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American Dreams

I've got a new post on my blog. Well, an old post (I wrote it in 2013) that seemed once more applicable. I'm announcing it here because it isn't climate-related, except distantly. It's more a bit of social commentary, a commentary on commentary if you will, a defense of how to use popular fantasy to diagnose themes in modern culture. 

One of my many hats is that of a fantasy and science fiction novelist. I see speculative fiction as an important way to tell truths about ourselves, our world, and our civilization. Even a work that isn't intended as allegory still says much about the society which produced the person who wrote it. Works which are popular say still more about those who consume them.

Where this particular essay impacts the climate debate is in what I don't say. When we discuss climate change, we also must address those who view it as a secret plot to control the world. The themes in my essay address that paranoia.

It's geared specifically to America, because that's where I live, but I suspect the points I touch upon will be applicable in much of the world.

You can read American Dreams at my Unfinished Progress blog.

- DC


 
Sou
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Comments

  • Indeed the science fiction/ fantasy genres have attracted many great thinkers On the quondrys of the human condition.
    You will find that many of the climate realist bloggers are also fans .
    One of the most apt quotes for the present USA politic.

    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

    Isaac Asimov.






    dcpettersonSoucitizenschallenge

  • It's geared specifically to America, because that's where I live, but I suspect the points I touch upon will be applicable in much of the world.

    You can read American Dreams at my Unfinished Progress blog.

    - DC


    Good point

    We Americans have always had a deep-seated fear of the Other. This seems odd since we are, in fact the Other. America, as is often said, is a nation of immigrants. We came here. Think about that. For most of us, we were The Invaders, and we conquered the people we found here to establish our nation. ...

    But, you know DC, it reads like an introduction.  =)  When is the next installment coming in?  

    Given this presidential election cycle lordie knows you've got plenty of material to work with.    

    {thumbs up smilie}

    Sou
  • I've been far too depressed to write much of late. I wonder why?
  • Yeah, it's been quite the kick in the ...

    But, you give me a chance to get on my soap box.  We have a small window of opportunity where I believe people need to make a big stink about various irregularities in the election.  Not to mention Trump's business entanglements with declared enemies of the US, and Director Comey's withholding that critically important information from the voters.

    NOW  Before the end of the month, and well before the Electoral College.  Push hard, constructive, with grievances and expectation, but push hard.  The only way to deal with a bully who's getting ready to ram you.

    Check out some of my recent blog posts.  http://citizenschallenge.blogspot.com/2016/11/fbis-comey-helps-elect-russian-chinese.html

    I'm in a dither because this is another one of those historic moment in time when the next couple weeks will make a huge difference to our long term further.  Will we squander like so many others before.  This one is going to be big.  And once again it seems like few get it.  Setting the stage for a real reaming of the America way.

    If there ever was a moment for people to get engaged seems this is it.  Although I fear they won't, people are pissed off, but a few protests, some screaming and acceptance sets in.  

    Pretending it won't be as bad as we fear, when in fact inaction will guarantee it much worse than we fear.

    The ruthless Alt-right are dead set on doing as much serous vandalism to our way of government and public lands and environmental protections.  They want a Christian, white make-believe it's 1950s world.  Allowing easy transition simply makes it that much easier for them to inflict their damage.


    dcpetterson
  • I got this in my email today:

    Nathan Lerner nate@keepamericagreat.us via nationsend9.com 

    6:37 PM 
    citizenschallengeYT -- 

    We told you after the election we would not let up the fight against Trump and we've stayed true to our word.

    This morning the Democratic Coalition Against Trump filed a complaint with the FBI against Trump's new Senior White House Advisor and former Campaign Chairman Steve Bannon.

    The complaint is based on evidence we uncovered that Bannon was still on the payroll of a pro-Trump Super PAC after being hired by the Trump campaign. Under FEC law campaigns and Super-PACs must work completely independently of each other and can not coordinate in anyway. 

    If found guilty Bannon could end up in federal prison.


    Help us continue to hold Trump accountable and send this crook to jail by making a donation here


    Also checkout some of the national news coverage we've already received:

    Huffington Post: Stephen Bannon Hit With Serious FBI Federal Election Law Complaint By Democratic Coalition 

    Occupy Democrats: Trump’s New Policy Chief May End Up In Prison For Violating Federal Election Law

    Hinterland Gazette: Steve Bannon Reported to FBI for Allegedly Breaking Campaign Finance Laws

     
    Thanks again for your support,

    Nate Lerner

    Executive Director
    Democratic Coalition Against Trump
    dcpetterson
  • Thank you, CC. And yes, get on your soapbox whenever you like.

    There is an intersection between science (which is what HotWhopper is about) and politics. There shouldn't be, but there is, because conservatives insist on politicizing everything. They insist on that for personal financial gain. I trust the connections are obvious.

    The problem I'm having at the moment is in finding a way to convince myself there's any place I can make a difference. The incoming cabal, having achieved their coup, doesn't much care about Americans--or anyone else in the world. There are few checks on their power, and there are about to be fewer. They are masters at manipulation of optics. We can rail against the wall all we want--why should they care?

    Yes, they've already committed heinous crimes. Even should they be investigated, tried, and found guilty, they'll appeal the verdicts, and they're about to control the Supreme Court.

    I'm pretty hopeless today. What we need to do is sway public opinion enough to have an impact on the next election--but even if we can do that, the election will happen after these criminals have dismantled most of America's social structure and foreign alliances. To the point of this blog and chat site, the Paris agreement is in dire jeopardy. And as far as having an effect on public thought, we've just seen how good the new ministers of propaganda are at that. 

    I'm not being helpful today. Nate Lerner is a Good Guy, he fights the good fight and organizes good causes, worthy causes deserving of our support. It's hard to see how any of that will be enough.

    And yeah, I know how dangerous this sort of defeatism is, and how much it feeds into the narratives that will, in fact, help those bastards. I'll eventually work my way out of it. I'm not there yet.
    Sou
  • I think the rest of the world is committed to the Paris climate agreement. It may reduce the pace of mitigation outside of the USA, but they will stick to the plan. I would not even be surprised if there would be a carbon duty on American imports if Trump pulls out of Paris.

    The EU and other countries are talking about reducing their dependence on America. There will be a lot of push back and the Trump team seems to full of cronies, who were not selected for their skills but for the allegiance to Emperor Trump or big money.
    dcpettersonSouPG_Antioch
  • Victor you don't understand there is so much more going on here.  These people have a god-given desire to destroy the government we know.  4,000 federal positions of responsibility being filled by flaming ideologues who have demonstrated complete contempt for honesty or scrupplies or any interest in what anyone else thinks.  They been waiting to wreak havoc.  I fear there are true horrors in store for us.

    That's why so obsessive about pushing is Dworkin Report thing,  We have one month, to make a loud, a huge statement involving thousands, tens of thousands and more.  From both sides.  I mean there are serious question of National Security and Trump many complex foreign entanglements.  We must demand answers now, while we can still influence the process, Electoral College Dec 19th pivotal date.

    This is a win, win must do situation (though like others, including the progress of Clinton's campaign, will fade away, another critically important opportunity squandered out of disinterest and inertia.).

    Because even if nothing is accomplished re Trump becoming President,  The doing will be immensely important, in that it will bring people together and help recognize we have a country wide community after all.  People networking and creating a palpable grassroots counterinsurgency for rational, fact based rather than dogma driven faith-based and all that.

    We already know that unless there's lots of opposition, Environmental Protection, National preserves, human services, education and Science are all going to get kicked in the nuts.  Only people who have never done it before finally standing up and locking arms, only that will save the America way.  Left and Right.

    Trump is a business man who has contempt for government, or anyone else that want to tell him what to do.  He just won the Presidency by ruthlessly lying and bullying.  You know what to expect.


    Check out this video of 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCQhBYEMRQI
    Col. Tom Moe, US Air Force, Vietnam POW has a few words of warning for Patriotic Americans


    PG_Antioch
  • Yes, America is in great danger. A white supremacist will be working in the white house. Climate change is the least of your worries, let the rest of the world take care of that. Make sure there are (somewhat fair) elections in 4 years. White supremacist do not believe in elections, especially in America where they fear to be a minority soon, they believe in power and violence. Make sure the decent majority dominates the streets.

    SoudcpettersonPG_AntiochSusan Anderson
  • edited November 2016
    On climate issues, I heard a report today that most American businesses will continue to move toward more sustainable and lower-carbon technologies. They've already done the work of designing and beginning to implement what they need because President Obama's regulations required it. They've already seen the result will be increased efficiency--and therefore, lower costs. So even if Trump pulls out of international accords such as the Paris agreement and guts the Environmental Protection Agency, most American businesses will still follow the more restrictive standards under which they've already been preparing to operate.

    Victor, you are correct--we have other areas to which we need to attend. Not that climate doesn't matter. Clearly it does, and it may be the most important area of all. But as you say, the rest of the world is on the case, and as far as I can tell, most American corporations are on board as well. This latter will bring immense pressure on Republicans (traditionally, they are the party of Big Business after all) to follow along with the international community.

    Human rights and civil rights and the maintenance of a humane society are under siege in America. We Americans must devote our attention to that, and trust the rest of the world to play its part in whatever matters they can. 
    VictorVenemaPG_Antioch
  • This is one area in which big multi-national corporations--usually the bane of America's progressives and liberals--will be strong allies. Those companies have to comply with the lower-carbon regulations the rest of the world will impose on them. Maintaining a separate, less-efficient and dirtier set of aging technologies in the United States just to please rightist ideologues is not likely to be in their financial interest.

