Sunday, July 14, 2024

GOP Unveiled

                                                                                              written 7 July, 2024

                                                                                        published 14 July 2024

                                                                   

            On September 11th, 2001, watching the Twin Towers fall, I felt gut punched, realizing the whole world had changed that day.  That attack by foreign terrorists used planes.  This July 1st, I felt the same way, but this time, domestic terrorists used their position of trust.  The Supreme Court decided to grant immunity to the president, destroying the foundation of our society: equal application of the law.  This clarifies the election.  The GOP has dropped its mask, and stands revealed as a party that prioritizes profits over principles, party over country, driven by self-righteous religious fervor. 

            The GOP was forced to tip its hand in order to keep their felonious, morally compromised candidate out of court before the election, giving a modest window for effective response.  Because Biden is president, he is now immune, and can never be prosecuted.  Further, Biden is now "King Joe", with previously unrealized executive powers, should he choose to act.

            Floods of suggestions have been offered, ranging from expanding the Supreme Court to arresting Trump as a "national threat", and sequestering him in Guantanamo.  The Republicans on the Supreme Court could be removed from the bench, as allowed in the Constitution, for failing to act with "good behavior" while in office, and then arrested for treasonous acts and perjury during their Senate confirmations.  Simple assassination has been suggested as the most expeditious remedy, now "legal" when declared "official acts".  But just because corrupt GOP judges have given "King Joe" these sweeping powers, actually having moral values precludes such acts, so a more refined response is needed.  

            The goal is restoration of the rule of law, and the first step should be a resounding electoral defeat of the GOP authoritarian power grab.  With control of Congress and the White House, Supreme Court reform could proceed, with term limits and mandatory ethical standards, previously unnecessary until this MAGA Court.

            Towards this end, "King Joe" can declare that presidential election be decided by popular vote, eliminating the structurally skewed Electoral College and the swing state drama, which has allowed minority rule for decades.  The President and Vice President are the only people selected by all voters, so applying popular voting to them is reasonable, and doesn't affect any other part of the electoral system.  Five of the six renegade members of the Supreme Court were selected by Bush the younger, and Trump, both losers of the popular vote, so their judges don't represent the will of the people.

            The National Popular Vote bill is an existing agreement between states that vow to cast all their electoral votes for the national winner of the popular vote, to take effect when states totaling more than 270 votes agree.  So far, 18 states, with a total of 209 votes, are on board.  Another 7 states, with Democratic governors, have 87 more votes, and most have already had hearings on this bill, so are possibly open to supporting immediate federal action.

            "King Joe" can decree election day to be a national holiday, mandating that no one wait in line for more than 1/2 an hour to vote.  Further, harassing poll workers could be made a Class A felony, with strong fines and jail time.  The National Guard could be assigned to secure every polling station to deter voter intimidation.

            Strategically, the Democratic campaign should shift the focus away from the personality conflict between Trump and Biden, onto the stark policy differences between the parties.  Whatever Biden's actual limitations, he is an ethical man, with ethical people advising him, unlike his opponent.  The GOP has made it clear: ethics have no place in their drive for absolute power.  This election is between representational democracy, with law applied equally to all, versus theocratic autocracy, where the powerful few are "special", operating under different rules that advantage themselves.  

            Trump's personality is a tar baby distraction, sucking attention away from the complete lack of publicized GOP policy goals.  The real GOP action has proceeded in secret, planning a "shock and awe" project to gut the government, and rapidly install an autocratic alternative to dominate every aspect of American life, as outlined in the massive Project 2025 document, available online. 

            A unified Democratic campaign should completely ignore Trump (further infuriating him), and pound on the policy differences between the two parties, to make sure every voter knows exactly what the GOP Project 2025 plans for them.  We win on policy, not personality.


 

 

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Moral Values

                                                                                           written 30 June, 2024

                                                                                          published 7 July 2024

     

            The first debate showed Biden is indeed an old man.  He has spinal arthritis and walks slowly.  He had a summer cold and his voice was raspy.  He talked softly and lost his train of thought at times.  However, when he spoke, he was relatively coherent, 

and answered the debate questions with actual facts and policies.

