Join Forces to Maintain and Heal the Earth

From correspondence

All who can sense the fragile structure of our Mother Earth know that disturbances in the Earth structure are closely related to the passions, sentiments and desires and predictions of her sons and daughters — us. In Washington State a friend was warning me to get off the pad where I stayed because of a disaster she predicted. This was easy. She was one person, not as mighty as myself. It was no trouble bucking her. Now she has learned, and does no longer “predict”. But the California disaster-predictors, though individually weak, are so numerous that we have a whale of a time bucking their stunts.
I recall with great pleasure Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan join forces with Norwegian troll at a summer school in Suresnes in 1925, telling us how our own sentiments influenced earthquakes and other violent incidents in Earth’s behavior. Isn’t it time we all join forces in maintaining and healing rather than breaking down?

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An Ocean of Energy (Edith Roosevelt)


6 February 1979

Miss Edith K. Roosevelt
1661 Crescent Place NW
Washington DC 20009

Dear Miss Roosevelt,

Your letter to ADEE of January 29 was shown to me, being an advisor to ADEE.

Your excellent article on “Green Oil” could be supplemented with a large number of renewable energy sources, some of them 100 years old, which as a nation we have refused to utilize, while screaming about an “Energy Crisis”.

OTEC — Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, which I have worked with since 1947 is only one of them, perhaps the best developed, having the most scientists, engineers and companies behind it, at least about 1000 top-grade people — but not enough to make even a dent in the central US Government, even though there are many dedicated workers inside the Government, who’d do anything to get started with the work.

At age 82 I have expanded to the general picture, technologically, economically, psychologically, nationally and internationally and see a choice before us just now, today: Begin a crash program now, or be damned. In about 20 years we are to see a more devastating depression than ever before realised, which will probably lead to war — a nuclear one — if we don’t start today. With a crash program, which the United States is beautifully suited for, temperamentally, economically and industrially– we can have self-sufficiency in 15 years. We could derive all our energy from either OTEC or Space satellites or a combination of Green oil, biomass, wind –but our temperament will never settle for one or a few choices, We have to build on a broad scale, we have to forget the narrow “fight against inflation” and suffer more and higher inflation for a while (because of the drift so far) until new energy systems make their impact — and inflation may be cured forever. “Down with the budget” is no remedy. What we use our money for is the deciding question. Today it is energy we need to develop — not the sorry trilogy oil-coal-nuclear, but the truly renewable sources. Oil executives are interested, have helped build the proper technology, but their “lobbyists” and some of their shareholders are another matter.

Nothing is more important than you newspaper people in the coming fight.

~~ Bryn Beorse

Beyond the Known
An Ocean Of Energy

by Edith Kermit Roosevelt

WASHINGTON – “There’s so much energy in the ocean that, if we develop 2 percent of it, we would have 100 times as much as the world is projected to need in the year 2000.”  These words are said by Norwegian-born engineer Bryn Beorse who brought the technology of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) to this country. At 82, still vigorously at work as a consultant to the Sea Water Conversion Laboratory at the University of California’s Richmond Field Station, Beorse is picking up support for his solar sea plan that he has worked with since 1947.

Calling OTEC “the best developed of renewable energy sources,” Beorse says that “reputable New Orleans shipyards have offered to build OTEC plants for less than half of the cost of nuclear plants built today. Since the OTEC fuel is free and nuclear fuel cost rises every day, this would seem remarkable.”

Beorse also cites testimony by TRW’s Robert Douglas who told Department of Energy officials that OTEC could now, today, be built competitive with nuclear-plants.

The system needs no fuel and uses only the sun as a heat source. It runs on the temperature difference between the warm surface layer of the ocean and the colder depths a thousand feet below, a difference of about 40 degrees.

The first attempt at an OTEC system in the United States, starting up next April, will be located in Hawaii. It is being developed by the State of Hawaii with the Lockheed Missiles and Space Co, of Sunnyvale, Calif., which is building the power plant. Hawaii’s Dillingham Corp. is modifying a Navy Barge lo carry the plant and install it with its suspended cold-water pipe a mile off Keahole Point.

The Hawaii plant will generate 40 kilowatts – enough for four or five homes. Tests are to continue some six months.

But Beorse would like to see far greater efforts made and he faults the Department of Energy for simply researching problems ‘that have already been solved instead of putting together working OTEC power plants.

Current funding for OTEC under DOE amounts to only $36 million compared to $903 million for oil and coal development and $3.5 billion for nuclear development.

Beorse would like to see these priorities reversed. He says DOE is continuing to study problems that have already been solved when a crash program involving renewable, nonpolluting energy sources could make our nation self-sufficient in 15 years. Beorse advocates to this end–OTEC or space satellites or a combination of oil from plants

According to ADEE (119 Ripley St., San Francisco, CA 94110), Beorse’s so-called “Utopian ideas” have picked up in recent years some heavy support from other energy researchers.

A little publicized report by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency issued in 1972 says “Tapping the energy of the Gulf Stream could supply all the electrical energy needs of the U.S. as far ahead as 1985 with only three tenths of a degree reduction in the temperature of the great warm ocean river.

This reduction may be beneficial as it would slightly offset the ocean’s thermal pollution due to other uses.”

In 1976, the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration concluded that the OTEC system could produce “at least 20 gigawatts” or 20 million kilowatts – by the year 2000, an amount about 3 times the estimated U.S. energy demand.”

*            *            *

SEA SOLAR POWER, Inc. of 2422 South Queen St., York, PA 17402, the pioneer in sea thermal power, says these systems have highly profitable spin off effects. They can make fresh water for irrigation and human consumption; hydrogen for synthetic fuel, methanol to replace or mix with gasoline, nitrogen, oxygen, ammonia and carbon dioxide for feedstock, and food fish to be nurtured on nutrient-rich cold water pumped from ocean depths.

The company says that if the value of the power and byproducts of thermal electric power are added together, the annual income of a typical 100 megawatt plant can amount to more than $100 million. Sea Solar Power Inc. expects to be able to mass produce such plants for about $50 million each.

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Mind, The In-between

From the newsletter, Sufis Speak.

Mind obviously is not the physical body, nor is it the spirit. It is the link between the two, the in-between. It is not a straight and simple in-between, it is so complex and tricky that many lose themselves, temporarily at least, in its labyrinths and concepts. Mind plays games. These games are often enjoyable, sometimes useful, often useless and worse. Pride, humility, judgments, grades, ranks, titles, hierarchies are some of these games, devoid of ultimate reality. Politics may sometimes save a person from a limited concept — most often to plunge him down into an equally limited concept, a rip-roaring game. This game may save a nation from excesses, but also prevent a wise council from ever being heeded. The mind jumps quickly from any mere word or gesture to irrelevant and often fateful conclusions.

Religion, is that clean and pure, the opposite of politics? It is only a hair’s breath removed, another entertaining and dangerous mind game, where people cling desperately to a concept which they mistakenly call “faith”. They mean creed. Faith is a larger thing, a surging force that borders on spirituality. In people’s minds this surging force may be confused with the mind concept they have and cause havoc to themselves and others.

Any criticism, expressed in words, of a person or a person’s belief or behaviour, is a mind trap. By that criticism you lie on that person, who is never a belief or a behaviour but a moving, surging power, never standing still or really a captive of any game, not for long at least. Inayat Khan used to say “by mentioning what you think is a person’s fault, you nail him to that fault, although luckily you may not succeed”.

The psychics and fortune tellers conduct not merely an exercise in futility but by their “predictions” may even cause what they predict. The weak-minded persons who commit most assassinations are influenced by the fierce desires of the predictors to see their guesses come true. A wise man, on the other hand, may perceive trends and without saying a word into the world of confusion, works to cause the best solution.

