Monday, February 28, 2011

split over civil evolution

Yet another climate events entry is at the data bank; I'll add more info the next few days, but the data posted already jell into a gestalt worth writing about. I would have liked to post earlier, but this has been a tight and busy month. The editorial work on the climate ethics issue of Journal of Global Ethics is nearly done on my part. The Nietzsche essay is sent off. The tract on the climatic fate of religions is at the publisher.

On the climate front this has been an eventful month, too. The climate-food link sparked the heroic Arab uprisings. The climate-clothing link is startling but not unexpected, since freak weather means crappy harvests, and cotton is a crop.

On the policy front, US disenlightenment deepened a notch. Republican fanatics are working to sabotage all civil evolution. They succeeded in Washington by forcing the government to soften emissions rules. They succeeded in Tallahassee by rejecting rail money. Most unsettling are the events in Madison. In a functioning democracy, the taped evidence that the Wisconsin governor welcomes bribes from the Koch brothers would have led to his instant resignation. But here it was just part of the normal news cycle, and no one, not even the hapless Obama, calls for the corrupt state governor to step down. Dimitry Orlov is right: we're now on our way towards a Soviet-style collapse; the domestic emergence of outlaw oligarchs strengthens the Russian analogy. Meanwhile, as NYT reported, 743 out of 100,000 US citizens are now in jail--a proportion ten times higher than in any other democracy in the world.

Elsewhere, civil evolution is accelerating. Wind energy is big in Scotland; solar energy is big in Spain; geothermal energy is big in Iceland. Bicycling is big in Copenhagen, and new bullet trains are coming online in England, France, and China. Climate mitigation may find a new effective tool in black carbon reduction. The ten most livable cities on the planet are now all outside the USA.

Seventy months left.

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