Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dark days ahead - rise above despair

Sou | 8:32 PM Go to the first of 284 comments. Add a comment
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My first reaction on hearing of Donald Trump's probably victory was an emotional jolt, accompanied by the physical sensation of nausea. This is despite the fact that I was partly prepared. I was at a meeting in a tiny town in rural New South Wales, with a number of other people from various walks of life.

Internet reception was patchy (very poor Optus coverage) and I had to take the laptop outside to learn what was happening. When I came back to the meeting and told everyone that Trump was the likely next US President, people were shocked and dismayed. There were comments about Nazi Germany, melting away of life savings, and concerns about how the Putin-Trump relationship would adversely affect global stability, particularly in regard to China. (Australia's security and place in the world is now under threat, and we will need to adapt and find new allies.)

Looking over Twitter and elsewhere on the Internet, I see people looking to blame the Democrats for nominating Hillary Clinton. That's not fair in my view. She would have been the most qualified, capable President in decades - and maybe forever.

What's happened in America is no different to what's been happening around the world. The population is getting dumbed down - or more accurately, people are dumbing themselves down, voluntarily. In Australia, people elected the right wing populist Tony Abbott, wanting - hoping - to believe his lies and succumbing to to the unreasoned fear he incited. In Britain the people voted to shut the doors and kick out everyone who wasn't umpteenth generation English. And now the US people want to build a wall between the US and Mexico, close the borders, stop trading internationally, let people die in the streets without health care, and expel everyone who isn't an umpteenth generation American.

With more than seven billion people now on our planet - trying to shut out the world is not only unrealistic, it's a recipe for disaster on a massive scale. (It's as if we cannot cope with the massive rise in population, and the global freedoms we've achieved with fast travel and rapid transport and open borders, and don't "believe" any of that has happened.)

Why? Is it envy? Is it misplaced greed? Is it fear and hatred of all that is different? Is it an inability to adapt to the world we've created? There've not been any major wars or threats in recent decades, so is it that people are bored and looking for change in their otherwise small and dreary lives?

There is a large segment of the population who have unmet (and unrealistic) expectations. People who've never felt real fear and miss it, so they grab hold of imaginary fears and take them on as their own. Despite the general standard of living rising all over the world, a lot of people may have had the expectation that they would get rich or wealthier than they have. Many people are no better off than they were some decades ago - or don't recognise that they are. A plasma or LCD television isn't enough. Fox tells them they have been deprived and the plebs lap it up.

Victoria tweeted a quote from Carl Sagan's 1995 book: "The Demon-Haunted World" in which he foresaw the catastrophe we are now on the brink of.

When much of the media doesn't do it's job, and uncritically put forth disinformation, and sufficient people don't rebel against this affront to their intelligence - this is what happens. Instead of leaders we elect populist conmen like Donald Trump and Tony Abbott (most are men, but there are some women as well).

All I can say is that it's important to get past the despair that is natural when you see the future crumbling. It's important to rise above it and keep fighting for justice and to protect the future - for coming generations and for all life species. We are facing dark days ahead and probably dark years. There may be widespread civil unrest and possibly major wars. Women and minority groups will have their rights removed. Asylum seekers from war torn countries will have nowhere to go. There will almost certainly be economic upheaval. There will most certainly be more weather and ecological disasters. At the very least we need to document what we, as humans, are doing. And by that I mean what all of us are doing, including the people who voted for chaos and upheaval and regression.

It's obvious that as a species we are not capable of learning from mistakes of the past. That doesn't mean that none of us can learn from our species' mistakes. And it doesn't mean that future generations won't learn from the mistakes made in the twentieth and twenty first century.

So keep your chin up. Don't just ride it out, but keep working for what's right and good. Despite what Americans have just done, there is a lot of good in the world.

Sorry for what reads like a sermon. I feel a tiny bit better for having got that off my chest. I'd love to see your thoughts on what has just happened, and what you plan to do about it.


  1. I cried today.
    I honestly we are moving into an area that has not happened for over 73 years.
    We now have in most of the western countries a movement toward the politics of blame and hate this really upsets me because this is not healthy for society

    1. You have two choices here, mate: You can either wallow in despair over situations you believe in but can't actually prove, courtesy of an ideology which survives on unsupportable discrimination and false premises, or you can undertake a thorough objective self-introspection which will ultimately free you from the shackles of the very kind of ignorance you rail against. As I told some of my fiercest critics yesterday, you may thank me one day for this advice: https://climatecrocks.com/2016/11/09/couple-a-things/comment-page-1/#comment-87184

    2. @Russell Cook

      I am not sure what your posts are about. Is that an arrogamce I detect in your idea that people will thank you for your advice? I did not detect much content either. Were you reaaly saying that peopke should know the facts before coming to a conclusion?

      Perhaps I have missed your point. Or it is very banal.

    3. https://m.popkey.co/c21e18/a0G0k.gif

    4. @Jammy Dodger: I thought my comment at ClimateCrocks was quite clear, along with the follow-up one I placed there. But if you require an even shorter confirmation - yes, I'm really saying people should know the facts before coming to a conclusion. Every fear now emanating from enviro-activists (who are not climate scientists) about Trump's evil ways, how global warming is primarily caused by human activity and how skeptic climate scientists' words are lies purchased and orchestrated by coal & oil companies are all beliefs which implode under intensive examination. Since enviro-activists believe these things rather than know the facts about them, it's no surprise so many are so despondent. What I suggested, in the simplest terms, is for the despondent to examine ALL the facts with an open mind. Upon doing so, they will realize just how extensive the misinformation has been about Trump, the climate and skeptic climate scientists, and they will then be freed from an ideology which only showed them a false, gloomy picture of the world as opposed to the way it really is.

    5. @Russell

      Yes I understand now. We cannot come to a conclusion till we know ALL the facts. Not until we have hunted in every corner of the internet for ebery crazy conspiracy and started to believe them. We have to acquire that wisdom first.

      Sounds more like a case of setting impossible expectations that can never ne met.

  2. Hint re poor coverage there is the original company that actually gives coverage so move to it.

    1. Thanks John. I was with the original for a while, but the Virgin deals I got are much better value, and the reception is good in most places :)

  3. And i am honest I had tears to think this is the way the world is heading it is not healthy

    1. You are not alone, John, with your concern. See here and here.

      As people we will not learn - don't recognise good times for what they are, and refuse to accept there are enough challenges ahead without adding the harm that Trump will foist on the world.

  4. My thoughts on this are well known.

    My cynicism was realism and not totally despaired.
    Having been up front if not behind enemy lines for a long time, I might now adopt 'despair' and see about planning for the remainder of my existence in some safe place on the globe if there be any. Very sparsely populated place, very high latitude.

    Thinking of saying the final bye to y'all.

    1. I hope that comment isn't what it sounds like, cRR. Do get help if you need it - talk to friends or family, or to someone at Lifeline or the equivalent service where you live.

    2. Oi, I see what you read... No, I'll be taking my life. Oops!! I mean, I'll be taking my life into my own hands... or something :)

      What I said is, in a way, worse, Sou. E.g. for you and I have tears in my eyes for this:
      What I meant was something like bye to Hotwhopper, Klimaatverandering.nl, the Rabett etc and all those other places that have been talking the exact same talk as of before and since the publication of 'The Skeptical Environmentalist'.

      You see, I hold these sites, my friends and allies, in considerable part guilty of ending the planet.
      By doing dialogue, feeding only the merchants of doubt, for a quarter century now, every day again.
      By deleting posts of, or banning those few who call climate revisionism what it is: criminal.

      Yes I abhor violence and will never plea for violent revolution. I believe in education and Hotwhopper has certainly done a great job on this.
      But I do not believe in debating thugs. I do not believe in dialogue with outright criminality. And I do not believe in an electorate polling 77% for climate change measures and at the same time re-electing the coal shill government.

      The day I get some recognition for my stance is the day the coral has gone. But by then I will have moved on. With my life, my existence, on what is left of my planet (I annexed it a few months ago).

      As a last straw for you all - try to be angry at me, please, prove me wrong, kick my ass, show me what you got except constant dialogue with or about the Ideology of Plunder. But I'll be watching the Keeling Curve.

    3. [Part I]

      For the record, I'm effectively in the same boat as cRR.

      I've been working ITRW for a while now to increase resilience both in my own personal sphere and in my local community, at the expense of my previous engagement online, and I'm at the point where I'm mulling over whether to make the break completely. Many have commented to me (especially off-line) that I've been growing progressively more pessimistic about our fate over the last 5-6 years, and nothing that has materialised in that time has given me the slightest pause in that evolving outlook.

      It's patently apparent to those who actually look that the human societies that are driving the global economy are led and supported by people who are unable to grasp the significance of our collective impact on the planet, and/or who are insufficiently stirred to moderate their own gain so that all people, including poor people and unborn people, may have similar future opportunties for a modest but fulfilling life.

      It's the Tragedy of the Commons writ large, with an extra serving of lizard-brain xenophobia, egocentrism, and conservatism thrown in. The rust-belting of USAdian society (and indeed, around the world) over the last three or four decades is a symptom of the planet's limits to growth. Yep, what many from Malthus to the Club of Rome have spoken of. The loss of fisheries and the extinctions of many other taxa, the pollution of the land and seas and air, and the warming of the planet, are all further pieces in the tower we've built or ourselves and that is coming precariously close to tumbling. Those who point to China's growth as evidence that thermodynamics don't apply to human economies are missing the point that it was one of the last untapped corners of the planet, and that it had the luxury of abundant and very cheap labour combined with pliant aquiescence to a dictating government. And their economic behemoth is fast approaching its own wall. - and don't think that the Chinese don't know it: ponder on what the military, geopolitical, and economic implications are of their activity in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

      It takes a lot of self-discipline and social-awareness for a species to act cohesively when danger approaches. Humans could potentially have emulated the best aspects of eusociality, but instead we're behaving like stampeding sheep happy to cast the fringe-dwellers to the wolves.

    4. [Part II]

      We've had several recent path-changing pivots in Western democracy. The interference of the rightful election of Al Gore in 2000 was probably the biggest missed opportunity for a livable future, and the single-vote majority win of Tony Abbott to knock over Malcolm Turnbull in 2009 changed the face of the climate change mitigation conversation in Australia at a time when it mattered, which had a profound impact on other countries around the world. Trump's election is the final nail in the coffin: any (distant?) future redirection toward serious efforts to stop fossil carbon emissions will be too little too late. Four years of Trump is enough to effectively hammer the lid shut, and even if he didn't ride out two terms there is enough momentum now with the Republicans' complete control of both Houses to ensure that he would be replaced by fossil-fuel friendly types who will ape his biocidal ideology.

