| Big Think And it feels as though the American dream is a distant memory of a past that the rest, pursuing those possibilities is not necessarily up to someone else, it's up to us.
Contents: National character of India, growth of science and industry, India as a mighty country, social and economic justice, and Women empowerment and equality. Essay About Dreams Come True
My adventures after the 1980s were milder, even though I , but I have had too much adventure and I am . As I stepped back periodically, during the quiet times, I reflected on our experiences and what our fellow travelers reported, and my views gradually changed. My initial orientation was , and that I got it the same year as my mystical awakening was likely significant for evolving my current perspective. Three years later, that , and I began developing the businessman’s perspective long before . My years with Dennis were about trying to make those teenage dreams a reality. I soon realized that my misled me about inventors in general. Nearly all , not to help the world. I never met an altruistic inventor. I soon saw many unethical and criminal acts engaged in by Dennis’s “allies.” When I told Dennis how shocking it was to see, .
In this essay’s , I reviewed my journey and touched on Dennis Lee’s, who was my partner during my days of pursuing FE, and that chapter also mentioned amazing explorations. This chapter will dig a little deeper into our experiences. Our odysseys into alternative and free energy all began at about the same time: in 1973-1974, during the , which ended the . Mine started when my first professional mentor invented what was hailed as the , which he invented in about 1968 and began to patent just before the crisis, and it . During that furor, I , spent absorbing its art and culture, and began . Dennis is 12 years older than I am, and as I dreamed of changing the energy industry, he had his in the energy crisis's mayhem. Brian began his alternative energy pursuit around the same time, as he engaged in activism and .
Almost all traditional alternative energy sources and related technologies have low EROIs (direct solar 2-to-8, wind turbines 18, geothermal less than 5). Those alternative sources all have the same problems that wind and water power had before the Industrial Revolution and more, such as , not much energy is available to begin with, and they all create environmental impacts that, although not as great as fossil and nuclear fuels, are still considerable. Wind turbines not only kill vast numbers of birds each year, but they are noisy and create inland turbulence. In order to replace fossil fuels, there would need to be about four hundred times as many windmills on Earth as there already are, and I have driven through several windmill farms in the USA, which are spread across many miles of suitable terrain. In order to raise humanity to the American standard of living, there would need to be far more than a thousand times as many windmills. There may not be enough suitable land on Earth to host those windmills, and windmills are considered the most viable traditional alternative. Direct solar, including photovoltaics, makes the most sense in deserts. It does not deliver much energy, but it is considered the next most viable alternative, and there would have to be about four thousand times as many photovoltaic arrays as already exist to raise the world to the American standard of living. Again, finding the land to host them is a problem, and the materials need to be mined. There are maintenance issues and other problems. Rock is not a good conductor, so heat is rapidly depleted from the geothermal source and it quickly goes “dry,” and has to go “fallow” to recover.
This essay has presented Earth’s many changing faces during its journey. Earth had molten beginnings, was , and may have . Later, and and . Earth experienced swings from to conditions as atmospheric gases dramatically changed, continents moved, and vast and of complex life played out on land and sea. But the changes happened over timescales of millions and billions of years, not hundreds. No climate scientist will deny that carbon dioxide traps infrared radiation and warms Earth’s atmosphere. The vented enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to create 200 million years of Greenhouse Earth conditions, when reptiles ruled Earth. Volcanism waned and around 150-to-100 mya. By 35 mya, and the Antarctic ice sheet began forming. Every paleoclimate study I have seen places greenhouse gas (and primarily carbon dioxide) concentrations as the primary determinant of global surface temperatures, after the Sun's radiation, but the Sun's output is considered to have been exceptionally stable and has risen slowly over the eons. , usually by accentuating the carbon dioxide with a positive feedback effect that may have reached runaway conditions at times.
gold mines were filled with the skeletons of dead miners. Nobody survived mining for the pharaohs; they were uniformly worked to death, whether they were men, women, children, elderly, or disabled, and an endless supply of new slaves replaced the dead ones. The had a Sun god religion, and gold became a sacred metal reserved for royalty (and silver was sacred and represented the Moon, which ), but they to obtain it. A great deal of Nubian gold ended up in royal tombs, to be looted after the collapsed after the in about 1060 BCE.
The first five books of the Bible, called the , are considered by today’s scholars to have been a political tract written centuries after the alleged events occurred. It was like the taught to today’s schoolchildren as a way to cultivate blind obedience to the state. Early Israel and Judah were tiny kingdoms in the hills, sandwiched between Assyria and Egypt, which were warring regional powers. Israel was destroyed about 722 BCE after the Israeli king defied the Assyrian king, and ten of Israel’s tribes were forcibly relocated by Assyria and became lost to history. The Assyrians forcibly relocated more than four million people. Those “lost tribes” became the focus of for millennia. Writing the Pentateuch was an understandable effort to help Israelites survive, as a kind of nationalistic parable. The New Testament and Koran were also written long after the alleged events, accompanied by huge political battles over what the official story would be. Whatever divine inspiration Jesus may have had access to, ("" (AKA "") is perhaps the most enlightened message ever given to humanity), or other figures in Judeo-Christian or Islamic tales, what certain is that priesthoods and rulers shamelessly distorted them to serve their agendas of amassing and maintaining wealth and power, in a pattern that and lasts to this day.
Fertile Crescent civilizations are universally regarded as humanity’s first. In China, people began to domesticate millet around eight kya, which was about 3,000 years after . Some scientists are skeptical that Chinese domestication really developed without any Fertile Crescent influence, even if it was just the of domestication. Similarly, in Mesoamerica, and people domesticated . The potato could have begun domestication in Peru . Those are the primary places where plants were domesticated independently in the Western Hemisphere, and the practice spread. . Whether the of domestication passed between regions where it is thought to have appeared independently, where the pig, for instance, may have been domesticated independently in the Fertile Crescent and China, nearly all domesticated plants and animals were probably domesticated , and the idea/technique/offspring spread. The horse, , is an instance when , with a limited number of stallions, and wild mares were subsequently incorporated into domestic herds. Once a herd animal was domesticated in the Fertile Crescent, the of domesticating herd animals certainly made subsequent domestication events less innovative. The Domestication Revolution, even if it happened in as many as nine places independently, as with the previous two Epochal Events (/controlling , and that ), the people who initiated the Third Epochal Event were relatively few. Probably only a few hundred people were beacons of innovation, or maybe even only a few dozen or less, when they are added together, and the domestication of animals in the Fertile Crescent may have had a lone inventor, or handful of them, who initiated the process, and the domestication of plants may have had similarly few inventors.
In the Fertile Crescent today, the ruins of hundreds of early cities are in their self-made deserts, usually buried under the silt of the erosion of exposed forest soils. As the Mediterranean Sea’s periphery became civilized, the same pattern was repeated; forests became semi-deserts and early cities were buried under silt. Before the rise of civilization, a forest ran from Morocco to Afghanistan, and only about 10% of the forest that still existed as late as 2000 BCE still remains. Everyplace that civilization exists today has been dramatically deforested. Humanity has since agriculture began. The only partial exceptions are places such as Japan, but they regenerated their forests by importing wood from foreign forests. North America and Asia have been supplying Japan with wood for generations. As civilizations wiped themselves out with their rapaciousness, some people were aware enough to lament what was happening, but they were a small minority. Usually lost in the anthropocentric view was the awesome devastation inflicted on other life forms. was only a prelude. Razing a forest to burn the wood and raise crops destroyed an entire ecosystem for short-term human benefit and left behind a lifeless desert when the last crops were wrenched from depleted soils. In the final accounting, the damage meted out to Earth’s other species, not other humans, may be humanity’s greatest crime. Humanity is the greatest destructive force on Earth since the , and our great task of devastating Earth and her denizens may be .
Only when economic surpluses (primarily food) were redistributed, first by chiefs and then by early states, did men rise to dominance in those agricultural civilizations. Because the rise of civilization in the Fertile Crescent is the best studied and had the greatest influence on humanity, this chapter will tend to focus on it, although it will also survey similarities and differences with other regions where agriculture and civilization first appeared. Whenever agriculture appeared, cities nearly always eventually appeared, usually a few thousand years later. Agriculture’s chief virtue was that it extracted vast amounts of human-digestible energy from the land, and population densities hundreds of times greater than that of hunter-gatherers became feasible. The , but today it is widely thought that population pressures led to agriculture's appearance. The attractions of agricultural life over the hunter-gatherer lifestyle were not immediately evident, at least after the first easy phase, when intact forests and soils were there for the plundering. On the advancing front of agricultural expansion, life was easy, but as forests and soils were depleted, population pressures led to disease, "pests" learned to consume that human-raised food, and agricultural life became a life of drudgery compared to the hunter-gatherer or horticultural lifestyle. Sanitation issues, disease, and environmental decline plagued early settlements, and not long after they transitioned from hunter-gatherers to farmers, but the land could also support many times the people. Another aspect of biology that applies to human civilization is the idea of . Over history, the society with the higher carrying capacity prevailed, and the loser either adopted the winner’s practices or became enslaved, taxed, marginalized, or extinct. On the eve of the Domestication Revolution, Earth’s carrying capacity with the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was around 10 million people, and the actual population was somewhat less, maybe . On the eve of the Industrial Revolution in 1800, Earth’s population was , and again was considered to be about half of Earth's carrying capacity under that energy regime. No matter how talented a hunter-gatherer warrior was, he was no match for two hundred peasants armed with hoes.