HomeUncategorized7/10-11 Weekend News Roundup and Open Thread

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Don midwest
Don midwest

a philosopher of movement

as I recall, I posted this link before

Lucretius: Our Contemporary

he calls himself a Movement Philosopher — from Lucretius and the “swerve”

his book from last year is Theory of The Earth. The intro is on line. From the Intro..

By thinking only about our own movements of energy expenditure and conservation on a “relatively static earth,” we have failed to see ourselves as part of the larger cosmic and terrestrial drama of increasing flow rate and mobility. By damaging the earth’s dissipative processes (especially the biosphere), humans have slowed down the kinetic movement of energy throughout the planet. Fossil fuel capitalism has increased human energy consumption, but only at the cost of decreasing planetary energy consumption by much more.

I rewrite natural and human history from the broader perspective of movement. This offers a new ethical orientation to our “Kinocene” present and to the cosmos. My thesis is that, if humans want to survive, then the most geohistorically likely way forward is to contribute to the earth’s massive process of energy expenditure, including land fertility, biodiversity, and climate stability. This shift requires us to reject our current biocentricemphasis on conservation in favor of expenditure and flux.

Today, unprecedented increases in the earth’s unpredictable mobility prompt us to reconsider all our planetary paradigms. These changes challenge us to reconsider the nature of nature as well as the deep history of the earth. Perhaps most importantly, the earth’s turbulent mobility forces us to rethink our ethical relationship to one another, the planet, and the cosmos at large. The Kinocene is calling us to become what we are: the earth.

Note to Republicans: It is harder to run from this than the culture issues

Theory of the Earth

Don midwest
Don midwest

a hero of progress becomes a villain to earth

But when Thomas Midgley, Jr. introduced the world to Freon in 1930, the eccentric engineer was determined to demonstrate the chemical’s safety. Unlike other industrial refrigerants, Freon was a stable chemical compound—odorless, noncorrosive, nonflammable and nontoxic. It also had a spectacularly low boiling point, making it ideal for refrigeration and air conditioning. On a conference stage in front of some of the nation’s top chemists, Midgley boiled the supercooled liquid in a glass pail then inhaled its vapors, an act likened by Wilson to a giant bong rip. Midgley then exhaled the refrigerant gas into a separate glass pail containing a lit candle. The flame was extinguished; applause ensued.

Before developing Freon, Midgely was pivotal in the 1921 creation of another harmful concoction: leaded gasoline, an invention that enabled the smooth functioning of internal combustion engines and poisoned countless people. Even in the earliest days of leaded gas, hundreds of workers involved in its manufacturing suffered from lead exposure, causing them to hallucinate and develop permanent brain damage. Several workers were fatally poisoned, including one man who reportedly died in a straitjacket, violently insane. Despite its dangers, lead was distributed throughout the environment by gas-powered automobiles for decades—until its ban in 1996—exposing millions to a well-known toxin.

Wilson seeks to handle Midgley’s story with nuance, taking into consideration that the inventor—who died in 1944, long before the banning of chlorofluorocarbon and leaded gasoline—likely passed away thinking he had materially improved the world. “He believed his work would open the door for the complete eradication of viral pandemics, the elimination of food spoilage and increased comfort and health (for some, for some time) in an artificially cooler world,” writes Wilson. “And in fact, it did, though it’s now difficult to see his inventions beyond their environmental impact.” While Wilson might be understating this difficulty, the pages that follow clearly illustrate harm.

Climate Change: How Comfort Became Something an Individual Could Purchase

How the technology of A/C changed the world. Didn’t realize how important the invention was in WWII for people in manufacturing or in merchant marine.

Amazon is convenient. A/C is convenient. Look at the side effects ….


This is from a heating and cooling company’s website:

So, while all of your friends here at Masters Heating & Cooling, Inc. appreciate just how wonderful air conditioning is, it is important to recognize the impact air conditioning has on the environment. Air conditioners can negatively impact the environment in the same way that other machines that burn fossil fuels do: by emitting harmful by-product gases into the atmosphere. Most air conditioners are fueled by electricity and use a refrigerant that results in gaseous emissions that contribute to global warming and ozone layer depletion. In fact, some studies predict that by 2050, roughly 25 percent of global warming will be caused by air conditioning.


Don midwest
Don midwest

success of totalitarian systems

they filled a need – when things were falling apart: loss, hopelessness and totalitarianism was a novel solution to provide a coherent narrative. It answered the needs of Western humanity better than forms of government: and monarchy, aristocracy and even democracy at the time …

this is a talk given for the Hannah Arendt center at Bard college.