      Make no mistake, any modest advances that Obama made are gone. He will have no lasting legacy except in the memories of some, and a Nobel paperwight for his desk at home. Obamacare is toast, and Keystone may well get another guernsey. And if cheap(ish) carbon from the tar sands is flung into the market, the race will be on for every competing joule of oil and coal and gas too, no matter the state of "grassroots" uptake of renewables. At this point the only events that I can see that might appreciably diminish another decade of profligate human carbon emissions are a serious third World War with nuclear weapons included, or a global mega-pandemic 'flu or similar.

      We are the choir, but unfortunately the masses have remained at home with 'reality' TV turned up to full volume and have been deaf to the singing. And now they've changed the channel to the biggest (un)reality character of them all. It's effectively over for a future benignly-livable planet, and now it's about how a semblance of something vaguely resembling a somewhat cohesive society might be salvaged. All I can usefully do now is to try as much as I am able to make it as (relatively) painless as possible for my family, friends and community, and hope (selfishly…) that the worst of the future isn't focussed here. I've made location choices to help in that, and I do hope that my actions radiate out to synergise with others' efforts elsewhere, but I have the foreboding of the bowl of petunias rather than the guileless optimism of the whale.

    5. Read those first lines of part I and recognition of that is tearing me up again. Barely saved mine and damages are still to be assessed and may still prove to be fatal.

  5. Apparently the Republicans now control the House and the Senate as well as having a (possibly) Republican president.

    I wonder if this means that some Republican politicians will now have to behave responsibly? They have seemed to do nothing but obstruct government---the need to do something constructive will require a complete change of mindset. I wonder if they are capable of it.

    1. It will be enlightening to see if the Republicans can overcome their internal bickering and get something done, or if there will be ongoing infighting between the hard right extremists, the populists, and the traditional conservatives (if there are any of those left).

      One of the early challenges will be the delayed nomination for the Supreme Court. How far will the GOP go to set back social justice, womens' rights etc?

      Getting out of NATO, the UN, the UNFCCC, and various trade agreements etc will be challenging, as will winding back environmental legislation and cutting climate and weather services (and research). (As for building a wall across the Mexican border...)

    2. The wall across the Mexican border would also require a wall across the Canadian border to stop Mexicans flying to Canada and entering from there.

    3. Nigel, given the abundance of hydrocarbons in leaky pipelines or on trains from 'Canadia', I think excavating a trench and filling it with burning oil will be a cheaper solution than a wall for the US' north border...

  6. Here in the UK Brexiters will be delighted - they now have something they can blame for the collapse of the UK economy other than themselves. That is except for Nigel Farage who has had a hand in both disasters.

  7. Cheer up Sou, the climate crisis might be dead, but there are plenty of other superstitions which you can champion.

    1. Any chance you will publish your long list of Nobel prizes so we can all recognise how superior your scientific genius is to the rest of the scientific establishment?

    2. At least I don't tell porkies about receiving a Nobel Prize, like Michael Mann did.

    3. I'll answer the question as you appear unable to: you don't have any Nobel prizes. Lets try again and see if you are capable of answering a straight question: what scientific awards have you got?

    4. So lets get this straight: despite your claiming to know better than every prestigious scientific organisation on this planet, your actual scientific 'genius' is so limited that the last time you got an award was when Miss awarded you a gold star at school.

    5. No its not. I have not made any statement about climate science at all. I am making a statement about you.

    6. Eric has all the hallmarks of a typical right wing authoritarian follower. He rejects experts and people who know a subject deeply, and fawns on cranks and conspiracy theorists - what Bob Altemeyer calls "scumbuckets". It's no surprise that he'd fall for a conman like Donald Trump.

    7. Ah, not only an idiot, but a gloating idiot. Charming. I think we should certainly expect the morons to strut around like they're running the show for a while. And then expect them to run science, the economy, the community, the environment, the whole shebang... into the ditch. Don't expect a Dunning-Krugerite to grasp the concept of a Pyrrhic victory

    8. And even if it was an argument from authority? There is nothing wrong with listening to an authority when it is, um, well, an authority. A prestigious, scientific organisation falls into this category, unless you are a science denier. What you are missing Eric Worrall is when the appeal is to a bogus authority.

    9. But I am enjoying this. He doesn't contradict anything that I said at 10.34, his only objection is a conclusion that I did not make. That's something to treasure for future use.

    10. Eric, you might be able to kill climate science in the US, but that will not change the physics.

    11. Eric,

      I get that you are happy with Trump's position on climate change and you say on WUWT "The victory of President Trump is a gift not just for America but for the world." as a result
      But are you really happy with all of Trump's other policies and personality traits, or do you just consider them a price worth paying to end the "climate movement"?

    12. "argument from authority".

      Unless one is also an expert, deferring to authority is the only logical course of action. Only in denier-land is listening to those who have the least expertise considered commonsense. In denier-land being a Dunning-Kruger is probably looked on as a badge of honour.

      Having seen a medical specialist who tells him he should seek treatment for a particular health issue, Eric Worall walks out of the hospital and spots a gardener pruning the rose. "He looks like a knowledgeable man" he says to himself, and seeks a second opinion. The gardener tells him there's nothing to worry about.
      What are the chances of a happy ending in this allegory.

    13. Re-reading my reply, "pruning the rose" sounds funny. Of course it should have been "roses", but then again this is denier-land, so maybe there was only one rose growing in the entire hospital grounds.

    14. "the climate crisis might be dead.."

      Well a little trolling is to be expected. The climate change denier talking points have not changed in years, and I don't think a pseudo-scientific US President will change that.

      The US is not the center of the world. The US abandoning commonsense won't mean the rest of the world will.

    15. Eric pops up to remind us that he thinks the real world exists merely in his head...yes, Eric, elect someone who denies physics, and physics will be gone. It makes perfect sense.

    16. No-one needs to be a qualified practising scientist to criticise (or applaud, for that matter) scientists. Just an analytical mind and some scientific training, or even a good scientific education. Millicent is clearly putting words in Eric's mouth - an old trick, and deplorable.
      "So lets get this straight: despite your claiming to know better than every prestigious scientific organisation on this planet" - no he's not, and never has. Childish rubbish like that says more about the sayer than the target. Straw men are on the move in this thread. They're very flammable, and easily demolished.

      Debate is healthy. What amounts to name-calling and invective has no place in any discussion forum.

      This post concerns serious political implications for the US. No-one commenting here is an experienced political guru, nor a politician of any kind, to my knowledge. So scientific qualifications are needed to criticise the work of scientists, but none to criticise political policies and politicians?

      "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

      Matthew 7:3-5, King James' Version, 1611

    17. I don't think Millicent or Eric were talking about politics in this particular branch of the discussion. It was about Eric's opinion about climate science and global warming.

      MH - talking of straw men, have you any comment on Eric, in his OP, referring to climate change as "superstition"?

    18. "It was about Eric's opinion about climate science and global warming."

      Eric may have thought that but I never even mentioned the topic. I was focused entirely on Eric's delusions of scientific genius. Sadly Eric had urgent business to attend to so I was never able to ask him whether he thought his genius would be widely recognised within his own lifetime, or if he thought the Natural History Museum in London would be replacing its statue of Darwin with one of Eric in due time.

    19. MostlyTrollish

      Debate is healthy.

      Misogyny is not. Racism is not. Mendacity is not. Climate change denial is not.

      Trump indulges freely in all of the above. One does not need to be a politician or pundit to see this. Nor is it a matter for debate as it is established fact.

    20. BBD. Agree. There are certain
      unhealthy things not to be sampled. A nibble of a choclate is acceptable. A dabble into racism or misogyny
      has consquences far exceeding
      any brief strange pleasure derived from doing so.
      I worry when debate is unhealthy. When there is a characterisation of balance
      where none exists.
      Where genuine expertise is assigned to a position equal
      with naivete, bullying, and
      sometimes paranoia.
      Its tricky. Debate is healthy,
      even nessessary.
      Ideas should be challenged to
      establish strengths and weaknesses within them.
      I get the feeling often that
      challenge is not done for these reasons, but simply for
      the apoearance of challenge alone.

    21. "Any chance you will publish your long list of Nobel prizes so we can all recognise how superior your scientific genius is to the rest of the scientific establishment?"

      The "Scienctific Establishment" has generated many more incorrect ideas than correct ones. Even Nobel Prize winners can be wrong.

    22. Probably true NotThatBob. That is how science works -put up an idea and then try to knock it down. Rhe difference is the ingredient of looking for the answer with genuine curiousity. And some of the ideas survive to become the accepted consensus.

      There are those who are not genuinely enquiring. And that is the idea of comparing fake sceptics efforts with the scientific establishment.

    23. Lars Karlsson

      "you might be able to kill climate science in the US, but that will not change the physics."

      It is "the physics" that continues to undermine the politicised 'science' supporting the CAGW dead end.

      Climate Science will thrive.

    24. It is "the physics" that continues to undermine the politicised 'science' supporting the CAGW dead end.

      Hardy har-har.

      Let's have some references then. Published papers only, not cobblers on denier blogs.

    25. @NotThatBob

      The physics undermines the climate science? That is an enormous claim. Could you give one example of what you mean?

    26. Be careful now: we shouldn't mock people who in a more rational world would be referred to as 'the patient'.

    27. Eric Worrall, don't troll poor Sou. Can't you tell a death rattle when you hear it.

    28. Can't you tell a death rattle when you hear it.

      Wow, a competition to see who can be the most detached from reality. Go nutters!

    29. Oh I love it. Poor Eric has got his 'friends' to come over and 'sort us out'. Its magical.

    30. @BBD

      I could not think of a suitable reply to that inanity. But I think you nailed it.

      Do you get the impression that the contrarians are feeling emboldened by the election of Trump? As if the election result somehow changes the laws of physics.

    31. jp & Jammy Dodger

      "Unless one is also an expert, deferring to authority is the only logical course of action."

      And 'authority' is not determined by the number of scientists supporting a popular hypothesis, but how well that hypothesis is supported by observation.

      It is a pity that this analysis of competing hypotheses has been placed in the 'political' domain, where, it appears, no scientific debate is possible.

      "There are those who are not genuinely enquiring. And that is the idea of comparing fake sceptics efforts with the scientific establishment."

      Presumably jp's 'Allegory' portrays a 'fake' sceptic?

      A medical specialist diagnoses a 15 yo girl's health issue, and prescibes a course of treatment.

      Reading the prescription, the girl tells the specialist that two of the drugs are contraindicated.

      She is evidently sceptical of his expertise.

      What are the chances of a happy ending to that scenario?

      Would a specialist accept contradiction from a patient merely because she has been 'genuinely enquiring' with regard to her condition?

    32. "What are the chances of a happy ending to that scenario?"

      If she then runs off to a new age healer or similar fraud then virtually nil.

    33. @NotThatBob

      Where is your example of physics undermining climate science?

      Authority is determined by having some expertise in the subject. Observations on their own cannot constitute authority.

      Yes, that is the fake sceptic in JP's allegory.

      I think Millicent pointed out the wealness of your allegory so I do not need to add to that.

      D- for effort.

