Kauai Coffee & GMOs

SUBHEAD: It behooves Kauai Coffee to work with A&B to remove all DuPont-Pioneer GMOs from the area.

By Juan Wilson on 30 May 2013 for Island Breath -

Image above: Photo taken May 3, 2012 is of DuPont-Pioneer multi-acre open-field test of GMO corn (batch number "516021 DYIN") nestled among Kauai Coffee's cultivated fields. Herbicides were obviously applied to the soil. Photo by Juan Wilson.

As stated in our 3 March 2013 article "GMO's in the coffee fields", Alexender & Baldwin have been leasing acreage to DuPont's GMO subsidiary Pioneer Seed for use in open field GMO testing. There appears to be about 300 acres of land that A&B has allotted to GMO seed operations scattered across several sites amongst the Kauai Coffee 3,100 or so acres that is documented in their 7 March 2011 draft Master Plan.

It was in early  March 2013 we saw that plan on display at the Kauai Coffee visitor center museum room.

We asked to Kauai Coffee employees at the visitor center about the test fields among the coffee rows and A&B map indicating where they were. No one seemed to know about the fields or, for that matter, what the mweaning of the map was.

On 28 May 2013 my wife Linda and I were at the visitor's center and noticed that the A&B plan was removed from display. 

Image above: Photo of A&B plan while it was on display in March of 2013. Note coffee fields with approximately ten corn seed fields identified in light yellow. Also note we placed a red arrow to show location and direction of photo of field test photo at top of article. The white area above is where the old Numila town was and where the visitor center is is located. Photo by Juan Wilson.

Were too many people asking embarrassing queations of Kauai Coffee employees about GMO operations amongst their bean fields? It's a possibility.

As we walked around the visitor's center we noticed that their marker board with the weekly coffee field activities had this odd line.
"All 3100 acres of coffee is 100% GMO free!"

Image above: Kauai Coffee Weekly Activity Report marker board. Photo by Juan Wilson.

This seems disingenuous. It may not be that the individual fields that Kauai Coffee uses for growing beans are used for GMOs, but there are GMO open field tests that DuPont-Pioneer has been conducting in several sites along the shore adjacent to coffee fields and State Conservation land.

GMO field tests involve multiple applications of various proprietary experimental cocktails of pesticides and chemicals. These are often sprayed on the ground and the plants. It is true that these GMO fields are generally located such that the normal tradewinds will blow the applied pesticides towards the ocean, but that is not always the case with the location and often not with the wind.

It behooves Kauai Coffee to work with A&B to remove all DuPont-Pioneer GMOs from the area, and push A&B to give up GMO seed leasing plans Kauai Coffee wants claim their fields as 100% GMO Free.

Also there website states:
At Kauai Coffee, we are fortunate not to have the disease and insect problems that other crops do. Herbicide use has been cut down by 75% through our cultivation practices. And our 3,100-acre coffee plantation is GMO free.
Kauai Coffee tells its customers that it does not use pesticides on their coffee beans. As someone who has crossed their fields several times in the last ten years I will add this: Kauai coffee sprays pesticides on fields in certain phases of operations where beans are not present.

Moreover, they apply chemicals through their drip system to reach the roots of their plants. In short; these are modern industrial farming techniques and not organic farm operations.

We've witnessed at the ends of Kauai Coffee drip-lines soil discoloration with not a blade of grass growing nearby. These areas of moonscape extend into state conservation land that includes the traditional Hawaiian alaloa coastal trail.

We think the DLNR should create a setback buffer area along the Conservation lands within which no chemical or pesticide applications are permitted.

If you want to contact the Kauai Coffee Visitor Center try:

Contact: Darla Domingo
Kauai Coffee Visitor Center
P.O. Box 530
Kalaheo, HI 96741
Office: (808) 335-0813, or toll-free: (800) 545-8605
Fax: (808) 335-3149
Email: kcofvc@kauaicoffee.com
Website: http://www.kauaicoffee.com/


Solar plane to cross America

SOURCE:  Jonathan Jay (jjkauai@gmail.com)
SUBHEAD: Solar-powered airplane breaks world record for distance traveled aloft.

By Jason Paur on 23 May 2013 for Wired Magazine -

Image above: The Solar Impulse in flight. From (http://www.universetoday.com/101093/solar-powered-plane-to-fly-across-the-us/).

Solar Impulse pilot André Borschberg completed a record-setting flight in the wee hours this morning after flying more than 950 miles on solar power alone, even if he was, strictly speaking, going backward for part of the trip.

His impressive flight from Phoenix to Dallas completed the second leg of the Solar Impulse team’s “Across America” trip which is expected to end in New York in early July. The enormous solar airplane, known simply by its Swiss registration HB-SIA — has roughly the same wingspan of a Boeing 747 yet weighs about as much as a Honda Accord and uses four 10-horsepower electric motors for propulsion.

We got to chat with Borschberg as he soared high over Texas en route to Dallas. He’s is a veteran pilot who flew fighter jets in the Swiss Air Force, but things are going just a bit more slowly on this trip. HB-SIA can’t even keep up with the cars zipping along on the highways below, as it typically cruises at about 30 mph.

That slow pace helps optimize its range. The four motors draw power from nearly 12,000 photovoltaic cells mounted on the wings and tail of the carbon fiber airplane. The cells also charge the batteries that power HB-SIA at night. Borschberg landed in Dallas with his batteries at about 60 percent, and will use that juice to begin the third leg of his journey.

The flight to Dallas was fairly smooth, with just a few sections of turbulence. Flying 832 nautical miles (957 miles) broke the team’s own distance record for a solar powered airplane (and for any electric airplane). It also provided valuable experience and expand the Solar Impulse team’s flight techniques for future flights — including their planned circumnavigation of the world in a larger aircraft in 2015.

“I think we learned more about how to steer this airplane in meteorology that is not entirely optimum,” Borschberg told us from the cockpit.

The experienced glider pilot says there were several times when he found himself in “waves of air” that caused the airplane to rise and descend. Unlike a glider, he says, it is difficult to take advantage of the free lift in HB-SIA. Still, he did learn a lot about how to avoid downdrafts that steal valuable altitude.

Another problem he faced was overcoming the speed of the wind moving against the airplane. Anybody who has experienced headwinds on an airliner knows fighting the wind lengthens your trip. For Borschberg, flying along at 30 mph in a strong headwind severely impaired forward motion.

“We had a strong wind at a certain stage, and we had been approaching backward our next waypoint,” he says.

Yes, as the headwind exceeded the speed of the airplane, Borschberg traveled backward relative to the ground.

After wrapping up our interview, Borschberg began preparing for the landing in Dallas. After more than 15 hours in the air, he was looking forward to being back on the ground. The plane is quite cramped. At one point, a little less than three hours before he actually landed, he was only 20 miles or so from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and found himself lined up with runway 13L, where he planned to touchdown.

“Can I just lower the gear and make the approach?” Borschberg jokingly asked his team on the ground.

Unfortunately it wasn’t in the cards. He had to wait, and wait, and wait some more. Landing on 13L required closing the runway, and there was simply too much commercial traffic. It was after midnight before air traffic control allowed him to land, so he spent the intervening hours in a holding pattern above the runway.

The team knew the landing in Dallas would be tricky, and strong winds at lower altitudes made it an unusual landing. As he descended, the windspeed increased and he encountered a 25- to 30-knot wind at 2,000 to 3,000 feet. This meant Borschberg had to be careful not to turn downwind, because he would be blown too far north and would have to make another approach to land, covering the ground at less than five miles per hour with the headwind. Borschberg kept HB-SIA pointed into the southeasterly wind as he moved toward 13L.

“I was lined up with 13R,” he says referring to the parallel runway he had been circling over. “I was just moving sideways, I was only doing a translation.”

Fellow pilot and Solar Impulse co-founder Bertrand Piccard says Borschberg’s technique was an impressive feat of piloting.

“It’s not a normal airplane approach,” he said of his colleague’s sideways flying over the airport. “If a student was doing that in an exam, he would fail.”

