I’m done trying to post anything over on robertscribbler.com. There has been a disturbing trend going on over there to scrub out any commentary that doesn’t fit the current ‘narrative’. I say current because Scribbler has very slowly come around to how bad things are getting and the rapid acceleration of climatic and other events. The narrative has changed in the last few years out of necessity. He, like many writers and probably all scientists these days, has had to constantly change their assessments as the real world crisis reveals itself to always be worse then expected. Nothing wrong with that. But what is wrong is the unwillingness to allow dissenting perspectives that appear to ‘challenge’ the present narrative.
He’s got his own fan club which contributes a tremendous amount of information and current news. Groupies in effect, but intelligent ones. And that’s what I really get over there, many sets of eyes to share current news, trends, analysis and scientific reports. There is so much happening in the world now that nobody can do this on their own and stay even abreast of new developments.
It was this article that caused me to provide commentary: Could the Future of Farming Be Found Inside An Old Shipping Container?
However, my commentary was scrubbed (never saw the light of day). I pointed out that this concept was an ‘energy hog’ and not the least bit sustainable. Everything from the shipping container to the soil, water and lights was something that had to be provided – and it was no substitute for the real thing (sunshine). Moreover, the actual calories generated versus the (large) carbon footprint was very low. These attempts will not feed very many people, just like the bogus claims of ‘vertical farms’. The math just doesn’t add up.
For the record, this ‘scrubbing’ has happened at least a dozen times now on his site, which tells me that it’s not just me that’s getting wiped. This practice paints a false sense of ‘community’ and ‘agreement’ that doesn’t actually exist except among the converted. News websites and forums do this all the time, to create a false sense of a community in agreement. This is why you cannot actually trust moderated websites to portray how people really feel about any given topic. They’re all biased and unbalanced in their views and what they allow to be seen, even the so-called ‘good’ websites.
Ironically, Scribbler himself said “The word that should be used here is purge. They are attempting to purge the climate scientists. It’s sick and unconscionable. A great charge into ignorance.”
I don’t see how we’re going to move forward with a better understanding under such a false narrative. It’s been painfully evident that Scribbler doesn’t understand as much as he thinks he does, while he has excelled as a climate writer. His contributors is oftentimes able to offer much more then he has, but one has to wonder what we’re not being allowed to see.
I’ve been fortunate to have a long acquaintance with Dr. Mark McMurtry, inventor of IAVS and well-versed in the concepts of aquaculture and mankind’s efforts to create food in artificial environments around the world. Through many private and detailed conversations my understanding of indoor ‘farming’ and its requirements grew. I am no expert and never will be, but I have consulted experts. And if you ignore the hopium that you’ll sometimes find, humanity will not be growing their food at a sufficient scale indoors.
Nothing has really changed on what can be done indoors. We already know – and we’ve already demonstrated this around the world for many years. But it’s not enough, even if we tried to scale this practice up. It’s hugely energy intensive. Nor will we be doing this without petroleum energy somewhere along the way, which is what makes the mining for raw materials possible, the manufacturing, processing and shipping and much more. Even the pipes are made from petroleum.
I’m all for solar panels, wind farms and all forms of true alternative energy – but what I don’t think people ‘get’ is we cannot even create these alternative energy sources, maintain them or expand them to sufficient scale without petroleum energy (or biofuel, which I do not support). It’s like that with most of the demands in our civilization – we’re stuck with petroleum since there is no other replacement. To claim otherwise is patently false. The only true alternative we actually have is to stop these activities, which ultimately will happen anyway.
The same is true of indoor farming. An artificial environment, using shallow soils (which largely dictate the kinds of crops that can grow to include time) or no soil (hydroponics), artificial light (in many cases) in a closed or semi-closed environment is hugely energy intensive. Right now, with modern agriculture, it takes 8 – 10 calories of petroleum to produce 1 calorie of food. But this practice uses natural sunshine (free energy) for photosynthesis, whereas an artificial indoor environment requires lighting. There is simply no way that ‘grown indoors’ is going to be adequate. Computations should also include everything else being ‘replaced’, including heating and cooling systems, the structures themselves, plumbing and pumps, trays, soils – everything that is required to create the artificial environment.
We can grow some crops, and even provide a limited selection of fresh vegetables and herbs out the back doors of some restaurants, but we’re not going to feed the world or even put fresh veggies on every plate. Nor is this ‘sustainable’ in the slightest. Authors that use this word really have no idea what they’re talking about. Nor will this ‘solve’ the agricultural problems we now face with climate change, or aquifer depletion or soil loss or plant diseases. We’ll keep polluting the atmosphere with our carbon emissions too, whether by ‘green’ but certainly not carbon-free wind farms, solar panels (also not carbon free), nuclear power (definitely not carbon free) and any other ‘energy’ source we devise. Nothing will replace the only truly free energy source of natural sunshine and natural photosynthesis for food production.
Once again, I highly recommend the Netflix series, “Vuduciel, Earth From Above”. I’m finally getting close to the end and it’s good. Some of the people featured realize that civilization is not carbon free and never will be. The damage that humans have done to the biosphere is shown in every episode and it’s quite extensive and vast. At the risk of redundancy, I’ll quote this section again from this last link of mine:
a) Resource extraction, whether plant, animal, energy, mineral or water is a highly intensive carbon-emitting process, all which still requires liquid energy (petroleum, usually). None depict any possibility of being ‘carbon free’ or non-emitting of greenhouse gasses.
b) The assumption that humanity is going to stop any of these practices is naive. It would have been far easier to do so when these resources were plentiful and easily obtained and humans could have ‘afforded’ to stop (because we could have still survived), but not now. Now, civilization cannot stop because it is a matter of survival for the present population. The only way we can now actually stop or change in any meaningful way is to dramatically reduce population.
c) Every picture represents ‘corporation’ and ‘mega-nationals’ ownership, including the picture of the crowds (they own you and control you, you are alive because of what they do). Profit driven and ‘competitive’, their lack of compassion and concern and their dismally poor stewardship of planetary resources has been a primary driver behind all this destruction.
