it, and it would create dozens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of jobs, worldwide.

Greenhouse gas built-up is happening mostly because of vested interests controlling the planet’s politics. This is the answer to the question children are asking: why destroy the planet?

Destruction, children, is fun. Especially when it profits the few who happen to take all the important decisions. Meanwhile, you, children, can concentrate on the latest iPhone, or Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio’s blue eyes.

Warmest year ever, atmospheric currents all messed up worldwide, Greenland flooding the North Atlantic with sweet, light, icy water, Gulf Stream shutting down, ice shelves disintegrating from hot air, exploding methane cavities in Siberia, how could it get worse? Trust me, it will.

Patrice Ayme’

Mediterranean Coral Reef

August 6, 2014

Even Doom & Gloom has a romantic, esthetic angle, as the Rolling Stones reminded us (once again), in the song by that title. Coral reef in the Mediterranean will be pretty. Until July 2014, I thought that would take another 50 years. To my amazement, I found otherwise.

I was swimming in an area I know well. I don’t swim on the surface, that’s too bourgeois and destructive of what one is trying to achieve when visiting the sea. I was baffled by the sea floor. I could not recognize it. It was weird: it was full of arches (!), mushrooms, grottos… Some structures a meter high, or across. I could not figure out what that meant. Did the rising sea erode the rocks?

But the rocks in the area are made a solid orange granite. And how could the sea erode rocks ten meters below the surface?

Plage De L’Escalet Crushed By Rising Sea

Plage De L’Escalet Crushed By Rising Sea

Because, yes, the sea is rising. This beach above was 60 meters across, 50 years ago. Now, in some parts, it’s only 5 meters. Waves are crashing into tree roots. As I said, this is a rocky shore, it has no telluric activity, it is not subsiding. So, when rocks get submerged, it’s because the sea rose.

In their gilded palaces, our great leaders, basking into their oligarchic medium, receive the news from scientists who know their careers depend upon telling their masters what they want to hear. And scientists are way down on the totem pole, as the collapse of American research under University of Chicago Law professor Obama shows (the University of Chicago, fief of Milton Freidman, always taught that things human are best left to private enterprise… meaning the destruction of non-immediately financially profitable research; plutocratic law has been evolved accordingly).

American research is collapsing (affecting research worldwide, as it used to be a third of it, or so), meanwhile American banking is thriving, applauded by consciously liberal Paul Krugman. But of this, another day.

Scientist speak of a reassuring sea rise of only 4 millimeters a year. Average. But in Bangla Desh, precise measurements of high tides just showed the rise is now 17 millimeters, a year.

(OK, the scientists have to say, it’s probably the fault of levees, precisely erected to compensate for sea rise, etc. They have to say that, or their masters would be too unhappy. One does not want the masters too unhappy: they can cut entire fields of study, to satisfy the great god of “Fiscal Responsibility”, aka Austerity.)

On the beach pictured above, the sea level has gone up at least 30 centimeters. Maybe two feet. The old beach is still there, with all its wonderful fine white sand, three feet below.

It’s eerie.

So here I was, contemplating small, but spectacular arches, holes and mushrooms of stones below, as if I were flying over a submarine version of Arches National Park. I grabbed the yellow rock, full of holes. It was sharp. As a climber I recognized immediately limestone. Coral limestone, on which I climbed many times, while religiously communing with my apish roots.

Except this coral was not fossil, lifted out of a Jurassic sea, thousands of meters in the sky by immense tectonic forces. It was alive, covered with mini flowers. It reminded me of diving off Kailua, Hawai’i. It was coral, coral reef!

In some places, one could see patches up to a meter or more of coral clinging to the solid granite below. Off that French coast, apparently unbeknownst to all, in a few years, thousands of tons of coral appeared.

One unique specimen, hidden below an overhang, was 50 centimeter across, and looked a bit like a gorgon (sea fan), except it was not a sea fan, but something solid that I have seen in the tropical seas (I am looking for its name).

There you have it.

Some changes from global warming affecting the Mediterranean are official (barracudas, invading tropical algae). Up to this month, if someone had presented me with the possibility of coral reef on the French Riviera, I would have laughed cynically, and pointed out that, when it appears, 50 years from now, it may convince climate deniers.

Well, as far as the Mediterranean sea is concerned, the 50 years are over in a flash. Coral reef is now growing, in Southern France.

Where exactly? Well, on the same peninsula where Sea Turtles started to reproduce again recently.

Dire warnings about the biosphere do not just serve probable truth, but also may well mitigate catastrophe. Canadian, Russian, and even American leaders, reading this, may well scoff: after all they own giant real estate up north, and seeing it melt may serve them, or their successors, well.

Indeed there are positive aspects to the incoming Jurassic climate: agriculture in Siberia, Greenland and Antarctica. The biosphere is by far the largest system upon which human beings have an impact.

The Human Effect led to mass extinctions in the last million years. Homo made the Earth into a pleasant garden for himself. Homo destroyed his closest competitors first, a million years ago or so, most other Hominidae and primates, such as giant apes and giant baboons. Those who, like Rousseau the philosopher, accused civilization, were rather stupid. The Douanier Rousseau had it more right.

Now the biosphere is in full mass extinction mode. Thus it is adapting with tremendous speed.

I am not a trained marine biologist, a specialist of coral. But I dove around, and kept manipulating and contemplating. It seemed that several species of different coral had appeared. Some yellow, some pink, some white, all with different textures. I even found one starting to grow like hard white little trees, just as proverbial Polynesian coral. (The precious indigenous Mediterranean coral is pink or red, and has been exploited to near extinction; it used to color the sand pink in the area.)

The force exerted by humanity on the biosphere keeps on augmenting. But the biosphere has enormous inertia. This means that the changes we see now are little relative to those which are already coming… those which are already baked in. For example, West Antarctica will melt. It’s just a matter of time.

So some changes will be positive, and they will come with more force than people expect.

Not to lose sight of the essential. From a hill above the sea, hundreds of pleasure boats can be observed, some of them, gigantic yachts for multibillionaires.

A sort of armada appears: maybe 50 boats, some large yachts, others fast “cigars”, all together, with fifty long white wakes. Two huge yachts dominate the armada. One can see their helicopter decks. Several helicopters are accompanying the fleet. Suddenly the two gigantic pleasure ships turn around, as if the lesser boats did not exist.

