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  1. Silver Bullet Thinking and My False Sense of Security

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    June 15, 2017 by John Crapper

     

    Silver bullet solutions to climate change give me hope for a quick easy fix.  They give me reason to believe that we can avoid the worst.  They play to my ego and that man’s ingenuity and technology will be able to save the day.

    Silver bullet solutions also fool me into thinking I don’t have to change my way of living.  They give me hope for a painless fix.  They give me license to ignore and continue on as if all will be fine.  They give me a subliminal way of denying environmental reality.

    I must admit that technology has served us well.  It has brought the Industrial Revolution, Green Revolution and Information Revolution.  I live life better because of science and technology. I couldn’t do what I’m doing right now on this computer if it wasn’t for technology.

    Because of these past marvelous accomplishments I’ve been conditioned to have tremendous confidence in science and technology.

    But silver bullet proponents give fuel to the mime that deniers argue – that science can’t be trusted.  After all, if a promising new technology doesn’t manifest itself as expected then why should scientists be believed with regard to the existence of climate change?

    But I still like to keep track of what might be possible in our future.  With the reality of our current carbon path looking so bleak it’s nice once in a while to dream the silver bullet dream.

    Here are a few silver bullets  I’m watching.

    Fusion Nuclear Power  

    A few years back it was the silver bullet that was going to solve our energy needs and climate change at the same time.  Well I’m still waiting.

    The problem with fusion has always been that to get the fusion reaction it takes more energy to produce it than it puts out, which is the exact opposite of what you want from a power plant.

    Well scientists are telling us it’s within reach now.  I checked up on the latest.

    The first and largest machine of its kind is currently under construction at the French scientific research centre Cadarache, which specialises in nuclear power research.

    It’s called ITER, Latin for “The Way”, and is expected to usher in a new era of nuclear fusion-powered electricity – something scientists and engineers have been working toward for over 40 years.

    By fusing two forms of hydrogen – called deuterium and tritium – together, the machine would generate 500 megawatts of power. That’s 10 times more energy than it would require to operate.

    Once completed, ITER would measure 100 feet (30 metres) in diameter and height, representing a new breed of nuclear fusion device. If it reaches its energy output goals, it will be the first machine of its kind to bridge the gap from fusion research in the lab to readily available fusion power for cities.

    As of June 2015, construction costs for the machine exceeded US$14 billion.

    I hope it turns out to be true.

    Carbon sequestration/carbon capture and storage (CCS)

    What is carbon sequestration?
    Carbon sequestration is capturing the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels and storing it safely away from the atmosphere.

    In November, 2016 Science Daily Reported:

    Lab studies on basalt have shown that the rock, which formed from lava millions of years ago and is found throughout the world, can rapidly convert CO2 into stable carbonate minerals. This evidence suggests that if CO2 could be locked into this solid form, it would be stowed away for good, unable to escape into the atmosphere. But what happens in the lab doesn’t always reflect what happens in the field. One field project in Iceland injected CO2 pre-dissolved in water into a basalt formation, where it was successfully stored. And starting in 2009, researchers with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Montana-based Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership undertook a pilot project in eastern Washington to inject 1,000 tons of pressurized liquid CO2 into a basalt formation.

    After drilling a well in the Columbia River Basalt formation and testing its properties, the team injected CO2 into it in 2013. Core samples were extracted from the well two years later, and Pete McGrail and colleagues confirmed that the CO2 had indeed converted into the carbonate mineral ankerite, as the lab experiments had predicted. And because basalts are widely found in North America and throughout the world, the researchers suggest that the formations could help permanently sequester carbon on a large scale.

    Clean Coal

    What is the biggest obstacle?

    Cost. The technology works. The economics don’t. Power plants with C.C.S. cost about 75 percent more than regular coal plants, and the infrastructure required to transport and store CO2 is enormous. It’s also essentially still free for plants to emit carbon dioxide into the air. Until there is a real cost to companies for emitting carbon unchecked, the financial case for C.C.S. will come up short.

     

    The promise of Biochar

    Biochar Is a Valuable Soil Amendment

    This 2,000 year-old practice converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security, and increase soil biodiversity, and discourage deforestation. The process creates a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water.

    Biochar is found in soils around the world as a result of vegetation fires and historic soil management practices. Intensive study of biochar-rich dark earths in the Amazon (terra preta), has led to a wider appreciation of biochar’s unique properties as a soil enhancer.

    Biochar can be an important tool to increase food security and cropland diversity in areas with severely depleted soils, scarce organic resources, and inadequate water and chemical fertilizer supplies.

    Biochar also improves water quality and quantity by increasing soil retention of nutrients and agrochemicals for plant and crop utilization. More nutrients stay in the soil instead of leaching into groundwater and causing pollution.

    How Can Biochar Be Carbon Negative?

    Fossil fuels are carbon positive; they add more carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gasses to the air and thus exacerbate global warming. Ordinary biomass fuels are carbon neutral; the carbon captured in the biomass by photosynthesis would have eventually returned to the atmosphere through natural processes like decomposition. Sustainable biochar systems can be carbon negative by transforming the carbon in biomass into stable carbon structures in biochar which can remain sequestered in soils for hundreds and even thousands of years. The result is a net reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere, as illustrated in the diagram.

    How can biochar mitigate climate change?

    Large amounts of forestry and agricultural residues and other biomass are currently burned or left to decompose thereby releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and/or methane (CH4)—two main greenhouse gases (GHGs)—into the atmosphere. Under biochar conversion scenarios, easily mineralized carbon compounds in biomass are converted into fused carbon ring structures in biochar and placed in soils where they persist for hundreds or thousands of years. When deployed on a global scale through the conversion of gigatonnes of biomass into biochar, studies have shown that biochar has the potential to mitigate global climate change by drawing down atmospheric GHG concentrations (Woolf et al, 2010).

    There are many other ideas out there such as  brightening the clouds; stirring the seas to change their temperature and cool the Earth; turning the ocean into a gigantic bubble bath to reflect the sun; covering the deserts in mirrors and sending parasols into space; mimicking the cooling effects of volcanic eruptions like Mount Pinatubo.

    I can really fool myself into believing that our science and technology has a handle on the climate change issue. That a silver bullet solution is just around the corner.

    But, in reality, if I count on any of these silver bullets I sort of look like this.

     

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  2. Dreaming Big In Memory of John F. Kennedy on His 100th Birthday

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    May 28, 2017 by John Crapper

    “Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” JFK

    John F. Kennedy was a dreamer and a visionary.  As we reflect on his legacy at the juncture of what would have been his 100th birthday I’d like to dream and suggest a vision I believe he would have suggested and encouraged us to adopt if he were sitting in the oval office today.

    Recall one of John F. Kennedy’s most famous statements during his presidential inauguration.

     

    I think with the challenges this country faces it is time to honor JFK and seriously consider what we can do to fulfill his request.

    I spend a lot of time researching the problems and challenges associated with climate change.  If there were ever one single problem we must address collectively in a big way it is this one irrespective of the opinion our current sitting president holds on this issue.

    Somehow our entire country needs to come together and embark on a massive effort to reduce our fossil fuel consumption to bring down the level of CO2 we are putting into our atmosphere. And it needs to start happening very quickly.

    Up until 2007 the United States was the largest emitter of CO2 in our world.  Since then China has held the top position.  As such we have an obligation to the rest of the world to lead the way in our carbon reduction efforts.

    According to the EPA here is our recent record of US CO2 reduction up until 2014 (the latest I could find).

    In 2014, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions totaled 6,870 million metric tons (15.1 trillion pounds) of carbon dioxide equivalents. This total represents a 7 percent increase since 1990 but a 7 percent decrease since 2005

    It has now been determined by the NSA a critical task for us to embark on serious CO2 reductions in the interest of our own national security.

    Even though we are already seeing and feeling the effects of climate change just by the nature of the problem, it will negatively impact the younger amongst us to a greater extent than those older.  The young consequently have a greater stake in having the issue prioritized.

    Research I’ve done indicates that around the year 2030 major impacts will start being seen and felt around the world. Around 2050 our world order starts to unravel if we continue doing what we’re currently doing.  And from what I’m seeing this timeframe is speeding up at present.  Just to put that in a visually more vivid way for you to  plug yourself into I offer the following.

    A person with a birthdate of

    2017 will be 13 years old in 2030 and 43 in 2050

    2007 will be 23 years old in 2030 and 53 in 2050

    1997 will be 33 years old in 2030 and 63 in 2050

    1987 will be 43 years old in 2030 and 73 in 2050

    1977 will be 53 years old in 2030 and 83 in 2050

    1967 will be 63 years old in 2030 and 93 in 2050

    1957 will be 73 years old in 2030 and 103 in 2050

    1947 will be 83 years old in 2030

    1937 will be 93 years old in 2030

    1927 will be 103 years old in 2030

    Just as JFK set a goal of putting a man on the moon in 10 years which we achieved, we can and should set an ambitious goal of major CO2 reduction in the next decade to tackle the problem of climate change.

    The Climate Mobilization’s Victory Plan aims to detail how a fully mobilized United States government could drive our economy to net zero greenhouse gas emissions within a decade, restore a safe climate, end the sixth mass extinction, reverse ecological overshoot — and revitalize America, with 100% employment for all who want work.

    That plan outlines a myriad of steps that can and should be taken to help change our CO2 emission trajectory.  I invite you to read it.  It’s well worth the time!

    But in this article I’d like to focus on one specific idea on this 100th birthday remembrance of JFK not mentioned in the Victory Plan.

    I think it’s time this country considers a compulsory national public service program designed specifically to tackle climate change. Asking our youth to devote two years of their life to help secure the livability of their future environment seems reasonable to me. Asking them to do something for their country while concurrently their government does its part for them by embarking on such things mentioned in the Victory Plan referenced above seems reasonable to me.

    I know what you’re thinking.  This has a fat chance of happening any time soon under our current political situation.  But I ask you.  Have we lost our ability to think big?  Have we lost our willingness to pursue long-term goals?  Have we, as a country, as a people, as parents, thrown in the towel of our children’s future and resigned ourselves that their life will be much worse than the one we have had the good fortune to live?  Have we as a people given up on accepting and taking on the challenges of our day?

    I must continue to believe that that is not the case.  Otherwise the Trump-like thinkers amongst us will have won.

    So I’m going to keep dreaming because dreams can come true as well as nightmares.  Let me remind all that most of us never dreamed Trump had a chance of winning but the other side’s dream came true.

     It’s time for one of ours to come true next!

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  3. Children Deserve to Breathe Easy – Can’t Deny That

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    May 25, 2017 by John Crapper

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    Our children deserve to breathe easy.

     None of us can deny that!

    None of us have a right to deny them that!

    screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-9-53-00-pm

    Our current president is a climate change denier but he has children.

    “I am not a believer,” Trump said on a radio show in September 2015. “Unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather.”

    He’s not alone holding this opinion either.

    Climate change denial hit a six-year high in 2014, with 23 percent of Americans saying they do not believe in global warming, and 53 percent saying they do not believe global warming is human-caused.

    I don’t believe it very likely these deniers are persuadable to the fact of anthropogenic climate change.  I think it prudent to skirt the issue and hit them on another indisputable fact.

    CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels results in air pollution.  The climate change deniers can’t argue with that because pictures prove its existence.

    screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-4-50-43-pm

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume most of these climate change deniers do care about their children.  That seems to be a rather universal trait across all peoples around the world no matter how ill informed.  So a better line of reasoning to use with a denier revolves around the dangerous level of air pollution we’re seeing around the world and the harm it is causing our children.  That seems like a no-brainer approach to me.

    A fresh report is alarming.

    Counting 2 billion children breathing unhealthy air — out of a total 2.26 billion world population of children — means the vast majority are being exposed to levels of pollution considered by the WHO to be unsafe.

