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Saying Is Doing

2017 June 2
by Mandos

(NOTE: POST BY MANDOS)

So. Trump has just announced his pullout from the Paris accords.

It doesn’t really matter whether the Paris accords actually did anything material or did anything material that was significant against climate change. What matters is that the Paris accords were the unifying symbol of public agreement that climate change was a thing. Trump’s move defaces that symbol. What he said does something. Insofar as that symbol is defaced, the probability of doing material things that might have an effect on the physical world is reduced, including saving whatever of human civilization can be saved, in extremis. If not reduced, then optimistically, changed — if it actually creates a galvanizing moment. Which it probably won’t, but we’ll see.

Saying is doing, symbols are at least as important as what is material, politics has limits as constricting as those of “nature,” assuming you believe in a false dualism and hierarchy between politics and the “natural” world.

134 Responses
  1. MojaveWolf permalink
    June 2, 2017

    No. Just no. As much “no” as there is “no”-ness.

    “Saying is doing” –well, speaking IS doing something, so in that sense, you are correct, but saying something is not the same or even remotely the same as doing what you are talking about. If it was all the people who stand around chanting for healing the bay or world peace would have achieved those things, and all the people who say things like “I’m going to kill you” would accomplish their aims. Yet, people say many things which do not conform to reality, and many of the things they say have no affect on reality whatsoever. Some people say things like “I’m going to do X” then do things like “Y” directly in opposition to X and make sure X never comes about.

    “symbols are at least as important as what is material”–okay, for starters you’ve either never been poor or haven’t been poor for so long you’ve forgotten a few things. When you come up with a way to give people symbolic food, shelter and medical care that works as well as the real thing, let me know. I wanna see that. And if you think I’m being too literal minded, which you probably do, let me suggest that it materially matters to most living things whether they survive or not. On the more metaphorical scale, I think you might want to reread Ozymandias, or go back and read some of what the Bush administration types were saying about recreating reality according to their stated whims. Doesn’t seem to have worked out so well.

    The Paris accords arguably were worse than nothing– they slowed down real action by making people think their goals were sufficient, and maybe it would be okay to fall a little short of those goals, when actually they were woefully insufficient and achieving them would have done naught to stop mass destruction.

    Trump’s scrapping them might inadvertantly be a good thing, in the long run, as a catalyst inspiring people to action. Suddenly all the complete and utter fools who were praising and defending Obama and HIllary for doing something that would kill us all, are attacking Trump for doing something that will also kill us all but a bit faster and now are insisting on more and better action to prevent this. This could save us all, and since the whole fucking world was likely to die if we just kept drifting, kind of hard to say how it could make it much worse.

    (Most) Liberals knee-jerk defended Obama’s (and Hillary’s) pathetic and flat out evil failure to act on climate change (they actually worked to water down the accords, iirc) and to push for pointless half-measures instead of trying to do something that might save most of the species now living in the biosphere.

    The same liberals now knee-jerk attack Trump’s pathetically stupid (I dunno if it’s evil because I don’t how stupid he is; I will grant you I grotesquely overestimated him in the past) effort to pretend climate change simply isn’t real. (or maybe he’s doing that whole 11 dimensional chess thing to cause exactly what I’m hoping for ! I mean, not likely, but maybe he’s fooled us all!)

    NOW, we have people actually wanting to DO something. Trump opposes the whole idea of climate change, so suddenly people take it seriously. More seriously than ever before!

    Hell, I’m not sure even the symbolism doesn’t work out for the better here. (and I’m not saying symbols are meaningless, just that you are giving them way too much meaning, and it’s not the first time you’ve said something like this, I still remember you saying a few months ago something like”what people believe is more important than what really is” which, just, no. Unless you have magical world altering belief powers, then believing does not always make it so.)

    If words and symbols mattered as much as material things, all Obama’s pretty words would have fixed the world and we’d be living in joyous times full of prosperity, and reality itself would alter to make the Paris Accord goals work, and all the idiots who ran out to buy “The Secret” would be happy (and mostly very rich). None of this works.

    Last but not least, outside the US, pretty much everyone already believes in climate change, as far as I can tell, and in the US, the Paris accords didn’t alter public perception even a little tiny bit.

    But I’m happy people are outraged and insisting on meaningful action now. That is long, long overdue dating back to way before Trump or even Obama.

  2. Hugh permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Trump is a 70 year old bully, an egomaniac, and an intensely ignorant and intellectually lazy man. Anything that doesn’t have his name or picture on it, he is going to piss on. Reality be damned. His usefulness, and this is marginal at best, lies in his tearing back the curtain on the kleptocracy which rules this country and sharpening the contradictions which underlie it. The country will survive Trump, but I do not think it will recover from him. Blind malevolent stupidity has its costs.

  3. MojaveWolf permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Put another way: You want to burn me in effigy? Fine, I don’t care. You want to actually set me on fire? We are going to have a problem and if the resulting conflict goes poorly for you I will set you on fire instead, and possibly lecture you on symbolism while you burn.

    The Paris accords were the equivalent of saying you were going to put out a house fire and telling the people inside to remain calm while you tossed a dixie cup half full of water at the flames while idiots far and wide praised you for actually doing something.

    Trump pulling out of the Paris accords has people freaking out about the deaths that are about to occur from the house fire. This may or may not do some good, depending on what MATERIAL actions people take to douse the flames. If people instead symbolically pour water on a nearby dollhouse and wait for the real house to quit burning, everyone inside will die just as sure as if Trump had stood outside insisting there was no fire whilst tossing gasoline cans.

    Sometimes, yeah, words matter and you can talk your way out of bad spots. Climate change needs more than talk; words and symbols without corresponding action do exactly zero good.

  4. jonst permalink
    June 2, 2017

    saying is most certainly “not doing”. Symbolism, while not unimportant, is not material progress…and in this day and age symbolism is often an excuse for doing nothing. Think the Clintons.

    None of this has anything to do with the obvious fact that Trump is a dangerous and incompentent fool.

  5. V. Arnold permalink
    June 2, 2017

    MojaveWolf
    June 2, 2017

    Wow; thanks a bunch; you’ve covered all the bases and saved me a long rant.
    Saying is by no means doing, period!

  6. June 2, 2017

    Marie Antoinette had no idea what was coming.

  7. June 2, 2017

    She also said “brioche”

  8. June 2, 2017

    To translate this for dummies:

    “We need more time to get out of oil.”

  9. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    June 2, 2017

    The Establishment’s feigned apoplexy over Trump’s latest trolling is just another example of their Hyper-Hypocrisy. They don’t give a shit about Climate Change. When the Talking Heads have to mention the effects of it, the first thing they offer up as an implication is rising sea levels & flooding. Because of their Beach Houses, I presume, and the initial impression Al Gore left them with when he was the first Mainstream Politician to latch on to Global Warming/Climate Change. Growth & Prosperity As We’ve Known It cannot and will not extricate Humanity from this impending & imminent calamity to come. In that sense and vain, I give you this. A Tesla In Every Pot isn’t going to get it done.

    Trump’s Great On Climate Change

  10. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Sorry, that should be vein and not vain.

  11. June 2, 2017

    Lovely. An Obama-as-savage-with-club cartoon. I stand by my previous post’s every word and see how it connects with this one: saying is doing.

  12. June 2, 2017

    Marie Antoinette probably didn’t even say “brioche”. Her problem was a very typically European and now American one: striving to block change until the cavalry came over the hill, and it never did.

  13. June 2, 2017

    MojaveWolf:

    “symbols are at least as important as what is material”–okay, for starters you’ve either never been poor or haven’t been poor for so long you’ve forgotten a few things. When you come up with a way to give people symbolic food, shelter and medical care that works as well as the real thing, let me know. I wanna see that. And if you think I’m being too literal minded, which you probably do, let me suggest that it materially matters to most living things whether they survive or not.

    A category error. We are talking about things that require collective/group action, ie, things that have politics on their “critical path”. Symbols are how those things are organized, how “material” action can be potentiated.

    On the more metaphorical scale, I think you might want to reread Ozymandias, or go back and read some of what the Bush administration types were saying about recreating reality according to their stated whims. Doesn’t seem to have worked out so well.

    The true believers, who thought that knocking over Iraq would lead to a domino effect that turns the Middle East into Aynrandistan? Sure, that was stupid. The cynics in the Bush administration? We’re living the world they spoke. Waves: commanded.

    The Paris accords arguably were worse than nothing– they slowed down real action by making people think their goals were sufficient, and maybe it would be okay to fall a little short of those goals, when actually they were woefully insufficient and achieving them would have done naught to stop mass destruction.

    This is based in an, I’m sorry, ludicrous model of how humans work. The kinds of substantive measures that you think that the Paris accord is blocking are the kinds of measures that cause people to blank off into even firmer denial — or worse, the belief that the future is going to be miserable anyway, so why not enjoy the party now?

    It’s like Obamacare. Obamacare, for all its flaws, makes single payer thinkable, whereas previously it was really not. Sorry, that goes against everything people around here tend to believe, and I’ve argued the case here for years and years, but the road to US health care reform went unavoidably through breaking the psychological barrier that the uninsurable should nevertheless be insured — which was even farther from being a consensus back then than it is now.

    Climate agreements with inadequate measures like Paris make more adequate measures more possible in the future, because they get over the psychological hump that any measures are costly or futile. Withdrawing from Paris potentially damages that symbol, unless the energy from the outrage can be harnessed. In a sense, the best part of the Paris accord was the signing — so that the withdrawal can perhaps create that energy.

    Saying is doing.

