Thursday, October 31, 2019


The Nation   
The Problem With Dressing Up 
as a Witch for Halloween

By Alice Markham-Canto
"my 11-times-great-grandmother was hanged for witchcraft in the Salem witch trials of 1692, and I’ve been studying witch hunts for years. I focus mostly on Salem, but I’ve also studied the great witch hunts of Europe and I track witch hunts happening today. 
Modern witch hunts are rampant: In the last 30 years, an estimated 30,000 people have been killed in witch hunts on every continent except Antarctica."

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

                                           CHILE COPS OUT

After 20 deaths in riots sparked by the high price of energy and low-carbon public transport, Chile has followed Brazil in un-welcoming the UN Climate Change Conference.

Carbon offset & alternative transport entrepreneurs inspired by Greta Thunberg's first class trans-Atlantic passage  must now rerout tens of thousands of 25th Congress of Parties delegates from Santiago to the  event's new venue in Madrid.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019



No Bowhead Sightings Yet For Alaskan Whalers. Some Blame Climate Change

The bowhead whale hunt is an essential cultural and subsistence tradition for the Inupiat of Alaska's North Slope. It dates back at least 1,500 years, and annual harvests can supply families with hundreds of pounds of meat. 
"It is the way of our life, and it's why we are who we are," said Deano Olemaun, a top official at the North Slope Borough.
Each fall, captains from Alaska's northernmost community, Utqiaġvik, drive their powerboats 10 to 20 miles offshore to hunt whales. Usually by this point in the season, successful crews have towed dead bowheads back to town, divided up the meat and shared it with friends and family, who eat it through the winter until the whales return on their spring migration. But this year, a month into the fall hunt in Utqiaġvik, the bowheads still haven't shown up....
"This is a very important food source to us, and we have nothing to date," said Eugene Brower, a retired whaling captain with a son who's been hunting bowheads "constantly," without success.

"We're being heavily impacted up this way," Brower said. "This is the first time we ever encountered a season with no whales being sighted."...
One thing that's clear to Brower, the retired whaler, is that unless things turn around, there won't be a lot of whale meat stored away in Utqiaġvik this winter.
"Whatever muktuk you've got, whale meat, that's going to be scarce," he said. "It's going to be a commodity that's going to be hard to get."

                            BLEAK, BLEAKER, BLEAKEST



By Jonathan Safran Foer

Hi. I am a popular novelist, and these are my thoughts about global warming. 
I grew up in a major East Coast city... Eventually I became very well ​educated—​educated enough, I’m afraid to say, that I have come to understand the science of climate change. Here are a handful of cherry-picked findings from academic papers I have read on the matter, translated for the layperson with all the boilerplate prose and expert precision of an MFA graduate. 

And let me tell you: Things are bleak. Bleaker than any of us could have imagined. But precisely the sort of bleak that lends itself to the grand literary soul-searching readers have come to love me for. Come along with me on my journey. 
You see, as someone who has spent his career beautifully digesting the finer points of meaning and existence, the climate crisis—have I mentioned how horrible it is?—is a perfect foil. My fraught relationships with my father, my religious upbringing, and/or my ex-wife were the end of the world, metaphorically speaking, for me. But here it actually is! ...

 If I were capable of reckoning with macro forces like capitalism and racism, this might be an opportunity to reflect on the fact that global warming is perhaps not the product of a universally shared moral failing but of a political economy that has allowed a very small group of people to hoard incredible amounts of wealth and power, enabling them to wreck the world. But I’m mostly interested in how I fit in. I see no reason my self-​loathing cannot extend outward to the rest of the globe. If there is a way out of this epic mess, it certainly must have something to do with me. 
Over the last few years we have seen a veritable cottage industry of essays by novelists turned climate catastrophists:
Jonathan Franzen in The New Yorker writing on birds and how inevitable the coming collapse is,
Michael Chabon in The Paris Review lamenting that his art residency has not changed the world,
Nathaniel Rich in The New York Times Magazine offering us an obituary for climate policy-making.

The climate sad bois abound, bringing us an important truth that they believe they alone have discovered and that alone can deliver the world from catastrophe, or at least confer on them some sort of personal absolution as the planet burns. Stop hoping and start growing kale and strawberries, Franzen tells us. Make art, Chabon suggests. All of this is to say that there are a great many voices that have been missing from the public conversation about the climate crisis, but none of them are Jonathan Safran Foer’s.

