from October 10, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
I have been
writing about the crisis since September
1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will
continue with it.
moment and since more than two years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
2. Crisis Files
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from October 10, 2018:
1. Fossil Fuels Are a Threat to Civilization, New U.N. Report
The items 1 - 5 are today's
selections from the 35 sites that I look at
every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
2. ‘A Deafening, Piercing Smoke Alarm’
3. Brazil’s Eroding Democracy
4. 5 Truths Exposed by Kavanaugh's Rise to the Supreme Court
of Western Democracy Being Played Out in Brazil
Fuels Are a Threat to Civilization, New U.N. Report Concludes
This article is by
Kate Aronoff on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Around the middle of the
last century, the chemical DDT was found to pose a risk to human and
animal health. The ultimate response — after a prolonged fight between
environmentalists and the chemical industry — was a federal
ban on all uses of the substance found to be unsafe.
On Monday, the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a daunting report, suggesting
that we are currently on track for around 3 degrees Celsius of warming
caused by greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC authors promise that
we will see coastal cities swallowed by the sea, global food shortages,
and $54 trillion in climate-associated costs as
soon as 2040.
catastrophe is the motivation for the demands of Global South residents
and their allies, for whom rising tides and superstorms are already a
reality. They’ve long chanted “1.5
to survive” through the fluorescent-lit halls of U.N. climate
talks, and this new report — which outlines pathways to limit
warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius — is a testament to that work. The
figure is in line with the “well below 2 degrees” target outlined in
the Paris Climate Agreement and, according to the co-chair of one of
the IPCC working groups that crafted the report, Jim Skea, hitting that
target “is possible within the laws of physics and chemistry.”
Well... yes as to the
IPPC report, but no: I have been following the environment/climate for
almost 50 years, and I have totally given up on the present
kinds of government actions around the time of the Kyoto Protocol (in
In brief: Jim Skea is
quite correct that ¨hitting
that target “is possible within the laws of physics and chemistry”¨ but that is neither the problem nor
the point, which is that the present day political
which is more or less the same (apart from being more rightish now) as
it was the last 50 years, is not up to it or quite against it
(for the political process is to a considerable extent run by oil
companies, investors only interested in their immediate profits etc.)
Besides, I was against
the Paris Climate Agreement (for that was much too small in its aims)
and the fact that this is now rescheduled from ¨well below 2
degrees¨ (Celsius) to ¨1.5
degrees Celsius¨ does not
increase my trust for the simple reason that almost all the
for it were already known (or should have been known) much earlier.
Anyway. Here is some
Amid the doom and gloom
that tends to accompany climate stories, it’s easy to lose site of
who’s largely responsible for today’s mess, and who should pay the
highest price as we navigate through it.
“Almost 50% of global
carbon emissions arise from the activities of around 10% of the global
population, increasing to 70% of emissions from just 20% of citizens,”
climate scientist Kevin Anderson wrote
in response to the new report. “Impose a limit on the per-capita carbon
footprint of the top 10% of global emitters, equivalent to that of an
average European citizen, and global emissions could be reduced by one
third in a matter of a year or two.” To wit, just 100 companies have
been responsible for 71
percent of greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.
Anderson adds that “to
genuinely reduce emissions in line with 2°C of warming requires a
transformation in the productive capacity of society, reminiscent of
the Marshall Plan,” and that there should be “[no] more second or very
large homes, SUVs, business and first-class flights, or very high
levels of consumption.”
Precisely - and this
argument was for the old Paris Climate Agreement, which aimed
at a maximum of 2 C, and not for the revised estimate that is 1/4
And in my opinion
(which I regret, but I despise wishful
thinking) the present plan will fail - like the Paris
Climate Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol.
Here is the ending from
Yes, I basically agree
with Harper: Governments will do too little and do it too late, as
they have been doing the last more than 50 years about the climate
and the environment, and only when it
is definitely too late they might do something (that is then probably
ineffective because it is too late). And this is a recommended
The widespread ban on DDT
that passed in the U.S. eventually came to the U.K. Reflecting on the
fight there, Martin Harper, of the Royal Society for the Protection of
Birds, told The Guardian recently, “It took 10 years to get DDT banned
after its effects had been demonstrated. And similarly today, when
warned about a chemical’s danger, governments wait until research
results are unequivocal. Then they suggest industry takes voluntary
action. Only when that fails does it issue a ban, years too late.”
