I don't think we should be in denial that the Earth is terminal; or that our civilization can't go on the way it's going. That's not Cause-of-the-Month; that's fact.

And I don't think we should lose hope. The Spirit which brings us this crisis can also turn our misguided, heedless species (and selves) around, and bring about healing even in terminal conditions.

Should we be talking more about this?

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Even just this Wikipedia article on East India Inc. is a lot to take in, oh but for a better Timelines site (I feel we don't do enough with timelines). 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_India_Company
http://www.ampltd.co.uk/digital_guides/ren_man_series1_prt1/chronol...

Lets not exempt religious organizations aka organized religion from the same category of "yet too corrupt to be anything but counterproductive" i.e. in changing channels from CEOs to priests, I'm not sure I'm changing the moral caliber, or if I'd want to.  The Church of Scientology reminds me of all these other gold plated religions with a likely story, somehow premised on gaining power or at least prosperity, if among the faithful. Which isn't to say I disbelieve in "working with the grain" i.e. God's Will is not just another dumb idea to those who follow it (though what they do may appear clownish to others).

Turning to Quakers (again) I just want to reiterate we have some bragging rights and perhaps the ability to once again float identifiably Quaker brands, beyond just oats or chocolate or whatever.  I'm not forgetting the schools, Haverford in particular for purposes of storytelling i.e. our AFSC co-founder Rufus Jones was a philosophy teacher there, and contemporary of Cord Meyer's.  I had lunch with Sam Lanahan today, who knows Janney of Mary's Mosaic (conspiracy literature) -- part of that sprawling Irish clan that extends to Fitzgerald.  He's a local inventor.  The dots I'm connecting here would extend, then, to Laurel Canyon (I've been exploring one David McGowan's writings -- speaking of "closer to our own time" (the history of one's contemporaries)).

My own genealogy through Urner is well documented and really simple: the people of Uri (Swiss canton).  I present, our coat of arms (just in case there was any doubt about my Quaker cabal having ties to semi-secretive banking, helps with the atmospherics :-D).

family crest

Kirby, please take your bullshit out of the discussion I started awhile ago.

I won't delete it if that's what you're asking.  I think of you as just another poster here, not some kind of moderator, let me know if I'm wrong about that.

Kirby, when you start your own discussion -- I suggest "All About Kirby" for a title -- you're welcome to make it a moderated discussion where you can throw out anything that interferes with your subject.

You can tell Quakers all about Kirby's pedigreed, people-collection, obsessions, assortment of found misconceptions -- and I'm not going there, because I'm no more interested in your subject than you are in anyone else's.

I've always considered autobiography an authentic form of contribution and welcome it from others.  Helps keep it real ("write about what you know" etc.). However now that I understand your level of intolerance for others and their viewpoints, I will gladly leave you to your Doomed! and work to steer clear of your "discussions" in future.

Hey Paul Klinkman! --

How are we fixed for sources of quantitive information? (I know, when processes are accelerating a current figure might not tell us that much, but it's a start.)

I read things like the following:

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/12/03/message-paris-we-can-r... --

and I know that soil can hold a lot of CO2, while plants are (so far) the most efficient solar technology around.

So (aside from the politics of getting governments and corporations to relax their rigid grip on the Earth, allowing [or even assisting with] the use of land for the common human good) does this look plausible?

How do their figures compare with the ongoing effects of diminishing Arctic sea ice, increasing methane release, glacial melt? Does the damage industrial farming has so far done to the best land available leave us with enough good, or salvageable, soil to pull this off?

Thoughts?

To say that the Earth's condition is 'terminal' does not mean that its demise is certain. People with terminal illnesses don't always die -- but that's the way to bet.

In this case, that's not a tolerable situation, yet here we all are, already packed into life's Barfaminute carnival ride, moving down the tracks & picking up speed. That's a reality people need to take far more seriously than we like to.

In a larger context, God does have it all covered. But death, in God's perspective, is a mutable outcome. It could happen to us all, with no lasting harm -- yet in our human perspective, we'd rather see the Creation we know recover and flourish. "I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live." That's still the way it is.

