Posts Tagged ‘greenhouse gases’

Smart Grid Paranoia

October 28, 2009

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Erica Lovley, (POLITICO.COM), 3/4/09Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill includes $4.5 billion in funding for the so-called Smart Grid, an ambitious plan to modernize the country’s electric grid that many Obama contributors are helping to shape.

Steve Holland, (Reuters) – ARCADIA, Fla., Oct 27President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced $3.4 billion in grants to help build a “smart” electric grid meant to trim utility bills, reduce blackouts and carry power generated by solar and wind energy.

Oh, don’t we feel good? The Obama administration is paying back GE, Google, IBM and Microsoft, among other evil corporations, for their support of Dear Leader’s presidential campaign. How? Why, they’re handing them a bag full of Scamulus Gigabucks to implement “Smart Grid,” the technology that is supposed to “modernize the country’s electrical grid.” What could be wrong with that?

See, our electrical grid has been patched and bandaged to keep it from repeating the sort of “cascading failure” that caused the Northeast Blackout of 2003, but much of the physical plant that makes up the electric power distribution system of the United States is old, obsolete, and subject to just such failures at any moment.

(Never mind that it is also terribly vulnerable to terrorist attack, either via the Internet or by any sufficiently insane country or extra-national entity with a few bucks to spend to loft a Scud from a freighter off the Atlantic coast, topped with a low-end nuclear warhead, and detonate said warhead a hundred miles above Washington or Baltimore, wiping out the whole system for months, or years. Never mind that.)

Why would the electric companies neglect their own infrastructure? Let me speculate: The big electric power companies are reluctant to put hundreds of millions of dollars of stockholders’ money into infrastructure improvements that will require a microscopic rectal examination by every regulatory agency and environmental group in North America to be sure that they don’t harm snails, owls and fish, or cause offense to favored ethnic groups, or allow career legislators to use them as punching bags when appealing to the aforementioned groups for campaign money.

And, these days, those greedy power company execs are probably wondering, “Is Obama going to nationalize us, the way he did the financial industry and the auto industry, and the way he wants to nationalize the health care industry? Will someone explain to us why we would want to sink money into improvements, when some Obama appointee may well wind up carving up our salaries and profit margins, or inventing regulations that make electricity so expensive no one can afford it?”

Well, now, simmer down. All this “Smart Grid” stuff is about is allowing the power company to reach into your house and instruct your dishwasher to run overnight, when power usage in your area is lower — your dishwasher, and any other appliance that has the right kind of microprocessor controller, and a connection to the Internet.  Never mind that you might want to set your own dishwasher’s timer to run later all by yourself, or that you have good reasons for wanting it done before bedtime.

Big deal, right? Oh, it may also allow Big Power to turn back the thermostat on your central heat system to 60 or so, on the next cold night, from your preferred 68. So, Global Warming takes the night off, and the house is a little chilly when you roll out of bed in the morning. So, it takes a while to get it back into a comfortable range, while you shiver in your bathrobe and sweats, in front of the coffee machine, waiting for it to receive permission from the Smart Grid to start perking. So what? We all have to make sacrifices, in this new world.

You’d like to warm up in the shower, but the electric water heater is still recovering from being put into “sleep” mode by Smart Grid, and it will be a while before there’s enough hot water to keep you from feeling like one of those Titanic passengers floating in the icy North Atlantic, waiting for Leonardo DiCaprio to shut up and drown.

You’d pass the time watching Fox News, but oddly, the new, microprocessor-controlled TV in the kitchen skips past Fox News and stops on MSNBC, and has been doing that for a while. You think about disconnecting the network line that connects that TV to the Internet, but (surely not!) the creepy tingle in your scalp may be less about the prospect of a cold shower, and more because the thought has wormed its way into your mind that someone has decided you are too easily influenced to be allowed to watch Fox News, and is using your power company connection to block it from your TV.

If you disconnect the network line from the TV, will somebody know, and just not allow it to power on, tomorrow morning? Fox News will just put dangerous ideas in your head, anyway. Might as well leave it connected, and do without Fox. That way, when your security system’s motion detectors indicate to Smart Grid that the kitchen is empty, it can turn the TV off, and save a few watt-hours. It saves you money, and allows the poor and unfortunate to use the power you would otherwise waste — or your self-righteous, vegan neighbor can use it to top off the charge in his little electric car.

