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

This is a guest post by islandboy.

Any comments not related to petroleum (politics, renewable energy, or coal for example) should be in this thread, there will be a separate Open thread for Petroleum (oil and natural gas) discussion.



The EIA released the latest edition of their Electric Power Monthly on May 25th, with data for March 2017. March data includes some milestones which are significant in that these circumstances have not existed for a very long time, if ever.

• The contribution from solar reached just over 2 percent
• The contribution from All Renewables exceeded that from Nuclear
• The combined contribution from Wind and Solar exceeded 10 percent
• The contribution from Non-Hydro Renewables exceeded 12 percent

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 its potential to make a meaningful contribution to the midsummer peak.

This year the increase in solar output in March seems significantly greater than in the previous three years. The solar generation capacity in the US increased by over 57% for the year 2016 and data is not yet available from the Solar Energy Industries Association for the first quarter of 2017 nor do I have access to the data for the final quarter of 2016 so, it may be that an unusually large increase in capacity has occurred over the last six months. It remains to be seen if the February to March increase in solar output is some sort of aberration or if the steep increase has continued into April.


The graph below shows the monthly capacity additions for 2017 to date. In March over 70 percent of capacity additions were wind with solar adding just under 21 percent. Natural gas fueled additions were about 1.3 percent with Petroleum Liquids contributing 0.4 percent for a total fossil fuel contribution of 1.7 percent. Other Waste Biomass made up 4 percent, Landfill Gas roughly 0.5 percent and Batteries almost 2 percent.


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274 Responses to EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – May Edition with data for March

  1. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi all,

    In the past 12 months, capacity additions for summer electricity generating capacity in megawatts (MW) are as shown in the chart below.

    The other category includes renewables besides wind and solar, petroleum liquids, other gases (that are not natural gas), energy storage (pumped hydro, batteries, and flywheels), and nuclear capacity additions. Added together these account for about 130 MW over the past 12 months. The total capacity additions over the past 12 months have been 19,103 MW with net additions from fossil fuels at -2897 MW (a decrease in fossil fuel capacity) with most of this due to coal capacity falling by 9748 MW. Capacity additions by wind and solar were 21,132 MW over the past 12 months. Total fossil fuel capacity at the end of March 2017 was 754,455 MW, if future capacity additions of wind and solar can match the past 12 months (no growth in the rate that new capacity is added), then fossil fuels could be replaced for electricity generation in 36 years (754,455/21,132) or by 2053. No doubt this is conservative. Coal capacity is 268,544 MW and could be replaced by 2029.

  2. Jan says:


    Capacity is only meaningful for something that can be used at full capacity at any time, such as an engine that can be used to pull a train.
    Solar has zero capacity between 5pm and 7am in December or January.

    Germany has huge solar and wind capacity, but look at the graphs for all sources power.


    Wind and solar can be as low as 6GW out of 65 and there is no way to store that much electricity for 12 hours. At the moment batteries are hardly environmentally friendly.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Jan,

      As long as there is widely dispersed resources interconnected with the grid and some backup from hydro and nuclear along with demand pricing the system can work fine, excess capacity will be needed, just as there is excess capacity in the existing system, natural gas can be a bridge for backup, but eventually the 10% of backup needed could be provided by a combination of hydro, pumped hydro, batteries, fuel cells and vehicle to grid (as EVs may become ubiquitous). Nuclear could also provide some backup if necessary as we try to ramp fossil fuel use to zero ASAP.

      • jan says:


        Where are you getting 10% backup?

        There are many days where solar and wind produce only 10%-15%

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Jan,

          When there is more wind and solar capacity, about 10% of average load may need to be met by “backup” sources. Essentially if wind solar hydro and nuclear combined capacity is built out to about 3 times average load there will be occasions where a widely dispersed interconnected wind and solar powered grid will have lower than average output and during those periods the “backup” power will be needed.



          • jan says:

            Hi Dennis

            I wish very much that rewables in combination with batteries and hydrogen fuel cells would be able to power the entire grid.

            If wind and solar capacity were 3 times consumption, then the excess could be turned into hydrogen for use later and also in transportation.

            Going by the costs of fuel cell cars, I think cost will take a very long time to equal cheap brown coal or gas, which is so cheap at the moment.


            The similar petrol car is £18,000

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Jan,

              Fuel Cells would be for back up of the Grid and would be used only if they can compete with battery, pumped hydro, and flywheel backup. The car comparison is not really relevant, batteries are more likely for cars and in the US coal cannot compete with the cost of natural gas, wind, or solar in most places. As wind and solar prices decrease further, even natural gas will not be able to compete, though natural gas might have a backup role to play, though nuclear would be better for the environment. What ever is cheapest when all social costs at included should be used, but the social cost has to include future social costs of climate change due to burning fossil fuel along with the health costs of pollution from coal.

              Coal seems “cheap” only when pollution costs (including CO2) are ignored.

              • Jan says:

                Let us take Germany, since there is good data on hourly electricity production.

                After sunset solar obviously produces nothing. Let’s say Germany triples the number of wind turbines. A difficult thing to do as most of the best sights are already used.

                How many batteries would Germany need to have to meet a demand of 40,000 megawatts for 8 hours.
                Often shortfall from wind, hydro, biomass is often greater than 40,000 Mw/h.


                We could use Nissan battery as a guide.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Jan,

                  A larger region is needed. Entire European Union should be considered instead. Pumped hydro, vehicle to grid, fuel cells, or batteries could be used, whichever is cheapest. Also water could be heated during the day when solar output is higher and used for heating applications at night. Changes might be needed like making hay while the sun shines (or utilizing energy when output is high).

                  • jan says:


                    I am talking about the whole of Europe, I was not about to list every single capital.

                    If you tried to work out how many batteries are needed you would realise the task is close to impossible.

                    Most hydro sites cannot be converted to pumped storage because you need build a huge dam at the bottom of the run as well as the top. This makes it incredibly expensive. Do you actually know the costs?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Much of this kind of thing has knock-on effects, such as on nature and society in general– like it always has. Don’t forget those calcs.

                    Also, the crony-capitalist plutarchy– that’s governments and corporations included– have to maintain their increasingly-questioned questionable legitimacy and narrative for much of this kind of thing… Smoke and mirrors; bread and circuses. Don’t forget those calcs, either– assuming, of course, that you’re not too stoned or otherwise distracted from the smoke and mirrors and bread and circuses.

                    Oh, and chaos theory. Add that in too.

                    Collapses and/or declines of previous civilizations didn’t happen because of peak oil of course. So why then?

                    Maybe in part because the calcs were off and some variables were missing, maybe even deliberately and/or through imposed hierarchical structures that were in place and hard to break out of. People, maybe the majority, were not necessarily making decisions for their own lives and that affected their own lives. Those decisions were often left to the counterparts of the ‘corporatocracy’– those who, presumably, played their hands at inevitably dooming their cultures anyway.

                    So when we talk about such things as EV’s, PV’s, batteries and pumped storage and whatever else, perhaps we should also be talking about their surrounding contexts in the aforementioned regards. That is unless maybe we are susceptible to self-deception and delusion, etc., and prefer ill-advised transitions. It is one thing to suggest that this and that can work in theory, and yet another to actually have it work, and over a sufficiently-long period of time. The blinder we are going in, the blinder are our perspectives of the effects coming out.

                    Decisions, decisions, decisions…

                    “Human beings can be divided into two groups: those who yearn for a comfortable existence and those who revel in a hard life of decision and struggle.” ~ Scott Nearing

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Jan,

                    In your comment you said “Germany” three times, and did not use “Europe” even once.

                    I would suggest if you mean all of Europe, that you say it.

                    I cannot read minds, just words. 🙂

                • Ulenspiegel says:

                  Jan, you should check how much hydropower with reservoirs is already available and how much demand in Scandinavia can be substituted, this works without any additional pump.

                  In Scandinavia many reservoirs with huge storage volume can of course be equipped with pumps, it has not made sense yet for Norway and Sweden, this is changing now.

                  However, the real question is what is the power duration curve of whole Europe and how many consecutive days are without wind and sun.

                • notanoilman says:

                  You must remember that that Germany imports and exports electricity, you can look on that as part of the storage. Hydro has about 15% of Europe’s capacity. If Germany is exporting solar during the day then hydro input can be reduced storing water for night where it can be used to supply Germany by night. No pumping required. You are moving hydro production from background to nighttime.

                  Nissan leaf battery prices, probably, are not a good model for battery prices. Bulk, industrial scale will be very different. Tesla has these types of units and they would be a better guide. There are also other producers and other technologies available such as flow batteries, that may scale better, plus more in the pipeline. As Dennis said, you can use solar, when it is available, to do more than store electrons. You can store heat, cold, work etc. Why wash and dry clothes in the middle of the night, when solar is not available, instead of during the day, when it is?


                  PS Errr, Jan, you did say Germany not ‘the whole of Europe’. 😉

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Who or what is ‘Germany’ (etc.), and is ‘Germany’ what you and others think (or not quite think) it is?

                    What’s the ‘USA’? Or ‘China’? Or ‘Russia’?

                    Which mental and/or physical prison do you live in and maybe speak of as though it is not?

                    What was the Berlin Wall?

                    What is the Gigafactory?

                    The economy?

                  • Ulenspiegel says:

                    The point is that Germany with a quite limited PV and wind potential, low biomass, high population density, is the worst case for a NATIONAL 100% RE scenario. One can add, that for Germany many good data and simulations are available.

                    It is quite clear that such national German scenario is possible despite all constraints.

                    Therefore, all other countries would face cheaper national solutions or more important, a pan-european solution would be even cheaper.

                  • Jan says:

                    Sorry I did not copy and paste my last sentence.
                    Europe has a population of over 500 million people, when it is night in Dublin it is also dark in Paris, Berlin and Warsaw.

                    At the moment half of electricity is produced with coal and gas, another quarter by nuclear.


                    If you think Europe could power itself with wind, solar and hydro you have to come up with figures.

                    Anyone can say, you can built more turbines or use more hydro. But what is the hydro potential? If you do not know, then your statements are little better than children talking in a playground.

                    Give us your figures on hydro potential and we can go from there. Otherwise the same pointless conversations are had going round and round, achieving nothing.

                  • Hickory says:

                    Jan- Europe could get massive PV electricity from Northern Africa, if they could find a reliable partner there. Or fossil fuel from Russia, Arabia- if they can find a reliable partner there. Or Nuclear, if you can trust human beings to pull it off flawlessly.
                    When is wave energy finally going to get past the prototype stage?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Hickory, the problem is in part that people are not ants or bees. They are too complex as organisms to function as relatively-mindless cogs within the layered chains that might, at least less temporarily, bind solar in Africa to Europe. But let me eat my words…

                    In order to be effective cogs, humans would have to ‘dumb down’ considerably, at least with regard to much outside their areas of expertise. That might be in fact happening via technology, complexity and hyperspecialization– if paradoxically, since we cannot get technological and social complexity without some level of intelligence.

                    But that doesn’t seem good for humans, does it?, so the system can only go so far before collapse/decline and then relative simplicity and localization. At that point of course, localization implies less of Africa to Europe, and maybe even the concepts, themselves, of Europe and Africa, since in a context of hyperrelocalization, the larger-scale notions of Europe or Africa may dissipate, like energy’s entropy, and then it’s back to the good ol’ village or city-state, rather than the nation-state/continent.

                  • Hickory says:

                    Caelan. You speak too complex for me to digest, but I think I agree with what you said.

                • alimbiquated says:

                  The best sites in Germany are offshore, and they certainly have not been used already

                • alimbiquated says:

                  >How many batteries would Germany need to have to meet a demand of 40,000 megawatts for 8 hours.

                  That’s a totally unrealistic demand, and irrelevant to any serious conversation about energy.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      At the moment batteries are hardly environmentally friendly.

      Tired, out of date argument! There are plenty of ways to store energy from solar and wind, besides batteries. However, even battery back up is far cleaner, more efficient and environmentally safer than most fossil fuels.

      I’m sure you can do a simple google search yourself, if you try hard enough…

      Edit: That, and what Dennis just commented.

      The Times They Are A Changin’ Lyrics

      • jan says:


        I never said they were dirtier than coal, so don’t put words in my mouth. Childish way of trying to win an argument.
        At the moment the only way to store electricity in any meaningful amount is hydro.
        The U.K. has little unused hydro sites.
        Cleverer people than you are here trying to come up with storage solutions. If you think they have missed a trick, why dont’t you come over and lend a hand.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Jan,

          Probably more of a problem for the UK as it is small. Connections with Ireland and Europe would help, as would offshore wind or nuclear power. Up to you to decide.

          • George Kaplan says:

            We have connectors like that – the flow is mostly from France and to Ireland. One way we are lowering our CO2 emissions is by crediting French nuclear, but I think there is some question over it as sometimes they buy power from Belgium which is coal fired mostly, but the stuff we get apparently only comes from the nuclear plants.
            Recently there was a storm and a ship dropped anchor on the French connector taking out half the cables, might be repaired now. We are looking at others – one to Iceland using geothermal and one (or more) to Norway using Hydroelectric – they would be big helps if they got built.

            I’m not sure that your 10 to 15% figures are right. Our biggest demand fortnight in January happens to correspond with the lowest solar and wind supply period, and can be days with virtually nothing. Tidal and wave power might be a better bet but there are conflicting stories. I think we’ll end up with nuclear, maybe smaller modular ones. Or we could all just learn to hibernate then, but we’d miss an important period in the football league (soccer for you), so I don’t think that will be acceptable.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi George,

              For the UK the 10% number may not be good, because the smaller area leads to wider variability (wind and solar resources are not dispersed over a wide enough area). The connectors to France and other areas widens this area so that the variability over a wider area is considered and this flattens the output curve.

              Consider connections with Ireland, Iceland, France (which connects to all of Europe essentially), and even Norway and I think you can see how the variability of all intermittent resources, combined with hydro, geothermal, and nuclear might lead to the backup needed being only 10% if wind and solar resources are built up enough (solar resources would be better in Southern Europe obviously).

              A study would need to be done looking at Wind and cloudiness over likely sites for wind and solar in Europe maybe for a 5 year period (or 10 years). A simulation could be done like the University of Delaware study to see what system would give the lowest cost. It might be different for Europe, I don’t know.

              • Doug Leighton says:

                “A study would need to be done looking at Wind and cloudiness over likely sites for wind and solar in Europe maybe for a 5 year period (or 10 years).”

                Is that a joke Dennis? Europe has been collecting highly detailed weather data (especially in coastal areas) since before the United States existed. As I recall, Italy has monitored weather in hundreds of sites since Roman (probably ancient Greek) times.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Doug,

                  I guess I was not clear. The study would take existing weather data and combine with likely potential and existing sites for wind, solar, nuclear, and other power and then run a simulation to see how output might have matched average power load over the past 5 or 10 years. So the simulation would show what kind of back up would be required and what a minimum cost system that maximized renewable energy output might look like.

                  My suggestion is simply that the type of study that was done for the Northeast United States at the University of Delaware could be repeated for Europe. Such a study might already exist.

                  To my knowledge there is no such study, but I may be wrong. If you know of one could you post a link to the study?

                  It would be interesting.

                  I agree the record for Europe would be far longer than the US, though 10 years would do.

              • Ulenspiegel says:

                “A study would need to be done looking at Wind and cloudiness over likely sites for wind and solar in Europe maybe for a 5 year period ”

                These have already been done some years ago. I know two dissertations (in German) which calculated these power durations curves and assessed the inpact of not correlated generation.

                The obvious source is Gregor Czisch’s dissertation (2005) , I do not know whether there is an English tranlation:


                The second not so obvious source is the dissertation of Matthias Popp (2010, Speicherbedarf bei
                einer Stromversorgungmit erneuerbaren Energien), I do not have a link to it, I only find the commercial version.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Ulenspiegel,

                  An update considering current costs of wind and solar would need to be done as those are rather old.

                  I don’t speak German, have you looked at these?

                  Would a widely dispersed interconnected European system of wind and solar, backed up by existing hydro and nuclear and built up so that combined wind and solar capacity was about 3 times average power load, be able to provide at least 90% of load hours over an average 5 year historical period?

                  • Ulenspiegel says:

                    “An update considering current costs of wind and solar would need to be done as those are rather old.”

                    The ratio of costs of PV and windpower is not that different today incomparison to 2010, therefore, minimum storage demand is today the same as five years ago.

                    Only dirt cheap storage in combination with dirt cheap PV would chang ethis, a scenario that is not likely.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ulenspiegel,

                    Ok the ratio of solar cost to wind cost may not have changed, what about the ratio of wind/solar costs to coal, natural gas, and nuclear? Perhaps things are different in Europe, but in the United States the ratio of renewable cost to fossil fuel generation cost has fallen quite a bit since 2005 (the earlier study of the two you cited).


