Britain Succumbs to Fear — Europe Shattered by Deteriorating Physical and Political Climate

In Central India, during 2016, millions of farmers who have lost their livelihoods due to a persistent drought made worse by climate change are migrating to the cities. The climate change induced monsoonal delays and ever-worsening drought conditions forced this most recent wave of climate change refugees to make a stark choice — move or watch their families starve.

It’s a repeat of a scene that happened in Syria during 2006 through 2010, but on a much larger scale. A scene that will repeat again and again. In Bangladesh and the other low lying coastal and delta regions of the world, hundreds of millions will be uprooted by sea level rise. In the US Southwest, India, Africa, South America, the Middle East and Southern Europe hundreds of millions more will be uprooted by drought. All because we, as a global civilization, failed to work together to halt fossil fuel burning soon enough and prevent a temperature increase great enough to wreck cities, states, and regions and to start to destabilize human civilization.

Punjab Well

(In India, water sources like this Punjab well and major rivers are running dry. Climate change is melting glaciers in the Himalayas even as it is helping to delay the seasonal monsoon. As a result, millions of farmers have lost their livelihoods and are migrating to the cities. It’s a situation similar to what occurred in Syria, but one that is likely to ultimately produce a much larger wave of migrants. Will we, as a global community, do all we can to help and welcome these migrants? Will we provide the systems of global and national equality that are necessary to achieve this result? Or will we fear them, allowing such fear to have a deleterious effect on our various political systems as occurred in Britain last week? Image source: Commons.)

The Need For Global Unity and Equality in the Face of Severe Climate Externalities

It has always been a wondrous and difficult ideal to strive for global unity. During the 20th Century, the United Nations was established in the hopes of preventing cataclysmic world wars lead by nuclear-armed states. From these global treaties sprang numerous other agreements. These in turn facilitated trade and cooperation on a larger scale than ever before. In the 1980s and 1990s an international treaty called The Montreal Protocal enabled the prevention of a global catastrophe in the form of the loss of the protective ozone layer by internationally regulating the use of ozone-destroying chemicals. This was the first time global governments effectively worked together to prevent a major harmful geophysical change to the Earth System by reigning in corporate excess and, to one degree or another, agreeing to set aside short term gain in favor of long term sustainability.

The hope and example provided by this rational policy has since been undermined by what could best be defined as the deleterious influence of individual and corporate special interests. In many cases, international trade agreements — the upshot of global cooperation — have been co-opted by various corporate powers to promote private interests in the name of international unity. Trade has been used to erode the political power of national unions, to force fossil fuel dependence in various regions, and to undermine equality based policies of national governments around the world. Such use of international trade policies has promoted an increasing tragedy of exploitation of public and natural resources by private entities in which equality has been undermined, wealth has been concentrated at the top, environmental regulations have been removed, circumvented, or ignored, and the global atmosphere has been polluted with a devastating volume of greenhouse gasses.

Extreme Rainfall Events

(Greenhouse gas pollution forces global temperatures higher which in turn increases evaporation and loads the atmosphere up with moisture, which in turn drives increasing instances of extreme rainfall events on one end of the weather spectrum and extreme drought conditions on the other end. Over recent years, rainfall records have been shattered with greater and greater frequency as a result. And incidences of extreme flooding, like that seen last week in West Virginia, which has damaged or destroyed 500 homes, adds to the wave of climate refugees and lends urgency to need to work together on a global scale to mitigate the damage by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to help the displaced. Hat tip to Peter Sinclair for the above image provided by the 2015 Lehmann extreme rainfall study.)

If the Montreal Protocol and the Paris Climate Summit represent the best face of global cooperation, then trade agreements like TTIP can represent its dark side. One set gives an example of how the world must work together now in order to preserve the foundation of global civilization. The other has often become little more than a divisive monetary and political power grab by numerous giant corporations now ranging the globe (the Godzilla Zombie Corps of Growth Shock). One has the potential to save the world. The other — if it leads to increasing wealth inequality, increasing externalization of harms, loss of government regulatory control of corporations, and privatization of public assets — will inevitably wreck it.

Brexit — The Culmination of Greed, Fear, and Climate Change

By the end of the 20th Century and the start of the 21st Century global unity was coming under strain due to these forces of systemic inequality and harm eroding global monetary policies coupling with the rising impacts of human caused climate change. Creation of laissez-faire markets combined with fossil fuel based energy dominance to first help drive major commodity price spikes in the early to mid 2000s and then to generate the wave of crashes during the 2008 financial meltdown. Corporate pushed austerity measures generated increasing inequality in Europe post collapse even as climate change enabled a wave of Middle Eastern refugees moving westward — spurred on by the Syrian drought. The synergistically destructive forces of rising inequality and fear of migrants — fueled by right wing political voices across Europe — generated large cracks in Europe’s economic union. Failure to identify the causes of loss of income, pensions, and healthcare among Europeans as the result of corporate-driven austerity measures lead to a wrongful scape-goating of migrants and inflamed hatred across the continent.

In Europe last week, these socially destructive cracks widened yet again. A campaign emerging out of a xenophobic UK-based right wing group named Brexit (feeding on the same anxieties as Trump in the US) leveraged mass migration fears to run a successful campaign against the UK remaining within the European Union. A primary focus of the Brexit movement was targeting Syrian migrants — the very individuals who lost their livelihoods due to a climate change induced drought. People who basically had to make the same choice as many living in India today — move or starve.

Underlying the xenophobic fears that helped spur the UK’s vote for EU succession was concern over the TTIP — a treaty that the EU is now considering and that many think would open the UK’s National Healthcare System to a deleterious privatization. Brexit capitalized on these fears by claiming that both migrants and the EU were a threat to UK citizens’ access to healthcare. In truth, TTIP is probably a worse threat to UK healthcare than migrants, but this particular concern fed into the overall Brexit fear mongering. And it was this combination of a very real threat of loss of equality and economic security driven by laissez-faire economic policies together with the ultimately imagined and inflamed fear of scapegoat migrants that spurred the UK’s economic secession.

The Dark Consequences of Economic Systems Engineered to Optimize Wealth Concentration and Externalize Harm

The thing to learn from all this is that market liberalization (a negative venture that all too often fosters wealth concentration, market collapse, and extremely harmful pollution and is not to be confused with the liberation of people, which is an entirely positive venture) and a failure to regulate and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions leads to very destructive political consequences. On the right, what we’ve seen is a fostering of immigrant scape-goating and climate change denial as a political smoke screen to mask the environmental and economic harms that their policies are causing. And the reliance on these two explosive communications strategies seeds a combined attack on science and destabilization of political systems. One that by itself represents a threat to the underpinnings of functioning and benevolent advanced societies.

Bakersfield Fire

(Erskine Fire burns along the southern rim of California’s Central Valley in 105 degree [F] heat on Sunday. The fire, which has now destroyed 250 structures and killed two people, is just one of many examples of how extreme events spurred by climate change can render people homeless. Sea level rise, drought, extreme rains, extreme cyclones, wildfires, and crop loss are all caused or made worse by climate change. Such events will inevitably result in a growing wave of global migrants. If we are to expect human civilization to survive without spiraling into worsening conflict, we must establish plans now to help those displaced by climate change and to ensure that those hosting migrant populations do not have fears and hatreds inflamed by rising inequality. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

When facing climate change, we will have to first deal with the problems caused by failed neo-liberal thinking. We cannot deal with climate change without the necessary regulations on greenhouse gasses. And we absolutely cannot deal with climate change effectively in a situation where global inequality is worsened and social stresses threaten to tear the very institutions that allow us to cooperate apart. Joe Romm was absolutely right in his most recent essay — we have a choice now. Cooperate to deal with climate change and inequality — or fail. Fail in the ugliest most heinous way possible as hatred, xenophobia, and competition for resources tears international institutions and states apart. For, in the end, cooperation in dealing with climate change means that we will have to promote fairness and equality as a means to reduce a stability-wrecking panic. We will have to make the solemn and reassuring promise to help each other. To help those who are starving and migrating. To help those who are losing healthcare benefits and economic prospects. To help them both and to at the same time stem the spread of combined exploitation and global poverty.

In places like India and Bangladesh, in the US Southwest, in Brazil, in Southern Europe, in Africa, and along the coastal cities of the world, the next wave of migrants is building. They include many of the people who are now reading this blog. Will we do the moral, just thing — as the Pope has urged us — and resolve ourselves to help them? Will we ultimately resolve to help ourselves? For climate change is a crisis that prefers no race, no location, no nationality. And in the end it will make refugees of us all.

Links:

Drought Migrants Flee to India’s Cities

Brexit, Trump Just the Beginning, Climate Will Drive Refugees and Resentment

LANCE-MODIS

Commons

West Virginia’s Deadly Flooding Disaster

Extreme Rainfall Events Increased Under Global Warming

Growth Shock

California Today: Wildfires Earlier Than Ever

Cameron Forced to Back Down From NHS TTIP Deal

The Keeling Curve (Please Support Public, Non Special Interest Based Science)

Pope Francis’s Encyclical

Hat tip to Peter Sinclair

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to 65 Karin

Hat tip to Webej

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153 Comments

  1. – Though always in the background here — It sure is great to see morality being strongly stressed, Robert. We (humanity), especially in the West, have to put it ahead monetary profits and materialism. And do so very quickly.
    Thanks for this, Robert.

