Intensive farming is big bucks. It’s high fossil fuel cashflow due to the use of fertilizer and all kinds of other chemicals. Therefore intensive farming is pushed by the banks and fossil industry. But research has shown that the practice depletes the soil, is as productive as less intensive farming and the crops are of lower nutritious value than crops grown in more natural systems.
Other research has shown that the nutritional value of plants also drops due to climate change. The plants convert larger amount of available CO2 into sugars, so that the balance with other nutrients is distorted. This means people eating the produce will crave for the nutrients, eat more, but only get more sugar.
Again other research has shown that our body when it is fed a lot of sugar, will also function less optimal because the sugar allows for growth but the other nutrients necessary are not available in proportion. This also causes cravings and thus overeating of sugar, the cause of the problem!
We may be entering a time where our food no longer satisfies us, because it is grown on depleted soil, it has grown to fast so it’s low in nutrients, and this diet causes us to crave more food, causing us to be malnourished and obese.
The irony is that this would be economically almost optimal. Not only is intensive farming an economic dream as all kinds of activity are needed and much more money flows around than with biological farming systems. But the overeating increases demand, the obesity causes cashflow in the medical profession and al kinds of related fields, including health food, which does not escape CO2′s effects on nutrient content.
So if we don’t fight climate change and we don’t insiste on a return to soil oriented farming systems, we will slowly see our food become like an empty shell, a husk we can’t feed ourselves with, while we may eat a lot, and be overweight as a result.
We must escape this trap, which also implies deteriorated intellect (which relies on iron and zink in the diet for instance) or we’ll be like a trapped animal, too malnourished to develop the initiative to move towards improvement.
When ten million years from now some species will be digging through layers of earth it will see a thin line where suddenly lots of biomass was deposited, under a thicker layer with not much going on. It will be called the antropoceen extinction or something like that, in their language. This (except there may be no future archeologists) is the most likely thing to happen right now.
Going extinct is what we are doing, all species, including fish, insects, birds, mammals are dying out because one, us humans, are being to careless. We are not confronted with the consequences of our actions quick enough, and thus feel like what we are doing is fine.
One factor that makes it hard for our conscious behaviour to be compatible with long term survival is that our minds do not have a real thing to focus on. Electric cars being an idea are easy to push out of the way, just a couple of words. Electric cars on the road where we drive ourselves are something we need to deal with, we try to give it an explanation and in doing so we integrate it in our world view. This now seems to have broken to some hysteresis barrier where most big car companies are planning to build electric cars, India and China plan to ban internal combustion cars.
The energy source we expect will be most used after we have shut down all fossil operations is solar. Solar energy will change our planet, even as life on it is under pressure its abundance, which is thousands of times more than that of fossil, and it’s different distribution across the globe will cause a revolution and a period of growth and increase of wealth that can last at least a century.
We call this the Helioceen, and it can make the antropoceen irrelevant in the geological record.
We had the pleasure of traveling quite freely across Europe for a number of weeks, as you can see by the pictures we took along the way. In a sense it was an opportunity to detach from our city lifestyle, also because we usually did not stay in the cities we visited, but outside it to save cost.
One of our conclusions was that in reality life in cities is mostly unpleasant. Some cities have been made beautiful around 1900 and inhabitants can still enjoy it. Others may look modern but really are quite cold and business like. Of course the breaks in this pattern are whatever the owner of the lunchroom or restaurant has chosen to please his costumers (and us).
Economic pressure has caused many heart attacks, suicides and much stress.
The basic simple principle is that whatever we found good about places was stuff that reduced stress. Beyond that we where surprised how much stress inducing factors there actually are, and most have to do with the economy. The traffic fumes and noise is certainly one of them, but another, which we saw more in Italy than elsewhere, is the almost god like status given to things like icecream or pastry. We liked it, as it was almost a meditative process to taste icecream from a place that was all marble and gold. A lot like eating the body of christ in an oppulent church, very Italian indeed.