The sideways translation eventually brought him over the top of runway 13L, where he touched down at 1:08 a.m. local time, 18 hours and 21 minutes after departing Phoenix.

The Solar Impulse team will be in Dallas at least through the holiday weekend before continuing on to St. Louis. The trip across America is a prelude to the team’s ultimate goal, a flight around the world in a new solar-powered airplane currently under construction in Switzerland..

Record solar power ocean crossing

SOURCE: Jonathan Jay (jjkauai@gmail.com)
SUBHEAD: The folks at PlanetSolar beat their own record for crossing the Atlantic in a solar-powered boat.

By Keith Narry on 24 May 2013 for Wired Magazine -

Image above:Turanor, the solar powered solar powered ship. From original article.

The folks at PlanetSolar beat their own record for crossing the Atlantic in a solar-powered boat. The MS Tûranor sailed 2,867 miles from Las Palmas, Spain to Marigot, St. Martin in 22 days, 12 hours and 32 minutes, cutting nearly four days from their previous record.

The last record — 26 days — was set by the Tûranor back in 2012, during its two-year-long round-the-world sail. It now resides in the Guinness Book of World Records, where PlanetSolar’s backers hope the new record will stand. It’s “currently undergoing an authorization process,” according to PlanetSolar.

“It is difficult to compare the two crossings because they were conducted at very different times of the year,” said Tûranor’s captain, Gérard d’Aboville. “But it is certain that in light of the lessons learned during the trip around the world, the major maintenance projects carried out last winter — particularly to the propulsion system — have greatly improved the ship’s performance.”

The solar-powered boat, which reached Marigot last Saturday, maintained an average speed of 5.3 knots. That took some effort, as energy consumption needs to be carefully managed when the sun is your only source of power. The record came even after the ship had to change its course due to weather, increasing overall distance traveled by seven percent, but avoiding winds and swells.

Tûranor, whose name means “power of the sun” in Elvish, is the largest solar-powered ship in the world. Commissioned back in 2009 for a round-the-world journey, the ship returned to the sea after a few months of maintenance and upgrades to prepare it for a life not as a record-setter, but as a data-gatherer. The trip to St. Martin was a waypoint on a journey to Miami, where it will begin researching thermohaline circulation.

Additionally, the ship will be used for a number of research projects in the future, including a study of phytoplankton and analyzing the impact of aerosols on climate change. A solar boat is particularly apt for that project, as a ship’s exhaust would otherwise affect results.

Image above: The deck of the Turanor through a fish-eye lens. From (http://www.planetsolar.org/uncategorized/leg-la-ciotat-rabat)

See also:

MicroGrids & Big Power

SUBHEAD: Are alternative energy micro-grids a utilitie's best friends or worst enemy?

By Chris Neider on 23 May 2013 for Get Real List -

Image above: Wind power generator in foreground set off against a coal fired electric plant. From (http://www.evwind.es/2012/09/13/wind-energy-and-solar-is-actually-cheaper-than-energy-from-coal-and-nuclear-power-plants/23360).

For Greentech Media this week, I considered the evolution of microgrids as both a threat and an opportunity for utilities. The question is: How will they approach it?

Defenders of the electric grid status quo have long argued that always-on baseload power generators like coal and nuclear plants are essential, and that variable renewables like wind and solar will remain bit players in power generation.

They argue this for several reasons: The grid isn’t designed to accommodate them. They’re too expensive. Or they aren’t reliable enough, so they require 100% backup from conventional power plants at all times. An essay by former utility CEO Charles Bayless in the September 2010 issue of the Edison Electric Institute’s Electric Perspectives magazine details the utility view of these issues nicely.

But one by one, those arguments are being knocked down.

A recent data roundup by renewable energy industry analyst Paul Gipe shows that variable renewables are meeting much larger percentages of grid power than previously thought possible in some European countries. Wind provided nearly 20 percent of Portugal’s power and 30 percent of Denmark’s in 2012. Wind and solar combined contributed more than 18 percent of Spain’s power and 11 percent of Germany’s in 2011. (More recent data shows that renewables now provide about 25 percent of Germany’s total grid power, and as much as 50 percent of its peak power.) A study by German engineers found that its grid can handle up to a 40 percent share of renewable power without needing much storage or baseload power for backup.

The price argument is falling too, with various banks and researchers forecasting that solar will be cost-competitive in much of the world by 2020.

Now the reliability and stability arguments, which were the main focus of Bayless’ essay referenced above, may be about to lose their potency too, as large facilities and small communities start looking to microgrids to supply a level of service that utilities have been unable to provide.

A microgrid is simply an independent power grid that is able to balance generation and consumption within itself — just like the big grid does, only on a much smaller scale. It could be as small as an offshore oil rig, or as large as a military base or a small town. It might use storage to buffer renewable generation, or it might simply fire up a fuel-burning generator.

Some microgrids are replacing expensive and polluting fuels like diesel and kerosene in places that have never had access to reliable grid power, like Africa, India, Brazil, and Haiti. Others, like the ones at Fort Bliss, Texas and the Food and Drug Administration’s White Oak research facility in Maryland, are being built where grid power is available, but where the cost or risk of an outage is high enough to justify the expense of being able to “island” from the main grid and be self-reliant.

Several university microgrids have served as critical disaster recovery havens in the aftermath of natural disasters, including a 13.4-megawatt system at New York University-Washington Square Park, a 3.6-megawatt system at Utica College in New York, a 1-megawatt system at Tohoku Fukushi University in Japan, and a 37-megawatt microgrid at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The Cornell system is powered by a dual-fuel combined heat and power (CHP) plant that can burn natural gas or diesel, plus a 1-megawatt hydropower generator and a small solar installation.

Microgrids are big-ticket items, but for those who can afford them, they seem to be reasonable investments. The $71 million White Oak project is expected to save the FDAabout $11 million a year. The return on the roughly $60 million Cornell University project[PDF] is expected to be “consistent with the long-term rate of return of the endowment and in the range of 8 percent to 10 percent.” For a military base, of course, being self-reliant is “priceless.”

Despite the new buzz about microgrids, the market is just getting started. Microgrid expert Peter Asmus of Pike Research has identified 405 projects in the pipeline globally, and he expects deployment to rise from $10 billion in 2013 to more than $40 billion annually by 2020.

In addition to universities and military bases, islands are natural microgrid candidates because they’re typically dependent on expensive liquid fuels to run their generators. At the recent Pathways to 100% Renewables Conference, Asmus noted that as of 2011, solar is cheaper than diesel for any island, and mentioned two islands that are now pursuing the microgrid strategy. El Hierro, a Spanish Canary Island off the coast of Africa, has become the world’s first 100 percent renewable energy island by replacing its diesel generators with a microgrid powered by an 11.5-megawatt wind farm, 11.3 megawatts of pumped hydro storage, and solar PV and solar thermal systems. And Graciosa Island, off the coast of Portugal, expects to have a microgrid on-line by the end of 2013, with 65 percent of its supply provided by renewables.

A new threat, or a new business model?

Microgrids represent another aspect of a theme I have been exploring at Greentech Media: the transformation of utilities (see “Can the Utility Industry Survive the Energy Transition?” and “Adapt or Die?”). Like distributed generation, microgrids present both an opportunity and a threat to the way utilities do business.

“While utilities have shown institutional biases against the entire concept of microgrids for decades, extreme weather events and the growing recognition of microgrids as potential sources of demand response resources are building engineering and cultural support for these systems in a variety of settings,” Asmus said in April.

Utilities may be more friendly to what Asmus calls “virtual power plants” (VPPs). VPPs may or may not have generation or storage capacity, so they cannot island, but they do have software to remotely and automatically dispatch and optimize generation, demand response, and storage in a single, secure web-connected system.

VPPs and microgrids could become valuable partners for utilities by relieving overstressed and congested points on the grid, reducing the need for building new generation and transmission capacity, and making it easier to manage voltages at grid extremities. Integrating VPPs, microgrids, and more renewable power into the grid requires more advanced grid management software, but it can squeeze a lot more utility out of both conventional and renewable generators, which is cost-efficient.

