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Posts Tagged ‘Global Warming’

Global warming is upon us. My rhododendron told me this decades ago as it bloomed during the middle of a brutal January ice storm. However, we have been made a bit confused about the issue because some very rich people’s income and wealth accumulation, along with their economic and political power, is greatly dependent upon the rest of us believing something else despite what is happening right before our eyes.

We have been divided, sliced and diced into competing camps. A great many people believe either in the nonsense the Wall Street/billionaire controlled Democratic Party has conjured up, or the nonsense the billionaire/Wall Street/Big Oil controlled Republican Party has placed before us. We have been divided by social issues by the competing camps of billionaires while the big boys of both sides rape us financially. Most of the faithful of both political parties appear to be just like European soccer fans. It’s our team against their team and we’re going to believe whatever the leaders of our team tell us to believe. This is called WAR, which is an acronym for “We Are Right.” Some people are as zealous in this regard as the European soccer fans who duke it out in the stands and parking lots of stadiums over men kicking a ball.

Sometimes, however, the truth can win against the lies of either group of billionaires. Mother nature has been telling us for decades that global warming is occurring. We could see, for example, flowers that used to bloom in Spring blooming in December and January, insects we’ve never seen before that belong in hotter climates than the Pacific Northwest, in some places river and lake water levels have been reduced by 50 percent in just the last five years, and ducks and geese migrating south in November and December, and then flying north in February.

Hopefully, enough people have experienced the severe and record-breaking heat in the Pacific Northwest, along with historic droughts throughout the west, to understand the great danger to the people and other species of the world that global warming is bringing because these current events are only the tip of the ice berg of what the future holds, no pun intended. As late as early June 2021, nobody living in Portland, Oregon would have believed the record mid-June temperatures of 108 and 116 degrees would ever occur. The same thing has happened to the people of Montana, Idaho and Washington, among other places.

Hopefully, enough voters in the Republican Party will understand the billionaires who control the party have been lying to them that global warming is not occurring, and if it is by some miracle, it is not man-made; We can hope enough of them will believe the eyes and brains that God gave them, and they will demand action from their party leaders. By now many should have come to understand global warming is a reality in the same way many Democratic voters have come to realize the Wall Street controlled Democratic Party leadership and its news media has been lying to them that free trade agreements do not result in the exporting of jobs, although tens of millions of jobs have been exported over the last thirty years. The billionaires who control both parties and all three branches of the federal government, along with the corporate news media, have been lying to us for forty and more years over a great number of issues, thanks to their Supreme Court. It isn’t your Supreme Court, and it certainly does not belong to the U.S. Constitution; the super wealthy own the court.

We can only hope change will come in the midst of record setting heat waves and drought before those of us living outside of gated communities experience the full brunt of global warming, which will continue to get worse. 116 degrees is Portland Oregon is only the beginning unless action on a massive scale is taken.

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How much have the corporate news media brainwashed us? The answer is plenty of times and ways.

We have, for example, been told by the corporate news media over the course of many decades that the United States Constitution protects free speech, except in certain cases, such as yelling “fire!” in crowded movie theaters. This is not entirely true, and the results of the brainwashing campaign have opened the door for the United States Supreme Court to give the billionaires vastly more constitutional rights via their corporations than the rest of us, and deliberately so. These newly created legal rights have enabled the billionaires to turn the United States government from a democracy for all into a government of the highest bidders. A small clique controls everything within government nowadays.

These new billionaire constitutional rights came in stages over almost 200 years, but most began when the billionaires began to organize themselves into a single political force back in the 1970s in response to a series of political victories by the 99 percent, such as the fight for clean water and clean air, the war against pesticide spraying on people, the protests to end the profitable Vietnam War, the civil rights protests, etc…. These political battles showed democracy was alive and well. So the billionaires politically organized.

A critical stage in this organized campaign occurred in November 1977. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, the guy who wrote the manifesto for the corporate takeover of our government and many institutions called the Lewis Powell Memo, led the charge in his guerilla war against democracy and the United States Constitution.