    Trump’s scrapping them might inadvertantly be a good thing, in the long run, as a catalyst inspiring people to action. Suddenly all the complete and utter fools who were praising and defending Obama and HIllary for doing something that would kill us all, are attacking Trump for doing something that will also kill us all but a bit faster and now are insisting on more and better action to prevent this. This could save us all, and since the whole fucking world was likely to die if we just kept drifting, kind of hard to say how it could make it much worse.

    I very much hope that you’re right, but note that if this is even a small catalyst, it was only a catalyst because Obama signed the accords in the first place. Again, again, saying is doing — for anything in which politics has any influence, which is on any problem of collective action, to be sure.

  14. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Lovely. An Obama-as-savage-with-club cartoon. I stand by my previous post’s every word and see how it connects with this one: saying is doing.

    I have a better saying.

    Do as you say, and say as you do.

    You obviously didn’t get the point of the blog post. Both the so-called “Left” & “Right” are wrong on this issue. They’ll always be wrong on this issue. This issue transcends politicization. It’s existential. If you want to address it properly, remove the Politics As Usual. That includes your politically-visceral reaction to Obama portrayed as a savage with a club in a cartoon. What would Samuel L. Jackson say about your umbrage with that cartoon? He would respond to you the same way he did with this reporter per the following video clip. You have no right to be offended for others who are not what you believe them to be or what you want them to be, and there is no possible way you could be offended for yourself, so why are you always so offended and looking for offense under every rock and behind every tree and if none can be found, you make it up?

    Django Unchained Star Samuel L Jackson Challenges TV Reporter To Say N-Word

  15. Ché Pasa permalink
    June 2, 2017

    I’ve said all along that Trump could do the right thing and have a major positive impact on the present and the future, but he doesn’t do it. Over and over again, he doesn’t do it, and the pathetic attempts to defend his wrongness are exercises in futility.

    It’s little different from — in some ways it’s identical to — the efforts to defend Obama’s wrongness when he was wrong. It’s politics, yes, but it doesn’t move the needle toward anything positive.

    The Paris Accords are not the answer to climate change, nor are they meant to be. They are a step toward an answer if there is one. Withdrawal of the United States will have certain marginal and some profound effects short and long term, but withdrawal is not going to produce a positive outcome either for the United States or for the globe. That seems to be the intent in any case. No good is meant to come from this, just as so many of the actions of the regime aren’t intended for a positive outcome, at least not for the masses and rabble.

    The point of symbolism in this instance is well taken, however. This was an accord negotiated to include nearly every country on earth in a common cause that is affecting and will affect nearly everyone on the globe sooner or later. The point of it is the establishment of common cause, and just doing that is an accomplishment.

    Trump in his error-prone bumbling way declares, “No. There is no common cause.” Just as Baroness Thatcher declared “there is no such thing as society.” As long as anyone dissents, there can be no unity, right?

    The fact that Trump and his cohorts are the major dissenters puts them in a box. The symbolism of their withdrawal is that they are the outliers with no interest in a better future, only selfish gain for themselves.

    As a rule, it doesn’t end well.

    That seems to be just what Trump and his confederates and defenders want.

  16. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    June 2, 2017

    And, you know, because The Truth matters. Obama is not portrayed as a savage in that cartoon. He’s portrayed as a Corporatist Troll & Ogre, which he was and is. He is a Corporatist Philistine and the Constitution is meant to be David to his Corporatist Goliath.

    Leave it to Lame Liberals to turn that into racism. It’s one of the many reasons we have Trump — because Obama simply couldn’t be criticized within the confines of The Democrat Party without the critic being labeled a racist. That’s real constructive. So constructive, we now have Trump.

    I agree with Hugh and Ian, Trump is good in the sense that he is unwittingly disrobing the Emperor once and for all. America is now a full-fledged nudist and what a grotesque sight it is. I’m not a fan of plastic-covered furniture, but I’ll lower my standards, considering. I don’t want that nasty, nude buttocks mingling with the fibers in the fabric in my furniture. That shit will never wash out. Yuck. Gross.

  17. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    June 2, 2017

    The fact that Trump and his cohorts are the major dissenters puts them in a box. The symbolism of their withdrawal is that they are the outliers with no interest in a better future, only selfish gain for themselves.

    I won’t disagree with you, but it’s a box within a box within a box and so on and so on.

    Humanity has put itself in a box. It has erected a System called Civilization that is predicated upon Growth referred to as Prosperity. This System of Civilization requires that any solution to all the problems it creates must necessarily be addressed via Growth/Prosperity which leads to countless other problems in need of solutions to the point we have an astronomical heap of problems seeking solutions. Humanity can’t keep on top of it and out in front. The problems without solutions are far outpacing Humanity’s ability to solve all the problems. It’s a Runaway Train at this point.

    The Paris Climate Agreement is about growing our way out of Climate Change — exactly the wrong approach. The maxim is, Prosperity Must Never Be Compromised. “We will not apologize for our way of life.” Who said that? Obama, that’s who, or something to that effect we he first took office. The Paris Climate Agreement may have bought us a little time if everyone followed through as promised, but it also would have put off what needs to be done now if anything can be salvaged at all from the impending Bottleneck.

    If it’s as important as all the VIPs say it is, there is only one thing left to do. Trump has to be physically removed from office. Otherwise, how can anyone take you seriously?

  18. John permalink
    June 2, 2017

    I noticed somewhere that the predictions for the Atlantic hurricane season are calling for an active one this summer. Were I a weather Deity and ruler of hurricanes, I would spare Miami, but I would for sure scour Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago off the map and return it to the sand bar it once was. And maybe for good measure scour the Carolina coasts and the Norfolk military installations. That might get some attention.
    Mother Nature, who is whispering so far, needs to speak up. And while you are at it, Tornado Alley needs some attention.
    Cheers, John

  19. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    June 2, 2017

    The choice now is, unequivocally, the continued feigning of Democracy and waiting eight more years to remove this Rogue from office, or saving the Planet and most if not all life on it and physically removing him now before it’s too late.

    If that’s not the choice, then it’s really not as serious as all the Apoplectics claim it is, otherwise, how could you sit by and let this Rogue Troll rape the planet before your very eyes without doing anything about it?

    It’s time to GET REAL. NOW. OR NEVER.

    Obama doesn’t seem too concerned. He just purchased an 8 million dollar mansion in D.C. and he’s Globe Trotting with all his wealthy friends in early retirement.

    SHOW ME you’re serious, or else, SHUT THE F*CK UP!!!

  20. June 2, 2017

    And, you know, because The Truth matters. Obama is not portrayed as a savage in that cartoon. He’s portrayed as a Corporatist Troll & Ogre, which he was and is. He is a Corporatist Philistine and the Constitution is meant to be David to his Corporatist Goliath.

    The cartoon used obvious racist symbology and it is completely dishonest to say that he was just being portrayed as an “ogre”. I mean, the cartoonist didn’t put a horned helmet on him or something, he chose a particular visual language that means something in this culture, in a context in which Obama was regularly being attacked by similar, even more explicit racist symbology.

    Totally, totally disingenuous. Talk about denial.

    Leave it to Lame Liberals to turn that into racism. It’s one of the many reasons we have Trump — because Obama simply couldn’t be criticized within the confines of The Democrat Party without the critic being labeled a racist. That’s real constructive. So constructive, we now have Trump.

    No, you can criticize him — while simultaneously respecting how hurtful it is to many people in the US black community that a conventionally successful member of that community cannot achieve conventional success without alleged allies deploying symbols of discrimination.

    Saying is doing, and the cartoonist did something by drawing Obama that way.

  21. V. Arnold permalink
    June 2, 2017

    The Stephen Miller Band
    Kindly go fuck yourself!!!
    You clog this blog with your off topic bile, and flood it with far too many posts per offered thread.
    You’re an inconsiderate, selfish, strutting egoist, full of yourself; and an insufferable boor…

  22. June 2, 2017

    You obviously didn’t get the point of the blog post. Both the so-called “Left” & “Right” are wrong on this issue. They’ll always be wrong on this issue. This issue transcends politicization. It’s existential. If you want to address it properly, remove the Politics As Usual.

    “Existential” questions are the object of politics. The only way to a politics beyond usual are “politics as usual” — which includes the “normal politics” of, for instance, radicalizing the masses, the thing that radicals in the West have in recent times been less than successful at doing, for reasons I’ve tried to explain one way or another repeatedly for years and years here.

  23. realitychecker permalink
    June 2, 2017

    @ Mandos

    If I symbolically cut your head off, will your actual head bounce when it hits the ground?

    Your problem is that you think mindfuckery is a good thing.

    It isn’t.

  24. Will permalink
    June 2, 2017

    My great-uncle Marvin was a big jokester and quite a character.

    He loved to instigate trouble and delighted getting one over on those around him. I remember one time back in my youth when Marvin was egging on this other fellow about “planting by the signs” which he considered a practice rooted in complete superstition. The other fellow, George, was getting quite upset when Marvin told him to just point out the worst possible time to plant his potatoes that spring. George consulted his almanacs and his lunar charts (and whatever the hell else you need for that stuff) and chose his time.

    Marvin planted on that date with a smile on his face. I can still remember later on that summer when he unveiled his harvest to George and the rest of us down at the local loafers roost in town. The man pulled some of the most gargantuan potatoes I’ve ever seen from the ground and laughed about it until he left this earth years later.

    Two points:

    1) All the internet arguments and pearl clutching in the world won’t change the size of the potatoes you grow… or how much CO2 is in the atmosphere. This climate agreement was of no more consequence to nature than George’s lunar charts and almanacs.

