Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘climate trials

Thank God It’s Thanksgiving Week Links

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While the Nazi totalitarianism strove to give the masses a sense of collective power and strength, Kraft durch Freude (“Strength through joy”), inverted totalitarianism promotes a sense of weakness, of collective futility. While the Nazis wanted a continuously mobilized society that would not only support the regime without complaint and enthusiastically vote “yes” at the periodic plebiscites, inverted totalitarianism wants a politically demobilized society that hardly votes at all.

* In a book coming out this spring, Goffman, now a 31-year-old assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, documents how the expansion of America’s penal system is reshaping life for the poor black families who exist under the watch of its police, prison guards, and parole officers.

* Durham police defend lack of public information in teen’s death. I am continually amazed and horrified by the police stonewalling on this story. How can they not be required to admit how the teenager died?

For racking up a record that has veered from unethical conduct to staggering incompetence, CREW’s voters awarded Gov. Walker the title of Worst Governor in America.

Toxic Lakes From Tar-Sand Projects Planned for Alberta.

The Insanity of Our Food Policy.

India Confronts the Politics of the Toilet.

Federal Student Loan Profits Help Duncan Cut Education Spending To Lowest Level Since 2001. What a sickening spectacle.

Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions. So we’ll only have to sue 90 companies into oblivion? That seems pretty manageable.

Hyperemployment, or the Exhausting Work of the Technology User. Via this piece on the culture of overwork in academia.

* Creatin’ a legal marijuana economy ain’t easy.

* No war in Iran? Unhappy warmongers, just pick yourselves up, dust yourselves off, and try again next decade.

The Long Shadow of Chinese Blacklists on American Academe.

* MetaFilter post on the only musical I ever need to see: Fun Home: The Musical.

Bill de Blasio gives cold shoulder to education reformers as he prepares to choose a chancellor.

* And did I do this one already? An Upworthy Generator. Now you can be inspired by heartwarming stories on your own timetable…

More Friday!

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This teen is suing the state of Alaska because climate change threatens his home.

For-Profit Fiasco: California Public Colleges Turn to Web Courses.

Replying to the doubters, one Coursera “financier” told the Times that “monetization is not the most important objective for this business at this point.” What is important, he said, is that “Coursera is rapidly accumulating a body of high-quality content that could be very attractive to universities that want to license it for their own use.” Potential investors should therefore “invest with a very long mind-set.”

The MOOCs were invented by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan…

More than 40 of the world’s 100 most reputable universities and colleges are American, according to the Times Higher Education’s 2013 world reputation ranking of colleges and universities. Just because it’s the envy of the world doesn’t mean we shouldn’t melt it down and sell it for scrap.

* What’s happening at UW-Eau Claire?

The anti-circumvention section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act threatens to make archivists criminals if they try to preserve our society’s artifacts for future generations.

* Maryland to repeal the death penalty.

Pot-Hating New York Politician Cited for Having Pot.

* In praise of Pam Grier.

What happens when Game of Thrones runs out of books to adapt?

* And Star Wars as a John Hughes movie.

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They Can Do Anything, We Can Do Nothing

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…I’d call using a false identity to get inside a diabolical organization “journalism.” It might not be respectable and won’t get you invited to fun corporate-sponsored events. But Gleick has thrown the curtain back. And of course, he’s at fault here. Even if he broke the law, is that the real issue here? What is worse, using a false identity or advocating for policies that will destroy the entire nation of Tonga? Using a false identity or lobbying the U.S. government to halt changes in mileage standards for cars so that we don’t become a bunch of hippie Europeans or something and continue to change the climate with ever-greater rapidity? I think I know which side contains the moral monsters here. And it ain’t Peter Gleick.

Erik Loomis, in defense of Peter Gleick.

Good Thing Climate Change Is a Hoax

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 23, 2012 at 11:09 am

Saturday Links

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* Chris Newfield on the university in crisis.