    34. Alas, poor Worrall, a change of occupant in the White House does not wipe out over a century of sound science, thousands of studies and the conclusions of every national science academy in the world. If the Donald withdraws America from the Paris agreement, the climate crisis, will be alive, and kicking. And, while he may not be around to see it, history will judge President Trump as the man who grabbed the planet by the genitalia and f**ked it.

      A few observations for the understandably despondent. Around 0.2 million more Americans voted for Mrs Clinton than supported Mr Trump. I'm not arguing that this makes the result illegitimate, both sides fought under the same rules, however viewed as an opinion poll, it is a fact that more people favoured Clinton's vision for the country over Trump's. And the low turnout means that only about one in four people of voting age were sufficiently fired up to got off their large American bottoms and express support for the Dumpster.

      I am not at all optimistic, I regarded Trump as a joke right up to the last few days, well the joke's on us. I'm working through the stages of grief, but neither am I as gloomy as some. The appropriate response, it seems to me, is to organise and resist.

      Nil Desperandum.

    35. @ NoNotThatBob

      "And 'authority' is not determined by the number of scientists supporting a popular hypothesis, but how well that hypothesis is supported by observation."

      The number of scientists supporting a hypothesis does not cause a hypothesis to be correct, but you should expect a hypothesis that is correct to result in more scientists supporting it.

      "It is a pity that this analysis of competing hypotheses has been placed in the 'political' domain, where, it appears, no scientific debate is possible."

      It will good to see Trump removing all politics from the debate.

      "Reading the prescription, the girl tells the specialist that two of the drugs are contraindicated."

      How does she know the drugs are contraindicated? Is it because of expert opinion or because because of something she's read on a website?

    36. A superstition is defined as a widely held but irrational belief. I'm not sure that it qualifies as 'widely-held' however it seems to me that a belief that Worrall's absurd, ridiculous, risible, ludicrous, fictional headlines to his WUWT filler pieces bear the flimsiest remote connection to reality is arguably a textbook case.

    37. @Jammy

      Do you get the impression that the contrarians are feeling emboldened by the election of Trump? As if the election result somehow changes the laws of physics.

      That's just the clowns doing the warm-up act. It gets much better.

    38. In a few years time these people will have a lot more to be in denial about.

    39. Mostlyclueless says,
      "So scientific qualifications are needed to criticise the work of scientists, but none to criticise political policies and politicians?".

      Sorry, but that's such a dumb argument to make. The wrong-ness of it should be obvious to anyone who actually thinks.

      You don't need any expertise to judge someone's character. If you're a woman and the candidate talks about overturning Wade vs Roe by installing more conservative judges and re-criminalizing abortion, you don't need any expertise to know how that will affect you. If you're concerned about climate change and you believe what the experts are saying you don't need any expertise of your own to see the negative consequences of having an idiot for president who thinks that it's all a hoax perpetrated by the chinese and pledges to dismantle institutions studying climate science and global accords. And if you're a moderate muslim or a mexican you don't need any expertise to feel insulted.

      The comparison is so stupid, it's amazing any intelligent person would make it, and even more amazing that you were so confident making it you even added a biblical quote.

    40. even more amazing that you were so confident making it you even added a biblical quote.

      God probably told him to do it.

    41. @BBD
      "Let's have some references then. Published papers only, not cobblers on denier blogs."

      I am not a Climate Scientist. So to determine an expert's competence:
      1. I choose a paper in which the expert has made an observable prediction;
      2. I determine whether that prediction has indeed been fulfilled.

      How about the Daddy of 'em all. Hansen's presentation to Congress.

      He makes a clear prediction and all the data required to test it are readily available for downloading.

      Hansen defines three Scenarios: A, B, and (you guess):

      A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely;
      B has decreasing trace gas growth rates, such that the annual increase of the greenhouse climate forcing remains approximately constant at the 1998 level;
      C drastically reduces trace gas growth between 1990 and 2000 such that the greenhouse climate forcing ceases to increase after 2000.

      Hansen then provided a graph of the annual temperature anomaly for each of these Scenarios, against which one can plot the actual anomalies of one's choice, and compare actual versus the three predictions.

      As these trace gasses have not been reduced since 1988, we should find the actual anomalies are up there with Scenario A, or at worst B.

      Currently, however HADCRUT4 and GISS are each closer to Scenario C - drastically reduced trace gasses.

      Either Hansen displayed a limited grasp of atmospheric physics, or he lied to Congress.

    42. @ Jammy Dodger
      "The physics undermines the climate science? That is an enormous claim."

      Not really. Climate Science is in error because most Climate Scientists are inept with regard to Physics (and Maths).

      Unfortunately, Cosmology and Astrophysics are a greater draw.

    43. @NotThatBob

      Is that all you can come up with?

      Not even an example?

    44. @ Millicent

      I asked:
      "What are the chances of a happy ending to that scenario?

      Would a specialist accept contradiction from a patient merely because she has been 'genuinely enquiring' with regard to her condition?"

      Your reply:
      "If she then runs off to a new age healer or similar fraud then virtually nil."

      No coconut for a non sequitur, I'm afraid.
      Have another go.

    45. MostlyCluelesss says, "No-one needs to be a qualified practising scientist to criticise (or applaud, for that matter) scientists. Just an analytical mind and some scientific training."

      Only one probem with that. The weak, illogical reasoning that is demonstrated here and elsewhere is strong evidence that an analytical mind is a rare thing in denier-land.

      But what MostlyClueless says helps to explain why so many denier D-K's are emboldened to attack climate scientists.

      We have idiots with no understanding of proxy data or any aspects of climate science who think they're qualified to attack Michael Mann's hockey stick, which has been reproduced by different teams using different methods and data. Strangely enough, no denier can bring themselses to ask the obvious question of why their side seems incapable of producing a graph which doesn't show a hockey stick, which would be the best way to debunk it.

      _ idiots who will cite the 'pause' as an argument against global warming with no understanding of statistics, whether it's genuine or not, and even if real, whether it means anything in terms of the long term trend.

      _ idiots who attack adjustments to the temperature data without any understanding of the reasons behing those adjustments.

      _ idiots with no understanding of ecology and no observations of their own, but who sneer at evidence presented of different species shifting habitats because of climate induced stress.

      And on and on it goes...the most clueless idiots who think they understand the science better than the climate scientists.

    46. @NotThatBob

      I appreciate it is not a non-sequitur. But then I understood the connection.

      Do try again.

    47. @ Jammy Dodger
      "Authority is determined by having some expertise in the subject.

      Observations on their own cannot constitute authority."

      F for comprehension.

      Try taking it for granted that the scientists are experts in the subject to which the hypothesis relates. (Oh. Just to clarify further, it is popular with the expert scientists.)

      And 'authority' is not determined by the number of scientists supporting a popular hypothesis, but how well that hypothesis is supported by observation.

      "I think Millicent pointed out the wealness of your allegory so I do not need to add to that."

      No, she didn't. See above.

    48. @NoNotThatBob

      "No coconut for a non sequitur, I'm afraid. Have another go."

      I'm sorry but I'd expect even a ten year old to understand that if you want to claim an argument is invalid then you would have to show why it is an invalid argument. Are you nine years old or just stupid?

    49. @ Bellman

      "The number of scientists supporting a hypothesis does not cause a hypothesis to be correct, but you should expect a hypothesis that is correct to result in more scientists supporting it."

      An hypothesis that is 'correct' (i.e., it has been verified to be true), is a theory. And indeed, that usually results in most scientists supporting it.

      "It will good to see Trump removing all politics from the debate."

      It would be better to see Trump removed from all politics.

      "How does she know the drugs are contraindicated? Is it because of expert opinion or because because of something she's read on a website?"

      The expert doesn't know how she knows, he knows only that she is right.

      What are the chances of a happy ending to that scenario?

      Would a specialist accept contradiction from a patient merely because she has been 'genuinely enquiring' with regard to her condition?"

  8. It will not be long:
    Brawndo, It's Got Electrolytes. It's What Plants Crave


    Worrall - electing a person who does not understand science does not make global warming disappear.
    It will just allow you to say more frequently that there is no research showing climate change, when the research/satellites/data gathering gets consigned to the scrap heap.
    The world will still get polluted, species will die, land will get inundated (or not - only time will tell and then it will be too late!!!)

    Many countries with no environmental (green) laws can produce cheap products, but the locals seem to suffer with polluted lives. (india and china are examples)

  9. At least it's now clear who won the Cold War: Russia.

  10. Trump's a chump, and a dangerous one at that.
    But just listen to yourselves! "Oh my God, we're doomed. The sky's gonna fall!"

    Sou said in a reply "Getting out of NATO, the UN, the UNFCCC, and various trade agreements etc will be challenging, as will winding back environmental legislation and cutting climate and weather services (and research). (As for building a wall across the Mexican border...)"

    ....but of course, none of us know what'll happen over Chump's presidency.

    Trump comes over as a brash, self-contradicting idiot with half a brain. He's playing to the masses, and can't possibly mean most of what he says. He tells all the possible supporting groups just what they want to hear. They won't pick up on the fact that his promises are often mutually exclusive, and totally clash. It's the behaviour of a despot, with many historical examples.

    The other half of his brain is low cunning - he's not at all stupid. He can't be - he'll have the top job.

    Sou said in a reply "As people we will not learn - don't recognise good times for what they are, and refuse to accept there are enough challenges ahead without adding the harm that Trump will foist on the world."

    That's the wisest statement you've ever made Sou. Take it up to the word "ahead", and it stands on its own as part of my own philosophy.

    Best of luck to all you poor Yanks, from a sympathiser on the best side of the pond.

    1. It's true - we don't know what Trump will or won't do. One thing about the future is that it's hard to predict :)

      What I will predict is that the people who chose him will not blame Trump for failing to deliver what they voted him in to deliver (whatever dreamt up fantasies those may have been). They'll find someone else to blame for his perceived failures.

      Just like they ignored the mixed messages coming out of his mouth over the years and the danger he poses to their (and our) world.

    2. A British EU exit campaign truth becomes a whopper in only a few weeks.:

      Chris Grayling, the Tory Cabinet member and prominent Brexit campaigner, has said the idea of spending millions a week on the NHS instead of the EU was only “an aspiration” – despite a slogan being written in massive letters on the side of the Vote Leave battle bus suggesting £350 million a week could be diverted from the EU to the NHS.
      Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon even accused Vote Leave leader Boris Johnson of misleading the public by “driving around the country in a bus with a giant whopper painted on the side”.

    3. Trump says he wants to not only stop, but reverse immigration from Mexico. Th economies of the SW states would likely collapse without cheap immigrant labour.

      Similar stupid and dangerous proposals over here, about Eastern European immigrants. Apparently, they're "taking our jobs" (jobs most British workers don't want) AND "all claiming state benefits". They can't be doing both. Right-wing opinions from those in government, and many (very, very far from all) citizens, usually clash, often to the point of absurdity.

