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Good ‘n Gettin’ Better

Don’t let the devil sell you what you already have.

Good and getting better is a tag line for an impending song extolling our condition.

What? Wait! Aren’t we weary of Covid, worried about armed crazies, tired of Texas and taxes? Yes, and we’re stuck in a dangerously warming planet that the fossil fuel media and lobbyists would have us “don’t look up.”

I would counter that we should look up, not just at the comet of planetary fever increasingly upon us, but at all the other challenges. But I wouldn’t have us look up in panic or despair. I’d have us look up to how things are in some ways good and getting better.

Consider how brain scientists are peering into the sub-second pathways in our brains. Mark Waldman writes, “Suddenly, in the last year, neuroscientists are writing about the “Triple Network Model”:  The Default Mode Network (DMN), the Executive Network (EN), and most recently, the Salience Network (SN).

“The Salience Network regulates the functioning of the other two networks in a way that predicts optimal psychological health….how cool is that! It keeps you calm as you focus on desired goals, and it generates the empathy, compassion, and intuition you need to have meaningful relationships at home and work.”

This reminds me of what Carl Jung called “the objective unconscious.” To him, the unconscious wasn’t malevolent, trying to trick us, but part of the homeostasis (healthy balance) that (as a medical doctor) he knew the body tries to maintain. Dreams and ruminations can harbor helpful advice.

The Default Mode Network blathers on, giving us what we’ve given it, running the same sanskaras (mental habits) as we’ve cultivated. While Abe Lincoln tried to help/warn us that we’re about as happy as we’ve decided to be, depressed people hear mostly their own brain tell them how bad it always is everywhere. Their default mode network is running a depressed identity, what Dr. Daniel Amen calls the ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts). From old Patanjali to recent Meher Baba and Krishnamurti to new brain science and into meditation we see that what we perceive as “I” is a tape we made that we don’t have to keep as “I.”

We’re newer than we are. Multiple possibilities exist in our quantum potentials. If we look before the impulse and then consider the impulse, we can change our minds. We can be new.

The Blind Saint of Vrindavan, who I met in India, put it this way: Viveka shines on aviveka (our innate awareness, our goodness, sees what impedes or covers our innate goodness). Renounce and remove what is not you to allow what is you to emerge.

This applies not just in our psyches but in how our psyches play into our social, political, and technological trends. The troubles and turmoil are there, but we’re not it. It is a temporary flush of distraction and confusion. Renounce and remove what isn’t us to unveil and enjoy what is us.

Eden isn’t gone. It is an interior start of an external possibility. Earth could be a better home than we’ve ever known. Perhaps it is as the guru Anandamurti claimed – “The future will be better than we can imagine.”

That’s my message this month to my faithful readers – all three of you! Lots of my work is based on a variation of the above. Perhaps stop here and consider what thoughts came up in you as you read the above.

Or read on to see what I posted online in January. I’ll paste all that in here:

BBC Says in January of 2022, arranged by topic

As a free, thinking citizen, I contribute ideas to forums, adding what’s missing or what might help.  I try to stay reasonable, but I can get a bit snarky, especially on the Republicans of recent years. 

(I list the date posted, in which forum and others’ points when pertinent.)

Political

Oh, the irony!  Biden is blamed for Covid deaths because they soar in those Trumpian Republican areas of avid vaccine denial.  Every week some denier dies of it.  Gripes about masks and shots keep helping spread the disease, allowing it to mutate.  The recent Omicron is milder and more survivable, but what else is morphing as it persists? Republicans champion the freedom of not having to comply with social restraints, as if patriotic while brandishing shameful 2nd Amendment threats.   Our political predicament is as bad as any I’ve seen in my lifetime.  Comparisons to the rise of Nazism are not misplaced.  They say religion shouldn’t be political, except we’re enduring a religion-endorsed revival of deluded zealots forcing their way on any others they see as infidels to their vague but angry cause.  I think religions should comment on social and political trends.  Avoiding the prophetic function in order to protect their tax-exempt perk betrays their calling.  That he had his troops muscle his way over the protesters to stand by the church sign, holding the Bible upside down – says a lot about religion and politics.

. . . . .

1-16-22 to KOS on Trump attacking Republicans who doubt him:

Why hasn’t the media called out the most blatant irony in America’s 200+ year history:

Deluded nitwits shouting, “Stop the Steal!” as they tried to steal it?

1-5-22 to KOS on prominent Republican anti-vaccer who railed against “the radical left,” and who died of Covid

We have a grotesque American eagle, it’s right-wing all pumped up, it’s left all atrophied and mangled.  No wonder why it flops around in pathetic circles.

And yet they’re still scaring the populace with accusations of “the radical left.”  

What radical left?  Does it ally with Putin?  Is he left?  

Talk about projection!

. . . . .

1-7-22 to New York Times on Biden’s Jan.6 speech

Finally, some pizzaz in his punch!  Mr. unnamed and his sleazy party get what they deserve, a smack of truth to their lying glass jaw.

America has gone from a New Deal to a Raw Deal, from Social Security to Antisocial Insecurity. 

The dagger isn’t just at democracy’s throat, it’s at the throats of our governors and school board members.  It’s angry, armed, deluded mobs with plans to invade our state, county, and cities with their intimidating vitriol, incessant ridicule, vague gripes, guns, and unclarified intentions. 

Our president did what all who took the oath should do, “…defend…against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”  The oath goes on, “I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”

The Republican party is fomenting domestic enemies and evading their oaths.  Only a brave and noble few have dared to patriotically buck their mob-mentality party. 

Democrats need to flip the narrative of who is likely to win in 2024 (which would be the death knell of America) to toot their own horn more. Speak up for the isolated rural citizens who secretly despise and fear Trump and his minions.  Highlight and invite white men to the inclusive array of those voting Democratic. 

Sweep all levels of government in 2024 to a solid Democratic majority, allowing us to address real problems (like planetary overheating) with real solutions (like Build Back Better).  Rescue America from decades of the Raw Deal to implement a Green New Deal. 

1-8-22 to Lincoln Project tweet on Newt Gingrich accusing Biden of a divisive speech:

Does anyone see how little media coverage Biden’s excellent and appropriate Jan. 6 speech got, especially compared to how often they pumped up tRump? It’s a classic! I admire Biden for giving it.

Yet, lizard Newt, father of hate speech tactics, gripes about driving a deeper wedge?

(my second reply tweet):

Biden’s Jan. 6 speech is an iconic classic. The frail old boxer landed one on the glass jaw of the attackers and their idol. Even more telling was Bill Maher’s speech on the new Laugh-In, giving the renewed Fickle Finger of Fate to “that whiny little btch..” (Guess who!)

. . . . .

1-17-22 Tweet reply to Adam Kinzinger on those cheering Trump’s lies

He and his Republicans thrive on lies. They are the domestic enemies of our society, government, and planet. It’s time for decent Republicans to denounce him and to publicly put Country First. You and Liz should start celebrating those who cross over, y’all voting for voting.

1-21-22 Reply to Kinzinger tweet of Liz Cheney calling on Evangelicals to stop conserving their influence:

Perhaps evangelicals are so full of themselves and beguiled they use their influence to glorify an utterly unethical creep, a seditious violence-inspiring monster – as if he were the Second Coming. WWJD?

. . . . .

1-9-21 my reply to Nick Kristof’s appeal to keep in the race for Oregon governor.

Still learning who might be running and whether I support one or another.  A bold, progressive governor would fit the need of the time and Oregon’s story.  

Perhaps this shutting you out serves to amplify who you are and what you might do.  

I’m most concerned that Oregon leads on creatively confronting the climate challenge and that we utterly shut down the gun-toting crazies attacking our governments and society.  

. . . . .

1-15-22 to Cleantechnica on nuclear weapons:

Thank you, Kole, for providing this. And thanks also to Cleantechnica for publishing on this issue.

I’m reading Scorpion King, a scary and sad recounting of our involvement in potential nuclear wars, little and larger.

It distresses me how cynically inured and ethically trite many are about global inflammation, denying and avoiding living up to our common responsibility. The nuclear war danger is even more invisible and exponentially worse than that.

Then, others here list the other sorts of dangerous and deleterious things we’re doing to our former Edenic planet. All of these diseases and dangers are ours to confront and master. Individually, we can only do little bits. We need collective efforts.

So far, the Republicans are utterly useless and worse, denying, evading, obstructing, and distracting while attacking what’s left of mutual governing. Many Democrats are doing what they can, but I’m disappointed in Biden’s saber-rattling at China and Russia and his bloated war budget. I’m distressed that our media plays more to conflict than solutions.

We’re all in it together, but how and to what end? How to get the care for our society and ecosystem inherent in such interests as involved here at Cleantechnica and in many worthy volunteer associations to be part of a humanity-wide ethic with political and practical follow-through?