    2) Mandos if you are going to instigate those around you it might be best if you took a page from Uncle Marvin and got a sense of humor about it. He won arguments in which the losers still had to smile at his impishness.

    Will

  25. June 2, 2017

    The point of symbolism in this instance is well taken, however. This was an accord negotiated to include nearly every country on earth in a common cause that is affecting and will affect nearly everyone on the globe sooner or later. The point of it is the establishment of common cause, and just doing that is an accomplishment.

    Yes, exactly. We have a global coordination problem and one of the biggest obstacles to climate action is global coordination on climate action. Anything that reinforces in the minds of the global public that global coordination is a thing to be desired is in turn a form of climate action. Saying is doing.

    Trump in his error-prone bumbling way declares, “No. There is no common cause.” Just as Baroness Thatcher declared “there is no such thing as society.” As long as anyone dissents, there can be no unity, right?

    Bingo. Not only Thatcher’s policies but her cultural legacy has brought us to this point, what many people associate with Thatcher when they see her. For example, take Theresa May — her execrable figure started her Prime Ministerial journey by evoking Thatcherite imagery. She looks/looked like government. Part of the recent narrowing of her lead seems very much to be not only policy, but that she comes off like a “paper Thatcher”. In all cases, it is the ghost of Thatcher that sets the agenda.

  26. June 2, 2017

    If I symbolically cut your head off, will your actual head bounce when it hits the ground?

    It depends on who you did it in front of. In front of the right kind of mob and it is entirely possible!

    Your problem is that you think mindfuckery is a good thing.

    It isn’t.

    Whatever you call it, it’s not whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. It just is, just like the climate. Perhaps it is a flaw in a species that does not possess a hive mind that by evolution simply has a single coordinated purpose. Then if a coordinated purpose is needed, it must be arranged for. That is why saying is doing.

  27. Ssk permalink
    June 2, 2017

    I am old enough to remember Kyoto–a similar agreement, only, unlike Paris, it was actually (supposedly) binding. I remember when Bush backed out. And I remember when Stephen Harper announced he was pulling Canada out. And here we are with a funhouse mashup of Bush and Harper (the former’s idiocy, the latter’s mendacity) in the White House repeating history as farce.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    When it comes to an issue as politically fraught as limiting carbon emissions, with front-loaded costs and intangible, perhaps imaginary, long-term benefits, there will always be some country that throws a monkeywrench into things. There are far too many people in this world, including both powerful and the powerless, who either don’t give a shit about climate change or don’t believe in it, or don’t believe it will affect them. Seeing the elites lining up to bash Trump on this issue, I have to wonder how it’s playing in Ohio. I imagine they are hoping their pollution-externalizing jobs will come back, if they even care at all.

    Anyway, you don’t need US involvement for an effective treaty. Kyoto actually did help reduce emissions even though the worst offenders didn’t participate. And times have changed: the world’s carbon giant today is China, not the US, which has a diminishing share of global emissions. Let the other countries of the world show the twisted Americans a better way.

  28. June 2, 2017

    What matters is that the Paris accords were the unifying symbol of public agreement that climate change was a thing.

    No they weren’t and still aren’t. What they are a symbol for is not doing anything material or significant against climate change — that thing you say doesn’t matter. So if, as you say, “symbols are at least as important as what is material”, then their being a symbol for not doing anything material against climate change would make the Paris accords much worse. But since you didn’t even get that part right (it is not true that symbols are a least as important as what is material) then the Paris accords aren’t quite as damaging as your dictum would dictate.

    This post falls into the category of the second kind of climate change denial. We know the first kind, which is reported on and mocked regularly, and the US President is signatory. The second kind is in denial that we’re not doing anything about it.

  29. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    June 2, 2017

    “Saying is doing” – Mandos confirmed for the Platonic form of the Jewed Indian. This is pure Qabbalistic magical thinking of the same kind that underlies political correctness: if we just don’t call retarded people retarded, then they won’t be retarded anymore!

    The Paris Accords’ main effect was the transfer of wealth from the West to the global elite and their clients. A more cynical man than I might suspect that was their entire purpose.

  30. June 2, 2017

    >striving to block change until the cavalry came over the hill, and it never did.

    Sure it did – after Waterloo. But that was way too late for her. As for brioche – probably a myth, but the reality is stranger – Rousseau put the story into print, before it was said – life imitating art.

  31. realitychecker permalink
    June 2, 2017

    @ BOO

    “if we just don’t call retarded people retarded, then they won’t be retarded anymore!”

    Can we just apply that principle to Mandos? I can’t imagine he would have any principled objection lol.

  32. June 2, 2017

    “Saying is doing” – Mandos confirmed for the Platonic form of the Jewed Indian.

    See that’s why I enjoy your contributions even though I want all your works to perish from this earth: the imagery!

    This is pure Qabbalistic magical thinking of the same kind that underlies political correctness: if we just don’t call retarded people retarded, then they won’t be retarded anymore!

    Pfff far more traditions and mythologies than qabbala have this concept.

  33. V. Arnold permalink
    June 2, 2017

    davidly
    June 2, 2017

    Well done you. I cannot agree more…

  34. June 2, 2017

    That’s right, the cavalry never showed up. And she lost her head. Without ever knowing why. Yes, she probably never said brioche just as she probably never said “let hem eat cake”, and though ever The Lady she probably never apologized to the gaol for stumbling at the step. History is rewritten by those in a position to get away with it. That’s not the point. The point is she died without knowing why.

    As Ian has pointed out, the future is not going to be pleasant. At some point the masses will mob up and those of the gated communities will discover those gates work both ways.

  35. V. Arnold permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Ten Bears
    June 2, 2017

    I particularly enjoyed your comment;
    “At some point the masses will mob up and those of the gated communities will discover those gates work both ways.”
    True; how true is yet to be played; but coming soon I think…

  36. zotter permalink
    June 2, 2017

    The speed bump in history is Trump, not working with other nations to deal with climate change. Is it bad news to take the next four years off from handling CO2 emissions and having a directed and unified front on CC? Sure, but we didn’t have that before and, unfortunately, we were already headed for disaster with or without the Paris Accords.

    I do hope this unifies the climate supporters though and they put these morons in the back of the bus where they belong for the rest of the trip.

  37. Willy permalink
    June 2, 2017

    His usefulness, and this is marginal at best, lies in his tearing back the curtain on the kleptocracy which rules this country and sharpening the contradictions which underlie it. The country will survive Trump, but I do not think it will recover from him. Blind malevolent stupidity has its costs.

    Sociopathy is as sociopathy does, and their words can have two meanings. I was hopeful at the beginning, but Trump is increasingly becoming (as some predicted, not really rocket science) a good opportunity to present kleptocracy as it is to the common voter.

    But lets see what renegotiating “on terms that are fair to the United States” really means. Likely just another Trumpcare dupe deception (as some predicted, not really rocket science) but yet again, I guess we’ll be finding out what that really means.

  38. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Mandos, are you German by any chance? If not, you’re hereby an honorary one. What you characterize them as, you are. You claim the Germans think they know everything and know what’s best for everyone and so too do you, therefore, you must be German.

    The “Savage” you refer to has strapped sandals on — strapped all the way to its knees. Last time I checked, African Tribes weren’t wearing strapped sandals with the sandals strapped all the way to the knee. You assert the cartoonist meant to characterize Obama as an African Savage. If so, why the sandals? Why not a bone through the nose? Why a club versus a spear? I think the cartoonist went out of his/her way to avoid being racist and yet still paint Obama as the Ogre Enforcer for the Corporate Behemoths.

    Hey, What Do You Know, Goliath Forgot His Helmet

  39. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Mandos, you seem to imply, or you outright assert, that the Cartoonist in question has crossed a line. Cartoonists, to me at least, are a lot like Comedians. Comedians like Jim Carrey.

    Jim Carrey, who I like by the way, said the following about Kathy Griffin’s Severed Head Stunt. I agree with Carrey, but the principle he espouses applies equally & judiciously.

    As well, I will say it’s a Sad Statement that we have to rely on Comedians as the Last Line of Defense. It means all else has failed and the Comedians may be able to offer a bit of levity to vent some of the rage, but saying is not doing, therefore all this Comedy is getting nothing done. Quite the opposite.

    This ubiquity of Politicized Comedy — SNL & The Daily Show & All The Late Night Offerings & Colbert & On & On — have had a neutralizing, paralyzing effect on people. They can laugh it off and go back to serving Moloch the next day, day in and day out until The World is no more — laughing all the way.

    It’s the job of a Comedian to Cross The Line at all times because that line is not real. Comedians are the last line of defense — the Comedians are the last voice of Truth in this whole thing. ~ Jim Carrey

    Jim Carrey On Kathy Griffin Controversy: Comedians Are ‘Last Line of Defense’ Against Trump

  40. realitychecker permalink
    June 2, 2017

    @ Mandos

    “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    “Do as I do, not as I say.”

    Does that jog anything inside your skull, Mandos?

  41. June 2, 2017

    “the unifying symbol of public agreement that climate change was a thing”

    If all thats required is time and will power then I think we will be able to make another symbol.

  42. different clue permalink
    June 2, 2017

    @Will,

    This is a side-point and a tangent I know, but . . . do you know what your great uncle Marvin did to grow those big potatoes? How he managed his soil, what he added to it, what he planted in the potato space the year before the potatoes went in there, etc.?

  43. MojaveWolf permalink
    June 2, 2017

    @Stirling — Even though you were (I think) disagreeing w/me, I agree w/you–we need more time that we don’t have, and Trump is going to (and already is) making the situation worse both by failing to take (and deliberately impeding, to some degree) measures to mitigate the short term damage and prevent the long term damage to reaching “inevitable death of biosphere” proportions.

