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The Energy Racket
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This is a fabulous potted history of energy and the economics of energy.

The Energy Racket



By Wade Frazier

Introduction and Summary

A Brief Prehistory of Energy and Life on Earth

Early Civilization, Energy and the Zero-Sum Game

The Rise of Europe and Energy Exploitation

The Industrial Revolution and the Science of Energy

The Energy Racket Takes Shape

Science and the "Real World"

My First Glimpse

World Energy Economics

A Case History in Alternative Energy Suppression

Why Is There No Alternative Energy?

The Greatest Energy of All

Footnotes



Introduction and Summary



Today’s energy industry is perhaps the world’s most powerful. Energy is the basis of all this world’s wealth, and for perhaps earth’s entire history, the sun’s energy has fueled all ecological and economic systems. If early humans did not learn to exploit new sources of energy, humankind would still be living with its ape cousins in the tropical forests. Without the continual exploitation of new energy sources, there would have been no civilization, no Industrial Revolution and no looming global catastrophe.

All life on earth consumes the sun’s energy, originally captured by the process of photosynthesis, except for chemical-synthesizing bacteria, which might be responsible for part of the world’s oil deposits. There is an audacious theory recently posited by Thomas Gold of Cornell that all the so-called “fossil fuels” were not created by life processes, but by purely chemical processes of earth’s formation. If that is so, the news is worse for humanity’s long-term prospects, as we are rapidly depleting a resource, with no way to make more, as well as creating environmental devastation by mining and using it.

Millions of years ago, humanity’s evolutionary ancestors lived in Africa’s tropic forests, as did their great ape cousins, and fruit was their dietary mainstay. By walking upright and making tools, humanity’s ancestors exploited new energy resources, such as animal remains scavenged from predator kills. Early protohumans migrated from Africa about two million years ago, probably following migrating African predators. They eventually harnessed fire and invented other energy-consuming/preserving adaptations, such as clothing, which allowed them to survive past their natural range in the tropics.

About 100,000 years ago, anatomically modern humans appeared on the scene. By about 40,000 years ago, humans improved their weapons technology to the point where they became earth’s first and only superpredator, expanding its range across the entire planet. By about 10,000 years ago, humanity had exterminated all the easily hunted large animals, and the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was no longer sustainable on a global basis. Domestication of animals and food crops led to civilization. Domesticating animals, plants and enslaving humans were the significant activities of early civilization, and ideological indoctrination began in those early days, as the slaves needed to be conditioned to accept their status. The positions of the new elite classes also needed an acceptable justification. Often the most ruthless and successful elites became “royalty.”

The human journey has largely been about refining methods of exploiting energy and manipulating the natural environment to human benefit. The West calls that process “progress.” The extinction of large, easily killed animals was probably the earliest instance of humans exhausting their primary energy source (although original migrations from Africa might have been due to outstripping energy supplies - largely fruit - in the tropical forests). Early agricultural practices also exhausted the lands, although the dynamic of deforestation, farming and desertification persists to this day. As the energy of wood was used up, and the resultant deforested lands were devastated by agricultural practices, other sources of energy were exploited, leading to the “fossil fuel” revolution, which began with coal mining in Europe and China about a millennium ago. Less than 150 years ago, oil became the next fuel to undergo large-scale exploitation, and its use coincided with amassing capitalistic, monopolistic empires, significantly by United States robber barons, John Rockefeller most notably. His oil companies still dominate the oil industry, and fossil fuels comprise about 85% of world energy production today. The process of extracting and using fossil fuels is environmentally disastrous. Rapid global warming, mainly caused by burning fossil fuels, is one of the greatest threats that humanity faces today.

The West’s capitalistic ideology has transformed a traditional deadly sin, greed, into a virtue, and the racketeering impulse has guided the creation of all capitalistic empires. Every significant industry and profession is largely a self-serving racket, and the larger and more powerful the industry or profession is, the more it resembles an outright racket, something I discovered the hard way during my adventures. I participated in a significant effort to bring alternative energy to the marketplace. What happened to the venture that Dennis Lee headed is a case study of how alternative energy is suppressed. Alternative energy has been systematically suppressed, on a global scale, for the past century, and free energy technology has probably existed for a long time. Free energy would eliminate the energy industry, help heal the earth, increase humanity’s standard of living by perhaps a few orders of magnitude, and could end the Zero-Sum Game that humanity has been playing for the past 10,000 years. Tom Bearden and friends are mounting the latest run at it. The extent to which they succeed will probably be directly proportional to the public support they receive. The exploitation of energy may exterminate the human species, but it does not have to be that way. If we wake up and begin caring, solving our problems is easy. If we stay asleep, we are doomed. The problem has a lot more to do with integrity than technology or intelligence. Personal integrity is the world’s scarcest commodity, and it needs to become more plentiful if humanity is to avoid its self-extinction. It is up to us.



A Brief Prehistory of Energy and Life on Earth

Ninety-three million miles away is the star my planet orbits. It is an average star, one of about 200 billion in its galaxy, placed on one of the galaxy’s outer arms. Our galaxy is unremarkable, one of perhaps a trillion that are within range of today’s telescopes. According to today’s theories, our star has been burning for about 4.6 billion years, and will burn for seven billion more before it consumes its fuel and dies. As our star settled into its life, something happened on a tiny fragment that orbits it. That fragment - a mere mote in the cosmos - is nearly completely metallic, largely composed of iron, but on its surface a thin layer of lighter elements “rose” and settled. That layer is relatively as thick as an apple’s skin, a layer that humanity calls home. Eight elements - oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium - make up nearly 99% of the earth’s crust. Some even lighter elements ride atop those elements, with an oxygen-hydrogen compound covering most of earth’s surface, and nitrogen, oxygen and argon comprising 99.9% of the atmosphere. There are merely trace amounts of carbon, sulfur, chlorine, fluorine and some others, with most elements occurring in tiny amounts in the earth’s crust.

Scientists have developed theories, partly based upon observations, which guess what may have happened a long time ago. The oxygen-hydrogen compound that blankets earth, known as water, would be a gas instead of a liquid, except for the peculiar way that water molecules are attracted to each other, due to their electrical polarity. In the atmosphere is carbon dioxide, which makes up less than 0.04% of the atmosphere. However, if it were not there, helping to capture the sun’s energy, earth’s surface would probably be about 10-15° F colder than today. The fortuitous properties of water and carbon dioxide helped set the stage for something apparently unique in our star system. Today, it is theorized that life began more than three billion years ago on earth. For about three billion years, life was largely confined to unicellular organisms, which lived in the ocean. In order for life to exist, it needed energy, and from the earliest examples we know of, the sun’s energy was captured to fuel that life.

According to today’s understanding, stars are fusion reactors, mostly composed of hydrogen, the universe’s simplest element. Hydrogen is fused into helium, the next simplest element, in a star’s core, and a vast amount of energy is thereby given off. The processes of fusion and fission involve an atom’s nucleus. When the fusion reaction occurs, energy is given off in the form of electromagnetic radiation (ER), called light when it occurs at particular wavelengths. Light is still an enigma to science, because it seems to be a wave at times and a particle at others. In its wave state, the length of the wave determines how much energy it carries. Radio waves are long waves of ER, and the energy they carry is relatively small. X-rays are short waves, and their relative energy is great. What is called light has a wavelength between those of radio waves and X-rays. The sun produces ER in a wide array of wavelengths (also known as frequencies; the longer the wavelength, the less the frequency, as the velocity is constant). Also, the sun shoots out electrons and other subatomic particles at an extremely high velocity.

