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I. The Destruction of an America That Never Was

II. Hoping Against Hope

III. In Another Person’s Shoes

IV. Smiles

V. Belief vs. Knowledge

VI. Well, Hell. Things Could Be Worse.

VII. A Thin Veil of Education

VIII. Cheap Thrills. Cheap Shots.

IX. Where Do We Go From Here?

X. Amazing Grace, How Sweet Thou Art

XI. Ourselves Hidden From Ourselves

XII. Joy For A Disappeared Country

XIII. Virus

XIV. A New School

XV. Reciprocial Leadership

XVI. The Big Job Is Our Job

XVII. Appendix


Who Are We?


“The pursuit of happiness” may be the most misleading phrase of all time.

I think Tom Jefferson sold us a bill of goods. Or perhaps humanity was always like this. Happiness is not joy. Joy is being in touch with the Universe. It is the purpose of being.

I think Tom Jefferson, and for that matter, all of us rarely feel the essence of why we exist. I have pondered from the big bang to the internet. Some say god is the answer, but that is only a name for an answer. Some say science is the answer but science does not know why the creation happened.

So I ask what is the best life has to offer and who is stealing it from us and why we gladly participate in the theft.

Each of us has our own idea of what is beautiful, enlightening, fulfilling. There are of course more than I could count. But happiness strikes me as short of what the Creation or Creator intended. I can describe what makes me happy, but words never suffice as a substitute for joy, just as prose is never a substitute for poetry.

So I give you two joys of mine. The photographs were made by me. In the Beethoven 3rd piano concerto the pianist is Krystian Zimerman, the conductor Leonard Bernstein, the orchestra the Vienna Philharmonic and the concert hall the MusicVierien in Vienna. All are on the very short list to be the finest in the world. The result is stunning and joyful. Zimerman is also the soloist in the ballades and the sonata.

PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE EARTHEN LANDSCAPE

CHOPIN FOUR BALLADES

BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTO NO. 3

BEETHOVEN SONATA OP 13, Pathétique.

(Note the 601 comments on the music and the performance.)


I cannot think of something more controversial, impossible to convince people of, or leave a presentation in one piece.

We consider ourselves to be of different “races” without knowing what we mean by race.

We believe we came from the garden of Adam and Eve.

Or we believe nothing at all.

We believe different skin colors make us different.

We are all descended from the tribes of eastern Africa some 50,000 years ago. So we all carry much the same genes. We changed color based on how far north we settled. More sun, darker skin. Less sun, lighter. It is all about vitamin D.

Perhaps something happened in our evolution while in hunter-gatherer tribes. Or something failed as we approached the enlightenment, and then failed again to make the enlightenment part of our civilization.

It is so common to want to be in a tribe where we are the chosen, knowledgable, and privileged ones. Our ability to see and hear the truth dies, and we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. We see and hear what the tribe wishes us to see and hear and we do not teach in our schools the incredible danger of this.

In these times an old problem, lying, manufacturing a new “reality” is part of the norm in many places and those who practice it do not realize the insidious danger it is. Imagine designing an airliner in a tower of babel. It is spiritually and intellectually a dissolving of civilization.

Perhaps worst of all the examples set begin to permeate the society. Children emulate it and it destroys the confidence of all. The joy of reciprocal exchanges vanishes along with the meaning of life. We demolish the reach of reason, create false ideologies and drive impenetrable wedges between tribes, tribes and we desperately need is work in concert.

Replacing reasoned thought and reciprocity with intellectual noise spells the termination of civilization. Moreover it replaces the joy of life, for which we were created, with a venomous tickle in our consciousness. To not know the joy of life, the experience of beauty and of genuinely appreciative relationships leaving one a human devil. A consequence, that seems long ago, was America in her corruption starting two cruel and useless wars.

Accompanying all is an abandoning any pretense of fairness, compassion and justice with mindless ideologies. Low taxes and small government is nothing but a license to steal from the poor to give to the rich. America is now a government of the rich by the rich and for the rich. In this environment reciprocity dies and partisanship rules.

A consequence of not hearing and seeing truth will destroy the very planet that gave birth to us, nourished us, sheltered us, and warmed us. And worst of all, being one of the carbon producers and continuing to pour it on when we know, and we absolutely know for certain, that it will destroy this planet seems tragically a possible genetic failure of evolution.

When I thought reason potentially a rescue I often quoted John Greenleaf Whittier:

Of all the words of voice or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been.

I would now write “it could never have been.”

