Posts Tagged ‘Carbon Tax’

March For Science, Humanity, Sawing From Saturn.

April 23, 2017

Nietzsche “made philosophy with a hammer”. Yet science was always made with a saw, literally cutting, and not just through crap:

Today is “Earth Day”, in the USA, the most significant country, at least in the sense of most polluting, per capita (except for critters such as some emirates, Canada and Australia). Self-admiring herds of hollier-than-thou posers proclaimed the “March For Science”. Those herds marching around the US, with herbivorous intelligence, claim science is in danger. I agree, there is never enough science. 

Ironically, it is the ability to make distinctions which is in primordial danger. The inability to make distinctions proliferates in the rabidly anti-Trump, and PC crowd which tends to be marching quite a bit these days, flaunting its rage, and lack of foresight. Yet the “March for Science” is not per se anti-Trump (although the censoring, manipulative and partisan New York Times claimed it was).

Political Correctness certainly rests on the false pretense of not making distinction between being right, and feeling good. PC is driven by moods, not careful, painstaking analysis, and this is fundamentally anti-science. No distinctions, no science. (But certainly plenty of racism, tribalism, nationalism, fanaticism.) As we will see.

Marching is good, science even better. Without science there is no humanity. Literally and figuratively. Science is not a choice humanity makes, but its essence..

Humanity colonized the planet, and is now colonizing the Solar System. Colonizing: that’s what humanity not just does, but is. Starting 50,000 years ago, humanity colonized Oceania. Actually all of planet Earth, and its oceans were conquered from very small human populations. (In a very complicated spatio-temporal pattern, with select interbreeding of long isolated populations.)

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Forecasts are that, thanks to automation, robots, Artificial Intelligence, 60 million jobs will be lost in the USA within 20 years. The solution? More science. More scientists, and artists. More high level science and other high level creative jobs. As robots crawl all over, creative thinking will be needed more than ever. For example, the mathematician of the future will coach her office AI into producing thousands of theorems, after tweaking some axiom(s). And then she will ponder how useful, or pretty, those theorems produced by the AI, look.

Homo SAPIENS, comes from Latin sapientem (nominative sapiens), present participle of sapere “to taste, have taste, be wise”. Homo Sapiens is a creature of wealth and taste. Wealth from capital, even simple obsidian blades and fire cages. 

Very pale tiny blueish dot: Earth as seen from between Saturn Mighty Rings. Shot By Cassini, April 12, 2017

Cassini/Huygens is the NASA/ESA robot sent to the Saturn system, nearly 20 years ago. It established the nature of Titan’s atmosphere and surface, and that life could exist on Enceladus. Enceladus has plenty of water and hydrocarbon molecules. Now, after using Titan to change its orbit completely, thanks to five close encounter with the mighty satellite, from various position, Cassini has switched to a semi polar orbit which allows it to squeeze between the giant planet and her rings.  In case it would collide with a grain of sand, or ice, the nuclear-powered spacecraft is advancing antenna first, using it as a shield.

Cassini was a Savoy-Italian-French astronomer, born in Nice (where now Islamist immigrants kill people by the dozens, in the name of the “Islamist State”). Cassini was first to find the Cassini division of Saturn rings and was the first to measure (using a 220 feet high church roof to set-up a camera obscura, with agreement of clerics) the diameter of the Sun. The diameter of the Sun was found to vary on the ground of the church during the year, as predicted by Kepler’s ellipse theory of planetary orbits. Cassini helped set-up the Paris observatory, and worked as an astronomer under a Louis XIV grant, for the last 43 years of his life. His son succeeded him as astronomer and geodesist (measuring the Earth).

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Why does humanity need taste? To be able to distinguish: The word “Science” appears in mid fourteenth century English meaning “what is known, knowledge (of something) acquired by study; information;” also “assurance of knowledge, certitude, certainty,” from Old French science “knowledge, learning, application; corpus of human knowledge“.

In the twelfth century, the French, having the taste for simplifying the lives of their lips, transformed the Latin scientia “knowledge, a knowing; expertness,” from sciens (genitive scientis) “intelligent, skilled,” into something easier to pronounce (most of French is simplified Latin pronunciation… and grammar).

The original Latin “scientia” is the present participle of scire “to know,” probably originally “to separate one thing from another, to distinguish,” related to scindere “to cut, divide,” from Proto Indo-European root *skei- “to cut, to split”. In French : “scier” (to saw). This is the source also of Greek skhizein “to split, rend, cleave,” Gothic skaidan, Old English sceadan “to divide, separate;” itself related to schizo…

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Want to Save The Earth? Institute a Carbon Tax!

Trump came out with a pro-science and pro-Earth statements, so the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd will punch the air, once again. Right Trump at some point was one way, and at other points, the other. Trump and three of his children signed a  2009 letter to President Barack Obama calling for a global climate deal. “We support your effort to ensure meaningful and effective measures to control climate change, an immediate challenge facing the United States and the world today,” That was before Trump discovered, as I did to my sorrow, that Obama’s aspiring mood seems to have bee that of one of these Kenyan boys helping the big white masters of international finance, in a typical picture of colonial Kenya.

Later the weather got cold when Trump was trying to golf, or enjoy balmy weather in Los Angeles, and he called global warming a hoax. Nobody seems to have shown him the graph of the deep ocean temperature, steadily going up.

“My Administration is committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes, and open spaces, and to protecting endangered species.” Trump’s statement added that environmental protection should not come at a cost to working families, and that the White House was focused on “reducing unnecessary burdens” on American workers while working to protect the environment.

Trump insisted that his administration would work to achieve the “twin goals” of environmental health and American economic growth, noting that “we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate… Today on Earth Day, we celebrate our beautiful forests, lakes and land. We stand committed to preserving the natural beauty of our nation.”

Beauty of Earth too. Earth Moon from Saturn: We Are Nothing Much! We Are Nothing Much! Hanging onto precious little! Care for our small blue home by making the Solar System into a more human park, there is lots of space!

Thus the usual sea of words from the US government, same as all the ones before. For 24 years, three US administrations, preciously nothing important has been done to reduce the CO2 crisis, at the US government level (whereas all European government, including fossil fuel wealthy Norway, put a 400% tax on fossil fuels).

So far, for the USA, it has been mostly words (the gasoline tax established by Eisenhower, as many good, effective, progressive things, was not really indexed on inflation, and has become ever more irrelevant). All most of the significant progress done in the US was from scientific and technological advances to which the government contributed only indirectly. For example the government contributed to PhotoVoltaic (PV) research. PV is changing the world: by 2020, the total Earth PV production will be at least 500 Gigawatts (500 standard nuclear reactors).

Human technology is improving ever more. The tech found in the 20-year-old  Cassini/Huyghens is already amazing. And we are much further. But weneed to accelerate, lest we perish. Here are the “Grand Finale” orbits of Cassini, after having used Titan’s attraction to get a completely different set of orbits.

Beauty of Earth too. Earth Moon from Saturn: We Are Nothing Much! We Are Nothing Much! Hanging onto precious little! Care for our small blue home by making the Solar System into a more human park, there is lots of space!

There is only one policy which can seriously help: a carbon tax. Or more exactly a GreenHouse Gas tax, a GHG tax. It does not have to be punitive, vengeful. Just compute the damage particular emissions cause to the Earth, consider those to be part of their cost, and require the perpetrator to pay for that damage they cause. Those who march together, bleating together about supporting Earth, are finding all too much comfort in their lack of data gathering, thought, and will. If they want to save earth that much, they should campaign for a GreenHouse Gas tax. A GHG tax. The more GHG is used in making a product, including produce, flowers, air travel and  ship transport, the more it should be taxed (the WTO authorizes this sort of tax, at any level… while limiting other taxes at 3%. So a 35% GHG tax is WTO, and UN legal! Installing it would dramatically favor the non-carbon energy production, from PV to electric hydrogen cargo ships pulled by sails or kites…)

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Of The Ecological Hypocrisy Of The Obamas, Oprah, Springsteen, and their ilk:

Obama is great leader of the hollier-than-thou, we-don’t-need-to-think-too-hard, as long as it looks good on TV, crowd. Obama is widely and wildly admired, by the PC throngs. Although my flesh and blood friend, he was captured by the establishment, even before he became president. Much of the rage against Trump is actually subconsciously displaced from a severely suppressed, denied rage, against Obama, changing mirage! This all needs some fresh air.

Obama sold Federal coal, one of the highest quality low sulfur coal on the entire Earth, for 20% of its real environmental cost. That in turn depressed coal prices everywhere. But don’t worry: last week, the Obamas were in Tahiti, and Moorea, on a plutocrat’s 140 meter super yacht, celebrating the sucking dummies who vote “democratic”, and want to save the Earth. The Obamas were celebrating Earth Day their way, polluting massively, for all to see, with Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, David Geffen. After an incredible performance in not appearing to be what they really are, the Obamas have revealed to be some of the greatest stage artists, and deserve to share in the .001% lifestyle. 

What will Trump do about the climate disaster? We don’t know (all the noisy measures he took so far are devoid of much impact, they satisfy the deniers, but that’s it). I advise a massive carbon tax, as usual.

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One has to take decisions, to make distinctions: Considering the danger of Earth’s microbes spreading to Enceladus’ water ocean, or Titan hydrocarbon atmosphere, the decision was taken to crash Cassini into Saturn, where it will burn up. (Maybe Earthly microbes will survive and thrive in Saturn clouds, oops, haha…)

Yes, there is a dark side to colonization, including space colonization, and there is a dark side even to cognition itself. But not to worry: our species is fully equipped to handle the Dark Side, with a determined smile! That’s part of our charm.

Patrice Ayme’

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Global Sea Ice Collapsing: Carbon Tax!

January 7, 2017

Any linear process, pushed too far, will become non-linear. This is true in psychology, as it is in imploding stars. (It is even true in Quantum Physics, where it used to be called “collapse” and now is called “decoherence”, because “collapse” did not sound too good, probably… Actually the switch from linear to nonlinear, is the greatest mystery of the Quantum; we will massage it below, with an ominous message, naturally…) And it is obviously true for the climate. Climate change can be slowly and steady (it took 35 million years to cool the dinosaurs into extinction, although the end of the process was nonlinear…) Climate change can also be extremely brutal, on the orders of years, not millions of years (contemplate the Younger Dryas, dramatic, extremely brutal glaciations which lasted no more than a millennium, the most spectacular being 18,000 years ago).

This is a complicated world. We are its gods, and we are warming up the party. Global sea ice is the sum of sea ice, worldwide, mostly found in the Arctic and Antarctica. It is suddenly collapsing. Yes, global ice fluctuates with the seasons. Yet, consider this graph:

 

Catastrophic Collapse Inevitable. Any linear process, pushed too far, will become non-linear.

Catastrophic Collapse Inevitable.

Just invert that graph, transforming the ice collapse into sea rise: this is what is going to happen. And not in 5000 years, as corrupt scientists have hopefully suggested. No: it could start to happen in 2017. And it will certainly start very soon, in the lifetime of existing politicians.

How did these scientists get corrupt? By hope and inertia: good jobs are given to those with good news, however fake those “news” may be. Especially if said good “news” reinforce the existing establishment. There was actually nothing new in claiming that Greenland and Antractica would stay covered with ice. It was actually old news.

There was no reason, whatsoever, to think that the giant ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica would stay stable under enormous warming. (Whereas global air warming is only 1.2 Centigrade above the baseline, warming in polar regions is several times this. This fact is explainable by logic alluded to below.)

However, there were excellent reasons, excellent because they were very simple, to believe they were not going to stay stable. I have found them, and exposed them on this site. Two reasons are most prominent.

One I could call that the permafrost argument: as temperatures shift up, by a few degrees Centigrade (= Celsius), the permafrost line has to travel hundreds of kilometers north, or south. As it does, ice sheets melt.