Such human oriented examples of how people go beyond the normal we like because it has in the end nothing to do with profit or economics. Prices of chocolate of most oppulent stores where not significantly higher, with some exceptions. In those exeptional cases we’d say that once again economics managed to induce stress, because the cost of a place in the most beautifull places of Milan forces one to ask higher prices. The scarifice made long ago by the creators of these buildings are now profited of by a never ending line of investors and banks who always want more than they payed.
The products the economy pushes on us, like coffee and chocolate, we feel has a double effect. Coffee is an anti depressant, it makes people more egocentric. This psychological effect is usefull to survive in a depressing economy, which includes lots of peer pressure to gain status, anoying bosses, depressing offices. Coffee is one drug used, chocolate and sigarettes (lots of people smoke in southern Europe) are two others.
To make a list one could say that stress inducers are
Traffic, noise, fragmented cities (no central square or recognizable place to call home)
Architecture made for profit, not human relaxation
Economic peer pressure, hyperfocussed style, so like all women in the world want a Gucci bag.
Cultural monoculture in music and fashion.
Coffee, chocolate, sigarettes increase bloodpressure and focus, egotism. Alcohol can inhibit mental capacity to ‘escape’.
The inability to truely contribute to many parts of our daily lives
Stress relaxation methods offered are
Media, movies, radio, virtual reality
Taking holidays, getting massages and other cures
Eating overnutritious food, fat, sugar
The problem we would like to highlight is that as people find economically viable ways to releave stress, the economy will respond by once again increasing it. This is very obvious from parts of cities that have turned extremely ugly and bleak, where people keep themselves ‘sane’ through television and a stress reducing diet of unhealthy food, coffee, smoking.
People should not be expected to relax near bussy streets. Closing more streets for traffic seems perfectly possible in many cities.
It is economically undesirable to create a perfect city, even if it is all we really need, which is a bit of food and drink, friendly company and a comfortable place to sit, to just process the work related challenges. This is not how the economy works, producers of various products want you to spend your money with them, and they disturb the possible peace by occupying the center of your living area and being in your face as much as you can tolerate.
We think that the economic drivers will, in most places, create uneasiness in people, that those people will combat by engaging in it, but which generally causes an unnatural stress, discomfort, like a halter you barely feel.
Some think in exactly the opposite way.. for economic gain!
It is not true that all of us have to cooperate to make our wealth possible. A lot of it comes from automatic production lines or farm that service hundreds of thousands of people at once. The consumers act of going to the supermarket is a symbolic chore, again somewhat of a stress release process so we can accept we did nothing to have the choice offered to us. (and a way to make us feel equal as we pay). The people using the self checkout look higher status already, not having to deal with anyone, because as the economy stresses us, we find others increasingly stressfull.
We think the answer is not some kind of product or service, but a way to downsize the environment we experience. Unlike for instance communist era buildings or streets with skyscrapers, made to make us feel small and insignificant, we should look to chop our cities up in parts where we can experience the human scale, and ‘identify’ with our surroundings. Many offices look like they have been made for non existing giants..
All commercial activities should be downscaled, with food shops and clothing ateliers and other shops providing more employment. We proposed a horizon limitation on how far a company can expand its reach from it’s main office. This would mean large international companies could no longer exist, which would also be good for diversity.
We spend a good deal of time in many different cafe’s, bars, restaurants etc. on our recent roadtrip through Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland (also looking for employment). In many cases these establishments where by bussy roads. In many cases one would be repeatedly douced in fuel (motorcycle, scooter) or blown away by incoming soot from trucks and small vans.
In Barcelona the narrow streets of the old city don’t allow many cars, and so only supply vans and mopets get in, but mopeds, small motorcycles, really don’t burn their fuel very efficiently, and so you are most of the time breathing oil and VOC, and fuels apart from the NOx they produce. VOC are voletile organic compounds, they are half burned fossil fuels.
