Posts Tagged ‘Coal’

Energetically, We Are Still Mostly Neanderthal. We Need More Science, Not More Puritanism

February 27, 2021

Neanderthals used coal 80,000 years ago, as an energy source [1]. Hydrocarbons are still our main energy source, and we did not find an energy technology which can replace it. In energy procurement, we didn’t progress much. Indeed… The Chinese mined and used coal 6,000 years ago, the Ancient Greeks used it for metal work: the Greek scientist and student of Aristotle Theophrastus (c. 371–287 BC):

Among the materials that are dug because they are useful, those known as coals are made of earth, and, once set on fire, they burn like charcoal. They are found in Liguria [Italy]… and in Elis as one approaches Olympia by the mountain road; and they are used by those who work in metals.

In 12th Century China, iron works, fed by coal, produced more pig-iron in just one region than the whole of Britain produced in Britain annually in the 1700s. The Aztecs also used coal for decoration and fuel. Many want to go “green”… evoking pleasantly the color of chlorophyll, soft and tender, soothing salad of soft feelings. Instead, real energy, that from the Sun is white-hot, as seen from space (the Sun’s color mellows down to yellowish after getting through Earth’s thick atmosphere… the equivalent in density to ten meters of water… and 100 kilometers in distance).

The Paris Climate Accord clownish signatories pretend to believe we will solve the climate crisis through abstinence in the most democratic countries, or through copious helpings of wishful thinking. In truth, they were just promoting themselves.
Biden has rejoined Paris like a Crusader rushed to Jerusalem. Left to the old instruments we have to create energy, it will be a bloodbath: when the Crusaders entered Jerusalem, blood came to their knees (they themselves declared).
Right now Brazil is destroying the Amazon, to convert it to agricultural exploitation, China and India, with a combined population of more than three billions, are constructing coal plants at a record pace. All this is Paris chic. COAL PRODUCTION IS AUGMENTING:

Coal production from Paris Accord signatories is augmenting spectacularly, and scheduled to augment much more. Tightening the belt of the West will not change this much, although the coal policies of Poland and Japan are to be deplored, the lack of alternatives is to be deplored even more.

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In the matter of CO2 production, what should progressives push for? Getting out of Neanderthalian technology for good, in the dimension of energy. There is no cause for panic: we, our civilization, can take serious melting of the poles, with an overall augmentation of two to three degrees centigrades above the present. It would be dramatic, sea levels will jump, and so will droughts and floods, but it would be survivable. What we cannot take is to see CO2 emissions keep on climbing because we did not develop replacement energy. 

Keeping on climbing in CO2 production is what the Paris Accord convened implicitly to do, because it did not aim to bring forth an effort towards researching and developing a new energy source, instead pretending viciously that what we have technologically is enough. Instead, it is not. We need more science.

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Dreams of space colonization, or of a “non carbon” future collide with a simple fact: our compact energy source is still hydrocarbons. At best, methane, CH4. So-called “Green Hydrogen”, hydrogen made from “renewable”sources would not be useful in space, because it would have to come from H2O, which is more precious… in space. On the ground, a complex economy around “Green Hydrogen”, storing renewable energy as hydrogen or derivatives thereof, will take many decades to develop, and require huge amounts of hydrocarbons to install. Energetically, we are still Neanderthals.

Reciprocally, though, if we had compact thermonuclear fusion, we could start colonizing space right away, enabling a de-concentration of resources. Mars’ land area is equal to Earth land area. It looks easier to colonize Mars than the bottom of the seas (a question of pressure differences). SpaceX style robotic rockets could land factories on Mars and start to build cities and make habitat and oxygen.

Another nuclear technology, fission, could reduce travel times in the solar system, and augment the payloads carried, by using nuclear fusion heavy duty nuclear tugs which would commute between Earth and various celestial bodies… Including Ceres, which has two drastic advantages on Mars: plenty of easy to access water, and a very low gravity well.

So it all boils down to energy.

Although we do have photovoltaics, they are not very efficient (20%-45%), and they need large surfaces… and also the Sun! So our main energy source is still fully Neanderthalian!

We need ENERGY progress… And create a new powerful, convenient, 24/7 energy source, as the Neanderthals did… when they alighted lignite.

Something which strikes me about proposed space colonies is the waste of space in the proposed concepts. Of course, in the beginnings, we are not going to try to recreate Iowa in space. Agriculture will probably be hydroponic, concentrated… Starting with Moon colonies: the Moon has a lot of solar energy, especially on these tall crater rims by the south pole on which the sun does not set… And the Moon has water, much more than we thought it had… There again, caught in the regolith, so it has to be energetically extracted…

Water on the Moon, or Mars, will all boil down, but we need energy.

Fortunately, NASA is seeing the light again. Perseverance, which just landed on Mars, is NUCLEAR powered. Solar energized probes failed, because they were solar (dust covered the panels, not enough energy anyway). NASA is also realizing that nuclear fission will enable us to get to Mars in 6 weeks, not 8 months.

Of course the anti-science,anti-technology, anti-colonization, anti-reason critters are seriously in the way… Although their ancestors were colonialists… and not necessarily nice colonialists or slave masters… At least Kamala Harris is discrete on that one (Her ancestor Mr. Harris was a wealthy English lawyer cum slave owner)… Not like Michelle Obama… Let me explain: Obama cut down hydrogen research, to the bone, Trump re-established it. Although Biden presents himself as science president, demonstrated by wearing two masks while vaccinated, investors are not clear about whether he is not saying one thing, to cover the fact that he is doing the opposite, as Obama did. 

And the first real hard data indications on Biden’s science drift are not reassuring: whereas under Trump the overall US Congress mandated science budget augmented 17% a year, average, the first Biden budget has only an augmentation of 1% of the science budget, a small fraction of real inflation.  

We would probably already have a functional thermonuclear fusion reactor, if the spending in controlled thermonuclear fusion was open full throttle (ITER was pushed back ten years from lack of funding…). Basically controlled thermonuclear fusion is, at this point, a question of figuring out the details (ITER does not use the best magnets possible, because it does not use High Temperature Magnets; also ITER does not have an energy production system attached, something that will make heat disposal harder to achieve!)

