Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sleeping Giant awakens....

The earth has slumbers along as mankind has evolved  Yet in her sleep she dreams of us, however, we seldom return that consideration. and now she stirs as her dreams become restless with the influence of the reality of mankind and our potential for creation...and destruction. This is not only metaphor, but reality of what is currently going on in the world today.
Some things we do not consider on daily meditations have now been the focus of a few...The scientists, the clergy and even the Government have begun to take notice of not just civil unrest, but the Earths unrest as we have gone beyond the Natural Balance of life on this planet and tipped the scales, and not in our favor apparently.
Take a look at this...

If the moving and shaking, and the obvious awakening of deep earth movements and breathing doesn't get your attention, how about the issues of Climate Change? There is a lot to be said of mankinds acceleration of release of 'greenhouse' gasses into our atmosphere, and the effects are worldwide, although not all the world is aware of them. A simple example for the USA can be seen and explained here... http/www.epa.gov/climatechange/ and another look at weather pattern changes and forecasts can be found here... http/www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/2012-extreme-weather-climate-change_n_2348079.html
So what does this mean to us? It means that we have not single handed caused this, it means we had a hand in accelerating this. Shifting soil and rock, extracting fluids and gasses, and destableizing the ground wasn't bad enough...we burned materials that changed our protective dome of life giving air into a depleted source of life support and altered the temperatures and weather patterns that sustain life for this planet. Couple that with the destruction of forests worldwide, the paving over of nutrient rich soils with concrete and asphalt  and we can see a dramatic global reduction of our life support system for us.
And we haven't even covered trash, waste and our ever growing landfills and our toxic pollution by oil, coal and gas companies. Take a look at...http/www.greenstudentu.com/encyclopedia/pollution  There you can read about air, water and soil issues that we, yes we as a whole, have created. As consumers of the good of the companies that have played a large roll in creating this, we not only accept this, we endorse it and encourage it to continue.
My point is, although we did not cease to exist on 12/21/2012, we better wake up to the facts that we might not get many more times to become aware and start corrective measures to ensure that we are still around  by the end of 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Global Change...a man made disaster?

Climate change is not the only 'global' issue we face when it comes to the health and sustainability of our planet... there is another issue we face that we can directly influence it, because we (humans) are the source and cause of 85% of it. It's called Global Structural Change.

It would normally take hundreds of thousands of years to move as much topsoil, gravel and stone around the surface of the Earth, as it has taken mankind only a few centuries. It would tale millions of years for the under-structure of mountains to be hollowed out, and salt domes to be emptied by water solutions, for arid plain's under-fields of water and oil to me drawn to the surface and the rise, and or fall, of grounds to elevations more suitable for life....and mankind has done this in less than a century. Globally.

We move substrate from under solid ground, pump fluids and gasses into hollowed out salt domes and empty coal caverns. We pump water into bedrock crevices to flush out stable channels of under-structure. We drain ponds, lakes and swamps, and fill them with strata to place even more weight than was once there before. And we remove entire mountains from where they once stood and redistribute that matter across many miles of land unaccustomed to that weight and have less structural support deep within the crust lining. And we wonder why earthquakes, landslides and flooding is an issue in our modern world.

We humans see only the surface, and only consider a few hundred feet at the most when we do these things. And although we know and have an understanding of Geology, Physics and basic Earth Science of density and tensile strength, we forgot the simplicity of the domino effect and the ripple patterns that we learned in our youth. Once one thing is removed, or placed, and even replaced, it will effect all things in the old and new places....creating short term and long term issues.

The Earth is not just rotating on it's axis, nor just revolving around the Sun; it is expanding and contracting, the tectonic plates move, the crust rises and falls on its own in its own time of new lift and under supplementation. The Earth is literally 'breathing' and shifting mass in gas, liquid and solid forms all around itself. That we have no control of, yet can influence either in a positive way or a negative way. However, the Earth will do as She pleases, and although we may argue with Her and with ourselves, we cannot win that fight.

In moving mass earth in stone, sand and soil, we shift millions of tons around. We tip the balance and things beyond our scope of control begin to shift and shake. Like a sponge, the compression once removed, it expands. Like a spring held under tension, once the tension is lessened or released, the spring moves to a more suitable or natural state. That is what the crust of the Earth is, and how it acts and will react, given time and the right influence for it.