If not for earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field, its surface would be bombarded with high-energy ER and subatomic particles, and life as we know it would not exist. Earth, however, has a magnetic belt (called the Van Allen belt) and atmospheric layers such as the ozone layer that deflect and absorb much of the high-energy ER that the sun emits. Most of the sun’s energy that hits earth’s surface is in the visible spectrum of light. Although light acts as a wave, that wave comes in discrete “packets” known as quanta.

An atom is made of a nucleus orbited by electrons. The electrons orbit at varying distances from the nucleus in “shells,” depending on the electrons’ energy levels. That variable energy level of the electron shell is what makes life possible.

As life first came into existence on earth, whether through evolution or being “planted” here by our galactic neighbors or from beyond this dimension, there was a trick it “learned” that made life on earth possible: it captured the sun’s energy. There is more than one way it happens, but they all fall under the category of photosynthesis (except for heat-synthesizing, subterranean bacteria). The chemistry is complicated, but in essence the photons of sunlight hit the chlorophyll in plant cells, and the electron shells absorb that energy. With that increased energy, the atom can form bonds with other atoms that it could not previously accomplish. Usually, the energy from photosynthesis allows a plant to combine water and carbon dioxide into a sugar known as glucose. Animals fuel their bodies with glucose. Glucose is a sugar, and is the simplest member of a class of substances known as carbohydrates. Other simple sugars are fructose and galactose. Through that captured sunlight energy more bonds can be formed, and glucose can bond with itself and other substances such as water to create more complicated sugars, such as sucrose, lactose and maltose. The bonding can become even more complicated to create complex carbohydrates such as starches and cellulose. Next to glucose, cellulose may be the most important carbohydrate as far as earthly life is concerned, because cellulose comprises the cell walls, and hence most of the structure, of plants. Without cellulose, there would not be trees, flowers, grass, or much of anything living beyond the oceans, and little in them.

A little less than 600 million years ago, there was a great leap of evolution. The three billion years of microscopic organism evolution gave way to a myriad of complicated plant and animal life. Complex sea animals developed, with fish appearing about 500 million years ago. By 430 million years ago, land plants with vascular systems developed. Amphibians and insects appeared about 410 years ago, and by 360 million years ago, great fern forests had developed in the tropical heat. About 330 million years ago, reptiles made their appearance, with dinosaurs and mammals making their debut 240 million years ago, and birds appearing 205 million years ago. Flowering plants appeared about 135 million years ago. About 65 million years ago, dinosaurs died out and primates appeared. That is about the accepted story in scientific circles today, of course subject to revision, perhaps radical, as more evidence comes to light.

Less than 600 million years ago, when evolution took its great leap forward, the oceans teemed with life. The ocean bottom became the resting place for dead marine organisms, mainly plankton. Those seabeds became layered thicker with dead matter, and where conditions were favorable they eventually formed today’s oil deposits (Gold’s theory to the contrary). Beginning about 360 million years ago and continuing for about 70 million years, those fern forests initiated the carboniferous period. Those fern forests probably created earth’s coal deposits. With coal and oil, the oxygen was eventually released, as well as most of the hydrogen, leaving behind compounds rich in carbon. Carbon is the chemical basis for all life on earth, due to its unique properties, which have to do with its electron shell. The eight electron outer shell of carbon has four electrons. Its half-empty or half-full electron shell is similar to hydrogen’s, but carbon can create amazing bonding arrangements with other elements, forming long chains, and carbon atoms can make double and triple bonds with each other. There is an entire branch of chemistry devoted to carbon. On the first day of my organic chemistry class in 1977, my professor said that although the modern age is known by many names, for organic chemists the modern age would be known as the “age of waste.” All those carbon compounds in coal and oil, with all of its complicated bonds, are a treasure trove of potential chemistry, and were probably created from the solar energy captured by photosynthesis. While burning them has powered the Industrial Revolution and today’s world, organic chemists see it as an immense waste of a resource. Mining and burning it is about its crudest possible use.

Carbon, oxygen and hydrogen comprise most of living organisms. Nitrogen makes up 78% of earth’s atmosphere. Nitrogen is the primary atmospheric gas because it is practically inert. Nitrogen needs temperatures in excess of 3000° F in order to react with other elements. Consequently, it almost never does. There is one major exception, however. The earliest organisms were bacteria, and bacteria are probably still poorly understood by today’s orthodox science. Bacteria are essential to all “higher” forms of life. Although nitrogen is generally inert on earth, bacteria are able to incorporate nitrogen into their chemical reactions, and nitrogen is the next most vital element to life. If bacteria did not capture nitrogen in its chemical reactions, life as we know it would not exist. Carbohydrates and fats are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and provide nearly all of life’s fuel, but nitrogen is the essential element that makes DNA, proteins, enzymes and other vital chemicals possible. The human body is about 60% water. If the water is removed, about half of what remains is protein.

Bacteria continually take nitrogen from the atmosphere and combine it with other elements, such as hydrogen (ammonia is made of one nitrogen and three hydrogen atoms), in a process known as nitrogen fixing, and that captured nitrogen becomes incorporated into plants, through their roots. Animals eat plants, and that nitrogen becomes part of their chemistry. There are several “nitrogen cycles” in earth’s ecosystems, with bacteria taking nitrogen from the atmosphere, and returning it (denitrifying bacteria do that) as they digest dead plant and animal material. As evolution continued, animals appeared that ate other animals. In “food chains,” energy would cycle through life forms, with predators sitting atop those chains. There cannot be too many predators atop those energy pyramids. Predators are the rarest class of life forms, especially mammalian predators.

Over the eons, the sun’s energy shined upon Earth, fueling earth’s ecosystems. About 30% of the sun’s energy that reaches earth is immediately reflected away by the atmosphere, clouds and earth’s surface. The other 70% is radiated back into space more slowly, 90% of the 70% remainder is from the atmosphere radiating energy to space. The energy absorbed and more slowly radiated back to space is what makes air at the earth's surface average about 60° F., makes the rest of the earth’s atmosphere as warm as it is, is the main cause of its circulation, and drives what is called the hydrological cycle, which is how water circulates through the earth. The sun’s energy makes water evaporate from the earth’s surface (mainly the oceans), form clouds, fall as precipitation, and on land circulates through our lakes, rivers and underground aquifers, leading back to the oceans, where the cycle begins anew. A tiny fraction of 1% (one-twentieth of 1%) of the sun’s energy is captured by photosynthesis.

That solar energy captured by photosynthesis is the basis for all life and all “wealth” on earth. In human terms, wealth is what sustains our lives and makes them more livable. In its simplest terms, wealth is food, and for the majority of humanity today, it remains that way. Getting enough food to eat is the primary preoccupation of most people, and it has been that way for humanity’s entire journey on earth. Only recently, as humanity learned to mine coal and oil, have humans had to deal with obesity on a large scale, as the West does today. More than half of all adults are overweight. That obesity is directly related to starving other humans, however. There are a little more than a billion each of overweight and underweight people on earth today, and the relationship is a direct one.