      The vast majority of immigrants come here to work. Statistics prove that. The British economy depends on them. The American economy does too.

      BTW, to put things straight here, I'm a sceptic - small "c". Everyone should be sceptical of everything they're told or read. While I do read many Sceptical blogs, as a sceptic, I'm sceptical of everything I read there too. A little downturn in monthly satellite data of global sea-level or temperature, and the cries of "See - told you so" flood the comment threads. Straw-clutchers, many of 'em.

      I was born in a small South Wales mining village, probably the only one you've heard of. I'm a socialist and proud of it. Always will be. By the people and for the people.

  11. The need for change and the clinging to hope for a better future is a powerful force.
    We are seeing a polarising of views across the world, driven, I believe, in large part by the internet. Talking to people who share your view, no matter how extreme, empowers you, makes you think you are right, and in greater number.
    You see this daily on WUWT (and denialist blogs). Denizens answering the dog-whistle and cheering on each other in the echo-chamber. To enter it is akin to entering Carol's rabbit-hole. It is that far from reality.

    When it comes to Brexit, your comment Sue that, "In Britain the people voted to shut the doors and kick out everyone who wasn't umpteenth generation English." - if you forgive me - is very simplistic. It was MUCH more complicated than that. You wouldn't know unless you have an unelected bureau/technocrat such as Junker laying down the law and telling nation-states what to do. If he had been an elected politician subject to the disdain of the electorate then fine. But of course if that were the case then he wouldn't have been so dictatorial, so QED. Sovereignty, or the lack of it, and the undemocratic nature of the EU structure was the reasoning behind Brexit. Plus of course we never wanted to belong to a federal Europe, we had been sleep-walked into it. The greatly increased number of member states made it's "one-size-fits-all" MO unfit for purpose. The plain fact is that economically the EU does/is not work/ing. Ask the Greeks.
    I also think that there is a new phenomenon - well not new to AGW deniers - the invention of facts to suite an ideology. You know - "its a big fraud", a la Roberts, Goddard/Heller and Ball the other day. Trump's said CC science is a hoax, as well as other things, which sane people know to be bizarre. One of which - that the election system is rigged has instantly been seen a lie - but they'll still believe that if he's just a one-term president.

    1. "Sovereignty, or the lack of it, and the undemocratic nature of the EU structure was the reasoning behind Brexit." No, that is only a small part of the story. That is the motivation behind a few of the Brexiteers, but the vote was won not on the issue of sovereignty but on fear of immigrants, worry about being left behind by globalisation and wanting to kick out at the establishment. Young people wanted to stay, old folks wanted to leave. It was a hankering after some ideal version of the past. The very same things were apparent in the USA election.

    2. From where I sit a long way away, envy, fear, irrational nostalgia, and xenophobia are some of the main emotions driving this worldwide move to self-destruction and worship of ignorance. That and a lack of understanding of what makes the world work these days, now that distances have shrunk while population has exploded and poverty is being reduced worldwide.

    3. @ Sou

      the sovereignty argument in Brexit was a total sham and a nonsense - we always had sovereignty

      and easily demonstrated by the classic "bait and switch" tactics Farage used when interviewed on the BBC on Sunday

      he was be "schooled" by Gina Miller - the lady who took Article 50 to the Lords - on the subject of Sovereignty - and she explained to farage that, as the Lords said it rests with parliament (they giveth and they taketh away our rights)

      what did Farage due, he knew he was talking crap, he just switched it to the "sovereignty of the people"

      but that was not what he had been saying for the last 20 years - a grubby fraud and the Brexit project built on lies and wishful thinking will inevitably fail

    4. "No, that is only a small part of the story. That is the motivation behind a few of the Brexiteers, but the vote was won not on the issue of sovereignty but on fear of immigrants, worry about being left behind by globalisation and wanting to kick out at the establishment. Young people wanted to stay, old folks wanted to leave. It was a hankering after some ideal version of the past. "

      I disagree, certainly not "hankering ....".
      The lack of a say in the direction we were being taken was THE story in my experience.
      That has been at the rump of disaffection of the EU before worries about immigrants and loss of jobs poisoned things further.
      That was the core of it.
      People need to be able to go to the polls every 5 years and give their verdict on the ruling class.
      The EU does not allow that. No matter what MEP you put in.
      Immigrants were merely the straw that broke the camels back.
      Please define "a few", and what was your personal experience of brexiteer's motives?
      I can only speak as I find.
      Of the people I talked to prior to the vote, all gave the reason as lack of proper democratic process, and only one wanted to remain.
      Oh, and somehow "old People's" opinion doesn't count as much as the young?
      It's called democracy.

    5. The problem that the remain campaign had to overcome - and ultimately failed to

      Was the inherent hypocrisy of it - especially with it being led by Cameron

      Cameron/ Osborne where guilty throughout their time in parliament of peddling myths, half-truths and simple lies about the EU

      Of buying into the anti EU mantra that came day in day out from 90% of the UK press - whether it had any merit or not

      The EU was used a pawn in the political Westminster game - a game for one thing, and that is power

      The EU was like the girl that is told repeatedly she is ugly, to the point that even she believes it

      May - a supposed remainer peddled the myth on the NHS health tourism - a myth that the figures simply do not support simply because it support her own political agenda

      Everyone in the establishment knew Boris Johnson spent his early years as a Telegraph EU correspondent making up stories about straight bananas/cucumbers, that EU was forcing us to change our chocolate to “vegelate”

      “Then came the biggest whopper of all: “Delors plan to rule Europe” ran a front-page headline in the Sunday Telegraph in May 1992, just ahead of the Danish referendum on the Maastricht treaty. Nobody could follow that except to say it was untrue, and based on thin ideas floated at a casual briefing, but denials came too late for Danish voters, who said “no”. Many attribute that to Johnson’s story.

      Rebutting a Johnson myth was a thankless task and the commission itself was powerless to fight back “because what we said wasn’t funny”, as one spokesman put it at the time. Refuting the condoms story, one spokesman resorted to profanity, telling the Sun it was “bull****”. “Otherwise,” he said, “I’d never have got my point of view in.”

      Johnson’s half-truths created new reality, as I discovered while trying to untangle council directive 73,241, which set out rules on quantities of vegetable fat versus cocoa fat. Because Britain used more vegetable fat than other countries, a lowly official suggested Britain call its chocolate “vegelate”: hence the myth. There was no serious plan and no compulsion. It was what Johnson himself might describe as “piffle”.


      The EU developed a sceptical science style myths buster page see here
      the myths go back to the 90’s, none came to pass
      no organisation could survive that onslaught from the cabal of tax avoiding expat billionaire media barons

      But over the years the mud stuck, and a large section of the remain camp (Cameron et al) were guilty of either actively throwing the mud – or enabling it by simply standing by and saying nothing to defend the EU where it was required

      So they simply came over as hypocrites – the public saw thru them

      And the EU was fatally flawed in many people eyes, and brought zero benefit to the UK – which we know now not to be true because the UK government had to underwrite the Nissan deal

      So it was not even a matter of weighing up the pros and cons (the EU is not perfect and off course there are cons, the question is/was “do the cons outweigh the pros”)

      but all we got was the cons

      But we live in a post truth world

    6. Replace the EU with the UN and you the fake bogeyman that many Americans and climate science deniers have created/bought into. There's got to be an "enemy" for people to blame for their imagined woes, and plenty of people working to manufacture them.

      Guess what will happen when Trump decides not to completely dismantle "Obamacare" after all? It won't be the GOP or Trump at fault, it will be irrationally blamed on the Democrats and Obama.

    7. "The lack of a say in the direction we were being taken was THE story in my experience."

      How do you have a lack of say Tony? The EU is a democratic institution. You vote for its members of parliament, and you vote for your domestic government that then supplies its leader to the European Council and a representative to the Council of the European Union. Seems pretty democratic to me.

      "People need to be able to go to the polls every 5 years and give their verdict on the ruling class."

      I'm puzzled by this. They do. See above.

      "Immigrants were merely the straw that broke the camels back."

      Why? And do you mean non-EU migrants or EU migrants? You do know there's a refugee crisis going on, don't you?

      "Of the people I talked to prior to the vote, all gave the reason as lack of proper democratic process, and only one wanted to remain."

      This sounds a bit like the One True Scotsman Fallacy but OK. What would you/they call a "proper" democratic process?

      "It's called democracy."

      That's definitely the One True Scotsman Fallacy! Democracy is not one thing.

    8. This discussion demonstrates the main problem I had with the referendum. It was a simplistic non-specific question with only two answers. It's impossible to say why anyone voted the way they did, but everyone has now been given a blank cheque to argue that whatever direction they want to take is "the will of the people" and anyone who suggests differently is betraying the people.

    9. @Bellman

      I think you areistaken to suggest that everyone claims it is "the will of the people". There was a clear answer to a Yes/No question abd no-one disputes that. You are right that it was too simplistic a question for such a serious issue.

    10. The problem is that - like the Trump campaign - the Brexit campaign was fundamentally dishonest. The Brexit camp never tried to sell the UK public the reality of what Brexit would mean. They did not try to sell it because they knew they would never win the referendum on that basis. How can anyone claim that the referendum gives them a mandate for a form of Brexit that the Brexiters knew would never get voted for?

    11. @Jammy Dodger

      "I think you are mistaken to suggest that everyone claims it is "the will of the people". "

      I didn't say "everyone", but its a phrase that has been used many times recently, especially in the context of the judgement that it will have to be approved by parliament.

      "There was a clear answer to a Yes/No question and no-one disputes that."

      I dispute that it was a clear answer. Slightly more people voted for the option to leave the EU than to remain. It's still not clear what leaving the EU means (as in the distinction between "hard" and "soft" Brexits), and there's no way of knowing if the result would have been different if a more explicit question had been asked.

    12. @Bellman

      You said everyone has been given a blank cheque to say it is the will of the people. I think that is close enough for my point.

      It was a clear answer in the sense that with a Yes/No answer there can only be an absolute result. I agree it is not the clear mandate Exiters claim.

    13. @Jammy Dodger

      Sorry, my mistake - I did say everyone.
      Though I meant everyone has been given permission to us the term, not that everyone has been saying it.

    14. The referendum was not binding. At least that's what Parliament was told before they agreed to it. Cameron committed the government to accepting the result but that is not binding on Parliament.

      IMO the MPs don't want to vote on it. By the time a vote on article 50 gets to Parliament, they won't be able to rely on the figures from the referendum. Since then we've had the backpedaling on the £350 million for the NHS, the leaders of Brexit revealing that they don't have a plan, the pound being trashed, the taxpayer on the hook for guarantees to Nissan... The MPs are going to have to judge the mood of their constituents very carefully as more young people become eligible to vote and the bitter taste of Brexit gets stronger.

