The American Natural-Gas “Revolution” is Over

Occupy Wall Street protesters take on fracking in 2011. Both revolutions have pretty much sputtered out. (Photo by Tony Fischer/Flickr)

Occupy Wall Street protesters take on fracking in 2011. Both revolutions have pretty much sputtered out. (Photo by Tony Fischer/Flickr)

Rational observers have told us from the beginning, on this and many other venues, that the so-called revolution of American energy based on fracking was bogus. If you chose instead to believe the fevered pitches of the corporate con men — we have a hundred years supply of gas, no two hundred, we’re moving “toward” energy independence, we’re going to surpass Saudi Arabia, all that crap — then consider the developments reported in the past ten days or so: Continue reading

Winning the Race to the Bottom of the Well

After the well goes dry, there’s nothing much to do but talk about how much you miss the water.....(Photo by TREEAID/Flickr)

After the well goes dry, there’s nothing much to do but talk about how much you miss the water…..(Photo by TREEAID/Flickr)

When the New York Times, the US Geological Survey and the United Nations declare a crisis in the same week — the same crisis — it just might be that we have a problem. The one that the newspaper, the agency and the international organization were all worried about last week: the world is running out of water. It’s a situation that resembles the impending shortages of oil — as the supplies dwindle, the pumps run faster. Continue reading

Europe Proves Again: Industrial Is not Renewable

Solar farms like this one metastasized across Spain for ten years, proving yet again that is it’s industrial (and heavily subsidized), it’s not sustainable. (Photo by Michael Mees --  mcmees24/flickr)

Solar farms like this one metastasized across Spain for ten years, proving yet again that if it’s industrial (and heavily subsidized), it’s not sustainable. (Photo by Michael Mees — mcmees24/flickr)

Two of the favorite pipedreams of environmental industrialists and industrialist environmentalists — known here as oxymorons — are on display in Europe this week as what they really are: pipe bombs. The European Union’s embrace of the financial shell game called “Cap and Trade” — promoted as a way to reduce carbon pollution without anyone spending, or doing, anything but make more money — is being declared a bust. And Spain’s embrace of industrial renewable energy has blown up right in their loving arms. Continue reading

It’s Official: Most Supermarket Meat a Biohazard

STAND BACK! DON PROTECTIVE CLOTHING! BIOHAZARD! INCINERATE AT ONCE! (Photo by Stuart Webster/Flickr)

STAND BACK! DON PROTECTIVE CLOTHING! BIOHAZARD! INCINERATE AT ONCE! (Photo by Stuart Webster/Flickr)

As I have written here a time or two [Meat Industry: Have MRSA on Us; USDA Gets Bad News on Superbugs: Shoots Messenger; and most recently, Microbes Winning War on Terra] the meat industry has for years, as a matter of course, been selling tainted meat. In the face of widespread coverage in the media (I’m kidding!) the industry has doubled down, and the situation is now much worse (I’m not kidding!). It may now fairly be said not only that most meat offered for sale in American supermarkets is contaminated with infectious bacteria, but that most is infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Continue reading

Brace for Impact Featured in Major e-Magazine

Front cover only jpeg[The following article, a condensation and adaptation of the arguments presented in my book Brace for Impact: Surviving the Crash of the Industrial Age, appears as the lead article in the May issue of the emagazine livebetter , published by the Center for a Better Life. Click on the above link to read their presentation, or read it here. ]

What if it were too late to save the world?

