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1
Geopolitics / Re: Money
« Last post by AGelbert on July 25, 2017, 10:40:58 pm »
We Must Put CEOs In Prison To Save Democracy Part One

Almost right.



RE

NICE graphic! 

Mine looks puny compared to yours.

I'm going to add yours to my collection.     
2
Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« Last post by AGelbert on July 25, 2017, 10:30:22 pm »
The Right Wing Plot to Repeal the 20th Century…

July 24, 2017

On tonight’s Big Picture, Thom discusses the Democrats’ unveiling of “A Better Deal” and what it means for the party’s future with Richard Eskow of Campaign for America’s Future. Then, Thom talks to Horace Cooper of the National Center for Public Policy Research and Kymone Freeman of We Act Radio about ALEC’s plan to change how Senators are elected, and the Senate’s upcoming vote on a healthcare bill.
3
Geopolitics / Re: Money
« Last post by AGelbert on July 25, 2017, 08:58:46 pm »
We Must Put CEOs In Prison To Save Democracy Part One


Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Jul 25, 2017

Thom talks to Jesse Eisinger, author of The Chickenshit Club, on how justice fails to prosecute executives in this riveting two part interview.



We Must Put CEOs In Prison To Save Democracy Part Two


Thom is joined by author of The Chickenshit Club, Jesse Eisinger who says that we must put CEOs' in prison to save democracy, in part two of today's interview.
 
4
Renewables / Re: Electric Vehicles
« Last post by AGelbert on July 25, 2017, 06:06:18 pm »
Quote
How did Tesla win against the oil lobby?   

Matt Wasserman, We don't know what the internet is for, but it's caught on faster than any technology since fire.

Juyl 13, 2017

They haven’t won anything yet. Total production of all Teslas, ever, is less than the number of F-150 pickups Ford makes every few months. Tesla is the first new car company to get this far since Saturn, and the first truly new car company to do it since Hyundai, and they should be congratulated for that. But there is still a long way to go before they become more than a relatively low volume niche player.

A word about direct sales - Everyone who says the laws prohibiting direct sales are antiquated is right, but they are right for the wrong reasons. Those laws are antiquated, and no longer needed, because no volume car manufacturer would dream of selling direct. That way lies bankruptcy. It works when 90%+ of your cars are sold before you build them. It stops working when most of the cars you build come with significant inventory carrying costs.

And it presents all kinds of problems in terms of service and warranty repairs. Most Tesla owners are looking at 3 days, minimum, for twice yearly scheduled maintenance and even longer than that for warranty repairs. Is that going to work when Tesla has to scale to a million cars a year? Can they even maintain that already pretty terrible performance when they have half a million or a million cars on the road? Can the company afford the parts inventory required to improve warranty repair timeframes? They can build more service centers, and they will, but that increases capital expenditures for a company already investing a lot in Superchargers and plant upgrades. The cost of parts inventory increases as well. And in the long term it likely comes with no benefit to the consumer - keep prices low and you’ve invested a ton of money into something that doesn’t generate a return (that’s also known as a loss), charge fair prices and you may as well have a dealer network.

Tesla may be the first car company to figure out how to get direct sales to scale. But if they do they will be the first, let’s not forget that. And let’s also not forget that the company has to turn a profit at some point.

Will Tesla beat the oil lobby? Probably not. The Chevy Bolt is projected to outsell the Model S this year even if sales for the second half only match the first half and it hasn’t even gone national yet. Ford is going to jump into the pool sometime soon, and Volkswagen is moving from diesel to electric (at least in the US). All new cars will be electric at some point, probably in the next 20 - 25 years, but it won’t be because Tesla has become a dominant player.

Agelbert REPLY: The argument you present is flawed. To begin with, an EV is not a cash cow for maintenance costs, as all internal combustion engine powered cars are. THAT is the reason the dealer network is profitable. They MAKE THEIR MONEY on maintenence, NOT on selling cars.

Tesla is selling electric power plants on wheels, not the typical gas guzzler car.

EVs have very few moving parts, so the maintenace that would require a dealer is mostly absent. Tire maintenance does not require a dealer, which is the MAIN issue with an EV.

The battery pack eventual exchange will require Tesla to do it, but that is a once in a decade (or more) operation. You do not need a dealer network for that.

All that said, Tesla has a huge network of charging stations. I expect that people licensed to service Tesla cars (and other EVs) will set up shop near these charging stations, or Tesla may modify some of their charging stations to provide some maintenance.

The issue is not “beating big oil”. Big oil is a dead man walking, as anybody that knows anything about catastrophic climate change knows.

The issue is how long before Tesla can market an EV for $15,000 or less. Until they can do that, they cannot outsell the gas guzzlers.

Big Oil is the only reason, by the way, that certain Chinese EVs that DO sell for less than the equvalent of $15,000 (in China), are not marketed in the USA.

Big Oil is the reason that the $7,500 tax credit on EVs cannot be spread over several years, making it impossible for over 80% of the buying public to fully benefit from the tax credit (most people don’t pay anywhere near $7,500 in income tax in one year) AND FORCING those people to lease instead. Leasing ALSO jacks up the price on those least able to pay it.

All those hurdles to owning an EV were, and are, deliberatly imposed to keep the EVs in niche status, although Big Oil would prefer to destory EV sales altogether.

