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The conceivability that climate change, torture, or Pope’s Catholicism isn’t.

The January 2015 Smithsonian Magazine asks "Did Civil War vets suffer from PTSD?" which seems a progressive conceit from an arbitor of the accepted version of events. I think it's useful to ask "Does a bear shit in the woods?" by which I mean, is it conceivable to you that bears don't shit in the woods? Because your incredulity is critical. Apparently these days, history is written not by historians but by pollsters. Today the commonplace perception of history and science prevails as the dominant verdict. Whether Climate Change is real, or whether torture is torture, depends on how the public polls. Presumably truth being what we want it to be would poll favorably too. While the Smithsonian's question suggests to upend institutional dogma, dragging 19th century medicine into the 21st century, it's actually the reverse. Doctors treating veterans have always known that nearly all people exposed to combat will suffer PTSD, ancient times didn't favor acronyms perhaps, yet today's spin doctors want public comprehension to pivot on a question, contingent upon whether is is. Of course DO BEARS sounds more objective than BEARS DO. It also smells of the dissembling of a torture doctor. TORTURE IS.

The People’s Climate March will move the United Nations if marchers push it

I heard a dispiriting conceit at yesterday's 350.ORG whistestop rally at Denver's Union Station to cheer climate activists bording the Amtrak Zephyr destined for the New York City #S21 People's Climate March. This young, otherwise energetic and charismatic environmentalist told the crowd that she did not expect anything to come of the hoped-to-be-massive demonstration but would attend anyway. Ironically this was addressed to supporters who'd already decided not to join the march based I'm guessing on the same logic. Yet we cheered, chanted about the imperative to act, and applauded a successive speaker who added that if world leaders ignored this people's march, there would follow another and another, ever larger. Hmm. I doubt it. Activism is already showing diminishing returns and drawing numbers to unsuccessful actions doesn't help. I appreciate not wanting to seem to hold foolish expectations, but I'd rather accept defeat having believed it was not inevitable. The antiwar movement laments the election of Barack Obama because he herded the populist anti-Bush groundswell toward supporting the other corporate war party. But I blame Obama for a larger malpractice: innoculating Americans against hope. Extended generations of altruists lost their cherry to the hope-change-artist and while they wise up incrementally, I have yet to see hopefulness normalize the defeatism. This doesn't mean that hopefuls don't keep falling for smooth promises, but the promises are smaller, to be believable. Bill McKibben's 350 march for example doesn't even want to make demands, yet insists that your personal attendence will be the biggest impact you can make against climate change. And if the march doesn't move UN leaders, come back and do it again. Until what? Until world leaders are convinced that the public is serious. Why are we not serious? Should McKibben admit that traveling to New York could be distracting activists from where their bodies really need to be, in front of coal plants, blocking pipelines, and organizing communities against fossil fuel extraction? Pressuring the UN is similarly immediate but we have to apply veritable pressure. If a march is meant to impress, even as a gesture, it must be more than a parade.

Fracking protest message at Denver 350 rally cuts through nebulous “Forward on Climate” theme

