Sunday, January 29, 2023


                                                                                         written 22 January 2023

                                                                                     published 29 January 2023

            Let me tell you three stories about stories.

            I heard an awakened man say: "There are only two things that are absolutely true: I am, and something is happening.  Everything else is just stories."

            Dr. Gabor Maté, a specialist in treating traumatized individuals, said: "An individual can be traumatized by something that happened, or by something needed, that didn't happen.  The reaction to the trauma is to armor up, cutting off access to the authentic self.  However, what endures is not the traumatic event, but the story we make up about our self, subsequent to the event.  This can be changed."  As many as 90 percent of us have been traumatized.

            I recently read: "People are easier to fool than to convince they have been fooled."  

            The stories we tell ourselves are powerful, even if they cause us harm!  If a story is similar to something we already believe, we will likely believe that, as well.  After becoming part of a story with which we identify, we tend to defend against any information to change our mind, as an assault on our being.

            The insidious part is core stories are laid down long before we develop a rational perspective to evaluate what we are being told.  They are lodged deep in our subconscious, running all the time.  Think about how difficult it is to create positive habits.  If you have been told as a kid that you are bad, ugly, stupid, guilty or the world is out to get you (pick from the long list), how frequently will you have to look in the mirror, making positive affirmations, before you begin to believe differently?  This depressing state of affairs explains a lot of what goes on in the world, and indicates how difficult change will be.  But it still astounds me that people believe some of the things they do.  

            As a life-long rational, scientifically oriented, socialist democratic, progressive, mystic, I am still gob smacked by what passes as the current Republican Party.  In a world heavily affected and dependent on scientific technology, how can they be so rabidly anti-scientific?  Inspired by Trump's manifest limitations, the GOP is against vaccines, ignoring that 7 GOP seniors die every day for every 4 Democratic seniors, further reducing their voter base.  

            Since Trump can't admit losing, a vast number of Republicans believe his lie the election was stolen from him, even though other Republicans won in the same election.  Despite numerous lost law suits, and confirmation by Republican authorities the election was fair, they are willing to destroy the country to "make things right".  The only explanation is these folks feel cheated by life, opening them to believing the false story Trump also feels cheated.

            People tend to believe stories that enhances their short-term income.  It was recently verified that Exxon-Mobile accurately predicted our growing climate crisis half a century ago, and realized addressing it would cost then trillions.  Instead, they chose to cancel further research and funded climate denial.  Thus, the GOP, heavily dependent on fossil fuel campaign contributions, denies the reality of the climate crisis: truly suicidal politics.  Recently Wyoming opposed shifting to electric vehicles to preserve their oil and gas income.  As a result of massive lobbying by the fossil fuel industry, Ohio declared propane and natural gas as "green energy", ignoring that natural gas is 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas over the first 20 years. 

            People believe lies from a "trusted" source.  Fox News required employee Covid vaccinations, but railed against them on air, making billions in profit.  Further, Fox News claimed Dominion voting machine "stole the election" by switched votes.  In the current $1.6B defamation case against Fox, Dominion lawyers found Fox on-air talent knew this was a lie.

            After decades of Republicans telling the story that "government is the problem", they are now proving that Republican government IS the problem!  The only question is, how bad does it have to get?  I am still optimistic.  

            These days, old stories are coming to the surface to be healed and released.  We are immersed in the very old conflict story between the individual and the collective.  However, reality is connected, and those who deny that eventually stub their toe, or run out of breath.  In the meantime, we all must look to see what "we know for certain, that just isn't so".



Sunday, January 22, 2023


                                                                                         written 15 January 2023

                                                                                     published 22 January 2023


            Several decades ago, in a Comparative Religions course, it was presented that the three major western religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, were related as follows.  Judaism was one of the first religions to embrace a unity God, but the focus on the Torah tended to separate the individual from the divine.  Christ brought a New Testament, but eventually the focus on the Bible tended to separate the individual from the divine.  The Islamic Koran repeated the message that everything is divine, but the Shia/Sunni struggle for power again separated the individual from the divine.  While this is a simplification, the fundamentalist of all three religions have diverged from the original spiritual intent with inappropriate, and oppressive focus on their specific stories.  

