Tuesday, November 4, 2008

POKING THE HORNETS NEST

from Murph


Oh dear, we have had the hornets nest poked with a stick? Lol.

The last post has gotten up to the 55 comments which begins to become a bit clumsy. So, to continue the current discussion and still leave open comments on the election today, I am offering some comments on the last post. I find the last post comments to be stimulating and hope that continues.

For Rockpicker and Truthseeker’s latest comments on energy production. I will offer these comments.

Unless I am not understanding the implications, all of the over unity systems I have read about, they are to produce electricity. I for one, cannot dispute the validity of the claims. I don’t have the facilities, time or money to explore and either dispute or validate the claims. To be honest about it, I would love to be able to. However, if it is true that we are running out of carbon resources, (oil, coal, gas), regardless of how we produce electricity, the impact on society will be enormous. If we remove cheap readily available oil, then we also remove all plastic technology, most of food production methodology, most metals production, and a host of other means of satisfying our complex modern civilization’s needs. Production of electricity will not replace that part of our living infrastructure. I doubt that there would be areas of transportation where electricity could be substituted either, ships and planes for starters.

My next question is how much other energy sources, oil and gas in particular; would it take to change over to a new method of electrical production and utilization? I would submit that to do so would use a huge amount of however much is left to exploit which means that other uses would have to be sacrificed. Then the question becomes what we will do without while we make the change over, even if we stipulate that there is enough left to accomplish it, and that there is sufficient time left.

Personally, I would like to see a better method of producing electricity than we have now. But I don’t think it would solve very many of our current problems in the future resulting from resource depletion, especially in the realm of energy. Kunstler’s book, The Long Emergency has some things to say on this subject. It may very well be true that there is no immediate lack of energy and the scare tactics concerning peak oil is a hype job. There may be actual validity to the Russian contention that oil is produced by the earth’s core. I read much on the arguments concerning oil, its formation and extraction. We either believe that this earth has limited resources or that it has inexhaustible resources as a basic premise, and a premise it is since we are unable to prove either side except in hindsight. If the future shows that resources (particularly oil) are inexhaustible, then I would contend that we have misused them incredibly. If they are limited, we have followed a fool’s path. In my quest for data on oil, it appears to me that the data I have seen is pretty solid with a margin for error. I do think that oil is a non renewable resource, (at least in terms of mankind’s lifespan) and I think that oil in particular, will become too expensive in terms of energy expenditure to extract. That is, using a barrel of oil to extract a barrel of oil is a zero result game. It also appears to me that new pools of energy discovery has also hit a zenith. I am very reluctant to bet that this is not so.

Personally, I am very reluctant to bow down to the concept that technology will save modern civilization, even if there was a will to actually do so. We have had the technology to avoid what appears to be happening currently, and it was not utilized. From the simple Pogue carburetor in the 40’s right up to the present. As the comments observed, there have been many technological innovations that were smothered by those that stood to lose by their utilization. I rather suspect we can expect more of the same until this whole system collapses. If/when that happens, it may be way too late to utilize these innovations. Our whole system is driven by profits and growth. Until that changes, anything that threatens the big boys power and wealth generation will be suppressed. . It sure appears to me that technology is what has gotten us into the current situation. I do not expect it to get us out of it.

John Michael Greer is an interesting personality. I have been following him for some time. I could not contradict that he sure enough appears to be an intellectual, arrogant snob. That does not make him either right or wrong in his arguments. He has taken a swipe or two at me when I have put up comments on his blog. A long time ago I also had that accusation thrown at me by a man I considered having a fence post mentality.

It seems obvious to me that Greer spends an enormous amount of time reading and studying a very wide range of materials. Again, that alone does not either validate or invalidate his conclusions. I have spent a fairly large chunk of my life around similar personalities. I found them stimulating, irritating, occasionally infuriating, and often enough proved right. Consequently, I read Greer for his nuggets of perception and not to either reject or become a disciple of his thoughts. We have on this blog people with great passion for one or another position on a great many subjects. We do not have crystal balls to peer into the future; we have only current and past data with which we make conjecture about the future.

I agree with Ras and her comments about finding a virtually free (or very cheap) source of electrical energy, or any energy source for that matter. Unless the system of endless growth and profits is changed, we will make this planet uninhabitable sometime in the future. That is, unless we want to contend that human kind can exist separate from the environment. But, at this time, living in a moon type of environment is not my idea of a way to live and I suspect that it wouldn’t work anyway despite the science fiction ideas around that. I further suspect that genetically there is a limit to human adaptability to a radically different environment, regardless of being able to create an artificial environment as a temporary expediency, like living on the moon or Mars. Besides, there is some sparse evidence around that says that the moon and Mars were once inhabited. If this is an actuality of the past, we can then conclude one of two things. Either those inhabiting other planets in our solar system were completely different than humans, or, the ecology/environment of those planets has changed dramatically. For me, I spend little time on that speculation. We got enough serious problems on our own rock ball to contend with.

35 comments:

freeacre said...

