Archive for the ‘War and Peace’ Category

OTHER MEN DIE

August 22, 2016
Victory is a state of mind.

Victory is a state of mind.

OTHER MEN DIE

And the old vet was up in his studio bedroom in Mom’s attic

Painting magic eyeballs on his fingertips

To go with the mystic spirals on the backs of his hands

And he told us about seagulls in the early dawn

Of feeding them barehanded

Palms stretched to the skies

Lying upon his back on the wet sand

Observing the feathered feeding frenzy

Of the messy, greedy birds

That pecked his fingers and palms and wrists

Opening red puncture wounds

And he loved it

Because it brought him

So close to life.

And I saw that vet by another name

Sitting cross-legged in swim briefs

In wind-tossed dune reed grass

In cold wind whistling off a Winter Pacific

And I asked

“Why do you sit in the freezing cold, Shane?”

And he replied

“Because, at least I know I’m alive.”

And so it goes

jl/PDX/1-13

A Decent World

WAGING WAR FROM A BURNING HOUSE

No More Troops to Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, so forth, so on

Dear President Obama,

Stop sending troops to Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, so forth, so on.

I am a Vietnam Era veteran.  We stood nearly twenty years while our military-industrial complex ruined Vietnam.  Our prolonged stay, and side invasions of Cambodia and Laos, generationally disrupted and destabilized Southeast Asia, distorted America’s rule of law, and led directly to the present Reagan-Bush corporatist neo-conservative miasma.

Look at how the radical right Republicans have warped the nation they want us to fight for, die for, and honor.  The self-destructive insanity of the radical right Republican way of war makes it looks as if the bad guys have already won.  We are fighting a war for the life of the republic, as a result.

These are politically motivated corporatist wars, fought to extremes because of ill-informed egos and profit.  These bloody-handed murderers-by-proxy began their plunder of the American nation by taking the Peace Dividend away from us after the Berlin Wall fell.  They shifted to terrorism as the object of their monolithic war machine, and plunged the whole world into wrack and ruin.  Bush’s indefensible “give war a chance” was disgusting; so is Obama’s continued pursuit of it.

End the war now, no matter how wimpy it looks to arrested-adolescent bullyboys, or corporatist oil barons and banksters.  We’ve got a lot of positive work to do, and one dollar spent on peace really is worth ten wasted in war!

laststroke

AND WHAT ABOUT THESE MERCENARY BANDITS YOU HIRED?

Quit outsourcing government jobs to private contractors.  The People can get the job done better for less cost and for the community’s and not just a few individuals’ profit.

The performance of mission critical security functions by profit-driven contractors is counterproductive and often immoral and criminal.

It’s bad for the morale of our real American troops to see these overpaid and pampered bought-and-sold mercenaries.  I know because I have nephews and nieces who have served in our military in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Talk to real American troops to hear it.

Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s list of inherently governmental functions that these mercenaries must not perform should include: guard services, convoy security services, pass and identification services, plant protection services, the operation of prison or detention facilities, and any security operations that might reasonably require the use of deadly force; and, from support of intelligence activities (including covert operations), interrogation, military and police training, and repair and maintenance of weapon systems.

Machiavelli famously wrote that mercenaries might be trusted for only two things: to demand more money; and to run out when the chips are down.  Don’t buy champagne for mercenaries, use our money wisely to equip and protect our real American troops.

Finally, have you given any thought as to what is to happen if these mercenaries decide they’ve got a better business proposition from our archenemies?  Or, face unemployment?  In Europe unemployed mercenaries set off the Hundred Years’ War, which might properly be called the “Rape, Murder and Plunder Crusade.”  The “Holy Crusades” were invented by the Pope as a safety vent to send these murder mavens packing out of town to do their dirty deeds. We prefer killing “heathens” to our own to this very day. But that can change.

STOP - SAVE

Don’t forget to click on the images for MORE information, or a larger image. Keep on keepin’ on, and don’t forget to salute the Man in the Moon. We’re in this together. All the best! j

Advertisements

CORRUPTING ELECTION 2014 and BEYOND

July 11, 2016

facistamerikka2

Dirty oil thieves who hide their evil deeds.