    Out of that 2 billion breathing toxic air, the report puts 620 million of them in South Asia — mostly northern India. Another 520 million children are breathing toxic air in Africa, and 450 million in East Asia, mainly China, according to the report, which combined satellite images of pollution and ground data with demographic patterns to determine which populations fell into the highest risk areas.

    Children around the world are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of air pollution.  This is because they breathe faster than adults and as a result take in more air.  Since their minds and bodies are not fully developed along with their immune systems high levels of pollution cause more damage relative to adults exposed to the same levels of pollution.

    The impact is commensurately shocking,” with 600,000 children younger than 5 across the world dying every year from air pollution-related diseases, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said…

    Millions more suffer from respiratory diseases that diminish their resilience and affect their physical and cognitive development.

    According to the new 2016 report from the American Lung Association air quality in the U.S is improving but we still have a long way to go.

    The annual, national air quality “report card” found that 166 million Americans live with unhealthful levels of air pollution, putting them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects like lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage, and developmental and reproductive harm.

    Top 10 U.S. Cities Most Polluted by Year-Round Particle Pollution (Annual PM2.5):

    Bakersfield, Calif.
    Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Calif.
    Fresno-Madera, Calif.
    Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.
    El Centro, Calif.
    (tied) Modesto-Merced, Calif.
    (tied) San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, Calif.
    Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, Pa.-Ohio-W. Va.
    Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, Pa.
    Louisville-Jefferson
    County-Elizabethtown-Madison, KY-IN

     

     

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  4. National Security Says Climate Has Been a Risk Since 2003

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    May 18, 2017 by John Crapper

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    Now that the Donald is receiving regular national security briefings one can only hope that some of this history listed below penetrates his fascist brain.  I’m not optimistic.

    In September, 2016 OBAMA ORDERED THE PENTAGON TO PLAN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

    “Climate change poses a significant and growing threat to national security, both at home and abroad,” declared a memorandum from the White House to the heads of executive departments and agencies.”

    This is nothing new.  The Pentagon has been dong this planning since 2003.

    “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and its Implications for United States National Security,” warned of new wars fought over dwindling resources as the climate changed. The study, commissioned by the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, foreshadows a lot of the fears contained in the recent policy memorandum.”

    Here is an excerpt from the report.

    “As global and local carrying capacities are reduced, tensions could mount around the world, leading to two fundamental strategies: defensive and offensive. Nations with the resources to do so may build virtual fortresses around their countries, preserving resources for themselves. Less fortunate nations especially those with ancient enmities with their neighbors, may initiate in struggles for access to food, clean water, or energy. Unlikely alliances could be formed as defense priorities shift and the goal is resources for survival rather than religion, ideology, or national honor.”

    Climate change can cause the spread of invasive species of pests and plant species.  It can cause the spread of infectious plant, animal, and human disease as a result.  It can undermine economic growth and livelihoods.  All these effects can lead to mass population migration across international borders.
    The Center For Climate and Security has a full timeline of military interest with climate change.  Here are a few highlights from that timeline of particular interest to the United States.

    “These risks will require managing the divergent needs of massively increasing energy demand to maintain economic development and the need to tackle climate change,” read the 2008 National Defense Strategy of the United States.

    A roadmap on climate change in 2010. From that roadmap:

    Climate change is a national security challenge with strategic implications for the Navy. Climate change will lead to increased tensions in nations with weak economies and political institutions. While climate change alone is not likely to lead to future conflict, it may be a contributing factor. Climate change is affecting, and will continue to affect, U.S. military installations and access to natural resources worldwide. It will affect the type, scope, and location of future Navy missions.

    In 2012, Homeland Security released a report on climate change. So did the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, with a a report on Global Water Security for the State Department, noting that

    “During the next 10 years, many countries important to the United States will experience water problems—shortages, poor water quality, or floods—that will risk instability and state failure, increase regional tensions, and distract them from working with the United States on important U.S. policy objectives.” The study looked out as far ahead as 2040, and said simply, “Climate change will cause water shortages in many areas of the world.”

    And that’s just the reports from the first term of George W. Bush’s through to the end of Barack Obama’s first term. There have been 12 additional reports.
    The latest memorandum from the White House coordinates a lot of this previous work, and puts greater emphasis on climate security.

    I’ve put together my own timeline projecting the effects of climate change on our world out to the year 2100 in connection with a book I’m writing.  It’s not a pretty picture.

    One can only hope that some of this good council from our top national security advisors is taken to heart by our new commander-in-chief.  Hope springs eternal.

     

     

     

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  5. People’s Climate March – The Day After

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    April 30, 2017 by John Crapper

     

    On April 30th, the day after the People’s Climate March, Climate Hawks Vote is hosting a training for leaders of the climate movement who are considering running for office!

    We need bold progressives to run for office who will lead on climate, and stand in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s climate denial and the fossil-fuel industry agenda.

    At the training we’ll hear from grassroots leaders who have gotten elected themselves and made major progress by stopping fossil fuel projects, advancing renewable energy, and helping their communities deal with climate disasters. And we’ll be joined by some of the top progressive political strategists and trainers in the country.

    This training is for you if:
    – you are considering running for office yourself in the next one to three years,
    – you want to help a friend run for office,
    – or you want to learn how a local electoral strategy could help your campaign.

    Engaging in local politics is a critical part of the climate movement, whether we’re fighting for divestment, no new fossil fuels, or solutions like community solar and green building policies.

    Organized by: Climate Hawks Vote and Lead Locally, with

    350 Action
    AllofUs
    Blue America
    ClimateTruth.org Action
    Communities for a Better Environment Action
    Democracy for AmericaFood & Water Action Fund
    Friends of the Earth Action
    Netroots Nation
    Oil Change USA
    Progressive Change Campaign Committee
    Progressive Democrats of America
    #VOTEPROCHOICE
    Working Families Party
    Food & Water Action Fund
    United We Dream Action

    Note:  This training is available for RSVP both in DC and online. See climatehawksvote.com/training for more details.


    Screen_Shot_2016-10-27_at_12.33.00_PM.png

    Climate Hawks Vote

    WE ARE CLIMATE HAWKS

    We’re seeking to elect leaders willing to take on the greatest challenge facing the next few generations of humanity. Too many Democratic politicians consider climate to be just another issue bubbling below the surface of top priorities, and too many advocates are willing to excuse Democratic politicians who tout their states’ coal and oil resources. We need aggressive, progressive champions of climate justice—climate hawks.

    The Republican Party is so deeply entrenched in denying the existence of climate change and protecting the fossil-fuel industry that if a Republican climate hawk were to emerge, we would look hard at a Republican’s willingness to buck leadership as well as the Republican’s position on climate.

    We work to engage and educate voters, advocate on climate change in general election contests, and back climate hawks in Democratic primaries. We engage and train younger climate hawks interested in running for office. And we work on campaigns to mobilize the American people and our elected officials to act aggressively to end greenhouse pollution and build a renewably powered, just society that is resilient to the threats of a changing climate.

     

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  6. A Vision of Trump Accepting Climate Change – Eko Atlantic

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    April 27, 2017 by John Crapper

    With Donald Trump as our sitting president and his penchant for shifting his stance on various issues, I started to reflect on what might happen if he suddenly saw the light and accepted the fact that climate change is happening.  One might think that would be a good thing but upon reflection of the way the Donald’s mind processes information I experienced a profound Holy Shit moment!

    Please note:   I’ve written about Eko Atlantic before.

    Here is the link to my past article which provides more background.

    Eko Atlantic is being built just off Lagos along Nigeria’s Coast and designed to house 250,000. Its whole purpose, developers say, is to “arrest the ocean’s encroachment”. Like many low-lying coastal African countries, Nigeria is being hit hard by a rising sea-level, which has been regularly washing away thousands of peoples’ homes. To defend against this coastal erosion and flooding, Eko Atlantic is being built surrounded by the “Great Wall of Lagos”, a sea defense barrier made of 100,000 five-ton concrete blocks. Eko Atlantic is billed as a “sustainable city, clean and energy efficient with minimal carbon emissions,” offering jobs, prosperity and new land for Nigerians, and designed to serve as a bulwark in the fight against the impacts of climate change. A city of souring buildings, with a central boulevard to match New York’s Fifth Avenue.

    But here is the flip side.

    In congested Lagos, Africa’s largest city, there is little employment and millions work scavenging in a vast, desperate informal economy. Sixty percent of Nigeria’s population – almost 100 of 170 million people – live on less than a dollar a day. Preventable diseases are widespread; electricity and clean water hard to come by. A few kilometers down the Lagos shoreline, Nigerians eke out an existence in the aquatic slum of Makoko, built precariously on stilts over the ocean. Casting them as crime-ridden, the government regularly dismantles such slums, bulldozing homes and evicting thousands. These are hardly the people that will scoop up square footage in Eko Atlantic’s pricy new high-rises.

    The inspiration for Eko Atlantic is coming from the dreamworlds of rampant capitalism, stoked by a successful, thirty year global campaign to claw back gains in social security and unchain corporations from regulation – what has become known as neoliberalism.

    In Nigeria, oil wealth plundered by a military elite spawned extreme inequalities and upended the economy. Under the IMF’s neoliberal dictates, the situation has worsened: education and healthcare have been gutted, industries privatized, and farmers ruined by western products dumped on their markets. While the World Bank celebrated Nigeria; extreme poverty doubled. The most notorious application of the power of the Nigerian state for the interest of the rich came in 1990: an entire district of Lagos – 300,000 homes – was razed to clear the way for high-end real-estate development.

    Eko Atlantic is exactly the kind of plan that would be extremely attractive to Trump the real estate developer.

    You see, I believe the wealthy and powerful do take climate change seriously;  not as a demand to modify their behavior or question the fossil-fuel driven global economy that makes it possible, but as the biggest opportunity yet to realize their dreams of unfettered accumulation of wealth and consumption. The disaster capitalists behind Eko Atlantic are seizing on climate change to push through pro-corporate plans to build cities of their dreams, architectural insults to the daily circumstances of ordinary people.

    Privatized green enclaves for the ultra rich ringed by slums lacking water or electricity, in which a surplus population outside the walls scramble for depleting resources and shelter to fend off the coming floods and storms. Cities protected by guards, guns, and an insurmountable gully – real estate prices – allowing the rich to shield themselves from the rising tides of poverty and a sea that is literally rising. A world in which the rich and powerful exploit the global ecological crisis to widen and entrench already extreme inequalities and seal themselves off from its impacts.

    Will this practice, starting with the elites in Nigeria, and now with Trump in the White House be quickly embraced? Will the result be some of the most severe forms of colonial segregation and gated leisure being re-established? To get their way, will the rich, backed by industry and politicians, trample over environmental assessment processes in country after country?

    Will Eko Atlantic start a trend in the world contrary to anything one would want to do if one took seriously climate change and resource depletion? Will the elite, like never before, use climate change to transform neighborhoods, cities, even entire nations into heavily fortified islands? Around the world, from Afghanistan to Arizona, China to Cairo, and in mushrooming mega-cities much like Lagos, will those able move to areas where they could live better and often more greenly – with better transport and renewable technologies, green buildings and ecological services?

    Does Eko Atlantic start a moral and social secession of the rich from those in their respective countries?

    This essentially utopian drive – to consume rapaciously and endlessly and to reject any semblance of collective impulse and concern – is simply incompatible with human survival but resonates with people who think like Trump.

    At the very moment when the world needs to confront an economy and ideology pushing the planet’s life-support systems to the breaking point is this what our future looks like – grotesque monuments being built to assist the ultra-rich’s flight from responsibility.

    April 29, 2017 – People’s Climate March

    I’m going too!

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  7. Will YOU be Marching on Saturday 4/29/17?

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    April 26, 2017 by John Crapper


    I’m participating in the blogathon.  Stop by if you have the time.

    Support the Daily Kos SciCli blogathon during the April 22-28 week of action promoting the April 29 People’s Climate March with stories on how science and climate change are affecting our lives and our planet.