On the other hand, if deployed at scale with storage capacity, microgrids could reduce the need for large amounts of baseload overcapacity sitting idle just in case it’s suddenly needed. Instead of needing to suddenly ramp up 1,000 megawatts of power to compensate for an outage elsewhere in the grid, a network of microgrids could simultaneously reduce demand and export power to the grid in a distributed fashion, while maintaining the required frequency and voltage parameters.

In other words, microgrids could meet both the reliability and stability criteria that Bayless argues can only be met by baseload generators. This would cut into the generation and the distribution revenue streams that are critical to the calcified utility business model, as well as the profit associated with constructing large capital projects.

“When we propose a microgrid, we consider four business case scenarios,” Steve Pullins, CEO of Tennessee-based Horizon Energy, a microgrid design and development company,told Fortnightly magazine. “We consider maximum savings, maximum renewables, grid independence, and maximum diversity. The difference in cost between the maximum savings and grid independence scenarios isn’t very large.”

With the virtues of favorable economics and self-reliance at their backs, microgrids seem poised to gain market share and become a competitive threat that utilities can neither bury nor ignore. Pullins sees 24,000 sites in the United States as potential prospects, with perhaps 300 microgrids being built by the end of 2015.

But utilities will have to consider carefully how best to address that threat. If they try to foist their stranded asset and network maintenance costs on a declining user base, it could prove counterproductive by pushing more consumers to consider microgrids.

As Pullins observed, “This isn’t microgrids challenging the regulatory model; it’s customers challenging that model. Utilities shouldn’t have misplaced aggression against microgrids.”

Instead, utilities should actively encourage microgrid development and seek to integrate it into their business models as a low-cost way of ensuring reliability, grid stability, capacity, and energy. Instead of delivering as much power as possible at the lowest possible cost, they should refocus on delivering the service levels customers want, with appropriate dynamic pricing mechanisms.

Ultimately, the transformation to distributed generation and grid management will require regulatory reform as well, so that groups of businesses and residents can create microgrids. In that, too, the utilities will need to be active and supportive participants.

FFP Makaweli Hydro Project Ends

SOURCE: Brad Parsons (mauibrad@hotmail.com)
SUBHEAD: Free Flow Power has surrendered its permit to develop Makaweli River basin hydroelectric project.

By Daniel Lissner on 28 May 2013 for Free Flow Power -

Image above: Photo of Makaweli Rover Valley by S Shoys. From (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sshoys/5527887821/lightbox/).

May 28, 2013

Kimberly Bose
Secretary Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, N. E. Washington, DC 20426

Re:  Request to Surrender Preliminary Permit for Project No. 13879 – Makaweli River Hydroelectric Project

Dear Secretary Bose:

On May 20, 2011, the Commission issued to Kahawai Power 2, LLC at Preliminary Permit with respect to the Makaweli River Hydroelectric Project, No. 13879-000 (the “Project”).

Free Flow Power Corporation (“FFP”), on behalf of Kahawai Power 2, LLC, hereby petitions the Commission, pursuant to 18 C.F.R. § 4.84, to approve the voluntary surrender of the Preliminary Permit for the Project.

In the course of investigating the feasibility of the Project and consultation with landowners and stakeholders pursuant to the Preliminary Permit, FFP, in cooperation with Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (“KIUC”), evaluated the compatibility of the Project with development activities that are currently underway by Gay & Robinson, Inc., an intervenor in this Project and the owners of lands on which the majority of the Project is proposed to be located.

FFP and KIUC understand that Gay & Robinson, Inc. is currently in the process of developing the Olokele Hydro Project on the Olokele Ditch, which is fed by the Olokele River and, like the Project, is also located in the Makaweli River Basin.

While the two projects are not in direct competition for the same water resources, FFP and KIUC are ceasing plans to pursue the Project in consideration of Gay & Robinson’s development efforts.

Accordingly, FFP respectfully requests that the Commission accept its surrender of the Preliminary Permit and order its termination prior to its scheduled expiration date of April 30, 2014.
If you have any questions regarding this filing, please do not hesitate to contact me at 978-252-7111.

Daniel N. Lissner
General Counsel
Free Flow Power Corporation

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Nay No! to KIUC-FFP Deal 6/13/11


Apple's Sociopathic behavior

SUBHEAD: Apple's tax scheme amounts to the manipulation of shell companies to hide billions in profits.

By Curtis Ellis on 23 May 2013 for Huffington Post -

Image above: Apple's new "spaceship" headquarters to be built in Cupertino. California. From (http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-headquarters-cupertino-2011-12?op=1).

Apple's latest product isn't disruptive to the music industry, cell phones or television. It's aimed at the United States of America.

Congressional investigators found Apple uses the most innovative accounting gimmicks in the world to stiff the US Treasury of some $64 billion. While Apple claims to be the nation's biggest taxpayer in America, it's also among the nation's biggest tax avoiders.

Apple's tax scheme amounts to a high stakes three-card monte game, as Steve Jobs' corporate heirs manipulate shell companies to hide billions in profits from national authorities.

Shell companies are nothing new and by no means an Apple innovation -- Enron used plenty of them to wreak its special brand of havoc.

Apple's innovation is to create a corporate entity that is stateless -- it resides nowhere at the same time it is everywhere. Thus, Apple Operations International is able to file no tax return anywhere, though it is incorporated in Ireland and holds board meetings in California.

This is not a victimless crime, if you will, the New York Times reports.

Because of these strategies, tax experts say, Washington is forced to rely more and heavily on payroll taxes and individual income taxes to finance the government's operations. For example, in 2011, individual income taxes contributed $1.1 trillion to federal coffers, while corporate taxes added up to $181 billion.

In plain English, working stiffs, folks like Steve Jobs' (adoptive) father, a car mechanic and cabinetmaker, pay more so Apple can sit on a crock of gold.

Of course, this is of a piece with the corporate philosophy famously summed up by an anonymous Apple executive:
"We don't have an obligation to solve America's problems."
The inconvenient truth, forgotten at corporate headquarters, is there would be no Apple if not for the United States and, not to put too fine a point on it, the United States Treasury.

Defense spending created the Silicon Valley where Jobs literally cut his teeth. The Pentagon's buy American requirement (since gutted) bankrolled the American electronics and cybernetics industries where the young Jobs worked, and it stocked the surplus stores Jobs and Woz raided to build their first Apple prototypes. Government R&D funded the invention of microchips, the Internet and other foundation technologies Apple has profited from so lucratively.

And now it says it owes America nothing.

This is sociopathic behavior.

A child that acts this way toward the parents that fed and raised him is called ungrateful -- at best.

Make no mistake: Apple is not alone in its behavior.

Throughout the tech industry, engineers who helped build a company are told to train the lower-paid foreign workers who will replace them.

Banks turn their backs on the taxpayers that bailed them out and refuse loans to their longtime customers in small business.

Across America, workers who dedicate the best years of their lives to build industrial enterprises are thrown to the gutter as their workplaces are shuttered, moved to Vietnam, Bangladesh or some other human hellhole.

While we talk about reforming the tax code and the closing loopholes in this law and that, let's be honest about what's at play:

A corporate psychology that refuses to acknowledge the existence of the society in which it operates.

It is a species of pathological individualism that does not have the words "virtue," "decency" or "community" in its vocabulary.

If you're looking for poisoned fruits of the "Me Generation," don't go to Haight Street -- go to Wall Street and corporate suites.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Centralization & Sociopathology 5/20/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Wall Street Sociopaths 10/19/11


Get Apocalyptic!

SUBHEAD: Feeling anxious about life in a broken economy on a strained planet? Turn despair into action.

By Robert Jensen on 24 May 2013 for Yes Magazine -

Image above: In December 2008, Tim DeChristopher attended a protest at a federal auction of drilling rights to Utah wilderness lands. He found a better way to disrupt the auction when he picked up a paddle and began bidding on the leases as “Bidder 70.” He won $1.8 million worth of parcels and inflated the price of many others. When it was discovered that he had no money to back his bids, the auction had to be shut down. Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in prison for his actions, but his boldness stopped the sale of 22,000 acres of scenic wilderness and highlighted government misconduct. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar scrapped a rescheduled auction because the Bureau of Land Management had skimped on its environmental analysis and inadequately consulted with the National Park Service. In January 2013, a federal court denied an energy industry appeal to reinstate the leases. DeChristopher was released from prison in April. From original article.

Feeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? That’s hardly surprising: Life as we know it is almost over. While the dominant culture encourages dysfunctional denial—pop a pill, go shopping, find your bliss—there’s a more sensible approach: Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish—and then get apocalyptic.

We are staring down multiple cascading ecological crises, struggling with political and economic institutions that are unable even to acknowledge, let alone cope with, the threats to the human family and the larger living world. We are intensifying an assault on the ecosystems in which we live, undermining the ability of that living world to sustain a large-scale human presence into the future. When all the world darkens, looking on the bright side is not a virtue but a sign of irrationality.

In these circumstances, anxiety is rational and anguish is healthy, signs not of weakness but of courage. A deep grief over what we are losing—and have already lost, perhaps never to be recovered—is appropriate.

Instead of repressing these emotions we can confront them, not as isolated individuals but collectively, not only for our own mental health but to increase the effectiveness of our organizing for the social justice and ecological sustainability still within our grasp. Once we’ve sorted through those reactions, we can get apocalyptic and get down to our real work.

Perhaps that sounds odd, since we are routinely advised to overcome our fears and not give in to despair. Endorsing apocalypticism seems even stranger, given associations with “end-timer” religious reactionaries and “doomer” secular survivalists. People with critical sensibilities, those concerned about justice and sustainability, think of ourselves as realistic and less likely to fall for either theological or science-fiction fantasies.

Many associate “apocalypse” with the rapture-ranting that grows out of some interpretations of the Christian Book of Revelation (aka, the Apocalypse of John), but it’s helpful to remember that the word’s original meaning is not “end of the world.” “Revelation” from Latin and “apocalypse” from Greek both mean a lifting of the veil, a disclosure of something hidden, a coming to clarity. Speaking apocalyptically, in this sense, can deepen our understanding of the crises and help us see through the many illusions that powerful people and institutions create.

But there is an ending we have to confront. Once we’ve honestly faced the crises, then we can deal with what is ending—not all the world, but the systems that currently structure our lives. Life as we know it is, indeed, coming to an end.

Let’s start with the illusions: Some stories we have told ourselves—claims by white people, men, or U.S. citizens that domination is natural and appropriate—are relatively easy to debunk (though many cling to them). Other delusional assertions—such as the claim that capitalism is compatible with basic moral principles, meaningful democracy, and ecological sustainability—require more effort to take apart (perhaps because there seems to be no alternative).

But toughest to dislodge may be the central illusion of the industrial world’s extractive economy: that we can maintain indefinitely a large-scale human presence on the earth at something like current First-World levels of consumption.

The task for those with critical sensibilities is not just to resist oppressive social norms and illegitimate authority, but to speak a simple truth that almost no one wants to acknowledge: The high-energy/high-technology life of affluent societies is a dead end. We can’t predict with precision how resource competition and ecological degradation will play out in the coming decades, but it is ecocidal to treat the planet as nothing more than a mine from which we extract and a landfill into which we dump.

We cannot know for sure what time the party will end, but the party’s over.

Does that seem histrionic? Excessively alarmist? Look at any crucial measure of the health of the ecosphere in which we live—groundwater depletion, topsoil loss, chemical contamination, increased toxicity in our own bodies, the number and size of “dead zones” in the oceans, accelerating extinction of species, and reduction of biodiversity—and ask a simple question: Where are we heading?

Remember also that we live in an oil-based world that is rapidly depleting the cheap and easily accessible oil, which means we face a major reconfiguration of the infrastructure that undergirds daily life. Meanwhile, the desperation to avoid that reconfiguration has brought us to the era of “extreme energy,” using ever more dangerous and destructive technologies (hydrofracturing, deep-water drilling, mountaintop coal removal, tar sands extraction).

Oh, did I forget to mention the undeniable trajectory of global warming/climate change/climate disruption?

Scientists these days are talking about tipping points and planetary boundaries, about how human activity is pushing Earth beyond its limits. Recently 22 top scientists warned that humans likely are forcing a planetary-scale critical transition “with the potential to transform Earth rapidly and irreversibly into a state unknown in human experience,” which means that “the biological resources we take for granted at present may be subject to rapid and unpredictable transformations within a few human generations.”

That conclusion is the product of science and common sense, not supernatural beliefs or conspiracy theories. The political/social implications are clear: There are no solutions to our problems if we insist on maintaining the high-energy/high-technology existence lived in much of the industrialized world (and desired by many currently excluded from it).

Many tough-minded folk who are willing to challenge other oppressive systems hold on tightly to this lifestyle. The critic Fredric Jameson has written, “It is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism,” but that’s only part of the problem—for some, it may be easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of air conditioning.

We do live in end-times, of a sort. Not the end of the world—the planet will carry on with or without us—but the end of the human systems that structure our politics, economics, and social life. “Apocalypse” need not involve heavenly rescue fantasies or tough-guy survival talk; to get apocalyptic means seeing clearly and recommitting to core values.

First, we must affirm the value of our work for justice and sustainability, even though there is no guarantee we can change the disastrous course of contemporary society. We take on projects that we know may fail because it’s the right thing to do, and by doing so we create new possibilities for ourselves and the world. Just as we all know that someday we will die and yet still get out of bed every day, an honest account of planetary reality need not paralyze us.

Then let’s abandon worn-out clichés such as, “The American people will do the right thing if they know the truth,” or “Past social movements prove the impossible can happen.”

There is no evidence that awareness of injustice will automatically lead U.S. citizens, or anyone else, to correct it. When people believe injustice is necessary to maintain their material comfort, some accept those conditions without complaint.

Social movements around race, gender, and sexuality have been successful in changing oppressive laws and practices, and to a lesser degree in shifting deeply held beliefs. But the movements we most often celebrate, such as the post-World War II civil rights struggle, operated in a culture that assumed continuing economic expansion.

We now live in a time of permanent contraction—there will be less, not more, of everything. Pressuring a dominant group to surrender some privileges when there is an expectation of endless bounty is a very different project than when there is intensified competition for resources. That doesn’t mean nothing can be done to advance justice and sustainability, only that we should not be glib about the inevitability of it.

Here’s another cliché to jettison: Necessity is the mother of invention. During the industrial era, humans exploiting new supplies of concentrated energy have generated unprecedented technological innovation in a brief time.

But there is no guarantee that there are technological fixes to all our problems; we live in a system that has physical limits, and the evidence suggests we are close to those limits. Technological fundamentalism—the quasi-religious belief that the use of advanced technology is always appropriate, and that any problems caused by the unintended consequences can be remedied by more technology—is as empty a promise as other fundamentalisms.

If all this seems like more than one can bear, it’s because it is. We are facing new, more expansive challenges. Never in human history have potential catastrophes been so global; never have social and ecological crises of this scale threatened at the same time; never have we had so much information about the threats we must come to terms with.

It’s easy to cover up our inability to face this by projecting it onto others. When someone tells me “I agree with your assessment, but people can’t handle it,” I assume what that person really means is, “I can’t handle it.” But handling it is, in the end, the only sensible choice.

Mainstream politicians will continue to protect existing systems of power, corporate executives will continue to maximize profit without concern, and the majority of people will continue to avoid these questions. It’s the job of people with critical sensibilities—those who consistently speak out for justice and sustainability, even when it’s difficult—not to back away just because the world has grown more ominous.

Adopting this apocalyptic framework doesn’t mean separating from mainstream society or giving up ongoing projects that seek a more just world within existing systems. I am a professor at a university that does not share my values or analysis, yet I continue to teach. In my community, I am part of a group that helps people create worker-cooperatives that will operate within a capitalist system that I believe to be a dead end. I belong to a congregation that struggles to radicalize Christianity while remaining part of a cautious, often cowardly, denomination.

