Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 2nd, 2009

Climate change: Before Copenhagen; (Nov. 29, 2009)

            Before 1992 six States accounted for over 80% of the total accumulated 6 gases related to environment global temperature increase such as CO2 and methane. These countries are USA (27%), Europe’s major States (23%), China (10%), Russia (9.25%), Germany (5.5%), and Japan (5%).  In 2005, the same countries emit more than 70% of the gases.  They are: China (19.5%), USA (18.5%), The EU (13.5%), Russia (5.25%), India (5%) and Japan 3.5%).

            Only three countries have managed to reduce their CO2 equivalent emissions since the Kyoto agreement reference of 1992.  They are: Russia by 40%, Germany and England by almost 20% each.

The major themes in the coming conference are eight:

            First, the long term objective for 2050 is to staying below 2degrees increase in global temperature. This is not acceptable: it means that the world community has already condemned 30% of animal and vegetable species to go extinct, 30% of sea shore swamps will disappear, and a qualitative jump in desertification and rate of inundations; potable water will become scarce resource. For that purpose, the most industrialized States should reduce by 80% the equivalent CO2 emissions.  The overall reduction is to be 50% with the contribution of the developing countries in going green. To that effect, the target is not to exceed 450 particles of CO2 concentration.  This is not acceptable. Currently we have a concentration of 390 particles and the temperature just increased by 0.8 degrees in the last three decades and we are already witnessing the melting of the Arctic Pole. 

            The target should be to drop to 350 particles at most. The main reason is the emission of methane (a gas worse by 20 times the effect of CO2) that the hard frozen ground are emitting and which kept this nasty gas trapped underground before this melting phase.

            Second, the medium term objective is a reduction of CO2 equivalent to 30% in reference to the year 1990.  The actual engagement is 13%.  The US administrations are not ready for even that modest reduction of 13%.

            Third, an engagement to adopting industrial processes with low CO2 emissions.

            Fourth, reducing deforestation by 50% and replanting new trees.  Brazil has already started policies of saving the Amazon forest areas from further plantations.

            Fifth, pumping $3 billions a year into the poorest States to encourage them switching to alternative cleaner energy resources.

            Sixth, pumping additional $ 2 billions a year for innovative green technologies.

            Seventh, allocating $ 10 billions, each year, till 2012 to finance green alternatives.

            Eight, developing an alternative program that will substitute the “Carbon market” due to terminate in 2012.

            According to the Bangkok Post the US President Obama and China Hu Jintao have agreed to lower expectation in Copenhagen. Most probably, the reference for lowering gas emission will be of 2005 instead of 1992, a move that will encourage accepting raising the CO2 concentration beyond the 400 particles. All indicates that the US is going to the Copenhagen conference empty handed in home legislations.  Many leaders are encouraging President Obama to raise the standard unilaterally as a sign of personal commitment and set the psychology of the US people in motion. Everything might restart from scratch.

            The Kyoto agreement had for purpose to encouraging the heaviest state polluters to invest in the poorer States with less polluting technologies to stabilize the overall concentration of gases.  The idea was to deter the emerging economies from emulating the same industrial processes that the developed countries have previously used and thus, saving future deterioration of the environment. A tax of 2% on the heaviest industrial polluters was to generate $1.6 billion by 2012.  Nothing was done so far and the US administrations refused to sign the Kyoto agreement on the basis that climatic changes are mostly a myth.

            The hardest hit states are located in Africa (the western and eastern states), Afghanistan, Bangladesh (17% of its land will be submerged).  The next worst hit states are Mexico, Pakistan, Iraq, India, the western states in Latin America, and many States in South East Asia. The actual facts and trends are changing priorities for the worst hit states; for example, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, North of China, and India are witnessing the lowest rain precipitations in decades for two consecutive years.

