We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Henry Giroux on the Militarization of Public Pedagogy

Click here to access the transcript of the interview posted in CounterPunch.

Seth Kershner, who is a reference and instruction librarian at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, has a very interesting interview with educator Henry Giroux. In the interview Giroux expands on the concept of pedagogy to include all of mass culture which, of course, serves the ruling class. He brings a hopeful message of resistance and is optimistic about the possibilities of radical resistance coming from today's youth.
...young people are recognizing that they’re not going to find their voice in the Democratic Party or in the existing labor unions.  What they really need to fight for are new mass and collective organizations that can call the entirety of society into question and mobilize so as to develop the policies and institutions that make a new and radically democratic society possible.

What Really Happened at Westgate

Click here to access article by Andre Vltchek from CounterPunch.
For years and decades now, the West has been destabilizing Somalia. Kenya and Ethiopia, two staunch allies of the West in the region, are playing a deadly game, incessantly. Thousands of civilians have already died.

Kenya is one of the closest allies of the West in Africa, with both US and UK military bases all over the nation, and with Israeli intelligence personnel on the Swahili coast and elsewhere.

That brutal invasion
[by Kenya into Somalia] is not discussed, of course: in the Kenyan media and in the international press, the war and the attack on the shopping mall are carefully separated, disconnected.
I have only had time to scan this lengthy article by Horace Campbell, a very knowledgeable observer of African affairs, posted in Pambazuka, but it appears that he provides many more details of the background of this tragic event involving Western oil companies and Kenya's invasion of Somalia.

News Release: Concern as IPCC Bangs the Drum for Geoengineering

Click here to access article from ETC Group

It's clear to me that capitalist directors refuse to give up on their system which rewards their tiny numbers with so much wealth and power. They are so addicted to this hideous system that is destroying an ecosystem capable of sustaining human and many other life forms that they cannot imagine any alternative. Hence, they are grasping at their last straw of geo-engineering. 

This solution was inserted in the final paragraph of the Summary for Policymakers (IPCC report):
"It’s the paragraph that should never have been," explained Neth Daño, ETC Group's Asia Director." The explicit purpose of Working Group I is to report on the latest climate science, not to discuss response measures. The report doesn't discuss solar power or electric cars; it doesn't discuss public transport, carbon markets or any other actual or potential policy response to the climate crisis, so why have the authors chosen to devote the  concluding paragraph to this highly speculative and dangerous technofix?”
Well, I think the answer is obvious. Solar power, electric cars, public transportation, and other significant measures would require a very expensive conversion of the existing infrastructures and dramatic cutbacks of fossil fuels in capitalist countries that would severely impact profits in the next few decades. It would also require economies to be on a war footing that would necessitate extensive government planning, controls, and direction. It's so much easier for capitalist directors to continue with business as usual and simply adding a geo-engineering fix which many scientists regard as a fantasy at best, and a dangerous gamble at worst.

The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report

Click here to access article from Climate News Network.
A note from the Climate News Network editors: we have prepared this very abbreviated version of the first installment of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) to serve as an objective guide to some of the headline issues it covers. It is in no sense an evaluation of what the Summary says: the wording is that of the IPCC authors themselves, except for a few cases where we have added headings. .... In the following days and weeks we will be reporting in more detail on some of their findings.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Recovery hype: American capitalism's weapon of mass distraction

Click here to access article by Richard Wolff from The Guardian

Referring to government officials and mainstream media that has been celebrating the theme of economic "recovery", he writes:
Here is the "recovery" that they see. The top 1% of income-earners in the US took 19% of the national income in 2012, the largest share since 1928. That 1% also saw their average income rise by 31.4% from the current crisis's low point in 2009, through 2012. The top 1% certainly enjoyed a recovery.
And then proceeds to set the record straight by providing a lot more real information about how the "recovery" has affected us by starting with this fact:
In total contrast, income for the other 99% rose by an average of 0.4% during the same period.

Looting the Pension Funds

Click here to access article by Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone.
In the final months of 2011.... Led by its newly elected treasurer, Gina Raimondo – an ostentatiously ambitious 42-year-old Rhodes scholar and former venture capitalist – the state declared war on public pensions, ramming through an ingenious new law slashing benefits of state employees with a speed and ferocity seldom before seen by any local government.


The dynamic young Rhodes scholar was allowing her state to be used as a test case for the rest of the country, at the behest of powerful out-of-state financiers with dreams of pushing pension reform down the throats of taxpayers and public workers from coast to coast. One of her key supporters was billionaire former Enron executive John Arnold – a dickishly ubiquitous young right-wing kingmaker with clear designs on becoming the next generation's Koch brothers, and who for years had been funding a nationwide campaign to slash benefits for public workers.

Is climate change already dangerous ( Part 5 of 5): Climate safety and an unavoidably radical future

Click here to access article by David Spratt from Climate Code Red.  (Commentary updated at 5:37 Seattle time.)

This five part series of articles reports on the latest scientific findings, including the just released UN report, regarding climate change. While the five part series goes into considerable detail about scientific findings, it is interesting to contrast this with mainstream TV media reports. In this series the author provides findings such as this:
The World Bank and PriceWaterhouseCoopers have recently published reports which complement a wide range of scientific research which concludes that the world is presently heading for 4ºC or more of warming this century, and as soon as 2060. Reuters correspondent Michael Rose (2012) quotes IEA Chief Economist, Fatih Birol as saying that emission trends are “perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6°C, which would have devastating consequences for the planet”.

Anderson says there is a widespread view amongst scientists that “a 4°C future is incompatible with an organised global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’, is devastating to the majority of eco-systems and has a high probability of not being stable”.
Let us now look at what amount of air time and the quality of reporting on the latest UN report by the leading TV networks which shape the opinions of most Americans.

CBS TV provides this 2:25m report in which the program segment focuses on the temporary halt of air temperature increases since 1998. Scott Pelley frames the report with this very skeptical introduction: 
Anyone expecting it [the UN report] to show steadily rising air temps would be in for a surprise.
CBS reporter Mark Phillips then prefaces his report with this cynical statement:
Another inconvenient truth has emerged on the way to the apocalypse. The UN report on climate change is expected to blame man-made greenhouse gases more that ever for global warming. But there's a problem: global atmosphere hasn't been warming lately. .... Since 1998 atmosphere temperatures have not gone up. ....
He then introduces a scientist who explains that the extra heat has gone into the ocean, and ocean temperatures have been steadily rising. Apparently all is well because the ocean is not a part of the globe (sarcasm). 

Then the CBS reporter, in an introduction to another person identified as "head of a climate change think-tank", refers back to the temporary halt in the rise of global air temperatures by saying that climate change skeptics are now given "more ammunition" to doubt global warming. CBS then allows the scientist about a total of four seconds to respond to the reporters question: "does this [the findings] remove the urgency [to reduce carbon emissions]? Yes, he replies, and goes on to state that the current goals of carbon reduction are unrealistic, and the world should now be focusing on building more flood barriers!

It seems reasonable to believe that this "expert" made his statement about unrealistic goals because of the existing track record of various countries since the Kyoto Accords which promised efforts to reduce carbon emissions and failed to deliver. This is not surprising given the fact that capitalism requires growth. What is not surprising is that nearly everyone ignores the 800 pound gorilla in the room--the capitalist system. In other words, there is no alternative to the capitalist system--so get used to it and learn to cope with the consequences.

NBC's 1:01m report provides more accurate, but even briefer coverage:

I am unable to determine if Fox News broadcast any report, but their website does provide this article which emphasized that scientists were unable to explain the lull in the rise of air temperatures ("surface temperatures") since 1998, and inserted other comments that suggested doubts about global warming.

Update: I saw really good coverage lasting close 2:24 minutes on ABC's evening news broadcast

Generally speaking, US mainstream TV media directors, if they report any information at all, continue to manage information about global warming to mass audiences by downplaying its effects and questioning its validity.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dangerous Addiction to Secrecy

Click here to access article by Robert Parry from Consortium News.

