October 16, 2009 archive

Liveblogging Bioneers: Lunchbreak Edition

Note: Much of this diary is notes taken directly from speakers … Some powerful stuff here …

Just back from listening to Michael Pollan and Sarah James (notes to be transcribed later) but reporting now on the incredible talk by Jack Hildary …

The day began with Kenny Ausubel, Nina Simons and Brock Dolman …. Liz Cunningham ..

Kenny’s Messaage: “It’s 2020 or bust”

Jack says its 2-degrees to 2-degrees! Astounding. Just astounding stuff!

Jack Hildary

Jack Hidary says a few weeks back he was bombarded with emails, tweets, phone messages and FaceBook contacts, all informing him that an electric car is now being featured in the catalog of all catalogs:  Neiman Marcus!

“Neiman Marcus has recognized that electric cars are here. I’m very excited. I begin to open all tweets and emails and text messages. I find the electric car in the Neiman Marcus catalog is a  ….cupcake. Light and fluffy. …. Two years before on the Playo at Burning Man I was distracted by 3-foot high movement. I look, I turn I first see a blueberry, then a second then a third…. The prototype of the electric vehicle. The Muffin mobile….”

Electric cars?  What’s the reality of the energy revolution today? What is the reality of solar wind? Lets take a status

Stats: 250 million cars in America; in world there are 800 million; we have 30% of the cars in world.

GV will not reach 5% of US fleet before 2030.

Obama admin  goal of 1 million PHEVs (plug in hybrid vehicle)by 2015 will only represent .4% penetration

Need a different approach. We are not on a pathway to sufficient change over, We are not there. How can we get there?

China currently has 65 million cars; 1.3 billion people in China and we are on the way to 300 million vehicles in next 6-7 years.

We must take hold of reality if we want to change this future

Energy.  Where is our solar, where is our wind? We all know there is more solar energy available  in 70 minutes than we need for entire year. Where is all the solar?

US  produces 371,000 megawatt hours of energy every year  How much is solar?  Solar = 108 megawatt hours

How can we change this?  

2 degrees for 2 degrees Nant’an

Milgram’s 1967  experiment  “Six degrees of separation” actually found that we are only separated by 4 degrees. It was changed to six by a playwright  because it sounded better …. It’s a play, it’s a movie. Voila.

Are we still in a world of 4 or 5 degrees? Let’s use Facebook as a Proxy

Users in 2007:  80 million, today: 300 million

One of the most significant things that has changed is that the number of friends people have has gone up, with the average number of friends at around 120 . Meaning that it is likely that within your group of 120 friends there is one friend who is “super connector.”

“We are probably moving to 2 degrees of separation.”

Facebook’s “Suggested Friends” got better, looking at many more variables  to suggest friends for you so more people started connecting. It is now all about “search and discovery, “we have networks but these tools are accelerating. We are accelerating towards each other faster and faster. The mathematics is there!”

But this is not happening uniformly. There are communities at 2 degrees in Brooklyn, New York;   Everyone knows everybody.

In Washington, DC  because of influx of people following the campaign  the estimate is 3 degrees. Here in Northern California communities no more than 4 degrees. Each of these communities is moving towards 2 degrees at different rates.

“What can we do with this 2-degree universe that we could not do before?”

He suggests a scenario of a fender bender en route to work. The hostility, frustration, inconvenience. Accusations. Involvement of the police, insurance companies … but  then …

“What if …… we might have an application that doesn’t exist but will probably exist by the end of this lecture and the application will buzz, it will say you have 2 mutual friends with this individual. You are connected and you are probably both going to Bobby’s birthday party on Friday.

In the 30 seconds it takes for me to walk over to this guy,  the entire interaction has changed. Forget the police,  I walk away, call over my shoulder “I’ll see you at the birthday party.”

When we think about changing energy it costs money and some of us might not have the money needed, so we need to find a scalable way to make this happen.

Enter the birth of pacenow.org in Berkeley, CA. the idea of a new bond with the proceeds of that bond going to people in the community so that they could install solar and retrofit homes and businesses.

Lets take this national!

Pacenow.org is now in  15 states in 6 months. Another 10 states are in the works.

“Your county will have ability to give you a low cost loan you will have 20 years to pay back.”

“This is the scale we have been waiting for.  This can change everything. But the loans alone will not do it. 2 for 2 means we are now more connected, each one of us sitting here today, all the other places where you are watching. We have ability to change things in a much bigger way.”

When you think PACE think about people you do not know as well …

Is PACE happening in your state? Are there low cost loans available now to make the difference?”

“Financial tools as important as solar and wind.”

