Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dependency and Rising Prices

[Nairobi, Kenya]
EVERYWHERE YOU look, read or browse, somebody's talking about bad stuff that keeps rising: Rising fuel/food/fertilizer/cooking oil/electricity prices, looming food shortages, rolling black outs in countries experiencing rapid economic growth, and on and on. "What on earth is going on?" The more I'm reminded about the above headlines, the more I'm convinced that taking a self sufficient approach to home living, along with revisiting our ancient past, will provide a host of answers to these new challenges.

Let's just say that mankind was a lot more self sufficient in previous generations. We knew how to: Farm, create our own clothes, build our own homes, heal ourselves with herbs, and so forth. In a strange way, the more we've "progressed", the less we bloody know how to do ANYTHING of substance.

An era of dependency...
Now, we're "dependent" on big business with all of their "patented solutions" to provide for all our needs. Let's face it folks, we're at the mercy of "corporate capitalists" who don't ever want to see you or I becoming too independent in our daily affairs. A perfect example is mobile telecommunications. Why do we still have proprietary voice networks when all these companies have to do is build their capacity using tried and true open protocols like TCP/IP, which is the backbone communications protocol of the Internet? Why do they charge so much for voice and SMSs when we could do all that through the Internet...if they allowed us to? All governments have to do is lay the wireless infrastructure using taxpayers money, and the price of communications will plummet overnight. "Build it and they will come!"

The irony about "big business" and "free markets" is that no one at the top is playing fair. Everyone talks a good game about open markets, fair competition, and letting the market decide. But in reality, a lot of these massive entities simply cannot handle clean, fair, open competition. Just ask farmers in developing countries why it's almost impossible to export their cheaper produce to Europe or North America. Why are these Western farmers getting huge subsidies to do nothing? Fair competition? Pleezze, they can't handle it! That's why they (Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, Military Industrial Complex, Banking & Insurance) need to "contribute" to political campaigns. It's simply to gain an edge. You think these companies give a shit about democracy? In fact, they prefer to operate in countries that are less democratic because they only have to pay off (oops, I mean earn favour) those at the top.

Questions, solutions to dependency...
Can you believe that oil just recently reached the $120 per barrel plateau for the first time in history? Where's that elusive electric car we've been talking about for a good 3 decades now? Didn't the great Yugoslavian scientist, Nikola Tesla (the father of hydro electric power, alternating current, modern electronics, patent holder to many inventions), invent an elaborate free energy system back in the 1930s or so? Why hasn't anyone used the results from his successful Wardenclyffe Project off Long Island Sound to pursue (ahem!) his dreams of free energy for mankind? Did you know that,
J. P. Morgan, one of the world's first billionaires at the turn of the century, threatened Tesla's potential investors with financial ruin after he realized Tesla wanted to produce free energy?

By the way, I read a fascinating Los Angeles Times article from around the 1930s on the Net. The reporter took a test drive in a car that Tesla modified with a "black box" converter.
This allowed said car to be powered by (gasp!) water for 500km with a top speed of 60 mph. Are you telling me no one else could come up with a similar idea? Oh, what ever happened to the amazing cancer cure that the brilliant scientist Royal Raymond Rife invented via his Rife machine in the 1930s only to be demonized by the American Medical Association and the FDA? You do know that cancer treatment is a multi billion dollar a year industry, right? Can you imagine the panic of the medical "establishment" when they saw Rife's revolutionary microscope that could destroy cancer cells via sound waves? And where's the will power in government to encourage its citizens to be energy self sufficient via hemp, jatropha and other biomass solutions that don't compete with food?

Better yet, why are we still cutting down trees for pulp and paper? Don't they know that 1 acre of hemp, which grows in 90-120 days, can produce the same amount of pulp and paper that can be obtained from 4 acres of trees which take decades to grow? If you don't believe me, I urge you to peek Jack Herer's free online hemp book. He's the world's foremost authority on hemp. Here's some food for thought:

In the Twenties, the early oil barons such as Rockefeller of Standard Oil, Rothschild of Shell, etc., became paranoically aware of the possibilitys of Henry Ford’s vision of cheap methanol fuel, * and they kept oil prices incredibly low – between one dollar and four dollars per barrel (there are 42 gallons in an oil barrel) until 1970 – almost 50 years! Then, once they were finally sure of the lack of competition, the price of oil jumped to almost $60+ per barrel over the next 30 years.

* Henry Ford grew marijuana on his estate after 1937, possibly to prove the cheapness of methanol production at Iron Mountain. He made plastic cars with wheat straw, hemp and sisal. (Popular Mechanics, Dec. 1941, “Pinch Hitters for Defense.”) In 1892, Rudolph Diesel invented the diesel engine, which he intended to fuel “by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils.” {source: The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer, chapter 9}

The little guy (consumers, SMEs, etc.) in the developing world - especially Africa - need to realize that they are still dependent on big business for a great deal of
their livelihoods. Ideally, this shouldn't be a bad thing. But it is. Why? Because someone's not playing fair (see above).
Furthermore, the questions I posed above require some serious thought. But as Jack Nicholson said to Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"