Monday, July 20, 2015

SAR #15201

A nation can only withstand so much economic pain before the political fallout becomes ugly. And that fallout can extend beyond the border of the problem nation.” Greg Mankiw

Puzzlement: We know that our entire culture, our economy, our industry and our political system are leading us to a disaster, yet the fruits of our culture, economy etc. make it impossible for us to avoid the inevitable. Or to even talk about it. Don't blame it on them, Pogo.

Echoes: For all the punditry trying to explain the Donald Trump phenomena, few seem to understand that Trump taps into the long cultivated slice of the Republican right that is permanently estranged, frustrated, mad-as-hell and, sadly, full of hate and anger. Political correctness keeps the media from acknowledging what The Donald knows is true – there is a large part of the electorate who want to hate and want to share their hatred. The elite want to pretend that he is a sideshow, a ridiculous egomaniac and a bully. So was Hitler, so was Mussolini.

The Map & The Territory: The EU was supposed to be the pat to a continent-wide blossoming of social, political and economic cohesion and peace. The smaller steps were reasonable, but the coming of the eurozone was the beginning of the end. Instead of sustainable prosperity and its bedmate peace, what we see now is the rise of unrest, unemployment, poverty and disappointment that is feeding a revival of racist, xenophobic, reactionary politics. Golden Dawn, France's National Front, the UKIP are the future. As are the wars that will come with them. 
Without Comprehension: China's burgeoning growth is leading to the rise of a new city, a megalopolis called Jing-Jin-Ji. Centered on Beijing it will cover as much area as the state of Kansas and is expected to be the home of 130 million people. Me, I'm glad I've got that cabin in Maine. 
The Competition: If you are still wondering what happened to all the good jobs in the US and have not quite understood what globalization and all that free trade horseshit is about, let me point out that the folks who actually make your clothing live in Myanmar (which you cannot even find on a map) and work for companies that refuse to pay their workers 40 cents an hour. 
Porn O'Graph: How deep is the ocean?


Anonymous said...

How deep... The very first multidisciplinary study of climate change, anywhere in the world, took place in Hong Kong earlier this year. Everyone is looking a very, very thin slices of their expertise. We've tried to get students brain-storming about the additive effect of so many issues. You've hit two we've looked at in considerable detail. A massive earthquake in an area with large methane reserves. One of the climate paleontologist in attendance, after seeing one model, now thinks it has happened before. There is no buffer left in the climate system, so this is one event which could produce 3-4 degrees of warming in weeks, hence my earlier comment that many of us felt violently ill. It's not hard to see most people don't have the ability to face the massive change in their entire model of life.

You intimated in an reply to a comment I made last year that you hoped to live long enough to see climate change come home to roost for Americans. You may just get to see that change and the massive die off that will come with it faster than you think, depending on how the dice roll.

McMike said...

re Trump.

One of Kunstler's uncertainties in his "Long Emergency" thesis was the possibility of a "cornpone Hitler" rising up and taking us all for a nasty ride.

He had more of a Glen Beck or Sarah Palin in mind. So, whodathunk it could be Trump. Let's hope he is more clown and carnival barker than sociopath.

But yes, despite the occasional act of domestic terrorism coming from natural-born citizens who are heavily armed, full of angry entitlement, have their grievances stoked intensively 24/7, and who speak full time in terms of redemptive violence and existential threats to their way of life and womenfolk, the media generally ignores the potential dark side of that lurking beast.

I keep telling myself that the only thing protecting us from that outcome is the hope that it is viewed as bad for business when fully untethered. Which may or may not be true. However, when there is effectively only one company controlling everything, that calculus starts to change.

In any case, I fully expect TBTB to leave a horse's head in Trump's bed any time now. So watch for him to get the message and scurry back to his TV studio under some lame pretense or another.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Anony 9.44 Could you point me to a site with some of the papers/reporting at the Hong Kong conference , esp. those on ocean temp & rise, and methane release. Thanks, ckm.

Anonymous said...

I put two links into your earlier blog post, which you commented on. The full conference which ended the group research sections has not been published yet, but I'll post a link here when they are.

The owners of the common press would not have any interest in the proceedings being taken seriously. Most of us in science are not that interested in being the next martyrs to the Kock suckers, and keep our names out of the press, particularly when it will do no good anyway. Even my own family has members who are "turtles-turtles-turtles all the way!".

In an emergency, people will jump on train track to save their own child, but given enough time to think about it, many, more than enough to doom us in this case, have blissfully sold a futures contract to the knackers on that same child, delivered on it's majority. This in return for big screen tv, a year of cable, and Sundays getting biases confirmed at the Megachurch.

McMike said...

re Globalization.

And yet, while the labor cost to make clothes went down 97%, the retail price to consumers did not. Where do you suppose the difference went?

Alas. Amongst the various chickens looking for a home roost to return to, the gutting of the middle and lower-middle class is high on the list.

PS: what's with all the food verification? Not fair, making me so hungry for burgers and steak this time of the day.