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Posts Tagged ‘Global Warming’

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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My camellia plant warned me about global warming a few decades ago. Forty years ago, Camellia’s flowers began blossoming in April. Around the year 2000, I noticed they were blooming in February. They flowered in early January by 2004. Last year, they bloomed in early December.

The first bud of this season was a tad later than normal during this era of global warming. Pictured above, it began to blossom on January 24th, 2019, which, if historical circumstances are correct, suggests our global warming has slowed a bit from last year when Camellia sent several flowers erupting in full pinkish red in early December. That does not mean or is intended to mean that global warming is stagnant or retreating. Quite the contrary, our Earth continues to get warmer due to human activity, mainly business activity.

Well, folks, it is all about profits. For the billionaires and their politicians, constantly rising corporate earnings are more important than people, even if it jeopardizes the long-term existence of humankind. There is something kind of sick about that. Understand this point; the fight against global warming is heavily linked to the fight against income and wealth inequality. The forces arrayed against each other on these issues are largely the same. More or less, there are about 100 or more billionaires who profit at the expense of everybody else behind the legislative actions that have brought about unprecedented income and wealth inequality, and who, coincidentally, are behind the campaign to deny global warming.

Exxon Mobil knew its products caused global warming by the mid-1970s. The management of the oil giant followed a political/advertising/public relations campaign denying global warming that was modeled on the cigarette corporation’s campaign of denying any link between their product and cancer. Unlike the liars and deniers, Camellia does not lie or deny. She merely blooms when the weather is warm enough, and forty years ago, it was too cold in March for her to send her buds gushing into flowerhood.

Nowadays, here in the Pacific Northwest, the roses and other flowers have begun to bloom in December and January. How much more evidence do we need before we place people ahead of constantly rising profits and share prices for billionaires and multi-millionaires?

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On Saturday, December 1, 2018, riots continued in France against political corruption. 224 people were arrested and 110 injured for what amounts to protesting against secret deals between politicians and the rich that call for the government to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. Your US corporate news media does not want you to know this.

The French government under President Emmanuel Macron reduced taxes on the rich and their corporations while raising taxes on the 99 percent. Macron claimed taxes were raised on petrol, diesel, and other items needed by the 99 percent in order to combat carbon emissions that cause global warming. That, of course, is a complete load of bullshit, but this part of the deal is being reported by the US corporate propaganda machines, known as the corporate news media, but not the other part about taxes being reduced on the rich.

Notice President Macron did not raise tax rates on beef production or offer to end subsidies to this industry to combat carbon emissions. There are more than 200,000 cattle farmers in France, producing 1.5 million tonnes in carcass weight equivalent (CWE) a year, making it Europe’s leading beef producer and the seventh largest in the world. Studies show the beef is among the biggest producers of carbon emissions in the world.

According to a report in the Guardian, “Agriculture is a significant driver of global warming and causes 15% of all emissions, half of which are from livestock…Remove the artificial support given to the livestock industry and rising prices will…” curb red meat production. “In that way you are having less government intervention in people’s diet and not more.”  (Click here for the Guardian story.)

However, reducing subsidies to French corporate beef manufacturers would be the same as raising taxes on rich shareholders, bondholders, and CEOs, as well as the 99 percent. However, reducing subsidies to the rich was never in the political equation and was likely crafted behind closed doors.

Working people cannot buy secret deals with corrupt politicians. This is simply a fact of life. To get politicians to alter the views created by secret deals to say, redistribute income from the working class to the rich, such as Macron has done, working folks need to take to the streets to voice their displeasure with corrupted politicians and political systems.

Macron has devised a nice scam to enrich his buddies, except the working class of Paris is not buying the lies as readily as US citizens permanently inhale the lies of their politicians and corporate news media, while treating the lies as gospel.

The French president’s corruption seems to have united many on the grassroots right and left in France. BFM TV reported that France’s intelligence services had identified 80 to 120 extreme-right sympathizers at the heart of the violence, while other media claimed tags and logos at the scene suggested extreme leftwing and anarchist organizations were involved.

Macron has done the impossible. He has united more and more citizens on both sides of the political equation with his corruption.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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