#Climate Change

An Armada of Icebergs Has Just Invaded The North Atlantic – robertscribbler

This week an unprecedented 481 icebergs swarmed into the shipping lanes of a storm-tossed North Atlantic. Strong hurricane force winds had ripped these bergs from their sea ice moored haven of Baffin Bay and thrust them into the ocean waters

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Science Tagged with:

Climate Change vs Moderation

This is the problem with Crook’s brand of High Broderist faux-moderation. Crook says he supports some kind of carbon tax and public funding for research and mitigation, but he quite obviously hasn’t given the slightest thought as to whether that

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, notes, Politics, Science Tagged with: , ,

Occupy Nothing

Ecologism comes as close to dialectical materialism as positive or bourgeois science can while still remaining positive science, somewhat in the same manner as cognitive science and physics approach each other at their limits, but on the level of lived history. Nature itself, including human nature, the working world itself, turns out always to have already filled the revolutionary opening that we workers of the world have never quite managed to occupy. The Earth is the true proletarian.

Posted in Ecology, Featured, Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Comments On Ecology and War

I am not asserting that conquering the will to conquer nature, or conquering human nature, or ending conquering, etc., whichever or whatever it comes to, must entail great violence, nor am I calling for it. I am however recognizing that violence would in some sense be normal, because whether or not you or I call for it, many seem fully prepared to demand it. Even and especially the most committed pacifists would therefore still be asked to risk their lives at least, and to be entangled in risks of life borne by others. In another sense, we, or some of us, are already undergoing or engaging in violence. The catastrophe is indeed very well under way if, along with acts that cause human suffering as normally understood, we treat habitat destruction, species extinction, factory slaughter, and so on, as forms of industrialized warfare against natural life. In that sense, it’s too late for “peaceful change,” though it may not be too late for less violent change, or even for less and less violent change.

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, Science, War Tagged with:

Commodity of Commodities

Avoiding climate catastrophe requires of democratic capitalism that it embrace its own absolute contradiction – catastrophically.

Posted in Featured, Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , ,

About that “media bias,” or Ombudsman Ombud Thyself

Had Jennifer Rubin promoted (and admitted agreeing with) such disgusting bile toward Jews and Israelis, as expressed by Rachel Abrams (neoconservative royalty) her journalism career would have been over, but because it was directed at Palestinians, it continues to thrive.

Posted in Miscellany Tagged with: , ,

Why They Fight

Confident conservative white men, as a group, were almost six times as likely to believe climate change “will never happen” than the rest of the adults surveyed.

Posted in Miscellany Tagged with: , ,

Barbarism and its Discontents

[amazon-product]0981709125[/amazon-product]In The Barbaric Heart: Faith, Money, and the Crisis of Nature, Curtis White deploys for ideological battle in a literary academic’s full panoply, and there is pleasure in seeing so much wit and erudition put to such radical ends, but

Posted in Books Tagged with: , , , , ,

Soon to be lapping up on a shore near you…

Just as we were beginning to discuss the political impact of the oil platform disaster, what should show up in my inbox but an e-mail from Gavin Newsom – Mayor of San Francisco, running for lieutenant governor (after having dropped

Posted in Politics Tagged with: , , ,

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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