The plutocrat in command had changed his mind, catching his minions by surprise. Probably part of his power trip. Confusion ensued among the lesser kind. All scrambled to follow the master. Wakes crisscrossed, collisions barely avoided. The magnificent power parade reforms in minutes, and headed back to Cannes and Nice, there to impress fellow satanic entities, heads of states, and other servants.

Such are the creatures molding world public opinion, by their control of generalized media. All politicians and other members of the world’s oligarchy are anxious to please them, so that they can get financial crumbs.

All are to conclude the CO2 crisis is in full control. Just a matter of extracting more fossil fuels, and everything will be OK. So frack and burn, baby, frack and burn. No more gloom and doom. Or we will shoot the messenger, and burn the message.

What is sure out of control are the magnificent forests of the Southern Alps. The combination of higher CO2, and massive precipitation makes for very green, fat trees.

What a funky little universe.

Patrice Ayme’

Note: a) This is not deep sea coral reef (discovered in the Mediterranean by Pola in 1891, Le Danois in 1948; see also). Clearly the shallow sea coral species I discovered need the temperature is high. It was not found in places where the water is clearly colder. Even if that was only 100 meters away (because of cold sweet water springs). The part where the coral deposition was most massive is a uniquely warm stretch, only 500 meters long. And it definitively was not there last time I patrolled it, three years ago.

b) Red Coral (Corrallium Rubrium) experienced mass mortality in 1999, apparently caused by high temperatures in North West Mediterranean. That happened above 30 meter depth. So the apparition of the corals I saw is inversely related to Red Coral.

c) The definition of coral is not strict. What’s sure is that there were giant coral reefs in the Mediterranean 60 million years ago (when it was part of the Tethys Sea). And that if it builds a reef, that’s it.

Time Flies For Flies

July 14, 2014

I am an intellectual. I believe we are all intellectuals. Even animals and plutocrats think. It’s Descartes, upside down: Animals Think, Therefore They Survive.

I developed my idea that “INSTINCT IS FAST LEARNING.”

Time perception can only reflect how rapidly an animal’s nervous system processes information. To test this, researchers show animals a flashing light. If the light flashes quickly enough, animals perceive it as a solid, unblinking light: this is the principle of the movies.

Beyond 60 frames per second humans see a continuous motion; yet, anyone who has tried to catch a fly or a lizard know they move, and decide to move, faster than humans.

Time Is Relative In More Ways Than One

Time Is Relative In More Ways Than One

This gives a window for a lot of learning to happen in a bee, that looks like instinct.

The animal’s behavior or its brain activity reveal the highest frequency at which each species perceives the light as flashing. Animals that detect blinking at higher frequencies perceive time in a more frequent manner. Movements, events, learning itself, unfold more slowly to them—think slow-motion bullet dodging as recent movies.

The smaller the animals, the easier it is to turn them into dinner. So the more reactive they have to be, to dodge the bullets. Thus one would expect that species perceiving time more slowly to be smaller and have faster metabolisms. This is (roughly) was is observed (although some of the results are dissonant, maybe an experimental artifact: rats may be slow visually, but fast olfactively, say).

“Ecology for an organism is all about finding a niche where you can succeed that no-one else can occupy,” Andrew Jackson, an author of the study in Animal Behavior said. “Our results suggest that time perception offers an as yet unstudied dimension along which animals can specialize and there is considerable scope to study this system in more detail. We are beginning to understand that there is a whole world of detail out there that only some animals can perceive and it’s fascinating to think of how they might perceive the world differently to us.”

Flies, or plutocrats, may not think deep, but they think fast. And they cannot think deep, because they think fast. The most exploitative philosophy is thus the fastest, and shallowest. That is no doubt why, in one of his variants, the Devil, Pluto, Belzebuth, was represented as Lord of the Flies.

Patrice Ayme’

(Connoisseurs of Nazi philosophy will appreciate the connection with Heidegger’s “Sein Und Zeit“. Time is, indeed, the Dasein. As with a computer clock: no clock, no computer.)

Carbon Tax, Or Global Crash

June 22, 2014


In brief: The major plutocrat, Henry “Hank” Paulson, who presided over the 2008 financial crash as Bush’s finance minister, has come strongly in favor of a carbon tax. He compares the on-going climate catastrophe to the worst crash imaginable. After a few arguments of support of my own, I extensively quote this “suppot de Satan” (Satan’s support in Middle Age French). Facing the worst, the devils themselves can come in handy. Nothing below is new on this site, but it’s important to repeat it as a prayer, and hope.

It’s only natural that people clean the mess they make. So carbon polluters ought to pay the poisoning of the atmosphere, and the acidification of the seas. Because they are the ones causing this mess. They have to pay for the destruction they inflict. Not that people in general are innocent. Clearly some countries are living on the hog, not to say like hogs. Here are two views of the CO2 emissions per capita:

 I Pollute & Ravage, Therefore I Gloat

I Pollute & Ravage, Therefore I Gloat

CO2 list-countries-co2-per-capita

Few will argue that life is actually drastically worse in, say, France, in spite of all the carbon pinching there (France has no oil, gas, or coal; and fracking is illegal).

To tax carbon enough for the damage it causes, is the only way to price correctly the activity. Non carbon polluting energies will them be able to compete with the pirates who are attacking the biosphere… For profit.

The world emits 48% more carbon dioxide from the consumption of energy now than it did in 1992 when the first Rio summit took place, and Al Gore went down there with an immense retinue of adulators… To do nothing, but self-glorification.

First notice the astounding economic inefficiency of Anglo-Saxon countries (except for the European United Kingdom which emits less than 9 tons of CO2 per person per year).

FRANCE pollutes with 6 (six) tons of CO2 a year, per person. Germany with 9 tons (nine). The USA with 18 (eighteen) tons per person per year. Canada and Australia are even worse. The European Union, and its half a billion people, is around 7.5 tons of CO2, per year, per person.

As I have explained in the past, it’s no coincidence that the three powers that annihilated the Natives are busy now annihilating the biosphere: it’s the continuation of a mood (that the same, sort of, can be said about Russia is not reassuring, either: the main reason why Putin annexed Crimea is oil and gas in the Black Sea, just off shore).

Can we get out of that spiral from hell? Yes, with a carbon tax. Also please learn that the EU and the USA, together, control most of the world GDP. So they could impose a Carbon Tax. Unilaterally. By force. Yes, force, empire, all that brutish stuff. Evil in the service of goodness. The WTO has agreed already that such a tax-for-the-good is legal in the WTO statutes (the EU, or some of its countries, notably France, already impose carbon taxes, of sorts, in spite of strident USA-China-Russia opposition).

Much of Chinese economic activity is Western industrialized activity, translated to another place. Chinese dumping, say of solar panels could be addressed (in spite of… German(!) opposition; Germans sell luxury cars to the PRC, and in exchange mount cheap solar panels).

The question that the West would be at an economic disadvantage from imposing a carbon tax is a false argument. What is true is that some of the CO2 hogs would have to become more economically active to change radically their socio-economies: more people at work, quality work.

Paulson below says nothing I have not said before, and, often, many times. Yet it’s worth having it in his own words, thus allowing me to eschew the accusation of radical lunatic unreal leftism.

Lessons for Climate Change in the 2008 Recession

By HENRY M. PAULSON Jr. June 21, 2014

THERE is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage.

For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do.

We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.

This is a crisis we can’t afford to ignore. I feel as if I’m watching as we fly in slow motion on a collision course toward a giant mountain. We can see the crash coming, and yet we’re sitting on our hands rather than altering course

The solution can be a fundamentally conservative one that will empower the marketplace to find the most efficient response. We can do this by putting a price on emissions of carbon dioxide — a CARBON TAX. Few in the United States now pay to emit this potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere we all share. Putting a price on emissions will create incentives to develop new, cleaner energy technologies...

I was secretary of the Treasury when the credit bubble burst, so I think it’s fair to say that I know a little bit about risk, assessing outcomes and problem-solving. Looking back at the dark days of the financial crisis in 2008, it is easy to see the similarities between the financial crisis and the climate challenge we now face.

We are building up excesses (debt in 2008, greenhouse gas emissions that are trapping heat now). Our government policies are flawed (incentivizing us to borrow too much to finance homes then, and encouraging the overuse of carbon-based fuels now). Our experts (financial experts then, climate scientists now) try to understand what they see and to model possible futures. And the outsize risks have the potential to be tremendously damaging (to a globalized economy then, and the global climate now).

Back then, we narrowly avoided an economic catastrophe at the last minute by rescuing a collapsing financial system through government action. But climate change is a more intractable problem. The carbon dioxide we’re sending into the atmosphere remains there for centuries, heating up the planet.”

[PA’s warning: It’s worse than that: At least a third goes into the sea, turning it into an acid soda.] Paulson again:

“That means the decisions we’re making today — to continue along a path that’s almost entirely carbon-dependent — are locking us in for long-term consequences that we will not be able change but only adapt to, at enormous cost. To protect New York City from rising seas and storm surges is expected to cost at least $20 billion initially, and eventually far more. And that’s just one coastal city…

When I worry about risks, I worry about the biggest ones, particularly those that are difficult to predict — the ones I call small but deep holes. While odds are you will avoid them, if you do fall in one, it’s a long way down and nearly impossible to claw your way out.

Scientists have identified a number of these holes — potential thresholds that, once crossed, could cause sweeping, irreversible changes. They don’t know exactly when we would reach them. But they know we should do everything we can to avoid them.

Already, observations are catching up with years of scientific models, and the trends are not in our favor.

Fewer than 10 years ago, the best analysis projected that melting Arctic sea ice would mean nearly ice-free summers by the end of the 21st century. Now the ice is melting so rapidly that virtually ice-free Arctic summers could be here in the next decade or two. The lack of reflective ice will mean that more of the sun’s heat will be absorbed by the oceans, accelerating warming of both the oceans and the atmosphere, and ultimately raising sea levels.

Even worse, in May, two separate studies discovered that one of the biggest thresholds has already been reached. The West Antarctic ice sheet has begun to melt… Now that this process has begun, there is nothing we can do to undo the underlying dynamics, which scientists say are “baked in.” … those who claim the science is unsettled or action is too costly are simply trying to ignore the problem. We must see the bigger picture.

…waiting for more information before acting — is actually taking a very radical risk. We’ll never know enough to resolve all of the uncertainties. But we know enough to recognize that we must act now…

We need to craft national policy that uses market forces to provide incentives for the technological advances required to address climate change. As I’ve said, we can do this by placing a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. Many respected economists, of all ideological persuasions, support this approach. We can debate the appropriate pricing and policy design and how to use the money generated. But a price on carbon would change the behavior of both individuals and businesses.

At the same time, all fossil fuel — and renewable energy — subsidies should be phased out. Renewable energy can outcompete dirty fuels once pollution costs are accounted for.

… our failure to act on the underlying problem is deeply misguided, financially and logically.

In a future with more severe storms, deeper droughts, longer fire seasons and rising seas that imperil coastal cities, public funding to pay for adaptations and disaster relief will add significantly to our fiscal deficit and threaten our long-term economic security. So it is perverse that those who want limited government and rail against bailouts would put the economy at risk by ignoring climate change.

This is short-termism. There is a tendency, particularly in government and politics, to avoid focusing on difficult problems until they balloon into crisis. We would be fools to wait for that to happen to our climate…..

When it comes to developing new technologies, no country can innovate like America. And no country can test new technologies and roll them out at scale quicker than China.

The two nations must come together on climate. The Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago, a “think-and-do tank” I founded to help strengthen the economic and environmental relationship between these two countries, is focused on bridging this gap.

We already have a head start on the technologies we need. The costs of the policies necessary to make the transition to an economy powered by clean energy are real, but modest relative to the risks.

A tax on carbon emissions will unleash a wave of innovation to develop technologies, lower the costs of clean energy and create jobs as we and other nations develop new energy products and infrastructure. This would strengthen national security by reducing the world’s dependence on governments like Russia and Iran.

Climate change is the challenge of our time. Each of us must recognize that the risks are personal. We’ve seen and felt the costs of underestimating the financial bubble. Let’s not ignore the climate bubble.

Henry M. Paulson Jr., an ex-football player, is the chairman of the Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago, was CEO of Golman-Sachs,  and secretary of the Treasury from July 2006 to January 2009. When Satan himself is melting, the heat is on.

Patrice Aymé

Earth Out Of Oxygen: GLOBAL HYPOXIA

May 30, 2014

Move over, “Global Warming” and “Climate Change”! You meek, obsolete euphemisms have been paid by your fossil fuel masters to occupy the front stage, in a masquerade of objectivity. These euphemisms pretend, in the very description they entail, that we are just going to change to a warmer state… No big deal then. Actually the real full consequences of the CO2 emission crisis, are much more catastrophic. We could run out of oxygen.

