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Clean high tech solutions

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  • Jon Louis Mann
    ... why? ... very cool! ... If copper and iron are used less now, isn t that because we are using lighter metals and petrochemical products more? ... and that
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 30, 2012
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      > I'm reading John Varley's Slow Apocalypse. The premise is
      > that all un-processed petroleum is destroyed by an act of
      > bio-terrorism. In the middle of it right now, but so far
      > it's scaring the spit out of me.
      > john

      why?

      > You have a Zambian daughter, Dan?

      > Two.  The eldest, Neli, came to the US about 10 years
      > ago.  She is an
      > ecconomist who was a Brookings Institute fellow for a couple
      > of years,
      > concentrating on African development.  She was always
      > second author on the
      > papers she wrote, with a big name as first author.  She
      > was quietly upset
      > until she found out high government officials called
      > Brookings to complain
      > about the papers and talked with the big wig instead of
      > yelling at her.  We
      > were in Zambia for two weeks in August, with 10 from the US
      > (including Neli
      > and her American husband) and 5 from Zambia and went all
      > over Zambia as one
      > big happy American-African family.  We went to the home
      > villages of both of
      > Neli's parents.  I got to dance in lion skins with the
      > village wariors at
      > her mom's village.

      very cool!

      > >I have no clue at what point civilization was
      > sustainable after the leap
      > from hunter gatherer to
      > >agriculture to industrial society.  I suppose it
      > won't happen unless
      > humanity matures beyond greedy,
      > >pleasure seeking immediate gratification, self centered
      > behavior, and that
      > probably won't happen
      > >unless there is a singularity event.

      > Actually, most commodities (e.g. iron and copper) are used
      > less now.  If we
      > can solve one of many problems (e.g. find a cheap way of
      > storing energy,
      > have a venture like Joule Technology work in synthetic
      > biofuels, have a way
      > to "poison" breeder reactor fuel output so it can't be used
      > for bombs,
      > develop mesoscopic physics to the point where solar cells
      > are practical) in
      > the next 250 years, we won't need to worry.

      If copper and iron are used less now, isn't that because we are using lighter metals and petrochemical products more?

      > >How were the European Greens responsible for keeping
      > Uganda poor, by
      > turning them away from nuclear? 

      > Two ways:
      > 1) They have extremely strict and unreasonable standards for
      > imported food.
      > For example, its virtually impossible for US food products
      > to be sold there.
      > 2) They convinced Uganda that using fertilizer and
      > insecticides was bad.
      > That's why the crop yield is so low.  Little grows and
      > the insects get most
      > of it.  The US, on the other hand, uses insecticides in
      > cycles so it's hard
      > for the insects to develop immunity to several
      > insecticides...what is
      > superior for one is inferior for the other.  And,
      > farmland is now adding
      > topsoil with fertilizer and advanced techniques, and
      > genetically modified
      > crops.  If we could get corn to fix nitrogen better,
      > we'd be home free.
      > Dan M.

      and that is still the case?

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    • John Garcia
      ... I know intellectually that we live in a fragile civilization, but I suppose that I haven t felt it emotionally. But seeing Sandy s effects on my city (I
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 30, 2012
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        On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM, Jon Louis Mann <net_democracy@...> wrote:

        > I'm reading John Varley's Slow Apocalypse. The premise is
        > that all un-processed petroleum is destroyed by an act of
        > bio-terrorism. In the middle of it right now, but so far
        > it's scaring the spit out of me.
        > john

        why?


        I know intellectually that we live in a fragile civilization, but I suppose that I haven't felt it emotionally. But seeing Sandy's effects on my city (I live in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in Manhattan that thankfully was spared the devastation in other neighborhoods of the city), makes me begin to *feel* just how fragile things are. ConEd loses a substation and suddenly 200k people don't have power. No power and there is no way to pump water to floors in buildings. First responders are overwhelmed. A neighborhood is destroyed by fire because there is no water pressure in the hydrants to fight the fire.

        So I suppose I'm in the *right* frame of mind to read Varley's book. Next up is Barnes' Directive 51.

        john

        <snippage>
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      • Klaus Stock
        ... Unreasonable standards? I do not know about Uganda, but I know other markets where such apparently overly strict standards are exist. Officially, it s
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 30, 2012
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          >> >How were the European Greens responsible for keeping
          >> Uganda poor, by
          >> turning them away from nuclear? 

          >> Two ways:
          >> 1) They have extremely strict and unreasonable standards for
          >> imported food.
          >> For example, its virtually impossible for US food products
          >> to be sold there.

          Unreasonable standards? I do not know about Uganda, but I know other
          markets where such apparently overly strict standards are exist.
          Officially, it's claimed to prevent harm to the people by disallowing
          low quality imports. In reality, these standards are meant to prevent
          imports, simply to prevent money from leaving the country.

          Unless, of course, the money is used to import Ferraris or Lamborginis
          for the ruling class. Or weapons. The military also want their toys,
          and in some countries the ruler depends on the support of the military
          (like, North Korea).

          Feck. I realize that I do know too much about politics.

          - Klaus


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