Posts filed under ‘Profits’

How To Profit From America’s New Shopping List

Barack Obama Shopping List

Hey America, if you are paying attention, you can make a lot of money right now!

President Obama just told us his shopping list for his three year plan (funny, it takes three years for fruit trees to produce). Obama is about to get a check for $825,000,000,000 dollars and he wants to buy all sorts of cool new things for America, such as:

10,000 school renovations – Great for all the folks who can help kids learn about chickens and growing vegetables and neat stuff like that

Improved local community communications networks – Hey, I sell those things!

75% of Federal building to be more energy efficient – You mean like ride sharing? Light bulbs? Turning computers off?

2.5 Million weatherized homes – Wow, whoever makes bricks and insulation from waste plastic bags & stuff will make a killing!

Double America’s renewable energy – Woo hoo! I sell hooch making machines! I’m gonna be rich!

Anyway, I am writing about this because the secret is, and always will be, to be a master of markets for things people really need. That means neighborhood collectives can team up and go legally harvest firewood and split it up among the community, where people volunteer their labor in exchange for good and services they need.

Money, as we know it, is just a means of representing value. What has real value to you? Probably the same things that have value to everyone else: Food, shelter, transportation, water, electricity, friends, resilient neighborhoods and communities, skills and stuff the community can use.

That’s the power behind Bright Neighbor. We offer a machine that helps fix community economies and ecology. Think about it this way…

Chickens are egg machines.
Gardens are fruit and vegetable machines.
Trees are fruit and nut machines.
Worms and mushrooms are soil fixing machines.

Bright Neighbor is a communications system, a carbon reduction machine, a money saving machine, and a community repair machine all-in-one. We have implemented it in governments, businesses, faith communities, private corporations, and with individual community organizers who want to fix their community. Our customer base now ranges in all of these markets, and if President Obama wants to buy any of these things, Bright Neighbor is one of America’s post-petroleum startups now open for business.

Three cheers for the Three Year Plan! I hope you make oodles of money.

- Randy White

PS: If you are interested in setting up a Bright Neighbor community communications system, please fill out this form.

January 24, 2009 at 3:36 pm Leave a comment

The Recession and Depression of Plenty

Homeless Cell Phone

Have you noticed how even homeless people have cell phones?

The peak oil community, for the longest time, has been freaked out about running out of resources. There have been all sorts of efforts to help people prepare for a society fighting over the remaining resources. The problem with our society and economic system, however, is the opposite of the normal peak oil argument – we actually have too much stuff, not the other way around. Granted – there are people that go without things like ipods – but they make due.

Poor man Wii

In general, we have created an over abundance of cars, toasters, programmers, and advertising sales people. The problem isn’t ‘stuff’ depletion as much as money depletion. We have plenty of stuff. Which is why with food available, people aren’t trying to learn how to garden – they are just trying to land another job to pay their bills.

The fight is really between human laws and mother nature’s laws. We are at the peak of everything, but the cash is scarce – having been sucked into corporate officers’ pockets. Right now, CEOs and lawyers are still fat and happy, while your average worker is getting laid off due to their redundancy. The system hasn’t collapsed – it has retracted. Without any money in savings, the ability for people to live at the same level of comfort is what is threatened, not the monetary construct. We haven’t created a new economic system to replace the old one, so suffering is occurring as the old system ceases like an engine without oil.

If we all defaulted on our debts to banks – could the banks kick everyone out of their homes at once? We aren’t there yet, we are still in the peak oil ‘collections period’.

This means while jobs and money become more scarce, we are back to people trying to sell off their goods and services to make ends meet – creating a surplus of Nintendo Wii consoles on Craigslist. All the people with money have to do is wait longer, and the prices will come down even further. Yes, the general population has been fattened for the slaughter, and the feasting has begun.

So, what to do?

Well, I created a sharing system for friends and neighbors (or anyone in a geographic region or community for that matter) to share resources. If groups of people would inventory their stuff, they could share things. But sharing stuff only helps save money – it doesn’t generate it, unless you rent out your stuff when you let someone borrow it.