Instead the so-called “Democratic” Congress wants to spend 120 million dollars, in the latest “COVID” stimulus budget, building a tunnel in Silicon Valley below San Jose (several hundreds of millions were already spent on the same system last year… Under Trump). Silicon Valley plutocrats did not want to hear the train anymore, and thus have delayed electrification of railroad lines! The existing train line passes next to Atherton, the wealthiest city in the USA, made of palaces next to downtown Palo Alto (I have two train lines below my windows, I survive… But my wealthy (ex)friends in SV in their leafy ten million dollars homes can’t stand the possible rumble… although they don’t mind the roar of their private jets… to go skiing…)  

Why are the anti-colonization critters so loud? Because, as with animal rights, passion about nothing much diverts from debating the ongoing much more severe real problems, such as the molding and selling of our souls by the tech monopolies, and their financial sponsors, for profit…

Patrice Ayme

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[1] The Mousterian site of Les Canalettes, France (dating to ca. 73,500 years BP) was the first such site discovered in 1996 (more have been found since). It was determined later that there were plenty of trees around at the time, that could have been burned, and that our ancestral Neanderthals burned coal and, or, bone, for technological reasons (the absence of flames enables to heat surfaces such as flint, better; similarly ancient iron production with coal made steel, which is better in several ways than iron)

An English summary of early Neanderthal coal research research (Goldberg and Sherwood 2006:29) concludes as follows:

“Les Canalettes is a shelter in the Causse du Larzac region of France. It contains Mousterian remains dating to the last glacial, about 73.5 ka. Most interesting is the occurrence of what appears to be burned lignite, which was likely used as fuel and was available as close as 5–15 km from the site, well within the acquisition zone of raw materials. Analysis of wood remains in the site suggests that people used coal when wood was in short supply. Furthermore, experiments by Théry-Parisot demonstrated that the occupants were familiar with some of the burning characteristics of the fuel. For example, adding lignite to a fire which no longer exhibited flames added significantly to the burning duration, thus permitting rekindling of the fire at a much later stage and prolonging the ability to heat. In addition, the study found that a hearth mixed with dried wood and lignite, consumed 4 times less wood than a hearth simply using rotted wood. These results provide important insights, suggesting that Neanderthals exhibited a clear knowledge of the combustible properties for diverse fuels.”

Australia As We Knew It, Is Gone

February 16, 2020

There is a world catastrophe going on. We started it. This is the greatest threat to the biosphere in 66 million years. “Climate Change” media call it, because they want to please the fossil fuel financial plutocracy which is smothering the planet. However, the climate is changing to the Jurassic… in a few decades (instead of millions of years). Species don’t have the time to adapt…. Except the real small ones, the viruses, bacteria, and countless parasites which kill trees by the billions. 

So how is this “climate change” going to manifest itself? Well, the first thing is that ALL the temperate forests are going to deperish, die and burn, roaring from winds as never imagined before. This just happened in Australia and Corsica: air tankers couldn’t fly. All this enormous burning will not just augment CO2, it will decrease oxygen. Already oxygen has disappeared from giant swathes of the ocean. At any time, the unstable methane ice on the Siberian continental shelf could erupt: there is more of it than all other fossil fuels.

So what are Australians doing? Getting wealthy by using and selling coal, to China, Japan, etc. Australians, per capita, per year, emit from usage or export, 80 tons of CO2. France’s, and the world average, is five (5) tons, 16 times less. Australia is hoisted on its own petard, and it burns.  

So, let me repeat to be very clear: this is not a question of “change”. This is a question of holocaust (= whole-burn), the greatest holocaust of the biosphere in 66 million years. And it’s not just plants and animals which will die en masse… 

Patrice Ayme

***

Lake Conjola, a seaside resort east of the capital Canberra. People had to flee into the sea, 89 houses burned. New Year Eve, Dec 31, 2019.

***

Let’s one chuckle, California, where the drought got re-started in 2020, is next…

The preceding was, word for word, a comment of mine sent to the NYT. My comment was censored (= barred from publication). Why? Same old, same old… Although my subscription costs is hundreds of dollars a year, and just went up, because the Times told me, it was searching for truth… The New York Times can’t have enough of blocking my comments… and stealing the ideas therein (what else? Didn’t like my, correct, usage of the word “holocaust? Or is it because I implied the media was cooperating with the fossil fuel + financial plutocracy conspiracy?) Here is the beginning of the New York Times article:

The End of Australia as We Know It
What many of us have witnessed this fire season feels alive and monstrous…

SYDNEY, Australia — In a country where there has always been more space than people, where the land and wildlife are cherished like a Picasso, nature is closing in. Fueled by climate change and the world’s refusal to address it, the fires that have burned across Australia are not just destroying lives, or turning forests as large as nations into ashen moonscapes.

They are also forcing Australians to imagine an entirely new way of life. When summer is feared. When air filters hum in homes that are bunkers, with kids kept indoors. When birdsong and the rustle of marsupials in the bush give way to an eerie, smoky silence.

“I am standing here a traveler from a new reality, a burning Australia,” Lynette Wallworth, an Australian filmmaker, told a crowd of international executives and politicians in Davos, Switzerland, last month. “What was feared and what was warned is no longer in our future, a topic for debate — it is here.”

“We have seen,” she added, “the unfolding wings of climate change.”

Like the fires, it’s a metaphor that lingers. What many of us have witnessed this fire season does feel alive, like a monstrous gathering force threatening to devour what we hold most dear on a continent that will grow only hotter, drier and more flammable as global temperatures rise.

It’s also a hint of what may be coming to a town, city or country near you.

And in a land usually associated with relaxed optimism, anxiety and trauma have taken hold. A recent Australia Institute survey found that 57 percent of Australians have been directly affected by the bush fires or their smoke. With officials in New South Wales announcing Thursday that heavy rain had helped them finally extinguish or control all the state’s fires that have raged this Australian summer, the country seems to be reflecting and wondering what comes next.

The present 2020 Australian PM, Scott Morrison became Prime Minister by holding a lump of coal in Parliament, arguing. to great approval of Australian political class, that it was time to burn even more coal. “NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF, DON’T BE SCARED!”, he laughed around… Are this sort of people not just criminal against the biosphere, but also criminals against humanity?

Robyn Eckersley, a political scientist at the University of Melbourne who has written extensively about environmental policy around the world. “It does change everything — or it should… specifically, she said, the economy needs to change, not just moving away from fossil fuels, a major export, but also from thirsty crops like rice and cotton.

Building regulations will probably stiffen too, she said. Already, there are signs of growing interest in designs that offer protections from bush fires, and regulators are looking at whether commercial properties need to be made more fireproof as well.

The biggest shifts, however, may not be structural so much as cultural.

Climate change threatens heavy pillars of Australian identity: a life lived outdoors, an international role where the country “punches above its weight,” and an emphasis on egalitarianism that, according to some historians, is rooted in Australia’s settlement by convicts.

Since the fires started, tens of millions of acres have been incinerated in areas that are deeply connected to the national psyche.

… Smoke may be more of a catalyst than flame. For much of the summer, a fog of soot has smothered Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. In Sydney alone, there were 81 days of hazardous, very poor or poor air quality last year, more than the previous 10 years combined. And until the recent rains, the smell of smoke often returned.

Mike Cannon-Brookes, Australia’s most famous tech billionaire, called it part of a broader awakening.

“It’s bringing home the viscerality of what science and scientists have been telling us is going to happen,” he said.

There’s unity in that, as so many have seen climate change up close and personal. But there’s also inequality. The air filters selling out at hardware stores last month cost close to $1,000 each.”

***

P/S: NYT published my comment above, well after this essay was published. By then, with a 24 hours delay, nobody read my comment, but NYT can claim I was not censored: Pluto mission accomplished!

 

 

Thanks Coal Black Hearts: New Ocean Heat Record

January 14, 2020

The heat in the world’s oceans reached a new record level in 2019, demonstrating “irrefutable and accelerating” heating of the planet. 2019 is also the second hottest year ever, after 2016 (heated up by an El Nino). A lot of facts are irrefutable and accelerating, nowadays, but, just as when World War Two was coming, the more so, the more glumly the ostriches bury their heads in the sand.

