Review: The Real Global Warming Disaster

6 Star Top 10%, Associations & Foundations, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Budget Process & Politics, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Economics, Education (General), Education (Universities), Environment (Problems), Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Future, Games, Models, & Simulations, History, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology, Intelligence (Commercial), Intelligence (Public), Media, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Science & Politics of Science, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), True Cost & Toxicity, United Nations & NGOs, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond 6 Stars–Could Help Destroy Strong, Gore, & IPCC
December 4, 2009
This is a preliminary review as there are no others. I will spend the week-end creating a timeline, sorting out the good guys and the bad guys, and charting the costs real and projected.

Short version: bad science, bad media, bad politics, bad finance.

Two other books I have reviewed that support this one:
The Resilient Earth: Science, Global Warming and the Fate of Humanity
Global Warming False Alarm: The Bad Science Behind the United Nations' Assertion that Man-made CO2 Causes Global Warming

This book also helps reinstate Lomborg, whom I am ashamed to say I doubted after he was first denounced (publicly) and then redeemed (quietly) in Denmark. See my reviews of:
The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming (Vintage)

I list these–and point to others at the end of this preliminary review–to make the point that this author's stellar and very complete work with very good notes is the coup de grace–the final bullet in the head of the IPCC, a mercy killing long over-due. [Disclosure: I funded the first three years of the Earth Intelligence Network, a 501c3 Public Charity that accepts the ten high-level threats to humanity for action, and places climate change within priority #3, Environmental Degradation–we also place a very high priority on clarity, diversity, integrity, and sustainability of effort.

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Review: Nonzero–The Logic of Human Destiny

7 Star Top 1%, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Communications, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Cosmos & Destiny, Culture, Research, Economics, Education (General), Education (Universities), Environment (Solutions), Future, Games, Models, & Simulations, History, Information Operations, Information Society, Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks), Media, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Religion & Politics of Religion, Science & Politics of Science, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
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5.0 out of 5 stars 7 Stars–Nobel Prize (Of Old, Before Devalued) – Life Transformative Insights
November 28, 2009
Robert Wright

QUOTE: “Non-zero-sumness is a kind of potential–a potential for overall gain, or for overall loss, depending on how the game is played.”

This book is one of the most sophisticated, deep, documented, and influential I have ever read, right up there with Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. Published in 2000, this book has NOT received the marketing promotion or the public attention it merits.


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Review: Global Warming False Alarm–The Bad Science Behind the United Nations’ Assertion that Man-made CO2 Causes Global Warming

5 Star, Communications, Corruption, Crime (Government), Economics, Environment (Problems), Environment (Solutions), Games, Models, & Simulations, Information Operations, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Media, Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Science & Politics of Science, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Survival & Sustainment, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), True Cost & Toxicity, United Nations & NGOs, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Righteous Good SLAM of IPCC Fraud & Intimidation

November 26, 2009
Ralph B. Alexander
I read a lot, and I confess to have been among those who “bought in” to the celebrity alarmism of Al Gore, but I never displaced the totality of the threats to Earth for an obsessive focus on carbon emissions. Among the three books I have always recommended that are far more balanced than anything by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are:

High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them
The Future of Life
Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (Substantially Revised)

That having been said, I was generally supportive of the Kyoto Treaty and the concept of carbon reductions.

Then I read The Resilient Earth: Science, Global Warming and the Fate of Humanity and within weeks, read Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming (Vintage) and finally, just the past week, noticed the Hacktivism that outed all of the fraud and deception in the Climate Research Unit central to the IPCC (Climate Change Fraud is now a global meme).

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Review: The Practice of Peace

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Education (Universities), Environment (Solutions), Future, Games, Models, & Simulations, Information Operations, Information Society, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Politics, Priorities, Public Administration, Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Peace Through Open Space
November 26, 2009
Harrison Owen
The author gave me a copy of this book as a gift, after inviting me to lunch to discuss my review of Wave Rider (EasyRead Large Edition): Leadership for High Performance In a Self-Organizing World.

This book needs to be re-issued. It is a perfect complement to Tom Atlee's forthcoming Refelctions on Evolutionary Activism (Tom is the author of The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All–read my review of EA at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog.]

Although I knew the author was the founder of the Open Space Technology (OST) process, and recommend his book Open Space Technology: A User's Guide, I learn in this book that the other essential reader is his earlier book, The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform.