Easier to ask than answer, but we must ask if we’re to ever answer.

. . . . .

1-20-22 to Cleantechnica’s Steve Hanley article on Exxon’s and Texas’ legal maneuvers to attack California’s suing for their deliberate lying:

It’s the popular, if pernicious and productive, tactic of “attacking with defensiveness.”

Like creating a “no-fly zone” in Iraq that only we flew in, to soon attack them with thousands of actual weapons, in order to defend ourselves from the imaginary one we feared.

Like “standing your ground” to kill someone because you fear they’re going to kill you, even if they’re not, adding legal protection to armed intimidation.

Like stacking the Supreme Court and other courts to “defend against judicial activism.”

Like “Jews will not replace us,” when they wouldn’t want to anyway.

Like “stopping the steal,” while trying to steal it.

I’m tired of egoistic projection.

I’m tired of Texas.

And of DeSantis’ Florida and Trump’s iconoclast attacks on our governments, society, and environment to “defend” the traditional values of blatant racism, petty, vindictive moralists, and death-cult fascism.

From 1979 to 1982 Exxon helped scientists measure and understand global warming. Then in the Reagan era, they began funding lying about it.

Now, this “person” (Exxon, because corporations are legal “persons”) is crying that their freedom to lie is under attack. They’re the poor victims, not Mother Nature and the rest of humanity for centuries to come.

Other than at The Ministry of Truth, humanity’s stable and enlightened societies hold a public moral abhorrence against “bearing false witness.” Those that enshrine lying, protect it, take pride in getting away with it – are doomed.

I hope California’s CARB standards hold and improve for all of us, and if it takes huge liability lawsuits against Exxon and their ilk to restore facts, honesty, and health, then fine, they deserve it.

They can always still practice freedom of speech from their jail cells.

. . . . .

Same day to Adam Kinzinger’s tweet of Newt Gingrich accusing the Jan. 6 Committee of being a “lynch mob.”

Typical Gingrich, accusing the entirely lawful and utterly appropriate work of the January 6th Committee of being a “lynch mob,” for investigating an actual lynch mob! Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney are the only patriotic and ethical Republicans in our Congress, apparently.

(I added in another reply that Adam and Liz are the only Republicans and that the rest of them are RINOs.)

Same day, reply to Adam Kinzinger tweet of ‘2nd Amendment’ threats due to covid position:

Is this the “well-regulated” part of #2A?

Ever since the Tea Party, belligerent bullies use only intimidation.

They are, in a word, hateful. They have no positive agenda, only threats, ridicule, and obstruction.

Create and publish a set of such replies. Expose them.

. . . . .

1-22-22 to 2nd District Representative Cliff Bentz:

Dear Sir,

When I volunteered for SOCAN, Representative Walden wouldn’t meet with us on climate issues.  While I’m no longer helping them, I hope you’re more open to considering sensible options that serve our rural areas and our environment.   Please consider.

I would urge you to consider how rural Oregon could be benefitting itself economically by adopting community-controlled solar, wind, and storage systems as described in this article:

https://cleantechnica.com/2022/01/21/solar-power-bridges-the-political-divide-in-new-different-ways/

This is not an antagonistic attempt to work with you.  Such developments would benefit both your rural communities economically and our overall environment, both to your credit, were you to promote them. 

Replying to Congressman Bentz’s reply to me on forest management

Thank you for this detailed reply.  I appreciate your efforts.  However, dismissing a Green New Deal as “socialism” rejects the jobs and benefits it would create, much as Republicans tried to obstruct, then resent, with the original New Deal.  There are lots of benefits a Green New Deal would provide to both Democrats and Republicans. 

Thanks again for your reply and work.

Economic

What if we had a mutually supportive society looking out for all human and ecological needs?  What if we still had the very rich but not the very poor?  What if wealth were measured in human health and happiness?  (Some countries now measure the GDH Gross Domestic Happiness.)

Oldennew

to Byrd on KOS

I like that slogan.

The super-rich and others worry about killing off innovation. How about very high rates for the very rich, with tax breaks, only if they fund research and innovation? Or a basic income for all? Or pay a large number of people to do public action for good?

Byrd on KOS

to Oldennew

Jan 04, 2022

Yes.  Involve all of us in prosperity, not just those so rich that “more” doesn’t do them any real good in having a better life.  What hourly wage would they be receiving before and after taxes?  I bet it’s still ample, beyond what most workers have ever imagined.  