DENVER, COLORADO- Score another success for Colorado Fractivists who crashed this weekend's climate rally with their unequivocal anti-fracking message. The February 17 event was intended to urge President Obama "Forward on Climate", to borrow his most recent campaign vagarity, but when official speeches began, and the prefab signs were distributed, it became unclear who might be trying to co-opt whom. Gas The 350.ORG sponsored march, coinciding with a rally and civil disobedience in DC, called specifically for a halt to the Keystone XL Pipeline and Tar Sands extraction which climate scientists have dubbed "game over" for hopes of averting climate disaster, but the dominant signage spoke vaguely of "Climate Action" and "It's Time to Cut Carbon" and "Big Coal Makes Us Sick", all of which are slogans used by proponents of natural gas. 350-ORG has been raising awareness of the imperative to reduce carbon emissions, while recognizing that the groundswell driving environmentalists across the country is opposition to oil & gas hydraulic fracturing. It's all the same fight to reduce burning of fossil fuels, but moderate allies like the Sierra Club haven't been prepared to denounce their new-found bed partners urging consumers to get "Beyond Coal." To her credit, local 350-ORG coordinator Micah Parkin incorporated fractivist groups into the Feb 17 rally, but Democratic Party panderers didn't get the memo. A representative read a letter of support from Senator Michael Bennet and was able to sneak past: "I stand with Obama" and even "in favor of US energy independence" although that's code for oil & gas exports, dependent on construction of the XL pipeline. But when Mark Udall's representative referred to "clean burning natural gas" the crowd booed. Even as he pleaded "we're on your side," the crowd wouldn't relent, making sure his takeaway would be that fracking compounded global warming, among its other horrors. The highlight of the rally occurred immediately afterward when the master of ceremonies, a twelve-year-old rapper and member of the Boulder based Earth Guardians, thanked Udall's rep affably but then assured the audience that "of course there's no such thing as clean natural gas!" Occupy A word about Occupy Denver's part in Sunday's march. Occupiers took the black-tie invitation to heart and turned up in black bloc attire with bandanas and balaclavas. OD then pushed the envelope to the consternation of parade marshals, stepping into the street at one point, blocking cars at another, in the spirit of their banner which read "ONLY DIRECT ACTION WILL STOP THE PIPELINE." To what end, creating friction during an event otherwise running smoothly? Who knows. The demonstration was uneventful and garnered scant media attention. Mixing it up might have helped, or not. The turnout was large but not up for a confrontation. Occupy didn't push it. The irony of 350-ORG supporters being upset by the antics of the Occupiers, was that behind the masks were many activists who'd actually gone to Texas to stop the XL pipeline, who'd gotten arrested, some out on $25,000 bond. How unfortunate that those troublemakers weren't recognized

Hurricane Sandy – the real threat to US national security is ‘us’

The fool's summary of what happened with Hurricane Sandy can be found in a scientifically infantile editorial today of the Denver Post where we, the general public, are all encouraged to be aware of the weather outside. OPINION Editorial: What Sandy can teach us in Colorado Though our own stormy season winter seems distant, now is the time to prepare for nature's fury. The cowardly business folk at the Denver Post don't want us talking about climate change and our corporate leaders' part in screwing up Nature with their worship of consumerism and capitalism and US militarism.   Now on towards Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Sandy? ...(Scientific American). Of course it did.... partially. But a big PARTIALLY at that.

Fox can now re-add climate change denial to their Daily Spews

BP of course. "Show me the oil" "Oil? What Oil?" (though the Republican governors of the Gulf states are shitting white about what's happening, their anointed mouthpieces at Fox still insist on downplaying it). But to the Nonexistent eco-disaster of the poisoning of the ocean (and a third of the waters of the world were turned to blood and all that lived within the sea died) (Did somebody ask for a religious perspective? No? Got one anyway didn't we.) We get to add the Nonexistent Climate Change that the Fox Propagandists loudly denounced especially this winter) is going to Not Produce twice as many named tropical storms and 75% more hurricanes this year than normal. In Fox-speak, this was Not Announced this morning by NOAA, who were set up and funded through such Liberal institutions as the Military and the Shipping Industry. Oh, and for a big bonus, these non-existent hurricanes won't be in the Gulf where the Other non-existent hurricanes never were either. This of course won't affect the non-existent environmental rescue operations that aren't going on all along the Gulf coast. Did somebody say "Katrina"? I don't even want to hear what Hume or Limbaugh or Palin or O'Reilly or the rest of the Professional Liars at Fox have to say. I used the word "Propaganda" although that's not entirely accurate. Propaganda is a Church (RCC) term that's Latin for planting seeds. They're not exactly planting. They're spreading the fertilizer. That's a more graphic and fitting analogy anyway. But they're good at it. Other people have to travel all the way to Egypt to swim in De Nile.

