Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 09/12/2022
Every time we go to the beach (or, in New Jersey, the “shore”), adults and kids alike are digging in the sand. Some people simply dig holes (This is their idea of a vacation?) but the ones who really intrigue me are the fortress-builders.
I’ve seen kids and their fathers (apparently, women are far too smart to attempt this) try to build castles that are protected from the oncoming waves and incoming, inexorable tide. They attempt moats, convoluted sand channels which try to divert water away, exaggerated hills, and foot-thick walls. I actually watched an engineer attempt this once, and he did seem to believe that this was why he came to the beach.
But the water undermines, topples, erodes, and penetrates, no matter what the defenses. At best the citadel is gone in an hour, and nothing lasts through the night unless you build it above the high water mark, which I’ve never seen anyone attempt outside of sand sculpting contests.
The pursuit is fun, it’s a good bonding experience, and it’s repeated constantly even though we all know it’s doomed.
As far as I know, the major sources of non-renewable energy are uranium, oil, natural gas, and coal, and of renewable are wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro. Since batteries store power but don’t create power, we need these sources for the charging of batteries. At a time when California can’t even maintain its current grid without brownouts and blackouts, how are we to power the approximately 275 million vehicles in the US, of which right now only 1% are electric? How could we power even half without using fossil fuels?
In which case electric vehicles are certainly not “zero” in carbon footprint.
I’m not advocating anything, I’m asking a question. And the question is: Are we kidding ourselves thinking we can stop the rising tide with sand?
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand. —Milton Friedman
Rock bottom is a crisis…and everyone wants to avoid crisis. But what “crisis” means literally is “to sift”—like a child who goes to the beach, lifts up the sand, and watches all the sand fall away, hoping that there’s treasure left over. That’s what crisis does. — Glennon Doyle Melton