                    Abstract from the paper:

                    We model many combinations of renewable electricity sources (inland wind, offshore wind, and photovoltaics) with electrochemical storage (batteries and fuel cells), incorporated into a large grid system (72 GW). The purpose is twofold: 1) although a single renewable generator at one site produces intermittent power, we seek combinations of diverse renewables at diverse sites, with storage, that are not intermittent and satisfy need a given fraction of hours. And 2) we seek minimal cost, calculating true cost of electricity without subsidies and with inclusion of external costs. Our model evaluated over 28 billion combinations of renewables and storage, each tested over 35,040 h (four years) of load and weather data. We find that the least cost solutions yield seemingly-excessive generation capacity—at times, almost three times the electricity needed to meet electrical load. This is because diverse renewable generation and the excess capacity together meet electric load with less storage, lowering total system cost. At 2030 technology costs and with excess electricity displacing natural gas, we find that the electric system can be powered 90%–99.9% of hours entirely on renewable electricity, at costs comparable to today’s—but only if we optimize the mix of generation and storage technologies.


                    ► We modeled wind, solar, and storage to meet demand for 1/5 of the USA electric grid. ► 28 billion combinations of wind, solar and storage were run, seeking least-cost. ► Least-cost combinations have excess generation (3× load), thus require less storage. ► 99.9% of hours of load can be met by renewables with only 9–72 h of storage. ► At 2030 technology costs, 90% of load hours are met at electric costs below today’s.

                    image is small, if you click on it, it gets a bit bigger.

                  • Ulenspiegel says:

                    “Ok the ratio of solar cost to wind cost may not have changed, what about the ratio of wind/solar costs to coal, natural gas, and nuclear? Perhaps things are different in Europe, but in the United States the ratio of renewable cost to fossil fuel generation cost has fallen quite a bit since 2005 (the earlier study of the two you cited).”

                    Nobody builds new coal capacity, no new NPPs as they are too expensive. Most of new capacity is RE.

                    The major difference is NG, it is very expensive in Europe, therefore, CC powerplants are dead too.

                    This gives existing coal capacity a longer life time in comparison to the USA, especially written of lignite capacity is competitive.

                    With off-shore wind being already cheaper than new nuclear capacity and becoming cheaper than hard coal around 2023, there is no chance that there will be a revival of these.

                    Onshore wind is alraedy cheaper than hard coal.


                    Such simulation have been done for Gaermany by the Fraunhofer IWES (?), I will try to find English versions.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ulenspiegel,

                    Thanks. I imagine at some point on a Europe wide basis that falling costs for renewable power (wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, tidal, and wave) may even make existing coal power plants uncompetitive. Backup needs are reduced by over building widely dispersed renewable capacity, some of the excess can be used for pumped hydro and maybe stored heat in water tanks (for space and water heating) or even to make ice for cooling and refrigeration. Peak power pricing to reduce demand can also help and some small portion might be needed to be provided by batteries, vehicle to grid and/or fuel cells, probably 1 to 5% of load at most when system is completely implemented.

          • OFM says:

            Hi Jan,

            There’s more to renewables, in terms of the advantages of them, than simply taking the place of conventional generating capacity.

            Both the UK and Germany are COMPELLED to import huge amounts of oil and gas in order to maintain functional economies, for now.Every kilowatt hour generated with wind and solar is s not only money that stays home, it’s money that is NOT available to countries and people who are not necessarily friends, lol.

            But as the capacity of their renewable industries grows, the need for that expensive imported oil and gas decreases in proportion, lol.

            Renewables provide jobs at home for local citizens, rather than for oil field workers in distant countries .

            Germany has high hopes of being a world leader in the renewable energy industries, and is therefore doing as much as possible to build up German domestic manufacturing capacity, by way of subsidizing the wind and solar industry now, in order to be big enough soon enough, later on.

            Then there are public health issues, climate issues, depletion issues, military security issues…….. issues out the ying yang, ya see, which make investment in renewable energy a great deal.

            • jan says:

              Hi OFM

              I agree with you completely that we should buy as little from Arab countries as possible, their human rights abuses are sickening.

              I think the government needs to fund a hydrogen fueling network so people would actually start buying the cars.

              This would eventually cut our imports or oil and gas to zero and the pollution that our cities suffer from would be a thing of the past.

              • OFM says:

                Hi Jan,
                Oil is fungible. No matter WHERE we buy it, we support everybody selling it,including the Russians, the Maduro regime in Venezuela, etc.

                Whatever we get from Maduro is oil that is not on the market in competition with say Iraqi oil.

                I don’t know why you are in favor of hydrogen as automotive fuel at this time. It’s still rather an open question as to whether hydrogen fueling stations will ever be practical and affordable, where as we KNOW already that the electric grid and batteries can giterdone, and for now and some years to come, WAY CHEAPER.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          I never said they were dirtier than coal, so don’t put words in my mouth. Childish way of trying to win an argument.

          I’m pretty sure I didn’t say anything of the sort either. I just said there are more than one ways to skin a cat and that battery backup isn’t the only solution. For the record I did say fossil fuels and that covers a lot of things besides coal. As far as I’m concerned coal is a completely dead horse and there is no use beating it any longer.

          See my link down thread about Amri’s molten metal battery technology as a solution to large scale grid storage that could substitute for hydro just about anywhere.


          Despite Hightrekkers’ misgivings about high temperatures which had he read further he would have realized was a problem that is pretty much solved. They are now working on a reliable air seal.

          • JN2 says:

            Fred, I loved Sadoway’s TED talk in 2012. Seemed like it could work. Since then they have changed chemistries, laid off employees and are still struggling with seals at such high temperatures.

            “Over the last year, the firm kept busy redesigning high-temperature seals and developing its battery management system and heater control. Ambri has been testing a “fully functioning in-lab” energy storage system, which provides 20 kilowatt-hours of energy storage with a peak capacity of 6 kilowatts.”


            Compare to Tesla’s 20 MW/80 MWh installation in SoCal. Ambri have missed the boat…

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Compare to Tesla’s 20 MW/80 MWh installation in SoCal. Ambri have missed the boat…

              Perhaps but I wouldn’t count them out completely. The fact is they have a different technology and it might not be a bad idea to have some of your eggs in a few different baskets.

            • Hightrekker says:

              The temps were still very high, as I did read the rest of the article (500+C- unless I missed something).

              We still have nothing that scales to lithium Ion so far.

              Let me know when someone has 5% market share.

          • jan says:

            I really wish coal was a dead horse, in 20 years time China will still be burning as much coal as 10 Germanies and German consumption has leveled off at very very high percentage.

            India is doing it’s best to add it’s share of coal plants


            Perhaps in 20 years global coal consumption will be where it was in 2000.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Jan,


              Based on December data from the Central Electric Authority, Mr. Mathur’s institute reported in March that India might be able to meet its additional power needs in the future with renewable energy.

              It based that prediction on the remarkable drop in the cost of solar power. In approving proposals for new solar power plants, the Indian government seeks bids from prospective builders who compete to pledge the lowest price at which they anticipate selling power.

              Five years ago, the lowest bid came in at 7 rupees, or 11 cents, per kilowatt-hour. In early May, the lowest bidder came in at less than half of that price, or 2.44 rupees per kilowatt-hour, a little under 4 cents, experts here say.

              The latest bid makes solar power less expensive than coal, which sells for about 3 rupees per kilowatt-hour.

              December data from Central Electric Authority at India’s Ministry of Power at link below


              see table 5.7a on page 5.21

              The base case (Scenario I) in Table 5.7a sees no need for new coal capacity after 2017 to meet power needs through 2022. Power need will be met with natural gas, nuclear, hydro, and other renewables (wind, solar, etc)

      • scrub puller says:

        Yair . . .

        The assumption seems to be that we should try and live the same sort of life style in a powered down environment. It won’t work.

        As soon as you go solar/wind you have to plan ahead. In the rural/farm situation you do routine welding and run the saw bench on sunny/windy days. It is really very simple.

        No reason society in general could not do the same . . . and in due course they will because they have to.

        Unfortunately I won’t be around to see it. (grins)

    • GoneFishing says:

      The EIA Power Monthly lists all the capacity factors and the actual outputs from various sources.
      Germany uses hydroelectric storage in country and seasonal storage in Norway. They are fairly far north so you took a low value example. Yes there are seasonal changes for solar, that is obvious, but it’s ability to produce cheap power is a winner.
      You say batteries are not environmentally friendly? Compared to oil and natural gas? What a laugh.
      Very little of our civilization and it’s activities is environmentally friendly so raising the bar would eliminate civilization currently.
      Wind can have a capacity factor of over 50% and solar PV 30%.

    • alimbiquated says:

      >At the moment batteries are hardly environmentally friendly.

      So burn coal? Anyway what does this jab have to do with the rest of your post? You tipped your hand.

  3. Boomer II says:

    Economically the tide has turned for renewables even if they don’t supply all the power yet. It’s a growth industry while fossil fuels are not. A lot of stock investing is driven by speculation, so companies that have the potential to grow are more attractive to many investors than companies that are maintaining, at best.

    I have hoped economics would win out over politics and I still think that will be the case. While individual voters may vote against their self-interests, I think companies and the rich will not. As more billionaires are tied to new technology companies rather than tied to fossil fuels and their uses, I think the money will fall on the side of the new tech. It’s just matter of how fast it will happen. But I see a lot of signs lately that it has already happened, both in the US and the globe.

  4. Fred Magyar says:

    Meanwhile research on large scale molten metal battery technology continues to advance and is getting very close to commercial success!


    The role of the new technology

    The liquid metal battery platform offers an unusual combination of features. In general, batteries are characterized by how much energy and how much power they can provide. (Energy is the total amount of work that can be done; power is how quickly work gets done.) In general, technologies do better on one measure than the other. For example, with capacitors, fast delivery is cheap, but abundant storage is expensive. With pumped hydropower, the opposite is true.
    But for grid-scale storage, both capa­bilities are important — and the liquid metal battery can potentially do both. It can store a lot of energy (say, enough to last through a blackout) and deliver that energy quickly (for example, to meet demand instantly when a cloud passes in front of the sun). Unlike the lithium-ion battery, it should have a long lifetime; and unlike the lead-acid battery, it will not be degraded when being completely discharged. And while it now appears more expensive than pumped hydropower, the battery has no limitation on where it can be used. With pumped hydro, water is pumped uphill to a reservoir and then released through a turbine to generate power when it’s needed. Installations therefore require both a hillside and a source of water. The liquid metal battery can be installed essentially anywhere. No need for a hill or water.

    Fossil fuels are just plain bad for the planet and they are a losing business proposition!

    • Hightrekker says:

      Not there yet
      But there was a problem. To keep the components melted, the battery had to operate at 700 degrees Celsius (1,292 degrees Farenheit). Running that hot consumed some of the electrical output of the battery and increased the rate at which secondary components, such as the cell wall, would corrode and degrade. So Sadoway, Bradwell, and their colleagues at MIT continued the search for active materials.

      Hopefully we get beyond 1990’s Japanese battery technology soon- this may possibly be the one.
      It has been a while.

      Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-01-battery-molten-metals-low-cost-long-lasting.html#jCp

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Had you read a little further you might have seen this…

        Bringing it to market
        Ambri has now designed and built a manufacturing plant for the liquid metal battery in Marlborough, Massachusetts. As expected, manufacturing is straightforward: Just add the electrode metals plus the electrolyte salt to a steel container and heat the can to the specified operating temperature. The materials melt into neat liquid layers to form the electrodes and electrolyte. The cell manufacturing process has been developed and implemented and will undergo continuous improvement. The next step will involve automating the processes to aggregate many cells into a large-format battery including the power electronics.
        Ambri has not been public about which liquid metal battery chemistry it is commercializing, but it does say that it has been working on the same chemistry for the past four years. According to Bradwell, Ambri scientists and engineers have built more than 2,500 liquid metal battery cells and have achieved thousands of charge-discharge cycles with negligible reduction in the amount of energy stored. Those demonstrations confirm Sadoway and Bradwell’s initial thesis that an all-liquid battery would be poised to achieve better performance than solid-state alternatives and would be able to operate for decades.
        Ambri researchers are now tackling one final engineering challenge: developing a low-cost, practical seal that will stop air from leaking into each individual cell, thus enabling years of high-temperature operation. Once the needed seals are developed and tested, battery production will begin.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Yes, the power station of the future may just be a storage station being fed by distributed sources.

    • George Kaplan says:

      Despite the issues with pumped storage, there are a surprising lot of them already, especially in China and USA, according to Wikipedia. A long time ago, soon after graduation, I worked a bit on the design for the Dinorwig plant, the largest pumped storage facility here in UK. It was quite impressive. I can’t remember the exact efficiencies for the pumps/turbines but pretty high even then. I think one of the big benefits was it could be started almost instantly so there was no need to keep a lot of spinning reserve on line in case one of the main load plants went down. It had some benefit that they could use it to control and match the AC frequency over the whole grid when load was suddenly peaked as well but the electrical side was not my area (the adverts after the TV news at 6pm on a Saturday was the worst time I remember – the national grid control room was designed with a TV just so they could monitor such things, I guess not such an issue these days). Originally it was also intended as overnight storage to allow the main load nuclear and big coal plants to keep running even if demand dropped, I think that may have gone away as more gas turbines were installed. I don’t know if any of those considerations are relevant to battery storage.

      Dinorwig was developed from two old quarries in North Wales, hillsides and water aren’t in short supply there – I can see they might be in areas that are best for wind and solar, but maybe proximity isn’t that big a problem.

  5. George Kaplan says:

    Islandboy – this is a great post. You do quite long comments when the data comes out – I think also based on EIA releases; I’d definitely appreciate it if there was a monthly (or longer if that’s easier) update like this in place of those.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi George,

      I agree. Some of the stuff you do on GOM etc would make great posts as well, they can be brief or long, it’s up to you.

      • Hightrekker says:

        I too value your GOM data and insight.

      • George Kaplan says:

        Dennis – if there is any new data out with BOEM mid month release I might be able to do something late next week – depends on the weather. What is the email address to send it (I guess a word file?).

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi George,

          Yes a word file. I will contact you with my other e-mail address because sometimes I forget to check the peakoilbarrel@gmail.com e-mail address.

          Thanks, any time that works for you is fine with me, enjoy the weather while it’s nice!

    • islandboy says:

      Thanks for the complement George. My thinking is that this could be a regular monthly feature, sort of like the Texas, North Dakota and OPEC reports. I have been tracking this data for more than two years now with a view to sensing when renewables “move the needle” so to speak. IMO as far as this month’s data is concerned, the needle has moved. One only needs to look at the lead graph or the one below to see that renewables are beginning to break out of the insignificant range and it would appear that this is at the expense of fossil fuels.

      • Stephen Hren says:

        Monthly updates would be fantastic 🙂 Thanks for all your hard work on this islandboy!

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Islandboy,

        Any time you want to do a post just shoot me an e-mail, maybe remind me about a week ahead. I appreciate the help, and of course, great job!

      • Hickory says:

        Thanks IslandBoy-
        Here is the daily data page for electricity demand/supply/source from the largest state in USA- http://www.caiso.com/outlook/SystemStatus.html
        Currently 42% of instantaneous electrical demand is being met by renewables (10:15a PST).
        Yesturday 29.8% of was met by renewables.

      • Nathanael says:

        It’s a great piece and I’d love monthly updates. Clarification request: is IEA only including utility-side solar or does this include the behind-the-meter estimates?

        • islandboy says:

          Thanks. All the figures I use for the graphs include the behind-the-meter estimates. The graph below shows utility scale PV and thermal plus the estimate for total PV output including behind the meter output. The figure for solar used in all the other graphs is the sum of estimated total PV production plus thermal. If the estimates were to be left out, that would mean leaving out roughly a third of the total PV output which IMO would be worse than any inaccuracies the estimates introduce.

  6. texas tea says:

    nat gas will be the growth industry for electric generation for the next several years

    “The electricity industry is planning to increase natural gas-fired generating capacity by 11.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2017 and 25.4 GW in 2018, based on information reported to EIA. If these plants come online as planned, annual net additions in natural gas capacity would be at their highest levels since 2005. On a combined basis, these 2017–18 additions would increase natural gas capacity by 8% from the capacity existing at the end of 2016. Depending on the timing and utilization of these plants, the new additions could help natural gas maintain its status as the primary energy source for power generation, even if natural gas prices rise moderately.”

    • Boomer II says:

      Which means coal becomes that much less important. That’s good.

