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Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite. So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page. So what? Everybody already knew that.

Perhaps, but the two professors have conducted exhaustive research to try to present data-driven support for this conclusion. Here’s how they explain it:

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing their business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. In other words, the wealthy few determine public policy, while the average American has no power, and very little of it when organized in large numbers.

This is precisely why there is little or no movement in government policy in the non-battle against climate change.

Yesterday, Senate Democrats largely held together in boycotting what they decried as a “sham” vote forced by Republicans on the ambitious Green New Deal. The vote on the procedural motion failed on a 0-57 margin, with 43Democrats voting “present” to protest the GOP tactics. Just three Democrats — Sens. Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) — broke with their party to vote against the proposal for massive clean energy and infrastructure investments to rapidly slash greenhouse gas emissions and attempt to break economic inequality. The rest voted present, including six presidential candidates who co-sponsored the non-binding resolution S.J. Res. 8. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, also joined Republicans in voting no on Tuesday.

Quite naturally, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez railed against the do-nothing representatives of the rich, which can be seen in the video above.

Something else needs to be mentioned. The rich own the news media as much as they own politicians like Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, and we the people only get the news and opinions the rich want us to see.

BBC – Oligarchy in Charge of the United States

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We discovered much too late that ExxonMobil scientists knew fossil fuels were fueling global warming as far back as 1975. Documents from the Goliath corporation show that management covered up this information, and initiated and sustained a public relations campaign denying global warming. Profits and share value were more important than anything else. It turns out the U.S. electric utility industry recognized as early as 1968 that burning fossil fuels would lead to increased warming, yet later opposed efforts to shift away from coal, according to a new report.

The lengthy report from the Energy and Policy Institute uses reams of archival documents to demonstrate that utility industry representatives knew as far back as 1968 that burning fossil fuels could trigger “catastrophic effects” on the climate.

The report also claims that, despite continued research and consensus on climate throughout the 1970s and 80s, the industry continued to make investments in coal, joined coalitions and lobbying groups to oppose climate action and fund climate denier scientists.

“Nearly 50 years after scientists began to warn the electric utility industry about climate change, some utilities continue to stand in the way of real progress in addressing the problem,” the report said.

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According to EcoWatch.com, California leads the way on clean energy, “but energy efficiency and renewables are gaining major ground across the country, a new ranking of states and cities shows. Six states now get at least a fifth of their power from non-hydro renewable sources such as wind and solar power, which is further confirmation that regardless of the Trump administration’s efforts to promote fossil-fuel interests” on behalf of Koch Industries, “clean energy is making undeniable inroads.”

San Francisco, San Jose, Washington, DC, San Diego and Portland, Oregon, top the cities ranking, based on criteria including green buildings and transportation. “There are no weak spots in the City by the Bay’s performance,” the report said, highlighting San Francisco’s strong adoption of clean vehicles and an increased commitment to measuring, reporting and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Washington rose two spots in the ranking this year in part on the strength of its building stock and public transit ridership.

The adoption of clean energy across the U.S. is a trend that supersedes politics. The top 10 list for renewable electricity generation as a share of the total is split evenly between red states and blue states, with Iowa showing large gains in wind since 2009 and Nevada adding geothermal power.

Overall, wind and solar accounted for 61 percent of new electric capacity in 2016.

See US Clean Tech Leadership Index

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More than 200,000 people took to the streets in Washington, DC, Saturday April 29th for the People’s Climate March. Tens of thousands more joined via sister marches across the globe, including Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, Uganda, Kenya, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica and more.

In the U.S., more than 370 marches in nearly all 50 states took place, from the town of Dutch Harbor in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to the streets of Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago and other major American cities.

A coalition of communities, faith leaders, labor activists, civil rights champions and climate justice advocates led the march while demanding commonsense protections for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the health of the vulnerable communities who have the most to lose under President Trump’s administration.

