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Archive for July, 2012

I use to love Mother Earth News in the past but this recent edition leaves me wondering if they haven’t sold out. I won’t be kind so if you like the magazine avert you eyes and visit someone else on the Internet.

I picked up a recent copy of Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series devoted to “Green Cars.” Every car in this edition gives false hope, is nothing more than “Green Washing”, and is pure junk. Here is why I say this:

  1. Everything about the car is dependent on petroleum from lubricants, seats, carpeting, dashboard, wire insulation, hoses, belts, lenses in the lights, bumpers, dials, steering wheel, electronics, filters, fan(s),  inside door panels, handles, knobs, buttons, and parts not named. This is at least half of every car, even an electric one and no one is working on replacing all that plastic with something better that is not petroleum.
  2. Flex fuel or alternative fueled vehicles are a joke. If we would have had them in the late 1970s or even early 1980s it would have been different. Now we can’t even grow enough food to feed the world with increasing droughts, lack of water, land degradation, over use of chemicals, salting of the land. Need I give an example – Australia which is now known as the canary in the coal mine because all these conditions exist right now in Australians which can no longer feed itself.
    One more thing: We will never be able to grow  our way out of any liquid fuel crisis without committing suicide and bringing about our own extinction. (I dare anyone to try fuzzy math on this one.)
  3. Algae the magical bio-fuel. It takes more water, energy and to feed it than it gives back. Sure there are some interesting solutions like using sewage to feed the algae but that still leaves the huge energy input and water needs (even sewage needs to be diluted and if it has too many industrial chemicals it can’t be used). Then there is all the petroleum that is still used from the lubricants, plastic in which the algae is grown, tubing and things not mentioned. Algae has some of the worst returns among all the renewable fuels, less than 1. This would includes growing it in the lab then transferring it to production, and finally turning it into biodiesel. Not a money maker, a money sink hole. [http://environmentalresearchweb.org/blog/2011/01/the-eroi-of-algae-biofuels.html]
  4. In many articles I have come across authors want to state how much in bio-fuels we could produce.  Well hold onto you seats because you will be surprised by this: 25 to at most 50%. Yeah, that’s right. Even the most optimistic which have us converting all unused farm land, and then some, claiming we could produce only half of our liquid fuel needs. Get ready to say goodbye to the automobile as we can’t produce enough for you, the very rich and industry too. All of you poor schleps will have to walk or find another way around. It will be the final coffin nail for family farms too.

Mother Earth News provides no real solutions for use to use rather it pushes only the “keep things as they are status quo.” Mother Earth News I am really disappointed in you. You used to be so progressive and forward thinking.

I’ve now been saying for the last two years at least that we need to stop hanging onto the current shit and find other, better solutions.  Here are some of my suggestions:

  1. Improve public transit that gets rid of the bus and puts in its place PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) systems within city limits that ties into light rail and finally a comprehensive rail system – all of it electric.
  2. A heavy comprehensive Food not Bombs-Raised beds-Permaculture-Food not Lawns-Victory Gardens education to grow more food right outside the door where people live. Even apartment dwellers can grow food. And HOA’s who are against such things they can just … (you fill in the blank).  Growing food where it is eaten reduces our energy needs from huge factory farms and the thousands of miles our dinner travels to get to our table. Convert streets to green spaces growing free food for anyone and everyone,  and much more.
  3. Decentralize everything, especially energy (electricity & methane) production. Have every home, apartment building, business make their own renewable energy with excess fed into the grid where a central office mainly run by computers control the flow. Excess electricity can easily be stored as compressed air (which is better than batteries) and in other ways to meet spike in demand or overnight.
    A full across the board decentralization of everything is needed because it is the centralization of everything that has put us in the mess we are in.
  4. Here’s a big one, we have to drop all our current ideas of how things are to be done and create whole new ones. This includes getting rid of all economic, profiteering, money or wealth making ideas. That’s right. We have to drop all of that, and more. Things can no longer be done for the sake of making money but rather we have to do things for the sake of survival and something better than war, killing, slavery and the like. Profiteering has to come to an end. We have to get rid of the notion that the only driving force to get things done is for the sake of making money. We have to create a new currency, one based on human and planetary needs. If you have any doubts that this can be done just look at how cooperatives work, why people volunteer, and the new exchange or barter taking place in both Greece and Detroit after their crisis. People just rolling up their sleeves getting things done because they have to be done not for money.
  5. Finally the only thing that will allow us to create a truly Sustainable lifestyle is to get rid of “Planned Obsolescence.” That’s right, we have to create things that last virtually forever, can be repaired over-and-over again, or can be broken down in such a way that it can be reused – even at the molecular level. We have to follow Mother Nature’s way of doing things and create “zero” waste. It will mean the final coffin nail in economic thinking and any notion of making a profit or business as usual. We will have to rethink what it means to work, live, and play. Why not have a 20 hour work week, lots more time with our family and friends, and never have to worry about being able to feed, house, cloth ourselves, or anything else for that matter. Once profit motive is gone everything is possible because nothing will be unaffordable or “too expensive.”