In Mathematics certain minds alert to symbols work their way toward solutions unattainable without the mathematical tool — though not unattainable to certain spiritual persons who arrive directly without the symbols. A similar approach is astrology, similar in that involved symbolism is in it. Astrology has not, in general, reached the level of mathematics. Some mathematicians have sniffed at it, and remark: There are several bases in use, each reaching different conclusions. Do you look at the heavenly bodies from the Earth? (most astrologers do), or from the sun? (heliocentric astrology) or are you based on the constellations? (called Hindu astrology, though all three factions are practiced in India). About the twelve zodiacs, is there anything basic to nature in these twelve
clusters, or are they merely a shortcut from the infinite number of points in the hemisphere? Has this been researched by competents or is the present practice just an inheritance from the past, indiscriminately used?

At the beginning of this century the Indian yogi Sri Yukteswar wrote in HOLY SCIENCE that the hindu astrology as then practiced were many thousands of years wrong in its calculations due to a “mistake that crept into the almanacs about 700 B.C.” As a consequence, he writes, the concept of the astrologers that we are now in a down point in the spiritual cycle is wrong. We are up and rising. Some have accepted this correction. Others have not.

There is no doubt about the close relationship of everything living, including man, woman, trees, animals, planets, sun and stars, all linked in a grand enjoyable rhythm that we should try to feel and know by all means at our disposal. Though a well known American astrologer Dane Rudhyar writes “Astrology, as I understand it, has no concern whatsoever with whether a conjunction of planets causes something to happen to a person or nation.” Paracelsus wrote in the fifteenth century, “Constellations are subordinate to the wise man. They have to follow him, not vice versa. Only a man still on the animalistic level is ruled by the planets.”

Inayat Khan was once asked if we ought not to consult astrologers, have our horoscopes read. From above presentation his answer may be appreciated, “Where are the astrologers?”

Bohm’s View

In a letter to a fellow scientist:
…Dr. David Bohm's "enfolding-unfolding universe" permits a more unified terminology.  The Cartesian viewpoint, shared by Newton, Einstein et al, see points or subjects in the universe determined by grids in space and time.  Bohm feels space-time grids merely represent our oblique perceptions.  To him, points or subjects in space are interlinked by characteristics, not space-time grids.  So General Uban in India and Dr. Xenofan on Jupiter are closer to us than Ed Teller at Stanford, who, along with the UW scientists belong in the respected category of fierce loyalists, loyal to their once-conceived perceptions.  While you and Dr. John Gofman and I are more eager to change viewpoints when additional facts stare us in the face, and favor paths that we call more true (absolute truth is evasive so far) – and paths that may save humanity and our dear animal and vegetable friends from annihilation.

Planet Earth Demands (Excerpt)

Chapter Two from the Manuscript of Shamcher's book, Planet Earth Demands.


I came to Turkey as an engineer in the twenties. The Adana plains were ideal for cotton raising. The Turkish farmer is knowledgeable and hard-working. There was an urgent need for cotton all over Eastern Europe and Asia Minor. This would seem a beautiful and secure business for any bank or combine of banks to finance, but those approached had other commitments (maybe race tracks or circus performances?) so the plains remained unproductive and people had to go without clothes. Then a new regime took over the country, "the Young Turks." Their new Secretary of the Treasury, Saraguglu Shukri Bey, consulted with me who advised him there was no reason why the Government itself couldn't act as a bank and provide the money, if operating as responsibly as banks do, or preferably a bit more responsibly. So the Adana Plains were cottonized, everybody profited and my career as an economist, my third career, had been launched.

I wrote books. I helped run a new Scandinavian bank supported by merchants and the Government, to help relieve the depression haunting us at that time. After World War II, when the Nazi occupiers had crushed the Norwegian economy by reckless printing of money in the face of dwindling supplies, I was named to a commission to repair the damage. This caused our senior economist Wilhelm Keilhau to remark, "If that idiot, Bryn, is going to serve, I quit.” To which Premier Nygaardsvoll responded, "Good, Dr. Keilhau, that rids us of you." I rejected the commission's report and wrote my own.

This ‘Minority Report’ was later accepted by the Norwegian Congress. Luckily a better man than I, the outstanding Norwegian economist Dr. Ragnar Frisch, implemented that policy, while I returned to the States.

In the thirties I had talked to American bankers, who gently comforted me, “Yes, yes, Bryn, we must certainly do something in line with your ideas, though not now, maybe in twenty-five years.' So, twenty-five years later I turned to ingenious Seymour Harris, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury under Kennedy and Johnson, and caused him to miss important appointments while he listened, contemplatively. Lovable Arthur Schlesinger even missed luscious luncheons.

I went to Tunisia, heading a United Nations mission as Economiste-Ingenieur to bring relief to Southern Tunisia. When I came back a slam-bang meeting was planned to turn this country into a full employment paradise — when tragedy struck. At present Yale's Dr. John H.G. Pierson, Leon Keyserling of Truman’s time and John Philip Wernette are working for the same policy of full employment, each in his own way. Through these and some others' voices and language patterns we shall look at money, what it is, what we can and cannot afford.

In THE CONTROL OF BUSINESS CYCLES (Rinehart 1940) Harvard’s John Philip Wernette defines money: If we were to attempt to be precise we should probably end with an array of definitions of what is never-money, sometimes-money, always money, legal-tender-always money, non-legal tender-often money and many others. The purest form of money is bank deposits. They have no physical substance but are mere figures in books. Pocket money can be used to make jewelry, to fill teeth or paper walls. Not so bank money. It is generalized purchasing power and cannot be used for any other purpose. Dr. Wernette goes on to explain how, when a bank grants a loan, new money is created throughout the banking system.
This touchy subject has been discussed as long as this republic has been in existence. Some refuse to believe it. Some think it should only be discussed among bankers, not the general public. Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and Mariner Eccles, Chairman of the Federal Reserve System under Truman, all elaborated forcefully on this subject.

Dr. Wernette asks, "Is there any reason to suppose that the amount of money so created – i.e. – the amount that borrowers wish to borrow from banks and the amounts that banks are willing to lend, will turn out to be equal to the amount of money that the people of this country wish to hold and equal to the right amount for functioning of the economic system?" In his later book FINANCING FULL EMPLOYMENT (Harvard University Press 1945) Dr. Wernette proposes, "Control of the total amount of money must be assumed by the Government.” He envisages a "stabilization Board" for creating or withdrawing money when and as necessary for carrying out the nation's wishes within the limits of manpower, resources and monetary stability.

About the risks involved he writes, A do-nothing policy presents greater dangers. On the one hand we have the danger of mismanagement. On the other hand we have the danger of mass unemployment and social upheaval. Of the two, the latter is both the greater danger and the most likely to occur. The less risky course is to implement a stabilization program and to make every effort to see that it is skillfully administered. Anticipating the "bootstrap gag he writes, "We pull ourselves down into depressions by our hat brims. The only way we ever get out is by lifting ourselves by our bootstraps.”

For the "Sound Money" boys he has this: "That money is soundest which contributes most to the economic well-being of the country.” Clearly such a stabilization board would handle urgent functions that no private bank could or would touch, but great care must be shown in the composition of such a board. A "pure” government body with only bureaucrats could wreck the economy through ignorance or corruption. A healthy input of private bankers, as in our present Federal Reserve System, seems mandatory.

Yale's Dr. John H.G. Pierson seems to me to accomplish a smooth cooperation between private and public interests in his plans for guaranteed full employment. His first book, FULL EMPLOYMENT was published by the Yale University Press in 1941. Since then he has been holding responsible positions in the national and international economy and has written three more books and a vast number of articles, some in professional journals (THE AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW), others for a wider public in the New York Times. Washington Post, Congressional Record etc. He has stuck with his FULL EMPLOYMENT aim as his basic theme. He was one who tried to strengthen the Employment Act when Congress was adopting it in 1946 and now he works for the completion of that act so it may achieve what was originally intended. The only condition he would impose on the money managers and other administrators concerned would be a definite level of employment, determined by Congress each year, based on the economic situation.