Indeed, let me introduce, instead of a “warm change”, the radical notion of GLOBAL HYPOXIA“. Yes, no less. That, running out of oxygen is the real ultimate danger in the enfolding man-made CO2 crisis.

I have explained that I do not believe in the Impact theory of previous mass extinctions. Instead I believe in what I call (Earth) Core Volcanism. Core Volcanism would have erupted with huge quantities of CO2, hence would have devastated the seas. Hint: at the time when the dinosaurs died, mammals and birds (a type of dinosaur) survived handsomely. Yet the devastation in the ocean was total.

Kill Seas With Acid,  Kill Oxygen Production

Kill Seas With Acid, Kill Oxygen Production

Krugman wrote an editorial “Cutting Back On Carbon“, that explained the obvious, namely that switching to a non carbon economy would not cost much, if at all:

“Next week the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new rules designed to limit global warming. Although we don’t know the details yet, anti-environmental groups are already predicting vast costs and economic doom. Don’t believe them. Everything we know suggests that we can achieve large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at little cost to the economy…

You might ask why the Chamber of Commerce is so fiercely opposed to action against global warming, if the cost of action is so small. The answer, of course, is that the chamber is serving special interests, notably the coal industry — what’s good for America isn’t good for the Koch brothers, and vice versa — and also catering to the ever more powerful anti-science sentiments of the Republican Party.”

I sent an approving comment. However, it was censored. With my approach on this particular subject, it’s systematic. It seems that the censors at the New York Times are either very well paid by very clever supervisors, or so stupid that they believe that those who believe in GLOBAL HYPOXIA are genuinely mad.

Out of charity, I decided to operate under the later hypothesis, and to make even more efforts to educate those ignorant little Wall Street sycophantic tyrants.

Oceans Warming Globally, But Acidity Concentrating Locally

Oceans Warming Globally, But Acidity Concentrating Locally

This is a (boosted) version of what the New York Times censored:

Agreed to all, well analyzed. Now to add a few points
Cutting carbon burning to zero is not just a question of cost, but a matter of survival. The present Green House Gases concentrations already guarantee that the planet’s climate will be brought back to the Jurassic. That guarantees flooding where billions of people are presently living: the Jurassic was characterized by shallow seas.

But that’s not all. Because this is the most violent eruption of CO2 in at least 65 million years, at least a third of the CO2 created by man’s folly goes straight in the ocean. It does so at a rate at least one hundred times faster than at any times in the last tens of millions of years (as ice core studies for the last 650,000 years have confirmed).

Once in the ocean, the carbon dioxide chemically reacts with water to create carbonic acid. The acidity has already climbed by 30%, globally. However, it concentrates mostly in some surface layers… Where sea life is also the most concentrated.

Not Just Global Warming: GLOBAL ACID too.

Thus the CO2 crisis is not just about Global Heating: It is also causing another crisis, a GLOBAL ACID environment too.

If the acidity rises too much, the phytoplankton will die and half of the oxygen supply will be lost.

Now add to this that the forests will burn, and that the permafrost will met and oxidize… and so will many mineral in the ground exposed to higher temperatures. So the Green House Gases pollution is not just a question of changing climate, like one changes clothes. What we have now is a programmed destruction of the biosphere…. and even of the oxygen it breathes!

The fact the US Congress wants to prevent the Pentagon to be well armed for climate change (in particular having as much carbon free fuel as needed), shows indeed that all what the Congress of the USA cares about is preserving the existing power structure. Well, it may be paid for that, but that’s a fatal disposition.

Patrice Aymé


Hypoxia Censored: The preceding comment I made of the Krugman editorial was censored by the New York Times, as all previous comments of mine alluding to running out of oxygen, Global Hypoxia, have also been. This shows the hypocrisy of the Times: it pretends to be worried about the climate, but it does not want its readership to be aware of the ultimate danger we are facing: not just sea level rise, and crocodiles in the Arctic, but a lowering of global oxygen levels. It’s simple, yet radical science.

Scientific Background, From Anthropogenic Decline in High-Latitude Ocean Carbonate by 2100 : “The surface ocean is everywhere saturated with respect to calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Yet increasing atmospheric CO2 reduces ocean pH and carbonate ion concentrations, and thus the level of saturation. Reduced saturation states are expected to affect marine calcifiers even though it has been estimated that all
surface waters will remain saturated for centuries.

Here we show, however, that some surface waters will become undersaturated within decades. When atmospheric CO2 reaches 550 ppmv, in year 2050 under the business-as-
usual scenario, Southern Ocean surface waters begin to become undersaturated
with respect to aragonite, a metastable form of CaCO3.

By 2100… undersaturation extends throughout the entire Southern Ocean and… Pacific. These changes will threaten high-latitude aragonite secreting organisms including cold-water corals, which provide essential fish habitat, and shelled pteropods, an abundant food source for marine predators.”

That was published ten years ago, in 2004. Ever since the CO2 injections from human industry have accelerated considerably.

Lord Ridley’s Rule

May 18, 2014

Ridiculous, But Lethal, Lord Ridley Riddled With Holes

Plutocrats are everywhere. Everywhere that matters. You won’t find them in the 99% parts of town they feel are bad, you find them where opinion is molded, the MSM, the Media Sadistic Manipulations. Either they are writing, or, better, controlling the writers.

I always think that I am as cynical as one can get. Yet, I keep on being surprised, as I discover people I thought were honorable, being tightly wound with the worst thinking. I want to share my latest surprise with my readership.

What Lord Bankster Ridley Does Not Want The Commons To Know

What Lord Bankster Ridley Does Not Want The Commons To Know

Long ago, I came across a scientifically oriented writer, Matt Ridley. He wrote well. I innocently bought other Ridley’s books. A curious fly innocently exploring a sticky web. However I found Ridley’s science increasingly turning to sophistry, over-complicated (“The Red Queen” hypothesis was presented as key to evolution, something out of “Alice in Wonderland”). And Ridley was cocksure about his very restricted vision of evolution. How could one be so sure to explain so much with so little?

Being cocksure about very little explaining everything, is a feature of the intellectual fascists. It’s basically their definition.  

I was always a Lamarckian (just as Darwin himself). I always believed that Lamarckism was too good a mechanism for evolution, for evolution not to have stumbled on it. Although I understood perfectly well the reasoning of Jacques Monod in “La Chance et La Necessite’”, I pushed it to its logical conclusion: natural selection was not just natural selection of genomes, but natural selections of inheritable geometries, and a selection of the selection mechanisms themselves.

