Tag: Environment

BP = Be Positive? An Intention Experiment Worth Trying

I haven't written much about the Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In part, I've been silent because I didn't know what to add to the conversation that a thousand others weren't already saying. In part, I was at a loss; how could I describe my sick feelings of sadness that this planetary disaster had happened in the first place and my deep-seated fear that the damage done would be so great as to defy comprehension for decades to come? 

But a big part of my reluctance to speak was driven by my newfound desire to try hard to be positive in these posts, to move away from the harping and blaming that fills and characterizes the media on all sides these days. I really do want to try to turn over a new leaf in my writing, not just here but everywhere, and offer constructive thoughts where I can. But what positive notions could I conjure up in the face of this crisis?

Then along came one of my heroines, Lynn McTaggart. In her newsletter today, she offered the brilliant idea of all of us holding a positive intention for BP engineers to resolve this issue soon and with no further damage to the Gulf and its shores. If you don't know Ms. McTsggart's work, her latest work is a book called The Intention Experiment which she has parlayed into a mini-enterprise of its own, one of which I am proud to be a part. She suggests that from now until the solution appears, everyone who wishes to see a positive outcome in the Gulf pause at 1 p.m. Eastern time daily and go to her Web site to join millions of others in clearly stating this positive intention: 

'My intention is for BP's engineers to immediately and successfully divert the Deepwater Horizon oil leak with no long-term damage to the environment.' 

Whether you believe, as I do, that a tipping point of folks holding a positive intention can actually effect change, just think how much better doing this will make you feel about yourself and the world around you! It is unarguably true that, regardless of the intention of BP executives (and I'm not so much doubting them as setting them aside), you know that there are many engineers inside BP who are moral, intelligent and creative people who are thinking and brainstorming hard about how to solve this problem their employer has triggered. It can certainly do no harm to hold them in a positive intentional force field and envision them coming up with something heretofore unheard of that may help prevent another such accident or provide a new way of cleaning up after such an incident if one does recur.

What say you?

Fearmongers Trying to Undo the Only Growing Job Sector in California

In 2006, the California legislature, which hardly ever does anything, passed AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act. It was a strongly bipartisan effort which when the Republican governor signed it into law, he characterized as a "landmark" piece of legislation. As a direct result, more than 500,000 new jobs have been created in California, which has seen more than $2 billion in venture capital invested in a clean-energy future.

Now there's a movement afoot in the state to "suspend" the law until California experiences at least four consecutive quarters of unemployment of 5.5 per cent or less. This effort is being largely funded by two Texas oil companies (Valero and Tessoro, per this article from the Natural Resources Defense Council), and its backers throughout the state are science-ignorant people like Republican State Senator Bob Dutton. 

In an article that appeared in the Fontana Herald News, Dutton dragged out the long-dead argument about global warming that first sets up the straw man that it's primarily about carbon dioxide (which is a big but not sole factor) and then knocks down the argument with the soporific statement that since CO2 is exhaled by humans and other animals, it's obviously not unhealthy. I think we should sentence morons like that to spend a few minutes in a room where there is only CO2 and see how they feel about it then. Feces and urine are emitted by humans and other animals but we don't suggest that we don't need to clean them up because they are healthy. Geesh. Where do these guys to school? Orange County?

The dumbest thing Californians could do is to back the suspension of AB32. It would be bad for the economy, bad for unemployment, damaging to California's bright future in clean energy, and ultimately harmful to the environment.

I urge you to join the NRDC's campaign to stop this assault on forward-thinking legislation for the benefit of two Texas oil companies who want to continue to destroy the planet for the sake of private profit.

URGENT! Are Micrdobes a Six-Week Solution to Gulf Oil Cleanup?

A friend just sent me this YouTube video by a guy who is trying desperately to get the attention of government and media focused on the apparently well-established idea of using microbes to "eat and digest" the oil that's destroying the Gulf of Mexico more every second.

I'm not a scientist. I don't know if this stuff works or not. But if what the Texas officials shown in the video say is true, then there's just one question. Why in the world aren't we already applying this solution? Companies apparently have warehouses filled with the microbe product. The government could clearly mandate that BP use this method to clean up some designated areas as a test. How much worse could they make things even if they don't work?

Can Someone Tell Me The Flaw in This Air-Powered Car?

Wow, my friend Rick Moss started something here. The video he sent me (see immediately preceding post) was a video from flixxy.com. I'd never heard of flixxy but it looked inviting so I decided to explore some of their popular video showings. One of the first I ran into is this French car powered completely by compressed air.

I've run into this video once or twice before but each time I do, I wonder, "Is there some fundamental flaw in this design that prevents it from being adopted worldwide?" And, "Why can't I buy one of these right now, today, here in Monterey?" India's Tata Motors was reported in late 2008 to be preparing to bring this vehicle to the U.S. this year and planned to begin taking reservations more than a year ago. A search of the Web today reveals no information at all about Tata's possible role in all of this. Maybe the Tata Nano's success as the cheapest ($2500) car in the world sidetracked their planning. Or maybe the fact that their Nanos had the unfortunate tendency of spontaneously bursting into flames distracted the company.

Wikipedia's article on the car dubbed the OneCAT by Tata marketers said, "In December 2009 Tata's vice president of engineering systems confirmed that the limited range and low engine temperatures were causing difficulties." As far as I can tell, nobody other than the car's inventor is working on this vehicle for commercial introduction. Durability is apparently another problem. But none of these issues sounds like a deal-breaker. If any of the large U.S. or Japanese automakers wanted to do so, they could almost certainly partner with the inventor's company and bring this car to fruition.

Yeah, I know that if everyone starting driving these the entire petrochemical industry at the foundation of the world's economy would go into rapid decline and collapse. But would a few million such cars on the roads be all that economically damaging? And how about the trade-offs with the environment? Is it worth keeping the human race alive to replace some chunk of the oil economy with something this intelligent?

Obviously there's something wrong with the picture. What is it? Surely not dollars? Perish the thought!

If Nobody Knows How to Fix It, Why Was it Permitted in the First Place?

Deep Horizons. A self-contradictory name for a self-contradictory problem that is almost certain to be America's worst environmental disaster to date. Horizons aren't deep, they're distant but above water.

Critics are attacking oil giant BP on one side and the Federal Government on the other, but everyone seems to agree on one thing: nobody knows how to fix this problem. The leak is too deep and too powerful. Nobody's even thought of a plan for it. We're making it up as we go. And in that sense, both BP an the Feds are culpable. BP for allowing its greed to blind it so much that it even asked for permission to drill a well it couldn't fix if something went wrong and the Government for granting them the permission to do so. This is a precise parallel to allowing a company to develop and use a virus or a medicine that has potential side effects that we don't know how to deal with should they occur.

As email activist The Pen said this week:

There is no verbal hyperbole sufficient to express the magnitude of

the environmental catastrophe now known as Deepwater Horizon. It is

nothing short of an Armageddon of Oil. Assuming we even survive this

one, we must immediately mobilize a crash program for truly renewable

alternative energy resources.

Never again. It is time to move all of our energy policy and efforts as quickly as humanly and humanely possible to solar. Period. Enough study. Enough debate. Enough stalling while we squeeze the last drop of fossil fuel from our throbbingly aching planet,

No amount of legislation will ever make oil drilling or coal mining safe or environmentally sound. We may be presiding over the beginning of the end for the human race. We owe it to the seventh generation future to stop now and see if we can discover ways to reverse these horrific trends.