You could put the charging stations in your vehicle, house, shopping center, We can actually make this happen

It all comes back to the Playa.

“We each can be leaders, now I have the tools; I have the tools to create a 2- degree universe. We are hurling towards each other. The technology and the tools are there. Do not wait!”

“Yes, we should continue conventional models of activism, but we must take it to another level, we cannot wait for government. The scale and the pace are not happening. WE NEED PACE TO PICK UP THE PACE.”

“We are now in a new 2 degree universe let us use to avoid those next 2 degrees in temperature.”

Why here, Why Now?

There has never been a more            time in the history of our planet to find the solutions to such critical environmental and social issues. The Earth could reach an irreversible tipping point in less than a decade unless we quickly change our ways, according to NASA climate scientist James Hansen.

Proven by how much attention the recently released film Food, Inc., and other social and environmental indictments like it earn, the masses are starting to ask themselves what they can do to make a difference.

Bioneers goes beyond the dialogue and inspires, educates and calls people to action. From water security to social justice, from green building to green collar jobs, Bioneers mobilizes citizens across the globe by offering them the tools, resources, and inspiration to be catalysts for change in their own communities to reverse the damage before it is too late.

For the past 20 years, Bioneers has been a hub of breakthrough solutions and leading-edge ideas that celebrate the genius of nature and human creativity to create a healthy planet. The organization recognizes that the work never stops and the need for solutions to critical issues is infinite. To that end, Bioneers will continue to inspire and connect experts across the globe with everyday citizens, and spread the gospel that each person can be a change-maker for a better world.

Through its educational works on pressing issues of the day including biomimicry, integrative medicine, green building and fostering youth leadership to build a sustainable future, Bioneers will continue to broadcast across global channels the urgency of taking care of the earth and of one another. And if the past 20 years are any indication of the demand, the annual conference in San Rafael, California that draws thousands each year will continue to showcase the latest technology, social and scientific solutions needed to spark hope and inspiration and to turn education into action. Bioneers FAQ

Highlights of the 2009 Conference

• Dr. Andrew Weil, the nation’s foremost authority on Integrative medicine, and author of numerous bestselling books including Spontaneous Healing and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health. Drawing from his newest book, Why Our Health Matters: A Vision of Medicine That Can Transform Our Future (September 2009), Dr. Weil will illustrate how making the critical link between human and environmental health can transform the healthcare system to benefit public health, the economy and the environment.

• Because Bioneers was created with the mission to help improve the industrialized food system, there will be a heavy focus around food and agriculture. Presenting at this year’s conference is food expert Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, and participant in the recently released production by Participant Media, Food, Inc., which will be shown during the conference’s Moving Image Festival. At the forefront of the modern day food conversation, Pollan will highlight front-line initiatives to redesign our destructive food system.

• Giving indigenous populations a voice for justice is one of the founding principles of Bioneers and primary focus of this year’s conference. Almir Narayamoga Surui is an Amazonian tribal chief who has spent more than 15 years fighting for the survival of his Surui tribe and the Amazon rainforest. Chief Almir will tell the astonishing story of how he connected with Google Earth Outreach and is using their technology to protect his people and preserve the rainforest with laptops instead of weapons.

Earlier Notes

Rehydration Revolution: Brock Dolman on Basins of Relations: A Reverential Rehydration Revolution

I am going to write later on Nina’s talk about the role women are playing in leading the world …  and about Kenny’s amazing intro … but right now while it is fresh in my mind i want to report on Brock and the Rehydration Revolution ….  

Water Institute

For starters, this guy is really head over heels in love with water!

Brock talks about ‘Hydro-illiteracy’ and how each of us much view our own watershed as a lifeboat; that each watershed is our true community and that the laws of nature operate from the bottom up… we need to outfit every lifeboat … He discusses a recent trip to Tibet and shows pictures of small Tibetan water (prayer) wheels which are predominant throughout the country. He shows the heartbreaking pictures of the Himalayas today and how millions and millions people will be impacted as the snow virtually disappears from the mountaintops and the rivers begin to dry up.

just think about it water three forms and as a solid it can float on itself.

we have kingdoms of life as opposed to kingdoms of life….

shows slides of Tibetan water wheels….


Having been going through a horrible “flu”, I missed posting my Distractions these past two weeks.

I`m much better now.

I hope these images will throw a little interruption in your daily lives if only for a moment.

These are mostly about “movement”.

Things moving or things that move me.

Some of the motion is actually static, like this cat blending into the ‘bark’ of the tree.



Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

Now with World and U.S. News.  51 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Twin suicide blasts kill 11 in NW Pakistan

by Lehaz Ali, AFP

Fri Oct 16, 6:25 am ET

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) – A twin suicide attack tore through a police compound in Pakistan on Friday, killing 11 people and heightening public anger over security breaches behind a wave of recent attacks.

Pakistan, a nuclear-armed power with a weak government on the frontline of the US-led war on terror, has been battered by assaults that have left more than 170 people dead in 11 days.

A woman suicide bomber on a motorbike and a car bomber unleashed fresh chaos Friday, detonating near a police investigations office in a garrison area of the northwestern city of Peshawar, bringing down a side of the building, police said.

Dem on Dem Filibuster…And the Hollow Reid That Allows It

Simulposted on Daily Kos

In the long and storied history of our fine and glorious land of sweeping plains, crashing oceans, and majestic mountains, a democracy that sweeps from sea to shining sea, a land that has been through a Civil War and racial strife, and perceived internal enemies, in an entire history of a land beset by challenges and strife, through all that we have been through as a nation, in the 233 years that this shining city on the hill has existed…


Never, not once, ever, nada, zip, bupkis. It is just NOT done.

But that is quite possibly what is about to happen.

Will this unprecedented instance of a political party be over a war? Over race or communism? Over say, Torture and War Crimes? Over some hugely important global threat to the safety of our nation? Will some urgent threat or emergency cause this never before seen rift in one of our political parties?

No this unique event will not be over some dire and imminent threat or internal strife that threatens the fabric of our nation….

It will be over getting decent Health care for our citizens.

Robert Scheer’s “Big Whoop”

This is a commentary about Scheer’s piece in today’s Alternet, amidst the ongoing talk about “health insurance reform.”  Generally, this diary re-asks the question inspired by Scheer’s piece: what’s the deal with cost issues?  Or, more specifically, we ought to be asking: why doesn’t the government just put this one on the credit card, like it does with banking and defense?

(Crossposted at Big Orange)

Working draft, 3D activism vs blogs/computers

I think one reason less 3D activism is… blogs. Computers.

Think about it.

Before, when we were angry, we got together in the same room to talk about it. From there, organizing an action was relatively easy. From there, each person involving a few friends was easy.

If today’s activists had an event planned for every 10-20 hours they spend online, the world would be a different place.

Human Interest Story? Sorry, Not Interested

I admit that I have always been skeptical and unaffected by the majority of human interest stories.  It’s not that these efforts to tug at America’s heart strings leave me cold and uncaring, but rather I rightly see them as an attempt to tug at our purse strings as well.  Every so often a story, such as the brave pilot who quite incredibly landed a commercial aircraft in the Hudson river will come to light; situations like those deserve every mention and every laudatory bit of praise.  However, for every one genuine story of high drama and unselfish heroism, there are four which are cynically leap upon and patently designed to hook in viewers. These are then given the hard sell by the excited, tension-building cadences of television anchors, compelling us, if not begging us to watch the story develop in front of our faces.    

Though the Media (and certain members of the Obama Administration, if the story is to be believed) will chide us for our irresponsibility in jumping to conclusions or not taking into account the whole picture, in situations like the recent story regarding the six-year-old little boy who was said to be dangerously being carried by a runaway balloon when he was in fact hiding in his family’s attic, the media looks more foolish than the most clueless blogger.  Attempting to save face, the media is now questioning whether the entire matter was a cheap stunt.  Whether it was or not is largely immaterial.  News reporters rapaciously jumped aboard this story when only the most basic of facts had been confirmed, and the most glaring offenders were the twenty-four hour cable news networks.  Child + perilous situation + novelty + human interest + potentially heroic rescue = media catnip.    

Teachable moments™ like these can be direct at a variety of offenders.  I might start with a few news outlets whose desperation to use this non-event for their own ends led them to play a bit fast and loose with journalistic restraint.  Everyone stands to gain from a particularly juicy story, of course.  Still, pardon my skepticism, what would have been accomplished if the matter had turned out to be true?  What if there had been a stirring rescue followed by at least an hour’s worth of self-congratulatory talk from the active participants in the rescue effort?  A three-day-dialogue on bad parenting skills?  A picture of the young boy on the cover of People?  A satellite interview with the family and the child himself on the morning pseudo-news/variety hour of one’s choosing?  An eventual appearance on Oprah™?  Aside from a nice distraction from our lives of quite desperation, how does this help?    