Parry assembles several dramatic examples of governments hiding the truth from the people and often making up stories in place of the truth. However, he demonstrates a naiveté that infects the political understanding of so many people when he makes statements such as this:
The secrecy addiction among major world powers is deeply corrosive to democracy and makes a mockery of popular rule.
Whenever you have class-structured societies, you obviously have ruling classes. Under capitalism the basis of this arrangement is the principle of private ownership of the economy. "Democracy" in the form of carefully managed elections is only a public relations cover for their class rule based on this arrangement. 

The fact that ruling class players do not share information they have in their disputes with other ruling classes demonstrates that their respective subordinate classes are inconsequential. Why is it so difficult to understand this fact and stop looking at political events and international rivalries through the lens of ruling class propaganda framed as "democracy"!

It's long past time for progressives to grow up! We will have no peace or social justice or a sustainable ecological system until we, the people, get rid of class structured societies and create societies where there is genuine, inclusive rule by all the people. To accomplish this, we must remove all arrangements which favor any set of people over the rest of society.

Rouhani surfs the new WAVE

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times Online.

As stated by Escobar, there is only one alternative to more wars in the Middle East-- maybe even a major one:
The key points of the road map ahead are clear. Total clarification of details regarding Iran's rightful peaceful nuclear program should proceed with dismantling of sanctions. Washington's nasty financial blockade of Iran's oil sales is not working; no one, from China to India and beyond, will stop buying Iranian energy because the US says so. And Iran should also be reinstated in the global bank exchange mechanism.
Will the directors of the Empire come to their senses or will we have more wars? I am not optimistic.

Russia Opposed to NATO States` Attempt to Repeat Libya Scenario and Blackmail

Click here to access article by Christof Lehmann from nsnbc
Russian Diplomats stress that Russia opposes NATO States`Attempt to repeat a Libya Scenario in Syria. Russia has [claimed] that the USA has gone so far as to attempt to Blackmail Russia into voting in favor of a Security Council resolution that would leave a loophole for a repetition of the Libyan disaster in Syria.

50,000 march on Golden Dawn headquarters in Athens

Click here to access article by Jerome Roos from Reflections on a Revolution.

Once again we see a ruling capitalist class resorting to the use of thugs to protect their system.
...official investigations by the Financial Crimes Unit show that Golden Dawn is actually being funded by a group of wealthy businessmen, ship-owners and priests....
See also this coverage from Eagainst of the anti-fascist mass demonstrations all across Greece which includes many photos and one video.

Pakistani National TV Reveals Obama's Claim To Have Killed Osama Bin Laden Is 'An American Hoax'

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from World News Trust.

The Pakistani TV interview displays so much authenticity which is in such sharp contrast to the US government's story. Roberts does an excellent job of framing the posting with all the lies that the government has been telling us over the years.
The Obama regime’s story of the murder of bin Laden is nonsensical. The fact that the regime would tell such a preposterous story indicates that Washington regards the American and international public as gullible morons, people lacking any ability to discern the truth of what they are officially told.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Is there a crisis of credibility in the human sciences?

Click here to access article by Bert Olivier from Mail & Guardian Online (South Africa).
"Although thirty years ago it was common to find challenges to the capitalist exploitation of the environment emanating from social scientists who were then on the environmentalist fringe, today the main thrust of environmental social science has shifted to ecological modernization – a managerial approach that sees sustainable technology, sustainable consumption, and market-based solutions (indeed “sustainable capitalism”) as providing the answers …

“Thus as natural scientists have become more concerned about the detrimental effects of the economic system on the environment, and correspondingly radicalized, asking more and more root questions, social scientists have increasingly turned to the existing economic system as the answer.”
The author provides an excellent answer as to why this is.

Obama's 'independent' NSA review board staffed with administration insiders

Click here to access article from RT.
President Barack Obama said in August that an independent panel will review the United States’ surveillance capabilities in the wake of damaging NSA leaks. One month later, though, that group’s game plan is being called into question.
This is always the strategy of choice in dealing with potentially damaging issues facing the directors of the ruling class--they appoint an "independent commission" to investigate. Such commissions are used to fulfill some pre-determined goal. This is done by stacking them with the right people and/or limiting their budget, time to work, ability to work, and authority. We saw this with the Warren Commission and the 9/11 Commission, and now this commission.

New 'anti-Brotherhood, anti-military' front launched to 'achieve revolution goals'

Click here to access article from Ahram Online.

Def. Sec. Hagel in Cairo to give orders to satrap, Apr 2013

A new front, dubbed "Revolution Path Front" aimed at providing an alternative to the current "polarisation" between the military and Muslim Brotherhood has been launched on Tuesday in a press conference attended by tens of leading political figures, activists and groups.

Apparently the Egyptian revolution has still not been killed by the Empire's satrap Al Sisi.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Time to Leave Wonderland: Facing Reality and Imagining New Possibilities

Click here to access article by Kali Ma from The Hampton Institute

The contribution of this author lies with her arguments for the necessity of critical thinking so that we can face reality and imagine new ways of living. The glaring weakness is that she can only identify the problem as being the "hierarchical system".  This is especially discouraging coming from a website that bills itself as "A Working Class Think Tank".

If you read the literature from or about the Populist Movement of the late 19th century (e.g. Democratic Promise by Lawrence Goodwyn), early 20th century literature related to socialism and anarchism (Eugene Debs, Upton Sinclair, etc), the history and literature of the 1930s activists, you would view this article as rather naive politically. The power of the indoctrination agencies which she elaborates on is also illustrated by her total inability to identify the system which drives these agencies--capitalism. Hierarchy, like indoctrination, is only another method used by the capitalist ruling class to maintain control of working people and of society.

It has become clear to me that WWII and its aftermath which featured ruling class attacks on radicals and labor unions was incredibly successful in wiping out this heritage of critical political thought in the US.

Rise of the Petro Yuan: End of US Dollar

Click here to access article by Dan Collins from The 4th Media.

The author makes a decisive point about the diminishing power of the US dollar and the rise of Chinese currency. This is especially being driven by the increasing erosion of trade in petro-dollars. Also, Chinese capitalism has been using its cheaper exports based on cheap labor to dominate world production, while US capitalists have increasingly relied on military and subversive forces and financial instruments--which have destabilized the economy of many countries--to attain short-term profits. In other words, Chinese capitalists are outsmarting US Empire capitalists.

This, of course, is not good news in spite of what you might read from those who see a multi-polar world as beneficial. This is so because this new multi-polar world is still a capitalist world where rivalry can easily breakout into major military conflicts. And with the billion or so Chinese buying more cars, refrigerators, etc., we can only expect the acceleration of global climate destabilization.

Monsanto & Seed Patent Laws

Click here to access a 4:24m video on the John Stewart's The Daily Show.

Notice at one point in the dialog the farmer expresses a fundamental insight: "Monsanto patenting our plants is a theft of our genetic heritage."

I've always wondered why most people cannot see that our economy is also a social heritage and as such cannot be owned by private individuals or "corporate persons"?

Myths About the Syrian “Revolution”

Click here to access article by As'ad AbuKhalil from Al Akhbar

The author is to be commended for acknowledging his mistakes in interpreting the early stages of the Empire's Syrian destabilization project. It is absolutely mandatory that he and others will now learn from this experience to identify the process early on to prevent such social catastrophes in the future. 

Israeli's Mossad and other Western agencies specialize in such subversive activities to destabilize countries, and it is imperative for people-powered and peace loving activists all over the world to quickly identify these activities and organize to oppose such actions. 

How many national disasters does it take for people to wake up and learn what is happening!

What We Could Do with a Postal Savings Bank: Infrastructure that Doesn’t Cost Taxpayers a Dime

Click here to access article by Ellen Brown from Web of Debt.

While I thoroughly agree with this proposal as a theoretical step in the right direction, I disagree with its proponents that it is a realistic step in itself. Private banking institutions, and that especially includes central banks that are disguised as quasi-public institutions, are at the very center of global capitalism. Public banking operations do exist in various places, but they play a very limited role in their national economies. Banksters are the very heart and soul of capitalism, and therefore they will never allow a public bank to play a major role in the economy, and it is extremely unlikely that the aggressive US capitalists will allow such a proposal to make any headway through their government. 

Realistically, pursuing this project could be beneficial if it is seen as a tactic in an overall strategy to generate anti-capitalist propaganda and thereby to undermine the legitimacy of the system. Thus, pursuing the establishment of such a bank and/or in any way undermining the power of the Federal Reserve could be effective if sufficient numbers of people recognize the need for an alternative to private control of our money supply. While this battle is raging, people might become aware of the benefits of putting our entire economy under public control. On the other hand, it might only serve as another distraction using up energy needed to attack the system more directly.

It's past time for progressives to grow up!

Is climate change already dangerous? ( Part 4): Tipping points and climate modelling

Click here to access article by David Spratt from Climate Code Red.  

The author questions the methods used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which have resulted in predictions such as ice sea loss that field data does not support. He argues that this body ignores feedback factors which, although not fully understood, must be taken into account in forecasting future ecological events.

IPCC plays a critical role in any international effort to reduce the effects of climate destabilization. According to Wikipedia:
Thousands of scientists and other experts contribute (on a voluntary basis, without payment from the IPCC) to writing and reviewing reports, which are reviewed by representatives from all the governments, with a Summary for Policymakers being subject to line-by-line approval by all participating governments. Typically this involves the governments of more than 120 countries.

The IPCC does not carry out its own original research, nor does it do the work of monitoring climate or related phenomena itself. A main activity of the IPCC is publishing special reports on topics relevant to the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international treaty that acknowledges the possibility of harmful climate change. Implementation of the UNFCCC led eventually to the Kyoto Protocol. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dying for Control: An Exhausted Culture, Founded on Psychological Manipulation

Click here to access article by Arthur Silber from Once Upon a Time...

I haven't followed this blog, so I am not absolutely sure what the author really means by this essay. By referencing "culture", it would seem to suggest that this mass neurosis is culture specific. But nowhere in the essay is this made explicit, and it often suggests that it is an inherent human flaw--thus, it cannot be culture specific.

I would argue that psychological manipulation is a coping mechanism that enables people to function well in a capitalist system and a capitalist culture. I agree that the vast percentage of people succumb to this type of socialization, but it is clear even from his essay that they don't succumb without consequences. That is, they don't function well as human beings. This to me indicates that capitalist culture is not conducive to human development. Let me develop my views on this further.

It seems to me that there are two basic types of psychological adjustment to capitalism that people form as they develop. The first is the transference of their allegiance from parents to all authority figures in one's life. Such a person never develops into adulthood, never really develops beyond a rebellious stage, if indeed, they ever experience this stage. They simply and naively adopt the world views of people in authority. The second type I would label as a sociopathic personality: they learn to become experts at manipulating people to obtain rewards and/or to escape punishments, and they are conscious of doing this. The author of this piece seems to emphasize the latter type. 

Although under capitalism such adaptations are, I believe, highly exaggerated because of the enormous control of rewards and punishments of the ruling capitalist class, I believe that these adaptations are found in all class structured societies. Unfortunately, our knowledge about pre-class structured societies is very limited, but there is some evidence that various people have uncovered (see Noam Chomsky's view here and chapter 5 at this link). There is also psychological evidence from studies of people who for various reasons have been insulated from capitalist or class influences in their socialization.

From reading only this piece, I'm not sure what he suggests is the alternative, that is, what his "one in five or ten thousand" personality development is like. What is clear to me is that the latter development usually carries with it huge penalties which the author does not acknowledge in this essay.

The great task for mankind is to develop a classless society in which the highest potential of human beings can be actualized.

Behind the US budget conflict, a renewed bipartisan campaign to cut social programs

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from World Socialist Web Site.
There is a consensus in the US financial aristocracy, which dominates both parties, that federal social spending be slashed, as part of the overall program of driving down living standards and attacking the social rights of the working class. The divisions between the two corporate-controlled political parties, as well as within the Republican Party, between its Tea Party wing and the congressional leadership, largely concern the tactics for imposing these cuts, not the direction or goals. 
What basically divides the two capitalist parties is the hyper-aggressive strategy of the Republican Party to eliminate all costs to social programs versus the more gradual approach favored by the Democratic Party. The latter prefers this "boiling frog" strategy because it is less likely to provoke a backlash by the American people.

US presses for UN resolution to justify war on Syria

Click here to access article by Peter Symonds from World Socialist Web Site.

It's clear that the Empire directorate is determined to attack Syria. They only need to find a convincing lie to justify it to the American people. This article provides the details on the latest attempt to do an end-run around the Security Council and use the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons located at The Hague, Netherlands to provide the needed excuse. What would be desirable would be information about this organization that gives such confidence to the Empire's directorate to provide them with this excuse.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The New Privateers: Civil Forfeiture, Police Piracy, and the Third-Worldization of America

Click here to access article by Jim Kavanagh from his blog The Polemicist.

When I first learned of this practice in the 1980s as a part of the "War on Drugs", I was absolutely astonished at how the ruling class could get away with this--it was so blatantly unconstitutional!
Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
[my emphasis]
Yet, only a relative handful of people objected to this practice. Apparently the minds of most people were so anesthetized by the hysterical propaganda promoting the "War on Drugs" that they couldn't think straight. Also, as the blogger explains, the One Percent's media only publicized the seizure of major drug operators.  

All the while operatives of the One Percent were importing drugs into the US and making sure it was distributed in Black ghettos across the country (see this, this, this, and this). This was their response to the Black Power Movement, especially the Black Panther part of it.

Kerry Can Not Be Trusted

Click here to access article by Bernhard from his blog Moon of Alabama

The author has been closely following events related to the Syrian deal negotiated between Kerry and Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister. It appears that the Empire's directorate will be doing everything they can to undermine the deal. A major part of this effort will be to convince the American people that an attack is necessary. It remains to be seen how they will accomplish this. 

If you are not already knowledgeable about how consent and dissent is managed by the ruling One Percent, watching government/media actions to justify an attack on Syria should be an excellent lesson for you.

Degradation of Superpower or Obama’s Vitamin Cocktails

Click here to access article by Nil Nikandrov from Strategic Culture Foundation.
The Obama’s administration is in a deadlock. The ruses it had successfully resorted to before start to fail now. The mobilizing speeches of President sound less and less convincing. Obama is exhausted by constant need to come up with lies in public; one can see it having a look at his appearance. He evidently lost weight, his eyes are not that lively anymore, and his smile lost its naturalness. I won’t be surprised to know he started to consume vitamin cocktails to support him.
I sometimes even feel sorry for Obama, but this is the price you pay for selling one's soul to the devil, or in this case, the ruling One Percent class.

Is climate change already dangerous? ( Part 3): Consequences from current greenhouse gas levels

Click here to access article by David Spratt from Climate Code Red.

Whereas only a few years ago mainstream media directors were smearing climate scientists and creating doubts about their research, nowadays after numerous extreme weather events they briefly make benign reference to "climate change" when reporting these events. Well, I guess that's progress. But they still do not report about current scientific research. One has to go to independent sources such as Climate Code Red.

The author surveys the latest research to answer the question posed by the title--"Is climate change already dangerous?" Here is only one example of what he reports to answer this vital question:
With current CO2 levels at 400 ppm, a useful comparison is the Pliocene (3–5 million years ago).  The research body is large and growing in this area...:

Rohling, Grant et al.  find that during the mid-Pliocene, when greenhouse gases were similar to today, sea levels were more than 20 metres higher than today “we estimate sea level for the Middle Pliocene epoch (3.0–3.5 Myr ago) – a period with near-modern CO2 levels – at 25±5 metres above present, which is validated by independent sea-level data”. Likewise Hansen, Sato et al. find that “during the middle-Pliocene… we find sea level fluctuations of 20-40 metres associated with global temperature variations between today’s temperature and +3°C”.