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The second half of this is close to my heart. ;)

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Once again to the debate between advocates for psychedelics and those for meditation: 

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My most recent conversation with +James howard kunstler takes place on his podcast rather than on the C-Realm Podcast.

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Terence McKenna died in April of 2000. His daughter Klea Mckenna recently released a new printing of her photography book documenting Terence's butterfly collection. It's a gorgeous, thought provoking remembrance. 

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Just the term "clean coal" makes me think "marketing scheme" - saying it seems to make it real.
Clean Coal: Fantasy or Last Best Hope?
Charles C. Mann argues in Wired that carbon capture and storage "is vital to avoiding a climate catastrophe." In support Mann trots out Stephen Chu, the former U.S. Secretary of Energy as well as Nobel laureate, who adds, “I don’t see how we go forward without it.”

CSS is mighty controversial. Many argue along with Al Gore that CCS is a nothing more than a fantasy, a (literal) smoke screen to permit corporations to continue mining and burning the most dirty yet abundant and inexpensive (so long as the cost of its consequences remains omitted from the balance sheet) fuel available. Mountains of money are at stake. So too civilization, not to mention countless species, coastlines and glaciers.

QUOTE: The world has little experience with capturing and storing emissions from coal plants—so little that environmentalists charge that CCS is not much more than energy vaporware, a fantasy concocted by coal companies to greenwash an inherently dirty industry. Energy analysts put it differently. CCS is a real technology, but “it’s real in the same way that stem cell medicine is real,” Maggie Koerth-Baker wrote in Before the Lights Go Out, a fine recent study of the electric grid. “It’s a concept car, not the minivan in your neighbor’s driveway.” Getting CCS to the minivan stage requires surmounting multiple technical challenges.

At the heart of the argument in favor of CCS is lack of substitutes.

QUOTE: “For power generation, there are alternatives to fossil fuels,” says Barry Jones, a general manager of the Global CCS Institute.... “But for some industrial processes, there are no alternatives.” Examples include steel and cement, essential building blocks for all modern societies.

My take: I try to keep an open mind. If CCS technology can be developed and deployed it would be a huge step in the right direction. At best this would be a temporary patch to buy humanity time to transition to cleaner sources of energy like sunlight or moon-driven tides. A very-expensive patch. 

I'm not particularly optimistic about either the technology or the motives of the people who promote CCS. The secrecy surrounding the Tianjin facility described at the opening of Mann's article reeks of a culture that seeks competitive advantage over quick dispersal of what they have learned. With billion plus dollar costs to implement and no financial benefits stemming from investment, I don't see the directors of, say, Duke Energy rushing to retrofit their existing fleet of coal-fired plants.

CCS only postpones the inevitable. Civilization will either have to use other less dangerous sources of energy or consume far less energy. I believe the vast amounts of money required to make CCS useful would be more usefully invested to transition to the future than to protect the past.

#carboncapture   #coal   #cleanenergy  

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Follow-up blog post to Ahmed's report on the NASA-funded study referenced in C-Realm 406.  The party's over . . . welcome to the after-party:

"We do not have the option of pessimism and fatalism. There's enough of that to go around. Our task is to work together to co-create viable visions for what could be, and to start building those visions now, from the ground up."

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Ever wonder what became of Michael C. Rupert ("Collapse")? He's profiled by VICE in this six-part series on YouTube, filmed last fall in Crestone, Colorado. He's left that darkened cellar and is now interviewed in a tipi. What a long strange trip it's been - this guy used to live in my neighborhood.

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Vector: David Blacker 
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