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Experimentalist Charles Fritts installed it after discovering that a thin layer of selenium on a metal plate could produce a current of electricity when exposed to light. How light could turn on lights, he and his solar-pioneering contemporaries did not know, for the mechanics were not understood until the early twentieth century when, among other breakthroughs, Albert Einstein published his revolutionary work on what are now called photons. The first such plant had been brought online by Thomas Edison just two years earlier, also in New York City.
Today, solar is replacing electricity generated from coal as well as from natural gas. It is replacing kerosene lamps and diesel generators in places where people lack access to the power grid, true for more than a billion people around the world. Small-scale photovoltaic systems, typically sited on rooftops, are playing a significant role in harnessing that light, the most abundant resource on earth.
When photons strike the thin wafers of silicon crystal within a vacuum-sealed solar panel, they knock electrons loose and. These subatomic particles are the only moving parts in a solar panel, which requires no fuel. In distributed systems of less than kilowatts accounted for roughly 30 percent of solar PV capacity installed worldwide.
In Bangladesh, population million, more than 3. Fully 16 percent of Australian homes have them. Transforming a square meter of rooftop into a miniature power station is proving irresistible. An Uros mother and her two daughters live on one of the 42 floating islands made of totora reeds on Lake Titicaca. Their delight upon receiving their first solar panel is infectious.
Installed at an elevation of 12, feet, the panel will replace kerosene and provide electricity to her family for the first time. As high tech as solar may be, it is a perfect cultural match: The Uru People know themselves as Lupihaques, Sons of the Sun. Roof modules are spreading around the world because of their affordability. Solar PV has benefited from a virtuous cycle of falling costs, driven by incentives to accelerate its development and implementation,.
As demand has grown and production has risen to meet it, prices have dropped; as prices have dropped, demand has grown further. A PV manufacturing boom in China has helped unleash a torrent of inexpensive panels around the world.
But hard costs are only one side of the expense equation. The soft costs of financing, acquisition, permitting, and installation can be half the cost of a rooftop system and have not seen the same dip as panels themselves. That is part of the reason rooftop solar is more expensive than its utility-scale kin.
Nonetheless, small- scale PV already generates electricity more cheaply than it can be brought from the grid in some parts of the United States, in many small island states, and in countries including Australia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The advantages of rooftop solar extend far beyond price. While the production of PV panels, like any manufacturing process, involves emissions, they generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases or air pollution— with the infinite resource of sunlight as their sole input.
When placed on a grid- connected roof, they produce energy at the site of consumption, avoiding the inevitable losses of grid transmission. They can help utilities meet broader demand by feeding unused electricity into the grid, especially in summer, when solar is humming and electricity needs run high. Numerous studies show that the financial benefit of rooftop PV runs both ways. By having it as part of an energy-generation portfolio, utilities can avoid the capital costs of additional coal or gas plants, for which their customers would otherwise have to pay, and broader society is spared the environmental and public health impacts.
Added PV supply at times of highest electricity demand can also curb the use of expensive and polluting peak generators. Others accept its inevitability and are trying to shift their business models accordingly. Off the grid, rooftop panels can bring electricity to rural parts of low- income countries. Just as mobile phones leapfrogged installation of landlines and made communication more democratic, solar systems eliminate the need for large-scale, centralized power grids.
High-income countries dominated investment in distributed solar until , but now countries such as Chile, China, India, and South Africa have joined in. It means rooftop PV is accelerating access to affordable, clean electricity and thereby becoming a powerful tool for eliminating poverty.
It is also creating jobs and energizing local economies. In Bangladesh alone, those 3. Since the late nineteenth century, human beings in many places have relied on centralized plants that burn fossil fuels and send electricity out to a system of cables, towers, and poles. As households adopt rooftop solar increasingly accompanied and enabled by distributed energy storage , they transform generation and its ownership, shifting away from utility monopolies and making power production their own.
As electric vehicles also spread,. With producer and user as one, energy gets democratized. Charles Fritts had this vision in the s, as he looked out over the roofscape of New York City. Today, that vision is increasingly coming to fruition. That growth can avoid The oceans are in constant motion, rippling, swirling, swelling, retreating. As wind blows across the surface, waves are formed.
As the gravitational forces of earth, moon, and sun interact, tides are created. These are among the most powerful and constant dynamics on earth. Wave- and tidal-energy systems harness natural oceanic flows to generate electricity. A variety of companies, utilities, universities, and governments are working to realize the promise of consistent and predictable ocean energy, which currently accounts for a fraction of global electricity generation.
Early technologies date back more than two centuries, with modern designs emerging in the s, thanks especially to the work of Japanese naval commander Yoshio Masuda and his invention of the oscillating water column OWC. As a wave or tide rises within an OWC, air is displaced and pushed through a turbine, creating electricity. With the ongoing movement of ocean waters, air is compressed and decompressed continuously. It is the same principle used in whistling buoys, which draw on compressed air to create noise near treacherous shoals or outcroppings.
Today, there are several OWC power plants in the world. The appeal of wave and tidal energy is its constancy: No energy storage is required. And while communities often resist the presence of wind turbines along ridges or shorelines for violating viewsheds, the idea of underwater, out- of-sight wave and tidal systems has proven to be more acceptable to coastal citizens. Though they can pose concerns for local fishermen, whose livelihoods depend on the same waters. When it comes to energy generation, not all waves and tides are created equal.
East-west trade winds blow at 30 to 60 degrees latitude, giving the west coasts of all continents the greatest wave activity. Surfing destinations are often wave-energy hot spots. Key locations for vigorous tidal energy are the northeastern coast of the United States, the western coast of the United Kingdom, and the shoreline of South Korea. Many experts also point to smaller islands as candidates for wave and tidal energy, given isolated geographies and limited energy resources.
Operating in harsh and complex marine environments is a challenge—from designing the most effective systems to building installations for their implementation to maintaining them over time. Salt water corrodes equipment, and waves are more multidimensional than a gust of wind—moving up, down, and in all other directions when there are turbulent conditions.
It is also critical to ensure marine ecosystems are not harmed by discharges of sound or substance, or by trapping or killing sea life. All told, these dynamics make operating in salt water more exacting and expensive than operating on solid ground. Marine technologies are still in early development, lagging decades behind solar and wind.
Tidal energy is more established than wave, with more projects in operation today. They are ideally suited for natural bays, inlets, or lagoons—places where ocean water enters and exits in circadian cycles— harnessing the incoming and outgoing tides to generate electricity.
Some resemble dams, inside which rising or retreating tides drive turbines. More experimental in-stream systems function like underwater wind turbines, with tides moving blades to produce electricity. Others resemble large red snakes riding the waves, or long arms waving back and forth. Still others are fully submerged floating discs that incorporate electricity generation right there in the sea. It is not yet clear which technology is most effective.
But whatever their shape and form, these systems tap into the upward and downward, the incoming and outgoing movement of waves to power generation. Oscillation is the key, so the higher the wave, the greater its power potential tends to be. Built in , it remains the only tidal generating station in North America and takes advantage of the highest tidal range in the world. The difference in height between high and low tides can be over 50 feet.
Currently in-stream turbines are being tested nearby, a simpler design with far less environmental impact. The opportunity of marine-based energy is massive, but realizing it will require substantial investment and expanded research. Proponents believe wave power could provide up to 25 percent of U.
In Scotland, that number may be upwards of 70 percent. Wave and tidal energy is currently the most expensive of all renewables, and with the price of wind and solar dropping rapidly, that gap will likely widen. However, as this technology evolves and policy comes into place to support implementation, marine renewables may follow a similar path, attracting private capital investment and the interest of large companies such as General Electric and Siemens.
On a trajectory like that, wave and tidal energy could also become cost competitive with fossil fuels. Building on those few, we estimate that wave and tidal energy can grow from. The result: reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 9. The first plants came online in California in the s, and still run today. The difference is that rather than using coal or natural gas, CSP uses solar radiation as its primary fuel—free and clear of carbon.
Mirrors, the essential component of any CSP plant, are curved or angled in specific ways to concentrate incoming solar rays to heat a fluid, produce steam, and turn turbines. As of , this technology was limited to just 4 gigawatts worldwide.
Roughly half was in Spain, the one country where CSP is significant enough to show up in national generation statistics, at about 2 percent. DNI is highest in hot, dry regions where skies are clear, typically between latitudes of 15 and 40 degrees. According to. In many regions best suited to making solar thermal power, technical generation capacity the electricity they could be capable of producing far surpasses demand.
With advances in transmission lines, they could supply local populations and export power to places where CSP is more constrained. Rather ironically, the recent success of solar photovoltaic PV has limited the growth of solar thermal electricity. PV panels have become so cheap with such speed that CSP has been sidelined; steel and mirrors have not seen the same price plunge. But as PV comes to comprise a greater fraction of the generation mix, it may shift from a damper to a boost.
That is because CSP has the very advantage photovoltaics struggle with and need: energy storage. Unlike PV panels and wind turbines, CSP makes heat before it makes electricity, and the former is much easier and more efficient to store. Indeed, heat can be stored twenty to one hundred times more cheaply than electricity. In the past decade, it has become relatively standard to build CSP plants with storage in the form of molten salt tanks.
That capacity is crucial for the hours when people remain awake, consuming electricity, but the sun has gone down. Even without molten salt, CSP plants can store heat for shorter periods of time, giving them the ability to buffer variations in irradiance, as can happen on cloudy days—something PV panels cannot do. More flexible and less intermittent than other renewables, CSP is easier to integrate into the conventional grid and can be a powerful complement to solar PV.
Some plants pair the two technologies, strengthening the value of both. It also is a molten salt storage plant, capable of holding 1. However, Tonopah provides steady baseload power, which in turn enables intermittent energy from renewable wind and solar to be seamlessly integrated into the grid. Compared to wind and PV generation, the major downside of CSP, to date, is that it is less efficient, in terms of both energy and economics.
