Saturday, January 31, 2015

Plentitude or Plenticide : Janus Manhattan 1945

Manhattan was long regarded as Modernity's 'special' city, home to most of the world's skyscrapers (and centres of eugenic research).

But a Manhattan university campus was also the first home of Adorno & Horkheimer's modest little mimeographed effort entitled "Dialectic of the Enlightenment".

That collection of essays rather went against the grain of 1945's informed opinion, by dissing the Nazi plenticidal killing machine for being, of all things, 'Modernity on Speed'.

Thereby A&H helped birthed our present day era, without quite realizing it, simply by killing off Modernity stone cold.

But it was the Manhattan-led process that enabled natural penicillin to unexpectedly win out over modernity's efforts to create synthetic penicillin that supplied the new kid in town : plentitude, aka post-modernity...

All superweapons are plenticidal, even if they never kill anyone

1945's American-only atomic bomb was truly plenticidal (plentitude-reducing), but not because a full-out nuclear war would kill off thousands of the world's species in a few months.

It would have been just as plenticidal if it had never ever been used, but only threatened to be used.

Because its real target was not the Axis or even erstwhile allies like Russia - but rather Washington's favoured peace'n'wartime Allies !

Yes its real target were all the other bothersome friendly nations that Washington had to waste some much time mollifying all throughout the war.

But holding the world's only super-weapon puts an end to all that back and forth diplomacy and compromising and debating.

Conducting external affairs gets much simpler when you hold all the cards, make all the rules.

The Manhattan atomic Project was pursued at all speed and all costs, not because it would end the Axis coalition - but rather because it would end the Allied coalition.

Bet you don't find that fact in any of your professors' favourite books ....

Why deny something (extinction of others) you secretly HOPE is happening ?

It is generally agreed that no climate denier publicly denies the Sixth Extinction because they never ever regret other species disappearing - only if their own specie* is vanishing.

(*Specie = old fashioned term for money)

Truth be told, they yearn to see the world get drastically simplified - down to its basic mineral groups.

Call them modernists or plenticiders --- same thing : reduce, eliminate, destroy.

They really resent the way evolution has put humanity as the top dog, but not the only dog, on the planet.

Diversity - in the workforce or in the workforest - is their bete noir - if extinction can remove unpredictable diversity and replace it with predictable simplicity , the Inofes from the netherworld say 'bring it on' ...

Eichmann comic book superhero, if Nazis had won ?

If the Nazis had won, would future generations best know Adolf Eichmann through comic books and films?

Nazi Monomyth ?


Know him as an Aryan Superhero, exemplar of the Nazi Monomyth.

One who had dared to act decisively outside the rule of law, to save the world from bad people, when all the civilized democracies had just sat about endlessly debating the the 'Jewish Problem' without ever doing anything about it?

If you enjoy superhero movies, my words might make you uncomfortable.

I am glad - they were intended to.

We would do well to regard Eichmann and the Final Solution as WWII's other superhero and other super-weapon, from the war's other superpower...

Sixth Extinction Deniers : has anybody asked ?

Extinction Deniers


Do Anthony Watts, Jimmy Inofe et al deny that we are in the middle of the Sixth Extinction (a new major extinction, with species losses running well above the hitherto norm, believed to be caused by the recent great expansion of human activities) or do they accept it as happening ?

Has anyone even asked ?

NAIF deniers : believe in Manhattan Project, deny Climate Change

Deniers don't, not really.

Don't deny the reality of bad climate change.

They merely deny that there aren't quick, easy, cheap solutions ("another Manhattan Project") to any 'weather problems' that might arise.

They're born naifs and optimists - still believing in Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

On one hand, it seems easy to understand why Oklahoma Senator J. 'Pollyanna' Inhofe wants to go into the history books as being the world's most powerful climate change denier.

Inofe hits bad financial climate change


Anything has to be better than being known, after he is dead, as the man at the helm when Quaker Insurance hit financial climate change and went down with all hands.

But a closer look at the man's public utterances suggests a child who remains a true believer in all the patriotic platitudes he heard while growing up , during WWII.

Paul Fussell's "WARTIME"


I am too young to have heard any of the Home Front platitudes disguising the truth about combat abroad --- my father is (just) old enough to know, as a veteran, a little of their grim realities.

But our Jimmy falls between two stools - too young to learn of wartime's combat zone chicken-shit and horror - too old to grow up hearing all the revisionist accounts about the various Allied moral failings of WWII.

His brain addled by years of patriotic uplift Hollywood musicals --- possibly the only American of his generation to have never seen a Film Noir.

Andy Hardy is about to chair the world's most powerful legislative committee dealing with climate change.

Oh goody !

Thursday, January 29, 2015

PLENTICIDE - not Ecocide or Mundicide

Plenticide is the deliberate 'pruning back' of 'excessive' anything (and everything) - simply because some/many/all people feel totally overwhelmed by abundance, either some of the time or all of the time.

Abundance of choice, abundance of complexity, abundance of competitors, abundance of debate and of decisions, the list goes on ---- plenticide happens because of primal fear from one or all of these reasons.

It needn't involve killing humans or even living beings - killing ideas and choices will do just as well in providing these plenticiders with their sought for relief.

A nuclear war or a big comet might destroy all life on it and even destroy its atmosphere forever - but this mundicide - death of a planet's life - because it was not a selective pruning back but rather a total loss of life and choice.

A tiny bit more deliberate is the incidental killing of lifeforms as human activity expands - ecocide - because we have been warned repeatedly that expanding these activities will lead to these deaths.

Criminal neglect or culpable negligence seems to be the terms we are looking for to describe these planet-wide crimes.

Fear of overwhelming abundance


But plenticide refers to deliberate plans to kill lifeforms to deliberately reduce variety, debate, competition, complexity.

So the Holocaust system took up a well known insecticide Zyklon-B  and used it to kill off human 'competitors' (Jews , Romas, Slavs) as well as farm bugs - because they felt both made life much more chaotic and  complex for the German nation during WWII.

We fail ourselves if we only call such killing a genocide, because that says only what/who was killed and not really why.

That 'why' comes down to plenticide...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Plenticidal Extinction

It is catchier, but less informative, to say we are living in the time of The Sixth Extinction than to use a ten cent word like The Anthropocene Extinction.

But I argue that even using a word like Anthropocene doesn't really begin to scratch the surface about what is truly unique about this latest - deliberately plenticidal - extinction.

But first, let us agree that there is an even bigger danger in simply giving this current extinction a number instead of a fully descriptive name.

Because humans couldn't be around for the first five major extinctions here on Earth - events we could only read about in the past tense in school - we risk turning a global tragedy into a form of global Reality TV.

'Now you too can be an eyewitness to a major historical event - sixth time lucky !'

But Athropocene isn't much better : it simply means an extinction caused by human activities - as opposed to earlier extinctions caused by climate changes or huge balls of flaming rock hitting the Earth.

That flaming hunk of molten destruction was not a living thinking being - it couldn't have changed course to avoid hitting the Earth no matter how many poignant messages it received from the Pope, Bono and Bill Gates.

But we have been told, told for centuries, that our hunting behavior is killing the larger creatures (megafauna) species wholesale.

 Now, in the last few decades we've been warned we soon won't be able to count the species of all sizes we are driving into extinction each and every year.

We have slowed up - reluctantly - in a few small areas - sped up in many bigger areas.

We are thinking , moral, beings and we aren't really stopping this killing.

At some point we must ask if this killing spree is not simply a tragedy incidental to human activities but in fact deliberate on our part.

We humans annually kill far more creatures because they are 'pests' or 'weeds' than we do out of greed ( the classic case of greed leading to extinction being the passenger pigeon.)

Here in Atlantic Canada many fisherman openly advocate killing off all the seals - not for their pelts or for use as food - but simply because they compete with us humans for something we truly value - the cod.

Its the old 'loaf of labour' theory modified.

The environment is just a mine of dead-like valuable resources in this view of reality.

Every pound of biological food energy that goes to the seal is a pound that doesn't go to Man.

Any thought that the seal and Man both do their small part in ensuring the ever constant global re-cycling of scarce carbon, oxygen,nitrogen, etc simply hasn't penetrated these thick skulls.

This view wants to see a world (that for now) that is one big level plowed field, stretching off past the horizon, totally sterile of any plant or animal or microbe we don't want there.

In the near future, this view won't even want that - no living beings will exist beyond humans (and even there ,only the healthy right-thinking humans will be allowed to survive) -- all our food will be made synthetically, out of rocks sublimated into steaks thanks to the energy of fusion fuel 'too cheap to meter'.

The chaos and competition of life is too much about for this mindset --- a clearing away of this vegetative undergrowth, this plentitude of life - is far overdue.

Plenticide the Plentitude of Life


Drain the gene pool as deep as it can go - human hubris has all the answers - plenticide off all our competitors and lets lie back and enjoy the non-living bounty of this Used-to-be-Green Earth...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Po, Po Pitiful Mo : too many Boomers praising plentitude & practising plenticide ...

Modernity's great sin was not its assumption that all our God-given diversity was actually, at its core, very simple, predictable and controllable.

Rather the sin lay in the fact that when Modernity's scientists discovered this not to be the case, they and it did not desist.

Instead human Hubris set about trying to create an alternative artificial simplicity that was predictable and controllable by Man alone : the Triumph of the Will over the Wind.

It was war on two fronts : plenticiding all of Mother Nature's complex unpredictable chaos out of existence and substituting a Man-made synthetic order and simplicity in its place.