I doubt that any human being knows enough to be sure what our possibilities are on the physical plane. We've got climate modeling and soil chemistry and human politics all needed for any firm prediction, all of them distinct specializations. The human politics have been stomping down the accelerator, giving lip service to (eventual) reduction while the emissions keep on climbing. We are squarely on track for the most-accepted climate models' 'worst case scenario'; most of these models don't yet incorporate the potential influence of known positive feedbacks in the system; and including these, so far as we can estimate them, doesn't improve the outlook.

We need to 'repent' -- not just turn around the way we've all been living, but "go beyond the mind that you have" (as Marcus Borg translates the ancient roots of that word.) We're into this farther than we can "figure" our way out; the situation calls instead for 'discerning what we're being led to do.'

The root of "repent" is "re-think". 

I'm telling anyone who will listen that we can and shall replace all major uses of fossil fuels. 

Heat to warm buildings up to 68 degrees F. in the morning can be from a solar heat storage device.  I predict that it can be competitive with current prices now, if built right.

We have a number of competing ways to generate solar-based electricity at night.  The century-old standby is hydropumping.  I suspect that solar thermal storage will win, for the most part.

My Attleboro, MA greenhouse grew tomato sprouts in the Frost Belt in January with only solar heat.  We can do better.   Vegetables are going to be local. 

The algae version of my greenhouse costs about $.60 per gallon for the hardware alone.  I'd like to see the cost of biodiesel hit $2.00/gallon, but $4.00/gallon wouldn't be too bad.  Biodiesel can displace 100% of otherwise unmet fossil fuel needs.

Next, we want to start sequestering carbon into the ground.  I've heard of one creative system that uses cattle or other herbivores.  If grassland is allowed to grow, plant roots often delve 6 feet underground.  If the grassland is grazed to within an inch of the soil once a year, all of that root system dies back except for about one inch below the soil.  That carbon in the former roots stays deep in the soil for thousands of years.  My own alternative would be to grow gigatons of algae in sealed containers in arid or tundra areas, then sell the biodiesel oil and bury the algae cell husks in big mountains, capped with clay.

This takes generations, and so we want to ameliorate the symptoms of climate change.  Wind-powered snow making machines on the Arctic tundra would coat the tundra with snow late in spring and early in fall, much as this happened naturally before climate change.  Then the snow would reflect sunlight back into space, the Arctic region would cool and an enormous Arctic methane release would be prevented.  Also, the Arctic Ocean needs to be cooled in winter.  Perhaps for $1 billion per year, passive thermal transfer devices would take heat out of the Arctic Ocean and move the heat into the Arctic winter air, from whence the heat would radiate off into space.  These designs are formulated to preserve the Arctic's natural flora and fauna.

We must protect millions of species from extinction, probably by freezing the fertilized eggs of the larger species and maintaining micro-zoos of the other species.

Finally, we must have a government that works.  Friends seem to understand things about wise government that our U.S. Congress lacks.  Let's work on that. 

"The algae version" of your greenhouse grows live algae inside the walls to add warmth? Directly, via absorption, both ways? Clever, simple... robust? The walls, I take it, are plastic? Long-term contamination from plasticizers? -- or is that just a side effect of our civilization making materials in unnecessarily short-sighted ways?

Burying algae husks? Not much other use for them?

Not letting more methane boil out of the Arctic; I think we can all agree on that!

"Government that works" (or corporations that work, for that matter. All part of one interlocking, interacting system of institutions influencing each other for the worse...) -- That may be the hardest part to accomplish.

So far as Friends have been mostly successful in governing ourselves, I suspect that comes down to our underlying follow-the-Leading concept of what we're trying to do together. Friends' ideas of what's going on in the world, outside our immediate jurisdiction, don't seem to be significantly better than most people's... so I can't say that it's been our own wisdom at work in that.

I really don't know how we (or anybody) could set up governments (or corporations, in the current criminogenic political environment) that actually do what they say they're doing, rather than the opposite! [Here we seem to be back in 'praying for miracles' territory! And not the sort of miracles that merely seem impossible physically, but miracles that would demand a whole different set of human attitudes, expectations, behavior... I guess that's something most people have been praying for all our lives, though, so I really shouldn't give up yet.]

Thanks for ideas, possible forms hope might take!