On so many levels, we do seem to be on the verge of transformation. If the electric universe is true, then it will lead us off on a whole different path. I, of course, don't understand it either way. I feel like the monkey looking at the monolith in 2001 A Space Odyssey... I do have a friend who is an archeo-astronomer who says that the electromagnetic polarity is flickering right now and the earth is on the verge of a magnetic polar shift. The magnetic North pole has already moved 6 degrees or something (or was is 60 miles?).
We better get our minds around what is going on with the sun because it is looking more and more as if it affects us even more than we thought it did. We could be facing a new ice age rather than a warming period. If the magnetic poles shift, what would that do to the animals and plants who navigate and mature and propagate and whatever else according to the electromagnetic forces? Yikes!
One thing that the Obama candidacy is doing is bringing into focus the dark side of our racism and egocentricity, it seems. I think this might end up being a good thing in the long run. Shed some light on it and hopefully it will heal. I read a rather amusing story about a door to door canvasser for Obama who asked a working class white woman in Pennsylvania who she was going to vote for. She turned to her husband and asked him, "Who are we going to vote for?" And he yelled, "We're voting for the nigger!" So, I guess there has been a big change going on in terms of race being less of a factor than it used to be. Sure hope so. Meanwhile, right wing sites are just hysterical behind the idea of Obama in the White House. I think they think he is the anti-Christ or something. Steve Quale is having visions, the Rense site is spewing all kinds of shit. I am not sure if it is race or the remote possibility that Obama is or sounds like a Muslim that has got these people coming unglued. I'm hoping that they will get it out of their system and then see that nothing unusually bad happens simply due to his race or religion. Hopefully, then they will calm down.
We have enough bad things to deal with without that. With the looting of America continuing for the next 2 1/2 months, it just about insures that economic catastrophe is going to be the most dominant feature of 2009. I guess that's one way to reduce carbon use.
We just had another snow fall last night. Bundle up, Children. It's going to be a long winter.

murph said...

Well, at 9 pm in Oregon, it looks like Obama won the election. If he gets inaugurated, we get to see just how much and how hard he works for what he promised. This is going to be another interesting part of the great American drama.

Anonymous said...

Hi folks,

Murph, what an excellent post. To be honest I agree with most of what you say here. However, I want comment on four areas of your post, more to clarify my own position than anything.

Firstly, the following from Murph: -

“We either believe that this earth has limited resources or that it has inexhaustible resources as a basic premise, and a premise it is since we are unable to prove either side except in hindsight. If the future shows that resources (particularly oil) are inexhaustible, then I would contend that we have misused them incredibly. If they are limited, we have followed a fool’s path. In my quest for data on oil, it appears to me that the data I have seen is pretty solid with a margin for error. I do think that oil is a non renewable resource, (at least in terms of mankind’s lifespan) and I think that oil in particular, will become too expensive in terms of energy expenditure to extract. That is, using a barrel of oil to extract a barrel of oil is a zero result game. It also appears to me that new pools of energy discovery has also hit a zenith. I am very reluctant to bet that this is not so.”

I agree with pretty well all this. I also incline to oil being to a non-renewable resource. If the abiotic oil theory does have any basis in truth, I doubt that such a natural ability to regenerate itself will be fast enough to compensate for our over-usage of that very polluting material. However, with or without the peak oil theory being true, we may still have the PTB crafting and engineering a scenario that uses that theory as one way of instilling fear in the populace. Perhaps they realise a peak in oil production is coming in the next few decades and have thus pre-empted the fact by presenting us with a false peak at the current time? This of course is pure speculation on my part. We certainly have the appearance of peak oil right now. However, even if oil is not at peak, we should be exploring the clean alternatives much more energetically and thoroughly than we are present. Oil is dirty and polluting. If there is substantial oil in the Arctic, the Amazon, under the ocean or anywhere else, I hope we leave it just where it is. We have destroyed enough of the biodiversity of this planet already, without adding to this further. Some here might suggest (including myself) that free energy alternatives have both been explored and are fully known to elements within the PTB. As far as I can see, it is only with a view to maintain their own current positions of control, power and wealth, that these certain elements (Illuminati or the New World Order perhaps?) would keep a lid on free energy so that they can introduce it in such a way that they can continue to rule the roost. I am certainly no expert on concepts such as zero-point energy. Nor can I pretend that I understand the quantum physics and other theories that may help us make sense of such energy. Maybe Rockpicker and Palooka can help me here? However, I do sense that we are looking at something here that is close to the old concept of ‘ether’, the so-called ‘fifth element’ (the others being Earth, Air, Water and Fire) believed to exist by many late 19th and early 20th century scientists. I also suspect there is a connection between free energy and the collective consciousness of humanity, the Earth and everything else within and beyond the known universe. I can not, of course prove any of this, as it is just a feeling I have.