Those like Musk roll their money back into innovation and production, which creates jobs that fund his wealth.  That he disparages what our governments must and can do diminishes his stature.  Abandoning California and his workers there further sullies his otherwise admirable accomplishments. 

Are we on a single planet sharing a common atmosphere?  I wonder if the very wealthy have any sense of community and ecology.  As is, the tides are rising but not all the boats.  

Byrd on KOS re: “What does Rich mean to You?”

Jan 03, 2022

Instead of huge incomes and equity for those resisting higher taxes expressed in large numbers, please break it down into hourly figures. 

Before we pity the poor rich, calculate and show how much hourly income they have before a proposed tax and show what their hourly income would be, poor dears, after a proposed tax.  

Then, give the rich their due.  Appreciate how much of our government they are funding with said taxes.  But don’t let them whine too much on what meager money they have leftover after taxes.  

Whatever became of the slogan, “I’d gladly pay windfall taxes, given windfall profits”?

Oldennew

to Byrd on KOS

Jan 04, 2022

See this is exactly what we should be doing on each and every thread — generating ideas. But we can’t stop there.

(My reply)

OK, since you provoked me, I’ll paste in here what I withheld from the previous post for fear my math and/or reasoning is off.  Others please feel free to make corrections.

So, I did some math.  If Elon has $300 Billion, and if he were to live on only 5% of it (a mere $15 Billion, allowing investments to grow by 5% and paying no taxes), he’d always have the 300 billion backing him while his hourly wage (50 weeks a year, 40 hours a week) would be $7,500,000.  

If the government were to take half of that in taxes, he’d have to somehow live on a mere $3,750,000 an hour.  

If the government took 90% in taxes and he lived on the 5% of the $30,000,000 he still had, his wage would be $15,000 an hour, a mere $120,000 a day, only $600,000 a week.  Plus, he’d still have the $28.5 million (assuming the remaining investments remained flat) if he ever fell on hard times.  

Hard to know how to spend that much money while never getting poorer.  Better socks? Should we pity the poor rich?

Oldennew

to Byrd on KOS

Jan 06, 2022

This is wonderful!

Please send this thought experiment of yours to the usual progressive suspects like Senator Warren, etc., and of course Ms. Porter— maybe she’ll put it on her whiteboard! Also please put this anywhere else you can think of that gets eyeballs.

I am sure someone can photoshop a picture of Mr. Musk with his pants pockets turned out, empty, looking sad, captioned

“$600,000 per week!”

(My reply to Oldennew)

I don’t mind that the rich get rich; I mind that the poor stay poor.  To the extent that the system is built to allow the rich to get all the richer, even if by denying workers safe places and secure futures, or by exploiting, exhausting, and injuring our natural environment – then I resent the rich. 

But such people don’t seem to care.  Their values seem to be only making money, not serving society or the environment.  (The same values now define the conservative movement, “conserving” only those systems that profit, not comity and community, not reliable weather, not the animals going extinct.)  Psychopathic CEOs scoff at any bleeding-heart liberals while pursuing their limitless greed.  Whatever is crafty and callous enough “earns” them profits, power, and prestige.  They’d snicker and sneer at this paragraph. 

But not all, or so I hope and wish.  I agree with Elon Musk’s “massively transformative purpose of accelerating the transition to renewable energy,” and I must admit this libertarian has done more to fulfill that than my griping has.  That he boldly gambles his wealth on an innovative array of new technologies, complete with financing the materials and paychecks involved in doing so – earns my admiration.  At least his rocket program has purpose; it’s not just showing off and shooting off a big dick. 

Elon’s $300B doesn’t make his breathing any more precious and valuable than mine or yours.  Relative to him, I’m poor.  Relative to humanity’s median, I’m more than okay.  But “relative” is a subtly misleading standard.  He’s richer and more important than me, but in terms of worth, we are both equally worthy.  We all are. 

I like him, but that he proudly evades taxes is sleazy, irresponsible to the system that he’s using for his wealth.  There’s more to being rich than merely having money.  I hope and suspect he’s better than that.  I just wish the system enabled and ennobled all of us and Nature better than the one we’ve used so far. 

. . . . .