Revitalising Democracy: Citizen Juries as a Response to the Failure of Expert Rule

This is excellent. I only listened to the first 10 min because I have to run off.

But I have been following Hannah Arendt, considered by many to be the most important political theorist of the 20 th century, following her since 1967, and I have over 10 of her books and 10 commentaries on her work. She is showing up more and more in recent years.

Important to continually be aware that it is so easy to call the Trumpters “crazy” which reduces the issue to psychology and culture, and neglect the political problem that democracy not meeting the needs of the people and there is not, as mentioned in an early part of this talk, not a coherent authority to give democracy meaning.

As people here know, if the democrats don’t deliver measurable success by getting government working again, they could loose the next elections to the “crazy” repubs


And we are ever ready to install just this kind of tin pot dictator when other countries hit the same wall.


Weather forcast


Vote while we still can as the batshit crazy GQP cult- 45 assholes do worry me greatly should they come into control of all 3 branches of government in the future


With the current draw down in Afghanistan anyone care to guess where out next war is? The MIC cant go to long without one. As far as manufacturing goes in the US excels at developing/exporting of military weapons. The MIC spreads out components to be built in several key states so they can keep the congresscritters thier in their back pocket as it means jobs locally.


T and R, jcb!!☮️😊👍


Ditto for Sunday, 7.11, too!!☮️😊👍


What it means if ‘ecocide’ becomes an international crime

(Earth’s) recent 11,700-year period of climatic stability’..(facilitated) ‘the spread and technological advance of human civilization. While benefiting many in terms of material comfort, life expectancy and societal support structures, this advance has increasingly taken place within a framework of thought that perceives nature as “other” – a resource to be exploited, or a foe to be conquered. The Oxford English Dictionary even defines nature as “opposed to humans.”

With this perspective, ever since the industrial revolution, we have been – at first unwittingly, now recklessly and even knowingly – disrupting the biological, chemical and atmospheric systems on whose stable interaction we intimately and profoundly depend.

The word “ecocide” was first used on the international stage by Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme at the UN environment conference in Stockholm (1972)

Nearly 50 years later, the world is at last beginning to pay that attention. Last month an expert panel of top international criminal and environmental lawyers, convened by the Stop Ecocide Foundation, proposed a legal definition of the term, suitable for adoption into the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a fifth crime alongside genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Responding to the explicit call of climate-vulnerable island nations Vanuatu and the Maldives, directly impacted by rising sea levels and heavy tropical storms, such a move would criminalize, “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.”

The warmth of response to this legal definition has been remarkable.



Since the International Criminal Court’s mandate is the prosecution of individuals, the addition of ecocide to the list of crimes considered “of most serious concern to the international community as a whole” would make key corporate and political actors personally liable to criminal prosecution in any ratifying state, should their decisions threaten severe and either widespread or long-term environmental damage – thus creating an enforceable deterrent to help prevent finance from flowing to projects that could destroy ecosystems. Nothing concentrates the mind like having one’s personal freedom on the line.

Moreover, ecocide law may prove to be not just a stick but also a carrot. Setting a criminal parameter will not only steer activity away from hazards – acting as a kind of health and safety law for the planet – but is likely to stimulate innovation and development in a healthy direction in a wide range of economic sectors

it is difficult to see how our planet’s life-support systems can be adequately protected – or indeed Paris targets and UN Sustainable Development Goals realistically approached – without a “hard stop” intervention of this kind.

written by Jojo Mehta


Happy Weekend Everyone!

Thank you jcitybone for the thread. I am in fiscal y/e recovery mode. I have just a few more hours of work to get through this weekend then I can get back to living again.

I look forward to seeing you all here more soon and I hope you all are doing well!

Cheers 👊❤️


Israeli settlements amount to ‘war crime’: UN expert

A top UN rights expert has called for Israeli settlements to be classified as war crimes, urging the international community to demand accountability for a practice it has long deemed illegal.

Presenting his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Michael Lynk, the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, said the settlements constitute a “violation of the absolute prohibition against settler implantation”.

“In my report, I conclude that the Israeli settlements do amount to a war crime,” the UN expert said.

He said the settlements violate an absolute ban on an occupying power transferring part of its civilian population into occupied territory, thereby meeting the definition of a war crime under the Rome Statute founding the International Criminal Court (ICC).

I submit to you that this finding compels the international community … to make it clear to Israel that its illegal occupation, and its defiance of international law and international opinion, can and will no longer be cost-free,” Lynk told the Geneva rights forum.

Lotte Knudsen, the European Union’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said the settlements were illegal under international law.

“Such actions as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions, and confiscation of homes will only escalate an already tense environment.”

The settlements have become “the engine of Israel’s 54-year-old occupation”