      BTW, only an anecdote but... I live in France and a number of UK expats voted for Brexit because of immigration. Now they've realised that they're immigrants and that their UK pension has lost about 20% of its value. At least when they are forced to return to the UK they'll be able to benefit from the extra funding given to the NHS won't they?

  12. Very well said, Sou.

    At least after the EU vote I could see some grounds for optimism, but with Trump I can only despair. The only crumb of comfort I can see is that we have until January before he takes power and anything could happen before then.

    "What's happened in America is no different to what's been happening around the world."

    That's true as far as the way voters are behaving. But there is one big difference with Trump is that he will be running the most powerful country in the world. He can literally end the world on a whim.

    "The population is getting dumbed down - or more accurately, people are dumbing themselves down, voluntarily."

    I wonder if that is true, or is it that the majority have always been dumb, but up to recently have tended to accept the wisdom of others. Now people seem to want politicians who speak their language, and tell them what they want to hear.

    1. Germans in the 1930s wanted someone who "spoke their language". Now it's people want someone to tell them their ignorance is to be worshipped and knowledge despised. And yes, most people aren't all that clever. Clever people forget that, and many aren't aware of it (being always surrounded by smart people).

    2. "Germans in the 1930s wanted someone who "spoke their language""

      Maybe, but I get the impression that Hitler was far more articulate than Trump. Trump seems to be popular among the sections of the US because he speaks like an internet troll, and they interpret that as not speaking down to them. Hitler gave the impression of being a deep intellectual as well as appealing to their worst prejudices.

    3. An interestingly different point of view. :)

      Crazy as it may seem, Trump’s win may be a chance for the US to redeem. And for the world to heave a huge sigh of relief.


      And much of the comment re Hilary seems reasonable---unfortunately Trump looks even worse and more dangerous.

  13. I really hate it when I'm this frikken wrong: http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2016/10/where-are-clowns.html?showComment=1477371323003#c7767224083774458759

    I also don't like being embarrassed on behalf of my entire country.

    1. Don't worry, don't be embarassed. This is a planetary wave of insanity and the empire is just another country that has fallen.
      Very relevant elections in EU countries next year, including my own (Netherlands). Germany, France. All are on the brink of falling, I think the Front National will win France next year, for instance.

    2. Thanks. Not exactly the sort of consolation I'd want, but it is something. Righteous fury is looking like a valid coping mechanism at the moment.

    3. Don't take it to heart: It was Yogi Berra who wisely said:

      "Forecasting is very difficult, especially when it involves the future."

    4. CRR surely Wilders has no chance of getting a majority? Is he still pretending that Islam practices a "convert them or kill them" policy?

      I don't understand how people can fall for that. Why did Islam only start implementing this policy now, giving us time to develop nuclear weapons and create huge armies and arsenals?

      And I really can't imagine how a religion like that could get off the ground. All religions start with one person. They don't exist in a vacuum but perturb the existing order. Look what happened to Jesus, even though he preached love and goodwill etc, he got stomped on pretty quickly and most of his disciples came to a sticky end too. So imagine the response of the authorities to someone who preached,"Convert or die." And, in practice, it's not really an attractive message to preach, telling people that they have to kill their families and friends if they don't join up. Also imagine the difficulties of trading with other people... killing all the ones who won't convert will get you blacklisted in no time at all.

  14. It's a paradox: we have science and information advancing at exponential pace and at the same time we have a problem with the spread of disinformation dumbing down the gullible and the unthinking almost instantly through the internet. In the old days, the self-serving media,cranks and Dunning-Krugers of all sorts only had a small sphere of influence, but now they can reach any imbecile who's got a computer or smart phone. And talking about Dunning-Krugers and purveyors of disinformation, I see that Eric Worrall has paid us a visit. How blessed we are.

  15. Reading Greg Laden's Blog made me feel a tiny little bit better. But, that of course, isn't saying much because I'm starting from the depths of despair. Anyway, check it out. It might help. Or it might not.

    1. Seemed similar to taking comfort that the French Resistance existed during WWII :(

    2. That, it did. Or the Partisans.

  16. As an American (maybe even just as an educated human being), I am saddened that someone who is so prone to hurling demeaning insults at anyone and everyone and who spouts numerous conspiracy theories, all the while seeming to have any substantial knowledge or expertise in much of anything, can rise to be the most powerful person in the world. His stated positions, along with the positions of many of those in the Republican Party, make me concerned for the future of my children.

    1. Why not? George W. Bush became President.

    2. Ray:

      That is not the most worrying thing about Trump's personality.
      Have you heard the story Selina Scott tells?


  17. "Thats called an "argument from authority" Millicent."

    Yep, that'll be the principle of schooling.
    You did go to school Eric? University maybe?
    Then why did you bother as you seem to have such contempt of "argument from authority".
    Without it we'd have got nowhere as a species.
    Just what was it Newton said?
    Google it if you don't know.
    Just like you do for your *science*.

    1. The argument from authority fallacy refers to arguing from false authority, not legitimate authority. The deniers can't get their logical fallacies right.

  18. Just an hour ago I was crossing a street in NYC near my hotel on W77th Street.
    An elderly woman in front of me was crossing too slowly on her walking frame. The countdown on the pedestrian lights had started so I slowly walked behind her. Then she stopped halfway so I walked in front and asked if she was OK. She said I was thinking about what happened last night. Isn't it awful?
    Despite it being peak hour there were no cars near the crossing and she safely continued her pained journey.

    1. That is sad. The result was all you were afraid of and warned us about, PG.


  19. Oh dear. It's started already.


    1. I think that was written pre-election. I don't think his actual team has been announced yet, Jammy. Nor his actual policies, now that he and the GOP will be forced to make real decisions, not just get enough people to elect them.

    2. We do not have time for more hopeful illusions, Sou.
      His 'actual policies' are already clear as a bell.
      Real decisions for Exxon and coal, there is no more to it.

  20. We should all just keep the same mindset we have as in the past, evidence based decision making. Panic or despair will stop any possible corrective action.

    Here is something a bit higher. 5MB


    It is the Horse Head and Flame Nebulae in Orion in very deep NII narrow band. It was taken with 3nm NII filter and an F3 600mm FL optic. The signal to noise of this system is about as good as it gets. The exposures were 19x32 min. There is a lot of very faint monatomic Nitrogen visible due to the forbidden emission line of N[II]. Bert

    1. Thank you Bert. That is just beautiful, and uplifting.

  21. I understand the pain and despair that commenters above feel. I felt physically ill when I first saw that Trump was on his way to the White House. The loss of momentum in the race to counter global warming is horrendous itself without adding Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court, the encouragement of extremist race groups (David Duke from the Klan and in Australia, Pauline Hanson et al were delighted), the winding back of education, scientific research, environmental protection and other social goods.
    But what helped me to get a grip was Naomi Klein’s piece in the Guardian. She takes a broader view than just our concerns for global warming issues and points to a way forward that holds promise for a range of difficult issues directly related the dominance of neo-liberalism as the framework under which Western society has operated, almost subconsciously and virtually unquestioned since the 1980’s. Two quotes give the flavour of the piece, but the whole article is worth the read (Google It was the rise of the Davos class that sealed America’s fate).
    Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present… For the people who saw security and status as their birthright – and that means white men most of all – these losses are unbearable.
    Neo-fascist responses to rampant insecurity and inequality are not going to go away. But what we know from the 1930s is that what it takes to do battle with fascism is a real left. A good chunk of Trump’s support could be peeled away if there were a genuine redistributive agenda on the table. An agenda to take on the billionaire class with more than rhetoric, and use the money for a green new deal. Such a plan could create a tidal wave of well-paying unionised jobs, bring badly needed resources and opportunities to communities of colour, and insist that polluters should pay for workers to be retrained and fully included in this future.
    We should not think that the 25% of the American population who voted for Trump is made up of stupid people. With little help from dysfunctional press they had a choice between the hell of more neo-liberalism or the illusory promises of a smart fascist demagogue. What we need now is smart analysis and determined action against the real issues we face. People like Naomi Klein, Elizabeth Warren, Wayne Swan and Bill Mitchell in Australia can be lodestars to help us do this.

    1. Malamuddy - lots to reflect upon. Thanks.

      I agree that not everyone who voted for Trump was stupid. They had their various reasons. Interestingly, from the exit polls, there was a big shift to Trump in those who have some college/associate degree, not so much those who didn't. There was an increase in white male voters who presumably don't mind a bit of predatory sexual behaviour. And there were a lot of women who don't mind it either (though no significant increase). There was indeed an increase for Trump from people earning less than $30k.

      From the exit polls: one take - and another way of looking at it.

      Trump voters might not be all stupid and they would have had different reasons, but IMO their voting behaviour was stupid. Some would argue that so was the non-voting behaviour of all those who didn't bother to vote.

      I'm not as optimistic for getting a workable solution to reducing the broadening gap between rich and not rich. Any such effort would need to also make the poor and not rich wealthier.

      It would be wonderful. However it's not a simple task, and if someone ever comes up with possible solutions then whatever option is chosen will have consequences, not all of which will be desirable (or vote-catching).

      Small steps are definitely possible, like taxing higher incomes more and taxing lower incomes less. Getting the balance right is tricky.

      Many on the lowest incomes don't pay tax, so part of the effort would be into increasing the wages of the lower income earners. This can be done (eg via minimum wage mandates) but isn't easy and can have consequences on the size of the labour force. So then it's about increasing employment e.g. by spending more on infrastructure development and maintenance.

      Ironically, models are often used to help try to work all this out:)

    2. I still don't buy stupid, even for "voting behaviour". Misinformed perhaps, ill-considered maybe,but they were faced with a Hobson's choice (if that means what I think it means). The neo-liberalism of all the other Republican candidates who lost to Trump in the primaries were all neo-liberals of varying degrees. I believe that they were rejected because Republican voters knew that they have suffered from that approach. Trump stood outside this approach, or rather he had no discdernible approach but that was his point of difference. Sanders offered a rational alternative and was wildly popular but still lost to the Democratic machine. Trump was the last option standing and many people took it, including well educated folk and many fundamental christians, both groups quite possibly with their fingers crossed that he is not as bad as the press painted him. Many of those who did not vote, for instance many Sanders supporters, may have concluded that there was simply no rational alternative on offer.

      If (say) Elizabeth Warren runs in 2020 a rational alternative will exist. Let's hope she does.

    3. I wonder if the process of getting down to two candidates (effectively) is the best way to go. It would be interesting to see what might happen if there was preferential voting instead of first past the post, and more candidates stood, including multiple candidates from the major parties. That might get over some of the apparent problems.

      The main difficulty I could see with that would be winnowing down the list of candidates to a reasonable number (say no more than 10). It would be a complete shambles if the number looked like a typical Senate ticket in Australia :( (The ballot paper can stretch for metres in some states.)

    4. well I have just heard on the BBC news that one of his appointments in a finance is an ex Goldman Sachs banker

      so I would not hold my breath

    5. What worries me is that Greece was falling prey to fascists, then elected the left-wing Syriza party instead. That they then just dumped all the progressive economic promises.