Same day to Cleantechnica’s Steve Hanley on the McKinsey Climate Change Report calling for a $9.7T investment in addressing climate change:

Yuval Noah Harari’s “The 2% Solution to Climate Change” in the February 7th, 2022 edition of Time magazine uses a much less scary cost ($1.2T as compared to this $9.2T) to limit heating to 1.5C. Harari notes this extra 2% investment equals what is now spent worldwide on subsidizing fossil fuels every 3 1/2 years! And that doesn’t count the even higher externalized costs of planetary heating disasters already on us nor the costs of war preparations to enable the current fossil fuel systems. Add to this the massive monies now secreted away via tax evasion, equaling 1.6% of current global GDP, and we see ample ways to add another 2% on top of the current 1% invested in a cleaner, healthier, more economic future.

Worse than denial is despair and defeatism. Relief from doom and implementing practical ways to a better future is increasingly ours. As we develop the will, we will find the ways.

MS Simon replied:

The people have the will. The politicians stand in our way, and our rigged electoral system (gerrymandering, winner-take-all districts, campaign finance, no RCV) prevents us from having a government that reflects the will of the people.

And I replied to him or her:

Regrettably, the government is used more on us than by us. What Thomas Paine called the nation is floundering, unable to prevail against the largely secret doings of huge corporations and the very rich.

Clean Energy and Technologies

I don’t see how others can’t see the obvious relation between religion and technology.  How we get and use energy, what we create with it and our natural resources, what that all do to our environment and each other – all these are ethical concerns.  Our morality must include how we treat Mother Nature and each other. 

To Cleantechnica Fortuna article on soil health, questioned for considering soil tech:

Were we to devotedly replenish the soils and the oceans, we’d see the return of diverse abundance.

Instead, we exploit and extract from both, turning them into stressed, scarce wastes.

So, yes, this is a cleantech issue calling for intelligent technologic and biologic care.

thinkmorebelieveless • 6 hours ago

When will they ever make PV tiles that can cover the entire roof and not look like a patch job on the roof?

(My reply):

Or matching regular shingles for the rest of the roof, like for the east, west, and north sides?

Or ideally, as you suggest, PV shingles or roofing so affordable, durable, and walkable they are used as standard roofing, even for the north-facing side.

PV panels on rooftops are already “good and getting better.” They make use of sunlight’s energy – formerly warded off outside to be supplied by dirtier sources to the inside. As they improve, someday all sunny rooftops will be supplying most of the energy we need in those houses.

We don’t kill whales to fuel our reading light anymore. Things improve. As we have the will, we will find the ways. For humanity and our technologies, things are “good and getting better.”

thinkmorebelieveless  ByronBradley • an hour ago

“For humanity and our technologies, things are “good and getting better”………….well maybe, but not in terms of our unsustainable population numbers. Just think how many less roofs would be needed if the population was much less.

(My reply to think…)

I hear your concern. But how we in the so-called first world live impacts our environment in terms of resources used and pollution generated far more than the burgeoning third.

Even there, though, what used to be devastated forests to fuel sickening cooking fires and smoky kerosene to read books are being replaced by sustainable fuels and smartly designed stoves along with solar panels powering LEDs and smartphones.

Whether it’s a Tesla roof powering a Tesla or an African villager accessing the internet while doing organic gardening, both are getting better. For both communities, sustainability is important, each in its own way.

Transitioning to solar roofing as the norm is part of our part of overall improvement in getting our technologies to work more on our behalf than to exploit and pollute us. It isn’t us or them, here or there, it’s all of us being good and getting better.

. . . . .

1-11-22 To Cleantechnica article by Steve Hanley re Bill McKibbon’s report that 40% of fossil fuel use involves shipping fossil fuels.

Excellent logic and writing, Steve. Readers can get a glimpse of how the doom and gloom of planetary fever can be changed into a practical prophetic vision.

Add to McKibbon’s 40% for ocean shipping that of land transport of such fossil fuels. Add also all the ways to be more efficient and cleaner in how we get and use energy in what we make and how we use it, and it leads to the thought of a guru, “The future will be better than we can imagine now.”

I’ll be tweeting this Cleantechnica article out, both for your main reasoning and for the typical intelligent back-n-forth of Cleantechnica readers and commenters.

Same day to Cleantechnica Steve Hanley article on Washington Post opinion piece sloppily dismissing EVs in the cold.

I’m from Michigan where we had to put a light bulb under the battery and the oil pan to get ICE cars going. Then it took lots of time to generate any heat for engine efficiency or cabin heat. The cold is hard on lots of technologies. Some days were so cold, it seemed you’d crack the metal by shutting the door.

