Saturday, March 29, 2008

The climate change debate continues on...

Nina/Norman and I have been going back and forth about this over at the Crallspace in the comment section of this post.

She/He has been reading up on skeptics who don't think humans are responsible for climate change.

Here is my latest response.

Well, I think we're in agreement that we as a civilization cannot continue to accelerate the combustion of fossil fuels, which has gotten us to where we currently are.

But just on an intuitive level, it makes zero sense to me that a population can release millions of years worth of carbon stored in the ground for millions of years in a mere century and not tip the balance oh so slightly. Science never proves anything absolutely. However, there is strong evidence, theoretical probability and likelihood and as you've noted I believe, intuition as well.

I can appreciate your reluctance to hysteria as you might percieve it, but the fact is, and I know you agree, things have got to change. This moment is critical to future generations. Global capitalism has to change and that starts with consumers, us, cause God knows it ain't coming from the top.

Consider the money situation, isn't it perfectly logical that "conservative" big oil and coal money is funding many of these naysayers and vectors of misinformation? They're killing people for oil for christsake. Murdering people to control the drug that makes us feel secure, but in reality makes us less secure.

I'll check out your link now and will post this on my blog.
[added later]
I read the aussie article. then I googled one of the mentioned scientists, Joel M. Kauffman (Emeritus). I don't really know the guy, I've never read any of his publications, but all the ones on his website have to do with drugs and chemistry, cause he's an organic chemist. Why is he being so vocal about climate change?

Also, I should ask readers to check out the IPCC report. In it you can see that relative to the last 10000 years or so, atmospheric concentrations of CO2, CH4 and N2O have increased exponentially in the last hundred years or so. Exponential increases in natural systems are the antithesis of stability/equilibrium.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

worker owned cooperatives

We need more worker owned cooperatives in the world and especially here in corvallis.

If you're sick of your job and/or unemployed lets get together and organize a worker owned cooperative.

We could start a recycling company that actually turns waste into useable products right here. We could lease people's yards to grow food. We could open a cafe with a new culture, one that makes everyone feel included and integral.

We are the leaders we've been seeking. Lets turn away from capitalism and toward sustainability. Actually we don't even have to completely abandon capitalism as evidenced by the Lovins/Hawken text, Natural Capitalism.

Speaking of books, I'm almost done with The Cultural Creatives and I'm really floored. The authors are right. There are millions of us! And we're converging on the truth. We're at the threshold of a new dawn, if we can just get the neo-cons to shut the hell up for a second and strip away all their power.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Today was full of Obama.

When I went over to my neighbor's house to discuss a project, he was about to speak in Portland.

Later, I was downtown getting a part for my bike trailer wheel and I step out of Robnette's to overhear a woman saying Obama just had pizza at the American Dream. Police had completely blocked 3rd street, on which I was parked. People were asking what the hell was going on and I told them what I overheard. People were excited. Then the convoy rolled through, first a bunch of SUVs filled with men in suits and sunglasses then a massive bus then another bus and then some more SUVs. The popo man blocking traffic was a big prick. He tried to ignore me when I asked him how long traffic would be stopped but I yelled at him from the street corner and he said it'd be awhile. I was somewhat put out by this as there was nothing to do but wait and watch. I felt very tense, also, considering any stupid act could've got me shot and/or arrested. It felt like the mighty arm of empire pushing people around. I know he's a candidate and all, but geez...That fucking cop could've been a little accommodating.

Then tonight at 9:00 KEZI (channel 9 ABC affiliate in Eugene) broadcast special coverage of the speech in Mac Court. Despite my mixed feelings earlier, I have to say it was an inspiring speech. I really want to believe in Obama. He says the right things up to a point. Like I said before, he doesn't talk about universal single payer health care. Tonight he said he believes in capitalism and free markets. He talked about protecting the Constitution but never mentions impeachment, which is prescribed by the Constitution for presidencies gone severely awry like the current one. But I really liked what he said about energy policy and education policy. I think those who say he's a centrist are right. He will continue the American empire. I don't believe he's for the kind of fundamental change that I'm looking for. There's this sneaking (call it cynical if you will) feeling that he's mostly talk when he talks about challenging the status quo. Still, a part of me wants to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I will most likely vote Green party (McKinney) or Nader because I feel voting is less about picking the winner as it is an expression of one's own conscience. My one vote won't mean much in the grand scheme of the election, but it means the world to me in terms of my personal beliefs, ideals and integrity.

btw, "obackarama" came from my wife who has a way of mixing up syllables often with funny results. Well, she kept saying oback and I added the arama.

And the American Dream part was confirmed by an email from my buddy Joe who saw and spoke to Obama there.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the election to be over. I won't be too despondent if Obama wins. (Or Hillary for that matter) Even McCain will be 1x better than the horrible horrible W.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

my reaction to Obama's speech

My buddy Steve sent an email (below) asking for reaction to the big Obama speech that everyone's so worked up about. The link to the speech is also below in his email.
Here's my response:

Great speech. I don't think I disagreed with any of it.