For instance – many people have tools. The stores have plenty of tools, too. So when someone needs a drill, they can either borrow one or they can buy one. But lots of people already have drills – and the folks at the drill factory are being laid off as the realization that we have materialized enough stuff for everyone kicks into our consciousness.

And when there is no more market demand for cars, toasters, or whatever has been produced enough – people get laid off. Those workers still need to make payments for bills and debts, however. So they ask for assistance from the government – racking up more claims and causing a drain on government resources.

How long can the government hand out food stamps and heating assistance before it is overwhelmed and more people are taking than adding to it? We are seeing it happen in front of our eyes.

So as this recession continues, it is the quest for continued sources of money – not the quest for ‘stuff’ that is the way the average person is experiencing peak oil. I think we will continue to see more people living together rather than having their own private nests.

At least we have lots of Nintendos to play.

December 15, 2008 at 2:32 pm 2 comments

Why Oil Companies Need $150 Per Barrel Of Oil – The Case For Destroying The Rewable Fuels Standard

The following is a letter to the EPA written by David Blume that was just published in Renewable Energy World.

David Blume

by David Blume, Author

The purpose of the Renewable Fuels Standard is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, reverse the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, and eventually end the toxic releases from petroleum, coal, and other fossil fuels. The idea is to replace these fuels with clean alternatives like ethanol, which, unlike fossil fuels, are based on captured solar energy that is constantly renewed.

When the alcohol industry agreed to sacrifice the Clean Air Act’s oxygenate standard in exchange for its proposed Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), I was staunchly opposed. Advocates of the RFS said it was a more honest, direct way for us to work toward making our fuel renewable and American, and to wean ourselves from the toxic waste of the petroleum industry (otherwise known as gasoline).

Make no mistake about it: historically, gasoline has ALWAYS been a substance into which oil refineries dispose of whatever waste remains after making valuable products. Just as in the cattle industry, where half of the steer sells as US $15/lb. steaks and the other half ends up as cheap hamburger, in the petroleum business, half of a barrel of oil becomes gasoline. Quite frankly, no one wants to dispose of the 21 gallons of poisonous leftovers at the bottom of each barrel (just how much carcinogenic benzene, toluene, or xylene does anyone really need?)

The Clean Air Act’s oxygenate standard made sure that many of the toxic components in vehicle exhaust would be thermally decomposed (read: burned) to carbon dioxide, rather than remaining as Kevorkian carbon monoxide and a witch’s brew of volatile organics. Destroying these toxins in vehicle exhaust relies on the presence of plenty of oxygen to do the job, and alcohol is about 30% oxygen. Since the act was a regulation that had to do with our health, no discretion existed for waiving oxygenate. That standard was all that stood between Big Oil’s profits and hundreds of thousands of deaths each year from respiratory and cancer illnesses. It also was permanent-it had no expiration date.

But in a poor bargain, we traded a standard based on citizens’ health for one based on economic and environmental values, i.e., the Renewable Fuels Standard. The oil companies insisted that we couldn’t have both, but if we would let go of the oxygenate standard, they would not stand in the way too much on the RFS. Of course, they lied and then only permitted an RFS level that we were already meeting prior to passage of the legislation, so that the regulation had no teeth to increase our use of renewables (very clever of those oil companies).

Well, we did manage, over much opposition by Big Oil, to increase the RFS modestly above the existing level, and investment into the Midwest to make alcohol took off. Big Oil mistakenly thought it could keep the alcohol genie in the bottle…but much to its dismay, the genie escaped and started building distilleries in 2005-6.

Now at the time the bargain was made to trade in the oxygenate standard, I complained to everyone in congress and in the alcohol industry that the RFS would be very easy to waive. It was easy to predict all sorts of conditions where governors or the executive branch could say something like, “These environmental regulations are all well and good, but if they get in the way of economic interests, we just won’t be able to afford to do the right thing.”

“No, no,” the RFS advocates retorted, “we will make sure that a ‘no backsliding’ provision is written into the new legislation.” Well gee, that tidbit didn’t quite survive into the final draft. Now some oil-saturated governors are trying to use their statutory power to get the EPA to waive the standard, so oil companies won’t be forced to use farmer’s fuels.

