The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


Trump Found Guilty: Will It Matter?


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – June 02 2024


  1. Curt Kastens

    Xraymike79 has given Industrial Civilization its last rites.
    Rather than proclaim the end of the Uni polar world order to be replaced by the multipolar world order I will proclaim that we are now entering the final chapter of humanity which will be titled, The No Polar World Order. (Pardon the Phun).

    It is being said by many serious people that the sudden spike in world temperatures has been greatly aided by a change in shippinig fuel which took place in 2020. Serious people also say that we did not see a faster result because the El Nina conditions masked the effects for a couple of years. I do not buy that part of the explination.
    In 2020 we also had the economic slow down due to the proclaimed Corona Virus Pandemic. My guess is, without doing the math, is that this slowdown had more to do with the delayed effect than an El Nina or El Nino cycle. After all the temps of the sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic went way up in 2023. The North Atlantic Sea Surface Temps should not be so much affected by a cycle in the south Pacific.
    I also wonder if there might be another conncetion as well. What did the weather services of the world’s major militaries know about the effect that the change in bunker fuel and the pandemic slow down would have and when did they know it?
    I have to wonder if knowledge about what was going to happen because of a decrease in blocking aresols in the atmosphere might have played a role in the exact timing of the attempted liberation of Ukraine and hopefully of the EU lands as well. There is nothing like burning oil storage tanks to get those areosol levels back up to normal.
    The knowledge of what happened just due to this very small change in using cleaner fuel is an indication of what would happen now if humanity were suddenly able to power itself without reliance on hydrocarbons. Rather than a sudden .3° Celsius rise in temperature we would no doubt have somewhere between a 3 and 6 degree sudden rise in the temperature.
    But before we die I would would really like to have a little more fun. I would really like to see the Russians for once take the lead in escalating the conflict with the west by using their Kinjal missles to attack the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, and to attack every bridge over the Rhine, Rhone, Seine, Thames, and Po rivers. Oh and before I forget the Oder, and Vistula Rivers as well. But not the Danube as the Russians need those bridges to stay intact so that their Amies can cross over them.

  2. Curt Kastens

    A joint communique from Curt Kastens and SumoftheArt’s (Body Repair and Parts),

    We do not think that Kinjal missles have the range to hit the United States. But if they do the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth Minnesota should be spared from distruction. Its military value is limited. Its artistic value is great. And we actually use the bridge every now and then.
    But the bridges over the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennesse, Potomac, Columbia, and Hudson Rivers along with bridges over San Francisco Bay, Tampa Bay, and Chesapeake Bay are legimate military targets especially between 2am and 3am.

  3. Mark Level

    Hey Kurt, as a resident of Duluth I want to thank you for advocating to spare our Aerial Lift Bridge to the sandbar (dividing Outer & Inner Harbor) as it is clearly the #1 tourist attraction in this small city which the passage of time has put into decline. If Russia’s going to retaliate for hitting the Crimean Bridge, I also endorse doing it between 2-3 a.m. as suggested. Isn’t that why the bridge taken out by incompetence in Boston had very few casualties?

    Speaking of Duluth, the Free Palestine Rally here was much bigger than I expected. It turns out our Minnesota DFL (“Democratic Farm & Labor Party) was afraid to hold their pre-Chicago convention in the Twin Cities due to the large # of pro-Palestine ex-Dems there, so they moved it north here to “sleepy” Duluth. So 2 buses of anti-Genocide folks from the Twin Cities came up, we started near the Tent City occupying outside City Hall with up to probably 250 people, marched across the Highway to Lake Park and the big Convention Center, where one of the “Uncommitted” Delegates inside (there are at least 8, I don’t know how many) came out & told us that we “terrified” most of the Delegates inside ‘coz they know we won’t vote for Genocide Joe, & also that the sleazy Minn. Dem elites were looking at ways to force the Uncommitted out of their seats, and also that Joe (if he’s even still the candidate) will only appear “virtually” at the Convention!!

    We started at 11 am with many groups there, some great musicians from the DSA & a very eclectic & diverse crowd, old & young. I think we were down to about 150 people when we ended about 2:30 & people marched over to the touristy restaurant section of Lake Park . . .

