Feb 152021
 
 February 15, 2021  Posted by at 3:05 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Giorgione The Tempest 1508

 

 

“Mankind’s only chance to not destroy its planet lies in diverging from all other species in that not all energy available to it, is used up as fast as possible. But that’s a big challenge. It would, speaking from a purely philosophical angle, truly separate us from nature for the first time ever, and we must wonder if that’s desirable.”

 

I wrote that 4 years and 2 months ago today, and I’m still thinking about it. It came to mind again, along with the article it comes from, see below, when I saw a few recent references to climate change, and to how any policy to halt it should be financed. It’s all painfully obvious.

Bill Gates, while on a virtual book tour, says governments should pay. In particular for the innovation needed. We’re going to solve it all with things we haven’t invented yet. That kind of thinking never fails to greatly boost my confidence in people and their ideas.

Overall, Gates’ words feel like a stale same old same old been there done that tone. But one thing is changing. Since Joe Biden became the most popular US president ever, according to his vote count, there is now a climate czar at the US Treasury, and a climate change team at the US Fed. Progress! At least for those seeking to use your money to solve their problems.

 

Bill Gates: Solving Covid Easy Compared With Climate

Mr Gates’s new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, is a guide to tackling global warming. [..] Net zero is where we need to get to. This means cutting emissions to a level where any remaining greenhouse gas releases are balanced out by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere. One way to do this is by planting trees, which soak up CO2 through their leaves. Mr Gates’ focus is on how technology can help us make that journey. Renewable sources like wind and solar can help us decarbonise electricity but, as Mr Gates points out, that’s less than 30% of total emissions.

We are also going to have to decarbonise the other 70% of the world economy – steel, cement, transport systems, fertiliser production and much, much more. We simply don’t have ways of doing that at the moment for many of these sectors. The answer, says Mr Gates, will be an innovation effort on a scale the world has never seen before. This has to start with governments, he argues. At the moment, the economic system doesn’t price in the real cost of using fossil fuels. Most users don’t pay anything for the damage to the environment done by pollution from the petrol in their car or the coal or gas that created the electricity in their home.

“Right now, you don’t see the pain you’re causing as you emit carbon dioxide,” is how Mr Gates puts it. That’s why he says governments have to intervene. “We need to have price signals to tell the private sector that we want green products,” he says. That is going to require a huge investment by governments in research and development, Mr Gates argues, as well as support to allow the market for new products and technologies to grow, thereby helping drive down prices.

 

Yes, a climate change team at the US Fed. Which has been handed yet another mandate. Because the Treasury can only do so much, after all. What you want and need is something unlimited to pay for all those yet-to-be-invented tools that Bill Gates and his ilk will be happy to research with your money. Jim Rickards has this:

 

Green New Deal Is Underway

The overall Green New Deal calls for ending the use of oil and natural gas, moving to electric vehicles, solar, wind and geothermal power, imposing carbon taxes to reduce C02 emissions and providing government subsidies to non-carbon-based energy technologies. The U.S. would also seek to embed these policies and priorities in new trade treaties and multilateral agreements. President Biden has already begun this process by rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, which actually doesn’t mean much; it’s mostly for show. The Paris Accord is also a platform for pursuing the Green New Deal.

[..] With the job creation mandate in its portfolio, the Fed was empowered to interfere with almost every aspect of the real economy, including jobs, inflation, interest rates, liquidity and financial regulation. As if that weren’t enough, economist Barry Eichengreen now calls on central banks, especially the Fed, to use their regulatory powers to control climate change! Part of the agenda would address racial inequality, income inequality and credit access for underprivileged groups. These may be laudable goals, but it’s a long way from the Fed’s role as lender of last resort.

What’s frightening about this push to expand the Fed’s mandate is not that it can’t work, but that it could. A central bank could require commercial banks to lend money to solar and wind generating companies and deny credit to oil companies. A central bank could require more loans to disadvantaged neighborhoods and require that no credit be made available to gun manufacturers or gun dealers. There is no aspect of the economy and business activity that could not be affected positively by mandatory credit or destroyed by the lack of credit and access to the payments system.

This is already being done to some extent by cabals of commercial banks. It would be even more powerful if required by central banks. This is exactly the outcome that has been warned about for centuries by philosophers and political scientists. It is exactly the reason Americans abolished two U.S. central banks in the 19th century.

 

This is precisely what I was warning about in December 2016, when the protagonists were Mark Carney and Michael Bloomberg, who wrote “How To Make A Profit From Defeating Climate Change”. If you are serious about saving your planet, you’re not going to listen to the ideas of billionaires and central bankers. Because they are the people behind the original problem, and the only tools they know of are the ones who created that problem.