Instead of cleaning up our air, dealing with Peak Oil, reducing dependence on foreign oil, and reversing global warming, we are doing exactly what I feared. We are talking about simply setting aside the RFS for reasons that ignore health, ignore national security, ignore our dependence, ignore our war to control Mideast oil, and ignore planetary climate stability in favor of simple short-term economic gains. The proposal is even more disingenuous, since the alleged economic gains are not even real. For instance, there is no shortage of corn, no matter what you read in the press. We just had the best crop in 33 years, and we are still trying to find silo space to store the huge surplus. We have increased the amount of animal feed we send around the world to record levels, which is a direct result of our increased alcohol fuel production. We use only cornstarch for alcohol, and all the non-starch parts of the corn become high-quality animal feed. More corn production for alcohol means more animal feed, which means more food. It’s simple.

Now that the data is coming in, we are seeing that in addition to the utterly nonexistent corn shortage, grain price increases have no basis in ethanol or the RFS whatsoever. In fact, the price increases result almost exclusively from the rising price of oil and greater demand for meat in China and other developing countries. If it were not for alcohol fuel, the price of gasoline would be even higher than it is today, and the net effect on a citizen’s pocketbook would be many times the alleged effect of ethanol on food prices.

This attack on the RFS has been planned since the day it was first passed. Because as we run out of oil, the fossil fuel industry plans to replace petroleum with more tar sands, oil shale, and coal to liquids. As the EPA, you are well aware that these fuels will increase greenhouse gas emissions scores to thousands of times the emissions from petroleum. They will also increase the pollution of our air with countless tons of metals and volatile gases, pollute what water is left after we drain the aquifers to make synfuels, and irradiate/poison the planet with radioactive particles and mercury from coal.

But for these environmentally foul fuels to be economically viable, the price of a barrel of oil needs to climb to about $150. Biofuels, on the other hand, can be produced realistically, ecologically, and sustainably for less than $70 a barrel, without any breakthroughs in technology. If biofuels, and in particular ethanol, increase in volume, the economic viability of all the alternatives that Big Oil wants to develop are in jeopardy. And that’s a good thing, since as the EPA, you know for certain that development of these fossil alternatives to petroleum are unbelievably incompatible with continuation of life on Earth as we know it.

No, the RFS is not a discretionary guideline to be set aside, as powerful economic interests and their tamed politicians dictate. The RFS is a health standard meant to protect all living things from the total degradation of our planet. You in the EPA are charged with the responsibility to act as a bulwark against corporate environmental irresponsibility, and doing the right thing requires more than standing firm on the RFS. Far from being waived, the standard needs to be increased annually, bear no expiration date, and remain in force until every single Btu of energy this country uses is renewable. Ultimately, that means an end to fossil fuels and an economic and energy system based on the sun.

A call to action:

The window to submit comment on this critical EPA waiver is closing June 23rd, submit written comments today, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0380, by one of the following methods: One the web at http://www.regulations.gov, follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments, by E-mail: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov or by fax: (202) 566-1741.

Learn more about David Blume’s Fight to Save The Renewable Fuels Standard.

David Blume is author of Alcohol Can Be A Gas and Executive Director of the International Institute for Ecological Agriculture.

June 19, 2008 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

A Grand Theft Of Intelligence

GTA 4

The launch of Grand Theft Auto 4 just made over $500 million is sales. So what does that mean for us as a country? It means that our youth are so wrapped up in virtual violence and non-reality, that as peak oil has begun to kick us in the teeth, millions of video game zombies are tuned out of our very real problems.

Last year, I wrote a satirical post (To All The Geeks, Gamers, and Non-Attention Payers) about kids having to get ready to eat one another as human society collapses. I’m no longer interested in using humor to break through.

What are we supposed to think when so many people are hot to press button combinations on a joystick to bitch slap hookers and shoot cops? Sure, it may all be in “Good Fun”, but the premise of such actions is much different than zapping asteroids or saving a princess.

If gamers today want to play a more “realistic game” they are getting one served up to them in the form of gas prices, food prices, layoffs, and war. And if they think they are immune to the effects, they might want to take their heads out of the X-Box for a few minutes and pay attention.