So, what is there to be paranoid about? Sure, you flew that “Don’t Tread on Me” flag on September 12th, and you sent $20 via the Internet to that independent Congressional candidate that pledged to put the Constitution ahead of any desire for re-election, even though he wasn’t running in your district. A couple other people in your neighborhood did, and, in fact, your congressional district didn’t go for Obama in ’07.

Wait a minute… I wonder if it ever occurs to the Obama Administration to tweak the Smart Grid to favor “blue states” over “red states?” Once you have the power over power, the possibilities are endless. As I wrote a while back:

Once you have a stranglehold on the generation and use of energy, you have a stranglehold on people.  Let’s just suppose that, on this sub-zero night over a large swath of the United States, the feds decide to provide a little object lesson about how the Constitution is no longer a limit on government power.  It would be a little brazen for President for Life Obama to instruct everyone to hold his or her breath for a few minutes, just to get an idea of what it would be like to be prohibited from emitting the bad pollutant CO2.  Might be a little hard to enforce, too, at this early stage in the Administration.

No, let’s just “accidentally” turn off the power to some states that didn’t go “blue” in the last election, but they’re going “blue” now, from sub-zero temperatures.  Not for long; just for a few hours — say, overnight…the first time, anyway.  Maybe, they will be offered some half-hearted explanation about a squirrel getting into the transformer, and the dang computers shut everything down, dumb computers, or Christian fundamentalist  terrorists, or something.  But don’t try too hard to be convincing, because the point is to make a subtle threat.

See?  If you don’t play by the new rules, will the Constitution keep you warm?  (Maybe you could burn your copy of the Bill of Rights on the kitchen table.  That’ll last a minute or two.)  Yes, your wood stove may tide you over for a few days without power, but a passing car carrying a government official might just see smoke coming from the chimney.  A DEA helicopter might be scanning in the infrared for indoor hydroponic pot farms, and see the heat coming from your fire.  Whoa, we can’t have that, can we? Spewing CO2 out into the publicly-owned air, melting glaciers and drowning polar bears? Tsk.

No, that would never happen. Sure, Obama said before the election he was about to “transform” our country. Sure, he keeps hiring people to important posts who profess an affection for socialism and even communism, and for mass murderers like Mao tse-tung. But surely, they have no intention of making those quirky political views into policy, right?

I’m just being paranoid. Right? Hey! Who turned off the lights?

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Environmentalism Three Ways: Pragmatists, Primitivists, and Watermelons

October 18, 2008

As a retired information technology worker, I find it convenient to organize some kinds of information into rows and columns, like a spreadsheet. It helps me get my mind around a complex topic.

While examining one such topic, environmentalism, I discovered that environmentalists can be divided into three general categories (spreadsheet columns): Pragmatists, Primitivists, and Watermelons. The three types address two, exemplary environmental problems – global warming and ozone depletion (spreadsheet rows) — and their solutions, very differently.

Theodore Roosevelt, a pragmatists who became an obnoxious Progressive (Wikipedia)

Pragmatists tend to follow the example of Teddy Roosevelt, an asthmatic city boy who developed a passion for understanding nature through science and personal experience. While developing enough respect for natural wonders to create the country’s first national parks, he saw man as the dominant species, and nature as his domain, to be exploited responsibly, but not to be destroyed needlessly.

Pragmatists seek to strike a balance between human needs and natural beauty, believing that, with recourse to accurate, scientific data,  humanity can benefit from nature without destroying it, and vice versa.

TR, unfortunately, set a strong precedent for government expropriating land for “public” use that was for esthetic reasons, rather than for meeting the nations practical needs — construction of fortresses, bridges, and other necessary evils. He did stop well short of turning the nation’s largest and most easily exploited sources of energy into untouchable preserves, however, leaving those morally-indefensible acts of government grand theft to later Progressives.

Pragmatists want to see objective evidence of global warming and ozone depletion, and to identify the most likely causes of these phenomena, before they entertain government policies meant to remedy them. Pragmatists become excited in the short term by the environment, if they find themselves at the foot of an erupting volcano, or in the path of a tornado, but otherwise, they tend to be focused calmly on the long term.

The romanticized "Indian," emblem of the Primitivist ideal -- the Unicorn, mascot of idealist nature-worshipers everywhere, was not available.

