SNAKE OIL AND POLITICS
I have been cruising around the liberal and conservative sites, observing and taking a few notes. Problem is, the notes are short and the boring is long.
The Liberals are screaming that the only way out of our problems is to vote for them. That they have so many supporters is astounding, even with their horribly failed policies from the past. NAFTA and CAFTA are the first to come to mind. The conservative sites are lamenting the exit of Bush and crew; even though they have virtually destroyed this country in 8 short years.
It is all snake oil.
Let’s get real. Progressive and neo conservatism have both failed us, us being the general population of this country. I hear or read nothing to indicate it will be any different in the future. But what can we expect, when we are just dealing with two sides of the same coin. May look different, but it is still the same coin. More inept nanny state government by the progressive/liberal bunch isn’t going to improve shit. More of the neo conservative agenda obviously won’t either.
All of us at this site have read and heard much about trying to change the system by voting in a new bunch of rascals, thieves and liars. There was so much rejoicing when both houses of congress got a Democrat majority. Tell me honestly now, has anything gotten better and not worse? The president and his minions are still eroding whatever freedoms we have left, and both houses of congress blithely rubber stamp what he wants, and what they oppose he just works around with signing statement and making sure none in congress gets to read or study any of his noxious fume bills, passed on by his fawning party loyalists.
The campaign is more snake oil. The only candidate who even approaches talking about the hard stuff is Ron Paul, and there is a bunch of questionable stances he has taken in the past, and if you hadn’t noticed, there is a blackout on Paul by the lame stream media. And, of course I feel quite confident that he will never see the oval office anyway. Somebody will do him if he even gets close.
Economically, we are awash in snake oil. Get out the towels and wipe off if you dare. If you wipe too much off, you might just start becoming aware how bad it really is. The dollar is constantly decreasing in value in world trade, and consequently the rising prices of just about everything as a reflection of this decrease. Necessary commodities like food and energy are the hardest hit, but hell, that doesn’t count according to our economic gurus in
The last few times around when the economics started to mess up, we had the Savings and Loan melt down, then the artificially created dot com bubble. That of course is old history now, and the economic boys in
In the first place, there are only two areas of energy that are being investigated; substitute and/or more efficient extraction of oil, or, production of electricity. Atomic energy is just about more electricity.
Now depending on what you see as being our present state of affairs world wide and what the major problems are, will influence how you view such developments. If you view these developments as a means to keep afloat the civilized structure we have had going, you will be overjoyed at these developments. If however, you view the principle problem as overpopulation of this world, I rather imagine you might view these developments with some trepidation. For, always in history, when more energy becomes available, there is a population increase, which overshoots the energy availability, every time, thus demanding more energy input. It is the same in the natural world too. Increase in population of primary energy sources, prey, also increases predatory populations, until the prey decrease to the point of not supporting the predators. The same rules apply to the plant kingdoms also. In our case, oil and its products have supported a logarithmic increase in population. All of which is dependent, in the final analysis, on a finite resource. If we find and develop a means of energy which is cheap and plentiful, and which will do all that oil has done, population will continue to increase. Now some might say there is nothing wrong with that. Now ask yourself the question, just how many square feet of living space do you want to have available to you? If you like living in a city, your requirements and desires about this will be considerably different from mine. We currently have about 300 million in this country, give or take a bit. Let’s double that. Now how much living space do you have? And we haven’t yet taken up just how much other resources besides energy it is going to take to support that population, food, lumber, cement, metals, water, etc. How much degradation to the environment are we willing to tolerate? At what point, regardless of the energy available, will the other parts of what sustains life on this planet be exhausted? Are we really willing to cut down every available tree to build structures? Are we really willing to level every mountain for minerals? Are we to no longer have rivers and streams so as to supply water to the mass of people? Are we going to be happy with dead oceans?
I have read and heard people speak on this subject that maintain that it is just fine, that humans don’t really need all this biodiversity to live good lives. I heard Mike Savage on the radio, one day, say that people are crazy to live outside of the city and who in hell wants to go camping anyway? It’s just a dirty bug infected bunch of bull shit, (or at least something to that effect). I was working in a chem. Lab at the time. I had to get a grip before I really started breaking things.
The minute we take the view that all life is interconnected and also recognize that we cannot live without the bio systems and land base, more cheap energy sources become suspect. It appears to me that the only viable and sustainable way that humans are going to be into the long run is for a rapid and large decrease in population and that energy sources, regardless of the technology, needs to be as small as possible, local and/or individual controlled. If it is allowed to become large and complicated, that just gives one more area that the big boys and the enforcement boys a means of controlling us. And we sure as hell don’t want wall street (if there is such a thing in the future) investing it it. So we got to keep it small and localized.
Here is a statement from Richard Heinberg;
….” In principle, however, we have already ruin the “free energy” experiment, on a smaller scale, several times in human history, and other species have run it as well. Every time we humans have found a way to harvest a dramatically increased amount of food or fuel from the environment, we have been presented with a quantity of energy that is, if not entirely free, at least cheap and abundant relative to what we had previously. Each time, we have responded by increasing our population, and correspondingly, the load on the environmental systems that sustain us. Each time, we have ended up degrading the environment and creating the conditions for a crash.” He goes on to site specific examples of migrating from Africa, then eating all the mastodons, mammoths, giant sloths, etc. through the invention of agriculture in one civilization after another where they built densely populated cities, then collapsed after exhausting the soil and cutting too many trees…and on to increasing the population from 800 million to 6.4 billion in 3 centuries after the Industrial Revolution”.
“So, if some new free-energy device were to become available tomorrow, how would people respond? We really don’t need to speculate much. Absent a self-limiting, culturally reinforced, Powerdown program, we can be virtually 100 percent sure that the response would be to continue population growth, and to increase the harvesting of other resources, from the environment until Liebig’s Law got us in one way or another. Liebig’s Law, also known as the Law of the Minimum, states that the carrying capacity for any given species is set by the necessity of least supply. Eventually one crucial thing would be missing from the balance and life as we know it would be over."
Folks, I have no hard answers to all of this. What I do think I know is that we have all had our dose of snake oil, and way too many people have embraced it. I honestly think we will pay a heavy price for that.