    On human rights, this is also a hope. Many large corporations have been strong supporters of LGBTQ rights, and increasingly of women's rights and minority rights, because this is simply good business. It makes for positive press, happier workers, and more enthusiastic customers. Yes, they are sometimes subject to protests from the reactionary right, but the weight of history is on the side of inclusion, and most American citizens are there as well.

    I can envision many corporations withdrawing support for the regressive policies of Trump and his reactionary party. This could become the best leverage we have.
    VictorVenemaPG_AntiochSusan Anderson
  • On climate issues, I heard a report today that most American businesses will continue to move toward more sustainable and lower-carbon technologies. They've already done the work of designing and beginning to implement what they need because President Obama's regulations required it. They've already seen the result will be increased efficiency--and therefore, lower costs. So even if Trump pulls out of international accords such as the Paris agreement and guts the Environmental Protection Agency, most American businesses will still follow the more restrictive standards under which they've already been preparing to operate.

    Do you have a link for that? Just writing a blog post where I could use that.
  • I'm sorry Victor, it was on the radio, and I didn't catch the name of the person being interviewed. If you use the concept, you might want to depict it as "speculative" since I can't supply a source.
  • There is a bit about this at the moment. Not just US companies. Some links you might find useful, Victor:

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/bhp-billiton-hopes-donald-trump-sticks-to-paris-climate-deal-20161117-gsraws.html (Sydney Morning Herald)

    https://www.ft.com/content/403550dc-ac0f-11e6-ba7d-76378e4fef24 (Financial Times): Big businesses call on Trump to keep faith with Paris climate deal (Pilita Clark)
    PG_AntiochSusan Anderson
  • Here's another article from the UN, Victor - with a list of prominent global businesses:
    https://www.unglobalcompact.org/news/3841-11-17-2016
    dcpettersonPG_AntiochSusan Anderson
  • edited November 2016
    Yes, I had seen 360 companies calling on Trump to stay in the climate treaty. Also ExxonMobile. Interesting now even Bill O'Reilly of Fox News says so. US companies saying they will stick to their climate policies even when the federal government revokes them is a step further.

    http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/11/17/bill-oreilly-trump-should-accept-paris-treaty-climate-buy-some-goodwill-overseas/214513

    dcpettersonSusan Anderson
  • DC, I understand the resignation and depression, fortunately that Dworkin Report came to give me a cold hard reality slap in the fact, a ton of indignation and one hell of an energizing.  

    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2016/11/dworkin-report-trump-national-security.html

    My broader outlook on life demands it, my lifelong passionate pursuit of understanding Earth's evolution and it's processes, along with our entire human pageant makes me more aware of fleeting opportunities and damage done and cascading consequences.  

    I can't look at anything without considering past and future as part of my general awareness.  So I'm on hyperdrive, desperate to toss my tiny buckets of water at the fire because, man that thing is growing.  I keep wishing more would join in (Admittedly I'm limited to a narrow range of incoming info.  Hopefully, others are working on it, but i'm not counting on it anymore, they sure weren't there for what we all knew was the most important election of our lives.  The system wasn't pure enough for them.  Fine, the vandals are in, now we can see how much the system improves.  I allowed work to rob me of weeks worth of focused writing, pre-election, even though I knew the Democrats were doing it all wrong, but who the hell am I and in the end I'm just another grunt paycheck dependent  worker - does leave much time for writing and pontificating.  Once again I and my family and my country has been cheated by general left wing emersion in holly-world and consumerism and keeping with their own day to days and disconnect from the political system that dictates how we shall live.  Many woo woo's are going to get some harsh civics lessons crammed down their throats over the next years.  Others can pretend it won't be back, for whatever reason I can feel the pain already and need to scream about it.  Electoral College is Dec 19, then I can collapse. )

    No doubt we will be big losers over the next years.  But you can bet your bottom dollar that loss will be in direct proportion to how many collective opposition rational sidel-iners join in a new vocal, thought full, constructive protest process.
      
    Be it personal letter writing campaign to you representative (NEVER KID YOURSELF - THEIR BACKBONE IS IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO THE MAIL AND CALLS THEY RECEIVE) 

    A HEALTHY DEMOCRACY DEMANDS AN INFORMED AND ENGAGED ELECTORATE 
    like our system or hate it, it's what we got, we are dependent on it, make it work for us.

    In the Early days when the Clinton Generation was full of hope, they'd say

    IF YOU AREN'T PART OF THE SOLUTION, YOUR ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM

    I think it's changed a little.

