Thursday, May 10, 2007

Slow crash update May 10th 2007

A Review of "EATING FOSSIL FUELS" by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

Eating Fossil Fuels begins and ends with a very basic assessment, something that too few people completely understand or think about, and yet is absolutely critical to our well-being on planet Earth: our food supply is highly dependent on hydrocarbons, whether as fossil fuel or petrochemical additives. In the 1950s and 1960s when population growth threatened to outrun food stores, an international agricultural program, now referred to as the Green Revolution, was initiated to increase farm production all around the world through the intensified use of petrochemical fertilizers and irrigation. The results were impressive. Production nearly tripled. In the years since, low cost fossil fuels have increasingly become a critical part of all facets of industrial agriculture from the growing to the packaging to the transportation to the preparation of the product, to the extent, as Mr. Pfeiffer would say, we are all but eating fossil fuel.

Australia's epic drought: The situation is grim

Australia has warned that it will have to switch off the water supply to the continent's food bowl unless heavy rains break an epic drought - heralding what could be the first climate change-driven disaster to strike a developed nation.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Slow crash update May 6th 2007

Accidental Sustainability and Why We Can't Sustain It

this is really interesting in that it demonstrates the effectiveness of sabotage at stopping enviornmental destruction and pomoting ecological social change, i put it here because it was an *accident* but who knows?

For those of you who haven't heard yet, a portion of a highly trafficked freeway interchange in the San Francisco Bay Area collapsed early yesterday morning when a gasoline tanker lost control and exploded. The flames apparently reached temperatures nearing 3000F degrees, and a structure we ordinarily trust to be quite stable turned from an overpass into an asphalt waterslide.
To say that this event will disrupt traffic flow is a profound understatement. The truck happened to explode where three major highways converge and split off (aptly named "The Maze"), forming almost all of the direct routes to and from cities throughout the East Bay, as well as San Francisco. After yesterday, it's not just inconvenient to get through there; it's impossible. From a commuter's point-of-view, this is catastophic. But from the environment's point of view, it might be quite the opposite.

The Spirituality of Collapse

So what might be some of the gifts of collapse?

First, collapse strips us of who we think we are so that who we really are may be revealed. Civilization’s toxicity has fostered the illusion that one is, for example, a professional person with money in the bank, a secure mortgage, a good credit rating, a healthy body and mind, raising healthy children who will grow up to become successful like oneself, and that when one retires, one will be well-taken-care of. If that has become your identity, and if you don’t look deeper, you won’t discover who you really are; and when collapse happens, you will be shattered because you have failed to notice the strengths, resources, and gifts that abide in your essence which transcend and supercede your ego-identity. In a post-collapse world, academic degrees and stock portfolios matter little. The real question, as Richard Heinberg so succinctly puts it is: Do you know how to make shoes?

Peak Oil, Carrying Capacity and Overshoot: Population, the Elephant in the Room

It is becoming clearer every day, as crises like global warming, water, soil and food depletion, biodiversity loss and the degradation of our oceans constantly worsen, that the human situation is not sustainable. Bringing about a sustainable balance between ourselves and the planet we depend on will require us, in very short order, to reduce our population, our level of activity, or both. One of the questions that comes up repeatedly in discussions of population is, "What level of human population is sustainable?" In this article I will give my analysis of that question, and offer a look at the human road map from our current situation to that level.

Climate change could dramatically change forests in Central America

Drought could cause dramatic shifts in rainforest plant communities in Central America, reports a new study published in the May 3 issue of Nature. The research shows that many rainforest plants are ill-equipped to deal with extended dry periods, putting them at elevated risk from changes in climate projected for the region.