A Fighting Retreat

During the Battle of the Bulge, American forces in danger of being overrun, pulled back under cover of artillery barrages. The artillery attack held the Germans while the Americans retreated to a series of prepared defensive positions, slowing the German advance until reinforcements could deploy.

In 1988 Senior Lead NASA climate scientist, James Hansen alerted the world to the results of his earth study. It was the threat of climate change. Immediately, Hansen was personally attacked by the Petroleum Industry. Under pressure from a petroleum infused congress holding NASA’s pursestrings, Hansen’s position became untenable and he resigned.

His further public speaking on the crisis drew vicious personal attacks in repeated attempts to discredit his findings and damage his reputation and ability to continue speaking. If you google Hansen today, you will find the first half-dozen references are attacks from trolls funded through right wing pressure groups and “think tanks”.

The coordinated attack on science, using propaganda organs, Fox News, talk radio, internet sites, and social media outlets retarded citizen awareness for over twenty-five years. The message was: “Climate Change is not real”, just an alarm raised by pointy-headed scientists to further their careers and secure research grants.

Using the same operators that used lies and disinformation tactics to sell cancer cigarettes to kids and guns to the mentally and emotionally challenged, Big Petro, hired and co-opted scientists through funding university studies and laboratories, themselves. These captured scientists were willing to discredit their colleagues the way captured doctors and researchers found themselves willing to promote cigarettes…

But as the lies are revealed and common sense, particularly in the younger generations prevails, the defenders, under cover of this long range artillery attack, retreat to the next fortified position: “Climate Change may be real but it is a natural cycle.” In this case nothing can be done or should be done because it “is God’s Will”.

Now, some of the more rational actors do not want to depend on that but feel that if God has a will, it might be that his creatures use the brains he gave them to try to save themselves and the world he created for them. (and the rest of the biosphere)

“Switching from coal and oil production will cost jobs” is the next defensive line even as jobs in black-lung mining and oil roustabouts decline, while solar industry jobs boom… adding jobs at a rate 20 times faster than the overall economy.

The next defensive position: “Disrupting the flow of oil consumption will disrupt the economy.” To increase oil supply and consumption the oil soaked Bush administrations orchestrated Oil War I and Oil War II; Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom, whose projected costs today are approaching 6 trillion dollars and which has disrupted the economy and caused a massive continuing regional war in the mideast. A great and continuing part of our “Defense” budget is tasked with securing our foreign oil sources and protecting petroleum industry profits.

And as citizens still demand change, the next position emerges from the fog: The argument is political; “Both wings of congress are the same feckless crooks,” there’s no difference between them, so there’s no meaningful action to take.

Even while most right wing pols still swear allegiance to big oil and their subsidies… and the left wing accepts climate change and proposes action, this meme is designed to create a feeling of helplessness; to prevent citizens from voting or becoming engaged in the argument.

The next defensive position was recently taken by Bush3. “Eliminate all energy subsidies” to “even the playing field..let the market decide.” This is intended to co-opt and disarm the renewable groups, who need subsidies to achieve market share in the face of entrenched, rich Big Petro, and their price manipulating tactics. No mention is made of the fact that renewables don’t pollute, or the need for a carbon tax to internalize to energy companies the cost of climate change from petroleum.

One only wonders what the next position will be, but it will be revealed as the world energy activists meet in Paris in December. But the longer this goes on, the more certain that both sides and the world itself will face a catastrophic defeat.

One thing is certain, Big Petro executives will cling to a declining resource that is killing the world, rather than transition at warp speed to a clean technology that taps a constant and enormous flow of energy and that can grow to tap that energy, steady state, at whatever speed we desire.

Spinners

Apparently, all over the world, there are phantom fossil fuel burning plants producing nothing. They run or spin on, burning fuel, polluting the planet, outputting no electricity into the grid. They waste the planet just in case.

You can’t keep electricity. Goes bad in microseconds…who knew? You have to convert it to something else; kinetic energy or chemical, something like that.

Kinetic, you push water up a hill, so you can let it pour back, and create the energy when you need it. Or you find a hole in the ground and pump air into it. Same deal. Only with pressure rather than gravity. When you need it, you let it flow back. It spins a turbine and presto! Electricity.

You can spin big metal tops, flywheels they call ‘em, spin em up with cheap energy at night, de-spin em to get the electrons out in the morning. So far so good. Stop right there. That’s far enough.
Problems with all of these, you need certain geological forms, or to find a place to spin lots of tops. All safely and according to all the rules.

There’s also chemical, but batteries wear out and get weaker with age.

And it gets worse. Peaks and valleys in the power supply and things go haywire. Literally. Machines burn up, equipment goes dead in the middle of critical ops, production runs stop running, television serials abruptly cut out. “Is that how they’re gonna end it!?” ! People go nuts.

And then they’re those brown outs and black outs and people go really nuts. And you have to over-build and under-use, because you can’t always run at peak power, but when you need to you really need to.

Wind and Solar makes it worse. Clouds go over, the wind just drops. It happens. The whole grid responds like a waking dragon. Spinners come on line. The grid is constantly alive, reacting to events and must be protected. From accident or incident. From surge and power dip.

A space solar installation could direct primary power to a number of grids simultaneously. Instantaneously. It could be directed directly to a troublesome node. It’s steady, clean power, not affected by wind or sun position, by tides or seasons or day/night cycles…
Transitioning from 91% fossil fuel to Space Solar, as we must do and do rapidly, will eliminate a few coal miner’s jobs. It will create millions of jobs in engineering, rocketry, space activities, research and high tech manufacturing. It will lead us off the planet into space. Living Space.