Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NaBloPoMo - In a Word

Well, here I go again. Instead of the sporadic writing I've been doing of late, I'm going to attempt the NaBloPoMo thing again. This month's theme was intriguing - In A Word. So much room for exploration. I even made my own "badge" with Wordle.

In fact, it's that word cloud badge thingie that will probably be my prime source for inspiration.

Sunday night, I watched a documentary on Netflix called "The Age of Stupid". It's the story of how we killed ourselves through greed and ignorance and willful neglect of the planet. It's sobering.

We have such a small window of opportunity to change the way we live and save the environment. So small that it seems almost inevitable that the collapse will come.

Perhaps as a fellow blogger noted just recently, we're all suffering from mass suicidal ideation. In layman's terms, as Pete Postlethwaithe says in the film, perhaps we all feel the human race doesn't deserve to live.

I sometimes wonder myself.

I'm reminded once again of my Hubs "theory of the human race" that goes like this - humanity as a species should be viewed as a single organism, a child. He thinks we're about 13-years-old, more or less. At least, that's the way we act. We've moved from viewing the thunder as the sounds of an angry god to the understanding of meteorology. We know enough to think we know everything. Knowledge without wisdom. Sounds like a 13-year-old to me.

Without a lot of luck, we may end up like the child who willfully ignores everything and everyone that tells them to grow up. Unfortunately for the human race, if we don't mature and take responsibility for ourselves and our planet, we die. And we might just take every living thing on Earth with us.

You know, this idea of global climate collapse has been around for a while. I remember reading a book back in the 80s by Whitley Streiber  and James Kunteka called "Nature's End" that talked about climate change and overpopulation. We've known for years what needed to be done and we did nothing, or next to it.

Just today, I read an article about solar-powered yarn. Created by Dr. Ray Baughman and his team at the Nanotech Institute at the University of Texas in Dallas, these fibers combine solar harvesting with battery storage in a super-light, super-strong nanotube. Dr Baughman says commercial applications are about 5 years away but that the military is very interested.

The idea of creating wearable photovoltaics isn't new. Google solar cloth and you'll see hits from 2002. Indeed, solar power is not a new technology at all. At my company, we have a pretty busy bunch of market analysts looking at renewables. They're very busy writing about massive PV installations in Germany.

Why, if we've known for 30 years that oil was a finite resource, that pollution from burning fossil fuels was wrecking the environment and that renewable energy was completely doable as a technology, have we gotten ourselves to this point?  Why do we stop wind farms from being built because they'll ruin our property values? Why haven't we got a reliable, cheap electric car?

The answer to these questions lies in who benefits from making sure that we continue to be addicted to oil.

Just a hint: it's not you or me and certainly not our children.


skyewriter said...

My hubby, a Ph.D. candidate in Physics, studies climate change and it is indeed an uncertain and scary thing to see some of those models.

My favorite question for climate change denialists is: And *not* polluting and wanting a cleaner world is a *bad* thing?

Wild Child said...

In the WTF category, the House wants to defund OHSHA because it stops jobs from being created and thwarts business from making money. How much money do these jokers need to make? Really. I am sick to my stomach because no unions and bad working environments sounds like the 19th century to me. Really, we want to go back to the 19th century? Well, I guess we wouldn't be using vast reserves of oil then.