Saturday, January 18, 2014

A cracked pot.

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Translation: fracasso: failure, otimismo: optimism.
This seems to me to be The central issue for 'the environmental movement':

How to tell the awful truth without driving the audience either away or mad?
All of the end-runs (and they are many, 'legion' as the Christians say about devils) are lame and unconvincing time wasters. It is tempting to make a list of notable failures; maybe another day.

There could also be a list of those who are not failing, who are trying, sometimes courageously, sometimes with exceeding courage & fortitude, sometimes to the very edge of doom and beyond ... (there is one started at the very end, below).

But these two guys, whom I happen to actually know, look like they're grappling successfully; and through the amazing wonder of Internet technology you can get to know them, get acquainted a bit on-line if you are so inclined:

           Sometimes the night seems darkest just before the dawn by Peter Sale; and,
           Louis Lesosky Crowbird's blog, Occupation Apple Tree.

Martin Buber thought that goodness is simply facing the right way. He thought the right way is towards God. I don't know about God so it doesn't quite work for me.

Oh well. Maybe cracked pots also serve (to mangle Milton's famous phrase). I hope so.

Far Side - Gary Larson: dancing cockroaches.Tom Toles: Today's Specials.

Australians: Nick Xenophon, John Madigan, Tony Abbott, Maurice Newman
Nick Xenophon & John Madigan.Nick Xenophon & Tony Abbott.Tony Abbott & Maurice Newman.
It is customary (in some quarters), given their history, to think of Australians as genetically selected for criminality & anti-social behaviour generally. This is of course unfair, unjust, biggotted, probably even (simply) wrong, but there it is.

They certainly set a terrible example for Stephen Harper a few months ago - which he and his brown-nose lackey, Paul Calandra, promptly took them up on with loud Hee-Haws of applause.

Now they are backtracking on the miserably pathetic and insufficient policies they put in place a few years ago.

Donkeys! Dinosaurs! Let them eat cockroaches!

Renewable energy target faces delay amid calls for Abbott to scrap policy

Lenore Taylor & Daniel Hirst, Wednesday 8 January 2014, The Guardian

PM's top business adviser demands inquiry into claims that wind turbines are operating in violation of compliance requirements.

Australia could delay its mandated target for renewable energy use in a compromise option being considered by the Abbott government as it faces growing internal demands to scrap the policy completely.

The environment minister, Greg Hunt, has canvassed compromise options with industry including changing the existing target that 20% of energy come from renewable sources by 2020, to one requiring 25% from renewable sources by 2025.

The government is finalising plans for a review of the target, which it promised would be retained to underpin the business case for wind farms and other forms of renewable power after the carbon tax was scrapped.

Hunt and the responsible minister, resources minister Ian Macfarlane, are understood to be determined to keep the election promise to keep the RET, but several MPs are pushing that it be scrapped altogether.

The prime minister, Tony Abbott, signalled before Christmas that the target could be wound back or the scheme scrapped, saying lower power prices are the government’s primary goal and the rationale for the RET no longer exists.

And his top business adviser, Maurice Newman, who wants the RET scrapped, is now also demanding the review investigate allegations that wind turbines are operating in violation of compliance requirements, even though state and federal authorities say this is not so.

Newman and his wife have been active members of a community group campaigning for years against a wind farm near their home in the town of Crookwell, 240km south-west of Sydney, and the former chairman of the ABC and the ASX also rejects the idea that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is the main driver of climate change. The anti-wind farm lobby claims turbines pose a health risk to nearby residents, push up energy prices, harm property values and operate “fraudulently” and “illegally”.

The “illegal” argument has been regularly advanced in parliament by the DLP senator John Madigan, who Newman – chairman of Abbott’s business advisory group – cited in a recent article in which he claimed that “tens of millions of dollars are being paid annually to non-compliant wind turbine operators by compliant politicians and bureaucrats”.

The claim that wind farms are “non compliant” is usually based on the fact that the Victorian government has not made a final determination on Acciona’s Waubra wind farm compliance with noise regulations, despite having had the company’s compliance report since 2010. The anti-wind campaigners say that because the compliance report has not been formally signed off, the wind farm is “illegal” and therefore engaged in a “fraud” and improperly receiving renewable energy certificates under the federal subsidy scheme.

But the Victorian government has written to Madigan and others who make the claims stating it has never said the wind farms are “non compliant” and asking them to correct the record.

“The minister for planning has not determined whether the wind farm is or is not compliant with the relevant planning permit. The minister or the department have never stated that the Waubra wind farm Is not compliant with the current planning permit. It cannot be assumed or inferred from the departmental advice that Waubra wind farm is not compliant with the relevant planning permit and I seek your co-operation in correcting the public record,” the then departmental secretary Andrew Tongue said.

And the federal government’s Clean Energy Regulator, which issues the renewable energy certificates, also insists the company is receiving them legally. “The Waubra wind farm was assessed and found to be compliant with the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 at the time its accreditation was granted,” the CER said in a statement. “...Having sought and received information from multiple sources, the Clean Energy Regulator has no reason to believe that the declaration(s) have been false or misleading or that there are any grounds on which to suspend the Waubra wind farm’s accreditation under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.”

