Wednesday, February 5, 2014

This is the page Bold Nebraska set up from a Google web form for Comment submissions online to the ice giants..

Since the world exceeded the mark of 400 ppm CO2 in the summer of 2013, it has become clear that drastic reduction in extraction, refining and burning of fossil fuels is necessary for the continuation of life on this planet as we know it.

We need to conserve energy until we have quickly tapered off the use of fossil fuels and can provide substantially all of our energy needs from renewables.

Any investment and large scale facilitation and development of new fossil fuel sources and infrastructure is out of the question.

We're going in the other direction now.

Forget about earth's irreplaceable resources being somebody's personal possession to be used up for somebody's profit.  That system and approach don't get us to a place where we survive the climate crisis.

It's time to pressure our friends, the Canadians, and the tycoons monopolizing the profitable devastation of the boreal forests and indigenous lands, to cut their losses and stop the assault on the earth and future generations, and leave the carbon in the ground.

We have to cut back on fossil fuels and dismantle the carbon infrastructure starting now.

Proponents would say the energy is going to come out of the ground anyway, so it doesn't make any difference if we build the pipeline or not.  This is anachronistic thinking.  The page of history has turned.

We are out of the fossil fuel energy facilitation and infrastructure business.  We are now in the process of investing our energy capital into renewables and conservation, and we consider countries aggressively conserving fossil fuels to be our friends, friends of the earth, and friends of humanity.

Countries that encourage the exploitation of fossil fuel energy and the development of fossil fuel infrastructure and commerce are assaulting the earth--it's ecological equilibrium--and they are not friends of the life on earth, now or in the future.

What life on earth demands is swift reduction in burning of fossil fuels and DISMANTLING OF INFRASTRUCTURE of fossil fuel energy.

Any other course than this one is an effort by a few people to profit from the destruction of our global ecosystem.  It's time to begin to save the planet now, in every possible way, not later.  Leave the tar sands in the ground:  no pipeline.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Jill Stein and Margaret Flowers on Bill Moyers 11/17/2013

Full Show: The Path of Positive Resistance | Moyers & Company |

Amazing what light shone from my television screen tonight.

All of them kept saying, "The media won't cover any of this," and "We have to undertake this effort to organize for change without the prospect of widespread recognition, if any at all."

Both Stein and Flowers iterated that our political system is now incapable of serving the public interest, and is, in fact, only capable of predatory activities.

We still have a window to save ourselves from the deadly corruption in our food, education, energy, transportation, and medical (just to name a few) systems.  But now the window is short, and will be closed in a few years.

That's because when the window was long, we ignored it.

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 14, 2013

Tonight was the Counter Recruitment presentation at Goddard with some teenagers telling us about how they inform their peers about the true nature of the armed forces.  Apparently kids feel they have to go into the armed forces because college is so expensive now.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Suicide in Which Sense?

Inside the Republican Suicide Machine, an article by Tim Dickinson in the October 9th edition of Rolling Stone, attempts to uncover the funding, organizational and ideological split currently severing the Republican Party, and leading to the shutdown.

The article does reveal how the Citizens United deregulation of campaign finance has turned the US House of Representatives into the private fief of a handful of billionaires and gigantic political action committees.
Last November, this redistricting effort produced a shocking subversion of representative democracy. In the popular vote, almost 1.4 million more Americans cast their votes for Democratic House candidates than voted for Republicans. But Republicans maintained a commanding majority in the House. "Gerrymandering saved them," says Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
It's become frighteningly apparent to the rest of the world, if not to Americans, that our political system is unstable and unable to serve the best interests of the majority of people inside, as well as outside the United States.

But the problem is more than just disagreements over the budget.  The question of whether the masses can govern ourselves or whether wealthy self-appointed feudal lords will hold the reins of power is not going to be resolved by 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans between now and December 15.  That's the divide behind the disfunction.  "Less government" is a euphemism for "less democracy."

"Common Ground," is the watchword of the day. Just as many wealthier Americans see the poor and needy as unworthy of Federal aid--or even food, health care and education--many working and middle class people see the wealthy as greedy and grotesquely over privileged.

As much as we would like to oppose "them" with the wealth and status belonging to "us," an honest look at reality shows that to be a false and harmful contrast.