And the dealer network you are so sold on is a nest of crooks and liars that people are VERY tired of.

Big oil and the gas guzzler manufacturer and dealer network still hold sway in this country, but that will change, even if people like you think they have a “good” business model. They don’t.

Tesla does have a good business model. When serious competitors like Toyota finally figure that out, they will begin to emulate Tesla (for pure EVs) and probably produce better EVs at a lower price too! Tesla is a leader but soon they will have to lower their prices to remain competitive.

https://www.quora.com/How-did-Tesla-win-against-the-oil-lobby
5
Climate Change / Re: Future Earth
« Last post by AGelbert on July 25, 2017, 04:37:42 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: Originally published in September of 2015 in three parts. I'm reposting it in full, with a few graphics changes, for you to pass on to friends and family. It's message continues to be of the utmost importance to intelligent, caring humans.


The following multi-part article post makes a case for the premise that ignoring, deriding or mocking the high probability of the existential threat we face from anthropogenic climate change is irresponsible. Anyone who is alive after around 2040 will pay for their present irresponsible, egocentric, empathy deficit disordered behavior.

Unfortunately, the innocent will suffer equally along with the criminally negligent reprobates who support incremental measures to deal with this existential threat. Have a nice day.



The essay, "What it Means to be Responsible - Reflections on Our Responsibility for the Future" by Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz references the work of Fitzpatrick, Jonas, Aristotle and others. I have summarized the essay to save the readers time.
Theoretical & Applied Ethics Vol. 1, Issue 42 2, Spring 2011

What it Means to be Responsible
Reflections on Our Responsibility for the Future
Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz

The concept of responsibility is a central one in ethics but it seems to require rethinking when we consider the fact that oftentimes the consequences of actions in contemporary, technological society extend far into the future. To whom or what are we responsible, and how far into the future do our obligations extend?

In this essay, I consider the question of our possible responsibility for the future, specifically the future state of our planet, and the well-being of future people and other beings. I argue that we do have responsibilities to future people and an obligation to try to preserve and protect the planet and its living beings for the future, and I present a new concept of responsibility, one that provides a way of understanding our actions in light of concern for the future.



The central problem with an argument that considers the effects of present actions on the future world lies in the fact that those acting today will not exist in the world they are affecting with their actions.

Why should people, now living, care about the consequences of their actions on a future world whose inhabitants are currently non-existent? Even if held accountable by those future generations, no price for wrongful actions can be extracted from the dead. We lack the usual motivations for acting ethically in situations that might impact future generations, and though we may imagine angry voices condemning us for our lack of forethought and care some several generations into the future, we will never hear those words of contempt.

Despite this, Attfield (1998) argues that "intergenerational justice remains a serious possibility, as actual future generations which come into being, and find that they have been deprived by earlier generations of opportunities for satisfying some of their most basic needs, could reasonably criticize their ancestors for failing to facilitate the satisfaction of foreseeable vital interests" (p.211).


Ethical arguments struggle, however, when lack of proximity is a factor, for it is difficult to take into consideration the impact of our actions on those spatially distant from us.


This problem arises whenever we are asked to take into consideration or contribute to the welfare of those who live in distant places, those who do not share our community, and those whose suffering we do not directly experience.

Without the presence of the other face-to-face, without a real relation to the other person, it is difficult to remain aware of and concerned about his or her need.

How much more difficult then, to take into consideration those who do not yet exist, those others we will never know and can only imagine.

The difficulty is further complicated by the fact that often the choices we make today, choices that involve use of finite resources, for instance, or the use of technology that may have deleterious aftereffects, may seem at the time to be valuable for the comfort, health or well-being of the contemporaneous human population. Indeed, most of our ethical deliberation is concerned with present actions.

In what way and how can it be argued that sacrifices or restrictions on some very useful and beneficial activities and technologies must be made in order to benefit future peoples who do not yet exist?



Responsibility in Aristotle

For Aristotle, the capacity human beings have to think about what they will do is what lies at the root of our responsibility for our actions. We are free to act, within certain necessary limits, and we have the capacity to think about our choices, therefore responsibility accompanies actions when, as Aristotle says, the "source is in oneself."

Rational beings with the capacity to choose among actions and bring about ends cannot escape from the notion of responsibility. It is a given, provided one is free from coercion in one's actions. Here responsibility is not responsiveness to the Other, not responding to another's need or want, as in Levinas. Rather, it is that since we are free to make choices and commit acts, we must accept responsibility for the consequences of those choices.

For Aristotle, to act responsibly is to act beautifully, because when a person does so he or she engages the greatest capacity available to human beings; that is "thinking things through," dianoia . What differentiates ethical choice from willing, desiring, and wishing, for Aristotle, is that it involves deliberation (NE 1112a 15).

To think things through is to look ahead and estimate consequences using imagination and forethought and to make judgments about possible actions based on experience and memory; this is the kind of reasoning that responsibility requires.

Aristotle says, "We deliberate about things that are up to us and are matters of action" (NE 1112a32). Choice is not something that is shared by irrational beings, it is the mark of a being with self-control (NE 1111b15).


Thus choice is firmly in the realm of practical, ethical action. With his emphasis on dianoia, Aristotle offers one way to think about responsibility to the future; it is the lack of "thinking things through," in preference for shortsightedness regarding means and ends, that results in acts of harm, both to the environment and to future people.

