Cognitive Dissonance and Outright Lies at the Edge of Extinction

In recent weeks and months I have been amazed at the general public and most scientists ability to ignore the blatant evidence that we are in early stage, non-linear runaway warming. From individual activists, to the donation soaked and addicted corporate NGO’s, who are literally dependent on “Business as Usual” to maintain their cash flows, they ignore the elephant in the room, squandering vital time to prepare for the already unfolding collapse.
On an individual basis the decision to deny the severity of the situation is up to each persons conscience and/or courage to accept the predicament we find ourselves in but when it comes to research universities and their tenured scientists, governments and the large NGO’s it’s a ‘Dereliction of Duty’ for them not to be ‘completely frank’. That for me is abject dishonesty, especially toward the youth. I’ve previously singled out Dr Michael E Mann, the corporate media’s ‘Go To Mann’, for this dishonesty.
Cognitive
Below I will lay out just a few examples showing that we are in the runaway phase of this extinction event.
This fire season alone, “Australia’s wildfires have destroyed more than a fifth of the country’s forests, making the blazes “globally unprecedented” following a years-long drought linked to climate change, researchers said Monday.” Bushfires burned a fifth of Australia’s forest: Bushfires burned a fifth of Australia’s forest: study   Remember this is not an El Nino year, the next El Nino, if we have one, will be brutal and will put this event on steroids. The double feedback from these fires is that the forests were formerly carbon sinks so that has been lost and all the carbon that has ben released will accentuate the predicament.

In August last year Professor Guy McPherson and I re-interviewed Dr Andrew Glikson from the Australian National University regarding an article he wrote titled:Beyond Climate Tipping Points: Greenhouse Gas Levels Exceed the Stability Limit of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets

The pace of global warming has been grossly underestimated. As the world keeps increasing its carbon emissions rising in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion ton COper year, the atmospheric greenhouse gas level has now exceeded 560 ppm (parts per million) CO2equivalent, namely when methane and nitric oxide are included. This level surpasses the stability threshold of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The term “climate change“ is thus no longer appropriate, since what is happening in the atmosphere-ocean system, accelerating over the last 70 years or so, is an abrupt calamity on a geological dimension threatening nature and civilization. Ignoring what the science says, the powers-that-be are presiding over the sixth mass extinction of species, including humanity.”
Links to the article and our interview with the exceptionally honest Dr Glikson can be found embedded below; Tipping Points in the Earth Climate System. Dr Andrew Glikson returns to Nature Bats Last

We are on the cusp of witnessing a sea ice free arctic ocean. The consequences of the albedo feedback loop and other side effects of the loss of sea ice like loss of habitat for algae, krill, sea lions, sea birds and polar bears. “Losing the remaining Arctic sea ice and its ability to reflect incoming solar energy back to space would be equivalent to adding one trillion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, on top of the 2.4 trillion tons emitted since the Industrial Age, according to current and former researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.”

“At current rates, this roughly equates to 25 years of global CO2 emissions.For further reference see: ”Cascading Consequences of the Loss of Arctic Sea Ice

My cohost on Nature Bats Last recently commented on this aspect of the unraveling titled: “Edge of Extinction: Scientists don’t know why !!

“To believe that our species can avoid extinction, even as non-human vertebrates and non-human mammals disappear, is classic human hubris wrapped in a warm blanket of myth-based human supremacy. The evidence indicates humans will join the annihilation of “all life on earth,” as reported in the journal literature on 13 November 2018. Even tardigrades, the go-to survivor for those who deny the impacts of abrupt climate change on life, are unlikely to survive, according to a paper in the 9 January 2020 issue of Scientific Reports. If the organisms on which we depend do not survive, if even tardigrades do not survive, then humans will not survive.” Quoted from this article published by Counterpunch titled: Extinction Foretold, Extinction Ignored.

On next weeks episode of Nature Bats Last Professor McPherson and I will be interviewing  George Tsakraklides on his recent article titled “Collapse means Collapse.”the interview can be found at the NBL archive shortly after the live broadcast on The Progressive Radio Network.
‘People believe what they want to believe. It is a striking-yet all too familiar-fact about human beings that our belief-forming processes can be so distorted by fears, desires, and prejudices that an otherwise sensible person may sincerely uphold a false claim about the world despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. When we describe someone as being “in denial,” we mean that he or she is personally threatened by some set of facts and consequently fails to assess the situation properly according to the evidence, instead arguing and interpreting evidence in light of a pre-established conclusion.’
— From the ‘cover notes’ of Adrian Bardon’s book, THE TRUTH ABOUT DENIAL

As I have written before: The New Climate Denial Position is to deny Abrupt Climate Change. 

 

I'm an anti-imperialist, environmental activist and blue ocean sailor, who is passionate about the earth and all it's inhabitants without favour. Brace for imminent impact as we bare witness to the non-linear unraveling of the biosphere and habitability disappearing for most if not all complex life on the only habitable planet we know of. To quote President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’. Folks we have lost the Arctic.

Posted in Early Stage Runaway, George Tsakraklides, Nature Bats Last, Near Term Human Extinction--NTHE, Professor Guy McPherson
18 comments on “Cognitive Dissonance and Outright Lies at the Edge of Extinction
  1. Sheila chambers says:

    The fat lady is singing loudly but who can hear her over all the noise from that CIRCUS?
    “Global warming is a Chinese hoax”, “the economy is BOOMING!” The “green new deal” will save us, all we need to do is for all of us to become VEGAN or FAST, Just keep it in the ground, buy EV’s,buy solar panels, buy wind turbines buy buy buy, I think I have heard all this crap before!
    Gotta keep the stooges BUYING that Chinese crap, kick the homeless down the road, those lazy bums! So what if a ‘bot or Chinese slave has your job, find another invisible job before that illegal immigrant takes it.56

    Just how STUPID are we?
    Most of us actually believe in fairy tales, “sustainable” growth, green new deal, renewables, now the dems call for open borders, just let the worlds pregnant, poor, needy & unskilled flood in & hold their hands out after all, aren’t all ‘mericans as rich as the Cardashians?
    Look at all that “empty” land, as they look out at the great ‘merican DESERT, there is plenty of space for more GROWTH, we could sustain 10 BILLION people or more! Just stack ’em up like cord wood & stuff them all inside Texas!

