Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity

The title of this blog entry is the same as that for an article by Carol Danserau posted at Counterpunch. Here's a link: Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity

Danserau's article is one of the best summations I have seen in some time of where we stand in the climate change struggle and what to do about it. Here's a relevant excerpt:

The Sierra Club sent me a message a few minutes ago, about how we need to redouble the sorts of efforts they’ve been leading, and in particular, the effort to elect Democrats. They want to mail me a “Make America Green Again” bumper sticker, which I’m supposed to use to persuade others to vote Democrat.

I can’t do that. We can’t do that. Because Democrats take us backwards on climate. Make America green again? It wasn’t green before! Electing Democrats and pursuing the incremental agenda they and their fawning environmental groups put forth, is literally suicidal....

....Lots of people believe that prior to Trump we were on the correct course. While things weren’t perfect, we did make overall progress under Obama and the Democrats, they say. And now we need to fight to preserve and expand that climate “legacy”.

This thinking is plain wrong, and it’s dangerous. To save ourselves, we’ve got to understand that we were moonwalking all those years. We talked as if we were winning; we thought we were moving forward bit by bit, but in truth, we were losing ground dramatically. Like Michael Jackson, we faced forward, and we moved our arms and legs resolutely as if moving in that direction, while we slid rapidly backwards.

Danserau goes on to list chapter and verse about what was actually done and not done during the Obama years. It is one hell of a damning list; no one did more to promote greater use of fossil fuels than Obama. I encourage everyone to read the linked article.

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k9disc's picture

doubles every 10 years. That doesn't sound very incremental to me.

That 7% growth is a target for most Centrists, "It would be amazing, that is when America was Great!"

We don't understand the exponential function.

I hate to link wikipedia, as it's a corrupt source, but time is short. Sad
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Allen_Bartlett

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13 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Alligator Ed's picture

Establishment". Look at Obummer who covertly cheered on DAPL while whistling a happy tune. And Moonbeam Brown, the Jesuit would-be environmental Jesus who encouraged fracking, as well as poor forest management. These Demopcraptic SOB's push Insurance Company paradise instead of M4A. They mumble and grumble about the MIC, while surreptitiously hauling their MIC bribes to offshore accounts.

Democrats, how do I hate thy Party? Let me count the ways.

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19 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

This can't be said enough. And people aren't kidding when they say that. This is going to happen unless countries get serious about dealing with climate change and stop the wars which are the biggest contributors of it. Bottom line. We can do our part, but it's not going to be enough until the military does its part.

Let me tell you about why I woke up crying today. It has to do with just how close we are to full-blown climate disaster. I was thinking about children who are already experiencing the horrible consequences of global warming, and I was thinking about particular children I love and what’s in store for them. Most of all, I was thinking about the unthinkable: that we are on the verge of ensuring that most, if not all, life on Earth will be snuffed out.

Everyone should be tossing and turning in their beds unable to sleep, experiencing the raw emotions that led me to tears this morning.

This is not a joke, or a drill. This is it. Decision-point for humankind. The UN says we have to turn things around within 12 years to avoid catastrophe. Others give us even less time.

The article debunks the Obama myth that he tackled climate change during his tenure. He didn't. He didn't even come close to doing what was needed. The Paris accords were weak to begin with and everyone said so after the leaders climbed back on their planes and went home. Why the Empty Suit gets so much credit for doing nothing on so many important issues boggles my mind.

Hillary flew around the globe pushing for more and more countries to start or increase fracking. Trump got lots of sh*t for pulling out of the accords, but people refused to see what Hillary did during her tenure as SOS.

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

dkmich's picture

@snoopydawg

was pooled and spent on preventing what we can of the looming climate disaster. War is such a waste of capital and resources.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

divineorder's picture

@snoopydawg @dkmich

I wish I could make this my sig line.

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9 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@divineorder There's also a murderous bipartisan agenda of remaining on fossil fuels and a murderous bipartisan agenda of investing loads of money in fossil fuels and the war machine. And that, pretty much, is what drives the politics in this country.

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10 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@dkmich
antibiotic assault on gonorrhea and chlamydia could have extinguished those two diseases.

Chlamydia, in particular, has no other host, or even viable environment, than the human body -- it is what is called an "obligate" pathogen, living only inside human cells. It spreads from one cell to another by creating little blobs at the cell surface, almost like escape pods, that pinch off from one cell membrane, and then merge into a neighboring membrane.

Instead, we pissed away trillions building nuclear bombs and fighting proxy wars with each other.

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9 users have voted.

Sigh

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd Now, now--that wasn't pissed away. It built some of the great families who rule us today.