The First National Bank of Boston vs Bellotti case came before the United States Supreme Court. The attorneys for the management of the First National Bank of Boston argued that corporations possessed First Amendment free-speech rights with regard to political speech, that money was the same as speech, and that therefore the laws that the good citizens of Massachusetts had passed to prevent the rich and their corporations from throwing money around in political or advocacy campaigns should be thrown out.

Powell delivered the majority opinion that decided the rich could use their corporations and the money they generated from employee effort as free political speech.[i] It is strange that money spent by the people who managed corporations on political campaigns was free speech, but money spent by non-corporate persons on prostitutes and illegal drugs was not free speech since purchasing such illegal things could clearly be making a political statement that such things should be legal. Nonetheless, in making his decision, Powell was making his own political statement, outlined in his memo, knowingly turning the tide against democracy by giving immense power to the super-wealthy via their corporations, while simultaneously constricting the constitutional rights of all non-rich citizens.

Rich individuals suddenly could use their supreme court created free speech rights via their corporations in ways the majority of voters disapproved of, and in which the vast majority of American citizens could not participate because they simply lacked the cash to spend as freely as the rich and their corporations. In the Bellotti decision, the Supreme Court gave the rich a massive megaphone with which to drown out the voices of everybody else, and deliberately so. This was a five to four decision, a close vote that helped to turn the United States from a democracy into a plutocracy, which is a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.

Now here is where we have been brainwashed by the corporate news media.

The 1st Amendment reads;

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

When looking at this amendment, the most striking thing is that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech….”

Congress did not make the law that First National Bank filed suit against; the people of Massachusetts voted for the law, a power the Constitution gives them. The 10th Amendment of the Constitution reads,

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Clearly, congress cannot make laws “abridging the freedom of speech…,” but the states can under the 10th amendment via a vote of the people or its legislature. State governments and the people can restrict corporations from funding political campaigns. The court ruled against 100 years of campaign finance law when the court ruled in favor of the rich and their corporations. The self-proclaimed original intent conservative corporate members of the court effectively ruled in their decision that the 10th amendment did not really count, and that in this case the founding fathers had made a mistake, but the billionaires news media did not mention this latter part at all.

Another part of the corporate news media brainwashing is the constant reference to corporations as plaintiffs in this and other cases. The headlines usually go something like, “Amazon sues so and so, or so and so sues Amazon. Business corporations cannot speak without spokespeople since they are inanimate. Amazon, for example, cannot operate without employees, either in management, the board of directors, or in warehouses and delivery vehicles. You can rest assured the people in Amazon’s warehouses and delivery vehicles are not calling the shots at Amazon about what they want their political representatives to do. The people at the top of the financial food chain are calling the shots, and it is they who are benefiting from Supreme Court rulings. So we have been brainwashed to think of corporations as single entities rather than conduits, or weapons, used to create greater constitutional rights for the owners of corporations.  

In short, with the Bellotti decision, the Supreme Court decided the tenth amendment of the United States was null and void and the founding fathers had made a horrible mistake, and the court legislated that a tiny minority of U.S. citizens should be given greater free speech rights via their corporations than the vast majority of U.S. citizens. This decision paved the way for the rich to dominate political discussion in the United States with their vast resources of money, a not so subtle violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment since it made free speech vastly more abundant for rich people and CEOs via their corporations than for everybody else, and deliberately so.

Meanwhile, the corporate news media focused our attention on whether or not business corporations were persons with free speech rights protected by the constitution. Not many, if any, mentioned the Supreme Court’s decision violated the tenth amendment, and likely the fourteenth amendment. And this is just one way the billionaires have used their corporate news media to brainwash us.

The Bellotti decison helped to create the income and wealth inequality we have experienced over the last forty+ years in the United States and throughout the world, and the decision was also a primary factor in creating a great deal more global warming, but these latter realities are for another time.


[i] Unequal 26

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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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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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