    Here on the Oregon coast, it’s HOT, DRY & fruit trees are blooming, not good news for farmers but who worries about farmers, we can allways import food, but Australia WAS one of the worlds bread baskets, now they have to IMPORT WHEAT! Will we be the next food exporting country that will have to import food from elsewhere, but WHERE?

    Climate disruption is collapsing crops every where, hungry, thirsty, unemployed, unskilled migrants will be on the move by the tens of thousands to a border near YOU!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sheila chambers says:

      I added “56” at the end of a sentance, & it finally posted, WTF!
      That’s NUTS!

      Liked by 1 person

    • wqjcv says:

      Human behavior wasn’t stupid in the sense that it served us well in our evolutionary past.
      Not this time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sheila chambers says:

        Yes, it serves us well until we got “smart” enough to exploit the energy & resources in COAL, OIL & NATURAL GAS. Then it got all out of whack & totally out of reason.
        Our animal instincts overruled our smarts so we fed our growth with a temporary resource, Now we are so far into overshoot that no matter what we do now, we are still toast!
        Our RULERS prevent us from stopping our growth, the made birth control, sex education & abortions illegal, punish women & their doctors who provide an abortion. push for endless growth that only benifits them, even as climate disruption gets worse, the still force more growth on us.

        There are even some governors that want to turn their state into a “christian” state! What will they do to Jews, Hindus, Moslums, Buddists, Jains, Atheists etc?
        The “final solution”?

        If they believe they can escape in their luxury bunkers, their wrong, they will still fry, just a little later.

        I tried to “like” the other posts but WordPress won’t allow it.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Marie says:

      Thank you Kevin… as usual, you are right on! Thank you for naming it.

      I sometimes feel like I’m Crazy. It is so weird to see business as usual happening all around me when I know things are absolutely coming apart. Nobody’s talking about it and it seems as if nobody cares. This is the biggest news story ever. And it is downplayed and ignored. I’ve had several people tell me they just don’t want to know, Then they go on to discuss their pension and plans for a baby.

      I really don’t want to be right but the signs are everywhere. I fear how people are going to react when things become blatantly obvious.

      Oddly enough I’m experiencing this right now in regards to the coronavirus at my own level one trauma hospital. The administrators seem unwilling to prepare or even talk about it. They put us on activation level one but failed to give us any preparation. My boss was getting irritated with my questions about testing. She seem to know nothing.

      Big big big sigh.

      Thank you again for being a voice of sanity in an insane world.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Kevin, there was not a SINGLE question about climate collapse at the Democratic debate yesterday. Not ONE FUCKING PEEP out of these useless excuses for a supposedly ‘progressive’ and ‘evolved’ Homo Sapiens, the exceptional species who was clever enough to invent nuclear bombs to use on each other but too goddamned stupid to get rid of them when they figured out just how insanely dangerous they are. And I’m not even going to mention the other corporate party and their batshit crazy, dementia-plagued, dear leader…

    No, I don’t watch tv, only read about what went on. I don’t think I could handle actually listening to these bozos. I’d throw up.Talk about cognitive dissonance!!! The wealthy will destroy the species, crash the current Empire, because that’s what they’ve always done in the past empires.
    \
    Big sigh.

    So this week, again, I’ve been walking around outside in the full sunny afternoons. Today, a short-sleeve t-shirt & very light sweat pants because it is over 50’F/10C+. I could break out the summer shorts but…it’s February, ya know? I refuse to put on warm weather clothes. But the sunshine feels MUCH warmer hitting the skin. I could get sunburned very easily I think. Oh wait, it isn’t February it is LATE APRIL. I did take my ’78 Bahne 27″ Bullet ‘Bob Mohr’ pool rider and skated around town doing errands yesterday. First skateboarding of the year…and it’s February.

    The nearly bare-of-snow mountains all around me look…naked, and there should be 3-4 feet covering the property on this day 27Feb. There is maybe an inch or two of icy crap here and there, and still in the shaded areas under the big trees, but the rest is sticky mud or squishy wet snow that freezes every night. What is missing on the peaks around me…is horrifying. Winter used to be my favorite time of year. There will be a point where the ski & snowboarding industry will die out due to unpredictable weather and lack of snow (or too much rain).

    The local snowboarding hill, admittedly a low-elevation peak, but at 49’N latitude it used to average 305″ a season. They say they are at 100″ of base on top, and they’re lying. Not a chance there is that amount of snowpack on the Peak. The night temperatures are still below freezing is all that is saving them. There is nearly zero snow piled along the road up to the resort.

    There are bugs out flying around, and I stepped over a butterfly sitting on a step of the porch two hours ago. It was alive but seems a bit disoriented. I put it up on the railing after it crawled up on my hand but…it won’t survive the temperature drop after dark I don’t think. One day of life for it…

    People in town continue to walk around actually COMPLEMENTING how nice the weather has been this month. And I make sure to look suitably shocked when I ask them where do they think they live, California? These are the mountains next to freaking Canada, folks, and what do they think is normal for February for the last ten thousand years of human occupancy that we know about? They look…confused and confounded for a moment or two before they come back with ‘But the weather is so nice.’ Their eyes go BLANK, Kevin. It’s really freaking scary.