Thanks for the link, Steve.

Obama will be 100x better than Bush.

I like how he gives people the benefit of the doubt, he has faith in ordinary people's goodness. Which is the best way to encourage a fuller expression of that goodness (as opposed to presuming its absence).

But he, like any casual observer of history, can't pretend not to know the facts of what has happened in this country.

I agree with Obama. For all its faults, slavery (which continues to this day as I'm sure we are all aware both in terms of pittance wages and literal, actual human bondage) empire, war mongering (mass murder), I can't deny that I'm an American. I can't deny that I love this country that I've lived in all my life. This is the situation I find myself in. To illustrate, rather than being born in a place like Saudi Arabia, here I am in a country with a semblance of democracy, the guarantee of free speech, lofty and noble words in its founding documents, a history of effective popular organization which has led to real social changes, and indeed, the goodness and kindness of people I meet. Of course I love my country. (Of course, We've still got a lot of "perfecting" to do yet...)

Having said this, Obama mentioned corporate domination in Washington. Can you blame me for simply taking the fact that his campaign is taking in $50M in a month and starting to question if he's really going to challenge corporate rule ala Ralph Nader? Will the revolving door cease and desist with Obama? Has he ever uttered the phrase "single payer health care" as something he's for? Is he really beholden to ALL the people or are there some who are "more equal than others"? Or is he holding his cards close until he wins the office at which point he will lead us to a radically better world? Maybe I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, but these are fair questions, IMHO.

If we had instant runoff voting Obama would be number two on my ballot. I still can't decide between McKinney and Nader. (I don't agree with D. Korten on that point)

Steve wrote:

... with all of the discussions that we have had about RACE, I would enjoy hearing people's thoughts on Obama's "race" speech.

If you have NOT seen it in its entirety, you can find it here:

Barack Obama | "A More Perfect Union"

The legacy of Capitalism: The unleashing of a predacious, pathological, & parasitic entity
(the Corporation) that has embedded itself in the culture in such a way that if it dies
we ALL die, and if it does NOT die humanity still dies !!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

David Korten lecture

The lecture was good. Quite honestly, it wasn't anything new. He even used the same analogy of the monarch butterfly metamorphosis that Barbara Marx Hubbard used in Conscious Evolution. Speaking of peak oil, climate chaos, and economic meltdown, the bottom line, according to Korten is that we're royally screwed unless we make fundamental changes in our society, like yesterday. He also spoke of millions of people converging and already working to affect positive change, not unlike Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson in The Cultural Creatives. I wondered if he had read that book. I wanted to ask what he thought about Jerry Mander's Manifesto and establishing a level of sufficiency. Instead when Q&A time came, I asked if he thought Barack and Hillary would continue the dominator culture he talks about and whether I should vote for Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader and his answer surprised me.
He said he supported Nader in 2000 but the spoiler effect was real and that he would be voting for the Democratic nominee. I was rather stunned because it seems obvious that Obama will not challenge the corporatocracy that Korten railed against for an hour. He simply said that Obama's invitation to all work together to solve problems was better than Hillary saying vote for me and I'll solve your problems. To be frank, his answer to my question ever so slightly lowered my opinion of him. I wanted to follow up by asking him who was giving Obama $50M in one month, but didn't have the opportunity. Another turn off was him urging us to buy his book, The Great Turning and subscribe to Yes! Magazine.
Don't get me wrong, I agree with everything Korten said (except his political views), but I didn't feel compelled to fork over $20 for his book.

I should also add that hearing him speak made me more convinced that Corvallis Open Forum is a step in the right direction. I wanted to invite everyone in the room, but again, the opportunity did not present itself.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Transitioning to DTV

Does anyone get broadcast DTV right now? Is it a good signal?

Should I get the coupon from the government for a DTV converter for our old set, or get a new flat screen DTV? I don't like the idea of our old TV getting trashed but it is old and tiny (14in) but I also want to take the government money because it was their stupid idea to begin with and they never asked me if they should make the switch mandatory for all broadcast stations. Seems like another abuse of the PUBLIC airwaves, OUR airwaves that are being sold to the highest bidder. Lastly, I heard that if the signal is bad, you don't get squat, no fuzzy picture, no adjusting rabbit ears, just nothing. So if you live far from the transmission source, you're SOL? Hopefully OPB's signal will be strong enough.

Anyone else facing this problem?

Combatants for Peace

I was encouraged today by the interview of two of the leaders of this organization, Combatants for Peace, on Fresh Air today. The organization is a bottom up peace effort for the Israel/Palestine conflict. If former combatants can realize that violence is not working and that non-violent talking is the way to peace, then they must be on to something, on the right track. I want to be on the record as supporting this organization and wish them rapid success. Please check out the interview linked to before and make yourself aware of their efforts.