The climate crisis is spinning out of control, and the gap between the rich and poor continues grow unabated. It's time to let the radical uncertainty of this moment enlarge our sense of possibility.

I am apocalyptic, but I’m not interested in empty rhetoric drawn from past revolutionary moments. Yes, we need a revolution—many revolutions—but a strategy is not yet clear. So, as we work patiently on reformist projects, we can continue to offer a radical analysis and experiment with new ways of working together.

While engaged in education and community organizing with modest immediate goals, we can contribute to the strengthening of networks and institutions that can be the base for the more radical change we need. In these spaces today we can articulate, and live, the values of solidarity and equity that are always essential.

To adopt an apocalyptic worldview is not to abandon hope but to affirm life. As James Baldwin put it decades ago, we must remember “that life is the only touchstone and that life is dangerous, and that without the joyful acceptance of this danger, there can never be any safety for anyone, ever, anywhere.” By avoiding the stark reality of our moment in history we don’t make ourselves safe, we undermine the potential of struggles for justice and sustainability.

As Baldwin put it so poignantly in that same 1962 essay, “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

It’s time to get apocalyptic, or get out of the way.


Go see movie "Epic"

SUBHEAD: The movie evokes empathy, a sense of magic, as well as the fragility of nature.

By Juan Wilson on 27 May 2013 for Island Breath -

Image above: From ().

Last night, my wife Linda and I went to the movies to see the animated feature film Epic at the Kukui Grove Cinema. It is 1hr 42min‎‎ - Rated PG‎‎ - and categorized as Animation/Family/Action/Adventure.

Linda and I see a lot of family oriented animation movies. As a category these films seem more satisfying than the cool, slick, violent films geared for young adults. We don't see all the family-fun-nonsense movies. 

Upcoming animation flicks we rejected in the 20 or so minutes of previews that were shown before "Epic" included "Monster U", "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" and "Planes". All three of these are franchises coming back with a followup movie. Everything in these films look like plastic action toys you'll find in blister packages at Walmart.

The other movies playing at the Kukui Grove Cinema included "Startrek - Into Darkness", "Fast & Furious 6", and "Ironman 3".  Between them, these three film franchises make up 21 feature films. To me, film franchises like "Fast & Furious" represent the worst America has to offer regarding violence, industrialization, amoral activity and spiritual poverty.

"Epic" tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest in the balance of life and death. The health of the forest is threatened by extinction. A teenage girl finds herself magically transported into world of forest spirits trying save their world... and ours.

The movie evokes a sense of magic, humor, empathy, and the beauty and fragility of nature. Take a child if you can... but go see "Epic". You'll have fun!

Video above: Official trailer for "Epic". above: From (http://youtu.be/-xu3JLXfuwQ).

Epic will be playing this week on Kauai at:
Kukui Grove Cinema

4368 Kukui Grove, Lihue, HI - (808) 245-5055
2D and 3D showings.  Call or visit website for schedule.


7 Reasons to Loathe Lists

SUBHEAD: We read them in order to substantiate our mastery. What's more satisfying than "Ha, I knew that!"

By Charles Hugh Smith on 26 May 2013 for of Two Minds -

Image above: Google image results for "The 7 Best Deep-Fried Turkey Disaster Videos" resulted in this scene in Babylon, Long Island. New York. From (http://www.newsday.com/long-island/attempt-to-deep-fry-turkey-causes-n-babylon-blaze-1.1624156).

Please set your irony meter to 11....

Irony alert: yes, I am posting a list to critique articles that hook readers with lists:you know what I mean, the endless stories based on lists: 7 dumb things we do with smart phones (#1: turn them on, #2: continue texting while we distractedly drive off a cliff), 6 best gifts for pets, 9 greatest celebrity comebacks, 10 foods to avoid, 10 foods that reduce cancer, 5 chilling revelations about Benghazi, 15 hottest housing markets, and so on.

Now that you've set your irony meter to 11:

1. Lists are crack cocaine for curiosity. We already know the 10 foods to avoid, and that nine of them are our favorites, but we can't resist seeing if there is some outlier in the list we didn't know about.

2. Lists activate our desire to contest the selection. What, no John Travolta on the greatest celebrity comebacks? That is so wrong....

3. Lists compel us to read them in order to substantiate our mastery. Very few things are more satisfying than "ha, I knew that."

4. Lists activate our need to find our place in the hierarchy. Are we in one of the hottest housing markets, or not even on the list? We want to know our status in the pecking order, even if it entirely arbitrary and meaningless.

5. Lists encourage mind-candy addictive behavior, i.e. jumping from one bite-sized list of low-value, repetitive content to another. As if the culture isn't already attention-deficit disabled enough.

6. Lists challenge us to guess which filter was used to derive the list. What was left off the list, and why? Was it overlooked, edited out because it was taboo (or not taboo enough)? The editorial process of fabricating the list is generally unexplained, but we can't ascertain how clumsy or misguided the list might be until we read it. But by then, the list has accomplished its purpose, i.e. logged a page view.

7. I only have six reasons, but 7 sounds better than 6.
My friend and mentor Jim Kunstler was kind enough to invite me to his podcast program: KunstlerCast #330: A Conversation with Charles Hugh Smith.

I mention my "Hollywood ending" for 2013: a stock market collapse that utterly discredits the Federal Reserve's policies and all those who supported them. We also discuss the insane costs of sickcare.


Let's all go Medieval

SUBHEAD: We're going medieval and the big question is how much of a mess we'll make on the journey to it.

By James Kunstler on 17 May 2013 for Kunstler.com -

Image above: An elderly man adjusts his cosume in the parking lot of a Renaissance Fair. From (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2009/10/22/GA2009102203759.html).

That voice! All a'quiver with the dread of self-knowledge that it is confabulating a story, much like the "money" that his Open Market Committee spins out of the increasingly carbonized air. His words fill the vacuum of the collectively blank American mind, where hopes and dreams spin like debris in an Oklahoma twister, only to fall incoherently on a landscape of man-made ruins.

If Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke were hooked up to a polygraph machine when he made a public statement -- such as last Wednesday's testimony before congress -- I bet the output graph would look something like a seismic record of the 9.0 Fukushima megathrust, all fretful spikes and dips.

When historians of the future ponder our fate around their campfires, they will marvel that this society invited such a temporizing little nerd to act as its Oracle-in-Chief... that he made periodic visits to sit before the poobahs of the land, and issued prophesies that nobody could really understand -- and that the fate of the people in this land hung on his muttered ambiguities. Let's face it: people need oracles when they don't know what the fuck is going on.

What's going on is as follows: America's central bank is trying to compensate for a floundering economy that will never return to its prior state. The economy is floundering because its scale and mode of operation are no longer consistent with what reality offers in the way of available resources at the right price, especially oil.

So, rather than change the scale and mode of operations in this economy -- that is, do things differently -- we try to keep doing things the same by flushing more "money" into the system, as though it were a captive beast receiving nutriment.

One problem with that is that the "money" is no longer money. That is, it's not really an effective store of value, or pricing reference. It remains for the moment a medium of exchange, but the persons exchanging it grow suspicious of what this "money" purports to represent. Does it stand for promises of future repayment? Hmmmm.

Those promises are looking sketchy lately, especially since this is an economy that does not generate enough new real wealth to make the interest payments, let alone manage to pay back the principal. Is it a claim on future work? Some are afraid that the future work deliverable will be less than they expect. Whatever else it is, does it find respect in other societies where different money is used?

These questions are making a lot of people nervous these days. Of course, a time will come when all matters concerning this particular incarnation of money will be seen as strictly ceremonial. Ben Bernanke, we will understand, was not stating facts before congress but rather singing a song, or rather chanting in a low, repetitive, tedious way in the primal manner of a frightened person trying to comfort himself with reassuring sound -- that is, prayer.

You'd be surprised how well that goes over in a place like congress, which is stuffed with prayerful characters, people who exist in a religious delirium. These are not the people who are nervous, by the way. The nervous tend to be more secular, and inhabit the margins of life where unconventional thinking thrives weedlike at a remove from all the mental toxicity at the center.