    I can actually see their brains stuttering, gears clashing behind their eyes, then the cognitive dissonance takes completely over their brain and they come out with that!

    I can’t fucking stand this, Kevin. My tolerance level for stupid is tanking like the climate, and I find myself sticking vicious verbal needles into people with questions like “How long do you think your water is going to keep coming out of the faucet when the aquifer below your feet is NOT refilling with melting snowpack because there ISN’T any fucking snowpack?’ Or what do you think the fire season is going to be like around here this year? Or lost your fire insurance did you, well why do you think that is?

    The reply often is ‘You are so depressing, seal’ or ‘I’ve got kids/grandkids and I can’t think that way for THEIR SAKE.”

    They. Can’t. Think. That. Way. For. Their. Kids. Sake.

    My mouth just hangs open at this point I imagine. Can you think of a better way to describe ‘cognitive dissonance?’
    ____________

    There is not a goddamned thing I can do about any of this. Just watch it unfold and wait for people to go completely, unhinged, murderously insane, when the term ‘abrupt’ suddenly becomes part of the reality out their front door. How damaged and hungry does one have to be to catch and butcher the neighbors fat little kid who plays video games all day long? Four days without food? Ten days? A month? By then they won’t be able to run down their prey…

    I’m ranting, I know I’m ranting, and I’m going to go smoke a big fat stinky sticky bud. And I rarely do that in the daytime.

    Kevin, if you meet up with some intelligent beings from another solar system that made it through this bottleneck our species finds itself in and became sane, and they offer to take you for a ride, give me a call…

    sealintheSelkirks

    Cognitive Dissonance OZ style:

    Burning the Future: the Growing Anger of Young Australians

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/24/burning-the-future-the-growing-anger-of-young-australians/

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sheila chambers says:

      Seal, there is NO “other party”, it’s just ONE party with two different names. “Both” parties are run by GREEDY, STUPID, IGNORANT, FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN MORONS! We have some govenors who want to make their state a CHRISTIAN STATE!!!
      Here we go AGAIN!
      So who will be their PREY this time? Jews, Jains, Mormons, Hindus, Muslums, etc, Atheists are always popular for a “roasting” at the stake.

      It’s been abnormally warm & dry here as well, flowers are blooming, I only saw one very small, skinny moth however, insects here are on the way out. “my” swallows haven’t been able to breed for YEARS, last year they were desperate but no hope for babies, no dam INSECTS.
      Most people believe insects are nasty, dirty, filthy creepy critters, but I LOVE insects & I wish I had more of them, for the swallows, sparrows, doves, woodpeckers, swifts, ducks etc etc.

      Trump believers are the most STUPID, IGNORANT things I have ever seen or heard,
      .
      What will they do when Armadeden comes but Jesus doesn’t ?
      Unless he jacks off! ;^p

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My dearly beloved son has now fallen victim of a climate denier YouTube influencer, creating friction between us. My decision this year to become a vegetarian for the sake of a sustainable future for our planet doesn’t sit well with my son’s meat-eating preferences.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. waterwise1 says:

    Dear Mr. Hester, In my opinion, cognitive dissonance is a mental condition that individuals have minimal control synchronizing behaviors and actions with beliefs, a duality of self that an individual might not possess enough self awareness to recognize the flaws inherent in this mental state. I’m far less generous than I perceive you are. While I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment and confusion at public lack of appropriate reaction, I believe that many people are purposefully ignoring the evidence you cite, and acting clearly in their own self interests, Macchievlian style. Somehow these people have devised an understanding that allows them to continue functioning in the way that they “want”. Its deliberate. They recognize climate disruption is occurring and they are going to try and out run it by using whatever resources they can exploit to accomplish that end. That is why you New Zealanders are experiencing so many transplants with means. Those nice people are trying to construct enclaves to live reasonably comfortably while much of humanity suffers extinction fall out, more than it is currently experiencing. I know some of those people. They have rationales to explain away almost all environmental catastrophies. This allows them to continue watching Netflix, eating Soylent Green like burgers at McDonalds and purchasing larger stretchy clothes from China. Joie d vivre in the U.S.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Kevin Hester says:

    As we circle the drain politically, economically and environmentally cognitive dissonance is a recurring theme for me.
    Being that I’m from a ‘shithole’ country I struggle to see much difference between the Republicans and the Democrats in the USA. Two cheeks of the same corporate asshole it looks like from my side of the pond.
    I like the expression of Sanders being labeled a ‘Sheepdog’, it resonates.
    I truly believe that many people are suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome”. That seems to be the way it is as our civilisation teeters on the brink of collapse.

    https://blackagendareport.com/cognitive-dissonance-democratic-socialists-cults-die-slow-death?fbclid=IwAR11BgtF6azkbF3DC03zSzYQl8BdPoaKyYwoBe-8NLbuesx82Udnvsn2BOs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thomas Houghton says:

      You are invited to stay at my place if you are ever in Southern Ontario Canada. I have also invited Guy. It is nice here in Guelph right now.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Sheila chambers says:

    I’m still amazed that people still believe we have a “democracy” but what “democracy” has an electoral collage that overrides our “votes”?

    I am going to “BOYCOT THE FAKE, RIGGED, FRAUDULANT 2020 “ELECTION”. I’ve been saying that since the rigged 2016 “election”.

    We don’t have a real “vote”, it’s switched, “lost” people are given fake ballots, their disenfranchised, illegally removed from the voting rolls, taken to the wrong voting place, the “voting”machines are owned & controlled by corrupt corporations as are the vote “counting” machines & there is NO PAPER TRAIL. Voters have watches as their “vote” was switched from the candidate they chose to another one they did not want!