However, and this is the second major reason, ice sheets, which are up to four kilometers thick, exert a pressure of 4,000 tons per square meter (that means roughly 40,000 tons over the footprint of a car). The ice sheets thus press the continents down by thousands of meters, so warm water will slip below the ice, falling all the way underneath, and the disintegration will be brutal. (Such brutality has been caught on film.)

I am struggling with an essay which demonstrates why Obama wanted Trump elected (and how he accomplished this). Not easy to explain to those who cling to a simpler world (so the work is still in progress). Yet there is a first lesson therein:that our world has become so complicated, so poorly organized, and so dangerously managed, and our powers so great, that a single individual’s brain structure impacts significantly the biosphere.

A case in point is Kim of North Korea: a certified maniac who rules the world by instilling respect for his own insanity (he claims to be developing a nuclear “deterrent” by being able to throw nuclear bombs at any country, anywhere.)

So what’s up with the ice? Sea ice depends upon a cold sea. Ice on top of the sea, or land, throws back sunlight like a shield, back to space, before photons can dig in the ground, or the ocean, and deliver in the depths their momentum-energy, raising the agitation, thus temperature there. Once the ice cover is gone, photons can heat up the depths. Normal temperature measurements which make headlines are just about air temperature, a meter off the ground. They are not about the rise of temperatures of the depths.

If, at some point the rise of temperature of the depths becomes to great to allow ice or snow cover in winter, ground, or ocean temperature is exposed to photons, thus heat, even in the cool season, and a vicious circle, a different regime, starts.

The transition does not have to be smooth. In Quantum Physics, a system can “tunnel” between a local minima, and another, even lower (this is “classically” not allowed). So will object that climatology is a “classical” system. And they are obviously wrong: this is the famous paradox of the hurricane started by a butterfly’s wings. Ultimately, Quantum systems decide of everything: if zillions of Quantum systems switch to a lower energy state together, we have a “classical” transition.

Thus, the climate of the entire planet will LURCH to a different state. The collapse of global sea ice is an early indicator of the incoming catastrophe (reminiscent of when some temperature indicators went up inside the left wing of the Space Shuttle Columbia; by then, Columbia was doomed; in our case, we are not doomed terminally: we will be more or less doomed, depending upon how we react now).

This happened countless times in the past: the AMOC (or Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation), is the planet’s most significant current: it enables the Gulf Stream to go warm-up Europe gently. However, sometimes, it gets cold before making it to Iceland, and drops to the sea bottom, 6,000 meters down, short of the entire north-east corner of the Atlantic.

As it does in the fictional and exaggerated movie “The Day After Tomorrow”, when the AMOC brutally changes (this we know, for a fact explained mysterious flash freezes in the past, more than 10,000 years ago).

Actually my own position is more subtle: I do not expect a brutal glaciation in Europe, as when the AMOC lurched last, because there is plainly not enough easily liquefiable cold in the Arctic. However, I expect something way worse: brutal sea level rise, in the tens of meters. My reasoning is terrible in its brutal simplicity: warm oceanic water will slip underneath, and then fall thousands of meters below the ice sheets. Yes, below. For more details, please read:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/west-antarctica-melting-amazon-not-helping/

Warm winds on top will not help, and have already disintegrated major ice shelves in days (like four days: by happenstance, measuring instruments caught the disintegration of a major ice shelf, ten years ago: it was immediately preceded by a four-day, 16 Celsius (62 F) wind storm (with hurricane winds). Said winds are of course augmenting. Because of thermodynamic effects, extremely warm winds can occur even in July, in the heart of Antarctica’s winter, bringing temperatures up by 40 Celsius (from minus 30 C to plus 10 C), vaporizing the snow cover (winds are augmenting all over the planet, as more energy is pumped into the biosphere).

The Obama administration did precious little about the developing climate catastrophe (his own administrator just testified in Congress that Obama administration policies had an impact of .01%; even the much derided governor Perry from Texas did much more, by transforming the One Star State into a large wind farm!)

Trump could do much more, by killing two birds with one stone. He could do what Obama and the establishment which used him as a puppet, did not dare do. Mostly because they are very serious, respectable people getting their power from even more serious, more respectable people.

Set-up a worldwide carbon tax. Europe will cooperate: several European countries already have carbon taxes, all tax gasoline and diesel at enormous rates. It happens that, under Obama, the US government was selling the best coal in the world, five times below cost (a Science Magazine lead article detailed this in December 2016; I planned to write an essay on it, but did not find the time-energy…). That dragged all coal prices down, worldwide, and was an anti-carbon tax.

By lifting that best-coal price in Federal lands, thanks to a carbon tax, Trump would bring coal prices up (thus momentarily helping the coal miners who voted for him).

Such is the way. There is no alternative (slogan of the stupid Thatcher!). Of course, there is so much inertia in the system, a rise of three degrees Centigrade is guaranteed, and coastal cities will have either to be evacuated, or sit behind ten stories tall levees…

Anyway, let climate skeptics munch on the graph on top. Brutal floods are a historical fact. Sumerian civilization was drowned in a sudden flood. And yes, it was man-made, we understand this now. 43 centuries ago, the most advanced civilization, or, more exactly, one of the roots of what would become the most advanced civilization (ours) was wiped out in a matter of days, by a man-made cataclysm.

Meditate that.

Meditation is the noblest pursuit of humanity. Or, at least, the one activity which characterizes humanity best.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Glacial Pace, Cool Lies, Melting Leadership

September 3, 2015

Obama went to Alaska and named Denali (the tall one in the local language) Denali. Denali, the tallest mountain that far north on Earth, is endowed with the tallest glaciated face anywhere on Earth, its north face being around 5,000 meters high (it had been named for a USA president who was killed by an anarchist, in those times when hatred for the mighty ran rampant).

Naming Denali by its name needed to be done, and, in Obama was up to the task. Obama is best at demolishing open doors, when not pursuing the world terror assassination campaign by drones which does not just dishonor the West, but saps its foundations. (I am not saying I am hysterically against assassinations, torture, and that every assassination ordered by Obama is unwise. But the question of due process, excellent information, and perfect targeting is crucial; moreover, having a plan beyond imposing terror is paramount; not the case here).

Obama Approaching A Glacier Which May Be Gone In 5 Years Thanks To His Affirmative Inaction

Obama Approaching A Glacier Which May Be Gone In 5 Years Thanks To His Affirmative Inaction

I personally have seen enormous glaciers which are now gone, both in Alaska, and in the Alps.

Obama uttered many truths in Alaska. We know this method: drowning reality under a torrent of little truths, and common place truisms. Obama seems to have realized that he was the did-nothing prez. This is better than Clinton, who, having deregulated the banks, was the did-terrible prez, or Bush II, viewed by a sizable part of the world as a war criminal, for his invasion and destabilization of Mesopotamia. Yet, even Bush did something good, and durable: Medicare Part D. One can forget a bad man who did a big, good thing. Obama just put a band aid on the gangrene of USA health care, and did preciously nothing about anthropogenic climate change.

At the Exit glacier, the president walked past signs that mark the year the glacier reached at that point. The glacier has receded two kilometers (1.25 mile) in the past 200 years. It is now the only glacier accessible by car and foot in the Kenai peninsula (which contains the largest icecap in the USA).

Pointing to the signs, the president considered the speed at which glacier retreats is accelerating. “It is spectacular, though,” glancing back at the view. “We want to make sure our grandkids can see it.”

This is slick disinformation. Grandkids? Are you kidding me? In truth, it’s absolutely certain that the grandkids will NOT see that glacier, except if the Obama daughters rush through the reproductive process. As I related in a preceding essay, a few years ago, I went back to Alaska, to show to my own toddler a giant glacier I remembered to be easily accessible by car and a little flat walk. I could not recognize the landscape: the glacier was completely gone, and had been replaced by tall trees. It was astounding. I was contemplating the same transformation of ice into trees this summer in the Alps. Going through a forest I had known as a formidable glacier.

Obama is a Harvard lawyer. People around him are politicians (often also with a legal background), financial types, more lawyers, banksters (real or potential), conspiracy consultants, managers, celebrities, etc. So it is with most politicians around the world. Those people have little education in physics. One does not even know if they understand the basics involved in pushing a car. Apparently, they don’t. Push hard on a car without the hand brake, and it will not move much, if at all.

Once I was in the Sierra Nevada, on a small road at 10,000 feet. California route 108, to be specific. Said road can get extremely windy and steep as it reaches Sonora Pass. It’s a trap: in the lower reaches route 108 is wide enough to accommodate the largest imaginable trucks. A truck driver armed with GPS had got his truck, a tractor-trailer, high enough to be unable to go back. Still hoping for the best, he forged ahead, until its giant vehicle was unable to take a hairpin, and, still hoping that brute force would solve everything, the driver succeeded to get completely across the road in two places, with many of its enormous wheels secured among very large boulders, both for the cab and the trailer. A large traffic jam ensued. As the closest imaginable rescue laid dozens of miles away, and going around, supposing one could back up, would require a detour of 200 kilometers (in the mountains!), it was time  to think creatively.

While dozens of people were milling around, I noticed an imaginable path, by displacing boulders, and filling some gaps with stones. It helped that we were close to timberline, and trees were few. Getting to work with my spouse, we soon cleared and engineered enough of the land to pass through. Other vehicles followed.

This little incident has nagged me for years: why did not the other drivers think about it? OK, my spouse and I have a maximal background in physics, but still, one is talking about basic common sense here. Why did no one else think of making a different road?

Obama’s road, and that of the other politicians, from Cameron to Hollande, let alone Putin, or Xi, is to say what sounds good (Merkel may be an exception; but then she is a physics PhD too). It sounds good to speak about the “grandkids”: Commandant Cousteau started that one: save the planet for the grandkids.

The ideas there are that the world ecology decays slowly under our assaults, and that it may be in our selfish interest to let it be, but nefarious within two generations. In other words: the future is slow.

Our great leaders, the supremacists of self-endowed selfishness, just don’t have enough of a feeling for physics to understand climate change (once again with the possible exception of physicist Merkel, who has engaged Germany on a one-way trip to renewable energy… in a cloud of coal dust).

INERTIA and MOMENTUM were discovered by Buridan a Fourteenth Century Parisian mathematician-physicist-philosopher-politician-academic (although the discovery is erroneously attributed to Newton, who blossomed 350 years later). Buridan had a gigantic following of students, including Albert of Saxony, Oresme, the Oxford Calculators. Those students used graphs (a world’s first), and demonstrated non-trivial theorems of calculus.

Somehow, Aristotelian physics was as wrong as possible about dynamics. Aristotle and his clownish parrots believed that one needed a force to persist with motion, completely ignoring air resistance. Aristotle should have ridden a horse at a full gallop, and discover air resistance. If one believes in Aristotelian physics, there is no problem with the climate: just reduce the CO2, and the climate changes comes to a halt. Apparently our great leaders are at this level of education.

Buridan gave the formula for momentum (which he called impetus): (MASS) X (VELOCITY). Given a constant force, impetus would augment proportionally to speed. This is what came to be called “Newton’s Second Law.

At this point human modification of the atmosphere, from stuffing it with CO2 and other gases, has made the lower atmosphere into a thicker blanket, imprisoning heat close to the ground. This is applying a constant heating force (aka thermal forcing) to the ground and the ocean, both of which are heating at increasing depth.

The climate is the largest object, so far, on which humanity has applied force. The force applied is immense, the greatest force which humanity has ever exerted. Yet, because the climate is so massive, it takes much time to accelerate: the variation of climate change is low.

Pushing the climate hard is similar, but much worse, than pushing an enormous object, say a truck: initially, it does not move. But when it does, it’s suicidal to try to stop it by standing in front.

Can we stop applying the force? No. Not within existing technology. We cannot extract the excess CO2 in the atmosphere. Making plants grow to absorb the CO2 cannot work. First, recent studies on the Amazon show that present vegetation is not adapted to the present density of CO2. It grows faster, but then dies faster. Second, and most importantly, the mathematics don’t work.

