Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Climate Catastrophe: California Forests Dying. Giant Fires Coming In 2018

January 10, 2018

Power corrupts, and apocalyptic power corrupts apocalyptically.

The Sierra Nevada forests are dying. The deterioration in a few weeks has been spectacular.  I did twice the same long-range high altitude run in 6 weeks, and I was astounded by the deterioration, during those six weeks. I would have expected such a deterioration in 6 years, and would have called it fast. A related, but greater worry occurred when I discovered hundreds of bear tracks in the snow at 9,000 feet. In the middle of winter, bears, up high in the mountains, are supposed to sleep. It looked instead as if they were looking for dinner: ain’t cold enough! And dinner there is! Besides yours truly, I saw deer happily grazing at 8,000 feet. In January. A picture is worth a long discourse:

December 31, 2017. Picture From Tahoe Rim Trail At 8,200 feet, looking down 300 meters (1000′) lower, towards the south. The forest should be green, if not covered with snow. Instead thousands of the conifers below are grey, or rust color. All dead, or dying. Many of these trees are centuries old, and are uniquely adapted to high altitude. Next summer, after the first lightning strike accompanied by a gusty wind, they will all burn. Notice the spectacular absence of snow, in the heart of winter. Thirty years ago, you would have had ten feet of snow there. For eight months.

Many naive locals think the trees are dying from drought. Actually they are dying from an invasion of Bark Beetles. Up to a few years ago, the Bark Beetles were killed by hard freeze. Now, because of the global warming, the hard freeze happens only at higher elevation. A rough computation says that one loses 7 degrees Centigrade per 1,000 meters gain. As the Sierra has arguably warmed up by 3 degrees Centigrade, that would correspond to an altitude gain for the Bark Beetles of 500 meters, as observed. Lower elevation trees, such as giant Ponderosa pines, are genetically adapted to the Bark Beetles.

In some places, woodpeckers thrive, as they find the Bark Beetles delicious. However, the trees are otherwise unexploitable. The trees rot, and, once down, one can kick right through them. This also makes the trunks soft and younger trees bend, while still alive. Example: t

Picture at 7,000 feet (2,150 meters). High altitude conifers, beautiful white firs, behind with the rust color should be green. The tree in front had its trunk so weakened by the beetles, it is bent. This is very frequent with younger trees..

White firs are now dying in large numbers. The primordial cause for the fir mortality is the fir engraver (Scolytus ventralis), a small black bark beetle that flies to a tree (often in high numbers), bores an entrance hole, excavates an egg gallery, and lays up to 300 eggs. The larvae feed on the cambium layer underneath the bark, creating a maze of small galleries. If the adult gallery or the larvae galleries girdle the tree, the flow of water and nutrients is blocked – killing the tree. The trees only defense is gluing the offenders in sap, but they need to have plenty of water to produce sap. Not the case during this millennial drought.

Notice the tini tiny patch of snow, just above the word “snow”. A few years ago, this would be covered with snow for 6 months each winter. (It is taken in an ex (?) cross-country ski area, Tahoe X country… X country areas have not opened in Tahoe this year, nor will they. All the dead or dying trees in this picture were healthy looking, two years ago.

When people think of “climate change”, they repeat that soporific, propaganda laden semantics, “climate change”. A soothing incantation. Like, excuse me, I will change now. This is mistaken: climate change will show up, and already shows up as “galloping glaciers” (yes! Albeit counterintuitive), hundreds of millions of dead trees, enormous fires of a style generally associated to an asteroid impact, surging seas, giant storms, lethal massive floods, droughts unheard of, in the last three million years. Oh, yes, because the climate may reverse 50 million years in a few decades. Time travel is upon us.

It’s not “climate change”. It’s climate catastrophe.

Patrice Aymé

P/S: Most of the world’s mountain, temperate and Arctic forests are threatened by a similar catastrophe. As they burn, the CO2 greenhouse will evolve into a CO2 greenhouse chain reaction. I am against geoengineering, as a misplaced hope. However, I am not against bioengineering. Powerful biological weapons should be brought to bear upon the devouring insects. One may be capable of slowing them down through sterilization programs. And then there is the possibility of using gene drives.

Why the rush? because it’s urgent! At this rate, California, or Pacific Northwest forests may disappear in five years. Applications of gene drive include preventing the spread of insects that carry pathogens (in particular, mosquitoes that transmit malaria, dengue, and zika pathogens), controlling invasive species… The technique can be used for adding, disrupting, or modifying genes, in such a way as to cause a crash in the population of a disease vector by reducing its reproductive capacity. The San Francisco Bay Area, a great bio research center, endowed with self-declared “philanthropists”, should re-orient itself as a tree-huggers capital… Considering the disaster, one can take some risks (with a well-chosen method, it’s not clear there is any, differently from the hare brained geoengineering proposals…)

 

 

Massive Nonlinearity In Climate Now Obvious, And Why

March 24, 2017

If one thinks about it, much of life as we know it depends upon Earth’s white, icy poles. The temperature of Earth depends upon said polar regions. The poles, as long as they are covered with snow, reflect much sunlight back towards space. That’s why the poles are white: because they are reflectors. Remove the poles’ whiteness, and Earth will absorb much more sunlight, her average temperature will shoot up, and then the Earth’s albedo will decrease further (Whiteness = Albedo, in Latin).

This is already happening, the effect is self-feeding, and, thus, nonlinear (nonlinear means self-feeding; the master nonlinear effect is the exponential, which grows proportional to itself). The exponential derangement of the climate is already apparent in two ways:

  1. the temperatures in the Arctic have climbed at a rate up to five or even ten times faster than anywhere else (as local whiteness, albedo, disappear).
  2. at some point, one expects the global temperature to do the same, and exit the linear regime. This is exactly what one has observed in the last half a dozen years, as temperatures have shot up. Also the main warming system of the biosphere, El Nino, seems to be running for the second year in a row (it used to run only every seven years, or so). 

So we are leaving the linear rise in the greenhouse effects, to enter a faster, nonlinear phase.

This should not surprise anybody. Look at the CO2 graph, superimposed on a picture of Earth’s atmosphere (contemplate how thin it is!) The CO2 concentration is already massively nonlinear, and it is the main driver of climate, thus climate’s behavior can only be so.

That graph should be meditated upon. First put it on all the wall each decision maker looks the most at. Yes, horizontally, that’s half a million years…

Reality is even worse, as the graph above does not take into account other gases which have an even stronger greenhouse effect, individually than CO2, sometimes by a factor of thousands of times, per unit of mass, and which are all man-made. Nor CH4, methane, related to cattle bowels and decaying permafrost or warmed-up, exploding methane clathrates, in the preceding graph, although its greenhouse effect is huge.

CO2 concentrations are the highest since Homo Sapiens evolved. Also the change of greenhouse gas concentrations is the most brutal ever since at least 17 million years ago (when the Columbia LIP, Large Igneous Province, occurred, and, presumably, vast amounts of CO2 were injected in the atmosphere).

During the last high CO2 concentration, 110,000 years ago, although said concentrations were much less than now, average temperature got a bit higher than now (one Celsius). Sea level was at least seven meters higher. So as much is baked in, for sure. (Much of Florida and many countries, will then become shallow seas; Florida’s porous limestone will make it difficult to stop the sea.)

The nonlinear collapse of whiteness on Earth (“Earth albedo”) is apparent in the sudden collapse of the ice-covered regions in both the Arctic and the Antarctic, this last season 2016–2017. Clearly, linear graphs can’t be extended anymore, as far as spaceship Earth is concerned. Tickling the dragon by the tail works for a while, until one gets scorched!

Patrice Ayme’

 

Trumped By Jurassic Climate Nonlinearly Erupting

November 19, 2016

Trump is climate skeptic, it is said, but the climate is not skeptic about Trump. Humanity is the crew, and Earth the spaceship. Trump is now in charge, if anybody is in charge, after eight years of … boyhood. It’s supposed to be a racial insult, I learned. But question: where is the insult, when a 47-year-old (age of Obama when he was sworn in) is supposed to lead the planet, knowing what few other know (as Joe Biden reminded us this week).