            Trump showed his true nature as well.  He is a pathological liar, and a totally self-obsessed bully.  Post-debate CNN fact checkers documented over 30 major lies.  Trump never answered the questions asked, despite repeated requests from the moderators, but returned over and over to his standard fantasy: America is a hell hole, and it is all Biden's fault (or Pelosi's, or migrant invaders, but never him).  He refused to take responsibility for any of his actions, claiming America was perfect during his term, but immediately went downhill after he left.  

            Biden looked weak, but relevant, and Trump looked mentally ill, autocratic, and irrelevant.

            Like it or not, these are probably our choices in November.  However, in America, we don't have an authoritarian as President (although Trump and Republicans plan to change that).  It isn't just the person in the Oval Office, but an entire team, at all levels of government, that actually make things happen.  So, in addition to focusing on the strength or weakness of the presidential candidates, it is important to look at the team with which they are aligned.

            When the candidates were asked the one question about the climate crisis, Trump described how the water and air were "perfect" during his term, and Biden discussed the IRA legislation, which is the largest climate action yet taken in the US.  Despite being hindered by their big business ties, the Democrats understand the climate crisis, while the Republicans deny it even exists, legislating in Florida against any official mention.  Trump told the fossil fuel executives if they gave him $1B and he would remove all the climate legislation limiting their desire to kill the planet for trillions in profit.

            The Republican dominated Supreme Court (stacked by Trump), is waging relentless war on women, yearning to return us to the days when women "knew their place" (barefoot and pregnant).  Republicans in Arizona support laws written in the 1864, having learned nothing since.

            Republicans in Louisiana are taking us even further back: to Moses, 3500 years ago.  The Ten Commandments are now required in every school in that state, setting a "moral standard" for all, and other Republican led state are following suit.  Recently, Bill Maher, a confirmed atheist, pointed out the first four commandments support God's ego, as if he is insecure.  Another five prohibit killing, adultery, stealing, coveting, and lying (Trump fails at least four of these), but there is nothing about rape, slavery, or child abuse.  Perhaps Republicans aren't too concerned about those, as they make war on women, support low wage slavery, and want to put children to work. 

            Moses led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, and went up on the mountain to commune with God.  The masses got bored, and cast a golden calf to worship, a vestige of their previous religion.  When Moses returned with the Commandments, he was upset by this retrograde behavior, and the tribes were condemned to wander in the desert for 40 years until all the transgressors had died.  Moses's God is judgmental, punishes the wicked, and fear of God is expected.   

            1500 years later, Christ brought a new set of rules, teaching that God should be loved, the essence of a unity perspective.  Both sets of rules are included in the Bible as the Old and New Testament, and fundamentalist Christians worships both sides, so you should be God fearing to be a "good" Christian, but also love God.

            This confusion of love and fear seems insane, as they are polar opposites.  Despite this, many people strive to live Christ's spirit of love, but the religious organizations founded by men are often aligned with fear, guilt, judgement, and punishment. 

            The US Constitution declares a separation between Church and State, allowing each to choose for themselves.  But Republicans, supporting self-proclaimed "Christian nationalists", self-righteously believe they know what is best, and are willing to force Old Testament morality upon everyone.

            Those are the choices this November.  The leader of the party is consequential, but so is what their party has in mind.

 

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Balanced Duality

                                                                                           written 23 June, 2024

                                                                                        published 30 June 2024

 

            Wikipedia describes Yin and Yang as a concept originating in Chinese philosophy, expressing "complementary opposing forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts and the parts are important for cohesion of the whole."  As expression of the unified whole, a small part of each is included within the other in the Yin/Yang graphic.  This cooperative opposition can express as "passive contraction" relative to "active expansion", or "being" relative to "doing".   

            The same dynamic is expressed at any boundary, with energy or experience traveling inwardly or outwardly, relative to an individual, such as breathing in and out.  Similarly, consciousness can be described as awareness and volition.  There is an element of volition in the choice of our awareness focus, and an element of awareness in any act of volition, as we pay attention.

            The point is that these apparently opposite forms work in balanced cooperation for the benefit of the overall system.  When one part is prioritized over the other, the system becomes unbalanced and distortion results, leading eventually to collapse.  Think about trying to hold your breath forever. 

            Classical physics perceived matter as differentiated particles, with specific locations in space and time.  This corresponds to our "normal" view of the world, as we experience ourselves as separate individuals.  However, the quantum revolution theorized, and demonstrated, that matter also has wave like qualities, eternally connected, without discrete distinction, being specified by frequency and amplitude.  This wave/particle duality has been validity by technologies such as LED's, computers, solar panels, and lasers, which have transformed our society. 

