Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nobody reads this anyway...

Advice to the last generation.

It has become obvious that anyone of an age to witness the next thirty to fifty years will be the last generation of Americans to experience our society at its apex. Many of us have already been forced to watch as what a century ago would have been considered our birth right has been stripped from us, exchanged to the capitalists for medical care or even just liquidity in the face of other burdens.

Multi-generational farms, swallowed by big agricultural operations or parceled for development, fishing grounds depleted and boats lost to the shortfall, selfish bickering leading to spiteful fire sales, but mostly the greatest loss of bio-diversity in millions of years of earth’s history. We are being handed an unstable and untenable world. One where the obviously needed changes in human behavior are beyond the pale for the old guard and far too late once the new one takes over.

We get to bear witness to the multi-millions of tons of ice like methane hydrates, once safely sequestered on the sea floor, begin to sublime now that we have blown well past the 350ppm atmospheric carbon dioxide content deemed “safe” nearly a decade ago, triggering an all out run away climate disaster for humanity. There is no point to pointing fingers at the buffoons who have been in charge for the last forty years or so. I’ll bet not one of them even understand the problem, let alone has the character to own up to their role creating the situation we are facing.

So my advice is simply this, it is up to us. We the generation that faces the consequences can no longer sit idly by “waiting for our turn at the helm” while old white men dig our hole deeper and deeper. We have been backed into a corner with nothing left to lose. Our children have no future if we do not take a stand now. We must rise up and force change if there is to be any lasting security for us. Burning down your local gas station or wallmart, seems pointless in a few isolated cases, but once the "screwed generation" stands up as a whole and declares “Enough!” they will no longer be able to ignore us for the sake of convenience.

It is time we told them to take their unlivable ten dollar an hour jobs and shove them. It is time to shuck the system where an education has become prohibitively expensive. It is time to call out the black hearted thieves who will ransom your very health for a profit. It is time to pull our efforts from those who would strangle ingenuity because they can’t understand the importance. The system is only a monolith, incapable of change, as long as we acquiesce and take our doleful place in it. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Harnessing Ingenuity

The other day I was watching the Volvo Ocean Race series of videos posted on YouTube and the thought struck me, they are crossing oceans faster than modern cargo ships, without using any mechanical propulsion while on the race course. Granted they are doing it on stripped down 70' carbon fiber sleds. But still, averaging 15 knots and hitting peaks of 25+ knots is nothing to be scoffed at.

If I had billions at my disposal, I would offer a prize for the boat that could complete the fastest trans-pac or transatlantic carrying two or three containers under wind power. That would change the game in several ways.

First of all, shipping could transition from fossil fuel dependent monstrosities to independent or family owned boats of 300' to 400' competing for labor costs instead of fuel overhead. Fleet flexibility means cargo can be routed to many different ports of call instead of being centralized in "major ports" minimizing overland transport fuel consumption. Sailing is a skilled trade, and reliance on sailors once again ultimately could revive a once vibrant diverse economic market that today is in the choke hold of a handful of major players.

While the global economic system has to face up to its non-sustainable fuel addiction sooner or later, this might be a fun and productive way to help ensure methods for easing that transition are actually researched and developed when that time comes.