The Preamble; Fix it or Nix It?



Transportation Without Petroleum or Biofuels

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

At present, oil saturates the Gulf Stream.  An official six-month cessation of permits for new drilling did not actually affect the industry or government decisions.  Despite Moratorium, Drilling Projects Move Ahead.  To explain such an authorization and waiver, the Department of the Interior and the Minerals Management Services Division which regulates drilling, pointed to public statements by Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar.  He did not intend to forbid all first cuts in the Earth’s crust.  Absolutely not.  The Federal Government approved wells off the coast of Louisiana in June. Regardless of the day, or realities that are anathema to our citizenry, little has truly changed.  Today, just as in yesteryear, we, the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect Union, polish policies to appear as though our civilization would wish to protect and defend all beings, equally.  

In an earlier era, and now, the electorate embraces practices that establish justice, while we unreasonably raze the planet.  As a devoted citizenry, we insure domestic tranquility through appeasement. Furthermore, for the sake of homeland harmony, we adopt practices that encourage petroleum production, excessive oil and coal profits, whilst we also rob crops of their inherent dignity.  We, the countrymen, commit to the promise that we will provide for the common defense. In accordance with the demands of the public, policymakers further endorse perilous practices.  

These pursuits are realized in the form of perpetual war.  Blood for oil, minerals, or any resource that makes more money for the few, is what we, believe brings security to the native soil.   Our energy plans, or was it the profound Preamble to the United States Constitution, afforded us world prominence.  Globally, America is seen as powerful, so much so other countries chose to emulate us.  

Our governance and Preamble now belong to many a proud nation.  Collectively, in this country and the next, people clamor, “We the people commit to fossil fuels and biomass consumption.”

Over the years, there have been many opportunities to consider our constitution, our commitment to country, and our love of power.  Before this country was born, we could have seized on the chance to harness energy in a way that did not cause harm.  In 1766, British Scientist Henry Cavendish identified the energetic element, hydrogen.  By 1838, Swiss Chemist Christian Friedrich Schoenbein stumbled upon the “fuel cell.”  Only seven years later, Sir William Grove, an English Scientist and Judge, demonstrated the practicality of the discovery.  Mister Grove created a “gas battery.”  For this feat, he acquired the title “Father of the Fuel Cell.”

Most recall the Franklin kite experiment, which, while not the first appearance of an electrical consciousness certainly was one that gave us a jolt.  That event occurred in 1752.  Then, people began to realize that electricity, not produced from coal or dependent on fossil fuels, could make a meaningful difference in the society.  Initially, there were struggles.  Some people were afraid of an incomprehensible current.  A few did not wish to succumb to a change in lifestyle.  Convenience at a nominal cost convinced the citizenry to change their conventional ways, and of course, modify the meaning of the Constitution.

By 1769, with the advent of the first automobile, people began to ponder inexpensive means for mobility.  The invention of engines and the Industrial Revolution completed the conversion. Steamships and steam-powered railroads became the foremost forms of transportation.  These vessels used coal to fuel their boilers. Still, it was not until the 1880s that “coal was first used to generate electricity for homes and factories.”  Since then, there seemed no desire to turn back.  Way back when, our constitution, or at least the Preamble as practiced today, was set in stone.  

Give it to us cheap and dirty is the American credo.  We guzzle gas, burn through barrels of oil, and belch out endorsements for big businesses that earn billions on our backs.  Americans strip the countryside in search of more and more coal.  We savage the seas and shores whilst we annihilate all the creatures dependent on these.  Indeed, we ignore that we too are reliant on the chain of life to survive.  We disregard what science teaches us; each species and specimen plays a part in the planet’s endurance.  Instead, we loudly state, “We the people commit to cheap fossil fuels and biomass consumption that we have become accustomed to.”  Damn the damage to the planet, and ultimately to humans and all other populations.  We travel on, full speed ahead!

As the Gulf Bay puncture wound bleeds, present and former Governors, Jurists, and citizens clamor, Drill Baby Drill!  In June 2020, be it in Alaska, in the Gulf, anywhere, almost anywhere, regardless of known risks, we are ready!  We want our fix.  Fossil fuels and biomass flow through our blood.  Petroleum, or the reliance on this and other hazardous forms of energy, run our boats, cars, trains, planes, and our lives.  Even if a pipe, mineshaft, or the food chain are broken, the people say, Let it be!”

“Fix It or Nix It” defines the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity campaign. This statement is not an endorsement for renewable energy policies. Nor does it address the altered Preamble, No. This group does advocate for further advancements in fossil fuel usage.“ACCCE.cannot support the Kerry-Lieberman draft bill.”  This all-“powerful” organization considers these two Senators dissenters, or their proposed legislation a threat to the American way.  Reflective of past policies and practices, those who rebel are often forced into submission.  Popular opinion can suppress opposition.

Peers, polls, any pressure, can sway the people.  Promotional pieces are abundantly persuasive.  Ample advertisements feed the public and influence actions. Perhaps this explains why millions of people are easily fooled, or more likely just want to believe as we all do, that what we do now is wise.  

Factoids from associations such as the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity offer us food for thought.  Statements that support what we yearn for speak to our heart, head, and soul. These satisfy the American appetite for energy and satiate the anthem.  “We the people commit to inexpensive energy and welcome any reassurance that all is well, just as it is.”  

  • Coal costs less than any other major fossil fuel source.
  • According to an electric power industry journal, 23 of the 25 power plants in the U.S. that have the lowest operating costs (and therefore provide power to their consumers at the lowest prices) are powered by coal.
  • Thanks, in part, to $90 billion invested in new technologies, the environmental footprint of coal-based electricity generation has been significantly reduced.
  • Since 1970, the use of coal to generate electricity in the U.S. has nearly tripled in response to growing electricity demand.
  • Using coal to generate electricity is less than a 1/3 of the cost of other fuels.

Corporations that profit from the use of coal, petroleum, and biomass fuels flood the airwaves with anti alternative and renewable energy oratory.  Lobbyists and Legislators who like the status quo are also hard at work.

Commentaries, commercials, Congressional concessions, and common clichés do not negate the reality that whenever we invest in naturally replenished resources, environmentally friendly green energy, we ultimately provide jobs, as well as preserve the planet.  Research abounds.  studies confirm.  Pew Charitable Trusts asserts Clean Energy Economy Generates Significant Job Growth.

Nonetheless, the well-established Preamble persists.  We the people commit to fossil fuels and biomass consumption.”  Nations that did not accept our programs, sooner or later, were “willingly” brought into the fold. Money and might can move mountains, petroleum fields, and large quantities of botanical mass. Indeed, the production and use of any fossil fuel is encouraged.  Promised earnings offer a profound argument to dissenters.  

Some followers of the more modern Preamble, an altered petroleum policy, were brought onboard reluctantly. The bid for biofuels proved profitable.  Influential Advisors and Advertisers offered a rationalization. Plants can be grown.  Vegetation is renewable.  This thought removed a sense of guilt.  The public purchased the argument.  For most ethanol is envisioned as euphoria.

Some were less relieved by this opportune “reality.”  However, in time, they too do as the devotees do.  They drive hither and yon.  Petroleum and plants fill their gas tanks.  These persons call themselves environmentalists.  Yet, they know that they too, myself among them, consume gargantuan quantities of fossil fuels and biomass energy. To participate in present day life, we, the people, must pump petro and pledge allegiance to the American way, or else . . . For the sake of convenience, expediency, pragmatism and the Preamble, in a Twenty-First century culture, even conservationists surrender.  

Perchance, as gas and oil fill the Gulf Stream, and travel North, South, East and West, as microbes, mammals, and all other creatures in its path perish, we, the people, will think it is time to reflect.  Let us ponder our proud past.  Perhaps, through the plumes, we will unearth what the petroleum, coal, and biofuels Preamble has hidden, the history of hydrogen and how we abandoned this truly renewable and reliable source of energy.  

