Thursday, April 10, 2014

2020 in Oklahoma ?

Looking through my WordPad index for something else, I found a snippet I'd saved in 2012, from a thread of comments at Common Dreams under an article by George Monbiot headed "Stop This Culture of Paying Politicians for Denying Climate Change".
NC Tom's imaginative comment I'd stumbled across again, two years on, rings ever more insightful by the month. At present, in our drought-ridden south-western section of Oklahoma, outdoor watering of grass and gardens is restricted to just two designated days and must be done before 9 am. A complete ban on outdoor watering waits in the wings.

Comment written by NC Tom in 2012:

The year is 2020. 86 year old [James] Inhofe is up for re-election. Perryton and Woodward Oklahoma have been abandoned because of lack of water. The only farmable land is near the state's lakes, where they can be used for irrigation. The meager rainfall the state has been receiving for the last decade has not been able to keep those lakes full, and their level noticeably drops every year. The situation is unsustainable.

At a mid October campaign rally, the still defiant Inhofe railed against those "ecology nuts" that said man made climate change was getting so bad that within 10-15 years the heartland of the country would be uninhabitable. "What the hell do those idiots know?" He yelled as loud as his old man lungs would allow so he could be heard over the bank of fans that were doing their best to keep him cool. "This is just 'La Grande Nina'* causing this little heat wave. Plus it's mid October, and it's supposed to be hot!"

That first Tuesday in November most of Oklahoma was experiencing daytime temps of 140 − 145 degrees F. For safety reasons it was decided to hold the election at night, when the temps got down to the tolerable mid 90s.

Turnout was better than expected because everyone who went to the polls would get a free hand held fan with the image of none other than Jesus Christ himself on it, with the slogan "Jesus Cools" sprawled across the top.

The next morning the election results were no surprise, Inhofe won hands down. His campaign platform of "Don't let the environmental wackos, take away your pickup." was hugely popular.

Later that day a representative from Koch Industries congratulated him on his win. Inhofe thanked them for all the money they had given him over the years, and he also thanked them for the retreat they had built for him and his family in northern Alaska, called "Tulsa Two" or 2Ts for short.

He chuckled over the phone, "I don't know why everybody is whining about the weather around here, up there at 2Ts things are just fine..."

*Note: La Grande Nina was coined by the Heritage Foundation, in an attempt to explain away the high temps.

Then there's this, from Tuesday this week:

Oklahoma Being Swamped by Earthquakes, But It's Probably Just A Coincidence There's All This Drilling Right Nearby

A series of earthquakes rocked Oklahoma over the weekend - six Friday night alone - thus continuing an alarming trend: Already this year, the state's 252 quakes have "crushed" last year's record of 222 quakes.

“What you’ve got to understand, son,” says the doctor, “is it’s all the fault of the alien space bats.”
(Cory Doctorow, The Rapture of the Nerds: A tale of the singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social situations.)


R J Adams said...

Yes, it's amazing how "loads o' money" makes people blind. Monbiot's latest offering is of interest. He hones in on Unilever:

mike said...

Whether one believes in climate change or not, it's obvious that water is in short supply in many areas. My area has been in water restriction for the past year, yet my neighbors continue to water their lawns and fill their swimming pools with gusto on the days allowed...water pressure noticeably decreases on those days...get it while you can...gotta keep the grass green. 99% of all lawns here are planted in St. Augustine grass, a tropical grass that requires lots of water and fertilizer, hence frequent lawn mowing usually with gasoline, two-stroke, polluting lawn mowers. Oy vey! Corpus is on the edge of the desert and has frequent's part of our historical climate pattern. If homeowners must have grass, there are excellent drought-tolerant choices for all areas of our country.

I have xeriscaping and I haven't watered any of my plants. My entire property is planted without grass. People are always asking me questions about it and I'm frequently commended for its beauty. I have many plants that attract and support birds and insects. I planted only fruiting trees for my benefit and the animals that frequent my trees. I have many varieties of flowering plants to feed our poor monarch butterflies that migrate through this area...the monarchs may be on their last legs:

I definitely believe in and support the climate change data and the need for us humans to immediately change our ways. But, alas, methinks it's too late. We can only endure consequences at this point, minimize emissions, conserve, and support technologies that might assist this endeavor.

Climate change ideology is very similar to the debate over evolution vs creationism...polarizing and ridiculous...get with the scientific evidence and be done. Big, polluting industry and the corporate, rich, elite headmasters of such, plus the puppet, sycophant politicians that patronize their handlers have the burden of shame and the karma of killing the Earth. BUT, the average Joe shares this, too...we don't particularly want to hear the climate change message, as it means a drastically altered lifestyle and economic decline as more resources are applied to assist this problem that will eventually kill most life on to put the day of reckoning off for another day. We'll just keep dealing with the consequences of the change, rather than face the issue.

mike (again) said...

I just read RJ Adams' Monbiot article. I can't disagree with any of it. However, that article, like so many others, tends to make consumers appear as innocent fawns in the glare of the headlights. And I'll probably take some flack from you, Twilight, as you are very supportive of average citizens as prey for the corporate and political lions.

A vast majority of average citizens consume these highly processed, usually synthetic, corporate products, thereby supporting the corporations we hate. As the article states, we buy these products, because there's something in it for us, usually convenience or vanity. Old-fashioned, simple, more environmentally friendly products are available, but lack the glam or ease. Much research has revealed that the average consumer is just as attracted, if not more so, to the wrapper-packaging rather than the product itself!

A majority of citizens work for companies that are the corporations we hate or work for raw material suppliers or in some fashion receive benefit from the corporations. The high-level employees scheme to increase profits. Low-level employees are very apt to be supportive of their company. All employees are likely to cast votes favorable to their industry. These same employees come home at night to neighbors that work for other companies they hate.

Just mention "job creation" and you have an instant support of the Keystone pipeline. Jobs are more important that the environment...we'll worry about a spill when it happens. And who cares about the pollution the tar sands will create when burned? The EPA is overstepping.

Many Americans have investments of some type, usually retirement funds. These funds typically are not invested in environmentally friendly industries and utilize politics for financial gain. The typical investor wants big returns on their investment, which favors growth and profits, which is supportive of the corporate greed the investors claim to disdain.

Slightly over half of eligible voters show-up at the polls for major, state and federal elections. Approximately 10% show-up for primaries. Is it any wonder that voting doesn't accomplish much? It's recursive...why vote, if it doesn't matter, so I guess I won't vote.

I'm not at all inclined to be dismissive of the complicity of the average citizen in the politics and corporations we all consider vile. We can all blame who we want, but a mirror comes in handy at times. LB and I have similar philosophies on these topics and it is so vital for each of us to examine our individual roles in the collapse of government, SCOTUS, corporations, and greed in general that is detrimental to humans and life on Earth.

mike (again) said...

And one last mention, then I'm done with comments on this post (at least for now), Twilight...LOL.

Voters cast ballots on more than just politicians. There are bonds, referendums, proposals, amendments, etc, that can all have bearing on corporations, global warming, liberty, debt, etc. And don't forget that many major league politicians got their start at the local and state levels.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Indeed!

Mammon led them on—
Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell
From Heaven: for even in Heaven his looks and thoughts
Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of Heaven’s pavement, trodden gold,
Than aught divine or holy else enjoyed
In vision beatific.

(Milton—Paradise Lost.)

Thanks for the link to Monbiot's current piece. Good one!

Twilight said...

mike ~ I envy your xeriscaping.
I had something of that sort at my house in England, but we didn't call it xeriscaping there! :-)
I never was a fan of grass for home's outdoor areas. The couple who bought my house told me they intended replacing my hard or pebbled surfaces with grass. :-/

Here, we have fairly large areas of grass back and front of our house. It'd be too big and expensive an undertaking to do anything xeri-wise to them, so they get mowed but never watered.
If they happen to be green naturally, fine, if they are or become beige naturally - still fine by me, I don't care what anybody else thinks.

I've sounded off before about climate change and my frustration with US governments over the years, even when I was still living in England. If the US had signed on to Kyoto Protocol early on, at the start we might be in a much stronger position now. Why didn't you lot get on to them and force them then??

The government is there to lead. We the People, yes, we have personal responsibility too, but when the government or the vast majority of politicians, have been turning a blind eye to global warming for decades, the majority of people have followed suit.

I cannot argue with your stance (and LB's) saying "change starts with you...and me", in theory it does. In practice I see it more as change starting with those who are supposed to be leading us, at least in communal matters such as climate which affects us all.

The above relates also to your 2nd comment mike. You expect some flack? LOL! I'm trying to keep my BP at reasonable levels so maybe not.

Your views were possibly more in line with situations in the USA before my own time here, before We the People found ourselves in the trap we're in today.

It's all very well to blame the people NOW. It's too late. We are already powerless. Our only remaining avenue to regain any semblance of influence would be outright revolution (not enough are angry enough yet), or General Strike (ditto).

It's right that we all continue doing what we each see as "the right thing", but to kid ourselves that this will make a difference is...well...kidding ourselves.

As you know, I am always, always on the side of ordinary people.
I will not align myself with those who look down on ordinary people, from whatever level, because in doing so they are looking down on, and denigrating me, I am an ordinary person.

There will be no sense injected into the climate situation until governments put stringent restrictions on use of oil, coal etc. That will force ordinary people to restrict themselves. We need to be forced, mike...sorry, but we do. If our leaders were men of integrity the situation would never have reached this dangerous stage.

We are the people who will suffer - not them. They don't care, that's the top and bottom of it. We care but are powerless.

mike (again) said...

Well, Twilight, I think we are in agreement. Your comment, "...governments put stringent restrictions on use of oil, coal etc. That will force ordinary people to restrict themselves. We need to be forced, mike...sorry, but we do.", implies that the average citizen doesn't care enough about global warming to self-regulate. Imposed restrictions work for me, Twilight, if we can't self-regulate, but don't confuse politics with the average citizen choosing to ignore the obvious and the part we each play in our own demise.

That's the same issue I see right here with our water restrictions. I think that more water is being consumed NOW than before restrictions were implemented. My neighbors simply don't want their grass to die, even if that means we don't have drinking water in a couple of months...water while it's still available, even if that means using it up faster. There are absolutely no guarantees that rain will come anytime soon. I would like the city to announce that there will be no more grass watering allowed, simply to extend the water we do have, which is currently at very low levels. Seems logical to me, but my city's population with grass in their yards obviously don't want that. They certainly can't be trusted to self-regulate the remaining water.

General Mills recently responded to consumer demands via decreased sales by announcing they pledged no GMO wheat or corn would be used in Cheerios cereal. Mozilla (Firefox browser) graciously allowed CEO Eich to step-down after his donation revelation caused a consumer backlash of browser deletions. Apple responded to complaints of Chinese worker abuse and began "stringent" oversight of manufacturing. Unilever is now facing the same for using non-sustainable palm oil. General Motors is caught with drastically decreased car sales with their decade-long ignition key problem coming to the light of day. There are way too many examples of the power of consumers to obtain corporate attention by not buying.

The consumers' money does talk and corporations do listen. I guess I'm flummoxed as to why consumers get a bee-in-their-bonnet on some things and not other, more egregious concerns like global warming and water supplies.

Many of my friends and relatives have worked hard to find themselves near or on retirement's doorstep. Most are more affluent than they were a decade or two ago. They live the better life and feel entitled to the luxuries they scraped to obtain. They don't want changes now, particularly if it alters their affluent lifestyle. One of my sisters is very liberal, but doesn't want to be depressed or bothered with current events...she's a shopaholic...buys anything and everything she wants and can afford. She agrees that weather is changing, but doesn't believe in global climate change due to human intervention. My other sister is ultra fundamental Christian and goes where the GOP conservative right leads her...climate may be changing, but it's a natural process to her and part of the heavenly plan. So, ideology...or lack of... has a large part in affecting these choices...or the rationalization-justification of those choices...LOL.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Self-regulation isn't going to happen. We must accept it - it just isn't! If people don't care it's because of how they've been "schooled" not to care. Self-regulation is simply not going to happen, even if it did, and near to 100% (highly unlikely), without government support and restrictions on its own part on its own operations: ceasing the war machine etc. and providing mass transport where none exists, research into new power sources, new de-salination methods etc.... self-reg wouldn't be enough.

Therefore, unless government does something and soon, we're screwed....we probably are anyway.

People here should have been kept more aware of the dangers sooner re climate change. But because media is in the pay of corporations, all media, especially TV, proper information has never been offered in the right way, with sufficient intensity. That would have had potential to slow down profits for the corporations - unacceptable! Keep 'em unaware, keep 'em distracted......

OK, mike - you'll say the people shouldn't have been distracted, they should have been thinking critically for themselves. But that pattern has been going on for decades and decades - keeping the audience distracted is a tool wielded cleverly by corporate-run media in league with one another.
No conspiracy theory there.
Wrongly framed news, hypnotic advertising, it's an old game.
You can blame the people for not suspecting. With hindsight you can - just as you could blame people for smoking back in the early-mid 20th century.

Ordinary people are not philosophers or egg-heads or even very deep thinkers - but that doesn't make them guilty as charged, mike.

I see by the end of your latest comment that we could have reached an uneasy!