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.

That's nuts....

Just like the POTUS

and his hoard of self haters.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Humberto Fernandez


























Humberto Fernandez Tristan ended his walk on this plane of existence on Monday, June 5th at around 7:30.  Those who knew and loved him will miss him and his remarkable character greatly.

Last week, Charlie Loving and I flew to San Luis Potosi, rented a car, and drove to Matehuala.  There we found Humberto outside his house in a screened in tent with plywood floors underneath a large pecan tree.  He was reclining in a beefed up anti-gravity chair with a foamy finger mattress underneath him.  He was really thin and his legs were down to the bone.  Even so, with his flower lai and dark glasses on, he was cool.

The scene was beautiful.  Humberto was surrounded by his dogs, the birds, and most importantly his loving family.  There were water fountains giving off soft soothing sounds into the traffic free air.  There were flowers that made the air almost sweet.  Inside the tent, Humberto spoke in a very low voice.  Almost every word was thankfulness and how privileged he was to have had such a good life.

There was no fear in his voice.  He told us he would see us on the other side. For about 90 seconds, his spirit arose and he spoke as if he might arise out of the chair.

We kissed and held his hands and stayed for about an hour.

As Charlie and I drove up the mountain, we tried to absorb what we had just experienced.  We were clear that Humberto was somewhere between the beginning of the end and the end of the end.

Four days later, close to midnight, I heard someone come into the courtyard door and come up the stairs.  It was his older daughters, Dawn and Melodia.

They came in and told me...."Daddy passed away at around sunset."

The next day, we went down the mountain and to his house.  We picked up Cornelia and took her to the crematorium where Humberto's body had been taken earlier in the morning.  There we met with Humberto's three brothers and two sisters, his two older daughters, and some of their cousins.

Within a few hours, Humberto's ashes arrived in one of his beautiful Huichole bags.  It was still warm.  We formed a circle as we each held his remains, some of us holding and kissing the remains of the man who had such an extraordinary walk through this world.

He is surely flying through another one now.

On New Years Eve last year, I interviewed Humberto at his house in Catorce.   You can see why Don Humberto will be so missed by so many.






I hope that others who love and have been loved by Humberto will post their experiences with Humberto in the comments.

Plans are being made right now for a celebration of his life in Real de Catorce. They will include a procession to Quemado and later to the old church grounds. It looks like the date is June 20th.

If you want to go from Texas, let me know.















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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Tao of Catorce


























I went to my home in Real de Catorce at the end of May.

While I was there, I produced another Earth Heart.

This one is a real departure from my other efforts, but given the circumstances, it seems appropriate.

The main purpose of the trip was to see Humberto Fernandez, the don of the town, resident shaman, movie actor, and all around charismatic super star.  I brought Charlie Loving, one of Humberto's oldest friends with me. We visited with him in his off mountain home in Matehuala. He was weak but still with us.

After the first three days, it seemed like we had been there a week.

After a week, time stopped.



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Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Emergent Future

Over the weekend, I produced this earth heart video to help communicate the importance of an integrated approach to providing energy and intelligence in powering our civilization. I call it the Unified Energy System.

I had downloaded a new program that allowed me to produce outside of the studio that I had been using for the other earth hearts; so, I decided to give it a whirl in my bedroom.  Consequently, the lighting is definitely down home.

It was an experiment.



While working on it, I came up with The Emergent Future meme.

It might become the name of the book I've been working on.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Climate Changes, Truth does not.





This week, we watched and listened as the "Minority" who currently control the government of the People  of the USSA roll back our protections and our plans in the global fight against Climate Change.

The ignorance of it all will go down in history, not as stupid, but as willful endangerment.

Thankfully, Al Gore is back with a sequel of his award winning Inconvenient Truth.  It's called an Inconvenient Sequel and it opens in late July.

"A decade after AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes – in moments both private and public, funny and poignant -- as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion."

This new sequel is directed by Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen.


Here's the trailer and it's a real barn burner:



Sometimes it takes a valley to see the mountain of hope.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Kellyanne Con Job

Charlie Loving, cartoonist and political soothsayer, is at it again.

When I mentioned Kellyanne Con Job, he rewarded me with an immediate cartoon.



He followed up with  this wonderful statement about the "beautiful wall" that would destroy the border as we know it. I guess those who want the wall on the border have never been there.








































And here is Kellyanne Con Job with King Con himself.





































And it is true.... like the story we thought was so ridiculous as children

King Con is indeed very naked.

Because the Emperor's Court is blinded and intoxicated by Power.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Our World Tower

Less than a month before the Russian hijacking of the American election, we visited upper New York State and then we went down the Hudson to the City.  At the time, it seemed impossible that the world would be hurling towards the warped political space we are about to enter.

Oddly, as we walked down Fifth Avenue, we saw Drumph and his black caravan of SUV's arrive at his own Tower.  At the time, he was mired in his own taped and documented ocean of character flaw and his path to the White House was more a crack.

Here is our video from this happier and less dangerous time:




And here is the video we shot six years earlier:



I actually like tall buildings.  I get some kind of satisfaction from them.

But to make a big building maker the leader of the free world?

That's as dumb as making the largest oil company in the world,

our state department.

Our new One World Tower

looks more like Our World Tower.

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