Daily Archives: February 8, 2021

Slavoj Zizek — Why I Am Still Some Kind of A Communist

The Radical Revolution– Jun 12, 2020

Zizek discusses the ways in which much of the left has abandoned belief in a post-capitalist world and has come to terms with accepting liberal democracy as final to focus on more marginal cultural issues, such as feminism, racism, etc. In opposition to this, Zizek argue that he remains some kind of a communist precisely because we continue to face immense, global pressures (mass migrations, climate change) which liberal democracies cannot solve n their own.

Slavoj Zizek — Why People Don’t Care About Climate Change

The Radical Revolution= Jun 25, 2020

Zizek discusses Karl Marx and his description of the proletarian experience. Specifically, he argues that one of the reasons why working-class and middle-class people today do not engage critically enough with capitalism is because the problems associated with it, from financial speculation all the way to climate change, has become divorced from their everyday experience and reality.

Slavoj Zizek: The Delusion of Green Capitalism

FORA.tv – Apr 20, 2011

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2011/04/04/Slavoj_Zize…​

Philosopher Slavoj Zizek argues environmentally conscious consumers are desperate for simple tasks they can perform to alleviate their guilt, so they do things like purchase overpriced organic produce. Zizek also highlights Starbucks, which he suggests attracts customers by appealing to their sense of altruism.

The Committee on Globalization and Social Change will launch with a special lecture by philosopher and critic Slavoj Zizek who will speak on “The Situation Is Catastrophic, but Not Serious.” This alleged message of the Austrian military headquarters during WWI renders perfectly our attitude towards the ongoing crisis: we are aware of the looming (ecological, social) catastrophes, but we somehow don’t take them seriously. What ideology sustains such an attitude?

The Committee on Globalization and Social Change (CGSC) is an interdisciplinary working group composed of a core group of CUNY faculty interested in reflecting on globalization as an analytic category for understanding social change.

Slavoj Zizek, born 1949 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Senior Researcher at Birkbeck College, University of London, is a Hegelian Philosopher, Lacanian psychoanalyst, Christian atheist, Communist political activist, and he thinks these four features are four aspects of one and the same Cause. His latest publications are: in philosophy The Parallax View, in psychoanalysis How to Read Lacan, in theology The Monstrosity of Christ, and in politics Living at the End Times.

Why Build Venice?

Atlas Pro – Aug 28, 2019

Audio sounded weird to me but no matter what I tried it wouldn’t change.

Why Bill Gates Is Funding Solar Geoengineering Research (David Keith)

CNBC – Sep 7, 2019

Fires burning across the Amazon rainforest have renewed the debate about solutions to climate change. Bill Gates is backing the first high-altitude experiment of one radical approach called solar geoengineering. It’s meant to mimic the effects of a giant volcanic eruption. Thousands of planes would fly at high altitudes, spraying millions of tons of particles around the planet to create a massive chemical cloud that would cool the surface.

“Modeling studies have found that it could reduce the intensity of heat waves, for instance, apparently it could reduce the rate of sea level rise. It could reduce the intensity of tropical storms,” said Andy Parker, project director at the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative.

The technology is not far from being ready and it’s affordable, but it could cause massive changes in regional weather patterns and eradicate blue sky.

“These consequences might be horrific. They might involve things like mass famine, mass flooding, drought of kinds that will affect very large populations,” said Stephen Gardiner, author of “A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change.”

Watch the video to learn how it would work and hear the debate around the ethics and efficacy of solar geoengineering.

Could solar geoengineering counter global warming? | The Economist – (David Keith)

The Economist – Jul 22, 2019

Global warming is probably the biggest threat facing humanity. If all else fails, could climate-controlling technology be the answer?

Read more here: https://econ.st/2JSpnRm​
Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy​

This was one of the biggest volcanic explosions in history. It happened on June 15th 1991 in the north-west of the Philippines. It was so powerful it produced a gas cloud that reached the stratosphere. The explosion caused a lot of damage locally but the cloud itself did something extraordinary – it lowered the Earth’s temperature for four years.

Sulphur dioxide in the cloud created particles which spread around the Earth. These then reflected some of the sun’s rays into space. Scientists are looking to mimic the effects of this phenomenon to counter global warming. It’s a highly controversial concept known as solar geoengineering. Climate change is probably the biggest problem humanity faces today. In the past 25 years the global average temperature has risen by 0.5°C

So far governments have focused on policies for cutting emissions but they keep rising. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen 15% since 1994. The Paris agreement, signed by 175 parties in 2016 was a sign that countries were willing to work together to cut emissions. But not every world leader is on board.

If emissions aren’t reduced, what next?

In that Harvard and Yale study they imagined building a fleet of planes – up to 95 of them that would make 60,000 flights a year. The fleet would spread hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere every year. After 15 years they reckon the world would cool by 0.3°C. But there are reasons not to do this. One of the biggest concerns is that it could make governments complacent.

It would also be politically messy. If the plan is to put a thermostat on the Earth deciding who has their hand on the dial won’t be easy.

A Swiss proposal to study geoengineering and how it should be regulated was recently put forward at the UN Environment Assembly. But America and Saudi Arabia opposed the motion – possibly because they don’t want international regulation of geoengineering. As things stand not enough is known about how it could impact the climate or the chemistry of the atmosphere.

There could be unexpected consequences.

The politics of solar geoengineering are so complex that it might never happen. That said, as the world continues to warm the case for exploring radical measures grows stronger.

Could Geoengineering save us from climate change? (ft. @ClimateAdam) – David Keith, et. al. ?

Our Changing Climate – May 22, 2020

Be one of the first 200 people to sign up with this link and get 20% off your subscription with Brilliant.org! https://brilliant.org/OCC/​ In this Our Changing Climate environmental video essay, I join forces with @ClimateAdam​ to look at silver bullet geoengineering solutions to climate change. Specifically, we look at how silver bullet geoengineering ideas can be appealing in theory, but in practice they often have a lot of ethical, economic, and social drawbacks. We dive deep into two geoengineering practices that some are touting as climate saviors: Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage and Solar Radiation Management (specifically Stratospheric Aerosol Injection). Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage is a very appealing geoengineering technology but it requires massive amounts of land if it is scaled up. Stratospheric Aerosol Injection essentially dims the sun and there are many climate-related drawbacks as well as political ramifications that could arise if we use aerosol injections as a way to stave off the worst of climate change. Essentially these geoengineering silver bullet propositions are in many ways an excuse for us to continue business as usual instead of digging in and actually reducing emissions.

Webinar: Two approaches for mitigating global climate change

AGU – Oct 22, 2020

Professor Alan Robock, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, will discuss the benefits and risks of stratospheric sulfur geoengineering (or climate intervention). In his presentation “Stratospheric Sulfur Geoengineering – Benefits and Risks”, Dr. Robock will present the current results from his ongoing Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project which is using climate model experiments with standard stratospheric aerosol injection scenarios. He will show results indicating that if there SO2 could be continuously injected into the lower stratosphere, it would produce global cooling, stop melting of the ice caps, and increase the uptake of CO2 by plants. On the flip side, Dr. Robock posits that there are at least 27 reasons why stratospheric geoengineering may be a bad idea.

Professor Marilyn Brown, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, will discuss how U.S. states can most effectively reduce their carbon footprints. In her presentation “Translating a Global Emissions Reduction Framework for Sub-National Climate Action: A Case Study from the State of Georgia”, she will describe a process that considers (1) Georgia’s baseline carbon footprint and trends, (2) the universe of Georgia-specific carbon-reduction solutions that could be impactful by 2030–including both mitigation and natural carbon sinks, (3) the greenhouse gas reduction potential of high-impact 2030 solutions for Georgia, and (4) associated costs and benefits including “beyond carbon” priorities, such as job creation, public health, environmental benefits, and equity. The process that employs these data is systematic and replicable and can be used by other states to identify high-impact solutions. Professor Brown will discuss its strengths and weaknesses and planned future research.

20 Reasons Why Geoengineering May Be a Bad Idea – Alan Robock, 2008


Carbon dioxide emissions are rising so fast that some scientists are seriously considering putting Earth on life support as a last resort. But is this cure worse than the disease?

The stated objective of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere “at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” Though the framework convention did not define “dangerous,” that level is now generally considered to be about 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; the current concentration is about 385 ppm, up from 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution.

In light of society’s failure to act con-certedly to deal with global warming in spite of the framework convention agreement, two prominent atmospheric scientists recently suggested that humans consider geoengineering–in this case, deliberate modification of the climate to achieve specific effects such as cooling–to address global warming. Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, who is well regarded for his work on ozone damage and nuclear winter, spearheaded a special August 2006 issue of Climatic Change with a controversial editorial about injecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere as a means to block sunlight and cool Earth. Another respected climate scientist, Tom Wigley, followed up with a feasibility study in Science that advocated the same approach in combination with emissions reduction.1

The idea of geoengineering traces its genesis to military strategy during the early years of the Cold War, when scientists in the United States and the Soviet Union devoted considerable funds and research efforts to controlling the weather. Some early geoengineering theories involved damming the Strait of Gibraltar and the Bering Strait as a way to warm the Arctic, making Siberia more habitable.2 Since scientists became aware of rising concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, however, some have proposed artificially altering climate and weather patterns to reverse or mask the effects of global warming.

Some geoengineering schemes aim to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, through natural or mechanical means. Ocean fertilization, where iron dust is dumped into the open ocean to trigger algal blooms; genetic modification of crops to increase biotic carbon uptake; carbon capture and storage techniques such as those proposed to outfit coal plants; and planting forests are such examples. Other schemes involve blocking or reflecting incoming solar radiation, for example by spraying seawater hundreds of meters into the air to seed the formation of stratocumulus clouds over the subtropical ocean.3

Two strategies to reduce incoming solar radiation–stratospheric aerosol injection as proposed by Crutzen and space-based sun shields (i.e., mirrors or shades placed in orbit between the sun and Earth)–are among the most widely discussed geoengineering schemes in scientific circles. While these schemes (if they could be built) would cool Earth, they might also have adverse consequences. Several papers in the August 2006 Climatic Change discussed some of these issues, but here I present a fairly comprehensive list of reasons why geoengineering might be a bad idea, first written down during a two-day NASA-sponsored conference on Managing Solar Radiation (a rather audacious title) in November 2006.4 These concerns address unknowns in climate system response; effects on human quality of life; and the political, ethical, and moral issues raised.

…(read more).

See related:

See further statements about Professor David Keith’s approach to geoengineering.

The End of White Christian America: A Conversation with E. J. Dionne and Robert P. Jones

Harvard Divinity School

Feb 22, 2018
America is no longer a majority white Christian nation. Journalist, author, commentator, and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne and Dr. Robert P. Jones, author of “The End of White Christian America,” discuss this seismic change, its impact on the politics and social values of the United States, and its implications for the future.

Learn more about Harvard Divinity School and its mission to illuminate, engage, and serve at hds.harvard.edu/.