Experts anticipate that the reliability of CSP will hasten its growth, however, and as the technology scales, costs could fall quickly. Efficiency of energy conversion is also projected to improve. Technologies currently under development are already proving it. Other downsides require attention as well. Solar thermal typically relies on natural gas as a production backup or, in some cases, a consistent production boost, with accompanying carbon dioxide emissions.
The use of heat often implies the use of water for cooling, which can be a scarce resource in the hot, dry places ideal for CSP. Dry cooling is possible, but it is less efficient and more expensive. Lastly, by concentrating channels of intense heat, CSP plants have killed bats and birds, which literally combust in midair. One company, Solar Reserve, has developed an effective strategy to stop bird deaths; spreading that practice for mirror operation will be critical as more plants come online.
Human beings have long used mirrors to start fires. Three thousand years ago, solar igniters were mass-produced in Bronze Age China. In the sixteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci designed a giant parabolic mirror to boil water for industry and to warm swimming pools.
Despite slow adoption in recent years, this analysis assumes CSP could rise to 4. An additional benefit of CSP is that it can easily integrate energy storage, allowing for extended use after dark. Part of the answer is biomass energy generation.
Necessary because biomass energy can produce electricity on demand, helping the grid meet predictable changes in load and complementing variable sources of power, like wind and solar. Biomass can aid the shift away from fossil fuels and buy time for flexible grid solutions to come online, while utilizing wastes that might otherwise become environmental problems. In the near-term, substituting biomass for fossil fuels can prevent carbon stocks in the atmosphere from rising.
Photosynthesis is an energy conversion and storage process; solar energy is captured and stored as carbohydrates in biomass. Under the right conditions and over millions of years, biomass left intact would become coal, oil, or natural gas—the carbon-dense fossil fuels that, at present, dominate electricity production and transportation. Or, it can be harvested to produce heat, create steam for electricity production, or be processed into oil or gas.
Rather than releasing fossil-fuel carbon that has been stored for eons far belowground, biomass energy generation trades in carbon that is already in circulation, cycling from atmosphere to plants and back again. Grow plants and sequester carbon. Process and burn biomass. Emit carbon. It is a continuous, neutral exchange, so long as use and replenishment remain in balance.
Energy efficiency. When this balance is achieved, the atmosphere sees net zero new emissions. There is an if: Biomass energy is a viable solution if it uses appropriate feedstock, such as waste products or sustainably grown, appropriate energy crops. Optimally, it also uses a low-emission conversion technology such as gasification or digestion.
Using annual grain crops such as corn and sorghum for energy production depletes groundwater, causes erosion, and requires high inputs of energy in the form of fertilizer and equipment operation. The sustainable alternative is perennial crops or so-called short-rotation woody crops. Perennial herbaceous grasses such as switchgrass and Miscanthus can be harvested for five to ten years before replanting becomes necessary, and they require fewer inputs of water, and labor.
Because they grow back after being cut close to the ground, they can be harvested repeatedly for ten to twenty years. These woody crops circumvent the deforestation that comes with using forests as fuel and sequester carbon more rapidly than most other trees can, but not if they replace already forested lands. Care needs to be taken with both Miscanthus and eucalyptus, however, as they are invasive. The industry exists because of significant government subsidies.
Another important feedstock is waste from wood and agricultural processing. Scraps from saw mills and paper mills are valuable biomass. So are discarded stalks, husks, leaves, and cobs from crops grown for food or animal feed. While it is important to leave crop residues on fields to promote soil health, a portion of those agricultural wastes can be diverted for biomass energy production.
Many such organic residues would either decompose on-site or get burned in slash piles, thus releasing their stored carbon regardless albeit perhaps over longer periods of time. When organic matter decomposes, it often releases methane and when it is burned in piles, it releases black carbon soot.
Both methane and soot increase global warming faster than carbon dioxide; simply preventing them from being emitted can yield a significant benefit, beyond putting the embodied energy of biomass to productive use. In the United States, a majority of the more than biomass electricity generation plants under construction or in the permitting process plan on burning.
Proponents state that these plants will be powered by branches and treetops left over from commercial logging operations, but these claims do not stand up to scrutiny. In the states of Washington, Vermont, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and New York, the amount of slash generated by logging operations falls far short of the amount needed to feed the proposed biomass burners.
In Ohio and North Carolina, utilities have been more forthright and admit that biomass electricity generation means cutting and burning trees. The trees will grow back, but over decades—a lengthy and uncertain lag time to achieve carbon neutrality. When biomass energy relies on trees, it is not a true solution.
Biomass is controversial. To some, biomass is a friend; to others, a foe. A considerable academic effort is under way to more accurately assess its environmental and social impacts. Debates center around three main issues: life- cycle carbon emissions as previously described , indirect land-use change and deforestation, and impacts on food security.
Often, the latter two debates are constructed as forests versus fuel and food versus fuel. In reality, managing land, cultivating food, and producing biomass feedstock interact dynamically—and not always in line with conventional wisdom. At present, biomass fuels 2 percent of global electricity production, more than any other renewable. In some countries—Sweden, Finland, and Latvia among them— bioenergy is 20 to 30 percent of the national generation mix, almost entirely provided for by trees.
Reaching greater scale in more places requires investment in biomass production facilities and infrastructure for collection, transport, and storage. It is crucial to manage, through regulation, the drawbacks of biomass energy. Pelletizing native forests for biomass continues to be a giant step backward.
However, extracting invasive species from forests accompanied with appropriate ecological safeguards can be a good source of biomass energy. Additionally, smallholder farmers need to be protected from displacement by industrial-scale approaches to biomass generation.
Most important to bear in mind is that biomass—carefully regulated and managed—is a bridge to reach a clean energy future, not the destination itself. This analysis assumes all biomass is derived from perennial bioenergy feedstock—not forests, annuals, or waste—and replaces coal and natural gas in electricity production.
By , biomass energy could reduce 7. As clean wind and solar power become more available in a flexible grid, the need for biomass energy will decline. To give a sense of the scale of a nuclear power plant, this image shows a worker climbing a lattice of steel rods at one of the original Hanford Site nuclear reactors.
In effect, nuclear power plants boil water. Nuclear fission splits atomic nuclei and releases the energy that binds the protons and neutrons together. The energy released by radioactivity is used to heat water, which in turn is used to power turbines. It is the most complex process ever invented to create steam. However, nuclear power has a low carbon footprint, which is why it is seen by some people to be a critical global warming solution; many others believe that it is not now, nor will it ever be, cost-effective compared with other low-carbon options.
The almost-universal method used to power steam turbines is gas- or coal-fired power. Greenhouse gases emitted to generate electricity are calculated to be ten to a hundred times higher for coal than for nuclear. There are operating nuclear reactors in 29 countries, and 63 more are under construction.
Of the 29 countries with operative nuclear power plants, France has the highest nuclear contribution to its electrical energy supply, at 76 percent. Nuclear reactors are broadly classified by generation. The oldest, Generation 1, first came online in the s and are now almost entirely decommissioned. The majority of current nuclear capacity falls into the Generation 2 category.
Chernobyl consisted of both Gen 1 and Gen 2. Generation 2 distinguishes itself from its predecessor by the use of water as opposed to graphite to slow down nuclear chain reactions and the use of enriched, as opposed to natural, uranium for fuel. What makes the future of nuclear energy difficult to predict is its cost.
According to the U. Department of Energy, advanced nuclear is the most expensive form of energy besides conventional gas turbines, which are comparatively inefficient. Onshore wind is a quarter of the cost of nuclear power. For those who argue against nuclear because of cost, timing, and safety reasons, the counterargument at one time was the unremitting pace of new coal- fired plant construction.
Hundreds of coal-fired plants were being built or planned, primarily in south and east Asia, with three-fourths of them slated to be built by China, India, Vietnam, and Indonesia. If the coal boom is not stopped, global warming will increase far beyond any reasonable limit. This is why climate reporting focuses primarily on energy, and it is why proponents of nuclear are frustrated at the sluggish pace of new plant construction.
Licensing, permitting, and financing have brought nuclear plants to a near standstill in the United States, while Germany is shutting its plants down and decommissioning. On the other hand, China has thirty-three nuclear plants operative and twenty- two under construction.
It is committed to peak carbon dioxide in with a reduction of its carbon footprint from that date forward. Discussion of nuclear power goes right to the heart of the climate dilemma with respect to carbon emissions: Is an increase in the number of nuclear power plants, with all their flaws and inherent risks, worth the risk? Or, as some proponents insist, will there be a total meltdown of climate by limiting their use?
Nuclear power has been the subject of contentious disagreements by proponents and critics. The arguments for and against are fascinating, complex, and polarized. Take the following three scientists, widely respected in the environmental community, who do not agree:. James Hansen, the NASA scientist who put the United States on notice in his congressional testimony on climate change, takes another perspective.
While it may be. Joseph Romm, one of the most respected climate writers and bloggers, does not buy it. Nuclear reactors are too expensive and unwieldy and, given the still-plummeting cost of wind and solar, have priced themselves out of the market. There seem to be two different worlds here, not one. Nuclear is expensive, and the highly regulated industry in the European Union and the United States may continue to be overbudget and slow.
On the other side of the globe, the largest emitter of carbon in the world is building nuclear reactors more rapidly, motivated in no small part because its cities are extraordinarily polluted from cars and coal-fired power plants. The Chinese nuclear power industry is self-sufficient, in a position to export, and able to complete new plants within two to three years. China currently leads the world in installed renewable energy capacity, has canceled plans for dozens of coal-fired plants, and is committing to a combined wind and solar capacity of gigawatts by Steam rises from the Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant in Germany.
The plant had been in operation since and ceased operation in June Germany is withdrawing from nuclear energy and hopes to cease all nuclear power generation by Or maybe there is another possibility. Can nuclear power plants be redesigned to be smaller, lighter, safer, and cheaper? That is a question dozens of start-ups are working on. Generation 3 reactors notwithstanding, the nuclear reactor world is stuck on large, expensive, hugely complex systems that are better than those in the past, but that repeat the past.