1ppm ~ 2 Gt. 3 ppm: 6 Gt. Total CO2 atmosphere: 750 Gt. So CO2 augments by roughly 1% a year. Yet, total anthropogenic emissions are at least 35 Gt, and perhaps as much as 50Gt (a number I consider correct). So most of the CO2 from burning fossils disappears (probably in the ocean, where the reserves are of the order of 40,000 Gt; thus we are augmenting total carbon storage there by 1% in ten years; not dramatic, but the CO2 converts in carbonic acid, and the acidity is going up).

In any case the excess carbon we send in the atmosphere is of the order of 7% of the total carbon in the atmosphere. We cannot neutralize this by growing plants: that would require to grow the biomass by 50Gt a year, 50 billion tons a year, year after year. A grotesque proposal.

Do the math, ignorant leaders! Shoot, I forgot you had no math at school, beyond the basics, except for Merkel; the total annual primary production of biomass is just over 100 billion tonnes Carbon per year. However, because the biosphere was balanced until the massive extraction and burning of fossils, in the last 150 years, as much was being destroyed (through burial). Now we are talking about creating 50 billion tons of biomass a year. Where are we going to put them? On brand new, specially built mountains sized skyscrapers? (Don’t laugh, it’s the future.)

Even then, supposing we could miraculously stop the augmentation of concentration of CO2, under the present anthropogenic gazes concentration (around 450 ppm), we are well above the stage where all ice melts from the Arctic. So that is going to happen. In turn it will release further presently still frozen carbon storage, making it a increasingly non-linear augmentation (of the catastrophe).

There is exactly one method that will stop the greenhouse madness, and it’s the simplest. Talking to no end about complicated schemes is diabolical, as even the Pope pointed out.

Our present leaders will be judged severely by history. Not only they are dinosaurs, but they make sure that we are going back to the Jurassic all too soon.

Patrice Ayme’

Earth Biosphere Destruction Thanks To Plutocratic Subsidies

May 18, 2015

Plutocracy is not just about the rule of money: as its name indicates, it is the rule of evil. Obama, the American Chief Executing Officer, just allowed oil drilling in the Arctic (where pollution does not dissipate, due to low temperature). However, when the ship sinks, the rats start to bite each other. Thus here comes the International Monetary Fund, with a striking study. Although based next to the White House, the Fund just found a profound fundament to our world crisis. Fossil Fuels “energy subsidies are dramatically higher than previous estimates.

How high? The IMF estimates the fossil fuel subsidies amount to 5.3 trillion dollars in 2015. Yes, 5,300 billions, about a third of USA or EU GDP. 5.3 trillion dollars is 6.5% of world GDP. That’ is 600 million dollars an hour. It is higher than all the government spending on health care, worldwide. And it goes to whom, first? Plutocrats. Nothing else to expect from a government by plutophiles, for plutocrats.

Earth, Funding Pluto Brought A Drastic Problem

Earth, Funding Pluto Brought A Drastic Problem

We are presently destroying the biosphere which enabled the human species to evolve. It is pretty drastic. It would cause the worst mass murderers and criminals against humanity pause. It is not just a political, or philosophical, or ethical problem. It is the ultimate question of survival. We are all in a gas chamber of our own making, and the tap is fully open. Anything else is delusion.

Among the IMF’s conclusion: the highest subsidies are for the most polluting fuel, coal: “Because no country, (unlike for “road fuels) has meaningful excises on its consumption“.

Subsidies arise “mostly from countries not adequately charging for the cost of environmental damage (only one fourth of which is due to climate change)”. The World Health Organization evaluates these deaths to seven (7) millions.

The IMF observes that charging adequately would reduce CO2 emissions by 20% and cut the “premature death rate from fossil fuel pollution” by half. (Those death are evaluated

A philosophy professor from Notre Dame University ponders in the New York Times: “What Can We Do About Climate Change?”

Notice how silly the title is. Indeed, it should say that it’s not the climate that is changing, just because it’s going out tonight, but us who are polluting the planet. As all academics, the professor, from a plutocratic university, is careful to not say anything that would upset extremely wealthy sponsors of his very rich university (rich of subsidized football, TV contracts, gifts from Plutos right and left, etc.) This is how academic excellence works, in the USA: feed the rich ideas they like.

Left unsaid in the interview in the New York Times, were many things, and of some of these many things I will speak.

There are massive fossil fuel subsidies, worldwide. More than 600 billion dollars of direct fossil fuels subsidies are distributed by governments, each year, said the International Energy Agency. The least to be done would be to cut these poisonous gifts to zero.

In temperate and tropical areas, Solar Photovoltaics have become price competitive with fossil fuels, even with the aforesaid subsidies. Without them Solar PV can replace fossil fuels in an economically advantageous way.

We just reached above 403 ppm of CO2 averaged over April 2005. At 400 ppm of CO2, we know we get the warm Pliocene climate: camels in the Arctic. Under such a greenhouse, the Arctic is completely melted, except at high altitude. No more sea ice in the north, whatsoever.

And this does not mention the fact that at least a third of the CO2 goes into the sea to make carbonic acid, quickly approaching non-sustainability; it’s a matter of years, not decades. And that non-linear effects with melting permafrost are getting in gear.

More generally, four planetary boundaries have been crossed. CO2 ppm is just one of them. The crossing of any of these boundaries mean destruction of the biosphere as we have known it (thus thermonuclear war, among other inconveniences).

So much for the somewhat limited view of “Climate Change” from university professors of philosophy.

Moreover, our real greenhouse gases “forcing” the low altitude greenhouse should include man-made gases which did not exist during the warm Pliocene, three million years ago. Some of these gases are more capable of blocking infrared radiation (and thus augmenting the greenhouse) by a multiplicative factor of 25,000 relative to CO2. Those gases ought to be targeted for elimination. Nitrous oxide, much of it from agricultural nitrate fertilizers, and other soil destruction, contributes to 8% of the greenhouse forcing (with 300 times the ppm infrared effect of CO2).

Meanwhile, Germany is ever more dependent upon the world’s most polluting fuel, a type of coal, lignite (Neanderthals already used it in France, more than 80,000 years ago). Even today, Germany bent over backwards to burn even more lignite. What about giving more serious lessons to us, denizens of the German gas chamber? Is it still about giving us lessons with Pluto’s baritone voice?

Germany and the so-called “United” Kingdom tie for number one in the European pollution league. That should put in perspective their (mostly imaginary) superior economic performance. Economic performance is, fundamentally, about energy. Destroying the planet to get energized is plenty cheap, especially morally.

A worldwide tax on carbon ought to be imposed unilaterally by the USA and the EU, and imposed on imported products. Anything else will come short.

And short means, potentially, the greatest catastrophe our species has ever known.

Thanks to progress in sustainable energies, mostly Solar PV, technologically advanced empires (USA, China) are in good position to impose a low carbon economy… While advancing, and advantaging, their own economies. This devilish perspective is actually the only good news around. China has already taken drastic measures against coal.

If good people won’t help, maybe the devil will…

Patrice Ayme’

Carbon Tax, Or Global Crash

June 22, 2014

GOLD MAN SPEAKS:

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

Carbonizers Worst Monsters Ever?

January 30, 2013

ONLY a worldwide carbon tax CAN SAVE THE BIOSPHERE as we know it: tax all products according to how much producing them has brought up the carbon content of the atmosphere. Only this will stop the intolerable. With the present policies, we are sure that the devastating rise in CO2 will accelerate.

The tax ought to stop the burning of the 450 million years of FOSSIL fuels we are trying to carbonize the planet with at this point. (That does not mean we would have to go without fuel: algae fuel is carbon negative; that means it absorbs CO2; it requires only CO2 and sunlight; the U.S. Navy, among others, uses it. By contrast, oil from tar sands produces 3 times the CO2 of fossil oil!)

Only morons, masochists and sadists don’t fear this chart:

CO2 Now Off The Chart

CO2 Now Off The Chart


This represents 450,000 years of data. We are actually around 450 ppm, off the chart, when counting, as one should, ALL the human made, industrial greenhouse gases.
The carbon tax ought to be put progressively, with allowance for the construction of dams and elevated lagoons next to solar and wind farms (to use them as basal energy), electric trains, power lines, and other heavy machinery needed for a sustainable economy.

***

CARBONIZATION: WORST CRISIS IN 65 MILLION YEARS:
In his second inaugural address, President Obama proclaimed climate change a priority of his second term. Thanks partly to his self-obsessed inaction in his first term, it’s too late to avoid a state of the climate unknown in civilization, within a decade or so.

Except if drastic measures are taken, much worse is to come. In a weekend near you.

In about two cnturies, 7 out of the 9 driest Januaries in California have happened since 1976. In 2013, California suffered its third driest January ever. Why? Because the storm belt has moved too much north. The same phenomenon tied to warming brought 74 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius) to Kansas in that same January (instead of the usual freezing temps).

The first measure to take is for the USA to implement carbon taxes similar to those in Europe.
Why the USA? Because the USA lead the plutocratic dance, and plutocrats rule. They persuaded the rest of the world that Europe was wrong about coal, oil, gas, tar, and that full carbon ahead was the way of the brave.

After Obama’s re-election, a bill glided through Congress with broad bipartisan support and won a quick signature from President Obama: the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011. Just as in most things, Obama talks one way, spectacularly, and acts the opposite, even more spectacularly. However, here it is not a question of naming Wall Street insiders to watch over Wall Street (as Obama did twice, for his new cabinet).
When Obama “prohibits” doing something about carbon emissions, he enables the destruction of the biosphere, one day to be viewed as the greatest crime ever.

Obama goes to Kailua, contemplates an immense magnificent white sand beach he has known since he was a boy. The Secret Services and hordes of black clad special forces hold back the rabble… 500 meters away. A magnificent beach, and soon to be under water, thanks to his good offices.

Why would one want to live on in infamy?

Yes, destroying the biosphere is not among the greatest crimes. But, clearly, the greatest ever. it’s worse than nuclear war, in the fullness of time. Holocausts are bad. Organizing a holocaust (whole-burning) of the whole biosphere, the worst.

Nobody he can talk about in public, forced Obama to sign the planet killing bill: he had won re-election. Casual remarks of his about Lincoln shows that he has no awareness proportionate to the gravity of the situation.

The pollution caused by planes is enormous. Supposing the most efficient plane flying today with a full passenger load (the A380 Superjumbo) three round trips Chicago-Frankfurt produce 11 tons of CO2, per passenger. When Obama translate his person to Hawai’i, it’s about dozens of times that, hundreds of tons. By comparison, the average USA house uses less than 7 tons, the average USA driving per year, 3.5 tons, commuting, less than 2 tons.

Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are on track to exceed the limits that scientists believe could prevent catastrophic warming. CO2 levels are higher than they have been in 15 million years. And CO2 is less than 8/9 of the story. Because there are other industrially generated greenhouse gases. And carbon soot contributes to warming, it turns out.
The Arctic, melting rapidly and probably irreversibly, has reached a state that the Vikings would not recognize. Yet, when the Vikings colonized Iceland, Greenland and Vinland (America), the climate was at the warmest since the heydays of Rome.
Right now forests are growing in Greenland, and wood has been harvested there, for the first time ever (the Vikings, having ravaged the forests of Iceland, imported their wood from America).
“We are poised right at the edge of some very major changes on Earth,” said Anthony Barnosky, a University of California Berkeley professor of biology studying the interaction of climate change with population growth and land use. “We really are a geological force that’s changing the planet.”
***
WHOLESALE SHIFT NEEDED
The Arctic melt is occurring as the planet is just 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) warmer than it was in preindustrial times.

One has to realize that, at the peak of the last major glaciation, when an ice shield united New York and Aquitaine, all across the Atlantic, the temperature of the North Atlantic was only five degrees Celsius lower.

