so | science

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ishmael Analysis

I have to halt my reading, for if I go on any further I would surely get myself in a mess of frustration and confusion and much, much contemplation which would only stir up more frustration—frustration of being overwhelmingly enlightened and that of “why am I here reading this book?” when our “aircraft” is just a few years away from crashing into the bottom of the cliff.
The professor was right, I do like “Ishmael”. While Ishmael was leading the protagonist through the journey of discerning Mother Culture’s voice, I found myself gradually taking the role of the pupil, or more accurately, wanting to take the role of the pupil. I was excited. I was somewhat proud that I knew the answer to some of the gorilla’s questions before the book unveils it. I knew part of the Law is to take what one needs but nothing more; this is exactly the part agriculture defied. Ishmael said agriculture does not have to defy this Law all creatures invariably followed. On this point I thought of permiculture. Agriculture does not have to monotonize the land; by planting different species of plants in the same land can promote diversity just as well. Diversity, is another one of my “bingo” answers. I just failed to make the connection between the Law and Diversity. The Law promotes diversity. The word provokes biology. I had a sense of where Ishmael is steering to. I felt a lesson on biodiversity and all that ecological stuff coming. But Ishmael made it, for the lack of a better word, less textbook like and more story like, much like Ms. Marples’ deduction under Agatha Christie’s pen.
At this point, I had wondered, had the Professor used Ishmael’s way of teaching in class, would I be as engaged? Would more be learned?
I had many thoughts to many things the gorilla said and the narrator unanswered. As you will see in this post, my thoughts are rather scattered. I would like to reflect back to the beginning, when Ishmael insisted that our story of creation is a myth. The narrator would not believe it. I would not believe it either. How can our story of creation be a myth. We have scientific evidence! We have facts preserved nicely in glass displays in museums! Then the jellyfish hit me. Ishmael hit me. Facts are facts, but that does not change the fact that our story of creation is no more than a myth. Science is merely Mother Culture’s tool in framing the myth, evolution is there so we can say, finally, man appeared and no more come after. We are the end product, not the jellyfish. The world is made for us, not the jellyfish, because we come after the jellyfish and nothing comes after us. Because we defy the Law and made it so nothing comes after us. We destroy and conquer, all the while accelerating our aircraft “the Civilization” closer and closer to the abyss. And we peddle harder than ever now. Because we have gotten this far, and we have blind faith that we will go farther. Our only solution is to abandon the aircraft our ancestors had founded. And to abandon this aircraft is to abandon our control over life and death of other species and the world. It's not a matter of [cant quite find the word], it's a matter of mindset. I remembered the Professor talked about mindset in class. In order to carry out actions, first we need to reframe our mindset. I think "Ishmael" should be incorporated in highschool curricumlum. The book itself is a teacher, and it teaches us to discern Mother Culture's luring from Mother Earth's calling. This is the action we can take, after obtaining the knowledge. But to be honest, I am rather pessmistic about our future. Because now, I can really see the aircraft descending in acceleration.

Ishmael has another effect on me. I have read the Bible several times, especially the first chapter, God's creation and the Garden of Eden. I never quite understand why the Tree of Good and Evil is bad for man. I take it as that's just the way the Bible is written--tell you the what, but don't explain the why. Now I know. Now I feel the Bible more real. The Bible, perhaps, is the most hidden record (implicit) of the history of how man became man. I was stunned to find that "agriculture is mankind's worst mistake" evident in the Bible. Agricutlure is not a blessing. Agriculture is a punishment, God's way of punishing Adam and Eve, and all that came after them. I like how Ishmael incorporates the knowledge of the Bible, unlike others that challenge the Bible.

"Ishmael" is the one book I do not regret reading. Thanks to the Professor for insisting that I read the book.

Peak Oil as Sign and Symptom

Peak Oil is the symptom of a much greater problem that humans have postponed to face since the rise of civilization—the problem of exhausting the limited resources our dear Earth can provide. We have wore out lands by agriculture and overgrazing, we have cleared out all types of forests for woods, we have made extinct many species by over-consumption, as food and practices (such as fishing), and now, we are on the verge of exhausting the black gold of the land—oil. The peak is arriving, I do believe firmly so. And soon to be followed by the peak of our few remaining resources such as water, and maybe, as suggested in “The Sheep Look Up”, breathable air, which I believe is not totally implausible given the wide spread of air pollution of modern industry.

