"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How Rule by Corporate Oligarchs Assures Humanity's Quick Demise

With the political road ahead seemingly cleared of obstructions to the purchase of the American government by the Kochs and the rest of the parasitic dinosaurs that make up the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one thing is clear:  their laser focus goal toward continuing unrestrained greed and social control will not be challenged by anything as prosaic as a global emergency that signals the foreseeable end of human civilization.

These guys won't be deterred from their quarterly mentality and over-filled belly rubbing, even if the planet must be sacrificed in the process.  That is why they must be retired quickly.  (The Spirit of Cairo is an unconscious manifestation of this pressing fact.)

We have no more than 20 years to embark on an entirely different national and international path to begin to reverse the damage that an ultra-greedy handful of conscience-less capitalists have created for the world's billions of good people.  We can no longer afford to be run by Bill Gates, the Kochs, the Broads, the Waltons and the other worshippers of either total economic control or death.  We will not accept their acceptance of death as the only alternative to corporate totalitarianism.  It is time to join the recovery and renewal or go the way of the other dinosaurs:

Reported by Ezra Klein at WaPo:
There are disasters we can’t see coming, and then there are disasters we refuse to see coming. That an earthquake (and tsunami) of biblical proportions would crack open nuclear power plants along the coast of Japan is the sort of catastrophe that’s very difficult to predict. On the other hand, the consequences of a large increase in the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are not hard to predict. The precise effects of climate change may be uncertain -- though that does not make them any less dire -- but we know, in a rough way, what will happen: the earth will warm. In fact, it’s already warming. Has been for decades. You can see it clear as day on any graph of global temperatures. You can see it in the record books, too: Of the 10 hottest years on record, nine were in the Aughts, and the last was in 1998.

This is a disaster, however, that we refuse to see coming. On Monday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up Republican-backed legislation to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. Democrats proposed a series of amendments that simply admitted the reality of global warming -- they didn’t require regulation or a carbon tax. Just an admission of the state of the science. Rep. Diana DeGette’s amendment was particularly careful in its language: “’The scientific evidence is compelling’ that elevated concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from anthropogenic emissions ‘are the root cause of recently observed climate change,’” it read. Not one of the 31 Republicans on the committee voted for it, or any of the amendments. Not one. Confronted by one of the most significant threats our planet faces, the 31 House Republicans charged with coordinating America’s response refused to even admit the underlying facts. “I would say it’s not settled,” said Rep. Joe Barton.

So much of what goes wrong on the planet seems unjust. Humans are not to blame for the impersonal whims of tectonic plates, but they nevertheless suffer greatly for them. Global warming, however, is oddly fair: it is a consequence of actions we know that we’re taking, we have been warned of it long in advance and, if are willing to cooperate among nations and marshal our resources and make some hard decisions, we have the tools at our disposal to mount a credible response. But it looks like we will refuse. Which actually is unfair, as those who will pay for our inaction will not be those who made the decision not to act. They’ll be our descendants, and disproportionately the residents of poorer nations that never emitted many greenhouse gases to begin with. For them, the question will be long-since settled. But it will also be much too late.

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