1920s German engineer, Rudolf Erren, converted the internal combustion engines of trucks, buses, and submarines to use hydrogen or hydrogen mixtures. British scientist and Marxist writer, J.B.S. Haldane, introduced the concept of renewable hydrogen in his paper Science and the Future by proposing that “there will be great power stations where during windy weather the surplus power will be used for the electrolytic decomposition of water into oxygen and hydrogen.”

1937 After ten successful trans-Atlantic flights from Germany to the United States, the Hindenburg, a dirigible inflated with hydrogen gas, crashed upon landing in Lake- wood, New Jersey. The mystery of the crash was solved in 1997. A study concluded that the explosion was not due to the hydrogen gas, but rather to a weather-related static electric discharge which ignited the airships’ silver-colored, canvas exterior covering…

1958 The United States formed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA’s space program currently uses the most liquid hydrogen worldwide, primarily for rocket propulsion and as a fuel for fuel cells.

It would seem that we, the people, could have endowed and empowered the energy that was first recognized before our forefathers penned what was the United States Constitution.  We might realize that great strides have been made in endlessly renewable hydrogen energy.  However, we, the people, never stopped to consider what we accepted as our manifest destiny.   What we defined as divine intervention or intervention by design was our chosen well-deserved deliverance.  As independent Americans, free spirits, mavericks, we would not be bound by physical boundaries.  Petroleum, coal, and biofuels, we decided, would set us free.  We would drive as if we were driven, deliberately.  

We did. Whilst barrels of oil flood from the ocean floor, we still do.  Nary a person proclaims; it is time to stop the madness, completely.  Hardly an American truly thinks he or she will reinstate the Preamble in its original form.  No, the “better life” has been fashioned. Yet, in Louisiana and elsewhere in the South there is reason to question what had been our truth. “We the people commit to fossil fuels and biomass consumption.”

Possibly, now we will acknowledge belatedly, the better question would have been why did we rely on reports released by the International Oil Spill Conference.,  This organization offers studies sponsored by those who are the worst offenders, who are most dependent on petroleum, and who gain greater power and prowess when oil flows. After the fact, will we abandon the Advisors who brought us our present burdens, our blunders, and our oddly converted Preamble?

Will humans resume operations and disregard reality?  Will we proceed on a false premise that biomass is the better source for fuel? Will we look beyond the boundaries of our desires or will humans, not BP, Exxon, the company of your choice, nay the Governments of, the United States, Britain, Nigeria, or . . . rape the land, place food in the mouths of machines rather than man?  Might we finally admit, that we need not concede to consumption, crave petroleum products, and biofuels?  Will we choose to see that people, and the planet, will not survive if we rely on what has been our folly, our friend, and our funeral march, our converted constitution, and a corrupted Preamble?   Only we can decide.  Fix it or Nix it?  Perhaps, we must do both.

Written with thanks to By Larry Hartweg Zero Energy Design® for a visual presentation that inspires and investigates, Transportation Without Petroleum or Biofuels

BP; Texas Tea or Gulf Coast Coffee



BP Spills Coffee

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

For more than a century, in unison, the planets’ population proclaimed, thankfully petroleum flows.  Oil powers our machines.  The refined product has helped us manufacture massive quantities of clothing, aluminum sheet, and photovoltaic (PV) solar cells.  “Plastics.”  As was professed in a popular film decades ago, “There’s a great future in plastics.” Presently, and in the past, BP understood this and much more.  The company’s Executives knew petroleum could and would provide endless profits, power, and a perpetual presence.

Mother Earth’s Coffee was BPs Cream


One need only consider the pretty penny made ($9 Billion) on the sale of Innovene, or the big bucks BPs SPORT Polymer Cracking technology is expected to yield.  Black Gold, Texas Teas, and Gulf Coast Coffee, arguably, have fostered the good life for Americans.  Nothing has changed that truth; yet, recent events  have tweaked perceptions.  