The world’s oceans are the clearest measure of the climate emergency because they absorb more than 93% of the heat trapped by the greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuel burning, forest destruction and other (in)human activities.

Oceans absorb most of the CO2. However they do this much less now, basically because the upper layers are getting saturated, and stagnant, as ocean upwelling is short circuited by hot water on top.  

This slowing of ocean mixing has another effect. It stifles the transport of nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate from deeper waters to the surface, which diminishes the growth of phytoplankton, which store carbon in their tissue as a product of photosynthesis. The sinking biological material takes the carbon (from CO2) with it to the deep ocean when the organisms die. It’s another way that carbon can be removed from the ocean surface… However, this is faltering, all the more as carbonic acid (from CO2) gnaws on plankton. Altogether, oxygen production and CO2 absorption by the oceans are diminishing. All such diminutions could lead into mass extinction: actually vast swathes of oceans are now going oxygen free. Fishes such as Marlins now avoid deep diving (their speciality) in many areas, because they would suffocate if they did.

The probability of an exponential explosion in temperature is heating up: that graph above is starting to look like an exponential, thus growing proportional to itself.

The latest analysis commented here, shows the past five years are the top five warmest years recorded in the ocean and the past 10 years are also the top 10 years on record. The amount of heat being added to the oceans is equivalent to every person on the planet running 100 microwave ovens all day and all night. It’s also equal to exploding 3.6 billion Hiroshima size bombs… in the last 25 years.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing used statistical methods to interpolate heat levels in the few places where there was no data, such as under the Arctic ice cap. An independent analysis of the same data by the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration shows that same increasing heat trend.

It’s ironic that the news that the oceans are heating up ever more, ever faster, come from China (is China becoming more democratic?) China’s coal production, nearly 4 billion tons, has never been so high:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-output-coal/china-june-coal-output-hits-record-high-as-miners-ramp-up-ahead-of-summer-idUSKCN1UA07O

Coal is the most CO2 generating fuel (as it has little hydrogen, that is, methane). Basically, 4 billion tons of Chinese coal burns into 12 billion tons of CO2. 

Some will scoff that yours truly is panicking. But I am not. I find the situation extremely interesting in all sorts of way, from the physics, to the ethical and psychological. It’s extraordinary to have a seat at the theater playing the greatness madness, ever. Simply, the catastrophe is becoming ever more likely. 

According to my computations, one degree centigrade of temperature increase corresponds to moving towards the poles by 200 kilometers. When that touches the Polar Circle at 66 degrees latitude, each degree will correspond to a reduction of the polar regions of 20% Hence their albedo, the reflecting power of white snow. Some have computed that the disappearance of sea ice would reduce Earth albedo so much that global temperatures would go up one full degree centigrade, just from that. 

Well before that, the Methane Clathrates should release catastrophically. 

See the pretty Methane Ice pictures in:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/2-c-is-too-much/ 

The vast, and shallow Siberian ocean is full of them. Methane, CH4, has a greenhouse warming potential more than 25 times CO2. I compute that CH4 and other man-made gases contribute nearly 20% to global warming. 

Estimate of the ocean energy budget.
The energy budgets are relative to the 1958–1962 base period. The integrated net radiative imbalance from Allan et al. (65) estimated from the TOA is included in yellow and is multiplied by 0.93 to be comparable with the ocean energy budget. The TOA radiation is adjusted to the value of OHC within 2013–2014. The dashed gray lines encompass the 95% confidence interval.The shallower, the warmer the ocean is getting. The little volcanoes at the bottom degree the three largest volcanic eruptions during the period, which lowered the global temperatures considerably. Pinatubo decreased temps by half a degree centigrade…

Coal has never been doing better: the fraud known as Dr. Merkel is shutting down the German nuclear electricity production, because when she goes to bed, she sees Fukushimas in her head, and to better show the world how to smother us all with lignite, the worst coal.  

India also needs ever more coal: oil  and uranium, it has none (and, differently from Germany, is not as advanced; so India is excused). Speaking of which… Scared by Fukushima, like a child by a big, bad ogre, an irrational Japan is giving up on nuclear power. 

Japan got into World War Two of completely irrational reasons: besides the fact that it was a horrible thing to do, it could only lose. Same problem with Germany, Italy. But there are countries where deep irrationality is a national tradition… under a cover of cold reason. Japan has no good reason to discontinue nuclear (instead of developing new tech)… Only a reason to move out of Fukushima style (generation II) nuclear reactors… Especially without proper emergency generators. Japan, Germany and the like could have developed thorium reactors… So could France, Britain…  Coal kills already thousands of Japanese a year, whereas peaceful uranium kills basically none… 

Anyway, so Japan is moving out of 1950s nuclear technology, so Japan will need… Coal. Yes, if you don’t like the 1950s, go back to the 1850s. Any logic makes sense, for idiots. Ever more coal. But Japan has none. 

***

So where is Japan going to get all this coal to smother people and kill the oceans? Where from, the equipment for this Pearl Harbor against life itself?  Hey, equally short-sighted Australia! Coal, direct from the incontinently Burning Continent! Auschwitz used to be a discreet affair, but now the generalized Holocaust (Holo-Caust = Whole-Burn), is as public as it gets. It just doesn’t matter, all these wars which happen, after all the forests burn, when one has no brains, happiness will be reached by “just adding a few shrimps on the barbie” (as long as there are still shrimps). 

Faust sold his soul to the Devil, to get himself stuff, but Australians don’t have such luxury anymore. Aussies prefer to burn their forest, houses, lands to give money to the plutocrats they adore: hey, not everybody has a soul to sell!  

Patrice Ayme

Ongoing German Lies, And Why They Matter, Destroying Europe, & World. 1) Ecology

August 23, 2019

Some German anti-democratic lies have been ruling the world, for two decades now. It’s high time to get rid of them. A combination of Trump and progressive minds such as Uber-influential Nobel Paul Krugman of the New York Times, may well succeed to amplify my meek bleating in the dark.

Our times are cataclysmic, apocalyptic: after all, a sixth mass extinction has been launched. To stop it, we need the truth. Nothing but the truth, and all of it… that is we must denounce lies, and lying temperaments. We need science, that is, what’s left  

Trump lies outrageously, everybody knows this, but he is not the only one, all too many forget the latter. I have long said that Merkel’s Germany was off the track, and a big lie, in so many ways. Consider my Merkler? essay of 2012. Some will scoff that only Greeks got injured. No, all of Europe, and also Merkler’s insanity caused Brexit. I was ahead of times: now, seven years later, this point of view is gaining broad acceptance.

The camp of those who think Germany is lying has grown a lot: Trump is in it, and now even Trump’s nemesis Paul Krugman agrees with the liar in chief on Germany. German readers may object that France also lies (and everybody knows about delusional, Brexiting UK). However German lies are convenient for French corrupt politicians, Germany (in spite of all the fascist dictators), having a reputation for seriousness.