    -Ps I had a minor out patient surgery today.
    When I filled out the paperwork, in the question of current ANXIETY/DEPRESSION, under ANXIETY I wrote: CLIMATE CHANGE!!!
    The Dr. asked me about it — and I stressed the mechanics involved, how worrisome it is and how little it is being talked about in the media, etc.
    The Dr. agreed.🙂

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  June 28, 2016

      The moral, spiritual and psychological roots of the omni-crisis are plain to see. Under capitalism, and most markedly under laissez-faire Market Fundamentalist capitalism, societies are dominated by psychopaths. In fact capitalism is simply psychopathy in action, the system having been created by psychopaths to empower and privilege them at the expense of all others.
      The system embodies the psychological traits of its creators. Insatiable, cancer-like, greed. Huge egomania and delusions of infallibility. Fear and hatred of others and complete or near total absence of empathy and compassion. Other people are, at best, the competition to be beaten at all costs, or, more often, the enemy. And through total capitalist control of the MSM, advertising, PR and ‘entertainment’, the capitalist pathopsychology has been projected onto societies everywhere (masquerading as ‘Western Moral Values’ would you believe)and all opposition is hunted down and destroyed or rendered impotent, in a totalitarian Crusade without parallel.
      Capitalism has one purpose only-to exploit human labour and the natural world as pitilessly as possible, and turn that into the dead stuff of money or capital. And it must be concentrated in as few hands as possible, thereby making the record inequality, poverty and elite wealth we see today (which is still worsening)absolutely inevitable and intrinsic to the operation of the system. Capitalism’s depredations have driven humanity to the brink of self-destruction, and it will gladly do the job of finishing us off in the sixth mass extinction event (and probably the worst) in planetary history. And it is irreformable-be certain of that. The capitalists may back-track and grant concessions like labour rights and environmental protection if they feel that their dominance is threatened, but once they feel invulnerable, as now, they will take ALL that back, and more, through devices like the TTIP, TPP and TiSA.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  June 28, 2016

        Well said, Mulga. Very well said. I completely agree.

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  June 28, 2016

        I agree. Spot on. I wish I’d written that, MM.🙂

        Reply
      • Jean

         /  June 28, 2016

        Sen Inhofe of Okla(Senator Inhofe) is a shining example of a psychopath in action.I wish someone would write a book about how effective he is..Many love him

        Reply
      • Very well put, MM. I wish I could write such a complete, succint essay in one short paragraph..

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  June 29, 2016

        Don’t disagree MM – I used to enjoy your comments before Climate Progress comments went belly up. The problem is that in many countries, and certainly the UK, criticism of capitalism immediately turns people off listening and make them think you’re some sort of Stalinist apologist or a Green wanting a return to cave dwelling – an impression our toxic UK press immediately fosters. Our current Labour leader and the Greens are vilified this way. I’ve even seen quite level headed people who “get” climate change dismiss folk like Naomi Klein as champagne socialists or watermelons.

        Our task is to persuade ordinary folk that a better alternative exists that can be reached without loss of everything they value – some prosperity, a better life, peace, democracy etc…Bernie Sanders has blazed a trail here.

        I use an evolutionary metaphor – capitalism as it now exists is a beast that is becoming increasingly incompatible with human thriving, witness the growth at any cost mantra, spiralling inequality, environmental destruction, creation of human antipathy, loss of biodiversity etc.. It has to evolve or die and our task is to evolve it into a more human organisation as peacefully and quickly as we can rather than await inevitable violent disruption. It’s the greatest task in human history.

        Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  June 30, 2016

        Thanks, MM, for a very clear summary of where we are now. From its inception in the 17th century, capitalism has been about greed and exploitation. The genocides, dispossessing indigenous peoples of their land-and often of their entire existence-was followed by plantations for commodities. Of course, the capitalists didn’t want to do the hard work themselves, but, voila, slavery solved that problem while making many others rich. Never mind what it did to the slaves. When that was finally abolished, other methods were used; wage slavery, peonage, or whatever. Now our demands for tantalum for electronics are supplied by genociding and enslaving the unfortunate peoples of the Eastern Congo, who just happened to have the misfortune of having coltan or cobalt deposits under their ancestral lands. But it makes big corporations ever richer-cheap raw materials and cheap labour have always been the rules of the game. And the big money buys the politicians.

        The Eat India Company was a good example of this exploitation. Robert Clive won the Battle of Plassey by bribery and then helped himself to the wealth of Bengal. Later, the EIC managed to get the Land Tax for Bengal, raised it fivefold, which led to the Great Bengal Famine of 1770. The Company also forced farmers to grow indigo and opium rather than rice. The upshot was that around ten million died, over a quarter of the total population. The only remit of the Company was to maximize profits, and that they certainly did. It was no wonder the Indians finally rebelled in 1857. Even after that, the famines continued, culminating in the 1943 Bengal famine. As a student I knew Ian Stephens, the editor of the Statesman, who broke the story.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  July 1, 2016

        Spike, I reckon capitalism has always been incompatible with Life on Earth. Remember it was created when enough surplus cash was created in Europe through the looting of the New World in the form of gold and silver mined at the cost of millions of dead slaves worked to death in Hellish conditions. In fact capitalism has created ghastly exploitation of the many for the enrichment of the few for all its history, save for the brief period when some ‘middle-class’ mobility was granted, in the West only, and out of fear of communism. Once communism disappeared as a threat, from the 1980s onwards, capitalism has taken it all back and more.
        My belief is that most capitalist ‘advances’ came from scientific and technological progress, human labour and the exploitation of natural resources. I firmly believe that a more humane and rational system, based on co-operation, not competition, and egalitarianism, not an increasingly steep and brutal hierarchy, would have seen far greater human progress and less ecological destruction. Capitalism only awaited the advance of the means of production cum destruction to a state sufficient to destroy the habitability of the planet for our species, to achieve that very end, having no mechanism for restraining its self-destruction. Even now, as ecological collapse spirals upwards, every capitalist and political stooge still DEMANDS ever more growth, like deranged cancer metastases.

        Reply
    • Cheers, DT. I hope you’re feeling better.

      Reply
      • – Thanks, Robert.
        So far — so good. A likely benign growth was taken off the rim/margin of left ear that resulted in a bit of a nick.

        If my ear was Monarch wing it would look like what we call a ‘bird strike’. As when a beak chomps a piece off the wing but the butterfly gets safely away.
        Often you will see a butterfly with bright, or stark, spot that looks somewhat like an eye or head near the trailing edge of the hind wing. The predator goes for that spot but most of the wing remains intact. It’s a brilliant diversion.

        Cheers to you.

        Reply
  2. – You know that I, the ‘eyes/camera on the ground/sky’ mouthy observer would have to post this one by Micheal Mann in relation to the DNC Platform:
    (Of course we still need the data.)

    Michael Mann, scientist: Data ‘increasingly unnecessary’ because ‘we can see climate change’

    “Fundamentally, I’m a climate scientist and have spent much of my career with my head buried in climate-model output and observational climate data trying to tease out the signal of human-caused climate change,” Mr. Mann told the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee at a hearing.

    “What is disconcerting to me and so many of my colleagues is that these tools that we’ve spent years developing increasingly are unnecessary because we can see climate change, the impacts of climate change, now, playing out in real time, on our television screens, in the 24-hour news cycle,” he said.

    Reply
    • Genomik

       /  June 27, 2016

      I live in San Francisco and its soooo obvious. Thats what Ive been telling folks now. “Just step outside and look with your own eyes! It wasnt like this 10 or 20 years ago,!”Unfortunately, here in SF the weather is actually great.

      A famous quote about SF is ” The coldest winter I ever felt was a summer in San Francisco” Thats no longer true. The last 5 years have been increasingly warm.But the folks in the valley must be hating life. Sacramento and all the valley is just like low level hell. I wonder in the back of my head if one of reasons prices are increasing here is because some folks realize the coast is a nice place in a climate changed world. (Tho ISIS just released a video saying they are coming after SF and Vegas)

      Fortunately a lot of folks I tell this to nod their head and say yes its different but then the conversation sort of trails off. Folks perhaps seem powerless or depressed. Cognitive dissonance sets in.

      I think the fires are the most disconcerting. the two fires last year in California, the Clear lake one and the Butte fire were real eye openers. I know and have met many folks who know people who lost homes in those fires. I always try to politely mention those are caused by climate change.

      Reply
      • I too try to work such observations into the conversation, and also live in the Bay Area of California.

        All too often, though, people point at the lovely weather outside and just say it’s a lovely day – and it is.

        Reply
    • The Washington Times is not a reliable source. I think we should preface any comment coming from them with a warning label.

      Reply
      • Yes. The Washington Times was owned for years by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, notorious mind control cult leader, whose politics were very far right. Moon is dead now, but his zombie newspaper lives on, apparently. He subsidized the paper for a couple of decades, and spent at least a billion dollars subsidizing it.

        Reply
      • Most definitely. I meant to post a cautionary with the WT link.

        Reply
    • What Michael Mann is saying is basically — you don’t need a climate model to see that the climate is changing. The Washington Times took this statement out of context. I’ve scrubbed the Times related misinformation, link, and name calling out of the post and let Mann’s comment stand on its own. I’d appreciate it if we didn’t have direct quotes from the Washington Times in the future as I’ve found that source to intentionally manipulate language to create the wrong impression and to misrepresent scientists.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  June 28, 2016

        I read that article and thought, Wait, Mann is saying one thing but they’re trying to spin it as if he said the opposite? I understood him to mean as you said, Robert, that we don’t need models to tell us what’s happening right in front of our eyes. But I never thought, Whoa, dodgy journalism. So I’ll be more careful in future: it’s a red flag when the quote and the spin don’t jive.

        Reply
        • Mann’s not saying — get rid of models or we don’t need models. What he’s saying is that we don’t need models to recognize that climate change is happening. Anyone can step outside and see it for themselves. We still need models and scientific observation to get a better understanding of the physical world. But, yeah, a layman can see it plain as day now.

          The Times is basically an idiot factory that gets people looking at information and statements in the wrong light. It’s about twisting a person’s frame of reference and misrepresenting what leaders are saying. That’s what negative spin is all about.

          It’s the same thing that Guy McPherson did to me. He basically said — hey this Scribbler guy is saying that there’s no hope, that all these bad things are inevitable so we should just give up and live as if we’re in some kind of global hospice for the 6th Extinction that will inevitably include humans.