    Finally, “elective” surgeries are being done again & I finally had my cataract removed.
    I had been complaining for TWO YEARS about my deteriorating eyesight & in 2018 I was determined that if he gave me another dam worthless office visit in 2019, I would have to find another opthalmologist, I will not accept another useless office visit when what I NEEDED was to have the DAM cataract removed!

    My vision was terrible, everything was foggy,out of focus & blurry! I couldn’t read street signs, road signs, freeway signs, business signs or addresses, I couldn’t read my books without a frensil lens, 3X reading glasses or a magnifying glass & that is NOT acceptable!

    I went home, got on the ‘puter & did some research.

    I finally left him a message with his receptonist, “I don’t need Medicare, I can pay CASH for that procedure, I can pay CASH to have lifeflight take me to where ever they do that procedure, I have MONEY & I don’t need Medicare!”

    I had hardly gotten home & back on the ‘puter when I got a call from his office.
    I was told Dr. X doesn’t do cataract surgery, Doctor “Y” in Crescent city does, would you like to see him?”
    Of course I said yes, because the only other option was to drive 75 miles over one of the top 5 most dangerous highways in the country to get there.
    To drive that road, in winter, with only ONE eye & a cataract in the other would be suicide.
    I can finally SEE again! Colors are vibrant, black & black & white is white, orange letters don’t disappear into a pale tan, page, I can see street names again, my vision is so sharp now, I should not have to have threatened to leave him for another to get this cataract removed.
    It was very interesting to watch the procedure from the inside, I was awake of course, the eye & eyelids were paralized but I wasn’t so I had to lie very still.

    The ONLY place to get food here has a lot of empty shelf space, hording of toilet paper continues, I couldn’t get toilet paper if I needed it, but I am well stocked & use very little TP. HOW can people use so much TOILET PAPER?

    Our governor is reducing the stay at home order but unlike many, I will continue to wear my OLD N-95 mask, latex gloves & use alcohol spray as a sanitizer, we can’t get ANY OF THAT HERE! I can’t even order a new mask online, their out of stock everywhere, probably still in CHINA where most of our stuff is made now.
    My area has really gone downhill in the last few years, we lost banks, food shops, appliance stores, our post office, a jewelry store, electronic store, motels, we don’t have much left to lose now.
    My town just has a pharmacy, a liquor store, some pot shops & a couple of resterants. I now have to drive several miles, through another town to reach the ONLY food shop left.
    With the lockdown, many small busineses are hurting, nail shops, hair shops, tattoo parlors are open now but who needs that? Resterants that have take out are still in business but sit downs are shut.
    I expect some businesses will never reopen. Millions of jobs have been lost, many will stay lost & poverty & homelessness will grow.

    Trump “thinks” the economy is booming, just look at the STOCK MARKET! The RICH are getting disgustingly RICH while millions fall into poverty & homelessness.
    We need a new government, clean out the swamp & get rid of these LYING, GREEDY, CONSERVATIVE, RACIST, MISOGYNIST, WARMONGERING, OLIGARCH MORONS!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Somehow, Sheila, I don’t think the word you are looking for to describe primate behavior should have been “amazed!” I could think of far more interesting words to describe the plethora of random neuron misfiring going on all around us, but unfortunately not a single one would be complimentary. Except for maybe ‘and the species had such potential’… Might be that the anthropologists that discover this planetary system in the future will find all the decaying debris and just shake their heads at another sapient life form that didn’t make it out of the nest…there probably are so many just in this small to medium-sized galaxy of ours…

      Nope, totally controlled system of government by the wealthy. No doubt about it. Voting is only the most visible piece of that control. Oligarchy isn’t some new rock & roll band name, it’s what it has always been about. So tell me, why did women fight so hard to be able to vote? Or was it because they wanted a piece of the pie, too? I’ve noticed that being wealthy and vicious isn’t a gender specific behavior!

      Glad to hear about your surgery, though. At least now you can see the MAGA hats coming and can avoid the contaminated ignorant freedumbers! That friend who was cancelled for her other ‘lens’ replacement just got rescheduled, too. You can SEE again. Isn’t that freaking amazing? 50 years ago you would have been using a white cane the rest of your life. Bodies truly are just ‘vehicles’ like cars that can have parts replaced.

      You can re-use N95 respirators, you just have to let them sit in sunlight for a couple days, better with wind playing across them, too. Have to be careful that they still fit correctly when taking them off and on, though. If your sunglasses or goggles fog they aren’t and you have to reshape the nose-piece until they just get used up and can’t. But this is what the RNs are doing, alternating the ones they have with letting some dry out before sterilizing them as best they can. Of course a lot of them are catch this and dying…but hey, you’re right, there are none anywhere except junk copies with the right printing, and I read yesterday that the US needs 3.5 billion of them by November when the Pandemic’s 2nd Wave is expected to slam into this country (and the world). That is, of course, if this 1st Wave gets a chance to let up. But with all this lunacy of ‘open for business while the infected numbers keep going up I guessing that the 1st Wave will not abate anytime soon. Rather the opposite, just like climate will keep destabilizing even if the ‘news cycle’ has forgotten all about that coming collapse. Damn, sure are a bunch of different ‘collapses’ hanging like axes above us, aren’t there?

      The bottom of the food chain are never going to have access to enough PPE. The wealthy do, and tests, too, for that matter. The extremely wealthy have been leaving the US to their estates in New Zealand and on 400 foot yachts out in the oceans with supply drops being brought to them by helicopter or boat. Or they are seriously ‘self isolating’ in their mansion and penthouses avoiding all the sick ‘little people’ as heiress Leona Helmsley publicly called the rabble years ago when she got busted for tax evasion.