One may even argue that Germany ended up with monsters such as the Kaiser and Hitler, precisely because it had such  a serious, quasi-scientific repute… A belief in perfection which the Germans were the first to believe. 

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Energiewende Lie: Germany produces twice more CO2 per head than France (though about half of the USA). Worse: present policy does not make any improvement possible. In contrast, the USA has been best in the world at reducing CO2 emissions (albeit from a high starting point)…German Chancellor Merkel originated, lie has been “Energiewende”. the “Energy Transition“… which has consisted into Germany tapping some more coal, the bedrock of its heavy industry, for centuries.

Germany used its clout in environmentally correct policies (a lie!) to instill a mood of keeping on burning CO2 to produce energy, and, in particular, for burning coal. This has spread to all of Europe, and beyond:

https://www.ips-journal.eu/regions/europe/article/show/europes-coal-problem-3523/

Cute little picture… Full of lies, and implied dread. For example the picture describes and expect a lowering of energy consumption in Germany. All that means is that Germany is importing more, including nuclear from France. “Biomass” is a lie: it means making CO2 by burning old forests: it worsens the CO2 problem, planet-wide.

The truth is that, at this point, we have two new energy sources: photovoltaics and nuclear. Photovoltaics doesn’t work everywhere, and all the time. Nuclear is vast: U 235 fission, U 233 fission, Thorium, fusion, etc. Some have nuclear waste, others, not really. Even U 235 fission can be realized in many ways. The important point is that both danger and waste can be avoided completely using some nuclear technologies.

Nuclear devices will have to be developed, just to colonize other planets:

https://www.space.com/nuclear-propulsion-future-spacecraft-nasa-chief.html

I am positively completely, even fanatically against some nuclear technologies, such as graphite-gas (see Chernobyl for the inconvenience), surgenerators (with present tech), or second generation U235 reactors. At Fukushima, three such reactors exploded and melted down (due to a litany of grave errors). In the end, the radiation stayed confined: babies can now use the Fukushima beach… (Contrarily to expectations.)

Germany is against nuclear some will say, because it is more interested to milk coal for as long as possible. It’s not about higher principles, but greed. Germany has said, explicitly, under Merkel, that nuclear was more of a danger than coal. Now we can see how false that is: the greenhouse is accelerating. Siberia was on fire, for weeks, now so is the Amazon:

Following expanding wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, NOAA/NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a natural-color image of smoke above South America using the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument on Wednesday (Aug. 21). The image shows smoke above the Brazilian states of Amazonas (upper left), Para (upper right), Mato Grosso (lower right) and Rondonia (lower left). Lake Titicaca in Bolivia is visible, so are the Chilean and Peruvian coasts. Fires in the Amazonian rain forest used to be unthinkable… And so was our planet’s climate, unsinkable. But, surely, it’s flammable…

Usually perceived as culturally advanced Germany is helping to cause another holocaust… The entire planet on fire this time… Current oxygen levels are the result of millions of years of annual production. The loss of the Amazon won’t cause oxygen levels to immediately plummet… But the Amazon produces up to 6% of the Earth’s oxygen. So, as I have said in the past, there is an oxygen threat… Indeed, acidification of the ocean from CO2 could kill the plankton… Losing 50% of world’s O2 production.

But, says, Merkler, nuclear is the scariest thing…

Next we will consider the problem of debt, where the German attitude has proven even more hypocritical, and immediately injurious, abating industry in Europe (hence counter-measures to the CO2 built-up…) Something for the G7 to mull…

Patrice Ayme

Earth Biosphere Destruction Thanks To Plutocratic Subsidies

May 18, 2015

Plutocracy is not just about the rule of money: as its name indicates, it is the rule of evil. Obama, the American Chief Executing Officer, just allowed oil drilling in the Arctic (where pollution does not dissipate, due to low temperature). However, when the ship sinks, the rats start to bite each other. Thus here comes the International Monetary Fund, with a striking study. Although based next to the White House, the Fund just found a profound fundament to our world crisis. Fossil Fuels “energy subsidies are dramatically higher than previous estimates.

How high? The IMF estimates the fossil fuel subsidies amount to 5.3 trillion dollars in 2015. Yes, 5,300 billions, about a third of USA or EU GDP. 5.3 trillion dollars is 6.5% of world GDP. That’ is 600 million dollars an hour. It is higher than all the government spending on health care, worldwide. And it goes to whom, first? Plutocrats. Nothing else to expect from a government by plutophiles, for plutocrats.

Earth, Funding Pluto Brought A Drastic Problem

Earth, Funding Pluto Brought A Drastic Problem

We are presently destroying the biosphere which enabled the human species to evolve. It is pretty drastic. It would cause the worst mass murderers and criminals against humanity pause. It is not just a political, or philosophical, or ethical problem. It is the ultimate question of survival. We are all in a gas chamber of our own making, and the tap is fully open. Anything else is delusion.

Among the IMF’s conclusion: the highest subsidies are for the most polluting fuel, coal: “Because no country, (unlike for “road fuels) has meaningful excises on its consumption“.

Subsidies arise “mostly from countries not adequately charging for the cost of environmental damage (only one fourth of which is due to climate change)”. The World Health Organization evaluates these deaths to seven (7) millions.

The IMF observes that charging adequately would reduce CO2 emissions by 20% and cut the “premature death rate from fossil fuel pollution” by half. (Those death are evaluated

A philosophy professor from Notre Dame University ponders in the New York Times: “What Can We Do About Climate Change?”

Notice how silly the title is. Indeed, it should say that it’s not the climate that is changing, just because it’s going out tonight, but us who are polluting the planet. As all academics, the professor, from a plutocratic university, is careful to not say anything that would upset extremely wealthy sponsors of his very rich university (rich of subsidized football, TV contracts, gifts from Plutos right and left, etc.) This is how academic excellence works, in the USA: feed the rich ideas they like.

Left unsaid in the interview in the New York Times, were many things, and of some of these many things I will speak.

There are massive fossil fuel subsidies, worldwide. More than 600 billion dollars of direct fossil fuels subsidies are distributed by governments, each year, said the International Energy Agency. The least to be done would be to cut these poisonous gifts to zero.

In temperate and tropical areas, Solar Photovoltaics have become price competitive with fossil fuels, even with the aforesaid subsidies. Without them Solar PV can replace fossil fuels in an economically advantageous way.

We just reached above 403 ppm of CO2 averaged over April 2005. At 400 ppm of CO2, we know we get the warm Pliocene climate: camels in the Arctic. Under such a greenhouse, the Arctic is completely melted, except at high altitude. No more sea ice in the north, whatsoever.

And this does not mention the fact that at least a third of the CO2 goes into the sea to make carbonic acid, quickly approaching non-sustainability; it’s a matter of years, not decades. And that non-linear effects with melting permafrost are getting in gear.

More generally, four planetary boundaries have been crossed. CO2 ppm is just one of them. The crossing of any of these boundaries mean destruction of the biosphere as we have known it (thus thermonuclear war, among other inconveniences).

So much for the somewhat limited view of “Climate Change” from university professors of philosophy.

