2014.11.13 secrets of the beehive

Here in my part of the world, as I stop to spend a few minutes getting a new note started, the first snowflakes of winter are falling outside, although it isn’t technically officially winter until over a month from now. This is fairly normal here, in a region where, realistically, winter is usually roughly November through sometime in April.

There’s an epic story of its own, I think, in the phenomenon of masses of transplanted northerners, people from regions in the more northern latitudes of the United States and accustomed to their climate, like myself, who have become pseudo-southerners, whether in the arid oven of the desert southwest or the swampy mugginess of the southeast, who have only ended up in those regions in an era of human existence when people took it for granted that, somehow, they are apart from the physical reality of a region’s climate. It’s a very weird thing I’ve never quite understood. It’s a pretty common story to hear some of these kinds of migrants to rattle on about how they don’t have to deal with the cold and snow and all that, but skim over the heat, and that they think it’s nice where they are, because they live much of their life shuffling between air conditioned buildings enclosed in a rolling air conditioned motor vehicle.

That raises another topic that’s conveniently ignored, that many of these people shuffle many many miles every day going back and forth across vast areas of suburban sprawl megalopolis, assuming that relatively cheap petroleum fuels will always maintain this as normal.

Beyond that, I think it’s fair to say that a large portion of this part of humanity have ideas about “nature” and its place, in their minds, as some subset of the universe, an “externality”, to use a bit of lingo, and this includes ideas of managing nature in their little chunk of suburbia by hosing down the plant life with toxic chemicals to have just the plant life that suits their notions of what’s allowed to grow and how.

Unfortunately, this includes what appears evident from recent scientific studies, which is that some of these miracle wonder chemicals are killing off bees.

This is not a good thing. This is a very bad thing.

This is something understood to be a very bad thing by anybody who has an elementary school education in basic science. Yet, somehow, this problem seems to be ignored, dismissed, or just completely unknown to many people who like to think of themselves as reasonably smart. It’s just not on their radar. That’s just some of that “eco-stuff” that’s unimportant to them, maybe even something to mock, a realm of communist hippies who hate America and freedom and prosperity or something.

The fact that much of life on Earth depends completely on bees going about their thing as busy little bees is somehow lost on people. It just fits right in with people carrying the delusions that underground deposits of hydrocarbon compounds storing the energy of ancient sunlight are just effectively unlimited, or that this whole “global warming thing” they hear about is just some “Liberal hoax”, and besides, so what, they say, the weather getting warmer sounds just swell to them.

But, here we are, in an era and place where the subject of the Earth itself, the overall state of the planet, and how everything works, is, as thoroughly insane as this is, regarded as a political debate.

Shifting to the energy situation might get some people thinking “what? he’s still talking about that?”, and here we are, where not much has really changed in terms of people actually getting their heads around what’s real, and what’s specious nonsense, outright deception, and wishful thinking and delusions. The latest installment of James Howard Kunstler’s KunstlerCast webcast is a conversation with Art Berman, trying to sort out the reality of the current and likely future state of the projects of extracting “tight oil” deposits of petroleum, and natural gas, from shale rock formations.

Do give it a listen.

The obvious problem with this is the recurring unfortunate fact that too many people might hear what these men are saying and just dismiss this glimpse of reality as the ramblings of some sort of doomsday crackpots, because, basically, people think “well, that’s not what I’ve heard!”, and if they even bother to give the subject any more attention, the odds are good that they’ll toss out some half digested notions based on stuff they’re heard or read about “100 years of natural gas” or “the shale energy miracle” and a new era of “Saudi America”.

I know this is an old subject, and it’s a subset of another unfortunate old subject, which is a dominant set of notions people have (in what Kunstler described with a great term he uses, the idea of “the memespace”), based very little on clear factual reality and rational analysis and understanding, and, instead, based on some collection of simplistic nonsense they’re told to think.

This includes the current ongoing geopolitical circus that started with trouble in Ukraine, and that’s another large subject for later.


The Bee’s Vanishing Act

KunstlerCast 260 — Petroleum Geologist Art Berman on Shale Oil and Gas


ClubOrlov: Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over

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