    And despite what I said above, I wish Trump had proven to be, well, sane, or not a complete fool, and used his position to convince his devoted loyalists that denial of reality would not warp the laws of the space-time continuum in accordance with their wishes and helped make the US the leader in preventing climate change that we should and that Obama easily could have made us had he chosen to do so (again, why I think Obama is flat out evil–unlike with Trump, I’m sure he DOES know better; I’m sure he’s smart and sane and aware of the facts; and yet he chose to kick the can down the road for someone else to have to deal with whenever “saving the world” came up against “costing big donors” money; Trump might be too utterly stupid or uncaring or to have any idea whether climate change is real or what the range of possible/probable outcomes might be, in which case he’s–well, his personal behavior still makes him an awful human being, but in this particular instance he might just be an idiot, not a monster; for anything other than judging his soul the end result is the same)

  44. Hugh permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Various thoughts:

    The Paris Accords are a sham. Obamacare was/is a sham. As has been pointed out repeatedly above, these are steps away from, not steps toward addressing global climate change and healthcare in America, respectively. Mandos needs to go back and read what the Paris Accords actually say just as he needs to revisit the history of the healthcare debate of 2009-2010. Some of us here were heavily involved in that debate. The short form of it is that most progressives were played, bought off, not by Obamacare, but by a purposely vague, constantly shrinking, and finally eliminated public option which was supposed to be attached to it. In return, any mention, beyond an occasional derisive dismissal, of universal single payer/Medicare for All was suppressed. Obamacare was sold as healthcare for the people, but it was really welfare for the insurance industry. Rather than being a step toward a functioning universal system of healthcare such as most of the rest of the industrial world enjoys, Obamacare was instituted to keep such a system from ever happening in the US.

    As for the Paris Accords, this is a comment I wrote back in November 2016 on them and the international process behind them:

    The first yearly meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (The treaty for the UNFCCC was negotiated in Rio in 1992.) took place in 1995 in Berlin. It is referred to as COP1 (Conference of the Parties). The Kyoto Protocol was COP3 in 1997. COP11 took place in Montreal in 2005. It is also designated as CMP1, that is the first conference of the Meeting of the Parties since Kyoto. COP15/CMP5 you will remember was the meeting in Copenhagen in 2009 whose agreement the newly minted American President Barack Obama spiked. The Paris Agreement from COP21/CMP11 came into force a few days ago on November 4, 2016. It pledges to keep the increase in global average temperature to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It does this, by get this, letting each country in the world determine on its own its contribution toward this goal. I mean seriously what could go wrong? Other than UNEP (the UN Environment Program) estimates that the Paris framework will result in a temperature rise of 3 degrees Celsius. By the way, this year’s (2016) conference will wind up tomorrow on November 18, 2016 in Marrakech. It is designated as COP22/CMP12/CMA1 with CMA equaling “Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement”.

    So let’s be real clear, this is a very unserious process which has already been going on 24 years and aside from some impressively impenetrable bureaucratic gobbledygook has accomplished virtually nothing. Meanwhile 15 of the 16 hottest years have occurred since 2000 with 2016 shaping up to being the hottest to date. And as I keep saying we have only until 2030 before it is game over if we don’t have a sustainable societal model up and running in the US with regard to both climate change and population. As for large parts of Africa and Asia, I am afraid it is already too late.

  45. Will permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Different Clue: TBH I’m not sure of all the ins and outs but I do know that Marvin used a 3 year rotation on his garden. And I remember that the year of the disagreement with George the potatoes were on the section closest to the road so that we could all see how they were getting along all summer. And I know Marvin always ran a compost pile and used bag fertilizer sparingly.

    Marvin was a pretty good gardener and I don’t know if he did anything different that year or not. I know he claimed that he didn’t. And just to dig the spur a little deeper he asked George for the worst day to plant every year after that, lol. That’s been 20 years ago and to this day you can still get a grin out of folks back home by bringing up that old bet.

    Small town America…

  46. MojaveWolf permalink
    June 2, 2017

    @Mandos — Of course rhetoric matters (sometimes). Of course propaganda works (sometimes). That’s why people use rhetoric and governments and corporations use propaganda.

    If you are trying to say any of us are disputing this, you are arguing w/imaginary foes. No one is saying rhetoric never influences events and no one is saying propaganda never works.

    But “saying is doing”– Okay, Trump keeps talking about MAGA. He and his supporters could hardly say this more. Are their words making America great again? NO. (we can agree on this, right?)

    Trump kept talking about improving the lives of Americans. Do you think he’s taking steps that will accomplish this? If he doesn’t, do you think it matters that he keeps talking about it?

    If not, why are Trump’s symbols unimportant, but Obama’s are mighty?

    Obama was a MUCH better speaker than Trump (to be fair, Obama is probably the best public speaker and the best at using speeeches to persuade of anyone I have ever seen), and frequently, his speeches about the need to fight global warming were quite good, but the actions were sadly lacking. One could argue (I would argue) that he did the absolute bare minimum to keep significant chunks of base from rebelling, when it was obligatory upon him to do much more if he actually believed what he was saying. The hypocrisy was noted and helped provide fodder for opponents and helped convince people who were otherwise unsure that the whole issue wasn’t really a big deal, because if it was, why the fuck weren’t our fearless leaders trying to DO anything? Why did they keep babbling about “the great threat” whilst promoting fracking? The only answers are they didn’t really believe what they said (the right wing position) or they were evil sociopathic scum who figured every living thing dying in the fairly near future didn’t matter as long as it all happened after they were dead, and the worst would probably happen after they were dead, and probably someone else could fix it for them so they could have their cake and eat it too (my position).

    The best rhetoric in the world means nothing if you don’t follow through on it. Obama pushed for transparency in government yet was the toughest administration ever on whistle blowers; spoke about bringing justice to the people who destroyed the economy yet actively made sure nothing like that ever got close to happening, and argued for one thing then did another more than any other public figure I can ever remember (Trump has probably already surpassed this, in his own unique way; given that he has taken two contradictory sides on practically every issue at one point or another, everything he does is going to be against something he has said) .

    It’s sad–Obama had the rhetorical and political skills you so admire, and he had the moment. The entire country was as desperate then as in 2016, but unlike Trump and Bernie the desperate voters weren’t split and were all with him. He could have done anything he wanted. He … was a more competent version of Bush, with better rhetoric.

    You say you don’t live in the US anymore, so maybe you just have a wrong impression (hint: Breitbart and Red State do not represent the majority of American voters) and aren’t a knowing propagandist of lies, but he could have pushed single payer through just as easily as the garbage he did push through. The public will was there, the public was happily malleable on top of that and desperate for someone to do practically ANYTHING, we had dem majorities everywhere. He could’ve pushed through an adequate economic stimulus instead of a band-aid guaranteed to fail, long term; he could’ve pushed through a massive infrastructure rebuild and a massive green energy program. He didn’t even try to do any of these things, and actively subverted any effort to do so. His good rhetoric and wonderful symbolism instead went to prop up the kleptocracy as best he could.

    You can babble about category errors all you want, but that is all true. The Paris accords were not a symbol that motivated people to do anything. Their destruction might be, but I don’t think you can honestly say that was a goal when they were signed (or even that all the signatories had the same goal, or viewed it as the same sort of symbol). You can try to make excuses for the people who keep killing the world, but it’s becoming ever more obvious that they ARE killing the world, and pretending that tossing a dixie cup on a fire is meaningful is truly just as despicable as tossing a gasoline can on it.

  47. MojaveWolf permalink
    June 2, 2017

    +1 to everything Davidly said. And a few others.

  48. MojaveWolf permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Also +1 to everything Hugh said. And I’ll quit w/the plus 1’s for now. Gotta go anyway.

  49. Will permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Different Clue: Oops, almost forgot, Marvin planted clover on his garden after harvest and tilled it under before planting. Every year. That is one habit that seems to have been passed down thru the family.

    I also inherited the impish personality. :p

    Will

  50. Hugh permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Various thoughts (cont.)

    Trump is not a populist, although he plays one on TV. He is an American kleptocrat. He is also a liar, but then so are the likes of Merkel, Macron, and May. What’s up with the letter M and European leaders, anyway? What has the panties of our ruling classes both here and abroad in such a twist is that Trump’s lies are so out of whack that they destabilize, undercut, and show up their carefully crafted, and completely mendacious and self-serving, narratives.

    Let us all reverentially salute the Paris Accords, not that they solve climate change or keep it to acceptable levels, but because they address the issue and show how very serious and responsible our rulers are. All hail the Accords! It is like calling the captain and crew of the Titanic heroes. They saw the iceberg well in advance, and maybe even decided to slow the ship a little. Of course, the ship will still hit the iceberg and sink, but hey, what great guys!

    What I can’t help finding funny is that now that the US is out, or sort of out, or possibly was never actually in, China, one of the world’s great polluters and contributors to greenhouse gas emissions is now being touted as the new savior to global climate change. And elite consensus did this mental gymnastic without missing a beat, or tripping over its incongruity.

    But returning to Trump, as I said, once you cut through the populist crap, he is a kleptocrat through and through. He will say it is all about helping the American people, but follow the money. Helping the American people always seems to come down to sending more wealth to rich people, like him, and the corporations they own.

  51. June 2, 2017

    @MojaveWolf

    “Why did they keep babbling about “the great threat” whilst promoting fracking?”

    Obama didn’t promote fracking, he tried to regulate it and it was struck down by the courts.

