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Author Topic: Ignorance and Racism from the voters  (Read 6447 times)

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Offline The Overlord

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #50 on: October 19, 2008, 05:31:06 PM »


 Can we use less? Yes. That will help somewhat, but to expand an economy, reducing use is not the way. More supply is needed.


That's what I meant, we use less.


But if more is needed...then we're in deep shit.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2008, 05:51:23 PM »

So yeah. The sky is falling. Whatever. What're you gonna do about it?

Truth be told, there's not much we can do about it.  There's no energy source in existence, under development, or even on the drawing board that's going to permit us to run the United States of America at anything like the energy level we've become accustomed to.  So if "it" requires cheap fossil fuels, transportation networks that stretch across thousands of miles, "it" is going bye-bye, whether "it" is Wal-Mart or the nanny state.  

Some advice I have for you all to prepare as individuals:

1) Balance out your finances--now.  If you're having to tap into credit just to make ends meet, you need to fix that.  If you're upside-down on that Ford Explorer, or straining backwards to service the debt on eight different credit cards because "it's the right thing to do," you need to get out from under all that.  Move from a credit-based to a cash-based personal economy.

2) Move to a lower petroleum, lower-energy lifestyle.  A good rule of thumb is that if you have to fill your gas tank more than once every ten days, you're using too much.  And no, I'm not saying that from a nanny environmentalist perspective, I'm saying it from a personal survival perspective.  At some point in the next three to five years, we're likely to reach a point where gasoline in the U.S. is somewhere between $5 a gallon and unavailable at any price.  If your lifestyle depends on ready access to cheap fuel, change it.

3) Ask yourself what would happen one day if you woke up and found that the "grid" of industrial civilization you take for granted was unavailable.  No power, no municipal water supply, no fuel, no bank or ATM machine, no grocery store, no Wal-Mart or Costco.  How many days could you survive with only what you had in your home?

I don't want to sound like a total Doomer, and I'm not saying we're likely to wake up one morning in the next few years and suddenly find ourselves back in the 19th century.  But asking yourself that question and setting a goal to get the answer to stretch to at least three weeks is a good starting point, because I do believe it is likely we will wake up at some point during the next few years and find that at least ONE of those services we take for granted is offline, at least for a time.  

4) Get your hands dirty.  If you have land, there's no reason you shouldn't have a garden, for fun, for sustenance, and perhaps profit.  Consider that most of the spices in the spice aisle at your average supermarket are not grown locally, but rather imported, often from thousands of miles away.  Ditto for what's at the produce counter.  If you live in a place where the snow flies at least a couple months a year, and you can grow a couple orange trees indoors or in a greenhouse, you've got a valuable commodity to trade if the transportation grids run out of gas.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #52 on: October 19, 2008, 06:09:13 PM »

You're forgetting the last one.


5) Arm yourself, because if push comes to shove and you can't get what you need, you might have to seize it.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2008, 06:10:21 PM »
Truth be told, there's not much we can do about it.  

Wrong. Read my above post. We can find meaningful ways to cut back.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #54 on: October 19, 2008, 06:23:23 PM »
Wrong. Read my above post. We can find meaningful ways to cut back.

Let me elaborate.  If the question is "What can we do to save the U.S. and the American Way of Life," my answer remains, "not much," because the way of life we take for granted is unsustainable ecologically, thermodynamically (unless there's a breakthrough in fusion research or an unanticipated discovery of a new energy source), and economically.

If the question is, "How can we as individuals and local communities prepare and maintain a decent standard of living in the post-carbon era," then I agree there are plenty of steps we can take.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #55 on: October 19, 2008, 06:45:41 PM »
I'm putting off turning on the heat by making afghans.  People in my neighborhood are jealous of my mad skillz.  ;D

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #56 on: October 19, 2008, 06:56:36 PM »
I'm putting off turning on the heat by making afghans.  People in my neighborhood are jealous of my mad skillz.  ;D

Hey, don't laugh.  Any skill that

1) keeps people fed and watered
2) keeps people healthy/healed
3) keeps people clothed
4) pertains to carpentry or masonry
5) does 1 or 2 for draft animals and livestock or poultry
6) can entertain people without the use of electricity

will be of value in a post-carbon world.