            All three stories have a similar structure in that they assume the individual arises from the divine, manifests a human existence, and then returns to the divine, with certain limitations.  Basically, a "one and done" story.  This is another simplification, but expresses the fundamentalist view.  

            However, a significant portion of the world believes in reincarnation, the idea that, while the source of an individual soul is divine, we have a series of human incarnation intervals, allowing for an evolution.  Life is a school, where lessons are presented and perhaps learned, with strengths and weaknesses passed along for further edification.  At least 20 percent of organized global religions adhere to this idea, and many more individuals of every tradition believe this; almost a quarter of Americans, including Christians.  Any religious orthodoxy we have been taught might be incomplete, or modified for secular reasons, therefore reincarnation should be considered.

            Aldous Huxley did a survey of all the spiritual traditions on the planet, looking for common themes.  In addition to variations of the Golden Rule, he found the goal of humanity is the evolution from the individual ego to the direct experience of the divine unity.

            Our species is making some progress toward experiencing that fundamental unity.  For example, there was a time when almost every society accepted human slavery as part of the economy, and that is no longer so.  Over the last 200 years, women are now allowed to vote everywhere (except Vatican City).  Quantum physics understands matter, and perhaps consciousness, are connected non-locally.  Our economy is global, engaging every country.  Affordable cell phones appeared about 30 years ago, and 86 percent of the world is now connected.  The climate crisis unifies us with global impact, even upon those who deny it.  

            While these are mostly material forms of universal connectedness, they are indicative of a fundamental shift toward extending accord to the other (the core of the Golden Rule).  The stories we believe shape our experience of the world.  However, only 10 percent of our actions are controlled by our reasoning consciousness, which only fully manifests by age 7.  Everything else is controlled by our subconscious.

            Let's add consideration of reincarnation, and examine the emerging gender issue.  Assume for a moment, that we have all been here many times before, as both men and women.  Perhaps, as our species evolves, we are experiencing a thinning of the barrier between lives.  Studies show that children who remember previous lives tend to be younger than 7, when the inclinations of previous lives may be most influential, before the reality of this life prevails. 

            Perhaps lesbian women have been men multiple times before, and now still love women, yet know they are strong, assertive, and capable people.  Perhaps gay men have been women many times before, and now still love men and know that life is richer when compassion, emotions, and sensitivity are felt.  Perhaps people who identify as nonbinary are aware of having been both men and women so many times that they feel no need to choose.  This is not an attempt to stereotype, but just a perspective to consider.  

            The people who have problems with such "out of the ordinary" behavior, tend to justify their outrage on moral or religious grounds.  But this is a reversion to very old doctrine, which is generally at odds with the Golden Rule found in every tradition.  The real challenge here is living the spirit of the tradition rather than the dogma.  We see what pain and suffering dogma have inflicted on our species.  Perhaps it is time to live the spirit, and really Love Our Neighbor, without qualification.


Sunday, January 15, 2023

Net Metering

                                                                                           written 8 January 2023

                                                                                     published 15 January 2023


            In 1975, solar panels cost about $100/watt, and grid tied residential usage was extremely limited.  But peak oil in the US, and the rise of OPEC, stimulated increased popularity of such systems.  When excess electricity was produced, the power was pushed back onto the grid, spinning the meter backward, allowing homeowners to "store" their excess power on the grid.  But in reality, nothing was stored, only credited, as all electricity is used in the moment it is created.  Utilities began demanding a more formalized relationship, and Net Energy Metering (NEM) regulations were eventually established.

            California introducing NEM 1.0 in 1996.  Solar panel cost had dropped to about $7.50/watt, but solar still provided virtually no significant power to the grid.  The goal was to stimulate solar growth with credit of $0.25 per kilowatt-hour for selling excess energy back to the grid.  Total amount of net metered solar was capped at a modest level in each utility districts.   

            Plenty of sunshine, high electricity rates, and favorable net metering policies helped California become one of the nation’s leading solar markets.  By 2017, solar panel prices had plummeted to $0.75/watt, and solar, producing about 1 percent of the national electricity, was growing in popularity and recognized as a reliable energy source throughout the world.  In addition, the three California investor-owned utilities hit their net metering “cap” between 2016 and 2017. 

