We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, June 24, 2016

Bionic leaf can fuel energy revolution

Click here to access article by Tim Radford from Climate News Network.

Capitalists are very much like alcoholics who are experiencing the final stage of cirrhosis of the liver and told by their doctor that death would soon follow. Better informed capitalists know that they have been living off of the benefits of very cheap energy, fossil fuels, and they are only going to get much more expensive in the future. Meanwhile their system needs to grow or die--and they refuse to concede the latter. Much like alcoholics capitalists engage in various fantasies about new cheap fuel sources. Just in the past decade I remember two such forms that were widely publicized as the answer: hydrogen and fusion fuels, but I haven't heard anything about them for several years. Now we learn of this bionic leaf fuel source. 

The wiser capitalists know that they cannot keep their enterprises expanding on a finite planet, so they also tend to fantasize about traveling to other planets. Billionaire Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has purchased his own space travel company, Blue Origin, complete with rockets and facilities apparently with this in mind. I imagine the fantasy must be that once they're through trashing this planet, Bezos and others will throw it in the cosmic dumpster, and head for another planet.  

1 comment:

  1. Bionic FIG leaf can NOT fuel energy revolution
    Let's see, first you build a lab. Then you acquire all sorts of minerals and equipment and lots of electricity and then you make a playing-card-sized "leaf" that's "better" than Nature.
    Just a teensy-weensy bit of hubris there?
    And, the EROEI on this little "leaf" is...a negative number. Whoops!

    Oh, but it'll get better, right?

    Daniel Nocerea is notorious for TechnoGimmicks of the Year. We can FORCE Mother Nature to improve and we can continue our destructive path of killing every living being we meet - human or otherwise. Just tweak what you're doing wrong and it will suddenly become "right". Wrong.

    James Howard Kunstler, after appearing on a panel with Nocera in 2013, stated, "this longing for "solutions," strikes me as a free-floating wish for magical rescue remedies, for techno-fixes that will allow us to make a hassle-free switch from fossil hydrocarbon power to something less likely to destroy the Earth's ecosystems (and human civilization with it). And I think such a wish is, in itself, at the root of our problem -- certainly at the bottom of our incapacity to think clearly about these things.


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