I wonder what a stinky mess it was on I-95, most running their engines for some respite from the cold. And if and when they were to run out of gas, what? Just leave the car blocking traffic? Was Lane concerned for that too? Kudos to you, Steve, for taking on the Washington Post/Fox News opinion piece.

FUD reasoning seems to be if you can find some objection you can trash the entire issue. If you can object to some aspect of an EV, you can go on trashing Mother Nature with ICE cars – as if such rationale weren’t a rationalization.

Kudos also to readers/commenters here who track the trends at such papers as the Post, the NYT, and of course, the Wall Street Journal. Who they pick for such opinion pieces shows their stubborn thinking. As suggested, we need to supply such news outlets with more informed news and better opinions.

. . . . .

1-12-22 to Treehugger on Mercedes concept car, the respondent tells of drafting others on the freeway:

I look to the day when we typically draft. Create “trains” of cars on the freeways, all drafting in a single air tube instead of all cars separately cutting their own way through the wind, as we have now.

Given spatial monitors and communication between all cars in such a convoy, getting in and out of the line would be easy and the line would instantly break right and left should there be an accident at the front.

I used to think of such advances as magna-lock convoys, each car close to the one in front without touching it.

Same day to Cleantechnica article on (always) impending new version of the VW van:

I don’t like this ad. It’s ponderous, pretentious. It doesn’t show even the concept car much.

Instead of hyping the past, VW might reclaim it by bringing out a cute, functional, multifunctional, affordable van.

. . . . .

1-23-22 to Megan Siebert’s (MDPI, ostensibly pro-environment, concerned for “ecological overshoot,” concluding too many humans) mocking of “Don’t Look Up”

I resent your analysis.  You want to pooh-pooh the increasingly successful efforts to get and use our energy cleanly and sustainably, dismissing them as “faux renewables,” chiding us for coming up with these fledging solutions while taking on the larger problem of overshoot.  Yes, the other toxic problems of consumeristic overshoot exist, yet you diss the few solutions we’ve developed so far.   Yes, the problems are bigger than the misleading ambiguous term “climate change,” and tossing aside the growing solutions to it won’t further our concern for overshoot.  To get from here to there we have to take some steps, yet you would have us give up on the initial successful steps we’ve taken because they haven’t gotten us all the way to a post-overshoot world.

Pete Soderman replies to me:

With all due respect, replacing one finite substance (fossil fuel) with others (rare earths, copper, etc.) is senseless. As long as we continue extraction, processing, manufacturing, and transportation that requires fossil fuels, we exacerbate the predicament of ecological overshoot.

The "solutions" you talk about aren't solutions at all, nor are they "clean and sustainable."

And I reply to him:

In equal respect, comparing polluting fuels that get exhausted to such renewable materials as copper, deflects from the poisonous and doomed things we’ve been doing for over a hundred years and dismisses the solutions that would begin to remedy our humanity-wide planetary predicament.

We can use a dwindling amount of fossil fuels as we build the energy gathering and using technologies that will require less of the problem and more of the solution.

Dismissing ways of creating things and living with them that don’t waste resources or pollute as much as “senseless” perpetuates business as usual, more stubborn habits of overshoot. Why eschew promising solutions by finding meager complaints about them?

Don Owers’ reply to me:

I am not sure you can describe them as “increasingly successful” because we have simply swapped fossil fuels for something a lot cleaner but by no means carbon neutral. In doing so we are told we have to grow even more to produce ever more clean products like hydrogen or even exporting electricity via huge distances. All of which will require more mining, more waste products more land given to produce power…

My reply to Don Owers:

Yes, everything we do takes energy and resources. But how much of both? 

In that we’re using energy and driving cars, which is better, the energy spent to extract, refine, transport, and use fossil fuels that leave toxic results besides warming the planet in moving an inefficient machine (the old Ford Torino comes to mind, but there are scores of newer versions of that) that itself took resources, energy, and people’s time to build in order to run it down the road spewing more toxins and warming, or the previously ignored and warded-off sunlight on a roof that now translates into energy in the house and in the batteries of a clean-running Tesla? 

Yes, it takes resources and energy to create solar panels and Teslas, but so does it take resources and energy to create the wasteful former fossil fuel creation and use of cars, trucks, buildings, etc. Arguing against clean renewable energy and cleaner-running vehicles because they take resources and energy ignores the similar and worse problems our former systems take while dismissing the newer, better systems because they take some (but far less to build and use) resources and energy. Which direction takes us closer to less carbon and other pollutions?

