Tuesday, December 13, 2011
God is Dead. Is Energy our God now? Or the opposite?
Nietzsche wasn't saying he believed in an actual God who first existed and then died, or that we killed him. He was saying that God was no longer a viable source of any absolute moral principles. He may have been right. God may not have died, He was simply replaced. But rather than being replaced by other belief type principles, he was replaced by the God Energy.
Noam Chomsky, Writer, Speaker and Media Critic, spoke at FAIR, the Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting group's 25th Anniversary. On April 28, 2011, at New York City’s Symphony Space, FAIR celebrated their 25th anniversary.
From FAIR's web page::
"FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, we expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled.
"Uniquely, FAIR works with both activists and journalists. We maintain a regular dialogue with reporters at news outlets across the country, providing constructive critiques when called for and applauding exceptional, hard-hitting journalism."
Noam Chomsky is Avram Noam Chomsky and was born December 7, 1928 and is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is one of those people who must of had the worst birthday ever, the year that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
For over 50 years he has been an Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT. Mr. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics". He has been a major figure in analytic philosophy and his work has influenced areas as diverse as computer science, mathematics, and psychology.
I remember reading him when I was getting my degree in Psychology, many years ago. The guy is pretty smart. I've quoted him in articles over a period of some thirty years now.
Among other things, Mr. Chomsky said that he had been reading declassified documents from the white house and had found some interesting things. Leading up to a point, he said that when 9/11 hit, Pres. Bush asked in a speech, "why do the Arabs hate us?" He answered his own question in saying, it was because they hate our Freedoms.
Not quite, "W". Close, but no Cuban cigar.
Back in 1958, Mr. Chomsky pointed out, President Eisenhower had asked his staff to find out why there is such a campaign of hatred against us by the Arab world. Their government seemed to liked us (our money), but the citizens didn't so much. The National Security Council came back with a memorandum, now declassified, to Pres. Eisenhower saying that it was our policies the Arabs didn't like. That there was a perception in the Arab world that the United States supports harsh and brutal dictatorships, and that we block democracy and development. And we do. We do it because we want to gain control of their energy resources. The memorandum went on to say that the perception was reasonably accurate and furthermore that's what we ought to be doing.
After Bush had made that statement, he appointed a study group to find out what was up. They concluded that it's not that they hate our freedoms, it's that they hate our policies, and then went on to repeat what the NSC had said back in 1958. At that point Mr. Chomsky said that they hadn't gone far enough and they should also have said that we hate their freedoms, for the reasons given by the NSC.
It was realized back with Roosevelt's and Truman's advisers that if we can control the Middle East, we can control the world, specifically stating that, "We can gain substantial control of the world." Which, remains true.
This isn't however, aligned only with Republican administrations, but to American administrations, from Clinton's liberal side to Bush's, well, I don't really know what Bush was.
It was an interesting point of view, an informed point of view. Oil was a big motivator as we all have known. But it is energy, not oil, not gas of any form, but energy. We need to remember that.
Coincidentally, I was watching Fareed Zakaria this morning and it seems we are now looking at massively increasing Fracking here in America. In fact, they think we may become the world energy leaders for the next hundred years, replacing all others. That's a change. I keep hearing that Fracking is relatively safe, and this may be true. Yes, you hear about some pretty scary issues, people's water being made not just undrinkable, but unusable; the ability to light your kitchen tap water on fire; people's water tanks exploding, little things like that. Long term health issues in the forms of cancer or worse, will become obvious.
However, people don't realize how much Fracking is already happening. So that even with some bad regional issues, most may very well be safe. Though I'm not sure how you can consider pumping poisons into the Earth a good thing. [*Update 10/28/2012 see below]
It's not surprising how we are focused on energy as our all consuming concern in the world. If we run out, nearly everything shuts down. Many of us live out of town, commuting via internet or vehicles. We'd have a tough time getting food. People would have to start all over again and become an agrarian society again. Everywhere this would be happening. Smaller would become beautiful again. But what would those people do who have no drinking water now because of Fraking? Move, I would assume. Pretty quickly, too.
So, maybe energy is Satan, not God.
How come no religious groups point at energy as the true evil in the world, other than, perhaps, the Amish. Wouldn't that be ironic, if they turned out to be the ones who were correct in their contentions to begin with. If we had fully replenish-able sources of energy, if you put a battery in your flashlight and it NEVER died, think how things would change.
You wouldn't HAVE to work. You wouldn't have 90% of your worries. Your car battery would never go dead. There would be no energy based contentions between nations. People would get along better. No lacking energy, no one would be truly poor. Greed would lose at least some of its meaning.
Life would be good. Possibly.
So even if we don't have that now. Even if we can't have it yet because of lacking the technology (and no I don't think technology is Satan, just energy), perhaps just keeping that in mind and working toward that would change how we treat those other nations, those small communities getting Fraked water supplies. Maybe we would put more effort into losing electricity as the one thing running technology.
No, I don't really think electricity is evil, just energy. But I'm addicted to it, too. I don't want to live without energy. I just want more of it, and free. I heard a while back that the next biggest breakthrough in science and technology will be in batteries. Which, surprised me. But think Star Trek and their phaser weapons. Think of the batteries those had to have to be able to supply that kind of power. Power that would run one of their space shuttles in a pinch. Now that is a battery!
Once that barrier has been breached, couldn't it be possible that things will get better in international tensions and relationships.
Just possibly? I think so.
But then, we need to ask the next obvious question. Who then will be, our God?
*Update 10/28/2012: On Fareed Zakaria GPS today, Ann McElhinney, director of the upcoming documentary, "FrackNation" pointed out several interesting contentions that we didn't hear in the notorious documentary "Gasland". She indicated that fracking has been going on sice 1948, and that there are literally millions of these fracking sites around the US. Opposing her on the debate was Amrahm Lustgarten, Environmental reporter for ProPublica, who said that the fracking that has been going on recently, in the last ten years is different than historical drilling. McElhinney said that the EPA has pointed out there is not a single incident of fracking causing methane leakage to people's water. Well, you can take that with a grain of salt, or not. I tend to give official sources credence until proven, or credibly indicated, to be otherwise.
The primary source of the documentary film "Gasland" that stirred up all this controversy was based in Dimock, PA. McElhinney went back there and said that reporters always seemed to interview the eleven litigants in the methane in the water issue; but McElhinney then also found 1500 families who said that the water there had always been "appalling" and had always had methane in the water. So the residents have started an organization called, "Enough Already" to have their voices heard and their side of the controversy heard. McElhinney also said, we're talking about 1% of the people there and the 99% want to have their voices heard.
McElhinney also said when you consider the "truth" which her upcoming documentary is to point out, when put next to the need America has for the products of fracking, and the need to remove ourselves from buying energy products such as oil and gas from countries who seem to hate us, that it is a great benefit to be able to frack in our own country. Finally she said of course regulations are important and need to be there, and they are there now. Lustgarten returned that there is not enough known about this and there needs to be more research and attention paid to just what this can do to our environment
Is there anything more important than our drinking water?
The other day a scientist was on the news talking about how there is one other element that is very important and being ignored. That being the effect of pumping all this water and chemicals, especially as there is so much of this being done now, and the effects this has on plate tectonics, the shifting of plates of land that cause earthquakes. There has been speculation for years about actually starting earthquakes using this kind of method, in proactively alleviating bad earthquakes . Bad earthquakes happen when two plates have too much friction to allow the pressure to be released more gradually, over time. When they get stuck, sooner or later they release that pressure with devastating results to human, living populations including animals and structures.
So there are things about fracking that we need to examine and continue to examine. Even though, in some cases it may already be too late. We just don't know enough yet. But, we will. Hopefully we will find out ahead of time, through research and not through some kind of environmental catastrophe. Fracking may indeed be the answer we need for the here and now, but we also need to expend the money for research to properly and scientifically evaluate the result of this much fracking.
Something we are not always so good at doing. There are many examples of our being lax in paying for services we don't really value highly as needing to be carried out. For instance, one prime example in another area entirely, is with our war veterans. We seem to be all for going to war when we deem it necessary, but when it comes to taking care in the aftermath or even during, to pay for our veterans to be properly integrated back into our society, to get the proper mental and physical healthcare they so sorely need, we tend to shy away from our responsibilities.
Let's do the right things, even if that means fracking, or going to war. But let's also spend the money we need to be spending, to protect ourselves and properly take care of our citizens whom we have or may have, put in harms way for our benefit.