Obama went to Germany, and sang the praises of Angela Merkel, her wisdom, etc. Arguably, however, Merkel has been disastrous: her austerity policy, combined with her refusal to support France militarily in a significant way, by re-establishing peace in Syria, manu military, has brought more than one million refugees to Germany, and a near economic and political collapse of Europe (think Brexit, exodus from Portugal, etc.)

All what Obama knows is that his financial sponsors and paymasters tell him austerity is great, Quantitative Easing is great, inequality is great, but we can live with it, etc. 

Spectacular Heat Is On Where It Hurts Most: The High Arctic

Spectacular Heat Is On Where It Hurts Most: The High Arctic. November 2016.

Meanwhile, Earth’s climate is acting up. The temperature in the Arctic is way above normal. A full twenty degrees Celsius above normal (that’s 36 degrees F above normal). As a result, ice is having a problem forming. Should the situation perdure until the sun starts shining again above the Arctic, a complete disappearance of sea ice, comes next summer, is imaginable… Sea ice levels in at the North Pole are at a record low, by a long shot.

Planetary climate is self-regulating… Except if pushed too far. Planetary climate consists in several entangled machines. The overall climate pattern in place in the last three million years is a Carnot engine, with a heat source, the tropic, and a cold sink, the poles.

Right now, the poles are still very cold, but more energy has been pumped into the tropics, from the increasing greenhouse (what’s called “climate forcing”, 60% due to COE, 17% due to CH4, and the rest completely from man-made gases like NOx). Thus the climate engine is roaring more than ever (it gets more efficient, from an equation Carnot discovered nearly two centuries ago). An effect, as I predicted long ago, is that more energy will be stored dynamically (jet stream twisted all over) and potentially (high and low pressure systems both more so).

This is what we observe.

How will it evolve? Among the entangled machinery, some is (still) dormant: fabulous quantities of methane are locked in a sort of ice in medium depth sea floor, and more in the tundra. Should those be released, the temperature of the planet would go up five degrees Celsius nearly instantaneously, and, in turn, huge quantities of CO2 locked in the northern latitudes would be released.

Once the latter happens (it’s more a question of when, not if, barring vast technological advances), Earth would go back to Jurassic conditions nearly instantaneously.  

What can one do? First have everybody understand the danger. Differently from the dinosaurs, or the mammals who lived under them, we have the means to understand and act.

Obama had as National Security Adviser a politically, dynastically connected woman, with lots of stocks and connections, but not a warrior. Trump just selected as National Security adviser a four (no, three, thanks Richard Reinhofer!) star Lieutenant General, Michael Flynn. Flynn, ex head of the Delta Force, became Director Army Intelligence in 2012 (however, Obama never met with him, and fired him for being too tough about Radical Islamism). That’s a rational choice. Flynn is a “registered Democrat” (that is, not GOP).

The general considers “RATIONAL” to be afraid of Islam. And then recommended to propagate that message, because rationality is not afraid (OK, agreed, Flynn made the mistake of saying “afraid of Muslims” instead, as he should have, “afraid of Islam”.)

General Flynn ✔@GenFlynn

Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions... http://youtu.be/tJnW8HRHLLw

5:14 PM – 26 Feb 2016 Or this:@FieldofFight Obama and Hillary’s Refusal to Name Radical Islamic Terrorism: Aiming to ‘Dumb Us Down’ – Breitbart

As the New York Times puts it: “General Flynn…sees the United States as facing a singular, overarching threat that can be described in only one way: “radical Islamic terrorism. All else is secondary for General Flynn, and any other description of the threat is “the worst kind of political correctness,” he said in an interview three weeks before the election.

Islamist militancy poses an existential threat on a global scale, and the Muslim faith itself is the source of the problem, he said, describing it as a political ideology, not a religion. He has even at times gone so far as to call it a cancer.

For General Flynn, the election of Mr. Trump represents an astounding career turnaround. Once counted among the most respected military officers of his generation, General Flynn was fired after serving only two years as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He then re-emerged as a vociferous critic of a Washington elite that he contended could not even properly identify the real enemy — radical Islam, that is — never mind figure out how to defeat it.”

I have argued that Literal Islam is totally incompatible with civilization. And the best proof is that what was long the world’s richest area, the Middle East (including the Fertile Crescent, Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia) became one of the poorest.

Clearly the voters agreed (Trump destroyed the famed “Blue Wall” of states Democrats thought were secured, and thus got a large Electoral College victory).

Islam, a savage-from-the-desert Middle Age system of thoughts and moods is nothing much, a self-destructive obsession. However, as it has invaded the Western psyche, it has become a distracting cancer. To handle the serious problems, like the planet blowing up, we have to reduce this sort of maddening distractions. Nor can we talk falsely about Islam, while talking truly about the climate. The mood of telling the truth has to be global. Irreverential. The Obama administration and its poodle regimes (Merkel, France, etc.) have been talking falsely not just about Islam, but also about economics, society, globalocracy, plutocracy, taxes, taxes on the wealthiest, corporate fascism, dark money, etc.

They talked falsely about Islam, precisely because the Obama adminstration, and the Deep State

Obama, talking at Der Spiegel: “Many people who voted for me, voted for Trump… I think that’s indicative that there is some impulse towards some sort of change, politicans have to be more sensitive to the desire for change.” where have you been my lost son? Obama sounds increasingly like Sleeping Beauty waking up after eight years’ slumber…

In any case, Trump is telling the truth about Islam, or even Mexicans (“terrific people”). Let’s keep truth momentum. Trump seems willing to replace wishful thinking by rationality (just as the pivot to Russia, however worrisome and potentially dangerous it is, is better than Obama’s boiled noodle opposition).

Meanwhile, there is little doubt that the climate has started to act nonlinearly.  It will be rational to also act even more nonlinearly in return.

Patrice Ayme’

CLIMATE CHANGES: CO2, Islam, & The Eternal Return Of Fascism

July 27, 2016

Another day, another Islamist attack in France. This was “Islam de France“, as it is among all too many youth. The two (French) Islamist “martyrs” were shot dead by the BRI (Brigade d’Intervention Rapide). Armed with knives and a gun they took hostage several parishioners in a church. The 86 year old priest was made to kneel before his throat was cut. Several other elderly persons were cut. The Islamist “martyrs” were so busy filming their “heroic” deeds, that a nun was able to escape discreetly, and alerted the police. As with the latest attack in Bavaria at a music concert two days ago, the Islamist pseudo-state ISIS claimed it set it up. The area, in rural Normandy, is known as one of the most Islamized places in France, thanks to a Salafist mosque (which, if one followed Israeli methods, would have been dynamited long ago!)

No wonder Donald Trump wants “extreme vetting” of French visa applicants.

Yes, I know, it’s dreary. Yes I know, among the looming threats gathering out there, Islamism is the silliest fanatical cretinism on steroids. However, Islamism is dreadful enough to cause great dislocation, and lack of focus on the real problems. After all, it was the (de facto) pro-Islamist mood which Kanzler Merkel organized, all by herself. The reaction to this pro-Islam mood, in turn, broke the European Union’s back with Brexit (I watch plenty of German TV, and I was aghast with the let’s-embrace-Islam mood the Merkel-led authorities promoted rashly, with their naive approach… Admitting refugees (which I am for) is one thing, welcoming the mood of the religion which has caused the refugee crisis is something else: it is in an absolute contradiction).

Want to see a real threat? Something really hot and hard? Here it is, spiking up, as I said it would, so long ago

Climate Change: CO2, Islam, & The Eternal Return Of Fascism. Temperature In 2016 Is Exceeding All Expectations.i

Climate Changes: CO2, Islam, & The Eternal Return Of Fascism. Temperature In 2016 Is Exceeding All Expectations Scientists Who Are Paid To Sound Nice Officially Expected.

[Image source: Dr. Stephan Rahmstorf. Data source: NASA GISS. Data 1880 CE to April 2016.]

What is the reason for this sharp spike? Fundamentally the global rise in temperature is driven by the man-made GreenHouse Gases (GHG: CO2, CH4, NOx, ClFs, etc.). The GHGs block infrared radiation more than normal air does, trapping heat in the biosphere. This “climate forcing” warms up the lower atmosphere (and cools the irrelevant stratosphere!) The GHG density is increasing at a steady pace from human industry. But the resulting warming, and thus the GHG emissions have clearly now started to self feed. (How do we know this? From the divergence of the graphs. More on this another day.)

