It’s hot. Enjoy it.

It’s been 85-90 Fahrenheit the last few days here in the north country, and I’m loving it.

I used to be one of those Minnesotans who claimed to prefer 60 degrees to 80, but I am now honest and old enough to admit that I was fooling myself.

I thank my wife for setting me straight. Diane is incapable of lying, to herself or anyone else, and I’ve adopted her allergy. The first time I said something along those lines to her, some 30 years ago, she looked at me like I was from Mars. “I like it hot,” she said, having spent several winters in Australia.

I now know that she was right. If you have to live through the Siberian winters of Minnesota and then claim that you hate the hot, humid days of July and August, I pity you. I also think you’re lying.

There are 3-4 days each summer in Minnesota when the heat is hard to bear. Boo freaking hoo. Deal with it. Experience it. Love it. Enjoy it.

Saddest of all is the fact that we think we need air conditioning in our climes. Worse yet, we keep it at 65 degrees all summer long, so you need to bring a sweater to the movie theater or the mall. In the era of climate change, it should be illegal.

I was at my mother-in-law’s retirement community in Iowa last week, and the thermostat was set at 67, which is madness. I wanted to take a sledge hammer to it.

Last night I stripped to my boxers and rode my lawnmower on the two miles of trails I keep mowed for my daily walks. I got down on the floodplain by the river and felt the dew forming on the tall grasses. It was heaven.

Today I walked to river and jumped in, floating a hundred yards downstream and climbing out. I spent the rest of the afternoon wet and cool, while the rest of the county was burning fossil fuels and contributing to climate change.

Tonight, if it’s too hot in the bedroom, I’ll sleep in the screen porch.

In a hundred years, our grandkids will look back at us like we were insane.

And like we didn’t care.


Man Who Coined ‘Global Warming’ on Worst-Case Scenarios

Climate is one of the clearest case studies of its dysfunction, I’d say. Yeah. You know, I used to work for Steve Bannon. Really? Yeah. In what context? You’ve heard of Biosphere 2? Well, that was created by a true cult leader, John Allen, and a guy named Ed Bass — the son of a wealthy Texas oil man. Their idea was to put eight people in there, and they’d stay two years. But in a small volume of air, you’ve got bacteria eating up the oxygen like mad, plants producing oxygen, and CO2 goes into the plants and comes out from the bacteria. CO2 went down and down and down. And when it got down to 19 percent from 21 percent, Allen had a friend of his get in touch with me to figure out why oxygen was going down but CO2 wasn’t going up. Before the first two years were out, Bass’s financial guys finally did in the cult — the cult is spending all their money, they thought the cult were idiots. The sheriff swept in, like a military thing, because they didn’t want them to destroy anything, which worked — they got them all out without any damage being done. And then the property was without management, so they hired Steve Bannon, who was at the time running some company — you know, he’s done a lot of different stuff. He came and stayed there. The idea was to convert the biosphere to study the effects of CO2 on plants, and since I was the only scientist who was still involved who had any reputation at all, he appointed me science adviser. How was that? We got along well. When I saw his name first appear around Trump, I thought, it couldn’t be the same guy! And then I saw his picture! His brother Chris is still at Biosphere. I wrote an article once where I mentioned pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere. I sent that via Chris Bannon to Steve —Chris promised me that Steve would get it. And I said, “Steve, you know, you may not do anything about this, but you ought to think about preparing for what might happen if you don’t.” What happened? I never heard back from him, obviously. His agenda is to destroy the planet, I think.

Source: Man Who Coined ‘Global Warming’ on Worst-Case Scenarios

Lentils for Lunch

I made lentils and rice last night, leftovers from our recent camping trip. It reminded me of the three months I spent camping with my friend Jigs in 1990, when we lived on oatmeal, peanut butter sandwiches, and lentils and rice.

You might think that after such an experience I’d never want to look at lentils, oatmeal or peanut butter again, but you’d be wrong. They’re still some of my favorite foods.

Lentils especially. Nothing tastes better, and nothing is healthier. With rice, they make a complete protein, and they’re super high in fiber.

So just for fun, I googled “Are lentils the best food in the world?” and up came a New York Post article claiming that the McDonald’s double cheeseburger is the best food in the world. Proving my point.

I still eat some meat, but very little, after doing almost no research about the meat industry a few years ago. Almost no research is enough to turn most people with a heart against eating any meat that’s produced by American agribusiness.

It’s also killing the planet.

It’s also totally unnecessary for a healthy diet these days.

The animals are also opposed, and the more we learn about them, the more like us we learn they are.

I still eat meat when it’s offered because I don’t want to be an obnoxious vegetarian, and I still eat fish for the Vitamin D my Scandinavian blood requires in my northern climate, but I’m thinking of switching to supplements.

I raise my own eggs and am transitioning my dairy consumption to goat milk bought from a local farmer, and yogurt and chèvre I make myself.


Humans are going to have to have an adult conversation about meat-eating eventually, one that goes beyond “Ooh, but I love bacon/hotdogs/chicken nuggets, and PETA’s so annoying.”

Lentils will be part of that conversation, and maybe people will figure out what they’re missing.

From the baffler

The question is, what happens if we dispense with this bourgeois conception of work and the ego ideal that attends it? Instead of repatriating work from overseas, or reclaiming factory labor from the robots on the shop floor, or increasing public spending to create full employment, what if we said, fuck work? Or, more politely: “We prefer not to. Work and life are not the same thing. And now that work matters less in the making of our character because socially necessary labor is, practically speaking, unavailable, we can create lives less burdened by its demands.”

Then, and only then, will we be able to address the real questions: How to detach income from work without hating ourselves, the recipients, for doing so? How to justify getting something for nothing—receiving income and consuming goods without producing anything of value? How to build individual character in the absence of real or meaningful work that pays a living wage? What is meaningful work, anyway?

Trump voters are willing to be conned as long as he deports immigrants and bombs the world –

While Trump has long refused to abide by the customs and traditions that dictate tax disclosure by presidents and presidential candidates, we know enough about his taxes to see that his new plan, although sorely lacking in detail, will serve his personal interest above all. (No, he didn’t put “America first.”) Although tax policy is often complicated and numbingly dull, the changes that Trump is seeking to benefit himself are really quite simple. The plan’s biggest “reform” is to slash the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent — including the rate on so-called pass-through companies. Unsurprisingly, Trump owns more than 500 such firms, which allow his income to be taxed at the lower business rates rather than payroll rates. It also cuts the personal income tax rate on the highest earners, such as Trump, and the 3.8 percent Obamacare tax on unearned income. The reforms eliminate the alternative minimum tax, which required Trump to pay $31 million in 2005, according to a tax return that leaked last year. And the plan establishes a “territorial” tax system leaving all the profits earned by The Trump Organization in foreign countries. He aims to take care of his children, too, if not yours or America’s — so his plan also eliminates the estate tax entirely, allowing his billions to be inherited absolutely tax-free by Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, Barron and perhaps Tiffany.

Source: Trump voters are willing to be conned as long as he deports immigrants and bombs the world –

Cedar’s graduation

Ma’s day in Chicago