EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – July Edition with data for May

Guest Post by Islandboy

Non-Petroleum comments in this thread please.



The EIA released the latest edition of their Electric Power Monthly on July 25th, with data for May 2017. The April data was revised and re-released after the last report was prepared so some figures from this report may not be consistent with those from the previous report.

In May the contribution from solar reached 2.58%, up from 2.41%d in April. The contribution from All Renewables remained greater than that from Nuclear but, a 1.7% fall in the contribution from wind resulted in a narrowing of the difference from over 3% to about 1.7%. The decline in the contribution from wind also meant that, the combined contribution from Wind and Solar declined to 9.5% from 11% in April and the contribution from Non-Hydro Renewables fell to 10.8% from 12.5%. The contribution of zero emission and carbon neutral sources, that is, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, landfill gas and other biomass fell from 41.75% to 39.87%.

In all of the previous four years the contribution of All Renewables was at it’s peak in April with the exception of last year when it peaked in March. The pattern seems to be holding for 2017 with wind declining and solar and hydro output increasing slightly so the contribution from All Renewables has declined but, still held above 20% for May. It remains to be seen whether or not it will be able to hold above 20% in June.

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.


The ramp up of solar output in 2017 appears to be steeper than previous years.  In the previous two reports I looked at possible causes for the steepness of the ramp in between February and March this year (2017). I cited the latest Solar Market Insight Report 2017 Q2 published by the Solar Energy Industries Association and questioned whether a contributing factor could have been the 14.5 GW of PV capacity added since March 2016. About 4 GW was installed in the third quarter of 2016 and about 6.5 GW in the last quarter for a record amount of about 10.5 GW for a six month period in the U.S. Looking at the data for the first quarter of 2017, about 8.5 GW was installed in the six months up to the end of March 2017, the second largest increase in capacity for a six month period. The size of that increase alone did not explain the steep ramp up of solar output between February and March with a far more modest increase between March and April. In the previous report I questioned whether the shape of the output curve for 2017 has been influenced by weather and suggested the output of plants that were commissioned before the beginning of 2016 would have to be examined to confirm this.

I looked at the data from a publicly available site at the SMA Sunny Portal web site by searching for installations in an area with a very good solar resource. I chose the city of Victorville, California and picked a 7.2 kW installation. It just so happens that the installation I selected provides monthly output data going back to July 2009 so, I extracted the data from 2014 onward and de-rated the output from each year before 2017 by 25% to try and get a graph that looks roughly similar to the one above in terms of solar output. Any similarities shapes of the curves for the solar output of the two graphs (above and below) for the years 2014 through 2016 are not particularly significant, especially since the graph above is total US output as opposed to the output of a specific site in Victorville, California. This makes the similarity between the shape of the 2017 curves up to the end of May in both graphs somewhat remarkable and might suggest that there is some widespread weather effect at play. We will have to wait another couple of months to see if the US national output tracks this Victorville site.


The graph below shows the monthly capacity additions for 2017 to date. In May almost 52 percent of capacity additions were Solar with Wind adding just under 30.4 percent. Natural Gas contributed about 14.9 percent while Landfill Gas made a contribution of 0.75 percent. Batteries made up the remaining two percent. I have added a line to indicate the total new capacity added each month to give an idea of what the absolute amounts were added from each source. For example in April NG added about 80% of more than 3,200 MW of new capacity (2330 MW) while in May Solar added almost 52% of 536 MW of new capacity (278 MW).


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316 Responses to EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – July Edition with data for May

  1. Fred Magyar says:

    So maybe I haven’t been imagining accelerated SLR in my neck of the ocean these past few years, after all…
    And while subsidence can certainly be a factor in apparent local SLR, it certainly isn’t the main cause, at least in my area. This comment brought to you from ‘The Sunshine State’, so let’s roll out more of those PV panels to combat climate change and SLR 😉

    Geophysical Research Letters

    Spatial and temporal variability of sea-level rise hotspots over the eastern United States
    Arnoldo Valle-Levinson,
    Andrea Dutton,
    Jonathan B. Martin
    Accepted manuscript online: 9 August 2017



    Regional sea-level rise (SLR) acceleration during the past few decades north of Cape Hatteras has commonly been attributed to weakening Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, although this causal link remains debated. In contrast to this pattern, we demonstrate that SLR decelerated north of Cape Hatteras and accelerated south of the Cape to >20 mm/yr, > 3 times the global mean values from 2011-2015. Tide gauge records reveal comparable short-lived, rapid SLR accelerations (hot spots) that have occurred repeatedly over ~1500-km stretches of the coastline during the past 95 years, with variable latitudinal position. Our analysis indicates that the cumulative (time-integrated) effects of the North Atlantic Oscillation determine the latitudinal position of these SLR hot spots, while a cumulative El Niño index is associated with their timing. The superposition of these two ocean-atmospheric processes accounts for 87% of the variance in the spatiotemporal pattern of sub-decadal sea-level oscillations.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Fred, stare it in the face and give it the middle finger. It all depends on what you want. Here we can freeze to death, have trees fall on us, lose everything to forest fires. Each year I wonder when black ice will get me and my car (almost a couple of times so far in the last few years). Pick your poison. We even get the occasional massive hurricane. Floods are common. Landslides happen but are rare. Poison snakes not so common anymore, guys with guns are common. Drivers are nuts so best to dive into the woods when they come near if your walking.
      Sea level rise is going to continue but no one really knows how fast. Storm surge is your area’s biggest problem as with much of the Atlantic coast.
      Biggest dangers: cars and heart attacks

  2. HVACman says:


    Great update. Thanks! Your instinct about weather impacting the spring 2017 PV output is likely correct. If you recall, we in California (source of much of the nation’s PV generation) just had a record-breaking long-wet winter and spring up and down the state. It broke the Oroville Dam spillway, buried the Sierras in snow, floods in southern California, etc. etc. In my neck of the woods in Shasta Lake, we had measurable rainfall for 60 days out of the first 90 days of the year – about double the number of days we’d usually see clouds and rain.

    Death Valley had one of it’s rare wildflower “superblooms” from all the rainfall.

    We might see a spike in hydro generation in the next EIA report, as the flows through the far-west’s hydro plants have been high all year and continue to flow higher than average. The spring snow-melt is still ongoing.

  3. Fred Magyar says:

    Here’s a really sweet EV 😉

    Dutch students grow their own biodegradable car

    Published on Aug 8, 2017
    The first car with a biocomposite body structure has been built by Eindhoven University of Technology students.
    TU/Ecomotive says ‘Lina’ is the world’s first car with a fully biocomposite body structure. The 4-seat e-car’s chassis uses a combination of bio-composite and bio-plastic made from sugarbeet. “It’s made of flax, the outside is made of flax fibres, together with polypropylene. It’s pressed and heated to make flat panels. In the middle you can see polylactic acid, the honeycomb structure of that material, which adds to the strength and weight savings of the sandwich panel. All structural parts of the car are made of this material.” The biocomposite has a similar strength-weight ratio to fibreglass, making the car light, greatly reducing battery size. “The car weighs only 310 kilograms which is really light for a car. That’s why we only need 30 kilograms of batteries. And on those 30 kilograms of battery packs we can drive around 100 kilometres, which is about four times more efficient than a BMW i3 right now and that’s in real city driving, so braking, stopping, accelerating, not just like the most optimal driving.” Lina has a top speed of around 50 miles per hour.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Very nice. Wonder if they can do something like that with 3D printing.

  4. Cats@Home says:

    The Eclipse Will Give Us a Glimpse of the Future of Natural Gas
    By Chris Martin, Mark Chediak, and Naureen S Malik
    August 9, 2017, 9:43 AM CDT August 10, 2017, 5:36 PM CDT
    From “Climate Changed”


    During the upcoming Aug. 21 eclipse, operators of giant solar fields from California to the Carolinas will cede market share to fast-start natural gas generators as well as hydroelectric plants and other sources to fill the gaps as the sky darkens. The celestial event, the first total solar eclipse visible in the lower 48 states since 1979, will provide owners of gas turbines a chance to shine even as the fossil-fuel is expected to be displaced over time by solar and wind energy.

    The “electric grid of tomorrow” will increasingly have to deal with fluctuating power supplies from the wind and sun while incorporating quick-start gas turbines during events like the upcoming eclipse, said Stephen Berberich, president of California ISO, the state’s grid operator. Operators will also use new technologies to control demand when the moon will completely block the sun along a 70-mile-wide (113-kilometer) corridor stretching from Oregon to South Carolina.

    Based on a Bloomberg calculation of grid forecasts, more than 10,000 megawatts of solar power may go down. That’s the equivalent of about 10 nuclear reactors.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The “electric grid of tomorrow” will increasingly have to deal with fluctuating power supplies from the wind and sun while incorporating quick-start gas turbines during events like the upcoming eclipse, said Stephen Berberich, president of California ISO, the state’s grid operator.

      Maybe in the future people in the path of an eclipse will be able to run anything that is absolutely essential off their battery backup systems, while everyone else takes a break and goes out to watch the eclipse unfolding in real time. No need for gas turbines whatsoever! And the myth that we still need fossil fuels to survive will go the way of other ancient myths like that of the Hindu god Rahu eating the sun…

      • Hightrekker says:

        I like Rans army of monkeys that built a bridge to Sri Lanka.
        Almost as cool as Mohammeds Flying Horse, or that Talking Snake or Rib Woman.
        Then there was that magical tree, and water walking, and water changing to wine.
        But primitive and embarrassing creation myths from ignorant pastoralists is not my genera.
        The wonders of evolutionary biology makes those simple stories pale with simple ignorance.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Keep talking that way and the Jersey Devil might just pay you a visit. Get your camera ready.

      • GoneFishing says:

        That Cat has not heard of clouds or nighttime. Also, people don’t seem to know simple math.
        The grid of the future will constantly have to deal with high prices, shortages, late deliveries and low quality of fossil fuels as they steadily head toward depletion. Unless we have wind and solar.

      • alimbiquated says:

        A lunar eclipse

    • notanoilman says:

      Ever been to a total eclipse? Totality is quite short though the dimming either side takes some time. Note that the shadow travels along the path, the whole path is not affected at the same time. Yes, solar plants may be affected but only for a short while and not all at the same time. The only way there will be a 10,000 megawatt cut is if there is a plant of that size on the eclipse track. The largest USA plant is less than 6% of that size. The effect will be much smaller than you suggest.


    • Cats@Home says:

      Nobody here must click on the posted links I guess since if anyone did you people thinking this article is wrong would read how there was already a situation in 2015 in Germany where an eclipse caused difficulties with solar power. There are no any experts in electricity generation in this blog?

      During a March, 2015 eclipse that crossed Europe, German grid operator TenneT TSO GmbH brought on 8 gigawatts of generating capacity to compensate for the loss of solar power as the sun disappeared, double the usual amount. It also kept hydropower plants that can store energy on standby and coordinated its flows with neighboring grid operators.

      Power prices in Germany’s wholesale market surged then dipped for a short time as the first eclipse of the emerging solar age passed, briefly switching off thousands of panels that on the brightest days provide 40 percent of Germany’s power.

      Another article here with expert analysis;
      A Solar Eclipse Could Wipe Out 9,000 Megawatts of Power Supplies
      By Naureen S Malik
      July 13, 2017, 8:00 PM CDT July 14, 2017, 5:01 AM CDT


      On Thursday, PJM Interconnection LLC, operator of the nation’s largest power grid covering parts of the eastern U.S., estimated the eclipse could take out as much as 2,500 megawatts of solar generation on its system from about 1:30 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. North Carolina and New Jersey may bear the brunt because so many panels are installed in those states. PJM said rooftop solar panels will account for 80 percent of the anticipated outages.

      California may see the biggest impact to solar generation as it meets about 40 percent of the state’s demand on some days. The eclipse stands to dim solar radiation by about 70 percent, said Dave Quinn, a power market analyst at energy data provider Genscape Inc.

      According to California’s grid operator, generation from large solar farms may plunge by 70 megawatts a minute over an 82-minute period and then begin surging 90 megawatts a minute as the sun re-emerges. The market will need to fill a gap of 6,008 megawatts, Steven Greenlee, spokesman for the grid operator, said by email.

      Texas’s power grid operator expects the eclipse to affect about 600 megawatts of solar generation over an hour to 90 minutes. The operator of a grid that stretches from the Midwest into Louisiana estimated a potential impact of as much as 125 megawatts.

      • @whut says:

        Jeez, I guess this crisis must happen every night 🙂

      • Eulenspiegel says:

        Yes, this was much hyped here because the solar eclipse day was very bright, this meant almost 15 GW of solar power cycling wild.

        It was solved with hydro storages and conventional plants on standby to be turned on and off fast.

        In the end of the eclipse they had to switch the pump storages to full pumping, because they increased coal too much too fast, but it was all solved.

        By the way, the ecological green party here prohibits building new pump storages because of bird and animal conservation – a real big problem with more and more solar and wind power – on a windy sunny day we now have them up to 60% combined energy output.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Ever heard of clouds, the planet is 70 percent covered with them and they dim the sun all the time. How about we compare that claimed “as much as 125 megawatts” to the 4600 megawatts of installed solar. Not much loss is there? Anyway, solar is less than 1 percent of the US power grid, so that is 3 percent of one percent, which is a loss of 0.03 percent of the power system. Hello? Not important at all.
        Next let’s look at the “market will have to fill a gap of 6,008 megawatts” from that guy in California. There are ONLY 4600 megawatts of solar in the USA total and that is only that much at high noon on a very clear day.
        Those articles are bogus, the power supplies will not be “wiped out” just momentarily reduced and still there afterward. It’s not a bomb destroyed them, it’s just the moon getting in front of the sun and putting a shadow on the earth.
        Same thing happens during storms and cloudy days. How stupid are you?
        They know exactly how much, when and how long it will last (unless it’s cloudy already), so WTF do they do when clouds show up and blow away?
        Can’t wait for the next disastrous events to happen , 2024, 2045, 2078 and 2079.
        If you add up all those events they might have the same effect as one partly cloudy day.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Forgot 2099 total eclipse. Think people will be worried about it?

        • Justin Sroka says:

          Solar panels aren’t just impacted in the path of the total eclipse, but the partial eclipse also. In fact estimates of power loss made by the experts in Bloomberg article include areas in the path of the partial eclipse. For instance, nowhere in California or New Jersey will see the total eclipse, but solar power still will be reduced there for a few hours.

      • notanoilman says:

        Sorry, I don’t read Bloomberg as they insist on ad-bombing me. Sounds like the Germans over-compensated. I guess plans will be made for a very much the worst case scenario and scare articles will prompt more over-compensation. Remember, the eclipse does not affect the whole strip all the time, it will come and go in a couple of hours, hmmm, a bit like clouds do.