    I learned that our Dem. Governor, Tim Walz, whose done some good things via DFL (free school lunches for all students for the first time last year, legal cannabis, though there’s currently only 1 dispensary on the NW border of the state just over 200 miles from here at the Red Lake reservation) is actually a racist Zionist, as I already knew Amy Klobuchar was. This state is one of 38 that has a law forcing anyone doing “business with the state” to pledge they don’t support the BDS movement passed in 2002. I was also very disgusted to learn that D.A. Keith Ellison, who I previously had respected when he ran for DNC rep as a Bernie supporter after 2016 & was crushed by a useless moron, who is a black man who supported (to some extent) BLM, is one of 4 people on the State Retirement committee who continues to put teachers’ & other state employees’ assets into Israeli war contractors as well as Northrop-Grumman and similar Merchants of Death.

    The march had great discipline, humor, & esprit de corps. No police interference at all, only surveillance.

    The Dem party is a shell of “democratic”, a bunch of Lesser Evil ghouls. Previously I was doubtful that Trump could win Minnesota as he will certainly win Michigan, but evidently in the Twin Cities and elsewhere, youth & anyone not pro-Genocide may defect. Democracy dies in darkness (not that ‘Murica ever had much direct democratic input except during the 2 Roosevelts’ terms. (And even then they sure practiced endless war.)

  4. Altandmain

    One of the last areas that the US and EU still have global marketshare dominance is in commercial aviation.

    I think if the West is stupid enough to wage an aircraft sanctions war, then they will learn just like the chip sanctions war against China that it will backfire very badly.

    Ironically as of late, the sanctions against Russia are backfiring against both Boeing and Airbus.

    For those unknown, the Russians are the leader in titanium manufacturing. Titanium has a high strength to weight ratio, is corrosion resistant, and maintains its tensile strength when exposed to higher temperatures. It’s also remarkably hard to manufacture and to weld.

    The Western economy has been too neoliberalized to make good quality aircraft. Boeing for example but short-term profits over safety and product quality. We are starting to see the long term consequences of their decisions.

  5. Ian Welsh

    Yeah, I was planning on writing an article about the aircraft thing. The Chinese have told the Euros that if they keep sanctioning them, they’ll sanction back: on commercial aircraft and agriculture. (Agri is a massive export industry, and with Boeing’s collapse, Airbus is a big deal.)

    The Euros appear determined to commit economic suicide as fast as possible.

  6. mago

    A bridge too far
    A bridge to nowhere
    The bridge over the river Kwai
    Bridge it bardo

    Hey, what about nuclear provocation and posturing and power plays?
    It’s a wonderful life, just ask Major Kong—he knows.
    Ride that missile to oblivion and the ultimate orgasm.
    In the meantime down in the streets it’s the usual ultra violence and a bit of the old in and out, but the milk bar now serves signature frappes with tofu whipped cream.
    The clockwork went from orange to goy.
    It’s a Saturday night in this little corner of the world, and since I’m in between idling around and making dinner, I thought to pipe some thoughts and words into the forum.
    Nobody has to read it, aside from our erstwhile moderator who can stop one sentence in and hit delete.
    Someday I’ll try for gravitis
    Happy June 1.

  7. someofparts

    Well, in the one of the wealthy intown Atlanta neighborhoods a broken water main has meant that folks have been without water for a couple of days. I am tempted to tell my pals that it is a small sacrifice to make so we can keep funding those brave freedom fighters in Ukraine.

  8. Curt Kastens

    I seem to recall a James Bond movie from the time that I was about 7 or 8 that showed James Bond on a table with an Ax swinging pendulium fashion above him and getting lower and lower with each swing.
    That is the future of mankind. Successfully implemting a transition to renewable energy means a 3 to 6 degree spike in temps. (Oh cut Curt we are going to remove all of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere by then. There is nothing to worry about.) Or we do not successfully implement a transition to 0 net carbon and drive up the temperatures alot more until the economic system crashes for any number of reasons and then survivors of that crash can deal with a 3 to 6 degree spike in average terminators.
    Oh but Curt we have it all figured out. We can cancel out those spike increases in temprature with a nuclear winter. And by then everyone will get vaccinated against radiation poisoning. And there is no need to consider the dying off of the oxygen creating organizims in the ocean because we will have AI controled Nuclear Fussion power by then which will recreate all of the oxygen that we need.