So if you're a computer technician or a stock broker, by all means don't quit your job.  Just understand that these are not skills that are likely to be in demand beyond five, maybe ten years from now.  If you're looking for a field to branch out into, and can't decide between being a paralegal or a veterinary assistant, go with the vet assistant option, because in a collapsing civilization there's not much demand for paper-pushers.

Offline Sherona

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #57 on: October 19, 2008, 07:05:22 PM »
*grins* This thread is starting to sound more and more like the Y2K fear-tactic people who just insisted that all fo teh world's nuclear bombs would go off, that planes would fall from the sky, and that there would be no more computers ever.

I think that the worlds' citizens will have to chin up and find ways to conserve. I don't think things are as dire as Ty predicts, but I also don't think we can go about chugging oil like no tomorrow, but we do have technology available. We do have sources of power available. Nuclear power plants, if properly maintained unlike chernobyle, are perfectly safe. Solar Power, Wind power, there are all sorts of other kinds of energy we can employ until we can find better sources.

They have even came up with a gasoline substitute idea from corn. Renewable energy source in the future? Very Very Very possible. No reason to go and sell all your lamps, computers, and televisions just yet.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #58 on: October 19, 2008, 07:18:28 PM »


So if you're a computer technician or a stock broker, by all means don't quit your job.  Just understand that these are not skills that are likely to be in demand beyond five, maybe ten years from now. 

That being said, you're making some wild conjecture here. We really don't know how badly any one industry is going to be affected.

Offline Sherona

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #59 on: October 19, 2008, 07:29:23 PM »
As far as things we can do now?


Here are what my family and I do.

1. we have had our car for two years, it came with 10,000 miles on it. We have only put 7,000 on it. 3,000 was a trip to San Antonio to visit his mother. We rarely drive anywhere if we can get away from it.

2. we have converted all of our light bulbs to those incandescent bulbs, the ones that use a fraction of the energy. Our porch lights are no longer the spot lights but instead these lights that are solar powered, pretty cheap to. 12 dollars for six at Walmart. They are on a stake, powered by these batteries that recharge by sitting in the sun.

3. we do not throw out anything we can re-use. At all. We avoid buying things that cant be recycled or reused. Our food scraps are composted. We grow our own vegetables, including green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, cantelopes, green peas, and squash.

4. We are not compulsive about our lawn. We mow only the few acres nearest our house to keep moskitos, bugs, snakes, and the like away and to give the kids two or three acres to play. The rest we do not waste gas to mow. We do not water our lawn, as that is a waste of water. In Oklahoma, where the worst Drought in American history combined with poor farming practices caused Dust Bowl, and black blizzards for a decade, we have learned to conserve water.

we also use grasses that are drought resistant, indigenous to our area...not transplanting bought grass seeds that aer not used to arid OK summers.


Online Zakharra

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #60 on: October 19, 2008, 08:09:15 PM »

That's what I meant, we use less.


But if more is needed...then we're in deep shit.

Then you will never grow an economy. That requires growth and more resources used. Like it or not, oil is here as the main fuel for the next 50+ years. Ethenol fuels are not going to take oil's place and are worthless as a fuel where I live. Too cold for an alcohol based gas.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #61 on: October 19, 2008, 08:29:02 PM »
Biodiesel isn't alcohol based, if I understand it right, and has already been developed to the point where you can buy it at the pump in some areas.  Heck, I've read that in a biodiesel engine, you can even use what's left from your kitchen deep-fryer, as long as you filter it first.  'Makes your car smell like a chip shop, though.'  I mentioned in another thread that mainstreaming new fuel sources would probably stimulate the economy by creating new factory jobs, engineering jobs, and so forth. 

Nothing is going to be a quick fix, but I think 50+ is rather pessimistic, or assumes that people aren't going to even try.

