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.