You can’t solve a problem with the same tools that created it. And you’re not going to solve the climate problem by seeking to make a profit from it. Here’s from 2016. Oh wait, do remember that our societies and economies don’t run on using energy, but on wasting it. If you haven’t internalized that one, take a few steps back and try again.

 

 

Heal the Planet for Profit (December 16, 2016)

 


Parisians duck down to evade German sniper fire following Nazi surrender of Paris, 1945

 

 

If you ever wondered what the odds are of mankind surviving, let alone ‘defeating’, climate change, look no further than the essay the Guardian published this week, written by Michael Bloomberg and Mark Carney. It proves beyond a moonlight shadow of a doubt that the odds are infinitesimally close to absolute zero (Kelvin, no Hobbes).

Yes, Bloomberg is the media tycoon and former mayor of New York (which he famously turned into a 100% clean and recyclable city). And since central bankers are as we all know without exception experts on climate change, as much as they are on full-contact crochet, it makes perfect sense that Bank of England governor Carney adds his two -trillion- cents.

Conveniently, you don’t even have to read the piece, the headline tells you all you need and then some: “How To Make A Profit From Defeating Climate Change” really nails it. The entire mindset on display in just a few words. If that’s what they went for, kudo’s are due.

These fine gents probably actually believe that this is perfectly in line with our knowledge of, say, human history, of evolution, of the laws of physics, and of -mass- psychology. All of which undoubtedly indicate to them that we can and will defeat the problems we have created -and still are-, literally with the same tools and ideas -money and profit- that we use to create them with. Nothing ever made more sense.

That these problems originated in the same relentless quest for profit that they now claim will help us get rid of them, is likely a step too far for them; must have been a class they missed. “We destroyed it for profit” apparently does not in their eyes contradict “we’ll fix it for profit too”. Not one bit. It does, though. It’s indeed the very core of what is going wrong.

Profit, or money in general, is all these people live for, it’s their altar. That’s why they are successful in this world. It’s also why the world is doomed. Is there any chance I could persuade you to dwell on that for a few seconds? That, say, Bloomberg and Carney, and all they represent, are the problem dressed up as the solution? That our definition of success is what dooms us?

Philosophers, religious people, or you and me, may struggle with the question “what’s the purpose of life?”. These guys do not. The purpose of life is to make a profit. The earth and all the life it harbors exist to kill, drill, excavate and burn down, if that means you can make a profit. And after that you repair it all for a profit. In their view, the earth doesn’t turn of its own accord after all, it’s money that makes it go round.

 

The worrisome thing is that Mark and Michael will be listened to, that they are allowed a seat at the table in the first place, whereas you and I are not. A table that will be filled with plenty more of their ilk, as the announcement of Bill Gates’ billionaire philantropist energy fund says loud and clear:

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and a group of high-profile executives are investing $1 billion in a fund to spur clean energy technology and address global climate change a year after the Paris climate agreement. Gates launched the Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund on Monday along with billionaire entrepreneurs such as Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg, Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma and Amazon.com chief Jeff Bezos. The fund seeks to increase financing of emerging energy research and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to help meet goals set in Paris, according to a statement by the investor group known as the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.

Yes, many of the same folk and/or their minions were sitting at the table with Trump on Dec 14. To see if there are any profits to be made. When a profit is involved they have no trouble sitting down with the same guy they insulted and warned against day after grueling day mere weeks ago. They have no trouble doing it because they insulted him for a potential profit too. It’s business, it’s not personal.

Billionaires will save us from ourselves, and make us -and themselves- rich while doing it. What is not to like? Well, for one thing, has anybody lately checked the energy footprint of Messrs. Bloomberg, Gates, Ma, Zuckerberg, Bezos et al? Is it possible that perhaps they’re trying to pull our collective wool over our eyes by pretending to care about those footprints? That maybe these ‘clean energy’ initiatives are merely a veil behind which they intend to extend -and expand- said footprints?

The ones in that sphere who wind up being most successful are those who are most convincing in making us believe that all we need to do to avert a climate disaster is to use some different form of energy. That all the talk about zero emissions and clean energy is indeed reflecting our one and only possible reality.

That all we need to do is to switch to solar and wind and electric cars to save ourselves (and they’ll build them for a subsidy). That that will end the threat and we can keep on doing what we always did, and keep on growing it all and as the cherry on the cake, make a profit off the endeavor.

 

None of it flies even a little. First of all, as I said last week in Mass Extinction and Mass Insanity, there are many more problems with our present lifestyles than ‘only’ climate change, or the use of carbon. Like the extinction of two-thirds of all vertebrate life in just 50 years leading up to 2020. There’s -close to- nothing wind and solar will do to alleviate that.

Because it’s not oil itself, or carbon in general, that kills; our use of it does. And the rush to build an entire new global infrastructure that is needed to use new energy forms, which will depend on using huge amounts of carbon, is more likely to kill off that globe than to save it. “Carbon got us in this, let’s use lots more of it to get us out”.

The trillions in -public- investment that would be needed will make us all dirt poor too, except for the gentlemen mentioned above and a handful of others who invent stuff that they manage to make us believe will save us. Still convinced?

 

The lifestyles of the last 10 generations of us, especially westerners, are characterized more than anything else by the huge increase in the use of energy, of calories and joules. As we went from wood to peat to coal to oil and gas, the energy return on energy investment kept going higher. But that stopped with oil and gas. And from now on in it will keep going down.

“Free carbon excess” was a one-off ‘gift’ from nature. It will not continue and it will not return. Different forms of carbon have offered us a one-time source of free energy that we will not have again. The idea that we can replace it with ‘clean energy’ is ludicrous. The energy return on energy investment doesn’t even come close. And you can’t run a society with our present levels of complexity on a much lower ‘net energy’. We must dress down. No profit in that, sorry.

We built what we have now with oil at an EROEI of 100:1. There are no forms of energy left that come remotely close, including new, unconventional, forms of oil itself. Peak oil has been a much maligned and misunderstood concept, but its essence stands: when it takes more energy to ‘produce’ energy than it delivers, there will be no production.

This graph is a few years old, and wind and solar may have gained a few percentage points in yield, but it’s still largely correct. And it will continue to be.

 

 

We have done with all that free energy what all other life forms do when ‘gifted’ with an excess of available energy: spend it as fast as possible, proliferate to speed up the process (we went from less than 1 billion people to 7 billion in under 200 years, 2 billion to 7 billion in 100 years) and, most of all, waste it.

Ever wonder why everybody drives a car that is ten times heavier then her/himself and has a 10% efficiency rate in its energy use? Why there’s an infrastructure everywhere that necessitates for every individual to use 1000 times more energy than it would take herself to get from A to B on foot? Sounds a lot like deliberately wasteful behavior, doesn’t it?

The essence here is that while we were building this entire wasteful world of us, we engaged in the denying and lying behavior that typifies us as a species more than anything: we disregarded externalities. And there is no reason to believe we would not continue to do just that when we make the illusionary switch to ‘clean’ energy.

To begin with, the 2nd law of thermodynamics says there’s no such thing as clean energy. So stop using the term. Second, that we call wind and solar ‘clean energy’ means we’re already ignoring externalities again. We pretend that producing windmills and solar panels does not produce pollution (or we wouldn’t call it ‘clean’). While enormous amounts of carbon are used in the production process, and it involves pollution, loss of land, loss of life, loss of resources (once you burn it it’s gone).

 

An example: If we want to ‘save’ the earth, we would do good to start by overthrowing the way we produce food. It presently easily takes more than 10 calories of energy -mostly carbon- for every calorie of food we make. Then we wrap it all in (oil-based) plastic and transport it sometimes 1000s of miles before it’s on our plates. And at the end of this process, we will have thrown away half of it. It’s hard to think of a more wasteful process.

It’s a process obviously devised and executed by idiots. But it’s profitable. There is a profit to be made in wasting precious resources. And there is a key lesson in that. There is no profit in producing food in a more efficient way. At least not for the industries that produce it. And perhaps not even for you, if you produce most of your food – it takes ‘precious’ time.

It would still be hugely beneficial, though. And there’s the key. There is no direct link between what is good for us, and the planet, on the one side, and profit, money, on the other. What follows from that is that it’s not the people whose entire lives are centered around money who are the most obvious choices to ‘save the planet’. If anything, they are the least obvious.

But in an economic and political system that is itself as focused on money as ours is, they are still the ones who are allowed to assume this role. It’s a circle jerk around, and then into, a drain.

 

Mankind’s only chance to not destroy its planet lies in diverging from all other species in that not all energy available to it, is used up as fast as possible. But that’s a big challenge. It would, speaking from a purely philosophical angle, truly separate us from nature for the first time ever, and we must wonder if that’s desirable.

We would need to gain much more knowledge of who we are and what makes us do what we do, and why. But that is not going to happen if we focus on making a profit. Using less energy means less waste means less profit.

Yes, there may be energy sources that produce a bit less waste, a bit less pollution, than those that are carbon based. But first, our whole infrastructure has been built by carbon, and second, even if another energy source would become available, we would push to grow its use ever more, and end up initially in the same mess, and then a worse one.