From a forever labile thermo-plastic natural reality, it tried to impose an eternally thermo-set artificial reality.

Putting plenticide in writing


Most modernists never had any objections to using Zyklon-B to kill billions of bugs, but they did not want to see it used to kill millions of 'human germs'.

They generally preferred to let 'primitive lives judged unworthy of civilized life', like aboriginals around the world in peacetime and Slavs in wartime, to quietly wither on the vine -- from lack of land resources to feed, clothe, house and heat themselves.

The Nazis could have simply extracted most of the food, fuel and clothing from occupied Poland and Russia for themselves as 'a matter of wartime necessity'.

Then six million Jews in Eastern Europe - or maybe more - might have quietly died in the mix, from hunger-related diseases, along with 30 million of their Slavic neighbours.

After WWII, would have the world have not simply sighed and then speak softly of the cruel necessities of total war ?

But the Nazis killed Modernity stone dead (as well as six million Jews) when they chose to put their plenticidal-genocidal plans in writing.

For they at last made Modernity's always implicit plenticide fully explicit - indicating in writing that they deliberately planned to murder all the world's Jews with Zyklon-B, in an effort to remove a chaos-causing ethnicity from the Earth forever.

Plenticide & the Sixth Extinction


As a result, I don't see today's Sixth Extinction and yesterday's Holocaust as being all that different in their intentions, despite the wide difference in their methods and targets.

As a result of growing up in an transitional Era, we conflicted boomers are both Mo and Po --- practising plenticide semi-consciously on Nature with our actions --- all the while praising diversity and variety with our mouths.

But if we boomers don't start soon walking our talk, the earth & climate is surely doomed ..

Monday, January 26, 2015

Modern to Post : why did MO go PO ?

Virtually everyone who thinks about it at all agrees that Modernity (1875-1965, R.I.P.) has morphed into Postmodernity, MO has gone PO, gone Postal.

Almost all of the serious thought ever since has gone into determining 'what exactly is this new Post-Mo thing anyway?'

But I am much more interested in asking why, after a 500 year long successful run, did the Enlightenment Project (Modernity simply being its latest variant) fail ?

And fail so abruptly too --- just after its supposed greatest success : winning WWII, against great odds, defeating the supposed Axis of Anti-Modernity.

If I had to describe the general tenor of postmodernity - down among the non-academic types, among the little people like you and me - I 'd describe it as a sense of being at ease with variety, diversity, the plentitude of life and reality.

Nay - more - a craving to taste as much of that variety as possible.

PostMO = Plentitude

By contrast, great-grandma's generation was only comfortable with a synthesized simple predictable order being judged worthy of life.

Complex unpredictable natural chaos was greatly feared and judged unworthy of life - hence subject to being plenticided as quickly and quietly as possible.

MO = Plenticide

Modernity arose in an era - and against an era - of Romanticism , which tends to welcome plentitude.

It might even be seen as mere re-fried Classicalism --- done up in the new Modern Science's clothing.

Modern Science's industrious spadework had revealed a much greater natural plentitude than hitherto known .

This process of discovery started ,not at all coincidentally, in the same mid-1870s that churned up the scientific ideology of anti-plentitude Modernity.

Buecause all that new plentitude was not what modern scientists had expected or wanted.

In response, they reluctantly manned-up and said they hadn't actually reached the innermost core of pure simplicity as they had originally thought - that the true core actually lay much deeper.

'Just give us more tax money for more expensive equipment and we will yet find that core of ultimate simplicity that our Faith tells us must be there'.

I am Catholic, but let me tell you, I've never met anyone who displays half as much faith as an atheist scientist convinced - beyond all the current evidence to the contrary - of the inner simplicity and order of reality.

Forget Darwin - Plato is the true GOD of the atheist and the scientist.

(Am I not being a tiny bitter harsh ? Aren't some scientists also Christians and other religions ?

No --- they are naturalists , more attuned to Natural history than Natural Philosophy.)

So after atoms turned out not to be the ultimate building blocks of reality, new equipment was brought in and layer by layer, the onion of physical reality was slowly peeled back.

Each time, the innermost core soon proved to be anything but and ever more expensive equipment was ordered up to reach the innermost sanctum.

Hadron Collider world's largest and most expensive religious building


I'm betting replacing today's already incredibly expensive and already outdated Hadron Collider will approach the F-35 fighter aircraft project in terms of cost.

I even could cheer to think governments are actually now willing to spend as much on peaceful science machines as on war machines.

But if the Hadron replacement does ever produce a theory of everything, knowing that all the known forces in the universe are united in some fundamental sense may produce little immediate change in life on earth.

Bits and pieces of general scientific advance have always been highly valuable at the level of giving us the very useful machines now found in all homes.

The billions of smart phones found even in the poorest nations being a prime example.

But whether a unified and simple model combining both the tiny sub-sub-sub atomic world and the massive supra-galaxy world will give us new household wonders is to be greatly doubted.

But won't Plato and all his modernity disciples be cheering in their graves ?

But at the level of lived life, physical reality is and always will be a plentitude - complex, chaotic, as unpredictable and as unknowable as the weather four days from now ...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

moving the Human Heart from plenticidal to commensal --- before we burn up the planet

In a race against time,  humanity's heart must move from its current hard-hearted plenticide to displaying a willingness to dine at a common table with all other lifeforms here on Lifeboat Earth.

And it must do so before we self-immolate ourselves and all other life on Earth and bring on the Sixth Extinction.

So yes, I do blog with urgency.

But nothing half as urgent as when I just lay on my bed staring up at the ceiling.

Lying there trying and trying and trying to find some sort of explanation as to just why we humans find self-immolating plenticide so much more attractive than simply agreeing to share this earth with the other lifeforms, that after all, both sustain it and us ....

Synthetics & Plenticide : All Mod (ernity) Cons

First:
you synthesize an artificial, man-made, *Ur-topia of static reduction and perfection - the way it supposedly was before Nature's plentitude of chaos took over.

Then :
(Sixth time unlucky) you plenticide the life out of all the species that your Ur-topia's manifest says are no longer 'needed on voyage' ...

----------

*Ur-topias, (I say), unlike u-topias, look backwards to a supposed Golden Age rather than forward to a new Golden Age

Edward Said : "Amateur Public Intellectuals are Best"

And Kathy Stinson's terminally cute toddler Kelly (not a communist) said that "Red is Best".

Both Ms Kelly and Mr Said are dead right.

Public "professional" intellectualizing (for quick money now or toadying for future favours) is quite rightly always highly suspect.

"Essayist Provocateurs"


But unrewarded intellectualizing, drive by conscience, compassion and concern, is a fair bit less suspect (remembering that personal agendas can still be well hidden.)

Pamphleteering - with its sturdy tradition of locally printed - brief - paperbound essays - historically been the best known and most effective form of amateur public intellectualizing*.

Thomas Paine's revolution-starting pamphlet entitled "Common Sense" being perhaps the best known : a succinct 20,000 words/46 pages that significantly changed world history for ever.

Amateur blogs are today's globe-wide pamphlets - with downloadable pre-imposed PDF variants (printable into an instant pamphlet on ordinary household computer printers) retaining a touchstone to the pamphlets of Paine's day...

-----
* I myself much prefer the words "public essayist" to describe "pamphleteers & bloggers" (like myself ) - but whatever.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sixth Extinction not a mere 'bycatch' of Modernity

Plenticide, along with Synthetic Autarky, is Modernity's main product, how it measures success, what Modernity does for a living.

The Sixth Extinction, if not exactly planned by Modernity , is hardly lamented by Modernity.

Synthetic Autarky is the immodest side of Modernity --- 'we humans can create anything and everything out of nothing, we needn't rely on anything or any being'.

Plenticide is the other, less pretty, side of Modernity.

'We don't need to shed tears if useless mouths and parasites consuming resources that better belong to humans happen to starve to death on our watch and as a result of our decisions'.

Modernity is the contemporary ultimate in closed commensality : even exceeding the ancient Pharisees' closed commensality efforts...

WWII Columbia filters natural penicillin AND natural uranium

It is easy to see how Columbia University's two wartime Manhattan Projects differed : after all one saved countless thousands of lives while the other one caused countless thousands of deaths.

But it never hurts to consider how much they had in common - together - set against other parts of the Allied wartime nuclear and antibiotics effort.
Because, in truth, most of the top Allied physicists focused all their pride on the Washington State based efforts to artificially synthesize Plutonium to make endless amounts of nuclear bombs and nuclear energy.

They found this far more exciting than Columbia's painful war-long efforts to filter out tiny amounts of natural U-235 from its more plentiful kissing cousin natural U-238.

Similarly, the Allies' top chemists found the thought of artificially synthesized penicillin far more exciting than they did thinking about ways to aid the painful efforts to separate tiny amounts of pure natural penicillin from all other metabolites thrown up by the penicillium fungus.

(Though I must remind readers that while U-235 won't go BOOM if it remains mixed with U-238, natural penicillin - like the Vitamin C in oranges - works equally well pure or if still mixed with the rest of the penicillium juice.)

Both the natural uranium bomb and natural penicillin needle ended up being the classic understudy Plan Bs, the ones that came in at the last minute to save the Allied bacon when the synthesists failed to deliver as promised ...

Tenure track & Auschwitz track

My job, as I see it, is to convince you over the course of the life of this blog that the tenure track, intellectually speaking, is not that different from the track at Auschwitz, the one with the little girl in the red coat.

Both tracks were designed to keep overwhelming numbers of untutored geniuses from competing for the too few good jobs that the tutored un-genius children of un-tutored geniuses regarded as their own - by simple birthright.