What of the change of mental climate Islam brings? Is it benevolent as the proselytizers of Islam claim, a “religion of peace”? Or do we need to read what is really going on, and find out why 18 year olds with criminals pasts, and no education to speak of, know Islam way better that judicial and legislating authorities in the West claim to?

Those who fight for Islam get “special reward”:

Quran (4:95)“Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.”

Those who don’t help God, go to hell:

Quran (9:39)“If ye go not forth God will afflict you with a painful doom…”

When fighting the unbelievers, God hates a coward and throws him to hell:

Quran (8:15-16)“O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his back to them on such a day – unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)!”

Those who die, fighting for God, go to paradise:

Quran (3:169-170)Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah: And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (Martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.”

As usual, the preceding is confirmed, and amplified, in numerous parts of the Hadith and the Sira:

Muslim (20:4678)It has been reported on the authority of Jabir that a man said: “Messenger of Allah, where shall I be if I am killed?” He replied: “In Paradise.” The man threw away the dates he had in his hand and fought until he was killed (i. e. he did not wait until he could finish the dates).

Abu Dawud (14:2515)I asked the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him): Who are in Paradise? He replied: “Prophets are in Paradise, martyrs are in Paradise.”

If you are young, depressed, and believe in the preceding, and surrounded with what preachers and sacred texts tell you are unbelievers who deserve to die, what would you do? The answer is all too obvious.

I was watching a top, senior, just retired, French judge,  and she calmly pontificated that youth who committed assassinations of unbelievers in the name of Islam perverted Islam. Well, if you read Islamist sacred texts, you can judge the judge. I judge that judges like that, who pontificate that fanatical Jihadists “pervert Islam”  are themselves perverse idiots and could well be viewed to be a deeper source of terrorism than the youth who commits such assassinations, to start with. Yes, some will say I am out-Trumping Trump. But think about it: the white judge just claim that Islam, Literal Islam, is perfect, and youth was perverse. OK, then the judges say that the quotes above are perfect, while accusing those who act on them of what, exactly?

Another angle on the same problem: imagine that a youthful would-be assassin confronts a judge. The judge tells the youth to be less perverse and to follow Islam more closely? In the case of the assassination of the priest this happened precisely with one of the two 19-year-old Islamist assassin: the youth opined that he would be a better Muslim, follow the Qur’an better. So he was judged mature enough by a lady judge to be freed from jail, where he had been for eight months after being arrested in Turkey for trying to slip into Syria.

The climate in the West has been that Islam was good, whereas poor youth was bad, uneducated, not worth of correct schooling and employment. Verily, the truth is the other way around: Islam has been good for plutocracy, and orienting, actively or indirectly, youth towards Islam, Literal, Wahhabist, Salafist Islam, a perversion.

***

When Climate Changes, Species Go, And Smarter Ones Thrive:

Dinosaurs, pterosaurs, mesosaurs, plesiosaurs, and the like were all what some now call “mesotherms”: their temperature was in-between. They depended too much upon the balmy Jurassic and then Cretaceous climate to insure their own temperature. When the climate cooled, they faltered, and then disappeared. Whereas the hot “endotherms” (self-warm), mammals and birds, thrived.

A change of climate changes which species thrive, or even exist. It is the same with ruling systems of ideas, such as religions, and the mental climates they bring.

Islam created a wonderful climate among desert nomads. Prior to it, Arabs were at each others’ throats, and killed girls to limit the population explosion. Meanwhile, the Arabs were fully exposed, and frustrated, by the great civilizations swirling around them: Ethiopian, Yemenite, Egyptian, Zoroastrian, and then the formidable Greco-Roman civilization, and its partial descendant, the Persian Sassanid empire. However, soon after 605 CE things changed: a formidable war between Sassanids (Zoroastrian Persians) and “Rome”, turned suddenly to Persia’s advantage (the Persian Shah In Shah was all the bolder as the Romans had put him back on his throne earlier: a case of back-stabbing).

It is a long story, and I want to tell it (but will have to do so some other time). It is a matter of climate. In more ways than one.

***

Mental Climate Catastrophes Brought Islam:

To understand the change of species which Islam brought, one has to understand the anti-intellectual climate which brought a deep mental freeze in “Rome” (Constantinople), and the influence the resulting refugee crisis of fleeing Roman intellectuals had in Persia. Then a terrible storm arose: an all-out war between Constantinople and Persia, of an extraordinary violence, back and forth, like a tsunami going one way, and then the other.

Thanks to a crazed out Persian emperor, Persia made the greatest invasion of the Mediterranean basin in 1,000 years, even conquering all the way to Libya, something it had never done before. By 622 CE, the situation was so desperate, that emperor Heraclius thought of evacuating the Roman capital to Carthage. Just when the enormous reforms he had made back to a citizen army and other reconstitution of ancient Greco-Roman traditions, changed the climate completely in the Roman empire. That change of mood mobilized the population, and enabled to reverse the military tide.

***

Why Islam Swept All:

Islam is a war religion. As simple as that. It went much further that way that Roman Catholic Orthodox had (= Christianism imposed by the Roman state, now headed from Constantinople and Milan). Christianism celebrated a “Lord” mimicking Constantine’s behavior. That included the summary execution of the son… and Verses of the Sword:  Luke 19; 27 is unambiguous. The mythic Jesus Christ supposedly said:

But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.

It could not be any clearer. A total negation of the state of law. A proclamation of human sacrifice. Yes, when thinking of religion, remember this: human sacrifice is about having a religious reason for killing others.

“Religious” means non-legal. “Legal” does not just mean legal in the Roman sense, but legal in the ethological sense.

Hence the imposition of (fascist, mono-dictatorial, lethal, jealous, imperious) Christianism, between Roman emperors Constantine and Theodosius (both initially generals, reigning absolutely on the entire empire) changed the climate completely. Instead of having a state of law, one passed to a state of caprice of the emperor, sultan, prophet or caliph at the head. Or, as Constantine modestly depicted himself “thirteenth apostle”.

This anti-intellectual climate appeared just when a greater intellectual activity was called for. This is what generally happens, it’s no accident.

Meanwhile, to the south-east, the Arabs saw all of this. They saw the Persians invade Yemen and seize Aden. They saw Rome nearly collapse, and, while Muhammad was fighting Mecca from Yathrib (= Medina), from 622 Ce to 630 CE, he saw the fabulous Roman counter-attack, and Persia collapse in coups, civil wars, queens reigning for a year or two, top generals assassinated…

The Roman nadir was in 622 CE. In 630 CE, Muhammad was religious dictator of Mecca. As a prophet, he could re-organize the Qur’an, and he did. Exit the kind, loving and tolerant Islam. However, quite a bit of the Meccan religious arsenal was preserved, including perhaps the Satanic Verses, and certainly the Moon as a symbol, Mecca as a religious center, complete with meteorite and recycled Kabaa.

So Muhammad changed the climate, but not too much where not needed. Instead he led a crusade of united warriors to the north, to attack the Romans (who smirked and avoided contact, as they had just concluded peace with the Sassanid Persians, reconstituting the old borders… and had decided to spurn Monophysite Arabs).

Kill or fight the enemy, go to paradise? What better mental climate to impose an empire?

What is sure is that, if we don’t kill the CO2 rise pretty soon, the notion of paradise will change. And that this Literal Islam, Salafism, Wahhabism, Wall Street compatible Islam, thing is an un-amusing distraction.

***

Nothing new under the sun; civilizations can die quickly:

1,500 years ago, or so, the mighty Moche civilization, along the coast of Peru knew a drought and a super El Nino (certainly amplified by natural climate change, probably of volcanic origin).

The Moche survived initially, but their religion became all-consuming (full of human sacrifices and pyramids). It is the usual reaction: when a society gets stressed, it reacts as a baboon troop: everybody of one mind, behind the chief (right now Trump).

In a civilization, if more than one fascist movement appear (say the Communists at the same time as the Nazis, as in Germany in the 1920s; or Syria now), civil strife ensues. This is what happened to the Moche, and in such a violent manner, that the civilization collapsed.

