Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's NOT too late!

Though it IS close as dammit,
so close as makes no nevermind,
AND it's improbable we'll turn around in time.
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A few days later it comes to me (as often happens) that I have forgot to make the point: see Postscripts (below).

Lee Judge: UNFCCC COP 20 Lima.Having a beer (and Jameson chaser) with my good son the other day, somewhere west on Queen. Doesn't happen often enough. His friend the barman asks what the 350 button's for and makes the Jameson complimentary.

Then my son and I get to talking and he lets me know, gives it to me straight, "It's too late." I say, "No it ain't," and give several good scientific reasons. He says, "Yeah but we'll never turn it around in time."

He's probably right. I just about agree. Gwynne Dyer about agrees too and he's a pretty smart guy.

Jim Hansen drifts in that direction as well (I think) though you'd never know it from a quick reading of his latest epistle: Assuring real progress on climate. He seems more-and-more under the spell of his 'team' who appear to be aficionados, adherents, and devotees of Norman Vincent Peale and Edward Bernays, but if you read carefully there are no reasons to be hopeful in it.

Unless (that is) you really believe donations to (the always polite) Citizens Climate Lobby and (the ever vain) are gonna do the trick and turn the tide.

Everyone pretty well knows what's needed:
Perry Bible Fellowship (PBF): Hangman.
... but nobody's really sayin' nor wants to be first.
Doonesbury: The end of the world, Not.Settling the question - one way or the other - is a satisfying operation. I can dig it. And the up-side is so fraught & ambiguous that it's easier by far to go with "It's too late."

[I wonder if such satisfactions have anything to do with judgements on misogyny? Skulking feral skrællings (from neither Shem nor Ham nor Japheth)!]

I tell you what though: spending any amount of time with my kids delivers a great big walloping jolt of positive energy right into the ol' hypothalamus lizard brain. I've not tried cocaine but it might be something like that, or amphetamines, whites but without the crash.

So ...

    ... it's the next day ... alone with no telephone and ...

... here's what happens:
Dear Elizabeth May, Bruce Hyer, and Adriana Mugnatto:

I staked a grand on Elizabeth May's election in Saanich-Gulf Islands a few years ago - I like to imagine that some of the 7,300-odd winning votes were down to me - and I staked another grand and more on Adriana Mugnatto and her activities when she was a Green Party candidate in Toronto-Danforth.

I am not saying this to brag - I am saying I think this gives me a right to expect you to read this carefully and make some kind of answer.

There is a national election coming soon. Neither Stephen Harper's (sleveen) Conservatives, nor Justin Sinclair's Liberals, nor wazizname and the NDP, have anything like a platform to properly address global warming, climate change, and the associated issues: ocean acidification ... &c. &c. &c. or as I call it the Environmental Armageddon - which is already well underway and which may spell extinction for our kind.

We all know the UNFCCC process is doomed to failure. That makes national, provincial and municipal elections into do-or-die struggles.

Over some years I have (politely) visited the Green candidates in my riding - Beaches-East York - and found them lame and unsupportable (by me anyway, and according to results by others as well). I could name them. I could prove this point with nine-inch nails but I am sure you know what I'm talking about.

So ... what if the Green Party of Canada gets serious?

Oh I know, you think you're serious already. But I was in the room when Don Drummond was invited (!) and spoke to a Green Party convention and did not get run out of the place for talking about the "inevitability of growth." And I was in another room when Adriana Mugnatto herself asked the chair if it was not past time to tell Green voters the truth about the near-hopelessness of the environmental situation and was told (effectively) not to be so negative. And I know that Adriana was not playing to win because I asked her and she told me.

What would the Green Party of Canada getting serious look like? For one thing it would be Peter Victor and Tim Jackson talking about economics and (de)growth not some ex-banker.

What if the Green Party computed a Fee & Dividend carbon tax large enough to have a substantial effect and made that their central platform plank? What if the Green Party told the unvarnished scientific truth about the odds for a less than 2°C average planetary temperature rise and the best scientific opinions to fix it? It's a no-brainer but even the scientists agree we must stop burning fossil fuels NOW. What if the Green Party promised, not only that all subsidies for fossil fuel related activities would immediately cease, but also that all government pension funds would be immediately required to divest fossil fuel and related investments? And that the pension funds of any organizations (including labour unions) doing business with the government would have to immediately follow suit or be barred? What if all of those subsidies and investments were redirected to deployment (not development, we already have the technology) of wind, solar, and geo-thermal sources of energy? What if the Green Party told voters what a prosperous and flourishing society would result from such policies?