  52. bruce wilder permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Naked Capitalism pointed me to an article appearing in my local paper, the L.A. Times, occasioned by Elon Musk and Disney’s Robert Iger resigning from some sort of Trump advisory boards in protest. The article ends with this revelation: “And Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, condemned Trump’s move — doing so in his first-ever tweet.”

    As liberalism has become nothing more that a suit of rhetorical clothes for plutocratic power, so “symbolism” has become its stock-in-trade.

    The symbolism of the Paris Climate Accords was a blockade on effective action, at least on effective action that doesn’t slide all the costs onto the poor and merely middle class.

  53. Alan Smithee permalink
    June 2, 2017

    “Saying is doing.”

    Saying is Doing???
    And people wonder why our climates is so screwed up.

  54. Ché Pasa permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Note to those of you arguing against the Paris Accords and in favor of Trump’s withdrawal:

    Your arguments are not the ones being made by Trump.

    The sham nature of the Accords do not enter into his argument against them. The ineffectivenesss of the Accords is hypothetical. It’s simply false to continue to claim that “nothing has been done” about climate change since Kyoto.

    What enters into his arguments are sovereignty, jobs lost, nationalism, America First, and refusal to transfer money from the rich to the not in order to enable greater compliance by those with fewer resources.

    When you start dealing with these things on his plane, the absurdity of what Trump has done becomes clear.

  55. DMC permalink
    June 2, 2017

    What’s that stuff they use to pave the road to Hell with? Oh yeah, “Good Intentions”.

  56. Peter permalink
    June 2, 2017

    @MohaveWolf

    If you are going to remain a true believer in the Technocrat solutions to GW then you’ll need to begin loving fracked gas. The CPP depended on fracked gas to replace coal and meet its CO2 reduction goals, it’s the only viable, abundant and relatively cheap replacement fuel.

    These growing moments of crisis for the powerless Warmers seem to bring out some of the extreme thoughts of certain believers. They’re the ones who describe the international mandates already agreed to as ineffective, too weak and not enough. They don’t offer what would be enough because it would probably be an authoritarian world government structure that could force compliance and maybe even torch some non-believing heretics in the fires of inquisition.

    There is a quiet celebration happening in many places because we how have Trump who will confront these fanatics and their agenda. He and Tillerman won’t blink when dealing with this type of power seeking globalist they have faced before.

  57. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    June 2, 2017

    At some point the masses will mob up and those of the gated communities will discover those gates work both ways.

    –Square Root of 100 Ursine Mammals

    I can always hire half the working class to kill the other half.

    –Source uncertain, but often attributed to classic “Robber Baron” tycoon Jay Gould

  58. different clue permalink
    June 2, 2017

    @Will,

    I am a hobby gardener. My survival does not depend on it. Maybe I can learn enough to do it effectively for real when my survival does depend on it.

    Planting by the signs is one of those things I want to believe in. But I haven’t seen or even heard of the kind of double-blinded ( or even triple-blinded for something this controversial) research which could answer that question. Perhaps the “worst days” to plant potatoes really were bad, but your great uncle was good enough a gardener so as to be able to overpower the “bad days” effect. How would one construct an experiment to figure that out? Till someone does, all we have are anecdata.

    Meanwhile, the truth is out there. I want to believe.

  59. peonista permalink
    June 2, 2017

    “saying is doing” No!
    If you act like a jerk in a relationship but say you are sorry you are not doing anything meaningful to improve the relationship. Even if you are genuinely sorry as long as you continue to act like a jerk I am foolish to stay in a relationship with you. Being “sorry” is the symbolism, stopping acting like a jerk is the action. One is easy and one is hard. One is manipulative bullshit, the other is meaningful change.
    You are arguing that being a jerk and promising to change is better than being a jerk and not promising to change. You are still a jerk; and I am still in a terrible destructive relationship. You being sorry about it only makes it more confusing and difficult for me to make meaningful change and leave your sorry ass.
    Hard to believe you do not see the difference Mandos.

  60. Webstir permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Pretty much every move Donald has made has been straight out of the “inverse” identity politics playbook. I’ve maintained for some time that there really is no difference between Hillary and Donald. Or, their supporters for that matter. They are both Ivy League educated neoliberal kleptocrats that simply reward different constituencies their bezzle. Their supporters are of a kind too. Both just self-absorbed enough to be transfixed by the shiny identity (or inverse identity) politics course du jour.

    That all it was Mandos. Just one more serving of right wing identity politics grist to keep the base distracted from the bezzle. Same as it ever was.

  61. Tom W Harris permalink
    June 2, 2017

    if we just don’t call retarded people retarded, then they won’t be retarded anymore!

    Dunno, blizzy baby. If we don’t call a Jew-hating sonofabitch a Jew-hating sonofabitch, does that mean he won’t be a Jew-hating sonofabitch anymore?

  62. June 2, 2017

    Agreed that the agreement is symbolic in nature. I’m not sure about the damage. Everyone knows the emperor wears no clothes. Some will still use this as cover for their ills, but I think many more will increase their commitments because now there is a common enemy. Donald Trump has made himself the ugly face of climate change.
    Tally ho!

  63. Some Guy permalink
    June 3, 2017

    Bruce Wilder: “As liberalism has become nothing more that a suit of rhetorical clothes for plutocratic power, so “symbolism” has become its stock-in-trade.”

    Yes, that is 100% spot on, and we are seeing that distilled into its purest essence here in Canada, with Trudeau in charge.

    Still, I think there is more to it than just liberalism and its discontents, it seems to me that across the entire spectrum of political beliefs there has been a general retreat from reality and from action into symbolism and abstraction.

    To me, this finds its clearest expression in the changing language. Where once we had hospitals, we now have medical centres, where once there was a gym, now a health club, where once a bank, now a financial institution, etc. Once your brain starts noticing this pattern, you will see it everywhere – it may even start to affect your ‘wellness’.

    Trump is a throwback in his lack of abstraction – in the crudeness of his corruption, in the baring of his prejudices, in the transparency and the pettiness of his schemes. I guess that is where we are at now, the ‘leader of the free world’ was chosen because the inept nature of his corruption and awfulness was interpreted by the voting public (not entirely incorrectly) as ‘authenticity’ in comparison to the much slicker bs artists he was competing against.

    Sure, the Paris Accord is/was a joke, and maybe Trump’s symbolic gesture will help or maybe it will hurt, but even if we magically solve climate change there are any number of other problems coming for us. Fundamentally, the problem is us. I suppose technology might give us the chance to change what ‘us’ is and how ‘us’ works before ‘us’ does us all in, but any changes implemented via technology will still be done by ‘us’ so don’t get your hopes up.

    As time goes by, more and more I realize the genius of Margaret Atwood’s ‘Oryx and Crake’ and how she surely meant it as a utopian rather than a dystopian or apocalyptic vision of the future.

  64. Peter permalink
    June 3, 2017

    I can’t help but smiling watching the snowflake warmers remain stuck in the first stage of grief, denial, due to their massive and continuing loses. This stagnation guarantees they will remain disconnected from voter’s needs and will continue to slide into a permanent loser status.

    While the snowflake pearl-clutching continues many working people can reflect on the destruction of a number of real threats to their well being. The Red Queen was stopped dead in her slouching towards DC, broken on the election wheel and left on display and I think deep down even some of the snowflakes know that was a good thing. Next Trump smashed the TPP another globalist threat to working people but that was just the beginning of the unwinding of real threats not the over-imagined and agenda fed warmer catastrophe fantasies.

    The next bold move was to directly attack and lance the political climate change cist growing to control the EPA. This was reason for much garment rending and wailing from the CC scientist class who thought they had international political protection. Trump has permanently destroyed that illusion and the so called symbolic Paris Accord can no longer produce real disruption, displacement and job loss, through the CPP, in the US without a vote of any kind for or against its imposition.

  65. peonista permalink
    June 3, 2017

    By the way, thank you Ian for continuing to let Mandos put his thoughts here. Mandos is a great standard bearer for liberalism. The comments to his positions always help me debate with my faux left liberal friends.

  66. June 3, 2017

    The ultra-neoliberalism is folding. What is the difference? A neoliberal wants the correct level of foreign trade – which is often much more than what union people want – the ultras want more trade regardless of whether it is in anyone’s best interest. That’s why FDR and WSC were neoliberals, but not ultras. The problem is that ultras run out of things to profitably the liberalise, and then the pyramid scheme takes over.

    The problem in the US, is that NAFTA was good, in general, for the US economy – which unions did not like, and the conservative Democrats didn’t have a good idea for what to shove them into. Instead, they talked about “training”, but did not have any ideas as to what to train them in – though there were a few businesses, but they were reserved for profit laundering companies. So they wanted to profit from it rather than grow employment.

    But everything after NAFTA was at best a wash, and more likely the deficit to the economy – except for oil and coal ( with natural gas providing “competition”), which is never a good thing for the US economy. The problem with the left is very simple: they must replace oil with other things because fossil fuels will bankrupt the American economy even as it, itself, can make money – not counting the damage it does. When the damage it does is counted, one can see that it doesn’t actually make money, it transfers it – but renewables make more money, though they don’t have as large a business block. This will change.

    The end sign will be a Paris Accord II with real teeth.

  67. Willy permalink
    June 3, 2017

    Why would the CEOs of Exxon, GE, Chevron and SpaceX all be against Trump on this?

  68. DrFrank permalink
    June 3, 2017

    Seriously, Trump understands that all that matters is to grow your pile as big as possible. That way, you and your family or your heirs will survive while the poor and the middle class will be devastated by climate change or by nuclear war, whichever. Cover it with whatever symbolism, rhetoric or ideology you like.