If we fail to think things through to the consequences of our actions we are not acting responsibly.

And ignorance is no justification for poor choices, for Aristotle points out that we can be ignorant and still responsible. If we deliberately become irrational, as when we become drunk, or when we ought to know something and yet fail to, we are still held responsible, "on the grounds that it is up to people themselves not to be ignorant, since they are in control of how much care they take" (NE 1114a).

Aristotle is rigorous in his insistence that human beings, because they are rational and have the capacity to "think things through," are responsible for their actions.


But perhaps, Aristotle says, "one is not the sort of person who takes any care" (NE 1114a5). Perhaps here we have the crux of it; that there are people who don't care, who are careless.

We must act on Global Warming: Climate Change has already made the world three times more dangerous.

Aristotle says such people, despite their lack of care, are still responsible because it was always in the beginning up to them to use their intelligence to make good choices and the fact that they don't care is the result of a long line of deliberations that denigrated the value of their own beautiful actions, the concerns of others, and the consequences of their actions on themselves and others.

The Problem of Responsibility Today

To think things through would be to take into account in deliberating about our choices the realities that face us, the sure consequences of some of our actions, those that we have experience and knowledge enough to foresee.  If the consequences of our actions today extend far into the future, this would require that we take that far future into consideration in our actions.

It is just because of this farther extension of consequences into the future that Jonas argues that human action today differs radically from human action in Aristotle's time. As he says, "modern technology has introduced actions of such novel scale, objects, and consequences that the framework of former ethics can no longer contain them" (Jonas, 1984, p. 6). Powerful technologies in use today have effects that extend far into the future, and this includes harms that arise directly from their manufacture and use, such as resource depletion and pollution from hazardous waste, as well as harms that occur because of the scope their reach, as in climate change. The negative effects are not limited to the earth and its ecosystems but include effects on communities of people whose livelihoods are harmed and whose basic goods, such as water and air, are polluted and rendered unusable.

These consequences affect living beings over their lifetimes, threaten the health of the planet, and are passed down to future generations as the integrity of the global ecosystem is damaged over time.

Particularly, Jonas has in mind the repercussions of genetic engineering, nuclear technologies, and other technologies that have the capacity to impact the future in highly significant ways: "more specifically, it will be my contention that with certain developments of our powers the nature of human action has changed, and since ethics is concerned with action, it should follow that the changed nature of human action calls for a change in ethics as well, in the more radical sense that the qualitatively novel nature of certain of our actions has opened up a whole new dimension of ethical relevance for which there is no precedent in the standards and canons of traditional ethics" (1984, p. 1).

For example, the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf had consequences that extend far into the future, affecting marine and coastal ecosystems, the livelihood of human beings dependent on a healthy environment for sustenance, and marine life far from the origin of the spill.

Ecosystems are by nature interconnected and interdependent, and the reach of the spill was extensive. Its impact is not limited in space or time. As well, we might ask who exactly is responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf? Is it the technicians and engineers, the government regulations that allow drilling to be done in extreme conditions, the companies making a profit, or the consumers whose desire for cheap fossil fuel drives the market?

This kind of diffusion of responsibility, a diffuse collective responsibility that Stephen Gardiner refers to as a "fragmentation of agency," means that it is difficult to assign responsibility.

As Gardiner points out, "climate change is caused not by a single agent but by a vast number of individuals and institutions not unified by a comprehensive structure of agency. This is important because it poses a challenge to humanity's ability to respond" (2010, p. 88).

How much is up to us then, to use Aristotle's term, in today's technological, global world? The notion of collective responsibility is pertinent because in a democratic society responsibility for collective actions like oil drilling would seem to rest with all citizens.

How we are to understand democratic responsibility, diffused among many, is a significant problem given the altered nature of human action and the extended reach of the consequences of our actions. And because the consequences will fall primarily on future generations, there is a disincentive to alter our behavior, particularly if that might make current lives more difficult.




While a new ethical understanding
that takes into consideration the extended consequences of our actions in a technological society seems necessary, another question arises: where do our obligations end if we begin to think of extending them to future beings and the future existence of a livable planet?


How might such seemingly open-ended obligations be argued for? And if, to be responsible, as Aristotle claims, is to "think things through," are there limits to our capacity to be responsible?


Rethinking Responsibility

Here I think it is a good moment to turn to Jonas, who argues in The Imperative of Responsibility that, difficult as it may seem, we do have a responsibility for the future.

He presents an argument for responsibility based on the presence of an objectively existing good, and he claims that fulfillment of the human good results from taking the effects of our actions on the future into account (Jonas, 1984, pp. 80-82).

When we are not able to predict the long-term consequences of our actions he argues that we should proceed with prudence, even to the extent of being guided by fear, in order to ensure that we do not create extensive future harms.


For Jonas, the human being occupies a special place in the lifeworld. Jonas sees the human being as that being which is uniquely capable of responsibility, and the presence of this capacity entails that it must be acted on if a one is to fully become the being one is capable of becoming.