    For background on the SciCli Blogathon and the Week of action visit boatsie’s diary from 4/17, Besame’s from 4/20, and onomastic’s from 4/21.

    Sign up for the Washington, D.C. march or find a march near you.

    On April 29, let’s march for jobs, justice, and the climate

    • Saturday, April 22 all times are PDT

    2:30 pm: Cracks in Greenland ice-sheet may link up and break off DarkSyde

    5:00 pm: Peoples Climate March just one piece of the resistance against lethal eco-policies. Meteor Blades

    • Sunday, April 23

    9:00 am:  People’s Climate March next Saturday. Run on Sunday. RLMiller

    2:30 pm: SciCli Blogathon: “I can’t believe we’re marching for facts” Edition (#ScienceMarchSF Photo Essay) citisven

    5:00 pm: Climate change: Be Positive. It’s Important.  John Crapper

    • Monday, April 24

    2:30 pm: I Resist in Miami Because We Provide the 1st Glimpse Into Future Climate Mayhem Pakalolo

    5:00 pm: Resist,Rebel, and Revolt for Earth, Wind, Water: Climate March on Sat., 4/29 2thanks

    • Tuesday, April 25

    10:45 am: Toosdai Critters Speak Out Samanthab

    5:00 pm:  Had We But World Enough And Time . . .  Besame

    • Wednesday, April 26

    2:30 pm: Dartagnan (Climate Change is Making the World Friendlier for Mosquitoes, Diseases, and Death)

    5:00 pm: peregrine kate

    • Thursday, April 27

    2:30 pm: Bill McKibben

    5:00 pm: WarrenS

    • Friday, April 28

    2:30 pm: Tamar

    5:00 pm: annieli

    Climate Hawks Vote is hosting a training for leaders of the climate movement who are considering running for office on April 30, the day after the People’s Climate March. Read more about the training at People’s Climate March next Saturday. Run on Sunday.

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  8. A Positive Message With Climate Change Is Important

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    April 23, 2017 by John Crapper

    A positive message when talking about climate change is important.

    A recent Gallop poll shows concern about climate change ebbs and flows in the minds of the American public.  Recently, that concern has spiked because of a winter that most described as being unusually warm. Sixty-three percent said they experienced an unusually warm winter, and the majority of the group ascribed the warm weather pattern to human-caused climate change. In other words current events influenced their views on the issue.

    Most of the time, when I bring up the issue of climate change, my friends and acquaintances will remain largely silent and often switch the subject as quickly as possible.  It begs the question. Are humans psychologically incapable of facing up to the horrific likely consequences of global warming as described by scientists?

    This question has fascinated me for quite some time.  It’s one of the reasons here at the Church of the Holy Shitters we try to focus on the psychological aspects of climate change.  Just as climate change is a complex problem defying simplistic resolution, so to is the psychology surrounding the issue.

    As George Marshall, author of Don’t Even Think About It.  Why our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, states:

    ‘It’s not so much that we’re wired to ignore climate change… The problem with climate change is that because it does not have immediacy, it’s not something that readily works with our inbuilt threat detectors,’

    When a child is spotted in the window of a burning building without hesitation firemen rush to their rescue.  When we see someone drowning we immediately act to help save. When an active terrorist shooter is storming a local campus the swat teams and local police force spring into action.  There is immediacy to the threat and it elicits an immediate response.

    But risks associated with climate change lack this immediacy.  They are possible events to occur sometime into the future to people living in the future.

    Few climate activists were surprised when a Yougov poll published in late September confirmed what many had already suspected: the British public are not particularly worried about global warming.

    A minority of 39 per cent responded that they believed climate change posed a serious problem affecting the world as a whole, compared to 61 per cent for poverty and 77 per cent for terrorism. When asked which issue they believed presented the gravest global threat, only 6 per cent of those polled selected climate change.

    Marshall found that victims of floods and hurricanes were more intent on restoring their lives to the way they were before the storm than willing to consider making changes to their lifestyle to avoid similar disasters in the future.

    Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, of the University of Bristol has conducted extensive research into the psychology of climate change says:

    ‘I can ask people four questions about the free market and if they tell me in their responses that they really care about the free market as the best way to distribute goods in a society, then I can be almost certain that they will also say climate change isn’t happening and is nothing to worry about.’

    ‘The tricky thing is that you have to ask people in a way that doesn’t trigger their political identification,’ explains Lewandowsky.

    ‘When you do that, you find that 70-80 per cent of people know exactly that climate change is occurring, that it’s a real risk and that it’s going to get worse.’

    According to CRED – the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions – a growing body of scientific evidence shows that attempts to scare people into action with fear-based appeals actually result in increased climate scepticism. It is important to couple the fear message with viable solutions

    ‘Anybody who runs a fear campaign will always combine that appeal to fear with a presumed solution to the problem,’ says Lewandowsky. ‘Fear campaigns are very effective if they offer you the solutions.’

    For example a terrorist fear campaign will swiftly be followed by a proposal to send troops or implement a bombing campaign.  The appeal of a simple solution coupled with quick action usually results in public support for the proposal irrespective of the morality or effectiveness of the proposal.  In the case of climate change solutions are complex and nuanced.

    It is very important for all of us involved in the effort to get people to focus on solving climate change to portray a positive solutions better quality of life message constantly especially when informing individuals of the perils to that quality of life climate change poses.

    We will continue to explore this here at the Church of the Holy Shitters on an ongoing basis in future posts.  Your ideas are certainly appreciated in comments below.

    I have found doing something about it goes a long way in maintaining a positive attitude!

    I currently suggest people channel their concern and efforts by involving themselves in one of three different organizations depending on their personal preference.  I offer them here for your consideration.

    ***

    1.  For a U.S. political focus working to elect candidates willing to prioritize climate change.

    Screen_Shot_2016-10-27_at_12.33.00_PM.png

    Climate Hawks Vote

    WE ARE CLIMATE HAWKS

    We’re seeking to elect leaders willing to take on the greatest challenge facing the next few generations of humanity. Too many Democratic politicians consider climate to be just another issue bubbling below the surface of top priorities, and too many advocates are willing to excuse Democratic politicians who tout their states’ coal and oil resources. We need aggressive, progressive champions of climate justice—climate hawks.

    The Republican Party is so deeply entrenched in denying the existence of climate change and protecting the fossil-fuel industry that if a Republican climate hawk were to emerge, we would look hard at a Republican’s willingness to buck leadership as well as the Republican’s position on climate.

    We work to engage and educate voters, advocate on climate change in general election contests, and back climate hawks in Democratic primaries. We engage and train younger climate hawks interested in running for office. And we work on campaigns to mobilize the American people and our elected officials to act aggressively to end greenhouse pollution and build a renewably powered, just society that is resilient to the threats of a changing climate.

    RSVP_Banner.jpg

    On April 30th, the day after the People’s Climate March, Climate Hawks Vote is hosting a training for leaders of the climate movement who are considering running for office!

    We need bold progressives to run for office who will lead on climate, and stand in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s climate denial and the fossil-fuel industry agenda.

    At the training we’ll hear from grassroots leaders who have gotten elected themselves and made major progress by stopping fossil fuel projects, advancing renewable energy, and helping their communities deal with climate disasters. And we’ll be joined by some of the top progressive political strategists and trainers in the country.

    This training is for you if:
    – you are considering running for office yourself in the next one to three years,
    – you want to help a friend run for office,
    – or you want to learn how a local electoral strategy could help your campaign.

    Engaging in local politics is a critical part of the climate movement, whether we’re fighting for divestment, no new fossil fuels, or solutions like community solar and green building policies.

    Organized by: Climate Hawks Vote and Lead Locally, with

    350 Action
    AllofUs
    Blue America
    ClimateTruth.org Action
    Communities for a Better Environment Action
    Democracy for AmericaFood & Water Action Fund
    Friends of the Earth Action
    Netroots Nation
    Oil Change USA
    Progressive Change Campaign Committee
    Progressive Democrats of America
    #VOTEPROCHOICE
    Working Families Party
    Food & Water Action Fund
    United We Dream Action

    Note:  This training is available for RSVP both in DC and online. See climatehawksvote.com/training for more details.

    2.  For a global yet local focus with an emphasis on social justice aspects.

    Screen_Shot_2016-10-27_at_12.38.51_PM.png

    350.org

    350 is building a global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice.

    That movement is rising from the bottom up all over the world, and is uniting to create the solutions that will ensure a better future for all. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions bring together a global network active in over 188 countries.

    3.  And for a US political focus with a more bi-bartisan approach trying to influence those already in political office.

    Screen_Shot_2016-10-27_at_12.45.59_PM.png

    Citizens’ Climate Lobby

    Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.

    Our consistently respectful, non-partisan approach to climate education is designed to create a broad, sustainable foundation for climate action across all geographic regions and political inclinations. By building upon shared values rather than partisan divides, and empowering our supporters to work in keeping with the concerns of their local communities, we work towards the adoption of fair, effective, and sustainable climate change solutions.

    In order to generate the political will necessary for passage of our Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal we train and support volunteers to build relationships with elected officials, the media and their local community.

    “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

    Martin Luther King Jr.
    climate_march.jpg

    I regularly post on Daily Kos, the largest progressive blogging site in the country.  They are having a

    SciCli Blogathon: April 22-28, 2017 (all times are Pacific)

    C9EHZxXW0AExcFY.jpg

    Support the Daily Kos SciCli blogathon during the April 22-28 week of action which is promoting the April 29 People’s Climate March with stories on how science and climate change are affecting our lives and our planet.

    For background on the blogathon and the Week of action visit boatsie’s diary.

    Sign up for the Washington, D.C. march or find a march near you.

    On April 29, let’s march for jobs, justice, and the climate!

    Posting Schedule:

    Please note I’m posting in this blogathon later today at 5:00 pm PST.

    2:30 pm: Darksyde

    5:00 pm: Meteor Blades

    • Sunday, April 23

    2:30 pm: citisven

    5:00 pm: John Crapper

    • Monday, April 24

    2:30 pm: Pakalolo

    5:00 pm: 2thanks

    • Tuesday, April 25

    1:45 pm: Samanthab

    5:00 pm: Besame

    • Wednesday, April 26

    2:30 pm: Dartagnan

    5:00 pm: peregrine kate

    • Thursday, April 27

    2:30 pm: Bill McKibben

    5:00 pm: WarrenS

    • Friday, April 28

    2:30 pm: Tamar

    5:00 pm: Annieli

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post and caring about climate change!

     



     

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  9. People’s Climate March – FYI

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    April 22, 2017 by John Crapper

    I spend a lot of time blogging on the Daily Kos site.

    I am proud to announce I’m part of this program posting tomorrow at 5:00pm PST.

    Below are the details.  Only my article will appear on this site.

    Joining Daily Kos is easy and you are able to start participating the minute you join.

    I can certainly say it’s a great place to give a megaphone to a person’s voice!

    SciCli Blogathon: April 22-28, 2017 (all times are Pacific)

    C9EHZxXW0AExcFY.jpg

    Support the Daily Kos SciCli blogathon during the April 22-28 week of action promoting the April 29 People’s Climate March with stories on how science and climate change are affecting our lives and our planet.

    For background on the SciCli Blogathon and the Week of action visit boatsie’s diary from 4/17, Besame’s from 4/20, and onomastic’s from 4/21.

    Sign up for the Washington, D.C. march or find a march near you.

    On April 29, let’s march for jobs, justice, and the climate!