    If climate change were really a threat to the global 1%, it would have been addressed long ago.

    For quite a while now, it has been too late to prevent significant harm to many, many people.
    Lowered emissions and economically viable renewables are at best going to slow but not prevent widespread damage. What the world needs is fewer people. Technology will make peasants and manual labor obsolete.

    Say whatever, mix it up good. Prepare for war and civil conflict. Cut the funding for social safety nets and increase the allocation to the police and the military. What don’t you get about Trump?

  69. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    June 3, 2017

    Exactly, DrFrank. People need to read The Writing On The Subway Walls, because, afterall, it’s The Words of the ProphetsThe True Prophets — that you’ll find written there.

    Here’s some of that writing on The Subway Wall. I consider it deliberate poisoning and a sign of things to come. In 40 years, there will be hardly any fresh, untainted water. In 40 years, across most of the planet, life expectancy will drop precipitously not only in developing nations but especially in developed nations and The Masses will be dying of all manner of diseases from lack of access to fresh, clean, life-sustaining water and no access to effective, affordable healthcare.

    In my opinion, POTABLE WATER, relatively clean of contaminants, is the most dire Habitat Destruction issue when speaking to, and about, environmental damage. It is the means by which The Herd will be Culled rather quickly and horribly. And Flint is Ground Zero for America and from there it will spread like GORT.

    The following is a great documentary. It underscores what DrFrank has mentioned. Your Death Warrant, my Death Warrant, unless you’re Filthy Rich, has been signed, sealed & delivered already. We are quite literally Dead Men Walking.

    Poisoned Water

  70. Merasmus permalink
    June 3, 2017

    @bruce wilder

    “As liberalism has become nothing more that a suit of rhetorical clothes for plutocratic power, so “symbolism” has become its stock-in-trade.”

    That’s all liberalism ever was. Marx was making this very point 150+ years ago. And Mandos demonstrates it with every inane comment and post he makes. I can only assume that Welsh is using Mandos to illustrate the navel-gazing, meaningless absurdity of neoliberalism. In fact, how do we know Mandos isn’t actually just a sockpuppet of Welsh?

    Trump has been wonderful for getting people to finally start getting outraged about all the things that were already happening. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is meaningless because the Paris Agreement was itself always toothless and meaningless. But it may ultimately lead to some other agreement that actually does something.

    To point to the same thing happening with another issue, we absolutely, positively, would not be seriously talking about Single-payer Healthcare had Hillary Clinton won. But with Trump having won, people are now actually talking about how crap Obamacare really is, how it’s imploding, and how we need to just bypass private health insurance companies altogether.

    Of course, the biggest danger is all the genuine outrage and new activism being co-opted by establishment Democrats to get people to vote for more of the same old, failed liberalism. You know, the crowd Mandos exactly represents. Liberals, as ever, remain the most dangerous enemy of progressivism.

  71. different clue permalink
    June 3, 2017

    @Peter,

    Have you bought land in coastal South Florida yet? Or maybe in coastal Louisiana?

  72. different clue permalink
    June 3, 2017

    Here is an interesting take on the Paris Accords itself from a commenter at Naked Capitalism. It also includes a linkable site-source. I will cut-paste it here.

    dontknowitall
    June 3, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Re All the crying about Trump pulling out of the Paris agreement, here’s a quote from the world socialist website:

    “At the time of its adoption in 2015, leading climate scientist James Hansen aptly characterized it as a “fraud” and a “fake.” That the Paris agreement has the support of major corporate giants, including energy companies like ExxonMobil, says everything about its true character.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/03/pers-j03.html#pk_campaign=sidebar&pk_kwd=perspectives

    I remember how shabbily Obama treated James Hansen so it grates to hear him bleating about Trump.

    The Paris agreement is first and foremost a grifting mechanism to pass on moneys, 100 billion in the case of the US, to less developed nations whose people will never see a single cent as it gets bleed to intermediaries, banksters, NGOs and ‘foundations’. This is Clinton’s Haiti writ large. Its sole purpose is to make it look like something is being done while nothing actually changes, meanwhile after signing the agreement the EU proceeded to increase its CO2 emissions since 2014.

    https://euobserver.com/environment/137777

    Most progress to date has been due to technical innovations generating efficiencies in solar and wind, to the point that coal and oil are in trouble, and not due to political theater.
    Reply ↓

    MoiAussie
    June 3, 2017 at 9:37 am

    You get it. I would have linked this, on Paris and Australia’s dirty plans, here if I’d seen this first.

    Governments with dirty carbon resources are doing their utmost to extract economic value from them as fast as possible to prop up their financialised economies, aided and abetted by energy multinationals, before these “assets” are stranded. Paris was nothing more than a PR exercise to provide cover for crimes against the planet and create some iron ricebowls.
    Reply ↓

  73. June 3, 2017

    Trump made a key point about cost/benefit ratio of CO2 mitigation, ala Paris:

    “Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations it is estimated it would only produce a two tenths of one degree – think of that, this much – Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100.”

    Unfortunately, both Candidate Trump and President Trump are doing a lousy job presenting the scientific case against CO2 catastrophism. Trump has mostly justified withdrawing from the Paris agreement on economic grounds; secondarily on national sovereignty grounds.

    There IS a middle road, but neither the Trump Administration nor the Democratic true believers in CO2 catastrophism are talking about it. The middle road doesn’t need either side to concede that they were wrong about the science.

    The middle road is investment in new and improved green technology. See Lomborg: http://reason.com/blog/2017/06/02/bjorn-lomborg-paris-climate-accord

    There are ethical and practical reasons to “drain the (scientific) swamp”, so Trump should go after climate fraudsters, in any event. However, he could do that, educate the public on the true state of climate science, and still go with Lomborg’s plan, magnanimously declaring that the precautionary principle practically demands doing so. That would benefit him, politically.

    Well, neither he nor his staff is that bright, are they? Similarly, I don’t know of any prominent Democrats calling for the middle road, either. They’re either ignorant, or not really believing of their own climate talking points.

    Additionally, Trump could also have done a much better job educating the American public about financial beneficiaries of CO2 catastrophist inspired mitigation schemes. See, e.g., http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/12/carbon-allowances-jump-32-percent-after.html

    (N.B.: Dan Rather has claimed that Trump’s decision was based on neither reason nor science. The first is obviously a lie, and the second is almost certainly a lie, as Trump has taken the counsel of both Dr Happer, as well as Christopher Monckton. Monckton has been busy, these last few years, destroying the flimsy theoretical methods used by climate modelers, in particular their misuse of engineering feedback mathematics. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OtUcV8vS2k )

  74. June 3, 2017

    Mandos needs to go back and read what the Paris Accords actually say just as he needs to revisit the history of the healthcare debate of 2009-2010. Some of us here were heavily involved in that debate. The short form of it is that most progressives were played, bought off, not by Obamacare, but by a purposely vague, constantly shrinking, and finally eliminated public option which was supposed to be attached to it.

    I do not need to revisit that history — I was right here, arguing with y’all about it, as well as, for a brief time, at Corrente, and lurking at FDL. And the same arguments were made about the politics of Obamacare, and I fundamentally disagreed with them, and the same insults/accusations were levelled, etc, etc. The fundamental problem is that y’all are trapped in a rather optimistic framework that there is actually an underlying public demand for the policies you like, and that the establishment is actually trying to pretend to deliver those policies via cheap and/or deliberately counterproductive substitutes.

    Back then (I haven’t heard people talk about this much), this very wrong belief was justified by survey and opinion-assessment techniques that ripped the policy question out of its social/political/cultural context.

    In return, any mention, beyond an occasional derisive dismissal, of universal single payer/Medicare for All was suppressed. Obamacare was sold as healthcare for the people, but it was really welfare for the insurance industry. Rather than being a step toward a functioning universal system of healthcare such as most of the rest of the industrial world enjoys, Obamacare was instituted to keep such a system from ever happening in the US.

    Again, it assumes that universal health care is a policy that would have somehow gone forward without the passing of Obamacare. The underlying problem always was and is cultural and notional, and that is the same with climate change. What needs to be addressed is how people feel, in sum — only then can one potentiate “real” action.

  75. June 3, 2017

    I see I have once again gotten a citation at NC, except that once again, it is attributed to Ian, because I guess no one ever reads the bylines or the bold, allcaps disclaimer I put in because no one ever reads the bylines… Then confusion ensues in the comments as to why Ian is not giving them the “good stuff” they consume like addicts as they go after oversensitive identity-politics lefties for being so politically intolerant, etc etc.

    Have a dose of reality: saying is doing.

  76. June 3, 2017

    You are arguing that being a jerk and promising to change is better than being a jerk and not promising to change. You are still a jerk; and I am still in a terrible destructive relationship. You being sorry about it only makes it more confusing and difficult for me to make meaningful change and leave your sorry ass.
    Hard to believe you do not see the difference Mandos.

    That is because you are using the wrong metaphor. The sort of metaphor that would fit would be ones where you attempt to get a large group of people with disparate interests and sentiments to do something urgent that not all of them even believe in, but requires all of them to act. And you have no weapon to force them all to do it. An abusive relationship is the wrong metaphor, because it removes the crucial element here that makes politics political.

  77. Ché Pasa permalink
    June 3, 2017

    What they want is a caudillo or God-Emperor who will tell everyone to be/do what he wants, who will brook no opposition, who will enforce his (always a he) will with as much violence as the situation requires, and who will be loved and praised for it.

    Politics disturbs them.