Not only is this feasible today, but it would lift our entire economy to a higher and more stable level and achieve more of what we wish our economy to achieve. There would be no ‘leveling-off’ of income but a general lift at all levels and the awkward matter of welfare would be reduced to manageable levels, as employment would be available to all who want jobs.

If the current money managers would not know how to help achieve this, able men waiting on the sidelines would step in; assuming, of course, that the citizenry would be sufficiently bright to elect the appropriate teams and not fall for the scare yarns of those who don't understand; w ho think their position is threatened or who have managed to collect or inherit a few dollars and from then on think the ‘system’ that made this bundle for them must be perfect and any change must have a sinister purpose.

There are even some who philosophize: “A little unemployment is good. It will teach those workers and their unions not to make ‘unreasonable demands’ and, so thinking, if they are in key positions they may cause unemployment not merely of the unskilled but, as now, of engineers, scientists, productive minds who contributed more toward the standards and the comforts lie enjoy than any of these self-appointed philosophers.

A few extracts from Pierson's writings will round out the picture. In the WASHINGTON POST May 14 1972 he quotes various politicians’ promises of full employment and adds, Without an explanation of how it can be accomplished, this does little more than widen the credibility gap. Once the focus shifts from merely reducing unemployment to guaranteeing full employment – without going against the grain of tradition — some new ground rules have to be observed. First, the approach must not threaten to have the public sector undermine private enterprise. A Government pledge to serve as employer of last resort needs to be supported by a further pledge that the market for the output of private produce will be sustained at a level high enough to maintain full business prosperity and preclude excessive reliance on the last-resort work program. This is one side of the equation. Yet a basic problem in our society today is its obvious need for greatly expanded services (and capital investments) in the public sector, to counterbalance our over-emphasis on the production of gadgets.

Both our cities and our backyard rural areas cry out for attention. Health, education, housing, anti-pollution, mass transport. Those expenditures, partly private, partly governmental, should be made for their own sake and clearly some initiative must come from Washington. In this sense the government should, as Michael Harrington put it, serve as employer of first — not last — resort.

There follows a detailed explanation' of what action must be taken to implement the plan or to make the Full Employment Act of 1946 work.
In the Congressional Record for March1, 1972, he writes:
A word is needed, about what really is at stake because the arguments over the full employment issue are often pitched on altogether too narrow ground. In briefest summary:

(1) Involuntary unemployment is destructive of personality.
(2) An assurance of continuous prosperity and full employment would weaken the antisocial (usually inflationary) compulsion of business, labor, farmer and other interest groups.
(3) Racial peace seems impossible in this country without universal job opportunity — the present lack of which is also partly responsible for the alienation of youth, not to speak of the helpless bitterness of many older people.
(4) Getting rid of poverty would be greatly simplified as a result of the cash-income effects of continuous full employment (more paid labor, less chance of exploiting labor by paying substandard wages).
(5) The extra wealth (GNP) which would be created under those full activity conditions — the staggering amounts now wasted through avoidable non-production is needed to help finance programs to meet the problems of the cities, backward rural areas, and the environment generally including again problems of poverty but not limited to them.
(6) Internationally, that extra wealth would confirm our ability to extend more generous aid to the world's less developed countries.
(7) More (and more fundamental) than that, confidence in our ability to maintain a market adequate for our own full employment prosperity through domestic policy would substantially deflate our fear of imports and exaggerated preoccupation with export markets and export surpluses; thus it would enable us to be a “good neighbor" that encourages and helps the less developed countries to shift "from aid to trade" as they become ready for it.

The NEW YORK TIMES, 23 January 1972:
To attain full employment is not enough; its continuation has to be assured… universal opportunity to have a bona fide life is what America is supposed to be all about … the vital amendment to the FULL EMPLOYMENT ACT (of 1946) would be this:
Congress would be obligated not to rest content with criticism but to establish final decisions on
(a) a full employment target
(b) a consumer spending target consistent with the recommended government spending program
(c) procedures for adjusting the job total up or down if the target was being missed
(d) similarly contingent methods for adjusting consumer spending.

From the overall economic standpoint guaranteed full employment would make recessions impossible and inflation highly unlikely, paradoxical as that may seem.
First, the employment and consumer spending guarantees would have ceilings as well as floors to restrain inflation from the side of demand and prevent the price-wage spiral. Secondly, because the Government was offering such guarantees, it would be in a position to persuade business, labor and farm leaders to agree to follow some reasonable set of guidelines in establishing their selling prices so that "cost push” inflation would be restrained too. This is why the outright guaranteeing of full employment would itself provide the best cure for inflation.

Dr. Pierson has purchased a piece of eroded, though in his view reclaimable land on the island of SYROS in Greece, where he plants trees, hoping to remake the land into what it was in Greece's heyday; the work of a generalist, symbol of the wholeness of his outlook.

Beside Dr. Wernette's and Dr. Pierson's approaches to continuous full employment we have the more widely known views and ways of Dr. Leon Keyserling, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors to President Truman. Dr. Keyserling now operates out of his Washington D.C. office, more alive than ever.

While there will always be periodic changes in business activity, it may be maintained at levels that are at all times satisfactory. While some may still dislike their jobs, it is possible, in view of our many urgent options, to offer a choice of several jobs to any applicant. The Kennedy Administration planned a supersurvey that would list resources, manpower and potentials and thus put the entire nation to work based, less on workers' previous experience, rather on being taught and trained at work in the new procedures of coming decades.

A slam-bang meeting, a talkaton of all the groups working on various parts of this jigsaw puzzle was planned when tragedy struck. These workers, who had toiled with financial nightmares in many corners of the world, scattered. The effort collapsed.

These repeated efforts to bring sense and reason into the chaos of our economy has been followed by keen observers abroad, not the least because the whole world's economy and happiness is so closely related to America's. Sir William Beveridge, one of England’s clearest and most dedicated thinkers, said on various occasions, "If the United States, possibly the only nation able to achieve full employment here and now — would actually accomplish this, she would thereby do more good than by all her aid and all her wars — not only for herself but for all of us.”

William Beveridge was a long-time leader of England's "Liberal Party" and to understand that term in its English version one needs perhaps to have lived in England. The English liberals do not base their views or their politics on past or present prophets or theories. They look directly, without noticeable bias, at the complex problems facing us.

This chapter on money, to be complete, needs one more face, a Britisher, A. de V. Leigh, General Secretary of the London Chamber of Commerce for thirty-five years. He became the behind-the-scenes leader of world trade and lifted the British Pound Sterling to world prominence.

During World War II he anonymously wrote "A TWENTIETH CENTURY ECONOMIC SYSTEM" from which is quoted his analysis of the then-existing money or banking system — why it so often failed:
When the effective demand for goods is increased so suddenly and largely that current production cannot be speeded up to keep pace with it, stocks begin to diminish and prices rise. The first impetus upward may be given by a relatively small increase in demand from the ultimate consumer or it may be due to psychological causes. The upward movement when once started is however carried forward by the urgent and largely increased the holder of stocks, whether manufacturer, wholesale or retail trader. His action is based upon fear or greed — the fear that if he does not buy now, prices will go higher and the hope that if he does buy now, prices will rise.., still higher and he will reap the benefit. The result of his action is, in fact, that of driving prices higher. When prices are falling he holds off the market in fear that if he buys now his competitors will later buy at lower prices and the hope that if he does hold off, prices will go lower. The effect of his holding off is to drive prices lower. This psychological factor could, it is submitted, be reversed and be made to work in favor of stability.
Under the proposed system traders would know that when prices fell, new purchasing power would speedily be put into the hands of ultimate consumers. The trader, therefore, would rush in to buy before this happened thus helping to bring prices and general business conditions back to stability without intervention. Similarly, when too much purchasing power has forced prices to rise and threatened inflation, the trader would know that action would be taken to contract currency and credit. He would therefore hold off the market waiting for this to happen and by so doing again possibly make official intervention unnecessary. The present psychology would be reversed, with beneficial results.

