When the total continental land mass was small or combined into a supercontinent, there was no land to divert that diffusion of warm water toward the poles, which results in currents. During those times, the global ocean became one big, calm lake, with no currents of significance. Those oceans are called today, and they would have been anoxic; the oxygenated surface waters would not have been drawn by currents to the ocean floor, and the oceans were certainly anoxic before the GOE. The interplay of those can be incredibly complex and lead to the multitude of hypotheses posited to explain those ancient events, but a leading hypothesis today is that a combination of factors, including supercontinents, variations in volcanic output, Canfield Oceans, and ice ages prevented life from gaining ecosystem dominance until the waning of the second Snowball Earth event, which was the greatest series of glaciations that Earth has yet experienced. It is known today as the , which ended about 635 mya. The study of the Cryogenian Period, which is the subject of , resulted in the term “.”
Complex life means, by definition, that it has many parts and they move. Complex life needs energy to run its many moving parts. Complexity’s dependence on greater levels of energy use not only applies to all organisms and ecosystems, but it has also applied to all human civilizations, as will be explored later in this essay. When cells became “complex” with organelles, a tiny observer inside that cell would have witnessed a bewildering display of activity, as mitochondria sailed through the cells via “scaffolding” on their energy generating missions, the ingestion of molecules for fuel and to create structures, the miracle of cellular division, the constant building, repair, and dismantling of cellular structures, and the ejection of waste through the cellular membrane. The movement of molecules and organelles in eukaryotic cells is accomplished by using the same protein that became muscle: actin. Prokaryotes used an , and their provide their main mode of travel, to usually move toward food and safety or away from danger, including predators.
Later, palaces appeared, and Sumerian palaces and their related elites are seen today as more of an intrusive dynamic from rural societies, as a kind of invasion and conquest rather than a natural outcome of Sumerian urban life. The elite arguably performed some kind of exchange function, but a common idea among anthropologists is that elites became elites , not because they performed a necessary societal function. In early cities, elites usually arose from new professional classes that created and controlled markets. In early Mesopotamian states, palace activities were largely centered around elite lifestyles, not administering state functions. Sumer was the first pristine state, and when , something like happened. They all had similar features, which included: male domination, divinely sanctioned heads of state with harems and other extravagances in their capital cities, including elite-aggrandizing monumental architecture, forced servitude, human sacrifice and/or public executions to terrorize the populace into submission, conscripted “cannon fodder” infantry led by elite officers, fortified cities, taxation, and so on. All pristine states passed through similar developmental stages, and some features appeared earlier or later than others, with minor variation among their attributes, but they all had remarkable resemblances, which probably reflected human “nature,” in which everywhere reacted to analogous economic conditions in comparable fashion.
Early elites claimed divine status, and the priesthood abetted the fiction, and a universal practice among early civilizations was erecting monumental architecture. The was the first such structure. Anthropologists think that monumental architecture may be a form of societal/elite , so that a society can flaunt the resources used to make such overawing showings, both to encourage submission to the society's obvious wealth and power, and to also discourage attempts to compete with it. In Sumer, ziggurats were not only the center of the , but also held precious metals such as gold. The priesthood directed mass economic activity, such as organizing irrigation projects. In some ways, the priesthood was only adapting to urbanization. Their professional ancestors developed calendars and other methods of synchronizing vital activities such as plantings and harvests, with their attendant festivals; mistimings by mere days could lead to famine. Sumerian temples had statues in their central place of worship, in human form, bedecked with jewels and other precious adornments. Offerings of food were presented to the statues, which temple personnel ate that night. In the third millennium BCE, temples owned land and had their own workforce, which was again a “voluntary” one that discharged religious obligations. Although those temples performed valuable societal functions such as taking in orphans, the earliest urban religions were obviously businesses and could become rackets, in a pattern that continues to this day.
