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  •  i like how you (1+ / 0-)
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    gently take me from the ledge and put me back in my cage, but i'll still listen to my canary friends and so will everyone else, sooner or later.

    but liza, there's a hole in the bucket ...

    Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for this wound to our national psyche. (But go ahead and arrest Rumsfeld, too.)

    by greenbird on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:44:32 PM PST

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    •  the key is to get out of our cages. (7+ / 0-)

      Out of our carbon-spewing cages and off our little carbon-spewing gerbil wheels.  

      This means withdrawing consent: in our working lives, in our lifestyles, in our culture, even in our language.  For example every time you hear someone say "economic growth" approvingly (yes even progressives do that one), remind yourself: that's what's killing the planet, it's the ideology of the cancer cell, "grow at all costs."  

      It means telling the kids, "no more Christmas", or at least "second-hand items only (aside from essential clothing)" and showing them videos of tornados and Katrina, including the parts with dead bodies floating in the water, and telling them "that's why" and explaining the connection.  

      It means turning the heat down to 60 degrees and learning to run around the house dressed as if you're outdoors.   It means keeping track of your gasoline consumption every month and finding ways to shrink it: starting with cutting out all nonessential trips and doing the grocery shopping on the way home from work (assuming you don't have public transport to get to work in the first place).  

      It means cutting off the cable TV service and unplugging the TV and thereby removing yourself from all of those emotional messages that constantly whisper and shout consume, consume, consume.  

      It means learning the psychology of effective rhetoric so when you talk to your friends, neighbors, family, and coworkers, they understand, they don't feel attacked, and they get motivated to do whatever it takes, especially to vote as if the survival of the human race depends on it.  

      It means nothing short of doing everything possible because that's what it's going to take and more, and the goal is nothing less than saving our species and countless other complex species from extinction within a century or two.  

      It means recognizing that the meaning of failure is one less planet with intelligent life on it, thereby contributing to the probability that intelligent life does not make it in this universe.  And conversely that the meaning of success is one more planet with intelligent life on it, thereby contributing to the probability that intelligent life does indeed survive and persist, ultimately to explore the cosmos and understand the deep nature of the universe.

      To quote Aldous Huxley out of context, "Nothing less than everything is truly sufficient."

      To which I would add, nothing less than everything is at stake.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 12:05:36 AM PST

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      •  Diary ??? (3+ / 0-)
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        Mrs M, Hopeful Skeptic, G2geek

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 03:21:18 AM PST

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      •  Sorry, but if you have to cancel Xmas... (0+ / 0-)

        And destroy the entertainment industry to save the world, then we really are boned. At a certain point, this kind of prescription becomes a new version of the old joke:

        "Stop smoking, drinking and carousing at all hours and you'll live longer."

        "No. It just seems that way."

        Now, you can work on changing how we have that fun, but human beings absolutely must have fun. Longstanding traditions and deep human needs have to worked with, not against. I know you want to clang the alarm bells, but you've got to be thoughtful and aware that not everyone sees quite the same emergency you do. In fact, the first job is obviously to convince people there is an emergency at all.

        And, no, you don't need to show little kids pictures of dead bodies. Geez.

        Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

        by LABobsterofAnaheim on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 09:34:47 AM PST

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        •  sure you can keep having fun. (1+ / 0-)
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          A Siegel

          Read up on how people used to have fun before automobiles and electricity.  

          Now consider the difference between an orange, and a handful of orange Sweet Tarts.  

          You eat an orange and it tastes wonderful.

          But if you're used to eating orange Sweet Tarts, a real orange tastes bland.

          That's what the modern entertainment industry does to our sense of having fun.  It's like the difference between drinking tea and mainlining meth.  It causes a kind of emotional and cognitive numbing and dependence.

          For example: Instead of television, read stories to the kids.  Show them that reading and telling stories make pictures in their minds.  At first it will seem as "boring" as an orange compared to those orange Sweet Tarts.  Over time as their "sense of taste" readjusts, real oranges (storytelling and reading) will taste good again (make compelling mind-pictures).  