The way we think

We don‘t, for the most part. It is a different malaise for different folk but we let ourselves be convinced that two cars and out of site out of mind is just fine. And so by acceptance of a style of life that destroys environment, we become accomplices.

Who understands what is happening today? Oil barons and a few scientists. Who tells what is going on? No one, for there was no way to speak loudly. A few have tried. Edward Teller did. Speaking to the oil barons who knew already. James Hansen did to Congress. And now comes the young woman who may lead us. But stone ears and eyes are difficult to open.

The way we live.

There is a way of life that we never did seek, but when it was put before us it seemed like heaven. And the two car garage became a way of life, nice for us, spectacular for the barons of oil and their political partners in wealth.

Today, this very day 12/12/2019 no one can explain that the end of the world is at hand. That we are owned by an invisible gas that has wrecked unbelievable havoc and will do so for a thousand years and melt all the ice on the planet and flood all the coastal cities and perhaps make it impossible to live here. But no progress. Who or what will lead us out of this land of promises with small type too hard to see. Or perhaps a young girl may.

Being blind and deaf to the joys of reality is a reality I discovered late in life.

There are many difficulties to overcome in life but the most difficult are those nearest to us for they are so nearby they are hidden.

A great portion is inflicted upon us by our own civilization, how it has evolved and which part of it we belong to.

For the fortunate with eyes to see and ears to hear without effort it is a gift, the ability to hear music and see images and have them excite your body and mind. Others learn. When I was very young I listened to classical music without comprehension but something told me it was good so I kept listening. Now a few notes from a great artist may make we weep. My god, what good fortune. And in the same way I learned to make photographs.

We are still subject to out of sight, out of mind as you can see from Alex MacClean‘s arial photograph of the tar sands of Canada but that is not the end of the story. It is only a prelude. For next come refineries, trucks and automobiles and electricity and what was in the ground is now part of what we breathe.

I have been panicked for 15 years. What you are seeing here is why. What I read 15 years ago told me this was coming. At that time the melting of the Greenland Ice Cap was considered 2,000 to 3,000 years away. It is melting 7 times faster than expected and if the past is any guide, it will speed up.

The following is from the Guardian story:

“The IPCC is the gold standard for climate science, but some experts are concerned that its findings do not take into account the potential for “tipping points”, thresholds beyond which climate breakdown accelerates and becomes catastrophic and irreversible.”

I believe that is happening now. Earth is going down. The planet has no leader. Donald Trump has sown so much confusion that there is no time or place for world leadership, someone like Roosevelt in World War II.

We need a World War on the climate, and whoever is elected in 2020 better do it as priority 1,2 and 3. And the billionaires had better be prepared to fund it. Or we are going down. Soon. Keep reading. Click here for the GREENLAND STORY.

The Arctic may have crossed a key threshold, emitting billions of tons of carbon into the air, in a long-dreaded climate feedback.

A report finds sweeping changes underway across the Arctic.

Permafrost, seen at the top of the cliff, melts into the Kolyma River outside of Zyryanka, Russia on July 4, 2019.

Melting permafrost is altering Siberia's landscape and economy. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

Greenland's ice sheet is melting seven times faster than in 1990s

Scale and speed of loss much higher than predicted, threatening inundation for hundreds of millions of people

The IPCC is the gold standard for climate science, but some experts are concerned that its findings do not take into account the potential for “tipping points”, thresholds beyond which climate breakdown accelerates and becomes catastrophic and irreversible.

The Guardian, December 10, 2019

“Scientists are floored
by what is happening right now.”

click above for the full story

The temperature in the Arctic reached over 90°F. Why isn’t this front page news?

Why is no one telling us?

Why is no action being taken?

Why is action on the Paris Accords being postponed another year?

Climate Home News

In 200 (or 100 or 50) years the Earth will be destroyed as a place to live.

Oil companies are destroying the earth for the next THOUSAND YEARS just for profit.

If Trump is reelected he will go down in history (if there is one) as the destroyer of the earth.

Start screaming at your leaders.

I want to see Greta smile.

Climate Panic Attack (CPA): greenland

Greenland's Massive Ice Melt Wasn't Supposed To Happen Until 2070

Scott Snowden, Contributor Science

In less than the past 30 years, we have put into the atmosphere as much carbon dioxide as in all of humanity’s previous history, and we continue adding it at an ever increasing rate. The total is over 1.4 trillion tons.

What we must do is very clear: stop the emission of the carbon and start removing it from the air and burying it deep in the earth. And we must do it as quickly as humanly possible.

It is a challenge as great as putting a man on the moon in less than 10 years, and it may take more than 400,000 people and more money than putting a man on the moon. But there is no choice. We cannot live on the moon.

The science is more complex than putting a man on the moon and it is complicated by our loss of trust in science and in each other. Our leaders fight for power, exclusion, money and separating us from each other. They cannot listen, even to Greta, pleading for the earth.

Perhaps we all might listen to these words. They come from deep in my past, were created for a few, but I think belong to us all. I have, of course, recast a bit, for religion should not divide.

In less than the past 30 years, we have put into the atmosphere as much carbon dioxide as in all of humanity’s previous history, and we continue adding it at an ever increasing rate. The total is over 1.4 trillion tons.

What we must do is very clear: stop the emission of the carbon and start removing it from the air and burying it deep in the earth. And we must do it as quickly as humanly possible.

It is a challenge as great as putting a man on the moon in less than 10 years, and it may take more than 400,000 people and more money than putting a man on the moon. But there is no choice. We cannot live on the moon.

The science is more complex than putting a man on the moon and it is complicated by our loss of trust in science and in each other. Our leaders fight for power, exclusion, money and separating us from each other. They cannot listen, even to Greta, pleading for the earth.

Perhaps we all might listen to these words. They come from deep in my past, were created for a few, but I think belong to us all. I have, of course, recast a bit, for religion should not divide.

Q & A

“But we are doing so much already. Look at the windmills and solar cells.”

It would take a physics class to explain (click on LINKS) but what we are doing is trying to empty Lake Erie with a coffee cup.

So what are the biggest problems?

Where do I begin?

Comprehension. Climate change is a huge collection of scientific phenomena that confuse almost everyone, even scientists. Yet it is lethal to the earth. An example is how fast it is moving compared to predictions.

Probably worst of all: the carbon that is in the atmosphere will continue warming the earth for thousands of years until all the ice melts and the sea rises 200 ft. THIS IS TRUE EVEN IF WE REDUCE EMISSIONS TO ZERO.

So how can we overcome this?

This will sound crazy, but we have to take the atmosphere to the laundry. We have to clean out the carbon we have put there.

As of December 2019 we are doing virtually nothing to halt the warming of the planet. We are on track for a 6°C temperature rise by 2100. This will be result in a virtually uninhabitable planet.

Despite windmills and solar, these efforts pale in comparison to the needs of transportation, power generation and new demands in developing countries.

The earth may be one of billions of planets supporting life such as ours, it may be one of a few, or it may be the only one, for despite decades of listening for radio signals (see project BEAKTHROUGH LISTEN) there is no sign of another. Yet we treat the earth as if it were expendable.

As of December 2019, we are facing the result of unimaginable failures to deal with global warming by virtually everyone.

Following are explanations of failures, consequences and desperate measures necessary to retain hope of a habitable planet.

iv

possible


It has been done once before. It was called World War II.

The second world war was won by a combination of persuasion, logic and logistics, the incredible industrial might of America.

As of today, December 13, 2019, I have difficulty imagining a more grim situation. The Madrid Conference is stalled. Faster warming is reported in numerous places, more emissions and exploration are planned.

Money wins. Greed wins. Civilization looses.

However, if there were to be something to do (assuming world wide dictatorial powers):

1. Establish a World Climate Authority with unlimited funds and power. (but oversight)

2. Work out a plan with each country that is fair and enforceable.

3. Start building prototype prefab ultra-safe, nuclear reactors in various sizes to facilitate siting.

3. Build prototype negative emissions systems of one or more kinds.

4. Do the above bipartisan, and as fast as humanly possible. Consider this to be a combination of WW II and Apollo.

5. Make a global plan.

6. Implement it.

7. Get carbon back to 270 ppm.

Success would give humankind the confidence to accomplish anything. Failure to try will simply require a lot of tombstones.

The Critical Details

1. Carbon dioxide accumulates in the air and ocean and continues its effects for centuries.

2. Going back to at least 1959, despite warnings and full knowledge of the consequences, including indisputable evidence from their own research, fossil fuel companies have pushed the consumption of these fuels and continue to do so, promising to continue decades into the future, even to the point of using up their reserves.

3. Emissions are increasing for all large countries in approximately a “business as usual” manner.

4. In comparison, the graph above/right shows (red curve) a need for an extremely rapid decrease in emissions.

5. For many reasons, to have any possibility of success it is necessary to have the United States lead the effort to reduce emissions. It is, of course, doing the opposite. (President Trump has a good chance of going down in history as the destroyer of the earth.)

6. Continuing what we are doing could get us 6°C in 2100. An MIT scientist called over 2°C as “horrible.”

7. Most countries who have promised compliance with the Paris or Katowice agreements show programs that would result in temperatures in the range of 2.5°C to 3.5°C in 2100. This is unacceptable.

8. To accomplish the reductions of the red curve, two massive programs, reminiscent of the industrial efforts of World War II are necessary:

a. The design and large scale deployment of nuclear power reactors of new ultra-safe designs. These would be of prefab construction in more than one size to permit flexibility in serving a wide range of installation conditions. (See MIT REPORT on the future of nuclear power.)

b. The design and large scale deployment of negative emission capability. As shown in the diagram above, we have delayed so long that negative emission capability is needed within ten years to meet the “net zero” emission goal. (See the NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES report on negative emission and sequestration technologies.}

A New Terror Each Day

As I have worked on this site the arrival of bad news has gotten to be at least one terror story per day and sometimes several. Sometimes just as I am writing about the topic. However, this one is especially frightening.

Below, the temperature in Santa Barbara is 2°C over the pre-industrial average and is decimenting about everything. The source is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For the link, click on the image. From the story:

“The result, as The Post’s Scott Wilson reports, is an eroding bluff-side beachfront that has led to the condemnation of apartment buildings, wildfires that have forced thousands to evacuate and heat waves that have scorched orchards and killed livestock.”

This is 2°C and is considered acceptable by the standards of Katowice. As is stands now, we are heading for 3°C. If oil companies have their way, it will be closer to 6°C.

There used to be a saying that if someone were very successful he or she would “light the world on fire.”

I cannot believe that I am writing this.


Analysis and Dangers

There is stored in the Arctic huge quantities of methane that if released by continued warming will likely trigger further warming with catastrophic consequences. Leaders, media, fuel producers, and the public all fail to comprehend the seriousness of the situation.

It is, in fact, a scientific phenomena very difficult to grasp. On the earth we experience isolated events.

I picture the earth as a large orange with many pits scattered throughout. In any given location, inhabitants may see or experience none, one or a few of the pits but cannot comprehend what is happening in the entire sphere. Only from outside and at a distance does the whole problem come into focus.

When taken as a whole we find mega damage and the damage is irreversible. Worse, even if we managed to reduce emissions to zero (and we are still increasing them) the carbon dioxide and other gases will continue to warm the earth for hundreds of years, and the sea level will continue to rise.

On November 26, 2019 CE there was released a UN UPDATE, the latest report on how we are doing. Like previous reports it is ominous, only more so.

The Ideology of Climate Change In The US

Invigorated by the US withdrawal and rising nationalism at home, Brazil, Australia and Saudi Arabia, defended loopholes and opposed commitments to enhance climate action. Other big emitters such as China and India insisted on the delivery of finance and support promised by rich countries before 2020 as a precondition to any discussion on enhancing their current targets.

Greta Thunberg: Time Magazine Person of the Year

says school strikes have achieved nothing.

she is right.

America was once a beacon. For all its faults its industrial, intellectual and moral power set a standard for the world.

Donald Trump and the Republicans have replaced the beacon with a cesspool. There is nothing good. There is a sinkhole where there had been a beacon and everything, land, sea and air, morality, compassion, justice have all splintered into a million pieces.

Locally we will survive for a while, but what is now clear is that it will take a miracle to save the planet.

Donald will go down into whatever history we have, as the devil with a smirk on his face.

In a way it is pathetic, for I have spent years thinking about what makes men like this. At some deep level Donald Trump knows he is nothing. He is too weak to ever accept teaching. It would terrify him for he knows he would not understand and he would be exposed as a crippled mind and crippled human being.

My god. What did we do to deserve this?

If this former KGB man does not perfectly resemble the cat with the canary then no one ever has.

Putin knows weakness when he sees it and he is seeing it in spades. God only knows what a second term will bring.

One giant puzzle is the falling of evangelicals, falling down and falling in love with Donald, for in return for crumbs they have conned themselves into the utter opposite of Jesus. The supposed stewards of the earth and followers of Jesus have burned and buried all of his teaching.

It would have never entered our imagination to believe that God would forgive a man for everything and now we will learn just how all encompassing this is.

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