 

 

I stumbled upon an excellent example of the effects of all this today:

The Shattering Effect Of Roads On Nature

Rampant road building has shattered the Earth’s land into 600,000 fragments, most of which are too tiny to support significant wildlife, a new study has revealed. The researchers warn roadless areas are disappearing and that urgent action is needed to protect these last wildernesses, which help provide vital natural services to humanity such as clean water and air. The impact of roads extends far beyond the roads themselves, the scientists said, by enabling forest destruction, pollution, the splintering of animal populations and the introduction of deadly pests.

An international team of researchers analysed open-access maps of 36m km of road and found that over half of the 600,000 fragments of land in between roads are very small – less than 1km2. A mere 7% are bigger than 100km2, equivalent to a square area just 10km by 10km (6mi by 6 mi). Furthermore, only a third of the roadless areas were truly wild, with the rest affected by farming or people.

The last remaining large roadless areas are rainforests in the Amazon and Indonesia and the tundra and forests in the north of Russia and Canada. Virtually all of western Europe, the eastern US and Japan have no areas at all that are unaffected by roads.

 

 

It’s a good example because it raises the question: how much of this particular issue do you think will be solved by the promotion of electric cars, or windmills? How much of it do you think can be solved for a profit? Because if there’s no profit in it, it will not happen.

One more for the philosophy class: I know many people will be inclined to suggest options like nuclear fusion. Or zero point energy. And I would suggest that not only do these things exist in theory only, which is always a bad thing if you have an immediate problem. But more than that: imagine providing the human race with a source of endless energy, and then look at what it’s done with the free energy available to it over the past 10 generations.

Give man more energy and he’ll just destroy his world faster. It’s not about carbon, it’s about energy and about what you yourself do with it. And no, money and profit will not reverse climate change, or any other detrimental effects they have on our lives. They will only make them worse.

 

 

 

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Home Forums Heal the Planet for Profit – Redux

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
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  • #69725

    Giorgione The Tempest 1508     “Mankind’s only chance to not destroy its planet lies in diverging from all other species in that not all ene
    [See the full post at: Heal the Planet for Profit – Redux]

    #69726
    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    Bill Gates on Bill Gates:

    The world is not exactly lacking in rich men with big ideas about what other people should do, or who think technology can fix any problem. I own big houses and fly in private planes – in fact, I took one to Paris for the climate conference, so who am I to lecture anyone on the environment?”

    It’s true that my carbon footprint is absurdly high. For a long time I have felt guilty about this… In 2020, I started buying sustainable jet fuel…”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/13/bill-gates-on-the-climate-crisis-i-cant-deny-being-a-rich-guy-with-an-opinion

    #69727
    generic
    Participant

    Bill Gates is not an expert in science or technology. He is missing an education. A common logical fallacy is to assume an expert in one field knows something about another field.

    Bill Gates should use his expertise to write a book on the creation, maintenance, and defense of a large monopoly with a strong hierarchical structure to become fabulously wealthy through anti-competitive practices. That is the only thing that Bill Gates is an expert in that I’m aware of.

    Politicians are experts in getting elected and little else. Bureaucrats know how to please their masters but shouldn’t be assumed to have any real expertise. (See Fauci.)

    #69728
    sumac.carol
    Participant

    Ilargi,
    I am not sure we are behaving like all other species in our use of energy/resources, but I have not worked the idea thru completely. Here’s what I have so far:
    1) humans consume massive quantities of non-essential stuff, something that other species do not do. This has a huge impact on the speed with which we consume energy

    2) Graeber speaks of money’s capacity to turn morality into a matter of impersonal arithmetic, which allows for the justification of what would otherwise seem outrageous or obscene. Example: Exchanging a cow for 10 live chickens is imprecise. Calculating the exact value of the cow and chickens may necessitate chopping a chicken in half to equalize the trade. The idea is that violence and quantification are linked. Humans capacity to create money, with all of the perversions this brings about, sets us apart from animals. I’m inclined to think it, rather than our animal-like behavior, sets the stage for our destruction.

    #69729
    sumac.carol
    Participant

    Again, still not clear in my mind, but here’s another challenge: poor people the world over use much less energy per capita than the wealthy West. Are the poor more animal-like?
    I really question this idea that humans are just like amoebas.

    #69730

    poor people the world over use much less energy per capita than the wealthy West

    They don’t have access to the excess.

    I really question this idea that humans are just like amoebas.

    They are drive by the same -primordial?- instincts.

    #69733

    humans consume massive quantities of non-essential stuff, something that other species do not do.

    Opposable thumbs an all that. And no access to excess. We are more intelligent and use that intelligence to havoc destruction more efficiently. How does that sound?