          Wrong. What I’ve been saying is that we need to act now because things are getting bad now and the more we fail to act, the worse and worse the ultimate outcome will be. That’s the exact opposite from saying — just give up. What I provide is a warning and a call to action. The very purpose of this blog is to inspire people to act. To spur people to act. To get as many people as possible involved in positive action to prevent as much harm as possible.

          It’s a game as old as time. If you can’t shut the messenger up, you co-op the messenger and try to make it seem like he’s saying something else entirely by putting a negative spin filter over her or him.

      • “What Michael Mann is saying is basically — you don’t need a climate model to see that the climate is changing.”
        I should have posted just the gist of MM.
        I didn’t expect anyone to take the WT verbiage seriously as they are known to be a slanted right wing ‘tabloid’ subject to factual and contextual errors.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  June 29, 2016

        cate, these days ‘dodgy journalism’ is all you can expect from the MSM. The Moonie News might be at the extreme, but clustered right behind is the Murdoch cancer, still resolutely denialist, then the rest, who mostly ignore it all.

        Reply
    • No worries, DT. It’s just good to remember that not everyone is as news savvy as those of us who’ve been around the block a few times.

      Reply
  3. Reply
  4. Mblanc

     /  June 27, 2016

    Hi there from lovely England.

    Given that us turkeys have voted for Xmas, we have now decided to actually look seriously at the consequences of Xmas, and it turns out it’s a stupid idea.

    Thanks have to go to the media, who have let the turkeys in on the secret, after the actual vote. Brilliant work people.

    One possible spot of good news is that I saw a report that, in the storm over Brexit, President Hollande of France said that it was a ‘Non’ to TTIP.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/may/03/doubts-rise-over-ttip-as-france-threatens-to-block-eu-us-deal

    First bit of Brexit good news?

    Reply
    • Thanks for the thoughts, Mblanc. Always good to hear what’s happening on the ground there. I feel more sadness for people in the UK than anything. You guys have fallen victim to similar forces that have for so long afflicted the US. And those who believed that Brexit would help matters were probably the most victimized of all. I also think that those supporting these international unions need to recognize that trade treaties can really let loose the beast if they’re allowed to erode regulations and privatize public assets. The world is absolutely a less stable place when it is run by self-interested corporate bodies as opposed to public interest focused governing bodies.

      I think that it would be good news if the UK had a change of heart on Brexit, blocked the TTIP, and rejoined Europe to look for ways to use international unions to generate more public goods and to reign in private excess, to ensure stable states and positive actions with regards to migrants, re-resolved to deal with climate change, worked to foster equality, and worked hard to expunge the kinds corporate based harms that are the real threats to things like NHS. Part of European reunification should probably include a number of social support guarantees within the union — like a resolution not to allow privatization of public systems, to create a base European social support standard for all states within the Union that includes a resolution not to allow economic inequalities between states to erode individual states social support systems. To not enable a race to the bottom game between European states and provide Europe-wide resolutions pushing for the expansion of public support systems.

      What we’ve learned from Brexit is that international unions are not stable if the well being of individual states and those living within those states is compromised. International unions should not be a free-for-all resource grab by wealthy individuals and corporate interests. This inflames the kinds of severe divisions we are seeing now in Britain and across Europe and the world. These issues would be difficult to deal with in an environment that did not include human-caused climate change. But add in the migration pressure and the destabilization caused by systemic inequality becomes worse. If you don’t add serious and strong equality based policies into international agreements then they will act as destabilization factors.

      I wonder if France is trying to head off a Brexit type reaction at the pass. TTIP’s privatization camel nosing into the tent does not generate a positive reaction, as we’ve seen in Britain.

      Reply
  5. Spike

     /  June 27, 2016

    Nice work Robert and hits the nail on the head of our “United” Kingdom situation – the Brexiters are as profoundly amoral a group of anti-environmentalists as you could dredge up from anywhere, seeing any sort of regulation or environmental taxation or policing as an impediment of their great God Mammon. If any readers missed it Desmog did a good expose:

    http://www.desmog.uk/brexit-climate-deniers

    Things are getting pretty bleak over here with the prospect of such people seizing the reins of power, and the EU listing badly. I keep thinking of Arnold’s great poem, Dover Beach which catches the ugliness of the situation so well at the end:

    “Ah, love, let us be true
    To one another! for the world, which seems
    To lie before us like a land of dreams,
    So various, so beautiful, so new,
    Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
    Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night.”

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, Spike. Ignorant armies indeed. I’d call them duped.

      I think we should be very clear that these fears are being exploited by fossil fuel special interest related politicians. That the underlying thread here is a continued effort to maintain fossil fuel based dominance and the outsize power these corporate interests wield.

      Reply
  6. Thanks for a great article Robert. I hope that people heed the warning. Working together in peace would be an easier way to go and would allow us to fend off the crash for many years.

    Reply
    • There’s absolutely a way out still if we work together, work to help people, and manage a rapid energy switch. But it appears that the right and their fossil fuel allies would rather rip civilization apart than give up their ill-gotten and climate harming gains.

      Reply
  7. Thank you Robert for some words besides the excellent reports you provide. We all need to move beyond just reporting to actual action. Having lived in the southwest,NM, almost my entire life I’ve watched the climate grow increasingly unreliable over the last few decades. Other than two years this century has been one of constant drought and even the el nino has been less than expected. Our nice lives we have in the US are going to be increasingly at risk to the disruption of climate driven by global warming. Write your representatives and senators to let them know how concerned everybody is, and to do something other than blaming certain systems they won’t address. Time is growing quite short to effect meaningful actions to save the most species including us. We all can do more, really, to save as much of this beautiful planet we all live on.

    Reply
  8. Ryan in New England

     /  June 28, 2016

    Really well done, Robert. You did a wonderful job taking a complex (and confusing to many) situation and laying its parts bare, exposing them for all to see and making it easy to understand. The world has allowed poor decisions to control policy in recent decades, let’s hope we find the courage to overcome the powerful forces aligned against us.

    Thank you for a fantastic and timely post🙂

    Reply
  9. Wow, thanks Robert for the hat tip. As usual your article was informative and insightful. The ugly parallels between Brexit (Boris Johnson) and Trump are becoming increasingly obvious. I just read the article by Joe Romm that you mentioned. My real fear is that what happened in the UK could happen in the US, and Trump could actually become President. Climate change is such a threat to the world, without global unity there doesn’t seem much hope. I have seen the changes to our world. In 1969 I flew in a Boeing 707 from England to my new life in Canada. The flight went over the southern tip of Greenland, the view was magnificent, a great dome of ice and snow with barely the summits of mountains poking through. 47 years later I was returning from a family visit, the flight again went over southern Greenland. What a difference, the mountains were bare to the valleys below, with a very noticeable “bathtub” ring showing the recent retreat of the glaciers, and the sea was full of massive and beautiful icebergs.

    Reply
    • Let’s hope not. Trump isn’t very popular at the moment, but he’s keyed into a vein of xenophobia and ignorance that has tended to harmfully transform nations in the past. Those who operate under these views, as we have already seen in Trump followers, do not tend to act rationally, but they do tend to turn out to vote. If we don’t have an equal response among those who are awake to the harms that would come from a Trump-type administration, then we’re in very serious trouble.

      Trump himself is one of the authors of the current global crisis. A 0.01 percenter, he has benefited from Wall Street excess and has earned much of his money by the same kinds of exploitative practices that have generated so much harm globally. He’s a rapid climate change denier who has actively used his considerable resources to fight wind and solar adoption and to confuse the public over the issue of climate change. And now, like the rest of the right, he is cynically scapegoating migrants as objects of blame for the very kinds of harms and inequalities he’s caused.

      Trump is a perfect example of a lesson from history that we thought, in the late 20th Century, that we’ve learned to avoid. But here he is. And not just as a national force, but as a part of a very dangerous global movement. Here the deleterious influence of money and especially fossil fuel money is writ large. Trump is not just fanning the flames of the problem, he comes from the heart of it all.

      Reply
  10. Loni

     /  June 28, 2016

    Excellent and timely post, Robert, and I couldn’t agree more.

    We are at a point where we either see the value in making peace thus working together with our fellow man and planet, or we face the dismal consequences.

    You are a noble scribe of our times,
    thank you for your work.

    Reply
  11. Andy in SD

     /  June 28, 2016

    Once enough people start migrating, we will do as humans what we do only so well. We will exploit the victims, and kill one another. Big war, little war, old war, new war, it doesn’t matter. We never let a good reason for conflict pass by unattended.

    Remember, a war never decides who is right, only who is left.

    Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  June 28, 2016

      A big part of me shares your pessimism, Andy. The migrations are a done deal; Mexico, India/Bangladesh/Pakistan, Central America, Southeast Asia, South Africa, the Middle East…La Nina and neutral years will stage the flood, but it has started in earnest and will reach ‘tipping point’ levels within twenty years at the outside. The heat will be a factor, but as Robert noted it’s continued and increasing food scarcity that will unleash the tide. I think Merkel’s open door policy is brilliant – she’s establishing a migrant population that will be integrated while the going’s good; she’s showing very high levels of good faith in anticipation of the inevitable; and she’s acclimatizing native Germans to the idea and reality of a big increase in migrant population. But the rise of reactionary sentiment and forces in Poland, France, Austria, Croatia, etc are worrisome. Merkel has it right, and I’m certain it has a lot to do with Germany’s history. But she’s just one leader of one country, however powerful, and Germany has no shortage of reactionary element itself.

      I’m certain there will be regional conflict and probably genocide; tens of thousands are already dying in the Mediterranean and Middle East migrations from situational conditions alone. What happens when we add xenophobic violence to the mix? ‘Cause it will happen, and not too far down the road. As disastrous as Brexit will be for the EU, the UK, and beyond, I think England’s panicked withdrawal has greater implications than just political and socioeconomic (as great as these are); it structurally destabilizes everything, opening the door to previously unthinkable, potentially horrific destabilization engendered behavior and action. Many actors in the path of migration are nowhere near as stable as the Western European countries; if the fabric of EU mutual reliance is shredded, with all it carries and represents, for those societies operating with a much lower margin for error it’s a much shorter fall to base human behavior, which when people are starving and fleeing destitution means stopping these same souls by any means necessary, whether a true threat exists or not.