All humans have ever contributed to the earth we inhabit is consume, consume, and more consuming of its natural resources. While we consume, we deny that the earth runs on finity. We deny that we will run out of fish when certain fish species go extinct; we deny that we will run out of trees when one forest, two forests, three, four, five, many wither; some of us as of today still deny that oil is going peak; some even go as far as denying that oil will peak at all. Every resource on earth is finite. With the arrival of Peak Oil, it is time humans should face the fact that the Earth is not made infinite for our uses, and we are getting closer to the end of this finity as each drop of black gold drips down the oil tank of the multi-functional SUV.

Post Peak Personal Prep.

The two core skills that we need to learn for post peak personal preparation are 1) Changing mindset, and 2) Group dynamics/ communication skills. In my previous post, I discussed a skill of learning to adapt to inconvenience, or as in the words of the Professor, the ability to be flexible about change. The mindset of comfort and convenience over ecosystem (and other aspects) are well embedded in my cousin’s continuous (somewhat irritated) request to her mother to turn up the air conditioner. This kind of mindset is more or less in all of us, cross generations. I would think the older generation would be more patient with heat, more fused with nature (flexible with the resources at hand and smart in utilizing them, as in the leave-toilet paper example), more frugal because of the hard times they have been through. My grandparents are such people. My mom, having grown up in a village and having to learn to be independent at the age of five should have developed a mindset of frugality. Yet she let the water ran on again, last night, while washing vegetables. As for me, even though I am made more aware of the Peak Oil situation and recently oil prices, I still prefer riding in a car over taking the subway. No other reason than comfort and convenience over energy efficient transportation.

My mother and I, and I think most people that came from a less developed (compared to New York City) place may have a deeper mindset that governs the mindset of comfort and convenience above all. In China, there is periodic water shortage in the summer (the summer in my place of birth is so much hotter than New York). Every household had a tank full of water in preparation of sudden water shortage that may last days. In those times, we were very careful about using water. Much like Robyn’s experience during the droughts in Australia, taking a slightly long shower gets the evil eye. Now that I am living in New York, where there is rarely water shortage and clean water seem to run on infinity from the faucet, I indulge myself to long bathes and drinking from multiple water bottles, never really finishing even half of the content. In China, I have to walk to school, sometimes ride on my grandpa’s bike, in my sticky school uniform which got stickier under the sun’s unbearable UV radiation which I have bear for 12 years of my life. Now that the family owns a car, the choice between car and subway is very clear. For the younger generations of today, they are just indulged. For immigrants and older generations, the common mindset is “I did not have that kind of comfort before, now that I have it, of course I will enjoy it to as much as I can, if not to the fullest extend.”

In stead of learning to treasure the resources we used to lack, we indulge ourselves to use it even more because of its “sudden” abundance. Milk was expensive in China. I drank to the last drip. Now that I can buy milk anywhere for less than two dollar, they are often forgotten in the fridge and rarely ends up in my stomach. If Peak Oil strikes now, I think the people in 3rd world countries, especially people who live in the mountains, would be more flexible about change, and generally more skillful, than people in the Superpowers because they are less dependent on technology (once oil production started to drop more by more, technology will boost as oil companies become more precipitous until no more oil can be found to power these technology) and have more experience with dearth of resources to begin with. However, for places that are devastatingly destitute, dearth of food might strike before these skills could be carried out. Skills we might have, but whether they are pragmatic for survival largely depends on our location. If we are in an extremely poor country with desert dominating the geography, we might be the first to go if we heavily depend on food imports. Our ability to be flexible really depends on how flexible our environment allows us to be. With a vast landscape of sand, burning sun (Las Vegas), no water, how flexible can we be?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

"There are plenty of things to worry, why worry about oil? It needs not you to worry. It is not up to you to worry," mom said.

It was almost nine and we just got home. Mom settled down the packages of food and started her daily battle in the kitchen. She emptied the bag of vegetables into the sink, turned on the facet, and turned around to wrestle with the pots. I walked into the kitchen, and saw the stream of water gushing down into the sink, splashing the vegetables. It all seems as if there is “infinite” inside the finite volume of the facet. Immediately I turned off the facet, and lectured mom, once many times, you are wasting water! I am sorry, she said, carelessly.
Mom is a neat person. She hates dust. She HAS to have a big wash up of the house every weekend, which disturbs both dad and me because all we ever wanted in a Sunday afternoon is rest, and that for mom to rest. As we were walking home today, mom complained about how I made us got home late and now she does not have enough time to fight with the dust. I said, mom, you do not have to wash the house every week. Mom responded, you know how dirty the house gets? Some people even clean their house every two days.