Both use some, but which way does what to build and then use? I see solar-heated homes and solar-powered cars as increasingly successful. These are part of what I call “good and getting better.” We learn as we go. We devise and choose better ways of all sorts in moving from ecological overshoot towards ecological flourishing. 

(My reply to him wasn’t on the site, so I had to copy/pasted it in again.  Despite the admirable dossiers of their main staff and ample governmental and United Nations connections, I see their luddite approach to ecological overshoot (including reducing the world population by 5/6ths – just who of their family and friends would they dispense with?) as dismissing and slowing the transition to clean, renewable energy gathering and intelligent, lasting, and efficient products (cars, houses, tools, etc.) as fixing our predicament.  It’s as though they’re hired by the fossil fuel corporations to delay transitioning away from that old, toxic habit.)

. . . . .

Same day to Cleantechnica Joanna Crider on large corporations wanting EVs and slow EV industry response:

Sadly, smaller cars, vans, and trucks appear to be put off as Elon Musk is putting his money into a human-like robot.  (Cite in next comment)

If true, I regret his moving away from his “massively transformative purpose of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” He did put EVs in place with classy, fast, high-end cars, but affordable ones for the rest of us, what is becoming of that?

1-29-22 to Cleantechnica on the supposed $25,000 Tesla

Perhaps Musk is leaving it to other manufacturers to bring out affordable EVs. I thought his plan was to make and sell high-end cars as a way to finance simpler, more affordable cars. Too bad, for he could cinch his fame in history by bringing out a truly affordable around-town car, something that really “accelerates the transition…”

He appears to be shifting his focus to developing human-like robots.

https://www.deseret.com/2022/1/27/22904666/tesla-moving-away-from-making-new-car-models-to-making-robots

Journalism

Journalism is under attack worldwide.  Journalists are being tracked, hounded, and killed.  Yes, there was always the danger of fake news, but what overcame that was fake news on meth!  Corrupt, cruel, authoritarian countries like Russia, Brazil, the Philippines, Turkey, El Salvador, and Mexico are outright killing those who dare tell.  Private Israeli firm NSO has sold its journalist-tracking software to many of these countries, and it may be in secret domestic use here.  Our age of hyper-cynical, eagerly-paranoid, distrust of our government and press could have the lasting effect of our re-regarding our representatives and media.  A free democracy needs good journalists. 

1-16-22 to Bert Etling about impending Ashland.News

Glad it’s started.  

In addition to news and opinion as planned, I would opt for an easy way for merchants and others to add what they offer.  I don’t like ads except when I’m looking for something.  I know some excellent merchants who are struggling because they’re unknown.  Events go missed.  It doesn’t have to be expensive to place ads and notices.  Make it a community resource in this way.  Perhaps free; perhaps a small fee.  As is, all funding for local ads goes to the MMT, which I won’t read.  I wouldn’t mind ads as an option in an electronic format.

Just a suggestion.  Glad to see it started as is.  

Bert back to me:

Interesting suggestion. There are the sponsorship notices, in which they can say what services/products they offer, and we will be running business stories, but you’re suggesting something in between, maybe some kind of bulletin-board thing? Maybe.

-Bert

My reply to him:

How do local merchants advertise?  Pay the MMT?  Maybe an expensive ad in the Local Guide or the Sneak Preview?  As long as software programs are able to be accessible and mostly self-managed, why not make them available for free or cheap?  Such photon arrangements don’t cost the world much in terms of resources. 

Let them mount their own ads; let readers view them only if they wish, not shoved in their faces while trying to read an article.  Such a community resource would benefit both readers and merchants, promoting economic exchange in places that otherwise go unnoticed. 

Wouldn’t this make Ashland News all the more valuable?  Perhaps a small automatic fee would help fund the News.  If it only provided links to the store’s own website, it still would be a handy way for those who want such ads, benefitting both the stores and viewership of Ashland News. 

. . . . .

1-3-22 to Google regarding their policy to not promote Climate Denial claims

I have not bought ads from Google.  I am concerned that the same caution to not spread Climate Denial links doesn’t appear to have slowed the Covid Denial (antivaccine) links.  Try to get critical thinking about Malone’s antivaccine comments (that they promote the spread instead of reducing it) and see how the first many of Google’s pages are all just repeating his weak claim.  As is, Koch-funded denial organizations are holding sway.  I like that Google is trying to be responsible regarding Climate and would hope it would do so regarding Covid.  Thanks.