      Similarly France got in a socialist government at a time when otherwise LePen might win. And the socialist government implemented austerity.

      It seems like the left is excessively prone to just dumping its entire agenda at the first sign of doing anything that might affect the plutocrats -- even when they have widespread popular support.

    6. @numerobis

      Yes. The impotence of the left is curious.

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. yes the period since early 2000 has seen any progressive response from the left evaporated

      a chance maybe after the 2007/8 crash - but amazingly Cameron was able to blame the Labour government and the populace bought it hook line a sinker

      that must have flagged with the Kippers - that say something long and loud enough and people will believe anything

      the bankers won the argument, and it looks like they still are winning

    9. I'm not as optimistic for getting a workable solution to reducing the broadening gap between rich and not rich.

      Well both the French and Russian Revolutions worked for a while. Had both not been faced with implacable opposition one of them might have even worked.

      I rather doubt it but one might have succeeded.

  22. The Sagan quote is such a powerful observation.
    Somewhat like a kick in the shin,
    it immediatly confronts ones own
    tendancies to slip, to get lazy.
    To start down that path.
    I believe a strong community is one that builds bridges, not walls. Builds trust not fear.
    Encourages integrity and openness and humility.
    I dont understand the reasons why
    Americans have done this.
    It seems like a move of self betrayal.
    Thanks to many commentators above, and to Sou. Reading others
    thoughts helped clarify a new
    sense of resolve.

  23. So the Australian electorate polled 77% for climate change mitigation measures and chose the coal shill govt for its second term at the same time of this poll.

    And the US electorate was abhorring corporatism and it chose, it THUS chose, totalitarian corpocracy: https://theintercept.com/2016/11/08/trump-transition-lobbyists/ .

    There's this phenomenon called 'dumbing down', through media etc. It is no fault of lobbyists or media. It is utter disinterest of most of the electorate in anything that affects their lives except, of course, the number of hours per week of celebrities crying on tv they might be able to view.

    Has anyone ever registered the absurdity of all that spam around everywhere? The psychological pressure, what say I, the terror of this mass propaganda? The critics of corporatism, do they see it, maybe? I'm the first again, no? It's no fun to be a member of somewhat more advanced species either. In the Reich of the Blind One-Eye is paria.

  24. When I put my ecologist's hat on, I think of the inevitable decline of our numbers. It will happen. Likely this event will speed that up quite a bit.

    What is important is how we decline - will it be a hard landing or a soft landing? Having people like this in power means it will be a hard landing. Our numbers are too large - we haven't evolved or adapted any sort of mechanism to deal with all these people. We have nothing, not even history, to help us.

    That is: to me, this is simply inevitable. I was hoping I didn't have to live through it.




  25. “She would have been the most qualified, capable President in decades - and maybe forever.”

    It’s rather shocking that you say this. It raises the question about whether you know Hillary’s record.

    Our hatred for the Clinton’s isn’t misguided. She’s been terrible for America. That’s got to count for something. You clearly don't give us any credit at all (read on).

    You also missed it when you wrote “the US people want to build a wall”. Only some US people want this (a decided minority). What we really want is legal immigration (versus illegal) and there is nothing wrong with that. Mexico has refused to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

    I’m not happy that illegal immigrants receive far more benefits then I do (self-employed, still with no health insurance). The injustice is very obvious to those that live here.

    I totally support legal immigration, just like every country does. But illegal? No.

    “There’ve not been any major wars or threats in recent decades”. What? You can’t be serious. America has launched MASSIVE wars on other nations and countries. Do I really need to list them, or are you just being facetious?

    What is amazing to me is how intellectual have apparently had no idea what is going on in the world. I’ve long read where you live in your own bubbles and now it does appear that it’s all true - you’ve no real idea what has been happening.

    Here’s another one: “Despite the general standard of living rising all over the world”. Simply NOT TRUE. How can you even say this? Right here in America, it has declined, but in poor countries it’s much worse and not getting better.

    You seem to be really out of touch on these topics, and having respected you for years, I’m asking how can this be?

    There is a LOT of suffering and displacement in the world, but let me mention America. Our standard of living has declined, homelessness has increased and the ability to simply make ends-meet is very difficult for many newly “poor”. Many people have to work 2 or even 3 jobs to survive. My own business (self-employed) has declined by over 95%, I have not made a single dime after expenses and costs of doing business in over a year and I work non-stop, 7 days a week.

    I represent what has happened to millions of Americans. We are none to happy about all of this. But we are far from alone, it’s a part of the driving force for global migration, all the “things” you somehow overlooked, war, poverty, oppression, suffering, hunger. You write about climate but apparently know nothing about all these other critical topics.

    We’re not in a catastrophe now that Trump is elected (I did not vote for him), we are simply in a new chapter where the American Empire will be reexamined. All this ridiculous panic I’m seeing is quite absurd and misguided. He’s not even in office. The so-called “liberal left” is over-reacting, badly.

    Trump is certainly a conman, but so was his opponent. She represented deep corruption and deceit while pretending she was innocent (examine her record). Trump didn’t bother to engage in this pretense which is what appealed to millions. I don’t support Trump, but neither do I fear Trump.

    You mention learning from the mistakes of the past. We just demonstrated that here in America. The Clinton’s were terrible mistakes and we rejected this, selecting the ONLY candidate left. Not because he was better or more qualified, because he’s not. Because he was the only other “choice” left to us. We had NOTHING to do with that either - that was the script given to us as voters.

    Both of the political parties made MASSIVE mistakes when it came to these two candidates, and those that they swept aside, leaving us with nothing but Hillary or Trump. We saw through that - and rebelled. Quite simply, this is a “fuck you” vote for the rampant lies and corruptions and deceit of government and the media, of which Hillary herself was very much a part of.

    Trump was in the end, after all their shenanigans and deceptions, the only choice we were given. So now you want to blame us for what they did? You understand nothing.

    1. OK @Anonymous1. So you were left with no choice because all choices were awful. So why are people so cock-a-hoop at electing Trump? Why did you not abstain? Or vote for a no hope candidate?

    2. I did abstain. My vote was to not vote because I reject the process, but this isn't about me and will lead to distraction, so I won't discuss this further.

      Why are people so cock-a-hoop? I had to look that up.

      Well, probably because of what I already said, this was a "fuck you" vote to the establishment and many of us feel, very long overdue. They stupidly gave us the chance to turn over their applecart — their agenda, their elitism, their notions for the country and even the world. The US government does not represent most of us, not at all. We have long disagree with their direction and policy but have never had an opportunity like this to actually change anything. So we took it, for good or for worse, but frankly, we’ve absolutely had it.

      If Hillary was elected, civil war would have come. And that would have torn the country apart and even much of the world in the end.

      They grossly miscalculated the anger here and the hatred for Hillary, but more then all that, they forced a choice on us by their ridiculous nomination process that transpired (collusion of deceit and deception by all involved), none which should have ever transpired. But it did and we responded.

      Both candidates were horrible and we do know it. There aren’t as many dyed red supporters for Trump as there are people simply demanding change. We rejected the status quo in the only way offered to us. It should be obvious that this is their fault. Yes, we chose, because we HAD to, but not before they had already chose before us all along the way.

      Now to your last question. If I voted, the no hope candidate vote would be a personal choice, but would pretty much ensure that nothing would change, the status quo would be maintained, Hillary would be anointed, foreign wars and aggressions would continue and so forth. It would be a wasted vote as far as "who got elected", but even so, a conscientious vote on who you thought should be elected. The outcome would probably have been different, but that's what's great about the process and how it is supposed to work - it's up to you to decide on your vote, nobody has to vote or be forced to vote for someone they don't want.

      I think this demonstrates how things are supposed to work and that's another point everyone is missing - democracy actually, finally worked for once in this country. We voted for a wildcard. We didn’t like the candidates left to vote for, but we definitely want a change. Hillary represents everything we’ve come to hate and despise and it was deemed worse then what we dislike and despise about Trump. But these idiots only gave us these two “choices”. They royally screwed up and now the whole world knows it.

    3. It does appear there are different realities for different people.

      On poverty - as I've said, the growing gap between rich and poor is real, but world poverty is shrinking: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/mar/17/aid-trade-reduce-acute-poverty

      By a major war I meant like WWII, not a single country incursion like into Vietnam, Afghanistan, Korea or Iraq.

      Hillary Clinton is a lot cleaner than many other politicians. She has more relevant experience (and done very well) than almost any other Presidential candidate in history. Her problem is that her record is transparent, plus she's a woman and women aren't forgiven perceived errors like a man is, plus she gets paid to speak and doesn't deserve it like a man does, plus anyone who wants to can find lots of lies about her that they can choose to believe.

      The "establishment" = "them". I don't recall the Bush family being considered the "establishment". The "them" notion is highly selective as a bogeyman. It's what I hear from the Occupy crowd who rail against injustice, hard left unionists who see each and every business as a faceless evil, and lots of people who carry a big log on their shoulder and want to blame someone else. If they can't find an individual or obvious group they blame it on "them" or "the establishment", whatever they think that is.

    4. Okay, Anonymous, let's take your first testable claim: "Mexico has refused to stem the tide of illegal immigration."

      Why do you suppose that is?

      Possibly because we did it for them?

      The fact is that since 2007 the net amount of illegal immigration has been slightly negative. You can look it up at the Pew Research Center; they have a nice graph.

      So. Your very first testable claim is false. You may want to check the sources of your other claims. It seems you have been lied to.

    5. I can't seem to get the 'reply' in the right spot, so forgive me.

      I lifted this from another site simply for easy reference, I don't agree with Blum on everything.

      This certainly qualifies for major war and threats added up - especially if you happened to live there:

      Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:

      Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
      Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
      Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
      Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
      Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.*
      Plus … although not easily quantified … has been more involved in the practice of torture than any other country in the world for over a century not just performing the actual torture, but teaching it, providing the manuals, and furnishing the equipment.

      There are tens of millions of dead now at the hands of America. Surely this qualifies a major threat. There are of course, many, many more sources that can be used to demonstrate what America has actually done to numerous other countries. Surely you must all be aware of this.

      As for the woman comment Sou, sorry, I don't buy it. Irrelevant to the vast majority of us. We could care less about gender, it's meaningless in this context (and in most contexts to be honest). Qualifications, record, integrity, honesty, those are the things that mattered in this election. Trump had none of these either, but neither did Hillary. Being a woman meant nothing except to other woman who thought it means something. Not to the rest of us, we don't care one way or the other if the President is a man or a woman. Why should we?

      Hillary clean? Well, only if you say so, but we don't think so, not even close. One of the most corrupt, dirty politicians America has had to endure. We're hoping (still) that she will be imprisoned. This is a very widely held hope in America, represented by many millions of people who have quite enough of the Clinton Dynasty.