These nervous ones are looking ever more closely these days at the distant nation of Japan, where an interesting scenario is playing out: the last days of a giant industrial-technocratic economy. The story there is actually pretty simple if you peel away the quasi-metaphysical bullshit it comes wrapped in these days from astrologasters like John Mauldin and Paul Krugman, viz. Japan has no fossil fuel resources. Zip. You can't run their kind of economy without the stuff. And they can't.

Japan is crapping out, as they say in Las Vegas. Tilt! Game over. As this happens, Japan issues a lot of distracting financial noise that involves evermore "creation" of their own "money," and the knock-on effects of that, but it's all just noise. Japan's only good choice is to go medieval, that is, to give up on the rather hopeless 150-year-long project of being an industrial-technocratic modern super-state, and go back to being an island of a beautiful artistic hand-made culture. I call that "going medieval," though you could quibble as to whether that's the best word for it, since I'm not talking about cathedrals or crusades.

One of Japan's other choices is to "go mad-dog," something they actually tried back in the mid-20th century. It didn't work out too well then. The Japanese leadership is making noises about "re-arming," and a nice state of conflict is already simmering between them and their age old rivals-victims next door in China, a country that has lately enjoyed the upper hand in the industrial-techno racket (though it will be faced with the same choices as Japan not too many years hence).

Do the Japanese start another world war on their side of the planet?

Let's hope not. Let's hope they lay down their robotics and their nuclear reactors gently and go back to making netsuke. Just give it up and do things differently -- after all, that's what all the human beings on the planet have to do now.

For what it's worth, Japan's stock market has tanked a hearty 14 percent in the past five days, if that means anything, and I'm not sure it does considering the aforesaid "noise," but there you have it. Our own stock markets are mercifully closed this holiday, having given American worriers an extra day of anxious reflection on the state of things out there.

My own opinion is that we're all going medieval sooner rather than later and the big remaining question is how much of a mess we'll make on the journey to it. Also, personally, I don't like these manufactured holidays when the landscape is cluttered with morons enjoying motorsports. I'll be working today, and grateful when it blows over.

Planning Department Damage Control

SUBHEAD: Planning Director Mike Dahilig won't appear in public with County Council concerning TVRs.

By Joan Conrow on 23 May 2013 for Kauai Eclectic -

Image above: Mike Dahilig at the time he was appointed Kauai Planing Director. From (http://thegardenisland.com/news/local/planning-commission-confirms-dahilig/article_5413a092-0208-11e1-a58f-001cc4c03286.html).

Planning Director Mike Dahilig was a no show at the County Council, and the Council wasn't pleased.

“The Administration has decided to say let's do damage control and not give anyone an opportunity to expose more,” Councilman Mel Rapozo said. “That's what it is. It's clear and plain.”

The Council was scheduled to question Mike about about his plans for TVR enforcement — a presentation Mike cut short two weeks ago when he dashed off to catch a plane.

Instead, the Council got County Attorney Al Castillo, who said he had advised Mike to skip the session. If Mike did attend, Al said, he might need to invoke the Fifth Amendment.

Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura hotly contested whether Mike could refuse to answer any questions, even those that didn't deal with a possible Council investigation into TVR abuses.

Mel said he had never before seen a department head fail to show up. “That to me is disrespectful, to say I'm not coming to talk about anything.”

Chairman Jay Furfaro advised Al to confer again with Mike. But though the agenda item was postponed for a few hours, Mike came.

Instead, the Council got Deputy County Attorney Ian Jung, who pressed for an executive session (ES) to “explain the legal complexities of the TVR law” before the Council engaged in open discussion on enforcement.

Mel was dubious. “The appearance is like we're kind of hiding something.”

Ian said that anything discussed in public could be used against the county, which is currently being sued for denying one TVR permit on ag land, and holding contested case hearings on other denials. “We have to formulate a valid position before we engage in open discussion so we have a strategy for litigation,” Ian said.

Councilman Gary Hooser noted that litigation was always going on. Typically, the County Attorney typically sits next to whomever is being questioned and interjects if things start to stray. “Why can't we do it that way?” Gary asked.

To which Ian replied: “I want you to understand there are concerns here and I would rather do that in private.

Ian said it was important for the Council to be aware of the all the legal issues “before engaging in open dialog and criticism of the planning director and criticism of the Administration for not going after TVRs. Because we are. We're enforcing to the point of pending applications, getting through that batch before we move on. Things move in steps.”

Mel said the day's events “make it clear the 3.17 (Council investigation) is needed. This problem is bigger than I think we all even imagined. It bothers me tremendously that this body would be disrespected.”

“It's sad we can't talk to our planning director about a front-burner issue in the community,” Gary said. “It seems something big is out of whack in this county. We should ask the mayor to come forward and take responsibility and brief us in the future.”

JoAnn also expressed disappointment at how things had unfolded. “I'm very bothered by the way the Administration has been responding. It's both disrespectful and not very artful and not very diplomatic.”

Mel said the Council had merely wanted to ask Mike, “What's your plan? When's it going to happen?” Instead, Mike "went running to the county attorney" and the discussion was moved to a closed session. “And in the meantime, the public gets left out.”


GMO Seed Bullshit

SUBHEAD: One-hundred-and-fifty GMO execs meet on Kauai for no reason. Nothing to see here. Just keep on moving.

By Tom LaVenture on 22 May 2013 for the Garden Island News -

[IB Editor's note: In the annuls of non-news stories this is a weird one.The meeting of Hawaii GMO seed growing company execs is scheduled just days before what is expected to be a large state-wide (and world-wide) anti-GMO demonstration. It is difficult to imagine that these GMO honchos are not meeting, at least in part, to talk about blunting the effect of the demonstration and what strategies to use in combating growing resistance to their poisonous operations. Methinks I smell some fear among the life-stealing chemical corporation flaks.]

Image above: Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto Corporation displays fearful smile and trembling chin in photo from Bloonberg News. From (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-26/ceos-earn-more-than-they-would-without-u-s-boards-showing-bias.html).

For the first time in its 42-year history, the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association will hold its annual meeting on Kauai.

The HCIA is comprised of five member companies — Syngenta, BASF, DOW, DuPont, and Monsanto. Today’s conference at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club in Lihue is not open to the public.

The conference is described as an informal meeting for about 150 industry executives and employees based on the Hawaiian Islands, according to HCIA President Mark Phillipson of Syngenta Seeds. It is not a platform to present new science or corporate business.

“This will not be anything new, but more of a reiteration of what we already know,” Phillipson said. “We are excited about it because a large group of our members live on Kauai, and we are glad that we’re able to host them.”

There are no lengthy business meetings, surprises or celebratory events or awards, he said. It’s basically a one-day meeting with nothing new or novel.

“It’s the opportunity for our members to network and get together and just talk to each other about issues that are facing them, the successes that they’ve had and just general social catching up,” Phillipson said. “It’s a chance to find out is someone got a new position, and meet the new family members.”

The keynote speaker is scheduled to be Dennis Gonsalves, who will present on The Rainbow Papaya: Hawaii’s GMO Success Story. The breakout sessions include responsible pesticide use and integrated pest management policies and practices; best agricultural practices; and dispelling myths and fallacies about the seed industry through community engagement.

The conference comes a few days before an anti-GMO rally scheduled on Kuhio Highway in front of the Kapaa shopping center from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

“We rally to protect our food supply, support local farmers, be aware of the harmful effects of gmo foods, promote organic solutions, and expose the cronyism between big business and the government,” according to a press release from GMO Free Kaua’i.

The HCIA was formed in 1971 by Dr. James Brewbaker of the University of Hawaii College of Agriculture’s Corn Research Program on Molokai. It is now a nonprofit trade association representing the seed industry in Hawaii.

For the past 42 years the annual conferences have been a source of camaraderie for people in a shared industry. It is not unlike the hotels getting together for a tourism industry conference, Phillipson said.

Critique of Resonance Project

SUBHEAD: This is the usual guano that you get from cranks and charlatans and the out and out con merchants.

