EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – December 2017 Edition with data for October

A Guest Post by Islandboy



The EIA released the latest edition of their Electric Power Monthly on December 22nd, with data for October 2017. The table above shows the percentage contribution of the main fuel sources to two decimal places for the last two months and the year to date.

Nuclear generated 2078 Gwh (3%) less than it did in September but, the decrease in the total generation meant it’s percentage contribution actually increased slightly to 20.66% from 20.37% in September. A decrease in the absolute contribution from Solar from 7384 to 6810 GWh, translated to the percentage contribution decreasing slightly to 2.13% from 2.21% in September. It is worthy of note that the percentage contribution from solar was below 2% in January and February only and continues to be on target to end the year with a contribution of slightly more than 2%, in line with the increase in capacity seen over the last twelve months. The gap between the contribution from All Renewables and Nuclear narrowed slightly as All Renewables increased to 16.69% as opposed to Nuclear’s 20.66% contribution. The amount of electricity generated by Wind continued to increase, resulting in the percentage contribution increasing by 2.59%. The contribution from Hydro continued to decline in absolute terms but the decrease in total generation meant that, the percentage contribution remained essentially flat, declining by only 0.29%. The combined contribution from Wind and Solar increased to 9.89% from 7.38% in September and the contribution from Non-Hydro Renewables also increased to 11.3% from 8.63%. The contribution of zero emission and carbon neutral sources, that is, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, landfill gas and other biomass increased to 37.34% from 34.67% in August.

The graph below helps to illustrate how the changes in absolute production affect the percentage contribution from the various sources.


The graph below shows the total monthly generation at utility scale facilities by year versus the contribution from solar. The left hand scale is for the total generation, while the right hand scale is for solar output and has been deliberately set to exaggerate the solar output as a means of assessing it’s potential to make a meaningful contribution to the midsummer peak. This October the output from solar continued to decline heading into the winter solstice. However, with solar capacity growing rapidly it can be expected to generate significantly more over the approaching winter season than was generated last winter, repeating the pattern of the past few years.


The graph below shows the monthly capacity additions for 2017 to date. In October 27.3 percent of capacity additions were Natural Gas. Solar added 44 percent and and Wind contributed 30.4 percent of new capacity. Petroleum Liquids and Batteries each had relatively minor capacity additions of 0.13 and 0.25 percent respectively. In October the total capacity added was 791.6 MW the fourth lowest monthly figure for the year so far, the months with lower amounts being May, August and September.


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385 Responses to EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – December 2017 Edition with data for October

  1. George Kaplan says:

    This is a pretty good summary of the different influences on global average warming (104%) from human caused with a bit of natural cooling over the last fifty years). The arguments are probably pretty familiar to most here (my apologies if it was previously posted). I think CarbonBrief and SketicalScience are the best two climate blogs.


    What I’m having trouble with is how anyone thinks 2 degrees limit is even remotely possible. There looks like about 0.2 degrees to come from the normal delay (if the last ten years is repeated), but likely there will be more than that because of the albido feed back as sea ice continues to shrink. More than that; to achieve 2 degrees would require all the coal power stations to shut down, which would give about 0.4 degrees once the aerosols disappear. On top of the 1.2 degrees shown that gives probably 2 degrees assuming we stop all other emissions tomorrow and somehow the permafrost decides to help out and stop melting as well.

    • Hightrekker says:

      I agree, 2 is not possible. As a species, things will get interesting.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi George and Hightrekker,

        The model results for RCP4.5 (probably the most likely scenario) have warming of 2 to 2.5 C in the most recent IPCC report (AR5).

        RCP4.5 is consistent with my “high” fossil fuel scenarios, it is certainly possible that high fossil fuel prices after the fossil fuel peak in 2030 will result in a rapid move to non-fossil fuel energy and emissions may be close to the 1000 Gt of carbon that may keep us close to 2 C of warming.

        Hard to know for sure as there is much in climate science that needs more work. Clouds, aerosols and their interaction as well as permafrost and the carbon cycle (and no doubt many other areas).

        • oldfarmermac says:

          Hi George,

          I agree. To me it seems just about dead sure that two degrees more is just the beginning.

          The positive feedback effects are going to get a lot worse.

          My knowledge of these effects is only that of any body who has the basic sciences on his transcripts and tries to keep up, excepting land use, which is down my professional alley.

          It’s well known that at various times in the past large areas have been stripped of forest cover with most of the wood going for heat.

          You had to be rather prosperous if you lived within wagon hauling distance of any city in the Northeastern USA prior to coal taking over from wood, in order to have a wood lot. Otherwise, you couldn’t afford enough firewood to stay warm. Wood sold for such an attractive price relatively poor people with small farms went short on staying warm in order to have other things they could buy with the money.

          The land was thereafter mostly used for field crops, when this was possible, although yields were often very poor indeed, considering the soil, topography, and climate. So it was used for grass, and grazing animals, unless it was so rough and rocky and eroded it was left to go back to brambles, and eventually, forest, except that any tree that got big enough was soon cut again.

          The way it’s worked out so far is that land use changes seem to be about a wash, not having much effect either way, globally.

          The Northeastern USA lands that were cleared cleared for firewood have mostly gone back to forest, excepting land that was developed, because farming there has generally been a losing proposition, economically, since the coming of railroads, and especially since the coming of trucks. One man in Virginia with better weather, soil, and topography, could out produce two or three in NY state, the result being that cheap shipping put the typical small NY farmer out of business.

          This same thing has happened in other places, offsetting some of the effects of land being cleared for farming in more southerly areas. The total global effect seems to be more or less neutral, as per your link, which says “modest cooling”.


          “Changes in the way land is used alter the reflectivity of the Earth’s surface. For example, replacing a forest with a field will generally increase the amount of sunlight reflected back into space, particularly in snowy regions. The net climate effect of land-use changes since 1850 is a modest cooling.”

          It’s very easy to predict that this will change for the worse, over the next few decades. Open land covered with snow reflects more energy during the winter than forested land, true enough.

          But we’re going to be putting simply enormous amounts of land to the plow in places with milder winters in the near future. Not so much in northern climes, because that’s not where the people are, and that’s not where the remainder of the good soil is, etc.

          Bare land, or land with crops on it, but only part of the time, acts like more like a sponge than a mirror when it comes to reflecting solar energy, compared to forest and wetlands.

          And of course the hotter it gets, on average, the drier it’s likelier to get as well, on average, in places suited to agriculture, in the opinion of most people who study these matters. Farm land in temperate areas that’s frequently covered with snow during the winter NOW will have less snow cover as the climate warms.

          More positive feedback. Every where you look you see more positive feedback.

          Forests are superb buffers, because tree roots can pull up water during hot spells from depths inaccessible to any common crop.

          Bare dirt and drought stricken crops just bake in the sun, once the first foot or so of soil has dried out.

          • CameronB says:

            There have been lots of studies investigating how the economy (GDP) and farmland (crop yields) will change as the climate changes. Clearly some areas will see mass benefits, while others will experience the opposite.

            Here’s the change in GDP per capita by country by 2100, compared to a world without climate change; Burke, Hsiang, and Miguel (2015)

          • CameronB says:

            Closer to your points, these are changes to crop yields seen by the 2080 decade.

          • CameronB says:

            Lastly, this is how the credit agencies have scored vulnerability to climate change out to 2100 or so.

            • oldfarmermac says:

              Hi Cameron,

              Thanks for the links, I didn’t have any of these in my notes.

              Now for what it’s worth, I think all these guys know more than I do , but that’s still not a whole lot. We’re all guessing, because we don’t know how hot it will get, and we don’t know how much rain we will get.

              And they didn’t do their own graphics. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have shown the far northern reaches of Canada as
              producing greater agricultural yields because there aren’t any crops being grown there now. It may or may not be possible to grow SOMETHING up that way, but judging from all the photos I ‘ve ever seen, and what I’ve read, it will be very little, possibly some grass fed beef, that sort of thing.

              You can’t grow much on bed rock covered with a few inches of gravel and sand that can only be described as the geological precursor of a decent soil, never mind the weather, etc.

              And the Middle Atlantic area of the USA may not suffer much loss of productivity at all, depending on whether we continue to get about the same amount of rain, because we are well able to switch crops and grow stuff such as rice in Virginia which is now mostly grown in the deep south, etc.

              How the guys who wrote the paper on GDP per capita came up with their numbers is anybody’s guess. I think they were probably smoking some good stuff, but who knows what assumptions they used ?

              And so far as the work of credit agencies are concerned, they are for all intents and purposes wholly owned subsidiaries of governments, giant multinational banks and other giant corporations. Nobody who produces such reports is going to be around to be held accountable for them, lol.

              What sort of standard might they have used to describe the entire USA as “least vulnerable”? Compared to sub Saharan Africa, sure.

              Outfits such as Standard and Poor are almost literally guaranteed to produce precisely the results that suit the short term agendas of the people running things today, the owners and managers of these corporations and the people who hold high political offices.

              I have had a certain amount of experience, professionally, with such data over the years, as an educator and working farmer. It’s pretty much worthless. For Sky Daddy’s sake, they have everything north of the Mexican border as least vulnerable.

              Compare to the graphic predicting the impact on agricultural yields.

              But it’s all good. We need to see it all. Somebody is apt to be right, if only by accident, lol. Seeing it all helps us keep an open mind.

        • Dennis coyne says:

          For those that complain about 2100.

          In 2500 its about 2.5 to 3 C for RCP4.5.
          That’s about 1500 Pg C emissions from co2. If we keep it to 1200 Pg C we might be around 2 C in 2500 above preindustrial holocene avg global temperatures.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Using CMIP3 models (from AR4) in the MAGICC 6 emulator


            and the RCP4.5 scenario, along with calibration parameters from the following paper (table B3 on page 1453):


            Temperature does indeed level off from 2080 to 2400 CE. Note also the Holocene average pre-industrial temperature is closer to the 1961-1990 average than 1750-1900 (a cool period of the Holocene). So about 0.2 C would be deducted from chart below (which takes zero as the 1765 temperature). This scenario has 1500 Pg C emissions, 1200 Pg or less would be better.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Politicians and government agency heads will never admit they were wrong, if possible. So the two degree C planetary rise is like flag waving on a battlefield. Once that flag falls, which it definitely will, the politicians will quickly switch to some new flag and new story. No admission will ever be generally given. Most will quickly move to be heroes of the day, still doing too little and blame will fall on those who are dead or out of the scene, their inadequate predecessors.

      The reluctance to look at the full reality of the situation is so deeply ingrained in political, business, and even scientific circles that we may never do so, since to do so would admit failure to act in the face of an increasing planetary emergency and failure of our ability to protect ourselves
      The governments and businesses (plus most people) do not even react to the evidence of a sixth extinction which is mostly caused by our actions and is mostly caused by effects other than climate change (so far).
      It’s a sign of mass delusion to avoid facing the situation. It would mean admitting that most everything we have done so far that we call progress was just a way to tighten a noose around our collective necks. So instead as a species we fall into a form of mass psychosis, unable to deal with reality and therefor do not.

      But the bugs will have the last laugh, as some will survive while odds are we will not when most of them are gone.

      • Doug Leighton says:




        • Doug Leighton says:



          Researchers have resolved a major conflict in estimates of how much the Earth will warm in response to a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere — finding that the lower range of estimates offered by historical observations does not take into account long-term patterns of warming. The research finds a range of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius, even up to 6 degrees, may also be possible due to a doubling of CO2.

          Huybers and Proistosescu found that while the slow mode of warming contributes a great deal to the ultimate amount of global warming, it is barely present in present-day warming patterns. “Historical observations give us a lot of insight into how climate changes and are an important test of our climate models,” said Huybers, “but there is no perfect analogue for the changes that are coming.”


          • George Kaplan says:

            I’m getting fed up with this x degrees by the “end of the century” thing as in that Independent article. None of the curves are flattening off at 2100, most of them are still accelerating, so 4 degrees is just going to keep on increasing (not that there will be many sentient beings around to record it should we get that far).

            I’ve been reading “Dirt” about soil erosion. At current rates that will mostly be gone in 100 years. I thought the issue was mainly loss of nutrients but no, the soil actually disappears into the rivers and seas, so there’s no real chance of reversing or even living with the problem once it’s gone too far. I can’t see any way that we are going to respond to the coming problems except doubling down, and doubling again when that doesn’t work, on short term fixes that make this worse. I remember an old sci-fi book called Canticle for Leibowitz or something where after a nuclear war only a few monks remained to hold onto culture and civilization, and once things got a bit better all they did with the collective knowledge was go and invent nuclear bombs again.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              George — I agree. In fact I’ll go further and say that models with curves flattening off at 2100 (or wherever) are, in a sense, a mild form of climate change denial. Think feedback and speakers filling a hall with screaming noise.

              • George Kaplan says:

                Good point. Also if the higher temperature responses are being seen, then there is going to be much more feed back from permafrost melt and loss of efficiency in land and ocean sinks, and therefore much more chance of hitting the high RCPs for a given total remaining budget for release of fossil fuel CO2. When is that going to get some consideration?

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi George,

                  The models take account of most of the feedbacks, with permafrost being a glaring omission from many models, though many try to include carbon cycle feedbacks which may include permafrost melt (this is an area of active research). We have pretty good data on carbon emissions and feedbacks from 1850 to 2015 and the models reproduce the data fairly well over that period.

                  Eventually carbon emissions will peak and decline as fossil fuel resources deplete, this is the reason temperature increase slows, perhaps the geophysicists that develop these models are missing something, but I think they make an honest attempt to develop the best model they can.

                  So far there is little evidence that land and ocean sinks are becoming less able to take up carbon.

                  There is likely to be increased emissions from permafrost melt, much of the emissions from forest fires will be taken up by the land as forests re-grow. Whether any increased emissions by permafrost melt will offset reduced emissions as fossil fuels peak remains an open question.

                  We don’t really know what the emissions will be from permafrost melt (how quickly the process will occur), so it is a difficult modelling question.

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    So far there is little evidence that land and ocean sinks are becoming less able to take up carbon. – I think that is incorrect. There was a paper last year indicating soil had a significant change in CO2 uptake as it warmed.

                    much of the emissions from forest fires will be taken up by the land as forests re-grow. – I think that also is becoming open to question – the fires now are hot enough to sterilise the earth.

                    We don’t really know what the emissions will be from permafrost melt – but we do know they won’t be negative, and we do know it was one of the, if not the main, mechanism that cause glaciation and deglaciation changes to be so extreme.

                    We have pretty good data on carbon emissions and feedbacks from 1850 to 2015 and the models reproduce the data fairly well over that period. – and the best of the models are all tending to show more extreme sensitivities than previously thought.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi George,

                    You may have seen this already, but it gives permafrost estimates.


                    Under RCP8.5 (which is not realistic in my opinion) about 0.13 to 0.27 C of additional warming from permafrost emissions is expected (page 175). Carbon emissions by 2100 are expected to be about 100 Pg C from permafrost melt for RCP8.5 (or the A2 scenario for older studies).

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    (Might post twice)

                    Here we find that current evidence suggests a gradual and prolonged release of greenhouse gas emissions in a warming climate and present a research strategy with which to target poorly understood aspects of permafrost carbon dynamics.

                    i.e. they are saying they don’t know and more research is needed. I can’t reconcile ice ages having multi degree swings from natural emissions CO2 changes (mostly permafrost but maybe some methane as well) and they are considiering numbers to one hundredth of a degree. I think recent research is pointing to bigger releases (note I am not talking about “2100”, but the final equilibrium when all is said and done). I’m waiting for the definitive papers from the Norwegian group.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi George,

                    I am saying that the percentage of carbon releases sequestered by the Earth system show very little change from 1950 to 2015.

                    This is based on empirical evidence.

                    I agree that none of this is well understood.

                    Much of the drastic natural changes from 800,000 BP to 5000 BP were due to changes in Northern hemisphere insolation due to orbital changes in the earth’s path around the sun (Milankovitch cycles)leading to significant changes in the Earth’s albedo. Those changes occur over many thousands of years.

                    You really think fires are hotter now than in the past 800,000 years? Doubtful, I would say.

                    Over the 1870-2014 period 57% of cumulative CO2 emissions were sequestered by the Earth System (2003 Pg CO2 emitted by all sources and 1140 Pg sequestered with the remaining 863 Pg CO2 added to the atmosphere).

                    Clicking on chart will give a larger view.

              • Dennis coyne says:

                Hi Doug there are positive and negative feedbacks.

                I think the geophysicists do a fairly good job of modelling this.

                Note that we are not looking for a precise weather forecast for every point on the planet.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Doug,

            Many of the major models have a climate sensitivity of around 3 C,

            for GISS Model E2-R a simulation of the mid Pliocene Warm period was done which shows 2.25 C warming at atmospheric CO2 of 405 ppm, see paper below


            This implies and Earth System Sensitivity of 4.14C for a doubling of CO2.

            Note that it will take thousands of years for the Earth to reach a stable Earth system equilibrium (implies melting of ice sheets to some new equilibrium along with vegetation changes, reduced sea ice extent, and warming of the Ocean.

            A look at GISS models for 1850-2500 is covered in paper linked below.


            About 2.5 C of warming for RCP4.5 by 2100. 1.5C for RCP2.6 and maybe 2 C for something in between.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Before everyone gets confused by claims that it will take a long time to melt most of Greenland and part of Antarctica, I must point out that we cannot model against previous occurrence. It took tens of thousands of years for CO2 to rise from 180 to 270
              What we have now is a change from 270 to over 400 ppm CO2 in less than three centuries and we already have an equivalent doubling if we count the other GHG’s. They are acing now in full force! Not over a long slow gradient of time. Along with this goes the water vapor increase.
              Within the next two decades Arctic changes will have doubled the CO2 heating effect. Water vapor does not care what makes it warmer. Permafrost and shallow methane clathrate does not care what makes it warmer. Water bodies do not care what makes it warmer, they put our methane. Burning forests and dying soils put out lots of CO2.
              Might as well bring up the fact that warmer waters don’t hold as much CO2, so the sinks will be failing, are failing. One more fast feedback.

              Ice sheets are already showing multiple paths to melting and increased glacier flow with only a moderate amount of warming.

              Fact is we don’t know everything, but fact is almost all the feedbacks are positive and there are a lot more that I did not mention.
              As far as negative feedbacks, the dimming from aerosols is determined by IPCC as 1.5 watts/m2 global. That equates to a 1.2 C fast feedback (or more) and will then set other feedbacks further up the path.

              Of course if we do pay attention to history, CO2 rose with warming which means we don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of the CO2 diminishing in a warmer world.

              Also, each year the knowledge gained points to an even warmer world. So the knowledge gained in the next decade will probably point to even faster changes. But by then we might know where the Arctic stands and where humanity stands.
              Even though the action is relatively slow and disorganized (plus con-gamed) a decade can change a lot of things.

              • Doug Leighton says:

                Humans are not good at geologic time scales. It seems many see 2100 as some kind of logical (magical) cut-off when in fact current CO2 levels will be affecting ice, sea levels, etc. for thousands of years. And, the idea that even one feedback variable, say wildfires, has been realistically modeled 50 years hence is ridiculous.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  I think humans are not even good at one year time periods.
                  The real future marker is the late summer three month long Blue Ocean event in the Arctic. No going back from there. Everything changes even faster. (Well actually it started already but many people need a hammer to the head to get their attention).
                  I think that a lot of people, even those in the know, are waiting for the Arctic to freeze over again like it used to and the temps to drop back to “normal” in a few decades. As if this is some kind of ugly nightmare and is not real. I think the degree of disbelief is much higher than anyone is willing to admit. Much of the world is in denial. Even if they know the facts they tend to select the facts they can live with and therefor reduce the motivation for real action.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Doug,

                  Are models perfect? Of course not. The argument that we don’t know what will happen is what is used by climate change skeptics to argue that we should continue on our current path.

                  I tend to reject such arguments.

                  If one is going to argue that the models are no good, then those opposing any change use that argument against a call for change.

                  I would argue the mainstream science is pretty good. Not perfect, but good enough to know something should be done.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Gone fishing,

                Doubled CO2 results in an increase in forcing of about 3.7 W/m2, with a transient climate response of about 1.8 C, the extra 1.2 C takes about 400 years as the ocean takes a long time to warm up. So 1.5/3.7=0.405 times 1.8 C would give 0.73 C of warming if the 1.5 C estimate is correct.

                I checked Chapter 8 of WG1 AR5, Table 8.6 page 696
                total aerosols are -0.9 W/m2 so eliminating aerosols would result in about 0.9/3.7=0.243 times 1.8 C or 0.43C of warming, note that biofuel burning and forest fires would continue so the 0.43 C (which includes all aerosols and dust including those from forest fires and biofuel burning) would be an upper limit.

                Perhaps ice sheets will melt rapidly, I don’t think anyone knows.

                On CO2 not diminishing in a warmer World, at one point in the Pliocene atmospheric CO2 was 405 ppm and it was warmer, later it was cooler with atmospheric CO2 as low as 180 ppm. That is history. Also we have the history from 800,000 BP to now where atmospheric CO2 fluctuated between 180 ppm and 300 ppm over about 7 cycles of about 110,000 years each.

                It takes some time, but CO2 in the atmosphere can fall over thousands of years, my guess is that atmospheric CO2 will peak at around 508 ppm (with about 1100 Pg of total carbon emissions) and without any effort to increase the rate of CO2 uptake by artificial means the atmospheric CO2 would take about 26,100 years to fall to 400 ppm.

                Possibly methods to produce calcium carbonate could be used to reduce atmospheric CO2 more quickly, or regrowing forests and different farming methods to reduce carbon release from soil could be devised. Biofuel burning with carbon sequestration is another option.

                The initial step is to reduce carbon emissions to zero, then figure out where to go from there.

                I certainly think it would be best to reduce fossil fuel use as quickly as possible, peak fossil fuels and the high prices that will result will help to speed the process.

                Better public policy (like that in some European nations) would also help.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  I got the values from the IPCC graph of radiative forcing values.
                  Apparently the models have been having many problems simulating actual ground measurements of dimming, up to a magnitude smaller in the models.

                  “It takes some time, but CO2 in the atmosphere can fall over thousands of years…”
                  Yes, as glaciations start and the world chills the CO2 falls. That will not happen for one hundred thousand years if then. The fall would only happen if there are no other sources of CO2 or methane and the sinks were operating efficiently.

                  “On CO2 not diminishing in a warmer World, at one point in the Pliocene atmospheric CO2 was 405 ppm and it was warmer, later it was cooler with atmospheric CO2 as low as 180 ppm. That is history. Also we have the history from 800,000 BP to now where atmospheric CO2 fluctuated between 180 ppm and 300 ppm over about 7 cycles of about 110,000 years each.”

                  Sure, the Pliocene was 3 million years long and it took that long for the temperature to fall. Rate right now is nearly 100 times faster than during glaciation records. Yes again, during cooler periods the CO2 falls, during warmer it rises. The fact is that for hundreds of millions of years the CO2 stayed high. If, as in the Pliocene the CO2 takes millions of years to fall the earth will be in a new climate period.

                  “Also we have the history from 800,000 BP to now where atmospheric CO2 fluctuated between 180 ppm and 300 ppm over about 7 cycles of about 110,000 years each.”
                  Please, CO2 is a follower during glaciations not a driver. The major drivers are changes in insolation up to 100 w/m2 due to orbital changes and albedo changes. The CO2 is released from land and ocean as the ice recedes and falls as the land is covered with ice and the colder oceans absorb more CO2. Water vapor changes with the temperature and helps drive the melting and water vapor is reduced as the temperature falls.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    The fact remains that CO2 does not remain high forever, it is slowly absorbed by the Earth system. Yes high Northern hemisphere insolation initiates melting of ice sheets during longer warmer summers, reducing albedo which leads to warming, higher water vapor and atmospheric CO2 levels. The point is for the Earth as a whole the change in solar insolation planetwide is small, how does the cooling occur?

                    We have the situation of a “warmer world” and higher atmospheric CO2, you seemed to imply by the following quote that CO2 will not decrease contrary to evidence from the past.

                    we don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of the CO2 diminishing in a warmer world.

                    I don’t get what you mean based on what we know about 800,000 BP to 8000 BP, can you explain?

                    I propose that after about 100,000 years atmospheric CO2 may be back to about 300 ppm, based on past history, after 200,000 years it might be back to 180 ppm. We might as well save some fossil fuel so in 100,000 to 200,000 years we can burn small amounts to keep the Earth warm. 🙂

                    Can you explain how the land gets covered with ice and the ocean cools when the CO2 level is 280 ppm. I think your explanation as the Earth warms is correct, but your explanation for why CO2 levels are reduced seems to be backwards.

                    It gets cool because the atmospheric CO2 levels fall rather than the reverse, yes albedo is important, but as the past 10,000 years suggests we don’t see large Northern hemisphere ice sheets unless CO2 levels fall.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Dennis asked “The point is for the Earth as a whole the change in solar insolation planetwide is small, how does the cooling occur?”

                    It’s simple Dennis and has been explained thoroughly many times, many places.
                    First one needs to remember the asymmetrical continental area of the earth. You know, the place where snow and ice form ice sheets. Next one has to stop looking at averages and look at regions. The regional variation of insolation due to orbital perturbations is 125 w/m2 maximum north-south.
                    Also one has to look at the actual warming that CO2 provides, not many w/m2, certainly nowhere near 125 w/m2 or even 50. So the CO2 is a minor feature in the heating and cooling of the planet.
                    Next, once the Arctic cools the ice sheet tends to stay all summer, cooling the planet further through albedo. That influences snow further south to become longer than seasonal, Greenland builds more ice becoming higher and cooler. More snow builds increasing the albedo, carbon gets frozen and buried in the increasing permafrost The colder ocean water acts as a greater carbon sink. Water vapor levels fall in colder regions.
                    This then proceeds until advancing snow lines followed by permanent glaciers proceed south chilling the planet further.

                    Meanwhile, Antarctica gets colder upwelling water in the sea around it and is not as affected by increased sunlight as the northern regions, being smaller and much higher in altitude. It is not the valve controlling glaciation on the planet, merely the recipient.

                    Cold ocean water, trapped carbon under the ice, huge areas reflecting more sunlight, vast areas that rise in altitude (colder) as glaciers cover them. A recipe for long term cooling of the planet. When the major kicker of high insolation in the north persists for thousands of years.

                    Luckily it takes a lot to push us into major glaciation events, not so much to push the earth warmer. Not at this point in time. This is almost the perfect time to have CO2 act as a lever to push the planet into a long warm stage.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Dennis said” The fact remains that CO2 does not remain high forever, it is slowly absorbed by the Earth system.”

                    That “fact” leads to zero CO2. In reality the Earth has had widely varying amounts of CO2 in it’s history from thousands of ppm down to about 150 ppm.
                    This happens because there are sources of CO2 as well as sinks. The rising mantle near plate edges brings up lots of CO2 over time. Stored carbon in the oceans, ocean bottoms, and land also occasionally add to the carbon system.
                    Every time the Earth has lost carbon in the atmosphere it eventually rises again. These changes take lots of time so cold and hot periods occur on earth.
                    The latest small variations (ice age period) are mostly due to storage and release within the system as it changes temperature. I don’t see any absolute trend downward during the ice age but over many millions of years there has been a reduction of atmospheric carbon.
                    Maybe volcanism is slowing over geologic time.
                    Anyway, we seem to have cured the problem and will soon be releasing vast stores of carbon in the future. Back to the past we go. 🙂

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,

                    That paper (Wild 2009)is good, but dated. Since 2009 there are newer Global climate models from AR5, that paper was looking at an earlier generation of models.
                    I would think you would find more up to date information in AR5, Chapter 7 (Fig 7.19, p 619)
                    where aerosol cloud forcing from 1750-2005 has an ERF of about -0.9+/-0.5 W/m2 for the 17% to 83% confidence interval (expert judgement.)

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    If you want to get up to date and start dealing with reality instead of models, read “A Farewell to Ice”.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,

                    The Working group 1 AR5 works for me,
                    the opinion of a single scientist sometimes is the correct one, but I think the odds of the collective opinion of thousands of scientific experts being incorrect is rather low.

                    I am not as bold as you in thinking I know more than mainstream climate science, I do think the fossil fuel assumptions behind scenarios such as RCP8.5 are spurious and there is much peer reviewed science that supports this view.

                    MillerRG, SorrellSR.2014 Thefutureofoilsupply.Phil.Trans.R.Soc.A 372:20130179. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2013.0179


                    My thoughts on the article above at


                    The Mohr et al 2015 best guess estimate, modified by deducting Kerogen and Gas hydrate output (which I believe are both unlikely) leads to about 1300 Pg carbon (as CO2) from fossil fuel emissions, if we assume the RCP4.5 level of land use change emissions (200 Pg C) then the total is 1500 Pg C (5500 Pg CO2) anthropogenic emissions.

              • alimbiquated says:

                Probably the best bet is reforesting the planet. It’s cheap, and there is a lot more carbon in topsoil than the atmosphere.

              • Dennis coyne says:

                Overall the claim that the Earth system sinks are failing to sequester Carbon dioxide emissions is not supported by empirical evidence.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Note empirical evidence is reality. Mainstream science tends to try to give best estimates rather than worst case scenarios.

                  The uncertainty in our understanding suggests we should try to minimize anthropogenic influence on the Earth system, because there is a big difference between a climate sensitivity of 4 C and 2.5 C, and so far we have failed to narrow the estimate by much.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Policy documents try to give best estimates. Scientific documents give ranges and confidence levels.

                    I don’t know where you went to school but when was studying physics we were taught to look at boundary values. We were also taught to look at all significant variables.

                    Your claim that I am looking at worst case scenarios is far from reality. I am merely trying to include some of the significant variables in my estimations (and the findings of climate scientists). I am nowhere near the upper boundary or as you call it worst case (emotional statement) of the system.
                    If you think a 4C or 5C change is unusual on this planet, oh well. It’s actually normal. It just usually takes a lot longer. But we have produced a volcanic gas simulation on the planet that is magnitudes faster than natural volcanic eruptions. So one should not be too surprised by temperature changes quickly changing and staying within normal limits.

                    Like I said before we will know within a decade how things are actually going. No sense belaboring the details, nature will provide clear indications.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    What is your estimate for Avogadro’s number? How about the Gravitational constant? Boltzmann’s constant, the speed of light.

                    Best guess, is just the median estimate, it has about a 50% probability of being too high or too low.

                    1.5 to 4.5 C is the 95% confidence interval for climate sensitivity.

                    I am not trying to estimate the temperature one million or 500 million years in the future.

                    For the past 3 million years Global average temperatures have been between 11 and 17 C. The science suggests that the likely warming in 2300 CE for the RCP4.5 scenario with 1500 Pg of carbon emissions (in the form of carbon dioxide) is about 1.5 to 3.5 C (95% confidence interval) above the 1986-2005 global mean average temperature (which is about 0.1 C above the Holocene average temperature from 11,290 BP and 1700 CE, Marcott et al 2013). The model ensemble mean is 2.5 C above the 1986-2005 mean Global average temperature.

                    I think we should strive for 800 Pg of carbon emissions, which could potentially be accomplished with a fast energy transition away from fossil fuel.

                    That is based on fig 12.5 on page 1054 of AR5WG1, Chapter 12.

      • Boomer II says:

        “The reluctance to look at the full reality of the situation is so deeply ingrained in political, business, and even scientific circles that we may never do so, since to do so would admit failure to act in the face of an increasing planetary emergency and failure of our ability to protect ourselves.”

        I think with Trump it is more than being unwilling to admit failure. I don’t think he has the attention span or the processing capabilities to think beyond a few months. He doesn’t have the skills to make much of a plan of action.

        • chilyb says:

          apparently he can barely read.

          President Donald Trump doesn’t do much reading, Michael Wolff reported in his book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which was adapted for New York Magazine on Wednesday.

          According to former deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, Trump’s ability to carry out his plans seemed questionable, hindered largely by a lack of skills—including reading comprehension.

          “Here, arguably, was the central issue of the Trump presidency, informing every aspect of Trumpian policy and leadership: He didn’t process information in any conventional sense,” Wolff wrote. “He didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-­literate.”

    • Tom J. says:

      There are many temperature measuring stations now in urban areas where such did not exist in the past thus introducing an urban heat island effect into measurements. Other stations have had asphalt parking lots, air conditioners or other unnatural heat sources placed nearby. Beyond that there is simply an exponentially greater quantity of stations now compared to decades past much less over a century back in history. The point being, there are many factors making it near impossible to accurately compare current temperature measurements to those from the past.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Tom,




        From page 5 of the paper linked above under Discussion:

        We observe the opposite of an urban heating effect over the period 1950 to 2010, with a slope of -0.10 ± 0.24°C/100yr (2σ error) in the Berkeley Earth global land temperature average. The confidence interval is consistent with a zero urban heating effect, and at most a small urban heating effect (less than 0.14°C/100yr, with 95% confidence) on the scale of the observed warming (1.9 ± 0.1°C/100 yr since 1950 in the land average from Figure 5A).

      • George Kaplan says:

        All that you say was considered before the final Berkeley results given above were issued (that study was set up deliberately to prove that the warming measurements were biased and actually showed the exact opposite – i.e. that the warming is actually even more closely correlated with GHG emissions than previously thought).Your conclusion is completely wrong.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        The point being, there are many factors making it near impossible to accurately compare current temperature measurements to those from the past.

        Jesus Fucking H Christ!! Not these same old tired canards over and over again! Could you trolls at least try to come up with something new and entertaining every now and then?


    • Fred Magyar says:

      2°C has always been a purely fictional political limit dreamed up by pseudo scientific Neoliberal economists who are allowed to guide the work of the IPCCs third working group in such a way as to water down the conclusions of the scientists and make them more palatable in the executive summaries given to policy makers.

      The current scientific consensus is coming together more along the lines that 1.5°C is when bad things really start to happen and when tipping points are crossed and self reinforcing feedback loops are set in motion. Too bad that we are probably already about there right now.

      It seems that based on our continued fossil fuel use and a BAU trajectory into the foreseeable future, we will be lucky if we can stay under 2.5°C to 3°C. With known tipping points and feedbacks we might hit 5°C by the end of the century if not sooner. And Good Luck with that!


      • Doug Leighton says:

        If weather forecasters can’t accurately tell you when the sun will be shining, how can we hope to predict the climate in 50 years? In 100 years? The short answer is, models bedamned, we can’t.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Fred,

        With likely fossil fuel resources estimates (between my low and high estimates for fossil fuel), 5C by 2100 is highly unlikely.

        Keep in mind that RCP4.5 is approximately equal to my high fossil fuel scenario (which both George Kaplan and Doug Leighton have suggested is much higher than realistic especially for oil and natural gas). Can you find some peer reviewed literature that suggests 5C of warming for the RCP4.5 scenario is likely by 2100?

        I agree on the 2.5 C estimate for 2100 if there is no progress made on reducing fossil fuel use, but I thing resource limits and high fossil fuel prices after 2030 makes it quite unlikely that BAU can continue for fossil fuel use.

        Note that the 5C scenarios often rely on RCP8. which has about 5000 Pg of Carbon emissions or roughly 3 times more emissions than my high fossil fuel scenario.

        • George Kaplan says:

          which both George Kaplan and Doug Leighton have suggested is much higher than realistic especially for oil and natural gas – when did I say that?

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi George,

            Generally I have the impression that you believe the oil resource is severely limited, is that incorrect?

            I assumed that you believed the same about natural gas, is that the part that is wrong, or do you not think either oil and gas output are likely peak before 2030?

            What is your view? Do you have an estimate of C+C URR and natural Gas URR.

            For oil I expect 3400 Gboe (including NGL of 300 Gboe), for natural gas I expect the World URR to be 13,000 to 26,000 TCF with a best guess of 19,000 TCF.


            • George Kaplan says:

              1) I won’t speak for Doug but your main comment was that I had “suggested” that RCP4.5 was much higher than realistic. I have done no such thing. To assume my opinion on oil and gas recovery and then extend it to cover possible emissions scenarios is an approach similar to the worse kind of denier strawman tactics.
              2) I don’t think the URRs for the fossil fuels will be known until the last bit is extracted. For oil (and a bit gas) I think we can at best look about 25 years ahead. A relatively fast near term decline followed by a long tail could give a high URR. A rapid collapse or simplification of civilization or a deus ex machine technology revolution would give a low URR.
              3) Your comments often consider that we still don’t know a lot, but then you will give a very precise, single number for a posited parameter. I don’t like to look at things like that; for one thing you can get too attached to your number and not respond properly to changing information. I think the way to handle uncertainty is to consider a range and apply some kind of probabilistic reasoning.
              4) I don’t think the RCPs are always relevant, and especially not the exact proportion of each source of emissions. In terms of the final global impact the really important number is the peak CO2eq, whenever it may be achieved.
              5) I think concentrating on the RCP is like quoting 2100 CO2 numbers – it reflects are primary concern, which is what is going to impact us personally, i.e. our children and grandchildren? – fuck’em, they don’t respect us anyway and their music is crap (I don’t really mean that, except about the music of course).
              6) That said, from memory, three of the RCPs had pretty much the same oil and gas quantities, so arguing the minutiae of their URRs doesn’t do much to differentiate them.
              7) In terms of considering future possibilities the RCPs do give a spread of scenarios though it is unfortunate that current trends are outside their range (i.e. above RCP8.5), and RCP2.6 looks increasingly like an irrelevant outlier. They are definitely to be preferred to an approach of trying to predict exact scenarios with all the feedbacks, as the IPCC tried originally.
              8) I think if we do start to fail as a civilization, possibly initiated by energy shortages and climate related crop failures, then the most likely scenario is we will simply rape the land with no consideration of long term consequences. That means in-situ coal gasification and possible deep robotic mining; short term deforestation through fires, droughts and land clearances with eventual destruction of most soil and vegetation (i.e. loss of land based sinks); migration into northern areas with eventual melt of all permafrost; etc. Coupled with that nature may have a few surprises from free methane or hydrate releases based on what the latest research in Norway, Russia and Alaska is showing plus probably bad impacts from the responses of the ocean circulation and chemistry. The eventual CO2 release would be well above RCP4.5 in such a scenario. But that is just one possibility, if you don’t like it I have others.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi George,

                I was talking about my fossil fuel scenarios which give a range of scenarios.

                Ok. I guess you believe the fossil fuel cornucopians which would be consistent with RCP8.5, I reject that position as unrealistic. My position is that fossil fuel resources are limited and it is unlikely that more will be extracted than RCP4.5.

                The high fossil fuel scenarios I have constructed (where I have a low medium and high URR for each fossil fuel based in part on research by Steve Mohr) are consistent with RCP4.5.

                Generally it has seemed in the past you thought my “medium projections” were too optimistic.

                So for C+C alone (not including NGL) my estimates range from 3000 Gb to 3600 Gb, for comparison Jean Laherrere estimates about 2700 Gb and many claim even 2400 Gb would be too optimistic (Ron Patterson perhaps).

                For coal I also have a range of estimates from 800 Gt to 1300 Gt and I gave the NG estimates earlier (13,000 to 26,000 TCF with a medium estimate of 19,000 TCF).

                Many, though perhaps not you have thought even my medium scenarios were wildly optimistic.

                My point is that my most optimistic scenarios (highest total fossil fuel estimates) is very similar to RCP4.5.

              • George Kaplan says:

                You seem not to have read anything I wrote so I think I’ll leave it at that.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi George,

                  No I read it.

                  So you believe RCP4.5 is either realistic or too low and that perhaps RCP8.5 may be more realistic (or too low?)or perhaps that fossil fuel output will be between those.

                  I do not think we should concern ourselves with unlikely scenarios and believe that RCP8.5 (with about 4800 Pg of carbon emissions) is not consistent with peak fossil fuels (no peak before 2100 in that scenario, there is a plateau from 2080 to 2130 at output levels about 2.8 times current levels.

                  I will leave it there.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi George,

                Sorry for not replying adequately to all of your points earlier.

                On point one, I simply interpreted many of your comments as indicating a low expectation for oil and natural gas output. Let’s take my low scenarios for oil (3000 Gb) and natural gas (13,000 TCF), this would be about 584 Pg of carbon emissions, to get the rest of the RCP8.5 fossil fuel emissions we would need about 4200 Pg of carbon emissions from coal which would require about 8191 Gt of coal (about 370 Gt have been extracted from 1800-2016), World reserves are 1140 Gt and for RCP8.5 to be met with low oil and gas resources would require 8190-370=7820 Gt of coal resources, rather than the 1140 Gt currently reported. Not sure we can expect to find the other 6700 Gt or how feasible coal gasificsation will be, there are likely to be more economical ways to acquire energy.

                For point 2, I agree when can only estimate URR, my estimates are based on a literature review of what fossil fuel experts expect will be extracted see


                On point three, I try to give an estimate, clearly there is always uncertainty, for brevity I leave out the range. I expect about an 80% probability that C+C URR will be between 3000 and 3700 Gb, natural gas 13,000 to 26000 TCF and coal 800 to 1300 Gt.

                On point 4, I agree, I just think we have a better handle on carbon dioxide and that constitutes the bulk of the increase in radiative forcing over the past 30 years or so. So I focus on cumulative emissions of carbon in carbon dioxide.

                For point 5, 2100 is just a convenient marking point. A scenario with 1100 Gt of carbon emissions (1800-2500)which I believe is reasonable (or at least possible), using a CMIP3 carbon model (median of 9 models) suggests about 460 ppm in 2500 and a peak of about 510 ppm in 2079. A CO2 equivalent model would be beyond my expertise.

                On point 6, I agree it is total fossil fuel carbon emissions which is of importance. RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 tend to have the most model runs, the others are less important (and usually the model runs end at 2100 for the others) RCP4.5 has 1290 Pg of C emissions from fossil fuel from 1800 to 2200 and RCP8.5 has 4770 Pg of C emissions from fossil fuel from 1800 to 2200. I would not call a factor of 3.7 a minute difference. 🙂

                On point 7, the actual fossil fuel emissions estimated by the Global Carbon Budget were below the RCP8.5 scenario in 2016, most years after 2005 the actual emissions were above the RCP8.5 scenario, mostly due to higher land use change emissions rather than fossil fuel emissions, in 2016 emissions were still above the RCP4.5 level and at about the 2024 level of the RCP4.5 scenario which peaks in 2040.

                On point 8, I agree in a collapse scenario there will be little concern for the environment, though emissions are more likely to decrease due to lower economic activity. I am not suggesting that unrealistic scenarios could not be invented where RCP4.5 is too low, if every bad possible outcome that we think of occurs, then no doubt things will be very bad indeed. I would put the probability at less than 1% that this scenario or something as bad or worse will occur.

                My objective is to try to avoid collapse and get humanity on a more sustainable path. Limited fossil fuels are a problem which should be addressed by moving to wind, solar, hydro, and, if necessary, nuclear power.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Can you find some peer reviewed literature that suggests 5C of warming for the RCP4.5 scenario is likely by 2100?

          For starters we already seem to be well along on an RCP8.5 scenario pathway so it may already be a moot question.

          The main issue I have with RCP 4.5 scenario is that it assumes negative emissions technology will be developed. And that it will work flawlessly at immense scale.

          A lot of serious people are coming out of the closet and starting to say this is wishful thinking, or worse.

          Survivable IPCC projections based on science fiction – reality is far worse
          Only six and a half minute video.

          But if you start digging into what might happen with self reinforcing feedback loops things start to get really dicey.

          Interesting post on sea level rise under RCP2.6 from back in 2013 over at RealClimate.


          Future sea-level rise

          For an unmitigated future rise in emissions (RCP8.5), IPCC now expects between a half metre and a metre of sea-level rise by the end of this century. The best estimate here is 74 cm.

          On the low end, the range for the RCP2.6 scenario is 28-61 cm rise by 2100, with a best estimate of 44 cm. Now that is very remarkable, given that this is a scenario with drastic emissions reductions starting in a few years from now, with the world reaching zero emissions by 2070 and after that succeeding in active carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. Even so, the expected sea-level rise will be almost three times as large as that experienced over the 20th Century (17 cm). This reflects the large inertia in the sea-level response – it is very difficult to make sea-level rise slow down again once it has been initiated. This inertia is also the reason for the relatively small difference in sea-level rise by 2100 between the highest and lowest emissions scenario (the ranges even overlap) – the major difference will only be seen in the 22nd century.

          Now keep in mind that RCP2.6 is a scenario that is based on non existent negative emissions geoengineering technology.

          Kevin Anderson: Paris, climate & surrealism: how numbers reveal another reality
          53 minutes long

          You have any pixie dust?!

          • Hightrekker says:

            Now keep in mind that RCP2.6 is a scenario that is based on non existent negative emissions geoengineering technology.

            Yea, we can count on something that doesn’t exist– always a good plan!

          • GoneFishing says:

            Yeah, the IPCC models and scenarios are imaginary buckets that we are supposed to bail CO2 with over centuries. Since they also do not adequately cover natural feedbacks, they are mostly just paper at this point. I think things will improve but by the time they do, the bowling ball will be over the top rolling downhill.

            This was published over a year ago.

            When scientists say “negative emissions” or “carbon sequestration,” they don’t mean something like installing an air filter in an AC unit. The kind of negative emissions that appear most often in the IPCC reports, bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage, or BECCS, requires dedicating land specifically to growing trees and other plants, which trap carbon dioxide inside them. You then strip those trees and plants from the land, burn them, and capture the carbon emitted from burning them. That CO2 is then (theoretically) piped down underground into airtight reservoirs


            This whole system of BECCS sounds like just one more way to fight nature and turn the Earth into a machine that serves our mad hatter party we call civilization.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Fred and Gonefishing,

              Only RCP2.6 has negative emissions, these are simply scenarios for fossil fuel emissions and assumed land use change levels fed into models for consistency. My point is that RCP4.5 is the most realistic scenario based on the best estimates of fossil fuel resources. RCP8.5 requires about 3 times more fossil fuel than is likely to be extracted.

              In 2080 carbon emissions are almost 3 times higher than 2010 levels and remain at that level for 50 years.

              Does that seem reasonable?

              • GoneFishing says:

                Depends on the molecules that contain the carbon, the sources of the carbon and whether the model is anywhere near reality. Fossil fuels are becoming of less and less concern as each day proceeds.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  So your claim is that the mainstream climate models are nowhere near reality?

                  Based on what peer reviewed research?

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  The RCP8.5 scenario assumes very high fossil fuel emissions, these carbon atoms would be in carbon dioxide molecules. So these are the scenario’s projection of carbon in carbon dioxide created in the combustion of fossil fuel. For RCP4.5 it is 1290 Pg of C in CO2 from 1800 to 2200 and for RCP8.5 it is 4770 Pg C in CO2 from 1800 to 2200.

                  So in short the RCP8.5 scenario has cumulative carbon dioxide emissions that are nearly 4 times higher than an optimistic (or high) fossil fuel scenario.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Dennis the RCP’s are just limited scenarios with a set of socioeconomic and technological guesses about the future of mankind’s effects upon earth system. If you believe they are reality that is your choice.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,

                    No I don’t expect they will reflect the future exactly, they are simply a modelling input.

                    I especially would agree that RCP8.5 does not reflect the future. RCP4.5 may be approximately correct if one assumes very minor or no attempts at reducing fossil fuel use, fossil fuel us will decrease in any case due to depletion.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,

                    I think I misunderstood your comment.

                    Where you said “model” nowhere near reality, you may have meant “scenario”.

                    I think of the RCPs as emissions “scenarios” that are used as inputs to Global Climate “Models”.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Dennis, I meant what I said.
                    “Yeah, the IPCC models and scenarios are imaginary buckets that we are supposed to bail CO2 with over centuries. Since they also do not adequately cover natural feedbacks, they are mostly just paper at this point. I think things will improve but by the time they do, the bowling ball will be over the top rolling downhill. “

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,

                    Which natural feedbacks do they not adequately cover?

                    The fact is we don’t really know very well what will happen with ice sheets and permafrost, so perhaps you mean those.

                    For what is included in the GISS Model E2 read some of the papers at the page below:


                    The RCPs are emissions scenarios based on guesses about the future (as the future is unknown so by definition any scenario is a guess), the RCP4.5 scenario happens to coincide with my “high” fossil fuel scenarios (as far as total carbon dioxide emissions) so is likely to be a worst case scenario as far as emissions.

                    The models are independent of the emissions scenarios and simply based on science, the RCP scenarios are just an input to the models based on educated guesses about future emissions.

                    There is no “reality” of the future.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                My point is that RCP4.5 is the most realistic scenario based on the best estimates of fossil fuel resources.

                My point is that the RCP4.5 most definitely does rely on negative emissions technology such as BECCS and has that built into the assumptions on which the model is based. Furthermore it assumes a target level of atmospheric CO2 by 2100 to reach an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 526 ppm in 2100.

                To be clear we are pretty much up shit’s creek at the current level of 400 ppm CO2 and we are not going to pull any of that out of the atmosphere. See below what climate and sea level rise is locked in at the 400 PPM level.

                Survivable IPCC projections based on science fiction – reality is far worse
                Only six and a half minute video.


                3.2 4.5 Stabilization Scenario
                The RCP4.5 scenario is based on the same population and income drivers as the GCAM reference scenario but applies greenhouse gas emissions valuation policies to stabilize atmospheric radiative forcing at 4.5 W m-2 in 2100 (Fig.1). This imperative to stabilize climate change drives anthropogenic CO2 emissions downward throughout the next century (Fig. 2). RCP4.5 results in an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 526 ppm in 2100, compared to 792 ppm in the GCAM reference case. This stabilization is achieved in 2080. At this point in time, total radiative forcing reaches 4.5 W m-2 and the emissions price becomes roughly constant. CO2 emissions also become roughly constant.


                For example, one of the negative emissions technologies carbon-removal proponents often cite as the most promising — bioenergy and carbon capture and storage, or BECCS — could create widespread food insecurity because it could take half of the world’s farmland out of production.

                BECCS relies on converting agricultural areas and other land to vast new forests, which absorb atmospheric carbon in tree trunks and roots. The trees would be harvested for biomass energy and burned in power plants. The resulting carbon emissions would be captured and stored permanently — a method some scientists believe could be worse for global warming than burning fossil fuels.

                Anyone who seriously believes that is a viable means of removing CO2 from the atmosphere either hasn’t seriously considered how that would work at scale or they are outright lying or in denial of reality.

                For a bit of reference, and a reality check this is what the climate was like the last time there was 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. Keep in mind that RCP4.5 has as a target 526 ppm actual and a 650 CO2 equivalent for 2100.


                How the World Passed a Carbon Threshold and Why It Matters
                BY NICOLA JONES • JANUARY 26, 2017

                Last year marked the first time in several million years that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 passed 400 parts per million. By looking at what Earth’s climate was like in previous eras of high CO2 levels, scientists are getting a sobering picture of where we are headed.

                Last year will go down in history as the year when the planet’s atmosphere broke a startling record: 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. The last time the planet’s air was so rich in CO2 was millions of years ago, back before early predecessors to humans were likely wielding stone tools; the world was a few degrees hotter back then, and melted ice put sea levels tens of meters higher.

                “We’re in a new era,” says Ralph Keeling, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s CO2 Program in San Diego. “And it’s going fast. We’re going to touch up against 410 pretty soon.”

                There’s nothing particularly magic about the number 400. But for environmental scientists and advocates grappling with the invisible, intangible threat of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, this symbolic target has served as a clear red line into a danger zone of climate change.

                Good luck with RCP4.5!

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Fred,

                  I agree RCP4.5 is too high. I stand corrected on the negative emissions, the total carbon emissions of the scenario is always positive for RCP4.5, but I guess they use CCS to reduce overall emissions. Better in my opinion to just ramp up alternatives.
                  Changes in land use, and reforestation as population declines could reduce CO2, as could cement that absorbs CO2 as it is produced. Excess solar and wind energy could be used to convert CO2 to calcium carbonate, better farming practices could reduce carbon releases from agriculture.

