Monday, January 15, 2018

The Contents of our Consciousness





























It's hard not to like MLK day.

There are no gifts to buy, no food to cook, no costumes to wear.

If you are lucky, you get to hear some of the greatest speeches ever made.

But this year, it's hard to  enjoy what has been my favorite holiday for years.

Why?

Well, to state the obvious, we have evolved to a point where the  political leadership in the USSA can no longer even help themselves.  They have become what they have exploited.  In exploiting the fear of dark skinned peoples, they have become white supremacists.  In exploiting the Christian belief in the sacred nature of  birth,  they have become thieves of woman's rights.  In exploiting fear of the future, they have become merchants of a very dark future where climate change is ignored and global unrest grows.

Today, there are parades celebrating a great man, while another much lesser man plays golf at his white golf club.

My somewhat asymmetric response is entitled "The Contents of our Consciousness."

It's the quick story and philosophical framework of another great man,  
J Krishnamurti




"Folks: It's time to evolve ideas. You know, evolution didn't end with us growing thumbs. You do know that, right? Didn't end there. We're at the point, now, where we're going to have to evolve ideas. The reason the world is so fv(ked up is we're undergoing evolution. And the reason our institutions, our traditional religions, are all crumbling, is because ... they're no longer relevant. They're no longer relevant. So it's time for us to create a new philosophy and perhaps even a new religion, you see. And that's OK 'cause that's our right, 'cause we are free children of God with minds who can imagine anything, and that's kind of our role." Bill Hicks

 

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Monday, December 04, 2017

The EcoNuclear Brink


Image result for pale blue dot
(The Pale Blue Dot inside the circle is Earth as seen by Voyager 1 space probe leaving our solar system)






"Today, science has brought all the different quarters of the globe so close together that it is impossible to isolate them one from another.

Today we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships—the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, April, 1945


At this time in our journey, it is important for the human species to understand who we are and where we are on the map

We are primates, designed to live in extended family groups, like other primates who gather and hunt. We live in 5 kilometers of breathable air in a twenty kilometer wide life space delicately painted onto our planet. 

Several thousand years ago, we started recording our history.  Since then a lot of very complex culture and technology has happened. 

Many species outgrow their environment's ability to support them, a species
pincer point, at which time a species either collapses or becomes completely extinct. 

We have developed two unique, looming species pincer points.  At any second, our life as we know it could end in an intentional or unintentional nuclear annihilation.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking, and we are grinding toward catastrophe due to climate change

It is a fundamental error in planning for our survival to view these threats as separate. 

Please think about this. 

Does the collapse of human civilization due to climate change make intended or unintended use of nuclear weapons less or more likely? 

The traditional nuclear weapons understanding of Mutual Assured Destruction is a system, just like our communication services.  Does the nuclear destruction system become less or more unstable, as other systems fail?

As the mouse begins to starve, does the cheese on the trap become less or more dangerous? 

Countless actions by countless human beings over thousands of years have led us to The EcoNuclear Brink.

We did not plan our potential doom, but we did create it.

This is where we are on the map of our survival.

We have made our home here very small and unsafe, and we don't have much time to use what we have learned about ourselves to save ourselves.  We do not have much time to build the truly respectful human society that will help us survive this era. 

Respectism is the belief that a respectful society is a pragmatic necessity for survival.

Advertise respect for self, others and place.

Respectfully keep the abusive from power.

Promote fair dealing to back away from the brink.

We should start now.




Love is the soul of respect, and respect is the language of love.




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Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Happy Side
















We decided to go to San Miguel for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  It was a last minute decision and well worth it.

I've kept a home in Real de Catorce for 17 years now, and realized that it had been a good while since I was in San Miguel.  I thought it might have been 20 years or so, but it turns out it has been almost 30 years since I've had the pleasure of seeing that disneyesque church named after the Archangel Michael.

Much like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the San Miguel Cathedral gets spotty architectural reviews.  However, as the Sagrada was designed by the world famous Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi, the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel was apparently built by a nobody mason.  Whereas Gaudi never finished, the mason builder did.

Both are world class UNESCO sites.

One of the reasons I avoided San Miguel for so many years was because of the Americans.  There were just too many of them.  Maybe some of them left, or maybe I'm not so snotty in my older days, but I found the town to be a lot of fun and full of good food and good hotels.

The relatively new Rosewood down by the Benito Juarez Park is perhaps the best hotel in Mexico.

We stayed in a great condo a block away from the church on Aldama street.  About 100 feet from our front door was an outdoor restaurant that served great breakfast and Don Julio Tequila.  The sign in front said,

"Keep Calm...You are on the Fun Side of the Trump wall."

And in between the walking, the eating, and the drinking, we did just that.

Here's a quick look:








 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Big Picture on Saving Our Tiny Home



Image result for hunter gatherer sky


“I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.


Problem: The human primate species has grown to very large numbers inside our ecological niche of a twenty kilometer (twelve mile) wide biosphere. Widespread use of various human technologies made possible by cultural changes following a shift from hunter-gatherer groups to larger agricultural societies threatens the biosphere.