There is far more than enough water on earth’s surface to have entirely covered it with water. Fortunately, earth’s crust has slight irregularities, and the crust poked up through the water in a few places, those high points forming the continents, covering about 28% of earth’s surface. Earth does not orbit the sun in a circle, but in a slight ellipse. The earth also has an axis of rotation out of alignment of its plane of orbit, which causes the seasons. That axis of rotation wobbles and has changed over the eons, both relative to earth’s surface and relative to its plane of orbit (called the ecliptic). Also, those bits of crust that poke up through the oceans have drifted across earth’s surface, colliding with each other, breaking up and drifting apart. Ocean floors became mountain ranges, and vice versa. Ocean sediments and fern forests became buried, forming rock-like substances, containing the energy of that sunlight that was captured eons ago.

There are various theories regarding earth’s climate changes, the most dramatic being the ice ages that have come and gone for billions of years, and when comets and other celestial objects have slammed into earth and released energies that make nuclear weapons no more than children’s toys. Changing rotational axes and orbital variations, drifting continents, variations in how much energy the sun gives off, possible interstellar dust clouds and the like have been proposed for earth’s variable climate, and all may play their role. The eleven-year sunspot cycle is an obvious variable, and the lack of observed sunspots during the late 17th century correlated strikingly with the heart of the “Little Ice Age” from about 1430 to 1850.

In the latest ice ages, they have predominantly happened in the northern hemisphere, related to the fact that the Arctic Ocean is virtually landlocked. The Pleistocene Ice Age began about 1.6 million years ago, and the latest interglacial period began about twelve thousand years ago.

As life on earth evolved, incredibly complicated and diverse ecosystems developed. Bacteria and other microscopic organisms led to complex plants and animals, and biology became increasingly “sophisticated.” Fish evolved more complicated and sophisticated biology, such as in fins and respiration systems. Plants became more complicated and sophisticated, in both forms of growth and reproduction. Land animals became vastly more diverse and complicated. Larger animals learned to fly, and warm-blooded animals appeared. Awesome forms of symbiosis developed between plants, animals and microscopic organisms, where entire ecosystems evolved from the life form interactions. Flowering plants appeared about 135 years ago, with a novel reproductive strategy. Flowers are attractive to insects, birds and other animals, and as they feed from flowers, they spread pollen. Fruit forms from pollinated flowers, and is largely comprised of sugars, from which animals can easily extract energy. Animals in turn spread the seeds within the fruit. Many animals adapted to take advantage of fruit’s energy. Producing fruit is a great concentration of a plant’s available energy, something done far more easily in tropical regions than otherwise, with the tropics’ greater available energy.

Today, scientists think that dinosaurs eventually evolved to be endothermic, which means that they regulated their body temperatures. Mammals further enhanced the endothermic process, and their fur allowed them to survive in colder areas better than exothermic animals, and therefore less dependent on direct solar energy, as today’s reptiles, amphibians and fish are.

Primates appeared about the time dinosaurs became extinct. The opposable thumb of primates allowed for manipulative abilities previously unseen on earth. Primates were originally tree dwelling, living in tropical forests, and thumbs probably evolved in response to the arboreal environment, to make navigating branches and eating fruit and other tree foods easier.

With molecular biology coming into its own, the analysis of DNA and genes has provided evidence previously unavailable. In the United States, DNA testing is proving the innocence of many people who have been on death row, wrongly convicted of murder. DNA research has also determined that humanity’s closest biological cousin is the chimpanzee, followed by gorillas and orangutans. More than 98% of a chimpanzee’s DNA is identical to human DNA. Although a global effort is trying hard to suppress all evidence of extraterrestrial influence, the day is probably not far off when it is acknowledged that earth is not the universe’s only place with intelligent life, and that humanoid life on earth has probably had plenty of help from its galactic neighbors. The various theories of evolution are due for some major revisions once the extraterrestrial/inter-dimensional influence is acknowledged, as well as the role of consciousness. Still, such a revelation will not completely invalidate evolutionary theory. It will simply make it more complete, and will probably eliminate the materialism from it, something long overdue.

Today’s human race probably appeared first in Africa, the first erect, large-brained protohumans appearing more than two million years ago. Today’s great ape diet is about 65% live fruit, and the rest is blossoms, seeds, leaves, insects and a slight amount of animal flesh (although the most carnivorous part of the mountain gorilla’s diet is insects). Humans, as with all animals, are designed to eat living food, and live fruit should ideally comprise more than half of the human diet. It does not, however, and that is because of the human journey and today’s impoverished human diet, as it migrated past its natural range in the tropics.

Those early protohumans are the first animals that began making tools, and those surviving to be analyzed by modern anthropologists are made of stone. Early stone implements were crude, but worked better than hands and strength. The first stone tools obviously made more food available, crushing nuts and exposing difficult-to-reach digestible plant parts. Also, early stone tools probably allowed for more effective scavenging of animals, such as cracking open bones to eat the marrow. Those were the first energy-enhancing inventions of intelligent apes. Over the millennia, more effective tools and uses of them were invented. Bones, wood and other objects were incorporated into early tool-making activities.

The rise of human beings was dependent on three factors. The first was common to all life: the sun’s energy. The second was the opposable thumb, which appeared about 65 million years ago, and it created a level of manipulative ability that no other animal had. The third was increasing intelligence, which used that manipulative ability to make tools, and thereby harness more energy than other creatures had available. The requisite intelligence began appearing about two million years ago.

Originally, those early innovations allowed humanoid apes to increase the available food energy in their local environment. It is thought that early protohumans followed African predators such as lions, scavenging from their kills, competing with other scavengers. That relationship is probably why early protohumans left Africa, following the African predators as they migrated from Africa about two million years ago. Humans are slow, weak animals, and could do little hunting on their own at first. Potential prey easily eluded them, and were difficult to kill with the available means. When early protohumans followed those African predators, they largely expanded their range across Asia, staying in the tropical and near-tropical zones, which were similar to their native environment. The problem, however, with moving away from the tropics was that the growing season would not be year-round, and that essential fruit would not be available. As humans followed the African predators, they began modifying their diets, eating less fruit and other plant material, and eating more animal flesh. Although humans have been able to adapt to a more flesh-based diet, it came at considerable cost. Protein constitutes half the dehydrated human body, but the consumption of the amino acids needed to create protein was largely done for structure and chemistry, not fuel. Protein provides about ten percent of the human diet’s calories today, although mother’s milk is only a few percent protein, when humans do their greatest body-building. As humans became more carnivorous, they began using animal flesh for fuel, not to provide amino acids and nutrients. Humans are far from ideal carnivores. Many serious health problems, including nearly all epidemic diseases, have resulted from humanity’s carnivorous ways.

As protohumans continued evolving, their range expanding across Asia and leaving the tropics, they invented means to survive. As they ranged to colder climates, they learned to wear the fur of other mammals, either found dead or killed by enterprising protohumans.