  9. someofparts

    The longer I go without having to work, the more I understand what was taken from me by being obliged to do that. I finally have a chance to learn what I really like and the fact that I was denied something that basic the entirety of my able-bodied years makes me regard the people who self-righteously reaped the benefits of the rentier economy with ever greater bitterness.

  10. Curt Kastens

    Paul Beckwith has only 32,500 subscribers on Youtube. That is less than 10% of the Histroy Ledgends Channel. I wonder why?

  11. Revelo

    Honest people don’t try to shut down scientific investigation of potential solutions to serious problems. Ergo, either global warming is not a serious problem or people worried about it are not honest but rather suffering from mass hysteria.

  12. Willy

    Curt doesn’t get it. Money can buy AI air-conditioned mansion zones. Money can buy illegals to toil in the hydroponic fields. And if it’s not coin anymore, the currency will be chits, or water, or young slave women… whatever works. Leading an army of crazed war boys in kluged up war rigs seems as exciting as bribing government officials to fight proxy wars, does it not? As long as the power disparity is relative, the feelings are the same.

    Personally, I wanted to see a movie about Max leading a mob conquest of the Citadel. Of course with Max being smart, he’d first have to take Gastown, and then the Bullet Farm. So I quess it’d be a trilogy.

    But Max is a lone wolf, just wanting to stay in his lane, mind his own business. So he puts the squashy little guy in charge, who quickly succumbs to the inevitable master-blaster-auntie arrangement, meaning even more unavoidable adventures, this time involving feral children. It’s always something. The trick seems to be, that we the people need to figure out how to keep it from always being something.

  13. NR

    Geoengineering is not a potential solution to global warming. At best, it might potentially buy us a little bit of time, but we don’t know what the long-term impacts on the climate or on human health will be. And irresponsible use could potentially cause a global catastrophe. Not to mention the fact that if it works even a little bit, it will just be used as an excuse to keep ignoring the root causes of climate change.

    Given that we can’t even make a stable and self-sustaining biosphere, I don’t like the idea of attempting geoengineering on a global scale. What’s needed is vastly reduced CO2 emissions and re-greening. That’s where our focus should be.

  14. bruce wilder

    Tony Wikrent missed this very worthwhile interview of Jeffrey Sachs by Tucker Carlson from May 28

    Jeffrey Sachs with Tucker Carlson:
    The Untold History of the Cold War, CIA Coups Around the World, and COVID’s Origin

    I only caught it because today both Lambert and Yves got snarky about what Sachs had to say about COVID19 origins and that made me especially curious. (And, yes, their snark was seriously misapplied, imho. Sachs’s remarks on COVID19 lab leak theory were those of a layman very well and expertly informed. Sachs chaired the Lancet COVID19 Commission )

    Most of the interview focuses on geopolitics and the War in Ukraine. Tucker does a masterful job keeping himself to a minimum. Jeffrey Sachs is a name-dropper par excellence, but maybe he’s earned it and it does lend weight to the implicit thesis of the sociopathic nature of the news media.

    Near the end of the interview (roughly 2:08), Tucker asks about “the Big Picture” (referring to reckless and murderously destructive American foreign policy gambits) and Jeffrey Sachs replies “Since 1945, we’ve been living this way . . . . but we don’t know it because The Narrative doesn’t permit it.”

  15. capelin

    @ someofparts

    “The longer I go without having to work, the more I understand what was taken from me by being obliged to do that. ”

    Profoundly put. It _is theft, as currently structured.

    “The best revenge is living well” so I hope you get some of that.

    I have a couple friends who own their time now, after decades of nose to the gindstone (with varying financial payoffs). Nice to see them get on with “stuff they wanted to do”.