Murph then writes: -

“Personally, I am very reluctant to bow down to the concept that technology will save modern civilization, even if there was a will to actually do so. We have had the technology to avoid what appears to be happening currently, and it was not utilized. From the simple Pogue carburettor in the 40’s right up to the present. As the comments observed, there have been many technological innovations that were smothered by those that stood to lose by their utilization. I rather suspect we can expect more of the same until this whole system collapses. If/when that happens, it may be way too late to utilize these innovations. Our whole system is driven by profits and growth. Until that changes, anything that threatens the big boys power and wealth generation will be suppressed. . It sure appears to me that technology is what has gotten us into the current situation. I do not expect it to get us out of it.”

You are right. Technology alone will not save us. Technology, in my view, has to be married to a deeply spiritual and ethical philosophy that understands the cyclic nature of the cosmos. I feel that we may now have a window of time in which we have the opportunity to bring both the best of technology and this deeper spirituality together. This is what I believe the current galactic alignment is about. I wrote about this at great length in October 2007 at Cyclones Real Deal blog, just before the Trout Clan blog commenced, so I shall not go into this here. However, I do feel that this alignment is a symbolic representation of our need as a species to shift up a gear, both physically and spiritually. Whether we can achieve this potential or not depends on two things. Firstly, we all need to motivate ourselves on a personal, family and community level to practice what we preach. Secondly, somehow the current PTB need to be removed. This may happen naturally. However, I suspect there fall from grace is going to require a lot more effort from us and the masses of humanity. It is hard to see such a groundswell of opposition to the PTB at present. Who knows, maybe things will change dramatically in this area as we approach the Mayan Long Count Calendar end date at the Winter Solstice of 2012?

Murph then writes this: -

“It seems obvious to me that Greer spends an enormous amount of time reading and studying a very wide range of materials. Again, that alone does not either validate or invalidate his conclusions. I have spent a fairly large chunk of my life around similar personalities. I found them stimulating, irritating, occasionally infuriating, and often enough proved right. Consequently, I read Greer for his nuggets of perception and not to either reject or become a disciple of his thoughts.”

I completely agree with this. There is much truth in what Greer says. However, to my mind he remains just too fixed in certain of his opinions. This is not unlike the dogmatism you see many religious (particularly fundamentalist Christians and Muslims) and ‘scientific’ groups. In the latter case I am referring to the so-called ‘science’ or scientism of materialists. This very narrow version of science is promoted by people like the Evolutionary Biologist, Richard Dawkins.

Finally, Murph writes the following: -

“I agree with Ras and her comments about finding a virtually free (or very cheap) source of electrical energy, or any energy source for that matter. Unless the system of endless growth and profits is changed, we will make this planet uninhabitable sometime in the future. That is, unless we want to contend that human kind can exist separate from the environment. But, at this time, living in a moon type of environment is not my idea of a way to live and I suspect that it wouldn’t work anyway despite the science fiction ideas around that. I further suspect that genetically there is a limit to human adaptability to a radically different environment, regardless of being able to create an artificial environment as a temporary expediency, like living on the moon or Mars. Besides, there is some sparse evidence around that says that the moon and Mars were once inhabited. If this is an actuality of the past, we can then conclude one of two things. Either those inhabiting other planets in our solar system were completely different than humans, or, the ecology/environment of those planets has changed dramatically.”

I think Ras is right, we have abused oil and just about every other fossil energy resource on our planet. If Greer is saying this, then I agree. We could have used all these resources far more wisely. However, we did not and, thus, we are where we are today. The whole concept of endless growth, at least on a material level, needs to end. Indeed, it needed to end several decades ago.

With regard to living on the Moon or Mars, there is increasing, but very controversial, evidence that not only have there existed previous civilizations on Mars and the Moon (and possibly on other Moon’s in our solar system) but that also remnants of those civilizations still reside on same (either underground or deep within craters). Some have speculated that we are the descendents of a Martian civilization. If there was a prior civilization on Mars, they did a pretty poor job of taking care of their planet. If any of this is correct, hopefully, we can do a better job, though so far it is not looking too good. Others believe we are already out there, and that our entire space programme is a cover for a much more advanced exploration of both the Moon and the Mars. If this is true then the PTB really are keeping it close to their chests. Many also believe that the PTB are in cahoots with an ET civilization from Mars or elsewhere, with a dubious agenda which is not in the best interests of humanity. All this is fascinating stuff, but at present it is still too hard to discern truth from fiction. So, currently I just keep an open mind on these things.

With regard to our genetics, I really wonder if the current collective consciousness transition, that I feel is occurring during the current galactic alignment, is at least in part about some kind of genetic transformation for our species. However, that leads us into a whole new realm of metaphysical discussion which will stretch the credulity (if it has not already been stretched too far) of many of you who post here. So I shall say no more.

Best Wishes

Truthseeker

RAS said...

Dixie died last night. The old confederacy breathed its last. Regardless of what Obama does as President, that is now indisuptable.
And about damn time.
I wrote about it here: http://myflightfromthegrid.blogspot.com/2008/11/dixie-died-last-night.html

I have said before that I am not a member of the cult of Obama, but as energized as the nation is now, as charged up as it is, if he turns out he is a decent leader, he will have a chance to change this country for the better. Well see how it turns out.