Money is a mysterious, largely invisible part of our environment. It has been shown how it can be made to serve us rather than haunt us. In addition money is an essential part of any and all aspects of our environment and how to turn it in our favor. But it is not as essential as often assumed, at least not yet. It is not yet time for any overall estimate of reversing the pollution trend. Not for a long time. First of all we must look at the choices facing us.

Letter to CoEvolution Quarterly

From his letter to Co-evolution Quarterly, printed in Fall 1979 under the heading OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion)
(In the late 70’s Shamcher often said that there would be war over oil in 20 years unless something was done to implement the ten ready technologies of alternative energy)

Dear Eds:
….Years ago the fallacy was clear and open – except that those who had worked so hard and now actually saw a think that worked, mechanically at least – were conned into lying, cheating and roaring to utilize their monsters. Three bold engineers of General Electric quit in protest – this should have aroused the nation – later 2,600 of our 10,000 nuclear technicians demanded a “moratorium” on all nuclear plants until research had been “completed.” Even this did not rouse the nation. What does it take? A football hero? Or an earthquake? Or ten more Three Mile Islands? The latter apart, the waste products alone should have made us stop.
Of the ten ready technologies wind, OTEC and Space satellites are ready now. OTEC alone could be built in five years. In fifteen we would have enough of these plants to stop all oil import. US OIL would still be used – no reason for the oil companies to panic about the “competition.” Although this is as far as most of them can see, or not see. Biomass, from land and sea, photovoltaic, tidal power, waves are also ready and some of these much cheaper than either oil, coal or nuclear. to produce 1,000 BTU of energy or heat, you need to spend over 3,000 BTU for either coal or oil energy, but only from 125 (says Lockheed) to 500 (says Richard Arlen Meyer of OTEC Liason) to produce your 1,000 BTU. OTEC can be built for half the cost of nukes – plus free fuel (the ocean) while nuke fuel rises all the time – say New Orleans Shipyards. “Competitive” says OTEC builder TRW. (My colleague here, Dr. Cal Herrmann, is deep into salinity research along with being an enthusiastic OTEC Man).
I trust you see – and will express – the dark side of this scenario: the government is geared for research – not implementation – by nature as well as by co-interest with narrow corporate views – that may kill us all in 20 years or so. Are we crazy? Yes, and dancers around the Golden Calf – dancing so crazily that we don’t even build the half-as-costly OTEC-Space-Wind-Biomass plants in half the time it takes to erect nuke monsters. Can you get these facts into the heads of your readers?
Thank you,
Bryn Beorse

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Seminars on Ignorance

Engineers, physicists, economists, psychologists achieve more, and with more zing, the more they are aware of their degree of ignorance — and of their potentials. I would like to conduct seminars to this effect, including current history and examples.
When my friend Henri Coanda, professor of physics at Sorbonne (Paris), flew his first jet into a barn door and just survived, Vannevar Bush, called our greatest scientist, pronounced, “Jet power will never be appreciably used, neither in military nor civilian aviation.” Professor Everett D. Howe and I built three plants on the principle of thermal difference between ocean surface water and deeper layers at University of California. Only plants of considerable size are economical and only if a few large cold water pipelines are used rather than several small ones, which would involve prohibitive friction losses. Reputable engineers, failing to acknowledge their ignorance of this, pronounce the method not feasible, having built plants with no regard for the mentioned condition. Professor Edgar Schieldrop of the Norwegian Institute of Technology used to say “Our so-called natural laws are crutches, to make us believe we understand what we don’t.” Einstein might have taught us. His theories are more advanced crutches.
In the field of economics, inability to see our ignorance causes tragedies. How many economists cling to the credo that employment and inflation must be ‘traded off’ according to that famous “Philip’s Curve?” (To cure inflation we must have unemployment!) this is rejected as flimsy fabrication by economists who have delved into this matter, Yale’s John H.G.Pierson, Harvard’s John Philip Wernette, the Truman administration’s Leon Keyserling, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations’ Seymour Harris. And there is John Maynard Keynes’ foreword to his famous book: “I have called this the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money … to contrast the character of my arguments…. with those of the classical theory upon which I was brought up…and which are applicable to a special case only ….the characteristics of which happen not to be those of the society in which we actually live…”
In the field of psychology Carl Jung warns, “If you really want to help your patient, forget all your science…”
The University of California considered helping their engineers by adding sociology, philosophy, psychology to the curriculum. Remarked Dr. Joe McCutchean, “I’d say it is a matter of attitude rather than adding subjects. The sociologists and psychologists who’d talk to our engineers would add their own limited syndrome.” He listed a number of teachers he thought had it, and those, he added, had not been exposed to the considered courses.
Professionals of all lines can be trained to acknowledge their ignorance — and potentials. This may be a first step to make us all generalists.
Bryn Beorse