Moreover, our real greenhouse gases “forcing” the low altitude greenhouse should include man-made gases which did not exist during the warm Pliocene, three million years ago. Some of these gases are more capable of blocking infrared radiation (and thus augmenting the greenhouse) by a multiplicative factor of 25,000 relative to CO2. Those gases ought to be targeted for elimination. Nitrous oxide, much of it from agricultural nitrate fertilizers, and other soil destruction, contributes to 8% of the greenhouse forcing (with 300 times the ppm infrared effect of CO2).

Meanwhile, Germany is ever more dependent upon the world’s most polluting fuel, a type of coal, lignite (Neanderthals already used it in France, more than 80,000 years ago). Even today, Germany bent over backwards to burn even more lignite. What about giving more serious lessons to us, denizens of the German gas chamber? Is it still about giving us lessons with Pluto’s baritone voice?

Germany and the so-called “United” Kingdom tie for number one in the European pollution league. That should put in perspective their (mostly imaginary) superior economic performance. Economic performance is, fundamentally, about energy. Destroying the planet to get energized is plenty cheap, especially morally.

A worldwide tax on carbon ought to be imposed unilaterally by the USA and the EU, and imposed on imported products. Anything else will come short.

And short means, potentially, the greatest catastrophe our species has ever known.

Thanks to progress in sustainable energies, mostly Solar PV, technologically advanced empires (USA, China) are in good position to impose a low carbon economy… While advancing, and advantaging, their own economies. This devilish perspective is actually the only good news around. China has already taken drastic measures against coal.

If good people won’t help, maybe the devil will…

Patrice Ayme’

Ten Years To Catastrophe

April 20, 2014

Abstract: The mathematics of “Climate Change” are much more problematic than the IPCC makes it sound. Weirdly, the IPCC ignores much of the greenhouse gases injected in the biosphere from human activity (!)… and the fact that, although the main trigger, atmospheric CO2 is not the main agent of climate change (or, more generally biosphere change; the correct concept).

Integrating all agents of change, direct or indirect gives ten years to catastrophe (the present essay buttresses technically the essay “Terminal Greenhouse Crisis“).

The logic may not be perfect logic to reach this conclusion. However it is perfect catastrophic logic. In catastrophic logic, it is considered that all that can go wrong, will go wrong (“Murphy’s Law”). Planes fly safely, thanks to paying great attention to catastrophic logic (that’s why aircraft disaster are so important). Losing the biosphere would be the greatest catastrophe imaginable, as we would lose spaceship Earth. So, if there is one case when catastrophic logic ought to be used, that’s it.

***

Here is the problem, and its name is IPCC (Does IPCC mean International Panel for Coal Catastrophe?):

Pluto & Coal Go Together Well

Pluto & Coal Go Together Well

The latest IPCC (Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change) report, seven years after the preceding one, observes that adaptation is an option only if efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions are “strengthened substantially”. Without mitigation, the impacts of climate change will be devastating.

The report, under the political pressure of business-as-usual, is exaggeratingly optimistic. This best-of-possible-worlds stance has a real impact.

Notice the coal production has been augmenting exponentially recently (and that the graph above projects optimistically that this will stop magically this year, 2014!).

The coal production is reaching new height, precisely because the assessment of the climate impact of the rise in Human generated Greenhouse Gases (HGG) is not viewed as alarming.

Under the public IPCC assessment, a devastating impact of HGG will take about 40 years. How did the IPCC get there? By making “reasonable”, “most probable” assumptions. That’s perfect for business-as-usual.

Business as usual is a funny matter: a jumbo jet recently disappeared (Malaysian Airlines 370). Yet, the jet had an internet antenna, and it would have cost only one dollar per hour to keep appraised of its position, using that antenna. For years, the technology has existed to know everything about jets in difficulty, in real time, but it has not been applied, because no law exists to enforce the application of said technology.

(When the AF 447 fell to the ocean, in 2009, the plane, realizing it was losing its mind, sent 14 technical messages in 4 minutes to Airbus in Toulouse, so, even if that jet had not been found, the rough reasons for the crash were known within hours; such a system could exist for all jets; the lessons of the AF 447 crash were applied worldwide, including how pilots ought to react to such loss of lift: the old doctrine was gravely erroneous!)

Jets crashing and planet crashing have much in common, as they represent the conjunction of multiple system failures.

So the IPCC operates on a 40 year time-frame for total catastrophe, while I claim that the time scale is only ten years. The IPCC got there by being optimistic. I got to only ten years by being pessimistic. I used what I call Catastrophic Calculus.

One could say that, by using Catastrophic Calculus, I am not “objective”. But Catastrophic Calculus is what has to be applied all over the cases where failure is not an option. The obvious example is train travel, car making, and especially, aircraft flying. (Strangely, Catastrophic Calculus has been ignored for some types of very dangerous civil nuclear technologies!)

The IPCC, EPA, etc, are certainly culprit of the sin of talking about “Carbon” meaning Carbon Dioxide, CO2, sometimes meaning only the “C” inside “CO2” . I even wonder if they don’t do it deliberately, to understate the problem.

Certainly 515 billion tons of “Carbon” in 2010 the IPCC sometimes talk about, is less frightening than the 3,016 billion tons of CO2 present in the atmosphere at that time.

This is doubly unfortunate. First, it underplays the problem psychologically. Second, there is another type of “carbon” in the air: soot. When the IPCC speaks of “Carbon”, they don’t measure all the carbon in the air, but just the carbon in the CO2 that is in the air!

This is of some importance: carbon under particulate form (soot) comes in with a minus sign for the greenhouse effect! The more soot, the less the greenhouse, because soot makes the atmosphere more opaque, and less light reaches the ground, where the greenhouse effect occurs. Thus, the more the pollution by soot, the less the surface warming.

By mentioning just one type of “carbon” in the air, the IPCC underplays the impact of the greenhouse, because, if one took out the soot and micro-particles, the greenhouse effect would augment… a lot. Now one will have to remove the soot: it causes cancer, and pulmonary problems, killing millions that way. Doing so will jump up the greenhouse.

And the fact remains that the “carbon” in the air in 2010 was much more than 515 billion tons.

Another, and graver problem, that the IPCC does not insist upon: half of the CO2 goes into the ocean. The acidity has augmented 30%.

Thus the real number for the injection of CO2 of human origin injected in the biosphere is above 6,000 billion tons of CO2. Moreover, that has to be scaled up further, from the other GHGs… Including water vapor. Water vapor, the most abundant greenhouse gas is also the most important in its contribution to the terrestrial greenhouse effect, despite having a short atmospheric lifetime (around 7 days). A 10% change in stratospheric water vapor changes the change of global surface temperature by around 30%. NASA says: “Water vapor is potent enough to double the climate warming caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Now atmospheric concentration of CO2 is augmenting at 1% per year. Integrating the CO2 going into the ocean: 2%. Doubling with water vapor: 4%. Add some methane from fracking and clathrate hydrates erupting, and you sure make 5%.

