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The Pause 11/10/2013

Posted by zoidion in Climate, Mundane.
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Twin Cities ephemera: It’s been a lovely week here near the Falls of St. Anthony, after the five-day siege of clouds and rain. About an inch and a third of rain fell in my backyard, most of it during the week of the last quarter moon. Quite a bit more fell on southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa.

The median date for the first 32F low temperature of the season (at the Twin Cities airport) is 7 October, but the urban heat island is yet to have a frost. The entire week has been mild and dry, with southerly breezes. So it can’t be called Indian summer.

I can almost let myself imagine that these aren’t the last days and nights of the year with the windows thrown open. That the trend must not be down into the cold, into the dark. That I can skip the unavoidable.

That all of us can.

I don’t expose myself much to “the news,” in fact it lately took me a couple days to figure out why I kept seeing flags at half-mast. I haven’t followed much of the reporting and commentary and theatre on “the shutdown,” recognizing that the reality of reduction in the size and function of government must be painful, frightening–and unavoidable. Coming down from any peak is generally much more difficult than going up, with more fatalities attending.

I do what I can, where I am, finding common cause where I can–yet it seems so tiny, so inadequate. The two pear trees I recently planted in my yard–each set in a ring of hugelkultur (buried wood) with perennial and annual vegetables to follow in the spring–are so spindly. Meanwhile, all around, the mowers’ fossil-fuel roar drowns out the sound of the birds, the whisper of the wind.

Somewhat farther afield, the parade of the absurd continues.

Exhibit A: the ongoing farce regarding the billion-dollar state-legislature-approved football stadium–designed to look like a giant igloo with windows, funded largely by Minnesota and city of Minneapolis taxpayers (in defiance of the city’s charter requiring a referendum). Democrats, lately back in control of the legislature and the governor’s office, tripped over themselves in supporting a deal that could only be called cockamamie, while Republicans mostly opposed it.

Exhibit B: the St. Croix River “extradosed” bridge across a federally “protected” river, just a few miles upstream from an existing Interstate highway bridge. Politicians red and blue came out in support of this environment-wrecking doozy, actually cooking it up far beyond what the highway-loving “DOT” had planned. (Building new bridges is so much sexier than maintaining old ones, as the world was reminded not so many years ago when the I-35W bridge collapsed just a few miles from here.)

Exhibit C: The frenzy of road-building and re-building in the immediate Twin Cities area, and planning for a third expensive-and-disruptive “light-rail” line, proceed apace.

The heedlessness of it all . . .

Increasingly lately, I’ve found myself caught in a flood of grief, dismay, despair. Yet I also find myself in company–somewhat. A small group of us have come together, willing to admit that the collective situation–our predicament–holds no solutions, only responses.

This is not a group of solar-energy enthusiasts, drunk on the notion that plunking some high-falutin’ photovoltaic panels on every ding-dang roof will enable us all to continue with our energy-guzzling lives as usual, just greener. I don’t think any of us really expects Monsanto and the rest of Big Ag (and Big Dept. of Ag) to wake up tomorrow or next year and act nice and ecological. None of us, I dare say, looks to MallWart to close up and become a foundation dedicated to recreating the old Main Street business model.

As our “meetup” organizer refers to us: We are “people who look at their children and can’t help but cry, over the insanity and their own unavoidable complicity in the creation of this predicament; people who are more concerned with choosing Responses with Meaning for their lives, accepting that the planet is in Hospice!”

It all came together for me recently in a piece by Richard Heinberg, “Fingers in the Dike.” Briefly, he reminds his readers of the three primary components of the predicament preventing a continuation of industrial civilization: the geological, economic and ecological. Heinberg outlines first the efforts of the fossil fuel “producers” to obscure the geological fact of having passed the peak of “easy oil,” then the fallacy of “quantitative easing,” then the “pause” in the rise in global air temperature relative to the steeply climbing curve of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The last seems at first like a good thing. Humanity has “gotten away” with pouring vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning half–the better-quality, easier-to-get half–of Earth’s fossil fuel deposits. Heinberg summarizes the climate picture: The “warming of Earth’s surface air temperature has slowed since 1998.”

However: “Turns out, very little of Earth’s trapped heat warms the atmosphere and land surface; most of it (over 90 percent) is absorbed by the oceans. . . . Global warming hasn’t really ‘paused’; it’s just gone to the depths.”

This “pause” might be better understood by recalling several statements by scholar/publisher David Roell about the nature of the Earth-Sun relationship, in his essay “Astrology Under Our Feet” (published as the foreword to his reprinting of George J. McCormack’s Text-Book of Long-Range Weather Forecasting):

The signs of the Zodiac are qualities inherent in the Earth itself.

Astrology is Earth-based.

The interplay of Earth and planets produce astrology as we know it.

These principles form the basis of the study and practice of astro-weather historical research and forecasting, and comprise its core: The most significant area of the astro-weather chart is the bottom of the chart: “under our feet.”

And in the case of a year now identified as a turning point in climate history–1998–the primary significance is contained in the sign placement of the Sun, Moon and planets at the start of that year.

How rare and curious was the configuration at the moment of the Aries ingress in 1998, when the Sun lined up with the celestial equator to begin the zodiacal year, that perhaps the symbolism holds for a number of years. See chart below, calculated for London, in recognition of one of the major studies of the “pause” phenomenon, and of that place as the initial intersection of science, industry and empire of this historical era that is now waning.

Aries Ingress 1998

The Moon, related to the distribution of moisture, is in fire sign Sagittarius–symbolizing the vagaries and quandaries of unusually mutable rainfall patterns.

But the placement of the two “malefic” planets–Mars and Saturn–seems most curious. Both are also in fire sign Aries: Mars representing the action and movement of heat (as well as the realm of “breakage”), Saturn the factors of cold, delay and stoppage. Mars in sign of rulership, Saturn in sign of fall. It’s a strange combination, but apt for the situation imposed.

Adding to the mix, Jupiter is in water sign Pisces (rulership), in exact conjunction with the south lunar node (a sink) and close to the position of the solar eclipse (indicating disruption of the established pattern) that occurred three weeks previous.

How curious too is the place of the Lot of Fortune (the O with the X), a point rather than a body, but representing the relationship of Sun, Moon and the specific location of the chart. In the sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon, Fortune falls exactly on the place of the Sun on the date of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

In Shakespearean phraseology, America is Fortune’s fool.

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Comments»

1. Dave Roell - 15/10/2013

Hello Pete, my thanks for the plug. If I leave nothing else to posterity, I would like astrologers to know where their astrology comes from. With that, I think we can re-establish its primacy. If I get no credit, I do not care.

Remember that after the easy-to-get, low-hanging energy, there’s tons of the more expensive sludgy stuff, like tar sands and most of what Venezuela has. We are not going to run out of fossils for a long time, but pollution can get a lot worse. Since we’re lots warmer at night when we sleep with friends, we can cut energy use by improving our social relations. When we were all poor and times were tough, families used to sleep all in the same bed. Which would help with war as well. (By contrast, showering with a friend merely led to more water use.)

The new stadium looks jagged and angry. Like the country.

Did you ever look at the chart of the bridge collapse? It has surprises. There was a surveillance camera video, placed at one end of the bridge, which shows all four piers collapsing in under one second. It should still be around on YouTube. Which is only possible if all four of them failed simultaneously, which is unlikely. A Google of similar bridge failures will show only one support failing. Rarely two. Never all four.

What was curious about that chart is its 8th house cusp is exactly conjunct George Bush’s ascendant:

Bridge: August 1, 2007, 6:01:40 pm CST, Minneapolis

Bush: July 6, 1946, 7:26 am EDT, Hartford, CT

I am not saying there is a connection between the two charts, but the symbolism is interesting. I presume there was an investigation as to why the bridge went down, but sabotage seems likely to me. What do the locals think?

Dave

Pete - 15/10/2013

I wonder how folks will cope with higher and higher (before long) heating fuel prices in northern areas like this, when so much “new” home construction (my lifetime) is so shoddy: assembled rather than constructed, much of the material held together with glue. Such big houses too. And of course the car-dependent arrangement throughout USA: financially costly and fossil-fuel-dependent: a big reason why poverty in the suburbs is growing.
Running out of fossil fuel isn’t the immediate problem, but rather the financial, ecological, climate costs. Reminds me of a recent gathering I went to, on the subject of frac sand mining–big in SW Wisconsin, somewhat held in check in SE Minnesota; the speaker voiced his amazement at the amount of money and resources being poured into it–I wanted to yell out, It’s a bubble! Those wells deplete very rapidly.
I must have looked at the bridge collapse chart around the time–I’ll have another look. And I agree about how unlikely the failure was. I don’t recall much question locally about the circumstances–other than the issue of overloading because of ongoing work (essentially cosmetic)–which does seem strange. There was a big rush to rebuild and have the new bridge nearly ready for opening by the time of the Republican nat’l convention here the following year. (MN gov. Pawlenty was in running for pres nomination.) Much was “interesting” about the situation.

Dave Roell - 15/10/2013

I wonder how folks will cope with higher and higher (before long) heating fuel prices in northern areas like this

Electric blankets, for one thing. I am in a house which the previous owner largely rebuilt himself 30 years ago. I think he did a pretty good job. Every year in the cold season I get a bit better insulating it. Last year I insulated the floor under the kitchen. This year am going to put self-adhesive carpet panels on the door between the kitchen and the garage. The windows get taped shut and covered in sheets of plastic. Basically I want the heat to run once a day at sunrise and not again and am getting close to it.

But what would Jesus do? Why, move to Arizona, of course! My parents grew up in Steele County, just south of you. I don’t wanna think about the winters where you are. The ones in NE Kansas were bad enough.

2. Pete - 16/10/2013

It sounds like you’re being smart about having to use the heating fuel, and fortunate about the house you’re in. A few years ago, we got some help with an energy audit, more insulation, etc.–I wished the crew could’ve added more to the walls, which get cold when it’s really cold outside. But what they did in the attic made a difference. And when we got some extra money, I got insulating blinds on a lot of the windows, especially on the sunroom, where I added insulation above and below. Closing off some rooms for the winter, as in days of yore, will be making a comeback.
But electric blankets–not a good idea, I’ve read. We’ve got a very toasty down comforter. It’ll be coming off the shelf soon.
I think J would stay away from AZ, unless he wanted to try at working miracles again. There’s a war goin’ on there (politicos and sheriffs acting quite nasty), and eventually the Mexicans will reclaim it. (I think Colin Woodard’s American Nations, for example, is worth a read.)
Winters here have gotten easier, shorter, weirder–as in the run of snowstorms this past April (and into May!).

Dave Roell - 16/10/2013

I heard the one about not sleeping on electric blankets, too, but then, I spend my entire day surrounded by much more powerful electronic fields from the computer. And I’m 61, so if the blanket is going to kill me, it hasn’t much time left to do it.

Jesus, if he’s the real one, loves a tough room. (He got killed the last time. Takes dedication.) Everything you say about Mexico and Arizona goes double for the Hawaiians who want their turf back.

If what I’ve worked out about the 30 Years War, 1618-48 is right, and if it can be applied, then we get race wars in America in about 100 more years, as reincarnate slaves come into their second post-slave lives. They will not be happy.

So lets see . . . Mexico reclaims the southwest, Hawaiians sail away, blacks wherever they are simply revolt and that’s before we consider the short-run tea partiers. Do we have a future?


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