Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thanatos antidote

At the end of my 'Thanatos' post below, i touched on a theme that i will now try to expand upon. Namely, that there are alternatives to the cultural despair over consumerism.

Consumerism isn't the only force driving the population control ideology. Materialism and hedonism contribute as well, but these two vices are quite ancient; consumerism is the new kid on the block. Only after we were well into the Industrial Revolution was consumerism even possible - so i believe it deserves special attention and a creative, thoughtful response.

Allow me first to define a couple of key terms. For this topic, a consumer must be defined as someone who consumes resources that will not be replenished within a reasonably brief period of time - let us say within the span of a human life, and/or who produces waste which is not neutralized within a reasonable period of time. Both ends of this industrial, consumerist pattern are problematic, causing harm to other forms of life, and to Earth itself.

The "ism" in consumerism refers to the dogmatic belief that to thus consume is an inherent part of living as a civilized human being, that we must live that way. We're all familiar with the incessant drumbeat message: With every passing year, we consume more resources, produce more waste, and cause more devastation. The 6:00 news tells us of a new environmental crisis; we watch a nature documentary and learn of another endangered species; we open a popular magazine and read of global warming. We accept the word 'consumer' as our rightful moniker, and we meekly take upon ourselves the sinister meaning of that identity. The unspoken, perhaps subconscious logic is clear:

 1. Nature is beautiful but fragile.
 2. Man consumes, and so destroys nature.
 3. Therefore, we are doomed, and it's our own fault.

Perhaps some folks prefer to alter the 3rd point to point to some other people as the sole problem; some may openly advocate drastic population controls. In any case, the general effect is that it evokes a type of low-grade despair. Or maybe panic, and a frenetic search for an immediate panacea. At one level, it can be seen that not all human activity is despicable. Burning natural gas to warm our houses may be consumeristic, but burning wood from a local forest, if done properly, is not. Radioactive nuclear waste may be a serious problem, while kitchen scraps can easily be composted. But it all seems so overwhelming, and these small points so insignificant.

The more intense the despair and panic, the more stark are the counterproductive effects. The public figures producing the loudest and shrillest cries of alarm are often the very ones living in a profusely wasteful manner, while conjuring lame arguments of self-exemption. Despair and panic are like that, producing paralysis and a counterproductive exacerbation of the problems.

Even more problematic: this panic and despair can lead, either explicitly or subconsciously, to a sort of collective self-disgust, and a fear or loathing of our own generative instincts. So we stupidly buy the myth of overpopulation, and turn aside from a generous love of human life. We don't want to thrive, because we are secretly ashamed of our life. (Ironically, i believe that the current cultic obsession with titillating sex also stems from this unaddressed fear of our reproductive powers.)

If these words resonate at all, here is my plea: Let us shake off the mesmerizing effects of this despairing line of thinking. Realize that the second premise of the above logical syllogism is very refutable. We do not have to live in a way that destroys our world. Let us embrace a more intelligent and more constructive syllogism.

That logic begins by recognizing that God created this world for us to live in. We are not an accident, nor are we intruders; we are meant to be here. In truth, we are meant to thrive, and we are meant to be stewards of this world (and, who knows, perhaps eventually beyond, to other parts of the universe!)

We should not expect or even try to turn this around on a dime. It took about 200 years of industrialization to get to our present wasteful state. It may take awhile to climb back out, and into a more healthy and sustainable system of living. My point is that despair and panic are not the way to go. Shrill and desperate cries of alarm tend to paralyze rather than mobilize. The more reasonable way is to first embrace a better syllogism:

 1. God's creation is good.
 2. Man is the pinnacle of God's creation.
 3. Therefore, let us exercise responsible dominion and stewardship.

It all begins with faith, the most reasonable state of mind for a human being.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Stress offset credits

I'm launching a new home-based business enterprise, Dogpatch of the North Stress Offset Credit Services, Ltd. The concept is quite simple: for those of you who are producing more than your fair share of stress, i can, for a nominal fee, provide the stress relief to make up for your excesses. You know who you are: you IRS agents, overbearing bosses, road-rage drivers, fatuous politicians, etc. Your obnoxious habits cause other folks to develop ulcers and high blood pressure. You have an oversized stress footprint, and until now, the only thing you could offer was an abject apology to those poor folks whom you put into a high-stress state.

Well, help is here! Now you may contract with me, and i can generate, in your name, enough stress-reducing antidotes to compensate for your overage.

To begin with, it is well known that a strong dose of profoundly expressed truth can result in a state of deep meditational calm in the recipient, blowing away all feelings of stress. Thus, a single visit to this little blog with its breathtaking insights can counteract, say, a severe chewing out from an ill-tempered boss. For those few who do not find my writings inspirational, that's OK - comic relief also relieves stress, so the general effect would be the same.

The contractual agreement would be a simple matter of matching your excess units of stress (SU), with my stress reduction credits (SRC), so that you can continue to harangue and irritate as always, but with a clear conscience, knowing that, by contracting with me, you have in effect made up for all your stress excesses and have achieved a zero stress footprint.