At least 500,000 years ago, protohumans created their first truly great invention, which exploited energy in a way never done before: harnessing fire. By 400,000 years ago, artificially created fire was a regular part of early human life. Wood is largely made from cellulose, which is formed from the bonds created by linking water with carbon dioxide. Wood is mainly made of air and water. When it is burned, the energy captured by photosynthesis is released, and the water and carbon dioxide are released back to the environment. Ashes are made from the minerals (mainly metals) that the plant extracted from the soil as it grew. By harnessing fire, early humans could exploit the sun’s energy of hundreds of years, not just what fell to earth that year. Fire provided warmth, protection from predators, and fire was the first food processor. Again, that invention exacted a great cost, while it allowed for “progress.”

About 100,000 years ago, modern humans appeared on the evolutionary scene. They probably first appeared in Africa.[1] Anthropologists have identified quite a few protohuman species, appearing and disappearing. When modern humans appeared, the Neanderthal people were well established, but died out. All protohuman “competitors” eventually died out (whether “naturally” or by extraterrestrial and/or inter-dimensional intervention is an open question for me), leaving Homo sapiens sapiens alone on the human scene.

Ice sheets advanced and retreated in the northern hemisphere during the evolutionary journey of early humans. As near as anthropologists can tell today, about 40,000 years ago, stone tools took a leap forward in sophistication, and humans were able to refine the art of survival and exploit opportunities previously unavailable. About 40,000 years ago, humans greatly expanded their range. They probably invented the first boats then, allowing them to expand their range to Australia and the New World. They also refined hunting to a science, and the extinction of large animals in Australia and the New World seems to roughly coincide with when humans showed up. Human hunters probably drove many large animals species to extinction. Changing interglacial climates and ecosystems surely had their effect, but the over-kill hypothesis is persuasive.[2]

In historical times, humans migrating to islands such as New Zealand, Hawaii and Madagascar quickly drove many native bird (and large animals, such as a pygmy hippopotamus on Madagascar) species to extinction. When Europeans took over the world, they also drove island human populations to extinction, such as the Taino of the Caribbean and the aboriginal inhabitants of Tasmania.[3] What history has seen when humans migrated to islands was probably a microcosm of what happened when humans migrated to Australia and the New World. Although there remains plenty of controversy about the megafauna extinctions in North America, because retreating ice sheets changed the topography and vegetation, South America and Australia did not have ice sheets, and experienced similar megafauna extinctions. The appearance of humans appears to be the most significant variable related to those extinctions.[4]

The destruction of large mammals probably made for the golden age of hunter-gatherers, and lasted for many human generations. Humankind became a superpredator, excelling at killing and eating anything that moved, and while they hunted large animals to extinction, they also began killing each other. Today’s hunter-gatherer people are proportionally more violent than civilized peoples. Although it can be hazardous to extrapolate today’s observations to human culture 40,000 years ago, becoming a superpredator also created the means to prey upon each other, a situation nearly unknown in the animal world.

The bow-and-arrow was invented about 25,000 years ago, in the vicinity of Europe, a couple thousand years before pottery appeared in the same region. Pottery allowed for better food preservation and preparation. Fire, clothing, refined tools, weapons, shelter, boats, pottery and the like contributed to rising human lifestyles outside its natural range. It all had to do with the capture of energy, either reducing the loss of body heat, as with clothes and shelter, exploiting new sources of energy, as with hunting large animals and burning wood, or preserving digestible energy, as with pottery and other food preservation and storage techniques.



Early Civilization, Energy and the Zero-Sum Game

The hunter-gatherer lifestyle allowed humanity to migrate to earth’s furthest reaches. By 10,000 years ago, there were about 4 million humans on earth, and most of the easily hunted big animals had been rendered extinct. The time scale of those events is vast in comparison to a human life, and relatively rapid events on the geologic or evolutionary timescale happened with few, if any, humans perceiving the trends. The process was far from uniform, but about ten thousand years ago the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was no longer sustainable on a global scale. The Malthusian limit had been reached. Relatively little wild vegetation provides the energy that humans can digest, particularly in lands beyond the tropics, with their seasons. In at least three separate places, China, the “Fertile Crescent” and Mesoamerica, humans began domesticating plants and animals.

The plant parts that can provide human-digestible energy, mainly in the form of sugars, starches and fats, were largely found in the fruits, seeds and roots of certain plants. Today, it is thought that women began domesticating plants, as an adjunct to their gathering activities (it was not easy dragging along infants on hunts, and men were faster and stronger, better suited for hunting activity). Women experimented with the plants they gathered, and eventually bred plants to possess larger parts that humans could digest, especially seeds and roots. Animals also were domesticated, especially mammals that could digest cellulose: cattle, sheep, horses, goats, llamas, etc. Women also probably domesticated the first animals, breastfeeding infant mammals that had been taken from their parents (that were probably killed by humans). Large tracts of land could not support plants that could provide human crops, due to climate, geology, elevation and the like, but could support grasses and other cellulose-rich plants. Animals that could digest such fare were domesticated, expanding the energy resources that humans could exploit. Those animals were exploited in many ways. Horses and llamas became a source of transportation. Cattle became a source of meat and leather, and could also be put to work pulling a plow. Sheep and llamas could provide heat-conserving wool, as well as meat.

In the Fertile Crescent region, people began consuming the milk of cattle and goats. Today, 70% of the world’s adult humans cannot effectively digest milk products. Those who can, however, have generally descended from herders who ate milk products, so there has been a slight evolutionary adaptation, although eating milk products is far from ideal. Many allergies and respiratory problems are related to milk product consumption.

Earth cannot support that many millions of people using the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, because of digestible energy. The domestication of plants and animals allowed humans to greatly increase their population densities. Fossil evidence shows, however, that humans became smaller when they abandoned their hunter-gatherer lifestyles for domesticated life. The domestication revolution began with humans having poorer health than they formerly enjoyed. When people were hunter-gatherers, they were always on the move, as no place could provide them the calories they needed for long. Hence, possessions were minimal, largely limited to clothing, gathering and food processing tools, and weapons. Human social conditions were egalitarian, with very little hierarchy, as hunters lived in small bands, traveling the land. As human populations filled up the available land, the bands became competitive, and territories were carved out. People venturing into another band’s territory could get killed. It is theorized that somewhere in the misty beginnings of civilization, instead of killing a hunter from a rival band, the hunter was compelled to serve the band that captured him. It was the beginning of slavery, and may have been the beginning of civilization. Harnessing the energy of others quite possibly began with the domestication of plants and animals, as it created the “agricultural surplus” which has fueled all civilizations.[5]

Harnessing human energy can be more productive than harnessing animal energy, because humans possess high intelligence and hands. Draft animals can digest the cellulose that humans cannot, but do not have the intelligence or manipulative ability of humans, although they are much stronger. Also, draft animals are edible, whereas no culture has ever eaten people as a regular food source, at least that anthropologists are aware of.[6] Slaves ate food that could feed the masters, but their intelligence and manipulative ability could be put to tasks that animals could not perform. However, slaves could harbor notions of freedom that would be difficult to stifle. Brute force could keep the slaves subservient, but in the long run would be difficult to maintain. Consequently, methods to teach slaves to accept their condition were implemented from slavery’s very beginning, and may have been the beginning of ideological indoctrination. If slaves accept their condition, they are easier to control, which is partly why people born into slavery, never knowing freedom, were easier to keep as slaves. In one form or another, such indoctrination to convince the exploited to accept their position continues to the present day. Without energy however, intelligence and manipulative ability count for nothing.