Mom, those people are the most wasteful. You know how many people in Africa do not even have clean water to drink? You are wasting water cleaning the house weekly. The house does not need that kind of cleaning. We can bear the dust for two weeks. Imagine when we run out of oil, and drinkable water became scarce, those “clean” people are doomed. They with their delicacy are going to be the first to be wiped out. “O, my shirt is so dusty, let’s use the last drop of water we have to clean it. Dust is not healthy for you.” I think this kind of thinking is not healthy for anyone of us, thriving to survive in the oil crisis, and soon, the water crisis. We are indulged too much, by daily convenience we take for granted: by water, by the light switch, by cars, by the air conditioner in the car… In the passed humid days riding in my aunt’s Toyota Silver Siena (is that the name?), I became more aware. Not of my place in the imminent oil crisis, but of my cousin’s indulgence. The car was not even packed. The window was down. Air was circulating, though humidity still clung on, but not deadly humid like back in China. It was the level of humidity the people living in Egypt would call cool. It was bearable, for someone who comfortably lie on the cushion car seat listening to music. Yet she yelled out to my aunt, turn the AC higher. It is hot here!

How is she going to survive, without AC and a miniature ipod?

Mom is not giving any thoughts to “oil is running out!” She was only going along with my “story” when she asked me what we should do when the time hits. My fifth grade cousin is too obsessed with accessories and AC and music to even listen to me. A Peak Oil in five years is the least of the least she would be concerned with. And to many of us, it is true. Why should a semi house wife care about peak oil when she has a houseful of dust to clean and rice to cook and all she had left of the weekend is four hours? What people need is a boot camp, to start treasuring the resources we have today, and be aware of the resource depletion crisis we soon to face tomorrow.

One thing to add to the list of necessary skills – we need to learn to adapt to inconvenience.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Thoughts from Vacation

Though it is widely agreed upon by the class members of Friday’s course that having a small group is more productive than the whole class, I disagree. I tend to recall more from big class discussions. I especially enjoyed the “economic lessons” taught, more so than watching the “Civilization society (? Or was it social civilization?)”. What is the point of the film in this course? The only point I can make of it is that it shows group cooperation, and how laborious it will be to carry out group cooperation without current technology. But perhaps, with slow progress, oil would be drained out at a slower rate and would last us longer, and be priced higher because of the strenuous effort it takes to extract the resource, and people would in term learn to treasure it more. As they should with clean water and air, now. I was away for the holiday up in the villas of PA, where there is still a mini forest and grass plain, and, more enjoyable than ever, fresh air. How much of this fresh air is left in the world? If we were to price tag it, how much would it cost? I hope I would never know the answer.
After reading the Sheep Look Up by Brunner, I think about a lot of things we take for granted, like the water mom lets drain down the drain simply for the sake of having the faucet on, and the lights and TV dad left on in the bedroom and bathroom for the sake of leaving them on (That is the way people do things in a hotel, he said). I think about the water flowing out of the faucet when I was washing my hands, “how long before we have to start paying a dime for salty, swimming pool (chlorine) water?”; I think about the Pocono air entering my nasal when I was breathing in a Fernwood (Villas) morning, “how long before we need to start wearing masks and oxygen become a commodity in a bottle for 5 dollars each?”; I even stop and inspect the corn I am enjoying, as if I looked careful enough, I would see bioengineered genes in the each yellow corn that contains harmful chemicals not tested for human consumption. “How could people possibly do that for profit?”
Then again, we are just extending the deadline rather than solving the problem.
On the way back to New York, our car stopped for gas refill. We went into a gas station, and the worker told us, there is no more oil in this gas station. It is scary how “speedy” the scenarios I learned in class are coming to real life, just as how the many dreadful headlines Brunner made up in his science fiction, The Sheep Look Up, has became and are becoming the news headlines on our familiar newspapers of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Mom asked me what we should do. The only answer I had, was “learn to farm.” When they ask me why and how. I did not know what to say. I realized, I know the answer, but I do not know how to carry out the answer. Mom was impressive with what I learned in class, but she took my answer with a laugh. No body took it seriously that the highly industrialized economy of today would regress to collaborative farming my parents had studied hard to get out. I believe many people are like me – we are not prepared for Oil Peak and what may follow.
The film did not show oil evacuation. The film showed, if I recall correctly, mining. Mining for gold. For whatever film effect, there were only images and background music, which intensifies the perception of pain from the movement of the miners. As the anticipation for narration prolongs, the film gets monotonous, which losses whatever effect it intends to produce. If the film is a portrayal of future life after oil… it is just beyond my imagination.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

