Monday, March 24, 2008

Cryptogon: 'Clean, Green U.S. Prison Camp: The Guantanamo Naval Base Wind Farm'

...We’re going to be kept alive only to the extent that corporations can lift our wallets. And somehow, guess what: This system is going to limp on, creaking and grinding and murdering and polluting all the way into the grim dystopia of clean, green fascism.

Shell’s $30 per Barrel Oil Shale Process

Lockheed Martin has signed an exclusive international rights agreement to integrate and market Electrical Energy Storage Units (EESU) from EEStor, Inc., for military and homeland security applications. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

[ ... ]

Lockheed Martin to Use EEstor’s Ultracapacitors for Military and Homeland Security Applications

The water bottles, plastic foam plates and other trash discarded by American troops in Iraq’s mess halls may soon be serving double-duty — as an unlikely power source to illuminate barracks and power up laptops...

~ more... ~

'Collapse can be an orderly, organized retreat rather than a rout'

Several thinkers, notably James Howard Kunstler and, more recently John Michael Greer, have pointed out that the Kübler-Ross model is also quite terrifyingly accurate in reflecting the process by which society as a whole (or at least the informed and thinking parts of it) is reconciling itself to the inevitability of a discontinuous future, with our institutions and life support systems undermined by a combination of resource depletion, catastrophic climate change, and political impotence. But so far, little has been said specifically about the finer structure of these discontinuities. Instead, there is to be found a continuum of subjective judgments, ranging from "a severe and prolonged recession" (the prediction we most often read in the financial press), to Kunstler's "Long Emergency," to the ever-popular "Collapse of Western Civilization," painted with an ever-wider brush-stroke.

For those of us who have already gone through all of the emotional stages of reconciling ourselves to the prospect of social and economic upheaval, it might be helpful to have a more precise terminology that goes beyond such emotionally charged phrases. Defining a taxonomy of collapses might prove to be more than just an intellectual exercise: based on our abilities and circumstances, some of us may be able to specifically plan for a certain stage of collapse as a temporary, or even permanent, stopping point. Even if society at the current stage of socioeconomic complexity will no longer be possible, and even if, as Tainter points in his "Collapse of Complex Societies," there are circumstances in which collapse happens to be the correct adaptive response, it need not automatically cause a population crash, with the survivors disbanding into solitary, feral humans dispersed in the wilderness and subsisting miserably.

'Nowhere is the impact ... clearer than on the White House web site'

What a difference a week makes, especially when it comes to the rollercoaster American economy. No where is the impact of looming recession and the near-meltdown on Wall Street clearer than on the White House web site. Just days ago, the site boasted about President Bush's glorious stewardship of the U.S. economy. Now, the White House's economy web page reflects the mad scramble to ward off the twin crises of the housing market and the financial system.
 
A cached version of the White House web site from March 16, 2008 showed the last vestiges of rosy optimism and unbridled Bush boosterism.
 
 

Endangered Species: 'Listings Drop Under Bush'

Controversies have occasionally flared over Interior Department officials who regularly overruled rank-and-file agency scientists' recommendations to list new species, but internal documents also suggest that pervasive bureaucratic obstacles were erected to limit the number of species protected under one of the nation's best-known environmental laws.

The documents show that personnel were barred from using information in agency files that might support new listings, and that senior officials repeatedly dismissed the views of scientific advisers as President Bush's appointees either rejected putting imperiled plants and animals on the list or sought to remove this federal protection.

Officials also changed the way species are evaluated under the 35-year-old law -- by considering only where they live now, as opposed to where they used to exist -- and put decisions on other species in limbo by blocking citizen petitions that create legal deadlines.

As a result, listings plummeted. During Bush's more than seven years as president, his administration has placed 59 domestic species on the endangered list, almost the exact number that his father listed during each of his four years in office. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has not declared a single native species as threatened or endangered since he was appointed nearly two years ago.

In a sign of how contentious the issue has become, the advocacy group WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking a court order to protect 681 Western species all at once, on the grounds that further delay would violate the law. Among the species cited are tiny snails, vibrant butterflies, and a wide assortment of plants and other creatures.

'I want our future back'

I've been thinking about this for a while now. History has been off course. I don't just mean the accounts of what happened. I feel as if someone grabbed our future and put a noose around it, forcing us all down a different, much darker path. What if that hadn't have happened?

What if Medgar Evers, John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy had all lived long and full lives? What kind of country would we have had? Where would the racial divide be today? Where would our politics be like? Would the right wing have risen to the same kind of power? Or would creativity flourished and the economy soared as the middle class expanded, presenting an ever-larger market for goods?

What if Jacobo Arbenz had not been overthrown in Guatemala in 1954? What if Mohammed Mossadegh had not been killed for nationalizing oil in Iran? What if millions of dollars of our taxes never got spent trying to overthrow Fidel Castro? What if we had let Salvador Allende rule Chile without interference?

What kind of world would we be living in now? What if we hadn't decided, years ago, that it was okay to hand over oil rights to private individuals, instead of ensuring that, as a national resource, the profits from such were plowed back into our nation? What if, as we started to run out, instead of going to war to secure more oil, we instead spent the same amount of money to create a green economy, inventing new technologies, employing hundreds of thousands of people in a life-making effort, not a death-making one?

For most of my life, I've seen evil triumph over good, hate trump love, incompetence edge out brilliance, disinformation bury truth.

Can someone please make it stop? Remove the noose from our real future?

Google
 

image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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