About 40,000 years ago, as increasing technology led to the human superpredator, humanity began altering earth’s environment. They ascended to the top of the food chain, killing off large mammals that had no or few natural predators, and they killed competing predators, as well as all other digestible animals. Wiping out other animals created ecological dislocations, which has been a part of evolutionary activity for eons. However, human intelligence and manipulative ability allowed humans to take over earth’s ecosystems as no other animal ever had before. Killing off large mammals and competing predators was probably humanity’s earliest large-scale alteration of earth’s ecosystems. Such disruptions can lead to population explosions and collapses of animals that were preyed upon, or depended on those missing creatures.

The most significant early use of technology to begin creating the human-dominated ecosystem was probably the introduction of fire as a vegetation-clearing tool. When Europeans first came to the New World during the Columbian era, the natives of North America’s eastern woodlands used fire annually to clear the forest of undergrowth, creating an environment that was conducive to foraging deer and other preferable animals. There is tantalizing evidence that the Great Plains of North America may have been the world’s largest pasture, an environment created by millennia of Indians burning the plains, to create an environment that encouraged bison, elk, and deer to flourish. When the diseases and violence of invading Europeans wiped out the natives, woodlands quickly reclaimed the plains.[7]

Burning the vegetation was apparently a sustainable practice, although it altered the landscape immensely, and drove out certain species in favor of others. Far more significantly on a global scale, humans began cultivating the earth to raise domesticated crops. Sunlight that went into making the cellulose in trees was diverted to creating sugars, starches, proteins and fats in domestic crops, as the forests were cleared for crop production, and pastures for domestic animals. The trees were also used for fuel, shelter and other civilized amenities. Deforestation accompanied the earliest agriculture. Earth’s most deforested places are where “civilization” first appeared on a large scale. Forest ecosystems are the greatest soil makers, and wiping out forests has also wiped out soils, not only by erosion. Trees are the greatest circulators of water in ground-based ecosystems, drawing water through the roots and sending it to the atmosphere through their leaves, thus creating a “suction.” Rainwater can percolate into the soil, in a great cycle that ecosystems depend on. Killing off the trees killed off that circulation, leading to rising groundwater and eventually soil salination. Without healthy soil, there are no crops. Forests gave way to farms, and farms gave way to deserts. That has been civilization in action, as human methods destroy the very environment that supports life.[8]

In some places, such as the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, diverted water made the land capable of raising crops, at least for a time. Deforestation and irrigation had long-term harmful effects, generally through soil destruction and salination. Rivers that ran clearly before the domestication revolution became clouded with silt, which was soil washed away downstream from deforested land. Creating artificial environments to extract more of the sun’s energy carried with it a great environmental cost. In more tropical lands, the soils usually had less organic material in them than in temperate lands, and early agriculture in the Fertile Crescent was disastrous. Sumeria, the world’s earliest known civilization, began having serious soil salination problems within two thousand years of establishment. By 2100 BC, Ur had abandoned wheat cultivation due to soil salinity, and wheat only amounted to 2% of Sumerian crops. In 1990, Iraq, the seat of civilization, imported 70% of its food. The people of the Nile river valley successfully engaged in agriculture for thousands of years, but largely because silt from upstream deforestation fertilized the land in the annual flood.

As civilization began forming around the world, technology kept increasing in its sophistication. People began working metals. Today, it is thought that copper may have been the first worked metal, in about 10,000 BC. It was first used artistically. Thousands of years later, it is thought, gold working began. Gold was only useful for artwork, because it was so soft and pretty. It later became currency, because it was so rare. All early use of each prehistorically used metal seems to have been artistic. Practical uses were developed later. The primitive fire pit became the hearth, and people eventually created sufficient temperatures to separate metal from other elements in the ore, and metal smelting began. Copper is thought to have been the first metal smelted, more than 6000 years ago. Copper has a melting point of nearly 2000°F, and until humans created high enough temperatures in hearths, copper was obtained from discovered nuggets.

Copper is a relatively soft metal, and although copper was made into weaponry as early as 5000 BC, it has serious limitations. Bronze is an alloy of copper and other metals, and when copper-smelting cultures learned to alloy other metals with copper, notably tin, then that culture graduated from its Copper Age to its Bronze Age. Bronze is quite sturdy when compared to copper, and weapons and tools made from bronze were superior. The Bronze Age began in Sumeria by about 3500 BC, and the plow was invented about five hundred years later. For about two thousand years, plows, tools and weapons were made of bronze in the Fertile Crescent region. Plow agriculture is great at creating soil conditions favorable for crop production, but also leads to rapid soil erosion, largely from rain and wind. As agriculture and warfare flourished in the Fertile Crescent region, technological advance also marched along, with the wheel being invented in about 3500 BC, and Sumeria became the world’s first literate society in about 3000 BC. Written history then began.

With civilization in the Fertile Crescent region, social stratification began. The agricultural surplus allowed for human specialization. Professions developed, with soldiers, priests, rulers, craftsmen, medical doctors and others appearing. Much of what is “bad” about the human species came with the baggage of becoming civilized. Along with specialization and innovation came classes of people who dealt with ideas. Ideologies developed, and the rise of civilized ideology often dealt with justifying the positions of the new elite classes, and those they exploited. The Zero-Sum Game appeared, although it was not called that at the time. The Zero-Sum Game, in the way I use it, is the idea that the only way to improve one’s life was by exploiting others. Jared Diamond and others call the transition to civilization the journey from egalitarianism to kleptocracy. In one form or another, kleptocratic ideologies have survived to the present day. Capitalism and nationalism, especially the American variety, are little more than justifications for enslaving the world’s people. The West also plunders their natural resources, as today’s genocide in Iraq makes painfully clear. In his Politics and the English Language, George Orwell wrote,



“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.”[9]



Little has changed since Orwell’s time. Not all ideologists attempted to justify exploitation. Jesus and Buddha could be considered ideologists (or even anti-ideologists, as they challenged their day’s religious ideology). Adam Smith and Karl Marx both created economic ideologies that attempted to assist humanity. Those men had enlightening things to say, but the establishments erected in their names often had little to do with them, even turning their visions upside down, as the establishments’ main concerns were amassing and maintaining power (another energy concept), as full of self-servers as they were, as all earthly establishments have proven to be.

As humanity kept refining its ability to manipulate its environment, the blast furnace and charcoal were created. Higher temperatures were achieved. In about 1400 BC, iron was first smelted in the Hittite culture, which occupied today’s Turkey. Iron has a melting point of nearly 2800°F, and early blast furnaces achieved the requisite temperature. Iron was more available than the relatively scarce tin that was required to make the day’s bronze, and its ability to hold an edge made iron a superior metal for tools and weapons. The Hittites did not maintain their technological advantage for long, and by 1200 BC, about the time the Hittite Empire fell, iron weapons were appearing throughout today’s Middle East. By about 1000 BC, the Celtic culture was making iron swords, and they came to dominate most of Western Europe. At about the same time, the Greeks learned how to create heat-treated iron weapons. Warfare became a bloodier affair when iron weapons appeared. Iron plows and tools also allowed agriculture to spread to lands previously considered too challenging to exploit. Warring empires became the theme of early history, a theme that continues to this day. Various cultures became intensely militaristic, such as Sparta’s and Assyria’s.

