Before joining with Republicans in voting for the revised legislation, however, the Southern Democrats insisted upon the elimination of several clauses they feared might provide openings for civil rights efforts in the South. In addition, the Republicans promised to continue to join the Southern Democrats in blocking civil rights legislation in the future, casting aside any pretense that it was any longer the "Party of Lincoln" when it came to civil rights. All the while, the NAM and Chamber of Commerce reminded Southern Democrats that passage of the act was essential to keep unions out of their region and thereby maintain its attractiveness to industry (McAdams 1964, p. 212). The final version of the act that emerged from the compromises within the conference committee was not as restrictive for unions as the House bill fashioned by Landrum and Griffin had been. But the outcome was primarily a defeat for unions nonetheless because it strengthened the regulation of internal union affairs by government officials far more than AFL-CIO leaders desired and added the restraints on secondary boycotts and roving pickets discussed earlier in this section. However, the impact of these defeats was obscured by the fact that the new legislation had no immediate negative effects for the large established unions that practiced some semblance of internal democracy. Instead, its impact was more serious for the long run because it made organizing new unions much more difficult, especially in smaller industries, and particularly in the South.
The arguments about inflation between the White House and the liberal-labor alliance were paralleled by similar debates within the aforementioned Committee for Economic Development, which is an ideal window into the mindset of corporate moderates. Established in 1942 by members of the Business Advisory Council, its primary focus was an effort to create conservative policies that would be good enough to guard against the return of depression-era economic conditions after World War II. Moreover, it was the most accessible, research-oriented, and transparent of several moderate policy-discussion organizations. Its published policy statements, along with its letters and memos in archives, reveal how corporate moderates dealt with ultraconservatives, the liberal-labor alliance, and government officials in its years of significant influence, from the 1940s to the early 1980s. Usually called the CED, its official policy statements are especially useful because they included memoranda of comment, reservation, or outright dissent that were crafted by individual trustees, and then sometimes joined by other trustees, which makes it possible to ascertain the nature and size of dissident coalitions within the moderate camp on specific issues.
Serfdom largely replaced slavery in Europe by about 1000, but . By 1434, the first captured Africans to use as slaves were delivered to . The sitting pope , and one of humanity’s greatest disasters began. Portugal dominated the for more than three centuries. The other Portuguese commercial obsession, before they seized the , , was gold. African gold began pouring into Lisbon when the slaves did, and the Portuguese began minting gold coins in 1452. The pursuit of slaves and gold characterized Portuguese and Spanish efforts in the Western Hemisphere during the 16th century, which caused history’s greatest demographic catastrophe: . Life was also cheap in the imperial nations. The mortality rate for the crew during the centuries that Portugal used its spice route . , and Europe ignored the cures for centuries.
Energy is the master resource of all organisms, all ecosystems, and all economies. When a civilization centralizes its energy consumption, which were food and wood in preindustrial civilizations, to a central city, and it has to keep expanding farther and farther from that city to obtain that energy, the is going to reduce the EROI of those increasingly distant energy resources, and hence reduce the . Also, the practices of and agriculture provide short-term agricultural yields, but the wood would be almost instantly used (about 90% of the wood imported to Rome was burned, which was the typical ratio for ancient cities). The soils became eroded, depleted, and often abandoned as the land could no longer support farming, partly because the entire process made the land more arid. If they could import water to irrigate (usually a rare situation), that could help ameliorate the process, but it took more time and effort and made it more difficult. There were no accountants, scientists, or engineers monitoring and measuring the process, but all of those dynamics would reduce the system’s EROI and surplus energy and make it less resilient, so it was vulnerable to disruptive shocks.
Rome was a huge parasite. Its citizens did not understand that their methods were unsustainable, not to mention evil, and would lead to their civilization’s collapse. The Spaniards’ obsession with gold, which was responsible for , suffered from a similar blindness. Although warned by Spanish scholars that importing mountains of gold and silver to Spain would do little economically for Spain other than create inflation, the Spanish sovereigns did not heed the advice. The that marked the effective end of Spain’s imperial aspirations was in 1557, a mere generation after the initial Incan plunder began arriving in Spain. , and . Spain and Portugal became the first imperial also-rans during Europe’s rise. Portugal’s acquired some real if ephemeral wealth during its century of dominance. Portugal also imperially overreached, but closer to home. When its ruling class was decimated by , Spain annexed Portugal. With their imperial fortunes thus conjoined, they declined at the same time.
Perhaps a few hundred million years after the first mitochondrion appeared, as the oceanic oxygen content, at least on the surface, increased as a result of oxygenic photosynthesis, those complex cells learned to use oxygen instead of hydrogen. It is difficult to overstate the importance of learning to use oxygen in respiration, called . Before the appearance of aerobic respiration, life generated energy via and . Because oxygen , aerobic respiration generates, on average, about per cycle as fermentation and anaerobic respiration do (although some types of anaerobic respiration can get ). The suite of complex life on Earth today would not have been possible without the energy provided by oxygenic respiration. At minimum, nothing could have flown, and any animal life that might have evolved would have never left the oceans because the atmosphere would not have been breathable. With the advent of aerobic respiration, became possible, as it is several times as efficient as anaerobic respiration and fermentation (about 40% as compared to less than 10%). Today’s food chains of several levels would be constrained to about two in the absence of oxygen. Some scientists have and oxygen and respiration in eukaryote evolution. is controversial.
Entropy is another important concept for this essay. Entropy is, in its essence, the tendency of hot things to cool off. The concept is now introduced to students as . Even though science , it can measure its effect. At the molecular level, entropy is the tendency of mass to become disordered over time, as the random motion of molecules spreads in collisions with other molecules, until the interacting molecules have the same . Life had to overcome entropy in order to exist, as it brought order out of disorder and maintained it while alive, and it takes energy to do that. The prevailing theory is that net entropy can only increase, and life has to create more entropy in its surroundings so that it can reduce entropy internally and produce and maintain the order that sustains itself. Life is called a negentropic phenomenon, in which it uses energy to reverse entropy to make the order of its organism’s structures, and it is continually using energy to reverse the natural entropy that is called decay.
The critical feature of earliest life had to be a way to reproduce itself, and is common to all cellular life today. The DNA that exists today was almost certainly not a feature of the first life. The most accepted hypothesis is that . The mechanism today is that DNA makes RNA, and RNA makes proteins. DNA, RNA, proteins, sugars, and fats are the most important molecules in life forms, and very early on, protein “learned” the most important trick of all, which was an energy innovation: facilitate biological reactions. If we think about at the molecular level, it is the energy that crashes molecules into each other, and if they are crashed into each other fast enough and hard enough, the reaction becomes more likely. But that is an incredibly inefficient way to do it. It is like putting a key in a room with a lock in a door and shaking up the room in the hope that the key will insert itself into the lock during one of its collisions with the room’s walls. Proteins make the process far easier, and those proteins are called enzymes.
Several different fusion processes have been identified, and stars from about half the size of the Sun to about nine times larger can undergo a process known as late in their lives, and that process has created about half of the elements heavier than iron; is the heaviest element created by the process. Those heavier elements are eventually blown from the star by its stellar wind as it becomes a white dwarf. Stars with more than nine times the mass of the Sun undergo a different process at the end of their lives. When the hydrogen and helium fuel is used up and the fusion processes in those stars’ cores are reduced low enough, gravity will cause those stars to collapse in on themselves. That collapse creates the pressures needed to fuse those other atoms heavier than iron, including the heaviest elements. Uranium is the heaviest naturally produced element. In an instant, . Depending on a composition, it can collapse into a black hole or neutron star or explode into a supernova.
Logevall, Choosing War, pp. 165-166; and the Pentagon Papers, Vol. III, pp. 418-19. Although Ambassador Taylor warned against U.S. troop deployments, he sought an increase in the bombing of North Vietnam in order “to convince Hanoi authorities they faced prospect of progressively severe punishment.” George McTurnan Kahin, “Bureaucracy’s Call for U.S. Ground Troops,” in Jeffrey P. Kimball, To Reason Why: The Debate about the Causes of U.S. Involvement in the Vietnam War (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 1990), p. 235.