While Charles and David Koch remain largely unknown figures to the majority of the American public, with 52 percent recently reporting they have never heard of them, the reality is that the brothers are arguably the most powerful and influential people in Washington — and they’ve never even been elected to office. The public is largely unaware that the Koch brothers are doing everything they can to suppress voter rights, re-segregate public schools, weaken Environmental Protection Agency regulations and privatize Social Security. They are basically fascists – Mussolini’s original definition of ‘fascism’ is ‘corporate merger with the state.’ Say hello to the new masters. Or vote against all their sleazy corrupted candidates and fight for our democratic constitution and a free republic.

SIGN PETITION – OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED – WIN THE UNITED STATES BACK FOR WE, THE PEOPLE.

https://movetoamend.org/petition

scotus3smavacancy

prickuskochussmilus2wdon

“THERE WILL BE A RECKONING”

February 25, 2015

‘There Will Be A Reckoning’
by Jon Queally, Common Dreams, February 25, 2015
Environmental visionary Lester Brown delivers stark warning over dust bowl conditions spreading over Africa and Asia.
dust_storm
A satellite captured a 2001 dust storm swirling over China. The storm eventually crossed the Pacific and reached the United States. (Photo: NASA)

On the verge of retirement, noted environmentalist and celebrated systems analyst Lester Brown has a dire warning for the world he has spent more than half a century advising on issues of food and energy policy: there is no end in sight for the interrelated scourge of climate change, global poverty and hunger.

In fact, according to Brown, in several vulnerable areas around the world, the situation may be about to go from very bad to much worse.

“We are pushing against the limits of land that can be plowed and the land available for grazing and there are two areas of the world in which we are in serious trouble now,” said Brown, who founded both the Worldwatch Institute and the Earth Policy Institute, in an interview with the Guardian’s environment correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg.

“One is the Sahel region of Africa, from Senegal to Somalia,” explained Brown. “There is a huge dust bowl forming now that is actually stretching right across the continent and that dust bowl is removing a lot of top soil, so eventually they will be in serious trouble.”

At some point soon, he added, “there will be a reckoning” in those regions.

According to this NPR report from November, based on the work of the Earth Policy Institute, the dust bowl conditions forming in northern Africa and across central Asia are already having dire consequences:

In China, dust storms have become almost an annual occurrence since 1990, compared to every 31 years on average historically. In northern China and Mongolia, two large deserts — the Badain Jaran and the Tengger — are expanding and merging, often swirling together in massive sand storms when strong winds blow through each spring. The Gobi desert is also growing, inching ever-closer to Beijing as the grasslands at its edges deteriorate.

Meanwhile, in the Sahel region of Africa, millions of acres are turning to desert each year in countries including Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. Dust from Chad’s Bodele Depression been traveling the globe for many centuries — in fact, scientists think it helped make the Amazon fertile. But the amount of dust blowing out of West Africa has increased in the last 40 years. Dust clouds from the Sahara can affect air quality as far away as Houston, and may even harm Caribbean coral reefs.

According to Brown, as the situation worsens in these areas, the impacts will likely be much worse than they were in the United States during the 1930s. “Our dust bowl was serious,” Brown explained to Goldenberg, “but it was confined and within a matter of years we had it under control … these two areas don’t have that capacity.”

The warning over soil erosion and the unsustainable farming practices that currently dominate large swaths of the planet have been on the mind of ecologists and agricultural experts for decades. As the threat of global warming has entered the public debate, the stakes have only intensified. Brown was among the first and most thorough minds to set attention on the threat of planetary climate change, devoting an entire series of books—collectively titled Plan B—which assess and put forth solutions to the approaching crisis. The most recent edition is Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization.

However, in a statement last month, Brown announced that he would officially retire later this year and wind down the Earth Policy Institute following the publication of his next book, The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy.

“After careful consideration of my life at 80 years,” announced Brown in the statment, “and with profound appreciation to my staff, collaborators and supporters, I have decided to step down as president of the Earth Policy Institute and end its work as of July 1, 2015.”

