Friday, May 30, 2008


I have to wonder how protesters could manage to interrupt Senator McPain just as he’s trying to defend the Iraq occupation. How could it be that they get through the infamous Republican sieve? Has the party decided to change tactics, and open up candidates’ appearances to just anyone? Is there a fissure in the Fascist front?

Of course not. This is Tricky Dick’s 1968 campaign tactic warmed over: allow some noisy protesters in during a recorded appearance, so that it seems as if the pro-war candidate is a victim of anti-free-speech forces. Nixon got all sorts of sympathy out of that trick. Maybe it’ll work for McPain—who knows.

Meanwhile the occupations just get meaner. Imperialism isn’t on the table for the Presidential elections—the US will go on menacing the globe with 200 or so military bases. Nor is accountability for imperial crimes an issue. Our representatives have made it manifestly clear that we are not going to see any break in their collaboration with war criminals. We’re not even allowed to talk about it—even supposedly liberal congress members will rebuke the interviewer if impeachment even comes up. The clock has pretty much run out, and the message from the Democratic and Republican ruling corporate parties is clear: Shut up, America. We heard you ask for impeachment, and we said no. We don’t represent you, we represent corporate stability. You want impeachment? Earl Blumenauer and every other Democrat says “shut up.”

And I hear that message, too, which is why I’m here to call for complete destruction of corporate rule, revolution in our time, and the construction of a transparent, participatory system of cooperation, in place of the fascist oligarchy that is now destroying freedom with one hand and the entire planet’s ecosystems with the other.

Let’s start by destroying the legitimacy of corporate capitalism.

Capitalism is not synonymous with economic activity. Economic activity is fun, satisfying, and vital to our survival as interacting humans. Capitalism is deadly. When a corporation asserts that it—meaning usually a collection of wealthy men—has the right to keep its doings secret, generate pollution, destroy the commons, and maintain a class of inferiors called “employees,” it is asserting the illegitimate rule of capital. Basically, this means that if you have money up front, you can tell people what to do forever. It’s an extension of feudalism, which asserted that God gave the rulers power. Replace God with money and you get capitalism. Expose a corporation’s secrets, distribute its wealth according to worker input, force it to cooperate with society, and you destroy its capitalism along with its parasitic class of rulers. Capitalism is the opposite of democracy. If you love this Earth, and if you love people enough to want to see their full potential in an educated, participatory, transparent society, then you hate capitalism.

Capitalism, and especially corporate capitalism, depends on secrets. That is why we have corporate media. Secrets can be cleverly kept by simply distracting attention, which is why a killdeer runs around its nest as if wounded. It is also why you may have forgotten that there is, for example, a ten dollar minimum corporate tax in the State of Oregon, which the legislature conveniently forgets to do anything about year after year. Enron’s parasite puppet PGE, famously bankrupt but still raising your power bills, has paid ten dollars per year in State taxes for many years. How much to you pay in State taxes? That’s because you don’t have puppets doing your bidding in the State House. What happened to the investigation to those 9 billion dollars in bundled hundred dollar bills that disappeared en route to Iraq? Anyone?

What about capitalism-induced global warming?

From the BBC:
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website

Damage to forests, rivers, marine life and other aspects of nature could halve living standards for the world's poor, a major report has concluded.
Current rates of natural decline might reduce global GDP by about 7% by 2050.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) review is modelled on the Stern Review of climate change.
It will be released at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Bonn, where 60 leaders have pledged to halt deforestation by 2020.
"You come up with answers like 6% or 8% of global GDP when you think about the benefits of intact ecosystems, for example in controlling water, controlling floods and droughts, the flow of nutrients from forest to field," said the project's leader Pavan Sukhdev.
"But then you realise that the major beneficiaries [of nature] are the billion and a half of the world's poor; these natural systems account for as much as 40%-50% of what we define as the 'GDP of the poor'," he told BBC News.
[more at]…………………………………………

The Press-Enterprise

Global warming could release long-dormant stores of methane gas trapped beneath the Arctic permafrost, causing an abrupt and catastrophic climate change like one that occurred 635 million years ago, UC Riverside researchers have determined.

Back then, the sheets of ice that covered Earth started to collapse, releasing methane gas that warmed the planet and caused the ice to retreat over a period of 100 to 1,000 years, said Martin Kennedy, a geology professor in UCR's Department of Earth Sciences. Kennedy led the research team.

"It was the greatest global-warming event of Earth's history almost certainly," he said.
The researchers' findings are published in today's issue of Nature.

They suggest that methane ice sheets still exist beneath Arctic ice sheets that are being degraded by rising carbon-dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere.

Recent research indicates that the ice sheets are melting and methane gas is being released at a much higher rate than previously thought, he said.

"It doesn't make one feel a lot better about the future," Kennedy said.

If a similar phenomenon occurred today, the most noticeable change would be a rise in sea level, he said. If the Greenland ice sheet collapsed, the sea level would rise about 20 feet, inundating major coastal cities. Accompanying drought could lead to crop failures and widespread famine, he said.

Mary Droser, chairwoman of UCR's department of earth sciences, said the world spends a lot of time and energy worrying about global climate change, and this is an example of an abrupt change through a process that could repeat itself today.
Kennedy said computer models cannot predict nor explain past climate changes. Those answers are available only by studying past geologic records, which is what Kennedy and his colleagues are doing.

They analyzed hundreds of marine sediment samples from South Australia looking for stable isotopes, a tool used in climate reconstruction. They found the greatest variation of the oxygen isotope ever reported from marine sediments, which they attributed to the melting ice sheets and methane gas release.

The next step will be to try to estimate how much of that temperature change was due solely to methane, a greenhouse gas that reacts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide.

David Shukman, BBC Environment correspondent:

Dramatic evidence of the break-up of the Arctic ice-cap has emerged from research during an expedition by the Canadian military.
Scientists travelling with the troops found major new fractures during an assessment of the state of giant ice shelves in Canada's far north.
The team found a network of cracks that stretched for more than 10 miles (16km) on Ward Hunt, the area's largest shelf.
The fate of the vast ice blocks is seen as a key indicator of climate change.
Alexis Madrigal, blog

A new paper published appearing Thursday in the prestigious scientific journal Nature presents the worst-case scenario for runaway climate change that could leave the Earth entirely ice-free within a generation.
If global temperatures continue to rise, massive amounts of methane gas could be released from the 10,000 gigaton reserves of frozen methane that are currently locked in the world's deep oceans and permafrost. Passing this climate tipping point would result in runaway global warming that would be far worse and more rapid than scientists' current estimates.
The new paper suggests that exactly this type of cascading release of methane reserves rapidly warmed the Earth 635 million years ago, replacing an Ice Age with a period of tropical heat. The study's lead author suggests it could happen again, and fast -- not over thousands or millions of years, but possibly within a century.
[much more]....

Could our epitaph as a species be titled "methane clathrates?" They tend to pop up to the ocean surface when disturbed--and burst into flame. It's quite dramatic. Maybe our end will be known as "the Great Death Fart of 2012." Time will tell. But the corporate media won't.

No comments: