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Wed May 4 18:08:57 EDT 2011

regardless of the social conscience of the manufacturers. 

So I think the best ecological choice for the planet would be to get involved 
in reproductive issues. And secondly, in issues like finding a way to produce 
hydrogen more cheaply energy-wise than by cracking the water molecule with 
huge amounts of electricity. At present, using this kind of energy is just 
juggling inputs. You have to build a huge dam to produce hydroelectric, use 
it to crack the water and end up with hydrogen that costs the planet more 
than gasoline. Have we gained by that?

Just something to chew on.

Mike Elvin
Fuquay-Varina, NC

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<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT  SIZE=2 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0">Hi, it's me again, a month late with my comments.<BR>
If our overall goal is to reduce the burning of carbon (see the comment chain below) and watch it end up in the atmosphere instead of in the biosphere, we need to keep in mind that according to our best authorities (and this is kind of hard to measure accurately) the amount of carbon de-sequestered due to burning and clearing land dwarfs that lost to fossil fuel burning by a very large margin.<BR>
So we would want to consider alternatives to the way land development is currently handled-- not only in this country but across the world. And the only way to do that would be through population controls such as teaching women's rights, family planning and birth control. Because if they're born they gotta eat, don't they? They're going to have to live somewhere, too. <BR>
And as more land is cleared to make room for more cities and more cropland, the whole planet begins to look more like China or India-- bare dirt with lots of people on it. The carbon is missing.<BR>
And as the global economy brings some degree of prosperity to everyone on the planet, they're going to want to buy a cheap little car, or at least a scooter, to drive around in. And that means a couple of billion more vehicles, whether or not they are fuel efficient. These motor vehicles will be bought from "evil doers" trying to make a buck.<BR>
And they will run on fossil fuel up until the very day a way is discovered to run them a bit cheaper on hydrogen, or chicken flickings, or any other fuel. From that point they will run on the new, cheaper fuel. This will happen regardless of the social conscience of the manufacturers. <BR>
So I think the best ecological choice for the planet would be to get involved in reproductive issues. And secondly, in issues like finding a way to produce hydrogen more cheaply energy-wise than by cracking the water molecule with huge amounts of electricity. At present, using this kind of energy is just juggling inputs. You have to build a huge dam to produce hydroelectric, use it to crack the water and end up with hydrogen that costs the planet more than gasoline. Have we gained by that?<BR>
Just something to chew on.<BR>
Fuquay-Varina, NC</P></FONT></HTML>


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Subject: [permaculture] Taking $ from evil doers, fossil fuel
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Date: Fri, 06 Dec 2002 12:57:53 -0600

I'll lump MGS's posts together and go point by point.  Overall I find this 
stuff to have a ring of truth, but lacking in practical applicability in 
our current insane society...

>>>The most sane policies would act immediately to stop excavating
>>>below-ground carbon and seek alternatives--like the nearly limitless flows
>>>of photon, kinetic (wind and surf), and other energies.  And would address
>>>from a cultural standpoint the hurry-sickness.

AGREE WHOLE HEARTEDLY BUT the worlds infrastructure does not change in a 
heart beat, we are stuck with a tremendously hungry system that will take 
time to change....

>The work I did on climate change policy with Redefining Progress led me to 
>believe strongly in an immediately applied transitional strategy of a 
>user-pays approach to carbon. That is, those who use the atmosphere as 
>their sewer (which is all of us who burn fossil fuels) pay a per-ton 
>carbon tax toward mitigation and transition.

This is by far the best thing MGS has to say.  Practical, implementable 
without delay, and directly addresses the problem of externalizing (hiding) 

>This would replace the current practice of concentrating the profits and 
>socializing the costs (wars, environmental destruction, economic violence, 
>health problems). For carbon spewage is also a social/environmental 
>justice issue. Those who spew the most correspondingly have the most 
>wealth. Those who have least wealth and use the least fossil fuel energy 
>are most likely to suffer from things like rising sea level rates, 
>increasing severe weather, etc., just as they already pay the most in 
>terms of externalized costs of the fossil fuel energy system (health 
>problems, urban blight, and on and on and on).

I think this is a good analysis, however the sad reality is that these 
people are almost totally powerless in the current world situation.  I 
don't really know how to make such inequities go away, and doubtless they 
will be the ones screwed by any new world order as well.   PC is one of the 
answers I suppose, by spreading good design to both the developing world 
and the poor of the first world we have some opportunity to empower them 
directly; waiting for the peoples revolution is a long shot...

>I refer you all to the RP Fair and Low-Cost Climate Protection program (no 
>longer in existence) publications from the fall of 2001 and earlier:
>See also the information on green taxes in general.
>For an example of why I say "It ain't gonna happen," see my other message, 
>entitled "Fossil fuel addiction."
>Paige Brown authored a lot of the FLCCP papers; she's now with the San 
>Francisco office of the Corporation for Enterprise Development. 
>Cliff Cobb wrote a great study of the externalized costs of private 
>automobile ownership. I'll dig around for that one.
>Re: Claude's observation--"If we get money to green up the earth in 
>exchange for "them" getting a little greenwashing, is that so wrong ?"
>You bet my voluptuous ass it's wrong. Corporate PR flacks are engaged in a 
>multi-million-dollar campaign of disinformation designed to thwart 
>understanding and action on fossil fuel use and human induced climate 
>change. They confuse people to protect the influence of the oilygarchy. 
>They lull people into stupidity and strive to quash enlightened action.
>"Greenwashing" isn't "little," on this or any other issue. It represents 
>major, studied, strategically and tactically well-planned, well-funded 
>co-optations of grass-roots communication to further corporate interests. 
>Corporations know what's going on. But what they care about is a bunch of 
>economic abstractions (like next quarter's profits or market share or 
>product positioning) in the short term.

This is where I'll disagree sharply.  The corporate whores of the world 
will carry on green washing, lieing and spinning wether they do anything 
good or not.  Tis the nature of the beast.  Even such sleaze balls as 
Phillip Morris and Wal Mart, clearly detrimental to vast numbers of folks, 
spend plenty on polishing their image despite good documentation of their 
bad actions.  Huge money is going to promote GMO's as answers to world 
hunger, when in fact hunger is mostly about economics,  distribution and 
war.  The real problem IMO is that we live in a nation (and to some extent 
a world) of willful ignorance and cynical paralysis, the population simply 
does not know enough about science, politics, rhetoric and economics to 
know when they are being lied to, and willingly sucks up feel good lies 
from the TV and other sewers.

>There's also a time element. Corporations are entities chartered to have 
>the legal status of persons, with immortality attached (since corporate 
>charters are no longer sunsetted). That legal fiction ensures that large 
>corporations' goals will by definition be at odds with those of us 
>mortals. Especially in a capitalist system, whose rewards (and powers) 
>accrue over time through the miracle of the algorithm known as compounding.

All true.  The move to pull the charters or errant corporations is a very 
positive issue, if investors are faced with the loss of share value because 
the companies they own commit illegal acts they will demand better 
action.  It is sadly, all about money.

>I've been a professional PR person. I can't summarize quickly what being a 
>PR professional means in terms of cynical manipulation and hollow 
>souledness. Except to say the point is to spin. If one happens to have a 
>soul, the best one can do is spin on behalf of something one believes in.

Interesting that most journalism schools are now merged with PR.  It is 
basically a profession of spinning and lieing.  The only thing I ever told 
my ex wife not to study in business school was PR.

>Claude, my Rx for you (offered respectfully) is that you read a couple 
>books by the folks at /PR Watch/. Start with /Trust Us, We're 

Stauber and Rampton are some of the best on this matter.

>Greening Earth is funded by a large consortium of FOSSIL FUEL corporations 
>that actively lobby against any challenges to or movement away from a 
>fossil fuel economy. They exist to thwart evolving awareness of ecological 
>science and to continue the 20th century's engineering of consciousness 
>around fossil fuels.
>What's called for is a breaking of this nation's key addictions: to fossil 
>fuel and other highly concentrated energy forms (like oil/coal/gas, sugar, 
>caffeine, explosives), to the zoomy rammy lifestyle to which we have 
>become accustomed, and to the bipolar cranky homocidal skygod who holds it 
>all up.

Yes and no.  There really is no reason IMO to condemn people who work to 
hard or even eat some garbage now and again.  There Is also no problem with 
trade that is fair and reasonable for all parties involved and actually 
moves goods unproducable in one area to another (coffee come to mind).  We 
do however need to make people accountable for their waste; no one owns the 
air and water, polluting it should not be seen as a "property right".  I 
personally will be thrilled if we can get that far, an frankly condemning 
the lifestyle choices of others that do not impact the broader society is 
both offensive and counter productive; we are asking a lot here, don't make 
it any harder than necessary.

>Back to Kirby's question. Kirby, in our household, we've taken a two-fold 
>First, to slash our fossil fuel use. I'm still putting the figures 
>together on that for the past three years, but will be glad to share them 
>through a Web page; we hope to have it up in a month or so.
>Second, to assess and reduce our CO2 emissions and engineer our own 

Good for you.

>As for finding paying work planting trees, I don't know what to say to 
>that, though I respect the yearning. My own personal philosophy is do the 
>work, and the money may or may not follow. But in my experience, at the 
>point where I start trying to turn my passions and paths into a cash-cow, 
>there is danger of corruption of the path and myself.

Sure helps pay the freight if you can do the right things for $, again sad 
but true.

>What I'd do is, just do it. Plant trees. Feed the soil. Scale back. The 
>rest will follow. Nobody ever said right livelihood would have a salary 
>As for sequestration, see my other message ("Fossil fuel addiction").
>>"You take the King's shilling, and you become the King's man."

I only rent my soul, I don't sell it ;<)

>>I seldom let who is doing right or paying for it bother me any more. 
>>People doing the right stuff for whatever reason are OK with me
>Translated into Latin, that would be the motto of the ag college at that 
>damn comfy little enclave, Harvard-on-Mendota (UW-Madison). At least in my 
>nearly-fifteen-year experience of it.
>And those pear-shaped, cream-licking lapcats just hired a biotechnologist 
>as the director of the sustainable ag center, you all know?

Well we'll just see where it goes, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt 
for a while.  CIAS is doing some very worth while things, and I have 
generally found the university conscious of environmental issues, though 
hardly perfect.  Steering the world, or bureaucracies like universities is 
like turning big ships, it takes time and there are currents resisting your 

>Bob wrote:
>>they clean, or pay someone to clean, up after themselves.
>My husband and I--pandrogynes both--were talking about this while cleaning 
>the house for our Thanks-giving party. Think of our disdain, as a culture, 
>for janitors, trash-haulers, bedpan-emptiers, sewage workers, mothers, 
>housekeepers, pigeons, gulls, crows, flies, cockroaches....
>Being appropriately powerful/Masculine comes to mean, precisely, making a 
>mess in all directions, then zooming away when it threatens to dirty one's 
>own wing-tips or $200 Nikes. Think of those big manly stacks spewing 
>clouds of black from locomotives, factories, etc. That's progress, my boy! 
>Now let's catch the train back to Long Island.

Of course there are no women sullying themselves in the corporate world 
(not!); I find statements like this about as silly as they come.  This is 
not about castrating the "maleness" out of the world, it about stopping 
pissing in the air and water.  alienating half of the population for your 
own satisfaction is stupid and counter productive.  I have no intention 
personally of becoming a eunuch in any sense of the world just to meet some 
politically correct standard.

>>We cannot simply accept money for repair work in lieu of doing it right 
>>in the first place.
>Amen, righteous babe brother. Testify.

Sure you can, it's just silly.

>Thanks for listening.

Sorry, formatting gets lost here, I'll label my comments

Howdy, all--
Mark wrote:
This is a good analisys of the problem, but I think we can still 
aggressively pursue sequestering of C in soils (and oceanic carbon sinks). 
we know it's good for the soil, we know how to do it, and we know people 
will still be burning fossil fuels for the forseable future. Why not take 
what we can from a bad situation and move things in the right direction.
That's like a 690-pound food addict deciding they'll shit in the woods, and 
bury it, because that's better than using the toilet. Meanwhile, they're 
stuffing their mouths while squatting, then rolling back to the house to 
stuff themselves gaggy again.

No thats reacting to 150 years of Co2 pollution while we wait for the world 
to get it's act together, and it does not stop us from helping make a 
better, saner world.  Its wrong IMO to frame this as an either/or 
situation, it's a both/and.

