My CO2 Automobile Emissions

1) I have driven automobiles around the world 30 times.
2) Total distance is 750,000 miles.
3a) Speed was 2/3 of a circuit per year [1],
3b) or 16,667 miles/year (45 years),
3c) or 45.6… miles/day (45 years).
4a) Fuel used was 30,000 gallons of gasoline
4b) at 25 mpg (assumed).
5a) CO2 produced was 589,200 pounds [2],
5b) or 13,093.3… pounds/year, 45 years.
6) Number of travellers 1 to 5 (average ~2).
7) CO2/average traveller is 6,546.6… pound/year.
8) CO2/mile is 0.7856 pounds/mile.
9) Equivalent # US drivers/year, if use my rate of CO2 production = 143 million. [3]
10) Average # cars/trucks owned per Equivalent driver = 1.78. [4]

DATA:

[1] Circumference of the Earth is 24,901 miles (rounded up to 25 kmile).

[2] “About 19.64 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced from burning a gallon of gasoline that does not contain ethanol.” (US-EIA)

[3] US CO2 from autos and gasoline powered trucks is >50%, probably <66%, of the CO2 emissions from the entire transportation sector, which produces 26% of the total US emission of CO2 (2014, but similar since 1990). The total greenhouse gas emissions for the US (2014) is 6870 x 10^6 metric tons, and CO2 is 82% of that greenhouse gas total. (US-EPA). [1 metric ton (1000 kg) = 2204 pounds.] So:

a1) Total greenhouse gas/year = 6,870 million metric tonnes.
a2) Total greenhouse gas/year = 15,141,480 million pounds
(15.141 trillion pounds).

b1) Total CO2/year = 5633 million metric tonnes.
b2) Total CO2/year = 12,416,013 million pounds
(12.416 trillion pounds).

c1) Transportation CO2/year = 1465 million metric tonnes.
c2) Transportation CO2/year = 3,228,163 million pounds
(3.228 trillion pounds).

d1) Auto/truck CO2/year (@ 58%) = 849.5 million metric tonnes.
d2) Auto/truck CO2/year (@ 58%) = 1,872,334 million pounds
(1.872 trillion pounds).

[4] “According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for 2012, there were 254,639,386 registered vehicles” in the U.S. (rounded up to 255 million) (wikipedia)

I Am Not Here

I Am Not Here

Poetry is the first hideout of a romantic,
and the last refuge of a socialist.
In between
is a lifetime of discovery and disillusion.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
The Sunday afternoon sunlight
of a San Francisco Bay Indian Summer
illuminating the honeyed ruby sweetness
of a glass of port
in a near-empty bistro relaxing
with honeyed saxophone sounds
is the dynamic stillpoint of the All,
consciousness of which is entirely mine
in all of humanity.

With each passing day
I am increasingly cloud-hidden
on the upper slopes of the unseen mountain
at the threshold of the Western Desert.
The berries up here are sweet,
ripened with age,
except for the bitter young ones,
plump and green.
I am eye-to-eye with eternity
even as I am of vanishing consequence.
On descent into the daylight below the mists,
into the hurly-burly of the human ferment,
I am enveloped by a protective invisibility
because ignorance is fragile,
and like the first sprouts of a seedling
needs protective shade against the withering sun.

Soon enough the port is drunk,
dusk has passed,
and in the foggy night chill
I set off once again up the mountain
to catch the dawn rays above the mists,
in solitude,
cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown.

9 October 2016

Mediocrity Rules

“There are hundreds, thousands of youths who enter upon the hard calling of the arts with extravagant hopes; but for the most part they come to terms with their mediocrity and find somewhere in life a niche where they can escape starvation.” — W. Somerset Maugham (in “The Bum”)

Most people are mediocrities, for by the very definitions of the words “exceptional” and “genius” how could it be otherwise? So, to secure their survival mediocrities gravitate into filling the many slots in bureaucracies of waste enshrining hierarchies of incompetence. This allows them sufficient anonymity to avoid being held responsible for their actions, which in any case are bureaucratically diluted to near inconsequentiality, and so they are insulated from harsh judgements based on their individual value to society.

Being a bureaucrat offers the opportunity to be a gatekeeper at some trivial level, and that in turn offers the excuse to puff up with self-importance, which is a poor substitute for the self-esteem needed for psychological survival. Since most of us are mediocrities, the bureaucratic sheltering of our aggrageted societal weakness is a form of compassionate socialism we must be resigned to accept.

As I sit in my favorite bistro and listen to the stupid self-satisfied babble of the lunching shallow-minded mediocrities obsessed with their microscopic concerns, I remind myself of the unavoidable necessity of our societal inefficiencies, lack of vision and achievement. All our exchanged bureaucratic praises and our nationalistic forms of self congratulation are charitably allowable falsities.