Monday, October 28, 2019


Running a kitchen in the middle of a protest camp presents some unusual operational challenges. “We’re cooking most of the hot food offsite at the moment,” says George Coiley, as he leads me past boiling stove-top kettles, catering-sized saucepans and two volunteers preparing a fruit salad of epic proportions. “The police keep taking our stuff...”

This is Coiley’s fourth Extinction Rebellion kitchen...
“This in itself is a political action,” says Coiley, a bright young man who, when not involved in cooking at demonstrations, is working on a PhD on sustainable food and the state... How you feed an activist...

He argues that Extinction Rebellion is right not to “shame” people about what they eat. “We’re trying to help people see that a different world is possible,” he says, “where we can all have nutritious, sustainable food, that is not harmful and can be enjoyable too.” Coiley thinks good cooking can show “we don’t need steaks to be having an amazing time.”

The Rebel Kitchen is housed in four gazebos customised with various pieces of tarpaulin and lots of gaffa tape... At the service end of the tent, lentil and vegetable curry is doled out of a 20-litre thermos vat, along with lots of bread and catering-sized saucepans of salad...

As we step out of the kitchen into Trafalgar Square, the scene is one of celebration. Colourful clothes, flags and flyers light up the space between grey pavements and grey skies. A mixture of righteous anger and communitarian warmth emanates from the crowd... There is a bookshop, an art tent where you can stencil the Extinction Rebellion logo onto your clothes, a drum circle, a hula circle, groups of people singing and two platforms where amplified voices speak in sombre and stirring tones to the crowds about what is at stake. There is also, naturally, a ten-foot-high pink octopus. 

Friday, October 25, 2019


The Entomologist's Monthly Magazine  reports that while the latest addition to the insect world, the wingless, eyeless Nelloptodes gretae  beetle  is a meter and a half shorter than its Swedish namesake, it does have two long pigtail-like antennae.

Nelloptodes gretae 
Entomologist Michael Darby  of London;s Natural History Museum named the nondescript Kenyan creature, first found by William Block, who donated the holotype to the Museum in 1978, because he was "immensely impressed" by the environmental evangeilism of Miss Greta Thunberg.
N. gretae  joins a pantheon of invertibrate celebrity including the golden-haired Beyonce fly, Scaptia beyonceae, John Cleese's namesake lemur, Avahi cleesei,  the Hollywood heart-throb spider Spintharus leonardodicaprioi, Bob Marley's parasitic namesake gnat,  Gnathia marleyithe fish genus Dawkinsia named after Richard Dawins, a plethora of species extinct & alive celebrating Sir David Attenborough,  the blind cave beetle Anophthalmus hitleri  aptly named by a German entomologist in 1933, and the  Neopalpa donaldtrumpi moth  named in 2017 for its blonde head fuzz and "comparatively small" genitals. 
Last year, the amphibian Dermophis donaldtrumpi , which instinctively buries its head in the sand, was named in  the President's  honor after his comments on climate change.

Thursday, October 24, 2019


The late Martin Weitzman had his doubts about Lord Stern's famous model of  the cost of climate change, because it relied on :
 a formal aggregative model that relies for its conclusions primarily upon imposing a very low discount rate. Concerning this discount-rate aspect, I am skeptical of the Review’s formal analysis, but this essay points out that we are actually a lot less sure about what interest rate should be used for discounting climate change than is commonly acknowledged. So, fair enough: low, but there is indeed doubt about what should be used. Later on, after some analysis, there's I ultimately find such an extreme stance on the primacy of  δ ≈ 0, η ≈ 1 unconvincing when super-strong policy advice is so dependent upon nonconventional assumptions that go so strongly against mainstream economics.
A complaint reinforced by the failure of  Naomi Oreskes and Lord Stern's  latest polemic in the NYTimes  to adress Wietzman's conclusion :