Thesis:  A cultural change in some percentage of the human primate population is necessary to reduce risk to the biosphere and its inhabitants including human primates.


Proposed solution:  A sufficient portion of the human primate population will work together to build a sufficiently respectful society, the cultural change that will allow the cooperation that is clearly needed to prevent catastrophic damage to the human species and the biosphere from both our weapons and our waste.

Proposed elements of a respectful society:

First, individual and institutional respect for self, others and place to be universally advertised.

Second, selfish and abusive persons to be respectfully kept from power, and the typical behavior patterns of those who rule through fear, abuse, exploitation of prejudice and distortion of principles to be commonly recognized in order to assist with that endeavour.

Third, fair dealing, based on listening dialogue, honest negotiation, and equality to be promoted and cultivated as the mechanism for creating a respectful society in public and private settings including justice for all, representative leadership and governance, economic exchange, the meeting of basic human needs, friendship, family and love.

Fourth, the success of a respectful society to be measured by the decrease of all acts and threats of violence and involuntary detention, including those needed for true self-defense of the individual or society, as well as by the decrease of hunger and homelessness, and in the quality of our air, land and water.

Fifth, the principles of a respectful society to be kept simple and clear, so that respect of self, others and place is not easily be confused with an illusion of “respectability”, or authoritarianism, or made the enemy of liberty.


Love is the soul of respect, and respect is the language of love. 






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Saturday, September 30, 2017

What it is

In the smoke and ashes of the last month, I managed to get another earth heart produced in early October.

It is entitled the Right Time.





And speaking of time, this blog is now in its 13th year.  Here is a post from the first year that captures the spirit of the energy of the time.  Most of it holds up pretty well.

What it is About 

 

Last night, at my Father's Day dinner,

a really smart friend of my 30 year old son asked me,

What is your blog about ?

I responded that I have a very clear idea of what it is about.

And that, as best as I can tell,

no one else has the slightest idea whatsoever

what in the Sam Blazes earthfamilyalpha is all about.

Some have called this an environmental blog,

and it is true,

I speak of climate change and of the odd notion we have

that it is civilized to throw your trash into the air.

I marvel how we allow ourselves and our corporations to dump

chemicals

into our most precious resource,

our air

without even a tipping fee or other charge for the disposal rights.

I question why the free marketers don't attack this kind of leak in the

pricing mechanism.

They apparently want the market to work.

Their way.

Some have said that this is a solar or renewable energy blog.

And it is true, I speak of the solar hydrogen economy

and power paints and heliohydrogen.

I speak of moving away from carbon,

which is a smart thing to do,

mostly because our carbon fuels are moving away from us.

Peak Oil is definitely coming in your lifetime.

Probably by Tuesday.

Some have said that this is an anti war site.

It is a pro peace site.

The cultural myth that if you just war enough,

you will finally win peace,

is a perilous road that

leads to perdition.

Others, have wondered if this is a political blog,

which criticizes the present government for its monstrous shortcomings

because I want some other business light party to rule instead.

That may be true,

the Perfect should never become the enemy of the clearly better.

But this is no political blog.

Earthfamilyalpha simply proposes that

With the advent of advanced global communication,

new forms of social contract can be created

which transcend the geographic state.

These new cybercoops or cyberstates will bring humankind

to higher levels of cooperation and understanding.


I told my dinner guests,

that as a visionary,

you can't get too excited when no one knows

what you are talking about.

It pretty much comes with the territory.

But Still,

Try to go through your day without your country.

See yourself as a citizen of the world instead.

Try to imagine all the news you hear and read without nations.

See that we have painted ourselves into a corner here.

Try to imagine a new super ego.

Try to grasp a new psychological condition.

Try as if your life is at stake.

Because it probably is.

Begin to think about how people of conscience

can come together and form a new union,

a new invention of social contract.

a new dimension in cooperation.

An earthfamily.

That is what it is all about.


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Thursday, August 31, 2017

The American Eclipse





















We were on the road a lot in August.

We started in Canada in Toronto, then flew to Mexico ( San Luis), and then made our way to Idaho.

There we saw the great American Eclipse... the first to traverse from coast to coast in 100 years.  That was World War I.  And it was then that the American Empire began to eclipse the British Empire.

With the parade of presidential behavior during this month alone, it's hard to see how this administration can stand. From Virginia to Phoenix to Texas, from his failure to condemn the KKK and white supremist, his attacks on immigrants and dreamers, his pardoning of those who violate their civil rights, his gratuitous tweets on transgenders in the armed forces, his threats of fire and fury against North Korea, and his general inability to be empathetic, our POTUS has himself become pathetic.

We watch dumbfounded on a nightly basis as e-mails from his associates document  his efforts to ingratiate himself to his money supply so he can build a great tower in Moscow with money from banks that have been sanctioned for their proximity to the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

We learn that his former campaign chairman is treated to an early dawn raid from the FBI like a common criminal... That the special prosecutor is working with  the State of New York, so to derail the obstruction of justice strategy that the POTUS would employ through his power of the pardon.

We watch his generals and cabinet members begin to openly resist his orders and instead do what is less wrong.

We begin to hear more and about his fitness to serve.  Even USA Today runs the story above the fold.

We read opinions about how strong our institutions are and how like Rome, we can survive this Nero like Caligula.

So as the POTUS melts down, we have this once in a lifetime complete transit of a total eclipse from left coast to right.  Some religious types see the end of the world. But some see an eclipse of this breath to be a dark oman.  Both King John and Louis XIV (sun king) died shortly after eclipses.

The rational among us see it as a breathtaking natural event.

But this is a fairly recent thing in human history.  This from the BBC

“The majority of people didn’t really understand what eclipses or shooting stars were until at least the 17th Century,” says Edwin Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in California. The ancient Greeks weren’t alone, either.

While a handful of astronomical scholars, from the 8th Century BC onwards, successfully understood the celestial mechanisms behind an eclipse, for another 2,000 years most of the world’s population clung steadfastly to the ancient belief that astronomical events, and particularly solar and lunar eclipses, were the work of the gods."

Of the few who understood what was actually happening, some deliberately chose to precipitate the myths as a way of manipulating political power to their own advantage.

In 1504, with his crew close to starvation after becoming shipwrecked off the coast of Jamaica, Christopher Columbus ended a mutiny by using a lunar eclipse to convince the local Arawak Indians that he controlled the sky, forcing them to provide food.

Three hundred years later, when establishing the Zulu kingdom, the warlord Shaka Senzangakhona solidified his rule by using astronomical events to convince his people that he controlled the Sun."

But in the fullness of things, it seems that perhaps we got the sign that some asked for.  For it does seem we are witnessing a Great American Eclipse of our very own sun king.

Here is what it actually looked like in Idaho on the Payette River.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Utilities Knew too























It's not just the oil companies who, after realizing the potential hazard of catastrophic climate change, decided to just stay the course. The Utility Industry knew too.

Here's the story:

A study issued Tuesday by an energy watchdog group offers important new insights into the fossil fuel industry's extensive early understanding of climate change and the risks it poses.

This time, it's the electric utility sector that's under the microscope.

The detailed study, backed up by reams of archival documents, was issued by the Energy and Policy Institute, an environmental advocacy and research group that favors the use of clean energy over fossil fuels.

Forty years ago, the documents show, industry officials told Congress that the looming problem of climate change might require the world to back away from coal-fired power—something that is only now beginning to happen.

The research presents a distinct echo of an investigation of Exxon's climate record published by InsideClimate News almost two years ago, and casts significant new light on the duration and depth of industry's climate research—and how electric companies that use fossil fuels responded to the emerging science from the 1960's onward.

The 66-page report unearths research documents and testimony published but then largely forgotten decades before the climate crisis emerged as a key public issue.

And in this episode of the nation's climate history, once again, the same industry that foresaw the ultimate end of coal as a main fuel for power generation later supported actions to cast doubt on the science and to stave off policies to address the problem, funding groups that deny the scientific consensus and joining the main industry group that opposed participation in the first climate treaty.

To this day, there are few federal limits on emissions of carbon dioxide by utilities, one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases.

"It's a story with striking parallels to the investigations into ExxonMobil's early knowledge of climate change and later efforts to deceive investors, policymakers and the public on the issue," EPI said. clip

The new report resurfaces many detailed documents, some of them previously mentioned by InsideClimate in its Exxon reporting, others not widely circulated in recent years.

By 1977, the Electric Power Research Institute, funded by the industry, was testifying in Congress that the global warming consequences of greenhouse gases could force a shift away from fossil fuels, especially coal, a message that the group repeated in its house publication that year.

By 1988, the EPRI Journal would run an editorial declaring outright: "There is a growing consensus in the scientific community that the greenhouse effect is real." It described potentially grave impacts, but added that "shifting away from fossil fuel use is a prospect that seems impractical."

That was 30 years ago. About seven years after Dan Rather and the Reagan EPA warned us.

And in all fairness, 30 years ago, renewable energy technologies were not mature enough to deploy at giga-watt levels.

But now, wind has been economic for 20 years, utility solar is less than coal or natural gas, and large scale storage, thanks to the booming electric transportation industry and the advanced batteries they bring, will be economic by the time we need them.  Which is pretty much now.

In the meantime, the equivalent of a Battle of  the Bulge is on our hands.  The Secretary of State is a not-so stealth Exxonian, and the POTUS  of the USSA is a pro-carbon Russian asset.

The scary thing about that Fascist counter-offensive at the end of the last war in Europe...It almost succeeded. But when the Germans asked the  encircled American Commander to surrender, Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe's response said: 

"December 22, 1944

To the German Commander,

N U T S !

The American Commander"

And surrendering to  climate change is nuts....

As is the POTUS

and his hoard of self haters.

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