The capacity for responsibility contributes to the "what it is to be" a human being and as such, informs the telos of human being. Jonas says that
For Jonas, the fact that each organism desires and pursues the continuance of its own life points to the fact that life is a value for each being. Life is a good and as such it presents the being with the capacity to take responsibility with an imperative to protect and preserve it, to recognize the value it is for all living beings. The particular human good lies in the capacity of the human being to recognize and respond to the imperative of responsibility.

For Jonas, the imperative of responsibility commands us to respond ethically for the sake of the good that is evidenced in Being, a good that reveals itself in each living beings' pursuit of its own continuance, its desire for life.

As well, responsibility includes protecting the possibility for the continued existence of human freedom and ethical responsiveness.

As Jonas says, "the secret or paradox of morality is that the self forgets itself over the pursuit of the object, so that a higher self (which indeed is also a good in itself) might come into being.

As Jonas tries to show, the good of the human and the good in the world are not separate but the same.


Rights and Responsibility

Another means of arguing for responsibilities to future generations, one that is less metaphysical and more supportive of political action, is to consider the question of the rights of future people. A proponent of this view is Hiskes (2009), who argues that "global warming and climate change have made it abundantly clear that the human impact on the environment is an emergent one, the product of uncounted individual decisions and choices on one hand, and public policies and political omissions on the other, which make every one of us responsible for putting all the rest of us in a new situation of risk, and not only "all of us" but those who come after us as well" (p.146).

Hiskes goes on to explain that "rights are necessarily the legal response to harms, real or potential. The fact that they are new and collective harms that do not fit within the traditional individualist language of either rights or responsibility do not alter the equation of rights as a response to harm.

New harms demand new rights. Because they are emergent harms, the rights that they begat will share their emergent ontological nature" (p. 146).

Future people are continually coming into existence, even as the effects of our actions emerge over long periods of time. There is a synchrony in terms of the emergence of future beings and the emergence of harms.

Both are initiated in the present, in the actions of present day beings, and both concern a time after present day actors are gone.

Future needs are predictable and future beings are coming into being all the time. It is not as if the future exists at some point far into the distance, with no connection to the present. The future is always coming into being, it follows closely on the heels of the present, and while we see changes in each generation, physical human beings will always need clean air to breathe and water to drink, as well as fire to stay warm.


In a similar vein, Fitzpatrick (2007) argues that a conception of justice based upon a notion of "mutual advantage among cooperating parties of roughly equal power and vulnerability" is too restrictive (p. 377).

Justice, insofar as it relates to rights and obligations, is a concept not limited to those sharing space and time. He says that, "attribution of rights to future generations will therefore be legitimate if we can speak of an earlier generation's wronging future generations by spoiling the environment the former was given and has relied upon for its flourishing in the same way that future generations depend upon it for theirs" (Fitzpatrick, 2007, p. 377).


Future generations have a right to inherit a healthy ecosystem, just as we did, and this right entails an obligation on the part of the living to pass down a viable planet. The responsibility to do so is centered in the right future generations have to be protected from harms caused by others, as well as the right to inherit and enjoy what previous generations have inherited and enjoyed.

That people depend upon a healthy environment to flourish, and that a diminished environment is harmful to people is at the basis of Fitzpatrick's argument.
He considers future people to be the moral equals of presently living people, and therefore claims we cannot disregard their rights or turn aside from our responsibility not to cause them harm.

He argues that "if we fail to conserve limited natural resources, or to control dangerous waste, or to curb greenhouse gas emissions, then we will be causing people harm, not merely failing to benefit them" (Fitzpatrick, 2007, p. 377).


The fact that these people do not exist simultaneously with us is not a reason to fail to take them into ethical consideration. Fitzpatrick concludes by arguing that we need to reconsider the meaning of justice rights in order to include responsibilities to future generations in our consideration because there is simply no justification possible for disregarding the effects of our actions on the future.




In the next and final section, I take a brief look at the way in which an ethic of care might provide the needed motivation for the difficult changes that taking future generations into ethical consideration might require.


Motivation and Care

To accept the burden of responsibility for what is up to us, difficult as it is where our technological reach is so extended and agency is so fragmented, is to strive to fulfill the capacity we have to respond to the good and protect and preserve it.


This task, however, is difficult, not only because of the extent of effects in time and space, fragmentation of agency, and the difficulty of predicting harms, but also because in many cases we may benefit now from actions that result in harms to future generations.



What could motivate us to make the necessary sacrifices required by responsibility of this scope and nature?

Jonas turns to the human capacity for care for an answer to this question. He uses the analogy of the parent and child to demonstrate that we are attuned to caring in a fundamental way (Jonas, 1984, pp. 98-108).

 Jonas sees that caring is a mode of being for the human being, one that is demonstrated naturally in the attention and love parents give to their children as they nourish these beings who will exist in the future.

It can be argued that the care of children is ultimately selfish, a way to project particular and individual genetic material forward. Yet, at the same time, most stable societies demonstrate their concern and care about the future through the fostering of all children in the society and through their concern with passing down cultural and physical artifacts to posterity.

Jonas’ example of the statesman as a paradigm of responsibility toward the future reflects the important role of democratic social institutions and governments in responsibility. Established to foster and preserve culture and enable the orderly transfer of power from generation to generation, governments, at their best, are concerned with bettering the conditions of the people and ensuring that opportunities, values, artifacts, inventions, techniques, and other "objects" cultivated and produced by society are preserved and passed down.

