Saturday, May 19, 2007

Thoughts IRL about WWO...

For the past few days, I've been talespinning at World Without Oil with more than 1,000 other people. It's made me think...a LOT...about the precariousness of our society.

We are currently having what seems like a brush fire a day. What would we do if there wasn't diesel to fuel the fire trucks, or jet fuel to fuel the tanker planes and helicopters? What would we do if people didn't have the gas to pack the car and drive out of harm's way?

The thing is, the scenario of a short, sharp Oil Shock that we are playing out at WWO is not likely, but a slow-motion version of this dance, played out over a space of years, or at best, decades, is a scientific fact. Aside from a few crackpots who hold to a belief that petroleum can be found which does not originate from dead vegetation or dead critters, (the abiotic oil theorists) our supply of oil comes from a finite amount of sources. Eventually, it will all be gone. However, the period from the end of "cheap" oil to the last drop coming out of the ground is where we are at right now.

It is not like we weren't warned. I lived through the Energy Crisis of the 1970s. Odd/Even gas days, Double Nickels, gas lines, and prices soaring to stratospheric heights that we would see as bargains now. The oil shocks of 1973 and 1979 were warnings that we needed to get off the oil teat.

We needed a Manhattan Project-level commitment to developing alternative fuels, but November, 1980 brought the end of the Carter era, and the beginning of almost 30 years of a "Don't worry, be happy" fuel policy. Yes, Clinton was guilty of blissfully ignoring the same warning signs that Reagan, Bush the Elder, and Bush the Younger also ignored. The mania for SUVs soared during his Presidency, in spite of the environment consciousness of his Vice President, Gore.

There are other reasons to get us weaned off of fossil fuel, and Gore managed to cover most of them in the movie An Inconvenient Truth. It's not an especially deep explanation of the current climate crisis, but it's an easy and entertaining way to get an introduction to it.

We should have started dealing with this in 1973. We really should have started dealing with this in 1979. We're really not doing much of anything substantive about it now. The question is this: are we too late? Between the scylla of costlier and costlier oil, and the charybdis of Global Climate Crisis, we might be too late to do anything about this, short of just waiting for the die-off.

It's been a fun exercise, though. I won't be able to obsessively participate on the level I have been participating in this for the past few days thanks to the upcoming events surrounding Celebration IV, but at least I have been doing well with it, if I say so myself.

You can read my posts at Use the "May 2007 archive" option to see all of them in one swell foop.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell, August 11, 1933 – May 15, 2007

23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men's shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers.

23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren.

23:9 And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, [even] Christ.

23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

23:16 Woe unto you, [ye] blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

23:17 [Ye] fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

23:18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.

23:19 [Ye] fools and blind: for whether [is] greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

23:20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.

23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

23:24 [Ye] blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

23:26 [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness.

23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

23:33 [Ye] serpents, [ye] generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Monday, May 07, 2007

This is why I haven't blogged for a while...

Between Richie's illness and some heavy-duty courses I've been pretty much preoccupied, which explains why this blog has been updated so sporadically. However, I am disappointed with the grades I got. I could have done much better.

However, I'll take them, the semester's over, and one more to go.

Oh yeah, walking with the Class of 2007, in spite of the fact I have work left to do, is weird. Real weird.