        • GoneFishing says:

          Here is an infrared image showing the current cloud structure over the US. I would say the eclipse is far more predictable than the cloud cover and variations.

        • clueless says:

          You can put an ad blocker on Bloomberg. Then, about 1 out of every 3 times you log on, you will need to wait for a 5 second countdown while they tell you that you should stop using it.

  5. GoneFishing says:

    Putting the DOE in the Dark Ages is the latest gambit to destroy renewable energy and push fossil fuels.


  6. Hightrekker says:

    What a Debbie Downer!
    You’ll have to shift your energies into a trade or vocation that makes you useful to other people. This probably precludes jobs like developing phone apps, day-trading, and teaching gender studies. Think: carpentry, blacksmithing, basic medicine, mule-breeding, simplified small retail, and especially farming, along with the value-added activities entailed in farm production. The entire digital economy is going to fade away like a drug-induced hallucination, so beware the current narcissistic blandishments of computer technology. Keep in mind that being in this world actually entitles you to nothing. One way or another, you’ll have to earn everything worth having, including self-respect and your next meal.

    Now, just wait a little while.

    Surely there is a app for that?

    • GoneFishing says:

      Why don’t you give Kunstler the credit he deserves for his adolescent dreams of a controlled reduction of society?

      • Hightrekker says:

        Wasn’t it self evident?
        Especially ?

        • Nick G says:

          Some people may not realize you’re not taking him seriously. Unfortunately, some people do…

        • Nathanael says:


          For some reason, these “back to primitiveness” types pop up repeatedly, every generation. I’m not sure why.

          They never, ever do their historical research.

          Accounting and trading are among the oldest professions in the world. So are teaching and philsophy. Don’t be surprised if day-traders and gender studies professors thrive in a post-apocalpytic scenario. Physical skills become obsolete much faster.

  7. GoneFishing says:

    A few years ago…

    Solar, Sky Cameras and Hard Math: A New Way to Integrate PV on the Grid

    The first part of the equation is the “Total Sky Imager” system used by UCSD for its SunShot-backed high-penetration solar portal program. The camera and hemispherical mirror system captures cloud cover as it moves across the sky, with a panoramic aspect that can see what’s coming and predict just when it’s going to start shading that PV array.

    “We’re talking about solar forecasting in less than fifteen minutes,” compared to more typical hourly forecasts from satellite data, he said. That localized advanced weather warning allows planning ahead for sudden drop-offs or surges in generation, and the effects that has on local grid conditions like voltage and power factor changes. It also could offer up to 98-percent-accurate forecasts of what a solar array is going to produce at any given point in time, according to a Power Analytics report.

  8. islandboy says:

    India H1 solar installs surpass last year’s 12 month total, finds Mercom report

    India’s soaring solar sector has seen more than 4.8 GW of new capacity installed in the first six months of 2017 alone – already outstripping the 4,038 MW record of 2016, reports Mercom Capital Group.

    The analysts expect India to add some 10,500 MW of solar in 2017, but warns that uncertainty over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) could see growth slow in 2018. “We have reduced the 2018 forecast by approximately 15% due to uncertainty surrounding GST rates, which has resulted in a slowdown in tenders and auctions,” said the Mercom Capital Report.

    Solar modules are to attract a GST rate of 5%, but the government has flip-flopped over the tax rate for other solar components, initially stating that the 5% GST would apply to all solar-related products, but since stating that rates of either 18% or 28% would likely be levied. This means that many balance of systems (BOS) components such as inverters, storage and cabling could now attract the higher rate.

    Looking at the table of cumulative PV capacity as at the end of 2016 at Growth of photovoltaics, India has entered the top six countries in terms of cumulative capacity having easily surpassed the UK in the first half of 2017. The US and Japan should be close to 50 GW by the end of this year and China is already over 100 GW.

    Naysayers should note that at the end of 2016 there were four countries with nore than 40 GW of PV capacity, that is as much as the global capacity at the end 0f 2010. At the end of 2016 China had PV capacity in excess of the total global capacity at the end of 2011 and by the middle of this year China had more capacity than the entire globe at the end of 2012. As a matter of fact between 2012 and 2017, Chinese PV capacity will have grown faster than that of the whole world between 2007 and 2012! If China were to continue growing at that rate over the next five years they would exceed the projected 368 GW global capacity for the end of 2017 by 2022.

    I’m gonna put my neck on the block and say that I expect the global effect of solar PV to start being significant before the end of 2018.

    • notanoilman says:

      If China hits that target, would they run into overproduction then? If so, would that lead to a drop in prices?


      • islandboy says:

        I’m not quite sure what it is you are asking that they might over produce. Electricity from solar? Highly unlikely unless you are worried about utilization rates of existing plant. For a good read on the situation with electricity generation in China see the following article from which the graph below was excerpted :


        The last paragraph hints that the author does not fully understand the implications of exponential growth.

        When compared to the 4 percent share of wind power or even only 1 percent by solar – despite of several years of strong growth in both technologies – the challenge becomes obvious. Most renewable generation is still hydro power, which at least might be a source of flexibility in the power system and thus could enable the integration of more fluctuating renewable generation from wind and PV.

        Bold mine

        • GoneFishing says:

          I think it is amazing that wind and solar have come so far in such a short time. Over 250 acres of solar panels are installed every day. Hopefully this will ramp up to over 600 acres per day.

        • notanoilman says:

          My apologies (bows deeply), I meant solar panels,


          • islandboy says:

            Good question. Anybody who has followed the discussions on exponential growth closely will know that in the real physical world, exponential growth, especially as it regards markets (technology) is a phase. At some point the growth turns logistic before tapering off to no growth or contraction. When market penetration is low exponential growth is possible and likely but, as you get closer to the point where “everybody has one” (100% penetration) growth has to slow down.

            So, the question becomes, how close are we to “everybody has one”? At one percent penetration it might not seem like that close but, one percent is less than seven doublings away from 100%. If the doubling time is 5 years then 100% is only 35 years away (2050) but, the doubling time up to now has been less than three years, suggesting 100% in less than 20 years (2035?). At the point where “everybody has one” the typical market becomes a replacement market where the majority of production goes to replacing old, worn out or obsolete products.

            Another question is, how much is enough? Is enough when all the needs of current users of electricity are met? What about the billions who do not yet have access to electricity? What happens if other uses of primary like transport or heating energy switch to electricity or solar?

            It would be interesting to see someone model various scenarios to see what levels of production (of modules) would constitute overproduction as the market moves closer to saturation.

  9. Fred Magyar says:

    Check out this EVTV video. July 21, 2017

    The first part is mostly about a Cadillac Escalade/Tesla drive unit conversion they have been working on. But roughly from about the 70 minute mark onwards Jack has quite a bit to say about solar. BTW he says the fossil fuel companies never even showed up for the war in the ICE vs EV. He says they are way too late.

    However the big war now being waged is the utilities vs the off gridders. And it is all about the batteries!

    • GoneFishing says:

      I watched the Tesla stock price video and Jack certainly has some excellent views on the realities of EV’s and the consumer market. As I have been saying, EV’s are held back not by performance but by the dearth of charging stations. Jack illuminates that subject even further and news is not good.
      Find them on YouTube.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        EV’s are glorified trinkets.
        There are just too many problems with them, which have been discussed to death, beyond just the dearths of charging stations. But that doesn’t matter for many interested in those kinds of trinkets. They are an ongoing source of interest, fascination and wonder. 0-60 in whatever seconds. So torque. And, let’s face it, they do look statusy in gridlock and on the driveways of suburbia’s mcmansions and assorted shlock.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Go back to your cave. You are not making any sense.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          EV’s are glorified trinkets.

          To you maybe, but there is a whole world out there beyond your stunted narrow minded views! You seem to think that high performance Teslas in the US are the entirety of the EV universe.

          Stigo – The Fastest-Folding Electric Scooter

          Edit: LOL! I was about to suggest the same thing to our cave dwelling friend! TKs for saving me the trouble, GF!

          Oh and I posted about Lina the other day here’s another link
          Netherlands: Dutch students unveil world’s first biocomposite EV

          • GoneFishing says:

            If we can design cars that are light enough to use only 0.1 kwh per mile, then a single high efficiency PV panel on the roof will give a range of 20 to 50 miles without other sources. With a small battery inside it could reach 100 or more mile ranges, which is more than sufficient for most use.

            That fold up electro scooter looks like fun. Doubt if one can be licensed here though.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              “If we can…” ~ GoneFishing

              There’s that ‘if’ word again…
              (which might discourage devil’s advocate thinking.)

              • GoneFishing says:

                We can.
                But I am glad you have simple word recognition capability and can copy/paste.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Sure, we can (Was that at one time some kind of slogan for Obama?) do, and are doing, a lot of things. That doesn’t necessarily mean they make sense to do. And in fact, many things that many of us are doing are remarkably stupid. Some of this is attributable there not being nearly enough devil’s avocation.

                  If you could be your own devil’s advocate, though, and right here on POB, that might be awesome. Can you?

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Doubt if one can be licensed here though.

              Since it only has a top speed of 25 mph I don’t think it requires any kind of license in most urban environments.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Since it does not have pedal powered assist it would be a motorcycle here and they have stringent requirements for titling and registration.
                Even Mopeds and powered bicycles have to be registered and insured here. They have control.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Over here in East Coast prison-Canada, we’re seeing more people with normal bikes that have been retrofitted with small ICE motors.
                  They might make more sense in a way than electric scooters.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    They might make more sense in a way than electric scooters.

                    Whatever floats boat! Personally, given what I know about small ICEs and bicycle EV technology with state of the art battery tech, there is no way I’d go with ICE. If it were up to me I’d go as far as outlawing small ICEs in the near future. They are just too dirty!

                    China is already well on it’s way to transitioning to e-bikes. Doesn’t matter much whether you like it or not, it’s just the way it is. E-bikes are what most people in the world will use for personal transport in the foreseeable future.


                    Electric two-wheelers have transformed the way people move in most Chinese cities. In just ten years, growth in electric two-wheelers—a category that includes vehicles ranging from electric bicycles to electric motorcycles—has substantially increased the total number of vehicles in China. Electric bike sales began modestly in the 1990s and started to take off in 2004, when 40,000 were sold. Since then, over 100 million have been sold and now more than 20 million are sold each year. Electric two wheelers, in short, represent the first mass-produced and mass-adopted alternative-fuel vehicles in the history of motorization.

                    For anyone interested in alternative fuel vehicles, the dramatic success of electric two-wheelers in China merits attention. How did this explosive growth occur? What have the results been? And what is the potential for electric two wheelers to spread elsewhere around the globe? In this article I examine these questions. Electric two-wheelers have filled an important and otherwise underserved niche in the China’s crowded transportation system. Electric two-wheelers can maneuver through congested streets. They can be charged from traditional wall outlets and often have a removable battery, allowing them to be charged indoors. And they have some of the lowest emissions of any type of motorized transportation. For residents of dense Chinese cities, electric two-wheelers provide a high level of door-to-door mobility at low cost.

                    The e-bike has totally disrupted the motor bike/ICE scooter paradigm in China. It will happen in the rest of the world’s urban environments as well.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    While I understand that you may think that China, home of the ghost city and assorted large-scale problems, is some sterling example to follow in some regards, I hope others reading it don’t feel the same way.

                    Also, perhaps you posted that before reading my other comment.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    While I understand that you may think that China, home of the ghost city and assorted large-scale problems, is some sterling example to follow in some regards, I hope others reading it don’t feel the same way.

                    No, I don’t. And you understand nothing of the sort! You seem to be completely incapable of distinguishing a statement of simple fact from an endorsement.

                    I consider all of humanity to be pretty much up shit’s creek without a paddle and include China in that category. Given that China has a population of about 1.3 billion, what happens there is significant.

                    My reasons for thinking most of humanity is probably already fucked are mostly based on the laws of thermodynamics, chemistry and ecology coupled coupled with psychology, anthropology and neuroscience.
                    Added to a good dose of world history, culture and personal life experience.

                    But none of my personal views negate the on the ground reality that personal transport is being disrupted by electrification and that there is a massive personal transportation transition underway in China and around the world. If you wish, you can deny that reality till you are blue in the face but it won’t change it.

                    What’s happening in China is not necessarily a sterling example to be followed, it’s more of a canary in the coal mine of world events.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Frankly, a ‘statement of a simple fact’ as you put it, and like that, minus a qualification or critique or somesuch attached, treads very thin ice WRT an endorsement and makes you look like you’re just fucking around… like with the planet in your own minuscule way.

                    Anyway, we notice that you’ve just qualified that, so good on you. Try to do so without my help and make it a habit and maybe if we all do the same, we can avoid more dead and dying canaries and corals.

                  • Nathanael says:

                    That’s completely idiotic.

                    Here in the East Coast of the US, we’re seeing more people with normal bikes which have been retrofitted with small ELECTRIC motors, because ICE motors are completely idiotic.

                    Much like Fred, I think the baseline scenario is human extinction. But that’s no excuse for self-delusion. Open your eyes and look at what’s actually going on in the world: every piece of fuel-burning technology is being replaced with electric technology. It probably won’t happen fast enough to prevent human extinction, but it’s happening, it’s happening fast, and it makes sense to encourage it, since fuel-burning is our most pressing source of danger right now.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Sure, the trinkets look dazzling from within the matrix or Plato’s Cave.

          We’re doing so well with the economy, by the way, don’t you think? Earth couldn’t be in better shape. So it stands to reason that doing things like having billions of people doing EV’s, thanks to those wonderful and friendly corporations and governments that only want to make the world an even better place, will only help that along splendidly. /sarc

          • Fred Magyar says:

            …by the way, don’t you think? Earth couldn’t be in better shape. So it stands to reason that doing things like having billions of people doing EV’s, thanks to those wonderful and friendly corporations…

            Sure! Why not? Just because you want to live in Plato’s Cave? Knock yourself out. I have a hunch that most of the billions of people on the planet will be using a lot more of these EV scooters or bicycles despite your preaching.


            A new electric bicycle report from Navigant Research suggests that by 2025, e-bike sales could lead to annual revenues of $24.3 billion

            I think those numbers will prove to be very much on the conservative side.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Plato’s manufactured Cave/matrix was for ‘you’, but maybe more (accurately) for the POB readership about your, and/or that kind of position.

              Passing off increasing usage and sales of something as a reason for something to be achieved is a logical fallacy– argumentum ad populum and general circular reasoning. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

              By the way, have you seen the documentary, Chasing Coral?
              I knew the corals were in trouble but if their stats are true, they/we are in even bigger trouble. Are corals keystones? And have you flip-flopped or backpeddled on your previously-expressed interest in them?