It did not, of course, turn out this way.  As it stands, the media does not like to be punk’d, yet the irony in this instance is that the mainstream players unintentionally punk’d themselves.  It is for reasons like these that the phrase “human interest” elicits yawns rather than heightened curiosity within me.  I suppose maybe I see news purely in terms of substantive critique and a presentation of important information.  My life is boringly normal enough and I don’t need validation of mutual humanity in the form of the latest person who has bravely faced some challenge or distinguished himself or herself from the rest of the pack.  Most of my personal heroes never faced a television camera in their whole of their lives and, if they ever exist in the public consciousness at all, they are often mere footnotes and shadowy phantoms in someone’s forthcoming book or dissertation.    

Fame is ephemeral enough, but soft news fame is its own kind of ephemeral cotton candy—here now, gone quickly, likely never to return.  Those who court it know that the quickest way to maintain attention is to resort to sensation and to devise their own means of achieve it.  When I was in undergrad, the Mass Communications 101 class I took taught us each of the ways which could be employed to grab the attention of the media.  Those whose stated internal agenda is to achieve the spotlight would be well to memorize them, since they are truer now than ever, especially in a time of great transition.  In a different time, this whole child in balloon facing great danger story would not have been instantly transformed into an established motif of vulnerable child fighting against a harsh environment.  Facts would have been checked more judiciously.  With three main cable networks fighting for the attention of an audience, each seeks to outdo the other.  Competition can be good for everyone involved, but while each has carved out its own particular niche, one can still plainly observe squabbling over the coveted title of number one.  A media with egg on its face again would be wise to not invest in eggs, since they have a way of boomeranging back to their thrower.

The Matrix, Free Will and Evolution


Some of us feel like Neo at the end of the first one when the bullets are coming fast and furious and to Neo it seems so comically slow motion. But to those still in the Matrix it all seems so real.

Colin Powell: “Terrorist Industrial Complex”

KO visits an interview with Colin Powell in GQ from 2007 that most overlooked and shouldn’t have, while many were saying or thinking the same, as to what was happening in the previous administration, Powell says it using Eisenhower’s words and warning of the growing “Military Industrial Complex” with the slight change describing the now not “Cold War” fears once used to enrich the Defense Contractors now tuned to “Terrorism”, Criminal Terrorism, but as a force to destroy us all and our beliefs, just like nukes but adding in the beliefs to make it even scarier.

Docudharma Times Friday October 16

Friday’s Headlines:

Pakistan Attacks Show Tightening of Militant Links

Global warming opens new Arctic shipping lane

Obama Criticized as Too Cautious, Slow on Judicial Posts

Sliding dollar may be something to cheer about

Tajikistan, in other words

Italians bribed the Taleban all over Afghanistan, say officials

Has the original Labyrinth been found?

Russia’s punishment of historians a symptom of ‘creeping re-Stalinisation’

UN row threatens to sink Middle East peace plan

Families of Beirut Marines fear they’ve been forgotten

Madagascar’s capital is like a glimpse of medieval London, with a layer of grime

Critics fear all is not well in the darling of Africa on eve of election

I’m sorry for being late

Advanced Horsemanure Notice

Winter is coming so the manure pile smell abates.  As the health care issue comes to a “resolution” for the first time ever CT watch has the next evolution of scheduled political bullshit.  That would be Obama’s serve theme.


WWL Radio #39 Predictions for a Failed State

Crossposted from the The Wild Wild Left where you can check out some of the discussions pertinent to this topic.

Join WWL cohosts Diane Gee and Michael Gottlieb tonight on BTR at 6PM EDT.

Our conversation continues from last week, expanding on the already collapsed Empire of the United States and our options for facing the fallout of that fact. We are going to talk about the basic break with reality that is pervasive in the American mentality, and frame it in both the converse reaction to the health care debate and the utter lack of response to the economic crisis.

My position reflects that of some of my other learned colleagues, in that this collapse already happened, as far as the individuals within the population is concerned. From the JFK coup to Reaganomics to what Bush has wrought, the Corporate Government has consolidated their power irredeemably. The class war has already been played out, and the people lost.

So what remains is how to deal with reality, and if Americans can ever break free of the veil and see that reality. What remains is what we envision next. Fight, flight or fucktitude?

This discussion has been scrutinized over several threads these past days and continues today. Should we cling to the “Positive Thinking Brainwashing,” or remain “Prophets of the Doom?”

We are hoping to have a special guest call in and weigh in, and hope to hear from all of you as well.

See you there! As always, respectful questions and commentary are welcomed.

Join Gottlieb and Diane tonight at 6pm EDT on Wild Wild Left Radio, via BlogtalkRadio, for an interesting hour of Political Reporting and Commentary.

WWL Radio: Free Speech in Practice.

The call in number is 646-929-1264

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

The live chat link will go live around 5:15.



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