At current trends, the Earth could warm by 4 degrees Celsius in 50 years, according to a November World Bank report. In truth, it could go much faster, because of a couple of NON LINEAR effects neglected in conventional analyses.

The coolest summer months would be much warmer than today’s hottest summer months, the World Bank report said. “The last time Earth was 4 degrees warmer than it is now was about 14 million years ago,” Barnosky said. However, in the past, changes of climate were slow enough for animal species to accompany them by quick evolutionary changes.

With a few exceptions. Notably the catastrophic extinctions of the past, when the climate changed brutally within a million years or so.

During the extinction of dinosaurs, pterosaurs and plesiosaurs, birds (flying dinosaurs), and mammals barely resisted whatever happened, and the subsequent cooling of the climate. However during the more severe Permian-Trias extinction, 252 million years ago, 96% of marine species got extinct. Major terrestrial megafauna was annihilated.

It is technically feasible to halt the incoming catastrophe by nearly ending the use of fossil fuels, RIGHT AWAY.

It would require a wholesale shift to renewable fuels that the United States, let alone China and other developing countries, appears unlikely to make, given that many Americans do not believe humans are changing the climate. It’s all about the citizens of the USA, because only them can stop the mad rush to disaster. The USA leads world public opinion more, than, say, the French Republic, or the disparate European Union.

Even the superstitious based is starting to realize that Earth has a problem. “Science is not opinion, it’s not what we want it to be,” said Ms Hayhoe, a loudly evangelical Christian and climatologist at Texas Tech University who was lead author of a draft report on U.S. climate change issued this month by the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee, which was created by the federal government.

“You can’t make a thermometer tell you it’s hotter than it is,” said Hayhoe (she and her husband, a linguist and West Texas pastor, have written a book on climate change addressed to evangelicals).
“And it’s not just about thermometers or satellite instruments,” she said. “It’s about looking in our own backyards, when the trees are flowering now compared to 30 years ago, what types of birds and butterflies and bugs that … used to be further south.”Robins are arriving two weeks early in Colorado. Frogs are calling sooner in Ithaca, N.Y. The Sierra Nevada snowpack is melting earlier. Cold snaps, still happen, but less often. The frost-free season has lengthened 21 days in California, nine days in Texas and 10 in Connecticut, according to the draft climate report.
Whereas North-west Europe’s winters may become more severe, if the Gulf Stream short-circuits from flooding of the ocean (!) by light cold waters from accelerated Greenland melting.
***

EXTREME WEATHER, EXTREME CHANGE:
Scientists are loath to pin specific events, such as SuperStorm-Hurricane Sandy, to global warming. Outliers events have always happened.

But “the risk of certain extreme events, such as the 2003 European heat wave, the 2010 Russian heat wave and fires, and the 2011 Texas heat wave and drought has … doubled or more,” said Michael Wehner, a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-author of the climate report. “Some of the changes that have occurred are permanent on human time scales.”

It’s not just droughts. As temperature rises, the water content in the atmosphere augments, so flooding augments. And, and this is a clear statistic, extreme weather events, overall, are much more frequent.

Last year, the continental United States was the hottest it has ever been in the 118 years that records have been kept. Globally, each of the first 12 years of the 21st century were among the 14 warmest ever.
Connecticut was 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average. At current rates of CO2 emissions, scientists expect New England to have summers resembling the Deep South within decades.

The pine bark beetle, killed by winter freezes in the past, has become epidemic over millions of acres of forests from California to South Dakota. Mountainous forests die, and then burn, to be replaced by sagebrush, accentuating the drying of the South West USA. Similar insect invasions are happening throughout the giant forest of North-West America, all the way to Alaska.

Oceans, which absorb CO2, in a reaction that makes carbonic acid, have increased in acidity. The acid gnaws at the calcium based skeletons of the micro life in the oceans, damaging coral reefs, shellfish and organisms at the bottom of the food chain. Washington state shellfish growers have seen major failures in oyster hatcheries because the larvae don’t form shells.

A report this month by the National Research Council, a public policy branch of the National Academies, said such changes in ocean chemistry in the geologic past were accompanied by “mass extinctions of ocean or terrestrial life or both.”

No wonder: those tiny organisms fabricate roughly half of the oxygen of the atmosphere.
***

TIPPING POINTS:
The clear and present key question is when greenhouse gas emissions reach a point where changes become so self-reinforcing, that they get completely out of human control.

Polar sea ice reflects the sun. As it melts, the dark ocean absorbs more solar heat, raising temperatures. Similarly, the Greenland ice sheet is melting rapidly, reducing reflectivity and heating the Earth faster, speeding up the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet (much of which will be replaced by very dark ocean, accelerating the warming further).
(Some of these effects can play, against each other, for a while: for example, it snows more on the Himalayas and East Antarctica, a desert; precisely because temperatures are rising, and moisture !)

The northern permafrost is thawing, with the potential to release massive quantities of CO2 and methane, CH4, a ten times more potent greenhouse gas, presently stored in frozen soils. Hundreds of billions of tons of vegetation frozen solid since dozens of thousands of years.

There is no faulty logic here: in the past there were episodes of warmer overall temperatures, due to the solar exposition of Arctic lands to strong sun in July-August. But the CO2 was MUCH lower (see graph above!). During those episodes, plants grew, on the surface, for millennia, above deep permafrost. Then the planet’s orbit changed, and plants froze again. Then the cycle repeated. In some places, the frozen vegetation is dozens of meter deep. And the present colossal greenhouse threatens to melt the whole thing, and the North will literally rot.

These non linear factors guarantee a sudden change, the timing of which is hard to predict.
“We could be at a tipping point where the climate just abruptly warms,” said Mark Z. Jacobson, director of Stanford University’s atmosphere/energy program. When Obama following Cousteau, warns of the children’s future problems, he follows Cousteau, who used to warn about the grandchildren’s fate. Well, all indication are that the catastrophe is already upon us.
***

CHANGES OVER TIME
UC Berkeley’s Barnosky says tipping points could come earlier than anticipated when factoring in population growth and land use. (Cautiously, as a good academic, he does not consider the real catastrophic potential tipping points, just those which are sure to impact.)

More than 40 percent of the Earth’s land surface has been covered by farms and cities. Much of the rest is cut by roads (which can destroy bird species, Hawaiian studies have shown). By 2025, that human footprint could reach 50 percent, a level that on smaller scales has led to ecological crashes, such as a fisheries collapse or an ocean dead zone.

“It’s just sort of simple math: The more people, the more footprint,” Barnosky said. “If we’re still on a fossil fuel economy in 50 years, there is no hope for doing anything about climate change. It will be here in such a dramatic way that we won’t recognize the planet we’re on.”

Not all climate scientists are so factual. Ashley Ballantyne, a bioclimatologist at the University of Montana who studies paleoclimate records, said the climate has always changed, with ice ages, warmings and mass extinctions. At current CO2 concentrations, the Arctic and Greenland are likely to become ice free, as they were 4 million years ago, he said nonchalantly, in his simplicity.

We know very well that the Antarctica ice shield appeared when CO2 went below 440 ppm. We are presently ABOVE 450 PPM in CO2 EQUIVALENT greenhouse gases (at the present rate, in CO2 alone we will reach 440 ppm within ten years). Moreover, it turns out that carbon soot is accelerating the warming further.

This means that the only reason there is ice in Antarctica is ice itself. It Antarctica were covered with forests, as it used to be, the forests would stay. Today. In other words, we are no more in a glaciated climate, we have ice, purely because the fridge is still cold. But the fridge is broken.

Thanks to USA policies, burning coal will be again the main source of energy produced, within 5 years: more soot, more CO2, more arsenic, more mercury. But all what fashionista ecologists can do is go nuclear about Fukushima (total number killed: zero), whereas in the meantime coal has killed millions (nearly all of them indirectly).

“Polar bears are poorly adapted to an ice free Arctic, Ballantyne said, “but it wasn’t bad for boreal trees. They were quite happy.” Right, Ballantyne. Military men should be very happy too, as tremendous wars will flare up all over.

An international political consensus set as a danger zone a global temperature increase of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), which is expected in 25 years based on current trends and when atmospheric concentration of CO2 reaches 450 parts per million (by then CO2 equivalent gases should be above 510 ppm).
CO2 is now almost 400 parts per million.

Two degrees Celsius is “an arbitrary number,” said Alan Robock, director of the Center for Environmental Prediction at Rutgers University. “On our current path, we will go zooming way past that.” Namely we will cross two degree Celsisus, while the temperature increase accelerate.

Climatologist James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and activist Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, believe the only way to preserve the Holocene climate humans are used to is to cut CO2 concentrations to 350 parts per million, last seen around 1988.

Ballantyne dismissed the 350 goal: “That’s like a 70-year-old alcoholic saying, ‘I’m going quit drinking when I’m 60 years old.’
McKibben and Hansen propose a tax on fossil fuels at their source, to be reimbursed to all U.S. residents, as Sen. Bernie Sanders, independent-Vt., plans to propose in a “fee and dividend” scheme modeled on Alaska’s oil royalty rebates to state residents.
***

THEIR NAMES WILL LIVE IN INFAMY, FOR MILLENNIA TO COME:
In November, having won re-election, Obama distinguished himself by signing on a Republican law that outlaws the European Carbon Tax on planes landing in Europe. Little does he visualize that this sort of biosphere-hating decision is sure to make the planet into a sort of hell. which sort exactly, we don’t know.

White House press secretary Jay Carney, asked Wednesday about the Sanders bill, said: “We have not proposed and have no intention of proposing a carbon tax.”
In other words, we are monsters, and we have no intention to not be monsters anymore.

The Carbon Tax would have to be a big tax, McKibben said, “that drives up the price quickly. Maybe you go to the pump someday and YOU’RE PAYING WHAT PEOPLE IN EUROPE PAY FOR GASOLINE, WHICH IS GOOD, because then it reminds you every time you go to the pump that you don’t really need a semi-military vehicle to go to the grocery store.”

Stanford’s Jacobson maintains that wind and solar could power the world many times over. He calculated that the world would need to install 1.7 billion solar rooftops and 4 million wind turbines.

A little detail that Jacobson overlooks, though, is that the only way to store that energy efficiently, barring spectacular progress in, say, fuel cells, is by BUILDING DAMS all over.

However, it can be done. There is a project in Belgium to build a multibillion dollar island-dam next to an offshore wind farm.

Jane Long, chair of the California Council on Science and Technology, said any such conversion would be costly and difficult at best. Still, she said, “one way to get out of the hole is to stop digging.”
***

WHEN LED BY PLUTOCRATS, HELL IS HOME:
Plutocracy is a world disease. It learned to make itself invisible in the 1920s and 1930s, when Mussolini, and then Hitler, claimed to be socialists, when, in truth, they were just in the service of their plutocratic masters.

Some will say that’s the past. But not at all. It’s worse than ever. Just better hidden. Berlusconi, a multi-billionaire, serial Prime Minister running for re-election, again, just claimed Mussolini was “good“, and Mussolini “just allied himself with Hitler because he thought it was the winning side“. Plutocracy is all about winning. Never mind the consequences, never mind that it is infantile. Never mind that Mussolini killed 6,000 Italian Jews to death (among many other problems, such as 455,000 Italians killed).

The new Chinese plutocrat in chief, a billionaire president, is putting pressure on Honk Kong supposedly free media to not inquire about plutocracy. Being led by plutocrats has known consequences.

Speaking of inquiries, on 10 June 1944, SS assassinated 642 civilians at Oradour, France, including 247 children burned alive. German prosecutors are visiting the site for the first time, as they study possible prosecution in 2013. Hey, I guess, better late than never. The judgment of history will be terrible. Always is.

That brings us back to the greatest crime ever. Murder of the biosphere. Obama and company cannot say that they did not know. They were told.

Now they can go with their little games of actors, self important toddlers with the wisdom of crabs. All about the pincers. History will judge them, and, before crushing their memories, will make them live in infamy.

