It Will Stay A While

I started thinking about this idea of sequestering carbon from air, by making rocks out of sea water, pulling the carbon from water instead of air.

“Petrifying Climate Change”

[This is totally a rant, except maybe the end? Sorry for some of the inconsistent formatting in this post, the WordPress editor is diabolical that way or maybe just hates me especially? It won’t even open a preview readily right now, so I work on it in a hit or miss way. I hope WP doesn’t send out emails to anyone every time I fix something.]

I’m skeptical of technofixes for solving problems–these solutions just make us think it’s okay to keep on keeping on being so rapacious, but this seems interesting, a way to convert acidic CO2 in ocean water to rocks. A prototype was built to “run seawater through an electrically charged mesh, using electrolysis or hydroxide to trigger the chemical reactions needed to form carbonate rocks.” The water returned to the ocean is a little more alkaline that before and there is more hydrogen that can be harvested, so can offset costs?

Even if natural gas powers it, the author says it could still be carbon neutral–which is an idea that I’m not even doubtful about: it’s just a wretched sleight of hand greenwashing trick!

And combining it with kiln/flue waste from industrial production, as is mentioned in the article as one way to make it profitable, is not even greenwashing, but an f’ing miserable poisonous way to spread toxins all over farmland. Kiln dust is prohibited in organic agriculture production for a very good reason: it’s full of toxins, heavy metals, especially, and it’s already being dumped on farmland along with other industrial waste hidden in various agriculture products, including fertilizers.

I’m starting to lose any notion this process could be a good idea, simply because it’s human nature to subvert everything for profit in this era. We simply won’t surrender the notion that we can make civilization work for our personal profit, that we can have our cake and eat it, too, and if in the end we shit on the earth and kill most everything, well, cost accounting done in the heavenly corpse-a-rationing, cost-to-benefit halls pronounces it was worth it.*

[*a sequence of endless rationing, erecting, scraping, crapping, rapping, raping – this is the progressive declination of industrial power profiteering.]

Economically viable means it kills the earth, but we get to ignore that for as long as we can dream the little wet dream of human progress boosterism that rape is a great way to live.

But it is somehow an interesting thought to make lots of mineralized rocks . . . maybe it could shore up some shorelines without a huge cost. . ?  Oh. It destroys the local marine ecosystems. Well, there’s the true price of it, never mind. Just another technofix that costs more than the earth?

We don’t get it, we don’t get it, we don’t get it . . . the story of civilization, making mountains of dead things for a few crumbs of plunder and calling it great. The earth is our body, and we can’t kill it without killing ourselves. We don’t get it.

Time’s up, humans. Our fate is knocking . . . climate change is petrifying us, get used to it.

If we’re lucky, we are going to reincarnate as microbial hydroxylating(?) or oxidizing(?) life forms, yeah, maybe we can just eat those rocks directly–there’s appropriate tech karma. Then we can make them into living dirt with the symbiotic help of the communities of diverse microbial life and soil organisms?

Oops, those soil organisms we’ve already poisoned past saving(?) with lots of kiln dust, pesticides, herbicides, etc.?

Scientific American just came out with this most interesting and devastating recounting of what we’ve done to the living skin of the earth, where a handful of soil holds more living beings than all the people on earth, something actually worth more than all the human inventions we’ve ever dreamed up in our lusting.

“Scoop up a shovelful of healthy soil, and you’ll likely be holding more living organisms than there are people on the planet Earth.
Like citizens of an underground city that never sleeps, tens of thousands of subterranean species of invertebrates, nematodes, bacteria and fungi are constantly filtering our water, recycling nutrients and helping to regulate the earth’s temperature.”

Just as our guts are full of the same microbes that mutually create the living earth, our internal microbes mutually create our living bodies. And what is happening to these inhabitants as they digest what we eat, breathe, and drink as we take in these same poison potions? Do we notice that the holy grail of our profiteering progress is leaking out as the petrifying dust of grave consequence?

I had a dream once, about twenty years ago, at a time in my life that I was worried and fearful about loss, not unlike now–

I dreamed I was climbing a hillside, the late afternoon sunlight falling in late autumn on the golden dried grass of the hill and as I walked I was singing this simple 5-note song:

“It will stay a while–

it will

stay a


Which seems to be a final truth, and there is something there of comfort. Here we are, and things stay a while. When I woke, I managed to pick the notes out on my father’s violin, though I don’t know how to play. I remember a musician friend later told me that the song perfectly fit the violin strings’ setup of intervals of fifths, the song starting with the open A string repeating, then I remember creating the next note on the next string, and so on, on each string, but I can’t remember exactly what I did, though I remember the tune.

But maybe humans get to be busted back to interstellar hydrogen to start an evolutionary apprenticeship at the cosmic bottom? What does the Tao Te Ching say about dust? Things are permanently temporary in form, but temporarily permanent.

“Energy is constant,
matter is always.
Why do these things outlive us beings?
Because they do not promote
their own existence.
Place yourself last
and thereby be first.

The earth and the universe
have no attachments.
Everything is dust
to them, within them.
So, too, the wise
have no permanent attachments.
To them also
people are dust, ideas are dust.”

All this is from an interesting translation of the Tao Te Ching, a sort of contemporary Western-phrased version:

(Also, that translation’s quoted stanzas below also remind me that I just re-encountered Les Fermi’s Open Focus meditations the other day, which meditate on the empty space, in our bodies, everywhere, the spaciousness that pervades everything.)

“Engine and alternator and U-joint and tires and accelerator and steering wheel and headlights and bucket seats
all together make a car,
but it is the space within
inside the empty seats
that makes it

Clay and glass and plastic are molded to create
jars and vases and cups and bags,
but it is the space inside
that is empty
that makes them

Houses and skyscrapers are built
and cut open with doors and windows
because it is the space inside
that is empty
that makes the buildings

Dust to dust, rocks and people aren’t different, one becomes the other in the end.

If we think we are in charge, we become confused–

    “When nature is forgotten and abandoned,
    goodness, justice and morality are created,
    and theisms flourish.
    When intelligence and knowledge appear,
    great advertising campaigns are created,
    and religions compete.”

And what did T.S. Eliot say? “I will show you [petrifying] fear in a handful of dust.” ? I’m subverting Eliot here to my purposes.
We are busy making ‘The Wasteland’ come true–whether by rusting or bleeding–it’s the same in the end?

    “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
    Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
    You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
    A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
    And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
    And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
    There is shadow under this red rock,
    (Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
    And I will show you something different from either
    Your shadow at morning striding behind you
    Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
    I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”

It’s always good to end on a favorite song: lately I think of this song every summer, here in ‘the West’ (wherever that may be) and consider that the opposite of holding on to petrifying permanence is some kind of ignition:

“Burning Down The House” 1983, Live in L.A.

Oh, all my beloved, the sun has not yet set, but you have stayed a while, and things are moving on.

“Sit next to the void
become empty
quiet and still
at peace.
Years go by
you contemplate your return.
You see the years,
they shrink and return.
Everything returns to its origin.
This return to origin is called stillness;
stillness is called accepting the natural laws of the universe.
Accepting the way of the universe
is enlightenment.”

2 thoughts on “It Will Stay A While

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