Brown continued, “I believe the Earth Policy Institute has accomplished what we set out to do when we began in 2001, and now it is time for me to make a shift and no longer carry the responsibility of managing an organization. I plan to continue to research and write on issues that I believe I can add to in some meaningful way.”

Speaking with Goldenberg, Danielle Nierenberg, who joined Worldwatch in 2001 and went on to co-found her own institute, Food Tank, said the world owes much to Brown for his decades of work and unique vision.

“He’s the godfather of merging environmental and food issues,” said Nierenberg. “If you are talking about food and the environment, everybody looks to Lester Brown.”

As the world continues to grapple with the catastrophes spurred by our own human development, Brown wrote this in the introduction to Plan B 4.0: “The question we face is not what we need to do, because that seems rather clear to those who are analyzing the global situation. The challenge is how to do it in the time available. Unfortunately, we don’t know how much times remains. Nature is the timekeeper but we cannot see the clock.

He continued, “The thinking that got us into this mess it not likely to get us out. We need a new mindset.”

The last question society should ask, he concluded, is whether or not what needs to be done is considered possible.

kochs_weekly_standard2a

LONG HISTORY OF STOPPING PROGRESS:

October 29, 2014

bloodoilkoch

MEET THE BILLIONAIRE BASTARDS WHO WANT TO CONTROL OUR LIVES:

The Koch brothers clearly have a financial stake in blocking reform. Koch Industry oil refineries are major carbon dioxide polluters, and Georgia-Pacific, a Koch Industries timber subsidiary, is one of the largest contributors to the loss of carbon-sink capacity. According to the EPA, Koch Industries is responsible for over many hundreds of oil spills in the U.S. and has leaked millions of gallons of crude oil into fisheries and drinking waters. Their opposition is a long family tradition of trying to shift the country to the far right. Fred Koch, father of Charles and David helped to found the John Birch Society in the late 1950s. The John Birch Society harnessed Cold War fears into hate against progressives, warning that President Kennedy, Civil Rights activists, and organized labor were in league with communists. His sons continue to galvanize hundreds of thousands of middle class people into supporting the Kochs’ narrow agenda of cutting corporate taxes and avoiding consumer regulations to the ruin of our equality and democracy. IMO, the Koch brothers are traitors guilty of treason against the constitutional government of the United States and
should be broke and in jail.

The Kochs are dirty oil thieves who hide their evil deeds.

While Charles and David Koch remain largely unknown figures to the majority of the American public, with 52 percent recently reporting they have never heard of them, the reality is that the brothers are arguably the most powerful and influential people in Washington — and they’ve never even been elected to office. The public is largely unaware that the Koch brothers are doing everything they can to suppress voter rights, re-segregate public schools, weaken Environmental Protection Agency regulations and privatize Social Security. They are basically fascists – Mussolini’s original definition of ‘fascism’ is ‘corporate merger with the state.’ Say hello to the new masters. Or vote against all their sleazy corrupted candidates and fight for our democratic constitution and a free republic.

kochs_weekly_standard2a
SIGN PETITION – OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED – WIN THE UNITED STATES BACK FOR WE, THE PEOPLE.

*We the People, Not We the Corporations*
On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule.

*We Move to Amend.*
http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/petition

scotus3sm

Click image above for larger view of “The Palace”

DO AWAY WITH ARMIES FOR MEMORIAL DAY

May 24, 2013
"FILL 'ER UP!"

“FILL ‘ER UP!”

[CLICK the PICS for more information, LINKS]

EXIT STRATEGY

There are at least three major institutions on earth that have outlived their usefulness and become baldly destructive and should be done away with: corporations, armies and religions. “Armies” will unnerve some, but think of it, without corporations and religions most of the causes of war will evaporate. Plus, wholesale murder is no longer profitable (if it ever was, beyond the obscene success of a very few greedy people) and generally accomplishes nothing (e.g. 50 years after the Korean War the peninsula is still militarized, divided and unstable). The emerging moral is that we should grow up, stop fighting like schoolyard bullies over whose dog is prettiest and who gets all the marbles, and begin to cooperate with one another for the purpose of sharing this shrinking world and its dwindling resources without turning into maddened overcrowded cannibalistic rats in a global-sized cage.