5 Point Platform

5 Point Platform
Federal
1. Reduce use on resources- gradually.
2. Energy Tax- decrease energy use. To make the use of energy more efficient, the Swedish government provides financial support (I speculate it is for constructing “energy-efficient and energy smart” buildings), information campaigns, and energy tax. We felt that energy tax is the most “efficient” of the three because it is more effective an incentive, a negative monetary incentive to be exact, to “promote” people to reduce energy usage. Financial support is attractive, if you are the owner of the building. In New York City, the local government exempts the owner of tax if a green roof is installed or the building as a whole is energy efficient, such as the Solaire at Battery Park. It is rather sad that we humans need monetary incentive to motivate us to protect the environment.
3. Mitigation program – start NOW
4. Start using/developing renewable resources
5. Coming soon

Originally, we had our primary point to be: admit and accept oil is about to peak, and raise the public’s awareness of the situation. After much discussion, we are not sure whether the government should make such an announcement because that might create public panic. This might result in people crazily buying gold and silver, therefore pumping up inflation, from which would bring the era to deflation, then gradually approaches recession, eventually ending up in depression (cycle effect). We felt that, as the government raise the tax on energy, the public should have a feel, if not outright explicit, that energy resources are depleting, especially oil, is approaching Peak Oil. Just like when the dollar unit jumped to 3 in gas stations, we know that oil is becoming more rare, or some sort of political scheme is involved. And if the government were to say, “oil is reaching its peak, we are running low on resources, but do not fear, we have other alternatives”, we felt that no one is going to believe it. Since abrupt changes often create chaos, we request that gradual changes to be made, but not slow.

Local
1. Start gardens in vacant lots (Green Guerilla?)
2. Set up/strengthen community (and the people’s cooperation for a common wealth of that community) – transition to agricultural phrase.
3. Incentive to share -- putting up regulations- punishments
4. Alternate transportation/ waste treatment
5. Make buildings self-sufficient -- Install water catching tanks/ water catching system with green roof on every building, if possible.

Response to Nation Chronicle

I found it interesting that “the dollar’s loss of value against other currencies will force the federal reserve to keep bumping up the interest rates so that all the foreign holders of US debt paper will not dump it. Higher interest rates would be good news to savers -- except that there are none in America.”(Kunstler) Come to think about it, America is built on credits, debts. Who would have guessed, a prosperous, high tech, Superpower like the United States, should have an economic foundation constructed out of _____ (blank; nonexistent) money. I think America’s planners look too much ahead in the Far Future they forgot about the Imminent Future – the far future of erecting more bridges and highways (making Chicago more concrete, simultaneously more prone to collapse if there should be a fuel shortage); the imminent Future of oil is going to peak soon.
According to the Nation Chronicle, it seems to be pretty unwise to be buying a house now, “using ‘creative’ adjustable rate mortgages”.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A thought on "Value"

I have always wondered why gold and silver is worth the “Gold” and “Silver”. Is it because the yellow and the...silver are superior to the brown and the red? Is it because of their medium? What in the nature of these rocks grants them that distinctive astronomical price tag? Really, everything comes down to just a rock. Gold is no different from the gray marble stone, or the plain rock by the riverbed. Is gold worth the food? Worth the trade? Worth dying for? Secured enough for survival in a time of oil depletion?
What about diamond? Why is a diamond necklace with 6 digits? Why is a piece of hard rock worth 6 digits, enough to feed who knows how many mouths in American? Why do people chase crazy after this “polished” rock? Who in the world said, diamond, you cost 6 digits?
The lesson and discussion on “value” in today class answered this enigma. Never much a fanatic on accessories, I dare say I have a pretty clear mind of what “rocks” really worth, not price-wise, but worthiness wise. The value of things is determined by the market, which is determined by the people, who unconsciously build a consensus on the price label on products through trade. I remember my College Now business professor once asked a fellow classmate, so you agree that the green shirt on your body is worth the price? I forgot her answer. But back then, it made me ponder. Even though we as consumers often complain about the expensiveness of the commodities we bought, every time the consumer swipes American Express, he or she has silently agreed to the price judgment of the seller and added to the “set value’’ reasonableness. Same thing happen to Gold. Gold, green paper, diamond, are only symbols of value set in our heart. If agriculture really takes over as it did do in Cuba in its adaptation to Peak Oil, and if the farmer refuses to exchange his cabbages for a slice of gold, gold then, has even less value than dirt (on dirt you can still grow food).
In my business class, the professor said price is determined by cost. Some clothing shop imports clothes from an agency for x amount of money, in order to earn a profit, the store sells the product for at least x + 1 cent. Now for the agency to put a price tag on the clothes it sold to the store, it takes into account the cost it takes to make that piece of clothes, which includes the cost of that piece of fabric it purchases from a fabric making factory. That fabric store sells its fabric based on the cost of the dyes and other factors. We can get as microscopic as we want with a business chain, but the question I have that still remains unanswered is, how did the base, the very primary producer, determine the cost of its product, which very likely is taken from the Earth for free. What cost is there? Privatizing water is very farfetched, just a random thought.
When oil hits the peak and starts to go down the slope, gold is not the answer to survival. Green is. Not green paper. Green plants. Green edible plants. And knowledge of planting the green edible plants. We are stranded in a large island called planet Earth. In times of adversity on this big island, you strike gold, you strike rock. Strike “oil” is more like it. The “rich” people would only be rich in their stacks of paper printed with numbers when the farmer refuses to trade food for even a million dollars.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Grass Root Response to New York Oil Peak

Everything that was to be done in New York would be many times more complicated than what is done to mitigate the oil shortage situation in Cuba. Or rather, what is done to rid of heavy oil dependence. Cuba did not simply mitigate the situation, Cuba dig out the major roots of oil-dependent life style and re-establish the community system. One of the grass root response to peak oil in New York would be setting up self sufficient communities. For New York, this would be a lot harder to do because first, food is imported to New York; and second, our communities are not close to the Cuban standard of self-sufficient and self-efficient. Sufficient enough to provide enough food, and efficient enough to provide sufficient food before starvation wipes out half of the population. To establish communities for food growth, we may have to plow Central Park, or demolish buildings to make room, or we can plan more intensive roof gardens to grow potatoes and cabbages. However, these roof gardens are going to be high up and harvesting is going to require an elevator. Without oil, where do we get the fuel to power elevators? Without oil, where do we get the fuel to power the machine that is going to tear down the skyscrapers? And do we really want to invest our remaining oil on such a mechanical device?

As for Chinatown, I could see the community bond, but not the plowing scene. Where in Chinatown can anyone get a field for planting? The entire town is paved with concrete, except for small flower beds in the middle of the road. Will the trees in Grand Park be enough to feed the residence of downtown Manhattan? Midtown is worst. Aside from skyscrapers there are more skyscrapers. Everything is gray up there. How are we going to get a seed to grow in that place? In addition, midtown is largely a business area where big corporations root their base. How much of a community feel is there, other than maybe “we are bond by the code of green paper”? It seems very likely that Midtown would need to rely on Downtown to supply food. Establishing garden communities would be more successful in Brooklyn, the deep dark wood areas of Brooklyn, where space is available for massive garden planning and plowing and "moo-ing".

Second governmental grass root response would be rationing food. To do this, the government might need to first demolish the capitalist system because some rich people are going to buy short the food line (which would not sound right because the United States is based on the capitalist system. To adapt Cuban’s grass root response, we would have to pay a high and risky price of uprooting the nation’s primary economic system. Would that not put the economy at stagnation?). Given that people put down their desire to compete, and that everyone can agree to suffer first for small distribution of food and enjoy later as the city starts producing its own food, I think Cuban’s food ration policy is good enough to be installed in New York.
Transportation would be a huge road block for food distribution. Does the United States make their own bikes or import bikes from 3rd World countries like Cuba imported bikes from China during the “Special Period”? If the U.S. imports, maybe New York should start importing bikes from China so food grown in upstate New York can be transported to the city, and to a smaller scale, food grown in downtown communities can be "biked" to uptown communities.

In the midst of carrying out the grass root response to New York's Oil Peak, the government would need to firm the police force. In times of uncertainty, certain people are going to take advantage of the situation to the extent that groups may rise against the government. In the Community Solution: How Cuba survive without Oil clip, crime rate was not that was mentioned in detail. In fact, I do not think the clip address that at all. A community cannot be self-sufficient before it becomes a safe community. With stealing and violence, there would not even be a community, by the definition of "Community is a group of people who lived in certain area or lived near each other or with one another, and believe or share common idea and belief" and "incoporates balance between self-interest and shared-interests within and among members of a group and is a crucial factor in community formation. When enough participants in a group develop an attitude of caring for the well-being of the whole, or the common good, the prospect of community is present" (Wikipedia).
Things happen in Chain reactions. For New York to carry out Cuba’s two seemingly smooth adaptation to agriculture and food ration, the city needs to, perhaps, first pull down its typical city landscape for the flatter brown ground before any substantial growth can take place.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Reaction to "Power of Community"

“Everyone who has worked on the documentary hopes that, seeing this film ["The Power of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil"], people will also see the world on which we live, as another, much larger, island.” (The Community Solution: A New Documentary on Cuba)

Maybe buying gold is not the smartest, most sustainable, profitable preparation to do to ensure enough 3 meals a day in the post oil world. In Cuba, where cities are slowly being decentralized into communities, where industries are abandoned for agriculture (What is Jared Diamond going to say about this? Cuba is repairing the 2nd worst mistake of mankind with the ultimate worst mistake of mankind? So instead of the seemingly successful Cuban adaptation to the world’s fastest oil depletion – “oil usage reduced over 50% in less than a year!” (The Community Solution: Powerpoint) – Cuba is actually worsening the crisis further? Does this mean Cuba’s prosperous progress in building communities on agriculture is transient?), a farmer graduating from an agricultural school can earn more than an engineer does. If Cuba’s post oil management were to carry over to the United States and other “Superpowers”, the most profitable thing to invest in, is perhaps not becoming a solar or wind energy specialist, but learn the skills of farming. Especially go to a college to study farming. A renown college and get a M.D. on the field, literally and figuratively. What is a better “insurance” than growing your own food and trading it, if you wish, for pieces of gold?

“Ecosol Solar has installed 1.2 megawatts of solar photovoltaic in both small household systems (200 watt capacity) and large systems (15-50 kilowatt capacity). In the United States 1.2 megawatts would provide electricity to about 1000 homes, but can supply power to significantly more houses in Cuba where appliances are few, conservation is the custom, and the homes are much smaller.” (Global Public Media)
“A visit to "Los Tumbos," a solar-powered community in the rural hills southwest of Havana demonstrates the positive impact that these strategies can have. Once without electricity, each household now has a small solar panel that powers a radio and a lamp. Larger systems provide electricity to the school, hospital, and community room, where residents gather to watch the evening news program called the "Round Table." Besides keeping the residents informed, the television room has the added benefit of bringing the community together.” (Global Public Media)

First comment on the last sentence of the second quote, people gathering together in a television room watching evening news program sounds very familiar to my memory of my grandpa’s village. Having a TV was a big thing back then. The entire village had only one TV and that TV was situated in the Common Area where village meetings are held. People would bring their chairs and seat themselves in rows. It was a very cooperative practice, as far as I remember. Undoubtedly, it deepened the community bond. As oil approaches its global peak, the “advanced” thing to do seems to be “going back to the old days”. In a capitalist country, where most people pride in individual wealth, how smooth a transition would it be to re-adapt the value of “sharing”? It seems to be ironic that a progressive country would regress in “sharing is surviving”.

Second comment, being a 3rd World country, Cuba seems to be more advance in technology in the motto of sustainability and conservation than 1st World countries like the United States. “Solar energy is not efficient” – based on what standard of efficiency is this measured? In Cuba, the sun sure seems to be providing enough for its residence:

"The sun was enough to maintain life on earth for millions of years," said Bruno Beres, a director of Cuba Solar. "Only when we [humans] arrived and changed the way we use energy was the sun not enough. So the problem is with our society, not with the world of energy." (Global Public Media)

Now that I think about it, solar energy is only inefficient because of our ravenous consumptions. The problem, as quoted by Bruno Beres above, is not the “inefficiency” and “insufficiency” of solar energy. The problem is that the rate of energy consumption in highly industrialized, heavily oil-dependent countries has overly exceeded what is really necessary to maintain life. We do not need appliances like TV, microwaves, blasting sound equipments, etc. to survive. Plainly stated, sun in its nature is very efficient and sufficient; our consumptions make it inefficient and insufficient. This is a rather new prospective for an exhibition thesis.

Global Public Media