In the novel Great Expectations, written in 1860 by Charles Dickens, there is an underlying theme of disillusionment, but it is not a melancholy book. The main character, named Pip, has many "great expectations" in his life, but over the course of time these illusions are slowly shattered." (http://www.123helpme.com/preview.asp?id=67927)
"Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens first serialised in All the Year Round from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. It is regarded as one of his greatest and most sophisticated novels, and is one of his most enduringly popular, having been adapted for stage and screen over 250 times. Great Expectations is written in a semi-autobiographical style, and is the story of the orphan Pip, writing his life from his early days of childhood until adulthood. The story can also be considered semi-autobiographical of Dickens, like much of his work, drawing on his experiences of life and people. The action of the story takes place from Christmas Eve, 1812, when the protagonist is about seven years old, to the winter of 1840." See: Great Expectations, Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Expectations.
The novel Great Expectations also raises many thought-provoking philosophical issues which are uncannily relevant for purposes of evaluating the global climate change debate. In particular, isn't it remarkable how European national governments have disingenuously portrayed the human and environmental (described as 'existential') threat posed by global warming and/or climate change, two scientifically distinct terms that have been conflated intentionally by environmental zealots and government bureaucrats the world over? [See, e.g.: Global Warming or Climate Change? It's ALL Relative If We Ignore Science, Reframe Issues, Redefine Words, Adjust Grammar and Use Symbols and Imagery!, ITSSD Journal on Pathological Communalism, at: http://itssdpathologicalcommunalism.blogspot.com/2009/01/global-warming-or-climate-change-its.html ].
We ask the Obama Administration directly - are you, too, raising unrealistic planetary threat scenarios, public fears of environmental catastrophe and 'great expectations' of your own that something can actually be done about what the President has referred to in his inaugural speech as 'the specter of a warming planet'? [See Obama: US will 'roll back the specter of a warming planet', AFP (Jan. 20, 2009), at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iGbumOehd1mBE5Su-zpzXS0utiQQ ].We suggest that the administration carefully review the literal and metaphorical themes conveyed within Charles Dickens' literary masterpiece with an eye towards seeing how they apply to what is actually an onward march towards global regulatory governance over the economic lives of all Americans.
- Good versus evil. Dickens most common theme, complicated by the moral ambiguity of many characters and situations. The poses and false appearances many people erect cause us to wonder who is good and who is evil.
- Guilt. Related to the good and evil theme is that of guilt. Who is guilty and of what? Does everyone have some guilt?
- What is the value of education? Does it improve people or only corrupt them? What exactly is education, anyway?
- The danger of wealth and social position to corrupt. Are they corrupt in themselves and thus to be avoided?
- City vs. country. One of the oldest thematic traditions in literature is the conflict between city and country. Usually, the city is the scene of corruption, confusion, and problems, while the country hosts innocence and resolution.
- The real vs. a facade. Many characters have or erect facades--false fronts or appearances--to hide their real selves. Why? Who are they? Are the facades beneficial or harmful?
- The power of imagination to control behavior,
- Imprisonment as a metaphor. Several characters are imprisoned--in real prisons, in exile, in self chosen prisons, in psychological prisons.
[A CLOSE LOOK AT PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CAREFULLY CHOSEN WORDS, "The United States will 'roll back the specter of a warming planet'...", STRONGLY SUGGESTS THAT THE PRESIDENT IS AWARE OF THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN THE SCIENCE SURROUNDING GLOBAL WARMING/ CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN PERCEPTIONS OF THE PROBLEM, LET ALONE ITS POTENTIAL CAUSES and/or CORRELATIONS. THIS WOULD EXPLAIN WHY HE WOULD INSTRUCT THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY TO REVIEW CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR AAHNOLD SCHWARNZEGGER'S LONG-SITTING REQUEST FOR THE GRANT OF A STATE WAIVER FROM EPA POLLUTION CONTROL RULES. IT IS PREFERABLE TO ALLOW THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA and THE 17 OTHER STATES LOOKING TO ADOPT ITS CARBON 'CAP & TRADE' RULES TO MAKE THE POLITICAL MISTAKE OF OVER-REGULATING THEIR RESIDENTS, THAN TO HAVE WASHINGTON BE CALLED TO BLAME.]
[A SHORT TRIP TO THE DICTIONARY REVEALS HOW THE WORD “SPECTER” IS DEFINED, and how it relates to the notion of GREAT EXPECTATIONS:
French spectre, from Latin spectrum appearance, specter, from specere to look, look at — more at spy
1 : a visible disembodied spirit : ghost 2 : something that haunts or perturbs the mind : phantasm
1. A ghostly apparition; a phantom.
2. A haunting or disturbing image or prospect
Middle English fantasme, from Anglo-French fantosme, fantasme, from Latin phantasma, from Greek, from phantazein to present to the mind — more at fancy
1: a product of fantasy: as a: delusive appearance : illusion b: ghost , specter c: a figment of the imagination 2: a mental representation of a real object.
Expect 1,000-year Climate Impacts, Experts Say - [NOAA] Study: Stopping emissions won't prevent decreased rainfall, higher seas
January 26, 2009
WASHINGTON - Even if the world can cap carbon dioxide emissions tied to global warming, expect to see droughts and sea level rise that span centuries, not just decades, according to a new study sponsored by the U.S. government.
"People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide the climate would go back to normal in 100 years, 200 years; that's not true," lead author Susan Solomon told reporters.
Instead, the team concluded, warming tied to higher CO2 "is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop."
"Climate change is slow, but it is unstoppable" said Solomon, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. All the more reason to act quickly, so the long-term situation doesn't get even worse, Solomon said. [????]
Waiting could compound problems
[WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? NEITHER WE NOR OUR FAMILIES, OR OUR FAMILIES' FAMILIES' FAMILIES' FAMILIES, WILL BE AROUND TO OBSERVE THESE SO-CALLED 'COMPOUND PROBLEMS'! THIS RAISES THE QUINTESSENTIAL PHILOSOPHICAL RIDDLE: "IF A TREE FALLS IN A FOREST AND NO ONE IS AROUND TO HEAR IT, DOES IT MAKE A SOUND???" ALTERNATIVELY, PRESIDENT OBAMA & SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON MAY WISH TO CONSIDER THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION POSED BY THE LATE POLITICALLY INCORRECT COMEDIAN GEORGE CARLIN: "IF A MAN SPEAKS IN THE FOREST AND THERE IS NO WOMAN TO HEAR IT, IS HE STILL WRONG?"]
[IT WOULD APPEAR, BASED ON HIS CAREFUL SELECTION OF THE WORDS 'SPECTER OF A WARMING PLANET', THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA, HIMSELF, IS AWARE OF THIS PHILOSOPHICAL RIDDLE CONSTRUCTED BY 19TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHER BISHOP BERKELEY. HE "PROMOTED A THEORY...CALLED 'IMMATERIALISM' LATER REFERRED TO AS 'SUBJECTIVE IDEALISM'. HIS DICTUM WAS "Esse est percipi" - "To be is to be perceived". HE TALKED OF OBJECTS CEASING TO EXIST ONCE THERE WAS NOBODY AROUND TO PERCEIVE THEM." See: "If a Tree Falls in a Forest", Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_a_tree_falls_in_a_forest ].
Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, added that "the real concern is that the longer we wait to do something, the higher the level of irreversible climate change to which we'll have to adapt." Meehl was not part of Solomon's research team.
[TO REPEAT OUR MAIN POINT, "WE HUMANS LIVING ON THE PLANET DURING MOST OF THE NEXT MILLENNIUM", WILL NOT HAVE TO ADAPT 1,000 YEARS HENCE TO ANYTHING. TO SUGGEST THIS IS ABSURD!! THIS FANTASTIC STATEMENT POSITS A FALSE POSITIVE, WITH THE INTENTION, AND IN THE HOPE, OF SPURRING PEOPLE TO ACT ON THAT OVER WHICH THEY ULTIMATELY HAVE NO CONTROL. AND WHAT IS WORSE, THE MEDIA IS PROLIFERATING THIS CHICANERY WITHOUT EXAMINING THE SCIENTIFIC, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC & LEGAL FACTS FOR THEMSELVES!! SO MUCH FOR THE PROFESSIONALISM OF JOURNALISTS WHOM, BY THEIR ACTS OF ACQUIESCENCE OR WORSE, INACTIONS, ARE ACTUALLY COMPLICIT IN THE PERPETRATION OF THIS FRAUD UPON THE AMERICAN PUBLIC!!].
The findings were announced as President Barack Obama ordered reviews that could lead to automobiles that emit less CO2 and get higher mileage.
Climate change has been driven by gases in the atmosphere that trap heat from solar radiation and raise the planet's temperature — the "greenhouse effect." Carbon dioxide has been the most important of those gases because it remains in the air for hundreds of years. While other gases are responsible for nearly half of the warming, they degrade more rapidly, Solomon said.
Before the industrial revolution the air contained about 280 parts per million of carbon dioxide. That has risen to 385 ppm today, and politicians and scientists have debated at what level it could be stabilized.
The peer-reviewed study concludes that if CO2 is allowed to peak at 450-600 parts per million, the results would include persistent decreases in dry-season rainfall that are comparable to the 1930s U.S. Dust Bowl in zones including the U.S. southwest, southern Europe, Africa, eastern South America and western Australia.
The study, which relied on computer models and historical temperatures, was published in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Warming and the seas
Warmer climate also is causing expansion of the ocean and that factor alone is likely to lock in a 1.3 to 3.2 foot sea level rise by the year 3000 if CO2 peaks at 600 ppm, and double that if it peaks at 1,000 ppm, the researchers calculated.
"Additional contributions to sea level rise from the melting of glaciers and polar ice sheets are too uncertain to quantify in the same way," Solomon said in a statement. "They could be even larger but we just don’t have the same level of knowledge about those terms. We presented the minimum sea level rise that we can expect from well-understood physics, and we were surprised that it was so large."
Solomon noted that while global warming has been slowed by the oceans, which absorb carbon, that positive effect will wane over time and eventually oceans will actually warm the planet by giving off their accumulated heat to the air.
Alan Robock, of the Center for Environmental Prediction at Rutgers University, agreed with the report's assessment.
"It's not like air pollution where if we turn off a smokestack, in a few days the air is clear," said Robock, who was not part of Solomon's research team. "It means we have to try even harder to reduce emissions," he said.
[DEAR PROFESSOR ROBOCK, HOW MUCH IN PRIVATE FOUNDATION AND GOVERNMENT GRANT MONIES DO YOU EXPECT TO OBTAIN AS THE RESULT OF YOUR SOLICITOUS REMARKS??]
Solomon's report "is quite important, not alarmist, [???] and very important for the current debates on climate policy," added Jonathan Overpeck, a climate researcher at the University of Arizona.
[CORRECT. THIS DECEPTIVE & DISHONEST DISCUSSION RAISES FALSE FEARS OF GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL ARMAGEDDON THAT WILL INCITE PUBLIC FEAR AND TRIGGER PUBLIC DEMANDS FOR GOVERNMENTS AROUND THE WORLD TO ENACT LOCAL, NATIONAL, REGIONAL & GLOBAL REGULATIONS THAT REQUIRE PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES TO MITIGATE THEIR INDIVIDUAL CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS, EVEN THOUGH SUCH MITIGATION EFFORTS WILL NOT LIKELY HAVE AN IMPACT FOR 1,000 YEARS HENCE!! FOR THIS REASON ALONE, WE CAN SEE WHY GRANT-SEEKING SCIENTISTS, PUBLICITY-SEEKING POLITICIANS AND PROTECTIONIST-MINDED PUBLIC COMPANIES FIND BELIEVE THIS REPORT CAN MAKE AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE CURRENT DEBATES ON CLIMATE POLICY?]
'Quite conservative' figures
[NO DOUBT, IT IS IMPORTANT TO CAST THE IMPRESSION TO THE PUBLIC THAT THE CLIMATE SCENARIO IS FAR WORSE THAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS CAN ACTUALLY SPEAK OF!!]
While scientists have been aware of the long-term aspects of climate change, the new report highlights and provides more specifics on them, said Kevin Treberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
"This aspect is one that is poorly appreciated by policymakers and the general public and it is real," said Trenberth, who was not part of the research group.
"The temperature changes and the sea level changes are, if anything underestimated and quite conservative, especially for sea level," he said.
While he agreed that the rainfall changes mentioned in the paper are under way, Trenberth disagreed with some details of that part of the report.
"Even so, there would be changes in snow (to rain), snow pack and water resources, and irreversible consequences even if not quite the way the authors describe," he said. "The policy relevance is clear: We need to act sooner ... because by the time the public and policymakers really realize the changes are here it is far too late to do anything about it. In fact, as the authors point out, it is already too late for some effects."
[IT IS PURE FOLLY, LET ALONE, AN ABJECT PUBLIC FRAUD, AND AN EXERCISE IN CREATING 'GREAT EXPECTATIONS', FOR THESE PERSONS, AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, TO REPRESENT THAT THEY CAN DO ANYTHING MEANINGFUL TO STOP WHAT ARE LARGELY NATURAL CYCLES AFFECTED BY HUMAN ACTIVITIES TO A SCIENTIFICALLY UNCERTAIN EXTENT].
Geoengineering to remove CO2 from the atmosphere was not considered in the study. "Ideas about taking the carbon dioxide away after the world puts it in have been proposed, but right now those are very speculative," Solomon stated.
Co-authors of the paper were Gian-Kaspar Plattner and Reto Knutti of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and Pierre Friedlingstein of the National Institute for Scientific Research, Gif sur Yvette, France.
Obama Clearing Way for California Emissions Waiver
By Ken Bensinger and Jim Tankersley
Los Angeles Times
January 26, 2009
Reporting from Washington and Los Angeles -- President Obama will direct the EPA today to reconsider a Bush-era decision that stopped California and more than a dozen other states from setting their own stricter limits on auto emissions, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Should the agency allow a waiver from federal rules, states could require automakers to increase the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks far above current limits. It also would fulfill a long-held goal of environmentalists, as well as one of Obama's campaign promises.
A waiver would be another dramatic rebuke of Bush administration policies, as well as a swift statement that the new president intends to put his own stamp on environmental issues.
"This should prompt cheers from California to Maine," said Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, who praised Obama as "a man of his word" for the decision.
Tim Carmichael, senior policy director at the Coalition for Clean Air, hailed the decision as a vital step for the administration and the world in the fight against global warming.
Passenger vehicles are estimated to emit 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
"I think Obama got a clear message that this is a priority not only for California state protection but also for planetary protection," Carmichael said.
A waiver would be a bitter defeat for the auto industry, which had for years hotly contested the implementation of the California rules and had applauded the Bush administration decision in December 2007 to deny a state waiver for California.
A spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said Sunday that the industry group did not have a comment on the matter. Mike Moran, a spokesman for Ford Motor Co., said the company would not release a statement until Obama made a formal announcement.
At least 17 other states have adopted or are considering California's rules, and a waiver also would allow them to regulate tailpipe emissions. Altogether, those states, which include New York and Florida, represent about 40% of the population, according to auto industry estimates.
That has provoked considerable anxiety among carmakers. They could be forced to spend billions of dollars to comply with the California emissions rules, which are distinct from -- and more rigorous than -- federal fuel standards passed in 2007.
The federal standards would raise the national fleet average to 35 miles per gallon by 2020.
Bush's waiver denial provoked California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sue the federal government. Separately, Congress launched an investigation on the decision-making process at the Environmental Protection Agency, which must grant California the waiver before the state may regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Last week, Schwarzenegger sent a letter to President Obama asking that the agency reconsider the matter. "Your administration has a unique opportunity to . . . move America toward global leadership on addressing climate change," the letter said.
Also last week, Mary Nichols, chairwoman of California's Air Resources Board, asked the EPA to open a "reconsideration process" in a letter she sent to Lisa Jackson, that agency's new administrator.
In December, Nichols indicated that the state board had been in close contact with Obama's transition team to help plan a way to pass the waiver and adopt specific rules on rolling out the regulation.
Earlier this month, Jackson pledged to reconsider the request -- and hinted that she supported granting it -- during a Senate hearing into her nomination.
After Obama turns the matter over to the EPA, the agency is expected to take several months to reach a final decision on whether to reverse the Bush denial.
News of Obama's expected statement won quick praise from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who said it was "more than welcome news."
As chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, she said, she plans to work with the EPA to move a waiver through quickly.
"An immediate EPA review of the waiver decision shows respect for California" and the other states, Boxer said, while they wait for the "green light to address global warming pollution from motor vehicles."
In 2002, California passed a law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for vehicles, but couldn't enforce it, as a series of lawsuits filed by the auto industry held it up.
Last year, judges handed down several rulings that would allow the rule's adoption, but an EPA waiver was still required.
The California rules don't strictly limit mileage. But by setting caps on carbon emissions, they would effectively require vehicles to reach as much as 42 mpg by 2020, according to some estimates. Currently, only two mass-produced vehicles, the Toyota Prius and the hybrid Honda Civic, average at least 42 mpg.
To reach that level on a fleetwide basis, automakers would likely have to invest in costly new technologies such as hybrid drive trains. Industry estimates put the per-vehicle cost of compliance as high as $5,000.
The Bush administration had been charged with developing final rules for the new federal mileage requirements, but elected to pass that task on to Obama, citing the auto industry's deep economic woes. Those rules must be published by April, and it is expected that the administration will make an announcement on them as soon as today.
In taking up the tailpipe emissions issue after less than a week in office, Obama is sending a signal about the importance his administration places on environmental matters, environmentalists said.
There had been some expectation among them that Obama would instruct the EPA to grant the California waiver immediately, using the existing regulations.
But by sending the matter back to Jackson, Obama also indicates that he is aware of the auto industry's difficulties and willing to develop rules that would accommodate some of its immediate concerns.
Last month, the Bush administration agreed to give General Motors Corp. and Chrysler $17.4 billion in emergency loans.
The two automakers, which suffered the worst sales declines in a quarter-century last year, have until Feb. 17 to submit restructuring plans to the federal government, which will evaluate those plans by the end of March.
In addition to technological concerns, automakers worry that having the California rules in place would create regulatory chaos, with two separate rules on the books. They have argued that if government is going to regulate carbon emissions, as is the case in Europe, there should be one national rule.
That's a position echoed by environmentalists, who believe that California's regulations would open the door for serious discussion for a new countrywide standard.
"It's not going to happen overnight," said Spencer Quong, a senior analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "This is a huge notice that the administration is going to deliver on its promise to clean up the environment and fight global warming."
[ONCE AGAIN, WE WONDER HOW ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS CAN MAKE SUCH A FALSE CLAIM WHEN THE ADMINISTRATION'S OWN GOVERNMENT AGENCY HAS JUST REPORTED THAT, "WARMING TIED TO CO2 IS LARGELY IRREVERSIBLE FOR 1000 YEARS"!!]