      Sheila, this is the start of the Trump Greater Depression of the 2020s and the Trump Pandemic. You just have to add together the President ‘Hoovervilles’ of the 1930s and the Pres. Woodrow Wilson Pandemic of 1918-20. We get BOTH at once. How…novel is that? And we ain’t seen nothing yet. Unless, of course, the worldwide empire goes the way of all empires quickly instead of drawn-out suffering and madness. What the climate is doing around the planet the last few months…

      Here’s one to send to your dumb-ass Governor. She ain’t too bright but maybe she’ll read it if you send it to her. This Texas legislator and businessman who is so scarily incompetent of critical thinking that he shouldn’t have been allowed to breed. I just had to post the entire thing and I don’t do that very often:

      Death and the Economy: a Dialogue
      Foreign Policy In Focus
      Welcome to Chewing the Fat, our weekly talk show here at WXYZ.

      Today, we have a special treat for you — two guests who will answer the question on everyone’s mind. Should we stay at home in virtual quarantine or should we head out the front door and reopen the economy?

      The coronavirus pandemic is still claiming lives — nearly a thousand a day here in the United States. But other countries, like New Zealand, have effectively eradicated the disease. There is a huge disparity within countries as well, within states, even within cities. And some countries that have loosened their quarantine restrictions, like China and South Korea, have seen fresh outbreaks of the disease.

      Meanwhile, the global economy has taken a major hit. GDP has dropped deeper and faster than at any time since the Great Depression. Unemployment here in the United States stands at 15 percent and rising. People don’t know if they’ll keep their current jobs, get their old jobs back, ever get a job again. The government can print money to keep things going, but individuals can’t do that. A lot of us just don’t know how we’re going to pay the rent or get our next meal.

      Frank Jacobs is a Texas legislator, a businessman, and a vocal advocate of re-opening the economy. Frank, you’ve been talking about the Texas Solution. Tell us about that.

      Frank Jacobs: I own a chain of 15 movie theaters across this great state of Texas. We opened up five of those this last weekend. This is what I told customers. I said: Take your mask off and relax. Breathe in some great buttery popcorn smells, watch a great movie, and just enjoy some time with your family. And that’s what I’ve been saying to people all over the state as part of what I call the Texas Solution. Here in Texas —

      Cassandra Jones: Are you crazy?!

      That’s our other guest, Cassandra Jones, an infectious disease specialist at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

      Cassandra: The number of coronavirus cases is rising in your state. And that’s even before your governor declared your reopening. And you’re not testing enough in Texas, not compared to other states and not compared to what you need to be testing in order to safely reopen the economy.

      Frank: Well, let me tell you that in our movie theaters, we are taking every precaution and then some. Everyone will be six feet or more away from each other. We’ll be cleaning every surface. It will be a lot safer than going to the supermarket, where people get much closer to each other. We’ll be giving my employees their jobs back and safely providing some much-needed entertainment. If you don’t want to go see a movie, hey, that’s fine. But we’re providing an option for those of us who do.

      Cassandra: You’re not talking drive-ins. If someone coughs or sneezes in your enclosed movie theater, the air will circulate any potential viruses to everyone else. And you’re not taking into account all the other interactions that take place because you’re opening up your movie theaters. In the parking lot. On the sidewalks. At the gas station where people are filling up their tanks. At the restaurants where they’re eating before or after the show.

      Frank: With all respect, if we don’t start opening up the economy in these small ways, then there won’t be an economy left to reopen. Our approach here in Texas is very careful.

      Cassandra: Your governor acknowledges that reopening the economy is going to cause deaths. And your lieutenant governor said that “there’s more important things than living.” He was talking about basically sacrificing lives — the lives of senior citizens, of people of color, of folks with preexisting health conditions — and for what? For making sure that the stock market goes back up? When it comes to the vulnerable members of our community, your Texas Solution sounds a whole lot like the Final Solution.

      Frank: Now hold on there. No one is talking about sacrificing people. It’s the opposite. We’re talking about saving lives. Making sure that people have enough money to eat, to feed their children.

      Cassandra: But more people are going to die as a result of the relaxation of restrictions. That’s a fact. Suddenly all the people who got bent out of shape about how there were going to be “death panels” because of the Affordable Care Act, now they’ve basically set themselves up as a death panel, deciding on how many people are going to live or die.

      Frank: No one is talking about death panels. This is the right to life. Hey, listen, nearly 40,000 people die every year on America’s highways. It’s the leading cause of death for people under the age of 55. But we don’t ban cars. Instead we improve auto safety. We come up with better and better methods of reducing the risk of going out on the roads. And it works. Back in the 1970s, more than 50,000 people a year were dying in car accidents.

      Cassandra: A car accident is not an infectious disease. Our models show that, even with the necessary interventions, we’ll have well more than 100,000 deaths in this country. If we relax those controls, the difference would be an order of magnitude.

      For our non-scientific listeners, you’re talking about a million, yes? A million deaths.

      Cassandra: That’s correct.

      Frank: Other countries have been opening up around the world. They’ve taken a sensible approach that balances medical prudence and economic risk. Take a look at Europe. We’re 29 million people in Texas. We’re nearly twice the size of the Netherlands. About 40,000 Dutch have been infected, with over 5,000 dead. But here we’ve only had a little more than a thousand deaths and fewer than 40,000 infections. And, look, the Dutch opened up their primary schools and day care centers last month.

      Cassandra: The countries you’re talking about have seen a substantial reduction in the infection rate. Netherlands has cut infections from over 1,000 a day to less than 300 a day. Italy was seeing over 6,000 new infections a day back in March. They’re now under 1,000 a day. The same with Spain, with Germany. These countries have much more robust systems of testing and contact tracing than we have in the United States. We are almost completely in the dark here in this country as to the real spread of this disease. In Europe, they’re operating in a much more information-rich environment.

