Showing posts from June, 2022

The End of the Road?

In the early history of humanity there were a couple of instances where our species came close to disappearing.  Yet we hung on and tens of thousands of years later we reached  a staggering one billion in number. That's usually pegged at around 1814. Lo and behold, in barely two more centuries we've grown to 8 billion. We've accompanied growth in raw numbers with considerable increases in longevity and per capita consumption. We define profligacy. There are several ways to put this. Easy come, easy go. What goes up must come down. All good things must end. You get the idea. It looks like we've burned out planet Earth. There are those among us who study this sort of thing, especially paleontologists. One of these is Henry Gee, paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and editor at the journal Nature.  He says we're on the way out , the express train to extinction, sooner rather than later. Mammal species tend to come and go rather rapidly, appearing, flourishing and di

Is It Just Me?

 It's really no biggie - if you weren't in the front seat. Two men died when the Chinese Tesla clone pushed through a wall and plunged three storeys to the street below. “After the incident we immediately began to work with the public security department to find the cause of the accident,” the company said in an initial statement, stressing that it was an accident and “not caused by the vehicle itself”. Not caused by the vehicle itself.  Of course not. It was caused by gravity. But there's something else that caught my eye. Look at the bottom right corner - the guy in the yellow helmet. It sure looks like he's standing behind a tripod-mounted machine gun. What does he have in mind? Comment Reaction -  I expect, NPoV, that it's a result of battery envy. Very Freudian.

"A House Divided."

  The black robed Mullahs of the Supreme Court of Evangelistan have ruled.  They cut their teeth on dismantling affirmative action and voter rights but yesterday they moved into the big leagues. Yesterday, a reliably rightwing court, did what it was expected of them. They struck down New York's somewhat restrictive concealed-carry gun law, ruling that Americans had a general, 2nd Amendment right to pack heat. Safely on a roll they moved, just one day later, to strip American women of reproductive rights and instead transfer the power over women's bodies to those who know better. After two seismic days of such a bold display of their manhood (sorry, Amy, but you're America's judicial Stepford wife) it's hard to imagine what could be next. Why not clean up the clutter of those awkward reconstruction laws  - the 13th (abolitition), 14th (due process and equal protection) and 15th (right to vote regardless of race, colour or previous servitude) Amendments. Some 13 state

Americans Have a "General Right" to Pack Heat - US Supreme Court versus Gun Control

  Clarence Thomas wrote the majority judgment. No surprise there. The Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans generally have a right to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense and that a New York law requiring special need for such a permit is too restrictive. The vote was 6 to 3, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for the majority and the court’s three liberals in dissent. Comment Reply -  I asked you the other day how far the US was from rock bottom. It seems to be getting close. 

Going Dark. Chris Hedges and the Road to Hell.

 It has been some time since Chris Hedges was a happy camper.  That said, he outdid himself in his latest column, The Triumph of Death , in which the opening paragraph neatly sums up our predicament:  It is hard to be sanguine about the future. The breakdown of the ecosystem is well documented. So is the refusal of the global ruling elite to pursue measures that might mitigate the devastation. We accelerate the extraction of fossil fuels, wallow in profligate consumption, including our consumption of livestock, and make new wars as if we are gripped by a Freudian death wish. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Conquest, War, Famine and Death – gallop into the 21rst century. Meanwhile, William Rivers Pitt   chimes in with this: “Suffice it to say,” climate reporter Dahr Jamail wrote  in July of 2019, “all of us now, if we live long enough, are likely to become climate refugees at some point … whether it be from lack of food and water, rising seas, wildfires, smoke, or extreme weather

He Said WHAT??

  Elon Musk says he would support Ron DeSantis for president of the United States. Informed of this new and powerful follower, the radical rightwing governor expressed his deep gratitude. "I'm focused on 2022," DeSantis, a Republican, said at a press conference in Madeira Beach, Florida. "But with Elon Musk what I would say is: I welcome support from African Americans. What can I say?"


  Of all the regions reeling from global warming, few equal the Barents Sea . The Barents is a shallow sea, the territorial waters of both Norway and Russia. It is rich in both fish stocks and fossil fuels.  While the Arctic is no stranger to warming, the Barents is the miner's canary. New figures show annual average temperatures in the area are rising across the year by up to 2.7C a decade, with particularly high rises in the months of autumn of up to 4C a decade. This makes the North Barents Sea and its islands the fastest warming place known on Earth. Recent years have seen temperatures far above average recorded in the Arctic , with seasoned observers describing the situation as “crazy”, “weird”, and “simply shocking”. Some climate scientists have warned the unprecedented events could signal faster and more abrupt climate breakdown. It was already known that the climate crisis was driving heating across the Arctic three times faster than the global average, but the new resear

Nikiforuk and the Death Cult.

It had to be said.   We're all going through a rough spell - soaring fuel and food costs, a mutating virus, a new and less stable Cold War, a steadily worsening and erratic climate, a breakdown of social cohesion and the rise of populism. What next? We imagine there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Somehow, sometime we'll get back to normal. Our optimism is an article of faith. The Tyee's Andrew Nikiforuk warns  don't count on it . The experts mostly blame the pandemic, unsettled supply chains and great surges in demand. Don’t worry, the authorities tell us, all of this is temporary and transient. At the same time political insurrectionists, who now proliferate like rodents in our whack-a-mole culture, have blamed everything from government deficits to carbon taxes for inflation. They do so even though inflation has appeared in jurisdictions with no deficits and no carbon taxes. Pierre Poilievre , for instance, has famously accused the Bank of Canada for Canada’s
  She's a Canadian-born Christian evangelist. She's married to an evangelist preacher. They live in Texas. Getting a picture in your mind? Katharine Hayhoe is also a leading and outspoken climate scientist. She can reconcile climate science with Christian dogma by arguing that neither her god nor yours (if you have one) is responsible for this climate crisis and the power that is destroying our environment is us. Hayhoe says we have to get past this, ' oh, they'll think of something ' mentality. The world cannot adapt its way out of the climate crisis, and counting on adaptation to limit damage is no substitute for urgently cutting greenhouse gases, a leading climate scientist has warned. Katharine Hayhoe, chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy in the US and professor at Texas Tech University, said the world was heading for dangers unseen in the 10,000 years of human civilisation, and efforts to make the world more resilient were needed but by themselves could