            This prompted the California Public Utilities Commission to create NEM 2.0, their next generation net metering regulations.  The rate paid for excess electricity was about the same, maintaining the major benefit of allowing customers to sell electricity back to the grid at retail rates.  Industry caps were removed, but some fees were increased and all solar customers transitioned to time-of-use rates, reflecting that variations in power availability affects real prices.  In Ukiah, the real cost of power the City pays can vary by more than a factor of 5 over the course of the day, with evenings being much more expensive than the middle of the day.  Although NEM 2.0 was less beneficial compared to its predecessor, it still focused primarily on the fiscal value of solar and treated "credit" as "storage".

            Today, solar production is increasingly rapidly.  Panels cost $0.31/watt.  Solar produces almost 3 percent of our electricity, and is expected to grow by 60 percent in 2023 alone.  While corporate utilities are still trying to curtain solar, we have bigger problems.  

            Regionally, all solar produces at about the same time, increasingly stressing the grid during peak production.  Increased consumption occasionally saturates the grid capacity, and addressing the climate crisis demands a huge increase in electric consumption.  Further, there was still no recognition that excess power is not really being "stored".  In December 2022, the California Public Utility Commission released the new NEM 3.0 policy, which shifts thinking about solar from fiscal gain to providing power as needed.  

            Excess power from existing solar systems will be paid at the rates in place when they were installed, but the new policy applies to systems installed after April, 2023.  All power consumed onsite will be free, but excess power pushed onto the grid will be credited at a reduced rate of "avoided costs", plus a small margin, reflecting the actual wholesale value of the power when it is sold to the grid, like any other power producer.  There are no monthly connection fees.  All this reflects the increased maturity of solar power, acknowledges the load limitations of the grid, and stimulates the goal of increasing the installation of distributed storage.

             Solar systems are fixed costs, producing power for at least 25 years, and more likely 50 years, some of the least expensive power installed today.  As we shift to collecting power when it is available, rather than when we want it, we have to recognize the value of the power changes over time with availability, and the midday solar production peak is some of the least valuable of the day.  By adding battery storage to any solar system, this cheap power can be stored and consumed later instead of more expensive power, or sold into the market reaping the increased value.  While the payback period for a solar-plus-storage system may still be longer under NEM 3.0 than it is under NEM 2.0, it’ll be better than if you install solar alone, and your system will be more versatile and robust. 

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Considering 2022

                                                                                                              written 1 January 2023

                                                                                                          published 8 January 2023


            To start the New Year on a positive note, here is energy information excerpted from "Good News Stories You Probably Didn't Hear About in 2022" (

            The invasion of Ukraine turned clean energy into a national security issue.  Nineteen European countries accelerated decarbonization plans.  Nine North Sea countries announced increases in offshore wind deployment.  The continent cut its demand for gas by a quarter, and increased its clean energy target to 82 percent by 2030.

            Germany agreed to spend $180 billion by 2026 to accelerate the clean economy shift.  Czechia will phase out coal five years sooner than previously planned.  Slovenia will stop using coal for electricity by 2033.  Romania will phase out coal by 2030.  The $11 billion Nord Stream 2 project went bankrupt. 

            China passed regulations forcing all their coal plants to compete with renewables by 2025.  Chinese coal consumption fell for 12 straight months between June 2021 and June 2022.  New coal projects outside China became effectively uninsurable.  The global pipeline of new coal capacity collapsed.  The US coal surge ended before it started, and the European surge turned out to be an illusion.

            China tightened its environmental regulations, placing a ban on new industrial projects in polluted areas.  China revealed plans for 100 GW of battery storage and 120 GW of pumped hydro by 2030, and installed 140 GW of wind and solar (more than the entire world in 2020), with plans to build a US-sized amount of clean energy every year until 2025.  

            The global solar industry produced 295 GW of panels, a 45 percent year-on-year increase, and now expects annual sales of 940 GW of solar by 2025.  That's 5.8 percent of total global electricity demand, every year, or the equivalent of the world’s entire fleet of 438 nuclear plants every 20 months.