      Frank: Hats off to those Europeans. But here in America, we can make decisions for ourselves. We don’t need the state telling us what to do. We had a fellow here in Texas at Prestige Ameritech, the last domestic mask producer, who was all ready to restart production of N-95 masks way back in January. He notified the federal government, and they just blew him off. All that bureaucracy and red tape: it’s heartbreaking. Here in Texas, we know not to depend on government. We believe more in individual responsibility.

      Cassandra: Individual responsibility? How about all those students on Spring Break partying and spreading the virus? Or that party last weekend in Ft. Worth where 600 people got together to shoot off fireworks and then started shooting each other? Most Americans are taking their responsibilities very seriously by staying home. But all it takes for an infectious disease to spread is a minority of the irresponsible.

      Frank: But you don’t have a plan, do you? A plan to reopen the economy? If we listened to you, we’d all starve to death at home. Millions of us! That’s the order of magnitude I’m talking about.

      Cassandra: We wait until the infection rate drops substantially. We wait until we have a robust testing and tracing system in place. We wait for more effective treatments, widespread antibody tests, and, ultimately, a vaccine.

      Frank: Wait. Wait. Wait. A lot of us don’t have the luxury of waiting. You have a job, Ms. Jones, that you can no doubt do from home. You are in a comfortable place where you can wait. The rest of us depend on going back to factories, to running restaurants, to building houses.

      Cassandra: I’m not saying that we can’t reopen the economy. I’m saying that we have to do so responsibly.

      Frank: Well, here’s something to chew on. People die because of the economy all the time. They die in workplace accidents. They die commuting to work. They die because of air pollution caused by factories and cars and energy production. Every morning we get out of bed in the morning, we are taking a risk. Living is a risk.

      Cassandra: That may be true. But some folks are at greater risks than others. The counties that are disproportionately African-American account for nearly 60 percent of the coronavirus deaths. In New York City, 70 percent of the essential workers are people of color.

      Frank: Here in Texas, by opening up the state, we’re actually spreading that risk around!

      Cassandra: You’re spreading the risk by spreading the disease.

      Frank: You liberal types are always pointing to Sweden as the model the United States should be emulating. So, what about the Swedish model of tackling this pandemic? The government is full of social democrats and Greens. All lefty types. But there’s no lockdown. You can eat out at a restaurant. The schools remain open. Sure, there are some common-sense restrictions, like no gatherings larger than 50 people and no visits to nursing homes. They’ve had more deaths than neighboring Norway, which went for a complete lockdown. But the Swedes also haven’t ruined their economy.

      Cassandra: But Sweden also has a very robust testing system. And contact tracing. They have a much stronger social safety net than we have here in the United States, with paid sick leave for workers. And people there complied with the voluntary distancing recommendations. What works for Sweden won’t work for Texas. Unless you’re planning to put in place a strong social safety net and rein in some of that good ol’ boy individualism.

      Armed militia members in Texas are demonstrating around the state on behalf of non-essential businesses that want to open up.

      Frank: Well, we’re definitely not sheep down here in Texas. Just because the government says something doesn’t mean it’s right. And I say that as a representative of government. The bottom line is that we can’t know for sure about my plan or anyone else’s plan unless we test them. You’re all for testing, right?

      Cassandra: That’s not what I meant.

      Frank: Every year more than 2,000 infants die in this state. That’s twice as many lives as the coronavirus has claimed. It doesn’t make any of us happy. We’ve reduced those numbers over the last decade, but we can’t get it to zero tomorrow. Everyone says that this virus is going to be with us for a long time. So, we have to figure out a way to live with it as well.

      Cassandra: Or die with it.

      Frank: Well, some people are going to die. But most of the deaths in Texas have been in nursing homes, prisons, and meatpacking plants. The governor is sending surge response teams to those hotspots to contain them. It seems more sensible to me to focus attention on containing the hotspots than trying to keep everyone under house arrest.

      Cassandra: You’re basically saying that old people, prisoners, and low-income workers are expendable. That’s a cruel and disgusting policy. And it’s not even effective. The virus doesn’t stay in hot zones. By opening up the state, you’re providing the virus with millions more hosts to infect. And that will mean a lot more deaths, and not just in institutional settings.

      Frank: Look, the Pilgrims knew that some of them were going to die on the ships coming over here from England. The settlers of the westward expansion knew that some of them were not going to make it to California. And our soldiers knew that some of them were going to die defending democracy overseas. That’s what it means to be American. We take risks. Live free or die, right?

      Cassandra: All of those people volunteered. They knew the risks. And when they took those risks, they weren’t endangering their whole community. Increasing exposure to the coronavirus is a whole different category of risk. My grandmother is not volunteering to fight overseas or drive a covered wagon across the Great Plains. But these new state directives put her at risk.

      Frank: I wouldn’t recommend that your grandmother go out to see a movie any time soon. Or go to a restaurant. At-risk populations probably shouldn’t be taking the risks that you or I can take.

      Cassandra: You still don’t see that these are not individual risks —

      Frank: And you still don’t see the importance of individual choice —

      Well, we’ve run out of time, folks. On this show and maybe in this country as well. We’re facing the greatest threat to America in a generation, in two or three generations, and we can’t figure out how to pull together and get the job done?

      This is not the America I know. But maybe the America I know just doesn’t exist anymore.

      ___________

      How’s that for clueless, wealthy, and powerful, eh? A perfect anecdotal example of Neoliberal Disaster Capitalism in full flower there, eh Sheila? The mentality of people like this rule this country. It’s why the US is about to lose it completely in the next six weeks. It’s…a bit boggling to correlate all the disparate sources of information and the patterns jump out at you… Oh my.

