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  • perpetuallyphil 10:42 am on November 24, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: , Cultural Engineering, ,   

    physics weighs on climate 

    “The study – which is based on the concept that physics can be used to characterize the evolution of civilization – indicates:

    • Energy conservation or efficiency doesn’t really save energy, but instead spurs economic growth and accelerated energy consumption.
    • Throughout history, a simple physical “constant” – an unchanging mathematical value – links global energy use to the world’s accumulated economic productivity, adjusted for inflation. So it isn’t necessary to consider population growth and standard of living in predicting society’s future energy consumption and resulting carbon dioxide emissions.
    • “Stabilization of carbon dioxide emissions at current rates will require approximately 300 gigawatts of new non-carbon-dioxide-emitting power production capacity annually – approximately one new nuclear power plant (or equivalent) per day,” Garrett says. “Physically, there are no other options without killing the economy.”


    Garrett says his study’s key finding “is that accumulated economic production over the course of history has been tied to the rate of energy consumption at a global level through a constant factor.”

    That “constant” is 9.7 (plus or minus 0.3) milliwatts per inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar. So if you look at economic and energy production at any specific time in history, “each inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar would be supported by 9.7 milliwatts of primary energy consumption,” Garrett says.

    “Viewed from this perspective, civilization evolves in a spontaneous feedback loop maintained only by energy consumption and incorporation of environmental matter,” Garrett says. It is like a child that “grows by consuming food, and when the child grows, it is able to consume more food, which enables it to grow more.”


    He says the idea that resource conservation accelerates resource consumption – known as Jevons paradox – was proposed in the 1865 book “The Coal Question” by William Stanley Jevons, who noted that coal prices fell and coal consumption soared after improvements in steam engine efficiency.


    Garrett says often-discussed strategies for slowing carbon dioxide emissions and global warming include mention increased energy efficiency, reduced population growth and a switch to power sources that don’t emit carbon dioxide, including nuclear, wind and solar energy and underground storage of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning. Another strategy is rarely mentioned: a decreased standard of living, which would occur if energy supplies ran short and the economy collapsed, he adds.

    “Fundamentally, I believe the system is deterministic,” says Garrett. “Changes in population and standard of living are only a function of the current energy efficiency. That leaves only switching to a non-carbon-dioxide-emitting power source as an available option.”


    full article from this mash-up

    interesting that by taking a physics perspective, he steps outside the bounds of the normal view of climate change and its relation to the economy. we are always assuming that certain parts of our equations are true, leaving no room for fundamentally shaking our ideation of change and limiting what we have to work with. instead of reworking things form ground up, we always get stuck tweaking.

    its the economy stupid. through and through. but what does that really mean…?

  • perpetuallyphil 9:31 am on November 22, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: Cultural Engineering, essay, mental health, social work   

    reflections on an MSW 

    Community building lies at the root of preventively reshaping our culture into one that is healthy, sustaining and vibrant. We have been hoodwinked and bedazzled into believing that we live in society that has been progressing with our needs in mind and in which there is a democracy of the people and for the people. The false pretences of freedom and liberty are at the core of what manifests into societal and individual problems.

    I went to see “Black Wave,” a movie detailing the oil spill that happened aboard the Exxon Valdez oil tanker in Alaska 20 years ago. The movie highlights not only the ecological damage caused by the spill, but also the subsequent legal battle and decimation of the community that relied on the fish and natural resources of Prince William Sound, the site of the spill. I went to see the movie and to participate in a town hall like experience that involved a question and answer session with one of the key community figures from both the movie and the following legal battle surrounding the tragedy. The movie was a sobering reminder of the event and its long-term effects on the area, but further begged the question of how something like this was able to happen and how we are as a world community working to stop a tragedy such as this from happening again.

    ExxonMobil was originally held responsible for the disaster by being fined $5 billion dollars to both help those whose livelihoods were destroyed as well as to hold companies accountable ensuring that this would not be repeated. After the fine was levied, ExxonMobil fought the case legally and stretched the battle for over 15 years, finally ending with the fine reduced by ninety percent. The unjustly reduced compensation was unable to cover the cost of the damage to those effected and was to a level that was no more than a slap on the wrist of the world’s most profitable corporation. This decision took away from the people of our world community, from the natural environment and from future generations in order to allow an amoral corporation to continue its war against our best interests; it is truly insane.

