The Connected Mess / A passive-aggressive “energy” problem

Summer, or what I call summer – any number of consecutive days when the atmosphere is an enveloping ocean of warm gas; inseparable from one’s body and mind, it supports and floats one effortlessly like the liquid ocean transports planktonic life forms that are embedded and entrained by currents.*

Currents of energy, like those that drag rubble and ice along the asteroid belt; like ice flows and debris flows across the solar system; like satellites around the planet, like probes with mathematical destinies: a ‘shove’ in one direction can be enough to predict the journey.

Ocean currents can be generated by wind, density differences in water masses caused by temperature and salinity variations, gravity, and events such as earthquakes. Currents are cohesive streams of seawater that circulate through the ocean.

We may sense that this sort of universe exists; passive as well as dynamic, but quickly our truly mad minds reject the pleasure of “being taken care of” by the currents of time and existence; bliss is an emotion not well-tolerated.

Al Ghazali said, “The happiness of the drop is to die in the river” but if one is already “in” the river… entrained, carried effortlessly, one can simultaneously be on the bank, “behaving” in peculiar and determined human ways. It’s a matter of “seeing” and “not-seeing” the patterns of transformation.

Homo sapiens believe that the universe is about control, and define the universe as “something” that is both “in control” and an “object” full of stuff to be controlled. Of course; our survival requires our attention and action, but total control is insanity.

We know of adventurers, who instead of “living off the land” drag, man-handle, shove and heft supplies into and over a landscape – even reject food stuffs and knowledge offered by people who live – and survive, right there, in the “wilderness” because  it’s unfamiliar and unlabeled. A “blank spot” on the map is full of stuff. The “blank spot” is in the mind.

Passive energy is everywhere, but we reject it. “Futurists” advocate for outlandish schemes to solve “the energy problem”

What problem?

The solar system, all the bodies that compose it, all the processes that shape it; all the processes that shape life on earth, have been “up and running” for about 4.6 billion years. And, as far as we can see (literally, back in time to the postulated “Big Bang”) an extremely energetic universe has never run out of energy.

I think our “energy problem” is the word “passive” – we exclude “passive” simply because it’s not “aggressive”. We want to be Masters of the Universe; to bend it to our will, and force it to work for us, when IT ALREADY DOES JUST THAT. This is as supremely ridiculous and as irrational as any demand that has ever been made, or will be made, by a sentient species, anywhere in the universe.

Totally unreasonable solutions proposed to “solve” the human energy problem.

I love this one, because it demonstrates the fantastical inability to “think” effectively,  which plagues Homo sapiens!

1. Locate a “black hole” 2. Lasso it, drag it, and park it “somewhere near earth” 2. Use its evaporative energy – so much energy, so that we will never, ever run out. 3. This triumph of outrageously aggressive manipulation means that “we” can feed the ever-increasing energy demands of an ever-increasing human population. 4. Technical details and $$$ funding to be “invented” by our infinitely masterful future selves.

Meanwhile… let’s keep patching up our primitive 19th C. infrastructure to “handle” our 21st C. addiction to data manufacturing and transmission, which will “solve” the food and water problem by sending yummy pictures of gourmet food and bottled water to starving humans.

Pretty aggressive? You bet! Reasonable? No. Creative? No. Stupid? Yes.

Meanwhile, back on planet earth…

Renewable Energies: Wind, Solar, Biomass DOI: 10.1002/chemv.201200005

A rundown of what countries are doing to expand energy possibilities.

My comment here, is that the label “renewable” is misleading; it’s based on “fossil fuels” being a finite resource (geologically unique), the “burning” of which creates   conditions that produced previous mass extinctions – the release of carbon from “sequestered” sources is key. (This is complex; see American Chemical Society website “Climate Change Toolkit” for explanatory articles)

Energy supplied by solar radiation is in fact, “overwhelmingly abundant” and dangerously so. The challenge is capturing the energy and “spreading it out” to meet levels of demand for electricity that human activity “dictates”. As long as we cling to aggressive “control” of energy via a “grid” generation / distribution  system, we will fail to utilize the fabulous fact of the existing distribution of energy planet wide that “fuels” all life on earth. Nature “redistributes” and “shares” energy – that’s what “nature” is; the processes that drive a “system” that has “worked” for billions of years.

It’s not as if we don’t understand how the “passive”energy system works! We just don’t like being “passive” or “receptive”

If we are truly “smart” we ought to be able to design locally-responsive energy systems. Not everyone needs or wants to be a “master of the universe” or to be an object that exists to fuel the “modern” addiction to data production and consumption.

A glass of clean water and a “real” nutritious meal, that can be savored in safe spot somewhere in the “river of life” would be miraculous.

 

 

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