      Britain has made a huge, huge mistake, and I won’t be at all surprised if cooler heads prevail after the noise dies down. Either they will negotiate a role almost identical to the role old white men rejected, without the ‘stigma’ of EU membership, or there will be a serious backlash against the move and its creators. I could be wrong, but I don;t think I am. If they continue with their current path, they are setting the stage for much more than higher gas prices. We shall see.

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  June 28, 2016

        Yes I’m trying to move on and see if I can do anything at all to fight for rationality amidst this setback to reason. This article is a good look at the situation.

        “There are numerous immense challenges to be overcome before such a scenario can be delivered, not least amongst them the fact the EU is likely to include freedom of movement and a continued financial contribution as the most scarlet of red lines in any trade deal negotiation. But if such a deal can be engineered UK green businesses could find themselves with many of the benefits associated with EU membership, coupled with a government free to pursue a more activist green industrial strategy and pro-innovation policies.

        It may not feel like it currently, but this optimistic vision is not beyond the realms of possibility. So what is required to make it a reality?”

        http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/blog-post/2462936/brexit-could-be-a-catastrophe-for-the-green-economy-or-it-could-be-the-start-of-a-brave-new-era

        Reply
      • I’m with Spike here in that I hope that there’s enough of a negative reaction to Brexit to remove right wingers from power in Britain and to forge new deals with Europe and new policies in Britain to work for emissions reductions. The Brexiters just managed to explode years of progress and open wide the door to all sorts of harms. I hope people in the UK will realize that they’ve been duped by those pushing a very harmful agenda.

        Reply
      • Lindsay Berge

         /  June 29, 2016

        Please note that the Leave and Remain campaigns were driven by different factions of the Conservative (right wing) party and the referendum was proposed by the Conservative Prime Minister Cameron as a way to stop the right-wing nationalist UKIP gaining strength. A bit like the Republican party elite trying to stop the Tea Party extremists gaining influence by proposing a constitutional amendment to allow a ban on Muslim immigration.
        The left-wing Labour Party was left with no good options, either providing cover for the Conservative elites and implicitly supporting the undemocratic neo-liberal market supremacists or taking sides with a coalition of the disaffected, nationalists, nativists, and racists. The working class Labour constituency in economically depressed regions of England were always going to feel abandoned and unconvinced when the Labour party somewhat unenthusiastically supported the Remain side.
        The blame for the whole thing must be attributed to the political machinations and gross misjudgment of the right-wing Conservative party.

        Reply
        • Corbyn appears to have tried to stay out of the fray. But it looks like they’re pulling him into the sinking ship.

  12. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    East Texas farmers hurting from extreme weather changes

    NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) –

    East Texas farmers are having a hard time getting proper crop production.

    Louis Duffifled has been in charge of Stoney Brook Farm for the past 26 years. Duffielfd believes the last three years have been the most challenging. Duffield is known by many in the area as having the best peaches. He can be found twice a week at the Nacogdoches Farmer’s market selling his peaches and canned jelly.

    This year however, the peaches are missing. Duffield had a failed crop

    “Each variety of peaches require a certain amount of chilling hours,” Duffield said. “If they do not get that amount of chilling hours, then they will not produce fruit. We had a warm winter and the frost came late this year.”

    Duffield said he has also lost several trees from disease over the past several years.

    “This is about the worst I have seen it over my years here,” Duffield said.

    http://www.kxxv.com/story/32319392/east-texas-farmers-hurting-from-extreme-weather-changes

    Reply
    • Yeah. But the new station should call it what it is in the headline. Human-forced warming is wrecking Texas’s peach crop.

      Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    The Dean Of Yale’s Law School Just Schooled The Washington Post On Exxon And The First Amendment

    Yale Law School Dean Robert Post took to The Washington Post to completely dismantle the bogus claim that the attorneys general investigating ExxonMobil for fraud are trampling the company’s First Amendment rights. And in doing so, he pointed to one of several opinion writers who have misinformed the Post’s readers by advancing this “free speech” defense of Exxon’s alleged deception on climate change.

    Writing in The Washington Post on June 24, Robert Post criticized “ExxonMobil and its supporters” in the media for deceptively “[r]aising the revered flag of the First Amendment” to condemn attorneys general who are investigating Exxon. The attorneys general are looking into whether the oil company committed fraud by deliberating withholding truthful information about climate change from shareholders and the public in order to protect its profits. As Post explained, Exxon and its allies are “eliding the essential difference between fraud and public debate,” and if Exxon has indeed committed fraud, “its speech would not merit First Amendment protection.” He added: “Fraud is especially egregious because it is committed when a seller does not himself believe the hokum he foists on an unwitting public.”

    One of the conservative media figures that Post called out for distorting the Exxon investigations was The Washington Post’s own George Will, who penned an April 22 column peddling the false claim that the attorneys general pursuing Exxon are seeking to “criminalize skepticism” about climate change. And that wasn’t the only basic fact that Will butchered, as the Climate Denier Roundup explained at the time:

    https://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/06/27/dean-yale-s-law-school-just-schooled-washington-post-exxon-and-first-amendment/211221

    Reply
    • I find it the deepest of ironies that those who perpetrate fraud are the first to cry fraud themselves. Exxon is a corrupt organization that appears to have defrauded the public for decades and decades. The potential fraud appears to be based on self-deception as much as deception of others — in constructing a mythological fossil fuel centric worldview to support a kind of a-priori right to market dominance. This dangerous self-justification appears to have lead to an ardent attempt to deny climate change and to confuse the public which has also lasted for decades. The result being that climate change related harms have been locked in to greater and greater degrees.

      It is unlikely that there has ever been a set of corporate bodies that have inflicted a greater level of harm on the Earth’s living systems and on the human systems that rely on a vital Earth to survive. In a moral sense, this is clearly wrong. And in the legal sense, this is probably a serious crime. Not only due to the damage done, but due to the active, wilful deception on the part of agencies trying to cover up harms and, worse, to prevent public actions to prevent those harms from resulting in an ever-worsening chain of damage.

      Reply
  14. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    Climate change threatens to sink Gulf of Maine fishing industry

    As waters warm, valuable species migrate and the fishing fleet shrinks.

    SEABROOK, N.H. — The cod isn’t just a fish to David Goethel. It’s his identity, his ticket to middle-class life, his link to a historic industry.

    “I paid for my education, my wife’s education, my house, my kids’ education; my slice of America was paid for on cod,” said Goethel, a 30-year veteran of these waters that once teemed with New England’s signature fish.

    But on this chilly, windy Saturday in April, after 12 hours out in the Gulf of Maine, he has caught exactly two cod, and he feels far removed from the 1990s, when he could catch 2,000 pounds in a day.

    His boat, the Ellen Diane, a 44-foot fishing trawler named for his wife, is the only vessel pulling into the Yankee Fishermen’s Co-op in Seabrook. Fifteen years ago, there might have been a half-dozen. He is carrying crates of silver hake, skates and flounder – all worth less than cod.

    http://www.pressherald.com/2016/06/27/climate-change-threatens-to-sink-gulf-of-maine-fishing-industry/

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  June 28, 2016

      It is amazing that it is in their face, they can see it, they live it, they see the fish / lobsters migrate to colder water, and they just can’t accept what the source is.

      ===================================================================

      Others in the lobster business dispute the science that lays the blame on climate change. Nicholas Crismale, a former lobsterman and president of the Connecticut Commercial Lobstermen’s Association, is one of many lobstermen in his state who believes pesticide runoff is to blame.

      Connecticut researchers found no pesticides in lobsters collected in Long Island Sound in late 2014. But Crismale, out of the business for four years and helping to run his wife’s restaurant, Lobster Shack in Branford, sticks to the hypothesis, even in the face of science.

      “The warming stuff is a lot of baloney,” he said. “All that is is another scientist looking for a grant.”

      Reply
      • Dang, I thought I erased the http for bookrags. I meant to show only the jpg link.

        Reply
      • – Right, they named it Cape Cod for a reason.
        Though centered on other human interactions with such a one prolific fish, Mark Kurlansky’s Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World tells much of what once was.

        Kurlansky did write a children’s book dealing more with climate change in ‘A world Without Fish.’

        Reply
      • Yes, because being a scientist is a great way to get rich…

        This argument is about as old and fallacious as they come. Many of the smartest people in the world work as scientists — not to make money, but because they want to make a difference. The guys who want to get rich quick do not spend 6-8 years in College accumulating massive debt to fight for dwindling grant money that was cut by republicans or to compete for increasingly scarce positions (that were cut by republicans) in relatively low-paying government jobs (whose salaries were cut by republicans) or even lower paying academic jobs (which have long been targeted by republicans). The guys who want to get rich quick drop out of school to go seek fortunes by trying to exploit other people’s work by gaming the system on Wall Street. Anyone who doesn’t recognize this is living in a fantasy world. The scientists are doing the work because they love it, because there is a greater intrinsic personal reward in achieving a goal that has a broad public benefit. And thank God that there are people out there who are motivated by things other than greed. But greedy people have never recognized these other motivations. They always suspect some game or angle, because that’s the way they operate. For them, exploitation and basic cheating is ingrained. It’s sad really. The cynic falls to the least common denominator. Unable to believe in the virtue of others because they have been so corrupt that they cannot believe that others cannot be corrupt as well.

        Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  June 28, 2016

      Decades ago when I pictured the future, and the changed climate from AGW, I never thought that deniers would still be denying AGW when it is happening in real time for all to see. It makes my head want to explode with rage when the very people being affected by off the charts meteorological events are still denying climate change. It’s like standing in the rain, being soaking wet, and saying rain is just some liberal hoax to make money on umbrellas. It’s completely absurd and delusional and the more I see it the more I feel like I am the one losing my mind.

