Thursday, November 12, 2015

2 degrees plus of excess energy

We have too much energy

Heat is energy.
The oceans are too warm
How do we harvest that energy?
Instead of adding more heat?

Trees turn heat and light into energy they can use.
Why can't we do the same and pull it out of the cycle?
Or at least not add to it?

All our urban spaces could be filled with dense living green that absorbs heat and light and cools the microclimate. Rich cover crops, thick bird hedging, overstorey with fruit, and things to climb.
All is insulation and actively uses heat and light.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Repurposing oil rigs

The planet is overheating. We have too much energy in the system, therefore any power source which is

  • monodirectional, using a mineral resource rather than a natural energy.
  • combustive,  including biodiesel
  • thirsty, including nuclear
  • generates waste, including nuclear
  • generates heat, including geothermal
  • is not part of a balanced living cycle
is not constructive. ie we need cool energy which does not add to the energy load in the planet.

Finding ways to repurpose fossil infrastructure for living energy and closing healthy cycles could help with transition as staff develop new skills in biological systems and are able to establish new research and development instead of needing to invest in wholly new infrastructure.

Can we find ways to engage industry and businesses that are currently part of our oil based society so that they see a way forward enabling living energy? Petrol stations could have fossil free days where they host fairs selling trees, batteries, wind gen, solar so we all get used to the different pattern of life.

As oil becomes unburnable and oil rigs become obsolete, they could be repurposed to generate and store tidal power. They can be used as bases from which to replant seagrass and in combination with seagrasses could be used to process CO2 from the atmosphere by running it through large layers of seagrass to encourage growth and hopefully return oxygen. It would need to be balanced so that the CO2 processed did not increase oceanic CO2 and just fed the seagrass.

Trees pump water up great heights. This is a form of energy storage as well as a water distribution 'technology' how can we learn from that ability. All other species in hot or cold ecologies use the existing living energy of the biosphere as part of a living relay or cycle. We need to too.

Planting forests could help to stabilise weather and rain. Can we use their ability to pump as energy storage or generation? Investing in living ecologies.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Nuclear is not a realistic prospect

Responses to questions raised by the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

Nuclear is the new coal

The discussion threads on the Commission site focus on health issues and climate impacts of coal, while blind to the same issues inherent in nuclear technologies. Both are unbankable due to the systemic damage which will accrue through their use. the planet will not survive either of them.

Nuclear is hostile

We need electricity which does not make us a military target.
Uranium is weapons material. Increasing the uranium in circulation increases the market for war.
We need to divest from technologies which fuel the business of war. Nuclear war, peaceful nuclear accidents and waste all kill. Global warming will kill.
We need to invest in technologies that are ecologically constructive.

Thorium is hostile

Thorium has been used to generate weapons and is not a peaceful technology. Thorium halflife is millions of years. It is a hot thirsty technology. Not suited for SA. Not constructive systemically.

Hot, thirsty, toxic

All nuclear technologies currently used and in development are hot thirsty and generate toxic waste. Having a plant which has run without ‘serious incident’ for a couple of years or a decade is not interesting in the context of the long term liability that the plant represents and the aging of the materials used to contain the threat. We have an array of cold, safe, cheap, better energy options.

Global radiation load

If we could divest from uranium/nuclear and shift to solar wind tidal technologies locally that would be a regional win. If we could participate in sharing that approach around the world to prevent more nuclear waste and radiation poisoning that would be a systemic win.

We need to offer alternatives to nuclear energy and be a part of shifting the world over to a safe future. In the same way that fossil fuels are a current risk, we know that nuclear is an ongoing threat. We can do better. We need to do better.

Growth market

If we really cannot let go of nuclear then the growth market will be in bioremediation. The world will be saturated with nuclear radiation issues at current build rates and only companies which have techniques for absorbing and denaturing environmental effects on site will have something interesting to offer.

If we develop technologies which absorb and denature existing environmental radiation that would be less destructive than generating more problems. But If we can swap to safe technologies globally that would give us a better chance into the future.

Geothermal is hot energy

Geothermal makes sense in Iceland where they are happy about the massive release of thermal energy and use it to farm fish. In Australia and on a planet wide scale geothermal is still a technology like nuclear that is hot and unhelpful regarding global warming. In SA in particular we do not need to generate heat. We have an abundance of cold sources of energy which do not pollute water, fresh or sea water, which do not compromise safe food.

Heat and radiation load

The planet is overheating. Energy of the future will be cold and will be able to be recycled safely back into living systems. Compostable, generative, distributed, easy, cheap, safe, adaptable. We need techniques for reducing environmental radiation.

Increasing radioactive load on the planet is not constructive. The costs are too high. The planet has an excess of radiation and waste at present.
Do not generate any further load.


Nuclear centred societies will run out of able bodied citizens/workers, safe food, safe water, ecological context.

Nuclear legacy: Children of Chernobyl
(Warning: confronting genetic implications)
20% of children born healthy who subsequently become sick later.
Chernobyl is leaking to the Black Sea, Fukushima is cooking the Pacific.

When will the first litigation address generations of irreversible genetic destruction of all species due to a nuclear plant? As the Chernobyl impact leaks to the Black Sea and Fukushima takes on the Pacific which community will react first?

Past and current experience shows us that we do not have the skills to denature the risks, particularly over the longer term. Developing technologies and tools to bioremediate existing spills is the only responsible investment we can take in nuclear technologies.

The fact that the nuclear industry is not busy in Fukushima and Chernobyl working to capture radiation and save local species and communities speaks to the dislocation between generating the risk and standing by responsibilities for damage inherent in this industry.

Companies which are already complicit due to mining uranium and should step up to the plate to change this trajectory. Stop new sources of problems and address existing issues.

Support for local communities to have safe food, water, relocation, safe employment, and healthcare would not resolve existing damage but should be a bare minimum of responsibility of the nuclear industry to the communities already impacted by these technologies.

If you must work with nuclear materials do so in a way which reduces existing radiation and damage as a resource on site rather than generating further toxic systems.

If we want to help to resolve the issues at Chernobyl and Fukushima then can we develop ways to draw the radiation from the water, crops, animals, people, landscape.
Can we collect radiation in these regions using the radiation as energy to do it? Robotic?
Harvest plant species that collect radiation and use them as power sources to reduce more radiation? Filter and denature soil, filter ground water and absorb the radiation. What else can we do?

Careers due to nuclear radiation

Lots of medical careers for future generations? Oncology, genetic diseases, radiation poisoning, water pollution, war. Ongoing healthcare.
Radiation safe funereal industries.

If we are going to critique past governments for lack of duty of care, our current knowledge and experience globally shows us that further investment in nuclear would be an ongoing generational breach of duty of care. The planet already has a radiation load which is breaking ecologies and communities. We have the skills and expertise to develop new renewable technologies without those risks. QED.

Or a living future

Instead we could do renewable cold watersafe energy, which would be distributed allowing business to have their own essentially free power to run their own manufacture and distribution and they could innovate with those technologies and develop combined energy, water, storage, industry hubs which fit together as mixed manufacture in regional towns. This would give communities adaptive engineering capacity to develop new tools and technologies and could make energy a net profit rather than a cost to communities.

We need cold power

Solar, wind, wave can all generate power without heat. We need watersafe power. SA is the driest state in the driest contintent, any fresh ground water we have we need in perpetuity. Any gulf water we need for safe aquaculture and fisheries.

We need electricity which does not generate massive debts; economic, health, waste, water. We need electricity which is cheap, distributed, adaptive, and which works safely with prime safe food export industries. Encourages independence and regional development. Integrates with urban waste water as a fuel source and water storage as energy storage.

We do have a good range of safe alternatives in SA. We need to develop use and export those safe alternatives so that the global radiation load does not cause universal collapse regardless of local choices. We can do that as ideas or as products and services.

No patents please

WE ALL need the world to shift technologies so it is in our interests that they can adopt new technologies cheaply and contribute to innovation so public domain rights on constructive technologies would be useful. We need a broad based fast innovative curve on safe renewable technologies to avoid ecological collapse and climate change.

Solar is the safe nuclear

Economically the cost/benefit of on-planet nuclear has a bad trajectory and generates long increasing unavoidable systemic damage. Solar is the safe nuclear solution we have. The Sun is about 4.5 billion years of uptime. If we can sustain our atmosphere and temperature, and liquid magnetic core then we can expect to be without serious incident for some years to come. Other species use the Sun as an energy source. We can too.

Future of mining

We could use the chemical and materials knowledge of the mining sector to shift to a safer climate but nuclear is not the answer we need.

