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In This Edition

Norman Solomon concludes, "Nina Turner's Loss Is Oligarchy's Gain."

Ralph Nader points out the, "Fallacies Of Political Labelism."

Jon Skolnik reports, "Ted Cruz Blocks Masse Of Biden Nominees Right Before Senate Leaves For Summer Recess."

Jim Hightower says, "There's Rich, Ugly Rich, And Jeff Bezos."

William Rivers Pitt says, "We Reopened Too Soon, And Children Are Paying The Price."

John Nichols says, "Democrats Need To Vote Like Democrats."

James Donahue reports, "We Are Born Into Social Enslavement."

Matthew Rozsa returns with, "The Ocean Is About To Flip A Switch That Could Permanently Disrupt Life On Earth."

David Suzuki exclaims, "Work Less, Live Better!"

Charles P. Pierce says, "The U.N. Climate Report Is A 'Code Red For Humanity.'"

Juan Cole reports, "IPCC - Carbon Dioxide Concentrations Highest In 2 MN Years, Provoking Ever More Extreme Weather."

Robert Reich tells, "The Solutions To The Climate Crisis No One Is Talking About."

Bernie Sanders returns with, "Instead of Giveaways to the Rich, We Will Use Reconciliation to Serve Working People and Heal the Planet."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Waterford Whispers News reports, "Cuomo Crushes Harassment Allegations With Rousing 'Bada-Bing' Speech," but first, Uncle Ernie exclaims, "A Code Red For Humanity!"

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Ted Rall, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Tom Tomorrow, The Sun, David Odisho, Brian Wangenheim, Freie-Kreation, Drew Angerer, Dong Xudong, David Suzuki Foundation, CQ-Roll Call, Black Agenda Report, Robert Reich, Jim Hightower, Pexels, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

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To End On A Happy Note-
Have You Seen This-
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A Code Red For Humanity!
Global warming strikes again!
By Ernest Stewart

"Unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the 1.5C target will be beyond reach." ~~~ Dr. Tasmin Edwards

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me
Help ~~~ The Beatles

I see where the United Nations panel on climate change told the world on Monday that "global warming was dangerously close to being out of control - and that humans were 'unequivocally' to blame." Already, greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are high enough to guarantee climate disruption for decades if not centuries, the report from the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned.

In other words, the deadly heat waves, gargantuan hurricanes and other weather extremes that are already happening will only become more severe.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the report as a "code red for humanity."

"The alarm bells are deafening," he said in a statement. "This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet."

In three months' time, the U.N. COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, will try to wring much more ambitious climate action out of the nations of the world, and the money to go with it.

Drawing on more than 14,000 scientific studies, the IPCC report gives the most comprehensive and detailed picture yet of how climate change is altering the natural world -- and what could still be ahead.

Unless immediate, rapid and large-scale action is taken to reduce emissions, the report says, the average global temperature is likely to reach or cross the 1.5-degree Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warming threshold within 20 years.

The pledges to cut emissions made so far are nowhere near enough to start reducing level of greenhouse gases - mostly carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning fossil fuels - accumulated in the atmosphere.

Governments and campaigners reacted to the findings with alarm.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he hoped the report would be "a wake-up call for the world to take action now, before we meet in Glasgow."

The report says emissions "unequivocally caused by human activities" have already pushed the average global temperature up 1.1C from its pre-industrial average -- and would have raised it 0.5C further without the tempering effect of pollution in the atmosphere.

That means that, even as societies move away from fossil fuels, temperatures will be pushed up again by the loss of the airborne pollutants that come with them and currently reflect away some of the sun's heat.

A rise of 1.5C is generally seen as the most that humanity could cope with without suffering widespread economic and social upheaval.

The 1.1C warming already recorded has been enough to unleash disastrous weather. This year, heat waves killed hundreds in the Pacific Northwest and smashed records around the world. Wildfires fuelled by heat and drought are sweeping away entire towns in the U.S. West, releasing record carbon dioxide emissions from Siberian forests, and driving Greeks to flee their homes by ferry.

Further warming could mean that in some places, people could die just from going outside.

"The more we push the climate system ... the greater the odds we cross thresholds that we can only poorly project," said IPCC co-author Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University.

Some changes are already "locked in". Greenland's sheet of land-ice is "virtually certain" to continue melting, and raising the sea level, which will continue to rise for centuries to come as the oceans warm and expand.

"We are now committed to some aspects of climate change, some of which are irreversible for hundreds to thousands of years," said IPCC co-author Tamsin Edwards, a climate scientist at King's College London. "But the more we limit warming, the more we can avoid or slow down those changes."

But even to slow climate change, the report says, the world is running out of time.

If emissions are slashed in the next decade, average temperatures could still be up 1.5C by 2040 and possibly 1.6C by 2060 before stabilising.

And if, instead the world continues on its the current trajectory, the rise could be 2.0C by 2060 and 2.7C by the century's end.

The Earth has not been that warm since the Pliocene Epoch roughly 3 million years ago -- when humanity's first ancestors were appearing, and the oceans were 25 metres (82 feet) higher than they are today.

It could get even worse, if warming triggers feedback loops that release even more climate-warming carbon emissions -- such as the melting of Arctic permafrost or the dieback of global forests.

Under these high-emissions scenarios, Earth could broil at temperatures 4.4C above the preindustrial average by the last two decades of this century.


11-04-1950 ~ 08-07-2021
Thanks for the laughs!

04-12-1926 ~ 08-07-2021
Thanks for the film!

05-03-1933 ~ 08-09-2021
Thanks for the film!

04-26-1945 ~ 08-11-2021
Thanks for the music!

05-01-1937 ~ 08-12-2021
Thanks for the film!


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Until the next time, Peace!

(c) 2021 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, philosopher, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. and like us when you do. Follow me on Twitter.

Nina Turner

Nina Turner's Loss Is Oligarchy's Gain
By Norman Solomon

The race for a vacant congressional seat in northeast Ohio was a fierce battle between status quo politics and calls for social transformation. In the end, when votes were counted Tuesday night, transactional business-as-usual had won by almost 6 percent. But the victory of a corporate Democrat over a progressive firebrand did nothing to resolve the wide and deep disparity of visions at the Democratic Party's base nationwide.

One of the candidates -- Shontel Brown, the victor -- sounded much like Hillary Clinton, who endorsed her two months ago. Meanwhile, Nina Turner dwelled on the kind of themes we always hear from Bernie Sanders, whose 2020 presidential campaign she served as a national co-chair. And while Brown trumpeted her lockstep loyalty to Joe Biden, her progressive opponent was advocating remedies for vast income inequality and the dominance of inordinate wealth over the political system. Often, during the last days of the campaign, I heard Turner refer to structural injustices of what she called "class and caste."

A major line of attack from Brown forces was that Turner had voted against the party platform as a delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Left unsaid was the fact that nearly one-quarter of all the convention delegates also voted 'no' on the platform, and for the same avowed reason -- its failure to include a Medicare for All plank.

Scarcely mentioned in media coverage of this race is that Ohio has an "open primary," and Republicans received public encouragement to cross over and vote in the Democratic primary. We may never know how many GOP voters took the emphatic advice from the likes of right-winger William Kristol and voted for Brown to help beat Turner.

"Reminder: Tuesday's Democratic primary is effectively the general election, and all registered voters can vote in the Democratic primary," Kristol tweeted on July 29. "Just request a Democratic ballot." After sending out a similar tweet on Sunday, he got more explicit via Twitter at dawn on Election Day: "To Akron, Beachwood, Cleveland, Shaker Heights, etc.: Today's OH-11 primary is in effect the general election. The choice is a radical leftist or a Biden Democrat, @ShontelMBrown. Any registered voter -- including independents & Republicans -- can request a Democratic primary ballot."

Prominent Republicans didn't only pitch in with targeted messaging. Some GOP-aligned donors kicked in big bucks, such as Donald Trump's billionaire pal Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots in the NFL, who personally maxed out at $5,800 to Brown's campaign and whose family gave a total of more than $20,000.

Tacitly aligned with the Republican likes of Kristol and Kraft in zeal to boost Brown and defeat Turner was the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus, augmented by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the highest ranking African-American in Congress. Caucus leaders and Clyburn were busy traveling around Ohio's 11th Congressional District last weekend, singing Brown's praises and aiming darts at Turner.

President Biden is popular in the district, and Brown's forces were intent on framing the choice as pro-Biden or anti-Biden. Days ago, Cleveland's CBS affiliate reported that the race "has largely come down to Brown, who has positioned herself as the 'Biden candidate,' and Turner, who has enjoyed the support of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders." An NBC affiliate asserted that national media and outside groups had made the race "a contest between loyalty to President Biden's agenda and a more progressive wing of the party."

Turner's defeat is a victory for an array of wealthy individuals and corporations alarmed at her willingness to challenge such corporate powerhouses as Big Pharma, insurance firms and the fossil-fuel industry. The relentless and often defamatory advertising barrage against Turner was mainly funded by huge contributions from such vested interests to two outfits, Democratic Majority for Israel and Pro-Israel America, which placed the attack ads.

If the Democratic Party establishment thinks the defeat of Turner has turned back the progressive upsurge, it's mistaken. Just this week, successful organizing led by Congresswomen Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez forced Biden's hand, pushing him otherwise would have expired. Bush, AOC and other strong progressives -- including Jamaal Bowman, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Mondaire Jones -- got to the House by winning Democratic primaries, often ousting entrenched corporate-friendly Democrats in the process. Next year, many Democratic incumbents will face potentially serious primary challenges from the left next year.

A continuing political reality is that most voters are in favor of policy positions that progressives keep fighting for. In the Brown-Turner race, that reality was largely obscured as Turner's opponents relentlessly attacked her in personal terms, citing -- and often twisting -- her outspoken record of criticizing top Democratic Party leaders for failing to walk the walk of their platitudes.

Turner's vigorous critiques of Biden, especially a crude one last summer, provided very useful fodder for ads attacking her. But foes didn't have much to say about the transformative policies that she champions. Reporting on her defeat, Politico noted that "the moderate attacks against Turner did not take aim at the progressive proposals she supports, such as Medicare for All or a Green New Deal -- an indication they are popular with the base."

In a statement released late Tuesday night, Turner looked ahead to the future of progressive populism, saying: "We will continue this journey until every working person earns a living wage, including passing a $15 minimum wage. We will continue this journey until every person has health care as a right and not a privilege. We will continue this journey until children's destinies are not determined by their zip code or the color of their skin. We will continue this journey until we have torn down racism, sexism, homophobia, religious bigotry and every kind of hatred and discrimination. We will continue this journey until justice is equal for every person in this country. And this journey will continue until we have ensured that this planet will be habitable for our children and our grandchildren. So, my friends, it is OK to be sad tonight. But tomorrow we must roll up our sleeves and continue the fight to which we are all committed."

(c) 2021 Norman Solomon is co-founder of and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State."

Fallacies Of Political Labelism
By Ralph Nader

Alexander Burns is a leading political affairs analyst for the New York Times. Unfortunately, even he has accepted the ill-defined political labelism swallowed wholesale by his journalistic colleagues.

Words to describe Democratic politicians as "moderate," "centrist," "center-left," "center-right," "leftist," or House Democratic Caucus Chair, Hakeem Jeffries' recent denunciatory nomenclature of "extreme left" Democratic candidates ‑ are often recklessly bandied about.

Let's start with the positions that invite journalists to describe politicians as "moderate" Democrats. Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) is chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. His first statement on taking over as committee chair in January 2019 was that he was not in any way going to take up Donald Trump's massive giveaway tax cuts to the super-wealthy and the giant corporations. He was OK with no hearings and no agenda to end those $1.7 trillion bonanzas, over ten years, and with revenue losses, which could have been put to good use rebuilding America's infrastructure.

He also did not move vigorously to expand the budget-starved IRS's ability to go after hundreds of billions of dollars annually of evaded taxes by the corporate rich. For these reactionary, crypto-Republican stands, Neal, who also has not supported Biden's modest tax restoration on corporate profits to 28%, is labeled a "moderate."

The "moderate" and "centrist" label is regularly applied to Democratic members of Congress who oppose full Medicare for All (which has growing majority support in polls), oppose raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour now, oppose legislation for corporate crime enforcement and other corporate reforms espoused by President Biden, labor law reforms to facilitate union organizing, and consumer protections such as cracking down on over $1 trillion a year in consumer billing frauds and other cheatings. These "moderates" are out of step with polls showing liberal and conservative voters want these latter long-overdue actions.

I wouldn't call these voters anything but progressively supportive of reforms that benefit the communities where they live, work, and raise their families. If the corporate Democrats running the Party keep these and other documented reforms off the table and marginalize the candidates espousing them, they are foreclosing big opportunities to landslide the Trumpian Republicans.

The Trumpsters madcap positions (e.g., "stop the steal," criminalizing and obstructing voting, claiming that Covid-19, its vaccines, and other protections are conspiracies against liberty) should be jettisoning reckless Republicans out of electoral contention. It is the corporate Democrats strip-mining their progressive base who are letting these Trumpsters remain an electoral challenge. Democrats can't even find the language to publicly disgrace those reality-denying, southern governors and legislators (the really "extreme," "fascistic right,") and throw them on the defensive.

Another greatly neglected subject among Democrats is the biggest unpaid-for welfare system over the decades, which is corporate welfare. Zillions of dollars, directly and indirectly, go for subsidies, handouts, giveaways, bailouts, and inflated government contracts, especially in the military business with the Pentagon. Democrats who support this government guaranteed corporate socialism are called "centrist," or "moderates," while progressive lawmakers opposing such raids on the U.S. Treasury are called "the far left." Really.

Progressive Democratic candidates have their faults. One is they haven't effectively rebutted the "socialism" charge as double-talking while corporation CEOs are lapping up gigantic checks from Washington. Biden's human infrastructure proposals are from old Rooseveltian New Deal traditions. Republicans outsourcing enormous numbers of governmental functions to corporate contractors are the real radical fabricators of what Roosevelt warned about in a 1938 message to Congress that:

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism-ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.
As for the Republican charge against Democrats that they want to "defund the police," that was the desperation street chant following George Floyd's homicide. No candidates in congressional races took up that over-general, categorical slogan. On the other hand, the "centrist" Democrats did not move to accuse the Republicans in the last election of "defunding the tax police" at IRS, since 2011, thereby becoming 'aiders and abettors' of huge tax evasion, now estimated by the Trump-nominated head of the IRS - Charles Rettig - to be one trillion dollars a year!!!

Alexander Burns writes about Nina Turner's defeat last Tuesday in the primary race for an open congressional seat in Cleveland. The main reason she lost is that she let her campaign strategists spend big money on useless or even backfiring repetitive television ads, instead of an on-the-ground game to get out the vote - notoriously low in most primary races.

Mr. Jeffries, whose uncle was an authentic American radical decades ago, declared that "the extreme left hasn't figured … out that Trumpism and the radical right is the real enemy, not us." Mr. Jeffries, you know who enabled Trump to win in 2016 - the smug Hillary Clinton-dominated Democratic Party. It was not your despised "radical left" who voted for the "New Deal Democrat," independent Bernie Sanders.

Alexander, you can't do justice to your analytic mind if you don't question these labels while not recognizing the exclusion by corporate Democrats of egregious big business abuses that your newspaper writes about regularly.

(c) 2021 Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest book is The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. Other recent books include, The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood, Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win, and "Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us" (a novel).

Ted Cruz and Joe Biden

Ted Cruz Blocks Masse Of Biden Nominees Right Before Senate Leaves For Summer Recess
Why Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, has gone to battle against President Joe Biden's State Department
By Jon Skolnik

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., is still holding up President Biden's nomination process with a "death grip," blocking dozens of State Department nominees just ahead of the Senate's summer recess, according to Politico sources.

The now weeks-long conflict reached a fever pitch during a Wednesday all-night session led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., both of whom attempted to quickly usher each nominee in before the Senate break. But their effort saw strong resistance from Cruz, who effectively shot down the confirmation of every nominee.

"I know the hour is late, but we have nearly 30 highly qualified foreign affairs and development nominees who are languishing on the Senate floor," Menendez said during the 50-minute slog. "We have to confirm these nominees to fully equip the United States to pursue our foreign policy objectives."

Cruz has repeatedly said that his position is an act of protest against President Biden's May decision to suspend congressionally mandated sanctions on the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. He and other Republicans fear that the pipeline will grant Russia unprecedented economic power over U.S. allies in Europe.

Biden, for his part, has said that he waived sanctions because the pipeline was nearly complete anyway. "It made more sense to work with the chancellor on finding out how she'd proceed based on whether or not Russia tried to, essentially, blackmail Ukraine in some way," the president explained.

During the Wednesday session, Cruz reiterated his logic: "I have made clear to every State Department official, to every State Department nominee, that I will place holds on these nominees unless and until the Biden administration follows the law and stops this pipeline and imposes the sanctions."

A Cruz spokesperson told Fox News that the Texas senator "will use all leverage and prerogatives he has as a U.S. senator to get the Biden administration to follow the law and implement congressional mandates to sanction and stop completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline." Cruz attempted to introduce a bill that would apply sanctions during the session, but Menendez shot it down because it hadn't yet passed through the Foreign Relations Committee.

According to Politico, the Biden administration has been internally pushing for Cruz to back down, arguing that his intransigence is weakening U.S. interests throughout the globe - but Cruz has remained stalwart despite the criticism.

"The Senate is built on this idea of mutuality and shame," one State Department official told Politico. "If someone doesn't have that sense of shame about essentially kneecapping an important national security agency, there's no magic button that you can push."

So far, President Biden has nominated 405 people for Senate-approved positions across the government, Politico noted. Over half of them remain in confirmation limbo.

(c) 2021 Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, AlterNet, and The New York Daily News.

Snidley Bezos

There's Rich, Ugly Rich, And Jeff Bezos
By Jim Hightower

I cheered recently when the richest man on Earth had himself rocketed into space. But then he came back down.

There's nothing irredeemably wrong about being rich - indeed, one good role model for handling wealth, rather than letting it handle you, is music superstar Dolly Parton. She donated a cool million bucks to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2020 to help finance its development of the "Moderna" vaccine that's now preventing millions of people from dying with COVID-19.

Then there's ugly rich, like Amazon kingpin Jeff Bezos, who keeps spending gobs of his unsurpassed net worth on vainglorious purchases that end up revealing his essential worthlessness. Last month, combining cluelessness with callousness, he actually ran a global media campaign to glorify him for spending untold billions on an 11-minute ego trip up to the edge of space. Back on Earth, he publicly blurted out that Amazon's underpaid and abused workforce should be applauded, because "you guys paid for all this."

Meanwhile, Wall Street speculators keep bloating his personal fortune. On just one day last year, his wealth was jacked up by $8 billion! One day! For doing nothing - didn't work longer, harder, or smarter. Well, he has been diligent about one task: Tax dodging. Even though his wealth now tops $162 billion, he's had years in which he's paid zero income tax for the support of our nation.

But this year Jeff suddenly became a philanthropist! Increasingly ridiculed as a self-indulgent rich jerk, he loudly announced he was giving $200 million to charitable causes. Wow - how generous. Except... that's no sacrifice for Jeff, it's pocket change - doling out two big bills means he still has his $161 billion, 800 million in his vault.

We don't need his self-serving "charity," we need a wealth tax to restore a bit of fairness and to support America's Common Good.

(c) 2021 Jim Hightower's latest book, "If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates,"is available in a fully revised and updated paperback edition. Jim writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America's ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at

Children go out with their teachers in San Francisco, California, on June 15, 2021.

We Reopened Too Soon, And Children Are Paying The Price
By William Rivers Pitt

Cold War kids like me grew up with the Emergency Broadcast System as this thing that would periodically break into a TV or radio broadcast to scare the shit out of you. The first sign of trouble was a grinding noise collision, like the AOL dial-up sound of yore, but amped up to stadium concert decibels. A test screen would appear, and everything stopped, because we all knew this was what we'd hear when the missiles were finally flying and nuclear Armageddon was at hand.

In the center of the country, the system was and is used to warn about tornadoes, but the effect came with the same jarring resonance ...until the voice said, "This has been a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. If this had been an actual emergency..." and the world would start spinning again. No missiles, no funnel clouds, deep breath and pass the butter. The system has been upgraded to meet the modern age - it sends text messages to smartphones now instead of merely screeching at you from the TV or radio - but the drama remains the same when the bad noise comes: This means nothing, or this means everything. This past weekend, it meant everything in Austin.

"Austin, Texas, issued an emergency alert this weekend over the 'severely worsening COVID-19 situation,' which has reached a 'critical' point," reports Yahoo! News. "The Warn Central Texas alert system was designed to be activated during a disaster. 'Our hospitals are severely stressed and there is little we can do to alleviate their burden with the surging cases,' Austin-Travis County Health Authority's Desmar Walkes said in a statement. 'The public has to act now and help our we will face a catastrophe in our community that could have been avoided.'"

