Copyright Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved. Powered by Blogger.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 2015 Quotations (59)

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."
~~ Steve Jobs [1955-2011], co-founder of Apple, Inc. [est. 1975]

"The mintage of wisdom is to know that rest is rust, and that real life is in love, laughter, and work."
~~ Elbert Hubbard [1856-1915]

"The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his great-grandfather was a pirate."
~~ Bern Williams

"Language is the source of misunderstandings."
~~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry [1900-44]

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition."
~~ Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936]

"Identify the dominant philosophy of a society and you can predict its future."
~~ Ayn Rand [1905-82]

"My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant, whole armies can be utterly destroyed, they surely will abide by golden peace."
~~ Alfred Nobel [1833-96]

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."
~~ marketing expert E. Joseph Cossman [1918-2002]

"People don't get to change things. Things change people once in a while, but people don't change things."
~~ Lawrence Block

"The United States was declared a fascist country in January 2010. Well, at least the internet is still a free country."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"Great cultural changes begin in affectation and end in routine."
~~ Jacques Barzun [1907-2012]

"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow."
~~ Greek philosopher Plato [427-347 BCE]

"We'd never get anything fixed to suit us if we waited for things to suit us before we started.”
~~ Laura Ingalls Wilder [1867-1957], By the Shores of Silver Lake

"Never be ashamed! There's some who'll hold it against you, but they're not worth bothering with."
~~ J.K. Rowling

"Any truth is better than indefinite doubt."
~~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [1859-1930] Page

"The oppressor's most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed."
~~ Stephen Biko [1946-77]

"We get what we fight for – so let’s get out there and fight."
~~ Sen. Elizabeth Warren

"As if we needed another reason to kick Republicans out of Congress."
~~ Congressman Ben Ray Luján [Dem NM-03]

"We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done."
~~ Alan Turing [1912-54]

"Traveller, there is no road, you make your own path as you walk."
~~ Spanish poet Antonio Machado [1875-1939]

"Without great solitude, no serious work is possible."
~~ Pablo Picasso [1881-1973]

"Words can be like x-rays if you use them properly – they'll go thru anything. You read and you're pierced."
~~ Aldous Huxley [1894-1963], in 1932 novel "Brave New World"

"In the world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it."
~~ George Bernard Shaw [1856-1950]

"The things that make me different are the things that make me."
~~ A.A. Milne [1882-1956]

"The sight of the huge world put mad ideas into me ... as if I could wander away, wander forever, see strange and beautiful things, one after the other."
~~ C.S. Lewis [1898-1963]

"To find a form that accomodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now."
~~ Samuel Beckett [1906-89]

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think [that] I have ended up where I needed to be."
~~ Douglas Adams [1952-2001]

"Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: opportunity."
~~ Bill Gates

"Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom."
~~ Gen. George Smith Patton, Jr. [1885-1945]

"Art is a magic which makes the hours melt away and even days dissolve into seconds."
~~ Leonora Carrington, OBE [1917-2011]

"You live but once; you might as well be amusing."
~~ Coco Chanel [1883-1971]

"It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done."
~~ Vincent van Gogh [1853-90]

"My invention (the motion picture camera) can be exploited . . . as a scientific curiosity, but apart from that it has no commercial value whatsoever."
~~ Auguste Lumière [1862-1954]

"There is no way to success in art but to take off your coat, grind paint, and work like a digger on the railroad, all day and every day."
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82]

"You're cute and all, but I'm not sharing my coffee."
~~ Rachel Wolchin

"Writers aren't exactly people . . . they're a whole bunch of people trying to be one person."
~~ F. Scott Fitzgerald [1896-1940]

"You do not determine a man's greatness by his talent or wealth, as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him."
~~ Jerry Falwell 1933-2007]

"Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people's."
~~ Anaïs Nin [1903-77]

"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment."
~~ Persian poet & mystic Rumi [1207-73]

"Impossible is just an opinion."
~~ Paolo Coelho

"Some beautiful paths can't be discovered without getting lost."
~~ Erol Ozan

"Do we have to know who is gay and who is straight? Can't we just love everybody and judge them by the car [that] they drive?"
~~ daytime TV host Ellen Degeneres

"For time is the longest distance between two places."
~~ Tennessee Williams [1911-83]

"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."
~~ George Carlin [1937-2008]

"Be in love with your life. Every minute of it."
~~ Jack Kerouac [1922-69]

"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life."
~~ Albert Camus [1913-60]

"The more that you read, / the more things you will know. / The more that you learn, / the more places you'll go!"
~~ Dr. Seuss {Theodor Geisel 1904-91}

"He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever."
~~ Chinese proverb

"Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled 'This could change your life'."
~~ Helen Exley

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"Write hard and clear about what hurts."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person."
~~ Gloria Steinem

"He was a poet, and they are never exactly grown up."
~~ playwright J.M. Barrie [1860-1937]

"Our nation is facing a crisis of liberty if we do not control campaign expenditures. We must prove that elective office is not for sale. We must convince the public that elected officials are what James Madison intended us to be, agents of the sovereign people, not the hired hands of rich givers."
~~ Sen. Barry Goldwater [1909-98]

"Music has charms to soothe a savage breast."
~~ English playwright Sir Wm. Congreve [1670-1729]
the first line of his 1697 play "The Mourning Bride", spoken by Almeria; often misquoted as 'Music has charms to soothe the savage beast'.

"The Mojave is a big desert and a frightening one. It's as though nature tested a man for endurance and constancy to prove whether he was good enough to get to California."
~~ John Steinbeck [1902-68]

"Hate is a heavy burden to carry."
~~ Congressman John Lewis [Dem GA-05]

"Few who have ever watched the valve gear and side rods of a steam locomotive in action could seriously argue that the Industrial Revolution created any more fascinating machine."
~~ railroad photographer Ron Ziel

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
~~ sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein [1907-88]

{each set of posted quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}

Sunday, August 02, 2015

WM Essay #108: Civilization Is Imploding

Civilization has begun to implode.

The mammalian species that have gone extinct in the last ten years already outnumber the plant and animal species that died off during the Fifth Extinction, which took place some 66 million years ago and killed the dinosaurs; the rate of die-off is also faster. You may live to witness and be impacted by the Sixth Extinction. My guess is that homo sapiens will be replaced by cetaceans (dolphins, whales) as the dominant species. Maybe. In a few millennia.

The Fifth Extinction was caused by a 6-mile diameter meteor landing off the coast of Yucatan, darkening the sky with dust and dropping the temperature of the biosphere for decades. The coming Sixth Extinction is caused by humans burning fossil fuels in combination with over-population.

The battle against global warming is over. We lost. And there is no turning back or recovery possible. Meteorologists in Great Britain are recording all-time high temperatures across the country. The Arctic Ocean was largely ice-free this spring, the first-ever such condition, and Alaska has been warmer than the U.S. East Coast. Russia and Canada are building naval and coast guard bases along their northern coasts, expecting to need to monitor an influx of oil tankers and tourist ships.

The El Niño phenomenon in the South Pacific Ocean is medium strength so far this year, and yet is already seen as cause for warm and wet jet stream clouds moving northward to Alaska and Canada. So the water needed to support California agriculture is not arriving and the crops will not be growing – first the heavily-irrigated crops like almonds and rice and alfalfa, followed by drier crops like corn and cotton.

Over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts are produced in California. Oops, no water, no food. The glaciers in the Andes Mountains are mostly melted away, so no water for their crops, and no imported food either. We are already seeing spot shortages in the fresh and packaged food sections in our local grocery stores. Prices will skyrocket and the rest of the economy will disappear.

McDonald’s is the largest owner of meat and dairy cattle in the U.S.A. (plus herds down in Argentina and Brasil); as their herds shrink further there won’t be any Big Macs – no beef, no food, no jobs.

The CEOs of Wall Street are still raping and pillaging the economy. The Wall Street pirates take money out of the system and ignore the economics of Main Street. Money is quite like rain water: the less that circulates the harder it is to keep the system going. The Middle Class is shrinking in silence – under-reported, with little protest to the government, which doesn’t listen anyway. The solution is Keynesian economics, which is feared by the fascist Republicans (because it works); we also need to institute Reason-Based Taxation, which barely has a toehold among politicians.

Eco-activist Bill McKibben founded a group called back in 2007. The number was chosen because it signifies the parts-per-million (ppm) for CO2 that the atmosphere can healthily recycle – burn carbon fuels, plants and the oceans absorb the CO2, trees and plankton produce oxygen thru photosynthesis.

Recent news reports detail the several official scientific weather research facilities that have recorded CO2 levels at 400 ppm. Increased global warming is now inevitable and unstoppable.

The first six months of 2015 are the warmest on record (i.e. since 1880) all around the planet, with the second half of 2015 expected to continue to set high-temperature records.

The South Pacific Ocean contains a floating garbage pile the size of the State of Texas. That mostly-plastic garbage absorbs heat. As the warmer ocean waters there and around the world absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, the water is turned several pH levels toward the acidic. The acidity is already dissolving the shells of tiny animals at the bottom of the oceanic food chain, destroying sustenance for larger creatures.

The krill (swarms of tiny shellfish) near the Antarctic are decimated and near extinction. The melting of the Antarctic ice shelves and glaciers prevents penguins from swimming out to where the krill used to be. The melting in the Arctic prevents polar bears from swimming out to their seal herd food source, so the polar bears have started to learn how to kill elk and deer. (No reports yet of polar bears forming packs to attack Inuit/Eskimo settlements.)

The Republican Party blocked solving the ecological problems in the biosphere and now the problems have grown so dire that solutions no longer exist.

As you witness your children and grandchildren and neighbors starving to death over the next decade or so, be sure to thank a Republican.

Copyright 2015 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

{A variation of this essay was published in the Valencia County News-Bulletin on Thursday 30 July 2015 in the Opinion Section; I was given status as a guest columnist, which includes the display of a small headshot photograph.}