If our great biosphere destroying leaders want to start to redeem themselves, two words: CARBON TAX. Very simple.
***
Patrice Ayme

Heat Is On, USA Cooking US All

December 6, 2012

EUROPE TRIED HARD TO SAVE THE PLANET: Europe limited its CO2 emissions better than the rest of the world. Under the Kyoto Protocol, 37 industrialized nations and the European Union pledged to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions by 5% measured against 1990 levels by the end of 2012.

This provided the rest of the world, not held back by such efforts, a competitive advantage. Who pays? Europe.

The Kyoto Treaty was not ratified by the USA, but exploited by its plutocracy: as China was (stupidly) exempted, under Kyoto, from emission mitigation, industries owned by American plutocrats were relocated there, to escape modern anti-pollution norms. Result?

Tyranny & Carbon Burning Cooking Biosphere

Tyranny & Carbon Burning Cooking Biosphere

The Russian gas giant Gazprom announced that a giant (and very dangerous!) Liquid Natural Gas tanker, the Ob River, left Norway on November 7, accompanied by two nuclear icebreakers for nine days, breaking through thin winter ice. It saved twenty days on the trip. Notice that such LNG tankers carry the explosive power of a nuclear bomb, and going through the desolated Arctic may be safer. (Ob River can carry 150,000 cubic meters of gas and weights around 150,000 tons). Thus the North-East Arctic Passage was open for big time business, and, in …winter. The heat is on, indeed.

USA ADVANTAGE IS CAUSE NUMBER ONE OF PLANETARY WARMING:

As usual with important progressive treaties, ever since the SDN, the Society Of Nations, in 1919, the USA baits and maneuvers the other countries into economically, or politically disadvantageous positions, and then switches out at the last moment. The Versailles Treaty was an early example of this time honored technique (the SDN was supposed to impose the precautions that Versailles failed to give, but then the USA made the SDN fail, opening the way to Nazism). This classical bait & switch trick explains why the USA does not recognize Palestinians, the International Criminal Court, or the Rights of Children

Non ratification of Kyoto advantaged the USA. It is particularly obvious with the development of shale oil and gas there. Never mind the tremendous ecological consequences. Canada had ratified Kyoto, but violated it completely, by developing tar sands. Canada formally left Kyoto last year, before being struck by sanctions. 

As the Wall Street Journal observed on December 3, 2012, ecological considerations hold back the rest of the world in the fracking race. But not so in the USA, and this gives said USA a tremendous advantage. What the Wall Street Journal did not say is that the willingness of the USA to destroy the planet as it searches for comparative advantage, is a distant consequence of the thoughts and moods inherited from that tremendous accomplishment, the holocaust of the Native Americans. Exploitation, no holds barred: the gift that keeps on giving.

The American indigenes were eradicated through the imposition of a relentless exploitation mentality hidden under an indispensable thick hypocritical mood, the latter enabling the former. Not only are the exploitation mental machinery and its mood still major cultural components of the USA, but the continent is pretty much empty: the USA has more arable land than China, or India, with a fourth of the population. Moreover, some of the states with lots of fracking have little arable land too (Wyoming, North Dakota). Basically, they are throw-away states. After the last polluted farm or ranch has been surrendered to the fracking fumes, the land will be returned to wild critters and evil spirits, while the USA prepares for the world war, that the worldwide ecological devastation will bring.

***

 

POLLUTION DENYING PROPAGANDA:

A tremendously crazy campaign was organized by the CO2 polluters, for years, in Anglo-Saxon countries. The well paid propagandists denied everything, using the Crazy Lie Technique: they claimed insanely, and the more insane, the better, that CO2 meant nothing, that the heat was NOT rising, that climate scientists invented the data, in a vast conspiracy called “Climategate“, that CO2 was not a pollutant, but, instead, the more, the better, etc…

Those crazy lies worked with its target audience, the ignorant, uncritical People of the USA. At least well enough to give a cover for the Congress of the USA, to affect to believe that those insanities ought to be given a serious hearing. This delaying technique allowed the polluters to gain more than two decades. Europeans fought back, by giving hypocritical Vice President Gore, the Nobel Peace Prize. If you can’t beat them, spoil them.

But now polls show that, even in the USA, the citizenry has come to believe that the heat is on, fro the whole planet, and that human pollution by heat trapping gases such as CO2 was the cause (by 65%). So the polluters had to change tac. They are inventing a new approach, and it seems to be working, even with many ecologists (as I discovered to my dismay in the last few weeks). Apparently there is a tremendous number of naïve ecologists out there, the same ecologists whose idiotic posturing allowed the Kyoto Protocol to fail, while the USA leveraged it for comparative advantage.

The new trick by the gas polluters consists in saying that nothing can be done, against the rising CO2, we may as well accept it. The only hope is that the world population would crash massively and to have the culled rabble leading those much simpler lives poverty provides with: see the Simplicity Institute, “A Prosperous Way Down”, and a number of articles exposed in the siteLearning From Dogs”, such as “Unintended Consequences”.

The truth is much more prosaic: 

THE CARBON TAX IS HATED BY POLLUTERS:

A worldwide Carbon Tax would reconstitute the free market as fair and balanced, giving a chance to alternative energy sources, without subsidies, or government programs. The Carbon Tax would just charge for the cost of the damage the heat trapping gas emissions cause, including the cost of repairing the entire biosphere back to health.

The Carbon Tax could be imposed asymmetrically. Say a car comes from China. One would evaluate how much coal was used in the industries providing the car maker and its parts makers, and their energy providers. Then one would add the bunker fuel used in the sea transport in the evaluation of how much fossil fuel has been used to bring the car to market overseas. One would apply that made to ALL goods. China does not have to cooperate.

The World Trade Organization has already determined such a tax is no custom duties, and does not violate its charter.

The Carbon Tax would be a nail in the coffin of fossil fuels. So, of course, carbonizators hate it.

Europe has been slowly taking measures against CO2 pollution, including increasing carbon taxes, here and there. One such law requires airline to pay a carbon tax (as all methods burning carbon should). So the Republican Congress of the USA wrote a counter law to force airlines from the USA to NOT obey the European law. Their counter law, their illegal, the planet destroying law of the right-wing extremists in the pockets of oil men, is now on Obama’s desk. Obama could, and should veto this planet destroying law. Will he? Will he find the moral fiber? Will the president of the USA find the ferocity that is needed, in the face of infamy?

Well, he will not, if all ecologists do is to say there are no solutions but those we would get after a world war that would kill 50 times more people than World War Two did (that is basically what the links above propose to do; in other words a non solution solution!) How did we get there?

Notice by the way that one of Obama’s predecessors, Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a somewhat similar situation, proved to be a coward. Instead of declaring war to Hitler, in summer 1939, he signed sanctions against the French Republic and the United Kingdom, for having declared war to the atrocious, mass murdering, racist Nazis. So self-interested cowardice is a well anchored tradition of the USA.

However, this time, as superstorm Sandy demonstrated, the consequence of collaborating with mass homicidal folly will be heavy for the USA. For one, Florida will, for sure, disappear below the waves.

The porous limestone bedrock of Florida will prevent the fabrication of polders there: Florida is not the Netherlands! Sea water will seep inside the rock, below any dam in Florida.  

***

 

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY IS NOT DEMOCRACY:

In Representative Democracy, somebody who knows nothing is put in charge of everything. In truth, Representative Democracy is more akin to what the Ancient Greeks called tyranny, the rule of one.

In the USA that knows-nothing is elected with lots of money. In France, with lots of bureaucracy.

So in the USA money rules, whereas in France bureaucrats do. Most other “democracies” are in between.

Notice that in Germany, which is doing better economically, having reformed its work market quite a bit, politicians have to be a bit more responsive to the masses, due to the use of a proportional voting system (somewhat diametrically opposed to the first-by-the-post British system). Proportional voting is more collegial: Merkel had to govern in the beginning with the Socialists, and is now running in the next elections against her former (Socialist) finance minister. 

Some will smirk, but that Socialist gentleman is very strict and put a lot of heat on tax havens such as Switzerland forcing it to reveal thousands of tax thieves and irreversibly change its laws about banking secrecy. In other words, the proportional voting system can empower the People against the plutocracy. It’s better than the systems found in the more fascist, more militarized France, Britain and USA.

In Switzerland, a (“Con”)Federal Council of seven provides with a collegial direction to the entire country. That works obviously better than having an elected tyran. The problems found in large representative “democracies” are found there too, but on a much smaller scale.

*** 

TWO MILLION JAPANESE VISITED PHARAOH TUTANKHAMEN

in expositions in Tokyo and Osaka. Why? Ancient Egypt played a crucial role in the invention of mathematics and the alphabet. Among others discoveries. Thus Egypt is part of the foundation of civilization. So is Mesopotamia.

Egypt and Mesopotamia, plus Iran and India conducted a sort of conference on progress, for millennia. 

After crops were bioengineered in the area (“Fertile Crescent“), men and their cultivars colonized Western Europe. The original Italians did not just look like Iraqis, they were the real thing. 

So is colonization a bad thing? No. it is actually hard to find a population anywhere in the world that did not descend from colonists. 

And do Japanese descend from Egyptians, Mesopotamians and Greeks, just justifying their interest for Pharaohs with a personal touch? 

Of course they do. because our civilization, which is also theirs, does. After all, the first axiomatic proof of the Pythagorean theorem is in Euclid (300 BCE), although it started to be discovered nearly 2,000 years prior, in Egypt and Babylon.

*** 

NO CIVILIZATION, BUT CIVILIZATION, AND PROGRESS IS ITS PROPHET:

Some have talked about the clash of civilizations. But, in the grander scheme of things, there is now only one civilization. We count in 60 minutes in one hour, because arithmetic in base 60 was useful for the tremendous astronomical computations in Mesopotamia to determine the seasons, when to plant, and the floods of the great rivers (the higher the base, the more compact the computations). That was more than a millennium before Romans did anything more advanced than herding cows.

There is an astounding prolongation of systems of thought, and systems of moods, throughout the ages. For 10,000 years, civilization has proven to be a continual construction, in the Middle Earth, an initial condition onto itself (in the differential equation sense).

On a more minor theme, as climatic and hydraulic conditions became tougher in the Middle East, the place became ever more sympathetic to increasingly fascist regimes and the religion that fit them (the Abrahamic religion being exhibit number one).

However, superior technology, such as desalination installations (some soon available with solar cells, on a small scale) change the fascist equation. If there is no more need for vast centralized military organizations to provide with survival, the Middle East may hope for more democratic days.

***

COCONUT REPUBLICS UNITE FOR TREATING PALESTINIANS AS NON HUMAN!

The USA voted with other coconut republics such as Palau, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Panama, and three other states, against the statute of “observer state” for Palestine at the United Nations.

138 nations voted to give the Palestinian state the same status as the Vatican. Even Switzerland voted FOR the Palestinian recognition. 

Obama and his spokesman disapproved: “peace will only be achieved by face-to-face negotiations, not unilateral action”, apparently not remembering the famous negotiations between the Nazis and the Jews, that led to the killing of most European Jews. The final solution was to get rid of the Nazis, but it took five years and eight months of world war to do so. 

The position of the White House, that Palestinians should lay as low as possible, and beg their Israeli masters discreetly, in private, reflects blindness to the fundamental principle of combative goodness.

It is all the more curious, as Obama and company claim to be Christians. The mythical Jesus Christ did not hesitate to confront the forces of evil, indifference and wealth, with ways sure to lead to arrest in the modern USA (and all sorts of subsequent persecutions).

Martyrs, saints, holy persons, peacemakers and Nobel Prize winners, and, more  generally the principle of goodness, act unilaterally. Face to face, slave to master, as Palestinian to Israeli, the way the White House claims to want it, has nothing to do with goodness. The USA is now face to face with the company it keeps: Palau, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Panama, Israel, Harper’s ecocidal , Kyoto defiling Canada.