Offline The Overlord

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #62 on: October 19, 2008, 08:42:35 PM »

Then you will never grow an economy. That requires growth and more resources used. Like it or not, oil is here as the main fuel for the next 50+ years. Ethenol fuels are not going to take oil's place and are worthless as a fuel where I live. Too cold for an alcohol based gas.

At some point growing the economy might not matter...it may come down to just sheer survival.

If we plan to keep on burning fossil fuels for the half century like it's business as usual, then we may be a nation with large dead ecosystems and beset by horrible hurricane systems that hit us for tens of billions in damage annually.


Care to wager on how the economy will fare then?

Oh yeah...we'll change, and we'll do it either proactively out of choice or it will be forced upon us. Consider WWII; new technologies have a funny way of manifesting themselves in the face of grim necessity.

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #63 on: October 19, 2008, 09:58:08 PM »
Nuclear power plants, if properly maintained unlike chernobyle, are perfectly safe. Solar Power, Wind power, there are all sorts of other kinds of energy we can employ until we can find better sources.

It drives me crazy when people tout nuclear energy as the next savior of this planet.  The Native Americans used to consider the things that they did for how they affected the next seven generations, and a life-cycle analysis of nuclear energy shows it for what it really is... too damaging to the planet to be useful.  Read Jared Diamond's 'Collapse'.  You know what killed the majority of past societies?  Not managing natural resources, including outsourcing and importing.  Am I saying none of that can take place?  Nope.  But I am saying that we should all be alarmed at how many things are no longer produced in this country.  While you're at the book store pick up 'The Walmart Effect' by Charles Fishman.  A dollar is a folding vote, and where you spend it MATTERS.  Too busy to pay attention to what corporations are doing?  Then don't bitch when it negatively affects you because you were too busy worrying about the next trend or how much more your next Big Mac costs.  ;)  <the you in the above is empirical {did I spell that right?}, not directed at you, Sherona :)>

Quote
They have even came up with a gasoline substitute idea from corn. Renewable energy source in the future? Very Very Very possible. No reason to go and sell all your lamps, computers, and televisions just yet.

The trouble with fuel from corn is that farming mass amounts of corn, especially the way factory farms do it, is extremely harmful to the environment.  I buy organic when I can and shop two different farmer's markets because shopping in megamarts feeds an economy of immediate gratification.  Food today has less nutrients (especially factory farmed food) because we abuse the most important natural resource that we have, the soil.

The biggest reason I see that America won't turn around any time soon is because we are a culture of immediate gratification, as demonstrated by people like RubySlippers not bothering to recycle because there's no immediate benefit to them.  RS, I'm surprised that you feel that way, especially considering the way that the disabled would fare in a truly free market.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 10:00:12 PM by moondazed »

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #64 on: October 19, 2008, 10:23:45 PM »
One of the biggest problems we're facing is the obsession with "letting the market decide."  Oil is a one-of-a-kind commodity.  Letting the market "inform" producers and consumers of a shortage of PlayStations is fine because people don't have to have PlayStations.  Leaving wheat shortages to the market is okay, as producers can shift to corn, and wheat production can always be increased.

The problem with waiting for price signals to develop alternatives to oil is that, once global production begins to seriously decline (which is going to be any year now), price will very quickly shoot up into the stratosphere.  If production declines 2% a year as demand increases 1% a year (both very typical numbers for demand growth and oilfield depletion), that's a 3% shortfall the first year, 6% the next, and 9% just three short years later.  This means that, in three years (one of which may have elapsed already) we could be back where we were during the oil embargo.  Only this time, it's permanent.  There is no end.  In five years, we're at a 15% deficit, and the wheels come off as we face an oil shock almost three times as bad as 1974.

You see, all this talk of developing alternative energy sources is well and good, but even with a good economy, we're talking a couple decades of R&D.  Then another decade to build out this new source, to retrofit all of our infrastructure to use it, to put new cars on the road, new pipelines, etc., etc.  If the economy is going off a cliff...well...what then?

