Friday, July 25, 2014

A Grid We Can Believe In - 2

Vulnerable U.S. Power Grid
Today is Friday, so let's talk some science that Dredd Blog first discussed in 2009, and also pointed out that scientists were warning about acting on current grid vulnerability that could bring about the collapse of industrial civilization (I was too optimistic so I underestimated the time frame).

Our grid still wastes a lot of power, is utterly vulnerable to damage from outbursts on the Sun, and needs to be retrofitted so as to more easily process alternate and renewable forms of input such as Solar PV, Solar Thermal, and Wind Generated energy.

Less than three years after Dredd Blog reported concern of scientists about the vulnerability, sure enough in 2012 we narrowly missed catastrophe when a coronal mass ejection (CME) came way too close to the Earth.

So, let's once again consider the vulnerability to solar activity:
Earth narrowly avoided being hit by a solar super storm that would have plunged the planet into technological chaos, according to scientists at Nasa. The most powerful solar storm in more than 150 years tore through the space between the Sun and Earth's orbit on 23 July 2012. Luckily it missed, but physicists say there could be another one coming...
What is a solar super storm?

The largest explosions in the solar system are known as coronal mass ejections (CME). It is essentially an eruption of billions of tons of superheated gas called plasma that emerges from the sun like a cloud and blasts into space travelling at more than four million miles an hour. Some become even larger than the Sun itself.

What damage would it do?

Analysts believe a direct hit by an extreme CME, such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012, could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. "An extreme solar storm could knock out the power grid for weeks or even months, destroying the technology that powers our civilisation, from communications to banking to our water supply," says the Discovery Channel. The consequences could be "devastating for commerce, transportation, agriculture and food stocks, fuel and water supplies, human health and medical facilities, national security, and daily life in general", says the Washington Post.

Has a super solar storm ever hit Earth?

The most significant known solar storm was the "Carrington Event" of September 1859, named after an English astronomer, Richard Carrington, who saw the flare with his own eyes. Back then, the Northern Lights stretched to Cuba, while intense geomagnetic storms destroyed telegraph wires in America and Europe giving operators electric shocks and knocking out the telegraph network as far away as Australia and Asia for two days. Scientists at Nasa say that, in a world now dependent on electricity, a similar storm today could have a "catastrophic effect", with the economic impact exceeding $2 trillion. "In my view the July 2012 storm was in all respects at least as strong as the 1959 Carrington event," says Daniel Baker, of the University of Colorado. "The only difference is, it missed."
(The Week, emphasis added). We don't need another threat caused by our own negligence and failure to act.

So, let's now talk about the efficiency of our current grid:
China has the world's fastest supercomputer, the fastest high speed trains and is leading the world in building nuclear plants. One of its more remarkable achievements has been modernizing the grid. The country has developed a 1 million AC volt transmission line that loses only 8 percent of its power on a 1,200 mile journey from the power plant in western China to the cities in the east.

An equivalent U.S. line, with only 760 kilovolts, would lose 80 percent of its power.
(Chu: New Industries, Such as Green, Need Government Support). Our entire infrastructure, including the critical but inefficient power grid, is in need of repair and updating.

Our power grid is also resistant to our desperate need to implement renewable energy systems and tie them into our power grid:
"The grid was not built for renewables," said Trieu Mai, senior analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The frailty imperils lofty goals for greenhouse gas reductions. Concerned state and federal officials are spending billions of dollars in ratepayer and taxpayer money in an effort to hasten the technological breakthroughs needed for the grid to keep up with the demands of clean energy.

Making a green energy future work will be "one of the greatest technological challenges industrialized societies have undertaken," a group of scholars at Caltech said in a recent report. The report notes that by 2030, about $1 trillion is expected to be spent nationwide in bringing the grid up to date.
(LA Times). There are many reasons to get real and start to upgrade the power grid and stop building Keystone XL type Dirty Oil Pipelines.

We also need to think about more good paying green and renewable energy jobs for an economy that needs them.

The previous post in this series is here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Here Come The Torture Investigations - 2

When I wrote the first post in this series (Here Come The Torture Investigations, February 25, 2009) I expected that the newly elected President Obama and his Administration would bring some justice to those who soiled the name and reputation of the American people.