[IB Editor note: As most techno-optimist efforts turn out -  they are "too good to be true". This project has had some detractors going back a few years. I'm still looking to find new and clear scientific opinions on the Nassim Haramein's work, but right now it looks as real as desktop cold-fusion did in 1989]

By VDewan on 1 February 2010 for Skeptic's Guide to the Universe -

Image above: Nassim Haramein works his cosmological magic on Waimea Canyon, on Kauai, hawaii. This is a still from the Resonance Project Foundation video From (http://youtu.be/bn35qoCjLYA).

I found a physics website that basically does rip this guy (Nassim Haramein and the Resonance Project) to shreds.  Here's what I emailed my friend about it a few weeks ago:

I've plucked out some key quotes.  However, they go into much more detail about the math and the general concepts. [IB Editor's note: www.sciencefile.org is no longer linking to these quotes.]
This is just utter, utter garbage, produced by someone that doesn't understand the basics of the relevant physics, who is too dumb to realize the profundity of their own misunderstanding -- or someone who is just plain lazy, and thinks that pretty pictures, wishful thinking, and misunderstood poor analogies is some sort of alternative to doing the hard physics and the hard maths. 



Bottom line: what testable predictions does this 'fractal model' of black holes make, which could demonstrate it to be a better theory than the standard Einsteinian one?


Responding to the above: Except we have the even-bottomer line -- does the model as stated make sense, before we worry about what predictions it makes!


Regarding Haramein's claims about angular momentum and spin: As for spin, we have no reason to believe that angular momentum was ever not conserved, so the net angular momentum of the universe will be exactly the same now as it ever was, big bang or not. The spins of individual elements are of no cosmic importance. All friction or collision does, is to redistribute angular momentum between interacting bodies without altering the total.

More about Spin: Why spin? Well, in maths terms, because the Poincare group describes basic symmetries of physics (translations and rotations plus boosts). Given that, any particle theory we write down will be written down in terms of objects that correspond to representations of this group -- hence they will be objects with definite spin. You don't need anything to start them spinning, spin matters because direction DOESN'T.

Same goes for conservation of energy, conservation of linear momentum, conservation of angular momentum -- rather than being weird things that might not have been true, there are instead a result  of the fundamental symmetries of physics within a spacetime.

And those symmetries are kind of the obvious things -- that physics doesn't depend on where or when you are, or which direction you are pointing. Start from those extremely simple statements, and the conservation laws and significance of spin for particles all follows.

And anyone who knows anything about the standard model (either cosmology, or the standard model of particle physics), knows those very basic facts as to why something like angular momentum/spin matters. And trying to witter on about it as if it is some great mystery is just the purest twaddle, born of almost total ignorance.

[Further, regarding Haramein's theory]: This is the usual guano that you get from cranks and charlatans (and the straight forward out and out con merchants!).

No point in worrying about the basics? Anyone with half a brain cell can see that to improve something, you have to understand what current theory is in detail, and why it does not work. Trying to improve upon it without understanding it is just folly. Sounds more like religion, frankly.


Regarding four papers posted on The Renonance Project website:
[IB Editor's note: www.resonanceproject.org site no longer exists. It is now (http://resonance.is/)]



I have looked at this website and some of the articles for general public on there -- and they're crap. Not just  bad, but wrong.

Further regarding the papers:

I started with the first one, and found it appallingly badly written.

Ditto the others. And a notable lack of proper peer-reviewed papers -- seems Raushcer has been more occupied producing papers with Targ claiming to explain ESP: "Although we do not presently understand the detailed mechanisms underlying psychical abilities, thousands of experiments have been carried out successfully in dozens of laboratories around the world establishing the existence of some form of ESP."  Which suggests to me that her scientific credibility is not that high, if she can happily make such a claim.

Scaling law -- same numerology as in Schwarzschild proton paper. In fact, very little content, a lot recycled, and very little actually explained.

Why not? Because they don't need to! Rope in a few long in the tooth physicists, produce some papers with sexy sounding titles that your followers can neither understand nor want to, and then you just tell them what it all means:
"This view allows us to recognize that we are embedded in a fractal feedback dynamic that intrinsically connects all things via the medium of a vacuum structure of infinite potential. This research has far reaching implications in a variety of fields including theoretical and applied physics, cosmology, quantum mechanics, biology, chemistry, sociology, psychology, archaeology, anthropology, etc."
See? You add the word fractal and you gain a whole new load of potential devotees! They don't understand any of the supposed physics, but who cares as long as they keep singing your praises and keep buying your DVDs.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Quantum Gravity & Holographic Mass 5/21/13

Wrong Mountain and Ahupuaa

SUBHEAD: More meetings on Kahili Horizontal Directional-Drilled Well & Energy Project.

By Hope Kallai on 20 May 2013 In Island Breath -

Image above: Kahili Mountain Park. From (http://www.kahilipark.org/).
Oops! We really didn't mean Waialeale!


We meant Kahili Mountain"
So says the Kauai Department of Water.

Technical errors made the head of the department, David Craddick, leave the meeting before anybody realized that they were talking about the wrong mountain, the wrong ahupua`a, with the wrong potential impacts.

The Department of Water has scheduled another round of meetings to better explain this proposed project.  It is unclear whether the past meetings with misinformation provided by Kauai DOW should count as part of public testimony and comments.

However, according to the Department of Water website the EIS Preparation Notice comment period is closed but we still would welcome and appreciate all suggestions and comments.

Nobody wants high water pump costs.  Nobody wants to drink poisoned water. We should take a hard look at how we use our water and why it is toxic.  Drilling deeper to escape the poisons makes no sense if you continue to poison the water source.

This proposal will impact everybody on this island, now and in the future.  Your involvement is important.

Kauai DOW Press Release

By Joy Buccat, DOW Public Relations Specialist on 15 May 2013 -

The Department of Water (DOW) announced that it will hold public informational meetings around the island to discuss the Kahili Horizontal Directional-Drilled (HDD) Well & Energy Savings Project.

Interested community members that would like to learn more about the proposed project, that seeks to reduce power costs by not requiring electricity for the production and distribution of potable water, are welcome. Anyone with other water related concerns are also encouraged to attend a meeting in their community.

The meetings will be held as follows:

Tuesday, May 28th, Hanalei Elementary School Cafeteria, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 29th, Lihue Neighborhood Center, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 30th, Koloa Neighborhood Center, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Friday, May 31th, Kilauea Neighborhood Center, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, June 5th, Kapaa Neighborhood Center, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Additional meetings in the Kekaha, Hanapēpē and Kalāheo areas will be announced as soon as the details have been finalized.

Joy Buccat, public relations specialist
Phone: 245-5461    Fax: 246-8628
Email: jbuccat@kauaiwater.org

The electricity used by DOW for pumping and overall water treatment amounts to roughly $2.5 million annually in the Lihue-Kapaa system.

According to DOW’s Manager and Chief Engineer David Craddick, “a high-level well would not only eliminate the need for pumping, and therefore reduce our energy costs, but would also provide water that will not require the extensive treatment we now pay for.”

Both of these costs are predicted to rise significantly in the future. “The DOW believes this project reflects our mission to provide safe, affordable, and sufficient drinking water to our customers.”

If a higher-level source of clean water could be tapped, DOW may be able to close existing vertical wells and surface water treatment facilities that require expensive electrical power for pumping.

• Auxiliary aids and services at DOW meetings are available upon request. A request for reasonable accommodations should be made no later than five working days prior to the needed accommodations. Please call the department at 245-5408 for assistance.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: No to Horizontal Drilling 4/11/13


Quantum Gravity & Holographic Mass

SUBHEAD: A groundbreaking paper from Kauai sheds light on the theory of gravity with the potential to impact global issues.

By Susan Kornacki on 7 May 2013 for the Resonance Project Foundation -

Image above: Promotional photo of Nassim Haramein. From Resonance website.

[IB Editor's note: For an example of peer review history see (http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history.php?iid=224&id=4&aid=1298) for a critique see (http://sguforums.com/index.php?topic=11897.0)]

A groundbreaking paper published last week sheds new light on the theory of gravity and the potential to significantly impact global issues facing the human race, including alternative energy sources.