    • Hightrekker says:

      Problem is, they are now infrastructure that is going to last 30-50 years.
      Once in place, it will be very hard to decommission.
      We don’t have 30 years.

      • Boomer II says:

        Yes, I understand that. I would prefer we phase out carbon-based fuels as quickly as possible. But weaning the country away from coal is better than not doing anything. I’ll take it for the time being.

        I think there will be more distributed power generation, so even if we have those gas fired plants in place, perhaps we won’t use them to the extent that we do now.

        And if excess electric capacity encourages more EVs, that would be a plus, too, in terms of reducing carbon.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi high trekker,

        The plants may not be decommissioned, but they might not be used very much as Wind and solar prices come down and take market share from natural gas as natural gas prices go up. I agree with Boomer that getting rid of coal is a good first step, then we remove the less efficient natural gas plants and eventually natural gas plays a small backup role and then is finally phased out in power generation. The heating use of natural gas can be replaced with heat pumps (ground source in the far north) for space and water.

        • Hightrekker says:

          I’m an existentialist , and try to do what is best, no matter the outcome. Action and humans rather that abstract thought. And that is the correct action.

          However, realism and pessimism also frees one to perform action.

    • Nathanael says:

      Absolutely hilarious, texas tea. Your comedy never ceases to amuse me.

      Meanwhile, I watch the doubling-every-two-years of solar, doubling-every-three-years of wind, doubling-every-two years of electric cars… and I invest accordingly and make millions.

      There are already too many plants burning NG for electricity; the surplus will be obvious soon. Utilities which build more are just wasting money.

  7. Boomer II says:

    I think it is too late to stop the adoption of renewables and the phasing out of coal for electricity generation. It’s happening and utilities are moving forward toward that end.

    2017 State of the Electric Utility Survey Report: “In Utility Dive’s annual report on the state of the electric utility in 2017, we surveyed over 600 electric utility executives to better understand the differing perspectives on this period of change.”

    From the report:

    “The retirement of aging baseload generators and the influx of intermittent renewable energy onto the grid system present unique challenges for utilities, which are typically accustomed to operating large central-station plants. But as grid operations improve and costs decline for renewables and natural gas, many companies have come to see the transition toward a decarbonized power system as an opportunity: In 2016, 94% of utility respondents to this survey indicated they saw a compelling reason to invest in renewable energy.

    The latest Utility Dive survey shows that those themes of power sector transformation are still largely in play: Utilities overwhelmingly expect to source more power from low-carbon generation and retire baseload plants, while preparing for rapid growth of emerging distributed technologies like rooftop solar and energy storage.”

  8. Hightrekker says:

    A problem for the Dim’s, as they are loyal to their corporate masters (it is stated by the repugs as a bragging right):

    Voters are Fired Up for Single Payer Creating Dilemma for Democrats


    • Boomer II says:

      They should support it. It’s unlikely to get through a GOP controlled Congress, so they are “safe” in a way.

      Expanding Medicare in increments is a way to do it in the least disruptive way.

      True health care reform would require massive changes throughout the system. I see it happening at the state level first.

    • Nathanael says:

      Single payer is just so damn obvious. Every other industrialized country in the world has it already, and most developing countries have it already.

  9. Survivalist says:

    Much like the Khalifa Stadium, Qatar’s foreign policy seems to be not much more than a vanity project. With American influence to keep a lid on things in retreat it’s likely a few new spats will pop up. Wedge issues in the GCC will be played well by Iran. The last time a Globocop (UK) receded in power it was a bit of a dust-up.



    • Survivalist says:

      Remember that on Aug. 6, 2001, George W. Bush told his national security briefer, “All right, you’ve covered your ass now” after he was told that that Osama bin Laden was “determined to strike inside the United States.” And then he went fishing. We all know how that worked out.

      Trump makes GWB look like a competent statesman. At least he read his briefings. Trump is gonna train wreck.

    • George Kaplan says:

      Turkey has voted to allow troops to be deployed to Qatar. Presumably Erdogan told them what he wanted first. With that bloke involved anything can happen. He is a true psychopath. I don’t think Trump can be, for one thing he is completely incompetent, he comes across more as a deeply insecure, hormonally challenged, teenage narcissist who thinks the best idea must be whatever it was he heard last, from anyone who doesn’t appear to actively dislike him.

      • Survivalist says:

        …. and Germany has pulled anti ISIS assets out of Turkey. On the way to Jordan instead.


        With globocop in decline and increasingly internally focused I feel that some world leaders will attempt to influence regional balances of power now that USA seems to have its hand of the scales.

        • George Kaplan says:

          In the past it always struck me that the US Secretary of State and various ambassadors, even the vice president, seemed to present a united and competent front on foreign policy (maybe because they had a fucking great war machine backing them up), no matter all the in fighting and dodgy dealing in domestic politics there. Now that’s all gone. It looks like most ambassadors and all of the state department hate Trump with real vituperation.

        • OFM says:

          Nature has a particularly strong abhorrence for any vacuum associated with raw power politics at the international level.

          It does seem to be the case that the USA is at least temporarily backing off on playing cop to the world, and various somebodies will inevitably step in to take advantage of the new situation. Bad guys will be emboldened to be badder than ever, and some other countries that have the ability to do so will step up as self appointed police, mostly thru the auspices of the UN or other international organization. Hopefully there will be enough new cops to keep the very worst of the bad guys from establishing themselves in new empires.

          Unfortunately just about all countries are sort of short of cash and resources these days, and I think it’s likely that without our leadership, things will get worse fast.

          This is not to say they haven’t been getting worse,for a long time, or that what we have done has necessarily worked out to the good, not at all.

          But I don’t see the various Western European countries being willing and able to deal with the troubles without substantial help from us Yankees.

          Success has been elusive WITH us. Without us………

          Of course except for the local people, it might not matter all that much WHO controls some particular patch of land in the Middle East, or elsewhere, from our own perspective, if we can once free ourselves from our addiction to oil.

          If we ever withdraw our troops from the places where most of the troubles exist, the incentive to export terrorism to our own home countries will mostly vanish.

          Countries run by priests of the sort that dominate in the Middle East are not apt to grow into super powers, or even get to be powerful enough to project power very far beyond their own borders.

          Getting rid of an authoritarian government, once it’s well established, without outside help is tough to impossible. I wish the people in such places well, but I don’t pretend to know how to best attempt helping them.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Let’s face it, this is a global economy and our supply chains are strung out all over the world into varied political situations. Unlike the 1930’s, many of the sundry parts that we need to actually run civilization are made and/or assembled elsewhere.
            We would be in a world of hurt if conflicts in Asia actually occurred.
            Even if relations got poor and trade slowed or stopped it would be bad.

            It takes time, money and resources to build manufacturing and assembly plants. Years sometimes. Those in power who use the “Made in America” slogan had better realize that a lot of those products contain foreign parts. Breaking free of global trade or even messing with it will have large economic and physical ramifications.

  10. Survivalist says:

    an interesting visualization of global temps here


  11. Survivalist says:

    What a shit-show

    “The secret of the Trump infrastructure plan is: There is no infrastructure plan. Just like there is no White House tax plan. Just like there was no White House health care plan. More than 120 days into Trump’s term in a unified Republican government, Trump’s policy accomplishments have been more in the subtraction category (e.g., stripping away environmental regulations) than addition. The president has signed no major legislation and left significant portions of federal agencies unstaffed, as U.S. courts have blocked what would be his most significant policy achievement, the legally dubious immigration ban.

    The simplest summary of White House economic policy to date is four words long: There is no policy.

    Consider the purported focus of this week. An infrastructure plan ought to include actual proposals, like revenue-and-spending details and timetables. The Trump infrastructure plan has little of that. Even the president’s speech on Monday was devoid of specifics. (An actual line was: “We have studied numerous countries, one in particular, they have a very, very good system; ours is going to top it by a lot.”) The ceremonial signing on Monday was pure theater. The president, flanked by politicians and business people smiling before the twinkling of camera flashes, signed a paper that merely asks Congress to work on a bill. An assistant could have done that via email. Meanwhile, Congress isn’t working on infrastructure at all, according to Politico, and Republicans have shown no interest in a $200 billion spending bill.

    In short, this “plan” is not a plan, so much as a Potemkin policy, a presentation devised to show the press and the public that the president has an economic agenda.”


    • Fred Magyar says:

      In short, this “plan” is not a plan, so much as a Potemkin policy, a presentation devised to show the press and the public that the president has an economic agenda.”

      Pretty much…
      Trump Touts More Phony Accomplishments: The Daily Show

    • GoneFishing says:

      . Yes, the major plan is to strip the nation of it’s protective laws, environmental, health, and social to bring it back to the late 1800’s so the billionaire bullies can completely run the show for power and money. Why all those voters thought the billionaire bullies were on their side and would help them is beyond me (or I don’t want to think down that dark rabbit hole).

      Our new legacy will just be an old one, driven by sociopaths and nature itself.
      “”Those who are badly off must go there.” “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.” “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

      It’s the same old story played over and over again since civilization began.

      • OFM says:

        “Why all those voters thought the billionaire bullies were on their side and would help them is beyond me (or I don’t want to think down that dark rabbit hole). ”

        It’s the sort of thing that simply cannot be explained in a few paragraphs, or even in a couple of thousand words.

        It will take a book, which if it has been written, has not attracted very many readers, and I haven’t found it.

        Understanding will require deep immersion into the culture, something that most well educated liberal types are in my estimation entirely unwilling to undertake, for various reasons, especially including the investment in time.

        Those of us who have read really good novels, such as the great classics, wherein opposing members of opposing cultures are portrayed as human beings with values and ethics that are just as real and worthy to them as those of their enemies, will understand what I’m trying to say.

        And of course ignorance DOES play a substantial role in people not understanding their own enlightened self interests. Now having not only acknowledged but emphasized this point, I must go on to say that people who are scared, or threatened but not scared, or in economic trouble, etc, are generally focused on the short run rather than the long run, since the long run is academic until after you are assured you will be ok in the short run.

        A man such as some of my neighbors, or my old Daddy, who worked in a manufacturing plant that built parts for automobiles, may understand the need for mass transit, or high gasoline taxes, etc, but if he is dependent on his job,not knowing if he can find another as good, it takes a damned fool to expect him to support policies that threaten his job. Mass transit and high gasoline taxes may well mean he is thrown out of work, after investing decades in his job.

        This is a very specific example, intended to get the general point across.

        Incidentally, I ‘m writing the book, which I will publish eventually, even if I’m unable to do as good a job on it as I hope. The odds are about ninety nine point nine nine percent it will be free on the net,since the likelihood of finding a publisher looks to be no better than one in a thousand.

        But I intend to get at least a couple of hundred copies run off by a so called vanity press publisher, to be distributed as tokens of appreciation to all the people who have inadvertently helped me write it, as either friend or foe in the blogging wars, or in more personal ways.

        HB in particular may have two copies, autographed, to be used as toilet paper or dart boards if he so pleases. All that’s necessary is that he, or any body who has corresponded with me provide me with an address, I will send the books postage paid, lol.

        • GoneFishing says:

          You are right OFM, the narrow view can limit understanding. Also people have the strange ability to convince themselves of just about anything, even if it makes little sense. As long as the needed goal is promised, they want to believe.

          The real enemy of jobs is the machine, the computer and the robot. No one likes to be in on the descent after a rise, but between globalization, machine takeover and just plain corporate greed the American worker is often left with low paying service jobs or nothing. As the disparity in incomes becomes greater and opportunities less, the anger builds, making them vulnerable to propaganda (the other enemy).

      • Boomer II says:

        Even the Wall Street Journal is against Trump. I think many business leaders realize Trump can’t give them anything they can use. It’s a reality TV president, not a knowledgeable or effective one.

        • Boomer II says:

          The Buck Stops Everywhere Else – WSJ: “If this pattern continues, Mr. Trump may find himself running an Administration with no one but his family and the Breitbart staff. People of talent and integrity won’t work for a boss who undermines them in public without thinking about the consequences. And whatever happened to the buck stops here?”

          • notanoilman says:

            He already seems to have a lot of difficulty filling post with people declining offers.


            • Boomer II says:

              Yes, I can’t see a benefit for most of the people asked to serve. They would probably have to take a pay cut, they wouldn’t be able to do much on their own, Trump probably wouldn’t listen to them anyway and might blame them, and serving with Trump probably wouldn’t enhance their careers after they left his administration.

              I’ve been waiting for McMaster to resign or get fired. He’s not in much of a position of control in his job and I wonder how long he can/will play along.

            • Boomer II says:

              Donald Trump Is the Worst Boss in Washington – The New York Times: “At this point, the question may be, who would take any of those jobs? Talking to people who’ve held them in the past, the answer seems to be: just about nobody.”

              • George Kaplan says:

                How long before Tillerson quits?

                • Boomer II says:

                  I’ve been wondering that. He’s used to being in charge. Why be in an job where you have little opportunity to contribute and might even be publicly contradicted?

                • notanoilman says:

                  I have had the impression that he is actually trying to do the job right but is fighting an uphill battle in trying to do so.


    • Survivalist says:

      Comey testified not long ago and Trump hasn’t tweeted anything all day lol

      buh-bye. Thanks for coming out champ.

  12. Survivalist says:

    Arctic sea ice extent for May 2017 averaged 12.74 million square kilometers (4.92 million square miles), the fourth lowest in the 1979 to 2017 satellite record.


    • Johnny92 says:

      Why would it be fourth lowest on record but not lowest on record. Considering the high temps up there this year? Scientists should be surprised more ice isn’t melted?

      • Survivalist says:

        Volume is lowest on record.


        However because the ice is spread out thinly it’s extent is fourth place lowest. The arctic ice volume was greater in all cases where it’s extent was smaller.

        Think of the difference between a triple layer cake, a double layer cake, a single layer cake, a pancake, and a crepe. If all of those cakes a have a diameter of 18 inches and you look down at them from above they all appear to cover the same area. But they are not all the same. They differ in thickness, you see?

        At the moment, because it’s spread out very thinly, the arctic ice mass has a very large surface area in comparison to it’s volume. Think about different shaped pieces of ice melting. Think of an ice cube vs an ice pancake, both with the same amount of water used to make them. Which one will melt first?


        Stay in school kids!
        At least to grade five.


        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Clearly school doesn’t help some people, and many kids may benefit more by avoiding school and the governpimp-enforced curriculum altogether, so no ‘homeschooling’ it, either. Try that, though, and I guess you’d have some kidnappers (AKA, social workers) at the door, looking for the kids. I wonder what they’d say to, or do with, the anarchist parents that had something to say and do about it. I guess the cops would be the subsequent line of offense.

          Throw these kinds of containers on people’s rights and freedoms like that, and watch society and the ecosystem decline and/or collapse. Doesn’t look like we can have it both ways– coercion without collapse.

  13. OFM says:


    We may be getting rid of Trump sure enough. Most of the R party will remain in league with him, out of self interest and party solidarity, but there are more than just a very few so called RINO’s in swing districts that may well find it necessary to make a little whoopee with the opposition, and call for his resignation or impeachment, barring some miraculous good luck on Trump’s part, plus a sincere change in his behavior.

    Personally I don’t believe he is CAPABLE of behaving any differently than as he has so far, and I’m hoping all the good political luck will fall to the D Party, especially the Sanders oriented faction, which has the potential to lead the D’s back into power.

    Trump is fucking up in so many ways it’s hard to even keep count.

  14. islandboy says:

    California market troubles bring down U.S. residential numbers during Q1

    In many ways, the first quarter of 2017 was another win in a row of victories for the U.S. solar market. For the sixth straight quarter, more than 2 GW-DC of solar PV was installed, including more than 1 GW of utility-scale solar, which is roughly online with last year’s numbers. Commercial, industrial, non-profit and government installations also grew 29% year over year to 399 MW.

    However, the U.S. residential market is in trouble, and this doesn’t look likely to change any time soon. While residential installations have typically climbed quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, during the first quarter of 2017 the market declined both over the previous quarter and a year prior.

    This fall was largely due to a decline in California’s residential market, which has been covered in detail by pv magazine. Analysts, advocates and market participants cite multiple factors in this decline, including torrential rains, increased difficulties in customer acquisition and pull-back from Tesla and Vivint Solar, as well as the switch to Net Metering 2.0. For the final factor, it remains to be seen how much of this is the short-term affects of adjustment to the new policy and how much is the longer-term affects of delayed payback times.

    I saw this article early this morning and it is something of a coincidence that the graph below is exactly what I was looking for when I wrote, “data is not yet available from the Solar Energy Industries Association for the first quarter of 2017”. As it turns out, the graph below, which is featured in the article above comes from SEIA’s Solar Market Insight Report 2017 Q2, published sometime after my lead post was completed!

