Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Endgame


This Deep Water Horizon disaster image is more then just apt when it comes to what's happening with Trump, Mueller, the Deep State and the 2016 election as all the entities listed here have secrets to tell, secrets that could lead to a civil war of a most pernicious kind. To whit.



To yours truly, money laundering, combined with greed and connects to the Russians in hopes of building a Trump tower in Moscow, combined with illegal payments made to relevant parties (Stormy et al) is the crux of Trump's problems, not treason and collusion with the Russians on trying to game the election as the resources needed to hack the system at the levels needed to do the job have not been found by the Mueller team at this point in time. With this in mind, read Kunstler's Capture the Flag piece in its entirety. Makes a lot of sense whether one likes Trump or not as the questions raised regarding these matters are worth considering without question.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Some damn good suggestions ...


Every once in a great while, a politician actually has some damn good ideas relating to governance and how this arcane art form can be fixed for the better, something John Dingell delivers in spades in The Atlantic article titled. ...


Here, then, are some specific suggestions—and they are only just that, suggestions—for a framework that might help restore confidence and trust in our precious system of government:

An electoral system based on full participation. At age 18, you are automatically registered to vote. No photo ID, no residency tests, no impediments of any kind. Advances in technology can make this happen effortlessly. Yes, voting should be restricted only to American citizens. Strict protections against foreign meddling are also necessary.

The elimination of money in campaigns. Period. Elections, like military service—each is an example of duty, honor, and service to country—should be publicly funded. Can you imagine if we needed to rely on wealthy donors to fund the military? I know there are those who genuinely believe in privatizing everything. They are called profiteers.

The end of minority rule in our legislative and executive branches. The Great Compromise, as it was called when it was adopted by the Constitution’s Framers, required that all states, big and small, have two senators. The idea that Rhode Island needed two U.S. senators to protect itself from being bullied by Massachusetts emerged under a system that governed only 4 million Americans.

Today, in a nation of more than 325 million and 37 additional states, not only is that structure antiquated, it’s downright dangerous. California has almost 40 million people, while the 20 smallest states have a combined population totaling less than that. Yet because of an 18th-century political deal, those 20 states have 40 senators, while California has just two. These sparsely populated, usually conservative states can block legislation supported by a majority of the American people. That’s just plain crazy.

All that needed to complete Dingell's suggestions include ...
  1. Term limits for all 3 branches of government.
  2. End to gerrymandering.
  3. Add referendums on issues like declaring war as Congress should not have total control to commit this country to illegal fubars like Vietnam and W's excellent adventure in Iraq, not to mention never ending lost causes like Afghanistan.
  4. Two years service to the country for kids before college. Military or civilian, it makes no difference as JFK was right. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.


Wednesday, December 05, 2018

50 50 @ best ...


The Taj Mahal is dying thanks to man's never ending ability to soil the planet and it's treasures no matter what the cost may be.


Greenland's ice is melting at ever increasing rates due, in part, to the loss of albedo in the Arctic, a prime driver in accelerating global warming on planet earth.





Like Greenland's ice sheet ... 


The world’s greenhouse gas emissions are rising at a faster pace in 2018 than they did last year, researchers said Wednesday, the latest evidence that planet-warming pollution is proliferating again after a three-year lull in the middle of the decade. That trend is accelerating the earth’s collision course with some of the most severe consequences of climate change, scientists warned.

Worldwide, carbon emissions are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018, according to studies published in three respected scientific journals by the Global Carbon Project. Emissions rose 1.6 percent last year, the researchers said.

James Lovelock was right. We're screwed. Earth will survive but us? 50 50 @ best if we stay the present course as we move further into the 21st century.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Killing me slowly ...


For the past couple of months, yours truly has tried to focus on the essential terrestrial organisms that, if eliminated from the environment, would cause environmental collapse. With this in mind, insects are prime candidates as they inhabit every continent (including Antarctica's Belgica antarctica, the Antarctic midge) and are intimately involved with all aspects of life on this planet as we know it. Note: We haven't even talked about the sea and land-based microfauna and flora, the baseline lifeforms on which all life on this planet depends. Note II: The oceans are not part of this blurb although it too is under the same amount of manmade stress as well.