RAS said...

To continue our discussion, rp, I was using that as an example. My point is this: Nothing is free. Nothing. All energy comes from somewhere, and there are costs and side effects to using it. Even if we don't have to bear those costs ourselves, they will still be there and we can not predict what they will be ahead of time, only that they will be there.

The side effects of using oil and other fossil are carbon emissions, pollution, and the destruction of much of the biosphere.

Solar power? Producing solar panels (of all sorts) produces plenty of pollution and many of the parts are made by strip mining. Add in that they are produced on a fossil-fuel powered infrastructure and it gets even worse. The seemingly 'clean' energy source isn't.

Wind? If you ignore the pollution and infrastructure aspects, you still have the fact that it kills birds. And large scale windfarms have the potential to change continetal wind patterns and thus the weather. That is the freest energy source on our planet, and look at it.

Nuclear, hydro, fusion, all have similar prolbems.
ZPE, and all these other sources? Tapping into the solar wind? They too, would have problems and side effects. We may not be able to predict what they are (10 years ago no one knew wind farms could change weather patterns) but I can guarantee they will be there because there isn't any such thing as a free lunch.
This is the most fundamental law: that everything is connected. Everything we do has consquences.

This is as true of energy as anything else. It has to come from somewhere, and in taking it from that place, you are going to create consquences of some sort.

Anonymous said...

Is this guy (Hal Turner)for real?

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1954933468700958565&hl=es

Anonymous said...

Well guys and gals, we have a new president elect. I too am not an Obama cultist, but I did vote for him and enjoyed his speech last night. It's nice to hear someone speak to the country using proper English. I'm hoping he follows through with his proposals. I'm hoping some right-wing nut job doesn't do something stupid. I'm hoping someone keeps DICK! Cheney under wraps for the next couple of months to keep him from starting WWIII. And, I have to admit, I took the "I'm feeling much better since I gave up all hope" bumper sticker off my car.

I guess, I'm hoping we're NOT doomed.

Dude

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:38;

Hal Turner is, according to several Google entries, a white supremecist radio talkshow host from North Bergen, New Jersey. One quotes him as having equated Obama with Hitler.

I read the original news release somewhere on the net a couple of weeks ago. No one else seemed to pick it up. No independent corroboration of the info.

If it's true, that would be bad.

murph said...

Anonymous 6:38

We have been hearing snips and pieces about this currency change for quite a while now. Freeacres comment is that the design is like a Nazi coin.

The people that direct the nations finances have to do something. This insanity course we are on won't last, can't last.

Another documentary film at Google shows the coins very clearly.

Whether this is another scare tactic or false flag thing I just don't know.

What I consider of even more importance is the question of government entitlements. Does this mean that there are no more Social Security payments? Or are they then just valued in Ameros? Currency switches in the past have not been either smooth or quiet. Avoiding devastation of the population is a hard one to deal with I think.

If true, this will be quite the experience I think.

murph said...

Truthseeker,

Seems to me that your thinking is pretty clear, at least to me.

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

I keep playing boring broken record over this one but once again I return to the secret meeting of congress March 2008. Particularly that the dollar will fail somewhere in the fourth quarter 2008 and that all US government services would become inoperable by February 2009. Wearing my cynical hat I am led to wonder if some twisted but illuminated person has arranged for the black guy to take the fall. I am in agreement with most of you that the best guy won. I also wonder if they have chosen a bigger maverick. What if on the second day of his presidency he was to abolish the Fed? Ah, best not to dwell on these indulgencies.

Assuming that carbon reserves are finite, I have a gut feeling that the dollar a week lot, the ones that have never had anything and likely never will and who are still here, are the ones who will be best suited to survive a world economic downturn; at least far better than their more civilised counterparts. But if oil is running out what would you do with the remaining reserves? Let Joe run around and fill the back of his SUV with six packs or build something like wind generators which will help to keep us going for a while longer. The Earth is what it is, like it or lump it. What if the Rocky Mountains were not there (known by different names but from Alaska to the Baja California), the weather patterns would be different but we would have adapted to whatever it was. If wind farms alter climate on either the micro or macro scale then so what? We will deal with what the new situation is like we always have. When cotton was king and the mill owners of England and Kentucky put giant water wheels into the river to drive their factories, they took energy out of the river and altered the flow but so far as I am aware nobody suffered harmful effects from this (the mill workers notwithstanding).

As for the magnetic pole moving about, I believe that this is quite normal. I was always led to believe, perhaps mistakenly that there is a giant lump of molten iron under the North Pole but because the axis of the earth is tilted and the axis of the molten iron isn’t then the magnetic pole cycles over time about +/- 6°.

Archaeologists and anthropologists have studied ancient Aboriginal sites from tens of thousands of years back and found that iron implements left in fires are magnetised the wrong way round indicating that in past ages, confirmed by carbon dating, the poles have flipped, perhaps many times. Again, so what? Navigation systems will be out of action for a week or so whilst the problem is sorted out but the aborigines will still be here, mostly and migrating birds including the arctic tern which travels from the North Pole to the South Pole and then back again will still be with us, mostly.