So Ridley’s bombastics struck me as the simplistic self-obsession of one who did not know too much, but felt he owned the world (how right would I turn out to be!). I forgot about him. In recent years, it turned out that this vision that genes (sensu stricto) were everything was very far from the whole story.

Now epigenetics, the intelligence of genetics, is established, and just warming up.

Libertarians believe that all government is bad, except for the army. Everything else ought to be bought and sold, somehow that would be fairer, more clever, more efficient, get the animal juices flowing for the best. An extreme libertarian who earns his life well, working for the health industry in the USA, recently tried to persuade me that, if only there were markets, all would be well.

My libertarian friend started to sing the praises of Matt Ridley, who he told me, had demonstrated the superiority of markets, in a book called “The Rational Optimist”. I found that weird. Matt Ridley? Really? Was not just Ridley a zoology student? How did he get into writing a bible libertarians swear by? What a riddle.

Then there was this Wall Street Journal Weekend section, full pages of it.  It was entitled: “The World’s Resources Aren’t Running Out.”

The subtitle, and basic reasoning? “Ecologists worry that the world’s resources come in fixed amounts that will run out, but we have broken through such limits again and again.”

For those who know about history, this master idea was beyond absurd. It was counter factual.

For example, we have run out of Tasmanians, down to the very last one. OK, the politically correct Wall Street thinkers would probably point out Tasmanians were not a resource. In any case, historians know that, out of the 99.9% of the 10,000 or so civilizations out there, which have collapsed, most did, either because they had run out of resources, or because a resource collapse had caused a war. that destroyed them.

That was even true of the Mongol Empire, which in turn annihilated several civilizations: after Genghis Khan had domesticated the half dozen Mongol tribes, the resulting population explosion, deprivation of killing each other, threatening dearth of resources, led to an immediate expansion into most of Eurasia (and all of China). (Thanks to new military methods, and superlative training… That only the Franks could resist.)

Once, a Roman emperor from Constantinople visited Rome, for the first time in centuries. Rome was where the Roman empire had originated, and the Roman Senate still convened.

In July 663 CE, Roman emperor Constans II visited Rome, and ordered all (“omniae”) the metallic roofs of the Eternal City to be stripped, including that of the Church of Mary and the Martyrs (as the Pantheon was then called). Copper and bronze was melted to make Greek fire machines, the gold (the roofs were of gilded bronze) to make coins, and lead to make sling pellets. That was part of a desperate attempt to stop the Arabs.

The brute truth is that the Roman Empire ran out of metals. Romans had exhausted their mines. All over. The Roman metal crisis caused both the inflation crisis that started in the late Second Century, and carried over all the way to 663 CE.

A century later, the Franks (Imperium Francorum) would solve that problem by conquering Eastern Europe, which only imperators Caesar and Trajan had the guts and brains to try to invade (Caesar was assassinated on the eve of his departure; Trajan, though reached through Romania all the way to Moldavia, 2C).

The next huge resource crisis was in the Fourteenth Century, when a situation similar to what we have now developed: an exploding population, a resource crisis (no more wood), and an ecological crisis (“Little Ice Age” plus human devastation).

Then, though, Europe knew what to do, what the Franks had done: keep a strong state, adapt the laws, develop new technology… and be ferocious (that, unfortunately also brought war). Being ferocious extended to the death penalty for those settling in regions where forests were supposed to regrow (in mountainous areas, deforestation means losing the soil).

But here was the Wall Street Journal, rewriting history with superficial, not to say superstitious, feel good, blabber:

How many times have you heard that we humans are “using up” the world’s resources, “running out” of oil, “reaching the limits” of the atmosphere’s capacity to cope with pollution or “approaching the carrying capacity” of the land’s ability to support a greater population? The assumption behind all such statements is that there is a fixed amount of stuff—metals, oil, clean air, land—and that we risk exhausting it through our consumption…

But here’s a peculiar feature of human history: We burst through such limits again and again. After all, as a Saudi oil minister once said, the Stone Age didn’t end for lack of stone. Ecologists call this “niche construction”—that people (and indeed some other animals) can create new opportunities for themselves by making their habitats more productive in some way. Agriculture is the classic example of niche construction: We stopped relying on nature’s bounty and substituted an artificial and much larger bounty.

Economists call the same phenomenon innovation. What frustrates them about ecologists is the latter’s tendency to think in terms of static limits. Ecologists can’t seem to see that when whale oil starts to run out, petroleum is discovered, or that when farm yields flatten, fertilizer comes along, or that when glass fiber is invented, demand for copper falls.

That frustration is heartily reciprocated. Ecologists think that economists espouse a sort of superstitious magic called “markets” or “prices” to avoid confronting the reality of limits to growth. The easiest way to raise a cheer in a conference of ecologists is to make a rude joke about economists.”

An “artificial and much larger bounty” in agriculture? Just ask the Irish, who live next door to the ignorant blabbermouth who wrote the preceding. The 1841 census showed that there were 8,175,124 people living in the four provinces of Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster. The Irish thrived on potatoes. After the potatoes died, from Potato Blight, caused by a fungus Phytophthora infestans, so did the Irish. The population was soon half of what it used to be.

Anyway, who was that ignorant fellow who wrote those idiocies for the Wall Street Journal?

He confessed that:

“I have lived among both tribes. I studied various forms of ecology in an academic setting for seven years and then worked at the Economist magazine for eight years. When I was an ecologist (in the academic sense of the word, not the political one, though I also had antinuclear stickers on my car), I very much espoused the carrying-capacity viewpoint—that there were limits to growth. I nowadays lean to the view that there are no limits because we can invent new ways of doing more with less.”

I, I, I, I… We can invent? We will just ask the Lords overlording in their castles to innovate more with less?

Matt Ridley, because, of course, it is Matt Ridley who had written these mellifluous inanities, and hundreds of similar articles all over (as I found out, to my dismay), pursues:

“This disagreement goes to the heart of many current political issues and explains much about why people disagree about environmental policy. In the climate debate, for example, pessimists see a limit to the atmosphere’s capacity to cope with extra carbon dioxide without rapid warming. So a continuing increase in emissions if economic growth continues will eventually accelerate warming to dangerous rates. But optimists see economic growth leading to technological change that would result in the use of lower-carbon energy. That would allow warming to level off long before it does much harm.”