And what about water? We humans in America, while experimenting with nuclear explosions and military weaponry, managed to poison the largest underground fresh water deposit in Nevada... although a desert lays above it, we now have millions of people living there and are desperate for constant and reliable fresh water sources from the neighboring states. We deposit crude oils and gasses into our coastal waters. We release toxic chemicals into our air which taint our rainfall rendering it all but useless to natural life, and at times deadly to any life that consumes it or touches it. And Americans are not the only ones to be guilty of this....most 'developing countries' have done the same, over and over.

And speaking of air, we need that balanced equation of inert gasses to be able to live here. Oxygen alone will not sustain us well, and the amount of it is also a factor; too much and we die, too little and we die. Not just humans, but all animals. We need our plants to thrive, if the animals are to live, including humans. Yet we clear-cut rain forest for soy beans (removing 80% of that area's ability to produce oxygen), level meadows and forest alike to cover it with concrete and asphalt, which not only removed the oxygen machine in place, but now we up the ante by creating carbon gasses and other toxins by our machines not designed for life support, but for our own comfort.

The 'Global Changes' that we face today are clearly, for the most part, our own doing. And we have gone way past the tipping point in regaining positive influence any time soon, and now have to ride out the damage ongoing and to come, while trying to install corrective change and positive influences to shore up our failing under-structure and rebuild the life support machine that we so ignorantly have been dismantling.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Energy, Economics and Environment...a few facts.

     Intrigued by many inputs about power/energy consumption and production numbers posted all over the web and in social media concerning Green energy versus fossil fuels....I decided to do some digging of my own to see what was true, false, and the comparisons and potentials for improvement globally in our energy consumption of fossil fuels and increase use of renewable energy.
     In 2011, the US electricity generation was 4344 billion kWh gross, 1874 TWh (43%) of it from coal-fired plant, 1047 TWh (24%) from gas, 821 TWh (19%) nuclear, 351 TWh (8%) from hydro and 121 TWh (2.8%) from wind. Annual electricity demand is projected to increase to 5,000 billion kWh in 2030, though in the short term it is depressed and is not expected to recover to the 2007 level until about 2015. Annual per capita electricity consumption is currently around 12,300 kWh. Total capacity is 1041 GWe, less than one tenth of which is nuclear.

First let's look at some numbers from the USA:

2009 daily statistics....18,690,000 bbl/day of oil consumed and this is the most recent statistic that can be confirmed as agreed upon by the National Energy Board. Imagine the numbers for 2010-2012 as we have increased volumes of vehicles on the roads each year. 

most recent statistics....1,060,000,000 short tons of coal used yearly for heat and power generation.

The USA has 104 nuclear power reactors in 31 states, operated by 30 different power companies. Since 2001 these plants have achieved an average capacity factor of over 90%, generating up to 807 billion kWh per year and accounting for 20% of total electricity generated. Capacity factor has risen from 50% in the early 1970s, to 70% in 1991, and it passed 90% in 2002.

Solar energy actually dropped production from 1998 (almost 11 million VDC) to 2009 (about 7.5 million VDC) Many argue that Solar power will never equate much more than a secondary or supplement source, however that argument is lead by the oils and coal industries. We have already seen proof from other Nations that Solar power can become not just a supplement source, but a mainstay production of energy not only in individual or isolated usage, but for municipal and National applications. All across Europe, in areas of Africa, and in Australia, Solar power is a principal source of power.

The United States’ wind power capacity reached 47,000 MW by the end of 2011. Although growing by an estimated 16% yearly in production, wind energy still only accounts for less than 2% of US Power production.

Produced hydroelectricity was 282 TWh (2008).
 66.8% of the total renewable power in the U.S. in 2008. 6.4% of the nation's total electricity production. The potential for hydroelectric growth in the US is amazingly underdeveloped due to both government and corporate arguments as well as environmental issues. However, before Nuclear energy, the USA used hydro-electrical energy as almost 40% of its National power production.  It is the most widely used form of renewable energy, accounting for 16 percent of global electricity consumption, and 3,427 terawatt-hours of electricity production in 2010, which continues the rapid rate of increase experienced between 2003 and 2009.

     Now, I know I have not included geothermal power, Natural gas power and a few other ongoing and developing resources for electrical production, and that is mainly due to lack of verifiable facts or information to apply it to a National level. Yet we are seeing the mainstay of Hydro, Wind and Solar potentials and growth of not only production, but as replacement over the 'traditional' energy or power sources. (Much to the dismay of energy companies who are still trying to delay if not destroy green energy growth and applications) As a Nation of growing concerned citizens about such issues over preservation of Natural resources and environmental preservation, we need to be better informed about these growing 'green energy' possibilities and potentials.