            Significantly, when you look for particles, you find particles, and when you look for waves, you find waves.  With no inherent reality, your choice of perspective determines your physical experience, hence conscious choice modifies physical experience.

            There is a biological parallel.  Our brains have two hemispheres, which process quite differently.  The left-brain processes information serially, with attention to sequence and differentiation.  For instance, when reading, the sequence of words, and the differentiation of letters, modifies the meaning.  The right-brain processes information in parallel, experiencing holism, as when we view a photograph.  There is no proper "beginning" or sequence required.

            Jill Bolte-Taylor's book, "My Stroke Of Insight", describes her experience of a massive left brain aneurism.  As her left brain shut down, she lost her sense of "self" as an individual, and her language skills disappeared.  What stunned her was a growing experience of universal love and her connection to the entire universe, as her right-brain awareness predominated.  

            Instead of a balance between opposite in cooperation, our dominant global culture is rooted in separation, while denying the deeper connected reality.  The resulting imbalance expresses all across society, not only as misogyny and racism, as I mentioned last week, but especially in our economic system.  A few individuals have billions of dollars, and still strive to acquire more.  Meanwhile, billions suffer lack of essentials such as food, water, housing, education, or healthcare.  Global wars resulting from this inequity consume $14T a year.  We accept and honor such economic distortion as we worship the fiction of the "marketplace".  However, this aberration has now grown to threaten the survival of our entire society, as an increasingly unbalanced climate degrades the planet. 

            Jill Bolte-Taylor experienced love as she opened to the connectivity of the universe.  The alternatives to love are fear, guilt, and judgement, feelings associated with separation.  It is no accident that these emotions are the coin of the realm for fundamentalist religions and most commercial advertising.  Trump and the GOP operate primarily on fear and retribution.

            Each of us has the capacity to effect a change within ourselves, working to rebalance our experience of reality.  Mindfulness meditation is a way to reduce the volume of the left-brain chatter, which accentuates our experience of separate differences, allowing increased awareness of interconnection, from the quieter right-brain.  

            Another technique is to intentionally choose where we put our attention.  Gratitude is associated with awareness of our interconnected reality.  When you awaken, start by considering everything in your life for which you are grateful.  Once you have exhausted that list, you are better prepared to deal with all the problematic challenges in life.  If you start with the problems, you could never get to the things for which you are grateful.  This will change your entire perspective on your day. 

            As we rebalance ourselves, we help rebalance society.


Sunday, June 23, 2024

The System Is Rigged

                                                                                            written 16 June, 2024

                                                                                         published 23 June 2024

                                                                                                  

            A stopped (analog) clock is correct twice a day.  Similarly, even Trump, a life-long liar and corrupt grifter, now a convicted felon, occasionally tells the truth.  The system is rigged.  But what Trump fails to mention, it's rigged for people like him: extremely wealthy, white men.

            Systemic misogyny has oppressed women for thousands of years.  Leonard Shlain, in "The Alphabet Versus The Goddess", starts with the question, "why did all the nature worship religions disappear at the same time?"  This decline also marks the rise of the city states, the power of domination, the appearance of the personal ego, and patriarchy.  He attributes it to the advent of alphabetic literacy, which is processed in the left side of the brain by discerning differences in sequence and shapes.  The transformative power of this form of communication has created a profound imbalance in the mind, leading to the global delusion that the world is absolutely separate, when, in reality, it's fundamentally unified. 

            When the Christian Church arose a few thousand years later, becoming the state religion for the Roman Empire, oppression of women became an article of spiritual faith.  Women were defined as the root of all evil, condemned for life, oppressed and even killed, to maintain the religious purity of the community.  Unfortunately, this oppressive attitude toward women is not limited to the Christian religions.

            Even in these supposedly "modern" times, only relatively recently were women allowed to vote, own property, and carry credit cards.  Women are still routinely paid less than men for equal work, and those portions of the economy traditionally occupied by women are valued less.  

            In the last half century, the empowerment of women in America made great strides.  Women know they can be strong and intelligent, as well as compassionate and caring, and are now in every part of our culture and economy.  The "Me Too" movement has thrown a strong spotlight on omnipresent masculine sexual predators.  But this progress is now facing organized pushback from retrograde Republican men, who literally want to return to the social mores of the 1800's.