Those who committed torture brought ill repute upon us with their torture of both innocent and guilty people during the Bush II years, because it does not matter whether an innocent or a guilty person is tortured in the sense that torture is illegal either before or after guilt is established (The Penalty For Torture Can Be Death, President Reagan Puts Cheney In Jail).

Well, as you know there was no justice brought to those who tortured.

Until now, albeit from afar, and it was only justice against those states in Europe that collaborated with the CIA.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that torture at secret torture sites violated human rights:
The applicant complained that Poland, by enabling the CIA to transfer him from its territory, had exposed to him to a real and serious risk of being transferred to a jurisdiction where he would be subjected to a flagrantly unfair
trial, in breach of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.
At the material time it had been known that the military commissions had allowed for indefinite detention without trial since there had been no time-limits on bringing the accused to trial. There had been no bar on admission of evidence obtained by torture ...
(ECHR, Al Nashiri v Poland). The decision is a couple of hundred pages, so you might want to read the synopsis in a news report instead (Raw Story).

If one considers the U.S.E. (The United States of Europe, 2, 3, 4) along with this ECHR ruling, the U.S.A. is looking more like an old European authoritarian state, while the new Europe is looking more like the old United States of America when there was a real constitutional democracy.

The bottom line is that the U.S. is losing its good reputation in the world, and is even seen as the number one threat to peace in the world (Poll: United States Seen As Greatest Threat To World Peace In 2013) contrary to the wishes of the people (The Wars Are un-American Says Public - 2).

The previous post in this series is here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Wars Are un-American Says Public - 2

On this date in 2009, Dredd Blog pointed out that the public is not composed of warmongers as the military is.

It has been that way for a long, long time (The Universal Smedley, The Universal Smedley - 2).

Which has a lot of citizens asking temselves if a secretive coup has taken place (A Tale of Coup Cities, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).

Anyway, here is the text of that post of five years ago:

An "American war" is by definition one that the American people support.

The American people, for years now, have not supported either the Iraq or the Afghanistan wars:
A majority of Americans oppose both the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq, though the war in Afghanistan is a little more popular
(Seattle Times). Or in other words, both wars are unpopular, one more unpopular than the other.

When is the military oil complex going to get it; that Americans think that war is their greatest enemy.

A few days later, the following text was posted:

I just finished a post titled "The Wars Are un-American Says Public", and also posted one warning that the un-American aspect of the wars would mean men would be mentally destroyed there, and when they came home they would plague their families, their local communities, and themselves for the rest of their lives.

Then the Colorado case came up which says what I was trying to say:
Soldiers from an Army unit that had 10 infantrymen accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter after returning to civilian life described a breakdown in discipline during their Iraq deployment in which troops murdered civilians, a newspaper reported Sunday ...

Several soldiers said unit discipline deteriorated while in Iraq.

"Toward the end, we were so mad and tired and frustrated," said Daniel Freeman. "You came too close, we lit you up. You didn't stop, we ran your car over with the Bradley," an armored fighting vehicle.

With each roadside bombing, soldiers would fire in all directions "and just light the whole area up," said Anthony Marquez, a friend of Freeman in the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. "If anyone was around, that was their fault. We smoked 'em."

Taxi drivers got shot for no reason, and others were dropped off bridges after interrogations, said Marcus Mifflin, who was eventually discharged with post traumatic stress syndrome.

"You didn't get blamed unless someone could be absolutely sure you did something wrong," he said
(AP, DU). Now these men are back home doing to civilian Americans what they were doing to civilian Iraqis. I saw this during the Vietnam era too.

Brain dead masters of war sit in their ivory towers of deceit in Washington D.C. pontificating how things should be according to their reading of the Bible.

No wonder Bob Dylan mused that all those Dick Cheney types should all die long before any soldiers did:
And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead
(ibid). We now know that Cheney Wanted To Invade Buffalo, N.Y. with the U.S. military to get to some slow wannabe terrorists, and make a big show for himself.

The foolishness and utter ignorance of the Bush II regime seems to have no bounds.

A Wartocracy then?

CIA Man, by The Fugs

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Upcoming UN Lawsuit: The Monkey Trial II

New Groundhog Day Tank ("The Dervish 101")
As was pointed out yesterday, Russia has won the latest oil war within the territory of the old Ottoman Empire (The Peak Of The Oil Wars - 10).