I would assign each of my clients the appropriate number of blog hits to correct for the stress excess of that client. Fees would be based upon the current market value for stress reduction credits. Currently the market value is $267.34 per SRC. This price has been pretty stable, remaining in the $250 - $300 range for some time now, but, like all things, that could change. You have to admit this is a very reasonable price range, all things considered. Naturally, the blog hit counter and the appropriation of hits to specific clients would be carefully documented, and subject to third party audit control to guarantee that stress relief is really being performed per contract agreement.

As this enterprise grows, i may expand to include on-site stress relief. Stress victims could actually visit my humble homestead and engage in any number of more intense stress-melting activities, like watching the snow melt off my henhouse roof, splitting a pile of firewood at sunset, hoeing a row of potatoes barefoot, etc. The possibilities are endless (although some options are admittedly seasonal). The stress victim would not pay for these services, but would just be asked to sign a voucher to document that stress relief services were rendered. These documented SRCs would be handled per client contract as above.

It's a win-win scenario for all involved. Stress producers get to continue their obnoxious behavior with a clear conscience, their victims get relief, and i can make my property tax payment. Most importantly, we can all achieve a more serene and peaceful existence. It's what our world needs now!

I know there are others out there who could also provide these and similar stress credit services. It should be noted that, as the originator of the idea, i own the copyright to the basic concept. But, generous and kind-hearted fellow that i am, i would be willing to consider offering franchise agreements to those who can demonstrate the ability to provide the same kind of stress reduction. I believe there is enough surplus stress to keep us all well employed.

So, whether you are that irresponsible stress over-producer, a stress victim, or a fellow stress absorber, feel free to contact me (click here), and let's start reducing global levels of stress!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


An early twentieth century movement seriously proposed the practice of selective breeding of the human species, usually known as eugenics. Margaret Sanger, a vocal eugenist, openly lamented the unrestricted propagation of "inferior types". She wrote about producing a "race of thoroughbreds", and eliminating "human weeds". (See this link for starters.) Founder of the American Birth Control League, today's Planned Parenthood, she mainly targeted her birth control measures to the poor, immigrants, and other minority groups. These remain the primary target clientele for Planned Parenthood today.

A similar eugenics philosophy lay behind Hitler's pogroms against Jews and other "inferior" peoples. It would seem that eugenics in practice must always become genocide. Well, the Allied forces defeated Hitler militarily, but the poisonous thinking of racism, eugenics, and genocide remains, still espoused by many, whether openly or covertly.

Moreover, beginning in the 1960's or so, another toxic idea related to human propagation began to be fed to us: that our very presence on this planet is a problem; that we by our nature are destroying the earth that we depend upon; we're using up finite resources and producing waste at an ever accelerated clip, the problem grows more acute every year, and the only apparent solution is to reduce our numbers.

Myth (mith), n.: A widely held belief based upon an imaginary or legendary story.
This story, usually told by well-fed academics of Europe and America, seems always to portend an imminent, deadly threshold. I am not discounting or minimizing the real crises and human need in many areas. Yet threshold after threshold is passed, and the anticipated doom doesn't materialize. Indeed, global per capita real income and standard of living appear to be holding steady or even modestly growing. Are there limits to human population growth? I suppose all finite things have limits. Are we near our own limit? I know of no reliable evidence that would suggest that we are, nor have i seen proof linking any particular crisis to a root cause of "too many people". Yet the myth, and the conviction of impending doom, continue to afflict many. (Ah, but there may well be an impending doom to fear - that of the righteous judgment of God upon our ungodly beliefs and practices!)

Now, here's where it gets interesting: Put the two toxic ideas together, and what you get is something very much like today's Planned Parenthood agenda, or the United Nations Population Control programs. Namely, you get the racist and genocidal campaign to 'help' the folks in poorer parts of the world (which just happen to be Hispanic, African, or Asian) to discover the sexual revolution and to have fewer children. You get foreign assistance offered only upon the adoption of liberal abortion laws, forced or coerced sterilization, etc. This was Margaret Sanger's eugenic goal from the get-go: target the 'inferior' peoples, doing whatever is necessary to ensure that they have fewer babies.

Herein lies the poetic irony (and divine judgment?): Demographic trends suggest that the people who have drunk most deeply of the toxic myth are precisely those from whose ranks the myth arose, but who were not targetted for extinction by Sanger and Hitler, nor by the myth makers, nor by current Planned Parenthood and United Nations population controllers. Germany and Japan, for example, are experiencing a severe drop in birth rates, far below replacement levels. France, at two births per woman, scarcely replacement level, has one of the highest birth rates in Europe. Worldwide, all birth rates seem to be slowing, but there is a definite demographic shift away from the formerly dominant and ascendant European stock, to folks from Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America.

So, now the generalized fear of population growth takes on a more racist tone. Many in the U.S. feel threatened by the growing influx of people from Latin America. Europeans grow more wary of the rising tide of people, largely Muslim, from the Middle East. White Russia may soon become predominately Muslim and Chinese. Much is written, and feelings run high, regarding the perceived shift in demographic power.