A Decent World

A Decent World

I am a veteran and senior citizen.

The war in Iraq was a personal project for George W. Bush, using American lives and treasure.  He effectively ruined the world’s finest military.  He fought like the boneheaded novice that he is, and like British General Kitchener at Gallipoli, observing allied troops running uphill against heavy Turkish guns at his order, said, “Stout fellows, they always run for the thickest part of the fence.”

Added to which, Bush’s expensive technological war toys often did not work.  They were only designed to fill the pockets of his war-profiteering cronies; that’s what they were meant to accomplish.

Colin Powell said, “Don’t get into war unless it’s absolutely necessary, and when we do, go to win, no half measures,” but it doesn’t apply very much in real life.

As a Vietnam veteran, I know Johnson‘s phony Gulf of Tonkin Incident fished us into war (I was drafted).  He bought into the radical right’s communist containment scare.  The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars wrote:

“In part, the process of deception has also been unintentional.  Much of the rhetoric and many of the actions that have accompanied our… involvement have been ad hoc responses to situations of stress: a cumulative series of reflex moves and lunges produced by deepening executive anxiety, defensiveness, alarm, desperation, and even a sensed state of siege.  Similarly in rhetoric, our ‘national honor,’ ‘[enemies] with nuclear weapons,’ and the goal of ‘peace with honor’ – all have misled the public.  At the root of executive deception is a vast amount of executive self-deception – or, to put it bluntly, stupidity.”

America blithely ignores offers of friendship and makes enemies as fast as we can throw the first sucker punch.  This is not military sense; it’s a bad case of ideology and invention over reason and fact.  But, Americans don’t run out when the fight’s tough – see: Khe San.  We stood nearly twenty years (dating from Eisenhower putting the first American boots on the ground in the Fifties when the French got tossed out) while our military-industrial complex ruined Vietnam.  Our prolonged stay, and Nixon’s side invasions of Cambodia and Laos, generationally disrupted and destabilized Southeast Asia, distorted America’s rule of law, and led directly to the Bush leadership miasma; and our present dilemma under Obama.

We are now fighting a war for the health and life of the republic. Look at how the radical right Republicans and Tea Party and War Democrats have warped the nation they want us to fight for, die for, and honor! The self-destructive insanity of the radical right way of war makes it looks as if the bad guys have already won.

These are politically motivated wars, fought to extremes because of ill-informed egos and profit.  Bush’s indefensible “give war a chance” was disgusting; so is Obama’s current pursuit of it.  End our wars now, no matter how wimpy it looks to arrested-adolescent bullyboys. It is time to grow up. No more useless bloodshed!

We’ve got a lot of positive work to do, and one dollar spent on peace really is worth ten wasted in war!

EATTHERICH23

TRINITY TRIPTYCH

May 12, 2013
TRINITY TRIPTYCH. Art Liberation Project, c. JLegry 2012a

TRINITY TRIPTYCH. Art Liberation Project, c. JLegry 2012a

A monk-warrior in the Kingdom of Heaven says:

“By the word ‘religion,’ I’ve seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called the will of god. I’ve seen too much religion in the eyes of too many murderers. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves, and goodness. What god desires is your head and your heart, by what you decide every day, you will be a good man [or woman], or not.”

There are those who will say that if there is not a personified God, humankind will perish. However, God (if present) is universal and not capable of personification, denomination, or ritualization. God is the human concept of a Perfect Platonic Being: One and all, hen kai pan. God is life, not dogma. God is curiosity and learning, not brainwashing and stagnation. God is an ideal, an example for emulation, an aspiration, a romance, an invitation to speculation, not a non-profit corporation, theme park, or big black carpet-draped rock.  Émile Zola wrote, “Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.”

