Politixs of Envy
The Capuchin monkey experiment showing an individual content with cucumber until an associate receives grape, shows that a sense of justice is deeply embedded in social animals. Or at least that resentment at getting less than another crosses the species barrier. But that plays out in human affairs in ways that go beyond mere envy.
President Trump has finally managed to make good on one of his many campaign promises.
He has pulled out of the Paris agreement.
Muslims are still un-banned, Obamacare un-repealed and Mexicans un-walled.
But Trump can claim real progress in having repudiated the Paris agreement to join with all other Nations (except Syria and Nicaragua), in reducing future CO2 emissions by a self-selected voluntary amount.
While such a withdrawal involves very little change in actions, Trump can point to other steps taken to roll back clean air and water regulations and cut funding for renewable energy research in keeping his larger promise to reduce job-inhibiting regulation and government subsidy of environmental issues.
This one valid success in meeting his manifesto pledges has not been greeted with wide praise. In fact it seems to have increased the expressed commitment of all those within the Paris agreement. With wider signs that the importance of future CO2 emission reduction is gaining support.
After such a long absence from posting it is customary to return with a reason. A tale of events somehow proportional to the length of the gap. But a large part of it was indolence.
Certainly there were the real world logistics of summer holidays work and family to distract. But nothing exceptional.
There are two reasons for not posting anything new recently. Continue reading
Coal has a history. In synergistic symbiosis with steel-making and steam engines it fuelled the industrial revolution. Replaced slavery and became the dominant economic industry on the planet for a few decades.
In the present coal appears to be dying. The bankruptcy of Peabody energy, the last big private coal producer in the US and the conviction of Blankenship, a mine owner for a mining disaster are events that could never have been imagined during the days of King Coal.
Does coal have a future? Or under the influence of campaigns like the coal disinvestment movement will it be relegated to a small scale resource, exploited for its local convenience and no longer exist as a major player in the global energy markets? Continue reading
Back on trend.
Well after a hiatus in posting, a pause even in blog posts, here are some views on the flotsam and jetsam encountered while wandering through the twilight zone, the outer limits of the Internet in a futile attempt to avoid the febrile nonsense of the EU referendum debate in the UK and the interminable circus of the Trump.
This is another post on the theme of future and past times and how we view them. It was prompted in part by reflecting on the Lamar Smith witchhunt of Karl et al at NASA and the scientists who have been analysing and improving the historical temperature record. Continue reading
While this may seem paradoxical there are many ways in which this is how we view events that stretch in both directions on the timeline from our present
The recent anniversary of the Back to the Future film is an example of how we judge the present on how we predicted the future in the past.
The way in which we imagine the past however is often shaped by our ideological beliefs. The recent controversy over the Confederate battle flag might be an example of this process by which history gets used as a symbol of resistance to change when it was seen as the mark of resistance to the civil rights advances of the 60s Continue reading
In a discussion at another [place] the hot issue of the migrant crisis and the role of climate in starting the Syrian unrest emerged. I got to wondering what the present state of the climate is in Syria, and how that impacts on the chances that the millions of people displaced will, or can, ever return. Continue reading
As the reality of the hottest year continues and the room for denial of
ongoing and potential future damaging impacts from AGW shrinks, programs of
policy appear that go beyond the mere economic tinkering of Carbon Tax or
Cap and Trade.
The Papal letter on caring for our world, the Ecomodernist manifesto both
exemplify the emergence of approaches to the problem of AGW that go beyond
attacking symptom or causes and propose more far-reaching changes in the way
future society must be ordered to solve the damage that present use of
fossil fuels have created, and avoid further impacts from continued
emissions. Continue reading
Sometimes, those who reject the serious potential threats from CO2 emissions driving global warming accuse those who highlight the possible impacts of climate change of wanting to return to a simple agrarian life. That the motivation is a wish to regulate out of existence modern technological society and entrepreneurial capitalism. The opposite is true. Regulation is a necessary feature of civilisation, required to make the urban environment and the manufacture of products possible.