      Her speaking fees are interesting. Read the speeches. I read several. Pretty obvious that she's just a paid whore (sorry, but you brought it up). Not only were they absurd figures she was paid, look at who paid her. You don't honestly believe that this was all to listen to the sound of her voice, do you? It's part of the American process of paid politicians, which is another reason why her donors are now going ballistic, having given her hundreds of millions and now she's not headed to the office. Oops! America is bought and paid for, but you really should know this.

      Bush was very much establishment, widely despised for his policies and practices, very much a "them". Surely you've heard of the Bush Dynasty too by now? It was real and still is. It had a lot to do with the "hanging chad" overthrowing the election in Florida too. I didn't realize you didn't know this. I guess as a non-American you might not realize what it's like here.

    6. Johnny - no reason to make this about me, because it's not. Mexico is responsible for the people coming across their land and borders. They're simply not interested in doing much about it. As for your Pew comments, we could do this all day, in a tit-for-tat claim of who is right:


      or this:


      Yet even more telling is this, from 2014:


      Hardly "slightly negative" when you realize that this information is dated by a couple of years and does not match other reports. The flood pre-election was quite extreme, literally a river of people coming across.

      I support immigration - but not illegal immigration. But as I said, this isn't about me, I now believe this is really about all of you and your misconceptions about what is happening in the world, and especially here.

    7. IIUC the USA establishment wants illegal immigrants. If they really were a problem the matter would have already been solved some time in the last few decades. But your companies need a source of cheap and easily intimidated workers to keep wages low and a scapegoat to keep the increasingly unwanted American workforce distracted.

    8. America is in decline - every dog has its day after all

      The 20th century was the American century as the previous few belonged to the UK and the Empire

      The sad thing is for me is that some idiots in the UK haven't got the message yet,

      I suspect it will take some Americans the next 100 years for this reality to sink in

    9. “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” H.L. Menken (1920)

    10. Sou, you are right about Hillary, but Comey put his thumb on the scale and the rumor mill was powerful and entrenched (a quarter century of well financed opposition work).

      People in blighted neighborhoods don't care about world poverty. They aren't thinking about other people who don't have clean hot and cold running water. They just want the better times back. They don't realize the people they're voting for are the prime culprits, they just feel invisible. Their pastors tell them what to think and apparently the gospels don't register.

    11. Anonymous, you have said more clearly than I could, and with the benefit of being a local, what I was trying to get at earlier.

      Not to discredit in any way the value of Hotwhopper, which has taught me so much about climate change and its deniers, on this site we tend to see the American elections through a climate warming lens. Certainly, Trump's success spells enormous trouble and disruption to the world's efforts to survive that crisis, but it fits within a broader context that Anonymous is alluding to in her posts. Part of that context is that the Trump voters were not stupid people. They have been misled by experts, people who are able to sell their skill in creating doubt, misdirecting and lying for enormous amounts of money to those who are rich enough to hire them. A second part is that they were offered, through the machinations of the neoliberal system, a very shitty choice, with not much good on either side.

      As Ricky Gervais (who is a genius just masquerading as a comedian) said, many of the people who voted for Trump are victims too, and they will suffer more than most.

    12. It's interesting. Anonymous claims he supports immigration, just not illegal immigration. Twice. And apparently he has thoroughly convinced himself that this is what he thinks, presumably because being against immigration would make him a racist or something.

      In fact, he's convinced himself so well that he doesn't even notice that the the first two links he provides to back up his concern talk only about "immigration", and the third one (the only one with real data) has exactly the same data I provided. Data that clearly shows the illegal immigrant population in the US has been declining since 2007. It does also show that legal immigration has been net positive, but that's not supposed to matter to him. If it's only illegal immigration that concerns you, then you should be happy with the current pattern. So Anon (and millions like him) are either lying about what kind of immigrants they don't want, or they're too convinced they're right to even read the graphs in their own evidence.

    13. There's no point in debating Anonymous's cloud of dishonest Gish Gallop drivel. I would note that Trump said "Mexico is sending us ...", with no mention of legal vs. illegal. The majority of illegal immigration consists of expired visas of people who entered the U.S. legally.

    14. “She would have been the most qualified, capable President in decades - and maybe forever.”

      It’s rather shocking that you say this.

      I would agree that she does not have a great record and I'd suggest that she along with several other US Cabinet Minsters and Presidents are good candidates for a war crimes tribunal but she was an experienced government operative who probably knew how to get the various arms of government to more or less work.

      Trump is going to be lucky not to get lost getting to the White House unless he has a good driver.

      As someone pointed out about the Chinese Communist Party cursus honorum is such that most if not all US presidents look completely unprepared for senior office. Obama probably would have been considered a good candidate for a provincial post of some kind. GWB as a village administrator. And so on.

  26. We're friends with some of the local clerks at our Safeway and we were chatting about the election. One is our age (~30ish) and couldn't understand why we voted for Clinton. I told her who trump plans to head the EPA and what that means for climate change, more specifically, Ocean Acidification and she didn't believe me at first! She thought I was trying to scare her! I explained that look this is real, I've been out and measured it myself, there are parts of the ocean that dissolve plankton and those parts are growing in response to CO2 emissions. Lot's of her friends are fishermen and that's when it hit her that hey maybe wiping out the base of the food web isn't going to be good. It's almost like half the people in my cohort said f**k it to critical thinking skills and didn't even think twice about what voting for trump means.

    1. "I've been out and measured it myself, there are parts of the ocean that dissolve plankton and those parts are growing in response to CO2 emissions"

      Really? Do you know what plankton is? Where are these areas, what was the measured pH and temperature, and who's actually observed plankton "dissolving"?

    2. You can start with this paper, incredulous "MostlyHarmless":

      Not that you will accept anything it says - after all, it contradicts your beliefs - but lurkers here may be interested to see it isn't just plankton that is in trouble *already*.

    3. They're called pteropods, and you're welcome to read all the papers that have come out of the lab here.


    4. Marco - don't make assumptions about my reaction to a paper, or what I believe, or what my beliefs are, and don't label me. You don't know what my beliefs are. Your reply demonstrates ignorance, aggression, and scientific xenophobia. Not good traits for someone commenting on this blog IMHO. Argue with what I say, not what you think I might say.

      Thank you, Anonymous, for a polite response I shouldn't have to say that here. The point I was perhaps clumsily trying to make, is that of observation. I've been studying the effect of increasing CO2 on ocean chemistry for years. Early studies of the effects of decreased pH on gastropods and similar were fatally flawed. Researchers. to save time, increased pH by adding hydrochloric acid to sea-water. The results didn't reflect increased pH from CO2 at all.

      Currently, research is done much more carefully, usually with air enriched with appropriate concentrations of CO2 passed over the surface of water in temperature controlled tanks.

      Yes, pteropods do exhibit shell-thinning when pH is reduced in this way. But it's never been observed in the ocean, and never will be. Increases in atmospheric CO2 to 600ppm or higher will take decades at least. The life-span of plankton right up to creatures with shells is from days to months. Unless they adapt by genetic mutation, and there's some evidence that they will, to some extent do so, their exo-skeletons or shells will become slightly thinner with each generation. Dissolution of an alarmist myth, let's say.

    5. "MostlyHarmless" = mostly lying.

    6. You don't know what my beliefs are.

      We have a pretty good idea. And as you have just discovered, mouthy denialism here is a risky business. You never know who the next anon is going to be.

      Dissolution of an alarmist myth, let's say.

      You won't find many (any?) marine biologists who would agree with this bit of denialism.

      Go ahead and try. I'm sure anon. will be interested to see the published studies you reference. Likewise Marco and myself.

      Go on, back up your denialism with some actual science.

    7. In case you are unsure of how to produce a referenced argument, here's an example:

      See eg. Veron (2008) Mass extinctions and ocean acidification: biological constraints on geological dilemmas (emphasis added):

      The five mass extinction events that the earth has so far experienced have impacted coral reefs as much or more than any other major ecosystem. Each has left the Earth without living reefs for at least four million years, intervals so great that they are commonly referred to as ‘reef gaps’ (geological intervals where there are no remnants of what might have been living reefs). The causes attributed to each mass extinction are reviewed and summarised. When these causes and the reef gaps that follow them are examined in the light of the biology of extant corals and their Pleistocene history, most can be discarded. Causes are divided into (1) those which are independent of the carbon cycle: direct physical destruction from bolides, ‘nuclear winters’ induced by dust clouds, sea-level changes, loss of area during sea-level regressions, loss of biodiversity, low and high temperatures, salinity, diseases and toxins and extraterrestrial events and (2) those linked to the carbon cycle: acid rain, hydrogen sulphide, oxygen and anoxia, methane, carbon dioxide, changes in ocean chemistry and pH. By process of elimination, primary causes of mass extinctions are linked in various ways to the carbon cycle in general and ocean chemistry in particular with clear association with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The prospect of ocean acidification is potentially the most serious of all predicted outcomes of anthropogenic carbon dioxide increase. This study concludes that acidification has the potential to trigger a sixth mass extinction event and to do so independently of anthropogenic extinctions that are currently taking place.

    8. Beliefs have no place in science

      Citing "beliefs" in a discussion about scince hits the denier bullsh1t bingo-meter pretty hard

    9. "Yes, pteropods do exhibit shell-thinning when pH is reduced in this way. But it's never been observed in the ocean, and never will be."

      Yes, because it's not like we haven't found undersaturated waters with respect to aragonite nosirreee those conditions don't exist in the ocean.

      "Increases in atmospheric CO2 to 600ppm or higher will take decades at least."

      Again, undersaturated waters already exist. I'm curious as to why you think we should expand these areas.

      "The life-span of plankton right up to creatures with shells is from days to months. Unless they adapt by genetic mutation, and there's some evidence that they will, to some extent do so, their exo-skeletons or shells will become slightly thinner with each generation. Dissolution of an alarmist myth, let's say."

      You know, I don't really know what to say to this level of denial. I suppose you could ask the Taylor Shellfish hatchery what they think, but I don't think you would like the answer.

  27. Sou is sounding her death rattle. Trump won the election, partly on a promise to cancel the Paris treaty and kill the Clean Power Plan. There was no talk of climate all during the presidential debates. That's how far off the public's radar the issue is.

    1. @ Mike Smith

      Trump won the election, partly on a promise to cancel the Paris treaty and kill the Clean Power Plan. There was no talk of climate all during the presidential debates.

      I don't think I understand this. He won partly on a promise that was never mentioned?

      Of course from the little I noticed there did not seem to be any serious policy discussion about anything.

      BTW the USA is not the entire world. It could just get sanctioned/boycotted by everyone else who actually is doing something about Global Warming. Unlikely, I admit, but possible.

    2. "Sou is sounding her death rattle". Hogwash. Despite my disagreement posted here in this thread on this particular article she's written, Sou is hardly going to go away as you allege. And I sure as hell hope not, she's very, very good at what she does.

