Updates on the Club of Rome and Other Warnings

I first encountered the Club of Rome modeling in the early 70s and was impressed. Here is some updated information. I still think that it is relevant and important to work towards alternatives to the surveillance capitalism that drives what we do to each other and our home.

https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/in-1973-an-mit-computer-predicted-the-end-of-civilization-so-far-its-on-target

https://www.clubofrome.org/project/reclaimeconomics/

https://www.clubofrome.org/2017/09/20/challenging-an-unsustainable-economic-system-first-club-of-rome-summer-academy-took-place-in-florence/

Two other articles, not especially positive.

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/ancient-european-stone-inscriptions-revealed-low-river-levels-carry-grave-warnings

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/nsfc-awo082318.php

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Skepticism and M. King Hubbert’s Theories

Today I read a reference to some thoughts by Carl Sagan about “baloney detection.” He did a good job of promoting skepticism. If you have an interest, you could read his book, The Demon Haunted World, or take five minutes and see the video (https://youtu.be/mn7jVTGjb-I ) in the Open Culture article whose URL follows.

http://www.openculture.com/2018/03/carl-sagans-baloney-detection-kit.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

AND, this prompted me to look back at some writing done by a man named M. King Hubbert something like half a century ago regarding fossil fuel production and consumption. I encountered his ideas in the 1970s when I was a graduate student in TX. I was happy to find that people have updated data to make the analysis relevant to today’s world in which global warming and carbon consumption have become so important. Here is the article with updated information and an analysis that I think policy makers should be aware of, if they are willing to think about the lives of the next couple of generations.

https://ourworldindata.org/how-long-before-we-run-out-of-fossil-fuels

It is about analysis, skepticism, and thoughtfulness about the future.

The FCC Ruling is NOT about Freedom

. . . except of course when it comes to large corporate entities that control access to the Internet. The recent FCC ruling is not about allowing consumers equal access to all content. It is about effective monopolies and influence by large corporate lobbying. It is in fact anti-competitive.

You can find information that confuses the issue, which is really about treating ISPs as common carriers.  The best description that I have found about the issues comes from a webcast by Leo Laporte – his techguy podcast #1449.  Here’s a link if you have an interest.

http://techguylabs.com/episodes/1449

George Carlin would have fun with Trumpistan

I hear that 45’s administration has told the CDC that some words are not to be used. See the following article.

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/cdc-bannedwords/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=article_left_1.1

This reminds me of Carlin’s bit on the seven dirty words. George would have a ball with what is happening now.

National Parks – not as accessible in 2018

I know that this is not Earth-shattering, but making the national parks less accessible to people runs contrary to their original purpose. This surely looks like meanness. It is another example of how 45 and his buddies are trying to change the country in negative ways.

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/only-4-fee-free-days-national-parks-2018

Trumpistan

Last night I listened to a podcast in which a few guys from Great Britain were discussing assorted Linux topics. One of their number had just been to the USA.  He referred to it as Trumpistan. I can’t blame him.

I look forward to the day when 45 leaves office. May that day come sooner rather than later. The whole world will be better off, and we in the USA can start correcting the damage being done.

And now, Al . . .

Today Al Franken indicated that he would be resigning from the US senate. He admitted no guilt, and it was clear that he had hoped to defend himself before his peers.

It looks as though he has been abandoned by his party in favor of a strategy of seeming “clean” in advance of the 2018 elections.  In other words, when it came time for due process, the party elected to sacrifice an individual and truth in favor of some questionable advantage in 2018.

I think that this speaks poorly of the party and its ability to pursue balance and justice.

Washington truly is an evil place. The US may in fact be on the long descent into oblivion unless balanced, apolitical people can take control to pursue a better form of democracy than we have now.

Mania for Perfection . . .

I am disturbed by the recent dismissal of G. Keillor from MPR.

If you have lived very long and have been around other people, you probably have been touched or have touched in ways that made you uncomfortable. However, there is a big difference between random mistakes and intentional touching or behavior meant to intimidate or harm. It is the intent that is important. And it is hard to know intent, except through action or speech. What I have seen and heard does not convince me of evil intent.

I hate to see a person’s life destroyed based on a mania for perfection. I would argue that we have much more important issues before us – things like systemic discrimination and abuse (in general of non-white/male people), climate change, etc.

Climate Change is in the News Again

You can read lots recently about climate change, especially about the fact that 45 is putting the USA in the position of being the lone nation to oppose the Paris Accord. You can also read about new warnings from the academic community in places like those that follow.

http://www.wral.com/oregon-state-professor-writes-updated-warning-to-humanity-/17111456/

http://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/

Unfortunately, it seems to me that a lot of energy is being spent to politicize what should not be political issues.  There is clearly an environmental problem, and we need to address it. If you want, you can follow/understand  one person’s view of how we might address the problem apolitically by following Frederic Rich. Here’s a reference to a related book (“Getting to Green”) that you can find at your library.

https://hclib.bibliocommons.com/item/show/5393807109_getting_to_green?active_tab=bib_info

I think that this is maybe the most important issue of our time. We need to ignore 45 and his minions and move on to solution!