There are at least three major institutions on earth that have outlived their usefulness and become baldly destructive and should be done away with: corporations, armies and religions. “Armies” will unnerve some, but think of it, without corporations and religions most of the causes of war will evaporate. Plus, wholesale murder is no longer profitable (if it ever was, beyond the obscene success of a very few greedy people) and generally accomplishes nothing (e.g. 50 years after the Korean War the peninsula is still militarized, divided and unstable). The emerging moral is that we should grow up, stop fighting like schoolyard bullies over whose dog is prettiest and who gets all the marbles, and begin to cooperate with one another for the purpose of sharing this shrinking world and its dwindling resources without turning into maddened overcrowded cannibalistic rats in a global-sized cage.

We Move to Amend.We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

  • Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
  • Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
  • Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.

Signed by 298,363 and counting . . . CONTACT: http://www.movetoamend.org/

FatLemon Sez

WHILE ROME BURNS

February 16, 2013
The ONLY sure cure for the planet and the country is to CLEAN HOUSE OF REPUGLICONS AND TEA POTTIERS.

The ONLY sure cure for the planet and the country is to CLEAN HOUSE OF REPUGLICONS AND TEA POTTIERS.

The Republicans are bought into the craziness at a very deep level.  They will not get better.  They will explode or fizzle out, but they will not get “well.”  These sick puppies prefer revolution and the overthrow of the United States government to honest political dialog and debate.  We really need to put these crazies into the booby hatch. At very least, we must stop giving them political credibility.

The political instrument of moneyed elites, and a retrograde societal force, the GOP today is more negative than ever.  Its agenda, if fully implemented, would prove catastrophic. Here’s what an unfettered Republican Party would do “for” America:

1)      Greatly reduce or entirely eliminate taxes on the rich, forcing working families to make up revenue shortfalls.

2)      Bust labor unions, and prevent collective bargaining for wages and benefits.

3)      Stubbornly deny the climate change while pumping more pollutants into the environment from dirty industries and practices.

4)      Remove regulations on investment banks and credit card companies eroding consumer protections.

5)      Continue to criticize and under fund public education, advocating private schooling instead, to dumb workers down.

6)      Outlaw abortion, under a moral guise, impelling thousands of functioning females to perish because of sexist denials of their basic rights.

7)      Continue to recite a Pledge of Allegiance whose last six words are “with liberty and justice for all,” while harassing homosexual citizens.

8)      Speak often and loftily of freedom, but engage in neo-McCarthyite witch hunts, Red-baiting name calling, and a host of Patriot Act sins against the U. S. Constitution in the name of “national security.”

9)      Bully the world with US aggressions on foreign soil, kill countless thousands of innocents, waste billions of badly-needed dollars, and make us hated around the planet.

10)  Generally drive down the income levels of America’s working-class majority, as a cost-saving corporate measure, dooming society to economic ruin!

11)  Lie about affordable health care for all, creating a national security threat by fooling some Americans into thinking that public health care is a godless socialist attack on basic American freedoms.

12)  Unleash de facto ethnic cleansing against 12 million immigrant men, women, and children, blaming them for hardships experienced due to capitalist excess.

13)  Shamefully try to revise the Bible to obscure passages that place human need before abject greed as one conservative group is really trying to do!

14)  Support intensely bigoted hatred that has crazed extremists dreaming of literally tearing Barack Obama to pieces and gassing all liberals.

15)  Place the livelihoods and lives of over 300 million Americans in the hands of incompetent ideological “purists” such as Grover Norquist and Paul Ryan.

While there are certainly Democrats who’ve yet to show spine in furtherance of vital change, let’s be absolutely clear about the unmitigated disaster that would follow if Republicans, in their present ultra-rightist incarnation, ruled our country exactly as they wickedly wished.

We Move to Amend.We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

  • Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
  • Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
  • Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.

Signed by 291,492 and counting . . . CONTACT: http://www.movetoamend.org/

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

February 16, 2013
"So how about those Mets? Hear about the Big Meteor? Almost the size of a refrigerator, they say!"

“So how about those Mets? Hear about the Big Meteor? Almost the size of a refrigerator, they say!”