We are now in the most challenging time in our history as modern society begins to collapse. While we still have active social systems and a sense of order in America, the end of cheap oil and no fast alternatives means these video games could be training people for what is truly coming.

I hate to think that we could face such mayhem, where anyone and everyone could be a target of humans gone wild. Hell, people are already selling manhole covers for scrap metal. In times of desperation, if we do not keep our integrity and dignity as human beings, people who play these types of games might just snap and not be able to decipher between what is real and what is not.

When food and shelter become unaffordable or unavailable as they are elsewhere in the world, how will we maintain order? By telling people to stay home and play Grand Theft Auto? By locking everyone up in those minty-fresh FEMA camps?

Why not actively pursue that target market with enough time to waste on video games and recruit them to help the elderly with converting their lawns into food gardens or running errands? Or would they rather switch weapons with a quick flick of their thumb and simply shoot, beat, or flame throw them?

If the answer does not fall in the first category, we are in deep shit.

May 7, 2008 at 11:15 am 10 comments

Trends To Watch As Peak Oil Continues

As the CEO of a technology company, Peak Oil analyst, and sustainability trend spotter, I want to point out some blazing examples of trends presenting themselves as we continue to try and overcome our sustainability / survival challenges.

TREND #1: EXPECT THE MEGA-PILLARS OF THE INTERNET TO TAKE OVER GOVERNMENT
Peak Oil Solutions and Technology
It is only a matter of time before Internet software completely reprograms human behavior. The Mega-Pillars of the Internet, including Google, Microsoft, MySpace, Facebook, etc. will continue to duke it out with one another for primacy. In order to achieve this, they will continue to suck up the ideas of small start-ups that offer true innovation. There will also be sneak attacks and some of those small startups may even sweep the legs of the big pillars. I would tell you who they are but I want to make my money first.

This trend will continue as each mega-pillar also creates applications marketplaces by fostering open source programming environments for their users. Essentially, these behemoths no longer need to pay as many programmers, since they have users doing all the hard work for them. Applications that have real value filter their own way to the top, just like a good rock band. If enough people like you, you get famous.

Then, the big boys simply assimilate that cool new functionality into their mega-pillars that already have the eyes and ears of millions of registered users. This way, they can gain mass adoption in an instant, while fledgling startup companies either get acquired or go belly up after their ideas are stolen.

After a period, people will stop listening to government leaders and just start doing their own thing to survive. After all, they will have all the tools necessary to live sustainable lives at their fingertips. One example of this trend is how Google has assimilated the routes of government controlled transit.

So if you live in Portland like I do, you can now bypass the Tri-met website and simply use Google’s transit tool to plan your entire trip. As more of the Mega-Pillars begin to assimilate the functions of government, people will begin to rely on themselves and technology to self-sustain. Expect to see cool things such as people using their cell phones to see who in a particular neighborhood is selling or trading for eggs.

That means over time, government will become less necessary as sustainable systems better support themselves.

TREND #2: EDIBLE LANDSCAPING AND PERMACULTURE WILL BECOME A NEW ECONOMIC BOOM
Edisble landscapes
We haven’t even buried the corpse of capitalism yet, but I will go out on a limb to say that as we find an equilibrium for allowing people to remain in their homes, we will need to use permaculture to hyper-relocalize our food systems and ecological foundations.

I see more and more policy planners paying attention to people that know a lot about the earth. As these gurus become consultants, we will see exciting designs as wealth meets sustainability. It will become much more than Hollywood trying to “Green” the Oscars. Landscapers that combine the law(n)s of nature with sheik design will be guaranteed a market. And worm poop is the new black gold.

The fun part will be seeing the labor market fight for jobs to help people do the conversion! How amazing will it be to see teams of neighbors working on permaculture projects together?

Need an example? Check out these two videos:


TREND #3: VIOLENCE WILL BE OVERCOME
Overcoming violence in society
Ok, so crime is on the rise as the economy crashes. Or if someone actually lets loose a nuke in a city somewhere, it will suck tremendously. Or, if climate change ramps up so fast we all perish, then poop-on-a-stick. But to say that we just sat back and watched it all go down without even *trying*?