Something similar, a super drought in the Seventh Century, accompanied by civil war and ecological devastation, nearly eradicated the Mayan civilization, thereafter a shadow of its former self (until the Spaniards showed up, 6 centuries later).

***

“Hydraulic Dictatorships” And, Or Fascist Over-Reaction?

The basic problem of the zone where Islam festers, has been ecological. A massive, epochal drought, tied to the interglacial cycle, started more than 6,000 years ago, triggering the Egyptian civilization. The drought forced the Egyptians to get along with agriculture, in a very long and narrow valley, and vast associated oases, where hydraulic was crucial. Fernand Braudel rightly introduced the notion of “Hydraulic Dictatorship”. And the reasoning is obvious: big hydraulics means big society, armies of workers, relative wealth, hence big army to protect the whole thing, etc. So I supported that reasoning (which I had developed on my own). However, I am starting to have second thoughts: after all, many Western societies, including some Greek city-states, and Rome for much of her history, and the various regimes which descended from the Franks/French, including England, did not fall into the same pattern (nor did Egypt, mostly, for that matter).

After all, the entire region was long the richest in the world, where many Neolithic and civilization basic techniques were discovered, invented and blossomed. And the climate got desperately dry 6,000 years ago, when the deserts became basically uninhabitable. Still, the area was at the very forefront of civilization until the massive Celto-Greco-Roman (“The West”) took over, starting 23 centuries ago. Some of the degeneracy occurred before Islam, or even just before the Hellenistic civilization of the Trojan War took off. However Babylonians and later, the Achaemenid empire still made civilizational innovations. And yet the fact the Achaemenids’ greatness depended mostly upon one man, Darius The Great a sort of Zoroastrian Muhammad, with more brains, experience and statesmanship, reveals the truth: the Middle Earth had become way too fascist already 3,000 years ago, used as it was, by then, upon depending on just one individual. A climate of intellectual fascism had come to rule. (It’s no coincidence that the monotheism of Abrahamism, blind obedience to the Lord, mauling all and any human decency, came to fester there.)

So what could be going on? The mental climate may have over-reacted to the increasingly desertic situation. A climate of intellectual fascism had come to rule, and rightly so. Yet, in my view, there was an overshooting of the fascist mood. A bit like an immune system over-reacts, and a lethal auto-immune disease develops. True, strong government were needed, associated to strong religions, such as Judaism, and Constantine’s “Catholicism”. A bit of the Dark Side is often necessary. But Islam ended changing the mental climate way too far to the Dark Side (contemplate the quotes above).

Political and intellectual fascism can self feed, through religious effect (= the madness of the crowds), similarly to the self-feeding of the climate we are witnessing now (the ever crazier ending of the Nazi regime is a case in point! The more desperate the military situation was getting, the more insanely lethal the Nazis became, including against their own ilk!) Thus, as fascism arises from bad situations, as a healthy, and most effective defense reflex, it can bring in an even worse situation, through its own actions, which, in turn, ask for even more fascist action. Just as, the higher the temperature, the more methane and carbon dioxide released, hence more greenhouse, more temperature, thus more methane and carbon dioxide, etc…

The climate is changing, whether we want it or not. We have to do as the Egyptians did, 6,000 years ago: change minds, moods and civilization. We have to do much because now history is moving at the fastest clip ever. And history shows that civilizations which lasted many centuries, or even millennia, can collapse in days, and commonly do so in years.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Record Heat 2015, Obama Cool

January 25, 2016

2014 was the warmest year ever recorded. 2015 was even warmer, and by far, by .16 degrees centigrade. The UK (Great Britain) meteorological office announced that the temperature rise is now a full degree C above the pre-industrial average. At this annual rate of increase, we will get to two degrees within six years (as I have predicted was a strong possibility).

What’s going on? Exponentiation. Just as wealth grows faster, the greater the wealth, mechanisms causing more heat are released, the greater the heat. Yes, it could go all the way to tsunamis caused by methane hydrates explosions. This happened in the North Atlantic during the Neolithic, leaving debris of enormous tsunamis all over Scotland.

2015: Not Only Record Heat, But Record Acceleration Of Heat

2015: Not Only Record Heat, But Record Acceleration Of Heat

The Neolithic settlements over what is now the bottom of the North Sea and the Franco-English Channel (then a kind of garden of Eden), probably perished the hard way, under giant waves.

Explosions of methane hydrates have started on the land, in Siberia. No tsunami, so far. But it can, and will happen, any time. The recent North Easter on the East Coast of the USA was an example of the sort of events we will see ever more of: a huge warm, moist Atlantic born air mass, lifted up by a cold front.

Notice that, at the COP 21 in Paris all parties, 195 nations, agreed to try their best to limit warming to 1.5 degree Centigrade. At the present instantaneous rate, that’s less than 4 years away. Even with maximum switching out of fossil fuels, we are, at the minimum, on a three degrees centigrade target, pretty soon.

By the way, if all nations agree, how come the “climate deniers” are still heard of so loudly? Well, plutocrats control Main Stream Media. It’s not just that they want to burn more fossil fuels (as it brings them profit, they are the most established wealth). It’s also that they want to create debates about nothing significant, thus avoiding debates about significant things, such as how much the world is controlled by Dark Pools of money.

Meanwhile, dear Paul Krugman insists in “Bernie, Hillary, Barack, and Change“, that it would be pure evil to see him as a “corrupt crook“, because he believes everything Obama says about change and all that. Says Krugman: “President Obama, in his interview with Glenn Thrush of Politico, essentially supports the Hillary Clinton theory of change over the Bernie Sanders theory:

[Says Obama]: ‘I think that what Hillary presents is a recognition that translating values into governance and delivering the goods is ultimately the job of politics, making a real-life difference to people in their day-to-day lives.'”

This is all hogwash. We are not just in a civilization crisis. We are in a biosphere crisis, unequalled in 65 million years. “Real-life differences“, under Obama, have been going down in roughly all ways. His much vaunted “Obamacare” is a big nothing. All people in the know appraise that next year, it will turn to a much worse disaster than it already is (in spite of a few improvements, “co-pays” and other enormous “deductibles” make the ironically named, Affordable Care Act, ACA, unaffordable).

The climate crisis show that there is no more day-to-day routine. At Paris, the only administration which caused problem, at the last-minute, was Obama’s. How is that, for “change”? The USA is not just “leading from behind”, but pulling in the wrong direction. Really, sit down, and think about it: under France’s admirable guidance (!), 194 countries had agreed on a legally enforceable document. Saudi Arabia agreed. The Emirates agreed. Venezuela agreed. Nigeria agreed. Russia agreed. Byelorussia agreed. China, having just made a treaty with France about climate change, actually helped France pass the treaty. Brazil agreed. Zimbabwe agreed. Mongolia agreed. And so on. But, lo and behold, on the last day, Obama did not.

I know Obama’s excuses well; they are just that, excuses. Bill Clinton used exactly the exact same excuses, 20 years ago. Obama is all for Clinton, because, thanks to Clinton, he can just repeat like a parrot what Clinton said, twenty years ago. Who need thinkers, when we have parrots, and they screech?

I sent this (and, admirably, Krugman published it!):

“No doubt Obama wants to follow the Clintons in making a great fortune, 12 months from now. What is there, not to like?

Obama’s rather insignificant activities will just be viewed, in the future, as G. W. Bush third and fourth terms. A janitor cleaning the master’s mess. Complete with colored (“bronze”) apartheid health plan.

What Sanders’ supporters are asking is to break that spiral into ever greater plutocracy (as plutocrat Bloomberg just recognized).”

Several readers approved my sobering message, yet some troll made a comment, accusing me of “racist “slander”. Racist? Yes the “bronze” plan phraseology is racist. I did not make it up. And it is also racist to make a healthcare system which is explicitly dependent upon how much one can afford. Krugman is all for it, but he is not on a “bronze” plan. Introducing apartheid in healthcare? Obama’s signature achievement. So why should we consider Obama as the greatest authority on “progressive change”? Because we are gullible? Because we cannot learn, and we cannot see? Is not that similar to accepting that Hitler was a socialist, simply because he claimed to be one, it had got to be true, and that was proven because a few million deluded characters voted for him?