          • GoneFishing says:

            Back in reality we try to reduce pollution, improve conditions and not spend so much time idealistically thinking about that which is not under our control or would cause horrendous damage to achieve.
            I know it seems simple minded to you to actually try and solve problems in a workable way, but us mortals are limited in our abilities. So try and be kind and don’t send down lightning bolts from up there on Mount Olympus.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Back in reality we try to reduce pollution, improve conditions and not spend so much time idealistically thinking about that which is not under our control or would cause horrendous damage to achieve.

              I highly doubt he has put any serious thought into what the consequences of implementing some of his ideologies would entail.

              He reminds me of anti science ideologues such as Trofim Denisovich Lysenko who worked with Stalin and caused millions of Russians to starve to death.

              Maybe Trump (who reminds me of Stalin) will hire him to work as an adviser to the US Secretary of Agriculture.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Science and technology is limited and corrupted by the individuals and/or systems that operate/control them, and false ‘either-or’ dichotomies lobbed my way seem to suggest your own mode of thinking.

                You seem to depend on it and to be unable to fathom that Caelan’s ideas of science and technology might actually be closer to the ideas/ideals of those who actually practice them.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Science and technology is limited and corrupted by the individuals and/or systems that operate/control them, and false ‘either-or’ dichotomies lobbed my way seem to suggest your own mode of thinking.

                  No, you’re full of shit as usual. I’ll bet you don’t know many scientists personally. Most scientist I know are pretty decent and courageous individuals who care deeply about the world at large. They are mostly independent thinkers. They are about as easy to herd as cats!

                  I have seen a grown man, a marine ecologist, break down and cry in front of me after surfacing from a dive on a recently dead coral reef.

                  Since I mentioned Lysenko and the Russians, let me put in a plug for the some of the good guys there as well!

                  The Pavlovsk station’s collection contains more than 100 varieties each of gooseberries, raspberries, and cherries. It also contains more than 1,000 varieties of strawberries. More than 90% of the collection is found in no other research collection or genebank.[2]
                  The collection is a field genebank, meaning that the varieties are stored as plants in the ground. Most of the species concerned do not breed true from seeds, and so the varieties cannot be stored as seeds.
                  The Pavlovsk station itself fell into German hands during the Siege of Leningrad in 1941–1944, but prior to the arrival of German troops, scientists from the Institute of Plant Industry were able to move much of the station’s tuber collection to a location within the city. Twelve of these scientists died of starvation while protecting the Institute’s edible collection of tubers and seeds.

                  Source Wikipedia

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Science and technology, or too much onus on them, won’t save us.

                    You can be a very good scientist/technologist and work for Monsanto or a military industrial complex that bombs places back to the stone age.

                    I’ve already previously covered the concept of ’embedded values’ in technology hereon some months ago too, using the gun and including an article about it as an example. That’s my point.

                    IOW, scientists and technologists can butt-lick and sell out to the status-quo like anyone. Like you, yes?

                    They can also realize their dubious ways and cry about them too, all nice and convincingly, and maybe inform us, in-between eye-wipes and nose-blows, of their contradictions and how they are proud of them. Sound familiar? It should. It’s your paraphrase.

                  • Nathanael says:

                    Yeah, Caelan, you’ve obviously never met any significant number of actual scientists. Scientists are people like everyone else, with standard human flaws.

                    Scientists are also, without exception, smarter than you, wiser than you, and know more about the world than you do. This is not inherent — you could be that smart if you *wanted to*. This is because they are *trained to listen to evidence*, which you are persistently refuse to listen to. In some sense, listening to the evidence is *the entirety of science*.

                    Even the worst and most corrupt scientist is generally more worth listening to than an ideologue who pays no attention to evidence.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    And yet, and ironically, Nathanael, you provide no illustration in support of your imagination, nor about your own qualifications in that regard.

                    If someone were to do some simple research, speaking of science, they might manage to find, in the archived comments, a bee in your bonnet with the name Caelan, too, possibly the result of my response(s) to other similar dubious comments of yours.

          • Hightrekker says:

            A techno narcissistic wet dream.
            I want my EV!

            • GoneFishing says:

              Don’t worry HT, the robots will make sure you are well taken care of, a nice soft chair and feeding tubes. Soap operas 24/7 playing on a big screen TV right in front of you.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              A techno narcissistic wet dream.

              Nah! A world populated by Neo-Nazi Trumpsters riding coal powered steampunk cycles is what we really need! Let’s not let anyone even try to use anything else. Long live the Fossil Fuel Fascists!

        • alimbiquated says:

          I’ve had my mail delivered to my house on a glorified trinket for several years now.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Well then I guess your anecdote must make all glorified trinkets, and for everyone, necessary. Yes, that is sarcasm.

  10. GoneFishing says:

    Arctic Sea ice looking really dispersed and still melting.

  11. Doug Leighton says:


    Feb. 3,2016 talk: Dr. Victoria Kaspi of McGill University, explored neutron stars — mysterious celestial objects can shed light on some of the most vexing questions in the universe.


    • Fred Magyar says:

      TKS, Doug!

      That talk by Dr.Victoria Kaspi is a great example as to why idiots like the recently fired Google software engineer, James Damore, are so full of shit when they try to argue how Google had an intolerance for ideologies that do not fit into what he believed were its left-leaning biases!

      He tried to pull the old tired and completely discredited gender based biological differences card in cognitive capability between men and women. Trying to argue that was the basis for there being so few competent women in STEM fields, especially amongst software engineers.

      I know that I don’t have to tell you that women can be equally brilliant!

    • GoneFishing says:
  12. GoneFishing says:

    The electrification of rural America, 1920’s to 1940’s. Play the video in the center of the web page. Shows how the Rural Electrification Program brought electricity across the US to the far flung rural areas and farms.


    • GoneFishing says:

      This is an example of how the free market fails large groups of people. Without government intervention power companies would have left those people to rot.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        This is an example of how the free market fails large groups of people.

        Yeah, but it is also worth mentioning that small groups of local people got together and formed co-ops to buy into, and therefore benefit from the newly available government programs. Which btw, also ended up benefiting the utility companies, win, win!

        At the moment the utility companies see the consumers as an eternally captive market and cash cow that they can continue to milk, until those cows come home.

        I could certainly imagine a similar thing happening with people investing in PV and wind powered microgrids, including battery storage systems to become self sufficient and owning their own means of energy production.

        The only problem with that idea is that the current government is owned lock stock and barrel by the fossil fuel interests and utility monopolies whose business model would be severely threatened if such options were made available.

        Now in the medium to long term there is little doubt that the supporters of the status quo and legacy power generation systems will lose out but it’s clear they are not giving up easily and will fight like the cornered rabid rats that they are!

        Though it is a really stupid fight on their part, given that they hold the entire ‘Round of Gouda’ the carving knife and the plates, but instead of leveraging their advantage they want to hog the whole cheese for themselves, so sooner rather than later the people will get fed up with their greed and give them all that big middle finger salute!

        Since the consumers will find a way to eventually make their own cheese, if the utilities were smart, they would see the wisdom of engaging in a new business model and providing wine and crackers to everyone for a small fee…

        Cheers! 😉

        I read this after posting my comment

        Severing ties with utilities isn’t as easy as cutting the cable cord

        • GoneFishing says:

          You are right, now we exist in a version of a corptocracy and things look dim for fast action.
          Man has spent too much time looking at the ground for his way forward, now it is time to look to the sky (something few people do, see the meteor shower last night?). There is an infinite (in a practical sense) supply of energy pounding down on us every day yet it has been mostly ignored until lately. Once it was rediscovered and now we have ways to gather it more efficiently, the great rush to use it did not happen. Many people hate renewable energy and all it stands for. Until the mindset changes, growth will mostly be determined by economics and politics.

          Change the minds, change the world.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Nice article. Personally I think if one takes into account rising costs of utilities and the addition of an electric car within the next few years that adding PV and battery storage is cost effective now.
          Also notice that the cost of the PV system adds to the value of your house so there is no real loss there. Just making money work for you and you get about 20% return on that investment per year. Win, win situation.

          Hint: Keep firefighters in mind when installing a PV system.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Meanwhile in Europe…


            Nissan trial enables EV owners to earn cash feeding power grids

            Electric car owners are earning as much as $1,530 a year in Denmark, just by parking their vehicle and feeding excess power back into the grid.

            Trials in the country carried out by Nissan and Italy’s biggest utility Enel showed how batteries inside electric cars could help balance supply and demand at peak times and provide a new revenue stream for those who own the vehicles.

            Technology linking vehicles to the grid marks another challenge for utilities already struggling to integrate wind and solar power into their distribution system. As the use of plug-in cars spreads, grid managers will have to pay closer attention to when motorists draw from the system and when they can smooth variable flows.

      • clueless says:

        Without government assistance, farmers would let people rot.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Go back to doing some hunter gathering, you’re not making any sense!

          • GoneFishing says:

            Looks like my neighbor. Correct signage also.

            • clueless says:

              From Gone Fishing, re: rural areas – “Without government intervention power companies would have left those people to rot.”

    • alimbiquated says:

      Maybe Europe’s private transportation will get electric as well.


  13. GoneFishing says:

    Evidence disproving tropical ‘thermostat’ theory: global warming can breach limits for life
    Two research methods were used to judge the temperature during the PETM, one utilizing isotopes in shells, while the other examined organic residues in deep-sea sentiments. The biotic records left behind from living organisms indicate they were dying at the same time the conditions were warming.

    If the tropics are not able to control its temperature and do not possess an internal thermostat, that should reshape future thinking about climate change, Huber said.


  14. GoneFishing says:

    Maybe you thought that we were into coal mining to produce electricity. More like water mining.
    How about between 800 and 3000 gallons of water to produce and use one ton of coal?
    And you thought it was just coal. Nope it’s lots of water, diesel fuel, and electricity to get that coal to the power plant and burn it.


  15. Survivalist says:

    August 11, 2017 Arctic sea ice extent is less than August 11, 2007 Arctic sea ice extent. 2017 has been flirting with 2nd place behind 2012 for several days.


    • George Kaplan says:

      There’s a good paper here on research showing that the Arctic Ice could suddenly disappear as it gets thinner and passes a tipping point. This happens in the models without needing additional feedback mechanisms but is worse if they are included. Like most such chaotic behaviour it’s not precisely predictable, but the models do seem to do better matching the current fairly linear decline trend.


      There’s an animation showing future ice loss as well, though it doesn’t fully work for me.

      And here is a new (beta test) NOAA sight that attempts to do a better job at short term prediction for the ice – looks pretty good.


      And this is the University of Bremen site showing ice concentration (good for regional display) – people interested probably already know about it, but I only really started looking into it in detail the other week – there’s a lot to find here, the use of false colours show up changes especially well.


      And this is some recent research about using SMOS data to get better direct measurement of concentration, I think there’ll be a lot like this coming out now, using SMOS and Cryosat to get direct ice parameter measurements to replace calibrated modelled numbers.


      It looks like this year extent will be a bit above 2012, but the weather was mostly like 2013 and 2014 according to most reports so it should have had a big rebound compared to last year’s low, but didn’t and volume looks to be equal to 2012 and maybe going down faster. I think a year with clear skies like 2007 or early melting and later warmth and storms like 2012 and the ice will go through the tipping point and be gone, pretty much all the ice above 3m has already gone and the little remaining fast ice is being ripped off and pushed to the Atlantic (which to my mind has kind of lowered the baseline for the minimum possible from around one million square kilometre to nothing).

      It’s also noticeable that as actual temperatures have started to drop in the Arctic the average anomaly given by ClimateReanalyzer has gradually risen and is mostly around 1.5 K now (i.e. the Arctic isn’t cooling as fast as before). Also noticeable that Antarctic sea ice might already be close to plateauing for the year at much lower than previous years.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi George,

        Not as sophisticated an analysis, but based on the linear trend from 1980 to 2016 for ice volume and assumption that this trend continues for about 20 years, the Arctic will be ice free in Sept 2036.

        Adding in the effects you allude to in your comment would suggest it will be sooner than 2036, maybe 2027+/-10 years (a WAG based on nothing but a maximum entropy probability distribution where mean and standard deviation are equal at 10 years.
        and years are years after 2017 (so 10=2017+10=2027).

        I assume in Sept 2017 the arctic will not be ice free.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Linear extrapolation of PIOMAs show ice free September around 2027. However, Piomas data is showing non-linearity for over a decade pushing the first free September closer to the present. First one will probably be weather dependent, so could happen sooner or later than expected.

          • GoneFishing says:

            My personal prediction, first ice free day by 2020 because it is a round number. 🙂

            On a more serious note:

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gone Fishing,

            My estimate was based on the chart below. In 2016 the September trend line is at about 5000 cubic kilometers with a slope of -3200 km3 per decade, I did a very conservative estimate that in 2o years the Arctic may be ice free, I suppose 16 years would be a better estimate, so 2032.

            Based on the chart, linear looks like a pretty good approximation.

            So I would revise to 2024+/- 8 years using a maximum entropy probability distribution. Note that 2024 would be the mean estimate, but for this distribution there would be about a 63% probability that the Arctic would be ice free before 2024 and the median probability would be about 2021 (50% probability that the arctic would be ice free before or after 2021).

            This lines up pretty well with your 2020 guess.

            Basically the error bars are very wide, somewhere between 2020 and 2040 seems a reasonable guess, but the probability is higher that it will be before 2025.

            • GoneFishing says:

              I based mine on the all month anomaly chart at the top of the page, gives a good view of the variation as well as the last ten years or so being mostly below their line.

              • GoneFishing says:

                My guess was mostly just for fun. Reality has a strange way of entering any future forecasts and modifying them due to the large number of known variables let alone the unknown ones. The trend is obvious, the effects are growing, the date for the ice free day party is not clear.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Gonefishing,

                  Typically in the face of many unknowns the maximum entropy probability distribution is best.

                  No doubt you are familiar with this, but for those who are not see


                  I am in complete agreement that we don’t really know, like many other things in climate science.

                  Actually, based on the chart I posted, the Piomas data points to 2035 for an ice free September in the Arctic. If we take this as the mean of a maximum entropy distribution with the mean and standard deviation of 18 years.

                  There would be about a 63% probability that the Arctic would be ice free in September between 2018 and 2035. The median (50%) probability would be Sept 2023 for no sea ice in the Arctic.

                  So a 50% chance it will be between 2018 and 2023 and a 50% chance it will be Sept 2024 or later.
                  Also about a 37% chance the Arctic will be free of sea ice in Sept 2035 or later.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Gone fishing,

                In reply to 8/13, 1:43 PM comment, my estimate was also for fun and I agree we don’t know when the Arctic will be ice free.

                My guess is 2025+/-5 years, probably about a 50% probability it will fall in this range. Though I haven’t done the detailed distribution (using the negative exponential probability distribution where mean is equal to standard deviation) so this is a rough guess.

