james morgan

Shawnee, KS, United States

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Comments & conversations

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james morgan
Posted about 1 year ago
Taylor Wilson: Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor
Smart kid, unfortuantely he may be too young to see the changes that were clear to William Faulkner around 70 years ago. I quote, "Though by 1925 we could already see the doom. Major de Spain and the rest of that old group, save your Cousin Ike and Boon, were gone now and (there was gravel now all the way from Jefferson to De Spain's flag stop) their inheritors switched off their automobile engines to the sound of axes and saws where a year ago there had been only the voices of the running hounds. Because Manfred de Spain was a banker, not a hunter like his father; he sold lease, land and timber and by 1940 (it was McCaslin's camp now) they--we--would load everything into pickup trucks and drive two hundred miles over paved highways to find enough wilderness to pitch tents in; though by 1980 the automobile will be as obsolete to reach wilderness with as the automobile will have made the wilderness it seeks. But perhaps they--you--will find wilderness on the back side of Mars or the moon, with maybe even bear and deer to run it."
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james morgan
Posted about 1 year ago
Michael Green: Why we should build wooden skyscrapers
Nadav - the dust is still a problem for the first responders who are showing illness due to the dust. It also greatly increases their risk of cancer. Further the end result is that toxic material is then put into landfills. This is not sustainable, the end result is a world filled with toxic garbage. Vicky - I'm a proponent of wood, not glue and wood. Unfortunately some of the "green" products are filled with glues, mostly variations of polyurethane which is really toxic stuff.
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james morgan
Posted about 1 year ago
Michael Green: Why we should build wooden skyscrapers
I am a big proponent of non toxic natural materials in architecture for the simple reason that if they do burn they don't release really harsh toxins into the air and end up being a pile of toxic waste at the end of their lifetime. Steel and concrete structures do burn, just look at the World Trade Center and the aftermath of toxic dust that affected the firefighters and other people working on the cleanup. If you're going to leave a legacy leave one that doesn't make a mess for future generations. A wooden structure can be thrown in the backyard and it will be eaten by insects and biodegrade, throw a concrete and steel structure in your backyard and it'll be there long after you are gone. That is not sustainable, it leaves the world a giant dump. Fire is an important issue, but I believe trashing our environment is an even greater risk.
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james morgan
Posted almost 2 years ago
Vicki Arroyo: Let's prepare for our new climate
I tried to watch this talk yesterday and today. It plays for a minute, then it cuts to a commercial featuring a giant truck and a bunch of manufacturing equipment. It's an IBM ad for machines that can detect when they need maintenance, so they had to use a guy who talks like a machine and overenunciates in some harsh accent to the point you worry he may need maintenance himself. It ends with, "Let's build a smarter planet." I'm thinking that's some rapid fire bait and switch that ends with machines being switched with the word planet. "Save the Machines!" That may be the idea of the talk; screw the earth, we've got to protect our houses. I don't know if you know, but when you turn on your air conditioner the inside of your house gets cooler, but the outdoor air temperature gets hotter, and soon you have to turn it up a bit more to make up the difference.
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james morgan
Posted about 2 years ago
Wolfgang Kessling: How to air-condition outdoor spaces
People are funny, they keep looking for something that will provide shade, and keep things cool, but the only way they can figure out how to do it is by building a bunch of stuff and generating a ton of greenhouse gasses and ultimately warming the planet and negating the purpose. I hate to say it TED, but we may not be able to engineer our way out of this. If only there was something...something that could provide shade, and at the same time store energy by absorbing CO2...if only we had the technology to build a tree. "Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree."
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james morgan
Posted over 2 years ago
Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy
"We're going to do it the old-fashioned, American way. We're going to invent our way out, working together.” Indeed old fashioned. Innovation and technology, for all their worth, are the very things that for the last 150 years have been driving pollution and causing global warming. This hunk of manufactured metal is not different. "emissions free" Sorry, but this is a bold lie. I guarantee that this battery produced a lot of emissions during manufacture, shipment, and not to mention all the energy he just spent marketing the product. Finally, what is the lifespan of these batteries, and what about their disposal? Personally, I this is the type of delusional thinking that is just more of the same. If you ask me conservation is the best way to stop pollution, and reduce further warming. But consumers don't want to be told not to consume, and businesses don't want to be told not to sell, so we hear talks like this to give us false hope in our failing culture.
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james morgan
Posted over 2 years ago
Tyrone Hayes + Penelope Jagessar Chaffer: The toxic baby
I really like this talk, although the excerpts from the movie were a little weird, and seemed to detract from the talk. I read a few of the comments below and it looks like people are having comment wars. Right now we are doing what is cheap and easy to survive and support a growing population, things have to be cheaper and easier than before. We could not possibly have such a population if we were still hand hewing logs for building and using hand tools to gather wheat and food. Heavy machinery, gas, oil, pesticides, prescription drugs, breathing machines, and a whole slew of new plastics and chemicals all helping increase the population and life span of people, for now. What we're seeing is that although they may do great things for today, they have repercussions on down the road. The world is now filling up with toxic plastic crap, the rivers, like my dear old Missouri are littered with plastics up and down the bank, and develop a dirty foam surface when it rains a lot, the oceans are over fished and polluted, and we're running out of our beloved oil. As we save more lives and increase our population these problems will only be aggravated. Plus if you follow it out our population can't get much bigger before we run out of space. So although the idea is never popular, I would say lowering the population would be a good thing. Besides I don't think we're going to have much choice in the matter.