[Unrelated, but I strongly recommend a close look at the latest issue of 'Policy' (freely-downloadable pdf here) 'The Great Canadian Energy Puzzle' including articles by Elizabeth May, Jim Prentice, and Joe Oliver (our very own Alfred E. Newman, direct from Mad) among others.]
In 2011, somewhere in the vicinity of Rancho Mirage ... the Koch brothers hold a summit:
Coke, Koch, Koch, Koch, Pet, Petcoke, Koch:
Bankety bankety bank ... with help from Ogden Nash (1902–1971):
In 2013 at the Annenberg Retreat, Sunnylands (also somewhere in the vicinity of Rancho Mirage):中国梦 'Chinese Dream'. The translation coming via Google Translate (and keep in mind that someone like me who does not even know if Chinese is read right to left or up and down is not to be trusted).
Jared Diamond is not to be trusted either. A strange looking fellow - no harm in that. I was with him until Chapter 15 of his book 'Collapse' - Big Businesses and the Environment: Different Conditions, Different Outcomes - at which point the whitewash/greenwash of Chevron in Papua New Guinea left me ... gobsmacked!
But times are tough - I am running out of books to read and can't afford to buy more - so 'The Third Chimpanzee' finds its way to my bedside table and in a few days I get to Chapter 10 - Agriculture's Mixed Blessings. IT SHAKES MY CONSTELLATION! I sleep and have nightmares.
Next morning I am still breathless. Not because of the scholarship - which I am unsure of (anyway, how would I know?); and not the cogency of the arguments which are not particularly ... more like the day when some little girl finally lifts her dress and you catch your first glimpse of coochie.
Ah, a bona fide translation: 和悦梦想 'Harmonious Happy Dream' (with at least one ideogram in common) at Peggy Liu's JUCCCE (Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy).
My own (simpleminded and sentimental) harmonious dream runs to a meadow, a cabin, a brook, a garden in which to dig & delve, very Thoreau, and as anima an Abishag who at least occasionally smiles. Never to be gentle reader ... once upon a time I offer an onion farm in São José do Norte to a beloved friend and she says "Sou preta mas não escrava / I am black but not a slave." Oh well ...
This notion of Diamond's strikes directly at that garden eh?
There is a copy posted on-line to read and think about maybe. That's it.
Even Paul Krugman almost gets it - but not quite. A 'strong social safety net' he says. Yes, he's got that right; but he is addicted to corporate ideology (has to be because for him it is an existential condition); and he still thinks some policy committee or other armed with tax money can accomplish good - which is nonsense.
There are important clues (as to what a real safety net might look like) in the behaviour of Valdenir Munduruku and his friends and colleagues over the past several months as they confront the infernal machine that builds the likes of Belo Monte.
They are getting safely home again after a struggle in which they risked all - in this I heartily rejoice. Sadder but wiser - and it isn't over yet.