    Rule thrills them.

    Obama might have been The One, but he refused to Rule. Instead, he engaged in (ick) Politics. Sanders sold out. Clinton was impossible for reasons both known and unknown. Trump became The One, the Ultra Alpha, but he is not being allowed to Rule by the snowflakes and Clintonites whose power must be smashed and whose existence must be… terminated.

    And so it goes.

  78. Merasmus permalink
    June 3, 2017

    “The fundamental problem is that y’all are trapped in a rather optimistic framework that there is actually an underlying public demand for the policies you like”

    Gee, it’s not like these ideas having majority support in polling or anything. Oh…wait…

    “and that the establishment is actually trying to pretend to deliver those policies via cheap and/or deliberately counterproductive substitutes.”

    That’s literally exactly what is happening. Because real change would be too disruptive to the various rice bowls the establishment, liberals included, depends on for their status and income.

    “Again, it assumes that universal health care is a policy that would have somehow gone forward without the passing of Obamacare.”

    I distinctly remember the campaign for the ACA involving the deliberate deception and then betrayal of public option supporters, to say nothing of the “the little single-payer advocates”, in Obama’s own words. As for right now, I see an increasing number of Republicans taking the idea seriously, while establishment Dems refuse to endorse it, instead deploying long debunked conservative talking points as their excuse. I’ll say it again, if Cliinton had one we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Liberals would mostly be ignoring the disintegration of Obamacare because the person in charge has a (D) in front of their name (we’ve danced this dance many times before). But since the guy in charge has a (R), and is Trump at that, suddenly there’s unleashed momentum to actually make a revolutionary change. Again, no thanks to the Dems. The Democratic Party stifles progressive change, it doesn’t facilitate it.

    “I see I have once again gotten a citation at NC, except that once again, it is attributed to Ian, because I guess no one ever reads the bylines or the bold, allcaps disclaimer I put in because no one ever reads the bylines…”

    To be honest, one doesn’t even need to read the byline. The difference between Mandos and Ian Welsh is that Mandos is an idiot, while Welsh isn’t. So if the post is moronic, by definition it almost certainly wasn’t written by Welsh.

  79. June 4, 2017

    Square root of a hundred ursine mammals? Pig shit? I thought better of you, Bill. In the end the population couldn’t tell the difference twix the pigs, and the humans.

    Every now and then even a blind squirrel hits one out of the park: by the end of the twenty-first century (pig era) potable water may well be the single most valuable commodity on the planet.

    Ranks right up there with a breathable atmosphere.

  80. June 4, 2017

    Gee, it’s not like these ideas having majority support in polling or anything. Oh…wait…

    You missed the part where I said: “this very wrong belief was justified by survey and opinion-assessment techniques that ripped the policy question out of its social/political/cultural context.”

    You can get people to agree to all kinds of things in a survey that takes the question outside of its social context. My opponents, including yourself, stop exactly at the point of the survey without giving the slightest thought to how it connects to the crucial issue of who gets to sit where in Washington DC, in state legislatures, etc, etc. The characteristics of representative democracy is what is missing from the argument. In a representative system.

    The most hilarious example of this was when some pro-single payer group attempted to “improve” opinion research by having a kind of citizens jury kind of thing where people deliberate rationally about policy — and naturally came up with single payer as the best solution, which of course it is! But what election that supports political careers operates like a calm citizens jury where people are led to particular conclusions by factual discussion?

    As for right now, I see an increasing number of Republicans taking the idea seriously, while establishment Dems refuse to endorse it, instead deploying long debunked conservative talking points as their excuse.

    I remember lots of people like you repeatedly using the Lucy/football Charlie Brown metaphor. The lack of self-consciousness is amazing. What do you think that “increasing number of Republicans taking the idea seriously” (LOL) going to actually do? How do you think its going to play in their primaries if they actually tried to do anything about it?

    Again, we’re relitigating an old debate, but this Paris/Trump business has raised all those issues again. The first and foremost need is to have the symbolic agreement that there is a problem to be solved, that developed countries have different obligations from developing countries, that it is a problem that requires international coordination, etc, etc. Until you take that seriously, forget it.

  81. June 4, 2017

    What they want is a caudillo or God-Emperor who will tell everyone to be/do what he wants, who will brook no opposition, who will enforce his (always a he) will with as much violence as the situation requires, and who will be loved and praised for it.

    Politics disturbs them.

    Rule thrills them.

    Yeah, basically. It’s the logical conclusion of the “show me the money” attitude to politics. The logical result of contempt for the role of political feeling and sentiment, even among those who have the best policy hopes, is support for authoritarian rule.

    Obama might have been The One, but he refused to Rule. Instead, he engaged in (ick) Politics. Sanders sold out. Clinton was impossible for reasons both known and unknown. Trump became The One, the Ultra Alpha, but he is not being allowed to Rule by the snowflakes and Clintonites whose power must be smashed and whose existence must be… terminated.

    And so it goes.

    Again, agreed. And the idea that the Cossacks work for the Czar, trotted out when Obama was in power, is suddenly submerged. After all, even Republicans are now musing seriously about single payer, right right?

  82. June 4, 2017

    Haha. The NC people think I was a mainstay at DailyKos. I had a diary there for a few months as I recall and occasionally got upvoted but that was in political internet pre-history, practically — I haven’t written there in well over a decade. But I used to get around quite a bit on the internet, and I think when people see a name they vaguely recognize, they ascribe it to DailyKos as the most likely place.

  83. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    June 4, 2017

    Very well, why can’t the (mis)ruling class simply hire the half of the working class who are so well-trained to docility that they will never get uppity to kill the other half who will at least consider getting uppity?

  84. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    June 4, 2017

    Or more to the point in the USA, why can’t the misruling class fall back on its ancient strategy of hiring goons from the ranks of the Stupid White Folks to kill anyone, of any skin tone, who gets uppity?

  85. Peter permalink
    June 4, 2017

    @Metamars

    Don’t surrender to the political consensus builders such as Lomborg, they are just as dangerous as the green agenda technocrats. Trump has broken the momentum the Warmers had gained using altered data and propaganda that led people to believe they had answers. The Warmers will continue to seek the power of a world government type structure to build a green industrial revolution that is not that green but is certainly industrial.

    None of the huge amounts of additional CO2 or other GHG’s produced by this revolution will disappear when the clean power starts flowing, it will be in the atmosphere for a long time. If you are a believer in the Warmer CO2 catastrophe story adding a new huge source of GHG’s to already high levels seems insane, unless this is more about profits than climate.

    This may be why it is difficult to find much research on the actual environmental costs of building this green industry. It seems that most Warmers and the pop-science rags that report on this want the rubes to continue to believe that solar panels are grown like cabbages by those clever Chinese.

    A hidden cost of the rapidly growing EV/solar battery industry is that much more mining is needed to meet even todays production shortfall of cobalt that is slowing this industries expansion. Half of existing production of cobalt comes from the CAR so those nice clean EV’s are dependent on Blood Cobalt.

  86. DMC permalink
    June 4, 2017

    They can and have. People haven’t gotten very uppity of late. As the wheels come off the wagon of state, that’s apt to change. As our recent military escapades demonstrate, the US military is GREAT at mass devastation. Actually defeating a popular insurgency, not so much. There are number of ways a potential revolution could occur and not all of them require armed mobs or easily detainable individuals. Check out William S. Burroughs’ essays on revolutionary theory and practice some time. There’s more than one way to bring down a state and the attack most likely to succeed is the one concealed until the last moment.

  87. Hugh permalink
    June 4, 2017

    I second Merasmus. Mandos is the liberal counterpart of the right wing nutter. If the liberal Establishment doesn’t validate something, then it doesn’t exist and no one wants it. So if the liberal Establishment only wanted to talk about and support the corporate welfare of Obamacare, then obviously no one wanted universal single payer, and any evidence to the contrary is made up and completely untrustworthy. How do they know this? Because if anyone wanted Medicare for All, it would have been because they the liberals would have been talking about it. Since they weren’t, nobody wanted it. QED.

    Elitism, paternalism, and virulent anti-populism are three cardinal characteristics of liberalism. Basically, the liberal position is that they know more and better than the rest of us. So if we know what’s good for us, we will shut up and do what they say. Liberalism, like conservatism, can never fail. They can only be failed because the rest of us were insufficiently obedient and we did not do enough.

  88. June 4, 2017

    So if the liberal Establishment only wanted to talk about and support the corporate welfare of Obamacare, then obviously no one wanted universal single payer, and any evidence to the contrary is made up and completely untrustworthy.

    No, that is not at all what I said, and it is a disingenuous reinterpretation of it at best. It is or not primarily with the what the “liberal establishment” “wants” or doesn’t “want”, it is what will get career politicians elected or not elected, given the political system that exists. And if you think a major reorganization of the political system that involves the abolition of the private insurance sector is something that would have let marginal politicians who have effective veto power survive the next elections, you simply know nothing about the country in which you (and I at the time, but not now) live.

    How do they know this? Because if anyone wanted Medicare for All, it would have been because they the liberals would have been talking about it. Since they weren’t, nobody wanted it. QED.

    No, lots of people wanted Medicare For All, but not enough to support political careers. Instead, the most politically ineffective and electorally fickle segment of the American political spectrum wanted it. That’s enough alone to ruin it, but there was a bigger problem along the critical path: American culture, American beliefs about taxes and social insurance, and yes, American racial (and other cultural) politics.

