Saturday, December 24, 2016

Recommendation


The following is a non-violent strategy:
If enough people lie, often enough, then we will destroy verbal communication.

As a Boomer, my role in this Crisis Era is to show the moral and ethical direction.  My role is to show a moral path, bond with Millennials and stand up to authoritarian aggression.  Here is an attempt to make a moral case for #TheResistance (twitter hashtag)


Governor Jerry Brown’s speech to the AGU on 12/14/2017 inspired me to envision a non-violent disobedience campaign based on “Reductio ad Absurdum."

Reference:
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. delivered remarks Dec. 14, 2016, at the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting in San Francisco. 

“There is a paradoxical benefit when someone takes to an absurd length a completely erroneous position because that then unmasks the error in such a vivid way that allows everyone else to refute, to join together and to be embolden to move forward.”

Reductio ad Absurdum = "Reduce to absurdity and when you do that everybody sees the absurd path you are on."

Proposal:   As a form of protest, non-violent disobedience in violation of social norms would be lying like Donald Trump.

Action: After Jan 20, 2017, everyone behaves like Donald Trump. The absurdity of everyone behaving like Trump means everyone acts in morally unacceptable ways. 

The position of President, whoever fills that position, represents a role model for everyone.  Therefore we should behave like the President.  After 1/20/2017, I plan to behave like President Trump.  Hashtags will be #TheResistance #donthecon #LieLikeTrump

If enough people lie, often enough, then we will destroy verbal communication.




Sunday, December 18, 2016

Morally Unacceptable Trump

President Trump’s interpersonal practices cannot represent morally acceptable modes of behavior if they do not align with general rules that can be applied to anyone as social norms.

Governor Brown

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. delivered remarks Dec. 14, 2016, at the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

“There is a paradoxical benefit when someone takes to an absurd length a completely erroneous position because that then unmasks the error in such a vivid way that allows everyone else to refute, to join together and to be embolden to move forward.”

Lying

President-elect Trump lies by telling falsehoods at his convenience (over 500 lies: https://www.thestar.com/news/world/uselection/2016/11/04/donald-trump-the-unauthorized-database-of-false-things.html#analysis ). When this behavior is generalized and becomes a social norm, this would destroy verbal communication.  Since the practice of lying at your convenience reduces to absurdity when implemented as a general rule, this is judged to be morally unacceptable.

Example of President-elect Trump lying:
"If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”
Fact: Accusations came months before the election.

Self-Contradiction

President-elect Trump has turned the self-contradiction into an art form.  The social norm is that when someone is "caught out in a contradiction" in this way, their position self-destructs in a reduction to absurdity.  When implemented by everyone as a general rule, self-contradiction destroys verbal communication. Since the practice of self-contradiction reduces to absurdity when implemented as a general rule, this is judged to be morally unacceptable.

Example of self-contradiction:
"The @nytimes states today that DJT believes ‘more countries should acquire nuclear weapons.’ How dishonest are they. I never said this!”
Fact: DJT did say that.

Unsatisfiable Instructions, Definitions and Specifications

President-elect Trump has issued instructions that are absurdity.  The social norm is that instructions, definitions and specifications must be able to be satisfied. When they are in principle unsatisfiable, they are for this very reason absurdity.  Since the practice above reduces to absurdity when implemented as a general rule, this is judged to be morally unacceptable.

Example of issuing instructions that are absurd:
Trump tweeted: ”We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!"






Monday, November 21, 2016

Climate Change Readability

Introduction

As you know, readability tests changed journalism.  The Flesch–Kincaid readability test is also used to study political candidate’s speeches.  I challenge myself to write well. As an engineer, internal auditor, educator and system scientist, I was challenged to write well.  However, my writing typically measures above the 12th grade level.  That is not a good idea when trying to communicate with angry, misinformed constituents.  I tried to craft this letter below the 8th grade level.  Not to dumb it down for you, but to demonstrate a way forward for you to speak with other politicians and your constituents. (This paragraph has an average grade level of about 10.)

Earthquakes

Do people care about earthquakes?  In Oregon, we know earthquakes are real.  Earthquakes happen all the time but we can’t feel them.  We know death, destruction and refugees happen after earthquakes.  Few prepare for an earthquake.

Cities and States tell us to prepare for an earthquake. Pros are trained and equipped to deal with what happens after an earthquake.  Millions of dollars are spent every year on earthquake design of new buildings, and remodeling old buildings. 

There is a 20 percent chance we will be hit by a big earthquake in the next 50 years. There is a small chance one happens and we might die.  Should people understand a threat based on chance? How do we engage people to take action to prepare for a statistic? (These three paragraphs have an average grade level of about 6.)

Climate Change

Climate change is a statistic: over decades the change in average atmospheric temperature is a change in the climate.  The droughts and floods caused by climate change are not a statistic.  They are real and happening now.  

Oregon now has warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers.  But the results are not felt by everyone across the state.  The economic and health burden is not felt by everyone.  Low-income families, who can’t move and those without proper healthcare, have the worst outcomes.  The wealthy, who are able to move and those able to pay for healthcare, do not suffer. (These two paragraphs have an average grade level of about 8.)
Oregonians have common beliefs about earthquakes.  Ideology or politics does not matter when we talk about earthquakes.  But when we speak or write about climate change, what matters is the misinformation, misunderstandings and fallacies that took root over the past 50 years.  Overcoming 50 years of propaganda will not be easy.

Climate change is real and happening now.  We need to prepare in the same way that we prepare for a magnitude-8.0 or higher earthquake.  Like an earthquake, climate change has a very low probability and is an existential threat. (These two paragraphs have an average grade level of about 9.)

Scientists are too conservative with their estimates of climate change.  Cities and States need to prepare citizens for climate change.  First, adapt.  Second, mitigate risks. Same as earthquakes.

Be prepared with water, food and emergency shelter.  All the basic skills needed after a big earthquake are needed to deal with a climate emergency happening now.
(These two paragraphs have an average grade level of about 9.)

Conclusion

People are suffering and they’re angry. The economy has left them behind due to low or stagnant wages, expensive housing, lack of education, lack of skills aligned with demand, increasing healthcare premiums and many other basic needs.  People feel the due process clause is not working for them to guarantee equal protection for them, their children and future grandchildren.

The due process clause acts as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the government outside the sanction of law.  The government’s failure to act to protect families from economic decay and the consequences of climate change denies citizens the right to due process.  (These two paragraphs have an average grade level of about 14.)


The approaching perfect storm of economic decay and environmental catastrophe require action by all citizens to come to the aid of our country. (Average grade level of about 15.)

Regeneracy in The Fourth Turning

What is your evidence for the 23 following statements?
2016-2020

During Every Fourth Turning there is a Regeneracy.
Regeneracy – An action plan that unifies and energizes civic life.

  1. A drawing together into whatever definition of community is available at the time.
  2. People stop tolerating the weakening of institutions, the splintering of the culture, and the individualizing of daily behavior.
  3. Spiritual curiosity abates, manners traditionalize, and the culture is harnessed as propaganda for the purpose of overtly reinforcing good conduct.
  4. One to three years after the initial catalyst, people begin deputizing government to enforce it.
  5. Collective action is seen as vital to solving the societies most fundamental problems.
  6. With the civic ethos now capable of producing civic deeds, a new dynamic of threat and response takes hold.
  7. Instead of downplaying problems, leaders start exaggerating them.
  8. Instead of deferring solutions, they accelerate them. Instead of tolerating diversity, they demand consensus.
  9. Instead of coaxing people with promises of minimal sacrifice, they summon them with warnings of maximal sacrifice.
  10. Leaders energize every available institution and direct them toward community survival.”
  11. Society propels itself on a trajectory that nobody had foreseen.
  12. Societal problems that, in the Unraveling, posed insuperable dilemmas now appear to have simple if demanding solutions.
  13. A new resolve about urgent public goals crowds out qualms about questionable public means.
  14. Crisis eras are studded with faulty leadership and inept management. Surprisingly, the public often follows even when mistakes are made.
  15. Individuals are expected to comply with new standards of virtue.
  16. Family order strengthens, and personal violence and substance abuse decline.
  17. Those who persist in free-wheeling self-orientated behavior now face implacable public stigma, even punishment.
  18. Winner-take-all arrangements give way to new mechanisms of social sharing.
  19. Questions about who does what are settled on grounds of survival, not fairness.
  20. A renewed social division of labor by age / sex.
  21. Elders are expected to step aside for the young, women for men.  When danger looms, children are expected to be protected before parents, mothers before fathers.
  22. All Social arrangements are evaluated anew; pre-Crisis promises and expectations count for little.
  23. In the crisis, the pace of daily life will seem to slow down just as political and social change accelerates. (this vs. a past time of fast-paced personal lives against a background of public gridlock)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Earthquakes

Do people care about earthquakes?  In Oregon, we know earthquakes are real.  Earthquakes happen all the time but we can’t feel them.  We know death, destruction and refugees happen after earthquakes.  Few prepare for an earthquake.

Cities and States tell us to prepare for an earthquake. Pros are trained and equipped to deal with what happens after an earthquake.  Millions of dollars are spent every year to design new buildings, and remodel old buildings. 

There is a 20 percent chance we will be hit by a big earthquake in the next 50 years. There is a small chance one happens but we might die.  Should people understand a threat based chance? How do we engage people to take action to prepare for a statistic?

Climate change is a statistic: over decades the change in average atmospheric temperature is a change in the climate.  The consequences of climate change are not a statistic.  They are real and happening now.  

Oregon now has warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers.  But the results are not felt by everyone across the state.  The economic and health burden is not felt by everyone.  Low income families and those without proper healthcare have the worst outcomes while the wealthy and those able to pay for healthcare do not suffer.

Oregonians have a common vision, values and beliefs about earthquakes.  Ideology or politics does not matter when we talk about earthquakes.  But when we speak or write about climate change, misinformation, misunderstandings and fallacies took root over the past 50 years.  Overcoming 50 years of propaganda will not be easy.  The fossil fuel industry that has brainwashed American citizens.


Climate change is real and happening now.  We need to prepare in the same way that we prepare for a magnitude-8.0 or higher earthquake.  Like an earthquake, climate change has a very low probability and is an existential threat.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Climate Strategy Framework

Climate Strategy Framework
Revised October 26, 2016
By Richard Turnock

The Climate Strategy Framework emerges from a three dimensional framework of Core Ideas, Practices and System Concepts as defined in the Next Generation Science Standards.  Climate Practices guide investigations and the design thinking for problems and solutions to support implementation over time of the Core Ideas.  The Climate Practices depend on science and engineering skills, capabilities and experience.  The System Concepts bridge the gaps between the Core Ideas and inform the Climate Practices.

Core Ideas

The Core Ideas are the first dimension to the Climate Strategy Framework.  They are meant to be applied by individuals, neighbors, groups, cities, counties, states and at the federal level. Anyone, anywhere, at any time can implement these ideas.  These are actionable ideas.

First, to survive, we must adapt, mitigate risks and communicate.  We must recognize and prepare for Worse-Before-Better.  We must then work to adapt and mitigate risks faster than the crisis happens. We must deal with insecure sources of water, food and shelter, the migration of refugees and the violence of collapsing governments.   

In America, refugees will migrate to avoid the lack of drinking water, high food prices and inadequate protection from high temperatures.  Refugees will migrate north and west. Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska plus southern Canada will experience an influx of migrants.  Refugees will migrate north from Mexico and through Mexico from the south. Those with vehicles, money and privilege will be invisible.  The visible refugees will be low income and poor, without private transportation and lacking jobs when they arrive. America needs to look at Europe to avoid the same mistakes in responding to the refugee crisis. 

Second, we must work to stop CO2 emissions and rebuild our energy and transportation infrastructure to replace the use of fossil fuels.  Performance depends on multiple capabilities.  To survive, investments in renewable energy must rise above basic replacement on a global scale.

Third, we must learn faster how to adapt, mitigate risks, communicate and invest in renewable energy faster than the consequences of climate change erode our capabilities and sap morale.  The target needs to start with reduced CO2 emissions, then jump to net zero emissions and finally sequestering CO2 to reduce the concentration in the atmosphere.

The feedback loops in the atmosphere have a time period of decades.  Any decrease in CO2 emissions will not slow down the rising average temperature until at least ten years after they happen. Quarterly income statements are not going to tell the story of climate change. 

From 2015-2025, a critical capability is that we must improve the diversity of capabilities to do all of the above. We will not survive just by stopping CO2 emissions and investing in renewables.  We must also invest in carbon sinks to take CO2 out of the atmosphere.

The increase in automation across all market sectors will free up people to respond to the consequences of climate change (“Rise of the Robots” by Martin Ford). On a global scale, cities will need to increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. This requires advanced planning for adaptation ( http://secondnature.org/crux/ ).

List of Core Ideas

  1. Adapt
  2. Mitigate Risks
  3. Communicate
  4. Invest in Renewable Energy
  5. Stop CO2 emissions
  6. Remove CO2 from the atmosphere

Climate Practices

These Climate Practices are a second dimension to the Climate Strategy Framework. The Practices guide investigations and design of problems and solutions to support implementation over time of the Core Ideas.  The Practices depend on science and engineering skills, capabilities and experience.  A key practice will be Design Thinking.

The difference between success and failure is asking questions to support specifying criteria and constraints for acceptable solutions; generating and evaluating multiple solutions; building and testing prototypes; and optimizing a solution.  The Design Thinking Process used by Stanford dSchool ( http://dschool.stanford.edu ) is an example.  Also, here is an example of science and engineering practices paraphrased from the Next Generation Science Standards:

1. Ask questions and define problems
2. Develop and use models
3. Plan and carry out investigations
4. Analyze and interpret data
5. Use mathematics and computational thinking
6. Construct explanations and designing solutions
7. Engage in argument from evidence
8. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information

System Concepts

These System Concepts bridge the gaps between the Core Ideas and inform the Practices. System Concepts reveal the consequences of whole systems, while each of the Core Ideas are a way to divide a large issue like Climate Change into smaller problems. These concepts apply to all the Core Ideas and Practices. 

Systems Thinking is a way of describing the qualitative process of applying System Concepts to Climate Change.  System Dynamics implements a quantitative process.

Systems Thinkers see problems entirely differently. They see immense reinforcing feedback loops causing swarms of agents to exploit the Earth for their own benefit and population growth. This mode becomes unsustainable when balancing feedback loops finally start to push back as we approach environmental limits. 

Systems Thinkers do not see people’s misbehavior as the core problem. Instead, they see the structure of the system causing that misbehavior. To solve the problem, the system structure has to be understood and changed, so that feedback loops can be redesigned to cause people to behave more sustainably as a natural part of their everyday existence. (Dr. Michael von Kutzschenbach, http://www.bta-online.com/blog/2014/a-new-wave-to-management-thinking/)

These System Concepts were paraphrased from the Next Generation Science Standards:

  1. Patterns
  2. Cause and Effect
  3. Systems and System Models
  4. Function and Structure of Systems
  5. Stability and Dynamics of Systems


Reference:
Next Generation Science Standards


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rotary Club: The Four-Way Test of Climate Change

Using the Rotary Club Four-way test to create a narrative about the climate.

Rotary Club: The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do:
1 Is it the truth?
2 Is it fair to all concerned?
3 Will it build good will and better friendships?
4 Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
1. Yes, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are changing climate over time as measured by increasing variations from long-term averages for temperature, precipitation, storm strength, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and many other measurements of wildlife, plants and water.  Solutions include building renewable energy and shutting down fossil fuel energy industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Policy solutions include placing a price on carbon.  in the future, new technology will Improve processes to take greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere as a viable way to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

2. No, the consequences of the greenhouse effect are not fair to all concerned.  The poor and those living in developing countries now suffer the consequences of the CO2 emissions by North America and Europe, and a growing China.  Refugee camps in Africa, the Middle East and other locations have millions of people and get more people daily. The migration of climate refugees will continue to increase into the hundreds of millions.  The people who have not benefited from the energy produced by burning fossil fuels will suffer the worst consequences.

3. Yes, implementing solutions as a collective action will build good will and we are better together.  Bonding, communicating, explaining and inspiring each other works to increase action to deal with the consequences and to act on solutions.  Working together we build goodwill and better friendships.

American climate refugees will migrate from California and SW States into the NW States. Americans will be “snow birds” migrating north into NW and Eastern Canada during the summer.  Prior to 2020, the richest and those with jobs will relocate. Then a surprise American event will motivate the poorest and neediest to travel and become climate refugees.


4.  Yes, the global economy and the American economy will benefit.  Action will create jobs and improve living standards.  Converting the economy from fossil fuels to use electricity to power everything will improve health, wealth and income.

Not the Way Forward to The Future

Not The Way Forward

Conservatives believe in a way forward based on free markets, fiscal rectitude, sound money, constitutional liberty, non-intervention abroad, minimalist government at home and decentralized political rule.  However, given a clear and present danger, and the actual outbreak of hostilities, a majority will agree to mobilize the economy to fight a common enemy.

The Future

By 2019, the Sustainable Energy Transformation (SET) plans broke free of the climate denial concept. That year's plan stipulated that the SET Board should be established as early as practicable when an emergency was envisioned. No longer would economic mobilization for war be tied to the actual outbreak of hostilities. The policy change tacitly recognized the increasingly hostile national and international environment, and the long lead-times necessary to produce the increasingly sophisticated tools of Sustainable Energy Transformation.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Narratives About Climate

Physics

The Stefan–Boltzmann law states that the total energy radiated per unit surface area of a black body across all wavelengths per unit time, j*, is directly proportional to the fourth power of the black body's thermodynamic temperature T: 
After sunlight warms the top layer of land and oceans, Methane and Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere absorb energy radiated from the earth’s surface. We measure the heat energy in the atmosphere as temperature.  The more CO2 and Methane in the atmosphere, the more heat energy is absorbed and the higher the temperature of the atmosphere.  This is called the Greenhouse Effect.  The temperature of the atmosphere would be many times higher except the oceans absorb CO2 and heat from the atmosphere.
A graph of the history of the average temperature of the atmosphere looks like a hockey stick.  The handle represents the average temperature over 22,000 years.  The blade at the end represents the modern day rate of change in the average temperature of the atmosphere.

The consequences of the atmosphere and ocean temperatures increasing rapidly over decades results in changes to our weather in the short term.  Natural variations in weather become more extreme with prolonged drought, record high temperatures, flooding, sea level rise, crop failures and many other consequences.  These extreme weather events deprive people of water, food and shelter, and result in mass migrations.  Governments unprepared to deal with the chaos of climate refugees, will collapse and civil wars break out.

This story begins with physics and follows the cause and effect relationships through the earth’s systems when the root cause is increasing CO2 and Methane in the atmosphere creating the greenhouse effect.

Money

The first public narrative about the earth’s climate began with Dr. James Hansen testifying before Congress in 1988 about the greenhouse effect.  In order to maintain profits and growth, the fossil fuel industry created a narrative to counter the story of scientists like Dr. Hansen.  As an industry PR project, this included scientists, politicians and the media. Internal fossil fuel industry memos reveal decades of disinformation—a deliberate campaign to deceive the public that continues even today.

As early as 1977, representatives from major fossil fuel companies attended dozens of congressional hearings where the contribution of carbon emissions to the greenhouse effect was discussed.  A newly discovered email (2015) from a former Exxon employee revealed that the company was already factoring climate change into decisions about new fossil fuel extraction as early as 1981.

At risk were government subsidies, executive salaries and stock prices.  The fossil fuel industry is still fighting in 2016 against the idea that the climate is changing.

In 2016, the question of whether the 350.org fossil fuel divestment campaign will succeed as a purely economic tool might be secondary to Bill McKibben’s ability to motive a new generation to take positions – and take action – in the climate debate. (Only 46% of Millennials eligible to vote, actually voted in 2012).

Economists point out that the direct economic instrument of divestment was not what ended Apartheid, but the combined social and economic pressures that mounted and prevailed, as the global community identified and rejected a moral wrong.

War

“A World at War” by McKibben uses “War” as both a metaphor and as a real catastrophe that is happening in the present.  The divestment narrative is based on money.  McKibben’s latest narrative is based on “war.”

Two quotes stand out:

“The question is not, are we in a world war? The question is, will we fight back? And if we do, can we actually defeat an enemy as powerful and inexorable as the laws of physics?”

“In this war that we’re in—the war that physics is fighting hard, and that we aren’t—winning slowly is exactly the same as losing.”

In 1938, Neville Chamberlain came home from signing the Munich Agreement to cheering crowds: “We regard the agreement signed last night, and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.”  Of course Hitler was following his own set of rules.

In 2015, the COP21 agreement will not stop the war. The COP21 agreement is the same type of useless peace agreement that Neville Chamberlain negotiated in 1935 and 1938.

That is why Margaret Klein Salamon started TheClimateMobilization.org —to support mobilizing America like we did for WWII.  Salamon introduced to the climate movement the concept of “emergency mode”: how individuals and groups function optimally during an existential or moral crisis.  Groups often achieve great feats through intensely focused motivation. Salamon argues that the goal of the climate movement must be to lead the public out of “normal” mode and into emergency mode.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders began speaking out with the same message as Salamon.  Then in the summer of 2016, the Democrat’s platform had statements included that support mobilization.  On August 15, 2016, McKibben published his article “A World at War.”

Religion

From 1988, when we heard the narrative was about physics and the greenhouse effect, through the money narrative of profits and divesture, the first person to begin weaving multiple narratives together was Pope Francis.

On May 24, 2015, Pope Francis published “On Care For Our Common Home.”  This Encyclical Letter, while addressing the environment directly, the document’s scope is broader in many ways looking at man’s effect on the environment, and the many philosophical, theological, and cultural causes that threaten the relationships of man to nature and man to each other in various circumstances.

The Pope’s primary message is that what we all need is an ‘ecological conversion.’ There is a moral wrong, an existential crisis, and we all need to leave behind our old values and beliefs.  To encourage an ecological conversion the Organization of American States has created “A Platform for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Dialogue” based on the Encyclical Letter.  A group from OAS met with the Pope in September 2016 in Rome.

The Native American blockade of the Dakota Pipeline is a narrative based on their established religious beliefs.  The bottom line for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is: “….protecting our lands, people, water, and sacred sites from the devastation of this pipeline.”  The situation in North Dakota has rekindled the debate about the rights and sovereignty of first nations in the United States, consistent breaches of treaties and guarantees.

The One Narrative

These separate narratives—physics, money, war and religion—need to be aligned and integrated into one narrative.   These will be intertwined with other major societal, economic and environmental challenges such as an aging population, resource depletion, soaring inequality, technological unemployment due to automation, with the consequences of climate change.


We need a narrative that describes a disruption of our entire system, such that the public gets out of “normal” mode and into emergency mode, to initiate a fundamental restructuring.  A world wide restructuring on the scale of the mobilization for WWII.