maslow essentials

Remember Maslow’s hierarchy?  It basically says we need to have our basic essentials taken care of first and then we can move on.  It starts at love & security; food-shelter-clothing, and ends up at self-actualization.  First developed in 1943, it’s amazing it still stands the test of time.

Although this version may be more accurate….
or maybe this one is more current?

 

My personal experiences at WinSol’s simple & natural living has been a constant focus of not ‘powering up’.  It is SO, SO tempting to just go to the store and buy, buy: more solar panels, more comfy chairs, more 2×4, 2×6, etc.  It has taken me over a decade to realize the surrounding forest has all (or most) of what’s needed.  1″ fir tree rounds are way stronger than 2×6’s.  Chairs can be made from the forest (hey – I’m working on it).  Thermal mass is amazing in tons of local granite.  The dome floor is just the dirt (sifted) from clearing the access road to it…. on and on.  All re-purposed, or in the current PC lingo: up-cycled.

What are the  basic essentials? Let’s face it, our basic physical needs are still food, shelter and clothing.  Ok, I’ll add warmth (coolth?) in there. But one can easily survive with an indoor temperature of 40F.  But do we really need to cool ourselves to 65F on summer days?

And then there’s all that energy.  

Do we really need energy to live simply?  Ok, I’ll vote for lights, music, videos and internet in that order.  Above these items, it’s over-rated.  We are getting more comfy and cozy with all our toys.  I hope they last, but if they don’t y’all can always come experience the sheer beauty and serenity (and quietness) of WinSol in it’s natural state…. and maybe after a few days feel refreshed by real simplicity.

Here’s my personal favorite on Maslow’s hierachy:

Slash waste

When I worked at Toyota (TMS)  20+ years ago, I remember seeing a guy in the dock area of the San Ramon PDC pounding away with a sledge hammer. When I walked over I saw he was smashing up perfectly good A/C units, water pumps, alternators,  etc.     I asked why he was doing that and got the standard response ‘that’s what they told me to do’.  When I asked the regional manager, he said they were destroying units so they couldn’t be resold on the black market!

In a recent NYT article (link here) it was the same scenario: Manhattan’s big Nike store was discarding outdated ‘Kobe’ gym shoes by the dozens, but not before someone slashed the entire shoe to render it useless. There’s actually a Federal law that requires this! Outrageous? It gets even better (worse!)

The reason apparel retailers slash their shoes, clothings, accessories is basically two fold: to stop counterfeiters and hawkers from reselling them, so they can’t be worn by people who are obviously unable to afford them.

These retailers had tried to donate outdated and discarded goods to the homeless in the past, but incidents like 2005 Katrina (when FEMA unloaded a warehouse stocked with counterfeit garments to evacuees) had the retailers up in arms and they lobbied for a federal law forbidding such ‘handouts’.

Now come-on…this is  un-common (non)sense! What in the world is the possible ‘good’ here?   besides profits of course…

The embodied energy and outrageous prices charged for these items is where the real ‘sin’ is, not the counterfeit/poor ‘can’t be wearing this’ market.

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I don’t know how to start a boycott, but we gotta get the word out about this and pressure these retailers and manufacturers to stop this obvious ‘over-the-top’ waste.

It’s not always just about business and fattening the bottom line and holding on to market share – sometimes it’s just OK to take a hit for the team, and do something good for the less fortunate. It’s up to the less-fortunate to figure out their ethics and moral code too – the hawkers who abscond the seconds & resell them for their own gains.

Heaven forbid that Nike should marginalize their next-gen gym shoe by selling off outdated shoes at a heavy discount or allowing poor people some uplifting grace by letting them feel like a ‘million bucks’. Please….

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Side note where is your data right now? :  If you think your data is safe on Amazon S3 or Google doc servers, think again.  Along with the Dyn outage last year (surprisingly co-inciding with another more famous hacker attack), this article details some of the risks (link here).

Land of Oz

welcome to SF… what a world class city… still. It’s been a few years since i’ve enjoyed these environs the way I used to: being present with all the livlihoods around: SOMA, Yerba Buena, Chinatown,
Embarcadero skyways, Ferry Building, cool little shops & cafes… did you know there’s a redwood forest in the middle of SF??

