Should we, a decade or so ago, call for a moratorium on Quaker grannies flying about to visit grandchildren and/or to Appreciate the world?

[See http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/27714-are-humans-going-extinct -- Guy McPherson is not the most reassuring scientific viewpoint out there, but might well, in cold fact, turn out to be the most accurate...]

Human civilization is clearly way out past the cliff edge, ready to enjoy a Wiley Coyote Moment should we chance to look down. Noble gestures can at best "let us think we're doing something." But it does feel wrong that Quakers should go on blithely doing our bits for destruction, just like our heedless neighbors...

Views: 445

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Paul,  it wasn't Quaker Grandmothers who asked permission to fly or advice about how to live. I have never been so angry at a post as I am at this one the original post about the moratorium on Quaker Grannies flying.    It is sexist, age-ist and condescending and it devalues the life and worth of older women and frames it all as a joke.  Even goes on to joke further, "No Quaker Grannies were massacred in this post." Sometimes jokes can hide deep, cutting disrespect.  In religious life as people get older their contributions change, sometimes involve travel to minister to family or serve. There is a period of time when the work world life is closing and there is still enough of health and strength to offer service. Older women have value.  I don't fly, I travel in other ways, and I do continue to consume resources, that's why I asked, well, should I go die out in the wilderness and let endangered species feast on me?   We don't need to get online and list our various righteous works concerning spirit, nor the righteous works concerning proper stewardship on the physical, temporal plane.   .     . Those of us who are Quakers contemplate these things and make their own personal judgments about what sacrifices to make, what service to give, what to boycott, what to support.    .   It seems few women post on this website at all anymore, and probably a lot of Quaker grandmothers are too busy serving others and too humble to protest.  Not too humble to protest, Laura
 
Paul Klinkman said:

Friends are at their best when they take things personally. 

One day John Woolman could no longer deal with writing a bill of sale for some customer’s slave.  That was the turning point.  Did he spend the rest of his life as a shopkeeper refusing to write certain documents?  No!  He spent the rest of his life traveling and worshiping with Quaker slaveowners, so that the power of God came over them and they couldn’t own slaves either.

Most of us are uneasy with the government’s parade of oil wars.  Do we simply not enlist in the army?  No!  We actively work against the oil wars in many ways.  We use our minds when we counter-recruit.  Some of us study nonviolence as an academic discipline.  Some of us are regularly right out there in public abhorring wars.

Now we come to a simple question of whether grandmas will abstain from flying to see their grandchildren.  Maybe some will, but is that the lifetime end of their protest or the turning point?

As for me, I have recycled newspapers in 1979 when all of recycling was one tiny experiment over one square mile of houses.  I rode my bike in the 1970s when I was a complete goon and not a hipster for doing this.  I’ve been arrested.  I’ve walked in long-distance peace marches.  I attended weekly peace vigils for years.  I can do the symbolic protests, but in my opinion that’s not what shall truly inhibit climate change.

In the 1940s the March of Dimes raised funds to conquer polio.  They funded the Salk and Sabin vaccines.  Those were different times, when Jonas Salk said that he didn’t want to make money on the vaccine, but he only wanted to end polio.  Someday soon you shall read that polio in the wild has been eradicated from the last village in northwestern Pakistan, and so it’s now gone from the face of the earth.

This can happen again with solar.  I believe that worldwide climate change is certainly inhibited on every day that any major solar energy product gets cheaper and more effective.  Speaking as an experienced inventor holding two solar patents and counting, I believe that companies aren’t experimenting hard enough on the cutting edge of backyard solar energy products, the kind of products that can be rolled out and ramped up quickly.  In my opinion a March of Dimes-style campaign for solar product development would win a great victory soon. 

Would this cause some kind of capitalist food fight over the new solar?  It might.  As a world we might be willing pay that price.  However, it’s just as likely that we can own our own heat and electricity.

