Tag Archives: renewable energy

The disposable planet – and its people

jonflan-blueearth - 1As a people, we are suffering the twin insanities of our Chief Executive, Mr. Donald Trump, who has insisted on pursuing two separate paths that promise to destroy our planet and ourselves.

First, our “Commander in Chief”, and another mad world leader from Korea, improvised a bullying chest-beating duet of world-shattering war threats, from the slippery edge of an existential precipice, promising to hurl nuclear fire upon the world, and to kill countless innocents.

Second, our “Chief Executive,” Mr. Trump, belittled every other nation in the world and refused to honor a hard fought international agreement on climate change that the United States had signed.  Mr. Trump also dismantled air and water safeguards and denied that humans have in any way caused the planet to heat from fossil fuel emissions.

Each of us is a furnace of life, warmed within a sheaf of skin, at 98 degrees Fahrenheit, with a strong will to survive.

But too many of us defer to leaders, trusting them to do what’s best for us and the world’s survival when we now know they are doing nothing of the sort.

Our leaders take the corporate contributions of fossil fuel predators and vote their way, insisting that we not trust our senses that that’s what they are doing, even as they do it at the cost of our health and safety and survival.  In the bargain, they stall cleaner, safer renewable energy sources. Continue reading

How we treat our own

Coal miners crawl in mines no taller than a table top

Coal miners crawl in mines no taller than a table top

The standard of civilization is how we treat our own.

By that standard, we are increasingly uncivilized.

We can track our decline in our national disregard for human rights, in our xenophobia, the cry to build walls, our inclination to war, to betray nation states who have long been our allies, and our indifference to the plight of the living young, the disabled, the poor, the ill and the aged.

We stand ready to betray the trust to preserve and protect natural resources, historic monuments, and public lands.

We exploit hard working Americans struggling to make ends meet.

Let us choose one group of workers, hard done by the false political myths we tell, and repeat, who are at a focal point, in national discussions about energy, safety and health care.

On a recent public access TV show, I was asked, when promoting renewable energy sources including solar and wind, whether, “I cared about the miners I would put out of work – if we continued to push these renewable energy sources?”

The question is a little like asking, “How did our forebears feel when farriers were put out of work because more and more the model T replaced the thoroughbred horse?”

Nor is there any way we can close the door to renewables.

If anyone thinks renewables are a fad, then they’re a fad like the internet. Continue reading

The president of Pittsburg, not Paris

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

There are plenty who embrace space travel and the science that might take us to Mars – in part because a lot of these wannabe astronauts have given up on saving earth – and think space flight to Mars is next up to form colonies.  Any takers?

These self-styled survivalists delude themselves that these other worldly colonies are a good idea because of what Matt Damon’s stranded character did in a sci-fi movie – given the ingenuity of this imagined scientist to stay alive until he could be rescued.

If we do the kitchen table math, to get to the fourth rock from our sun, to Mars, we could travel the 35 million miles in several hundred days if we were going at about 36,000 miles an hour.

But here’s the rub, putting aside how complicated that space mission would be, based on low bidder equipment, when we get there with our landing party, we have to terraform Mars, modify its atmosphere, temperature, topography and ecology so that Mars is habitable.

What makes us think we can or would make Mars livable when we won’t take the time or effort to sustain the planet where we now live – and the only known space rock in the universe where we can live.

You might ask Mr. Donald Trump that question.

The Paris agreement was a break through to address the threat of global climate change.  The objective was for the nations to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) – to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

After all, we are the 2nd greatest carbon emission polluter on the planet.  We are a large part of the “problem.”

It took more than twenty years for nations around the world to agree to an approach, and Mr. Trump preferred instead to join Syria and Nicaragua in dissent from that approach, with a thumb in the eye and thug shove to every other nation who might have believed we were all in this together to save the planet.  Continue reading