(Most educated people today are half aware that large numbers of bright, driven Jewish scholars tried to get some of the relatively few academic jobs available in the 1920s and 1930s .

And that this badly rattled the the equally bright but not so driven Aryan and WASP students expecting those same jobs as their birthright.

Columbia University's solution was quotas ; Chelmno used gas.)

small "m" modernization


Open commensality, in fact global commensality, is the inevitable end result of the unconscious process of modernization.

In self conscious reaction against modernization a new form of the ancient black art of closed commensality, one involving hierarchical selection and certification procedures, arose.

As much against the simultaneous and self conscious ending of a land-based noble aristocracy as against the unconscious arise of modernization.

Big "M" Modernity


Thar reaction we now know as the supra-ideology of Modernity.

Today's tenure track and peer review - together with yesterday's Auschwitz train track, are the very pinnacles of achievement for Modernity.

The retort that 'to a hammer everything looks like a nail', has never really lost its sting because so many of us have seen it ring true in the lives we live.

Let us see how accurately it describes Modernity's science.

Land aristocracy almost instantly replaced by Professional aristocracy


The passage, beginning in the 1830s, of the various Reform Acts in Great Britain, then the globe's leading edge power, signalled the slow death of a land based noble aristocracy.

I do not consider it at all a coincidence that, at that very same point in time, the student bodies of universities and colleges began to rapidly change their character, becoming dominated by the driven and the competitive.

No longer did Daddy extract the rents from thousands of acres of prime farm land to buy an Army commission for his surgeon son.

Instead wealthy, connected Daddy bought 25 years of extremely expensive education, from childhood tutors and holiday foreign grand tours, prep school, the best university money could buy its way into, grad school and post-grad specialist training overseas.

Then surgeon sonny got a commission in the military, after displaying his considerable credentials and passing a tough series of exams - open to all (with similar extensive credentials) - 'on his own merits'.

To professional science , every natural event looks like a tenure procedure...


Science had once been an amateur activity, open to all who loved it - allowing untutored geniuses from poor families, people like Michael Faraday, to secure world fame for their discoveries.

Jealous tutored un-geniuses envied the untutored geniuses that the open commensality of amateur science threw up.

They tried (successfully) to create a scientific world where 'who you knew' (who was your academic mentor, what institutional letterhead was your grant application written upon) once again became far more important than 'what you knew' (the actual discoveries you had made).

Soon these would-be professional scientists had created a closed commensal hierarchy of worth.

At the top, the only ones with a good salary, a secure job for life and a direct line to the media and the powerful were the full professors and department heads at the biggest research universities.

These positions had been obtained as much by luck as by effort, family money and genius.

Connections, dad's money, sheer hard work and raw genius could only take one so far.

For one had to also have the acute political sense of what were likely to be the up and coming sub-disciplines when one was forty, paddle to those pools and always swim well within their circumscribed intellectual worlds.

Espousing the 'wrong' intellectual theories - in their eyes - before tenure was fatal. After tenure, you remained alive. Remained alive as an associate professor for life - just barely tolerated by your ever collegiate colleagues.

Peer review gatekeepers guard the sacred flame


Always, always there were endless peer review gatekeepers to ensure the continued purity of the sub-discipline's sacred flame.

Peer gatekeepers always were about : busy deciding who got into graduate schools, into tenure streams, got the grants, the conference invite, book contracts from the biggest university presses, invites to honour-based academic societies, calls to serve on government commissions.

On and on.

You and I could take all this as a bit of a joke - the sort of things that we tutored un-geniuses simply must do to live happy and fairly productive lives.

But when science's peer review hammer heads out into nature to do some real work , trouble ensues - for now every looks like a nail.

Survival of the fittest, normal and deviant, lives worthy and unworthy of life, lower and higher fungi, virulent and avirulent bacteria are just some of many similar sounding modernity era scientific concepts.

And today - to me - they all seem like direct echoes of the selection processes that so dominate the lives of the academic and professional scientist then and now ...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Synthetics : everything and anything -- from nothing

Natural antibiotics : perhaps a something, underneath everything


As a naive little child, I was fascinated - like a white mouse before a cobra - by the audacious claims of Fifties synthetic scientists - those modern day alchemists of chemistry and physics.
From out of nothing, nothing but coal, air and water, nothing but bog ordinary atoms like silicon, they said that they could make any molecule, any mixture - even any atom - known on Earth.

Anything and everything.

More than that, they could design and create as yet unknown molecules, mixtures and elements.

Anything and everything.

All from nothing.

Captain America, synthesist and superhero.

And what then -- once they did make all these molecules & mixtures perfectly, reliably, repeatedly, cheaply over and over - out of nothing , almost nothing but abundant and cheap raw materials ?

There really won't be a need then for Mother Nature to go on making them imperfectly and with all those bothersome and unexpected irregularities would there be ?

True, synthetic production did not directly lead to the today's Sixth Extinction (Humanity's Plenticide against Nature) but it smooth the way, it did ease the human conscience.

After all, why fret over rapidly declining numbers of elephants (and their precious elephant tusks) when artificial ivory made much better, much cheaper and much more reliable billiard balls ?

The gene pool had always been way too big - way too many parasites dining off bounty that more properly belonged to Man - the sooner the pool was drained and the whole thing was sorted the better.

The Fifties Synthesist puffed their pipes in their porcelain white labs, not so quietly expecting ever-upward success for the human species .

The Miracle of Penicillin -- from the humble slime


Completely opposite in their expectations were the Willy and Joe plodders among some of the naturalist scientists of the Fifties.

Though most professed to be atheists , there was an almost old fashioned Christianity about their scientific actions and beliefs.

(Miracles & Atheists ?!)

These scientists wanted to systemically plod their way through all of Nature's bounty, patiently hoping against hope that they might find another life-saving compound like penicillin.

Their expectations weren't that great, so they wanted all of Nature to be preserved, as is, as much as humanly possible.

For even if they failed to find a new miracle today, who knew when yesterday's useless bug or weed might be tomorrow's natural treasure ?

Maybe God had produced what seemed like a trulyexcessive number of beetles as Huxley had grumbled (an estimated 400,000 separate species at last count), but perhaps God had his reasons - reasons we were not yet privy to.

And who knew what unknown natural disaster lay ahead to test the human race - a drastic climate change or deadly pandemic - when some unknown compound lurking in some dirty dark forgotten hellhole might not prove our humble savior ?

Rather than plenticide against Nature and her excessively large gene pool, these scientists took comfort in the size of her current gene pool and sought ways to see it remained as big and as varied as possible.

Against the confident synthesists, all these Fifties scientist much more modestly hoped for was that the human species might survive a little while longer.

Synthetist versus Naturalist : two wildly different takes on the human relationship to existing physical reality.

Not a perfect fit to Dunlap & McCright's Production scientist versus Impact scientist thesis but I believe suggestive none the less ...

Conflicting Images of Fifties Science - as recalled by a child

As a little kid back then, I have only two memories of Fifties Science --- two images only.

Back in that totally totalizing era, it is hard to imagine Science being allowed to display such wildly conflicting public images.

But it did - a sign perhaps of what was going to break out into the open in the 1960s and 1970s, when Science divided into Dunlap & McCright's feuding Production and Impact scientists.

Synthetics


One image came from our textbooks, Hollywood movies and countless beyond countless ads in our parents' glossy magazines.

It was of gleaming porcelain white laboratories - bright lit, clean and dry - with stern faced men in white lab coats carefully adjusting walls of shining stainless steel dials - or peering intently at the well-behaved contents of spotlessly clean beakers and test tubes.

I swear to God you could safely eat off all of it - the floor, the walls, the dials, the lab coats, the beakers, even the men's smoothly-shaved strong chins.

The constant cut line below was usually about 'living better synthetically' : whether chemically or atomically it mattered little.

Slime


The other image could not have been more opposite.

But this was an image we children had to conjure up in our own minds from what our teacher verbally told us.

Penicillin, she said, had along with more and more wonderful new child-saving medicines - had first come from a stinky smelly scraping off the dark wet concrete wall of a dank basement.

The other new antibiotics had also come from the most obscure and benighted corners of the world - as far away from those world class city white laboratories as life on earth could be.

We tried hard to imagine children like us being saved by slime plucked out of Mediterranean sewage discharges or by white fungus threads dug out of soil from the damp musky floors of decaying South American rain forest jungles.

Irony


And then had to reconcile all that child life saving from dirty slime against our vivid movie images of military Gas and Plutonium synthetically produced from behind the closely guarded walls of those gleaming white clean laboratories.

We were much too young to have developed a keen sense of irony , but still....

Baby Boomer kids a conflicted generation ?

Wouldn't you be ?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Boomers - at age (50-75) of highest voter turnout - now will dominate elections

Boomers - born after 1941 and before 1966 - will all be 50 to 75 in presidential election year 2016 - and those are precisely the peak years for highest voter turnout.

Forget what the marketing gurus are saying about the numbers of customers in each age cohort - be it The Greatest Generation or The Millennials.

Only 'votes in the ballot box' count on election night - and the very young and very old might buy a lot of drugs ---- but neither tends to vote very much.

Boomers : dominant voter bloc


This dominant voting bloc could choose to elect governments determined to slowing human carbon output in the atmosphere.

Or they could, once again, put in office government leaders committed to tossing ever more carbon dioxide into the heavens, all in the name of ever faster 'growth'.

Boomer voters will decide election night results for the next few decades ---- right up to the presumed climate change tipping point.