It would be wonderful, even revolutionary, if we could move beyond this maintenance of illusion for the comfort of mass mediocrity, but sadly we can’t, at least not now nor in the forseeable future. In fact, it seems most likely we will never achieve a higher level of social evolution that make possible the fullest development of individual human potential, as well as ensuring our species-wide survival and well-being, by stopping our self-inflicted wounding by capitalism, war and climate change.

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America’s Enslaving Freedoms

America’s Enslaving Freedoms

The White people who came to the American continents and eventually established the many nations of the Western Hemisphere, including the United States of America, were united in their belief in three motivating principles:

1. They wanted the freedom to practice their religion, and to persecute those who did not,

2. They wanted the freedom to practice genocide of the native populations in order to gain real estate,

3. They wanted the freedom to practice slavery, both chattel slavery and wage slavery, to gain wealth.

In today’s United States, these three freedoms are somewhat tempered for political expediency, but their motivational cores remain as the essence of this nation’s attraction to immigrants from around the world.

The freedom of religion is an umbrella under which we gather our many forms of enjoying ignorance and being comforted by bigotry. Racism, anti-science irrationality, paternalism, sexism, child abuse, homophobia and traditional religious intolerance of all kinds are all enthusiastically maintained here.

The freedom to practice genocide is now a systematized slow-motion process of wealth-driven legality degrading and displacing depreciated populations to extract material advantages from those being impoverished. The combine of the banking, real estate and fossil fuel industries, and their many land-grab schemes for: gentrification, urban commercial development, large-scale industrialized agriculture, privatization of scenic areas, pipelines and natural resource extraction, all find their motivational root in this freedom of the wealthy to exclude.

The freedom to enslave remains as popular today as it has always been. Gaining the rewards from the unpaid and even forced labor of others is an enduring desirable among our species. Again, in today’s America the raw slavery of the past is difficult to practice on a grand scale, though many individuals do manage to be masters over their own hidden slavery operations (of economic as well as sexual slavery). The major slavery plantations serving USA owners today are the tragically vast private prison and slavery complex, and the internationally outsourced de facto slavery operations of pittance wage labor producing “low cost” (high profit) products for import to the USA.

One can easily see strong resonances of these three principles as the foundations of many US foreign policies, entanglements and alliances; with Israel and Saudi Arabia for example.

Most Americans adhere to these principles, even if they don’t realize it, because they are easily distracted shallow thinkers whom corporate media indoctrinates without difficulty. Our public political discourse is confined to the narrowest of ranges centered squarely in neoliberal capitalist orthodoxy. The grotesque fluff that passes for political debate, currently between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, is entirely about the inconsequential atmospherics that each presidential contender would prefer to exhibit were they to be appointed the manager of the existing, unchangeable and continuing neoliberal economic regime.

The purpose of the US corporate-owned government is to maintain the conditions that allow today’s corporate wealth-generating schemes to continue their extraction from the national and world common good. There is no room for the voice of wage-slave America in the political process imposed for the benefit of the wealthy. That was the bluntly obvious message, sent by the ownership class to wage-slave America, in the blocking of the Bernie Sanders campaign. Jill Stein and the Green Party valiantly carry on with the most popular yet least supported agenda for wage-slave Americans, but again, too many are imprisoned by their fear-based indoctrination.

Remaining faithful to learned delusions for enslavement is more comforting to most of the electorate than breaking out into a rebellious independence of logical thought, based on facts, that leads to politically disobedient actions. However, in 2016, the sheer odiousness of the leading presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, has shredded so much of the camouflage hiding the naked reality of American capitalism, that it is impossible for any sane person to remain unaware of it. Some very optimistic observers are hopeful that this ‘pantsing’ of American neoliberalism will be the beginning of a collapse of wage-slave America’s support for both the Democratic and Republican parties. We have all seen:

1. The loutish honesty of Donald Trump in accurately expressing the attitudes of the American wealth elite; and

2. The smarmy manipulativeness and blatant dishonesty of Hillary Clinton, which has exposed the corruption of the government professionals serving the American wealth elite.

Donald Trump’s popular support has come at the expense of the viability of the Republican Party as a vehicle supporting the careerism of its professional politicians, because that support is a populist insurgency that overwhelmed the pros. By contrast, Hillary Clinton’s support is centered among the careerist professional politicians of the Democratic Party, and has come as a result of excluding the voice of the people, who in turn have lost enthusiasm for that party and its “first female president” candidate.

So now, the Trump-led Republican Party flounders with chaotically amateurish ebullience, while the Clinton-led Democratic Party is a tightly scripted flat tire. Will more of the electorate wake up, and move on? We can only hope.