Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Tenacity of Mendacity

Earlier last week, I was visiting with someone who is now in charge of implementing a climate change initiative. We chatted about how we are now entering a new phase in the continuing saga of humankind's growing awareness of the challenges that lie ahead.

However, there are still those who would mislead us and misinform us.

Whether it is Michael Griffin of NASA offering inanities on NPR about the pretentions of expecting a stable climate, or the political edits of the many minions of the present "oil administration" that has hijacked our democracy, there is a lot of shaped information out there. But even these "bad actors" must at least offer some evidence that their position is a reasoned one, and that they are not just plain old willing to lie and endanger us all just to keep their job and their power.

One piece of climate change evidence that is always making the rounds is this idea that it was warmer 1000 years ago than it is today. The "so called evidence" comes from a German high school teacher named Beck.

Here is Real Climate on the Beck data.

Much research effort over the past years has gone into reconstructing the temperature history of the last millennium and beyond. The new IPCC report compiles a dozen reconstructions for the temperature of the Northern Hemisphere (including of course the original "hockey stick" reconstruction, despite opposite claims by the Wall Street Journal).

Lack of data does not permit robust reconstructions for the Southern Hemisphere. Without exception, the reconstructions show that Northern Hemisphere temperatures are now higher than at any time during the past 1,000 years (Figure 1), confirming and strengthening the conclusions drawn in the previous IPCC report of 2001.

Climate sceptics” do not like this and keep coming up with their own temperature histories. One of the weirdest has been circulated for years by German high-school teacher E.G. Beck (notorious for his equally weird CO2 curve). This history shows a medieval warm phase that is warmer than current climate by more than 1 ºC (see Figure 2).

So how did Beck get this curve?

The curve is a fake in several respects. It originally is taken from the first IPCC report of 1990: a scan of the original is shown in Figure 3. At that time, no large-scale temperature reconstructions were available yet.

To give an indication of past climate variability, the report showed Lamb’s Central England estimate. (Unfortunately this was not stated in the report – an oversight which shows that IPCC review procedures in the early days were not what they are now. We will post in more detail on the history of this curve another time.)

But Beck did not stop at simply using this outdated curve, he modified it as highlighted in green in Figure 2. First, he added a wrong temperature scale – the tick marks in the old IPCC report represent 1 ºC, so Beck’s claimed range of 5 ºC exaggerates the past temperature variations by more than a factor of three.

Second, the original curve only goes up to the 1970’s. Since then, Northern Hemisphere temperatures have increased by about 0.6 ºC and those in central England even more – so whatever you take this curve for, if it were continued to present, the current temperature would be above the Medieval level, as in the proper reconstructions available today.

As this would destroy his message, Beck applied another fakery: he extended the curve flat up to the year 2000, thereby denying the measured warming since the 1970s. With this trick, his curve looks as if it was warmer in Medieval times then now. (more)

I suppose in a world where there is an Assault on Reason,

Where Demagogues offer to protect us from their own lapses,

and professional Idealogues speak of bombing innocents

in the leading business journal without even a clammer,

we can expect to see more of these kinds of misrepresentations.

And we can expect to see these mispresentations used

to no good end.

Like War.

"Fear is not in the habit of speaking truth; when perfect sincerity is expected, perfect freedom must be allowed; nor has anyone who is apt to be angry when he hears the truth any cause to wonder that he does not hear it." Tacitus

Liars when they speak the truth are not believed. Aristotle

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Mainstream

According to a new Worldwatch report,

"Solar power should become a mainstream energy choice in three or four years as companies raise output of a key ingredient used in solar panels and as China emerges as a producer of them, according to a report by an environmental research group.

"We are now seeing two major trends that will accelerate the growth of photovoltaics: the development of advanced technologies, and the emergence of China as a low-cost producer," Janet Sawin, a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute and an author of report, said in a statement.

Investors have flocked to solar and other renewable energy sources amid worries about the high costs of oil and natural gas and greenhouse gas emissions. Solar is the fastest growing energy source, but still provides less than 1% of the world's electricity, in part because its power can cost homeowners twice as much as power from the grid.

But costs could fall 40% in the next few years as polysilicon becomes more available, Sawin said.
Last year, China passed the United States to become the world's third largest producer of solar panels, trailing only Germany and Japan.

"To say that Chinese PV producers plan to expand production rapidly in the year ahead would be an understatement," Travis Bradford, president of the Prometheus Institute, a Massachusetts-based group that promotes renewables, said in a release.

