Wednesday, December 27, 2006

back to merry olde england

Wood Boilers Cut Heating Bills
Their owners proudly proclaim that they reduce dependence on foreign oil — and save thousands of dollars on heating bills each year. Neighbors say that they create smoke so thick that children cannot play outside, and that it seeps into homes, irritating eyes and throats and leaving a foul stench.

This is progress, of course, burning trees being almost as trendy as cellulosic ethanol (and almost the same thing). Wait till the people chopping down the trees realize they can instead sell rights for the carbon credits. A tree in the ground, worth two in the boiler! (or is that yet to be...)

At least the standard is not yet being approached in America - - China is trying to corner the market.

London had been identifiable as 'the smoke' for centuries. Successive monarchs had tried to ban the burning of low quality 'sea-coal' because of the choking smoke it produced. In 1661, John Evelyn wrote his Fumifugium in protest at the

Hellish and dismall Cloud of SEA COAL…which is…so universally mixed with the otherwise wholsome and excellent Aer, that her Inhabitants breathe nothing but an impure and thick Mist accompanied with a fuliginous and filthy vapour, which renders them obnoxious to a thousand inconveniences, corrupting the Lungs, and disordring the entire habits of their Bodies; so that Catharrs, Phthisicks, Coughs and Consumptions rage more in this one City than in the whole Earth besides.

Little had changed 60 years later, when Jane Barker wrote that she 'us'd frequently to walk to take the Air, or rather the Smoke; for Air, abstracted from Smoke, is not to be had within Five Miles of London' (Barker 1723, 67). William Frend recorded in 1819 that 'The Smoke of London, first view'd from a distance, affords a sight which strikes a foreigner with astonishment'. Emerson wrote in his English Traits that the way in which London 'aggregates the distempers of the sky' justified the popular characterisation of the English climate as 'in a fine day, looking up a chimney; in a foul day, looking down one'.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

from solstice to a new year

Kind of a fragile moment -- the winter "season" has exploded, and lies just behind, ghastly and spent in a flourish of clicking lights and torn wrapping paper. The new year lies just ahead, but is not yet extant.

I found this bit of words from Rubedo to be worthy of meditation as we hurtle forward in the now. (Thanks for the tip.)

De Natura Rerum
I was thinking about Anne Ancelin Schützenberger and her work with ‘the ancestor syndrome’, how in families there are often correlated dates on which people die in each generation (or get married or become ill or whatever); she uncovers traumas extant in the contemporary French and stems these wounds directly from the 1789 Revolution and subsequent Terror. Makes Tony Blair’s (old piano-grin himself) recent whispered not-quite-sorry about slavery tinkle the ivories of lip service more clearly, doesn’t it? The basic naked principle here, as Freud taught us, is the return of the repressed, or perhaps, dressed in velvet, the return of the unremembered – it matters not. As Adler points out we’re into the ice-sheet of lies, now melting in the frosty mandala of eco-collapse – and remember, the environment doesn’t begin where your skin meets the atmosphere, it interpenetrates your bios, your genus, your history and memory too – inside and out are of one taste.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

weather snaggles

The Northwest region of the United States experienced a slight flutter this past week, with no small effect on this blog - more content coming in the next few days, and sorry I had no available energy, my turbines being on the blink.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

two years of peak energy (usa)

Monday, December 11, 2006

seen at bouphonia

Friday, December 08, 2006

you tube

Thursday, December 07, 2006

sharp as a whipple

The peak oil crisis: the Saudi op-ed
...The Saudis could, however, bring pressure without doing anything so provocative as a major production cut. Simply ratcheting down production in an unobtrusive manner should be enough to scare Washington into reconsidering leaving Riyadh, as the leader of the world's Sunnis to deal with the mess on its own.
Just before President Bush met with the Iraqi Prime Minister in Jordan last week, Vice President Cheney was summoned to Riyadh to receive the whole Saudi message. It may be many years before we learn exactly what that message was, but already President Bush is back to talking about "staying the course."

Tom Whipple brilliantly ties together the peak oil situation as it relates to Saudi Ariaba with the strategic position of the United States.

There isn't much else to say. The region is in a fix. The world is in a fix. The United States imperial efforts to control one country completely, and use it as a wedge in the Middle East have failed. Israel, pal and friend to the U.S., has yet to figure this out.

The turd rainbow must now be unweaved.

Given the situation that exists now, I personally favor a federal system, partitioning Iraq into three states, taking tough measures to prevent genocide. Whatever course is taken, sensitive yet robust leadership is required, though not forthcoming. I find Robert Fisk's back-handed suggestion that US citizenship be granted to all Iraqi's as worthy of consideration. The U.S. can call it a reservation, name the natives "indians" and let them sell fireworks to the crackers in the Green Zone.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

old forests do it better

Old forest sucks up greenhouse gas, study says
Researchers have found soils in an old-growth forest in southern China are storing carbon at a rapid rate. If common to the soils of other old-growth forests, the finding could add combating global warming to the reasons for preserving them from logging, some scientists say.
The finding from soils in southern China goes against the generally accepted idea that old-growth forests are in balance, giving up as much carbon through decomposition as they take in from falling leaves and dying roots.

It may not be wise for anyone to follow up on this study. After all, the oldest wood makes for the best furniture. Nothing is more poignant than a monkey sitting on a chair hewn from an eight hundred year old tree.

And it is safe to say everyone enjoys the rich smell of roasting timber, as interred carbon is freed from captivity.

Technology lurks helpfully in the background. There is no reason to avoid commoditizing all the old growth forest into bite sized chunks. Quick as a flash, the forests may be replaced with endless regimented columns of nanotechology based carbon interral units. They'll be about the size of trees.

Or the huge mirror in space, everybody's favorite - - excepting a few politically correct ninnies. Humanity shouldn't just bet on her continued ingenuity in the face of failure - humanity should double down and enjoy the ride!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

take up the reins

Back in March of 2005, I wrote:

If Geo-Green ideas are unchallenged, we will watch tragedy unfold as unsustainable proposals continue to be written as energy policy in Washington D.C., with billions spent on blind industry wish fulfillment. Subsidies for nuclear and ethanol. Grants tossed down the rat hole to study oil shale and methane hydrates. Problems will be created faster than they are solved, right up to the point where oil depletion kicks our global economy like a mule.

The Geo-Green paradigm must be unmasked and reframed. It is not green, nor is it globally sustainable. [...] Allowing callow utopians frame their dead end policies as “green” will kneecap the credibility of true sustainable green movements when depletion begins.

On that note, I caught sight of an unnerving article on Robert Rapier's R-Squared Blog. As I read it a roaring sound filled my ears - - that of the Midwest water table being flushed into a Hummer.

Ethanol skeptic sees painful realities ahead
(Douglas Carper) sees more of the same for much of the agricultural economy that supports ethanol.
“I’m not posturing. I have no agenda,” Carper said in a Tuesday interview in his office. “I see trouble looming here in the American heartland and a lot of good, well-intentioned people facing some terrible and ruinous losses.”
His sense of trepidation may seem completely at odds with recent reality. Expansion in the ethanol industry in Nebraska is proceeding at an unprecedented pace. Corn prices are rising. Congress seems poised to expand its mandate of renewable fuels. But circumstances that lead others to conclude there’s money to be made by aggressive investment have Carper thumping his desk so hard pens leap in the air.
“For what constructive purpose are we disrupting agriculture in this manner?” he asked. “For what constructive purpose have we embarked on this dangerous public policy initiative?”

There is an urgency to addressing energy issues in 2006, and addressing them in the right way. Really, Vindod Khosla and his ilk are on the road to hell, paving as they go. Most of the farmers gadding about on their John Deere's understand the economics of ethanol better then the technocrats living on the coast. At the same time, these farmers can also smell a government grant at one thousand paces.

Politicians are predictable. Pay a farmer extra grow something, but not if the plan is to sell it as food. Then, they may market to their constituents a beneficiant role in solving global warming, and supporting a "green" alternative to buying foreign oil.

Green, like the dead zone on the Gulf Coast, run off from the artificially fertilized farmland of middles America.

Replacing our a problem with bigger problem sucks. Write your congress person. Time is not unlimited.

Friday, December 01, 2006

we have the technology

Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive.
Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man.
Better than he was before.
Better, stronger, faster.

Engineer Poet's recent proposal for more efficient use of our energy endowment (can be read as conservation) and reliance on closed systems where possible reminds us of an essential fact.

The tools to solve our problems exist. The barriers are not technology. We have the techology. In my country, the USA, we have a pluralistic society where ideas are meant compete and vie for dominance in the marketplace, although this is not what happens.

There is no "marketplace". Our western economy is as artificial and materialistic as the modern mega-farm, where genetically addled corn springs forth from puddles of carbon fuel. The barriers to solving our big problems are the shimmering dreams of vested interests, written into the grooves of our monkey brains.

There is no propaganda on TV to say,

"Hey, we need five million americans to learn how to farm organically, and distribute their product locally. Grants, education and housing will be provided for those undertaking this vital service. Meanwhile, we are cutting off all welfare to Archer Daniels Midland."


"Please turn in your car for a brown bicycle. Smart cars will become available after we have recycled your hummer, but speed limits will 20 miles an hour for the majority of roads which will be dual use for human powered transport."


"Your local Walmart has been flattened. Your exurbs are slated to be turned into farmland. Relocation assistance will be provided."

Funny stuff. Rather than being exposed to such like outrageous and fascist ideas, degrading vanities are drilled into the sleepwalking populace - -

- zap -

- - Christmas is coming, so we must do our part to keep the economy afloat by charging up a choad boat of gifts on our credit cards, while praying for peace on Earth.