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Conceding that their grip on the economy is slipping, central bankers are proposing a radical economic reset that would shift yet more power from government to themselves.
Central bankers are acknowledging that they are out of ammunition. Mark Carney, the soon-to-be-retiring head of the Bank of England, said in a speechat the annual meeting of central bankers in August in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, “In the longer-term, we need to change the game.” The same...more
What Is Energy Denial?
by Don Fitz
The fiftieth anniversary of the first Earth Day of 1970 will be in 2020. As environmentalism has gone mainstream during that half a century, it has forgotten its early focus and shifted toward green capitalism. Nowhere is this more apparent than abandonment of the slogan popular during the early Earth Days: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”
The unspoken phrase of today’s Earth Day is...more
The oceans are crying for mercy, a fact that is starkly revealed in a telling 900-page draft of a forthcoming UN report due for release September 25. The draft report obtained by Agence France-Presse (AFP) assesses the status of the oceans and cryosphere. It’s a landmark UN report, and it’s not a pretty picture.
In the final analysis, the report amounts to self-destruction that’s largely ignored by most of the leading countries throughout the world. It’s all about greenhouse gassing as a result of human interference in the climate system, evidence that humans are heat machines!...more
- Use less energy
- Eat less meat
- Cultivate your garden
- Plant trees
- Learn the Law of Limits
Earth’s climate is turning against life in its current configuration. This is going to be bad for most creatures, notably us, which is fitting because humanity is the culprit.
You probably don’t feel personally responsible. All of us in the overdeveloped parts of the world were born into a society so thoroughly built on fossil fuels that it can’t last a day without them. If you’re conscientious about it, you probably try to shrink your carbon...more
Sea level has been stable, at current levels, throughout recorded history for 5,000 years. That’s about to change. Still, it’s very difficult for people to imagine a change in sea level after 5,000 years of rock solid stability.
Nevertheless, assuming sea levels do rise markedly, one of the biggest questions of the century is whether the world is prepared for sea level rise?
As a guess, the answer is: No, not even close.
Well, they better start making plans because there’s no stopping at 410 ppm CO2 and +1°C post-industrial temperature; sea level rise is locked...more
When the Federal Reserve cut interest rates on July 31stfor the first time in more than a decade, commentators were asking why. According to official data, the economy was rebounding, unemployment was below 4%, and GDP growth was above 3%. If anything, by the Fed’s own reasoning, it should have been raising rates.
The explanationof market pundits was that we’re in a trade war and a currency war. Other central banks were cutting their rates and the Fed had to follow...more
Greenland is one of the biggest targets for global warming, in part because it’s so big it’s hard to miss. And sure enough, only recently crazy halting weather with inordinate hot temperatures hit Greenland bull’s-eye, dead-on with one helluva meltdown.
That’s bad news for pretty much everybody on the planet.
On the hottest days, the melt-off could fill 3 million Olympic-sized pools end-to-end, extending from California to Maine, back and forth, 17 times. That’s only one day. It’s staggering.
What’s going on?
The easy answer: Greenland is melting because...more
Venice. Photo by Wolfgang Moroder via Wikimedia commons.
Travel is a wonderful thing. Climate breakdown is not. As in so many other areas of life, we have to reconcile that latter harsh reality with the strange normality that has briefly existed in the time of cheap and abundant oil. In a...more
Planting billions of trees across the world is by far the cheapest and most efficient way to tackle the climate crisis. So states a July 4 article in The Guardian, citing a new analysis published in the journal Science. The author explains:
As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that are driving global heating. New research...more
Book Review: Food or War
“The most destructive object on the planet… is the human jawbone.” (Food or War, Cambridge University Press, 2019, p. 177)
Whether by sight, taste, touch, feel, or smell, it’s only too obvious that “food”...more
Payments can happen cheaply and easily without banks or credit card companies. This has now been demonstrated – not in the United States but in China. Unlike in the US, where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments, in China most money flows through mobile phones nearly for free. In 2018 these cashless payments totaleda whopping $41.5 trillion; and 90% were through Alipay and WeChat Pay, a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking. According to a...more
James Lovelock theorized Gaia while working for NASA in the 1960s when he was hired to determine if there was “life on Mars.”
Gaia may be younger but James Lovelock, Mr. Gaia himself, turns 100 on his upcoming birthday, July 26.
For over 50 years, he has been Britain’s leading independent scientist. His independence from a formal relationship with an educational institution or governmental agency gives him a unique perspective. He’s one of the few scientists without an axe to grind, and of great interest, he’s been observing the scene for 100 years. He’s a living...more
Fasten your seat belt! Global warming is on a rampage.
As a consequence, many ecosystems may be on the verge of total collapse. In fact, recent activity in the hinterlands surely looks that way. Over time, the backlash for civilized society, where people live in comfort, could be severe, meaning extreme discomfort.
But still, nobody knows when or how bad it’ll get. As it happens, an ongoing climate catastrophe, like the show-stopping catastrophic collapse of permafrost in the Canadian High Arctic (more on this later) is hard evidence that climate scientists have been way...more
The East Siberian Arctic Shelf (“ESAS”) is the epicenter of a methane-rich zone that could turn the world upside down.
Still, the ESAS is not on the radar of mainstream science, and not included in calculations by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and generally not well understood. It is one of the biggest mysteries of the world’s climate puzzle, and it is highly controversial, which creates an enhanced level of uncertainty and casts shadows of doubt.
The ESAS is the most extensive continental shelf in the world, inclusive of the Laptev Sea, the East...more
Herbert Marcuse was so far in advance of his time that in many ways the world-left has yet to catch up with his legacy. He glimpsed the implications of women’s rights, environmentalism, and sexual liberation for a new kind of socialism at a time in which these concerns were largely downplayed and ignored by the socialist movement. In an era that valorized productivity and economic growth, Marcuse criticized the imperative for endlessly increasing production and demanded that progress be measured by more qualitative goals. Approaching the 40thanniversary of his death we...more
Forgiving Debt to Invest in Environmental Healing
Fir seedling, in author’s hand [photo by author]
“I want you to act as if the house is on fire. Because it is.” —Greta Thunberg
The US economy is awash in debt.
- As of the fourth quarter of 2018, household debt in the US totaled $13.54 trillion. The largest portion of this is mortgage debt, which totalled $9.12 trillion. [...
Fantasy and Fatality in the Facebook Era: A Lamentation for My Father
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
Seven weeks ago, my father died - abruptly, unexpectedly, and prematurely. I say that as a simple matter of fact because despite my utter heartbreak, no amount of euphemisms or platitudes will change the reality of the situation.
Some people might find it odd to state that my father died prematurely considering he was 72 years old, but my dad was a young...more
In August of 1987 the world came together after a panic attack over ongoing depletion of atmospheric ozone: The Ozone Hole. Subsequently, global agreements to stop ozone depletion became the first ever “universally ratified treaties in UN history.” The world banned chlorofluorocarbons CFCs.
Thereafter, an era of good feeling about ozone restoration swept the world community and 25 years afterwards Science News magazine reported: “Ozone Hole at Smallest Size in Decades” (October 26, 2012).
Glory hallelujah! A glorious Great Exhale spread across the land,...more
This article is excerpted from my new book Banking on the People: Democratizing Money in the Digital Age, available in paperback June 1.
The U.S. federal debt has more than doubled since the 2008 financial crisis, shooting up from $9.4 trillion in mid-2008 to over $22 trillion in April 2019. The debt is never paid off. The government...more