    • Saturday, April 22

    2:30 pm: Cracks in Greenland ice-sheet may link up and break off

    5:00 pm: Meteor Blades

    • Sunday, April 23

    2:30 pm: citisven

    5:00 pm: John Crapper

    • Monday, April 24

    2:30 pm: Pakalolo

    5:00 pm: 2thanks

    • Tuesday, April 25

    1:45 pm: samanthab

    5:00 pm: Besame

    • Wednesday, April 26

    2:30 pm: Dartagnan

    5:00 pm: peregrine kate

    • Thursday, April 27

    2:30 pm: Bill McKibben

    5:00 pm: WarrenS

    • Friday, April 28

    2:30 pm: Tamar

    5:00 pm: annieli

     

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  10. Canadian River Vanished Due to Climate Change

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    April 18, 2017 by John Crapper

    Time Magazine Canada 4-18-17

    Scientists said a river that flowed from one of Canada’s largest glaciers was rerouted — a process that normally takes thousands of years — in just a few months, due to climate change.

    Meltwater that usually flows north from the Kaskawulsh Glacier into the Bering Sea through the Slims and Yukon Rivers was diverted south in 2016 in what researchers dubbed “river piracy,” or when one river hijacks the water flow of another. The water now goes into the Pacific Ocean.

    Glacier National Park:  If you haven’t been you better visit soon to see any glaciers.

    And it’s happening all over the world.

    Week of Action

    The April 22 March on Science launches a week of action focusing on jobs, justice, and the climate.

    Join millions of people around the world to chart a path away from Trump’s agenda and protect our climate, our health, and our communities.

    Sign up for the historic Peoples Climate March in Washington, D.C. or for a ‘sister march’ near you.

    Follow the hashtag  #ClimateMarch .

    Sample Tweet:

    I’m marching on 4/29. To build the world we want we must stand up for jobs, justice, and the climate. #ClimateMarch peoplesclimate.org.

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  11. Climate Mobilization – Now is the time.

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    April 14, 2017 by John Crapper

    Climate mobilization needs to happen now!  This is a post written for the site Daily Kos on which I regularly blog.  It is the largest progressive Democratic blogging site in the United States.  Markos founded the site and I’m writing an open letter to him to consider making some changes to the site’s overall mission.

     

    There is a crisis afoot in the world that needs our focus and attention. It is not incompatible with the current goal of this site. That crisis is climate change. With the election results we just had in 2016 it is more imperative than ever to give this issue the attention it deserves.

    I’m going to argue in this post it is time to adjust the Daily Kos overall mission to that of electing more and better Democratic Climate Hawks.  Personally I’d prefer removing the Democratic label and just say Daily Kos is about electing more and better Climate Hawks, after all climate change is a bipartisan issue, but that is probably asking too much.

    The 2016 Democratic platform called for a World War II type national effort to tackle the global climate emergency. Hillary Clinton’s planners even agreed to make plans for an urgent summit of climate scientists, engineers, policy experts, indigenous communities and activists to chart a course for this effort within the first 100 days from taking office.

    As Bill McKibben quoted in his article appearing in the New Republic in August, 2016:

    “It would be a grave mistake for the United States to wait for another nation to take the lead in combating the global climate emergency,” the Democratic platform asserts. “We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II.”

    Well, as we know, Hillary Clinton is not sitting in the White House and those plans were not made. Instead we’ve got a climate change denier in the Oval Office with numerous fellow climate deniers serving in his cabinet.  That translates, at best, into more time-wasting delay.

    And it is clear that time is of the absolute essence.  Scientists tell us there is only a small window of opportunity to mobilize before our basic social and economic systems start collapsing.

    As Naomi Klein stated in her latest book, This Changes Everything:

    “the ‘this’ in This Changes Everything is climate change. … And what we mean by that is that climate change, if we don’t change course, if we don’t change our political and economic system, is going to change everything about our physical world. …That’s the road we are on. We can get off that road, but we’re now so far along it, we’ve put off the crucial policies for so long, that now we can’t do it gradually. … (It)requires such a radical departure from the kind of political and economic system we have right now that we pretty much have to change everything.” (emphasis mine)

    Regardless of the fact that this nation saw fit to elect a climate change denier, it does not change the fact that climate change is waging war against us. We may have a President that believe that climate change is a hoax conjured up by the Chinese but the fact is the burning of fossil fuel is as lethal to us as the mushroom cloud war we’ve feared for many decades. Climate change is a force capable of impoverishing our entire civilization.

    Just to refresh memories let me list some of the changes to our world currently being caused by climate change:

    • Mega-droughts
    • Heat waves
    • Super-storms
    • Intensified flooding
    • Migration of diseases
    • Melting of Glaciers
    • Polar ice sheet collapse
    • Coral bleaching
    • Ocean acidification and oxygen loss

    We are also dangerously close to triggering positive feedback loops such as the thawing of Arctic permafrost which contains twice as much carbon as the entire atmosphere currently contains.

    The question we need to answer is not, are we in a world war? The question is what will we do to fight it?

    The last time the United States focused on a single, all-consuming goal was in WWII. For four years, we focused on the global threat posed by the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan. It was a clash of humans with different societal and political goals that had human villains like Hitler and Mussolini. And we had our Peal Harbor moment to jolt us into taking action and focus our attention and resolve.

    Our WWII mobilization required enormous sacrifice of human life, economic costs and quality of life. Ironically, if we were to mount a similar effort to fight climate change, it could in contrast result in enormous reductions in the loss of life, huge economic benefits such as massive job creation and leave us with a much better quality of life after we’ve defeated the threat.

    To launch this effort common purpose is key.  People who lived through WWII are referred to as the “Greatest Generation” and they deserve that label.   They are rightfully proud of what they accomplished and speak fondly of that time period referencing the unity of purpose, the working together to overcome an external threat and the shift in self-focus to collective focus.  We now need to pursue our own “unity of purpose” and “collective focus”.

    But chances our we’re never going to have our “Climate Pearl Harbor”? CO2 doesn’t care about our politics. It is completely indifferent to the winds of change in our human world. It doesn’t care how much CO2 we put into the atmosphere. It doesn’t care about issues like civil rights, LGBT rights, a woman’s right to choose, repealing Citizens United or what justices are sitting on our Supreme Court.  Its attacks on us are insidious and stealth like. But our lack of a galvanizing event such as a Pearl Harbor does not negate the urgent need  for us to act in similar fashion.

    Climate Mobilization has written a Victory Plan that outlines what a national program to tackle climate change might look like.  It draws heavily on the history and lessons learned during WWII.  I encourage all to read.  It offers a good starting point blueprint to follow.

    Personally, I spend almost all my activist energy trying to make the issue of climate change go viral. Through my Church of the Holy Shitters efforts I’m attempting to create a platform for this to happen.  But Markos, you already have that platform.  I’m asking you to consider using it.

    Markos, I know you care about the environment.  Your postings outlining the myriad of steps you’ve taken in your personal life attest to that fact.

    But taking personal steps is not enough. You’ve got a unique opportunity to take the issue of climate change to a higher level.

    I know what you’re thinking.  Climate change is a buzz kill and people don’t get excited or inspired with the issue.  It’s not good for site clicks and traffic.  I get that.  But that does not negate the fact that the issue needs attention and focus.  And you being the owner of your site puts you in a unique position to effect change.  You have the power and the sway here to literally “change the climate” at Daily Kos.  And I believe, handled properly projecting the right message of optimism and positive outcomes instead of a doom and gloom mime so often posited by the environmental group people could be sold on participating in solving this crises similar to what happened in WWII.

    What is the best reason for you to consider doing this?  In one word –  children.  Last time I checked you have them.  I’m not sure exactly what that feels like because I don’t have my own but taking a wild guess I’m pretty sure you want the best for them.

    So, for your children’s sake, I’d ask you to consider making a few changes at Daily Kos.  With the right tweaks, proper packaging of message and viable options for people to take effective action, I think Daily Kos could serve as a catalyst for the “change” we so desperately need.

    I offer the following suggestions.

    a.  Feature climate change on the front page main menu bar. I would personally like to see the group Climate Hawks elevated with the mission of the Climate Hawks Vote Super Pac, founded by our very own RL Miller, promoted.

    b.  Initiate a series, minimally posting weekly, discussing the efficacy of a WWII like Climate Mobilization effort.

    d.  Initiate front-page blogathons with VIP postings revolving around the climate change issue.

    e.  sponsor petition drives to advocate for WWII type climate mobilization.

    These changes would not eliminate all the other wonderful causes promoted on this site but it could serve as a unifying issue all could rally around in common purpose for a better future for us all.

    I respectfully ask you to think about it.

    Thank you.

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  12. Social Dominance Orientation and Self-defense

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    April 13, 2017 by John Crapper

     

    Self-defense classes are taught every day to teach us the tools we can use to help us protect ourselves physically.  But we also have an arsenal of psychological self-defense tools we use to protect our mental state.  They serve us well but with certain issues like climate change can also get in the way of acceptance of an issue and taking action.

    When the Black Plague broke out in Europe, the Lord Mayor of London ignored those who observed that homes and neighborhoods stricken by the plague were overrun with rats. In fact, the holdouts kept insisting nothing was wrong until entire populations began to die. Why did it have to go that far?

    We are wired to resort to various psychological self-defense mechanisms .  One is rationalization or self-deception.  We convince ourselves that everything isn’t as bad as it seems.

    For example, a while back a friend of mine was diagnosed with diabetes and told he had to make changes to his diet and lifestyle.  He didn’t want to accept the gravity of his new diagnosis and instead convinced himself he would be fine because it really wasn’t that serious.  It wasn’t until he became seriously ill that he began to change his lifestyle.

    Another is cognitive dissonance.

     The theory of cognitive dissonance describes the unease which comes when reality conflicts with our beliefs, and how we often go to extreme lengths try to ignore or distort evidence, so that we can maintain our beliefs.

    Still other self-defense mechanisms serve to deflect and distract us from bad news such as

    … manic defenses (trying to cheer oneself up and “think positively”), scapegoating the bearer of bad news, self-distraction, paranoia (“It’s all a hoax”), splitting (keeping the bad news off to one side), parent projections (mother Earth can’t be sick, father God won’t permit it).

    In all defense, the primary goal is to hold the mind together against an onslaught of overwhelming, destabilizing emotions until the defender has a safe place and opportunity to work through overwhelm and move from helplessness into action.

    Furthermore, the mind, has reinforcing feedback loops that self-perpetuate.  It can create a reaction when hearing bad news that goes something like this –“It can’t be that bad.”  These feedback loops have significant implications when trying to wake up someone to impending danger.

    From Science Daily October, 2016

    The results show that climate change denial correlates with political orientation, authoritarian attitudes and endorsement of the status quo. It also correlates with a tough-minded personality (low empathy and high dominance), closed-mindedness (low openness to experience), predisposition to avoid experiencing negative emotions, and with the male sex. Importantly, one variable, named social dominance orientation (SDO), helped explain all these correlations, either entirely or partially.

    Social dominance orientation is a measure of the acceptance and advocating of hierarchical and dominant relations between social groups. This acceptance of hierarchies also extends to accepting human dominance over nature. The correlation between SDO and climate change denial can perhaps be explained by considering the many injustices of climate change. Our current wealthy lifestyles are the primary cause of climate change, but the most serious consequences are affecting mainly poor countries and people, as well as animals and future generations of humans.

    The question then is how the issue of climate change can best be presented to people with a high SDO to convince them of the need for action.

    “The arguments used in the climate debate often revolve around giving up conveniences in life to help the environment or the poor or weak. But that is maybe not a convincing argument to someone who sees the world from a hierarchical viewpoint. It would perhaps be better to talk in other terms and describe how everyone will benefit from the measures instead of being affected by the consequences and that the measures don’t have to be a threat to the current societal structure,” says Kirsti Jylhä. (emphssis mine)

    The more I delve into the reasons behind climate denial and delay the more convinced I am that a positive “let’s work together to create a more prosperous, livable  and fulfilling future for us all” message rather than a “gloom and doom” one is the key.

    So I ask you to drop that “gloom and doom” feeling and join us.

    PCMwebblank01.jpg

     

    PEOPLES CLIMATE MARCH

    Participate in our April 22-29 Week of Action and help chart a path away from Trump’s agenda and towards a clean energy economy!

    On April 29, let’s march for jobs, justice, and the climate.

    Sign up for the historic Peoples Climate March in Washington, D.C. or for a ‘sister march’ near you.

    To change everything, we need to stand together to protect our climate, our health, and our communities.

    Follow the hashtag  #ClimateMarch — and share your own content .

    Sample Tweet:

    I’m marching on 4/29. To build the world we want we must stand up for jobs, justice, and the climate. #ClimateMarch peoplesclimate.org

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  13. Greensburg, Kansas – A Green Wonderland!

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    April 6, 2017 by John Crapper

    Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore but Greensburg is and it’s green energy wonderland!  I wish Alice was here to click her slippers and transport all of America to follow the Greensburg developmental yellow brick road.

    Greensburg, Kansas (photo credit EcoWatch)

    Greensburg is a city in, and the county seat of, Kiowa County, Kansas, United States.[6] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 777….

    In the evening of May 4, 2007, Greensburg was devastated by an EF5 tornado that traveled rapidly through the area, leveling at least 95 percent of the city and killing eleven people between the ages of 46 and 84…

    After the tornado, the city council passed a resolution stating that all city buildings would be built to LEED – platinum standards, making it the first city in the nation to do so.

    Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide.[7] Developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) it includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods[8] that aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.

    Background: 

    For three years after the disaster the Department of Energy (DOE) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) worked with the city to incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies into the town’s rebuilding efforts.

    Greensburg built a 12.5 megawatt wind facility which generates enough energy to power 4,000 homes.  Financing was provided by the Rural Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    The town achieved many firsts for the country and the state of Kansas, including:

    • The first LEED Platinum municipal building in Kansas (SunChips® Business Incubator)
    • The first LEED Platinum critical access hospital in the United States (Kiowa County Memorial Hospital)
    • The first residential LEED Platinum building in Kansas (Prairie Pointe Townhomes).

    Now this is the kind of disaster capitalism we need in our world!

    I highly recommend this book!

    But instead we have the kind described in Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine “The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” where with the assistance of the IMF and World Bank governments are “saved” from financial ruin but only if private business interests get access to valuable resources and institutions. This disaster capitalism we see being practiced on a broad based scale around the world can be summed up as follows:

    1.  Wait for a major crisis (Hurricane Katrina, Greece) or invent one (Iraq)
    2.  As a price for assistance sell off pieces of the state or extract lucrative contracts to private players while citizens are still reeling from the shock of the disaster.
    3. Finally, quickly make the “reforms” permanent.

    And that is really SHOCKing and AWEful because now we have a President who is a proponent of this kind of capitalism.

    Looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer for Greensburg fairytales!

     

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  14. Temperature Records Continued to be Set in 2016

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    March 30, 2017 by John Crapper

    Temperature records continue to be set as Donald Trump continues to have his head here on climate change.

    During February, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 41.2°F, 7.3°F above the 20th century average. This ranked as the second warmest February in the 123-year period of record. Nearly one-quarter of the U.S. was record warm in February. Only February 1954 was warmer for the nation at 41.4°F. Between December 2016 and February 2017, the average temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 35.9°F, 3.7°F above average, the sixth warmest winter on record.

    According to NOAA

    August, 2016 marked a not-so-sweet 16 months of record warmth for the globe, the longest such streak in 137 years.

    The globally averaged sea surface temperature was second warmest on record for August and warmest on record for both the season (June–August) and the year to date (January–August).

    The globally averaged land surface temperature was record high for August, the season (June–August) and the year to date (January–August).

    Record-warm continents: Africa and Asia had their warmest August; South America had its second; North America its sixth; Europe its 10th; and Oceania its 19th.

    The average Arctic sea ice extent for August was 23.1 percent below the 1981–2010 average. This was the fourth smallest August extent since records began in 1979.

    The average Antarctic sea ice extent for August was 0.2 percent above the 1981–2010 average, the 19th largest on record for the month.

    So while the Donald keeps an “open mind” while pursuing a policy of expanding the exploration and drilling of fossil fuels throughout the country and beyond while ignoring the consensus that climate change exists by 97% of the scientific community the facts keep mounting up.

    So we must all continue to turn up the heat on our business and political leaders to confront this building nemesis to our security and way of life despite the President’s “head up his ass” stance.

    At present the Church of the Holy Shitters recommends 3 avenues an individual can take to contribute in a more effective collective way.  They are (in no particular order of priority).

    1.  For a global yet local focus with an emphasis on social justice aspects.

    screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-12-38-51-pm

    350.org

    350 is building a global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice.

    That movement is rising from the bottom up all over the world, and is uniting to create the solutions that will ensure a better future for all. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions bring together a global network active in over 188 countries.

    2.  For a U.S. political focus working to elect candidates willing to prioritize climate change.

    screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-12-33-00-pm

    Climate Hawks Vote

     

    WE ARE CLIMATE HAWKS

    We’re seeking to elect leaders willing to take on the greatest challenge facing the next few generations of humanity. Too many Democratic politicians consider climate to be just another issue bubbling below the surface of top priorities, and too many advocates are willing to excuse Democratic politicians who tout their states’ coal and oil resources. We need aggressive, progressive champions of climate justice—climate hawks.

    The Republican Party is so deeply entrenched in denying the existence of climate change and protecting the fossil-fuel industry that if a Republican climate hawk were to emerge, we would look hard at a Republican’s willingness to buck leadership as well as the Republican’s position on climate.

    We work to engage and educate voters, advocate on climate change in general election contests, and back climate hawks in Democratic primaries. We engage and train younger climate hawks interested in running for office. And we work on campaigns to mobilize the American people and our elected officials to act aggressively to end greenhouse pollution and build a renewably powered, just society that is resilient to the threats of a changing climate.

    3.  And for a US political focus with a more bi-bartisan approach trying to influence those already in political office.

    screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-12-45-59-pm

    Citizens’ Climate Lobby 

    Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.

    Our consistently respectful, non-partisan approach to climate education is designed to create a broad, sustainable foundation for climate action across all geographic regions and political inclinations. By building upon shared values rather than partisan divides, and empowering our supporters to work in keeping with the concerns of their local communities, we work towards the adoption of fair, effective, and sustainable climate change solutions.

    In order to generate the political will necessary for passage of our Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal we train and support volunteers to build relationships with elected officials, the media and their local community.

    “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
    Martin Luther King Jr.
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  15. Time Waits for No One and Time Has Come Today

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    March 23, 2017 by John Crapper

    Time waits for no  one.  I was born in 1951.  Read on to see why I bring this up.

     

    “Time”

    Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
    Fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

    Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
    You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

    And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
    Racing around to come up behind you again
    The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
    Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

    Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
    Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
    The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say

    Home, home again
    I like to be here when I can
    When I come home cold and tired
    It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
    Far away, across the field
    The tolling of the iron bell
    Calls the faithful to their knees
    To hear the softly spoken magic spell

    Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, …

    According to a timeline I’ve been working on the effects of climate change really start to cause us major problems around the year 2030 and really start falling apart during the 2040 to 2050 decade.

    A person with a birthdate of

    2017 will be 13 years old in 2030 and 43 in 2050

    2007 will be 23 years old in 2030 and 53 in 2050

    1997 will be 33 years old in 2030 and 63 in 2050

    1987 will be 43 years old in 2030 and 73 in 2050

    1977 will be 53 years old in 2030 and 83 in 2050

    1967 will be 63 years old in 2030 and 93 in 2050

    1957 will be 73 years old in 2030 and 103 in 2050

    1947 will be 83 years old in 2030

    1937 will be 93 years old in 2030

    1927 will be 103 years old in 2030

    It is extremely difficult for scientist to make a firm causal relationship with any individual event but there is general agreement that climate change is amplifying the following.

    • Droughts
    • Heat waves
    • Storms
    • Flooding
    • Migration of diseases
    • Glacier melt
    • Polar ice sheet collapse
    • Coral bleaching
    • Ocean oxygen loss, acidification and suffocation
    • Accelerating sea level rise

    In researching a book I’m writing I’ve been collecting prognostications about climate change. These have been gathered over time from numerous sources and I’m constantly updating it.   But they are projections and hence a best guess as to what is in our collective future.

    I must confess that during the time I have been compiling these predictions the timeframe has been trending towards an acceleration of events rather than an elongation of them.

    I challenge you to plug yourself into it and contemplate just what priority you should assign the issue.

    It starts out in our recent past then projects out all the way until the year 2200.

    The Timeframe

     

    2008

    In 2008 Arctic sea ice hit its second lowest summer ice extent on record (the lowest extent was in 2007).

    A massive chunk of ice breaks away from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier.

    Several breakups of ice shelves in Antarctica are observed. (NSIDC; Jason Box, Ohio State University; ESA, NSIDC)

    The Bush Administration enacts changes to the Endangered Species Act that affect reviews of government projects.

    Polar bears and beluga whales are placed on the Endangered Species List.

    2009

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declares carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

    An ice bridge connected to the Wilkins Ice Sheet of Antarctica breaks apart.

    Many of the world’s major rivers are found to be losing water. (Aiguo Dai, NCAR, Journal of Climate)

    2010

    China becomes the largest energy consumer in the world, overtaking the USA.  China added 15,000 cars to its roads every day and a new power plant every week.

    2012

    The first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, an international environmental treaty created to limit the production of greenhouse gases, expires. Nations will have to draw up and enact a successor treaty to further limit emissions, should they choose to do so.

    2013

    The amount of carbon pollution has already locked in more than 4 feet of sea level rise past 2013 levels. That is enough, at high tide, to submerge more than half of 2013’s population in 316 coastal cities.

    2015

    Pope Francis releases his192 page encyclical on combating human climate change in June.

    Paris Climate Agreement negotiated by representatives of 195 countries adopted in December.

    2016

    Paris Climate Agreement opened for signature by agreeing countries in April.

    In October 2016 there were enough signatures for it to go into force.

    During the 2016 presidential campaign Donald Trump the Republican nominee vows to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement.

    Donald Trump is elected President in November.

    Projections

    2020

    Flash floods increase across all parts of Europe. Less rainfall reduces agriculture yields by up to 50 percent in some parts of the world.

    World population reaches 7.7 billion people.

    Hubbert’s Peak or peak oil level is reached. Global oil production begins an irreversible decline, triggering a global recession, food shortages and conflict between nations over dwindling oil supplies.

    Manokwari, the largest and capital city of the West Papua, Indonesia is the first city in the world to hit climate departure.*

    *A city hits “climate departure” when the average temperature of its coolest year from then on is projected to be warmer than the average temperature of its hottest year between 1960 and 2005. For example, let’s say the climate departure point for D.C. is 2047 (which it is). After 2047, even D.C.’s coldest year will still be hotter than any year from before 2005. Put another way, every single year after 2047 will be hotter than D.C.’s hottest year on record from 1860 to 2005. It’s the moment when the old “normal” is really gone.

    2023 – Kingston the capital and largest city of Jamaica and Ngerulmud the capital of Palau become the next two cities to hit climate departure.*

    2028 – Singapore hits climate departure*

    2029 – Jakarta, Georgetown and Lagos hit climate departure.*

    2030

    Diarrhea-related diseases increase by up to 5 percent in low-income parts of the world.

    Up to 18 percent of the world’s coral reefs are lost as a result of climate change and other environmental stresses.

    In Asian coastal waters, the coral loss reaches 30 percent.

    World population reaches 8.4 billion people.

    Warming temperatures causes temperate glaciers on equatorial mountains in Africa to disappear.

    In developing countries, the urban population more than doubles to about 4 billion people, packing more people onto a given city’s land area. The urban populations of developed countries increase by 20 percent.

    The Arctic Sea is ice-free in the summer.

    In China lung disease kills over 80 million people due to the long term effects of pollution.

    2031 – Mexico City hits climate departure.*

    2033 – Bogota hits climate departure.*

    2034 – Mumbai hits climate departure*

    2036 – Cairo and Nairobi hit climate departure.*

    2037 – Alpine glaciers disappear completely.

    2038 – Sydney, Lima and Cape Town hit climate departure.*

    2040 – World Population hits over 9 billion.

    2042 – Taipei and Seoul hit climate departure.*

    2043 – Phoenix, Santiago. Pretoria and Honolulu hit climate departure.*

    2044 – Rome hits climate departure.*

    2045 – Kabul hits climate departure.*

    2046 – Beijing and Bangkok hit climate departure.*

    2047 – D.C. and New York hit climate departure.*

    2048 – Los Angeles hits climate departure.*

    2050

    The Amazon rainforest is threatened not only by illegal deforestation, but also the effects of drought and climate change. Under a “business as usual” scenario, nearly half of the jungle is be destroyed. and it could be almost entirely gone by 2100.

    More than 2,000 native tree species face extinction.

    World population reaches 9.5 billion people.

    Some 70% of polar bears disappear due to the shrinking of Arctic ice caused by global warming.

    Large glaciers shrink by 30 to 70 percent.

    Ocean acidification kills off most coral reefs.

    One of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef disappears .

    At least 400 bird species become extinct due to deforestation and climate change.

    In Australia, there is an additional 3,200 to 5,200 heat-related deaths per year. Hardest hit are people over the age of 65.

    An extra 500 to 1,000 people die of heat-related deaths in New York City per year.

    In the United Kingdom, the opposite occurs, and cold-related deaths outpace heat-related ones.

    All amphibians in Europe are extinct.

    Crop yields shift increasing by up to 20 percent in East and Southeast Asia, while decreasing by up to 30 percent in Central and South Asia. Similar shifts in crop yields occur on other continents.

    As biodiversity hotspots are more threatened, a quarter of the world’s plant and vertebrate animal species face extinction.

    Rio de Janeiro hits climate departure.*

    2052 – Chicago hits climate departure.*

    2054 – Ulan Bator hits climate departure.*

    2055 – Seattle hits climate departure.*

    2056 – London hits climate departure.*

    2060 – By 2060 the following cities were listed as being severely devastated by rising seas.

    Miami, USA

    Guangzhou, P.R. of China

    New York-Newark, USA

    Kolkata, India

    Shanghai, P.R. of China

    Mumbai, India

    Tianjin, P.R. of China

    Tokyo, Japan

    Hong Kong, P.R. of China

    Bangkok, Thailand

    Ningbo, P.R. of China

    New Orleans, USA

    Osaka-Kobe, Japan

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Nagoya, Japan

    Qingdao, China

    Virginia Beach, USA

    Alexandria, Egypt

    Rangoon, Myanmar

    Hai Phòng, Vietnam

    Khulna, Bangladesh

    Lagos, Nigeria

    Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire

    Chittagong, Bangladesh

    Jakarta, Indonesia

    Extinctions peak with 0.5% of the world’s animal and plant species disappearing every year.

    World population reaches 9.9 billion

    2063 – Moscow hits climate departure.*

    2064 – St. Petersburg hits climate departure.*

    2066 – Reykjavik hits climate departure.*

    2070

    World population reaches 10.2 billion

    As glaciers disappear and areas affected by drought increase, electricity production for the world’s existing hydropower stations decrease.

    Hardest hit is Europe, where hydropower potential declines on average by 6 percent; around the Mediterranean, the decrease is up to 50 percent.

    Warmer, drier conditions lead to more frequent and longer droughts, as well as longer fire-seasons, increased fire risks, and more frequent heat waves, especially in Mediterranean regions.

    2071 – Anchorage hits climate departure.*

    2080

    World population reaches 10.5 billion

    While some parts of the world dry out, others get inundated.

    Up to 20 percent of the world’s populations live in river basins and are affected by increased flood hazards.

    Up to 100 million people experience coastal flooding each year. Most at risk are densely populated and low-lying areas that are less able to adapt to rising sea levels and areas which already face other challenges such as tropical storms.

    Coastal populations balloon to 5 billion people, up from 1.2 billion in 1990.

    Between 1.1 and 3.2 billion people experience water shortages and up to 600 million go hungry.

    Sea levels rise around New York City by more than three feet, flooding the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

    2085 – The risk of dengue fever from climate change increases to 3.5 billion people.

    2090 – World population reaches 10.7 billion

    2100

    World population reaches 10.8 billion

    Global average temperature rises to 6°C (10°F) by 2100.

    Carbon dioxide concentrations reach 1000 parts per million (ppm).

    By the start of the century, global climate emissions increased, to lock in 23 feet of sea level rise, threatening 1,429 municipalities in the U.S. alone.

    A combination of global warming and other factors push many ecosystems to the limit, forcing them to exceed their natural ability to adapt to climate change.

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are much higher than anytime during the past 650,000 years.

    Ocean pH levels decrease by 0.5 pH units, the lowest it’s been in the last 20 million years.

    The ability of marine organisms such as corals, crabs and oysters to form shells or exoskeletons is impaired.

    Thawing permafrost and other factors make Earth’s land a net source of carbon emissions, meaning it emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than it absorbs.

    Roughly 20 to 30 percent of species assessed as of 2007 are extinct by 2100.

    New climate zones appear on up to 39 percent of the world’s land surface, radically transforming the planet.

    A quarter of all species of plants and land animals—more than a million total— are driven to extinction.

    Due to climate change and food scarcity, up to 30% of bird species go extinct.

    Polar bears go extinct.

    Increased droughts significantly reduce moisture levels in the American Southwest, northern Mexico and parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, effectively recreating the “Dust Bowl” environments of the 1930s in the United States.

    The Amazon rain forrest is almost entirely gone. More than 2,000 native tree species face extinction.

    2200 – Scientific projection An Earth day is now 0.12 milliseconds shorter, as rising temperatures cause oceans to expand away from the equator and toward the poles. Water in the oceans shift toward the poles so the poles are closer to the Earth’s axis of rotation, which causes them to speed up the planet’s rotation.

     

    Time has Come Today

    I have to roam
    I’ve got no home
    My mind is blown
    The truth is unknown!
    Time has come
    Time has come today
    Time has come
    Time has come today
    I have no place to stay
    Thinking about the subway
    The rules have changed today
    This world is blown away!
    Time has come
    Time has come today
    Time has come
    Time has come today
    I have no home
    I have no home
    I have no home!
    No place to run
    I’m staring at the sun
    Thinking about the subway
    This world is blown away!
    Time has come
    Time has come today
    Time has come

     

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  16. Naive Cynicism, the Optimism of Youth and the Power of One

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    March 2, 2017 by John Crapper

    Being surrounded, it seems, by so many naive people it’s easy to become cynical.  That is especially true when one ponders if and when we will ever do what is needed to effectively tackle the problem of climate change.

    In the Manifesto of the Church of the Holy Shitters I talk about three main groups of opposition to taking action on climate change.  They are gatekeepers, silver-bullet types and cynics.

    Gatekeepers

    A gatekeeper’s purpose is always the same: to control information, block change and hold on to their power and vested interests. They act as status quo security guards, blocking outsiders from infiltrating their ranks or changing the system.
    Their job is

    a) telling you what to think,

    b) telling you what to do and

    c) telling you which choices you have.

     

    Silver-Bullet Types

    Silver-bullet technocratic scientific types are “we’ll solve climate change so “don’t worry about it” people. There is always a new innovation on the horizon promising inexhaustible cheap energy. There is no reason to worry. We are at the cusp of climate change’s resolution.

    Cynics

    Cynics are expert pessimists. Their argument can be boiled down to one succinct sentence: Bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

    They stand ready to give all kinds of reasons why it won’t work. They tell you everything they think is wrong with your ideas.

    Well,  I just read an article appearing in Harper’s Magazine written by Rebecca Solnit entitled The Habits of Highly Cynical People.  In that article she stated the following:

    We live in a time when the news media and other purveyors of conventional wisdom like to report on the future more than the past. They draw on polls and false analogies to announce what is going to happen next, and their frequent errors — about the unelectability of Barack Obama, say, or the inevitability of the Keystone XL pipeline — don’t seem to impede their habit of prophecy or our willingness to abide them. “We don’t actually know” is their least favorite thing to report.

    Non-pundits, too, use bad data and worse analysis to pronounce with great certainty on future inevitabilities, present impossibilities, and past failures. The mind-set behind these statements is what I call naïve cynicism. It bleeds the sense of possibility and maybe the sense of responsibility out of people. (emphasis mine)

    Her concept of naive cynicism gave me a new way to look at the cynics amongst us and personally gave me a healthier perspective as I get ready to do battle against the war posed by the Trump administration against our environment.

    After reading the article I realized that spending time researching and writing about climate change and attempting to get people focused on the issue, just how easy it is for me to get discouraged, depressed and fall into the trap of naive cynicism.  It got me thinking about a couple of instances  in my past where, now that I have the clarity of hindsight, I feel I actually did make a difference.

    The differences I made were not immediately realized nor were they exactly as I had envisioned or planned but upon reflection I feel they still made a significant impact just the same.   I’m going to take you back to my Vietnam War days.  That was another time when I was determined to get people focused on an issue. It was also a time when I had the optimism of youth.

    ***

    After graduating from high school in 1969, while the draft was still in effect, I joined the Army.  Thirty days after graduation I was at Fort Campbell, Kentucky going through the rigors of basic training. Four months later, after a brief fourteen-day leave, my army boots were on the soil of Vietnam. There I was an all American, patriotic true believer.

    Because I had enlisted for three years I was guaranteed the military occupational specialty (MOS) of my choice. Since I was only a high school graduate I had limited choices, so I chose clerk typist not wanting to be a Rambo-style war hero.  It was a good choice because it resulted in me never being in direct combat.

    When I was close to the end of my twelve month stint, I applied for a six month extension of duty contingent on getting one of my preferred locations: Saigon, Vinh Long or Nah Trang.  I got Nha Trang, a coastal city in the central highlands and was assigned to a Military Assistance Command Vietnam Advisory Team.

    Official MACV uniform patch.

    My particular team had responsibility over all of the Central Highlands. The advisory function of the team was to spearhead, coordinate, and implement a program known as the Vietnamization Program or the American effort to turn combat operations over to the South Vietnamese Army allowing American troops to withdraw.  I worked in intelligence and had access to and intimate knowledge of this program as it pertained to essentially one-fourth of the country.

    The Vietnamization Program never functioned as it was billed. Being there for such a long time, (27 months in all)  and being intimately in the “know” of how things were really progressing, I became disgruntled with the war effort, the hypocrisy of the “sales job back home”  and the business interests profiting from it day in and day out.

    Vietnam Veterans Against the War uniform patch.

    This compelled me to dive into the history of America’s involvement in Southeast Asia and gradually turned me against the war.   Ultimately, I joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) while still stationed in Nha Trang. ( As a funny quirky aside, there were so many soldiers joining VVAW that the Army was actually selling VVAW patches in the Post Exchange (PX) on Nha Trang Airbase.  Never pass up the chance to make a buck!)

    On one of my 30-day leaves home,  I made contact with the writers of the Veterans Voice, the monthly publication put out by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.  I informed them of my position in MACV and said I would write to them about what was happening in my unit.   I gave them permission to print whatever I wrote.  The information I provided consisted of evidence of our team providing inflated South Vietnamese Army readiness numbers in order to show higher ups progress in connection with the Vietnamization program.

    This resulted in an investigation into the activities of my MACV Advisory Team and threatened the career of the commender in charge.  When he found out he  knew who had caused the investigation.

    That evening, in front of witnesses, he pointed a 45 pistol at me saying, “I know it was you and I’m going to kill you.”, then immediately stormed out of the bunker. He was later found by the First Sergeant, along with 3 other  non-commissioned officers (NCO’s) with his jeep filled with hookers stuck in the ocean with a cache of loaded weapons.  He was quietly shuttled off the next day for stated rest and recuperation (R&R) but the real reason was  for psychological evaluation.

    Before his return, thanks to a First Sergeant that really liked me, I was transferred to work in the next higher command.

    I’m convinced what I did helped expose the hypocrisy of the war and hastened its end.

    Another time when I think I made a difference was shortly after being discharged from the Army.   Returning home for me was returning to live in Independence, Missouri.  Once back home I quickly joined the VVAW chapter based in Kansas City.

    Shortly after joining, I was involved with planning a covert operation to take over the observation deck of Kansas City City Hall located directly across the street from the main police station.  Four of us, with equipment to secure the deck and food for three days succeeded in our mission.  Within minutes of our success a helicopter was circling our position with guns pointed at us and minutes later the story broke over the airwaves.  It hit the top of the news in K.C. and received substantial national coverage.

    As a result, the city council agreed to give us a forum in their chambers to present our case against the war and further agreed to take a vote on whether to formally come out against the Vietnam War.   We agreed to the terms of the deal, a date was set for the forum and we vacated the observation deck.

    At that forum I gave the keynote speech. Afterwards the city council voted as promised and the motion to put Kansas City on record opposing  the Vietnam War was voted down.  The event was covered live in Kansas City, was the front page story in the Kansas City Star and received mention in national news coverage.

    Once again, looking back, I’m convinced my actions helped expose the hypocrisy of the war and hastened its end.

    The Harpers article mentioned above is well worth the time to read.  The lengthy article concluded:

    What is the alternative to naïve cynicism? An active response to what arises, a recognition that we often don’t know what is going to happen ahead of time, and an acceptance that whatever takes place will usually be a mixture of blessings and curses. Such an attitude is bolstered by historical memory, by accounts of indirect consequences, unanticipated cataclysms and victories, cumulative effects, and long timelines. Naïve cynicism loves itself more than the world; it defends itself in lieu of the world. I’m interested in the people who love the world more, and in what they have to tell us, which varies from day to day, subject to subject. Because what we do begins with what we believe we can do. It begins with being open to the possibilities and interested in the complexities.

    Now that I’m in my mid-sixties I can’t lean on my “optimism of youth”  to keep my spirits lifted and my drive intact.  But thanks to this excellent article I now have the concept of naive cynicism to be aware of, watchful for and guarded against in my personal attitudes.

    I’ll be damned if I’ll let naive cynicism bleed the sense of possibility and responsibility out of me.  I’ll continue to believe in the “power of one” and continue to give a shit. I’ll continue to believe that we can take the steps necessary to solve climate change because I know

     

    How about you? 

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  17. The Heat is On But Trump Still Dominates the News

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    February 23, 2017 by John Crapper

    It might feel good in February in large parts of the country but it’s really a worrisome trend.  Just check out the latest.

    Meteorologists expect to see dozens of heat records broken this week, as an extended stretch of uncommonly warm weather continues across much of the United States.

    Also this week, Scott Pruitt took the helm at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt, who has deep ties to the fossil fuel industry, has described climate science as a “religious belief” and said he expects to scrap the Clean Power Plan, an EPA initiative to limit carbon pollution from power plants.

    And around the country:

    • 21 people died in an outbreak of tornadoes in the South,
    • 16 in Georgia
    • Seven tornadoes ripped through the New Orleans region
    • Two people died in a fierce Northeast blizzard a day after 60-degree weather
    • Wildfires fed by 99-degree weather swept across Oklahoma
      188,000 people were evacuated downstream of the Oroville Dam in northern California
    • Five people died in torrential rains in southern California

    Meanwhile the nation’s news outlets are focused on every word and move Trump makes.

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  18. I Have a Dream But It’s Not The Nightmare I’m Living

    0

    February 23, 2017 by John Crapper

     

    I have a very comforting recurring dream.  But a dream is just a dream but with the election of the Donald I’m beginning to live a nightmare I never thought possible.

    I haven’t been sleeping that well lately.  I think it’s because with the election of the Donald I’m beginning to live a nightmare I’d never thought possible.  Rex Tillerson, former head of Exxon Mobile and good friends with Vladimir Putin as Secretary of State.  Scott Pruitt, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry heading the Environmental Protection Agency.  Rick Perry, who in 2011 proposed scrapping it, to head the Energy Department .  This real life reality couldn’t be more frightening.

    Tonight I’m really weary.  I hope, for once, I’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep.  I lay my head on my pillow and soon I drift away.  I once again dream the recurring dream of my life. It’s comforting.

     

    zzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZ…

    The dream begins the same each time.  I’m looking onto a conference room where a group of economists are in deep discussion rethinking their basic assumptions. The Milton Friedman school of thought and the Keynesian school of thought are being discussed.  The economists begin challenging their assumptions and formulating a new way of economic analysis; the Ass-forward, waste-end first, Soft and Fluffy economic theory.

    Constant economic growth based on increases in consumption and consumer spending  is questioned.  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is questioned as a misleading measure of a nation’s wealth. The group develops a new concept they coin the Gross Renewable Energy Product (GREP).

    GREP postulates that wealth, on the one hand, be measured in terms of the energy needed to do things:  the ability to grow crops, to make products, to move goods, to improve efficiency, to pass on information, to help others.  On the other hand, they conclude that wealth needs to be measured by the drain on resources and the damage obtaining the energy does to the environment.  They conclude that creating more energy from non-polluting renewable sources will enable mankind to do more with fewer resources and less pollution.

    The scene fades and my thoughts drift to the 2018 mid-term election.    I dream it is the biggest wave election in the history of the country. Gone are the climate change deniers. Gone are the mouthpieces for the fossil fuel industry. Candidates who believe in the promise of the Shitty Way of Life are elected across the country.

    The President’s agenda is threatened as a result of the election.  Within 6 months  the President, sensitive to criticism, decides he needs to dramatically change direction.  He meets with the group of economists and adopts the Gross Renewable Energy Product (GREP) definition of wealth.

    My dream shifts to the President giving his State of the Union speech. He declares a war, this time not against a country or a mad dictator but on our nation’s dependency on fossil fuel.

    The President appeals to people’s sense of patriotism and resurrects his “Make America Great Again” slogan to resounding applause.

    He announces an Energy New Deal .  He convenes an emergency session of Congress calling on them toenact the necessary legislation granting him the executive authority he needs.  His goals are to end our dependency on foreign oil and reduce CO2 emissions to 350 ppm in 10 years.

    Next, the dream shifts to the TV. The President is addressing the nation and calling on people to do more than just be vigilant in the fight against terrorism.  He draws a connection between oil consumption and the funding of groups like ISIL and Al Queda.

    During his TV address he announces the implementation of the “ass-forward commuting program.  It halves the number of vehicles on the road during commuting times by requiring all commuters to fill their cars to capacity on their way to work.

    Next, I see a headline in a paper announcing gas consumption has dropped roughly 40% and commuting times have been reduced an average of 50% .

    I next hear people conversing making positive statements about not having to be behind the wheel each and every day.

    The scene shifts and I see the President once again sitting behind his desk signing an executive order.   Similar to the ban on civilian car production during WWII, car manufacturers are being ordered to cease production of gas and diesel vehicles and instructed to concentrate exclusively on the production of electric ones.

    The scene shifts once again.  I see the President on TV declaring there will be no more Fukushimas , Chernobyls, or Three Mile Islands.  He announces plans to scrap nuclear fission electrical generation.  A schedule is outlined for the systematic shut down of all existing nuclear power plants within 10 years.

    Again, my dream shifts to the President cautioning consumers on the hazards of consumer diarrhea.  He encourages manufacturers to analyze their products from the waste-end perspective.   He proclaims the days of producing anything and everything that can possibly be sold for profit are gone forever. He introduces the concept of Soft and Fluffy Consumerism.

    My dream shifts again to overlooking a city where every parcel of land is being used to grow crops in a nationwide patriotic effort to produce everything locally.

    Again I see a headline in a local paper informing the public of a compulsory national service program requiring young people to serve their country for a minimum of 2 years. The first thrust of the program:  a massive reforestation program.

     

    Ecological Sanitation

    Ecological Sanitation

    I dream the President convenes an Ecological Sanitation Summit bringing world experts in eco-san technology together to discuss and develop an action plan to restructure the way we currently handle our feces.  Its promise:  to transition our sanitation systems from a flush away sewage treatment plant model to treating human excrement as a valuable resource.

    Just as the dream first began I am once again looking onto a conference room where engineers are planning for this sanitation transformation.

    ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz…

    The first soft rays of the sun enter my bedroom and I slowly emerge from my deep and peaceful sleep.  For a few brief moments I’m comforted in the fleeting thoughts of my dream only to become fully cognizant of the nightmare I am again realizing.  I begin a new day in my real life daytime nightmare.

    The Face of My Daytime Nightmare!

     

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  19. Retirement, Time for a Cool Change, Limits to My Activism

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    February 16, 2017 by John Crapper

    Retirement – a time of cool change.

    LITTLE RIVER BAND
    “Cool Change”

    If there’s one thing in my life that’s missing
    It’s the time that I spend alone
    Sailing on the cool and bright clear water
    Lots of those friendly people
    And they’re showing me ways to go
    And I never want to lose their inspiration
    Time for a cool change
    I know that it’s time for a cool change
    And now that my life is so prearranged
    I know that it’s time for a cool change
    Well, I was born in the sign of water
    And it’s there that I feel my best
    The albatross and the whales they are my brothers
    It’s kind of a special feeling
    When you’re out on the sea alone
    Staring at the full moon, like a lover
    Time for a cool change
    I know that it’s time for a cool change
    Now that my life is so prearranged
    I know that it’s time for a cool change
    I’ve never been romantic
    And sometimes I don’t care
    I know it may sound selfish
    But let me breathe the air, yeah
    Let me breathe the air
    [Instrumental Interlude]
    If there’s one thing in my life that’s missing
    It’s the time that I spend alone
    Sailing on the cool and bright clear water
    It’s kind of a special feeling
    When you’re out on the sea alone
    Staring at the full moon, like a lover
    Time for a cool change
    I know that it’s time for a cool change
    Now that my life is so prearranged
    I know that it’s hard for a cool
    Cool, cool change
    It’s time, it’s time, it’s time
    It’s time, it’s time, it’s time
    For a cool, cool change
    Oooooh, I know it’s time for a cool
    Cool, cool change
    Now that my life is so prearranged
    Well, I know, I know, I know, I know
    That it’s time for a cool change
    Yes it is, yes it is, yes it is, yes it is
    It’s Time for a cool change Cool Change

    I am starting  my retirement this year.  It feels good.  Not that I’ve been having a bad life up to this point.  Actually, I think I’ve had a pretty charmed life so far.

    Retirement doesn’t mean I still don’t have important things to do.  Now the most important work begins. It’s time for me to devote myself to trying to draw attention to the urgent problem of climate change in an attempt to make the issue go viral.  I figure I’ve got a chance of succeeding about a little better than a snowball’s  in hell but I’m still going to try.

    Most people look at me a little strangely when I tell them that this is what I’m going to do in my retirement. And actually, I must admit, a strong argument can be made I shouldn’t even care about climate change at my age.  That’s because of the timeframe of the projected negative effects.

    You see, in connection with a book I’ve written, I did extensive research determining what the future looks like if we keep going down the fossil fuelish path we are currently on.  I projected out until the year 2200.  I concluded from that research that even though we are currently seeing and feeling some of the negative effects of climate change, significant life-altering events won’t start happening with regularity until around the year 2030.  I’ll be almost 90 years old at that time.  Going out a little farther shows that between 2040 and 2050 the shit really starts hitting the fan and civilization as we know it starts falling apart.   I won’t be around to see it.

    During my life I’ve lived through both personal and societal missed opportunities when it comes to our energy future.

    First let me tell you my earliest personal disappointment.

