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. Reblogged this on Hypergeometric and commented:
    Damn straight.

    • Mostly thumbs up (you get a whole one from me anyway) on the sleeping giant concept. Except, friends, ……. puh-lease.

      The sleeping giant that’s been awakened is the well-informed pro-science public that has had it up to here (fingers at eye level) with the anti-science, anti-intellectual out-and-out propaganda talking points regurgitated without question by you true believers which was concocted and spread by a clique of OnePercenter enviro-activist leaders who — by their own actions and Texas-sized carbon footprints — don’t actually believe in the peril to the planet they crow about. You characters place all your faith in them and they have no faith in you, constantly telling you what NOT to listen to, read or watch, because you’ll turn into an AGW skeptic if you do. Our commenter friend “d.o.g.” is a microcosm of that particular problem. Notice just how hard he yells at y’all not to read my GelbspanFiles blog. He doesn’t trust you to keep the faith in the idea that skeptics are paid/bribed/corrupted into spreading lies and misinformation. Insulting, isn’t it? Why do you stand for that?

      There’s a reason behind all of that: logic and indisputable facts prevail over emotion-based belief, and all of you know it. You and your leaders don’t engage in open debate on science details and political accusation because you know you will lose. More and more skeptics, whether you like it or not, are going to start challenging each and every one of you to back up your assertions and allegations, and your mighty Sally “let you voices be heard” Jewel-led army will only have the tactic of shouting down and calling your critics names at your disposal, which in the end will prompt all of you to flee in the face one guy who catches any one of you in an indefensible position – just like you see in my favorite video sequence here, 1:44 point:

      This is the reality of the situation. Figure out your exit strategy, so that your lasting legacy is not that of a fool who lined the pockets of OnePercenter leaders who never cared about you, poor people, or the planet in the first place.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Peter’s message here evoked an OO-rah and Semper Fi from me, and similar reactions from all the other commenters (except Bates, of course, and he doesn’t count). Maybe not quite Nathan Hale or Thomas Jefferson, but tending that way, and Peter’s message is at least a “Paul Revere”. We”ll just have to wait and see how much destruction Trump and the Climate Destroyers do (a good name for a bad rock band?), and how hard the rest of us fight back. I for one am scraping pennies together and making contributions to all the groups fighting the deniers and Trump and trying to get the politics of this country back on track, and when the demonstrations begin after the coronation of King Stupid I will drag my tired old body down there to participate.

        Regarding Russell’s mental diarrhea:

        Just like the Demented Rooster crowing in the barnyard about his imagined victories, Russell is “crowing” far to soon over what’s coming. But that’s Russell, no one ever said he was smart enough to really know what he’s doing.

        Notice how cleverly Russell replies to hypergeometric’s minimalist comment so that he gets his crap located right at the top of the comments string. I’ll bet he also knocks down little old ladies at the supermarket as he pushes in to get the best fruits and veggies.

        Notice how hypocritical his ass kissing “thumbs up” remark is, especially when he uses it merely as a lead in to his usual climate denial whoring bullshit. And he has outdone himself with the bullshit this time—-perhaps because he thinks that denialism is on a roll because of the election of President Pussy Grabber and the nomination of so many denialist whores to the cabinet?

        Notice how Russell turns truth on its head by saying that deniers are the “well-informed pro-science public” and implies that they employ “logic and indisputable facts over emotion-based belief”, when the truth is that they are the ignorant, anti-science, fact-denying, emotion based (fear—in the amygdala), “believers”.

        Notice how he slips in the actual name of his blog in an attempt to get you to go there—–it should be named GlobsOfSHITFiles, remember, and it’s toxic—-wear mental hazmat gear and do a good scrubdown after any visit there.

        Finally, Russell’s “favorite” video sequence exposes Russell’s sickness (and that of Breitbart, a hateful bully). Russell says he is speaking to us about “The reality of the situation”? The only reality I see here is that Russell needs help—-his reality is delusional.

        • Lionel Smith Says:

          Something at a level even RCook may understand.

          Now what were you saying about one-percenters Russell?

          Remember, as a placard displayed recently in San Francisco, ‘Ice has no agenda it just melts’. Maybe you could explain to us how much energy is required to achieve that and where it is coming from.

        • Glen Bennett Says:

          Dumboldguy, from another oldguy, do you have a political analysis for defending the planet? Russell has an agenda, whether it is based on financial interest or uninspired stupidity and his purpose is to distract in favor of the status quo. Republicans are whistling past the graveyard. Democrats are spines incrementalists. Who is going to employ a political mass movement to defend the planet and give humanity a shot at survival?

          • dumboldguy Says:

            “Do you have a political analysis for defending the planet?”, you ask?

            No, I’m sorry to say that I don’t. I hate to sound pessimistic during the “holiday season” (read “runaway planet-destroying consumerism”), because I know that the bright-siders will be upset, but I don’t think we’re going to do anything in time to avoid the coming global catastrophe.

            This is no longer the country and we are no longer the people that had the “power” to deal with Hitler and Yamamoto and Mussolini. In fact, electing Trump-Hitler and the corporate fascist state that is now likely to follow puts us on the opposite side of the “greatest generation”. (Though if you believe in prayer, and that there really is a God that gives a rat’s ass about humans, that might help).

            “Who is going to employ a political mass movement to defend the planet and give humanity a shot at survival?”, you ask?

            I’ve been waiting for it/them to appear since the first Earth Day and before, and it has been slow coming. Occupy Wall Street didn’t get it done—maybe Scientists in the Streets will get someone’s attention. IMO, until we see the major climate changes that are likely coming (foreshadowed by torsten’s graph below and all the other recent disturbing news about ice on land and sea), we will just muddle along with BAU and bury our heads in the sand.

            As I said, “We”ll just have to wait and see how much destruction Trump and the Climate Destroyers do”. I’m afraid we are going to hit some serious tipping points if they do what it appears they intend to do.

      • Torsten Says:

        Apply some of that logic to explaining this:

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Russell won’t explain that graph. I have reposted it on the Polar Vortex thread along with two other Arctic sea ice decline graphics that I have put in front of Russell many times and asked him to explain to us. He refuses to do so. He would much rather sling his denier BS than talk science with us.

      • redskylite Says:

        If you had any national pride you would be proud of government organizations like NOAA, that diligently protect your fisheries, warn of weather extremities, decreasing the risk of loss of life. You would be extremely proud at the great job they do. You would not want to diminish their responsibility, suppress and destroy their data. You would support scientists and workers within such organizations. Not call them flat earthists like your ilk.

        So how about taking a look at what they are saying. Are you a gambling man. ? What do you think of the odds ? What is your response? Is it really all a lot of nonsense from 1 per-centers and you can obviously continue selling snake oil with your buddies.

        Global sea ice in November: Black swans flock to both poles

        In November 2016, Arctic sea ice extent was 3.2 standard deviations below the 1981–2010 average. The chance of that happening is 1 in 1,000. At the same time, Antarctic sea ice extent was 5.7 standard deviations below its 1981–2010 November average. The chance of that happening is 1 in 100,000,000!

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Great link—-very informative.

          PS Russell has no pride. He lost it when he started whoring for the fossil fuel interests.

      • schwadevivre Says:

        Well. if deniers are all as well informed as yourself then w look forward to the reintroduction of steam trains, a huge rise in the production of buggy whips and the return of typhus as public water supplies dwindle.

        Every single part of your rant exposes you as unable to distinguish fact from fantasy.

  2. skeptictmac57 Says:

    I sincerely hope that you are right Peter.

  3. mboli Says:

    Yowza, Greenman! A rousing and action-packed message.

  4. redskylite Says:

    Applause from me for a great article and advice Peter, You are well & truly up to meeting the challenging expression “when the going gets tough the tough get going.”

    I read this article just now and having watched the news lately found myself with goosebumps.

    Please God not again, so soon.

    How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society? Or does it take the position that someone who wins a fair election is by definition “normal,” because his leadership reflects the will of the people?

    • skeptictmac57 Says:

      I’ll be sure to read that, and along the same line, if you get a chance, please listen to this episode of The Diane Rehm Show from NPR :

      DECEMBER 13, 2016
      ‘The History Of Fascism And Its Relevance To U.S. Politics Today’ (you’ll need to select that episode from a list).

      Be sure to key in on Stephen Moore’s lame and spurious defense of Trump’s obvious fascistic tendencies. Trump supporters are so ideologically blinded that they are dangerous.

    • skeptictmac57 Says:

      Redsky- That was a good article, but I was very annoyed by the paywalled links that were used to support the narrative. I guess that’s the world we live in, but as a skeptic, I like to double check the author, even when (especially when) I tend to agree with them, and those kind of barriers make such and article practically useless for me to cite to those with whom I argue or debate with.
      Thanks anyway. I still think it was useful for me at least.

  5. Paul Whyte Says:

    A great article. We really have some work to do! To preserve even some of what we enjoy just now will take considerable effort.

  6. indy222 Says:

    I have advocated the following form of resolve – stop wasting time writing your congressman; they are bought and paid for by the Economic Elite and their lobbies, as Gilens and Page (2014) proved conclusively. Occupy DC, peacefully, with a million people filled with resolve. That’s only 1/3 of 1% of the country. We don’t NEED to get another popular vote majority! Occupy DC and refuse to leave until a crippling Tax-and-Dividend law is passed, until a 28th Amendment to the Constitution is enacted, guaranteeing that no law shall be passed which endangers the Commons of air, oceans, and forest which support life for future generations; until is enacted stiff trade sanctions against any country not enacting their own Tax-and-Dividend; and a portion of the proceeds going to fund atmospheric CO2 removal and geological sequestration. And we enlist volunteers to continually supply the “troops” in DC with food, toilet paper, and sleeping bags for as long as it takes. Let arrests happen, until the jail cells are filled, and if the Government commits violence against the People, let it be filmed and shown ’round the world what has become of us. Surely conscience exists in enough people to turn this around.

    • I agree, a large demonstration of resolve on climate in the next few months would be timely!

      But in the meantime, don’t give up on Congress and your elected officials. They are the main check on Trump and his goon cabinet. Letters to members of congress are effective, and establishing support in the districts of Republicans is critical. That may mean talking to people we don’t fully agree with, but who if approached the right way might be willing to find common ground on Climate.

      There’s a good episode of ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ on National Geographic, which aired last week (It’s available now to stream but unfortunately you’ll need a cable subscription to view it – I don’t have one but watched with some friends). In it, Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida’s 26th district says that talking to Republicans in Congress about climate change is like going to a jail and asking inmates about organizing a jail break: First they look around in panic to see who might have overheard; then they ask in a whisper if you know where there’s a tunnel.

      Communicating your wishes to your elected representatives is a right. Speaking up with demonstrations puts pressure on them and gives them cover to act. But writing to them also matters, especially when you can organize so that there are numerous letters (low double digits is enough to matter).

  7. I am starting to believe more in local action, because I just don’t think Federal Government is ever going to step up. And personal action. We can’t wait for others to make the change, because it’s becoming more and more clear with every event like this election that it will never happen.

    Sit in on city council meetings and demand solar projects. Or incentive programs for solar. Or start a solar leasing company, or find a way to put solar on our own roofs. I bought a hybrid a couple months ago, the next commuter car we buy will be electric. They only make sense, though, if the source mix is more renewable than fossil fuel based. Local coops, push them. Also, look at Boulder, they passed a resolution to take over electricity altogether (grassroots efforts) with a renewable grid. This is where we can actually make a difference.

  8. Tom Bates Says:

    Brown wanted to launch a satellite when he first was governor in his first term a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

    Brown wanted a bullet train in this administration so got a huge pot of money and is building one from Bakersfield to Bakersfield serving 0.0000000001 percent of the people of California who will pay $120 billion for the privilege of not riding in a bullet train.

    Brown, mister moon beam to his admirers, made sure the State did a survey on his ranch in northern california to locate all the oil and gas deposits, sure enough he will be richer with no other competitors from offshore gas.

    Browns wants to make California green so will up the price of homes by $45,000 in new fees and requirements, will up the price of gas to 5 dollars a gallon, make owning your car 10 times more expensive in new taxes and fees, up your food prices 20 percent and make sure you do not have a job by banning all ships from arriving in California ports, while giving billions of dollars in tax money to his friends in the solar industry.

    Brown needs to go, Mars would be a good place.

  9. Hmmm… good luck with that..

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