This example illustrates the presence, in social institutions, of a fundamental care and concern with the future and future peoples that can serve as an example and guide for a practical ethic of responsibility for the future.

It is only through care of the future that we can extend the reach of our grasp on life through bequeathing a planet that is livable and viable, one that preserves and protects the cycle of life for the beings who will inhabit it.


The natural drive toward transcendence of finitude through leaving behind works, objects or beings of lasting value can be engaged as a motivating force in an ethics that is concerned with extending its reach to future generations.


Perhaps we should reframe the question of an ethics of responsibility for the future, because it can be argued that we are motivated to moderate and measure our actions toward nature and to care about the health and continued viability of the Earth because of our love for it, and for the life it offers.

We are capable of caring not only about those potential beings of the future who will inherit this planet but also about the planet itself as a living being we will pass down.[1] Inspired by the beauty of existence, fleeting though it is, we desire its continuance even though we will not be here to enjoy its pleasures forever, and this too is reflective of our ethical capacity.

Conclusion

In the preceding I've shown what I see is a need for a reconsidered understanding of the meaning and extent of responsibility today, and I've talked about some of the difficulties facing us in attempting to accept responsibility for the future, as well as some of the motivational forces that might help us overcome those difficulties.

To begin to take responsibility for the Earth and future generations we can consider ourselves as caretakers, trustees or stewards. We can pursue sustainable practices that conserve resources and other basic goods for future generations to benefit from and enjoy.

Recognizing the presence of the good in existence, we can protect it by considering the long-term effects of our choices and actions on the future. The damage we've done has been done collectively, as Fitzpatrick points out, and the only way to prevent further damage and protect the future is through collective action.


Taking responsibility will require thinking about ourselves differently, as well. We must develop a new self understanding, one that reflects our increasing knowledge concerning the extent of the effects of our actions on the Earth and the future. The human capacity for responsibility is a reflection of what Jonas calls "the higher self," a good-in-itself that comes into being when we recognize the value of life, reflect on the consequences of our choices, and take responsibility for the harms we cause.

Thus, a significant aspect of the good of the human being is the human capacity to bear responsibility.

The continued existence of the good for all beings rests on humans assuming that responsibility, and the time for us to recognize that is now.

If we fail to take responsibility it will be a failure of justice and of love, towards both future beings and the planet.




Notes

1. "When men act for the sake of a future they will not live to see, it is for the most part out of love for persons, places and forms of activity, a cherishing of them, nothing more grandiose. It is indeed self-contradictory to say: 'I love him or her or that place or that institution or that activity, but I don't care what happens to it after my death.' To love is, amongst other things, to care about the future of what we love" (Passmore, 1980, p. 53


References

Adam, G. (2011). Futures Tended: Care and Future-Oriented Responsibility. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society,
31, 1, 17-27.

Aristotle. (2002). Nicomachean Ethics, J. Sachs (trans). Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing.

Attfield, R. (1998). Environmental Ethics and Intergenerational Equity. Inquiry, 41, 2, 207-222.

Fitzpatrick, W. J. (2007). Climate Change and the Rights of Future Generations: Social Justice Beyond Mutual Advantage.

Environmental Ethics, 29, 4, 369-388.

Gardiner, S. M. (2010). A Perfect Moral Storm. In Climate Ethics. NY: Oxford University Press.

Hiskes, R. P. (2009). The Human Right to a Green Future. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Jonas, H. (1984). The Imperative of Responsibility. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Passmore, J. (1980). Conservation. In Responsibilities to Future Generations. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books..

https://blogs.montclair.edu/tae/files/2011/03/Vol.-1-Issue-2-Morris.pdf

Agelbert NOTE: The mens rea of the fossil fuel industry and almost half of the world’s 100 largest companies, including Procter & Gam ble and Duke Energy, has been recently exposed. They all funded lobbyists and propagandists in order to obstruct climate change legislation.

I use the Latin legal expression, "mens rea", because the above obstructionists of climate change legislation were knowledgeable over 40 years ago of the damage that burning fossil fuels causes to the biosphere in general and humans in particular.

As Theresa  Morris made quite clear in her essay, these corporations made the wrong choice. And they made that choice because they refused to think things through.

Theresa  Morris said,
Ethical considerations aside for a moment, the people in these powerful corporations are not stupid. They love their own children.

So, if they knew, because over 40 years ago ExxonMobil scientists laid out the facts to oil executives, who then secretly joined with several other corporations to fund denial of climate change and obstruct climate change legislation, why did they, with malice and aforethought, engage in disguising the fact that they were, and are, getting an F in viable biosphere math?

Some will say that it's a no brainer that they did it for profit. While that is partially true, it ignores the fact that big oil corporations DO believe their own scientists. It also ignores the fact that fossil fuel corporations DO NOT believe the happy talk propaganda that they fund.

They plan ahead. They plan to take advantage of the 'Fragmentation of Agency' mentioned by  Stephen Gardiner. The corporations did not get limited liability laws passed because they wanted to be socially responsible. I believe they will use the 'Fragmentation of Agency', in regard to biosphere damage claims, to unjustly limit their liability in a typically unethical "damage control" exercise.