We are in extreme circumstances, unheard of in 65 million years, they require extreme solutions. They do not require, nor could they stand, Bill Clinton’s Third Term (or would that be G. W. Bush’s fifth term? The mind reels through the possibilities).

“Change we can believe in”: the new boss, same as the old boss, the same exponentiation towards inequality, global warming and catastrophe, the same warm rhetoric of feel-good lies.

As it is, there is a vicious circle of disinformation between the Main Stream Media, and no change in the trajectory towards Armageddon. Yes, Obama was no change. Yes, Obama was the mountain of rhetoric, who gave birth to a mouse. Yes, we need real change, and it requires to start somewhere. And that means, not by revisiting the past.

Patrice Ayme’

 

California Megadrought

April 4, 2015

“Climate change” is here now. Worldwide. How do we reconcile this with Obama’s boast “Yes We Can!” Yes we can adversely affect the planet?

Actually, poorly advised and mentally ill-equipped, Obama’s mighty efforts went in the wrong direction (he should have financed basic research, not commercial development of his friends’ industries). In the end, most of what Obama could do, was to raise money from his semi-criminal accomplices in the Silicon Valley (how else to call monopolists who escaped tens of billions of taxation, just in the last few years, thanks to their accomplices in Washington and Brussels? And also spy on everybody as a European Commissioner (EC) just admitted, recommending Europeans get off Facebook.)

It is true that the USA has reduced CO2 emissions. But Obama had little to do with it (economic crisis, expensive gasoline, switching to massive fracked methane gas, increased efficiency have more to do with it than Obama singing “Yes We Can!”, 100 times a day). Meanwhile, here is a chart from 2007, showing droughts in the Western USA:

West USA Megadrought During Warm Middle Ages. (Only To 2006.)

West USA Megadrought During Warm Middle Ages. (Only To 2006.)

[The graph stops in 2006, and we are now in a drought peak far surpassing anything depicted above; 2014 was the driest year in California for 1,500 years, and the four year period ending then was the driest in 2,000 years. We can now say that the 2014-2015 wet period is the driest EVER: the snow pack is eight percent of normal (8%)]

The megadrought of the Middle Ages correspond to the period when the Vikings decided that Greenland was green. The megadrought stopped just when the Little Ice Age started; after 1300 CE, the population of Europe collapsed into an ecological crisis, followed by extensive war (“100 year” war) and the Black Plague; severe cooling did not help. The last Vikings abandoned Greenland around 1500 CE.

The situation in California’ drought is a case of human induced global warming in action. So it makes sense to build an electric train (it is much more efficient, by an order of magnitude at least).

The California drought is caused by a high pressure ridge ashore, due to greater upwelling off the coast, itself caused by greater trade winds, in turn a worldwide phenomenon caused by the augmented greenhouse.

The present drought is already the greatest in several millennia. And it may be just the beginning: the oceanic waters are churning. Wait until sea level rise accelerates noticeably…

***

CALIFORNIA WILL RESIST “CLIMATE CHANGE”:

The preceding paragraph brought various sheep to bleat in The Economist. My reply:

California is drenched with sun, and Solar Photo Voltaic is getting ever cheaper and more efficient. Cheap PV cells with efficiency as high as the expensive ones on satellites have been made in labs this year.

So California should not have an energy problem, long term.

The present accelerating upwelling off the coast is a momentary phase in global warming. When warming is considerable greater, El Nino ought to come every years, and California will become akin to Costa Rica. Costa Rica used no fuel this year (2015) so far, as the hydroelectric plants have been producing like crazy (El Nino like conditions; actually El Nino has just been declared)

Of course, when California will switch to a tropical climate, the snow will disappear from the Sierra Nevada, and the sea will be 40 meters higher.

But that should be OK: the Golden Gate will be closed by a dam and thermonuclear plants will lift the water above the dam. This way the Central Valley will not flood too bad. (Sierra water from Yosemite has long been brought directly to San Francisco; the drought has already stopped a further scheme to steal water from Northern Cal to Los Angeles.)

Twenty-one (21) desalination plants are been built. Including several in the greater Bay Area. It is not enough, yet, a beginning.

To parody Obama: Yes we can, make money! To parody Hollande (the president of the other mighty republic which is really a representative democracy): “Le changement, c’est maintenant!” (Change is now; it rhymes in French).

Climate change is upon us. California is one the places in the world best situated to resist it. Others (Bangladesh, countless islands) will drown.

***

YES WE CAN RESIST EVIL, IF WE EXPOSE IT:

Pope Francis decries the persecution of Christians. “We still see today our persecuted brothers, decapitated and crucified for their faith in you [Jesus], before our eyes and often with our complicit silence,” Pope Francis said, presiding over the traditional ceremony at the Colosseum.

The Pope also condemned the attack in Kenya, where non-Muslims were singled out and shot, as an act of “senseless brutality“. And the assassination of 22 Coptic Egyptians by Fundamentalists in Libya. Both seems to me to make a lot of sense, though. Islam built the greatest empire, by the sword, in a few years. And the Qur’an is full of that. When brutality brings dinner and territory, it makes sense, to a predatory primate:”Yes, We Can!”

The Vatican’s official preacher Raniero Cantalamessa denounced the “disturbing indifference of world institutions in the face of all this killing of Christians”.

Indifference and silence are meta-sins: they enable the enactment of brutality. Whether it makes sense, or not. Thus, should one want a better world, the word should get out, and the emotion allowed to run. High.

Word, sound, consideration and fury would certainly have prevented the rise of Nazism in Germany.

The first action to take about “climate change” is to talk about it. And to talk about the wars it brings: the Pope, correctly talked about the “Third World War” having started. Good people have to talk about these things, otherwise bad people will talk about them in their own perverse way: see Putin stirring trouble in the Carpathians.

Civilization has to be defended, and goodness too. Playing nice with evil is no good.

So slap heavy taxes on all fossil fuels (in developed countries), and a worldwide carbon tax. That may hurt a few people, but, overall, will help save the biosphere as we know it.

Freeman Dyson (an infinitely old permanent member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton and a co-discoverer of Quantum Electro Dynamics), long a climate change denier, has now changed tactics. (Who said an old horse could not learn new tricks?) His employers from the fossil fuel industry (just guessing) will promptly follow. The new argument is that CO2 is good for us.

I have long entertained that fancy myself. Albeit secretly. The argument is that the plants would grow more, the poles become hospitable, etc. However, that ignores the fact that present day life is adapted to 280 ppm of CO2, not 500 ppm. Besides the inconvenience of the sea being 80 meters higher, the latest news are that plants, after a growth spurt, are reacting poorly to excess CO2.

Patrice Ayme’

“Obama” Lost Already?

October 29, 2012

GIVING CHANGE WITH NO CHANGE GOES ONLY THAT FAR?

Lost Because There Is Not Enough Advocacy For Progress In The USA.

The president of the USA is usually presented as the “most powerful man in the world“. This is disinformation. “Weakest leader in the world” is more like it. The presidency of the USA is a weak office. Why? Because not only is the business of the USA, business, but the government of the USA is business.

I have been making the progressive case against Obama‘s policies. For four years (minus a week). Before he became president, Obama prevented Hank Paulson to force banks to cram down house mortgages. Result:

Obama Inflection Point; Corporate Profits Climb, Salaries Dive To New Lows

Plutocrat Paulson, Bush’s Treasury Secretary, ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs, understood that banks had to give something commensurate in exchange for the enormous public money they were getting. Otherwise, it was theft. Obama did not want to understand that.

Obama spent the next four years singing the praises of bankers, banksters, and financial criminals (latest in 2012; an ode to love for Buffet, famous for destroying Greece, in Newsweek, and Dimon, head of JP Morgan, on “The View”). Not cramming down the mortgages allowed the banks to keep on having “tiers one” capital they did not have, thus keeping on with their derivatives’ casino, starving the real economy, while getting 8,000 billions of “monetary base”, from the Fed (that forced the EU to join the game in 2011).

I am not focusing here on other grave ethical failings, such as worldwide killing by death panel ordered drones, a new high for the devil, a very dangerous precedent for fascist regimes.

That establishment of a “Terminator” like world is comparable, as an ethical jump, to the jump accomplished when extermination camps came to be viewed as a measure of progress.