Do large, centralized power plants of any sort make sense in a world of inexpensive renewables, distributed storage, and advanced batteries? Nearly fifty companies are competing to solve the nuclear problem, creating what could be called Generation 4 reactors.
These technologies include molten-salt reactors, high-temperature gas reactors, pebble- bed modular reactors, and fusion reactors hydrogen-boron reactors. There are new reactor designs that address some of the main criticisms and concerns about nuclear energy. They employ better coolants and can scale down to plants one five-hundredth the size of conventional nuclear.
They reduce construction time to one or two years. The world may soon have better choices when it comes to nuclear energy than it has. We assume its share of global electricity generation will grow to This scenario could result in Of those, almost all are no-regrets solutions society would want to pursue regardless of their carbon impact because they have many beneficial social, environmental, and economic effects.
Regrets include tritium releases, abandoned uranium mines, mine-tailings pollution, spent nuclear waste disposal, illicit plutonium trafficking, thefts of fissile material, destruction of aquatic organisms sucked into cooling systems, and the need to heavily guard nuclear waste for hundreds of thousands of years. All told, the U.
Put your hand behind the tailpipe of your car when the engine is running. It is the same principle, only worse—75 to 80 percent of the energy generated by an internal combustion engine is wasted heat.
Coal and single-cycle gas generating plants are the best candidates for capturing wasted energy through cogeneration. Cogeneration puts otherwise-forfeited energy to work, heating and cooling homes and offices or creating additional electricity. Cogeneration systems, also known as combined heat and power CHP , capture excess heat generated during electricity production and use that thermal energy at or near the site for district heating and other purposes.
The opportunity to reduce emissions and save money through cogeneration is significant because of the inherent low efficiency of electrical generation. Many of the cogeneration systems currently online are found in the industrial sector. In the United States, 87 percent of them are used in energy- intensive industries such as chemical, paper, and metal manufacturing and food processing.
In countries such as Denmark and Finland, cogeneration makes up a significant part of electricity production largely because of its use in district heating systems. In countries with a high-CHP share in total generation, such as Denmark and Finland, the need to address energy security played a decisive role. Moreover, the cold climate in the country has provided a basis for a healthy return on investment in heat supply infrastructure.
Although the use of CHP in the country dates back to , it was the s oil crisis that spurred the use of this technology. Since that time, policies have compelled local authorities to identify opportunities for energy-efficient heat production, helped to move power generation from centralized plants to a decentralized network, and incentivized the use of cogeneration generally, and renewable-based systems particularly, through tax policy.
Additionally, Denmark has actively participated in United Nations climate change negotiations and made advances to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently around 80 percent of district heating and more than 60 percent of electricity demand is met by CHP, and there are now microcogeneration units available to households. Usually fueled by natural gas, they can be a fuel cell or heat generator that provides electricity, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning.
They are very efficient, but their price and other factors inhibit adoption. The United States has long lagged behind Europe on cogeneration, in part because of pushback from utilities— notoriously so twenty years ago, when CHP plans at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were challenged by the local utility. Litigation followed, with the university finally winning in the courts.
From a financial viewpoint, the adoption of cogeneration systems makes sense for many industrial and commercial uses, as well as for some residential uses. Cogeneration makes it possible for users that do not have access to renewable energy to produce more energy with the same amount, and cost, of fuel. In addition to clear financial benefits, adoption will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the extent cogeneration reduces reliance on fossil fuels for heating and electricity.
Moreover, it will play a substantial role in the ushering in of smart, distributed, and renewable-based energy networks. Because distributed. Cogeneration systems are easily adaptable to user preference and thus allow for a variety of energy sources. Additionally, cogeneration systems can help to reduce water usage and thermal water pollution when compared to separate combustion-based heat and power systems, decreasing demand pressure on another vital natural resource.
In , industrial cogeneration using natural gas comprised approximately 3. If adoption grows to 5. With capacity of kilowatts or less, micro wind turbines are akin to the windmills of yore— standing solo in a Kansas cornfield, meeting the electricity needs of a family or small farm or business. They are often used to pump water, charge batteries, and provide electrification in rural locations. Typically, only one is installed at a particular location, on as little as an acre of land, in contrast to the large, sweeping groupings found at commercial wind farms.
When the electric grid was still sparse in many rural U. It is playing a similar role in developing countries today, where these small-scale systems can bring power to the 1. Micro wind turbines are a notable technology for expanding electrification, giving people a way to light their homes or cook their evening meals, which has wide- ranging benefits for well-being and economic development.
At the same time, micro wind in high-income countries can be paired with utility-scale renewables, augmenting production. Though the locations may vary widely, micro wind turbines achieve the same climate benefit: energy production without creating greenhouse gases. Depending on its speed, wind contains a certain amount of kinetic energy.
The efficiency with which a turbine extracts power from the wind is called its capacity factor. For small-scale wind turbines, real-world capacity is typically Siting is critical to maximizing their output, but the technology for doing so is in its infancy compared to that for the commercial wind industry. At the same time, micro wind turbines are able to avoid challenges that plague their utility-scale brethren. Being smaller in scale means they avoid aesthetic issues—claims of ruining bucolic views along ridgelines or off coasts—and noise grievances, as many are nearly inaudible.
At present, the major demand for micro wind turbines is for off-grid use. That means they are often installed with a diesel generator to supply electricity when the breeze does not blow. From a carbon perspective, relying on a fossil fuel complement is not ideal. There are already some combined solar photovoltaic and micro wind systems on the market, which is one fruitful alternative. Improved battery storage technology could also boost the viability of small-scale wind.
Where these turbines are linked up to the grid, owners may be able to send their unneeded electrons out to the larger network for financial return through net metering. Experts estimate that a million or more micro wind turbines are currently in use around the world, with the majority whirling in China, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The key factor for growing that number is cost in both low- and high-income countries alike.
Currently, the price per kilowatt of small- scale wind is much higher than that of utility-scale turbines, and payback periods can be long, in part because they are installed individually. Acquiring micro- wind technology is beyond the reach of many. Public-support schemes, such as feed-in-tariffs, tax credits, capital subsidies, and net metering, can shift that equation—and have in places where it is thriving.
Until small-scale turbine manufacturers can reach economies of scale, end-user cost is likely to remain a challenge. Continued evolution of turbine technology itself also will play an important role in reducing price. This is a VisionAIR5 vertical axis wind turbine that is quieter than a human whisper at low speeds. The turbine is The minimum wind speed required is 9 miles per hour and it can withstand speeds up to miles per hour. Integrating micro turbines into large structures within the built environment is showing unique promise.
Structures that enable turbine placement at high elevation, such as skyscrapers, can take advantage of stronger, steadier breezes. That is one reason visitors to the Eiffel Tower can now find vertical axis turbines on its second level, four hundred feet above the ground, overlooking the Champ de Mars. A symbol of engineering innovation, the Eiffel Tower is an appropriate perch for technologies that can help propel a clean energy future.
Like in-stream. Human-induced climate change was first identified in and again in by the same scientist, Alexander von Humboldt. Though little known or studied today, Alexander von Humboldt b. September 14, was a legend in his lifetime, and remains one of the most important scientists in history. More places and species are named after Humboldt than after any other human being. His one hundredth birthday was celebrated all over the world with festivities and parades.
He was the first person to describe the phenomenon and cause of human-induced climate change, in and again in , based on observations generated during his travels. It was here that Humboldt created the idea of isotherms, the lines delineating changes in barometric pressure and temperature on weather maps. His concept of climatic zones came about from his near ascent of Chimborazo, a 20,foot inactive volcano in Ecuador.
He had taken a trunk full of instruments and measured, described, scrutinized, and drawn the plants, animals, forests, people, and lands encountered with an almost perfect recall,. During his five-year immersion in largely unspoiled wilderness, Humboldt realized that nature is intricately interconnected in ways that surpass human knowledge. And he saw that living systems, and indeed the whole of the planet, are highly vulnerable to disturbances by human beings.
In , the sixty-year-old Humboldt set off on his last journey, a wide- ranging expedition to Russia arranged after receiving welcoming invitations from Czar Nicholas I and foreign minister Count Georg von Cancrin. In twenty- five weeks, his party traveled 9, miles. When he returned, he described precisely and prophetically what could happen to a civilization if it did not recognize how sensitive our atmosphere is to changes on the ground. Petersburg at the end of his journey. Humboldt was expected first in Moscow and then in St.
Petersburg to report on his expedition. He was happy. He had seen deep mines and snow-capped mountains as well as the largest dry steppe in the world and the Caspian Sea. Between Astrakhan and Volgograd, the learned khan of the Kalmyk choir sang Mozart overtures.
Humboldt had watched Saiga antelopes chasing across the Kazakh Steppe, snakes sunbathing on a Volga island and a naked Indian fakir in Astrakhan. He had correctly predicted the presence of diamonds in Siberia, had against his instructions talked to political exiles, and had even met a Polish man who had been deported to Orenburg and who proudly showed Humboldt his copy of Political Essay of New Spain.
During the previous months Humboldt had survived an anthrax epidemic and had lost weight because he found the Siberian food indigestible. He had plunged his thermometer into deep wells, carried his instruments across the Russian Empire, and taken thousands of measurements. He and his team returned with rocks, pressed plants, fish in vials, and stuffed animals, as well as ancient manuscripts and books for Wilhelm.
As before, Humboldt was not just interested in botany, zoology, or geology but also in agriculture and forestry. In the Baraba Steppe, where the anthrax epidemic had raged, Humboldt had noted the environmental impact of intense husbandry. The region was and is an important agriculture center of Siberia, and the farmers there had drained swamps and lakes to turn the land into fields and pastures. This had caused a considerable desiccation of the marshy plains which would continue to increase, Humboldt concluded.