In Milan we found a cafe to use the Wifi and where stunned by the fact its doors opened to the road near the traffic lights, and every time a truck had to accelerate there, the moment of worst fuel efficiency, it would bellow its smoke right into the place. How can you even work there. Traffic stops really are a super source of all kinds of pollutants, and we’d argue they are minimized in innercities.
Another category of faul places we had to be where underground parkings. In Besancon we saw a man begging in the stairwell of a parking garage, you could smell the fumes and solvens stongly.
You may think it is not that serious, but it is. Not only do people shorten their lifespan by damaging their lungs, their neural system gets dissolved by the gasoline and other hydrocarbons. They are solvents for fat, and our nervous system uses fat to speed up its function. If you don’t eat enough fat to replace the dissolved fat (apart from the lesions fossil hydrocarbons can cause) your intellect will deteriorate and your reaction time slow down.
Especially in hotter countries like Spain and the South of France and Italy, the damage done by VOC’s NOx and other pollutants (O3 is another one) is more sever, as chemical reactions tend to speed up with higher temperatures. Also smog builds up more easily.
Get the irony of mothers delivery children to school in a soot bellowing SUV?
We had something done to our car in a garage that did not ventilate at all. The guys where in exhaust smoke and evaporated fuel at 35 Celsius all day. We did not wonder why they where a bit cookie. But seriously we need to look at the air quality in places where we have our down time, at least until internal combustion engines are banned wholesale. Workers need health protection, they do low payed jobs which doesn’t mean their lives can be wasted!
What happens if we have fully autonomous vehicle control systems..
As Tesla and several other car and IT companies are trying to prefect control systems for autonomous cars, the implications of such technology are not yet grasped by the majority of people. It’s not so much that you don’t drive your own car anymore, it’s that things can be moved around without the need for humans.
The essential parts of a Model S can carry and do a lot more
Sure it is cool to have a car that you can summon and send with your kids to school for instance. And it is great that this drives a level of control robustness that is already saving lives (Tesla’s have less accidents on autopilot than human controlled cars). But what is being developed has potential way beyond making you safer on the road.
Roadbot as a word now still references transformers
In cooperation with Nvidia a graphics card producer, Tesla is building a platform for autonomous control – period. Cars, trucks, trains, bikes, motorcycles, bipidal robots can all navigate with it’s system if its mature enough. We all follow roads most of the time. We can get into trains, as can robots, or we walk over pavement. Robots can do that. Of course an important question becomes : Why would we need a robot to do that? Humans are way cheaper in most cases.
On the road that’s a different story. Once we have an autonomous control system we can trust to find it’s way without harming or killing anyone, we can do a lot with it. It’s a basic logistics solution. It can haul small parcels, big ones if it’s a Tesla truck, to wherever needs be. Deliveroo, now breaking the backs of a young generation, can use it. Most things moving over roads can be moved without human help, and that is a lot.
The nice aspect of the Roadbot is that the cost reduction for dismissing the human (who actually runs a risk on the road) can offset the cost of purchase and the electrification of the vehicle. We assume the vehicle will be electric because autonomous internal combustion cars are practically like guided misiles. Low profile no thrills electric drones carrying stuff where it needs to be, to replace the loud stinking trucks and filthy diesel vans that make inner cities a health hazard in the morning.
But beyond that. Places that we think about are deserts, roadbots, electric, panels on top, moving into remote areas on their own to bring life, to plant, to work on water infrastructure, climate responses we desperately need, but for which it can be hard to find the human resources. We envision this to be the least visible but most important application of roadbots.
We read a comic book once about someone landing on a planet where large machines kept cities running, everything automatic on credit (but nobody living there). People living in the still natural part trying to stop the machine. This is a bit how it is today, as we have a fossil fuel driven machine that wants to concentrate people and make them dependent (as you can’t live off concrete in a city), maximizing the use of credit.
But in reality as the cost advantage slips away from fossil fuels and nuclear, we can have modern cities, fully automated for human comfort using renewables, as well as nature beyond these cities which is kept alive and thriving (after a period of struggle against climate change) because we use robots to make it so, and there is no need to stop using them.