                  The RCP4.5 scenario has 1500 Pg of carbon emissions (as CO2), I am proposing 1000 Pg of emissions as a target.

                  Sea level rise is going to happen, that horse has left the barn.

                  Eventually we will need to find some safe way to remove some carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or adjust to higher temperatures.

                  Best in my opinion to reduce carbon emissions as rapidly as possible.

                  Rapid transition to EVs, rapid increase in solar, wind, hydro and nuclear (if necessary). Rapid decrease in World TFR (total fertility ratio) to 1.5 or below.

                  In the scenarios I have seen for RCP4.5 fossil fuel and other carbon emissions were positive for all years, so I didn’t realize the scenario included CCS.

                  As population eventually declines (after 2070 or so) afforestation is certainly possible and some of that wood could be harvested sustainably and burned with CCS, or wood waste from manufacturing or construction and agricultural waste (though better to keep this on the land).

                  Although the Scenario may include biofuel CCS, it seems quite possible to achieve the level of emissions in the scenario without that. Just a matter of agressively ramping up wind and solar output.

                  You also seem to think of the RCP as a model, where I would call it a scenario, RCP4.5 is not perfect just closer to reality than the rest as far as achievable emissions levels, I think roughly between RCP2.6 and RCP 4.5 can be achieved, closer to the low emission scenario would be better. mostly by just eliminating fossil fuel use

    • R.Rutledge says:

      My thoughts are, I don’t think there is much left to debate whether climate change is real or not. The fact we can determine there were ice ages and such ended that debate. So the big ? left, is climate change a natural occurrence, or influenced some by man’s behavior. I believe man’s behavior does have an effect, like with pollution or the oh zone hole or acid rain from the 1970’s and so on. On the news back then they could easily point out how man was causing these big problems. Look at the news these days though, they can’t say exactly, how much climate change is caused by man, and how much is due to natural cycles. The divide could be 99% natural, 1% man for all that is known, according to the daily news. Again these are some of my thoughts, after 7 decades living on this earth.

      Cass Tech ’64

      • George Kaplan says:

        Yes you can – in the time frame we are able to understand it is all caused by man.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        The divide could be 99% natural, 1% man for all that is known, according to the daily news. Again these are some of my thoughts, after 7 decades living on this earth.

        Oh, shit, something tells me you took the wrong shuttle and landed on this planet by mistake.

        For the record, here on earth we have this process called science and it allows us to know with a fair degree of accuracy what a natural process is, we can then take a baseline measure and use that to distinguish it from what might be caused by human activity.

        And NO, what the daily news says, or whatever your personal opinion may be, you can’t just fill in the blanks with whatever fairy tale suits your fancy. Now please phone home and have your mother ship beam you up and take you back to whatever fantasy world you came from. Ciao!

      • Songster says:

        Here Ralph, take a look at this link so you can try to judge climate change with something other than “your thoughts”.


  2. Dennis Coyne says:

    Tesla release on Q4 production


    2425 Model 3 produced in Quarter 4, with peak weekly rate of 793.

    End of Q1 rate revised to 2500 and they are aiming to reach 5000 per week some time in Q2, previously they expected 5000 per week at the end of Q1.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Meanwhile China keeps marching on in the plug-in car arena with with 84,000 plug-ins delivered in Q3 and a predicted 577,000 units total for 2017.

      Total outlook for USA plug-ins 2017 was 220,000 units.

      Both countries have a similar number of cars.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Gone fishing,

        I agree China is doing much better than the US in introducing EVs.

        Tesla eventually should get to 500,000 cars per year (10,000 per week) probably by 2019. Perhaps after the Model Y and other cars and trucks are introduced they may get to 1 or 2 million cars per year. Then when Ford, GM, Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, and VW join the fray at 1.5 million cars each we will have 10.5 million EVs per year in the west with maybe 20 million EVs per year in East and South Asia, possibly by 2025, by 2030 we could be up to 70 million cars and light trucks per year sold with most of the fleet replaced by 2040. In the mean time wind, and solar and HVDC transmission can ramp up so that coal and natural gas use can fall. In addition the World can improve education and reduce total fertility to South Korean rates world wide (1.3 births per woman on average) which will reduce population pressure on the environment which may help to address many environmental problems including species loss.

        Better science education and ecological awareness (ecology should be a required high school science course for those seeking a University level education) might also help.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Well Dennis, I have to give you an A for optimism. I agree there have been a lot of changes in the last few decades that make much of what you say possible. It’s the carry through I wonder about.

          Let’s keep hoping not too many things get in the way of the transistion, an important step in our long term survival. Now if only people would start really paying attention to the shorter term disaster that is happening in the natural world. Our current administration is playing at crushing the natural world as best it can. I wonder when they will turn on EV’s or have they already?

        • Cats@Home says:

          There’s data in this article showing Tesla only got to about 55,000 sold vehicles in 2017.

          U.S. sales slip in 2017, ending 7-year streak
          January 3, 2018 @ 9:15 am
          David Phillips


          U.S. new light-vehicle sales slipped 5 percent in December and dipped 1.8 percent to 17.25 million for all of 2017 — ending a string of seven annual gains that had propelled the industry to new highs following the 2008-09 market collapse.

          After hitting a record 17.55 million in 2016, annual light-vehicle sales fell for the first time since 2009 while topping 17 million units for the third straight year and just the fifth time in history.

          Even with the dip in December volume, the seasonally adjusted, annualized pace sales came in at 17.86 million in December, among the year’s strongest months.

          Car sales slipped 17 percent last month while light truck demand edged up 1.6 percent. For the year, car deliveries slid 11 percent and truck volume rose 4.4 percent.

          • Bob Nickson says:

            Tesla produced 101,312 cars in 2017 (global), which was 33% more than 2016.
            Does that seem like poor performance?

            Just five years ago in 2012 they built 2,650.

      • alimbiquated says:

        One reason China is more interested in EVs is that they have much less vested interest in internal combustion vehicles.

        For example in Germany there is a great deal of interest in electric vehicles, but the industry is understandably proud of their engines, the consumers are used to them, there is a large infrastructure for fueling and after sales service, and the unions realize that electric vehicles are much easier to produce than combustion vehicles, and rightly fear a massive downsizing when the switch comes. So there is foot dragging all around.

        And it isn’t just Germany. So the Chinese government sees the opportunity to grab a decisive lead in one of the world’s largest industry while the rest of the industrial world engages in navel gazing, and they are seizing it.

      • Those Chinese electrics are like golf carts.

        I would not focus on the rcp4.5 scenario (it was outlined 10 years ago), but rather look at its emissions and resulting temperature spreads. As Denis says, it seems to be closest to what’s going on.

        Regarding the 2 degree target, I’ve yet to see a well crafted study that justifies it.

        Regarding the 80 year GDP forecasts, the effects on agriculture, etc…that’s all guesswork. The lack of energy sources will be a much bigger headache.

  3. Gene Orleans says:

    Today was a good day spent in-doors cooped up in front of the TV where you got to see citizens of the northeast walking about in the extreme cold and snow with their part of the planet getting a huge taste of genuine winter. Not every day you can see snow falling on palm trees near the beach. Or light houses surrounded by little icebergs bopping up and down as the weather gods spread around the winter pains to many places this year. I wonder how long this icebox weather would have to last until one could “drive” across straight to England? Of course that’s a bit of a stretch….you’d have to wait until they set up some gas stations first! 😉

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I took the day off to go walk around some of my local parks. The temperature was about 60 degrees with strong winds and cloudless skies. The tides were higher than normal with some slight road flooding but I’ve seen much worse. All in all a pleasant day for a walk no snow yet!

      • GoneFishing says:

        Got warmer today, up to 20F but the 40 knot gusts and blowing snow were a bit much. Felt warm in the early morning until the wind really got blowing, guess I am getting used to it. 🙂
        Only got a few inches of snow but it was dry so the visibility was low due to wind blow.
        Dropping back into the freezer tonight, Lows of minus 7F predicted for Saturday night.
        Should put on my skis, open up my jacket and get blown across the lake!

        Life in the temperate zone, 41 north.

      • notanoilman says:

        Raining Iguanas?


        • Fred Magyar says:

          Didn’t see any iguanas but noticed the normally lightning fast mangrove tree crabs were barely moving from the early morning cold shock. They were sitting in the sun on the raised nature trail trough the mangrove. I found I could easily catch them. The seagulls and egrets were having a good day picking them off!

          • notanoilman says:

            A bummer for one species is a bonus for another. Had a big Iguana on a fence, in my garden. Decided to try and evict it as the cats were very interested. Welding gauntlets on and first attempt – WHACK! Those tails are vicious. Decided to try again in the cool of the morning, with a big towel to wrap around it. Succeeded in moving it to the safe top of a wall where it spent the day sunning itself and another joined it. They spent the night on the wall then moved on. First ones I’ve seen in or around the garden.


  4. Survivalist says:

    the global surface warming trend between 1964 and 2017 is 0.17–0.18°C per decade


    It’ll be interesting to see how the next few years play out.

    • Looks like 2018 will be colder than 2017, which was colder than 2016. The trend could remain fairly flat for a decade. A lot of it depends on El Niño/La Niña and other natural weather events.

      • GoneFishing says:

        BS, there is no trend. There is no evidence that 2018 will be colder.

  5. Survivalist says:

    December 2017 extended the spell of exceptional global warmth that has now lasted since mid-2015. It was:

    0.55°C warmer than the average December from 1981-2010;

    the second warmest December on record, by a small margin over 2016;

    0.15°C cooler than the warmest December, which occurred in 2015.

    The warmest and second-warmest instances of each month of the year occur between October 2015 and December 2017.


  6. Julian Radoni says:

    Does anyone know how the Tesla’s are holding up in this incredible cold spell? On Facebook there’s posts making the rounds showing thousands of drivers stranded on roadways because batteries can’t hold a charge in the cold, but I don’t know if I believe that completely.

  7. Doug Leighton says:


    For the first time, an international team of researchers has measured the escalating rate of coral bleaching at locations throughout the tropics over the past four decades. The study documents a dramatic shortening of the gap between pairs of bleaching events, threatening the future existence of these iconic ecosystems and the livelihoods of many millions of people.


    • GoneFishing says:

      That is bad news, but I am a bit confused. Corals have been around over 100 million years. How did they survive in a hotter world and are now so sensitive to temperature change? How did they even survive the Eemian?

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Don’t know, not my bag:


        Two new studies show global warming is making oceans sicker, depleting them of oxygen and harming delicate coral reefs more often. The researchers say the lower oxygen levels are making marine life far more vulnerable. They say the problem is worsening and more complex than previously thought. Oxygen is crucial for nearly all life in the oceans, except for a few microbes A second study finds that severe bleaching outbreaks are hitting coral reefs four times more often than before as waters warm. Both studies are in Thursday’s edition of the journal Science.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Just did some simple research on the coral deaths off southern Florida. Looks like a combination of sewage, farm runoff, acidification and bad dredging practices by the Army Corps of Engineers.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            You forgot sunscreen in the water… and I’ve personally seen plenty of heat stress related coral bleaching as well. Corals like all other organisms on the planet are suffering all the human induced onslaughts that are at the root cause of the current sixth mass extinction event.

            I do have a friend who is involved with research into breeding resistant strains of corals and replanting them on the reef. At least it makes her feel good. I haven’t quite had the heart to tell her that her efforts are about as useful as putting a band aid on an arterial hemorrhage.


            • GoneFishing says:

              So why have oxybenzone sunscreen products not been banned?

              • Fred Magyar says:

                Oh, I’m sure someone at the EPA will have a good answer for you. /sarc

                I think Hawaii is the first state in the Union that is almost but not quite ready to implement a permanent ban.


                WAILUKU — There’s plenty of support for a proposed ban on certain sunscreens, but without a signature from county attorneys, some council members aren’t ready to make the final call just yet.

                Members voted Monday to indefinitely postpone a decision on a bill that would prohibit the sale and use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals that experts at a recent committee meeting said are toxic to coral reefs.

                “At this point if that’s what makes everybody feel comfortable with (the bill), then I’m for a little bit of postponement,” said Council Member Elle Cochran, who introduced the measure. “But my office is going to work very hard to make sure we expedite it.

      • Coral reefs have been around for 500 million years. And they have undergone many extinction events in the past. And they would recover after many millions of years. This site lists several coral reef extinction events, including the current extinction event, along with the time it took coral to re-emerge.

        Coral Reef Extinction Events

        Permian-Triassic Extinction Event
        It would take almost 100 million years before corals re-appeared around 260 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period (Fig. 1). This was followed by the Permian- Triassic Extinction Event of 251 million years ago. The Permian-Triassic Extinction was the greatest extinction event in Earth’s history, during which 96% of marine species were wiped out. Evidence suggests a period of hypoxia (reduced oxygen) and hypercapnia (elevated carbon dioxide) in the world’s oceans. These effects may have been caused by meteor impacts, dramatically reduced sea-levels, increased volcanic activity or gas hydrate venting from sedimented organic matter on the seabed. It is likely that a combination of some or all of these events triggered this extinction event.

        Modern Day
        The climate of the globe is currently undergoing a rapid PETM-like event (a warming period), driven by greenhouse gases as in the PETM. Evidence now suggests that coral reefs will pass a point of no-return around 2040, and go into terminal decline, eventually disappearing at the end of this century. If so, based on past evidence, it is likely that many millions of years will pass before they return.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Thanks Ron, that encapsulation of the history of corals is an image of the alternating current of life on this planet. Millions of years of growth and species development then disaster followed by more millions of years of growth.
          But to think that the actions and resulting chemistries of one species can cause an extinction event seems to be something new. Combining intelligence with manipulation abilities has turned out to be a rather stupid evolutionary turn of events.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          If so, based on past evidence, it is likely that many millions of years will pass before they return.

          The fossil record also has many example of species that have never returned or made a comeback even after tens of millions of years. Just sayin!

          from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trilobite

          Trilobites ( /ˈtraɪləˌbaɪt, ˈtrɪ-, -loʊ-/;[2][3] meaning “three lobes”) are a fossil group of extinct marine arachnomorph arthropods that form the class Trilobita. Trilobites form one of the earliest known groups of arthropods. The first appearance of trilobites in the fossil record defines the base of the Atdabanian stage of the Early Cambrian period (521 million years ago), and they flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before beginning a drawn-out decline to extinction when, during the Devonian, all trilobite orders except the Proetids died out. Trilobites disappeared in the mass extinction at the end of the Permian about 252 million years ago. The trilobites were among the most successful of all early animals, roaming the oceans for over 270 million years.[4]

          Sometimes extinction really is forever!

          • If coral does go extinct, what might return will be totally different species of coral. The disappearance of coral will leave an open niche. Something, after millions of years, will evolve to fill that niche. It may be several different species of coral or something else entirely.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              The disappearance of coral will leave an open niche. Something, after millions of years, will evolve to fill that niche.

              Cambrian Explosion

              BTW, Opabinia regalis (unknown affinity)


              Superficially, Opabinia resembles a crustacean (crusta = hard outer surface or shell), like a shrimp or a lobster, but lacks important, distinguishing details. It remains unassigned to any other extinct or currently living, major group.

              So yes, if there is life and a hospitable niche, evolutionary processes will eventually move to fill it. Though my hunch is that whatever life remains after this 6th mass extinction will lead to completely new life forms and species. I almost wish I could come back just to take a peek…

            • Synapsid says:

              Ron P,

              That’s what we see after the Permian/Triassic extinction: The coral reef builders that appear in the Triassic rock record (Anthozoa–the hexacorals) millions of years after the extinction were not the same kinds of coral as those that were extinct by the end of the Permian. Those were tetracorals and horn corals.

  8. GoneFishing says:

    How did we come to be? Here is great AGU 2017 seminar on what is probably the primordial celestial accident that finally unleashed our ancestors to become diverse and dominate in the world.

    Of course the Chicxulub event might have just been the final cause for extinction of the dinosaurs. That needs much further research.

  9. Survivalist says:

    Arctic sea ice extent for December 2017 averaged 11.75 million square kilometers (4.54 million square miles), the second lowest in the 1979 to 2017 satellite record. This was 1.09 million square kilometers (420,900 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average and 280,000 square kilometers (108,100 square miles) above the record low December extent recorded in 2016.


  10. GoneFishing says:

    Found a very interesting site. This is just one of his writings, an imagined look into the future after the collapse of civilization and when things are settling down somewhat.


    • Fred Magyar says:

      Interesting! I did appreciate Sue’s comment as well! We are all of us in some ways akin to the blind men examining the elephant and we have a need to synthesize our experiences and accumulated knowledge to be able to get a better picture of our reality. Pink elephants, white elephants and the elephant in the middle of the room, notwithstanding. 😉

  11. Cats@Home says:

    Your guide to commercial space travel in 2018
    by Jackie Wattles @jackiewattles
    January 4, 2018: 3:04 PM ET


    It’s a good time to start tuning into the business of space. The months ahead could bring some monumental developments in the booming commercial space industry.

    Here’s a look at what’s on the calendar this year. Note that this industry is notoriously loose with deadlines, so it’s possible that a few endeavors planned for 2018 will be pushed back.

    1) SpaceX will launch astronauts with Crew Dragon
    2) Boeing to debut Starliner for human spaceflight
    3) First launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy
    4) The first privately funded trip to the moon
    5) SpaceX to send tourists around the moon
    6) Blue Origin to open factory for New Glenn rocket
    7) Rocket startups take to the skies

    • Survivalist says:

      Note that this industry, and I use that term lightly, is notoriously full of shit. Almost as full of as much shit as CNN. I’ll be extremely surprised if they manage to pull off 1 out of 7. Maybe musk will dig a tunnel to the moon?

      • I find CNN extremely reliable, along with MSNBC. The network that is running over with shit is FOX News. But people who watch FOX News don’t watch CNN. They are told by FOX News that CNN is fake news. And they believe that shit. Imagine that! Imagine anyone believing the crap spouted by FOX News.

        • Survivalist says:

          Thanks for the reply Ron. My interests are generally international affairs, so my view is of that, and in that I find CNN just as interested in selling bullshit stories on why America need to go to war and spend money on weapons as the rest of the bullshit news networks. Remember when ISIS was the new Nazi threat to the world? It’s worth noting that ISIS was just recently all but destroyed (mostly by Syrian troops) and it barely got a mention. No more ISIS caliphate. Shrug.

          Who Pays the Pro-War Pundits.

          When CNN introduces retired generals as ‘Middle East experts’ who then beat the war drums with no critical analysis by the host, and fails to mention that the guest ‘expert’ has current affiliations as a stakeholders and paid directors with defence contractors…. , well they’re just full of shit. Fox news is more full of shit. I’ll agree with that. But when it comes to Tomahawk missile porn, well CNN is, like all the rest, having a bukkake party over how ‘presidential’ Trump is all of a sudden.


          Maybe CNN gets Trump analysis correct, but that’s not exactly hard to do. I suppose CNN stands out as a stronger swimmer, but only when they stay in the shallow end of the pool.

  12. GoneFishing says:

    “When we excavate the remains of past civilizations, we very rarely find any evidence that they as a whole society made any attempts to change in the face of a drying climate, a warming atmosphere or other changes”, Ur says. “I view this inflexibility as the real reason for collapse.”


    • Fred Magyar says:

      While I think that is true, I also think it is important to remember that there has never been a previous civilization that has had the tools or the knowledge to actually understand what was happening let alone make a concerted effort towards changing how they were doing things. Though to be fair the current plans do not seem all that much more sophisticated than appeasing the gods by throwing a few young virgins into the local volcano…

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Take heart then Fish, we’re obviously a lot smarter than all those previous civilizations who didn’t even have smart phones.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Doug, I’m guessing you haven’t downloaded the: ‘Throw Virgins Into The Volcano’, app to your smartphone yet… 😉

      • GoneFishing says:

        Doug, you are absolutely right. We will now know even more quickly than ever when and about how much we are in trouble. That will make us, on a global level, immediately change our ways within a year or two and fix everything we can within a decade or two.
        Since we first were warned almost five decades ago, everything is fixed by now because our fantastic sciences and communications allowed us to act quickly. Yes, we are so much more agile and knowledgeable than our ancestors. It’s already fixed. Nothing more to do. sarc

        Hmmm, you say it didn’t happen? But we have all this knowledge, technology, science, engineering, massive fast communications. Why not, why the hell not???

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Hey, it’s not my damn fault if the Volcano gods don’t like the young virgins this civilization is throwing their way. Maybe one of our wise men screwed up and thought young kids meant virgins, and entered that into the formula. Unfortunately it was supposed to be little baby goats and now we are done for like every other civilization before us …

  13. GoneFishing says:

    The speedy collapse of the Mayan civilization wasn’t just natural drought. Playing the game of Create-A-World can have bad endings.

    One possible explanation for the downfall is drought. Central America is naturally prone to drought, but one recent study suggests that Mayan activities may have deepened the dry conditions. In an effort to sustain one of the highest population densities in history, the Mayans transformed the land. They removed nearly all of the forest and replaced it with agricultural crops.


  14. GoneFishing says:

    As we unwind the climate clock back 3 million years or more there is hope for Greenland to regain it’s forest. Just hope those pesky humans don’t cut it down.

    “This genetic material presents a biological environment, which is completely different to what we see today.” he says. “We have found grain, pine, yew and alder. These correspond to the landscapes we find in Eastern Canada and in the Swedish forests today. The trees provide a backdrop from which we can also ascertain the climate since each species has its own temperature requirements. The yew trees reveal that the temperature during the winter could not have been lower than minus 17 degrees Celsius, and the presence of other trees shows that summer temperatures were at least 10 degrees”.


  15. GoneFishing says:

    The land was covered with ice, then it wasn’t. The loss of the Eurasian Ice Sheet. This all happened with less CO2 than today or tomorrow.

    “There is an event in this deglaciation story called Meltwater Pulse 1A. This was a period of very rapid sea level rise that lasted some 400 to 500 years when global temperatures were rising very quickly. During this period, we estimate that the Eurasian Ice Sheet contributed around 2.5 metres to global sea level rise,” says Patton.

    “To place it in context,” says professor Alun Hubbard, the paper’s second author and a leading glaciologist. “This is almost 10 times the current rates of ice lost from Greenland and Antarctica today. What’s fascinating is that not all Eurasian ice retreat was from surface melting alone. Its northern and western sectors across the Barents Sea, Norway and Britain terminated directly into the sea. They underwent rapid collapse through calving of vast armadas of icebergs and undercutting of the ice margin by warm ocean currents.”

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-collapse-european-ice-sheet-chaos.html#jCp

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The land was covered with ice, then it wasn’t. The loss of the Eurasian Ice Sheet. This all happened with less CO2 than today or tomorrow.

      Which is another reason that I find the IPCC RCP scenarios based exclusively on fossil fuel emissions to be wishful thinking at best. The RCP4.5 scenario that Dennis likes to put forth as the best of current climate science consensus and use it as a basis for promoting a modicum of optimism regarding our predicament has actual atmospheric CO2 concentrations well above 550 ppm and a CO2 equivalent at about 650 ppm CO2. Yet anyone who seriously looks into the paleoclimactic record sees plenty of indication that the long term consequences of even 400 ppm CO2 is sufficient to lock in massive sea level rise due to ice sheet melting.


      Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 is a scenario of long-term, global emissions of greenhouse gases, short-lived species, and land-use-landcover which stabilizes radiative forcing at 4.5 Watts per meter squared (W m2,approximately 650 ppm CO2-equivalent) in the year 2100 without ever exceeding that value. The defining characteristics of this scenario are enumerated in Moss et al. (2008, 2010). RCP 4.5 is based on the MiniCAM Level 3 stabilization scenario reported in Clarke, et al. (2007) with additional detail on the non-CO2 and pollution control assumptions in Smith and Wigley (2006), and incorporating updated land use modeling and terrestrial carbon emissions pricing assumptions as reported in Wise et al (2009a,b).

      Sounds to me like the Neoliberal economists, the astrologers and the cargo cultists have gotten together to write IPCC executive summaries for policy makers. Maybe if we put enough coils of shiny metal pipes standing up in the fields the CO2 will magically disappear into them and all will be well…

      • GoneFishing says:

        Yes, there is a lot of flim-flam, snake oil and just plain refusal to deal with reality going on even in the scientific circles and the supposedly educated.
        What most people don’t get their heads around and I have brought up several times is that Arctic sea ice is disappearing and Greenland is melting during a minimum NH insolation period. It’s Antarctica that is at a maximum now. Difference being about 50 w/m2 between 65 N and 65 S. Yet still the Arctic and Greenland is melting.
        We are entering the Eocene now and moving further back every day. People ignore the fact that global average temps in the early Eocene were 30C with relatively low temperature gradients pole to pole. The only thing we have going for us is the global ocean circulation. If that collapses it’s back to the early Eocene.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          We are entering the Eocene now and moving further back every day.

          Shouldn’t that be the ‘Neo-Eocene’? Someone should use that in a jingle about climate change… 😉



          Oliver Kellhammer

          Soon it would be too hot. Looking out from the hotel balcony shortly after eight o’clock, Kerans watched the sun rise behind the dense groves of giant gymnosperms crowding through the roofs of the abandoned department stores four hundred yards away on the east side of the lagoon. Even through the massive olive-green fronds the relentless power of the sun was plainly tangible.

          —J.G Ballard, The Drowned World (1962)

          • GoneFishing says:

            “Shouldn’t that be the ‘Neo-Eocene’? Someone should use that in a jingle about climate change… ”

            Fred that would mean “New Dawn of the New”. Quite redundant that one.
            Probably needs a whole new term that we haven’t invented yet and probably won’t.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “Yet anyone who seriously looks into the paleoclimactic record sees plenty of indication that the long term consequences of even 400 ppm CO2 is sufficient to lock in massive sea level rise due to ice sheet melting.”

        Exactly, the only question is timing. Which is why this silly game of creating graphs showing a rounding off of emissions in 20 or 50 or 100 years is just another form of climate change denial. As is pretending we can realistically predict the chaotic world that will inevitably be our future. Of course I use word chaotic in both the scientific and non-scientific sense because a world wrought by wildfires and invasion by oceanic floods will be chaotic by any definition.

        • GoneFishing says:

          The other thing that is ignored is the amount of stored carbon, especially methane clathrate is near a maximum. What could possibly go wrong?

          The Eocene was a real roller coaster ride for climate and life.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Fred,

        I am not suggesting we should shoot for RCP4.5, simply that it is likely that is the maximum based on likely fossil fuel scenarios (my “high” fossil fuel scenario is pretty similar to RCP4.5). We need to aim for 1000 Pg of Carbon emissions (RCP4.5 is about 1500 Pg of C from CO2 when land use change is included), we can probably achieve 1100 to 1200 Pg of C from CO2 from all anthropogenic sources, though it will not be easy.

        Many of the studies unfortunately focus on RCP8.5, which is not a likely scenario (less than 5% probability in my opinion).

  16. Geoff Riley says:

    LMAO at how this post has 71 responses, but none has much to do with the actual post. Most comments just rehash the same old climate change hubbub which evidently for some just does not ever get old. Sorry islandboy. 🙁

    • George Kaplan says:

      Make a relevant comment then – or better still fuck off somewhere else.

      • Geoff Riley says:

        Oh ok, I’m sorry I actually read the post rather than dove into the climate change circle jerk you were eager to get started.

        Anyway, in the second figure, for clarity, all the years besides just 2014 should appear on the x-axis. My mind went first to numbers (years) and I was initially confused why only 2014 was shown, then I noticed the month names.

        How does the energy mix look to change in light of the recently passed permanent tax cuts? The administration has further made moves to curtail China-sourced components, how much could this, keeping also in mind the aforementioned tax cuts,
        impact solar’s market share?

        • Survivalist says:

          thanks for coming out. You’re good comic relief.

        • islandboy says:

          Thanks. I’ve fixed the x axis on the second figure (I think). The chart was using the wrong column in the spreadsheet to generate the names.

          I’m a bit curious as to how one makes a tax cut permanent. Surely if one can raise enough votes in a given legislature, one can always introduce new taxes or raise taxes that were previously cut. While I do have opinions on such matters, I often try to stay away from such discussions as it sometimes gets me too riled up and I just cant be bothered.

          What I am willing to point out is that it is being reported that China installed some 50 GW of solar PV in 2017, almost 50% more than they installed in 2016. To put this in perspective, this means that in 12 months China installed more PV capacity than any other country, except Japan and maybe the USA, has installed between the invention of PV technology and the end of 2017! Most, if not all of that 50GW was made in China and China also exported a fair amount to other markets, so it should be safe to say that more than 50% of the PV modules made globally are made in China. This is not by accident as the Chinese government has taken very deliberate steps to make sure that China dominates PV manufacturing globally. Similar steps are being taken to ensure that China becomes the leader in advanced battery and EV manufacturing.

          I see these markets as very strategic in a post Peak Oil world and IMHO the current US administration is making a grave mistake in allowing itself to be led around by the nose by fossil fuel interests. It is my view that fossil fuel industries will be dying within the next couple of decades and the prospects for growth (globally) seem rather dim at present.

          On the other hand, renewable energy, wind and solar in particular, is booming and growth should continue to be vigorous for at least another decade. The UK experienced explosive growth in renewables over the last few years and Australia is currently seeing accelerating demand for PV and wind, despite policy opposition from the Australian federal government. There is growing interest in and demand for renewable energy across all continents and this is based primarily on costs rather than concern for climate change. The current US administration is setting the country up to miss out on these growth markets, in order to benefit a fairly small number of vested interests in the fossil fuel industries.

          I will leave it at that!

          • GoneFishing says:

            I would be very interested in the actual PV output data from China if it’s available. They, in parts, like much of southeast Asia have solar insolation reduced for long periods of time due to monsoons.
            Solar resource maps of China.

          • Geoff Riley says:

            The tax cuts are called permanent because they don’t automatically expire on a future date. Rescinding them would require a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, a Democratic majority in the Senate, a Democratic President, and the political gumption to go against the millions, potentially billions, of dollars right-wing donors and Wall Street would put up to sway public opinion against repeal.

            In truth, a simple Democratic majority in the senate wouldn’t be sufficient either, because there are far fewer than 25 solidly Democratic states, so any Democratic majority in the senate necessarily requires some of the senators to come from conservative-leaning states where taking back tax cuts would be political suicide.

            Expect Trump’s tax cuts to be permanent in the true sense of the word, no matter how poorly the polls say the public views them.

    • Survivalist says:

      Makes one wonder why you bother to come here and look then. My guess is you’re not the brightest bulb in the box. Get a girlfriend or something dude, if they’ll let you.
      I like the links posted by others here, and the article posted by IB. Some very smart and well informed people post here. It’s one of the best comment sections on the Internet, despite my sometimes crass and vulgar input.

      • Geoff Riley says:

        Do you have a list of climate change bookmarks you check multiple times a day or do you use something like Google Alerts?

        • Survivalist says:

          I have a bunch of sites that I like to read semi-weekly saved as favs. I tried google alerts for a while but I didn’t find it highly useful; the occasional bit of gold dust, but mostly gravel. There a quite a few regulars here who post extremely good links, many of which make it to my favs list. That’s why I come here.

      • GoneFishing says:

        “Makes one wonder why you bother to come here and look then. My guess is you’re not the brightest bulb in the box. Get a girlfriend or something dude, if they’ll let you.”

        If he doesn’t comprehend the topic he gets irritated and blurts out nasty comments. He is his own girlfriend!

    • HVACman says:


      Spot on. This forum sometimes resembles a gathering of retired old men who’s daily recreation is to gather together each day to argue with each other about the weather.

      Re: post. My thoughts –

      – coal electric generation down 5% since Trump’s election. Sad;)
      – total renewables generation continues to ratchet up Y-O-Y. Based on previous yearly peaks, it could hit 25% this April.
      – comparing both trends above and extrapolating, it possible total renewables could surpass coal by April 2021.

  17. Joe Clarkson says:

    Regarding the last graph (Monthly Capacity Additions); are the capacities adjusted for average capacity factor or are they just gross capacities?

    • islandboy says:

      I’m pretty sure they’re just gross capacities. The data (Table 6.3) is at the following link:


      There is nothing to suggest the capacities are adjusted for average capacity factor. As a matter of fact, if they were things would get quite complicated. The capacity factor for a solar array varies with location and season. The capacity factor for an array in the desert southwest might approach 30% in June or July while that for an array in Burlington Vermont might be as low as 5% in December. It would not be practical to adjust solar capacities for average capacity factor IMO.

  18. oldfarmermac says:

    So far as I can judge just from my very casual research, the average capacity factor of new wind farms is gradually improving, mostly as the result of the combination of larger and better designed turbines on the one hand and possibly better siting on the other.

    Most of the improvement appears to be the result of the bigger and better turbines. I’m wondering if site selection is getting better as well. It’s obvious enough that offshore sites are really great in terms of capacity factor of course, so what I’m wondering about is on shore. I read a lot about a shortage of good sites, with the best ones being cherry picked already.

    If this is truly the case, then the only real hope for improving the capacity factor of on shore wind farms in places such as Germany is to replace existing turbines with larger ones on taller towers. I can’t see that happening until such time as the existing turbines are worn out, and even then the cost of new taller towers may mean it’s more economical to keep the older shorter ones in service, if they are still structurally sound.

    If anybody has links to good articles with hard numbers, please post the links, and as always, thanks in advance.

    Politics has so much to do with what happens that later on, some pretty crappy sites for new wind farms may be chosen on the basis of patronage.

    So far, there’s barely enough support for the industry to get GOOD sites built.

    But somewhere not far down the road, when it becomes obvious to everybody except the nimby’s that a new wind farm means cheaper electricity, plus LOCAL tax revenues, plus LOCAL employment……. I won’t be surprised if we see new wind farms built in places they shouldn’t be.

    It’s also hard to find much good info on the cost of HVDC power lines, and how fast the cost of them may fall as more are built. It seems rather obvious to me that they should be getting cheaper from one year to the next as the production of the very highly specialized equipment needed at each end of them is standardized and scaled up.

    The REAL cost, the cost that REALLY matters, of any commodity, is the DELIVERED cost, much more so than the cost of actually producing it. The combination of mid western wind farms here in Yankee land with cheap enough long distance transmission may well turn out to be more economical by a large margin than wind energy produced up and down the east coast, onshore or off.

    Solar farms can be sited right alongside or on the SAME land as mid western wind farms, and send their output east as well, which would make their late afternoon production far more valuable because it would be effectively time shifted an hour or even two hours towards the evening peak load.

    There’s also a possibility that wind and solar farms located more to the east, up to a thousand miles or more to the east, will be able to supply badly needed early morning juice to the cities on the west coast.

    What’s it look like in terms of new solar farms having tracking? At first glance, it looks as if tracking is just about totally off the tracks, because panels are now cheap enough it’s more economical to just fix them in place.

    But an equatorial mount need not be all that expensive, considering that electronic controls and such are dirt cheap these days, if standardized and therefore off the shelf.

    I built my own solar domestic hot water system, which unfortunately I have allowed to fall into a sad state of repair due to needing to spend too much time on other jobs, with an equatorial mount such that I can reorient it by hand, once I’m standing by it, in ten seconds.

    When I find time to work on it, I’m going to figure out a way to automate tracking it, but I don’t know enough about programmable controls and such to do a creditable job on my own and need to copycat somebody else’s solution, using all off the shelf components.

    Hiring it designed is out of the question, unless I get lucky and make a new friend with the right skill set.

    So any links to a site detailing how other people have built their own tracking systems will also be greatly appreciated, lol.

    • Longtimber says:

      Tracking not necesssary- kWH from PV is just too cheap. Just face some east and west – assuming you have the Barn/roof top
      > 99% wind kWh is semi centralized and subject to the Utility model scheme. Like Nuclear, Financed for decades at high rates. Most of the population have poor wind resources unless on the coast, ridge, open plane or love to climb Towers. Expect to pay $2500 for energy output of a $200 PV Panel. It is what it is. I love small wind for maintenance of Batteries.
      Related: http://www.wind-works.org/cms/
      A must read of the folly of Centralized Generation for “Modern” Life “Support” Systems.
      Note: EMP optional. A 1+% Generation shortfall/blink for 16 milliseconds (20 ms for 50hz) can rain havoc in the form of trigger for cascading grid chaos.

  19. oldfarmermac says:


    The Trump administration seems to be doing everything it can to piss off just about anybody and every body, except perhaps Trump’s personal business cronies.

  20. George Kaplan says:


    The finding indicates that large-scale changes are happening along the coast—because the source of the radium is the land and shallow continental shelves surrounding the ocean. These coastal changes, in turn, could also be delivering more nutrients, carbon, and other chemicals into the Arctic Ocean and lead to dramatic impacts on Arctic food webs and animal populations.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-01-scientists-evidence-rapid-arctic.html#jCp

    • GoneFishing says:

      With the coastlines generally free of ice now the open water is heated by solar input. This layer used to be cold, now warm, and wave action from wind will mix the warm water down to 100 meters. There have been several studies published describing the methane releases along the East Siberian coast.

  21. Doug Leighton says:



    In a huge win for the oil and gas industry, the Trump administration today unveiled a new five-year plan that would allow more drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans. Ending months of speculation and igniting an outcry from critics, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the decision in a 1 p.m. press call. “This is a start on looking at American energy dominance,” Zinke said, adding that the plan would make the U.S. “the strongest energy superpower.”


    • Hightrekker says:

      “I felt a lot better when I gave up hope.”
      — Woody Allen

    • Fred Magyar says:

      “This is a start on looking at American energy dominance,” Zinke said, adding that the plan would make the U.S. “the strongest energy superpower.”

      I checked the schedule and I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed already. It was covered in PV solar panels and flying a Chinese flag.

      But there is a decrepit looking old coal powered steam ship that is still tied up at dock number 13, I hear the one eyed captain is looking for crew. It is flying a rather tattered MAGA flag.

    • Boomer II says:

      And a number of governors from both parties fear what will happen to their coastal tourism business. Trump is playing to a relatively small group, while pissing off quite a few people.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Keep that oil comin’
        Head out on the highway!
        looking for an oil well
        No matter what comes our way.

        Yeah darlin’
        Gonna make it happen
        Take the world in a hot embrace
        Drill all your holes at once
        And explode in your face

        I like smoke and burnin’
        Heavy metal industry
        Racing with the pollution
        And the feeling that I’m richer

        ’cause you’re a true corporate child

        We were born, born to be crazy

        We can drill so low
        We are all gonna die

        Born to be crazy

    • HVACman says:

      From post above:
      (Zinke) “This is a start on looking at American energy dominance,”

      Regardless of emotional reaction to this announcement, I am skeptical of its viability.

      My skeptical mind tells me, when all else fails, look at the numbers. The numbers per MMS chart on Wikipedia:

      Undiscovered technically-recoverable oil resources on the outer continental shelf, 2006:
      Washington/Oregon – 0.4Bbo
      Nor Cal – 2.08 Bbo
      Central Cal – 2.31 Bbo
      So Cal – 5.74 Bbo
      All Atlantic + east FL – 3.84 Bbo
      GOM – 44.92 Bbo
      North Slope – 23.6 Bbo
      Alaska less NS – 3.0 Bbo

      Total 85.88 Bbo


      I conclude that most of the “new” oil unleashed by this stunning decision is in the GOM and and the North slope, both of which are well-known by the industry and which have been open to Federal leases in the past. After Shell’s bad experience, oil will take a much higher price to get any bids for the NS and for the GOM, this is just BAU. The Atlantic and Pacific Coasts don’t have enough resource to be worth exploring, much less leasing.

      OK, there are some sharp oil people here on the forum and I’m just a dumb HVAC engineer. Help me. Am I missing something? Are they actually going for the natural gas, and is it worth going after?

      PS – I’m re-posting this on the Petroleum thread, since it probably should go there.

    • notanoilman says:

      How long for it to come on line, 10-20 years? By that time the rest of the world will have moved on and the USA will be left with stuff it can’t sell. Same for cars and coal. The Trump administration is moving the USA backwards in time while the rest of the world moves forward.


      • GoneFishing says:

        Speaking of moving forward, check out the Fully Charged channel on YouTube they just put up several videos on the Tokyo Motor Show

  22. Doug Leighton says:


    “Tumultuous political change will shape the course of science in the new year. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to continue working to dismantle science-based environmental regulations. The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union has posed unresolved questions about research funding and migration of scientists. And China’s push to become a scientific and economic leader is sure to affect how, and where, research is done. As these broad trends play out, Science’s news staff predicts specific areas of research and policy likely to be in the news this year.”


    • Doug Leighton says:

      For astronomy buffs:


      “An international team of astronomers took a snapshot in April 2017 of the supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy. In the coming months, they hope to discover how well the picture came out. The Event Horizon Telescope team marshaled the forces of six radio observatories—a total of 80 dishes stretching from Hawaii to Spain to the South Pole. This multitude was needed to get sufficient resolution to image the black hole, which, though huge in mass (the equivalent of 4 million suns), is surprisingly small in volume (with a diameter less than half the distance from Mercury to the sun). After processing and correlating the data, they will obtain either a glorious silhouette of the black hole against the brilliant matter swirling around it or, as in earlier attempts using fewer telescopes, a tantalizing blur.”

    • notanoilman says:

      >a humble white mushroom that scientists modified by removing a short DNA sequence to prevent browning<

      Meanwhile a British university has developed a tomato that can be picked ripe and stay good until it is on the shelves eliminating the need to pick unripe fruit to ripen, flavorless, in transit. BTW, they did it with traditional breeding not genetic modification.


      PS I like mushrooms that go brown, it tells me which ones have been on the shelves too long and not to buy them as they are limp.

  23. wharf rat says:

    The California Energy Commission has awarded nearly $3 million to car-sharing programs using EVs in disadvantaged communities.

    Stratosfuel will demonstrate a fuel cell car-sharing platform using the hydrogen-refueling network in Riverside and Ontario.

    Calstart will use battery EVs in a ride-hailing service targeting community college students who attend Fresno City College from surrounding rural areas.

    Envoy Technologies will use battery EVs to develop car-sharing programs for the Bay Area and Central Valley serving people who live in affordable multi-unit housing developments.

    The Energy Commission also established a new advisory group representing disadvantaged communities, which will provide advice on how state clean energy programs can effectively reach low-income households and hard-to-reach customers such as rural and tribal communities.


  24. wharf rat says:

    California is closing in on its 2020 renewable energy mandate
    The latest report from the California Energy Commission shows that the state is already getting 30% of its power from renewable energy (excluding large hydro) with solar providing more than a third of this.


  25. Bob Frisky says:

    Today is a beautiful day.

  26. GoneFishing says:

    Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC

    The IPCC’s Synthesis Report was published on Sunday in Copenhagen, after a week of intense debate between scientists and government officials.
    It is intended to inform politicians engaged in attempts to deliver a new global treaty on climate by the end of 2015.
    The report says that reducing emissions is crucial if global warming is to be limited to 2C – a target acknowledged in 2009 as the threshold of dangerous climate change.
    The report suggests renewables will have to grow from their current 30% share to 80% of the power sector by 2050.
    In the longer term, the report states that fossil fuel power generation without carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology would need to be “phased out almost entirely by 2100”.


    So we have had a few years since this report. Has anything really changed in that time?
    Low oil prices hurt the industry and encouraged the use of oil. More ICE cars than ever. More FF burn. More energy use. Lots more population. USA is dropping out of the agreements. Temperatures are higher. CO2 is higher. Methane is higher. Lots of new knowledge about natural feedbacks. The bio-energy flag is still running high. More talk about geo-engineering. More big storms, floods, droughts, fires. More EV’s, wind turbines, solar PV.
    This is not a race or a competition fellows. Nobody wins if we don’t hit maximum braking. It’s not a discussion. Half way measures have about the same result as full burn measures.

  27. oldfarmermac says:

    “Half way measures have about the same result as full burn measures.”

    Every once in a while, it pays to listen to even such people as you consider to be your worst enemies.

    The fact that they may be ( or ARE ) your enemies doesn’t mean they may not have a good grasp of some particular facts…. facts that may be extremely relevant to the issue at hand.

    Please excuse me for not having a link handy, but Bjorn Lomberg said exactly the same thing in one of his books, and was crucified in the environmental press in large part for saying so.

    When people who are at opposite ends of the political, economic, environmental or other spectrums agree on a given point, the odds are rather high that they are correct.

    This is one of those cases.


    “”The two things you need to know about the Paris [climate] agreement are, one, it is not going to do very much to tackle climate [change]…and it is incredibly costly.” So says Bjorn Lomborg, the president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. Make no mistake, the Danish political scientist believes climate change is happening and that human activity is the main cause.”

    I point this out because checking on what people who are in opposed camps agree on is an excellent way for a layman to arrive at the truth.

    And while it’s understandable and even commendable that the environmental camp doesn’t want to demoralize and discourage the public………. the failure to acknowledge such facts can have serious consequences.

    There are some intelligent and technically educated ( in some respects ) people out there who are nevertheless only poorly educated in respect to physics, and atmospheric physics in particular.

    Such people may be lawyers, accountants, medical professionals, teachers, etc. They may not know much physics. As lawyers say, ” The wheels of justice grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine”. Such people are capable of close and highly nuanced reasoning. If they’re forced climate change skeptics, and they catch you out, you’ve lost them.

    If there is a solution to this problem, it may be that you own up to the facts in face to face conversations with such people, after the same fashion as one military officer to another, while doing what you can to maintain the morale of the troops, or in this case, the individual foot soldier of the environmental movement, the individual voter.

    Hopefully you will be able to convince such skeptics that while we may not reduce FF emissions enough to prevent severe climate problems, the other benefits, such as improved public health outcomes, less money spent on the military defending access to oil, etc, are sufficient in themselves to make renewable energy and conservation worthwhile policy goals.

  28. Bob Frisky says:

    I wonder where the good old Peak Oil Barrel would rank in this survey. Certainly we can do better than T.D. Jakes and Rick Warren in terms of trustworthiness, maybe?

  29. Fred Magyar says:

    Tokyo Motor Show

    There is very little doubt that Japanese and European automobile manufacturers are fully embracing EV and level 5 autonomous transport vehicle technology. I think it is safe to say that ICE vehicles even if not quite totally dead just yet, certainly have their days numbered.

    Tokyo Motor Show – Honda EV Concepts | Fully Charged

    Tokyo Motor Show – In Car Technology | Fully Charged

    Tokyo Motor Show – Concept Cars 2 | Fully Charged

    Tokyo Motor Show – Trucks and Bikes | Fully Charged

    • GoneFishing says:

      Fred said “I think it is safe to say that ICE vehicles even if not quite totally dead just yet, certainly have their days numbered. ”
      Starting to look that way in the more techno advanced countries. Now to the work of producing a lot of them (billions) and getting the price spread better at the low end. If they don’t reduce the price it will take longer for the EV takeover.
      A friend of mine just got a small ICE four door liftback for $10,000, low miles 2015, perfect condition. It gets close to 40 mpg highway. Tough to compete in that market yet in the US.

      I look at those cars and think about the cost of an accident. There are sensors and cameras all over the thing that would get damaged in just a fender bender. Too much gadgetry due to the autonomous features. Having sonar in the bumpers is another weird one. I thought bumpers were supposed to absorb impact, these have systems in them that are bound to get damaged even if a slight bump occurs.
      That handleless suicide door on the Honda urban car looks like it automatically opens full width, meaning one can’t get out of the car in a normal parking space without hitting another car or sticking the door full out into traffic. Guess they will have to work that one out.
      But as you say, the parade of EV’s is going gangbusters now.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        I look at those cars and think about the cost of an accident. There are sensors and cameras all over the thing that would get damaged in just a fender bender. Too much gadgetry due to the autonomous features.

        LOL! Yeah, but supposedly one of the main selling points of autonomous vehicle technology is to eliminate most of the accidents caused by inattentive human drivers… 🙂

        Now floods and natural disasters would be a whole nuther can of worms. I’d hate to be the guy trouble shooting a flooded autonomous EV… Can you imagine what would happen in an earthquake and tsumani prone country like Japan?

        • notanoilman says:

          Autonomous vehicles will automatically head for the hills or, at least, huddle together in herds at the tops of multi story car parks. Now, the trick is to get humans to do the same.


    • Greenbub says:

      What is the point of driving an electric car when the electricity is from fossil fuels?

      • Survivalist says:

        One thought that comes to my mind is air pollution. A city I used to live in ran a lot of electric busses powered by overhead cables. The power was obtained from burning FF far to the west of the city. Then they got rid of the overhead wires and the electric busses and ran diesel busses. At the time I was living by a large city bus transit hub where a lot of busses were constantly located, waiting to go, with their engines running. I feel that I did perceive an increase in diesel exhaust odour and that there was more pollution under my nose and in my lungs rather than out of town to the west. Other than that I’d say not much difference.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Maybe because EV’s use about 1/3 the energy of ICE’s even when connected to the grid.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gonefishing,

          I agree. Also fossil fuels used to produce electricity will be replaced with wind and solar as fossil fuels peak and the price of fossil fuel rises while the scale up in wind and solar capacity will result in price decreases due to economies of scale.
          Peak fossil fuels is likely to arrive between 2020 and 2040 (for all types oil, coal, and natural gas), depending on fossil fuel resources. In chart below, low means low fossil fuel resources and high means high fossil fuel resources, the medium estimate is my best guess, think of low and high as 20% to 80% probability bounds.

          • GoneFishing says:

            If EV’s and other transistion technologies continue to grow through the century, we just might miss the worst of the peak fossil fuel crisis. As to any effect on global warming, I won’t hold my breath. What happens in the Arctic over the next decade will determine if we can have any effect at all at this point in time.
            I recommend an immediate change to 10 percent FF burn by 2028. Anything less than that leaves way too many known feedbacks with a kick in their coefficients. Once the start heating each other, we no longer have a control knob (I am being optimistic today giving us another decade).

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Gonefishing,

              Note that the “medium scenario” assumes no attempt to reduce fossil fuel use. I believe that by 2025 (perhaps sooner) fossil fuel will have become quite expensive. My hope is that this leads to a rapid transition to EVs, ride sharing, public transport, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, wave, tidal, and (if necessary) nuclear energy to replace 100% of fossil fuel use by 2050.

              Such a scenario gets us to about 850 Pg of carbon emissions from CO2 from 1800-2050 for all sources (including land use change), but is probably too optimistic.

              It assumes fossil fuel replacement technologies progress at the speed of smart phone adoption.

      • islandboy says:

        Is there any particular reason you have chosen to display a graph that stops at 2012, the year after the Fukushima debacle? What is the source of the graph and the data? I would like to see the same graph updated to reflect data for 2016 or maybe even 2017. I was able to find the graph below that goes up to 2016.

        “What is the point of driving an electric car when the electricity is from fossil fuels?”

        As any EV advocate will tell you, the point is that, the mix of sources used to generate electricity to charge an EV can change over time. The mix of fuels you can use in an internal combustion engine is not nearly as flexible and even biofuels require some amount of fossil fuels for their production.

        A quick Internet search revealed that as much as 80% of petroleum is used to produce fuel for ground transportation in the US. This EIA web page says:

        “Petroleum products include transportation fuels, fuel oils for heating and electricity generation, asphalt and road oil, and feedstocks for making the chemicals, plastics, and synthetic materials that are in nearly everything we use. Of the approximately 7.21 billion barrels of total U.S. petroleum consumption in 2016, 47% was motor gasoline (includes ethanol), 20% was distillate fuel (heating oil and diesel fuel), and 8% was jet fuel.”

        I once did some rough calculation that suggested that to use EVs to cover all vehicle miles traveled by light vehicles in the US would require about 18 to 19 percent more electricity generation. So, using the figure for motor gasoline provided by the EIA, 47% of oil consumption could be eliminated with the addition of 19% more electricity. The current vehicle fleet is not going to be replaced by EVs overnight so, if we choose a time frame of say 15 to 20 years, that gives a reasonable time frame to increase electricity production or reduce electricity demand from other sources to compensate for increased demand from EVs.

        Note also that the mix of sources for electricity in the US is changing, as is being shown by the EPM posts of which the lead post is the latest. In another 7 to 8 weeks the data will be published for December 2017 at which time I expect that it will show solar as having contributed close to 2% of US electricity generation in 2017. From the third graph in the lead post, I also expect solar generation to exceed 11,000 GWh in at it’s peak in the summer of this year. If solar generation continues to grow at anything close to recent rates, solar will easily be contributing more than 20% to the US electricity generating mix in less than 10 years. Call me crazy if you want.

        So, the real point of the transition to EVs is that, by the time EVs constitute a significant portion of the ground transportation fleet, the electricity generating mix will have changed significantly, with a far greater portion of the electricity coming from renewable sources than is the case at present. This will be as true for Japan as it will be for the US and the UK and everywhere else. I do not believe there is any jurisdiction on the planet where this will not be the case. Again, call me crazy if you want.

        • Greenbub says:

          “Is there any particular reason you have chosen to display a graph that stops at 2012”

          It was just what was available on the wiki page for power generation in Japan.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        First of all, because EVs being completely agnostic as to where the electricity they run on, comes from. It is completely possible to imagine a transition from fossil fuel based electricity generation to 100% clean renewables. Even in a country like Japan.

        On the other hand there is no way to clean up the same fossil fuels in ICEs that the current transport system runs on. Let alone the inefficient and dirty supply chain from extraction through refining and then distribution of fossil fuels! And that’s if we don’t even consider tailpipe emissions in major urban centers such as Tokyo.

        So EVs are a gateway option for transition and the paradigm shift we all need to be embarking upon.

        Then you also need to take into consideration the excellent point made by GF, that: “EV’s use about 1/3 the energy of ICE’s even when connected to the grid”

        The typical EV has about 20 moving parts and their electric motors and are over 90% efficient and not counting generating and grid transmission losses, even after including all the losses from vehicle charging, inverters, batteries etc.. you still end up with close to 80% of stored battery power at the wheels.

        While conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 17%–21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels. The average ICE vehicle has more than 1500 moving parts where energy losses occur.

        So the real question is when, not if, ICE vehicles will be seen as the worst option available for transporting people in urban environments.

        Next question!

        Edit: Islandboy beat me to most of the points I just made while typing my comment.

      • notanoilman says:

        Just add a solar panel car port and get free miles.


      • Nick G says:

        The premise of the question is false: even in Japan an EV can still run mostly on low-carbon power. An EV can charge on mostly or all wind, solar or nuclear even in a grid that’s dominated by fossil fuels.

        EVs can charge when low-carbon sources are at their peak: at night, or at noon. They are highly computerized, and most have much more storage than is needed for daily driving of 50 kms (in the US) or 30 kms in the EU or Japan: that means they can charge either at typical low-carbon times, or in response to utility price or DSM signals.

        Even where low-carbon sources are a low percentage of the grid, EVs can still seek them out. This will raise prices at those times and incentivize even more low-carbon power.

  30. Survivalist says:

    Trump tweeted without any real thought to this. If this had been done properly there would have been a internal strategic review. Not Trump’s style. Foreign diplomacy, public and coercive, by the seat of your pants live on Twitter. Some basics that a strategic review might consider:
    -Pakistan has a virtual monopoly on land routes into Afghanistan.
    -The current troop surge in Afghanistan (14,000) requires a surge in supply.
    -Pakistan can engineer a drivers’ strike on the trucks that transport US cargo to Afghanistan from Port Qasim that would raise the price of the transport contracts.
    -China and it’s interests in expanding regional influence?


    Obama was a geopolitical master. Now we got a guy who, like most Americans, has never heard the word geopolitics running the WH. This is a great opportunity to observe China’s response to visible US-Pak friction; friction that has indeed always been there, just not visible.

  31. Survivalist says:

    Preliminary analysis from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) highlights 2017 as the 3rd warmest on record globally (after 2016 and 2015) since 1891. Again, there will be small differences between data sets. NASA and Copernicus has 2017 in second place.

    Five Warmest Years (Anomalies):
    1st. 2016(+0.45°C), 2nd. 2015(+0.42°C), 3rd. 2017(+0.39°C), 4th. 2014(+0.27°C), 5th. 1998(+0.22°C)


  32. Peter says:

    Wind and Solar power still has one unsolved problem/


    Germany is well ahead of any other large manufacturing economy with regards to wind and solar power generation. There is no problem producing wind power when it is windy or solar power when the sun shines. The problem is not being able to store it and having to give it away.

    At the moment there is no large scale practical answer to periods of no sun and little wind, such as 19, 20 and 21 June., where production fell to 1 MW. The only practical solution is coal and gas.


    So despite the fact that Germany has more installed wind and solar than peak demand it is still the largest producer of brown coal.


    I think the only way to store excess power on a large enough scale, is as they are doing here.


    • GoneFishing says:

      Just north of them is a lot of hydro which they can use.

      I have solar farms near me and just up the mountain is a pumped storage facility.

      Do not fear the future, make the future.

      • Peter says:


        Have you done the math?

        Europe uses over 3,322 Twh of electricity

        Europe uses over 3,322 Twh of electricity. Norway’s potential could be up to 205 Twh per year, or around 6% of European consumption.
        Norway could not even power Germany on an evening of low wind, let alone the other 27 countries that people expect to remove carbon from their power generation over the next 20/30 years.

        Flooding valleys to store electricity has a down side, with the loss of good grazing land and in populated countries the destruction of many villages. Also dams silt up and become less efficient over time.

        This is not about fearing the future, it is about understanding the massive task of replacing fossil fuels.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Your tactic to immediately jump from Germany to all of Europe tells me you probably do not want any serious discussion on the topic.
          So Norway could not provide some additional power? Hmmm. I guess you think there are only one horse solutions.
          This has been discussed on the site several times with references to studies and ideas for ways to properly utilize renewable energy systems. Your saying all about the downsides of hydro while promoting fossil fuels which produce very nasty and widespread health and ecological issues make me think agenda.
          “The only practical solution is coal and gas.”
          Sounds like you need to do a lot of research on this subject and think a bit outside the fossil fuel box.
          Hydrogen, thermal storage, ice storage, intermittent manufacturing and production, chemical storage, organic fuel synthesis, batteries, geo-thermal storage; lots of ways to store and use energy. Plus lots of ways to make processes use less energy.
          We need to both de-carbonize and de-energize

          Have you done the math? How much wind and solar would actually be needed to cover both daily needs and storage for low wind and sun times. Name plate capacity is just the maximum not actually capacity factor.
          You do realize that even coal and gas are only 50% to 60 percent available and do not run at nameplate capacity.

          Maybe someone else will come to your aid here. I am getting quite tired of the airplanes will never fly attitude. We have decoded and manipulate DNA, synthesize complex chemicals, built massive worldwide communication systems, fly rockets into space and back and people think we can’t figure out how to use already invented intermittent power systems. Give me a break.

          • Hydrogen, thermal storage, ice storage, intermittent manufacturing and production, chemical storage, organic fuel synthesis, batteries, geo-thermal storage; lots of ways to store and use energy.

            Fish, you forgot flywheel storage. /sarc.

            There is not one practical storage method on your list. I have not seen one research engineering paper on energy storage that shows it is practical and/or affordable on a very large scale. And the fact that you mentioned hydrogen and ice as a practical energy storage method is very telling. It tells me you really are grasping at straws.

            Please don’t get me wrong. I would love to see renewables replace all fossil energy. Oil and natural gas are far too valuable than just to burn it. Our descendants will say to us: “You mean you just burned it? You burned it all?” What a disastrous path we are taking!

            That being said, to this date there is no practical way of storing huge amounts of electricity. And giving a silly list of unpractical storage methods does not lend credence to your argument.

            But I could be wrong. If you have a URL for an engineering paper that shows that there is a practical and affordable way to store and deliver electricity, over many hours in darkness with no wind blowing, then please post it.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Search the European sites. They are way in advance of us in thermal storage. I have put those sites up in the past.
              I have put up practical hydrogen storage examples before on this site that have been operating for years, driven by PV and producing both transport and electric power with it. Hydrogen is being sold commercially to fuel vehicles.
              Geothermal storage is commercial. Batteries are commercial.
              I could go on, but I doubt if you will listen or actually investigate.
              I don’t have time or patience anymore for the “airplanes will never fly” crowd. Maybe someone else will drag you into the late twentieth century.

              • I don’t have time or patience anymore for the “airplanes will never fly” crowd. Maybe someone else will drag you into the late twentieth century.

                Drag me into the twentieth century? Stop with the stupid insults. I only asked for an example of a practical long-term source of huge amounts of stored electricity. You supplied none whatsoever. Hydrogen returns one fifth the energy it takes to produce it. There are many other problems with hydrogen. Ice absorbs energy, it does not produce energy.

                And as far as all those predictions, that is an over used cop-out that ignores all predictions that did not pan out. What about Flying cars, electricity too cheap to meter, colonies on Mars, space travel to other solar systems? What century are those things going to happen?

                There is no current electrical storage system capable of supplying power to a large grid, one that supplies power to several million homes and businesses, for several hours.

                See if you can name one sans insults.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Ron,

                  The wind does not stop blowing and the sun does not stop shining in all places at once. A widely dispersed interconnected grid can easily provide 90% of electricity needs and as there are more EVs and batteries become widely deployed there will be ample electrical storage. There will be periods of excess energy with wind and solar built to 3 times capacity of average load.

                  The excess electrical energy can be used to heat water (for thermal storage for heating needs at night or during low energy periods) and ice can be produced for cooling needs using excess energy.

                  Also so called “wind gas” could be produced with excess wind energy and used to power plants for backup energy in fact they could be set up as CCS plants to remove some carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

                  The technology exists, it just needs to be scaled up as we reduce our use of fossil fuel.

                  • The wind does not stop blowing and the sun does not stop shining in all places at once.

                    Dennis, shipping large amounts of electricity over very long distances is extremely problematic. I thought you knew that. There is a thing called “line losses” and the greater the distance the greater the line losses. Also, one set of lines can carry only so much electricity. Massive amounts of new high voltage lines would have to be built in order to implement your scenario. And you would still have the losses.

                    I think your estimate of overproduction of wind and solar electricity is vastly overestimated. In 2016, renewable energy sources accounted for about 10% of total U.S. energy consumption and about 15% of electricity generation. And the vast, vast, majority of that 10% was hydroelectric. That is Dams and waterpower, not wind or solar. We are just one hell of a way from having enough wind or solar power to power the grid, even when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.

                    An all renewable grid is a pipedream Dennis, wake up and smell the coffee.

                  • Peter says:


                    When the sun sets in Britain at 4pm in December it has already been dark in Poland for an hour. The entire continent is in darkness for 15 hours.


                    No help possible from North Africa nor middle east during those times. Even if you could send electricity that far.

                    A gas power plant can give us all the power we want all the time.
                    With solar and wind you need enough backup to cover 3/4 days of light winds. Winter is even worse when solar is limited to 5/6 hours.
                    When you add together the cost of the turbines, the solar panels, the pumped storage (which uses more electricity than it makes). Batteries which are still 10 times the cost of producing the electricity from gas or coal.
                    You have a very costly energy system. People cannot afford electricity costing over 10 times what is does now.

                    To power a house with renewable power

                    Then you need 2 of these for 24 hours and 3 if you have a car to charge.


                    Then you have maintenance costs.

                    Even then you would have to be very careful regarding power use or in winter you would run out.

                    £20,000 to install all of that lot.

                    While I use all I want for £600 a year.

                    I get 33 years worth of electricity and no hassle of installer putting holes in my roof.

                    Small scale or large scale, the costs of electricity storage is prohibitive. That is why there is hardly any.

                  • islandboy says:

                    “Small scale or large scale, the costs of electricity storage is prohibitive. That is why there is hardly any.”

                    Well you better hurry up and tell these guys before they build out any more. They obviously haven’t got the memo!

                    NES’s 50 MW UK energy storage project operational

                    What you are saying and what I am reading are not consistent. If the utility scale storage battery market is growing at 28% with what you describe as prohibitively high costs, how fast is it going to grow when costs are half of what they are now?

                    Again I present: Energy Storage: Charging Ahead in 2018

                    Incidentally, what sort of maintenance costs are involved in solar PV systems? My experience, having install my own grid tied PV system on Nov 1, 2015, is one faulty connection, a result of a mismatch between the connectors supplied with the modules I’m using and the most recent industry standard connectors (MC3 vs MC4). The inverter alerted me to the fault. Had I replaced the connectors on the first and last modules in the string, as I should have, I would have had no issues at all.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ron,

                    The line losses already exist and are not really that large, far smaller than thermal losses in fossil fuel power plants (at about 50 to 60%). Exponential growth takes care of the problem.

                    There are lots of things that exist today that did not exist before (computers, smart phones, the internet, electric power, automobiles, etc.

                    The future is difficult to predict and it is likely that both of our views of the future are incorrect, reality may be somewhere between your pessimistic view and my more optimistic view.

                    Though I am sure that we would both agree that each of our personal views are closer to reality. 🙂

        • islandboy says:

          At the risk of sounding like a broken record I will again refer to the work of Tony Seba. In his Clean Disruption book and presentations, he makes clear reference to “exponentially improving technologies” and lists solar PV, advanced batteries and electric vehicles as examples. Anyone who used to follow discussions at theoildrum.com should also be familiar with the one hour presentation from the late Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Albert A. Bartlett:

          The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (part 1 of 8)

          The video above was my introduction to the presentation way back when. A more recent upload of exactly the same presentation as one video is:


          As someone who fully assimilated the implications of Prof. Bartlett’s lecture I have found it quite easy to understand what Seba has been prognosticating in his presentations. I will look at an example from the island where I live.

          At the end of 2016 a 20 MW solar PV farm was commissioned here and in December of last year ground was broken for another 37 MW solar farm. Earlier this week I did some rough calculations as to how much PV would be required to generate all the electricity that was consumed in the island in 2016. The result was a little over 2 GW, 100 times the size of the solar farm commissioned at the end of 2016. If the installed capacity were to double every two years how long would it take to go from 20 to 2000 MW? The answer is less than 7 doublings or less than 14 years! Using 14% efficient modules spaced so that half the area covered by the arrays is actual PV modules, the area required would be roughly 25 square km, a square with sides 5 km long. When one considers that there were more than 30 MW of distributed PV installed on rooftops all over the island at the end of 2016, to get to 2000 MW would require a little over 5 doublings or 10 years and would require significantly less than 25 km2 of dedicated land space to achieve.

          Note the the island has 100 MW of utility scale wind turbines and 29 MW of hydroelectric capacity. A recent study suggests that there is potential for an additional 25 MW of hydroelectric power. To me “the massive task of replacing fossil fuels” is not all that massive, given a decade or two. There is the challenge of dealing with the fact that solar and wind are not always available but, as far as I am concerned, adapting to that reality and implementing solutions like battery storage and electricity to fuel can be investigated as we build out renewable generating capacity, a glass half full as opposed to a glass half empty approach.

          • Peter says:

            Hi Dennis and Island

            Gonefishing and his ilk, with their simplistic arguments , reveal how little detailed investigation they have done on the subject.

            As I have already said, the problem is not building solar or wind farms, the problem is storing the energy for perhaps up to 4 days to ensure countries such as Great Britain, Germany and France have power when needed.


            Kindly look at the graph and explain to us all, how you would store the electricity to meet demand at 8pm on the 31st of July? Consumption at that time is 55Gw and solar is zero and wind is 2.9.
            How many wind turbines would Germany need to produce 20Gw at 8.00pm?

            If you give us some figures on storage methods, quantities and costs, we can move the discussion beyond Gonefishing 12 year old levels.

            Thank you

            • islandboy says:

              A couple of things. One, a huge build out of renewables will allow countries where the situation can be that consumption at that time is 55Gw and solar is zero and wind is 2.9, to conserve their FF resources for the times when they are absolutely needed. Can you imagine how much carbon Germany would be emitting if they had no renewable resources at all? Looks like maybe twice as much from just looking at the graph below.

              Secondly, the time in question was preceded by a considerable amount of solar production, 200 GWh according to the chart below. According to the same chart, all FF generated 600 GWh for the day. If four times the solar PV generating capacity existed (160 GW instead of 40 GW), solar could have generated the 600 GWh. Of course there are issues with this approach. At solar noon, the output from solar was 23.57 GW while the output from all FF sources was 25.59 GW so, four times as much solar would have been producing a surplus of 35.57 GW, assuming that every other dispatchable source was shut down completely (ie. pumped storage, biomass and hydropower).

              Note that to cover the times when solar is not available would not require that 600 GWh be stored since a sizeable portion of that 600 GWh was generated when solar was available and hence would be offset by solar overcapacity. Just doing some very rough “area under the graph” estimates, the amount of energy that would need to be stored is about 350 GWh. The result is that the challenge for Germany on a day like the day in question is how to store 350 GWh of electrical energy with a maximum power going into storage of about 36 GW.

              Before anybody calls me crazy for thinking of 160 GW of PV in Germany consider these facts. Germany installed about 7.5 GW of PV for three years in a row, 22 GW in three years. China is expected to have installed 50 GW of PV in 2017. How much PV could be installed in Germany over the next 20 years if they got back to 7 plus GW per year?

              What about 350 GW of storage? According to this web page:

              “GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association recently released a new report on the energy storage market. Due to the rapidly declining price of energy storage (predominately batteries), the report states that nearly 300 megawatts of energy storage is expected to be deployed in 2017 – a 28% increase over 2016. Large, utility-scale battery deployments are leading market deployments. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, lithium-ion battery prices have declined over 70% since 2010.”

              Lithium ion is not the only storage game in town so I wouldn’t rule out amounts of electrical energy storage that would be considered impossible today, being on line in twenty years.

              The thing is, my time lines for these expectations are a minimum of twenty years. I certainly don’t expect things to happen overnight but for things to happen in a significant way, initiatives must be taken now. Otherwise how is civilization going to function in 50 years time, if nothing is done and we just continue burning through the remaining allotment of fossil fuels, without any attempt to reduce our rates of consumption?

              If consumption of FF is strongly curtailed during the sunnier months of the year the remaining allotment will give us a lot more time to solve seasonal issues.

              • Peter says:


                You are correct there is no limit to how much solar can be built or how many wind turbines. Germany now has nearly 30,000 wind turbines. Yet often these turbines produce only 1 or 2 Gw when German industry, shops, restaurants, homes, schools and hospitals are using 60Gw.
                Take a look at wind and solar production 3 days ago!


                At 3.30pm installed wind and solar which has a total capacity of nearly 100GW was producing a pathetic 3.3GW.


                While storage grew, the cost of storing electricity in batteries is 10 times the cost of having a gas plant that can produce electricity any time we need it.

                My main point is storage at the moment storage is a tiny faction of installed renewable power being only 0.025%. When it actually needs to be more than installed capacity.

                Also it is cripplingly expensive. Could you afford electricity 10 times what you pay for it now? I could certainly not afford a £6,000 electricity bill.

                To say these prices are going down is utterly meaningless to the here and now.
                It is like saying to a hungry person, I know the food is unaffordable to you but in a few years time you will be able to eat.

                • islandboy says:

                  We are essentially in agreement as it regards the here and now. Where we differ is how we see the future. That is what I think causes some of the disagreements about the present, for example:

                  “While storage grew, the cost of storing electricity in batteries is 10 times the cost of having a gas plant that can produce electricity any time we need it.”

                  That statement is contradicted by the ideas expressed in the following video, at least as it relates to storage cost over the next couple of years:

                  The Energy Storage Disruption – End Of Peakers by 2020 and Baseload by 2030

                  Te essential point of the video is that once storage costs fall below a certain point, certain business models will fall apart and the shift to a new paradigm will happen very rapidly. That is the point I have been trying to make. As you say, right now things do not look so good for renewables and storage etc. The thing is, the price of these technologies is falling fairly quickly and at some point they are going to be very disruptive. That point is very likely going to be when the volumes involved approach double digits in terms of the percentage share of existing markets.

                  See Xcel solicitation returns ‘incredible’ renewable energy, storage bids for an example of what the video linked to above is about.

                  The other point you have not addressed is, what is likely to happen in the twenty to fifty year time frame? That is the time frame during which I expect the limits of fossil fuel resources to be undeniable. In other words I expect that in twenty years time Peak Oil will be history and people might start getting worried about Peak Natural Gas and Peak Coal. Do we wait until then to start doing anything about developing alternatives? I think we should be getting on with it (developing alternatives) in earnest now. What do you think should be done?

                  • Peter says:


                    I do not think we should be installing any renewables without matching it with storage.

                    Instead of taking tax payer money to give to rich people putting up solar panels that money should go into research.
                    Solar panel should be put on large buildings such as schools and hospitals where everyone benefits and not just the few.
                    Funding for research is essential to develop cheaper batteries and hydrogen storage such as this.


                    Speeding up research into more efficient and cost effective storage is the key. Not spending billions supporting what is poor technology.

                  • islandboy says:

                    As Ron has pointed out, the round trip of energy storage using hydrogen as it is currently done, is atrocious. Based on some of the numbers posted by Ron, if renewable energy is to be stored, far more energy will have to be harvested in order to store useful amounts of energy. Using hydrogen as energy storage will require a far more massive build out of renewables than is already envisaged. Aren’t renewables supposed to be too expensive for such flights of fancy?

                    Fuel cell vehicles are a good indication of this. Far more distance can be covered by going straight from source to battery and then to traction motor. The process of harvesting energy, producing hydrogen, storing, distribution and finally, converting back to electrical energy to drive a traction motor, requires that far more energy is harvested to cover a given distance. How do you justify support for increased inefficiency?

                    As far as subsidies are concerned, new critical industries often take subsidies to jump start them. Look at Germany and China to see how that works. It is the breaks given to early adopters that have accelerated the developments that will eventually make renewables affordable for the rest of us. You seem to prefer spending more money on what others consider a dead end. To each his own.

                • notanoilman says:

                  You lead me to think you are just a troll – wa, wa, wa it will never work because of how things were previously. You repeat the same theme again and again to promote gas.

                  Let us get one thing straight, gas is not 100% reliable. UK has come very close to running out and I am sure that people here can pull up a list of supply problems, for example see the item about the Russian ship.

                  Battery technology and prices are changing rapidly while Lithium is no longer the only game in town. Battery storage will be totally different in 10 years time.

                  But why must you only consider storing electricity? You can store cold, you can store heat, you can store work. Refrigeration can make ice ice while the sun shines and I used to have electric storage heaters that could pump out the heat for hours after they were turned off. You are not even starting to think about the contribution that increased efficiency can make.

                  BTW Solar and wind aren’t the only games in town. The UK is doing a lot of work on tidal and current generated electricity, that doesn’t rely on the sun.


                  PS Warsaw is about 1 1/2 hrs ahead of London.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Kindly actually do the research. There have been a lot of studies put out by scientists and engineers showing how renewable systems can work. I won’t get into a pissing match with a Koch brother minion. Nor will I play the game of you specify the conditions and renewables and pretend no storage systems could ever meet them. There are countries running already on renewable energy. There are solar facilities that run day and night. Go back to your coal mine where all energy troglodytes belong.

              • islandboy says:

                GF, I would not be so dismissive of Peter since, in his initial post he makes a very valid point, to wit, “At the moment there is no large scale practical answer to periods of no sun and little wind, such as 19, 20 and 21 June., where production fell to 1 MW. The only practical solution is coal and gas.”

                The moment he is referring to is January 2018 and he is entirely correct. At this moment in time the situation is exactly as he describes it. However there is a understandable flaw in his argument, that is, it does not acknowledge the pace of change. To us humans, the one hundredfold growth in the generation of electricity from solar over the past decade doesn’t seem very significant, coming from a relatively tiny start.

                Watch Albert Bartlett’s video again and you will realize that the power of exponential growth is not usually seen until the growth overwhelms something. When you have a quantity growing exponentially into a finite target, the limits are not seen when the growth has just started. I refer to Bartlett’s “minutes to twelve” analogy in his video to point out that the problem of exponential growth is not usually detected until limits are being approached.

                Looking at the energy storage issue, the growth in the adoption of lithium ion batteries in in it’s early stages and lithium is still considered to be very abundant. If lithium ion battery production doubles every x number of years what happens after production has doubled fourteen times? That is an increase of more than a thousand times the staring amount. The problem at that point is that, having grown a thousand times, the next doubling will require that the amount of lithium mined over the next doubling interval will be the same as all the lithium mined since the beginning of lithium ion battery production.

                The irony of this is that in that problem, lies the solution. If we ever get to the stage where the limits of lithium resources are being approached, it will mean we have made significant progress on the EV and/or electricity storage fronts.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  This is only for those that do not want to receive the Darwin award. Since no one is willing to do the actual research on their own, maybe if they listen carefully to this fellow they will find out just how only one portion of renewable sector and one version of storage could solve the problem. Also they may find out that there is no limit to battery material resources. It’s nice to know that but we also have many types of renewable power generation and storage. There are lots of people working on this, so I don’t see future energy as much of a problem, or even any real problem at all.



                  Or we can just all get the Darwin award, get out of the way and let nature take over. Those are the choices right now.

                • islandboy says:

                  Exhibit “A” from the web page linked to in a post above, shows the US storage market growing ninefold in five years. Let’s call that tenfold in six years. If the growth rate stayed the same for twenty years we’d get a one thousand increase in the size of the market. More than a thousand if growth accelerates, less if it slows down.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Peter,

              The key is to connect a wide area together with an HV grid (DC would be more efficient but AC would do), read the paper I linked.

              Connect all of Europe and look at weather and one is likely to find very little storage is needed if wind and solar are built out to 3 times average load. Thermal storage, batteries, fuel cells, and pumped hydro can all be used for storage.

              Read the paper first, then suggest why in principle this cannot work for the EU if the grid is widely interconnected.

              Biofuel could be used for the 1% backup that might be needed, or nuclear.

          • Peter says:


            You have seen the data of German solar and wind production.


            As you said Germany would need to have at least 4 times as much solar and the excess produced when it is sunny would be stored in batteries.

            You think around 350GW of battery storage would be needed.

            Germany installed 200MW of battery storage last year.

            A company is installing 6 x 15MW plants at a cost of 100 million Euros.

            To meet your estimates of 350GW of storage, that would cost 350,000MW divided by 60 = 5833. multiplied 100 million Euros = 583 BILLION EUROS.


            A recent 884MW gas power plant was built in the UK for £710 million.

            Costs are similar in Germany, all German demand of 90GW could be met with 101 plants costing £72 billion which is about 80 billion Euros.

            Hopefully you can see why I say your ideas are not financially viable.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Peter,

              Costs continue to fall, so taking today’s costs and assuming they remain constant is a poor way to analyze, it is equally incorrect to assume fossil fuel prices will remain low.

              The most likely scenario is an increase in fossil fuel prices and a decrease in costs for wind and solar.

              Germany is not a great place for solar, probably better for wind.

              Some of the excess solar power could be exported to warmer countries to the south where there might be more power demand for AC, some excess could be stored in batteries, some could be used for heating hot water or making ice which could be used at night for heating or cooling. Lots of possibilities.

              A major thing to consider is to take Europe as a whole and treat electricity as a good that can be freely traded across borders. No need for self sufficiency, in fact there cab be trade with MENA as well, along with Russia (which straddles Europe and Asia).

              • Peter says:


                The story of increased natural gas prices has been touted by some for the last 20 years. With increased LNG and fracking natural gas practical reserves have increased way beyond consumption.

                Dennis you still fail desperately to understand there is no solar in Europe from Ireland to Moscow at 1am GMT.


                Germany has 55GW of installed wind yet at 6pm on the 16th December it was producing 0 solar and only 4GW of wind.

                Even if you tripled the amount of wind in Germany at that time you would only get 12GW.
                You casually talk about curtailing power consumption. How? Close down restaurants and shops?
                Also stop talking about cheaper batteries in the future. It only allows you to dodge the issue now. Now is reality.
                What would you do today to reduce coal power?

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Dennis you still fail desperately to understand there is no solar in Europe from Ireland to Moscow at 1am GMT.


                  There are too many people pushing these really memes!

            • islandboy says:


              Again, that they are not viable today does not mean they will not be viable in a few years time. The first dominoes to fall are the Peaker plants that are used for relatively few hours per day during the peak periods. The primary application for batteries right now is fast response, frequency support, an application that they are viable for now. As the prices decline batteries will find use in longer duration roles.

              To suggest that the long term requirement will have to be acquired at todays prices is deceptive. Earlier installations will be more expensive but, when production rises by two or three orders of magnitude, prices could end up being one tenth of what they are now. That is how the cost trajectories of technology based products go.

              In highlighting the capital cost of the gas power plant you completely ignored the fuel and operating costs. Such a plant will burn a considerable amount of fuel over it’s lifetime and to provide a good return on investment, it should be run as often and as long as is possible, keeping the capacity factor as high as possible. That means that the aim in building such a plant is to use it as much as possible. I take it, you see no point in trying to conserve our one time allotment of fossil fuels?

              • Peter says:


                When do you think batteries will be a tenth of cost today?

                Give me a year and I will give you a year.
                Closest wins a quid

                • islandboy says:

                  In this comment upthread, I linked to a 12 minute video from Tony Seba (The Energy Storage Disruption – End Of Peakers by 2020 and Baseload by 2030). He put his cost trajectory for lithium ion batteries at about 1 minute, 40 seconds in and left it on the screen for about 35 seconds, so I did a screen capture which I present below. Let’s call that Exhibit

                  Exhibit “A” is the chart I posted with another comment upthread. That chart is from this web page: US Energy Storage Deployments Up 46 Percent Annually in Q3 2017, which contains the following quote:

                  “The U.S. energy storage market will be worth $3.1 billion by 2022, a ninefold increase from 2016 and a sevenfold increase from 2017”

                  The ninefold increase is talking about money so I decided to lookup what the prognosis for volumes might be. A Facts & Figures page from the Energy Storage Association (ESA) web site contains the following statement:

                  “According to market research firm IHS, the global energy storage market is growing exponentially to an annual installation size of 6 gigawatts (GW) in 2017 and over 40 GW by 2022 — from an initial base of only 0.34 GW installed in 2012 and 2013.”

                  I did a quick little spreadsheet and any quantity growing from 6 units in 2017 to over 40 units in 2022 will get to over 6,000 units by 2036. Using the same spreadsheet the increase in the size of the market in terms of money is very similar to the increase in terms of units shipped. If cost per unit are falling by 16% per year as posited by Seba, this would not be the case. I am therefore compelled to suggest that volumes will increase by over a thousand x before the year 2036 as indicated by my spreadsheet. The size of the market in terms of money might follow that trajectory.

                  All of that to say, I’m with Seba on this one and would wager that prices will fall to one tenth of current prices by 2030 as suggested by Seba’s chart below. In fact I’d be quite willing to raise the stakes and say that I’ll give you 100 quid if it happens after. You give me 100 quid if it happens before.

                  This of course assumes that things don’t go FUBAR before 2030, in which case all bets are off!

    • oldfarmermac says:

      Sometimes people set out to point out actual facts, actual on the ground in your face realities.

      Facts are even more stubborn than mules, and cannot be evaded, finessed, or ignored, at least not without paying a price.. which may be beyond one’s ability to pay.

      Sometimes the real agenda of people who point out such facts is to create the impression in the mind of their reader or listener that there’s only one economically and technically workable solution to the problems associated with such facts.

      It’s very unfortunate, in the case of the environmental problems resulting from our dependence on fossil fuels, that environmentalists all to often adapt the same strategy, misleading the reader or listener, in an attempt to frame the argument in such a way that only one solution, THEIR solution is workable.

      I have yet to see an argument to the effect that we can abruptly quit using fossil fuels that will hold even a teaspoon of water. I haven’t seen one that convinces me we can even cut back by more than maybe half within two or three decades, barring near miracles, barring near miraculous luck.

      Such luck probably depends on truly major breakthroughs in reducing the cost of storing renewable energy, PLUS a series of what I refer to as Pearl Harbor Wake Up Events, things happening that are bad enough, often enough, all over the world, to get our attention, the way a broken muggers brick upside the head gets the attention of his victim.

      I’m sure it sounds outlandish to wish for floods, hurricanes, droughts, runaway fires, and smallish hot wars caused by uncontrolled immigration of people fleeing natural disasters, other smallish wars about access to fossil fuel, metal ores, and such things……….

      But I don’t see how anybody with a working brain and reasonably decent understanding of history and human nature can believe anything less will convince us to do what’s necessary to SUCCESSFULLY change our ways to an extent sufficient to survive the ecological and economic tsunami headed our way.

      There’s no guarantee that even such a series of bricks upside our collective head will convince us to change our ways, but there’s some hope it might.

      The odds of success depend to a very substantial degree on how soon we get our collective act together……. IF we get it together.

      The odds of success also depend to a very important degree on whether those of us in the environmental camp do a decent job getting our message across to the great masses of the people of this country and of the world.

      Unfortunately only a very small minority of us are technically well educated to the extent we are capable of taking the environmental crisis SERIOUSLY. Anybody who doubts this argument, which to me is as obvious a fact as the sun at noon on a clear day, can try this experiment.

      Find yourself a RANDOMLY SELECTED well educated ( as education goes these days ) youngish woman who has majored in art, English, history, business administration, law, or just about any field not directly involving the hard sciences, namely chemistry, physics, geology, biology, etc.

      Try to talk to her seriously about the things we talk about here, for an hour. You won’t succeed more than one time out of twenty tries. Her eyes will glaze over, her foot will start tapping, she will make excuses to escape your attention within five to ten minutes.

      She’s almost dead sure to be a Democrat, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, she expects to live well, to have a large house of her own, or a nice apartment, a nice car, lots of nice clothes, lots of nice toys, money enough to travel to both the beach AND the ski slopes in the winter….. or she at least WISHES to have money enough to indulge these desires.

      Any sort of argument based on voluntarily assumed economic austerity is a total waste of time and is actually apt to predispose her to distrust the environmental camp as a whole.

      Next comment, I’ll try to lay out

    • Ulenspiegel says:

      Peter, you are kicking a horse that died in 2011, or if you read German in 2005 with the dssertation of Gregor Czisch. 🙂

      Norway and Sweden have hydro reservoirs with more than 90 TWh capacity, connect them with other countries and install some pump capacity – the first half of the issue can be covered by simple substitution of demand in Norway and Sweden – and the problem is solved with available technology for a decent price.

      Re lignite: What is your solution? That lignite will be switched off after hard coal is quite obvious, it is cheaper and the new power plants are very flexible.

  33. Doug Leighton says:


    “Loss of oxygen in many ways is the destruction of an ecosystem,” Breitburg says. “If we were creating vast areas on land that were uninhabitable by most animals, we’d notice. But we don’t always see things like this when they are happening in the water… These low-oxygen zones occur naturally, but have grown by more than 4.5 million square kilometers — an area roughly as large as the entire European Union—just since the mid-20th century. In part that’s because of rising temperatures.


    • GoneFishing says:

      What’s more, areas with extremely low oxygen also seem to produce their own greenhouse gas, which could further worsen climate change.
      “There’s potential for a feedback, where warming increases low-oxygen areas which produce nitrous oxide, which then causes more warming,” Breitburg says. “That’s a real concern.” ”

      No, not another feedback with no idea of quantity or rate.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “No, not another feedback with no idea of quantity or rate.” Don’t fret Fish, Dennis insists that feedbacks have been built into the models and all’s well. 🙂

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Of course I disagree. Take wildfires as an example. “Put simply, wildfires are not only caused by climate change, they also add to it. The widespread burning of boreal forests in particular could represent a tipping point from which we may not be able to recover.”



          • GoneFishing says:

            I have been trying to be a negative feedback loop in the system, using less energy and materials every year. Gathering solar energy rather than fossil energy. It’s not always easy but it pays dividends.
            I do not think enough will be done to stop the natural feedbacks from crossing tipping points. We only have less than a decade for that. But there are huge reasons to energy transistion, reduce the use of materials and chemicals, and learn to live at much lower external energy levels. If for nothing else than our own health and the health of what is left of nature. Most of the industrial process must drastically change or stop. One way to do that is not use the stuff they produce (as much as possible) and when one has to use it make it last much longer than average.
            At this point climate change is outrunning social change by a big margin. For intelligent animals we are slow on the uptake, most have never even left the starting block. Our techno-dream meme is just too strong. So we accept it and do what we can.
            If someone out there has the ability to convince people and lead them to a new and better way of life, I hope they step forward and don’t get shot. Me, I have just talked to hundreds of people and given them some insight into how to use the new tech to save energy or how to conserve and spend less money. Hope some of them actually follow through.

            The bald eagle has taught me a powerful lesson. Here is a bird at the peak of it’s evolution. A creature honed to a peak in overall performance and ability that people could never match. Yet a lazy eagle is one that survives. The eagle that can sit still for long periods of time, conserve energy and then use efficient occasional flights to get food quickly is the one that survives it’s first winters when food is scarce and energy is sapped by the cold.
            Conserve energy, be efficient,do as little as possible.:-)

        • Fred Magyar says:

          It’s not the feedbacks that have been built into the models, we have to worry about, it’s the ones that haven’t and might not even be evident yet. As Dennis himself has stated, Ecosystems Science should be a basic requirement for all college graduates.

          The possible feedbacks that worry me the most are all the ecological domino effects initiated by the physical, chemical, and geophysical tipping points. We are already well into the sixth mass extinction.

          If you keep pulling threads out of a tapestry, at some point what you end up with, is just another pile of colored yarn. Good luck putting the threads back to remake the original tapestry…

          • Doug Leighton says:

            OK, is this well understood by the modelers?


            Methanol, benzene, ozone precursors and other noxious emissions collected from wildfire plumes may make it sound like an oil refinery went up in flames. That’s not so far-fetched, as oil and other fossil fuels derive from ancient biomass. “You can see the smoke, and it’s dark for a reason,” Huey said. “When you go measuring wildfires, you get everything there is to measure. You start to wonder sometimes what all is in there.” The study found many organic chemicals in the wildfire plumes, and technological advancements allowed them to detect certain nitrates in the smoke for the first time.


            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Doug,

              Nobody has ever claimed the models are perfect or that everything is well understood.

              I think the earth system is complex and we have much to learn.

              I do prefer models over hand waving though.

              • GoneFishing says:

                The models have large systemic problems as well as ignoring many significant variables. They are mostly used to determine man’s effects upon the earth system, which is a narrow view but easier to assign.
                I look on them as a the lowest boundary for determining global warming.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Gonefishing,

                  The variables that you think are missing in the models are not, what specifically do you mean?

                  What is it that you see that the geophysicists and geochemists are unaware of?

          • GoneFishing says:

            You have it Fred. We might be overly concerned about climate change when it will be the loss of insects and the loss of ocean life that will get us first.
            If some do manage to survive through techno-miracles, it may be in a very lonely dysfunctional landscape where much of the beauty has been erased. Not a place for me. The threads will have been lost.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Speaking of climate change I just checked a survey of historical weather station measurements for my state. The summers and winters have been rising in temp at the rate of 1.2F and 1.3F respectively per decade. That makes my area about 6F warmer.
              Didn’t feel like that lately, but that is averages for you.

              BTW, supposed to hit minus 7F here tonight and by next Friday supposed to hit a high of 50F. Go figure.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Doug,

          My claim is that many of the feedbacks are indeed included in the models, have I ever said they reflect reality perfectly.


          And yes Gone fishing is correct, we have no idea if this potential feedback is large or small, if nitrous oxide is a well mixed greenhouse gas then it is measured and we would have empirical evidence if this is a significant problem to date. Over the 1950-2015 period the rate of rise looks relatively constant, if it is due to ocean warming it is likely to continue and is likely already included in the models.

  34. Hightrekker says:

    Draft Proposed Program considers nearly the entire U.S. Outer Continental Shelf for potential oil and gas lease sales


    • GoneFishing says:

      The opposition is lining up now on the East Coast. Expect lots of lawsuits if drilling goes forward.


      • Fred Magyar says:

        You know that it must have some serious opposition when even a conservative Republican governor like Florida’s Rick Scott is openly against the plan.

        “Another strong Trump supporter, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), broke ranks with the administration and came out against the offshore drilling plan. In a statement announcing his opposition, Scott said his priority is to ensure that Florida’s natural resources are protected.”

        • GoneFishing says:

          Yes, they are so obviously blatant that even hard-nosed conservatives can see the danger and destruction in the plans.

    • notanoilman says:

      Anyone know how much oil/gas is supposed to be out there, what likely fields are there on both coasts?


      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Basically, not enough to be bothered with. Most of the offshore resource is in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s North Slope.

  35. Fred Magyar says:

    Stepping off our little planet for a moment, NASA has released some truly stunning photos of Jupiter’s chaotic atmosphere, taken by the JunoCam imager satellite.


  36. Doug Leighton says:

    Looks as if everything is under control: Daily CO2: Jan. 5, 2018: 408.71 ppm, Jan. 5, 2017: 405.43 ppm

    • Louis Tennessee says:

      Recall these observations are taken atop a volcano, and volcanoes spew many different chemicals into the air, including such that both exacerbate and ameliorate climate change. In fact, one volcano puts out more CO2 in one year than all humans produce in 50 years and there are well more than 100 active volcanoes worldwide.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Which emits more carbon dioxide: volcanoes or human activities?
        Author: Michon ScottRebecca Lindsey
        June 15, 2016

        Human activities emit 60 or more times the amount of carbon dioxide released by volcanoes each year. Large, violent eruptions may match the rate of human emissions for the few hours that they last, but they are too rare and fleeting to rival humanity’s annual emissions. In fact, several individual U.S. states emit more carbon dioxide in a year than all the volcanoes on the planet combined do.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Does anyone ever think when they come up with that hackneyed denier ploy about volcanoes? Gee, if they did produce more than us the atmospheric concentration of CO2 would be over 800 ppm by now, in fact much higher since they have been around longer. Maybe 2200 ppm or higher like in the old days. Let’s hope we don’t get a set of major active volcanoes going off over a long period of time, that would only add to warming in the long run and cause wild weather fluctuations due to particulates coming and going.

          There are something like 35 volcanos erupting at any given time but they are small events like Kilauea. Fun to watch but not earth shaking.:-)

          Oh BTW, LT seems to think that is the only place CO2 is measured and that no one would check against baselines or other sites. They must all be dumb guys. LOL
          Here is how they do it at Mauna Loa

  37. Zabzaz says:

    I wonder how much more electric market share coal is set to lose simply from the amount of coal plant shutdowns and conversions already baked in because of plans to shutdown or convert already announced but not yet completed. The pace of those announcements has slowed now under Trump, but it’s clear; the coal industry will get even worse before it gets better.

    • islandboy says:

      The answer to that questions depends primarily on the price of natural gas in the short term and the speed of adoption of wind and more so solar in the long term. It is low priced natural gas that has driven the decline in coal so far. As the price of renewables continues to decline, renewables might become a factor within a decade. The current administration can do little to stem the tide short of clamping down on oil and gas drilling and the chances of that happening are slim to none. Slim just left the building! 😉

  38. Fred Magyar says:

    In fact, one volcano puts out more CO2 in one year than all humans produce in 50 years and there are well more than 100 active volcanoes worldwide.

    That is a truly fascinating statement!
    Let’s start with the definition of the word Fact

    a thing that is indisputably the case.

    Where might someone find a source that would allow us to fact check that statement?
    Maybe sites such as these?
    Can we trust a statement from the USGS about CO2 emissions?

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the world’s volcanoes, both on land and undersea, generate about 200 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, while our automotive and industrial activities cause some 24 billion tons of CO2 emissions every year worldwide.

    Of course there are people who consider a flat earth to be a fact.

  39. oldfarmermac says:


    It’s oh so easy to enjoy the feeling that comes with knowing more than other people, with getting off making fun of them, telling them to get lost.

    Now when they’re really trolls, that’s one thing, and telling them off is not only ok, it’s justified.

    But there’s a very real and very stubborn fact to be dealt with. Tens of millions of people LITERALLY believe that forced global warming is a fraud, a scam, perpetrated for various reasons:

    …… by politicians, as a way of helping them win elections, in liberal districts , and in larger terms, to thereby eventually force their way of life on people who like their own ways better

    ……. by scientists and others who stand to collect salaries and grant money

    ……. by various businessmen who stand to make fortunes out of renewable energy and conservation schemes


    Now talking SCIENCE at such people is generally worse than a waste of time, because as a rule, they don’t know shit from apple butter about science. This doesn’t mean they’re STUPID, any more than it means any particular member of this forum is stupid because he doesn’t speak a foreign language, or read music, or know how to program computers.

    As the saying goes, but for the Grace of God, good luck if you prefer, the vast majority of the members of this forum wouldn’t know any more science than my grandparents, who were lucky to get a taste of the three r’s in one room schools before they had to go to work. My maternal grandfather never got to go to school a day in his life.

    It’s seldom his or her own fault that a particular man or woman lacks a good technical education.

    It’s rather likely that I myself would know no more science than I learned in a backwoods high school over half a century ago, except that I lucked out in the brains lottery, and made high enough scores on academic achievement tests that a couple of good teachers made sure I applied for college, and not worry about the money, that it would take care of itself, which it did.

    It’s utterly stupid, in terms of public perceptions and political realities, to say that we must give up fossil fuels and live entirely on renewable energy even though it’s obvious enough that eventually we have no choice in this matter, on the basis of depletion alone.

    That sort of talk was once appropriate, before the day of the net. Now, it’s a given that anything said in public will be seized on, and used as a club, by partisans in opposition camps.

    A remark to the effect that we must quit burning coal immediately in order to stave off disaster a few decades down the road may be spot on, but the EFFECT of it ranges from creating the impression on the part of the listener that the speaker is a nut case, or at least utterly naive, if the listener is reasonably well informed about economic issues.

    There are foot soldiers, and there are leaders, in every large scale camp or faction of people. The foot soldiers of the leftish liberal wing are GUARANTEED to continue to believe what their leaders tell them, ditto the foot soldiers of the right. The large majority of all people are foot soldiers, not much interested in thinking for themselves, and to be brutally honest, not really capable of thinking very much for themselves. Critical thinking is a learned skill, and useful only in such situations as the thinker has adequate knowledge TO think critically.

    BUT…… even though they are a minority, there are still quite a lot of people who are able to think for themselves to some extent, and the nature of the political landscape, as it exists today, is such that one camp or another will prevail by winning over these people to their side.

    Elections in the USA are often won and lost on the basis of a mere HANDFUL of votes. HRC would be president today had she won only another forty thousand votes, out of tens of millions, had these votes been in the right precincts in the right states. I posted a link to this effect a couple of days ago.

    Insulting people, making fun of them, because they happen to believe things that make us laugh isn’t going to win them over. At one time I myself believed the USA was the greatest country in the world, by just about any measure, back when I was a kid, lol. Over time I learned that we ARE the greatest, or used to be anyway, ONLY in certain respects, such as military power, the capabilities of our overall economy to provide us with a high standard of living, and such. Now it’s not a sure thing that we’re the greatest in any respect except military power, and even that one “greatest” may be a thing of the past within another generation.

    Maybe the guy who posted a comment to the effect that we’re the greatest this that and the other a few days back really is a troll, he probably is.

    But I can assure anybody and every body that there are MILLIONS of people who believe his words, who “know” they are true, based on THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES. I know dozens of such people personally. My parents, and most of their generation, are that sort of people.

    They played by the rules as they perceived the rules to be, and most of them did pretty well, all things considered. The fact that playing by the old rules doesn’t work very well anymore isn’t yet obvious to them, and may never be obvious to them……..

    but they lived modestly, saved their dimes and one dollar bills, and went off to work in the factories that used to be so plentiful around here, and in one generation, they mostly succeeded in transitioning from barely owning two pairs of pants or two dresses to having nice homes, an occasional new car, money enough to go to see the ocean six hours drive away and play in the surf once in a while, money enough to send the kids off to college, by scrimping like hell.

    My Momma took her shoes off at her wedding to walk across the muddy church parking lot back to Daddy’s old truck. Neither of them had a real opportunity to get an education.

    But they kept the faith, and I don’t mean JUST the faith in Jesus, lol, and by the time I was nine years old, the family fortune grew from one acre worth about ten bucks carved off the corner of my paternal grandfather’s farm to five acres of young productive orchard, and a new house under construction to replace the two room board and batten green oak house Daddy and a local carpenter built over the course of a couple of months. Five acres of orchard in a good year meant profit enough to mostly get that house built, for cash, although we did move in with it half finished. I live in it today.

    All thru those years, my folks would have rather eaten shit with a splinter than accept a dime in charity or any pity from condescending nose in the air people better off than they were.

    No matter how tough times were, they always had a couple of bucks for the church collection plate, which went mostly to support people in the immediate community who really needed help. Of all the things in the world they found to be contemptible, the worst one was to fail to accept responsibility for one’s own circumstances, and do something about them.

    Now anybody who expects such people to vote for liberal Democrats who talk about being for the working people, but also go along with the Republicans in exporting our industries, who tell them that they must accept abortions as a newly minted right when they perceive abortion to be murder, who tell them they must give up their perceived freedom to associate only with people of their own choice, I could go on all day……… has his head up his ass to far to ever see daylight.

    Of course it doesn’t really matter , UNLESS such a person would like for the D’s to win elections and control the government of this country.

    There are more than enough people like my folks in this country to tilt elections in either direction, in many many places, depending on what they believe what either one or the other party is going to do FOR them……. or TO THEM.

    There really are enough of them. Insult them, make fun of them just because it’s fun, and watch Republicans/ social conservatives who have BETTER SENSE win elections.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Democrats don’t force Republicans to have abortions. Republicans want to stop women who want a legal abortion from having it.

      Late-term abortions are rare. According to the Guttmacher Institute⁠, 91% of abortions occur in the first trimester—before 13 weeks of pregnancy. Only 1.3% of abortions are performed at or after 21 weeks, and the procedure that he mischaracterized, in reality called a dilation and evacuation procedure, occurs in only about 0.2% of all abortions. The fetus is not “ripped out of the womb.” NPR’s Julie Rovner describes the procedure well, and my colleague Tara Haelle also covered this today.

      Women don’t choose to have a late abortion frivolously. There are only three reasons that abortions are done after 20 weeks, as Dr. Jen Gunter explains⁠. Women often don’t find out until later in pregnancy that they are carrying a fetus with devastating birth defects and no likelihood of survival. To force the woman to carry the fetus for months more, and to condemn the fetus—if even born alive—to an agonizing, prolonged death, is unconscionable. I remember one such pregnancy in our town, where an ultrasound showed the fetus had anencephaly, or was missing a large part of its brain. Because of religious directives and politics, none of the obstetricians would perform an abortion, and the woman was forced to carry the pregnancy to term and then watch as her newborn died. Here’s another heartbreaking story of a woman who needed an abortion at 31 weeks, and a similar story from Texas. Thankfully, there are a few strong outspoken women in Texas, like Wendy Davis.

      The United States is based on religious freedom. The Republican religious right needs to stop forcing their beliefs on others.

      Trump has called for women to be punished⁠ for having abortions, but no responsibility or punishment for the man.

      Your a confused old man

    • Now anybody who expects such people to vote for liberal Democrats who talk about being for the working people, but also go along with the Republicans in exporting our industries, who tell them that they must accept abortions as a newly minted right when they perceive abortion to be murder, who tell them they must give up their perceived freedom to associate only with people of their own choice, I could go on all day……… has his head up his ass to far to ever see daylight.

      It has been many years since I have heard such a line of bullshit. What women choose to do with their bodies is not any of those very stupid sanctimonious republicans goddamn business. Just because some sanctimonious very stupid idiots perceives it to be murder does not make it so. End of story.

      • oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Ron,
        Perhaps you ought to read it again.

        I’m not talking about what’s right and wrong, which is after all a matter of opinion, which you if anybody in this forum should understand. Mother Nature doesn’t deal in such absolutes as right and wrong. Right and wrong aren’t absolutes, or even objective realities. Societies decide what’s right and what’s wrong within the context of internal politics.