    Classic example is Reindeer Island:

    In 1944, 29 reindeer were introduced to the island by the United States Coast Guard to provide an emergency food source. The Coast Guard abandoned the island a few years later, leaving the reindeer. Subsequently, the reindeer population rose to about 6,000 by 1963[6] and then died off in the next two years to 42 animals.[7] A scientific study attributed the population crash to the limited food supply in interaction with climatic factors (the winter of 1963–64 was exceptionally severe in the region).[1] By the 1980s, the reindeer population had completely died out.

    But you can study this much better with bacteria in petri dishes, with a little sugar added. I guess the grand idea is can we deal “better” with surplus energy, and looking around me I would say no.

    #69734
    Susmarie108
    Participant

    I do not believe that we can prevent the upcoming COLLAPSE.

    What we can do is manage our response to what lies ahead. Investing oneself in an authentic and purposeful Way (energy flow) to meet the needs/demands of the PRESENT moment wherever you are. This is the “energy” reservoir of untapped potentiality. How far could we go if all were focused on generating this source?

    A shift in human consciousnesses on a large scale is our only HOPE.

    #69735
    Susmarie108
    Participant

    I do not know exactly how this will happen.

    From my own experience, I know that it is possible.

    Peace/LOVE/joy/happiness/kindness/cooperation/compassion begins with me.

    Amen. Om Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

    #69736
    kultsommer
    Participant

    Bill Gates.
    “Right of ANYBODY to have an opinion on ANYTHING”, that I’ve written about couple of days ago, taken 1000 steps further in this case.
    Moneyed man ventures into the field that he’s not qualified for, and accepted as a most natural phenomena (you know, democracy, freedom…). One thing is when an actress, school dropout because she could not pass a chemistry class starts a line of perfumes. This a totally different game of single individual playing with the planet. And only THEN that we get outraged, mind you!

    #69737
    kultsommer
    Participant

    One more thing, as Columbo would have said:
    Qualified people, but marginalized in this grand scheme of things that society had turned into, suddenly find themselves in temptation to accept employment by likes of B.G. and support their agenda and be well paid for that. With pressure from the spouse and desire to provide for the kids, no wonder line easy to cross.

    #69738
    zerosum
    Participant

    Susmarie108, said,
    “A shift in human consciousnesses on a large scale is our only HOPE”.

    Let’s get specific/investigate why our ancestors’ way of thinking was different and resulted in longer sustainable social/economic societies than what we have going for us.

    The questions:
    What is life?
    Why did we have gods?
    What did those gods do that is missing in our belief systems?

    https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gods_and_goddesses
    This is a list of deities in different polytheistic religions, cultures and mythologies of the world.
    Ancient Egyptian deities
    Mesopotamian deities
    Ancient Greek deities
    Ancient Roman deities
    Norse deities
    Hindu deities
    Hindu gods
    Devi
    Japanese deities

    sumac.carol said,

    “I really question this idea that humans are just like amoebas.”

    My point of view:
    We cannot exist/live without the symbiosis of microscopic life in side of us and surrounding us.
    Lets be aware of this symbiosis and respect it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gut_flora#:~:text=Gut%20flora%20or%20gut%20microbiota%20are%20the%20microorganisms,gut%20is%20the%20main%20location%20of%20human%20microbiota.

    (
    1. Gut flora
    refers to the world of microorganisms, predominantly bacteria, that populate our intestines. Research has been increasingly focused on trying to understand the role that the gut flora play in terms of human health. A variety of names are used to refer to this inner population of microorganisms: 1. Gut bacteria 2. Intestinal flora 3. Microbiota 4. Microbiome 5. Microflora It has become exceedingly apparent that the gut flora plays an important role in both our health and our vulnerability to disease.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fungus

    2. Abundant worldwide, most fungi are inconspicuous because of the small size of their structures, and their cryptic lifestyles in soil or on dead matter. Fungi include symbionts of plants, animals, or other fungi and also parasites. They may become noticeable when fruiting, either as mushrooms or as molds. Fungi perform an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter and have fundamental roles in nutrient cycling and exchange in the environment. They have long been used as a direct source of human food, in the form of mushrooms and truffles; as a leavening agent for bread; and in the fermentation of various food products, such as wine, beer, and soy sauce.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus

    3. A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism.[1] Viruses infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life

    4. Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (they have died), or because they never had such functions and are classified as inanimate. Various forms of life exist, such as plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria. Biology is the science concerned with the study of life.

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=circle+of+life+lyrics&cvid=21735f441f4c457fb38b4610373fd578&pglt=171&FORM=ANNTA1&PC=U531

    5. Circle of Life
    Elton John, Lebo M.
    From the day we arrive on the planet
    And blinking, step into the sun
    There’s more to be seen than can ever be seen
    More to do than can ever be done

    Some say eat or be eaten
    Some say live and let live
    But all are agreed as they join the stampede
    You should never take more than you give

    In the circle of life
    It’s the wheel of fortune
    It’s the leap of faith
    It’s the band of hope
    Till we find our place
    On the path unwinding
    In the circle, the circle of life

    Some of us fall by the wayside
    And some of us soar to the stars
    And some of us sail through our troubles
    And some have to live with the scars

    There’s far too much to take in here
    More to find than can ever be found
    But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
    Keeps great and small on the endless round

    In the circle of life
    It’s the wheel of fortune
    It’s the leap of faith
    It’s the band of hope
    Till we find our place
    On the path unwinding
    In the circle, the circle of life

    It’s the wheel of fortune, yeah
    It’s the leap of faith
    It’s the band of hope
    Till we find our place
    On the path unwinding, yeah
    In the circle, the circle of life

    On the path unwinding, yeah
    In the circle, the circle of life

    #69742
    madamski
    Participant

    No animal has extended its mouth so long or so wide as humanity. Giraffes and large whales currently occupy both categories in (oh, this is going to hurt) the Species Without Prostheses contest.

    I eat/use stuff from halfway around the world on a daily basis.

    And we want to terraform Mars.

    #69743
    absolute galore
    Participant

    We destroyed it for profit” apparently does not in their eyes contradict “we’ll fix it for profit too”.

    Reminds me of my Rite Aid drugstore. They often have a sandwich board on the sidewalk advertising a “Stop Smoking” kit of some sort. And behind the counter inside are…hundreds of cartons of cigarettes.

    generic wrote: Bill Gates is not an expert in science or technology.
    No, but his wife plays a doctor on tv. That must count for something.

    The problem with ceasing to consume as a solution is, it kills the economy, which must keep expanding to survive. And as we know, it’s not as simple as all that. And in the end, that’s the issue, the over-complexity thing. Problem is, that is build into any system, and human economies are not an exception. Despite the technofantasists who insist there is a solution right around the corner. Even if that were true, look where all the other solutions got us…to the point where we obediently listen to the same people who gave us the last solution and are now offering the solution to that solution. …Cigar, cigarette? Get your nicotine patches here, get ’em here. Chemotherapy Ward 4, This Way. Sorry, but going cold turkey on consumption, even if you could get people on board, would create as many problems as it solves.

    #69744
    kultsommer
    Participant

    @ Ilargi
    “They don’t have access to the excess.”

    Thus refugee or immigration dream.

    #69746
    zerosum
    Participant

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis
    In evolutionary biology, abiogenesis, or informally the origin of life (OoL),[3][4][5][a] is the natural process by which life has arisen from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds.[6][4][7][8] While the details of this process are still unknown, the prevailing scientific hypothesis is that the transition from non-living to living entities was not a single event, but an evolutionary process of increasing complexity that involved molecular self-replication, self-assembly, autocatalysis, and the emergence of cell membranes.[9][10][11] Although the occurrence of abiogenesis is uncontroversial among scientists, its possible mechanisms are poorly understood. There are several principles and hypotheses for how abiogenesis could have occurred.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/a-new-chemical-tree-of-the-origins-of-life-reveals-our-possible-chemical-evolution#:~:text=Six%20basic%20known%20prebiotic%20molecules%20that%20existed%20before,From%20there%2C%20the%20algorithm%20identifies%20possible%20successive%20reactions.

    A New Chemical ‘Tree of The Origins of Life’ Reveals Our Possible Molecular Evolution
    MICHELLE STARR3 OCTOBER 2020
    At least 3.7 billion years ago, a few simple molecules worked together to create something new. Then a few more. And, somehow, these snowballing combinations eventually produced the first very basic living organisms that would evolve and branch out to become all life on Earth.
    (continue ….)
    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6511/eaaw1955
    Synthetic connectivity, emergence, and self-regeneration in the network of prebiotic chemistry
    View ORCID ProfileAgnieszka Wołos1,2,*, View ORCID ProfileRafał Roszak1,2,*, View ORCID ProfileAnna Żądło-Dobrowolska1,*, View ORCID ProfileWiktor Beker1,2, View ORCID ProfileBarbara Mikulak-Klucznik1,2, View ORCID ProfileGrzegorz Spólnik1, View ORCID ProfileMirosław Dygas1, View ORCID ProfileSara Szymkuć1,2,†, View ORCID ProfileBartosz A. Grzybowski1,2,3,4,†
    See all authors and affiliations

    Science 25 Sep 2020:
    Vol. 369, Issue 6511, eaaw1955
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw1955

    https://tol.allchemy.net/
    The Tree of Life originating from 5 starting materials:
    ammonia, water, nitrogen, methane, and hydrogen cyanide.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/scientists-just-found-the-building-blocks-of-life-near-a-distant-star/ar-BB1dGTbO?ocid=msedgntp
    It took two years for the scientists to comb through the data, and published the results. Turns out, the compounds—methyl isocyanate and glycolonitrile—are possible raw materials for the evolution of life. Scientists call them “prebiotics.”
    Space surveys previously found prebiotics in meteorites as well as in the nearly-imperceptibly thin dust that stretches between stars. But finding them in the vast swirl around a pair of still-forming “proto-stars”—the universe’s furnaces of creation—could bring us a step closer to understanding where life comes from and how it might spread across the universe.

    #69747
    Susmarie108
    Participant

    @zerosum: thank you for the Circle of Life – reminder. The lyrics resonate with me. You?

    #69751
    WES
    Participant

    A few random thoughts on the wisdom of trying to save the world.

    After having lived in Siberia for 6 months in 1983, I can tell you living in a society 100% government controlled is not the solution to anything for anybody! All I saw was corruption, incredible pollution, increditable energy waste, thinking outside the box was severely punished, and only conformity is rewarded. A person living in such an environment would never be allowed to even bring up such ideas never mind try to solve them! So government is 100% not the answer! They are the problem squared! Government bureaucrats hate change and fight it every inch of the way! No sarc!

    For a recent example how government isn’t the solution, look no further than how Dr. Fusci and the CDC have handled covid. They have suppressed vitamin D and outlawed the use of invermin and marilaria medications! This is what governments do best! Corruption! Not allowed to think! Resist change, tooth and nail! No sarc!

    Now about this idea of money. Really money isn’t real! Money only exists as an “idea” we humans have invented! Caveman survived without money! Then governments declared a monopoly on the creation of money! What happens if you “will” some money into existence? You are jailed for being a counterfitter! OK a little sarc!

    Now the idea of making a “profit” is also a man made idea too! Caveman didn’t need to make a profit to survive! If you asked a caveman what “money” and “profit” were, I think he would just club you for being an idiot! OK a little sarc!

    As for planting more trees. Yes, trees can temporarily absorb and store carbon. Here is the problem with that idea. Then the tree grows old and eventually falls down and decays, releasing the stored carbon back into the air. Another problem with just planting ever more trees is eventually you can reach a point where there might not be enough carbon for all of the trees (never mind plants on the ground with no sunshine) to survive in good health. They would all be competing for the available supply of carbon in the air. Some trees would lose. OK a little more sarc.

    About geothermal energy. The earth’s core only has a fixed amount of energy available. If we start sucking out more energy from the earth’s core, then the earth will cool down faster. So that kind of energy isn’t sustainable either! O.K. a lot of sarc.

    If we rely more on solar panels, then we are going to have to cover more of the earth’s surface thus depriving mother earth of the sun’s life giving energy. So we steal the sun’s energy from other earth for ourselves. That should be a sustainable source! OK more sarc!

    If we build enough windmills we could easily run out of wind available to make the blades rotate. We would use up all of the wind’s energy! Without wind, how would we keep our trees green without any rain? OK more sarc!

    SO MORE OF ANYTHING IS BAD!

    So in the end we are all dead!

    So don’t worry! Be happy!

    #69754
    V. Arnold
    Participant

    @ Dr. John Day

    Reading the news this morning, it sounds as though you’re in a real battle of the elements; below freezing, snowing, blowing, and likely no electricity…
    Hope you’re getting through this okay…
    V in Thailand

    #69757
    Kimo
    Participant

    Finance types can contribute to problem solving in this way: measure GDP simply as the harvesting of the sun’s energy. Then we can measure progress. Climate change and oil depletion will take care of itself.

    #69758
    WES
    Participant

    Raul is probably shoveling snow in Athens!

    #69777

    For many, it seems really tough
    To say the words: I have enough.

    #69778
    Dr. D
    Participant

    “One way to do this is by planting trees, which soak up CO2 through their leaves.”

    There are no brains, and it hurts, it hurts! Okay, you planted a tree to offset burning some oil. How much? Well, certainly no more than the size of the tree over time, and in fact a lot less. So one sapling is, let’s say two liters? Okay Jimbo, ou drove a mile, you’re done for the year! We already ran out of square feet to plant on!

    You got ten trees? Okay, 20 liters petrol a year for you!

    No, really, it gets worse: a tree died! Now all the CO2 you captured is re-released (over time). Whaaaaah!

    Hold on a minit: ALL the CO2 pulled up from ALL the wells EVER, are ALSO above ground, ALWAYS, forever, when any tree dies. Soooooo…I’m detecting that you’re not really absorbing CO2, you’re absorbing juicy cash for your full-body tobacco-enema scam.

    And that’s just ONE problem. Here’s the next, from yesterday: “That is going to require a huge investment”

    Billy, Billy, what did I just say yesterday? There is only one environmentalism: Don’t Buy Stuff. “Huge investment” is BUYING STUFF. Trillions and trillions of more stuff, made of more oil, more shipping, more mountains of more ore, more mines, more toxic rare earths and unrecycleable compounds. Congratulations: you sir, are an idiot! You literally cannot tell up from down, environmental from not, you can’t even tell “Blue skies from pain”, “a green field From a cold steel rail or A smile from a veil”

    “Did they get you to trade
    Your heroes for ghosts?
    Hot ashes for trees?
    And Hot air for a cool breeze?
    Cold comfort for change™?”

    So your plan for environmentalism is to Buy More Stuff™, level more mountains, burn more oil, and make more money. Are you quite certain you are well, sir, should we “arrange to have you sent to no asylum”? “He’s mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad / Not quite right (not quite right)”

    They are crazier still: they are going to create massive machines that sequester CO2 using…energy, that is, CO2. They have mechanical trees that can replace real trees. That is, made of metal, rare earths, and oil, and take up the space of an actual tree that grows for free. No joke. If I put this in a children’s book, you wouldn’t believe it. You’d think I was one of those far-out loonie peacniks, like John Lennon, exaggerating far beyond any rational cause. Nope. We had to level every town to save every town. We had to kill every person to save every person. Except me, Bill Gates. “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide, I was rolling down the [skies] / In some cold blue steel”

    And I guess that’s the Mad Mad Mad Mad World aside from the deadly attack from renewables being all shut off in a normal freeze. No electric = no heat, basically, anywhere in Texas. Or Mississippi.

    Not only that, Billy-Boy’s world is literal hell on earth. Concrete, pavement, oil, malls, and a complete lack of green: all the things that people pay big money to escape from at Barefoot Resorts in Acapulco or Fairmont Banff, Alberta.
    Not this:
    Stockbridge
    https://natedsanders.com/ItemImages/000058/Norman%20Rockwell%20Signed%20Stockbridge%20Main%20Street%20at%20Christmas%2058062b_lg.jpeg

    Even though that has cars, just as it had horses before. This, that the Kunstler crew would be doing, is the OPPOSITE of Gates and co, who are an anti-life death cult that would make Voldemort blush.

    TheEnd
    http://www.greenwichneighborsunited.com/wp-content/uploads/climate-change-bill-mckibben-wind-turbines.jpg

    Two notes: horses were the original tree-killer when the colonists arrived. North America is unrecognizable now, even where to our eyes it seems green and natural. Two, man clearly CAN do this, as planetwide they always did, “the forests a squirrel could run from Portland to St Louis and never touch the ground” were there, ready to be burned for “energy”, and the tribes had the tools to do it, but they chose not to. That’s not “capitalism” or some such, that was their society, their values. Because it was stupid, suicidal, one-way trip that made life WORSE for every one, every day, man, woman, children, and even the other tribe over the hill combined. Still true. Maybe this American Chestnut:

    “Indian Chief “Two Eagles was asked by a white U.S. government official, “You have observed the white man for 90 years. You’ve seen his wars and his technological advances. You’ve seen his progress, and the damage he’s done.”

    The Chief nodded in agreement.

    The official continued, “Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?”

    The Chief stared at the government official then replied,
    “When white man find land, Indians running it, not taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women do all the work, medicine man free, Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing all night having sex.”

    Then the Chief leaned back and smiled, “Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.”

    And all it takes is to stand a little hard weather. But maybe you think otherwise. It’s 10f in Texas after all.

    #69784
    Dr. D
    Participant

    Day can’t hear you: his power is off. In 5 states and Mexico too.

    Go Team Green! Behold! A Pale Horse! That kills as many people as Famine and Pestilence.

    #69785
    Michael Reid
    Participant

    I feel the essay was very well written and exposed many of the issues we are facing.

    PlanetOfTheHumans provides more context.

    Homepage v8.0

    With respect to a sustainable path forward the only solution I see is a massive culling of world population and a return to lifestyles experienced hundreds of years ago but I suspect instead we will pollute, poison and destroy ourselves in all possible ways prior to arriving at the next steady state

    Enjoying life while it lasts

    #69838
    John Day
    Participant

    Thanks for thinking about me Farang-V-Arnold, nd pointing out my electrical isolation correctly Dr D.

    John-catching-up-on-internet-and-using-containers-of-water-today

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