Thursday, July 27, 2017

We did get rain last night and it is cloudy now with more expected. I don't feel energetic at all so I won't do much of anything today. There are things I could do in the gardens but they aren't absolutely necessary.

We have been losing contact with nature for several decades now. The situation has become acute enough that, every now and then, one finds comments in the news media on it like this Guardian piece. I saw this when it first aired and could only shake my head. But we do live, for the most part, in man made environments which only allows small amounts of "tamed" nature in. We have our manicured and managed lawns where we spray to keep out untamed nature like dandelions or insect pests. We have our manicured and managed gardens where we decide what grows and how. The Ditzy Druid makes a few comments on the phenomenon and her attempts to teach her children to connect with nature. Her remarks roused some thoughts in my mind about my own journey through this life. Once upon a time I remember collecting plant specimens, leaves and flowers mostly, to identify. But over my adult life those contacts with nature diminished and much of what I once knew disappeared.

Although we are mentally/spiritually disconnected from nature we are all to well connected when it comes to our garbage. A huge garbage patch has been found in the southern Pacific. The one in the northern Pacific has been studied for the last ten years or so. So much of our trash stays around for a long time and there is no easy way to reduce it. We have managed to make some headway here reducing our trash from a full trash tote weekly to a third or less of that amount. We have tried to reduce our plastics and have succeeded to a point.

I don't follow economic theory the way I used to. My reality and that of the economists just don't seem to resemble each other. Jesse's Cafe Americain thinks the same. Unfortunately too many economists try to insist that reality adjust itself to their models. That alone suggests that economics isn't a real science because real scientists would adjust their models to account for what happens in the real world.

I read a couple of articles on the U.K.'s program to ban fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. This piece from Naked Capitalism notes a bottle neck in such plans: the availability of cobalt for the high performance lithium ion batteries. The efforts to shift to EV sounds good but it involves using a technology that requires a scarce input, namely cobalt. And I would have to ask what pollution is created by making the batteries and decommissioning them. We are already aware of the pollution fossil fuel vehicles involve but we might be shifting to something as bad or worse.

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