No way. I believe in America’s pioneering spirit, and that we are beginning to witness a journey within ourselves that frees us from the bonds of violence, and allows us to find happiness in appropriate food, shelter, and transportation systems.

We can’t help it if the financial system crashes, but we can help what we do about it. While the economies of the world are set for implosion due to peak oil, we should be set for an explosion of freedoms. Freedom to get out in our yards to make our soil rich and full of nutrients that plants love. We can explore the amazing freedoms of beekeeping, local food processing, board games, bike riding – a whole lot of reasons to keep on living.

Just because we all have guns doesn’t mean we have to use them.

March 19, 2008 at 1:14 pm 10 comments

Why Ethanol Is Not To Blame For High Food Prices

Right now, the media is busy blaming ethanol for high food prices. This has been proven false, and they are just trying to blame our current problems on a scapegoat.
Ethanol is not the culprit behind high food prices. and ethanol does not need fertilizer to be made. Ever heard of permaculture?

Propaganda, folks. Blaming high food prices on Ethanol is pure propaganda, and don’t you fall for it. They want to give you something to blame other than the oil barons. Watch David Blume debunk the propaganda you are being fed:

Learn more about David Blume here.

See why our military is sick of fighting for oil here.

March 14, 2008 at 8:37 pm Leave a comment

CNN Reports The Obvious: Consumers Pinching Pennies

Peak Oil Captain Obvious

Here is a Newsflash from Captain Obvious!

How are those Reagan-era economic policies working out for America? We could probably generate great revenues by taxing politicians’ prostitute activities, but since that will never happen, we are stuck with our economic meltdown. What’s so funny is how SMALL the government is making the text for their Mass Layoffs summary.

Gee, maybe if it’s small enough, no one will bother reading it!

Here are some highlights, including the 10 industries reporting the highest numbers of mass layoff claims:

1) Temporary help services
2) School and employee bus transportation
3) Automobile manufacturing
4) Professional employer organizations
5) Discount department stores
6) Light truck and utility vehicle manufacturing
7) Highway, street, and bridge construction
8) Motion picture and video production
9) Wood kitchen cabinet and countertop manufacturing
10) Farm labor contractors and crew leaders

It’s the Farm labor that throws me off kilter. Why are farm laborers being laid off? Don’t we have a food crisis? Are humans asking for too much with their already low wages for picking fruits and vegetables? What gives?

I can only wonder how long it will be until America’s laid off workforce are ready to take on some 1930′s Depression type jobs, desperate for anything that pays the bills.

I think we are getting there, especially since all the bottlenecks for more war have been removed.

March 10, 2008 at 12:15 pm 4 comments

How Corporate Owned Media Misleads You About High Gas Prices

Oil Company and Corporate Media myths

Want to see an example of how Corporate media continues their brazen attack on gas price reality?

Check out this completely misleading headline: “Next Round Of Gas Hikes Won’t Be Due To Oil“.

I call bullshit. The corporate media have a lot of balls to keep misleading you the way they do. Here is how they do it in this particular article:

1) They lead with a headline that sounds like a factual statement
Ask yourself – who benefits from you believing our fuel problems are due to a gas additive instead of the real reason? In this article, the corporate media blame the next round of rising gas prices on the additive alkylate (a byproduct of the oil refining process), which they claim is needed to replace MTBE.

What they DON’T tell you is that alcohol (ethanol) can be used instead of alkylate! Oh sure, it’s buried deep in the article, but they try really hard to get you to think rising gas prices are because of some chemical additive rather than peak oil.

2) They tell a teeny, tiny bit of truth
Here is the very small and buried truth in the article that they printed:

“The federal government long ago required refiners to boost the oxygen content of summer-blend gasoline to make it burn more completely, a problem that was solved by adding MTBE and, more recently, ethanol.”

Ho ho! So they admit alcohol is a substitute they can use instead of alkylate, the culprit they would have you believe is the cause of $4-a-gallon gas. But then they try to discredit the fact that they can simply add alcohol to fix the supply problem. Watch this next slick move they make:

“But ethanol also has a high evaporation rate, so refiners increasingly have turned to alkylate, which Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, N.J., calls the “magic bullet” in making summer gasoline.”