The Obama administration also does not know how to count: unilateral means one side, but when 138 independent nations throw 138 votes, that is not one sided. What was one sided was the USA and a handful of its ridiculously small and dependent client slave states it showers with money and influence.

Is that civilized behavior?

***

WHY DOES CANADA HATE PALESTINIANS?

Canada, a geophobic state voted with the USA, against human rights in Palestine. everybody knows that one of the interest of Palestine becoming an observer state at the UN is to be able to haul Israel to the International Criminal Court. The ICC, in force in now 121 countries, targets genocide. Several activities of some past or present Israeli governments seem to be genocidal in character. (it is not in the interest of serious Israeli patriots to allow Israel to engage in genocide, a point may orthodox Jewish organizations have made forcefully!) 

Canada is apparently not on USA payroll. But actually Canada’s present federal government and the oil plutocrats are accomplices in crime. Harper, the eco-destructing PM of Canada is anxious to have Obama allow his pipeline of twice cooked oil find an outlet somewhere (since British Columbia is not cooperative). 

In return that outrage will make it easier to pursue further outrages in the USA themselves, such as further fracking. (Although the principle of fracking, per se, does not have to be eco-destructing, the way it is practiced now, it certainly is so… Besides the fact that it leads to further CO2 emissions.) 

***

CAN’T JEWS & PALESTINIANS LEARN HISTORY WELL?

Petty reaction of Israel after Palestine was officially admitted by the UN to be an observer, 65 years, to the day, after the UN created the Palestinian state: Israel broadcast its decision to develop E1, a 12 square kilometers area that will cut off Palestinian East Jerusalem from the rest of Palestine.

Indeed the Israelis are mimicking the Nazi idea of erecting insurmountable walls around their ghettos. Israeli walls are chosen to be vastly superior, though.

The story of Israel is mighty strange; what came to be known as Jews were apparently those Israelis who were deported to Babylon, where they wrote the Bible. Meanwhile other Israelites, more cooperative, had not been deported. When the Jews in Babylon were allowed to come back and rebuild the temple, the relationship with the collaborators who had stayed home were not too good, and those were called Samaritans. Now, of course the Israelites have been chosen by their gods, like all people and all the gods they invent for themselves. However Jews believed it a bit more than usual, and perhaps too much.

Whereas the Celts let go of their bloody gods after the Romans, slowly, and Caesar, quickly, conquered them, the Jews clang to their “jealous” god ferociously, beyond reason. The result were two ferocious wars with Rome. The first one killed a million, the second, 65 years later, under Hadrian, resulted in the dispersion of the Jews. Emperor Hadrian’s government had tried to outlaw circumcision, on the ground that it was a primitive sexual mutilation. After that third savage war, between Jews and Rome, the Jews were outlawed in Jerusalem. The Samaritans kept on prospering.

Yet, in the Fifth Century, the increasingly insanely mass murdering theocratic state based in Constantinople (the one islam is the intellectual heir of) was in a collision course with anything not “Catholic Orthodox“. Intellectuals had to flee to Zoroastrian Persia. The Samaritans chose unwisely to fight. The result is that only a handful of them survive today.

We are all, we humans living on Earth now, descendants of colons, and our ex-gods were made to justify colonization. Judaism and Islam, both sitting on top of Mount Zion, are striking examples. Israelis and Palestinians have to admit this, this flaw they have in common, this crazy colonizing god, if they want to look inside each other, and themselves, as they have to do, should they elect to survive.

***  

OBAMA’S USA MAKES LAWS TO CARBONIZE THE EARTH:

The European Union legislated a tax on carbon emissions for all aircraft flying into European countries, a part of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). However, Obama signed a bill from the fanatical climate denying Tea Party republican Congress that, somehow, shields USA airlines from paying that European carbon tax, when landing in… Europe.

Maybe the USA believes that Europe is still divided, as it was in 1939? I have news for Washington: playing the Germans against the French is so much yesterday!

Obama’s pollution bill gives the US transportation secretary the power to exempt US airlines from the tax. An unusual bill, as it allows US airlines to ignore EU laws. It’s as if Obama signed a law allowing US corporations to ignore British law. Or to ignore German law. And also French law. Besides Spanish and Italian law. Who does Obama believes he is? It’s fine to ignore the laws of other nations outside of their territory, but here, the president of the USA orders its minions to flout the laws of 28 countries on their territories.

Has the Commander in Chief of the USA become the Outlaw In Chief? Ordering robots to kill civilians in friendly countries upon recommendation of a secretive Death Panel at White House was not enough? Is Outlaw-in-Chief, Destroyer of the Earth, the place in history Obama strives for? Does Obama want to live in infamy for centuries to come? It increasingly looks like it, and being surrounded by salivating admirers all the time goes a long way to elucidate the trance of delusion that may end up smearing Obama’s name for centuries to come.

White House spokesman Clark Stevens, in an orgasm of hypocrisy:“the Obama administration is firmly committed to reducing harmful carbon pollution from civil aviation both domestically and internationally, but, as we have said on many occasions, the application of the EU ETS to non-EU air carriers is the wrong way to achieve that objective.” Obama had tepidly admitted that the USA had not done enough on climate change. This shows he firmly intents to keep it that way. How difficult is it for him to get the republicans getting used to his veto powers?

Notice the analogy with the USA failure to recognize Palestinian statehood at the United Nations (as authorized in 1948, finally implemented in 2012!) It’s exactly the same mental attitude: doing something is viewed as worse than doing nothing. The White House is firmly committed to oh blah blah and will do strictly nothing that fosters progress significantly. It’s all about talking one way, so as to do the opposite.

One can only surmise that this same general attitude holds for places such as Egypt (towards which billions of USA taxpayer dollars are directed, while democracy fails under the call to prayer).

Obama says that he “leads from behind“. This is unconventional semantics for lagging behind, desperately clinging to the past. Is Obama just the robot president, programmed from behind?

***

INTELLECTUAL OVERSTRETCH IS WORSE THAN GEOGRAPHICAL OVERSTRETCH:

Let me point out this about the USA’s detestation of the Carbon Tax. Starting with Roman Emperor Augustus, the great-nephew of Iulius Caesar, the theory of Imperial Overstretched  reigned supreme. It has been repeated ever since by many parrots: if a state spreads too much, it hits a state of diminishing returns, leading to collapse.

In truth, the theory is wrong. Completely wrong. At least, completly wrong in the case of Rome, as it turned out. And the proof that it was wrong is called Europe. Caesar did not believe in the silly theory Augustus would later embrace. Caesar was set to act accordingly at the time of his assassination. The Franks agreed with Caesar, and made an effort for more than three centuries, to create the short, highly defendable border in Eastern Europe that Caesar wanted. So doing, the Merovingian and Caroligian Franks created Europe. 

Although various Muslims (for a millennium), Vikings, and Mongols (thrice) attacked Europe fiercely, Frankish Europe operating as one continent proved highly defendable (which Augustus’ Rome spread along the Mediterranean proved, time and time again, NOT to be!). Thus Augustus, and his successors were wrong, with their rigid, all too long “limes“. Caesar and the Franks were right: a short and mobile frontier, with the strong intellectual component that republicanism (even Christian Republicanism, that took over around 400 CE!) was more stable, cheap, sturdy, and full of hope. 

Indeed there are more ways to stretch than purely geographical. Christianity itself is an example of spiritual empire: it spread much of Romanitas far out, where Roman armies never got. For example in Ethiopia, or Mongolia. 

Similarly an ideology can be very powerful, and stretch imperially, dragging armies behind. The Roman ideology, already obvious with the Roman king Tarquinus Superbus, was very universal (“catholic” in Greek), as befit a melting pot such as nascent Rome. 

Yet, in the end, the spirit of plutocracy smothered the spirit of the universal republic that had made Rome’s success. The Franks succeeded to conquer northern and eastern Europe, precisely because, although somewhat plutocratic, their civilization was much less so than the Late Roman empire. (If one could invent a political Gini Index, one would find it, and the economic Gini, were much lower under the Franks than under the Roman empire: decisions and powers were much less centralized.)

So what now? The spirit of the universal republic, prolongation of that of republican Rome (pre-slavery), thrives at the United Nations (and this game the leader of the Palestinian, Abbas, is fully playing). 

Why does the USA often stands as an outlier, with what are unfolding as catastrophic consequences, such as the sinking of the Kyoto Protocol? Why did the USA set back the mitigation of the heat trapping catastrophe by at least a quarter of a century after its extent became obvious? That is reminiscent of the long refusal by the USA to do anything about the massacres the Nazis were engaging in, years after such a horrible situation had become completely obvious. 

The problem with the USA is that the Biblical, relentless exploitative mentality (basically killing all the Indians, and the like) was highly successful. But its time as something that profited the European colonists in America is now passed. The exploitative mentality, no holds barred, is imperially overstretched

At this point the exploitative mentality of the USA is not just out-maneuvering the French, and Europeans, as it did, manipulating  the Nazis, the Soviets, the Muslims, and the rest of the world, over the last century.

The relentless exploitative mentality festering in the USA, but historically so central to its success as an empire, has stretched itself all too thin. The relentless exploitative mentality is now trying to out-maneuver the air, the sea, the biosphere, physics and geology itself (see Florida above).  And yet, clearly, fracking all in its way, is not the way. It is the way to infamy. How naïve. How costly, and deadly, all too soon to be revealed.

***

Patrice Ayme

Carbonize Mercantilism!

January 1, 2010

 

Abstract: Some American economists whine about Chinese trade, but China is actually making fun of the USA being hoisted on its own petard. The best way out of it all is more enforcement of intellectual property, and a worldwide carbon tax, sparing naught…

And of course, deep down below, it’s all about the world (and American) plutocracy, anyway and China is being played, like every other state. The worldwide carbon tax will allow for some more worldwide Colbertism, just what the doctor ought to order.

***

Paul Krugman sees 2010 as "the year of China, but not in a good way".

Our "New Trade Theory" expert, Nobel Prize winner mostly for that, and whom I have accused of rabid globalization in the past, has changed quite a bit: "Chinese mercantilism is a growing problem, and the victims of that mercantilism have little to lose from a trade confrontation… China has become a major financial and trade power. But it doesn’t act like other big economies. Instead, it follows a mercantilist policy, keeping its trade surplus artificially high. And in today’s depressed world, that policy is, to put it bluntly, predatory."

Mercantilism is a theory that holds that the prosperity of a nation depends upon fighting other nations economically rather than anything else (see Annex 1 for the definition and related concepts, including the fact that China practices more Colbertism than Mercantilism, and the fact that Colbertism is not intrinsically bad, and just what the USA needs at this point).

Basically China engages in this "predatory policy" by, um, clinging to Uncle Sam’s cotails… How embarrassing, my dear Krugman.

Well, it is ironical that the USA, which has practiced a mercantilist policy of making the US dollar as weak as possible, would complain that China is doing the same with its own currency. How dares it? Is China stealing the USA by parroting the USA? It is even more funny than that: China has pegged its currency to the Dollar, so as the USA tried its usual mercantilist trick of debasing the Dollar, the Chinese currency went down with, well, the Dollar!

Before giving lessons to China, the USA ought to give lessons to itself. Debasing the currency does not work. It is not just a question of looking at what happened to say, Argentina.

After a sorry episode, in the 1930s, with way too strong a Franc, when everybody else left the peg with gold before her, France had decided to never been caught in that trap again. But the French politicians had slightly misunderstood the problem. The problem with the gold standard, the same that imperial Rome already experienced, is that it did not bring enough money to the economy. The other problem too was that, as all other powers debased spectacularly their currencies, after the USA introduced 50% tariffs on all goods, French trade collapsed. (This, of course, was a minor problem relative to the one of the explicit alliance between the USA, Great Britain, and Hitler, fully visible as early as 1934, and which made the French deeply distrustful of America.)

