Category Archives: Global warming

Michael Klare: A Climate Change-Fueled Revolution?

Yves here. The post below by Michael Klare is hardly radical; in fact, the Department of Defense has been for at least the last five years working on geopolitical scenarios that give a large role to climate change induced political instability, such as mass migrations out of heavily populated low-lying areas. So as much as Klare anticipates more and more popular uprisings, I’d anticipate that the powers that be are expecting them and are prepared to suppress them brutally. Thus the places they might succeed are in advanced economies with comparatively little police brutality in large cities (ie, where you’d have lots of media coverage which would constrain how harsh the retaliation would be).

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Why is Google Censoring Search Results to Nix Warnings Just Like Ones Issued by a UK Regulator?

Yves here. One of the things on our very long list of important issues we’d like to write about is the way Google, an unregulated information-screener, can dictate companies’ business models and keep information out of the public eye by how they handle search queries. Richard Smith give an example below.

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McLaren F1 & Jenson Button One Minute, Boiler Room Scams the Next: the Remarkable Double Life of Carbon Neutral Investments, Limited, (CNI)

Naked Capitalism notes that Carbon Neutral Investments, subject of a consumer warning by the UK’s FCA, has deals with Formula 1 teams McLaren and Sauber, Lord Heseltine’s publishing firm Haymarket, Newcastle United Football Club, and a host of PR and events companies, and wonders what the hell is going on.

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Greed, Revolution, and Governance

I’m generally very taken with Ian Welsh’s work, particularly two recent posts, A New Ideology and How to Create a Viable Ideology. He then continued with 44 Explicit Points on Creating a Better World. And I hate to say it, but the last piece was no where near as well thought out as the preceding pieces. What troubled me about his latest piece was its combination of confidence (as opposed to modesty and soliciting reactions and input) in combination with it having internal contractions and a lack of precision of language. But perhaps the biggest shortcoming was trying to finesse the question of governance.

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FBI Raids, Lord Heseltine’s Haymarket Media Group, Financial Regulator “Crackdowns”, “What Car” Magazine…and Carbon Neutral Investments Limited

How two wide boys with shady pasts snared a leading British publisher that has major political connections.

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Stranded Fossil Fuels? Institutional Investors Concerned About “Unburnable Carbon” Fallout

Yves here. Given the almost innate bullish bias of equity investors, when they start worrying about something, that means it actually has non-trivial odds of happening. So the idea that investors think it’s possible that a lot of current proven fossil fuels won’t be lifted is an unexpected bit of good news on the climate change front. Whether this comes to pass soon enough to save our collective bacon is another question entirely.

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Carbon Pricing: The Price Is Wrong

For U.S. climate activists to succeed, they must demand serious government spending on energy efficiency and renewables—spending comparable to the current war budget. Calling for hundreds of billions in annual green public investment has potential for the popular appeal needed to build a powerful grassroots climate movement. That investment would be the best policy as well. Massive clean energy spending would not only provide jobs and economic growth on a grand scale. It is the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

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Michael Klare: DoE Forecasts No Meaningful Change in Fossil Fuel Use by 2040

Yves here. While this post focuses on a newly-released Department of Energy forecast, and forecasting is always a fraught exercise, there’s good reason to see it as realistic. It reflects the power of inertia and entrenched interests. If anything, you’d expect the DoE to present a hopeful outlook on the growth of eco-friendly power sources, given how often Obama talks about “green energy” and “green jobs,” but the authors appear to have steered clear of undue optimism.

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The US Wastes Enough Energy Each Year to Power the UK for Seven Years

Yves here. Let me underscore that the source for this article is not a granola-head organization but the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which is one of the US national labs, or more formally, the United States Department of Energy national laboratories and technology centers.

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Bill McKibben: Movements Without Leaders

Yves here. The 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is ten days away. Brace yourself for the reminisces, most of which will be genuine, heartfelt, and insightful, while others which will treat the occasion as an opportunity for brand identification.

McKibben, a well-known and effective climate change activist, raises the question of leadership in movements to promote social change. He argues that the charismatic chieftain is out, and the model now is that of distributed leadership, with lower level “leaders” being more critical to movement success than ever before.

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A Disturbance in the Force?

Perhaps I’m just having a bad month, but I wonder if other readers sense what I’m detecting. I fancy if someone did a Google frequency search on the right terms, they might pick up tangible indicators of what I’m sensing (as in I’m also a believer that what people attribute to gut feeling is actually pattern recognition).

The feeling I have is that of heightened generalized tension, the social/political equivalent of the sort of disturbance that animals detect in advance of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, of pressure building up along major fault lines.

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