The one thing that stood out for me this time (after I shed off the usual zombie-land, master-of-the-universe environs, that I was once part of) was the sheer # of empty muni buses – everywhere! WOW – Uber is going to be SO,SO successful. What a ridiculous sight: empty behemothth buses chewing away KWs of electric buzz-feeds.. at least they’re not on direct fossil-fuel… just think of the cost per mile – the REAL cost – driver labor, repair & maintenance, embodied energy, ugly overhead electric lines, damage to streets, energy cost, accidents, mishaps/deaths, on and on… of all those buses lined up on Market street and beyond with nary a passenger. My biggest bitch tho is the gawd awful sight of those buses squeeling and buzzing away… and the utter destruction of any ambiance that a human being could enjoy.

How distant this is from pedestrian friendly city centers of Europe and Asia! Why oh why, do we have our heads so deep in the tar sands?

The only quick info I could find on the O+M (ops+maint) costs per city bus mile was from the Washington DC area in 2015:  WOW  considering an average car costs around 10cents/mile and carpooling can cut that in half or third… what more can I say?  the writing is on the wall or street (yep = wall street 🙂…Uber will be getting lotsa capitalization from there, and perhaps empty buses, and BIG city buses will be a thing of the past.

It’s not better on the other side of the Bay in Beserkeley… where empty AC transit buses go streaming by, clogging up roads, belching fumes (there’s no overhead electric lines like in SF).  ahhh to head back to the environs of WinSol and the forest sanctuary… peace & serenity and real (human) nature.

Walter Russell

I have been fascinated by this man for some time now.  Walter Cronkite called him the Leanardo DaVinci of our times.  Yet he goes unheralded and unnoticed.

Walter Russell (1871-1963) reportedly had near death experiences every seven years until the age of 49.  Then he had one that lasted 39 days uninterrupted.  Wikipedia lists his achievements as “a painter, sculptor, author and builder and less well known as a natural philosopher and for his unified theory in physics and cosmogony. He posited that the universe was founded on a unifying principle of rhythmic balanced interchange.”

While he had  no formal higher education in  areas he was an expert in (architect, builder, painter/sculptor, physicist, philosopher ++), in  1926 he announced the existence of urium and uridium, and four other transuranium elements which made atomic fission possible, also deuterium and tritrium and the other four hydrogen isotopes, which made the H-bomb and heavy water possible. He corrected the atomic chart, and admonished current scientists for their limited ways of thinking.

A couple of Russell’s concepts I like:   matter exists only with motion  (only with motion is matter possible); and he never bothered with EFFECT, only with CAUSE.  Fascinating.

On a side note, Walter Russell was a pioneer of Co-operative Living, and built $30 million worth of top-quality cooperative apartments in NYC – some still operating to this day.  He is credited with developing  “cooperative ownership into an economically sound and workable principle.” [10]

Walter Russell fulfills  the trifecta of unheralded masterminds along with  Viktor Schauberger and Nikola Tesla.

If we only had followed their paths we would be in an amazingly different world today.

 

Ok, ok I’ll include Bucky Fuller in here too, and… Oh! there’s just too many alternative universes out there 🙂 

 

I am currently reading ‘The man who tapped the Secrets of the Universe’ and on page 35: “For many days and nights I was made to write down all these things which I knew in ‘The Divine Illiad’ (PDF here)  which is my record of my teachings while in the Light.  And in that one volume of many thousands of words there was never an erasure nor correction; and the language of that divine message was not mine.  I could never have written such rhythmic essence of knowledge, nor have created its exalted style’.  Thus I was made to see the universe as a whole and its simple principles of creation as one unit, repeated over and over, endlessly and without variation, as evidenced in the universal heart-beat to which every pulsing thing in the light-wave universe is geared to act as ONE UNIT OF ONE WHOLE.” 

And if we need any proof of that, just visit the Global Heart Coherence project and their global monitoring projects… especially what happened with their monitors on 911...and if you’re still interested in how this works in all of us and is linked with our living earth… check out this video

http://www.globalcarerooms.org/rooms/intuitive-heart-video/gci

 

Winter weirding

This is a record setting January.  WinSol is buried in a winter wonderland of snow with more on the way.

 This is a record January with 237 inches beating the old record for January of 159 inches set in 1973.