Doing all the math, and expecting all sorts of non linear effect kicking in, such as release of CO2 from melting permafrost, one gets a putative doubling of the catastrophe in ten years, rather than 40 year.

This is a very different picture from the simple doubling of the catastrophe from doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere in the next 40 years the IPCC apparently expects. The IPCC is in for a rude awakening. It’s eating coal, as we speak. It has turned, indeed, into the International Panel for Coal Catastrophe.

Patrice Aymé

Lady Chatterley’s Hater

February 20, 2012

PLUTOCRACY DEVOURS HEARTS AND MINDS, NOT JUST JUSTICE:

Abstract: “Plutocracy” is not just the rule of wealth. It is the rule of Pluto. As Jesus Christ himself pointed out

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24. Jesus does not explain why. To try to understand that, an example, however fictional, may help.  

The 1955 French film Lady Chatterley’s Lover, is first about her husband, and then, secondarily,  how she reacts to his plutocratic madness. Lady Chatterley finally rejects his occupation of her mind with plutocratic poison.

Indeed, Lord Chatterley, her husband, under his polished and dignified mien, teased out by externalities, reveals himself to be a most determined Hater. He relentlessly struggles, from the depth of his wheelchair, with boars, coal, miners, the ecology, his determination to keep plutocracy established, and finally his progressively enlightened wife (who reveres her husband in the beginning, but finds out, in the fullness of facts, that he is evil personified, and then does several things about it.)  

That the British economic establishment revolved psychologically around  the exploitation doctrine, and cold hatred against the working class, is the most disturbing message of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

These are not just pretty words. The central bank of the USA (the “Fed”) conspired with the British central bank (the “Bank of England”) to make a very loose expansion of the monetary base during the 1920s. The idea was to give lots of money to plutocrats, so that their Lordships would have lots of money to do lots of things with (fall a forest, dig a new mine in the case of Chatterley). This (gravely) erroneous idea has been masquerading as “economic stimulus” in the last few decades, with increasing vigor.

That policy of showering the rich with money led directly to a considerable heating of the economy, and thus the Great Depression.  That policy is called nowadays “Quantitative Easing“, and is the main economic policy since 1996 (when the indicators were as bad as in 1929). Greenspan, under the Intern in Chief Clinton, decided to do the opposite of what the Fed did in 1929.

However to turn left where a mad man turned right does not make one any less crazy. In the 1930s, president Roosevelt switched instead to a command economy targetting jobs, which went on steroids in 1942, to feed the war machine.

Lady Chatterley’s anti-plutocratic message did not escape astute Anglo-Saxon censors. This is why the book, and a French film about it, were banned in Britain and the USA until the 1960s. Of little acts of censorships like that, here, there, and everywhere, is constructed the great admiration of the Anglo-Saxon middle class, or what’s left of it, for Reagan, Thatcher, wealth in general, and the filthy rich they call: “philanthropists“.   

Chatterley does not claim to be a philanthropist. But he feels himself to be crucial in the sense that he provides work for the working class. Contemporary American philanthropists  are the exact opposite sort; they extract power away from government, hence the People and the working class. Recently it came to the fore that the greatest “philanthropists” of them all, Bill Gates was a Trojan Horse for the American Monsanto to sell dangerous products to Africans; French media talked about it, and the French government is prosecuting Monsanto. However, there was not a peep in the USA about that. From what one could see on TV, it looked as if Obama has put Lady Gates in charge of education!

The Steve Job widow, who, with her husband, never paid a cent for the billions of dollars of Apple stock he, and she, got through the years as CEO of Apple was staying next to the first Lady at the State of the Union speech. No doubt she gave plenty of that money of her political friends. When you have billions, you can fork over a few millions for your friend the president, if that’s the only “tax” you will ever pay.

Yet truth is hard to repress. Short of putting civilization in full reverse, as the Christian Roman emperors did after 310 CE. That of course brought a near collapse of civilization, and several civil wars with the atheist Franks, until these noble savages for the north took control of the miserable Greco-Roman theocratic fascists.  

Jesus said plutocrats are hopeless. Lady Chatterley points out to something seriously worse. Plutocrats are mad. It’s as simple as that. Truth shall make simple. They are mad in the sense that their mental condition is so unbalanced relative to normal psychology that it deserves this qualificative. The plutocratic condition is not natural to man. Neither to perpetrator, nor victim. Man was born, and evolved, free. For millions of years. But now the plutocrats have come, to rule over lesser beings.

Indeed, plutocrats can control countries, or even empires, for centuries. The entire twentieth century was a case in point. Plutocrats deliberately engineered World War One (the French and German socialist parties considered this obvious in 1914, they should refresh their memories).  

Then plutocrats deliberately engineered the Nazification of Germany, the fascization of Italy and Spain,  and the Great Depression. Now, since 2008, plutocrats are engineering a Greater Depression. That so far, has been highly profitable to them. In the USA, plutocrats do not even bother anymore to hide their control of politics. The president can spend entire days, days after days, going around with his huge plane and personal army, as beggar in chief, going from plutocrats to plutocrats, and they make him checks of the order of the median family income, and all Americans watched that as cows do watch trains. Unconcerned for the most part.

Where does plutocratic madness comes from? Well, there is a psychobiological component, and then there is a historical component. History is not on our side, and the deep nature of Homo makes it all worse.

What we have now is a dictatorship of the financial actors, immensely leveraged, backed up by the mightiest politicians who they feed like pigeons. One can only presume that those actors, like Lord Chatterley, are just as they appear, namely completely mad. The way the leadership deals with the energy problem is a case in point.

***

*** 

WHY WAS “LADY CHATTERLEY” CENSORED?

I generally prefer to feed philosophy with hard facts, such as those provided by science or history. The small philosophical  fry out there stick to literature, greater philosophers, to the world. Wisdom ought to rise from reality, not the gossip of literary criticism.  Moreover, individuals basking in the global cultural inheritance have to do triage among stories, worldwide. It’s more illuminative, as a child, to learn about Japan’s famous “40 Ronins” than about Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The former shows better how crazy cultures can become.

Yet, Lady Chatterley Lover (LCL) is most enlightening for students of the present plutocratic mind, a matter of survival for all. Feudal Japan is not as directly relevant. I will cover here not just LCL, but also its cover-up, aspects of the censorship against the LCL story.

Lady Chatterley Lover gives a detailed example of the baseness of the plutocratic mind. While showing how it is the backbone of the Anglo-Saxon socio-economy.

The books makes plain that the Anglo-Saxon economical system holds that the exploitation principle if the highest principle there is. It is the meta organizer of the entire society. Worth is established by exploiting people, the ecology, the underground, and even by exploiting one’s own humanity, with unrelenting thoroughness. And if people die on the way, it is only power for the course. Anything else is a weakening of what passes for civilization in the exploiting mood, the highest mood there is.

It’s easier to multitask with a movie for 90 minutes than to converge both eyes on pages for hours about how mediocre people do mediocre things. So I watched the 1955 French movie version, of Lady Chatterley. That movie was fiercely banned in the good old USA to protect American chicken from the terribly contagious disease of European ideas. (Warning: there is a more recent French movie on LLC, devoid of any content. Apparently French movie makers thought better in the 1950s than the 2000s!) 