  89. June 4, 2017

    I mean, it’s a cliché these days, but the Manichaean thinking that goes on around this sort of subject is weird and astounding. If you think that the political approach of single-payer supporters has been the wrong one, it must be that you are in thrall to the thinking of the “Liberal establishment” who doesn’t want single payer. The idea that there could be other reasons why single payer was out of reach back then is simply not on order, there is just a good guy and a bad guy, and the bad guy is taking away opportunities that really did exist, etc, etc.

    Medicare for All’s principal obstacle was an is a cultural mental block in the minds of the American public that resolves itself as a widespread lack of acceptance, even outright rejection, that modern health care should be accessible to those who can’t pay for it, that the uninsurable should nevertheless be insured. Obamacare (or really, any plan) was a step in the direction of overcoming that mental block — whatever else it did or didn’t do, however terrible it was, it had that crucial characteristic. The evidence for this is the on-going difficulty of a Republican-dominated Congress in getting rid of it on the schedule they had envisioned.

    It’s the same for climate and the same for the Paris agreement. There is a mental block in the minds of the world, but particularly the American public. The key to collective action is to get over the mental blocks. Saying is doing.

  90. Hugh permalink
    June 4, 2017

    So Democrats keep running to the right to get the most conservative Democrat possible elected, usually helping authentic Republicans elected instead, and then moan about not being able to get a more progressive agenda passed because they have a lot of conservatives in their ranks. Except of course that they don’t try, let alone fight for, anything progressive. What conclusion does Mandos draw from all this? It’s the progressives’ fault and then he doubles down on his saying is doing BS.

    The simple question is this: What reason do progressives, or really anyone else, have to vote for Democrats/liberals? Answer: None.

  91. Peter permalink
    June 4, 2017

    @Mandos

    You seem more confused than usual claiming that single-payer doesn’t have widespread public support in the US at least for the superficial description of that complex agenda offered by its promoters. Some wise people besides the insurance industry in California have started investigating the effects of this proposal and made a conservative estimate of 13,000 jobs lost immediately upon the switch with many more lost as the shock moves through the economy. These displaced insurance workers and the businesses they worked for will not be paying as much of the local and federal taxes they do now and this revenue loss could be huge.

    This and other disruption caused by the switch to SP may not overwhelm the benefits of the switch but people should make an informed decision and be offered honest information about who benefits, who will be harmed and who will pay.

    I’m not certain but it seems that the Warmer fear and panic juggernaut is sinking especially now that the Hegemon has cut them adrift. Decades of conditioning will not easily be put aside while new more rational and accurate predictions about the future are produced. For those who remain panicked with fear looking at the Netherlands might help. They have been fighting and winning the battle against the rising sea for a thousand years and they now build their structures to withstand the ten thousand year storm.

  92. June 4, 2017

    So Democrats keep running to the right to get the most conservative Democrat possible elected, usually helping authentic Republicans elected instead, and then moan about not being able to get a more progressive agenda passed because they have a lot of conservatives in their ranks. Except of course that they don’t try, let alone fight for, anything progressive.

    Now we’re getting somewhere. The fundamental problem of sustainable coalition-building in representative democracy — where there are, in addition to overlapping interests, inevitably contradictory interests, moral world views, etc.

    Let me put it like this: say in some hypothetical alternate universe, you got yourself elected back then to Congress in the leftiest district in the USA and had managed to get majority support from the Democrats on single payer. Presumably, some Democrats would have had to fall on their swords for it, but OK, they did it — in that alternate timeline. Would you be satisfied then?

    What can your negotiating partners expect from you, when they have to defend some other interest you abhor in order to maintain themselves in office? At what point will they be able to predict that you’d vote for something you despise, in order to help them remain in power? Now that you got your single payer. Will you vote to help protect the credit card industry in some fellow congressman’s district? What?

    Until you can answer that, why should anyone deal with you? For anyone attempting to run a political career, they are going to be very afraid of relying on a political constituency who is, as I said, electorally fickle — no predictable point at which they will give something to interests they hate. Now, there is an alternative way of thinking about this…

    The simple question is this: What reason do progressives, or really anyone else, have to vote for Democrats/liberals? Answer: None.

    …which is not to play the game at all, and instead attempt either to supplant the Democratic party or supplant the system as a whole. I suggest the former is easier than the latter. So yes, you can conclude that you have no reason to vote for Democrats or any incumbent player in US representative democracy (which is in many ways an oxymoron, but whatever). You can conclude that, because you have decided that there is no point at which your negotiating partners should rely on you give them something they need to further their political careers, when it compromises your political principles.

    So, OK, you have a policy message that you think has broad support. Since this support is as broad and deep as you seem to think, why not supplant the Democratic party by running candidates of your own? It should be easy to attract votes — after all, we know that the American public claims, in polls, to want a lot of things that the “guns-and-butter” left want. It seems like it should have happened already…

  93. Hugh permalink
    June 5, 2017

    So Democrats are just career politicians who don’t believe in anything, or stand for anything, or fight for anything other than their own personal interest. For Mandos, the pragmatic thing is to sell out to them for pennies on the dollar and even though they have long histories of screwing us out of even the pennies. Mandos just keeps digging his hole deeper and deeper.

    Thank goodness the two parties haven’t erected institutional obstacles to the creation of third parties and other challenges to their power, even mild ones like the Sanders’ campaign. Thank goodness the media treats such efforts seriously and covers them fairly. Oh wait …

  94. realitychecker permalink
    June 5, 2017

    Give me a thousand Mandos’ and I can rule the asylum!!!!

  95. realitychecker permalink
    June 5, 2017

    (Or is it “Mandii”???) 🙂

  96. June 5, 2017

    So Democrats are just career politicians who don’t believe in anything, or stand for anything, or fight for anything other than their own personal interest. For Mandos, the pragmatic thing is to sell out to them for pennies on the dollar and even though they have long histories of screwing us out of even the pennies. Mandos just keeps digging his hole deeper and deeper.

    There’s no hole to dig — I’ve argued for years and years that the political career is the central feature of a hierarchical, representative political system. Even if you enter the system with the best of intentions, the primary goal of any political representative in the US system designed the way it is is to advance a political career. Why? It’s because the amount of influence one has within the system in accomplishing the secondary goal of the political system — producing policy — is related to whether one’s career is rising or falling.

    That is more or less the explicit intent of the political system in most large representative democracies — to reorient policy-making around the personal interactions of a small group of people, rather than mass movements and political convictions.

    Insofar as those have had an influence, it has been under exceptional conditions where the system itself has broken apart (say, the US Civil War and the period surrounding it), or when the leaders of those mass movements have been willing/able to operate within the system knowing the above, while holding together a mass movement. Walking and chewing gum.

    But we have, peculiarly, a large section of the US left unwilling to concede the primacy of the political career, yet unable to construct or even clearly envision the means to proceed without them.

    Thank goodness the two parties haven’t erected institutional obstacles to the creation of third parties and other challenges to their power, even mild ones like the Sanders’ campaign. Thank goodness the media treats such efforts seriously and covers them fairly. Oh wait …

    There will always be barriers. These are your options:

    1. Operate within existing political parties, but then you need to offer a compromise to existing incumbents that they can accept as well as demonstrate that you really can bring enough votes for your own policy.

    2. Start a new party — but you say that there are institutional obstacles to this.

    3. Supplant the system entirely — the system has an army.

    4. Ignore the system and attempt to persuade the public to your viewpoint without attempting to participate in the legislative process, in the hope that down the road they’ll vote for someone who will implement your preferences — but you say that you can’t get a fair hearing from the media.

    5. Abstain completely from any kind of political engagement.

  97. nihil obstet permalink
    June 5, 2017

    @Mandos

    electorally fickle = defines voters who elect representatives to make their lives better and, when the elected representatives make their lives worse, doesn’t vote for them again.

    I’m definitely electorally fickle.

  98. nihil obstet permalink
    June 5, 2017

    Despite my electoral fickleness, the congressional reelection rate is 96%. I guess fickleness just doesn’t pay off.

  99. June 5, 2017

    @Peter I don’t know enough about “blood cobalt” to reply intelligently to that specific.

    Speaking more generally, to me “green energy” could mean anything that makes environmental sense, and is cheaper than fossil fuels. Most definitely, that would include fusion, including something like Eric Lerner’s Focus Fusion. I spoke to a friend of Lerner’s some years ago, and he told me Lerner has had to waste time raising money, instead of doing research. Given his accomplishments, that’s sort of insane.

    Also speaking generally,Robert David Steele has been arguing for widespread application of “true cost economics”. I’m hardly knowledgeable about that, also, but creating misery for mining populations has to be figured in to any honest “true cost”.

    I’m all for Trump going full tilt against ideologically inspired green faux “knowledge”. In fact, I was upset with candidate Trump for not doing so, even back then. However, in order to be effective, Trump needs to expand his base and build coalitions. That probably should include people who will not be persuaded that CO2 is not the lethal “pollutant” that the climate Cassandras are claiming. It’s therefore to his advantage to address their desires. If he can do so for pennies on the dollar, and with better outcomes, why not?

    You are apparently greatly concerned about even partial victories by the greenies, but I am not. I suppose they might gain some moral authority via a Lomborg plan, but as long as they don’t get to exert rent-seeker type of power, via carbon credits and/or carbon taxation, I personally won’t be concerned.

    That will be a blow to Goldman Sachs (http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/taibbi-guess-whos-getting-rich-cap-an), but they can go cry in their Dom Perignon champagne.

  100. June 5, 2017

    nihil obstet: and most challengers, in primaries for example, are only going to rely on voters like you for support until they get into office (if that), because they can’t rely on you after that. Their first priority, once they’ve figured out the system, is usually to be part of the 96% re-elected.

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