      Reply
      • The deniers deny because they are operating on their own internal world view, not on their ability to effectively perceive reality as is. They’ve given up faculties in favor of faerie tales. They’re living in a “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” world. Not the real world.

        Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  June 29, 2016

        Ryan, I hate to be overly critical, but the denialists here in Australia are of one type only-hard Right. The top dogs, in the MSM (particularly the evil that is the Murdoch apparatus)and the numerous Rightwing propaganda tanks, one must assume are smart enough to know the truth, which makes their actions, in my opinion, crimes against humanity and I believe that they must face justice for it, one day. And the lumpen denialists, like all Rightwing mediocrities, are Dunning-Krugerites, too dumb to know or understand the truth, but brainwashed by the Rightwing MSM to believe that climate science is a ‘Greenie’ plot to take away their SUVs, plasma TVs and McMansions. And, the beauty of ‘demo-crazy’, they’ve all got a vote.

        Reply
        • The top dogs, in the MSM (particularly the evil that is the Murdoch apparatus)and the numerous Rightwing propaganda tanks, one must assume are smart enough to know the truth, which makes their actions, in my opinion, crimes against humanity

          Not just Crimes against Humanity, but Treason, too.

  15. – With large numbers of refugees fleeing to cities there will surely be exploitation as well.

    Reply
    • That’s what happened in Syria. The extremists (ISIS) exploited the refugees and the related instability to generate a new power base. Same thing the right is doing in various states around the world.

      Reply
  16. Reply
    • I don’t know what’s more terrifying — the amazing heat that Australia experienced this year, the fact that right-wing policies are resulting in climbing emissions from Australia, or the amazingly ignorant and bullying remarks by climate change deniers in response to the Sydney Morning Herald’s factual analysis.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  June 29, 2016

        And in Australia the Government’s CSIRO the premier scientific organisation, is destroying the climate science research section, at the behest of the new Boss, appointed by the ferociously denialist and anti renewable energy Abbott regime. A creature from ‘Silicon Valley’, with no relevant experience, destroying scores of careers and decades of dedicated research, just when it is most vital. Rather like what Harper did in Canada. It is way, way, beyond enraging by now. How do you describe your feelings towards those who are destroying Life on Earth, for some sick pathopsychological urge?

        Reply
        • Idiots. They’re all just idiots.

          In truth, I find I have to keep my feelings in check to act rationally in what is a ridiculously absurd set of circumstances that only the most vile self-serving and lack foresight irresponsibility could have generated. This is what happens when corruption begins to devour a civilization. They burn the great storehouses of knowledge first.

        • Trump would do this in the US.

    • Reply
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    • Reply
      • BJD

         /  June 28, 2016

        Sorry, what does this mean? Why is this significant, besides obviously being a bit a deviation from previous charts. Pardon my ignorance, what is a QBO?

        Reply
      • Holy gravity waves, Batman.

        Hope this helps:

        “When the QBO was first discovered in the late 1950s, it took scientists some time to figure out what was causing it, but by the early 1970s the basic physics was established. Waves propagate up from the troposphere into the stratosphere and, by a process known as critical layer absorption, some of these waves break and deposit momentum at just the right altitude to reinforce the zonal winds and cause them to migrate downwards. The waves involved are both large-scale equatorial waves, of the kind that ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) can resolve, and small-scale gravity waves which must be parametrized. The waves carry both eastward and westward momentum, but the absorption process extracts the momentum at different levels, giving the alternative easterly and westerly winds.”

        From:

        http://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/media-centre/news/2015/why-quasi-biennial-oscillation-matters

        Reply
      • – Add this via NOAA;

        “Although the QBO is a tropical phenomenon, it affects the stratospheric flow from pole
        to pole by modulating the effects of extratropical waves. Indeed, study of the QBO is inseparable from the study of atmospheric wave motions that drive it and are modulated by it. The QBO affects variability in the mesosphere near 85 km by selectively filtering waves that propagate upward through the equatorial stratosphere, and may also affect the strength of Atlantic hurricanes.
        The effects of the QBO are not confined to atmospheric dynamics. Chemical constituents, such as ozone, water vapor, and methane, are affected by circulation changes induced by the QBO.”
        https://gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/baldwin0101.pdf

        Reply
  19. Reply
    • Watch that number. If it doesn’t hit above 1075 by year end then we get cuts to water for Arizona and Nevada. They might send some of Lake Powell’s water down to prevent this, but it’s borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. The net loss per year between the two combined reservoirs has been in the range of 5 million to 9 million acre feet each year for the past five years. And the 16 year Colorado River drought shows no signs of abating. In fact, with La Nina on the way and global temperatures continuing to rise, drought risks are also on the rise for the foreseeable future.

      Reply
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  21. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    ISLAMABAD: The technical equipment and radars held by the ministry of climate change for weather forecast have gone outdated.

    According to meteorological authorities’ radar working in Sialkot for weather forecast was installed in 1978 while the life span of every radar was 10 years. In Pakistan all the radars had become 20 years old and they were being still utilised. These could be harmful at any time as they were creating difficulties in providing information about weather forecast in terms of air weather.

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/28-Jun-16/outdated-equipment-radars-held-by-ministry-of-climate-change

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    From fire breaks to fire hazards
    Human activity, climate change are transforming the world’s peatlands

    Date:
    June 27, 2016
    Source:
    McMaster University
    Summary:
    The peat bogs of the world, once waterlogged repositories of dead moss, are being converted into fuel-packed fire hazards that can burn for months and generate deadly smoke.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160627094837.htm

    Reply
    • This is one of the big carbon sinks that is starting to return carbon to the air due to fossil fuel/ghg heat forcing. And from the Poles to the Equator, it’s an issue.

      Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    LATEST IMAGERY – RELEASED 7 JUNE 2016

    Imagery from the latest XL Catlin Seaview Survey Reef Response expedition to Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef in May 2016.

    http://www.globalcoralbleaching.org/#latest-imagery-released-7-june-2016

    Reply
    • So sad. A great tragedy that at any other time would be blanketing the nightly news. We are losing one of the great treasures of our world to the harms caused fossil fuel burning and the greatest crime of all is the fact that there is a great turning away of eyes from the harm and a great failure to act with the due global urgency that is now needed to provide even a glimmer of a chance to save the reef.

      Reply
  24. Spike

     /  June 28, 2016

    Fantastic explanation of why irrational choices are made by populations here.

    “If you want an effective campaign, you need more than logic and evidence, you also need a strong appeal to fundamental emotions. Unless you want Trump as your next president, that is.”

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/brexit-and-trump-when-fear-triumphs-over-evidence/?WT.mc_id=SA_TW_POLE_BLOG

    Reply
    • The campaigns are specifically aimed at targeting people’s underlying fears and prejudices. That’s why it’s so darn insidious. But the trick to dealing with this stuff is to always question the assertions. If someone is using an emotional argument or questionable ‘facts’ to tell you what to think, then it’s suspect. It’s kind of a process of de-education. You’ve really got to be careful and check the facts and even question the so called facts you see because there’s a lot of very bad information out there.

      Case in point has been the recent campaigns aimed at degrading public trust in renewable energy. A thousand lies all aimed at emotionally undermining the most ardent support for these sources. The appropriate response is to redouble support. Renewables + efficiencies are the only path for human civilization to begin to live sustainably and they provide the opportunity for a future in which human beings begin to provide ecosystem services as opposed to just taking away from the ecosystem. There is no sustainability without renewables. But they are a threat to fossil fuels. So the fossil fuel industry is doing everything it can to paint them in the worst possible light. To make them look as bad as fossil fuels and to pretend that renewables could not exist without fossil fuels when nothing could be further from the truth.

      Reply
      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  June 29, 2016

        From the example of renewable energy you can see where the Chinese system is superior to Western so-called ‘democracy’, at least from the point of view of rationality. The Chinese elite rise through a thoroughly meritocratic process, being tested at ever higher levels of responsibility. They do not owe their positions to the ignorant and stupid opinions of mobs of brainwashed fools, who reject science and rationality, and thereby destroy their own children. Chinese politicians are mostly technocrats, trained engineers scientists etc, not property developers or reality TV stars. They can read and understand science, hence their vastly greater efforts in installing renewable energy, reforestation, electric vehicles etc.
        Not that even these efforts are enough, but if the morally diseased Western elites were more keen to co-operate with China rather than preparing to attack it, and ‘bring it down’, humanity might have a fighting chance, still. But these elites seem obdurately more concerned with Western global dominance than human survival.

        Reply
      • So I don’t agree with the authoritarianism vs democracy angle here. I think what we have in the West is a situation where public interest has been supplanted by market authoritarians operating in their own short term self interest.

        And while I do admire China for its five year plans, its ability to work together nationally on big projects like dealing with climate change, and its amazing progress on the issue over recent years, I really don’t see the situation as one of ‘evil West’ vs ‘good China.’ I think it’s more an issue of how deleterious market forces now threaten to destabilize governments in the West and to knock climate change mitigation plans off track.

        We have instances like Sweden and Norway where social democracies are working quite well at the moment RE climate change so I don’t think this problem can be boiled down to such a level of simplicity.

        That said, no governmental system — Chinese communist or democratic market-based — is immune to corruption. And what we suffer from now is the corrupting influence of fossil fuel power bases in our political systems. Hopefully, we can work through it and manage to work together well with the Chinese on climate issues. There are a number of positive steps that have already been taken on the part of Obama on this front. But with climate change, it’s always one of those things where you could do more. It’s always one of those things where policy is going to have to keep moving faster and faster to even come close to the mark.

        So, yeah, we have corruption to root out here and lots of government policy work to do if we’re going to make it. And I hope both the Chinese and the West do manage to bring that emissions volume down soon. There is just a hell of a lot to be done and time’s really a wasting right now.

        Reply
  25. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    U.S., Canada and Mexico vow to get half their electricity from clean power by 2025

    The leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico will pledge on Wednesday that by 2025 half of their overall electricity generation will come from clean power sources, according to administration officials.