On the face of it, the Lady Chatterley’s Lover’s story is not much to talk about.

1) Lord Chatterley is paralyzed from the waist down in World War One. He takes it like a champ, as behooves his superior class.

2) His young and beautiful wife Constance welcomes him back, makes him feel very comfortable, and accommodates herself of the situation, which, in particular, means she becomes a babysitter to him, and will have no child. She has perfectly adapted to the situation.

3) A deadly accident, caused to adventurous method to find more coal, occurs in his Lordship’s coal mine. His Lordship overhears some of his miners regretting that he did not die down there.

4) Lord Chatterley informs his wife that his employees behave that way, because he has no heir. If he did have a heir, the miners would know that one other Chatterley would rise: the Chatterley is dead, Long Live the Chatterley. Only then would the miners’ desire to change the order of things be hopeless.

5) Thus, deduces Lord Chatterley, he needs an heir. Apparently,  clamping down on the working class seems to be a notion central to his heart. He orders his wife to make what is necessary with some gentleman, say in Venice.

6) Lady Chatterley misunderstands her instructions, and sleeps with the game warden, who belongs to the lower class. He was an officer in the war, having risen from the rank (that means he is not of the class real officers are from, those who, from their class background, went to the correct schools, and came out officers; instead his prowess in combat allowed him to rise above his class).

7) Scandal: the entire village speaks of it, the Lady is pregnant from the game warden. Lord Chatterley fires the warden. 

8) After a bout of rage, Lord Chatterley is more determined than ever to have his way: “Never mind, I will make that son into a Chatterley! I will do what it takes!” (He is so sure of himself, he takes for granted that a son is coming.)

9) Lady Chatterley coldly and definitively states a matter of fact:”No you will not, because you will never see him!

10) She leaves with her lower class lover, arm to arm, down the coal city’s main street.

***

LET THE PEOPLE BE MORAL, SO LEADERS CAN EXPLOIT THEM BETTER:

The 1955 French movie was banned in the USA. The American People has to be protected against dangerous French subversion. Always. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court.  

The book itself had been written by a British gentleman, Lawrence, and published in Italy in 1928. The publisher Penguin Books found itself in court after trying to publish it in Great Britain in 1960. British censors claimed to be revolted by two short words, somewhere inside. American censors claimed the French movie advocated adultery

Several notorious adulterers had been president of the USA just before that. Maybe they watched too many French movies?  American plutocrats would jump in bed with all pretty teenagers coming within reach. As president JFK did exactly that at the White House, just as his dad did before at home.

At second sight, it’s not hilarious, but clearly a pattern of deception.

As the Washington Post puts it: “Why do we need more salacious details about Kennedy’s sex life? Beyond the prurience, it once again raises legitimate questions about the character of our leaders. “If presidents represent the best of America, then there’s quite a gap between that and their behavior,” historian Robert Dallek [ a Kennedy specialist] told us Monday. “Presidents — all of them — hide things.”

Well, what they hide is rather major, namely that there are two moral systems; one for the little people, and another for plutocrats and their agents. Thus at the slaughter house, there is a moral system for cattle, and one for management.

This was pointed earlier by Nietzsche. Nietzsche explained that Christianity was a “slave morality“, excellent at enchaining the masses. The masters followed a different, higher moral system, Beyond Good and Evil, the moral system of the Lords, the cult of the Will to Power.   

Instead of dwelling in Nietzsche’s literary sources, all the way back to ancient Greece, I have put that in the proper historical context. That of the empire of the Franks. The Imperium Francorum rose, precisely, because it was anti-Christian. Precisely because it followed a higher moral system than Christianity. Nietzsche is just a small vague commentary on what was the empire of the West practiced for centuries (Imperium Romanum, Pars Occidentalis).

That was demonstrated when the self described “Europeans” nationalized the Catholic Church, so they would distribute the church’s riches to the largest professional army since the best days of Rome. At the time, the best professional soldiers were family men, and those families had to be taken care of, at home. Hence the hefty salaries. That army was used to annihilate the superstitious, rabid Syrian Caliphate and its Berber allies.

“Within days of her arrival, the beautiful young blonde was invited to join the president for an afternoon swim — and later that day, lost her virginity to him in the first lady’s bedroom…” I heard the ex-19 year old description of what happened, and she said the president used “force“, but with great expertise. In other words, he raped her. Oh there were drugs too, and enforced sex acts under watchful presidential supervision, with aides.

Now, of course, this is all very quaint as plutocrats can screw the entire world, making the poor pay taxes for the rich until they die off.

***

TOO MUCH WILL TO POWER BRINGS MADNESS:

In the French 1955 movie, the raciest scene is of the two lovers fully dressed, kissing, standing up. Nothing worse than in “Gone With The Wind”. American censors claimed the movie glorified adultery, but what was truly glorified was truth about the masters of Britain:

a) Lord Chatterley is driven by the Will to Power to a ridiculous extent: he has to give the signal to kill a boar at bay, however inconvenient it is to bring him by car, put him in his wheel chair, and give him the French horn to sound off. Only then can the boar die.

b) Chatterley ravages a forest that he himself loved as a child because he wants to build a “forest of steel” inside which a new mine will grow down to make him even richer, as his Lady observes contemptuously. But, she adds, it will not make him more potent where it really counts. (In the heart, and somewhere else.)

c) His motivation for having a child is first to put the workers back in place, and then somehow extends the Chatterley rule, apparently that sheer greed for power ought to rule the universe.

Do people have children for power? No doubt that was a motivation, through prehistoric and Neolithic culture. A European peasant would get more land if he had more children capable of working the field (in the communal agricultural system of the Middle Ages). But it was not the only motivation in taking care of a child. However, Chatterley talks only as if having a young man his son to crack down on the workers was his only motivation.

The problem with being only under the control of the will to power is that it is only a fraction of what ought to drive a fully balanced mind, as evolution meant it to be. Look for example to the god of Abraham: although rabidly devoured by the will to power, he has other motivations too. The Qur’an reminds us every few lines that “Allah is wise, merciful“.

***

THE WILL TO SURVIVE, AND THE WILL TO DESTROY BOTH DOMINATE THE WILL TO POWER:

That, by the way, is Nietzsche’s classic mistake. Nietzsche claimed the “Will To Power” ruled, but, truly, the prime motivation of human beings, in an extremely dangerous world, was not so much power (over others, or the universe) as it was the sheer will to survive. That the will to survive, not the will to power, dominates, is rendered obvious by evolution as survival of the fittest, and is, no doubt, the reason why  Nietzsche detested Darwin.

Another aspect of the established order which is decried: Lord Chatterley’s paternalistic sexism, which, in the end, is rendered impotent by Lady Chatterley superbly elevated point of view: she knows love moves the heavens, and greed and evil move only hell. And that’s fine with her: after all, she chose heavens.

Here is another way in which Nietzsche’s Will To Power is limited. To exert power, one needs an object to exert it onto. However Homo’s will To Vice, includes an outright Will To Destruction. A time honored atavism. I must acknowledge that the god of Abraham understood this perfectly well.  And it is made blatant in the homicidal and submission rage pervading the Old, New and Quranic testaments.

