Saturday, June 3, 2017

The War of Appearances

I saw something on MSNBC News tonight that made me give a double-take, and then crack up laughing.  It was a brief shot, during all the gabble about Trump And The Russians, showing a Russian official heading into a building for an EU meeting -- and being hounded by papparazi.  'Twas amazing.  There was the Euro reporter sticking out his microphone and questioning a mile a minute over what was the Russian position on Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Accords, and the harried Russian repeating: "No comment, no comment". 

That by itself would only have been funny, but it was followed a few minutes later by a clip from an American TV news interview with Vladimir Putin, wherein the veteran KGB man contradicted himself within 30 seconds.  First he insisted that the Russian government was not responsible for the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee's emails -- that hackers could be anywhere in the world, and he named a few countries -- and just a few seconds later he claimed that the hack had been done by "patriotic Russians".  Now of course Putin, being a Russian politician, has made a career out of lying -- but never before have I seen or heard of him lying so clumsily.  Also, I noticed that the pictures of him were carefully angled and cropped to disguise the fact that his hair has gone totally gray -- and pale gray at that.  His well-trained face showed his usual politely-blank expression, but the lines in his cheeks and forehead were deeper than when we saw them last -- just a couple weeks ago. 

Given how important appearance, bluff, "showoffsky" is to Russian politics, my conclusion is that something is coming apart in Russia.  Given how uncharacteristically quiet Trump has been for the past couple days, I daresay he knows all about it.  The news-media, happily trading speculations about whether there's proof that Trump committed "obstruction of justice", don't seem to notice.

Another odd fact, largely overlooked by the preoccupied media, is that the government of China -- China! -- made a public announcement that it would not tolerate North Korea's "provocative" nuclear program.  To anyone who's been watching developments in Asia over the past few years, this means that Kim Jung Un is doomed -- and soon.  Trump is one person who has to know what this means, but again, he isn't saying a thing. 

So what, besides the obvious, is the media full of?  Proclamations of doom, predictions that the US has lost its position as "leader of the Free World" -- and that France and Germany are vying for the position -- because the US pulled out of the Paris "carbon-footprint" accords.  Despite the frantic predictions of Al Gore and friends, none of this will have any effect on "Global Warming"...  Oops!  "Climate Change".  As I've mentioned a few times, excess CO2 in the atmosphere is readily taken up by plant life -- the bigger the better, the more the merrier -- so the quickest and cheapest and surest solution to "greenhouse gases" in the air is to plant more crops, more ground cover, and especially more trees.  A concerted media campaign encouraging  planting would do far more to clean up the atmosphere than all the "carbon reduction agreements" in the world.  Yet the Paris agreement, which was never binding anyway, is being treated like the rejected salvation of the Earth.

What I see going on here is the classic failing of both the media and the politicians who make use of them: being sucked in by your own propaganda.  When you make your living creating phony appearances and using them to stampede the public, you can easily fall into the illusion that the appearance is as good as the real thing.  From that point, it's all too easy to grow more and more careless about the appearance's connection to reality, and that's the kiss of death.  Reality always snaps back and bites you, sooner or later.

I get the insistent feeling that the whole Get-Trump frenzy is about to blow up in the gleeful media's and Democrats' faces, sooner rather than later.

--Leslie <;)))><    


Paradoctor said...

So the bloody psychopath in the Kremlin and the rotten narcissist in the White House both know they're going down and they can do nothing but watch their humiliation unfold? GOOD! That's not poetic justice, it's more like doggerel justice, but I'll take it!

Probably it's financial. Pay for policy. A yuuuge bribe for a yuuuge betrayal.

Paradoctor said...

As for climate change; I'll take the word of 99+% of climate scientists over the word of oilmen and their purchased politicians.

But I think that calling wind, hydro, geothermal and solar 'renewable energy', or worse 'green energy', or worse still 'clean energy', is a distraction from the real political forces at work. Being green and clean and oh so keen is supposed to save the planet, but who cares about saving the planet? Altruism is weak; it's self-interest that rules.

Besides, the planet doesn't need saving. Gaia has survived much worse than us. It's industrial civilization that needs saving - or to be precise, re-inventing.

I think that wind, hydro, geothermal and solar should be called, rather than wimpy-sounding 'clean energy', instead deserve the name of 'owned power'. When you put up a solar panel on some land that you own, you also own the endless flow of kilowatts from the panel. Whereas if you have a diesel generator, then you have to keep buying fuel to keep it running; so you don't really own that power; you rent it.

All fuel-based systems (coal, oil, gas) are rented power. Wind, hydro, geothermal and solar are owned power. And isn't it better to own than to rent? For economic reasons... and also political?

And that, I submit, is what the climate-change debate will hinge on. It _should_ hinge on the threat of changing Earth from an Icehouse world to a Hothouse world; a threat that I find real; but instead it _will_ hinge on this question: are we to rent our power, or own it?

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