I frequently cite John Michael Greer’s Archdruid weekly columns in The Context, which centers on political and social issues. But this week’s column spans the gap between social issues, on the one hand, and the nature and uses of consciousness in the world, on the other. So I posted the original on my other blog, which centers on consciousness, which I call I of My Own Knowledge.

See it here: http://hologrambooks.com/hologrambooksblog/

An American Chernobyl?

May 14, 2010

Dmitri Orlov can write. And he has had the useful experience of watching one society collapse, which gives him a somewhat jaundiced viewpoint when watching another one doing the same thing. Doesn’t mean he’s right; does mean he’s worth listening to. From his blog, http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/

An American Chernobyl

The drawing of parallels between industrial accidents is a dubious armchair sport, but here the parallels are just piling up and are becoming too hard to ignore:
  • An explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 spewed radioactive waste across Europe
  • A recent explosion and sinking of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform is spewing heavy oil into the Gulf of Mexico

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April 7, 2010

This piece is written in an awkward style (one could wish that the author had learned to express himself in shorter, more pungent words and shorter, more coherent sentences) but contains valuable thinking. (I was going to write a long, involved sentence such as fill this piece, but I can’t force myself to continue in that vein.)

You will notice that the author offers no solutions, suggests no likely results of this situation. However, it is worth something to turn one’s thoughts in this direction, if only to get a sense of re-orientation.

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John Michael Greer writes an interesting blog (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com) often referencing the work of the late great economist E. F. Schumacher.

In this post, which he put up Wednesday March 3 (all his entries post On Wednesdays) he makes a couple of good points that I have rarely heard anyone make (other than myself!) about climate change, often misnamed global warming. And then, as usual, he goes on to connect a couple of interesting and relevant dots….

An Exergy Crisis

In last week’s Archdruid Report post, I discussed the difference between energy and exergy, or in slightly less jargon-laden terms, between the quantity of energy and the concentration of energy. It’s hard to think of a more critical difference to keep in mind if you’re trying to make sense of the predicament of modern industrial civilization, but it’s even harder to think of a point more often missed in the rising spiral of debates about that predicament.

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Every once in a while I remind myself that, much as I love this government as it was founded, we are not governed as free people, are not represented by our “representatives,” cannot trust the “news” we are fed by media that are owned by a few corporations, and hence are living in a daydream, unconnected to reality. At least, we are as long as we remain connected to the official version of events — and this goes equally for liberals and conservatives, radicals and reactionaries, and religious or materialist fundamentalists.

Interestingly, the truth does surface in patches, but is found only unpredictably. In some books (more older than newer ones), on some internet blogs, in some foreign media, and even in items that appear in official media  such as the New York Times or Wall Street Journal, in which the establishment talks to itself — if you know how to read between the lines.

This is from Dmitri Orlov’s blog, ClubOrlov – cluborlov.blogspot.com

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Maybe. For whatever reason, the bright boys always think that something is going to go on forever, just because it worked yesterday. But in the real world, the longer something has continued, the more we tend to think, “how long can this go on?”

The bright boys also brought us globalization, a sort of specialization-of-labor theory on steroids, that as much as said that if one part of the world did all the consumption, and another part did all the  production, prosperity for all would be the result.  It’s an extension of the same stupid theory that one branch of industrialism has applied domestically, with the rich consuming the fruits of the labor of the poor, and the poor getting just about enough to subsist on.

As has been said, a man standing with one foot in boiling water and the other foot in ice water is comfortable, on the average.

In presenting this article along with others in his daily Schwartzreport, editor Stephan Schwartz commented: “It is not clear to me, nor anyone else, I believe, whatever they say, that we have a clear take on China. What does seem clear to me is that it is always dangerous to fall in love with what seems obvious. In that spirit here is a contrarian view of China. Keep it in mind, I surely will.”

China: the world’s next great economic crash

Like Dubai at the beginning of last year, China is now reaching the peak of a bubble.

Click over to the article at the Christian Science Monitor site: http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/0121/China-the-world-s-next-great-economic-crash

Blogger Bill Totten finds the most interesting articles! He posts on his blog, simply called Bill Totten’s Weblog, http://billtotten.blogspot.com/ I discovered him only relatively recently, and added him to my list of bookmarked sites routinely to be visited.

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