About eight million people killed a year: that’s what Ridley calls “little harm”. What would be big harm? A tax on hereditary wealth?

Hey Ridley! Ever heard of acid? Half of the new CO2 dumped by humans into the atmosphere, turns into acid presently. It’s true that the atmosphere could globally warm five degrees, and all that would happen is that a few billion people would be under water, but being under acid is something else entirely.

Caviar would not be served on the tables of the great Lords anymore, because sturgeons would have dissolved.

More seriously, accountants are already finding that about half a million people a year are dying from global warming already. Aside from higher winds, higher flooding, widely expected, is indeed occurring. Just this year, precipitations greater than all records were registered in Great Britain and the Balkans. Recent massive flooding in Australia even lowered world sea level (as the water had nowhere to go: there are no rivers in the middle of Australia, where it usually never rains).

Yet Matt Ridley maniacally pursues:

“Until about 10 years ago, it was reasonable to expect that natural gas might run out in a few short decades and oil soon thereafter. If that were to happen, agricultural yields would plummet, and the world would be faced with a stark dilemma: Plow up all the remaining rain forest to grow food, or starve. 

But thanks to fracking and the shale revolution, peak oil and gas have been postponed. They will run out one day, but only in the sense that you will run out of Atlantic Ocean one day if you take a rowboat west out of a harbor in Ireland. Just as you are likely to stop rowing long before you bump into Newfoundland, so we may well find cheap substitutes for fossil fuels long before they run out.”

This is wrong in several lethal ways.

First, fossil fuel pollution already kills seven million a year already, and no market will correct that, as this mass smothering is the result of connivance between governments and polluters.

But, obviously, killing people is not a factor for the incomparable Mr. Ridley. It’s just the cost of doing business, apparently.

It is far from clear that fracking shale and other rocks is not augmenting the ecological crisis. Contrarily to what Obama has been saying, if fracking leaks more than 3% methane, it’s worse than coal, as a contributor of the greenhouse effect (there is proof of massive CH4 leakage).

Another problem is that fracking works economically if and only if oil stays above 60 dollars per barrel. The very fact fracking is “profitable” means that we have a terrible problem.

To say that peak oil and gas have been postponed is disinformation. Peak CHEAP oil is passed. That’s all what matters economically. (And it would be way worse if “externalities were accounted, as they ought to be.)

Matt Ridley then go on to explain that we will not run out of anything important that: “The economist and metals dealer Tim Worstall gives the example of tellurium, a key ingredient…” Yes, getting the advice from a plutocrat trading precious metals goes a long way on the path to wisdom.

In plutocracy, plutocrats define wisdom.

Matt Ridley takes his readers for complete idiots: “Or take phosphorus, an element vital to agricultural fertility. The richest phosphate mines, such as on the island of Nauru in the South Pacific, are all but exhausted. Does that mean the world is running out? No: There are extensive lower grade deposits, and if we get desperate, all the phosphorus atoms put into the ground over past centuries still exist, especially in the mud of estuaries. It’s just a matter of concentrating them again.”

If we get desperate, we could just get plenty of little slaves to fetch the phosphorus atoms in the estuaries, with their little fingers. Better: if we got even more desperate, we could use the slaves themselves as fertilizers.

What’s wrong there with Ridley’s asinine logic, is that extracting takes energy. Given enough energy, we can do a lot of things: fly to the closest Super Earth, establish a colony there, crash a million water bearing comets into Mars for warmth and water. We could even use super colliders to fabricate fundamental elements, including phosphorus and tellurium.

Cheap energy is what we are running out of. We are taking between pincers. One pincer is the exhaustion of resources (hence ever more expensive energy, hence fracking, hence coal), the other is the poisoning, acidification, smothering and warming of the planet.

Ridley is an adept of the Big Lie technique:

“In 1972, the ecologist Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University came up with a simple formula… the damage done to Earth increases the more people there are, the richer they get and the more technology they have.

Many ecologists still subscribe to this doctrine, which has attained the status of holy writ in ecology. But the past 40 years haven’t been kind to it. In many respects, greater affluence and new technology have led to less human impact on the planet, not more.”

So, Ridley tells us, implicitly, the increasing acidity, warming and rising of the oceans, the increasing mercury in the fish, the nearly ten millions killed by fossil fuels, each year, are not happening.

Where does Matt Ridley belongs to? The mental asylum? Make it more rather like jail.

Indeed, who is Matt Ridley?

Matt Ridley is not a nice guy. He just plays on TV, and TED, for millions of adoring fans. Matt Ridley is not just a student in zoology. Matt Ridley is not just a guy with many best sellers below his belt. Matt Ridley is not just a guy who can employ guys to write books for him. He just has to make the right phone call. To a number of servants.

Matt Ridley is a Lord.


And not a small, garden variety one.

Matthew White Ridley, 5th Viscount Ridley, Deputy Lieutenant, Fellow Royal Society of Letters, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (born 7 February 1958), is a British “journalist” who has written several popular science books. He is also a businessman and a Conservative member of the House of Lords.

Such people own the world. They are the owners. Most people at the top of British society have been there for more than 450 years, recent studies have shown.

Such people will tell you whatever allows their class to pursue their rule, through mass hypnotism.

Matt Ridley was chairman of the UK bank Northern Rock from 2004 to 2007. Under Ridley’s rule Northern Rock experienced the first run on a British bank in 150 years. The bank had to be bailed out by the UK government. Thus the People of Great Britain had to pay for the nationalisation of Northern Rock.

(Nationalization is more honest than just giving the money to the banksters, that being the preferred method. Northern Rock was nationalized by PM Brown, but then the plutocratic owners of the world realized that the Peoples did not understand a thing about all this financial stuff, so they just requested governments to fork the money over to them, without bothering with transferring ownership title to the People.)

Ridley has been inundated with honors, on both sides of the Atlantic. Academic institutions love him. He has chaired many institutions.

Ridley is also part of the British government in the largest sense, as a hereditary Peer and member of the House of Lords from the Conservative Party. In that sense, he is one of the overlords of the global plutocracy.

Ridley rules, you commoners, with your pathetic little Internet, kneel to his ideas. How can you beat the exposure of Lord Ridley, all over the Main Stream Media, books and the Internet?

It’s just like magic: you are born, and you get a castle, a title, land, money, you head one of the world’s largest financial institution, as his your hereditary right, plunder it, and while being one of the top pundits at The Economist, and the Wall Street Journal. You get a world-wide following of adoring fans. You bask in their groveling idiocy.