Deafening, Piercing Smoke Alarm’
This article is by
The Editorial Board on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
a cautious, science-based and largely apolitical group like the United
Nations Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change says the world must utterly transform its energy
systems in the next decade or risk ecological and social disaster,
attention must be paid.
panel, created in 1988, synthesizes the findings of leading climate
scientists, an undertaking for which it received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. It is not in the habit of
lecturing governments. But its latest report, issued near Seoul on Monday, is very
different. One United Nations official described it as “a deafening,
piercing smoke alarm going off in the kitchen” — an alarm aimed
directly at world leaders. “Frankly, we’ve delivered a message to the
governments,” said Jim Skea, a co-chairman
of the panel and a professor at Imperial College, London. “It’s now
their responsibility … to decide whether they can act on it.”
This is more on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that was also
the subject of the previous item.
I said above, I think it will fail, indeed in considerable part
the present proposed changes are too large to realize given politics,
and the present
are too large because too little was done in the previous 50+ years.
is some more:
As I have said, I am
something like 99% certain this new plan will fail. I strongly
dislike (and fear) that failure, but I do not think the present
governments, nor indeed the governments there have been in the last 50+
years, will be able to do it. And this is a recommended article.
The report, written by
91 scientists from 40 countries, came about at the request of several
small island nations that took part in the Paris talks, where 195
countries pledged their best efforts to limit increases in global
warming to 3.6 degrees (2 degrees Celsius) below preindustrial levels.
Fearing that their countries might someday be lost to rising seas, they
asked the intergovernmental panel for further study of a lower
threshold, 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius). The panel’s
report concluded that the stricter threshold should become the new target. The
alternative is catastrophe — mass die-offs of coral reefs, widespread
drought, famine and wildfires, and potentially conflict over land, food
and fresh water.
how to achieve that lower threshold? Global emissions continue to rise,
albeit slowly. The panel said a mammoth effort is needed, beginning now
and carrying through the century, to decarbonize global energy systems.
The next 10 years are absolutely crucial: Emissions will have to be on
a sharp downward path by 2030 for any hope of success.
This article is by
Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:
In a stunning upset
that may radically alter the political landscape of Latin America,
far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro won 46 percent of the vote in Sunday’s
presidential election in Brazil in a far more decisive victory than
expected. The former Army officer has a long history of making racist,
homophobic and misogynistic comments and has openly praised Brazil’s
military dictatorship. He will now face Fernando Haddad of the leftist
Workers’ Party in a runoff on October 28. Haddad won 29 percent of the
vote Sunday. Many are warning that the future of democracy in Brazil
hangs in the balance. We speak with Maria Luísa Mendonça, director of
the Network for Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil, who says
Bolsonaro is a “fascist” and that his election would create “a very
dangerous situation in Brazil.”
Yes indeed. Also, I think
that either very many Brazilian voters are - even - less
and knowledgeable than I thought they were or else the
was corrupt. I do not know which alternative is correct (and
both are) because I do not know enough about Brazil.
Here is some more:
This is all quite correct.
Here is Mendonça:
GOODMAN: On Sunday, Jair
Bolsonaro’s Social Liberal Party won unexpected victories across
Brazil. In Brazil’s lower house, Bolsonaro’s party won 52 seats, up
from just eight. It’s now the second largest party in the chamber.
Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo received more votes than any congressional
candidate in Brazil’s history. Meanwhile, Brazilian voters ousted a
stunning two-thirds of incumbents Sunday.
Jair Bolsonaro also directly
benefited from the jailing of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da
Silva, who had been leading all presidential polls earlier this year.
Lula has been in jail since April on what many consider trumped-up
corruption charges. His handpicked successor, former São Paulo Mayor
Fernando Haddad, now faces an uphill fight against Bolsonaro in the
October 28th runoff.
LUÍSA MENDONÇA: Yes. That’s a very dangerous situation in
Brazil that I think is very important to monitor, because that could
have an impact in the whole region. Like I said before, former
President Lula, actually, if he was able to run, he would probably win
very easily. But there was a vacuum created because he was put in jail
with charges of receiving a bribe, but actually there is no evidence
that he received the bribe. So, since the parliamentary coup against
President Dilma Rousseff two years ago, we are in the situation of a
limbo. We cannot consider that we have a democracy in Brazil right now.
And so, Bolsonaro is the result of a series of attacks on democracy
that started two years ago with the parliamentary coup against Dilma
GOODMAN: So, Dilma
Rousseff is couped out—she is forced out of the presidency—and then
Lula, who decided to run for president, is imprisoned.