      Trump didn't win because of his promises to cancel the Paris treaty - that is simply in your head. He won for entirely different reasons.

      Sou is right about the disinformation denialists who still refuse to see climate change for what it really is. You're simply wrong about all of this, including your comment about "no talk of climate all during the presidential debates".

      I specifically remember both Hillary and Bernie and Trump making their individual points on their positions on the climate topic during their speeches - so you are simply deliberately trying to spread false information here. Suggest you go watch the recorded videos on the candidates and nominees and correct your claims.

    3. "no talk of" during the debates is correct ... there was extremely brief mention by Clinton during her opening remarks. Trump didn't mention it at all. And Trump didn't win because of promises to destroy the environment and all of human civilization, but he did promise it and is already carrying through via Myron Ebell, and he will be aided by Lamar Smith and Ted Cruz. Mike is right that the climate is off the radar ... Sou doesn't even mention it, nor do the people protesting in the streets, nor even Bernie. All the talk is about Trump fomenting xenophobia ... which, while true, is a side show, a campaign strategy to get elected.

  28. This is how I feel. I don't know if it's obscure, but it's the best I can do.

    There is also this.

    I need time to process.

  29. Well to start with the Trump Transition Team is planning to:

    •  [open] onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands and waters
    •  rescind the coal mining lease moratorium
    •  eliminate the .. "Waters of the US" rule
    •  scrap the Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan
    •  scrap the Clean Power Plan

    None of this bodes well for clean air or water, or the climate.....

    1. Right. Why does an article on a climate blog not even talk about the climate. People are in denial. Myron Ebell, Lamar Smith, and Ted Cruz will run climate policy. Don't Sou and others understand what this means? Despair is a rational response.

  30. Tried to drop in a comment and it disappeared, so all I have to say, really, is what a mess, keep the faith, and here's hoping. Others will cover the basics, but with Trump supporting Putin (and indebted to Putin-related oligarchs to the tune of hundreds of millions), withdrawing support from NATO and canceling the Iran deal, Europe is vulnerable

    And anybody who doesn't respect and appreciate Sou is fooling themselves or gullible to others who have fooled them.

    1. Somebody pointed out that weak leaders sometimes start wars to gin up support. All too likely.

    2. Arms suppliers (and prisons) had a decent uptick in share prices on the announcement of Trump's win. Look forward to more war and gaol time. Not guns - traders figured the threat of constraints on gun ownership had lifted.


    3. We always know when the Argentine economy is in trouble - the Falkland Islands become an issue again.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. he has one hell of a "suckers list" too, must worth a few quid

      what would a snake oil salesman give for access to that!!!!

    6. Why are you talking about these secondary matters o a climate blog when we are faced with a federal government that will accelerate global warming at a breakneck pace? People are in denial, but this spells the end of human civilization.

  31. I live in the country that Trump's friend Newt calls "a suburb of St. Petersburg".

    Really comforting...


  32. Sou, you might want to review these videos and posts.

    Americans have long known that the Clinton's were extremely corrupt. They've always managed to escape prosecution (letting others go to prison), but maybe not this time:


    This is irrefutable proof that Hillary and the Democrats were involved in election rigging. I hope it leads to some real prosection, finally.


    The Clinton's have been accepting money from foreign governments, the "pay to play" scandal and much more. This is only "news" to those who didn't already know, but it goes all the way back to Bill's time in office too.

    The U.S. is responsible for ISIS. There are also ties to Obama and his knowledge.


    Huma was Hillary's right hand.

    Millions of Americans have known for years that our goverment was hopelessly corrupt and has been lying to us incessently. I don't publish much on the specific details, but these will give you a definite start on how bad it's gotten and how it has affected the entire world.

    If it was Hillary on Tuesday, it would have already been blood here. Even the protests now occurring aren't entirely real, some of these people are part of the damage control being performed by the Democratic Party (some are are sincerely upset, so I'm not trying to say it's all false).

    Those Americans that do not know of Hillary's corruption have generally refused to educate themselves. The American media has long been in the pocket of the Clinton's. Take a look at this for some idea on how deep these connections went: http://survivalacres.com/blog/images/media-hillary.jpg

    There's definitely enough evidence of the Clinton's corruption to convince anyone if they would just look. They cheat - everywhere they go and are directly responsible now for the deaths of millions in my opinion.

    I believe that the so-called "Left" is having their false hopium bubble popped (even among climate scientists) which in my opinion, was always false anyway. Others believed Hillary would represent them (gender, equality, etc.) and they may have even not cared about their corruption.

    We did, so the undesirable "outsider" got the chance, ie., the "hand-grenade option" was taken.

    1. survival acres, I took a look at one of your links, and quickly found that Snopes already handled that:

      And to top things off, your link
      merely shows that most newspapers preferred Clinton. How is this *any* evidence that the media has long been in the pocket of the Clinton's?

      And then there's this, too:

    2. Well done Marco. I looked at one link and saw a cobbled together amateurish video trying to whip up a conspiracy. I guess the accusation could beafe that I do not really look. It is too boring to wade through the conspiratorial sludge. So thank you for digging further on our behalf.

      It is strange how these people define irrefutable proof.

    3. @Survival Acres

      I feel really bad about not looking at your "evidence". I really do. But why is it people like you just point to several hours of viewing and cannot summarise your story? I am not interested in sitting through lengthy videos that are somewhat incoherent and end up having nothing of substance to say.

      Life is too short to spend listening to another crackpot 3 hour conspiratorial rant.

      You ahould be able to say the kernel of what you have to say in 2 or 3 sentences. If you cannot that is a red flag to any bullshit detector.

    4. You cannot be serious. That smacks of astounding laziness and is the reason why people won't believe - they want it both ways. "Do the work for me" and then "I won't believe it anyway".

      That is not a credible defense. It speaks volumes about your character and integrity.

      So here is the "kernal" - Hillary cheated. She's lied through her entire life. Millions have died as a part of her polices and deceptions. We put a stop to their stupid ambitions.

      But you still won't believe it because you're simply unwilling. The unwilling are almost always wrong.

    5. Where do you stand on biterism Survival Acres? Do you believe Obama was born in the USA?

    6. Where do you stand on biterism Survival Acres? Do you believe Obama was born in the USA?

  33. We'll, I guess asking you to actually LOOK at the video evidence that was clearly recorded was just too much, huh?

    The Snopes claim your alleged is listed as "unproven" as the Congressional investigation has not even begun. Or whatever investigation is finally done. So your point is simply false.

    Moreover, my post was not really about Huma, but she is definitely directly tied in to the campaign rigging as Hillary's right hand. The rigging you refuse to look at.

    Your choice, but Hillary supporters are in massive denial about who she really was and what she's done and been involved in. I've not even scratched the surface of her actual record.

    The facts are the facts. It's just easier for people to deny them to investigate.

    Fortunately, others have, and they've shared their research and investigation to the world. You don't get the privilege to pick and choose what you want to believe and then declare yourselves right while keeping your head in the sand.

    The Democratic Party chose Hillary long before anyone else (illegally, as it turns out) and their continued endorsement was an abdication of journalistic responsibility. Unfortunately for America, this deception lead to a lot of misunderstandings that wound up backfiring in the end.

    That is not the behavior of a free and honest press. But it's what we've got.

    Go ahead and congratulate yourselves that you've "disproven" what you refuse to investigate, it will only convince others who will do the same.

    1. The U.S. is responsible for ISIS
      Of course it is. My own theory, well substantiated of course, is that George W. Bush was an Al Qaeda agent-in-place.

      I mean, it is hard to imagine anyone doing almost everything Osama Bin Laden wanted unless he was such an agent.

      Use the word "Crusader" in a speech about Muslims. Not even a Dog Whistle! Just a really good way to raise Muslim paranoia

      Invade Afghanistan when the Taliban were willing to dicker about surrendering Bin Laden.

      Massively screwup invasion.

      Invade Iraq based on no credible evidence.

      Massively screwup said invasion.

      Create social and political conditions favouring jihadists. I mean do you think those Abu Ghraib photos were an accident?

      Abolish Iraqi army and randomly arrests Iraqi officers and put them all in the same prison.

    2. Don't forget exclude all former Baath Party members so every influential Sunni in Iraq is pushed into the arms of the opposition. wtg Dubya.

  34. From https://elections.uslegal.com/violations-of-election-laws/

    2 USCS § 441h provides that no person who is a candidate for Federal office or an employee or agent of such a candidate shall fraudulently misrepresent him/herself or any committee or organization under his or her control as speaking or writing or otherwise acting for or on behalf of any other candidate or political party or employee or agent thereof on a matter which is damaging to such other candidate or political party or employee or agent thereof; or willfully and knowingly participate in or conspire to participate in any plan, scheme, or design to violate this provision.

    The Federal Election Campaign Act also provides that no person shall fraudulently misrepresent the person as speaking, writing, or otherwise acting for or on behalf of any candidate or political party or employee or agent thereof for the purpose of soliciting contributions or donations or willfully and knowingly participate in or conspire to participate in any plan, scheme, or design to do so.

    Pursuant to 18 USCS § 594, whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

    All which are clearly recorded on the videos you refuse to watch.

    1. @Survival Acres

      I think you just confirmed my point.

    2. Oh, I do not refuse to watch your videos. I choose not to. (And I did look at part of one of them ).

  35. Rise above despair? Your comment doesn't even mention global warming. Lamar Smith runs science in the House, Ted Cruz runs it in the Senate, and Myron Ebell runs it in Trump's transition team -- these are all extreme GW deniers. It's game over. People who understood the risk of Trump/GOP control stayed in their towers when they should have been out screaming their heads off before the election. It's all too late now.

    1. Ted Cruz runs it in the Senate, and Myron Ebell runs it in Trump's transition team -- these are all extreme GW deniers.

      This indeed is terrifying but we need to remember most of the EU, Australia, Canada, China[1] and most other countries understand the danger.

      Does anyone know where India stands at the moment?

      To a certain extent we need to ignore a totally insane US Government and encourage everyone else to take strong measures to deal with Global Warming, including recommending sanctions/boycotts against the USA if it is too blatant.

      1. I realize that not all of China's actions look good but I suspect that the Chinese leadership understand the issues and are trying to balance mitigating global warming and getting lynched by an unhappy population

    2. Personally the only change I see is only that politicians are now talking stupid and acting stupid whereas before they talked some sense and acted stupid. iirc Obama signed off on Arctic oil exploration even while he was at the Paris conference. Here in the UK the Cameron government talked like climate hawks, cut back heavily on renewables and passed legislation making them required by law to maximise fossil fuel extraction.

      The Chinese must be delighted: they can point to how democracy has failed the entire human race at a crucial hour.

    3. "the Chinese can point to how democracy has failed the entire human race at a crucial hour."

      I was thinking just the same thing

  36. I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

    Is this the same Obamacare that had Trumpians frothing at the mouth?

    Trump likes main Obamacare provisions 'very much' -



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