The Coalition is also moving to implement its election promise to hold another review into the alleged health impact of turbines from the National Health and Medical Research Council, which three years ago found that they posed no health risks, but advocated ongoing studies.

Professor Will Steffen from the Climate Council said on Wednesday his organisation was planning to compile a report on the health impacts of a range of energy systems, including wind and solar and coal, oil and gas. Steffen said Denmark had imposed a 1km buffer between residences and wind generators. "They've had the longest history of any country I know of with modern wind generators and I don't think they've seen any health problems with the precautions and buffer zones that they've instituted."

He argued that allowing the climate to become increasingly destabilised posed a greater risk than wind farms, saying extreme heat caused "far more severe health risks … on our body, on our physiology, on our work productivity, on eco-systems, on infrastructure".

Newman is among a group of country landholders who have threatened to sue a neighbouring farmer for "substantial damages" if their health or property values are harmed by his agreement to allow wind turbines to built on his property.

The 20% renewable energy target requires 45,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy by 2020. Due to falling electricity demand, that amount will represent well over 20% by 2020, adding to calls that the target date be pushed out or the target reduced.

Is this what it means to be soi distant? Maybe call it 'instant Karma':

And a tribunal convened to consider the question:
Gunnar Salvarsson: girl in Nicaragua.Gunnar Salvarsson: child at La Chureca dump, Nicaragua.Gunnar Salvarsson: child at La Chureca dump, Nicaragua.Doubtful & angry.

Umwelt, editor's note.

                             ( editor's note )

            eX  be-un around

con   u   bial   -ial

                             eul  eul  eul

                             pooh pooh

                                     puH   !

                             huh   ?

From Umwelt little poetry magazine,                     
MUN - Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1969.
Omar Figueroa Turcios: Man feeding on his dreams to avoid eating reality.Omar Figueroa Turcios.Omar Figueroa Turcios.

Special Bonus Parable
In a place out of doors, near forests and meadows, stands a jar of vinegar–the emblem of life.

Confucius approaches the jar, dips his finger in and tastes the brew. "Sour," he says. "Nonetheless, I can see where it could be very useful in preparing certain foods."

Buddha comes to the vinegar jar, dips in a finger and has a taste. "Bitter," is his comment. "It can cause suffering to the palate, and since suffering is to be avoided, the stuff should be disposed of at once."

The next to stick a finger in the vinegar is Jesus Christ. "Yuk," says Jesus. "It's both bitter and sour. It's not fit to drink. In order that no one else will have to drink it, I will drink it all myself."

But now two people approach the jar, together, naked, hand in hand. The man has a beard and woolly legs like a goat. His long tongue is slightly swollen from some poetry he's been reciting. The woman wears a cowgirl hat, a necklace of feathers, a rosy complexion.

Her tummy and tits bear the stretch marks of motherhood; she carries a basket of mushrooms and herbs. First the man and then the woman sticks a thumb into the vinegar. She licks his thumb and he hers. Initially they make a face, but almost immediately they break into wide grins.

"It's sweet," they chime.

From 'Even Cowgirls Get the Blues' Tom Robbins, 1976.
(A somewhat romanticized notion of hippies is forgiven ... this time :-)
L'armée des étoiles jetées dans le ciel:

Hannah Arendt's rather odd collection, 'Men In Dark Times' (1968) is a book I often turn to (in dark times) - and always come away from again both enlightened and ... baffled. It is a kind of list of examples, almost exemplars to be emulated but not quite. I would reproduce her short preface, but not today, maybe it is on-line somewhere - I will check later. [Yes, at Book ZA.]

That, to introduce a list which is maybe just as odd in its way.

If the question is How to tell the awful truth without driving the audience either away or mad? then it might (I don't know, I'm just saying) be worthwhile considering, keeping in mind:
Irmã Dorothy,   Zé Cláudio & Maria do Espírito Santo,   Tim DeChristopher,   Brigette DePape,   EF Schumacher,   Yvo de Boer,   Marina Silva,   Northrop Frye,   Rachel Carson,   Barbara Frum,   José Datrino - Gentileza,   Chico Mendes,   N!xau,   Nick Ut,   Jim Hansen,   Stephen Schneider,   Wangari Muta Maathai,   Mike Frastacky,   Pierre Teilhard de Chardin ...
... a list which goes on and on.

Teilhard de Chardin; that reminds me ... Whatever change in evolutionary direction may get us out of this dead-end fix, it seems to me that it has to be along the lines of his noosphere notion, communication à la Matthew 18:15 & Ivan Illich's take on The Good Samaritan ... something like that. Plus maybe a bushel of Arthur Clarke's 'Childhood's End', and a peck of First Corinthians 13:12.

I have been reading that the big bang is a probability event (Paul Davies in The Independent in 1996). If the whole damn universe is a probability event then why not spirit too? And being just somewhat out of the purely physical realm such a change could happen (even without quantum physics) ... in a twinkling.     (as they say :-)
Be well gentle readers.
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