One of the themes about human history that I have tried to communicate to readers over and over is that predatory capitalist corporations, while deliberately profiting from knowingly doing something that causes pollution damage to the populace, always plan AHEAD to socialize the costs of that damage when they can no longer deny SOME liability for it. Their conscience free lackey lawyers will always work the system to limit even PROVEN 100% liability.

When 100% liability is blatantly obvious, as in the Exxon Valdes oil spill, they will shamelessly use legalese to limit the liability. ExxonMobil pulled a fast one on the plaintiffs by getting "punitive", rather than "compensatory" damages. See what the learned counselor said, "The purpose of punitive awards is to punish, not to destroy, according to the law". Ethics free Exxon and its ethics free lawyers KNOW how the Court System "works". JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW [Vol. 18:151] The purpose of this comment is to describe the history of the Exxon Valdez litigation and analyze whether the courts and corresponding laws are equipped to effectively handle mass environmental litigation..

While the profits are rolling in, they will claim they are "just loyal public servants, selflessly providing a service that the public is demanding", while they laugh all the way to the bank. When the damage is exposed, they will claim we are "all equally to blame" (i.e. DISTORTED Fragmentation of Agency).

This is clearly false because polluting corporations, in virtually all cases, AREN'T non-profit organizations. If they were NOT PROFITING, THEN, and only then, could they make the claim that "we all benefited equally so we all are equally responsible to pay equally for the cost."

Those who presently benefit economically from the burning of fossil fuels, despite the scientific certainty that this is ushering in a Permian level mass extinction, will probably be quick to grab on to a severely distorted and duplicitous version of the 'Fragmentation of Agency' meme, in regard to assigning the proportionate blame for the existential threat our species is visiting on future generations.

Privatizing the profits and socializing the costs is what they have done for over a century in the USA. They have always gotten away with it. That is why, despite having prior knowledge that their children would be negatively impacted by their decisions, they decided to dispense with ethical considerations.

They assumed that, with all the profits they would accumulate over the last 40 years (or as long as the populace can be blinded to the truth of the existential threat), they could protect their offspring when things got "difficult".

They know that millions to billions of people, in all probability, will die. But they think their wealth can enable them to survive and thrive.   

As for the rest of us, who obtained a pittance in benefits in comparison to the giant profits the polluters raked (and still continue to rake) in, we can expect an army of corporate lawyers descending on our government(s) demanding that all humans, in equal portions, foot the bill for ameliorating climate change.

The lawyer speak will probably take the form of crocodile tears about the "injustice of punitive measures" or, some double talk legalese limiting "punitive damage claims" based on Environmental LAW fun and games (see: "punitive" versus "compensatory" damage claims).

This grossly unjust application of the 'Fragmentation of Agency' is happening as we speak. The poorest humans are paying the most with their health for the damage done by the richest. The richest have avoided most, or all, of the deleterious effects of climate change.

When the governments of the world finally get serious about the funding needed to try to clean this mess up (present incremental measures ARE NOT sufficient), the rich plan to continue literally getting away with ecocide, and making sure they don't pay their share of the damages for it. 

As Kevin Anderson (after showing the alarming rate of increase in CO2 emissions) put it in the graphic below, the 1% bear about 50% of the blame.


Since, according to the U.N., the richest 20% of the world's population uses 80% of the resources, the 'Fragmentation of Agency' pie chart for the damage done to the biosphere should look like this:



The way the fossil fuel industry, and almost half of the world’s 100 largest companies, will want that 'Fragmentation of Agency' pie chart to look like is as follows:


The world of business has made many Empathy Deficit Disordered, unethical choices. We are all paying for their rejection of  their responsibility to use dianoia in their decision making process.

But they are relatively few in number. Their chicanery would cease from a huge public outcry if they did not have so many people aiding and abetting their unethical biosphere destroying modus operandi.

Those are the comfortable millions who have swallowed the corporate happy talk propaganda.

Those are the people that continue to delay progress on the implementation of the drastic government action we must demand, which is desperately needed to stem, or eliminate, the length and breadth of the climate change damage existential threat.

The people who think that this climate change horror can be addressed by incremental measures are, as Aristotle said, deliberately becoming irrational.

Dianoia is sine qua non to a viable biosphere.

Please pass this on with attribution to Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz. I just summarized her essay and added images to enhance the gravity and importance of her message. We are in a world of trouble. 

A. G. Gelbert
Colchester, Vermont

6
Congress’ biggest climate denier visited the Arctic.

Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas

What happened next will disappoint you.

Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News reported that Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas—perhaps the most relentless critic of mainstream climate science on Capitol Hill, aside from Senator Jim Inhofe—went to the Arctic to meet with climate scientists. He didn’t publicize the trip on social media or his website, and scientists who met with him “were instructed not to talk about” what happened. Smith, who was joined by some of his colleagues on the House Science Committee, also cancelled an interview about the trip at the last minute.

The secrecy led some to express hope that Smith would change his tune on climate science. Alas, Smith penned a column in the Daily Signal on Monday titled:

 “Don’t Believe the Hysteria Over Carbon Dioxide”:       

Quote
The benefits   of a changing climate are often ignored and under-researched. Our climate is too complex and the consequences of misguided policies too harsh to discount the positive effects of carbon enrichment.

