I was re-reading a paper I wrote ten years ago and found it all too relevant to what we’ve been experiencing for the past year in America culminating, for the moment, in the catastrophe that was Election Day here. You may find it helps to explain a few things.
The epigraph for my master’s thesis on the “The Underlying Psychology of Violent Political Conflict” was from Erik Erikson: “There is no time left in which to be as naïve historically as, in all past history, the historians have been psychologically. (Childhood and Society, p. 403.) Let’s all of us, activists, political scientists, everyday decent people, not be so naïve about what just happened and what’s going to happen all too soon.
Here is my paper from the Fall 2006 edition of the “Journal of Psychohistory.” (Read the pdf here if that’s easier.) Continue reading →
It’s been a few months since I’ve been on the air. There is absolutely no better news I could come off my sabbatical with than that the Keystone XL pipeline project is dead. President Obama this morning announced the US rejection of the application. There is enormous significance in this on several levels: Continue reading →
I went to a cool little rally last evening here in New York City. We were standing across from the David H. Koch theater at Lincoln Center to say “No!” to the KXL. We were there, of course, because the Koch Brothers have been the principal funders in recent years of any number of reactionary organizations, including Americans for Prosperity and ALEC, not to mention the Tea Party itself. Of course, they have a serious vested interest in the Canadian tar sands. By the time I left, we had a good 200 or so people out on a cold night. The excellent folks at 350NYC organized the rally and we knew that there were scores more across the country at the same time. Continue reading →
There’s a deal, finally, out of the latest, exhaustive negotiating sessions from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: “The Lima Call for Climate Action.” What does it say? It, for one thing, requires all parties to the convention to submit their plans for reducing emissions. These climate action plans, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), are due in the first quarter of 2015. They will form the basis for the final agreement to come from Paris a year from now. Continue reading →
Here are the world’s four largest emitters of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and cement production. In 2013, China accounted for twice of America’s carbon dioxide output. Collectively, the world blasted36 billion tons of CO2 into the climate system – nearly ¾ of the total global burden of greenhouse gases. Continue reading →
The Cowboy Indian Alliance is riding into Washington on April 22nd and setting up camp to make a statement: Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline and Protect the Earth. They will be joined on April 26 by thousands of people who share that message. It’s a critical message, and I personally think that John Kerry understands it. I think that Barack Obama understands it. It’s our job to give them the political cover to do the right thing. It’s as simple as that. It’s our job to refute the lies from the special interests and to overwhelm the forces of reaction with reason, our voices, our votes and our support for organizations and candidates that know the hour is late. Continue reading →
US Secretary of State John Kerry is a man with things on his mind: Putin’s bad attitude, genocide in Syria, a ticking clock for a Palestinian and Israeli peace deal. Yet with all this, he knows that the climate system needs to be at the top or near the top of his priority list. His reaction to the new report on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability from the IPCC is clear: “The costs of inaction are catastrophic.” His statement yesterday reminds us that we are on very thin ice and we can hear it starting to crack. Continue reading →
John Kerry is a climate hawk. I’ve been a fan since before 2004 when I helped out on his presidential campaign. (Heavy sigh.) Now that he’s the US Secretary of State, he’s in a unique, critical position to be able to significantly advance an agenda of moving us off the path of self-destruction we’ve been on and onto one in which everyone can enjoy abundant energy and clean air and clean water, not to mention a climate system that will be able to heal itself over time. Continue reading →
First of all, I want to quickly acknowledge the fact that I’ve been off the air for weeks. Put it down, if you will, to the end of semester for my graduate class, the holidays, some other work that needed to get done, but mostly to a sort of mini-sabbatical that I took for myself.
He had quite a bit to say about the Geopolitics of the Global Energy Revolution. Ambassador Pascual, a greatly experienced and articulate man, led us on a tour of some of the most salient issues in global energy. He highlighted what he thought were “five revolutions” that are underway in supply transformation, emerging market demand, “liquid gas,” clean power, and energy access. Continue reading →