    I feel that this situation is an accurate portrayal of the world in which we live. The Alaskan community was destroyed, families endured hardships, there were at least 8 suicides attributed directly to effects of the spill and yet, the principle offender was not held accountable. We reward the narcissistic elites with money and power, while leaving the most vulnerable among us to suffer as wage slave, oppressed, resource deprived individuals trying to make sense of the world. We leave no room for anger and frustration while being forced and bombarded by messages of salvation from products, false ideas of freedom and ungrounded societal roles. Our communities are pushed to their stress levels and often begin to fall apart as we slowly bow to the whim of the bottom line.

    The battle to radically transform our world and reclaim our imagination space lies at the heart of our social problems. We are often unable to find funding to run programs that have been evidence-tested and have the possibly to truly help people, yet we fight wars costing trillions and let corporations sneak out the back door with what should be ours. As a community organizer and mental health advocate, I can see no real and true change coming while still living in an oppressive society. Those who fail to conform or have brains that distance them from our norms are labeled stigmatized and often ousted from our day-to-day life and communities due to the lack of ability to participate in the traditional consumer society. Who is crazy in this situation? Those participating in a game stacked against us, or those who truly feel the pain of our distanced and individualized mindset bound to an oppressive regime? From an ecological systemic perspective of person-in-environment, how can we expect to help people towards recovery and then turn them back to a society that is so sick? We cannot continue to put band-aids upon problems and expect different results in the future.

    This town hall meeting was a great way to truly see the reality of our political-economic system, and how it is as a country failing us. It was also an example of what needs to be done: concerned and empowered citizens engaged in discussion with strategies to take back ownership over our lives and create what is healthy and just. No matter what angle I look at the fields in which social workers are committed to practice, I see no real change and progress without altering our basic paradigm and the fighting the deep-seated flaws of our society. Being well adapted to sociopathic society is no sign of mental health, and without this recognition and subsequent changes, we may as well be treading in toxic water.

  • untamedyawp 4:15 am on July 23, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: , , bill hicks, , , , Cultural Engineering, david icke, holographic reality, , , orwell, oxford, reality,   

    david icke 

  • tallbridge 2:13 pm on September 5, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: bisphenol a, Cultural Engineering, flouride, , , population decrease   

    Bisphenol A impairs learning and memory 

    From Thursday’s Globe and Mail

    Exposure to bisphenol A, the hormonally active chemical used to make the linings of most tin cans and hard plastic bottles, may be able to alter brain function, impairing the ability to learn and remember, according to a new study by researchers from Canada and the United States.

    The study, conducted on monkeys, whose brain development is similar to that of humans, raises the possibility that ailments such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia may be linked to the controversial chemical.

    Almost all people living in industrialized societies are exposed to BPA as a result of trace amounts leaking from food and beverage containers.

    The researchers, from the University of Guelph in Ontario and Yale University in Connecticut, found that low-level exposure to bisphenol A, or BPA, was able to block the formation of some types of synapses in the brain, the tissue that allows brain cells known as neurons to communicate with each other. The proper development of these synapses is considered crucial for remembering thoughts and experiences, and impairments in them are common in sufferers of depression and other brain-related ailments.

    The study, to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a significant advance over previous rodent-based findings that BPA is able to impair synapses. That research was open to criticism that what happened in the brains of a mouse or a rat was of limited applicability to the more complex brains of humans.

    “If bisphenol A at these kind of low doses is able to interfere with [monkey synapses] then there has to be concern that continuous exposure to bisphenol A is probably not a good thing,” said Neil MacLusky, a biomedical science professor at the University of Guelph and one of the study authors.

    The researchers were able to cause the harmful effects with a daily dose of 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight – the human-exposure limit currently considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (A microgram is one millionth of a gram.) Although Health Canada’s limit is half that of the EPA, Dr. MacLusky said standards in both countries are too lax and should be reduced.

    • homad 7:14 am on September 11, 2008 Permalink

      I pretty much just drink filtered water (that I filter in my home) and orange juice these days. I sell/trade orgone charging coasters if anyone is interested.

      I sadly laughed the other day at a Rangers game when they were giving out those coupon things for if your color dot wins the race between innings you get $2 dollars off an Ozarka water bottle!!! Not only did they waste a bunch of paper for the coupons that are worthless (2/3 of the colored dots didn’t win obviously) but the coupons were for WATER. CLEAN WATER SHOULD BE FREE FOR ALL!!!!! It’s so incredibly sacred.

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