Comparison not discovery was his guiding theme. When he listed the three ways in which the human species was affecting the climate, he named deforestation, ruthless. No one but Humboldt had looked at the relationship between humankind and nature like this before. The same year Thomas Jefferson penned the U.
Declaration of Independence, Italian physicist Alessandro Volta discovered methane gas. Intrigued by the flammable air rising up from muddy waters along Lake Maggiore, he captured some and recorded his findings from ensuing experiments in a series of letters to friend and fellow curious mind Carlo Campi.
He went on to engage the fiery power of methane in a pistol of his own design. That microbial wisdom is now being used to manage the planet-warming methane emissions that arise from organic waste—creating clean energy in the process. Agricultural, industrial, and human digestion processes create an ongoing and growing stream of organic waste. Around the world, people grow crops, raise animals, make foodstuffs, and nourish themselves.
Every one of those activities creates by-products, from residues to excrement. Even with best efforts to reduce, there is no way around waste. Some spoilage, for instance, is. And, as the saying goes, shit happens. Without thoughtful management, organic wastes can emit fugitive methane gases as they decompose.
Molecules of methane that make their way into the atmosphere create a warming effect thirty-four times stronger than carbon dioxide over a one-hundred-year time horizon. But that need not be the case. They harness the power of microbes to transform scraps and sludge and produce two main products: biogas, an energy source, and solids called digestate, a nutrient-rich fertilizer.
Harnessing organic waste as an energy resource has a long history. Just before the turn of the twentieth century, sewage-gas lamps illuminated the streets of Exeter, England. A full millennium before, biogas warmed Assyrian bathwater. During his years in ancient China, Venetian explorer Marco Polo encountered covered sewage tanks that produced cooking fuel. An asylum for lepers near Mumbai installed a biogas system in , also for lighting. Today, anaerobic digestion is used around the world at backyard, farmyard, and industrial scales, and is on the rise.
Thanks to a supportive regulatory environment, Germany leads the way among established economies with nearly eight thousand methane digesters as of —almost 4, megawatts of installed capacity in total. Their adoption is increasing in the United States as well, particularly as attention to methane emissions grows.
Small-scale digesters dominate in Asia. More than million people in rural China have access to digester gas. Whatever size or shape digesters take, the dynamics within are the same. As organic wastes are mixed within an airtight, oxygen-less tank, bacteria and other microbes break them down into their component parts, step by step. Over the course of days or weeks, biogas wafts off the top, while solid digestate falls to the bottom, concentrating nutrients such as nitrogen.
Biogas is a blend of methane and carbon dioxide that can be used raw or further purified into biomethane, akin to natural gas. The digestion process unfolds continuously, so long as feedstock supplies are sustained and the microorganisms remain happy. Those end uses tend to depend on the scale of production. At the household level, largely in rural and unelectrified areas in Asia and Africa, biogas is utilized for cooking, lighting, and heating, while digestate enriches home gardens and small agricultural plots.
Importantly, biogas can. When produced at industrial scales, biogas can displace dirty fossil fuels for heating and electricity generation. When cleaned of contaminants, it also can be used in vehicles that would otherwise rely on natural gas.
On the solids side, digestate supplants fossil fuel—based fertilizers while improving soil health. In addition to reducing greenhouse gases, methane digesters reduce landfill volumes and water-polluting effluent, and eradicate odors and pathogens.
In the face of an ongoing stream of animal and human excrement and organic waste from food production and consumption—and a tandem surge of energy demand—we would do well to take the opportunity to waste not, want not to heart. We project that by , small digesters can replace The cumulative result: Kinetic energy is energy in motion. For millennia we have harnessed that energy, first to turn waterwheels and power machinery, then, in the nineteenth century, to generate electricity.
Hydroelectric dams produce enormous amounts of electricity. But they also swallow up vast swaths of natural and human habitat—the Three Gorges alone displaced 1. These drawbacks have shifted attention from grand dams to smaller, in- stream turbines that are akin to an updated waterwheel. Placed within a free- flowing river or stream, in-stream turbines can capture hydrokinetic energy without creating a reservoir and its repercussions.
The underwater analogue to wind turbines activated by the breeze, their blades rotate as water moves past. No barriers, diversions, or storage are required, only limited structural support,. In-stream hydro can produce renewable energy that is ecologically sound.
The presence of a submerged apparatus with moving parts will always have some impact on the life of a river or stream, and concerns persist about harming fish populations and impeding their migration. Careful design and installation are of utmost importance. Though water flows can shift season-to-season and year-to-year, hydrokinetic turbines offer a relatively continuous supply of energy. They must be kept free of debris, but upkeep is minimal and initial costs are low.
From native communities in rural Alaska to rice fields needing irrigation, this technology is being tested and adopted where expensive and dirty diesel generators have been the conventional source of power. Waterways fed by Himalayan snowmelt are hotbeds of in-stream activity, with the potential to propel rural economic development.
In urban environments, in-stream turbines target another hydrokinetic resource: city water mains. In Portland, Oregon, 3. As water rushes down from the Cascade Range to the city, it also generates power for the local utility—without harming flow. This subcategory of in-stream technologies is called conduit hydropower. According to a national assessment of U. Roughly 95 percent of it is located in the Mississippi, Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Ohio, and Missouri hydrologic regions.
The technology needed to seize that opportunity is fairly new and rare, likened by some to the status of wind power fifteen years ago. Small players populate the industry, but their efforts benefit from the similarities between in-stream and tidal energy and the surge of research and investment in the latter. If potential missteps are managed and in-stream hydro harnesses river power properly, an ancient form of energy could well be important for our future.
Mini hydroelectric power station with 12 kilowatts of installed power produces around 33, kilowatt-hours of electricity per year in Bruton, Somerset, England. Communities in remote mountainous areas are among the last regions in need of electrification; in-stream hydro offers them a reliable and economical method of generating electricity. Some call this a solution, while others call it pollution.
It is certainly the latter. Waste-to-energy is detailed here as a transitional strategy for a world that wastes too much. In Drawdown, there are several solutions that we call regrets solutions, and this is one of them. A regrets solution has a positive impact on overall carbon emissions; however, the social and environmental costs are harmful and high. The waste incineration industry in the United States arose from the collapse of the nuclear industry in the s and s.
Companies that. In other words, it changes the form of the waste. Some of the heavy metals and toxic compounds latent within the trash are emitted into the air, some are scrubbed out, and some remain in the resulting ash. At that time, a hundred tons of municipal waste created thirty tons of fly ash, a granular substance laden with toxins. The ash goes to landfills lined with plastic to ensure that leachates from the ash do not seep into groundwater.
How long the plastic liners last is not known. The amount of ash generated today is much lower due to newer techniques. There are four methods used by industry to convert waste to energy: incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, and plasma. Waste-to-energy also refers to smaller conversion facilities sited at government agencies, companies, or hospitals that use one of these techniques to dispose of medical, manufacturing, or radioactive waste, as well as tires, sewage sludge, laboratory chemicals, or neighborhood garbage.
So why feature waste-to-energy in Drawdown at all? In a sustainable world, waste would be composted, recycled, or re-used; it would never be thrown away because it would be designed at the outset to have residual value, and systems would be in place to capture it. Yet cities and land-scarce countries such as Japan face a dilemma: What is to be done with their trash—a veritable Tower of Babel comprising tens of thousands of different materials and chemicals? Landfilling requires extensive tracts of land, which countries like Japan do not have or cannot afford.
If landfill sites are available, burying waste creates methane gas from the decomposition of organic matter, a greenhouse gas that is up to thirty-four times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a one- hundred-year period. Waste-to-energy plants create energy that might otherwise be sourced from coal- or gas-fired power plants.
Their impact on greenhouse gases is positive when compared to methane-creating landfills. Today, the United States burns 29 million tons of garbage annually—12 percent of its total generated waste. One study conducted in the s of a New Jersey incinerator showed the following results: If 2, tons of trash were incinerated daily, the annual emissions would be 5 tons of lead, 17 tons of mercury, pounds of cadmium, 2, tons of nitrous oxide, tons of sulfur dioxide, tons of hydrogen chloride, 87 tons of sulfuric acid, 18 tons of fluorides, and The study also showed varying amounts of the persistent toxic pollutant dioxin, depending on the amount of paper and wood involved in incineration.
Essentially, inert hazardous waste goes into an incinerator and bioavailable hazardous and toxic emissions come out. Modern incinerators address these concerns in part. Employing considerably higher temperatures and equipped with scrubbers and filters, almost all traces of pollutants can be captured—but not all. For cities and urban communities, the allure of waste-to-energy plants is compelling.
In Europe, more than waste-to-energy plants exist, burning 25 percent of all waste. Sweden leads the field, importing , tons of garbage from other countries, at considerable cost in carbon emissions, to fuel its district heating plants—the most extensive network in the world. The Swedes assert that they are very careful about the trash they import: It has to be well sorted with all of the recyclables, including food, removed.
Landfills are banned, so if it is not recycled, it is burned. In a modern Swedish waste-to-energy plant the remaining ash is filtered, removing any metal bits, which are also recycled. Tile or ceramic pieces are gathered to use for gravel in road construction. The use of electric filters negatively charges and removes any particulate matter, and the remaining smoke is considered toxin-free and almost entirely consisting of water and carbon dioxide.
Because of higher temperatures, there is a significant reduction in total fly ash. The small remainder goes to landfills. The Swedish municipal association believes that for every ton of garbage, imported or domestic, there is an equivalent savings of 1, pounds of carbon dioxide if compared to the garbage being landfilled. As a strategy for managing our trash, waste-to-energy is better than the landfill alternative when state-of-the-art facilities are employed. In Europe, despite the market for trash the Germans, Danes, Dutch, and Belgians also are in the business of importing garbage , the rate of recycling, including green waste, is going up, and a 50 percent recycling mandate is in place for the year In the EU, there is a strategy for addressing the whole waste stream as effectively as possible: Where more rubbish could be reduced, reused, recycled, or composted, it should be.
Two seemingly appropriate construction projects have pointed out the resurgence of those who really want things to continue as they have been in their lives so far. First there is the CCS project in Saskatchewan attached to a small coal fired power plant.
They had to get the floor to ceiling glass from Germany at extra cost for transportation. Of course, their business is selling machines with internal combustion engines with the concomitant emissions. The efforts made to lower emissions has to be applauded, but… The notion that we really need to use less is not really part of the arithmetic yet!
People get defensive, then angry and then ignore you. What I have tried hard at the Green Wizards website is educate people about what we are going to face, years and decades where things will get worse and worse for people, economically, environmentally and just a general living life kind of way, as the Long Descent continues into Collapse.
At the same time we all on the site are discussing ways we try to make our own lives easier. How to eat a bit better with gardening, canning and just a general ignoring the Corporate messages on the TV to eat more and more junk foods. And we are quite often talking about how we fail or screw up too. You learn more I believe by making a mistake and learning from it, than always succeeding. Come over an join the discussion — GreenWizards. I freely admit the absolute refusal of Clinton supporters to acknowledge that there could exist any possible reasons, outside of a few rather unsavory ones, for not voting for her left me somewhat baffled.
I also married into a Hispanic family. My wife was overjoyed when Obama won. She thought he was really going to help out Mexican immigrants. She felt he and by extension the Democrats just used immigrants for their votes with out doing anything else. More awareness of this kind of environmentalist is not the whole solution, but it seems to me to be a necessary first step.
One other thing: I urge you to reconsider your chosen course of confrontation. Funny you mention 16th-cenutry German Catholicism. To start with, both institutions gained their prestige for pretty good reason, having contributed many things great and small to society and civilization, giving people hope and purpose. People notice, and quietly at least initially start to leave.
But, it is what it is, and best to live with integrity and try to preserve and pass on these values to the next generation, than to shout about trivialities on Twitter. There is another way to win elections, though: one can influence how many of the people who agree with you are allowed to vote, versus how many of those who disagree, among related methods voter turnout, gerrymandering, etc.
El: Reasoned disagreement! Prepare to be sacrificed to their gods. JMG, I am saying almost the opposite. I agree with those criticisms, but why stop there? We are many and they are few, and we all made this ghastly mess together. My circle of acquaintance are not elites but they are comfortable in their lives and ossified in their habits. They admire and agree with environmentalists but continue to do what they think of as normal and natural if they think about it at all.
Between that approach and shrieking — which please notice I have not threatened to do — there is an immensity of possible action. Friends of mine who are generally indifferent have taken what she says to heart. What is that if not shame?
Dear Chris Edward, I would like to suggest that over half of us white women voted against Hillary Clinton for the simple reason that we knew who and what she is, nothing special, just your basic overbearing, self-absorbed main street clubwoman. I have known dozens like her, on various smaller stages. I voted for Stein, BTW.
It might also surprise you to learn how many of us women there are who do not like alpha men. I suggest that someone like Trump marries a series of trophies because no woman of sense will have him. I doubt I would vote for Schultz because he makes lousy coffee. As a long time caffeine fiend, I take my mocha seriously.
In Portland, his product is known as charbucks. How to allow for peoples with different morals and values exist under the same political government and within the same culture will continue to be a huge challenge to deal with, especially when few want to have polite discourse.
Accepting that there is not an immediate way to fix the problem, and also that there will never be a way to entirely fix the problem will be a needed step. Realizing that the spiral of life will continue moving, presenting new issues to deal with will be another reflection that people will need be aware of. The only real answer we keep hearing, although not in these direct words, is how long can we continue putting bandages on a broken system until it falls apart. That is definitely indicative of a system and people who have severely disconnected with reality, and as David BTL pointed out, the common way of life just further disconnects us from reality, from interacting with others in ways which teach us what it means to be human.
I was reminded a little of the Wizard of Oz, and the professor hidden behind his curtain, manipulating all those gadgets until Dorothy threw open the curtain and demanded his attention. It is good to have you back, JMG. When you shed the light on something, I recognize it. Thank you. Hope the break was good. On the one hand, as person of Jewish descent, I cannot and will not support or condone a man who has the support of white nationalists and Nazis.
On the other hand, I have been simply appalled by the liberal hysteria and Orwell-esque mandated and uncomplex hate for him. Not that I unilaterally oppose hate for the man, just that anger and hate without a rigorous and complete mental effort is contemptible. As for policy, I have come around to the idea that while immigrants should be treated with utter respect and consideration, their effect on working class wages in the short, mid, and maybe even long term should be taken into account seriously and strongly.
My family is strongly union, so we never supported any of that free market equals universal prosperity bunk. As a person of strongly left-radical leanings, my opinion is currently that the man and his more alarming followers should be defeated and marginalized ideologically, but that his presidency has been a boon largely despite himself, and that the new paradigms and splintering of the neoliberal stranglehold that he has presided over will be positive overall.
What do other people think? What might that suggest? Socialism is like that, also. The weirdest thing happened to me yesterday. I wrote a song when I was 14 that had no lyrics. It has bounced around my head for 31 years. I remember it from time to time and hum the tune aloud.
The lyrics came to me in a flood yesterday, and they were in a radically different style from anything I have ever written. I felt as if it was purposefully, magically timed on Tuesday, the day of war, but by what influence I may never know. Breathing in the smell of your own gas You march to claim the high ground A conquest of screams A contest of trolling, hats, and memes oh learn to code. Calling out the bigots when you should be Looking in the mirror The racist is you look out, watch it Classist and hypocrite fit too so check yourself.
You rule as the kings and queens petty and triumphant, in gilded halls But here comes the guillotine. I was also struck by the hysteria over Schultz. But I feel the Dems have been tremendously brittle about third party threats since at least , when Nader supposedly helped Gore lose the election. But is there an echo here of a SJW declaring that a Trump voter can only be motivated by hidden racism?
In other words, when is it legitimate to look for hidden motives, and when do you take a person at their word? Or is it that the SJW knows what the real problem is, whereas a repressed emotion requires curiosity, subtlety and openness to unearth? Whether they fade out like Occupy or turn into something far more serious remains to be seen. Austin, what a wretched experience that must have been! Will, interesting. David, of course not. Prizm, thanks for this. I expect the struggle among the Dems to be bitter, not least because for a change there are actual issues up for consideration.
I know quite a few vegans who recognize that their dietary choices are their business, and that my dietary choices are mine, full stop, end of sentence. This is easy, since I learned to cook from my Japanese stepmother and know some exceptionally tasty things to do with tofu. Kay, thanks for this! Troy, got it and thank you! Ashara, and those are exactly the sort of reasoned considerations that other people are making right now, including some who see the Democrats as the greater threat to their well-being.
Bruce, thanks for these. My understanding is that the kid who was the central target of the media hatefest has lawyered up, and a lot of media outlets are being slapped with serious lawsuits for libel. Since what many of them said was in fact libelous, it promises to be entertaining to see things proceed!
Ashara, good! Anything that pushes the narrative of anti-establishment centrism at this point can only help, so thank you. Oswald Spengler argues that the rationalist science of each high culture is simply a reframing of its religious ideas, with abstract principles in place of gods and reasoned arguments in place of myths, so a case can be made that your parallel is not only accurate but inevitably so.
Joel, sure, and all sides have been doing that full tilt since the first US election in which the presidency was contested. The Democrats are just as busy trying to gerrymander districts and pad the voting rolls with corpses et al. AuntLili, of course you disagree with me. Shaming and shunning — dear gods, have you been living under a rock, so you managed not to notice how much of that has been deployed by the self-proclaimed Good People for the last four decades?
Prizm, good. You might contact them and express your interest. Yes, it has a lot to do with the projection of the Shadow; more on this as we proceed. Gnat, fair enough. I tend to pay attention to how people behave rather than what abstractions would do if they somehow became real. Cliff, the Democrats have very good reason to be brittle. The vast majority of the people who vote for them do so while holding their nose, and so the Dems have built their entire political strategy on being just a little less putrid than their rivals.
As for hidden motives, exactly. What I have found in almost ten years of being vegan is that being polite, kind, and diplomatic works far better than shaming and chastising people, no matter what your cause tends to be. I have tried both approaches and made almost every mistake.
Honey, ahem excuse me, maple syrup, attracts more flies than vinegar. My family eats animal flesh and secretions. Nothing will convince them to stop. They have reduced their animal intake a little bit, and my mom only drinks plant milks due to my influence and the fact that plant milks taste good. Never underestimate the power of pragmatism, maturity, diplomacy, and being the change when it comes to influencing others.
Also, the elephant in the room that almost never gets mentioned in the same sentence as environmentalism is remaining childfree by choice, or choosing to adopt rather than having a child the usual way. Understandably, the book is not intended as a prediction — but still… the extreme weather in America, the geopolitics China, Russia, America, etc.
Finally, the parallel that strikes me most is the sheer rapidity and blatantness of the US state-sponsored coup. Seriously Hillary? This is how you propose to woo the opposition? If as you suggested they were to actually inquire as to why people were voting for Trump, racism was not the reason for many voters. I do love your lambasting of the virtue signaling wealthy though, flogging those who would dare to eat a hamburger while possessing a carbon footprint far larger than a whole horde of McDonalds fans.
I fear for this country. My take on this is that the fossil fuel age has promoted lifestyles of independence, but at the price of many of us not understanding all the inter-dependencies of our large carbon footprint lifestyles. Much, much more effort than I had in mind 10 or even 5 years ago….
Even if you liked some of his policies, how could you trust him to follow through? Is the environmental movement really about lowering your carbon footprint? Is that the main point? It used to be about protecting nature and all the non human animals that are threatened by industrial civilization. If you walk the talk and win the argument and everyone is convinced to lower their carbon footprints, then the economy collapses since it needs constant growth.
