Falter, Flail, Fall, and Fail

Let’s start with a quick glance in at another Blue Clown Primary Fashion Show pre-season showcase in the flood-soaked heartland of America. Almost all of the 2020 models showed up for a Pride Day showing in Iowa, whose early primary has a special importance in our national electoral process for reasons that are suspect, at best. Manipulation much? But, hey, it’s just a Clown fashion show, right? Who cares if it makes any sense! Nothing to see here, really. Just a preview of a preview of a show still almost a year away. Take a glance, from Slate’s view.

American voters are demanding real action on climate change. They want next year’s Fashion Show contestants to dress in shades of Green along with their Blue or Red base colors.

But, “Who cares what the voters want? Fook ‘em!” says the Dinosaur National Committee. The DNC sure don’t want no serious talk about the climate crisis buzz-killing the vibe at their primary fashion show. That wouldn’t be practical, they say. Golly, they say, it might benefit the candidate who is actually best qualified in that area. And we wouldn’t want that, now, would we? If things got out of hand like that, we might elect a qualified president….

What’s not “practical” is ignoring the single most important issue of our era. What’s not practical is being Machiavellian dinosaur clowns, endangering all of us by refusing to listen to their younger generation, which they need to win the next election. Dinosaur National Committee indeed. We call that heading for extinction, folks. It’s called “Faltering”. It’s called “Failing”. It’s called, “We Know The Path We’re On.” until we fall off the cliff.

For not allowing a climate-focused debate, and especially for the utterly undemocratic action of threatening candidates who participate in a climate debate (double-WTF!! on that one) I gotta slap a big F for fail on the DNC. Glad I ain’t part of that party no more.

From the side, it seems so odd that the Nancy Pelosi-led Democrats are unwilling to fulfill their oath to the Constitution, while these Constitutional Conservatives are calling for Trump’s impeachment. I guess what’s right is what’s right, and what’s wrong is wrong, whatever side you’re on. A- for this one.

Meanwhile, back in the center ring of P.R. Burn-em’s Two-Party Circus, instead of impeaching Trump like they should, the Blue Clowns are bringing in John Dean to chit-chat with the House Judiciary Committee for a while because… um, well, because he’s an old guy who was involved in Watergate, I guess. I’ve already written about how lame I think this kind of flailing around is, so I’ll spare you. Putting on this show as if Congress were a think tank instead of a decision-making body, a co-equal branch of government, is just embarrassing. History lessons instead of beginning an impeachment investigation and making some new history? Jeez loo-fookin’-wheeze, Nadler, John Dean, for fook’s sake! Give us a break.

The Dems are bringing in John Dean. So Devin Nunes counters with… um, who exactly? Jeez loo-fookin’-double-wheeze! I’m not sure if this will be high comedy or high drama. Still, there ain’t nothing like a good ol’ counter-intelligence hearing to provide a peek through the keyhole into some dark room or another behind the scenes of the Circus. I’m hoping to hear a lively “Spy v. Spy” episode, once this new clown show gets going. If so, you know I’ll have a review for you, from the Side. Will it be a leap forward, or another faltering step toward the cliff? We’ll see.

You can watch the show yourself, and make up your own mind, if you’re of a mind to, here.

Speaking of counter-intelligence, take a look at Climate-denier-in-Chief Trump vs. his military and intelligence assessment of climate change danger.

But, once you wade through the rising tides of nonsense, you discover there is real news after all, happening all around outside the Circus tent. In fact, it looks like the fookin’ tent is burning down! Why didn’t Bill Nye tell us? Oh, I guess he did. A+ to Bill for this eye-opener!

Let’s take a glance around at the real world.

The near record heat wave in India continues.

And it could happen here! Smithsonian Mag is not normally an alarmist sort of rag, unlike View from the Side. But they claim heat waves could kill thousands of people in the US, too. (um, apostrophes, folks, it’s not that hard.)

