Fw: Energy article from BBC news

From: Innovatia <dennis@innovatia.com>
Date: Tue Aug 03 2004 - 14:41:52 EDT

MessageTO: ASA Listserver

What amazes me is the strong tendency in human nature to remain in danger despite knowing the consequences. Ingrained habit is a powerful influence on human will. The many Jews in Western and Central Europe could not have failed to note the danger that Corporal Schickelgruber (Hitler) posed to them, yet millions ended in the death camps when they could have emmigrated (as did the German Jewish physicists such as Einstein). They were not like the simple, info-limited peasants who were exterminated by Stalin or Mao.

Major cities are rather vulnerable to disruptions in the infrastructure, including the financial system. A dozen or more credit links are involved in getting food from the farmer to the urban consumer. In the past, famine and physical suffering have not uncommonly been due to financial instability instead of physical limitations. On a larger scale, the developed world has become an urban-style time-bomb. While the Establishment media conditions the mases in a false view of geopolitical and economic reality, some fraction of Americans - perhaps 1 to 3 % - have bothered to actually look behind the scenes at what's going on. A significant fraction of these people have gotten out of the developed world. I would be one of them. As it becomes obvious to fools that something has gone very wrong, a superlinear trend in emmigration will occur, but much of it will not be possible, I suspect, because the walls put in place will hold most would-be escapees in. The time to get out is while your neighbors are still convinced of the foolishness of your ark-building efforts.

Unless one is resigned to a nihilistic view (which is characteristic of some eschatology in the organized AmXn church nowadays), then it seems to me that a high priority for AmXns - especially talented Xns such as ASAers, perhaps - should be to start projects for the preservation of civilization in view of the coming darkness. My approach is to encourage and participate in the formation of "colonies", intentional communities of Christians who have left the System, and to encourage and support the existing ones. Here in Cayo, Belize are several Mennonite colonies and a colony of non-Xn Germans. As networks of like-minded colonies form and grow, they could become the nucleus for civilization in the future, especially some with higher education levels than the Kleinegemeinde Mennonites who live here.

Some countries in Central America, such as Belize and Panama, have a low population density yet are quite liveable. It is possible to emmigrate to these countries without liquidating the Taj Mahal. They politically avoid entanglement in the emerging World Order, yet not in the manner of the Mideastern world. Some sacrifices have to be made to leave North America or Western Europe, most for the better, physically and spiritually. Due to the lack of means here, governments cannot, even if they wanted, micromanage society, replacing community based on personal relations with enumeration, databases, law-enforced "trust" among strangers, and impersonal procedures. The Mayans in Belize are the survivors of a past, decayed civilization in which most Mayans perished. The few who remain carry with them strong survival instincts and practices. They too are colonists of sorts.

A technology-oriented network of colonies could be places where alternative living in its fullness, and not only alternative energy development, might thrive. They would be dominated by an extreme statistical tail of the overall population - people driven by a larger vision and willing to pursue it at personal cost. That more or less sums up what this ASAer is doing nowadays in Central America. I am not alone. Former ASAer Mark Ludwig, a particle physicist by background, shares a similar vision, as do a large fraction of N. American expatriates here.

Our calling as Christians is not to save the world per se but to pursue what we can realistically address given the parameters God has handed us in our setting. I can live with the fact that a large fraction of the global population will die off in the coming destruction because I am working on the seeds of a new society for after this destruction has run its course. The people of Christ have always functioned in this way, living in the wilderness, on the margins, and building something better. When societies permeated by wordly evil crumble, the seeds of renewed civilization emerge from these colonies, communities promoting the principles of life.

Anybody else doing or thinking along these lines out there?

Dennis Feucht

----- Original Message -----
From: Glenn Morton
To: 'wallyshoes' ; 'Innovatia'
Cc: 'ASA Listserver'
Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2004 1:13 PM
Subject: RE: Fw: Energy article from BBC news

Whom do you suggest be the first 1100 people to commit suicide? or, if you aren't that extreme, who are the first 1100 people you suggest be sterilized after having their first child? It may be a bandaid and you may very well be right, but how do we enforce a reduction of the world's population? I suspect that the only way this will happen is via natural consequences. When the food trucks quit bringing food to the cities, they will be very dangerous places.. I fear we are on a train ride from which we can't escape easily.
  -----Original Message-----
  From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of wallyshoes
  Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2004 1:43 PM
  To: Innovatia
  Cc: ASA Listserver
  Subject: Re: Fw: Energy article from BBC news

  I would like to take the position (for a 4th or 5th time) that we cannot solve the long term problem with energy type solutions. Our basic problem is that there too many people for the earth's resources to accommodate. If not energy, then water, food, pollution or some other factor will harm us in the near future.. Energy may or may not be the most imminent problem but we must address the real problem of overpopulation.
  Everything else is just a Band-Aid solution IMO. It will work for a while but two decades will tell a different story. Nature (human or other) will provide solutions in terms of massive deaths by starvation, disease, war or other forms of extermination.


  How is that for out-glooming Glenn Morton?

    Innovatia wrote:

    From: "Glenn Morton" <glennmorton@entouch.net>
    Glenn drew the conclusion:

> Just another couple of years and demand will far outstrip supply. God help
> children and grandchildren.

    Some of us on this list concur with Glenn's viewpoint. As Christians and
    ASAers, the question then arises as to what we should do in response. Some
    possibilities are:

    1. Wring our hands and discuss the situation.
    2. Start doing something about it, aided by the associations we have
    through ASA and this listserver.

    The first category is not useless, for through it, others become aware that
    there is a problem, and that might contribute to # 2. This list-server
    discussion might contribute toward that end while informing us of the

    In the second category, some possibilities are:

    1. Provide technical ideas for student and grad-degree projects in
    alternative energy, such as solar thermal electric systems.

    2. Encourage the ASA Global Resources & Environment Commission and CEST
    (Christian Engineers & Scientists in Technology) to sound out their
    memberships for interest in prototype development of a viable alternative
    energy system. Incidentally, ASA Council member Ken Touryan manages govt
    alternative energy research.

    3. Write a piece for the ASA journal on the subject. (Glenn has described
    the situation there before.)

    4. For those with skills in alternative energy systems development, work on
    such a project commercially and/or on a hobby basis with a small group of

    I am doing # 4, contemplating # 3, might do # 2 (though ASA Commissions to
    date appear to be more organization than action), and will combine # 1 into
    # 4. I am interested in off-list collaboration with anyone (students,
    academicians, industry/govt/NPO engineers or scientists, retirees)
    interested in providing technical/scientific contributions to a project I
    have started, the development of a solar thermal electric system (STES) - in
    particular, anyone who has some knoweldge of thermodynamic working fluids in
    the 100 to 300 deg C range.

    As the oil situation worsens, there is new hope for thermal-to-electric
    conversion devices. At present, advances have been made in increasing
    efficiency (to over 4 %) of thermocouples (thermoelectric modules, or TEMs)
    (www.hi-z.com), such as those found in car coolers, to where it is feasible
    to use them to produce electricity from heat, which (unlike electric charge)
    is cheap to store at high density. Also under development are thermionic and
    electron quantum-tunneling devices, the latter being funded by Rolls Royce
    (www.powerchips.gi), with prototype devices showing 15 % efficiency. That is
    sufficient to replace automobile engines. A STES designed using TEMs can be
    retrofitted in the future with the higher-efficiency devices.

    Are any of you involved in alternative energy development at present? If so,
    I at least would be interested to hear what you are doing.

    Dennis Feucht

  Walt Hicks <wallyshoes@mindspring.com>

  In any consistent theory, there must
  exist true but not provable statements.
  (Godel's Theorem)

  You can only find the truth with logic
  If you have already found the truth
  without it. (G.K. Chesterton)
Received on Wed Aug 4 14:28:30 2004

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