The struggles and hierarchies were all about securing and consuming energy, and the agricultural and pastoral surplus was the basis of it all. Hearths, kilns and furnaces were ways of refining the exploitation of energy to gain better methods of manipulating the environment and each other, to gain further energy security. Slavery was about exploiting human energy, intelligence and manipulative ability. In various wars, the idea could simply be exterminating the human inhabitants and taking their land and other wealth. The Jews secured their Promised Land by outright genocide of its inhabitants, with their God’s blessing (and demand), with Joshua’s army annihilating not only all of Jericho’s inhabitants, but also all their livestock, and seizing all their metal. That was also the logic behind the European/American “settling” of North America, where they stole what may have been the world’s richest continent from its inhabitants, while annihilating them. Even today, Christian sites on the Internet serve up religious ideology to justify Joshua’s annihilation of Jericho’s inhabitants.

By about 1000 BC, humanity began exploiting fossil fuel, as coal was used in China to make copper coins. Before the Western Roman Empire fell, they began using coal, as evidence from Britain has suggested.

Empires rose and fell throughout the “known” world, i.e., Europe, northern Africa and the Fertile Crescent. Those ideologies that began with civilization became quite abstract, especially the religious ones, and Egypt was the first place that gold mining was practiced on a large scale. The Egyptians had a sun god religion, with gold reserved for royal use, as its symbol. The economic logic of the day demanded that slaves be worked to death to obtain it. No Egyptian slaves returned from those early gold mines. Their bones littered mines discovered by modern archeologists. Human energy, intelligence and manipulative ability were put to that use, and the fruit of those labors became seen in early civilization as the universal measure of wealth. Gold became the ultimate currency. It was really a symbol, not the real thing, but many early civilizations became mesmerized by it, throwing away true wealth in pursuit of its symbol.

By 600 BC, Greek agricultural practices severely eroded the land, and in 560 BC a bounty was given to Greek farmers to plant olive trees, the only productive crop that could be raised on hills that had been eroded to the limestone bedrock.

Eventually the Roman Empire made its ascendancy, and the environmental deterioration of the Mediterranean region accelerated. As Rome conquered its neighbors, Italy and Sicily were quickly deforested to meet Rome’s needs. After Rome conquered Carthage, today’s Libya and vicinity was forced into becoming a big farm. There was no single event that signified what happened, but centuries of those practices rendered Libya the desert nation it is today. Rome helped deforest the Middle East, the cedars of Lebanon becoming nearly extinct. Only 10% of the forest remains that used to run from Morocco to Afghanistan, and much is desert today. The land’s ability to sustain life was destroyed in humanity’s quest for usable energy. Whales were extinct in the Mediterranean by the time the Western Roman Empire collapsed. Early civilization’s methods of extracting useable energy were not sustainable and often cruel. Little has fundamentally changed.

Rome was the ancient world’s most refined practitioner of “Rape and Plunder Economics.” Exploiting the peoples and lands of the continually growing empire was the whole point of the Roman Empire, as with all empires. It does not matter if it is olive oil, furs, gold, timber, wheat, fish or other goods; it nearly always boils down to energy.

Not all energy-exploitation systems were so hard on the immediate environment. The world’s most sophisticated agricultural system, the paddy system, was developed in China around 500 BC, and spread across Southeast Asia during the next millennium. It was a more sustainable system than dry farming, and its nitrogen-fixing feature, as well as the ability to recycle a great deal of decaying animal and plant matter, allowed for greatly increased crop yields. Southeast Asia’s human population always increased to the maximum available yield of the agricultural system (the Malthusian dynamic), leaving most people on the brink of starvation most of the time. The chinampas system of the Aztecs was similar to the paddy system, helping keep Tenochtitlán about the world’s cleanest city, as human waste from the city helped fertilize the chinampas. The peoples along the Andes range of South America created an amazing sustenance system in a hostile environment, through crop experimentation (Machu Picchu may have partly been an agricultural laboratory, testing crops for high-altitude agriculture[10]), terracing, irrigation, high-altitude storage, fertilizer and other means.

No empire lasts forever, because either the imperial activities exterminate the imperial subjects, as Spain’s short-lived plunder in the New World demonstrated, or the environment becomes so degraded that it cannot support human life any longer, as happened in Sumeria (and neighboring empires invade and conquer declining empires), or the empire’s victims rise up from within, overthrowing the imperial overlords (usually after the empire has already severely declined). All earthly empires are primarily exploitative, and they all had ideologues who conjured justifications for the exploitation. In the earliest days, the rationales were often religious. Religious rationales exist to the present day (early 2002), as the United States, the world’s first truly global empire, is targeting Islamic people, with the current, unelected, “god-fearing” American president calling the latest “war on terror” a “Crusade,” just as Roman Catholic popes used to do. Religious rationales largely gave way to other ones, such as racial (Europe’s plundering of Africa and the New World being apt examples), social, ethnic, political, economic and “humanitarian,” etc. What all those rationales really did, however, was justify exploitation and violence in order to secure the energy of lands and peoples. They were all variations on might makes right, and different ways of playing the Zero-Sum Game.



The Rise of Europe and Energy Exploitation

When the Western Roman Empire fell in the 5th century AD, Europe reverted back to a primarily agrarian state and entered what are called the Dark Ages. The Eastern Roman Empire, however, flourished, and the rise of Islam in the 7th century was a cultural awakening. Europe became backward, compared to the Middle East. “Barbarians” who joined the Western Roman armies became the rulers of Dark Ages Europe. Visigothic kings ruled today’s Spain (until the Muslim invasion of 711) and parts of France. Frankish kings ruled over the parts of today’s France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Anglo-Saxons invaded the British Isles, and the Ostrogoths invaded Italy. Carolingian kings from today’s Austria eventually wrested the throne from the Frankish line, the most famous being Charlemagne, who in 800 tried recreating the union of Church and State that characterized the late Western Roman Empire. His attempt to recreate the Western Roman Empire failed, but his empire became the direct ancestor of today’s France and Germany. Around 800, Vikings began invading continental Europe and the British Isles from Scandinavia. Vikings also invaded and conquered the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe, establishing Russia and adopting Byzantine Christianity. The Normans descended from Vikings who settled in today’s France, and the invasion of 1066 established their rule in England.

The Catholic Church dominated Europe, owning about a quarter of its land. It created a religious monopoly over Western Europe, and the first Crusade that had its bloody climax in Jerusalem in 1096 is considered Europe’s first united act, with knights and peasants from France, Germany, Italy and England marching to the Holy Land via Constantinople. As a warm-up for the First Crusade, the Christian armies perpetrated the first great European Jew slaughters, in today’s France and Germany. Slaughtering Jews became a European sport from that time forward. In 1056, the Christian “Reconquest” of Spain from the Moorish rulers began, not reaching its completion until 1492. Europe became a milieu of tension between Church and state, serf and lord, Christian and non-Christian, and constantly warring states. Warfare became the European way of life for the next millennium, and technological advances were often devoted to weaponry and warfare.

With historical trends, there is interplay of culture, environment, economics, politics, technology and other factors. The soul age of the studied cultures should also be taken into account. The materialistic West has yet to discover this. About the time Christian armies began “reconquering” the Iberian Peninsula, Europe entered its High Middle Ages. Cities are devices that concentrate energy. Every city survives by exploiting its hinterland, with the agricultural surplus sustaining the cities. There is no exception to that rule in world history. City dwellers, being freed from agricultural duties, then learned specialized skills, and Europe’s great period of city building was the High Middle Ages. Paris was rebuilt after the Viking invasions, and Notre Dame Cathedral, for instance, began construction in 1163. The Romans founded London, with the population declining when Roman rule ended. It was not until the Norman invasion in 1066 that London began growing into the city it is today. Florence began its rise to prominence in the late 1000s. Munich was founded in 1158. Germanic peoples began invading Slavic Eastern Europe. Accordingly, northern and central Europe began its great age of deforestation. About 75% of northern and central Europe was deforested during the medieval period, and it accelerated after 1050.[11] Today, only about 25% of that forest remains. The trees provided fuel, building material and made land available for crops and pastures. Marshes were drained, and nearly everything was domesticated that could be. New plow technology enabled exploitation of lands previously unavailable for cultivation. By 1200 however, all the good land was under the plow, and increasingly marginal lands were exploited, with the resultant environmental devastation that such methods always bring.

From the earliest days of civilization, the agricultural surplus allowed the elite to pursue luxury items, indulging their senses and egos, usually at the great expense of others. The pharaohs working their slaves to death in Egypt’s gold mines is an early example. Conspicuous wealth display and consumption has been a characteristic of the elites of probably all societies for all of history. In Europe, obesity became a sign of wealth. Early humans stole the fur of their fellow mammals, taking advantage of its heat-conserving ability, and as Europeans became more affluent, fashion became a factor.[12] The fur supply and markets were originally local, but as it became a business, fur centers developed, such as the one at Kiev. By 1240, when the Mongol hordes destroyed Kiev, there was hardly a fur-bearing animal to be found in the surrounding valley. Fur-bearing animals were largely driven to extinction in Europe by the 16th century, and the last untrapped region was exploited: Siberia. The demand for fur drove the Russians to expand eastward, eventually to California. The early allure of northern North America for Europe was the fur trade. Beginning on the Atlantic side of North America, the fur trade largely exterminated fur-bearing animals east of the Mississippi River by 1800, and the European fur rush met, coming from both directions, in the Pacific Northwest. The demand for fur finally circled the globe. A great deal was simply for fashion.

Northern and Central Europe had an advantage over the Fertile Crescent, Middle East and Mediterranean region in that its soils contained more organic matter, and were more resilient than those more southerly soils. Nevertheless, Europe will look like those southern desert lands one day, if the current methods of extracting environmental energy continue their use. That plunder of Europe’s lands resulted in a great increase in human population, growing from about 36 million in 1000 to 80 million in 1300. Also, the world’s climate was relatively warm from 900 to about 1200, allowing agriculture on lands previously unsuited for it.

European technology began advancing again with the rise of European cities, as did new social institutions. Armor began improving during the High Middle Ages. The fully armored knight, charging on his horse with his lance under his arm, came into being during the 11th century. Crossbows began improving, to overcome the better armor. Crusades became a European constant after the first one in 1096. In order to preserve its religious monopoly, Pope Innocent III declared a Crusade on France to wipe out Catharism in the early 1200s, which killed about one million people, and was Europe’s first great religious war.

The Chinese invented and used gunpowder, but only for firecrackers, and used it several hundred years before Europeans did. Gunpowder began to be used in European warfare just before the Black Death epidemic of the 1340s. Gunpowder was a way to get an explosive burst of energy, in order to kill more effectively.

Europe’s High Middle Ages, which ended during the 1300s, were partly made possible by a global warming trend (making more energy available) that lasted from about 900 to the late 1200s, peaking between 1100 and 1250.[13] It was a great period of deforestation, agriculture and population explosion. By 1300, all the easily cultivated land was under the plow, marginal lands were being exploited, and earth began cooling. The good times were over, and Europe was at its Malthusian limit. Europe constantly hovered on the brink of famine. In 1314 a major famine hit Europe, lasting until 1317. Northern Europeans ate cats and dogs during that famine. As is typical in history, when the pressures of lack of available energy (hunger) are keenly felt, people become violent. France and England began their Hundred Years’ War in 1337, fighting over control of land. In the midst of the fighting and starving came the plague.

The Black Death probably originated in China, and swept across Asia, via the trade routes, hitting Europe in 1347. It is estimated that it killed between a quarter and a third of all those in its path, with estimates of up to half of Europe dying off. Europeans took vengeance on Jews, lepers and other social outcasts for “bringing the plague,” and tens of thousands died from mob violence. Art became obsessed with death. Works depicting the danse macabre made their appearance. The four horsemen of the apocalypse were riding during those years, and the fourteenth century was one of unending calamity in Europe.[14] When the century came to a close with another visit of the plague in 1399, Europe’s population may have been as low as half of what it had been in 1300.

Gradually, Europe’s population grew, and recovered to its 1300 levels during the 1500s. A cultural awakening, which eventually became known as the Renaissance, began in the late 1300s in northern Italy’s city-states. Probably the most significant Renaissance outcome was the advent of humanism and the eventual undermining of Roman Catholic authority. The Cathars formed the first threat to Catholic religious hegemony in Europe, and the cultural awakening of the Renaissance eventually brought forth Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. Concurrent with that cultural awakening was the advent of the “Little Ice Age,” which lasted from about 1430 to 1850. Winters became severe in Europe, and growing seasons shortened, with glaciers growing, rivers freezing over and Europe continually living on the cusp of disaster.

The British Isles are an illustrative microcosm of what Europe eventually did to the world. The British Isles have been the scene of successive invasions. The Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal people lived there during the last ice age, and when that ice age ended about 12,000 years ago, the British Isles became islands, separated from mainland Europe. Iberian people settled the British Isles by 3000 BC and farmed the land. The Picts migrated to Scotland in about 1000 BC, and to Ireland in 200 AD. During the first millennium BC, the Celtic people overran Western Europe and also invaded the British Isles, displacing/absorbing the Iberian and Pictish peoples. The Picts battled the Romans, who invaded and conquered England in 54 BC. Hadrian’s Wall began construction in 122 AD, to keep the Picts of Scotland out of England. When the Western Roman Empire collapsed, the Germanic Anglo-Saxon peoples next invaded the British Isles. Beginning around 800 AD, the Vikings began invading the British Isles and northern continental Europe. The Vikings drove the Irish from the seas, and the Irish were never again a seafaring people.[15] They also settled in northern France and became the Normans (from “Norsemen”). The Normans invaded the British Isles in 1066, setting up the rule of Norman kings in England. Those events led to the Hundred Years’ War, and nearly continual war with France for centuries.

The British
Reply
#2
Very informative essay. But I disagree on at least two points.

1. The THEORY of evolution, as commonly presented, is false.

2. Use of the term FOSSIL FUELS is based on a false theory that somehow DINOSAUR CORPSES became what we now call petroleum. Coal and peat
CAN be called fossil fuels, since they are provably decayed plant matter.

It is known that petroleum is found in the arctic areas, and I doubt that dinosaurs could survive the arctic temperatures. It is known that petroleum
is abundant under oceans which predate the dinosaur age.

The deepest oil well ever completed was over 8 miles deep through solid rock. How did dinosaur oil get 8 miles deep? I believe that unknown processes within the earth act to produce petroleum, in much the same way that some process within the earth creates diamonds. Under my theory, petroleum is being produced even now, and always will be.