      __________

      Of course we don’t actually get to vote for our interests because…well…that wouldn’t be optimum for the winning side of the Class War. I read that one can’t vote yourself out of tyranny. Not when a wealthy interconnected oligarchy/plutocracy Elite small group hold the power to make all the decisions that affect pretty much everything. And the best part is that the system is working for them!

      Just read or listen to some of Nader’s speaking engagements at colleges and universities. And don’t forget George Carlin’s take on the Constitution’s ‘Bill of Temporary Privileges.’ Both men spoke truth (well, Nader is still doing so).

      Big sigh.

      __________

      I wonder how many rolls of toilet paper it takes to make these people feel ‘safe,’ that the empire will continue because they have ‘enough’ piled in the garage to last until…I don’t think any of them think any farther than that actually. So what comes after it’s all gone I wonder? Hmmmm.

      I live where many people carry handguns on their waists. But when I go out (rarely, every 14 days maybe) I’m wearing an N95 and I carry multiple pairs of gloves (fabric and/or leather doesn’t keep virus alive long) and eyewear. I still get sneered at and what I’ve read is that wearing a mask means ‘yer skeerd’ in dumbfuck speak. But somehow wearing a .40 Glock with 15 rounds of jacketed hollow points on your Levis is somehow just ‘protection’ and in no way should it be thought of as the behavior of a pansy. Hmmmm again.

      _________

      There are so many small businesses going under right now everywhere, that may open up but there just isn’t going to be the customer base. There really are a lot of people that aren’t going for this stupidity. Not everybody in this country spouts ‘FREEDUMB’ in a red hat. The figures I’ve been seeing are at a minimum of 40% aren’t expected to get much past this month or won’t open at all, and that is considered a somewhat conservative estimate. a majority of the working class work in small business. Oh my fucking hell.

      40 million unemployment claims filed in the last 6 weeks, and that is not including the more than half of the working class jobs that aren’t eligible to file because they are under-the-table, so-called ‘gig’ economy, already unemployed still from the last banker crash in 2007/08 and aren’t even counted. We both live in rural, poverty-stricken areas of the Pacific NW, we know what’s coming. Amazing how many little gardens have been started around here the last couple of months…

      Also how un-amazing that corporations and the wealthy who own them were again ‘bailed out’ to the tune of over a trillion with much more on the way.

      The Fed Hasn’t Spent a Dime Yet for Main Street Versus $735 Billion for Wall Street

      https://wallstreetonparade.com/2020/05/the-fed-hasnt-spent-a-dime-yet-for-main-street-versus-735-billion-for-wall-street/

      __________

      And you’ll be glad you aren’t living in Hurricane Alley this year after you read this. Wanna buy a couple of double lots in Avon Park in the middle of Florida? HA!

      Unfortunately, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season could be record-breaking
      By Sophie Hirsh
      https://megaphone.upworthy.com/p/2020-atlantic-hurricane-season

      __________

      Let’s see, what else?

      It has rained here 16 days since May 2nd ranging from sprinkles turning off and on all day to major deluge t-storm and overnight pounding cold rains. A couple of the rainy days went for days, and some had hail events, too. Had a couple days of heavy winds without rain. Powerful gusts, too, at 40-50mph! This ridgeline had treetops arcing 40+ degrees. Lost a few tops, lots of debris being blown about, one of the birdhouses out back looks busted up and almost ready to fall off its platform. I think it got hit by a branch.

      And then there have been the days over freaking 80’F that were just miserable. Body just doesn’t like the freaking heat. Couple of freezing and near freezing mornings scattered about, too. All in the last three weeks. Very unpredictable weather from what the web weather says I see it literally change overnight.

      Doesn’t seem to bother the hummingbirds. Sheila, I’ve never seen so many here before. At least 25 Calliope and Rufus. I try to count in groups of five at a time, so yeah there could be more. I’ve got 4 feeders up, three 4-seater and one 3-seat. The migratory small birds really appreciated the suet feeders I put out early as there weren’t enough bugs out yet, but the crowd of difference species that hung around the bare branches of the apple tree aren’t flocking on them now. Normal food supply showed up I’m guessing.

      Flowers haven’t really come out yet except the apple tree already went through its bloom cycle. The Lilac bushes over by the garden north fence just went purple and the middle bush blossomed white. The lilacs didn’t at all last year. Their smell is already intense, tickles the nose.

      Unfortunately the honeysuckle that graced the front porch in front of the kitchen window when I bought this place is completely dead, no sign of life at all. There was only sprigs that leafed last year.

      Some good news. The final PDF from the publisher came a week ago, the last chance to do any changes or corrections to the book, and I sent the reply back last night. I am completely done with the book, it’s all in their hands now. The first black & white copy should come off the press this or next week. Paperwork for the Library of Congress copyright fee to get the ISBN # is something they do, and then a bar code can be put on it. It’s done and will be out in a couple of weeks I think. A freaking Pandemic, an on-going economic crash, and climate collapse. Boy do I have great timing!