We could ‘mine’ the plastic gyres and the waters of the Pacific for radiation, we need to capture methane, cesium, other toxins, released into the environment from destructive fracking practices. We need to capture methane released in the arctic. We need to lower the ocean temperatures and balance ph. Plant trees and seagrass. There are many desperately urgent ecological shifts we need.

There may be less focus on traditional greenfield mining as food and water security and ecological collapse become primary issues. We have many of the minerals we need already in play above the ground and need to be smarter about recycling and developing technologies with non-contended resources which can be recycled easily and safely.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Through the looking glass

It is useful to understand that we have a mental map of our body and senses and that this can sometimes become dislocated from our body and senses. It is interesting to note the specificity of shifts in language comprehension after a stroke. Pronouns, abstract nouns. It is interesting that sometimes our sense of self expands our internal sphere of influence beyond our capacity to have real effect, and that at other times our sense of self can be fragmented, on timeshare, or defers to external input. But none of this means that there is no self.

My response to seeing that we have an adaptive, procedural agency over time is to think of mothers, parents and the aggregate self which is initiated and then adjusted over time like a relational cell division. It makes me think of relationships between a horse and rider, farmer and their dog, indigenous communities and their ecologies. And the regular habit of our economic self in a working life.

I think this procedural adaptive self offers opportunities to rethink our sphere of influence in constructive ways. Instead of relinquishing self in the face of confining and destructive isolating economic structures we can repurpose and customise our map of the living world, develop new habits, new senses and literacies, and use them to engineer different social capacity and flavours of participation.

At the same time I think that pathogenic views of ecology are just another humancentric ranking of value which does not have useful meaning in terms of broadening our sense of responsibility to other species. Ecologies are constructed from the bottom up. Neglecting the small and uncuddly from our value system will undermine the possibility of sustaining the sentient and cuddly. If we give respect to all life and aim for healthy life in all dimensions then all species benefit. Being humane could be a practical love of life as a whole system. We have lost 50% of species and need to treasure those we have left as living beings, evolved knowledge, and as participants in integrated ecosystems.

So in response to Metzinger's Being Noone

I think that the observations of the mind in context are interesting but that the speculation about noneself sounds unrelated to the observation. More like the kind of preconceived idea that someone might have if they had a political interest in systems for avoiding responsibility?

We live in an era when the USA can brag about torture and illegal war. When destruction, violence, war seems to be a first course of action, and where economics, media, are oppositional and divisive. It does not surprise me that some are looking for ways to distance themselves from responsibility as participants within these systems. But being noone will not help us find a way forward. A passive aggressive path to a reality where noone can be born on a dead planet.

Finding ourselves as points of decision in a network of senses and conversations might help us to think of the self more broadly and socially, and to include future generations in our thinking about our sphere of influence. To be able to imagine and apply an economics which recognises the universal self in ecosystems and communities. And understands growth systemically?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Anthropocene - selfie on a dying planet

Human species celebrates ability to terraform a living planet into a dead one.
Calls for more self interested politics.

Rather than changing the destructive economic logic we use to destroy the planet, the linked paper suggests that social sciences and politics be engaged to further artificially contrive ecological systems in order to serve individual preferences.

Hope we are the only species in the Universe to think this is a win.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

transport for fun and function



Adaptive renewable aircraft
  • Catalina, plane, boat, able to carry people and freight?
    model catalina
  • What could we make these from to make them renewable and light?
    Bamboo? Hemp? Carbon based?
    Other designs?

Solar vehicles
  • Solar challenge has helped to inspire projects like the cruiser class Sunswift which will be a road registrable solar vehicle.   
Electric vehicles
Land yachts
  • We currently use land yachts for fun, sport, racing.
  • In China in the 1600s they had land yachts which carried 28 people.

Hybrid road rail

If we are freighting smaller volumes of higher value materials to more diffuse locations we could do with transport which can make use of rail corridors but also branch into road systems.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Capitalism is the enemy of democracy

Capitalism is the enemy of democracy because it generates an opposing force which grows in concentration of wealth and power until democracy can no longer function.

It is a sociopathic structure.
Hence TPP, TPIP, austerity, fracking, war, refugees, homelessness, prison for profit, etc. Money is opposed to society, opposed to ecologies.
Which is the real obstacle; people and ecology, or the value system?

Capitalism will collapse because it tries to simplify and control all of the living systems, because it is designed for conflict, because it does not value life. Noone survives ongoing climate change.

It is a 'lemming suicide'.
Rendezvous with destiny

So we push ourselves over the cliff?
Or design something healthier?