The battle over climate change is a sticky one. The fossil fuel industry which own plenty of politicians in both major political parties spends millions of dollars a year denying it’s happening, but my rhododendron is now blooming in early December. Twenty-five years ago, it began blooming in late March and early April. Fifteen years ago, it began blooming in January. I also have roses blooming in snowy December, and that is something that never happened in the forty years I’ve lived in this house.

Quite naturally, the war over climate change is a battle over ever increasing profits and share prices. Major corporations and their shareholders, as well as Wall Street (which controls the Democratic Establishment like puppets), want ever increasing profits because this produces ever increasing share prices and dividends. Getting rid of fossil fuels will force the oil corporations out of business, and cut into the profits and share prices of other manufacturers.

This means the battle over climate change is a battle between ultra rich shareholders and millionaire and billionaire CEO’s on the one hand, and the rest of the world’s people on the other. Naturally, the rich and their corporations fund bogus studies showing global warming in not real in order to influence the voters of the 99 percent to believe climate change is a communist plot to destroy the American way of life, when it is really the rich destroying the US middle class way of life. My roses and rhododendron tell me climate change is real, but then, so is the class warfare the rich are waging on the rest of us.

I should point out that the folks at Exxon now admit fossil fuels are causing global warming. The company denied it for decades, but knew as early as the middle of the 1970s that it was happening.

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I don’t need a scientist to tell me global warming is happening. Rosy the rose bush tells me, as do Rhody the rhododendron bush, my precious Camellia, and numerous other neighborhood plants.

Our first winter snow and ice storm came and went from December 8 to 10 of 2016. The roses are still blooming all over Portland Oregon, as are the rhododendrons, the camellia’s and dozens of other flowers that normally wait until spring.

The camellia’s are the exception to a degree. Forty years ago, they bloomed in March and April. Eighteen years ago, a few buds would burst forth in mid to late January. Now they’re blossoming in late November and early December.

Something’s wrong here. I’ll go with global warming.

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Why I Believe in Global Warming; Part 2

It’s December 8, it’s freezing, it’s snowing, and my rose bushes are blooming. That’s why I believe in global warming. My eyes are seeing it, and have been for twenty-five years.

My camellia bush bloomed perhaps as early as late November. I first saw the blossoms December 3. That bush never bloomed before late March twenty-five years ago. Then it began blooming in February, then January, and now November/December.

My rhododendron is also blooming in the ice and snow of December 2016. I’ve never seen that before.

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The photo above is a flower of the camellia blooming while encased in ice. The rose below is frozen stiff and half covered in ice. No, I don’t need scientists to tell me something is amiss. Global warming is happening right before my eyes.
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The Democratic Party has been under control of Wall Street investment bankers since the Bill Clinton presidency. They also control the current Democratic presidential candidate.

Bernie Sanders has created a movement that will likely take over the helm of the Democratic Party within the next four years. In other words, a movement is being built for FDR Democrats to retake the party from the investment bankers.

“We have a political revolution to transform America,” Bernie said during his Democratic National Convention last night. The time is close at hand for this revolution to succeed. We have a Great Depression rumbling down the road at full throttle (See The Coming Recession: It’s Going to be a BIG ONE–JohnHively.wordpress.com.

The Republican Party leadership will, quite naturally, insist on more trickle-down economics as a means to remedy the disastrous Depression that trickle-down economics got us in to in the first place. Trickle-down has produced the greatest income and wealth inequality of any major industrialized nation of the last two hundred years. It’s created the most corrupt government in modern US history.

This Depression will hit the United States somewhere between October 2016 and June 2017. And when it arrives, a vast political change will occur over a period of many months that has not been seen since Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president by becoming a traitor to his class. And it will be through the Democratic Party that this political revolution will bare fruit, just as it happened in 1932-33.

It is “not sustainable,” Bernie said last night, “that the top 1/10th of 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.” He is correct. It is not sustainable. Let’s be correct about one thing.

The idle rich will not give up their political and economic power easily. It’ll be a fight to the finish, but a growing movement has formed around Bernie Sanders that will reestablish the tradition that the power of the US government, and the gains from the US economy, are going to go to those who earn it. This battle will not be won overnight, but it will be won.

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