What if rising threats to the natural support systems on which all our lives depend, posed by our industrial way of life, have already done so much damage that collapse of the global industrial economy is inevitable? Continue reading

Texas Bomb Ignored by Media, Perp Honored by Victims

CNN is not broadcasting live from this, the site of the bombing of West, Texas and the terror that ensued.  (Photo by The Bay Area’s News Station/Flickr)

CNN is not broadcasting live from this, the site of the bombing of West, Texas and the terror that ensued. (Photo by The Bay Area’s News Station/Flickr)

The explosion that leveled much of the little Texas town of West occurred one day after the Boston Marathon bombing. It killed 15 people, five times the number of dead in Boston. It left a crater 90 feet across and ten feet deep, while the Boston bombs left some black marks on the sidewalk (along with a lot of blood — this is not to minimize Boston, but to put Texas in perspective). It destroyed an apartment building, a school and dozens of homes, while in Boston no buildings were damaged. And surely, in a system that recognizes negligent homicide and reckless disregard as crimes, the Texas bombing was just as criminal an act as the Boston one.  Yet it has vanished from the media and the perpetrator is being called a nice guy — by the victims. Continue reading

Terrorized US Government Locked Down

It's not what Wacky Pierre of the NRA says that matters, it's where his backers put their money. (Cartoon photo by DonkeyHotey/Flickr)

It’s not what Wacky Pierre of the NRA says that matters, it’s where his backers put their money. (Cartoon photo by DonkeyHotey/Flickr)

Cowed by the deployment of IEDs (Improvised Electoral Destabilizers) in several cities, the US Congress shouted “No!” from under its desks this week to a modest adjustment of firearms regulation that 90% of American voters wanted. It was the most brazen demonstration yet of the members’ subservience to cash and contempt for individual voters. It was also the best evidence so far that the government is so thoroughly in thrall to corporate interests that there is no hope that it will act to restrain them merely to prevent the crash of civilization. Continue reading

The Latest (1988) News on Global Warming

Twenty-five years ago this spring, the following words appeared in National Wildlife Magazine (I know because I wrote them):

“…scientists now generally agree that the average temperature of the global atmosphere has been increasing for a century, and will likely continue to do so throughout the next…the apparent cause of this temperature increase is human activity…most climatologists now agree, a manmade buildup of carbon dioxide and other gases (methane and chlorofluorocarbons in particular) has increased the amount of solar heat retained in the lower atmosphere

“Thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of glaciers could cause sea levels to rise five feet during the next century, inundating coastal wetlands and developments. If substantial heating were to continue, partial melting of the south polar ice cap could eventually flood entire cities. Altered rainfall patterns, the inevitable consequence of the temperature changes, could make much of the North American grain belt too dry for normal agriculture…the current prognosis is that the average temperature will continue to climb between three and eight more degrees during the next century, possibly during the next 50 years.”

Those were the points on which most climatologists agreed in 1988. Today, the Congressional subcommittee on climate is chaired by someone who professes not to believe a single one of the points made above. Fox News would not allow one of those statements to go unchallenged by a representative of some flat-earth, religion-first, fossil-foolish organization with a dozen members.

A quarter of a century into the Age of Information, and this is where we are.  To read the original article and weep, click here.

 

 

When Highways, not Vehicles, Crash and Burn

On a normal night, the Capital Beltway around Washington DC looks like this; it’s going to get worse. (Photo by trekkyandy/Flickr)

On a normal night, the Capital Beltway around Washington DC looks like this; it’s going to get worse. (Photo by trekkyandy/Flickr)

Its merits as a highway aside, the Capital Beltway (the 64-mile-long ring road around Washington, DC) has served this nation well, for more than half a century, as a metaphor. There simply is no better, quicker or less obscene way to describe a political hack than to invoke “inside-the-beltway thinking.” Or to plead for common sense than to suggest someone take a look at things “outside the Beltway.”  Now the Beltway is dying, and in doing so is providing an even better metaphor, for the entire crash of the industrial age. It’s almost as good as the Titanic. Continue reading

FAA Protects Exxon Oil Spill with No-Fly Zone

A frame from  the video that seems to have prompted the no-fly order.

A frame from the video that seems to have prompted the no-fly order.

Hours after pictures like the one at right began appearing on the Internet, showing the scope of the Exxon pipeline oil spill in the town of Mayflower, Arkansas, the Federal Aviation Administration clamped a no-fly zone over the town. The FAA order is to be in effect “until further notice,” and exempts only aircraft under the supervision of an Exxon  employee. Any questions about who owns America? Continue reading