Regarding human induced climate change, the problem is mining fossil carbon 
out of the earth's crust. Period. It has to stop.
It'll only stop if each of us slashes our fossil fuel use immediately. Cold 
turkey would be good, but if not that, then cutting use by 5-25 percent or 
more per year. Starting now. Not later, not someday, not maybe, not when 
chickens learn to fart folk songs in the key of C and science can document 
it. Now.
This kind of thinking ("Why not just do whatever keeps us complacent and 
busy and on top?") contributes to the problem. It *doesn't* "move things in 
the right direction."

Just how will you stop this juggernaut?  Complaining bitterly won't do it, 
aggressive personal action is nice, but not a solution either.   The taxes 
on C make tons of sense, and if high enough will move the larger world 
faster than all the complaints of all the good people.

The problem isn't a Sequestration Technology Deficit.
The problem isn't that "We know PEOPLE will still be burning fossil fuels."
The problem is, what are YOU doing about burning fossil fuels, Mark?
Have you set goals for how YOU are going to slash your fossil fuel use over 
the next year, five years, ten years?
What are your goals? What are your fears? What are you willing to change? 
What, when push comes to pop, are you NOT willing to change?

I buy all my electricity through a renewable resource program my utility 
offers at a somewhat higher rate, I eat locally (mostly), I try not to 
drive more than necessary or for frivolous reasons and I drive slow and 
gentle.  I garden without a rototiller.  I mow the lawn as little as I can 
get away with.  I do commute, but I'm looking for other options (not as 
hard as I should).  I haven't been on an airplane for 15 years.  I rent an 
old farmhouse from the cream licking UW, it's pretty damn cold there these 
days.  I am IOW, hardy perfect, though I think I'm moving in the right 
direction compared to my peers and even myself a few years ago (small car 
vs big truck). Politically I'm doing a lot of work to keep the Libertarians 
of the world honest about property rights, not a small matter given that my 
generation (gen X) is the most libertarian oriented in history.

Let's be honest about this stuff--like the fact that most of us are 
perfectly willing to see thousands and millions of people we don't know and 
don't care about, devoured, ground up, by the fossil fuel energy system, so 
we can continue to live like the hogs we have been. (And don't even sling 
horse-dukey at me on that one, because I grew up in the refineries, my 
family worked for and was owned by Sun Oil, and we all worked for them, 
including me. I speak from experience.)
Enough of this vague abstractionalizing about "people" and what they do or 
not. Fossil fuel use is individual and personal. Focusing on abstractions 
and the dream of a technical fix is part of Fly-boy Culture. There's always 
another abstraction to chirp. Another technical fix to prosper from 
dreaming about and promoting. Somewhere else to drive or fly. Something 
else to buy. Another set of feel-good things to say. All kinds of ways to 
avoid dealing with the blunt facts of the matter.

Let's also be honest that we live in a society with plenty of engineers and 
other smart folks working on these problems.  If we can summon up the 
political will to build trains, sunset emissions permits and give up our de 
facto oil empire we can solve this collectively as well is 
individually.  It will take both action from the top and bottom to get this 
done.  Lets further be honest that this piggy society is FUN AS HELL!  We 
need to focus on building an alternative that people will also find fun 
(acceptable) or it will not happen. Period.  all the moralizing in the 
world won't solve this problem, making people a better offer will.

That's what happens when you get skygods on the brain. Way too easy to zoom 
up there and lose track of life here on earth. That's what happens when you 
live in the culture/nation that is causing the problem by setting the 
standard for gluttony and engineering others to aspire to it. Live in that 
culture long enough, and it becomes second nature to retreat into the plate 
of cream, and let others worry about milking themselves to keep the saucer 


BINGO!  Hence the need for a VIABLE alternative.  It's funny that you sign 
off with "peace" after such a strident attack laden message.  You seem to 
suffer from angry liberal syndrome, the unfortunate tendency to lash out at 
your less than pure allies rather than focus on the real problem, the 
system that has us all trapped looking for enough $ or time or platform or 
whatever to build a better world.  I don't stand in your way, I am in fact 
on your side.

Mark P. Ludwig
Poultry Research Lab
University of Wisconsin -Madison
608-262-1730 WK
608-846-7125 HM

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