Extreme Weather Events! Get Used to Them.

Lots of news coverage of Frankenstorm, but not much mention of the role that our carbon economy plays in the production of this storm.

Hey, mainstream media,  can you say Global Warming?

Here is what Joe Romm has to say about Hurricane Sandy:

Why Hurricane Sandy Has Morphed into a ‘Frankenstorm’ — And Why We Should Get Used to Catastrophic Weather

Here’s how manmade carbon pollution is making many of the most destructive kinds of extreme weather events — Frankenstorms — more frequent and more intense.

October 28, 2012  |

 

This GOES-13 satellite image provided by the US Naval Research Laboratory shows the eye of Hurricane Sandy it churns just off the eastern coast of the US.
Photo Credit: AFP

 

 

 

What would you call an “ unprecedented and bizarre “ storm that is:

  • The “largest hurricane in Atlantic history measured by diameter of gale force winds (1,040mi)” [ Capital Weather Gang ]
  • “A Storm Like No Other” [National Weather Service via  AP]. NWS“I cannot recall ever seeing model forecasts of such an expansive areal wind field with values so high for so long a time. We are breaking new ground here.”
  • “Transitioning from a warm-core (ocean-powered) hurricane into an extra-tropical low pressure system, a classic Nor’easter, fed by powerful temperature extremes and swirling jet stream winds aloft to amplify and focus the storm’s fury” [meteorologist  Paul Douglas ]
  • Being fueled in part by “ocean temperatures along the Northeast U.S. coast [] about 5°F above average,” so “there will be an unusually large amount of water vapor available to make heavy rain” [former Hurricane Hunter  Jeff Masters ]
  • Also being driven by a high pressure blocking pattern near Greenland “forecast to be three standard deviations from the average” [ Climate Central  and CWG]
  • “Stitched together from some spooky combination of the natural and the unnatural.” [ Bill McKibben ]

Read the whole thing?  Good idea.    Alternet is carrying the story, but Joe Romm sets up shop at Climate Progress.

Big Storm Coming to the East Coast

Global warming?  Sure.  More storms, bigger storms.   Talk to folks who can vote in 2014 to elect the Climate Congress.  I don’t care if the folks you talk to are republicans, democrats or have never bothered to vote.  If they know in their gut that global warming is real and not good news, then we need to mobilize them.  The quadrennial electoral show is staggering to a finish, but at that finish we will not have a president or congress that understands that we need to address global warming.  Our next chance is the midterm election in 2014.  That campaign is underway.  I started.

Climate Congress 2013 – the Contract with Climate

  1. Carbon tax
  2. what else belong on the contract with the climate that a carbon tax does not address?

from WAPO:

 

 

 

Hurricane Sandy continues its march to the East Coast

 

View Photo Gallery — Hurricane Sandy: The storm has been raging up the coast after leaving more than 40 people dead in the Caribbean. A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, New Jersey and Connecticut.

 

 

 

 

By ,   Published: October 27 | Updated: Sunday, October 28, 7:47 AM

 

 A hurricane of enormous force continues to march north today, ready to hammer the D.C. region sometime on Monday and disrupt life for millions as it sweeps across eight states toward Canada.

From North Carolina to the coastal edges of Maine, public officials are urging residents to fortify themselves against Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to unleash torrential rains and winds of up to 75 mph, even for those residing as far as 100 miles from the storm’s center.

Read the whole piece?  Why not?  See if you can find any mention of global warming in the piece on Hurricane Sandy.  I scanned it quickly, lots of talk about shopping in advance of the storm, the campaigns adjusting to be elsewhere, nothing on global warming that I spotted.  It’s like Where’s Waldo?  Where is the mention of global warming in this article?  Let me know if you see it.

Grand Jury Resisters Need Your Support

Friends are in jail.  We don’t know how long they will be there.  We don’t what criminal activity is being investigated that leads to these folks being jailed for refusing to answer Grand Jury questions.

Land of the Free.  Home of the Brave.

 Jump in, you can help.  We are the ones we have been waiting for.