The first is that this model has been shifting public university revenues to a specific kind of private source, for three decades. Voters are often told that the shift means that wealthy donors and research sponsors have picked up a big part of the educational bill, but this is simply not true. The AFM means shifting educational costs from the overall population to students and their families. The model also shifts costs from old to young, and in California from a 70 per cent white voting public to a 70 per cent student-of-colour secondary-school population. It destroys the mutualization principle of social development.

The second effect of the American funding model is that it has damaged American educational attainment. The USA has had a comparative educational advantage over the rest of the wealthy world for about 150 years – first at the high-school level and then in college degrees. Now, for the first time in US history, younger people are less educated than their baby-boomer parents. If you are wondering whether privatization caused this destruction, the answer is yes it did. The private investment process gives the least money to the colleges with the lowest graduation rates, which receive a disproportionately high percentage of low-income and first-generation students. The decades-old failure of the bottom three-quarters of the country’s students (measured by socio-economic status) to improve their educational outcomes has undermined overall advances in attainment. In about twenty years, the funding model has destroyed the USA’s educational advantage (it is now twelfth in BA attainment rates and falling).

The third effect of privatization is that it is wrecking the financial solvency of high-quality public universities. The funding model doesn’t produce stability because the net private revenues never make up for cuts to the public funding lost to cuts. This structural shortfall will result from the British government’s replacement of most of the teaching grant with a scheme of high fees and loans. It has been happening for a long time in California, and based on that state’s experience even a tripling of fees won’t make up for the teaching grant.

* Michael Tomasky crunches the numbers to prove bipartisanship truly is bunk.

* Meanwhile, it’s extremely unclear why Obama thinks his job is to do things “the people in his party won’t like”. Leave Medicare alone.

* Exxon Makes Billion-Dollar Bet Climate Change is Real, Here Now and Going to Get Worse But Keeps Funding Deniers. Bring on the carbon trials.

* For my Texas readers: please be advised that statistically, you have a better chance of being executed by Rick Perry than dying in an airplane crash. Of course, if Perry gets elected president he’ll do his deregulating best to even those odds.

* Muslim American terrorist plots have killed since 9/11 — since the 3,000 killed on 9/11 — have killed 33 individuals in the United States since that time. Over that same period of time, there have been more than 150,000 murders in the United States, or 14 or 15,000 murders every year. Muslim American terrorism, then, has been a very small, very low percentage of the overall violence in the United States.

* And I’ve seen more than a couple links to this diary on the legacy of Martin Luther King on Daily Kos this weekend.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.

I’m guessing that most of you, especially those having come fresh from seeing “The Help,” may not understand what this was all about. But living in the south (and in parts of the mid west and in many ghettos of the north) was living under terrorism.

It wasn’t that black people had to use a separate drinking fountain or couldn’t sit at lunch counters, or had to sit in the back of the bus.

You really must disabuse yourself of this idea. Lunch counters and buses were crucial symbolic planes of struggle that the civil rights movement decided to use to dramatize the issue, but the main suffering in the south did not come from our inability to drink from the same fountain, ride in the front of the bus or eat lunch at Woolworth’s.

It was that white people, mostly white men, occasionally went berserk, and grabbed random black people, usually men, and lynched them. You all know about lynching. But you may forget or not know that white people also randomly beat black people, and the black people could not fight back, for fear of even worse punishment.

This constant low level dread of atavistic violence is what kept the system running. It made life miserable, stressful and terrifying for black people.

White people also occasionally tried black people, especially black men, for crimes for which they could not conceivably be guilty. With the willing participation of white women, they often accused black men of “assault,” which could be anything from rape to not taking off one’s hat, to “reckless eyeballing”…

The Kids Are Alright

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Links for Tuesday

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* Obligatory: So you want to get a Ph.D. in the humanities.

* Donald Brown at Penn State’s Climate Ethics blog is the latest person to suggest that corporate behavior in the face of climate change could constitute a new class of crime against humanity.

* Good Jersey, Bad Jersey: You can have new anti-bullying legislation, but Christie’s still not sure about the Hudson River Tunnel.

As the candidates arrived, a group of Paul supporters pulled a female MoveOn member to the ground and held her there as another Paul supporter stomped on the back of her head and neck.

* Outraging conservatives everywhere, the Texas Supreme Court has cited international interplanetary law.