    @ Revelo

    Speaking of serious, geoengineering is not a serious solution, in the same way that the floating pier at Gaza is not a serious solution.

    They both entirely miss the point, the root cause – by design.

    No; stop the genocide or “at least” open the land crossings; stop flying bombs around blowing up perfectly good cement buildings (meanwhile, somewhere, there’s a conference going on about developing “green” cement).

    The PTB – the same people flying the bombs around – are floating how economical it would be – “only 5billion/yr” for them to fly around the whole planet, spewing into the skies, and thus land, tiny bits of aluminum crap. To reflect sunlight. “Why does my lettuce taste metallic?”

    It is not serious. I believe the kids call it a “limited hangout”.

  16. Revelo

    >NR×Geoengineering is not a potential solution to global warming. At best, it might potentially buy us a little bit of time, but we don’t know what the long-term impacts on the climate or on human health will be. And irresponsible use could potentially cause a global catastrophe. Not to mention the fact that if it works even a little bit, it will just be used as an excuse to keep ignoring the root causes of climate change.

    First, we are already geo engineering and the geo engineering is very effective, at least if you believe the anthropogenic theory of climate change. Second, SO2 is a very well tested form of geo engineering with moderate effects on climate and human health (acid rain plus lung issues). We’ve been pumping massive amounts of SO2 into the troposphere ever since we started burning coal, far more than would be necessary to pump into the stratosphere to stop global warming. Volcanos occasionally pump large amounts of SO2 into the stratosphere and the global cooling is immediate, with no side effects that we know of. All that remains to know is whether constantly pumping SO2 into the stratosphere has side effects different from occasional pumping by volcanos. Ozone layer is the main concern. SO2 doesn’t stay in either stratosphere or troposphere long, so no risk in experimenting at small scale to determine ozone layer effects. In case it isn’t obvious, we already are heading towards global catastrophe. Root causes of global warming are going to be ignored as long as fossil fuels are economically viable, which probably means at least another 100 years. In particular, the more climate change causes hardships for the huge and growing world population, the more pressure to burn every last bit of fossil fuel to mitigate those hardships.

    Lots of people are emotionally invested in global warming and climate catastrophe. This forum is a nexus of this religious / mass hysteria attitude. People who are aging, have no family, feel alienated from the society in which they live, and consequently feel joy at the notion that whole world is going to burn as punishment for humanity’s sins and the only possible answer is repentance, putting on sack cloth and ashes, etc.

    Obviously, above is a non productive attitude which leads to stupidity in prediction making (recall “peak oil” hysteria of 2007). I want to know the truth about what the future holds so I can prepare for it. 8 billion humans who are NOT affected by climate mass hysteria generates an enormous amount of pressure to keep the system going, and I’m curious as to exactly what solution they will come up with. Burning the entirety of the Venezuela and Canadian tar sands together with mass pumping of SO2 into the stratosphere to offset all this carbon sounds a lot higher probability than predictions by the climate mass hysteria types.

  17. Curt Kastens

    The serious people who are saying the changes in the fuel used by ships at sea is a major contributor to the ongoing spike in temps that started in 2023 have perhaps not gone deep enough down the rabbit hole.
    The explination of shipping being a major factor requires an explination for the delay between 2020 and 2023. I had mentioned the Corona enduced slow down up above as an alternative to the El Nina explination.
    But there is another possible explination that has nothing at all to do with shipping.
    That is the war in the Ukraine. The war started in 2022 and has ramped up since then.
    A by product of the fighting is not only co2 from the burning of fossil fuels but the creation of Nitrous Oxide if I remember correctly from the explosions caused by high explosives, this by product of the explosions is much more potent that even methane as a greenhouse gas.
    But my guess is that anyone but me who wants to point this connection between the war in Ukriane and against the Gazans and rapidly rising global tempertures out faces death by assassination, except for me. I am obviously to unimportant to waste a bullet on. Or, is it that I am to important to risk taking out. I will be the nudge of that. If someone wants to risk taking me out it does not need to be a full service restuarant. A bakery will be fine. Teh one called Planet Earth perhaps.

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