Quote
A higher concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere would aid photosynthesis, which in turn contributes to increased plant growth. This correlates to a greater volume of food production and better quality food. Studies indicate that crops would utilize water more efficiently, requiring less water. And colder areas along the farm belt will experience longer growing seasons.


Smith  is still relying on tired, well-debunked tropes. The “CO2 is plant food” argument is overly simplistic; as the website Skeptical Science notes, plants don’t live on CO2 alone—they need water. And contrary to Smith’s claims, plants absorbing more CO2 need extra water, “both to maintain their larger growth as well as to compensate for greater moisture evaporation as the heat increases.” What’s more, climate change will increase deserts and other dry lands—not great for crop production or plants that need more water. Indeed, the vast majority of studies show climate change is a threat to global food security, not the other way around.

This is to say nothing of the fact that the excess carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, which is caused by humans, is the main reason for global warming. But such arguments won’t change Smith’s mind. Honestly, if a week-long trip to the Arctic doesn’t do it, nothing will.

https://newrepublic.com/minutes/144011/congress-biggest-climate-denier-visited-arctic-happened-next-will-disappoint-you

Agelbert NOTE: I am certain that the ONLY reason this fossil fuel fascist front man Lamar Smith visited the arctic is to figure out how soon Big Oil can count on it being ice free for more profit over planet piggery. These Dirty Energy Worshiping Dinosaurs will only learn when it is too late (see below).

Tomorrow is Yesterday...

7
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Last post by AGelbert on July 25, 2017, 02:29:10 pm »

A precis of my take on our collective stupidity

This is a response to requests I received to clarify what I meant by “stupidity” in the following tweet:


Meticulous and diligent research has furnished us all with a scientific understanding of how the climate works and the role of increasing atmospheric emissions on rising global temperatures.

Shamefully our responses to the challenges posed by this knowledge have been dominated by a litany of scams: Offsetting (getting the poor to diet for us); CDM (officially sanctioned offsetting); EUETS (with so many permits issued the CO2 price remains irrelevant); ‘negative emission technologies’ (sucking 100s of billions of tonnes of CO2 directly from the atmosphere) – and once we’ve acknowledged these have failed we’ll call in Dr Strangelove’s Geo-engineering.  At the same time we have stubbornly refused to try actual and meaningful mitigation? Twenty-seven years after the first IPCC report, emissions this year will be 60% higher than in 1990; abject failure despite the wealth of knowledge we’ve accrued on both the problem and what we need to do about it.

The academic community has remained pliant, the NGOs have been co-opted, the policymakers run scared of their electorate and the economists have been hoodwinked by astrology. The polarising journalists chase advertising revenue, and the public ‘want their cake and eat it’. The naked emperor has been running amuck for a quarter of a century – and we’ve all been party to her delusion.

Certainly we’ve developed a wonderful ability to detail the world as an elaborate collection of building blocks, but thus far we’ve demonstrated no similar aptitude to respond to systemic challenges. Climate change is an example par-excellence, dominated as it is by a Gatling gun of silver bullets – technocratic competitors all vying to solve the problem. There’s no recognition that our systemic malaise has regressed far beyond a soothing ointment or sticking plasters. Sadly, climate change is not the only example of our collective stupidly.  Imposing peace through aerial bombing, razor wire to control migration and our unrelenting penchant for blaming others for our own ills, all point in the wrong direction.

This collective stupidity may yet prove to be more nurture than nature – but to date the signs are not promising.

This entry was posted in Blog on July 24, 2017.

http://kevinanderson.info/blog/a-precis-of-my-take-on-our-collective-stupidity/
8
Renewables / Re: Electric Vehicles
« Last post by AGelbert on July 25, 2017, 02:14:59 pm »
Electric Car Drivers: Desires, Demands & Who They Are

Latest update: 10 Jun 2017

A unique, in-depth report about EV driver needs, desires, user experiences, and demographics. Over 2,000 EV drivers in 28 countries told us what they want in future EVs & EV charging. We tell you what they said.

Read the free version of the report [PDF] — the first 30 pages of the report.  ;D

publisher:CleanTechnica
industry:Electric cars
price:$500

Agelbert NOTE: I just got the free version. After I have perused it, I'll give you a summary.  8)

Meanwhile, here's some hot news about the coming solid-state :o battery innovation for EVs:


Toyota spokesperson Kayo Doi tells Japanese daily news source Chunichi Shimbun the company will not comment on specific product plans but does intend to commercialize solid-state batteries by the early 2020s.

Toyota Electric Car Will Use Solid-State Batteries For Long Range & Quicker Charging

Published on July 25th, 2017 | by Steve Hanley

This story about electric car plans at Toyota was first published on Gas2.

Toyota is not giving up on the hydrogen fuel cell technology that powers the Mirai, but is busy working in the background on an all-electric car with solid-state batteries that offer long range and fast recharging. The plan is to introduce the car, which will be built on an all new chassis, to the Japanese market in … 2022. Yep, that’s 5 years away.

Solid State Batteries Are The Future

No one doubts that solid-state batteries are the future. Replacing the liquid electrolyte found in today’s lithium-ion batteries will eliminate the risk of fire and explosion associated with current battery technology. That danger, while low, remains a concern for many people considering the purchase of an electric car.

To limit such risks, electric cars today must use sophisticated cooling systems to stabilize the temperature inside battery packs. Such systems add cost, weight, and bulk to the cars. Solid-state batteries will not need such elaborate cooling systems, which will help bring down the cost of building an electric car. As an added bonus, they are capable of being recharged in much less time than a conventional lithium-ion battery.


Researchers such as John Goodenough have been trying to build a robust, inexpensive solid-state battery for decades. Toyota saying it will do so is one thing. Actually doing it is quite another. Israeli startup StoreDot says it has a solid-state battery with a range of 300 miles  that recharges in 5 minutes  :o .


EMotion EV debuting August 17, 2017

Henrik Fisker claims his new EMotion electric car will go more than 400 miles on a single charge and then recharge in just 9 minutes. That car is set to hit the road in 2019.



New Electric Car Division At Toyota

Full article:


https://cleantechnica.com/2017/07/25/toyota-electric-car-will-use-solid-state-batteries-long-range-quicker-charging/

At least one of us wants an eV pickup truck.

My brother-in-law got the new Leaf. I haven't gotten feedback yet on how he likes it. I am driving the Volt now full time,  and my only complaint is the short range on eV, but I drive in the hybrid "mountain mode" and it works out okay. I worry that it is too hard on the car to engage the gas engine as much as I do.


 


Thank you for this valuable and informative comment. This is the type of objective, real world information people need to read about. Please post on the Leaf EV experience of your brother-in-law when he has had it for a while. That is the car I would love to have.
9
Geopolitics / Re: War Provocations and Peace Actions
« Last post by AGelbert on July 25, 2017, 02:06:57 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: This WEAPON is very good news for the biosphere.   


WHY? Because it means LESS physical amunition in practice or in combat that pollutes. AND, this laser will require a LOT of electricity, which means ships will habe more and more Solar power capturing technology on board, instead of diesel. Finally, at about ONE DOLLAR a shot  :o   , the operation of this weapon will be very cheap.  ;D

WATCH: U.S. Navy Tests First Anti-Drone Laser Weapon

July 24, 2017 by gCaptain

Check out this story from CNN on the U.S. Navy’s first active laser weapon. The cutting-edge prototype Laser Weapon System (LaWS), developed by the Navy’s Office of Naval Research, was first deployed aboard the USS Ponce in 2014, and is operated by a video-game like controller, and can address multiple threats using a range of escalating options, from non-lethal measures such as optical “dazzling” and disabling, to lethal destruction if necessary. During live tests, the LaWS was used to hit targets mounted aboard a speeding oncoming small boat, shoot a Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) out of the sky, and destroy other moving targets at sea.


http://gcaptain.com/watch-u-s-navy-tests-first-anti-drone-laser-weapon/
10
Renewables / Re: Electric Vehicles
« Last post by AGelbert on July 25, 2017, 12:57:19 pm »
Electric Car Drivers: Desires, Demands & Who They Are

Latest update: 10 Jun 2017

A unique, in-depth report about EV driver needs, desires, user experiences, and demographics. Over 2,000 EV drivers in 28 countries told us what they want in future EVs & EV charging. We tell you what they said.

Read the free version of the report [PDF] — the first 30 pages of the report.  ;D

publisher:CleanTechnica
industry:Electric cars
price:$500

Agelbert NOTE: I just got the free version. After I have perused it, I'll give you a summary.  8)

Meanwhile, here's some hot news about the coming solid-state :o battery innovation for EVs:


Toyota spokesperson Kayo Doi tells Japanese daily news source Chunichi Shimbun the company will not comment on specific product plans but does intend to commercialize solid-state batteries by the early 2020s.

Toyota Electric Car Will Use Solid-State Batteries For Long Range & Quicker Charging

Published on July 25th, 2017 | by Steve Hanley

This story about electric car plans at Toyota was first published on Gas2.

Toyota is not giving up on the hydrogen fuel cell technology that powers the Mirai, but is busy working in the background on an all-electric car with solid-state batteries that offer long range and fast recharging. The plan is to introduce the car, which will be built on an all new chassis, to the Japanese market in … 2022. Yep, that’s 5 years away.

Solid State Batteries Are The Future

No one doubts that solid-state batteries are the future. Replacing the liquid electrolyte found in today’s lithium-ion batteries will eliminate the risk of fire and explosion associated with current battery technology. That danger, while low, remains a concern for many people considering the purchase of an electric car.

To limit such risks, electric cars today must use sophisticated cooling systems to stabilize the temperature inside battery packs. Such systems add cost, weight, and bulk to the cars. Solid-state batteries will not need such elaborate cooling systems, which will help bring down the cost of building an electric car. As an added bonus, they are capable of being recharged in much less time than a conventional lithium-ion battery.


Researchers such as John Goodenough have been trying to build a robust, inexpensive solid-state battery for decades. Toyota saying it will do so is one thing. Actually doing it is quite another. Israeli startup StoreDot says it has a solid-state battery with a range of 300 miles  that recharges in 5 minutes  :o .


EMotion EV debuting August 17, 2017

Henrik Fisker claims his new EMotion electric car will go more than 400 miles on a single charge and then recharge in just 9 minutes. That car is set to hit the road in 2019.



New Electric Car Division At Toyota

Full article:


https://cleantechnica.com/2017/07/25/toyota-electric-car-will-use-solid-state-batteries-long-range-quicker-charging/
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