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Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why do we do this to ourselves?
I don't know why but I'm in a mood to write today. Well, maybe I do. It's a feeling that life is only as miserable as it is for so many people, and our planet is in such poor shape because we choose for it to be.
On a physical level, I'm a science and technology freak, I follow various fields closely. And I know for just about every human problem that exists, so too do technological solutions, and there are many problems that are addressable with no technology at all.
We squander remaining fossil fuel resources and human lives fighting over those resources. If it were not for fuel used by the military we would not even have a shortage at this point.
If we spent the amount of money that has gone to the Iraq war on building and installing wind turbines, we could have generated enough energy to displace all of our oil imports and then some. And this is before we even consider the energy saved by not prosecuting the war.
We hate each other based upon our race, religious belief, chosen economic and political systems, the languages we speak, appearances. Heck it doesn't seem to take much of an excuse.
We grow enough food collectively to feed everyone on the planet but we don't distribute it and the result is much food is wasted while people are starving.
And speaking of waste, a process called thermal depolymerization can convert various waste streams from sewage to municipal waste to old tires, virtually anything containing carbon, into oil, eliminating the disposal problem while at the same time creating a much needed resource.
Hydrogen fusion, the dream energy source which could sustain our energy needs for 15 billion years just based upon the deuterium content of our oceans, is achievable now. The scientific problems have been addressed, there are some material engineering issues but even most of those have been addressed. Designs exist for power plants that could be built for less than an equivalent sized fission plant, but yet, we're not doing it.
And then religion creates repressive societies where sexual freedoms are denied. Personally I think the state doesn't belong in peoples sex lives. But it's not that religion drives the state. It's actually more complex than that.
What really happens is that people with agendas utilize religion to control the masses. It's a lot easier to convince the masses that we need to go into another country and slaughter tens of thousands of people, including women and children, if the masses believe that this is Gods will. And it's easy to get people to give up their freedoms and rat on their neighbors or even family members, if they believe what they're doing is sinful and therefore should be stopped or controlled.
I'm not an atheist but I think organized religions that exist today; at least those that I am familiar with, exist primarily to sustain their own existence and to exert power over people.
Personally I think the state should get out of peoples sex lives, it should get out of what people want to do with their own bodies, so long as those actions do not harm others, and then it is the direct act of harm that should be illegal, not acts that MIGHT lead to harm.
This isn't to say that people won't do stupid things, but you can't legislate against stupidity, and people need to make their own choices and at times mistakes. The brain is biologically expensive. It sucks up about a third of the bodies energy resources. Evolution would downsize if there wasn't significant survival advantages. We need to stop pissing in the gene pool.
This whole energy crises doesn't need to exist, but it provides wealth and power for those who create and sustain it. We shouldn't elect and we certainly shouldn't re-elect people to office that do this or contribute to it.
97% of the water in California is used for agriculture. This actually brings up several issues. First, we take desert, irrigate it, and turn it into farm land. Then up here in Washington, we take good farmland in flood plains, pave it over, and put industrial parks, housing, and shopping malls on it. Then the federal government has to come in with disaster relief when, BIG SURPRISE, paved over flood plain floods. So we've got some issues with stupid land use.
The desert would be a good place for putting solar chimneys or photovoltaic solar farms in place. It would be a not bad place for industrial parks and warehouses, but it's not real ideal land for farming.
The rich farmlands up here should be used for, DUH, farming. But what happens is that the land values near populated areas rises to the point where the taxes exceed what farm income can pay, and the land gets converted to other uses. We need to change the laws to correct this.
The other issue is HOW we irrigate when we do choose to irrigate. Drip irrigation with sensors at appropriate depth that provides just enough water to moisten the roots, but not more than that so all the minerals aren't leached out of the soil is what we need to do. But it's cheaper, as long as water is subsidized, to just turn the entire field into a swamp. Granted the soil is ruined in a few years and then you need to dump all sorts of chemicals down but the almighty dollar rules.
All of those leached out minerals, artificial fertilizers, and animal wastes then get washed out into rivers and out into oceans, causing algae near the surface to bloom, blocking light from deeper levels, resulting in oxygen depleted water that will not support life, huge dead zones result.
In urban areas, lawn fertilizers and chemicals add to this problem.
There is a better way, we can change the world, it could be a paradise if we could only cooperate to make it so.