Open Thread

A couple of articles found over on Desdemona:

Scientists foresee sharp rise in deadly heat stress as global temperatures climb – “Because the response is nonlinear, for each fraction of a degree the climate warms, the increase in heat stress is ever greater”

UW professor: The information war is real, and we’re losing it

The deceptions and lies being spread by the so-called alternative news sites like Infowars and others is winning the media war. I’ve always said that this sort of thing is not harmless, it is very harmful because of how people react to connedspiracy. This is directly related to the anti-science, anti-facts, anti-evidence claims and fabrications being promoted. In other words, thinking people are surrounded by complete morons in America.

I find it increasingly harder and harder to go into the public space where there are other people because the level of intelligent discussion has declined so precipitously. Instead, I overhear idiotic rants and claims and wild baseless accusations most often. I have attended a couple of public events in the past month and I left in disgust. I do not mean to be rude, but a growing number of people are truly stupid. The great irony is they perceived themselves to be smart and informed and yet cannot cite any actual proof or evidence of their many wild accusations and claims.

Currently, it’s a hopeless situation and will last as long as Trump and his Administration does. More people need to get involved and speak up, if just to clear the air from the endless bullshit we’re all having to suffer under.

Open thread, post your links and commentary.

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15 thoughts on “Open Thread

  • April 2, 2017 at 12:23 pm
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    For what it’s worth – likewise.

    I’m very lucky as for the time being I live here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portobello,_Edinburgh

    It’s currently full of the usual pile of self righteous ‘do-gooders’.

    As you described above – attempting to instigate any form of discussion about anything with anyone is a complete waste of time & in most cases ends up getting you ostracised from the ‘community’.

    Thought that this might be worth posting in the hope that it might hit a nerve with someone.

    Thanks for the thread.

    • April 2, 2017 at 4:54 pm
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      A long and interesting history. We will never see such history in this country.

  • April 2, 2017 at 12:38 pm
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    Been thinking about Putin’s declaration that climate change is real, but not anthropogenic. Amidst years of Siberian wildfires and Yamal peninsula methane blow-holes, this seems a specularly dumb thing to say.

    And yet, Putin is not a stupid man.

    Could his stance be politically motivated as opposed to his actual understanding of the science? I don’t know what’s going on inside his head, but consider:

    Climate change is unstoppable now, no matter what. If Putin admits it is man-made, he’s obliged to stop Russian fossil fuel production, and the Russian economy collapses. If he does not, his government loses legitimacy: he’s acknowledging that climate change is real but his policies are contributing to it. Denying climate change isn’t going to work either, not in Russia, where the effects are beyond obvious.

    So the answer: it’s real, but it’s not man-made. Business as usual continues, and the government maintains legitimacy (after a fashion), since how can you blame a government for acts of God?

    If I’m right here, this could be the propaganda ploy of the future. Governments will have to shift their position to “it’s real but nature alone is doing it, not man” so as to preserve their legitimacy while going about business as usual right up until the final collapse.

    If this speculation is correct, Putin is just getting ahead of the game here, with other leaders to follow.

    • April 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm
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      Putin has to have at least twice the brain power as Trump (even a monkey does). He’s also a strategist, whereas Trump is a knee-jerk monkey child.

      No world leader wants to admit they fucked up (which they did, big time). No leader will want to be held responsible for the decades delay on climate mitigation. So it is easier and politically expedient to just claim humans are not responsible – because if we are, then leaders are also responsible (and always have been) for their failure to redirect their country and their citizens into mitigation efforts.

      And we all know that this would mess up the business-as-usual bleed.

      I’ve always said to not expect anything from world leaders. But I will be honest here – I never thought we’d reach this level of stupid in world leaders.

      I think they’re scared to death that they will be found out (which of course, they will). Our children should burn them at the stake (literally). So better (for now) to raise the flag and claim it’s not our fault.

      Let’s see – we’ve got science, facts, evidence, measurements and observations on our side – and best of all, good ‘ol Mother Nature in our corner – all reporting the same thing (human-caused), and they’ve got Trump, Pence, Alex Jones, denial, distraction, endless bullshit and political Jerry-mandering and the Invisible Sky God on their side (in other words, hot air fantasy make-believe bullshit). We win.

      Except it’s not going to be a win for anybody. Climate change is already affecting millions with billions to come. Irreversible, and irrevocable with lasting effects that nobody will escape from.

      I cannot even imagine what the real political fallout of this is going to be. Stupendous I’m sure.

      I believe these fools should be lynched in the streets. If not now, then soon. They’re actively engaging in crimes against humanity (and ecocide) and the world needs to start seeing it that way.

    • April 2, 2017 at 3:30 pm
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      I was trying to apply some very primitive game theory to Putin’s declaration. What were his options for adopting a public position? He had four:

      1) Climate change is claimed to be real and anthropogenic. Putin acts. Accordingly, fossil fuel production will be curtailed, among other measures. The Russian economy collapses. Putin falls. Collapse occurs anyway.

      2) Climate change is claimed to be real and anthropogenic. Putin does not act, or acts insufficiently. The effects of climate change are disastrous and Putin gets blamed. He falls. Collapse occurs anyway.

      3) Climate change is claimed to be not real, but misinformation and a lie. Putin does not act. The effects of climate change are disastrous and Putin gets blamed. He falls. Collapse occurs anyway.

      4) Climate change is claimed to be real but not anthropogenic. Putin does not act, or acts insufficiently. The effects of climate change are disastrous, but Putin shrugs his shoulders and explains that this is the will of God. He remains in power for as long as possible. Collapse occurs anyway.

      If we grant that Putin and his advisors can perform this simple analysis, which alternative would we expect them to choose?