Talk began in April, on the 20th to be exact. On that fateful day people began to recognize a shift in the wind, or more correctly in the seas.   Waterways in the Gulf of Mexico filled with fuel.  The flow seemed endless. Months later, the stream of crude has barely subsided.  Many mused as the corporate slogan states, BP is “Beyond Petroleum.”

Today, millions, perchance billions, believe this company has operated beyond the reach of what were presumed to be regulations.  Documents reveal that on countless occasions the oil giant violated government set standards .  With “willful neglect of safety rules, and penalties for manipulating energy markets” British Petroleum moved forward with an unmistakable mission, profits at any price.  Human and environmental tragedies were thought the cost of doing business. “Accidents” happen. People perish. Either or each is as milk spilled.  A company, as conventional wisdom taught British Petroleum, cannot cry over spilled milk, coffee, or oil.

BP never has.  Throughout their more than century long existence cruelty has characterized the corporations policies and practices. BP is not only Beyond Petroleum.  This business is Beyond Belief.  

Cravings Cut to Mother Earth’s Core


In 2010, as America and the world watches and waits for the calamity of an oil well gone awry to end, most wonder why, how, when, and where did BP go wrong?  In actuality, the question is how, when, where, and why did people throughout the planet allow this to happen, over and over again until the scale of the calamity could not be controlled?  Perchance, people on this planet collectively decided not to cry over earlier “spills.”  For more than a century, we were satisfied with satiated gas tanks, and all the other products petroleum provides.

Try as we might to justify our shared gluttony, it is difficult to imagine that anyone could truly deny the human thirst for fossil fuels has led us down the path of destruction.  We wanted Texas Tea, and what we now have is Gulf Coast Coffee.  

People may wish to call what occurred a spill, and from what is read and heard in the Press, we do.  Yet, no object dropped.  No cup of oil can be turned upright.  Indeed, the only splash or spatter seen was blood.  We can safely say that life sustaining red fluid from human bodies was spilled.  However, the oil that rushes from the ocean’s ground is another sort of bleed.  The gusher from below is a hemorrhage.  It is an uncontrollable surge of fluid.  The oil that now fills the sea and covers the shores is the result of a puncture wound.  Pierce an artery and the effect is the same.

Humans have purposely, physically hurt their Mother Earth and ultimately, themselves.  We have done anything and everything to feed our addiction.  People in the “civilized” world might be compared with any individual who desperately craves food, drink, or drugs.  We will do what we must to satisfy our desires, regardless of the fact that our folly will injure another.

Thus, we drill hole after hole into our planet’s body.  Not long ago, actually days before the Deepwater Horizon rig was ablaze, citizens in this country chanted, in chorus with the Obama Administration, “Drill Baby Drill.”  

Even two months after the catastrophe, as a nation we advanced the theme, and happily arranged to act on “Drill Baby Drill.”  The difference is, today, we express a bit of concern for what might be, but only a bit.

To Clean, Wean, or Glean Greater Gulps of Coffee


Americans have begun to recognize the hazards of oil consumption.  Still, very few think to immediately turn away from fossil fuels.  Only some consider an authentic overall investment in renewable energy.  The mantra of most is this must be a slow transition.  President Obama speaks to the people’s preference.  Gulf drilling only if we can ensure no more spills.  Keep the coffee coming.  Texas tea is more than a temptation.  It is America’s source of elation.  “Spills” can be sopped up.  Well, sort of.

Conveniently, as addicts do, we rationalize.  Several say we have begun to wean ourselves. Besides, in the past, we controlled the Earth’s hemorrhages,  . . .or pretended to. Now we opportunely take no blame and call what has occurred a spill.  

For so long we, just as British Petroleum, immersed ourselves in the “bliss” of ignorance.  The “spilled milk” adage has been our aide.  Thus, at present, we proudly search for solutions.  BP too has embraced this tradition, although the company’s attempts to answer the call might be considered clumsy , comical., and call into question the term “sweet crude.”

Absolutely.  Something must be done.  We must find a way to stop the bleed.  Bandages have proven to be inadequate.  It has been confirmed; crafts and chemicals are calculated risks.  Numerous persons recall their childhood.  Mom’s tried and true traditional healing techniques were often the better cure to what ailed them.  Yes.  Scientists, Doctor Riki Ott among them, avow, there are natural common sense ways to clean and contain the flow that gushes from the Gulf floor.  However, as is often observed, BP has adopted not one of these.  In truth, the company dismissed all but four of the more than 35,000 ideas it received in the month of May.  These scant treasures were only “tested.”

Also in May, a frantic Public Offered Ideas to Stop Oil Flow to the Government.  These too were rejected.  At the time, an Official said the US cannot take over cleanup duty. Let the coffee flow as we klatch, offered company Executives..

Small communities adopted some natural alternatives.  The Obama Administration, which had relied solely on the vaunted wizardry of British Petroleum, has begun to be, ever so slightly, more engaged,  However, spokespersons say the government is reliant on the company’s tools, technology and expert talent.   Surely, it is evident; clean remediation is not BP’s standard.  The petroleum profiteer prefers the use of toxic chemical solutions, even those banned by the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA].

People are frustrated, as  the oil comes ashore.  BPs Chief Executive Officer offers absurd analysis and silly statements.  The beleaguered boss admits his job is on the line; however, he assesses the oil gusher and the gallons released into the wild as, “relatively tiny” compared with the “very big ocean”.

Many have wondered why we do not use hay, hair, and other natural fibers to, at least, capture some of the oil as it spouts.  Limited supplies of one, fragility of  the other, does not negate the truth as stated by Myron Sullivan II, founder of Global Response Group (GRG), a well known industry expert on oil spill responses.  In an electronic mail message, he professed hay could be a good complement for other novel systems.  Indeed, the GRG prospectus emphasizes that many existing oil spill response solutions could be used in combination with its technology to contain and remove oil spills. Indeed, hay, hair, or other natural forms for cleanup could compliment and harmonize with any safe and sane system.

While Mister Sullivan and his organization could realize capital gains if his own technological triumph was embraced, at least, for now, the creator of the AEROS system understands that biology works to benefit an ecosystem.  Surely, any organic alternative would be better than the various poisonous, preposterous, BP funded fumbles and follies the public has seen.

At this moment in time, even a system such as AEROS is not an option.  No tested technique, hair and hay amongst these, has been incorporated into the cleanup and containment.   BP thinks it best to go it alone, to persuasively advertise, and advance only the message the company hopes will move the masses.

Dollars are not doled out to those whose lives have been destroyed. Almost none of the billions from profits have been spent to hasten the prospect of Gulf water purification.   Nor has this cash and crude ravenous company donated dollars to other more sound endeavors.  British Petroleum is too busy ravaging the environment and destroying economic stability.

Why?  The answer is perhaps as illogical as the attempts to cap the huge hole BP bored into Mother Earth’s flesh.  No matter what BP or other companies do, profits are the priority.  BP only wishes to capture and resell the crude. Critters, communities . . . These are as spilled coffee. . . only a concern to the degree they might create a problem for BP.

References for a refinement of natural resources . . .

Mother Earth to Millions, We Have a Problem



Oil Booms & Bird Habitat – NWF visits important bird rookery

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Americans acknowledge there is a problem.  Petroleum pours out from a broken pipe.  Thousands of barrels of fuel flow freely through the Gulf of Mexico, just as they have for more than a month.  Plants, animals, and people are affected.  People express distress.  Millions are dismayed. What can BP do. Indeed what can any company or citizens do? Most call upon the President. Mister Obama, the electorate pleads, please, protect us.  These same citizens ignore that the protection we need is from ourselves.  Our present circumstances are a reflection of our past.  Many Americans have forgotten an earlier time, when another of this country’s Chief Executives attempted to avoid the nightmare we experience today.