 

 

 

Committee Against Political Repression

 

 

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 Compilation Album Created in Support of Grand Jury Resisters

Posted on October 26, 2012 | 2 Comments

 

 Musical Impressions has created a compilation album called “Black Clothing, Anarchist Literature, Flags, Flag-Making Materials, Cell Phones, Address Books, & Hard Drives” in support of the Grand Jury Resisters.

You can buy it here. Proceeds go to support the legal and material needs of those resisting the FBI investigations of anarchists in the Pacific Northwest.

Climate Congress 2014 – The Contract with Climate

The election season is in full hysterical mode.  The dems are beating on progressives who are fleeing to Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson, the repubs are beating on the dems with all the corporate money and psycho-linguistic technology they can muster and behind the scenes somewhere we have a bunch of faceless (poor things, they don’t have faces) IT folks who are gearing up to do whatever they are supposed to do with the vote-counting technology to tabulate votes on November 6th.

Michael Connell will not be available to help with the information technology tasks in this election cycle.  His private plane crashed and he was killed before he was available to testify about the 2004 Ohio vote-counting, “man in the middle” controversy.

There is lots to worry about in this election cycle even with the tragedy of Michael Connell’s death in 2008.  But let’s get real, this election is in the can.  Yes, we should all work on getting out the votes for progressive candidates, for local initiatives that might produce change, but the change is not coming by defeating Romney, the change is not coming in this election cycle.

Our best progressive shot happens with the mid term election of 2014.   I believe we have three primary branches of govt here in the US of A.  The judicial is captured by 4 solidly corporate, reactionary justices, with a conservative swing vote held by Anthony Kennedy.   The remaining justices are solidly liberal, but are aging and out-numbered 5 to 4.  This is the 5 to 4 court, not the Roberts Court.  And it will be the 5 to 4 Court for a very long time.  Right wingers do not have to control the Senate to keep a Dem president from appointing a William O. Douglas or Thurgood Marshall type justice to the Court, they only have to obstruct appointments in a manner that the Dems will never do to a Republican potus.  Need evidence of that?  Samual Alito?  Clarence Thomas?  John Roberts?  Do these names ring a bell?  Yes, the dems borked poor Robert Bork, but that was a long time ago and poor Robert Bork had served Richard Nixon too well.  Robert Bork borked himself in the Saturday night massacre, he was just a late victim of that miserable public affair.

The pick at the top of the ticket in this election is a hobbesian choice.  Both of the candidates are firmly in the control of the big money folks, the have-mores as George W called them.   Romney might claim to be the candidate of the 53%, but that’s not true, he is the Emperor of Bain Capital.  Read’m and weep.

Obama?  Sad sack.  I voted for him once upon a time.  I didn’t believe in him at that time, but I was willing to give it a shot.  The Dems are always saying, please, just give us one more chance.  I thought why not? in 2008 and voted Obama.  I wanted Dean or Kucinich, but the Bainsters who control our political system are not going to allow that kind of option, so I voted Obama.  I used to say that the only republican I ever voted for as President was Bill Clinton, but now I have done it twice.  Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice…    I won’t get fooled again or something like that, Bushisms are so complex in their inanity that they approach genius.

Here is an interesting video that makes the point that the electorate really is trying to choose between pepsi or coke for potus.  Tastes better, less filling, tastes better…

Leaves a bad taste.  Thanks to Slate, David Weigel, and Luke Rudowski at We Are Change for this work.

I will be back in a day or two to talk about Climate Congress 2014 – The Contract with Climate.

Top of the list?   Carbon Tax, baby!   A twofer.  We jam the environmental destroyers, the petro-bainsters and we fix the deficit in one fell swoop.   I love a fell swoop.

Scott Crow is in Olympia

Activist, anarchist, writer, organizer – Scott Crow – is going to be in Olympia for a few speaking engagements over the next few days.  He will be at South Puget Sound Community College on Oct 25th at noon, Room 102, Building 26

Then he will be at Last Word Books on Friday, Oct 26th at 7:30 pm.  and one more time in Oly on Monday,  Oct 29th at Lecture Hall 2, The Evergreen State College at noon.

Want to understand anarchism?   Learn more about it.  It’s not what you may think.

