Thursday, October 11, 2012


Greetings good citizen,

After a positive start and a generally positive performance put in by markets around the world, the Dow closed down 20 points today giving the NYSE a ‘mixed’ finish…the Nasdaq was also down but the S&P 500 was positive…

But this is trivia. None of it matters if we can’t feed ourselves or get what we need to where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.

Thus we will need to relearn the lessons of ‘redundancy’ and ‘backing things up’ when we implement our new, sustainable way of life.

And this is not a question of ‘if’, it is a question of ‘when’.

Because the day is (rapidly) coming when it will no longer be possible to pick up the phone and have a replacement what-have-you on your doorstep tomorrow.

The trains travel on a schedule and it won’t speed up just because YOU needed it yesterday.

While you’ll still be able to ‘occasionally’ catch the jet stream and cross the country in a couple of hours, it may take you more time than just riding the prevailing winds to get there.

Then there’s the altitude factor. A lot to be considered when you ‘ride’ the wind rather than just push your way through it.

If I’ve been on a kick lately, the ticking clock would be one of the mainstays. The days of society running on fossil fuels are coming to a close…quicker than you think.

Again, we are NOT ‘out’ but the ‘infamous they’ are going to start choking off the supply so people will, er, ‘get used to’ a future that has less available energy.

I can’t stress enough that the ‘transition’ from a fossil fuel driven society BACK to a more primitive way of life needs to be very carefully managed indeed.
As expected, the deficit and debt were both discussed in the first presidential debate on domestic policy. However, despite this year’s endless American summer and a devastating drought that won’t leave town , climate change wasn’t. What would you bet that it won’t be a significant topic in the final debate on foreign policy either? Only one conclusion seems reasonable: climate change has no place on this American planet.

So far, both presidential campaigns indicate as much. To a wave of laughter in the final moments of his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, Mitt Romney mocked the subject, linking it negatively to the president. (“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise... is to help you and your family.”) Obama simply avoided the subject in his. And that pretty much sums up the situation to date.

Though opinion polls indicate that undecided voters want to hear the candidates’ thoughts on climate change, I’m hardly the first person to note that the subject has gone MIA in the campaign season. Noam Chomsky , the Nation magazine , Salon’s Andrew Leonard , and Joe Romm of Climate Progress , among others, have all commented strikingly on its disappearance. But here’s the curious thing: if American debt and deficit happen to be your worry, then climate change should be your subject.

In response to a question about the deficit in the first debate, Romney typically said , “I think it's, frankly, not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation and they're going to be paying the interest and the principal all their lives.” Not a bad point really. Who wants to pile an unbearable burden of debt on future generations who won’t be able to work their way out from under it?

Here would be my follow-up question, however: In that case, what’s “moral” about doing exactly that in terms of the planet -- ensuring the release of such quantities of greenhouse gasses that the global “debt” will increase staggeringly? And here’s the kicker: unlike a financial debt, the planet, the atmosphere, nature, physics will not, as Bill McKibben often points out , be prepared to negotiate a deal. If Argentina or even the U.S. goes bankrupt, there is always an imaginable path back. If humanity goes bankrupt on this planet, it’s another story entirely.

Maybe, in fact, the debates have it right: climate change isn’t either a domestic or a foreign policy issue. It’s the whole ball of wax. The total thing.

Um, don’t ask…yes I did steal the whole article…which I thought/hoped was longer.

Not that this isn’t important, it is!

Um, the climate is changing and we need to change with it.

That part that is debatable is whether or not WE CAN do anything about the sun burning hotter!

Ironically the only way to ‘temporarily’ fix that problem is ‘nuclear winter’ and we’ll have an extinction level event on our hands if we attempt that variety of ‘radical action’.

Green house gases are only part of the problem…and maybe the infamous they are focused on that aspect because it fits the ‘illusion’ we can do something about the problem.

Because the sun’s core getting hotter is just a fact of life and there ain’t a whole hell of a lot we can do make it ‘cool down’.

Worse, fixing our sun is a task so monumental in nature and we’d have to invent ALL of the technology to accomplish the task.

Because it doesn’t currently exist.

Not like we can call the next galaxy over and ask to borrow a couple of billion tons of anti-matter.

Fortunately I suspect our ‘immediate’ problem is the (artificial) end of fossil fuels and that the gradual (and largely unavoidable) warming of the sun itself can be adapted to.

It’s going to be fixing the global economy to accommodate the post peak oil world that we have to adjust to.

And sadly that requires ‘prying’ the levers of power away from those who wield power by virtue of their control over fossil fuels.

Which, ironically means the >One Percent…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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