What if the Green Party of Canada promised to tax shipment of crude oil by rail at such a rate as to make it impractical? What if the Green Party of Canada promised to tax automotive, truck, and air fuels similarly, the revenue to be used to reinstate effective bus and rail transportation both within and between cities? (Do you know that if you want to get from Toronto to Sarnia - in order to, say, support Ron Plain - it can't be done by rail or bus?)

And what if this platform were not called some equivocal 'Green Shift' but: THIS IS WHAT WE MUST DO NOW TO ENSURE HUMANITY'S FUTURE ON THIS PLANET (!)?

I don't have any more grands to give you. All the money's gone. I'm living on handouts. I know I must sound like a nutbar flake but the money I did give you came to me as a very prosperous senior techie working for the likes of KBR/Halliburton & Exxon oil baronies and these organizations only pay for performance - so ... not always a nutbar flake at least, and I didn't get fired either - I walked away.

What I will give you is a promise to do WHATEVER I can do of WHATEVER you may ask me to do IF YOU DECIDE TO PLAY TO WIN - up to and including the bitter end.

Please know that if none of you respond to this I will send emails, and then hardcopies by mail, and if I still get no response I will come to your doors as often as I am able to and knock politely and ask, and I will keep on like that until I get some kind of answer wise or otherwise.

Then I will be able to look my children and grandchildren in the eye and say, "I did what I could even if it was silly and lame and not nearly enough."

cc Colin Griffiths (who tells me he is a mover and shaker in the Green hierarchy).

After that it goes something like this:

   • 21st:write the draft, sleep, and have bad dreams.


   • 22nd: encounter a man shouting in the park, "Merry Christmas to all," and ten seconds later, "I'm gonna kill those cops, gonna kill all those cops," and I'm thinking how difficult it is to get across, he doesn't scare me and doesn't look like he's really going to kill anyone - he's just yelling, in the park, in the wintertime, with bagfuls of what look like donated clothes, and everyone is backing away, including me who should be the one to talk with him.


   • 23rd: no communications except Jim Hansen's epistle; stonewall in the latest round of "you're a misogynist," "no I'm not."


   • 24th: she sends Zero bars, four of 'em.


   • 25th: run out of smokes, talk to Mohammed about his sons, Lion and Honoured.


   • 26th: very low.


   • 27th: ditto till she reminds me that popcicle-stick models explode when you toss 'em at the wall; and a Christmas invitation comes too late.


   • 28th: make flags, remember the Foote's Bay Regatta, wonder what happened; maybe I'll send a link (knowing they don't follow links for fear of unseen executables) or maybe not; a kind note is slipped under the door by the landlord asking if I need anything.


   • 29th: silence, singin' 'You Better Come On In My Kitchen' and 'Sitting On Top Of The World' and 'Hello Young Lovers'.


   • 30th: listen to Al Gore congratulate Christiana Figueres on her performance at COP 20 in Lima - HORSE COCK!


   • 31st: what if I did send emails?


   •  2nd: send the fricken' emails? maybe tomorrow.


   •  3rd: or maybe not, it's not that they're Greens per se y'unnerstan', it's that the others are all so appallingly contrary to any sort of sense or sensibility, hermetically seamless.


   •  4th: it's worth having a close look at the Green Party of Canada Platform: in brief or in (100 page .pdf) detail if only to savour the delicate brushstrokes of the architects of (what looks to me like) a moribund ideology.


   •  5th: read it all again and ... ?


   •  6th: ditto ... ?


   •  7th: ditto ... ?


   •  8th: ditto ... ?


   • 10th: ... fuck it.


Not much boobage in the last while; maybe a few unicorn jokes will fill the gap:
Mike Peters: Unicorn.
Perry Bible Fellowship (PBF): Unicorns.
Aiming low on all fronts:
Jim Morin: watered down.
Horsey: really real.
[This Horsey cartoon is from 2011. Doesn't seem fair to centre out the poor hard-done-by fossil fuel industry. The blame should be spread somehow over the gazillion politicians and consultants and definitely all over the UNFCCC, Connie Hedegaard & Christiana Figueres.]
Tom Toles: Aiming low.Bagley: Rectal feeding isn't torture.
Dick Cheney at AEI, 2005.Stuart Carlson: Dick Cheney from Hell.
Ramirez: How do you feel about enhanced interrogation.
Steve Nease: Stephen Harper, (M)ad Man.
Malcolm Mayes: Jim Prentice scrapes the bottom of the barrel.
Jack Ohman: Cuba then and now.
Li Feng: Economic interdependence.
The Socialists think of Cuba as an ideological exemplar of some kind. Obama probably thinks of it as a market. I think of it as a successful experiment of what happens when you turn the oil off.

There's not much more to say really. I'm probably not getting on a bus to go confront Elizabeth May or Bruce Hyer. I'm probably not even gonna bother sending emails.