There seems to be some troubling feedback here. Complex systems are complex, dude. Confused? Get used to it. Feedback loops are the unpredictable element in the predicament we’re in.

In Mikaloff Fletcher’s view, the most alarming possibilities are the ones we have little control over. Rising temperatures could be triggering wetlands to release more methane, and changes in atmospheric chemistry could be slowing the rate at which methane breaks down.

Here’s the paper itself, a little hard to read for a lay person but worth a glance anyway.

And here’s a really cool study about the resilience of older forests to climate change. This is important information for my home bioregion here in the Pacific Northwest, where just a few of the last truly old forests in America still remain. Let ‘em grow, folks. It’s not that hard to figure out.

On the literary side, here’s a review of Bill McKibben’s new book, Falter, which I have not yet read. But I did read this good review, and so can you! I notice they follow the new style guidelines of the Guardian, saying, for example, “global heating” instead of global warming. But the article is titled “climate change” not “climate crisis”. So a B for that. A- for content.

This book is the latest installment of a trilogy of environmental disaster chronicles published within the space of a few weeks in the spring of this year. First came David Wallace-Wells’s The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, then Nathaniel Rich’s Losing Earth: A Recent History, and now Falter. Binge-readers and political activists will benefit from all three.

Population growth is one of the blind spots in Falter; nuclear energy, carbon pricing, carbon capture, and sequestration are others. Sensing, perhaps, that the political traffic cannot bear much, the book’s US-centrism avoids another uncomfortable insight, namely that climate change is a global public policy problem that cannot be solved in one country only, but requires international cooperation, compromise, and cohesion.

And for you visually-oriented data folks, here’s some nifty graphic depictions of the effect of climate changes on the oceans.

Do we have an education system or an indoctrination system? When you don’t let your youth speak to you, well, let’s just say that’s dinosaur thinkin’, and that leads nowhere but extinction. I find this attitude in educators to be very sad, indeed.

Ready for totalitarian technocracy, anyone? Grist asks, “Is there a techno-fix to the environmental damage we’ve done?” Oh, wouldn’t that be nice! But I’m not on board with most geo-engineering ideas, though I’m open to thinking about any idea, and of course researching at least some potential fixes. Carbon capture seems like a valuable potential direction to explore. The rest is just more of the bad thinking that got us here, faltering forward toward extinction.

The only thing that scares me more than human-created climate change is some kind of human-created, planetary scale, geo-engineering fix. For so many reasons. What could go wrong, right?

The best way to bring the earth back to health is to stop damaging it. And if we can’t stop damaging the health of the earth, no combination of fantasy techno-fixes is going to do any good. I’ve got a weird idea. Let’s stop breaking it, before we try to fix it. Let’s stop killing the earth. Then we won’t have to go to extreme measures to save it. A worthwhile read here from Grist.

Over on the dark side of the Circus, the Trump Bunker counter-attack is quietly developing. And it ain’t gonna be pretty, folks, once it comes out into the light.

NYT paints a pretty frightening portrait of William Barr-behind-bars. I’ve been making the comparison with Cheney myself in conversation, but there are some important differences. Cheney had his own interests in mind. Barr seems to be wholly Trump’s attack dog. That makes him more dangerous, in a way, because he has nothing to lose. As Barr said the other day when asked about his legacy, “Everyone dies.” Kinda scary, huh?

Viciousness, extraordinary power, and a fatalistic attitude. What could go wrong, right?

The long article, which seems equivocal about whether Barr’s a bad guy or not, concludes with this.

David Kris, a former assistant attorney general in charge of national security now with the Culper Partners consulting firm, said fears were mounting that the attorney general is not the department’s salvation, but a “real danger.” He himself is not ready to go that far, he said — yet.

I always love that hanging “yet”.

From the side, it’s looks unequivocal that Bill Barr’s gone bad, if he was ever good, which I doubt. He’s gonna cause a lot of trouble if somebody doesn’t put him behind bars soon. And I don’t think Nancy’s got any handcuffs in her handbag.

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