Now look at this chart and information...from Germany:

In 2010 the gross electric power generation in Germany totalled 621 billion kWh. A major proportion of the electricity supply is based on lignite (23.7 %), nuclear energy (22.6 %) and hard coal (18.7 %). Natural gas has a share of 13.6 %. Renewables (wind, water, biomass, photovoötaic) account for 16.5 %.
Electricity production by energy sources
Electricity production by energy sources, Germany 2010

Now look at the growth of energy production and energy sources in Australia:

Or how about Spain....:

Even France is showing a growth out of it's Nuclear and toward renewable (albeit slowly)...
Would you like to see the charts of American Power production by source?.....
So maybe you wonder what my point is..
As a Nation, we are the foremost consumers of Fossil Fuels worldwide, and the last place runners in renewable energy source development. We even began reduction of hydro-electrical energy production in favor of Nuclear and Natural Gas power plants. 
Even our consumption of oil in transportation is decades behind other countries as far as railways, commuter bus lines, and fuel economic vehicles are concerned. We are not only loosing the race to new and renewable power sources, we are running out of time to not only stop the needless pollution  for our energy needs, but save what is left of our delicate balance of wilderness/wildlife and  life on this planet.
It is not about the economics sustainability... it is now about the environment survivability.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Life's Journey...Or Ours?

 Sometimes, we walk a path already well marked and well trodden. Sometimes we find ourselves blazing new pathways. Often we are lead by a compass of some sort, marked by our desires, goals and dreams. At times we find our compass is only a hint at the direction we are headed. So what makes us continue... what changes our path? Many times we label things as happenstance, or 'life getting in the way'. But is it?

     Few of us believe in coincidences, yet we still find excuses that include the 'event' in our path as something that happened and we cannot control it. True, we are limited in controlling things in our lives as we are only a part of the co-creation of our world. Yet we have these obsticals and events there as part of our path, not a deterrent. How often we forget that. Trailblazing or following a well marked lane, we will always have the opportunity to find or experience things differently than what we expect. And thanks the Gods for them!

      How would we learn if not for those unscheduled events about maintaining direction...personal fortitude...determination... character...and always holding on to hope? If everything went as we expected, how droll would life be? Why would we seek balance, seek experience  even seek spirituality without conflict of some sort to our plans? Lets face it, conflict is a big part in every known religion...there's good and evil, dark and light, elements of earth vs water and air, and fire vs. water and earth... this is just an example but clearly marked in all religions. These are all lessons of balance, either by attaining them or removing balance from their interactions.
     We strive for enlightenment, balance, harmony...yet we avoid the conflicts and dislike venturing close to them.....and these are our lessons and teachers of the very goals we set fourth to achieve. How do you learn these things without taking the lessons or avoiding the teachers? Life gives the test before the class as many have said and destiny is a two part principal...one of creating what we desire by our own action, and one in creating what we need by Universal manipulation beyond that which we can control.
      I have been taught that knowledge is only the beginning of wisdom, what we know helps us decide action and course to follow. Wisdom is tested by what you do when you don't know what to do, and based on the knowledge that you can hold to comparison of the situation. Experience is our only teacher then, and that is where we will find ourselves, while we walk our paths in life. Equipped with will, desire, motivation, and with any luck, a strong moral and personal fortitude of self worth...we travel along looking for our goals, answers and destiny. Many times we find out that the path we actually are on, takes us much further along many lesser venues that we needed to experience so that we could better understand if not appreciate the path we chose to begin with.

     So we refer to our compass, and at times draw our maps through our journals. We find ourselves lost at times, and at other times set hard on our chosen coarse. We blaze through tangled jungles of confusion, sail seas salted with hardships, climb above mountains of personal issues, and wade through wondrous meadows of emotion. Such a journey is worth it....even if you are uncertain of the destination. And what of that?...a destination?
     We reach many crossroads between now and our chosen destination. We even change course in our quest to find a better path to it. But what is that destination? Where are we willing to go to get there from here? And why is it so important for us to reach it? Questions that we encounter, ideas that we meet, and perspectives that we begin to see all will ask us, and remind us, of that destination, and our purpose for finding it or achieving it. Sometimes it is a good thing to find a point in our journey to rest and reflect upon the  destination and our value that we place on it. It also allows us to take stock in our growing supply of knowledge and our new found skills learned.
     Whatever your answer, it is right for you, and only you. Whatever your destination, path, choice...these only you can decide on. The rest is up to the Universe to collaborate and work in conspiracy with, and against, to create the perfect experience that you will meet next along the way.
     Journey well, rest often, and may we meet sometime while on our way...