Nassim Haramein, Director of Research at the Hawaii Institute for Unified Physics (HIUP), has authored a paper titled “Quantum Gravity and the Holographic Mass,” which has been validated and published in the peer review journal, Physical Review and Research International. This paper discusses Haramein’s “Connected Universe” theory, which offers a new and alternative understanding of gravity through basic algebraic and geometric equations.

Haramein’s work indicates everything in the universe is connected, from the largest to the smallest scale, through a unified understanding of gravity. He demonstrates that it is the space that defines matter and not matter that defines space.

“Remember that matter is made up of 99.9 percent space,” Haramein said. “Quantum field theory states that the structure of spacetime itself, at the extremely small level, vibrates with tremendous intensity. If we were to extract even a small percentage of all the energy held within the vibrations present in the space inside your little finger, it would represent enough energy to supply the world’s needs for hundreds of years. This new discovery has the potential to open up access and harness that energy like never before, which would revolutionize life as we know it today.”

At the basis of Haramein’s research is a bold prediction about the charge radius of the proton, which was recently verified by experiment. Less than a month after Haramein sent his paper to the Library of Congress, the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland released a new measurement for the size of the proton, confirming Haramein’s prediction.

“Protons are the primary building blocks of our universe – they are at the center of every atom and therefore are everywhere and in everything,” said Chris Almida, Executive Director of the Resonance Project Foundation, parent organization of HIUP. “It is critical that we accurately understand proton structure if we are to even begin to understand the ‘connected universe.’ Nassim's prediction was confirmed and is exactly right (within the margin of error of the experiment), whereas the Standard Model theory is off by a significant amount.” Almida continued, “If Nassim’s theory is correct, insight into solving some of mankind’s most prevalent problems could be within our grasp.”

Haramein’s approach could potentially unlock new discoveries in the areas of energy, transportation and even space travel.

A twenty minute documentary from filmmaker, Malcom Carter, illustrates these new ideas in a compelling fashion. View the trailer at Resonance.is. More information, visual media and a layman's paper will be released through The Resonance Project Foundation’s website, Resonance.is and HIUP, the official site of the Hawaii Institute of Unified Physics.

For a Science Press Release, visit the Hawaii Institute of Unified Physics website.

The Resonance Project Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization chartered to conduct research and education in the field of unified physics. The Foundation’s initiatives include The Hawaii Institute for Unified Physics (HIUP), a growing scientific research community working to advance the principles on the forefront of the unified field theory. For more information, visit Resonance.is.

Media Contact:
Susan Kornacki
Email: media@hiup.org
Voice: (408) 676-9969

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Critique of Resonance Project 5/22/13

Centralization and Sociopathology

SUBHEAD: Concentrated power and wealth are intrinsically sociopathological by their very nature.

By Charles Hugh Smith on 20 May 2013 for Of Two Minds - http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/centralization-and-sociopathology.html)

Image above: The charm of the 1980's style sociopath. From (http://pandodaily.com/2013/03/21/the-allure-of-sociopaths/).

I have long spoken of the dangers inherent to centralization of power and the extreme concentrations of wealth centralization inevitably creates.
Longtime contributor C.D. recently highlighted another danger of centralization:sociopaths/psychopaths excel in organizations that centralize power, and their ability to flatter, browbeat and manipulate others greases their climb to the top.

In effect, centralization is tailor-made for sociopaths gaining power. Sociopaths seek power over others, and centralization gives them the perfect avenue to control over millions or even entire nations.

Even worse (from the view of non-sociopaths), their perverse abilities are tailor-made for excelling in office and national politics via ruthless elimination of rivals and enemies and grandiose appeals to national greatness, ideological purity, etc.

As C.D. points out, the ultimate protection against sociopathology is to minimize the power held in any one agency, organization or institution:
After you watch these films on psychopaths, I think you'll have an even greater understanding of why your premise of centralization is a key problem of our society.
Defense Against the Psychopath (video, 37 minutes; the many photos of political, religious and secular leaders will likely offend many/most; if you look past these outrages, there is useful information here)

The Sociopath Next Door (video (only audio), 37 minutes)
The first film points out that psychopaths generally thrive in the corporate/government top-down organization (I have seen it happen in my agency, unfortunately) and that when they come to power, their values (or lack thereof) tend to pervade the organization to varying degrees. In some cases, they end up creating secondary psychopaths which is kind of like a spiritual/moral disease that infects people.  
If we are to believe the premise in the film that there are always psychopaths among us in small numbers, it follows then that we must limit the power of any one institution, whether it's private or public, so that the damage created by psychopaths is limited.  
It is very difficult for many people to fathom that there are people in our society that are that evil, for lack of a better term, and it is even harder for many people in society to accept that people in the higher strata of our society can exhibit these dangerous traits. 
The same goes for criminal behavior. From my studies, it's pretty clear that criminality is fairly constant throughout the different levels of our society and yet, it is the lower classes that are subjected to more scrutiny by law enforcement. 
The disparity between blue collar and white collar crime is pretty evident when one looks at arrests and sentencing. The total lack of effective enforcement against politically connected banks over the last few years is astounding to me and it sets a dangerous precedent. Corruption and psychopathy go hand in hand.  
A less dark reason for avoiding over centralization is that we have to be aware of normal human fallibility. Nobody possesses enough information, experience, ability, lack of bias, etc. to always make the right decisions.
As C.D. observes, once sociopaths rule an organization or nation, they create a zombie army of secondary sociopaths beneath them as those who resist are undermined, banished, fired or exterminated. If there is any lesson to be drawn from Iraq, it is how a single sociopath can completely undermine and destroy civil society by empowering secondary sociopaths and eliminating or marginalizing anyone who dares to cling to their humanity, conscience and independence.

"Going along to get along" breeds passive acceptance of sociopathology as "the new normal" and mimicry of the values and techniques of sociopathology as the ambitious and fearful (i.e. almost everyone) scramble to emulate the "successful" leadership.

Organizations can be perverted into institutionalizing sociopathology via sociopathological goals and rules of conduct. Make the metric of success in war a body count of dead "enemy combatants" and you'll soon have dead civilians stacked like cordwood as proof of every units' outstanding success.

Make lowering unemployment the acme of policy success and soon every agency will be gaming and manipulating data to reach that metric of success. Make higher grades the metric of academic success and soon every kid is getting a gold star and an A or B.

Centralization has another dark side: those ensconced in highly concentrated centers of power (for example, The White House) are in another world, and they find it increasingly easy to become isolated from the larger context and to slip into reliance on sycophants, toadies (i.e. budding secondary sociopaths) and "experts" (i.e. apparatchiks and factotums) who are equally influenced by the intense "high" of concentrated power/wealth.

Increasingly out of touch with those outside the circle of power, those within the circle slide into a belief in the superiority of their knowledge, skills and awareness--the very definition of sociopathology.

Even worse (if that is possible), the incestuous nature of the tight circle of power breeds a uniformity of opinion and ideology that creates a feedback loop that marginalizes dissenters and those with open minds. Dissenters are soon dismissed--"not a team player"-- or trotted out for PR purposes, i.e. as evidence the administration maintains ties to the outside world.

Those few dissenters who resist the siren song of power soon face a choice: either quietly quit "to pursue other opportunities" (the easy way out) or quit in a blast of public refutation of the administration's policies.

Public dissenters are quickly crucified by those in power, and knowing this fate awaits any dissenter places a powerful disincentive on "going public" about the sociopathology of the inner circle of power.

On rare occasions, an insider has the courage and talent to secure documentation that details the sociopathology of a policy, agency or administration (for example, Daniel Ellsberg and The Pentagon Papers).

Nothing infuriates a sociopath or a sociopathological organization more than the exposure of their sociopathology, and so those in power will stop at nothing to silence, discredit, criminalize or eliminate the heroic whistleblower.

In these ways, centralized power is itself is a sociopathologizing force. We cannot understand the present devolution of our civil society, economy and ethics unless we understand that concentrated power and wealth are intrinsically sociopathological by their very nature.

The solution: a culture of decentralization, transparency and open competition, what I call the DATA model (Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable) in my book Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It.