Letter to Indian Youth Council

16 August 1978

National Indian Youth Council
201 Hermosa NE
Albuquerque N.M. 87108

Dear Friends:
The strip-mining you wrote me about is not merely a crime against you and all of us but is completely unnecessary and wasteful as a possible energy source. For thirty years now we have known — all who cared to know could or should have known — that we can get all the energy we need out of the Oceans. We built test plants here at the university of California in the fifties — as long as the funds lasted. Then for years, no funds became available, nobody in the Government was interested, it seemed — until the oil price in the seventies when suddenly the National Science Foundation seemed to wake up and ask for “more studies”. Seven major universities, a number of large firms replied with huge volumes, all of them saying: Oh yes, we have all that power available in the CEAN. The Government seems to know from what they do with one hand — again not knowing from what they do with or through another hand, agency or publication.

Use this in your court sessions if you like. I’d be delighted to testify. Your case may help the US Government to wake up. It’s about time.

1ncidentally, why don’t you have an Indian or at least one of Indian blood run for president? Even if he’s not elected the first time, we need this for a freshening of our handicapped government. He should run without money. Money so far has polluted every president, every administration. Newsmen would come running to publicize a bold man or woman who’d run without money. And he (she) might have a suggested cabinet, to show what kind of people and causes would be favored. Above all he (she) must have a program. A program of sound, not unsound energy development, of sound, not unsound economy. I read one Indian Chief’s answer to a US President who wanted to buy his land. “Buy my land? How can you buy the North Wind? How can you buy the spirit of my land?”

Bryn Beorse
Research Associate, Research Engineer Emeritus, University of California.


What is our environment?  Perhaps a better question: What is not? Our shirts, our pants and shoes are our environment.  Our homes, lawns and neighbors.  Our neighbor’s cat confronted by our own dog.  The trees and birds.  The paved streets.  The oozing cars.  The sputtering motor cycles.  A daughter’s friend who brings reefers and wants her to join and not be chicken.  The policeman on your beat.  The sheriff’s car driving by.  The fire engine.  The newspaper and tv; the school and the university.  The internal revenue.  The doc and the dentist.  The hospital and health insurance.  The wife; the mother; son; daughter.  The daughter’s baby.  The factory.  The gas station. The office.  The bed and clean sheets.  The laundromat.  The heater, the range, the refrigerator, and the air conditioner.  The car, the bus, the D-11 and the 747.  The air; the tap water; the swimming pool, the ocean.  Your body.  Your mind.  The neighborhood and the next town.  The country.  Spaceship Earth.  The moon, the sun, the galaxy, the universes.
All this gives us our comfort, our tension, our fear and irritation; our health and disease; our development and retardation; our joy and sorrow.  The art of ecology is to turn the environment to joy, not sorrow.  There are two points of attack: Changing the part of the environment that does not make us happy, and changing our own physical stamina to meet and cope with whatever environment is encountered.  To accept one of these paths and exclude the other would not do.  We need to do both, continually, while avoiding exaggerations.
from Planet Earth Demands