"They have raised billions from international IPOs to build capacity and increase scale with the goal of driving down costs," said Bradford, who helped write the report." more

One of these Chinese companies is Suntech

Suntech Starts Construction Thin Film
R&D and Manufacturing Plant
Xinhua-PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network
May 23, 2007

One of the world's leading manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, recently announced that it has begun construction on a thin film R&D and manufacturing facility in Caohejing Hi-tech Park in Shanghai, China. The first phase of the new plant is expected to begin operation in 2008 reaching 50MW of thin film solar cell production capacity in 2009.

Suntech's thin film module production will be based on technology that deposits amorphous and micro-crystalline silicon thin film on glass substrate. The product will use less than 2% of the silicon required to manufacture equivalent crystalline silicon PV products.

Suntech currently projects that the thin film modules will have a solar conversion efficiency of 6% to 9% and an initial production cost of approximately $1.20 per watt (based on 6% solar conversion efficiency), which is forecasted to continue to decline as both production scale and conversion efficiencies increase.

The thin film modules will be nearly 6 square meters in size, which would make the balance of system installation costs of Suntech's thin film solution significantly lower than other PV solutions. " more

Let me repeat, China passed the United States last year to become the world’s third largest producer of the cells—trailing only Germany and Japan.

The CEO of Suntech, Dr. Zhengrong Shi is active in Global Climate Change negotiations and is now one of the richest men in China as he brings solar energy into the mainstream of energy.

Meanwhile, the US continues to place their young ones

in front of bullets,

so the old ones can control the oil,

and reap the profits.

They will reap the Whirlwind instead.



Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Blues

Memorial Day is a spectacularly sad day in my opinion.

Here is part of a new story from the Times that tells you why.

....Until last year, no permission was required to publish photographs of the wounded, but families had to be notified of the soldier’s injury first. Now, not only is permission required, but any image of casualties that shows a recognizable name or unit is off-limits. And memorials for the fallen in Iraq can no longer be shown, even when the unit in question invites coverage. NYT

And here is an old one that puts it all over the edge.

Often, OK maybe not often, but often enough, I speak of being a transnationalist. The word, which is really a meme, is a fairly new one in the lexicon of human development, and I wasn't even sure it officially existed as such. So, I googled it today, and low and behold, I found that it is now in Wikipedia.


"The concept of transnationalism is focused on the heightened interconnectivity between people all around the world and the loosening of boundaries between countries. The nature of transnationalism has social, political and economic impacts that affect people all around the globe.

The concept of transnationalism has facilitated the flow of people, ideas and goods between regions. It has been greatly affected by the internet, telecommunications, immigration and most importantly globalization.

Concepts like citizenship, nationalism and communitarianism are being changed and reexamined with this phenomenon of the modern age.

Transnationalism is often linked to internationalism but differs in the sense that internationalism proper refers to global co-operation between nation states, while transnationalism aims to global co-operation between peoples, and the obliteration of nation states.

Transnationalism is closely related to cosmopolitanism. If transnationalism describes the individual experience, cosmopolitanism is the philosophy behind it. Transnational life styles could be precursor to a cosmopolitan world government.


Facilitated by increased global transportation and telecommunication technologies more and more migrants have developed strong transnational ties to their home countries, blurring the congruence of social space and geographic space."

Now, my definition of transnationalism does not contemplate the obliteration of nation states any more than nationalism requires the obliteration of other lesser political organizations like states, counties, cities, or school districts. It only requires that the basic ideology which defines our primary allegiance be tweeked a bit.

You can track a meme by googling it.

And today, there are 17,700 hits for transnationalist. And there are about 537,000 for Transnationalism. There are 16 million hits for Nationalism. The first one listed is from Wikipedia.

Nationalism is an ideology [1] that holds that a nation is the fundamental unit for human social life, and takes precedence over any other social and political principles. Nationalism makes certain political claims based upon this belief: above all, the claim that the nation is the only legitimate basis for the state, that each nation is entitled to its own state, and that the borders of the state should be congruent with the borders of the nation.

[2] Nationalism refers to both a political doctrine[3] and any collective action[4] by political and social movements on behalf of specific nations.

Nationalism has had an enormous influence upon world history, since the nation-state has become the dominant form of state organization." more

Nationalism therefore is an ideology.