Now France was fully familiar with mercantilism, having practiced it for centuries, until the new economists known as the physiocrats came on the scene, and advised King Louis XV. The physiocrats later taught Adam Smith. They threw mercantilism through the window, arguing that more trade was better for everybody. But still the mercantilism current of thought argued back, and has always been present in the French economic debates. France has a tremendous economic history, complete with huge ecological problems in the Middle Ages, and strong measures to correct them, and deliberate massive stimulus programs, as practiced by King Henri IV by 1600 CE.

So, fresh on her sorry experience of the 1930s, France debased the Franc relative to the Deutsch Mark in the 1960s and 1970s. Alas, France discovered that did not work either. Priced out of the cheapest products, the Germans concentrated on higher added value items, and the German economy persistently outperformed the French one. So, having observed her obvious mistake, next, France switched to a Franc that would be as hard as the Mark, under Banque de France chief Trichet. The rest is history, namely the Euro, and Trichet now heads the European Central Bank based in the fort of the Franks, Frankfurt.

Meanwhile the sneaky USA had connived, over the objections of Keynes, and behind his back, to make the US Dollar into the world ("reserve") currency. Keynes headed the Bretton Woods commission in charge of monetary problems. This little reminder for all those that American imperialism and dirty tricks to play with the planet as it was its personal basket ball, were not invented by G. W. Bush.

That world currency status of the Dollar allowed Secretary of the Treasury Connelly to grandly declare to the Europeans:"The Dollar is our currency, but it is your problem." The Europeans decided to solve said problem by being serious, and going the high technology route. European high taxes on energy and carbon, doubled with incentives to sell renewable energy for profit, are part of that high technology plan.

Anyway, so what are we going to do about China? One should notice that China is not alone, but is allied with the world plutocratic class. (A whiff of what happened with Hitler.)

Of course we could try to talk and seduce the Chinese out of mercantilism, forgetting for a moment that the immense fortunes of the owners of Wall Mart, for example, depends heavily upon Chinese mercantilism.

European powers practiced mercantilism intensely for three centuries, during which they engaged in a number of ferocious wars with each other. War is a natural extension of mercantilism. So the seduction dance to the aggressively minded may not work this time either: China and its western plutocrats may make the same mistake Hitler and his Western plutocrats made, namely interpret negotiation as weakness, and democracy with lethargy. When Paul Krugman worries about American job losses to China, he does worry about European job losses to the USA.

Another approach to pound a bit more sense in the mercantile ones, is to enforce worldwide intellectual property with more severity. Indeed, mercantilism orient an economy towards cheap product and impoverished workers (since it is trying to out-produce by cheapening). This is naturally an ambiance little supportive of intellectual creativity, always an expensive art.

The problem of China is that it employs around 600 million people in cities, and has to deal with about as much impoverished peasants who want to move to the cities to find better work. So China has to find more work for dozens of millions, hence its fanatical growth policy. China is addicted to growth through exports, because the (most of them American) plutocrats come to China and take care of everything: China has just to furnish local contacts, cheap workers, and cheap currency. What China needs to do is to reorient its growth towards a bit more self sufficiency, a bit more Maoism, and get more Chinese to self develop China.

To encourage the Chinese economy to grow internally, a long term approach is to use a WORLDWIDE CARBON TAX. It will in particular strike imports, and force importers to pay for the carbon mess which is poisoning the biosphere. This can be done in a way fully compatible with republican and fair trade principles. Actually a carbon tax is exactly about fair trade.

France was supposed to introduce a carbon tax, January 1, 2010, today, but just three days before that date, the French Constitutional Court found that the tax, as proposed made too many exemptions, violating the EQUALITY PRINCIPLE of the French republic. The French Constitutional Court blocked the enactment of the Carbon Tax law (notice in passing the enormous power of French courts).

The French government is scrambling to modify the Carbon Tax law, according to the Court’s findings, and should re-present it to parliament January 20, 2010. The global point is this though: a worldwide carbon tax, if enacted according to the finding of the French Constitutional Court, would be perfectly valid as far as the World Trade Organization is concerned.

China will not be able to move out of carbon as fast as the USA and the EU can. Indeed it is heavily invested in coal, cheap and dirty, and China needs lots of cheap energy, right away. The graphs, if nothing else, show that the augmentation of the need of China for energy is much greater than that of the EU and the USA.

Hence to go carbon free, China will have to make much more of an effort, even relatively speaking, than Europe or the USA, or Japan. Thus, forcing China to reduce its carbon output will force China to develop more internally rather than flooding the world with cheap exports (American style).

Come to think of it, a worldwide carbon tax would force the USA to develop itself more, too, instead of escaping into exportism. More generally, a carbon tax would force countries to self develop, and would have many of the advantages of protectionism, without the inconvenience and the aggressive underlying theme.

I would not call the worldwide implementation of a carbon tax retaliation, but rebalancing. Which it would be. Planet first, mercantilism last.

***

Patrice Ayme

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

***

Annex 1: DEFINTION OF MERCANTILISM: Mercantilism is a theory that holds the prosperity of a nation to be dependent upon its capital, and that the global volume of international trade is "unchangeable" (a so called zero sum game).

Economic assets or capital, are represented by bullion (gold, silver, and trade value) held by the state, and are best increased through a positive balance of trade with other nations (exports minus imports). Strict mercantilism assumes that wealth and monetary assets are identical. Mercantilism advocates to advance these goals by protecting the national economy. Notably by encouraging exports and discouraging imports, through the use of tariffs, subsidies and other barriers to fair trade.

Plutocratic propaganda often views French mercantilism as closely associated with Jean-Baptiste Colbert, finance minister for 22 years in the 17th century. This is misleading.

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French finance and economy minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert .

Sometimes French mercantilism is called "Colbertism", by deliberately confusing, or confused, Anglo-Saxon economists of the plutocracy loving type. This confusion is of some import, because Chinese policy may have more to do with Colbertism than Mercantilism, and some American economists are very biased about this. Actually the USA is an extremely mercantilist country masquerading as a free trade fanatic.

Under Colbert, the French government became deeply involved in the economy in all its aspects, in order to develop it more. Industries were organized by more than 150 edicts, and by technologies transfers guided by the government, and production was regulated by the state through a series of over a thousand directives outlining how different products should be produced. To encourage industry, foreign artisans and craftsmen were imported (something the USA has done always). Colbert also worked to decrease internal barriers to trade, reducing internal tariffs, making taxation more equitable, with indirect taxes that even the great lords could not avoid, and building an extensive network of roads and canals.

Colbert’s policies were very successful, and France’s industrial output and economy grew considerably during this period, as France regained her natural position as the dominant European power (after the ruinous seven religious wars of the end of the 16 C, and the just as ruinous war against the Spanish empire in the Netherlands, and worldwide, from roughly 1515 to 1637; unfortunately Louis XIV squandered some of this renewed, Colbert directed, economic might in wars, not all of his own making.)

To this day, though, Colbertism is controversial in France, and often derided as "dirigisme" (i.e, directing the private economy more than appropriate).

***

Annex 2: Here is a fuller extract of Krugman, New York Times, January 1, 2010, explaining extremely well what China is doing, currency wise: "China has become a major financial and trade power. But it doesn’t act like other big economies. Instead, it follows a mercantilist policy, keeping its trade surplus artificially high. And in today’s depressed world, that policy is, to put it bluntly, predatory.

Here’s how it works: Unlike the dollar, the euro or the yen, whose values fluctuate freely, China’s currency is pegged by official policy at about 6.8 yuan to the dollar. At this exchange rate, Chinese manufacturing has a large cost advantage over its rivals, leading to huge trade surpluses.

Under normal circumstances, the inflow of dollars from those surpluses would push up the value of China’s currency, unless it was offset by private investors heading the other way. And private investors are trying to get into China, not out of it. But China’s government restricts capital inflows, even as it buys up dollars and parks them abroad, adding to a $2 trillion-plus hoard of foreign exchange reserves."

Why France Is Bad: Profits Define Goodness.

September 11, 2009

CAN’T THINK, THEREFORE I SINK.

September 11, eight years after the strategy of the American secret services regarding Muslim fundamentalism started to backfire spectacularly, for all to see. Connoisseurs already knew that the Shiite regime in Iran was launched by the CIA in 1953, or that Roosevelt made a fundamentalist Muslim pact with the Ibn Saud, self made owner of Saudi Arabia. There were several other conspiracies of the same type. Most Americans are unaware of, unwilling to, or incapable of facing the fact that Osama bin Laden was a long standing CIA employee, or associate, complete with code name. In Afghanistan, and Pakistan, NATO is fighting America’s past allies. Ultimately, it all has to do with energy.

In late June 2009 President Obama praised the energy bill passed by the House as an “extraordinary first step” but he spoke out against a provision that would impose trade penalties on countries that do not accept limits on global warming pollution.

Why would Obama do such a thing? Why not impose penalties on those who are killing the planet? Is pollution good?

Some hold that Obama is already partial to bankers and plutocrats, considering his reluctance to discontinue their way of life and the sources of their supremacy, such as bonuses and tax heavens. Obama, in the interpretation of some, pursues this plutocratic theme with his desire to impose private health insurance to all, by law (a charge Obama now denies, by brandishing his public option insurance plan). But why would Obama be partial to pollution too? In the plutocratic scheme of things, it’s very simple to understand.

American plutocracy has delocalized a lot of its production overseas, to escape anti-pollution laws in the developed world. If we add this globalization maneuver to the CO2 production of the USA itself (mostly caused by the plutocrats controlling fossil fuels), American plutocracy is revealed as the world’s greatest CO2 producer (to claim it is China is silly because a lot of China is delocalized USA). No wonder the American plutocrats, the controllers of most media and American thinking, do not like the carbon tax.

This did not escape the attention of French leaders. Says Sarkozy, in a speech to factory workers in September 2009: “I will not accept a system … that imports products from countries that don’t respect the rules [on carbon emission reductions] … We need to impose a carbon tax at [Europe’s] borders. I will lead that battle.”

Paul Krugman finds that this makes a lot of sense, and that those who object to this (and that includes Obama, who Krugman has pointed at several times), are practicing "Fetishizing free trade”.

Krugman does not want to cause pain to those he has dinner with. It is not just a question of fetishism. When looking at the fetish, search for the festive, the one who profits from the fetish.

The carbon tax can crush those who have made globalization into a money machine at their personal service, those delocalized plutocrats. Striking them with a carbon tax will allow France to stay a great industrial nation. So it should be possible, using just that argument, to persuade Germany, and then the rest of the EU, to impose a carbon tax too. Recently, even Britain has understood that it would be nicer if the American plutocratic sirens had been better resisted, and Britain had stayed the industrial equivalent of France and Germany, as it used to be, before it was seized by the financial craze.

A Rasmussen poll came out, showing that Americans feel more negative about France, than about Japan, and Germany. The pollsters commented that "Ironically, France, America’s ally in World II against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan, doesn’t fare quite as well now. Forty-five percent (45%) say U.S. military assistance should go to France if it is attacked, putting it at seventh, but 37% oppose that idea and 18% are not sure whether to help or not. Still, in March 2006, only 18% of Americans believed France was an ally in the war on terror, while nearly as many viewed it as an enemy."

By contrast 59% of Americans would military assist the self declared racial and religiously discriminative state of Israel. At first sight, this is counterintuitive: France is a secular republic, her constitution was written within weeks of the American one, and was more universal, and the country is the ultimate melting pot. In other words, but for size, France is very similar, why would Americans dislike her so much, relatively speaking? Or is the very discrimination of Israel that appeals to the American soul?

France of course was not just an ally in WWII, or WWI, or created the USA in its Independence war. Going back 1,000 years, the entire civilization the USA is so proud of, comes from France.

