Jacks Random Reflections
Thoughts about trends, events, gloom, and doom.
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- September 2011
Reflection on something lost
   Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:46 am

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Reflection on something lost

Permanent Linkby Jack on Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:46 am

I'm not usually into poetry, but this reminds me of what we've lost. It's been years since I've seen one of these -

Monarchs of the 70s
By Sheila E Sanchez Hatch

More astounding than snow in south Texas
was that one October; years ago
when San Antonio awoke to a butterfly dawn.

We kids ran out to yards
and streets lit up with them.
And, across the school grounds,
it seemed every tree leaf
on every oak held an orange blossom.
The merry-go-rounds,
the fence railings, and water fountains,
our scarves and coats,
even our amazed faces became landings
for those flying flowers.

Some of them flit around
like snowflakes in autumn,
tattered and worn they fell
to the ground and the wind
scattered them about like
fall leaves.

Why did they go so far away
that only a few would ever return?

The English and math lessons of that day
are like the distant phases of the moon now.
Although, one mention
of the monarchs flying to Mexico
that October, makes our hearts start beating

[ Continued ]

1 Comment Viewed 30918 times

Record heat...

Permanent Linkby Jack on Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:40 pm

San Antonio hit 104 today - a record, I believe. It's dry, and the aquifer, our sole water supply, declines substantially each day despite water restrictions.

If the local area become drier due to climate change, I wonder what happens to a city of 1.2 million if the rains quit coming? Do they truck water in? And what happens when peak oil reasserts itself in the form of higher gasoline prices? What then?

Right now, I and many others are comfortable as technology and electricity keep us in our cocoons. But if the climate degrades and the temperatures head up...and the availability of resources declines...we have made an all-in bet on technology. If it falters, then the population of this area will be in dire straits.

Supposedly, global population will hit 9.2 billion in 2020. That just may be correct. But when the turn comes, when climate change, peak oil, and assorted problems due to population pressures hit, I do believe life will become hellish. A shame, really - with wisdom,...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 13019 times

Global Warming - Yikes

Permanent Linkby Jack on Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:22 pm

Yikes. Just watching the local news...remarkably high temperatures across Texas. There was a discussion of heat bursts, with a NIGHT TIME increase from 85 to 102 at 12:22 AM in Kansas City.


Cid's right. We're not ready for global warming and it's hitting now and hitting hard.

2 Comments Viewed 78110 times

Haves versus Have Nots

Permanent Linkby Jack on Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:22 am

I viewed a discussion at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=191&start=540 that amused - but then, I have a macabre sense of humor. In essence, one side suggested that "the community" will voluntarily help each other, while the other side indicated that the haves were not, in their view, providing for the have-nots.

My first thought was Norse Greenland colony, alluding to Jared Diamond's Collapse. There, the haves took care of the have-nots - and, in the end, they all starved to death as they froze in the dark. On Easter Island, they fought - true, there was, apparently, a die-off of 95%, but the remnants survived. It seems that cooperation may be less effective than competition.

On further reflection, the issue of haves versus have-nots is not a binary condition. Rather, there is a distribution curve of means. For each of us, some are more affluent, some are...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 11539 times

Oil consumption vs. Energy consumption

Permanent Linkby Jack on Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:17 pm

We get an ongoing flow of oil consumption numbers. Isn't it interesting that despite substantial drops in global economic activity - including transportation and shipping - that the amount of oil hasn't declined much? If we in the U.S. face unemployment of 9.8% and U6 unemployment around 17%, then it seems odd that the oil used remains about the same.

Are we, perhaps, applying the wrong metric? Should we, instead, consider the energy we consume? Now if we examine our oil consumption through that lens, then the use of net energy has declined from previous levels. How so? Simply this. Old fields have produced oil with a low energy cost (a high EROEI). Often, new sources have a high energy cost (a low EROEI). So even though we're consuming as many barrels of crude as before, our actual consumption of energy has declined.

Suppose this notion is valid. What does it imply? If (if, not when) a recovery occurs, then the demand for energy must increase. But the available net energy...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 12086 times

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