    The commitment — which will be a joint one, rather than an individual commitment by each nation — represents an aggressive target given the reliance by the United States and Mexico on fossil fuels for much of their electricity supply. Roughly 59 percent of Canada’s electricity is generated by hydropower operations, with another 16 percent coming from nuclear plants, so it has already surpassed the targeted benchmark.
    Link

    Reply
    • Good step. That’s better than the Clean Power Plan. Looks like Obama is again trying to quicken the pace. Probably sick and tired of trying to work with republicans on a hundred issues all while they keep trying to bite his hand off.

      Reply
  26. BJD

     /  June 28, 2016

    Sorry, re-read the article. Got it about the QBO.

    Reply
  27. Spike

     /  June 28, 2016

    This is as robustly elegant a demolition of an ant-renewables pitch as I have seen anywhere outside this site – from down under.

    http://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/keith-de-lacy-not-right-solar-wind-power-not-not-anywhere/

    Reply
    • Fantastic article here. Thank goodness someone’s taking up an ardent defense of rooftop solar. Cheers to Finn! From the article:

      “The Australian recently published an opinion piece by the Director of an oil shale company and former Chairman of Macarthur Coal, entitled, “Solar And Wind Power Simply Don’t Work – Not Here, Not Anywhere”.

      This was surprising because the solar panels above my head are producing electricity right now. And since I know exactly how much I paid for them I know they are definitely economically worthwhile. Also, because I know exactly how much the STCs I received as part of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target were worth I know the rooftop solar system would still pay for itself even without subsidy.

      The 26% or so of Australians who have installed rooftop solar might also have been surprised to learn their systems don’t work. But don’t worry, it is the author of the piece, Keith De Lacy, who is confused, not you. A properly sized rooftop solar system is still the cheapest source of electricity available to most Australians, and this can still be the case even without subsidy.

      De Lacy is convinced it is impossible to meet Labor’s target of 50% renewable electricity by 2040 as he wrote,

      “On the basis of evidence everywhere we could easily double the price of electricity and get nowhere near the 50 per cent target.”

      I find that to be quite a bizarre statement which makes me think he should get his eyes checked because he appears to have a massive blind spot preventing him from seeing that South Australia already meets 40% of its electricity consumption from rooftop solar and wind power. An achievement that demonstrates Australia can meet a 50% renewable electricity target quickly and cheaply…”

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  June 29, 2016

      Spike, that is the Rightwing so-called ‘Labor’ ex-Treasurer of one of our more reactionary and backward states. And one who has moved further Right since his political career. And one heavily invested in fossil fuels. And one now a favourite at the Murdoch MSM cancer, the fanatical dead heart of denialism, hatred of environmentalism and every sort of Rightwing moral insanity in this country. Even as we move rapidly to destruction through climate destabilisation, these evil, evil, fanatics, the murderers of all our children, simply refuse to back down-and they NEVER will.

      Reply
  28. redskylite

     /  June 28, 2016

    Many thanks Robert for this brilliant impassioned summation of the state the world is in today, faced with growing Climate Change anomalies. I have felt sick, shaken and saddened by the BREXIT news, and totally revolted by reports of increased racist incidents in the United Kingdom, the country I was raised in. The fact the Prime Minister has resigned makes the situation even worse and the door is open for an Adolf Hitler Mark II to step in and exploit the current divide and social unrest. My opinion is that a true leader should stay through good and bad times.

    I left the U.K in 1985 and have been privileged to visit, reside and work in many areas of the world, including the Soviet Union, China, Inner Mongolia, several Arab states and a variety of Asian countries. I have always been treated with the utmost respect by the locals, never once have I received any racial antagonism, and yet I have read of revolting behavior towards people with origins (some distant by a few generations) outside, in the U.K.

    I understand the EU sponsors a variety of Climate Change related scientific projects and the U.K is active in some of these projects, very sad to lose the bond.

    My only hope and comfort is that the United Nations itself can fill the gaps and keep the world together in some form of unity. I also see joint studies ongoing between different countries (like the U.S and U.K), so hopefully science can carry on the joint national approach without the need of an official formal treaty.

    The EU-funded SEACHANGE project (host and beneficiary
    The University of Reading, United Kingdom) has set out to quantify and limit some of the uncertainties in modeling predictions concerning sea-level rise as a result of climate change.

    The project found that in the Southern Ocean sea-level change is influenced most strongly by surface heating and changes in winds (surface momentum flux), whilst North Atlantic change is affected mainly by surface heating with – to a lesser degree – the influence of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) weakening.

    http://cordis.europa.eu/news/rcn/125562_en.html

    Reply
    • Exactly. What does Cameron expect to step into the vacuum he’ll create in such a context? Let’s hope that the left wins out after Britain suffers the consequences of uncertainty created by Brexit.

      So… When I visited the UK back in 2001 and 2003, I was the subject of slurs (called a fat American despite my 165 lbs at the time) likely due to anger over Bush administration policies (which I did not support). I understood the anger, so I took it on the chin. Realized it wasn’t personal. But the fear and resulting hate over migrants is much worse. These are deep rooted negative emotions that historically have been associated with the worst kinds of systemic and institutional violence. It’s not isolated to the UK but is a global pheonomena that is afflicting the western world. The right has, in effect, replaced what should be effective policy choices with hatred of migrants and climate change denial. These two are very dangerous if a large number of people take them up.

      But we should be very clear — it’s not just in the UK. It’s pretty much everywhere. The forces of fear, hatred and ignorance have been let off the leash and are running rampant. And this is primarily due to the deleterious influence of fossil fuel dollars and related political power over various government groups of the world. In other words, to keep burning fossil fuels, you basically need climate change denial and migrant scapegoating. Because if you actually deal with the truth of fossil fuel burning, you realize that you need to work very hard to identify, mitigate (which means halting fossil fuel burning), respond and adapt to climate threats. And if you are to look at the root causes of the mass migration, you start to look at the fossil fuel companies themselves.

      Stoking fears of migrants is part and parcel to the smokescreen generated by climate change denial. The one reinforces the other. And it not only perpetuates the earlier bad corporate actions that lead to the problem in the first place, it also generates more negative actions — raising the prospect of abuse of migrants and climate change refugees and possibly paving a dark road toward genocide.

      Reply
  29. Wharf Rat

     /  June 28, 2016
    Reply
  30. webej

     /  June 28, 2016

    We should be careful with the “tragedy of the commons” phrase (resource depletion through self-interest), because it is a neo-liberal way of framing the problem: the problem is purportedly public/collective ownership, and the solution is private property in which rational self-interest generates better stewardship of the resource. Historically it is simply untrue that the commons always led to bad outcomes: collective use of resources (commons) has functioned throughout millenia of human habitation. Resource depletion of commons is generally a symptom of stressed systems (political economic forces and changing dynamics). People survived throughout centuries during the middle ages without private property: commons for (your own) sheep, goats, chickens; right of way to water; plots of land were allotted each year by lot and and by number of mouths you fed.
    We desparately need to go back to the commons, but then in a new enlightened global version. The dynamics of privatized resource allocation with its narrow focus on private costs and private profits and its disregard for “externalities” is sure to push us over the edge of various looming catastrophes. An example: Don’t expect privatization of the world’s oceans to solve fish depletion, or, even if did, to solve more problems than it creates.

    Reply
  31. Suzanne

     /  June 28, 2016

    I was just at the Guardian commenting on how bad Brexit is for CC policies…
    And of course…many responded..that CC is a hoax..(sigh).
    So unfortunate that the Brexit voters voted on a campaign base on “hate and fear”…
    Sad days.

    Reply
    • Hate, fear, and ignorance. You know this climate change denial is about to morph into something uglier. The conservatives are hell bent on reaping the whirlwind. They’ve summoned up all the ancient political demons and they’re going to want an ugly payment in return for services rendered.

      Reply
      • Actually the elite conservatives are hell bent on making the liberals, moderates, political agnostics, their middle and working class base and the rest of us reap that whirlwind, while they get to run to their hiding places like the cowardly unconservative cockroaches they are.

        Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    Growing Arctic carbon emissions could go unobserved

    A new NASA-led study has found that in at least part of the Arctic, scientists are not doing as good a job of detecting changes in carbon dioxide during the long, dark winter months as they are at monitoring changes during the short summer. That’s a concern, because growing Arctic plants can act as a brake on global warming rates by removing carbon from the atmosphere, but increasing cold-season emissions could overwhelm the braking effect and accelerate global warming.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  33. I worry too that we may have passed a threshold, where reasonable logical action to halt and reverse global warming may become increasingly politically impossible.

    Are we about to enter into a time of political chaos?

    So far, it looks like maybe we will.

    Bernie Sander’s peaceful revolution has apparently been blocked by a controlled corporate media. So, maybe now we get to see what real chaos looks like.

    In feedback and control engineering, feeding true information back into the system is a way to prevent systems from oscillating out of control. That’s what we are trying to do here on Robert’s great site, I think – feed true information back into the system to try to return it to a state of control.

    Let’s hope that the sort of widespread flight from reality that occurred under Hitler does not ensue, here in the U.S. and around the world.

    After all, creating a synthetic reality through propaganda didn’t work out very well for Germany after WWII – broken, divided, occupied, bankrupt.

    Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  June 28, 2016

      Leland, theose are my concerns as well..knowing the data and smothered by the politics and corporations.

      The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is nine N.E. States auctioning CO2 allowances to their power plant operators and using the revenue to invest in efficiency and renewables. It opened a Program Review this year to hear from stakeholders. Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and I submitted comments calling for RGGI to cap CO2 from all sources.

      It can be accomplished by RGGI governors –mainly Democrats – and not legislators.

      About 163 million tons of CO2 from fuels, within the RGGI States, are uncontrolled. If a cap and invest is applied, that can bring in billions for efficiency and renewable investments through rebates and subsidies of all kinds. That is what VEIC does with RGGI money.

      If you are interested, we can continue this conversation.

