Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cassandra Complex

Many environmentalists have predicted looming environmental catastrophes including climate change, rise in sea levels, irreversible pollution, and an impending collapse of ecosystems, including those of rainforests and ocean reefs.[13] Such individuals sometimes acquire the label of 'Cassandras', whose warnings of impending environmental disaster are disbelieved or mocked.[13] Environmentalist Alan Atkisson states that to understand that humanity is on a collision course with the laws of nature is to be stuck in what he calls the 'Cassandra dilemma' in which one can see the most likely outcome of current trends and can warn people about what is happening, but the vast majority can not, or will not respond, and later if catastrophe occurs, they may even blame you, as if your prediction set the disaster in motion.[14]

Monday, July 7, 2014

Report Iraq War Card - The Lies That Lead to War

As the exploding crisis in Iraq spotlights once again the tragic record of American policy in the Middle East, Bill speaks with investigative journalist Charles Lewis, whose new book, “935 Lies” details the many government falsehoods that have led us into the current nightmare. A complicit partner, he says, is a media intent on preserving the status quo and never offending the ruling elite.
investigative journalist Charles Lewis, whose new book, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity

Thursday, June 12, 2014

SimCenter LIVE - Resilient Cities Program, Thursdays, Summer 2014

Tonight at 6:30 we UStream from the SimCenter 
2014 Summer Series - GENI World Resources SimCenter
Resilient Cities: How Global Climate Trends Affect Local Communities
1088 Third St., San Diego, CA 92101

Watch the Archives

The new SimCenter Interns are working hard to create a 'Resilient Cities' Curriculum. I'd like to invite those from out of town to join in on our Summer 3Rs-Tours with the Council of Divers and get some experiential learning along the cost of La Jolla.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Resilient Cities - Summer Program at SimCenter

The San Diego SimCenter, a project of the Global Energy Network Institute, is holding its annual summer conference series. The subject for the 2014 season is "Resilient Cities", and every Thursday evening, June 12 - August 28th, we will explore and analyze subjects & solutions to our urban planning environments.

Topics in Each Week:
  • Resilience vs. Sustainability
  • Systems Stressors within the region and from the outside
  • Interconnected sub-systems: (Economic, Social, Environmental, and the built environment)
  • Innovation as solution: food and water security, transportation and transit, energy and efficiency, network technology, social inclusion, waste streams, buildings and urban design and technology
  • Policies to prepare and Leadership that fosters change
Thursdays, 6-8Weekly Schedule: June 12 - August 28, 2014
June 12
June 19
June 26
July 3
July 10
July 17
July 24
July 31Designing Resilient Waste Systems
August 7
August 14
August 21
August 28

The Archimedes windmill

A quiet, powerful, and visually stunning solution to urban wind power. The Archimedes Windmill.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

San Diego Fracking Forum - County Supervisor, Dave Roberts

Billed as a "frank, honest, and balanced forum", today, in the old City Council chamber of County Administration building on San Diego Bay, County Supervisor, Dave Roberts held a Forum on Fracking in California.

Other than the few dozen gray haired environmentalists from the press and a few county employees, there were few in attendance.

Although, there were no representatives from the Fracking Industry on the panel, the forum began with a video produced by Marathon Oil Company, an industry leader. The film claimed that fracking was 'safe' and uses secure pipe casing technology, to keep groundwater from contamination.

Among other experts on the Fracking, Geology, and the Energy Industry, were;
* Damon Nagami, Senior Attorney and Director of the Southern California Ecosystems Project for the Natural Resources Defense Council, serves as lead on Fracking in California
* Ken Weinberg, Director of Water Resources for the San Diego County Water Authority
They each commented on the Fracking industry, giving their perspectives of the facts with special attention to the reality that we are a carbon-energy economy, and that of existing fuels, natural gas is both domestically abundant & cheap, and pollutes less than coal, oil, and perhaps even nuclear.
All those in attendance were in agreement that we would prefer a renewable energy economy, and the questions were one sided when it came to the Fracking industry. Although none on the panel would make claim to being carbon fuel suppliers, none would rule out the use of Fracking Technology as a mining technique, either. 

The consensus on the day was that we should be circumspect with regard to Fracking in California, as all the current information about the Fracking in other states leads us think that there are potential long-term public health and environmental costs that are beyond our current understanding. Plus, there are some unknown variables that need to be taken care of by public policy and state legal regulations before the people of our state can be secure in the use of such Fracking technologies, so that we know the potential for groundwater pollution. Among them are:
  1. What exactly are the secret proprietary fracking chemicals being injected into our environment? 
  2. What is the state of our ground water and aquifers prior to fracking mining in each local? 
  3. What the permeability of the rock just beneath our ground water-tables? 
Some Counties, like San Bonito, are now banning fracking exploration, and the National Resources Defense Council has called for a moratorium upon fracking in California until the appropriate studies can be done and regulations are in place.

Among the issues that need to be defined before fracking for hydrocarbons, include:
  • Public Human and Animal Health Risks and Costs
  • Environmental Justice effects and costs
  • Effect of using up our domestic energy stores 
  • The carbon pollution effects
  • Potential for Earth Quake effects (especially who will pay for the repairs to private property and infrastructure if a connection to fracking is proven)
  • Potential direct and indirect effects upon water supplies, groundwater, and pollution of aquifers
  • The potential effects on property values around fracking wells
  • The disposal of fracking waste products, toxins (especially in the ocean)
  • The use of injected acid into fracking wells, and it's potential environmental effects

According to the energy industries, 18% of new wells have casing failures within the first 18-months and the chemicals used in fracking have known endocrine and cancer effects. As I left the building and entered our new county building park, I was struck with all the children playing in the water fountain. 
During the discussion, it was revealed that any existing oil well has the potential to use fracking techniques, and that there are currently 30 such wells active in San Diego County. This seems insignificant compared to the literally tens-of-thousands of Fracking wells in Kern and Los Angeles Counties, but since San Diego county is dependent upon our water supplies from other areas, any potential risk to their watershed is an indirect risk to ours. With the potential for OFF SHORE DRILLING and Fracking using HORIZONTAL drilling techniques, San Diego could still be in some risk of groundwater or ocean contamination. Ever surf on a contaminated beach?

Other issues that came up included the economic effects of reducing our natural gas exploration. There is the potential for a spiraling feedback loop if our least expensive energy increases, effecting all our energy intensive industries from industry to water transportation. However, I believe that these increased costs would motivate and inspire not only new energy sources like renewables, but education and research into efficiency and conservation techniques.
California State Bill 1132, the Fracking Moratorium Bill, comes up for a vote on Friday, May 30th, so contact your state representatives.
Apparently there is also a San Diego - Science Advisory Board - and I'm trying to identify, if you have any information please use the comments section to inform us. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Michael Tellinger - UBUNTU A World Without Money

What we in America call "MONEY" is actually a set of tools: a medium of exchange that makes trade efficient (i.e. currency), a store of value that saves the wealth generated by our work over time (i.e. savings), a measure of debt based upon the credit or potential value of future work (i.e. debt/credit), and probably a few other tools depending upon which currency of which nation you are trading upon. Redistributing the power to create these tools to the people, either individually or in small groups is a good idea to democratize control, but we already have a system for that, it's called the stock market. Every corporation, weather owned by one person or a million, can print and trade in stock, which is nothing less than printing it's own money. The value of that money depends directly upon the productivity of the business and the value it creates. The owners of that stock benefit directly. 

He seems to blame the tool, instead of the concept of ownership of natural resources and the artificial scarcity that concept creates. Defining natural resources such as air, water, land, energy as 'CAPITAL' is the problem, not the concept of currency or savings or credit or debt. Wealth is a measure of the value of our work, it is infinite, but the resources of this planet are not. There is no way to create 'absolute abundance' on a finite planet. You need an infinite number of planets, and we can't get interstellar without working together. "Money" creates a just system of trade to help us work together efficiently, without ceding control, power, autonomy to dictators. Consensus of judgement and true liberty can only happen if each person has the ability to control the value of their work. The merit of your choices is defined by the benefit to others, but the choices must be made by individuals, else we are not free. 
My contribution would be to sire children to create abundance of children, 3 hrs./week. I'll create my own society by following my passion and start the domino effect. Ubuntu Vegas!