Such individuals do not just overlord the British. They overlord the world. They are the hereditary members of the true world global government. The argument that all those Lords belonged to jail, will seem obvious someday.

As the CO2 parts per million augment, so do the poisonous imbecilities that the Main Stream Media, in a generalized sense, keeps on fumigating public opinion with. It’s hard to know what’s worse.

Patrice Aymé

Antarctica’s Glaciers Disintegrating

May 14, 2014

Unstoppable Retreat Of Glacial Antarctica Officially Launched:

Two independent teams working differently arrived to similar conclusions about the main glaciers plunging in Antarctica’s Amundsen Sea next to the Pines Island Glacier (PIG) (see map below).

Modelling and radar data from Amundsen Sea suggest current melting will run away.

This has to be put in the context that, as far as official science was concerned, this was not supposed to happen. A completely independent agent such as yours truly predicted this many years ago, and incredibly much worse, because of a confluence of very precise reasons.

Don't Worry, Be Happy: Catastrophe Ineluctable, And Soon

Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Catastrophe Ineluctable, And Soon

Pine Island Glacier covers about 160,000 square kilometers, about two-thirds the area of Great Britain. Just one glacier.

Like the Thwaites, Smith, Haynes, Pope, Smith and Kohler Glaciers in this region – the PIG has been thinning and retreating rapidly. The Twaithes is much larger than PIG.

Joughin’s team found that Twaithes glacier’s grounding line — the border between sections of ice that float on the sea and sections that rest on the bedrock — currently sits about 600 meters below sea level (2,000 feet!). But 60 to 80 kilometers inland, the bedrock topography under the glacier drops to more than 1.2 kilometer below sea level!

When the grounding line reaches that inward-sloping basin, the glacier’s retreat will speed up dramatically, Joughin’s team calculates (I have explained the same phenomenon will happen in giant basins of East Antarctica in “Sun Cooling, Ice Melting“).

The reason for this is that two degree Celsius water is denser than colder water (!), and will slip below the ice. That will happen in a matter of centuries, the team suggested (to please the higher-ups).

The team has, of course, to suggest total melting would take centuries, otherwise it would irritate the powers that be, and, thus, the financing of the entire field.

These scientists have to earn a living, feed their families, bask in successful careers. They have comfortable houses, cars… They sell not just science, but hope. As the great mathematician Gregory Perelman, who solved the Soul, Thurston and Poincare’ conjectures, among other things, said, about American mathematics:

It’s possible to sell a theorem and it’s possible to buy it. Even if you don’t have anything to do with it.”

(Perelman was talking about a few dozen top mathematicians that I personally knew for years, before getting as disgusted by their dishonesty, not to say viciousness, as he later would be!)

If that intrusion of the lowest human traits happens in math, it’s worse in much more money oriented fields. Such as the confluence of the fossil fuel plutocracy and climate science (typical representative of fossil burn plutocracy: Vlad Putin.)

This buying and selling of theorems is exemplary of the problem of mixing power, politics and money, as is the case in the mightiest “private” or “public” universities in the USA (and wherever the American university system is imitated). I am NOT saying that the system these universities (Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, pseudo-public Berkeley, etc.) represent is to be condemned and eradicated like RasPutin, just that it needs to be taken for what it is: a plutophile system.

Plutophilia needs to be counterbalanced by the love of wisdom. (Thus a true public university system ought to be preserved.)

In the case of these glaciers, wisdom consists into realizing that considering that it will take centuries for these glaciers to melt, is wishful thinking. The evidence, both factual and theoretical, points the other way.

Grounding lines determined by radar from now defunct European satellites were found in some cases to retreat by more than one kilometer per year.

Radar data show that the Pine Island Glacier retreated by 31 kilometers between 1992 and 2011. It retreated fastest between 2005 and 2009.

Rignot’s team found no underlying ridge that could potentially slow the retreat, for any of the glaciers studied.“These systems, whether Greenland or Antarctica, are changing on faster timescales than we expected. We are kind of rediscovering that every day,” says Rignot.

Telling us that it will take at most centuries to melt those glaciers is exactly the sort of politeness that authorities and the plutocrats who have elected (“financed”) them would expect.

Actually Observing Glaciers Thinning

Actually Observing Glaciers Thinning

Yet, is that science? Indeed, how do they know it will take centuries? Well, they roll out “models” that are as good as what they put inside them, and no better. Let’s reason a bit.

Why will the glaciers melt ever faster? The glaciers will melt ever faster because their cold bellies rest on what would be the new ocean bottom after enough warm sea water has insinuated itself below.

The seas are warming up around Antarctica, because wind speeds have augmented, augmenting the up-welling, another of these run-about effects from global warming. Around Antarctica, surface waters are colder than those in the depths. Wind speed have augmented because of my (six year old) generalization of the Equipartition of Energy Theorem that rules the climate (and also all of thermodynamics!).

Such phenomena as the warming of the underbellies of ice sheets by sea water, tend to be exponential, not linear. And we have the proof: the Hudson Bay, now a sea, transformed itself from ice shield to ocean in a few decades. That, in turn, made the Mediterranean spill catastrophically into the fertile Black Sea area, flooding there around 100,000 square kilometers in no more than 30 years. (That gave the legend of Noah’s Ark.)

Notice that retreating over a continent at one kilometer per year (the speed of the Labrador-Quebec Laurentide ice sheet disintegration), is probably slower by orders of magnitudes to that a sub-oceanic margin. The “forcing” at the time was caused by more insolation, 8,200 years ago (from more sun in July-August then). Now, though, the situation is worse as the “forcing” is from a low lying blanket of man-made greenhouse gases (so, instead of warming equally the entire atmosphere, the greenhouse concentrates the warming at low altitudes, say below 8,000 meters; the stratosphere is actually cooling!).

It was already known, in 1990, that the disintegration of the gigantic Laurentide ice sheet centered around Hudson Bay took no more than 4 centuries. (That ice sheet used to be more than 3,000 meters thick, being the world’s largest, 20,000 years ago).

It boils down to this: is it wiser to risk underestimating the speed of melting of these glaciers, or is it wiser to risk overestimating said speed? Obviously, for those who are anxious to please their masters who feed them, it’s wiser to say there will be a problem, but only in a generation or two.

