Publisher’s Note: Several postings were delayed by travel and computer/internet fun and games. These are being posted belatedly and may not be as up-to-day as we want.
Belated happy May Day (the non-Socialist/Communist/Tranzi kind)!
Just a collapsing power plant or a collapsing economy?
History has shown us, time after time, that we have absolutely nothing essential to sustain life (except water) if we do not hunt/fish for it, grow it (whether vegetable or animal), or mine it. Sometimes it is a blend: we hunt deer, bison, elk, and even rabbits and squirrels, but we also grow cattle, sheep, bison, chicken and such. Timber produces lumber: we “hunt” for it when we let it grow generally wild and go out and cut it down: we “grow” it in plantations (tree farms for the squeamish). We may “mine” for materials by digging it out of the ground, drilling for it and either pumping it up or dissolving it and then pumping it up. Of course, virtually everything requires processing with the exception of a few fruits and vegetables. Even if the only processing is cleaning and cooking.
This is a fundamental fact of the human economy and society – fundamental to our survival.
Technology has not (so far) changed this. Even if we had Starfleet replicators, they still require energy (presumably either converting energy to matter or using energy to change/process some matter into various forms. And energy – even matter-antimatter produced energy requires materials to produce/collect, process, and use it. And even “recycling” is a form of mining, growing – and even hunting (finding) and requires further processing to be able to reuse.
In the past, we assumed that generally people understood this. That they understood that milk does not come from a grocery store cooler, that meat is not produced behind the butcher’s counter, and that building materials like bricks and concrete block and lumber and such do not come from a hardware or building supply store. And that electricity is not produced by all those wires running all over the place, or the outlets.
Today, we cannot longer assume that. And not just the poor, essentially uneducated of suburban wastes and ghettos and barrios and the ranks of Yale and Harvard and Stanford graduates. But people of all kinds of backgrounds and, supposedly, complete educations that means they passed all the government tests. Today, you never know when you will run into someone who does not understand how basics of biology and physics and chemistry and mechanics work. Not anything so complex as how DNA works or nuclear reactions take place or even what happens if you mix an acid and an alkali or how an internal combustion engine (or an electric motor) works. But just basic things you need to know to stay alive and make a living without being a parasite.
It is not just, or because people are stupid. Or even that they are given a worthless “education.” It has to do with motivation and accepting responsibility and being accountable for their actions – and having the opportunity to do so: the freedom to learn and succeed. And to fail.
Sadly, there are many so-called professions that can (in today’s twisted world) let people succeed without basic knowledge and seemingly with little or no motivation, responsibility, or accountability. Among these include the nauseating and disgusting professions of politicians, many breeds of bureaucrats, and attorneys and activists.
They know how to win friends and influence people, and often little more. But their motivation is high because they see, envy, and imitate the success of hundreds of generations of politicians (including both rulers and minions) and bureaucrats and other “legal” criminals. Parasites all. Who have made the world a worse, poorer, less livable place. But whom have made themselves and their successors wealthy and powerful beyond compare.
And, because they do not understand real-world chemistry and physics and biology and even such semi-pseudo sciences as micro and micro economics, do seemingly insane, incredibly stupid, and baffling things for the sake of their power and wealth. Especially in modern western democracies where supposedly “the people rule.”
So we get things like the recent move by Uncle Joe’s regime to shut down yet another mine because the environists are concerned and want to push green energy. The ongoing effort to replace fuel-burning vehicles and equipment with electrical systems – even including military vehicles (here and here). And at the same time forcing coal electrical production and apparently even nuclear electrical production to end. (Last week, Germany closed its last three nuclear power plants, despite the Ukraine War and Russian boycotts.) And the unfortunate fact that mining is essential to provide the materials to manufacture the electrical systems – and yet mining is discouraged or denied.
In the same way, as people fear and warn of more and more food shortages (even famine) around the world, people (sometimes the same people) are pushing to outlaw the technology that rescued the world from the predictions of worldwide famine made back in the 1960s and 1970s: not just mechanized farming, but use of fertilizers, irrigation, and genetic selection (not just genetic engineering).
Yet government, the media, academia, and the pop stars that are the royalty of the present world keep pushing more and more. It is not always a direct effort to force actions which the elite claim are necessary but which are not just truly unsustainable but impossible to justify when you consider minor things like… facts.
These are just a few of the many troubles facing the world because too many people – particularly politicians and bureaucrats – cannot face reality. Cannot face facts.