            The financial community is beginning to realize a dead plant is bad for business.  Munich Re, Swiss Re, and Allianz, three of the world's largest fossil fuel reinsurers, announced oil and gas exits.  Korean Re, Asia’s second-largest reinsurance company, will no longer provide reinsurance for new coal mining or power plant construction.  HSBC (Europe’s biggest bank), Nordea (the biggest Nordic bank), Credit Agricole (the largest retail lender in France), Lloyds (the UK's largest bank), MAPFRE (the largest non-life insurer in Latin America), and Japan's three largest banks, all announced they will no longer provide financing for new oil and gas fields or new thermal coal mining.

            The US Senate passed its first ever comprehensive climate spending bill and an international climate treaty so powerful it could avert nearly 1°F of global warming.  Analysts are predicting 'staggering' amounts of clean energy deployment, as wind, solar and batteries now account for over 95 percent of new capacity in US interconnection queues.  California passed its most comprehensive climate change legislation, with $54 billion in climate and energy spending, new restrictions on oil and gas drilling, and a mandate to stop adding atmospheric carbon dioxide by 2045.  US households installed record amounts of rooftop solar.  Utilities finally stopped trying to slow down the energy transition and started spending money on transmission.  Wind, sun and water generated more electricity than either coal or nuclear. 

            In China, the largest car market in the world, almost 30 percent of new vehicles sold were fully electric, up from 13 percent in 2021 and just 5 percent in 2020.  At this pace, pure battery electric vehicles will be a third of China’s new car market by next year.  Global electric vehicle sales grew from 6.6 million to 10 million, and spending worldwide exceeded $450 billion.  Lawmakers in Europe banned internal combustion engines in all new cars and vans by 2035, as did Canada, California, and New York.   Hyundai closed its combustion engine development division. Nissan ended combustion engine development in all markets except the US.  Chrysler will stop combustion engine powered vehicle production by 2028.  Buick will only sell electric vehicles by 2030.  Porsche reported that its all-electric Porsche Taycan is now outselling the 911.

            Global battery manufacturing capacity increased 38 percent, batteries last longer than predicted, and more recycling capacity came online than there was battery scrap available.  Battery factories worth $25.7 billion are now in the works in the US, mostly in red states.  

            This is not nearly enough, and the outcome is not guaranteed, but the climate fight is beginning to work.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022


                                                                                                    written 18 December 2022

                                                                                                published 27 December 2022


            This article was to run on Christmas, the day Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus.  This date was selected several centuries after Christ's birth, when the Roman emperor Constantine first converted to Christianity in 312AD, and had the Bible as we know it edited in 325AD.  Most of his army worshiped Sol Invictus, which celebrated the winter Solstice, so this time was selected for the Christian holiday as well.  It wasn't known as "Christmas" until 8 centuries later. 

            I consider myself a mystical seeker, open to inspiration from all spiritual traditions.  As such, I don't identify as a religious Christian, but admire, and aspire to, the core teachings of Christ as expressed in Matthew 22:37-40, where Jesus said, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

            As a left brained rational man, swimming in the world of conceptual words, this speaks to me of the unity of reality.  I am also inspired by quantum mechanics, which describes the world as resonant waves, whole, non-local and profoundly interconnected.  The largest expression of "Loving God" is to love the whole world, without distinction or separation.  All apparent form is the consequence of limited perception, as no part is inherently distinct.  Albert Einstein said, "Either everything is sacred or nothing is."  To love anything requires we love everything.  What a challenge!

            From the largest perspective of stars and galaxies, down to the smallest expressions of matter, it is all one.  Can you imagine opening your heart to mountains, dirt, plants, insects, animals, water and air?  What would that feel like?  How would it change our daily life?  How would we have to shift the way we do business?  Nothing is "trash".  Nothing is "disposable".  Everything has inherent value, as everything arises from the same sacred whole.  Considering this, I see the disparity between my current "reality" and the spiritual goal, and am inspired to grow.

            Christ's second commandment, that we "Love our Neighbor", is a repeated emphasis of the wholeness of interconnected reality as applied specifically to people.  The history of the world is riddled with the oppression of "others".  What would it feel like to live this second commandment completely?  Who can we kill?  Who can we hate?  Who can we oppress?  Who can we discriminate against?  The simple answer is "nobody", as we are all one.  What a radical idea!  Can you even imagine living in that state of grace?  How would our national efforts be rearranged?  How would our corporate agenda be modified?  How would we justify impoverishing many for the benefit of a few if we felt the pain and suffering created?

            This is the spirit of Christ, a possibility open to us all, something worthy of celebration and a life goal to aspire toward.  This is the ideal of Christmas: Peace on Earth, and Goodwill Toward All.  These goals are really universal, not limited to Christians, but found in every spiritual tradition on Earth.

            Sadly, humanity is still a far cry from this exalted state.  The spirit of Christ has often been distorted by the business goals of corporate religion, with their power politics of domination: expression of lesser human values, wrapped in spiritual trappings.  In the name of Christ, "non-Christians" have been exterminated, and war between Christian sects have endured for centuries, even into "modern" times.  Such political oppression in the name of religion is completely antithetical to the spirit of Christ.  

            The true "war on Christmas" is evident in the rampant commercialization of the season, with Christmas products now on sale beginning in September, and Black Friday sales the life blood of many businesses.  The widespread anxiety from endless marketing to "buy" can easily overwhelm the more subtle internal spiritual values.

            However, we all have choice in this frenzy.  Turning within, quietly contemplating the spirit of this time, we can add our personal effort toward manifesting this unity into the world, bit by bit.  Events on the planet are coming to a crescendo, and we are all alive at this time to open our hearts and participate.

            I wish for everyone, Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth, and Goodwill Toward All Beings.




Sunday, December 18, 2022

Part 3: The Barrier

                                                                                                    written 11 December 2022

                                                                                                published 18 December 2022


            Part 1 described the increasingly dire climate situation, and the goal of complete decarbonization within the next 20 years.  Part 2 presented a vision of what a solution might look like in Ukiah.  This week discusses the barriers to that kind of transformation.

            Last month I had a meeting with several Ukiah officials to present the afore mentioned climate challenge and possible solution, hoping to stimulate a plan for moving forward.  The general sentiment was that things are fine as they are, the grid is more stable than previously thought, there is no need for immediate action, but they are keeping an eye on the situation.  I was specifically told the decarbonization in 20 year is "not going to happen".    

            To be fair, these folks are running as fast as they can to keep up with the daily challenges.  Their obligation is toward fiscal prudence and reliable service, and are reluctant to make large commitments, not an uncommon reaction. But if nothing changes, the climate crisis will expand until it crashes the economy long before kids today hit retirement.

            This reluctance breaks down into two categories: that it "can't" happen (technical), or that it "won't" happen (political).

            While the technical challenges are huge, and there is no assurance of success, the current opportunities are spectacular.  Just consider the changes in electric vehicles.  Twenty years ago, the best EV on the market was the GEM car produced by Chrysler, essentially a golf cart on steroids, thrown together to game the fleet milage standards.  Today serious electrical transportation options are offered by every automobile manufacturer on the planet, and new options are coming every year.  While the prices are still high, and the charging system limited, the situation is rapidly changing.  

            The same dynamic applies to renewable production hardware.  Solar panel costs dropped from $5.10 per watt in 2000 to $0.20 per watt in 2022.  Similarly, lithium storage battery costs dropped from $2.20 per watthour in 2000 to $0.18 per watthour in 2018.  The cheapest grid scale power installed today is solar with storage.

            One of the technical challenges is scaling up production of needed systems.  But we know this can change rapidly, when desired.  The first of 2,710 Liberty ship was constructed in 244 days and launched in 1941.  Two years later the average time was 39 days, and the fastest was less than 5 days.

            Clearly, financing is a huge challenge.  We are contemplating a complete retooling of the national transportation, heating, and electrical generation systems.  Global estimates range from $25T to $70T, which is daunting.  But that is a fixed cost for the hardware, as the energy is free.  In contrast, the global wholesale cost of fossil fuels is $4T per year, more than $80T over 20 years because those cost will constantly increase as affordable resources are exhausted.  The issue is not the amount of money, it is the limited perspective of those making the long-term financial decisions.

            For example, Ukiah could buy and install a Tesla Powerwall battery backup system in every home for a little more than the cost of the purple pipe recycled water system.  That would give the City almost 70 megawatt hours of storage, provide emergency power resilience to every citizen, and eliminate the increasing problem of midday solar overproduction.  The City has access to federal and state grants, and the bonding authority to spread the cost over time.

            Technically, a major shift "can" happen, but the political choice that it "will" happen is not yet present.  Part of this is political tribalism.  A majority of the Congressional Republicans still claim climate change is a hoax.  Many more people accept the climate reality, but still doubt the cause is man-made, alleviating any need for action.  A smaller, more powerful group knows the crisis is man-made and real, but they make billions off the existing system.  They can't imagine a need for change, even though stalling risks everything they now have.

            That leaves it up to the rest of us, who accept the problem is real and man-made, but are not satisfied killing the plant for short term profit.  We in Ukiah are fortunate, because we have access to the levers of power in our electrical utility.  We could become a model, working out the difficulties, showing what a sustainable, power resilient community might look like.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Part 2: The Vision

                                                                                                      written 4 December 2022

                                                                                                published 11 December 2022


            Last week I described the climate situation.  Doing nothing will shortly crash the global economy, and effective action to avoid that crash must be swift and massive.  We must complete decarbonization our economy within 20 years, electrifying everything, and begin significant carbon removal for decades after that.  This will require about 1-1/2 times additional electrical power, and will be constrained by the limited grid capacity.  What might such a solution look like in Ukiah?

            Ukiah presently consumes a daily average of about 300MWh, peaking about 50 percent higher in the summer.  Almost none of that power is produced within the city limits.  

            A survey done by the Renewable Energy Development Institute in Willits showed only 25 percent of homes in Ukiah had suitable roof top solar exposure.  Currently, less than 2 percent of Ukiah homes have roof top solar.  Residential power is at least 1/3 of our consumption load.  If every home with good exposure installed roof top solar, it would increase production by about 1/10.  A Google Map survey of parking lots and business roof tops within the City limits indicates room to install 30MW of solar array (assuming 50 percent coverage), which would increase power production another 2/5.  

            Imagine what this might look like.  Every parking lot would be shaded from the increasing summer heat, preserving the life of our vehicles while providing local power resilience.  Modern solar panels are warranted for 25 years, and will still be producing power for 50 years, without any inflationary increase.  

            Businesses and homes would be providing some of their own power needs, increasing resilience in increasingly uncertain times.  All the City essential services, like sewer, water, and emergency communications, as well as emergency cooling centers, health care facilities, and grocery stores, could be made power resilient.  Having some power in an emergency is infinitely better than being in the dark.  The City might even expand to include land dedicated to power production, further increasing power resilience.

            Full build out of solar options within City limits, would produce about 1/3 of the new power needed.  The remaining 2/3, about equal to our current power consumption, would have to be shipped in, but this runs into the transmission limitations of the grid.

            Right now, any power consumed must be delivered exactly as it is needed, transmitted over the grid to the Ukiah substation, and then over the local distribution system to the individual homes and businesses.  On average, our power system handles about 12.5MW an hour.  At peak times, that hourly rate can be three times higher, approaching the limit of system capacity.  However, if we had capacity to store power locally for use during peak loads, the system could easily handle shipping twice our current average rate.  Ukiah would need to store about 300MWh of power every day.  The good news is that kind of hardware now exists, is getting cheaper every year, and is being installed all across the country.

            Grid scale renewable power is becoming more available every year.  Within California, plans for large scale wind development off shore of Eureka are well along, with a potential for 36GWh when fully developed.  Off shore wind is estimated to produce 30-50 percent of the time, not tied to solar variation.  The Sonoma Clean Power Geyserville GeoZone geothermal project will produce 12GWh in just the first phase of development, with a higher capacity factor, operating around the clock.  In the US, 46GW of utility scale solar were installed in 2022, half of all new power plants.  

            Part of Ukiah's challenge is to produce as much power locally as possible, and build the storage capacity to allow the existing grid to ship in the rest of what is needed.  The other part of the challenge is to reduce demand, and facilitate shifting to electric transportation and heat pump technologies.  An early 1900's picture of downtown New York showed 90 percent horses and 10 percent cars.  Just a decade later the percentages were reversed.  This rapid technology change was facilitated by wide spread access to affordable loans.  A similar change could happen again.

            Ukiah needs to develop a General Energy Plan, defining long term goals and time frames, prioritizing projects, and then aggressively implement the plan.  The alternative is the collapse of everything we have come to expect of our society.  Now is the time to act.