            Women know misogyny is alive and well.  If, as a man, you doubt this is so, ask a woman who you trust will tell you the truth.

            Systemic racism, oppression of one race by another, has also existed for thousands of years.  Jared Diamond, in "Guns, Germs, and Steel", describes how the fortuitous distribution of the few domesticable plants and animals determined which civilizations thrived and developed, and could then invade and dominate others.  Thus, white Europeans enslaved black Africans, not because of racial superiority, but because of technological advantages.

            In America, the cheap labor of black slaves was part of the economy almost from the first settlements.  Even after the Civil War ended national economic acceptance of slavery, lingering white entitlement institutionalized racist oppression.  This continues today, impacting educational resources and employment opportunities, even though great improvements have occurred.  Again, there is pushback from retrograde Republicans, professing that racism no longer exists in America.  Ask any person of color is this is true.

            Cutting across misogyny and racism is the distortion of the society based on wealth.  Accumulation of sufficient wealth gives access to privilege (private law) despite gender or race.  From America's formation, the wealthy have enjoyed rarified treatment.  Only when this delusional system of exclusive gain crashes, such as in 1929, does the system modify somewhat to support the larger society, rather than just the privileged few.  The housing meltdown in 2007, a result of banking industry greed, destroyed $13 trillion in domestic wealth, yet only one person went to jail, and most of the major banks responsible are still in business today.

            While many individual Democrat legislators cater to the very wealthy, the party agenda is more socially inclusive.  In contrast, the GOP party platform is totally committed to expanding wealthy privilege.  The only accomplishments during Trump's presidency were stacking the courts with right wing ideologues, and passing a massive tax cut benefiting those with the highest income, increasing the national debt in the process.           

            I understand the outrage of regular people who feels left out by virtue of their gender, race, or economic status.  It does call for action to change the system to allow more actual equity.  What I don't understand is why many of those people think Trump, or the GOP, ever have their interests at heart.


Sunday, June 16, 2024

Time

                                                                                             written 9 June, 2024

                                                                                        published 16 June 2024

  

            Classical physics describes material reality with three spatial dimensions and a temporal one.  We are free to travel back and forth in the spatial dimensions, but seem condemned to inexorably travel in only one direction in time, which has been described as "poorly perceived".  

            There seems to be an objective reality to time.  For ages, the cycle of the sun and moon were the only marking of time "passing".  The ringing of Church bells began creating divisions in the day, as do periodic calls to prayer in Muslim countries.  With the industrial revolution, clocks began dividing time into even smaller intervals.  The rise of computers accelerated that trend.  I am writing on a decade old Mac, with a CPU rate of 2.5 billion cycles per second, and new multi-core computers operate even faster.  The present shortest measured time interval is a zeptosecond, a billion trillionth of a second, the time for a photon to travel the width of a hydrogen molecule.

            However, time is flexible.  I enjoy movies and books that play with the linearity of time, describing multiple time lines, or loops in time, expanding consideration of what is possible.  Einstein once said, "time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once".  

            As we approach the speed of light, modern physics shows that time slows down to zero.  Photons only travel at the speed of light, and therefore experience no time or distance, "arriving" simultaneously with "leaving", yet we experience it takes a little over 8 minutes for a photon to travel from the Sun to Earth.  Quantum non-locality postulates all matter is simultaneously connected in an eternal "now".  

            As I age, subjective time seems to be speeding up.  Each new year is a smaller part of my lifetime, and therefore appears to be passing more quickly.  In addition, our experience of time is affected by the number of socially significant events happening each year.  Several centuries ago, most people died within walking distance of where they were born, which is no longer true.  Cell phones were invented 50 years ago, and the iPhone only 17 years ago.  Today almost 2/3 of humanity uses smartphones.  The social and economic dislocations from this explosive growth touches everyone, contributing to the sense that time is passing faster, adding to the stress level of our culture. 

            Our experience of time breaks down to past, present, and future.  But past and future are only concepts in our mind, the foundation of our psychological ego.  The past is an incomplete memory story of events that are no longer here.  When we assume these stories are "true", and project them into the future, they become a guide for what is to come.  In this way, our past preconditions a similar future.  However, experience happens only in the present.  Honest inquiry shows it is always "now", every time we check.  Even if I am disturbed by the past or fretting about the future, I am doing that "now".