And, at this point in time in human development, it is a very powerful ideology. But, once an ideology or meme becomes a barrier to human development, it becomes a less powerful ideology and its power to control our minds and thinking processes begins to wane.

And another meme, such as Transnationalism , will spring up and begin to wax in the free independent minds of thinkers all over the planet.

And the meme of global cooperation will replace the meme of global competition.

And the idiology of capital will succumb to a new ideology of sustainability

and of Peace.

We will have to give up our worn out memes which would lead us down the paths that will result in the ends that we do not want to visit, and instead collectively begin to spread a new meme of transcendent transnationism.

We will certainly have to replace our worn out nationalistic memes of standard progressive left wing politics. (sorry guys)

Transcendental Transnationalism requires that we understand that

We are all sailors on this craft.

And we can't afford to shoot the cooks,

or the guys who climb the mast,

or the guys who mend the ship.

We will even need to forgive the Blighs.

That's where the transcendence comes in.


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Monday, May 28, 2007

Graveyard Universe

* Graveyard, 2002, ©Alan Pogue. An Afghan boy
in the cemetery of the khacha Ghari refugee camp for
Afghans in Peshawar. This refugee camp is 25 years
old and houses 100,000 people. The graveyard
is the only open space.

Graveyard Universe

In his graveyard universe
long shadows play on cold brown dirt.
Shards of rubble mark graves
he doesn't understand,
bare footed boy, long shirt, cloth jacket
huge black eyes.
He doesn’t know which way to turn.
How could he?

a future for this child —
Will someone gather him up?
Is there an uncle, or aunt
a grandmother or
cousin nearby?

Will his small hands make bricks,
press ridges in flat bread?
Will someone draw black circles
around his eyes
and laugh with him
until he sleeps?

Will he stumble
into a mine field
and explode?

Will he live to speak
about the graveyard universe
he stumbled through
as a small boy?
Can anyone understand
his pain?
Will anyone ever
understand it?

a future for this child.

If I told you the world will not
be safe until this child’s
soul is healed,
would you believe me?

©Susan Bright, 2002. From the Layers of Our Seeing.

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-ninety books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

Announcement: The Plain View Press e-store is online.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Space and Time

"Space and Time" art courtesy of Spiller Art

I'm on the way to the coast today, so I know where I am going.

But where do we as a people go? (An Oldie)

Where Do We Go?

Maybe you are asking yourself this question.

Maybe it is more personal and there is no We.

Perhaps you pose the question only for yourself and your lover,

or perhaps for your children and your mom.

Perhaps you include your cousins and aunts,

and your best friends.

Maybe the We that is the subject of this question

is your nation,

Maybe it is Humankind.

In order to go somewhere, we need to determine some things.

The first one, I suppose, is where are we Now?

Using the 600 (800) something-or-another posts on earthfamilyalpha,

the Now that I view and sense with my manius cranius,

is pretty well documented.

We, unfortunately, are headed for a colossal economic

and environmental future that is unlike anything most of us can imagine.

No, in Churchill speak, this is not the end of the world.

This is not the beginning of the end of the world.

But, it may be the "end of the beginning".

Which means that we find ourselves at a new stage,

the next level of evolution.

So where do we go?

We move towards a consciousness that is fundamentally different

from the one we employ right now.

All of our divisions, our race, our sex, our economic status, our nations,

our ideas about free markets, and democracy, will jump a beat,

and they will be hijacked on a star ship that is bounded only by

the creation.

We will learn soon enough that violence begats violence.

We will learn to see and think for ourselves.

We will see corporate and governmental shaping with 20/20 vision.

We will know in our souls that hate and war can only be cleansed through

love and peace.

The night before last,

It became all too clear to me.

We will need to build our settlements and our homes

as if we actually believe what our eyes and ears are telling us.

We may need to go deep into the earth.

We may need to build giant domes over our cities.

We may need to build new cities under the oceans.

We may need to move to a home 9000 feet in the mountains.

We may need to employ advanced emasers that moderate

the sunlight that careens down upon our homes and streets

and redirect that energy to giant fields of photon to electron materials.

We will need to abolish the use of coal,

and extinquish all of the rest of our archaic fire burning ways.

And that will most definitely include our "arms of fire".

For we will need to focus on the tools that provide for life,

not the weapons that will insure more death.

We will need to transform from a world of Multinational Corporations

that only see a consumer that must be mined for profits,

into a pantheon of truly democratic Multinational Cooperations,

that exist to provide the services and goods we need,

so that we may be prosperous and secure,

in mind, body, and spirit.

So where do we go?

We go to that place

Where we are most alive.

Where we are most free

Where we are most Whole.

Where our hearts and our minds lead us, and

Where our sense of being sleeps in the soft manger

of the miracle of space and time.


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Friday, May 25, 2007

The Nays

I personally am not going to forget this vote to continue
funding for the illegal, illadvised and incompetently orchestrated
war against the people of Iraq.

Here are the Senators who voted against the Iraq Supplement funding bill

Boxer (D-CA), Nay
Clinton (D-NY), Nay
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Dodd (D-CT), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feingold (D-WI), Nay
Johnson (D-SD), Not Voting
Kennedy (D-MA), Nay
Kerry (D-MA), Nay
Leahy (D-VT), Nay
Obama (D-IL), Nay
Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Not Voting
Thomas (R-WY), Not Voting
Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Nay

Since I live in Texas, I am going to copy the Texas nays here.
For a full list click here and pull down the vote for your state.

Nay: Lloyd Doggett, Al Green, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Eddie Johnson, Ron Paul

The minimum wage will go up to $5.80 something.

And here is the view from Camp Casey.

* Image from The Skinny

©Susan Bright, 2007

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-ninety books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fast-track Hacked

Fast-track Hacked: HR-811:

In spite of support from and many progressive
organizations for the new voting bill sponsored by Rush Holt,
there is reason to look more closely at changes made in committee
and flaws which threaten the core of our democracy —

1. No Re-counts possible for presidential elections because of time limitations.
2. Electronic voting machines can print a receipt for you, like an ATM
machine, and then internally cook the books. Unlike the ATM
transactions we make all the time, in public voting systems
if there is no hand count of paper ballots at the precinct level
there is no "check" book, no way to insure the total count is right.
3. HR-811 sanctions privatization of the voting process.
4. HH-811 sanctions secret recounts.

Watch these videos today. Behind the huge outrage we all
feel at the Great Dem Sellout on Iraq, and behind the outrage
we all feel seeing our battle ships leering at Iran, there's another
outrage brewing, and progressives need to look hard at this and
reverse our message engines, fast.

It looks like HR-811 has been hacked,
fast-track hacked because the vote is likely to pass as early
as June 5, leaving us stuck with a huge erosion of democracy,
possibly the final blow at the same time announcing to
us that our voting system is now fixed, another mission accomplished.

Click to view: Holt Bill Is A Poison Pill
by Mark Crispin Miller-NYU Professor and voting integrity advocate

Click to view: Election Deception
by Abbe Waldman Delozier and Vickie Karp
authors of HACKED! High Tech Election Theft in America

Pass this on to everyone you know. Write to and all our
progressive organizations and let them know HR-811 has been fast-track

The only way to insure accurate elections is to have paper ballots
placed in ballot boxes and then hand counted at the precinct level.

You can read a marked up version of HR-811 here which will explain the technical problems
that are summarized in the videos.

*image from

©Susan Bright, 2007

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-ninety books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Tunnel at the End

Thanks to C.L

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Pod People

In looking at the possible future we face, we often see worst case/ best case projections. Worst case projections somehow are discounted. Surely, we will do something. Surely, we won't just behave as if we don't know what kind of future the worst case scenario will bring.

Here is a new study reported in the New Scientist which makes you wonder.

Recent CO2 rises exceed worst-case scenarios
21 May 2007 news service
Catherine Brahic

The world's recent carbon dioxide emissions are growing more rapidly than even the worst-case climate scenario used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, say researchers.

The team, led by Michael Raupach of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, looked at the growth of CO2 emissions and found that emissions growth suddenly accelerated in 2000.

During the 1990s, emissions grew by 1.1% per year on average, but the number shot up to 3.3% between 2000 and 2004, when the study ended.

When they compared the recent emissions trend to those the UN-backed IPCC drew up as its "worst case scenario", the team found the reality was at least as bad, if not worse (see graph).

The team then examined the changes between 1980 and 2004 in factors such as population, economic growth, energy efficiency and carbon efficiency (the amount used per unit of GDP). From this, they were able to determine why CO2 emissions accelerated after 2000.

They concluded that the rise in CO2 emissions is not due to a growth in global population, but a reduction in global efficiency. "We are not getting more efficient at using CO2 in the way we projected," explains co-author Corinne Le Quéré from the University of East Anglia in the UK.

Reversed trend

From the 1970s to the 1990s, the world as a whole was becoming better at producing more energy for the same CO2 emissions, and more GDP with less energy. But the trend reversed in 2000. "It's a problem because people are assuming we are heading towards a more energy efficient future and we are not," says Le Quéré.

The researchers found that no part of the world reduced the amount of carbon used to produce energy between 2000 and 2004, despite widespread publicity in support of greener sources of energy.

The analysis also showed that developing countries accounted for 73% of the growth in CO2 emissions in 2004, but only 41% of total emissions.

"If you follow anything to do with global policy or global economy these results will not be surprising," says Mike Hulme, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the UK. more

And if that is not enough to convince that we are not listening, there is this press release from the EIA just yesterday:

World Energy Use Projected to Grow 57 Percent Between 2004 and 2030

World marketed energy consumption is projected to grow by 57 percent between 2004 and 2030, according to the reference case projection from the International Energy Outlook 2007 (IEO2007) released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The IEO2007 shows the most rapid growth in energy demand for nations outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), especially in non-OECD Asia, where strong projected economic growth drives the increase in energy use.

Global energy demand grows despite the relatively high world oil and natural gas prices in the reference case. However, rising oil prices dampen growth in demand for petroleum and other liquids fuels after 2015 and, as a result, reducing their share of overall energy use from 38 percent in 2004 to a projected 34 percent in 2030.

In contrast, the energy shares of natural gas, coal, and renewable energy sources are expected to grow over this period. Liquids consumption is still expected to grow strongly, however, reaching 118 million barrels per day in 2030. The United States, China, and India together account for nearly half of the projected growth in world liquids use. more

It's a bit like watching a disaster/monster/horror movie where the players just can't seem to believe their eyes or the evidence. These bodies were not taken over by some body snatchers from outer space. These pod people aren't really growing in this abandoned warehouse. The DNA of a prehistoric creature couldn't have possibly survived to be reconstructed by a mad scientist. These glaciers aren't really melting, threatening to flood 50% of human habitat.

You watch and scream out as the actors do all of these lame things,

that any child would know better than.

Maybe the Pod People

are already here.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Silver Bullet

Here is another major announcement in photon to electron conversion materials. This one comes from Rice University.

Quantum dot recipe may lead to cheaper solar panels

Rice scientists clear hurdle on path to nanotech-based photovoltaics

Rice University scientists today revealed a breakthrough method for producing molecular specks of semiconductors called quantum dots, a discovery that could clear the way for better, cheaper solar energy panels.

The research, by scientists at Rice's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN), appears this week in the journal Small. It describes a new chemical method for making four-legged cadmium selenide quantum dots, which previous research has shown to be particularly effective at converting sunlight into electrical energy.

"Our work knocks down a big barrier in developing quantum-dot-based photovoltaics as an alternative to the conventional, more expensive silicon-based solar cells," said paper co-author and principal investigator Michael Wong, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.

Quantum dots are "megamolecules" of semiconducting materials that are smaller than living cells. They interact with light in unique ways, to give off different-colored light or to create electrons and holes, due partly to their tiny size, partly to their shape and partly to the material they're made of.

Scientists have studied quantum dots for more than a decade, with an eye toward using them in medical tests, chemical sensors and other devices.
One way towards cheaper solar cells is to make them out of quantum dots. Prior research by others has shown that four-legged quantum dots, which are called tetrapods, are many times more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity than regular quantum dots.

But, Wong said the problem is that there is still no good way of producing tetrapods.

Current methods lead to a lot of particles with uneven-length arms, crooked arms, and even missing arms. Even in the best recipe, 30 percent of the prepared particles are not tetrapods, he said. (clip)

"One of the major bottlenecks in developing tetrapod-based solar cell devices has been removed, namely the unavailability of high-quality tetrapods of the cadmium selenide kind," Wong said. "We might be able to make high-quality nanoshapes of other compositions also, using this new synthesis chemistry."

Over and and over, I have often heard it said,

There is no "one" silver bullet.

It's repeated in renewable circles like a mantra.

Instead of dilly dallying around with so many other

never ending non-solutions to the challenges we face,

Maybe we should find one, and

Settle on it.

Develop it.

Deploy it.

And enjoy the peace and prosperity it will bring.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

What Profit

*The Colossus, Francisco Goya

FLASH: Click on Comments below, Blogger comments aren't posting
the regular way. I've posted Robert Fisk's piece in The Independent
today about the view over Tripoli which looks hauntingly
like this Goya piece. Or google The Independent. They haven't put
this into the portfolio yet so it's still free reading.

What Profit?

Mark 16:26
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?

I doubt American history will reveal the depth of American Fascism
in the administration of George W. Bush because the coil
from which it catapulted to mass insanity was tightly wound,
by accident and intent, in other administrations,
by other profiteers, and Amerians don't consider ourselves
war criminals.

Historians could point to CIA backed revolutions throughout
the 20th Century — Vietnam, Cambodia, Chile, Argentina,
Colombia, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Venezuela, Guatemala,
Angola, Haiti, Somalia — to track
America's habit of foreign policy for profit,
but will they?

History is written by the winner, but there will be none.

Jimmy Carter said recently GW Bush is the worst
president in history. There's more.
We're looking at a world-scale Nero
with his finger on a nuclear trigger.

How did we allow election after election
to be stolen without demanding verifiable voting?

Yesterday there was a huge party on the other side
of our backyard fence. Scraps of conversation drifted into
our yard late into the night. "I don't think they even
listen to Fox News," Jay said.

The news re-writes history as it happens and ferments
mass delusion.

The "civil war" which has "broken out" in Gaza this week
for instance, looks more like stage three (or 30) in a US backed
coup to take out the democratically elected Hamas government —
Stage one sent the Hamas leader to prison, stage two was Israel’s
invasion of Gaza which "caused" the invasion of Lebanon.
Now US backed Fatah war lords kill scores of Hamas leaders,
and Israel air strikes back them up.

By now this should sound familiar to us,
but if it does, why don’t we stop it?

What we should see is a sixty-year Palistinian Diaspora,
tragic and bloody, "just"-ified by Hitler's horrific holocaust,
what we ought to understand is that these horrors
have no Justice in them.

Hitler didn't do it alone. Neither did George W. Bush,
Tony Blair, Dick Cheney.

The postmortum on Democracy?
Will anyone lay out how global capitalism killed it?

Here is what the women in Iraq say about
our latest democracy born of shock and awe,
funnel for vast profiteering.

from Yanar Mohammed interviewed by Kasia Anderson, Truthdig

. . . Mohammed: Well, you know, the billions of dollars that we hear should have reached Iraq and been spent for the reconstruction-well, we don't see any reconstruction. Whatever they have tried to construct, like the electricity generators and water supply and all of that-they have been blown away by the resistance over and over again, so they stopped doing those.

Anderson: Those are particular targets for the resistance.

Mohammed: Yes, yes, because they do not like to see the country run in the American way. So, the answer here is that it cannot be solved by money. There is a political issue to be solved, and later on the reconstruction follows. We're not saying that money should not be spent on the reconstruction, but the political issues have really stopped, and there is absolutely no communication, and all of the solutions are reaching a dead end. So, all talk of reconstruction is nonsense at this point. We have not seen any buildings reconstructed in Iraq. I wonder what they're talking about.

Anderson: And the utilities are, at this point, shot?

Mohammed: Nothing! We get electricity one hour in the morning and one hour at night, and in the last two days there was no electricity. We did not see any new buildings built, unless they are inside the Green Zone, where we cannot see them.

Anderson: And there was a wall being constructed in April. ...

Mohammed: Not one wall-there are 10 layers of concrete walls that we have to be searched over and over until we reach the Green Zone. So, maybe there is some reconstruction in there, but I've been there and I haven't seen really much. So where are these billions going? I have no answer, but I think they are going somewhere else.

Click here for Keith Oberman Video -- War Profiteering

©Susan Bright, 2007

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-ninety books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Plenty of Blame

Its pretty hard to stay focused on what really ails us with all of the hubbub in DC over Gonzo going gonzo, making Justice an arm of the RNC, all the while being outed as a serial, possibly psycho liar that will even go to the ICU to get his way when it comes to illegally spying on his enemies.

These events, as outlandish and despicable as they are, are symptoms.

They are symptoms of what we have become as a people. Sure, we can blame the R's, or the far right. Or we can blame the Corporations that have overtaken the public discourse with the manna from hell they rain daily on our lives.

We can blame the media which has become little more than a stenography tool.

We can blame the capitalists who in their victory lap over Marx have behaved about as responsibly as a 22 year old wide receiver who has just scored the final game ending goal against his arch rivals.

We can blame the political operatives who have turned democracy into a high tech game of metawords and psychomemes powered by the force of our own fears and ignorance.

We can blame the Plutocrats who have never really relinquished control, even as we suffer under our vain veneer of self governance.

We can blame our laziness, our selfishness, our ignorance, our lack of compassion.

We can blame our genes, our parents, our history of violence.

We can blame our philosophy, our religions, our system of knowing,

and our subject/object mind sword that divides our world,

into self vs other, people vs people, and mine vs yours.

Or we can take the words of the Buddhists to heart.

"There is plenty of blame in the World,

so don't worry about it so much."

"They blame him who sits silent, they blame him who talks much, they blame him who speaks moderately in measured terms." There is not any one in the world who is not blamed."
The Dhammapada

Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form.
The Buddha



Friday, May 18, 2007

Vision 2020

Sonia Ambreen

The other day while at a technology meeting, someone characterized me as my company's resident visionary. Being a visionary is not all its cracked up to be. You have to be optimistic and yet at the same time, realistic about the progress that humankind is capable of.

Today, I had a working lunch with a board member of the Renewable Energy Association I co-founded 20 something years ago. As chair of the Vision 2020 Committee, I have so far limited the Committee's activities to a fine night of dining and drinking and talking.

It was a good night with everyone having their chance to speak their piece. Having done that though, the board thought we needed something a little less ethereal.

Here is my first shot at the Vision 2020 Statement. It should not be confused with the end product that the board will ultimately adopt.

Vision 2020 Version 2.1

One would be tempted to say that the world of energy is changing as it has never changed before. And perhaps it is true that the combined global forcing agents of climate change and looming resource depletion will cause a sea change in the energy world that has not been seen for a century, if ever.

There are many in the energy business who have watched the petroleum based infrastructure of the transportation sector and the carbon based stationary generation sector remain somewhat a technological constant during their entire careers.

Combined cycle plants and combustion turbines have constantly improved their heat rates, just as many automotive manufacturers have constantly improved their mileage and power. There have been thousands of advancements over the last 80 years in both sectors, but, in the big picture, nothing has really changed.

Electric companies still make electricity the same way they always have, and car companies still make cars pretty much the same way they always did.

A seasoned energy professional would therefore find it pretty hard to believe that things are going to drastically change in these sectors. But the seasoned Ferrier in the early part of the last century probably had a hard time imagining that his trade was on the verge of extinction.

Things do change, and every now and then they change a lot, and they change in a hurry. It is this vision of change that drives the following Vision 2020 statement.

Vision 2020 Version 2.1

In the next 20 years, we envision the following:

The World will initiate efforts to curb global warming first through cap and trade measures, then it will inact a global carbon emission premium as cap and trade programs fail to achieve the required reductions.

Some governments will initiate carbon controls and they will attempt to regulate the carbon emissions of individuals and companies through emission allotments.

World trade will be complicated and constrained by these various carbon emission regimes.

National Renewable Energy Portfolio requirements will be inacted which will call for perhaps 25% of all energy to come from Renewable Energy.

Existing State Renewable Energy Portfolio requirements will continue to be amended and increased.

Wind Energy will enjoy unprecedented growth into the next decade.

Biomass energy will begin to compete and grow in market share in the very near term.

More and more smart grid control systems will emerge providing even more efficient use of the electric infrastructure.

Telecommuting and telework will grow as the "office" morphs into a virtual office as we redefine our work habits.

Large scale solar plants will begin to be deployed by the end of this decade and they will become the energy of choice for the next 10 years.

Advanced second and third generation distributed solar will be deployed by utilities and end users at growth rates that will overcome all other energy sources by 2020.

After 2020, all new energy will be photonic.

At that point, a Unified Photonic Energy Web, complete with large scale capacitance, will emerge. It will unite the transportation sector with the electric sector, and all other forms of carbon energy will be decomissioned and phased out.

And the age of carbon will have ended."

I suspect that there will be a few folks on that board that may have something to say about this. Some will want windpower to last until every last hillside is covered. Some will want biomass and biofuels to continue, even as the need for food becomes critical. Some will want to build solar power plants past 2020 even though their time will have passed.

But in my view, if we are going to make it, this is the road we need to take.

Version 2.2 is still in the hatchery.


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