      • April 2, 2017 at 4:51 pm
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        5) Putin is opportunistic and senses the change in the political winds. He curries favor with the new idiot monkey President of the United Slaves, thereby saving bucket loads of cash ignoring climate change. He’ll retire long before climate change wipes out his countrymen so he doesn’t care anymore then Trump does. He’s a sell-out, just like the Americans, sacrificing all of the tomorrows for the greed of today.

  • April 4, 2017 at 11:21 am
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    The NZ government public stance on climate change is that:

    1. It is real, but is proceeding at a very slow pace which is assumed to be approximately linear over time scales that matter.

    2. The UNIPCC is the only major body with any authority to make pronouncements on climate change.

    3. Emissions of CO2 and CH4 are not sufficiently high to cause immediate concern or the potential for future catastrophe.

    4. Strategies based on paying other people to not cut down trees and market-force-driven carbon trading etc. will reduce emissions and the pace of climate change over a period of decades.

    5. Paying organisations to carry out research into modification of the guts of animals or the bacterial content of the guts of animals etc. contributes to a ‘sustainable future’.

    6. Climate change will probably be ‘good for the NZ economy’ because it will increase agricultural production and reduce energy consumption required for winter heating in cold regions of the country.

    7. Sea level rise will be slow and of the order of half a metre by the end of the century, implying that no strategies for dealing with it need be formulated in the foreseeable future.

    Meanwhile, the actual manifestations of the effects of planetary overheat are becoming abundantly clear:

    1. Greater extremes of weather, including frequent torrential rain episodes, extended droughts, increased rates of erosion of coastline, unprecedented bush fires etc.

    2. Serious damage to infrastructure and serious impacts on agricultural production.

    3. Loss of biodiversity and shift of habitat zones of the more vulnerable species.

    Nevertheless, overall policy is ALWAYS geared to rapid increase in population, construction of houses, shopping malls, roads, carparks, ‘free trade’, corporatised sport, and promotion of tourism etc….all the aspects that rapidly increase CO2 emissions and increase dependence of fossil fuels, especially liquid transport fuels.

    This surreal state of affairs has been abundantly clear to me for well over a decade, and, as pointed out here and elsewhere, is totally unstoppable because the bulk of the populace is utterly clueless, as are the box-ticking bureaucrats who formulate and oversee policy and ‘sustainable development’ and the idiots that the uninformed general populace put into potions of power to vote on decisions that will seriously impact on everyone’s future.

    • April 4, 2017 at 2:33 pm
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      And “we” are “bitterly clued in” to the business-as-usual and categorical loss of a habitable planet.

      Oh, by the way, on #4. The Amazon is experiencing a 70% increase in deforestation in protected areas, so this “strategy” while sounding good to green washed ears, is useless.

  • April 4, 2017 at 11:46 am
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    ‘Live: Record breaking rain brings floods, landslides and road closures for the North Island

    Last updated 07:37, April 5 2017

    WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
    A cliff collapsed in Auckland, which prompted evacuations
    Severe thunderstorms are threatening the upper North Island, with the public warned to avoid sheltering under trees, avoid streams and more.
    The Whanganui and Rangitikei Districts have declared states of emergency ahead of possible flooding – but river rise now expected to be less than thought
    Evacuations had been slated to begin in Whanganui from 6am but have been delayed until later in the day
    All schools in the Whanganui and Rangitikei Districts will be closed on Wednesday, and the Ministry of Education is advising all early childhood education services to close as well.
    Find out What you need to know about roads closed, schools affected
    The North Island is facing heavy rain, slips and floods in areas including Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Waitomo, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, the Whanganui District, the Tararua Ranges, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa
    Rain totals could exceed 200mm in some areas. Heavy falls are forecast for Tuesday night into Wednesday
    The storm closed SH1 south of Kaikoura, hours after re-opening
    A number of slips and floods have closed SH4 between Whanganui River Rd and Raetihi ‘

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/91174483/live-cyclone-debbie-remnants-hit-nz

    (Okay here; I chose a location not prone to slips and flooding.)

    • April 4, 2017 at 6:14 pm
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      I noticed everybody is driving on the wrong side of the road. Is that pretty common there? 🙂

      We’ve got high water in this county, but no hurricanes (yet).

      • April 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm
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        Now that is a really interesting phenomenon!

        There is much evidence that the ‘normal’ side of the road for humans to travel along is the left side -going back to very ancient times and even a component of our very species psychological make-up- because most humans are right handed, and when carrying a weapon and approaching a potential threat tend to favour the right side; hence a weapon-carrying traveller would stick to the left side of the road in order to be able to wield his weapon effectively against a stranger approaching from the opposite direction if necessary.

        I believe that Napoleon decided to overturn every established rule because he could and forced much of conquered Europe to comply. And the American colonists had a different reason for travelling on the left, something to do with slow-moving wagons which I do not remember the detail of.

        Yesterday it rained heavily (another 47 mm here). And today (7:45 am) it is raining heavily.

        • April 5, 2017 at 2:24 pm
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          It was because of the prevailing winds, you didn’t want to pass a horse or team of mules on the right side…

          I just made that up. I would no doubt be in trouble trying to drive consistently on the left – especially when turning or merging into other lanes.

          • April 5, 2017 at 5:56 pm
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            ‘The papal system prevailed until the late 1700s, when teamsters in the United States and France began hauling farm products in big wagons pulled by several pairs of horses. These wagons had no driver’s seat; instead the driver sat on the left rear horse, so he could keep his right arm free to lash the team. Since you were sitting on the left, naturally you wanted everybody to pass on the left so you could look down and make sure you kept clear of the other guy’s wheels. Ergo, you kept to the right side of the road.’

            http://www.i18nguy.com/driver-side.html

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