            • notanoilman says:

              Whatever happens some id10t will fly over, spot a single berg and declare the arctic ice to be healthy 🙁


              • Fred Magyar says:

                That person’s name would probably start with a ‘J’ and end with an ‘R’… 😉

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Forgot the chart, sorry.

            • George Kaplan says:

              But there’s a 3000 km2 variation about the trend line, so once the line is within that amount there is a non zero chance that it will be clear, so it could happen probably from next year onwards (which I think is why they have redefined ice free to mean a number of ice free years in a row – I think five?).

              But maybe the Antarctic gives the best indications of possibilities. The ice always went low in it’s summer, and so was always thin first year ice (I don’t think there’s any real data on volume or thickness though). That is really what the Arctic looks like from last year, once all the thick MYI got taken out. Last year the Antarctic minimum extent suddenly starting dropping, from a maximum in 2014 and another high year in 2015 to a record low this. Maybe it will go back up again next year, probably not though, but either way it shows how the consequences from weather variations can be much higher once the ice is thin (e.g. maybe we’ll see 5000 km2 variations either side of the trend from year to year).

              Also I think if there is a clear year, earlier than the trend because of natural variation, the effect is likely to be similar to the loss of thick ice an cause an acceleration in warming – so maybe it is then inevitable that all following years will be clear in summer as well.

              • GoneFishing says:

                As I said above, the variation will give a chance at the first ice free day well below the trend line.

                The Antarctic ice system is completely different from the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic is almost landlocked while the Antarctic ice is open to the world’s oceans.
                There is no land in the center of the Arctic Ocean. The Antarctic has the coldest and a very high large land mass central to it’s sea ice. Mechanisms of melt are very different between the two.
                How often and how long the Arctic stays ice free is indeterminate at this point. That is just a convenient point, since there is already a lot of open water available for solar heating well before September.
                Winter melt is also occurring due to warm currents moving into the Arctic Ocean.
                The problem is that although the more southern regions are sending heat northward, the warming of the Arctic is reducing the temperature differential between the two and in turn affecting the more southern regions. Also the cold freshwater melt off the glaciers is having some effect on Atlantic Ocean current in the northern region.

                Five seems to be a magic number among scientists. Not sure at all why they have to have five times in a row to declare reaching a boundary point that probably has not been reached in over 100,000 years. It’s not like we have a recorded history of it or can do anything but watch it happen. Certainly can’t predict it with any certainty yet.
                Much better to look at the melt profiles comparing percent open ocean to the date. Lot more info there that can be grid connected to ocean currents and weather.

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  “How often and how long the Arctic stays ice free is indeterminate at this point.”

                  True and largely irrelevant: Isn’t it enough to know that Arctic sea ice reaches its minimum each September and September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.3 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average?


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Doug, in a way it is important since the Arctic Ocean simulating a lake at much more southern latitude (thaws every spring), would mean it has crossed an energy threshold, either in temperature or external thermal input or both. Without the ice in the water to buffer temperature rise through heat of fusion, the Arctic Ocean temperature can rise much faster. It also has maximized it’s conductive properties without the ice shield over it.
                    The longer and the larger the open water the larger the input from solar energy and the more delayed the ice formation in the fall.
                    Basically the temperature and the energy exchange of the Arctic is a large factor in weather. And so goes Greenland.

                • George Kaplan says:

                  I think the difference between thin ice and thick ice is much more relevant than the difference between the Arctic and Antarctic geography in determining how the ice behaves.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi George,

                That is why the period is so wide 2018 to 2040, the actual ice volume varies widely both higher and lower than the trend line. The variability is difficult to predict in advance and not very well understood, at least by me.

                2024 is a coin flip, about an equal probability it will be before or after that year based on the principle of maximum entropy and the 1980 to 2016 trend in Arctic ice volume from Piomas.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Take the bottom range limit line of the September values and extend that until it crosses 1 million square kilometers. That is the time of first chance of hitting ice free. That will be about six years from now if the function is linear and sooner if it has gone non-linear. After that the probability of first ice free day keeps rising.
                  Watch the AMOC, it will tell the tale.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone Fishing,

                    If we assume the relationship is linear (which seems to fit pretty well from 1980 to 2016) and assume the bottom limit is the 95% confidence interval, then there would be about a 2.5% probability that we would it an ice free arctic that year.

                    Alternatively the slope might be 4200 km3 per decade, so that suggests about 2027.
                    If that is a one standard deviation limit for a normal distribution, then there would be a 16% probability that 2027 would be the year the Arctic becomes ice free.

                    That’s actually quite a bit more conservative than my estimate.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Considering that there have been five strong negative anomalies since 2006, I do not think we are dealing with a Gaussian probability distribution. The odds lately of there being a deep anomaly is almost 50% for a given year and about 30 percent chance that anomaly will cross the 2sigma range.
                    So unless some new change breaks that pattern, I would expect an ice free day sooner rather than later.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    I agree it is probably not a normal (Gaussian) probability distribution.

                    The chart from Piomas displays a confidence interval that looks very Gaussian, don’t you think?

                    If we look at the lowest line for the September trend (which looks like a 95% confidence interval to me), which is at about 2000 km3 in Sept 2016 and assume the slope is 3200 km3/decade,that would lead to an estimate of 3 years to reach 1000 km3 and 6 years to reach zero so 2019 or 2022 depending upon how one defines “ice free”, with a 2.5% probability if the distribution were Gaussian.

                    Note that the maximum entropy distribution when a mean and standard deviation are given (as is the case for the chart presented by Piomas, with a slope of 3200+/-1000 km3) is the Gaussian distribution.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    Regarding your 8/13, 10:59 PM comment.

                    Not buying that at all. Why choose only data from 2006? For climate science we need to look at longer term data sets such as 1979 to 2016 as I always tell others who choose too short a set of data to make their case.

                    If we look at 1979 to 2016 there are roughly an equal number of years above and below the trend line, this is just natural variability at work on top of the anthropogenic warming signal.

                    Also looking at the 1979 to 2016 September data there has been one year in the past 38 years where the September minimum fell below the 2 sigma range, which is about 2% of the years.

                    Use the entire data set.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    The Sept minimum is an averaged and selected portion of the data set. I use the anomaly graph at the top of the page to determine the actual occurrence of anomalies. One must keep in mind that we are looking for the rate of outliers, the deep drops in volume. The rate is very high as I stated above. Those are the events that will reduce ice to an “ice free” state.

                    Yes, they applied Gaussian statistics but that does not mean the deviations are driven by or fit that type of system, merely a convenient measure.
                    Might as well just use the range, more appropriate in a system that is not well understood. The application of a Gaussian distribution to a system with periodic or random large deviations is inappropriate. The Gaussian is a probability model for a continuous outcome that has the major population of events nearest the center, unlike the actual anomaly set which has a multimodal event set. Gaussian sets work well in simple energetic dependent situations, not in multi-variant situations.
                    One must also be cognizant of the fact that the overall system and it’s inputs/outputs are changing with time. In the case of the Arctic, the energy input from external sources is variable on short time scales such as days to years.

                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    Fish – Totally agree. There are many problems for which the distribution is not Gaussian and Arctic sea ice extent certainly qualifies. As you know, when working with non-Gaussian distributions, it is important to realize that the expected value may be a terrible “answer”.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Doug, something happened in the Arctic post 2000 that changed the way the ice responds. More easily seen 2006 and afterward. Possibly have crossed a tipping point. Tighten your seat belt.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    I will note that I did not start with a Gaussian.

                    It was you and George that pointed to using the Gaussian limits set on those charts, which I would agree are pretty useless.

                    In this case the negative exponential probability distribution is the appropriate choice. That was where I started.

                    Using that there is about a 5% change that 2018 would be the year the Arctic has it’s first ice free September, 11% for 2019, 15% for 2020, and 20% for 2021, 32% for 2024, 39% for 2026, 49% for 2029, 61% for 2034, 71% for 2039, and 80% for 2046, and 95% for 2071. See cumulative probability chart in comment down thread.

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  Fish – One factor that may be shaking things up is thinner (and “irregular ice patches”) that are more susceptible to major storms, or lack of them??? Just a guess but a season with high winds plays havoc with the ice.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    True, one of the differences between Arctic and Antarctic ice is that Arctic ice has been pretty much captured and not able to move much. Now with more open water and thin ice (actually partial ice), the ice is more free to move. Antarctic ice has no such limitation since it is out in free ocean.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi all,

              Surely there are many unknowns in how Arctic sea ice will respond in the future.

              When faced with high uncertainty typically the principle of maximum entropy is a good place to start. The mean of the 1980 to 2016 Sept Arctic ice minimum trend line points to an ice free arctic in about 2035. So lambda would be 1/18 for a negative exponential probability distribution, where the mean is 18 years after 2017 and the standard deviation is equal to the mean.

              The cumulative probability distribution for the year of ice free September in the Arctic (minimum sea ice volume is zero in Sept) is shown below. The mean is 2035 and the median is 2029.5 (50% probability it will be before or after this year).

              The 15% to 85% probability range is 2020 to 2051 and the 25% to 75% probability range is 2022 to 2042.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Too bad that is not how it is actually acting. The odds of an extreme melt event are currently between 50% and 30% for any given year. As the ice gets thinner it will approach 100 percent.

                BTW, every minimum after 2009 has been outside the 1 sigma region with two bordering the far edge of the 2 sigma region. We also just had a winter maximum below the 2 sigma region, record low volume.
                To put the volumes into perspective, 1979 had about 17 thousand km3 as a minimum, the current minimum reached as low as 3 thousand km3 of ice (2012). Ice free is 1 thousand km3. So the Arctic has lost up to 82 percent of it’s ice volume recently compared to 1979.

                Lately (last 20 years) the Arctic appears to be losing volume at 0.45 km3/year.

                So given all that my new guess for an ARCTIC ICE FREE DAY PARTY is Sept 12, 2019,20,21,22. I might be off by a week though so we will have to celebrate separately. Down a glass of water sans ice and then sing “Sailing, sailing over the bounding Arctic ….” 🙂

                Wonder how all the smoke from the worldwide fires is affecting the Arctic.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Correction: O.45 km3/year should be 0.45 thousand km3/year

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Gone fishing,

                  We disagree on the best way to determine when Arctic Sea Ice might fall to zero.

                  I think using the September monthly data makes more sense and note that the slopes are almost identical along with the absolute value of sigma.

                  Figure 3 at the Piomas reanalysis site shows only 4 years of the last 16 that are over one sigma from the mean trend line, about 25% and no months that are over 2 sigma, also looking at figure 2 none of the August to Oct data points are outside of the 2 sigma range. Linear still looks like the best fit and natural variability is difficult to predict.

                  The Sept plot suggests maybe a 10% chance we might see an ice free arctic by 2019, about what the max ent analysis shows (this would require about a 3 sigma deviation from the mean trend.)

                  In any case nobody knows, but I think it’s not likely to happen as soon as 2019, certainly not a 50% probability in my view.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    You misunderstand my analysis. There is a 50% chance of a strong melting event not of ice free day, not yet at least. There is a 30 percent chance per year of a maximum melt event. If that coincides with a low ice volume, then it there will be a free ice day (or week).
                    I hope you do realize that there is variable melting from year to year and that since the amount of ice is on the decrease ensuring that strong melting events will hit the lower boundary value. It seems just a logical result to me.

                    I use the first figure since it contains the data set, including Sept values.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Since you seem to want to actually predict the probability of an ice free period in the Arctic, using linear descent and my methodology there will be a 50% probability in 6 years. Using non-linear there will be a 50% probability in four years.
                    Of course I hope most folk realize that this is just a convenient marker and that the real problems occur when the Arctic starts to get ice free in June. Around that point the system is truly non-linear and global weather is in a whole new mode.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    One possible way of looking at the data using daily data one week before and after the minimum in Sept (I used 2012 as a guide for the minimum day in Sept).

                    I used a least squares regression to determine a confidence interval using the 95% confidence interval for the slope and chose x intercepts to bound the range of the data for all years except 1981 (which may be an outlier).

                    This analysis suggests an ice free Sept day (1000 km3 or less) between 2019 and 2038.
                    Click on the chart for larger view.

                    Oh and I don’t think we can really assign probabilities, but if such an attempt is made the negative exponential probability distribution is what statistics suggests makes sense given our limited knowledge.

                    Keep in mind we don’t know how to define terms such as “deep melt”, etc.

                    Still not buying the 50% probability, but time will tell, 2020 to 2042 seems about right to me, maybe a 60% chance it will fall somewhere in that range, with cumulative probability (chance that it will happen by year x) rising from 15% in 2020 to 75% in 2042.

                    Ice free in June is a long way off, maybe about 2065 if the linear trend is followed. A Max Ent solution would be sooner maybe 2050 as a rough guess.

                    A final note, when using figure 1 from Piomas, the strong melt event may be during June or July rather than Sept.

                    Though perhaps interesting, the anomalies around the minimum are what will determine the date of an ice free Arctic so it seems logical to focus on the September data, particularly the week before and after the usual minimum date (typically the 18th to the 20th of Sept).

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Yep, your graph shows first possible occurrence at 2020.
                    Are you using average values for all of Sept? That will make shift your values higher than the actual minima?

                    BTW, NSIDC latest concentration graph shows only two sections of solid ice, most is broken right to the north pole. Big slushy.

                  • notanoilman says:

                    An exponential or at least a late acceleration (maybe even both) makes some sense. As the ice gets thinner and more disrupted it will be more prone to destructive forces. Battering from waves, de-icing effect of salt water, snow/ice washed off by waves or blown into the ocean rather than another place on the ice etc. I think the end phase will happen a lot more rapidly than we expect.


                  • Nick G says:

                    Both Santa’s workshop and Superman’s Fortress of Solitude are sinking under the water.

                    Somehow I think those images would have a real impact for a lot of people…

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Notanoilman,

                    It is unclear if the Arctic will go to zero, that has not been the case with Southern hemisphere sea ice where there is not much multiyear ice, the minimum ice in the Southern hemisphere occurs in February and the long term trend has been increasing from 1980-2017. The Extent average from 1981 to 2010 in Feb has been 3.1 million km2 and the extent has been fluctuating +/-20% since 2011.


                • GoneFishing says:

                  Probabilities were taken from actual minima occurrence rates for all months.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    The chart uses daily anomalies from day 253 to day 268 (in 2012 day 261 was the minimum so I used data from 7 days before and after that), so the regression is on the 608 data points from those 15 September days for all years from 1979 to 2016.

                    I would also not that your 6 years from 2017 would be 2023 (I assume you do not expect 2017 will be ice free in Sept), which is not very different from the 2024 date from my maximum entropy analysis where the probability that the Arctic will become ice free between now and Sept 2024 is about 32%. A 50% cumulative probability is reached in 2029 (50% chance it will occur between 2018 and 2029).

                    In any case reality may fall somewhere from 2020 to 2040 and the probabilities are guesses, based on my initial guess of an 18 year mean (2017+18=2035). A 15 year mean would have resulted in a median probability (50% cumulative) of 2027.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Thanks for the discussion Dennis.
                    I do predict that there will actually be walkable ice on my lake this winter. Might get skunked again though if the jet stream shifts.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Increases in water vapor over the Arctic, decreasing albedo, warm air and ocean currents are all in play.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi GoneFishing,

          Yes they are. There is much uncertainty, Global Climate models take many of those factors into account, but there is a wide spread in model results so they only give us uncertainty limits.

          There is much to learn.

      • Survivalist says:

        Thanks for the links George

      • Adam Hufford says:

        It wasn’t but just over 40 years ago (the 1970’s) when the United States saw all-time record breaking cold temperatures along with the biggest snow coverage in recorded history. The mainstream media along with the fear mongers of the day warned about how another ice age seemed to be on the way. They demanded we remove pollution from the air, so we could get the climate under control.

        Well, looks like we are now about 40 years after the doom, with the earth still here and nobody dead yet from massive encroaching glaciers of a new ice age. Air pollution has even been cleaned up so much in the past 40 years that the EPA has become both economically wasteful and unnecessary.

        My question for the readers here would be, shouldn’t we apply what we learned from the spectacular failed predictions of climate science in the 1970’s to the current predictions from the world of climate science? After all, science has become so politicized in the past 40 years that anything a scientist says at this point must immediately be reviewed for ideological bias.

        • Nick G says:

          The mainstream media along with the fear mongers of the day warned about how another ice age seemed to be on the way.

          I’m afraid you’re the victim of fossil fuel industry misinformation.

          Got any sources, or links to sources? Looking for original sources (scientific journals, for instance, rather than dailycaller), might help clarify for you that you’re relying on websites that are misinforming you.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Actually the largest percentage snow cover of the US happened on Jan 12th 2011 at 70.9 percent. Really Adam, posting a whole bunch of erroneous bullshit is not going to convince anyone that science is politicized/biased or that the EPA should be dismantled, or anything else for that matter.
          Go back to your village and get the think tank to give you another story. This one was a flop.

        • Survivalist says:

          Obviously Adam has never looked at the data. Or maybe tried and couldn’t figure out what a graph is.
          Stay in school kids!

        • George Kaplan says:

          Adam Hufford – every single thing you said is wrong except for the decrease in air pollution, and that wasn’t “even cleared up” as if by accident, but was because of the EPA and the politicians who created it, and which you now want to get rid of.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Adam,

          Have you ever used a cell phone or flown in a plane?

          Aren’t you worried the science is wrong? 🙂

          Climate science has come a long way in 40 years.

          Try the link below if you want to understand how far we have come.


  16. scrub puller says:

    Yair . . . .

    Hello folks this is off topic to hell and I realize this is not an American culture site . . . . .

    But . . . .

    Is there any one on here who can explain the (1950’s-1960’s) American custom of “matching” the barman to play the jukebox?

    I understand it was a minor form of gambling to keep the juke thumping on a quiet night . . . if the barman lost the establishment paid for the next track. Dean Martin mentions it in the words of “Little old Wine Drinker me”.


    • Fred Magyar says:

      Hey scrub puller,

      Is there any one on here who can explain the (1950’s-1960’s) American custom of “matching” the barman to play the jukebox?

      I was a tad too young to hang out in bars in the 50’s and 60’s… and I had never heard that expression before, so I googled it 😉

      Found this discussion thread on a Jazz form about the mysteries of Country Music

      Though it doesn’t seem quite right to me, this seems to be the general consensus:

      On 4/9/2012 at 0:16 PM, Neal Pomea said:
      Sounds like the bartender put money in the jukebox, then he matched that amount just to keep it going.

      That sounds about right.

      Best explanation I have heard yet. Thanks Neal!!!

      My own hunch is that bars had an interest in keeping customers happy and drinking while they listened to their favorite tunes so the bar tenders probably had some kind of betting scheme going with their customers and if they lost the bet, the establishment would pay for the next few songs on the jukebox and the customers would then match the barman?! Who knows really!

    • Stanley Walls says:

      Hey Scrub,
      Though I didn’t hang out in bars, I suspect that “matching the bar-tender for the jukebox” was much the same as “matching pennies” , which some of the young gamblers I went to school with did. In which case, both the bar-tender and the customer would drop a nickel on the bar and cover it with his hand. One of them would “call it”, either “even” or “odd”. Then they showed their hand, and the winner got the two nickels, one of which went into the jukebox. Roughly 3 minutes, 1 knifing, 2 divorces, and with the background sound of a Cummins 220 with a backdrop manifold later, they repeated it.

      • scrub puller says:

        Yair . . . .

        Thanks so much fellers.

        I needed the confirmation for the novel I’m writing . . . ask and ye shall receive. (grins)


        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Best with it, scrub… Where are you in its development and what is it about?
          …I wonder how Oldfarmermac is doing with his book.

          • scrub puller says:

            Yair . . .

            Gotcha Caelan,

            Working on three novels actually . . . based on life as I have known it, all are at about eighty percent and well into rewrites.


  17. Doug Leighton says:

    B.C. has passed the 1000 wildfires mark this year, and counting. To date 2567 square miles have gone up in flames.

    • David F. says:

      is B.C.’s population at an all-time high?

      correlation is not causation, but?

      as American TV promo spots say: only you can prevent a forest fire.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        A lot of the fires were caused by human error or human stupidity and some downright arson (a very small percentage started by spontaneous combustion of dry fuel such as sawdust and leaves) with about 10% caused by lightning strikes. I suppose the farther north you go a higher percent would be caused by lightning strikes. There is a cool Real-Time map showing Lightning Strikes pretty well anywhere in the world (zoom-able).


        • Doug Leighton says:

          Fire officials are warning about extreme fire behavior with numerous wildfires growing on the weekend and the situation showing no sign of slowing down. Lightning sparked 28 new fires across B.C. this weekend, bringing the total number of fires burning to 163.The largest blaze burning in B.C. right now is the Hanceville Riske Creek fire. It’s more than 190,000 hectares in size (734 square miles).

    • Hightrekker says:

      I had to put out a grass fire today, as a friend was grinding some metal, and the brush caught fire.
      Got hose on it right a way— minutes later, it would of been out of control.
      Sonoma County.

  18. Hightrekker says:

    “Society is like a stew, unless stirred frequently, the scum rises to the top”

    1927 news report: Donald Trump’s dad arrested in KKK brawl with cops


  19. Hightrekker says:

    An adaptability limit to climate change
    due to heat stress
    (not as adaptable as thought)


  20. Doug Leighton says:

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

    Fred – “The living, breathing ocean may be slowly starting to suffocate. More than two percent of the ocean’s oxygen content has been depleted during the last half century, according to reports, and marine ‘dead zones’ continue to expand throughout the global ocean. This deoxygenation, triggered mainly by more fertilizers and wastewater flowing into the ocean, pose a serious threat to marine life and ecosystems.”


    • Fred Magyar says:

      Fred – “The living, breathing ocean may be slowly starting to suffocate.

      Yes, unfortunately I’m highly aware of that fact ☹

  21. GoneFishing says:

    RYDER to lease and rent electric trucks. Cargo capacity 6000 pounds, range 100 miles.


  22. Survivalist says:

    Preliminary JMA analysis shows July 2017 as the 2nd warmest on record globally (2016 in 1st).

    Data available at http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/gwp/temp/jul_wld.html

  23. Hightrekker says:

    I am fairly convinced that the typical human brain, having arisen in the service of thermodynamics and energy dissipation, cannot for long resist natural tendencies to acquire energy and degrade it while perhaps reproducing along the way. Most humans are interested in getting rich by owning various features of the infrastructure, unaware that the seemingly perpetual flow of energy will come to an end in our linear exercises in gradient reduction.
    Is James onto something?

    • Nick G says:

      No, he’s really not. Humans appear capable of living with zero growth in hard goods, and there’s no sign of solar energy depleting.

      James really knows nothing about energy. When pressed on the point he describes himself as an entertainer (specifically, a clown).

      • Hightrekker says:

        He does have a interesting writing style.
        And I like his RNA analysis.
        But you are probably right (well, not about hard goods, but about solar and his energy literacy)

        • Nick G says:

          Good to agree on some things.

          On hard goods, I’m thinking about things like US car sales plateauing in the 1970’s. I think if you looked at US home sales you’d see the same thing: it’s basically a replacement and population growth-driven market. And we see the same thing with population growth: in most of the world, we see that people are perfectly willing (eager, even) to have less than two children per couple. The primary exception is Africa and MENA, which are laboring under poverty and low educational levels (especially for women).

  24. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Child miners aged four living a hell on Earth so YOU can drive an electric car:
    Awful human cost in squalid Congo cobalt mine that Michael Gove didn’t consider in his ‘clean’ energy crusade

    “Dorsen, just eight, is one of 40,000 children working daily in the mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The terrible price they will pay for our clean air is ruined health and a likely early death.

    Almost every big motor manufacturer striving to produce millions of electric vehicles buys its cobalt from the impoverished central African state. It is the world’s biggest producer, with 60 per cent of the planet’s reserves.

    The cobalt is mined by unregulated labour and transported to Asia where battery manufacturers use it to make their products lighter, longer-lasting and rechargeable.”

    Image below quote from article:

    Eight-year-old Dorsen is pictured cowering beneath the raised hand of an overseer who warns him not to spill a rock

    • islandboy says:

      Trust you to fall for Koch Industries funded propaganda! As a matter of fact, your unending tirades against technology, renewables and EVs in particular, have got me wondering if you are part of the Koch machine. Over two weeks ago, your source has been exposed for what it is, a Koch industries hit piece. For more see:

      Koch Brothers Attack Electric Cars With Misinformation Campaign Again

      The Koch brothers going on the public offensive against electric cars is nothing new, and now they’re spewing more misinformation to make people think that EVs are toxic to humans.

      A video from the Fueling U.S. Forward organization attempts to pull at the public’s heartstrings by showing child labor. Fueling U.S. Forward, run by oil lobbyist, Charles Drevena, is an attempt to promote fossil fuels. Of course, the organization is funded by none other than the Koch brothers.

      These two have been at it for some time, first attacking EV subsidies (although the fossil fuel industry has enjoyed substantial subsidizing for years), then trying to prove that electric cars are dirtier than ICE cars due to the electricity’s energy source (which has been debunked more times than we can count). Not to mention that their fossil fuel efforts are what is causing the pollution in the first place.

      The new video attempts to convince us that electric cars are more toxic to human than traditional gas vehicles. The video focuses on the mining of rare earth metals used for lithium-ion battery production. However, it references cobalt and lithium, neither of which are rare earth metals. It also forgets to mention that these metals are used in lithium-ion batteries in basically everything else that we use today; specifically laptops and mobile phones, but even toys, pacemakers, digital cameras, watches, and a vast number of other devices.

      For more background The Young Turks broke this story on Feb 19, 2016:

      Koch Brothers Declare War On Electric Cars (video)

      Thinking back to the incessant bleating about the evils of technology, again specifically Evs and renewable energy, again makes has me thinking that Caelan MacIntyre is either part of the Koch Machine or a somewhat hapless victim of it.

      Hey Calean! Since you seem to have a penchant for digging up quotes from as far back as TOD days, why not dig up some quotes of you railing against the evils of the fossil fuel industry or exposing Koch Industries propaganda? How about some instances where you hit out at global warming denial and the anti-science campaigns of the religious right? I just cant seem to remember you being even remotely as strident on these issues as you are against technology but I would welcome any evidence to the contrary.

      Anyone who wants a better idea of the source of my cynicism can watch the following videos I have just watched:

      The Doubt Machine: Inside the Koch Brothers’ War on Climate Science

      Part 2: Dark Money: Jane Mayer on How Koch Bros. & Billionaire Allies Funded Rise of the Far Right

      There’s lots more over at Youtube if your interested. If Calean is interested, he should do some research into these low life schumbags to find out exactly who he is unwittingly supporting when he posts stuff like he did above, assuming he is not on the payroll.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Island Traitors

        “Trust you to fall for Koch Industries funded propaganda!” ~ islandboy

        Come on, islandboy. That’s your (bought-and-sold-ass?) fetishized propaganda– as we all know– replete with Koch pics and, in this case, Koch links. We both know things are far more complicated and complex than a couple of older smiling beige boys in suits, right?

        That’s a sanitized island-reality, plugged.

        Just in part in case you think that some things are exclusive to Africa, here’s Jamaica’s own Protoje, with Blood Money, and 2 pertinent frames from the video. Enjoy. (Note the name of the garbage truck.)

        “But nuff politician take the donation
        So nuff criminal will never see a station
        Never see a cell, not even a courthouse
        But a every Sunday we see them take the boat out
        North coast resort and car dealership
        The construction company dem just don’t legit
        Use it wash the money, turn it ’round and hide it
        When the kickback dem come in, the government delighted…

        man1: What about the people?
        man2: Only poor people live here: Poor people are roadblocks to progress. You know what you do with roadblocks: You move them.” ~ Protoje

        • Fred Magyar says:

          So Caelan, where is your outrage at say Shell Oil destroying the livelihoods of Nigerian fishermen?


          Or the environmental disaster that is The Canadian tar sands?

          Yet you rail against anything that has to do with solar and wind and put down anyone who is trying to promote alternative energy to better people’s lives? You have a very strange viewpoint and world view to say the least!

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “So Caelan, where is your outrage at say Shell Oil destroying the livelihoods of Nigerian fishermen?” ~ Fred Magyar

            It’s already on POB in my mention of ‘The Delta Boys’, a documentary on oil in Nigeria, and much more than that.

            My outrage is also about the system.

            Try, as you write, ‘railing against’ that, and you may see problems with alternative energy (etc.) too and maybe begin to question whether it actually ‘betters people’s lives’, and for whom, etc.. That’s assuming you really give a fuck, such as beyond the crony-capitalist plutarchy profit-motive.

            Currently, it is that system that derives alternative energy tech and it is not set up to ‘better people’s lives’ or other animals’, unless you are talking about the lives of some elite/limited number, and even then…

            “…the ‘green technology’ in the economic mainstream is not at all that it seems. The increasing complexity of products and societies leads to increasing unpredictability. There is actually no such thing as a sustainable company or product because sustainability is society-wide. Rebound effects often render environmental innovation futile…

            Granfalloons are vested interest coalitions formed around illusory and futile innovations… which are sustained by the optimism bias of techno-enthusiasts…

            …the technologies that we depend upon in our highly complex society can fail us and make our
            problems worse. In the end, technology is a means to an end and, when the ends that prevail in society are growth of profits, growth of wealth and power, and growth of the egos of entrepreneurial celebrities, then it is not surprising that the technologies that are there, supposedly for green purposes, may nevertheless fail to deliver.” ~ Brian Davey, ‘Credo: Economic Beliefs In a World In Crisis’

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Currently, the system that derives alternative energy tech is not set up to ‘better people’s lives’, unless you are talking about the lives of some elite number.

