Solar- increased production equals cheaper prices plus French solar roadways

If price of solar falls as fast as other technologies the world can breathe easier,” Ben Schiller writes.

If solar power prices fall in line with other technologies, we could see continued price-drops of 10% a year. That’s according to an historical analysis of 53 technologies that finds a distinct pattern in how major innovations perform over time.

If so, the world could generate at least 20% of its electricity from the sun by 2027, researchers say, and thus allow us to move more swiftly away from fossil fuels than some official projections have indicated.

Schiller sites research by Deloitte tracking ‘US Historical adoption curves for new technologies’ showing technological progress has historically exceeded expectations.

Sophie Kleeman at Mic magazine reports on solar roadways initiative. Her headline reads:

France is Using 600 Miles of Roads to Generate Renewable Energy

Colas Wattway Solar roadway
Colas Wattway Solar roadway

Global Construction Review has more on design of solar roadway panels. Company Colas is set to construct roadway upon completion of further feasibility studies using their ‘Wattway’ cell design. According to review,

Wattway cells collect solar energy via a very thin film of polycrystalline silicon.

Roadway cells are reported by the company to be ‘sturdy and skid-resistant’. Kleeman explains,

France is planning to pave 621 miles of its roads with solar cells over the next five years. If the initiative is successful, it could produce enough power for about 5 million people’s homes — roughly 8% of the country’s population.

American Realist Painter Cindy Procious

American realist Cindy Procious teaching workshops at Townsend Atelier.

 

Pairing -Cindy Procious

Still life “Pairing” painted in oil on linen by Cindy Procious is lovingly foreboding. Wine glass captures shadowy figures amidst heavenly cuisine.

Procious works in both portraiture and still life, according to her website. The following, I include from her ‘about’ page:

A member of the American Society of Portrait Artists & Oil Painters of America, and the mother of three, Procious is married to Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Clay Bennett. Along with their menagerie of rescued animals, they recently relocated their studio and home to Chattanooga, TN.

Artist Statement:
As a student of the world around me, I have come to recognize that there is beauty everywhere. As a painter, my primary objective is to balance the dedication of improving my skill in the craft with the development of timeless and personal works.

Procious will also conduct a Small Paintings workshop at Townsend coming at the end of February.

 

Pre-agricultural temple in Gobekli Tepe to be restored

According to National Geographic Magazine article by Andrew Curry, the excavation and subsequent dating of Gobeckli Tepe site is changing views about the origin of civilization. Were early civilizations built by hunter-gatherers in an age that preceded agriculture? Curry writes:

Since excavations began in 1995, the site in southeastern Turkey has changed the way archaeologists think about the origins of civilization. Its circular structures, with their elaborately carved stones and distinctive, T-shaped pillars, are more than 12,000 years old—older than the invention of agriculture or even pottery.

The early dates have upended the idea that agriculture led to civilization. Scholars long thought that when hunter-gatherers settled down and started growing crops, the resulting food surplus made it possible for people to organize complex societies.

Curry reports that circular temples dug up at Gobekli Tepe are to be restored.

Gobekli Tepe

I was interested in which direction Rupert Murdoch would take National Geographic. A report on discovery and planned restoration of a 12,000 year old city in Southeastern Turkey is a good start. I guess these ancient ruins were spared from the bombs that hit neighboring Syria. War is incomprehensible.

To build temples this magnificent in a time known as pre-civilization is a powerful testament to human intelligence. According to Curry, there is not much evidence to suggest that this site was used as a permanent residence.

More likely this was a temple built to align with electromagnetic earth grid and the four directions to gather and store energy. And it served as a gathering place for people. Many ancient built sites may have harnessed energy somehow. The way the stones are placed within temple in above photo from Wiki could have been focusing frequency and vibration.

The slope filled in with a series of sunken chambers suggests the site might have also preserved and channelled water.

The 12,000 year old time-frame harkens back to an age of cataclysm on Earth. This temple may have succumbed to a sudden burial by debris soon after it was erected. City of Atlantis, as Plato told it sunk into the sea around the same time. Mayan and Egyptian works of monumental stone may have commenced at that time, as well.

A Leo-age spark had ignited human collective imagination. The laws of working with nature were better understood then, as these great temples do attest.

It’s logical to assume that large-scale projects of that age were built for practical and spiritual reasons. Monumental ancient sites may have served to gather and store energy for use in pre-agricultural communities.

Tax on consumption, not income advises investor

Sean Stone - Jim Rogers

Sean Stone interviews investor Jim Rogers on ‘Buzzsaw’.

Given brief bio:

Jim Rogers is a legendary investor that co-founded the Quantum Fund and retired at age thirty-seven. He is the author of several books and also a financial commentator worldwide.