So, my advice to grandmothers is, fly as long as you can.  Just don’t expect that not flying is the end-all.

Dear Laura,

Your point about not stereotyping Quakers as grandmothers is taken.  Modern Friends have fought pretty hard to be an intergenerational, sustainable faith.  Some yearly meetings are overrun with Young Friends, and, increasingly, with Young Adult Friends.

My intent was to echo the original post.  What I have to say about climate and conscience actually applies to Friends in general.

With exceptions of course, older Friends and disabled Friends often have fewer options with which to avoid the use of fossil fuels or renewables.  They need heat in winter to stave off lung infections where 20 year olds might survive the cold better.  They need transportation where 20 year olds might bike or walk.  The same act of personal climate conscience might be rarer and might mean more, coming from someone less able to give.

Yours in Hope,

Paul


Laura Scattergood said:

Hi Paul,  it wasn't Quaker Grandmothers who asked permission to fly or advice about how to live. I have never been so angry at a post as I am at this one the original post about the moratorium on Quaker Grannies flying.    It is sexist, age-ist and condescending and it devalues the life and worth of older women and frames it all as a joke.  Even goes on to joke further, "No Quaker Grannies were massacred in this post." Sometimes jokes can hide deep, cutting disrespect.  In religious life as people get older their contributions change, sometimes involve travel to minister to family or serve. There is a period of time when the work world life is closing and there is still enough of health and strength to offer service. Older women have value.  I don't fly, I travel in other ways, and I do continue to consume resources, that's why I asked, well, should I go die out in the wilderness and let endangered species feast on me?   We don't need to get online and list our various righteous works concerning spirit, nor the righteous works concerning proper stewardship on the physical, temporal plane.   .     . Those of us who are Quakers contemplate these things and make their own personal judgments about what sacrifices to make, what service to give, what to boycott, what to support.    .   It seems few women post on this website at all anymore, and probably a lot of Quaker grandmothers are too busy serving others and too humble to protest.  Not too humble to protest, Laura

Okay, potentially there's enough energy in one square foot of sunlight to do a great deal... but then inefficiencies in making use of more than a small part of that put that ideal potential far out of reach.

Just plain heat -- absorption of infrared to boil water, cook food & melt various things -- That can use a wide range of frequencies. But heat is a pretty crude form of energy, inefficient for things like generating electricity.

Anything more efficient -- like a plant's use of a few high wavelengths to make sugars -- seems to be limited to some particular chemical molecule taking in a photon of the frequency it's 'tuned' to absorb, then kicking out an electron with that energy. That sort of process seems necessarily limited to a narrowly-specified frequency.

So while I know people keep coming up with new, more efficient materials for picking up solar energy -- I can't find a great deal of hope in it, barring an outright miracle. O'Neill had some promising ideas for space-based facilities, but that would have taken a massive industrial effort -- which would itself have initially affected the climate much more adversely than he probably realized -- and in any case, the major energy companies find the sources they already know, and monopolize, much preferable.

And of course, here in the western US, a simple, effective way of taking & using the water out of damp air -- natural rainfall looking to be diminished for some very long time -- could help a lot.

But I'm not expecting to see any adequate technical fix pop up while this civilization holds to its present course. I think we're experiencing our present abundance of mortal threats precisely because we've been collectively disregarding our need for a better spiritual attunement -- so that until that's fixed, or rapidly approaching 'fixed', we can expect any mitigation of our danger to be limited, temporary, or both.

(?)

Forest, my question is as follows: Does our concern for the environmental damage done by our consumption and greed show a  lack of faith in God's plan for sustaining us until He brings this story to its appointed end?

I'd say the 'appointed end' to this story is something like "and they all lived happily ever after," while what happens meanwhile might take a great many different routes.

Right now we're in a position like having a cop tell us, "We can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way" -- but we're collectively mixed-up as to what's really 'hard' or 'easy.' What looks 'easy' to most people now seems to end with us-all in the position of a guy locked up & charged with assaulting fifty cops while they all gathered around whacking on him and yelling 'Stop resisting!'

