Melting away

June 27, 2010

Like the witch in The Wizard of Oz, only this isn’t necessarily amusing or relieving: The ice at the pole is “melting away, melting away.” These links via a scientifically-oriented friend of mine, who says, “As of today, by every measure (even ROOS) we are on a record melt course for the arctic.”

Check out the north pole webcam and the lakes that are forming on the ice. (the photo at the upper right is extraordinary; click on it to enlarge to full size)

Check out the video.


Blankenship, Kennedy debate coal, climate change

Listen to the whole debate

By Erica Peterson

Download MP3

January 21, 2010 · While Administration officials work to determine new policies to oversee mountaintop removal permits, a much more public debate on the subject was held Thursday in Charleston.

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From NPR, via a friend.

Belief In Climate Change Hinges On Worldview


February 23, 2010

Over the past few months, polls show that fewer Americans say they believe humans are making the planet dangerously warmer, despite a raft of scientific reports that say otherwise.

This puzzles many climate scientists — but not some social scientists, whose research suggests that facts may not be as important as one’s beliefs.

Take, for example, a recent debate about climate change on West Virginia public radio.

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Via a friend, from Asia Times Online


Call the politburo, we’re in trouble
By Tom Engelhardt

Mark it on your calendar. It seems we’ve finally entered the Soviet era in America.

You remember the Soviet Union, now almost 20 years in its grave. But who gives it a second thought today? Even in its glory years that “evil empire” was sometimes referred to as “the second superpower.” In 1991, after seven decades, it suddenly disintegrated and disappeared, leaving the United States – the “sole superpower,” even the “hyperpower,” on planet Earth – surprised but triumphant.

The USSR had been heading for the exits for quite a while, not that official Washington had a clue. At the moment it happened, Soviet “experts” like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (then director of the Central Intelligence Agency) still expected the Cold War to go on and on.

In Washington, eyes were trained on the might of the Soviet military, which the Soviet leadership had never stopped feeding, even as its sclerotic bureaucracy was rotting, its economy (which had ceased to grow in the late 1970s) was tanking, budget deficits were soaring, indebtedness to other countries was growing, and social welfare payments were eating into what funds remained. Not even a vigorous, reformist leader like Mikhail Gorbachev could staunch the rot, especially when, in the late 1980s, the price of Russian oil fell drastically.
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Rather than my reposting Bill Totten’s repost of a post from the Oil Drum website, allow me to point you to his website

For some reason, when I click on the link above, I get an error message that says it isn’t valid. If you do too, just copy the link and paste it in the address window and hit enter. That works for me.

And, in case by the time you read he has posted other things, the post I refer to is “Systems at a Turning Point.”

This seems to me very much on point. In some ways Ronald Reagan was good for the country; in many ways, he was a disaster, because in his zeal for individual freedom he somehow lost sight of the complementary and equally necessary value of community.

We’re paying the price now, and have been in all the years since.

Outdated Maps

June 12, 2010

From Dmitri Orlov’s Club Orlov — He titled this Lost Leaders, but it might equally appropriately be titled Outdated Maps

SATURDAY, MAY 29, 2010

Lost Leaders

It is embarrassing to be lost. It is even more embarrassing for a leader to be lost. And what’s really really embarrassing to all concerned is when national and transnational corporate leaders attempt to tackle a major disaster and are found out to have been issuing marching orders based on the wrong map. Everyone then executes a routine of turning toward each other in shock, frowning while shaking their heads slowly from side to side and looking away in disgust. After that, these leaders might as well limit their public pronouncements to the traditional “Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner fudge is made.” Whatever they say, the universal reaction becomes: “What leaders? We don’t have any.”

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Michael Ventura’s latest column.

Letters at 3AM: In the Margins of Oligarchy


If I am not my brother’s keeper, what am I?

That was the final sentence of my previous column. I cribbed it from Hillel the Elder. Did so unconsciously. Good for my unconscious! It cribbed from the best, then pointed me toward Hillel again as I researched this column and realized why “my” sentence had such a satisfying echo: It’s been around for 2,000 years.

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