      Reply
  34. Excellent work!!! Enjoyed the read.

    Reply
  35. Well a couple months ago Obama warned the Brits that the UK would be “at the back of the line” for the TTiP trade treaty negotiations.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/22/barack-obama-brexit-uk-back-of-queue-for-trade-talks

    I think quite a few Britons thought: “If Brexit were to keep us out of that dodgy treaty, then all is well and good with a vote to leave.”

    Reply
    • I agree. EU support for the TTIP probably was the last straw for some people. My read on the Brexit leaders though are that they are about as right wing as right wing can be. So I really seriously doubt that they’ll provide the kinds of policies needed to get the UK people back on a good economic footing. More likely they’ll just keep pick up where the international treaties left off with wrecking the social safety web.

      Reply
      • So I really seriously doubt that they’ll provide the kinds of policies needed to get the UK people back on a good economic footing. More likely they’ll just keep pick up where the international treaties left off with wrecking the social safety web.

        Let the UK right wing try that, and even foist the TTiP on the UK people, and there’ll be a backlash against them so fast it’ll make everyone’s head spin.

        Reply
        • Extreme right wing politicians running the Brexit movement basically fall in line with traditional right wing policies including climate change denial:

          Since then, the link between climate science deniers and Eurosceptics has become more pronounced. In February 2016, it was revealed that Lord Lawson’s climate denying Global Warming Policy Foundation had moved its headquarters into the same building as Brexit campaign groups ‘Business for Britain’ and ‘Vote Leave’, along with a slew of other right wing organisations including the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

          The Brexit-climate denier overlap stems from a common neoliberal ideology that fears top-down state interventions and regulations which are perceived as threatening values of individual freedom, economic (market) freedom, or the sovereignty of national governments. Under this logic, we must reject both the European Union and most climate policy.

          And the influence of this small group extends beyond the walls of their 55 Tufton Street address – just a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament – to include prominent politicians and traditional British media outlets. It begs the question: If the climate-euro sceptic bubble is successful on Brexit, what will then happen to British climate change policy?

          … As such they are not at all likely to help reform the social safety web there.

        • Oh, the New Right in Britain will do whatever they want, making the UK a de facto partner in the TTiP, and even attempt to turn the British people’s cherished NHS into ObamaRomneyCare.

          If these faux populists try the last, there’ll be quite the backlash against them, I predict.

          And the British people won’t be happy either when Scotland and Northern Ireland elect to leave the UK and rejoin the EU. This, too, is being caused by the UK New Right’s position on social safety nets, which the Scotch and Northern Irish want to be robust, not non-existent.

        • Bernie Sanders had a great op-Ed in the NYT today on the issue. Have to say I wholeheartedly agree. If Hillary doesn’t take him or Warren as a running mate, she’ll open wide the door for Trump and republicans to play the xenophobia card as the right did in the UK RE Brexit. The US populace needs a real party that supports their interests, otherwise it’s a downward spiral into fear, anger, hate, and disunity. And we absolutely need to reinvigorate tax the rich and hold global mega corps accountable policies. They may be powerful and hold a lot of money. But right now, they are wrecking the planet and destabilizing entire nations. This has got to stop.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/29/opinion/campaign-stops/bernie-sanders-democrats-need-to-wake-up.html?action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&module=Trending&version=Full&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

        • A Trump victory may also lead to a possible US military defeat in a confrontation with China and/or Russia over issues in the South China Sea. This is one of those alleys that the neocons wish to pursue, along with bear-baiting Russia. If that were to happen, a possible multi-sided civil war with recriminations on all sides is likely to ensue. Of course, the smart, the liberals, the LGBT people (c’est moi!), the Blacks, the Latinos, the N.A. Indians, the Muslims and even the Jews will take it on the chin before any so-called “real” Americans do.

          And check out Trump’s website. His policy positions are really not that much different from, if at all, say, those of the Tea Party and the GOP Establishment.

          Straight from the horse’s mouth: link.

  36. Reply
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    • Michael Ventrice ‏@MJVentrice 1h1 hour ago

      The Indian Ocean dipole is now the most negative it’s been dating back to 2012.

      Reply
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  42. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    Impossible, but true: Strongman Donald Trump is losing the argument over terrorism

    And guess what: Today’s WaPo poll finds that Americans prefer Clinton’s handling of the Orlando shooting in particular by 46-28, an edge of 18 points. And note this:

    As this chart shows, the result of both candidates’ response to the Orlando attacks was also that Clinton holds a 34-point edge on which one showed the better temperament in response (it’s 59-25); a 19-point edge on which could handle the situation as president (it’s 53-34); and a nine-point edge on which has the best proposals to prevent future attacks (it’s 44-35).

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/06/28/impossible-but-true-strongman-donald-trump-is-losing-the-argument-over-terrorism/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 28, 2016

      Republican Voters Are Evenly Split on Climate Change

      Most voters, including about half of Republicans, believe the climate is changing and the federal government should step in to cut greenhouse gases, according to new polling commissioned by a group of right-leaning energy-focused organizations.

      http://fortune.com/2016/06/28/republican-voters-are-evenly-split-on-climate-change/

      Reply
      • Well, it would help if republicans in Congress were evenly split on climate change. Such is pretty obviously not the case.

        Reply
    • Oh thank goodness.

      It should be pretty clear that a guy who inflames anger toward various groups and races of people would only feed into the kind of violent acts that we so often associate with terrorism. That his very extreme views would generally promote violence and conflict around the world and prevent people from working together in a harmonious and peaceful manner. The fight against terrorism is as much about preventing the kind of situations that spark extremism and lead to violence in the first place. How can Trump do that when pretty much everything he says is so divisive? Whole groups that we need to help to prevent violence are to blame in his mind. Muslims, not criminals and extremists, in his view cause terrorism. But the vast majority of Muslims are as peace loving as the rest of us and view terrorism as an abomination. Mexicans, in his mind, are rapists, gun trafficers, and drug dealers. But Mexicans are as much (if not more) a victim of these crimes as Americans. And we have millions of Mexicans and Muslims living in this country, contributing to this country as honorable and helpful American citizens and making our country a better place through those much needed contributions. We should make them feel welcome here for all the help they’ve given. We should be an example of kindness and harmony and of the dream of the very America that historically has flung wide her arms to embrace and welcome all of good heart who came to her shores.

      You don’t prevent terrorism by falsely blaming and labeling whole groups of people. You prevent these harms by engagement, by doing the necessary hard work to create stability, just laws, and societies that do not foster criminalization or feed into cycles of violence. You do this by generating responsible policies that enable people to care for, cooperate with, and to, ultimately, love one another. You do this by remaining vigilant and dealing with actual threats, not creating threats that do not currently already exist.

      The politics of division that Trump is the leader of here in the US cannot accomplish any of those goals for his very policies, his very actions and language run counter to it.

      Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    Thirty-one top scientific societies speak with one voice on global climate change

    In a consensus letter to U.S. policymakers, a partnership of 31 leading nonpartisan scientific societies today reaffirmed the reality of human-caused climate change, noting that greenhouse gas emissions “must be substantially reduced” to minimize negative impacts on the global economy, natural resources, and human health.

    “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver,” the collaborative said in its 28 June letter to Members of Congress. “This conclusion is based on multiple independent lines of evidence and the vast body of peer-reviewed science.”

    Link

    Reply
  44. godfrey street

     /  June 28, 2016

    Hi Robert,

    Firstly, thank you for the dedicated work you do to help us see what is happening with the climate. I disseminate the material as widely as possible and am very grateful for it.

    As a UK citizen who has witnessed the erosion of our fundamental liberties and the diminishing of the democratic accountability of our rulers – many of whom are now unelected officials in Brussels – it is clear that the primary motives of the electorate were to reclaim those liberties and the direct access to power that being able to vote someone in or out gives.

    Mass migration into UK started long before the Syrian tragedy and hundreds of thousands of people every year , many from Europe, have settled in UK with the consequent impact on employment opportunities, housing, schools etc that is inevitable with those numbers. Many of the communities that voted to leave have reported their lives as being greatly affected. These are situated outside London and major cities and disregarded by the political elite. One gentleman in Leicester when questioned as to why he voted to leave replied ‘it couldn’t get any worse’…. a lifetime of hardship in five words.

    I have lived and worked in these communities and have seen the consequences of the decisions made in Brussels (and Westminster). These people are – in the main – decent and tolerant, as were the majority of the leaders of the Brexit campaign and have endured neglect and being sidelined for many years. Please do not refer to them as driven by fear and intolerance: you do them an injustice. It took courage to vote the way they did against a backdrop of Establishment hyperbole and with neither side laying out the pros and cons of the decision in any sensible way. I think they did their best to claim freedom.

    The response of the Brussels establishment to Brexit is further example of its disregard of those whom they are paid to serve and to work with. A review of the plight of the people of Greece and the young people of Spain makes clear the approach of the European elite to its populace.

    In the coming very difficult times for all of us globally and whilst many are already suffering greatly I hope we can share the best of what humanity can be.

    Thank you for reading this, if you do. I write to take a stand for many people in UK communities that have been wrongly characterised as acting from ungenerous motives when they have actually been dealing with many difficulties in a quiet and stoical fashion.

    Kind regards,

    godfrey

    Reply
    • Legitimate concerns and very real grievances have been co-opted by a right-wing movement that fanned fears of immigration in order to push the Brexit vote. This does not mean that people in Britain have been treated fairly by corporatized globalization that emerged under a co-opted EU. And this is something that I worked hard to highlight in the post above. But the net result is that we’ve had xenophobia on the right dupe very legitimate grievances on the left to generate a pretty destabilizing outcome. My point was that international bodies serving corporate interests and not listening to the will of the people generate these kinds of results.

      In my observation, the failure of the international organizations to support the middle class increased inequality which led to forces that helped to split the UK from Europe. This is largely due to, in my view, corporate influence of policy coming out of the international bodies which has inflicted economic damage upon many living in England — which was the destabilizing factor.

      Sadly, though secession from the EU will result in a number of negative impacts. Not the least of which will be the riding to power of a number of anti-environmental groups within England. Perhaps if Labor could wipe the right wingers out and re-establish some strong social and environmental policies while fending off TTIP, then there could be a positive outcome. But, currently, I don’t see that happening. This is not at all to say that grievances RE privatization and erosion of the social safety net are not valid. That the hard times of people in England are not a concern. They are the chief concern. They are absolutely valid. They are the center of gravity of the whole crisis.

      And if the EU had not enabled this erosion by foisting a number of harmful international treaties and allowing economic exploitation of the UK people, then I don’t think the Brexit vote would have happened the way it did. I don’t think that right wing extremists would have been able to cynically leverage legitimate (left wing and general) concerns to bring themselves to power. But that’s what happened. And that’s why this is such an ominous outcome.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 28, 2016

      godfrey

      Thanks for the thoughtful comments , something I’m sure you’ll understand ……….. The Canadians are suing the US government, because we turned down the XL pipeline to move their dirty oil , price tag 15 Billion US Dollars.

      Reply
    • Hello, Godfrey,

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but it is my understanding that the officials in Brussels, led by GFM Scheauble, intend to crush the UK because a majority voted to leave. Thanks!🙂

      Reply
      • A bit about Sheauble here:

        “A leading advocate of austerity during the eurozone crisis[25]— Schäuble in 2014 pushed through a national budget of 299 billion euros that allowed Germany not to take on any new debt for the first time since 1969.[26] He has been described variously as the “personification of fiscal discipline”[27] and “Europe’s foremost ayatollah of austerity”[28]—Schäuble’s reputation for tough control of spending has been helped by Germany’s rapid recovery from recession but he has repeatedly rebuffed calls from government supporters for vote-winning tax cuts.[20] Throughout his tenure, he stood by his position that structural reforms such as overhauling labor markets in Europe are the way out of a low-growth spiral.[29] In 2013, for example, Schäuble and Vítor Gaspar, his counterpart in Portugal, announced a plan to use the German state development bank KfW to help set up a financial institution to assist Portuguese under age 25 in getting jobs or job training.[30]

        In 2012, following the resignation of Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the 17 euro zone finance ministers, known as the Eurogroup, suggestions soon gathered pace that Chancellor Angela Merkel was pressing for Schäuble to take up the position;[6][23] the job later went to Jeroen Dijsselbloem instead.

        In the negotiations to form a coalition government following the 2013 federal elections, he led the CDU/CSU delegation in the financial policy working group; his co-chair from the SPD was the Mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz.[31] Between 2014 and 2015, Schäuble and Scholz again led the negotiations on overhauling the so-called solidarity surcharge on income and corporate tax (Solidaritätszuschlag) and reorganizing financial relations between Germany’s federal government and the federal states.[32]

        In a letter to the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici in late 2014, Schäuble and the finance ministers of the eurozone’s other big economies – Michel Sapin of France and Pier Carlo Padoan of Italy – urged the European Commission to draw up EU-wide laws to curb corporate tax avoidance and prevent member states from offering lower taxes to attract investors, calling for a comprehensive anti-BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) directive for member states to adopt by the end of 2015.[33]

        On Schäuble’s initiative, Germany became a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.[34] At a 2015 meeting of the G-20 major economies, he called for better integration of Islamic finance into the international financial system.[35]”

        Reply
      • Shauble had also denied the prospect for British access to the EU single market should it exit the EU:

        http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/10/no-single-market-access-for-uk-after-brexit-wolfgang-schauble-says

        Reply
        • I knew it!😡

        • Seems to me that this guy is both the author of austerity and seems suspect in possible economic warfare on anyone attempting to leave the EU.

          CDU appears to try to mix opposites — free market + social welfare. Might work for Germany but it doesn’t seem to have generated a harmonious EU.

      • And with regards to the Greek potential exit:

        Schäuble came under criticism for his actions during the “Grexit” crisis of 2015: it was suggested by Yanis Varoufakis that Schäuble had intended to force Greece out of the Euro even before the election of the left-wing Syriza government in Greece.[71] This was confirmed by former US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in early 2014; calling Schäuble’s plan “frightening,” Geithner recorded that Schäuble believed a Greek exit from the Eurozone would scare other countries in to line.[72] Schäuble also received extensive criticism toward his austerity recommendations from Twitter via the hashtag #ThisIsACoup.[73] Such criticism focused on the fact that Schäuble’s insistence on policies of austerity was contradicted both by the empirical evidence that the policies he had insisted on had shrunk the Greek economy by 25%, a degree hitherto paralleled only in wartime, but also by reports from the IMF insisting that only massive debt relief, not further austerity, could be effective.

        Reply
        • Scheauble may still force a Grexit yet — especially if the IMF finally grows a pair and tell the Germans and the Eurocrats that the whole scheme is too ridiculous for them to participate in it anymore, and they cut their losses and pull out. Were that to happen, I daresay the whole Euro economic scheme could very well blow up in Scheauble, Djesselbloem, Merkel, and the Eurocrats’ faces.

    • redskylite

       /  June 28, 2016

      Hi Godfrey,

      The sentiments you write about are much the way I felt in 1985, when I left the U.K for good. I was working in British Aerospace and saw more and more lay offs and closures and an ugly clash between Heseltine and Thatcher, over aerospace. From being a proud citizen (with a large Union Jack displayed on his car trunk), I felt betrayed, very betrayed and now I feel even more betrayed. Belonging to the EU and having rights to protection and free movement in Europe was the last privilege I felt in being English and holding an EU U.K passport. All of the countries I have resided in since leaving, including the my current abode, have dealt with mass immigration and most live together in harmony, it is no big deal (xenophobia makes a deal out of it). Britain may be in a special position because of it’s Empire days legacy, when it exploited foreign resource and changed and interfered with many countries boundaries, but that is all in it’s past. Thanks for your polite letter and I do not mean to be impolite or attacking, but I do not sympathize or relate to your views in any way at all.

      I was born right after WWII in war torn Germany, my folks were in the British army helping building the damaged infrastructure. We heard tales from the German people of how the Germans treated Jews at the very start of the evil regime. As a septuagenarian I warn you I am hearing similar stories now from the U.K in the treatment of Polish and Muslim citizens. I am very fearful for our global future if we cannot develop beyond this clannish, bigoted, racialist and backward behavior. Is this the limit of our evolution ? is this the best we can do. ?

      Reply
    • Spike

       /  June 29, 2016

      As a Brit my feeling is that corporate and neoliberal ideologues have captured the UK government since Thatcher’s time. I voted to stay in the EU because although the same process is underway there it is in my opinion at a less terminal stage than the malignancy at Westminster which is sucking nourishment from the marginalised areas of the UK, the poor and the environment. There are still some forces of democracy and social Europe in the EC, but they are being destroyed very quickly and I wanted to stay in and hope that we could achieve a UK government that would fight them continent wide.

      Those good folk who voted for Brexit, and there are some, will I think soon discover that they have enabled the more anaplastic UK destructive process to proceed apace. If you don’t believe me take it from Rupe

      “I once asked Rupert Murdoch why he was so opposed to the European Union. ‘That’s easy,’ he replied. ‘When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice.”

      Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  June 28, 2016

    Big fires burning at the tip of Siberia –
    Terra/MODIS
    2016/180
    06/28/2016
    00:40 UTC

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 28, 2016

      Farther West

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  June 28, 2016

        Big fires burning at the tip of Siberia –

        This sure looks like tundra burning given it’s latitude and location.

        Aqua/MODIS
        2016/180
        06/28/2016
        00:55 UTC

        Reply
  46. entropicman

     /  June 28, 2016

    Unfortunately we English have an exaggerated sense of fair play.

    It has rapidly become apparent that the Brexit case was grossly optimistic and leaving the EU is a negative sum game.

    We will leave, despite this, because a majority voted for it.😕

    Reply
    • Ha! That’s the first time I’ve heard that phrase used well. Negative sum game. Will have to remember that. I wonder if this will foster a Bri-EUnity party?

      Reply
      • entropicman

         /  June 28, 2016

        Lol.

        The Prime Ministers of Scotland, and Gibralter, and some politicians, in Northern Ireland are seriously discussing forming a Reunited Kingdom to stay in the EU when England and Wales leave.

        Reply
        • All joking aside, this is a concern to me. It seems that the UK may be destabilizing and pulled in a lot of different directions as a result. It’s pretty sad, really. And it seems to me that these stresses have been caused directly by corporate-based globalization. The EU has pushed a number of these destructive policies and that’s why groups across Europe want out. If the EU is going to save itself, it really needs to look toward helping people that are hurting — not helping big corps by implementing these policies that let them loot public resources.

    • So I think it’s pretty clear that Scotts want to stay in the EU. And if Trump weren’t a complete ‘cockwomble’ like one of the valiant tweeters in the link noted, then he would have realized Scotland’s recent history — that being that the primary issue keeping Svotland in the UK was EU membership. In other words the Scots wanted to stay in the EU more than they wanted to separate from Britian. This despite the fact that conservative right wing bozos like Trump in the UK were trying to force Scotland to slow down what is now a very popular and necessary energy transition. You see, unlike the ‘Cockwomble’ Trump, Scots know what’s good for them and actually want wind and solar energy.

      Reply
      • My wife showed me those tweets, and I couldn’t stop laughing.

        Generally I tend to ignore simple ridicule as white noise, but I have to admit being aesthetically torn between “Spoon” (can’t be trusted with knife and fork) and “Mangled Apricot Hellbeast”.

        This year, we appear to be in the midst of abrupt climate change. We all hope is slows down, but anybody who wants to be one of the most influential leaders of the world in this time of troubles and who refused to admit reality is fair game, I think.

        Reply
  1. Britain Succumbs to Fear — Europe Shattered by Deteriorating Physical and Political Climate | robertscribbler | GarryRogers Nature Conservation

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