Historically, people who work hard, successfully, and benefit society the most, don't grow wealthy from it.

In fact, in an unregulated capitalist system such as we have now, gigantic concentrations of society's wealth accrue not to the most deserving, but rather empower single families or small groups to completely dominate government, media, energy, warfare and vast swaths of economic and political activity. Such dominance is usually the result of inheritance or some combination of timing and luck, but is ultimately completely disproportionate to the individual's contribution to society.  But Feudalism is a doomed economic model.

Even the brightest, most industrious individual could produce scant lasting wealth outside of the context of a healthy society and government. Government is the soil in which capital grows.

Everybody agrees that those who contribute most are entitled to more rewards than those of us who contribute less.  But it's the wealth of generations, of society as a whole, that circulates through our economy, not the wealth of individuals.  Yet, regardless of the value or harm of their role in society, individuals in our system can lay claim to fortunes, not of their own creation, but cultivated by the flow of wealth through history, social progress, and technological development wrought by generations of hard working progenitors and fortuitous laws and political circumstances.

But why would the masses be interested in perpetuating a system where the richest 400 people own as much wealth as the poorest 150 million? An economic system that creates and exacerbates such disparities is doomed.  People would be unreasonable to tolerate it.

Tax rates and government priorities change over time. We had forty years of higher taxes, and now we've had thirty years of lower taxes.

It's strange that we who have benefitted so much from the investment and sacrifice of those in the past, would resist government social investment through taxes upon large amounts of the wealth we consider to be "ours,"  when such bridge-building, wetlands preservation or scientific research would greatly enrich posterity.  Granting that innovators and inventors of penicillin or laptop computers should prosper, most of the innovation and invention involved is the bequest of previous generations, and should therefore benefit society at large, not just a few fortunate individuals.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Today the EPA held Listening Sessions here in Manhattan.  Members of the public were invited to express their thoughts and concerns regarding regulations on existing coal-fired power plant emissions the EPA is going to propose in June of 2014.

You had to sign up to speak, and they gave you three minutes.

My say so went something like this:
We are revelers out at a fine restaurant, enjoying every delicacy of nature, but when the bill arrives, each of us turns and looks the other way.  We don't want to pick up our tab.

We're happily determined to use as much energy as we can to satiate, enrich and insulate ourselves from the rigors of nature, as long as we can ignore the cost.  The Obama Administration's pollution standards for existing power plants are inadequate.  And it is no longer reasonable for people to tolerate the large scale burning of coal and other fossil fuels for any purpose.

We need a big carbon tax.  
As long as we don't see the gutted mountain ranges, the smothered valleys and toxic streams and rivers, we play on in our dream of profit and prosperity.
As long as we don't see or smell the billowing smoke, the declining species of birds and wildlife, the climate devastation of drought and forest fire--as long as we don't see the cancer and asthma--we can turn on our electronic entertainment, our computers, our air conditioners with a carefree push on the on/off button.

I've grown up in a society believing progress is any and all economic growth, and cheap energy consumption fuels this delusion of progress.  But this concept is fatally flawed.  We are not only committing mass suicide, but we're perpetrating a mass extinction upon this entire planet right now.  We've burned a trillion tons of coal out of the ground, and we've put so much CO2 into the atmosphere,  the world is saturated.

Forty years ago we knew it was time to scale down our energy consumption and taper off of fossil fuels.  Remember?

What happened in the interim?  The fossil fuel industrialists hijacked our government, including our energy policy, and subordinated everything on earth underneath the economic principles of unrestrained growth and unlimited consumption.  And this is the end.  It's too late for coal now.

This August it rained three days in a row in Ulster county, and on the fourth day the ground in my yard was so hard and dry, it seemed like a place where it hadn't rained in weeks.  We passed 400 parts per million CO2 this summer.  The hell with money and energy, as human beings our first responsibility is to safeguard this planet, or do we think some other species is going to do that for us?

The increasing desperation of wildlife facing extinction far outweighs the cost to humans of energy conservation.

Please exercise common sense restraint and get us off coal now.  The cost to the environment is the bill we must pay, and it's already much higher than we can afford.  Conserve.  Conserve energy.   A future is now the price of coal and fossil fuel generated electricity.
About 50 people spoke.  The Administrators were very receptive to the audience and really extended the sense of inclusion in the policy formation process.