    Based on that graph, I estimate that installed capacity at the end of March 2016 would have been roughly 27.5 GW, about 2 GW more than the 25.62 GW in place at the end of 2015 and that about 14.5 GW has been installed since then, resulting in a current installed capacity of about 42 GW. So with a 50% increase in capacity, one might have expected a 50% increase in output from the 3409 GWh in February 2016 and 4036 GWh in March 2017. Looking at the data, 4011 GWh was produced in February 2017, slightly less than 50% more than the previous February and 6529 GWh was produced in March, 61% more than the previous March.

    March 2017 may have exceeded expectations because of good weather but, we will have a better idea when the data for April is released close to the end of this month. I suspect the increase in output will not continue to be as steep.

  15. OFM says:

    Failed to do so earlier, but I wish to add my thanks along with the other regulars for all Islandboy’s hard work!

  16. HuntingtonBeach says:

    When President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement, he acted in concert with 22 Republican senators, who collectively receive $10,694,284 in contributions from the coal and oil industries.

    These 22 senators wrote to Trump, asking him to pull out of the accord. The president and the senators put their own political and economic interests above the safety, security and indeed survival of the American people and the entire planet.

    The climate accord is a landmark deal, in which 195 countries responsible for 95 percent of carbon emissions worldwide agreed to voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in order to slow down global warming.


    • Jason T. says:

      America’s amazing innovators and entrepreneurs (and yes, I would include the petropreneurs in our shale fields also) found great ways to reduce the country’s emissions all without a big bloated international agreement. What that should tell you is these agreements are completely unneeded for our country. The reality is, the worst part about them is they are just the usual tax and spend money grabbing instruments the liberals always like to bring out whenever they get elected.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        I sincerely hope I live long enough to see at least a few of your ilk tried in an international global tribunal like the Hague, for crimes against Nature and humanity and sent away to solitary confinement for the rest of your miserable lives! People like you, are the embodiment of pure evil!
        Do not think for a microsecond that your actions do not have consequences or that you will escape with impunity. Your day of reckoning will come! One way or another people like you will be held accountable!


        • OFM says:

          Dang and dag nabbit Fred,

          You’re getting pretty radical these days.

          Don’t you honestly think that maybe five to ten at hard labor with no possibility of parole would be adequate punishment in the case of unadulterated ignorance and or simple stupidity?

          Now for the kind in management, with some education, and staff paid to advise them, or owners with accountants and lawyers, I’m with you all the way. 😉

          Now as far as straight up paid shilling is concerned, I think maybe the person who pays should get thirty days in stripes for a first offense, sixty days, for a second offense, and a fine equal to half his world assets plus one hundred twenty days for the third offense……….. The person who actually does the shilling is most likely broke and has no better options that he knows of.

          Put him to work, at public expense, picking up trash or something, anything so long as it’s useful.

          I wouldn’t want anybody to think I’m too old fashioned so I won’t advocate the time honored practice of killing them all and letting God sort them out. 😉

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            “Don’t you honestly think that maybe five to ten at hard labor with no possibility of parole would be adequate punishment in the case of unadulterated ignorance and or simple stupidity?”

            It’s time for OldMacDonald aka KGB Trumpster to repay his debt to society

            • Hightrekker says:

              “I see Kathy Bates (recreating her “Misery” character) as the delusional, dangerous, and mercurial Hillary Clinton. “Those deplorable rednecks and Russian agents robbed me of my rightful office.””

            • OFM says:

              Hi there, HB

              I have committed more than a few sins against my fellow naked ape, and the natural world, over the years. I can’t think of anybody that hasn’t, that I know well enough to know, when you get right down to the nitty gritty.

              Of course being shaped to some extent by my childhood training in the Christian church, Backwoods Baptist variety, I often feel a little guilty when I have a ribeye, or a mango, and think about how far the price of these delicacies would go if I added that price to the money I donate to a couple of earmarked accounts at a local church- this money being earmarked is spent entirely on the welfare of local children. No fundraising, no paid staff, no rent, no nothing except the receipts, and on each receipt stapled the name and address of the family that got the goods, in case I wish to check.

              Sometimes I contribute to organizations such as NPR, and NRA, and the ACLU, but not very often, or very much.I do my good deeds locally,as a rule, where I can make sure the bang for the buck or the hour donated is maximized.

              Now I have never, and never will, consider pointing out the truth to be a sin, no siree.

              And as far as making up for past sins goes, I am contributing my twenty five bucks every once in a while to Sanders oriented organizations, and working as a volunteer to get out the vote for D’s in general, at the local and state level, and the national level as well, so long as they are not imitiation republican business as usual Democrats.

              Unless I run across somebody who is preaching the Clinton /Big Biz/ Investor Class type of Democratic Party politics, my attention is now focused just about entirely on getting rid of Trump, and putting the R’s back in the dog house, as a group, and doing what I can to preserve the remainder of the natural environment.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Dang and dag nabbit Fred,

            You’re getting pretty radical these days.

            Not really, I’ve just become particularly intrigued by the entire internet troll/bot industry.

            I’ve been doing some reasonably in depth research on the topic and have been experimenting with my responses both here and on a few other rationally based forums.

            There are different schools of thought on how to deal with it from just ignoring them to crafting measured responses as Dennis is wont to do. I don’t think either of those means works very well. The trolls are real bad guys and are very well funded and organized.

            So, I’m just adding my own little twist here and there… 😉


            • notanoilman says:

              As they are trying to disrupt and misdirect people who just visit the forum I feel addressing the 3rd party may be the best approach, Dennis seems to take that approach and I try to.


        • alimbiquated says:

          Assuming the Hague is still above water when the time comes.

      • Lloyd says:

        Jason T.’s comment is a Dialogue pair: it is not responsive to the comment and is trying to re-frame the argument as ideological rather than fact-based. For more information on media manipulation techniques like this, read “I Was a Paid Internet Shill: How Shadowy Groups Manipulate Internet Opinion and Debate (“http://consciouslifenews.com/paid-internet-shill-shadowy-groups-manipulate-internet-opinion-debate/1147073/)

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Hey Lloyd,
          I’m almost sure that Jason T is either a paid troll or a comment bot. either way, whoever is behind it/him /her should know we are aware of what they are.

        • George Kaplan says:

          I think it’s simpler than that – it’s like a dog hearing the words walk or food, but instead climate or treaty. None of the other words matter, it’s just a conditioned response from then on. The same answer always comes out, even though they try to cover it up in some kind of rationalisation, basically: “nobody’s going to tell me what to do, no matter what happens to anybody else”

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Spend A Night, Not A Fortune
          by Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet

          • Lloyd says:

            I love the Shadowy Men…saw them live several times, and have most of the EP’s and albums…may have to hook up the turntable.


            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              LOL, really? That’s cute. If the turntable doesn’t work, there’s always the shadowy internet of course.

              I’m posting this on the road from a cafe and enduring disco and 80’s Madonna. I asked one of the baristas if they wanted to dance, but there are video cameras over them.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Jason T,

        The per capita carbon dioxide emissions in the US (based on consumption) was 18.5 metric tonnes per person in 2014. For China it was 6.6 metric tonnes of CO2 per person or roughly one third the Chinese level. Germany 11.4 Mt/person, France 7.1, UK 9.2, and Italy 7.8 metric tonnes of CO2 per capita. The average for Germany, France, UK and Italy is 9 metric tonnes CO2/person in 2014, about half the US level.

        So those smart Americans are not doing so well on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, we have a long way to go.

        Emissions Data from


        Population data from UN at link below


        • GoneFishing says:

          And it’s all so stupid. Just putting in a few strip outlets with switches between the electronics/appliances and the wall outlet so they can be turned off when not in use will keep $100 to $200 (or more) in the pocket each year from phantom loads. Buying that more efficient car, keeping the tires inflated properly and going easy on the throttle can save $1000 per year in fuel costs alone. Sealing leaky doors and windows will save another $100 or more a year in heating and cooling costs. Switch lights off when not in use. Fix those dripping faucets. Switch to LED lighting now that it has become much less expensive can save hundreds of dollars a year. It’s not just the energy save, they last longer and the replacement costs are saved.
          There are so many ways to conserve energy and save money it would take a book to cover most of them.
          Then think about the fact that the average American worker has a tax load of 31.5%. For every dollar you spend, you have to earn $1.46. So why waste it?
          Also every dollar we spend on energy efficiency and energy reduction pays us back and much more over time. It can be the highest return you will ever make on an investment and it’s very low risk, possibly no risk.

          • OFM says:

            I’m going to have a very long chapter in my book about ways people can save energy, organized in several different ways. One way will be to just call somebody, which takes money or credit up front, for example for a heat pump.

            At the opposite end of the spectrum of hassle and money, things like drying clothes on the shower rod curtain and growing onions in a window box.

            All this boring stuff will be in the back, with the page numbers where it’s found mentioned in the parts people will hopefully want to read for reasons other than just saving or making a buck.

            Most people are barely literate, technically, when you get right down to the bedrock, for instance not understanding that the average performance of stock brokers more or less exactly mirrors the average performance of the stock market, etc, or that the Toyota that has the sterling used car reputation for durability and reliability may well cost twice as much as a Ford or Chevy comparably equipped, same size, same year, same overall condition, same mileage, etc.

            Or that some house brands and some generics are quite as high quality as the heavily advertised stuff.

            Or that you can get the core vaccines in combo at at a farm supply for your dog, for less than ten bucks, excepting the rabies vaccine, instead of paying a vet a hundred bucks for them, plus the office visit, or that dogs are DESIGNED by evolution to eat bones, and that if you give them some suitable for learning, they WILL NOT choke on them.

            Don’t give chicken bones to a dog that doesn’t know about bones, especially if it’s a hungry dog, or afraid another dog will steal the treat.

            I know countless people who have fed their mutts bones for decades, with never a problem at all, if they followed these two simple rules. Start the dog on something too big and too hard to be swallowed, except by chewing off small fragments slowly. This extends back thru over a full century of extended family experience, not to mention neighbors.

            This old world is full of people passing out bad advice so as to profit from your taking it, or to cover their ass in the rare event of problems arising.

            Even people you ought to be able to trust professionally tell as many lies by omission as possible, in a lot of cases. For example, a couple of lesbian friends and political allies, ( what a waste, as straight girls are prone to say about handsome gay guys !) who run a farm supply are very careful not to mention to old regular customers that they can buy bulk lime at Southern States for ten cents on the dollar what they charge for it in plastic bags, lol. And it’s easier and faster, mostly to distribute bulk lime, not to mention the ninety percent savings that add up when you use a lot of it.

            They give EXCELLENT advice about any product they don’t sell, when it comes to getting the best deal.

            The guy who runs the closest country store is smarter, he is willing to sell me things at case prices by the case just a tad above what he pays himself, in order to get the business rather than seeing me go to Walmart or Lowes, etc.

            Ethically I rate the two women mentioned as one hundred percent solid,admirable even, so long as you separate bizness and personal affairs. They wouldn’t pick up a dime dropped unnoticed on the floor other than to return it to its owner.

            They just believe in looking after themselves, between seven am and five thirty pm, and their customers having brains enough to look after themselves likewise.

          • notanoilman says:

            ‘Put it in your pocket not theirs’

            There’s the slogan now we need a picture of Joe 6 pack with a bundle of dollars stuffed in his shirt pocket and a big smile vs a three piece suited tycoon with nothing in his pocket and a dour look


            • OFM says:

              ‘Put it in your pocket not theirs’

              There’s the slogan now we need a picture of Joe 6 pack with a bundle of dollars stuffed in his shirt pocket and a big smile vs a three piece suited tycoon with nothing in his pocket and a dour look


              NOAM I am indebted to you, and should have come up with this exact formulation of the local versus long distance sourcing of energy argument myself, as well as the idea for the cartoon.

              You will get credit for it when I finally publish. 😉

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Correction Chinese CO2 emissions per capita are about one third of the US.

    • Adam Hufford says:

      I’d just like to ask how the readers here think we should deal with the fact that these global treaties are always fundamentally unfair. They let poorer, less advanced nations like China, India, Nigeria off the hook for any contribution to greenhouse gases and pollution, while stifling the economies and citizenry of more advanced, developed nations such as the USA and western Europe. There needs to be a serious discussion of how these treaties can be reworked to be fairer, as well as incorporate other ideas beyond just emissions reduction. For instance, inventors and venture capitalists could be invited to participate by contributing ideas that could reverse global warming without requiring a significant sacrifice on the part of the average person.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Adam,

        Most of the buildup of carbon in the atmosphere since 1900 has been from OECD nations, roughly 500 Gt of Carbon, of about 1000 Gt that can be safely emitted.

        From the perspective of those nation whose cumulative emissions have been very small (especially when considered on a per capita basis) relative to the US, the US is not being treated unfairly at all, quite the opposite.

        Sounds like you have been listening to the cry-baby-in-chief 🙂

        • George Kaplan says:

          They also happen to be the countries that are going to get hit the hardest, and that is likely to be very hard the way we are going now, through their location, population and level of economic development, though it’s all relative, all countries are going to get affected detrimentally.

      • Boomer II says:

        Those inventors and venture capitalists support the Paris Accord.

        Silicon Valley comes out strong against Trump’s decision to abandon Paris agreement – The Verge

        Elon Musk, Google, Microsoft, and more decry Trump's withdrawal from Paris accord | VentureBeat | Business | by Kevin Kelleher

        Google, Apple, Facebook, HPE, Tesla, eBay, Adobe and other Silicon Valley tech companies join local mayors opposing Trump’s Paris Agreement pullout – Silicon Valley Business Journal

        We Are Still In: We, the undersigned mayors, governors, college and university leaders, businesses, and investors are joining forces for the first time to declare that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Maybe you can start by educating yourself about reality. Try traveling around the world a bit learning a few languages, immersing yourself in other cultures. Meeting people outside of your US centric bubble, might also be helpful. Maybe get a degree in some science related field like biology, agronomy, ecoscience or maybe something practical like chemical engineering so at least you have some clue as to physical reality and how the world works. Then perhaps getting a degree in international law and finding a way to be a part of the solution by helping real human beings in those poorer countries, instead of being a part of the problem by spewing your ignorant xenophobic nationalist bullshit here.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Great advice, especially the part about immersing yourself in other cultures.

      • notanoilman says:

        Perhaps you should visit those countries before talking about them. No, I don’t mean stay in a posh hotel in the swanky part of a city. Get out into the countryside and see how the majority of their people live. Or are you unable to stand the shock.


      • Nathanael says:

        Adam, you didn’t actually read the Paris Agreement, did you? Go do so, then come back. It doesn’t do any of the things you accuse it of.

    • OFM says:

      Within another four or five years, pure electric cars are probably going to be better deals, in terms of dollars and cents, without subsidies, than conventional cars, at least for people who don’t need to make frequent long trips in them.

      And that’s ninety percent plus of us, when you get down to it, because so many of us don’t take car trips, and so many of us have two or three cars, and so many can afford to rent a conventional car once in a while for a day or a week so as to enjoy the advantages of an electric car all the rest of the time.

      • Hightrekker says:

        Seems to be the trend.
        EV’s for local transportation make sense.
        Long haul trucking is not going to happen, it is just not possible at the moment with current technology, or any on the horizon.

        • notanoilman says:

          Long haul electric trucking exists now only they call them trains.


      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Old Farmer Mac,

        A lot of people travel on major highways and with the Tesla Supercharger network, long trips are doable. If you want to get off the beaten path, then a plugin hybrid or hybrid would make more sense. Though the charging station may become pretty ubiquitous over time. Restaurants that want people to stop there will put in charging stations so people can charge while they eat. Malls will have them, parking garages, etc.

        I agree long haul trucking won’t happen soon, we will use trains for long haul as oil is priced out of the market over time, probably starting around 2030.

        • Hightrekker says:

          The diesel engine keeps our society together.
          Without it, food would not exist in quantities in urban cities in 3 days.
          2 months and we would be trading with the tribe in the next valley.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            For a second, I thought that read, ‘alley’.

            • notanoilman says:

              I think you are right about that.


              • OFM says:

                In the next alley, and seven days, or less. By day seven, the only things comparable in value to actual food would be firearms.

                A dirty old man (that’s ME!) could have a harem of young beauties for the price of their food, so long as the food stash lasts, lol. Or until a younger more alert and aggressive man succeeds in murdering me for my stash.

                We’re less than a week from something as bad as the Book of Revelation.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Hightrekker,

            Diesel in Trains is more efficient and trains can be electrified. Personal transport is easier to convert to EVs, that saves some oil. Electrification can happen, we just need to get to work. From railhead to stores and factories can be done with electric trucks (short haul).

