Thursday, February 23, 2017

Statement About Climate Change

February 23, 2017

Climate change is real and happening now.  The laws of physics are the truth.  Our belief comes from our personal observations and scientific reporting.  The justification is based on science, verified and validated evidence and experiments from the 1800s.  As a result of these three - truth, belief and justification - we create the knowledge that climate change is real and happening now.  Justified true belief creates knowledge.

Actions by local, city, county and state government, will be to plan how to adapt to high probability of a 5.4 degrees F (3 degrees C) increase in global average temperature.  Oh, wait, you can’t feel a global average temperature to know what that means.  Why should we take action based on a statistic?

The Arctic Sea will be ice free all summer.  Mexico will be a dust bowl.  Half of Florida will be covered by salt water every day, all day.  Wildfires will continue to reduce the forested land west of the Rocky Mountains.  A warmer atmosphere means the air will hold more water during storms, increasing flooding.  Unsustainable oceans means hundreds of millions of people will have food insecurity every day.  These are consequences in the future? Why should we worry about that now?

Oregon citizens are going to feel the consequences of climate change when refugees seek water, food and shelter after arriving from California, Central America, Mexico and Asia.  These people do not want to take our jobs.  These are people seeking safety and asylum.  They are simply trying to survive.

The second action will be to plan for mitigating risks specific to each region of Oregon.  For example, western Oregon will experience more rain, less snow, warmer winters and drier summers.  This will mean more invasive insects damaging crops, diseases spread by mosquitoes, and refugees.  Eastern and Southern Oregon will experience drought.

Oregon will experience wildfires, drought, floods and unsustainable ocean fishing.  In one state, Oregon has all of the different types of land, sea and air that are found in other places.  Oregon will be a small example of all the different consequences of climate change.

Humans everywhere experience weather.  Climate change and global warming are statistics.  Our brain does not understand statistics.  We do not feel motived to prepare for low probability events.  When the average global temperature increases by a fraction of a degree over 10 years, what am I suppose to do?

History of Science of Global Warming

In the early 1800s, Joseph Fourier asked “What determines the temperature of the surface of Earth?”  In the 1820s, Fourier calculated that an object the size of the Earth, and at its distance from the Sun, should be considerably colder than the planet actually is if warmed by only the effects of incoming solar radiation.  What was keeping the surface of the Earth warm enough for humans to survive?

In 1859 John Tyndall, a professor of natural philosophy at London’s Royal Institution and a keen mountaineer, decided to test whether gases in the atmosphere could trap heat. Unlike water vapor that cycles in and out of the atmosphere relatively quickly, by contrast carbon dioxide is not influenced by weather and persists in the atmosphere for centuries.  Increasing or decreasing CO2 changes Earth’s temperature, that effects the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, thus effecting the temperature.

Svante Arrhenius (19 February 1859 – 2 October 1927), one of Sweden’s preeminent chemists, thought that what humans were doing on an increasingly large scale just might make his native land a little warmer. In the mid-1890s, he set about completing the arduous calculations to prove his point.

In the 21st Century, Arrenhius’s idea that humans could make Sweden warmer seems like a prophecy. Today’s climate-change skeptics would have us believe that the whole notion of global warming is a relatively recent, half-baked idea dreamed up by a cabal of liberal scientists bent on destroying the U.S. economy. However, the roots of scientific thinking about Earth’s temperature are clear from reading the history of science in the late 1800s.

Monday, February 20, 2017

When Is The President Like A Bathtub?

Consider a bathtub.  First, start with a plug in the drain and turn on the faucet.  Before the tub overflows you turn off the inflow from the faucet.  Now, record the level and then pull the plug.  Every 10 seconds record the level of the water - the height from the drain to the level of the water in the bathtub.  Graph the data.  Describe the shape of the curve.

In a second experiment, take the plug out of the drain. Turn on the inflow faucet, change to different flow amounts for a few minutes each and record the level of the tub. Turn off the inflow faucet and let the water drain repeating the measurements above in the first experiment.

Graph the results of changes in level over time with different inflows.  Notice that the outflow drain was not changed in any way. 

In a third experiment, draw a stock and flow diagram of a bathtub. A stock represents the bathtub.  An inflow from a “cloud,” has an arrow into the stock.  An outflow (drain) connects to the stock and has an arrow pointing into a “cloud”.  

The physics is hidden from eyesight. The water pressure changes at the drain based on the height of the water column above the drain.  The stock and flow model shows this as a feedback loop from the stock (bathtub) to the outflow (drain).  As the water level changes, the outflow rate changes.

Our next experiments use the model on the computer.  First we change the names.  Stock is now “Self Esteem.”  Inflow is “Affirmations.”  Outflow is “Self Talk.”

School teachers in the 1980s were told to give students positive affirmations in order to increase student self esteem.  The scientific research showed that students with higher self esteem had higher test scores.

Teachers quickly discovered that the positive affirmations had a short term effect on improving self esteem.  Further research showed that everyone has a regulator in our mind that is often called “Self Talk” that maintains our self esteem at a “target” level.

Now we need to change our model to add “target” as a constant and connect this value with the outflow rate for Self Talk.  The equation calculates the difference between the level of the stock, the value of Self Esteem, and the target value, then multiplied by the rate of change due to the Self Talk. As the positive affirmations fluctuate, the calculated difference changes, and the rate of outflow changes.  Sometimes the Self Talk increases in value to bring the Self Esteem down faster as the difference between the target and actual Self Esteem increases.
I have never spoken to Trump and I am not qualified to diagnosis his behavior.  This model applies to all of us. As an example, let’s apply this model to a person that has low self esteem.

A person with a low “target” self esteem, might receive positive affirmations and have a short-lived boost in self esteem that quickly decreases back to the target value without a constant flow of positive affirmations.

In order to boost the self esteem of our example person, a constant inflow of positive affirmations are required to maintain a higher level of self esteem than the “target” level.  Our example person would seek out ways to find people who would give them constant positive affirmations.  If they have a lot of money, they could “buy” a constant flow of positive affirmations from the people around them.

Our example person, with low self esteem, could be like “The Emperor’s New Clothes” story about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent.

The clothes represent an inflow of positive affirmations from the weavers.  The people around our example person are the weavers he is paying to give him a constant flow of positive affirmations.  If an adult or a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!”, then they are fired or removed from access to our example person.

Any criticism of our example person, or facts that don’t agree with the world view of our example person, are quickly suppressed or discredited or not heard by the example person.  The example person learns to tell stories in public that are positive affirmations that boost their own self esteem when their audience agrees with them. In our example person, false information, conspiracy theories and blatant lies become a constant flow of positive affirmations believed by his audience.

A systems thinker understands that cause and effect are separate in time and space.  Our example person does not understand cause and effect as part of a system's perspective of the world.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Constitutional Crisis

On November 8, 2016, with the election of Donald Trump as President, followed by the formal confirmation by the Electoral College and the inauguration, the United States of America entered into a Constitutional Crisis Era.

Prior to November 8, many variables and significant uncertainty contributed to the confusion over why and how Donald Trump might win the election. The polls showed he was not going to win the popular vote.  On November 8, 73.6 million people voted for someone else, while 63 million voted for Trump.  He lost the popular vote by 10.6 million.

The tipping point was when a foreign government exploited a weakness in America’s election system so that a minority of states, and a minority of voters within three states, determined the outcome of an election for President in the Electoral College.

The Constitution and our laws were designed to create a system that would protect against an authoritarian President.  However, the Russian government was able to organize at least 1,000 people in their months long propaganda campaign to not allow Hillary Clinton to become President.  At the same time, they were able to elect a man who’s very existence as a successful businessman depends on the investments approved by the highest levels of the Russian government.

The justification and methods to remove a President from office have worked successfully in the past so that America slowly worked our way through a crisis period.  In 2017, America has a Constitutional Crisis because we have no clear way to resolve our current dilemma.

With the Republican Party controlling the House and Senate, and the office of the President, plus the House of Representatives inexperience and unwillingness to impeach a Republican President, Trump will be able to continue as President.  The majority of voters in America recognize this as a crisis situation, and we are anxious, nervous and afraid of the consequences of inaction by the Republican controlled House.

The dilemma of inaction feels like watching in slow motion as an airplane full of people spirals slowly down toward the ground and never crashes.  We are living a nightmare.

Why and how do the people remove a POTUS when the House of Representatives will not act?  How do the people modify the Constitution and our laws to prevent a foreign government from ever again exploiting the Electoral College, while the Republican Party is obstructing every attempt to have an ethical and moral government.

You and your elected colleagues need to raise your voices and call this situation a Constitutional Crisis.  We need to find a way to remove the President and his appointed officials from office as soon as possible.  Otherwise Russia will expand their economic, political and military control over Europe and Asia, without resistance from America due to inaction by POTUS and the Republican Party controlling the House of Representatives.  People without affordable health care will die.  People will experience the consequences of climate change caused by CO2 pollution of the atmosphere.

We have a Constitutional Crisis defined by one Party controlling all the positions of power, and a President who’s family business success is controlled by a foreign government that is clearly America’s enemy.  Russia threatens Europe by cutting off natural gas deliveries, raising prices, interfering in elections, invading Crimea, starting a proxy war in Ukraine, and probing America with a spy ship, a cruse missile launch and close encounters between military planes.

Evidence exists to show that Republicans have significant contributions from the healthcare and fossil fuel industries.  The repeal of the ACA and EPA are their top priorities to benefit those industries.  Again, we have a Constitutional Crisis with Republicans in control and making decisions to benefit a few rich people. There is no clear way to resolve the power of money to influence political decisions.

Why and how is the Democratic Party going to transcend this Constitutional Crisis?  There does not appear to be a third way for America to successfully remove an illegitimate administration, and corrupt politicians from control of the federal government.  The FBI and CIA are investigating Trump’s ties to Russia.  But will the Republicans take action based on evidence or ideology?

You must work hard to develop a strategy that uses non-violent methods (198 listed by Gene Sharp at ) to create a movement of movements, to get #TheResistance to form an alliance.  All the tribes, clans, clubs, chapters and huddles must be aligned with one purpose in order to overthrow the minority now in control of the federal government through illegitimate means:  interference of a foreign government and corrupt politicians doing what corporations want.

We have a Constitutional Crisis unlike any crisis in America’s history. The resolution of this crisis will change America forever.  The crisis climax will surprise everyone, except those of you with the foresight to stretch your minds across time and space for the truth.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


Government exists only by the consent of the governed.

At the intersection of racism and climate change is air pollution.
"...several forms of domination intersect – we know, for instance, that the most affected by air pollution are often people of colour, living in popular neighborhoods and more generally, there is rising evidence of environmental racism (an issue that Black Lives Matter has contributed to raise within the climate movement)."

We tend to lean on a passive approach of solidarity by depending marching to build a movement.

"Muslim leaders gathered in Istanbul adopted a declaration on climate change that went further than Laudate Si – e.g. explicitly calling for divestment. Yet we have done little about it. It’s time to fill the gap! This will have an impact on both our divestment campaign and on our capacity to be more efficient when it comes to building solidarity."


Withdrawing Cooperation

Building Genuine Solidarity

In the words of Hoda Baraka
“Climate change knows no boundaries and neither will we”.


Theodore Roosevelt
Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic"
delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.