This book does something I was not expecting: it directly relates, in a tight DNA-like spiral, the use of open space technology (process is really a better word) to the practice of peace. This is not a book on Quakerism–the author has made an original contribution that has moved me further down the road toward Evolutionary Activism (focus on connecting all humans to all information, not on arriving as specific answers)-but I better understand the value of such books as Practicing Peace: A Devotional Walk Through the Quaker Tradition as a result of this reading.

ALSO unexpected, I found this book to be a handbook for a “Whole Systems” approach to peace and prosperity. The author writes of “Multi-Factorial Development” attempting to do that, but i have the margin notation that putting a bunch of singular discipline experts (one from each discipline) in a room together does not create in any of them the ability to *do* systems thinking (or sustainable design). See Critical Path and The Philosophy of Sustainable Design.

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Review: GIS for Decision Support and Public Policy Making

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Disaster Relief, Games, Models, & Simulations, Geography & Mapping, Geospatial, History, Humanitarian Assistance, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Stabilization & Reconstruction, Strategy, True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity

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ESRI Sales Material, Excellent Price, Recommended,

July 20, 2009
Christopher Thomas and Nancy Humenik-Sappington
As a publisher who is also an author, I continue to be outraged by the prices being charged for “trade” publications. This book is properly-priced–other books on GIS I would have bought are priced at three to four times their actual value, thus preventing the circulation of that knowledge. Those publishers that abuse authors and readers refuse to respect the reality that affordably priced books are essential to the dissemination of knowledge and the perpetuation of the publishing industry.

The book loses one star for refusing to address Google Earth and elements of the Google offering in this industry space. While Google is predatory and now under investigation by the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice, to ignore Google and its implications for cloud management of data in geospatial, time, and other cross- cutting contests, is the equivalent of poking one eye out to avoid seeing an approaching threat.

Having said that, I found this book from ESRI charming, useful, and I recommend it very highly, not least because it is properly priced and very well presented. Potential clients of ESRI can no doubt get bulk deliver of this volume for free.

Return on Investment factors that ESRI highlights up front include:
+ Cost and times savings
+ Increased efficiency, accuracy, productivity of existing resources
+ Revenue generation
+ Enhanced communications and collaboration
+ Automated workflows
+ More efficient allocation of new resources
+ Improved access to information.

The book consists of very easy-to-read and very well-illustrated small case studies, most previously published in Government Matters, which appears to be a journal (there are a number listed by that title).

Here are the highlights of this book for me personally:

+ Allows for PUBLIC visualization of complex data
+ Framework for “seeing” historical data and trends
+ Value of map-based dialog [rather than myth-based assertions]
+ Allows for the visualization of competing perspectives past and future
+ Illuminated land population dynamics, I especially like being able to see “per capita” calculations in visual form, especially when per capita can also be sliced by age, sex, income, religion, race, and so on.
+ Mapping derelict vessels underwater is not just a safety function, but opens the way for volunteer salvage and demolition
+ GROWS organically by attracting new data contributors who can “see” the added value of contributing their data and then being able to see their data and everyone else's data in geospatial terms. This is a POWERFUL incentive for information-sharing, which more often than not receives lip service. GIS for me is the “key” to realizing sharing across all boundaries while also protecting individual privacy
+ Shows “pockets” of need by leveraging data gaps in relation to known addresses (e.g. immunizations, beyond 5 minute fire response, etc.)'
+ Gives real meaning to “Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB)” and–not in this book–offers enormous potential if combined with a RapidSMS web database that can received text messages from hundreds of thousands of individuals across a region
+ Eliminates the time-energy cost of data collection in hard copy and processing of the individual pages into an aggregate database.

The book discusses GIS utility in the routing of hazardous materials, but avoids the more explosive (pun intended) value of GIS in showing the public as well as government officials where all the HAZMAT is complacently stored now. For a solid sense of the awaiting catastrophe, see my review of The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters.

The book also avoids any discussion of the urgency as well as the value of GIS in tracking and reducing natural resource consumption (e.g. water usage visible to all house by house), and the enormous importance of rapidly making it possible for any and all organizations to channel their data into shared GIS-based aggregations. For a sense of World Brain as EarthGame, see my chapter in Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace the chapter is also free online at the OSS.Net, Inc. website forward slash CIB.