One of the solutions proposed on Morning Joke today was a trial in the United Nations (UN).

Madeleine "Not So" Albright (Maddie) said we should have a Monkey Shoots Down An Airplane Trial in the UN, yes, another super trial about whodoneit dammit in the Ukraine, a trial that would follow the big win just like the First Monkey Trial that Colin "The Honest" Powell presented there.

The one about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq that preznit Blush eventually found in his office.
"I brought Clapper's littlest lie this time"

Maddie was not the only one who is advocating the tactic of "sue the bastids" in the courts of public propaganda.

No, not by a long shot:
Ukraine’s transitional government was quick to respond to its Crimean losses. On April 3, Minister of Justice Pavel Petrenko announced that a review of Ukraine’s “losses in Crimea, including Ministry of Energy property, the Black Sea shelf and Chornomornaftohaz, and Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport property (railway, real estate, ships and planes” had been completed with an eye toward launching a case at the Council of Europe to recover compensation for damages."
(Russia Claims Ukraine’s Black Sea Oil And Gas Bounty). While Americans who listen to Rupert Morlock Newz might not remember the Weapons of Monkey Deception trial, most Europeans will.

Germany and Russia, jurors in the Colinoscopy (First Preznit Blush UN Trial), were not convinced then; neither are they convinced now (Is The McTell News Malaise-ian Frenzy Related to Guilt?).

Neither was the UN Security Council convinced by the Colinoscopy:
On September 16, 2004 Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, speaking on the invasion, said, "I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN Charter. From our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."
(United Nations Security Council and the Iraq War, emphasis added). That was the result of the case based on the evidence which the Agency provided.

So, the Agency & James "The Perjurer" Clapper (ACLU v Clapper) will now be witnesses at the UN trial, after perjuring themselves and the government before their own countrymen and Congress without ever being held accountable?

Remember that they were spying on Americans everywhere, but lied and said they were not.

The perjurer and what else will be the witnesses for the Obama Administration in the trial - McTell News perhaps?

The Germans and Russians also want a trial after an independent body (like the UN Inspectors of yesteryear) conducts an independent investigation (Merkel, Putin Agree on International Probe of MH17 Crash).

Thus, the current media propaganda frenzy is so Groundhog Day Deja Vu all over again.

"Tell me Lies", by Fleetwood Mac:

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Peak Of The Oil Wars - 10

Ottoman and Persian Empires circa 1912
This series has focused on the fundamental origins, in current civilization, of the thinking that resulted in the change to the use of oil as the fundamental source of energy.

In other words, Current Civilization's enslavement by addiction to the use of oil (Russia-Ukraine's part below).

It is also a story of a century of decisions which define the suicidal episodes of current civilization, a dynamic which we have found also applies to most civilizations, empires, and societies (Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch).

The graphic to the upper-left shows the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) and the Persian Empire (now Iran) circa 1912.

A few years prior to 1912, oil had been discovered in the Persian Empire:
In 1901 William Knox D'Arcy, a millionaire London socialite, negotiated an oil concession with Mozaffar al-Din Shah Qajar of Persia [now Iran]. He assumed exclusive rights to prospect for oil for 60 years in a vast tract of territory ... By 1908 having sunk more than £500,000 into their Persian venture and found no oil ... [however,] in a stroke of luck, struck oil shortly after on May 26, 1908 ... [thereafter those interested] created the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) ... Volume production of Persian oil products eventually started in 1913 from a refinery built at Abadan, for its first 50 years the largest oil refinery in the world (see Abadan Refinery). In 1913, shortly before World War I, APOC managers negotiated with a new customer, Winston Churchill [Britain], who was then First Lord of the Admiralty. Churchill, as a part of a three-year expansion program, sought to modernize Britain's navy by abandoning the use of coal. Furthermore, Churchill wanted to free Britain from its reliance on the Standard Oil [American] and Royal Dutch-Shell [Netherlands]  / Dutch / Brits] oil companies. In exchange for secure oil supplies for its ships, the British government injected new capital into the company and, in doing so, acquired a controlling interest in APOC. The contract that was set up between the British Government and APOC was to hold for 20 years. The British government also became a de facto hidden power behind the oil company ...
(Anglo-Persian Oil Company, emphasis added, see also Viva Egypt - 2). As for the Ottoman Empire, oil was discovered near Mosul:
Discovery of oil in 1908 at Masjid-i Suleiman in [what was then "Persia", now] Iran – an event that changed the fate of the Middle East – gave impetus to quest for oil in Mesopotamia [now Iraq]. Oil pursuits in Mesopotamia [now Iraq] were concentrated in Mosul, one of three provinces or "vilayets" constituting [Mesopotamia, now] Iraq under the Ottoman [Ottoman Empire] rule. Mosul was the northern province, the other two being Baghdad (in the middle) and Basra (in the south) provinces. Foreign geologists visited the area under the disguise of archeologists.