Then what? Earth First! There are serous issues with entropy and population growth that seem insurmountable. Both of them fundamentally say that people who disagree with them must have been brainwashed by the enemy. When are we going to ski? Never again.
Where will we go this summer? Is the power on? Are you taking me to football? Pack your bike. Dad, why are you doing this? Sorry kid, you convinced me that it should be different. The quote demonstrates that at least some of those in power actually get it — that effective climate action actually means walking your talk. And where those in power do admit it, they will present this type of action as a terrible sacrifice that no one with any sense will take part in.
Aaaahhh, says I, what a refreshing draught of reality. One might even begin to think that there is no opposition to their demented ranting. Thank the gods I live in red America and know better first-hand. And my respect for them grows in tandem with their patience and restraint in the face of such vitriol. Thoughts from over here in Ireland.. Vegan groups had set up large billboards which are rare in themselves here promoting veganism as a way of treating animals better.
As far as I can see though, broad adoption of veganism would require the killing of most domestic livestock who would have no commercial values, but no one seems to talk about that consequence. I looked up the sponsors of the report and noted, as you and others have, the general hypocrisy involved. The other one to come up is that they want to tax diesel fuel even more to combat global warming. Congratulations on the new book! The practical portion of this plan involves actually knitting yarn that was purchased years ago…so that someone can actually wear it.
Dear JMG, so nice that you came back! The main effect of climate change rhetoric may well be the discredit of science — whenever anyone publishes anything disproving anthropogenic global warming, always insists that it is not doing so, otherwise it will not be published in a high ranked journal. So, this all global warming thing became some Orwellian thing where is mandatory to believe. I also suspect that our diminishing natural resources are marginally more valuable for those who only now can afford to send their children to school with shoes or eat meat twice a week.
Frequent flyer environmentalists and global warming champion politicians are wrecking the environment and compromising the possibilities of future generations not only because of what they do, but also because of the example they set. There is certainly a special place in hell for them…. It is quite clear and beyond reasonable discussion that the hypocrisy of certain persons in diverse environmental movements actively helped in people ignoring these said movements.
However, there is more to it than that. I have been involved in the environmental movement in Mauritius for the past 20 years and in so doing I have tried to change a bit my lifestyle, composting, growing vegetables, recycling paper wastes, cutting down on single use plastic, introducing paper bags at work and a few more other things. In my different writings and public interventions I never tried to tell people what to do, instead when prompted I told people what I did and how I did it and why.
Trying at my level to lead by example, at least I think so. I have never been accused of hypocrisy, but neither have I been able to convince a lot of people to take up composting for instance or even to use scrap paper to make shopping lists!!! People are interested and agree such steps are valuable and not too difficult, but they fail to pick up these steps.
I think this is so because throwing away vegetable scraps is far easier that composting them, buying vegetables is easier than growing them. Using readily available plastic is easier than finding alternatives. There is no sense of urgency, so why bother. People will act if 1 others lead by example and 2 there is a palpable sense of urgency. Indeed, environmental degradations in my country were acted upon if and only if a palpable sense of urgency was felt.
For instance, the treatment of raw sewage, or the erosion of coastal, sandy beaches or saving a few endemic species on the brink of extinction. When the sense of urgency is absent or subsides, action no longer follows or in non-existent. For instance we have a problem of solid wastes here which currently is managed by using an already flowing landfill.
As the land fill is out of sight, few bother with reducing or recycling or composting. Energy is another good one, oil prices go up, everybody gets excited, oil prices go down everybody just dose off…. I think this goes some way in explaining part of our predicament.
I find Trump to be an arrogant, egotistical, insufferable blowhard whose approach to governance seems incoherent, scattershot, and contradictory. That said, he is not wrong with regard to several issues on which I place a high level of importance and manages to stumble in necessary directions in spite of it all, although he tends to choose as SamauriArtGuy noted many posts ago to do those needed things in the worst possible way available.
A few examples: national sovereignty over international trade nixing TPP , control of the flow of goods and people across our borders immigration, NAFTA , and possibly—just possibly—withdrawing from these foolish, wasteful, and endless wars. In , he was an unknown whose rhetoric was very much a mixed bag for me. I chose to vote for Stein. With regard to my list of priority issues, Trump has actually delivered on several items and pushed for movement on several more.
Elder Nathan Philips used a song and drumming that was designed as a peace ceremony, with the intention of shaming the white kids and supporting the extremists who had been yelling obscenities. The result so far has been an unnecessary elevation of conflict rather than peace, and a rather large helping of raspberry-flavored shame seems to have landed on Philips, including bringing to light his exaggerations of his military record.
Forgive my ignorance of history here, but did something similar happen with the Roman elite a couple millennia ago? That was something that always puzzled me about the story. Social pressure works. It also works for your local electric company. A experiment in San Diego compared the effects of three postcards, one discussing the importance of saving energy to the environment, a second offering tips and tricks for saving money, and a third comparing the recipients energy use with that of his neighbors.
Only the last one was found to make a difference in customers energy use, and it was a big one. Now, if someone came into your home and, unbidden, remarked that you and Sara had made a good effort towards reducing your energy consumption but that it paled in comparison with Fred and Wilma down the block, I suspect you would find that rude. Nevertheless, it works. Finally, I would love to know who you have in mind when you talk about shouty environmentalists.
Al Gore may be a hypocrite but he is also famously laconic. James Hansen? David Suzuki? David Attenborough? Could JMG clarify his cheeseburger figures. I have found a strange phenomenon when I try to engage in reasoned discussion about, for example, the impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet, with people who have perhaps never considered the possibility before. I get zero response — just blankness.
If I put forward a carefully reasoned argument, backed up by calculations, people neither agree not disagree with me — they just treat the comment as though it was made in an incomprehensible foreign language, Chinese or Russian for example, completely fail to engage with it, and just carry on talking about whatever they were talking about before.
I guess discussing politics is a bit like that these days. Vegan for personal reasons the ick factor of eating animals and also wholly opposed to the mistreatment of farm animals. Then you have that I am currently considering doing a certification that would require me to drive two hours each way for 6 months. Great to have you back, John. You were missed, but I did catch your podcast with J.
Kunstler and enjoyed it very much. Although I have followed your blog for years, I had never heard audio of you speaking before! Hi JMG. A few more notes on the Moral Foundations work, especially how it relates to other ways of analyzing culture. The culture war in the s and early s centered on the legitimacy of these latter three foundations. In , with the rise of the Tea Party, the culture war shifted away from social issues such as abortion and homosexuality, and became more about differing conceptions of fairness equality vs.
The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are both populist movements that talk a great deal about fairness and liberty, but in very different ways, as you can see here, for the Tea Party, and here, for OWS. He rings all the bells. A lot of people who like Trump see him as challenging people they see as oppressors. A couple of items before I close this post. Finally, there are a boatload of academic papers discussing various aspects at moralfoundations.
If I believe that putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is a bad thing i. The fact that some so-called environmentalists are frequent flyers or drive gas-guzzling SUVs etc. Is this the point that AuntLili was trying to make? Thank you! Great to have you back.
You have identified a key root of our current dysfunction: the difficulty people have comprehending the reasons why others have opinions that differ from their own. We live in an era where attempts to craft coherent ways of thinking and living are dismissed as intolerant because they inevitably proscribe other ways of thinking and living as bad.
And since it is much easier to deconstruct and point out inconsistencies than it is to build a coherent understanding of the world, there are many loud voices crushing any attempt to propose coherent ideas about how to live. Universities, churches, political parties, and other private associations have largely abandoned the task of crafting coherent viewpoints from which to live.
Without these frameworks, the reasons people do things are often driven by emotional reactions to memes they encounter. Since trying to understand these is extremely difficult, people give up and shout at each other. In a certain way, I see the Trump phenomena as a nadir that might lead to improving this situation because he embodies the abandonment of attempts to craft coherent understandings of the truth. But at least fewer people are crafting sophisticated reasoning about why reasoning is irrational.
In order for us to change and especially if the change requires personal sacrifice we much first be made uncomfortable. But in order for us to hear those things — rather than simply react in anger or write them off — we must first feel like we have something in common with the speaker. Those who speak out against climate change while continuing a carbon-intensive elite lifestyle are hypocrites but also gain prominence as their status gives them a microphone. Those who lead by example are rapidly written off as quaint, old-fashioned, or irrelevant as they have willingly given up much of their status by consuming less.
Glad to see that you are back and threw yourself right into the thick of the political wrestle mania beginning for Meanwhile we have Antifa wearing outfits to conceal their identities attacking people and there is total silence on comparing them to any terrorist group. JMG : Happy you are back posting. In the meantime I enjoyed your interview with James Howard Kunstler. Another angle to the discussion on veganism is provided in this interesting article Animals and Ecology : Towards a Better Integration.
In it ecological philosopher Val Plumwood explains why veganism belongs to the dualistic human-nature, nature-culture worldview that is behind the ecological and other crises of our time that we must overcome for a future livable planet. Taking hiatus so as to let Father Time work his magic and thus provide you with the ultimate target rich environment?
Well done Sir…. I find it most amusing watching the ever mounting hypocrisy of politicians be destroyed by the internet. I do think that while the internet may be cause for some of the people deciding to inhabit their own private bubble universe, it has also let light into many darker streets and alleys of the political and business processes, and thus exposing their hypocrisy and shenanigans.
I am not on social media, but the excerpts I have been reading are most enlightening and very often comedy en extremis. The major media are being outed for fabrications almost daily, so one has to verify everything to even begin to separate fact from fiction. The internet made this possible, as before, we had no way to even discern something amiss until months or years later, when facts finally dribbled from old news media. What a time to be alive…. I too see cracks in the facades of the red and blue parties, and Miss Occasional Cortex rapidly proving the old slant that green parties are watermelons — green outside and pink in the middle.
I am all for a free-for-all in , and we may actually have that. It seems everyone with a pulse and a connection into DC is tossing their hat in the nearest convenient election ring. The Meuller investigation ought to be winding down, as 3 attorneys have announced their leaving. It will be interesting to see if there is any meat in the meal they present, or merely some lightly oiled greens. The recent Roe vs Wade proposed legislation and the full term abortion legislation passed in NY and on table elsewhere may actually be very enlightening and entertaining.
Assuredly, with inability to compromise being paramount among those involved, it will be vigorous and loud. And it is likely to split areas of the body politic and social media into camps of deranged stakeholders…. Anyway, there is grist aplenty for you! I am looking forward to some exploration in these directions in future, along with many others.
Everywhere you look, that rough beast is making his way and rearing his head. Also has black cabinet members and staff, was lauded by black charity groups for decades back in NYC, and hired the first woman executive to erect a skyscraper. If there are contradictions, then perhaps the NEWS has been the problem here? Thus problems when people get very, VERY sloppy with words. Find the facts and use firm definitions and things become clear. This is why those of us outside of liberal-land have been astonished by the behavior: we lack the resources to live in any sort of bubble, barely surviving death counts higher than Vietnam against the coastal onslaught designed to drive us into the living standards of North Korea.
What we consume and what we eat does impact the environment and the science behind it is undisputed. Having done the extensive research on peak oil you of all people should understand this. And Howard Shultz???? I think you might have finally jumped the shark JMG. Thanks for allowing me to express my views. So sure, why not. This has also prompted me to consider, if for no other reason than just for the heck of it, to submit my application and resume to the new governor of Wisconsin expressing my interest in serving on the Public Utility Commission, should a vacancy arise during his term.
I believe many of us who voted for Obama in did so because we saw him as refreshingly disciplined and competent, and a welcome change from the overgrown adolescent excesses of the previous two administrations. I strongly suspect that possibly soon to be candidate Schultz is a neo-con front man.
We shall see. He sells a product produced in tropical countries on which he makes a Yuge profit—he may be nice to his employees but how much does he pay coffee farmers? If he does announce, I for one will be reading his issues page very closely. One of the funny things is that many of them seem absolutely determined to insist anyone who believes in free will is motivated solely by emotional needs.
As I mentioned earlier, this is usually a red flag to me that shadow projection is happening, so what emotional need are they fulfilling by rejecting free will? No one, not even the environmentalists, wanted to discuss it.
Until the environmental movement starts targeting things like airports, which provide an amenity to the rich, they will get nowhere. People were saying that JMG had jumped the shark in when he predicted a Trump victory. As for diet, sure, it has an impact. Frankly, I will dismiss anyone who advocates I should be a vegan, since I become unhealthy on a vegetarian diet. Post Peak Medicine Your comment jibes exactly with my own experiences. This means that I will mention the unmentionable in casual conversations.
I see the blankness and check myself and switch back to English. The only difference for me is that I have a slightly different perspective on immigration and I place on a high value on the character of a president relative to their policy positions. I would only vote for Trump if his opponent were somehow more abrasive, antagonistic, intentionally divisive, and prone to ad hominem attacks — and for the good of our nation I hope that is unlikely.
Mirrors have sharp edges, and there is nothing beneath their surface. When we use statistics out of their context, we promote false assumptions. My half-arsed Buddhist faith and practice has really lead me to see how much of what I do, I am doing because of motivations that are different from what I telling myself they are. So maybe I need to explore, tentatively and compassionately, with the recognition of our inherent frailties and fallibilities, my hidden motives before I go seeking them out in others.
We all assess our political choices through our own particular lens of values, weightings, and priorities, most certainly! I ask no one to adopt my views, only that they understand that my actions are based on those values, weightings, and priorities. For me, its is all about policy and praxis. Moral character is nice, but an add-on.
A candidate may be the most moral person in the world, polite, nice, and personable, but if he or she is degree out-of-phase with respect to my goals, why would I vote for them? On the flip side, a candidate may be an arrogant, egotistical blowhard, but if he or she is aligned with my goals and would take us in the direction I believe we need to go, why would I not vote for them? Kimberly, thanks for this!
It does get kind of dismaying to watch my novel being followed so closely…. Ani, I get that. Drhooves, true enough. The important thing is to be in motion, moving toward your goals at a meaningful pace. Thor, you might ask some Trump supporters about that. About food, and purity and so forth: For those of us who can afford to pay for neither medical care nor health insurance, the quality of the food we eat becomes a matter of urgent concern. About Trump: I think I mostly agree with his fan club, he is I think as bright, wily, and tough as they say, but, I would add, I think he is shallow, intellectually and emotionally.
His great weakness as a politician is his attitude towards the female half of the electorate. He seems unable to comprehend that beauty is not brains and that his appointing of bimbos to important positions is an insult to American women and much resented by parents who gave up their own hope of a comfortable retirement to send promising daughters through college.
Venezuela needs money, Trump could have made a deal to buy the oil and none of our business how Maduro spent it. The Democratic half of the two headed hydra is at pains to make sure there will be no viable anti-war and anti-intervention candidate, which is why the drumbeat of opposition to Gabbard.
Notice how Woman of Color Harris was inserted into the campaign after Gabbard announced. Dear Aunt Lili, I do all the things you do, walk not ride, take my own bag to stores, lower the thermostat, keep a garden, etc. Live and let live. Regarding animal slaughter for food: I am an unapologetic meat eater. For me, the relevant justifying authority is Judeo-Christian revelation, and the practice of eating meat is unequivocally permitted in that revelation.
Our Lord Himself ate the Passover Lamb, ate fish, helped his disciples miraculously catch fish for food, etc. The whole question of factory farming, and the morality of eating meat that is inhumanely raised, is a bit more complicated. However, I would point out an important socio-economic class dimension here that is not to be overlooked in any serious moral analysis. The fact is that paying premium prices for meat that is humanely raised as opposed to factory-farmed is a luxury for the wealthy.
Those in a state of poverty or of limited means very often can legitimately not afford to pay that premium. However, they often CAN afford to pay the lesser prices for meat that is not humanely raised. Somewhat in line with the ongoing discussion of environmentalist hypocrisy, I would stoutly maintain that those of abundant means who are able to afford humanely-raised meat have no moral standing whatsoever to deny those whose more limited means precludes them for affording it the moral and legal right to purchase and consume factory-farmed meat.
Which is that not everyone is amenable or receptive to any given message, and people are often busy doing and thinking other things. If their primary aim is to practice, well then, they have already achieved what they set out to achieve, and if others like what they see and decide to mimic them, then that is all to their credit. So, then, my question to you is, what differentiates environmentalists whether hypocritical or sincere from anyone else, such that they should escape the fate life reserves for most of us, which is to be ignored?
And also, why should anyone NOT do what they do because they want to do it? Quite simply, replace too much of the natural external world with echoes of what the self wishes or expects it to be, and you have a problem akin to the old brain-teaser of a chameleon on a mirror. A fully focused image of either self or world the latter including other people never develops.
That alone would have done the Krell in, even without monsters from the Id! It seems to require some intermediate steps to connect that with the polarized politics or environmental policies, though. A chameleon on a mirror seems a better description of President Trump himself than of his supporters or opponents. Then things change. So, when the people around us need an example of how to, say, dry laundry without a dryer, we have the answer handy. Seeing people as objects? It this what happens in declining societies, made worse by our obsession with machines, the ultimate objects?
The shadow is a huge moral problem as Jung rightly said. This bears much thinking about. There are apparently clothing purveyors who have decided to ban all animal derived fibres including silk and mohair from their collections, and although cotton and hemp will still feature, much of the new and chic fashonable wear this year will be made of various shades of plastic. This is a website from down under, made by the wife of a back country Australian doctor Gary Fettke who was disciplined and censured by his professional medical association for the crime of prescribing certain low carb and ketogenic diets to patients who reportedly benefitted.
It turns out the fearsome Belinda Fettke, his wife, was not going to take this lying down, and her search for the rationale behind what was done to her husband has unearthed all sorts of interesting historical connections, including a 19th century American prophet, whose visions included a strong warning against the sexual sins that meat eaters could expect to be tempted into, and the strong inroads her followers have made into the science of nutrition, and into the confidence of corporate food producers, over the period since then.
I can recommend the site to anyone interested in the history of our nutrition wars, and in its vested interests, and the EATLancet Stordahlen article is as good a way in as any. When it feels as though one is doomed anyway as it already does for many Trump voters , one clings to any hope one can muster.
I would just like to add that I disagree with some of the history in your comment. Words were quite anonymous for a long time — proverbs, lays, nursery rhymes and others would be repeated without anyone ever knowing their author. The importance of the author of some thought began to rise with the printing press and the copyright. Double-blind peer-review has not caught on. Sometimes that is unjust, other times it is simpy necessary, since readers cannot repeat every single experiment in every paper they read, even in their own field of expertise.
I am wondering if Venezuela could be the oil reserve that gets a carrier harpooned. Mark L. I actually agree. Dear Nastarana, First, thank you for your comment, and thank you for all your efforts to conserve and better the world we share.
Few of us have the luxury of living on an island where we can do what we please without troubling our neighbors and the wider community. And as James points out, what we consume and what we eat does impact the environment. So how do I, as the fond aunt of five young people, deal with swings that will affect their darling noses?
Your Yoyo, thank you, that is exactly the point I am trying to make. And it has led me down a winding path to the question, why do very good people hold so fast to destructive habits? It may be that most of us automate our habitual behaviors so that they become like blinking. That is a different thing from being committed in principle to destructive habits.
Over the last few decades, I have noticed that a majority of the people with whom I talk pay very little attention to the exact meaning of what I say. Rather, they pick up on a few key words that caught their attention, and they respond to what they suppose someone might be saying, given those few words—not at all to what I actually said.