Rogers says we need to cut spending with a chainsaw, not an axe.

And change the tax code, because tax code currently discourages saving and investment. It encourages debt. We have to change legal system, education system. We have to really start over.

Our current economy is based on consumption. Products are made using natural resources, including a lot of non-degradable plastic and chemicals, made from crude. We manufacturing goods on an industrial scale using increasingly limited resources. We have a huge infrastructure to maintain. One built when raw materials were cheap and plentiful. It takes many resources to maintain infrastructure on a mass scale.

Stone asks if he thinks that the Fed reserve should be overhauled, as it’s legally questionable because it is a private institution endowed with the power to print world reserve currency. Rogers believes that this ‘central bank’ should be abolished.

The world has gotten along without central banks in the past. We had 3 central banks in the US, the first two disappeared. We have problems without a central bank, history has often shown. But, we’re worse off with the central bank that we have, which will lead to many more problems down the road.

Stone asks if he would advocate a gold-backed system or something to back the currency, such as oil, as seems to be the case now?

He suggests reverting currency system to one of open exchange.

That’s the one the world seems to have had for most of the time is an ‘open market’ in currencies, where you could use whatever you wanted. This could include sea shells or gold or silver or paper money. Whatever you wanted. It’s only been in the last 80 or 90 years that the government imposed a monopoly that we had to use their greenback dollars. In fact, in the UK, when those laws were changed during the Depression, it was so strange what the government did. They had to make it a capitol offense. They would execute you if you used anything except pound sterling, issued by the bank of England as money.

But, if you go back and look before, people were making contracts in gold or anything they wanted to and it was fine. All sorts of things circulated as money. And the market decided which was good and which was not acceptable.

Should consumption tax replace income tax?

Can you imagine how much money the US would save if we didn’t have all these tax lawyers and tax accountants and many billions of hours spent doing income tax alone. But, if you had a consumption tax then nobody would have to pay income tax.

If you were a crook and you had a lot of income that you don’t pay taxes on. But, with a consumption tax everybody has to pay. If you go buy a new Mercedes, you’ve gotta pay consumption tax. This would eliminate tax evasion by criminals and make life a lot simpler. And, it would discourage consumption and encourage people to save and invest for the future.

It’s a waste to have troops stationed in over 120 countries, he says.

Their not doing anybody any good, except making us some enemies in some countries. We’re building a lot of tanks. They may help the people that build them but they do nothing for the future competitiveness or future productivity. Bring troops home. Let’s spend money on highways and schools.

I’m not sure how relevant the need to be competitive in the world is. But, limiting the amount we consume is becoming a necessity for many who are struggling. As people stop buying, producers will be forced to stop manufacturing products that don’t sell.

Replacing income taxes with taxes on what we consume seems wise. ‘Crooks’ who are rich could just as easily skirt around being taxed on what they consume as they do now on what they earn. But, future consumption will be curved by necessity whether it is taxed or not, I suspect.

Wasn’t the Boston tea party the result of a consumption tax levied by British on early American settlers?

America largest debtor country in history.

Many European countries are in a large amount of debt and have declining or aging populations. In Asia and the East, they have young populations, huge savings and little debt.

It occurs to me that our indebtedness is to a paper currency. How indebted can we be to an economy based entirely on consumption of natural resources? It’s not just what will we do when all the ivory horns are gone? Our continued disregard for nature is currently costing us fresh air and clean water, not to mention many species and future generations.

Stone encourages support of small scale agriculture and investment in local economy.

If you invest in a small business in your neighborhood, you have a closer relationship to the business that you’re investing in.

If we put these ideas together, we can bring troops home to farm using restorative, organic methods like sister planting and crop rotation, marrying animals back to farms in the process. Then indeed communities would be fed, families supported and life continuing. It would become an open market renaissance. The use of goods and services themselves as currency would return.

All is consciousness – panpsychism – neo-Platonic world soul

Chrystof Koch explores panpsychism, “The ancient doctrine that consciousness is universal.”

Neoplatonic world soul-wikiI do agree. To me, consciousness is like plasma and electromagnetic impulses permeating through our bodies and  universe. How do rocks know what shape to take? Or trees know where to spread roots to? How come clear skies are blue? Maybe, everything is consciousness. made from sparks on dust whilst steadied by magnetism and polarity to manifest existence. Creation is perfectly manifested. like a spider spinning its web with divine threads, sparking existence.