Things will be different but we will deal with it, so why all the fuss?

murph said...

Belgium,

Your 'so what' question is interesting to talk about.

All of these drastic changes you mention took place a long time in the past, and seemingly did not impact an industrial advanced civilization. One of the characteristics of a complex living pattern is that it is inherently unstable when confronted with big changes of some kind. More simple living patterns are much more flexible. Nomadic tribes are free to move about with little restraining conditions when a particular area becomes too harsh to support them. Despite our mobile society, take a look at what would happen if the midwest farmland was exposed to continual drought, as happened in the early parts of the 20th century. Huge migrations of people and a very drastic reduction in farming, ie, food supply. Today, for most industrial countries, the problem is compounded considerably by much larger populations. Take a look at what is happening in Australia right now over that very issue. They are in big big trouble it seems.

So, if it is true that many huge wind farms would alter weather patterns, I would speculate that the effects on the complex civilization would be disproportionately large. Natural changes in weather patterns happen relatively slowly allowing groups of people to adapt or move on. If the wind farms have an effect, I would also infer the changes will be drastic and relatively quick.

You mentioning of giant water wheels in the river not altering anything at the time is true. The next question would be how many of them would it take to slow down the flow of water and change the temperature of the water and consequently the ecology of the river?

Take an example. The extreme altering of a river is a dam. Have they altered the ecology of the rivers and the surrounding land? From the analysis' I have read, indeed they have. In Alaska, dams have altered significantly the forest growth along the rivers simply by severely limiting the salmon runs and that the dead salmon nourished the river bank forests and other growths. So, the forests are receding from the river and that promotes erosion during seasonal runoff.

I still assert that the use of technology in the last 200 years has indeed had short term benefits and long term deficits that are mostly coming to understanding today. Our civilized structure has chosen to ignore the long term consequences for a variety of reasons, and preferred to pass the cost to future generations. I simply cannot advocate more of the same.

On a much smaller scale, we are battling in our locality over that very issue. The local governments want to make destination resorts wherever they can to up local tax bases. The state is finally getting into the act now and questioning the wisdom of such development. Few if any real environmental impacts have been done on these resorts, particularly dealing with water. There has up to now, been no study on the accumulative effects on ground water and surface water by these resorts that tend to be concentrated into relatively small areas of land, and which do indeed impact water levels and the environment. Our citizens action group has been seriously delving into this issue, and it appears to be a very short term gain by the county governments and a long term deficit that will have to be dealt with in the future. In the name of the god almighty dollar, the long term consequences are simply ignored or minimized in applications. Every inch we give up to the developers will be paid for 10 times over in the future. I simply cannot support such folly.

If the figurative waters wheels need to be stuck in the river to accomplish something fine, but 10,000 of them in a couple miles of river run is something else again.

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Ok Murph, that is fine. If we accept your arguments then what do you propose as an alternative? Is doing nothing, the best way forward?

Btw, why were salmon ladders, ie pools at about 2ft difference in height stretching from the bottom of the dam to the top, never installed in the US?

murph said...

Belgium,

My suggestions. hmmm. My stance is that first we have to change the economic system world wide. We have to stop overproducing planned obsolescence articles and being throw away societies. Of course, that means less profits in the hands of the corporations, but nevertheless, that is needed. We have the technology to end all pollution right now. Enforce it. Which again will cut down consumer goods and force a much simpler life style. If we simply enforce responsibility for actions by the corporations, that would eliminate a lot of problems but not solve everything. I still maintain that we have overshot the carrying capacity of the earth for sustainable living. How that is solved is a bit gory to even contemplate.

Remember when there was a pride in manufacturing a product with an almost indefinite lifetime? Remember when products could be self repaired? Long gone now for the most part. I'm one of the only people that I know that will salvage a $5 digital wrist watch, or tear apart a motor tool and actually make it work again instead of throwing it away and buying new. It does cause raised eyebrows. The lack of these long life term items, from refrigerators and washers to automobiles is due to the economic system. That has to be changed right from the git go. Not going to happen unless it is forced.

Fish ladders are used on some dams. For the most part, it hasn't seemed to stop the lowering of fish counts up river. There is lots of debate going on concerning why. Derrick Jensen flat out blames the dams. Overfishing may have something to do with it too. Most of the hard core environmentalists insist that the fish ladders are not a fix, but only delay the inevitable, the extinction of spawning fish in our rivers. Like every other environmental issue, there are statistics and data all over the place. Very little total cost to benefit ratio studies done.

I don't like it, but it sure appears to me that every technological advancement is/has been used always at the expense of the environment. After all, my life certainly takes advantage of these technologies. And nobody wants to talk about lowering their standard of living to protect wildlife or the gross environment, even most of the environmentalists. They certainly like to hold their get togethers in remote places where they drive their SUVs to get there.