The learning center dome has its first real test under heavy snows and seems to be holding up pretty good.  We’ll see what the 72 hour snow fatigue does to the Cupola soon.  It’s really a beautiful setting as long as one has adequate heating, food and water – AND – doesn’t need to go anywhere.


Feb 22nd update:  Yep, it’s been a record snowfall for February also.  Lake Tahoe lake level is at it’s highest level EVER.  Kirkwood (my fav ski area) got over 72″ of new snow just
in the past 7 days.

 I keep getting these email updates almost every other day of some ridiculous # of snow inches that just fell.  When you gotta DIG OUT the chair lifts… what can I say:

Unfortunately, the Carson Spur and the ski resort itself is having open/close issues – and this veteran skier is only a blue-bird.  Although I am on my 17th ski day already this year.

WinSol and the learning center came out of the deep snow just fine.  There’s only one small leak on the cupola and NO cracking… whew… gotta but some acrylic bars across that this summer for the next big snow weirding.

the Rebound effect

Latest research shows that a rebound effect cancels out most good intentions like:  carbon reduction, energy & fuel efficiency, etc.

A rebound effect is:  ‘buy a more fuel efficient car and drive more’.  It’s been proven that higher efficiency cars are driven more.

Changes in behavior more than offset energy savings.

The rebound effect has been well documented in the past, but is lately gaining more attention.  Europe first experienced this rebound effect with its carbon cap programs in the early 90’s when eastern coal plants started producing more CO2 after western utilities gained carbon credits from installing scrubbers.

Reductions to global warming, climate change goals,  air and water pollution reduction programs are not yielding predicted results.  The IPCC’s  Rio+20 report is an omen for future efforts.  So how does one impact human behavior?

Rebound Solutions    A recent study on German households  has concluded that any policy changes are offset by a 57-67% rebound effect.  What to do?   Some studies have shown that fuel taxes appear to be more effective at changing behaviors.    So when that proposal for a carbon tax comes around,  we should all be supporting it.  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is… you know…

 

Energie Wende

that’s German for ‘Energy Turning’... which is well under way with the utility death-spiral already a reality in Germany, but we have our own ‘energy turning in the USofA’… so here’s annual op-ed on energy:

Exec Sum: It’s time to take a hiatus and chill in our warming planet: it’s all too damn confussing,  as our rubber band has exceeded its stretching limits:  Oil prices will continue to hover between $20-40, coal IS done – fini-  despite trumpian efforts,  wind and solar will continue to enlighten, and the USA will continue to gets its energy ass kicked by Europe and China… we are a laughing stock when it comes to energy policy: cheap oil at any price.  We hardly notice as the world moves on (to renewables).

Between falling oil prices and OPEC’s dysfunction (latest production cut agreement won’t hold long),  trumping around with uncertainty, Paris accords fading, Venezuela’s civil unrest, protesters turning into connected protectors,  fracking getting a pass,  more cars at less MPGs, Tesla’s stock shrinking as marriage to its incestuous cousin is approved, and Gaia keeps turning up the
heat on us frogs, what can I say that’s positive?   Hey – we’re waking up!  slowly but surely we are reaching a tipping point and I’m optimistic that our Big Brains will soon figure out that nature doesn’t really have an opinion and it’s better off without us – any questions?  There’s just one little issue with my optimism: Are we really that smart?  It only took us 5,000 years to put wheels on our luggage! And that was on top of 55,000 years without wheels!  something about chisels?… but I digress…

We have an energy solution right in front of us, but can’t seem to get past bi-partisan morass. Even NRG can’t figure it out… I get tired reading about the troubles in the renewable business… would the pop media wake up and get some balls – please?  Fossil fuels are not only messy, they’re guey, they stink, their supply chain is extremely inefficient (<5%), when they leak they kill, and we’re addicted like a heroin addict.  If you’ve ever driven up to an active fracking development area, you’ll be smelling and seeing methane clouds miles away; or if you’ve been with a wild-catting/leatherneck crew you’ll soon learn the messy business of dozens of 100ft long steel pipes swinging overhead waiting to be launched into the ground to send a diamond drill bit down,down,down (sound like I’ve been there? – yep in the 80’s… they were fracking then too in Oklahoma and I had a front row seat… but the fracking is WAY bigger & messier now).

(Newsflash on a recent Oil discovery: a HUGE – yes a trumpian huge – oil reserve in the Texas Bakken field was just unearthed that’ll keep oil & gas prices low for years more and renewables in the USA fighting for survival.)

renewables are messy...and renewables continue getting a dose of political uncertainty (again, sigh…) but what’s so messy about hooking up two wires to a solar panel, a couple water pipes to a hot water collector, or erecting a steel tower (once) for a wind blade? Compared to ANYTHING in the fossil fuel industry… absolutely nothing! (sing it Edwin Starr…. music tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpWmlRNfLck

Here’s an easy solution:  teach a kid how to heat water with a black soda bottle (just put some dark liquid in there and stick it out in the sun), or point out the solar PV panels on rooftops, and maybe even a wind turbine when you’re driving around… but hey! in order to be a teacher, y’all gotta be a good student… so study up and then teach the GOOD stuff to a young-un.

Note: if ya wanna be really cool, do this on the right… super heat a soda can!

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P.S. That’s what the LeLc is all about… FUN and PLAY… and the GREAT TURNING  (WTR)

 

DAPL protest

It’s the water.  We need it to live.  We really shouldn’t be mixing it with oil or natural gas or methane.  Ultimately the upstream solution is to totally disconnect ourselves from fossil fuels which are the real ‘alternative energies’.  el Sol is the only true energy source for Gaia.

So I went to a protest in dowimg_20161115_082203ntown SF… the second one in 5 years (occupy was earlier).  There were 2,000+ there – and mostly young-uns!  wow – that is so cool. I do hope this stuff about skipping generations is true, cuz the GenXers sure never woke up to protest our endless wars in the Middle East.

This protest ‘theme’ has my full attention and passion.  Not only is it VERY specific (about water)  and proposes specific solutions (no pipelines close to rivers & aquifers, but it is ALSO about not infringing on the sovereign rights of indigenous people – the ones we did a genocide on which we still have not dealt with!  So Standing Rock and all it’s supporters around the world … ROCK ON.  (note:  this is only the second of many, many pipeline protests to come… the first big-un was the Keystone Excel, this is gettin’ legs, babeee!)

So here I is….

dapl-protest

 

 

img_20161115_075048

 

DAPL = Dakota Access PipeLine

 

Lukewarming

Ok, I admit it:  I’m not really a climate change group thinker or believer anymore , BUT neither am I a  skeptic or climate denier – perhaps I am a lukewarmer,  What the heck is that, you ask???

When it comes to climate change – aka global weirding – I am classifying myself now as a lukewarmer. 

I’m a bit tired of the pop media and group think around climate change – it’s a bit too much – it’s like the environmentalism of the  80’s & 90’s:  let’s do less bad… and if you are not with us you’re against us. We’re about to battle this in Congress when climate science gets in front of Trump’s climate deniers. Oh such entertainment!

Climate change pundits and most scientists focus 100% on emissions.  This is wrong.   Climate change is redundant – it always changes.  And yes, humans are a major contributor – but I sure wish people would stop making us feel guilty about it.   Instead of doing less bad things,  how about we start doing some GOOD things:  like putting biochar back into the soil.  All climate changers keep doing is pounding us with having less CO2 emissions,  having a smaller carbon footprint: stop buying this, start eating that.

Like Dr. Braungart once told me:  if zero emissions are our goal, we should all be DOA (dead).  Humans are part of nature – we’re organic aren’t we?  So it’s quite natural for us to have ’emissions’.  His co-author in ‘Cradle to Cradle’     and partner Bill McDonough just published a paper on a new language for carbon — if we can change our carbon language to do more good, rather than less bad – perhaps we can design a world that will reduce carbon emissions as a by-product rather than declaring a WAR again…

Bill talks about living, durable and future carbon, rather than zero emission.   Here’s a synopsis: “The world’s current carbon strategy aims to promote a goal of zero. Predominant language currently includes words such as “low carbon,” “zero carbon,” “negative carbon,” and even a “war on carbon.” To show progress, according to McDonough, the design world needs values-based language that reflects a safe, healthy and just world. In this new paradigm, by building urban food systems and cultivating closed-loop flows of carbon nutrients, carbon can be recognized as an asset rather than a toxin, and the life-giving carbon cycle can become a model for human designs.”  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/william-mcdonough-offers-language-carbon-160000133.html Continue reading Lukewarming