An IAM is essentially a model of economic growth with a controllable externality of endogenous greenhouse warming. 
The Review uses an IAM called PAGE, on which some numbers have been crunched and some conclusions have been based, but the exact connection between PAGE and  Stern’s conclusions is elusive, frustrating, and ultimately unsatisfactory for a professional economist who honestly wants to understand where the strong policy recommendations are coming from. 
The analytical core of the Review is chapter 6 (“Economic Modelling of Climate-Change Impacts”), which is loosely tied to PAGE. However, the rest of the book contains lots of stories and examples suggesting that difficult-to-quantify uncertainty  about really bad climate extremes may actually be an important informal part of Stern’s overall case. Economists are justifiably suspicious when someone refuses to aggregate various probability-weighted scenarios into an overall cost–benefit assessment, which at least can serve as a conversation starter. (How else are we to evaluate overall policy advice, such as what Stern recommends to us, except in the context of some overall model where assumptions and specifications are spelled out clearly?) 
As economic analysis, the Stern Review dwells in a nonscientific state of limbo where it uses an IAM but simultaneously refuses to commit to it or to any other consistent overarching framework within which its radical recommendations might be deconstructed and judged by others. 
So, as  faithful spear carriers in the grand old  Sixth Extinction Opry,  Gore telethon producer Oreskes, and the Greatest living Vegan Economist  continue to  compond worst case econometric assumptions with worst case sociology.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Kevin Barrett Podcasts
Dane Wiggington on Geoengineered Climate Catastrophe


I recently emailed Dane Wiggington of Geoengineering Watch to ask his take on weird weather patterns etc. Dane wrote back:

 “Hello, Kevin, hope you are well in spite of it all. Biosphere collapse continues to unfold and accelerate, the climate engineering assault is further fueling the process (and contaminating every breath we take).”

Dane claims the climate change alarmists are actually downplaying the real scale of the climate catastrophe, especially the part driven by geoengineering. He says the planet is in meltdown mode and recommends the film  Chasing Ice. Dane also says the destruction of the ozone layer continues at a life-threatening pace. 

Dane has a background in solar energy. He is a former employee of Bechtel Power Corp. and was a licensed contractor in California and Arizona.

His personal residence was feature in a cover article on the world’s largest renewable energy magazine, Home Power. He owns a wildlife preserve next to Lake Shasta in northern California.

Dane put all his focus, efforts and energy researching the climate engineering issue when he began to lose very significant amounts of solar uptake due to the ever-increasing “solar obscuration” caused from jet aircraft spraying in the skies above his mountain-top home. He also noted a significant decline in forest health was occurring and appeared to be accelerating. His extensive testing and research into the geoengineering issue has continued since 2002.

He has investigated all levels of geoengineering from stratospheric aerosol geoengineering (SAG) to solar radiation management (SRM), to ionosphere heater facilities like HAARP. 

Dane has appeared numerous films, and radio interviews in an effort to educate the public on the extremely dire environmental and health dangers we face from the ongoing global climate intervention programs.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

                                 AT  EXTINCTION REBELLION,

MEDIUM 10 January 2019

Extinction Rebellion isn’t about the Climate

Stuart Basden
I’ve been with Extinction Rebellion (XR) from the start... I’m a RisingUp Holding Group member, and a member of the XR Guardianship Team... And I’m here to say that XR isn’t about the climate...

To focus on the climate’s breakdown (the symptom) without focusing attention on these toxic delusions (the causes) is... a racist and sexist form of denialism, that takes away from the necessary focus of the need for all of us to de-colonise our selves...

The insanity* of the mind of the coloniser continues today. It continues in the extraction of fossil fuels, minerals and water from the earth. It continues in deforestation and industrial agriculture. It continues in a callous culture of consumption, which intensifies each Christmas...

* I use the term ‘insanity’ carefully, with the intention of highlighting the need for healing. Indigenous First Nation people helpfully taught me to see the mindset of the coloniser as a sickness. In no way do I intend to marginalise or discredit the experience of people who have been labelled ‘insane’ by a normative system, nor who identify as being ‘insane'...  including the pathologically wasteful cultures of Europe and Turtle Island (aka North America)

Saturday, October 19, 2019


by Douglas Farrow    10 . 17 . 19

The Synod of the Amazon is a sign of the times. So its Instrumentum laboris says... Others are saying that the Synod is an instrument of apostasy. In the grim humor of Dom Giulio Meiattini, “if there is still something Christian in this Instrumentum laboris, that is, a few words and expressions here and there, there is no need to worry: it is undoubtedly biodegradable!”

Biodegradable Christianity—now there is a sign of the times, a sign of our times. For our times are times in which even the faith of the Catholic Church threatens to disappear into the wetlands of our own confused and decaying cultures. Our times are times when eco-theology in the Amazon basin and sexual theologies in the bowels of Europe can, with a “liberationist” flourish, flush the gospel of Jesus Christ down Leonardo Boff’s drain.  