* Durham: Proud to be one-half of America’s 4th smartest city. Duke doesn’t even make the list of most dangerous colleges, though nearby NCCU clocks in at #7.

* Confirmed: the Moon has water. Let’s go back and get it.

* Crooked Timber coins the term: zero-dimensional chess.

After two years of operating at loggerheads with Republicans, Mr. Obama and his aides are planning a post-election agenda for a very different political climate. They see potential for bipartisan cooperation on reducing the deficit, passing stalled free-trade pacts and revamping the education bill known as No Child Left Behind — work that Arne Duncan, Mr. Obama’s education secretary, says could go a long way toward repairing “the current state of anger and animosity.”

Translation: Mr Obama and his aides plan a series of pre-emptive capitulations, after which the Republicans will demand the repeal of the healthcare act (or maybe abolition of Social Security). When/if that is refused, the Repugs will shut down the government, and this time they will hold their nerve until Obama folds.

* And Paul the Psychic Octopus has died. Good night, sweet prince. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Up Too Early Central Timezone Blues

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* The paper on ecological debt I’m giving at the Debt conference at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies today is pretty indebted to Naomi Klein’s recent work on the subject, which can be found at YouTube, Democracy Now, The Nation, and Rolling Stone. I may try to put this talk up as a podcast at some point.

* The oil spill disaster in the Louisiana has turned out to be much, much worse than originally thought: “a river of oil flowing from the bottom of the Gulf at the rate of 210,000 gallons a day that officials say could be running for two months or more.” The final devastation will likely be worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster. The White House says BP will pay the costs of cleanup. Related: Obama Administration Learns That Oil Leads to Oil Spills. At least they’ve quietly reinstated the federal moratorium on offshore drilling as a result of all this. Hope it stays that way.

* Can reconciliation work for climate like it worked for health care? Ezra Klein says not really.

* Ten states, including my beloved North Carolina!, are now considering Arizona-style document laws.

* Speaking of North Carolina, here’s the Independent Weekly voting guide for Durham County. The primary is Tuesday, May 4.

* It turns out the measurement fallacy Cory Doctorow was speaking about in my class’s interview with him has a name: Goodhart’s Law.

* Grad School Necessary To Maintain U.S.’s Global Position. Take that, The Simpsons.

* Republican consultant on Republican 2012 presidential field: “We Have Real [Expletive] Problems.”

* Calling out the real judicial activists.

* Socialphobes of the world unite! Against the telephone.

The telephone was an aberation in human development. It was a 70 year or so period where for some reason humans decided it was socially acceptable to ring a loud bell in someone else’s life and they were expected to come running, like dogs. This was the equivalent of thinking it was okay to walk into someone’s living room and start shouting.

* Books: still greener than e-readers.

* I can’t believe I forgot to celebrate Explicit Legal Pants Day. The rest of the post, on heterosexual privilege in Mississippi, is good too.

Inevitable District 9 sequel coming in two years.

* I’m so old I can remember when the GOP was against involuntary microchip implantation. It was like a week ago.

* And YouTube has the trailer for the feel-good movie of the year.

Bring on the Climate Trials

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Bring on the climate trials: In a global stunt, a U.S. environmental activist is poised to lodge a $1 billion damages class action lawsuit at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against all world leaders for failing to prevent global warming.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 30, 2008 at 8:39 pm

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More Ecology

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More ecology. At a recent Senate hearing, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) couldn’t get a single energy expert to say that additional drilling is America’s most important issue. And in England, in an astounding act of quasi-jury-nullication, six Greenpeace activists were cleared in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station under the “lawful excuse” clause of the Criminal Damage Act 1971, which “allows damage to be caused to property to prevent even greater damage – such as breaking down the door of a burning house to tackle a fire,” or, in this case, preventing catastrophic climate change.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 14, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Crimes Against the Future

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From that same MetaFilter thread, lodurr points to some interesting speculation I’d never seen before about the possibility of “climate trials” and “the tobaccofication of carbon.”

Written by gerrycanavan

December 29, 2007 at 10:43 pm

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