Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The 7th Fold

Just discovered a valuable new resource, The Seventh Fold, a blog dealing with energy and the vain attempt of man trying to sustain exponential growth in the real world. Their take on the fubar created by BP is most telling.

"As of today (May 3), under the ‘best case’ scenario we will not see the flow of oil capped for at least another week. Already, more than 6,800 square miles of federal fishing areas have been closed, and the fishing ban will likely expand.  But the giant and growing oil slick is not just a short term threat to fishermen.  The slick threatens the Gulf’s ‘fertile crescent’ – the rich marine estuaries fed by a constant flow of nutrients from the Mississippi and Mobile Rivers.  It has been estimated that 90 percent of the Gulf’s seafood is sustained by these estuaries, and unfortunately Dr. George Crozier, director of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, explains that the “productive system is at risk and no one really knows how it will respond to the oil. We could be about to watch something happen, that’s completely man-made, that the natural system hasn’t ever seen before.” (source)"

After reading this, I come away with the notion of tech being extended beyond logical limits. For instance, putting an oil rig in 5000 feet of water is an audacious experiment. Drilling for oil by adding 18,000 feet to the equation to get the oil (4 miles) gets a little crazy (serious water/oil pressure anyone?). Not having serious backup (booms et al) in case of disaster extends to folly (Chaos or sh*t happens) while the implications of this catastrophe goes beyond words if the spill is not contained. 

IMHO, no intelligent civilization would want to introduce themselves to us given just how bad a steward we have been to this planet. As stated often times in BRT, earth doesn't need us, we need the earth, a fact we have ignored without serious penalty until now.

Tech, when properly applied, can do wonders but tech in and of itself has no morality. How it's used determines the impact it has on society. It's time we take this incredibly powerful tool and use it for good or we are done, a seemingly intelligent species brought down by hubris and stupidity, an Ozymandias to be looked at by others as a curiosity, forever consigned to the dustbin of history. To read another thoughtful post on the spill from Cluborlov, click here

"From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." - Carl Sagen

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