The real problem here is not, as some suggest, the expensive German plumbers who, after all, are doing the flushing for free. The real problem is the Great Apostasy..

The Amazon, we are told in the name of the Church, “is living a moment of grace, a kairos,” because it is “living the culture of encounter.” Encounter with the God and Father of Jesus Christ? No, encounter with itself and its own lands, peoples, and cultures, which are veritable sources of revelation. Encounter also with “the other,” with “love lived in any religion” and in every cultural space. Except that of the colonialists and neo-colonialists, of course, who do not know how to love. (The neo-colonialists, one would think, must surely include the European Marxists and Gramscians running this synod, but apparently not.)

In this moment of grace, of encounter, the oppressive space of “petrified doctrines” is broken open. Old wineskins, to change the metaphor, are burst, that the new wine may flow freely. Dogma gives way to dialogue, christology to pneumatology, the exclusive to the inclusive:

Many peoples of the Amazon are inherently people of dialogue and communication. There is a broad and essential arena of dialogue between the Amazon’s spiritualities, creeds and religions that requires an approach of the heart to the different cultures. Respect for this space does not mean relativizing one’s own convictions, but recognizing other avenues/pathways that seek to decipher the inexhaustible mystery of God.

Friday, October 18, 2019

                                           CRY ME A RIVER


Grieving environmental scientists need support

Timothy A. C. Gordon, Andrew N. Radford, Stephen D. Simpson

Rates of environmental destruction are greater today than at any previous point in human history This loss of valued species, ecosystems, and landscapes triggers strong grief responses in people with an emotional attachment to nature . However, environmental scientists are presented with few opportunities to address this grief professionally.

Environmental scientists tend to respond to degradation of the natural world by ignoring, suppressing, or denying the resulting painful emotions while at work . The risks that this entails are profound. Emotional trauma can substantially compromise self-awareness, imagination, and the ability to think coherently . As Charles Darwin put it, one “who remains passive when overwhelmed with grief loses [the] best chance of recovering elasticity of mind” .

Academic institutes must allow environmental scientists to grieve well and thus emerge stronger from traumatic experiences to discover new insights about our rapidly changing world... Improved psychosocial working environments for scientists might include systematic training of employees, early-intervention debriefing after disturbing events, social support from colleagues and managers, and therapeutic counseling.

The pervasive illusion that scientists must be dispassionate observers is dangerously misguided. Rather, grief and post-traumatic recovery can strengthen resolve and inspire scientific creativity. To understand and find solutions for our increasingly damaged natural ecosystems, environmental scientists must be allowed to cry and be supported as they move forward.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


agnotology: The study of culturally induced ignorance, esp. the publication of inaccurate scientific data.
albedo: A measure of surface reflectivity, calculated by taking the ratio of reflected radiation to incoming radiation: a surface that reflects 100 percent of light has an albedo of 1, while one that absorbs 100 percent of light has an albedo of 0.
Anthropocene: The present geological time interval, in which many conditions and processes on Earth are profoundly altered by humans. Term popularized in 2000 by Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer, who assign the start to James Watt’s refinement of the steam engine in 1784.
assart: The action or process of converting forest or wasteland to arable use by clearing trees, bushes, etc.; an instance of this. Usually regarded as an offense when done without permission.
breaclá: (Irish) A dappled day, i.e., a day of sun and rain.
brumal: Of, belonging to, or characteristic of winter; wintry.
climatard: A person who denies climate change.
climate changer: A verbose person who says nothing, adding to carbon-dioxide levels with no return.
clumst: (English dialect) Palsied, benumbed with cold.
a coiled snake


An atmospheric disturbance in which the wind has a circular or whirling course. Word introduced by Henry Piddington (1848) after Greek κύκλωμα, the coil of a serpent (hence cyclome occurs as an early variant), from Greek κύκλος, circle.
dreich: (Scots) Cold, dreary, unpleasant weather.
Favonius: The west wind. From Latin favēre, to favor (see zephyr).
firn: The snow above a glacier that has been partly consolidated by alternate thawing and freezing. From German firnfirne, lit. “last year’s.”
flinchin: (Scots) Deceitful promise of better weather.
flood: “A superior degree of dampness.”—Ambrose BierceDevil’s Dictionary
foehn: A warm, dry wind developing on the lee side of a mountain range in response to air moving across the range.
gully washer: A heavy downpour, usually of short duration.

geoengineering governance: A gully washer  of  Foucaultian literary theory based on the archaeology of power.
This hockey stick graph from a 1999 study depicts changes in Northern Hemisphere temperature over the past thousand years. The study became, in the words of its primary author, “a principal bête noire for those who denied the importance or even the existence of climate change.”