          The same case for music: live music in local venues, albums produced by the bands themselves, minus all the slick production tricks.  And learning how to play an instrument and sing.  

          The same case for hobbies: learning to make stuff with your own hands.  

          The human emotional and cognitive homeostasis can readjust from its diet of entertainment Sweet Tarts to a diet of entertainment oranges.  And one more thing.  Once you make the adjustment, you discover that Sweet Tarts taste really really nasty.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 02:59:48 PM PST

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          •  As a cinephile I don't buy your notion... (1+ / 0-)
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            That non technological art or fun is innately superior to technological art or fun or even, based strictly on taste (nutrition is another story), a sweet tart is inferior to an orange -- it depends on the orange and it depends on the sweet tart! IMO, theater is not innately superior to film and television is not inherently inferior to movies (in fact, these days, cable television is very often vastly superior, writing wise). Novels were once new and controversial enough that "Don Quixote" actually kind of dealt with the topic of people who had become addled by reading too many trashy novels.

            You're basically making a luddite argument and I sort of understand the appeal since I'm kind of old fashioned myself but it's important to remember that the Guttenberg press was assailed because it was illuminated manuscripts were obviously superior to those newfangled book things.

            I will nevertheless concede that most oranges are superior to most sweet tarts but you should also concede that a chocolate bar is much tastier than eating a cocoa bean.

            Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

            by LABobsterofAnaheim on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 04:39:50 PM PST

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            •  the exceptions make the case too. (0+ / 0-)

              Everyone has something they want to keep as an exception.

              That's OK.  The exceptions aren't what's killing the planet.

              For example:  

              Automobile racing isn't a problem.  Commuting by car is.   So you have a small group of automotive enthusiasts who race, and another small group who are into classic cars (which are less fuel efficient and produce more emissions than current models), and so on.   But these are small groups, and their total contribution to the problem is negligible.  

              Where the problem comes from is people who commute by car because they simply haven't bothered to look at the options that might be available to them.  Or they commute because there is no public transit where they are, but then they make separate trips for groceries and every other little thing.  They aren't "into cars," their automotive contribution to the problem is the result of not-thinking or not-trying or not-caring.  

              So my program is to take out all the "non-thinking" and "not-trying" and "not-caring."  Automotive enthusiasts get to keep their classic cars and race on the weekends, but automobile commuting is replaced with public transport and with telecommuting, and in any case trips are linked (e.g. get groceries on the way home from work) for efficiency.

              Same case for entertainment.

              BTW, I worked in the music production industry for a couple of years, studio & live recording & production.  Including with artists who you have heard on the radio and elsewhere.  

              Cinephiles and videophiles get to keep their personal "exceptions," home theatre systems included, even with wall-sized screens.  Those are small groups of people whose impacts are not the problem.  People who "don't think about it" and people who "don't care," which are the vast majority, can switch to whatever-else lower tech means of keeping themselves happily amused.  

              Today's technology can support a highly creative motion picture industry at a level that would have seemed miraculous when the all-time greats were making the classic films in black & white.  Even with a smaller overall audience.

              Same case for a lot of other things.

              For example meat.  The blunt fact is that the protein conversion ratio is 28:1, meaning 28 pounds of vegetable protein to produce 1 pound of meat protein, and that's not sustainable on the present scale.  But here as with elsewhere, people who are really into their meat can keep it, and the rest of us can reduce our meat consumption to a sustainable level (after all, who complains about a nice hot plate of spaghetti with a small meatball and some chopped veggies in the sauce? Yum!).

              But there's a warning in the background:

              The longer we wait to enact comprehensive solutions, the worse the situation becomes, and the fewer the options remain, and the remaining options become uglier over time.  

              So we all have to be willing to do our share right now, make adjustments where we can, and encourage everyone around us to do likewise.  If we wait, we're not going to have the options we have today.  By analogy, getting the flu vaccine is just a quick little pin-prick, but getting the flu is a bigtime pain in the butt that lasts a couple of weeks.  Right now we can make the choice.  

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 05:15:36 PM PST

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              •  It's pretty obvious we should (1+ / 0-)
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                A Siegel

                Reduce consumption of a lot of things and we'd be much better off doing it sooner than later, but I think the trick is to make it easy, not hard, for people to start making the changes. There's a tendency for people to have an all-or-nothing mind set and if you present them with a dizzying and very radical set of changes they need to make yesterday, they'll just turn off mentally -- much as I did from your earlier post. Now, if you can present them with a palpable threat, such as World War II, you can maybe persuade them to make somewhat bigger changes but right now the climate crisis doesn't really that real to most people, even if intellectually they know there's a problem. I really think the sacrifices that people made back in WWII would be a pretty good model. They reduced consumption of a lot of things, but it wasn't like the economy shut down or the entertainment business wasn't thriving.

                Personally, I think changes on this are, neverthelss, more likely to happen on a macro level than the micro. We should have had a "Manhattan project" on alternative energy freaking decades ago, for starters.

                Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

                by LABobsterofAnaheim on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 01:57:28 AM PST

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                •  that Manhattan Project was... (1+ / 0-)
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                  A Siegel

                  ... already tried.  President Carter's "Moral Equivalent Of War," to build domestic energy sources.  Aside from the problematic acronym, Carter was ultimately defeated by Edwin Meese's team going to Iran and offering the Khomeini Regime an arms deal in exchange for the hostages if Reagan got elected.

                  That kept the hostage crisis going longer than it might otherwise have, and resulted in Carter's loss to Reagan.

                  It was also technically treason: "treating with a foreign foe," for which Meese and the gang should properly have been tried, convicted, and put before a firing squad.  

                  But anyway...

                  As for all those changes: pick any place to get started.  But the longer we wait, the more radical the changes will have to become.  And as for the climate crisis not seeming "really real," that is the test of whether our species thrives or goes extinct: whether we have the foresight to deal with it before it hits the tipping points of no return that put us on the inescapable road to extinction.  

                  By the time it becomes an obvious and visceral threat, it will be too late.  So we have to deal with it when it's an "intellectual" issue, or we will go extinct.  That's reality, and it's the consensus of science.

                  It's like drinking and driving.  If someone expects to drive in an hour, they'd darn well better not have another drink, or they might very well end up wrapped around a tree, dead, or in jail.  Anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows this, and anyone with an ounce of common sense practices it.  They don't wait until they're about to get in the car.  They make the last drink non-alcohol and wait until they're in fit shape before they get in the car.  

                  That's called foresight.  It's like getting your flu shots, sending your kid to school, saving money for next week's groceries, checking the oil in the car's engine, washing your hands after you poop, and not jumping off of high places.

                  This is not opinion, these are the blunt facts of science.  The law of gravity doesn't care whether you're a poet or a pickpocket: if you jump off a high place, you'll fall at 9.8 meters per second squared until you hit the ground and go splat.  Being a poet doesn't make you fall more slowly or hit the ground more gently than being a pickpocket.  

                  The only question is whether we have the foresight to start making the necessary changes right now.  

                  And Ma Nature could care less about whether we're comfortable about it.  

                  The sooner we start, the more choices we have.  There is no escaping this.  

                  And it may be hard to grasp or hard to deal with, it may be a turn-off or a pain in the ass: but it's what you have to do if you want to live.  

                  "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 02:25:17 AM PST

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                  •  Two things. (0+ / 0-)

                    Yes, hard data is hard data and can't be argued with...except that even among reputable scientists can and do often argue about what the hard data is and what it means. The trick is not using that as an excuse to engage in denialism. We know there's a huge problem but how huge and all the details of it are not exactly crystal clear to a casual observer.

                    Ma Nature might not care what we think but it's pretty obvious that scientists haven't come to a clear consensus on the exact nature of her demands, either and acting like it's obvious when it's not quite that clear only gives the denialists an opening to shoot rhetorical (though very unscientific) holes in your argument.

                    And, the fact of the matter is, whatever  might be demanded of us, people are people and they're not going to stop being people, so a realist has to work with humanity as it is, not the way they might wish it to be.

                    Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

                    by LABobsterofAnaheim on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 02:39:31 PM PST

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