Jack
Reply
#3
Jack White Wrote:Very informative essay. But I disagree on at least two points.

1. The THEORY of evolution, as commonly presented, is false.

2. Use of the term FOSSIL FUELS is based on a false theory that somehow DINOSAUR CORPSES became what we now call petroleum. Coal and peat
CAN be called fossil fuels, since they are provably decayed plant matter.

It is known that petroleum is found in the arctic areas, and I doubt that dinosaurs could survive the arctic temperatures. It is known that petroleum
is abundant under oceans which predate the dinosaur age.

The deepest oil well ever completed was over 8 miles deep through solid rock. How did dinosaur oil get 8 miles deep? I believe that unknown processes within the earth act to produce petroleum, in much the same way that some process within the earth creates diamonds. Under my theory, petroleum is being produced even now, and always will be.

Jack


I agree, very informative essay. But Jack so what if petroleum is and can always be produced? That does not solve the problems created by the use of such fuel. I remember the big movement in the 70's for solar power. I also remember Barry Commoner- considered the father of the modern day enviornmental movement- predicting that solar power would never come to pass becaue "no one can own the sun".
Reply
#4

The ozone hole saga takes a new twist

Posted: March 11, 2014 | Author: Chris McKay | Filed under: Environment, News | Tags: CFCs, climate, montreal protocol, ozone |Leave a comment The '70s were all about disco, big hair, gold chains and flares… you can smell the hairspray just thinking about it.
[Image: hairspray.jpg?w=300&h=225]You don't get hair like this without hairspray. Image: Indiewire

But while the hairstyles were getting bigger and badder, scientists were busy making a discovery that would put them on a collision course with this emerging fashion.
The atmosphere's ozone layer was being depleted and CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) were responsible. CFCs were one of the main chemicals in hairspray (as well as every other aerosol product) and were used in refrigerators and air conditioners.
When sunlight hits CFC molecules in the upper atmosphere, they break apart, producing a chlorine atom that in turn reacts with ozone molecules and breaks them apart see this explanation from the Bureau of Meteorology. The ozone layer provides us Earthlings protection from the Sun's harmful UV rays.
This discovery led to a landmark international agreement known as the Montreal Protocol of 1987, which saw most of the world's countries sign on to phase out the use of CFCs. This has largely succeeded to date, with CFCs having been almost completely replaced by a related group of chemicals, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which don't deplete ozone (although they do have their own set of problems).
Or so we thought.
In research published in the journal Nature Geoscience this week, scientists revealed that they have detected four new ozone-depleting gases in our atmosphere. More than 74,000 tonnes of three new CFCs and one new hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) an intermediate form of CFC have been released into the atmosphere.
While this is a small amount when compared to the peak emissions of other CFCs in the '80s, these emissions are contrary to what the Montreal Protocol set out to achieve and so raise questions about where they are coming from.
The team, including our own Dr Paul Fraser, made the discovery by comparing today's air samples with air trapped in polar firn (compacted snow), providing a natural archive of the atmosphere. They also looked at air samples collected between 1978 and 2012 at our Cape Grim air pollution station in northwest Tasmania.
The source of these new gases remains a mystery.
"We know they are coming from the northern hemisphere, but that is as good as we know at this stage," Dr Fraser told ABC Science.
"It is good that we have found them quite early and that they haven't accumulated to a significant degree in terms of ozone-depletion. Now we are hoping to find out where they are coming from so their sources can be switched off."
[Image: cfc-monitoring.jpg?w=590&h=395]Dr Paul Fraser with air samples collected at Cape Grim, Tasmania.

http://csironewsblog.com/2014/03/11/the-...new-twist/
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#5
The late Prof. Antony Sutton, who turned his hands to many deep studies, spent the latter years of his life studying and writing about the energy racket and free energy technology. He published a private circulation newsletter about this.

On the energy market racket he said in his book, Energy: The Created Crisis:

Quote:"Our mythical energy shortage can be dismissed with a few statistics. The U.S. consumes about 71 quads (a 'quad' is one quadrillion BTU's, or 10 to the 15th power British Thermal Units) of energy per year. There is available now in the U.S., excluding solar sources and without oil and gas imports, about 151,000 quads. Consequently, we have sufficient energy resources to keep us functioning at our present rate of consumption for about 2,000 to 3,000 years -- without discovering new reserves. Even at higher consumption rates there will be no problem in the next millennium."


I believe the last book he authored, Cold Fusion: Secret Energy Revolution (which remains virtually unknown), the author stated that cold fusion was effective and was about to be brought into wider circulation. In one of his last newsletters, he wrote that a New Jersey company called BlackLight Power Inc., was on the verge of creating a catalytic hydrogen technology that originates in cold fusion.

It's all too technical for me to make an assessment, but I feel sure there is something in it.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#6

Tesla Owner: Chris Christie's Backroom Deals' are Making it Impossible to Sell Environmentally Friendly Cars

Posted by: Bob Cull in TEApublicans in Action March 17, 2014

In yet another example of his heavy handed brand of governance, Chris Christie has bypassed the state legislature and ordered the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission (NYMVC) to implement a rule change which will in effect put Tesla, the innovative electric car company, out of business in New Jersey.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote in his blog after learning of the backroom deal last week:
"Since 2013, Tesla Motors has been working constructively with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) and members of Governor Christie's administration to defend against the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers' (NJ CAR) attacks on Tesla's business model and the rights of New Jersey consumers. Until yesterday, we were under the impression that all parties were working in good faith.
Unfortunately, Monday we received news that Governor Christie's administration has gone back on its word to delay a proposed anti-Tesla regulation so that the matter could be handled through a fair process in the Legislature. The Administration has decided to go outside the legislative process by expediting a rule proposal that would completely change the law in New Jersey."


Under the new rules, Tesla, which currently has licenses for two company-owned outlets in the state, would no longer be allowed to sell their vehicles through company owned stores. They would be required to utilize third party dealerships, a business model which the company feels is not right for their product.
Tesla represents a new technology which is more difficult to sell than traditional gasoline powered vehicles. The company feels that it is better equipped and more motivated than their competitors to exert the extra effort required to sell this brand of car.
Traditional New Jersey car dealers do not see it that way. They claim that by not using third party dealers Tesla has an unfair advantage over other manufacturers who "must" use that business model.
Of course that cannot be true. Tesla was able to license two outlets in the state under the existing rules and therefore the option must have been available to the other manufacturers as well. They simply chose to use the standard model of third-party outlets. What the dealers are really objecting to is being shut out of the market. After all, the Tesla is a luxury automobile which would carry hefty commissions if they were allowed to sell it.
With this move by Christie, New Jersey joins Texas as the second state to intentionally make it difficult for the company to sell their cars. The case in Texas is different since the state already had a law on the books requiring auto makers to use the third party dealership model. But a law had been proposed which would have allowed an exemption for Tesla to sell their cars in the state, but was never brought up for a vote before the legislature adjourned.
The failure of these bills to make it to the floor means a long wait for another chance, since the legislature will not reconvene until 2015.
These two examples reveal that when Republicans say that they are the business friendly party, what they mean is they are friendly to the business that best greases their palms.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars...e/6427135/
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply


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