While the press keeps us dazzled with meteors, this…
New record low Arctic sea ice extent, reached in September 2012, compared to the average summer minimum extent for the last 30 years in yellow. Source: NASA. http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/02/15-6

Sierra Club president just said that we have to knock off two-thirds of all petrochemical sources now extant if we hope to have a chance. The powers and the public have their heads so far up their own “rabbit holes” “under the sand” that they only see daylight when they pass more gas.
And, Obama’s guys are thinking fracking for gas isn’t such a bad thing!
‘Forward’ on Fracking? Obama Scientist Makes Industry-Friendly Push for Gas Drilling Bonanza.
Despite grave concerns about methane emissions and groundwater contamination signals show that White House push forward with controversial gas fracking.
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/02/16-0

WHY DON'T WE ALL CHIP IN AND GET THESE GUYS A CRIMINAL INDICTMENT?

WHY DON’T WE ALL CHIP IN AND GET THESE GUYS A CRIMINAL INDICTMENT?

 

DENIAL NO LONGER AN OPTION

September 24, 2010

Arctic Ice Death Spiral

UPDATE POSTED February 15.  Scientists Confirm: Arctic Sea Ice ‘Collapse’ at Our Door. Warming planet and new evidence portends future of ice-free Arctic. Arctic sea ice volume in 1000s of cubic kilometers. The Arctic Sea is experiencing rapid ice loss at a pace so fast that the area will soon be ice-free in warmer months — showing a collapse in total sea ice volume to one fifth of its level in 1980.
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/02/15-6

ARCTIC ICE IN DEATH SPIRAL by Stephen Leahy September 20, 2010 by Inter Press ServiceUXBRIDGE, Canada – Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have now melted the Arctic sea ice to its lowest volume since before the rise of human civilisation and dangerously upset the energy balance of the entire planet, climate scientists report.

Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the U.S. City of Boulder, Colorado told IPS. “I stand by my previous statements that the Arctic summer sea ice cover is in a death spiral. It’s not going to recover.”

There can be no recovery because tremendous amounts of extra heat are added every summer to the region as more than 2.5 million square kilometres of the Arctic Ocean have been opened up to the heat of the 24-hour summer sun. A warmer Arctic Ocean not only takes much longer to re-freeze, it emits huge volumes of additional heat energy into the atmosphere, disrupting the weather patterns of the northern hemisphere. Trapping all that additional heat has impacts and those will grow in the future.

If the global average temperature increases from the present 0.8 C to two degrees C, as seems likely, the entire Arctic region will warm at least four to six degrees and possibly eight degrees due to a series of processes and feedbacks called Arctic amplification. “I hate to say it but I think we are committed to a four- to six-degree warmer Arctic,” Serreze said.

If the Arctic becomes six degrees warmer, half the world’s permafrost will likely thaw, probably to a depth of a few metres, releasing most of the carbon and methane accumulated there over thousands of years, said Vladimir Romanovsky of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and a world expert on permafrost. Methane is a global warming gas approximately 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2).

There are no good estimates of how much CO2 and methane is being released. “Methane is always there anywhere you drill through the permafrost,” Romanovsky noted.

Much of the permafrost thaw would happen at the beginning of a massive 50-year meltdown because of rapid feedbacks. Emissions of CO2 and methane from thawing permafrost are not factored into the global climate models and it will be several years before this can be done.

Present pledges by governments to reduce emissions will still result in a global average temperature increase of 3.5 to 3.9 C by 2100, according to the latest analysis. That would result in an Arctic that’s 10 to 16 degrees C warmer, releasing most of the permafrost carbon and methane and unknown quantities of methane hydrates.

This why some climate scientists are calling for a rapid phaseout of fossil fuels, recommending that fossil fuel emissions peak by 2015 and decline three per cent per year. But even then there’s still a 50-percent probability of exceeding two degrees C current studies show. If the emissions peak is delayed until 2025, then global temperatures will rise to three degrees C, the Arctic will be eight to 10 degrees warmer and the world will lose most its permafrost.

Meanwhile, a new generation of low-cost, thin-film solar roof and outside wall coverings being made today has the potential to eliminate burning coal and oil to generate electricity, energy experts believe – if governments have the political will to fully embrace green technologies. Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/09/20-2

 

The Selling of America

 

ELIZABETH WARREN IN OFFICE – BUT NOT IN POWER Banksters Cheer Tepid Rules on Anniversary of Lehman’s Fall by Danny Schechter September 20, 2010 by CommonDreams.org

“This sounds so bleak when I say it, but we need some delusions to keep us going.”
— Woody Allen in the New York Times

“The former chairman of Lazard in London who is now chairman of Barclays, once said that the only two things that would survive a nuclear war were cockroaches and Lazard.  On the evidence of the past few years, he underestimated the tenacity of the rest of the investment banking industry” — William Wright, Editor, Financial News, London

Hooray, Elizabeth Warren is to become a Special Assistant to President Obama in charge of setting up the Consumer Protection Bureau that she conceived. Alas, it is not to be the independent agency she wanted but a bureau within the Federal Reserve Bank, a branch of government that is really run by big banks which did virtually nothing to protect consumers when they needed help the most.

She is not in the job she deserves but a post in the Executive Branch under Obama’s control and with oversight by Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, and Rahm Emanuel et al. (The White House worries that they could not win a protracted confirmation battle.)

So she’s in, but hardly in charge, or able to be an independent force.

Economics analyst Yves Smith warns, don’t believe the hype: “It is now official that Warren is at best a placeholder; she cannot have much impact. She can’t make much in the way of policy or personnel choices; that would encroach on the authority of an incoming director. And even her ability to influence the choice of a nominee is questionable. Her taking the advisory role now assures that the nomination of the permanent director will come after the midterm Congressional elections. Given the virtual certainty of Democratic losses, the odds are high that Team Obama will settle on a “conservative” meaning “won’t ruffle the banking industry” choice, and argue its hands were tied.

Most Americans don’t realize the global dimensions of the crisis and the fact that many in the world are suffering more than we are because of unchecked speculation on Wall Street. There is nothing in place that will stop a recurrence of the Lehman collapse two years ago this week. There is no real debate about whether more institutions will fail, only when.

Many of the top CEOS responsible for the loss of Trillions have landed on their feet, and are now in jobs/sinecures in new firms, and live free of any fear of prosecution. So called “conservatives” in the US are promoting austerity policies including tax cuts for the rich. Meanwhile, there is push back as 300 economists and analysts warn that the “deficit hawks” who appear to be gaining the upper hand in our economic debates are threatening to turn an already deeply painful recession into a full-blown depression.

“The experts warn that the American economy now stands at a crucial juncture. They acknowledge that public debt is mounting, and present a choice of two different ways to right the ship: impose fiscal “austerity” today, in the midst of the most serious downturn since the Great Depression, or invest in the American economy — with public spending over the short term — in order to grow our way out of the red ink.”

The alternatives are clear. Which side are you on? Denial is no longer an option.

A group called One Nation is mobilizing a march on Washington for jobs and justice on October 2. Will it be big enough and noisy enough to make a difference?

Mediachannel’s News Dissector Danny Schechter investigates the origins of the economic crisis in his new book Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal (Cosimo Books via Amazon). Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/09/20-5

 

World Powers Tackle Climate

 

WORLD POWERS TO TACKLE CLIMATE AMID SKEPTICISM Monday, September 20, 2010 by Agence France Presse

NEW YORK – The 17 nations responsible for 80 percent of carbon emissions blamed for global warming will seek to unblock stalled climate negotiations this week but analysts expect little progress.

“I don’t think anyone is expecting any major announcement,” said Michael Levi, an analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations, acknowledging the Cancun meeting would likely be another stalemate.

Levi warned that a period of uncertainty could follow the November mid-term legislative elections in which Republicans are poised to retake control of the House of Representatives from Obama’s Democrats and to increase their numbers in the Senate. Last June, the House approved a bill that would launch the country’s first nationwide “cap-and-trade” system restricting carbon emissions. The Senate has yet to offer companion legislation, amid opposition from Republicans and Democrats dependent on the coal and hydrocarbon industries.

“Real change contradicts the business model of the fossil fuel industry,” environmentalist Bill McKibben said, “…the industry [is] too powerful for Congress to effectively tackle reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. He urged more global action to create a “mass movement” in support of cutting emissions.

READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/09/20

RELATED READS: