Changing climate change

The UK government just released a major report on climate change, this time ackowledging the dangers of reaching a tipping point beyond which change becomes irreversible. (Also, Blair wrote an intro in which he acknowledged humans are causing unsustainable climate change, bet Bush will love that.) The main points are summarised here.

Similarly to the global spin post a couple down:

“The biggest problem does not seem to be the technologies or the costs, but overcoming the many political, social and behavioural barriers to implementing mitigation options,” conclude Bert Metz and Detlef van Vuuren of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

“There is a multitude of potential obstacles, ranging from lack of awareness, vested interests, prices not reflecting environmental impacts, cultural and behavioural barriers to change and, in the case of spreading technologies to developing countries, the lack of an effective enabling environment for new investments.”

Which is the maddening truth of things. We have options. We can do things differently. We are choosing to not be aware of them (by paying attention to celebrity trivia and movies, et al); we are choosing to make pots of money in the short term instead of accepting that money is fundamentally worth only what we believe it to be, while without our habitat we die; we continue to convince ourselves that big TV’s and SUV’s and abdominal muscles are some sign of worth and security rather than a dangerous ignorance.

And again, an epic plug for worldchanging (in the links to the right) as a place where you can find out a lot more about our alternatives.

Or you could write to your MP or newspaper expressing concern and desire for action on these issues.

Consciousness wiki

We of the dancing moose have decided that the wiki component of this site shall be under the theme “consciousness”.

Initially the scope was intended to be broader, but that feels like a reformulation of the material in the novel, and who the hell has the time to compete with Wikipedia anyway?

So yes. Consciousness and related matters. An ongoing work in progress, coming soon.

global spin

“Communicating with the public seems to be essential,” he said, “because public concern is probably the only thing capable of overcoming the special interests that have obfuscated the topic.”

Jim Hanson, leading NASA climate scientist, who claims attempts have been made to restrict him speaking out about what the data show.

This reminds the moose to recommend once more Global Spin by Sharon Beder, the most extraordinary expose of big business funded public relations propaganda around environmental matters.

we the target

The BBC reports on US plans for information warfare – including readiness to “fight the net”.

Which is all eye opening in its way but nothing new to those familiar with the doctrine/psychosis of full spectrum dominance. But what struck this moose as cute were these comments about psychological warfare operations:

“Information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and Psyops, is increasingly consumed by our domestic audience,” it reads.

“Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public,” it goes on.

The document’s authors acknowledge that American news media should not unwittingly broadcast military propaganda. “Specific boundaries should be established,” they write. But they don’t seem to explain how.

“In this day and age it is impossible to prevent stories that are fed abroad as part of psychological operations propaganda from blowing back into the United States – even though they were directed abroad,” says Kristin Adair of the National Security Archive.

While it is nice they say they shouldn’t really be deliberately misinforming their own people, it is useful to remember that information (and deliberate misinformation) can be a form of warfare, and receive official confirmation that we in the rest of the world, allies or not, are also the targets of that warfare. It makes evaluating presented data -like, say, the rationale for invading Iraq – a whole other game.

Hamas win Palestine elections

Now there’s a cat among the pigeons.

Hamas have won a clear majority (at least 70 seats, enough to rule alone) in their first time contesting parliamentary elections.

Points of interest:
* the Palestinian parliament under occupation has very limited rights and powers under the Oslo accords
* many Palestinians (1.3 million) were unable to vote in the elections because they are on the wrong side of the ‘Green line’, or have left the country
* those who can vote are those directly experiencing the military occupation
* Hamas accepts negotiations with Israel as part of a more moderate election stance, which by default acknowledges Israel’s existence for the first time; media sources seem mixed on this point, US and Israel announcements so far seem to be ignoring it, going for big we don’t deal with terrorists lines.

Now, since this has been declared a model election, and America is all for “spreading democracy” to the Arab world, it will be interesting to see how the American-Israeli pigeons fly.

the street finds its own uses for things…

Head on over to the whiskey bar and check out this surreal piece

Iraqi insurgents have taken to releasing studio based talk-show format videos, including skater-style greatest hits and tricks type showreels of blowing things up. Due to competition between insurgent groups, another group released a COPS-style reality TV piece featuring them hunting down, torturing and executing the other group of insurgents after they confessed.

How weird is this? Well, over to Billmon:

“The strategy and politics of it aside, though, the most striking thing about the “Abu Zarqawi Hour” is how it demonstrates the deranged, almost hallucinatory, quality of our 21st century global village, in which the remaining boundaries between reality, propaganda and entertainment are all being rapidly erased, just as Paddy Chayefsky predicted 30 years ago. It may not be a revolution, exactly, but it is being televised.”

(In other random culture/terrorism crossover news, in his most recent message, Osama Bin Laden plugged William Blum’s book Rogue State: A guide to the world’s only superpower (now in its third edition!). The moose owns this, and likewise endorses it with a certain amusement. You could also check out Blum’s Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions since 1945, as seriously eye-opening points of view.)

Review: Penguin History of New Zealand – Michael King

Finally got around to reading this, in the most salubrious of settings, an 1860’s homestead on the east coast. A few tumblers clicked into place throughout the book, which really is an essential read for kiwis – this or something like it, because dammit we need to know our history to make any sense of our present. In particular, it recontextualised a good deal of the maori-pakeha relationship for me, and explained a hell of a lot about the racial attitudes of certain age groups. A good read, which definitely provides jumping off points for further explorations into our past.

Review: Pattern Recognition – William Gibson

It is interesting that in twenty years Gibson has moved from being a groundbreaking science fiction writer to one of our most relevant contemporary novelists. At least, that is the moose’s impression after reading Pattern Recognition. Haven’t read anything of his since Neuromancer. Gibson’s prose is a hell of a lot better now. Enjoyed it thoroughly, but then with the overlap of interests in technology and how people cope with the influence of such on their lives, that’s perhaps unsurprising. PR attempts to come to grips with the modern world and pace of change and shifting of identity. The plot is fast paced and provides a satisfying enough conclusion, but one which really isn’t the point of the book – often the way, really; the mystery is the thing, the solution usually somewhat of a disappointment.

S’funny, realisng my reviews rarely say anything about the content of a book, just impressions thereof. Hope that isn’t totally useless to the rest of creation. Ach.

New Zealand!

Fuck yeah!

patriotism testing

This is creepy as all hell.

Next Page »