Monday, October 29, 2018
I'm back on the blog after a lapse of some time but the winter is moving in and my mind is adrift with fear and loathing.
Is Donald Trump a Black Swan?
The other day one of Trump’s less than-intelligent-sons made mention that his father was a Black Swan. That took a few folks back but the comment only lasted a moment in the news cycle, but it did strike me as odd. The term Black Swan is taken from a book called The Black Swan by Taleb. Its premise was that in history, many changes have come about by a radically unanticipated event, an event that may have very disturbing consequences. Previously, it was thought the all the swans in the world were white! That black one in Australia was oddly catastrophic in the ornithology world—and did offer for a nice metaphor.
The one I remember best was the scene where there was a group of Native Americans standing on the eastern shore of the US, looking out and seeing a tall ship owned by Columbus. Initially they may have thought, “Oh look dude, there is a really big canoe maybe build by those pesky Iroquois.” Not really giving it much thought, they went back to weed the pumpkins. As it turned out, that was one hell of a Black Swan because in short order, most of the natives were dead or dying, or fighting, or just flat-ass running off. Life changed.
There were others mentioned and I suspect the killing of Archduke Ferdinand was one as it gave us a war and an accompanied pile of real dead people.
So is Trump the Buffoon, or as my son calls him Cheeto Mussolini, a Black Swan as his ill-informed Jr. suggested in a speech?
So I am thinking to myself, self, It is well known that the way we are living, that is the consuming yahoos we are, say me driving 200 miles to go fishing, or the guy next door driving 400 miles with his Tundra Super Conquistador pulling a $30,000 bass boat powered by 2 250 HP Honda Blasters, (or was it to Merlin aircraft engines?) has to at some point, go away. This we intuitively know because fossil fuels, particularly that oil stuff, is a finite resource and to top it off it is giving off CO2, which is now warming the earth faster than Trump can rework his silly, wombat imitated comb-over.
These activities simply have to change, and we, that would be we Amurkins, have to at least get down to European consumption levels of one half (1/2) of our present gluttony. It is also known Dick Cheney was right when he said, “We can not do anything about the climate change because it will hurt the economy.” Well, shit, he was right and the economy as defined by everyone from Charles Buchannan to Milton Freidman—oh, and even Keynes, requires never ending exponential growth and that ain’t gonna fly in a finite world.
Because of this truth, it immediately seems reasonable to think that if we want to rectify the CO2 and other dandy greenhouse gasses, say methane that comes out of our bungs—particularly Trump, then we have to get rid of the GDP growth as well as population growth. The graph here shows that the only decrease in emissions we have had in recent years was in 2008 during the great recession. Jesus, there is a message I can even see.
So, while we are carrying on about changing light bulbs, making wind generators, and having fewer steaks, in Sconnie talk, it don’t mean jack because we still have this growth issue. I mean, how the hell are we going to off-set another million people every 4.5 days? We ain’t.
Here is where we get back to the Black Swan. One has to see that the only drop-off we’ve had in emissions was during an economic downturn like the great recession of ’08, and actually the fall of Russia when they went to consuming ethanol (vodka) and no gasoline.
What this means, from my backwoods point of view, is we need a freaking recession/depression of some note, and then sure as hell the emissions will drop off in noticeable fashion.
Now if The Cheeto guy is a true Black Swan, he may be the trigger to get us where we actually need to go. This would also make Eric (The Red) Trump correct in his statement and also explain why his comment dropped of the news most pronto. In other words, do you suppose The Trumpster may actually do some heinous, or not heinous thing that will trigger a collapse? Does this mean we vote for Trump to get a correction of climate change---or is there a humane way to get where we need to go?