LUÍSA MENDONÇA: Exactly, yeah. We said that there was a coup
because there was no evidence that she committed any crimes, but she
was impeached anyway. And Bolsonaro at that time voted as a
congressmember, voted for the impeachment in the name of the person who
tortured her during the military dictatorship when she was in prison.
I say! So Bolsonaro is
not only a frightful authoritarian rightist, he also is a sadist,
personally. I am afraid he will win, and Brazil then very probably will
turn into a fascist
This is a recommended article, and there is another about Brazil below.
4. 5 Truths Exposed by Kavanaugh's Rise to
the Supreme Court
This article is by Bill
Blum on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Yes, and in fact this is a
rather long article and I shall only copy and briefly comment
on the five takeaways that Blum
mentioned in his title.
The ballots have been cast
and the verdict is in: By a vote of 50-48, the Senate on Saturday
confirmed Brett Kavanaugh as the 114th justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Here are five key takeaways
from the confirmation battle:
confirmation proves once again that the courts, especially the Supreme
Court, are political.
As to the first point: I do not think it was correct to include
courts¨, and besides, if ¨the courts¨ are included one also has to consider leftish courts.
It is better to concentrate on the Supreme Court, and Blum is correct
Here is Blum´s second takeaway:
confirmation signals the triumph of a judicial counterrevolution.
represents the culmination of a multi-decade effort by the most
revanchist sectors of the right to seize control of the justice system
and neutralize the use of law as an instrument of progressive social
and economic reform.
I think that is more or
less correct, though this ¨counterrevolution¨ was not only ¨judicial¨
but also political and propagandistic. (Then again,
Blum might agree
Here is Blum´s third
No, I think this is too
simpleminded: As stated, it is correct for the Supreme Court, but then
again many women have contended that the position of women have
improved, in part because of #MeToo. I do not know who is
the last takeaway is formulated too carelessly.
- For the time being,
white male privilege has trumped the rights of women.
4. Elections matter.
this is the last of Blum´s takeaways:
I do not know. I
this is desirable - Kavanaugh must go - but it is far from
certain, simply because it
depends on what else draws attention in the future. There is a lot more
in this article and it is recommended.
- If the Democrats
take back the House, Kavanaugh will face further investigations and
of Western Democracy Being Played Out in Brazil
This article is by
Pepe Escobar on Consortium News. It starts as follows:
Nothing less than
the future of politics across the West – and across the Global South –
is being played out in Brazil.
I agree with most of the
above, and I add what I already said above: Either very many
Brazilian voters are - even - less intelligent and knowledgeable than I
thought they were or else the Brazilian voting was corrupt. And
not know which is (more) correct.
Stripped to its essence, the
Brazilian presidential elections represent a direct clash between
democracy and an early 21st Century, neofascism, indeed between
civilization and barbarism.
Geopolitical and global
economic reverberations will be immense. The Brazilian dilemma
illuminates all the contradictions surrounding the Right populist
offensive across the West, juxtaposed to the inexorable collapse of the
Left. The stakes could not be higher.
Jair Bolsonaro, an outright
supporter of Brazilian military dictatorships of last century, who has
been normalized as the “extreme-right candidate,” won the first round
of the presidential elections on Sunday with more than 49 million
votes. That was 46 percent of the total, just shy of a majority needed
for an outright win. This in itself is a jaw-dropping development.
Here is some more on Bolsonaro:
mediocre member of Congress for 27 years with no highlights on his
C.V., indiscriminately demonizes blacks, the LGBT community, the Left
as a whole, the environment “scam” and most of all, the poor. He’s
avowedly pro-torture. He markets himself as a Messiah – a fatalistic
avatar coming to “save” Brazil from all those “sins” above.
Yes, I think that is correct.
There is a whole lot more in the article, among other things
Salvini and Macron in Europe, and I do not agree with everything, but
this is a recommended article.
The Goddess of the Market,
predictably, embraces him. “Investors” – those semi-divine entities –
deem him good for “the market”, with his last-minute offensive in the
polls mirroring a rally in the Brazilian real and the Sao Paulo stock
Bolsonaro may be your classic
extreme-right “savior” in the Nazi mould. He may embody Right populism
to the core.
end of 2015 that
xs4all.nl is systematically
ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds,
as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between
two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been
there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any
other Dutch provider is any better (!!).