Sustainability, (the ability to continue into the future) depends on not using up the environment at a greater rate than it can renew. Those things, like metal mining, fuel, need to be rationed and the population kept stable at a lower number than we currently have. How to accomplish that under present circumstances and current thought is a problem I can't solve and I think is wistful thinking that it can be done in some kind of orderly manner. If we had been wiser in the beginning, we would have the resources for a smaller population far into perpetuity. Instead, we, probably through massive ignorance, squandered it on short term gains. If we had paid attention 50 years ago, we could have done something about it I think. I fear it is much too late now.

Anonymous said...

Murph and Belgium

I find what you two are discussing most interesting.... may I just toss in a not often considered name?

Schauberger....

He was passionate about trees, and natural forests as the cradle of water. He warned how deforestation would deplete the world of water and destroy fertility, causing deserts and climatic chaos. He argued that when the natural eco-systems are in balance and diversity rules, there is great creativity and the evolution of higher and more complex life forms, but there is also order and stability.

When humanity walked lightly on the Earth, we cooperated with Nature. Although we are still part of Nature, we behave as though we are not, but above it, dominating and exploiting it. Viktor warned that the more we continued to go against Nature, the whole eco-system would become sick, the climate destructive, and human society would break down, with extreme violence, greed and pandemic illnesses.


Ely

Jacques de Beaufort said...

this is a good subject...
I found an amazing site the other day by Chris Martenson that is a series of videos about 3 hrs total. He connects ALL the dots, from the ideology of growth, the modern banking/finance system, peak oil, climate change, and demographic shift. The overall picture is pretty hard to fathom...I very much recommend:

http://www.chrismartenson.com/crash-course

As for growth..even if we did replace fossil fuels with ZPE or some other exotic, and even if we did maintain exponential growth...by 2150 (according to "Eating Fossil Fuels") we would be living in a world of 80 billion people. 80 BILLION PEOPLE !!

It's clear to me that the growth ideology is seriously flawed, and the longer we take to come to terms with this, the more devastating of an attrition there will be. The problem is that this realization flies in the face of everything that culture has programmed us to accept as normative reality.

It's still unbelievable to me that Peak Oil is still in the margins...if it is true, which I'm 99% sure that it is, we are right on the precipice of the most dramatic change in THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.

As great as this moment is for Civili Rights, etc....no one want's to temper their enthusiasm and stare down for the root cause of this recession/depression. The only way that the effects will be mitigated is through an honest unflinching look at the ecological realities we face. It may be that it needs to get MUCH MUCH WORSE before people can connect the dots and make the jump into a new paradigm. By this time it may be too late. However, I'm sure that people will survive. Somewhere.

That being said, no one has brought up Geo-Thermal. There is a virually unlimited supply of heat coming from the earth's interior...


Regarding John Michael Greer...the dude is pretty smart. Heinberg Kunstler level, and he even answers blog comments.I give his view a great deal of creedence. He is a "Decliner" more than a "Doomer" which seems pretty close to my sensibility.

murph said...

Jacques,

Interesting you brought up the geothermal idea. I just recently came across a couple of articles on it. Our area, which is volcanic to the extreme in the past, has been talking about geothermal for 50 years, and nothing has been done. There are a few places on the globe where it has been implemented and as I understand it, with some success.

The two articles I read recently indicated that the engineering and tech problems with large uses of geothermal are immense and the capital investment also huge. As a large scale project, there are very limited areas where it is feasible, after all, geothermal is available if you go deep enough but the problems in going really deep are beyond us right now. One other problem with harnessing this is the infrastructure needed. So, if we build a geothermal plant, heat the buildings within a hundred miles of it and generate some electricity also, we still haven't solved a national problem. The amount of sites for this is rather limited. , and the investment would be enormous. We're right back to the economic system that must have profits from the endeavor. Because of this, I don't expect to see a wide spread usage of that technology anytime soon. It's cheaper to fight wars over oil.

RAS said...

Hmm, my thoughts on dams. Anyone have a pack of dynamite handy? Seriously, they are that bad. Not just for the fish and forests upstream -they totally destroy the ecology downstream as well. Some dams can be useful but mostly they are an ecological nightmare. I read somewhere (The World Without Us, I think and highly recommended, btw) that it will take, oh, 10,000-20,000 years for Hoover Dam to start developing holes.

Geothermal has a lot of problems, as Murph pointed out. I believe it has a ridiculuously long payback time, which probably would never be reached because in most places where it is feasible the installation would be destroyed by a volcanic eruption long before that.

Murph, I totally agree with you on your thoughts about the short vs. long-term benefits of technology. We have got to start thinking about the future of our children, grandchildren, and so on. I can not stand the idea that something is good if it gives me a good life at the expense of my grandkids. I've mentioned before that I am pagan, and my religion has one fundamental creed: Do No Harm. It's a high idea, and one that I certainly don't live up to yet, but Goddess knows I'm trying.

I heard the gay marriage ban in California passed. So much for the expansion of civil rights.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a Brasscheck video on the compressed air car.

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/456.html

Pelosi wants to make large sums of our treasure available to the three big auto makers. Why not take the same money and put it towards mass transit infrastructure and this sort of innovative technology?

Btw, anyone hear news about Pelosi's race? I'm assuming she defeated Cindy Sheehan, but I have yet to hear details.

-rockpicker

freeacre said...

I went to Cindy Sheehans's site, Rockpicker, and there was a letter from her on it that expressed how she feels now that the race is lost. Couldn't find any details, numbers or anything.

As I understand it, the CA anti-gay marriage proposal wasn't just a law, it was a constitutional amendment! Maybe the court will find it unconstitutional. I just can't imagine it going into effect. Bummer. Sorry ras. But, maybe the State should not be involved in weddings anyway. Being legally married comes with many problems of its own: being liable for each other's debts, killing your eligibility for a whole slew of benefits, etc. A couple can have a wonderful and significant marriage ceremony that is socially and personally binding that does not involve the state. As anarchists, we did.

Anonymous said...

The lemmings here in Mormon HQ were a big force in getting Prop 8 passed, ras. These dick-weeds make me sick. These LDS church spent millions in getting it passed so it'd be great if the CA Supremo Court found Prop 8 to be unconstitional.

dude

murph said...

Folks,

For those that have forgotten or didn't get it first time around, here is a short video you will want to look at explaining steady percentage rate of growth of anything. Apply this to anything that looks interesting, like electrical usage, or oil usage or population growth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
F-QA2rkpBSY&feature=related

Anonymous said...

I Googled video of Amero, got this in the returns.

http://groups.google.com/group/total_truth_sciences/browse_thread/thread/56afd0f4f29d8bad

Looks pretty interesting. Had to check the back of my driver's license. Nope, no hologram, yet!

Jacques; Thanks for that Chris Martenson video link. It's awe sum!

-rp

RAS said...

FA, all of that is very true but being legally married has a LOT of benefits that don't accrue to unmarried couples. I'm not talking just about SSI and discounts on insurance; I'm talking about next-of-kin status and the right to see your partner in the hospital. Gay couples do not have that right. I've known of cases where a lifelong couple has been denied the right to be at their dying partners bedside because they weren't legally next of kin, and of wills being overturned because the surviving partner wasn't 'real' family. And that's just to begin with.

Prop 8 was a constitutional amendment, BUT, it is being challenged as unconstitutional. The reason, they are claiming, is that California has two procudures for amending the constitution and they used the wrong one because this amendment effectively repeals the Equal Protection Clause, a major section of the document. That requires a separate, much more arduous process.
There's a good chance the court will buy that arugment. I hope so.

I would like the state to stay out of marriage as well, but as long as they insist on poking their nose in, everyone should be equal under the law. I may be in Alabama but the more states that have it, the faster it will spread. And the faster it spreads, the faster it will get to the Supreme Court. That's the ultimate goal, of course: to get it before the high court. Most people I've read would give it a 50/50 chance of getting by the court today, depending on how Kennedy voted. Obama will appoint at least two justices and maybe more.

It will take a ruling of the court to spread it nationwide, of that I have no doubt. Just as it took the court ruling on abortion, on segregation, on so many other things (including recognition of Wicca as a legal religion). I don't agree with all of their decision (obviously) but the last forty years or so they have done a remarkable job of fulfilling thier first obligation: to protect the rights of the minority from the tyranny of the majority, as Jefferson put it.

Okay, rant over. Sorry. I've been a bit upset today. Can you tell? ;-)

In other news, The Automatic Earth has a very good post up today. http://www.theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/ (It's updated daily, so if you read it tomorrow you'll need to go into the archives.)

Anonymous said...

...if you are interested and have a spare half hour free time, this could be an interesting fill...

http://blip.tv/file/1417453

Ely

Anonymous said...

"Why not take the same money and put it towards..."

in a word, people. in this case enough of them who's bread and butter comes from mr big that when mr big be goin bust because the buncha bilkin bastards buggered the bid'ness with bad management and bas-akerds mentality and bombed the market with bloated blackgold guzzlers at the behest of the buyer, he gets the bailout demanded by bob and betty the bumper busters because they're bitin the big one too. but it's too late... it be all over but the bloodlettin and the bitchin. blah, blah, blah... p

Anonymous said...

The voice of your ego is characterized by anger, anxiety, complaint, fear, rationalization, reactiveness, self-aggrandizement and self-centeredness.

Conversely, the voice of the true
Self is compassionate, forgiving, grateful, harmonious, humble, loving, merciful, peaceful, tolerant and trusting.

Random acts of kindness---a good way to visit the Self.

Treat yourself. Be kind to someone or something.

Anonymous said...

P;

That was truly inspired! Ha, ha, ha!

-rp

Anonymous said...

the free in free energy or free anything is rhetorical... everything's a trade off at best.



the druid is the featured guest on coast sat nite. i'm w/TS on him... we are all reflections of our imprints.


TS said... I hope we leave it (oil)just where it is.

if we can effectively argue there is some purpose to existance then, on the highest level, one of the challenges we face in the process of true evolution just might be the learning of lessons. we can argue that U throws these at us at random or we can argue that we create our own reality. or to put it another way, there's some method to the madness we face. obviously, whatever lessons there are to learn about the use of fossil fuels as our energy source, has been ignored for the most part. gimme, gimme, gimme. drill, drill, drill!!! despite the fact that obama won, sentiment for more, more more, cheap, cheap, cheap is pushing into the 70th percentile. what's that tell us? if i take something from you just because i can does that justify it? does that excuse accountability?


and then he said... I do sense that we are looking at something here that is close to the old concept of ‘ether’

i'm as ingnorant as most but from what i'm reading thats probably close... http://theunseenroleofdenial.
blogspot.com/2008/01/field.html

in the meantime black light power is moving along. y'all have heard me talk about BLP before. here's the latest news...

http://blacklightpower.com/Press%20Releases/BlacklightPressRelease102008.doc

Full Report from Rowan University:

http://blacklightpower.com/pdf/
BLPIndependentReport.pdf

watch it work at rowan university.
200X the energy required to remove H from H2O....

http://www.blacklightpower.com/
Documentary%20Video/
blacklight_experiment_video_v2.wmv

...p

Anonymous said...

here's the blurb on the coast interview. aired on many radio stations... http://www.coasttocoastam.com/
shows/2008/11/08.html

stoney13 said...

Sorry Murph, but the Pogue Carburetor don't work! I tried it!

(1) It just cannot function on the gasoline made today which is refined using the "catalytic cracker" method started in the thirties.

(2) It violates the first law of thermodynamics,which has been accepted science, dating way back to 1830. The law is written as follows: U = q + w

In other words, if you have chemical energy, in an engine (U), it must equal heat (q), plus work (w). Let's say you have a gallon of fuel which has 100,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units). You burn that fuel in an engine operating at 30% efficiency, your going to get 30,000 BTUs of work, and create 70,000 BTUs of heat!

Basically, anything you put into the combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine as fuel can do only one of two things, after being ignited:

(1) It either produces work, by moving the piston or turbine, (w)
(2) it produces heat, out the exhaust.

The above formula allowed me to figure out how much fuel the horrifically souped up drag race cars I used to build would require on their trips down the strip, how much laughing gas I needed to blow under the carburetor(s) to achieve the power required to win, and whether I would have to install forged pistons, molly rings, stainless steel headers, and titanium valves to make the thing hold together!

These thing were very important to me at that point in my life, because hell hath no fury like a customer who has paid $7,000 to $10,000 for a custom racing engine, which can now fit loosely in a 10 gallon bucket!

In fact, the closest anybody ever got to making anything close to a Pogue carburetor work was Smokey Yunick, and his Pontiac Fierro with the 'Adiabatic' engine which used a low pressure turbocharger in the intake manifold to heat the fuel. The car did manage to get 50 miles to the gallon in 1983, and produced over 100 horsepower.

It also produced so much heat, that only mil.spec. jet oil would stay in it, and at $98.00 American a quart, that was a sore point indeed!

It also had an alarming tendency to catch fire if driven too long, which made it unpopular!

The car still exist, and is owned by a collector, who has all the notes Smokey wrote on it. It was recently on Spike Network's "Power Block" where they hooked it up to the Dynomometer to measure the horsepower, and it promptly caught fire...again!

Everybody that knew Smokey knew he was a genius, but we also knew he was the crookedest racer in the pits! One day he broke a record at Daytona, and was being torn down for a tech inspection. the tech crew had the fuel cell, fuel lines, and fuel pumps out of the car.

The Head Inspector said, "Smokey, you've got fifteen violations!"

Smokey said "Better make that sixteen!" and with the whole fuel delivery system lying on the ground, he started the car up and drove away!

The crotchety old fucker died back in 2001, and we damn sure miss him!

RAS said...

I watched a post-apocalyptic movie the other night that both made me laugh and creeped me out. It was slightly better than the usual run of PA movies, so it wasn't the quality of the movie itself that did it.
No, what did it was that this particular movie was set in and filmed in the area around where I live. Every scene of the movie had locations and places I could recognize. On the one hand it was neat; one of my friends was in it and that was pretty cool. I also got a good laugh out of some of the scenes and such.

On the other hand, I got seriously creeped out because they did a real good job of making everything look abandoned and PA and this wasn't just some sound stage in Hollywood; these were locations I know very, very well. Looking at those places in the movie and thinking that it might one day be that way was a serious creep-out.

murph said...

ras,

So what was the name of it?

freeacre said...

Well, I just had a good time. After 28 years, I did not renew my AAA membership. Instead, I sent them a note that told them, "I am not renewing my AAA Membership this year because of the BAILOUT. We have already sent you insurance companies more than we can afford and now you want more. Because of the bailout, soon I will not be able to drive anywhere, anyway. Enjoy the collapse."

... ahhhh, that felt good.

RAS said...

Oops, sorry. 20 Years After. You can get it off of netflix. It's not the best movie, but it's better than a lot of the genre.