That many “democrats” agree to killing people by robots without due process reminds me of German Socialists approving of Hitler because Adolf called himself a socialist. Just as Hitler focused on “will” (he was singularly deprived of it after 1942), Obama focused on “navigation” as an overall metaprinciple (now his “navigation without an ethical compass has led him into the shoals of public opinion). Being a full human leader requires to focus on full human ethics, not naked procedures (will, social navigation), as a suitable end to political means. 

I am focusing here on the economic side, and the ethics connected to it. As Matt Stoller puts it:

“Under Bush, economic inequality was bad, as 65 cents of every dollar of income growth went to the top 1 percent. Under Obama, however, that number is 93 cents out of every dollar. That’s right, under Barack Obama there is more economic inequality than under George W. Bush.

Financials Make 40% Of Corporate Profits

[Blue line: corporate profits, red line: main worth USA families, home equity.]

And if you look at the chart above, most of this shift happened in 2009-2010, when Democrats controlled Congress. This was not, in other words, the doing of the mean Republican Congress. And it’s not strictly a result of the financial crisis; after all, corporate profits did crash, like housing values did, but they also recovered, while housing values have not.

This is the shape of the system Obama has designed. It is intentional, it is the modern American order…”

The plutocracy is amplified by the desire of government officials, who are typically in the middle class, to join the 1% (who do not just live much better, but safer, with better… local government and services).

The third debate Obama-Romney was uneventful. After his huge win in the first debate, when Romney presented himself as the candidate with a plan, while Obama sounded like an apologetic butler, seemingly worried about blemishes on the floor, Romney needed just to not make mistakes.

The news though, as far as I am concerned, were made by Obama, when he brazenly announced, in passing, out of the blue, that “sequestration is not going to happen“.

This was an astounding statement. The problem is not just that sequestration is the law. And that it is becoming effective in eight weeks or so. The problem is that:

Sequestration is a liberal’s heaven: it cuts down a huge chunk of the defense budget, and remove the Bush(-Obama) tax cuts for the rich. The deficit and (some of) the inequity disappear overnight.

Why would Obama be against it? If Obama is the “liberal”? (“Liberal” that is left, democratic, in USA semantics, the opposite of European semantics.) Why would Obama want to denigrate a law he helped passed, and that institutes a liberal’s heavens?

Is Obama a double agent?

Is he not a liberal then, and all the hysterical liberals who want us to vote for him just naive sheep rushing behind their shepherd as they enter the slaughterhouse?

So Obama is losing that election. If not in the votes, surely with his head. Surely losing his second term, if any, before he got started. Lost his head in an accident called democracy.

I forecasted as much little bit less than 4 years ago. Surely the old liberal Obama face had lost to the neoconservative Obama reality, immediately after he was elected. How did I know this?

The first thing is that Obama was mesmerized by Larry Summers, the financial derivatives’ enabler. Summers is a notoriously, officially delirious misogynistic bully, who, knowing no advanced science or mathematics, claimed women were genetically inferior at it (there are plenty of top women in science and math, up to the very highest level, for example Emmy Noether, who, sponsored by the mathematical giants Hilbert and Klein was spurned forever at Göttingen. Finally Hilbert had to get angry, and point that: the faculty is not a toilet. Noether’s work was very deep and some ot it is used for the very basics of quantum Field Theory).  

The day after his election as president, Obama went to work in the offices of a hedge fund in Chicago. November 5, 2008. That was an astounding fact. Hedge funds and their financial derivatives were front and central causative in the 2008 financial crisis. It was as if Obama understood nothing, nor did his advisers. Or maybe he wanted to make a blatant wink to the plutocracy, to the greatest sharks of the financial world, that he approved of their world, entirely, front and center, for all to see.

His apparently lobotomized supporters were completely clueless and celebrated all over like nice drunk maniacs. They are still celebrating, four years later. Michelle Obama asks: “Are you in? Tell Barack you are in!”. Simpler than that, no way: politics reduced to sexual allusions, or something equally primitive. We are in? Into what? Masochism? With Michelle as whip yielding dominatrix? OK, she obvioulsy fits the role quite well.

What hope could we have, when Obama embraced evil, and his supporters did high fives all over? With hedge funds’ managers?

So now, here we are, four years later; most of the money went to banks. 8 trillions (mostly from Quantitative Easing, which was used to “reimburse” TARP!). Total deficit added: 4 trillions, most of it from tax cuts (to the rich!), not from investment. The so called Bush tax cuts were legislated religiously by 4 year by the democratic Congress (led by plutocrat Pelosi).

Why don’t progressive call those cuts the Pelosi-Obama tax cuts for the rich? Because we are not rich, and it’s safer not to tell the truth?

Here are two comments of mine that the New York Times had the kindness to designate as “picks” (although most of my comments on Krugman’s blog are censored; I view Krugman’s policies as causative of much of the Obama’s faulty socio-economic program.)

***

The first comment was subsequent to Krugman’s editorial in which he said: “The U.S. economy finally seems to be recovering in earnest…it will still take years to restore full employment — and it has been a very long time coming. Why has the slump been so protracted?

The answer — backed by overwhelming evidence — is that this is what normally happens after a severe financial crisis.”

In other words Krugman still understands too little, too late. I sent this:

Oct. 21, 2012 at 8:46 p.m.

We are in the worst crisis, ever.

There is a fundamental employment crisis. There is an ecological crisis, without precedent in 65 million years, that puts the biosphere in question (and gasoline above $4 a gallon).

What is happening right now is just the beginning of the beginning of said crisis. Obama was called in to deliver change, and, thus stop the steady march behind the same old errors. However, a chorus of sycophants and plutocratic servants insisted nothing much had to be done… And Obama went along.

Right now the USA has a huge, primary deficit (Italy does not have a primary deficit), and the debt to GDP ratio of the Federal government is above 100% (only Italy and Greece, and of course Japan have higher debt to GDP numbers). Many on the pseudo-left say it does not matter. How come it matters anywhere else? And what is the plan to deal with those?

Guess what? The public wants change again, any change, as long as it’s not the same old same old: all the money to the banks, none for commoners.

***

Not surprisingly, Mitt Romney is claiming to be the one to bring change. The worst being is that he may right, frighteningly enough. It’s easier to bring more change than no change.

Krugman and company claims Obamacare will change everything, but I just don’t believe it, as it was written by the sharks themselves, the health care plutocrats, and it does not set-up what they fear and all other advanced countries have: a public health care core.

The markets have broken national sovereignty, all over. Obamacare eschewed that lesson, all too long.

The last case being rolled out this week: Mr. Clean, Close-To-The People, humble Prime Minister of China, the guy with the glasses and the modest white shirt, turns out, according to the New York Times, and not  to my surprise, to have accumulated, through various members of his family, including his elderly mother, a fortune of no less than 2.7 billion dollars.

The dictatorship of the People has turned into the dictatorship of the Plutocrats. The New York Times just got censored in China for pointing out that this supposedly clean PM was a plutocrat hiding behind the rest of his family, a trick massively used in the USA! Ironically the New York Times censors me about denouncing plutocracy, and gets censored in turn, for the same reason! What goes around, comes around, just like hurricane-north-eastener…

***

Krugman again: “Mitt Romney … has a five-point plan to restore prosperity. And some voters, alas, seem to believe what he’s saying. So President Obama has now responded with his own plan, a little blue booklet containing 27 policy proposals. How do these two plans stack up?

Mr. Romney is faking it. His real plan seems to be to foster economic recovery through magic… So, is Mr. Obama offering an inspiring vision for economic recovery? No, he isn’t. His economic agenda is relatively small-bore — a bunch of modest if sensible proposals rather than a big push… The point is that America is still suffering from an overall lack of demand, the result of the severe debt and financial crisis that broke out before Mr. Obama took office.”

I sent the following comment (also a NYT pick, as that august paper seems to be about two minds about me!)

Most probably, Obama’s “plan” is too little, too late. Progressives ought to have protested strongly as soon as Obama had selected his economic team, led by financial derivatives advocate Larry Summers. But they did not.

According to the sycophants of the democratic party a la Obama, there were at least 14 weeks with a supermajority in the Senate and 4 years of majority in Congress (in 2012, the French Socialists have taken enormous decisions in 14 weeks, including 75% tax margin and a financial transaction tax!)

So Obama had, and has nearly no ideas, in any case, very small, that’s why he could not do anything with his supermajority, not even removing Bush’s tax cuts. And the lack of ideas is throughout the progressive establishment. Maybe Romney’s plan is impossible and scary (it sure looks this way). However it does something that allowed Obama to be elected four years ago: it makes people dream of change.

The essay below suggests non trivial ideas of the progressive type:
https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/ideas-for-democrats/

The main idea is to push Research and Development massively. Take an example: Infra Red Photo Voltaics. They exist already in the lab, but are extremely inefficient. Having them would augment enormously the efficiency of photovoltaics (I think about 40% of the sun’s energy comes as infrared). Make a crash program. A fundamental, basic research crash program. Not something perverse like Solyandra, Space X, Tesla, Fisker, A123.  

And protect the basic research by extremely fierce protection of Intellectual Property.

***

WILL DO-NOTHING PRESIDENT SNATCH VICTORY FROM JAWS OF DEFEAT?

We don’t know what Obama wanted to do, when he embarked on his exalted adventure. As a candidate, four years ago, he ran in full compatibility with this site. I was happy. However Obama governed, mostly, against this site, breaking my sensitive little heart. I cried a river, and now the seas are rising faster than ever.

So it is with human destinies: one wants to do one thing, and often one ends up doing the opposite. For the best reasons, which turned, in the fullness of time, to be the worst.

Obama’s main metaprinciple, as explained in his best selling memoirs, and re-iterated since, is “navigation“, rather than haughtier principle. However a civilizational leader does not just navigate, but creates. When an elected leader is backed up by serious philosophers, such as Pericles, that gives results (the “open society“) one remembers.

Obama wanted to become a president who did great things. But that was in total contradiction with his navigational metaprinciple. Great leaders don’t just navigate, they force destiny.

What Obama implemented, in practice, was Bush III (except in foreign policy, where, by espousing Franco-Britannia in Libya he has been much smarter, and sharply opposed to the treacherous Bush). we do not want to be naive like Paul Krugman: “Think instead about the 45 million Americans who either will or won’t receive essential health care, depending on who wins on Nov. 6. “

Krugman is rich, he lives in a mansion, he shuttles all the time first class around the world, he is big time. It did not dawn on his teeny tiny brain that soon hundreds of millions of “Americans” will not be able to afford that health care, because, like the captain of the Titanic refused to think about icebergs, the Oblablablists refused to think about cost. the reform that mattered for health care was cost, first: make health care cheaper, then the state could afford for everybody to have it. For that one just had to allow the (three) public health care systems to bargain with private providers, fully (as in other countries).

In “the Progressive Case Against Obama”, Stoller argues, as I long have, that the election of Romney would wake up the opposition to the Bush-Obama-Romney order exemplified by Krugman: 8,000 billions to the banks, and the likes of Elon Musk (Tesla, Space X), 4,000 billions of supplementary debt in 4 years.

It is not a question of being anti-capitalist. Civilization is entangled with capital. No capital, no civilization. That’s why I distinguish between “capitalism” & plutocratic phenomenon

The progressive left got completely anesthetized by their brown guy’s accession to power. It was a case of racist intoxication:”Look Obama is black, he does miracles!” In truth, Obama is not even black, but brownish. The progressive left did not help Obama, the USA or the world by falling asleep, or going crazy in the Oblabla personality cult. Quite the contrary.

Now the den of thieves, Wall Street is getting a foretaste of its own medicine, by threatening to go under water, what it wanted all along, in its secret desire for self destruction. A North Easter is meeting a hurricane. Never happened before.

Obama’s policy, just as that of all his predecessors, and Romney’s is hell bound to make the USA stay on top, as the world’s greatest CO2 polluter (much of China works for the USA). The latest idea from the American hyper exploitation mood, is to export USA coal to China. Washington and New York will keep on going that way, and only them going deep under water will stop them, apparently. Admittedly, the progress of hurricane Sandy is a good sign of the Biblical flooding to come. Probably too complicated for their ethically deprived tiny brains to comprehend.

But there is a much better case to be made than Obama’s ignominious defeat. Unfortunately it would depend upon another “Obama” than the one we got to know, suddenly rising from his ashes.

In that progressive and optimistic case, Obama wins, and then a suddenly liberal Obama comes to his senses, and refuses to negotiate about “sequestration”. By January 1, 2013, a progressive paradise would dawn. The Bush-Obama tax cuts would disappear, and there would be savage cuts in defense. The rich would be taxed a bit more, the deficit would disappear overnight.

Even the hurricane-North-Easter “Frankenstorm” is giving an occasion for Obama to pose as commander in chief. Obama saved by god. The least god could do, after being evoked so many times. Hey, maybe the hurricane could wake up the citizens of the USA to the fact that they have been ecological pigs.

Of all the possibilities, that is what I would prefer. By far. That, and Obama sequestering the right in its own contradictions.

Dream and hope never dies…

***

Patrice Ayme

CORRELATION DOES NOT CAUSE CAUSATION.

April 13, 2008

CHRISTIANITY BURNED WITCHES, BURNING FOOD AS FUEL CAUSES RIOTS, PLANETARY HEATING RISES THE SEAS, BUT CORRELATION DOES NOT CAUSE CAUSATION.

 N. Kristoff quotes with approval the theory that Planetary Heating will augment mayhem, because disruptions of climate caused problems in the past (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/13/opinion/13kristof.html). No doubt. The Little Ice Age is a plausible example, because a lot of social turbulence and wars occured then, after the relative calm of the earlier Middle Ages (see the P/S below though for a more refined chronology). And sure the eruption of a volcano in Iceland played a role in the budget problems of the French government that led proximally to the French revolution.

 However, Kristoff sinks in moral error when he claims that “Europe’s “Little Ice Age” led to a sharp cooling in the late 1500s, and that corresponds to a renewal in witchcraft trials after a long lull.” His dates for the Little Ice Age are roughly correct: the LIA was apparently caused by the “Maunder Minimum”, when 99.9% of sunspots disappeared, probably because the sun cooled a bit (sun spots are convection cells, like in a boiling soup in a pot). But the first minimum was in 1674, at a time when laws against withcraft had been outlawed, and maximal religious violence was clearly a century earlier.

 It’s important to find out what causes religious violence (it’s a question of planetary survival). Kristoff implicitly claims that climate change is the most prominent factor. But the evidence is otherwise. By presenting a plausible correlation as a direct causation, one creates a red herring, and one does not get to the proximal cause, the detection of which is necessary for prevention. So let’s set the record straight.

 Witch burning was taught by the Bible, Christianity, and, to a great extent Saint Paul and Christ themselves (alltogether, they insisted that bad people, and in particular bad women, should be thrown in everlasting fire). To claim religious persecution was -literally- in the air, is to let murderous superstition off the hook. When the sacred founding texts celebrate mayhem, their followers practice mayhem, it’s as simple as that. Whether the air was fresh or not, has nothing to do with it.

 Witch burning appeared during the late Middle Ages because, for the preceding millennium, Frankish and (Eastern) Roman power had kept Christianity under control. Leaders, especially the Franks in the West, had cracked down on Christian supersition because they were alarmed after the disastrous collapse of civilization of the Dark Ages (4C & 5C), which had been caused directly by Christian book burning and rage against anything having to do with freedom of thought.

 As early as the 6C, Pope Gregory the Great insisted that Frankish bishops allowing the teaching of grammar to people should be burned (the Franks ignored him). A millennium later, though, the Pope had Papal states, on which his law and terror of Christ could be extended, something he did not have in the 6C; similarly, Calvin, who enjoyed to see heretics burn slowly, close and personal, controlled Geneva in the 16C, but no religious maniac had any control in the High Middle Ages, a millenium earlier, at least, under the Franks.

 The same holds for anti-Judaism and religious wars: they both thrived in the Fourth and Fifth Century, and were then suppressed by the Franks, and much later resurrected from the dead in the late Middle Ages. The reason was the weakening of Frankish power (which had a strong centralizing theme around Pagan and Secular values) and later political opportunism of local potentates. In the late Middle Ages, nationalizing centers of power played with religious passions as instruments of power amplification (the momentary kicking out of Jews from various places, including Britain and France (13C), being an example).