We feel that water carrying roadbots, planting and seeding and shaping the land for optimal water retention will be an imporant side effect of the push for autonomous driving, as well as robots of other shapes and forms being able to mitigate our pedestrian world. They will make it easier for us to deal with the real problems caused by climate change.
Energy is essential for modern society, and abundant fossil energy has more or less created it. We live easy, safe lives (if we are lucky) where our bodies are not worn down by working the land. If we only allow progress (and why wouldn’t we) this will remain the same for more and more people. We believe this is possible.
There is however a problem with our energy sources and the type of economy that it has developed in order for the fossil fuel companies to sell as much of their product. Economics we think is a markeing strategy for fossil fuels. The problem is the pollution and CO2 emissions. We have less dangerous energy sources which can take the place of dangerous and harmfull fossil fuels, we all know this.
There is however another reason why fossil and other dangerous fuel producers, distributors and users should come under government control, ideally following an international guideline, under the UN, which effects rapid phase out. It is that te economy as it is practiced now actually maximizes the damage these fuels can do.
We know oil companies are after profit, which sounds logical but means that they maximize the sale of their product irrespective of whethe people want it or not. They maximize pollution and climate damage. In their own operation they cut corners creating dangerous situations. Secondary to that they promote inefficiency to sell more fuels. The profit motive in our economy seems to work for more efficiency, but the opposite is true. This is because there are banks, and banks like cashflow.
We are looking for a maximum GDP as if it means the maximum number of people is contributing qualitatively to our wealth creation. This is an illusion. The GDP signifies the amount of fuel credit flowing between fossil fuel companies/consumers/producers. Even if all we consume was made by a single big black smoke bellowing machine the GDP would be great.
Profit helps banks control you, because it makes money scarce, so prices inflate and you need to borrow more
We also know that the regulatory system is undermined by the same economic forces. Lobbyist get a lot of money to control the thinking of our lawmakers, and these in turn seem to develop into greedy shopkeepers for whatever law is proposd (with the proper paycheck) while we are supposed to think they are idealistic and mindfull of consequences (other than te size of their car or house).
These factors make it impossible for fossil fuel companies to operate safely in freedom like any other enterprise. They drive damage, they lobby for damage to our health and ability to survive on Earth. They corrupt the government. It is not even a moral question, it is their job to do so, because they (think they) need profits. We can explain why especially fossil fuel companies don’t need profits but that is another story.
So we would argue that all fossil fuel and other dangerous energy producers/explotators should become non-profit, government controlled and phased out as rapid as possible.
The biggest obstacle to this idea is fossil fuel corrupted politcians. You can thus easily identify them as this idea is proposed. Of course you have to find a politician willing to sacrifice his carreer by proposing the nationalization of all dangerous and harmfull fossil fuel companies. The best idea may be to crowdfund a financial safety net for this politician, we are working on that.
Because this idea adresses a supranational concern clearly existent (with the Paris agreement as proof), we have proposed this is done under a UN mandate, or implemented through EU law. The EU has sadly become the place to find the most easily corruptable politicans, Shell spend millions there to lobby for weakening of climate targets. We should not accept this going on. You can improve the situation by getting to know some of your local leaders and make sure they care about you.
We’re traveling in Catalonia, and hopefully the rest of Spain, and we are amazed to read Spain really suppresses solar energy. If you own less than 10 KW you are exempt, but still pay some tax. If you have between 10 and 100 KW however your tax is so high you are giving your solar power away to the grid. This is a result of the gas lobby who use the cost of gas pipelines and installations to justify continuing to endanger Spain and the rest of the world.
The new law prohibits PV systems up to 100 kW from selling electricity. Instead, their owners are required to donate the extra electricity to the grid for free
Systems over 100 kW must register in order to sell electricity in the spot market for the excess power they generate
For PV systems up to 100 kW, the owner of the installation must be the owner of the contract with the electricity company
Community ownership is prohibited altogether for all sizes of self-consumption systems
Permissions need to be obtained before installation takes place. Every grid-connected electricity system needs authorization from its electricity supplier and the Spanish Government.