            Dr. Gabor Mate, who specializes in treating trauma, says the events that traumatized us are no longer happening.  However, the stories we told ourself to explain why those things happened, are still being internally retold in the "now", perpetuating the trauma.  His work shows that by becoming aware of that process, and changing the story in the present, we can be healed.

            Meditation is one of the methods of breaking out of the prison of our chronic past stories.  While sitting, we can notice the egoic story telling going on.  Eckhart Tolle suggests noticing the small gap when one story ends and next begins.  With intention, over time, those gaps will expand, until there is a time with no story, just the experience of being present.

            There is power in the present.  We can't change the past, as it no longer exists, and  the future has not yet arrived.  It is only the eternally present moment when we have agency to make changes.  One of my mantras is "I am here now".  These four words reflect reality, pulling me out of my mind chatter into the "now", locating me in space and time.  

            We live in turbulent times, experiencing the collapse of obsolete cultural stories.  Creating methods of getting out of our personal stories is essential for peace of mind, which allows awareness of inspiration and creativity, and opens the possibility of change.   This is work we all can do.


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Reality Check

                                                                                             written 2 June, 2024

                                                                                          published 9 June 2024

    

            When a kitten first sees itself in a mirror, it reacts as if being threatened by an enemy.  This is "projection as perception" in action.  There is no threat in reality, only in the mind of the perceiver.  While humorous in a kitten, it is more consequential in our own lives.  The stories we tell ourselves are projected onto the "outer" world, and then we react as if they are real, becoming trapped in a delusion bubble.

            Trump is a perfect example.  Born into a wealthy, dysfunctional family, with a sociopathic father and an emotional absent mother, Trump developed as a narcissist, devoid of empathy, removed from the world.  His father taught there are only killers and losers, so everyone is either a threat or a mark.  Since Trump axiomatically CAN'T be a loser, he thinks he is smarter than everyone, not subject to the rules binding ordinary people.  He became a corrupt, cowardly bully.

            In business, Trump cheated contractors, betrayed partners, lied to gain advantage, and inflated his "brand". Using his wealth, he would sue people into submission, rather than honoring contracts.  

            Despite this, his charity and University were shut down as frauds, and Trump branded commodities sold poorly and disappeared.  He went bankrupt running casinos, and his real estate empire defaulted banks so often he was forced to borrow laundered Russian money.  By the time he was elected president, Trump had been involved in over 4,000 legal cases, as "a natural part of doing business".  

            Once elected, he moved beyond civil crimes.  He was impeached twice, for attempted blackmail of another country, and inciting insurrection after losing the election.  His business has been found fraudulent and fined.  He has been convicted and fined for sexual assault, and fined again for continued defamation.

            Three trials are currently delayed by Trump supporters in the judicial system.  The classified documents case is stalled by a judge Trump appointed.  The Georgia election interference case and the DC January 6th insurrection cases are on hold while the Republican majority on the Supreme Court "ponders" if the president is an emperor, above the law, immune from prosecution. 

            The New York election interference trail was a State case, beyond Republican interference.  Despite whining about "rigged justice", Trump was afforded every legal right under the law, and a jury found him guilty of 34 felony counts, a first for Trump.  

            All his life, Trump has claimed credit for everything and accepted responsibility for nothing.  The unanimous guilty verdict was a reality check on a deluded individual, and cult MAGA is furious, because their "dear leader" has been treated like an ordinary American citizen. 

            For myself, I was relieved.  Our democratic bedrock of equal protection under the law was vindicated by ordinary citizens, who were not stunned by the privilege expected by immense wealth and power.  However, as a nation, we still have to deal with the Republican "leadership", which used to have principles and supported the rule of law.  Now, in a desperate attempt to remain in power, they present no policies, other than abjectly surrender to a corrupt, conman autocrat as their representative.  Further, there are many Americans so aggrieved by the injustices in their lives they are willing to project their anger out onto the world and follow this flawed individual.  

            However, another social delusion is also headed toward a reality check: the climate crisis.  For over 50 years, we have been warned about the consequences of our fossil fuel addiction.  Originally this was thought to be a problem for the future, but the science was incomplete, and the feedback systems are more numerous, so we are already seeing the impact today.  Around the world, heat, drought, water shortages, fires, flooding, storms, and increased crop losses are making news every week.

            The May sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico were as high as we normally see in August, and NOAA is forecasting a 50 percent increase in hurricanes this summer.  A heat dome sits over Mexico.  The same delusional, isolationist mindset that fuels cult MAGA hinders dealing with the climate.  What form will a climate reality check take?  Will it be a heat wave that kills hundreds of thousands?  Will one, or possibly two, category 5 hurricane running through Florida, killing people and crashing the insurance industry clarify the issue?  This is the hottest summer on record.  Stay tuned, we have no idea what is coming.

 

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Heat

                                                                                           written 26 May, 2024

                                                                                          published 2 June 2024

  

            Humans are warm blooded mammals, which means our metabolism runs faster, allowing us to eat more varied foods, supports a larger brain, and allows life in more varied regions.  

            However, when external temperatures increase above 97°F, our bodies have to shed heat.  We can dilate the blood vessels below our skin, increasing the blood flow, allowing heat to escape, as we have very little hair on our bodies, reducing skin insulation.  However, our primary system is the evaporative cooling from our extensive sweat gland system.

            The evaporation of water requires significant energy, which is pulled from our skin, cooling it.  However, air always contains some amount of moisture: the "relative humidity".  When humidity is low, the air can absorb more moisture, and evaporative cooling is possible.  As the humidity increases, cooling becomes less possible.  When the air holds as much moisture as possible at that temperature (100 percent humidity), no cooling is possible.  This is why we can survive 115°F here in Ukiah, with a humidity of maybe only 30 percent, while 104°F with 99 percent humidity can be lethal.

            When our cooling systems fail, our body begins to die.  As more blood is shifted to the skin, central organs (kidneys, liver, and brain) become blood deprived, and begin to shut down.  Symptoms of heatstroke include: body temperature over 104° F, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rate, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, agitation, irritability, slurred speech, confusion, delirium, seizures, and unconsciousness.  

            With increased heat, our cells "denature", and melt.  Proteins begin to come apart, kidneys and intestines begin leaking toxic waste into the blood stream, triggering systemic clotting of the blood.  Once all the clotting proteins are consumed, we hemorrhage everywhere, as our bodies disintegrate.  The only remedy, if applied in time, is to cool down our core, by drinking cool water, moving into cool shade or buildings, or being immersed in cool or icy water.

            After thousands of years of relatively stable climate and temperatures, we now live in a climate hotter than the one we were born into, and heat death is increasing.  A 2003 European heatwave killed over 70,000 (more than all US deaths in Vietnam).  A 2010 104°F heatwave in Russia killed more than 55,000.  In 2017, Pakistan experienced record heat of 129°F.  In 2021, Antarctica saw an extra 70°F, a heatwave in the Pacific Northwest killed more than 1,000, and 126°F heat hit Pakistan again.  2022 brought a 104°F heatwave to London, killing more than 3,000, and Phoenix set a heat record of 122°F.

            For those that can afford it, air conditioning has allowed human civilization to survive in increasingly lethal heat conditions.  But this technological fix has limitations.  To cool a building, the heat is shifted to the outside environment, making the outside even more lethal.  A more serious concern is the availability of electricity.  Last September, record heat, and record use of air conditioning, nearly crashed the California electrical grid.  Rolling blackouts were avoided by massive voluntary customer load shedding.   In places where electricity is less secure, people die when the power goes down.  2023 was the hottest year on record, and 2024 is already hotter.

            Despite growing awareness that the climate crisis is real, humanity is adding increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.  The wealthy few who are profiting from the existing energy system are doing everything they can to keep people ignorant of the problem.  People seem to deny a situation until it affects them personally.  So, for the foreseeable future, we will have to deal with what we are creating.

            Here in Ukiah, the City Council, the City manager, and the head of the City electrical utility should begin planning for power resilient cooling centers, because the grid is unstable in times of high heat.  Traditional use of diesel or propane power not only adds to the underlying climate problem, but these expensive systems are rarely used, and might not work when needed.  

            The City has been told by NCPA, our power provider, they need to add 15 percent more power produced locally.  In addition to designing local systems to power essential City services, a creative plan would install renewable power for cooling centers, which could be of use all the time, while being ready for emergencies.  Furthermore, an effort should be made to help other groups build resilient cooling systems, as the entire community will be in need.