      Nothing else. Again, glad you can see again, Sheila!

      sealintheSelkirks

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Kevin Hester says:

    “Funding dried up after inconvenient truths”.
    One of the reasons why so few scientists are prepared to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is access to research funding. Recent guests on Nature Bats Last including Professors Paul Ehrlich and Dr Andrew Glikson from the ANU are near the end of their careers and have the courage to call it as my co-host Professor Guy McPherson and Sam Carana from the Arctic News Blog do.
    Another reason is no scientists wants to get tarred with the ‘Doomer’ label as we discussed with our most recent guest on the show Professor Corey Bradshaw.
    Scientific reticence has ensured that the dominant culture has been able to kick the can and the biosphere off the cliff.
    “Schellnhuber said in a recent interview that the IPCC report stating we could stay below 1.5°C of warming was “slightly dishonest” because it relies on immense negative emissions (pulling CO2 out of the air) which was not viable at global scale. He said 1.5°C was no longer achievable but it was still possible to stay under 2°C with massive changes to society.”
    Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber in this article is playing ‘fast and loose’ with the actual level of warming we have already experienced. If you go back to 1750 as a baseline we are already past 2C.
    At the edge of extinction only a handful of courageous scientists and researchers like me are willing to tell you the truth.
    I’ll be surprised if this set of living arrangements survives 2 more melt seasons in the Arctic, that equates to about 18 months.

    https://voiceofaction.org/collapse-of-civilisation-is-the-most-likely-outcome-top-climate-scientists/?fbclid=IwAR3pi1FUqdWIJN7EihsRUE1-eu6HDOrSZ113Rr4Pdw4_qT-sZvrZ-2GOT34

    Like

    • Hottest April on record. Now the hottest May on record. It rained at least once a day here for three weeks in May. Guess that 7% more water in the atmosphere has to fall somewhere, eh?

      Article links:
      _______

      ‘Extinction Is a Political Choice,’ Scientist Says After Study Warns of Threat to Civilization From Humans Destroying Wildlife

      “This new study shows yet again that the very survival of humanity is at stake if we don’t end the heartbreaking wildlife extinction crisis.”

      https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/02/extinction-political-choice-scientist-says-after-study-warns-threat-civilization
      ________

      And I think everybody reading Kevin’s blog should read this one. Just puts the rest of this shit going on into a comprehensible perspective: https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/05/roaming-charges-mad-bull-lost-its-way/
      _______

      Global Warming is Nuclear War https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/02/global-warming-is-nuclear-war/
      _______

      It started raining again here in early afternoon. It has been one very wet Spring in the lower Selkirk Range. Prediction is for more into next week but predictions based on previous weather is spotty at best…

      On the VoiceofAction article link you posted, well…guess we’ll see if billionaire Elon Musk can get his rocketship to Mars in time, eh? Didn’t work out real well for Val Kilmer when he tried it. Or maybe not…as the world goes to being too overwhelmed to care… Hell Kevin, even Jane Goodall the Gorilla lady spoke up a warning this week and she’s in her 90s now.

      Big sigh.

      It sure isn’t looking good, is it? And now the US feels like 1968 when I was 13 and caught up in police riots…that lasted right through the late 1970s where I and my beach band performing was right in the middle and I saw it start (who & why) in 1977…and then Reagan and his goons came in bringing corporate wealthy Fascism and neoliberalism into acceptable mainstream because he was such a ‘great’ communicator. Trump is the epitome of Reaganism, the end product of decades of deceit and control. Of course we didn’t have a goddam worldwide Pandemic on our hands along with the cop riot pandemic that was happening then…and an economy that is going south that is likely to make the Great Depression look somewhat tame…while the climate goes completely haywire.

      Big sigh again. After my jaunt to town today, and seeing the incredible idiocy of what people were doing in town (before the rain came in), clumped like primates everywhere, no masks, eating in restaurants etc etc, I’m still staying home, Kevin. SARS II/CoVid 19 is still very much alive and the US is going to go tits up with a skyrocketing death and infection rate in the next couple of weeks. Like every other country that lives off Capitalism and cannot survive a Pandemic. Then Trump can declare a National Emergency, declare Martial Law, and cancel the election in November. The sadistic cops will continue having their fun killing and maiming while declaring ‘I was under orders’ with perfect immunity. What perfect strategy!

      Stupid fucking humans. Can I get off this ride now? I’m getting dizzy trying to see in all directions.

      good luck with that!

      sealintheSelkirks

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin Hester says:

        It’s like being In the front of a locomotive hurtling off the cliff with the driver having his foot to the floor. Baring witness to the ultimate train smash.

        Like

      • Yeah, sucks to be us, eh? But I’ve always wanted to KNOW and I’d rather see the train coming than stand with my back to it not seeing it. I’m funny that way.

        Raining really, really hard and it’s almost 3am. Pounding on the roof in sheets of rain. With my bar musician hours sleep pattern still keep me up late I get to see a side of the world that most don’t see…but the world is so much quieter at this time of night. The illusion of peace.

        I’m still feeling a bit off kilter from being in town today. I caught the depreciating looks from people as I passed by on my skateboard with an N95 mask on. The open walls of the pizza & beer place were rolled up, it’s been open for 5 days now, and I was the seeing man in the land of the blind. I’ve only gone to town every couple of weeks for mail and…it shocked me.

        I had a friend tell me today that she’d rather not die because of being stupid. I agreed with her but somehow we both will probably die because OF stupid. Life is temporary.

        You’ll like my book. Waiting on the copyright paperwork at this point. It has taken more time that originally expected. Ah well.

        sealintheSelkirks

        Liked by 1 person

  8. […] niezaprzeczalne dowody na to, że jesteśmy świadkami początku wykładniczego ocieplenia Ziemi, przyznaje działacz ekologiczny i antynuklearny Kevin Hester. Od aktywistów po korporacyjne organizacje […]

    Liked by 1 person

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Kevin Hester

Kevin Hester is currently living on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand, monitoring the unravelling of the biosphere and volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery is currently developing a proposal to create a marine reserve near by. The Island has no grid tied electricity or reticulated water.  I catch my own water from the roof and generate my electricity from the ample solar radiation on the island.

My Submission to the Ministry of the Environment
Kevin Hester, Dropping Anchor in an Exponential World
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