***

HOW DID THE SITUATION CHANGE IN A CENTURY? SEXISM HAS DIMINISHED & TECHNOLOGY HAS IMPROVED:

We are nearly a century after Lady Chatterley’s Lover was written, and one can compare what happened versus what was decried then. The feminine condition has enormously improved: now women vote, work much more in high value jobs, and are much more independent.

So little need to fret about “The Second Sex“. There is much progress to still make, but at least momentum is pointing in the right direction.

Also there is no doubt that the average lives of average people has improved considerably. Most of that is attributable to progress in science and technology. The rest has to do with the welfare state, and the fact that the world war of 1914-1945, after killing more than 5% of the world population (120 million dead, at least), is still perceived as a great warning… And the Light Side won the war. Moreover, differently from 1919, the victors, stayed in control of world military might, nuclear weapons, and the United Nations Security Council. Nobody doubt the resolve and might of France, Britain and the USA (in this order!), when united.

***

HOWEVER THE ENERGY SITUATION IS GETTING HOPELESS:

The economic background of the LCL book was the slow death of the coal industry. At the time, coal was still, by far, the most important energy source, although oil usage was rising quickly for transportation. 

Oil was an important factor in World War Two: Hitler wanted Polish, Romanian and Caucasian oil for his armies (as it was he had to do much of the war on synthetic oil, according to processes developed secretly by an alliance of American and German plutocrats).

The intervention of the foremost democracies, France and Britain, derailed Hitler’s plans: he was forced into a war he could not win.

Japan, submitted to an American oil embargo, decided to grab Indonesian oil, and that required to neutralize the U.S. Pacific fleet (or so the stupid Japanese command thought; in truth, the USA had no intent to go to war in 1942!)

Nowadays, fossil fuels are the number one energy source. However, we are well passed Peak Cheap Oil. Crude oil is reaching 120 dollars a barrel, even though there is no war, although the world economy is in recession. 

[See: http://hawaiinewsdaily.com/2012/01/peak-cheap-oil-passed/]

Ten of the last eleven world recessions were preceded by an oil price spike. At this point , the USA and the EU import for one billion dollar a day of oil. Chronically high fossil fuels guarantee a chronic recession (aka “depression”). Why? Because the economy is ultimately an energy processing machine.  

A really growing economy corresponds to a growing efficient energy usage. The easiest way to augment that is to augment overall energy usage, but one cannot do this anymore if there is no more energy to use. Worse, said energy is going down, both in absolute value (because no more oil is found, and fracking is a flash in the pan) and relatively (because of the rise of the ex-Third World). In any case, if we do not develop more energy source, or augment efficiency, the economy will simply not grow anymore. But as the population is growing, this means an indefinite depression.  Indeed, we cannot switch to a new energy source as happened in the time of Lord Chatterley from coal to oil… because we have no replacement (as a new cheap energy, although solar is coming in fast for the south).  

Conservation, energy austerity, can help. Yet European efforts in that direction are undermined by the rest of the world, led by the USA. See the USA leading an anti-European coalition joined by Russia and China, to prevent Europe to tax air travel’s fossil fuels (those, so far, go tax free).

***

PLUTOCRACY HAS MUTATED INTO AN EXTREMELY MALIGNANT CANCER:

The plutocratic situation, if anything, has deteriorated considerably since 1928. Plutocracy, the Dark Side,  caused two Great Depressions, and major wars (including World War II). The second great depression, the Greater Depression, is unfolding, because the (conservative) governments of the West have entrusted those who caused the crisis, the plutocratic financiers, with even more power. Some of the decreases of GDP are comparable to the 1930s. After 5 years of recession, Greece is expected to be down 40% in GDP soon. In the USA, in a scenario reminiscent of the fall of the USSR, lifespan is decreasing.

Meanwhile the president is rising a billion from his friends the plutocrats, to further his glory and government. Many Roman emperors did exactly the same before him; rising considerable sums among plutocratic friends, socializing together, all this to further imperial rule.

Giant amounts of money (“monetary base”) have been wasted replenishing the plutocrats who sucked dried the banks they managed. They were wasted, because no strings were attached. In the USA money manipulators (hedge fund managers) meet constantly with politicians and lawmakers to conspire together. This sort of information can be gleaned from reading the famous “anti-capitalist” newspaper, Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal. 

Overall, plutocracy is stronger than ever. Lord Chatterley’s mind is an ode to Pluto. However he puts his capital at work in the service of the People. It’s tough love, mixed with contempt, but he views himself as a Roman style general, with the right of life and death on his troops. Ultimately, he provides his troops with livelihood, as he points out. 

The hedge fund managers and big bankers are not like that. They don’t claim to bring jobs. Silicon Valley Titans have found tricks to pay no taxes whatsoever. Then Obama comes visit them, kiss them on the cheek, sleep at their home, and they give him enormous amounts of money (but tiny relative to the taxes they would have to pay, if they paid taxes). I saw two years olds give 38,500 dollars to the president. Yes, that’s not far from the median family income in the USA. These two year olds do not possess nobility titles yet, but it’s just the same.

Nowadays, the connections between finance and economy has been broken, so the situation is worse than under Lord Chatterley. Nowadays, the biggest banks (including the likes of Goldman Sachs, which are truly only banks, or conspiracy outfits, for the hyper wealthy) get free money from the American and European central banks.  

The result is that the economy has stopped growing just when efforts ought to be redoubled, because the energy utilizing machine which is the world economy is getting strangled, and poisoned by fossil fuels.

An immediately deployable replacements exist in parts: solar energy produced locally. Producing energy locally is key, as huge losses occur in transportation, and various inefficiencies (losses are, overall around an astounding 90%, worldwide!). Tide and current machines, wind, and electricity producing pastures are the way out. Especially when efficient, ubiquitous energy storage is invented. All these would bring millions of local jobs, in the European Union alone. And, a fortiori the USA.

However the first thing needed is the deconstruction of the nasty mood which rules so far, the mood of plutocracy. As long as the plutocrats rule, no significant positive change will happen, because plutocrats thrive in hell (hence their names).

In the times of Lord Chatterley, not enough was done in a timely manner by the thinking class (OK, some of that was all too close to plutocracy!). All too much of the British and American upper classes were pro-Nazi. Their ideologies of class and privilege had a lot in common with Nazism, indeed. American, English, and of course German plutocrats collaborated to put in power fascist regimes all over. From Lenin and Stalin’s to Mussolini’s, Franco’s and Hitler’s. (As Lenin himself observed.)

Intelligent observations are key. Here is one: As long as there are more plutocrats than there are representatives of the democracy, the former will be able to buy, or otherwise capture, the latter.  

Everything will be all right, if people become aware enough, soon enough, that Wall Street and its ilk have occupied their minds, so as to trample on the human condition, with a desire of utmost destruction.  However incredible that may sound, this is what plutocracy is all about. Those who don’t want to understand that, will be condemned to repeat history, just worse. Way worse.

***

Patrice Ayme


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