Because insects are legion, inconspicuous and hard to meaningfully track, the fear that there might be far fewer than before was more felt than documented. People noticed it by canals or in backyards or under streetlights at night — familiar places that had become unfamiliarly empty. The feeling was so common that entomologists developed a shorthand for it, named for the way many people first began to notice that they weren’t seeing as many bugs. They called it the windshield phenomenon.

When the investigators began planning the study in 2016, they weren’t sure if anyone would sign up. But by the time the nets were ready, a paper by an obscure German entomological society had brought the problem of insect decline into sharp focus. The German study found that, measured simply by weight, the overall abundance of flying insects in German nature reserves had decreased by 75 percent over just 27 years. If you looked at midsummer population peaks, the drop was 82 percent.


Let's think about this while reading Bill McKibben's  in-depth New Yorker article stating the fact earth, in terms of arable use, is shrinking every day due to GW, environmental degradation and resource depletion.

The poorest and most vulnerable will pay the highest price. But already, even in the most affluent areas, many of us hesitate to walk across a grassy meadow because of the proliferation of ticks bearing Lyme disease which have come with the hot weather; we have found ourselves unable to swim off beaches, because jellyfish, which thrive as warming seas kill off other marine life, have taken over the water. The planet’s diameter will remain eight thousand miles, and its surface will still cover two hundred million square miles. But the earth, for humans, has begun to shrink, under our feet and in our minds.

The Anthropocene is gathering speed as we speak.

Killing me slowly indeed.

Late Fall | 2018


A short clip showing the end of fall starting from strong winds on a crisp fall day to quietude to the max on a full moon night in the environs of Fairfield, CT. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Road to Hell ...


BRT has waxed poetic about Global Warming and the ramifications of same beginning with James Lovelock's dire warning regarding GW in 2007 to 2018 with this latest piece from Aeon describing the anthropogenic version of a new Cretaceous with horrifying consequences that will end civilization as we know it by 2100 if nothing is done.

Last November, the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn reported that warming by 3°C by 2100 is now the realistic expectation. With no check on emissions, we are on course to see preindustrial levels of CO2 double (from 280 to 560 ppm, or parts per million) by 2050 – and then double again by 2100. In short, we’ll be generating climate conditions last experienced during the Cretaceous period (145-65.95 million years ago) when CO2 levels reached over 1,000 ppm. What might that mean, given that we already achieve such levels of CO2 in bedrooms at night and in poorly ventilated crowded places, and when we know that, under sustained conditions of such high carbon-dioxide concentration, people suffer severe cognitive problems?

It gets "better".

We have recently become aware of a red line that humans are going to hit long before we approach Cretaceous conditions. In 2010, researchers showed that our species cannot survive for more than six hours at what’s called a ‘wet bulb’ temperature of 35°C (95°F). Wet bulb here means 100 per cent humidity, so it’s not 35°C as we know it. But in the great Indian agricultural belts of the Indus and Ganges, high-40s temperatures combined with 50 per cent humidity (which equates to that wet-bulb temperature of 35°C ) are going to prevail within decades.

While this is happening in hot agricultural regions, the urban world will face a perhaps even greater catastrophe. The UN’s most-likely temperature-rise prediction of 3°C would see forests growing in the Arctic, and entail the loss of most coastal cities through irreversible sea-level rise by the end of the century.

30 years ago we could have stopped this slow motion disaster but did not. To whit ...

Is it a comfort or a curse, the knowledge that we could have avoided all this?

Because in the decade that ran from 1979 to 1989, we had an excellent opportunity to solve the climate crisis. The world’s major powers came within several signatures of endorsing a binding, global framework to reduce carbon emissions — far closer than we’ve come since. During those years, the conditions for success could not have been more favorable. The obstacles we blame for our current inaction had yet to emerge. Almost nothing stood in our way — nothing except ourselves.



The Road to Hell ... indeed.

Thanks John for turning me onto this.