It makes no sense to continue any activity to earn money to pay back investments if you want to transition to renewables. Debt is only a mechanism to stabilize (and rest power with) the fossil credit banking system, there is no real obligation because money is a means of exchange, not a thing of value in itself.
Wierdly apparently the cost of generating power is more than the revenues. The difference in 2016 was 34 Billion Euro. Of course this is because the source is gas, coal, nuclear which all have continued cost. The money is recovered from people using solar, thus inhibiting the solution to the still rising debt. Of course you could also decree that the debt is illegal and gas and coal energy companies need to shut the hell up.
We truely hate these kind of debt politics which is based on the mistaken idea that people of a region need to pay back money to compensate for money they recieved earlier. This never actually happens, because if you borrow money and buy gasoline, you burn that gasoline and even if you make money and use that to pay back, the gasoline is burned and will never return to Earth, nor can you make gasoline to give back. So the debt is only used to control you and make sure that you struggling with others thus making you powerless.
Catalonya aspires to be independent based on its unique culture and wealth. Debt plays a role because Catalonia is about 42 Billion Euro in debt, and mainly its banks and pension funds are at risk.They bay about 17 Billion to the rest of Spain. This catch is very ironic, because solar used to facilitate the lives of pensioners and reducing cost of energy would solve the problem completely. Thus solar tax seems a way to control Catalonia.
Storage is a way to defeat the taxes mentioned above. Tesla Powepacks can store arbitrary amounts of electricity. Their employment also stabilizes the grid, and makes upgrades unnecessary. Any sensible power grid owner is now looking at deploying storage. We think a strategy of regional autonomy in terms of electricity would be smart, because it would sap the banks of cashflow that now makes them so powerfull.
We’ve traveled to Nice, San Remo, Milan and Turin in the mean time.. Pictures will be uploaded soon. We hope to continue to Venice, Florence ,Pisa and other places but that is contingent on some fiancial support (we need about 800,-) this would also make pictures sponsored, at a tune of 50,-. Which would then be partially shared with the climatebabes. If you’re interested or have another suggestion feel free to mail or tweet!
Update 18th of august :
We are shocked to hear about the attacks in Barcelona. We hope the criminals are captured soon and feel for the victims. These criminals are crazy, we need to be vigilant and not let people fall into the hands of jihadist indoctrinators. Such a vibrant city should not have to suffer such terrible fate.
Update 5th of august :
We spend the afternoon making pictures by the beach of Barcelona. They will be uploaded soon.
Our email adress is email@example.com, if you like us to send you your picture or you have other questions..
We will be off into Europe to shoot climatebabe pictures. We’ll be exploring locations with interesting renewable energy installations and perhaps some architecture and art as well. We will post audio on our Soundcloud account here.
Germans and Egyptians are working to use sewage water to irrigate new forrests in the desert. Trees grow four times as fast.
Another example how deserts need not be barren and empty
“Chris Reij, a Dutch geographer who’s been working in the region for thirty years, says farmers in Niger alone have grown an estimated 200 million trees. “This is probably the largest environmental transformation in the Sahel, if not in Africa. There are fifteen to twenty times more trees than there were in 1975, which is completely opposite of what most people tend to believe.”Source
“What we’re finding is, when we start looking, that animals have an incredible potential to shape how much carbon is taken up by ecosystems,” said Oswald J. Schmitz, a professor of ecology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.”
The term ecosystem was invented to highlight the interdependence between plant and animal species. Cows fertilize the land, the land feeds the cows, all kinds of opportunistic organisms found a niche and sometimes they can become essential, like bees for pollination (those that are now being wiped out by the use of non degrading pesticides)
“Sea otters have a very strong effect on the abundance of kelp through the influence they have on sea urchins”
We should work to restore and bring about ecosystems where they are damaged or where there is none to begin with now. That way we will sequester CO2, slow down warming and make the planet habitable for more species in bigger regions where deserts encroached.