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Doubling Down on Our Faustian Bargain


"The principal implication of our present analysis relates to the Faustian bargain. Increased short-term masking of greenhouse gas warming by fossil fuel particulate and nitrogen pollution is a "doubling down" of the Faustian bargain, an increase in the stakes. The more we allow the Faustian debt to build, the more unmanageable the eventual consequences will be. Yet globally there are plans to build more than 1,000 coal-fired power plants and plans to develop some of the dirtiest oil sources on the planet. These plans should be vigorously resisted. We are already in a deep hole -- it is time to stop digging."


James Hansen, Reader Supported News


Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell


02 April 13 | Humanity's Faustian climate bargain is well known. Humans have been pumping both greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) and aerosols (fine particles) into the atmosphere for more than a century. The CO2 accumulates steadily, staying in the climate system for millennia, with a continuously increasing warming effect. Aerosols have a cooling effect (by reducing solar heating of the ground) that depends on the rate that we pump aerosols into the air, because they fall out after about five days.


Aerosol cooling probably reduced global warming by about half over the past century, but the amount is uncertain because global aerosols and their effect on clouds are not measured accurately. Aerosols increased rapidly after World War II as fossil fuel use increased ~5 percent/year with little pollution control (Fig. 1). Aerosol growth slowed in the 1970s with pollution controls in the U.S. and Europe, but accelerated again after ~2000.


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The Treason of the Intellectuals

The journalists, pundits and academics who sold us the Iraq War remain firmly ensconced in their positions of privilege and power, and these self-defined liberals stand ready to sell us out again.

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Illustration by Mr. Fish

Mar 31, 2013 | The rewriting of history by the power elite was painfully evident as the nation marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. Some claimed they had opposed the war when they had not. Others among “Bush’s useful idiots” argued that they had merely acted in good faith on the information available; if they had known then what they know now, they assured us, they would have acted differently. This, of course, is false. The war boosters, especially the “liberal hawks”—who included Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Al Franken and John Kerry, along with academics, writers and journalists such as Bill Keller, Michael Ignatieff, Nicholas Kristof, David Remnick, Fareed Zakaria, Michael Walzer, Paul Berman, Thomas Friedman, George Packer, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Kanan Makiya and the late Christopher Hitchens—did what they always have done: engage in acts of self-preservation. To oppose the war would have been a career killer. And they knew it.


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It All Turns On Affection

How Plutocracy Crushes Affection

Wendell E. Berry, National Endowment for the Humanities

Thanks to Evergreene Digest Reader Charlie Bloss for this contribution.

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One night in the winter of 1907, at what we have always called “the home place” in Henry County, Kentucky, my father, then six years old, sat with his older brother and listened as their parents spoke of the uses they would have for the money from their 1906 tobacco crop. The crop was to be sold at auction in Louisville on the next day. They would have been sitting in the light of a kerosene lamp, close to the stove, warming themselves before bedtime. They were not wealthy people. I believe that the debt on their farm was not fully paid, there would have been interest to pay, there would have been other debts. The depression of the 1890s would have left them burdened. Perhaps, after the income from the crop had paid their obligations, there would be some money that they could spend as they chose. At around two o’clock the next morning, my father was wakened by a horse’s shod hooves on the stones of the driveway. His father was leaving to catch the train to see the crop sold.

He came home that evening, as my father later would put it, “without a dime.” After the crop had paid its transportation to market and the commission on its sale, there was nothing left. Thus began my father’s lifelong advocacy, later my brother’s and my own, and now my daughter’s and my son’s, for small farmers and for land-conserving economies.

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Dwarfed by the Magnitude of the Problems

The report contains reams of data and will be a gold mine for professionals looking for data about who went off to war, post-9/11, and how they fared.

Mark Thompson, Nation / Time

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor S. Brian Willson

A U.S. soldier in Kuwait readies to invade Iraq, 2003.

March 26, 2013 | That’s the grim bottom line of a major new study in the state of post-9/11 veterans released Tuesday morning by the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the prestigious and independent National Academy of Sciences.

“Although the majority of returning troops have readjusted well to post-deployment life, 44 percent have reported difficulties after they returned,” a summary of the report says. “Significant numbers of personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and many have shown symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance misuse or abuse.”

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After 40 years, Vietnam memories still strong

  • While the fall of Saigon in 1975 — with its indelible images of frantic helicopter evacuations — is remembered as the final day of the Vietnam War, March 29 marks an anniversary that holds greater meaning for many who fought, protested or otherwise lived the war. 
  • American Anniversaries from Hell

Jay Reeves and David Dishneau, Associated Press / Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

In this March 29, 1973 file photo, the American flag is furled at a ceremony marking official deactivation of the Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV) in Saigon, after more than 11 years in South Vietnam. (AP Photo - Charles Harrity)

March 29, 2013 | The last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam 40 years ago Friday, and the date holds great meaning for many who fought the war, protested it or otherwise lived it.

While the fall of Saigon two years later is remembered as the final day of the Vietnam War, many had already seen their involvement in the war finished — and their lives altered — by March 29, 1973.

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American Anniversaries from Hell, Tom Englehardt, / Huffington Post

March 28, 2013 | It’s true that, last week, few in Congress cared to discuss, no less memorialize, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.  Nonetheless, two anniversaries of American disasters and crimes abroad -- the “mission accomplished” debacle of 2003 and the 45th anniversary of the My Lai massacre -- were at least noted in passing in our world.  In my hometown paper, the New York Times, the Iraq anniversary was memorialized with a lead op-ed by a former advisor to General David Petraeus who, amid the rubble, went in search of all-American “silver linings.”


Do people with disabilities get the help they need?

  • This is what caregivers said about supports.
  • Doctors put lower value on lives of the disabled, study finds.

Self-Advocacy On-line

Thanks to Evergreene Digest readers Jay Wilson and Lance Hegland  for this contribution

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Do you live a good life in the community? Do you get the help you need? Does your family get the help it needs?

Support services can be hard to find. We want to know do people with disabilities have the help they need?

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Doctors put lower value on lives of the disabled, study finds, John Bingham, Telegraph, UK

  • A three-year investigation by Bristol University academics into hundreds of deaths, proved that the lives of disabled people are “valued less” than those of others.
  • Horror Care: How Private Healthcare Is Shortening Our Lives


America's Well-regulated Militia Has Been Super-busy

Ms. Bey Bowers, America's Best Christian

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Human Stupidity Is Destroying the World

  • 37 Percent of People Don't Have A Clue What's Going On.
  • But who's more naive -- the ignorant, or the educated who can't deal with the idea that there are ignorant people in the world?
  • George Monbiot | Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left

Mark Morford, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle / AlterNet

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Stephen Colbert

March 20, 2013  |  Six percent of Americans believe in unicorns. Thirty-six percent believe in UFOs. A whopping 24 percent believe dinosaurs and man hung out together. Eighteen percent still believe the sun revolves around the Earth. Nearly 30 percent believe cloud computing involves…actual clouds. A shockingly sad 18 percent, to this very day, believe the president is a Muslim. Aren’t they cute? And Floridian?

Do you believe in angels? Forty-five percent of Americans do. In fact, roughly 48 percent – Republicans and Democrats alike – believe in some form of creationism. A hilariously large percent of terrified right-wingers are convinced Obama is soon going to take away all their guns, so when the Newtown shooting happened and 20 young children were massacred due to America’s fetish for, obsession with and addiction to firearms, violence and fear, they bought  more bullets. Because obviously.

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George Monbiot | Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left, George Monbiot, Guardian UK 

  • Conservativism may be the refuge of the dim. But the room for rightwing ideas is made by those too timid to properly object. 
  • How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington
  • Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes




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