There was a bright moment there a few weeks ago and now it's gone dark again.

"Now she's gone and I don't worry 'cause I'm sittin' on top of the world."

[Probably not Peary, Scott, or Amundsen. Could be a Zen Buddhist epitome, a perfectly realized being or a seamless insouciant pose, sufficient heroin or oxycontin, up against the wall waiting for the order to fire or in the electric chair waiting to be hurled.]
Dušan Petričić: Robert Peary arrives at North Pole.

"A plague on both your houses!" (And so there is.) "From this moment the very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand." (And we all know where this leads. :-)

All I can say these days is "I don't care," (the latest incarnation of Tourette's) but you know, people say things they don't mean all the time. It's like throwing things in the garbage to make them easier to ignore and forget - and then finding you can neither forget nor ignore them.

[So. And any of those upon whom I have visited my unjustified criticism can now say, "Nyah nyah nah na na na!" though I'm sure they won't. It's like the joke about the arrogant mouse that tries it with an elephant - "Suffer baby! Suffer!"

What Ever! Whatever the outcome I laid it out as true as I were able.


A few days later
(on the lucky 13th) it comes to me (as often happens) that I have forgot to make the point:

It's not (quite) too late now.

Unless real leaders emerge in 2015 it will be.

(And I don't mean at the UNFCCC in Paris.)
Best I've seen is:
                Occupation Apple Tree;
                Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network; and,
                East End Against Line 9.

All well worthy of praise and whatever support they may ask for.

It's either some kind of resistance or we can all go along and go along and go along (with Foxy Loxy) and find out exactly what they meant at the end of 'Limits To Growth' when they said:

"... falling into a state of worthless existence."

Postscript:   A-and a few WEEKS later (around midnight on the 30th) it comes to me (as often happens) that I have DOUBLY and, and ... TRIPLY (!) forgot to make the point:

So - a rejoinder and surrejoinder (though there have been no replies whatsoever).

The whole edifice and infrastructure is so thin that with $300 million recently invested by The City of Toronto in their welfare software they are unable to properly print a cheque. It is physically gibbled (as is often the case the receptionist tells me) and the bank finds an excuse not to cash it. I have to carry it back to the office and beg for a new one. But it is the 30th and the place fills up with others on approximately the same and similar errands - end of the month welfare crisis blues. Three hours go by before a kind security guard notices my 350 button and asks about it and a kind woman (a maritimer) kibitzes her way to discovering and removing the blockage - the cheque is in an automated queue which the clerk has forgotten to monitor (not his fault). The cheque is soon reprinted and I am on my way.

I've shortened this - there's a tin of coconut macaroons involved as well.

The effect is augmented by the bank teller remembering my face from last month and smiling.

These (tiny?) bits of attention are sufficient to stoke the embers to some kind of ... positive fugue.

The mindless downloaded TV hyper-dreck (episodes of 'Justified' and 'Catastrophe') jumps into focus momentarily - I reach (but do not grasp) modes of story telling beyond the age of irony (beyond Archie Bunker and The Simpsons). AND! I see that my poking at Elizabeth May and Bruce Hyer and Adriana Mugnatto is unfinished.

The very-nearly-perfect vacuum of Canadian politics in which a twerp like Justin Sinclair is next in line to Stephen Harper (according to a Globe on-line poll) might be re-inflated by the simplest act of courage on their parts.

Of course courage is never simple, but the vision of complacency overturned is strong enough for me to come back here and make these few notes - so at least (even if it is never grasped) I will not entirely forget it.

Erm ... of course there are ...
Natalie Dee.

... other points of view, other opinions, takes & glimpses, wise and otherwise (and not necessarily either stupid or sentimental).

Says Natalie Dee: "The world isn't going to end, we're not that lucky. It will just get worse and dirtier and we will be trapped."

Miel (almost) smiles and says nothing.

Joep Bertrams is on about a national health care situation - but for me it works better ... more 'globally', as the blind leading the blind.

A-and Gado takes the brass ring.
Joep Bertrams: Zorg.Gado: iBrain.
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  1. You welcome! thank you very much for your message!
    I made i little website with the videos I upload from the COP20

    kind regards.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing this blog with me. From the first time I saw it, I'm back again and again and again and again reading more articles and more and more images. They are brilliant!

    lol, Yeah I agree with you on the UNFCC, I'm happy to meet other people who hold the same interests as I have. In my country Venezuela nobody seems to be interested in this and most of people do not know there was an event in Lima. Yet now here we also have other types problems.

    Best wishes

  3. I am pleased you enjoy it, I get no feedback at all so I have no way of knowing and I am always on the edge of giving it up


    but I pay attention to what is happening there just in case

    do you recommend any Venezuelan cartoonists?