The romanticized “Indian,” emblem of the Primitivist ideal — the Unicorn, mascot of idealist nature-worshipers everywhere, was not available. (Wikipedia)

Primitivists have no use for science, other than political science, and its ugly, bastard son, junk science. Their ideal world is one from which humans and their civilization have been erased, or, better yet, one in which they never existed at all. If asked, they will admit to a desire to see about 99% of the world’s human population disappear, except for themselves and a few close friends with a similar orientation.

The most extreme Primitivists believe that human life is no more valuable than the life of an insect or a plant, and that the idea of exploiting an animal or a plant to extend or improve the life of a human is immoral and selfish. In their more tempered state, primitivists envision a romantically idealized harmony in the relationship of man and nature.

Their emblem of this ideal is the romanticized American Indian (whom they, of course, call a “Native American,” as if that phrase did not mean, literally, “one who was born in America”). This mythical character lives frugally and gently with the land, worshiping it as a god, seeing spirituality in every tree and rock. One assumes these characters would not build casinos and duty-free liquor stores in their pristine estates, or profit from the sale of mineral rights therefrom.

Primitivists accept global warming and ozone depletion without question, because these phenomena only serve to confirm their belief that man is a burden on nature, and that he will destroy it if allowed. Their remedy is simple and straightforward. Abort the unborn ones, and let the born ones freeze, bake and starve to death, and return their biodegradable packaging to the environment.

Green on the outside, but RED on the inside (Wikipedia)

Green on the outside, but RED on the inside (Wikipedia)

Watermelons are pragmatic, too, in their own way. Having been exposed as hypocrites or fools, these believers in a bankrupt, failed ideology that calls for government ownership of everything, had to find another rock under which to hide. Environmentalism is the perfect refuge for communists, because it allows those who are red on the inside to put a layer of green on the outside, and continue to spread their toxic theology. In the 21st Century, environmentalism is the last bastion of people who think private property is The Man’s way of oppressing the downtrodden.

In the Watermelon’s view, people are not entirely evil. A certain number of them are required to drive the party elite in their limousines from the halls of power to their dachas in the woods, to cook their gourmet meals, and to fight and die in the interest of preserving and expanding their empires.

However, the history of socialism in the 20th Century includes a laudable amount of population control in the form of purges.  The big-name socialist utopias lightened Mother Earth’s burden of humanity by a hundred million or so, in the interest of the state. While an unfortunate quantity of lead and carbon dioxide had to be introduced to the environment by firing squads, cattle trains and tanks, most of these deaths were accomplished with lower environmental impact — mass starvation and death by slave labor, predominating.

In the 21st Century, Communist China has recently taken the lead in recycling. Environmentally responsible Chinese leaders now harvest the skin, corneas and internal organs of the political prisoners they execute, and sell them on the open market. While this practice carries the unsavory taint of capitalism, watermelons believe any country that not only allows abortion, but requires it, must have its heart in the right place.

Watermelons readily embrace global warming and ozone depletion as crises, because the “solutions” for them involve government regulation of private industry. While not entirely satisfactory, government regulation of industry is a step in the right direction — toward the Watermelons’ ultimate goal: government ownership of industry.

Watermelons believe the best way to relieve human overcrowding (between purges) is to build large, ugly, concrete apartment blocks in major cities. Then, they force people selfish enough to live in their own homes to surrender these anachronisms to the state and move into the apartments. Problem solved.

Appalling tales of the worst environmental disasters on earth – horrible nuclear accidents and wholesale contamination of large areas with industrial poisons, perpetrated by communist states – do nothing to curb the Watermelons’ appetite for government control. After all, environmentalism is just a convenient form of cover for a Watermelon, not a real ideology.

The real goal of the Watermelon is, and always has been, government control of every aspect of life, from before birth, up to and including death. Individual humans are just too stupid to be trusted with running their own lives, and if they have to be sold on communism by bait-and-switch, well, so be it.

There you have it. I promised a spreadsheet, with rows and columns. Here it is:

Pragmatists

Primitivists

Watermelons

Global Warming

Identify real problems; Propose real solutions. Let people freeze to death in the dark. Abort or purge most people; forcibly relocate the rest and run their lives. Dominate the world.

Ozone Depletion

See above. Let people bake, and/or starve from lack of refrigeration. See above.