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Back atcha Dennis,

          I’m definitely on the same page as you are.

          My intent was to make the case that electric cars are , one, soon going to be entirely practical on a day to day basis for most of the people of this country, and, two, reiterate my opinion that within five or six years or so, they will also be price competitive with new conventional cars without the need for any subsidies.

          It’s hard to even guess how long it will be until charging stations will be found at more stores and restaurants and other businesses than not, but I fully expect to live to see restaurants advertising free charging for parties of four or more, lol.

          And I just had one of my brilliant original thoughts, which in hundreds of cases previously, I have discovered occurred to numerous other people as long ago as a century, or even two centuries.

          The way to deal with people overstaying their time at charging stations is to use prepaid cards or debit cards or credit cards or anything along those lines, and automatically deduct a significant amount of EXTRA money once the car has been sitting some specified amount of time after taking on the specified amount of charge, or when fully charged.

          Ten extra minutes ought to be enough in the case of a fast food restaurant. A more generous time limit would be appropriate for somebody shopping for groceries in case they get held up in line in the store.

          People with electric cars will also just about always have smart phones, and there are probably apps already that are suitable for notifying them there’s a car waiting for their charging spot, and that they are going to be paying extra by the minute until they move their car.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi OFM,

            It might be as simple as paying for a parking space, in the future all cars will plug in when parked and the cost to charge the car will just be included in the parking space cost.

            In the country where parking is usually free, there could be some kind if debt card kind of thing to cover the charging, but pretty much all parking spaces will have chargers, or charging spaces would have to pay a fee or be towed.

            • OFM says:

              Hi Dennis,

              I don’t have any problem believing that charging stations will be built on the grand scale, so that there will be ENOUGH to charge however many cars are in use in any given locality, but one at every parking slot seems like a lot more than will be needed.

              I was thinking in terms of the early to mid term part of the curve as electric cars come to dominate the market. My guess is that electric car sales will out run charger installations by a good bit at most businesses for at least the next few years.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      “First hit’s free, baby.” ~ Mr. Governpimp

  17. Boomer II says:

    Trump's Economic Plan Suggests an Attempt to Invoke an Earlier America – The Atlantic: “The number of Americans working in manufacturing peaked in 1979 and is over one-third lower today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mining employment (mostly extracting oil, gas, and coal) peaked in 1982, and is over two-fifths lower now. Construction jobs haven’t fallen as sharply, but they peaked amid the housing bubble in 2006.

    Measured as a share of all employment, Trump’s three favored industries have plummeted precipitously. In 1965, they provided about one in every three non-agricultural jobs. That fell to about one-in-four in 1983 and one-in-six in 2004. In May’s job report, manufacturing, mining, and construction accounted for fewer than one-in-seven jobs; the BLS projects that number will fall below one-in-eight by 2024. Trump is trying to move the economy with a lever a fraction of its size 50 years ago.”

  18. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Hi Sweethearts,

    Any ideas as to the best and most tasteful approach to siding (or even cabin designs) using the wood from disassembled palettes? I might be about to design and build a cabin from recycled palettes without much money or tools of my own.

    It will probably be a bit more rustic than this one, depending on what can be scavenged.

    • OFM says:

      I do a LOT of scrounging.

      Unless there are lots of scrap pallets in your neck of the woods, and little else in the way of salvageable lumber, I recommend looking harder and longer for other wood. Pallets are generally made out of very low quality wood, and most of the pieces are too small to work very well in building any thing bigger than a dog house , and it takes FOREVER to get the nails out without destroying the wood.

      The pallets that ARE made out of good wood are not generally scrapped until severely worn or badly damaged, they are reused, and if they disappear, somebody somewhere is held liable for paying for them.

      At this time, I believe the cheapest possible reasonably civilized living accommodations, where the law allows, are old camper trailers or motor homes.

      I know a few people who have set them up as vacation retreats, and a couple of farmers who have set one up to house laborers. The trick is to get the camper or motor home UNDER A ROOF, such as an open sided barn or picnic shelter or large free standing metal carport, etc.

      So long as you keep the weather off, they are quite durable, with good care, and very well laid out in terms of livability versus size. Roll it under the shelter, hook up the water and sewer lines, plug in the electricity, and you can have a place to eat, sleep, poop, bathe and cook for almost nothing, in terms of purchase price.

      It’s easy to buy an old motor home upwards of two hundred square feet , a twenty five or thirty footer, for little more than the price of scrap metal,less than a couple of thousand bucks, with all the essentials in working order, excepting the engine or transmission. The tow bill getting it “home” may be more than the purchase price.

      I’m preparing a spot on my farm for one, which will be used a few weeks a year as a getaway spot for old friends from my city days. Staying in it will be just about like camping in a nice park with a running and driving motor home, the only real difference being my guests will have near complete privacy, with nobody else living or camping within a quarter of a mile of them.

      If you do go with pallets, try to use them entire, no disassembly, if you can figure out a way. I’ve seen some fairly decent barns built this way, using just a few larger purchased pieces such as two by fours and two by eights.

    • Lloyd says:

      Having used scavenged materials for projects (a shed made from refrigerator doors!), I have to caution you. If you are planning a climate-controlled building to house humans, you will find that the more expensive parts of your project (interior finish, insulation, and the structural components of the wall) will require specific levels of drainage and breathability that will be difficult to manage with the uneven material sizes of palette wood. It does not translate easily to the 4′ x 8′ grid of North American residential construction: working with the small and unusual sizes will take an enormous amount of time, and require tools you don’t have. Exterior 4 x 8 plywood siding panels run in the $30 a sheet range, vs. 3 to 4 hours of work (minimum) to provide a similar amount of coverage.


      • Oldfarmermac says:

        By Sky Daddy, I can see refrigerator doors working out quite well assuming you have a dump nearby where you are allowed to go “dumpster diving”.

        They are perfectly rectangular, and finding enough to build outside walls would be easy, and closing the gaps between them with caulking would work fine.

        The key thing about using salvaged materials is that using them allows you to substitute free time for ready cash. Anybody with a decent job and a few spare bucks in his pocket will usually find that new building materials save so much time and so many trips searching for them that new is the way to go.

        I don’t scrounge for lumber or plywood, etc, but rather for steel , which is outrageously expensive compared to wood. I use the steel for projects that require cutting it up anyway, in the course of building projects. The last one was a combination hay hauler fork lift attachment for the front loader of a farm tractor. New purchase cost well close to two thousand for one as sturdy, salvage cost less than three hundred, and two days to build it.That three hundred went for the actual forks , looted from a scrapped forklift of course, and the hay spear itself, which are expensive forged and heat treated items that can’t be recreated in a one man shop.

        • Lloyd says:

          By Sky Daddy, I can see refrigerator doors working out quite well assuming you have a dump nearby where you are allowed to go “dumpster diving”.

          That’s what I thought…I liked the steel panels on old Texaco stations, and was aiming for a similar aesthetic.

          Unfortunately, fridge doors are designed to be indoors, not outdoors, and certainly not outdoors in Canada. The paint wasn’t tough enough (I bet those Texaco stations were porcelain on steel), they rust on the inside, algae will grow on the bottom six inches even without ground contact…the stuff you would have to do to make them look good and survive the winter (auto paint, interior rustproofing, etc.) makes the savings non-existent.

          I keep planning to replace them with some of those $30 4×8 panels…


  19. OFM says:

    The R’s ARE getting some things done, whether all bad remains to be seen.


    This bill is in my personal estimation, and in the opinion of the Huffing and Puffing Post, primarily written so as to give the banksters, meaning the big guys and owners in the banking industry, just what they want, while maybe doing something for community and local banks, as a sop to the little guys and the actual people of the country, who NEED working small banks.

    I haven’t studied this yet, and can’t say what if anything is in it for the little people, the banks with local names, local management, and a REAL commitment to the local community.

    The fact that only one Republican voted against it, while every D did so, tells me enough to know that the D’s understand that it’s ok to cast a symbolic no vote , the banksters who support them can still cut deals with them, and checks for them, because the large R majority made it impossible for the D’s to stop it.

    The real story is told in committee tales, as when a round dozen D’s joined in with the R’s a while back to derail a bill that would have allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices by way of example. That round dozen is as effectively in the vest pocket of the banksters and big pharma, etc, as the R’s .

  20. Oldfarmermac says:


    It’s an extremely unfortunate fact that the environmental issues as a whole wound up as partisanship issues, because the Democratic Party / socially liberal wing correctly embraced these issues SOONER than the Republican Party/ socially conservative wing.

    Now millions of conservative leaning voters are opposed to environmental initiatives not because of the relevant facts, but simply because they see supporting such initiatives as supporting the enemy, and their culture determines their vote.

    Culture and social solidarity damned near always trump facts at election time.

    I know lots of Democrats who are in favor of most environmentally sound policies simply because their PARTY is in favor of these policies. I’m talking about people such as a hypothetical English teacher or high school drop out clerk in a big box store who knows about as much about biology and physics as I know about reading printed Chinese or ancient hieroglyphics, meaning next to nothing.

    Unfortunately I know more R types who know no more, who are opposed for the same reason, cultural and political solidarity.

    Once a person has come to APPRECIATE the truth of this observation, he is positioned to start seriously communicating with social conservatives on environmental issues. The key thing is to avoid talking about social justice, or the far off future, or abstractions.

    Talk about local control, local jobs, local tax revenue, taking a bite out of the power of the power company, cutting off the money that supports countries that export terrorism , etc.

    Mostly it’s best to leave climate out of the discussion as well, because in most cases the person you will be talking to is having a hard time dealing with his PRESENT life, and his PRESENT DAY problems.

    You don’t get far lecturing ( rhetorical ) a liberal friend who is having lots of problems with his family, his health , and his job, etc, by telling him he ought to be exercising more and drinking a few less beers. He is not going to be in a mood to listen to a lecture about how he’s setting himself up for heart trouble or diabetes twenty thirty or forty years down the road, EVEN THOUGH he knows you mean well, and that the FACTS are on your side.

    The hypothetical social conservative is apt to be worried about his job, his personal future, and the future of his culture as well, and on top of that, he may HONESTLY BELIEVE that the facts ARE indeed in dispute.

    Public health issues are good arguments as well, given that most people understand that pollution contributes to their health problems.

    • Boomer II says:

      Thanks for the article link. It makes the point that renewables are turning out to be good business and should be treated as such. Forget the politics.

      I don’t focus on climate change much myself, even though I accept the science. What is of value with renewables are these: jobs, investment money, new industries, staying current with global competition, distribution of jobs beyond the fossil fuel states, long-term cost controls, reduced smog, etc.

      Renewables are like the Internet. It’s a technology that provides benefits and once people and companies see the value for themselves, they are going to adopt it.

  21. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Guys. I’m on the road and will revisit this later.

    Yes, it appears a bother to undo pallets for their wood (although some ways depicted on You Tube look better than others) and indeed makes sense to try to keep them intact as building-blocks, which is part of the plan. Naturally, there are other ways to source, for free, wood and other building materials, so those avenues will be investigated as well. I’m going to see how far things can be stretched, and might try to document some of the process and post it hereon and even in a sense design/build it together.

    Glen, I would really like to avoid putting down even one grand for a used trailer/motorhome, even though the suggestion is still appreciated. I might like to tell you why later.
    Because I’m in a small city, there are a fair number of scrap pallets and construction wood frames, like what held office-building glass panels, and assorted pieces to be had.

    Also, the city has periodic special household throwaway days for items that are not normally picked up as garbage, and I see a tragic wealth of things, curbside, at these times– mirrors, metal and wood bed and couch frames, entire dressers and so forth. There are things I would be very cautious about, though, and would likely not pick up, such as with regard to ‘disease and pestilence’, etc., but just to say that there is a lot. With the right equipment, which I don’t have, but which others might, much of it could be treated beforehand. I wouldn’t doubt that a lot of it is flipped and ends up in second hand stores, like the Salvation Army thrift shops.

    Lloyd, fridge doors seems like a ‘cool’ idea and we see the occasional discarded appliance here too. It is imagined you could probably disassemble their metal and use it as large overlapping sheets for roofing material.

    As for plywood, I have a dislike for it and would rather avoid it where possible and use the ‘ISO’ pallet, itself, as a kind of ‘standard’ to work with and around. I already have one of it in 3D. If recalled, it’s 3.5′ by 4′, so a floor of 3 pallets by 3 pallets (12′ by 10.5′) would give us a decent-sized little cabin– wider than my eat-in kitchen– and with 3 stacked edgewise for 12′ height wall which would make for a cabin with an attic for sleeping and storage.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Hey Caelan, I wouldn’t use plywood either. It would make it look cheap.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Yes, and we don’t want any of these pallet and assorted salvaged/recycled-material cabins looking cheap. ‘u^

        Seriously, though, ironically, and depending on how it’s approached, you can get something salvaged/recycled looking ‘more expensive’– whatever that means– and more fun/exciting/stimulating, than something paid with through the nose. All you have to do is consider the often-ghastly aesthetics, disproportions and counter-ergonomics of McMansions, and assorted ‘upscale’ suburban cookie cutter particle-board tract housing. Oh, but nice BMW in the driveway– whose garage, as seen from the road, visually dominates the whole front of the house, as if the house was an afterthought. (Perhaps I just inadvertently pissed off a reader who has just such a setup and thinks it’s the cat’s meow.)

        While we’re on about this kind of thing, it would seem that, alas, sometimes the so-called rich plunder and pillage the fine necessity-based ideas, styles and aesthetics of the so-called poor, whether in architecture or cuisine… But then, often, if not always, their interpretations somehow miss the original points. Lost in translation.

        Essentially, this entire culture, or large swaths of it, is one big McMansion; a translation loss; a higher noise-to-signal ratio.

        De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
        “…Poets priests and politicians
        Have words to thank for their positions
        Words that scream for your submission
        And no-one’s jamming their transmission…”

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Ok Caelan, seriously.

          The standard rule of thumb for a contractor to build something is, two thirds of the costs is labor and one third of the costs are materials. If your going to spend that much time building something. Do it right out of standard materials and have something of value as a finished product.

          Cheers !

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Thanks for the good feedback, HuntingtonBeach and nice pic…

            Well then we might be saving and value-adding quite a bit if I am to function as my own teacher (carpentry, design, research, material-processing, building, etc.), sourcer, contractor, manager, and laborer and if much of the materials are free, if not necessarily standard.

            Among the expected trials, errors and tribulations, subsequent projects will probably be improvements that I and others may benefit from, assuming I am still in one piece and up to it.

            If all goes well, this is where we’ll be dropping in.

            Dan Phillips turns backyard scraps into whimsical Texan houses

            “Why would you just settle for drywall and vinyl and carpet?
            …I think we’re still stuck in conventional building modes and it factors in 10% waste. There doesn’t seem to be any inclination to use salvageable material…”

            • OFM says:

              Hi Caelan,

              If you do the job yourself, the experience will be priceless in more ways than one.

              The joys and satisfactions of having done it will be with you so long as the CPU between your ears continues to function.

              And you will add ENORMOUSLY to your repertoire of hands on skills that will be useful to you and others for the rest of your days as well.

              And you will have done your part to help demonstrate that self reliance still means something.

              Go for it, and post pictures here.

              I’m more a metal working sort of guy myself, but I have done more than a little work with salvaged wood over the years, and may do so again.

              Incidentally if you are willing to consider using an old motor home or camper TEMPORARILY, rather than permanently, you can sometimes get one for as little as the cost of hauling it away, as a gift.

              Two thousand bucks is a common asking price. Selling prices are different animals altogether, that sucker sitting in the backyard taking up space for the last five years HAS TO GO when it’s time to sell the house, or move to the next rental, or build the addition, or the male of the house finds himself sleeping on the sofa until the eyesore is GONE, lol.

              If the owner is in a HURRY to sell, you can get one for five hundred, maybe even less, and if you use it a while, and patch it up a little, and sell it at your leisure to somebody in a hurry to BUY, you can double or triple your money.

              I have owned at least three and used them as personal temporary housing over the last three or four decades, while taking care of major renovations to the primary residence on my various properties( lived many places, seldom as a tenant except during my earliest years ) or when the residence was rented, and I needed a place for a only a few weeks.

              Tenants were made aware at time of leasing that an existing camper might be occupied a few weeks occasionally by me, personally, with an allowance made for use of electricity. I always set the camper up well away from the house, and properly screened from view, etc. if I planned on leaving it on the property.

              I sold every one of them for more than I paid, lol.

              Rural properties have their selling points, plenty of space and privacy being two of the most important ones.

              And anybody thinking long term should never forget that inflation IS a very real thing. I have a couple of wells and septic systems that cost less than four grand,many years ago, that work perfectly, and will no doubt continue to work perfectly. Maintenance averages considerably less than a hundred bucks per year per system.

              People in nearby cities are paying as much as eighty bucks or even more per month for water and sewer now. Nobody I know of personally is paying less than fifty for water and sewer.

              I can’t think of a single case of water and sewer rates actually going DOWN, lol.

              Old refrigerators make SUPERB small raised bed gardens. Older people don’t have to bend their creaky backs and knees to look after them, and in a well cared for raised bed you can raise three or even four times the veggies per square foot you can using conventional methods at ground level, due to it being easy and pleasurable to do the actual WORK such as weeding, interplanting , etc.

              Ditto old hot tubs, but refrigerators are much easier to move, and having straight edges, they can be placed edge to edge to make a raised bed garden any size, from three to six feet across by any length desired.

              Don’t use an old hot tub so large you can’t reach the center of it to plant, weed, and harvest.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      I don’t know how much experience you have with construction but you might want to revisit the story of the wolf and the three little pigs… the little pig whose house wasn’t blown down was made of brick…

      In any case, there are some great projects of ultra cheap houses that are made of materials that are much more durable than the very poor quality wood which palettes tend to be made of. Tires packed with dirt, adobe, bamboo, recycled bottles, are just a few that I’m personally aware of. Also different geometries such as tensegrity structures are much lighter stronger and tend to use less materials.

      You might actually get some good ideas from this site http://www.n55.dk/

      I also recommend Simon Velez’s book, Grow Your Own House.


      Then there is my personal favorite a $1500.00 brick house:


      WorldHaus has designed a 20-square meter house (220-square feet) built of interlocking compressed earth-bricks, steel and polystyrene roof panels, and concrete.

      Most of the materials are assembled on site, and the house can be built for $1,500 in 10 days.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Thanks for the links, Fred, I’ll check them out in a bit.

        At the outset, I’m well aware of natural building methods and they are my preferred method where and when at all possible, such as when on-location to a sufficient extent, (and using the materials available, which can be different per locale), which won’t be the case, at least for the first cabin.

        Essentially, the formative idea is that it will be built sort of prefab-style and per-module, and shipped to the locale, flat-pack-style (Ikea?), and is sort of my answer to OFM’s idea of a motorhome setup. The money saved (‘haha’) can go toward other stuff like materials, shipping, and miscellaneous, and even for another cabin.

        Also, part of the idea is, again, to see how far this thing (or I– whichever breaks first) can be stretched, such as, if it succeeds, to set an example (by doing) for others who may not have much stuff like a driving license, regular personal motorized transportation or casual liquidity lying around, and who may then want to try something similar out, such as because it would then look more possible than they might have thought possible. So it’s an experiment that may matter beyond what was already mentioned.

        In any case, attempts will be made to make it POB’s project as well.

        PDT Architects’ Emergency Pallet Shelter
        “When anthropogenic climate change and disaster capitalism strike hard, sometimes you need shelter. Enter PDT Architects, for that disastery style to make you feel right at home…”

  22. Hightrekker says:

    I guess if HRC and “The Foundation” can do it, It’s fair game for Donnie Boy:

    DOJ: Trump can accept payments from foreign governments


    (Of course, maybe Jeff was just assuring his” loyalty”)

    • OFM says:

      It’s enough to make me puke when I think about various people with business with the federal government, individuals, companies, and countries, bribing Trump by way of preferentially renting his commercial properties. Ditto HRC and the contributions she accepted as secretary of state to her family slush fund, some of them pretty damned big ones from some pretty unsavory characters- characters with business affairs that involved the state department.

      This is not to say the R’s aren’t just as bad, or worse, any time, or all the time, than HRC, but rather that this sort of thing should not be tolerated.

      • Nathanael says:

        In the days of Talleyrand, such bribes were *normal*. The US disliked them, hence the XYZ Affair.

  23. Bob Frisky says:

    Just seen an ad for this TV show coming on Sunday evening, thought some people would be interested here. Exposing the dirty dealings and money grabbing of the green energy industry. Maybe it could be a very relevant documentary.


    • OFM says:

      Hi Bob Frisky, troll of the day,

      Maybe I ought to post some pictures of headstones placed in local family cemeteries as memorials to relatives of men who were never actually interred there, given that their remains are forever entombed under the mountains where they died, hopefully instantaneously, mining coal.

      For every dollar spent subsidizing renewable energy, we spend a hundred on health problems brought on by using fossil fuels.

      I once lived for a little while within a mile or two of a stream that had no fish, no frogs, not even water bugs, in it, due to the nasty stuff coming out of an old upstream coal mine.

      Everybody downstream from there to the ocean is paying the price, spending more to clean up the water they must extract from the river as it passes thru their community.

      I can’t think of any significant industry that isn’t fattening up at the government trough one way or another.

      Perhaps you can name one.

      • Bob Frisky says:

        It’s a very curious place here, if you aren’t within the specific “in crowd” you get bullied, called a troll, and such. I’m not even completely opposed to green energy. Also I consider myself politically independent, not somebody crying in my beer over lost coal jobs. Just I don’t think everything is all marvelous and wonderful with green energy or the green lifestyle. Like these FoxNews documentaries show green energy is full of shady money exchanging hands, fly by night corporations, and few regulations because most components are made in third world countries. Compare that to the fossil fuels. Maybe they aren’t the best for one reason or another but at least they can carry a “Proudly Made In The USA” label.

        • Boomer II says:

          But we import oil.

          • Bob Frisky says:

            Sure, but also we produce a lot of oil for export using American workers, American businesses, American products, American creativity, American pride, and so forth.

            • Boomer II says:

              Unfortunately, Trump is focusing on industries that aren’t employing more workers. Notice how Carrier laid off workers after Trump announced his “deal” with them?

        • Nathanael says:

          Those aren’t documentaries, they’re hit pieces. The source — Fox News, which is infamous for making up falsehoods — should have been your first hint.

        • OFM says:

          Patriotism is always one of the last refuges of a scoundrel.

          Tell us, Bob Frisky, how much OIL does the USA IMPORT OR EXPORT, on a NET BASIS?

          How much natural gas?

          How many documentaries have you seen on Fox that delve into the dirty money in coal, the number of people who have horrible diseases associated with coal, the environmental destruction associated with coal, such as destroying entire landscapes, poisoning the water for everybody that lives downstream of some coal mines, the failed ash ponds that have killed all the fish in rivers near where I live?

          Now I’m into facts, and I’m not ALTOGETHER opposed to Fox News, because I learn some things there that the NYT, Washington Post, etc are not exactly anxious to publicize.

          I have a dollar that says you don’t even know, because you are a troll who doesn’t want to know. “You” may be no more than a little piece of programming on a machine. Prove you aren’t, tell us how much oil the USA imported or exported NET last year. Any real person can come up with the correct answer in a couple of minutes, or less.

          We deal in facts here.

        • Lloyd says:

          It’s a very curious place here, if you aren’t within the specific “in crowd” you get bullied, called a troll, and such.

          As I have said before, this is a club. We don’t have to engage with you, and if you post stupid stuff, you will get called on it.

          We are fact-based, and we will judge you on the power of your sources. If you have done published research, well, talk to me, baby. If you’ve read an academic paper or have a Masters in the subject, or 30 years experience, that’s good too. If you pull ideologically tarnished crap from Facebook via Fox News, well, you get what’s coming to you.

    • George Kaplan says:

      No need to watch, I guess, now that you’ve kindly instructed us exactly how we are supposed to think about it.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      “I have worked under six administrations with political appointees leading EPA from both parties,This is the first time I remember staff openly dismissing and mocking the environmental policies of an administration and by extension you.”

      Michael Cox in an open letter to EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt.

      Full text of letter:

  24. shallow sand says:

    OFM. I had posted on other thread, but it belongs over here.

    What do you think of Joel Kotkin’s writings?

    I think he sums up some things pretty well. Don’t know that I agree with everything he writes, but it is interesting that a NY born guy that lives in LA has tapped into a lot of the feelings of people who live in the middle.

    My county went 70% for The Donald and 22% for HRC, which was better than surrounding counties, where the tally was 12-18%. Obama was at 44% here in 2008, 33% in 2012.

    • OFM says:

      Hi SS,

      I am not familiar with this guy, but I will google up some of his stuff, and tell you what I think.

      Allow me to take this opportunity to thank you and Mike for freely sharing your hands on expertise in oil biz. You two guys together have contributed enormously to my understanding of the way the industry, and the business of the industry , works. Nothing would suit me better than to buy the two of you a good steak and whatever you want to drink and just listen to you share working experiences, stories, and insights together. I would learn more that way in an hour than I could in a month by any other method.

      • shallow sand says:

        OFM. Thank you.

        Mike is the true expert. He is hands on and has been since he was a kid. He also lives in the middle of one of the three major US shale areas, and has plenty of contact with the guys who work in that area.

  25. Fred Magyar says:

    Totally off topic but I thought I post this link anyway, as an a bit of an antidote to all the imbeciles, morons, anti science trolls and Trump supporters that have shown up around here recently. It is important to keep in mind that despite their continuous onslaught of nonstop profound ignorance, not every one in the world is as ignorant as they are! There are really interesting things happening in the world of science and the Europeans are planning an even larger particle accelerator than the LHC.


    The next particle accelerator will be three times larger than the LHC, with double-strength magnets enabling researchers to smash particle beams together with a power equivalent to 10 million lightning strikes. Credit: CERN
    An international league of scientists is kicking off the decades-long process of developing the successor to the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

    More than 500 scientists gathered in Berlin, Germany, from 29 May to 2 June to discuss the future of particle physics. The event was organised by the Future Circular Collider (FCC) Study, an international collaboration of physicists, and focused on developing the next Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which will be seven times more powerful.

    And while the trolls talk about hanging on to coal and fossil fuels. There might be a few here who would like to take in this talk about black holes instead, and no, that is not a reference to Trump… However if you like advanced theoretical physics, it is a great talk to stretch your mind a bit!


    Published on May 24, 2016
    The first lecture in the Winston Ko Frontiers in Mathematical and Physical Sciences Public Lecture series took place on May 9, 2016, at the UC Davis Conference Center. Veronika Hubeny discussed modern understanding of black holes, and the remaining mysteries.

    Hubeny, a professor of physics at UC Davis, is one of the experts probing the nature of black holes and gravity. She is a key member of the new Center for Quantum Mathematics and Physics, or QMAP, an initiative aimed at fostering a vibrant research environment exploring the forefront of modern theoretical physics and mathematics. QMAP researchers work in concert to tackle questions such as the origin of space and time, quantum gravity and string theory.

    • notanoilman says:

      I don’t know why they didn’t call it the Future Big Collider or FBG. Maybe they thought that the F may be used for a slightly different acronym. 😉


    • GoneFishing says:

      The Moon would be a great place to build a Really Big Collider.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Yeah, it would. Maybe they can get Elon Musk and Space X to provide the transport rockets. Too bad the US government has abdicated its leadership role and is no longer interested in funding pure scientific research anymore and they don’t want NASA to do anything useful for humanity either. Fortunately the Europeans, Chinese and the Russians can probably get together and build it.

        Sad though that at a time when science and technology are progressing by leaps and bounds and humanity faces the greatest need for enlightened leaders to help solve some of the most pressing problems that humanity has ever faced. We in the US end up with one of the most ignorant, backward looking, anti science administrations in the history of our country!

        “Creation Science 101” by Roy Zimmerman

        • GoneFishing says:

          Sometimes I think this ant-science movement is a reaction to a world that is changing too fast for most people to keep up with, let alone really like. We are not built to be machines within a machine world, cogs in a giant social wheel. This might just be a rebellion against a civilization that grew technology too fast and in the wrong directions. Against a world too terrifying and confusing for many.
          As one intelligent person told me lately about looking at the big picture ” It’s just too confusing.”
          Let’s face it, most people do not thrive on uncertainty or the mysterious.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Facts, who needs facts? We ignore facts.

            ” any graduate student with a clipboard can demonstrate that reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational. Rarely has this insight seemed more relevant than it does right now. Still, an essential puzzle remains: How did we come to be this way?”

            “Among the many, many issues our forebears didn’t worry about were the deterrent effects of capital punishment and the ideal attributes of a firefighter. Nor did they have to contend with fabricated studies, or fake news, or Twitter. It’s no wonder, then, that today reason often seems to fail us. As Mercier and Sperber write, “This is one of many cases in which the environment changed too quickly for natural selection to catch up.””


            • GoneFishing says:

              See, I found something that partly confirmed my idea. Confirmation bias?

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Why stop there? How about a stairway to the stars?

        Or a Dyson Sphere (not to be confused with a Dyson vacuum cleaner, which would be used to vacuum the sphere and at the same time, equalize the pressure)?

        Or a wormhole-rift-on-command to another universe?

        Perhaps human evolution (survival at the time) favored those with an especially high degree of technofetishism, and now we have the things running around rampant… electric cars, colliders on the moon, nuclear energy, artificial intelligence, the internet, pseudogovernment…

        They just can’t help themselves…

        Maybe if or when the shit hits the fan, it seriously jams the next evolutionary bottleneck with the things and they remain eternally stuck, like ants in amber…

        ~ Ant In Amber ~

        Ant in amber in your perpetual glass coffin
        As if you died just yesterday– billions of days ago

        Locked… unlike time, frozen…

        preserved… for an eternity…

        Trapped… I am not you…

        Time moves slowly alive
        Your time has no time
        My life Is time
        Slowed down by

        Alive, it can be described:

        Aeons… millennia… centuries… sleep…

        Is it like death?

        Does time move that way?
        After life, when you
        Never wake up?

        And if you awoke
        Ant in amber

        What would you see?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          That’s a beautiful freeze frame of a moment in time caught in amber. BTW, Have you seen the the 90 million year old fossil baby bird, also in amber that was discovered recently? It is truly beautiful and enhances our knowledge about the past.

          I guess I will never understand the mindset of people who are not curious about the universe and the world around us. To me at least, the fact that I have in my pocket an ultra powerful computer/communication device that allows me to access all of human knowledge and that has embedded in it technology such as a GPS navigation system which is a direct application of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity is something that leaves me in awe!

          I am deeply grateful that I can watch a lecture like the one I linked to by a truly great mind, such as Veronika Hubeny, talking about the frontiers of human knowledge.

          And though my grasp of mathematics and physics is profoundly limited I still find the beauty and the implications of this equation mind blowing!

          • Doug Leighton says:

            “I guess I will never understand the mindset of people who are not curious about the universe and the world around us.”

            Totally agree. Very refreshing Fred. Thanks.

            • Doug Leighton says:



              “These objects are the remnants of massive stars that, after exhausting their nuclear fuel, exploded and collapsed into super-dense spheres about the size of New York City. Their intense gravity crushes an astonishing amount of matter—often more than 1.4 times the content of the sun or at least 460,000 Earths—into these city-sized orbs, creating stable, yet incredibly dense matter not seen anywhere else in the universe. Just one teaspoonful of neutron star matter would weigh a billion tons on Earth…The nature of matter under these conditions is a decades-old unsolved problem. Theory has advanced a host of models to describe the physics governing the interiors of neutron stars. With NICER, we can finally test these theories with precise observations.”

              And, on June 15 a Chinese Long March 2D rocket will launch the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope. The HXMT mission will conduct an all-sky survey with a suite of instruments designed to image the universe in the highest-energy X-rays, and study the formation and behavior of black holes and active galactic nuclei.


          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Fred, this, quick and dirty, because I have to head out, but nevertheless want to record a thought-track…

            I had a teacher from the class that my Ant In Amber poem came from who said that you have to know the rules in order to break them. I had heard that expression before, but maybe it’s also that we have to know the rules in order to make copies, and the better we know the rules, and the less we break them in the process, the better our copies will be.

            While birds, etc., function fine without science and work within the rules without being able to describe them and then ‘extrapolate’, maybe humans merely occupy a strange kind of in-between space between where the birds, etc., are and where precise working copies– within nature’s hard parameters– can actually be made– you know, the kinds that create you and me? Birth?

            And so our replicas so far remain mere ‘limping mimics’, rather than the real things, and perhaps always will be, maybe in part because of the paradox of complexity from the extrapolations that leads us astray.

            Ok, heading out… I might check out the amber bird on the road.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Humans do not know what to do with their tool making abilities. They are constantly solving problems that are either arbitrary or self-created. They seem to prefer to create a dangerous, diseased and dysfunctional world in pursuit of their imagined realities instead of producing a complete vibrant, growing and sustaining world by enhancing nature.
              In other words, humans seem to be creating their own version of Hell. Maybe that is how we all end up there. Hell on Earth, a place of our own creation.