For the Climate Deniers…

Bill O'Lie-ly said this January was the coldest on record. Perhaps he could learn a little science, specifically mathematics. If not then he could learn how to ask people whose business it is to provide scientifically sound information to for instance the Shipping Industry, farmers and the U.S. Military, none of whom are much noted for Radical Left Wing thought processes. Like NOAA, who reported that the average global ground temperature Increased by very nearly a full degree C. The IBM corporate model is founded in a mission statement they made back in 1945. When they got the funding to build the first "supercomputers" (Analog Calculators, actually, the "AC" part of their names) ENIAC and UNIVAC. That they would be able to predict major weather events a year in advance. This on "computers" which had less calculating power than this "dinosaur" 10 year old desktop I'm typing on right now. It's a spectacular example of Corporate Welfare gone terribly wrong. Bill-ionaire O'Reilly knows quite a bit about Corporate Welfare, but as it's his beneficiary on the Gilded Road to Hell, he's not going to squeak about it very loudly. Or, at all. So they extended the accurate predictions for major weather events from 5 days to 7. Big Hairy Deal, yes? Well, in a way. The failures of that business model, (for which they're still drawing royalties, an interesting economic term in what's supposed to be a "free" market) led to some pretty remarkable mathematic theories and applications of Chaos Theory. One is that not only the Earth but the Universe is a closed mathematic system. Finite. Iterations of what are supposed to be infinite variations, repetitions and patterns where the Patterns would have fallen apart if the system were infinte. So, how does an established pattern in a finite system develop such a major rift? But all that is above the heads of Bill-do and his demented fans. They're instead pushing the provincial notion that a small portion of the small system (relative to the universe) that hits us with snow in winter? The notion that snowstorms in winter would actually have become so anomalous that it's newsworthy should be a clue. But the Dumbass Patrol can't get a clue if somebody rubs their noses in it. I've got relatives. Of course. Some of them live in an almost Medieval Backward Poverty Zone called Cleburne, Texas. There's a joke in Cleburne on the lines of the maps you get in Johnson County only show Johnson County, and at the county line the world drops off. On the mythical maps the edges around the county line are filled with notations like "Terra Incognito" (Thet thar's where them Terrists live, boy) and "Here Be Dragons!!" There are people in Johnson County who have never made the arduous journey to Ft Worth. Ft Worth city limits are like two miles from the county line. Dallas is a myth they use to frighten their kids (Eat your vegetables and go on to bed. You know what happens to kids

A bird in the hand is worth health care and a climate consensus in the bush

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. It's better than nothing. We're getting it from all direction now, from Copenhagen to the health care bill. The message is delivered by experienced elder statesmen whose benevolence we do not question because they are retired and have no horse in the race -yet they have access to the halls of power where real stakeholders are denied? Silver hair and silver tongues pitch: "Those who say a bad deal is better than no deal are dead wrong." You're kidding me Grandpa. And what's this for a perverted adage: "One step forward is better than two steps back?" I'm seeing Obama being praised for revising his schedule to get to Copenhagen on the last day, for knowing how late is fashionable when the party's a dud. But that's not a leader. Obama could have given life to the party, instead he ops to give the Gettysburg Address.

McKibben denounces COP15 as sham

Are talks in Copenhagen stalled? Did Hillary's offer of US aid ford the turbulance in time for an Obama second coming? The Guardian has obtained a COP15 internal note which reveals that negotiators know their stated goals do not add up. Poor nations want a temperature rise limited at 1.5C, rich nations are offering measures to max at 2C, but know confidentially their best offer will produce a disastrous 3C. Bill McKibben of 350.ORG declares conference an elaborate sham. Forget yelling at the First World Annex I delegates. They know. Forget too, the goal of 350 PPM. While government representatives pretend their best efforts will cap atmosphere carbon levels at 550 parts per million, their own calculations predict we'll reach 770. The developing nations (the non-Annex I Parties) who will suffer the most by climate change want the damage limited to 1.5C and they need pledges of countermeasures and disaster relief commensurate to those expectations. But the First World negotiators are offering half the money needed to address a rise of 2C, knowing warming will get as bad as 3C. Here's the document's conclusion (highlighting mine): VI. Conclusions The pledges made by a number of Annex I Parties for emissions reductions below base year levels and announcements made by a number of non-Annex I Parties for voluntary actions to address emissions in the lead-up to the COP in Copenhagen could bring significant emission reductions and help to reduce the gap between the current reference emission levels in 2020 and the required level of global emissions of 44 Gt in the same year which is estimated at around 10.5 Gt. Even if Parties agreed to deliver in accordance with the upper range of their pledge, this will leave a gap of around 1.9 to 4.2 Gt. Unless the remaining gap of around 1.9 to 4.2 Gt is closed and Parties commit themselves to strong action prior and after 2020, global emissions will peak later than 2020 and remain on an unsustainable pathway that could lead to concentrations equal or above 550 ppm with the related temperature raise around 3C. equal or above 550 ppm. This in turn will reduce significantly the probability to stay within a temperature increase of 2C. If you're tracking Treehugger or Grist for the lowdown on Copenhagen, grab a yardstick from 350.org. Bill McKibben, by the way, wrote The End of Nature in 1989, one of the earliest books to address global warming for a general audience. The American Museum of Natural History's Nature Defense Fund published Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast in 1992. Columbia professor Wallace Broecker coined the phrase in the 1970s --for deniers who thought the conspiracy was a recent one. By the way, COP15 is not named like the G8 or G20, for 15 key players meeting, by coincidence in Copenhagen. COP15 stand for the 15th international gathering of the Conference Of the Parties. The parties, non-Annex I and Annex I, we know now as the plaintiffs and the liars. And from the Climate Score Board:

UN Climate Change Conference COP15 should call for coping, less hoping

Yes, we know the theme. Ich bin ein Hopenhagener. With climate change about to engulf us, today we are all Hopenhageners. I think "COPE" might be a better derivation for the summit in Copenhagen than the ol' Obama bait 'n switch. Anyway, do they know it's only "Copenhagen" in English? To the Danes --and yes, they call their land Danmark-- their capital is Kbenhavn. The anglo-centrics who bring you the COP15 "Hopehagen" campaign are the International Advertising Association, in partnership with Coca-Cola, Siemens, BMW, Dupont, plus some who did not collaborate with the Nazis. The admen behind Product Obama know full well where HOPE got us in 2008. Will they be so cavalier about addressing climate CHANGE too?

Annie Leonard versus the people who brought you Enron and Goldman Sachs

COLORADO COLLEGE- Environmentalist Annie Leonard of THE STORY OF STUFF visits CC's Packard Hall. Here's an inescapably blunt video she's made in advance of the climate summit in Copenhagen, called The Story of Cap & Trade, where Leonard looks at the devils in the details: "free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from whats really required to tackle the climate crisis." Leonard knocked it out of the park at CC, setting a fine example for forward-thinking reformers. Keep moving, come back for the stragglers later. How exciting for this Colorado Springs audience that Leonard visits just as her internet impact is being targeted by those previously presumed to be her allies. It's a clever move, before COP15, to unmask the delinquents in our midst. Normally eco-radical Grist is alight with attacks on Leonard's Cap and Trade dressing down, but the charlatans can't see the clearcut from the trees. They're cap and trade insiders, who short Leonard for arguments she omits, although her video is only ten minutes long. One accuses the "semi-famous" Leonard of missing the mark, the other scolds the first for going too easy on her, beginning a catalog of errors with "Just colossally ignorant." Both Grist dopes with too much invested in eco-business as usual.

National Geographic is a nature pic zoo

January's National Geographic featured an article about Charles Darwin. Juxtaposed against excerpts from Darwin's diary on the Beagle, were the usual photographs of nature at its most vivid. But an image of a glacier, purporting to match Darwin's awed description, left me slack- jawed with contrary impression. We've all been treated to then and now pictograms of retreating glaciers, so the National Geographic's usual reverse illusionist, nature-isn't-vanishing-act, wasn't going to work for this pastoral scene. I'm looking straight through the glossy NATURE industry, and it's nothing but a virtual zoo. You might say the world of nature documentaries keeps more to the spirit of the early collector-adventurers, who shot and stuffed their specimens, in the name of documenting their existence. Certainly the photographers of today are capturing the living images of soon to be gone phenomena. Perhaps it's more appropriate to regard their nature images as exhibits of Natural History. Except that Museum goers know that what they are looking at is dead. Nature program viewers are given no such insight. And need they, really? If the closest that the recliner-set get to the Pacific Ocean is their HD flat screen TV, what does it matter if the Pacific is full of plastic instead of fish? Nature-appreciation wise, the eyes of the climate-controlled majority dictate its value. The illusion which nature programs create is of a living Earth, susceptible to cycles, or whatever excuse they present for why you are hearing reports of coral bleaching while enjoying high saturation images of vibrant, fully vital, reefs. You are shown things alive, and so you believe it lives. That's where this glossy facade is a lot more like a zoo. Zoos are criticized for showing nature out of context. Even as the best zoo settings approach the theatrical stages of natural history dioramas, they still present an inert being. The zoo animal is not searching for food, fending off predators, or jockeying for a mate. The zoo attraction might almost be preserved in formaldehyde, for all it teaches about nature, and mankind's relation to his origin. Zoos, like domestic animals neutered or spayed, like doe-eyed Disney renditions of circle-of-life citizen animals, teach an antiseptic version of wild life, where man might deduce that his own life's purpose is but a few years spent pinned like a butterfly adjacent thousands and millions more. Camera lens filters enhance reality, camera lenses compress and direct it. That much we already knew. Nature programs and nature photography present life as a spectacle, and seem at first glance to highlight every minutia for our increased understanding. But shown out of the context of the Earth's present difficulties, the images inform less than they distort.

Climate Change -who benefits?

Are "Climate Change" and "Global Warming" a rather convenient way for the large investment companies (now that they're all jumping on the bandwagon) to step forward, in lock step with the Congress, and find the ways in which they can become the "players" in the unfolding "crisis" and have a new tax that will, of course as always, be a burden most on those who can least afford it? Or are they really concerned about the planet? Was Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" more of an investment talk aimed at these owners of capital getting in on a carbon tax and trading scheme, rather than a real debate that gave time to the dissenting scientific view? And, is the dogma now that CO2 and greenhouse effect are really driving the race toward ownership of emerging large alternative energy companies in which the corporations will likely win? Calling CO2 a pollutant is deception. It is what trees and plants thrive on. Ethanol has now become the new "savior" in our effort of curbing the import of foreign oil. But ethanol is net-energy. That is, it takes more energy to create it than it gives back, besides the agricultural mess it will lead us to. How is it in past earth warming cycles, man's absence was a causation? Seemingly impossible. Is the Solar cycle part of a natural global warming process? Why aren't we moving instead to form citizen owned solar and wind utilities that will help the vast majority to utilize these energies without the huge up front costs usually associated? Or unless implemented immediately and widely, would it be all for naught as the worlds energy needs will never be affected by alternative energies? In other words, how do you replace the 85 million barrels of oil a day the planet uses? Not to mention the tons of coal and millions of cubic feet of natural gas? Gore's 7 good foot soldiers steps to reduce Co2 "pollution" is almost Hitlarian. Don't think, just do what I say ...from a spineless politician who wouldn't stand up (and told others not to) for an investigation into the 2000 stolen election. Capitalism will overtake any real discussion of problems we face and destroy dissenters who offer up real solutions to energy use that are owned by the populace at large. And once they've taxed us for carbon they will figure out a way to tax the sun or wind for those who take advantage of it for their homes. Yes, reduce your use of oil, gas, coal, etc... but beware who really benefits from this mostly un-debated scare of global warming. What do we get for behaving as they want us to? A cleaner world? But no monetary gain for us? If our government was really serious about this the tax incentives would come back as in the 70's and much bigger this time. And in all states. But that would hurt the oil-energy companies. Some interesting articles and comments for your consideration: Denial By Frank Furedi, Spiked Online "The

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