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Thanks for a very thought provoking essay, on a myriad of topics.

Your observations about Daily Kos are quite apt. I learned much about climate change and collapse by reading books, but that was after exploring those topics on the intertubes and becoming enlightened. But in the end, most people aren't doing either, and so I suppose we who blog and read each other's blogs are tolerated by the truly powerful, much like I tolerate my errant pet flying squirrel for the intermittent commotion and amusement he provides. I suppose if/when the dissenters on the internet are perceived as a real threat, it will simply be shut down and that will be the end of that.

Actually the "in the box" mentality underlies my constant and unwelcome criticism of the major activists in climate change. They are pursuing an ineffective strategy, but continue because their supporters have convinced them that they are making progress, when by all objective measures, they are not!

How anyone can ignore the "manifest destiny" and "go west" aspect that has pervaded American culture leading to our failing empire, I do not understand! And that Reagan meme of how he brought down the Soviet Union makes me want to vomit. Losing that bogeyman demon was the worst nightmare for the armchair warrior crowd. Their favorite project, Star Wars, had to be abandoned - so they turned their attention to discrediting the science of climate change, for lack of anything better to do. Thanks to that the entire planet is going to fry (think Moscow last summer) and/or drown (Australia today).

I have no idea who mulga mumblebrain is, but lately he has been posting great comments at Climate Progress. Here's a recent one, which I love most for the last sentence, with its casual but stinging reference to the Fermi paradox:

"Mulga Mumblebrain says:
January 11, 2011 at 10:27 pm
Wit’s End #3, I saw that typically sneaking bit of Guardian denialism, too. Typically all the denialist verbiage is packed into the beginning and middle, and the rationality left to the end. An old trick, as a certain percentage never read through to the end. Thanks too, for increasingly my now habitual gloom with the stuff on tropospheric ozone. Looking it up I even recognised a 1984 New Scientist article on the same subject, which I’d forgotten.
Andy#5, a moderately successful Rightwing German politician of the 1930s recommended the Big Lie as a good tactic because the common folk, being honest, would not believe that anyone would have the audacity to confect such a lie. Nowadays it is a prime ideological tool, and one of the Marks of the Beast, of the Right.
connor #11, Flannery said that, and he is being proved correct, as Perth, on the opposite side of the continent to Brisbane, dries out more and more every year, as precipitation falls and temperatures rise, a process that began in the 1970s.
Berbalang #21, there is of course a lot of work on the Rightwing authoritarian personality, but little, alas, on how to keep them from seizing power. Unfortunately, market capitalism, which they largely created (civilization in contradistinction, was created by working people, scientific progress and cultural cross-fertilisation)empowers them yet further, a truly vicious circle. This may be the point where advanced societies destroy themselves, when the pathological take over, hence the mysterious silence of the cosmos."

Now I will have to go to amazon and get a book by Bageant.

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