These are just some ideas floating around. All I have done is put them down here for you to see. I make no claims that they are all my own, I just take what I learn and find relationships. I hope it has been of help to you.

 

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I have been working for the last month very hard to find gainful employment and I have come to the conclusion that there is none. It no longer exists and we are not out of this continued recession, depression. In my book, Recession Survival Guide self-published in 2009 I said it wouldn’t be over before 2015. Now it looks like it will never be over. Anyone who thinks they are being told the truth by the news owned by the companies that manufacture the news is dumber than shit and ought to be composted. At least that would create something of value. The U.S. has an enormously large number of dumb people as compared to other industrialized countries. Reagan even lowered the I.Q. scale by ten points to raise the national I.Q. level.

The future on the current path looks very bleak. I have to back up for just a moment before going forward.

Robert Hayes who likes to comment on everything I post followed me from Facebook where all he did was post negative shit and now he is here doing the same. Here is my response to one of his comments he posted – a quote from Wikipedia:  “Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production is expected to enter terminal decline. Every oil well and field exhibits similar characteristics of being discovered, the logistics to extract the oil being put in place, a peak or plateau of production, followed by a decline.  US domestic oil production peaked in 1970. Global production of oil fell from a high point in 2005 at 74 mb/d, but has since rebounded, and 2011 figures show slightly higher levels of production than in 2005, as the definition of “oil” was changed in 2007 to include synthetic liquids.”   [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil]

So yes, the world oil production has gone up only because of fuzzy questionable bookkeeping not because there was anymore oil found all of a sudden which had peaked in the 1960s. We have only found less and less oil fields and wildcatters are coming up with more dry wells each year. Robert Hayes only finds enough information to support his point of view and doesn’t spend hours reading or cross references to see what he is saying is factual or supportive.

I say all this to show how so many people keep saying that we have lots of oil left for(ever), a long, long time. Discovery peaked in the 1960s and the entire planet has been surveyed so the question is where, or how, are people finding “new” oil. It is scientifically impossible.

So much for that.

The closer we get to the end of cheap fossil fuels the fewer choices we have or time left to act. Former president Clinton, Matthew Simmons an energy investment banker and adviser to George W Bush, and Dick Cheney all have said in one form or anther that we are running out of oil. Whether directly or indirectly stated we are on the downside of the Peak Oil curve and headed downward at an alarming speed. As Cheney said, “That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day.” That means replacing that which we have lost due to decline. There has been plenty more people in the last decade that have come forward to say the same thing from former geologists, oil explorers, and people who worked with oil production information (like the U.S. Energy Dept.).

No one agreed when Peak Oil will or has happened. That doesn’t matter so much as it will, or has and we are doing absolutely nothing to prepare for no more oil! Technology will not save us like some white knight or some savior, they don’t exist. Technology is utterly dependent on cheap energy to work or for its production. Without oil absolutely everything collapses. Do a mind exercise and research to find something that isn’t dependent on oil in some way or another. (I’ll give you a hint: You find a single thing that isn’t dependent on oil.)

I am afraid this country is being pushed into a Mad Max scenario where people will fight over whatever scraps they can find.  In the book, Raising a Nation of Whimps by Hara Marano, editor-at-large and the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, has been watching a disturbing trend: kids are growing up to be wimps. [from Amazon]

People in the U.S. have little or no backbone or character worth acknowledging.  That said I have come across some very remarkable people but when it comes push to shove many of them would whimp out.  Too many who would give in to anyone doing violence.

What does the future hold for us. Nothing good. There will be those who will know how to grow food, process fiber and produce enough energy for their needs. They just lack the ability to defend themselves against the people who would rather steal what they need than produce it on their own. My wish that everyone learn to defend themselves, be able to produce what they need, create a strong reliable resilient community in order to survive the decline in cheap and once abundant fossil fuels. It will be through these communities that people will be able to not decline to far into a dark age and find solutions for a real sustainable  future based on the principles Nature has set forth where there is no waste, everything has worth.

My mantra has become: Learn to grow food & fiber. Learn to become energy independent (that doesn’t mean using only trees for fuel or you will see a localized Haiti effect).

 

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