My friend Gozo and I see the world differently. He sees disparate elements, I see component parts of one thing.
2. Since it's all one thing there is no starting point, but as it goes around let's enter at "high levels of imported energy."
Amount of work done in any system by any means requires energy. There is a ratio. Einstein mentioned it.
3. When Homo Habilus invented the stone knife, it was a means of concentrating energy.
You put energy into the knife over a large area - your hand / its handle number of square centimeters.
4. Then all that energy is concentrated on a surface a few micro-meters wide and maybe five cm long, and that much surface can't sink that much energy without catastrophic failure. So the animal skin comes apart. (Homo Habilus, remember.)
5. There are two ways to do more work, as a person. Figure out how to accomplish your goal with less waste energy, or import energy. So much energy per task per repetition. If you want more, add energy.
Since we're using what we have, we have to import it.
Oil, coal, wind -
6. Unfortunately oil and coal are more energy dense than wind. E=MC².
But that's another issue.
So - we couldn't be where we are without imported energy. We couldn't pave everything and bulldoze all the forests and melt all the sand and ship all the rhino horn without it. 🤷
7. Capitalism. Capitalism is a system - to use non derogatory terms - wherein the objective of the game is to think up something somebody will buy, and make that.
That's where cars came from. Henry Ford invented (a) something people would buy,
8. (b) a system to make them by the shitload.
And he got richer than Pharaoh. Because you could buy imported energy for nearly nothing. Oil was laying around all over the top layer of the world and you could gather it up with a tanker truck and a hose. Cheap.
9. Modern capitalism runs on imported energy. We can't even grow and provide food at an energy break-even. In terms of imbedded energy your average apple is more petroleum than nature.
Be cheaper if we could just eat the oil.
They're working on that, by the way. Lab-grown meat.
10. I got the automobile in there already, by accident, but I'm going to come back around to it. The average earth-surface footprint of a typical auto-owning American is vast. The energy demand to move that one body over all that surface is almost unimaginable.
10. Because of cars we have to have highways. Because of cars those highways have to be smooth as a baby's behind.
Do you have any idea how much energy it takes to move all that Earth, make all that concrete, ship all that limestone, ship all that sand... Mine all that limestone
11. Dig all that coal pump all that oil.
That shit everybody's talking about hasn't been made yet.
Does anyone have the vaguest idea how much fire it takes to do all this work?
This is just so we can drive fast.
If the cars ran on air we'd be spending this energy, most of it.
12. Remember that energy in that knife blade? How we concentrated our strength into a sharpened edge and pushed it against our skin and - oops. Bloody mess. Because our skin could not sink that much energy per unit of surface. Period.
Look at the energy we are dumping into Earth.
13. As far as Socialism et al - Socialism is a noun, a name for an idea. Books have been written about the idea. They don't agree with each other. I'm not getting into that mess very deeply, except to say, so far it hasn't prevented climate change and ecosystem degradation, so 🤷
14. How to get XX billion people to cooperate. That is a challenge I am often presented. Proof of uselessness: you can't make everybody do it!
Today the vast majority of those XX billion are living energy efficient lives with nearly no imported energy. There are 2 billion cars.
15. So we got a six billion people head start.
What about the other two billion?
Are you under the impression that everyone in America went to sleep in a horsedrawn world, and when they woke up in the morning it was Freeway Frontage Road USA?
One person at a time.
16. If everyone who has told me that it's not worth doing because you can't make everyone do it, had done it instead, there would be little clusters of not-Amish, eclectic, donkey and oxen and horse drawn communities of oddballs and people would be saying
17. Already people are driving up and down the country roads in these little semi-open off-road capable gasoline buggies that go about 20 mph. Why? Who made them do that?
I have it better than the guys on the tractors. They go up and down the country roads, ten feet in the air,
18. Air conditioned cab, all the windows closed, and here's this old fart twice their age with a team of donkeys and a cart full of seedlings and shovels and stakes.
Yes, they wave. It's polite.
19. I seriously need to get donkey powered mowers. The contrast, from the donks back to the mowing tractor, earplugs, I need another hundred dollars' worth of gasoline...
Yeah, how could you ever force anyone to give that up?
Please don't throw me in that briar patch.
20. And finally... Amishism?
Well, you know, I can't prove it, but I suspect there isn't an established ism anywhere that will solve our problems. I know that's a hassle. One word solutions are the easiest to market. But I don't have one.
This is about energy, y'all. Physical.
21. The way all species survive on Earth is, they harvest more energy, as food, than they require to live, without adversely changing the ecosystem within which they live.
We eat more energy than we require - particularly the two billion with cars, because according to the UN,
22. About two billion, globally, are overweight or obese. 🙋 Coincidence, I'm sure.
What we need to do is acknowledge a few facts.
🔹There is no system large enough and complex enough on Earth to manage the carbon balance except the biosphere.
🔹We're degrading all of it daily.
23. The problems, and the solution, can be expressed in calories, btus, kilowatts, horsepower... It is not possible for us to rewrite the energy budget of planet Earth over the long term.
I often mention the Amish because historically they have lived much lower energy budgets.
24. This is shrinking. Because they don't do it because of energy, and they can stick wind turbines out in the pasture and solar panels on the roof, and run battery drills and cordless everything.
But it's about energy. It's real stuff. It's the realest stuff there is.
Guess that's a good quitting spot.

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More from @homemadeguitars

6 Jun
There was a time when I thought our Constitution was, overall, tolerable.
I would now say that, counting the base document and 240 years of court decisions and habits, it's pretty much done. I doubt we can get back to "Of, by, and for the people" from here, on that feeble reed.
Few understand this, but we were really, honestly, 13 separate nations which "United" as a "Federation."
The Senate gives each "separate nation" a voice equal to the voice of all the human people in the "Federation" put together.
3. We are told, over and over, that this thing, these areas of land with lines drawn around them, given the power to pass or block legislation, these sovereign states who have an equal voice in, among other things, electing our Presidents, is our "American Exceptionalism" working
Read 4 tweets
6 Jun
Clara and I did several brand new things together today. She's really a sweetheart, and she's done quite a bit of team work on rolling loads - cart, road wagon - but had never been driven alone since she learned to drive sensible. Never pulled a load alone. Never pulled dragging.
2. Dragging loads make noise. Dragging loads cause the traces to rub the sides of their legs when they turn. It's a lotta hassle for them until the get used to it.
I didn't take any pictures, so all a story tonight.
I'll use some old pics of other people for illustration. Donkeys
3. The traces hook to the singletree, which transfers the pulling force from their shoulders to the load. This is Abe, back at the beginning in November of 2018.
You can't see it here, but there's a 12' log chain folded double, hooked on to drag & be a load and noise.
Read 20 tweets
4 Jun
This was my answer to a respectable and intelligent young person who objected to my tweets of hopelessness today. I'm removing their identity out of respect. But.
Action. Towards the goal.
2. I do not believe that CO2 emission reductions by themselves are enough, but any immediate reduction without leading emissions would be good.
Most of the prescriptions are "emit a bunch of carbon now, and then *someday*...
But not slowing down. Works immediately.
3. It is known, anywhere where facts are stored, that because of air resistance, gas mileage drops sharply above about 25 - 35 mph. The higher the speeds, the higher the drop.
Have you ever stood out in a 70 mph wind?
Going 70 through the air is exactly the same thing.
Read 6 tweets
3 Jun
I have some thoughts about the process this article describes accurately.
I partly grew up in Iowa, and the rest Missouri. I have watched farming, and the land, and the community, die all my life.
In this essay it is described in passive terms. It happened…
2. The processes described in this article occurred sequentially as the level of imported energy, i.e. fossil fuels, have increased. I propose that there is a cause and effect linkage. The higher speed and power caused this outcome, inevitably.
Only be removing them can it stop.
Read 18 tweets
2 Jun
There is no reason for Bill Gates to own more farmland than anyone else in America.
There is no reason for any human to own more of Earth than a modest portion which they personally occupy and tend.
"The Tragedy of the Commons" was literally a made-up story. Those events never.
But billionaires have made it happen in the oceans of the world, much of it in my one lifetime.
Now that we know the whole cycle of plastic, there is no moral or social excuse to continue to make it.
There's a money excuse.
Every destructive act on Earth is somebody's job.
3. Observe the media. Observe your Twitter feed. Observe politics.
The entire discussion is around an ever-changing yet never-changing set of talking points from both sides.
That's it, pretty much.
"We need to get MT green🤮 out of Congress!"
Why? She's just a noise machine.
Read 19 tweets
1 Jun
I acknowledge the sins of my fathers, and regret them.
However, on a day to day basis I am more interested in finding ways to move forward appropriately, than of detailing the evils we have done.
2. All of it - the genocide, the slavery, the ecocide - was done to build global 2021, the practices, the technology, the value system.
You can't build a good system out of ceaseless evil.
We do not live in a good system.
3. I find the idea that we can somehow tweak the outcome of slavery, genocide, and ecocide, and get a fair and equitable society, to be unpersuasive. I appear to be in the minority.
Read 30 tweets

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