3) They tell you to get used to $4-a-gallon gas prices

“if production (of alkylate) doesn’t rise, American motorists will be faced with big jumps in spring gas prices for years to come.”

See how they do it?

Let’s review:
1) Blame high gas prices on an additive in short supply
2) Discredit market substitutes
3) Tell you to get used to high prices

America, the truth is that the world is now past peak oil. We are running out, and oil companies are currently shifting global fuel shortages around to their “less affluent” customers. If you live in a poor country somewhere in Africa, your economy will only crash further as America continues to suck resources dry.

Sorry, it’s the way it is. I wish you the best of luck. In the meantime, the west will continue to be able to fill up our vehicles, but not without paying political and oil company prices.

I suggest people wake up and learn the truth – which is that we can help reverse global warming by decentralizing control over fuel and make it ourselves in small batches. This is possible, and it pisses off the oil companies to no end. Rather than believe the crap these corporate media folks are pushing, America can run it’s auto fleet on moonshine made from potatoes, used donuts, mesquite, and a wide variety of crops.

The problem for oil companies and central banks is that when America starts learning that truth, these old codgers will lose control of money and the political system. They truly are a greedy old establishment, and the fact is they want to control you and everyone else. Hell, once you taste power, control, and hot American dollar sponsored orgies – you tend not to let go easily.

Suggestion for those of you in power – learn to let go. Sure, you will keep lying, but eventually people will wise up and rise up – you can’t hide reality forever.

January 31, 2008 at 8:04 am 4 comments

How The Markets Can Solve Peak Oil

So by now many of you probably know I am convinced that by reinventing ourselves, we can survive peak oil.

I’m writing a Hollywood blockbuster about someone I know who is making a software program that will solve many of the problems we face with the implications of a crashing economy based on peak oil / peak energy. The cool part is I am writing it based on a pirate movie analogy. Enjoy!

Peak Oil Pirates

The Blue Ocean, 1553

A young sailor with ambitions to be a ship captain receives a treasure map and a golden coin from an older dying sailor. According to the sailor, the coin came from the treasure itself. Before he dies in front of the lad, the ailing map giver tells him the treasure will make him wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, and that the entire treasure is still in place. There is a catch, however.

There are a few known copies of the map, and the dying man tells him at least one other ship captain has a gold coin and knows the location of the island. The older sailor tells the lad that it would take about two months to make preparations, set sail, and arrive at the island. This means there is still time to beat the other map holder to the treasure!

But Alas! He has no boat of his own to sail to the island where it is buried. He lives in a coastal sea town back in 1553. The young lad’s love interest wants him to find a nice job carrying fish from the docks to the processing house. He shares the map with her, and she tells him they can’t afford to hire a boat to chase what could possibly break them and get them tossed from their small home. He reassures her he knows the treasure will be there when he gets there, and that he can beat the other map holder. His years of sailing experience has taught him all he needs to know to be a sea captain of his own ship.

He tells her he will find investors who can finance his adventure. Until then, he will try and negotiate a deal with a local ship owner, but she will need to keep sewing dresses to support him while he makes preparations to sail. She begrudgingly agrees, and tells him he has one month to find a ship if they are to not be kicked out of their comfortable little home.

He writes a letter to a former sailing friend who had successfully sailed with him through rough waters and former trade route adventures, thinking he might have access to a ship. He then shares the map with some local friends who advise him to take up the journey and go for the gold, but to be wary of showing the map to people he doesn’t trust. Thus, he decides to embark on a journey to get to the island with their help. One problem – he doesn’t have his own boat or the money to hire a boat and crew!

There are many local taverns where the young lad ventures to try to hire a ship and crew. He will have to hire them based on the promise of treasure at the end of the journey. He tries to hire a well known captain and crew, who tricks him into revealing the general location of the island and then quotes him too high a percentage of the bounty. Throwing back a few drinks at a tavern, the discouraged hero runs into a couple of boat owners. Wary of hiring pirates, the lad does his best to describe what is needed to make the journey. If the young lad shows them the whole map, they could just set sail off on their own without him. He approaches a local governor asking for protection on the seas. Sensing a large tax opportunity, the lad gets a decree from the local governor that guarantees the ship owner would be pursued and arrested if he copied the map and tried to recover the treasure himself.

Finally, he locates a man who has stories to boast about his ability to take on such an adventure. He is an abrasive captain with a small crew, and the young lad strikes a deal with him after they ink a contract that says the lad will be captain of the ship. The lad attends a gathering with some friends, and he is introduced to an acquaintance who has come into a small sum of money, but enough to finance a small venture. By this time, a couple weeks have passed when the lad learns that another ship has set sail for the island to recover the bounty.

Will he get there in time to beat the other ship?!

Impassioned by the desire to win the race, the lad receives a letter back from his sailing friend, who is now a co-owner of a large sailing vessel that hires its crew for such journeys. Luckily, the friend included a general fee structure that his crew charges for such adventures. With more hands on deck, the lad realizes they can be more efficient and save time on their journey. He writes back to his friend requesting his assistance and runs the idea by his ship’s present crew. The abrasive captain grumbles at the idea of leaving his smaller ship behind to work as crew leader on a stranger’s ship, which seems to be the perfect answer for rapidly setting to the sea.

And that’s where the story sits thus far. I will add to the story as my friend reports how his adventure is going along.

January 8, 2008 at 1:35 am 2 comments

Sustainability Means NOT Letting Our System Crash

Economic System Crash

Advertisers have ruined sustainability. The words “Sustainable” and “Green” have been wiped clean of value, and the new chic trend will be in smart people fighting tooth and nail to keep playing the “Survival” game in the current economic system setup.

Imagine our economy is running Capiltalist Computer Operating System 1.0. Right now, our collective hard drive is crashing, and there are too many things breaking for the system to hold it together. That Click Click Click sound your hard drive makes before it poops out on you is growing louder day by day in terms of our global economic situation.

But let’s concentrate right here in the US for right now. As more people have to deal with the stresses of financial survival, let’s focus on what is really wrong here.

We are consuming so much that the earth can’t take it anymore, and our present money system is tied to consumption. Duh. And we all know that under this present capitalist system, just about every business can’t make a profit unless it is are still sucking up from the earth, and the Web 2.0 promise of a technological communications rescue has failed to deliver in time to not experience a massive wipeout.

What do I mean by that?

If you or your business advertises products and services, in some way you are contributing to the present growth economy. Sustainability is usually defined as a method to make sure there is a planet for future generations, and the market is crashing because our Capitalist Operating System has failed. It is now so broken that America has passed the point when as many people can live.

It means the bill has come due for America’s addictive appetite.

We are broke, and the stresses of having to scramble for money to survive is going to keep on getting worse. The good news is that when the system breaks too much, we can rebuild from the ashes of the old economy, but until it completely falls, many people are going to be experiencing a great suffering.

If you are wealthy, no problem – just keep on partying away. You have time, society still has its shit together. But know that there is a critical mass of stress before anything breaks. There is always a breaking point, and it will be the shittiest time of many people’s lives.

When you lose a loved one, it tears at your soul. Many people love their possessions, and are enduring physically and mentally demanding jobs to hang onto a paycheck, a health plan, or an IRA. That’s because they still offer hope, and you can still rest in comfort with those. Keeping enough money coming in to sustain an existence is becoming too painful of an affair for too many Americans, adding stress to relationships as well as everyone’s own mental well being.

We are a sick society, and like any addict running out of a drug, we are going to be going through major withdrawal symptoms as a people. Healing yourself is hard, demanding work. If you have lived through fighting addiction and survived, you already know what it is like to traipse through hell. For anyone experiencing the worst time of their life right now, if you have never felt so bad before, know that it does get better if you face your fears of loss.

Everyone needs help right now, and there are no easy solutions to appease the pain. You have to face your fear and jump off the cliff to believe in hope. It all begins when we grow a set of balls as a country and allow ourselves to each die and rise as a new spirit.

January 7, 2008 at 4:45 pm Leave a comment

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Lawns to Gardens / Bright Neighbor events

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