Following on
Oh oh!

Start spreading the news

I read "Climate Progress" hidden behind my fingers given that they are always first with climate change research and so on, so my paranoid half is always worried about seeing the 'final news' when I click on my Bloglines (you know, the "It's too late, scientists confirm" type headlines). I don't think it's me imagining it... I do think that things have started changing more quickly this year, but helpfully, so has the majority news agenda which is now talking about reducing carbon levels 90% by 2050 and the like without making that sound like "What? Are these people mental?" i would recommend it though, for anyone with a strong stomach. I often think I *haven't* got a strong enough gut for what I read on there, but... I reckon, as long as I stay angry, I won't get too scared. We need more solid news stories that discuss big fat changes soberly, so that the huge legislative stuff won't shock the dunderheads who pretend it's not happening.

Anyway, before you head over there and never darken my towels again, I had a bunch of comments pop in to my head about some stories on there today, and rather than go straggling all over the interweb laying down trails that will never be followed up because I lose them all, here are a few thoughts on a couple of pieces from this news roundup:

Japan climate pledge conditional on China, India

Erm... is anyone surprised by that? I assumed it was a poker play and it's very much a bravura "come on guys, step up to the plate" type message. I still say good on 'em. Meanwhile, WSJ, get with the programme. 8% is "more realistic"? 8% was criminal, and almost as dumb as total inaction. If we have to work hard to help Japan (and everyone else) reach high targets, then that's what we have to do.

France mulls CO2 tax on citizens

Yes the ulterior motive is to reduce the national debt. Do I care? There are alot of interesting things to discuss here. road haulage is big business in France, which `don't forget, has a vast land mass with lots of small villages and towns dotted around. "J'aime mon village" is a typical wee sticker you'll see in shop and cafe windows out in the sticks. France loves to reinforce its own traditional culture. The Socialist Party is right, obviously it will hit the working class and those who 'need' to use cars. It could be that part of the revenue gained would be best spent introducing  some sort of wealth-related subsidy for moving toward electric? But my personal view is that this kind of tax is inevitable, in order to propel the market toward electric vehicles, etc as fast as possible. Don't forget that France is full of nuclear power plants - there's no shortage of electricity. Half the time they're selling their surplus to Spain.

Classic "We're all going to die" territory from The Guardian, which is really pushing the eco-apocalypse message to coincide with its promotion of 10:10.  I'm just pointing this out, I guess. The more scientific press tends to veer toward the "firm action is required" type of article headline. I think that's because they all sort of 'got' the big picture long ago, and are busy trying to focus, and not spread panic, unless it's a big fat urgent new piece of research. but those kind of headlines aren't juicy enough!

But this is the piece from CP that I really want you to read: "Fox News blurts out its agenda". Rupert Murdoch, current owner of Fox News, announced in May 2007 that he was going to green up his network's offerings, as well as reduce emissions operationally. Was this agenda only allowed if there was a Republican President? I always find it weird that Graydon Carter wrote / researched what was (to me at least) the most coruscating and viciously on-the-nose report in to Bush's first term ("What we've lost" - still well worth reading. count how many times you draw your breath in, shocked, per page). I think I wouldn't be exaggerating if I suggested Carter's overall agenda was to wave a bloody great notice flag to point at the Republican political elite (which obviously includes tobacco, oil and the medical industry as well as other key business influencers) and over and over explain that their moral judgment is flawed, that they are entirely self-motivated, and that they genuinely behave in a way that could be described as evil. Gore Vidal has some gorgeous quotes about Republicans but I can't find the one he said on video during an interview More 4 chopped up to use in its idents. Anyway, he said the same thing. But better. (Here he is with Jon Snow - "Remember that the Republican society is not a Political Party, it's a mindset" brilliant, brittle, wayward and almost anarchic).

But let's get back to Fox News. If I think of Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary of Great Britain, can you imagine the field day that Glenn Beck would have with his background? Unfortunately for Beck, Johnson's not black so he'd have to be criticising a white man, which no doubt would annoy him but holy cow. How many, particularly Labour Politicians have had radical pasts in the UK? Even those who were radical conservatives in their youth are taken on current-job face value (until they totally cock up). Beck seems to have the same radical, pathological hatred of anything with a wiff of 'left wing' about it that Thatcher had. And yet, as Jon Stewart pointed out a few weeks ago ,when he was a commentator on CNN, he displayed barely any of that right wing hatred. If he is in fact merely happy to parrot anything for the people paying him, I hope he manages to come to terms with who he is and make amends before he becomes a modern Marley's Ghost, crawling the face of the earth in self pity, for the vile excuse for a human being he is now.

Anyway. If I have a thought which I hope is worth capturing, as opposed to just (the usual) ranting, it is this. Do not be fooled by public figureheads of the right wing into believing that they are a bunch of disparate wingnuts: radical individuals who just can't stand not being in power. They are dangerous, ideologically driven by the desire for capturing wealth; they seek to exploit the American working class and government to increase that wealth, and they will stop at nothing to regain that position. In this respect, I think that they are smarter than Liberals, because by their very nature, the Liberals in the US believe in the fundamental decency of people. That is why they can't second guess the politicised and influential right wing - they have no idea just how far in to the filth the right wing will go to achieve their ends.

Fox News got one thing right. Van Jones is just the beginning. I believe they are treating this as a war.

Here's Tom with the weather!