        I’m talking about making fun of people because they disagree with you, talking down to them, talking ABOUT THEM, using language such as

        ” Just because some sanctimonious very stupid idiots perceives it to be murder does not make it so. End of story. ”

        In this country, we have this thing called Democracy. When things don’t go to suit people, they have the right to vote for politicians who either believe as they do, or at least PRETEND to believe as they do.

        I really do believe you are smart enough to understand that when you talk about people that way, you have utterly and totally lost any opportunity of winning them over to your way of thinking, of making friends out of them, rather than enemies.

        For what it’s worth, I am absolutely sure that I will never convince you, nor any body else who frequents this forum, to change their ways in this respect, once they have put themselves on record talking this way. The more we behave in any certain fashion, and are publicly criticized for doing so, the more determined we are to continue behaving in the same fashion. This observation seems to be a more or less universal truth, whether we’re talking about redneck share croppers or Ivy League professors.

        But that’s not my goal. I don’t beat my head against the wall trying to accomplish the impossible, once I ‘ve satisfied myself that something IS impossible.

        My major goal is to convince OTHER people who want Democrats to win elections ( primarily because Democrats are miles ahead of the Republicans on environmental issues ) to avoid this sort of rhetoric, because it’s precisely the sort of language that infuriates the people you’re making fun of.

        It’s STOMPING on their hot buttons, and virtually guarantees that they will ignore any environmental message , because environmental messages are associated in their minds with their cultural and political enemies.

        Bottom line, the Koch brother types ought to be sending you a check every time you say something like this.

        Of course it’s a free country, and I wouldn’t be but so surprised if you were to exercise your personal property rights, given that this is your blog, and ban me.

        I wish to say however that I do admire your tolerating not only me but a number of other gadflies. I wouldn’t have the patience to run a forum of my own in even half as even handed style. .

        My secondary goal is and has been to find out if people who are hard core members of one or another cultural camp are able to transcend their personal and group cultural prejudices if confronted directly, and change their ways as a result.

        I have concluded that this is either impossible, or so unlikely that it’s a total waste of time even trying it. I’ve concluded that no matter HOW INTELLIGENT any given person may be, his or her cultural prejudices are almost dead sure to override his or her intellect when it comes to actually working with people from other cultural camps.

        Bottom line, it’s all about a culture war. THE culture war.

        And again , for what it’s worth, I have consistently maintained that the leftish liberalish culture is sure to win, barring unforeseen historical accidents that may come to pass, because history and demographics are on the side of the leftish liberalish culture.

        But that doesn’t mean that the rightish leaning, more conservative culture can’t still win some battles, especially when the opposition camp plays it’s cards poorly.

        The leftish camp has played it’s cards very poorly in recent years. Blaming the losses of the D party on the opposition’s a cop out. Politics is a hard ball game, and you are supposed to have sense enough to play a winning game. Only children blame the other team when they lose a ball game. Adults resolve that next time around, they will play harder and smarter, if they can, and win.

        The leftish liberal leaning camp has overplayed its hand in recent times, and as a result , the Republicans have more or less mopped the floor with the Democrats, at the local , state and national level in recent times.

        Now it’s the Republicans overplaying their hand, and if the Democrats play their cards right, they have an excellent opportunity to regain partial control of the federal government in the midterms, and total control in 2020.

        The D’s have forgotten what they need to do to win, and WHO they need to win. They’ve morphed into a Republican Lite party, and more or less told the working classes of this country to go fuck themselves in recent times, that money bags Republican policies are GOOD FOR THEM.

        Whether this is true, or not, in any given case, is actually irrelevant to the issue of winning elections.

        It’s what people BELIEVE when they enter the voting booth that determines the way they vote.

        The D’s had ample opportunity for quite some time to raise the standard deduction that working poor people take , thereby lowering their income tax bill a little, and even a little means a hell of a lot when you take home only a little.

        The Republicans proved themselves much smarter, and it didn’t take them long to do it, no siree. A hell of a lot of piss poor working people are going to look favorably on the Republicans when their take home paycheck goes up even five bucks a week.

        It’s true that the hog’s share of the tax cuts went to the investor class, but that’s irrelevant too, in terms of the way working poor people are going to vote next year, especially if the economy picks up, and they get a raise, or can switch to a better paying job.

        • I really do believe you are smart enough to understand that when you talk about people that way, you have utterly and totally lost any opportunity of winning them over to your way of thinking, of making friends out of them, rather than enemies.

          Jesus H. Christ Mac, do you really think I am trying to convince Bible thumpers over to my way of thinking. Fuck NO! They have been indoctrinated since birth and nothing will ever convince them that their religion is the stupid illusion that it is.

          What I am trying to do Mac is to stop them from making their very stupid religion the law of the land. That is exactly what they want to do. They want to make the Bible the law of the land. They want to tell all unbelievers that they must obey the Biblical law or go to jail.

          No, no, no, it will not happen. All religion is unbelievably stupid. There was a time when religion ruled the world. They called it the dark ages. Religious idiots would love to bring back those dark ages. But I will fight them tooth and nail with every breath I have left in my body.

          It will not happen.

          Bye now.

          • Preston says:

            Actually, it’s not even in the bible. The bible does not condemn abortion, but supports it. There is a passage in the old testament telling unfaithful women to go to their priest for a bitter potion that will cause her to miscarry if the baby isn’t her husbands. Other than that, I don’t think it’s mentioned. It’s certainly not mentioned by Jesus. They did have several methods even back then to end a pregnancy, and if it was so important you think Jesus might of brought it up. Also, it’s generally taught that the soul enters the body at birth, so it wouldn’t of mattered to anyone back then.

    • Charles Van Vleet says:

      Once in a while I do come to the conclusion, I would probably vote mostly the democrat line in the polling booth, if it weren’t for embrace of Roe vs. Wade, and giving a never ending support of abortion. Most times democrats are closer to my views of caring for the sick and elderly especially if they’ve put in the hard work to make this the best country in the world. Workers need to eat to, and have money to support wives and children. All that money going only to the already rich is no good if the common man has nothing. Never-the-less the reality is , in my heart I could never support a political party that calls abortion moral and argues that God should not have a central role in public life. So like many Christian voters I have to go with the republicans in the end.

      • GoneFishing says:

        The river of life is washing away as we watch and you imperious self-righteous zealots want to add to the pain by sentencing children to hell on earth. Such good people will be the victims of those children that do grow up in the horrible conditions you put them into as they take to crime and drug addiction. They are your victims. You took no responsibility for them, just force your ways on their mothers.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “…the best country in the world.” Right, a country presided over by a moron where almost all the wealth is in the hands of a chosen few and millions live in poverty and 92 percent of African-Americans say black Americans face discrimination today. “Workers need to eat to, and have money to support wives and children.” Well, that’s a sexist ignorant statement if there ever was one. “I could never support a political party that calls abortion moral and argues that God should not have a central role in public life.” I think I’m going to vomit. Please go away you ignorant asshole.

        • Charles Van Vleet says:

          Sorry I forgot abortion was a forbidden topic here. We will have to agree to disagree since opinions will never get settled on the issue.

          • Survivalist says:

            Abortion has simply provided us with an opportunity to kill before birth rather than just after it. The importance of the bucket of water to the midwife in earlier times is misunderstood. It was for drowning unwanted newborns, particularly during times of food scarcity and family poverty. They were called ‘still born’. Women have always had their ways, and their secrets. Don’t be such a control freak.

      • Preston says:

        Charles, you really should reconsider. This one issue has you supporting child molesters and voting for a completely immoral and non-christian man for president. I used to say the evangelicals were hypocrites, but at least they didn’t cover up for child molesters like the Catholics. I’m sure you don’t really support rape, but it starts to sound that way when you want to force a woman to have a rapist’s baby.

        Speaking of Trump’s morality, did you hear what he says makes life worth living? It’s sleeping with his friends wives…. Such a role model….

  40. Fred Magyar says:

    Sometimes I just find all the BS arguments about politics, stupid religious beliefs, and false morality, etc… to be such a total waste of fucking time! In case anyone is interested, this hour long talk is pretty awesome!

    Zachary Adam Postdoc Lecture
    Energy, Entropy, and Complexity on the Prebiotic Earth,

    • GoneFishing says:

      My question is why tetrapods and not hexapods in large animals?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Maybe ask the arthropods, they’re the ones with all the legs… 😉

        Habelia optata (2cm, not counting whip tail.)
        From the Burgess Shale
        Credit: Joanna Liang, Copyright: Royal Ontario Museum

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I think this hour and a half long video explores possible alternative alien biological body plans.


          Published on May 23, 2012
          Dear Viewers,

          The video is called Alien Planet and shows how NASA would explore such a planet if found with their future space technology.

          It also gives some educated opinions regarding the likelihood of alien life, and how we could study such life forms by some of the greatest scientists and astronomers in the world.

          I hope you enjoy the video.

          Take care..,

      • George Kaplan says:

        Chance – Tiktaalik was first and happened to only have two front fins.

  41. islandboy says:

    For readers in the US, I present Cold weather, higher exports result in record natural gas demand from the EIA website for your Sunday evening reading pleasure! For readers in Europe and West Africa, it’s for your late night reading and all areas east of that will probably see this first thing Monday morning.

    “Estimated U.S. natural gas demand on January 1, 2018 reached 150.7 billion cubic feet, surpassing the previous single-day record set in 2014, according to estimates from PointLogic. Much colder-than-normal temperatures across much of the United States have led to increased demand for heating, much of which is provided by natural gas. Although residential and commercial natural gas consumption did not appear to surpass previous records, higher consumption in the electric power and industrial sectors, greater exports of natural gas to Mexico, and more demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) feedstock gas contributed to the recent record demand level.

    Natural gas consumption is typically highest in the winter months, when residential and commercial demand for heating fuels increases. Industrial sector consumption of natural gas is relatively less seasonal but is also higher in winter months. Although the electric power sector consumes the most natural gas during summer months, when overall electricity demand is highest, power sector consumption of natural gas can also increase in winter months. Many homes and commercial buildings use electricity either as their primary or secondary heating fuel, and overall increases in electricity demand are often met by natural gas-fired generators.

    This past week, increases in demand led to higher prices in natural gas and electricity markets. Day-ahead natural gas prices for delivery for January 1, 2018, neared $30 per million British thermal units at trading locations in the Mid-Atlantic region, New York, and Boston, according to Natural Gas Intelligence. Because the spot price of natural gas affects power prices in many parts of the United States, spot wholesale electricity prices also rose, surpassing $200 per megawatthour (MWh) in New York City and $185/MWh in New England, according to data from SNL Energy.”

    We will have to wait another ten and a half weeks or so to see what impact this has on the EPM data. That’s when the EPM with data for Jabuary 2018 will be released but, this post is sort of a note to myself to remember this when the electricity data does come out.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Well, here I am in the northeast. Been exceptionally cold but guess what, temperatures on the rise now and supposed to hit a high of 54 here on Thursday. That will greatly reduce the demand during one of the normally highest demand weeks. Could be warm the rest of the winter or not. Probabilit forcast is for warmer weather along the Atlantic coast.
      Weird weather with lots of variation is the norm now.

    • coffeeguyzz says:

      Those astronomical prices in the New England and NYC areas are directly tied into scarcity stemming from lack of pipelines.

      The intraday spot at Transco Zone 6 hit $175/mmbtu with the day’s average $140.
      Previous intraday record of $125 was shattered.
      Same day, NYMEX futures DROPPED to the $2.63/mmbtu range.

      Meanwhile, slightly to the west in Ohio, residential customers of Dominion Energy paid $3.07/mmbtu with the figure dropping to $2.74 in a few weeks.
      Averaging 20 thousand or so cubic feet a month, retail Ohio customers paid about 60 bucks for a month’s worth of fuel to heat their homes, their water, dry their clothes.

      Pipelines brought the product to them.

      The above wholesale spot electricity was way over $300/Mwh much of the past several days, passing $500 on occasion.
      The practice of burning fuel oil has been in the 30% range for days now, hitting a high of 41%.
      There was a fear of running out of oil for fuel as barges were getting hampered by ice in the Hudson river along with unprecedented consumption.
      At least 3 ships were hurriedly crossing the Atlantic to St. Croix with fuel oil for north east markets.
      The electric bills will reflect this high price surge in the coming weeks.

      Not. Enough. Pipelines.

      • coffeeguyzz says:

        … And, Islandboy, to get a deeper glimpse into how this stuff plays out in the real world …
        The inaugural shipment of LNG from Yamal (an incredible achievement by the Russians, especially in the teeth of sanctions), was offloaded in the UK a few days back.
        Some of this product was loaded onto the LNG carrier Gaselys which disembarked with the destination Boston – specifically the LNG terminal at Everett.

        So, gas that was extracted from one of the harshest locations on the planet – the Yamal peninsula – was piped to the $27 million LNG facility to be liquefied.
        Then, placed aboard the ice-breaking LNG carrier Christophe De Margerie (only tin foil hat wearers understand the significance of the ship’s name), shipped to the UK for offloading, then loaded onto the Gaselys, shipped across the Atlantic to Everett where it will be offloaded, stored, and eventually used at the Mystic power plant.

        All this, along with the accompanying costs, because a couple of pipelines into New England that would have provided decades of abundant, cheap fuel (see Ohio’ssituation) were thwarted by opposition.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          All this, along with the accompanying costs, because a couple of pipelines into New England that would have provided decades of abundant, cheap fuel (see Ohio’ssituation) were thwarted by opposition.

          There was a lot of opposition to the offshore wind farms that had been planned for the Cape too.


          Nation’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Will Be Built Off Long Island

          • coffeeguyzz says:

            If you look at some of the numbers (power transmitted, cost, operational challenges) you may find that offshore wind development in the US may be an extremely disadvantaged venture.

            The fishermen are just now starting to organize (pretty individualistic bunch) and should they receive any outside legal or financial assistance, the hurdles for development will increase.

            While Nantucket has been prepped as a potential future staging area, the Jones Act will be a huge obstacle as all the large components will need to be shipped into there from Europe as specialized vessels do the assembling.

            Quite distinct from Europe via a vis gas supply, the contrast from, say Pennsylvania/Ohio and Massachusetts/ Connecticut will prove short-lived as present electric and gas prices display.

            You may appreciate reading the description of the world’s largest offshore farm, the London Array, on the power engineering international site (‘London Array Turns 2″).
            Contrast the numbers with any random new build CCGT plant in Pennsylvania such as the Lackawanna Energy Center.
            There are about 2 dozen of these behemoths being built with dozens more being planned.

            There is growing apprehension that events like the “Deindustrialization of Australia” could take place as 8 cents per kilowatt hour, reliably delivered, for decades to come will be an irresistible lure for energy intensive industries.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Investing in a 40 to 60 year power plant takes guts when the natural gas source might fizzle in half that and renewable energy might make it redundant and expensive before that.
              Meanwhile, as they burn coal too all over the NEPA region, they can claim a reduction of CO2 compared to coal.

              • coffeeguyzz says:

                The just released report from the DOE – Natural Gas Liquids Primer/Appalachian Basin – projects a doubling of present output up to 16 Trillion cubic feet per year 30 years out.

                Figures #10 and #11 depict both the Marcellus and Utica regarding current wells and overall size.
                Discerning observers know the potential from the deeper Utica is enormously skewed to the upside as several producing wells are situated in “over cooked” areas, that is, where heretofore it was deemed unproductive.

                16 Trillion cubic feet per year production is an almost unbelievable figure, but present operations indicate it is on its way to being achieved.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Wow, that is amazing. Even with the greater than hyperbolic decrease in output?
                Constant refracking is going to be expensive and a lot of those new wells will have to be drilled close together.
                Do you think the projection is real? I don’t know how many layers there are in the Marcellus region, but most of the Utica is very deep.

                • coffeeguyzz says:

                  The numbers are extraordinarily high.
                  For several reasons, I refrain from getting too deeply involved future projections as they are, by their very nature, unknowns and prone to spark controversy depending upon one’s bias.
                  That said, a glance at Enno’s site for 2016 and 2017 production from, say, Bradford and Susquehanna counties will show the potential in the best of areas.

                  As far as aerial extent of the Utica, Canadaian company Questerre is restarting development of the Utica just southeast of Montreal, obviously hundreds of miles north from PA.

                  Besides the potential size of these resources, there are exceptionally strong components that favor gas over oil in unconventional production.

                  As has been pointed out on this site numerous times, maintaining sufficient flow with oil over a lengthy lateral is difficult, especially over a 20 year or longer time frame.
                  Gas just flows.

                  The 2018 year will see dozens of 15,000/20,000 foot laterals in the AB which will significantly improve the economics.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Sure, fracking tech is advancing. The edges of the Utica are closer to the surface, like in Ohio.
                    The use of natural gas through the rest of the century will definitely put a big bump in the global warming scene, since coal will be right on top of it.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Coffeguyzz,

          As I have pointed out on several occasions the pipelines were thwarted by Massachusetts Law and a decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

          If the people of Massachusetts want those pipelines they will have to tell their legislators they want the law changed.

          The country is not ruled by petroleum producers, (at least not yet). 🙂

          Maybe the laws will be changed, that is up to the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. 🙂

  42. Doug Leighton says:


    “The increased storage capacity, or energy density, could boost the distance electric vehicles are able to travel on a single charge, from about 200 kilometers to 600 kilometers (360 miles).”


    • GoneFishing says:

      Wait, does that mean that lithium batteries will soon be less than $40 per kWh? That would change everything, including mass storage of power.

      • GoneFishing says:

        EV Batteries will cost about what it takes to replace a transmission in an ICE.

  43. GoneFishing says:

    Why do the climate models not match empirical observations – and why is your estimate of the Arctic sea ice disappearance so different from most model projections?

    The modellers did not pay sufficient regard to observations, especially of ice thickness. They considered certain physical processes in the model, then when the rate of retreat greatly outstripped the predictions of the model, they ignored the observations and stuck with the model. A very great physicist, Richard Feynmann, said that when a model comes up against measurements that contradict it, it is the measurements that must be preferred and the model must be abandoned or changed. Scientists who have a lot of their credibility bound up in a model are reluctant to do this. Then there are a number of key processes that can only be represented if the model has a very fine grid scale, such effects as the break-up of ice due to waves generated in the large areas of open water that we now have in summer; or the additional weakening of the ice by meltwater pools that melt their way right through the ice sheet. A modeller who represents all these fine scale processes is Wiselaw Maslowsky (Monterey) and his models agree with my empirical predictions.


    • Doug Leighton says:

      Fish, don’t forget Antarctica.


      • The Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has most likely been destabilized and ice retreat is unstoppable for the current conditions.

      • No further acceleration in climate change is necessary to trigger the collapse of the rest of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, with loss of a significant fraction on a decadal to century time scale.


      • GoneFishing says:

        Antarctica already loses most of it’s sea ice every year, maybe it will drop to zero in the near future for a few months at a time. I read that the sea ice is much thinner than in the past.
        With the extra solar insolation it has due to orbital positions I expect Antarctica will show some major melting in the lower altitude regions and coastlines.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gonefishing,

      That’s a pretty old article. Have you checked how Wadham’s predictions have fared?

      In 2013 he predicted the Arctic would be ice free by Sept 2015, as far as I remember this prediction proved incorrect, did I miss it? 🙂

      Based on the linear trend of the PIOMAS data it looks like 2043 might be where the Arctic becomes ice free if the 1979-2017 trend continues. Or considering the trend on the Sept minimum, perhaps as early as 2033.

      Note that some climate models such as GISS Model E2-H predict faster Arctic ice melt than what has occurred, the Model E2-R (a different Ocean model) gets closer to the empirical data for Arctic sea ice.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Hmmm, the range limits on PIOMAS September sea ice volume only have 1 million km3 to lose. That gives good potential for ice free in Sept within 5 years. Of course if we have another 2012 it could be sooner.

        “That’s a pretty old article. Have you checked how Wadham’s predictions have fared?”
        Old article? Do the laws of physics and planetary dynamics change every few years? I think most of them held up fairly well. Or are we only allowed to access this years knowledge since you keep repeating this? There was a lot of good and valid work done prior to last year.

        I just read his latest book, looks fine to me. Being Professor Emeritus at Oxford and a field climatologist for 4o years lends him a bit of weight over your snarky comments. I agree with most of his conclusions. So does nature so far, or has the trend reversed while I was out walking the dog? His prediction of the collapse of the Arctic Ice still holds, natural variation got in the way a bit but I still think it’s headed for open ocean and not many years from now.

        Are you talking sea ice extent with those models? That is the crappiest measurement I know of, can be off by up to 85%. Sigh.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gonefishing,

          My snarky comments are in line with what most climate scientists think.

          No they use sea ice area and thickness, and no the laws of physics don’t change, but our understanding of the complex Earth System is getting better over time.

          The ice volume daily minimum from 1979 to 2017 was 3673 km3 for the Arctic based on data from PIOMAS, but the 2017 daily minimum was 4532 km3, the monthly sept minimum has been decreasing at 320 km3/year, so if that rate continues, that’s 14 years or 2031, not the 2017 Sept minimum is close to the trendline, considering uncertainty (17% to 83% confidence interval) maybe 2028 to 2034 is about right.

          I am simply pointing out that the prediction was an ice free arctic in 2015, but that may have been a journalist overstating the case.

          Using sea ice area for NH (rather than extent), the 1979 to 2017 Sept minimum trend points to “ice free” in 2046 to 2083 with median (50% probability it will be earlier or later) of 2064. Ice free is defined as 1 million km2 or less.

          The rate of decrease has been 48,500 km2/year, absolute Sept minimum (2012) NH sea ice area was 2.41 million km2 and in 2017 the minimum was 3.3 million km2. Based on data from link below (month 9).


          • Gonefishing says:

            My computer died so am waiting for part, won’t be here much until then.
            The way to do it is to use the bottom dashed line on the average sept ice volume. That is essentially the range of natural variability. Extend that 3 years ahead and that reaches 1 million km3 volume which is the definition of ice free for the Arctic Ocean. As can be seen in 2010 through 2012 the average reached the range limit. So by 2021 or earlier we could see the first Blue Ocean event in the Arctic depending upon weather only.
            Open three month will take longer, but should happen within a decade after that since if you look at the data the rate of decrease over the last 20 years has accelerate beyond the long term average,

  44. GoneFishing says:

    Linkages between the Arctic warming and lower latitudes plus other topics.


    The Arctic Meltdown & Extreme Weather – Jennifer Francis

  45. GoneFishing says:

    Here is an example of solar energy available at about 40 N in a fairly cloudy region. This one is an ideal collector fixed facing south at 60 deg tilt (optimized for fall/winter). One can see there is a lot of energy per sq meter even in the winter. The median year gives an idea of variation one might experience at a given site.

    • Eulenspiegel says:


      Here is a report how much photovoltaic energy is earned in a fairly cloudy country, and other, too:


      Have fun with it.

      Wind is good this winter, wasn’t that good last year, but many new engines installed since then. They where growing like mushrooms the last 2 years.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Thanks, I have seen that site. From what I know Germany gets about 7 percent of it’s power generation from PV and gets about a third of it’s energy from renewable energy sources.

  46. GoneFishing says:

    This is for a fixed collector at 35 degree tilt, more optimized for summer. One can see that being able to tilt the collector with the seasons gives an appreciable gain over a fully fixed system.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Thanks Gonefishing.

      Do they have a graphic for a variable tilt (just along the axis changed in the two charts above) system where the system adjusts to achieve maximum output?

  47. Renewable energy in the United States

    Renewable energy accounted for 12.2 % of total primary energy consumption[3] and 14.94 % of the domestically produced electricity in the United States.

    Of that 14.94% of total production, Wind (20.8%) and Solar (5.8%). That comes to a grand total of just under 4% of total energy production.

    Soooo… If you wished to produce 100% of energy from wind and solar, you would have to multiply that by 25. Well, perhaps 22 since 10% is produced by hydro. But if 100% of that or 90% of the total goes down at night because of no wind, and you wished to draw that from a neighboring grid, then that would mean they would have to multiply their current wind and solar production by 44 times.

    Well, actually it would be a lot more than that because we are talking about wind only here, as there would be no solar at night. So wind only would have to be multiplied by 50 or 60 times. Or about 2,000% of current wind production. You hope the wind would be blowing really hard in that neighboring grid. Otherwise…?

    Dream on!

    • GoneFishing says:

      Although quite technically feasible, you may be right for other reasons. Advancing technology has always created large divisions among the public and much resistance (sometimes violent) has always been put up against new tech. There was much negative hoopla when trains were first on the scene, huge amounts of mythical horrors were publicly announced and spread when cars were introduced. Snowmobiles even had and still has it’s anti-snowmobile groups. The creeping horrors that power lines or wind turbines were supposed to do to the unwary citizenry was all over the media for a while. You name it, the divisions keep occurring with almost all changes and especially highly visible ones.
      Huge divisions of ideas and religio/political ideology are rampant across the US. Even people who are pro-environment and pro-technology can’t agree on things and get acting together, so the anti-environment and anti-new tech groups will have a huge advantage and are slowing down the advance of new energy producing systems. Yep, it is the people themselves, not the technical difficulties that will stall the transistion.
      We could have a new Technical Tower of Babel occurring right here in the good ole USA where much of the tech originates. So instead of turtles all the way down, it may just end up a fossil fuel/renewable mix all the way down until things really start to fall apart. Good luck after that.
      We might not get that far anyway so it may all be a moot point.

      Oh, BTW, your numbers are off by a large factor. Wimbi and I discussed this a while back and we came to the conclusion that there would be far less energy needed because of the inherent efficiencies involved in renewable electric generation and electric devices such as EV’s and heat pumps. An appreciable amount of fossil energy is wasted as heat/process losses and there is a large loss of energy before oil is even used.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        I do miss Wimbi, he was one bright level headed dude, was always a pleasure to exchange thoughts with him. In other news heavier than air machines will never fly… until they do.

