Thursday, December 22, 2016

Becoming Human

Planetary Gardeners,

"The true Anthropocene – what we might call the ‘mature Anthropocene’ – is just getting started. All of these earlier stages that have been suggested as start dates were a kind of preamble, an unconscious rather than conscious human remaking of Earth. The mature Anthropocene begins when we acquire the ability to live sustainably, and become a lasting presence on this world."

The Arctic ice melting is already affecting your weather and my weather, and has been doing so for a couple of years. Here are the mechanisms, and some of the dramatic events we recall.

Solar was the top addition to US electrical grid capacity in 2016. (It's still early enough to integrate solar easily, without changing the grid support, which gets harder and costlier after solar exceeds about 12% of capacity.)

Solar photovoltaics are a mature technology now. The EROI (energy return on energy invested) is about 8-9, by this analysis. It could be worse, or even better, if you changed some of the costs. (This does include mining costs and manufacturing costs, but excludes labor costs of installation, and integration into the grid or other usage structure. The costs of integration to use are massive. My assessment is that integration into the grid, or with battery banks, cuts the EROI by 2/3 or more. If you personally use solar to pump irrigation water when the sun shines you get full benefit.)

Small electric vehicles, costing $4,000-$5,000 are "big" in China, big enough to license now. That will narrow the market to big manufacturers who can comply with the regulations, and prices will rise. Regulations and complexity have long ago removed the cheap and practical new car from the US. (Europe, especially Amsterdam, like this kind of vehicle, too)

Uber admits that the self-driving cars it is testing in San Francisco don't understand bike lanes, and tend to do a "right hook", sharp turn across bike lanes, whether cyclists are there or not. Uber won't stop it's current self-driving-beta-testing, though... That would hurt corporate "sharing-econmy".

OUCH! California DMV forces Uber self-driving cars off the streets, revoking registrations. They ran red lights too. (How can we "share" now?  :-)

Uber keeps massively losing money. Can it ever turn a profit? 
"Prob'ly not", according to this analysis. (Good riddance to bad rubbish.)

Paul Craig Roberts: "Trump’s peaceful approach to Russia aligns him with oligarchs, whose wealth benefits from business deals with Russia, and puts Trump at odds with the military/security oligarchs, who benefit from the one trillion dollar annual military/security budget. The latter group have been in control since President Eisenhower warned us about them and can muster deep state forces against a Trump presidency."

The final and massive release of government documents and unredacted versions of prior releases is about to take place in 2017.
In 1991, Oliver Stone’s film “JFK” renewed public interest in a probable conspiracy surrounding the events leading to the November 22, 1963 assassination.
The massive surge in interest lead to the passage of the 1992 JFK Records Act, which gave the government 25 years to release all documents relating to what happened in Dealey Plaza on that day.

It was the US military, under Ashton Carter, which clearly sabotaged and destroyed negotiations between the President and Secretary of State, regarding foreign policy in Syria.
The US is now excluded from any meaningful negotiations regarding Syria, since becoming unreliable.
“Unfortunately we had divisions within our own ranks that made the implementation of that extremely hard to accomplish,” Kerry said. “But I believe in it, I think it can work, could have worked." 
It is clear that the responsible U.S. officer for the attack and its consequences is one Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian who had earlier publicly spoken out against a deal that his Commander in Chief had agreed to. He likely had cover from Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
With the attack on Deir Ezzor the Pentagon has:
  • enabled ISIS to win the siege in Deir Ezzor where 100,000+ civilians and soldiers are under threat of being brutally killed
  • cleared the grounds for the establishment of an ISIS ruled "Salafist principality" in east-Syria
  • deceived a European NATO ally and lost its active cooperation over Syria and Iraq
  • ruined Kerry's deal with Russia about a coordinated fight against UN designated terrorists in Syria
  • kicked the U.S. out of further international negotiations about Syria  
Ron Paul: "Power can oftentimes be an illusion, and in any case it doesn’t last forever. We can be sure that the example we set while we are the most powerful country will be followed by those who may one day take our place. The hypocrisy of our political leaders who say one thing and do another does not go unnoticed.
We should end that hypocrisy starting with Syria. That government, along with its allies, seems to be on track to take their country back from ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups. The only sensible Syria policy is for the US to stop trying to overthrow their government, to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves.​"​

Colleen sends this Pepe Escobar piece. looking at who profits from the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey by a young Turkish police officer, recently suspected (who wasn't?) of being a Gulenist.​ It didn't really do anything good for anybody. It is not obstructing Turkish integration into Eurasia, or the meeting with Russia and Iran. Turkey has geopolitical advantage from tapping Eurasian trade, not obstructing it. US/NATO/Neocon/Saudi/Qatari pipeline plans are a bust. Syria has not been crushed and is resurgent. The Eurasian pipelines to transit Turkey are all backed by Russia, China, Iran and Syria.
"President Putin for his part made it very clear he wants to be informed on who “directed” the killer. That’s something that could be interpreted as subtle code for Russian intel already very much in the know.

Leaked Trump Transition Team Memo, which outlines military threats to the US/NATO, doesn't seem to include Russia. (FREAK-OUT!)

Accepting the Obvious

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