I can't help thinking that there must be a connection here... That the eugenics/genocide ideology of Hitler, Sanger, et. al., rooted in racial fear, has now morphed into a sort of Thanatos syndrome, a culture-wide death wish on the part of the very people who were to become Sanger's "race of thoroughbreds", a paralysis of our collective will to propagate and thrive. Ironic that the debased thinking of Sanger and Hitler may actually have helped to fuel the very population changes they most feared!

What about a challenge to the premise: Do we, in fact, have to live in the consumeristic mentality that leads to such anti-life despair? Must we adopt the self-loathing mantra of the population control agenda? Or might we do better to try to rediscover a sustainable way of living, in which human beings are rightly seen, not as a liability, but as a vital resource? I hope to expand upon this hopeful thought.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Global warming

Amidst all the talk about global warming, it seems someone should be making the following simple point: Heat is just one of many forms of energy. Heat, light, magnetic force, electrical power, kinetic motion, the force of gravity... these are all types of energy. Now, i'm no physicist, but isn't the conservation of energy axiomatic, and included in the first law of thermodynamics? That is, energy cannot be created or destroyed, but only converted from one form into another.

So, consider this: To speak of global warming is to say we are developing an excess amount of heat on our planet, which is to say we are accumulating a surplus of that particular type of energy. Stated in this way, the crisis can be seen as a potential for great advancement. The law of conservation of energy would seem to give unequivocal assurance that the excess heat could be converted into, say, electrical energy. This would solve two problems at once: it would provide a means of absorbing the excess climatic heat energy, and at the same time relieve our dependence upon fossil fuels and nuclear fuels in generating electricity. All that is required to realize this are the engineering details, which i will discuss further below.

The daffy California legislature may ban incandescent light bulbs if they want, and they may even believe that they are doing something worthwhile. But from all the data that i've seen (e.g. these three links), the lion's share of electrical power consumption in most American homes is refrigeration and air conditioning. Make those processes more efficient, and you've really done something significant.

Now, refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners all employ a mechanical system of absorbing heat from one place (the inside of the refrigerator or the inside of the house), and pumping that heat elsewhere (to the outside of the refrigerator or house). The design specifics may vary, but that's the basic process. The heat energy is not destroyed, only moved from one place to another. In fact, the operation of the mechanics consumes electrical energy and dissipates that energy in the form of heat, resulting in a net loss of electrical energy and an equivalent net gain of heat energy:

    Heat + electrical power -> Heat (transported) + more heat

Well, what if a system could be built which transformed heat energy at relatively low temperatures into electrical energy, thus reversing the net effect of the above:

    Heat -> Electrical power

Think of the ramifications. Instead of consuming electrical power, every refrigerator, freezer, and air conditioner would become a source of energy, putting electrical power back into the grid to be used for other purposes. If done correctly, the entire power grid might even become self-sustaining, needing no outside fuel sources such as coal or nuclear material.

I may as well fantasize further, and say that, with all this nearly free energy, we could then start building massive refrigeration units to convert all our extra global warmth into electrical or other forms of energy. Perhaps the excess electrical energy could be used in electrolysis plants to create hydrogen fuel as a stockpile of stored power for future use, eventually rendering all energy problems obsolete.

Well, as it turns out, there are already ways to convert heat into electricity. The conventional power plant uses heat to generate steam, which drives a turbine generator. This requires intense and massive heat, though, which does not answer the challenge. But new technologies are being developed which may work at lower temperatures. Right now, you can buy thermoelectric modules to produce small amounts of electricity, and soon you may be able to procure thermal diodes to do the same. Other new research uses thermoelectric modules made from cheaper organic materials, making them potentially more affordable and practical. Still other work has demonstrated the creation of electricity from candles, and even from tap water.

So far, these methods are not practical for an efficient redesigning of refrigeration or air conditioning applications. But some of these technologies may be improved, or other techniques may yet emerge which will fit the criteria and produce the revolutionary results discussed above. All that's missing are the engineering details. And, even as i write this, i'm sure that some brilliant young physicist or engineer will soon come along, and tackle those details. Probably he's in grad school right now, or perhaps high school, grade school, or still in diapers. That is, unless he hasn't been aborted. But even at that, surely another one will come along. Just so that one isn't aborted as well. Which brings me to the heart of my proposed solution:

We must come to recognize that people are the greatest resource this world has. I know the myth of overpopulation is a strong one. But it is also a statistically indefensible one; we haven't neared that threshold yet. To think that there is anything to be gained by the agenda of contraception and abortion is to throw the baby out with the bathwater, literally. Human creativity and human genius and human toil and human love are what will solve the problem of global warming, and every other global challenge which we may face. A niggardly fear of babies is counter-productive as well as hateful.

So, in order to insure that the brilliant young engineer does indeed come forward, we need to immediately reverse Roe v. Wade, and impose a strict moratorium on further abortions, regardless of the circumstances. Our global future depends upon it.