Pompeii

Seems my Pompeii comment might have some merit:

According to a Washington, DC-based news network colleague who just spoke to a reporter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the death toll from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans alone may top 4000. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said “thousands” in his city may have died. Former Mayor Marc Morial said that New Orleans may have to be abandoned like Pompeii. According to the reporter in Baton Rouge, there are hundreds and hundreds of bodies that have been seen by TV news choppers floating in the streets of New Orleans and surrounding communities. Health officials also expect further casualties from disease from people drinking contaminated water. The situation in coastal Mississippi is also dire, with the death toll there also expected to rise precipitously. Another contact in Mobile reports that a number of people who attempted to evacuate New Orleans and other surrounding communities were forced to return home after they were caught in the leading edge of Katrina while stuck in long traffic jams and feared being caught in floods. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its head Michael Brown, a Bush political appointee and a partisan Republican operative from Oklahoma, have been irresponsible in planning for Katrina. Department of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff also bears reponsibility for not ensuring adequate planning for a major disaster that had been predicted for years.

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Playing the Odds

Nightline had a story on last night about New Orleans (yes, I actually watched a television) and the damage done by Katrina. Late in the segment was a proposal by some geologist (I think) that New Orlean’s build a 25 foot “sea wall” around the entire city. Strangely, it never seems to occur to anyone that the city shouldn’t be rebuilt in a major flood zone. New Orleans sits below sea level and “sea surge” from high winds can swamp the levies presently used to hold back the ocean.

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Top 10 Resolutions for the World

10 Resolutions for the World (repeat at least twice every day) –

1) Stop killing people.
2) Stop believing lies.
3) Stop supporting the system.
4) Stop tearing up the place.
5) Stop blowing up buildings, people, dogs, busses, trains.
6) Stop building. Everything.
7) Stop manufacturing. We’ve got enough.
8) Stop driving. Ride a bike. Walk.
9) Stop obeying. You’re a slave. Understand it and stop doing it.
10) Stop complaining. Do something about it.

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Perpetuating the Status Quo

While contemplating the fate of the world this morning, I spend a moment reading an article in the Mother Earth News magazine.

With the price of oil above $50 a barrel, political instability in the Middle East on the rise, and little slack in the world oil economy, we need a new energy strategy. Fortunately, a new stategy is emerging using two new technologies.Gas-electric hybrid engines and advanced-design wind turbines offer a way to wean ourselves from imported oil. If over the next decade we convert the U.S. automobile fleet to gas-electric hybrids with the efficiency of today’s Toyota Prius, we could cut our gasoline use in half. No change in the number of vehicles, no change in miles driven — just doing it more efficiently.

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Junk Lives

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

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Bypassing the Bush Adminstration

America’s north-eastern states are on the brink of a declaration of environmental independence with the introduction of mandatory controls on greenhouse gas emissions of the kind rejected by the Bush administration.

Cool! But it’s not enough. Not even close.

I don’t want to seem churlish, but this photo-opportunity approach to resolving Climate Destabilization is, in practical terms, more of a twitch in a toe than something as significant as a first small step.

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Religous Fervor

There is an insidious danger lurking in the world today that is hell bent on a path of destruction and death.

The religious right of the twenty-first century America is anti-American, inherently violent, and a cruel, tyrannical, punitive, force of death and destruction. In its mindset, adult human lives do not matter because the human condition itself is inherently evil resulting in eternal and everlasting punishment in hell unless its members are redeemed in a prescribed manner by the fundamentalist God/man/savior, Jesus Christ. Moreover, with an embarrassingly adolescent flamboyance, Dominionists shamelessly rape, pillage, and desecrate the earth because in the first place, their Bible has given them authority over all things human and in the second place, their “imminent” apocalyptic rapture, transporting them from the human “veil of tears” to live happily ever after in heaven, entitles them to do so. – The Religious Right – An Anti-American Terrorist Movement by Carolyn Baker

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Quitting the Paint Factory

I’m busy today, so here’s a good read, shameless posted from another site.

QUITTING THE PAINT FACTORY

On the virtues of idleness

By Mark Slouka – Harper’s Magazine ? November 2004 issue

Love yields to business. If you seek a way out of love, be busy; you’ll be safe, then.