This book, 189 pages of full color, is a righteous useful offering. I would encourage ESRI to become the GIS publisher of choice, buy out the titles that I could not afford, and enter the business of affordable aggregate publishing in the GIS field. Other titles by ESRI on GIS:
Measuring Up: The Business Case for GIS
The GIS Guide for Local Government Officials
Zeroing in: Geographic Information Systems at Work in the Community

Five other cool books on data pathologies that GIS can help resolve:
The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past
Fog Facts : Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin (Nation Books)
Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth'
Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography
The Age of Missing Information (Plume)

The latter remind me that GIS will not blossom fully until it can help the humanities deal with emotions, feelings, and perceptions across tribal and cultural boundaries. Right now, 23 years after I first worked with GIS in the Office of Information Technology at CIA, GIS is ready for the intermediate leap forward: helping multinational multiagency data sets come together. ESRI has earned deep regard from me with this book and I will approach them about a new book aimed at the UN, NGOs, corporations, and governments that wish to harmonize data and in so doing, harmonize how they spend across any given region, e.g. Africa. This will be the “master leap” for GIS, enabling the one billion rich to respond to micro-needs from the five billion poor, while also increasing the impact of aggregated orchestrated giving by an order of magnitude.

ESRI: well done!

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Review: Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

6 Star Top 10%, Atlases & State of the World, Change & Innovation, Consciousness & Social IQ, Corruption, Crime (Government), Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Environment (Solutions), Future, Games, Models, & Simulations, Intelligence (Public), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Philosophy, Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

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Not What I Expected But Hugely Satisfying,

June 27, 2009

R. Buckminster Fuller

I was actually expecting an Operating Manual. Although what I ended up with is a 136-page double-spaced “overview” by Buckminster Fuller, a sort of “history and future of the Earth in 5,000 words or less, bracketed by a *wonderful* introduction by grandchild Jamie Snyder, an index, a two-page resource guides, and some photos and illustrations including the Fuller Projections of the Earth.

First, the “core quote” that I can never seem to find when I need it:

OUR MISSION IS “To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” Inside front cover.

The introduction is a treat–I note “impressive” and appreciate the many insights that could only come from a grandchild of and lifelong apprentice to Buckminster Fuller.

Highlights for me:

Founder of Design Science, a company by that name is now led by Medard Gabel who served as his #2 for so long. I just attended one of their summer laboratories and was blown away by the creativity and insights. It is a life-changing experience for those with a passion for Earth.

He imagined an inventory of global data. I am just now coming into contact with all of this great man's ideas, but my third book, Information Operations: All Information, All Languages, All the Time, also online at the Strategic Studies Institute in very short monograph form, is totally in harmony with this man's vision for a global inventory of global data.

“Sovereignness” was for him a ridiculous idea, and a much later work out of Cambridge agrees, Philip Allot tells us the Treaty of Westphalia was a huge wrong turn in his book The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State.

“Great Pirates” that mastered the oceans as the means of linking far-flung lands with diversity of offerings was the beginning of global commerce and also the beginning of the separation between globalists who knew the whole, and specialists whom Buckminster Fuller scathingly describes as an advanced form of slave.

He was frustrated with the phrases “sunrise” and sunset” as they are inaccurate, and finally settled for “sunsight” and “suneclipse” to more properly describe the fact that it is the Earth that is moving around the sun, not the other way around.

In 1927 he concluded that it is possible for forecast with some accuracy 25 years in advance, and I find this remarkably consist with Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's view that it takes 25 years to move the beast–see for instance Miles to Go: A Personal History of Social Policy.

He has an excellent discussion of the failure of politics and the ignorance of kings and courtiers, noting that our core problem is that everyone over-estimates the cost of doing good and under-estimates the cost of doing bad, i.e. we will fund war but not peace.

He described how World War I killed off the Great Pirates and introduces a competition among scientists empowered by war, politicians, and religions. He says the Great Pirates, accustomed to the physical challenges, could not comprehend the electromagnetic spectrum.

He states that man's challenge is to comprehend the metaphysical whole, and much of the book is focused on the fact, in his view, that computers are the salvation of mankind in that they can take over all the automaton work, and free man to think, experiment, and innovate. He is particularly forceful in his view that unemployed people should be given academic scholarships, not have to worry about food or shelter, and unleash their innovation. I am reminded of Barry Carter's Infinite Wealth: A New World of Collaboration and Abundance in the Knowledge Era as well as Thomas Stewart's The Wealth of Knowledge: Intellectual Capital and the Twenty-first Century Organization.

There is a fascinating discussion of two disconnected scholars, one studying the extinction of human groups, the other the extinction of animal species, and when someone brings them together, they discover that precisely the same cause applied to both: over-specialization and a loss of diversity.

Synergy is the uniqueness of the whole, unpredictable from the sum of the parts or any part individually.

On page 87 he forecasts in 1969 when this book was first published, both the Bush and the Obama Administration's ease in finding trillions for war and the economic crisis, while refusing to recognize that we must address the needs of the “have nots” or be in eternal war. I quote:

“The adequately macro-comprehensive and micro-incisive solutions to any and all problems never cost too much.”

I agree. I drove to Des Moines and got a memo under Obama's hotel door recommending that he open up to all those not represented by the two party crime family, and also providing him with the strategic analytic model developed by the Earth Intelligence Network. Obviously he did not attend, and today he is a pale reflection of Bush. See the images I have loaded, and Obama: The Postmodern Coup – Making of a Manchurian Candidate.

Early on he identified “information pollution” as co-equal to physical pollution, I am totally taken with this phrase (see my own illustration of “data pathologies” in the image above). I recognize that Buckminster Fuller was about feedback loops and the integrity of all the feedback loops, and this is one explanation for why US Presidents fail: they live in “closed circles” and are more or less “captive” and held hostage by their party and their advisor who fear and block all iconoclasts less they lose their parking spot at the White House.

Most interestingly, and consistent with the book I just read the other day, Fighting Identity: Sacred War and World Change (The Changing Face of War), he concludes that wars recycle industry and reinvigorate science, and concludes that every 25 years is about right for a “scorched earth” recycling of forces.

He observes that we must preserve our fossil fuels as the “battery” of our Spaceship Earth, and focus on creating our true “engine,” regenerative renewable life and energy.

He joins with Will Durant in Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers: education is our most formidable task.

I am astonished to have him explain why the Pacific coast of the US is so avant guarde and innovative (as well as loony). He states that the US has been a melting pot for centuries, and that the West Coast is where two completely different cultural and racial patterns integrated, one from Africa and the east, the other from the Pacific and the west.

I learn that he owned 54 cars in his lifetime, and kept leaving them at airports and forgetting when and where. He migrated to renting, and concluded that “possession” is burdensome.

See also:
Ecological Economics: Principles And Applications
Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (Substantially Revised)

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Review: Don’t Bother Me Mom–I’m Learning!

6 Star Top 10%, Democracy, Education (General), Games, Models, & Simulations
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Nails It–Secretary of Education Needs to Read This Book,

April 27, 2007

Marc Prensky

I was introduced to the author's work on Digital Natives by a very smart and unusually open-minded colleague at the National Geospatial Agency, and I am hooked as well as relieved.

The greatest complement I can give this book is that my 15-year old, a master of Warlock, saw this book come in the door and immediately took it away from me and read it overnight. He gives it high marks.

This is also the book that inspired me to take Serious Games and Games for Change *very* seriously. Most gamers do not understand the need to work toward an EarthGame that includes actual budgets and actual science, but Medard Gabel of BigPictureSmallWorld gets it, and that's enough for me.

The list of games provided at the end by the author, to create a serious game home learning environment, is priceless. Some may be overtaken by events but the bottom line is that digital learning is vastly superior to rote learning in schools.

I am a participant in three Hacker communities–Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) based in New York, Hac-Tic based in Amsterdam, and Hackers/THINK based in California. I have met thousands of hackers over the years, and I am certain that the best and the brightest are not those with straight A's in the current school system, but those that tune out the high school regime by their junior year, and start learning what they want to learn on their own. My oldest son just won first prize in the Fairfax County digital music content, representing his school, but he will not graduate because he refuses to spend time on Algebra 2. He has very high SAT scores, will pass the GED with an almost perfect score, and will take digital music and digital art courses at three colleges in the DC area as a non-degree candidate. I go on at length here because this is both very personal for me, and also a national disaster–our entire curriculum is so out of date, and taught by so many drones, the few master teachers not withstanding, that I completely understand why our national ranking in math and science is out the window, why we have fallen to 7th on the national innovation scale, behind three Nordic countries and three Asian countries.

I admire this author. In a most positive manner, he is telling us the Secretary of Education is quite naked, and what we can do about it. This is a foundation book for any parent of “digital natives.”

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