The human ability to think abstractly was exploited by social managers from civilization’s earliest days. Fixating people on irrational symbols, and then manipulating those symbols for elite benefit, is arguably a universal trait of civilized peoples. Even today, a great deal of politics is the ; as with the earliest religion, the neocortex is bypassed in favor of , and people are easy prey to the cynical manipulation of emotionally charged symbols. The effects of can last for the victim’s lifetime. When people mistake symbols for reality, they are easily manipulated. Large-scale ideological indoctrination probably began in Sumer, as the priesthood concocted and promoted various beliefs. Symbology replaced reality, including the acceptance of the secular elite as deific, getting slaves to accept their status, and getting commoners to give food to the priesthood to fulfill some divinely ordained obligation. Religion passed from experience to belief with the rise of civilization. I am not suggesting that pre-civilized religions were necessarily enlightened. They had shamanic intermediaries too, but with the rise of civilization, the priest class had to work hard to justify the obviously unfair social organization that accompanied stratified populations. Direct religious experience was disparaged and suppressed while the priesthood’s religious indoctrination was promoted.
I always respected Dennis and Brian the most in the FE field, and I valued their integrity above all else. Their great hearts attracted me to them, not their talent, genius, or fame. I have written plenty about my days with and , and interested readers can discover more if they wish. I hope to convey what the learning experience of carrying their spears was like. My and comprised the kind of education that few survive for long. Although my education with Brian was far gentler, I learned important lessons from him. If not for my adventures, I would not have much worth saying. Even though much of this essay “merely” deals with mainstream science theory and data, . This essay is obviously not the work of a professional scientist, historian, or economist.
In , we were still recovering from our Seattle effort when we were offered for making FE. Although Dennis began , when we received that , neither of us seriously suspected that it was an entreaty from those who run the world. A year later, just before we were wiped out, Dennis received an offer of about , delivered by a CIA man who said that he represented “European interests.” It became obvious that we had attracted the attention of the people who ran the world, although the , and we . Soon after Dennis rejected the offer, our nightmare truly began, as in one of the most spectacular wipeouts in the entire history of FE attempts. When the dust settled a couple of years later, , and I would never again see the world in the same way. Mr. Professor, who helped me free Dennis from jail, . The carnage spread far and wide, distantly peripheral players had their lives wrecked, and I heard sad stories from participants even as I wrote this essay.
All of those hard-to-believe events aside, I became a student of genius while under my first professional mentor’s tutelage. The sold me on him (as well as that voice leading me to him), but when I to help rebuild his effort, it quickly became evident that I was learning from another world-class genius, and I avidly studied his efforts. As far as I know, is the greatest attempt yet made to bring alternative energy to the American marketplace. He probably did his most interesting work before I met him. He invented the , and his were awe-inspiring. Dennis was an untrained businessman, but his ability to erect a disruptive energy technology company with no capital and create the entire process, from developing the technology to building it, marketing it, and installing it, is the best that I have ever seen or heard of, and his public image rarely even touched upon his unparalleled talent in that area. Yet those abilities paled beside his other qualifications, which . That voice knew what it was doing in leading me to Dennis, but playing Indiana Jones’s sidekick was not an easy ride, and I have generally rejected Dennis’s entreaties to rejoin him after I . Even as I write this, I know that our story seems ridiculously fanciful, but it all happened and more, with connections and events I am not at liberty to publicly disclose that makes journey resemble . As dramatic as those events were, our focus was always on bringing FE to the world.
In this essay’s , I reviewed my journey and touched on Dennis Lee’s, who was my partner during my days of pursuing FE, and that chapter also mentioned amazing explorations. This chapter will dig a little deeper into our experiences. Our odysseys into alternative and free energy all began at about the same time: in 1973-1974, during the , which ended the . Mine started when my first professional mentor invented what was hailed as the , which he invented in about 1968 and began to patent just before the crisis, and it . During that furor, I , spent absorbing its art and culture, and began . Dennis is 12 years older than I am, and as I dreamed of changing the energy industry, he had his in the energy crisis's mayhem. Brian began his alternative energy pursuit around the same time, as he engaged in activism and .
As previously stated, shale oil and tar sands have abysmally low EROIs, which are , but are presented today as some kind of magic answer to the USA's energy problems (in 2015, the oil price collapse was caused by the easy money policies of the central banks, and ). But, what does that mean, as far as what a person could witness in such a declining civilization? The impact of Canada's tar sands operations can provide a preview. Not only do Canada's tar sands operations (Source: Wikimedia Commons – google "tar sands Mordor" and view the image results):