Want to continue to misunderstand and misrepresent anarchism?  As Bobby Dylan said, “you are going to have to serve somebody…”    Choose today,  who will you serve?  You are going to have to serve somebody.

 Black Flags and Radical Relief Efforts in New Orleans: An Interview with scott crow

Author and activist scott crow

“Solidarity not Charity” is a way of feeding people while addressing the underlying problems that cause hunger. The way this manifested itself in Common Ground was to immediately deliver and render aid where the state had failed, and then to leave structures in place so communities can continue to rebuild themselves as they see fit.”

Interview by Stevie Peace & Kevin Van Meter

 In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina both federal and local authorities failed the population of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. As a result, relief efforts from various sectors of American society flowed south. One of the first and most spectacular and aggressive efforts was Common Ground Relief — formed by strands of the anti-globalization and anarchist movements. scott crow documents these struggles in “Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy, and the Common Ground Collective”, recently released by PM Press. In this interview, Crow describes the process of becoming an author after being an organizer, reviews the history and myths of Common Ground and explores possible lessons for future progressive and radical organizing. Visit crow’s website at http://scottcrow.org/. 

Can you speak to the writing process behind “Black Flags and Windmills” and your shift from an organizer to an author?

One word: difficult. I don’t consider myself a writer; and while I have written a few pieces over the years, it has mostly been out of necessity. From my arrival in New Orleans I took copious notes. Every time I would get moments to get away, I would take notes about organizing and creating an organization to deal with the disaster following Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, I wrote communiqués from just days after the storm and continued for three years. I went back to all of those writings and began turning them into chapters. On a personal level it was healing to write: I came back with post-traumatic stress, couldn’t function in society and felt like the ghost in the machine a lot. The writing actually helped me to relive those traumas in a different way, to really dissect them. It was almost a five-year process; I feel so much better now than I did when I started the book. This is not to say that “Black Flags and Windmills” is a sorrow-filled book. There are lots of beautiful stories along the way and lots of really engaging organizing that was going on. The book describes the anarchist heyday of Common Ground, when the most self-identified anarchists came; this was early September 2005 until 2008. Afterward, the organization became much more structured in a traditional nonprofit way. This is not to denigrate it — just to say that the book focuses on this initial period of “black flags” at Common Ground.

Since memory is a tricky thing, I did outside research and revisited with people. I went back to news articles from grassroots media, reports and blogs to look at specific events and the way things unfolded. Then, I would ask key organizers and New Orleans residents, “Do you remember when this thing happened?” Sometimes it was completely different from how I remembered it. I don’t claim to speak for Common Ground, as I think that would do a disservice to the thousands of people who participated and the hundreds of key organizers that were there.

When I tell a story I want people to understand it and create common bonds. I wrote this book for people who might not have any understanding about radical or anarchist concepts. I always ask myself, “What would my mom think about this?” While I wrote it for people like her, my target audience was those who were coming into movements and might be inspired by what Common Ground was building. I used the stories in the book to give a primer on the theoretical background of anarchism in practice. Another part of the book is telling my own personal narrative. It’s not because I think my story is important, but I wanted to show that I am a regular person that was just caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

 Want to know more?  Read the whole piece.  Come sit in on one of the events.

Our Precious Freedoms

Three quotes for the day, courtesy Liberty Quotes.

“It is by the goodness of God that in our country
we have those three unspeakably precious things:
freedom of speech, freedom of conscience,
and the prudence never to practice either.”
— Mark Twain
[Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)


“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise,
we don’t believe in it at all.”
— Noam Chomsky
(1928- ) American linguist and political writer
Source: Guardian, 23 November 1992


“I believe in my right to be wrong,
and still more in my right to be right.”
— Owen Lattimore

Get out there, get it right. If change is coming, you are bringing it.

Chomsky on Anarchism

for those with an open mind who want to know more about anarchism:

Noam Chomsky on Anarchism, Marxism & Hope for the Future


  Noam Chomsky is widely known for his critique of U.S foreign policy, and for his work as a linguist. Less well known is his ongoing support for libertarian socialist objectives. In a special interview done for Red and Black Revolution, Chomsky gives his views on anarchism and marxism, and the prospects for socialism now. The interview was conducted in May 1995 by Kevin Doyle.