Better: while the government of the USA was sitting on its hands, contemplating Hitler, France outright attacked the Nazis. Now, of course, the Nazis were upset, and they hated the French for having forced them into a world war that they were bound to lose. With a lot of luck, crazy methods, drugged out soldiers high on ecstasy, not sleeping for a week, strategic genius, French high command idiocy, American plutocratic help, Stalinist fuel, and enormous losses, the Nazis won the battle of France. However, having lost 50,000 elite soldiers with a high proportion of officers, plus 3,000 planes, and many pilots, the Nazis were never that strong again.

But the fact that France attacked Hitler leads to the nagging question: what is it that Americans are supposed to not like about France? Are Americans just supposed to not like France because the Nazis found the French insufferable? Just asking.

Oh, yes, the government of the USA obstinately refused to help the French republic at war against Nazism in 1939-1940, and American plutocrats (IBM, Ford, Standard Oil, etc.) were busy helping Hitler in his war as much as they could. The Ethyl Corporation of America shipped supplies the Nazis desperately needed to keep their murderous air force in the air, as early as September 1939, as 40 French divisions were attacking the Siegfried line, and the Poles were fighting for dear life (one sixth of the Polish population would be deliberately exterminated, and the USA rewarded the courageous Poles by giving Poland to Stalin at Yalta).

But I am digressing, the American empire was not built without breaking a few countries, of course. The betrayal of Yalta, after that of the betrayal of the "Neutrality Acts" (France = Hitler, a Washington equation), and the betrayal of 1939-40 was noticed in France, and was a mainstay of French politics for more than half a century.

In the end, Britain, saddled by debts to the USA, survived, and the measly 64 divisions the USA had in Europe in 1945 could not prevent the French to recover their destiny. The chastised Nazis decided that, after all, and all along, the French were right, and a democratic republic UNITING with France was the way to go.

So here we are 65 years later, and the European Union is a reality. To the consternation of hard core American plutocrats, no doubt, the European Union is an extension of the old French republic, bigger, better. It’s 1789 all over. As Chou En Lai put it, it may still be too early to discuss the consequences of the Revolution of 1789, the one of the Universal Rights of Man. But let’s notice that China is importing Western European philosophy (and technology) massively.

At this point the world is organizing itself according to the French constitution of 1789, not the American one, written a few weeks earlier. This is happening because of the question of those pesky human rights, so prominent in the American health care debate.

The American constitution parrots Aristotle, and his "pursuit of happiness". If you “pursue happiness”, as Aristotle had it, you will pursue slaves, if it makes you happy. This why the USA loved Aristotle, and why the French Revolution of 1789 threw down Aristotle and imposed the freedom, equality and brotherhood of all. True, slavery in France had been unlawful since 660 CE, a full millennium before some savage colonists in the deep woods of the Americas reestablished it, far from the arm of European law.

So Obama has the opportunity to whine about the death panels in the American health insurance industry, killing people by the thousands, and to do nothing about it. Would Obama be the French president, he could not do so. By opposition to the “pursuit of happiness”, an intrinsically subjective, selfish thing, the imposition of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity is completely objective, and is imposed, in France, by the legislation that not helping someone in danger is unlawful. This is a direct consequence of the Revolution in Human Rights of 1789.

The French center-right president, Sarkozy, does not want to be viewed as a "liberal": in France "liberal" is an insult, reserved to the extreme right. In the USA, Obama, the “bipartisan” president, does not want to be considered "liberal" either: being viewed as a "liberal" is just as politically deadly in the USA as in France, but for the exact opposite reason. In the USA, a "liberal" is way too much to the left.

So here we have it. Americans are on their knees, shoe shining their plutocratic masters, and take great pride in that, and get enraged when it is pointed out that this is actually what they are doing, being obsequious servants to their hubristic ravenous exploiters. In France, when a boss strays, he is in danger of being sequestered by his employees, and made to answer the relevant questions. And the French police will sit on its hands, trying to calm everybody down. And French justice will scoff. France did not sit on her hands for Hitler, but is not indifferent to social injustice. In the USA, it’s the other way around.

Obama himself talks as if he were a creature of the profit-as-ultimate-good morality.

As Obama puts it: "Insurance executives don’t do this ["treat their customers badly"] because they are bad people. They do it because it’s profitable."

(Speech to joint Congress, September 2009; at this point, all rose and applauded: apparently everybody was high on themselves, given the number of times, and extent, this self applauding society gave itself standing ovations; never mind that 27 centuries of Western civilization had just been thrown down by the profit motive).

OK, let’s replace two words in the preceding quote of the “brainy president”. According to examples Obama himself gives, “insurance executives”, through their actions, lead to the death of people. Let’s replace “insurance executives” by “slave traders”. Whereas insurance executives make money when their victims die without treatment (because they paid, and got nothing in return), slave traders lost money when their victims died. So, on the face of it, slave traders are nicer people. And indeed says the nineteenth century version of Obama:

“Slave traders don’t treat their customers badly because they are bad people. They do it because it’s profitable." 

Now, of course, slaves were not "customers". Nor should "patients" be called "customers" by Obama. Obama’s semantics speaks for itself. It’s the semantics of greed. If he wants to keep on playing civilized on TV when addressing the health of Americans, he should switch to the semantics of compassion. Get better speech writers, since it’s the way it’s done in the USA: the president pays handlers to provide him with thoughts.

So Obama says that, if it’s profitable, moral criterions do not apply. If you do make profits, you are never bad, however bad your actions may be. Obama is a new sort of moralist. According to Obama, bad is never bad, if it is profitable.

In this case "Insurance executives" kill people, American people, by the thousands. Obama himself admits it, since he seems to have an endless supply of anecdotes of Americans who were refused life saving health care by their greedy insurers.

If American lawyers at the Nazi Nuremberg trial had been at the same school as Obama, all the Nazis would have walked off. Bear with me a moment here.

The Nazis would have produced their young Obama-like lawyer, and Obama-like would have said:"Your honors, the defendants were not bad people, they were just making profits". Obama-like, the lawyer defending the Nazis , would have been right: modern scholarship has shown that the Nazis stole from the Jews to finance their supporters, and make themselves popular, by redistributing the Jews’ riches. Steal property, sell hair, clothes and gold crowns in the mouths of people executed in extermination camps, as the Nazis did, and, as long as you make a profit, says a morally clueless Obama, you are not a bad person. If I did not understand something there, please drop me a line, in an act of charity to extract me from my lack of subtlety.

It’s clear that the masters of the USA, as Michael Moore points out in “Sicko”, have every interest to teach American citizens the detestation of France. Otherwise, Americans would realize the French are very much like them, but have solved some of the problems brought by plutocracy in a way more suitable to the People in the street. Instead of just pleasing to the people on Wall Street.

Let’s wrap it up. Sarkozy, the French right wing president, seen from the USA, is an extreme left wing leader. So is Merkel, so is Brown. While Sarkozy is putting in place a carbon tax, and wants to free the world from financial manipulation, by cracking down on bonuses, and tax heavens, Obama is playing the prolongation of Bush’s reign of astronomical stupidity and selfishness of the few. I guess the USA is not on its knees yet, just wobbling about, so go for it!

On one side the logic of freedom, on the other the logic of those who shine shoes. French students study history several hours a week, starting at age 6, and go on like that for a decade, or more. History shows that freedom wins, slaves lose, and civilization means something. French students have plenty of time to meditate those lessons.

Patrice Ayme

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

HEAT TOLLS, AND IT TOLLS FOR THEE.

June 29, 2009

IT WOULD BE UNWISE FOR THE USA TO PLAY WITH THE HEAT OF HELL, AS IF IT WERE JUST NAZISM.
***

Paul Krugman in his editorial, “Betraying the Planet”, New York Times, June 29, 2009, observes: “Climate change poses a clear and present danger to our way of life. How can anyone justify failing to act?”
In truth, the facts related by Krugman show that planetary heating is a threat to survival, not just to a particular way (see further quoting of Krugman in the post scriptum).

As I explained on my site a while back, a glance at the elevation map of Antarctica, below the ice, shows that huge basins in Eastern Antarctica are way below sea level (minus 200 meters). Moreover their entry gates are above the polar circle (so in a relatively northern, warm area). The enormous amounts of ice in the basin could turn to water in a decade, if warm oceanic water slips below them, which it will do after melting the frozen margin. That would bring sea level up worldwide by 25 meters. That would follow the melting of the West Antarctica Ice Shield (WAIS) and the attached, warmer peninsula (only a 5 meter rise). A few years ago, in summer, only the fringe of Greenland melted on the surface. Now more than half does.

Frozen methane is all over the world oceans, and a lot of it in shallow waters in the Arctic. Those could erupt anytime, maybe within two months. Over five years, methane has 100 times the warming capability of CO2. A lot of permafrost, now melting, is dominated by methane ice.

What to say? The USA is culprit number one of the worldwide heating (a lot of the Chinese emissions are displaced USA industry). Would the USA be paupers if Americans cracked down on their pollution? No, quite the opposite: France emits less than a third of CO2 than the USA does, per unit of GDP. Everything indicates that, by now, the French, with their free health care, free schooling, much better social services and welfare, a lower unemployment rate, plus very low debt per person, and as good a family income, are richer than the Americans.

Why? Because the best path to riches is to learn to live within one’s means. If one does not live within one’s means, one ends up without means, as simple as that. Ravaging the planet is also very bad manners, and bad manners with others carry onto one’s own house. Time to do something before the ocean invades the Washington mall.

A worldwide carbon tax is a necessity, and, thanks logic and truth, it is coming, whether the USA likes it or not. (France plans to impose it unilaterally, and the EU will follow.) Too bad the USA will have to be dragged to decency and rationality, kicking and screaming, for its own good. How pathetic.

But there is no more time for niceties. Let’s be blunt. Plutocrats of the USA, to make a buck, and built their empire, did business with Hitler. Facing Hitler, the USA practiced selfishness, plutocratic profits, the “invisible hand” and “isolationism”. Result: 73 million dead, and a few problems besides. It was a total betrayal of democracy. Now, as Krugman points out correctly, we are facing a betrayal of the planet. meanwhile we had another betrayal of democracy by giving trillions to private individual called bankers who paid their politicians called leaders.

The betrayal of the planet is more of the same: it’s the usual obsession with the plutocratic profits of some, and their “invisible hand” (the self described American, Chicago school of ethics and way to business).  Now, not content with gouging people with banks and health care, the same sort of oligarchs advocate to keep doing business as usual with the heat of hell itself.

One can only expect a worse outcome.
***

Patrice Ayme
Patriceayme.com

http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

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Note: Here is more from Krugman: “The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course.

Thus researchers at M.I.T., who were previously predicting a temperature rise of a little more than 4 degrees by the end of this century, are now predicting a rise of more than 9 degrees. Why? Global greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster than expected; some mitigating factors, like absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans, are turning out to be weaker than hoped; and there’s growing evidence that climate change is self-reinforcing — that, for example, rising temperatures will cause some arctic tundra to defrost, releasing even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

Well the MIT researchers were very naïve.

Krugman, above, uses units straight out of the Middle Ages: the Fahrenheit scale: any units will do, as long as they are not used anywhere else in the world. Interestingly in some crucial polar regions, such as the Antarctica peninsula (next to the WAIS), the temperature has already risen 4 to 5 degrees CELSIUS (twice the Middle Age units).

What matters is the worst possible case: so far global temps have risen less than ONE degree Celsius. Still some of the polar regions went up 5 Celsius. Thus, if the global temp rise two degree Celsius (the minimum expected), one gets TEN degrees CELSIUS in the polar regions. This is all the more to be expected because it has happened before (they were dinosaurs in Alaska, and Antarctica). Ten degrees up there maybe only ten years away (worst possible case). The catastrophe would be beyond belief.

“Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee… Trillions of tons of frozen methane clathrate hydrates, more than all other fossil fuels put together, are waiting in the sea, peacefully bubbling… But it could change within weeks, or years, and it will…

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