Offline The Overlord

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #65 on: October 19, 2008, 11:53:52 PM »
As far as things we can do now?


Here are what my family and I do.

1. we have had our car for two years, it came with 10,000 miles on it. We have only put 7,000 on it. 3,000 was a trip to San Antonio to visit his mother. We rarely drive anywhere if we can get away from it.

2. we have converted all of our light bulbs to those incandescent bulbs, the ones that use a fraction of the energy. Our porch lights are no longer the spot lights but instead these lights that are solar powered, pretty cheap to. 12 dollars for six at Walmart. They are on a stake, powered by these batteries that recharge by sitting in the sun.

3. we do not throw out anything we can re-use. At all. We avoid buying things that cant be recycled or reused. Our food scraps are composted. We grow our own vegetables, including green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, cantelopes, green peas, and squash.

4. We are not compulsive about our lawn. We mow only the few acres nearest our house to keep moskitos, bugs, snakes, and the like away and to give the kids two or three acres to play. The rest we do not waste gas to mow. We do not water our lawn, as that is a waste of water. In Oklahoma, where the worst Drought in American history combined with poor farming practices caused Dust Bowl, and black blizzards for a decade, we have learned to conserve water.

we also use grasses that are drought resistant, indigenous to our area...not transplanting bought grass seeds that aer not used to arid OK summers.



That's what I'm talking about.


Watering the lawn is stupid in general. Here in Atlanta, actually all of northern Georgia, has been in drought or near-drought conditions for a few years now. The situation has gone from city or county enforced restrictions or outright bans on outdoor use of water.

Even in this crappy, clay-riddled, red Martian-looking excuse for ground soil (as a native of the Midwest and Great Lakes region I'll always maintain real dirt is black) local flora is tenacious through the hottest and driest of summers. If your lawn dries up it will grow back.

Our next-door neighbors used to run their own lawncare business, and have been annoyingly anal about their yard. The Billiard Table, as I've come to call it in the past, which it's about as unnaturally flat and green as. Fortunately even they've seemed to relax on this in the past couple summers.

Practically all food waste here goes into a wooded corner of the yard. We have raccoons, opossums, cats, etc., a virtual Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom parades from the nearby woods in the wee hours. What scraps don't get foraged compost down. The back porch light is often on for security purposes but uses a low-wattage bulb, the outdoor lighting on the sidewalk is solar charged.

It all can still be better. I'm in the midst of a heavy class quarter but once December rolls in and it's over with, I have devised a plan to grab a pen and notepad and walk the house room by room. Identify any device or appliance that is expending energy and assigning it a priority.

I mean, in the kitchen we have a wall clock (battery powered), and a digital clock on both the microwave AND the stovetop. Why so many fracking clocks? This is one thing I truly hate about our society; this virtual obsession with precise time-keeping.

As I heard one time, even if you win the rat race you're still a rat. Another bad habit we need to unplug.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 11:58:42 PM by The Overlord »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #66 on: October 20, 2008, 10:29:45 AM »
I don't understand the concerns here if Oil is getting expensive we would likely have to go for electric cars for most uses and make more coal fired power plants. The market will correct that you saw that as oil went up in price people looked for alternatives now that oil is cheaper as so is fuel so its not of interest right now. So you see when it does start going up we will likely have adaption in how we travel and our needs to fit. Mind you I'm not that bad actually I did a test our carbon footprint at least in my little bungalo is low, mostly due to not having a great deal of money. But I never saw a reason to waste money so always Freecycled, went to Thrift Stores and Garage Sales and used mass transportation. Who is going to get hurt badly if things tank are those in the suburbs and rural communities where you must have a car or truck and travel a good deal to work or shopping. In the cities we have many option to get people around if we had the political will to spend the money from road to mass transportation.

But some other things we did was get those solar powered evening lights for outside our home, be nice when we sit outside later in the year on a nice evening and we always have month of food and water on hand it is Florida after all.

But you can't make people change the way you want there is no political will and frankly cracking down on carbon dioxide and other pollution might not even stop Global Warming for the potential economic costs which I pointed out with our debt in the US can't hope to afford. But I will point out most of the great achievements of human civilization in the modern age were not funded by government but from private parties - example the microcomputer we use now. The base research was funded by government but the application of the technology and all the internet infrastructure was created by the free market to meet the needs to communicate. And spawned how many new means of retailing, education and the spread of news and ideas. And even made social change possible by allowing areas that were not accessible to the outside world more accessible including China who can't keep out the free exchange of ideas even though they are trying to.

I'm sure as a species and society we will adapt and evolve as needed when the pressure to do so is there, the free hand of commerce and the amazing ability of that system of Sponatneous Order is a wonder to behold. You want cheap solar power ,for example, make it a need millions have to suddenly have and some people will innovate and make it cheap enough to use everyday. Like I said get a system down to $2500 or so and even I likely would use it when I get the money if it meets most of my homes need. Right now they are too expensive and that is no small matter people in Florida could greatly benefit from solar power but $20,000 or more for what you get and in a hurricane prone state is prohibitive. The same with other technologies if its cost effective to use people will use it.

Offline Sherona

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #67 on: October 23, 2008, 12:07:01 PM »
Personally Mathim, pushing your own moral values on someone else and declaring them evil enough to be killed..well..I won't say who that is starting to sound like.

Now this thread has gotten wildly off topic so I am dragging it back ontopic.


People will use the race card for their decisions at times. Some can debate that a few african-american people are voting for Obama simply due to his race, and others are voting McCain simply because of his race. Honestly this is what is flawed with democracy.

That being said, I wish there was a way to say "No ignorance is not allowed at the polls" but there isn't sadly.

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #68 on: October 23, 2008, 12:30:27 PM »
*resists the urge to post off topic*

If you want to debate that subject take it to a new thread. 

Offline The Overlord

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #69 on: October 23, 2008, 12:35:43 PM »
*resists the urge to post off topic*

If you want to debate that subject take it to a new thread. 

Perhaps we should.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #70 on: October 23, 2008, 12:36:47 PM »
Please. *nods*

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #71 on: October 23, 2008, 12:46:52 PM »
I split the topic.  Forgive me if I missed any of the posts that should have been moved in doing so.  The new one is called In case of apocalypse...

Offline Kazae

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Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #72 on: October 29, 2008, 03:20:19 PM »
I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

Corn is nearly the WORST possible source for alcohol-based fuelstuff.

It would make far more sense to dedicate corn to food and beverage-alcohol making, and to prevent the massive amounts of fertilizer ruunoff and soil erosion, to distribute filler switchgrass (or, if the government didn't have to come off its high horse about it, industrial grade hemp, since no one wants to smoke ditchweed, seriously) among the crop, harvest the edible ears, and then use the stalks and switchgrass in making lignocellulosic ethanol.  Hell, we could probably do even better by simply using waste product from highway median maintenance for the same purpose, and then adding in the waste from processing sugar beets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulosic_ethanol is a good starting point for reading, and really is a damned fine idea.  If anything, it's strikes me as the sort of thing that would be perfect for a motivated, organized consortium of private citizens to pool money and invest in.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #73 on: November 05, 2008, 12:56:25 PM »
Back on topic,  ;)I'm glad the american people are more intelligent than certain pundits would have you believe.

So much for the Bradley effect and the diehard up-their-own-ass rally goers. Rational people may not have made themselves obvious during the campaign, but they did during the election.

Not that I'm saying McCain supporters are irrational, but if you're gonna vote for or against someone, vote for a reason that isn't completely batsh*t crazy.

I'm relieved that McCain and his supporters, Palin especcially, handled election night with grace. :P

Offline Oniya

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Re: Ignorance and Racism from the voters
« Reply #74 on: November 05, 2008, 01:03:28 PM »
Somehow, I expected Palin to take it gracefully - possibly with some bubbly description of what an experience it's been, and how she intends to take what she's learned back to Alaska.