Source: Michael E. Mann, Raymond S. Bradley, and Malcolm K. Hughes, “Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inference, Uncertainties, and Limitations,” Geophysical Research Letters 26 (March 15, 1999): 759–62.

hyetal: Of or belonging to rain. From Greek ὑετός, rain.
jizzle: (Jamaican) A drizzle or light rain.
naulu: (Hawaiian) An intense shower.
niveous: Snowy, resembling snow; white and lustrous. From Latin niveus, snowy, snow-white.
penitent ice: A spike or pillar of compacted snow or ice.
shitstorm: A frenetic or disastrous event; a commotion, a tumult.
simoom: A hot, dry suffocating sand wind that sweeps across African and Asian deserts during spring and summer. From Arabic semūmsamm, to poison.
soft weather: (Irish) Cloudy with a light mist.
tempest: “The utmost violence of the wind; the names by which the wind is called according to the gradual increase of its force seems to be: a breeze; a gale; a gust; a storm; a tempest.”—Samuel JohnsonDict. of the Eng. Lang. (1755)
Waldsterben: (German) Lit. “forest death.” A dieback of forest; a condition in trees in which peripheral parts are killed by pathogens or conditions such as acid rain (q.v.) or drought.
zephyr: The west wind. From Latin Zephyrus, from ancient Greek Ζέφυροςthe god of the west wind (see Favonius).


Cracking the code: how discursive structures shape climate engineering research governance
Miranda Boettcher a,b
aInstitute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS), Potsdam, Germany; bFreie
Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany


There is increasing interest in developing anticipatory governance of climate engineering (CE) research.

Discourse is the source code with which contested futures are written, shaping how future governance options can be imagined, designed and institutionalized. ‘Cracking the code’ underpinning the CE research governance debate can, therefore, help anticipate and critically reflect upon the ongoing constitution of governance.

I present a sociology-of-knowledge-baseddiscourse analysis (SKAD) of a series of interviews with governance experts from the US, the UK and Germany about a proposed Code of Conduct for climate engineering research. I illustrate how – by shaping what is defined as the object(s) of governance, why governance is considered necessary, and who is assigned the authority to govern – the underlying discursive


Battling Promethean dreams and Trojan horses: revealing the critical discourses of geoengineering.
Energy Research & Social Science, 2, 135144. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2014.04.001

Cairns, R. 2016
Climates of suspicion: chemtrailconspiracy narratives and the international politics of geoengineering.
Geographical Journal, 182 (1), 7084. doi:10.1111/geoj.12116

Diaz-Bone, R., 2006
Zur methodologisierung der Foucaultschen Diskursanalyse.
Historical Social Research/Historische Sozialforschung, 31 (2 (116)), 243274.

Foucault, M., 1969 (2002). The archaeology of knowledge.
London & New York: Routledge.

Keller, R., Hornridge, A.-K., and Schünemann, W.J., 2018
The sociology of knowledge approach to discourse: investigating the politics of knowledge and meaningmaking.
London & New York: Routledge.

Kerchner, B. and Schneider, S., eds., 2006.
Foucault: diskursanalyse der politik
Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.
Nerlich, B. and Jaspal, R. 2012. 
Metaphors we die by?  Geoengineering, metaphors, and the argument from catastrophe.  
Metaphor and Symbol, 27 (2), 131147. doi:10.1080/10926488.2012.665795
Sikka, T. 2012
A critical discourse analysis of geoengineering advocacy.  
Critical Discourse Studies, 9 (2), 163175. doi:10.1080/17405904.2012.656377
Surprise, K., 2019.
Stratospheric imperialism: liberalism, (eco)modernization, and ideologies of solar geoengineering research. 

Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 2514848619844771.
Torfing, J., 1999
New theories of discourse: Laclan, Mouffe and Zizek.  
Oxford: Blackwell.

Monday, October 7, 2019




Sunday, October 6, 2019


The Next ‘Climate Change: The Facts’ book —
Towards a new theory of climate