Sleeping Giant Awakening

December 14, 2016


Isoroku Yamamoto’s sleeping giant quotation is a quote by the Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto regarding the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by forces of Imperial Japan.

The quotation is portrayed at the very end of the 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora! as:

I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve

Snapshots from the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.
Above, California Governor Brown gave a rousing and defiant talk that was well received.

Below, updated animation from the Arctic Report Card.


The year showed “a stronger, more pronounced signal of persistent warming than any other year in our observation record,” he said.

These changes have had considerable impacts on Arctic ecosystems and native communities, as well as opening up the fragile region to more commercial activity. But they also have impacts outside the region, including potentially influencing weather conditions over North America, Europe and Asia.

The Arctic has continued to warm at twice the rate of the planet as a whole, and 2016 reinforced that trend. The annual average temperature (from October 2015 to September 2016) was 3.5° Fahrenheit (2°Celsius) above the 1981-2010 average, the highest in records that go back to 1900. Since that time, the Arctic has warmed 6.3° Fahrenheit (3.5° Celsius).

More localized temperatures skyrocketed even more, thanks to winds pulling in warmer air from the south. In January 2016, some places saw temperatures that were a stunning 14° Fahrenheit (8° Celsius) above average, according to the report, which has been issued every year since 2006. The 2016 edition was compiled by 61 scientists from 11 countries.

Those warm temperatures contributed to extremely low sea ice coverage, which has been on a downward spiral for several decades. The end-of-summer minimum is now half of what it was just three decades ago.

I  spoke briefly at an event last night. My message:
Even if Hillary had won the election, without a major shift in congress, Washington could at best hold the line. Most action would continue to be local, city, and state level.
Given the dramatic activation that we are seeing in people across the world in response to the current attack on Democracy – we need to provide avenues for a new era of climate action.
Now is the time for activists to envision and demand the highest goals possible for climate and renewable energy.
Watchwords are LOCAL, VOCAL, and NEVER BACK DOWN.

The fossil fuel industry is no longer even bothering with Sock puppets like Bush, Condi Rice, and Dick Cheney. The sock is discarded and now we see the naked fist, in the person of Rex Tillerson, and Vladimir Putin.
They are mad. They are crazed with greed, and completely out of touch with the realities of life on planet earth.

I’ve had years of experience as a first responder on the street, and I’ve dealt with a lot of crazies.   Sometimes you can reassure and reason with them.
Sometimes you can medicate them.
And sometimes, they are such a threat to themselves and others, the only thing you can do is sit on them and tie them down till they chill the fuck out.

If Congress is not willing to put a price on carbon, the people who understand science, and love life, will have to impose one of our own. The protesters at Standing Rock have shown the way.  Look for that action to be a template for resistance to fossil fuel development at every level, in every state, in every country.

In addition, we will be creating new ways for local groups to advocate renewable energy development in their local areas, cities, municipalities.  Look for more on this in the coming year.

My parents taught me that the highest constitutionally defined office in the United States of America is not a congressman, a Senator, or even the President.
It is the citizen. Every one of us.

The moment that you find clarity of purpose, and act decisively, you become, if only for a microsecond, the center point of the turning universe.

Mr. Trump, and Mr Putin, may think that they are powerful.
They do not know real power. They have not seen real power. They are about to find out what Admiral Yamamoto found out, and they will see what an awakened Humanity can do – in defense of our children, our grandchildren, the next 50,000 generations of human beings, and all our family of beings on this tiny but beautiful planetary home.


34 Responses to “Sleeping Giant Awakening”

  1. andrewfez Says:

    The sleeping giant is the invisible hand of the market favoring solar installation.

    When Clinton’s climate ad first appeared on Youtube, stating that she would install enough solar so that our country would enjoy a cumulative 500,000,000 solar panels in the US by then end of her term, the US total capacity for solar was 21.6GW or approx. 72,000,000 – 108,000,000 panels (200W vs 300W). By the end of the year it added another 12,000,000 to 18,000,000 panels. 2016 saw a huge rise in utility scale solar with 13.9GW installed capacity projected to be online by the end of the year, or the equivalent of 46,333,000 to 69,500,000 solar panels. So just after this ad was released we’ve added 58,333,000 to 87,500,000 new panels. This totals us at 154,000,000 to 195,000,000 panels by the end of 2016.

    The 2021 projection is 100GW of installed solar. That’s 333,333,333 to 500,000,000 panels. That’s almost 1/10th of the US grid.

    CA is leading this charge, but oddly enough NC is right behind us:

    Engineer775 is on the front lines of installing residential solar in NC/SC:

    • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

      Good video Andrew – these are lots of these people on YouTube working with renewables and battery storage and sharing what they learn and it’s good to subscribe and follow their stories.

      It’s an absorbing hobby and a great way to save money and flip off the monopolies!

      • andrewfez Says:

        Thanks – I’ve been following this channel for a few years and it’s got some great stuff on there. He finds out all the latest gadgets from the next generation of efficiency-focused home ware and tests them:

        He’s got a 5 ton chiller than not only makes cool air for him in the summer, but transfers the heat in the home’s air into its hot water circuit. The chiller also has a slow start, low draw compressor which means it’s super efficient and you can run it from an off-grid solar/battery set up. The holy grail of off grid living is running a central air conditioner off your solar system and he’s figured out how to do it.

        He’s got a DC direct solar connected mini spit 1 ton air conditioner that uses 3 solar panels to make cold air but which also can draw from the grid or off grid battery backup when the sun isn’t out.

        He’s got a another 1 ton mini window-based air conditioner that also has a low draw and slow start up that can be used with a Sol-Ark solar system (a portable solar/battery system that can be rigged up to 4kw or so). It’s the most efficiency portable air-conditioner on the market.

        So not only is he making a living from installing off grid systems but he really is on the front line of what is possible at the moment. And he’s selling this stuff to mostly upper middle class, God Fearing, bible belt Republicans that like the idea of self sufficiency and homesteading. I’ve even seen him do a few lectures at a local television ministry on his channel.

        • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

          Yup, he’s a great communicator with loads of knowledge and creativity and we need many more like him – I think I’ve watched most of his videos now.

          In all, I must have watched over 5,000 youtube videos on every aspect of renewables you can imagine! After a while you get to discover who are worth following.

          My next project is a wind turbine generator made from old neodymium hard disk magnets – got to be good for a few hundred watts and help offset my personal server farm!

  2. Quote: “If Congress is not willing to put a price on carbon, the people who understand science, and love life, will have to impose one of our own. The protesters at Standing Rock have shown the way. Look for that action to be a template for resistance to fossil fuel development at every level, in every state, in every country.”

    Yes, carbon is a threat but so are other things. Many of us love to look at undeveloped scenery, which is part of the “life” you refer to. I wonder how those protesters would react to the prospect of industrial wind turbines blighting that same landscape? I can imagine a “Standing Rock wind farm” getting cheered by naive quasi-environmentalists who’ve been duped into thinking scenery is trivial, as long as something is labeled Green.

    Part of that duping is the belief that wind power is somehow divorced from fossil fuels, when almost every step of its existence requires carbon emissions. A good wintertime example is the ridiculous need to de-ice wind turbines with helicopters that spray the blades. A single turbine can take 90 minutes to de-ice as the helicopter refills its bucket. All the while, engine racket disturbs people and animals, compounding the existing noise of the turbines.


    A lot of oil development is low-key, visually, compared to forests of ugly white machines taller than many city skyscrapers. Fracking threatens water supplies and oil pipelines pose a risk of spills, but visually desecrating landscapes on purpose should never be passed off as clean or green in a moral/aesthetic context. It’s all part of Man’s endless assault on nature and sides needn’t be chosen.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      God save us from the zealots! Oil development is “low key”, “visually desecrating landscapes”, “fracking….pipeline spills”, and the side-splitter “helicopter noise while deicing”?—–such straw grasping is actually awesome. Sounds to me like RS is taking sides based on half-assed thinking rather than on how we can realistically deal with “Man’s endless assault on nature “.

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