I find Babylon 5 useful in understanding our situation:

Cartagia: "Some are always sacrificed for the greater good."
Londo: "What greater good?"
Cartagia "Mine, of course. Mollari, I thought you of all people understood.The emperor is the soul of the people, the center of this republic. This whole world may perish. But if the emperor goes on, we go on. The first emperors, the greatest of us were themselves proclaimed deities by the ancient gods. In exchange for loyalty, they became immortal, their names revered for generations to come, prayers offered up to them even in the temples today. And now, now these gods of old have returned.
Through them I will become a god myself...And when the time comes, Mollari the people will gladly lay down their lives that I may be elevated to godhood. What are a few million lives compared to the glory of becoming a living god?"

Read more: https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-sho...

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7 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@UntimelyRippd of which the two primary features were it's addictiveness and carcinogenic properties. If we did no harm in the first place we'd be better off.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@Snode

The Jamestown Colony was a losing proposition until a smoother strain of tobacco was introduced from the Caribbean, and grown and exported in massive enough quantities that Jamestown finally became self-supporting.

Had it not been for tobacco, and Europe's insatiable demand for it, Jamestown would have been another failed footnote in history along with Roanoke. And Plymouth would probably never have happened.

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3 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich At the very least, if they have to have systematic constant murder for profit, they could have had the decency to invent a war machine that doesn't run on petroleum and methane. Whichever army did that first would kick the ass of all the others. But wait, I forgot--this isn't really about nationalism, nor even about militarism. Nationalism and militarism are the servants of maximized profit for a few special people.

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8 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cassiodorus's picture

@dkmich Perhaps the current system, which sells false promises of medicine while holding medicine hostage, could be put to an end.

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"Day-to-day life under crapitalism is so horrible and depressing." -- Sam Miller

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg You know what? Fuck the Paris Accords. A load of inadequate garbage.

There, I said it.

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4 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

ovals49's picture

to work altruistically for the good of all. As Nancy Pelosi so clearly stated “We are a Capitalist country.”

That’s precisely what we need to work on changing. We need to embrace socialistic solutions, not double down with Capitalism on steroids. Continuing with tepid incrementalism ensures that our mad rush toward Climate Armageddon will be successful.

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20 users have voted.

"Humanity is just an evolutionary cul de sac."
George Carlin

The Aspie Corner's picture

@ovals49

That’s precisely what we need to work on changing. We need to embrace socialistic solutions, not double down with Capitalism on steroids. Continuing with tepid incrementalism ensures that our mad rush toward Climate Armageddon will be successful.

And believe me, Americans LOVE bootlicking. They'll keep doing it even after they're dead.

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4 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

ovals49's picture

@The Aspie Corner
Just pointing out the obvious, which is being studiously avoided by so many. People want to hear hopeful, feel good news about “progress”, not that their government is running directly away from any possibility of implementing an actual solution.

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6 users have voted.

"Humanity is just an evolutionary cul de sac."
George Carlin

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Aspie Corner I never know who you mean when you say "the country" or "Americans." You seem to mean the visible ones and the ones easily heard--in other words, the ones who gladly follow the political parties and are represented in the media.

There are obviously quite a few people who don't fit into this mold, otherwise there wouldn't be such an obsessive focus lately on censorship. If everybody loves bootlicking--or even if most people love bootlicking--there's obviously no need for censorship. The people will effectively suppress themselves (and each other).

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7 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

The Aspie Corner's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

If everybody loves bootlicking--or even if most people love bootlicking--there's obviously no need for censorship. The people will effectively suppress themselves (and each other).

And they will keep doing it because snitching and bootlicking is all we know in this capitalist wasteland.

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1 user has voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Wasn't that something Obama claimed proudly in a speech?

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
ba dum BUMP.

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Sigh

Big Al's picture

this blog, so I won't. The final line in the CP essay,

"When we no longer cede the reins and our wealth to the few, we, the many, will find our way forward."

Ya, guess so. Too bad very few want to talk about how to do that other than thru elections. I suppose it's useless.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Big Al Who the fuck told you that?

OK, if you're not going to say it I will:

We're living in an oligarchy. We're living in an oligarchy. We're living in an oligarchy.

Anybody offended?

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9 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I'm offended that anyone is telling Big Al what is and is not appreciated on this blog.

We do live in an oligarchy where our elections are useful only in a marketing sense to give the masses the illusion of democracy to prevent us from putting our overlords heads on a spike.

There.

I've said it.

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Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear Agree with you on most counts. Only disagree in that I think that what's keeping the overlords' heads off a spike is their insane advantage in weapons and surveillance tech. A remarkable number of the de-skilled, poorly educated, overworked American public is able to make the calculation that a revolution would be so asymmetrical a struggle as to be essentially meaningless. The last such conversation I had was with a pre-school teacher.

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7 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

But what happens after the tipping point is reached? When enough of us reach a point of such degradation and starvation that the definition of a "meaningless" is no longer meaningful.

There are still more of us then them.

So our overlords better hope that when that tipping point is reached, the families of the military and the police don't have extended family that fall in the starvation category, or loyalties will be precariously fluid. They are still human, after all.

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6 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear

Sometimes I think that's why they're obsessed with controlling the human mind. Because of what Joss Whedon says in this video, which has applications far beyond Mitt Romney. Try to ignore the partisan part of this, because the underlying calculation Whedon makes is spot-on:

"Money is only so much paper to the undead. The 1% will no longer be the very rich; it'll be the very fast. Anyone who can run, fight, make explosives out of household objects, or especially do parcourt of any kind--you'll want to stick with them...unless they read Ayn Rand."

"Paid for by the committee to learn parcourt really soon, like maybe take a class or something."

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Hawkfish's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

The only things you truly own are what you can carry in both hands at a dead run.

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We may find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Hawkfish Damn. Sometimes his arrows go "thunk!" right in the gold.

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1 user has voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Hawkfish's picture

@zoebear

We are many, they are few!
— Children of God

Interestingly that chant is by a subservient prey species that decide to overthrow the 5% predators.

(Sorry, you quoted B5 so im channeling a bunch of sci-fi now...)

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3 users have voted.

We may find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Hawkfish I read that book. A rather gut-wrenching one. She's a fine writer.

I was the one who introduced Bab5--it wasn't Zoe's fault. Smile

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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Sigh

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd Not so far.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Big Al an angel gets his wings...no, wait.....it sends a thrill up my leg.....no(yes!!!)....just tell then to eat shit and die, but in a nice sort of way. Oligarchy is an ok word. I mean people write Pelosi and Clinton without gagging. Well, maybe a little.

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Big Al's picture

@Snode someone else should say oligarchy. "You say democracy, I say oligarchy and never the twain shall meet"

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Lookout's picture

Thanks for posting it. I liked the links at the bottom of your common dreams piece laying out solutions - we could mitigate the chaos...

Across the global they lay out a path to Wind, Water, and Sun (WWS)
https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/CountriesWWS.pdf

Here's their roadmap for the US conversion to WWS
https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/USStatesWWS.pdf

First step "leave it in the ground".

This scientist thinks 4+ degrees C is locked into the system?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3YZt74w8Vw (20 min - sorry no text)

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout Absolutely leave it in the ground. Should have led with that in the 80s.

If 4 degrees C is locked in, it's over.

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4 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

We have gone from a stable Epoch of 11,600 years, the Holocene, where average temperatures were +/- 1 deg C. This supported the growth of agriculture and human civilization. We are now in a transition state, the Anthropocene. The factors that made the Holocene stable are degraded or destroyed, including the forests, sequestered carbon, ice cover, etc. We don't know where the Anthropocene will take us, that is, where is the next stable state (epoch)? You have to ask yourself these questions:
- When will temperature increases stop or reverse?
- When will CO2 levels stop climbing and when will they be stable?
- When does global ice stop melting and reform?
- When does sea level rise stop?
- When does ocean acidification stop and reverse?

The answers to these questions do not exist. The real question is what does the next geological epoch look like and how does any life survive the transition, considering the unprecedented speed?

The carbon in the ground, sequestered by life over a very long time, was part of the state of the planet. The forests were an important part of homeostasis, that is, controlling Earth's thermostat. We had no business extracting sequestered carbon and we had no right to exhaust the products of combustion into the atmosphere. But, being people, we did it because it was the cheapest way to achieve the material wealth that we desired.

The killer, literally, is going to be repeated agricultural failures because of increased temperatures and chaotic climate. This food yield curve will cross the human population curve at some point and that will be the beginning of the end.

If you want to fix the problem we need to make major breakthroughs in two areas - 1) All carbon free energy sources, and 2) Sequester all of the excess carbon in the atmosphere above the 270-280 ppm of the pre-industrial Holocene epoch. We also need to figure out how to restore the great forests and grow food on a lot less land. Part 2 will cost about $50 Trillion dollars, about one half of global GDP. Practically speaking you would do this over some period of time, say 10 years. In that case you would need to re-purpose about 5% of global GDP for this, about $5 Trillion per year, or roughly twice the entire military budget of all of the nations of the globe. But you also have to solve problem #1, carbon free energy. I don't have as good a handle on that but I would estimate that it would be in the $20 Trillion dollar range.
It is doable, but you would have to convince the nations of the world to make this level of sacrifice. We are currently in a race. The first factor is the realization that we need to do this and the second is having the means to do it. If we are deep into global civilizational failure, then the projects needed to save civilization will not be possible.

My opinion is that we do have one last chance to save the climate and civilization, but the effort is far in excess of what anyone is talking about.

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6 users have voted.

Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

@The Wizard is to reduce the population, through war and reduced life expectancy. America has taken a leadership position in this strategy, USA!! USA!!! USA!!!

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Wizard It's not a sacrifice. How in the hell could it be a sacrifice when you're trying to save yourself from death?

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti