Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category
Eye-balling the Fifth Century
July 21, 2011 By Fred Reed FredOnEverything.net
When a country works reasonably well—when the schools teach algebra and not governmentally mandated Appropriate Values, when the police are scarce and courteous, when government is remote and minds its business and works more for the benefit of the country than for looters and special interests, then pledging to it a degree of allegiance isn’t foolish. Decades back America was such a country, imperfect as all countries are, but good enough to cherish.
As decline begins, and government becomes oppressive, self-righteous, and ruthless yet incompetent, as official spying flourishes, as corruption sets in hard, and institutions rot, it is time to disengage. Loyalty to a country is a choice, not an obligation. In other times people have loved family, friends, common decency, tribe, regiment, or church instead of country. In an age of national collapse, this is wise.
A fruitful field of disengagement might be called domestic expatriation—the recognition that living in a country makes you a resident, not a subscriber. It is one thing to be loyal to a government that is loyal to you, another thing entirely to continue that loyalty when the Brown Shirts march and the government rejects everything that you believe in. While the phrase has become unbearably pretentious, it is possible to regard oneself as a citizen of the world rather than of the Reich.
In a Nutshell
An emerging scientific consensus that a shift to small scale sustainable agriculture and localized food systems will address most, if not all the underlying causes of deteriorating agricultural productivity as well as the conservation of natural soil and water resources while saving the climate
To substantially improve living standards, access to modern energy is also crucial. Small agro-ecological farms are known to be highly productive, and are ideally served by new renewable energies that can be generated and used on site, and in off-grid situations most often encountered in developing countries
A model that explicitly integrates sustainable farming and renewable energies in a circular economy patterned after nature could compensate, in the best case scenario, for the carbon emissions and energy consumption of the entire nation while revitalising and stimulating local economies and employment opportunities
Food crisis, global economic instability, and political unrest
Soaring food prices were a major trigger for the riots that destabilized North Africa and the Middle East, and have since spread to many other African countries [1, 2]. The UN Food Price Index hit its all-time high in February 2011, and the May 2011 average was 37 percent above a year ago . This is happening as the global economy is still staggering from the 2008 financial (and food) crisis, with public debt expanding and unemployment sky high .
Lester Brown, venerated veteran world-watcher, says food has quickly become the hidden driver of world politics , and food crises are going to become increasingly common. “Scarcity is the new norm.” The world is facing increasing demand for food as population increases while food crops and land are being diverted to produce biofuels; in 2010, the United States alone turned 126 million tons of its 400 million tons corn harvest into ethanol. At the same time, the world’s ability to produce food is diminishing. Aquifers are running dry in the major food producing countries where half of the world population live. There is widespread soil erosion and desertification; and global warming temperatures and weather extremes are already reducing crop yields [6-9], hitting the most vulnerable people in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia the hardest.
“We are now so close to the edge that a breakdown in the food system could come at any time.” Brown warns . “At issue now is whether the world can go beyond focusing on the symptoms of the deteriorating food situation and instead attack the underlying causes. If we cannot produce higher crop yields with less water and conserve fertile soils, many agricultural areas will cease to be viable…..If we cannot move at wartime speed to stabilize the climate, we may not be able to avoid runaway food prices….The time to act is now — before the food crisis of 2011 becomes the new normal.”
Post Carbon Institute June, 2011
Last weekend, the New York Times published a series of articles that — through leaks from EIA officials and natural gas industry insiders — corroborated the findings of our landmark report, Will Natural Gas Fuel America in the 21st Century?: Don’t believe the hype about plentiful U.S. natural gas supplies.
Of course, the controversy over natural gas is far from over, and PCI continues to provide energy realism and literacy to the debate. This week, PCI Fellow David Hughes published an analysis of two contradictory studies assessing the greenhouse gas emissions of shale gas vs. coal. The conclusion? Shale gas is worse for the climate over a 30-50 year timeframe.
From hot air to deflating (economic) balloons… We were blown away to receive nearly 600 orders in the span of 12 hours for Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg’s newest book, The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality. In the video above, Richard Heinberg, author of “The Party’s Over” and leading peak oil educator, talks about the future of our ‘growth’ society.
The news media is into one-story-at-a-time mode these days with 24/7 speculation and mindless blather until all are sick and tired of the story du jour. Then it’s on to the next one!
While this is happening all other news is submerged or omitted (neo-censorship). And after they have moved on, there is little demand for updates or follow-up, even when the events are of major significance.
Here’s one example of news we need to know- but probably don’t: (you may have your own examples- send them in and I’ll add them on)
May 12, 2011 by Mike Adams (NaturalNews)
TEPCO has now publicly admitted it wasn’t telling the truth about the severity of the damage to Fukushima reactor No. 1. We’re now being told what we’ve suspected all along — that nuclear fuel rods in that reactor are totally exposed and have suffered a nuclear meltdown, releasing vast amounts of radiation comparable to Chernobyl. As Bloomberg now reports, the water level in reactor No. 4 is one meter below the fuel assembly itself. This means, of course, that the water isn’t high enough to cover the fuel rods, which is why those fuel rods have suffered a nuclear meltdown.
The Associated Press is also reporting that “other fuel has slumped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and is thought to be covered in water.” This statement is astonishing all by itself because it means the fuel rods were in a total meltdown hot enough to cause their metal containment cylinders to “slump” and melt their way down to the lower levels of the coolant pools. Notably, AP carefully avoids using the term “melt” and instead says the fuel rods “slumped.” This is all part of the AP’s determined downplaying of the Fukushima catastrophe (see below).
Not surprisingly, as AP now reports, “The findings also indicate a greater-than-expected leak in that vessel.” But the laws of nuclear physics don’t care what you “expect,” you see. They don’t care about media spin or power company B.S. The laws of physics simply follow their natural course, regardless of what you hope they do.
And in the case of Fukushima, the laws of physics led directly to a core fuel meltdown that now even the mainstream media cannot deny (although they still aren’t calling it a “nuclear meltdown”). As AP reports:
Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency officials said the new data indicates that it is likely that partially melted fuel had fallen to the bottom of the pressurized vessel that holds the reactor core together and possibly leached down into the drywell soon after the March 11 quake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeastern coast.
What AP is describing, of course, is a nuclear meltdown. It doesn’t get any more obvious than this: The fuel reached melting temperature and melted down. Along with this, there would have had to be a massive release of radiation into the containment vessel, which just happens to have numerous holes in it that allow highly radioactive water to leak directly into the environment. No wonder TEPCO discovered its radiation detectors had all maxed out there and become non-functional. No wonder TEPCO had to selectively stop reporting radiation releases — it was in the middle of a Chernobyl-like core fuel meltdown!
The Telegraph in the UK is refreshingly printing the truth on this story: “One of the reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant did suffer a nuclear meltdown, Japanese officials admitted for the first time today, describing a pool of molten fuel at the bottom of the reactor’s containment vessel.”
But the mainstream media in the U.S. has obviously been instructed by the White House to avoid using the term “nuclear meltdown” in describing what happened at Fukushima. There is a rather blatant downplaying of the facts going on behind the scenes at the media giants.
Some of this spin can only be called blatant lies, by the way. In the same story linked above, AP claims “Unit 4 contained no fuel rods at the time of the earthquake…”
Huh? No fuel rods in reactor No. 4? What on Earth is this video showing?
I love how the media admits it has been misreporting the truth of the situation all along, and then it comes up with new fairytale spin stories in practically the same sentence. They might as well just report, “There was no nuclear fuel in Fukushima at the time of the tsunami, and that’s why governments have stopped monitoring radiation levels.”
TEPCO once again meets Murphy’s Law
In any case, this sudden revelation that reactor No. 4 has already experienced a nuclear fuel meltdown is, not surprisingly, causing considerable setbacks to TEPCO’s plan to have the whole facility deactivated by Christmas. Just as NaturalNews publicly predicted, the Christmas shutdown plan was little more than a combination of fantasyland thinking and industry spin.
In the past year, nine vocal critics or potential whistleblowers of the Gulf oil spill all died in extremely mysterious ways. [Ed note: two others are also included here: one missing, one jailed.] Their deaths could be strange, unrelated coincidences. Or they could have been killed as part of a conspiracy to silence those who were speaking out against the worst oil spill in American history.
February 17, 2011 – LSU scientist Gregory Stone, 54 – Unknown Illness
January 26, 2011 – age 31 – Mississippi Department of Marine Resources officer, from Ocean Springs arrested on child porn charge.
January 19, 2011 – former President and CEO of the International Oil Spill Control Corporation – imprisonment and subsequent murder while jailed
December 31, 2010 – a former Pentagon official and presidential aide and a defense consultant and expert on chemical and biological weapons – was beaten to death in an assault, body was discovered in a Wilmington landfill
November 23, 2010 – an incident commander for BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill response team, died Tuesday night near Destin, Florida in a small plane crash’
November 15, 2010 – age 33, worked in the USF Center for Biological Defense and Global Health Infectious Disease Research – Found dead in an apparent suicide by cyanide at a Temple Terrace hotel. She leaves behind a husband and a young child.
November, 2010 – MIA Status, of Lakeland, FL – Swan expert who “ran into legal trouble over an expired prescription license has closed his practice” — Was investigating unexplained bird deaths near Sarasota abruptly and immediately closed his practice, and apparently his investigation into the deaths of swans in Sarasota, suspected to have been impacted by the BP Oil Disaster. No one has heard or spoken with him since. Watch this news report covering his investigation before his disappearance: video
October 6, 2010 – age 66, was hit by a truck as he passed through Panama City, Florida. Mr. Grooters had been knocked down and killed close to the end of a 3,200-mile trans-America charity ride to raise awareness about the Gulf Coast oil disaster. He began his cross-country bike ride in Oceanside, California, on September 10th. Grooters’s family and friends will cycle the final stretch of the journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic in his honour, raising cash to support Gulf Coast families. Read more: here
August 9, 2010 – Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, 86, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, was among nine people on board when the 1957 DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter, crashed into a brush- and rock-covered mountainside Monday afternoon about 17 miles north of the southwest Alaska fishing town of Dillingham, federal officials said. Stevens was the recipient of a whistleblower’s communication relative to the BP Oil Disaster blow-out preventer, and a conspiracy of secrecy to hide the facts from the public. More here
A 48-year-old veteran oil worker claims “You and your fellow Committee members may wish to require BP to explain what action was ultimately instituted to cease the practice of falsifying BOP tests at BP Prudhoe drilling rigs. It was a cost saving but dangerous practice, again endangering the BP workforce, until I exposed it to Senator Ted Stevens, the EPA, and the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.” The cause of the crash is still an OPEN investigation by the NTSB.
August 13, 2010 – age 67 – Simmons’ body was found Sunday night in his hot tub, investigators said. An autopsy by the state medical examiner’s office concluded Monday that he died from accidental drowning with heart disease as a contributing factor – “It was painful as can be” to be only insider willing to speak out against the “officials” during the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico
April 6, 2010 – age 46 – cell biologist and college professor, a near-native Floridian who chose to return to South Florida after studying at elite universities – was fatally shot during what police say was a home invasion robbery.
Links and video: Read the rest of this entry »