- "The algae version" of your greenhouse grows live algae inside the walls to add warmth?

 

No, the main difference between my vegetable greenhouse and my algae greenhouse is a water tank.  The algae greenhouse is nothing but a water tank with insulation around it, a little cap with a window on top to absorb the concentrated sunlight and a device to get the sunlight deep into the tank, to use the entire growing medium.  The sealed greenhouse can sit out on the Alaska tundra and grow algae 20 hours a day during summer, or it can sit in cool but arid parts of the West and grow algae all year.

 

- Long-term contamination from plasticizers?

No, my greenhouse doesn’t use plastic sheeting.  Builders have the option of using plastic foam as insulation in the walls.  Some builders won’t have anything to do with foam boards, and various substitute insulations are available.

 

Burying algae husks? Not much other use for them?

- Well, yes we can ferment some ethanol out of them.  Sequestering the hydrocarbons is only one option.

 

Not letting more methane boil out of the Arctic; I think we can all agree on that!

- Approve.

 

"Government that works" (or corporations that work, for that matter. All part of one interlocking, interacting system of institutions influencing each other for the worse...) -- That may be the hardest part to accomplish.

- I see pretty good social enterprises and occasionally I also see stinky ones where the CEO is royally paid.  I saw the Clamshell Alliance show a bit of the wisdom of Quaker decision-making and twice the heartache too, probably because most Clams had no spiritual base behind their consensus process.

 

I really don't know how we (or anybody) could set up governments (or corporations, in the current criminogenic political environment) that actually do what they say they're doing, rather than the opposite! [Here we seem to be back in 'praying for miracles' territory! And not the sort of miracles that merely seem impossible physically, but miracles that would demand a whole different set of human attitudes, expectations, behavior... I guess that's something most people have been praying for all our lives, though, so I really shouldn't give up yet.]

- Once upon a time, a Quaker corporation was a tool usually used for a higher purpose, for the survival and prospering of the Quaker community and of the Quaker message to the world.  Profit was important or the business owner’s meeting would be saddled with debt, but integrity in business was also important because it reflected on the integrity of Quakerism’s message.  Also, the end purpose of excess profit was hopefully some community concern.  The local meeting was often a “silent” partner in the business.

- Juries use consensus process.  11-1 hung juries are occasionally frustrating.  The major complaint that I hear about juries is all-white juries wrongly convicting black men.  Otherwise people seem to have a respect for jury decisions that they don’t have for, say, Congress. 

Now I remember those designs on your site. I think of 'a greenhouse' as 'a box that lets light in all over and keeps heat in' -- but for you it means: 'a box that keeps heat in -- and lets light in only where it's coming from.'

It sounds like it should be obvious, but since it requires a conceptional shift -- a 're- thinking' of what's really required & how best to do it -- I didn't entirely get it the first time.

That is, I got it -- but the concept I'd come in with still kept getting in the way of seeing it.

"we have to talk to the other people who actually are open to the fact that what we are looking at is a scientifically well-understood area."

...

"You are very critical of models that rely on negative emissions through technologies that remove carbon dioxide. Explain.

KEVIN ANDERSON: Yes. This comes back to this idea we all want to sit within our current political and economic framework. We don't want to question it. But when we are looking at a temperature - a 2 degrees C temperature rise, which I say, you know, is a huge shift in the average temperature for the planet, then we have a certain carbon budget, a certain amount of carbon dioxide that we can emit into the atmosphere over the century. And we know that very well from the science. The problem is, we have emitted so much of that, we've used up so much of that budget - like money in your bank account, we've spent that money already - that what's left is so small, so that if we are going to stay within that budget, we now have to either make dramatic changes to how we live our lives - people like me and you, we have to, you know, fly much less, if fly at all, live in smaller houses, drive much less, consume less goods. So, those of us that - the wealthy parts of the society will have to make those sorts of changes. But because we're - the scientists are reluctant to make that point politically, what they're saying is, we can increase the size of the carbon budget by this dial here, which means that we will - can suck the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere in 2050 to 2070 with a technology that just does not exist at the moment. So we are putting already almost all of our eggs in a basket that - a technology that does not exist. At some point a long way in the future, we'll suck the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.."

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33953-top-climate-expert-crisis-...

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