It is time to sound the emergency alert for our children, before they are exposed to a COVID fate that - to repeat the refrain of the age - could have been avoided. This menace exists not just in the virus-raddled South and West, but everywhere kids might become exposed to the Delta variant, which at this juncture is basically everywhere. There were more than 110,000 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed yesterday in the U.S., a two-week increase of 112 percent. Delta is the culprit. "By the end of July," reports The New York Times, "it accounted for 93.4 percent of new infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

For the first time since the pandemic began, significant numbers of children are falling victim to the virus. "Children with COVID-19 used to make up 1 percent of patients hospitalized at Children's Hospital New Orleans," reports ABC News. "Now they account for about 20 percent, Dr. Mark Kline, physician-in-chief at Children's Hospital New Orleans, told Good Morning America Monday. He said about half of the children hospitalized are under 2 years old. Most of the others are between 5 and 10 years old, so too young to be vaccinated. 'This is not your grandfather's COVID,' Kline said. 'This Delta variant is an entirely new and unexpected challenge.'"

Pediatric hospitals in Louisiana, Florida and Tennessee have been overwhelmed with new patients, with the sharpest increase taking place in patients under 12 years old. "Alan Levine, CEO of Ballad Health hospitals in Northeast Tennessee, replied on Twitter to news of Piercey's projection to affirm that conditions are expected to become critical for some children," reports the Nashville Tennessean. "'And children have already died, and others are on ventilators, and ALL OF IT is preventable,' Levine said. 'So is what's coming.'" Children are also becoming more impacted by long COVID, a version of the disease that can linger for months and involves a grim slate of deleterious effects.

Science has yet to comprehensively answer why Delta appears to affect young people more than the other strains have, but the steadily filling hospital beds stand as testament to the truth of it. "There are a lot of children now - all you need to do is do a survey of the pediatric hospitals throughout the country, and you're seeing a considerable number of young people who are not only infected but who are seriously ill," COVID expert Anthony Fauci told NBC News this weekend. "Again, the numbers compared to the elderly are less, but that's a false comparison. These kids are getting sick. We've really got to make sure we protect them."

Vaccinations - the one certain thing we can do to mitigate the virus - have begun to creep up after lagging for many weeks. Simultaneously, a push for government and the private sector to begin mandating vaccines is also on the rise. Facing the imminent return of millions of children to classrooms, the American Federation of Teachers is strongly advising a vaccine mandate for teachers before the school year begins. This represents a sea change for the union, which only last October advocated that teacher vaccinations remain voluntary.

Of course, young children cannot yet receive the vaccine themselves, leaving the responsibility for protecting them entirely in the hands of those adults who are able to safely receive vaccination. The more people who are vaccinated, the safer our children will be.

Due to the ongoing gap in vaccinations, however, it may already be too late to vaccinate our way out of this. The New York Times reports:

Epidemiologists had hoped getting 70 or 80 percent of the population vaccinated, in combination with immunity from natural infections, would bring the virus under control. But a more contagious virus means the vaccination target has to be much higher, perhaps in the range of 90 percent.

Globally, that could take years. In the United States, the target may be impossible to reach anytime soon given the hardened vaccine resistance in a sizable fraction of the country, the fact that children under 12 remain ineligible and the persistent circulation of disinformation about vaccines and the pandemic.

With so many people unvaccinated, in the United States and around the world, the virus has abundant opportunity not only to spread and sicken large numbers of people, but to mutate further. Some scientists have expressed hope that the virus has reached peak "fitness," but there is no evidence this is so.

It was a nice summer there, for a while, but that's over now. All of the fears we endured last year have returned with new, sharp teeth of the Delta variety, and many of the same seemingly settled questions need to be asked and answered once again. Are schools safe with the new variants on the loose? Are parents prepared for another round of home-bound education? What effect will all of this have on children themselves, who have endured so much already?

We reopened the country too much and too soon. Now we wait and see how much the jarring whiplash of that error in judgment will cost us.

(c) 2021 William Rivers Pitt is a senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co_written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and President Joe Biden.

Democrats Need To Vote Like Democrats
Democratic Senate candidates are demanding that their party's caucus stop compromising on filibuster reform, infrastructure, voting rights, and budgets.
By John Nichols

There has been a lot of talk about bipartisanship over the past several days, as the US Senate plods through the process of approving a narrowly drawn $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which the Senate is expected to pass today. It represents a massive compromise by Democrats whose president had, in the spring, proposed a far more ambitious and socially responsible $2.3 trillion package. While there certainly are good items in the so-called "BIF" (bipartisan infrastructure) bill that was cobbled together by centrist Democrats and right-wing Republicans, much of what made Biden's initial plan so appealing-especially its ambitious climate proposals and visionary investment in caregiving-was dialed back or eliminated altogether.

What if Democrats didn't have to compromise? What if they governed as people expect them to govern?

That's the challenge that Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is raising as a part of a blunt new emphasis on the part of his campaign to replace retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey. When The Arizona Republic reported in late July that Senator Kyrsten Sinema was expressing opposition to the $3.5 trillion budget plan developed by Biden and Senate Budget Committee chair Bernie Sanders, Fetterman responded immediately. "Democrats need to vote like Democrats," he declared. "I would always be that 51st Democratic vote."

The Pennsylvania race is a top priority for Democrats in 2022. Along with the Wisconsin race to replace Republican Ron Johnson, it's one of a pair of contests where a Republican-held seat could be flipped in a state that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020. If Democrats hold the seats they've already got in the Senate and take the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin seats, the party will have a 52-48 majority. That's a big deal, because it would mean that the party would no longer be at the mercy of an individual senator who refuses to go along with a major initiative. Indeed, even if two Democrats-say, West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema-were to break with the party, Vice President Kamala Harris could still break a 50-50 tie and produce a win.

It's a good bet that several of the Democrats competing for the Pennsylvania seat-including state Representative Malcolm Kenyatta and Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh-would also be a 51st vote for bolder policies. But Fetterman has made his commitment to "vote like a Democrat" central to his message in recent weeks, returning to it again and again in discussions of how he would approach debates in D.C. When Biden traveled to Pennsylvania last month to call out Republicans on voter suppression issues, Fetterman said, "It's a shame that President Biden has to come to Pennsylvania. Of course, we're delighted to have him. But the reason why he has to come to Pennsylvania is because the Republicans need to be called out on this systematic attempt to suppress votes all across this country. And that problem is exacerbated by Democrats in the Senate refusing to collectively vote as Democrats."

Specifically, he said Senate Democrats should be united to "push some voting rights legislation through [by] getting rid of the filibuster." Manchin and Sinema have been resistant to filibuster reforms that might make it possible to pass democracy-sustaining legislation such as the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. But Fetterman casts a broader net, saying, "I'm talking about any Democrat. You have a party on the other side that is absolutely committed to making sure that they suppress enough votes for them to win the next election. You see it in Texas. You see it in Pennsylvania. When you're under that kind of siege...I think it's incumbent on our party, as Democrats, to step up and vote like Democrats, to do what we need to do to push this stuff back, to stop it in its tracks."

The blunt language from Fetterman is being portrayed in media reports as a jab against US Representative Conor Lamb, a centrist Democrat who recently entered the Pennsylvania Senate primary. But there is more to it than that.

Across the country, Democrats who are bidding for Republican-held Senate seats are making it clear that they are prepared to tip the balance against the filibuster in order to advance a progressive agenda. "The filibuster is getting in the way of so much that we need to progress as a society-this could be voting rights, this could be infrastructure," says Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, a Democrat who is running for a Senate seat in her state. "We're sitting around doing this whole dance just simply because a few people want to protect this institution that is a relic of the past."

"If the choice is the filibuster or democracy, then, obviously, we need to choose democracy," says Barnes.

One of Barnes's rivals for the Democratic nomination, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, recently posted a video of Sinema claiming that the filibuster "protects the democracy of our nation." The Wisconsin Democrat responded with a message similar to Fetterman's: "The filibuster was not created to foster bipartisanship. The filibuster has been used to kill civil rights legislation for nearly a century. We can have the filibuster or we can have true democracy, but we can't have both. It should be an easy choice for any Democrat."

(c) 2021 John Nichols writes about politics for The Capitol Times. His book on protests and politics, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, is published by Nation Books. Follow John Nichols on Twitter @NicholsUprising.

We Are Born Into Social Enslavement
By James Donahue

During my years working as a journalist, covering all phases of life from industry to government and the church, I have concluded that everything we as a society believe and do is carefully programmed by forces outside of our control.

The above statement probably sounds like an old cliche to some readers, but if you think it out carefully, what is written is somewhat profound. It suggests that the reality we think we are experiencing is no more than a matrix of our own making. The very word "freedom," which is so cherished by Americans, is no more than an illusion. It does not exist. Everything we do and much of what we think is put in our minds via our televisions, our computers, our parents, teachers and the church.

My work as a journalist, mostly serving on news bureaus for daily newspapers located miles away, gave me access to all phases of our social condition. I covered the horrors of families suffering the horrors of losing their sons in wars on foreign lands, photographed and wrote about fires, train wrecks, tornadoes, riots, labor strife and death.

I had personal contact with bishops, priests and theologians of just about every known religion. I covered music events ranging from great symphony orchestras to punk rock bands rattling garage rooftops. I worked among the Hippies, the Rainbow and legislators on both state and national level. I ate with governors and traveled in a press caravan behind President Richard M. Nixon during his final days of disgrace. I even attended a Michigan Republican convention at Detroit's Cobo Hall as an alternative delegate, just to see what went on behind closed doors.

I was privileged to see all of this. And the more I saw, the more I realized that it was all a scam. It was all a giant circus performance staged for our benefit, or more accurately, for our control. Everybody fell in line because they looked too seriously at the show, and believed it was all true.

They never doubted our need to be at war in Europe and the Pacific Theater. They did not doubt the Korean conflict. It was not until the college students rebelled against the draft and getting shoved off to a deadly war in the jungles of Vietnam that the question of "serving our country" was ever raised.

There was some kind of an "adjustment" in our nation after Vietnam. Thus when 9-11 happened, and we were instantly shoved into a make-believe war against terrorism, few dared to question it. Even though the evidence is strong that 9-11 was a staged attack designed to throw us into a state of endless warfare for the benefit of big corporate interests, the majority of people blindly follow their leaders and do what they are told.

On a more grass roots level, we get involved in local and state politics. We support the candidates of our choice, and then go to the polls on election day and cast our votes. It has never occurred to most of us that the elections are rigged. It has never occurred to us that the candidates that win offices, especially on state and national levels, are chosen by a shadow government outside of our awareness. When they fail to follow through on election campaign promises, we hardly notice. The corporate controlled media makes sure of this.

On a personal level, we are taught a belief system shared by our parents, our community and the church we were born in. Our teachers at school reinforce this belief system. Consequently we grow up reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, believing that The United States is a perfect union where all people are treated equally. Most of us as children recited the Lord's Prayer and are indoctrinated to believe that Christianity is the only true religion.

Most of all, we were taught and truly believed that we were all free from enslavement; that we live in a land of opportunity and consequently are allowed to choose whatever path we wish for our lives. In some sense, that may be true.

A writer using the pen-name Sigmund Fraud recently wrote the following analysis in an on-line publication called Waking Times:

"We live in a world of illusion. So many of the concerns that occupy the mind and the tasks that fill the calendar arise from planted impulses to become someone or something that we are not. This is no accident. As we are indoctrinated into this authoritarian-corporate-consumer culture that now dominates the human race, we are trained that certain aspects of our society are untouchable truths, and that particular ways of being and behaving are preferred.

"Advertising is just the tip of the iceberg," the writer stated. "When we look further we see that the overall organization of life is centered around the pursuit of illusions and automatic obedience to institutions and ideas which are not at all what they seem. We are in a very real sense enslaved. Many call this somewhat intangible feeling of oppression 'the matrix,' a system of total control that invades the mind, programming individuals to pattern themselves in accordance with a mainstream conformist version of reality, no matter how wicked it gets."

(c) 2021 James L. Donahue is a retired newspaper reporter, editor and columnist with more than 40 years of experience in professional writing. He is the published author of five books, all dealing with Michigan history, and several magazine articles.

Rising sea levels

The Ocean Is About To Flip A Switch That Could Permanently Disrupt Life On Earth
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is destabilizing to a dangerous point, a new study says
By Matthew Rozsa

A massive Atlantic Ocean current system, which affects climate, sea levels and weather systems around the world, may be about to be fatally disrupted.

A new report in the journal Nature Climate Change describes how a series of Atlantic Ocean currents have reached "an almost complete loss of stability over the last century" as the planet continues to warm. The report, authored by Dr. Niklas Boers, specifically analyzes data on ocean temperature and salinity to demonstrate that their circulation has weakened over the past few decades. If current trends continue unabated, they may slow to a dangerous level or even shut down entirely.

The series of currents in question is known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC for short. The current system is sometimes likened to a series of conveyer belts: one "belt" flows north with warm water that, upon reaching the northern Atlantic, cools and evaporates, in the process increasing the salinity of water in that region. The saltier water becomes colder and heavier, sinking and flowing south to create a second "belt." Those two currents are in turn connected by other oceanic features in the Southern Ocean, the Labrador Sea and the Nordic Sea.

The study reinforces earlier scientific studies which found the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation system to be at its weakest in 1,600 years.

This so-called conveyer belt system has been in place for thousands of years or more, and ocean life is adapted to its rhythms. Indeed, AMOC, which scientists believe can slow down or turn off abruptly when temperatures increase, is also vital to maintaining humanity's way of life. If it shuts down, temperature will plummet in Europe while the number of storms increases; changing weather conditions will lead to food shortages in South America, India and Western Africa; and rising sea levels along the North American eastern seaboard will force millions to flee their homes. Considering that AMOC is already starting to decline, this is a serious threat that could radically alter our planet in a matter of mere decades.

"This decline may be associated with an almost complete loss of stability over the course of the last century, and the AMOC could be close to a critical transition to its weak circulation mode," the analysis explains.

This is not the first troubling news which has emerged about AMOC. In February another study disclosed that AMOC could be weakened by 34% to 45% by the end of the century as Arctic ice and the Greenland Ice Sheet continue to melt. The new report, however, increases the growing sense of scientific alarm about AMOC's integrity.

"This work provides provides additional support for our earlier work in the same journal Nature Climate Change suggesting that a climate change-induced slowdown of the ocean 'conveyer belt' circulation already underway, decades ahead of schedule, yet another reminder that uncertainty is not our friend," Dr. Michael E. Mann, a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, wrote. "There are surprises in store, and they are likely to be unpleasant ones, when it comes to the climate crisis."

Cristian Proistosescu, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign who studies climate dynamics and global warming consequences, was more measured in his assessment.

"If the worst-case scenario comes to pass - and that's a big if - we can certainly expect to see dramatic changes in climate in the far north of Europe," Proistosescu, said. He described a world in which Scandinavian winters are no longer mild, where precipitation patterns shift as far south as central Africa and in which other meteorological patterns alter radically. The worst case scenarios may be "somewhat unlikely," he added, noting that the majority of updated climate models predict a gradual deterioration over the 21st century rather than an abrupt showdown.

"The data we have is too short to say with any real confidence whether the collapse of the North Atlantic Overturning Circulation is truly imminent," Proistosescu concluded. "The question for me is how risk-averse should we be in the face of uncertainty, and how much do we want to avoid a high cost-low probability worst-case scenario? Given the how high the costs would be, we should be fairly risk averse."

Not every climate expert is impressed with the new study's conclusions. Kevin Trenberth, who is part of the Climate Analysis Section at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, said that the new report is "a bunch of total BS. They do not refer to any of our publications about the Atlantic and what is going on there and they get it all wrong." He added that based on "the best and longe[st] record than they have, the N[orth] Atlantic is dominated by natural variability and they can not say anything about the longer term changes."

American atmospheric scientist Ken Caldeira also warned against overstating the situation with AMOC. He wrote that "it should also be noted that paleo-climate data indicates that a shut-down of the North Atlantic circulation may have more widespread consequences than is predicted by the climate models." The problem is that even our most sophisticated climate models do not contain enough details to be able to anticipate with certainty what is going to happen in our climate system.

Like Proistosescu, Caldeira urged erring on the side of being safe. "In this case, uncertainty means risk, and, because effects of our CO2 emissions are effectively irreversible, this risk should motivate a high degree of caution," he concluded.

(c) 2021 Matthew Rozsais a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

Parent holding baby at home work station

Work Less, Live Better!
By David Suzuki

During COVID-19 lockdown, people started working and viewing work differently. Many worked from home, and some employers offered flexible schedules to accommodate child care and other responsibilities. This pandemic also exposed inequities that continue to grow in a work regime that's been around for generations.

The 40-hour, five-day workweek became law in the U.S. in 1938, with the Fair Labor Standards Act requiring overtime pay (with some exceptions) for hours above that. Many other countries followed, although Canada didn't establish a 40-hour week until the 1960s. The Ford Motor Company was ahead of the game, reducing workers' hours to 40 from 48 in 1926. Henry Ford knew reduced work hours lead to greater productivity, something a recent study from Iceland confirms.

Getting to reasonable work hours was a long, difficult struggle, born in a time when employers could compel employees - sometimes children - to work as many as 14 hours a day, seven days a week. A slogan in the 1880s called for, "Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will."

Once the 40-hour workweek was achieved, pushes to shorten it even more began, but stalled. Since implementation of the standard workweek in many industrialized countries, everything has changed about work except the hours - although in some cases they've increased!

During much of the standard workweek's history, the norm was for one person in a family (usually a woman) to look after the household while another (usually a man) worked outside the home, which was, for the most part, economically feasible. There was infrastructure to be built, wars to be fought and an oil boom driving a new way of life, especially in North America. Much work had to be done manually, but as automation and computerization increased, displacing or marginalizing numerous workers, work hours didn't drop to reflect the changes.

The labour movement deserves some blame, having fought much harder for increased wages and benefits than reduced hours. Declining membership in labour unions has also diminished the united strength of working people.

The reality of work during COVID-19 got many people reconsidering hours again. Studies continue to show that reduced hours benefit not just workers, but also employers and society as a whole.

Large-scale trials conducted in Iceland between 2015 and 2019 found a four-day workweek increased employees' well-being, improved health and work-life balance, and reduced stress and burnout. In many cases, productivity also improved.

I could have told them that. The David Suzuki Foundation has had a four-day, 34-hour workweek almost since its inception, and it's been incredibly successful.

For the Iceland trials, 2,500 workers (about one per cent of the country's workforce) from a diverse range of occupations moved from 40 hours a week to a 35- or 36-hour week with no pay reductions. The success led Iceland's unions (which represent about 90 per cent of workers) to negotiate reduced workhours. Now 86 per cent of the employed population works shorter weeks or has the right to.

Changes to work regimes and hours must be designed to reduce growing inequalities in the current system. After all, when people risk their lives for starvation wages while billionaires turn cartwheels in space, something's wrong. At minimum, pay should stay the same or increase when work hours are reduced.

In the absence of an organized labour push in North America and elsewhere, it's important to shift public service workers to reduced workweeks because governments have "unparalleled control over working conditions within a huge chunk of the labour market," Will Stronge, research director at the think tank Autonomy, told the Washington Post.

Reducing job hours is a good start, but we must also bring our economic and work systems into the 21st century in other ways, with increased minimum wages, vacation time, parental leave, benefits and work-life flexibility. Doing so will create jobs, reduce commuting and pollution, increase well-being, productivity and time with family and friends and - if done right - curtail the rampant consumerism fuelling destruction of the planet's life-support systems.

Most of us have lived with the 40-hour workweek our entire lives, making it difficult to even imagine a better way. But the system is outdated and destructive. It's time for change. Let's work on that!

(c) 2021 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

The U.N. Climate Report Is A 'Code Red For Humanity'
This is the sixth time since 1988 that the IPCC has rung the alarm-but this one is different.
By Charles P. Pierce

In the future, when historians are doing their work, many of them in underwater archives, they are going to be mystified by the role played by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Golly, they will say through their respiration devices, why didn't anyone listen to these people? On Monday, the IPCC issued yet another report on the climate crisis, and the only way it could have been more direct about the imminent threat to human habitation is if you tied the report around a brick and threw it through a window at Exxon HQ. From the Guardian:

Within the next two decades, temperatures are likely to rise by more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, breaching the ambition of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, and bringing widespread devastation and extreme weather. Only rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gases in this decade can prevent such climate breakdown, with every fraction of a degree of further heating likely to compound the accelerating effects, according to the International Panel on Climate Change, the world's leading authority on climate science.
This is the sixth time since 1988 that the IPCC has rung the alarm, and this time it's hitting a gong the size of Wyoming with the hammer of doom.
Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary general, warned: "[This report] is a code red for humanity. The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk." He called for an end to new coal plants and to new fossil fuel exploration and development, and for governments, investors and businesses to pour all their efforts into a low-carbon future. "This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet," he said.

Joe Manchin just caught a chill and doesn't know why.

After a ship sinks, there always comes a point where the Coast Guard announces that its efforts have changed from "rescue" to "recovery." I have a feeling from this report that we are at that kind of moment right now. So much of the damage appears irreversible that it's time to make plans on how we're going to live in a radically transformed biosphere.

Even if the world manages to limit warming to 1.5C, some long-term impacts of warming already in train are likely to be inevitable and irreversible. These include sea level rises, the melting of Arctic ice, and the warming and acidification of the oceans. Drastic reductions in emissions can stave off worse climate change, according to IPCC scientists, but will not return the world to the more moderate weather patterns of the past. Ed Hawkins, a professor of climate science at the University of Reading, and a lead author for the IPCC, said: "We are already experiencing climate change, including more frequent and extreme weather events, and for many of these impacts there is no going back."
All of this was avoidable, of course, if we didn't fundamentally believe that the climate crisis was essentially a political debate. The parallels to the pandemic are frighteningly exact: the scientific community is gradually acclimating itself (and us) to the fact that COVID is not going to be eradicated, but that, rather, it will be one of those diseases that is a part of being alive in this world, or whatever's left of it. Welcome to Happy Fun Monday.

(c) 2021 Charles P. Pierce has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.' He lives near Boston with his wife but no longer his three children.

The Quotable Quote-

"Republicans have cultivated, into a fine art, the ability to divide people up by race, gender, nationality, or sexual orientation. That's what they do. That is the essence of their politics. They get one group to fight another group while their wealthy friends and campaign contributors get richer and laugh all the way to the bank."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

IPCC - Carbon Dioxide Concentrations Highest In 2 MN Years, Provoking Ever More Extreme Weather

By Juan Cole

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued its sixth assessment report. The product of vast international cooperation, the report reflects the scientific community's certitude that the globe's climate is rapidly changing as a direct result of humanity burning coal, gasoline and natural gas, putting tens of billions of tons of the deadly heat-trapping gases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere every year.

Scientists are cautious and usually avoid categorical statements. This year's report says, "It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land."

You can say that again. I watch a lot of cable news for my sins and have been gobsmacked at how they are all ignoring how the coast of Turkey burned up recently and now Greece is on fire. Greece, the font of European civilization. I've been studying Greek for the past few years and before the pandemic went to Athens for a few weeks every summer. It was mostly very pleasant, though a week or so could be hot. This year, the wildfires are encroaching on the capital, and it is like 118 degrees F. (!!!) Even islands like Evia are in trouble. Mediterranean islands burning up.

The networks aren't really covering the Dixie fire in California that much and it is even in America. The US Northwest is still having extreme temperatures. One Canadian town had 108 degrees F. I mean, that is nuts. And it is only the beginning if we don't stop burning coal and gasoline like yesterday.

The scientists say we need to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 percent in the 2020s to avoid a very challenging set of changes in our climate.

It is important to understand that climate change is on a spectrum. It is a scale, say from 1 to 15. If we swing into action right now globally, we could keep it to a 1 or 2. If we go on fiendishly burning fossil fuels for a while, we'll go to a 4 or 5. If we just don't give a shit and really want to burn that coal and drive internal combustion engines for a couple more decades, we'll go to 7 or 8. And if we just blow off the whole thing we go to 10 or 15 on the scale.

People are always saying we've passed the point of no return. On a scale, there really isn't such thing. The only question is how high on the scale do you want to go. At any point in the next 30 years we could get really serious and make a big difference in the shape of our future.

But, our children and grandchildren will won't like the world we are currently building for them.

So what does the new report say?

The global average surface temperature in 2000-2021 is about 1 degree C. (1.8 degrees F.) higher than the 1850-1900 average. Although a 1.8 degrees F. increase doesn't sound like much, remember that this is an average, and that the oceans and the poles are very cold, so that some places, like the U.S. West or the Iranian coast along the Gulf, are much hotter than they used to be, and on their way to being hotter yet.

Even more alarming, some of the heating we have created is being masked by our coal and wood burning, which puts aerosol particles into the atmosphere that reflect sunlight and so have a cooling effect. That smog cooling, however, is temporary, and will go away as we stop burning coal and other fuels, and then the full heat we've provoked will hit us in the faces all of a sudden.

Humans have almost certainly caused each of the last four decades to be hotter than its predecessor. We have caused precipitation (and flooding as this year in Germany) to increase. We have sent the glaciers into retreat and cause an accelerated melting of Greenland's ice sheet.

We have warmed up the upper ocean, and made it much more acidic, both with the potential to kill a great deal of marine life on which we depend.

We have caused the seas to rise on average of nearly 8 inches during the past century. That may not sound like much, but it is only the beginning, and the rise could be 4 to 6 feet by the end of this century. That would polish off Miami and New Orleans.

We've raised the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 270 in 1750 to over 410 now. The last time the earth saw 410 ppm of CO2 was 2 million years ago, when the whole world was tropical and there was no surface ice. If we stop producing so much carbon dioxide, the oceans will absorb a lot of what we have put up there, but around 2050 the oceans will be full and if we go on burning fossil fuels past a certain date, all the CO2 will stay up there for tens of thousands of years and the whole world will become tropical and there will be no surface ice.

The scientists use that "certain" word again when they say that since 1950 heat waves have become more intense and more frequent because we burned coal, gasoline and natural gas.

Hurricanes and cyclones have increased in intensity in the past forty years, though whether they will become more frequent is hard to know.

We are also making the climate more complicated. They write, "Human influence has likely increased the chance of compound extreme events since the 1950s. This includes increases in the frequency of concurrent heatwaves and droughts on the global scale (high confidence); fire weather in some regions of all inhabited continents (medium confidence); and compound flooding in some locations (medium confidence)."

We don't just have a heatwave here and a drought there any more- we have them both together, and along with wildfires, too.

The scientists conclude that the hotter we make the earth, the more extreme the climate gets. Even just an extra degree Fahrenheit can push those extremes:

"With every additional increment of global warming, changes in extremes continue to become larger. For example, every additional 0.5°C of global warming causes clearly discernible increases in the intensity and frequency of hot extremes, including heatwaves (very likely), and heavy precipitation (high confidence), as well as agricultural and ecological droughts30 in some regions (high confidence). Discernible changes in intensity and frequency of meteorological droughts, with more regions showing increases than decreases, are seen in some regions for every additional 0.5°C of global warming (medium confidence)."
These extremes won't be smoothly distributed. The Arctic and the South American monsoon region will heat up 2-3 times more than other places.

They add that precipitation will be heavier in some places, and "The proportion of intense tropical cyclones (categories 4-5) and peak wind speeds of the most intense tropical cyclones are projected to increase at the global scale with increasing global warming (high confidence)."

Me, I vote for green candidates, put solar panels on my roof, and leased an electric car for a while before just biking to work in the good weather. We can keep this thing low on the scale, still. If we all act together now.


Bonus Video:

Michael Mann on the IPPC 6th report on Climate Change - MSNBC Live with Katy Tur

(c) 2021 Juan R.I. Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively on modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf and South Asia and has given numerous media interviews on the war on terrorism and the Iraq War. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years and continues to travel widely there. He speaks Arabic, Farsi and Urdu.

The Solutions To The Climate Crisis No One Is Talking About

By Robert Reich

In light of the latest IPCC report on climate change, it's crucial we remember these four steps to avoiding a climate catastrophe.

First, create green jobs. Investing in renewable energy could create millions of family sustaining, union jobs and build the infrastructure we need for marginalized communities to access clean water and air.

Second, stop dirty energy. A massive investment in renewable energy jobs isn't enough to combat the climate crisis. If we are going to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must tackle the problem at its source: Stop digging up and burning more oil, gas, and coal.

Third, kick fossil fuel companies out of our politics. For decades, companies like Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and BP have been polluting our democracy by pouring billions of dollars into our politics and bankrolling elected officials to enact policies that protect their profits. The oil and gas industry spent over $103 million on the 2016 federal elections alone.

Fourth, require the fossil fuel companies that have profited from environmental injustice to compensate the communities they've harmed. As if buying off our democracy wasn't enough, these corporations have also deliberately misled the public for years on the amount of damage their products have been causing. If these solutions sound drastic to you, it's because they are. They have to be if we have any hope of keeping our planet habitable. The climate crisis is not a far-off apocalyptic nightmare - it is our present day.

(c) 2021 Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His latest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." His web site is

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), are seen in the U.S. Capitol on Monday, August 9, 2021.

Instead of Giveaways to the Rich, We Will Use Reconciliation to Serve Working People and Heal the Planet
As we address the needs of working families, and combat climate change, we are going to create millions of good paying jobs, many of them union jobs.
By Bernie Sanders

The following remarks, as prepared for delivery, were given by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Tuesday, August 10, 2021 as the Senate began consideration of the FY 2022 budget resolution and reconciliation instructions:

Let me begin by thanking President Biden and Majority Leader Schumer for their leadership in the arduous process which has gotten us to where we are today.

Mr. President: I do understand that many of my Republican colleagues are in a bit of shock now. They are finding it hard to believe that the president and the Democratic Caucus are prepared to go forward in addressing the long neglected needs of working families, and not just the 1% and wealthy campaign contributors. That's not the way things usually happen around here. Usually it's the big money interests and the lobbyists who call the tunes. But not today. Today, we move the country forward in a different direction.

Mr. President: The American people are sick and tired of growing income and wealth inequality in our country where two people own more wealth than the bottom 40%, where the 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 92%, and where 45% of all new income has gone to the top one percent since 2009. Meanwhile, while the very rich have become much richer the gross unfairness of our current tax system has allowed, in a given year, some of the wealthiest people in the world and largest and most profitable corporations to not pay to not pay a nickel in federal income tax.

Well, that's about to change. The American people want a government which represents all of us, and not just the few. This legislation is going to ask the wealthy and the powerful to start paying their fair share of taxes so that we can address the needs of working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor. And, despite what Republicans may be saying, no one in America who makes less than $400,000 a year will a nickel more in federal taxes. In fact, what we are looking at is an historic tax cut for working families and the middle class.

Further, at a time when California and Oregon are on fire, when Greece is burning and when countries throughout the world are experiencing unprecedented drought, this legislation begins the process of combating climate change so that our kids and our grandchildren can live in a country and a planet which is healthy and habitable. It would be immoral and an absolute dereliction of our responsibilities as Senators to do anything less. We cannot ignore climate change any longer. Now is the time for our great country to lead the world out of this existential crisis.

And, by the way, as we address the needs of working families, and combat climate change, we are going to create millions of good paying jobs, many of them union jobs.

Let me very briefly describe some of what's in this budget proposal.

First, we are finally going to address the disgrace of the United States having the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on earth. We are going to provide the long awaited for help that working parents all over this country desperately need, and when we do that we will substantially reduce childhood poverty in this country. We're going to do that by extending the Child Tax Credit so that families continue to receive monthly direct payments of up to $300 per child. We began that process in the American Rescue Plan. It has been enormously successful and has already helped reduce childhood poverty in our country by 61%.

Further, we will address the crisis in childcare by making sure that no working family pays more than 7 percent of their income on this basic need. Making child care more accessible and affordable will also strengthen our economy by allowing more than a million women to join the work force.

And we will expand public education by providing universal pre-kindergarten to every 3-and-4-year-old.

We will end the international disgrace of the United States being the only major country on earth not to guarantee paid family and medical leave as a right.

We will begin to address the crisis in higher education by making community colleges in America tuition-free.

We will take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and save taxpayers hundreds of billions by requiring that Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry.

And we will use those savings to expand Medicare by covering the dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses that seniors desperately need. We will also substantially increase the number of doctors, nurses, and dentists who practice in underserved areas and expand the community health center program into new areas.

We will combat homelessness in America and address the reality that nearly 18 million households are paying over 50 percent of their income for housing by an unprecedented investment in affordable housing.

We will ensure that people in an aging society can receive the health care they need in their own homes instead of expensive and inadequate nursing homes and that the workers who provide that care aren't forced to live on starvation wages.

We will bring undocumented people out of the shadows and provide them with a pathway to citizenship, including those who courageously kept our economy running in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

We will take on the existential threat of climate change by transforming our energy systems toward renewable energy and energy efficiency. Among many other provisions, a Civilian Climate Corps will give hundreds of thousands of young people good paying jobs and educational benefits as they get to work in saving our planet.

We will make it easier, not harder, for workers to join unions in America.

My Republican colleagues are upset that we are using the reconciliation process, and only 50 votes, to pass this budget. But let's be clear: This is not a new idea. When Republicans controlled the Senate they used reconciliation to pass trillions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 1% and large corporations.> When Republicans controlled the Senate they used reconciliation to make climate change worse by opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

When Republicans controlled the Senate they tried to use reconciliation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and throw 32 million Americans off of the health care they had.

Today, we will also use reconciliation, but we will use it much differently than the Republicans.

We will use it to benefit the working class, not the billionaire class.

Mr. President: It's no secret that millions of Americans are giving up on democracy and have lost faith in their government. Many of these people are working longer hours for lower wages and are seeing their children experience a lower standard of living than they had.

This legislation will not only provide enormous support to the kids of this country to the parents of this country, to the elderly people of this country, but it will also, I hope, restore the belief that in America we can have a government that works for all, not just the few.

(c) 2020 Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving 16 years in the House of Representatives. Sanders ran to become the Democratic Party presidential nominee in both 2016 and 2020 and remains the longest-serving independent member of Congress in American history. Elected Mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981, he served four terms. Before his 1990 election as Vermont's at-large member in Congress, Sanders lectured at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and at Hamilton College in upstate New York. Read more at his website. Follow him on Twitter: @SenSanders and @BernieSanders

The Cartoon Corner-

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Ted Rall ~~~

To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

Cuomo Crushes Harassment Allegations With Rousing 'Bada-Bing' Speech
By The Waterford Whispers News

NEW York governor Andrew Cuomo has been cleared of any wrongdoing this morning, after he brushed away the allegations of sexual misconduct against himself with the New Yorkiest, bada-bingiest speech that has ever been delivered.

Believed by many to be Cuomo's 'I have a dream' moment, the 63-year-old dismissed calls to resign from President Biden as well as quashing talk of impeachment by leaning into his native Queens drawl and decimating the testimonies of 'these 11 frickin' broads'.

"I'm governin' here! Hey! I'm governin' here!" began Cuomo, quickly quietening down the rabble of journalists at the press conference.

"One day youse is da the governor of New York, gettin' praise f'ya handlin' of the Covid-19 crisis then bada-bing, youse is on the front page like a freakin' schmutz. What's all that about? Huh?" he continued, as even his harshest critics began to agree with Cuomo's well-thought out reasoning.

"I've been reporting on politicians, celebrities and men of power sexually harassing women my entire career, and I've never felt more like I 'didn't know what the freak I was freakin' talking about' than I do now" said one seasoned journalist, leaving the conference.

"Well, that's me told" said President Biden, rescinding his call for Cuomo to step down.

"We thought that we had a case against Cuomo for the years of inappropriate touching, lewd comments, that kind of thing... turns out we just needed was for him to tell us to 'hey, relax' nine times in a four minute speech" said the women who accused Cuomo, all of whom feel kinda silly now.

(c) 2021 The Waterford Whispers News

The Animal Rescue Site

Issues & Alibis Vol 21 # 32 (c) 08/13/2021

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