Renewable satire

In a coming-of-age development (and maybe only into adolescence… but still) There’s now a satirical renewable energy ‘news’ site. Sustainably called The Sunion:

In a synthetic discovery broadly compared to the work of Galloway and Leach, NREL investigators tracing energy and capital flows between renewable energy systems, those systems’ project finance assumptions via primary-contracted-offtakers, the primary clients of those offtakers, and, in turn, the primary consumers of those offtakers, have discovered a previously uncharacterized, enclosed, and self-sustaining sunlight-to electricity-to-money-to bros-to-data-to-grift/crypto-to-porn-to-bros-to money-to light-to-electricity ecosystem that is nearly self sustaining without external reference or input and which may soon overtake photosynthesis and geotechnical processes in terms of overall magnitude of energy transfer in Earth’s biosphere.

Sure, why not? I guess it had to happen. Plenty to poke holes in about the way(s) we’re going about all of this, especially all the financialization through-the-looking-glass you’re actually at-an-Arby’s-drivethrough of it all. Bring it.

What does the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo mean?

ghmapjpgFor the better part of a century, the southern US border was open, more or less, and people moved back and forth as need or desire dictated. From our friends at Balloon Juice, two maps and a few more words:

You’ll notice that on both the map prepared for the negotiations of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Rural Health Information’s map of Hispanic or Latino population of the US based on the 2010 Census that the area that the US would get from Mexico in 1848 is still where the largest percentage of the Hispanic or Latino population of the US live. This doesn’t count south Florida, which has a different historic pattern of Hispanic settlement. What the patterns of settlement shown on the maps show us is that the border was moved on the map, but the pattern of settlement remained largely unchanged.

Reckoning with the reality of steady demographics in this vast region despite changing borders or enforcement regimes is a prerequisite to sustainable immigration policy. It will come as a great surprise to many people that we can have a population that loves the land even if they call it something different and/or the name changes from time to time. I know: shocking.

Future, less tense

So in my recap from San Francisco earlier this summer, this bit from Julian Castro at the DNC this week is part of what I was talking about:

What the president did in allowing the children of undocumented immigrants to become citizens was Marco Rubio’s idea, but only Julian Castro got to brag about it at a convention. Only Castro got to make the incontrovertible point that, “In the end, the American Dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay. Our families don’t always cross the finish line in one generation. But each generation passes on to the next generation the fruits of their labors…. My mother fought for civil rights so that instead of a mop, I could hold this microphone.”

Emphasis added.

What does (a) Green (card) mean?

Do you know any illegal immigrants? Your kids go to school with their kids. And if they don’t, well I think this begins to explain a great deal of the antipathy expressed toward them and their fates. Reminder: They = We.

A local situation came up over dinner a couple of nights ago and I had to (try to) explain to les enfants vertes the whys and hows of said situation. A  bright, local girl who had excelled in school and won the notice of several teachers along the way had gained attention again because she, now a h.s. graduate, was cleaning houses for a living instead of going to college. Some of these teachers are my kids teachers now, so we’re all increasing cognizant of the situation. And now the kids know, too, that some of their friends at school will, upon gradation, not be availed to entry – much less any financial aid that would make it possible – to continue their education, to continue on any path they may have devised under the strain of all the pressure to success we put them under. These kids will be, in fact, consigned to a future of menial labor, inconsistent and under-employment and less overall income (and tax contributions) than their classmates, all because someone who brought them to this country was undocumented.

Suddenly, I’m having a conversation with my kids about birthright citizenship and why it is crucially important to be that country that people want to come to, want to bring their kids to, want to sneak into, if necessary, and become a part of… I was suddenly defending the nobility of a country – a country that would and does force some of its own school children into that situation that started the conversation.

There are all flavors of examples of this kind of exclusion going on – NPR just this morning. Whether its anti-Islamism or don’t-take-our-jobs hysteria, nothing is more pernicious than the proclivity to cut off access to the future that runs through this country. Hint: Future arrives anyway.