In 2010, people, plants and animals cry out in pain.  In 1977,  Americans laughed at Jimmy Carter when he appeared on television donned in a sweater.  President Carter had only been in Office for two weeks.  Decades ago, Mister Carter warned Americans.  The nation’s leader explained, if we continued to be as dependent on oil as we were, and are today, terrestrial doom would be our future.  Yet, few heeded the call.  Most did not take the President’s proclamation seriously.  Then, and now, citizens prefer to guzzle petroleum and plunge further into what we think of as the good life.  Our gluttonous ways have threatened the planet for a very long time.

As we gaze upon oil-soaked birds on our Gulf Stream beaches, or listen to the words of British Petroleum’s President, people ponder only the present.   However, our history haunts us.  Our choices in the last century have created what comes ashore in this millennium.  Tarballs.  Dead animals including dolphins, and pelicans,  have perished.  So many species affected, all unable to survive the sludge.

This is not a novel reality.  Americans, indeed, those in worldwide-civilized countries, have experienced similar catastrophes.  Nonetheless, humans persist.  People do as they desire to do.  Today, after the rig ruptured, man-“kind” engages in preventable hazardous activities, just as we have done before.  

E.O. Wilson, a noted Harvard Professor and Researcher observes, “(F)or every animal celebrity that vanishes, biologists can point to thousands of species of plants and smaller animals either recently extinct or on the brink.”  The numbers can only be estimated. However, Professor Wilson believes that those gone from an Earthly existence are in the many thousands.  Regardless of the exact calculation, scientists agree; Humans driving extinction faster than species can evolve.  

“Measuring the rate at which new species evolve is difficult, but there’s no question that the current extinction rates are faster  . . . I think it’s inevitable,” said Simon Stuart, Chair of the Species Survival Commission for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.  The organization which officially declares species threatened and extinct cautions, as other conservation experts have.  The world is in the grip of the “sixth great extinction” of species.

Humans have undone the natural balance.  People drive destruction.  Our craving for crude oil and coal kills natural habitats.  We hunt in ways that hurt the ecosystem, spread alien predators and promote disease.  The cruelty of climate change cannot be measured.

Even so, two-legged mortals carry on without care for their Mother, Nature.  

We allow what we cannot control or comprehend.  For a barrel full of petroleum, Mother Earth’s blood perhaps, or the baby she held safely in her womb. For centuries, man-“kind” drills deep into her skin, the Earth’s surface. Oh, of course scientists and the common folks surmise that man can do so without peril, regardless of “spills” or the effect of these on the environment.   People wish to profess; we understand the relationship between Mother Nature and Texas Tea, or Louisiana Sea crude.  Yet, might we consider what is evident?

Today’s Americans are as people in the past were.  We are good at believing what we want to think true.  We criticize and ridicule anyone or action that place our personal comfort in jeopardy.  We chuckle when someone says we need to change!  We worry only about our cash flow.  A crippled economy concerns us more than birds, fish, fowl, flora, and the coral reef.

A Governor’s decree in support of sustaining the oil industry while his wetlands and workers struggle to survive only serves to solidify what animals, mammals, and amphibian creatures already knew.  Mankind is crueler than any other critter; and yet, he or she calls him or herself humane.

Please may we acknowledge that we are part of the planet? We need not be the perpetual problem.  Let us act as the Mother Earth’s Shepherd would and be the solution.

References for a reality known long ago, realized, and ignored . . ..

George Cares about New Orleans, and All God’s Creatures ©

As Katrina cut through the Eastern seaboard George gelled at his Crawford Ranch in Texas.  He chopped wood, played golf, and worried not.  Life was good. Why worry of a hellish hurricane or those that might be hit by it.

The storm approached the Gulf Coast and George cared not.  He, the nation’s leader was safe and secure.  The President of the United States heard that people were dying; and he said, how sad.  However, he knew, he need not attend to these people.  They are the poor, the powerless, and few would care or so he thought.

George relished the thought of what the waters would bring, recreation.  George would and did go fishing.  He showed that he cared for those living in New Orleans; he cares for all God’s creatures, though in different ways.

20050912bushfishing_1

You might enjoy another’s perspective, Unconformed Sources, The News You Can’t Use though many are.  The title is George W. Bush Returns to New Orleans and Goes Fishing.