 

RBR: First off, Noam, for quite a time now you’ve been an advocate for the anarchist idea. Many people are familiar with the introduction you wrote in 1970 to Daniel Guerin’s Anarchism: From Theory to Practice, but more recently, for instance in the film Manufacturing Dissent, you took the opportunity to highlight again the potential of anarchism and the anarchist idea. What is it that attracts you to anarchism?

CHOMSKY: I was attracted to anarchism as a young teenager, as soon as I began to think about the world beyond a pretty narrow range, and haven’t seen much reason to revise those early attitudes since. I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom. That includes political power, ownership and management, relations among men and women, parents and children, our control over the fate of future generations (the basic moral imperative behind the environmental movement, in my view), and much else. Naturally this means

a challenge to the huge institutions of coercion and control: the state, the unaccountable private tyrannies that control most of the domestic and international economy, and so on. But not only these. That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met. Sometimes the burden can be met.

If I’m taking a walk with my grandchildren and they dart out into a busy street, I will use not only authority but also physical coercion to stop them. The act should be challenged, but I think it can readily meet the challenge. And there are other cases; life is a complex affair, we understand very little about humans and society, and grand pronouncements are generally more a source of harm than of benefit. But the perspective is a valid one, I think, and can lead us quite a long way.

Beyond such generalities, we begin to look at cases, which is where the questions of human interest and concern arise.

 

Anarchist banner

 

RBR: It’s true to say that your ideas and critique are now more widely known than ever before. It should also be said that your views are widely respected. How do you think your support for anarchism is received in this context? In particular, I’m interested in the response you receive from people who are getting interested in politics for the first time and who may, perhaps, have come across your views. Are such people surprised by your support for anarchism? Are they interested?

CHOMSKY: The general intellectual culture, as you know, associates ‘anarchism’ with chaos, violence, bombs, disruption, and so on. So people are often surprised when I speak positively of anarchism and identify myself with leading traditions within it. But my impression is that among the general public, the basic ideas seem reasonable when the clouds are cleared away. Of course, when we turn to specific matters – say, the nature of families, or how an economy would work in a society that is more free and just – questions and controversy arise. But that is as it should be. Physics can’t really explain how water flows from the tap in your sink. When we turn to vastly more complex questions of human significance, understanding is very thin, and there is plenty of room for disagreement, experimentation, both intellectual and real-life exploration of possibilities, to help us learn more.

RBR: Perhaps, more than any other idea, anarchism has suffered from the problem of misrepresentation. Anarchism can mean many things to many people. Do you often find yourself having to explain what it is that you mean by anarchism? Does the misrepresentation of anarchism bother you?

CHOMSKY: All misrepresentation is a nuisance. Much of it can be traced back to structures of power that have an interest in preventing understanding, for pretty obvious reasons. It’s well to recall David Hume’s Principles of Government. He expressed surprise that people ever submitted to their rulers. He concluded that since Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. ‘Tis therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular. Hume was very astute – and incidentally, hardly a libertarian by the standards of the day. He surely underestimates the efficacy of force, but his observation seems to me basically correct, and important, particularly in the more free societies, where the art of controlling opinion is therefore far more refined. Misrepresentation and other forms of befuddlement are a natural concomitant.

So does misrepresentation bother me? Sure, but so does rotten weather. It will exist as long as concentrations of power engender a kind of commissar class to defend them. Since they are usually not very bright, or are bright enough to know that they’d better avoid the arena of fact and argument, they’ll turn to misrepresentation, vilification, and other devices that are available to those who know that they’ll be protected by the various means available to the powerful. We should understand why all this occurs, and unravel it as best we can. That’s part of the project of liberation – of ourselves and others, or more reasonably, of people working together to achieve these aims.

Sounds simple-minded, and it is. But I have yet to find much commentary on human life and society that is not simple-minded, when absurdity and self-serving posturing are cleared away.

RBR: How about in more established left-wing circles, where one might expect to find greater familiarity with what anarchism actually stands for? Do you encounter any surprise here at your views and support for anarchism?

read the whole piece?  Please do so.  Time with Chomsky is almost always time well spent.