But unlike their growth-oriented parents or their survival-oriented children, the boomers - as a group - are genuinely conflicted and divided.

All the result of growing up as the Transitional Generation between modernity and postmodernity....

The Plenticide of Closed Commensality

The Nazis were very concerned - even in the depths of their upcoming defeat - about maintaining the social welfare, health and well being of all their citizens - without fear or favour.

The catch ?

An extremely closed commensal definition of just who was a (good) (full) (healthy) German citizen  ---and who was not.

No physical or mentally handicapped, no left-wingers, no queers, no mixed race black-German kids, no Jews, no half or quarter or one drop of blood Jews, no Romas, no pacifists, no chronic congenital criminal or moral deviants of any sort.

On and on and on - "Goebbels The Crip" only escaped with his life because, well just because.

I don't quite know how ole One Ball himself survived this ever tightening noose around all those Germans who weren't quite good enough to dine at the Aryan closed commensal table .

Perhaps the Nazi Plenticide Machine just ran out of time before it could begin eating itself....

Neutrality, not Brutality, WWII hallmark

Only the (postwar : postmodern) grandchildren and possibly the children of the modern adults of WWII have always seen Hitler and WWII as symbols of the ultimate evil and brutality.

But relatively few of the modern world's adults saw it that way during the six long years of the war : even fewer forcefully proclaimed it that way during the war and did so from beginning to end.

If their initial wartime actions speak much louder than their later verbal recollections, almost all of the modern world's adults choose to stand around as bystanders while schoolyard bully Hitler beat up on little primary pupil Poland.

Very few neutral nations (and the neutral individuals within them) changed their minds about fighting Hitler and his Axis over the course of those six years of the war - unless they themselves were directly attacked by Hitler or his Axis.

Even then, few thought that Hitler was the ultimate symbol of evil.

Rather the adults still saw Hitler as just another invader who must be repelled, albeit an highly effective invader and hence a highly dangerous invader, one who must be stopped dead in his tracks.

The modern elites at the top of both the West and in Russia thought it quite possible that either the West or Russia might sue for a separate peace with Hitler at any point during the war - as France had already done.

That hardly sounds like people who saw Hitler as the symbol of the ultimate evil who must be stopped even if it cost all their lives to do so.

The great majority of the people murdered by Germany were killed by its armed forces rather than by the SS.

(I can repeat that sentence slowly and calmly, once you're sitting down, if its all been too great a shock to you.)

Despite that, almost all of the military and political elite in the West still thought of those German armed forces as basically like their own Allied armed forces and treated them accordingly - right up to the end of the war.

And well beyond : for many, that remains a belief until this very day.

From day one, the Allied governments' propaganda insisted that Hitler's Germany was evil but then didn't act like it was evil and so failed to convince themselves, their publics or the peoples in the neutral majority around the world.

They failed to do wartime things differently enough from the Axis to convince most that its actions were truly beyond the civilized ken.

Instead they said it was perfectly okay to go on denying Jews jobs and housing - but it was not okay to mass murder them - but we won't do much to stop that mass murder - beyond defeating Hitler - because he was also attacking us - the non-Jews.

If was as if all the modern world's adults during WWII were nothing more than modern objective W5 journalists, carefully reporting that he says "he wasn't mass killing the Jews", while she says "Hitler was too".

If WWII had in fact been anything like what W5 reporter Tom Brokaw* imagined it to have been (the ultimate battle between good and evil), I doubt whether we'd still be writing and reading about it 75 years later.

We are still fascinated by it, like white mice bait before a cobra, because WWII was in fact so filled with neutral hypocrisy that it almost crowds out all the brutality.

An endlessly multi-layered onion of a melodrama, far more Noirish than anything Hollywood could ever dream up ...
__________

* Tom Brokaw was born in early February 1940 and was five and two thirds years old when Japan formally surrendered.

Born just early enough to still bathe deep in the postwar modernist triumphant glow.

I strongly question whether, if he had been born even just three or four years later, he would have ever written his infamous book, "The Greatest Generation".

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

(Not so) "Silent Generation"

What do Eric Burdon, Dylan, Baez, Jagger, Lennon, McCartney, Charlie Watts, Ringo Starr, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Phil Ochs - I could go on and on, but that's more than enough to make my point - all have in common ?

'Besides singing that God-damned caterwaul music ???? -Turn it DOWN NOW !!!!'

Yeah, besides that.

Well they are all - we are told by lots of historians who shall remain unnamed - members of The Silent Generation (1927-1943) so unlike us loud 'n' lively Boomer Generation types.

All the leaders of my boomer generation were musicians and they almost all born during WWII's uptick in babies while remaining too young to be able to share in 1945's collective glow of modernist self-satisfaction.

These guys were loud - in their singing, drumming and in their opinions and their dress.

They were part of us, first as part of the same long baby boom.

And that remains true, even if these early boomers remained unrecognized as such by lazy postwar journalists .

They all much preferred to peddle a 'nudge nudge' story of horny dad coming home from years overseas in 1946 and making lots and lots of whoopee.

They were also part of us, as part of the post -1945 Transitional Generation, and that is in fact why they felt so compelled to sing and say what they did.

But 'silent' ? Never !

And they say historians have no sense of humour ...

The Worldwide "Turbulent Decade" (1964 -1974) not dependent on size of local baby boom

Those academics and journalists who persist in relating the intensity of the events of the Turbulent Decade (1964-1974) to the size of a particular nation's baby boom must have a heck of a time contrasting English-speaking Canada with France.

English-speaking Canada had the world's greatest uptick in teenagers and young people over those turbulent ten years while France's long gentle baby boom was still 'making babies' when that decade ended.

And those babies were certainly not out on the streets protesting - certainly not during the famous events of May 1968.

And where was youth-filled English-speaking Canada's equivalent of May 1968 ?

There wasn't any.

Instead the youth of English-speaking Canada enjoyed, with their parents, Expo 67's pride of nationhood.

It was a mood aided and abetted by the fact that tens of thousands of Americans draft dodgers were suddenly fleeing their land of milk and honey for hitherto boring old Canada (!)

It is not that Canada didn't eventually experience a good deal of social turbulence led by its youth - it is just that there is no point in relating its intensity to the "boom" in Canadian babies decades earlier.

More productive, in my mind, is for us all to relate the turbulent decade to the coming of an cohort marked by their place in time, not by their size.

Because 1964 marked the coming of age of the first group in our world who did not (and in fact could not) personally share in 1945's collective mood of modernist triumphalism ...

WWII ruptured modern continuity

I argue - after recalling various international long term social survey results * - that over questions of humanity's ability to control physical reality, a person born in 1941 (a Boomer) tends to have more in common with someone born in 2001, sixty years later, than with someone born in 1935, only six years earlier.

And that similarly, on this issue, someone born in 1935 tends to have more in common with someone born in 1875, sixty years earlier, than they do with someone born in 1941, only six years later ...

*Large scale (35,000 or so respondents) national "General Social Surveys" have been repeatedly conducted in many nations over the past few decades, annually or biannually.

They usually freely available over the internet and are always the first port of call for academics,authors and journalists when reviewing changes in social attitudes over time in various sub groupings of society.

Teach "intelligent warming" demand W. Virginia legislators

Ah yes, the mouth breathing Protestants down in West Virginia's legislature.

Maybe it was something Francis, the whorish Pope of Babylon, recently said against human hubris destroying God's green Earth that got them so fired up.

As usual, they wildly mis-read their bibles but never the six figure election campaign cheques from their state's all-powerful coal industry.

So now the legislators have demanded that their state's public school science courses be re-written to deny the possibility of any harmful climate change from burning coal.

It is not clear what type of fossil fuel the Devil uses to burn the hypocrites in the innermost circle of Hell ; but if given a choice, my fellow Christians in Ole Virginny seem to prefer the local option...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Boomers most likely to vote in 2016 : trouble for conservatives

The 2016 presidential election will be a massive watershed in terms of generational change among voters - one few pundits yet recognize.

Even the youngest of the once all mighty Greatest Generation will be over 75 and as we all should know, over-75s simply don't turn out to vote like those 55-75 do.

The Greatest Generation and their children (the Transitional "Boomer" Generation) have always differed the most over their varying "memories" of WWII.

No boomer ever has any direct personal memories of WWII as WWII, even if born during the war -- just too young.

But even someone born in 1939 has enough memories of the Home Front side of WWII to feel part of its triumphalist glow.

That is all that most of today's Greatest Generation voters remembers of WWII - the Home Front propaganda victories rather than the darker truth revealed out there on the front lines.

Because by November 2016, almost all still living WWII vets must be very near ninety or older - much older.

And thus hardly a big part of the voting pool.

Boomers and their parents both know (in their hearts) that the government, military, media, business and science lied repeatedly to the voters during WWII.

But only the Greatest Generation heard these lies first hand and bought into them, mostly.

To ever publicly admit that their wartime government lied is to admit that they themselves were lied to and were fools for buying it.

Few of us like to ever publicly admit we were fools.

In their hearts they know its true, but publicly - above all to their kids - the Greatest Generation finds it very hard to admit that all the powerful (and once fully trusted institutions) of WWII systemically lied to them.

This generation is still the one most likely to 'back our troops right or wrong', to trust that the big people in government 'know things we little people don't' etc.

This generation has been the conservatives' best friend.

But now their much more ornery kids are the key voting demographic --- and they don't take kindly to bull and cant ...

"Transitional Generation" : too young to remember WWII, old enough to remember the Sixties - but above all, a child of the Fifties

In most of the world that had a baby boom, it began after 1941 and it began tailing off after 1959.

My postwar "Transitional Generation" - by sheer coincidence - shares that time period with the actual baby boomers - because we find the Transitional Generation effect even in countries where there was in fact no noticeable baby boom.

But consider this : all these boomers and transitionalists share at least one thing - maybe even only one thing - in common.

For even someone born in early 1941 is still "a child of the Fifties" (age 9) in 1950, just as a baby at the other end, born in late 1959,  is at least technically still "a child of the Fifties".

Someone born in 1937 (a teenage in 1950), or someone born in 1960, can't ever share that fact with this cohort.

A shared Fifties childhood - rather than experiencing the very occasionally turbulent Sixties and Seventies with many other age groups - might be the key bond and glue for this large body of current humanity...

The Chosin Few vs American Sniper

Hollywood is so fixated on superheroes and victories that it ignores the most highly dramatic war stories - even if they happen to be true.

If Hollywood - leftish or rightish minded, it matters not - ever made a well done film about the key battle of the Korean War - Winter 1950's Battle for Chosin Reservoir - I'd see it in a Wilshire Blvd minute. And I hate to watch war movies usually.

Partly my interest is personal --- the bad news from Choisin was so depressing to my parents that they went home and defiantly made me.

It was a sort of demographical nose-thumbing against the incoming Chinese Communist forces currently overwhelming the UN forces high in the mountains amid bitter cold and wind.

My father had just given up his career in the university tenure track to volunteer once again with the overseas Canadian Armed Forces.

But Chosin deserves to be much better known  to all of us.

Partly for the sheer drama of very large forces on both sides fighting full out for a brutal 17 days straight - and fighting as much against Siberian cold and starvation as against each other.

Chosin marks the only time the West ever invaded a communist country and the first and only full war clash between China and America.

But mostly it should be remembered because there is a direct line between the Allied retreat at Chosin and the long term massive buildup of cold war nuclear weapons, first among the west and then matched in the east.

If the world had ended in one big bang in 1962, Chosin could take a bow.

(President Truman in fact first publicly warned the world he might use the A-bomb, on the very day the Chinese unexpectedly surrounded the American (and a few British) Marines at Chosin.)

Chosin still looks far too grim for Hollywood - too much like WWII's Eastern Front in the winter to suit So Cal's sunny mood.

No flashy superheroes here - just Willy and Joe winning by merely surviving, hanging in there, enduring .....

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beside DENIERS, who else still believes in the Tooth Fairy ?

Do you still believe our governments, military, media and scientists never lied to us during WWII?

If so, you probably still have a simple sturdy faith in all the old certitudes, in particular the one where the Triumph of the human Will over the wind (and other climate inconveniences) is inevitable.

You are a harmful climate change denier , a NAIF BOOMER, like prime ministers Stephen Harper and Tony Abbott.

Because beneath Harper & Co's cast-hardened steel-like exterior, there resides a soft child-like interior, where there really still is a Santa Claus, a Tooth Fairy and Tinkerbell.

Yes, Peter Pan and Pollyanna are both climate deniers.

But none of the anti-heroes of the old Film Noir films would ever ever believe that their government ,media and industry could be trusted to prevent harmful climate change.

These doomed protagonists might be all heading straight for a hot date with a chair and a electric wire, but they were an early warning system for the REALIST BOOMER's coming postmodern world, where nothing was ever quite as simple as it seemed on the surface ...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Today's Conflicted Boomers : typical of any Transitional Generation

The main reason why the long dead Adorno and Horkheimer still get the big bucks in intellectual currency, while you and I pal pick about for chicken feed, all comes down to a mimeographed collection of turgid speculative essays the pair circulated among a few friends at the end of WWII.

At the time, all the rest of the world was beaming in self-satisfaction about Modern Science's obvious success (here insert A-Bomb) at beating back 'Barbaric Age' Axis science.

But Adorno and Horkheimer alone suggested that Janus Year 1945 really meant that the world was now in a 'transitional era' between a fading Modern Science (aka 'modernity') and a rising postmodern world.

But as the humble mimeographed nature of their book (The Dialectic of the Enlightenment) suggests, the pair were completely ignored at the time.

So what was first noted about all the kids being born between the early mid-1940s to the early mid-1960s was simply that : their extraordinary large numbers : hence 'Boomers'.

But would their highly unusual behavior during their plastic formative years been any different if their birth numbers had been considered 'normal' or low ?

I argue not.

The coincident fact that the peak of the transitional era's passing turbulence coincided with the Boomers' crucial formative years would have produced 'The Sixties' irregardless.

At the time, 'The Sixties' social conflict was neatly explained away by simply pointing to the Boomers' extra large numbers as sufficient explanation.

So the transitional nature of The Sixties was never recognized.

In particular no one looked at who all was retiring at the world's High Schools and Universities, instead of looking simply at who was newly coming in as students -- and then promptly protesting.

For in all times of transition, tides go out just as much as they come in.

Unlike their parents raised in unconflictedly modern schools - or their children raised in unconflictededly postmodern schools - the boomers got it from both barrels.

Early on : taught by moderns; later on : taught by post moderns : who now to believe ?

Before 1989, those Boomers who took the postmodern science way of viewing physical reality dominated their peers and the news pages.

But I argue that since "The End of The Cold War", those Boomers who went on to rule the world after 1990 - and who still do rule our world -  held more to the older 'modern science' way of viewing physical reality.

I argue their rise to power was itself transitional .

Mostly due to others abruptly retiring, due partly to old age but mostly because of satisfaction at completing their life work : defeating Communism.

The new bosses, like the old bosses, were a hard,mean,uncharitable lot but their target and hence its solution, had greatly changed.

Their target was now environmentalists, not communists .

No longer was conflict over direct questions of ideology, basically 'trickle down' theories versus claims of 'human equality of access to basic life necessities'.

Now the conflict had become modern production science confronting postmodern impact science (over climate change in particular) to use Allan Schnailberg's highly influential formulation.

The dying-off Old Guard (the Modernist cum Greatest Generation) could find almost none among the Gen X and Millennials to carry on their battle against their true mortal enemy, the postmodern majority among the Boomers.

But not all Boomers resolved the conflict between modern and postmodern schooling in 100% favouring postmodernity.

This minority, the Rogue Boomers, (Stephen Harper and Tony Abbott come to mind) swallowed their internal doubts (that as conflicted Boomers they must have had) and made a big career advance - nailing their Boomer colours 100% to the fading modernist cause.

For these relatively young leaders have always found most of their votes among those much older than themselves - rather than among their peers.

But the older voter is always a constantly wasting resource.

Soon Boomers, more and more, will become the true older voter (because voting falls off sharply after age 75 - and all of the Greatest Generation will be over 75 in 2016's presidential election year.)

Because of their higher - age-related - turnout, Boomers will be the key voter up until the climate crisis's tipping point.

The fate of our world will thus turn not on a conflict between nations, ethnicities, religions, classes, genders or even generations - Fox and CNN to the contrary.

It will turn on a conflict within a highly conflicted transitional generation : the Boomers ....

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Deniers : Triumph of the Will (over the weather)

Hard to imagine - looking over the current crop of harmful climate change deniers - that they are all neo-Idealist determinists.

Most look like they have barely ever seen the inside of a book, let alone a university philosophy class.

But then like the characters in Moliere's play who suddenly discovered they'd been speaking "Prose" all their life, we needn't pass formal academic philosophy courses to be allowed to fitfully espouse a distinct philosophical point of view.

And so it proves so with our deniers cum hubrists : for they don't really deny the possible of harmful human actions.

Merely they deny that we can't fix any problems we might create, quickly, easily and cheaply : like Superman.

Mind, to them, will always master over mere Matter.

Hitler and Einstein, in fact all educated Germans from about 1830 to 1980 , were this sort of Idealist --- it being breed into the very bones of German high school and university education for a century and a half.

Only the working class Germans missed its full baneful effects - getting it only watered down second hand , via tons of popular German culture.

Leni Riefenstahl's popular mountain climbing film epics for example - possibly far more influential internally than her rather better known overt propaganda film , The Triumph of the Will ...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

As a political animal, I do tend to see Modernity as an ideology, not an Era

I freely admit, that as a longtime political animal (and as an Dal '80 political science graduate) I do tend to see the world through the glasses of 'political' ideologies.

That is, I see our internal/personal ways of viewing reality ultimately having sharp public/political (power/force/violence) consequences.

So, in many ways, JANUS MANHATTAN'S CHILDREN is as much a work of political science as it is of history.

This is because of its focus on WWII's shortfall between modernity's ideologies and physical reality.

This will encompass, just for example, examining the pre-WWII ideas about armies clashing vs WWII actual acted-out clash of physical armies vs post-WWII ideas about what did happen during those clashes.

War imagined (pre and post) versus War lived, to freely adapt Lucy Riall's definition of the new approach to biography in academic history.

History is particular good at going into German and Soviet archives and counting dead tanks to find out if Prokhorovka's reputed claim as the 'greatest tank battle in history' actually happened as publicly remembered.

While Political Science is excellent at determining what public/political capital that all the world's soldiers, politicians, deniers and video game designers made out of Prokhorovka's myth.

Similarly, conventional histories of WWII strategy are content to simply that the UK had less population and soldiers than Germany and so Britain was loath to invade Europe without American help.

But I intend to ask what private prejudices lay behind the Allied unwillingness to think of getting the 6 million strong volunteer dark-skinned Indian Army to invade occupied Europe --- instead of a waiting for a mere million white American conscripts instead ?

But I suspect that so strong is the hold of Modernity-cum-racism still upon the western mind that historians - even today - are loath to even think my suggestion can be taken seriously enough to be examined before being dismissed.

This is why I so adamantly reject the claim of Modernity 'merely' being a period in time (an Era), a period of time when the ideology of socialism/communism clashed with those of liberal/conservative capitalism and of fascism.

Instead I see these admittedly better known ideologies as being (during the Era of Modernity hegemony) absorbed into and completely affected by, the larger and newer supra-ideology of Modernity.

Similarly, in the hetro hegemony of today's Era of Postmodernity, these sub-ideologies along with that of the fading Modernity survive (all in altered postmodern forms) but all must compete against the fastest rising supra-ideology of Open Commensality....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

History of A-bomb began not with Germans splitting nucleus of Atoms in dec '38, but with Germans splitting heads of Jews nov '38

That's not a fact many WASP historians (cheerleaders ?) of science want to hear.

But it is true : no Jews , no Bomb, at least not during WWII ....

Monday, January 12, 2015

OSRD (and academia's) dirty little secret : just how little the OSRD spent on penicillin - not how MUCH it spent on A-Bomb

Vannevar Bush grew a whole lot fonder of penicillin after it was highly successful (and highly popular among voters and congressmen) than when its future lay in doubt and only he had the power to ensure it succeeded.

The uncomfortable fact is that it was Washington's tiny New Deal-oriented OPRD (and not the similar-sounding but Republican Party-dominated much larger ORSD) that actually gave the world cheap abundant natural penicillin in time to save millions of lives during the wartime and postwar health crises.

While the OPRD had all the ideas and all the energy, it was the OSRD that had all the money --- and all that money bought plenty of tame academics  prepared to rewrite war history - for money - in a manner than would have even given Goebbels himself pause.

Bush - never a top drawer scientist but always a Beltway bureaucrat with very sharp elbows - was determined to use the 'miracle of penicillin' as a weapon to bludgeon money out of a hitherto reluctant Congress to fund the postwar dreams of university academics.

But he could only do so if all the university academics kept up their end of the implicit bargain.

That was their agreeing never to probe his claims of wartime 'success' too closely - because frankly, if right wing Bush's legacy was screwed as a result, so would be a whole lot of still living left wing professors also hoping for a pot of federal gold for their pet project....

Sunday, January 11, 2015

1936 vs 1941 : modern and postmodern kids' birth dates mere 5 years apart

This shaggy shaggy dog story is really - eventually - about climate change, but for now lie back and try to imagine two senior citizens, raised in the same small North American city.

They share roughly the same social class, religion and ethnicity - are even almost identical in age, one will be 80 in presidential election year 2016, the other will be 75.

But their views on such issues as the reality of human-caused global climate change (or the failure of most corporation boards to reflect the fact that the majority of humanity are women) could not be more different.

The child born in 1936 is the climate change denier, a member of the pre-war generation (The Greater Generation) and still a very firm believer in modernity and scientism.

But the child born in 1941 is the first of the post-war generation, the Boomers, a postmodern believer that we are collectively much better off with more diversity of opportunity for all.

Why should this particular and highly peculiar gap of a mere five years so separate these two kids --- even today ?

After all ,why does the child born in 1936 share more social views with her parents born in 1912 , 24 years earlier, than she does with the boy born in 1941 born only five years after her ?

And why does the boy born in 1941 share more social views with his great-grandson born in 2003, that is someone born 62 years later, than he does with the girl born only 5 years earlier ?

Let us go to the city hall of that small city and look there at the several dozen photographs of the young men killed in WWII, hanging along an honored wall.

One name in particular sticks out : a aircrew member killed in a tragic late wartime bomber crash landing in the UK, caused by wintertime bad weather over the North Sea.

Because while this particular teenager's story is known to both our formerly small kids , it is also known immensely differently by each : making one modern and the other postmodern.

Intellectually, the boy born in 1941 can stare at the face of this dead teenager from his own hometown and intellectually feel the tragedy for the boy, his home town sweetheart , his family, friends and neighbours.

But that is it - no real emotion link to this dead teenager : being born in late 1941 left our 75 year old with no personal memory whatsoever that he can tag as distinctly WWII-ish.

Yes, he does remember some events as far back as when he was three (in 1944) but nothing about them says they were wartime events of childhood.

But the little girl born in 1936 was one of the next door neighbours of the teenager killed in the bomber crash landing.

He was part of her earliest memories and when he went away to war, he became her one personal link to an immense social event that otherwise remained so distant and foreign to her.

His tragic accidental death, two months before the European war's end, hit her very very hard and it took years for her to make some sense of this seemingly meaningless death.

For his bomber was taking part in one of the very last mass bomber raids. Flak and fighter resistance from the Germans was very low and the raid was seemingly ordered only 'to move rubble about'.

So combat casualties on this raid had been unusually low and almost all would have returned safely but for a few bombers being so hardly affected by a patch of North Sea winter weather that they arrived over their home airfield almost out of fuel and with some of their instruments frozen up.

His bomber had made a pretty messy crash landing.

All the crew were more or less 'battered but alright', except for two badly injured members. One of the injured, him, died out his injuries two weeks later.

The details of his death arrived about the same time as VE Day.

Now scholars have mostly focused on researching WWI's wartime and post-war emotional response to tragic - useless seeming - deaths such as this teenager's.

What they have showed is that families and friends can only become reconciled to the tragic deaths of war youth if these deaths can be shown to have been useful, as well as heroic.

Invariably, the personnel at the scene of any wartime combat or accident death conspire successfully to ensure that the family learns only that the youth died bravely, stoically, heroically.

No one but them ever learns about the rear gunner hopelessly trapped in the crashed bomber, crying and balling for his mother like a baby in the horrible moments before the flames engulfed him.

But was his death useful ?

The usefulness of any and all war deaths is much more public - lies much more in areas we all free to debate.

Now the teenager's plane had taken part in two earlier bombing raids .

They had encountered heavy flak and fearsome jet fighter attacks - bomber casualties had been high and it took immense bravery for the teenager to go back a second and third time.

These raids had at least been aimed at important and as yet un-targeted war factories, even if the bombs as usual had mostly fallen on near by civilian streets.

In the mind of  the young girl born in 1936, if the Allied Strategic Bombing Campaign (including the A-Bomb) can be believed to have both won and shortened the war, then the death of her teenager next door neighbour helped to both win and shorten the war.

He died - yes : but not in vain.

So her criticism of the Allied operations of WWII must be limited, to limit her emotional costs, to what military types call the areas of tactics and operations, not strategy.

Let us switch to WWI because this sort of limited modernist criticism is much better known there.

So a grieving mother in 1924 can explain : 'my son died - bravely - in the mud of Passchendaele - yes the stupid generals should have stopped it much earlier - but this offensive was very a necessity, to give the badly weakened French army time to regroup'.

The British strategy goes unquestioned but operationally - it is okay, even in right wing circles, to ask, 'did it really need to go on and on and on?'

So conservatives historians still share this British mother's viewpoint about 1917's Passchendaele debacle.

But it is possible to accept at least part of the contrasting French view.

After the failure of the Nivelle offensive led to a widespread French Army mutiny/trade action, most of the French leadership preferred to at long last to take up the usual German response to setbacks : go on the defensive and wait for a more opportune moment to attack.

In this case, to wait for millions of fresh (white) American troops and thousands of highly effective Renault FT tanks (the world's first modern tank).

A third view point (mine !) is to say that the French and English empire could have quickly defeated the German Empire on the Western Front, if only they had introduced much more of their colored colonial troops there - from India in particular.

WWI went on and on, in truth, because London and Paris would rather lose to (white) Germans than to win thanks only to efforts of millions of their dark subjects.

We only dare publish such heretical viewpoints about the total strategic uselessness of Passchendaele today because almost no one is left alive with enough energy to get highly emotional about besmirching the sacred memory of a remembered uncle killed in that battle.

Note well my exact words : very few today personally knew the dead of WWII.

After all, to be twelve in 1917 and have a crush on a twenty year old killed at Vimy one must be 110 in 2015.

One day such will be true also about WWII - but for now it is not.

To claim that old fashioned 'Willy and Joe' boots on the ground, not high tech big science Captian America planes in the air, actually won WWII will never be popular with hundreds of millions emotionally invested in seeing their friends and relatives as heroes in a war that Allied scientism won.

And it is WWII era scientism (denying any inability of Man to quickly fix any climate change problem that Mother Nature might throw up) not an inner denial of possible climate change happening today, is what is stalling real efforts to reduce CO2 output...

Friday, January 9, 2015

As a six year old film critic... I was pretty damn good

On our Victoria BC  black and white TV set, I watched a lot of WWII combat movies, ordinary film dramas and TV docudrama with my parents at night, when I was between the ages of six to eight.

A few really made a real strong and lasting impression at the time and I recalled enough details to locate a few of the war movies in particular, a half century later.

It turns out a heck of a lot of adults thought they were among the best war movies ever made - thought so then and think so now.

Let's look at two of them.

One was the John Mills Eric Portman sub classic, "We Dive at Dawn" - made in 1943 and still very convincing to most audiences and incidentally also to seasoned UK submariners.

The bits the adults liked/like are also what grabbed me as six year old : even as a kid you can sense the difference between stagy acting and normal life - all the scenes and dialogue are very life like - particularly considering this was made at a time when all war movies were supposed to be 200% moral uplift.

Another movie that gripped me to the core was a simple war movie that again just felt really real to me as a six year old : "A Walk in the Sun".

This was an unusually quiet and little American war film, set in 1943 Italy, released as a print story in 1944, filmed in late 1944 /early 1945 (hence undergoing Defence Department censorship) but not released until 1946.

A platoon lands more or less safely in Sicily and then is assigned to blow up an enemy bridge a six mile walk in the sun away.

I know that I will never forget when the moment when the platoon is strafed for as long as I lived.

I felt as the men felt : all the heat, the dust, the terror, the tired feet, the thirst.

Small children don't know much of the mechanics of submarines, tanks and planes - but they do know verbal and physical cues - body language - they can tell when human dialogue and actions rings true or false.

Even as kids in the Fifties, we boomers could sense the shortfall between elevating talk and weak reality.

So ,the very first story we read in our BC Grade Four reader was about a ditch digger who is just another dirty DP until it turns he was a famous potter back home in Prague and suddenly everybody is fawning over him.

I am not even nine yet - but I got it - right away - even before the teacher obliquely raised it --- that part about middle class Canadian adults suddenly fawning over the formerly despised, when they are revealed to be more cultured than we colonials.

I personally think it was all the elevating talk that destroyed the pre WWII hegemony about modernity for us boomer kids : we might have lived forever with all of modernity's moral shortfalls if we hadn't - at the same time - had the moral uplift hands-across-the-water guff day in and day out to contrast with it ....

My very first PUBLIC memory : Little Rock 1957

Why I think toddlers watching TV news is actually good for them 



In September 1957, I had just turned six, my family had just arrived in Victoria BC and my dad was away on a Canadian Navy ship.

Mom had the radio on as always (I think we got TV for the first time, a few months later) but up till then, radio has made absolutely no (none , zippo) impression on me in my early memories.

(My only previous radio memory was about 2 years earlier, when the Halifax CBC radio station had played Guy Mitchell's version of "Singing the Blues" and my dad joined in.

But it was the unusual fact of my dad singing, and singing what my parents usually casually dismissed as 'jazz' , that struck me as so unusual that my 4 year old mind remembered it at all.)

 Mom suddenly - very serious - told me to listen carefully to the onging radio news story about two little boys my age who had switched a rail yard switch and derailed a big train.

Struck by her seriousness, I listened intently, all the while thinking this was not something I'd ever think of doing in a million years, being in fact a very responsible child.

The next news item said something about President Eisenhower, Little Rock and sending in troops and then my memory fades out.

(Now I said I just said that I remembered this news - not that I understood it at all).

Little kids can't read, and then can't read very well : we don't even 'listen and understand' radio very well.

But we understand visual images, mixed with audio and parental explanations, very well indeed - and from an extremely early age.

When my family got TV - albeit a shadowy greyish black and white blobby image much of the time in bad weather, I got an insight to worlds far beyond my home and neighbourhood and beyond my own era.

The local TV stations, in a big area for military personnel , always found that endless WWII movies - English as well as American went down well.

My parents unexpectedly encouraged little old 6 and 7 year old me to stay up late to watch these adult oriented war dramas and willingly discussed the events with me.

I don't remember ever watching the local TV news until more than two years later but me constantly asking or receiving explanations about incidents on screen in these adult movie (and TV docu-dramas) sure made me grew up fast intellectually.

In 2016 election year, its worth remembering that no one left in the workforce will personally remember the Korea War at all, left alone WWII


All this is to suggest that just how much small kids from the WWII years actually personally remember anything about it is very much dependent on these sort of incidents such I have recalled about me and Little Rock.

Most of the British Invasion rockers were tiny kids during WWII and their only war memories, as recounted in many interviews, seems to consist of the one time  a street near by got hit by bombs sometime very late in the war.

I have sure all kids born before 1935 are fully part of The Greatest Generation Ever and personally feel part-ownership of the WWII memories and myths.

But the kids born between 1935 and 1941 - I am less sure - it depends on chance vivid incidents forming secure memories.

And those born after 1941 - they're effectively one of us, the post WWII generations ...

Post WWII generations would have changed our world even if they hadn't been a boomlet of kids

True, some of my primary school classrooms may have held close to thirty kids in them when the same classrooms in the decades before and after me might have held only around 15 , but that alone did nothing to make me and my fellow pupils fierce rebels against the values of the 500 years of generations before us.

What is the evidence, or the even the old fashioned appeal to timeless common sense, to support the absurd claim that bigger clumps of kids are more liberal/left wing than smaller clumps ?

No, what makes the pre WWII generations and post WWII generations so fundamentally different is one word : WWII .

My book is not going to focus on the physical cataclysm that was WWII : one or two (million) writers have already done so.

I wish to prove up, instead, just how truly great an intellectual cataclysm it was.

So much so, that pre WWII reads as 500 unbroken years of modernity and the enlightenment project & hegemony while post WWII was reads as postmodernity, hetro hegemony, commensality, plentitude, diversity et al.

We're probably stuck with this misleading 'boomer' moniker forever - but I will still try to make a case for re-naming it and its children's children 'the post WWII generations'.

I suspect a very good place to start is to compare the social values of the post WWII kids and their parents in nations that had almost no post WWII baby boom.

Even more interesting, would be to look at nations with almost no baby boom and who also remained Neutral during WWII ....

GOP 2016 : 'don't trust voters under 75 !' (they're all Boomers and their kids) (and relatively few 75+ vote)

In November 2016, all of "THE GREATEST GENERATION" (all those in the Allied nations born before 1941 and who can thus personally feel part of the WWII 'victory for modernity' {sic}) will be over 75.

Now journalists of all stripes never tire of telling us that the elderly vote more than the young.

But what very few journalists admit (the charitable view) or actually know (the uncharitable view) is the truly awkward fact that voting turnout actually drops off sharply after 75, as physical and cognitive infirmities keep the very old from voting.

Bad bad bad news for the GOP.

Because starting in 1968 with Nixon's first victory, the GOP has had a very good half century romp by exploiting The Greatest Generation's fundamental distaste for the fact that their children and grandchildren no longer think or vote like their parents do.

In terms of voter support , the GOP has always remained a major party based solely upon its reliable support among the pre-war generations, even when the Republican Party faltered temporarily among this or that class, gender, geographic location or ethnicity/religion.

Let me be extremely clear about what I mean : the GOP does not survive due to the vote of the elderly but solely due to the vote of a cohort - all those born before 1941.

Being 'well off' or being 'eighty' is an eternal event but not so being born before 1941: yes it is a big resource for votes, but it is also a constantly wasting resource.

And importantly, the divide in social values between the war generations and the post war generations is far, far, far greater than any internal divisions within each of these two groups.

So if the GOP doesn't start re-aligning its values with the shared values of the Boomer and post boomer generations it will soon find itself going the way of the Whig Party ...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Boomers, let the epitaph on our collective headstone read thus : "From the Greater Generation , One MORE Good Thing : the Boomers' Successful March to save the Climate"

Let's not rest on our laurels --- because if the climate is lost , so is all our legacy, along with all our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

If we mess this one up now, what was the point of all the others ?

THE GREATER GENERATION and its internal critics : if only

Contrasting the Boomer Generation (1941-1966*) to their parents' generation (The Greatest Generation), Leonard Steinhorn feels boomer efforts to bring the reputed Allied aims of WWII to actual fruition at home makes them fully worthy of being called The GREATER GENERATION.

It is a claim he carefully lays out and in my mind, proves up , in his 2006 book of that title.

If you are a boomer and fear for this planet's climate, I strongly urge you to read and re-read Steinhorn's book.

But, not unexpectedly, I wish Professor Steinhorn had written another book on this subject.

Basically, I want to see him answer this question :

Was the baby boom (the unexpected blip upwards in births from 1941-1966 against a century and a half of decline) caused by postmodernity, or did it itself cause postmodernity, or were the two simultaneous events (the coming of age of boomers and of postmodernity) mere coincidences in time?
My own personal view is that a combination of scientific successes in 1945 , both modern and postmodern (though not called that then), gave young would-be parents reason to hope for the future and to want to bring lots of kids into that bright future.

For a time these two contrary ways of viewing and dealing with physical reality fused as one in peoples' minds.

Gradually, though, they became separated and became soon were seen as so opposite that boomers, their parents and their own children had to choose definitely between one or the other.

Let me give one specific example : in 1960, Time Magazine's Person of the Year was "The American Scientist" and at that point in time, no one would ask, with deep dark suspicion , 'Hang on a minute, exactly what sort of scientist are they praising ?'

In 1960, on the left and on the right, all scientists were seen as being fused together in one big tribe.

But by the time of the rise of science-based environmental movements in the early 1970s, they stopped being so - separating out instead into modern and postmodern scientists, as I see it. But few others see it exactly as I do.

Instead, in 1980, Canadian sociologist Allan Schnaiberg usefully divided scientists into those involved in production (new ways to dig up deep deposited coal) versus those involved in studying the impact of all that new coal on the climate.

It is his terminology that has become the accepted way to describe this growing divide between scientists since the 1970s.

The boomers kids , in parallel, only seemed to be fused together as they moved from childhood to adulthood.

 But as the twin icons of their childhood (nuclear energy too cheap to meter, and Nature-made medicine) moved apart, so did they : forced to choose one or the other but no longer both.

This can produce some very odd results among we boomers with inherent weaknesses in logic and consistent reasoning.

We boomers are free to do much on this earth : change our nationality, our class, our ideology, our spouse, to some extent even our gender.

But we can't change our birthdate ---- and it seems to be in the DNA of all true conservatives to deny that simple fact.

Our birthdate - contrary to FOX NEWS - is not a lifestyle choice


Being a boomer simply isn't a lifestyle choice - it is simply an accident of life why you were born between 1941 and 1966 and so many others weren't.

So in Chapter Three of Steinhorn's book , entitled "The Revenge of the Luddites", he makes great sport of all those conservative who pour scorn on the boomers.

Now I have no kick against these particular conservative constantly pouring scorn on liberals , or 'left wing boomers', or 'other boomers', or 'we boomers'.

But upon "the boomers" - from the outside- when you yourself are a boomer ?

Because virtually all the conservatives** Dr Steinhorn cites in this chapter are themselves boomers-in-good-standing, by birth and from birth.

So conservative boomers : please criticize 'the boomers' all you want - but from the inside,  for God's sake , as you yourself were born in the boomer years too.

But why pretend you are not a boomer when a Google Search of your birthdate so quickly proves you dead wrong.

Is this bizarre behavior self-hatred/illogical or what ?

What is what it is, I think.

The conservative boomers still share something with left wing boomers I am afraid.

Both exhibit an unwillingness to accept boomers as being a group of individuals who experienced two conflicting ways of viewing reality as just one -- as children .

And that as adults, they came to understand that that can't possibly be so --- and in the process began dividing into two warring boomer camps....

_________________

** Andrew Sullivan born 1963, Sean Hannity 1961, Christopher Hitchens 1949, Doug Coupland 1961, George F Will 1941, Dinesh D'Souza 1961, Ann Coulter 1961, Bill O'Reilly 1949, David Brooks 1961, Peggy Noonan 1950, Roger Kimball 1953.

(Similarly,worldwide, the vast majority of the best known conservative writers are boomers.)

* Time Magazine in its January 1967 issue declaring the boomers "People of the Year" for 1966, but did not call them 'the under twenty year olds', as it should have done according to the supposed baby-boom experts of the day.

These experts all saw the baby boom as beginning in 1946, after the men returned home from overseas.

Instead Time consulted the facts, not the wannabe experts, and correctly saw the boom beginning in 1941 - hence the cover lauded 'the under 25 year olds'.

This cover article really did its homework and still reads well a half century later.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Clay Pot one of the greatest human technologies EVER - and a roof is only a pot turned upside down

Jason Merkoski makes the point in "Burning the Page" - he's probably not the first - that the humble pot was the greatest invention of the Stone Age.

Taking a cue from Philosopher of Science Nancy Cartwright, I take it further --- it was one of the greatest big leaps ever - matched only by the someone who turned that pot upside down and called it a roof.

A pot encloses things we can't easily carry other ways - Jason makes this clear when he asks how the pot made it easy to no longer be forced to live close to a stream for a survival

A pot is generally described as an enclosure small enough to carry - a roof is the same sort of idea - an enclosure - but now for something really big, like a factory.

A factory has plenty of hi tech stuff in it but spare a thought for the humble building itself.

Heated in winter, cooled in summer, lit at night, protected from winds, rain, insects and blowing sand : Man is now totally enslaved to profit, no longer ceasing work on rainy days or dark nights or in the off-seasons.

Once motive energy came from endless coal or electricity, its workforce no longer got any precious time off because the watermill or windmill wasn't getting its needed flow.

Auschwitz or Los Alamos won't have been half so efficient if it hadn't been for roofs.

But all this presumes we are living in a climate that is temperate and that the weather only provides variations around a tender theme.

At CFB Alert, the climate is so severe (energy deficient) that 95% of any 24/7/365 factory's energy bill would be devoted to simply keeping it warm enough for wheels to turn, metal not to shatter and human hearts not to freeze to death.

That is what baneful climate change can do for us - or to us - render even pots and roofs irrelevant ....

One MORE Great Thing : Boomers' March for the Climate

"I ain't gonna march no more" should never become the boomers' song- no matter how old and retiring we feel.

Because whenever we marched we eventually got some halfway hopeful results: marching for racial civil rights, against the Vietnam war, to ban the bomb, for women and gay rights, for the environment.

We were the generation destined to do Great Things and by and large we succeeded.

But no time to rest on our laurels.

We must once again take to the streets as Boomers - even as wheelchair-bound Boomers with gray hair beneath our tie-dye caps - even through the streets of Washington DC , to fight for the climate.

We indeed didn't start the climate change fire but we must try to fight it.

To do one more Great Thing, before we go ....

Climate meltdown & boomer epitaph : "we didn't start the fire but we tried to fight it"

Was baby boomer Billy Joel really singing about harmful human climate change and our need (as fellow boomers) to take the lead in putting out the fire that our parents, grandparents & great-great-great grandparents actually started ?

I'd like to think so.

And so the lyrics from Joel's song may live on and on and on, long after he is just a brief entry in a book of quotations :

BILLY JOEL (1949-2039) this now obscure singer and songwriter is remembered in the 25th century solely for this fragment from one of his forgotten songs, which has become the epitaph of the famous Boomer Generation who first stalled and then reversed human induced global warming threatening Humanity's continued existence...

Boomers : the 'Greater Generation' or the generation that precipitates the ending of the entire human experiment ?

Come on Boomers, we can do so much better !

We were supposed to be the generation from whom great things were expected.

Instead (somebody, somewhere, certainly not humanity itself) will remember us merely as the pathetic little generation that ended the entire human experiment for all time in a great big global meltdown.

Some of us Boomers will do so actively (big shout out to PMs Stephen Harper and Tony Abbott !)

But most of us will merely passively help end the human experiment : apparently we Boomers are not ones for much passion --- or commitment.

We'll just be inert Netflix Potatoes, as the equivalent of our parents' war against Nazi values grinds on outside our comfortable living rooms.

What we do - or don't do - on harmful human climate change, not Elvis, Rock 'n' Roll or Civil Rights Marches, will end up being what defines us Boomers.

Yes, we're all a little older, a little slower : the youngest of us are almost fifty and the oldest are in their early seventies - but we're not dead yet, not yet in the nursing home.

We still have time to do that One Great Thing that we all promised the world way back when....

I have here in my hand a list of names : rogue Boomers who deny climate change

I don't - yet - have 205 or 81 or 57 names or whatever alcohol-induced fantasy number Senator Joe came up with in the end.

But I'm working on it.

First, definitions.

The Baby Boom wasn't really a boom in babies conceived , taking the long view.

Rather it was a 25 year long interregnum (a blip upwards) in the one hundred and fifty year long slow slide downwards in the number of live births among families in the westernized world.

Starting generally around 1941 and continuing generally till 1966, the number of live births in the West edged upwards from its nadir of the Great Depression decade, before settling down once again to Great Depression levels or less.

In social science terms, harmful human climate change deniers/skeptics/hubrists aren't exactly hard to define (or to find) : they come right out and freely admit to their disbelief.

Traditionally, we denier watchers have tended to focus on the most strident ones and I now believe this to be wrong.

They are the most strident because (a) they are either very old, know they are dying and out of office or (b) they are very young and not yet in office.

But the ones with all the actual power to do things and not just to complain about things are the Boomer deniers.

They will be running our world - in terms of both formal politics and informal wealth and cultural influence - right up to the global melt down tipping point.

Just for example : Mitt Romney and prime ministers Harper, Abbott, Key and Cameron.

All leaders of the Anglo Saxon cum free world,  all Boomers and all very weak on stopping harmful climate change.

I'm making a list of powerful Boomers, checking it twice trying to find out ,on the issue of the climate, who has been naughty and who has been nice.

And I will post the names of naughty little boomer kids permanently on the side column of this blog ....

9.5 Theses about climate DENIERS

It is hard to nail something up , on the internet , but here it goes anyway :

(1) I believe - as a percentage - more Protestants than Catholics deny human climate change and that they do so more vehemently.

(2) I believe - as a percentage - more people of Anglo-Saxon (sic) origins deny human climate change than do people of other ethnic origins.

(3) I believe - as a percentage - more males than females strongly deny human climate change.

(4) I believe - as a percentage - more better off people than poorer people vehemently deny human climate change.

(5) I believe - as a percentage - that more native born citizens than immigrants , strongly deny human climate change.

(6) I believe - as a percentage - more people with some post secondary education deny strongly human climate change than do people with either high school or less education or those with post-graduate education.

(7) I believe - as a percentage - people who deny human climate change dislike immigration, minorities, disabled, women and gay rights, more so than do non-deniers.

(8) I believe - as a percentage - more deniers than non-deniers believe super powers should 'go it alone' rather than first helping to assemble a coalition of allies bound by a common goal.

That instead they prefer to use their nationally-exclusive super weapons against the enemy, like some WWII comic book super hero, sailing above community, democracy and the rule of law.

Which is to say, far more adult deniers than non-deniers still believe it was Captain America and not Joe and Willie that actually won WWII.

(9) I believe - that as a percentage - more whites, than non-white , deny human climate change.

(9.5) I believe - as a percentage - that more climate change deniers prefer the Fifties to the Sixties than do non-deniers.

 And that the more widely read among the deniers secretly yearn for the halcyon days of pre-1939, when Anglo Saxon empires and Anglo Saxon eugenics and Anglo-Saxon scientism still ruled the world.

Which is to say that human climate change isn't really the issue for them.

It is but a 'rally around the wagons' symbol.

A last ditch battle to decide whether anyone or anything (be it a minority group, a gender or Mother Nature herself) can ever impose any limits on a traditional ruling group to do what ever it wants, where ever it wants, when ever it wants, for as much as it wants ....