Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25: A bad day.

A few days ago, the Irving press had a commentary by Gwynne Dyer.  It was the most alarming commentary I have ever seen. In it, Dyer says that climate change does not  come in a steady growth all over the world. It spreads unevenly. And it may grow in spurts rather than in steady, monthly changes. He adds that we are very close to the point at which it will continue changing whether we stop our carbon emissions or not. He adds that the time we have is short, and it may already be too late to react to it.

Now, Gwynne Dyer is a commentator of world repuation. He gathered the information for this column from the many climate scientests  he spoke to while preparing a book on the subject. The message and the deliverer are a pretty powerful combination. And the reaction of the Irving press?

For the editorialist, the great issue of the day is that city council voter turnouts are low in Moncton.

Both Norbert and Alec Bruce write on the same topic, a lottery error that has resulted in too much money going to native peoples.

Then there's a column by an economics professor - of a certain type. While being a professor, he's also a major figure in Frontier Centre for Public Policy - which sounds like, and is, a propaganda front for the wealthy, in this case, for the oil industry. He wants Canada to plunge ahead - more pipelines, more fracking, more oil....

There are moments when I'm ashamed to have spent so much of my life associated with universities.

Craig Babstock has a commentary  that Newfoundlanders should come to New Brunswick for jobs. I have no idea why.

Dyer raised one hell of an issue. This newspaper printed it. If Dyer doesn't know what he's talking about,   why did the editors choose to run this column?

If what Dyer is saying is true, then Trudeau must have heard of it; and he must know the Paris agreement is far too little, far too late. After all, he has the full resources of a national government to keep him informed on scientific opinion.
The newspaper now has a responsibility to investigate this. It can't be terribly difficult to get opinions on this from climate scientists. A responsibility? Hell! It has an obligation.
There is nothing much in section A news.The front page headline is about the TV debate between the mayoral candidates. It reads like an insomniac's dream come true. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two candidates is over moving the library to the old, Moncton High. Just a small thought on this.

The city has an aging population. We are coming to the end of oil-fueled transportation. That probably means the elderly will need to live in a short walking distance to shopping and other services like libraries. My! Won't it be a wonderful exercise for the elderly to walk up that hill to Moncton High, especially in winter?

I found no sign of a coherent city plan in the speech of either of these candidates.
Canada and World has a big story "Nova Scotia law look to proect the rights of service dog owners." Too bad they already ran that story a couple of days ago.
But the big, world story that YOU NEED to know is "Two wounded in Wisconsin high school prom shooting." That's not news. That's sensationalism. Incidentally, they were wounded by shots from a gun that sounds much like those carried by the man who killed three Moncton police  - rapid fire, large capacity magazine. Did we ever get the story on where he got those guns?

There was one, interesting story in the section, "Solar-powered plane completes journey across Pacific."

Otherwise, there's very little in section B news. So let's remedy that.
CBC (and Irving press) continue reporting on the almost daily disaster of suicides by native peoples. But we hear of little action by governments. I suspect this is not a problem we can solve as if it were some sort of disease. The sickness we see in the suicides comes from the situation in which all native peoples find themselves. I don't know whether we can undo what we have done to whole societies. But I'm quite sure it cannot be done simply by helping individuals. And I'm quite sure it is going to need massive effort by all of us - including a massive redistribution of land and self-government for native peoples.
CBC also has photos of some of the hundreds of thousands of homeless children in Nepal, many of whom now have to work from the age of five for pennies a day. Why don't we give more help? Well, the west needs the money to flood the world with weapons to make the defence industries rich and the oil billionaires richer.
There were also two, interesting stories in yesterday's CBC news. One is that we are at war with Russia. That's what it means when we read the weekly report that gas prices are showing little, if any rise. The west is keeping the cost of oil low in order to impoverish Russia which needs high prices for its oil. Once that's done, then the prices will take off as countries like Saudi Arabia have to make up for the tremendous losses they've been taking.

The counter to this is that Russia and China are working to break American control of the value of the dollar - which is very vulnerable, given the huge debt of the U.S., and the U.S. dollar holdings in China.

Now, what if one side sees it all as hopeless, and decides that it's now or never for a shooting war?

CBC also had the report, yesterday, of a U.S. doctor who deals with   PTSD in the military. The numbers seem to be rising  spectacularly; and the damage is often untreatable. It may not be a coincidence that the U.S. changed its training after World War Two to make its soldiers more, much more, willing to kill, and to make them have contempt for others. Thus the many special ops groups that do hired killings all over the world.

It's quite possible that many of them some realize what they were doing, even long after the war. Thus the rise of PTSD.

I was also taken by this story on CBC.
This next item is on a point I made above - how Russia and the U.S. are, in fact, now at war.
Here's slice of the real South America we never  hear about. For well over a century, the U.S. (with Canadian help) has been butchering, impoverishing everybody from the children up. It has forced them to accept jobs as very cheap labour. It has massively destroyed environments. It has killed anyone who objects. Maybe there's a reason why the Irving press never reports any of this.
Here's the Russian/China side of the economic war with the U.S.
The U.S. has been cutting back on social help, including food, for  several years. It needs the extra money for the 'defence' industry, and so  billionaires won't have to pay taxes. In fact, the outstanding feature of American life for the past 20  years and more has been the rise to real, political power of corporation bosses. It's been happening in Canada, too. And now,   corruption and  greed demand that the hungry must get hungrier.
And here's a warning not to be an environmentalist in South America. And it's another story that, to nobody's surprise, never made the Irving press.
There's a mixed story on Turkey's treatment of refugees. This one is from a Russian source; but I've seen much the same from others.
I've seen this one in western sources, too. But not in the Irving press. And you won't. Depend on it.
And here's a whole page of stories that you'll never see in the Irving press. They're about fracking.
Now I know why I liked teaching history. It took my attention away from the world we live in.

It's hard to see a shred of morality in any leading country. Our religious institutions appear to be moral only on minor issues - or fashionable ones like abortion. Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have any focus on the needs of people. And the NDP has been losing the focus it had. Democracy has become decorative rather than a reality. The world has been destablized by capitalist greed (which now includes both China and Russia as well as the old hands at it.)

 And the news media, for the most part,  have been used by the  wealthy to 'dumb down' the rest of the population.

We live in everything that George Orwell foretold.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting how Dyer says he got onto the global warming issue. It came from prowling the halls of the Pentagon and Britain's MoD where he noticed increasing concern being directed to the subject. It was the best and the brightest military types who convinced him that this was a truly existential threat.

    We have a prime minister who claims to 'get it' and promises action to sharply reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions while, in the next breath, advocates for major increases in bitumen production and pipelines to export the stuff to far corners of the world. He reconciles the two with a grand bit of sophistry - the revenues from selling the world's highest carbon synthetic petroleum will help Canada go green. Right.