Social

Religion has to do with relationships – with our God, with ourselves, with each other, with distant peoples, with our ecosystem and cosmos.  The word religion comes from relegare’ and religio, basically meaning, “to bind back to our root from which we’ve become estranged.”  The Golden Rule, found in various forms in most religions, isn’t the Plutonium Rule of “getting others before they can get you,” nor the Lead Rule of “doing unto others what you can get away with,” nor the Bronze Rule of “doing unto others that you’ll be seen as noble and maybe get some benefit in return,” it’s the Golden Rule of “doing unto others what you would have done unto you, were you in their place.”  It requires both the empathy to know what that might be and the willing service to lovingly provide it.  How we do social relations has also to do with our cars, traffic, voting, humor, sense of safety in a community, even how we treat our trash or upcycle old tiles.

No Piston  Dan • 3 hours ago

Pickup trucks and SUV’s are perceived as being safer. They also provide a more complete view of the road because they sit so high.

(My reply to Dan)

As they endanger others, block the view of others, and promote the truck/SUV version of the arms race, claiming safety while endangering others.

The same pickups I like driving for the above-it-all view are the ones I resent when I’m on my bike.

. . . . .

1-28-22 to Adam Kinzinger tweet promoting one-day voting as in the 50s

Why one day only? In Oregon, we like our mail-in voting, which extends over many weeks. It creates a paper record that can be verified. We can’t be intimidated by loudmouths and police, as intended in Florida. We don’t have to endure the glut of last-minute ads.

. . . . .

Byrd on KOS

Jan 04, 2022

Indeed, conservatives tend to have flat, mean humor.  Why is that?  I suspect their brains just work differently, clinging to a few simplistic slogans and to their tribe, but unable to get or like Steven Colbert or Dave Chapelle.  Perhaps most of our philosophical, political, and religious differences are in the brain’s hardware.  We’re not just dealing with different views, we’re stuck with different kinds of people.  

. . . . .

1-24-22 to Next Door re mailbox thieve in my neighborhood and suggestion to leave porch lights on:


Brad Carrier

 • to Quiet Village on minor crimes and using bright lights to dissuade them:

I live in Quiet Village and have no sympathy for thieves. However, I don’t think more lights at night protect us so much as light the way for them and ruin the peace of nighttime. Did the bright lights here prevent anything?

(Same day to a similar post)

I’ve lived in Quiet Village for 36 years and never locked my car or house doors.  About five years ago someone took an old bike; perhaps they needed one.  Otherwise, I don’t want to live with a fortress mentality.  I like it that my neighbors are safe to walk around in peace and community at any time of day or night.  Better than lights on all night, or even motion-activated ones, would be motion-activated night cameras that don’t announce a photo was taken.  Perhaps the police could buy such devices and deploy them where needed.  Catch the thieves rather than announce fear with annoying lights.

. . . . .

1-27-22 to Cleantechnica article on Louisiana taking on roadside trash:

Oregon’s innovative and once-resisted bottle bill is now at only 10 cents. The roadways are mostly cleaned by those collecting and earning, and even if some use it to buy beer, it’s better. States that won’t put deposits on bottles and cans are laggards suffering the trashy results.

Instead of relying on the consumer to recycle bottles and packaging trash, a single law allowing us to return the packaging to the retail outlet, and they return it to the wholesaler, etc., back up the chain to the manufacturer might pressure the manufacturer to create packaging that can be either safely burned or composted – or they have to deal with the reaccumulated mess.

A simple 10 cent charge on grocery bags in my town led to most people carrying in their own reusable bags. Less materials needed and less trash in town. At least Louisiana is addressing the blight, starting to change the trashy trend.

. . . . .

1-30-22 to Next Door guy who used old bricks to make a nice patio

That’s skillful work. Various thicknesses complicate a flat top. Artfully done. I once used various tiles from twenty years of yard sales to create a walk-in shower. Came out great.

To any reader who made it this far: Congratulations! No prize other than thanking you for my not being utterly alone. There is goodness in humans and Nature, and it could get better!

Byron has been using his writing and public speaking to engage, challenge and inspire audiences for over 40 years. Reverend Carrier's mission is to rescue and revive our earthly Eden, including our human worth and potential. If you enjoy his work, consider supporting him with Patreon.

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Teja
Teja
7 months ago

Good work, Byron Bradley, in keeping optimistic during these crazy times… The Raging Twenties requires us to somehow keep calm while focusing on our goals, that’s for sure… Keep speaking out and writing, you are a beacon of light in a time of darkness.

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