    To do that I need take you back to the first oil crises back in 1973 when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia) proclaimed an oil embargo. This was “in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military” during the Yom Kippur war. It lasted until March 1974. During this time cars waited in long lines to fill up. At the time the 1973 “oil price shock”, along with the 1973–1974 stock market crash, were regarded as the most severe economic event to happen since the Great Depression.

    Then there was the second oil crisis which happened in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. Amid massive protests, the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, fled his country in early 1979 and the Ayatollah Khomeini soon became the new leader of Iran. Protests severely disrupted the Iranian oil sector, with production being greatly curtailed and exports suspended. When oil exports were later resumed under the new regime, they were inconsistent and at a lower volume, which pushed prices up. Widespread panic resulted, added to by the decision of U.S. President Jimmy Carter to order the cessation of Iranian imports driving the price far higher than would be expected under normal circumstances. Due to memories of oil shortage in 1973, motorists soon began panic buying, and long lines appeared at gas stations, as they had six years earlier during the 1973 oil crisis.

    I was in college at the time.  I came up with the idea of The American Rock.  The idea was to raise money from rock concerts  and direct the proceeds into helping solve our energy dependency.

    A formal campus organization was formed with the stated goals of:

    • supporting research in non-polluting renewable energy projects being conducted by University academic departments and,
    • providing funding towards conservation improvements on campus. i.e. student housing weatherization projects, recycling programs, car pooling program

    A logo was created. It consisted of a hand-sized granite rock with an American flag affixed to it.

    A date was set for the launch. A venue for our first concert was secured and a band was hired for our first benefit concert.

    A media campaign was drawn up. Teaser ads and articles were to be placed in the campus newspaper to entice curiosity.

     

    The morning of the kickoff 2000 pounds of small granite rocks with American flags attached were placed about 25 yards apart along all major walkways on campus.

    A grand total of 6 tickets were sold.

    I have other personal stories but this one was the first and most illuminating.

    On the broader political/societal level there has been the defeat of Al Gore, John Kerry and most recently Hillary Clinton, all of which acknowledged the existence and seriousness of climate change and campaigned to take action on it.  All were defeated because “enough votes” were not cast for them.

    Now as I enter retirement, we have the climate denier Trump occupying the White House.  I never realized the darkest hour before the dawn could look so dark!

    I think we are in need of a new religion.  Religion is the glue that binds a group of people together. It is the moral framework from which a person judges the world. It is the hub in their wheel of existence. It provides them a way to maintain long-term attention to the principles by which to live in the face of life’s short-term distractions. Religion provides a person with a path to travel in their desire to lead a good life.

    Our modern life screams out for a new kind of religion offering a new glue to bind people together, a new moral framework from which to judge and a new hub in their wheel of existence. This new religion needs to focus exclusively on our physical existence. It must be secular in nature and concern itself with our life on this Earth and our relationship with it.

    This religion is the Church of the Holy Shitters.  It demands of us a new mind—a lower transcendent reason – able to plug our species into its rightful place in nature. It demands that each of us assume a new responsibility for nature and all its living creatures. It promises a life that is more liberated, healthier and more beautiful than anything mankind has known if we only have the courage and the meekness to seize that life.

    But if I’m wrong and this new religion doesn’t resonate within a realistic timeframe, I’m going to unplug and enjoy the rest of my retirement.  I’ll be content in the knowledge I tried to wake people up to the cool change needed and comforted that I won’t be alive to see the worst happening.

    And I’ll spend the rest of my time in retirement camping, hiking and fishing.  As the Little River Band said, “I know it may sound selfish, but let me breath the air. Yeah, let me breath the air”.

     

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  20. The Winds of Change and the Prevailing Winds

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    February 2, 2017 by John Crapper

    I do a lot of posting on a site called Daily Kos.  This is one in particular that was written specially for that audience but worth posting here.

    Change is in the air.

    The prevailing winds  certainly don’t look good these days.    But one thing about winds.   They are very unpredictable.  That actually gives me hope we might see the winds of change.

    I haven’t been posting much lately.  I decided to take a long hiatus. Part of my motivation for doing this was the election. You see, I was getting drawn in to the political vortex so easy to get sucked in to here at Daily Kos.    I don’t like to get involved with the he said/she said political cat fights that happen during a campaign.  I view it as a big waste of time.  I therefore took the time during the heat of the campaign to work on my own personal writings.  I got a lot accomplished.

    The last time I was posting here a lot I was trying to accomplish many things simultaneously.  I was the coordinator of Seattle and Puget Sound Kossacks.  Then I took on the volunteer position of Daily Kos Washington State Community Builder.   In connection with that role I established a Washington State Open Thread posting current events pertaining the the Pacific Northwest every Sunday.    I thought I could do all this and still continue to keep the issue of climate change front and center.  I thought this in part because I’d assumed I’d get the help and assistance from some key people.  For various reasons, probably largely do to my own shortcomings,  that did not materialize.  As a result, I soon realized I was not going to be able to do this.

    I therefore began reevaluating where I was at and where I wanted to go.  I began reflecting on a time in my past with similar parallels.

    Please allow me the liberty of reposting what I previously wrote about this past similar situation.

    My wife and I had been trying to achieve a long-term goal of our own about 25 years ago. That goal was to live overseas.

    When we first set out to achieve this goal, we made a few miscalculations and missteps. We did not fully appreciate all the little things needing to be done on a day by day basis. For a while we kept giving lip service to it. One day it dawned on us while shopping we were actually doing many things on a day to day basis that were taking us away from our stated desire to move and live overseas. We sat down again and seriously examined our actions and vowed to focus our attention without waiver to its achievement.

    After this serious discussion we constantly reminded ourselves to put the target of living overseas first and foremost in our thinking so our every action would directly lead to its accomplishment. Once we did this our day to day life became an eye-opening experience.

    It was amazing how many times we caught ourselves getting ready to do something that not only wouldn’t get us closer but actually would move us further away. Take, for instance, in the area of our finances. We had set a goal of having the money to afford to travel overseas for one year. Yet numerous times we caught ourselves on the verge of purchasing a piece of furniture or household item that made no sense to purchase if we were serious about leaving the country. Sometimes it was hard to forego the item. We knew it would mean short-term sacrifice or inconvenience. Hold on, better not buy that piece of furniture even though it’s on sale. Makes no sense if we’re going overseas. Oops – Let’s pull back on going to that expensive show and fancy restaurant this Friday night. It would just blow the savings plan for our upcoming trip. These little day to day decisions meant some short-term sacrifice and inconvenience but were necessary to achieve the long-term target.

    Our personal purchases and activity choices were not the only areas where we felt unease. Here we were in our early forties, happily married living in a wonderful newly remodeled home in Seattle. We were in successful careers and surrounded by wonderful friends. Life was good.

    We were getting ready to give all this up, strap on 15 pound backpacks and go off into the wild blue yonder without any guarantee of ultimate destination or employment. Many of our friends called us crazy. “How could we chuck it all and just take off? What about our security and future?”, they said. It was unsettling to say the least as major change can be. But we did not allow ourselves to be deterred.

    Well, to make a long story short, the one year of travel turned into fifteen years of overseas living. We landed excellent jobs in three different countries (Taiwan, Thailand and Burma). Our lives were enriched beyond belief. Our friends no longer called us crazy but instead indicated how lucky we were. The short-term sacrifices had paid off and a long-term dream with multiple benefits had been realized.

    I view my decision to pull back from the various auxiliary duties I had taken on with Daily Kos in the same way.  I was doing things that were taking me further away from my stated goal.  I wanted to return to writing about climate change.  It turned out to be a very good decision.

    Time waits for no-one.

    Now I’m once again ready to start posting regularly.  This time, hopefully, I won’t get sidetracked because you see, with the issue of climate change, I can’t afford to get sidetracked.  There isn’t time for any sidetracking.  Anyone who truly cares about climate change, who truly doesn’t deny the problem and its severity realizes time is of the essence.

    As Naomi Klein says in her latest book, This Changes Everything:

    “the ‘this’ in This Changes Everything is climate change. … And what we mean by that is that climate change, if we don’t change course, if we don’t change our political and economic system, is going to change everything about our physical world. …That’s the road we are on. We can get off that road, but we’re now so far along it, we’ve put off the crucial policies for so long, that now we can’t do it gradually. … (It)requires such a radical departure from the kind of political and economic system we have right now that we pretty much have to change everything.”

    Yes, Naomi is right.  And when she wrote those words she wasn’t envisioning a climate denying Trump administration.

    A picture says a thousand words.

    But Trump and his administration are nothing more than a bunch of ignoramuses on the issue and deserve the same attention and credence one gives jokesters, pranksters or ingrates.  They are a joke and deserve to be made relentlessly fun of for their environment positions.  They should be, no must be, considered obsolete and not needed for reference when it comes to climate change.  By ignoring them and ridiculing them at every juncture and focusing at the state and local level we can make them look foolish and render them impotent.  It will take a change of focus, discipline and sustained effort.

    Actually, we’ve been in a pretty powerful environmental shit creek well before Trump.  The truth is the currents just got swifter and the water a whole lot stinkier because he got elected.  But that does not stop the winds of change.

    I’m not one to approach climate change from a gloom and doom, depressing perspective.   I like insightful levity and sincerely believe there is reason for, if not optimism than hope, because the changes we need to make can really be boiled down to doing one thing.  We must utilize the sun to the fullest extent possible.  It’s really that simple.

    There have always been powerful forces standing in the way of the winds of change. They come primarily from three different groups.

    Gatekeepers

    A gatekeeper’s purpose is always the same: to control information, block change and hold on to their power and vested interests. They act as status quo security guards, blocking outsiders from infiltrating their ranks or changing the system.  Their job is

    a) telling you what to think,

    b) telling you what to do and

    c) telling you which choices you have.

    Cynics

    Cynics are expert pessimists. Their argument can be boiled down to one succinct sentence: Bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

    They stand ready to give all kinds of reasons why it won’t work. They tell you everything they think is wrong with your ideas.

    Silver-Bullet Types

    Silver-bullet technocratic scientific types are “we’ll solve climate change so “don’t worry about it” people. There is always a new innovation on the horizon promising inexhaustible cheap energy. There is no reason to worry. We are at the cusp of climate change’s resolution.

    But even they cannot stop the winds of change unless we let them.  And I refuse to let any of their arguments dissuade me.    I’m ready to reemerge from my forced blogging hibernation..  I’m ready to once again launch my Holy Shitters series posting every S.H.I.T. (so happy its Thursday) addressing all the many psychological aspects of climate change and the hope and humor contained within the issue.

    You see, I’m Poop John the First,  founder of the Church of the Holy Shitters and I’m humorously serious about addressing the issue.  Our Church’s goal is not to ask you for money.  We have no plans to do that.  We’re not that kind of Church.  Our goal is nothing less than to cause the issue of climate change to go viral.  And when the chances of the Church of the Holy Shitters succeeding in doing so, in my estimation, is slightly higher than a snowball’s chance in hell you can see

    why we need a new religion to cause the winds of change we need.

    Religion is the glue that binds a group of people together. It is the moral framework from which a person judges the world. It is the hub in their wheel of existence. It provides them a way to maintain long-term attention to the principles by which to live in the face of life’s short-term distractions. Religion provides a person with a path to travel in their desire to lead a good life.

    Our modern life screams out for a new kind of religion offering a new glue to bind people together, a new moral framework from which to judge and a new hub in their wheel of existence. This new religion needs to focus exclusively on our physical existence. It must be secular in nature and concern itself with our life on this Earth and our relationship with it.

    This religion is needed for us to keep hope alive in our efforts to combat climate change.  So I ask you to join our Church.

     Help us

    to create the winds of change

    and change the

     

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Our climate is changing. I'm humorously serious about addressing it. I'm convinced my ego is the main culprit. My religion, Holy Shitters, demands I humble myself and celebrate the fact my shit stinks.
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