For a good part of the last century, interests of national governments were closely linked with the interests of oil companies, so much so that oil companies were de facto extensions of foreign-office establishments of the governments. The latter actively lobbied on behalf of the oil companies owned by their respective nationals. The oil companies, in return, would guarantee oil supply to respective governments – preferably at a substantial discount.

This symbiotic relationship manifested itself superbly when Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC), founded in 1911 and named as such in 1912 to exploit Mosul oil, was reorganized in March 1914 at a meeting held in Foreign Office in London where British and German diplomats sat next to executives of British and German banks and British and Dutch oil companies. Notwithstanding its name, TPC did not have Turkish participation. At that time World War I had not broken out yet, and Germans were welcome at TPC.

The British and Dutch were attracted to German participation because German banks had obtained a concession from the Ottomans in 1904 – a concession that in fact had been allowed to lapse. Calouste Gulbenkian, the consummate deal-maker of Armenian origin that helped found TPC, was not present at the meeting, but his interests were well looked after. He ended up with 5 percent share in TPC, though with no voting rights.
(The Quest for Oil, emphasis added). The video at the end of this post shows some additional Ottoman Empire oil fields up in the Black Sea area that were producing prior to WW I.

The same sort of deception was taking place against Persia [now Iran], according to a book published in 1912:
"The Persian Government, starting in December, 1909, had been seeking to obtain a loan of about $2,500,000 from the Russian and British Governments, but the conditions which the two Powers endeavored to impose upon the granting of this assistance was so dangerous to, and even destructive of, Persia's independence that the Medjlis [the Parliament] was compelled to reject them. Shortly thereafter Persia entered into negotiations with a private banking-house in London for a loan, and it was upon the point of being concluded on terms mutually satisfactory, when, in October, 1910, the negotiations were brought to an end through the action of the British Government, working in harmony with Russia, whereby Persia was prevented from realizing money on the crown jewels which she was ready to pledge for the loan. All this time Russia had been openly endeavoring to extort a number of valuable concessions from the Persian Medjlis as the price of withdrawing her troops from Northern Persia. The general attitude of the two Powers toward Persia was marked with increasing unfriendliness and hostility."
(The Strangling of Persia, Intro. p. liii, by W. Morgan Shuster, emphasis added). The year 1912, shortly before WW I, was a time when both of the empires shown on the map had oil resources within their borders, and both had predators circling around them.

That map was to change when the first world oil war (WW I) took place, as detailed in the "Blood and Oil" video below, a good look at that oil war.

In closing for today, (more in future posts), let's bring oil wars up to date:
When Russia seized Crimea in March, it acquired not just the Crimean landmass but also a maritime zone more than three times its size with the rights to underwater resources potentially worth trillions of dollars.

Russia portrayed the takeover as reclamation of its rightful territory, drawing no attention to the oil and gas rush that had recently been heating up in the Black Sea. But the move also extended Russia’s maritime boundaries, quietly giving Russia dominion over vast oil and gas reserves while dealing a crippling blow to Ukraine’s hopes for energy independence.

Russia did so under an international accord that gives nations sovereignty over areas up to 230 miles from their shorelines. It had tried, unsuccessfully, to gain access to energy resources in the same territory in a pact with Ukraine less than two years earlier.
(In Taking Crimea ..., emphasis added). Our current oil-based civilization has been warring over oil for over a century because of the mindset of Oil-Qaeda, the current "Jim Jones" that is deceiving and leading us toward mass suicide (MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact - 5).

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

A look at the phenomenon of "blood for oil" is depicted in this video: