Culture Change
25 November 2015
Energy Oblivia and mini-Consciousness
by Jan Lundberg   
The dominant culture reaches deep inside us like a hidden, secret implant, limiting our behavior and even our ability to think. Fortunately, it can be excised. I have experienced days on end without it, but some people are more prepared than others to appreciate its existence. Leaving the United Paved Precincts of America (a.k.a. the USA) helps a lot. But the ingrained myths of modern society -- especially technology's infallibility in uplifting and amazing us onward to an artificial paradise -- help to close minds.
The Anguish of the Age: Emotional Reactions to Collapse
by Robert Jensen   
Editor's note: this is a chance for reader feedback for an important work in progress.

We live amidst multiple crises -- economic and political, cultural and ecological -- that pose a significant threat to human life as we understand it.

There is no way to be awake to the depth of these crises without an emotional reaction.

More Accidents Await with President Obama’s Errant Energy Policies
by Brent Blackwelder   
ImagePresident Obama triumphantly entered office with the popular promise of moving the United States to a cleaner energy basis, but his actions to date, along with those of the Congress, have promoted two types of dangerous energy developments: off-shore oil drilling and nuclear reactors.
Americans, with 100 ‘energy servants’ each, share blame for Gulf oil spill
by Sarah (Steve) Mosko   
There’s no shortage of finger pointing as the now worst oil spill in U.S. history continues its assault on the Gulf Coast’s ecology and economy.

A USA TODAY/Gallop Poll taken in late May, for example, found that 73 percent of Americans feel that BP (British Petroleum) is doing a ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ job of handling the crisis, and 60 percent evaluated the federal government’s response in the same unfavorable terms.

Petroleum Pipeline Threat to Wild Horses and Sage Grouse
by moth   
[Updated June 19 with related stories] Ken Salazar, Interior Secretary, has exposed his sullied hands in this scandal, brought to our attention by Culture Change correspondent moth. He knows intimately the sagebrush ecosystem and has been monitoring pipeline proposals and water issues in Nevada.

Why is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forcibly removing Nevada's wild horses? Is the reason the Ruby Pipeline connections?

Digital Nation? No Thanks!
by Peter Crabb   
One of the brilliant insights in Daniel Quinn’s 1992 novel Ishmael is that modern industrialized people do not know how to live. Humans have long been cut off from the contingencies of nature, first as a consequence of discovering the wholly unnatural skill of growing reliable food supplies in one place, and later as a side effect of learning how to manufacture wholly unnatural objects and environments. The resulting alienation from nature and from our ancestors’ nature-adapted ways of life left us clueless and susceptible to being sold ideas about how people should live, usually by the most audacious psychopath in the group.
Gulf Gusher and the Price of Oil and Gasoline
by Jan Lundberg, oil industry analyst   
Culture Change was asked about the impact from the Gulf oil gusher on the price of gasoline in 6 months, 12 months and 18 months from now:

It might be an interesting question for debate, with many possible opinions. There are too many variables to make forecasts with any certainty, so prognosticators would have to exclude all but one or two factors. There are these non-textbook questions: Will hurricanes wreak havoc? Will there be migration and refugees from the Gulf? Could a BP bankruptcy result, triggering broader corporate failures? The dismantling of BP or the massive downsizing and selling off of its assets are possible if criminal penalties plus anticipated fines prove as devastating for the corporation as its behavior has been for the Gulf of Mexico.

Energy Use in the US & Global Agri-Food Systems: Implications for Sustainable Agriculture
by Shirin Wertime   
During the 20th century, access to cheap and abundant sources of energy helped transform the world in countless ways. Extraction of fossil fuels led to a massive expansion in economic growth and agricultural production, and was one of the bases of a six-fold increase in human population. Petroleum, the most sought after fossil fuel, had the largest role in this transformation.
Book Review: “Rewild or Die” by Urban Scout
by Keith Farnish   
Coming to the writings of Urban Scout afresh, I’m immediately surprised that I hadn’t embraced him earlier -- maybe it was his apparent coolness that put me off, but then he makes a point of addressing this in one of the chapters of his new book, “Rewild or Die”.
The Only Answer for Counteracting the Gulf Oil Gusher
by Jan Lundberg, oil industry analyst   
News Release
For immediate release

Washington, D.C. - If 100,000 barrels a day of crude oil are gushing out of the damaged sea-floor well underneath where BP’s offshore oil rig used to perch, what can be done to offset this pollution immediately? Time is of the essence for the global ecosystem, not just for a part of the Gulf.

Ecological Denial on the Gulf Oil Disaster: U.S. Policies Continue Toward Collapse
by Jan Lundberg, oil industry analyst   
The impact of the Gulf oil disaster on the national psyche and the economy have barely begun. When Florida, a more substantial state than Louisiana, is hit by the unprecedented pollution assured to have lasting effects, the quickened erosion of confidence in government, industry and modern technology may accelerate the end of this current phase of U.S. society.
Discovering Human Closeness: Outside the U.S. (Part I)
by Jan Lundberg   
Thanks to a Bolivian merchant’s error of inserting an extra digit in a bank card charge, delaying my departure back to the Northern Hemisphere, my history was changed. In the three extra days in the country, where I needed to rest up after an altitude related illness, I reached a surprising level of involvement in the community where I happen to have gotten stuck. This was my journal entry:

The word “culture” does not suffice when experiencing the eye-opening revelations of days lived amongst aware people. I am fortunate to be doing this now in Bolivia.

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