Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Extremism is not just a vice someone picks up on a Dark Web Internet forum. The fight or flight response triggers Extremism as a reaction to an existential crisis. Vulnerable people take the tiny seed of instinct about mortality, grow their Extremist view into a giant species-wide folly and then go too far. (edited by me)

"So why can’t we wage a war on extremists? Why can’t we just embrace the moderates to counter extremists?  Because extremists aren’t born, they’re forged in failed states, failed prophesy and, yes, failed ideas. Social upheaval, isolation, perceived humiliation or moral outrage, powerlessness and/or scarcity are what make extremists, not some innate evil."

"...not that extremists are losers; according to social scientists, failure makes people more extreme." 

As chaos increases across the Middle East, Africa, India and China, due to drought and food insecurity contributing to destabilized local and national governance, the failures will breed more extremists with more extreme goals.

How will America respond?


The Fourth Turning, 2015 Update

England approached Germany 80 years ago in 1935 with negotiations for a peace agreement that later became known as Appeasement (1936-1939).  France hosted 195 nations in Paris for COP21 with negotiations for a peace agreement that will become known as a 21st Century Appeasement (2015-2020).  During this time of change, the news media spreads fear because of water and food scarcity, destabilized governments and civil wars, millions of refugees, and domestic or foreign terrorists.  No one avoids being vulnerable to violence or the consequences of economic and social conflict.

A rosy picture of 2015 is also portrayed by a media biased toward entertainment.  What is the truth? Are we living in a time of abundance or scarcity, peace or war, stability or chaos?  Why are people afraid and angry? We could get really confused listening to Apologists, Denialists, Technologists, Incrementalists, Isolationists or Activists.

The headlines might be confusing to many, they are to me sometimes.  Observing a pattern over time encourages hope that we will overcome the consequences of ignoring for decades the cause and effect of climate change.

2015 status of The Fourth Turning

1. Great Recession aligns with the stock market crash of 1929 and beginning of Great Depression.  The Great Recession, officially for U.S. began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, however the consequences lasted for years afterward, like the Great Depression.

2. The UN concentration camps for climate refugees and migrants align with the concentration camps started in 1933 in Germany and the migration of refugees pre-WWII.  During 2015, over 1 million people migrated into Europe, and almost 60 million worldwide are in concentration camps.

3.  Pope Francis (born 1936, Silent) issues Climate Change Encyclical (June 18, 2015) that gives Boomers moral guidelines to realign governance and commercial organizations.  The Pope critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take "swift and unified global action.” 

4. 2015 COP21 agreement aligns with Appeasement 1936-1939.  COP21 is a peace agreement that ignores the non-negotiable physics of the consequences of heat transfer in the atmosphere.  195 countries negotiated transferring money and maintaining peace while ignoring the consequences of drought and food scarcity that destabilize governments like Syria. 195 countries ignored cause and effect.

5.  By 2020, Baby Boomers (then ages 60 to 78) will play the role of Elders with a moral agenda outlined by item 3 above. Boomers will be 1/3 retired comfortably, 1/3 part retired/part working, and 1/3 working poor. GenXers (ages 39-59) will be in top management and supervisor positions throughout the economy, however many will be just getting by or working poor.  As you know, Millennials (in 2020, ages 16 to 38) have a significantly different set of values and beliefs from the older generations.  Each generation will step forward and fill their roles as outlined in “The Fourth Turning.”

6. The term Climate Patriot is emerging as a way to begin to describe the actions and future sacrifices that Americans, and specifically Millennials, are going to need to take to survive from 2020 until after 2028.  The growth of a global grassroots movement for climate justice and ecology has taken a long time to emerge, and now appears to be unstoppable.

One example is “Climate Mobilization”
advocating that the only way to save civilization from climate change is with a wartime-style mobilization like WWII. 

The Fourth Turning by Strauss and Howe

Generations by Strauss and Howe

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dear President Obama

This is not a friendly conversation about war.  This is about National Security.

Government is necessary to ensure the proper use of force.  The purpose of government is to protect the individual rights of citizens.  In the Preamble to the Constitution, the people want to: “… establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

Now in December 2015, we look back on the global wars and internal conflicts since the American Revolution with pride and sadness.  We honor those who gave their lives that we might enjoy the benefits of justice, freedom and liberty.

There have been times when the welfare of Americans has been threatened by external forces and at other times by internal conflicts.  Always there have been working people listening to their leaders, and rising to the challenges in the name of national security.

Today, working people are again listening to their leaders, to news media, to conversations online, and to the news coming from the assembled delegates in Paris at COP21.  Why would tens of thousands of people from all over the world come together like never before in one place, unless there was a global crisis?

We will face this new crisis, this new threat to our security, with the same determination and courage as we have in the past.  Since WWII, we have not faced a global threat to civilization like the one organized against us now.  But who is the face of the enemy?

Who do the Chinese families blame when their children, parents and grandparents die prematurely from respiratory diseases caused by air pollution?

For decades, the fossil fuel industry has made clear that they intend not only to dominate all life and beliefs within their corporations but also to enslave the world and then extract all the resources from the earth for profit.  They play us off against each other, creating two world views opposed to each other.  When we follow the money there is a path from energy consultants and politicians back through clandestine relationships to the fossil fuel industry.  The politicians admit  that others are correct when we say that these two world views will never reconcile.

In other words, the peace talks going on in Paris at COP21 will result in appeasement for a few years, maybe five years.  Ultimately, there can be no peace with the present inequality of energy, food, water and security in the world.  The refugee flow will increase over the next five years, creating a humanitarian crisis never experienced before. Forget what you believe or don’t believe about the climate and weather, the current events are evidence of the growing crisis.

Let’s not ignore the 1936-1939 Appeasement by England with Germany prior to WWII. There is a lesson to learn about how the delayed action makes things worse later.  Now COP21 is our modern day appeasement.

At this moment, the forces allied against us are modern day isolationists within America. These forces are using a delaying strategy to keep the federal government from acting to ensure the proper use of force and to protect individual rights.  All the while, local city, county and state governments who understand cause and effect are taking action to deal with the coming crisis.

The Republican politicians in the House and Senate are blocking action to put people to work, invest in infrastructure and improve the American economy.  Their world view is not going to change.  The civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries are creating thousands of refugees and Republicans continue to support a wall between America and any other country.  

Some people like to believe that what happens in other countries is of no concern to us.  But the quality of the oceans on our two coasts is of vital importance.  What happens when China’s air pollution floats on the wind across the Pacific to America?  The Pacific Ocean is warmer, more acidic and more polluted because countries have blown past pollution limits. They seem to be pivoting now to reduce emissions but still polluting.

Does anyone seriously believe that America does not have a national security problem of global magnitude?  Intense weather events and refugees are a threat multiplier for America’s Armed Forces.  Now, in 2015, they bred terrorists and destabilize governments in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.  America’s strong economy and wealth are the most tempting targets in the world. 

The Navy already owns three Montford Point-class vessels, a fourth is under construction and a fifth will be built starting in 2016.  Originally designed to support amphibious beach assaults, the ships are also ideal for swiftly responding to natural disasters by delivering relief supplies by air and by sea, as well as helping to care for victims.  

The government-sponsored National Research Council studied military disaster-relief efforts.  "The U.S. Navy, as a forward-deployed force, is in position to reach disaster relief sites faster than other agencies and will almost assuredly experience increased demand for assistance if disasters increase due to climate change," the Council stated in its official report.

Flooding and extreme weather pose risks to existing Naval ports and military bases that will compromise our military readiness. Our National Security does not ignore cause and effect.  We do not make unexamined assumptions. We do not express beliefs without facts.  We do not use correlations without evidence of cause and effect.

Americans like to remember the past and many believe we can maintain our present lifestyle without making changes or giving up on idealistic dreams.  Of vital concern for National Security is that our control of the oceans does not falter as millions of refugees migrate and governments destabilize when flooding and extreme weather deny people fresh water, food and shelter.  We do not face an enemy that can overwhelm us with their weapons.  The threat is that we will be overwhelmed trying to respond to disasters all over the world at the same time we are trying to deal with the same problems at home.

There is no exaggeration when we rely on our Armed Forces to tell all Americans that the consequences of climate change are happening now and things are going to get worse before they get better.  Our technology advantage is not going to save us from a catastrophe that is already baked into the Earth System.  Over decades, past industrial development has increased the heat absorbed by the oceans and the atmosphere to a level such that we will all be living with the consequences.

We can no longer ignore the undeniable fact that the evil forces that have corrupted so many others are already within our borders. Our experience over the past decade has proven beyond a doubt that no nation can negotiate with drought, floods and famine that force people to extreme idealogical violence.  There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness.  There is no reasoning with a suicide bomb.

We know now every nation on earth must deal with the consequences of climate change or face total surrender.  Terrorists have become accomplices with the forces of nature.  They do not understand how soon they will be surrounded by an uninhabitable landscape.  They are attempting to draw us into their chaos.  We must form a global alliance to fight the root cause of the failure of governments to deal with terrorism within their borders.

European governments and our allies are conducting an active war against the unholy alliance of terrorists in many different countries.  America’s future security is very dependent on the outcome of the fight to avoid famine and chaos in other countries. There is less chance that America will get involved in a ground war if we do all we can now to support the countries fighting to avoid famine and chaos caused by the consequences of climate change.  If we allow the weak and vulnerable countries to fail, one by one, then we will be waiting our turn to be attacked by a stronger enemy later.

Any path we choose has risks.  Our National Security reports prioritize the risks, then analyze ways to adapt and mitigate those risks. COP21 in Paris confirmed that a majority of people in the world support the course advocated by governments, business, NGOs and religious organizations that involves the least risk now and the greatest hope for global peace and economic progress for everyone in the future.

The people of Europe who are on the front lines defending themselves, welcoming refugees and attacking the enemy, are not asking us to do their fighting for them. They are asking us for the implements of economic growth: financing, leadership, existing technology and equipment to fight for their lives, liberty and freedom.  Clearly, America must deliver to the global community the tools they need to transition to a clean energy economy so that our children’s children can be saved the agony of the consequences of a global catastrophe that we will have to endure.

We are not defeated, do not let anyone deny our future or tell us we are too late. Now is the time for a global mobilization. Working people are voicing their support for action. Businesses are investing time and money to mobilize their employees, products and services to support a transition to a clean energy economy.  Local authorities are the real trailblazers in the fight against climate change. With cities and regions behind more than 70% of climate change reduction measures, they’re a crucial partner that needs to be included in future mobilization plans.

There are many things we can do at home to transition to a clean energy economy.  Energy and transportation are two sectors that get a lot of attention.  We also will need to change our diet and eat less meat, specifically consumption of beef will need to be reduced. Out of all the other things we can do, one thing that government can do is to put a price on carbon.  This would be a way to phase out the subsidies currently given to resource extraction and provide a way to value the costs to society of carbon pollution.

The GI Generation never gave up on their goal of liberating Europe.  We have good reasons for hope that America’s new generational alignment in 2020 will never give up on the goal of equality and justice for survivors of the consequences of climate change.  We have hope for the defense of our homeland against the silent invasion of a warming atmosphere, rising sea levels, acidic oceans, and extreme weather events.  We have hope for delivering aid to migrants and refugees crossing our borders.  We have hope for America to adapt, to mitigate risks and to develop a sustainable economy.

The US Military report to the President has stated that climate change is a national security threat that will continue to produce waves of refugees, caused by food crises and destabilized governments leading to local conflicts and regional wars.  A significant threat multiplier for a US combat commander is the moral dilemma of dealing with refugees in the line of fire.

As President of the United States, you can call on a national mobilization to fight the common enemy of every country.  Our common cause will succeed only when we align our national security with the security of every nation.


Richard K. Turnock