“War on Rhetoric”; (Nov. 28, 2009)

The romantic period in literature of the 19th century imposed conventional styles and modes of grammars that restricted clear discourse. Victor Hugo wrote “war on rhetoric” in 1858. Three decades later, rhetoric was scraped from the curriculum in the public schools in France till mid 20th century.  Victor Hugo was following in the footsteps of Plato who condemned the oratory techniques of the Sophist philosophers: they were the main teachers of the elite class destined to politics and city administration.

Basically, the Sophist philosophers used techniques of argumentation, controversial dialogue, and emphatic discourse to win over the audience to their programs. Plato contended that the Sophists’ pedagogy manipulated the truth, the good, and the beautiful; that they didn’t account for reason, dialectic method, and the art of dialogue, and that they encouraged speeches to be wrapped up in myths.

Aristotle categorized the art of rhetoric and distinguished among the political deliberate discourses with the objective of saying “what is good”, the demonstrative judiciary discourse targeted to rendering justice or “what is just”, and the epidictic discourse to enhancing the values of individuals. The Roman Quintillion marked the western rhetoric tradition in academia via his book “The Oratory Institutions”.

Rhetoric is currently hotly applied to various fields of interests and businesses; it has been diversified to specialties such as amorous “how to seduce”, pedagogic “how to convince students; or how to win students over in class”, gastronomy so that the text of menus in restaurants read like poems with plenty of metaphoric expressions, exotic inventions, analogy with high fashion, and figure of speeches evoking thinness and lightness. The military, religious sects, advertising, and artistic fields are heavily reliant of rhetoric or “communication” specialists.

There are two major rhetorical sets of values: the collective and the individual values. The discourse links three entities: Ethos (Identity), Logos (the world), and Pathos (the others). In the collective values we recognize examples of the Ethos such as (respect of the dead), (health, age, and body), and (hope and intellectual satisfaction). These collective values of Ethos are recursively linked respectively to the Logos values of (primal religion), (economic acquisition, and (extreme end results). The Logos values are recursively linked respectively to the Pathos values of (family), (political gains or respect for norms), and (social purpose or general interest).

In the individual sets of values we have: in the Ethos (status), (rights such as freedom), (desires), (virtues), and (opinion).  The ethos values correspond respectively to the Logos values of (revenue), (power), (needs), (capacities), and (facts).  The Logos values correspond respectively to the Pathos values of (Power), (responsibilities), (demands), (passions), and (questions).

Consequently, we can generate a cyclical adjustment in rhetoric from the projective ethos or “what the audience imagines” to the effective ethos (the speaker), to the projective pathos or “how the speaker imagines his audience”, to the effective pathos (the individuals in the audience asking questions).

The late Fernand Hallyn published “The rhetoric structures of science” in 2004; he demonstrated that classical physics is fundamentally metaphorical and analogical figures of speeches. Thus, most instances of discoveries or “Eureka” of great minds were generated by analogical pictures that were registered in personal experiences.

Rhetoric was the primary tool or excuse for the elite classes to acquiring whatever knowledge that was available at the time such as literatures, poetry, and geometry. You may talk to an audience on empty stomach (that would be recommended to shorten a speech and get to the point quickly but you cannot talk with an empty mind! You have got to have, at least, a few subjective notions of what you are conveying.

My contention is that our frontal brain developed a specialty of sorting out and categorizing mind’s associations and images in what was called “scientific methods” in the 18th century.  For example, the processes of identifying qualities and attributes among objects, living species, or phenomena and then establishing coherent taxonomies of relationship in each field of sciences.

I may go even further and claim that the techniques of induction, deduction, and various logical systems were not created but they are a long process of describing the rhetorical mind that generated metaphors, metonym, and analogies by the processes of associations among our various memories.

572.  Everyone has his rhetoric style; (Nov. 22, 2009)

 

573.  Fighting reserved only for Women; (Nov. 24, 2009)

 

574.  How mind acquired knowledge? (Nov. 25, 2009)

 

575.  Hassib’s welcome home party; (Nov. 26, 2009)

 

576.  Breakdown of the senses (Panne de sens) by Mouss Benia; (Nov. 27, 2009)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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