Then I, too, get the same blankness, as if I had switched into some incomprehensible language. People would listen more closely to my words and grasp my meaning far more easily. I hope you enjoyed the time away. This post hit a place I have been, and probably many of us have been, moving with a similar stride. That is, fully observing the hypocrisy of the liberal wing of the cultural world and their moral claim of superiority, and trying to wrestle my way to a more complete understanding of why….
I actually just wrote a piece that I believe moves in a very similar direction as this one, yet from a different angle. It focuses on the extreme preference which human beings have developed for sensual and emotional experience or materialism. Of course thinking is still happening in these individuals, it has just been distorted, corrupted, and even inverted.
And so, without clarity of thought, the ideas one expresses become distorted and lacking accuracy. I focused on the way the cultural elite is currently using the concepts of compassion and empathy to facilitate emotional buyins to their hollow doctrines. They do this, as you speak to, to dissuade or force individuals from actually engaging their independent thinking capacities.
Because if individuals did actually think about what was being presented to them, they would so quickly recognize how inaccurate, silly, and self serving the ideas actually are. Anyways, I really gained a lot from reading this piece and I especially like the conclusion you reach JMG about the objectification of subjects, which human beings are well underway with. That is a very succinct and easy to understand way of illustrating an observation that more of us should wake up to!
I must recognize that every human being I come in contact with has a purpose of its own, which is not up to me to dictate. The collective level is something altogether different. But certainly I can begin by acknowledging the individual at the individual level, with freedom to be. And perhaps if we start to do that, we can move towards a scrap of harmony, to begin with, at the collective level. B IF they do think of you as part of the same social tribe, do you rank socially higher or lower than they do?
And even then, it only works if they perceive you as ranking higher in social status than they do. If you belong to an actively opposed social tribe, then opposing you may even win them social bonus points with their own tribe— which makes your actions actively counterproductive. Howard Schultz is an interesting one. I had put him down as a Bloomberg type figure — a dull establishment billionaire candidate but maybe there is greater depth to the man then I realized.
Certainly one to watch. For many voters, its not a vote for the Democrats but against Trump. As you have rightly said before, this is not a great strategy to win elections. I think the election is wide open and Trump is not guaranteed to win it by any stretch given his poll ratings but he should not be under-estimated. The economy seems to be bumbling along and despite the fears I do not see a recession looming soon.
My sense is that we have a few more years of recovery before the next recession, particularly as the Fed has given up the rate hiking cycle after the stock market tantrums in late The oil market is a fascinating one and the on-going collapse of Venezuela is an early indication of how our industrial civilization will unravel. The triggers for widespread mass migration seems to be a heating up climate and it looks like the s to s could be a key period in our century.
Those glaciers constitute a water reservoir for much of central Asia reaching deep into China, which is dependent for its water supplies from rivers that flows from those mountains. A massive report just published on this issues notes that, even if global warming were limited to a rise in average temperatures by 1. If temperatures go up by 2 degrees, that percentage rises to two thirds. It it is not hard to see that these foreseeable catastrophes could lead to mass migration and even war on the Eurasian continent this century.
The geological effects will start kicking in by in the middle of the century which is only 30 years away , but the political effects are likely to hit much earlier, as those dramatic changes are being anticipated. If you read the blog a bit longer you might understand better the reasons why JMG is criticising this approach. Gardening, fishing, hunting, growing your own meat, and developing relationships with local, sustainable preferrably organic permaculture farmers are all better choices than veganism, and they do allow people to eat meat.
There are many vegans who support these other options as legitimate, and JMG goes out of his way to not attack those vegans either. That threat is enough to make even a not-so-doctrinaire soul nervous, up to the point of seeking retribution and censorship. If the other has no real will or self in the matter and so can mean no disrespect, after all, what cause for bile?
But even this frustration is quite different from the rage that can be evoked by a full-fledged subject that faces us down and fully threatens and defies everything we believe. Anger at an object is neither moral nor personal in tone, and its aim is ultimately to repair something seen as objectively broken—instead of as villainous or evil, as we routinely do when faced with man-as-subject. Something paradoxical is going on, then.
I have no doubt that technological society is profoundly objectifying—to its inhabitants and to nature generally—yet I also sense an irascible and distended subjectiveness rising, taking hold of all discourse, hiding sneakily under the mask of objectification, waiting to lash out with new poison. We live on a private unpaved road, which means the residents are responsible for road maintenance. The road is in terrible condition.
It is this: we live on a slope, with the uphill side and the downhill side divided by the road. Many neighbors have installed large paved driveways, which cause huge amounts of rain runoff. We have very little soil our area was a ridge of coastal sand-dunes in ancient times , and the driveways cause considerable erosion, but only for the downhill residents. We have had to install and maintain an elaborate system of retaining walls, trenches, and other barriers to keep water from rushing in our front door when it rains.
Others have resorted to different defensive measures. None of this was necessary when the uphill side was all woods, 25 years ago. We all know the road is in bad shape, and we all want the road to be better. For the uphill neighbors, the preferred solution is to pave the road with no provision for the current runoff, or the massive additional runoff caused by the paving. The downhill side is, naturally, resisting efforts to fix the road at all, as long as our concerns are being ignored.
IMO, this is pretty much how the environmentalist thing works. Nobody likes it when their fishing spot fills up with trash, or their drinking water is contaminated, or their neighborhood smells like farts and gives their kids asthma. Those on the lower-income side of the road already suffer disproportionately from environmental toxins, climate volatility, etc. Most proposals for cleaning up the environment impose additional costs disproportionately on the people who can least afford it, and who are likely generating less of the problem to begin with.
JMG, this is getting a bit off-topic but this is the only place I manage to have these conversations. If you ever want to point us to some sort of chat-space to avoid cluttering up your comments section I would be in support. Character matters at least as much as policies to me for several reasons.
I feel embarrassed to be an American when among foreigners, knowing that this is what they see of our country on TV. Jasper I am not pro-Israel or anti-Israel, so that means nothing to me, and is in fact sometimes a cause of concern depending on the imperialistic tendencies of the person involved.
I do not care if someone is surrounded by rich Jews, I care that people of compassion take into account the full throated, white supremacist support for Trump in their reckoning of the man. I agree with the perfidy of the media. I think that you are quite right about the use of words poorly being tantamount to lying; this distortion of slight centrist concessions to social policy is interpreted as left wing, and that does tend to make people think that the left is nothing more than a bunch of Karl Marxs and Hillary Clintons, and nothing else.
Calling Nazis socialists is hewing to far-right propaganda, imo. I think that one should attempt to define words and concepts by looking at the people who believe in them; no socialist would look at a definition so different from their life and beliefs with anything other than shock, or perhaps anger.
As a left radical opposed to elites of all forms, and someone who tries to be an ally of the working class, I hope we can all work together to fight the rich elites and help the white working class while still maintaining respect and support for minorities of all kinds.
As someone on a coast, I do not disagree with your statement about coastal dominance; that said, I think that the oppressed and downtrodden minorities and working classes who are used and abused by the selfsame elites are your and my allies. Good day. That is fair. I certainly cannot fault you for having your own particular weighting of values.
I see Trump as something of a modern day Andrew Jackson: crude, despised by elites, rather supported by the deplorable common man, and speaking bluntly. Methylethyl, really good question. Yes, I am seeking to change hearts and minds in my own community, among my own friends, relatives, neighbors and associates.
I think that makes them my tribe. It has been in my life. Michael Wenisch. Is there something about him you find shrill? Robert Mathiesen, if I may, I really and truly think that most people are only able to think along the tracks their lives follow through space and time.
When people do as you describe in your comment and rephrase what I said based on a few words, they always bring it back to some sort of line of thinking they are familiar with, at least in my experience. This leads me to conclude that for most people there thoughts are like their lives, their house, their car, their commute, their job and their time with the television.
That is to say incredibly narrow. Outside of this narrow purview appears to be a vast conceptual wilderness that includes not just the trees, but the dandelions growing in the sidewalk cracks right outside of their house! While you were off, I took the opportunity to look back at your Libra Ingress Chart and was, once again, struck by how very much events have unfolded match the general tenor of your predictions. Certainly no one in the mainstream predicted the shutdown over the Great Wall tantrum.
I, for one, cannot accept the claim that veganism is going to save the planet, except, if it were universally adopted, then the resulting malnutrition would probably cause the early death rate to rise sufficiently to cause the population do go down at a significant rate.
That would definitely have an impact on the environment. Veganism has decided to piggy-back onto Environmentalism. I marvel the degree to which these two things have become conflated, kind of the way free-market industrialism became conflated with democratic electoral politics. Jaznights, thanks for the view from Eire! If more people on the left notice the same thing, maybe the left can get back to doing its job of defending the poor and the working classes from the rich, instead of spending so much time engaging in virtue signaling that benefits nobody but the rich.
Elodie, fair enough. Karim, I never said that leading by example was the only thing that needs to be done. Blue Sun, ding! We have another winner. Auntlili, the polls also insisted that nobody would vote for Donald Trump and that the Brexit referendum was sure to go Remain. Check out the abundant literature on the hardwired biases of public opinion polls and you may be a little more cautious about generalizing from what a statistically nonrepresentative sample of people are willing to say on the phone to a complete stranger.
As for your example, oddly enough, we get a form letter from our local power company four times a year insisting that we use more electricity than the average residence in our neighborhood. In point of fact, our electricity use is a modest fraction of the US average and would be unexceptional in one of the poorer European countries. As far as I can tell, every single address in East Providence gets the same form letter; as far as I can tell, everybody chucks it into the recycle bin, recognizing it as the cheap manipulative scam that it is.
They decide that. Stay tuned…. Obviously there are lots of environmental ideas in there, but also lots and lots of progressive social engineering and free stuff for everyone, or at least everyone who can qualify as an Intersectional Victim of Oppression.
What could possibly go wrong with that? In ten years?
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