 To some extent the invasion of Iraq for oil used Christianity in a similar fashion: G. W. Bush told us that “his Higher Father” had told him to invade. A magnificent case of what Sartre called “Bad Faith” (as in his famous garçon de café example). The proximal cause of the invasion of Iraq was the US domination by oil men and a national thirst for oil (Bush called it an “addiction”).

 The proximal causative reason of witch burning was letting Christianity run amok. Climate change was, at best, only weakly correlated to it. It was not directly causative. If it had been, it would have happened everywhere equally, in places equally climate affected, but it did not. By causative contrast, Christianity was directly causative in witch burning. The best proof of this is that witch burning became insignificant and then was made unlawful in the later 17C, although the Little Ice Age was reaching its maximum. Places such as Chamonix in the Alps (invaded by “horrible” glaciers in the 17C), did not burn any witches (although they asked the state to be freed from taxation).

 In Iraq, right now, the proximal causes of murderous violence are the foreign invasion by the self righteous, culturally challenged aliens from the other side of the planet, and a mix of ethnic oppression and Islam run amok. If one climbs high enough in the causation chains, one could of course say that the USA invaded because of energy, and that, along another causation chain, the energy and food crises, by throwing up in the air enormous quantities of greenhouse gases, cause climate change, and thus that, somehow climate change correlates to violence in Iraq. There is something to this kind of murky logics, but not much.

 Direct causation is better. For example, it should have been pretty obvious that, by allowing to use public subsidies and regulations to transmogrify food into fuel, one would get an immediate world food crisis. But never mind: to seduce farmers with a newer, stealthier subsidy, politicians in places such as France and the USA supported ethanol production from food, and the self righteous billionaire Branson fueled a plane with food. Now there are riots around the world caused by food inflation, itself caused by food burning, real and anticipated. And the causation is direct.

***
Patrice Ayme

 P/S: On the Late Middle Ages disturbances. Europe had a huge population by 1,200 CE, with the highest energy usage per inhabitant on the planet (hence the highest wealth per person). People were well fed, many indicators of power and economy were well ahead of the best Rome had provided with, and modern physics and engineering were pushing ahead of the best Antiquity had done. Favored by a peak of warmth around 1,000 CE, the Vikings had reached Greenland and North America (where conflict with the natives, and the moving south of the ice pack made everlasting colonies impossible). Then a number of things went very wrong: first massive ecological problems (due to overpopulation, deforestation and lack of ecological laws), then increasing tensions inside the Franco-British realm, then outright civil war, and the “Black Plague”.

 The Little Ice Age became maximum around 1,650 CE, at a time when religious wars and persecutions and witch burnings were on their way out, and clearly well past their apex (that was sometimes in the 15C). The first Thames frost fair was in 1607; the last in 1814. Amusingly, all sorts of evidence points out that the LIA centered around the century of the Enlightenment, rather than around witch burning! So maybe climate change renders people more intelligent (as it should!)?

 And what of the continual wars during the LIA? Clearly the LIA may have been an aggravating factor, but the proximal cause was the rise of large nationalist states fighting each other: the LIA was essentially a coincidence (England and various French regions had tried to become independent from each other for centuries, before they came to blows).

 

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Applying EQUIPARTITION OF ENERGY To Climate Change PREDICTS WILD WEATHER.

March 8, 2008

Lately, the world weather has been especially perplexing, influenced by the cold ocean temperatures of a La Niña current in the equatorial Pacific. For Earth’s land areas, globally, 2007 was the warmest year on record.

And yet, this year so far, eleven weeks into 2008, we are only March 20, record cold temperatures are more the norm. Global land-surface temperatures are, so far, below the 20th-century mean for the first time since 1982, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Last month in China, snowstorms stranded millions of people, while in Mumbai, officials reported the coldest day in 46 years. Very strange… What happened to global warming? the skeptics, fossil fuel bound, will chuckle. They should ask; what happens with global warming?

Indeed, England basked in its fourth-warmest January since 1914, the British Meteorological Office reported. The crocus and narcissus at the U.K.’s Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew flowered a week earlier than last year — 11 days ahead of their average for the decade and weeks ahead of their pattern in the 1980s. In Prague, New Year’s Day was the warmest since 1775.

It is difficult to judge the significance of what we are seeing this year,” said Kew researcher Sandra Bell. “Is it a glitch or is it the beginning of something more sinister and alarming?“” (Robert Lee Hotz, Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2008).

Difficult? Not all! Expected, is more like it! Many scientists have pondered this question, as if they did not know the answer, but it is a straightforward application of thermodynamics. I demonstrated, and advertized that theorem of mine, years ago. What I discovered is this:

A basic theorem of equilibrium thermodynamics, the EQUIPARTITION OF ENERGY theorem, says that the same amount of energy should be present in all degrees of freedom into which energy can spill. The rise in CO2 density forces more energy in the lower atmosphere by trapping more infrared radiation there (more than half of the atmosphere is below 5,500 meters, about 17, 000 feet).

(How does one demonstrate this theorem? Basically, heat is agitation, kinetic energy at the scale of atoms and molecules. This agitation can spill in a more organized manner, in great ensembles, such as vast low and high pressure systems, or large scale dynamics. See the note on entropy and negative temperatures.)

It gets worse than that: by rising the heat in the lower atmosphere, the over-abundance of CO2 rises the steam, the water vapor, boosting the temperature further as water vapor is even more of a greenhouse gas than CO2! So a nonlinear effect is at work: the heat goes up more than what would expect from the rise of the CO2 density alone…

In the case of meteorology, the EQUIPARTITION OF ENERGY THEOREM implies, oversimplifying a bit, that only one-third of the new supplementary energy injected in the lower atmosphere should go into heat. The rest should go in the two other available dimensions.

Instead everybody seems to be focusing on the augmentation of temperature alone… Until they get hit by an unexpected blizzard from the north… Now, of course, since the energy enters the system as heat, non equilibrium thermodynamics imposes more than one-third of the energy will be heat.

As time goes by, though, the other two degrees of freedom, potential energy (represented as the geometry of gradients of pressures, high and low pressure systems, hurricanes) and dynamics (wind speed and vast movements of air masses of varying temperatures and/or pressure; and the same for sea currents) will also store energy.

Thus the new heat created in the lower atmosphere by the increased CO2 greenhouse will be transformed in all sorts of weather weirdness: heat, cold, high and low pressures, wind, and big moves of big things. Big things such as vast re-arrangements of low and high pressure systems, as observed in the Northern Hemisphere, or the re-arrangement of sea currents as apparently also observed, and certainly as it is expected. Since it happened in the past (flash ice age of the Younger Dryas over Europe, 18,000 years ago).

As cold and warm air masses get thrown about, the variability of temperatures will augment all over.

In other words, record snow and cold in the Alps and record warmth simultaneously in England is a manifestation of the equipartition of energy theorem applied to the greenhouse warming we are experiencing. It is not mysterious at all, and brutal variations such as these, including sudden cold episodes, are to be expected, as more and more energy gets stuffed in the planetary climate, and yanks it away from its previous equilibrium.

Wind speed augmentations have already have a spectacular effect: by shaking the waters of the Austral ocean with increasingly violent waves, carbon dioxyde is being removed as if out of a shaken carbonated drink. Thus the Austral ocean is now a net emitter of CO2(other oceans absorb CO2, and transform it into carbonic acid).

Hence the observed variations are the beginning of something more sinister and alarming. Climate change is changing speed. Up, up, and away.

Patrice Ayme
Patriceayme.com
Patriceayme.wordpress.com.

Note on entropy: Some may object that transforming heat into collective behavior of vast masses of air or sea violates the Second Law Of Thermodynamics, namely that entropy augments always, in any natural process. Well, first of all, the genius of the genus Homo, not to say of all of life itself, rests on local violations of the Second Law. Secondly, the most recent physics recognizes that fundamental considerations allow systems where increased energy lead to increased order (such a system is said to be in a negative temperature state).

Even more revealingly, a massive greenhouse on planet Earth would lead, as happened in the past, to a much more uniform heat, all around the planet, that is, a more ordered state. Meanwhile, the transition to the present order of a temperate climate to the completely different order of an over-heated Earth will bring complete disorder, as observed.