For me, it all looks like God raising the ante in hopes of waking us up before we get to that point. But we'd better fold, quick!

I tend to agree with Paul Klinkman. There are many things we can do in our own personal space and many may not make a big impact. Often a good start is if we just start doing "something" which has an impact for the good of those around us, it's at least a start. However I feel if we think our own personal "ideal" of what we run with to be the thing that will make the biggest change we will kid ourselves into a false sence of accomplishment. Little things do make a difference but don't count on them being the answer even if you think they are.

I'm a solar inventor.

Forrest Curo said:

Just plain heat -- absorption of infrared to boil water, cook food & melt various things -- That can use a wide range of frequencies. But heat is a pretty crude form of energy, inefficient for things like generating electricity.

First of all, sunlight can be concentrated to any strength.  It shouldn't be concentrated outdoors -- solar power towers are killing too many birds -- but if you should need 1000 degrees Fahrenheit it can be concentrated safely indoors. 

Second, my patent number #8,823197, viewable online, can use rather tenuous heat to generate electricity.  My solar chimney can easily run on a 30 degrees Fahrenheit temperature difference between outdoor air and solar heated air.  It can run on the waste heat from a standard solar farm in the desert.   Personally I'd want to run my chimneys at much higher relative temperatures in order to lower electricity costs.  However, if someone just builds a chimney and it quietly generates electricity day after day (and at night too if the rock bed option is used) for a lifetime without much complaint and with few moving parts, there's not much need for fossil fuel electricity anymore.

So while I know people keep coming up with new, more efficient materials for picking up solar energy -- I can't find a great deal of hope in it, barring an outright miracle.

You don't need more than glass and mirrors for picking up high-quality solar heat.  I already have a linear trough that can be manually adjusted once a week.  It makes a shed into a great solar greenhouse -- tomato weather in January in rough climates, more sun than current greenhouses, the building won't collapse under heavy snow and it's cheap and easy to build. 

We need to invent more robust mirror tracking systems, so that houses under tall trees can have sunlight and solar heat all day.  That could take a couple of years.

O'Neill had some promising ideas for space-based facilities, but that would have taken a massive industrial effort --

I'm a space colonies inventor like you have never seen.  I just wouldn't use all of that technology here.  One exception:  one of my patents pending can lower our world's energy cost launching satellites and manned missions into space.

And of course, here in the western US, a simple, effective way of taking & using the water out of damp air -- natural rainfall looking to be diminished for some very long time -- could help a lot.

If a great deal of damp air is sent perhaps 5,000 feet up the side of a mountain, water starts condensing inside the chimney.  As the water condenses it releases latent heat, driving the air in the chimney harder.  I call it hurricane fuel.  The side effect is distilled water.  The chimney can run on warm, not even hot, geothermal water or on seawater.  How's that?  I have other solar desalination inventions.

But I'm not expecting to see any adequate technical fix pop up while this civilization holds to its present course.

The ideas are here.  I'm a prolific inventor, so that most of my inventions have dozens of components.  I'm certain that one or two of my components will fail for some reason, but the rest of the wave of innovations will succeed.  The only reason that an adequate technical fix won't pop up is first because of the clampdown, and second because too few good people cared.  The fault isn't in the stars, but in ourselves.

I ask for a social entrepreneurship dedicated to developing climate change inventions and getting them on the street at affordable prices, with good integrity.  My inventions are good.  If you can find better, go with those.

"The only reason that an adequate technical fix won't pop up is first because of the clampdown..."

Hey, I don't know precisely what you mean by 'clampdown' but I think your answer might go a long ways towards clarifying the situation & the obstacles to addressing it!

?

Did you catch the entire 2012 Republican National Convention mocking President Obama in unison for his not denying climate change?  Beyond that, many of us know that President Obama has been in favor of fracking and of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, except when disasters occur.  We have pretty much the entire government in favor of fossil fuels.  This bias has profound consequences.