All species—bees, octopuses, ravens, crows, magpies, parrots, tuna, mice, whales, dogs, cats and monkeys—are capable of sophisticated, learned, nonstereotyped behaviors that would be associated with consciousness if a human were to carry out such actions. Precursors of behaviors thought to be unique to people are found in many species. For instance, bees are capable of recognizing specific faces from photographs, can communicate the location and quality of food sources to their sisters via the waggle dance, and can navigate complex mazes with the help of cues they store in short-term memory (for instance, “after arriving at a fork, take the exit marked by the color at the entrance”). Bees can fly several kilometers and return to their hive, a remarkable navigational performance. And a scent blown into the hive can trigger a return to the site where the bees previously encountered this odor. This type of associative memory was famously described by Marcel Proust in À la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Other animals can recognize themselves, know when their conspecifics observe them, and can lie and cheat.

Koch distinguishes between mans’ perceived sentience and a consciousness that flows through all beings. He refutes humans at the apex of a neo-Darwinian food chain flow chart myth.

Some people point to language and the associated benefits as being the unique defining feature of consciousness. Conveniently, this viewpoint rules out all but one species, Homo sapiens (which has an ineradicable desire to come out on top), as having sentience. Yet there is little reason to deny consciousness to animals, preverbal infants [see “The Conscious Infant,” Consciousness Redux; Scientific American Mind, September/October 2013] or patients with severe aphasia, all of whom are mute.

“Islam, Injustice, and Going behind the myths of power with Sean Stone”

As a child, Sean Stone was taken to self-realization ceremonies where they teach you about all religions. He is thus versed in diverse spiritual practices. Like Carl Jung, Stone taps into the universal thread weaving together humanity in this interview, guest hosted by David Naizir. The ceremonies he attended drew upon teachings from various ancient sources.

They give you practices from Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. And you come to realize that they are all different paths. The idea is which path do you want to take to get to the top of the mountain, which is ultimately your own self actualization your own self realization, to get in touch with what we call God.

Stone has been to a few Muslim countries and appreciates how the daily prayer practices seek one on one time with creator source.

You can’t fault a religion that tells you to pray 5 times a day because that means it’s about your personal connection to God.

There are 99 different names for an infinite God of Islam because it has so many different qualities, he says. Islam tells you about certain practices, but there is no human deemed to officiate.

There is no monarch, as there is in Catholicism. There’s no intermediary, as in a priest whose going to bless you, no clergy, no one who is going to lead you. There are Mulahs and there are Imams who are supposed to be teachers. They’re not meant to intercede with you and your personal relationship with God.

Stone believes that being bad or good is a choice that you ultimately must make.

The alchemical journey, as the Rosucrusians would have referred to. or the Alchemists, which is about your own spiritual essence. If your using them, becoming a better person by them, using them more lovingly, charitable, more generous, kinder. That’s what religion’s there for. It’s to give you guidance.

Using arms is for defense. They say, ‘the shadow of the sword’ and use that as fighting words when the shadow of the sword is defense. You use defense when you accumulate to protect, not to harm others. You’re going to find paradise under the shade of swords because you have to defend yourself.

It is in the name of defending ourselves when we have military in 125 countries around the world. Why can’t we respect the rights of Islamic people to want to defend themselves?

Take Christ’s phrase, ‘ I come not to bring peace, but through the sword’. Take that to a Christian Crusader and they make that into war. Why? Because it’s ‘my evil’ that’s projecting using the phrases of religions or teachings from principles.

It’s up to us, what do we choose, do we choose to be a good person? Or, do we choose to follow the dark path? It’s like ‘the force’, it can be operated by both sides in Star Wars. The force is not evil, but a power. Do you use that power with responsibility, to act nobly, or do you use it to gorge your own ego?

Your actions make you, he says, let faith be your guide.

The existential argument about what you do in action makes you, as opposed to your essence. Your existence actually proves your essence. There is an argument to be made that your actions actually define you. But, at the same time, you can’t discount the importance of spiritual teachings. You can take Martin Luther King. Some people criticize King as an adulterer, for example. But, is it more important that he spread these messages of equality, of anti-violence and anti-war, of his legacy being that of a peacemaker?

 

Oxford Real Farm Conference

Article writer, Tomas Remiarz talks about his attendance of Oxford Real Farm Climate Conference, siting widespread problem of small farmers struggling for market share, but being over run by monocultured ‘agribusiness’.

Realising that housing and farming cannot be separated. This is a theme that kept coming up during the two days. The low prices paid to food producers just can’t keep up with ever-increasing rents, and several growers commented that this could be what forces them out of business at some point in the future. It’s more than just a ‘market failure’ – it systematically undermines the ability of small farmers and growers to carry on with their work on the land, leaving the field to profit-driven agribusiness.

Housing and farming go together in sustainable communities through enriching soil, creating eco-system, mimicking nature through permaculture. It’s all about biodiversity.