There are millions of these entities now, who have been given by law more ‘rights’ then real humans have. They have monetized most of the planetary resources (including you) now to be used as their private ‘assets’ in league with governments around the world.
d) These entities literally control the fate of the world. All species, all life, all sources of food, housing, energy, all possibility of ‘change’. Profits will be demanded at all times – or no change. Improvements to the quality of life, the environment or even just the ‘maintenance’ of civilization (daily survival) is decided by money managers. The world is going to have to ‘pay’ these owners in order to effect any change (just like we do now).
e) Individuals believe that they can change their own lives and thereby change these destructive practices. This is not true because ownership and control of the resources hasn’t changed or how they are being used (exploited). The global monopoly on the essential resources for life and human existence will simply shift gears as they have always done to remain in control (and profitable).
Individuals can no longer sustain themselves (live) without these entities ‘providing the essentials’ (and non-essentials) for daily living. We do not have enough resources left to us (land, water, temperate climate, time, money, skills, etc.) to do so. We are now all forced to buy what we need to live in exchange for daily labor.
Small individual changes have little to no effect upon global impacts. Stop eating meat, fish or corn (or whatever) and the corporations which simply adjust by shifting and expanding the market while still exploiting these and new ‘resources’ in other ways.
f) Global ‘cooperation’ is a myth. It’s never happened. Only a limited number of individuals, countries or nations will ‘agree’ to cooperation at any given time and only by degrees. The rest will either abstain or violate any agreements ‘decided’ with or without them. It doesn’t matter what their reasons are, the point being is there is no such thing as a global agreement or adherence to a global agreements. This sells airtime and nothing more. It’s also impossible to enforce. Bans on fishing, whaling, cement production, population growth, deforestation, pollution, drugs – whatever it is, will only every achieve a limited amount of cooperation.
This means that humans on a global scale, can only ever ‘slow down’ somewhat (use less) but never completely. There will always be violators, exploiters and profiteers (black market) to contend with. This is why we will lose critical endangered species despite a global ban on their slaughter and their protection status. We can slow things down a bit – and that’s all.
This principle applies to carbon emissions too because the very fabric of civilization is in reality, an oil-soaked rag that we have come to depend upon, we can’t survive without it. At best, we could slow things down (ever so slightly), but it won’t stop – and it won’t be enough. The planet will continue to heat up through human emissions. Waste levels will continue to escalate and the environment will continue to decline – even if there was no such thing as global warming. In other words – we are going to lose our habitat, our only home, no matter what.
g) Carbon neutral or zero-carbon is a myth and intentionally being promoted to distract us from the horrible truth. There is no such thing as carbon neutral in the modern world. Each picture above represents a massive investment in fossil fuels, some consumed long ago, in order to create what you can see in the picture. The pictures also reveal what it takes to sustain these things and keep them running. In point of fact, nearly any image that I could find depicting any element of civilization would represent a significant oil derived, carbon emitting source for the creation and maintenance of civilization.
It’s incredibly naive and disingenuous to think that we are going to somehow ‘modify’ all this activity and destruction to become ‘carbon neutral’. It’s far, far too late for that, even if civilization could come full-stop today. Massive levels of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide and methane will continue to be ejected into the atmosphere by our dying civilization no matter what we do now. We have no means at all to stop this or even slow it down sufficiently.
By design, modern human civilization is carbon intensive. It was built by exploiting hydrocarbon resources. It is maintained by expending hydrocarbon resources. It can’t even be modified much without hydrocarbon resources. It is a myth that we’re going to (somehow) change all of this without hydrocarbons. There is no global cooperation. There is no slowdown of civilization. There is no reason at all to believe that we can all change our lifestyles, or our demands upon the environment or how we will go on treating the planet and exploiting its remaining resources.
We’re going to continue doing what we’ve always done – that’s why we’re here today with this problem instead of having any of this fixed. The ‘proof’ as it were of what we are going to do, what we can do, and whether we will continue to do this – is right in front of us.
So we’re stuck. There is only one possible ‘alternative’ route that lies ahead which I’ll cover in another article.
It’s time for me to write that other article. But I don’t have the time right now. We have to stop lying to ourselves about the reality of our situation. It’s incredibly bad on all fronts. And it’s getting immeasurably worse.
This is where I strongly disagree with the hopium authors, I don’t think they have any real idea how bad it already is or how much ground is still being lost, even accelerating. And the longer we keep pretending otherwise, the worse it gets because we’re not dealing with all the facts, which leads us to make the wrong decisions and inadequate attempts at resolution. A perfect example of this is COP 21 and its near total failure. The participants who eventually wrangled a weakly worded political compromise that will do absolutely nothing to solve the climate crisis while wasting years, even decades of irreplaceable time. Yet this is being heralded as a ‘triumphant success’ which it certainly isn’t.
It is unconscionable to withhold critical and pertinent information. But that’s what a great many people are doing. They don’t want to change the narrative. They don’t want to see doom or have the hopium bubble popped. They don’t want to recognize that we may really have to dismantle this disaster we’ve created instead of trying to coax it along a bit further.
It’s dishonest as hell to go on pretending that we’re going to solve our problems by using the very things that created them. This is why root problems are never addressed. We just can’t bring ourselves to do it. But we sure as hell should.