If you're either an inventor or an entrepreneur with an inventor friend, you'll soon learn that the government likes to keep the profits of large companies flowing when enormous campaign contributions are at stake.   So, the government performs a tap dance.  They say that they're all 110% in favor of solar, but then the Department of Energy's SBIR grant areas are all about hydrogen fusion and clean coal.  The Department of Energy doesn't support solar research financially.  Nobody has ever embarrassed Congress enough about this hole in their funding. 

Government rules and regulations favor the rich and well-connected.  They don't favor the meritorious.   I just was tripped up by an unwritten grant proposal demand that you file with grants.gov seven to ten days before the published deadline for any grant. 

Patent laws were just changed.  It used to be that if you were first to invent something, you could get a patent.  The rules were changed to "first to file".  A (hopefully) unintended consequence of this rule is that corporate espionage pays off well these days.  Steal an invention, concoct a slightly phony story of how an apple hit you on the head one day, and someone else's work is all yours.  In any case, mere mortals haven't been able to negotiate the patent system for many years.  Large companies like it that way. 

Real inventors put 95% of their effort into the inventing process.  If you force an inventor to become a lawyer, to become an entrepreneur, to become a great salesman, you get a mediocre inventor.  Perhaps that's why there are almost no solar inventors.  The arcane craft must be done by people willing to live on next to nothing for a long time.  Who other than a war tax resistor wants to do that?

So, you not only need to live on next to nothing, but come up with ideas that can be implemented on next to nothing (and that you can only hope won't be outlawed, or patented by someone wanting to suppress their use...

Is there any patent equivalent of the gnu software license? I mean, basically this idea works for software because 1) Many for-profit companies find it more convenient than needing to write and/or pay fees for the software they need and 2) Some pretty sharp people have been writing things they wanted available for their own use, and don't need to profit from otherwise.

Fuels, tools, heavy construction equipment, & the expertise to use them properly -- all these things take bucks to acquire & operate. The potential monetary gain would be less than what any plausible scoundrel should net from a good financial scam.

People operating within Mammon-worship economic mode will be simply unable to do this.

But are some such projects within reach of a cooperative effort? [There might be a great deal of engineering & manufacturing talent out there, artificially idled by a ponsi economy... maybe just mad enough to work for cussedness & table scraps....? ]

----

Would your condensation idea work well enough on a smaller scale? Few hundred feet, plastic supported by kites or balloons if nobody has a mountain handy? Or was your 5000 ft scale essential to practical results?

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.


You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Kirby Urner posted a video

Promised Land

In the School of Tomorrow, we learn how to think globally before acting locally. Here's a link to the 'Tower of Babel' video I mention in passing: http://www...
3rd day (Tue)
Windy Cooler posted a video

Releasing Ministry Alliance Opps 1 Under the Care of final

“Under the Care of” July 10, 2019 8-9 pm Eastern time What does holding a ministry “under the care of” a meeting entail? Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting (Baltim...
2nd day (Mon)
Keith Saylor posted a blog post

A Different ministration of Life in relation to others.

I am encouraged and grateful my research into early Quakers is revealing many people within the…See More
7th day (Sat)
Kirby Urner posted a video

Happy Birthday Bucky

July 12 is Buckminster Fuller's birthday. Here's a "Quaker rant" to celebrate.
7th month 13
Windy Cooler updated their profile
7th month 11
Windy Cooler posted photos
7th month 11
Kirby Urner posted a blog post

A Patriotic Speech

I mention my Quaker ethnicity in this one. I'm sharing my sense of history. For related videos,…See More
7th month 9
Kirby Urner commented on Kirby Urner's blog post 'Journaling a Departure'
"I mention leaving the Facebook group somewhat obliquely in this video below, in which I share about…"
7th month 8

© 2019   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service