    OUR PAIN, WILL BE IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO HOW MUCH OPPOSITION WE CAN MUSTER !  

    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2016/11/altrights-dependence-lies-mann.html
    Susan Anderson
  • edited November 2016
    This may help Victor:

    Starbucks, Gap, Nike and others demand Trump stand by climate deal
    If President-elect Donald Trump is going to go soft on climate change regulations, big business is going to put up a big stink.

    In an open letter on Wednesday, Starbucks, Gap, Nike, L'Oreal, and hundreds of other American businesses joined together to tell Trump that they are committed to fighting global warming. And they implored the future president — who has called climate change a hoax —to keep the current low-carbon policies championed by President Obama.

    Susan Anderson
  • dcpetterson and Sou, thank you for your help. My new post is now up:

    Climate nightmares in America, dreams in Marrakesh

    http://variable-variability.blogspot.de/2016/11/climate-nightmares-in-america-dreams-in.html



    dcpettersonPG_AntiochSouSusan Anderson
  • edited November 2016
    I read your piece on Variable Variability. Excellent.
    VictorVenemaSouSusan Anderson
  • I've created a new site for political news and commentary. Not much there yet, but it's a start, and it's my attempt to both dig out of my depression and stay engaged. Maybe even to do something productive. It is an unrepentant liberal viewpoint, but I'll try to keep it classy. I may even have some humor from time to time, since that is one of the best weapons against fascism.

     LucidPolitics.com 

    Susan AndersonSou
  • edited November 2016
    I'm sorry Victor, it was on the radio, and I didn't catch the name of the person being interviewed. If you use the concept, you might want to depict it as "speculative" since I can't supply a source.


    I was chatting to a colleague the other day about his company car, he is trying to get rid of it because he has put a deposit down on a new Tesla

    He took me through the awesome sounding technology in the car, the linear power delivery, fast charging etc

    this conversation was NOT about AGW / Climate change, but simply about the "future" about better cheaper technology - progress

    I hear China's ramp up and investment in new technology is simply staggering

    my point is DC, I suspect the horse has bolted, the rest of the world sees the future, even if it they don't equate it to AGW etc 

    America, if it is not careful will become increasingly irrelevant, its influence in the world will diminish as the planet warms 

    but as you say, hopefully Americas progressive corporations will show the politicians the way and galvanise the US "can do" spirit 


    dcpettersonVictorVenemaSusan AndersonSou
  • I've created a new site for political news and commentary. Not much there yet, but it's a start, and it's my attempt to both dig out of my depression and stay engaged. Maybe even to do something productive. It is an unrepentant liberal viewpoint, but I'll try to keep it classy. I may even have some humor from time to time, since that is one of the best weapons against fascism.

     LucidPolitics.com 

    If that's your idea of "not much there" it will be interesting to see where it goes. Excellent design.
    VictorVenemadcpettersoncitizenschallengeSou
  • edited November 2016
    New post on Lucid Politics

    Baconing and Russian hacks

    An effective campaign of fake news helped to defeat Hillary Clinton, a technique borrowing from the game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. We can use this strategy ourselves, but we have to understand how it's done. This is the first part in a series.

  • New post on Lucid Politics

    Baconing and Russian hacks

    An effective campaign of fake news helped to defeat Hillary Clinton, a technique borrowing from the game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. We can use this strategy ourselves, but we have to understand how it's done. This is the first part in a series.

    Although you need to make clear the distinction that they make up facts to suit.
    We have objective facts that we base claims on.

    Fact driven, rather than faith based.

    Nice Blog DC, best of luck with it.  I hope its fascinating watching it grow.  Maybe I can learn a few things watching you develop it, my formatting and general computer savvy actually sucks.

    fyi http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/18956/    =)
    dcpetterson
  • DC, I noticed you have a neighbor in the Google Search world   https://lucidpoliticsblog.wordpress.com ;
    It's pre-election stuff and looks like it sort of stalled and was abandoned, shame too, it was a nice clean start.  

    I hope you preserver and inspire others.  What you are doing is important.  If nothing else at least you can count yourself with those who had their eyes open and who actually participated in our once proud American system of democracy and public involvement.
    dcpetterson
  • Thank you, CC. 

    Yes, after I bought the domain name, I found the lucidpoliticsblog. Since, as you say, it's all pre-election stuff, and rather old, I suspect it's inactive. 

    On fake news--yes, I want to write more about that topic, and the distinction you made is one I will stress more in future articles.

  • More good stuff at LucidPolitics, I left some thoughts there. A little not so light relief:

    Andy Borowitz of The New Yorker:
    "Obama Politely Asks Trump to Wait Until Inauguration Before Destroying World"
    http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/obama-politely-asks-trump-to-wait-until-inauguration-before-destroying-world
    PG_AntiochdcpettersonSou
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