          • GoneFishing says:

            The entropy is dependent upon A.
            But Fred, what is A dependent upon?

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Yeah, I’m still trying to wrap my head, (no pun intended) around that concept myself. If you watch the talk she does have something to say about that…

              Not claiming I understand it, but if I get the gist of what she says, in a way it’s somewhat analogous to the number of Chinese swimmers you can squeeze into the surface area of that, can of soup swimming pool, picture you posted.

              Hey, you’re the physicist, you tell me 😉

              • GoneFishing says:

                At least from the calculations, A appears to be dependent upon the mass.
                As we approach the limits of the universe, strange things will happen. Still, since the black hole does not just vanish from this universe as it collapses into itself is a very telling property. There appears to be limits to the existence of matter also.
                Next question, since a black hole has a gravitational field it must consist of matter, what form is the matter inside a black hole?

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  Don’t forget that in general relativity mass and energy both affect space-time the same way: both “cause gravity”. And, most astrophysicists agree a ‘singularity’ is merely the point at which models cease to be predictive.

                  • Hightrekker says:

                    The “Block Universe Model”.
                    We shall see, as we are missing something major.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  According to one, maybe more, astronomer(s), a new universe may be formed within it, so perhaps the matter is similar to the matter in ours at certain stages of expansion.

                  If black holes are persistent, however, and don’t collapse in on themselves and keep sucking matter inside in the process, then the new universe within wouldn’t manifest as a sudden big bang, would it? But maybe several universes get created within, like branches on a tree or the offspring of an individual.

                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    I’m no astrophysicist but one thing you have to remember is that time slows down (for stuff falling into a black hole, relative to us). Clocks near the “hole” appear to tick more slowly than those further away. Due to this effect, known as gravitational time dilation, an object falling into a black hole appears to slow as it approaches the event horizon, taking an infinite time to reach it.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Doug, clocks and everything else ceases ticking as they approach a black hole due to tidal forces. Would be interesting to study the transmission pulse frequency change of a probe falling into a black hole, until it broke up then ceased to exist.
                    Just think, light going near a black hole could take a million years to pass by or even longer. As long as it did not cross the event horizon.

                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    Yeah, would be interesting to observe a pulsar “signal” being occluded by a black hole.




                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Good and troublesome point, Doug.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Good and troublesome point, Doug.

                    What is so troublesome about it?!

                    Quite the contrary! That would be fantastic. Don’t forget, the universe just is the way it is whether or not we like it or accept it! This might help us understand it a little better!

                    From the newscientist article that Doug linked:

                    General relativity, which describes massive objects like black holes, and quantum mechanics, which governs subatomic particles, are tremendously successful in their own realms. But no one has yet come up with a way to unite them.

                    A theory of quantum gravity is one of the most sought after in physics (see “The string-loop theory that might finally untangle the universe“). Several candidates exist, but current Earth-based experiments can’t test them directly. Now, Michael Kavic at Long Island University in New York and his colleagues have devised a cosmic test. Their apparatus: a binary system made up of a black hole and a pulsar.

                    Gaining that knowledge is exactly what excites Veronika Hubeny and other scientists like her!

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “What is so troublesome about it?!” ~ Fred Magyar

                    Why do they call some ‘problems’, mathematical? If they were not somehow problematic, or ‘troublesome’, they wouldn’t be called problems, would they?

  26. Hightrekker says:

    Based on the estimated 577g of CO2 emitted for every delivered kWh of electricity, when we total the power consumed by a Tesla Model S while driving, as well as charging losses and idle losses, we calculate that an average Model S sedan effectively emits 394g of CO2 per mile driven (.684 X 577). This is more than a BMW 535 (374g per mile) or a Porsche 911 Carrera (384g of CO2 per mile drive).

    Adding in our estimated charging and idle losses, the 85 kWh Model S sedan consumes .684 kWh of electricity per mile driven, effectively generating 956mg of sulfur per mile driven (.684 X 1,397) – 688X the effective EPA Tier 2 sulfur content limit. The size of these emissions are staggering: If 20,000 Model S sedans are sold each year, they will effectively release as much SO2 as 13.76 mln new gasoline-powered vehicles – nearly every automobile sold in the United States each year.

    When the CO2 emitted during the production of the battery pack are incorporated, we believe the total effective CO2 emissions of an 85 kWh Model S sedan are 547g per mile – considerably more than a large SUV, such as a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which emits 443g per mile!


    (I’m sure there is more math than this involved)

    • Boomer II says:

      The article is four years old. Maybe some of the math has changed since then.

    • notanoilman says:

      Well, that makes it obvious that we need to get rid of coal fired power stations ASAP.


    • Nathanael says:

      Basically a bullshit article. Look up the UCS “State of Charge” study to see the math done correctly.

      • OFM says:

        It’s obvious enough without even asking that the author(s) cherry picked the worst possible figures, and then manipulated them to make Tesla look bad.

        Within the next five years or so , we will have at least fifteen percent renewable clean electricity, and the CO2 emissions per kWh produced in the USA are falling off, slow but sure.

        The coal industry is on its way out, and within ten years, the CO2 emissions attributable to electric cars will likely fall in half, on a per mile driven basis.

        Charging up electric cars is going to be one of the very best ways to make good use of otherwise surplus wind and solar power, and forward looking companies and businesses are going to be installing charging stations so cars can be charged while sitting in driveways or employee and customer parking lots, for sure.

        Time of use metering will enable people who want it to buy their juice anytime it’s cheapest. There’s no reason at all a dishwasher can’t run at two pm when the sun is blazing away, while Mom is at work, and her car is also getting topped off, at a dirt cheap rate.

        Sulfur in the air is nasty stuff, I know quite a lot about acid rain and so forth.

        But it’s nothing, compared to CO2, which hangs around for centuries. We have made enormous progress in cleaning up sulfur emissions, and can make more, while still burning some coal and some sour oil.

        But so far, nobody has come up with a practical way to cut back on CO2 from coal, other than just do without coal fired electricity.

        C and C, capturing and burying CO2 is never going to work, as an economic proposition, except when the CO2 can be injected into oil wells to increase production.

        Increasing the efficiency of use of electricity, so as to use less, is far and away more practical, and cheaper by a mile.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Average US CO2 per Kwh is 1.22 pounds (552 grams). EV’s use about 0.3 kwh/mile which means that 165 g CO2/mile would be produced to run an EV.

          Since an average US car gets about 25 mpg, that would mean it would produce 355 g CO2/mile. The average pick-up would give off about 493 g CO2/mile.
          So even with fossil fuels being used to produce a good portion of electricity the EV’s are far less polluting.
          Basically, what it comes down to is that the more renewables used to produce electricity the cleaner the EV will become. With ICE vehicles that is not true, they will always be polluters. It’s the burning of fossil fuels that produces the pollution, not the use of electricity.

          BTW, the EPA states that the average passenger vehicle produces 411 grams of CO2 per mile. Using that figure makes EV’s look even better.

        • JN2 says:

          OFM: “Within the next five years or so , we will have at least fifteen percent renewable clean electricity…”

          Already there, Mac. The EIA report Islandboy links to has data showing renewables at 15.9% for the last 12 months (hydro 6.7%, wind 5.8%, solar 1.5%).

          • OFM says:

            Yes we’re at fifteen percent including hydro. My intent was to say we would be getting fifteen percent from wind and solar. My mistake.

  27. OFM says:


    A medium length read about internal D party politics. Well worth the time to anybody who isn’t a true believer of any stripe.

    • OFM says:

      HI HB,

      This one is for YOU.
      Maybe you oughta be thinking about cutting a check for the BAU /Clintonite faction of the D Party, you know just who to make it out to, I’m sure. Ten thousand ought to be easily affordable, out of the killing you have bragged about making in oil, and paying only the trivial capital gains tax.

      In the meantime, twenty dollar, twenty five dollar donations from REAL Democrats have come within the proverbial hair of enabling the Sanders wing to take over leadership of the CALIFORNIA D Party.

      Better get busy, maybe you ought to make it TWENTY thousand.

      I’m thinking about sending another Twenty myself, but with only ONE zero, lol.


      • Hightrekker says:

        Sanders concurs. “The current model and the current strategy of the Democratic Party is an absolute failure,” Sanders boomed to applause Saturday night. He reminded the crowd that there is more at stake nationwide than the presidential election. Yet even people who should know better don’t. A friend observed that at a 2012 election night watch party, when it was announced that Barack Obama was reelected, people went crazy clinking glasses and making toasts. Meanwhile state Democrats got clobbered in legislative races. Who noticed?

        • OFM says:

          A few people, maybe more than a few, indeed just about everybody with his or her eyes open , noticed, maybe, and depending on which side they were on, they either celebrated and went to bed drunk, or went to bed unable to sleep.

          The R’s celebrated.

          The D’s with their eyes open started thinking about ways to restore the Democratic Party as the dominant party of the USA, and most of them in my opinion wound up in the Sanders camp.

          The Clinton dominated, business as usual wing of the national Democratic Party has its head so far out of sight up its ass that it might as well rename itself as what it is, the Republican Lite Party.

          It’s better on personal issues and the environment, but it’s still peeking out of the vest pocket of the banksters ( a general term I use to describe the too big to fail banks, giant multinational corporations, the moneyed elite, etc) like on of Paris Hilton’s little decorative doggies.

          The R Party is wearing the fucking vest, rather than peeking out of the pocket, lol.

          There aren’t enough people in the identity politics and rich liberal camps together to win elections for the Democrats, except maybe in a couple of states.

          The D’s must have a substantial share of the vote of working people, and so long as it continues as it has over the last ten or fifteen years, it’s not going to get those votes, UNLESS Trump fucks up so bad that the working class people that voted for him, in large part to give the Clinton camp the middle finger, switch back.

          They may, the odds pretty good that enough people who voted for Trump will vote D next time, but if they do, this will be more a matter of good luck rather than good leadership on the part of the D’s unless they change their current ways and get back to being REAL Democrats.

          • Hightrekker says:

            “It was an amazing own goal. We didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot, we shot ourselves in the head.”

  28. Hightrekker says:

    JHK is almost always wrong (t least his timing), but he is a wordsmith:

    The monuments to wealth — especially the stock and bond portfolios and the presumed value of real estate investments — will surrender to a process you might call price-discovery-from-Hell, revealing their worth to be somewhere between little and nothing. The accumulated monstrous debts of persons, corporations, and sovereign societies, will be suddenly, shockingly, absolutely, and self-evidently unpayable, and the securities represented by them will be sucked into the kind of vortices of time/space depicted in movies about mummies and astronauts. And all of a sudden the avatars of that wealth will see their lives turn to shit just like moiling, Budweiser-gulping, oxycontin-addled deplorables in the flat, boring, parking lot wastelands of our ruined drive-in Utopia saw their lives rendered into a brown-and-yellow slurry draining clockwise down the toilet of history.

    • OFM says:

      So far as I can see, all it would take for the world wide financial house of cards to collapse would be a crisis of confidence.

      Whether confidence could be restored, in a timely manner, if it once is lost, is an open question. I don’t think the odds are very good that it could be, unless the new powers that arise to fill the vacuum left by the failure of the old are exceptionally capable as leaders of crowds and countries.

      Germany between WWI and WWII is an informative example when it comes to the study of countries in crisis, and what can happen. The Nazi leadership put the people back to work, made the country functional again.

      But the price was extraordinarily high. In the end, the German people would have been better off if Germany had remained an economic basket case.

      A good friend of mine who lacks a formal education, but is quite a capable thinker, describes the possibility of the world coming to an economic halt this way. He’s a mechanic and trucker by the way, which explains his choice of words.

      Suppose you’re climbing a long grade in a loaded truck, making steady progress. Everything is ok so long as you don’t have to stop for anything, and even if you do have to stop, under normal conditions, you can get started again.

      But suppose your’re climbing that mountain in say seventh gear, and you have transmission troubles and you don’t have first second third and fourth gears. If you are forced to stop, you will never get the truck started again in fifth gear, which is the lowest one you still have.

      He’s dead on.

      If the economy ever seizes up like a badly overheated engine, it may be impossible to get it up and running again, before the consequences become totally unmanageable.

      I don’t really have a clue as to how likely an economic collapse is, near to middle term, but the odds of such a collapse are definitely higher than zero.

      • Boomer II says:

        I don’t think in terms of a financial collapse that ends civilization as we know it. A lot of the world economy exists in data form only and humanity could wipe it out and start over, if necessary.

        But I think slow growth or no growth is likely unless investment is made into new energy technology. That’s the only thing I see in the horizon which might trigger new boom times. And if it happens, most likely China and Europe will lead the way.

      • Survivalist says:

        Schinzy has a great article here. The probable scenarios and conclusions are of interest to me. How Inter-elite competition might materialize is also a particular interest of mine.


        Here’s his recent comment about a query I made.


  29. Longtimber says:

    Gail outlines Peak 2.0 with impact of Interest rates – A timeline of Rockman’s POD – Peak Oil Dynamics.

  30. OFM says:

    Sometime back a few days ago, my little buddy HB thought he scored a point by saying he believes I ‘m afraid the Democrats are going to take my guns away, lol.

    Since I am interested in the truth, no matter the consequences, I commented that this might indeed come to pass, at some future time, but not in the near future, in my opinion.

    Now I am working as a Sanders faction Democrat, politically, but I try to maintain the status of an outside disinterested observer as a pundit or writer, so that I can criticize any and everybody freely, without being inhibited by partisan and tribal loyalties.

    The Democrats are right about some critical issues that the Republicans are wrong on, such as the environmental issue in general, and THAT’S the KEY issue, the central issue of our time, and of all times to come.

    They may be making a really stupid mistake in trying to convince the American people that we should give up our guns, and there is no doubt in MY mind at least that disarming the people is the ultimate goal of the anti gun lobby, and the goal of a great many Democratic Party politicians, and a great many people who pee their pants or panties at the thought of anybody other than a cop having a gun.

    But considering how well they have been doing in terms of winning elections, in recent times, maybe they are shooting their toes off in advocating stiffer gun control laws. I’m not saying I believe this is true, I am saying MAYBE it’s true.

    Here’s a rather long answer to a question I just copied from Qoura.

    It’s about cops, and what they think about honest people owning and actually carrying guns, and how rarely they manage to get to the scene of a violent crime in order to stop it, as opposed to just trying to help the victim, and then starting a search for the perp. ETC etc etc.

    It is worth reading, in terms of gaining a little INSIGHT into the way real honest to Sky Daddy ordinary people think about guns, especially in rural America.

    I will VOTE D, other than for HRC type D’s , and I will tell the truth as I see it about any issue.

    My OPINION is that the D Party as a whole would most likely have a lot better shot at returning to power, from the local to the federal level, if it were to back off on the anti gun shit, and put the effort into locking up VIOLENT criminals, as long as fucking necessary.

    I’m talking about robbers, murderers, rapists, etc, not kids who deal a little pot or steal a piece of plastic with music recorded on it, or women who find it necessary to sell their bodies in order that their kids have something to eat.

    Sure it costs a lot to keep such criminals locked up, long term. But I’m dead certain the cost is a bargain, compared to the cost of having the R’s winning elections because the D’s are pushing the wrong buttons, on a nationwide basis.

    And I will go so far as to say that like my deceased friend who didn’t want to hear any crap about the price of gasoline when the person doing the bitching was paying four time or more for sugar water at the same store, I don’t really want to hear any crap about the MORALITY of gun ownership,considering that there are COUNTLESS businesses that are NOT so targeted which are selling products which are killing several times as many people. This last sentence is MOSTLY sarcasm, lol.

    Sugar water is one such product. Fast food in general is another. Beer and hard liquor, and wine, three more. Fast automobiles, in the running for sure. Tobacco, ditto. Coal is another. I can think of more, but these are enough to illustrate my sarcastic point.

    Here’s what I copied from Qoura.


    What is the overall opinion of law enforcement regarding law abiding concealed carry citizens?
    Paul Harding
    Paul Harding, Deputy Sheriff since 2000
    Answered Jun 4 · Upvoted by Mike Vonn, 20 years+ experience operating and maintaining firearms and Matthew Moore, 10 years as an NRA instructor, 30 years owning guns, much reading

    I could give you my opinion, and summarize the opinions of pretty much every cop I know. However, in this case, I can actually cite a source which will give you a great insight into the answer to your question.

    A few years ago, Police One Magazine conducted a survey of 15,000 police officers from across the US. That’s a fairly large representative sample. Big departments, small departments, patrol officers, administration – all were included. One of the findings of that survey was:

    More than 91 percent of respondents support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable.

    Police Gun Control Survey: Are legally-armed citizens the best solution to gun violence?

    The link I provided goes to an article which contains that quote. However, if you prefer to get to the actual documentation of the survey, including all of the methodologies and other factors necessary to really evaluate whether the survey was conducted properly and should be trusted, the links are all there, accessible from the article’s web page. Police One made all of that transparent from the beginning.

    My apologies to anyone who objects to the word “civilians” to refer to citizens who aren’t police officers. I know police officers are “civilians” too, so please don’t flame me in the comments this time.

    So, that’s the overall opinion of US cops, nationwide. Urban cops may be more likely to have objections to “civilian” carry of guns than rural cops, but with a percentage as high as 91%, that has to mean that most of the urban cops were “in favor” as well.

    As for me, personally. I’m all for it. It does not scare me, as a police officer, even the least little bit. I’ve heard of cops in some places disarming people who lawfully carry at the very beginning of any encounter, even something so minor as a traffic stop. I don’t. It’s a silly and unnecessary complication. When it’s been necessary for me to give a person lawfully carrying a concealed weapon a ride somewhere, such as after a crash or when they are stranded with a broken-down vehicle, I’ve always just put them in the front seat with me without disarming them. I have no more reason to believe they are going to suddenly, spontaneously decide to shoot me than I have for believing they might suddenly reach over and jerk the steering wheel into oncoming traffic. It’s physically possible, of course, and the consequences would be catastrophic for me, but the risk of it happening is so infinitesimally low that it doesn’t bear consideration. For that matter, in the handful of years since Illinois enacted a concealed carry law, I never, not even once, have ever had cause to arrest a person with a concealed carry license for anything other than minor traffic violations (like minor speeding tickets, which technically count as an “arrest” even though nobody goes to jail). If we made “possesses a concealed carry license” a demographic in our crime stats, it would be the demographic least likely to engage in any kind of misdemeanor or felony crime whatsoever (with the possible exception of the “children under 8” and “adults so disabled they physically can’t commit crime” demographics).

    I suspect that the reason such a high number of cops favors concealed carry by “civilians” is that we understand the reality of our own limitations. Violent, life-threatening encounters are over in seconds. The best possible response times for the cops, when you factor in the time to make a phone call and the time for dispatch to communicate it to a cop, are measured in minutes. There’s an old, sort of trite slogan: “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

    Some people like to claim there is a valid difference in this reality between urban and rural areas regarding citizen carry. Any such difference is extremely slight. Take any cop you want, from the biggest city to the most rural county or state or anything in between, and ask him how many times he has actually arrived in time to stop a potentially deadly, violent crime in progress. Then, ask him to compare that to the number of times he responded as quickly as humanly possible and still only arrived in time to document a violent attack which had already occurred and was over before he got there. The difference will be several orders of magnitude.

    Showing up in time to stop any violent attack in progress, let alone a deadly one, is a “career highlight” event. Maybe you get one or two or even half a dozen of those “hero moments” in an entire police career. Showing up to document such a thing after it has already occurred and is over happens routinely. Us police officers know, absolutely know, that the idea that people should just count on the police to protect them from immediate, violent threats is based upon nothing but falsehood. We can’t possibly be counted upon to do that, even if we are totally committed to trying to do so.

    You should count on us to investigate the crime after the fact and provide information to the court so that the attacker can, possibly, be dealt with by the justice system. Stay away from vigilantism, and let the police handle the aftermath. That much is good advice. When it comes to protecting yourself from an immediate threat though, every cop with even a modicum of experience knows that’s on you and the people in your immediate vicinity. It would take a stroke of magnificent luck (or extreme stupidity on the part of your attacker) for one of us to be there when that attack actually happens. By the time we arrive, even in ideal, realistic scenarios, your attacker will have shot until he ran out of ammo, stabbed you until you were dead, raped you until he was done, or beaten you until his arms got so tired he couldn’t beat you anymore. That’s what “minutes” in a violent situation amount to, and there’s just no way to devise a realistic system where the police can be notified and respond in anything less than “minutes,” even in an urban setting. Cops know this, and I believe it’s one of the primary reasons that 91% of us support your right to carry a gun.

    I think that is likely even a larger factor for many, or maybe even most, cops than the fact that we all swore an oath to uphold the Constitution which guarantees that right. The Constitution could be amended to repeal the 2nd amendment, and nothing about advocating the lawful amendment of the Constitution would violate the oath. The fact that so many officers are supportive of concealed carry, rather than calling for an amendment which would allow its elimination, tells me that the support is for the idea itself, rather than blind obedience to the oath we took.

    End of copied material.

    The MSM in this country is generally very reluctant to report cases wherein honest people use their guns to protect themselves and their loved ones and or their property. I know of quite a few instances of this self protection personally,going back over sixty or seventy years, but not a single one of them has ever been reported in any media, not even in the comments sections of gun rights websites.

    I witnessed maybe half a dozen of these events, and I have been personally involved in a four or five myself.

    I’m not saying the D Party as a whole is right or wrong on this issue. I’m saying there’s a lot of truth on both sides, and that pretending otherwise is bullshit, and contributes NOTHING to really understanding what is going on in this country, and why.

  31. OFM says:

    Useful environmental data.


    It’s sure as hell past time we shut down the trade in exotic species for sale as pets or gardening and landscaping material.

  32. OFM says:

    When people from opposite ends of the political and economic spectrum are talking the same way, it’s a good indication that something is happening that demands your attention.


    If this guy isn’t one of the elite, then there ISN’T any elite.

    What he says is consistent with what a lot of people in forums such as this one are saying.

  33. OFM says:

    There are PLENTY of rednecks who wear white socks and drink Blue Ribbon beer who also smokes pot, and the Trump administration is doing all it can to piss them off, lying its ass off about keeping government off the backs of the people, and then trying to stop and reverse the legalization of pot.


    I don’t see Trump lasting four years, unless he changes his ways, and I don’t believe he is CAPABLE of changing his ways.

    Most of the local people I know who actually bother to vote voted for him, and quite a lot of them smoke pot, or have kids at risk of being thrown in jail for smoking pot.

    The R’s in swing districts are going to have to abandon ship when it comes to covering his ass by the time mid term elections roll around, or run a very high risk of losing their own reelection fight.

    There are a bunch of districts that are competitive, and some states that are competitive at the Senate level, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of voters moving from one side to the other to put new people in office. Two out of a hundred is enough in lots of cases.

    The smartest, wiliest, most effective D politician of my time is Bill Clinton, and he has the best feel for the mood of the country of any politician alive, in my estimation. If HRC had listened to him, she would be living in the WH today. It’s the economy stupid, above and beyond everything else, because gays and queers and transgenders and lesbians and religious minorities and every other segment of the population that can be identified as a group is a SUBSET of the universe of all voters who are concerned about the economy, and the large majority of all the people in any one of these subsets consists of poor or working class people, rather than investor class people.

    It’s astounding that HRC could be so arrogant and wooden headed that she didn’t realize this perfectly obvious truth, but ……….. She failed to do so, and lost, mostly for this one specific reason.

    It simply does not MATTER whether globalism, etc, is good for the people and the country, in terms of elections. What MATTERS is what the PEOPLE BELIEVE, in this respect, because their beliefs determine their vote.

    The economists who believe in globalism in the abstract are correct. I believe in it in the abstract MYSELF. I understand the benefits of international trade, and live well PERSONALLY in part because of international trade.

    But it terms of the LARGER BOX, or bigger envelope, advocating globalism was a losing strategy this last time around, and the result is that Trump is prez, and that there are more R’s in office than before.

    Sometimes it’s best to think things all the way thru before you act. Just about all the time, in fact. 😉

  34. Boomer II says:

    Analysis – Renewables on the rise: are the Majors ready to invest? | Wood Mackenzie

  35. Boomer II says:

    Electricity’s Latest Evangelist: One of the World’s Largest Oil Companies

    Wall Street Journal (subscription) – 3h ago

    France’s Total SA, one of the world’s largest oil companies, sent its top executives to Silicon Valley last summer, where they met with tech investors and futurists.

  36. George Kaplan says:

    World Offshore Wind Market Forecast 2017-2026

    This may be of interest, the report costs several thousand pounds but the summary is linked here:


    Total Capex is projected at €402bn over 2017-2026.
    Global cumulative capacity is forecast to grow from 16.4 GW in 2017 to 94.0 GW by 2026.
    The UK, China and Germany are the three largest contributors to total capacity additions.
    Capex across the UK, China and Germany is forecast at €217bn, accounting for approximately 54% of total global expenditure.
    Opex is expected to amount to €68bn, with nearly 70% of this expected to be spent across the UK, Germany and China.
    Global hardware Capex is expected to total €288.0bn versus installation Capex at €88.6bn and planning & development at €25.6 over the 2017-2026 period

  37. OFM says:


    The opening paragraph

    “In 2016, the Democratic Party lost the presidency to possibly the least popular candidate in American history. In recent years, Democrats have also lost the Senate and House to right-wing Republicans whose extremist agenda is far removed from where most Americans are politically. Republicans now control almost two-thirds of governor’s offices and have gained about 1,000 seats in state legislatures in the past nine years. In 24 states, Democrats have almost no political influence at all.”

    I think maybe Sanders understands what needs to be done. The rest of this opinion piece lays it out in clear terms.

    The question is whether HB type Democrats will ALLOW it to be done, or continue playing the losing Republican Lite game.

  38. Survivalist says:

    Jeff Sessions initially claimed under oath in January that he’d had no meetings with Russian officials during the course of the Donald Trump campaign, it was proven that he’d had at least two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak – so he belatedly admitted to them. Then came word that there was probably a third meeting. Sessions opened his testimony yesterday by insisting that third meeting never happened. But then during questioning, he slipped up and appeared to admit to three meetings.

    The moment came when Republican Senator Marco Rubio asked the following question: “I want to go to the campaign for a moment. I’m sure you are aware it is widely reported, [the Russians] often pose not simply as an official, but undercovers such as businessman, journalist and the like. At any point during the campaign, did you have an interaction who in hindsight you look back and say they tried to gain influence and in hindsight you look back and wonder?” Jeff Sessions responded: “I don’t believe in my conversations with the three times.”

    For this event see 1:16:38

    Rubio had been asking whether Sessions thought he might have met any undercover Russian agents who had been trying to coerce him. Sessions’ response had nothing to do with the question, as is often par for the course when he’s testifying. But the only realistically possible interpretation of Sessions’ answer is that he was insisting nothing improper happened during the “three times” he met with the Russian Ambassador.

    Sessions, in trying to avoid answering a different question, slipped up and admitted that he had three meetings with Kislyak – not two. This likely confirms he committed perjury in his opening statement.

    • OFM says:

      Now lets be fair to Sessions, and the rest of Trump’s homies. They don’t often get caught lying under oath more than once a day. Some days they actually manage to tell the truth, which is bad enough in and of itself, considering what they have to say, or to say nothing at all, when questioned.

      • GoneFishing says:

        So why is DT not being brought into this?

        • OFM says:

          “So why is DT not being brought into this?”


          My personal opinion is that given the countless ways Trump and so many of his appointees are fucking up, a fair number of Republican congressmen and senators in competitive districts or states are going have to decide which is more important to them, remaining in office, or stonewalling for Trump.

          The Democrats succeeded in holding the party line in the Clinton impeachment, even though he had to surrender his law license, and was proven to be diddling the office help ( legal age help, to be sure ) in the company office, etc) which had he been a Republican would have brought down the wrath of the entire feminist establishment on him. I bring this up to make the point that people will sometimes overlook questionable conduct in a politician for various reasons including that politician having a strong record of supporting their side on certain issues.

          Also, I believe that this party line solidarity costs the Democratic Party quite a lot, over the following years, in respect to the culture wars. The liberal establishment was willing to forgive and forget, it was only sex to them, and a joke, but the socially conservative establishment, it was a serious offense, and Clinton getting off, to them, reeked of hypocrisy, and they didn’t forget. They still had it in for HRC last year, remembering that she had a crew working on suppressing so called bimbo eruptions, while posing as a strong supporter of women’s rights, especially the right to be free of harassment by powerful men. Older folks tend to REMEMBER this sort of thing.

          The younger ones who went for Clinton were generally either unaware of any of this history, or accepted the “Great Right Wing Conspiracy” explanation as true.

          If Trump is impeached, there will be some people who come to his defense no matter what, because they either OWE him, due to his supporting and pushing certain policies important to them, or because they are hard core partisans, and will defend one of their own no matter what, maybe right up to the point of losing their own position.

          One such group consists of the people who really do believe that a fetus is a person, and that abortion is murder, or something very close to murder. They are about like the feminists in this respect, they will overlook anything and everything else, because Trump is THEIR GUY in respect to this one overriding issue.

          Gun rights advocates may also decide to defend Trump, perhaps more on the basis that he is NOT a Democrat than any actual actions he takes, since the D party as a whole, so far as they are concerned, is determined to take away their constitutional right to own and use guns.

          The folks who own the beer, liquor, wine and pharmaceutical industries may quietly pump a good bit of money into the defense of Trump and company, so as to reverse the liberalization of pot laws, to any extent possible. Pot’s a damned good substitute for alcohol, being less dangerous by far, and cheaper too, even on the black market, and it works quite as well as a lot of pills that cost quite a bit of money, not to mention the doctor’s visit necessary to obtain them. Legal pot is going to cost the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries billions in sales.

          Will enough people come to Trump’s defense for him to win out in the court of public opinion?

          I can’t say, but a Twain quote comes to mind. In Huck Finn, one of the slimy characters that Huck and Jim get entangled with says paraphrased, in respect to getting away with running a scam:

          Ain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?

          There may be enough fools in America that the R Party figures it can brazen it out in terms of defending Trump.

  39. Survivalist says:

    If you want to get an idea of how the 35% of Americans who still approve of the job Trump is doing think then just check this out


    Michael Moore attempting to overthrow gov, pulling out of Paris Accord is good for the poor, Jeff Sessions just put a stop to Obama’s “slush fund” racket that forced corporations to pay tens of millions of dollars to liberal non-profits… oy vey! I know it takes all kinds of people to make a world, but this is just ridiculous!

  40. GoneFishing says:

    I just spoke with a fellow that finally got his permits to put solar PV on his house. It took him a year, which he admitted to being partly his fault for not filling out some paper work properly. He said normally it takes six to nine months to get the permits in this state.
    I think it is ridiculous that it takes about the same amount of time to get government permission to put some plates on a house as it does to produce a human. The actual job takes a couple of days.

    • OFM says:

      Government employees are not often thought of as the sort to take the initiative in endorsing new ways of doing things, when their job is to make sure things are done “by the book”.

      This is especially true in the case of planning and zoning people, and of building inspectors offices, which is where building permits are originated.

      I had a casual talk with my local inspectors a while back, about such permits. There are only two of them in this county, it’s a rural community. They tell me they are personally not at all opposed, but that their hands are tied , in terms of making sure they are doing it “by the book” and truth be told, they have near zero experience personally in solar, and there is still near zero true standardization in the solar business, in terms of most of the people in it being new to it, and only marginally familiar with the code sections involved.

      Bottom line, they are busy as hell, there should be three instead of two of them, and if they mess up, and there are problems, such as a fire, or a lower than expected appraisal, or a lawsuit between a builder and solar contractor, or homeowner, they will be dragged into it, with their jobs at risk, and the likelihood of having to not only do their ordinary work, but also spending some days sitting around the courthouse, maybe a lot of days, on salary, no overtime.

      You can ask anybody who owns a hammer and tape what the basic rules are for spacing framing lumber, and he will say sixteen inches on center in stud walls, etc. Simple, clear, no possible argument.

      For a building inspector, at this time, a solar permit is more like a moderately complicated court case, something that requires quite a bit of time to be sure no mistakes are made.

      And damned few people get pissed and call the county administrator, when they take some time to issue a permit for solar, because there are damned few applications for solar installations,so far.

      Whereas there are plenty of applications for remodeling, new construction, etc, from people who are well known to all the elected officials, and can get them on the phone personally, lol, and expect their permit to be issued within three or four days, or a week or so at the most.

      I suppose this slow permitting problem will go away once there are enough solar jobs happening that a county or city can find and hire a contractor who is himself actually expert in solar code rules, and willing to work for what the county or city will pay, lol.

      That’s who inspectors ARE- former builders and contractors, lol.

      And of course the rules involved need a substantial amount of streamlining and rewriting to make them clear and understandable , and to eliminate uncalled for requirements that are overkill or even detrimental to the safety and durability of the installation.

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