        BTW, when I was following the Solar Impulse round the world flight not all that long ago people were talking about electric airplanes being decades away. Even I didn’t seriously think I would live to see commercial electric powered flight. Now I ain’t so sure anymore, baring being struck by lightning, given the extremely weird weather we are having in Florida.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Hey, we have rockets that go into space and then land back on earth to be reused now!
          I agree, wish I could have sat down with him at least once and talked. So few are interested or even that interesting. At least he spread his ideas around, seeds planted.
          Now back outside with me. It just broke freezing for the first time in a while and is sunny to boot.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Fred,

          I agree, the cool thing about Wimbi was that he was a mechanical engineer who really knew his thermodynamics and what was possible and he saw many possibilities.

      • Fish, over and over you keep trying to make this a philosophical debate. “They said planes would never fly, we sent rockets into space, blah, blah, blah.” No, this is a technological debate. Is it feasible to build a huge battery bank capable of delivering 50 gigawatts of power for 12 hours? (The US, on average, consumes 5 gigawatts per 1 million people.)

        I know, I know, they said iron would never float. But pointing that out adds absolutely nothing to this debate.

    • wharf rat says:

      California is already getting 30% of its power from RPS renewables …

      The latest report from the California Energy Commission shows that the state is within striking distance of its 33% by 2020 renewable energy mandate, with solar providing more than a third of RPS-eligible powe

      The two sets of data differ not only in that the CAISO grid does not have exactly the same boundaries as the state, but also in what counts. The data presented by CAISO and compiled by Joe Deely disaggregates large hydroelectric dams, and we included those to reach a figure that local renewables met 38% of demand. Also, CAISO does not count “behind-the-meter” solar, including rooftop installations, so if anything that 38% is conservative.


  48. George Kaplan says:

    Some interesting findings about methane from NASA published last week:

    Methane in the atmosphere was rising then levelled off, and now has started rising exponentially. It currently comes from three main sources: fires, fossil fuel industry and wetlands. The fire source has been declining over the last 20 or so years, mostly becauae of fewer fires in the Africa savanna, which is more getting turned to agriculture so now the fires are extinguished rather than allowed to burn (long term this may not be the best idea for the wild animals and overall land conservation, and I’m not sure if there is an impact not yet seen in the data from the recent increase in wildfires in Russia, Canada and US). Increases from the other two sources have now exceeded these decreases so the overall rate is now accelerating.


    • GoneFishing says:

      Interesting, thanks. One more piece added to the jigsaw puzzle of increasing methane concentration.

      Methane emissions from cattle are 11% higher than estimated
      Besides natural sources such as peatland, wetlands and termites, methane from human activity – approximately two-thirds of the total – is produced in two ways: the odourless and colourless gas leaks during the production and transport of coal, oil and especially natural gas; and, in roughly equal measure, from the flatulence of ruminants such as cattle and sheep, as well as the decay of organic waste, notably in landfills.
      “Cows belching less methane may not be as eye-catching as wind turbines and solar panels, but they are just as vital for addressing climate change.”
      Methane is far more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, capturing more of the sun’s radiative force, but it persists for less time in the atmosphere. Taking that into account, scientists calculate that over a 100-year period the “global-warming potential” of the gas is 28 times greater than for carbon dioxide.


    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Thanks George,

      From the nasa piece.

      Combining isotopic evidence from ground surface measurements with the newly calculated fire emissions, the team showed that about 17 teragrams per year of the increase is due to fossil fuels, another 12 is from wetlands or rice farming, while fires are decreasing by about 4 teragrams per year. The three numbers combine to 25 teragrams a year — the same as the observed increase.

      1 Tg (Teragram) is 10^12 grams, 1 Pg (Petagram) is 10^15 grams, for those not familiar with these terms.

      Based on these estimates about 68% of the methane increase is due to fossil fuels, the coming peak (2025-2035, perhaps) in fossil fuel output may reduce the rate of increase in methane, a population peak might also reduce the amount of cattle produced as well as reduce the amount of rice that is produced, which may also help to reduce the methane increase. Wildfires are more difficult to guess, these seem more weather dependent and unpredictable.

  49. George Kaplan says:


    “Our investigations show that uplift of the sea floor in this region caused by the melting of the ice masses since the end of the last ice age is probably the reason for the dissolution of methane hydrate, which is already ongoing for several thousand years,”

    (I’m not sure why that doesn’t count as climate change, just a bit longer term).

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-01-methane-hydrate-dissociation-spitsbergen-climate.html#jCp

    • GoneFishing says:

      I have not been able to get to the actual paper, but this one smells fishy so far, at least in it’s conclusions and inferences. It is just logical that shallow permafrost got covered with water as the ocean level rose at the end of the last glaciation and warming since then has made certain regions producers of methane, the temperature rose 6C or more depending on location.
      The statement about the bottom uplift being greater than sea level rise would mean that the bottom rose over 120 meters in the last 20,000 years. Also the ocean has been warming for that long, so how can they say it’s not climate change. I checked the Helmholtz Center version and it was only slightly better written than the American version.
      I am skeptical about this one until I get a lot more info. Maybe the conclusions are being misinterpreted, as often happens. Why this would not be accelerated by the rapid warming lately is beyond me at this point.

  50. Peter says:

    Renewable Power Storage and other flights of fantasy.

    Have you noticed that renewable enthusiasts, repeat the same few phases again and again?
    ” Wind and solar are getting cheaper, storage is getting cheaper. They will be on par with gas soon, at some point they will be even cheaper”
    However when you try and pin them down on actual hard facts such as costs today, they are utterly unable to show how a renewable energy economy will work.

    We only have to look at the reality of Europe to see how impossible a 100% economy is without quantum leaps in storage.

    With hardly a nano second of real thought they tell us that solar energy can be transferred from where it is sunny to places where it is not. Also wind can be treated in the same way.

    The following articles; which they will not bother to read, as it will spoil their blissful futuristic visions.


    For those of us who really want to understand the problems that lie ahead will consider these graphs.


    The falsehood that spreading wind over an every larger area will iron out variations is clearly laid bare.

    Covering the vast land and offshore areas Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Denmark there were 142GW of installed capacity.


    Yet instead of seeing reasonable, undulating variations in output the opposite is the case. Output ranging from 27,000MW to as low as 2,800MW

    So next time some wind enthusiast gives you the standard company line, send them the graph above.

    Dealing with their belief that batteries one day be cheap. Ask them to tell you the current cost of storing enough electricity for Europe?

    At current cost storing enough electricity in the best batteries available in the real world is around.
    $4,000 billion. Also these batteries are guaranteed for only 10 years. Then on top of that you have the cost of all the wind turbines and all the solar panel.

    German electricity costs have doubled in order to pay for wind and solar that only produces 30% of production in a year.


    As you can see from the Graph above Europeans all get up about the same time, go to work at the same time and naturally use energy at the same time. Attempting to get people to vary this to any degree is absurd and will not work.
    Telling us how wonderful the world will be in the future has become the job not just of politicians but renewable energy manufacturers. Unfortunately they cannot describe in any detail the journey from here to there. At least not in a way that satisfies someone with a reasonable amount of intellect.

    This is an appropriate song.


    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Peter,

      How about looking at the hard facts of changes in renewable energy costs?

      There are no hard facts about future costs, those can only be estimated.

      Do you believe that fossil fuel will never peak?

      If the answer is no, what do you expect will happen to the price of fossil fuels in the future?

      Perhaps you are a nuclear power advocate, what has happened to nuclear power costs over time and are the future estimated costs lower than that of future renewable energy costs?

      You have only included a small sample of European nations.

      There are a variety of opinions on this, lots of people say it cannot be done.

      Certainly nuclear, hydro, pumped, hydro, and batteries, perhaps a little bio fuel could all be used as backup and during periods of short supply, using demand pricing, the price will rise and energy demand will be reduced.

      The process will be gradual and there are climate change costs associated with continuing to burn fossil fuel.

      I think nuclear may be a viable option for backup, but believe it should be minimized or a different style of reactor needs to be developed to reduce the production of nuclear material that is easily weaponized. Also the reactor design should be one that can shut down safely in an emergency with no need for outside power.

      • Peter says:


        You think the combined output from Sweden, Germany, France, Spain and Great Britain is a small sample. Those countries make up 60% of Europe industrial output, so try and show some grace when you have been shown to be wrong.

        You said if you incorporate other countries in the south of Europe it would balance out power production. The graph show you to be wrong. Do you have a problem admitting you are wrong, if so I have better thing to do then discussing further with you.

        What would be the point.

      • Survivalist says:

        I googled ‘changes in renewable energy costs’, as per DCs suggestion, and got this at the top of the column.


        I’m still reading all Peters links and also other links provided by Google as per the search term I mentioned earlier.

    • notanoilman says:

      Have you noticed that fossil fuel trolls, repeat the same few phases again and again?


      • Peter says:


        Thanks for your profound statement. If you think current facts are personal attacks then I wonder if you can discuss anything with anyone.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Renewable Power Storage and other flights of fantasy.

      Looks like heavier than air machines might be able to take flights of fantasy after all.


      This is how coal dies — super cheap renewables plus battery storage

      Remember, the knock against solar and wind power has been that they are variable, so their power supposedly isn’t as useful as “baseload” (24-7) power like coal and nuclear. Indeed, that was part of the argument that Energy Secretary Rick Perry had made in his now-failed effort to get the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to force U.S. consumers to bail out the coal and nuclear industries.

      But even limited battery storage gives renewables enough flexibility to handle a lot of variability. Moreover, as the table above shows, seven bids combined wind and solar with batteries with a median cost of only about 3 cents/kWh.

      Since it tends to be windier at night, when the solar panels aren’t generating power, this is yet another way to level out the power delivered from renewable projects. And as Perry’s own grid study showed last year, many other strategies either exist or are emerging that overcome the variability issue, including electric cars.

      • islandboy says:

        Yup! and in the news yesterday:

        Nearly 500 MW of large batteries installed on the U.S. grid in three years (w/ chart)

        “While defenders of old and uncompetitive forms of energy decry the small capacity of battery storage that has been installed to date, the latest data form the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that battery deployment is gaining speed.”

        Peter and his gang need to do something quick because it seems a lot of folks have not got the memo, including conservative Trump supporter Jack Rickard who wrote in his latest blog post:

        “By the way, Tesla’s battery pack just turned hero. A massive coal power plant in Australia went on total shut down and the Tesla battery pack, 1000 kilometers away, shot to full 100MW output within milliseconds. Back up peaker plants took another four to six seconds to come online which very easily could have caused the usual Australian power cascading failure/blackout mess they have become inured to. But the Tesla battery was so fast, and handled the additional load long and strong enough to bring other generators up and cover the shortage. In grid terms, within a month of startup, Tesla’s battery is now the national hero of the Australian grid industry. Methinks this presages more batteries will be on order. Worldwide. Tesla “blue sky.” $950 per share.

        Further to the point, the most recent massive grid solar installation just came in. These days, instead of shopping for solar components based on price, these large mega-plants simply announce where they want them and how big they should be. Solar component manufacturers then offer to do ALL the design work and provide the components and they actually compete to do it in a kind of now formalized auction process.

        On October 3rd, 2017 , the Saudi energy ministry said Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and Electricite de France SA bid to supply power from a 300-megawatt photovoltaic plant for as little as 6.69736 halalas a kilowatt hour, or 1.79 cents. If awarded, that would beat the earlier record for a solar project in Abu Dhabi for 2.42 cents a kilowatt-hour. Solar is now EGGREGIOUSLY less expensive than coal to produce electricity. And it is destined to approach the cost of sand – although you don’t burn it up – you can use it for 30 years. The plant is slotted to be online by June 2019, that’s how fast this is moving and it is part of a plan to deploy 9500 MW of solar in Saudi alone by 2030. They see the writing on the wall for oil, but their vast deserts have no shortage of sunshine.

        This is why I say all solar heretofore is prelude. The pricing of magic rock photovoltaics issues in an entirely new deal. And the other enabler is battery storage. Right on time. So the next 10-15 years will be known as the dawn of solar, not the last 15.”

      • islandboy says:

        To add to your words on the death of coal

        Blattner completes 298 MW-AC of solar for Florida Power & Light

        “Today utility Florida Power and Light (FPL) announced that as of the first of the year construction contractor Blattner Energy has put online four solar plants, each 74.5 MW-AC in capacity, for the utility.

        The FPL Horizon, Coral Farms, Indian River and Wildflower PV plants together comprise 1.3 million PV modules on fixed-tilt mounting systems. This 298 MW-AC of new solar adds to the 335 MW that FPL already has under its ownership, and will be joined by another four projects of identical capacity that Black and Veatch is building for the utility.

        Along with this, FPL announced that it has retired a 1.3 GW coal-fired power plant which it jointly owns with municipal utility Jacksonville Electric Authority. The utility says that the St. Johns River Power Park in Jacksonville was no longer economical to operate, and this is the second coal-fired power plant that FPL has shuttered over the last two years.

        In contrast to coal, FPL says that the new solar is a bargain. The utility estimates that the eight new PV plants will save its customers more than $100 million over the course of their lifetimes, while retiring the St. John’s plant will save $183 million. The utility stresses its track record of rate reductions, showing that the cost of electricity for a typical 1,000 kWh-per-month customer has fallen from 2008 to 2018.”

        Bold mine

        • Fred Magyar says:

          And if all that were not enough to signal the death of coal and even other forms of fossil fuel uses, one can always follow the money. The insurance money that is…

          AXA: 4C warming makes the world uninsurable


          Insurance giant AXA has announced a quadrupling of its 2020 green investment target from $3.53 billion to $14.13 billion as the company’s CEO warned more than 4 degrees Celsius of warming this century would make the world “uninsurable.”

          Launched at the One Planet Summit in Paris, Axa unveiled this week a raft of climate policy moves that also will see it further reduce its exposure to fossil fuel assets.

          The company said the acceleration of its previous $3.53 billion in green investment target, originally set in 2015, was twice as high as the recent recommendation from former UNFCC executive secretary Christiana Figures that investors should aim to inject 1 percent of their assets into green and clean technology by 2020.

          In addition, the firm said it will increase its coal divestment fivefold to reach $2.83 billion by moving its money away from companies “which derive more than 30 percent of their revenues from coal, have a coal-based energy mix that exceeds 30 percent, actively build new coal plants, or produce more than 20 million tonnes of coal per year.”

      • Preston says:

        I liked this from the article also:

        The median bid price in 2017 for wind plus battery storage was $21 per megawatt-hour, which is 2.1 cents per kilowatt-hour. As Carbon Tracker noted, this “appears to be lower than the operating cost of all coal plants currently in Colorado.”

  51. Survivalist says:

    “The exaggerated hostility of leaders and talk-show hosts also satisfies a psychological need for antagonism toward the “out group,” reinforces the self-esteem of the conservative base, and increases solidarity within the ranks.”


    That would explain the trolls- antagonism reinforces self esteem- not just the climate trolls but also the shale trolls. It hardens their ego boundaries.

    • Jared Quinlan says:

      Then that would explain the people on the other side also. Fascination over every little detail of climate change study is probably psychological response to being unable to control or change human behaviors.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        probably psychological response to being unable to control or change human behaviors.

        Guess you never heard of Edward Bernays, right?!

        Though as someone who has lived under a few authoritarian regimes I can tell you about a few more ways to change human behavior. Sometimes the people under those regimes get really pissed off and they end up lining the authoritarians up against a wall, shooting them and Voila! Behavior change, fait accompli! Try studying a little history.

        Now why don’t you crawl back under your bridge like the nice little fossil fuel propaganda troll that you are.

      • Survivalist says:

        I hope the famine mostly edits out the stupid people first.

  52. Doug Leighton says:

    Off topic but interesting:


    “A detailed study of blue salt crystals found in two meteorites that crashed to Earth which included X-ray experiments found that they contain both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds including hydrocarbons and amino acids.”


    • Doug Leighton says:

      And, closer to home:


      “Chinook salmon, an iconic species in the Pacific Northwest, have lost up to two-thirds of their genetic diversity over the past 7000 years, researchers report. The finding underscores a long-held concern that future salmon populations are imperiled by a combination of stream habitat loss, overfishing, dams, and the release of millions of fingerlings from hatcheries—even as the fish try to respond to climate change and ocean acidification.”


  53. Doug Leighton says:

    For astronomy buffs:


    “Advanced simulations created with one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers show the jets’ streams gradually change direction in the sky, or precess, as a result of space-time being dragged into the rotation of the black hole.”


    • Doug Leighton says:



      “A mathematical discrepancy in the expansion rate of the Universe is now “pretty serious”, and could point the way to a major discovery in physics, says a Nobel laureate.”


      • Fred Magyar says:

        “A mathematical discrepancy in the expansion rate of the Universe is now “pretty serious”

        Aha! Maybe THAT explains the Trump presidency! 😉

  54. Survivalist says:

    Scientists are keeping a close eye on the Beaufort Gyre


    With audio too

  55. Survivalist says:

    Bedazzled by Energy Efficiency


    Interesting site too if you like human powered cranes and some old school ideas. Home page lists the articles.

  56. Survivalist says:

    Whence the wind blows – reanalysis as a valuable tool for the wind energy community


  57. islandboy says:

    For all the Trump (coal/ff) supporters out there:

    China the global leader in 2017 clean energy investment, at over $44 bn

    China’s global dominance in the clean energy industry has been highlighted in a new report, China 2017 Review: World’s Second-Biggest Economy Continues to Drive Global Trends in Energy Investment, published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

    IEEFA finds that China ruled supreme in both the building and financing of clean energy technology in 2017.

    A key development in the country’s leading role was U.S. President Trump’s decision to back out of the Paris Climate Agreement, a move, the report’s authors say, that led to China’s “quick reaffirmation” of its emissions-reduction pledge and in installing renewables capacity in new markets.

    “The clean energy market is growing at a rapid pace and China is setting itself up as a global technology leader while the U.S. government looks the other way,” says Tim Buckley, co-author of the report and IEEFA’s director of energy finance studies.

    He adds, “Although China isn’t necessarily intending to fill the climate leadership void left by the U.S. withdrawal from Paris, it will certainly be very comfortable providing technology leadership and financial capacity so as to dominate fast-growing sectors such as solar energy, electric vehicles and batteries.”

    Tired of winning yet?

    • Survivalist says:

      Apparently prosperity is not just something we can vote into office.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        No, but ignorance and stupidity sure are!

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          It comes with trying to make America white again


          “Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)”

          Woo ah, mercy mercy me
          Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
          Where did all the blue skies go?
          Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east
          Woo mercy, mercy me, mercy father
          Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
          Oil wasted on the ocean and upon our seas, fish full of mercury
          Ah oh mercy, mercy me
          Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
          Radiation under ground and in the sky
          Animals and birds who live nearby are dying
          Oh mercy, mercy me
          Ah things ain’t what they used to be
          What about this overcrowded land
          How much more abuse from man can she stand?
          Oh, na na…
          My sweet Lord… No
          My Lord… My sweet Lord

          • Fred Magyar says:

            It comes with trying to make America white again

            Apparently he managed to remove all doubt with his most recent comment about immigrants from Haiti and African countries, calling them shit hole countries. Then topping it off by suggesting we should have more immigrants from countries like Norway.

            Not that any self respecting Norwegian would want to come live in a country lead by a shit head like Trump and populated by 60 million of his pathetic, ignorant racist and xenophobic fundamentalist christian supporters.

            Enough of this shit already! Note to GOP and true American conservatives, grow a pair and please remove this orange turd from office.

  58. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    “…I’ think I should offer a deal to Caelan, six acres with a house built for the wealthy land owner, I’d estimate more than 80 years ago, maybe as much as 100 years ago. There have been several additions and changes to the house over the years with the result that the oldest section, constructed with wood (mostly pine), is now divided into a three bedroom, one bathroom dwelling with another two bedroom, one bathroom dwelling attached, There is also a one bedroom, one bathroom semi-detached apartment with much more modern steel reinforced, cinder block walls. There is a rainwater catchment system with a little over 5,000 gallons and there is also a connection to the local, unreliable, public water supply that has not been used for years. The land has a wide variety of trees on it including coconuts, pimento (allspice), nutmeg, avocado, mango, breadfruit, ackee, cedar, mahogany, blue mahoe and even three African Oil Palm plants, among others. There is maybe an acre of chocolate plants and another couple acres of bananas and plantains. Right now I’d be willing to strike a deal with Caelan so that, he could come here, practice his permaculture to his hearts content, deal with the state of semi anarchy he so seems to espouse and fight the goat herders termites and the ever increasing tropical heat and humidity.

    I on the other hand, am seriously considering migrating to some first world country, so I can continue ‘uncritically masturbating to the fruits of the crony-capitalist plutarchy’ for the rest of my days. I am rather fond of dogs and would prefer the company of my dog to that of some two faced, backstabbing human being but, we all know that is not how things work. The dog is gone and her killers are still at large.” ~ islandboy

    Someone actually killed your dog? Well you’re highly unlikely to get that up here in Nova Scotia, but, alas, wherever there are people, there are problems. Anyway, sorry to hear. I know that many people see their dogs as no less than equal members of the family.

    Unsure about the exact mechanism as yet (I will be pinging the permaculture crowd about it as one avenue and see what they say and also looking into the concept of ‘land trusts’.) but part of the idea behind the land-linking is simply if you have land and want to share it with someone else with land who also wants to share, such as myself, then we do so, and suddenly we have a larger chunk of land that transcends locality.

    The main idea is to grow a permaculture-based (Care of Earth and Care of People) (or better) decentralized ‘republic of a million villages’. ‘Republic of a million villages’ is a quote from Bill Mollison, but it appears as an older and common concept…

    “The collapse of the New Left coincided with the exhaustion of the less well-publicised Sarvodaya (welfare of all) movement for nonviolent revolution in India, led by Vinoba Bhave and Jayaprakash Narayan, which had sought through voluntary villagisation of landto realise Gandhi’s dream of an India of village republics . The implication of Sarvodaya for the subject of this book is brought out by the statement of Jayaprakash Narayan: ‘In a Sarvodaya world society the present nation states have no place.’ ” ~ Geoffrey Ostergaard, Resisting The Nation State

    “We announce the birth of a conceptual country, NewTopia, citizenship of the country can be obtained by declaration of your awareness of Newtopia. Newtopia has no land, no boundries, no passports, only people. Newtopia has no laws other than cosmic. All people of Newtopia are ambassadors of the country.” ~ John Lennon, from the film, ‘The US vs John Lennon’

    “At present, many thousands of organisations, affinities, tribes, bioregions, and spiritual and non-government organisations aspire to such beneficial ends; in every continent, a majority of people– the ethical majority– want peace; a clean and forested earth; a cessation to torture, malnutrition, and oppression; and a right to work towards these ends. It would take very little additional organisation for these groups to meet together, count their numbers, and recognise each other’s rights. There are, for instance, far less paid-up or active members of political parties or oppressive societies now than there are organic gardeners whose life works seek peace and plenty. As groups discuss, and accept, the minimal ethic… they can quickly proceed to recognise each other…” ~ Bill Mollison

    …Both of us would still have relative control over our respective lands, such as by the local laws/customs and personal prerogatives and so forth, just that each land would also fall under another structure/mechanism, based on permaculture (or better) ethics. As long as all linked lands are approached according to that, then it’s a deal.
    Until the ‘republic’ grows large enough whereby it can start to challenge some kinds of unethical local legal restrictions, then each land will still have to fall under them.

    Your land seems more developed than mine, what with the house and all the food plants. Mine has a simple flat clearing taking up about 1/3 of it, with the rest being native forest. There are some berry bushes and cranberries and the typical wild edibles though, but in any case, it would be amenable to food forest gardening. If you wanted to have a house and do solar panels and whatnot, I could look into another property, which I’ve been doing anyway.

    And on another subject, below is the second and successful hard apple cider attempt (with the ‘charged’ bottle inlay– very carbonated!), using the store-bought ‘champagne’ yeast. The first attempt, using the apple peel for natural yeast, may have actually been a success but because rising bubbles (as per the video mention) were not seen (for a few possible reasons), it may have been left too long.

    The Sun Shined
    “Song… with excerpts from Czechoslovak movie Všichni dobří rodáci (All My Compatriots) 1968” ~ MacroNoise

    “All My Compatriots, also known as All My Countrymen (Czech: Všichni dobří rodáci), is a 1968 Czechoslovak film directed by Vojtěch Jasný. Considered the ‘most Czech’ of his contemporary filmmakers, Jasný’s style was primarily lyricist. It took nearly 10 years to complete the script and it was his greatest work. The film was banned and the director went into exile rather than recant. It was entered into the 1969 Cannes Film Festival where Jasný won the award for Best Director.” ~ Wikipedia

  59. Fred Magyar says:

    In other news, holy crap, this is even almost too crazy for me!


    These Birds of Prey Are Deliberately Setting Forests on Fire
    Even more proof Australian wildlife is nuts.

    It’s pretty hot in Australia right now. A brutal heatwave that’s incinerated temperature records threatens devastating bushfires – and to make matters worse, authorities have to contend with an ancient breed of flying arsonists that may as well be miniature dragons.

  60. Peter says:

    China massive investment in wind and solar.

    The amount of money China is pouring into wind and solar would make you thing it would be reducing demand on fossil fuels.


    China’s gas consumption has increased in 7 years by as much as the U.K. uses. This has taken it from the 7th largest consumer of gas to the 3rd.

    Oil demand in China continues it’s path upwards.


    China has added the consumption of 5 United Kingdoms of oil consumption since the year 2000.
    I guess not many of the 30 million cars it now produces are electric.

    But the good news as all left wingers will tell you. China is divesting coal right?



    China is run by an evil fascist dictatorship, who crush demonstrators with tanks and puts people in prison for any show of free thinking.


    They will say one thing to fool stupid people in the west but anyone who has lived there knows their freedom can be removed for the slightest reason.


    • islandboy says:

      Ah! So your whole schtick is right wing/left wing thing! Mine is a disruption thing, I’ve witnessed disruption over and over again and have been employed in the loosing side (IBM) in more than one instance. Funny thing is that my training in electrical engineering has remained relevant throughout the years. My focus on renewables is an attempt to join the side of the disruptors rather than the disruptees for a change. You on the other hand seem wedded to the status quo. Your choice. Resistance is futile. Good ole capitalism at work but hey, believe what you want!

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