              That is absolute bullshit!

              That’s like saying cellphones did not make poor people in third world countries lives better. People who previously had to wait years and could not afford to pay thousands of dollars for copper land line based telephones, suddenly had all of human knowledge at their fingertips.

              You are so one dimensional. You have no nuance or depth to your world view! Yes, corporations made money providing the cellphones and the service too but the value it added to people’s lives is immeasurable!


              Survey: 54 percent in developing world use Internet
              Pew study points to major strides in shrinking the global ‘digital divide’
              February 22, 2016 1:00PM ET
              by Michael Pizzi @michaelwpizzi
              For the first time, more than half of those living in emerging and developing nations have at least occasional Internet access on a computer or smartphone — a milestone that experts say suggests major strides in chipping away at global digital inequality.

              According to data from the Pew Research Center’s annual survey on global Internet usage released Monday, a median of 54 percent of adults in emerging and developing economies identified themselves as “Internet users” in 2015. That figure, up from 45 percent two years ago, includes 37 percent of respondents in the developing world who reported owning a smartphone — a sharp rise from just 21 percent in 2013.

              pew chart
              Pew Research Center
              The rapid growth of Internet access in emerging economies, experts say, reflects a growing recognition by governments and multilateral organizations that expanding access is an economic imperative in a globalized world. Though most of the increase Pew found came in a handful of the largest emerging economies, including China, Malaysia and Brazil, Pew found that emerging economies on the whole appear to be “catching up” to their developed peers.

              Go spend a few years in some of those countries living among their people before you spout more of your nonsense and please spare us your preaching about how evil the system is until you’ve experienced the alternative first hand. Most everyone here is already acutely aware of all the shortcomings and injustices of our global industrial civilization. We don’t need you to tell us.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Parallel Evolution: AGW Denial In Another Niche

                Ok, how about replacing the argument for ‘cellphones making people’s live better’ (sound of audience clapping/cheering on command to a teleprompter screen) in the context of the crony-capitalist plutarchy (and peak oil/civilization-decline/relocalization/collapse/social-unrest/etc.) with cold-weather ‘anomalies’ in the context of global warming…

                Hey, great, we’re getting cooler weather sometimes on a heating planet, and hey, great, we’re getting some ‘better lives’ (whatever that actually means) with some technologies in a dystopia.

                Yes-yes, ‘most everyone here is already acutely aware of all the shortcomings and injustices of our global industrial civilization’, if you say so, just like most everyone here is already acutely aware of AGW, including the AGW-denying drive-by’s.

                Cellphones may have a best-before date sooner than we realize, which may coincide with civilization’s, and which may coincide with AGW and the ecosystem in general.

                Koko Kuva

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Ah yes, all mental elitists wander into areas they are not capable in and start making erroneous claims.
                  Do you really think that people do not know the situation they are in? Maybe talking to some of them would clear that up instead of making grand statements about the general stupidity of mankind.
                  But I guess it is more ego boosting to feel superior, even if it is a delusion.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “Do you really think that people do not know the situation they are in?” ~ GoneFishing (by way of a paraphrased-rip of Fred’s comment)

                    And of course, at best, you are also committing the transgression of the ad-hom, Gonzo.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    You think I read Fred’s comment to you? What a jerk. Go back to your cave and leave the humans alone.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “You think I read Fred’s comment to you?” ~ GoneFishing

                    Of course, and/or another with a similar paraphrase. And, interestingly, you haven’t denied it either.

                    The problem with Fred’s and your similar comment that sounds, along with your ‘jerk’ snarl-word, an awful lot like you’ve got your nose real close to Fred’s ass, can of course be found here.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Gonzo, just for the record, I set you up to make a point about qualification.

                    I was going to do something similar with one of Fred’s lines, but got mired and lost in priorities and greener pastures beyond, say, Fred’s tee-hee cartoon images and the in-bred dregs that this section of POB has suffered since around the time Dennis split it, like so much specialization, monoculture and wilful myopia.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Such paranoia.
                    Are you ever right about anything? Guess not from your track record. Keep trying though, accidents happen.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Good night, Gonzo.

                    Goodnight Moo

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Island Traitors

                  Come on, islandboy. That’s your (bought-and-sold-ass?) fetishized propaganda– as we all know– replete with Koch pics and, in this case, Koch links. We both know things are far more complicated and complex than a couple of older smiling beige boys in suits, right?

                  That’s a sanitized island-reality, plugged.
                  Caelan MacIntyre

                  So you really think you have a better grasp of what life in Jamaica is like, than Island boy does?! You are just an arrogant patronizing twit! You have no clue whatsoever, I guarantee it! You are no better than an armchair quarterback.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    ‘Island-reality’ was a metaphor, Fred, and has nothing to do with whether I think I know more about Jamaica than islandboy.

                    The metaphor has to do in part with overspecialization and, or as, a kind ‘canned’ or ‘island’ notion of reality, such that our society seems to be in the predicament of.

          • Hightrekker says:

            If we could all be this dedicated to overthrowing capitalist oppression:

        • islandboy says:

          I find it curious that you seem to have a much greater fixation on new technology than on old technology. At the same time you rail against corporations and government, I cant seem to get from you a clear statement on the current state of affairs as I see it. As I see it, the extractive industries have made huge fortunes extracting non renewable energy sources and peddling them around the world for use in electricity generation, transportation, heating and industry. We now live in a civilization that is largely dependent on fossil fuels to function and provides a captive customer base for these very wealthy industries and sustains their activities.

          The thing is that, the corporations that have built their fortunes in fossil fuel extraction have become extremely comfortable with the status quo and are willing to spend a substantial amount of their income to maintain the current state of affairs. My fixation with the Koch brothers stems from the fact that they are probably the supreme example of capitalism gone mad. They have used some of their fortune to build a network of power and influence that is insidious and pervasive (in the US) and geared towards eliminating any threats to the profitability to their enterprise. This is not true capitalism and does not strike me as “the American way”. As a matter of fact, it is a prime example of the collusion between corporations and government that you so claim to abhor and with the most recent election, the manifestations are becoming increasingly evident yet, you choose disruptive industries that threaten the current hegemony as the targets of your vitriol?

          The thing about renewables and solar in particular is that, they threaten to disrupt the current corporate/government stranglehold on society in ways not seen since the beginning of the industrial revolution. More so than wind, sunshine is an almost universally available energy source and it works almost as well at small scales as it does at the utility scale. That means that individual households and businesses and even communities can harness solar energy almost as efficiently as a utility scale solar farm can. Same goes for batteries. Utility scale batteries are just lots and lots of small batteries aggregated into larger units. This is why Tony Seba is touting a major disruption in the electricity generation sector as we transition from large central corporate owned generating plants to small, distributed, individually or cooperatively owned micro plants that serve the interests of the individual or cooperative rather than the corporation.

          This is already happening in Australia where 25% of households have solar PV and the battery market is booming with one in five new installations expected to include storage. For a view of what may happen in the US in the not too distant future, have a look at a post over at EVTV from Jack Rickard Selfishly Solar. Jack describes a scenario where consumers can put themselves in a position to disconnect from the grid without any sacrifice of the convenience we have come to expect from the grid and he shows no love for the influence peddling utilities (corporations), who are seeking to stop this threat to their business model in it’s tracks by influencing regulators and policy makers (government) with generous amounts of cash. See where I’m going with this?

          Jack also sees EVs as a way of giving the middle finger to the man, in that he is designing his set up to be able to charge his EVs with electricity he generates on his own shop roof. What’s not to like? Instead of depending on the petroleum infrastructure (corporations) to supply fuel or utilities (corporations) to supply electricity, EV owners can source their electricity from private, individually owned renewable sources. For some people this could be micro hydro or wind but, for most people the obvious option is going to be solar PV.

          The current status quo is that we are on the hook to a set of corporations who own the means of production and the mineral rights to a set of energy sources that we must continue to purchase from them (in perpetuity?) if we are to continue to expect the conveniences we have become accustomed to. The disruptive forces at work are offering to sell us the means of harnessing renewable energy so we can harness our own energy from the sun and store it for use at our convenience, without having to constantly pay somebody else for it. It is not the same. It is the difference between selling a man a fish and selling him the means to catch his own fish or selling a man an egg versus selling him the chicken that lays the eggs. See the difference?

          So please spare me the self righteous banter about the evils of technology and the risk of enslavement to corporations and governments. I would appreciate hearing from you, practical solutions for freeing ourselves from the current hegemony that has us sucking from the teats of the likes Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries who then spend their money to get political whores like Scott Pruitt, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, James Inhoffe, Ted Cruz and Mike Pence elected or appointed to positions of power. All the people named in the above sentence are sitting representatives or appointees and are in a position to do the bidding of their corporate backers. Watch them in action as events unfold!

          • Nick G says:

            Here we go:

            • GoneFishing says:

              The difference between a sustainable society and an unsustainable society is the term stewardship versus ownership.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Nick, I’ve already, and quite some time ago, commented on oil company and ‘government’ investment in alternative energy, with links for support and including more than one country and company.
              I simply thought of it, looked it up and found out about it.
              Why? Because it made sense that many a company/government in or funding a dying industry would switch. Including through subsidies. Coercion.

              …So why are you posting this misleading image, apparently yet again?
              Maybe because you and/or others hereon aren’t really interested in the truth, but in railroading your/their own vision of the future on the rest of us?

              Reality is not as cut-and-dried as some religions would have people brainwashed into thinking, and reality/nature has other ideas, which we’re already finding out about.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Caelan,

                The World is not perfect, wishing it was so does not make it so. Coercion exists and finding ways to reduce the negative effects is the best we will do.

                When challenged on how we get from where we are (imperfect capitalist representative democracy is point A) to where you would like to be (utopian anarchic societyis point B), you have never suggested any plan.

                Can you suggest a path? We would require that there be no coercion involved as that seems to be a major shortcoming of the existing paradigm.

                Note that I don’t share your view that “point B” above is best, but certainly would agree that things could be improved. I believe that incremental change results in less suffering as sometimes revolutionary change leads to problems as in Germany from 1930 to 1945 or in the Soviet Union under Stalin or in China from 1958 to 1980.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Hi Dennis,

                  Just read, or try to read, the rough draft of the Permaea manifesto. It might help to make things clearer for you about what I’m on about.

                  “you have never suggested any plan.” ~ Dennis Coyne

                  Of course I have. The plan is Permaea and I’ve suggested it often.
                  It doesn’t have to include everyone, however, and perhaps that is part of its beauty.

                  • Nathanael says:

                    Your manifesto suffers from your total ignorance.

                    Go take a few psych classes, OK? Maybe some anthopology or sociology.

                    History would also help. You don’t seem to have the slightest understanding of what has already been tried.

                    Perhaps studying the history of *people like you who spread unimplementable manifestos* might help you understand why you’re being laughed at.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Nathanael, see here.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Hi islandboy,

            I’ll get back to your chunky comment in due time.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              I’m swamped at the moment, priorities and all that, but might, out of habitual momentum, swing by as a comment under another article, maybe even yours.

              I’ll leave you with something, though, along similar lines that has already been mentioned by me with different words/quotes and at different times, using a simple quote from Richard Heinberg:

              Climate Change Isn’t Our Biggest Environmental Problem, and Why Technology Won’t Save Us

              “Of course, ignoring the systemic nature of our dilemma just means that as soon as we get one symptom corralled, another is likely to break loose. But, crucially, is climate change, taken as an isolated problem, fully treatable with technology? Color me doubtful. I say this having spent many months poring over the relevant data with David Fridley of the energy analysis program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Our resulting book, Our Renewable Future, concluded that… solar and wind power both suffer from intermittency, which (once these sources begin to provide a large percentage of total electrical power) will require a combination of three strategies on a grand scale: energy storage, redundant production capacity, and demand adaptation. At the same time, we in industrial nations will have to adapt most of our current energy usage (which occurs in industrial processes, building heating, and transportation) to electricity. Altogether, the energy transition promises to be an enormous undertaking, unprecedented in its requirements for investment and substitution. When David and I stepped back to assess the enormity of the task, we could see no way to maintain current quantities of global energy production during the transition, much less to increase energy supplies so as to power ongoing economic growth.”

    • GoneFishing says:

      Sounds like a social and a management problem to me. Maybe it is a cultural thing.
      Here in the developed world we got away from child labor a while ago. However if the Krotch Bros get their way we will be back there.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        “Here in the developed world we got away from child labor a while ago.” ~ GoneFishing

        It’s as if you’ve never heard of outsourcing/offshoring, puppet dictatorships, sweatshops, or extraordinary rendition, etc., before.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I see you are still using electricity and a computer connected to the internet to spew nonsense and Koch sponsored propaganda, have you no shame? No need to respond, that last question was purely rhetorical. You are either mentally damaged, a member of some cult, or one of the most shameless lying hypocrites I have ever had the misfortune to encounter anywhere. Unlike islandboy, I don’t think you are on the Koch payroll, they have a minimum IQ standard and you’re just too stupid to pass their test.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            If only those kids could just stop mining cobalt and go back to their pristine land and communities, ay, Fred?

            How many milliseconds do you actually pause to pull your head out of your ass to think before you comment? 1? 2?

            • Fred Magyar says:

              If only those kids could just stop mining cobalt and go back to their pristine land and communities, ay, Fred?

              You are a complete idiot! What pristine environment and in which century?!

              This is the 21st century and we have 7.5 billion plus humans living living on planet earth today. Humanity as a whole is in deep ecological overshoot and there is very little chance that that kid is going to have all the trappings of a comfortable life like the one you enjoy!
              So why don’t you get off your high horse and adopt him?

              Using the World Bank definition of $1.25/day, as of September 2013, roughly 1.3 billion people remain in extreme poverty (or roughly 1 in 6 people) (of ~7.1 billion people in same time frame). Nearly half live in India and China, with more than 85% living in just 20 countries.

              Fuck the Poor

              So how do you propose to bring all those people out of poverty in a world of declining fossil fuel resources if you are so dead set against the alternatives. let’s hear a plan from you that can be implemented in the real world. Something that actually works. If you really believe your ideas work then start implementing them.

        • GoneFishing says:

          But Caelan, that photo is exactly the world you propose. Anarchy combined with hand tools. That is what happens when people do not have access to machines and lots of energy. Didn’t you know that? Children have been used for labor throughout history.
          Do you realize that much of the world is like that and worse?
          What is your plan to help them? What are you doing?