-Ovid, Remedia Amoris

I distrust the perpetually busy; always have. The frenetic ones spinning in tight little circles like poisoned rats. The slower ones, grinding away their fourscore and ten in righteousness and pain. They are the soul-eaters.

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Global Efficiency

If you’re into saving money and energy efficiency, you can convert your freezer into a refrigerator, cutting your operating expenses rather dramatically.

Modern refrigerators are very inefficient, wasting the cold air they develop in several ways. Most obviously, when the door is opened, the cold air inside dumps out on the floor. The frost-free cycle that most refrigerators have also pumps heat into the cabinet. Finally, the thin insulation used in the modern fridge allows ambient heat (room temperature) to penetrate into the cabinet creating energy loss.

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As Fast As We Can

What an incredible waste of human endeavor.

A man-made pile of artifice and fabrication, built upon the graveyard of another hollow icon. Why is it always bigger, better, faster and often alleged, “cheaper”?

It’s man’s insatiable greed that drives him to extinction. Never good enough, every component and element of our planet must be mined, manipulated, constructed, processed, refined and reduced into usuable pile of gadgetry and gargoyles. For a profit of course. Never mind the intrinsic cost. And why not?

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Stupid Blogging

There are a bazillion blogs out there and you should try to read some of them. I don’t have any particular favorites, but today’s post on this one really takes the cake:

The climate is changing. If most people knew how insignificant they were, the suicide rate would be a thousand times higher than it is. The planet doesn’t care about you. It cools at regular intervals and neither your farting cows nor your deodorants affect it in the least.

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Nesting

Two books just arrived from Amazon, “Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia and the Inland Northwest” (Parish, Coupe, Lloyd) and “The Hand-Sculpted House” (Evans, Smith, Smiley) – thanks to recommendation by Ran.

These are some really great books to add to your library. Amazon also stuffed the shipping box with several other useless environmental destruction on colored paper. I wish they wouldn’t do that, I barely glance at this kind of tree-waste, with mountains of it now visible from space.

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Bye Bye Civilization

Still unknown to millions of people, the entire world is balanced on the knife-thin edge of petro-collapse. We all know that the oil cannot last forever. What we don’t know is how this will all unfold as the world enters a permanent energy decline. The resulting fallout promises to bring down modern civilization to the lowest common denominator of survival.

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The Radical Middle

“We are each one of us responsible for every war because of the aggressiveness of our own lives, because of our nationalism, our selfishness, our gods, our prejudices, our ideals, all of which divide us. And only when we realise, not intellectually but actually, as actually as we would recognise that we are hungry or in pain, that you and I are responsible for all this existing chaos, for all the misery throughout the entire world because we have contributed to it in our daily lives and are part of this monstrous society with its wars, divisions, its ugliness, brutality and greed, only then will we act. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

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Civilization IS the problem!

The problem of civilization is a problem of population. Many parts of the world are seriously overcrowded. The United States is adding millions to the population every year (including immigration). The need for population reduction remains an essential priority for nearly every nation on Earth.

Population reduction is meaningless if the consuming portion of the population is allowed to continue in its present from. In other words, the industrialized nations of the world are the major problem – not the third world countries, who are consuming far less resources then industrialized nations (per capita).

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Ecovillage Proposal

I’m interested in starting a intentional community, “ecovillage” oriented around sustainability, self-sufficiency, community, culture, ceremony, integration in the local community, promoting healthy lifestyles, equity, fairness, organic gardening, greenhouses, root cellars, composting, recycling, grey water, solar, hydro and wind power systems, wood gasification, earth-friendly construction materials & methods, low-energy consumption building techniques, farmers market, community store, recycle center, focus on community supported businesses, entrepreneurs and self-employment, possible community co-op, local-economy, voluntary adherence to community standards , voluntary life-living, “intentional”, conscientious participation and stewardship, a quieter, low-impact lifestyle, human powered transportation, bicycling, walking, paths, reduced car use, (not car-free, just far less cars and fuel consumption).

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Sustainable Communities

I’ve been reading about eco-villages and sustainable communities. This seems like an extremely good idea, at least to me, especially considering the exorbitant cost of living.

An answer is needed, desperately so, for the peak oil situation, where nothing will be affordable and great many things simply unattainable. Getting ready now, to take care of yourself makes solid sense. Doing it alone is possible with an extreme amount of hard work, but it would be easier if you had some help, the “village” concept is a possible answer.

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Spread the word :)