For those who don’t want to risk the biosphere we know, it’s much wiser to consider the worst possible case. Remember inertia: short of astronomical objects, the system with the most inertia is the biosphere itself. That’s a system that has been capable of maintaining the planet’s temperature within fifteen degrees (Celsius) of the present temperature for more than three billion years. It has enormous inertia. However, our stupid obstinacy to burn all the carbon we can find has definitively got that enormous system to start moving.

We imparted acceleration to the biosphere. We are pushing the biosphere around. And we know that the force we are applying is only augmenting. That means the acceleration, and even more the speed of the change, is going to get worse quick. That’s basic dynamics, first quarter of undergraduate physics.

Of course, neither the leaders of France, Great Britain, or the USA has taken such a course: they are basically ignoramuses at the helm (and Angela Merkel, who knows plenty of physics, made a risky bet she seems to be losing).

Clearly, we should instead apply the brakes to the maximum (instead of flooring the accelerator). What would be the price of this cautious? None, for common people: hard work to de-carbonize the world economy would require dozens of millions to be employed that way, in the West alone.

That, of course, is a scary thought for plutocrats, who much prefer us unemployed, impotent, and despondent.

Patrice Aymé


Cap Wealth, Decapitate Critter Power

May 7, 2014



A plutocrat, Ms. Helene Pastor, the richest real estate owning Moneguasque heiress, was shot like a vulgar rabbit in Nice by a commando. She is surviving in a French hospital. Not so clear for her bodyguard. Open season on plutocrats? Plutocrats are not easily to kill. With their armored vehicles, and what not.

The plutocrats’ game is just the other way: kill and rule, using their perverse sense of justice.

In the early Twentieth Century, President Roosevelt succeeded McKinley, shot by an anarchist. At the time, anarchists were very active, shooting many of those with, or in, power. Little remembered now, Teddy Roosevelt cracked down on plutocracy, with anti-monopoly laws. Anarchists are not very popular. However, in the fullness of history, their ethical may come to be appreciated differently.

If Justice Is Not Reinstituted Soon, Is This The Future Of Plutocracy?

If Justice Is Not Reinstituted Soon, Is This The Future Of Plutocracy?

The Gilded Age came to a crashing halt in two installments, the First, and Second World wars. In the first, much of the old Prussian plutocracy went down in flames. Having lost to a reborn Poland what used to be Polish for a millennium, thanks to the Versailles Treaty, Prussian plutocrats went for an encore, the Second World War. This time, they lost Prussia itself.

Meanwhile, as, in 1945, the West had much more than 16 million young men armed, dangerous, trained to kill, and imbued with the ideology of equality and anti-plutocracy, concessions were made all over to this demanding youth, from the GI Bill to the British Health Service, to public housing by the dozens of millions, to public universities (such as the University of California).

Not satisfying this armed youth was dangerous, as the French colonialists found in Algeria, right away.

All this has been forgotten. Was it ever learned?

The Roman Republic had an absolute limit on wealth. When that went, so did the Republic.

This has been forgotten too, ever since those who noticed that, were assassinated, 21 centuries ago. Instead Gibbon the plutocratic gibbon, taught a simian version of history, to great applause among demanding Plutos.

The problem with dictator Putin is his personal power, and the power of the cronies around him. The power of the latter are embodied by their immense wealth (even the top Russian generals are endowed with billions).

As technology progresses, so do our god like powers. There is no choice: we have exhausted so many resources that used to be readily available, the human population is so huge, that all we hold dear can only sort-of survives, with new and better technology (that was the metaprinciple which intellectually fascist autocratic Rome deliberately rejected, after generations of increasing plutocracy).

It goes without saying that both the power and wealth individuals master and muster ought to be limited, worldwide.

That means a crack-down on both personal wealth, and even representative politics, that parody of democracy.

Representative politics advocate giant powers for an elected oligarchy. Manipulate the qualifier, “elected”, and you get an oligarchy. In the case of Putin, some of his own advisers admitted that the last presidential elections were manipulated. One of Putin’s closest advisers noticed that, in at least one district, Putin got more votes than there were registered voters!

The Swiss president, head of the 57 nations OSCE, went to see Vladimir Putin, May 7, 2014. I don’t know whether he told the master of the Kremlin that he could kiss goodbye to his 40 billion dollars in Swiss bank vaults, but suddenly, the Russian dictator, grimacing as a chastened schoolboy, gambled that concessions to the united world were a better bet that going it alone, supported only by a chorus of the deranged, from the extreme right in Western Europe, to pseudo leftists in the USA, and greedy German corruptocrats.

So da, the master of the Kremlin said, he would withdraw his armies, da, the “Separatists”, his henchmen, should not proceed with a pseudo-referendum. The fact that the Ukrainian army killed dozens of “Separatists” no doubt helped (many of these “separatists”, by their own admission, were (“ex”) members of Russian Special Forces, recently arrived from all over Russia).

Putin understands force only. The Kiev government pointed out “Putin just sold wind“… That’s not fair: Putin also sells oil, gas, and weapons.

A recent study from Princeton showed that only the reigning oligarchy influenced the decisions in the USA. That means that the greatest asset of democracy, its distributed intelligence, is absent.

So it is, all over the world.

The result, as the government of the USA just admitted, is that “U.S. Climate Has Already Changed, Study Finds, Citing Heat and Floods”.

Indeed the oligarchy was allowed to taint the opinion making process with lies, disinformation, dissembling, silly jokes, and outright imbecility. All these ought to be against the law, in the USA, as in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, or Nigeria.

And you have seen nothing yet. The biosphere will start convulsing pretty soon.  Change will accelerate, and could become catastrophic overnight, if methane hydrates start to be released catastrophically from the oceans’ bottom (whose temperature has been going up steadily). Methane has more than thirty times the greenhouse effect than CO2, for the same mass.

Ultimately, phytoplankton could be killed by acid, and oxygen production would then fail. Earth is being sabotaged by the fanatics of fossil fuels.

What’s the plan of the plutocrats?  The worst, the better, as far as they are concerned. That’s the theory of comparative advantage, they love so much, more than dear life. Especially the lives of others, that they enjoy to suck on, like vampires do with cattle.

The strategy of the plutocrats, consciously, or not, is the same as in 400 CE, or 1348 CE: be the last ones to die, behind their high walls and private armies, to inherit the Earth. They just don’t know that, truly, history does not repeat itself. And now less than ever.  It always comes back, with a vengeance.

Patrice Aymé

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Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

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an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

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SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

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in truth, only atoms and the void

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Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

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because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner