Posts Tagged ‘science’

A huge swathe of Trump’s voter base are non college educated blue collar workers who he’s enticed and inveigled into his right wing ideology because they have the same limited understanding of political machinations as their new messiah has.
It’s not a personal triumph to vote for a failed (4 times bankrupted) businessman and reality TV Celeb to laud over you, but simply a sign of your lack of education and how you’ve bought into the cult of personality.
It would be a false syllogism to say ‘all republicans are morons; he’s a republican therefore he must be a moron’ this is a fallacy, as I’m sure there must be some republicans out there that are decent, it’s just I’ve yet to meet any.
Tragically, many of his fans don’t have a great deal of education and feel he’s offering them hope to make something out of their pathetic lives but the sad reality is they’re still going to be bottom of the heap whichever demagogue is preaching politics of division at them.
In the meantime, Trump has signed multiple Executive Orders that will have dire consequences for the World’s climate and the environment for many decades to come.
This is a kleptocracy, a Kakistocracy on steroids, and has to be fought every step of the way!
This demagogue is in position as an environmental terrorist who will instigate a deliberate Ecocide to ruin the Earth for generations to come!

Big Up The Walloons!!!

The Belgian regional government defeated the CETA – Canadian free trade agreement, all by itself!

Being the opposite of an optimist, (this latest story has got me very depressed and holding no faith whatsoever in those of positions of governance, it looks like non-toxic, clean, breathable air is increasingly going to be a commodity that you have to pay to manage your own supply of – I’ve been looking at research of ways of filtering out nitrogen oxides and particulates to create at least a personal space within the smog cloud of urban living and the ubiquitous commute.

All inner city pedestrians should be considering wearing those masks the savvy cyclists use, the filtering medium they use is DACC – Dynamically Activated Charcoal Cloth.

DACC is technology developed by the UK defence industries in the 1980’s for military clothing resistant to NBC – Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Weapons!

There are already companies making home filtration systems for people living in toxic urban environments,

Convert your home into a quasi fallout shelter! (no criticism of the firm, they seem rather fantastic?)

I also discovered that the manufacturers of top of the range, luxury cars which also pump out NOx poison we have to breath are being equipped with cabin filters incorporating activated carbon technology and filtration below PM2.5 to preserve the occupants from the filth that their cars generate! – not like the filthy rich to isolate themselves from us plebs eh?

Us peasants with lesser or older cars can obtain upgraded cabin filters approaching the Mad Max post apocalypse spec’ enjoyed by the elites from an enterprising firm up North…

so… don’t expect our government, which has handed our sovereignty to global Corporate entities, to do anything, – just dig deep into your pockets, buy your own respirators, install domestic air filtration and upgrade your cars cabin/pollen filter to the closest ‘apocalypse’ spec you can, – your government doesn’t give a shit about you….

(there are only FIVE particulate monitoring sites in the UK and two are rural background monitoring sites)

(you can monitor your own environment at your own expense with particulate sensors)

(and a personal NO2 monitor)

failing all these, good luck with the asthma….?


26th October: MSC Global Governance

Masterclass with Visiting Professor Geoff Cousins on the VW Emissions scandal

Barrett, S.R., Speth, R.L., Eastham, S.D., Dedoussi, I.C., Ashok, A., Malina, R. and Keith, D.W., 2015. Impact of the Volkswagen emissions control defeat device on US public health. Environmental Research Letters, 10(11), p.114005.

Blackwelder, B., Coleman, K., Colunga-Santoyo, S., Harrison, J.S. and Wozniak, D., 2016. The Volkswagen Scandal.

Klier, T. and Linn, J., Comparing US and EU Approaches to Regulating Automotive Emissions and Fuel Economy.

Comparing US and EU Approaches to Regulating Automotive Emissions and Fuel Economy
Thomas Klier and Joshua Linn

Key Points

  • Historically, the United States and European Union have taken different approaches to regulating passenger vehicle fuel economy and emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, affecting choices of vehicle engines and fuels.
  • The Volkswagen emissions testing scandal will likely have broader implications for
    the regulation of fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions of other pollutants.
  • The scandal has led to a tightening of US emissions testing procedures, whereas EU regulators have responded to widespread noncompliance with current emissions standards by providing manufactures more time to adjust to upcoming standards.
  • Some have suggested giving more weight to real-world testing-that is, measuring emissions and fuel consumption from vehicles while on the road, possibly over their lifetimes and not just at the time of certification


My view…

Of course emission standards should be as low as possible but they should also reflect economic and technical realities.
Under present standards car manufacturers have been able to exploit glaring loop holes in regulations, no doubt the extremely powerful Automotive lobby is active in ensuring the loop holes exist?
It’s clear that the VW tricks represent only the tip of the iceberg.
Other manufacturers have also exploited the same loopholes, BUT, for some reason they have not been punished by the media and authorities.
For example; the real emissions of many Ford, GM, Land rover, Volvo, Fiat and Renault cars are many times the permitted levels.

The first task therefore HAS to be European Court action and legislation to close all existing loop holes!
The result would be substantial reduction in emissions.

Lowering the emission limits will obviously also help but closing the loop holes will have a bigger impact.

Many (but not all) of the latest Euro 6 specification diesel engines will already meet the proposed emission standards.

The technology is already there but if, by exploiting loop holes, manufacturers can save a few hundred £ or € hand improve market share and a competitive edge – They will DEFINITELY do it. Especially in the EU as they won’t receive US level fines if their caught!

European Graduate School Video Lectures Link 1hr 10mins

Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland. – 2012 Slavoj Žižek.

Slavoj Žižek is the International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, a professor of philosophy and psychoanalysis at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the London School of Economics, Princeton University, The New School for Social research and the University of California, Irvine.

He has published over forty books and been the subject of two movies, Žižek! and The Perverts Guide To Cinema. In 1990 he ran unsuccessfully for president in Slovenia’s first democratic elections and he has been a consistently powerful voice in the world since then.

His essays are regularly published in the New York Times, Lacanian Ink, the New Left Review and the London Review of Books.

There is little in contemporary thought that Žižek has not explored on some level. From communism to Maoism, film studies to literature, and from Lenin to the issue of torture in the post-9/11 world, Žižek’s work has, and continues to, inform the dialogue that surrounds them.

Žižek’s first book in English translation, The Sublime Object of Ideology, examines the issues surrounding the placement of “sublime objects” in a regime’s iconography which allow it to transgress or alter commonly accepted moral law or thought. It is these objects—be it God, Fuhrer, Dear Leader or Land, the Flag, Democracy—that allow the regimes to “self-sanctify” their actions.

While much of Žižek’s work is strictly philosophical or psychoanalytical dealing with Hegel, Kant, Freud and Lacan, since 9/11 his work has become increasingly political, directly referencing the illegal actions taken by the Bush administration and the complicit nature of the European regimes of Blair, Sarkozy and Berlusconi.

Slavoj Žižek is the author of;

The Sublime Object of Ideology (1989), For They Know Not What They Do (1991), Looking Awry: an Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture(1991), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan (But Were Afraid To Ask Hitchcock) (1992), Enjoy Your Symptom! Jacques Lacan In Hollywood And Out (1992), Tarrying With The Negative (1993), Mapping Ideology (1994), The Indivisible Remainder (1996), The Plague of Fantasies (1997), The Abyss Of Freedom (1997), The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology (1999), Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left (with Judith Butler and Ernesto Laclau) (2000), The Art of the Ridiculous Sublime, On David Lynch’s Lost Highway (2000), The Fragile Absolute or Why the Christian Legacy is Worth Fighting For (2000), On Belief (2001), The Fright of Real Tears (2001), Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism? (2001), The Puppet and the Dwarf (2003), Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences (2003), Iraq The Borrowed Kettle (2004) Violence (2008), First As Tragedy, Then As Farce (2009), and Living in the End Times (2010). Most recently, 2012, Žižek published his monumental Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism.