Tag Archives: The Environment

How the Stimulus Is Changing America

Creating Strategies for the 21st Century

The debate over President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill has mostly been about whether it has saved jobs — and most economists say it has — but that’s not the only thing it aimed to do.  The bill was also designed to help advance several Democratic goals — a green economy, computerization of the health-care system, education reform, and scientific research. Time saysAny of those programs would have been a revolution in its own right” and that the stimulus “may be President Obama’s signature effort to reshape America.”

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Filed under Economics, Liberal Government, Political Reform, Progressive Ideals

The Peter Principle Applied

“in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”

………………. Dr. Laurence Peter, 1969.

The fundamental point of the Peter Principle is that, within an organization, usually a corporation, an individual will eventually rise, through promotion, to a point beyond his or her capabilities, hence their “level of incompetence.”

Having worked in the corporate world for over thirty years, I saw many examples of the Peter Principle applied. Many “good” employees saw their careers stalled or even destroyed when they were promoted beyond their capabilities.

What we have seen in the past month and a half goes beyond the Peter Principle in reference to a single employee to the Principle applied to a entire corporation.

And that corporation is BP.

This amalgamation of morons, idiots, criminals, thieves, liars, spineless charlatans and clueless flunkies is responsible for the deaths of eleven workers and the destruction of a good portion of the Gulf of Mexico and it’s attendant industries.

And the destruction continues and BP seems to be without a semblance of knowledge as to what to do about it.

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. – Murphy’s Law.

As a business person often charged with large-scale projects, I always kept this “fact” in the back of my mind, and planned contingencies as a response. In other words, I had a back up plan.

Well, here is a question that should have been asked of BP, before the fact:

“If you are drilling an exploratory well a mile under the surface of the Gulf, what is your “back up plan” should your single line of defense against a leak fail?”

As we all know now, the answer is nothing. And worst of all, it continues, a month and a half later, to be nothing, despite the optimistic reports from BP that this or that fix may, could, might stop the leak.

Now, they are trying a new approach – one that could well exacerbate the problem, rather than stop the flow of oil.

I am not encouraged.


William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under The Environment, Uncategorized

Running the Numbers: Portraits of Mass Consumption

Sociologists tell us that the human mind cannot meaningfully grasp numbers higher than a few thousand.  Photographer Chris Jordan has made large mosaics that help translate the raw language of statistics into powerful images of global mass culture that we can respond to emotionally.  The artist says, “I hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a collective that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.”

This picture, the artist titled, “Gyre,” is made from 2.4 million pieces of plastic, equal to the estimated number of pounds of plastic that enter the world’s oceans every hour.  All of the plastic (2.4 million pieces) in this image was collected from the Pacific Ocean.

This mosaic is made from 106,000 small photos of individual aluminum cans.  106,000 is the number of aluminum cans used in the United States every thirty seconds.

Other statistics Chris Jordan has made into images include:

  • 426,000 cell phones discarded per day in the U.S.
  • 2,000,000 plastic bottles used by Americans every five minutes
  • 10,000 dog and cat collars, equal to the average number of unwanted dogs and cats euthanized in the United States every day
  • 2.3 million Americans in prison
  • 166,000 packing peanuts, equal to the number of overnight packages shipped by air in the U.S. every hour
  • 28,000 42-gallon barrels, the amount of oil consumed in the United States every two minutes (equal to the flow of a medium-sized river)
  • 320,000 light bulbs, equal to the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage (inefficient wiring, computers in sleep mode, etc.)
  • one million plastic cups, the number used on airline flights in the US every six hours
  • one hundred million toothpicks, equal to the number of trees cut in the U.S. yearly to make the paper for junk mail
  • 200,000 packs of cigarettes, equal to the number of Americans who die from cigarette smoking every six months

Seeing the cumulative impact of individual actions through this talented artist’s lens awakens us to the enormity of our personal decisions.

To see more images and how Chris Jordan’s work is compiled:   http://www.chrisjordan.com/current_set2.php

fnord

6 Comments

Filed under Art, The Environment

A child shall lead

I am humbled.  There aren’t words — this girl said them all better than I will ever be able to.

“This is the famous speech by Severn Suzuki when she was 12 years old in 1992 to United Nations.”

And still, nothing has changed.

fnord

2 Comments

Filed under Climate Change, Political Reform, The Environment

04/16/09 Public Square

winding-fence-neighbor-lg

According to google images, this beautiful and serene setting was photographed in western Kansas and is filed under “prairie.” Isn’t it gorgeous!?

So lean on that fence and let’s visit while we drink in the beauty of our state.

fnord

45 Comments

Filed under Kansas History, The Environment, The Public Square