In building a swale, for instance, you reuse tree limbs, stack them into ground bed, cover them with a layer of soil, then plant. As limbs rot, they provide essential nutrients for plants to grow, even perennials.  Great reuse of fallen limbs for plant fertilization.

Yorkshire town remedies flood concerns using ‘old fashioned’ techniques

In news from Permaculture Research Institute, the town of Pickering remained dry during recent UK flooding, implementing age old remedies.

The towns triumph should influence the decisions that were made by policy makers after last month’s floods that saw, at least, £5 billion channeled to flood control schemes elsewhere.
The success of the town is a mock to the people who believe that flood cannot be prevented in an environmentally friendly manner. The people who subscribe to this school of thought fail to understand why the government fails to take into account all safety measures and insist on dredging waterways, in order to protect fauna and flora.

Dredging is mostly unsafe, pointless and environmentally unsafe. This is because scooping of silt and weed from the river bed causes water to flow faster increasing the danger of downstream flooding.

Pickering is situated at the bottom of a steep gorge draining of the North York Moors, the residents of the town have been victims of perennial flooding. There have been four floods recorded since 1999-2007 causing damage of about £7 million. The solution mooted to the residents was to build a £20 million wall to keep water out of the river. This solution was, however, disadvantageous as it would reduce the attractiveness of the area hence reduce tourism. It was also found to be uneconomically viable as the costs would outweigh the benefits accrued; too few people would be protected by the wall.

City leader sought advice and,“Were told of how the moors in the area released water more slowly and how a bund built by monks centuries ago held the excess water back.”

This is how they did it:

The work began of building 167 leaky dams, 187 lesser obstructions and 29 hectares of woodland. After some haggling, they also built a bund. The result? The average flow of water was retained, but high flows of water were slowed down. Three months after the project was officially opened, the floods came calling on the rest of England, and the residents of the town unlike the past watched it on their televisions. All this was achieved at a cost of less than £2million.

Here’s more excellent flood prevention advice from this report:

Trees absorb water faster than grasslands. Sixty times faster to be precise. Another issue is helping other farmers to stop overstocking of livestock. The sheep compact the grass with their hooves reducing the ability of the soil to absorb water that results in excess water running off. The cities have become concrete jungles with very little soil but full of sewers that are not able to adequately handle the excess water.

Photo from York Press dated January of 2014, shows Pickering steering committee shovel ceremony.

Pickering flood prevention

Defense bill includes giving Apache land for copper mining

Government to transfer 2,400 acres of Apache land to Resolution Copper,

“A company controlled by two multi-billion dollar foreign corporations.”

Apache lands

Congress is poised to give a foreign mining company 2,400 acres of national forest in Arizona that is cherished ancestral homeland to Apache natives. Controversially, the measure is attached to annual legislation that funds the US Defense Department.

Here’s more about land transfer from Huffington Post:

When Terry Rambler, the chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, woke up Wednesday in Washington, D.C., it was to learn that Congress was deciding to give away a large part of his ancestral homeland to a foreign mining company.

“The first thing I thought about was not really today, but 50 years from now, probably after my time, if this land exchange bill goes through, the effects that my children and children’s children will be dealing with,” Rambler said in an interview.

The land includes territory where Apaches gather medicinal plants and acorns — a food source that Rambler said has sustained his people for as long as they know. It also surrounds the Apache Leap, a summit from which trapped Apaches once jumped to their deaths rather than be killed by settlers in the late 1800s.

“Since time immemorial people have gone there. That’s part of our ancestral homeland,” Rambler said, referring to the overall area in question. “We’ve had dancers in that area forever — sunrise dancers — and coming-of-age ceremonies for our young girls that become women. They’ll seal that off. They’ll seal us off from the acorn grounds, and the medicinal plants in the area, and our prayer areas.”

What’s another huge whole in the ground, right?

Those plants, animals and people don’t need the habitat anyway. Right?

Mining is a toxic business. But, we need copper for pipes and machines. Right?

Do we protect lands by giving rights to mine them away to multi-national interests?

What about the gaping hole that will be left to cave in on Apache grounds when miners have come and gone? It seems an old predicament for an over-industrialized society.

Recent studies in magnetism and electricity

Mechanical properties of nanomaterials can be altered due to the application of voltage, University of Wyoming researchers have discovered.” -Phys.org

An, “Intrinsic electric field is formed at metal/semiconductor interfaces,”

according to lead researcher, Te Yu Chien.

In a second article from Phys.org, a physicist has proposed a large scale experiment, the likes of CERN, one

 “Using magnetic fields to produce and detect gravity.”