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Friday, May 30, 2008

the sleepers awaken

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Remarkable in the past month had been the tacit admission that the Bush junta deserves no respect. From the "Neanderthal"-remark in the German government to the statement by Indian officials on Bush's "widely known ignorance" to the silence in Washington DC -- there is change in the air. A problem is being understood. Today (5.30) the New York Times reports that Under Pressure, White House Issues Climate Change Report. The news is that,

The Bush administration, bowing to a court order, has released a fresh summary of ... research pointing to large, and mainly harmful, impact of human-caused global warming in the United States. (...) Under a 1990 law, presidents must submit a report to Congress every four years summarizing what is known about impacts of climate change ... on the United States. The last such assessment, undertaken in the Clinton administration and published in 2000 ... was attacked by ... industries ... References to it were deleted from some government reports by ... the [Bush] White House. Environmental groups sued to force the completion of a new study. In court, the White House contended that a series of ... studies requested by .. Bush in 2003 ... satisfied the 1990 law, but Judge ... Brown ... rejected that assertion ... and ordered a comprehensive assessment to be published by the end of May. ...

Senator John Kerry ... who was the lead author of the 1990 law, strongly criticized the White House: "The three-year delay of this report is sadly fitting for an administration that has wasted seven years denying ... climate change ... In these lost years, we could have slowed global warming and advanced clean energy solutions, but instead America's climate change strategy has been at best rhetorical, not real."

A small step, sure; forcing the climate changers to release an uncensored climate report is not the same as forcing them to stop climate change.

Another small step occurred a few days ago in the context of Dow Chemical Co.'s decision to raise its prices by up to 20% to offset the soaring cost of energy. The AP article (5.28), Dow: Country in "true energy crisis"; ups prices, cites the CEO of Dow Chemical:

"Washington has failed to address the issue of rising energy costs and ... the country now faces a true energy crisis, one that is causing serious harm to America's manufacturing sector and all consumers of energy," Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical's chairman and chief executive, said in a written statement.
Some CEO told the truth, and more than that: the group the Bush junta claims to represent, Big Business, Big Money, and Big Oil, is breaking up. The synergy of the Big Three, helped along by gun smiths, mercenaries, foot soldiers, and lords of war, was stable only as long as its members closed ranks against reality and had their media deny what was plain to see for us little guys. Freedom, including the freedom of information, relies on powers divided and walls broken up. Truth is like a weed: it flourishes in cracks, but cannot thrive on a smooth wall. Cracks are good.

A key moment happened last fall (9.18.07 Greenspan clarifies Iraq war, oil link), when the former Federal Reserve Chairman admitted,

I'm saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil.
Such remarks, trivial as they are, open cracks. Trivial: the Bushists gave us an avoidable energy crisis. Trivial: what's good for oil people isn't necessarily good for manufacturers. Thus truth sprouts.

J├╝rgen Habermas articulated the principle of communicative action: just let people freely talk things out , and the ensuing data flow will be self-correcting and promote Enlightenment. One could add that it's remarkable how Enlightenment builds upon insights of the duh! variety. Perhaps one could say that Enlightenment is a Whole that's more than the sum of its parts, and that the extra amount, distinguishing a whole from a sum, is the energy that goes into the trivial (and thus absolutely true) parts working together as a rational field.

End of the month update:

Well. Maybe I'm too optimistic.
After all, look at the actual report the US government was forced to release: which bad & anti-gringo word is censored in the title?

The title is:
A Report of the Committe on Environment and Natural Resources: Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States (National Science and Technology Council, 2008).

... And no corporate media picked up on this!

The American Disenlightenment continues.


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