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Can you elaborate, please, as you’re not quite making sense…

            For example, since when is ‘access to machines’– AKA ‘technology’– and ‘lots of energy’ and in a coercive, undemocratic setup such that we have, a prerequisite to live peacefully, healthfully, equably and comfortably on the only home we have? Do tell.

            BTW, do you remember you had mentioned something along the lines of evolution selecting for a certain set of people, and I mentioned a ‘note to self’ in response?

            Well, I forget what yours was, but here’s mine:

            Let’s suppose that evolution was progressively favoring a certain set of humans, or humans in general, with a greater affinity (for lack of a better word) for technology– but to the point that, over time, successive generations began exhibiting a harder time separating or distinguishing it from themselves and nature in general. Perhaps we are of these new generations…

            If so, it begs the question of the potential paradox of our species and the idea of a ‘lethal mutation’ (which I’ve also already mentioned hereon WRT Chomsky/Mayr/Sagan) borne out over time, such that may finally be just around the corner.

            If we cannot manage technology sufficiently– and I have my doubts we will ever be able to– then nature may see to it that we are not (or barely) around to manage anything at all– so maybe worse than your anarchy and stone tools.

            That’s of course practically Guy McPherson’s ‘black swan song’, but he doesn’t seem that much of an outlier these days.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Sorry you don’t want to face the truth.

              Divergence is something any successful species must face.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Hence Permaea.
                Dvinia made it through the bottleneck, 252 Ma and over time became us apparently.
                The name Permaea comes from the name Pangaea.
                Permaea is intended as a fork.

                “What is your plan to help them? What are you doing?” ~ GoneFishing

                See above. Perhaps nothing, perhaps everything, perhaps both.

                And what about you? Peddling pseudotechnology on websites?

              • Fred Magyar says:

                GF, before someone can face the truth they have to understand how the world really works.

                Caelan actually believes he has that understanding, he doesn’t! He is stuck in some ideological time warped fantasy of reality.

                He is obsessed with this laughable notion that technology and some kind of evil system are the root causes of some poor kid in a cobalt mine not being able to live in some idealized pristine environment fantasy land where the lions lie down with the lambs!

                He doesn’t understand that his pristine environment has predators and horrible parasitic diseases and things like Ebola. Or that as bad as the system can be, it is also capable of providing clean water and medicine.

                But Caelan lives in a simple black and white world where everything is either good or evil. He has no real understanding of basic biology and ecosystems and how humans are actually a part and parcel of nature. The 21st century is too scary for him so he wants to go back to some non existent fantasy eden where 1 billion humans live in harmony practicing permaculture.

                Who trusted God was love indeed
                And love Creation’s final law
                Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
                With ravine, shriek’d against his creed

                from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam A. H. H., 1850.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  ~ Bee In Bonnet II ~
                  Flying Mouth-Foam/Pseudocience-Lecture Mix
                  (featuring everyone’s favorite, Fred Loops!)

                  Caelan actually believes…
                  He is stuck in…
                  He is obsessed with…
                  He doesn’t understand…
                  Caelan lives in…
                  He has no real understanding…
                  Too scary for him…
                  So he wants to…

                  Americans are Rapidly Descending Into Madness

                  “Unfortunately, what I see happening to the population of America right now seems very troublesome and foreboding… Something appears to have snapped in our collective consciousness, and many individuals… are becoming disturbingly polarized and hysterical. People are rapidly morphing into radicalized mental patients.”

                  • Nathanael says:

                    Well, I’d like to believe that this comment shows that you now *realize* that you have a totally warped and insane view of reality, Caelan. But it probably doesn’t.

                    Fred’s 100% right here. You need to understand how the world actually works in order to made any sort of decent plans to try to change it. And you simply don’t. Worse, you’ve shown no interest in learning.

  25. Doug Leighton says:

    EV alternative at to a dealer near you:

    You know you want one. How could you not, really? I mean, when has there been a production vehicle capable of making 840 horsepower and priced under $100,000? If you truly want one, you’re going to have to navigate ridiculous dealer shenanigans, budget for a near continual flow of tires, and assume ownership of your local gas station. Even if you don’t have the cash for one, you can dream, can’t you? Now you can start building the Demon just the way you like because the Demon configurator is alive. Oh yeah, sales are growing at an exponential rate so better move fast and get yours while supplies last.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Of course if you eat a lot of cornflakes you’ll want a sister ship to cart grub from your nearest Walmart for which the Ford F-Series is recommended; these guys lead sales by a commanding margin, up for the month, highest sales for the year so far. So far 2017 sales represented the best for the F-Series in more than a decade so move fast or you’ll be stuck with a less popular brand.

      • GoneFishing says:

        All those desperate 60+ some year olds will be rushing (well, walking) to the nearest dealer to relive the 1960’s. Blub, blub, blub, blub, VRROOOOMMM!
        With an mpg rating of 3.9 guess what? It can’t go as far as Nissan Leaf, even an older one, before having to hit the gas station. But it’s only seconds to the next one.

        Advantage: with no other seats you don’t have to give anyone a ride.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          My closest neighbor owns a Ford F-350 (plus a fancy car) but refuses to put anything in the box because it might scratch the paint. I keep asking him to grab me a load of gravel or topsoil which he refuses to do so I’ve decided the truck must be in case he needs a big load of Cornflakes to get through the winter.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            LOL! Ask him to get you a load of manure, you can tell him it won’t even scratch the paint!

          • GoneFishing says:

            Just rent one when you need it. Around here (rural farm areas) they have a lot of practical uses, I borrow one when I need to haul something.

          • Hightrekker says:

            Here in Central Oregon, we call them- (actually I can’t tell you what we call them, but it pertains to a part of the female anatomy that is important in reproduction) trucks.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Ever been here before? I popped in there once on my way to Seattle/Vancouver from Los Angeles.

  26. islandboy says:

    While I was perusing videos on Youtube earlier today, I saw the following video:

    Land of the trumps home of the poorly educated (11) Trump’s supporters answering simple questions

    I was dumbfounded! One guy could name 8 Avengers, fictional comic book characters but, the first name he could come up with for a US president was Grover Washington (US saxophonist). Many of the people questioned could not remember more than one or two and a few non presidents found their way into the answers as well. Only one woman seemed to have memorized most of them, something she probably did from childhood.

    I am not a US citizen and the longest period I have ever spent within US borders in fourteen days but, just for the fun of it I wrote down all the US presidents I could remember. I got all the names that have been president since I was ten years old in 1971 plus some of the more famous ones like JFK, Lincoln, Jefferson, Eisenhower, Hoover and the two Roosevelts. It helped that some of these guys have airports or highways or dams or memorials or aircraft carriers named after them.

    I must conclude that TV has rotted peoples brains! I watched a few minutes of a youtube video supporting the idea that people now read less and are less smart and that tv had a lot to do with that. Many people in the US seem to be obsessed with celebrity (TV/movie) and know more about celebrities than about what is going on in Washington DC. Maybe that’s why the US now has a (TV) celebrity for president despite the fact that he is incompetent. How is democracy supposed to work in the midst of such utter and almost complete ignorance and apathy? Is sowing the seeds of ignorance and apathy part of the oligarch’s strategy to capture and decimate the US government?

    It seems to me that the oligarchs must be exceedingly pleased about the state of politics in the US. Everything seems to be going their way and enough of the sheeple are clueless to make it possible for things to keep going their way for quite a while longer. I find this depressing.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      It seems to me that the oligarchs must be exceedingly pleased about the state of politics in the US. Everything seems to be going their way and enough of the sheeple are clueless to make it possible for things to keep going their way for quite a while longer. I find this depressing.

      I think things are many orders of magnitude worse!

      Disclaimer: I was deeply disturbed by last weekend’s display of naked hatred by Nazis, KKK, White Supremacists and all their supporters. I happen to have family in Charlottesville and they own a small restaurant just a few blocks from where the protests took place so it is perhaps a little too close to home, for me to be objective. Having said that, I already had a very profound dislike of our current President and his supporters but his response to the incident and his attempt at creating an equivalence between Nazis and the counter protesters was for me the last straw! There is no redeeming value whatsoever to be found in him, his administration or his supporters.


      Social Psychological Perspectives on Trump Supporters
      Thomas F. Pettigrew


      No one factor describes Trump’s supporters. But an array of factors – many of them reflecting five major social psychological phenomena can help to account for this extraordinary political event: authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, prejudice, relative deprivation, and intergroup contact. Research on the topic demonstrates that these theories and concepts of social psychology prove centrally important in helping to understand this unexpected event. This paper describes the supporting data for this statement and demonstrates the close parallels between these American results and those of research on far-right European supporters.

      • Nathanael says:

        I’m just glad the general cultural reaction to the fascists and white supremacicists in Charlottesville was — total condemnation and quick action to suppress them.

        You know, when we had KKK marches in the 1980s and lynching threats, this was NOT the reaction. Society is actually reacting better. When people were murdered by white supremicists in the 1960s, the murderers consistently got away with it. Not so now.

        The fascists are behaving worse because they’re cornered. They used to be able to get away with this stuff. They can’t any more.

    • notanoilman says:

      Take a tour of Cheezburger’s ‘Fail Blog’ and ‘Memebase’ and it will confirm your conclusions. It is unbelievable how dumb some Americans can be. (Not all, thank goodness)


    • Hickory says:

      Indeed. I have come to believe that a test of intelligence and awareness of world events/history should be a requirement for voting.
      There are plenty of ‘dumb’, ill-informed, or severely close-minded people on both sides of the political spectrum.
      They should have no role in public decision making.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Certain kinds of knowledge, thought, ethics and intelligence will illuminate the pointlessness of voting or assuming roles in particular contexts.

        “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.” ~ Karl Marx

    • Nathanael says:

      “I must conclude that TV has rotted peoples brains!”

      There’s certainly some evidence of this. Some people hope that the switch away from TV to the Internet will help, specifically because the Internet has the ability to write your own questions, pushback against bad ideas, etc., where TV is totally one-way. I was skeptical of this, but I think it actually IS helping. Statisically, the worst dens of backward, know-nothing thinking in the US are in the places with the worst Internet access. Probably not coincidence.

  27. Javier says:

    Hi Dennis,

    Surely there are many unknowns in how Arctic sea ice will respond in the future.

    The cumulative probability distribution for the year of ice free September in the Arctic (minimum sea ice volume is zero in Sept) is shown below. The 15% to 85% probability range is 2020 to 2051.

    You just have no idea how unknown it is. For the past ten years there has been no reduction in Arctic sea ice extent despite being the warmest ever recorded decade. Volume is fantasy. It is modeled with a temperature factor, while sea ice is not responding much to GSAT.

    So what will happen to your probabilities when in 10 more years ice has not reduced at all and might even have grown some? Those probabilities are pure fantasy coming from a profound ignorance about how Arctic sea ice responds to climate. Nobody reading this is ever going to see an Arctic ocean free of ice. It might not happen until a future interglacial in tens of thousands of years.

    MASIE database showing Arctic sea ice extent since January 2006. Sorry guys, not melting. This September will have again more ice extent than in 2007.

    • Hightrekker says:


      • Survivalist says:

        “Volume is a fantasy” – Javier
        What planet is this clown living on?
        Don’t make me start posting links to all your failed predictions again Doc. You’re batting zero.

        “The Arctic sea ice September minimum extent reached a new record low in 2012 of 3.41 million square kilometers, 44 percent below the 1981-2010 average, and 16 percent below the previous record in 2007. Over the last 13 years, a new record was set four times (2002, 2005, 2007, and 2012) and several other years saw near-record lows, particularly 2008 and 2011. On September 10, 2016, Arctic sea ice extent dipped to 4.14 million square kilometers, reaching a statistical tie with the 2007 minimum for second-lowest in the satellite record. As NSIDC reported in September 2016, the 10 lowest September ice extents over the satellite record have all occurred since 2007.”


        “As NSIDC reported in September 2016, the 10 lowest September ice extents over the satellite record have all occurred since 2007.”
        And Doc Javier thinks arctic ice is ready for its big comeback. lmfao! I’ll have whatever you’re smoking doc.

        • Javier says:

          Arctic sea ice is exactly where it has been on average for the past 10 years, according to ice extent databases, for example NOAA in figure below.

          All that record global average warmth is not melting the Arctic. 2012 was an outlier due to unusual weather. Thinking that the Arctic will be free of ice in the foreseeable future is the bogus prediction, and it has been made by polar scientists multiple times for the last decade.

          • Nathanael says:

            I am going to repeat my request that the owners of this website ban Javier. We don’t need science denialists on this website, and he’s exceptionally boring.

            Caelan is at least entertaining. Javier just reprints easily-disproven oil company propaganda.

        • Hightrekker says:

          I’ve also wondered what color the sky is on the planet Javier lives on.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Hightrekker — Probably pink. Just X him out, poof, like magic, he’s gone.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Javier,

      I will repeat what I have said before.

      Ten years of data is not enough to say much about climate variables.

      Using the September sea ice extent trend the Arctic would be ice free by 2071 if we use all Sept monthly average data from 1979 to 2016, if we want to use a shorter data set, say 2001 to 2016 the trend is steeper and points to 2055 as the ice free date.

      Of course I wouldn’t cherry pick the data to manipulate it as others might do. 🙂

      Data at https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/sea-ice-tools/

      I used number 3, Sea_Ice_Index_Monthly_Data_by_Year_G02135_v2.1.xlsx

  28. Survivalist says:

    July 2017 was statistically tied for the warmest on record
    More info at

    • Bob Frisky says:

      Hold on. This is the graphic all the liberals will find inconvenient probably. Halfway thru the month and cold very clearly has surpassed warmth.

      • Survivalist says:

        I’m not a Liberal. I just seem that way to you cuz I’m not an idiot.
        Evidently Bob has never heard of that place outside the USA known to others as ‘the rest of the planet’. Pathetic.

        • George Kaplan says:

          Any big blue area on a map of USA is like cat nip to him, starts purring and dribbling, without really knowing or caring why.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Please explain what proportion of the total world temperature in July you think is due to three or four states in the middle of America in the middle of August (and why) – e.g. some kind or area and time weighted average would do, but in particular how the temperature is actually retroactively influenced by the weather a month later.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        This is the graphic all the liberals will find inconvenient probably.

        No, not really, most people with basic scientific literacy will have heard of this phenomenon, called the Jet Stream… BTW, looks like it has already shifted!


      • GoneFishing says:

        Bob, short term ten degree departures from average are a normal occurrence. Been on the planet long?

    • George Kaplan says:

      We are on an upward trend on anomalies while ENSO index is neutral or maybe falling a bit. Hopefully the anomaly will drop this month but with Europe and Canada heat waves ongoing who knows. Have we switched from getting spikes for EL Nino years to getting step changes that don’t then drop?

  29. Javier says:

    Arctic sea-ice extent in 2017 as of today, compared to 2007 and 2012, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute and EUMETSAT.


    10 years of no melting.

    • Javier says:

      Temperatures North of 80°N according to the Danish Meteorological Institute:

      Winter was warmer than average, but late spring and summer were cooler than average in the Arctic and temperatures are already below freezing point on average. The melting will slow down and we will probably have an early end to the melt season around September 12. Cool Arctic summers have been common these past 10 years. Go to the DMI link above and check it. The data is exactly the opposite of what we have been told. This July set the coldest record for the month of July (-30.7°C) in the Northern Hemisphere at Greenland summit.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Javier,

        Are you serious? Lets say we add up the cumulative anomaly for the year.
        Do you think it would be positive (warmer) or negative (colder) year to date?

        Clearly those cold temperatures in Greenland mean we are in for an ice age soon! 🙂

        • Javier says:

          I am always serious about the data. For the past 10 years Arctic winters have been warmer than average, while Arctic summers have been cooler than average. Check it yourself if you want at:
          because you are not going to be told by the MSM as it does not fit the narrative.

    • scrub puller says:

      Yair . . . .

      So a story covering the attempted voyage of a couple yachts trying to sail to the North pole is incorrect?

      I am curious as this was on a well regarded channel (SBS). The assumption to the casual viewer was that this was some thing new even if the attempt ultimately failed.

      • Javier says:

        Reaching the North Pole sailing is doubtful even with the best icebreaker. For ten years Arctic sea ice hasn’t decreased, yet we have been brainwashed that the Arctic is going to melt any time soon. 4.5 million sq. km. is a lot of ice, but we are in an interglacial within an ice age. That’s why there is so much ice at both poles. We are living through the top 10% coldest time within the Phanerozoic eon of Earth. That we think we are too warm is so funny.

        • chilyb says:

          you can track their progress here:


          they are just north of the Bering Straight. Air temp is 7 C.

          Personally I think this venture is a little insane. And don’t worry, I am not going to let it brainwash me. LOL

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Javier,

          The relevant time period for homo-sapiens is the past 200,000 years. We are probably close to the warmest period of the past 200,000 years at present, though if we look at long term averages (past 30 years) possibly the Holocene climactic optimum may have been a bit warmer.

      • Javier says:

        Linear extrapolations are notoriously bad predictors in complex systems. One should expect more from people that go to the university and become experts in polar climate and weather than a linear extrapolation that has a very high chance of becoming wrong in just a few years.

        As they say in stock markets, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

        • Survivalist says:

          The shittiest linear extrapolation I’ve ever seen is this one.
          You’re delusional.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Javier,

          Of course trends can change. The ice may melt more slowly or quickly long term, which is why using the maximum entropy probability distribution may be best.

          Possibly using the 38 year trend of the natural log of Sept sea ice extent would be a better estimate which is -14.6% per decade (1979-2016 trend).

          In that case, the sea ice extent in the Arctic would fall to under 1 million km2 by Sept 2122 ( and to 250,000 km2 by 2216. Note that many others argue that the trend will be non-linear, they just expect the curve will bend the opposite direction of what you assume.

          In truth we can only guess.

          • Javier says:

            A big assumption there is that the warming of the planet is going to continue in the 22nd century.

    • Javier says:

      This is the prediction for September 2017 average Arctic sea ice. The records appear not to be in much danger. Average prediction is 4.5 million sq km. Not exactly ice free. 10 years of no melting.


      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Actually Javier has this wrong. The Sept sea ice extent has been increasing! 🙂

        The rate of increase since 2012 has been roughly 1.5 million km2 per decade, our real concern should be the coming ice age. /sarc off

        • Javier says:

          A polynomial curve with all the data shows a better fit and better displays what is happening now.

    • Survivalist says:

      Interactive link. Visualize 2017 and 2007. Yeah just look at all that growth in Arctic sea ice.


      You’re delusional Doc.

      • Javier says:

        No visualization is needed. Just the plain data.

        September 2007 average Arctic sea ice extent: 4.32 million sq. km.
        September 2016 average Arctic sea ice extent: 4.74 million sq. km.
        September 2017 average Arctic sea ice extent July median prediction: 4.50 million sq. km.

        Gee, 4.32 in 2007, 4.74 in 2016, 4.50 expected in 2017. Which one is bigger? Where is your melting? You are the delusional one. Brain washed to the point of not seeing the evidence and invent a melting that has not taken place, during the warmest decade ever recorded.

        Your hypothesis is full of holes.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          two words

          natural variability

          • Javier says:

            Two very important words. They say CO2 is not in control, if natural variability is strong enough to overcome its effects.

        • Gerry says:

          7.22 million km² in 1979.

          Yeah, no melting AT ALL! Ice Age here we come! /sarc

          Are you getting paid to intentionally misrepresent data or are you too stupid to notice you’re cherrypicking the data you quote?

  30. Doug Leighton says:

    Attention astronomy buffs:


    “The clumps we’re seeing are very close to the central black hole and are tiny — only a few light-days across. We think these tiny components moving at close to the speed of light are being magnified by a gravitational lens in the foreground spiral galaxy. This provides exquisite resolution of a millionth of a second of arc, which is equivalent to viewing a grain of salt on the moon from Earth.”


    • GoneFishing says:

      Since most of the universe that we see is not there anymore(moved, changed) or is just plain gone, I wonder what we would find if we could actually go there.

      • Hightrekker says:

        We may have a governor on doing that– the speed of light.
        Everyone assumes this is a problem that will be overcome— don’t know if I would do that.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Does seem like fantasy at this point, doesn’t it? But so would our modern world to anyone 1000 or more years ago. In my more lucid and possibly optimistic moments I do not put much beyond the ability of humans to figure out.
          Possibly the speed of light is a hard limit and possibly it only appears so because there is a universe of understanding yet to be discovered. Hopefully by then we are responsible enough to be stewards of worlds and not just users and wreckers of them.
          Wouldn’t it be nice if the knowledge we have gained so far was a mere drop in the bucket? That what has been imagined so far is nothing compared to what can be discovered and done? What a time our descendants would have on their journeys.
          Do you think Gutenberg imagined a whole library of books could be kept on a tiny chip of silicon? Yet now we have new technology chips that can store 180 million books, are stable up to 1000 C and at 190C would last for 13.8 billion years. That is 360 terabytes of data on a tough resilient matrix. All in something that fits into the palm of your hand.
          I find that amazing progress in just a few hundred years.
          People dreamed of flight for thousands of years. Now we not only fly, but do it at phenomenal speed and distance on a basis so regular and safe that it is almost boring. Meanwhile we have people living and working in space and our probes wandering the solar system. Our “eyes” are reaching the depths of the universe. We travel to the depths of the ocean and return.
          So a few hundred years from now might just see some new gains that make our knowledge and abilities look quite simple and primitive. All we have to do is get there without totally screwing up. Looks tough now, but maybe, just maybe.

          • Hightrekker says:

            But I rarely bet against Einstein.
            As far as flight, we ended our speed increase in 1969 with Apollo 10 at 25,000 miles per hour.
            Actually, physics has been in the doldrums (the standard Model was completed in the 1970’s), etc.
            Some interesting things in genetics and biology, but still using the DNA technology from 1953:
            “It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material”

            More here:
            Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit

            • GoneFishing says:

              Same old sad record that has been played here before. Sorry, can’t here it over the scratches.
              That speed thing is so lame and if you think tech, physics, chemistry, materials science, geophysics, biology have stalled it just means you have not been reading the scientific papers and watching what is going on around you. Maybe things have just gotten beyond your ability to comprehend. Don’t feel bad. Most of the population of the world has very little clue about the things they use every day. I know, I helped develop a number of them. The devil is indeed in the details and appearances are very deceiving.
              Profit is not that important, what is important is value and usefulness. Profit falls when things or services fall in value and usefulness. Growth will be a much better measure in a fast changing world.
              And yes knowledge is useful, whether it is old or not. Look at calculus or iron smelting. Still useful. Transistors. Still used. Capacitors. Still used. Same with Einstein, still use his old discoveries. Though his results don’t seem to cover the latest findings. Time will tell.

              • Hightrekker says:

                I go to sleep at night to the sound of science papers.
                Thank you Nature, Science, Cell and the rest.
                I think you need to pay a bit more attention.
                Smolin, and other physicists, have also noticed this slowing phenomena.
                CERN has been a real wake up call.

                What No New Particles Means for Physics

                Physicists are confronting their “nightmare scenario.” What does the absence of new particles suggest about how nature works?


                • GoneFishing says:

                  Maybe you need to actually make a point.
                  There are no massive programs driving science now as there was with the nuclear programs and the spac programs. The concentration of funding and scientists does not exist.
                  Science does not move to the beat of a drum or the whim of the accountants.

                • Nathanael says:

                  So, Hightrekker, you might be missing something. Particle physics slowed down because the particle physics field is finished, done, finito, just like the field of mechanics was essentially finished 100 years ago, and just like there are no big discoveries in the field of geography any more.

                  So what? Science moves on! To new fields. In physics, all the action is in “materials science”, where massive new discoveries are being made at an accelerating rate.

                  But the real action is in biology, which has been expanding so fast that it’s spinning off new fields faster than I can count them — hundreds and hundreds of fields, each of which is discovering more and more. It is no longer possible to keep up with all of biology. Each individual corner of biology is employing thousands of people making major discoveries on a regular basis.

                  If we can avoid wiping ourselves out, we have a very fruitful future of biology research ahead of us.

                  I agree that outer space is pretty much a dead end. We can’t get to other solar systems in a reasonable amount of time, and the other planets simply aren’t that interesting (with the exception of some of the moons). Fine.

                  The truly alien is right here on Earth, in the depths of the ocean — an octopus — or right outside your window — plants. The amount of research happening is massive and the discoveries are monumental. The potential is astounding.

              • Hightrekker says:

                If you really are curious about publication, this separates the men from the boys:

                • GoneFishing says:

                  I see you are frustrated with not having everything right now. Teleportation? Force fields?
                  Too much science fiction, maybe someday. Good for grade B movies though.

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    Actually not.
                    You need to do some research.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    For me, just a planet we can live and thrive happily on and society we can live with. This is not quite what we have of course.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Not really, I don’t see you providing anything of value to get me further interested. What grand conclusion have you come to, that science is dead ended? Tied into the end of civilization?

  31. Hightrekker says:

    A bug or a feature?

    Members of the presidents Strategic and Policy Forum are on the verge of disbanding. Call going on now.

  32. Doug Leighton says:


    This year’s wildfire season in B.C. is officially the worst on record, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. Nearly 900,000 hectares (3475 square miles) of land have been burned by 1,029 fires since April 1st. That eclipses the mark set in 1958, when 855,000 hectares were burned. At least 10 new wildfires have been recorded over the last 24 hours. Six of those were caused by humans and three sparked by lightning. One remains under investigation.

  33. Hightrekker says:

    String theory might be about to finally be killed off


  34. Hightrekker says:

    Just a reminder:

    • Hickory says:

      True, far from perfect.
      But when it came time to vote, both Bernie Sanders and Eliz Warren endorsed her wholeheartedly, knowing that in politics we don’t get perfect choices.
      But we still have to pick the best one available, and that was Hillary at crunch time.

    • Survivalist says:

      Let’s call it what it is- a one party system.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Pepsi and Pepsi Lite

      • Nathanael says:

        You know, at this point, I think it’s a zero-party system. It’s just running on inertia.

        The government bureaucracy is basically running itself with no bosses right now, since that idiot Trump didn’t actually fill the political-appointee positions.

        There are worse things.

    • Nick G says:

      Yes, Hilary did a lot of things to make conservatives happy. And, yet…it wasn’t enough. She wasn’t as conservative as the voters (at least, those in the electoral college…).

      At some point you have to look at the voters: what are they thinking, what do they want, what will they vote for. You can’t blame it all on the politicians.

      • islandboy says:

        “Yes, Hilary did a lot of things to make conservatives happy. “

        After pondering over the results of the elections for many months the conclusion I have come to is that this was part of her downfall. No democrat can ever be conservative enough for team Koch. even though a web site listing Koch Industries political contributions lists HRC as a recipient. Instead by shifting to the right, the Democrats have alienated a huge block of their potential support from more left leaning Americans. Throw in an aura of corporatism and she was always going to be toast.

        The anger and frustration that working class America was showing towards the Washington DC establishment should have been noted by the DNC. Had they done so, Bernie Sanders would have been elected and the US would be a vastly different place (kinder and gentler) than it is today.

        • Nick G says:

          W. Virginia working class people were going to vote for a Jewish New Englander, who calls himself a socialist???

          • GoneFishing says:

            No but a lot of people would vote for beefing up industries that are adding over 30,000 people a year for decades versus the coal industry gambit that might add up to 1000 people a year for a few years.
            There are quite a number of fast growing job opportunities, ones growing faster than 10 percent a year. Coal is not one of them.
            Wind turbine techs top the list with a growth rate of 108% while solar PV employment is only growing at about 24% annually.
            Coal might hit three percent this year.

            • Nick G says:

              Well, with me you’re preaching to the choir.

              I just don’t know how you convey this stuff to the voters. They seem to be mesmerized by Fox, Hannity, etc., and I don’t see how Sanders was going to be able to fight that.

              Sanders was never the target of the full fury of the conservative media, so we didn’t see a test of how he would have survived the character assassination that destroyed Hillary’s image. How many times would the word socialist have been heard, if Sanders was the candidate?

              • GoneFishing says:

                Honesty, real examples, direct talk to the people (not arguments with the conservative right), some media including articles and radio shows. Also following up and keeping the voters informed after election.
                This has to be done at every level of government.

              • Nathanael says:

                I actually do think that Rust Belt Pennsylvania working class people would have voted for a Jewish New England Socialist.

                (Maybe not WV, but WV didn’t matter: PA did.)

                You forget the long socialist tradition which underlies unions. At this point, using “socialist” as a scare word isn’t working any more. Socialism is pretty popular, and capitalism isn’t, and to a worker who was just fired after a multinational corporate buyout… yeah, any attacks on Sanders as “socialist” would have BENEFITED Sanders.

  35. GoneFishing says:

    Arctic Ocean September Average Ice Volume.
    Note that it is approximately 1/4 of the 1980 value. Also note that since 1986 (thirty year span) the volume has been descending at the rate of 0.4 1000 km3 per year.

  36. GoneFishing says:

    August 28th 2016. Location 0.75 miles from north pole. Lots of open water.

  37. Survivalist says:

    Evidence for ice-ocean albedo feedback in the Arctic Ocean shifting to a seasonal ice zone


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